Text version
HomeIntroductionOld TestamentNew Testament



Imprint / Contact


Faith and Facts

Sodom and Gomorra

The biblical story of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorra was probably based on the memory of an unusual earthquake that took place near the southern end of the Dead Sea in 2000-2500 BC and deserted several villages. There are scientific works discussing this theory so the available information are rather good.

Minor earth quakes are frequent occurrences in the Death Sea region. Dozens or even hundreds have been recorded by the scientists. Local people are used to this. Consequently, an earth quake strong enough to enter the common memory as an epic disaster must have been an extremely violent one. A large earth quake could produce the phenomenon described in the bible such as pillars of smoke (caused by released inflammable gas) and the devastation of an entire area. In Jordan sulphur balls have been found that might be connected to this event.

Sodom and Gomorra belong to the biblical “five cities of the plain”. The other three are Admah, Zebojim, and Zoar. To date, none of these five cities has been 100% localized. Besides Sodom Zoar can probably be localised best. Today there are two candidates for Zoar. Researchers need to keep in mind, though, that the Roman Zoar does not have to be the biblical Zoar.

The archaeologists have found several small settlements near the southern tip of the Dead Sea. So far none of them have been identified with Sodom or Gomorra. The existence of further, undiscovered settlements is considered unlikely. The arid area can be examined very well using aerial prospection.

Because of the large size of the affected area and the nature of the event I consider the chances to find traces of this event pretty good. From all epic biblical events this one can probably be traced best.

(C) 2006-2011 Thorsten Straub, www.biblical-finds.com