Exploring the Holy Land web
site created by James E. Lancaster, Ph.D.
Copyright 1997, 2001, 2006, 2009, 2011
in 19th Century Art
A virtual gallery of nearly fifty 19th
century engravings and lithographs takes you on a tour around and
through the Old City of Jerusalem, with recent photographs showing how
many of the scenes look today. Visit the 19th
Century Jerusalem Gallery.
Jerusalem: Then and Now
A virtual photo gallery takes you to
selected archaeological and religious sites, showing how they looked in
1952 and 1964 and how they look now. Visit the Then and Now Photo Gallery.
City of David and Hezekiah's Tunnel
Experience what it's like to step back in
time and walk through a 2,700-year old water tunnel - with
about three and one-half feet of water in the tunnel and as little as
fifteen inches of head room! The tunnel was constructed by
King Hezekiah and is described in the Old Testament. Join me for a Virtual Walk Through Hezekiah's Tunnel.
Late in the 19th century, during excavation
and reconstruction of a Byzantine church in Madaba, Jordan, the oldest
extant map of the Holy Land was found in the mosaic floor of the
church. Prominent in the mosaic, which has been dated to the middle of
the 6th century AD, is a detailed map of the Holy City of Jerusalem as
it appeared at the height of the Byzantine period (325-638 AD). Read
more about Byzantine
Jerusalem and the Madaba Map.
The Church of the Holy Sepulchre
Of all the places I've been in the Old City
of Jerusalem, the Church of
the Holy Sepulchre is one of my favorites. The venerable building,
which are over 1600 years old, commemorates the site of the
burial and resurrection of Jesus. Here's a Brief History of the Church of the
One of the most interesting places inside
the church is the Chapel of St.
Vartan. It's on the lower level behind the Chapel of St. Helena and is
normaly closed to the public. Here's how I found it: Finding the Keys to the
Chapel of St. Vartan .
||The photo at left
shows the entrance to the Church of the
Holy Sepulchre. When the church was rebuilt by the Crusaders in the
half of the 12th century it had two entrance doors. Jerusalem fell to
forces of the Muslim calyph Saladin in 1187 and shortly after that he
one of the two doors sealed. It has remained that way for the past 800
Note the small ladder on the ledge
above the sealed side of the entrance.
The ladder has a fascinating history. Read more about it: The Church and the Ladder:
Frozen in Time .
more complete history of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre visit the
Franciscan Cyberspot's "Church of
the Holy Sepulchre" web page.
Then and Now
A virtual photo gallery takes you to the
Church of the Nativity, showing how it looked in 1952 and how it looks
now. Visit the Then and
Now Photo Gallery.
Jericho: Tel Es-Sultan
A virtual photo gallery takes you back to
the Bronze Age and even earlier at Tel
Es-Sultan in Jericho.
Capernaum: Then and Now
A virtual photo gallery takes you to
Capernaum, showing how it looked in 1964 and how it looks now. Visit
the Then and Now Photo
Click on a banner
I am not a professional archaeologist. Nor am I a professional
photographer or historian. I have a doctorate in engineering and have
worked in the aerospace industry for over 40 years. The contents of
this web page are the result of my avocational interests in
photography, history and archaeology.
My general interest in archaeology is
centered around the eastern
Mediterranean area. In recent years I've made five trips to Israel (the
most recent in July 2000) and have also visited Greece, Turkey (twice),
Jordan and Egypt. I've
spent quite a bit
of time photographing religious, historical and archaeological
sites and have a collection of over 3000 35mm slides from Israel and
several thousand digital images from Turkey, Jordan and Egypt.
My special interest is the history and
archaeology of Jerusalem. You can read about two of my visits in my
trip reports: Two Days
in Jerusalem in 1992 and A Week in
Jerusalem in 1995.
The Biblical Archaeology Review
published a letter about the visit my wife and I made to Jerusalem in
1995: BAR Letter.
I've given slide presentations on Jerusalem
for the Israel Government Ministry of Tourism and to other groups in
Southern California: Slide
In the photos below I am wading through
(left) and standing on the monumental staircase leading up to the south
wall of Temple Mount, both in Jerusalem (June 1995).
Institute of America - Orange County Society
Visit the AIA Orange County Society's web page for information on
upcoming programs in Southern California: AIA Orange County Society.