Is This What Really Happened To Sodom And Gomorrah?

The story of Sodom and Gomorrah is one of the more striking examples of God's wrath in the Old Testament. The story is told in Genesis 19 and tells of Abraham's companion Lot and his family fleeing Sodom in the middle of the night after angels warned that God was going to destroy the city and its nearby companion for their wickedness. Lot and his family fled, but his wife turned to look back — despite the angels warning her not to — and was turned into a pillar of salt for her disobedience.

The narrative describes the cities as having been destroyed by fire from the sky. "Then the Lord rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah — from the Lord out of the heavens," the text reads. It also notes that the destruction was so thorough that even the crops growing in the fields were destroyed.

For centuries, Biblical scholarship has wrestled with whether or not Sodom and Gomorrah were real places, and if so, what became of them. And archaeologists have, for years, been excavating a site that may or may not have been Sodom. Interestingly, they found evidence that it was, indeed, destroyed by fire. Specifically, it might have been a meteor strike that doomed the settlement.

Scientists have found evidence of meteor strikes from more than one source

As Forbes reports, archaeologists have been excavating a site near the Dead Sea in Jordan known as Tall el-Hammam that may or may not have been the ancient city known as Sodom. And as it turns out, they've unearthed evidence that points to the city having been destroyed by intense heat and a directional blast — things that would definitely happen if a meteor exploded over the city. Further, they've found evidence that points to the event having contaminated the once-fertile soil so thoroughly that the site was abandoned for the next 600 years, which aligns with the Bible's account of the vegetation having been destroyed.

Meanwhile, another bit of evidence also points to the possibility of a meteor strike destroying not just the Biblical cities but affecting a region thousands of miles away. As The Register reports, a meteor impact is believed to have caused a landslide of unimaginable proportions in Austria in 3123 B.C. Elsewhere, researchers believe that an Assyrian clay tablet in an Iraqi museum describes that event, which could mean that the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and the Austria landslide were caused by the same series of meteor strikes.