This weekend we turn our gaze to what is called in a little light way the Levant.
A very good introduction, however, could compensate this deficient way to see this part of the world.
Here it is below as extracted from BibArch :
The word Levant (Le·VANT) is the name applied to the geographical region, defined by natural frontiers, encompassing the eastern shores of the Mediterranean Sea from roughly the Isthmus of Suez to the Taurus Mountains, including present-day Israel, Lebanon, western Jordan, the Sinai in Egypt, and that part of Syria defined by the Orontes Valley and the region of Aleppo. It is a more or less heterogeneous region, encompassing an area of about 75,000 square miles, divided into specific areas of diverse ecological and environmental character surprisingly similar to that of southern California.
To the north the Taurus Mountains lie between the Levant and the Anatolian plateau. To the east and southeast the Syrian desert separates it from Mesopotamia and Arabia. To the southwest the Isthmus and Gulf of Suez set the boundary between the Levant and biblical Egypt (Mazar 1990:2-3; Moore 1978).
The term Levant comes from the French term lever (“to rise”) and its Arabic equivalent is Mashriq (“the country where the sun rises”). The introduction of the word came with the French Mandate of Syria and Lebanon (which lasted from 1920 until the mid-1940s).
The Levant may not be very large, but fixed anciently between Anatolia, Egypt, and Mesopotamia, it became the center of many critical events. It had the fortune, or misfortune, of being a bridge or at the least a highway between these competing regions. In context this fact largely determined its role in history. As a general rule, understanding the archaeology, history, and geopolitics of the region require mastery of their Levantine geographical context.
Further reading on http://www.bibarch.com/archaeologicalSites/index.htm