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!

Search the PEF

About us


We are still unpacking, and our new facility will take a little while to become available for resarchers and visitors, so please bear with us. However, we would love to hear from you in the meantime!

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:,






"Woolley Thinking: The British Museum Excavations at Carchemish 1911 - 1920"

Jonathan Tubb, British Museum

4pm, 8th November 2018, BP Lecture Theatre, British Museum

More details of this event are posted in the 'Latest Content' section of this website.

Tickets will be made 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. Choose the 'Events Calendar' and scroll down the page to see events listed by date and time.



We are collaborating with the University of Greenwich on an event as part of the  'Being Human' Humanities Festival








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)

Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays: 10.30am to 4.00pm
Tuesdays: 10.30am to 5.00pm
Fridays: 10.30am to 1.00pm

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
Our privacy policy