|Human remains at Tall el-Ḥammâm. © 2014 Michael C. Luddini|
Across Tall el-Ḥammâm, archaeologists found widespread evidence of an intense conflagration that left the Middle Bronze Age city in ruins. They found scorched foundations and floors buried under nearly 3 feet of dark grey ash, as well as dozens of pottery sherds covered with a frothy, “melted” surface; the glassy appearance indicates that they were briefly exposed to temperatures well in excess of 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, the approximate heat of volcanic magma. Such evidence suggests the city and its environs were catastrophically destroyed in a sudden and extreme conflagration. Steven Collins, “Where Is Sodom? The Case for Tall el-Hammam,” BAR 39, no. 2 (2013): 41.