Dead Sea coast
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Sediments reveal Dead Sea dry-down

Sediments drilled from beneath the Dead Sea reveal that this most remarkable of water bodies all but disappeared 120,000 years ago.

It is a discovery of high concern say scientists because it demonstrates just how dry the Middle East can become during Earth's warm phases.

In such ancient times, few if any humans were living around the Dead Sea. Today, its feed waters are intercepted by large populations and the lake level is declining rapidly.

Prof Steve Goldstein explained to Jonathan Amos exactly what the drill core revealed.