Negative dyke (i.e. with inside eroded) in the desert, around the center of the Makhtesh Ramon. Fingering structures can be observed on the two sides of the dyke, corresponding to each other. The hydrofracture due to the magma lead to this labyrinthic pattern, frozen on the sides of the hardened sandstone. We sit in the middle of the sandstone, at height, the basalt corresponding to the hardened lava intruding the sandstone (the dyke) has been eroded - we sit on it. Geology field trip during the first topical school of the ITN FlowTrans (flowtrans.digijuice.co.uk/ ), organized by E. Aharonov. Thanks to Gidi Bear who lead us to this fantastic dyke, in Ardon Wadi (Nahal), center of the Makhtesh Ramon, close to Mitspe Ramon, in the Negev. More info: http://eost.unistra.fr/renaud/
Modern civilization began right here in the Tigris-Euphrates river valley. Also known as the Fertile Crescent or Mesopotamia, this is the place where, six thousand years ago, agriculture, writing and mathematics were brought into widespread use.The term "Middle East" comes from the British navy, which used it to describe the countries on the trade route from Europe to India and China. Everything from Afghanistan to Morocco may possibly be classified as "middle eastern", depending on whom you ask -- and when.Only a partial list of past Empires in the middle eastern territory includes Sumeria, Babylonia, Persia, the Ottoman Empire and the Roman Empire!When northern Europe was still lurking about in slimy cold stone castles playing chess, the Middle East was enjoying the flowers of poetry, luxurious craftsmanship, music and literature. In fact, the Renaissance in Europe was partly inspired by stories brought back from the middle east by travelers along the trade route.Strategic location, religious history and the world's largest supply of crude oil have kept the Middle East at the center of world activity for centuries. The saga continues.Text by Steve Smith.