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Space rock blast 1,000 times stronger than atomic bomb wiped out ancient city

Original source (on modern site) | Article images: [1]

ANCIENT evidence of a catastrophic 'cosmic airburst' is being linked to the Biblical story of the destruction of Sodom in a new study.

Researchers claim to have found 3,600-year-old evidence of a space rock blast that wiped out the ancient city of Tall el-Hammam.


This is a reconstruction of how the event could have lookedCredit: UC Santa Barbara


Evidence of extreme temperatures has been found at the siteCredit: Scientific reports

Evidence includes pottery shards that were partially melted into glass and melted building materials in a 5-foot layer of burnt ground in the Jordan Valley.

The researchers explain in their study: "We present evidence that in ~ 1650 BCE (~ 3600 years ago), a cosmic airburst destroyed Tall el-Hammam, a Middle-Bronze-Age city in the southern Jordan Valley northeast of the Dead Sea."

They added: "There is an ongoing debate as to whether Tall el-Hammam could be the biblical city of Sodom."

Although they do clarify that finding out whether Tall el-Hammam is Sodom is beyond the "scope" of their investigation, they do consider whether the 'air burst' event could connect the two.

The study states: "Regarding this proposed airburst, an eyewitness description of this 3600-year-old catastrophic event may have been passed down as an oral tradition that eventually became the written biblical account about the destruction of Sodom."

The archaeological evidence all points to a high-temperature event that technology at the time could not produce.

Study co-author James Kennett said in a statement: "We saw evidence for temperatures greater than 2,000 degrees Celsius."

This led the researchers to compare their findings to an airburst in 1908 referred to as the Tunguska Event.

That event saw a 56-60-metre meteor crash through Earth's atmosphere and explode in the sky.

The explosion was the equivalent to 185 Hiroshima bombs.

More than 80million trees were knocked down over a remote area covering 830 square miles.

Miraculously, no one was killed, but if the meteor had burst over a city it could have massacred millions.

The study suggests a similar cosmic event levelled the city of Tall el-Hammam.

Human remains in the area also suggests a deadly hot demise for the people who lived there.

The full study has been published in the journal Nature Scientific Reports. 



The site is located near the Dead SeaCredit: Scientific reports


Archaeologists have debated over whether the site is the Sodom mentioned in the BibleCredit: Scientific reports


The archaeologists found evidence of temperatures of 2,000 degrees Celsius at the site

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