288 pages, b/w photos, b/w illustrations, b/w maps, tables
This survey of the ancient levels of lakes, rivers and the sea, as well as changes in the compositions of stalagmites and sediments reveals an astonishing correlation of climate changes with the emergence and collapse of civilizations in the Middle East. Each warm period has been characterized by aridization, economic crisis and mass migration, whereas cold periods brought abundant rain, prosperity and settlement in the arid lands. The authors conclude that climate change has been the decisive factor in the history surrounding the origins of the "cradle of civilization".
This second edition of 'Climate Change: Environment and History of the Near East' deserves recognition by scientists working on a number of water problems in the area. The authors [...] are convinced that conservative negative attitudes are slowly changing, mostly due to the ever increasing quantity and quality of scientific research of the Earth's past mainly by geologists, geochemists, botanists, climatologists, etc. [...] The book is intended for environmental hydrogeologists, climatologists, scientists, and geochemists.
- Phillip E. LaMoreaux, Environmental Geology, Vol. 54 (4), 2008
List of Illustrations XI
List of Tables XV
List of Abbreviations XVII
1 The Pendulum of Paradigms 1
2 Constructing the Jigsaw Puzzle of Palaeo-Climates 11
3 The Near East: A Bridge from the Garden of Eden to the Fields of Toil 39
4 The Great Transition - From Farming Villages to Urban Centers 67
5 The Urban Revolution and the Dawn of History 103
6 Dark Age, Renaissance, and Decay 135
7 Migrations and Settlings 163
8 The Age of Iron and Empires 193
9 Crusaders, Mamluks, and Ottomans on the Eve of the Era of Industry 221
10 An Epilogue 235
Appendix I - Groundwater Use and the Evolution of Groundwater
Appendix II - Isotopic Tools in Palaeo-Hydrological Investigations 253
Appendix III - Pastoral Nomadism 255
Appendix IV - Middle Eastern Languages 263
Appendix V - Egyptian Chronology 273
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