Southern and Northern Sodom

Biblical Archaeology and the Precise Locations of Physical Locations

Biblical archaeology has frequently been important in providing a precise account of the locations of physical locations mentioned in the Bible. The various biblical archaeology reports, however, have helped to confirm the precise locations of cities. In some cases, disagreements between different authors have arisen as a result of the varied information from the archaeological data on which they draw their conclusions. To establish the most informative account of an author advancing the biblical accounts, one must conduct exhaustive research from reliable sources to determine the precise location of some towns mentioned in the Bible. Biblical archaeology is a process that involves the recovery of an artifact or an item that can affirm a biblical account and apply scientific methods in establishing the historical context and geographical information of the excavated item. This paper analyzes information from scholars Wood Bryant and Collins Steven in seeking to establish the position that is believed to be Sodom and Gomorrah.

Wood Bryant's Archaeological Account of Sodom

The archaeological account that is advanced by Wood Bryant advances that the excavation of the clay tablets in Mardikh in 1975. Scientific dating of the clay tablets found at the scene further affirm that they date to 2400-2350 BC. The current geographical location where the tablets were found to be in location is northern of the modern-day Syria. Further excavation as stated by Wood and documented in their research further affirm that the Sodom is located in a place number 211 that is close to placing number 210 and is south of Syria and passes through Cisjordan. Places number 210 and 211 are Admah and Sodom respectively. According to the account by Collins Steven, The City of Sodom was located in the current position of Tall el-Hammam, Jordan. Scientific dating of the equipment found at the site dates between 3500 and 1540 BC. The location that is believed by Collins Steven is located East of the River Jordan. The evidence that Steven further lays on the precise location of the site is the existence of thick walls in the archaeological site, thus, affirming the critical proof of the city being along a route of commerce and being the largest town in the trade route. The location of Tall el-Hammam is guided by the biblical account that Sodom was located along the Jordan Valley and was the biggest city in the site that existed along a trade route.

Different Dates of Existence for Sodom and Gomorrah

The dates that are issued by the two authors regarding the dates of existence of Sodom and Gomorrah are different. While Wood Bryant opines that Sodom existed in 2400-2350 BC, Collins Steven offers an account the city lived between 3500 and 1540 BC. The time span that has been provided by Bryant is relatively colder compared to the timelines that have been suggested by Collins Steven. However, the dates fall within the same range.

Archaeological Evidence for Sodom's Destruction

The archaeological evidence for destruction in the context of the study that has been conducted by Wood Bryant are tablets. Additionally, the archaeological evidence for destruction in the case of the survey pioneered by Collins Steven is the use of pottery fragments and the pestles. Each site has a unique way in which it meets the biblical location of Sodom. The two studies are premised on the understanding that Sodom was located within the Jordan River plain and was close to the Dead Sea. In the account of Sodom being South of Syria and having been found past Cisjordan is affirmed by the biblical proof that the city of Sodom was located in the Jordan Valley. The proximity to the Dead Sea further confirms the proximity that the scenario has to the biblical account of Sodom. In the case of Sodom having been located in the modern-day Tall el-Hammam, the biblical account that has been used in the context of the study is the city being east of River Jordan. Additionally, the city of Tall el-Hammam being located along an existent line of commerce further affirms that the exact location of Sodom as per the account of the author.

Strengths and Weaknesses of Wood Bryant and Collins Steven's Arguments

The articles by Wood Bryant and Collins Steven have a given set of strengths and weakness based on the procedure that they have utilized in arriving at their conclusion and the set of arguments that they have presented. The strengths of the arguments submitted by Wood Bryant lie in the use of tablets as the archaeological evidence utilized in the study. In ancient times, before the stone age, the tablets and the scribes were the only ways of documenting information. Therefore, the identification of tablets during the study affirms a reliable source of information to use for dating. The weakness of the argument that has been presented by Wood Bryant is a lack of pinpointing the exact location of Sodom. Wood offers the site of Sodom about the place of the modern-day Syria without informing the readers of its exact location. The major strength of the argument that has been presented by Collins Steven is the specification of the exact location of Sodom based on the modern geographical identity, that is, Tall el-Hammam. The weakness that has been used by the author is the exploration of the molded artifacts as the means of affirming the identity of the city and the digging of the underground to find out the measurements of the walls surrounding the city.

Personal Reflection and Opinion

My personal reflection and opinion based on the weight of evidence of each location are by the conclusions established by the authors and the biblical information regarding Sodom. In the Bible, the City of Sodom is regarded as the city of the plains. Therefore, the two authors affirming that the town was located within the Jordan River Plains is in tandem with the teachings of the Bible. The quality of evidence that has been used by the two to affirm the exact location of Sodom is crucial in confirming Sodom's identity. Wood goes ahead to present that the identification of charcoal and ash within the site of Sodom confirms that the city was destroyed by fire as is the case with the biblical account. Collins makes a more critical analysis of the city being destroyed by fire through the evidence of pottery. Collins opines that the mud bricks surrounded the city. The conversion of the mud bricks into pottery affirms that heat was present in the process of the town's destruction. The evidence submitted by Collins compels a reader through the description of the ring road surrounding the city, the affirmation of the intensity of the heat turning mud bricks into pottery, and the destruction of the walls are more in tandem with the teachings of the Bible compared to the account by Wood.


Collins, Steven. “If You Thought You Knew the Location of Sodom and Gomorrah...Think Again.” Biblical Research Bulletin 7, no. 4 (2007): 1–6.

Petit, Lucas, and Zeidan Kafafi. "BEYOND THE RIVER JORDAN." Near Eastern Archaeology 79, no. 1 (March 2016): 18-26. Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost (accessed February 6, 2017).

Rice, Matt. "Discovering the City of Sodom: The Fascinating, True Account of the Discovery of the Old Testament's Most Infamous City." Library Journal 138, no. 8 (May 2013): 86. Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost (accessed February 6, 2017).

Salinger, Lawrence M. Encyclopedia of White-Collar and Corporate Crime. Thousand Oaks, Calif: SAGE Publications, Inc, 2013. eBook Collection (EBSCOhost), EBSCOhost (accessed February 6, 2017).

Souther, Jonathan Mark. New Orleans on Parade : Tourism and the Transformation of the Crescent City. Baton Rouge: LSU Press, 2014. eBook Collection (EBSCOhost), EBSCOhost (accessed February 6, 2017).

Wood, Bryant G. “The Discovery of the Sin Cities of Sodom and Gomorrah.” Bible and Spade 12, no. 3 (1999): 67–80.

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