The Palestine Exploration Fund

Welcome to the Fund

An introduction to the Palestine Exploration Fund

  • The Palestine Exploration Fund

    The PEF was founded in 1865 and is the oldest organization in the world created specifically for the study of the Levant, the southern portion of which was conventionally known as ‘Palestine’.

  • Watercolour painting showing the underneath of Temple Mount


    The PEF's collections include artefacts, natural history specimens, documents, maps, archival material, paintings, drawings, and photographs. This unique resource is used by researchers from around the world.

  • Conder reclining on a rock

    A rich history

    The PEF is associated with many famous historical figures, places, expeditions and events. By joining us you can gain access to this rich heritage.

  • Our facilities

    The PEF's home in Hinde Mews includes an impressive reference library and displays of our collections. By joining us, you can gain access to these resources and the knowledge of our members. Join today!

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About us


PEF LECTURES: Our next event is at the British Museum  BP Lecture Theatre at 4pm on the 5th December

EVANS MEMORIAL LECTURE -  In Association with the British Museum Department of Middle East 

Pictures Painted by the Sun: Photographing Jordan 1985 - 2015

Jane Taylor

Tickets are available through the British Museum 1 month - 2 weeks before the lecture. To book, contact the British Museum Box Office:  020 7323 8181 or     and go to the 'What's On' option at the top of the BM homepage. Then choose the 'Events Calendar'  and scroll down the page to see events listed by date and time.  If the event is not yet listed, please try again at a later date.

LECTURES IN 2020 - NEW TIME 1:30pm - see details below

16th January 2020, 1:30pm, British Museum BP Lecture Theatre


Omar Joseph Nasser-Khoury, PEF Grant Scholar

Poster Jan 16th 2020.pdf

Tickets: £5 (£4 for British Museum Friends)

Tickets are available through the British Museum . To book, contact the British Museum Box Office:  020 7323 8181 or     and go to the 'What's On' option at the top of the BM homepage. Then choose the 'Events Calendar'  and scroll down the page to see events listed by date and time.  If the event is not yet listed, please try again at a later date.

There are a limited number of free tickets for PEF members. To book your free ticket, contact the PEF directly at T: +44 (9) 207 935 5379   or 


We are happy to announce the launch of a new joint PEF-Albright Instiute award of  £3,000 to support research that requires access to the PEF archives and collection and also time spent in residence at the Albright Institute in Jerusalem. The Fellowship requires a minimum of 10 working days at the PEF in Greenwich, London, and a 1 month minimum stay at AIAR in Jerusalem. The room and half-board at the Institute ($1,200 per month) will come from the award, with the rest a flexible stipend for the other activities. This Fellowship is open to all doctoral and post-doctoral researchers. This Fellowship is for a residential period between 1 September 2020 and 31 May 2021. The working days at the PEF may be completed anytime from the granting of the award until 31 May 2021. Queries related to the PEF should be sent to Queries related to the AIAR should be sent to For more information regarding this and other Fellowships from the Albright Insitute visit:  Closing date for applications is 31st December 2019.

TERENCE MITCHELL, 1929 - 2019, JUDITH MCKENZIE 1957 - 2019, & ANDREA ZERBINI 1984 - 2019

The PEF is sad to mark the passing of three former Trustees, two of whom have died tragically young. Our thoughts are with their families, friends, and colleagues.

Dr. Terence Croft Mitchell, former Keeper of the Department of Westen Asiatic Antiquities (now Middle East Department) at the British Museum, and a member of the PEF's Board of Trustees for many years, passed away at the age of 89 in April.

Dr. Judith Sheila McKenzie, former PEF Trustee and Associate Professor of Late Antique Egypt and the Holy Land at the Univesity of Oxford, died in May this year at the age of 61. Dr. McKenzie was a renouned scholar of Middle Eastern art and architecture, and had a particular affection for Petra in Jordan. Her contribution to scholarship is a lasting legacy.

Assistant Director of the CBRL British Institute in Amman and former PEF grant recipient, Librarian, and Trustee, Dr. Andrea De Silva Zerbini, has tragically passed away aged 35 after a long illness. Andrea was a wonderful colleague and a superb scholar, and will be sorely missed.  Before he died, he set up a travel fund to help young students travel to the Middle East.

Visit to make a donation


A new website project, created by Rojda Saa, aims to collect together the cultural heritage and memories of the Yezidi people using photographs, oral histories, accounts of travellers, and personal recollections. The PEF is very pleased to have contributed to this wonderful project by donating photographs of the Yazidi people and places taken by Olga Tufnell when she was in Iraq in the 1950s. To see the project, and find out more, including how to contribute, visit

Also on Twitter @yezidiphoto



A new exhibition entitled "Contested Histories"  is now open at the University of Queensland Library, using the archive of J. H. Iliffe. The exhibition  looks at the life of the Palestine Archaeology Museum (PAM) during the British Mandate period when he was Keeper, from 1922 to 1948. If you can't visit in person, there is an online version at

For more British Mandate era archaeology in Palestine, see also the UCL based "Filming Antiquity"  blog  (link: 


The PEF has been featured in a recent edition of the English-language newspaper, The Jordan Times. See the link here



James Fraser,  "The Khirbet Ghozlan Excavation Project: Investigating Bronze Age horticulture in the Jordan Valley escarpment."

Pascal Flohr,  "More than Meets the Eye: Locating Late Neolithic sites on the Kerak Plateau, Jordan."

Jeffrey Auerbach,  "Exploring Palestine, 1865-1885: Public-Private Partnership and the origins of the British Mandate in Palestine"

Yorke M. Rowan, "Eastern Badia Archaeological Project: Wisad Pools"

Omar Nasser-Khoury - "Phase II: Documentation of the British Museum’s Palestine Textile Collection: A knowledge Exchange Fellowship 2018-2019"

For more information please go to



Our contact details in Greenwich are:

Palestine Exploration Fund, 5-6 Dreadnought Walk, Greenwich, London SE10 9FP. Tel: +44 (0) 207 935 5379, Fax: + 44 (0) 207 485 7438, email:,

Our stop is the DLR Station 'Cutty Sark for Maritime Greenwich'.  Follow directions for the Cutty Sark itself. You will come to the River Thames with the Cutty Sark on your Right. Facing the river, turn left and walk along the Thames Path for about 5 - 7 minutes, with the river on your Right, and a housing estate on your left. You will soon come to a new development. Keep walking straight past two restaurants 'The Sail Loft' and 'The Oystercatcher' and you will come to an open area with a Waitrose on a Costa on your left. Keep on walking along the riverfront, and you will see a small children's playground ahead of you. This is opposite the PEF's entrance. Attached is a map showing our location.,-0.0187111,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x48761ad2edd9a3b1:0x687e88c9958fa70d!8m2!3d51.4828729!4d-0.0165171



Dr James A. Fraser has won the prestigious Ernest G. Wright academic publications award at the recent  ASOR conference in Denver, Colorado for his book 'Dolmens in the Levant' which was published as PEF Annual XIV in 2018 withTaylor and Francis publishing. Our congratulations go to him, and to all the PEF publications team, for producing such an outstanding book.

To find out more about this title go to

To order your copy of Dolmens in the Levant, please order directly online at:

or UK and Rest of the World email:

US, Canada, Latin America:

Members of the PEF receive generous discounts on all Annuals purchased online through the above website, so to find out how to claim your discount, please contact the PEF office ( or 0207 935 5379) with your details and we will provide you with the code.



The PEF Library catalogue is now available to view online by clicking on the link below.

The library holds specialist titles (including journals) covering the core subjects of interest to the PEF for the Levant region (including Cyprus and the Sinia). Some key titles covering Egypt, the Aegean, Anatolia, and Mesopotamia are also held.

Earth sciences
Ethnography and Anthropology,
Ancient History and History (up to 1948)
Art and Architectural History,

PEF members can access the library by appointment.

To become a member, and/or to make an appointment to use the library, please contact the office

T: + 44 207 935 5379, or email: or
To check the availalbilty of a volume, please contact the Librarian at:


PEF BLOG and Twitter

You can now follow and contribute to our blog by  clicking on this link

the blog contains features by our grant recipients, news on our archives and events, and we welcome your participation.

You can also follow us on Twitter! Join the tweeters by going to


PEQ is sent to all PEF subscribers four times a year. Volumes from 1865 to present are also available online to subscribers through

This is a major step forward in the improvement of our services to our members. Now, the incredible wealth of research in the pages of PEQ and the Quarterly Statement are available for members to access wherever they happen to be. New members will receive their access details from our publishers Taylor & Francis



The PEF was founded in 1865 and is the oldest organization in the world created specifically for the study of the Levant, the southern portion of which was conventionally known as ‘Palestine’. The PEF is a major bridge and information resource for the public and academic community.

The PEF constitution

It publishes an internationally respected journal, the Palestine Exploration Quarterly, and brings the latest archaeological results and research to the public in a series of regular lectures. The PEF promotes ongoing research through annual grants to scholars across the world.

Excavations at Temple Mount


The PEF archives hold over 40,000 photographs of Palestine, Jordan and Syria taken from 1850 onwards. The PEF collections also include archaeological artefacts, natural history specimens, maps, manuscripts, and paintings. Our unparalleled library attracts scholars from around the world. These facilities are available to our members for research, study, and publication purposes.

An earlier version of the PEF website can still be accessed at

Current office hours for visits and enquiries

(please note there may be some occassional changes to these times depending on circumstances)

Monday to Friday: 10am to 4pm

If you would like to visit the PEF, please make an appointment in advance by contacting Felicity Cobbing at



Disclaimer: The articles and illustrations appearing on the PEF’s website are sanctioned for use on this website only. Any use of such material by an outside party must receive permission from the PEF and the author in question.


The Palestine Exploration Fund (PEF) was founded under the royal patronage of Queen Victoria in 1865 by a group of distinguished academics and clergymen, most notably the Dean of Westminster Abbey, Arthur Stanley, and Sir George Grove.

The original mission statement of the PEF was to promote research into the archaeology and history, manners and customs and culture, topography, geology and natural sciences of biblical Palestine and the Levant. The PEF now has a history rich in association with many of the outstanding names of Levantine exploration including:

In the late 19th Century and early 20th Century, the PEF was central to the development of archaeology in the region, undertaking ambitious and well-chosen projects that significantly enhanced the knowledge of those working in the area. Its subject-base has never been limited to archaeology alone and includes natural history, anthropology, history and geography.

Key projects sponsored by the PEF included:
  • 1867-1870: Excavations in Jerusalem by Warren and Birtles
  • 1871-1878: The Survey of Western Palestine conducted by Conder and Kitchener (among others)
  • 1890-1893: Excavations at Tell el-Hesi directed by Petrie and Bliss
  • 1913-1914: The Wilderness of Zin Archaeological Survey conducted by Woolley and Lawrence.


The term 'Palestine' is a widely-attested Western and Near Eastern conventional name for the region that includes contemporary Israel, the Israeli-occupied territories, part of Jordan, and some of both Lebanon and Syria. Its traditional area runs from Sidon on the coast, to Damascus inland, southwards to the Gulf of Aqaba, and then north-west to Raphia.

The Sinai Desert is usually considered a separate geographical zone to the south. 'Palestine' is first attested in extant literature in the 5th cent. BC, when it appears in the Histories of Herodotus (Hist. 2: 104, etc.) as Palaistinê. It seems to have its origins in the root form p-l-s-t , denoting the land of the Philistines, though it has generally in Western usage referred to a much wider region than coastal Philistia, including the area that is known in Biblical, Rabbinic and Samaritan literature as the Land of Israel (Eretz-Yisra'el) or ancient Canaan. The term 'Palestine' has over many centuries retained its relevance as an apolitical geographical term regardless of the nation-states and administrative entities that have existed in this region. It has no political associations when used by the Palestine Exploration Fund.

Palestine Exploration Fund, 5-6 Dreadnought Walk, Greenwich, London SE10 9FP.
Tel: +44 (0) 207 935 5379, Fax: + 44 (0) 207 485 7438 | Email:
Registered company: 13606 | Registered charity: 212538
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