Sodom and Gomorrah Excavated

and the LORD rained down sulfur upon Sodom and Gomorrah,  fire from the LORD out of heaven. He overthrew those cities and the whole Plain, together with the inhabitants of the cities and the produce of the soil. 26But Lot’s wife looked back, and she was turned into a pillar of salt. The next morning Abraham hurried to the place where he had stood before the LORD. As he looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah and the whole region of the Plain,* he saw smoke over the land rising like the smoke from a kiln.  Genesis 19: 24-28

John Bergsma, of the Sacred Page attended the Society of Biblical Literature Congress in San Fransisco where he wandered into a presentation a presentation given by an archeologist:

“I had no idea what I was in for.  After about five minutes into the session, I realized that the archeological team assigned to this dig was convinced that they had found the biblical Sodom and Gomorrah.  After another half-hour, it seemed they had most of the participants convinced as well.  The sites fit the geographical and temporal context into which Sodom and Gomorrah are placed in the biblical texts.  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.  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?  As soon as the session was over, I was the first to raise my hand.  “Did you find any arrow heads?  Signs of invasion?  What happened to them?”  The lead archeologist paused for a moment.  “I didn’t want to go there,” he said.  Another pause. “I’m preparing material for publication.”  Pause.  “All I want to say ‘on camera’ is, they appear to have been wiped out in a ‘heat event’.”

A “heat event”!?  What?!

“If you want to know more, I’ll talk after the session off the record.”

I wish I could divulge what he said to a small group of us clustered around the podium after the session was over, but it would break confidence.  We’ll have to wait for the official peer-reviewed publication.”

Interesting tease.

About Susan Kehoe

I am the wife of a Catholic deacon living in Des Moines Iowa. My husband Larry was ordained in 2006. We have two children and five grandchildren.. Our daughter and her family live in Ireland, and our son and his family live in Franklin Massachusetts.
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