Field Notes From The Past (14): Dangerous Sampling


On the first night we camped in the Ghor el Feifeh, and from the 17th to the 26th inclusive we were detained at the Ghor es Safieh while waiting for means of transport from Jerusalem. This enforced delay in so unique a locality was to me a most fortunate circumstance. Previous visitors do not appear to have obtained more than a hurried peep at the Ghor es Safieh. The difficulties arise from the hostile character of the adjoining tribes of Arabs, who are constantly engaged in predatory warfare, the Ghor es Safieh being very frequently the scene of their conflicts. Our imaginations were kept excited by continual reports and warnings of those terrible Kerak SheikhsHuwaytats, and others who were about to demolish us. I had also read and heard much of the impossibility of doing any good exploring work where an escort is always necessary, and where the Bedawin were bent on plundering unwary strangers. However, day after day I followed the bent of my inclinations, frequently alone, climbing the eastern hills, searching the jungles and marshes, and collecting birds and plants without ever receiving the smallest annoyance…


Cover image: illustrations of some specimens found by Hart on his expedition to Sinai and the Dead Sea. Obtained from the reference.



– Hart, H. C. (1891). Some Account of the Fauna and Flora of Sinai, Petra, and Wâdy’Arabah (Vol. 6). Committee of Palestine exploration fund.

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