Dec 19, 2010

Russian Visit to Hammam

I reported earlier this week that the Russians are going to be examining the bottom of the Dead Sea for Sodom and Gomorrah.  Well apparently they will be visiting our site at Tall el-Hammam tomorrow (Dec 20, 2010) to talk to Dr. Steven Collins Director of the Tall el-Hammam excavation site and Hussien Aljarrah, Regional Director of al-Kafrayn District and Senior Archaeologist, Department of Antiquities, Jordan.
 Here is a quote from the public updates that was sent out by Dr. Collins earlier today. He states:
"Tomorrow a Russian gentleman will be coming to the site to talk with Hussein and I about his search for Sodom and Gomorrah under the waters of the Dead Sea. He's planning on launching a submarine into the Dead Sea and exploring for signs of the Cities of the Plain (it may be the same guy that did the same thing from the Israeli side some years ago). Of course, the idea of Sodom being under the Dead Sea waters is patently absurd from every conceivable scientific angle. For one thing, the Dead Sea has been virtually as it is today for longer than humans have lived in the area. The Dead Sea level is presently at its lowest level since the Neolithic Period. Thus, there has never been any human habitation below its present level. It's historic high is over 100 meters above where it is now, meaning that all the settlements around the Dead Sea area, including sites like Tall el-Hammam and Jericho, must be above the historic fluctuation limits, otherwise they would be wiped out as the sea rose toward its historic highs. So, I hope to talk some sense into this fellow and save him some money. But perhaps he could do his submarine thing and show once and for all that such quests are utter nonsense." Dr. Steven Collins, Dean, College of Archaeology, Trinity Southwest University

In Dec 2009 I posted a link of a site where you can view the levels of the Dead Sea through the various periods and see for yourself the levels as they were in the various periods. Link to 2009 Post The dead Sea map can be viewed at the following link. The sites of Tall el-Hammam and Bab edh-Dhra are listed on the map.  The lowest point of the Dead sea is in the Byzantine period and it is close to being that low today but in the period when Sodom and Gomorrah existed the level was -300m while today it is -400m below sea level. (remember that below sea levels the numbers go backwards and are from the top down). Around the time of Sodom and Gomorrah the Dead Sea was at its highest levels and have gradually decreased to their modern level which are almost the lowest they have ever been except for the Byzantine period when it was -440m (500 AD). So if there was anything in the Dead Sea such as a city then it would likely have been visible in the Byzantine period or today as these are the lowest points the Dead Sea's history. So search your heart out and spend your money but the site of Sodom will not be found at the bottom of the Dead Sea as Albright speculated. I'd still like to know what has been dumped into the Dead Sea as it was navigated by boat in the first century and earlier. Herod the Great had a harbor at Kallirrhoe where there were hot baths warmer than the hot baths at Tall el-Hammam.

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