Since the days of Lot, the names of Sodom and Gomorrah have been tossed about in pretty much every direction by just about every religious group in the world. “The sin of Sodom” has been described in many different ways.
Fortunately for all of us, this isn’t one of those posts.
Over the years, there has been a lot of speculation about the location of Sodom and Gomorrah, also called the “cities of the plain”. A few scholars have put forth unconvincing data suggesting a connection between Sodom and Gomorrah and Bab edh-Dhra and Numeira. However, the age and location of these two sites do not support that theory.
Others are convinced that they are under water at the south end of Dead Sea. W F Albright and G E Wright are among those who hold that opinion. Then, there’s Tristam, Conder, Merrill, and Thompson who claimed, in the late 19th century, that they were located north of the Dead Sea, in the southern Jordan Valley.
The most convincing site to be discovered to date is at Tall al-Hamman. Archaeologists have discovered that the area was definitely destroyed in the late Bronze Age by a “heat event”. Many believe a massive earthquake released petroleum reserves that were ignited and rained destruction down onto the two cities. The temporal and geographical evidence combine to make a very convincing argument.
A great deal more excavation is required on this rather large site. It’s going to be very exciting to see what is discovered over the next few seasons.
For citations, refer to Genesis 13-19 and Qur’an VII.7.84; XII.11.82; XIV.15.61-79; XIX.25.40; XX.29.40