Archeologists think they have discovered biblical sin city Sodom

By @vitthernandez on
  • Sodom 4
    Angels guide Lot and his family out of Sodom while his wife is turned into a pillar of salt for watching the destruction of the city - disobeying God's command. Woodcut from the Nuremberg Chronicle, the work of Hartmann Schedel (1493). Facebook/TeHEP
  • Sodom 2
    Some of the ruins of Tall el-Hammam where archaeologists have been excavating for over a decade. (Impacto Evangelístico). (Deror_avi/CC-BY-SA-3.0) Facebook/TeHEP
  • Sodom 3
    About four meters below the modern surface of Tall el-Hammam, excavators encountered a house from the middle of the Bronze Age that is located in a "layer of destruction." This house is about three meters (9.8 feet) below the Iron Age stratus. Bottom left, Steven Collins, director of the project ( Facebook/TeHEP
  • Sodom 5
    The city of the biblical Sodom appears to have been uncovered by US archaeologists in southern Jordan. The city, which - together with Gomorrah - is biblically associated with sodomy, was supposed to be condemned to a fiery death by the biblical God for their sins. Facebook/TeHep
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Archeologists believe that they have unearthed the biblical city of Sodom in Tall el-Hammam, an excavation site in Jordan.

The team, led by Steven Collins, has been digging in the site since 2005 and since found palace structures, towers and defence structures. These structures includes walls that are 10 metres high and five metres thick, as well as gates, towers and plazas.

Collins says that to find the city that God burned because of the sins of its residents, the team searched for the largest city on eastern Kikkar which existed during the Middle Bronze Age, the time when Abraham and Lot, his nephew, lived.

Tall el-Hammam, he says, is five to 10 times bigger than other Bronze Age sites in the whole region. It is found in southern Jordan Valley, or eight miles northeast of the Dead Sea. One of its geographical characteristics is a large mound that dominates the landscape. It apparently has a lower city and an upper city to show economic class distinction.

The upper city, the residence of the rich, had ramparts to protect its affluent residents. To build these ramparts, millions of bricks and manpower were utilised, Collins tells Popular Archeology. The protection was not just for homes but also the ruler’s palace, temples and administrative buildings.

The Biblical account of Sodom’s last days is about the failure of angels, disguised as people, to find 10 righteous people, save for Lot, who was told to flee the city which was destroyed by fire while the people became pillars of salt, including Lot’s wife who looked back as Sodom was burning.

Interpretations by various groups about the sins of Sodom residents vary, from being inhospitable to strangers to raping males, which is how anal sex or sodomy got its name. Scripture also says God destroyed Sodom and another city, Gomorrah, with sulfur.

In what appears to corroborate with the account written in Genesis, the first book of the Christian bible, “life in the city appears to have come to a sudden halt near the end of the Middle Bronze Age and was all but abandoned for 700 years,” archeologists say.

The archeologists, who call themselves TeHEP team, admit that in their field, many feel that archeology should not be used to prove biblical narratives. They say, “We agree that objective archeology should take us where the evidence leads; but we also understand the importance of ancient texts like the Bible that often provide an historical framework for the identification of geographical locations.”

They add that responsible archeology taps all possible resources “to gain a window into the past.” Such an outlook has led to the proper identification of Jordanian sites such as Heshbon, Aroer, Dibon, Nebo and Bethany Beyond Jordan.

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