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An introduction to the geography of jordon and iraq

It extends over 2,000 miles from the Black Sea in the north to the Arabian Sea in the south, and about 1,000 miles from the Mediterranean Sea in the west to the mountains of Iran. In the first of these zones, the Nile River flows northward through the Sahara Desert from Khartoum in Sudan where its two major tributaries jointhrough Egypt, and to the Mediterranean Sea.

As a source of water, food, and fertile soil deposited in annual floods as well as a transportation route, it was the ecological basis for ancient Nubian and Egyptian civilization.

The Geography of the Middle East

The rich mineral resources of the deserts around the Nile, particularly gold, have historically been important to economic development in this area. Located in the Mediterranean climatic zone with rich agricultural land and relatively abundant rainfall, and having easy access to land and sea routes, the Levant has always been a cultural crossroads and has frequently been conquered.

Among the first areas to develop agriculture as far back as 11,000 BCEancient cultures that developed in this region include Canaanite, Amorite, Israelite, and Phoenician. The western coast of Turkey had closer contact with cultures of Greece and the Aegean Sea than with the rest of the Middle East through much of its early history.

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Ancient cultures in Anatolia included the Hittite empire and a Hurrian-speaking population. Southeast of the Levant is the Arabian Peninsula with its extensive deserts, oases, and coastal regions along the Red Sea, Arabian Sea, and Persian Gulf that were more often suited to permanent settlement. Distinctive ancient cultures of this area include the South Arabian kingdoms in what is now Yemen that traded incense to the Levant and communities in Oman that were rich in copper and hard stone.

Arab culture first appears in the historical record after the introduction of the camel in about 1200 BCE, which allowed more extensive use of arid zones of Saudi Arabia, and Islam first developed in the oasis towns of Mecca and Medina before spreading over much of the Middle East by 700 CE. In many ways, what we call Mesopotamian civilization is a series of diverse languages and cultures bound together by a common script and written tradition.

Mesopotamia is a particularly fertile agricultural zone with vast areas available for cultivation. Northern Mesopotamia receives enough rainfall to grow grain crops, while southern Mesopotamia receives virtually no rain, so agriculture there depended on extensive networks of irrigation canals.

  1. He and his regime were toppled in 2003 during the Iraq War. Reversing the effect is a difficult and lengthy process.
  2. Northern Mesopotamia receives enough rainfall to grow grain crops, while southern Mesopotamia receives virtually no rain, so agriculture there depended on extensive networks of irrigation canals. Among the first areas to develop agriculture as far back as 11,000 BCE , ancient cultures that developed in this region include Canaanite, Amorite, Israelite, and Phoenician.
  3. A high water table and poor drainage, coupled with high rates of evaporation, cause alkaline salts to accumulate at or near the surface in sufficient quantities to limit agricultural productivity. Distinctive ancient cultures of this area include the South Arabian kingdoms in what is now Yemen that traded incense to the Levant and communities in Oman that were rich in copper and hard stone.
  4. The western desert, an extension of the Syrian Desert , rises to elevations above 1,600 feet 490 metres.

At the southern end of the Tigris-Euphrates course, a series of marshes has maintained a distinctive environment and culture for millennia. Apart from water and fertile soil and later oilMesopotamia contains few natural resources, and has depended on trade with people in the mountainous regions to the north and east for stone, copper, and timber. Zagros Mountains Mesopotamia is bordered on the east by the Zagros Mountains of western Iran and eastern Turkey elevation up to 15,000 feetwhose highland valleys were home to Elamite and Persian civilizations as well as later powerful nomadic confederations including the Bakhtiari.

The Zagros are a rich source of stone and timber. The climate of the Middle East ranges from the warm summers and cold winters of highland Turkey and Iran, through hotter summers and cool winters of northern Mesopotamia and the Mediterranean coast, to the extreme temperatures of the Arabian desert. Most, but not all, of the region is arid. As this outline suggests, geography plays a significant role in the formation and maintenance of cultures.

Geography also provides a basis for distinctive attributes of regional cultures, like the importance of olive oil and wine in the cuisine of the eastern Mediterranean region where grapes and olives can easily be cultivatedor the extensive use of incense in daily life, ritual practice, and in economic exchange in the cultures of south Arabia.

Scholars debate the extent to which geography shapes culture and the direction of historical change. Some see geography as destiny, while others see a more complex set of changing opportunities and constraints that geography poses through history.

  1. Following the start of the Iraq War in 2003, some parts of those projects were dismantled, but experts estimated that rehabilitation of the marshes would be impossible without extensive efforts and the expenditure of great resources.
  2. Distinctive ancient cultures of this area include the South Arabian kingdoms in what is now Yemen that traded incense to the Levant and communities in Oman that were rich in copper and hard stone. This connection is crucial because in years of drought—aggravated by more recent upstream use of Euphrates water by Turkey and Syria—the river level is extremely low.
  3. The currency of Iraq is the dinar IQD underwent superficial restructuring since the war began in 2003. Salinity, caused in part by overirrigation, is a serious problem that affects about two-thirds of the land; as a result, large areas of agricultural land have had to be abandoned.