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Dead Sea

DEAD SEA

Salt-water lake situated between Jordan, the West Bank, and Israel.

The Dead Sea (Arabic, Bahr al-Lut; ancient Greco-Romano, Lacus Asphaltites), the lowest surface point on the planet (the actual lowest point is under the ocean), is situated in the 350-mile-long (560 km) JordanDead Sea rift valley, bordered by the Hashimite Kingdom of Jordan to its east, the State of Israel to its southwest, and the West Bank to its northwest. The surface of the Dead Sea is 1,302 feet (397 m) below Mediterranean sea level, with an area of about 395 square miles (1,020 sq km). It is 51 miles (82 km) long.

This inland lake is the world's saltiest; its water contains about 25 percent solid concentrates, as compared to ocean concentrates of some 4 to 6 percent. The lake has no outlet and is fed from the north by waters of the Jordan River and wadis (streams that are usually dry but fill during the rainy season). In its middle, it is divided by the Lisan (tongue), which stretches across some 75 percent of the lake's width from Jordan toward Israel. Economically, the Dead Sea is important to the bordering regions, since each uses it for tourismmany visitors seek its purported medicinal properties and spas exist to allow such visits, especially in Israel. The land near its shores is also cultivated, with sweet irrigation water brought to those fields. From the Dead Sea's brine, both Jordan and Israel extract potash, an important component of agricultural fertilizer.

Bibliography

Davila, James R., ed. The Dead Sea Scrolls as Background to Post-biblical Judaism and Early Christianity: Papers from an International Conference at St. Andrews in 2001. Boston, MA: Brill, 2003.

Hodge, Stephen. The Dead Sea Scrolls Rediscovered: An Updated Look at One of Archaeology's Greatest Mysteries. Berkeley, CA: Seastone, 2003.

Let the Dead Sea Live; Concept Document: Moving towards a Dead Sea Basin Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Listings. Prepared by Friends of the Earth Middle East Consultant Team: Mike Turner, Gaith Fariz, Husan Abu Faris FoEME Team: Sefan Hoer-mann, Gidon Bromberg, 1 November 1999.

Magness, Jodi. The Archaeology of Qumran and the Dead Sea Scrolls. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans 2003.

peter gubser

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"Dead Sea." Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East and North Africa. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"Dead Sea." Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East and North Africa. . Retrieved August 18, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/dead-sea

Dead Sea

Dead Sea, salt lake, c.390 sq mi (1,010 sq km), extending c.45 mi (70 km) in the Jordan trough of the Great Rift Valley between the Ghor on the north and Wadi Arabah on the south, on the border between Israel and the West Bank (W) and Jordan (E). The shore of the Dead Sea, historically about 1,295 ft (395 m) below sea level but now some 100 ft (30 m) lower, is the lowest dry point on earth.

Situated between steep, rocky cliffs, 2,500 to 4,000 ft (762–1,219 m) high, the Dead Sea is divided by the Al Lisan peninsula into two basins—a larger northern basin now 1,240 ft (378 m) deep, and a smaller, shallow southern basin, now separated from the northern basin and divided into salt ponds. The lake is fed by the Jordan River and a number of small streams; it has no outlet. Because it is located in a very hot and dry region, the Dead Sea loses much water through evaporation; its level fluctuates during the year. Inflow has been greatly reduced by the increased use of the waters of the Jordan for irrigation, and that, along with the use of evaporation ponds to produce potash and other minerals, has led to falling water levels since the 1960s. A 2013 agreement by Israel, Jordan, and the Palestinian Authority involving regional water resources called for the lake to be replenished with the brine by-produced by a planned desalination plant at Aqaba, Jordan. In prehistoric times, the lake has been much larger, filling the entire Jordan trough from S of the Dead Sea to N of the Sea of Galilee as Lake Lisan some 25,000 years ago, and much smaller, perhaps completely dry, 120,000 years ago.

One of the saltiest water bodies in the world, the Dead Sea supports no life. It yields large amounts of mineral salts; potash and bromine are commercially extracted. The ancient cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were on the southwestern shore; present-day Sodom is the site of mineral-salt extraction works. The Dead Sea coast in Israel and the West Bank is the site of beaches, spas, and tourist hotels. Biblical names for the salt lake include Salt Sea, East Sea, and Sea of the Plain.

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"Dead Sea." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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Dead Sea

Dead Sea a salt lake or inland sea in the Jordan valley, on the Israel–Jordan border. Its surface is 400 m (1,300 ft) below sea level. The name is recorded from Middle English, and is a translation of Latin mare mortuum, Greek (in the writings of Aristotle) hē nekra thalassa. The term was used by the Greeks and Romans for the Arctic Ocean in the North of Europe, perhaps because it was regarded as devoid of life or movement.
Dead Sea fruit a name for a legendary fruit, of attractive appearance, which dissolved into smoke and ashes when held (also called apple of Sodom); figuratively, a hollow disappointing thing. The fruit are described in the Travels attributed to the 14th-century John de Mandeville.
Dead Sea Scrolls a collection of Hebrew and Aramaic manuscripts discovered in pottery storage jars in caves near Qumran between 1947 and 1956. Thought to have been hidden by the Essenes or a similar Jewish sect shortly before the revolt against Roman rule ad 66–70, the scrolls include texts of many books of the Old Testament; they are some 1,000 years older than previously known versions.

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"Dead Sea." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"Dead Sea." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Retrieved August 18, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/dead-sea

Dead Sea

Dead Sea (Al-Bahr-al-Mayyit) Salt lake in the Jordan valley, on the Jordan-Israel border. It is fed by the River Jordan. The surface, 403m (1320ft) below sea level, is the lowest point on Earth. It is situated in a hot, dry region, and much water is lost through evaporation. One of the world's saltiest waters, large amounts of its salts are extracted. It supports no life.

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"Dead Sea." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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