Monocotyledons referred to as monocots, are flowering plants whose seeds contain only one embryonic leaf, or cotyledon. They constitute one of the major groups into which the flowering plants have traditionally been divided, the rest of the flowering plants having two cotyledons and therefore classified as dicotyledons, or dicots. However, molecular phylogenetic research has shown that while the monocots form a monophyletic group or clade, the dicots do not. Monocots have always been recognized as a group, but with various taxonomic ranks and under several different names; the APG III system of 2009 recognises a clade called "monocots" but does not assign it to a taxonomic rank. The monocots include about 60,000 species; the largest family in this group by number of species are the orchids, with more than 20,000 species. About half as many species belong to the true grasses, which are economically the most important family of monocots. In agriculture the majority of the biomass produced; these include not only major grains, but forage grasses, sugar cane, the bamboos.
Other economically important monocot crops include various palms and plantains, gingers and their relatives and cardamom, pineapple, water chestnut, leeks and garlic. Many houseplants are monocot epiphytes. Additionally most of the horticultural bulbs, plants cultivated for their blooms, such as lilies, irises, cannas and tulips, are monocots; the monocots or monocotyledons have, as the name implies, a single cotyledon, or embryonic leaf, in their seeds. This feature was used to contrast the monocots with the dicotyledons or dicots which have two cotyledons. From a diagnostic point of view the number of cotyledons is neither a useful characteristic, nor is it reliable; the single cotyledon is only one of a number of modifications of the body plan of the ancestral monocotyledons, whose adaptive advantages are poorly understood, but may have been related to adaption to aquatic habitats, prior to radiation to terrestrial habitats. Monocots are sufficiently distinctive that there has been disagreement as to membership of this group, despite considerable diversity in terms of external morphology.
However, morphological features that reliably characterise major clades are rare. Thus monocots are distinguishable from other angiosperms both in terms of their uniformity and diversity. On the one hand the organisation of the shoots, leaf structure and floral configuration are more uniform than in the remaining angiosperms, yet within these constraints a wealth of diversity exists, indicating a high degree of evolutionary success. Monocot diversity includes perennial geophytes such as ornamental flowers including and succulent epiphytes, all in the lilioid monocots, major cereal grains in the grass family and forage grasses as well as woody tree-like palm trees, bamboo and bromeliads, bananas and ginger in the commelinid monocots, as well as both emergent and aroids, as well as floating or submerged aquatic plants such as seagrass. Organisation and life formsThe most important distinction is their growth pattern, lacking a lateral meristem that allows for continual growth in diameter with height, therefore this characteristic is a basic limitation in shoot construction.
Although herbaceous, some arboraceous monocots reach great height and mass. The latter include agaves, palms and bamboos; this creates challenges in water transport. Some, such as species of Yucca, develop anomalous secondary growth, while palm trees utilise an anomalous primary growth form described as establishment growth; the axis undergoes primary thickening, that progresses from internode to internode, resulting in a typical inverted conical shape of the basal primary axis. The limited conductivity contributes to limited branching of the stems. Despite these limitations a wide variety of adaptive growth forms has resulted from epiphytic orchids and bromeliads to submarine Alismatales and mycotrophic Burmanniaceae and Triuridaceae. Other forms of adaptation include the climbing vines of Araceae which use negative phototropism to locate host trees, while some palms such as Calamus manan produce the longest shoots in the plant kingdom, up to 185 m long. Other monocots Poales, have adopted a therophyte life form.
LeavesThe cotyledon, the primordial Angiosperm leaf consists of a proximal leaf base or hypophyll and a distal hyperphyll. In monocots the hypophyll tends to be the dominant part in contrast to other angiosperms. From these, considerable diversity arises. Mature monocot leaves are narrow and linear, forming a sheath
A chromosome is a deoxyribonucleic acid molecule with part or all of the genetic material of an organism. Most eukaryotic chromosomes include packaging proteins which, aided by chaperone proteins, bind to and condense the DNA molecule to prevent it from becoming an unmanageable tangle. Chromosomes are visible under a light microscope only when the cell is undergoing the metaphase of cell division. Before this happens, every chromosome is copied once, the copy is joined to the original by a centromere, resulting either in an X-shaped structure if the centromere is located in the middle of the chromosome or a two-arm structure if the centromere is located near one of the ends; the original chromosome and the copy are now called sister chromatids. During metaphase the X-shape structure is called a metaphase chromosome. In this condensed form chromosomes are easiest to distinguish and study. In animal cells, chromosomes reach their highest compaction level in anaphase during chromosome segregation.
Chromosomal recombination during meiosis and subsequent sexual reproduction play a significant role in genetic diversity. If these structures are manipulated incorrectly, through processes known as chromosomal instability and translocation, the cell may undergo mitotic catastrophe; this will make the cell initiate apoptosis leading to its own death, but sometimes mutations in the cell hamper this process and thus cause progression of cancer. Some use the term chromosome in a wider sense, to refer to the individualized portions of chromatin in cells, either visible or not under light microscopy. Others use the concept in a narrower sense, to refer to the individualized portions of chromatin during cell division, visible under light microscopy due to high condensation; the word chromosome comes from the Greek χρῶμα and σῶμα, describing their strong staining by particular dyes. The term was coined by von Waldeyer-Hartz, referring to the term chromatin, introduced by Walther Flemming; some of the early karyological terms have become outdated.
For example and Chromosom, both ascribe color to a non-colored state. The German scientists Schleiden, Virchow and Bütschli were among the first scientists who recognized the structures now familiar as chromosomes. In a series of experiments beginning in the mid-1880s, Theodor Boveri gave the definitive demonstration that chromosomes are the vectors of heredity, it is the second of these principles, so original. Wilhelm Roux suggested. Boveri was able to confirm this hypothesis. Aided by the rediscovery at the start of the 1900s of Gregor Mendel's earlier work, Boveri was able to point out the connection between the rules of inheritance and the behaviour of the chromosomes. Boveri influenced two generations of American cytologists: Edmund Beecher Wilson, Nettie Stevens, Walter Sutton and Theophilus Painter were all influenced by Boveri. In his famous textbook The Cell in Development and Heredity, Wilson linked together the independent work of Boveri and Sutton by naming the chromosome theory of inheritance the Boveri–Sutton chromosome theory.
Ernst Mayr remarks that the theory was hotly contested by some famous geneticists: William Bateson, Wilhelm Johannsen, Richard Goldschmidt and T. H. Morgan, all of a rather dogmatic turn of mind. Complete proof came from chromosome maps in Morgan's own lab; the number of human chromosomes was published in 1923 by Theophilus Painter. By inspection through the microscope, he counted 24 pairs, his error was copied by others and it was not until 1956 that the true number, 46, was determined by Indonesia-born cytogeneticist Joe Hin Tjio. The prokaryotes – bacteria and archaea – have a single circular chromosome, but many variations exist; the chromosomes of most bacteria, which some authors prefer to call genophores, can range in size from only 130,000 base pairs in the endosymbiotic bacteria Candidatus Hodgkinia cicadicola and Candidatus Tremblaya princeps, to more than 14,000,000 base pairs in the soil-dwelling bacterium Sorangium cellulosum. Spirochaetes of the genus Borrelia are a notable exception to this arrangement, with bacteria such as Borrelia burgdorferi, the cause of Lyme disease, containing a single linear chromosome.
Prokaryotic chromosomes have less sequence-based structure than eukaryotes. Bacteria have a one-point from which replication starts, whereas some archaea contain multiple replication origins; the genes in prokaryotes are organized in operons, do not contain introns, unlike eukaryotes. Prokaryotes do not possess nuclei. Instead, their DNA is organized into a structure called the nucleoid; the nucleoid occupies a defined region of the bacterial cell. This structure is, dynamic and is maintained and remodeled by the actions of a range of histone-like proteins, which associate with the bacterial chromosome. In archaea, the DNA in chromosomes is more organized, with the DNA packaged within structures similar to eukaryotic nucleosomes. Certain bacteria contain plasmids or other extrachromosomal DNA; these are circular structures in the cytoplasm that contain cellular DNA and play a role in horizontal gene transfer. In prokaryotes and viruses, the DNA is densely packed and organized.
Semolina is the coarse, purified wheat middlings of durum wheat used in making upma and couscous. The word semolina can refer to sweet dessert made from semolina and milk; the term semolina is used to designate coarse middlings from other varieties of wheat, from other grains, such as rice and maize. Semolina is derived from the Italian word semola, meaning'bran'; this is derived from the ancient Latin simila, meaning'flour', itself a borrowing from Greek σεμίδαλις, "groats". The words simila, semidalis and grain may all have similar proto-Indo-European origins as two Sanskrit terms for wheat and godhuma, or may be loan words from the Semitic root smd – to grind into groats. Modern milling of wheat into flour is a process; the rollers are adjusted so that the space between them is narrower than the width of the wheat kernels. As the wheat is fed into the mill, the rollers flake off the bran and germ while the starch is cracked into coarse pieces in the process. Through sifting, these endosperm particles, the semolina, are separated from the bran.
The semolina is ground into flour. This simplifies the process of separating the endosperm from the bran and germ, as well as making it possible to separate the endosperm into different grades because the inner part of the endosperm tends to break down into smaller pieces than the outer part. Different grades of flour can thus be produced. Semolina made from durum wheat is yellow in color. Semolina is used as the base for dried products such as couscous, made by mixing 2 parts semolina with 1 part durum flour. Broadly speaking, meal produced from grains other than wheat may be referred to as semolina, e.g. rice semolina, or corn semolina. When semolina comes from softer types of wheats, it is white in color. In this case, the correct name is flour, not semolina. In the United States, coarser meal coming from softer types of wheats is known as farina, it does not hold shape as well as durum. In Germany, Hungary, Bulgaria, Slovenia and Croatia, semolina is known as Grieß and is mixed with egg to make Grießknödel, which can be added to soup.
The particles are coarse, between 0.25 and 0.75 millimeters in diameter. In South India, semolina is used to make savory foods, like Rava Upma, it is sometimes used to coat slices of fish before it is pan-fried in oil, to give it a crispy coating. In much of North Africa, durum semolina is made into the staple couscous. Semolina is a common food in West Africa among Nigerians, it is eaten as either dinner with stew or soup. It is boiled for 5 to 10 minutes. In the US, semolina is boiled to produce a porridge. In Austria, Bosnia, Slovenia, Romania and the Czech Republic semolina is cooked with water or milk and sweetened with squares of chocolate to make the breakfast dish Grießkoch or Grießbrei; the German Grießbrei and the Dutch griesmeelpap don't contain chocolate and are rather served as a dessert than a breakfast dish. In English this kind of dessert is known as semolina pudding. In Slovakia, Estonia, Lithuania, Poland, Ukraine, Belarus and Russia, it is eaten as breakfast porridge, sometimes mixed with raisins and served with milk.
In Swedish it is boiled together with blueberries, as blåbärsgröt. In Sweden, Estonia and Latvia, for a dessert eaten in summer, semolina is boiled together with juice from berries and whipped into a light, airy consistency to create klappgröt known as vispipuuro or mannavaht or debessmanna. In the Middle East and North Africa, basbousa is made chiefly of semolina. In some cultures, it is served during special celebrations, or as a religious offering. In North Africa, it is used to make harcha, a kind of griddle cake eaten for breakfast with jam or honey. On the Indian subcontinent, semolina is used for such sweets as Rava Kesari; such a preparation is a popular dessert in Greece and Cyprus. In Greece, the dessert galaktoboureko is made by making a custard from the semolina and wrapping it in phyllo sheets. In Cyprus, the semolina may be mixed with almond cordial to create a light, water-based pudding. In Turkey, Iran, Bangladesh and Arab countries, halawa is sometimes made with semolina scorched with sugar, butter and pine nuts.
In Nepal, semolina is used for preparing sweet dishes like Haluwa or Puwa. As an alternative to corn meal, semolina can be used to flour the baking surface to prevent sticking. In bread making, a small proportion of durum semolina added to the usual mix of flour is said to produce a tasty crust. Bombay rava
The Near East is a geographical term that encompasses a transcontinental region centered on Western Asia and Egypt. Despite having varying definitions within different academic circles, the term was applied to the maximum extent of the Ottoman Empire; the term has fallen into disuse in English and has been replaced by the terms Middle East, which includes Egypt, West Asia, which includes the Transcaucasus. According to the National Geographic Society, the terms Near East and Middle East denote the same territories and are "generally accepted as comprising the countries of the Arabian Peninsula, Egypt, Iran, Jordan, Palestinian territories and Turkey"; as of 1997, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations defined the region but included Afghanistan. At the beginning of the 19th century the Ottoman Empire included all of the Balkan Peninsula south to the southern edge of the Hungarian Plain, but by 1914 had lost all of it except Constantinople and Eastern Thrace to the rise of nationalist Balkan states, which saw the independence of Greece, the Danubian Principalities and Bulgaria.
Up until 1912, the Ottomans retained a band of territory including Albania and Southern Thrace, which were lost in the two Balkan Wars of 1912–13. The Ottoman Empire, believed to be about to collapse, was portrayed in the press as the "sick man of Europe"; the Balkan states, with the partial exception of Bosnia and Albania, were Christian, as was the majority of Lebanon. Starting in 1894, the Ottomans struck at the Armenians on the explicit grounds that they were a non-Muslim people and as such were a potential threat to the Muslim empire within which they resided; the Hamidian Massacres aroused the indignation of the entire Christian world. In the United States the now aging Julia Ward Howe, author of the Battle Hymn of the Republic, leaped into the war of words and joined the Red Cross. Relations of minorities within the Ottoman Empire and the disposition of former Ottoman lands became known as the "Eastern Question", as the Ottomans were on the east of Europe, it now became relevant to define the east of the eastern question.
In about the middle of the 19th century Near East came into use to describe that part of the east closest to Europe. The term Far East appeared contemporaneously meaning Japan, Korea and Vietnam. Near East applied to what had been known as the Levant, in the jurisdiction of the Ottoman Porte, or government; those who used the term had little choice about its meaning. They could not set foot on most of the shores of the southern and central Mediterranean from the Gulf of Sidra to Albania without permits from the Ottoman Empire; some regions beyond the Ottoman Porte were included. One was North Africa west of Egypt, it was occupied by piratical kingdoms of the Barbary Coast, de facto-independent since the 18th century part of the empire at its apogee. Iran was included because it could not be reached except through the Ottoman Empire or neighboring Russia. In the 1890s the term tended to focus on the conflicts in Armenia; the demise of "the sick man of Europe" left considerable confusion as to what was to be meant by "Near East".
It is now used only in historical contexts, to describe the countries of Western Asia from the Mediterranean to Iran. There is, in short, no universally-understood fixed inventory of nations, languages or historical assets defined to be in it; the geographical terms Near East and Far East referring to areas of the globe in or contiguous to the former British Empire and the neighboring colonies of the Dutch, Portuguese and Germans, fit together as a pair based on the opposites of far and near, suggesting that they were innovated together. They appear together in the journals of the mid-19th century. Both terms were used before with local British and American meanings: the near or far east of a field, village or shire. There was a linguistic predisposition to use such terms; the Romans had used them in near Gaul / far Gaul, near Spain / far others. Before them the Greeks had the habit, which appears in Linear B, the oldest known script of Europe, referring to the near province and the far province of the kingdom of Pylos.
These terms were given with reference to a geographic feature, such as a mountain range or a river. Ptolemy's Geography divided Asia on a similar basis. In the north is "Scythia this side of the Himalayas" and "Scythia beyond the Himalayas". To the south is "India on this side of the Ganges" and "India beyond the Ganges". Asia began on the coast of Anatolia. Beyond the Ganges and Himalayas were Serica and Serae and some other identifiable far eastern locations known to the voyagers and geographers but not to the general European public. By the time of John Seller's Atlas Maritima of 1670, "India Beyond the Ganges" had become "the East Indies" including China, southeast Asia and the islands of the Pacific in a map, every bit as distorted as Ptolemy's, despite the lapse of 1,500 years; that "east" in turn was only an English translation of Latin Oriens and Orientalis, "the land of the rising Sun", used since Roman times for "east". The world map of Jodocus Hondius of 1590 labels all of Asia from the Caspian to the Pacific as India Orientalis, shortly to appear in translation as the East Indies.
Elizabeth I of England interested in trade with the east, collaborated with English merchants to form the first trading companies to the far-flung regions, using their own jargon. Their goals were to obtain trading concessio
Soup is a liquid food served warm or hot, made by combining ingredients of meat or vegetables with stock, or water. Hot soups are additionally characterized by boiling solid ingredients in liquids in a pot until the flavors are extracted, forming a broth. In traditional French cuisine, soups are classified into two main groups: clear soups and thick soups; the established French classifications of clear soups are bouillon and consommé. Thick soups are classified depending upon the type of thickening agent used: purées are vegetable soups thickened with starch. Other ingredients used to thicken soups and broths include egg, lentils and grains. Soups are similar to stews, in some cases there may not be a clear distinction between the two. Evidence of the existence of soup can be found as far back as about 20,000 BC. Boiling was not a common cooking technique until the invention of waterproof containers. Animal hides and watertight baskets of bark or reeds were used before this. To boil the water hot rocks were used.
This method was used to cook acorns and other plants. The word soup comes from French soupe, which comes through Vulgar Latin suppa from a Germanic source, from which comes the word "sop", a piece of bread used to soak up soup or a thick stew; the word restaurant was first used in France in the 16th century, to refer to a concentrated, inexpensive soup, sold by street vendors, advertised as an antidote to physical exhaustion. In 1765, a Parisian entrepreneur opened a shop specializing in such soups; this prompted the use of the modern word restaurant for the eating establishments. In the US, the first colonial cookbook was published by William Parks in Williamsburg, Virginia, in 1742, based on Eliza Smith's The Compleat Housewife. A 1772 cookbook, The Frugal Housewife, contained an entire chapter on the topic. English cooking dominated early colonial cooking. In particular, German immigrants living in Pennsylvania were famous for their potato soups. In 1794, Jean Baptiste Gilbert Payplat dis Julien, a refugee from the French Revolution, opened an eating establishment in Boston called "The Restorator", became known as the "Prince of Soups".
The first American cooking pamphlet dedicated to soup recipes was written in 1882 by Emma Ewing: Soups and Soup Making. Portable soup was devised in the 18th century by boiling seasoned meat until a thick, resinous syrup was left that could be dried and stored for months at a time. Commercial soup became popular with the invention of canning in the 19th century, today a great variety of canned and dried soups are on the market. Canned soup can be prepared by heating in a pan, rather than cooking anything, it can be made in the microwave. Such soups can be used as a base for homemade soups, with the consumer adding anything from a few vegetables to eggs, cream or pasta. Doctor John T. Dorrance, a chemist with the Campbell Soup Company, invented condensed soup in 1897. Canned soup can be condensed, in which case it is prepared by adding water, or it can be "ready-to-eat", meaning that no additional liquid is needed before eating. Condensing soup allows soup to be packaged into a smaller can and sold at a lower price than other canned soups.
The soup is doubled in volume by adding a "can full" of water or milk, about 10 US fluid ounces. Since the 1990s, the canned soup market has burgeoned, with non-condensed soups marketed as "ready-to-eat", so they require no additional liquid to prepare. Microwaveable bowls have expanded the "ready-to-eat" canned soup market more, offering convenience, making for popular lunch items. In response to concerns over the negative health effects of excessive salt intake, some soup manufacturers have introduced reduced-salt versions of popular soups. Today, Campbell's Tomato, Cream of Mushroom, Chicken Noodle are three of the most popular soups in America. Americans consume 2.5 billion bowls of these three soups alone each year. Other popular brands of soup include Progresso. Dry soup mixes are sold by many manufacturers, are reconstituted with hot water; the first dried soup was bouillon cubes. East Asian-style instant noodle soups include ramen and seasonings, are marketed as a convenient and inexpensive instant meal, requiring only hot water for preparation.
Western-style dried soups include vegetable, chicken base, potato and cheese flavors. In French cuisine, soup is served before other dishes in a meal. In 1970, Richard Olney gave the place of the entrée in a French full menu: "A dinner that begins with a soup and runs through a fish course, an entrée, a sorbet, a roast, salad and dessert, that may be accompanied by from three to six wines, presents a special problem of orchestration". Chè, a Vietnamese cold dessert soup containing sugar and coconut milk, with many different varieties of other ingredient
Common wheat known as bread wheat, is a cultivated wheat species. About 95% of the wheat produced is common wheat, the most grown of all crops and the cereal with the highest monetary yield. Numerous forms of wheat have evolved under human selection; this diversity has led to confusion in the naming of wheats, with names based on both genetic and morphological characteristics. For more information, see the taxonomy of wheat.'Albimonte"Manital' Bread wheat is an allohexaploid. Of the six sets of chromosomes, two come from Triticum two from Aegilops speltoides; this hybridisation created the species Triticum turgidum 580,000–820,000 years ago. The last two sets of chromosomes came from wild goat-grass Aegilops tauschii 230,000–430,000 years ago. Free-threshing wheat is related to spelt; as with spelt, genes contributed from Aegilops tauschii give bread wheat greater cold hardiness than most wheats, it is cultivated throughout the world's temperate regions. Common wheat was first domesticated in Western Asia during the early Holocene, spread from there to North Africa and East Asia in the prehistoric period.
Naked wheats were found in Roman burial sites ranging from 100BCE to 300CE. Wheat first reached North America with Spanish missions in the 16th century, but North America's role as a major exporter of grain dates from the colonization of the prairies in the 1870s; as grain exports from Russia ceased in the First World War, grain production in Kansas doubled. Worldwide, bread wheat has proved well adapted to modern industrial baking, has displaced many of the other wheat and rye species that were once used for bread making in Europe. Modern wheat varieties have short stems, the result of RHt dwarfing genes that reduce the plant's sensitivity to gibberellic acid, a plant hormone that lengthens cells. RHt genes were introduced to modern wheat varieties in the 1960s by Norman Borlaug from Norin 10 cultivars of wheat grown in Japan. Short stems are important because the application of high levels of chemical fertilizers would otherwise cause the stems to grow too high, resulting in lodging. Stem heights are even, important for modern harvesting techniques.
Compact wheats are related to common wheat, but have a much more compact ear. Their shorter rachis. Compact wheats are regarded as subspecies rather than species in their own right. International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants
The Levant is an approximate historical geographical term referring to a large area in the Eastern Mediterranean in Western Asia. In its narrowest sense, it is equivalent to the historical region of Syria. In its widest historical sense, the Levant included all of the eastern Mediterranean with its islands; the term entered English in the late 15th century from French. It derives from the Italian Levante, meaning "rising", implying the rising of the sun in the east, is broadly equivalent to the term Al-Mashriq, meaning "the east, where the sun rises". In the 13th and 14th centuries, the term levante was used for Italian maritime commerce in the Eastern Mediterranean, including Greece, Syria-Palestine, Egypt, that is, the lands east of Venice; the term was restricted to the Muslim countries of Syria-Palestine and Egypt. In 1581, England set up the Levant Company to monopolize commerce with the Ottoman Empire; the name Levant States was used to refer to the French mandate over Syria and Lebanon after World War I.
This is the reason why the term Levant has come to be used more to refer to modern Syria, Palestine, Israel and Cyprus. Some scholars misunderstood the term thinking. Today the term is used in conjunction with prehistoric or ancient historical references, it has the same meaning as "Syria-Palestine" or Ash-Shaam, the area, bounded by the Taurus Mountains of Turkey in the North, the Mediterranean Sea in the west, the north Arabian Desert and Mesopotamia in the east. It does not include Anatolia, the Caucasus Mountains, or any part of the Arabian Peninsula proper. Cilicia and the Sinai Peninsula are sometimes included; the term Levant was used to describe the region from the 18th to the mid-19th centuries, has had steady but lower usage since the late 19th century. Both the noun Levant and the adjective Levantine are now used to describe the ancient and modern culture area called Syro-Palestinian or Biblical: archaeologists now speak of the Levant and of Levantine archaeology; the Levant has been described as the "crossroads of western Asia, the eastern Mediterranean, northeast Africa", the "northwest of the Arabian plate".
The populations of the Levant share not only the geographic position, but cuisine, some customs, history. They are referred to as Levantines; the term Levant, which appeared in English in 1497 meant the East in general or "Mediterranean lands east of Italy". It is borrowed from the French levant "rising", referring to the rising of the sun in the east, or the point where the sun rises; the phrase is from the Latin word levare, meaning'lift, raise'. Similar etymologies are found in Greek Ἀνατολή, in Germanic Morgenland, in Italian, in Hungarian Kelet, in Spanish and Catalan Levante and Llevant, in Hebrew. Most notably, "Orient" and its Latin source oriens meaning "east", is "rising", deriving from Latin orior "rise"; the notion of the Levant has undergone a dynamic process of historical evolution in usage and understanding. While the term "Levantine" referred to the European residents of the eastern Mediterranean region, it came to refer to regional "native" and "minority" groups; the term became current in English in the 16th century, along with the first English merchant adventurers in the region.
The English Levant Company was founded in 1581 to trade with the Ottoman Empire, in 1670 the French Compagnie du Levant was founded for the same purpose. At this time, the Far East was known as the "Upper Levant". In early 19th-century travel writing, the term sometimes incorporated certain Mediterranean provinces of the Ottoman empire, as well as independent Greece. In 19th-century archaeology, it referred to overlapping cultures in this region during and after prehistoric times, intending to reference the place instead of any one culture; the French mandate of Syria and Lebanon was called the Levant states. Today, "Levant" is the term used by archaeologists and historians with reference to the history of the region. Scholars have adopted the term Levant to identify the region due to it being a "wider, yet relevant, cultural corpus" that does not have the "political overtones" of Syria-Palestine; the term is used for modern events, states or parts of states in the same region, namely Cyprus, Iraq, Jordan, Palestine and Turkey are sometimes considered Levant countries.
Several researchers include the island of Cyprus in Levantine studies, including the Council for British Research in the Levant, the UCLA Near Eastern Languages and Cultures department, Journal of Levantine Studies and the UCL Institute of Archaeology, the last of which has dated the connection between Cyprus and mainland Levant to the early Iron Age. Archaeologists seeking a neutral orientation, neither biblical n