book presents a synthesis of almost 150 years of research along the
Jordan Rift Valley, where tectonics and climate variations have interwoven
to create a succession of natural landscapes, inhabited by changing
communities of plants, animals and Man. The complex geological and environmental
evolution since its inception in the Oligocene are expressed in a variety
of sedimentary and magmatic rock units, preserved as continuous sequences
in the deeper basins, where they have been penetrated by drillings,
palynolgically analyzed and radiometrically dated. The outcropping formations
encircling the basins represent alternating deposition and erosion phases,
both of which are discussed in detail.
Based on a wealth
of old and newly acquired data, a novel approach is presented in a model
explaining the tectonic evolution of this part of the Syrian-African
Rift Valley, which may change our views regarding the geotectonic pattern
of the entire western Levant. Different views are also brought for comparison.
Datings and paleoenvironmental reconstructions are provided for all
important phases in the history of the Jordan Valley. Particular attention
is given to the last two million years, when numerous habitation sites
indicate the region was continuously populated.
1. Introduction: The singularity of the Jordan Rift Valley.
2. History of ideas and research.
3. The Jordan Rift Valley at present.
4. The Pre-Neogene geology of the Near East.
5. The lithostratigraphy of the embryonic and eritrean stages.
6. Palynostratgraphy, continuous sequences and unconformities.
7. Chronostratigraphy, paleogeography and environments of the embryonic
and eritrean stages.
9. Structral history.
10. Tectonics: models and debates.
11. Stratigraphy of the artifact-bearing sequences.
12. Paleoecology of man.
Appendix: The nature and history of motion along the Dead Sea Transform
References; Reference Index; Subject Index.