Bronze Age City Destroyed by Bolide

Guest “They nailed this one” by David Middleton

Scientific archaeology is essentially forensic history. It is an interdisciplinary effort, involving multiple disciplines, often including: archaeology, geology, geophysics, physical geography, geochemistry, paleontology physical & cultural anthropology and ancient history. When properly executed, it often yields a fascinating historical reconstruction.

This is one of the best forensic history efforts I have seen in a long time…

A Giant Space Rock Demolished an Ancient Middle Eastern City
By Christopher R. Moore

As the inhabitants of an ancient Middle Eastern city now called Tall el-Hammam went about their daily business one day about 3,600 years ago, they had no idea an unseen icy space rock was speeding toward them at about 38,000 mph (61,000 kph).

Flashing through the atmosphere, the rock exploded in a massive fireball about 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) above the ground. The blast was around 1,000 times more powerful than the Hiroshima atomic bomb. The shocked city dwellers who stared at it were blinded instantly. Air temperatures rapidly rose above 3,600 degrees Fahrenheit (2,000 degrees Celsius). Clothing and wood immediately burst into flames. Swords, spears, mudbricks and pottery began to melt. Almost immediately, the entire city was on fire.

Some seconds later, a massive shockwave smashed into the city. Moving at about 740 mph (1,200 kph), it was more powerful than the worst tornado ever recorded. The deadly winds ripped through the city, demolishing every building. They sheared off the top 40 feet (12 m) of the 4-story palace and blew the jumbled debris into the next valley. None of the 8,000 people or any animals within the city survived – their bodies were torn apart and their bones blasted into small fragments.

About a minute later, 14 miles (22 km) to the west of Tall el-Hammam, winds from the blast hit the biblical city of Jericho. Jericho’s walls came tumbling down and the city burned to the ground.

It all sounds like the climax of an edge-of-your-seat Hollywood disaster movie. How do we know that all of this actually happened near the Dead Sea in Jordan millennia ago?


Real Clear Science

The authors also concluded that this bolide was also the likely cause of the destruction of Jericho.

The consistency of this impact evidence with the Biblical story of Jericho makes me think of a classic scene from the movie, Patton

“I love it. I think it is a combination of the Bible and Hollywood.”

The geological and archaeological evidence for this catastrophic impact event are very compelling.

The full article is well-worth reading, as is everything written by Christopher R. Moore. The peer-reviewed paper is open-access and also well-worth reading…

A Tunguska sized airburst destroyed Tall el-Hammam a Middle Bronze Age city in the Jordan Valley near the Dead Sea

Ted E. Bunch, Malcolm A. LeCompte, A. Victor Adedeji, James H. Wittke, T. David Burleigh, Robert E. Hermes, Charles Mooney, Dale Batchelor, Wendy S. Wolbach, Joel Kathan, Gunther Kletetschka, Mark C. L. Patterson, Edward C. Swindel, Timothy Witwer, George A. Howard, Siddhartha Mitra, Christopher R. Moore, Kurt Langworthy, James P. Kennett, Allen West & Phillip J. Silvia
Scientific Reports volume 11, Article number: 18632 (2021)


We present evidence that in ~ 1650 BCE (~ 3600 years ago), a cosmic airburst destroyed Tall el-Hammam, a Middle-Bronze-Age city in the southern Jordan Valley northeast of the Dead Sea. The proposed airburst was larger than the 1908 explosion over Tunguska, Russia, where a ~ 50-m-wide bolide detonated with ~ 1000× more energy than the Hiroshima atomic bomb. A city-wide ~ 1.5-m-thick carbon-and-ash-rich destruction layer contains peak concentrations of shocked quartz (~ 5–10 GPa); melted pottery and mudbricks; diamond-like carbon; soot; Fe- and Si-rich spherules; CaCO3 spherules from melted plaster; and melted platinum, iridium, nickel, gold, silver, zircon, chromite, and quartz. Heating experiments indicate temperatures exceeded 2000 °C. Amid city-side devastation, the airburst demolished 12+ m of the 4-to-5-story palace complex and the massive 4-m-thick mudbrick rampart, while causing extreme disarticulation and skeletal fragmentation in nearby humans. An airburst-related influx of salt (~ 4 wt.%) produced hypersalinity, inhibited agriculture, and caused a ~ 300–600-year-long abandonment of ~ 120 regional settlements within a > 25-km radius. Tall el-Hammam may be the second oldest city/town destroyed by a cosmic airburst/impact, after Abu Hureyra, Syria, and possibly the earliest site with an oral tradition that was written down (Genesis). Tunguska-scale airbursts can devastate entire cities/regions and thus, pose a severe modern-day hazard.


Bunch et al., 2021
Now called Tall el-Hammam, the city is located about 7 miles northeast of the Dead Sea in what is now Jordan. NASA, CC BY-ND

Note to George Howard: Well done! This paper is a scientific masterpiece!


Bunch, T.E., LeCompte, M.A., Adedeji, A.V. et al. A Tunguska sized airburst destroyed Tall el-Hammam a Middle Bronze Age city in the Jordan Valley near the Dead Sea. Sci Rep 11, 18632 (2021).

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Dolores Testerman
September 21, 2021 2:09 pm

This is by the archaeological team actually digging Sodom –
Is Tall el-Hammam really biblical Sodom? – Troweling Down Episode 1
With over a dozen archaeological sites that could be Sodom, what makes Tall-el Hammam stand out? In this first episode of the Troweling Down Podcast, Dr. Collins and Dr. Byers discuss why Sodom is believed to be the location of Sodom.

Fire from the heavens? Really? [Sodom & Gomorrah Destruction] – Troweling Down Episode 2
Jun 5, 2020 Troweling Down
Brimstone and fire from the heavens, really? Genesis 19 says that burning sulfur rained down out of the heavens and destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. How is that possible? On this podcast, Dr. Collins and Dr. Byers explain the destruction of Sodom. Working with astrophysicists on the site, they discuss the scientific evidence that reveals just how Sodom was destroyed.
They have more videos about this place!

The Biblical City of Sodom: Myth or Reality? 3
This 62 acre Middle Bronze Age city in the Jordan Valley was destroyed quickly by a violent cosmic event. In this episode of the Troweling Down Podcast, we get a close up look at a destruction layer of ash, collapsed plaster, and stones as Dr. Collins and Dr. Byers discuss why they believe this site is the location of the biblical city of Sodom.

Gary Pearse
Reply to  Dolores Testerman
September 22, 2021 9:45 am

“An airburst-related influx of salt (~ 4 wt.%) produced hypersalinity, inhibited agriculture, and caused a ~ 300–600-year-long abandonment of ~ 120 regional settlements within a > 25-km radius. ”

Seems there was a lot of salt connected to the airburst – you are onto something Dolores! Presumably a large volume of Dead Sea water was volatilized and rained down on the area. The salt would be molten rain and could convert people to “pillars” of salt.

I recall as a young man, arguments about biblical stories of disaster with those who interpreted them as allegorical. I argued that there had to be actual events, undoubtedly misinterpreted. The people of the time weren’t more poetic and creative than we are today. They witnessed something real.

I suggested that Noah’s Flood, for example, was a story handed down that was based on the rapid melting of the glacial maximum at the beginning of the Holocene.

This article is great science (as we have come to expect from David Middleton’s finds), but also satisfying to me 60yrs hence from my arguments!

September 21, 2021 2:12 pm


But how, exactly, does “An airburst-related influx of salt” happen?

I can imagine that if a bolide hit a body of saltwater, or (better yet) salt flats, it could throw a lot of salt into the air. But how does that happen from an airburst?

Willem Post
Reply to  David Middleton
September 22, 2021 10:03 am

So, Gods wrath was not for punishing the evil doers.
It is good to have THAT settled, for “closure purposes”.
The people who survived had to move away.

The explosion of an icicle/ice-ball would have a heat wave traveling at near the speed of light, the blinding flash, then the sonic blast would hit the ground and the Dead Sea, which would create a giant splash of salt water over a large area.

Reply to  Willem Post
September 23, 2021 1:38 pm

So, Gods wrath was not for punishing the evil doers.

Talk about not having a clue buddy…

H. D. Hoese
Reply to  Dave Burton
September 21, 2021 2:35 pm

From the paper near the end with fig. 48. Sounds plausible, great to see a paper with a good reason to have so many authors. —
“Although the precise origin of the peaks in salinity at TeH is unknown, we speculate that an impact into or an airburst above high-salinity surface sediments (26% of land in the southern Jordan Valley at > 1.3% salinity) and/or above the Dead Sea (with ~ 34 wt.% salt content) may have distributed hypersaline water across the lower Jordan Valley.”

John Tillman
Reply to  Dave Burton
September 21, 2021 3:48 pm

Airburst over a salar, ie dry salt lake.

Paul Blase
Reply to  Dave Burton
September 21, 2021 8:43 pm

It was a pretty low burst.

Tom Halla
September 21, 2021 2:13 pm

Decidedly massive for an airburst. One could readily interpret it as the gods being seriously annoyed.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Tom Halla
September 21, 2021 8:31 pm

One could readily interpret it as the gods being seriously annoyed.”

But that would be making stuff up.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Jeff Alberts
September 28, 2021 4:18 pm

One doesn’t need gods to make things up.

September 21, 2021 2:14 pm

“Tunguska-scale airbursts can devastate entire cities/regions and thus, pose a severe modern-day hazard.” I am not certain how but I am certain that if this were to come to pass today it would be blamed on global warming.

Reply to  Roger Caiazza
September 21, 2021 2:15 pm

PS – Thanks for posting this fascinating article.

Timo, not that one
Reply to  David Middleton
September 21, 2021 3:13 pm

Or they’d blame it on the unvaccinated.

Pamela Matlack-Klein
Reply to  Timo, not that one
September 23, 2021 6:14 am

Gosh with so many to foist blame onto, it will be decades before anyone has to take responsibility for anything ever again!

Smart Rock
Reply to  David Middleton
September 21, 2021 3:26 pm

and Al_Qaeda would claim credit

Craig from Oz
Reply to  David Middleton
September 21, 2021 7:55 pm

They would also be “worse than first expected AND it may already be too late!”

or Russian Bots.

Reply to  David Middleton
September 22, 2021 12:36 am

Yes – Trump supporters who had brought about global warming.

Willem Post
Reply to  IanE
September 22, 2021 10:07 am

Do not forget Jan 6, perpetrated by blast-affected, Trump-supporting, election-fraud-fighting despicables

Reply to  Roger Caiazza
September 21, 2021 2:34 pm

I posted something similar(there were no comments when i clicked)
– sorry for the “steal”

Gary K Hoffman
Reply to  Roger Caiazza
September 21, 2021 2:59 pm

Women and minorities would be hardest hit.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Gary K Hoffman
September 22, 2021 4:20 am

Don’t forget The Poor ™
and The Children ™

Willem Post
Reply to  Rich Davis
September 22, 2021 10:13 am

And the long-suffering Haitians, etc., illegally wading across the River, looking for hand-outs from government programs, run by Dem/Progs, and paid for by adding more to the US national debt.


Reply to  Roger Caiazza
September 23, 2021 12:12 pm

That’s because everything that is harmful or at least inconvenient is due to global warming.

September 21, 2021 2:26 pm

Something tells me that the mystical ancient flood so many cultures talk about and that turned Noah into an animal collector(catching polar bears with bare hands beares some risk and can be really frustrating when the first 10 polar bears turn out to be from the same gender)
happened as result of a similar,but bigger, event where the object missed the land.

If this would happen nowadays they’d blame global warming – at least until the day some wise guys would replace AGW with comets(as they replaced the Ice Age with AGW ).
Then everyone and his dog would claim that this planet would end by 2030(to be postponed by 2029) if we don’t…………(< insert your most favourite marxist restriction to save humanity here ).

Richard Page
Reply to  SxyxS
September 21, 2021 3:02 pm

Might want to search for a documentary where they examine the first Babylonian text of the flood story – it makes for fascinating watching (especially for the round ark), as does a similar one on what they think is the actual tower of Babel.

Rory Forbes
Reply to  SxyxS
September 21, 2021 5:49 pm

Same SEX, not ‘gender’. They are not synonyms, regardless how often people misuse the two terms. Our language is being attacked.

Craig from Oz
Reply to  Rory Forbes
September 21, 2021 7:58 pm

No, vitally important to always ask a Polar Bear’s gender before fleeing in terror before it.

Rory Forbes
Reply to  Craig from Oz
September 21, 2021 9:38 pm

Misgendering a polar bear pisses him off even worse than using the wrong pronoun. However, at the present rate of warming, I’m unlikely to come across one at my latitude in the near future.

Reply to  Rory Forbes
September 23, 2021 6:25 am

A university in PA is threatening to punish students who use the wrong pronouns.

Rory Forbes
Reply to  MarkW
September 23, 2021 9:28 am

That’s just pathetic.

Reply to  Rory Forbes
September 24, 2021 5:51 pm

We agree

Reply to  Rory Forbes
September 22, 2021 1:58 am

You have become an official polar bear hero with your comment.
I will no longer talk about polar bears but move on to the gender pay gap.
But i have first to find out which of the 72 genders are effected.

Or is it the sexpay gap?
Or does sexpay gap only refer to prostitute.Now I’m cofused.

Rory Forbes
Reply to  SxyxS
September 22, 2021 10:33 am

It’s a complicated world we live in … filled with booby-traps because it is now populated by boobies.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Rory Forbes
September 22, 2021 4:26 am

The language is the least of what is being attacked.

Rory Forbes
Reply to  Rich Davis
September 22, 2021 10:37 am

It starts with the language. The message from Orwell in both ‘1984’ and ‘Animal Farm’ is how the language gets altered to change perception. Then they alter things like our duty of care to others and so on.

Reply to  SxyxS
September 22, 2021 6:31 am

I’m not convinced an asteroid strike would do the Noachic flood so well as an unusual river inundation (both perhaps?).

However, there are traces of an impact crater in the Iraqi marshlands, probably dating within the last few thousand years, at a point that, in the third or fourth millennium BCE would have been just off the shoreline.

Reply to  Jon Garvey
September 22, 2021 7:53 am

Noah’s Flood as an inundation.
Archeologists have proposed that the Black Sea was a fresh water lake which may have been inundated either from rivers to the north (per Andrei L. Chepalyga) or with salt water from the Med (per William Ryan and Walter Pittman) when waters rose at the end of an ice age. Authors differ on how sudden it may have been, and whether it was 10,000-11,000 BP or older. But such a Black Sea inundation could clearly have been the historical basis behind the Great Flood stories.

Reply to  david Lozier
September 23, 2021 6:27 am

The Black Sea was a freshwater lake during the ice age, shells from fresh water critters have been found in deposits dated to that time. The shorelines were also hundreds of feet lower than where they are today.

Reply to  SxyxS
September 23, 2021 8:13 pm

Noah’s flood…or more to the point the flood that Noah rode out [with or without polar bears and where did he get the penguins from?]

Moderately Cross of East Anglia
September 21, 2021 2:27 pm

Very interesting and it makes me wonder if anyone has looked for similar evidence in respect of Sodom and Gomorrah.

Reply to  Moderately Cross of East Anglia
September 22, 2021 6:37 am

The paper focuses primarily on Tall el-Hammam, which was already being investigated as the possible site of biblical Sodom (with nearby tells corresponding to the other cities of the plain in Genesis). The date, too, corresponds (c1650 BCE). It was the unusual state of the archaeology that prompted the independent examination that led to the paper.

Jericho was something of an innocent bystander, on the edge of the alluvial disk, and was occupied again only 3 centuries later – in time to become a small military border post for Canaan at the probable time of the Exodus.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Moderately Cross of East Anglia
September 22, 2021 7:08 am

How does Lot’s wife being turned into salt, figure into all of this? Or does it?

Reply to  Tom Abbott
September 22, 2021 8:23 am

This is a memory from something I read many years ago.
That area has a layer of salt beneath the surface layer of rock and dirt.
On occasion, extrusions of salt break through the surface to form pillars of salt.

Willem Post
Reply to  Tom Abbott
September 22, 2021 10:19 am

That came later, as part of scare mongering, sort of like, if you don’t eat your porridge, you will turn into a pillar of salt.

Reply to  Willem Post
September 24, 2021 6:29 pm

In reality she was hiding behind the salt extrusion so she could fake her death and she wouldn’t have to spend the rest of her miserable life with sleazy Lot & his sleazy daughters.

peter schell
September 21, 2021 2:28 pm

Forget Jordan’s walls. Am I the only one who thought. Sodom and Gomorrah?

John S
Reply to  peter schell
September 21, 2021 2:44 pm

and Lot’s wife was turned into a pillar of salt.

Reply to  John S
September 21, 2021 7:23 pm

It is entirely possible for a high heat blast to blow all the fluids right out of an organism and leave nothing but “ashes” (salt compounds, etc.)

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Sara
September 21, 2021 8:34 pm

But then everyone around her would also have been thusly destroyed.

Reply to  Jeff Alberts
September 22, 2021 6:40 am

To be fair to the account, Lot’s wife was on the run and therefore away from the epicentre and likely not in a crowd.

I note from the paper, with interest, that heavy deposits of salt were found on the (shattered and heat-seared) bones of bodies at Tall el-Hammam, dating to the immediate aftermath. there’s even a photo in the text.

High Treason
September 21, 2021 2:35 pm

These days we are witnessing global destruction caused by airheads, (rather than airbursts), that believe all the propaganda and swallow all the bovine excrement they have been fed. This strange evolution towards dung beetles is proving to be deadlier than any bolide.

Robert Alfred Taylor
Reply to  High Treason
September 21, 2021 3:15 pm

“airheads,” rather CO2heads.

Pillage Idiot
Reply to  Robert Alfred Taylor
September 21, 2021 4:43 pm

CO2-heads are only 0.04% as smart as “airheads”.

Bryan A
Reply to  Pillage Idiot
September 22, 2021 4:58 am

But much denser

Willem Post
Reply to  Bryan A
September 22, 2021 10:21 am

More weight per molecule

joe lynch
Reply to  Willem Post
September 23, 2021 1:16 pm

Hot heads,though

Rud Istvan
September 21, 2021 2:44 pm

Was doing research on this today prior to David’s posting. The archeology has been going on for 13 years. The first results papers on the destruction layer were published in 2018, the most recent just last month. A lot more accumulated evidence between 2018 and now. Radiocarbon dating. Thick pottery shards glassified to only 1mm depth on only the ‘outside’ (from curvature), disproving the alternative earthquake/burning petroleum theory. Glass contains minute zircon crystals enabling peak temperature estimates. Too hot for too short a time for ‘ordinary’ fires. The city wall destruction is not uniformly directional, but rather radial, just like Tunguska, consistent with a bolide shock wave. They have also found (via mass spec) trace minerals (Irridium, gold, …) consistent with a rocky asteroid ‘impact’ as those trace minerals do not exist outside the estimated blast area. And the salt and sulfur for the ‘salted earth’ probably came from the Dead Sea and its gypsum deposits not far away. They speculate this event is the origins of the Sodom and Gemorrah story in Genesis; a roughly 10 megaton bolide air burst from ‘God’.

Rud Istvan
Reply to  David Middleton
September 21, 2021 4:13 pm

Agree. Solid interdisciplinary real science. Only issue is, they cannot prove this location was the biblical Sodom, nor fit the biblical timeline.

And, there is a peer reviewed paper saying the strike was actually in Austria (clipping a mountain), and the ‘mushroom cloud’ plume carried over to Jordan. Except that theory would not explain the sudden temp spike. And, a bolide can fragment near/ on entry, as recently with with the Hubble witnessed Jupiter strikes (7 separate pieces from one in oming object). So might not be coincidence, rather near collision fragmentation of a bolide into two smaller and larger pieces. The smaller piece less likely to explode since much less thermal mass, so clipped mountain.
Science is never done, but some stuff is a LOT mere certain than other stuff.

Reply to  Rud Istvan
September 22, 2021 6:54 am

Archaeology can seldom prove history, of course. It seems unlikely that one would find written records naming the place on the site (but not impossible). But recognising for the first time the importance of this whole area in the MBA makes a search for records mentioning it more likely to be successful at some stage. All one can usually say is that a site provides broad correlation with an ancient text, rather than contradicting it.

Until this dig, remember, no plausible site for the Genesis cities of the plain had been found (they were mainly looking south of the Dead Sea), and there were no definite references in the ANE literature, which is not really surprising.

As for biblical dating, it actually fits well – the mean radiocarbon dating was around 1670 AD, which suits both the cultural setting of the biblical Abraham, usually estimated as between 1800 and 1700 BC, roughly, and a family migration to a politically weak Egypt with semitic links 2 generations later (say 1600 BCE). 400 years in Egypt takes you to around the time of Rameses II for an Exodus.

The paper (momentarily straying from its task!) speculates that an eyewitness tradition might have been carried down until written down in Genesis, but someone like Abraham could equally plausibly write cuneiform, thus being more likely to keep the historical context intact. Interesting stuff.

Reply to  David Middleton
September 28, 2021 6:54 pm

Thanks David. You have been mighty hard on the Younger Dryas Impact, to be a fan of Chris Moore, but thanks. I am a fan of your contributions from time to time, if not your opinions. There is very little difference in our worldviews I believe.

Reply to  Rud Istvan
September 21, 2021 7:25 pm

Almost as good as that fossil site full of fish (and others) that was strongly linked to the asteroid that did in the dinosaurs.

Rud Istvan
Reply to  Ellen
September 21, 2021 9:46 pm

Ellen, you likely are referring to the Green River formation mostly in Utah. The world’s largest pre-oil shale kerogen formation. But post dates by about 10 mya. Related to plate tectonics, not bolide impacts.

Gregg Eshelman
Reply to  Rud Istvan
September 22, 2021 1:24 am

He’s referring to the site in North Dakota.

B Clarke
September 21, 2021 3:13 pm

Great article David.

Which reminds me of a Bolide id very much like to experience. Bugatti.

John Tillman
September 21, 2021 3:18 pm

Unfortunately, the YDIH crowd have seized on another Syrian site to promote their gibberish:

As always, totally lacking in valid evidence.

Shameless, just like CACA advocates.

Reply to  John Tillman
September 21, 2021 8:04 pm

There is considerably more evidence for the 12,800 years ago impact discussed in the following paper as opposed to the magazine article you mention. Controversial, yes, but something happened at the Younger Dryas….

John Tillman
Reply to  DMacKenzie
September 22, 2021 12:38 pm

Nothing happened at the YD that hadn’t happened before during the last glacial termination and those preceding it, ie a meltwater pulse and an armada of icebergs (Hienrich Event).

The latest Kennett paper was yet again thoroughly debunked practically before its ink was dry.

Jeff Labute
September 21, 2021 4:39 pm

We’re the Israelites nearby at the time Jericho’s walls fell? Sounds like a potentially dangerous spot to be.

James Donald Bailey
Reply to  Jeff Labute
September 21, 2021 5:53 pm

This is dated circa Abraham and Lot. Dropping Jericho’s walls was depicted much later, I think after Moses died. Just think how long it took for Abraham’s offspring to become a people.

Not implausible that these horrors were remembered as separate events because they happened to different peoples and were written into the historical tale of a people as separated in time.

There is textual analysis of the torah that thinks it is actually the melding of different peoples’ stories. You can get a small taste in this: Textual Analysis of Exodus ( It is near the bottom. I don’t know enough about it to say if the the stories are from different authors.

But then again, maybe Jericho’s walls fell down a lot and they really are separate stories.

Jeff Labute
Reply to  James Donald Bailey
September 21, 2021 6:57 pm

Thanks for the link. The walls of Jericho must had been impressive in the day, being wide enough for chariots and 4m tall. I’d like to think these ancient architects were experts in walls by necessity. Some links say the area is seismically unstable, walls fell inward, grain was scorched. It all doesn’t add up yet in my mind. Seismic just doesn’t seem as dramatic as an explosion. Perhaps there were multiple walls over the thousands of years and continual drama 🙂

September 21, 2021 4:47 pm

Be careful pushing this particular noodle, as the YD guys who you’ve been successfully schwacking away at for years have already been here with this conclusion. Might be time to review some of their stuff with other eyes. Mike Baillie, Cosmic Tusk, MA Courty, would be a good place to start. Bummer that something that you’ve proven without a doubt (in your opinion) not to happen ends up being the explanation for this particular event. Cheers –

John Tillman
Reply to  agimarc
September 21, 2021 4:52 pm

An impact occurred in the western Fertile Crescent 3600 years ago makes such an event 12,700 years ago even less likely. But there is zero evidence of a YD impact in any case, and all the evidence in the workd against such a baseless conjecture.

Walter Horsting
Reply to  John Tillman
September 21, 2021 7:28 pm

I disagree, Tunguska was only 113 years ago. Atomic scale events happen every 60 days or so around the world.

Reply to  Walter Horsting
September 22, 2021 5:25 am

The odds of a future hit should not be altered by past events? In statistics, heads can come up 10 times in a row but that does not alter future odds of another heads 10 times in a row. A YD hit on the ice may have produced a black layer deposit around the world and those Carolina Bays have opposites in Nebraska….pointing in the opposite direction.

Reply to  Anti-griff
September 22, 2021 9:17 am

Exactly what I was going to say. One event or more happening doesn’t change the probability of another similar event occuring. In fact, one might argue that a “family” or swarm of meteors could cause a cluster of events.

John Tillman
Reply to  Walter Horsting
September 22, 2021 12:36 pm

No, they don’t occur anywhere nearly that often. Nor does your link to yet another bogus YDIH paper say any such thing.

Reply to  John Tillman
September 22, 2021 8:28 am

One impact has zero impact on the likelihood of another impact. The timing of impacts is completely random and unrelated.

Reply to  MarkW
September 22, 2021 9:17 am


John Tillman
Reply to  MarkW
September 22, 2021 12:33 pm

The timing sorts by size. The larger the impactor, the less frequenly they hit.

Reply to  John Tillman
September 22, 2021 2:04 pm

Yes, but one big impact does not mean another can’t be right behind it. You cannot say that was one big impact so another big one will be a long time coming.The moon is the history for the earth when it comes to impacts. The record of the moon for size and frequency has to be very close to the earth’s record. Timing is not available from the record. Small asteroids are somewhat valuable…people chase after them….using metal detectors in some cases…even very small grains are of interest…obtained from flat roofs in urban areas…sent to a man in Sweden for verification.

Reply to  John Tillman
September 23, 2021 6:30 am

That’s true, however my statement is still completely correct. If a large impactor hit today, it would say nothing about the odds of a large impactor hitting tomorrow.

Reply to  MarkW
September 24, 2021 6:37 pm

The odds of the second one being remembered or recorded would be a lot less.

Reply to  David Middleton
September 21, 2021 6:11 pm

Immanuel Velikovsky was not consulted?

Reply to  David Middleton
September 22, 2021 7:07 pm

The difference is that I don’t mind who authors the paper. Rather, it is the data and its reproducibility that is important. You really ought to take a look at the work of Baillie and Courty. Think of it as the opposite of another brick in the wall – the removal of one or several. Cheers –

robert of Texas
September 21, 2021 4:50 pm

If indeed an asteroid destroyed this ancient city, and we know within some margin of error how many km^2 cities covered at the time, we can start estimating the odds of a strike.

So if cities covered 5,000 Km^2 of the ancient world (total guess, probably too large) and one was hit, what are the odds? Assume a hit would be within 6 km (4 km high, 6 km radius) then a hit covers 113 km^2. The world has about 510,000,000 km^2 including water. So about (5,000 x 113) / 510,000,000 = approximately 1 in a thousand chance.

Now assume 1 of these hits the Earth per 20 years (another complete guess), after 1,000 years you have 50 strikes so 50/1000 or roughly a 5% chance of a city being hit every 1,000 years – except cities are growing in number and size.

Now in modern times, the “average” size of a city is likely over 100 km^2, and there are about 4,500 cities, so the total area is at least 450,000 km^2. The area of destruction for a modern city would average around 256 km^2 ( ((10+6)x(10+6))=256 ). The (very roughly calculated) odds become (450,000 x 113)/510,000,000 =~ 0.2% per 20 years… Over 1,000 years they are roughly 1 city strike per 500 years. And this is assuming no larger asteroids hit us and that cities do not grow. Yikes.

Now add in smaller asteroids, larger asteroids, and some real numbers that represent the actual odds of a strike on the planet. The good news is the next one will likely strike somewhere over an ocean.

Rud Istvan
Reply to  robert of Texas
September 21, 2021 5:32 pm

Don’t agree with your math. Do with your conclusions. We would be far better off planning to detect (possible for ‘major’ bolides), then planning to deflect them (theoretically also possible using nucs, just never tried) than worrying about climate change or going to Mars with humans rather than our excellent robots.

Peta of Newark
September 21, 2021 5:59 pm

Read the “Body Language”

It’s simply toooo fantastical, too Hollywood-esque, too much emphasis on atomic bombery, too much emphasis on temperatures, shock waves and melted bodies.

Can anyone picture a stone, boulder or snowball behaving as is described:
Heat a snowball and it melts
Heat a stone/pebble/rock, in a campfire say, it simply splits open with crack sound and falls apart. Maybe a splinter flies off

Stones and snowballs do not detonate or explode when you heat them, no matter what sort of insane speed you imagine them to be going.
Again, the precision given on this thing’s speed is the give-away

Again again, the atmosphere is too thin, the velocity too high and for a rock its thermal conductivity would be too low for any significant heat to get deep into ‘the thing’ during its descent and thus cause meltdown or detonation.
Anyway, things that do detonate always do so from the inside out, not the outside in.

Yes maybe something fell from the sky and it would do as we’ve seen before many times, it would fragment before it hit the ground. Like the pebble in the campfire it would gently crumble and/or small bits fly off
e.g. The recent Russian one and that huuuuuge thing that fell into Jupiter a few years ago.

Thereafter, one fragment hit this city, another hit Jericho and at least one other bit came down ‘somewhere salty’
Like a sawn-off shotgun or Blunderbuss sort of effect. yes/no?
Small bits that left modest craters which all have been well & truly buried by now under, as deserts have and do, shifting sands

messy and inconvenient for folks on the ground and with salt involved esp unfortunate for agrarian types over a wide-ish area but methinks:
This ‘lily’ is a bit over-gilded.

Or = ‘painted’ as The Original Shakespearian Lily properly was

sorry peeps 🙁
Everybody else in this world is losing their heads, let’s try keep ours eh?

Reply to  Peta of Newark
September 21, 2021 6:51 pm

I’m intrigued, Peta: “… too much emphasis on temperatures, shock waves and melted bodies….”
Those things represent the evidence put forward in the article.

Do you doubt they exist?
Do you think they should be ignored?
Or do you think something else may have caused them?
Should this evidence be ignored? :  ...a city-wide ~ 1.5-m-thick carbon-and-ash-rich destruction layer contains peak concentrations of shocked quartz (~ 5–10 GPa); melted pottery and mudbricks; diamond-like carbon; soot; Fe- and Si-rich spherules; CaCO3 spherules from melted plaster; and melted platinum, iridium, nickel, gold, silver, zircon, chromite, and quartz. 

No doubt something happened. It seems to me that this paper puts forward a suitable hypothesis.

Reply to  Peta of Newark
September 21, 2021 7:33 pm

For heaven’s sake, bolides blow up quite frequently. There was Tunguska, and then maybe a century later there was that bolide that blew out the windows of Chelyabinsk!

Craig from Oz
Reply to  Peta of Newark
September 21, 2021 8:10 pm

Nope. You are thinking too cosy campfire with your examples.

A camp fire is, in context, a very gentle slow heat.

Unless you are going to go down the path of arguing the exact technical ISO standard of ‘explosion’ there are many many well studied and understood situations where an object can explode.

Unfortunately I fear it is you who are going a bit too Hollywood and underestimating just how the real world interacts with itself.

Reply to  Peta of Newark
September 22, 2021 12:04 am

Some articles:

Why do meteoroids explode in the atmosphere?

We Finally Understand How Meteors Explode When They Reach Earth’s Atmosphere

List of meteor air bursts
(Yeah, Wikipedia, but every item on the list is referenced: so you can make your own list if Wiki offends you)

Reply to  Peta of Newark
September 22, 2021 8:31 am

That incoming objects can explode has been known for a long time. One example is the object that struck Russia a few years ago.

What you choose to believe and not to believe is your business, but you can’t reject evidence just because you don’t like the implications.

Reply to  Peta of Newark
September 22, 2021 9:27 am

Usually your posts are entertaining, but on this one you’re wrong. The object’s speed is so great that when it strikes the atmosphere, it’s like hitting a brick wall. They’ve shot small objects at VERY high speeds into targets, and they indeed explode w/great heat.

Willem Post
Reply to  Peta of Newark
September 22, 2021 10:38 am

As soon as such a body hits the atmosphere, instant heating starts and becomes more intense.
The elongated bolide would collapse onto itself, like the World Trade Center.

The great expansion of hot air, at near sonic velocity, a heatwave front, would create a shockwave impacting the ground

Any light would travel at near the speed of light

George Howard
Reply to  Peta of Newark
September 24, 2021 10:26 pm

Its like jumping off a bridge. Its all cool till the water.

September 21, 2021 6:05 pm

Excellent article!



September 21, 2021 6:25 pm

Sodom was famous for its rude version of “Welcome Wagon.” I don’t imagine indications of this would be evident in TeH, however. Any fancy “Welcome to Sodom; Enter Here” signs above the gates would be gone within microseconds of the blast.

Timo V
Reply to  David Middleton
September 21, 2021 11:06 pm

5 stars from me with high energy weapons technology OCD. Great article, thanks!

September 21, 2021 6:56 pm

The paper was a long read, but well worth it. Solid science all the way through and not going beyond the evidence.

I wonder where all the salt came from. The paper said, if I recall correctly, that the soil below the blast damage had no appreciable salt content.

I’ll have to download the PDF and read it in a more leisurely manner.

Reply to  OK S.
September 22, 2021 9:53 pm

I believe there is a bit of salt in humans (typically about 40 tsp, each) plus there may have been salt in nearby salt flats or bodies of brackish or saline water. From the paper: “…the explosion may have vaporized or splashed toxic levels of Dead Sea salt water across the valley.”

Walter Horsting
September 21, 2021 7:17 pm
John F Hultquist
September 21, 2021 8:43 pm

 Sweat lodge rocks, if poorly chosen, may explode – so I’m told.
These would be heated from the outside, by a wood fire. {Source? A personal friend that would know.}

Yet Peta of Newark says: “<i>Heat a stone/pebble/rock, in a campfire say, it simply splits open with crack sound and falls apart. Maybe a splinter flies off </i>”

No question who I believe.

Reply to  John F Hultquist
September 22, 2021 12:25 am

Quartz will shatter if used in a fire pit. I had a large quartz rock break open from the heat of a fire. It was a highly mineralized piece. The fractured faces were interesting to look at. There were tiny bits of brilliant specks of color embedded in the quartz, brilliant blues, crimson reds, green, violet.

The noise from the quartz rock shattering was pretty sharp and loud. The pieces ended up close to one another.

Rod Evans
September 21, 2021 11:40 pm

It puts present day threats to our security into perspective, if nothing else. Fascinating.

September 22, 2021 4:13 am

The consistency of this impact evidence with the Biblical story of Jericho …”: you must mean inconsistency. The biblical story has Jericho destroyed during Joshua’s purported conquest of Israel. That conquest never happened – all the evidence is against the claim, including the date that Jericho was flattened.

Reply to  dearieme
September 22, 2021 8:02 am

About the destruction of Jericho from the paper:

Military action has also been documented at nearby Jericho, 22 km west of TeH. However, no evidence for military conquest has been detected in the 1650-year-old occupation level at Jericho, which shows evidence of intense burning and destruction, as at TeH. In a previous episode of warfare, defensive walls were breached at ~ 2000 BCE, after which the site displayed different pottery, weapons, architecture, and burial customs, as is typical of military conquest24. Similarly, between 1950–1800 BCE, Jericho suffered violent destruction indicative of military action25. Neither of these episodes is apparent at TeH and no melted materials have been reported at Jericho.

Evidence for high-temperature burning of the city

September 22, 2021 4:19 am

If they have correctly identified the site of legendary Sodom then presumably they know roughly the site of the legendary pillar of Lot’s wife. So the revisionist historians who use remarks in the Koran to argue that the Holy City was not down in the Arabian peninsula, but rather in the Israel/Palestine/Jordan area, on the edge of cultivation, have a bit of support.

September 22, 2021 6:34 am

Here is another between 900-600bc, in Bavaria, Germany, Bronze Age, Celtic Era.
Likely the non-biblical origin of that Celtic belief in the sky falling on their heads….

September 22, 2021 8:15 am

Could you imagine witnessing the event from 200 miles away? Yikes!

September 22, 2021 9:28 am


Has anyone warned Las Vegas?

Reply to  griff
September 22, 2021 10:16 pm

Here’s the Welcome to Vegas sign. The welcome sign for Sodom was quite different.

DO Vegas Sign.jpeg
Bryan A
Reply to  jorgekafkazar
September 22, 2021 10:42 pm

Getting to Know You, getting to Know ALL about You…

Reply to  Bryan A
September 23, 2021 6:37 am

What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.

Dave Fair
Reply to  MarkW
September 28, 2021 4:44 pm

Just the money. Thanks, suckers!

Dave Fair
Reply to  griff
September 28, 2021 4:42 pm

I see … there is no gambling, sodomy and prostitution in London.

James Waldo
September 22, 2021 9:37 am

David, this a great summation and thanks for sharing the article from Chris Moore. For those of that you have time the paper is great read, too.

There’s also an on-location video to supplement this article and the paper.

We’re also planning to at least have Malcom LeCompte come back on the Seven Ages Audio Journal Podcast to discuss it. Maybe Chris Moore, too, but I haven’t talked to him in a while and I don’t know how busy he is.

James Waldo
Reply to  David Middleton
September 22, 2021 4:05 pm

Yep, that’s another gem.

George Howard
Reply to  James Waldo
September 24, 2021 10:27 pm

Gee thanks.

Dave Burgess
September 22, 2021 4:37 pm

The scientists missed the cause by // that much. They left out the proof already verified in Sitchins clay tablet translations. Such as the presence of Trinitite!

Andy H
September 23, 2021 7:39 am

I think the walls of Jericho were more likely undermined, with the mining operation covered up by Joshua’s army parading around the walls and making a lot of noise.

September 23, 2021 9:08 am

“~ 1650 BCE (~ 3600 years ago)” – does this mean that the present is still stuck in 1950 or has it moved to 1970?

September 28, 2021 4:29 pm

Fantastic article. One thing I felt wasn’t gone into in enough depth was the physics of what actually goes on when a bolide disintegrates in the atmosphere. The physics of it. This paper covers it quite well.

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