From Jordan: Results Of The 1976 Season At Sodom And Gomorrah -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Bible and Spade (First Run)
Volume: BSP 09:4 (Autumn 1980)
Article: From Jordan: Results Of The 1976 Season At Sodom And Gomorrah
Author: Anonymous

From Jordan:
Results Of The 1976 Season At Sodom And Gomorrah

The third season of the Expedition to the Southeastern Dead Sea Plain was completed between May 25 and July 11, 1979. (For reports on the first two seasons, see the Winter 1977 and Summer 1978 issues of Bible and Spade.) Work was again concentrated at Bab edh-Dhra, thought to be biblical Sodom, and Numeira, thought to be the site of Gomorrah.

Findings at the Bab edh-Dhra Town Site

At Bab edh-Dhra, the excavators are exposing vertical sections in order to determine the history of the site, and horizontal areas to reveal city life in a particular period. The first settlers to begin permanent occupation appeared at Bab edh-Dhra around 3100 B.C. (the Early Bronze IB period). At about 2700 B.C. an enormous wall some 23 feet in thickness was built around the town (the Early Bronze III period). One of the problems yet to be solved by the expedition is whether or not there was a town wall earlier than 2700 B.C. Within the walled city, the archaeologists found an entire subdivision of mudbrick dwellings along the northwest side. Although erosion is severe in this part of the site, two well-preserved rooms were cleared. In the southwest part of the town, what is believed to be a sacred area is emerging. Two rectangular buildings were found, one superimposed above the other. This suggests a sacred building, because people often reused and rebuilt a holy area in ancient times. To the west of the building, a stone base of a hemispherical structure about nine feet in diameter was discovered. Flint scrapers used for butchering animals were found nearby, suggesting that the structure may be an altar. A

A disturbed tomb group at Bab edh-Dhra. The blocking stone may be seen on the right. This tomb, found on the west end of the site, dates to the earliest use of the site in the EBIA period. It was later covered by EB II and EB III occupation.

An idea of the heavy erosion that has occurred at Bab edh-Dhra over the centuries may be gained from this photo of a deep erosional valley in the center of the site.

broken piece of jar with a seal impression was also found close to the structure. The impression is a scene which appears to be a cultic dance. From this evidence, the excavators have concluded that the building is an early Canaanite temple. These findings date to near the end of the life of the walled town, or about the time when Lot lived in Sodom (You must have a subscription and be logged in to read the entire article.
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