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Peer Reviewed article on Tall el-Hammam excavations published

21 September 2021

The Trinity South West excavations at Tall el-Hammam in Jordan has been published at last – in the journal Nature Scientific Reports. It is a bumper article so it might be best to save it to your computer to read rather than print it out for scrutiny in your armchair. An awful lot of work went into its production. For a short description see for example https://phys.org/news/2021-09-evidence-cosmic-impact-ancient-city.html … the destruction layer is dated at 1650BC, obliterating the city presented by the tell at Tall el-Hammam, on the Kikkar just north of the Dead Sea. At the time, in the MB age, Hammam was ten times bigger than contemporary Jerusalem and five times bigger than Jericho. Philip J Silvia is mentioned, the driver of the cosmic airburst hypothesis – as it was at the time. He is also the author of an article in an SIS journal that provided some of the archaeological findings. James Kennet, of Younger Dryas [YD] boundary event fame [or is it notoriety], compares it to the Tunguska event in AD1908 [an atmospheric meteor explosion over a remote part of Russia]. The MB explosion flattened the city as well as other towns in the Kikkar, shattering its walls and mudbrick fabric. The distribution of bones indicated an 'extreme disarticulation and skeletal fragmentation' of humans living in the city. Jericho, on the edge of the Kikkar, also suffered extensive damage at the same time, it is alleged. The Kikkar was left barren during the LB period but farming returned in the Iron Age. However, Kennett also says there is no scientific evidence to say that Hammam was certainly the Biblical city of Sodom even though the manner of its destruction seems to resemble the Biblical narrative [assuming the angel of the Lord was, in reality, a meteor].

Kevin sent in the link to Https://theconversation.com/a-giant-space-rock-demolished-an-ancient-mid… … it created a huge wind that toppled the walls of Jericho, 14 miles away. It too was burned to the ground – possibly the effects of the blast. There have been 15 years of excavation at Hammam [although last year it was restricted because of covid]. The YD team was only brought in a few years ago as the evidence required was complicated. In fact, the team behind the article is bulky, just like the article itself. It includes not just archaeologists such as Phil Silvia but geologists, geochemists, geomorphologists, mineralogists, paleobotanists, sedimentologists, and cosmic impact specialists – even a medical doctor. The heat was so intense it melted metal and pottery, and the fabric of the buildings. The destruction of Abu Hureya in Syria, around the time of the Younger Dryas boundary, was the first city known to have been brought low by an airburst event, and now Hammam makes a second one. It is possible that others have occurred but it has never, previously, been picked up by archaeologists before. Kudos to Phil Silvia. One reason for this is that Phil Collins, the lead archaeologist, had narrowed down the location of Sodom to the Kikkar and then set about identifying which tell it might have been [a tall in the local dialect]. In the Bible, the destruction was wrought by an angel of the Lord. However, the description of how it came about fits the idea of an airburst event – fire and brimstone for example. The archaeology team, therefore, paid attention to the destruction layer – situated just beneath the present day surface. They came up trumps it would seem. The Conversation piece ends by saying that as of September 2021 scientists have identified more than 26,000 known near earth space rocks and a hundred short period near earth comets. Many more remain undetected as they are dark objects.

The most recent newsletter [20th September 2021] of the Tall el-Hammam Excavation Project [TeHP] announced the publication of the article in Nature Scientific Reports 'A Tunguska sized Airburst destroyed Tall el-Hammam, a Middle Bronze Age city in the Jordan Valley near the Dead Sea'. It has 20 contributing authors in addition to Phil Silvia himself. The burn layer was found just below the modern surface of the half mile long tell. We get some idea of the problems involved in getting it published and why it became so bulky – as 20 authors = 20 different specialists. Each had their own story to tell. In spite of this, the article is going to stir a few pots and upset others. Not least chronology buffs – as well as the scientific community and people working in Biblical studies. For years Biblical scholars have proposed other locations for the Cities of the Plain – south and west of the Dead Sea [or even drowned beneath the Dead Sea]. Genesis 13 clearly positons the city and the plain north of the Dead Sea = the Kikkar. Secular historians dispute any literal claim for the existence of Sodom insisting the account is a myth – in spite of Collins using the Biblical narrative to identify the precise location of the city. They regard the Sodom story as a myth – in their view, a fairy tale. They are obviously going to try and tone down the findings – and that is without delving into the likelihood, or not, of the airburst. Silvia has come under fire from theologians and Biblical scholars for 'impugning' the miraculous nature of God's action in destroying Sodom, a den of iniquity, by investigating the physical nature of the event. The full article as a free download is at www.nature.com/articles/s41598-021-97778-3 

William also sent in a link to https://cosmictusk.com/tall-el-hammam-impact-jordan-valley-sodom/ .. also with a link to the full article.

A few days prior to the Hammam announcement there was a report of something ploughing into Jupiter – probably a piece of a comet that had recently fragmented. See https://phys.org/news/2021-09-big-jupiter.html … Comet Shoemaker-Levy, back in 1994, struck Jupiter with many telescopes trained on it. The incident led to a complete reappraisal of the idea of cosmic impacts. Science now had one on record – seen by a large number of astronomers. It could not be denied any longer. Since 1994 many other objects have impacted Jupiter. Indeed, they probably happen all the time but are mostly unobserved. However, on September 13th 2021 a big impact was spied by astronomers around the world – including many amateur telescope gazers. A video film captured the event, taken by an astronomical society in Lorraine in France.

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