National Geographic : 1946 Dec
The Society's THE timely new Map of Bible Lands and the Cradle of Western Civilization which comes to the 1,500,000 member-families of the National Geographic Society with this issue of their Magazine depicts the world's oldest mapped area.* Here man has been shaping his destiny since the origin of human culture. Here lies the traditional site of the Garden of Eden; here, on the Tigris or the Euphrates, Noah built the Ark; here archeologists constantly unearth traces of a vanished past, as far back as the sixth millennium before Christ. Yet no other area on earth appears more frequently in today's newspaper headlines. A dozen international trouble spots remind us that the cradle of Western civilization holds one of the keys to world peace. The new map, on a generous scale of 63 miles to the inch (1:4,000,000), is printed in ten colors on a sheet 32 inches by 22 inches. It stretches on the north from Istanbul (Con stantinople) eastward to the Trans-Caucasian oil center of Baku. On the south it reaches from El 'Alamein, where Rommel's Nazis were hurled back in their final thrust toward Alex andria, to the tiled mosques and golden domes of fabled Isfahan. Within its borders are Palestine, Trans Jordan, much of oil-rich Iran and Iraq, north ern Saudi Arabia, the oil island of Bahrein, Syria, Lebanon, and Turkey astride the Dar danelles. Problems arising in these areas, where man's earliest recorded struggles for survival took place, today challenge the world's statesmen. Old and New in the Holy Land Two insets of the Holy Land, at 16 miles to the inch, graphically portray the contrast of old with new. One shows the Holy Land of Bible days, from Dan to Beersheba. Historic spots noted include Mount Carmel, where Elijah contested with the prophets of Baal (I Kings 18: 17 40); Dothan, where Joseph's brethren sold him into slavery (Genesis 37: 17-28) ; Penuel, where Jacob wrestled with the Angel (Genesis 32: 22-31); Megiddo, scene of the prophetic battle (Armageddon) between the forces of good and evil (Revelation 16: 14-16); and Gaza, where Samson destroyed the temple (Judges 16: 21-30). The other inset shows the Holy Land as it is today, with place names of Jewish cities, towns, and agricultural settlements in red let tering. These include modernistic Tel Aviv, with a Jewish population of 200,000; the dia mond center of Natanya; and Gan Shemuel, New Map of Bible Lands model Jewish agricultural community carved out of a desolate area the Arabs dubbed "The Valley of Death." t Today potash from the Dead Sea fertilizes Palestine. Modern equipment extracts chlo rine, sulphuric acid, and caustic soda from briny depths four to six times as salty as the ocean. An Arab village and a Jewish collective farm stretch side by side along the Sea of Galilee, on whose waters Jesus walked. Present-day Jericho is an Arab settlement about a mile from Tell es Sultan, the ruins of old Jericho, where "the walls came tumbling down" (Joshua 6: 20). Three New Independent States The new map shows Syria, Lebanon, and Trans-Jordan as independent states. As far back as the days of ancient Hittite, Egyptian, and Assyrian empires, these lands were fought over. Syria and Lebanon saw the Persians, Macedonians, Seleucids, Ptolemys, Romans, Moslems, and Ottomans come and go. Now France, their latest ruler, under a World War I mandate, has departed. What does the future hold in store for Damascus, which St. Paul knew so well, and the Biblical ports of Tyre and Sidon, as well as newer cities? Since David and Solomon established their dominion over Edom and Moab, Trans-Jordan has been ruled by one great empire after another. In 1921 it became an Arab kingdom under British protection as part of the World War I Palestine mandate. Now it, too, is self-governing. This map also shows the Dodecanese Islands, formerly belonging to Italy, as pos sessions of Greece. The Paris conference of foreign ministers of the United States, Great Britain, Russia, and France agreed to their return. By consulting the new map, members can see in detail the strategic situation of the Dar danelles, whose control is of world importance. Map Bears 248 Historical Notes On the map in red are 248 historical notes, many in the huge arc which extends from Egypt on the left up through Palestine and * Members may obtain additional copies of the new map of Bible Lands (and of all standard maps pub lished by The Society) by writing to the National Geographic Society, Washington 6, D. C. Prices, in United States and Possessions, 50¢ each, on paper; $1 on linen; Index, 25. Outside United States and Possessions, 750 on paper; $1.25 on linen; Index, 50". All remittances payable in U. S. funds. Postage pre paid. t See "Palestine Today," by Francis Chase, Jr., NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE, October, 1946.