ADASR - Ancient Desert Agriculture Systems Revived - click for slide show ADASR - Ancient Desert Agriculture Systems Revived - click for slide show

About this Project

Community Participation in Ancient Desert Agricultu
re in the South Levant - Click for Photo/Image Gallery
Ancient Desert Agriculture in the South Levant
- Click for Photo/Image Gallery
  Click for Photo/Image Gallery

About this Project

ADASR Project
ADASR Project ADASR Project

This website demonstrates and documents results of recent works dealing with the unique phenomenon of the ancient agriculture systems in the heart of the wilderness, in the south of Israel.

As of the summer of 2006 ADASR embarked upon a technology and information collaboration with the Earth Data Analysis Center (EDAC) at University of New Mexico at Albuquerque which focuses on our mutual interests in GIS, geography, and archaeology in arid regions. The ADASR project provided EDAC with the opportunity to extend its research into social dynamics, ancient agriculture, economics, and society in an arid region within the context of a traditional region of conflict, Israel being the oldest region of conflict in the world.

The initial demonstration project was supported in part by funds provided to the International Arid Lands Consortium (IALC) by the USDA Forest Service and by the USDA Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service. The IALC was established in 1990 as a means to promote research, demonstrations, and training applied to development, management, restoration, and reclamation of arid and semiarid lands in North America, the Middle East, and elsewhere in the world.

Images presented in this web site were taken by Moti Haiman in the frame of the Negev Emergency Survey conducted (1979-1990) by the Archaeological Survey of Israel and the Department of Antiquities (Israel Antiquities Authority since 1989), except when the photographer is mentioned.

The work demonstrated in this website includes:

  1. Results of the Archaeological surveys, excavations and studies as well as a database of the ancient desert agriculture sites. The last studies dated the systems to the 5th - 8th centuries C.E. and found that their distribution area spans about 5,000 sq. km. - twice the area that was estimated until recently. Boundaries of the ancient desert agriculture can be seen in this map, covering the Northern Negev, the Negev Highlands, some part south to Gaza and west to Egypt.

  2. Results of experiments carried out by the Jewish National Fund to exploit ancient agricultural methods and systems to prevent desertification, to stabilize soil, and to harvest runoff water to subsist desert forestation.

  3. Education programs conducted at Nitzana - an education center located in the heart of the ancient agricultural region in the Negev. The programs aim to inherit the ancient agriculture studied as cultural heritage at various levels: participation in scientific field researches conducted by universities and training courses for students, school children, teachers, tourists etc.

  4. Extensive GPR (Ground Penetrating Radar) studies and correlated soil analysis with 3D sub-surface image modeling and integration with GIS, as conducted by Dr. Jessie Pincus as part of her doctoral program at Bar Ilan University under the direction of Dr. Moti Haiman, of sub-surface runoff and moisture distribution in the ancient agricultural terraces.

  5. At the core of all the work presented here is smart database technology which links our information, photos, images, and diagrams together in a GIS format which can be accessed across the Internet in an intelligently searchable manner. We are daily working on growing this database, where much of it is open to public access, and much of it is available selectively to qualified researchers in a secure manner. (See our form for research requests.)
Organizations participating in the projects mentioned in this website, as shown from the "Sponsors" link at the left and as listed below are:
Geophysical Support Services, Smart GIS Technology, and website design,
hosting, and maintenance are provided by Mnemotrix Systems, Inc.
Mnemotrix Systems, Inc.