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.
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.
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,
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.
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
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.