A 34.5 m borehole, which was drilled near the Dead Sea coast (altitude -394 m) in the southern part of the fan delta of Wadi Zeelim, reveals the geological history of that area from the latest Pleistocene to present. The depositional time frame is based on six 14C dates and two U-Th dates. An erosional (or nondepositional) period is implied by the hiatus between 21,100 yr B.P. (U-Th age, depth 33 m) and 11,315 yr B.P. (14C age, depth 32 m). A subsequent arid phase is recorded by a 6.5-m-thick layer of halite; based on 14C dates this phase relates to the abrupt Younger Dryas cold period reported in temperate to polar regions. The fragility of the environment in this region is indicated by the fact that the region experienced such a severe, short aridification phase (less than 1000 yr), evidence of which is found widely in the desert fringes of the Middle East and North Africa. The aragonite found in most of the Holocene section indicates that the well site was covered by the lake for most of the Holocene. Exceptions are the intervals at 0-3 and 10-14 m depths which represent low stands of the lake.