Sodom lost? Archaeologists Find Ancient Middle Eastern City Destroyed By Cosmic Air Blast 3,600 Years Ago | The Weather Channel – Articles de The Weather Channel
In the 21st century, the Middle East is perhaps the most war-affected region in the world, with frequent armed conflict and airstrikes. But, even thousands of years ago, it wasn’t a safe place, a new study finds.
According to the study, present-day Tall el-Hammam, a Middle Bronze Age town in the southern Jordan Valley, was destroyed by a cosmic aerial explosion 3,600 years ago. A giant space rock speeding towards the city at around 61,000 km / h was the most likely cause of the destruction of this ancient Middle Eastern city and its inhabitants.
If this sounds familiar to you, it’s probably because of its similarity to the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, the biblical cities that were set on fire due to the wrath of God. Now, the archaeologists who worked on the site of Tall el-Hammam (TeH) think that the city could very well be Sodom itself!
TeH, now a mound of ancient ruins, has been the subject of archaeological excavations since 2005. Under the patronage of the Department of Antiquities of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the project is coordinated by the School of Archeology of the International University Veritas in Santa Ana, California, and Trinity Southwest University College of Archeology in Albuquerque, NM. The results of the excavations reveal surprising facts.
Once a thriving urban center
The ruins have layered remains of a fortified urban center, which is currently known as the largest Bronze Age city in the permanently populated southern Levant. Located in the southern highlands of the Jordan Valley, northeast of the Dead Sea, it was ten times the size of Jerusalem and five times the size of Jericho at the time. Evidence suggests that it was the urban center of a city-state that lasted uninterrupted for 3,000 years during the Chalcolithic Period and the Bronze Age, between 4700 BCE and 1650 BCE.
During the excavation of the final layer (1.5 m) of the Middle Bronze Age II, archaeologists discovered unusual debris patterns. These patterns were consistent in ancient cities that had been destroyed by war or earthquakes. However, an earthquake or war would not explain the other things they found: human bones, pottery shards with outer surfaces melted in glass, some bubbling as if they were “boiled”; fragments of raw bricks melted and “bubbled”; partially melted terracotta and melted construction plaster.
These findings implied that unknown high temperature events – and we’re talking about temperatures above 2,000 ° C – were likely responsible for the city’s destruction.
The fall of TeH
During the Tunguska event of 1908, a 56- to 60-meter meteor shattered the Earth’s atmosphere over the eastern Siberian taiga, causing an aerial explosion of 12 megatons. Something similar probably happened in the form of a massive cosmic explosion that caused the fall of TeH 3,600 years ago.
A probable scenario proposed was that the boulder erupted in a massive flame about 4 kilometers above the ground as it passed through the atmosphere. The detonation was 1,000 times more intense than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima. Anyone who looked at it would have been instantly blinded. Temperatures quickly rose to over 3,600 ° F (nearly 2,000 ° C); the clothes and wood would have immediately caught fire, while swords, spears, mud bricks and pottery all began to melt at the same time. The city must have been engulfed in flames within seconds.
According to the researchers, the force of the explosion above TeH was enough to destroy the city, leveling the palace and the perimeter walls and mud brick constructions.
A variety of soil and key layer sediment investigations yielded more evidence in the form of tiny spherules rich in iron and silica, as well as molten metals. Shocked quartz, the finely fragmented grains of sand that only formed at 725,000 pounds per square inch of pressure (5 gigapascals) were among the most significant finds.
The distribution of the bones suggested “severe disarticulation and skeletal fragmentation in nearby humans.” The destruction layer also contains small diamonoids (so named because they are as hard as diamonds). Each diamonoid was the size of an influenza virus. The extreme pressures and temperatures of the fireball appear to have quickly transformed the woods and plants in the area into this diamond-like material.
Did anyone witness the explosion and survive it?
An oral account of the destruction of the city was probably passed down for generations before it was written down as the biblical story of Sodom. The destruction of an urban center near the Dead Sea is described in the Bible: stones and fire fell from the sky, more than one town was destroyed, thick smoke rose from the blaze and many residents were killed.
Although the findings in Genesis are consistent with a cosmic aerial explosion, archaeologists have no scientific evidence to prove that this devastated city is Sodom of the Old Testament as of now. Other archaeologists believe that we should let the site speak for itself and then propose it as Sodom if the evidence supports it.
The study was published last week in the journal Nature and is accessible here.
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