According to the Bible, not only did they exist, but their population was “sinful” (Genesis, 13:13; Isaiah, 3:9), and they were destroyed with fire and brimstone that fell from heaven (Deuteronomy, 1).
British scientists Alan Bond, director of the space-propulsion company Reaction Engines, and Mark Hempsell, an astronautics expert at the University of Bristol, deciphered the cuneiform inscriptions on a clay tablet dating from 700 BC
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They concluded that this is the testimony drawn up by a Sumerian astronomer describing the passage of an asteroid whose characteristics resemble the rain of fire that razed the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah.
The tablet was discovered in the ruins of Nineveh by Sir Henry Layard in the mid-19th century. It is preserved in the British Museum in London. It is known as the “Planisphere” and for 150 years scientists have been squabbling over its true meaning.
Bond and Hempsell turned to computer technologies to simulate the trajectory of celestial objects. Thus they reconstructed the sky observed by this astronomer thousands of years ago. Calculations indicated that the described event took place on the night of June 29, 3123 BC, according to the Julian calendar.
Researchers interpret that one half of the “Planisphere” reports the position of planets and clouds. The other half describes the trajectory of an asteroid more than a kilometer in diameter. The asteroid would have flown close to the ground, and the supersonic waves it produced impacted the Earth with cataclysmic force.
The destructive celestial phenomenon did not leave a crater in Köfels, but caused a huge collapse in the hill on which it exploded. This collapse intrigued geologists. They could not imagine the right cause and looked for the crater caused by the impact of a celestial object. But this one didn’t collide there on the surface, it exploded in the air, producing landslides.
The explosion would have generated a fireball advancing at a speed of 5 kilometers per second with temperatures of up to 400°C. By the time it reached the earth, this incandescent mass would have devastated around 1 million square kilometers.
The crash site would have been 2,000 kilometers from Köfels. That is to say, it would have landed completely in the Dead Sea area. According to Hempsell the devastation resembles the biblical description of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, and catastrophes mentioned in ancient myths. No life form could have survived in perhaps hundreds of kilometers around the center of the fall.
For the researcher, the cloud of smoke caused by the explosion of the asteroid would have reached the Sinai, some regions of the Middle East and northern Egypt. In Köfels there are traces of a cosmic impact that caused the collapse of an area 5 kilometers wide.
For Hempsell and Bond, the trajectory of the meteorite described in the tablet leads to the belief that in its path, the asteroid caused appalling destruction in a long range. Sodom and Gomorrah were in this range and would have been destroyed by fire and the impact wave caused.
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