Researchers: Asteroid Destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah

Posted by Chris Parker
Nov 06 2008

“Then the Lord rained on Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of Heaven; and he overthrew those cities and all the valley, and all the inhabitants of the cities …

[Abraham] looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah and toward all the land of the valley, and beheld, and lo, the smoke of the land went up like the smoke of a furnace.” …Genesis 19:24-28

By Lewis Smith,Fox News

University of Bristol: An Assyrian planisphere, or star chart, from about 700 B.C. which may depict events recounted by Sumerians from around 3123 B.C.

A clay tablet that has baffled scientists for 150 years has been identified as a witness’s account of the asteroid suspected of being behind the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.

Researchers who cracked the cuneiform symbols on the Planisphere tablet believe that it recorded an asteroid thought to have been more than half a mile across.

The tablet, found by Henry Layard in the remains of the library in the royal place at Nineveh in the mid-19th century, is thought to be a 700 B.C. copy of notes made by a Sumerian astronomer watching the night sky.

He referred to the asteroid as a “white stone bowl approaching” and recorded it as it “vigorously swept along.”

Using computers to recreate the night sky thousands of years ago, scientists have pinpointed his sighting to shortly before dawn on June 29 in the year 3123 B.C.

About half the symbols on the tablet have survived and half of those refer to the asteroid. The other symbols record the positions of clouds and constellations. In the past 150 years scientists have made five unsuccessful attempts to translate the tablet.

Mark Hempsell, one of the researchers from Bristol University who cracked the tablet’s code, said: “It’s a wonderful piece of observation, an absolutely perfect piece of science.”

He said the size and route of the asteroid meant that it was likely to have crashed into the Austrian Alps at Köfels. As it traveled close to the ground it would have left a trail of destruction from supersonic shock waves and then slammed into the Earth with a cataclysmic impact.

Debris consisting of up to two-thirds of the asteroid would have been hurled back along its route and a flash reaching temperatures of 400 Centigrade (752 Fahrenheit) would have been created, killing anyone in its path.

About one million sq kilometers (386,000 sq miles) would have been devastated and the impact would have been equivalent to more than 1,000 tons of TNT exploding.

Dr Hempsall said that at least 20 ancient myths record devastation of the type and on the scale of the asteroid’s impact, including the Old Testament tale of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and the ancient Greek myth of how Phaeton, son of Helios, fell into the River Eridanus after losing control of his father’s sun chariot.

The findings of Dr. Hempsall and Alan Bond, of Reaction Engines Ltd., are published in a book, “A Sumerian Observation of the Köfels Impact Event.”

The researchers say that the asteroid’s impact would explain why at Köfels there is evidence of an ancient landslide 3 miles wide and a quarter of a mile thick.

4 Responses

  1. arphaxad says:

    im not too sure it was an asteroid that hit sodom and gomorrah it seems to easy to explain it away with an event like that and besides if it was a asteroid it would have destroyed a lot more the bible seems to discribe it as a localized event that turned lots wife into a pillar of salt when asteroids hit They seem to turn sand into glass. as in egypt (the yellow glass) or create giant holes. it most likely was a volcano sense that is usually what brim stone is related too.

  2. KuhnKat says:


    please read the article again. They described a low path that would have caused destruction along it with the actual impact far from S&G.

  3. Bob Marley says:


    If you take a line from S&D to the Austrian Alps, then if would be likely that many folks would have recorded such an ongoing event. Abraham particularly, since from his vantage point, he would definitely have experienced the heat as the comet progressed to the North West. Im with Arphaxad that the event at Sodom and Gommorah was entirely localized for the intended purpose that took place literally. Too many people want to link acts of God to natural events, to explain away things written in the bible.

  4. Administrator says:

    Arphaxad, Bob Marley,

    We’re expecting a lot when we print these articles in a way. We’re not extracting the evolutionary assumptions for example. We think that we can pull Biblical support out from articles when that isn’t the intent of the writer neccssarily.

    We just thought that this was an interesting article and we don’t need to assume that this was the method used. We accept ‘and the Lord called down fire from the Lord up in Heaven”

    Did that fire leave artifacts that could be either interpreted or misinterpreted…

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