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.