A fireball exploded over the northern shore of the Dead Sea around 1650 BC, according to the findings of a multidiscipline team of 21 scientists. The explosion laid waste to the entire lower Jordan River Valley, sowing Dead Sea saltiness that ruined agriculture for several hundred years.
The huge 100-acre city located at what is today called Tall el-Hammam east of the Jordan River was destroyed, along with a dozen other smaller cities and multiple small villages. They were abandoned and uninhabited for hundreds of years.
The highly technical report—published this week in Scientific Reports, an online peer-reviewed journal, and already accessed more than 100,000 times—noted in conclusion the similarity to the biblical account of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah: “There are no known ancient writings or books of the Bible, other than Genesis, that describe what could be construed as the destruction of a city by an airburst/impact event.”
However, amid the wave of headlines, the unofficial peer reviews on social media from a number of archaeologists with varying degrees of familiarity with the Tall el-Hammam excavation were highly skeptical. As Christianity Today reported seven years ago, few archaeologists outside of those working on the excavation team believe that Tall el-Hammam is Sodom.
“In my opinion, this is an example of evidence being marshaled to support the identification of the site as Sodom, as opposed to letting the site speak for itself and then—if the evidence supports it—put forth a proposal of it as Sodom,” archaeologist Robert Mullins told CT. Chair of the Department of Biblical Studies at Azusa Pacific University, he currently codirects the excavation at Abel Beth Maacah, a site in northern Israel. He is also listed on the Tall el-Hammam excavation website as a ceramic consultant.
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Source: Christianity Today