Middle East

3,700-year-old cellar housed ‘luxurious’ wine

Publication: NBC News   Date: November 22, 2013   View Article

A 3,700-year-old palatial cellar packed with jars once filled with a wine-like brew has been discovered at an archaeological site in northern Israel, a team of researchers announced Friday.

The cellar is perhaps the oldest of its type ever discovered and the wine was anything but ordinary. Spiked with juniper berries, cedar oil, honey and tree resins, it was likely the good stuff pulled from the cellar for grand, royal banquets where resident rulers and perhaps their trading partners washed down a feast of wild cattle with an intoxicating swill.

Middle East lost a Dead Sea’s worth of water, study finds

Publication: NBC News   Date: February 12, 2013   View Article

Freshwater resources in the water-stressed Middle East are rapidly declining at a time when global climate change is projected to make the region even drier, scientists report in a new study.

Between 2003 and 2009, parts of Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and Iran along the Tigris and Euphrates river basins lost 117 million acre feet of stored water, according to gravity measurements taken by a pair of wedge-shaped satellites. That’s nearly the equivalent of all the water in the Dead Sea.

Week in Photos: Channel Fire, Horse Fight, More

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: September 18, 2008   View Article

Captions for photos of events in the news. Shots include a horse fight at the Mid-Autumn festival in China, soldiers in the grito gather in Mexico, photos drying out from Hurricane Ike in Texas, traffic backed up in Dover, England after a fire broke out in the Channel Tunnel, a dust storm in Baghdad, Iraq, a cremation for a killed boy in India’s terrorist bombings, and plunge in the DAX, Germany’s stock market.

2,000 Year Old Seed Sprouts, Sapling Is Thriving

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: November 22, 2005   View Article

A sapling germinated earlier this year from a 2,000-year-old date palm seed is thriving, according to Israeli researchers who are cultivating the historic plant.

“It’s 80 centimeters [3 feet] high with nine leaves, and it looks great,” said Sarah Sallon, director of the Hadassah Medical Organization’s Louis L. Borick Natural Medicine Research Center (NMRC) in Jerusalem.

Persian New Year Transcends Religions, Regimes

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: March 17, 2005   View Article

The arrival of the spring equinox on Sunday will cue Persians to party. Far from a gardening rite, the equilibrium of day and night marks the start of Nowruz, the Persian New Year.

The holiday is the most revered celebration in the greater Persian world. (In ancient times, Persia included the countries of Iran, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Turkey, and portions of western China and northern Iraq.)

Bronze Age Factory Discovered in Jordan

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: June 25, 2002   View Article

Archaeologists working at a desert site in Jordan have excavated a large and very well-preserved copper factory from the Early Bronze Age. The discovery is providing insight into metal production as the first urban cultures emerged.

“This unique find gives us a remarkable window on the role of craft production in some of the earliest urban societies in the world,” said Thomas Levy, an archaeologist at the University of California–San Diego, who led the excavation.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach