A team of American archaeologists might just have found the original and real 'sin city'. An ancient city in eastern Jordan, which dates back to the Bronze Age, matches the biblical accounts of the biblical City of Sodom.
The City of Sodom is highly referenced in the Book of Genesis and throughout the New Testament. The City of Sodom, during its peak, was a popular common trade. In the Bible, Sodom was described as a large city with thick walls and protected by high, strong towers. The city was destroyed by God in a rain of fire and brimstone when his angels failed to locate virtuous men among its citizens but allowed one righteous man, Lot, to flee the city with his family. The citizens interpreted the natural phenomenon as a punishment from God for their grievous sins. The cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, another biblical city destroyed for the same reasons, were used as metaphors for homosexuality and vice.
"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," said archaeologist Steven Collins from New Mexico's Trinity Southwestern University.
The ancient city of Tall el-Hamman was found on the spot where the biblical city of Sodom was believed to have flourished, according to the Bible's narrative. Tall el-Hamman is believed to be Kikkar's largest city that thrived between 3500BC and 1450BC. Collins expressed that if an archaeologist wanted to locate the biblical city of Sodom, a good starting point would be the location of the largest city that existed during Abraham's time, the Bronze Age.
Collins' team found evidence of ramparts believed to have guarded the city during its time. Archeological finds included a 5.2 meter thick, 10 meters wide mudbrick wall. The research team believes this could be the biblical city of Sodom as Tall el-Hamman's location near the banks of Jordan River made it a popular trade route, same with Sodom. Growing evidence draws the picture that Tall el-Hamman was suddenly abandoned in mid Bronze Age.
"What we've got on our hands is an important city-state, major city-state that was, for all practical purposes, unknown to scholars before we started our project," said Collins.
Updates are posted on the Tall el-Hammam Excavation Project with photos of recent discoveries.