Plants are multicellular, predominantly photosynthetic eukaryotes of the kingdom Plantae. Plants were treated as one of two kingdoms including all living things that were not animals, all algae and fungi were treated as plants. However, all current definitions of Plantae exclude the fungi and some algae, as well as the prokaryotes. By one definition, plants form the clade Viridiplantae, a group that includes the flowering plants and other gymnosperms and their allies, liverworts and the green algae, but excludes the red and brown algae. Green plants obtain most of their energy from sunlight via photosynthesis by primary chloroplasts that are derived from endosymbiosis with cyanobacteria, their chloroplasts contain b, which gives them their green color. Some plants are parasitic or mycotrophic and have lost the ability to produce normal amounts of chlorophyll or to photosynthesize. Plants are characterized by sexual reproduction and alternation of generations, although asexual reproduction is common.
There are about 320 thousand species of plants, of which the great majority, some 260–290 thousand, are seed plants. Green plants provide a substantial proportion of the world's molecular oxygen and are the basis of most of Earth's ecosystems on land. Plants that produce grain and vegetables form humankind's basic foods, have been domesticated for millennia. Plants have many cultural and other uses, as ornaments, building materials, writing material and, in great variety, they have been the source of medicines and psychoactive drugs; the scientific study of plants is known as a branch of biology. All living things were traditionally placed into one of two groups and animals; this classification may date from Aristotle, who made the distincton between plants, which do not move, animals, which are mobile to catch their food. Much when Linnaeus created the basis of the modern system of scientific classification, these two groups became the kingdoms Vegetabilia and Animalia. Since it has become clear that the plant kingdom as defined included several unrelated groups, the fungi and several groups of algae were removed to new kingdoms.
However, these organisms are still considered plants in popular contexts. The term "plant" implies the possession of the following traits multicellularity, possession of cell walls containing cellulose and the ability to carry out photosynthesis with primary chloroplasts; when the name Plantae or plant is applied to a specific group of organisms or taxon, it refers to one of four concepts. From least to most inclusive, these four groupings are: Another way of looking at the relationships between the different groups that have been called "plants" is through a cladogram, which shows their evolutionary relationships; these are not yet settled, but one accepted relationship between the three groups described above is shown below. Those which have been called "plants" are in bold; the way in which the groups of green algae are combined and named varies between authors. Algae comprise several different groups of organisms which produce food by photosynthesis and thus have traditionally been included in the plant kingdom.
The seaweeds range from large multicellular algae to single-celled organisms and are classified into three groups, the green algae, red algae and brown algae. There is good evidence that the brown algae evolved independently from the others, from non-photosynthetic ancestors that formed endosymbiotic relationships with red algae rather than from cyanobacteria, they are no longer classified as plants as defined here; the Viridiplantae, the green plants – green algae and land plants – form a clade, a group consisting of all the descendants of a common ancestor. With a few exceptions, the green plants have the following features in common, they undergo closed mitosis without centrioles, have mitochondria with flat cristae. The chloroplasts of green plants are surrounded by two membranes, suggesting they originated directly from endosymbiotic cyanobacteria. Two additional groups, the Rhodophyta and Glaucophyta have primary chloroplasts that appear to be derived directly from endosymbiotic cyanobacteria, although they differ from Viridiplantae in the pigments which are used in photosynthesis and so are different in colour.
These groups differ from green plants in that the storage polysaccharide is floridean starch and is stored in the cytoplasm rather than in the plastids. They appear to have had a common origin with Viridiplantae and the three groups form the clade Archaeplastida, whose name implies that their chloroplasts were derived from a single ancient endosymbiotic event; this is the broadest modern definition of the term'plant'. In contrast, most other algae not only have different pigments but have chloroplasts with three or four surrounding membranes, they are not close relatives of the Archaeplastida having acquired chloroplasts separately from ingested or symbiotic green and red algae. They are thus not included in the broadest modern definition of the plant kingdom, although they were in the past; the green plants or Viridiplantae were traditionally divided into the green algae (including
A desert is a barren area of landscape where little precipitation occurs and living conditions are hostile for plant and animal life. The lack of vegetation exposes the unprotected surface of the ground to the processes of denudation. About one-third of the land surface of the world is semi-arid; this includes much of the polar regions where little precipitation occurs and which are sometimes called polar deserts or "cold deserts". Deserts can be classified by the amount of precipitation that falls, by the temperature that prevails, by the causes of desertification or by their geographical location. Deserts are formed by weathering processes as large variations in temperature between day and night put strains on the rocks which break in pieces. Although rain occurs in deserts, there are occasional downpours that can result in flash floods. Rain falling on hot rocks can cause them to shatter and the resulting fragments and rubble strewn over the desert floor are further eroded by the wind; this wafts them aloft in sand or dust storms.
Wind-blown sand grains striking any solid object in their path can abrade the surface. Rocks are smoothed down, the wind sorts sand into uniform deposits; the grains are piled high in billowing sand dunes. Other deserts are flat, stony plains where all the fine material has been blown away and the surface consists of a mosaic of smooth stones; these areas are known as desert pavements and little further erosion takes place. Other desert features include rock outcrops, exposed bedrock and clays once deposited by flowing water. Temporary lakes may form and salt pans may be left when waters evaporate. There may be underground sources of water in the form of seepages from aquifers. Where these are found, oases can occur. Plants and animals living in the desert need special adaptations to survive in the harsh environment. Plants tend to be tough and wiry with small or no leaves, water-resistant cuticles and spines to deter herbivory; some annual plants germinate and die in the course of a few weeks after rainfall while other long-lived plants survive for years and have deep root systems able to tap underground moisture.
Animals need to find enough food and water to survive. Many stay in the shade or underground during the heat of the day, they tend to be efficient at conserving water, extracting most of their needs from their food and concentrating their urine. Some animals remain in a state of dormancy for long periods, ready to become active again during the rare rainfall, they reproduce while conditions are favorable before returning to dormancy. People have struggled to live in the surrounding semi-arid lands for millennia. Nomads have moved their flocks and herds to wherever grazing is available and oases have provided opportunities for a more settled way of life; the cultivation of semi-arid regions encourages erosion of soil and is one of the causes of increased desertification. Desert farming is possible with the aid of irrigation, the Imperial Valley in California provides an example of how barren land can be made productive by the import of water from an outside source. Many trade routes have been forged across deserts across the Sahara Desert, traditionally were used by caravans of camels carrying salt, gold and other goods.
Large numbers of slaves were taken northwards across the Sahara. Some mineral extraction takes place in deserts, the uninterrupted sunlight gives potential for the capture of large quantities of solar energy. English desert and its Romance cognates all come from the ecclesiastical Latin dēsertum, a participle of dēserere, "to abandon"; the correlation between aridity and sparse population is complex and dynamic, varying by culture and technologies. In English before the 20th century, desert was used in the sense of "unpopulated area", without specific reference to aridity. Phrases such as "desert island" and "Great American Desert", or Shakespeare's "deserts of Bohemia" in previous centuries did not imply sand or aridity. A desert is a region of land, dry because it receives low amounts of precipitation has little coverage by plants, in which streams dry up unless they are supplied by water from outside the area. Deserts receive less than 250 mm of precipitation each year; the potential evapotranspiration may be large but the actual evapotranspiration may be close to zero.
Semideserts are regions which receive between 250 and 500 mm and when clad in grass, these are known as steppes. Deserts have been defined and classified in a number of ways combining total precipitation, number of days on which this falls and humidity, sometimes additional factors. For example, Arizona, receives less than 250 mm of precipitation per year, is recognized as being located in a desert because of its aridity-adapted plants; the North Slope of Alaska's Brooks Range receives less than 250 mm of precipitation per year and is classified as a cold desert. Other regions of the world have cold deserts, including areas of the Himalayas and other high-altitude areas in other parts of the world. Polar deserts cover much of the ice-free
Ein Gedi "spring of the kid" is an oasis and a nature reserve in Israel, located west of the Dead Sea, near Masada and the Qumran Caves. Ein Gedi was listed in 2016 as one of the most popular nature sites in the country; the name Ein Gedi is composed of two Hebrew words: ein means spring and gǝdi means goat-kid. Ein Gedi thus means "kid spring" or "fountain of the kid". At Mikveh Cave archaeologists found Pre-Pottery Neolithic an arrowhead. A Chalcolithic temple belonging to the Ghassulian culture was excavated on the slope between two springs, Ein Shulamit and Ein Gedi. More Chalcolithic finds were made at the Mikveh Caves. No traces of Bronze Age settlement have been found at Ein Gedi; the remains of the Iron Age settlement at Ein Gedi are located at a tell on the north bank of Wadi Arugot, known in Arabic as Tell el-Jurn and in Hebrew as Tel Goren. The first permanent Iron Age settlement was Judean and was established around 630 BCE; the site was destroyed or abandoned after the Babylonian destruction of Jerusalem in 587/86 BCE.
In 2 Chronicles 20:2 Ein Gedi is identified with Hazazon-tamar, Hazezon Tamar, Hatzatzon-Tamar or Hazezontamar, on account of the palm groves which surrounded it, where the Moabites and Ammonites gathered in order to fight King Josaphat. In Genesis 14:7 Hazazon-tamar is mentioned as being an Amorite city, smitten by Chedorlaomer in his war against the cities of the plain. In Joshua 15:62, Ein Gedi is enumerated among the wilderness cities of the Tribe of Judah in the desert of Betharaba, in Ezekiel 47:10, it is prophesied that one day, its coastal location will make it into a fishing village, after the water of the Dead Sea has been made sweet: Fishing nets will be spread from En-gedi to En-eglaim Fleeing from King Saul, David hides in the strongholds at Ein Gedi and Saul seeks him "even upon the most craggy rocks, which are accessible only to wild goats". Psalm 63, subtitled a Psalm of David when he was in the wilderness of Judah, has been associated with David's sojourn in the desert of En-gedi.
The Song of Songs speaks of the "vineyards of En Gedi". The words of Ecclesiasticus 24:18, "I was exalted like a palm tree in Cades", may be understood as the palm trees of Ein Gedi; the settlement at Tel Goren is a rare example of a town which reached its zenith during the Persian period during the late 5th century BCE. Ein Gedi becomes a royal Hasmonean estate. According to the Jewish-Roman historian Josephus Flavius, the Sicarii, who fought the Romans until their defeat and mass suicide at Masada, plundered local villages including En Gedi. At En Gedi, they drove out the defenders, killed over seven hundred women and children who could not run away; the indigenous Jewish town of Ein Gedi was an important source of balsam for the Greco-Roman world until its destruction by Byzantine emperor Justinian as part of his persecution of the Jews in his realm. A synagogue mosaic remains from Ein Gedi's heyday, including a Judeo-Aramaic inscription mosaic now on display at Jerusalem's Schottenstein campus museum warning inhabitants against "revealing the town's secret" – the methods for extraction and preparation of the much-prized balsam resin, though not stated outright in the inscription – to the outside world.
In April 1848, Lieutenant William Francis Lynch led an American expedition down the Jordan River into the Dead Sea, that stopped at En Gedi. In 1998–99, the archaeological expedition of Yizhar Hirschfeld at Ein Gedi systematically excavated what has been called "the Essenes site", first discovered by Yohanan Aharoni in 1956. Ein Gedi nature reserve is one of the most important reserves in Israel; the park is situated on the eastern border of the Judean Desert, on the Dead Sea coast, covers an area of 14000 dunams. The elevation of the land ranges from the level of the Dead Sea at 423 meters below sea level to the plateau of the Judean Desert at 200 meters above sea level. Ein Gedi nature reserve includes two spring-fed streams with flowing water year-round: Nahal David and Nahal Arugot. Two other springs, the Shulamit and Ein Gedi springs flow in the reserve. Together, the springs generate three million cubic meters of water per year. Much of the water is bottled for consumption; the reserve is a sanctuary for many types of plant and animal species.
The vegetation includes plants and trees from the tropical, desert and steppian regions, such as Sodom apple, acacia and poplar. The many species of resident birds are supplemented by over 200 additional species during the migration periods in the spring and fall. Mammal species include the rock hyrax; the Ein Gedi national park features several archaeological sites including the Chalcolithic Temple of Ein Gedi and a first-century CE village. The park covers an area of 8 dunams. Kibbutz Ein Gedi, founded in 1956, is located about a kilometer from the oasis, it offers various tourist attractions and takes advantage of the local weather patterns and the abundance of natural water to cultivate out-of-season produce. The kibbutz area contains an internationally acclaimed botanical garden covering an area of 100 dunams. There one can find more than 900 species of plants from all over the world; the kibbutz is home to the Ein Gedi Eco Park, which functions as both a zoo and an environmental education center, demonstrating susta
The Ancient Greek language includes the forms of Greek used in Ancient Greece and the ancient world from around the 9th century BCE to the 6th century CE. It is roughly divided into the Archaic period, Classical period, Hellenistic period, it is succeeded by medieval Greek. Koine is regarded as a separate historical stage of its own, although in its earliest form it resembled Attic Greek and in its latest form it approaches Medieval Greek. Prior to the Koine period, Greek of the classic and earlier periods included several regional dialects. Ancient Greek was the language of Homer and of fifth-century Athenian historians and philosophers, it has contributed many words to English vocabulary and has been a standard subject of study in educational institutions of the Western world since the Renaissance. This article contains information about the Epic and Classical periods of the language. Ancient Greek was a pluricentric language, divided into many dialects; the main dialect groups are Attic and Ionic, Aeolic and Doric, many of them with several subdivisions.
Some dialects are found in standardized literary forms used in literature, while others are attested only in inscriptions. There are several historical forms. Homeric Greek is a literary form of Archaic Greek used in the epic poems, the "Iliad" and "Odyssey", in poems by other authors. Homeric Greek had significant differences in grammar and pronunciation from Classical Attic and other Classical-era dialects; the origins, early form and development of the Hellenic language family are not well understood because of a lack of contemporaneous evidence. Several theories exist about what Hellenic dialect groups may have existed between the divergence of early Greek-like speech from the common Proto-Indo-European language and the Classical period, they differ in some of the detail. The only attested dialect from this period is Mycenaean Greek, but its relationship to the historical dialects and the historical circumstances of the times imply that the overall groups existed in some form. Scholars assume that major Ancient Greek period dialect groups developed not than 1120 BCE, at the time of the Dorian invasion—and that their first appearances as precise alphabetic writing began in the 8th century BCE.
The invasion would not be "Dorian" unless the invaders had some cultural relationship to the historical Dorians. The invasion is known to have displaced population to the Attic-Ionic regions, who regarded themselves as descendants of the population displaced by or contending with the Dorians; the Greeks of this period believed there were three major divisions of all Greek people—Dorians and Ionians, each with their own defining and distinctive dialects. Allowing for their oversight of Arcadian, an obscure mountain dialect, Cypriot, far from the center of Greek scholarship, this division of people and language is quite similar to the results of modern archaeological-linguistic investigation. One standard formulation for the dialects is: West vs. non-west Greek is the strongest marked and earliest division, with non-west in subsets of Ionic-Attic and Aeolic vs. Arcadocypriot, or Aeolic and Arcado-Cypriot vs. Ionic-Attic. Non-west is called East Greek. Arcadocypriot descended more from the Mycenaean Greek of the Bronze Age.
Boeotian had come under a strong Northwest Greek influence, can in some respects be considered a transitional dialect. Thessalian had come under Northwest Greek influence, though to a lesser degree. Pamphylian Greek, spoken in a small area on the southwestern coast of Anatolia and little preserved in inscriptions, may be either a fifth major dialect group, or it is Mycenaean Greek overlaid by Doric, with a non-Greek native influence. Most of the dialect sub-groups listed above had further subdivisions equivalent to a city-state and its surrounding territory, or to an island. Doric notably had several intermediate divisions as well, into Island Doric, Southern Peloponnesus Doric, Northern Peloponnesus Doric; the Lesbian dialect was Aeolic Greek. All the groups were represented by colonies beyond Greece proper as well, these colonies developed local characteristics under the influence of settlers or neighbors speaking different Greek dialects; the dialects outside the Ionic group are known from inscriptions, notable exceptions being: fragments of the works of the poet Sappho from the island of Lesbos, in Aeolian, the poems of the Boeotian poet Pindar and other lyric poets in Doric.
After the conquests of Alexander the Great in the late 4th century BCE, a new international dialect known as Koine or Common Greek developed based on Attic Greek, but with influence from other dialects. This dialect replaced most of the older dialects, although Doric dialect has survived in the Tsakonian language, spoken in the region of modern Sparta. Doric has passed down its aorist terminations into most verbs of Demotic Greek. By about the 6th century CE, the Koine had metamorphosized into Medieval Greek. Ancient Macedonian was an Indo-European language at least related to Greek, but its exact relationship is unclear because of insufficient data: a dialect of Greek; the Macedonian dialect (or l
Israel the State of Israel, is a country in Western Asia, located on the southeastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea and the northern shore of the Red Sea. It has land borders with Lebanon to the north, Syria to the northeast, Jordan on the east, the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip to the east and west and Egypt to the southwest; the country contains geographically diverse features within its small area. Israel's economic and technological center is Tel Aviv, while its seat of government and proclaimed capital is Jerusalem, although the state's sovereignty over Jerusalem has only partial recognition. Israel has evidence of the earliest migration of hominids out of Africa. Canaanite tribes are archaeologically attested since the Middle Bronze Age, while the Kingdoms of Israel and Judah emerged during the Iron Age; the Neo-Assyrian Empire destroyed Israel around 720 BCE. Judah was conquered by the Babylonian and Hellenistic empires and had existed as Jewish autonomous provinces.
The successful Maccabean Revolt led to an independent Hasmonean kingdom by 110 BCE, which in 63 BCE however became a client state of the Roman Republic that subsequently installed the Herodian dynasty in 37 BCE, in 6 CE created the Roman province of Judea. Judea lasted as a Roman province until the failed Jewish revolts resulted in widespread destruction, expulsion of Jewish population and the renaming of the region from Iudaea to Syria Palaestina. Jewish presence in the region has persisted to a certain extent over the centuries. In the 7th century CE, the Levant was taken from the Byzantine Empire by the Arabs and remained in Muslim control until the First Crusade of 1099, followed by the Ayyubid conquest of 1187; the Mamluk Sultanate of Egypt extended its control over the Levant in the 13th century until its defeat by the Ottoman Empire in 1517. During the 19th century, national awakening among Jews led to the establishment of the Zionist movement in the diaspora followed by waves of immigration to Ottoman Syria and British Mandate Palestine.
In 1947, the United Nations adopted a Partition Plan for Palestine recommending the creation of independent Arab and Jewish states and an internationalized Jerusalem. The plan was accepted by the Jewish Agency, rejected by Arab leaders; the following year, the Jewish Agency declared the independence of the State of Israel, the subsequent 1948 Arab–Israeli War saw Israel's establishment over most of the former Mandate territory, while the West Bank and Gaza were held by neighboring Arab states. Israel has since fought several wars with Arab countries, since the Six-Day War in 1967 held occupied territories including the West Bank, Golan Heights and the Gaza Strip, it extended its laws to the Golan East Jerusalem, but not the West Bank. Israel's occupation of the Palestinian territories is the world's longest military occupation in modern times. Efforts to resolve the Israeli–Palestinian conflict have not resulted in a final peace agreement. However, peace treaties between Israel and both Egypt and Jordan have been signed.
In its Basic Laws, Israel defines itself as a democratic state. The country has a liberal democracy, with a parliamentary system, proportional representation, universal suffrage; the prime minister is head of government and the Knesset is the legislature. Israel is a developed country and an Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development member, with the 32nd-largest economy in the world by nominal gross domestic product as of 2017; the country benefits from a skilled workforce and is among the most educated countries in the world with one of the highest percentages of its citizens holding a tertiary education degree. Israel has the highest standard of living in the Middle East, has one of the highest life expectancies in the world. Furthermore, Israel ranked 11th in the UN's 2018 World Happiness Report. Upon independence in 1948, the country formally adopted the name "State of Israel" after other proposed historical and religious names including Eretz Israel and Judea, were considered but rejected.
In the early weeks of independence, the government chose the term "Israeli" to denote a citizen of Israel, with the formal announcement made by Minister of Foreign Affairs Moshe Sharett. The names Land of Israel and Children of Israel have been used to refer to the biblical Kingdom of Israel and the entire Jewish people respectively; the name "Israel" in these phrases refers to the patriarch Jacob who, according to the Hebrew Bible, was given the name after he wrestled with the angel of the Lord. Jacob's twelve sons became the ancestors of the Israelites known as the Twelve Tribes of Israel or Children of Israel. Jacob and his sons had lived in Canaan but were forced by famine to go into Egypt for four generations, lasting 430 years, until Moses, a great-great grandson of Jacob, led the Israelites back into Canaan during the "Exodus"; the earliest known archaeological artifact to mention the word "Israel" as a collective is the Merneptah Stele of ancient Egypt. The area is known as the Holy Land, being holy for all Abrahamic religions including Judaism, Christianity and the Bahá'í Faith.
Under British Mandate, the whole region was known as Palestine (Hebre
North America is a continent within the Northern Hemisphere and all within the Western Hemisphere. It is bordered to the north by the Arctic Ocean, to the east by the Atlantic Ocean, to the west and south by the Pacific Ocean, to the southeast by South America and the Caribbean Sea. North America covers an area of about 24,709,000 square kilometers, about 16.5% of the earth's land area and about 4.8% of its total surface. North America is the third largest continent by area, following Asia and Africa, the fourth by population after Asia and Europe. In 2013, its population was estimated at nearly 579 million people in 23 independent states, or about 7.5% of the world's population, if nearby islands are included. North America was reached by its first human populations during the last glacial period, via crossing the Bering land bridge 40,000 to 17,000 years ago; the so-called Paleo-Indian period is taken to have lasted until about 10,000 years ago. The Classic stage spans the 6th to 13th centuries.
The Pre-Columbian era ended in 1492, the transatlantic migrations—the arrival of European settlers during the Age of Discovery and the Early Modern period. Present-day cultural and ethnic patterns reflect interactions between European colonists, indigenous peoples, African slaves and their descendants. Owing to the European colonization of the Americas, most North Americans speak English, Spanish or French, their culture reflects Western traditions; the Americas are accepted as having been named after the Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci by the German cartographers Martin Waldseemüller and Matthias Ringmann. Vespucci, who explored South America between 1497 and 1502, was the first European to suggest that the Americas were not the East Indies, but a different landmass unknown by Europeans. In 1507, Waldseemüller produced a world map, in which he placed the word "America" on the continent of South America, in the middle of what is today Brazil, he explained the rationale for the name in the accompanying book Cosmographiae Introductio:... ab Americo inventore... quasi Americi terram sive Americam.
For Waldseemüller, no one should object to the naming of the land after its discoverer. He used the Latinized version of Vespucci's name, but in its feminine form "America", following the examples of "Europa", "Asia" and "Africa". Other mapmakers extended the name America to the northern continent, In 1538, Gerard Mercator used America on his map of the world for all the Western Hemisphere; some argue that because the convention is to use the surname for naming discoveries, the derivation from "Amerigo Vespucci" could be put in question. In 1874, Thomas Belt proposed a derivation from the Amerrique mountains of Central America. Marcou corresponded with Augustus Le Plongeon, who wrote: "The name AMERICA or AMERRIQUE in the Mayan language means, a country of perpetually strong wind, or the Land of the Wind, and... the can mean... a spirit that breathes, life itself." The United Nations formally recognizes "North America" as comprising three areas: Northern America, Central America, The Caribbean.
This has been formally defined by the UN Statistics Division. The term North America maintains various definitions in accordance with context. In Canadian English, North America refers to the land mass as a whole consisting of Mexico, the United States, Canada, although it is ambiguous which other countries are included, is defined by context. In the United States of America, usage of the term may refer only to Canada and the US, sometimes includes Greenland and Mexico, as well as offshore islands. In France, Portugal, Romania and the countries of Latin America, the cognates of North America designate a subcontinent of the Americas comprising Canada, the United States, Mexico, Greenland, Saint Pierre et Miquelon, Bermuda. North America has been referred to by other names. Spanish North America was referred to as Northern America, this was the first official name given to Mexico. Geographically the North American continent has many subregions; these include cultural and geographic regions. Economic regions included those formed by trade blocs, such as the North American Trade Agreement bloc and Central American Trade Agreement.
Linguistically and culturally, the continent could be divided into Latin America. Anglo-America includes most of Northern America and Caribbean islands with English-speaking populations; the southern North American continent is composed of two regions. These are the Caribbean; the north of the continent maintains recognized regions as well. In contrast to the common definition of "North America", which encompasses the whole continent, the term "North America" is sometimes used to refer only to Mexico, the United States, Greenland; the term Northern America refers to the northern-most countries and territories of North America: the United States, Bermuda, St. Pierre and Miquelon and Greenland. Although the term does not refer to a unifie
Al Ain is a city in the Eastern Region of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, on the United Arab Emirates' border with Oman, adjacent to the town of Al-Buraimi. It is the largest inland city in the Emirates, the fourth-largest overall, the second-largest in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi; the freeways connecting Al-Ain, Abu Dhabi, Dubai form a geographic triangle in the country, each city being 130 kilometres from the other two. Al-Ain is known as the "Garden City of the Gulf" due to its greenery with regard to the city's oases, tree-lined avenues and decorative roundabouts, with there being strict height controls on new buildings, to no more than seven floors, according to one author, an oasis around Al-Ain and Al-Hasa in Saudi Arabia are the most important in the Arabian Peninsula; that said, the region of Al-Ain and Al-Buraimi, altogether Tawam or Al-Buraimi Oasis, is of cultural and historical importance. For example, the area witnessed events relevant to the history of Islam during the Rashidun and Abbasid eras, similar to Dibba and Ras Al-Khaimah.
It was where Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founder of the United Arab Emirates, spent much of his life, at least since 1927, before becoming the Ruler of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi in 1966. Though it is held that he was born in Abu Dhabi, some hold the view that he was born in Al-Ain. Al-Ain may be the site of the oldest mosque in the country, in the premises of the Sheikh Khalifa Mosque. Al Ain is located 160 kilometres east of the capital Abu Dhabi, about 120 kilometres south of Dubai; the eastern region covers an area of 13,100 km2. Oman lies to the east and Sharjah to the north, Abu Dhabi to the west and the Empty Quarter desert and Saudi Arabia to the south; the topography of Al-Ain varies as one travel to the east. The ecologically important Jebel Hafeet, an outlier of the main Hajar range, is considered one of the monuments of Al-Ain, lying just to the south of the city, rising to 1,100–1,400 metres in elevation. Sand dunes of varying texture that are tinged red with iron oxide lie to the north and east of Al-Ain.
The city has a hot desert climate, featuring long hot summers and warm winters. In Al-Ain, the mean annual rainfall is 96 mm and the average relative humidity is 60%. Low humidity in Al-Ain during the summers, makes it a popular destination for many people at that time of year. Boer classified the UAE climate as hyper-arid and divided it into four climatic regions: the coastal zone along the Persian Gulf, the mountain areas northeast of UAE, the gravel plains around Al Ain, the central and southern sand desert. More rainfall and lower temperatures occur in the northeast than in the southern and western regions; the monthly average rainfall around Al-Ain was 100–120 mm from the period 1970 to 1992. To the south of the city, near Oman, there is the man-made Lake Zakher, which resulted from the release of waste water from desalination plants. In this region, to the east of Jebel Hafeet, lies the area of Mezyad, which has a border crossing with Oman, is where the historic Mezyad Fort is located. With a population of 766,936, it has the highest proportion of Emirati nationals in the country, though the majority of its residents are expatriates from the Indian subcontinent.
Many people are from Bangladesh and Pakistan, a huge number of Afghans are from the province of Khost. Al Ain is an important services centre for a wide area extending into Oman. There are three major shopping centres, Al Ain Mall, Al Jimi Mall and Al Bawadi Mall as well as traditional souqs for fruit and vegetables and livestock. One such souq exists for camels near an IKEA store and Bawadi Mall on Zayed Bin Sultan Street, the road which leads to Mezyad. Industry is growing, but is still on a small scale, includes the Coca-Cola bottling plant and the Al Ain Portland Cement Works; the water in Al-Ain is of good quality. Service industries such as car sales and other artisans are located in the area known as Sanaiya and Pattan Market. Social and governmental infrastructure include the Higher Colleges of Technology, well-equipped medical facilities including the teaching hospital at Tawam, military training areas and Al Ain International Airport. Part of the important Western Hajar region, the area of Al-Ain or Tawam has been inhabited for nearly 8,000 years, with archaeological sites showing human settlement at places like Al-Rumailah and Jabel Ḥafeet.
These early cultures built "beehive" tombs for their dead and engaged in hunting and gathering in the area. The oases provided water for early farms until the modern age. Bronze Age burial sites re-used materials from earlier burials. For instance, the Wadi Suq communal tomb at Qattara Oasis is thought to have been constructed from stones recovered from previous Umm Al Nar burials. Finds at Qattara include Wadi Suq era chlorite jugs and bowls and late Bronze Age short swords and daggers. Artefacts recovered include carnelian jewellery associated by UAE historians with trading links to the Indus Valley. A find of particular interest from Qattara is a Bronze Age pendant discovered in the 1970s depicting a double-bodied or entwined pair of horned animals. Made from electrum, an alloy of silver and gold, the motif is found repeated in a number of Bronze Age sites in the UAE. Iron age finds in and around Al Ain include aflāj in Bidaa bint Saud, Al-Ain and Al