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published on 28 April 2011
The area designated by the word has changed over time. Classically, Syria lies at the eastern end of the Mediterranean, between Egypt and Arabia to the south and Cilicia to the north, stretching inland to include Mesopotamia, and having an uncertain border to the northeast that Pliny the Elder describes as including, from west to east, Commagene, Sophene... [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]