Old views of an ancient land

The Holy Land has dramatically changed since the late 1880s. Landscapes have been altered; some buildings and sites no longer exist. But that era is not completely lost.

In 1890, French Dominican Pere Marie-Joseph Lagrange founded the Ecole Pratique d'Etudes Bibliques (The Practical School of Biblical Studies) in Jerusalem. The Ecole Biblique was Jerusalem's first modern research center and school for biblical and archaeological studies. Scholars led excavations and published the Jerusalem Bible. They took photos, too.

Now, 63 of those images are on exhibit in New York City. The photos, taken from 1890 to the early 1900s, show daily life - in villages, synagogues, cities - and ancient monuments. There are views of Jerusalem, Nazareth, Galilee, the Dead Sea, and more. Expeditions throughout the Middle East are also documented.

"The Holy Land Through the Eyes of Explorers" is at the Gallery at the American Bible Society through Sept. 15.

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor

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