Much of Lawrence’s story is fairly well known, thanks not only to the Lean film but to the publicity work of the American journalist Lowell Thomas, who as early as 1919 began telling Lawrence’s story—albeit not always accurately—in slide shows that he presented to millions of people in New York and London. Since Lowell Thomas’s biography, With Lawrence in Arabia (1924), approximately 50 biographers have kept the story current.He also did archaeological work on the Nabateans (Nabataeans).
But despite all this publicity, it is sometimes forgotten that Thomas Edward Lawrence (1888–1935) was a very competent Middle Eastern archaeologist before the war and that his archaeological activities and Biblical interests helped shape him for the military and political role he later played. Although his pre-war work focused on the Crusaders and on the Hittites, he contributed to the resolution of at least one important issue in Biblical archaeology and touched on several others.
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