Near East

Definition

Catherine P. Foster
by
published on 28 April 2011
Map of Mesopotamia, c. 1400 BCE (by Javierfv1212, CC BY-SA)
The Near East is traditionally regarded by archaeologists and ancient historians as the region of southwest Asia, specifically the area encircled by the Mediterranean Sea, the Black Sea, the Caspian Sea, the Red Sea and the Persian/Arabian Gulf. In modern times this region includes the countries of Israel/Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, Jordan, Iraq and western Iran. Some scholars also include Cyprus and Transcaucasia (Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan) in their definition of the Near East, though these should probably be considered "eastern Mediterranean" and "the Caucasus" respectively. Egypt, though certainly a player in terms of Near Eastern ancient history, is often excluded from traditional definitions of Near East. For modern political scientists and journalists, the term "Middle East" is used to refer to the same geographic area. The Near East is generally regarded as the "cradle of civilization" as many milestones in human history, such as the earliest agriculture, writing, and cities, derived from this region.

Editorial Review This article has been reviewed for accuracy, reliability and adherence to academic standards prior to publication.

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Cite This Work

APA Style

Foster, C. P. (2011, April 28). Near East. Ancient History Encyclopedia. Retrieved from https://www.ancient.eu/Near_East/

Chicago Style

Foster, Catherine P. "Near East." Ancient History Encyclopedia. Last modified April 28, 2011. https://www.ancient.eu/Near_East/.

MLA Style

Foster, Catherine P. "Near East." Ancient History Encyclopedia. Ancient History Encyclopedia, 28 Apr 2011. Web. 14 Dec 2019.

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