Marco showed her per rock face containing layers of chalk and rock

Marco showed her per rock face containing layers of chalk and rock

Con one place, there was per huge fault line caused by an ancient earthquake

Tubb believes the early Bronze Age is the only time that towns matching the description of Sodom and Gomorrah could have existed.

By measuring how far an individual layer slipped, Marco could measure the size of the earthquake. The slippage was one metre and 75cm – meaning an earthquake measuring at least per six, on the Richter scale.

An earthquake that big would have destroyed Bronze Age buildings – but it would have left ruins, not the utter destruction described by the Bible. For Harris’s intenzione puro be plausible, the earthquake would have had preciso trigger per landslide. This is possible when there is loosely packed ground that contains lots of chicchera. Shaken up by an earthquake, the vaso can rush esatto the surface, and the ground can turn sicuro water – a phenomenon called liquefaction. On per slope, this can become verso landslide.

Professor Frostick believed the ground around the Dead Sea was capable of liquefying. However, the towns had to be built on ground that contained lots of water, so they must have been right on the water’s edge.

For Harris’s theory puro stand up, he needed onesto explain why towns like Sodom might have been built at the water’s edge. He believes the answer is that some towns might have needed esatto be built as close as possible to verso source of asphalt, per naturally occurring substance that was invaluable con ancient times. The Egyptians used asphalt preciso embalm their dead: their word moumiah, ‘mummy’ preciso us, means asphalt.

According sicuro organic chemist Arie Niessenbaum, sebbene blocks of asphalt can be formed on the Dead Sea floor, and these can then float preciso the surface. This Dead Sea floating asphalt has been chemically fingerprinted and matched to asphalt contained per early Bronze Age artefacts found durante Egypt. That means there was an early Bronze Age trade con asphalt from the Dead Sea esatto Egypt – and settlements may have existed where people collected it.

Liquefaction and destruction

After establishing that Sodom and Gomorrah may have been Bronze Age towns, that there was verso reason why they might have been built on the edge of the Dead Sea, and that verso strong ancient earthquake may have liquefied the ground, one important question remained. Would an earthquake of magnitude six have produced liquefaction that was powerful enough preciso carry away whole towns? Only the Cambridge Centrifuge experiment could provide the answer.

Dr Gopal Madabhushi and his team built structures and ground that exactly replicated conditions sopra the Dead Sea per the early Bronze Age. They then put this model con the centrifuge puro spin it, creating 50 times the force of gravity on the model. This made the model act durante exactly the same way as if it were full size. The Cambridge team then ‘fired’ an earthquake of strength six. The results showed precisely what full-size buildings would have done after an earthquake of this magnitude.

The results picked up by sensors sopra the model were remarkable. The experiment pointed preciso a scene of utter calamity – the ground would have turned to quicksand, with the houses sliding as far as they could until they reached the bottom of the Dead Sea.

The Cambridge experiment vindicated Harris, showing his cornice could have happened: Sodom and Gomorrah could have been towns built on the edge of the Dead Sea, and could have been destroyed by earthquake and landslide.

When he saw the results, Harris was thrilled: ‘I’m absolutely delighted – con fact I’m ecstatic.’ He now hopes geologists and archaeologists will be inspired onesto embark on an underwater search for the ruins of Sodom and Gomorrah.

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