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Map of the Land of Israel by Ephraim Grauer, Odessa, 1899

מפת ארץ ישראל מאת אפרים גרוור, אודסה, 1899Map of the Land of Israel, 1899, prepared by Ephraim  Grauer in Odessa. The map integrates past and present, Jewish history and the history of the Land of Israel beginning with the Zionist settlement, a survey of the various rulers of the Land and information on climate and nature in the Land of Israel.

The map declares that it was “well researched and checked for accuracy” In addition, that the author states that “the new localities are marked with a Star of David.” Among the localities thus marked on the map are Yesod Ha-Ma’alah, Mishmar Ha-Yarden, Mikveh Yisrael, Rishon Le-Tzion, Wadi Chanin (the core of what would later become Nes Tziona), Rechovot, Gedera, and additional localities.

On the upper right-hand side is a map of Jerusalem, but it has only one reference to the city of Jerusalem in modern times: “the train to Jaffa.”  Apart from this, the map depicts the Old City of Jerusalem and its environs, including the marking of historical sites. From the historical-national aspect, the map depicts the land inheritances of the tribes of Israel, with each area marked with the first letter of the relevant tribe’s name.

The map includes a text concerning the months of the Hebrew calendar. For each month, there is an explanation of the weather conditions in the Land of Israel, the fruits and vegetables in season, and sometimes detail regarding agricultural tasks performed during that month. For example, regarding the month of Tammuz: “The heat is very great, the dew is sparse, and many fruits have ripened – apples, pears, watermelon, zucchini and the like.”

The history of Israel is related in brief, with years numbered beginning with the creation of the world. For example, in 4502 (842 CE) “the Tatars or the Turks ruled for a brief period, and [the Land was] again under the hands of the Ishmaelites, while in 5600 (1840 CE), the King of Istanbul rose [to power], and the government has been under the hand of the Ottomans to this day.”