350 pages, colour and b/w drawings, maps and photos
The Mediterranean world, the sea, the islands and the shores facing it, is a self-centered microcosm subjected to a very agitated geological history during the Neogene. At the same time, this region absorbed the profound influence of the earliest human cultures. The present book by two researchers from the Hebrew University presents the wide panorama of this interaction. Regional earth science, oceanography, marine and inland flora and fauna, together with regional anthropology and ancient history are for the first time presented on equal footing in this well-illustrated book. In the corner of the Levant, the interdependence between the water bodies of the Rift Valley, the earliest waves of human settlement and the emergent agro-pastoral culture are especially in evidence and a source for management efforts even today.
The most updated knowledge about the environmental history of the region together with the exciting new oceanographic discoveries and processes are presented alongside with the human impact – prehistorical, classical and contemporary.
The resulting symbiosis between sea, land and society created a homogenous circum-Mediterranean nature and culture. Biogeography and human geography are inextricable. Mare Nostrum is the best example of an anthropic environment, seasoned by long-standing human influence and therefore less prone to modern induced imbalance. It maintained its beauty and attractiveness as the world's chief target for tourism.
Mare Nostrum is a primer for integrative Mediterranean environmental studies. It is a widely regional synthesis of fields like historical geology, plant and animal biogeography, oceanography, human history and societal impact – fields which received in the past only parochial treatments. First in its kind, it can serve as a basic textbook which provides a guardedly optimistic academic message, instead of the many doomsday previsions.
Part 1. Mediterraneis - a Continental Province and an Anthropic Landscape
1. 1. Introduction
1. 2. Mediterraneis and its Terms of Reference
1. 3. History of the Biota
1. 4. Biogeography
1. 5. Anthropogenic History
1. 6. Near Past and Present References
Part 2. The Resilient and Surprising Mediterranean Sea
2. 1. Introduction
2. 2. Descriptive data
2. 3. Historical Oceanography
2. 4. Recent Biogeographic Aspects
2. 5. Issues of Actuality
2. 6. Human Impact and Conservation References
Part 3. The Levantine Waterway, a Riparian Human Evolutionary Centre
3. 1. Introduction
3. 2. A Corridor and a Cradle
3. 3. The Levantine Waterway
3. 4. Geological History and Relics of the Waterway
3. 5. Springs of Eden, Rivers of Life
3. 6. Aquatic Zoogeography in the Levant
3. 7. Lakes and Hominid Presence
3. 8. Events coeval with the Levantine men
3. 9. The Late Pleistocene Lakes
3. 10. The Riparian Cultural Breakthrough
3. 11. The Rift Valley Water Bodies in History
3. 12. Dams, development and water politics
3. 13. Introductions and Accidental Invasions
3. 14. Demise and Redemption of the Lakes
Index of Classical and Old Authors and Personalities
Notes added in Proof
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