Marco showed her verso rock face containing layers of chalk and rock

Per one place, there was a 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 pensiero to be plausible, the earthquake would have had to trigger verso landslide. This is possible when there is loosely packed ground that contains lots of chicchera. Shaken up by an earthquake, the tazza can rush puro the surface, and the ground can turn puro ciotola – verso phenomenon called liquefaction. On a slope, this can become verso landslide.

Professor Frostick believed the ground around the Dead Sea was athletique of liquefying. However, the towns had to be built on ground that contained lots of water, so they must have been right on the water’s edge.

For Harris’s theory sicuro stand up, he needed esatto 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 per source of asphalt, verso naturally occurring substance that was invaluable durante ancient times. The Egyptians used asphalt puro embalm their dead: their word moumiah, ‘mummy’ puro us, means asphalt.

According onesto organic chemist Arie Niessenbaum, seppure blocks of asphalt can be formed on the Dead Sea floor, and these can then float preciso the surface. This Dead Sea floating asphalt has been chemically fingerprinted and matched puro asphalt contained con early Bronze Age artefacts found mediante Egypt. That means there was an early Bronze Age trade sopra asphalt from the Dead Sea sicuro 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 a 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 sicuro carry away whole towns? Only the Cambridge Centrifuge experiment could provide the answer.

Dr Gopal Madabhushi and his squadra built structures and ground that exactly replicated conditions con the Dead Sea in the early Bronze Age. They then put this model con the centrifuge preciso spin it, creating 50 times the force of gravity on the model. This made the model act con exactly the same way as if it were full size. The Cambridge squadra 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 con the model were remarkable. The experiment pointed to verso scene of utter calamity – the ground would have turned sicuro 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 scenario 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 – con fact I’m ecstatic.’ He now hopes geologists and archaeologists will be inspired esatto embark on an underwater search for the ruins of Sodom and Gomorrah.