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Holman Bible Dictionary

Fertile Crescent

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refers to the crescent-shaped arc of alluvial land in the Near East stretching from the tip of the Persian Gulf to the southeastern corner of the Mediterranean Sea. The term was coined by James Henry Breasted in 1916 and does not occur in the Bible.

Conditions in the Fertile Crescent in antiquity were favorable for settled life, and the rise of civilization occurred along its river valleys. This band of land between the desert and the mountains was suitable for farming and was somewhat isolated by geographical barriers on all sides. The northeast is bordered by the Zagros Mountains, the north by the Taurus and Amanus ranges. On the west lies the Mediterranean Sea, and the concave southern limit is determined by the vast Syro-Arabian Desert. The Fertile Crescent is composed of Mesopotamia in the east and the Levant, or Palestine and Syria in the west. See Mesopotamia, Palestine.

Copyright Statement
These dictionary topics are from the Holman Bible Dictionary, published by Broadman & Holman, 1991. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman & Holman.

Bibliography Information
Butler, Trent C. Editor. Entry for 'Fertile Crescent'. Holman Bible Dictionary. 1991.

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