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Tall al-Hammam

11 July 2015

Publication of the 'The Tall al-Hammam Excavations' (volume one)  is now complete. The report is by Collins, Kobs and Luddeni, Eisenbraums of Winona Lake, and concerns the excavations undertaken between 2005 and 2011 (ISBN … 9781575063690), 362 pages in length with lots of colour pictures.

There is no certainty that this site is identifiable with Sodom of the Biblical narrative and people have suggested alternative identifications. William Thompson has suggested we see the site as a MB city that was destroyed by a cosmic airburst and not to worry too greatly if it was Sodom for the moment – which may perhaps satisfy the revisionists and cause them to look at the excavation report with less bias, or cynicism. Collins, Kobs and Luddeni (2015) say the MB age city towards the end of MB2 was violent and the end date is in the range of 1750-1650BC (conventional chronology date). This means the low growth tree ring date of 1628-5BC falls just outside that range – although a volcanic eruption may have been the cause of the ice core signature that does not rule out a cosmic event as a trigger mechanism. On page 175 the authors say that focussed research into the phenomenon that caused the end of Tall al-Hammam is ongoing and quote the work of Marie Agnes Courty at Tell Leilan, Tell Hjeira and Tell Brak 'fiery air blast of cosmic origin' quoting papers by Courty in (1998, 2001, 2008), and Weiss et al (1993). See also article by Marie Agnes Courty in the SIS Second Cambridge Conference Review (available via Archaeopress).

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