Dead Sea photographs from the nineteenth century
The invention of the camera in 1839 opened new vistas and opportunities the world over. As to the Near East, this development meant people could now view the lands of the Bible, previously only imagined and documented in other artistic media. The first known photograph of the Dead Sea was taken in 1857, and in the decades that followed, numerous photographers captured this landscape for purposes of science, commerce, and religion. This chapter offers a short review of Dead Sea photography prior to 1900, focusing on images that provide details of interest to the environmental and earth sciences community, and that can be precisely traced and located today. Moreover, it contains a relevant initial database of images and their sources, dates, and bibliographical information, marking the first step in cataloging the photographs of the Dead Sea from the nineteenth century.