A meteorite impact near the Dead Sea about 3,700 years ago

Has anyone else seen this? Could it possibly be the basis for the story of Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis?

Incidentally @Joel_Duff has also written a blog post on this subject and similar discoveries round the Dead Sea relating to that time:


I am eagerly awaiting the publication of the research that supports these claims. If true it is really amazing that such a significant event has gone un-noticed for so long. I’m especially interested in how they have dated this event and how robust that dating. 3700 years ago is a intriguing timeline. I also would expect some sort of evidence of this in the sediment cores taken from the Dead Sea and there may be because there are several siesmites which I would guess could be caused by an airburst rather than an earthquake but I will need to see if the experts agree. I realize looking at my post that I need to do some updating since I refer to a figure that I don’t provide that shows a significant seismite around 2000BC which is in the range of this proposed airburst. Fascinating stuff.


Dr. Collins has been digging at Tall el-Hammam for several seasons now.


In his “Discovering the City of Sodom” he mentions finding trinitite at the site.


This is great evidence against the minimalist view of Biblical scholarship, but little else.

Craig Olson, who previously had dug at Tall el-Hamman with the Collins group, did his doctoral dissertation at Dallas Theological Seminary on the effect of the more recent date on biblical chronology. He finished it several years ago. I recommend both Collin’s book on Sodom and Olson’s dissertation for serious students of the topic.


So when can one expect the results to be published?

Dr. Olson’s dissertation is available for purchase here.

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Thanks for sharing @jammycakes . How do you personally think about Sodom & Gomorrah in Genesis in light of such evidence? I suppose one should at least go as far as admitting it likely served as inspiration for such an event - do you think it is fair to then go ahead and claim that the Biblical story is true in a historical sense? Or should it be more nuanced than that?

Well it’s certainly encouraging because it tilts the balance in the general direction of true in a historical sense, and away from the minimalist approach that treats the Bible as having no historical value whatsoever and views everything as myth/legend/fiction/fairy tales unless it can be corroborated from elsewhere by forms signed in triplicate, lost, found again, buried in soft peat for three months and recycled as firelighters.

What exactly is meant by “true in a historical sense” is a bit like asking “how long is a piece of string” though. It could be anything from just acknowledging that Abraham, Lot, the other characters involved, the general sinful culture of Sodom and Gomorrah, and Lot’s flight from the city were a historical reality, right through to treating every last word of every conversation as a precise word-for-word transcription of exactly what was said rather than just conveying the general gist of it. I’m personally inclined to just say “somewhere in between the two.”


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