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Correspondence: Sodom and Gomorrah

February 9, 2006

Hello Mr. Aardsma or Sir/Madam,

I came across the article "EVIDENCE FOR A LOST MILLENNIUM IN BIBLICAL CHRONOLOGY," Radiocarbon Volume 37(1995), Number 2, page 267 ff. by Mr. Aardsma.

While the evidence presented for reconciling the chronology with the Exodus and with the Famine in Canaan is persuasive, I'm wondering how is this alternative chronology reconciled with the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah circa 2450--2350 B.C. which was recently carbon dated? I believe the traditional biblical date for the destruction of Sodom is 1892 B.C., so if inserting the missing 1000 years that would put the destruction at 2892 B.C. or 442--552 years after what appears to have been the destruction of the five cities of the plain---including Bab ed-Drha (if this is, in fact, ancient Sodom).

My background is History (B.A., Toronto) and biblical studies (M.Div., Intercultural Tyndale Seminary) with electives in biblical languages plus Intro to Near Eastern Archaeology from U. of T., SGS, Near Eastern Dept. as well as some law school (J.D. 1L) in the USA. I now work as a computer systems analyst, but I am currently doing some research on Jericho, the Conquest of Canaan, and some other issues pertaining to the historicity of the biblical record for a book I'm working on.


Hello Pete,

Since the discovery of the missing millennium over a decade ago I have followed the trail of evidences resulting from that chronological revision to first construct a complete unification of biblical and secular chronologies of earth history, and then to attempt to discover the cause of reduced human longevity following the Flood. These research objectives have led me to investigate a number of sites in considerable depth (for example, Jericho, Ai, Mount Sinai) but they have so far not afforded me the opportunity to thoroughly investigate many other sites I would like to, including Sodom and Gomorrah.

My brief study of Bab Edh-Dhra' (of which I have so far published nothing) suggests an immediate match between the Early Bronze Age IB and what one expects from the biblical record, given the missing millennium. Specifically, R. Thomas Schaub reports in The New Encyclopedia of Archaeological Excavations in the Holy Land, vol 1, p.133,

One of the [burial] houses also revealed extensive burning, and three of the crania in it had head wounds inflicted by a sharp weapon. These features, along with the consistent, extensive and thick ash-layered areas associated with the Early Bronze IB occupational levels, raise the possibility of the violent end to the Early Bronze Age IB occupation.
The head wounds match readily with the Genesis 14 war of the kings and the ash and subsequent occupational hiatus with the Genesis 19 destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. According to the Bible, this final destruction precedes the birth of Isaac, which in my chronology dates to 3067+/-14 B.C. (The Biblical Chronologist, vol 4, no 4, p.3). Thus we should expect the archaeological destruction corresponding to Genesis 19 to date ca. 3100 B.C. The NEAEHL chronology (vol. 4, p. 1529) places the end of EB-IB ca. 3000 B.C., which is within dating uncertainties (and naming uncertainties---note that Schaub goes on to mention EB-IC, which is absent in the NEAEHL chronology) at such a remote time. So overall there seems to be a good match between the predictions of the missing millennium thesis and the archaeological remains at Bab Edh-Dhra'.

I hope you will find these comments helpful in your own quest.

Gerald E. Aardsma

September 25, 2021

The following was received in an email to my wife while assisting Geir with an order.

Hello Again,

I think this might be of interest to your husband.


Attached to the email was a copy of a recently published article, "A Tunguska sized airburst destroyed Tall el-Hammam a Middle Bronze Age city in the Jordan Valley near the Dead Sea," (www.nature.com/scientificreports/ (2021) 11:18632) suggesting identification of the destruction with the biblically recorded destruction of Sodom.

October 9, 2021

Hello Geir,

Thank you for bringing this article to my attention. Its effort to link the proposed airburst destruction of Tall el-Hamman to the destruction of Sodom is seriously mistaken. The destruction of Sodom happened approximately 3100 B.C. Radiocarbon dates the destruction at Tall el-Hamman to approximately 1650 B.C. The two destruction events are clearly not synchronous, and thus not one and the same event.

The authors' suggestion that the Tall el-Hamman event may have occurred long before it was written down in the Bible is similarly seriously mistaken. This suggestion not only reverses the raw chronological facts of the matter—the article's secular radiocarbon date for the destruction of Tall el-Hamman falling after Sodom's biblical chronology date by nearly one and a half thousand years—but it also assumes that the biblical record of the ancient past is mythological despite the fact that modern biblical chronology has repeatedly falsified this notion. (See, as a most recent example, page 112 of the recently released second edition of "Aging: Cause and Cure.") The authors' cavalier treatment of biblical historical/chronological data in this way undermines confidence in their treatment of all of the data presented in their article.

According to modern biblical chronology, the Tall el-Hamman destruction falls within the roughly 800 years (approximately 1950 B.C. to 1150 B.C.) of biblical silence between the death of Samson and the birth of Samuel. Thus, the Bible may be expected to contain no historical record of the Tall el-Hamman destruction event.

Gerald Aardsma

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