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Western Wall (Kotel), Jerusalem
Middle East

The Western Wall plaza on the southwest corner of the Temple Mount (Haram al-Sharif) is the most sacred site for Judaism.  The seven lower courses of the wall date back to the time of  Jesus.

Copyright: William Hamblin
Type: Spherical
Resolution: 13932x6966
Uploaded: 22/09/2010
Updated: 15/09/2014
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Tags: western wall; kotel; wailing wall; temple mount; jerusalem
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More About Middle East

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.