This project will document both tangible and intangible Palestinian ethnographic heritage, paying particular attention to agricultural practices along the cultural route of ‘Abraham’s Path’ in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
Agricultural Heritage in the Occupied-Palestinian Territories
The Occupied Palestinian Territories lies in the Fertile Crescent, a region bridging North Africa and Eurasia, where some of the earliest civilisations first cultivated the landscape. This area is rich in agricultural and ethnographic heritage associated with the communities that live there, including; traditional farming implements, seeds, bee hives and farming clothing from local agricultural homes within the region’s rural landscape.
The area and its agricultural heritage are highly valued by those who reside within it. Intangible heritage such as stories and anecdotes involving ancient agricultural techniques have traditionally been shared orally and passed down through generations from the older members of communities.
The ongoing conflict in the West Bank has impacted and exacerbated the loss of both tangible and intangible heritage from the agricultural communities that occupy this rural landscape.
Conserving Traditional Agricultural Practices
This project will focus on innovative means for the protection and preservation of specific forms of Palestinian cultural heritage, relating to the natural history and agriculture of the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Through the collection of farming equipment and via digital documentation and through the recordings of stories and techniques, the project will conserve skills relating to the cultivation of the region.
The Palestine Institute for Biodiversity and Sustainability will engage volunteers and students to improve their skills in relation to the collection of heritage. Bethlehem University will also offer short courses in conservation and museology to further improve participant’s skills and understanding.
The rediscovered heritage will go towards creating an ethno-nature section in the Palestinian Museum of Natural History, which will be open to the visiting public to learn about the areas agriculture history and heritage.