The Ruins of Sodom

The Destruction of Sodom and Gommorah by John Martin 1852

The Ruins of Sodom 

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Archeology is awesome. And I find it especially awesome when Archeology finds physical evidence or proof of historical events that might otherwise seem to only exist on paper or in the minds of people of certain cultures, or when archeology challenges the status quo beliefs about our own history.


So, this Episode I want to recount the famous story about a town in the Middle East, whose name is still relevant and present in our language and culture to this day, but for which little physical evidence has existed…


Genesis Chapter 19

19 That evening the two angels came to the entrance of the city of Sodom. Lot was sitting there, and when he saw them, he stood up to meet them. Then he welcomed them and bowed with his face to the ground. “My lords,” he said, “come to my home to wash your feet, and be my guests for the night. You may then get up early in the morning and be on your way again.” “Oh no,” they replied. “We’ll just spend the night out here in the city square.”

But Lot insisted, so at last they went home with him. Lot prepared a feast for them, complete with fresh bread made without yeast, and they ate. But before they retired for the night, all the men of Sodom, young and old, came from all over the city and surrounded the house. They shouted to Lot, “Where are the men who came to spend the night with you? Bring them out to us so we can have sex with them!”

So Lot stepped outside to talk to them, shutting the door behind him. “Please, my brothers,” he begged, “don’t do such a wicked thing. Look, I have two virgin daughters. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do with them as you wish. But please, leave these men alone, for they are my guests and are under my protection.”

“Stand back!” they shouted. “This fellow came to town as an outsider, and now he’s acting like our judge! We’ll treat you far worse than those other men!” And they lunged toward Lot to break down the door.

10 But the two angels[a] reached out, pulled Lot into the house, and bolted the door. 11 Then they blinded all the men, young and old, who were at the door of the house, so they gave up trying to get inside.

12 Meanwhile, the angels questioned Lot. “Do you have any other relatives here in the city?” they asked. “Get them out of this place—your sons-in-law, sons, daughters, or anyone else. 13 For we are about to destroy this city completely. The outcry against this place is so great it has reached the Lord, and he has sent us to destroy it.”

14 So Lot rushed out to tell his daughters’ fianc├ęs, “Quick, get out of the city! The Lord is about to destroy it.” But the young men thought he was only joking.

15 At dawn the next morning the angels became insistent. “Hurry,” they said to Lot. “Take your wife and your two daughters who are here. Get out right now, or you will be swept away in the destruction of the city!”

16 When Lot still hesitated, the angels seized his hand and the hands of his wife and two daughters and rushed them to safety outside the city, for the Lord was merciful. 17 When they were safely out of the city, one of the angels ordered, “Run for your lives! And don’t look back or stop anywhere in the valley! Escape to the mountains, or you will be swept away!”

18 “Oh no, my lord!” Lot begged. 19 “You have been so gracious to me and saved my life, and you have shown such great kindness. But I cannot go to the mountains. Disaster would catch up to me there, and I would soon die. 20 See, there is a small village nearby. Please let me go there instead; don’t you see how small it is? Then my life will be saved.”

21 “All right,” the angel said, “I will grant your request. I will not destroy the little village. 22 But hurry! Escape to it, for I can do nothing until you arrive there.” (This explains why that village was known as Zoar, which means “little place.”)

23 Lot reached the village just as the sun was rising over the horizon. 24 Then the Lord rained down fire and burning sulfur from the sky on Sodom and Gomorrah. 25 He utterly destroyed them, along with the other cities and villages of the plain, wiping out all the people and every bit of vegetation. 26 But Lot’s wife looked back as she was following behind him, and she turned into a pillar of salt.

27 Abraham got up early that morning and hurried out to the place where he had stood in the Lord’s presence. 28 He looked out across the plain toward Sodom and Gomorrah and watched as columns of smoke rose from the cities like smoke from a furnace.

29 But God had listened to Abraham’s request and kept Lot safe, removing him from the disaster that engulfed the cities on the plain.

This is of course the Story of Sodom from the Book of Genesis. Sodom, being the root of the still used word, "sodomy". 

The story you just heard, in case you aren’t familiar with it, happens after 3 mysterious strangers have an encounter with Abraham. Abraham being the generous and humble person that he is invites them into his home to share a meal. He soon discovers they are not mere mortals. Abraham is informed of the impending Judgement against the City of Sodom, where his relative Lot resides. Abraham pleads with the Lord to spare the city, even if only a few righteous men could be found. 

Abrahams Hospitality

When the angels arrive at Sodom they encounter Lot, who like Abraham and unlike the native residents of Sodom, shows them hospitality, offers them a place to stay and food to eat. 

The residents of Sodom are in the horrific habit of Sodomizing strangers. They demand Lot hand these two angels over to them. Lot defends the angels, and goes so far as to offer, in what is really an insult to the mob, and a desperate act to preserve some shred of their dignity, his two daughters. The mob makes a move to break down Lot’s door in response, and having seen and heard enough the Angels act, blinding the mob, and telling Lot what he needs to do to escape and survive the coming Judgement against Sodom. 

Sodom along with Gomorrah and its outlying villages, and the whole of the land were destroyed with burning sulphur and fire from the sky. 

Ever since it was written, this account has served as warning against cultural decay and sin, which ultimately leads to destruction one way or another.


But as with any big story in history, especially ancient history we are often left with very little in the way of physical clues. Depending on how you view the world this makes some events and views easy to dismiss if they don’t align with the one’s you already have, while others you might embrace wholesale. For example, how do you feel about the chronology of Ancient Egypt, Gobekli Tepi, or the phrase “History is determined by the Victor?” How often does you most hated politician distort events, even ones that only recently happened, how often is evidence obscured, destroyed? Now go even further, how often throughout history are entire populations or cultures……erased through genocide and persecution? Whether it’s the Roman conquest of Carthage, the Dacians, Countless Mongolian invasions of the East, or the plight of the Native Populations of the Americas as more technologically advanced peoples moved in? How much information was lost?


So, it caught my attention, and that of many others when an article was published in Scientific Reports titled “A Tunguska Sized airburst destroyed Tall el-Hammam, a Middle Bronze Age city in the Jordan valley near the Dead Sea” approximately 3600 years ago…


Links posted at 


The timing is about right, the location is spot on, and even the description of the method of turning this once thriving community into a heaping pile of rubble and ash is correct. Could this be the biblical Sodom and Gomorrah or one of the villages just outside?


First let’s consider the Tunguska event of 1908. Tunguska is in Eastern Siberia, and in 1908 the largest meteor event in modern history happened. Except it didn’t hit the ground. The Meteor exploded in midair at an altitude thought to be between 3 and 6 miles up. And the resulting shockwave flattened some 80million trees in the heavily forested region. Even without hitting the ground the seismic shockwave the airburst induced in the ground measured 5.0 on the Richter scale and was detected as far away as Washington DC. To put this in explosive terms it was about 12megatons of power. For reference the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima was a mere 15kilotons. Tunguska wasn’t just one single blast though, subsequent smaller blasts are thought to have occurred, creating just enough follow up energy to extinguish any fires that resulted from the larger blast.

Destroyed forest after the Tunguska Event

And to put that in perspective, the alleged even that leveled what we today refer to as Tal ell-Hammam was 1000 times more powerful than the Hiroshima bombs, which would put it at 15 megatons. 


There’s more we could say too, and thankfully for us video, in the case of the Chelyabinsk meteor impact in Chelyabinsk Russia in February 2013. Again, links at In this instance you can watch and even hear the meteor explode. Shattering over 1000 windows and injuring just as many people, with the remaining fragments of the meteor making relatively small impacts on the earth below. 


The Chelyabinsk meteor exploded with an energy of a mere 470 Kilotons at an altitude between 12-15 miles above the surface. 


So how about 15 MEGA tons, at presumably a much lower altitude? For reference 15 megatons is equivelant to the US Castle Bravo Nuclear test, the largest ever set off by the Americans. The Hellish video is Video at 

The ruins of Tall el-Hammam show us the results, melted bricks of city walls that were 4 meters thick, melted metals like gold and platinum, shocked quartz, experimental data suggest the temperature exceeded 2000 degrees Celsius! For Americans that’s 3,632 degrees. That is a little more than 1/3rd of the surface temperature of the Sun! 

The site of Tall el-Hammam

Michael Luddeni

Overview of the gate complex, east tower and city wall foundation at Tall el-Hammam

Ancient Walls at Tall el-Hammam

Moreover, some 120 regional sites were abandoned after this event, as the resulting hyper salinity of the soil made it inhospitable for the next 600+ years. Salt, also referenced in the biblical account. 


The timing of this event? Right around the time we might expect Abraham to have lived, and a few hundred years before the time of the Exodus. 


In my mind, this was very very likely the biblical Sodom. Sure, there will be arguing about a few years here and there, mostly by typical folks desperate to dismiss any sort of ancient text, but the similarities and such so far are much too hard to not at least consider. 


So, if this was Sodom, what remains is the story of the supernatural warning and rescue…Well, Love your Neighbor as yourself, and Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it….

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That’s all for this episode, cya next time.

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