Could the biblical story that recounts the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah be based on a natural apocalypse that occurred around the Dead Sea per the Middle East?
Book of Genesis
One of them has stood for thousands of years as a powerful lesson con the perils of wickedness: the story of Sodom and Gomorrah tinychat.
According puro the Bible, the men of Sodom ‘were wicked, such sinners against the Raffinato, He decided sicuro destroy them’. God allowed Lot, the one good man living there, sicuro flee the town with his family, before God showed his wrath. But Lot’s wife disobeyed God’s warning not esatto aspetto back towards Sodom as she fled, and she was turned into a pillar of salt, where she stood.
For the wicked people of Sodom, not even that escape was open puro them: soon the Lord showed his displeasure, and ‘rained down fire and brimstone. He destroyed everyone living there and everything growing per the ground’.
The story is certainly dramatic – but is it just fiction? There’s mai agreement among archaeologists, scientists and Biblical scholars that Sodom, and its sister town Gomorrah, existed at all – let aureola that it came esatto per sudden and apocalyptic end.
However, one man is convinced that Sodom and Gomorrah not only existed, but were also destroyed by per terrible natural apocalypse matching the description con the Book of Genesis. Graham Harris is a retired geologist with verso passion for solving ancient riddles – and the clues to this one, he says, are per the Bible itself.
The Bible places Sodom and Gomorrah per the region of the Dead Sea, between what are now Israel and Jordan sopra the Middle East. Harris spent a anche convinced the conditions there were right for per huge earthquake that would trigger per massive landslide. So complete would be the destruction, the event would pass into folklore.
Could science prove that Harris’s ambiente might have happened? Professor Lynne Frostick, verso geologist from Hull University sopra England, and Jonathan Tubb from the British Museum, decided preciso investigate just that.
They travelled onesto the Middle East onesto pursue their research, and their findings there enabled Dr Gopal Madabhushi, at the Cambridge University Centrifuge Laboratory back con England, to build an accurate scaled-down model of the buildings sopra Sodom, and the ground on which they stood. Dr Madabhushi then subjected the model preciso per simulated earthquake – and his giorno provided the ultimate proof on whether whole towns could have been destroyed.
The dwellings of Sodom slide towards the Dead Sea during the liquefaction event © Jonathan Tubb started by working out whether Sodom and Gomorrah actually existed. The whole settore around the Dead Sea is now parched and barren, and the image of thriving towns is incongruous. But there was one point mediante the history of the region when a wetter climate meant the entire area could well have thrived – con the early Bronze Age, between 1800 BC and 2300 BC.
Tubb excavated per site called Tell es-Sa’idiyeh, north of the Dead Sea. He found evidence of an early olive oil factory, showing how sophisticated life had become, even per these ancient times. Tubb believes the early Bronze Age was the only time that towns matching the descriptions of Sodom and Gomorrah could have existed at all.
So were there big earthquakes con the early Bronze Age? According preciso American forensic anthropologist Professor Mike Finnegan, the answer is yes. He has examined the skeletons of three men discovered at the early Bronze Age site of Numeira near the Dead Sea. From the way their bones were broken, he concluded that they were crushed onesto death – possibly because an earthquake brought down a stone tower on apice of them. Carbon dating put the date of the tower’s beams at 2350 BC – the early Bronze Age.