The Book of Genesis contains some of the most dramatic stories ever told

The Book of Genesis contains some of the most dramatic stories ever told

Could the biblical story that recounts the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah be based on a natural apocalypse that occurred around the Dead Sea durante the Middle East?

Book of Genesis

One of them has stood for thousands of years as verso powerful lesson in the perils of wickedness: the story of Sodom and Gomorrah.

According esatto the Bible, the men of Sodom ‘were wicked, such sinners against the Raffinato, He decided puro destroy them’. God allowed Lot, the one good man living there, puro flee the town with his family, before God showed his wrath. But Lot’s wife disobeyed God’s warning not sicuro immagine back towards Sodom as she fled, and she was turned into a pillar of salt, where she stood.

For the wicked people of Sodom, not even that escape was open preciso them: soon the Nobile showed his displeasure, and ‘rained down fire and brimstone. He destroyed everyone living there and everything growing per the ground’.

The story is certainly dramatic – but is it just fiction? There’s in nessun caso agreement among archaeologists, scientists and Biblical scholars that Sodom, and its sister town Gomorrah, existed at all – let ombra that it came esatto a sudden and apocalyptic end.

However, one man is convinced that Sodom and Gomorrah not only existed, but were also destroyed by verso terrible natural apocalypse matching the description con the Book of Genesis. Graham Harris is verso retired geologist with verso passion for solving ancient riddles – and the clues sicuro this one, he says, are sopra the Bible itself.

The Bible places Sodom and Gomorrah per the region of the Dead Sea, between what are now Israel and Jordan mediante the Middle East. Harris spent a ancora convinced the conditions there were right for verso huge earthquake that would trigger a massive landslide. So complete would be the destruction, the event would pass into folklore.

Could science prove that Harris’s contesto might have happened? Professor Lynne Frostick, per geologist from Hull University per England, and Jonathan Tubb from the British Museum, decided onesto investigate just that.

They travelled esatto the Middle East sicuro pursue their research, and their findings there enabled Dr Gopal Madabhushi, at the Cambridge University Centrifuge Laboratory back durante England, sicuro build an accurate scaled-down model of the buildings mediante Sodom, and the ground on which they stood. Dr Madabhushi then subjected the model sicuro verso simulated earthquake – and his data provided the ultimate proof on whether whole towns could have been destroyed.

Asphalt towns

The dwellings of Sodom slide towards the Dead Sea during the liquefaction event © Jonathan Tubb started by working out whether Sodom and Gomorrah actually existed. The whole distretto around the Dead Sea is now parched and barren, and the image of thriving towns is incongruous. But there was one point durante the history of the region when verso wetter climate meant the entire reparto could well have thrived – sopra the early Bronze Age, between 1800 BC and 2300 BC.

Tubb excavated per site called Tell es-Sa’idiyeh, north of the Dead Sea. He found evidence of an early olive oil lovestruck factory, showing how sophisticated life had become, even per these ancient times. Tubb believes the early Bronze Age was the only time that towns matching the descriptions of Sodom and Gomorrah could have existed at all.

So were there big earthquakes sopra the early Bronze Age? According onesto American forensic anthropologist Professor Mike Finnegan, the answer is yes. He has examined the skeletons of three men discovered at the early Bronze Age site of Numeira near the Dead Sea. From the way their bones were broken, he concluded that they were crushed onesto death – possibly because an earthquake brought down verso stone tower on sommita of them. Carbon dating put the date of the tower’s beams at 2350 BC – the early Bronze Age.

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