A team of archaeologists led by Prof. Steve Collins has reportedly unearthed the ruins of the ancient cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, which according to the Bible suffered a catastrophic destruction caused by God.
Collins and his team from the Trinity Southwest University in New Mexico announced that after 10 years of excavation and study as part of the Tall el-Hammam excavation project, they have discovered what seems to be the site of the biblical city of Sodom, according to the digital magazine Popular Archeology.
"The archaeological team unearthed a goldmine of ancient monumental structures and artifacts that are revealing a massive Bronze Age city-state that dominated the region of Jordan's southern Jordan Valley, even during a time when many other great cities of the 'Holy Land' region were either abandoned or in serious decline," Collins said.
"Very, very little was known about the Bronze Age in the Middle Ghor (southern Jordan Valley) before we began our excavations in 2005," he said. "Even most of the archaeological maps of the area were blank, or mostly so. What we've got on our hands is a major city-state that was, for all practical purposes, unknown to scholars before we started our project."
Collins said when comparing the newly discovered ruins with the remains of other nearby ancient cities, along with its prime location and dates of occupation, "it emerges as the best candidate for the lost city of Sodom—the infamous city that, based on the Biblical account, was destroyed by God in a fiery cataclysm because of its iniquity."
"Tall el-Hammam seemed to match every Sodom criterion demanded by the text," he said.
According to Wikipedia, Sodom and Gomorrah were cities mentioned in the Book of Genesis and throughout the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament and in the deutorocanonical Book of Wisdom, as well as in the Qur'an and hadith.
In the book of Torah, it was mentioned that the kingdoms of Sodom and Gomorrah and three other cities were known as the "Cities of Plain" as these were situated on the Jordan River plain in the southern region of the land of Canaan. The plain was then compared to the Garden of Eden as being "a land well-watered and green, suitable for grazing livestock."
When "divine judgment'' by God was reportedly passed upon Sodom and Gomorrah and two neighbouring cities, "they were completely consumed by fire and brimstone." The cities then have become synonymous with sin, according to Wikipedia.