Archeological Expedition

"Search for Sodom" 

Pastor David received a rare opportunity to participate as a volunteer
worker on the Tell al-Hammam Excavation Project under the direction of
Dr. Steven Collins, acting Pres. of Trinity Southwest University
and Executive Dean, College of Archaeology & Biblical History.
David accompanied Scott Stripling, who is a doctoral candidate in Biblical Archaeology.

(NOTE: The official report with pictures of this excavation is being prepared by Dr. Steven Collins)

Tell al-Hammam, Jordan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"This site is located at the mouth of the Wadi al-Kuffrein,
which is the road to 'Iraq al-Amir.  This huge tell was occupied ...
in the Early Bronze Age and again in the Iron Ages."
(from "Biblical Sites, Jordan Land of Prophets," Bonechi)

 

"And Lot lifted his eyes and saw all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere (before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah) like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt as you go toward Zoar.  Then Lot chose for himself all the plain of Jordan, and Lot journeyed east."

          
(Genesis 13:10-11a)
 

The word translated "plain" here in Gen. 13:10 is the Hebrew word "kikar." 
3603 כִּכָּר [kikkar /kik·kawr/] n f. From 3769; Gr. 3971; 68 occurrences; AV translates as "talent" 48 times, "plain" 12 times, "loaf" 4 times, "piece" twice, "country" once, and "morsel" once.
1 - ROUND  (1a)  a round district (environs of the Jordan valley). (1b) a round loaf (of bread). (1c) a round weight, talent (of gold, silver, bronze, iron).
          (Excerpt from Smith, W. 1997. Smith's Bible dictionary. Thomas Nelson: Nashville)

Sod´om
(burning), one of the most ancient cities of Syria. It is commonly mentioned in connection with Gomorrah, but also with Admah and Zeboim, and on one occasion—Gen. 14—with Bela or Zoar. Sodom was evidently the chief town in the settlement. The four are first named in the ethnological records of Gen. 10:19 as belonging to the Canaanites. The next mention of the name of Sodom, Gen. 13:10–13, gives more certain indication of the position of the city. Abram and Lot are standing together between Bethel and Ai, ver. 3, taking a survey of the land around and below them. Eastward of them, and absolutely at their feet, lay the “circle of Jordan” [ed. the 'kikar'].  The whole circle was one great oasis—“a garden of Jehovah.” ver. 10. In the midst of the garden the four cities of Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboim appear to have been situated. It is necessary to notice how absolutely the cities are identified with the district. In the subsequent account of their destruction, Gen. 19, the topographical terms are employed with all the precision which is characteristic of such early times. The mention of the Jordan is conclusive as to the situation of the district, for the Jordan ceases where it enters the Dead Sea, and can have no existence south of that point.

From all these passages, though much is obscure, two things seem clear:
1. That Sodom and the rest of the cities of the plain of Jordan stood on the north of the Dead Sea;  2. That neither the cities nor the district were submerged by the lake, but that the cities were overthrown and the land spoiled, and that it may still be seen in its desolate condition. When, however, we turn to more modern views, we discover a remarkable variance from these conclusions.

The Kikar of the Jordan

There is no Jordan River or kikar (plain) of the Jordan at the south end of the Dead Sea.  You cannot even see the south end of the Dead Sea from where Abraham and Lot stood (between Bethel and Ai), before parting company.  Genesis 13:10 says that Lot "saw" the well-watered "kikar," and therefore then journeyed EAST from there, NOT south of the Dead Sea to areas, assumed in the 20th Century to be possible locations for Sodom.

* Click here to see the Jordanian government's own brochure on "Biblical Jordan"


- Shots of David & Scott around Jordan  -     
Click on Thumbnails to see larger Photos
 

     - Photos of the Trip, Around and About -

 
       
Scott feels the Jordan River at Jesus'
Baptismal Site

(@ Bethany Beyond Jordan)
David finds a donkey
at Tell al-Hammam

 "Al_Khazneh Farun," meaning "Treasure of the Pharoah"
in PETRA
(featured in "Indiana Jones & the Last Crusade")
 
Scott in the passage
way to the Treasury
 

David in front
of the Treasury
in Petra
 

David finds a camel
in Petra
 
Part of the archeological team headed by Dr. Steven Collins, project director  
       

Videos

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*
Tour of sites of John the Baptist & Moses

(Bethany Beyond Jordan
, where John the Baptist baptized Jesus, and Machaerus, where John the Baptist was beheaded by Herod Antipas; and Mt. Nebo, where God let Moses to view the "Promised Land" before he died there - Deut. 32:48 )
 

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*
City of Petra

(Biblical name is "Sela" -
2 Kings 14:7) ... David rides a camel here


 

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* Jerusalem
, Israel  
   
 ("The Old City")
 

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Note: These videos are amateurish (Carter wasn't with us!) and will be edited further with titles

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