I’ve subscribed to Dr. Collin’s Troweling Down Newsletter for over a year now, and it’s amazing to note that he’s stopped referring to Tall el-Hammam as “possible Sodom” but simply “Sodom”! This has been an exciting season to observe. Everywhere they dig, they hit a huge layer of burnt debris and destruction from a cataclysmic air blast right around MB2 (MB2 = Middle Bronze Age II). Here’s an amazing quote from his February 29, 2020:
I clarified a nicely-made mudbrick wall in the MBA palace complex’s SW extremity in Square UA.2BB. Then, as we were going down in the destruction matrix next to the wall, made a grisly discovery: scattered human bone fragments including significant portions of two skulls. One skull has all but the lower jaw, the other has the full upper dentition with bone up to half of the right eye socket. Next to the larger skull fragment was half a pelvis and a partial arm bone. Other disparate bones were scattered around the area amidst disintegrated mudbricks, bits and pieces of carbonized wood, and pottery sherds. Other human bone fragments had been encountered throughout the entire 1+m depth of the destruction matrix. Essentially, these bodies had been ripped to pieces and churned into the MB2 terminal destruction matrix. (Sorry we can’t show any pics of this before it’s published.)Thank you for your continued donations and prayers!God bless you all.
And another from March 28, 2020:
We also have some interesting news coming from Dr Phil Silvia who ‘rescued’ a Middle Bronze Age rim from one of our pottery reads in Jordan. As a diagnostic sherd, it was unremarkable and we decided not to keep it. But Phil noticed that it had some interesting properties caused by exposure to heat of around 3000 degrees F, confirmed by another member of the Analysis Team, geophysicist Allen West. There are other features showing that it was airborne at a point when a tiny piece of melted “white glass” (likely melted plaster) stuck to it. We now have an abundance of melt-scenario samples from the MB2 destruction matrix across the site. The city certainly didn’t end “normally”! Dr Silvia will have an article about some of this soon in his Lab Notes.
The longer they dig, the more it appears like the Biblical account of a sinful city sitting north of the Dead Sea on the kikkar (disc) being destroyed by fire from the sky was a historical event. Crazy stuff.
Original post (Sodom: An Interesting Development):
I’ve been following the archaeologist Steven Collins for a long time. He first grabbed my attention when he was studying which Pharaoh was the Pharaoh of the Exodus (Thutmose IV of the 18th Dynasty is his contention). But the last decade of his focus has been on the Tall el-Hammam, which he believes is the site of the real Sodom from the Bible.
There are many scholars, Biblical and otherwise, who disagree. This article by Todd Bolen, a writer for Bible History Daily, gives several rebuttals against Dr. Collin’s work, and they’re good arguments. Personally, Dr. Collins’ arguments resonate with me more at the moment.
Well, on November 20th, 2018, Science News reported a study on the site that indicates that there was a massive air blast from a meteor that wiped out the whole civilization in the “disc” North of the Dead Sea about 3,700 years ago. It sounds surprisingly like the biblical account of the destruction of the “cities on the plain” from Genesis 18:23-25:
23 By the time Lot reached Zoar, the sun had risen over the land. 24 Then the Lord rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah—from the Lord out of the heavens. 25 Thus he overthrew those cities and the entire plain, destroying all those living in the cities—and also the vegetation in the land.
Also, with some quick math acrobatics using Ken Johnson‘s timeline resources, I noticed that the date given by the carbon dating (2018-3700 = around 1682 BC) and the range for the events of Sodom’s destruction given between when Lot and Abraham moved to Canaan and when Isaac was born (1902 – 1877 BC) are quite close considering the reliability of radiocarbon dating past a couple thousand years.
Anyway, just thought you other Bible nerds out there might think that was nifty. Thanks!