Could the biblical story that recounts the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah be based on a natural apocalypse that occurred around the Dead Sea sopra the Middle East?
Book of Genesis
One of them has stood for thousands of years as a powerful lesson durante the perils of wickedness: the story of Sodom and Gomorrah.
According esatto the Bible, the men of Sodom ‘were wicked, such sinners against the Raffinato, He decided to destroy them’. God allowed Lot, the one good man living there, to flee the town with his family, before God showed his wrath. But Lot’s wife disobeyed God’s warning not esatto look back swingingheaven 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 preciso them: soon the Raffinato showed his displeasure, and ‘rained down fire and brimstone. He destroyed everyone living there and everything growing durante the ground’.
The story is certainly dramatic – but is it just sceneggiato? There’s niente affatto agreement among archaeologists, scientists and Biblical scholars that Sodom, and its sister town Gomorrah, existed at all – let aureola that it came sicuro a sudden and apocalyptic end.
However, one man is convinced that Sodom and Gomorrah not only existed, but were also destroyed by verso terrible natural apocalypse matching the description con the Book of Genesis. Graham Harris is per retired geologist with verso passion for solving ancient riddles – and the clues preciso this one, he says, are per the Bible itself.
The Bible places Sodom and Gomorrah con the region of the Dead Sea, between what are now Israel and Jordan durante the Middle East. Harris spent per addirittura convinced the conditions there were right for a huge earthquake that would trigger a massive landslide. So complete would be the destruction, the event would pass into folklore.
Could science prove that Harris’s contesto might have happened? Professor Lynne Frostick, a geologist from Hull University con England, and Jonathan Tubb from the British Museum, decided esatto investigate just that.
They travelled esatto the Middle East esatto pursue their research, and their findings there enabled Dr Gopal Madabhushi, at the Cambridge University Centrifuge Laboratory back sopra England, puro build an accurate scaled-down model of the buildings mediante Sodom, and the ground on which they stood. Dr Madabhushi then subjected the model to verso simulated earthquake – and his data 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 reparto around the Dead Sea is now parched and barren, and the image of thriving towns is incongruous. But there was one point in 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 mediante 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 durante the early Bronze Age? According sicuro 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 to death – possibly because an earthquake brought down verso stone tower on culmine of them. Carbon dating put the date of the tower’s beams at 2350 BC – the early Bronze Age.