Nov 30, 2015

Destruction of Sodom: New Theory - New Evidence

At the Annual Meeting of the Near East Archaeological Society: Atlanta, Ga. on Nov 17, 2015. Drs. Steven Collins and Phil Silva presented the following paper on the evidence for their theory for the destruction of Sodom and the Cities of the Plain. Collins, Steven, and Phil Silva. “The Civilization-Ending 3.7KYrBP Kikkar Event: Archaeological Data, Sample Analyses, and Biblical Implications.” In Annual Meeting of the Near East Archaeological Society: Atlanta, Ga., 1–6. Albuquerque, N.M.: TSU Press, 2015.
This paper overviews the collective evidences for a cosmic airburst event that obliterated civilization—including the Middle Bronze Age city-state anchored by Tall el-Hammam—in the Middle Ghor = the Kikkar of the Jordan (of Gen 10-19), ca. 1700 BCE, or 3700 years before present (3.7KYrBP). Analyses of samples taken over seven seasons of the Tall el-Hammam Excavation Project (TeHEP) have been performed by a team of scientists from New Mexico Tech, Northern Arizona University, North Carolina State University, Elizabeth City (NC) State University, DePaul University, Trinity Southwest University, and Los Alamos National Laboratories, with remarkable results. Commensurate with these results are the archaeological data collected from across the entire occupational footprint (36ha) of Tall el-Hammam, demonstrating a directionality pattern for the high-heat, explosive 3.7KYrBP Kikkar Event that, in an instant, devastated approximately 500km2 immediately N of the Dead Sea, not only wiping out 100% of Kikkar MBA cities and towns, but also stripping agricultural soils from once-fertile fields and covering the E Kikkar—including Tall el-Hammam—with a super-heated brine of Dead Sea anhydride salts pushed over the landscape by the Event’s frontal shockwave(s). In the aftermath of the Event, soil science reveals a sequence of soil recovery on the Kikkar of the Jordan that explains why it took at least 600 years for agricultural activity to resume in the area. Authors S. Collins (TeHEP Director and Chief Archaeologist) and P. Silvia (TeHEP Field Archaeologist and Director of Scientific Analysis) also demonstrate how these data mesh with biblical texts related to the Kikkar of the Jordan, including the destruction of the Land of the Kikkar and its famous cities (Gen 19).
The paper is available at LINK

For the theological significance of  salt brine being cast over the landscape see Graves, David E. “Sodom And Salt in Their Ancient Near Eastern Cultural Context.” Near East Archaeological Society Bulletin 61 (2016): 15–32.

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