From Jordan Specialists Help Reconstruct Life In The Cities Of The Plain -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Bible and Spade (First Run)
Volume: BSP 07:3 (Summer 1978)
Article: From Jordan Specialists Help Reconstruct Life In The Cities Of The Plain
Author: Anonymous


From Jordan
Specialists Help Reconstruct Life In The Cities Of The Plain

Archaeologists and other specialists are presently conducting research at five sites southeast of the Dead Sea which are possibly the “Cities of the Plain” mentioned in Genesis 13, 14, and 19, the best known of which were Sodom and Gomorrah. (For previous reports see the Summer 1974 and Winter 1977 issues of Bible and Spade.) During the 1977 season (May 23 to July 2), work started in the previous 1975 season was continued and much new work started. Additional field work is projected for 1981, 1983; and 1985.

Bab edh-Dhra Town Site

Bab edh-Dhra is the northernmost and largest of the five sites and may possibly be the biblical city of Sodom. Excavations were carried out in six different areas, three of which were new. Excavation and interpretation are particularly difficult at this site because of the extensive erosion that has taken place over the centuries. In one of the areas, a large building ca. four m. wide by seven m. long, is emerging. It dates to the Early Bronze (EB) III period (ca. 2600-2300 B.C.), the last phase of the city before it was violently destroyed, and is thought possibly to be a temple. At the western wall of the city a suspected gate area is being investigated. This is especially interesting in view of Genesis 19:1: “And there came two angels to Sodom at even; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom; and Lot seeing them rose up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground.” The angels, approaching as they were from Mamre near Hebron to the west most likely would have entered the city from that direction, possibly at the gate the

Looking north along the western town wall of Bab edh-Dhra. Archaeologists suspect that there is a gate complex in this area.

archaeologists are now uncovering. Other areas being excavated are a tower in the northeast corner of the city, an extensive mudbrick building on the north side and two occupation areas in the center of the city.

The Bab edh-Dhra Cemetery

Work was renewed in the cemetery with a special study of the skeletal remains being undertaken by the Smithsonian Institution. Some 33 burial chambers were cleared which yielded, in addition to the skeletal remains, 900 whole pots, seven new examples of clay female figurines, mace heads, stone jars, sections of wooden shafts, strands of reed matting, a wooden bowl and food remains including whole grapes and a ...

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