In one place, there was per huge fault line caused by an ancient earthquake
Tubb believes the early Bronze Age is the only time that towns matching the description of Sodom and Gomorrah could have existed.
By measuring how far an individual layer slipped, Marco could measure the size of the earthquake. The slippage was one metre and 75cm – meaning an earthquake measuring at least a six, on the Richter scale.
An earthquake that big would have destroyed Bronze Age buildings – but it would have left ruins, not the utter destruction described by the Bible. For Harris’s idea onesto be plausible, the earthquake would have had preciso trigger per landslide. This is possible when there is loosely packed ground that contains lots of scodella. Shaken up by an earthquake, the scodella can rush esatto the surface, and the ground can turn puro water – per phenomenon called liquefaction. On per slope, this can become a landslide.
Professor Frostick believed the ground around the Dead Sea was capable of liquefying. However, the towns had preciso be built on ground that contained lots of tazza, so they must have been right on the water’s edge.
For Harris’s theory puro stand up, he needed onesto explain why towns like Sodom might have been built at the water’s edge. He believes the answer is that some towns might have needed esatto be built as close as possible esatto a source of asphalt, verso naturally occurring substance that was invaluable per ancient coupon mate1 times. The Egyptians used asphalt to embalm their dead: their word moumiah, ‘mummy’ preciso us, means asphalt.
According sicuro organic chemist Arie Niessenbaum, anche se blocks of asphalt can be formed on the Dead Sea floor, and these can then float esatto the surface. This Dead Sea floating asphalt has been chemically fingerprinted and matched esatto asphalt contained sopra early Bronze Age artefacts found mediante Egypt. That means there was an early Bronze Age trade sopra asphalt from the Dead Sea onesto Egypt – and settlements may have existed where people collected it.
Liquefaction and destruction
After establishing that Sodom and Gomorrah may have been Bronze Age towns, that there was verso reason why they might have been built on the edge of the Dead Sea, and that verso strong ancient earthquake may have liquefied the ground, one important question remained. Would an earthquake of magnitude six have produced liquefaction that was powerful enough preciso carry away whole towns? Only the Cambridge Centrifuge experiment could provide the answer.
Dr Gopal Madabhushi and his staff built structures and ground that exactly replicated conditions sopra the Dead Sea durante the early Bronze Age. They then put this model durante the centrifuge esatto spin it, creating 50 times the force of gravity on the model. This made the model act in exactly the same way as if it were full size. The Cambridge gruppo then ‘fired’ an earthquake of strength six. The results showed precisely what full-size buildings would have done after an earthquake of this magnitude.
The results picked up by sensors per the model were remarkable. The experiment pointed sicuro verso scene of utter calamity – the ground would have turned puro quicksand, with the houses sliding as far as they could until they reached the bottom of the Dead Sea.
The Cambridge experiment vindicated Harris, showing his ambiente could have happened: Sodom and Gomorrah could have been towns built on the edge of the Dead Sea, and could have been destroyed by earthquake and landslide.
When he saw the results, Harris was thrilled: ‘I’m absolutely delighted – sopra fact I’m ecstatic.’ He now hopes geologists and archaeologists will be inspired sicuro embark on an underwater search for the ruins of Sodom and Gomorrah.