Carbon dating of the kaaba

By the instruction of God, Ibrahim left his wife and son at a spot in the desert and walked away.

She was desperately seeking water for her infant son, but she could not find any, as Mecca is located in a hot dry valley with few sources of water.

The Saudi Geological Survey has a "Zamzam Studies and Research Centre" which analyses the technical properties of the well in detail.

Water levels were monitored by hydrograph, which in more recent times has changed to a digital monitoring system that tracks the water level, electric conductivity, p H, Eh and temperature.

Hydrogeologically, the well is in the Wadi Ibrahim (Valley of Abraham).

The upper half of the well is in the sandy alluvium of the valley, lined with stone masonry except for the top metre (3 ft) which has a concrete "collar". Between the alluvium and the bedrock is a -metre (1 ft 8 in) section of permeable weathered rock, lined with stone, and it is this section that provides the main water entry into the well.

They also stated that it was unknown whether the water being sold in the UK was genuine, and that people should not buy it and should report the sellers to the Trading Standards if they saw it for sale.

Environmental health officer Yunes Ramadan Teinaz told the British broadcaster about commercially marketed Zamzam water that, "People see this water as a holy water.

Other wells throughout the valley have also been established, some with digital recorders, to monitor the response of the local aquifer system.

Later in that month the Council of British Hajjis stated that drinking Zamzam water was safe and disagreed with the BBC report.

They also noted that the Government of Saudi Arabia does not allow the export of Zamzam water for resale.

Water in the well comes from absorbed rainfall in the Wadi Ibrahim, as well as run-off from the local hills.

Since the area has become more and more settled, water from absorbed rainfall on the Wadi Ibrahim has decreased.

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