Liquefied rocks: seismites
In a canyon by the dead sea, these (Lissan) sediments where depositing at the bottom of the sea or a lake millions of years ago, when they have been deformed by an earthquake. They started to form wavy structures, that where visible due to the alternance between summer and winter sediments, depositing as mm sized light or dark layers - with a thick layer corresponding to flooding deposits from time to time. Other sediments came on top, the rock hardened, leading to the formation of seismites, the name of these deformed sedimentary rocks. Other similar events happened, with other seismite layers on top of the first ones. These seismites extend over long canyons, corresponding to the liquefaction of a large area. This was pictured during a field trip through the ITN Flowtrans first topical school (http://flowtrans.digijuice.co.uk , organized by E. Aharonov, Hebrew Univ. of Jerusalem, with the guidance of N. Wetzler, T.A.U. - many thanks. More info on http://eost.unistra.fr/renaud/
On the way to the dead sea (which can be seen in the horizon).
At the Dead Sea in Israel. En el Mar Muerto en Israel
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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.