The Holy Land as you’ve never seen it before

A series of 100-year-old images from the Holy Land have revealed a fascinating insight into rural life in the last ruling days of the Ottoman Empire.

The dramatic mountains and barren deserts surrounding Lebanon, Syria, Israel, Palestine and Jordan have deep cultural significance for the different religions living in the area.

These black and white lantern slides from the Oregon State University Visual Instruction Department show the traditional houses, clothing and manual labour that were typical of the early 20th century.

But the various locations in the slides, including Nazareth, the Garden of Gethsemane and Mount of Olives, are all also written about in the bible as key sites of religious and historic importance. Nazareth for example is described in the New Testament as the childhood home of Jesus, and it has long been a popular centre for Christian pilgrimage.  Elsewhere, the city of Shechem is the home of the Samaritans, an ancient people who reject all of the Bible except the five books of Moses.

Appreciation to MailOnline for the pictures.

The ancient city of Shechem, lying between the twin mountains, Ebal and Gerizim is half-way between the River Jordan and the Mediterranean Sea

The ancient city of Shechem, lying between the twin mountains, Ebal and Gerizim is half-way between the River Jordan and the Mediterranean Sea

The summit of Mount Gerizim where Samaritans believe Abraham built his altar for the sacrifice of his son Isaac 

The summit of Mount Gerizim where Samaritans believe Abraham built his altar for the sacrifice of his son Isaac

The city of Shechem from the north. Shechem is the home of the ancient people, the Samaritans, who reject all of the Bible except the five books of Moses

The city of Shechem from the north. Shechem is the home of the ancient people, the Samaritans, who reject all of the Bible except the five books of Moses

The Cave of the Patriarchs, also known by Muslims as the Sanctuary of Abraham or the Ibrahimi Mosque, is a series of subterranean chambers located in the heart of the old city of Hebron in the Hebron Hills 

The Cave of the Patriarchs, also known by Muslims as the Sanctuary of Abraham or the Ibrahimi Mosque, is a series of subterranean chambers located in the heart of the old city of Hebron in the Hebron Hills

A few miles to the south of Bethel is the hill of Ramah, where it was written that Saul was anointed to be king of Israel 

A few miles to the south of Bethel is the hill of Ramah, where it was written that Saul was anointed to be king of Israel

Jerusalem from the summit of New Calvary hill. In the foreground is the northern wall of the city and the Damascus Gate

Jerusalem from the summit of New Calvary hill. In the foreground is the northern wall of the city and the Damascus Gate

The Garden of Gethsemane and Mount of Olives in Jerusalem - a range of hills with four summits to the east of the city 

The Garden of Gethsemane and Mount of Olives in Jerusalem – a range of hills with four summits to the east of the city

A view of Mount Gerizim from Mount Ebal, with the village of Askar at the foot of the mountain in the distance

A view of Mount Gerizim from Mount Ebal, with the village of Askar at the foot of the mountain in the distance

The Hill of Moreh from the south. In the foreground is the home of a farmer and his family - a one-room house that is built of clay

The Hill of Moreh from the south. In the foreground is the home of a farmer and his family – a one-room house that is built of clay

The New Calvary hill from the south. It is said that this was place of execution for criminals

The New Calvary hill from the south. It is said that this was place of execution for criminals

Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives. Directly in front is the south eastern corner of the modern wall, which follows the course of the ancient wall

Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives. Directly in front is the south eastern corner of the modern wall, which follows the course of the ancient wall

The village of Samaria from the minaret of the mosque, along the eastern slope of the Samaritan mountain 

The village of Samaria from the minaret of the mosque, along the eastern slope of the Samaritan mountain

On the north of Jerusalem, just outside the wall, is this hill called The New Calvary. This hill has been used as a Muslim burial-ground, and under the hill is a series of caves

On the north of Jerusalem, just outside the wall, is this hill called The New Calvary. This hill has been used as a Muslim burial-ground, and under the hill is a series of caves

Cedar trees in Lebanon. The demands of trade have left only a few groves of these trees remaining

Cedar trees in Lebanon. The demands of trade have left only a few groves of these trees remaining

A shepherd climbs the rocks on a hill which looks over the ancient town of Bethel from the south 

A shepherd climbs the rocks on a hill which looks over the ancient town of Bethel from the south

A Muslim school in Ramah, where a teacher, with a page of the Koran in his hand, reads to young pupils seated in a circle

A Muslim school in Ramah, where a teacher, with a page of the Koran in his hand, reads to young pupils seated in a circle

Directly west of Mount Hermon, and separated from it by a deep and wide ravine stands a mountain range which is known as Mount Lebanon range, pictured here.  These mountains run from 6000 to 8000 feet high, with two of the peaks a thousand feet higher

Directly west of Mount Hermon, and separated from it by a deep and wide ravine stands a mountain range which is known as Mount Lebanon range, pictured here.  These mountains run from 6000 to 8000 feet high, with two of the peaks a thousand feet higher

The largest of the three mountains on the east of the plain of Esdraelon, is Mount Gilboa, which is seen here from the summit of the Hill Moreh. In the middle is the village of Shunem 

The largest of the three mountains on the east of the plain of Esdraelon, is Mount Gilboa, which is seen here from the summit of the Hill Moreh. In the middle is the village of Shunem

Mount Hermon, as seen from one of the foothills on the north west. The view is in midsummer, when most of the snow on the summit has melted, swelling the little stream  in front 

Mount Hermon, as seen from one of the foothills on the north west. The view is in midsummer, when most of the snow on the summit has melted, swelling the little stream  in front

These two people, one on horseback, the other seated on a rock, are at the ruins of Bethsaida, looking towards the Mount of the Beatitudes 

These two people, one on horseback, the other seated on a rock, are at the ruins of Bethsaida, looking towards the Mount of the Beatitudes

Inside the Tomb in the Garden at New Calvary, where two Syrian girls from the English school are seated 

Inside the Tomb in the Garden at New Calvary, where two Syrian girls from the English school are seated

A view from Hill Moreh to the town of Nazareth in the distance, over the plains of Esdraelon 

A view from Hill Moreh to the town of Nazareth in the distance, over the plains of Esdraelon

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