Thursday, July 30, 2009

Forests I.

This is coolbert:

From a recent blog entry:

"It should be realized that the maquis and garrigue have the form and appearance of a naturally occurring landscape . . . Are - - rather - - a 'man-formed landscape' that is the result of at least 2500 years of deforestation!"


Those lands directly adjoining the Mediterranean Sea have been ravaged by millenniums of warfare.

What we observe today, the shrubland called the maquis or the garrigue is a "man-formed landscape"!

[the maquis and garrigue too, as noted previously, are very susceptible to fire!]

Here from the book: "The FIRST EDEN THE MEDITERRANEAN WORLD AND MAN" by David Attenborough.

In particular - - "PART THREE THE WASTES OF WAR":

"[regarding here the destruction of the forests of the Levant, those lands immediately adjacent to the eastern-most shore of the Mediterranean] The castles [Crusader] always had to be prepared for an attack . . . When large scale forces[Muslim] did arrive and laid siege to a castle, the effect on the countryside was devastating . . . They [Muslim] attacked the castle with rams, huge tree trunks . . . [and] Mangonels, long timbers pivoted near the middle and heavily weighted at the short end, were used to catapult boulders over castle walls. . . . The attackers might build siege towers . . . Every one of these devices demanded huge quantities of timbers . . . and the great armies needed tons of wood for their fires. So the inauguration of a siege meant inevitably that all the trees for miles around would be felled."

Attenborough too has totally missed the use of timbers as shoring. Supports used to bolster the mine shafts dug by sappers, seeking to undermine the very strong and quite often found-to-be-impregnable walls of a Crusader castle, such as Krak of the Chevaliers. Sapping was a popular way to defeat the walls of a castle, when direct assault proved to be unfeasible.

Prolonged sieges, sometimes lasting for YEARS were often only ended by determined and prolonged sapping which required enormous quantities of timber!

[Please understand that a prolonged siege of years did not mean continuous fighting, but rather confinement of the garrison and not actual combat on a perpetual basis. The most recent civil war in Lebanon is reputed to have seen some Christian mountain villages also besieged for years! But - - again, not actual continuous combat, but rather confinement! Capice!]


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