Palestine Archaeology and Literature

According to RECIPESINTHEBOX, Palestinian National Authority (PA) is an administrative body in charge of governing the West Bank and, until the 2007 elections, the Gaza Strip, established in 1994 in compliance with the Oslo agreements and within the limits established at the time. Since 2005 its president is Abu Mazen (owner Mahmud ‛Abbas).


During the period of Persian domination (537-332 BC) particularly flourishing were the coastal centers, from Akhziv to Gaza, and Galilee, which reveal a culture imbued with Cypriot and Greek elements, fueled by the massive importation of artifacts. The Phoenician influence is manifested in toreutics, bronzework, coroplastics, jewelry, in the production of glass objects. From the 4th century. BC the Greek influence became predominant, especially in the urban field, with the adoption of hippodamus (Dor) type systems, which spread in the 3rd century. also in the central- southern area (Marissa), although a traditional Phoenician building technique remains in use. The massive immigration of Greeks in the Hellenistic period and the foundation of Greek colonies it fortified the western influence, which manifests itself in the building field in the three so far known palatial complexes: Tell Anafa in Galilee (2nd -1st century BC); Tulul Abu el-Alaiq near Jericho (1st century BC); Araq al-Amir, in Transjordan (2nd century BC). The only known example of Hellenistic religious architecture is the Temple of Dor. In Marissa and Jerusalem there are examples of tombs with frescoed niches dug into the walls, probably of Alexandrian origin (2nd-1st century BC).

With the creation of the kingdom of Judea established themselves in the cities of old and new foundation and forts erected by the sovereign (Hyrcania, Cyprus, Beer Sheva, Arad), a new architectural concept, techniques and innovative building materials, directly transmitted by Rome. A new order was given by Herod to the traditional places of worship. The country, however, continued to present a notable difference, in the architectural field, between the coastal plain and the inland regions, the first open to Western influence (Caesarea Maritima), the second more closed and tied to local traditions (Jerusalem). However, in the center of the Judaic Galilee, in Sepphoris (Diocaesarea), the depth of the Greco-Roman artistic influence is testified in a 3rd century residence. AD, whose triclinium was paved with a rich mosaic. In Galilee, center of collection of the Jewish population of Palestine after the two Jewish revolts, we have in the sec. 3rd and 4th century AD notable evidence of synagogues, which imitate, from an architectural point of view, the structures of Syrian temples.


In Palestinian literature, understood as the literary production of writers and poets who have identified with the Palestinian question, it is necessary to distinguish the production of those writers who remained in Palestine after 1948, who became Israeli citizens, from that of those who emigrated to other countries. Arabs, in Europe and America, from that of the writers who live in the West Bank and Gaza.

Among the first writers who expressed patriotic sentiments and dissent for the growing Zionist immigration in the country in their works, we remember the poet I. Ṭūqān, the writers K. Baydas with the novel al-Wārith (“The heir”, 1920), M. ‛U. Druza with al-Mallāk wa as-Simsār (“The owner and the matchmaker”, 1934). In the next generation emerge the poets T. Zayyād, S. al-Qāsim, M. Darwīsh, and the poetesses F. Ṭūqān with the collection of poems Waḥdī ma‛a ‘l-ayyām (“Alone with the days”, 1955) and S. al-Khaḍrā ‘al-Giayyūsī.

Of the current of exiled writers, who left the Palestine after 1948, we remember GI Giabrā, perhaps the best known in Italy thanks to novels such as as-Safīna (1975; transl. It. La nave, 1994) and al- Bi’r al-ulā (1989; trans. It. The wells of Bethlehem, 1997), the writer S. ‛Azzām, G. Kanafānī and T. Fayyāḍ: privileged themes are exile and the idealization of the lost homeland, pervaded by a strong sense of melancholy and anguish for the deprivation of origins and often expressed in the literary form of the short story.

Different themes are instead those addressed by the writer A. Ḥabībī who, living in Israel, expresses in his novels the discomfort of feeling “a stranger at home”.

With the writers of the West Bank and Gaza, the issues are enriched by taking on the value of historical documentation: as when the disappearance of Arab villages replaced by new Israeli settlements is described. Recurring topics are still those of extraneousness and the uneasiness of seeing one’s homeland changed as well as the description of situations linked to the armed struggle and collaborationism with Israel. Among the exponents of this current we remember G. Bannūra, I. al-‛Alam, M. Ayyūb, S. Khalīfa, A. Sharīm, A. Haniyya, ‛A. Tāyeh.

Palestine Archaeology