Jericho and the Dead Sea


jerichoJericho is the oldesttown in the world, dating back more than 10,000 years. Known as the “City of Palms”, Jericho contains some of the world’s most important historic sites and is frequently mentioned in the Bible. Jericho’s moderate climate makes it a favorite winter resort. It is an important agricultural area, producing fresh fruits, and vegetables year round. Jericho dates, bananas, and citrus fruits are especially famous.

  • ANCIENT JERICHO: Situated on a mound overlooking the Jericho oasis, excavations at Tell al-Sultan uncovered 23 layers of ancient civilizations, dating back to 9000 BC. Many structures are visible, including the oldest known stairs in the world, the oldest wall, and massive defense tower, dating back to 7000 BC.
  • MONASTERY OF TEMPTATION: the summit of Mount Temptation, offering a magnificent view of the Jordan Valley, is the site where Jesus spent forty days and nights fasting and meditating during the temptation of Satan. The path leading to Deir Quruntel is very steep and difficult to climb, but is well worth the walk. The caves on the eastern slopes of the mountain have been inhabited by monks and hermits since the early days of Christianity.
  • WADI QELT & SAINT GEORGE MONASTERY: Clinging to the steep cliff of the Wadi Qelt above a small garden with olive trees and cypresses, this perfect example of a Monastery in the Judean Desert has always been famous for its hospitality which, from the C6, has also been extended to women. Today, it is a wonderful place for hiking tours, especially in winter.
  • 88441128HISHAM PALACE: Representing a sample of early Islamic architecture, the ruins of this impressive desert palace of the Umayyad Caliph Hisham is complex of royal building, mosques, baths, and colonnaded courts. There are also spectacular mosaics floors can be seen including the “Tree of Life” mosaic, one of the most beautiful in the world. Another famous feature is a courtyard framework featuring the shape of hexagonal Umayyad star.
  • NEBI MUSA: The complex of Nebi Musa is a splendid of Islamic Architecture. According to Muslim traditional, it is the burial place of Nebi Musa. It was the site of a MOULED that traveled from Jerusalem and seems to have been inaugurated under Saladin.
  • GOOD SAMARITAN INN & SAINT EUTHYMIUS CHURCH: Located 10 km east of Jerusalem, on the mian road to Jericho, this inn is a 16th century structure where travelers on this ancient trade route stopped to rest. On the other side of road are the remains of Saint Euthymius Church built in the 5th century to commemorate Jesus famous parable of the Good Samaritan.

Dead Sea

F90deadseaThe Dead Sea also called the Salt Sea, is a salt lake bordered by Jordan to the east and Israel and the West Bank to the west. Its surface and shores are 429 meters (1,407 ft) below sea level, Earth's lowest elevationon land. The Dead Sea is 304 m (997 ft) deep, the deepest hypersaline lake in the world.This salinity makes for a harsh environment in which animals cannot flourish, hence its name. The Dead Sea is 50 kilometers (31 mi) long and 15 kilometers (9 mi) wide at its widest point. It lies in the Jordan Rift Valleyand its main tributary is the Jordan River.

The Dead Sea has attracted visitors from around the Mediterranean basinfor thousands of years. In the Bible, it is a place of refuge for King David. It was one of the world's first health resorts (for Herod the Great), and it has been the supplier of a wide variety of products, from asphalt for Egyptian mummification to potash for fertilizers. People also use the salt and the minerals from the Dead Sea to create cosmetic sand herbal sachets.

The Dead Sea water has a density of 1.24 kg/liter, which makes swimming similar to floating.

  • Etymology and toponymy

In Hebrew, the Dead Sea is  Yām ha-Melaḥ, meaning "sea of salt" (Genesis14:3). In the Bible, the Dead Sea is called the Salt Sea, the Sea of the Arabah, and the Eastern Sea. The designation "Dead Sea" never appears in the Bible.

In prose sometimes the term Yām ha-Māvet "sea of death" is used, due to the scarcity of aquatic life there.In Arabic the Dead Sea is called al-Bahr al-Mayyit "the Dead Sea", or less commonly baḥr lūṭ "the Sea of Lot". Another historic name in Arabic was the "Sea of Zoʼar", after a nearby town in biblical times. The Greeks called it Lake Asphaltites, "the Asphaltitesea". The Bible also refers to it as Yām ha-Mizraḥî "the Eastern sea" and Yām ha-‘Ărāvâ "Sea of the Arabah".

  • Geography

The Dead Sea is an endorheic lake located in the Jordan Rift Valley, a geographic feature formed by the Dead Sea Transform (DST). This left lateral-moving transform faultlies along the tectonic plate boundary between the African Plate and the Arabian Plate. It runs between the East Anatolian Faultzone inTurkey and the northern end of the Red Sea Rift offshore of the southern tip of Sinai. It is here that the Upper Jordan River/ Sea of Galilee/ Lower Jordan River water system comes to an end.

The Jordan Riveris the only major water source flowing into the Dead Sea, although there are small perennial springs under and around the Dead Sea, forming pools and quicks and pits along the edges.There are no outlet streams.

Rainfall is scarcely 100 mm (4 in) per year in the northern part of the Dead Sea and barely 50 mm (2 in) in the southern part. The Dead Sea zone's aridity is due to the rain shadow effect of the Judean Mountains. The highlands east of the Dead Sea receive more rainfall than the Dead Sea itself.

To the west of the Dead Sea, the Judean Mountains rise less steeply and are much lower than the mountains to the east. Along the southwestern side of the lake is a 210 m (700 ft) tall halite formation called “Mount Sodom ‘’.

  • Natural history

Dead SeaThere are two contending hypotheses about the origin of the low elevation of the Dead Sea. The older hypothesis is that it lies in a true rift zone, an extension of the Red Sea Rift, or even of the Great Rift Valley ofe astern Africa. A more recent hypothesis is that the Dead Sea basin is a consequence of a "step-over" discontinuity along the Dead Sea Transform, creating an extension of the crust with consequent subsidence.

Around 3.7 million years ago, what is now the valley of the Jordan River, Dead Sea, and the northern Wadi Arabah was repeatedly inundated by waters from the Mediterranean Sea. The waters formed in a narrow, crooked bay, called by geologists the Sedom Lagoon, which was connected to the sea through what is now the Jezreel Valley. The floods of the valley came and went depending on long-scale climate change. The Sedom Lagoon deposited beds of salt that eventually became 2.5 km thick.

Approximately two million years ago the land between the Rift Valley and the Mediterranean Sea rose to such an extent that the ocean could no longer flood the area. Thus, the long lagoon became a land locked lake. The Sedom Lagoon extended at its maximum from the Sea of Galilee in the north to somewhere around 50 km (30 mi) south of the current southern end of the Dead Sea, and the subsequent lakes obviously never surpassed this expanse. The Hula Depression was never part of any of these water bodies due to its higher elevation and the high threshold of the Korazim block separating it from the Sea of Galilee basin.

The first prehistoric lake to follow the Sedom Lagoon is named Lake Amora, followed by Lake Lisanand finally by the Dead Sea. The water levels and salinity of these lakes have either risen or fallen as an effect of the tectonic dropping of the valley bottom, and due to climate variation. As the climate became more arid, Lake Lisan finally shrank and became saltier, leaving the Dead Sea as its last remainder.

Pebbles cemented with halite on the western shore of the Dead Sea near Ein Gedi.

In prehistoric times, great amounts of sediment collected on the floor of Lake Amora. The sediment was heavier than the salt deposits and squeezed the salt deposits upwards into what are now the Lisan Peninsulaand Mount Sodom (on the southwest side of the lake). Geologists explain the effect in terms of a bucket of mud into which a large flat stone is placed, forcing the mud to creep up the sides of the bucket. When the floor of the Dead Sea dropped further due to tectonic forces, the salt mounts of Lisan and Mount Sodom stayed in place as high cliffs (sea salt dome).

From 70,000 to 12,000 years ago, the lake's level was 100 m (330 ft) to 250 m (820 ft) higher than its current level. This lake, Lake Lisan, fluctuated dramatically, rising to its highest level around 26,000 years ago, indicating a very wet climate in the Near East. Around 10,000 years ago, the lake's level dropped dramatically, probably to even lower than today's. During the last several thousand years, the lake has fluctuated approximately 400 m (1,300 ft), with some significant drops and rises. Current theories as to the cause of this dramatic drop in levels rule outvolcanic activity, therefore, it may have been a seismic event.

THE JORDAN RIVER: The Jordan River is an unusual stream that flows from Mount Hermon to the Dead Sea. Jesus came to the Jordan River from Galilee to be baptized by John. Since then, the river has been important to all Christian, especially to get baptized.

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