Obsidian is a naturally occurring volcanic glass formed as an extrusive igneous rock. It is produced when felsic lava extruded from a volcano cools rapidly with minimal crystal growth, Obsidian is commonly found within the margins of rhyolitic lava flows known as obsidian flows, where the chemical composition induces a high viscosity and polymerization degree of the lava. The inhibition of atomic diffusion through this highly viscous and polymerized lava explains the lack of crystal growth. Obsidian is hard and brittle, it therefore fractures with very sharp edges, which were used in the past in cutting and piercing tools, among the various forms of glass we may reckon Obsidian glass, a substance very similar to the stone found by Obsidius in Ethiopia. Obsidian is the rock formed as a result of quickly cooled lava, tektites were once thought by many to be obsidian produced by lunar volcanic eruptions, though few scientists now adhere to this hypothesis. Obsidian is mineral-like, but not a true mineral because as a glass it is not crystalline, in addition and it is sometimes classified as a mineraloid.
Though obsidian is usually dark in color similar to mafic rocks such as basalt, Obsidian consists mainly of SiO2, usually 70% or more. Crystalline rocks with obsidians composition include granite and rhyolite, because obsidian is metastable at the Earths surface, no obsidian has been found that is older than Cretaceous age. This breakdown of obsidian is accelerated by the presence of water, having a low water content when newly formed, typically less than 1% water by weight, obsidian becomes progressively hydrated when exposed to groundwater, forming perlite. Pure obsidian is usually dark in appearance, though the color varies depending on the presence of impurities and other transition elements may give the obsidian a dark brown to black color. Very few samples are nearly colorless, in some stones, the inclusion of small, radially clustered crystals of cristobalite in the black glass produce a blotchy or snowflake pattern. Obsidian may contain patterns of gas bubbles remaining from the lava flow and these bubbles can produce interesting effects such as a golden sheen.
An iridescent, rainbow-like sheen is caused by inclusions of magnetite nanoparticles, Obsidian can be found in locations which have experienced rhyolitic eruptions. Obsidian can be found in the eastern U. S. states of Virginia, as well as Pennsylvania, there are only four major deposit areas in the central Mediterranean, Pantelleria and Monte Arci. Ancient sources in the Aegean were Milos and Gyali, acıgöl town and the Göllü Dağ volcano were the most important sources in central Anatolia, one of the more important source areas in the prehistoric Near East. Use of obsidian in pottery of the Neolithic in the area around Lipari was found to be less at a distance representing two weeks journeying. Anatolian sources of obsidian are known to have been the used in the Levant. The first attested civilized use is from excavations at Tell Brak dated the late fifth millennia, Obsidian was valued in Stone Age cultures because, like flint, it could be fractured to produce sharp blades or arrowheads
Flint is a hard, sedimentary cryptocrystalline form of the mineral quartz, categorized as a variety of chert. It occurs chiefly as nodules and masses in sedimentary rocks, such as chalks, inside the nodule, flint is usually dark grey, green, white or brown in colour, and often has a glassy or waxy appearance. A thin layer on the outside of the nodules is usually different in colour, typically white, from a petrological point of view, flint refers specifically to the form of chert which occurs in chalk or marly limestone. Similarly, common chert occurs in limestone, the exact mode of formation of flint is not yet clear but it is thought that it occurs as a result of chemical changes in compressed sedimentary rock formations, during the process of diagenesis. One hypothesis is that a gelatinous material fills cavities in the sediment, such as bored by crustaceans or molluscs. This hypothesis certainly explains the shapes of flint nodules that are found. The source of dissolved silica in the media could be the spicules of silicious sponges.
Certain types of flint, such as that from the south coast of England, pieces of coral and vegetation have been found preserved like amber inside the flint. Thin slices of the stone often reveal this effect, puzzling giant flint formations known as paramoudra and flint circles are found around Europe but especially in Norfolk, England on the beaches at Beeston Bump and West Runton. Flint sometimes occurs in large flint fields in Jurassic or Cretaceous beds, flint was used in the manufacture of tools during the Stone Age as it splits into thin, sharp splinters called flakes or blades when struck by another hard object. This process is referred to as knapping, flint mining is attested since the Palaeolithic, but became more common since the Neolithic. When struck against steel, a flint edge will produce sparks, the hard flint edge shaves off a particle of the steel that exposes iron which reacts with oxygen from the atmosphere and can ignite the proper tinder. Prior to the availability of steel, rocks of pyrite would be used along with the flint.
These methods are popular in woodcraft and among those who wish to use traditional skills, a later, major use of flint and steel was in the flintlock mechanism, used primarily in flintlock firearms, but used on dedicated fire-starting tools. The sparks ignite the powder and that flame, in turn, ignites the main charge, propelling the ball, bullet. While the military use of the flintlock declined after the adoption of the cap from the 1840s onward, flintlock rifles. Flint and steel used to strike sparks were superseded by ferrocerium and this man-made material, when scraped with any hard, sharp edge, produces sparks that are much hotter than obtained with natural flint and steel, allowing use of a wider range of tinders. Because it can produce sparks when wet and can start fires when used correctly, ferrocerium is used in many cigarette lighters, where it is referred to as flint
The Jordan River is a 251-kilometre -long river in the Middle East that flows roughly north to south through the Sea of Galilee and on to the Dead Sea. Israel and the West Bank border the river to the west, while the Golan Heights, both Jordan and the West Bank take their names from the river. The Jordan River has a course and a lower one. In this sense, the Jordan Valley may be separated into upper, over its upper course, the river drops rapidly in a 75-kilometre run to the once large and swampy Lake Hula, which is slightly above sea level. Exiting the now much diminished lake, it goes through an even steeper drop over the 25 kilometres down to the Sea of Galilee, the Jordan deposits much of the silt it is carrying within the lake, which it leaves again near its southern tip. At that point the river is situated about 210 metres below sea level, two major tributaries enter from the east during this last section, the Yarmouk River and Zarqa River. Its section north of the Sea of Galilee is within the boundaries of Israel, south of the lake, it forms the border between the Kingdom of Jordan, and Israel.
The streams coming together to create the River Jordan in its basin are, west to east, Iyyon. Hasbani, a stream flows from Mount Lebanon. Dan, a stream whose source is at the base of Mount Hermon, Banias, a stream arising from a spring at Banias at the foot of Mount Hermon. The full text of W. F. Lynchs 1849 book Narrative of the United States Expedition to the River Jordan, in 1964, Israel began operating a pumping station that diverts water from the Sea of Galilee to the National Water Carrier. Also in 1964, Jordan constructed a channel that diverted water from the Yarmouk River, another tributary of the Jordan River to the East Ghor Canal. Syria has built reservoirs that catch the Yarmouks waters, environmentalists blame Israel and Syria for extensive damage to the Jordan River ecosystem. In modern times, the waters are 70% to 90% used for human purposes, because of this and the high evaporation rate of the Dead Sea, as well as industrial extraction of salts through evaporation ponds, the sea is shrinking.
All the shallow waters of the end of the sea have been drained in modern times and are now salt flats. A small section of the northernmost portion of the Lower Jordan, 3-kilometre below the Sea of Galilee, has been kept pristine for baptism and local tourism. Most polluted is the 100-kilometre downstream stretch—a meandering stream from above the confluence with the Yarmouk to the Dead Sea, environmentalists say the practice of letting sewage and brackish water flow into the river has almost destroyed its ecosystem. Rescuing the Jordan could take decades, according to environmentalists, the same environmentalist organization had said in a report that the Jordan River could dry up by 2011 unless the decay is stopped
Pre-Pottery Neolithic B
Pre-Pottery Neolithic B is a division of the Neolithic developed by Kathleen Kenyon during her archaeological excavations at Jericho in the West Bank. In addition the flint tool kit of the period is new, one of its major elements is the naviform core. This is the first period in which architectural styles of the southern Levant became primarily rectilinear, earlier typical dwellings were circular, pyrotechnology was highly developed in this period. During this period, one of the features of houses is evidenced by a thick layer of white clay plaster floors highly polished. It is believed that the use of plaster for floor. The earliest proto-pottery was White Ware vessels, made from lime and gray ash, built up around baskets before firing, sites from this period found in the Levant utilizing rectangular floor plans and plastered floor techniques were found at Ain Ghazal and Abu Hureyra. The period is dated to between ca.10,700 and ca.8,000 BP or 7000 -6000 BCE. Danielle Stordeurs recent work at Tell Aswad, an agricultural village between Mount Hermon and Damascus could not validate Henri de Contensons earlier suggestion of a PPNA Aswadian culture.
Instead, they found evidence of a fully established PPNB culture at 8700 BC at Aswad, similar sites to Tell Aswad in the Damascus Basin of the same age were found at Tell Ramad and Tell Ghoraifé. How a PPNB culture could spring up in this location, practicing domesticated farming from 8700 BC has been the subject of speculation. Like the earlier PPNA people, the PPNB culture developed from the Earlier Natufian but shows evidence of a northerly origin, work at the site of Ain Ghazal in Jordan has indicated a Pre-Pottery Neolithic C period which existed between 8,200 and 7,900 BP. Cultures practicing this lifestyle spread down the Red Sea shoreline and moved east from Syria into southern Iraq
Banias is the Arabic and modern Hebrew name of an ancient site that developed around a spring once associated with the Greek god Pan. It is located at the foot of Mount Hermon, north of the Golan Heights, the spring is the source of the Banias River, one of the main tributaries of the Jordan River. The first mention of the ancient city during the Hellenistic period was in the context of the Battle of Panium, fought around 200-198 BCE, the region was called Paneas. Both names were derived from that of Pan, the god of the wild, the spring at Banias initially originated in a large cave carved out of a sheer cliff face which was gradually lined with a series of shrines. The temenos included in its final phase a temple placed at the mouth of the cave, courtyards for rituals and it was constructed on an elevated, 80m long natural terrace along the cliff which towered over the north of the city. A four-line inscription at the base of one of the niches relates to Pan and Echo, the mountain nymph, and was dated to 87 BCE.
The once very large spring gushed from the cave, but an earthquake moved it to the foot of the natural terrace where it now seeps quietly from the bedrock. From here the stream, called Nahal Hermon in Hebrew, flows towards what once were the malaria-infested Hula marshes, the pre-Hellenistic deity associated with the spring of Banias was variously called Baal-gad or Baal-hermon. Paneas was first settled in the Hellenistic period following Alexander the Greats conquest of the east, the Ptolemaic kings built a cult centre there in the 3rd century BC. In the Hellenistic Period the spring was named Panias, for the Arcadian goat-footed god Pan, the Latin equivalent for Paneas is Fanium. The spring lies close to the way of the sea mentioned by Isaiah, in extant sections of the Greek historian Polybiuss history of The Rise of the Roman Empire, a Battle of Panium is mentioned. This battle was fought in ca, 200-198 BC between the armies of Ptolemaic Egypt and the Seleucids of Coele-Syria, led by Antiochus III.
Antiochuss victory cemented Seleucid control over Phoenicia, Samaria and it was these Seleucids who built a pagan temple dedicated to Pan at Paneas. Upon Zenodoruss death in 20 BC, the Panion, including Paneas, was annexed to the Kingdom of Herod the Great, Herod erected a temple of white marble there n honour of his patron. In 61 CE, king Agrippa II renamed the administrative capital Neronias in honour of the Roman emperor Nero, Agrippa carried out urban improvements. In 67CE, during the First Jewish–Roman War, Vespasian briefly visited Caesarea Philippi before advancing on Tiberias in Galilee, with the death of Agrippa II around the year 92 came the end of Herodian rule, and the city returned to the province of Syria. In the late Roman and Byzantine periods the written sources name the city again as Paneas, in 361, Emperor Julian the Apostate instigated a religious reformation of the Roman state, in which he supported the restoration of Hellenic paganism as the state religion. In Paneas this was achieved by replacing Christian symbols, though the change was short lived, in the 5th century, following the division of the Empire, the city was part of the Eastern Empire, but was lost to the Arab expansion of the 7th century
Aadloun, Adloun or Adlun is a coastal town in South Lebanon,17 kilometres south of Sidon famous for its cultivation of watermelons. It is the site of a Phoenician necropolis and prehistoric caves where four archaeological sites have been discovered and dated to the Stone Age. The evidence of occupation of Abri Zumoffen has been dated as far back as 70,000 BCE with occupation of Bezez Cave dating back even further into the earlier Middle Paleolithic. Aadloun I or Abri Zumoffen is a low cave and terrace at the foot of a cliff near a beach and it was discovered and sounded by Godefroy Zumoffen in 1898,1900 and 1908 who found material thought to be either Acheulean or Mousterian. Dorothy Garrod suggested similarities existed to a final Acheulean industry of Tabun E, along with Diana Kirkbride, she re-opened excavations in 1958 with another season in 1963 and found a pre-Aurignacian blade industry in the deposits. D. A. Hooijer discussed the fauna of the site suggesting it included game animals, materials from the site are now in collections of the Saint Joseph University and the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge.
Aadloun II, Bezez Cave or Mugharet el Bzaz is a cave on the east of the heading to Tyre set into a cliff at an altitude of approximately 17 metres above sea level. It was first sounded with little result in 1898 by Godefroy Zumoffen, materials from the excavations were to be held by Saint Joseph University and the American University of Beirut. The site is owned by the Directorate General of Antiquities and a gate was fixed over the mouth of the cave for protection, level C was called Acheuleo-Yarbrudian with materials found that resembled level E at Tabun Cave. Level B was called Levalloiso-Mousterian and compared with level D of Tabun, level C encompassed the Upper Paleolithic and onwards. Aadloun III is a site approximately 1 kilometre south of Aadloun with a Chalcolithic industry that was found by P. E. Gigues, Aadloun IV was found by P. E. Gigues on the terraces below the village near the caves that have been damaged by quarrying. Local farmers have recovered several fine Neolithic and Chalcolithic tools from this area that are held by Saint Joseph University, dr.
Gigues collection was held in Beirut by a relative who charged a fee for showing it after his retirement to Morocco. Lorraine Copeland made a collection of mostly Heavy Neolithic flints from the site in 1966, amongst the finds were massive trapezoidal axes, chisels, a chopper, points, a pick, rough scrapers, blades and hammerstones. The finds led Andrew Moore to suggest that Bezez cave was a site for such tools
Archaeology of Lebanon
Archaeology of Lebanon reveals thousands of years of history ranging from the Lower Palaeolithic, Jewish, Muslim, Christian and Crusades history. Lebanon features several important Paleolithic sites associated with Neanderthals and these include Adloun, Chekka Jdidé, El-Masloukh, Ksar Akil, Nahr Ibrahim and Naame. Jbail is a archaeological site, known as ancient Byblos, a Phoenician seaport, where the tomb of Ahiram. An ancient Phoenician inscription on the dates to between the 13th and 10th centuries BCE. Byblos, as well as sites in Baalbek, Sidon. Middle paleolithic industries suggested include Amudian, early Yabrudian, Micro-Levalloisian or Micro-Mousterian, Levalloisian and Levalloiso-Mousterian, radio-carbon dating exists for Ksar Akil and Ras El Kelb. R. Neuville and Dorothy Garrod divided the Upper Paleolithic of Lebanon into six stages based on stratified sites in the surrounding area, stage one has Emirian and transitional varieties, stage two was possibly evidenced at Ksar Akil. Stages three and four have been termed Lower and Upper Antelian after the Antelias cave, stage five is Atlitian, possibly developed from stage four.
Stage six is identified as Kebaran, of which there are varieties of assemblage based on locality. Several early Neolithic sites were found by Diana Kirkbride in the Beqaa Valley in 1964, the Neolithic of Lebanon was divided up into three stages by Maurice Dunand based on the stratified levels of Byblos. Various other Neolithic industries have found in Lebanon such as Trihedral Neolithic. Henri Fleisch discovered and termed the Shepherd Neolithic flint industry from the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon and he dated this industry to the Epipaleolithic or Pre-Pottery Neolithic as it is evidently not Paleolithic, Mesolithic or even Pottery Neolithic. One particularly vigorous culture identified at over forty sites by Jesuit archaeologists in Lebanon is called the Qaraoun culture. This culture existed at the dawn of agriculture without pottery and produced Heavy Neolithic flint tools such as axes and picks to work with lumber and their type site is Qaraoun II, located close to the El Wauroun Dam, Mount Hermon and Aaiha.
The Chalcolithic was divided into two periods by Jacques Cauvin based on stratified levels at Byblos, Énéolithique Ancien and Énéolithique Récent, the division is marked largely by differences in pottery more than flints with a few notable exceptions such as fan-scrapers. There are a number of tells in the Beqaa Valley. Another major survey of Lebanese tells was carried out between 1965 and 1966 with 88 tells recorded along with numerous surface sites by Lorraine Copeland, van Liere, G. L. Harding, H. Balfet, Olga Tufnell, Brian Gregor and Ziyad Beydoun. Lebanon contains a range of ruins and remains of Ancient Greek
Lava is the molten rock expelled by a volcano during an eruption. The resulting rock after solidification and cooling is called lava. The molten rock is formed in the interior of planets, including Earth. The source of the heat melts the rock within the earth is geothermal energy. When first erupted from a vent, lava is a liquid usually at temperatures from 700 to 1,200 °C. A lava flow is an outpouring of lava, which is created during a non-explosive effusive eruption. When it has stopped moving, lava solidifies to form igneous rock, the term lava flow is commonly shortened to lava. Although lava can be up to 100,000 times more viscous than water, lava can flow great distances before cooling and solidifying because of its thixotropic, explosive eruptions produce a mixture of volcanic ash and other fragments called tephra, rather than lava flows. The word lava comes from Italian, and is derived from the Latin word labes which means a fall or slide. The first use in connection with extruded magma was apparently in an account written by Francesco Serao on the eruption of Vesuvius between May 14 and June 4,1737.
Serao described a flow of lava as an analogy to the flow of water. The composition of almost all lava of the Earths crust is dominated by silicate minerals, mostly feldspars, pyroxenes, micas, igneous rocks, which form lava flows when erupted, can be classified into three chemical types, felsic and mafic. These classes are primarily chemical, the chemistry of lava tends to correlate with the temperature, its viscosity. Felsic or silicic lavas such as rhyolite and dacite typically form lava spines, most silicic lava flows are extremely viscous, and typically fragment as they extrude, producing blocky autobreccias. Felsic magmas can erupt at temperatures as low as 650 to 750 °C, unusually hot rhyolite lavas, may flow for distances of many tens of kilometres, such as in the Snake River Plain of the northwestern United States. Intermediate or andesitic lavas are lower in aluminium and silica, and usually somewhat richer in magnesium, intermediate lavas form andesite domes and block lavas, and may occur on steep composite volcanoes, such as in the Andes.
Poorer in aluminium and silica than felsic lavas, and commonly hotter, greater temperatures tend to destroy polymerized bonds within the magma, promoting more fluid behaviour and a greater tendency to form phenocrysts. Higher iron and magnesium tends to manifest as a darker groundmass, mafic or basaltic lavas are typified by their high ferromagnesian content, and generally erupt at temperatures in excess of 950 °C