The Negev: The Challenge of a Desert

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Harvard University Press, 1982 - Science - 437 pages

The Negev, first published over a decade ago, told the story of some twenty years of study of southern Israel's desert. It synthesized the findings of botanists, geologists, soil scientists, agronomists, archaeologists, historians, and engineers and told how the applications of their work produced an agricultural surplus in this forbiddingly dry, hot region.

Now Michael Evenari has amplified the book with data from another decade of work. He describes the efforts at a new farm at Wadi Mashash, extends the weather data another ten years, presents further work on the adaptations of plants and animals to desert conditions, and takes a much deeper look at the historical precedents for the method of runoff agriculture, which has made the desert bloom.

 

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Contents

In the beginning
1
Desert challenges
8
Man in the Negev
11
The Negeva desert
29
Landforms and landscapes
39
The geological history of the Negev
44
by Yehoshua Itzhaki
76
Ancient runoff agriculture in the Negev
95
field crops vegetables medicinal and pasture plants
191
fruit trees
207
Microcatchments negarin
220
Adaptation of plants to desert conditions I
229
Adaptation of plants to desert conditions II
275
Adaptation of animals to desert conditions by Amiram Shkolnik
301
The farm at Wadi Mashash
324
Recent developments
338

The Nitzana papyri
120
Stone mounds and the mechanics of runoff
127
Drinking water in the desert
148
the chain of wells
173
The reconstruction of the farms
179
Epilogue
413
Bibliography
418
Index
427
Copyright

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About the author (1982)

Michael Evenari is Professor of Botany, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Leslie Shanan was Consultant Engineer (Water Projects), Tel Aviv.

Naphtali Tadmor was Senior Lecturer in Botany, Hebrew University.

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