The Dead Sea is often described by authors in Antiquity. Four of these authors, the first known to provide measurements for the body of water, are addressed here. Their reports, which are a wealthy source of information on the way the ancients grasped their surrounding maritime area, are examined. Considering the measurements obtained scientifically in recent studies concerning the period when the texts were redacted, one might be puzzled by the seeming discrepancy between the ancient and modern sets of data. Unfamiliarity with ancient units of measurement and their meaning, especially their use in a nautical context, may explain some of the confusion. The present paper presents a multi-disciplinary study combining philological, geological and metrological approaches, displays the differences and tries to account for them.
|Number of pages
|Israel Exploration Journal
|Published - 2019
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