Burqin

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This article is about Palestinian town. For the Xinjiang, China county with the same name, see Burqin County.
Burqin
Other transcription(s)
 • Arabic برقين
 • Also spelled Birqin (official)
Burqin panorama
Burqin panorama
Burqin is located in the Palestinian territories
Burqin
Burqin
Location of Burqin within Palestine
Coordinates: 32°27′20″N 35°15′37″E / 32.45556°N 35.26028°E / 32.45556; 35.26028Coordinates: 32°27′20″N 35°15′37″E / 32.45556°N 35.26028°E / 32.45556; 35.26028
Palestine grid 174/206
Governorate Jenin
Government
 • Type Municipality
 • Head of Municipality Mohammad Sabbah
Area
 • Jurisdiction 19,447 dunams (19.4 km2 or 7.5 sq mi)
Population (2007)
 • Jurisdiction 5,685
Name meaning "Sandy soil covered with flint"[1]

Burqin (Arabic: برقين‎) is a Palestinian town in the northern West Bank located 5 km west of Jenin. According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) census, its population was 5,685 in 2007.[2] The majority of Burqin's residents are Muslims, and 20 Christian families live in the town. The Byzantine-era Burqin Church or St. George's Church is one of the oldest churches in the world.[3]

History[edit]

Burqin is an ancient site, situated on a slope, with old stones reused in the town houses.[4]

It was mentioned under the name Burqana, in the 14th century BCE Amarna letters, as one of several cities conquered by the Canaanite warlord Lab'ayu in the Dothan Valley and southern Jezreel Valley.[5][6]

Pottery sherds from the Early Bronze I, Early Bronze IIB, Late Bronze III, Iron Age I, Iron Age II, late Roman, Byzantine, Umayyad/Abbasid, Medieval and early Ottoman era have been found.[6]

Ottoman era[edit]

Burqin and vicinity in 1799[7]

In 1517, the village was included in the Ottoman Empire with the rest of Palestine, and in the 1596 tax-records it appeared as Bruqin, located in the Nahiya of Jabal Sami of the Liwa of Nablus. The population was 23 households and 4 bachelors, all Muslim. They paid a tax rate of 33,3% on agricultural products, which included wheat, barley, summer crops, olive trees, occasional revenues, goats and beehives; a total of 7980 Akçe.[8]

In 1799, Pierre Jacotin placed the village, named Berkin, nearly straight west of Jenin on his map.[7] In 1838 Edward Robinson placed Burqin as being in the District of Jenin, also called "Haritheh esh-Shemaliyeh".[9]

In 1863, when Victor Guérin visited, he found the village to have about 1,000 inhabitants, all Muslim with the exception of 90 Greek Orthodox Christians. He further noted that "Some 30 excavated cisterns are evidence that this village sits upon an ancient settlement."[10]

In 1872 Claude Reignier Conder visited Burqin during his surveying work in Palestine. He was met by the local curé and shown the church. It had a stone screen on the east, shutting of three apses.[11]

In 1882, the Palestine Exploration Fund's Survey of Western Palestine described Burkin as "A village of Greek Christians, with a small modern church for the Greek rite. It stands on the side of a white hill, with a good well below on the north, and olives near it."[12]

British Mandate era[edit]

The Byzantine-era church, 2007

In the 1922 census of Palestine, conducted by the British Mandate authorities, Burqin had a population of 883; 871 Muslims and 12 Christians males.[13] This had increased in the 1931 census to a population of 1,086; 1,010 Muslim and 76 Christians, in a total of 227 inhabited houses.[14]

In 1945 the population were 1,540 Arabs with a total of 19,447 dunams of land, according to an official land and population survey.[15] Of this, 3,902 dunams were used for plantations and irrigable land, 11,219 dunams for cereals,[16] while 36 dunams were built-up (urban) land.[17]

1948–1967[edit]

In the wake of the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, and after the 1949 Armistice Agreements, Burqin came under Jordanian rule.

Post–1967[edit]

After the Six-Day War in 1967, Burqin has been under Israeli occupation.

Tourism[edit]

Burqin municipality and the Palestinian tourism ministry are working on making the Byzantine-era Burqin Church (St. George's Church) a popular tourist destination. Facilities in the town will be improved to be able to receive more tourists. The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) are funding a project to renovate an old building into a centre for tourists, where they can be offered general lectures and movie screenings before visiting the church and other historial places in the town.[3]

The municipality are talking to UNESCO about listing the town as a World Heritage Site.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Palmer, 1881, p. 146
  2. ^ 2007 Locality Population Statistics. Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics. p. 105.
  3. ^ a b c "West Bank hopes to make ancient church popular tourist destination". Jerusalem Post. 1 April 2015. 
  4. ^ Dauphin, 1998, p. 751
  5. ^ Goren et al., 2004, p. 262.
  6. ^ a b Zertal, 2004, pp. 104–105
  7. ^ a b Noted in 1838 by Edward Robinson; according to Robinson and Smith, 1841, vol 3, p. 159
  8. ^ Hütteroth and Abdulfattah, 1977, p. 128
  9. ^ Robinson and Smith, 1841, vol 3, 2nd app, p. 130, no 8
  10. ^ Guérin, 1875, pp. 223 −24
  11. ^ Conder, 1878, pp. 117–118
  12. ^ Conder and Kitchener, 1882, SWP II, pp. 46–47
  13. ^ Barron, 1923, Table IX, Sub-district of Jenin, p. 30
  14. ^ Mills, 1932, p. 67
  15. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 54
  16. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 98
  17. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 148

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]