A.D. Riddle (whose mapping skills I have previously highlighted) and David Parker have posted an animated map of “The Dead Sea: A History of Change” showing its water levels, shorelines, and nearby settlements. According to their description:
This is an animated map of the level of the Dead Sea throughout the late Holocene (3500 BC to present).A.D. Riddle indicated to me that the map was created in Adobe Flash with the interactivity coded in ActionScript.
Lying along the great Afro-=Arabian Rift, the Dead Sea marks the lowest point on the earth’s surface at 422 m below sea level. Because of its low elevation the Dead Sea collects runoff from an extensive catchment area, and since it is a terminal lake with no outflow, the lake acts as a rain gauge, a good indicator other region’s climate.
To create our map, we have drawn upon the synthetic studies of Frumkin and Beitzel which utilize, among other things, pollen values and the locations of ancient harbors to determine the lake’s size.
It’s a fascinating and helpful depiction that does an excellent job of making better sense of the history in the Dead Sea region. Thanks for sharing this map!