Biblical Archaeology Review 34:1, January/February 2008

Lot’s Dead Sea Museum: Coming Autumn 2008

A new museum in Jordan will highlight the long cultural heritage of the Dead Sea region. Located near the southeastern shore of the sea, an area traditionally associated with Lot and his family, the Museum at the Lowest Place on Earth is expected to open in autumn 2008 and will feature indoor and outdoor exhibits showcasing the unique topography, geology, local history and archaeological findings of the surrounding area.

The new museum stands mere yards from the cave where Lot and his daughters are believed to have sought refuge on their flight from the doomed cities of Sodom and Gomorrah nearby.a A seventh-century basilica excavated by archaeologist Konstantinos (Dino) Politis confirms that Christians revered the cave as a holy place and made pilgrimages there. Inscriptions found in the church ask for blessings from “Saint Lot.” Although the traditional identification of the cave with Lot can be traced back only to the Byzantine period, archaeological remains indicate that it was inhabited as far back as the Middle Bronze Age.

According to Ihab Amarin, Jordan’s Tourism Ministry Assistant Secretary General, future programs will include tours to the Lot’s Cave complex, the sugar mills on the banks of the sea, and the museum.—D.D.R.

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