Documentary Film based on Gibson's book: Qur'anic Geography


The Sacred City from Glasshouse Media on Vimeo.


The history of goes back before the time of computers. In fact it stretches back a century before that. In the late 1800's the Gibsons in England became interested in archeology in the Holy Land. They began to collect information and formed a small library which was passed on to Arthur Henry Gibson.
 Arthur Henry Gibson
Arthur Henry Gibson became an electrical engineer who set a number of small milestones in history. As a young engineer, he wired Buckingham palace with its first electric lights. Later in South Africa he added a diamond to the end of a drilling bit and patented it. He always claimed that while he held the patent, the ancients were the ones who did this. He also pioneered the area of percussion drilling. Several years later, after emigrating to North America, he invented the Gibson Grader, one of the first successful road graders, (built in Bradford Ontario). In the 1930's he and his sons moved to Canada and homesteaded in Alberta (south of Holden). He later retired in Wainwright Alberta. A.H. Gibson wrote many articles, and continued to build his library of Biblical and Holy Land research which he passed to his son David J. Gibson.

David J. Gibson
When he was 12 years old, David contracted polio while swimming in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of New Jersey. Once the family moved to the Alberta prairie farm, David did the bookkeeping for the farm, and spent the rest of his time pursuing his hobby: researching Middle Eastern chronology and archeology. Several years later David married a German girl, Hattie, and moved to the nearby town of Wainwright. Here David opened an accounting office and store. Since polio tied him to his wheel chair and desk, he spent considerable time pursuing Holy Land studies, narrowing down his field of interest to a number of topics:
1. Biblical Chronology
2. Nabataea: especially early Nabataea (Edom)
3. The Land of Eden: Did it exist? Where would it have been?
4. The Land of Tarsish: Where was it?
5. Early man, the Biblical and evolutionary accounts.

For his research David depended on his growing library (he subscribed to a number of archeological and scientific journals, as well as the books he purchased. His library began with books he received from his father and grandfather and it grew from there. Along with these books, he also had copious correspondence with historians and archeologists in the field. All of this study came to an end with David's death in 1966. It lay dormant until 1979 when David's youngest son, Dan took up the cause.

 Dan Gibson
Dan grew up reading all of the archeological books and journals in his father's library. After graduating from highschool he went on to receive a theological education, and then in 1979 he and his young bride move to the Middle East where they lived in a variety of countries. They first arrived in Jordan where they studied the Arabic language. During this time they made repeated trips to Petra and the surrounding area. Dan explains it this way. "The director of the language school had been an archeologist at one time. Once he realized the needs of the local people he quit archeology and began to work with Arab churches. Over the years, however, he had many of his old archeological friends visit him, and in many cases he would hand me the keys to his car and ask me to take them to Petra. In the first few years of being in Jordan I made multiple trips with some very interesting people."


In 1981 Dan and his wife Mary moved to the edge of the Empty Quarter of Arabia, to the city of Al Ain in the United Arab Emirates where they spent one year. This was an important year in widening the Gibson's Middle Eastern experience. After a brief stint in Jordan as directors of the language school and a visit to Canada the Gibson's moved on to Yemen in 1984

During the 3 1/2 years that they spent in Yemen, Dan visited the Marib Dam site, the ancient ports along the coast, and many of the ancient villages, towns, and caravansaries in the interior of the country. After their son was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy they returned to Canada for a seven year period.

Then in 1993 they returned to Jordan where Dan began to research and write while working at the Holy Land Institute for the Deaf. In the year 2000 Dan and his family returned to Jordan after ten months in Canada, this time to work on a project jointly sponsored by the Jordanian Ministry of Antiquities and Ministry of Toursism, researching and writing about the Nabataeans. They moved into a small Bedouin village between Petra and Wadi Rum. During this time Dan wrote the book: The Nabataeans, Builders of Petra, and he also started to put together this website: Nabataea. In the future he hopes to publish the book: The Nabataeans, Merchants of the Ancient World.

To date, only a small portion of the information that has been collected by the Gibson family over the generations has been published. In the last ten years Dan Gibson has writen several books, produced a documentary film, and he continues to catalouge all of his research, plus put together an electronic library of resources that centre on Nabataean and early Islamic studies.

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