Al-Biruni (973-1048) is considered by many to have been one of the greatest scientists ever. He is credited with having developed elements of what we would now class as the modern ’scientific method’.
His interest in astronomy is reflected in the naming of a lunar crater after him. Six centuries before Galileo, al-Biruni was aware of the fact that the earth rotated on its axis daily and circled the sun once a year.
Al-Biruni recalls an ancient tale which speaks of brackish land extending from Egypt to Constantinople suggesting that at some time in the very distant past, but still within the experience of man, the Mediterranean dried out. This idea was reinforced by the comments of al-Mas’udi and in the 12th century by al-Idrisi in collaboration with King Roger II of Sicily who all quote ancient traditions that clearly support the concept of a Gibraltar dam that was probably breached as seal levels rose at the end of the last Ice Age.