How a Meteor Might Have Destroyed an Ancient City, Inspiring the Biblical Story of Sodom
Researchers have discovered evidence that a meteor or space rock burst above an ancient city in the Jordan Valley around 3,600 years ago, destroying it.
Tall el-Hammam is thought to be the inspiration for the Biblical city of Sodom, implying that the space rock’s explosion or “airburst” may be the source of the Old Testament tale of Sodom’s destruction.
According to a research published in Nature Scientific Reports, the explosion over Tall el-Hammam was powerful enough to level the ancient city, demolishing its palace, mudbrick constructions, and the city’s ring wall.
The Tunguska Event, which occurred in 1908 when a 183-to-196-foot meteor entered the Earth’s atmosphere above Eastern Siberia at roughly 33,500 miles per hour and erupted, is compared to the airburst that occurred around 1650 BCE.
The resulting airburst unleashed nearly 12 megatons of energy, roughly 1,000 times that of the atomic bomb that destroyed Hiroshima.
Furthermore, the authors, which include James Kennett, professor emeritus of earth science at UC Santa Barbara, believe that this ancient airburst was considerably more powerful than the one that caused the Tunguska Event.
In a news statement, Kennett stated, “There is evidence of a big cosmic airburst, close to this city called Tall el-Hammam.” “It’s a hugely culturally significant location. This geographical area is where much of humanity’s early cultural sophistication developed.”
For this reason, archaeologists have been drawn to the site, but there is an odd 1.5-meter hiatus amid the layers that provide evidence for settlements from the Copper Age (5000 to 3300 BCE) to the Bronze Age (3300 to 1200 BCE).
Archeologists have unearthed minerals that are frequently connected with destruction caused by conflict or earthquakes during this time period. This includes melted pottery fragments, boiling mudbrick, and even melted construction materials.
All of evidence points to temperatures substantially higher than anything that could have been created artificially at the time. Kennett stated, “We saw evidence for temperatures more than 2,000 degrees Celsius.”
The skeletal remains of individuals were found among the burnt materials and damaged structures, according to the paper.
Kennett and his crew were able to identify the burned and melted items as well as human remains. This is a condensed version of the information.