City of Sodom Found?

After 10 years of digging, archaeologist Steven Collins, of Trinity Southwest University of New Mexico, and his team believe they have discovered the location of Biblical Sodom in the Southern Jordan Valley in Jordan, about 14 kilometers northeast of the Dead Sea. However, they are struggling to solve a deep mystery.

The city, with its massive walls, palaces, administrative buildings and surrounding farm region, flourished and dominated the region for 3,000 years. Based on evidence found at the site, some 4,000 years ago the entire area suddenly became uninhabited for over 700 years. Archaeologists and scientists are attempting to figure out why.

While digging at the Tall el-Hammam Excavation Project, Collins studied accounts of Sodom extensively, explaining to Popular Archaeology, “Tall el-Hammam seemed to match every Sodom criterion demanded by the text.”

We know very little about the Bronze Age in the south of the Jordan River Valley. Most archaeological maps of the area were blank. But what we have found is an important city-state, which was unknown before our project began,” he said.

“Tall el-Hammam matches the description of the area where Sodom was located according to the Bible. It was said to be the largest city east of Kikkar. When we explored the region, Tall el-Hammam was an obvious choice, as it was five to ten times larger than the other Bronze Age cities throughout the region, even those found beyond Jordan.”

One of the characteristics of Sodom mentioned in the Bible is the incredible richness of the area.  Lot, Abraham’s nephew who escaped Sodom when it was destroyed, chose the Jordan Valley for this particular trait (Genesis 13:10). The area of Tall el-Hammam fits that description well. The farms in the area took advantage of the annual flooding of the Jordan River, planting in the newly deposited rich silt as the floodwaters receded.