Seven Pillars of Palestine’s History and Heritage (PaHH)

Creating Coherence and Continuity in the Historical Narrative

The PaHH project is an international and interdisciplinary research project, which—through a critical revision of Palestine’s history from the earliest human occupation of the region to the present—shall provide the basis for the development of  textbooks and teachers’ manuals for the Palestine Authority’s school system.

The project has the goal of registering and preserving the region’s geography, toponomy, history and culture for the future. This has become urgent as the changes, which have taken place since the foundation of the State of Israel, have rapidly displaced the Palestinian heritage, whether Jewish, Samaritan, Christian, Druze, Islamic or secular. A non-biblically based re-evaluation of the region’s history and culture, rooted in the latest archaeological, ethnographic and anthropological developments, will be of lasting significance for an understanding of the region’s heritage.

Our project intends to produce a comprehensive history in an effort to support cultural reconciliation through a religiously and ethnically inclusive approach that reflects the cultural heritage of all who have lived in this region. The following seven principles are intended to provide coherence to an alternative to the colonization of the cultural memory of Palestine which has been based on a nationalist and exclusive, ethnocentric understanding of the heritage of the land.

  1.  Our project is essentially interdisciplinary.

  2. The goal of our history, in all of its parts, is to be inclusive. It is to be a history of all who have contributed to Palestine’s heritage. It is a history of and for all Palestinians. It is not a nationalist, but a geographically based history.

  3. This history, based in the changes in methods in Palestine’s history, archaeology and biblical studies since the mid-1970s, aims to offer an alternative to the Zionist discourse.

  4. Also as a corrective of earlier histories, this project will view the land of Palestine as an interrelated whole, with historically shifting boundaries. 

  5. Twentieth century historians, archaeologists, biblical scholars, intellectuals and educators have supported the Zionist history by creating a politically tendentious and colonialist history of Palestine that has effectively marginalized alternative perspectives. 

  6. In an effort to deconstruct a religiously exclusive ownership of the land and its heritage, this project will discuss the religious perspectives and attitudes towards the land in order to trace the antiquity and continuity of such understandings as they are rooted in the biblical, Quranic, ancient Near Eastern and Mediterranean cultures of antiquity. 

  7. The project will foster values of self-worth, inclusion, respect and openness towards Palestine’s many cultures. It hopes to recover and nurture a multi-layered and deeply embedded cultural identity.

Download the detailed project description - the seven pillars of PaHH