A team of archaeologists have uncovered the mystery behind the disaster at the biblical Sodom and Gomorrah. According to bible scholars, the two adulterous cities were struck by fire which burnt with sulphur, sent by God due to the obnoxious and unrepentant nature of the occupants.
A report published in Nature Scientific Reports however has revealed that what took place at Tall Al Hammam (or Tell el Hammam) which has been identified by scientists to be the Sodom in the Bible was caused by a space rock that exploded over the city creating an airburst.
Tall Al Hammam excavation site
Findings have recently surfaced after fifteen years of painstaking excavation as lots of excavated artefacts have been put to thorough analyses by experts in USA, Canada and the Czech Republic.
The team uncovered a five foot layer of charcoal, ash, melted bricks and pottery. Using Online Impact Calculator, a technology which allows researchers to estimate the many details of a cosmic impact event based on known impact events and nuclear detonations, the scientists concluded that the culprit at Sodom was a small asteroid similar to the one that knocked down 80 million trees in Tunguska, Russia in 1908 exploded over the city. Those same asteroids are believed to be responsible for the extinction of dinosaurs over 65 million years ago.
During the research, the team found out that for hard materials such as bricks to have melted, the airburst may have emitted intense heat up to 2000 degrees Celsius and since there was no technology that could produce that kind of heat at that time, researchers began to look for natural explanations.
The team on site
The team said because of the intensity of the heat, even quartz which is one of the hardest minerals was shocked. James Kenneth, professor Emeritus of earth science at UC Santa Barbara said, ” We have shocked quartz from this layer and that means there were incredible pressures involved to shock quartz. Quartz is one of the hardest minerals”.