Ancient Roman Canals Discovered Near the Dead Sea

February 12, 2016 | Jewish News Service
About the author:

An excavation has unearthed an elaborate system of canals, built in Roman times, near the Dead Sea. The canals were constructed to sustain local agriculture:

The system used gravity to carry water from the Ein Bokek spring to the [region’s terraced farming plots]. The longest of the canals measures 1.2 miles. . . .

[According to archaeologists], “the terraces were used to raise various crops that were apparently used in the process of creating the legendary persimmon perfume. That perfume was known far and wide, and researchers think that on these terraces, the persimmon plants themselves, which were different from the persimmon trees we know today, were grown.”

The area of the Dead Sea Valley in question, from Ein Gedi to Jericho, was the only place in the world where the persimmon was grown, making persimmon products extremely valuable in ancient times. The persimmon perfume was produced by combining resin of persimmon with purified oil and sundry spices.

Read more on JNS: