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How Alexander The Great Used 'Mother Nature'
The Telegraph (UK) ^ | 5-15-2007 | Roger Highfield

Posted on 05/15/2007 4:39:17 PM PDT by blam

How Alexander the Great used 'Mother Nature'

By Roger Highfield, Science Editor
Last Updated: 1:45am BST 15/05/2007

Alexander the Great had ''Mother Nature'' on his side when he conquered the island fortress of Tyre in 332 BC, says a study published today.

A bust of Alexander the Great

Tyre, in present day Lebanon, was then a strategic coastal base in the war between the Greeks and the Persians. Now archeologists have at last worked out how Alexander's engineers managed to build a causeway to enable his army to conquer what had become a bastion of resistance. All previous settlements on Alexander's journey from Macedonia had capitulated with little trouble.

The fact that Tyre was an island presented the Greek military commander with a serious headache: how was he to launch an effective attack?

Unable to storm the city, he had blockaded Tyre for seven months, but the defenders stood firm.

Archaeologists have known for some time that Alexander used the debris of the abandoned mainland city to build a causeway 3,000 yards long and up to 180 yards across. Once within reach of the city walls, he used siege engines to batter and finally breach the fortifications.

Over the centuries the silting up of a ‘sandbridge’ has turned the island of Tyre into an isthmus

But building a causeway in deep water would have meant raising the level of the sea floor considerably - an impossible feat in such a short space of time. However, researchers in France who analysed the coastal sediment record for the past 10,000 years have discovered how Alexander's engineers exploited a natural underwater "sandbridge".

The ''sandbridges'' are formed when sediment is deposited rapidly at a spot behind an island.

The findings, which are reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, show Alexander used "Mother Nature" to seize the island, said Dr Nick Marriner, of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in Aix-en-provence, France. "Of course today engineers have a whole suite of tools available to them in construction, including steel, high-strength concrete and so on," he told The Daily Telegraph. "This was simply not the case during the Iron Age and engineers exploited Tyre's natural environment to serve as the foundations for the sea bridge.

''The causeway would have been built of timber - for which Phoenicia was renowned throughout the ancient world - stone and rubble." The team was able to work out how Tyre was first formed as an island, when sea levels rose around 8,000 years ago. After 6,000 BC, a slowing down of the rises in sea-level and the dissipation of wave energy by Tyre led to the natural growth of a spit of sediment linking the island to the coastline.

Over the centuries the causeway has silted up, transforming the island into an isthmus.


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: alexander; godsgravesglyphs; great; lebanon; macedon; macedonia; macedonian; tyre

1 posted on 05/15/2007 4:39:21 PM PDT by blam
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To: SunkenCiv
GGG Ping.


2 posted on 05/15/2007 4:40:39 PM PDT by blam
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To: blam

As reported in Nature Magazine

3 posted on 05/15/2007 4:49:52 PM PDT by blam
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To: blam

Did the great one take advantage of an existing sand bridge or did he cause one to be formed?


4 posted on 05/15/2007 4:50:22 PM PDT by Thebaddog
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To: blam

Isn’t this the city where Alexander built TWO causeways in order to take by siege. The first got destroyed by the defenders and then he had a 2nd larger one built?

Note, Alexander was so p.o.ed about how long it took to take the city, he ordered it plundered. Something he had not done when capturing cities before Tyre.


5 posted on 05/15/2007 5:03:25 PM PDT by Diplomat
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To: Diplomat

They had a pretty good show on this on the History channel. They showed how the Tyrians rammed a ship loaded with explosives into the first causeway and destroyed it with fire. Alexandar almost gave up at that point but then became even more resolved to take the island. The second causeway was built at an angle from the mainland to the island and protected by a fleet which Alexandar put together in order to checkmate the Tyrian fleet.


6 posted on 05/15/2007 5:20:51 PM PDT by vbmoneyspender
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To: blam
sea levels rose around 8,000 years ago. After 6,000 BC, a slowing down of the rises in sea-level

Cycles? In nature? What could cause such a thing??

7 posted on 05/15/2007 5:24:37 PM PDT by ClearCase_guy (Enoch Powell was right.)
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To: Diplomat

He razed Thebes to the ground years before this.

Andrew


8 posted on 05/15/2007 5:29:24 PM PDT by Andy Ross (A Scot in Trondheim)
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To: Diplomat
Alexander was so p.o.ed about how long it took to take the city, he ordered it plundered

aka a Tyre_Rant!

Where was Bechtel when you need them!!!

9 posted on 05/15/2007 5:59:58 PM PDT by Young Werther ( and Julius Ceasar said, "quae cum ita sunt." (or since these things are so!))
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To: blam

If we had a general like Alexander the entire Mideast would be a colony of America. At peace.


10 posted on 05/15/2007 6:01:14 PM PDT by pankot
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To: blam

In ancient times, the Great ones knew it wasn’t nice to fool Mother Nature...


11 posted on 05/15/2007 7:08:43 PM PDT by mikrofon (You think it's better, but it's not - -)
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To: blam
Alexander the Great WAS NOT Greek.

He was Macedonian.

His Father was Philip of Macedonia.

But incompetent Roger Highfield writes for The Telegraph (UK) :

“The fact that Tyre was an island presented the Greek military commander with a serious headache”

Any editor should have caught that.

***************************************************************************************************

Alexander the Great (356-323 BC), the king of Macedonia who conquered the Persian empire and annexed it to Macedonia, is considered one of the greatest military geniuses of all times.

http://faq.macedonia.org/history/alexander.the.great.html

Marble statue of Alexanderfrom Gabii

Louvre, Paris, France

.

Philip II of Macedonia,

father of Alexander the Great

12 posted on 05/15/2007 8:20:21 PM PDT by holfen123
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To: holfen123

Yes, he was Macedonian. He died in Egypt of, some believe, West Nile Virus.


13 posted on 05/15/2007 8:39:58 PM PDT by blam
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To: blam; FairOpinion; StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; 1ofmanyfree; 24Karet; 3AngelaD; 49th; ...
Thanks Blam!

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list. Thanks.
Please FREEPMAIL me if you want on or off the
"Gods, Graves, Glyphs" PING list or GGG weekly digest
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Gods, Graves, Glyphs (alpha order)

14 posted on 05/16/2007 8:58:08 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (Time heals all wounds, particularly when they're not yours. Profile updated May 11, 2007.)
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To: blam

WOnderful post.

Thanks for going through the trouble of posting the detailed maps etc..


15 posted on 05/16/2007 9:02:15 AM PDT by nmh (Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God) .)
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To: holfen123

Don’t tell that to the Greeks, they get irate.


16 posted on 05/16/2007 9:13:54 AM PDT by Seven Minute Maniac
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To: SunkenCiv

A new twist on the old story.


17 posted on 05/16/2007 10:29:25 AM PDT by Ciexyz
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To: blam

I think he died in Babylon.


18 posted on 05/16/2007 11:11:19 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (Time heals all wounds, particularly when they're not yours. Profile updated May 11, 2007.)
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To: vbmoneyspender
They showed how the Tyrians rammed a ship loaded with explosives into the first causeway and destroyed it with fire.
There were various flammable materials, used for Greek fire, but AFAIK there were *no* explosives available at that time.
19 posted on 05/16/2007 11:16:54 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (Time heals all wounds, particularly when they're not yours. Profile updated May 11, 2007.)
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sometimes still referred to as artillery, the catapault was the original artillery; centuries after Alexander, Roman General (and later emperor) Vespasian used such artillery to rapidly reduce the oppida in Britain.

http://store.aetv.com/html/product/index.jhtml?id=76846

“Man, Moment, Machine: Alexander the Great and the Devastating Catapult DVD

“Alexander the Great and the Devastating Catapult DVD

“Hosted by Hunter Ellis

“It was a devastating tool of war, the Atomic bomb of its age. Discover how Alexander the Great put it to overwhelming effect against the doggedly resistant stronghold of Tyre.”


20 posted on 05/16/2007 11:22:36 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (Time heals all wounds, particularly when they're not yours. Profile updated May 11, 2007.)
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To: Ciexyz

I’d wondered how he’d done it, but had always assumed that there was a natural feature involved. Nebuchadnezzar had a similar problem with Tyre, but uncharacteristically didn’t wind up able to storm it and kill or enslave everyone.


21 posted on 05/16/2007 11:24:40 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (Time heals all wounds, particularly when they're not yours. Profile updated May 11, 2007.)
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To: pankot

> If we had a general like Alexander the entire Mideast would be a colony of America. At peace.

You had one: George Patton.


22 posted on 05/16/2007 12:35:07 PM PDT by DieHard the Hunter
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To: ClearCase_guy

Obviously, it’s the fault of Big Oil sending pollution back in time. Duh!


23 posted on 05/16/2007 12:41:57 PM PDT by Teacher317
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To: SunkenCiv

You might want to register complaints with the History channel


24 posted on 05/16/2007 12:50:39 PM PDT by vbmoneyspender
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To: vbmoneyspender

:’)


25 posted on 05/17/2007 4:28:58 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (Time heals all wounds, particularly when they're not yours. Profile updated May 11, 2007.)
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Comment #26 Removed by Moderator

To: blam; FairOpinion; StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; 1ofmanyfree; 24Karet; 3AngelaD; 49th; ...
Thanks Blam. Alexander had it goin' on.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list. Thanks.
Please FREEPMAIL me if you want on or off the
"Gods, Graves, Glyphs" PING list or GGG weekly digest
-- Archaeology/Anthropology/Ancient Cultures/Artifacts/Antiquities, etc.
Gods, Graves, Glyphs (alpha order)

27 posted on 07/27/2007 9:33:50 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (Profile updated Thursday, July 26, 2007 https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: blam
Archaeologists have known for some time that Alexander used the debris of the abandoned mainland city to build a causeway 3,000 yards long and up to 180 yards across.

That would be a prime site for excavation! Imagine the sort of stuff that was thrown down to fill in the causeway. A mini Pompei.

28 posted on 07/27/2007 10:20:27 PM PDT by FreedomCalls (It's the "Statue of Liberty," not the "Statue of Security.")
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To: DieHard the Hunter; pankot; Kathy in Alaska

>> If we had a general like Alexander the entire Mideast would be a colony of America. At peace.

> You had one: George Patton.

I like to think that, somewhere out there in the Iraqi Desert, there sleeps tonite the next George Patton beside his or her Abrams tank. And tonite he/she dreams of his/her chance to earn his/her spurs and take the battle to the enemy: to stop digging in but to keep moving forward, ever forward.

He/she probably has a mouth like a sewer that should never kiss his/her Mom without using Listerine. And the courage of an enraged grizzly bear, with manners to match.

Somewhere out there, in that vast Iraqi or Afghanistani desert, there lives amongst this next Greatest Generation our next George Patton, our next Alexander the Great.

God Bless our Troops.

Yours ‘til Victory.
*DieHard*


29 posted on 07/27/2007 11:07:54 PM PDT by DieHard the Hunter
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To: Blistik

Ah, sorry, I’ll add you, also, to the list, my apologies for the duplicate ping!


30 posted on 07/27/2007 11:44:51 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (Profile updated Thursday, July 26, 2007 https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: blam

Alexander died in Babylon. Probably from malaria, but he was still suffering from wounds received in India.


31 posted on 07/28/2007 5:59:31 AM PDT by Tallguy (Climate is what you plan for, weather is what you get.)
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To: Diplomat

I think the second mole didn’t quite reach the island-city when the city fell. IIRC, the city was stormed by amphibious operation. The mole was used as a base of fire by Alexander’s siege weapons.


32 posted on 07/28/2007 6:03:04 AM PDT by Tallguy (Climate is what you plan for, weather is what you get.)
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To: Teacher317
Awwk, Investigate Halliburton... where are my meds?
33 posted on 07/28/2007 6:04:10 AM PDT by Ukiapah Heep (Shoes for Industry!)
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To: DieHard the Hunter

No female officers in armor yet (helicopters excepted).


34 posted on 07/28/2007 6:04:53 AM PDT by Tallguy (Climate is what you plan for, weather is what you get.)
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Comment #35 Removed by Moderator

Comment #36 Removed by Moderator

To: Blistik

Theres really no way to know. Every source documenting his life and conquest date to at least 200 years after his death. This is also why i find it funny how liberal scholars easily take Alexander at face value, but refuse to accept anything from the gospel.


37 posted on 07/28/2007 11:42:50 AM PDT by Seven Minute Maniac
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Comment #38 Removed by Moderator

To: SunkenCiv

Roman mosaics uncovered in France

http://www.cctv.com/program/cultureexpress/20070727/106529.shtml

At the heart of the ancient town of Nimes, in Southern France, routine building work has uncovered a unique and fascinating piece of ancient history. The find dates to the era when the town was a principal city of Roman Gaul. What the excavators discovered were two magnificent Roman mosaics.

The Roman mosaics date from the second century A.D. They were located by the National Institute of Preventive Archaeological Research, at a site where work was underway at an underground parking lot.

The smaller of the two mosaics is among the best-preserved examples in all Roman Gaul.

Jean Yves Breuil, scientific coordinator, said, “There is a first mosaic that is not very well preserved but has an interesting design, with references to Trojan mythology. The second mosaic is frankly exceptional. Because it is very, very well-preserved, the structure of the design is very complex, a mixture of medallions, curves, and the central motif is unique for a mosaic. It shows a battle between the gods and the giants.”

These pieces would have decorated the floor of what must have been one of the grandest houses in the city. And the locations of the mosaics identify their sites as principal reception rooms.

But there’s more: the archaeological work has also revealed a courtyard with a decorative basin and a well.

Now archaeologists undertake the painstaking work of removing the mosaics from their original settings.

“It’s also the case for mosaics that we remove them in a very meticulous manner. They are stuck together, then the mosaic floor is cut into blocks of several metres squared,then we are going to transfer them to museum storage in order to study them and restore them ready to put on public display,” said Jean Yves Breuil.

Thirty five archaeologists have been carrying out a survey of the extensive Roman walls. Slowly they are excavating the remains of the ancient town, already famous for its Roman Amphitheatre. Work began in October 2006.


39 posted on 07/28/2007 12:13:25 PM PDT by Renfield (How come there aren't any football teams with pink uniforms?)
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To: Renfield

Thanks Renfield.


40 posted on 07/28/2007 2:15:34 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (Profile updated Thursday, July 26, 2007 https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: SunkenCiv

kewl!


41 posted on 07/28/2007 2:25:49 PM PDT by ken21 ( b 4 fred.)
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To: vbmoneyspender

Re post #6, it is amazing what a leader with resolve can do for you, but then again Alexander did not have chiquahuas like Reid, Kerry, Murtha and the DBM nipping at his ankles every day.


42 posted on 07/28/2007 2:35:24 PM PDT by shalom aleichem
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To: Blistik

Or maybe the writer just confused Alexander “the Great” with Zorba “the Greek”? Nothing to get “crucified” over.


43 posted on 07/28/2007 2:42:02 PM PDT by shalom aleichem
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To: Seven Minute Maniac; SunkenCiv
What are the earliest known sources documenting Alexander's life and history? That fact, if true and I have no reason to doubt it, I will tuck neatly into my arsenal of things when disgusing the Bible and Christ with snotty libs.

Hey Civ......thanks for all the pings, I love the articles.

Nam Vet

44 posted on 07/29/2007 12:34:41 PM PDT by Nam Vet (Timely reporting from Attila's right flank)
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To: Nam Vet

Hmm, there are fragments of the lost work of Alexander’s official biographer, and an account by his admiral (they did use ships here and there, even though the fleet was sent home pretty much as soon as Alexander crossed into Anatolia; part of the army returned from India, via the Indus River and Indian Ocean, aboard ships built for the purpose on the banks of the Indus, while Alexander led the rest of his army overland back to Persepolis and then Babylon), but they survive as longish quotes or paraphrases by later biographers (Arrian, Curtius, uh, I think another guy, and perhaps Plutarch). So the answer is, the contemporary sources for Alexander didn’t make the whole trip in entire, but were still available to later authors whose works have survived, even though they lived some hundreds of years later. :’) If you’d like a fascinating synopsis of Alexander, In the Footsteps of Alexander the Great (DVD) by Michael Wood, seems to be unavailable on Amazon, but is probably at the library.


45 posted on 07/29/2007 9:13:58 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (Profile updated Thursday, July 26, 2007 https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: SunkenCiv

FYI, Michael Wood has written a number of historical volumes on Britain, incl. Roman and Dark Ages-era Britain, and a bio of Shakespeare, that are well worth reading.


46 posted on 07/29/2007 9:30:12 PM PDT by Ciexyz
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To: Ciexyz

I’ve got the Alexander DVD, and the Trojan War DVD, and the earlier edition of the book accompanying the latter. I think a joint publication/release is his usual way of operating. One I’d like to track down is his program on Central American civilizations (Mayans etc).


47 posted on 07/29/2007 9:56:19 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (Profile updated Thursday, July 26, 2007 https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: Seven Minute Maniac; shalom aleichem

http://www.freerepublic.com/~Blistik/

“This account has been banned or suspended.”


48 posted on 07/29/2007 10:11:57 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (Profile updated Thursday, July 26, 2007 https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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49 posted on 12/16/2008 5:09:40 PM PST by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/_______Profile finally updated Saturday, December 6, 2008 !!!)
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