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In Greek mythology the Titan Atlas was responsible for bearing the weight of the heavens on his shoulders, a burden given to him as punishment by Zeus. Father of many stars and a protagonist in one of Hercules’ famous labours, this giant of a god gave his name to a huge mountain range in northern Africa, the great Atlantic Ocean and any large collection... [continue reading]
The Near East is traditionally regarded by archaeologists and ancient historians as the region of southwest Asia, specifically the area encircled by the Mediterranean Sea, the Black Sea, the Caspian Sea, the Red Sea and the Persian/Arabian Gulf. In modern times this region includes the countries of Israel/Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, Jordan, Iraq and western... [continue reading]
Mesopotamia (from the Greek, meaning 'between two rivers’) was an ancient region in the eastern Mediterranean bounded in the northeast by the Zagros Mountains and in the southeast by the Arabian Plateau, corresponding to today’s Iraq, mostly, but also parts of modern-day Iran, Syria and Turkey. The 'two rivers' of the name referred... [continue reading]