National Geographic : 1957 Dec
864 John Scofield, National Geographic Staff Feathered Ark of Ishmael, Standard of a Syrian Tribe, Is a Modern Ark of the Covenant When the Ruwalla Bedouin migrate, a she-camel carries before them this sacred symbol captured from rival nomads in 1793. On old-time war marches the tribe's most beautiful maiden rode the litter, and warriors regarded it as a rallying point beyond which they would not retreat. Ostrich feathers and acacia sticks make up the ark, which stands in front of a goat-hair tent. Some 33 centuries ago the Israelites, wandering through Sinai toward the Promised Land, carried their own ark as an assurance of divine guidance. everyday garb was most likely to be tunic and cloak, supplemented by a long, relatively narrow scarf draped over the head and falling down the back to the tunic's hem. Jezebel Not the Only Painted Woman The Hebrew love for adornment also ex tended to jewelry; anklets, bracelets, rings, and beads sprinkle the ruins of every town. We also know that Jezebel was not the only painted woman in Israel. Archeologists have dug up a large number of bowls that were used to mix cosmetics. Women blackened their eyebrows and eyelashes with manganese and antimony; they tinted their lower eyelids green with malachite or turquoise; red ocher heightened the color of their lips. The Israelites' way of life was a reflection of their era, of their geographical situation, and, perhaps most importantly, of the religious revolution they embodied. But as archeology brings us ever closer to this hardy, fiercely independent people on their own terrain and in their own time, I am struck anew by the essential changelessness of the human plight. For what we read in the ruins is only a faded image of the same strivings, the same ideals, and the same hopes that motivate us today. In our age the shadow of the sword has been replaced by the more terrible shadow of the violated atom. And, despite 3,000 years of strife, Palestine is still racked by war and rumors of war. But all of us can still dream with the prophet Zechariah of a day when "There shall yet old men and old women dwell in the streets of Jerusalem .... And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing .... "