Archaeological Findings

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Spudnik510's picture
Archaeological Findings

Hi there I was just wondering what does every one think of the archaeological findings by Collins on tall El-Hammam he suggests that it is proof of the destruction of Sodom because the city was dated from around that time it was also the largest city on the plains and he claims the city was wiped out suddenly by a large amount of heat.
Any decent replies would be much appreciated.

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mickron88's picture
does it matter??you know

does it matter??you know people tend to find meaning on something that is really nonsensical. so who cares if they named it sodom?

Cognostic's picture
I can't find anything more

I can't find anything more recent that 2015 on the subject. Perhaps this is why....
Geography Fail: Bill Schlegel, professor in Israel for 25 years and author of the Satellite Bible Atlas, explains why the biblical text does not fit the geography of Tall el-Hammam.

Chronology Fail: Eugene Merrill, Distinguished Professor of Old Testament Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary and author of Kingdom of Priests: A History of Old Testament Israel, shows in a recent Artifax article that for Tall el-Hammam to be Sodom one must deny all of the biblical dates before the time of the judges.

One final point: the excavator of Tall el-Hammam insists that by identifying the site as Sodom he is supporting the historicity of the Bible. In fact, if his theory is true, we cannot trust the Bible for accurate details about times and places. Tall el-Hammam is certainly a significant site, but Sodom is surely to be found elsewhere.

Professor Eugene H. Merrill believes that the identification of Tall el-Hammam with Sodom would require an unacceptable restructuring of the biblical chronology.[35][36][37]

So probably not Sodom and Gomorah but still an interesting find and it might turn out to be another biblical Iron Age city. The bible is a religious text written in a historical time so most of the cities in it will be real. They may not have been cities at the time Jesus was alive, like Nazareth, but they will probably be real cities.

Sapporo's picture
It will never be proven that

It will never be proven that Sodom was destroyed by a supernatural act. Such an attribute is contrary to the concept of provability.

Nyarlathotep's picture
Spudnik - Wikipedia, Steven

Wikipedia, Steven Collins, start of article - Steven Collins (born September 11, 1950) is an American archaeologist and a professor with the College of Archaeology at the unaccredited Trinity Southwest University in Albuquerque, New Mexico...

That is where I stopped reading.

Sapporo's picture

I think that's unfair. He's as qualified to say he's an archaeologist as Paris Hilton is to say she's a philosopher.

Nyarlathotep's picture
Well for what it is worth; I

Well for what it is worth; I don't pay attention to Ms Hilton either.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
Yes they have found an

Yes they have found an ancient city. "Collins explained that this discovery is a milestone for archaeology and that the people that lived in this region once thrived in their carefully selected location (near abundant water resources and crossing several trade routes of the time), and the area was especially important between 3500 - 1450 BC." 'Ancient origins/Dr Collins'

And that is all he can assert

The finding or excavation of the city, that it was abandoned (like many cities for one reason or another) resettled (like many cities for one reason or another) is not proof of the veracity of a biblical story. It is proof of the existence of a Bronze age city and later iron age cousin in an ideal location.

Dr Collins is conducting the dig on behalf and funded by Trinity Southwest University of New Mexico, heres the Mission statement from the website " The mission of Trinity Southwest University is to provide quality higher education to adult learners, teaching them (through a variety of biblically based disciplines) to uphold the divine authority of the Bible as God’s inspired representation of reality to humankind, and equipping them to apply its eternal truths to all phases of life.

This puts any scientific or scholarly identification of the city as a biblical fact under a cloud of doubt. An independent team from Tel Aviv (as they have done before) would no doubt investigate these findings and conclusions and maybe come up with a different conclusion based on discoverable evidence.

So in short, city dscovered? Yes? Sodom? nah. That's called leaping to conclusions to reserve a presupposition.

Sushisnake's picture
Massive natural disasters

Massive natural disasters that destroyed peoples and places weren't unknown in the ancient world. The two that come to mind immediately are Pompeii and Herculaneum in 79 AD. Surrounding settlements were destroyed, too.

If you consider the earliest date for the Gospels of Matthew and Luke is 80 AD and John 95 AD, you can understand why the story of Sodom and Gomorrah grabbed the imaginations of early Christians and why the story grew legs. Pompeii and Herculaneum were fresh in their minds.

Sky Pilot's picture
If it's Sodom now's the time

If it's Sodom now's the time to get the best lots because, according to the fairy tale, it will be rebuilt to all of its former glory. So buy, buy, buy! It's a sure thing.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ Dio

@ Dio

I do so hate to rain on your Real Estate Mogul dreams, but the article stated it was destroyed in the bronze age and rebuilt 700 years your chance has gone....

Sky Pilot's picture
Now what the hell am I going

Now what the hell am I going to do with all of those donkeys? I guess I'll have to break their necks. I had a large lot picked out for the donkey market.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ Dio

@ Dio
Sell them as Palm Sunday gifts...

Tin-Man's picture


Are any of them talking donkeys? Ummm, asking for a friend.

Sushisnake's picture


A friend of mine's always wanted a couple of donkeys. Would you like me to ask her if she'll take a few?

Sky Pilot's picture


I'll let her have all she wants but it'll cost her a lamb for each one. That's the going rate per the 4th Commandment. There's no extra charge for the 40 talking donkeys. They only speak ancient Assyrian.

Sushisnake's picture
She'd probably learn ancient

She'd probably learn ancient Assyrian so she could talk to them, but the lambs might be a problem. She has dogs- but no lambs. She could buy lambs, I guess, but all Australians know what goes on in live sheep export now and I just can't see her doing that. Oh well! I guess she'll just have to go to her Plan B- tree sloths and chimpanzees, though I've told her she's mad to want chimps- go bonobos, I reckon. Bonobos all the way. Pretty sure a collective of bonobos is an orgy of bonobos.

Sheldon's picture
I can find nothing on any

I can find nothing on any news channel claiming archaeology has evidenced a supernatural event?

Prima facie I have to say I'm dubious about the conclusions being drawn here, in no small part because religious apologists are always making such claims without proper evidence.

How many other prominent scientists in the relevant scientific fields have peer reviewed his work and validated his claims?

Sheldon's picture
It appears I was late to the

It appears I was late to the party, also that I was right to be dubious.

ian991's picture
Ancient places can be found

Ancient places can be found all over Africa. Their fascinating histories and impressive artifacts open intriguing glimpses to times past, and open up a window on African history. Visiting such historical places in Africa can be an unforgettable experience.

Science is constantly discovering new archaeological places and uncovering more evidence into what we once thought we knew about our history, therefore offering new pieces to the ever changing puzzle of humanity’s past and altering how we interpret it. This section will present ancient African history articles, highlighting the most interesting archaeological sites all over Africa, as well as new discoveries of ancient places that are worth paying a visit.


Attach Image/Video?: 

Spudnik510's picture
Hi there, Thank you for all

Hi there, Thank you for all your replies.
Does anybody know what is meant by when Collins suggests the site at Tall El-Hammam was destroyed by a large heat event.
What kind of evidence does he have?
Someone said on a website that there was a large and deep ash layer, that was spread across the site.
Many thanks

LogicFTW's picture
Ask your self which is more

Ask your self which is more likely?

1. One particular god idea out of the many, different god ideas out there used his "magical powers" to wipe out sodom exactly like how the book on this particular god says. A god that carefully hides most all obvious evidence of his existence, but somehow managed to miss this little "nugget" of supposed "hard" evidence.

2. Or, just about anything else. Like someone got the findings wrong, (is it even really Sodom?) found some ash and perhaps surmised incorrectly how that ash came to be there? Or someone reported the findings wrong, misinterpreted something, misrepresented something?

mickron88's picture
so perhaps its a sign that

so perhaps its a sign that god really exist.

amen to "A-fucking-men" to that....its about time that they have a very concrete evidence for me to believe...thanks spudnik..

...hahah... NO..!!!

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ Spudnik

@ Spudnik

I reprint this as is obviously hasn't registered with you yet....

Dr Collins is conducting the dig on behalf and funded by Trinity Southwest University of New Mexico, heres the Mission statement from the website " The mission of Trinity Southwest University is to provide quality higher education to adult learners, teaching them (through a variety of biblically based disciplines) to uphold the divine authority of the Bible as God’s inspired representation of reality to humankind, and equipping them to apply its eternal truths to all phases of life.

Did I say that this university is unaccredited? Dr(?) Collins "Dr. Steven Collins has been researching and lecturing in the field of Near Eastern archeology, biblical studies, and apologetics for more than 30 years. His background as a field archaeologist and Bible scholar "

Note the "Apologetics" as a qualification. This should set alarm bells ringing all over your sceptical brain. This man finds what he has pre supposed he will find.
Evidence of burning is all too common in cities all over the world. When a city loses its status it is not long before the neighbours invade, conquer, loot and most often in the process, burn it. When someone in the future rediscovers many layers of burning will they find? That's just from a civil war! When they investigate Atlanta, Ga or San Francisco or London...oh guess what...evidence of wide scale destruction and burning.

"Dr" Collins seems to be making wild assumptions to sell his books and peddle his theories garnering media attention and donations from the gullible to continue his excavations. That's the real story!

Sapporo's picture
By what he means, probably

By what he means, probably some act of god.

However, without knowing any specific details, given the region, the most likely explanation would be a fire (i.e. as opposed to a volcanic eruption etc.).

Sushisnake's picture


Re: "Someone said on a website that there was a large and deep ash layer, that was spread across the site.
Many thanks"

I couldn't find anything on the ash layers at all other than Collins claiming they were there, but I did learn astronomers and archaeologists have found evidence of a major comet strike during the Bronze Age, which caused the wholesale collapse of several civilisations around 2200 BC. Between 2300 and 2000 BC is the date the Bible gives for the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, by the way. Collins' site is half a millennium or so too young to be the Biblical Sodom.

A google search didn't turn up much on Collins' site at all, just articles repeating his claims -usually quoting him directly. I did learn the dig's been going for a decade, yet there's no interest in it outside of Christianity, Judaism and the field of biblical archaeology - and the other biblical archaeologists do not agree with Collins' claim:

I also learned this isn't the first time a biblical archaeologist has claimed to find Sodom and/or Gomorrah. It's a shame really. It would be interesting to know who these people were and what destroyed their settlement at Tall El-Hammam. It seems reasonable to conclude they weren't Sodomites. Perhaps one day real archaeologists will be able to examine the site and tell us.

Spudnik510's picture
Hi, this was one of the

Hi, this was one of the comments I found on a forum.

The most recent official report
and a looser back and forth
Leaving aside the Bible this is a site that was destroyed leaving a widespread and deep ash layer (.5 to 1 meter in depth) dating to late MB2/MB3 (MB is Middle Bronze Age which would be about 1650CE). So what caused this destruction? Military sacking followed by burning, accidental fire, earthquake followed by fire or something rarer in the way of a natural disaster. However some evidence of Late Bronze Age building has shown up so life did exist in the area shortly after the destruction.

Any thoughts on the extent of this destruction. I find it hard to imagine such a wide spread deposit of ash. 5 Metres of ash is quite extraordinary.

watchman's picture


" I find it hard to imagine such a wide spread deposit of ash. 5 Metres of ash is quite extraordinary."....

Not really...... the site is 1 km east to west and something around 700 meters north to south..... so how widespread can it really be..?
Read Schliemann's accounts of his excavations at Troy withrespect to the ash layers he found.

Personally I suspect what you refer to as "Military".... the clue I think is the date.... around 1650 BCE.... this puts it right in the middle of the period which saw the arrival of the Hyskos..... with their chariots.... improved arrow heads etc. check out what happened to the Egyptians at their hands....

"Manetho's account, as recorded by Josephus, describes the appearance of the Hyksos in Egypt as an armed invasion by a horde of foreign barbarians who met little resistance, and who subdued the country by military force. He records that the Hyksos burnt their cities, destroyed temples, and led women and children into slavery.

It has been claimed that new revolutionary methods of warfare ensured the Hyksos the ascendancy in their influx into the new emporia being established in Egypt's delta and at Thebes in support of the Red Sea trade.

Herbert Eustis Winlock describes new military hardware, such as the composite bow, as well as the improved recurve bow, and most importantly the horse-drawn war chariot, as well as improved arrowheads, various kinds of swords and daggers, a new type of shield, mailed shirts, and the metal helmet."

This is not an uncontested view...but given the location of the site I believe it to be the most logical explanation.

algebe's picture


Both of your links are broken, so I can't check your sources. A 5-meter ash layer does seem extraordinary. Are you sure that's not the depth below the present surface where the ash layer starts? For comparison, the burning of Londinium by Boudicca in AD 60 left an ash layer about 40cm thick starting about 4 meters below the modern surface.

arakish's picture


Here they are.


mickron88's picture
"this is a site that was

"this is a site that was destroyed leaving a widespread and deep ash layer"

"5 Metres of ash is quite extraordinary."

i am much interested on the cave when lot molested her daughters...or was it the other way around..
god do love that bible style... hell yeah....


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