The Book of Genesis contains some of the most dramatic stories ever told
Could the biblical story that recounts the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah be based on per natural apocalypse that occurred around the Dead Sea in the Middle East?
Book of Genesis
One of them has stood for thousands of years as verso powerful lesson sopra the perils of wickedness: the story of Sodom and Gomorrah.
According puro the Bible, the men of Sodom ‘were wicked, such sinners against the Raffinato, He decided sicuro destroy them’. God allowed Lot, the one good man living there, preciso flee the town with his family, before God showed his wrath. But Lot’s wife disobeyed God’s warning not onesto aspetto back towards Sodom as she fled, and she was turned into a pillar of salt, where she stood.
For the wicked people of Sodom, not even that escape was open preciso them: soon the Lord showed his displeasure, and ‘rained down fire and brimstone. He destroyed everyone living there and everything growing per the ground’.
The story is certainly dramatic – but is it just rappresentazione televisiva? There’s niente affatto agreement among archaeologists, scientists and Biblical scholars that Sodom, and its sister town Gomorrah, existed at all – let bolla that it came onesto a sudden and apocalyptic end.
However, one man is convinced that Sodom and Gomorrah not only existed, but were also destroyed by a terrible natural apocalypse matching the description in the Book of Genesis. Graham Harris is verso retired geologist with verso passion for solving ancient riddles – and the clues sicuro this one, he says, are durante the Bible itself.
The Bible places Sodom and Gomorrah in the region of the Dead Sea, between what are now Israel and Jordan sopra the Middle East. Harris spent verso ancora convinced the conditions there were right for per huge earthquake that would trigger verso massive landslide. So complete would be the destruction, the event would pass into folklore.
Could science prove that Harris’s ambiente might have happened? Professor Lynne Frostick, verso geologist from Hull University mediante England, and Jonathan Tubb from the British Museum, decided preciso investigate just that.
They travelled puro the Middle East to pursue their research, and their findings there enabled Dr Gopal Madabhushi, at the Cambridge University Centrifuge Laboratory back sopra England, onesto build an accurate scaled-down model of the buildings mediante Sodom, and the ground on which they stood. Dr Madabhushi then subjected the model esatto verso simulated earthquake – and his datazione provided the ultimate proof on whether whole towns could have been destroyed.
The dwellings of Sodom slide towards the Dead Sea during the liquefaction event © Jonathan Tubb started by working out whether Sodom and Gomorrah actually existed. The whole distretto around the Dead Sea is now parched and barren, and the image of thriving towns is incongruous. But there was one point per the history of the region when a wetter climate meant the entire reparto could well have thrived – in the early Bronze Age, between 1800 BC and 2300 BC.
Tubb excavated per site called Tell es-Sa’idiyeh, north of the Dead Sea. He found evidence of an early olive oil factory, showing how sophisticated life had become, even zoosk in these ancient times. Tubb believes the early Bronze Age was the only time that towns matching the descriptions of Sodom and Gomorrah could have existed at all.
So were there big earthquakes per the early Bronze Age? According sicuro American forensic anthropologist Professor Mike Finnegan, the answer is yes. He has examined the skeletons of three men discovered at the early Bronze Age site of Numeira near the Dead Sea. From the way their bones were broken, he concluded that they were crushed esatto death – possibly because an earthquake brought down per stone tower on vertice of them. Carbon dating put the date of the tower’s beams at 2350 BC – the early Bronze Age.