Bare Foot Cruises
A Companion to Mediterranean History presents a wide-ranging overview of this vibrant field of historical research, drawing together scholars from a range of disciplines to discuss the development of the region from Neolithic times to the present.
The monograph presented to foreign readers has been prepared by the famous Soviet investigators of processes of geochemistry and sedimentation in the Mediterranean Sea. For more than 20 years E.M. Emelyanov has examined the recent sedimentation of the Mediterranean Sea and K.M. Shimkus has studied the Quaternary and the earlier sedi- mentation of the area. The authors, scientific workers from the P.P. Shirshov Institute of Oceanology, USSR Academy of Sciences (Atlantic and Southern Depart- ments), took part not only in numerous cruises on oceanographic vessels of the USSR, but in the study of cores of the deep-sea drilling on R/V "Glomar Challenger". A great number of scientific papers and some books devoted to the processes of sedimentation and geochemistry of the Mediterranean Sea were written by them. Although the scientific interests of the authors are not only limited to these questions, I should like to emphasise these aspects of their scientific activity when introducing this book. The Mediterranean Sea is a suitable natural laboratory for solving a number of principal problems of marine sedimentation and lithogenesis.
Malta, which I have selected as the opening scene of the following story, is, from its historical recollections, its fine climate, and brilliant skies, a very interesting spot; although, for such beauty as its scenery possesses, it must be acknowledged that it is indebted very much more to art than to nature. Notwithstanding, however, the noise it has made in the world, and will, I suspect, should we ever be driven into a war with our vivacious continental neighbour, again make, it is but a rock some twenty miles long, and twelve broad, in the middle of the Mediterranean, with a smaller rock, Gozo, to the north of it, and was, probably, at one time of this planet's existence, merely a continuation of Sicily or Italy's toe, or a lump, as it were, kicked off into the middle of the sea.
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