Archaeologists believe they have made the historic discovery of the ruins of the Biblical city of Sodom – supposedly destroyed by God as punishments for its inhabitants’ sins.
A decade of digs at the site to the east of Jordan has established the remains of a large Bronze Age city, that experts suspect is Sodom.
According to the Bible, the city was destroyed alongside Gomorrah, as a judgement from God because of its residents involvement in vice and homosexuality which were considered deviant at the time.
A large amount of the city has now been revealed after 10 years, including defenses and many plazas connected by roads, and it appears it was abandoned for 700 years before being reoccupied.
The site is in a location called Tall el-Hamaam, which dates back to between 3500 and 1540 BC.
Steven Collins from Trinity Southwestern University in New Mexico, who has led the project, said it was a “monstrous” city compared to others in the area from the same period.
The team has found evidence of a city that was expanded and given defence’s of thick walls and ramparts, including a 5.2-metre thick mudbrick wall of 10 metres high.
“We know very little about the Bronze Age in the south of the Jordan River Valley. Most archaeological maps of the area were blank,” said Mr. Collins.
“But what we have found is an important city-state, which was unknown before our project began,” he added.
Mr. Collins 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. So, I came to the conclusion that if one wanted to find Sodom, one should seek the largest city that existed in this area during the Bronze Age, in the time of Abraham,” he said.
“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,” he added.
The team is convinced what they have found must be Sodom as their evidence suggests the city thrived due to its location by the Jordan river and major trade routes, how Sodom is described in the Bible.
According to Mr. Collins, the huge city was abandoned under mysterious circumstances at the end of the Bronze Age, possibly after an earthquake.