Lost Cities Of The Bible
A land of myth and legend, ancient Iraq is the cradle of human civilization; and now, pioneering archaeologists gain rare access to investigate sacred sites and reveal the truth behind forgotten Biblical cities.
Lost Cities of the Bible
The recent droughts provided an unexpected opportunity to excavate the ancient lost city before it is once again submerged under water. Fortunately, a group of German and Kurdish archaeologists was able to secure funding for the project and assemble a team within a matter of days. Following the short excavation, the team covered the site with plastic sheeting and gravel. Since then, the site has once again been completely submerged in the reservoir. It is hoped that the tarps and protective fill will help preserve the site until another opportunity for excavation arises.
Certain aspects of the biblical story of the Cities of the Plain have in recent years become widely accepted. Among them is the placing of those cities in the southern basin of the Dead Sea, the assumption that those cities are now covered by Dead Sea water and, in particular, the belief that their destruction was due to catastrophic geological causes, such as an earthquake. The Bible emphasizes the agricultural richness of the Jordan plain prior to the upheaval of Sodom and Gomorrah and its catastrophic transformation into a wasteland. Thus, stripped of ethical and religious overtones, the scenario is that of a rapid climatic change that converted a densely inhabited and richly watered area into an infertile salt playa. The region northeast and southeast of Jericho, which today is quite barren as a result of the upward movement of salty ground water but which contains some of the World's earliest known agricultural settlements, fits such a picture. Dating the Sodom event to approximately the 23rd-21st centuries B.C. supports the idea that a major climatic change that occurred between the Early and Middle Bronze Ages and which resulted in profound transformations in the Middle East such as the collapse of the Ancient Kingdom of Egypt, the invasion of the Fertile Crescent by the Semitic desert nomads, and the collapse of Early Bronze Age civilization in Palestine - is also responsible for the Sodom story. Although the data are far from complete, desiccation during this period is indicated by palynological evidence pointing to the decimation of forests in Northern Israel, paleobotanical evidence from Southern Israel, the deposition of salt layers in the Dead Sea, the abandonment of almost all settlements in the Negev Desert of Southern Israel, the Jordan valley and Southern Jordan, except those which were associated with perennial springs, and further afield the drastic lowering of the level of Lake Moeris in Lower Egypt. This scenario does not exclude the possibility that a major earthquake - which may have occurred during this period - was considered to be the cause of the final physical destruction of the Cities of the Plain, delivering a coup de grace to a collapsing society, and which became through the mists of time and legend, the only agent of destruction.
Archaeologists believe they have found the lost Philistine city of Ziklag, where young David lived when he fled from King Saul. They said they had discovered the remains of the 3,000-year-old settlement near the modern town of Kiryat Gat in southern Israel.
And now for a real-life lost city found beneath the sea: the ancient Egyptian port of Thonis, also known by its Greek name Heracleion (which was originally thought to be a different city). It sank into the Mediterranean near the mouth of the Nile 1,500 years ago, likely after a flood, taking with it huge 16-foot statues of Pharaoh Ptolemy II, his queen, and the god Hapy. The city was mentioned in classical texts, including those of the historian Herodotus, and Helen of Troy was even said to have made a visit here.
Archaeology is an important science that confirms the historical accuracy of the Bible. Since the Bible makes reference to hundreds of cities, kings, and places, we would expect to find evidence from on-site excavations. If we did not find any such evidence, we would highly question the Bible's claim of inspiration and tend to view it as myth and folklore. We would regard the Bible as the product of human imagination rather than a divinely inspired record about real historical events, about real people living in real cities.
At the turn of the century, skeptics viewed the Bible as myth rather than real world history . For example, the Bible makes over 40 references to the great Hittite Empire. You see, 100 years ago, no archaeological evidence had ever been found to prove it really did exist. "Just another Bible myth!" skeptics charged in an attempt to destroy our faith in the Bible. This, however, cannot be said today, for in 1906, Hugo Winckler uncovered a library of 10,000 clay tablets. These ancient records fully documented the long lost Hittite Empire and confirmed the reliability of the Bible. Later excavations uncovered Boghazkoy, the capital city of this "mythical" empire.
Today, so many Bible cities, names and events have been unearthed through archaeology that the Bible is considered the single most important historical document in existence. Many lost cities have been located using the Bible as a road map. So startling and impressive are some of the finds that one archaeologist was compelled to say, "They are digging up Bible stories!"
If only more would realize that the Bible is not only a guide to the fallen ruins of ancient cities, but also a road map to the glorious city of Heaven! If only more would trust their Bible as being God's inspired message for mankind. Since archaeology has proven the historical trustworthiness of the Bible we had better take note about what the Bible says will happen in the future before it too, becomes a true footnote in history.
Design Lab member Albert Lin hosted 3 National Geographic series, using technology to uncover lost cities, treasures, and secrets. Check them out below! Full length episodes available for streaming on the Disney+ app.
See photos of ancient slaves making bricks, discover how lost cities were found, plus enter the tombs and the temples of pharaohs. Hunt with our explorers as they search for the Red Sea, trace the possible exodus routes and watch as they examine the first reference to ancient Israel found outside of the Bible
Including: Search the Valley of the Kings, enter the lost city of Pi-Ramesses, find Israel in Egyptian hieroglyphics and Yam Suph - Red Sea or Sea of Reeds? Perceive the ancient heritage of the Pyramids, learn how ancient Israel and Egypt clashed, discover the buried city of Avaris and the Hyksos. Revealed - the Bible, ancient Egypt and archaeology. A direct, easy to read adventure with 27 compact chapters.
When the archaeological, geographical and epigraphic evidence is reviewed in detail, it is clear that the infamous cities of Sodom and Gomorrah have now been found. What is more, this evidence demonstrates that the Bible provides an accurate eyewitness account of events that occurred southeast of the Dead Sea over 4,000 years ago...
Turning to the site to the north of Safi, Numeira, we can make a linguistic connection with one of the Cities of the Plain. Many times ancient names are preserved in modem Arabic place names. The consonants of the name Gomorrah are c (ayin) MR and the consonants of Numeira are N M R. The ancient and modem names match, except for the first letter. Initial laryngeals like the ayin in cMR were commonly lost or transformed in the process of time, or when they came over into other languages or dialects. In this case, it is possible that nasalization took place, so the ayin in Hebrew cMR became the N in Arabic NMR (Shea 1988: 17).
From the chronological data given in Genesis, it is possible to approximate the time span between the sacking of Sodom and Gomorrah by the kings of Mesopotamia and the final destruction of the cities. The account of the attack of the Mesopotamian coalition comes between the time when Abraham left Haran when he was 75 (12:4) and the conception of lshmael when Abraham was 85 (16:3). Since Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed at the time of the conception of Isaac when Abraham was 99 (17:1, 21:5), the sacking of Sodom and Gomorrah by the kings of Mesopotamia took place between 14 and 24 years before the final holocaust. There is evidence at both Bab edh-Dhra and Numeira for two destructions. (6)
The Bible provides a detailed description of the calamity that befell the Cities of the Plain. In that description are two Hebrew phrases and a Hebrew word that must be examined in order to understand the event: goprit wa es, the material that fell on the cities (Gn 19:24), hapak, what happened to the cities (Gn 19:25), and kqitor hakkibsan, what Abraham observed (Gn 19:28).
The Biblical description, then, of the destruction was of burning material raining down from above, accompanied by an overturning of the cities and thick smoke being forced upward from the land. A rather apocalyptic scene, one that was forever etched in the minds of the ancient Israelites. The awful devastation and destruction that occurred that day became the example par excellence of God's judgment of sin.
When the archaeological, geographical and epigraphic evidence is reviewed in detail, it is clear that the infamous cities of Sodom and Gomorrah have now been found. What is more, this evidence demonstrates that the Bible provides an accurate eyewitness account of events that occurred southeast of the Dead Sea over 4,000 years ago. 041b061a72