Supplementary Material: Holocene climate variability in the Levant from the Dead Sea pollen record


The Dead Sea, located at the deepest place on continent and between the subtropical Mediterranean zone and the desert, reflects in its water composition and levels, and sedimentary records the hydrological conditions in the southern Levant region. Temporal variations in rainfall and temperatures of the Holocene Levant are reconstructed here from pollen data recovered from a sediment core drilled at the Ein Gedi shore, applying a novel biome model based on Bayesian statistics. Our results suggest that the regionwas arid and warm in the early Holocene period (w10e6.5 ka cal BP), wetter and colder in the mid Holocene (6.3e3.3 ka cal BP), and drier and warmer in the late Holocene (w3.2 ka cal BP to present). These periods comprise multi-centennial climate cycles that are characterized by rapid changes in temperature and precipitation reflecting Sea Surface Temperature (SST) and atmospheric conditions over the Atlantic Ocean. The pollen record responds within a short time interval to the climate conditions and marks rapid shifts from Mediterranean to desert environmental conditions and back in the southern Levant region.We also evaluate our results in the light of possible disturbances of the natural vegetation, e.g. the possibility of forest decrease, since the Neolithic.

The file contains the biome distributionmap used for the reconstruction.

The data format is NetCDF. Panoply is one of many available viewer (availible for MacOS X, Windows and Linux). It could be downloaded from

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