4. Near East
The primary geological event in the making of the Near East was a collision between two continental plates. This collision, an event of the last fifty million years, joined Eurasia to the northeastern edge of what was then a greater Africa. This took place in two steps. The first was the opening of the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea.  This took place over the last twenty million years or so.  The second step was the formation of the Persian Gulf as a result of the risisng sea levels of the Holocene.  The most significant event was undoubtedly the collision of the two plates. The junction runs from the northeastern corner of the Mediterranean, near the island of Cyprus, to the Gulf of Oman on the edge of the Indian Ocean. This line is of more than geological interest.  It divides the Near East into two parts with significantly different characteristics.