Erich Lessing

“THE CITY OF PALMS.” Despite the low levels of the Dead Sea valley, the city of Jericho, just north of the sea, flourished on the fresh water of nearby springs throughout the Biblical period. Large plantations of date palms were cultivated to produce dates, date honey and date wine, thus earning the site the moniker “city of palm trees” in Deuteronomy 34:3. Jericho is depicted here, surrounded by palm trees, on the famous sixth-century C.E. Madaba map. Above it, the Jordan River flows into the Dead Sea, where a fish—repulsed by the extreme saltiness of the water—turns back upstream.