According to the Christian bible, the towns of Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed by God because of their sinning behaviour. According to recent analysis, it appears that an asteroid explosion 3,700 years ago was in fact to blame.
The site of Tall el-Hammam which is located in the Jordan valley around The Ghor region is considered by many it be the ancient biblical town of Sodom. It was believed to have been destroyed by God as a result of the debauched behaviour of the villagers, according to the book of Genesis chapter 19. Although this information is still debated, a recent study could soon confirm that it is was destroyed bu, by an asteroid explosion 3700 years ago. The dates even coincide with the help of carbon dating of the recent analysis.
A prosperous region and then… nothing!
It is known that the region was populated 2,500 years ago but the population seemed to have been non existent at the the end of the bronze age. The site was build at least 4 millennia before our era, with locals prospering for at least a thousand years as an open agricultural community. Then all of a sudden there was nothing.
Researchers believe that Tall el Hammam and it’s neighbouring towns underwent a severe calamity which brought about an abrupt end to civilization near the end of the Middle Bronze Age. While the cities to the west (Jerusalem, Bethel, Hebron), the north (Deir’Alla, Pella, Beth Shan) and to the east (Rabbath-Ammon, Tall al-Umayri, Nebo) continued to flourish during the early Bronze Age, cities and towns in eastern Jordan were not able to do so.
Temperatures rose similar to those registered on the surface of the sun
Chemical analysis on the area highlights that the sudden collapse of clay walls happened around 3,700 years ago which only left stone foundations. Researchers also found that outer layers of pottery fragments found on the site appear to have turned into glass.
The glass coatings contain zircon crystals which could have been formed a second after the explosion. Researchers say that this highlights very extreme temperatures which could have been as hot at the surface of the sun.
Tsunami in the Dead Sea
“The material evidence of Tall el-Hammam and it’s neighbouring sites show signs of an extremely hot and destructive event which could be what was described in chapter 19 of the book of Genesis;” stated researchers in their study. “Samples of ash and soil collected at Tall el-Hammam contain evidence of arable layer being destroyed and underground contamination as a result of salt from the Dead Sea which would have prevented harvests for several centuries after the event,” concluded the researchers.
Researchers suggested that salt was found in fertile soil as a result of a tsunami in the Dead Sea. They note that locals probably fled the area and never settled in the area again until 600 to 700 years after the explosion.