Ancient meteor explosion “could explain the biblical story of Sodom and Gomorrah”
The story of Sodom and Gomorrah in the book of Genesis, where God “rains burning sulfur” on the cities, might have a grain of truth, archaeologists say.
A meteor that exploded over the Dead Sea 3,700 years ago with the force of a nuclear device could have wiped out tens of thousands of people and devastated a large area, researchers say.
Tests on the soil suggest it was contaminated with salts, rendering it incapable of being cultivated for hundreds of years, the researchers said.
An excavation in the Bronze Age city of Tall el-Hamman (which some believe to be the biblical city of Sodom) suggests that the heavily defended city (with 15-meter-high walls) was destroyed by a powerful wave of choc.
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Writing in an article titled “The 3.7KYrBP End of Civilization Event: Archaeological Data, Sample Analyzes, and Biblical Implications,” the researchers say the explosion may have wiped out settlements in an area of 193 square miles.
Previously, archaeologists believed the settlement might have been damaged by an earthquake, but the damage to the walls is directional – hinting that it could be a shock wave.
A pottery shard found at the site also had a side melted into glass – which the researchers said could have been caused by a sudden temperature of 4000 ° C.
Soil samples also show high levels of sulphates, which may mean the area was unable to support agriculture for hundreds of years after the explosion, which the researchers say could be equivalent to a 10 megaton nuclear device.
The researchers write: “the archaeological data collected on the entire professional footprint of Tall el-Hammam, [demonstrates] a model of directionality for the explosive 3.7KYrBP event of Kikkar which, in an instant, devastated approximately 500 km2 immediately north of the Dead Sea, wiping out not only 100% of … towns and villages, but also tearing up soils agricultural once – fertile fields and a blanket… Tall el-Hammam — with a superheated brine of Dead Sea anhydride salts pushed across the landscape by the frontal shock wave of The Event. ‘