Jericho is a city located near the Jordan River in the West Bank. The city may be the oldest continuously occupied city in the world.
Jericho is located 258 metres (846 ft) below sea level in an oasis in Wadi Qelt in the Jordan Valley. The nearby spring of Ein es-Sultan produces 3.8 m3 (1,000 gallons) of water per minute, irrigating some 10 square kilometres (2,500 acres) through multiple channels and feeding into the Jordan River, 10 kilometres (6 mi) away. Annual rainfall is 160 mm (6.4 in), mostly concentrated between November and February. The average temperature is 15 °C (59 °F) in January and 31 °C (88 °F) in August. The constant sunshine, rich alluvial soil, and abundant water from the spring have always made Jericho an attractive place for settlement.
also called the Salt Sea, is a salt lake bordering Jordan to the east, and the Holy Land to the west. Its surface and shores are 427 metres (1,401 ft) below sea level, Earth's lowest elevation on land. The Dead Sea is 306 m (1,004 ft) deep, the deepest hypersaline lake in the world. With 34.2% salinity (in 2011), it is also one of the world's saltiest bodies of water, though Lake Vanda in Antarctica (35%), Lake Assal (Djibouti) (34.8%), Lagoon Garabogazköl in the Caspian Sea (up to 35%) and some hypersaline ponds and lakes of the McMurdo Dry Valleys in Antarctica (such as Don Juan Pond (44%)) have reported higher salinities. It is 9.6 times as salty as the ocean.This salinity makes for a harsh environment in which animals cannot flourish, hence its name. The Dead Sea is 50 kilometres (31 mi) long and 15 kilometres (9 mi) wide at its widest point.
The Dead Sea has attracted visitors from around the Mediterranean basin for thousands of years. 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 balms for Egyptian mummification to potash for fertilizers. People also use the salt and the minerals from the Dead Sea to create cosmetics and herbal sachets.
The Dead Sea seawater has a density of 1.240 kg/L, which makes swimming similar to floating.
Health effects and therapies
The Dead Sea area has become a major center for health research and treatment for several reasons. The mineral content of the water, the 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 experiencing reduced respiratory
function from diseases such as cystic fibrosis seem to benefit from the increased atmospheric pressure.
The region's climate and low elevation have made it a popular center for several types of therapies:
Climatotherapy: Treatment which exploits local climatic features such as temperature, humidity, sunshine, barometric pressure and special atmospheric constituents
Heliotherapy: Treatment that exploits the biological effects of the sun's radiation
Thalassotherapy: Treatment that exploits bathing in Dead Sea water
The climate at the Dead Sea varies depending on the season. Temperatures during the tourist season can become extremely warm, ranging from 30°C (86°F) in the spring to upwards of 40°C (104°F) in the summer. The area receives an average of 330 days of sunshine per year, with rainy days occurring only during winter (if at all).
Although the Dead Sea is very sunny the low altitude and extra atmosphere makes the sunlight weaker. It is therefore said that sunbathing here carries a lower risk of sunburn, but it is still advisable to take normal precautions using sunblock and adapt gradually. This quality of the Dead Sea sunlight is the real secret behind its mythological curing ability for several diseases, especially skin diseases. This is, in fact, natural phototherapy.