Was the destruction of this medieval Bronze Age city the inspiration for Sodom?

Was the destruction of this medieval Bronze Age city the inspiration for Sodom?
Tell Al-Hammam in Jordan Valley It may have inspired the story of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, according to a new study spanning 15 years.

In the study, published in the journal Nature on Monday, archaeologists searched the remains of Tell al-Hammam in an effort to discover what destroyed the ancient city during the Middle Bronze Age.

During this period, there were approximately 50,000 people living in the Jordan Valley area in three cities: Tell Al-Hamam, Jericho, and Tell Nimrin, and Tal Al-Hamam was the largest of the three cities. This means that until its destruction, it would have been the political center of the region.

Radiocarbon dating places the destruction within 50 years from 1650 BC.

Examination of the remains revealed evidence of a devastating event that included high temperatures, such as pieces of pottery that were melting and scaling on the outside, but normal on the inside.

The buildings of Tell al-Hamam were built of mud bricks. Some were five stories tall. In the upper part of the city, the destructive force demolished the buildings to the height of their foundations in the walls, and little adobe remained. From the palace that was in this part of the city, the walls of the first and upper floors were lost, and most of the adobe was demolished.

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In the lower part of the city, buildings sustained more serious damage, and researchers found evidence of heat cracking in the remains.

The towers in the wall surrounding the city were also destroyed with remnants of adobe found only at the height of the foundation of the towers.

An asteroid falling to Earth and disintegrating in the atmosphere (illustration).  (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)An asteroid falling to Earth and disintegrating in the atmosphere (illustration). (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

To try to discover the cause of this destruction, the researchers compiled a list of possible events and tested their likelihood relative to the evidence at the site.

They initially examined the possibility of fire, war, volcanic eruption, earthquake, or lightning, but concluded that these events were unlikely to cause the kind of destruction they found at the site because none of them could produce the intense heat required to cause the melting they did. . have found.

After dismissing these events, researchers turned to two other possibilities: a cosmic effect or a cosmic air explosion.

Consequences of crater formation cosmic effect All the evidence found by archaeologists matched, but was dismissed as unlikely because no crater was found in the area.

The most likely cause of the destruction was a cosmic airburst caused by a comet or meteor. The consequences of such an event also matched the evidence the researchers found, and using an impact calculator, they were able to estimate the details of the event, which also included the shock wave that hit Jericho that burned to the ground.

It can be assumed that the event that destroyed Tel al-Hammam could have been seen and narrated through the generations until the biblical time of Sodom, at which point the event was the inspiration for the story about stones and fire. Falling from the sky to destroy the city.

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