Sep 24, 2007

Northern or Southern Location for Sodom?

The newest edition of Bible and Spade is out and our very own Allie Kobs from our square makes the front cover. She is a volunteer from Texas who while digging in the storage area behind a kitchen found the thrill of a lifetime. This Iron Age base from Tall el-Hammam was pulled out of the ground after 2700 years. The other pieces were there but in poor shape. Some of it may be mendable.

Inside this issue is an article by Dr. Collins on why he believes the northern location for Sodom is a better option than the traditional southern. He has written in a popular style and left out allot of the technical details but the basic arguments are present. Dr. Bryant Wood has responded with a more technical article although some of his arguments bewilder me (what has finding fruit in the area to do with any argument, everyone ate fruit and it could have been imported). They are basically the same arguments that he used 30 years ago when I investigated this topic for a paper in archeology class. I met with Dr. Wood, whom I have the utmost respect for, and he provided me with some of his articles that he wrote back in the mid 70's. The basic arguments have not changed.

Dr. Collins responds in a more technical paper point by point.
"A Response to Bryant G. Wood's Critique of Collins' Northern Sodom Theory," BRB VII.7 (2007). After reading the two articles it will become clear that Dr. Collins has the stronger arguments. Bryant's strongest argument is the date for Abraham. But it is still a weak argument because of the reconfiguring of the accepted periods. As Dr. Collins has shown regardless of how you slice it Abraham comes up on the Middle Bronze Age which is accepted by most conservative scholars (Albright, Kitchen etc.). Certainly Dr. Collins will publish more detailed information from the seasons dig on the dating of the site but for now it is clear that there was a large Middle Bronze Age occupation on the tall. Whatever the exact date of the pottery it is still Middle Bronze Age and as Dr. Wood has pointed out his Early Bronze dates are fluid as well. There is allot of very exciting things being discovered at this major Middle Bronze Age site and even if you don't believe its Sodom it has a significant contribution to life in the Bronze and Iron ages.

1 comment:

Anat Aderet said...

Thank you very much that was very interesting!
I wish you all the best,
Anat Aderet
(i have diged in "Beit Shemesh" in Israel, as a student).