The ancient Negevites deliberately cleared the stones off the slopes and thus smoothed the surface and exposed the finer soil, to facilitate the formation of a self-sealing crust. The same routes that made trade possible and opened up cultivable areas to civilized settlement in times of peace were the ones followed by invading armies in times of war. In Comprehensive assessment of the freshwater resources of the world. Changes in mountain glaciers and ice caps during the 20th century. The distribution of rainfall within the rainy season is highly irregular, and the total seasonal amount fluctuates widely from year to year. One can only shake one's head in disbelief, dismay, and despair when in a review in Foreign Affairs, L. P, Hydropolitics in the 3-rd World: Conflict and Cooperation in International River basins, United States Institute for Peace, 1999.
In Rivers of Eden, Hillel examines this environmental crisis and explores its crucial role in the political and economic future of this particularly sensitive and troubled region. The imbalance must be rectified by augmentation of water supply i. He summarizes the history of planning for the Nile in this century with the evolution of thinking towards basin-wide planning. Fabrycky, Engineering Economy, Prentice-Hall, Seventh Edition, 1989. Mass balance of glaciers other than the ice sheets. Fluctuations of Glaciers 2005-2010 Vol. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of AncientPages.
That scale is worth emphasizing: during its period of maximal development in the Byzantine era, the system of run-off farming encompassed practically all of the usable land in the northern Negev Highlands. Aridity in general is an imbalance between the demand for water and its supply, the supply being too scarce to meet the demand. For the upland aquifers, major issues are the safe yield of the aquifers and the equitable apportionment of the yield between the two parties. The desert itself was held in awe as a place of terror, a largely useless and dangerous domain. Consequently, we find countless heaps, mounds, and strips of gravel on many hillsides, particularly in the vicinity of the old towns of Shivta, Ovdat, and Nitzana. We have recently seen a spate of books and articles on the water problems of the Middle East.
Titus Flavius Josephus, an early Jewish historian thought that Pishon is the Ganges and the land of Havilah is India. Homan at the Xavier University of Louisiana have suggested the land of Havilah was Nubia, a region located in what is today northern Sudan and southern Egypt. Being on the fringe of this desert belt, much of the Negev is not an exceedingly dry desert. In fact, some deserts were settled by extraordinarily diligent and ingenious people, who proved that civilization can be established even in extremely difficult circumstances. An Overview: A transregional journey, and a realization -- 2.
But perhaps more disconcerting than the baseless nonsense that comprises the content of Gelvin's book is the fact that a prestigious academic press such as Cambridge University Press published it. This is a book to supplement and fill in details of natural history that are generally absent or neglected in standard hisotrical studies. An arid zone is one in which rain-fed farming is marginal successful in a few years but so frequently unsuccessful as to make the practice of rain-fed farming a highly insecure venture. The same population continued even after the Romans annexed the region and made it a frontier province. Reichel, The World Water Balance, trans.
All three areas are famous for gold and the other commodities. The terrace walls were designed to spread the flood and to prevent erosion. The future welfare of the Middle East, as of many economies around the world, depends on timely action to resolve these issues. He brings first-hand insight to his account and an urgent concern for the degraded Fertile Crescent, which he believes can and must be rehabilitated. Other deserts in the Middle East and elsewhere witnessed similar though not identical developments. Overgrazing the dry stream beds caused erosion, so that the formerly wide bottomlands irrigated by waterspreading methods became narrow, gouged-out gullies. Permanent rivers are totally absent in the Negev, and even springs or proper locations for digging shallow wells are few and far between.
Improving economic efficiency, for example, is severely hampered in Israel and other countries by government underpricing of water, in tum protected by the power of agricultural interests. Consequently, output increased greatly, and farming was transformed from a subsistence enterprise to a commercial industry. But can environment, climate and topology play a part in the development of a religious community? In one way, this is a welcome development, suggesting that persons interested in the Middle East are turning from a narrow concentration on headline politics and beginning to pay more attention to other important issues which affect the lives of the mass of the people. A typical hillside cistern resembles a giant necklace, with the glistening white pile of excavated rock seeming to hang as a pendant from the two collection channels that ring the hill and curve down its sides from opposite directions. In this way, Rivers of Eden has contributed greatly to our knowledge and understanding. Acknowledgments Partial support of Khayyun Rahi for this research is from the Environmental Science Graduate Program of Oklahoma State University. Traversing river valleys, steppes, deserts, rain-fed forests, farmlands, and seacoasts, the early Israelites experienced all the contrasting ecological domains of the ancient Near East.
The future welfare of the Middle East, as of many economies around the world, depends on timely action to resolve these issues. The Libyan project raises the issue of the safe yield of a groundwater deposit, especially one about which basic information is lacking. Most paragraphs are packed with information and judicious judgments, though Hillel has a few high-sounding empty phrases about peace and the region's history. Jeanne Kay Guelke, Environmental Ethics I highly recommend this book. Hillel recounts, in a richly detailed and beautifully told manner, the origins of the Hebrew Bible in a new and satisfying way. Raven, Home Secretary of the U. A prominent environmental scientist who surveyed Israel's land and water resources and has worked on agricultural development projects throughout the region, Daniel Hillel is a uniquely qualified expert on the natural history of the lands of the Bible.
Building efficient cisterns became possible after the advent of watertight plaster, the recognition of suitable rock formations, and the proper construction of channels to collect and divert overland flow. In Rivers of Eden, Hillel examines this natural crisis and explores its crucial role in the political and economic future of this troubled region. One example is that of the Anasazi Pueblo Indians of the American South-West. On the Historical Validity of the Bible 2. The ancient Negev dwellers also carried out larger-scale works to divert flood water from regional streams onto adjacent flat lands. The casual visitor to the Negev finds it difficult to understand how the ancients could have developed so grand a civilization in the midst of such barrenness.