Showing posts with label Israel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Israel. Show all posts

British Adventurers to Walk 1000 Miles Through the Heart of the Middle East

British adventurers Dave Cornthwaite and Leon McCarron – two men whose past expeditions we've covered regularly here on The Adventure Blog – have joined forces for an epic journey on foot through the heard of the Middle East. The two men are preparing to set out on a three-month, 1000 mile (1600 km) trek with the intention of sharing stories about the real people who live in a part of the world that is often misunderstood by so many others.

Dave and Leon have dubbed their expedition Walk the Masar – which means "path" in Arabic. Their journey begins in Jerusalem, with the intention of circumnavigating the Dead Sea completely on foot. They'll travel along the West Bank, crossing over into Jordan, and walking into the Sinai Peninsula, eventually making their way to Mt. Catherine in the middle of the desert there.

The duo should be en route to their starting point within the next few days, as they intend to start the journey in early December, with the hope of wrapping it up by early March of 2016. Both Dave and Leon will be posting regular updates to their respective Facebook pages, sharing stories of their adventures and posting about the people they meet along the way. Their hope is to lift the veil of misconceptions that seems to cover the Middle East, and reveal the stories of the real people that live there.

Neither of these men are strangers to traveling in remote regions of the world. For Dave, this will be his 12th expedition as part of his Expedition 1000 project, which is an attempt to complete 25 separate journeys of 1000 miles or more completely under his own power. Past expeditions have seen him skateboard across Australia, stand-up paddleboard the length of the Mississippi, and swim the Missouri River. Leon has had similar experiences as well, trekking Iran's longest river source to sea, walking from the Gobi Desert in Mongolia to Hong Kong, and crossing the Empty Quarter on foot as well. This latest undertaking will only add to their already impressive resumes.

Find out more at WalkTheMasar.com and on Dave and Leon's Facebook pages.

Video: Rock Climbing in Israel is Illegal, Meet the Man Trying to Change That

I wasn't aware that rock climbing was illegal in Israel, but thanks to this video from EpicTV we get to meet the man who is hoping to change that. His name is Ofer Blutrich and he is working to raise awareness within the climbing community of the prohibition of the sport in his country. He freely admits that he knows Israel has a lot of other problems that it is facing, but he is trying to convince authorities there that repealing the ban on climbing could be good for the tourist economy, particularly since there are some good spots to climb there. It is an interesting story, and there are plenty of great climbing shots in the video as well.

Archeologists Uncover "Huge" Structure in Israel that Predates the Pyramids

Archaeology fascinates me. I love the fact that we're still uncovering hidden things from our past, and learning about early civilizations. That's why this story caught my attention when I came across it yesterday. It seems that archaeologists working in Israel have unearthed a massive structure near the Sea of Galilee that is is believed to have been built sometime between 3050 BC and 2650 BC. That would make it older than the Great Pyramids in Egypt, and even Stonehenge in the U.K.

 The structure was previously mistaken for a defensive wall of some sort, although no settlement was known to have existed in that part of the country. It is immense in size, stretching for 150 metes (492 ft), and has a volume that is said to be roughly 14,000 cubic meters (500,000 cubic ft). It is believed to have been a standing monument of some type, although what it was used for remains a bit of a mystery. Researchers speculate that it was used as a landmark built to "mark possession or assert authority."

The crescent shaped structure may have been built by a local chieftain in the Mesopotamian civilization. Its shape could have held some significance within the lunar cycle, or  it could have also been a monument built to Sin, the culture's moon god. The closest settlement is a town called Bet Yerah, which translates to "House of the Moon God." It is just 29km (18 miles) away, which is about a days walk for ancient travelers. There is some speculation that the monument was built to mark the borders of the city's territory, and to potentially ward off would-be invaders.

The age of the structure was determined by dating fragments of pottery that were found at the site. The monument is so old, that it actually predates the Old Testament, and provides clues about life in the region that is often referred to as the "Cradle of Civilization." Researchers say the site would have required a massive amount of labor to build. They estimate that it would have taken between 35,000 and 50,000 days working days to construct the monument, which translates to a team of 200 people working for roughly five months straight just to achieve the lower end of that estimate. In an agrarian society dependent on food production, that would have been incredibly tough.

Reading a story like this one, it makes you wonder what else is out there, just waiting for us to stumble across it.