5,000 Years of History
King David, King Herod, Jesus, and John the Baptist were closely linked with the
Dead Sea and its surroundings.
The prophets knew it via the infamous Sodom and Gomorra. During the Egyptian
conquest it is said that Queen Cleopatra obtained exclusive rights to build cosmetic
and pharmaceutical factories in the area.
Later on, the wily Nabateans discovered the value of bitumen extracted from the
Dead Sea needed by the Egyptians for embalming their mummies.
Aristotle wrote about the remarkable waters. In Roman times the Essenes settled in
Qumran on the Dead Sea's northern shore as a place of refuge and on the heights of
Masada a small group of rebellious Jewish zealots held out against the might of the
The remoteness of the region attracted Greek OrtHodox monks since the
Byzantine era. Their monasteries such as Saint George in Wadi Kelt and Mar
Saba in the Judean Desert are places of pilgrimage.
Bedouin tribes have continuously lived in the area and more recently explorers and
scientists arrived to analyze the minerals and conduct research into the unique
climate. Since the 1960s, tourists from all the over world have also explored the
Dead Sea region.