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Archaeologist Uses Clues from Bible to Discover Famous City Destroyed by Fire from Heaven

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A famed archaeologist believes he has found the biblical city of Sodom in modern-day Jordan and says there is evidence that proves the city was wiped out by fire.

Steven Collins, Dean of the College of Archaeology at Trinity Southwest University, told Joel. C Rosenberg in a new episode of "The Rosenberg Report" how he and his team uncovered the Biblical cities of Sodom and Gomorrah in Jordan.

He says he used the scriptures as clues to find the location.

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"There's so much specific information about the location of these cities that you would practically have to be blind and illiterate not to be able to find the location of Sodom because there are at least 25 known pieces of geography that you can triangulate between to take you to the city of Sodom. It's not difficult," he explained.

He told Rosenberg that many archeologists assumed the cities were located near the Dead Sea because of William Albright, an archaeologist who set out to discover the cities in 1924.

Albright believed the rising sea waters covered its location, but nothing was discovered on the sea floor.

In 2001, Collins launched his exploration using a different approach. 

"Here's the problem with Albright's location of Sodom. He never, ever provides an exegesis of Genesis Chapter 13, which is the verbal map to get to the city of Sodom.…He just basically shot off the top of his head," said Collins.

Collins focused his search on the Jordan River Valley.

From there he used clues from the Bible, including a reference made in Genesis 13:10.

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"The proper question to ask in the location of Sodom is, 'Where was Lot standing when he lifted up his eyes and saw that the whole plain of the Jordan was well-watered?' It was Bethel and Ai," Collins explained.

This led Collins and his team to Tall el-Hammam. They were cleared by the Jordanian government to start a dig in that area.

"It was actually the biblical text that put us at this site," he told Rosenberg. "We just simply navigated around the geography."

They discovered a massive series of cities of the Bronze Age that were wealthy and large.

They uncovered pottery and artifacts that appeared to be melted.

"When you do the science of Sodom, you go to the text first. Why? Because the Bible is the only place, the only ancient text, that has survived with the name Sodom in it."

As CBN News has reported, Collins co-authored a paper that confirmed the city was destroyed by fire or a "thermal event."

"The violent conflagration that ended occupation at Tall el-Hammam produced melted pottery, scorched foundation stones, and several feet of ash and destruction debris churned into a dark gray matrix as if in a Cuisinart," he noted.

In another co-authored paper, archaeologist Phillip J. Silvia and Collins wrote, "The physical evidence from Tall el-Hammam and neighboring sites exhibit signs of a highly destructive concussive and thermal event that one might expect from what is described in Genesis 19."

In that paper, they concluded that Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed by a meteoritic airburst.


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About The Author


Talia Wise has served as a multi-media producer for, CBN Newswatch, The Prayer Link, and CBN News social media outlets. Prior to joining CBN News she worked for Fox Sports Florida producing and reporting. Talia earned a master’s degree in journalism from Regent University and a bachelor's degree from the University of Virginia.