DURING THE NINETEENTH CENTURY Palestine was a neglected part of the Ottoman Empire. Its human population had been decimated by wars and disease, and much of its area was deserted and uninhabited. Mark Twain visited the country during the mid-1880s, and was dismayed: "Palestine sits in sackcloth and ashes.. The noted Sea of Galilee, where Roman fleets once rode at anchor.. was long ago deserted by the devotees of war and commerce, and its borders are a silent wilderness; Capernaum is a shapeless ruin; Magdala is the home of beggared Arabs; Bethsaida and Chorazin have vanished from the earth, and the 'desert places' round about them.. sleep in the hush of solitude that is inhabited only by birds of prey and skulking foxes" (Twain 1869).
|Title of host publication||Between Ruin and Restoration|
|Subtitle of host publication||An Environmental History of Israel|
|Publisher||University of Pittsburgh Press|
|Number of pages||29|
|State||Published - 2012|