The entire presentation was very convincing, but never once did they deal with the “elephant in the room”: what caused the sites to be suddenly abandoned? His findings are scholarly, fascinating, educational, and extremely convincing to anyone who needs hard facts to support their conclusions regarding this famous city.As soon as the session was over, I was the first to raise my hand. The massive accumulation of the archaeological and geographical data from Tall el-Hammam, and its surrounding territory, leaves little doubt in my mind that Dr. It has a river running through it (the Jordan), and 4. Collins’ book, Discovering the City of Sodom(co-author Latayne C.
The sites fit the geographical and temporal context into which Sodom and Gomorrah are placed in the biblical texts. The best physical explanation is a meteor that burned up in the atmosphere leaving no crater, but still sending a fireball to earth (as in a documented case in Siberia in the early 1900s).
The cities at the site were suddenly and completely wiped out in the Late Bronze Age, which makes a reasonably good fit with the biblical accounts of Abraham and Lot. This may very well be concrete proof that the story of Sodom’s fiery demise as recounted in the Bible is true. Collins is a meticulous archaeologist with an extraordinary team of specialized scholars who are not afraid to challenge the traditional assumptions about the location and fate of the Bible’s most mysterious city—Sodom.
This book will engender a great deal of interest among the general public, but it is likely to be received with less enthusiasm by many specialists in the field. Collins has thought very deeply about the relationship between his site and the biblical narrative.
Much of the skepticism about the historicity of Sodom over the years has been conducted in an archaeological vacuum.
Steven Collins of Trinity Southwest University and Hussein el- Jarrah of the Department of Antiquities of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, will be excavating a large mound (“Tall” or “Tel”) called Tall el-Hammam, located amidst agricultural fields northeast of the Dead Sea in the southern Jordan River Valley. Laboratory testing and analysis of the fragment shows that it was apparently exposed to extremely high temperatures, a level that far exceeds that normally used to fire and treat pottery, ancient or modern, and that also far exceeds temperatures typically reached during fires. Meaning we should expect to find items like what we are finding from the Middle Bronze Age. “[T]he real big news is that we found skeletal remains that demonstrate a quick, violent death. Ultimately these theories were based less on evidence than on unsubstantiated educated guesses from earlier and still renowned biblical archeologists. The conclusion of experts is that the shards were super heated and then cooled far too rapidly than would be expected by any typical human furnace or heating method known in ancient times.
Pottery glazing has not been found on pottery until more than 1,000 years later than the date of the sherd. “All I want to say ‘on camera’ is, they appear to have been wiped out in a ‘heat event’.”Dr. After greatly emphasizing the need for as objective and scientific as possible analysis, and his desire for triple-blind studies by three or more parties, he was willing to comment further on the “heat event” (and all students of the Bible know where that might potentially lead): On our terminal MB2 event, what I can say is that multiple lines of evidence continue to confirm that not only massive Tall el-Hammam, but also its many satellite towns and villages on the eastern Kikkar, suffered some sort of fiery, civilization-ending cataclysm toward the end of the Middle Bronze Age, with the selfsame, well-watered-in-abundance area remaining devoid of settlements for the next 600 years or so . Compare this with something well known—like Jerusalem—that has only sixteen. So this site has a greater number of indicators than any other Old Testament site. “Second, our findings—pottery, architecture, and destruction layers—fit the timeframe profile. It is chiefly due to theories that Sodom was under the Dead Sea or to be found on its southern shores. The book ends with the most exciting find of all: pottery shards that are superheated to glass on one side, yet are perfectly normal pottery on the other.
At this point, I am willing to say that if Tall el-Hammam’s identification as biblical Sodom is still denied after an examination of the growing body of evidence to that effect, then the identification of every single biblical site not confirmed by specific epigraphic evidence must me called into question.
We are convinced, but not yet ready to discuss the details (this will be the subject of my doctoral dissertation), that this civilization ‐ ending catastrophic event was the result of an air burst explosion, probably from a comet or comet fragment since there is no crater anywhere in the area to suggest a meteor.
I don’t know of a more convincing case for Sodom’s long-awaited identification.
In this book, Collins provides the most complete discussion to date of all of the relevant biblical texts. Collins’ argument for locating Sodom northeast of the Dead Sea, rather than further to the south as many have assumed.
That’s because they realized the formulaic nature of the patriarchal life-numbers, and took a late date for the Exodus.