Archaeologists uncover a city that was burned at temperatures over 2,000 degrees.
The Bible tells us that Sodom was a city full of vice and sin. Abraham famously appealed to God’s mercy in attempt to preserve the city by recognizing just 10 good men (Genesis 18:16-33). Later in history, however, after Lot worked to sway an angry mob away from their intent to defile his angelic visitors, the angels directly intervened (Gen 19), inflicting blindness on the crowd to prevent them from destroying Lot’s house. In the end the Lord “rained down burning sulfur” to wipe the city, and their sins from the face of the earth.
Now, archaeologist Steven Collins believes he has found the remains of Sodom. Collins made the discovery after combining clues from biblical geography with new-found archaeological evidence from the site of Tall el-Hammam in Jordan, which he believes is the site where the wicked city once stood.
Across Tall el-Hammam, archaeologists found widespread evidence of an intense conflagration that left the Middle Bronze Age city in ruins. They found scorched foundations and floors buried under nearly 3 feet of dark grey ash, as well as dozens of pottery sherds covered with a frothy, “melted” surface; the glassy appearance indicates that they were briefly exposed to temperatures well in excess of 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, the approximate heat of volcanic magma. Such evidence suggests the city and its environs were catastrophically destroyed in a sudden and extreme conflagration.
While we may never know exactly how the city of Sodom was struck, between the evidence of volcanic temperatures, mixed with biblical reports of a rain of “burning sulfur,” it is possible that the city was struck by an asteroid, or through some sort of volcanic eruption due to an earthquake.
In this video you can hear archaeologist Steven Collins speak about the process that led him to this discovery.