Historical Geography of the Negev: Bedouin Agriculture

Alexandre Kedar, Ahmad Amara and Oren Yiftachel

in Emptied Lands

Published by Stanford University Press

Published in print February 2018 | ISBN: 9781503603585
Published online May 2018 | e-ISBN: 9781503604582 | DOI:
Historical Geography of the Negev: Bedouin Agriculture

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This chapter begins the task of challenging the geographical components of the DND, by providing a thorough account of the historical geography of the Negev, drawing on various historical accounts of European travelers and Zionists. Relying on these accounts, it challenges the hegemonic history and narrative that depict the Negev as an uncultivated and unsettled desert used by nomadic Bedouins. The chapter demonstrates that the human geography of the northern Negev was characterized, at least from the 19th century, by widespread agriculture, in parallel to traditional pastoralism. There is ample evidence that Bedouin agricultural settlement in general had existed for centuries, including among the al-‘Uqbi tribe in the ‘Araqib area. The chapter shows organized local habitation and economic activities, based on a customary and well developed land system.

Keywords: Agriculture; Negev; ‘Araqib; European Travelers; Customary Land System; Ottoman; British Mandate

Chapter.  7159 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Comparative Law

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