Haram al-Sharif, al-Quds

Middle East

Ancient Middle East, history of the region from prehistoric times to the rise of civilizations in Mesopotamia, Egypt, and other areas. The high antiquity of civilization in the Middle East is largely due to the existence of convenient land bridges and easy sea lanes passable in summer or winter, in dry or wet seasons. Movement of large numbers of people north of the Caspian Sea was virtually impossible in winter, because of the severity of the climate, and central Eurasia was often too dry in summer. Land passage between Asia and Africa was in early times limited to narrow strips of land in the Isthmus of Suez. Large-scale desert travel was limited to special routes in Iran and in North Africa, both east and west of the Nile valley.

Featured Article: Works of the Old Men

The "works" demonstrate specific geometric patterns and extend from a few tens of meters up to several kilometers, evoking parallels to the well-known system of geometric lines of Nazca, Peru, wrote an archaeological team in a paper published recently in the Journal of Archaeological Science. In comparison the Nazca Lines in Peru are dated between 200 BCE and CE 500). These occur throughout the entire Arabia region, from Syria across Jordan and Saudi Arabia to Yemen. Archaeological studies indicate that some of the wheels date back to circa 8,500 years, a prehistoric time when the climate was wetter in parts of the Middle East.

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