In today’s day and age there are plenty of so-called Sin Cities to be found. But recently, a ginormous site in Jordan was found that rivals all of these. This site at Tall el-Hamaam dates back between 3500 and 1540 BC, far back into biblical days and experts that have surveyed and excavated the area say that it matches the Biblical descriptions of the infamous city of Sodom that was said to have been destroyed at the hand of God. Sodom is a city referenced multiple times throughout the Book of Genesis and in the New Testament as well as the Qu’ran. The Old Testament story describes the way that God destroyed the wicked sinners in the great city of Sodom with fire and brimstone, only allowing one man and his family to escape. This all happened because despite the city being the largest, most well fortified and plentiful city of it’s entire region with ample opportunity and trade and a booming population, it remained entirely devoid of righteous men.
While whether the remains of this city are righteous is impossible to check up on, the experts researching have been able to find other clues at Tall el-Hamaam that seem to correlate with the Biblical city, even evidence that has begun to convince them that this site may truly be Sodom. Not only was it built well within the reasonable time frame within the Bronze Age, but the city would have been five to ten times larger than any other city in the region- which Tall el-Hamaam definitely is. The technology and the structure of the remains point to an advanced and sophisticated society that was well populated for a long period of time. Chief excavator Steven Collins and his team state that they have found evidence of thick walls and defenses, including mudbrick walls of up to 35 feet high and over 10 feet thick. There is evidence that the city was rapidly expanded, with more walls and even gates, watchtowers and a roadway that circled around the entire city. It also shows evidence of having been a large trade stop, perhaps the largest of it’s time, and being in the largest fertile area of east Kikka. Sodom is described as having been a large kingdom situated near the Jordan river, as a common trade route and heavily fortified, just as el-Hamaam has proven to be. This all supports Collins’ hypothesis and claim that this site could truly be the location of the sin city, Sodom.
Furthermore, there is the existence of a peculiar clay tablet, called the Planisphere, that tells the story of an asteroid that destroyed the city of Sodom over 5,000 years ago. It was found at the site and has been used as further evidence of this city’s past. Two rocket scientists, Alan Bond and Mark Hempsell have investigated the claim of this ancient tablet, and believe that there was a mile long asteroid that hit the region and caused thousands of deaths and destroyed approximately 386,000 square miles. This may point to the fire and brimstone that was discussed as the punishment delivered by God upon the sinners of Sodom. Evidence shows that the entire city was suddenly abandoned at the end of the Bronze Age, and the area surrounding it was not even repopulated until well into the Iron Age, which was also abandoned later on.
Now that the evidence all points to this being the true original scene of crime, where does the art come in? I think that the twisted art involved with this particular situation is the art with which either the local government of some corporation will come in and appropriate this historical, though rather infamous, site and create an entirely new place and perspective out of it. Instead of resting as it’s own place of historical significance and being laid to rest as solely a place to gain knowledge of past civilizations, there is already talks of ways to turn this into an attraction of sorts. Tell el-Hamaam will become a tourist trap for Bible enthusiasts, Christians hoping to see the work of God, or even just history buffs wanting to search out the vast information available through this archaeological dig. In essence, these ruins will become simplified into a crowd pleasing museum-like establishment, complete with guides and a gift shop. The historical power and intrigue of the site will be dulled by the incessant drive to make money off the place, and in it’s own way, that too is a crime.