first Earl Kitchener of Khartoum and Broome (1850–1916), surveyor for the Survey of Western Palestine (1871–1877). As a young lieutenant in the British Royal Engineers, Herbert Horatio Kitchener was seconded in 1874 to the Survey of Western Palestine being conducted under the auspices of the Palestine Exploration Fund (PEF). A devout Christian, Kitchener brought to the survey a detailed knowledge of the Bible, which, combined with a military eye for topography, led him, like Claude R. Conder, to attempt numerous identifications of biblical sites. Many of his judgments were erroneous, as for example, in placing Ai at Khirbet Haiyan (The Survey of Western Palestine: Memoirs of the Topography, Orography, Hydrography, and Archaeology, vol. 3, London, 1883, p. 33). Kitchener's main contribution to the archaeology of Palestine was twofold. First, he surveyed about one-third of the country himself, recording in careful plans many structures which no longer exist. Second, as a keen amateur photographer, he took many photographs (preserved in the PEF archives). Twelve of his photographs were published in London in 1876 under the title Guinea Book of Biblical Photographs (also known as Photographs of Biblical Sites).

Much of Kitchener's work was published in the volumes of Memoirs which accompanied the maps of the Survey of Western Palestine; his reports and letters were published in the PEF's Quarterly Statement between 1874 and 1878. Kitchener went on to survey Cyprus and, in 1883, his fluent knowledge of Arabic led to his being recommended by Charles Wilson to carry out the trigonometrical survey of the Wadi ῾Arabah during Edward Hull's geological reconnaissance of the Sinai Peninsula, also under the auspices of the PEF.

Kitchener made his professional name in the administration of Egypt, Sudan, South Africa, and India. He was distinguished as a Knight of the Garter, Knight Grand Cross of the Bath, and Knight Grand Cross of St. Michael and St. George and earned the order of merit. At the time of his death, he held the post of secretary of state for war.

[See also Palestine Exploration Fund; Sinai; and the biographies of Conder and Wilson.]


  • Conder, Claude R., and H. H. Kitchener. The Survey of Western Palestine: Memoirs of the Topography, Orography, Hydrography, and Archaeology. 8 vols. and set of maps. London, 1881–1885.
  • Crace, J. D. “Lord Kitchener.” Quarterly Statement of the Palestine Exploration Fund (July 1916): 122–123.
  • Kitchener, H. H. Photographs of Biblical Sites. London, c. 1876.
  • Magnus, Philip. Kitchener: Portrait of an Imperialist. London, 1958.
    Still the most authoritative study of Kitchener, although only a few pages are devoted to his work in Palestine

Information on Kitchener's life and work is available in the Archives of the Palestine Exploration Fund, London. For a full-length biography, see Magnus (below).

Yolande Hodson