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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 per the Middle East?

Book of Genesis

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

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

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

The story is certainly dramatic – but is it just sceneggiato? There’s per niente agreement among archaeologists, scientists and Biblical scholars that Sodom, and its sister town Gomorrah, existed at all – let aureola 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 a retired geologist with verso passion for solving ancient riddles – and the clues esatto this one, he says, are per the Bible itself.

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

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

They travelled onesto the Middle East onesto pursue their research, and their findings there enabled Dr Gopal Madabhushi, at the Cambridge University Centrifuge Laboratory back durante England, preciso build an accurate scaled-down model of the buildings per Sodom, and the ground on which they stood. Dr Madabhushi then subjected the model esatto per simulated earthquake – and his momento 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 area 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 area 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 factory, showing how sophisticated life had become, even con 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 per the early Bronze Age? According preciso 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 sicuro death – possibly because an earthquake brought down a stone tower on top of them. Carbon dating put the date of the tower’s beams at 2350 BC – the early Bronze Age.

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