Researchers believe they have found evidence that a natural disaster took place thousands of years ago, playing a role. After years of research, archaeologist Christopher R. Moore has announced that his research has yielded evidence of a meteor striking a city in Jordan, which corresponds with a biblical story of destruction.
Genesis 19 of the Bible tells the story of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning sulfur falling from the sky. Now, there may be scientific evidence that the destruction came from a meteor hitting the city. A group of scientists published a scientific article this week explaining the conclusion they have come to after spending years excavating the area. They believe that around 1650 BC, “a cosmic airburst destroyed Tall el-Hammam, a Middle-Bronze-Age city in the southern Jordan Valley northeast of the Dead Sea” (Nature).
The city of Tall el-Hammam is believed to be the location of the city of Sodom from the Bible. If their theory is true, it would correspond to the biblical event described in Genesis 19. In their theory, they propose that a giant asteroid hurled toward Earth and exploded before impact.
This would have created a “firestorm”, melting anything and everything and leaving the area in ruins. The effect would have caused an impact 1000% stronger than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima, temperatures reaching nearly 4000 degrees Fahrenheit, and a shockwave with winds moving faster than 700 miles per hour. Essentially, no living thing would have remained.
In 2006, excavations and research in the area began. Hundreds of people were involved in the excavation process, with about two dozen scientists from several countries (Yahoo News). When the excavation began, there was “5-foot-thick jumbled layer of charcoal, ash, melted mudbricks and melted pottery” (Daily Caller). It was obvious to the scientists that it couldn’t have been from a “volcano, earthquake, or warfare” (The Conversation) because those events wouldn’t have the capability of melting bricks and pottery.
As they continued digging, literally and figuratively, and utilizing the Online Impact Calculator, they began to conclude that the destruction had to have been caused by a cosmic event. Another find that supports the theory is fragments of metal, such as shocked quartz, as most metals can only break under extreme heat and pressure (Smithsonian).
Despite all the evidence that points to the disaster being the same as the one in the Bible, there are still debates as to whether or not Tall el-Hammam, Jordan and Sodom of the Bible are the same place. According to earth scientist James P. Kennet, “All the observations stated in Genesis are consistent with a cosmic airburst, but there’s no scientific proof that this destroyed city is indeed the Sodom of the Old Testament” (Smithsonian).