Israel Antiquities Authority

The city of salt. Pesach Bar-Adon identified the fifth of the six cities “in the wilderness” that were allotted to Judah (Joshua 15:16–62), the City of Salt, as Ein el-Turaba. This square fort on the western coast of the Dead Sea, seen in the background, contains eight rooms and a ramp for access (see plan), as well as a courtyard with two rows of column bases and guard rooms on each side of the entrance. In this photographic view from the northwest the western portion of the courtyard lies in the center foreground, and the partially preserved ramp (built parallel to the wall to increase the assailants’ exposure to the defenders and to make the assailants turn before entering the fort) shows that it was an important fort. In addition to defense, the fort may have served as a storage facility for salt awaiting shipment, hence the name City of Salt.