The Biblical city of Sodom might have been found
The Biblical city of Sodom – often cited to justify homophobia – might have been found by archaeologists.
The book of Genesis describes God raining ‘fire and brimstone’ down on Sodom after the people of the town tried to have sex with angel houseguests.
The interpretation of the passage has long been disputed, but conservative Christian groups often use it as evidence of God condemning homosexuality. It also gives its name to the sexual offence of ‘sodomy’.
Republican Michele Bachmann recently claimed that the United States might face the same punishment as Sodom for introducing same-sex marriage.
However, archaeologists this week may have found the remains of the genuine article.
A large Bronze Age city has been located in the region of Tall el-Hammam in Jordan – which perfectly matches the Biblical descriptions of Sodom before its destruction.
The city, which has been dated between 3500 and 1540 BC, is located east of the River Jordan and appears to have been ‘suddenly abandoned’ – though obviously this could be for a number of reasons other than fleeing a vengeful god.
Archaeologist Steven Collins told Popular Archaeology: “I concluded that if one wanted to find Sodom, then one should look for the largest city on the eastern Kikkar that existed during the Middle Bronze Age, the time of Abraham and Lot.
“When we explored the area, the choice of Tall el Hammam as the site of Sodom was virtually a no-brainer since it was at least five to 10 times larger than all the other Bronze Age sites in the entire region.
“[It] matches the description of the area where Sodom was located according to the Bible.”
He added: “It was an impressive and formidable defensive system protecting the residences of the wealthier citizens of the city, including the king’s palace and related temples and administrative buildings.”