Aharon Oren (born in 1952 in Zwolle) studied microbiology and biochemistry in Groningen, and obtained his PhD degree from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He is emeritus professor of the Hebrew University, and he received honorary doctorates from the University of Osnabrück, the Charles University in Prague, the University of Ljubljana, and the Babeş-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca. His main research interests are the adaptation of microorganisms to life at high salt concentrations, the microbiology of the Dead Sea and other hypersaline environments, and bacterial taxonomy and nomenclature.

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Thema 4 - Oude en moderne geschiedenis - Europa en Israël / Old and modern history - Europe and Israel

Two and a half thousand years of navigation on the Dead Sea (EN)

Except for a small boat for touristic cruises, no ships are sailing the Dead Sea today. However, the lake was extensively navigated in the past. In this talk, I will explore the history of navigation on the Dead Sea, starting with the remains of a more than two thousand years old shipyard and anchors from that period, documents from the time of the Bar Kochba revolution and from the crusader period, and the representation of ships on the Madaba mosaic map. I will then discuss the boats used by explorers in the nineteenth century and document the many kinds of ships and other devices that have sailed the lake in the past century, including a World War I bomber plane with floats instead of wings, and even a yellow submarine.