So, they found Sodom. Or what was left of it, after the blast.

Via @EsotericCD comes this interesting article:

We present evidence that in ~ 1650 BCE (~ 3600 years ago), a cosmic airburst destroyed Tall el-Hammam, a Middle-Bronze-Age city in the southern Jordan Valley northeast of the Dead Sea. The proposed airburst was larger than the 1908 explosion over Tunguska, Russia, where a ~ 50-m-wide bolide detonated with ~ 1000× more energy than the Hiroshima atomic bomb. 

I get why the article writers don’t want to say that this was Sodom, and I approve of their precision. But I don’t have to share that precision. This was totally Sodom, which is going to be disappointing to a certain segment of online commenters. I was particularly amused by this part:

Early general observations at TeH indicated that the destruction layer is marked by anomalously high concentrations of salt. For example, where the carbon-rich, potentially fertile destruction layer is exposed on the surface of the lower tall, it is unsuitable for agriculture until the salts are leached using local spring water. Some areas of the lower tall have never been farmed, and the MB II surface exposed at ground level turns white with salt crystals following rainfall. For most excavated squares, the newly exposed MB II surface from each day’s archeological excavation produced an obvious white salt crust overnight as humidity leached salt to the surface. Also, we observed that the newly exposed mud/ash mortar between mudbricks hardened after exposure because of salt crystals and that many pottery sherds and some bones from the destruction layer were encrusted with large salt crystals.

Although the part afterward where they said, Oh, hey, one of the walls of Jericho got blown away was pretty interesting, too. I’m not a Bible literalist, to put it mildly, so I’m not really upset to hear of a potentially mundane reason for some of the stories from the Old Testament. I’m sure that the pure secularists aren’t too upset, either. But those particular folks who use the Sodom and Jericho stories as examples of the whole thing being made up? Well, they’re going to be upset.

Bless their hearts.

4 thoughts on “So, they found Sodom. Or what was left of it, after the blast.”

  1. Fascinating. Circa 1650 BC was apparently a pretty exciting time for the Middle East in general. That is around the time the island of Thera blew up and the city of Babylon was leveled by the Hittites. Thanks for the link.

  2. As my old theology and religious history teacher Fr. McManus put it,

    A miracle can have a mundane explanation, and a story from the Bible can have a historical parallel, but neither the explanation nor the parallel contradicts the miraculous or the divine, they merely underscore the lack of faith in those who require answers.

    And in a similar vein, it’s oft said (and I choose to believe) that while many biblical events and personages are unconfirmed, none have been conclusively disproven.

    1. There are no problems when you accept that the Author of the Laws of Nature would know all the loopholes and exploits.

  3. “Tall el-Hammam may be the second oldest city/town destroyed by a cosmic airburst/impact, after Abu Hureyra, Syria, and possibly the earliest site with an oral tradition that was written down (Genesis).”

    or, to translate

    “We’re not saying it was Sodom but it was Sodom.”

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