A scientific study aligns with the biblical account of the ancient cities of Sodom and Gomorrah being destroyed by fire and brimstone from the heavens.
The book of Genesis tells the story of God sending two angels to save Lot and his family from a city where men demanded to “be intimate” with visiting men, one of the clearest biblical condemnations of homosexuality. In response, God “rained upon Sodom and Gomorrah sulfurous fire … out of heaven.”
It would be hundreds of years before life returned to the region.
And now scientists have found evidence of a cataclysmic event in that area, even if they do not attribute it to God.
Science News reported archaeologist Phillip Silvia of Trinity Southwest University in Albuquerque has concluded a “superheated blast from the skies … obliterated cities and farming settlements north of the Dead Sea around 3,700 years ago.”
Siliva found “radiocarbon dating and unearthed minerals that instantly crystallized at high temperatures indicate a massive airburst caused by a meteor that exploded in the atmosphere instantaneously destroyed civilization in a 25-kilometer-wide circular plain called Middle Ghor.”
Science News said the event “also pushed a bubbling brine of Dead Sea salts over once-fertile farm land, Silvia and his colleagues suspect.”
Silvia reported the conclusions recently at an annual meeting of the American Schools of Oriental Research.
“Excavations at five large Middle Ghor sites, in what’s now Jordan, indicate that all were continuously occupied for at least 2,500 years until a sudden, collective collapse toward the end of the Bronze Age. Ground surveys have located 120 additional, smaller settlements in the region that the researchers suspect were also exposed to extreme, collapse-inducing heat and wind. An estimated 40,000 to 65,000 people inhabited Middle Ghor when the cosmic calamity hit, Silvia said,” Science News said.
Silvia has been excavating in the area for more than a decade, and radiocarbon dating suggests the mud-brick walls suddenly disappeared at once, “leaving only stone foundations.”
“What’s more, the outer layers of many pieces of pottery from same time period show signs of having melted into glass. Zircon crystals in those glassy coats formed within one second at extremely high temperatures, perhaps as hot as the surface of the sun, Silvia said,” according to the report.
And tiny bits of rock were found on pottery fragments, suggesting it “rained down.”
Researchers likened it to an event in Siberia in 1908 in which an apparent meteor exploded in the air, flattening 2,000 square kilometers of forest.
Another incident in Chelyabinsk, Russia, in 2013, injured some 1,600 people.