For the ancient evidence, see Ellsworth Huntington, Palestine and its Transformation (London and New York: 1911), chap. 14, “The Fluctuations of the Dead Sea,” especially pp. 318–319. For the modern evidence, see the discussion of the hydrology in the Atlas of Israel, “Hydrology” and Cippora Klein, “On the Fluctuations of the Level of the Dead Sea Since the Beginning of the Nineteenth Century” (Hydrological Paper no. 7, 1961, revised 1965). The Dead Sea would have been of considerably greater length than it is now, as Huntington’s discussion of possible seacoast sites testifies.

The Israelite and Roman sites between Qumran and Feshka, as indicated by the reasonably precise map references in the Judea-Samaria-Golan survey, seem to be on the same level above the water, between the -375m and the -350m contours. This would place them close to the water’s edge. In other words, the shore line was between the -375m mark and its present level. The sea height, as suggested, would have allowed the mouth of Wadi Qumran to provide some security from the sudden squalls to which the Dead Sea is prone.