Built at the lowest elevation on earth, museum showcases Dead Sea region’s rich past
In addition to highlighting the unique environmental and geological conditions that make the Dead Sea the lowest elevation on earth, the museum showcases the rich archaeological and cultural heritage of the diverse populations that have inhabited Zoar (Zoora) and the shores of the Dead Sea over the millennia. Visitors to the Lot’s cave museum can even see 4,500-year-old pottery excavated from the sites of Bab edh-Dhra and Numeira, thought by many to be the Biblical cities of Sodom and Gomorrah from which Lot and his daughters fled.**
Ancient tombstones recovered from the region’s many cemeteries help tell the story of the Arab, Jewish and Christian communities that lived and died in Zoar (Zoora) in the Hellenized, cosmopolitan world of late antiquity. Still another exhibit features finds from the Monastery of Saint Lot, including delicately-crafted architectural pieces and mosaics from the Byzantine period, and even Bronze Age ceramics recovered from inside Lot’s cave. A final gallery displays objects from Ghor es-Safi’s more recent past, including artifacts from the intensive sugar industry that flourished in Zoar (Zoora) during the Mamluk period (13th–16th centuries), as well as handicrafts and daily implements used by the Bedouin and villagers who live in the area today.
In addition, visitors to the new Lot’s cave museum can sit in a small indoor theater and enjoy short films about the project’s mosaic conservation efforts or the geology of the Dead Sea and the Rift Valley. In the near future, the museum will also feature a number of special exhibits on the archaeology of the Zoar (Zoora) region, ranging from “Seafaring on the Dead Sea” to “Zoar’s Pottery Through the Ages.”
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