This year’s newest explanation. A Cuneiform clay tablet which for over 150 years defied attempts at interpretation has been “revealed” to describe an asteroid impact which in 3123 BC hit Köfels, Austria, leaving in its wake a trail of destruction which is be credited with accounting for the biblical story of Sodom and Gomorrah.
The “Planisphere” tablet – inscribed around 700 BC – was unearthed by Henry Layard in the remains of the library of the Assyrian royal palace at Nineveh, close to modern-day Mosul, Iraq. It’s a copy of the night diary of a Sumerian astronomer containing drawings of constellations and “known constellation names”, but it required modern computer tech to finally unravel its exact meaning.Alan Bond, Managing Director of Reaction Engines Ltd and Mark Hempsell, Senior Lecturer in Astronautics at Bristol University, subjected the Planisphere to a programme which “can simulate trajectories and reconstruct the night sky thousands of years ago”. They discovered that it described “events in the sky before dawn on the 29 June 3123 BC”, with half of it noting “planet positions and cloud cover, the same as any other night”.
The other half, however, records an object “large enough for its shape to be noted even though it is still in space” and tracks its trajectory relative to the stars, which “to an error better than one degree is consistent with an impact at Köfels”.
That a large body had impacted at Köfels had long been suspected, the evidence being a giant landslide 500m thick and five kilometres in diameter. The site had no impact crater to back the theory, but the researchers now believe they have a plausible explanation for that.
So what does this have to do with salt pillars, Abraham, and his nephew Lot — a story that almost assuredly took place along the botton of the Syrian-African rift on the border between present-day Israel and Jordan?
Mark Hempsell, hinting at the possible fate of Sodom and Gomorrah, adds: “Another conclusion can be made from the trajectory. The back plume from the explosion (the mushroom cloud) would be bent over the Mediterranean Sea re-entering the atmosphere over the Levant, Sinai, and Northern Egypt.
“The ground heating though very short would be enough to ignite any flammable material – including human hair and clothes. It is probable more people died under the plume than in the Alps due to the impact blast.“
Pretty incredible that this trail of “fire and brimstone” could span the sky and only manage to destroy the otherwise insignificant town of Sodom.