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Old 06-17-2009, 08:02 PM   #18 (permalink)
Bicycle Bob
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Ancient History

Originally Posted by Piwoslaw View Post
But wasn't Egypt lush and green a few thousand years back? A civilisation wouldn't sprout up in the middle of a dust bowl. Didn't it turn to a desert when man cut down all the trees that helped retain moisture?
I think that Egypt has always depended upon irrigation from the Nile, although the deserts are usually enlarged by a human population. Nearby, the Cedars of Lebanon, celebrated in Biblical times, are no more. Previously, Greece had been deforested by the Dorians, ending the Mycenaean civilization of Homer, and leading to a 400 year "dark age" until the Greeks learned to trade olives for Egyptian grain. The Parthenon has fake wooden peg ends among the frescoes, because the Greeks still missed having logs to make into proper looking temples. (Thus, American Colonial architecture is wood, imitating stone, which imitated wood!)
Japan and Scandinavia were both badly deforested about 400 years ago, but they have strong management now. Densely-populated Japan is 2/3 forest!

Last edited by Bicycle Bob; 06-17-2009 at 08:17 PM.. Reason: P.S.
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