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Civilization is said to have begun independently across the world at six sites, dubbed the “cradle of civilization. Two of these are in the Middle East, two in Asia, and two in the Americas. The two sites that are in the Middle East are part of a larger region called the Fertile Crescent, so called because of its crescent shape spanning parts of Iraq, Turkey, Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Palestine, Jordan, and Egypt. It stretches across the neck of the Arabian peninsula, from the shores of the Mediterranean Sea to the Persian Gulf and includes important archeological sites such as Mesopotamia, Göbekli Tepe and Jericho. This region is so called because it yielded some of the earliest evidences of Neolithic man’s transformation from hunter-gatherers to farmers.

At the heart of the Fertile Crescent lies the ancient settlement of Abu Hureyra. It sits on an artificial mound called a “tell”, located in Syria on the south side of the Euphrates valley, about 120 km east of Aleppo. The tell is a massive accumulation of collapsed houses, debris, and prehistoric objects accumulated over the course of thousands of years of human habitation at the site. The mound, which is nearly half a kilometer across and 8 meters tall, once stood on dry land by the Euphrates river, but has since been drowned beneath the waters of Lake Assad.

Qal'at Ja'bar

The castle Qal'at Ja'bar on the banks of Lake Assad. Photo: Aramgar/Wikimedia Commons


© Amusing Planet, 2020.



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