The Desert of the Exodus: Journeys on Foot in the Wilderness of the Forty Years' Wanderings; Undertaken in Connection with the Ordnance Survey of Sinai and the Palestine Exploration Fund

By E. H. Palmer | Go to book overview

PREFACE.

MANY travelers have crossed the desert to the Holy Land, but no one has hitherto attempted a complete exploration of the Desert of the Exodus, so as to give an exhaustive account of the scenes of Israel's Wanderings. The notices which we have of the Wilderness south of Palestine are so scattered and partial as to be of little service in determining the Scriptural topography of these regions.

Having accompanied the Ordnance Survey Expedition to the Peninsula of Sinai in 1868-1869, and subsequently visited Et Tíh, Idumæa, and Moab on behalf of the Palestine Exploration Fund in 1869-1870, I have wandered over a greater portion of this extensive desert than had been ever previously explored. The results of these journeys, performed entirely on foot, and extending over a period of eleven months, I now lay before the reader.

Familiarity with the Arabic language, and the privilege of accompanying experienced explorers and scientific men, have given me exceptional advantages, and insured an accuracy which I could not otherwise have hoped to attain. I have in every case recorded the impressions received upon the spot, and have carefully avoided all theories except such as were actually forced upon me by facts, and were, moreover, substantiated by collateral evidence.

I take the opportunity of expressing my deep sense of gratitude for the kind assistance and co-operation which I have received in preparing this volume for the press.

The maps and photographs of the Sinai Survey are reproduced by the kind permission of Major-General Sir

-vii-

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