National Geographic : 1967 Oct
of David and Solomon. You will come to know Galilee and Jerusalem as Jesus knew them; the cities, seaways, and highroads of the Roman Empire as Paul saw them. We turned to seven renowned scholars whose explorations and researches have cast new light on the world of the Bible. As consultant, Dr. James B. Pritchard, Curator of Biblical Archeology at the Uni versity of Pennsylvania Museum and excava tor of Gibeon, gave generously of his vast knowledge during the long months the book was taking shape. Picture layouts even followed him to his excavations at Tell es-Saidiyeh in the Jordan Valley, and printer's proofs to the American University in Beirut, where he taught this spring-until war drove him home. In his keynote chapter, "The Adventure of Redis covery," Dr. Pritchard parades thrilling finds and patient detective work that have con firmed and elucidated the Bible narrative. Crumbling Clay Tells Story of Love Life in the Tigris-Euphrates Valley, tradi tional site of the Garden of Eden, Tower of Babel, and the Great Flood, is evoked by Dr. Samuel Noah Kramer, Dr. Pritchard's dis tinguished University of Pennsylvania col league. Dr. Kramer explains how Sumerians invented writing, and tells how, after weeks of poring over crammed symbols on crum bling clay, he found a tablet celebrating the marriage of King Shu-Sin about 2000 B.C. "Casually I began reading it. Then I read it again and again, enthralled by one of the oldest love songs written down by the hand of man." You may read that poem in Dr. Kramer's essay on the world of Abraham, in which he conjures up the life in mighty Ur, where the Patriarch began his epic journey. In Damascus, the world's oldest contin uously inhabited city, I thought how welcome that oasis, watered by snow melt from the Anti-Lebanon range, would have been to Abraham and his clan, driving their flocks in from the vast Syrian Desert. Exploring teem ing bazaars, I heard a babel of tongues as men in patriarchal robes haggled in shops. I re called that metalworkers and cloth merchants here had contributed the words "damascene" and "damask" to our language. Life in Pharaoh's Egypt is described by Dr. John A. Wilson, Professor of Egyptology at the University of Chicago's Oriental Insti tute. Moses, an alien foundling, was reared as an Egyptian prince. In school he would have heard the maxim known to us through 500 The Exodus: "Out of the land of Egypt. ... Unto a land flow ing with milk and honey" Moses led his people from Pharaoh's bondage. Scholars reconstruct the probable route, here traced on a photograph taken 115 miles up from an orbiting Gemini spacecraft. Avoid ing forts and trade routes like the Way of the Land of the Philistines, Moses zigzagged across the desert. In the Wilder ness of Sin, manna refreshed the hungry travelers. From Mount Sinai Moses brought back the Ten Commandments on two tables of stone, as portrayed by Rembrandt (above). And from Mount Nebo he looked upon the Promised Land before he died. Goal of Moses' journey, Israel today prospers in communities like Nahalal, a moshav ovdim, or cooperative of independ ent landholders, established in 1921. Jewish settlers, reclaiming a malarial swamp six miles west of Nazareth, laid out the com munity in a circle for defense. Each family owns a 25-acre pie-slice strip, and produces what it wishes. The farmers market as a group their beef, poultry, eggs, milk, fruit, and vegetables.