The Dead Sea or The Sea of Death
Come with me as we visit the lowest and saltiest place on earth, “The Dead sea” a body of water so salty it is also called “The Sea of Death”.
- Make up and location of the Dead Sea
- The Source of the Dead Sea
- The shores of Israel
- The City of Jericho
- Epilogue health effects and the “Dead Sea”
Make up and location of the Dead Sea
The dead sea is really not a sea at all, it is large salt lake, bordering Jordan to the east and Israel and the West Bank to the west. Its surface and shores are 423 meters below sea level and is the Earth's lowest point on land. The Dead Sea is 377 m deep, the deepest saline lake in the world and because it is 8.6 times saltier than any other ocean it is nearly completely void of life, hence its other name “The Sea of Death". At its widest point the “Dead Sea” is 18 miles wide and at its longest point 67 kilometers wide. Situated in the Jordan Rift Valley it gets its supply of water from the Jordan River.
The Source of the Dead Sea
The dead sea gets its water from the River Jordan. The River Jordan now serves as the boarder line between the state of Israel and of the disputed Palestinian Territories. It is also the river that feeds the Sea of Galilee and is the river that John the Baptist apparently baptized Jesus. The waters of the upper reaches of the river (above the Sea of Galilee) are still kept pristine and used for the christening of heirs and princes in several Christian royal houses, up to this day. Below the sea of Galilee the river has become much more polluted due to the effects of damming and industrial polluted.
The shores of Israel
As we enter the “Dead Sea” from the “river Jordan, to the left are the shores of Israel and to the right are the shores of Jordan. It is on these shores of Israel that we find the caves, where the “Dead Sea Scrolls” were found. In these caves it is said that various sects of Jews settled in the time of King David, the best known of these are the Essene of Qumran and it is them who wrote and hid the “Dead Sea Scrolls” within the caves. As we exit these caves and walk down towards the shore, we find the small town of Ein Gedi which is mentioned many times in the testament and it is here they built a large temple, overlooking the shores of the Dead Sea (the ruins of which can still be seen today). The actual town had one purpose and that was to produce a fragrance to be used in the temple and for export made of "Sodom Salt". After a few years though, many residence began to go blind after using this fragrance, so it was deemed to be to dangerous for home use and the fragrance was just used within the temple. These people lived quite, quite lives, up until the conquest of there lands by the Romans.
The City of Jericho
Leaving the small town of Ein Gedi we walk towards the shoreline and hitch a lift with one of the friendly “Essene” sailors and sail north, to the north shore of the “Dead Sea”. One thing you notice while sailing is the intense quietness due to the lack of life in the sea and the lack of birds flying above you. As we near the northern shore we see the flat expansive land of the northern flatland's and in the distance, shimmering on the horizon (about 5 kilometers) we can see a continual range of mountains, it is within these mountains nestled on a flat plateau where the biblical city of Jericho is located. Jericho is situated well below sea level and Jericho is said to be the lowest permanently,continuously inhabited city on earth. Described in the Old Testament as the "City of Palm Trees", copious springs in and around Jericho have made it an attractive site for human habitation, for thousands of years. It is also known in Judeo Christian traditions, as the place the Israelites' returned from bondage in Egypt, led by Joshua, the successor to Moses. Archaeologists have unearthed the remains of more than 20 successive settlements in Jericho, the first of which dates back 11,000 years, it is also said to be the home of King Herod. King Herod originally leased Jericho from Cleopatra, after Mark Antony gave it to her as a gift. After their joint suicide in 30 BCE, Octavian assumed control of the Roman Empire and granted Herod free rein over Jericho, as part of the new Herodian domain.The Christian Gospels also state that Jesus passed through Jericho where he healed one or two blind beggars and inspired a local chief tax-collector named Zacchaeus to repent of his dishonest practices. The road between Jerusalem and Jericho is the setting for the Parable of the Good Samaritan.
Epilogue health effects and the “Dead Sea”
Today many people travel to the Dead Sea for the areas apparent health reasons and its climate.The Dead Sea mineral content of the water, have a very low content of pollens and other allergens in the atmosphere, the reduced ultraviolet component of solar radiation and the higher atmospheric pressure at this great depth, each have specific health effects. For example, persons suffering reduced respiratory function from diseases such as, cystic fibrosis seem to benefit from the increased atmospheric pressure.
Psoriasis suffers flock to the Dead Sea because they have the ability to sunbathe for long periods in the area, due to its position below sea level and subsequent result that many of the sun's harmful UV rays are reduced. Rhinosinusitis patients receiving “Dead Sea” saline nasal irrigation, exhibited significantly better symptom relief compared to standard hypertonic saline spray. Dead Sea Mud pack therapy has been suggested to temporarily relieve pain in patients with osteoarthritis of the knees.
As you can see the “Dead Sea” is alive with history and is said to be the cradle of life and whatever the “Dead Sea” is called, it i cannot be describe as “The Sea of Death” as our man title suggests. In-fact the “Dead Sea can be called the “Sea of Destiny” as it is said, all things return to its point of origin, the “Dead Sea.
Credits Wikipedia and Britannica for dates and Wikipedia for pictures