Did the Romans during the classical era have a word for a dry, hot, desert? There is desertum, but that is more "wilderness" than explicitly desert in the sense we might think of today. Another possibility is solitudo, as used in this quote , although that seems to have similar meaning like desertum and not specifically a hot desert. Post classical Latin has erema, but is there an equivalent in classical Latin?
In addition to desertum, solitudo and erema, Calonghi dictionary suggests two more choices.
Both here refer to geographic areas (deserta Apuliae and vastitas Lybiae) that may likely have been "proper deserts" a couple of millenniums ago.