Middle East GeographySocial Studies for 10th EBG – Teacher: Mauricio Torres
What is the Middle East? It is a region that roughly encompasses Western Asia. The Middle East lies at the juncture of Eurasia and Africa and of the Mediterranean Sea and the Indian Ocean. It is the birthplace and spiritual center of religions such as Christianity, Islam and Judaism. Throughout its history the Middle East has been a major center of world affairs; a strategically, economically, politically, culturally, and religiously sensitive area.
Regions Fertile Crescent Levant Mesopotamia Anatolia / Asia Minor
Fertile Crescent The Fertile Crescent is a crescent- shaped region containing the comparatively moist and fertile land of otherwise arid and semi- arid Western Asia. The region is often called the cradle of civilization; it saw the development of many of the earliest human civilizations. Rivers and marshlands were crucial to the rise of civilization in the Fertile Crescent
The Levant It is a geographic and cultural region consisting of the "eastern Mediterranean littoral between Anatolia and Egypt"
Mesopotamia Its a name for the area of the Tigris–Euphrates river system. Widely considered to be the cradle of civilization in the West, Mesopotamia included Sumer and the Akkadian, Babylonian, and Assyrian empires, all native to the territory of modern-day Iraq.
Anatolia / Asia Minor It denotes the westernmost protrusion of Asia, comprising the majority of the Republic of Turkey. The Anatolian peninsula, also called Asia Minor, is bounded by the Black Sea to the north, the Mediterranean Sea to the south, the Aegean Sea to the west, and the Sea of Marmara to the northwest, which separates Anatolia from Thrace in Europe.
Geographical Features Bosporus Caspian Sea Dardanelles Arabian Peninsula Tigris Zagros Mountains Euphrates Mediterranean Sea Red Sea Black Sea
Bosporus The Bosporus is a strait that forms part of the boundary between Europe and Asia. The shores of the strait are heavily populated, straddled as it is by the city of Istanbul As part of the only passage between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean, the Bosporus has always been of great commercial and strategic importance.
Dardanelles The Dardanelles is a narrow strait in northwestern Turkey connecting the Aegean Sea to the Sea of Marmara. Like the Bosphorus, it separates Europe from the mainland of Asia. The strait is an international waterway, and together with the Bosphorus, the Dardanelles connects the Black Sea to the Mediterranean Sea.
Tigris and Euphrates Rivers Both rivers form the Tigris–Euphrates alluvial salt marsh region, in the flooded grasslands and savannas, located in Western Asia. The rivers have several small tributaries which feed into the system from shallow freshwater lakes, swamps, and marshes, all surrounded by desert. Historically, the area is known as Mesopotamia. As part of the larger Fertile Crescent, it saw the earliest emergence of literate urban civilization
Red Sea The Red Sea is a seawater inlet of the Indian Ocean, lying between Africa and Asia. A theory favored by some modern scholars] is that the name red is referring to the direction South, just as the Black Seas name may refer to North. The basis of this theory is that some Asiatic languages used color words to refer to the cardinal directions.
Black Sea Is a sea in south-eastern Europe. It is bounded by Europe, Anatolia and the Caucasus and is ultimately connected to the Mediterranean and the Aegean Seas. The Black Sea was a busy waterway on the crossroads of the ancient world: the Balkans to the West, the Eurasian steppes to the north, Caucasus and Central Asia to the East, Asia Minor and Mesopotamia to the south, and Greece to the south-west.
Caspian Sea is the largest enclosed inland body of water on Earth by area, variously classed as the worlds largest lake or a full-fledged sea. The ancient inhabitants of its coast perceived the Caspian Sea as an ocean, probably because of its saltiness and seeming boundlessness.
Arabian Peninsula It is the worlds largest peninsula. The Arabian Peninsula is located in the Asia continent. The most prominent feature of the peninsula is desert. The area is an important part of the Asian continent and plays a critical geopolitical role of the Middle East and Arab World due to its vast reserves of oil and natural gas.
Zagros Mountains Are the largest mountain range in Iran and Iraq.
Mediterranean Sea The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean surrounded by the Mediterranean region and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Europe and Anatolia, on the south by North Africa, and on the east by the Levant. The name Mediterranean is derived from the Latin mediterraneus, meaning "inland" or "in the middle of the land” .
Mediterranean Sea It was an important route for merchants and travelers of ancient times that allowed for trade and cultural exchange between emergent peoples of the region. The history of the Mediterranean region is crucial to understanding the origins and development of many modern societies. "For the three quarters of the globe, the Mediterranean Sea is similarly the uniting element and the centre of World History.”
Vocabulary Check Review the slide show, and make sure you understand the meaning of each of the words in this color. This will help you out during a test!