History of the Dead Sea
The Dead Sea region is rich in human history, with some of the world's most famous historical figures - King David, The Essenes, Cleopatra and King Herod - having played important roles in its evolution and lore. The Ancient Egyptians used bitumen extracted from the Dead Sea for embalming their deceased (leaving us with preserved mummies almost 3,000 years later). Aristotle is known to have written about the Dead Sea (called "Lake Asphaltites" by the ancient Greeks), and later, many Dead Sea products, including salts, water and asphalt were imported to Rome for their unique medicinal and industrial purposes. Dead Sea flora, especially the balsam tree, were the source of highly sought-after perfumes and cosmetics, including myrrh (Balm of Gilead), which is found in the writings of the both the Old and New Testaments.
Perhaps most importantly, the Dead Sea has been revered for millennia because of its singular combination of spa-like features: consistent yet low UV sun radiation, high oxygen levels, a mineral-rich sea unlike any other on earth, geothermal springs, and a mineral-rich mud known around the world for its healing, restorative properties. King Herod and Cleopatra were known to have spent much time there, "taking the cure," and tens of thousands of modern-day "Herods and Cleopatras" continue to visit the shores of the Dead Sea each year to experience its healing and curative benefits.