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South Coast Researchers Confirm Cosmic Event Destroyed Historic Middle East City 3600 Years Ago Which Might Have Been Sodom

UC Santa Barbara photo
Researchers at the site of Tall el-Hamman, which some say may have been the biblical city of Sodom.

Aerial blast killed residents, destroyed buildings.

Could the story of the destruction of the biblical city of Sodom be based on fact? A longtime UC Santa Barbara Earth Scientist, and his research team have discovered evidence it’s a possibility. Dr. James Kennett says artifacts from the ruins of a city in the Jordan Valley show it was destroyed by a cosmic airburst. Some think that city might be Sodom.

Dr. Kennett says Tall el-Hamman was a thriving city in the Middle Bronze Age some 3600 years ago.

Archaeologists exploring the remains of the city how found artifacts from different periods of its long history, but were baffled by some. That’s where Dr. Kennett, and his team came into the picture. They used elaborate testing on some artifacts which had been subjected to extreme heat.

Dr. Kennett says they looked at what heat does to more than three dozen types of minerals, and elements. He says they were able to figure out that the heat topped 2000 degrees celsius.

Tall el-Hamman has been the focus of debate among scholars over whether it could be the biblical city of Sodom, as described in the Old Testament Book of Genesis.

Dr. Kennett says there’s another possibility, which is the story of the destruction of a city by a cosmic burst, which is true, was retold over and over and morphed over the years into the version of the destruction of a city by God for its wickedness.

The researcher says the cosmic blast didn’t just destroy the city, and smaller surrounding communities, but it also damaged the soil, making it hard to farm in the Jordan Valley for centuries. Salt from the Dead Sea permeated the farmland in the region as a result of the blast.

Photo by Sonya Fernandez
UC Santa Barbara Emeritus Professor Of Earth Science Dr. James Kennett

Dr. Kennett says they just went public this week with a research paper outlining the findings. He says the team’s next goal is to look at how surrounding communities might have been affected by the cosmic blast.

The results of the research were published in this week’s edition of the journal Scientific Reports.

Updated: September 21, 2021 at 11:58 AM PDT
Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral.