The regions of the fertile crescent, that include modern Israel, were among the first in which soil cultivation was practiced and therefore have a long history of soil use and abuse. This inevitably has resulted in extended soil deterioration, foremost soil erosion. While soils and their use are repeatedly mentioned in the ancient scriptures, modern soil research in this region only started in the 20th century, and intensified with the establishment of the first Jewish agricultural settlements before WWI. It should be borne in mind that the soil pattern of Israel, though fairly confined in terms of space, represents an extraordinary typological diversity, ranging from humid mediterranean soils to typical hot desert soils, from landscapes with steep inclinations, to low-lying, level ones. Thus they represent soils to be found not merely within the confines of the Mediterranean basin, but also in many of the desert regions of the world.