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Archeologists just discovered what happened to Sodom

A team of archeologists while conducting research at Tall el-Hammam (believed to be the biblical Sodom), believe they have uncovered evidence of the traumatic events that led to the destruction of Sodom. Findings were published in Nature Scientific Reports, and suggest that the destruction was caused by a space rock that exploded over the city creating an airburst.

Getting answers required nearly 15 years of painstaking excavations by hundreds of people.  It also involved detailed analyses of excavated material by more than two dozen scientists in 10 states in the U.S., as well as Canada, and the Czech Republic. 

Daily Caller reports that the team uncovered a five-foot layer of charcoal, ash, melted bricks, and pottery. FOr these building materials to melt, the heat must have been above 2000 degrees Celsius. Since there was no means of artificially generating such high temperatures at that time, experts began to look for natural explanations.

The heat was powerful enough it was even able to shock quartz. In an interview with Newsweek, James Kennett, professor emeritus of earth science at UC Santa Barbara, said: 

“We have shocked quartz from this layer, and that means there were incredible pressures involved to shock the quartz crystals—quartz is one of the hardest minerals; it’s very hard to shock.”

Archeologists just discovered what happened to Sodom
Researchers stand near the ruins of ancient walls, with the destruction layer about midway down each exposed wall. Photo: Phil Silvia, CC BY-ND

Airburst

To figure out what could, the group used the Online Impact Calculator to model scenarios that fit the evidence. Built by impact experts, this calculator allows researchers to estimate the many details of a cosmic impact event, based on known impact events and nuclear detonations.

It appears that the culprit at Tall el-Hammam was a small asteroid similar to the one that knocked down 80 million trees in Tunguska, Russia in 1908. It would have been a much smaller version of the giant miles-wide rock that pushed the dinosaurs into extinction 65 million ago.

We had a likely culprit. Now we needed proof of what happened that day at Tall el-Hammam.

Our research revealed a remarkably broad array of evidence.

At the site, there are finely fractured sand grains called shocked quartz that only form at 725,000 pounds per square inch of pressure (5 gigapascals) – imagine six 68-ton Abrams military tanks stacked on your thumb.

The destruction layer also contains tiny diamonoids that, as the name indicates, are as hard as diamonds. Each one is smaller than a flu virus. It appears that wood and plants in the area were instantly turned into this diamond-like material by the fireball’s high pressures and temperatures.

The Daily Beast

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