Mittwoch, 17. Februar 2016

Cultural Transition in the Desert

by Constanze Röhl

D. Shmueli; R. Khamaisi,

Israel’s Invisible Negev Bedouin
Issues of Land and Spatial Planning

(Heidelberg, New York, Dordrecht, London: Springer 2015)

ISBN 978-3-319-16819-7

53,49 € (als e-Book 41,64 €)

In Archaeology, the problem of assessing societal patterns without having full knowledge of all their constituting factors is well known and immanent to the discipline.

Even though not presenting an archaeological study, this publication should be considered when dealing with aspects of cultural transition, demographics and conflicting social interests, as the above mentioned issue of course also exists within contexts of a more imminent social impact.

The very appropriately termed ’invisible’ Negev Bedouin constitute an example of this. Indigenous to Israel’s southern desert region, they stand for the pursuit of pastoral nomadism. Their traditional way of life underwent major changes due to being subjected to processes of sedentarization initiated by forces foreign to their society from the ottoman rule onwards until the present. These changes can only be understood via an intercultural approach – also being represented by the nationalities of the authors - fully taking into account the various environmental, respectively external aspects.

Filling a gap by providing an analysis of the problem, while at the same time complementing it with a clearly structured overview of all the necessary background information to the subject, this study adresses newcomers to the topic as well as researchers in a concise manner.

From an archaeological perspective, the facts to be gained from the ethnographical considerations provide vital input when dealing with premodern tribal structures in the Negev desert.

In addition, in particular the thoughts on ’Urbanism, Modernization, Westernization and Forced Urbanization’ in chapter 4 can present interesting theoretical input, which transcends temporal boundaries in its potential application. As stated by the authors, a western view on society based solely on ideas derived from innate values is still a prominent problem. Awareness of this issue and in result  a rethinking of this view can only be successfull when based on theoretical foundations, of which this section delivers a first outline.

In general, this publication allows to give the topic a multi-faceted approach, which can be read not only with regard to the very specific topic of the Negev Bedouin, but also as a study on the change of culture and cultural landscapes in general.


1 Introduction
2 Bedouin: Evolving Meanings
3 Arab Communities of Israel and Their Urbanization
4 Theoretical Context: Justice, Urbanism, and Indigenous Peoples
5 Negev (in Hebrew) or Naqab (in Arabic) Bedouin
6 Evolution of Local Authorities: A Historical Overview
7 Resettlement Planning 1948–Present
8 Lessons Learned
9 Proposals for Flexible Bedouin Resettlement and Collaborative Planning References

Dr. Constanze Röhl studierte  Archäologie der Römischen Provinzen, Ur-und Frühgeschichte und Klassische Archäologie mit abschließender Promotion bei Prof. Thomas Fischer in Köln. Aktuell ist sie als Projektkoordinatorin für das Projekt 'Das kurze Leben einer Kaiserstadt – Alltag, Umwelt und Untergang des frühbyzantinischen Caričin Grad (Iustiniana Prima?)' am Römisch-Germanischen Zentralmuseum in Mainz; sowie als Mitarbeiterin an der Brandenburgisch Technischen Universität, Fachgebiet Baugeschichte tätig.

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