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compass
INFORMATION ARCHITECTS
in the UK and USA
and available worldwide - Not Yet Published - c. 2020

Strait of Gibraltar
James Anthony Oliver
Author of The Bering Strait Crossing
 

SofGNASAGibraltar looking Northwest to La Linea (Spain)Europa Point Lighthouse, Gibraltar (author photo)
Strait of Gibraltar Panorama view from Spain of Jebel Musa in Morocco


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Overview

Strait of Gibraltar is an investigation of the great waterway that inter-links the Atlantic Ocean with the Mediterranean Sea and forms the inter-continental divide between Europe and Africa across the legendary Pillars of Hercules.

In this post-Cold War era of massive geo-political flux, the Strait is viewed as a ‘strategic asset’ for its shipping lanes:  between the Atlantic as far as the Bosporus to the Black Sea; and since 1849 via the transformative In tSuez Canal to the Red Sea and the Gulf, and beyond.  In this early twenty first century, the Strait is a super-highway for seaborne world cargo, with over seventy thousand vessels, and escalating, passing E-W-E every year.   

The Strait has, though, been a strategic waterway since the days of those early seafarers, the Phoenicians, who (with vested interest in the silver mines beyond Cadiz) encouraged the myth that any vessel passing through the waterway would sail off the End of the World, and into the unknown void.  

For the Romans, too, the Strait represented Non (Terrae) Plus Ultra ~ No (Land) More Beyond.

In this same way, the great and improbable human adventure is formed, and inevitably eclipsed, by the geographical dimension: the prehistoric trans-migrations out of Africa, the outstanding achievements and titanic clashes of classical antiquity, the mighty clashes of the Punic Wars, the sea battles and world conflicts over the centuries since, and the geopolitical intrigues of the present era.

The epic story of the Strait opens with its formation over five million years’ ago. The timeline established with the overview End of the World, this investigation places the focus on: Sea of Antiquity and Early Exploration, Ancient Geographers and the Mapping of the Strait, Pillars of Hercules, and A World Waterway.

Strait of Gibraltar aims to locate the identity of the waterway in its greater or global perspective for this early twenty first century.


 Author Profile

James A. Oliver is an international writer, editor and geographer based in Devon. He is also the author of A Footprint in the Sand, an epic political comedy inspired by a 'special assignment' at the end of the Cold War, and The Anarchist's Arms - a stage play set in near-future London.

Publications include The Bering Strait Crossing: A 21st century frontier, which was released worldwide in 2006. In 2007, he was invited by the Russian Academy of Scientists to discuss the subject at the World Link conference in Moscow.  In 2009, the materials formed the basis of a Discovery Channel documentary broadcast that year. (The Beringia link concept was later awarded the Grand Prix for innovation at the World Expo in Shanghai 2010.)

From 2007-2009, he lived on the Ile Saint Louis in Paris, while working as a writer and editor on the Single European Sky (SES) project.

On his return to England, he developed the script for The Pamphleteers: The Birth of Journalism, Emergence of the Press & the Fourth Estate (2010).

Strait of Gibraltar: Non Plus Ultra is the second part of the trilogy Where Continents Meet

James Oliver is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.