An esteemed archaeologist from Trinity Southwest University in Albuquerque, New Mexico, believes he has found the remains of the biblical city Sodom. The findings back up the biblical account of a thriving city struck down by a sudden fiery destruction. The archaeologist, Dr. Steven Collins, has been excavating the ill-fated city for 10 years and is "confident" the city is Sodom. Furthermore, Collins notes that the findings at the site back up the biblical account of Sodom's sudden fiery destruction.
The Christian News Network reports that Dr. Steven Collins used location clues within the Bible to better determine the location of the doomed city. Collins then cross-referenced the biblical text with known locations of cities in the Jordan River Valley. Collins identified one particular city that met all of the criteria laid out for Sodom in the Bible which included being the largest of the Jordan "disk" (well-watered plain area) during the Middle Bronze Age. The city was named Tall el-Hammam and is believed by Collins to be the city called Sodom in the Bible.
Collins notes that identifying Tall el-Hammam as Sodom was a "no-brainer" as it perfectly fits into the biblical text.
"Tall el-Hammam seemed to match every Sodom criterion demanded by the text. When we explored the area, the choice of Tall el-Hammam as the site of Sodom was virtually a no-brainer since it was at least five to ten times larger than all the other Bronze Age sites in the entire region, even beyond the Kikkar of the Jordan."Though excavations of the site have been ongoing, recent findings suggest a "sudden, inexplicable" end to the thriving city. The remains of an "elaborate city infrastructure, including gates, towers, plazas, at least one roadway, and a thick city wall" indicates a city that was large and thriving prior to its demise. However, the remains also indicate a "sudden" abandonment of the city, leaving it a ghost town for over 700 years.
"Based on the excavated evidence, the city's Bronze Age heyday seems to have nevertheless come to a sudden, inexplicable end toward the end of the Middle Bronze Age—and the ancient city became a relative wasteland for 700 years, for the most part void of human habitation."
This sudden abandonment of the thriving city would back up the Bible's account that Sodom was destroyed by God as the destruction was otherwise "inexplicable." However, another piece of evidence suggests that the alleged Sodom was destroyed by fire, which would also back up the biblical account of Sodom's fiery destruction. The archaeologists found a massive ash layer that indicates that the city may have ended its long-running reign as an economic powerhouse due to a large fire. Following its fiery demise, archaeologists say it appears the city remained vacant for nearly 700 years.
"Its massive size and remarkable fortifications, the monumental gateway, its attending satellite towns, and its violent, fiery destruction, all scream 'Sodom,'. It's compelling."
Dr. Steven Collins says he is "increasingly confident" that Tall el-Hammam is actually the biblical city of Sodom and that the distinctive ash layer could be used to backup the biblical account of Sodom's fiery end at the hands' of God.
What do you think about the findings? If Tall el-Hammam is Sodom, does the new findings back up biblical claims that the sinful city was stricken down in flames from God?
[Image Credit: Tall el-Hammam Excavation Project]