SYRIA, the name given generally to the land lying between the easternmost shore of the Levantine Gulf and a natural inland boundary formed in part by the Middle Euphrates and in part by the western edge of the Hamad or desert steppe.
Since, however, the steppe edge on the east is somewhat indefinite, some early Moslem and other geographers have included all the Hamad in Syria, making of the latter a blunt-headed triangle with a base some 700 m.
Taking Syria as the strip limited by the sea, the edge of the Hamad, the Taurus and the Sinaitic desert, we have a remarkably homogeneous geographical area with very obvious natural boundaries; but these, for various reasons, have proved very Scale, 1:7.soo.000
Zbtieir frontier obliquely from the Gulf of Akeba to Rakka (Raqqa) on Euphrates, and thus placed the Hamad in Arabia.
This tract, known as the Hamad, is a Syrian gravelly plain unbroken by any considerable range of hills desert.