The Bible and geology: destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah
Published:January 01, 2007
The biblical story of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah is interpeted as a reflection of a real natural disaster. According to the Bible. Sodom and Gomorrah were situated near the southern part of the Dead Sea basin or in the Jordan River valley. The description of their destruction in the Bible can be interpreted only as volcanic eruption. Evidence of middle Holocene volcanism is absent both in the Dead Sea and Jordan River regions, but has been found in the Neogene—Quaternary lava highland in the southern Syria. At two settlements, Khirbet El-Umbashi and Hebariye, dated around the second part of the third millennium bc, many animal bones were covered by the basaltic lava. It is possible that, the Bible's story of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah combined collective memories about two events. Located in the Dead Sea region, Sodom and Gomorrah were most probably destroyed by a strong earthquake or flood, but the fresh memory about two settlements perishing from a volcanic eruption caused the population to merge these two events.
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Myth and Geology
This book is the first peer-reviewed collection of papers focusing on the potential of myth storylines to yield data and lessons that are of value to the geological sciences. Building on the nascent discipline of geomythology, scientists and scholars from a variety of disciplines have contributed to this volume. The geological hazards (such as earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions and cosmic impacts) that have given rise to myths are considered, as are the sacred and cultural values associated with rocks, fossils, geological formations and landscapes. There are also discussions about the historical and literary perspectives of geomythology. Regional coverage includes Europe and the Mediterranean, Afghanistan, Cameroon, India, Australia, Japan, Pacific islands, South America and North America. Myth and Geology challenges the widespread notion that myths are fictitious or otherwise lacking in value for the physical sciences.