Scripture contains several “stories” that have been ridiculed more than others. Of these, the six-day creation, the global Flood, the parting of the Red Sea, the virgin birth, the resurrection of Christ, and other spectacular works of God receive special criticism. Another mighty act of God that tends to be disbelieved is the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Scoffers, both Christian and secular, have a field day with this biblical event because it not only involves God’s supernatural workings and cataclysmic acts of nature, it also represents God’s righteous judgment of sin. This is hard for people to think about, especially today when the specific sin being judged is homosexual behavior. Did the destruction of these cities really happen? Is there archaeological and geological evidence to support it? Do other ancient writings mention it? Yes, to all.
The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah is a certain fact of history. The Genesis account is written in narrative form and alluded to by several other Old Testament writers. Extra-biblical writings (including tablets unearthed at Ebla) mention Sodom and even give specific references to its location along the Jordanian shore of the Dead Sea.
Genesis uses Hebrew action verbs such as “destroy” and “overthrow” to describe the destruction. This does not necessarily infer total annihilation, and thus some remains might have survived. In the early 1970s, Jordanian authorities noticed well-preserved artifacts from ancient times flooding the black market. An investigation led them to an Early Bronze Age graveyard on the southeastern side of the Dead Sea that was in the midst of being plundered. Along five “wadis” (dry riverbeds) flowing westward into the southern Dead Sea, an archaeological survey identified five ruined cities that appear to be the cities of the plain mentioned in Genesis 14:8. The most prominent and northerly one was in ancient times called Bab edh-Dhra, which seems to be the Arabic rendering of Sodom. Next in line was Numeira (Gomorrah), then the modern city of Safi (Zoar or Bela, to which Lot fled and which was not destroyed), then Admah and Zeboiim. The key was finding Zoar. Mentioned in other Scriptures and ancient maps, it led to the discovery of the other nearby ruins.
These five cities had all been situated along the Dead Sea Rift, a major plate boundary. At God’s command the rift ruptured, spewing great quantities of liquid and gaseous hydrocarbons high into the atmosphere. These ignited, setting the whole region ablaze and covering it with “fire and brimstone.” Abraham saw the conflagration from Mamre, about 20 miles away. The fiery mixture almost certainly didn’t come from a point source, such as a volcano, but destroyed the whole area along the linear fault. The cities were crushed and burned, just as the Bible describes. The city of Sodom actually straddled a fault, causing half of it to fall about 100 meters. No one survived. Today, numerous bodies remain trapped in the rubble.
Biblical archaeologist Dr. Bryant Wood of Associates for Biblical Research located city gates, crushed graves, towers, a temple, the water supply, and thick city walls. Uninhabitable since the destruction, the remains were identified by Dr. Wood as Sodom and Gomorrah. Creation geologist Dr. Steve Austin studied the geological evidence, including the fault zone, the burn layer, the bitumen that erupted, and the city’s calamitous fall to its ruin. Together, they have confirmed the truthfulness of the Genesis account.
But it seems that Sodom and Gomorrah were not “destroyed” as previously thought. The ruins of the biblical city of Sodom reportedly have been discovered by U.S. archeologists in southern Jordan. The archeological team, directed by Steve Collins of New Mexico’s Trinity Southwest University, has been working for 10 years in the Jordan Valley. It now believes it has uncovered this magnificent historical site. If confirmed, the discovery could give the archeological community an invaluable understanding of how people lived during between 3500 BC and 1540 BC. And perhaps most interestingly, the excavations are revealing that life in the city came to an abrupt end during the Middle Bronze Age (2000-1540 BC), seemingly consistent with the biblical story.
Preliminary tests reveal there was a stark end of life that lasted for about 700 years. Collins addressed the significance of this discovery:
“The archaeological team unearthed a gold mine of ancient monumental structures and artifacts that are revealing a massive Bronze Age city-state that dominated the region of Jordan’s southern Jordan Valley, even during a time when many other great cities of the ‘Holy Land’ region were either abandoned or in serious decline. Very, very little was known about the Bronze Age in the Middle Ghor (southern Jordan Valley) before we began our excavations in 2005. Even most of the archaeological maps of the area were blank, or mostly so. What we’ve got on our hands is a major city-state that was, for all practical purposes, unknown to scholars before we started our project.”
Because Collins is so familiar with the excavated area and surrounding historical sites, he is fairly sure this is Sodom. He also has studied the descriptions of Sodom extensively. “Tall el-Hammam seemed to match every Sodom criterion demanded by the text,” he said. The uncovered site contains both a lower and upper city, complete with a high city wall surrounding it, gates, and a town plaza. The city wall was constructed with mud bricks. The upper city was built to replace the lower city during the Middle Bronze Age.
Collins speculated that the upper part of the city was built for elites to escape threats from invaders. He also said the fortifications are much more extensive than previously imagined for communities during this age.
But is it Sodom?
Researchers at Arkdiscovery believe the five cities of the plain have been located and we have found round balls of brimstone, or nearly pure sulfur, embedded in an ashen area near the Dead Sea.
Above: Lighter colored formations can be seen near the Dead Sea.
Above: Ziggurat stands amidst ashen ruins in Gomorrah, with darker terrain in rear. Government sign with gate, attempting to keep vehicles out.
The cities were located in the plain, so they should not be located in the low area now covered by the Dead Sea. These cities were well known in the first century, as Josephus said, "The traces or shadows of the five cities are still to be seen." If Josephus could see them, then we should be able to see them also. The water level of the Dead Sea has fallen since the time of Josephus, so the areas Josephus saw in his day are still visible today. The cities of the plain were destroyed as a warning for all that this same event will happen again one day to the wicked. One would think God is capable of preserving this ancient lesson for us to see and to learn from.
"Then the Lord rained brimstone and fire on Sodom and Gomorrah, from the Lord out of the heavens" Genesis 19:24.
"Turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to destruction, making them an example to those who afterward would live ungodly" II Peter 2:6. (The word for "example" means an exhibit for warning.)
These sulfur balls are mostly golf ball sized, and some have burn marks all around them! Webster's Dictionary says that "brimstone" = sulfur. Accordingly, we have found the absolute proof that we have finally located Sodom and Gomorrah, the cities of the plain!
Above is brimstone with a burned, hardened shell that has the unburned sulfur inside, and next to it is brimstone without a burned shell. The photo at right is a shell or capsule with unburned sulfur inside. Tiny crystals are on its surface which were formed when the sulfur was burning and was in a liquid state, then it burned out.
Above: Located on the side of a ziggurat, this brimstone in a shell is opened to reveal the unburned sulfur inside
Each of the cities of the plain contain evidence of brimstone which God rained down upon the cities to destroy them. The brimstone is composed of 96-98% sulfur, with trace amounts of magnesium which create an extremely high temperature burn. This is the only place on earth where you can find 96% pure monoclinic sulfur in a round ball. This brimstone is not from any type of geo-thermal activity as there is no evidence of such in the area, and geo-thermal sulfur nodules are only 40% pure sulfur and are of the rhombic type.
Above: Holding a chunk of ash that has a burned ring which surrounds an unburned ball of sulfur
The ash there today is composed of Calcium Sulfate and Calcium Carbonate which are by-products of the limestone and sulfur burning. Everything in these cities burned and turned into ash, including the buildings themselves as the Bible says that the cities were to be destroyed also. The Bible told us that God rained down "fire and brimstone" When God rains down fire, it is a consuming fire, just like the time of Elijah when God sent down fire to destroy the stone altar, the limestone buildings here were totally destroyed and turned into ash.
Above: The extremely high burning temperatures created a multi-shaded layering of ash that was formed by thermal ionization, caused by electrons repelling and attracting, creating a swirling effect in the remains.
Above: Layers of multi-shaded ash, crumble in your hand.
The cities are almost entirely turned into white ash, and can be seen in the satellite photographs below.
Notice each of the cities stand out from the surrounding terrain because of the white ash contained within them. The city of Zoar was a "little one" or a newly built city that was square. As cities grew or expanded they quickly lost this square shape. Genesis 10:19 indicates the five cities formed the Canaanite border, thus the could not have been grouped together at the south end of the Dead Sea as popularly believed. They form a north-south line along the Jordan/Dead Sea area. Gomorrah is located at the base of Masada, and in 1998, additional formations were found in Jordan on the opposite of the Dead Sea from Gomorrah in the Lisan Peninsula, including a large cemetery area containing 1,000,000 graves. The same structures as found on the Israeli side were also found on the Jordanian side - ash, brimstone and even ceramic tile.
Above: Looking southwest at the southern end of the Dead Sea
Above: The northern end of the Dead Sea, looking southwest
Man-made formations are found in the cities, including ziggurats, sphinxes, windows, arched doorways and walls resembling double Canaanite city walls.
Above: On the left is a ziggurat and on the right a tower
Above: Ziggurat shape on raised platform composed of white material
Above: Ninety degree angles extending out from a wall demonstrating unnatural architecture
Above: Arched doorway still stands today
Unique shapes are visible in the cities that are not found in nature, including sphinx shapes like the ones below.
Above: This sphinx formation on a raised platform is about 40 feet long and was made of a different whiter material than the surrounding platform.
Above: The top layer is a solid slab of sulfur crystals created by a complete layer of
brimstone underneath that was burning, then turned to a liquid, then cooled down
leaving this layer of crystals. Approximately six feet long.
brimstone underneath that was burning, then turned to a liquid, then cooled down
leaving this layer of crystals. Approximately six feet long.
Above: In another area, we found sulfur crystals which are a remnant of the consumed brimstone.
Above: Two feet in diameter clump of crystals.
Above: More crystals resulting from the sulphur burning, turning to liquid, and cooling into crystals
More evidence of extreme heat was found.
Above: This specimen shows signs of having been melted, with the upper portion
bubbling and the lower section pooled into a solid.
bubbling and the lower section pooled into a solid.
Above: Specimen that some people think resembles bone, with the marrow in the middle. A spear head and a cache of burned gold which is now gold salts, burned bones, jars, and tile have also been found by others who have visited the cities.
If we accept the story of Sodom and Gomorrah as an eye witness account, there occurred an explosion so powerful that it can be compared to the use of nuclear weapons at Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. This story is treated as myth because our paradigms do not allow the existence of nuclear weapons four thousand years ago. It is also tempting to dismiss the tale on account of the reference to Lot’ s wife, who turned back and became “a pillar of salt”
However, it does not sound so ridiculous when we learn that several studies have suggested the term “salt" to be a mistranslation. If we were able to read an original Sumerian version of the event, we would find the word NIMUR, meaning both salt and vapour. Thus Lot’s wife may have become “a pillar of vapour”. Several ancient texts have now been discovered, paralleling the Biblical narrative, but predating it. These accounts provide additional background details which are lacking in the Old Testament. One of the earliest Sumerian texts clearly parallels the Biblical destruction of the evil cities by fire and brimstone: Lord, bearer of the Scorcher that burnt up the adversary, who obliterated the disobedient land; who withered the life of the Evil Word’s followers, who rained stones and fire upon the adversaries. Who were the “disobedient adversaries”, and what was the “Evil Word” that they followed?
The full significance of the Sodom and Gomorrah incident was revealed in a detailed study by Zecharia Sitchin in 1985. The background to Sodom and Gomorrah was a heated argument concerning the right of the God Marduk to return to his city, Babylon, and assume supremacy over the Gods. Whilst Marduk’s father, Enki, defended the rights of his first-born son, the other Gods were bitterly opposed, for reasons which will become clear in due course. One God, named Erra, vowed to use force against Marduk. A long text known as the Erra Epic, describes what happened next, as a furious Erra exited from the council of Gods with a defiant promise:
“The lands I will destroy, to a dust-heap make them; the cities I will upheaval, to desolation turn them; the mountains I will flatten, their animals make disappear; the seas I will agitate, that which teems in them I will decimate; the people I will make vanish, their souls shall turn to vapour; none shall be spared...”
The Gods, locked in dispute, asked Anu to resolve the conflict. Anu agreed to the use of seven powerful weapons to attack Marduk, but Gibil, a brother of Marduk, warned him of Erra’s plan:
“Those seven, in the mountain they abide, in a cavity inside the earth they dwell. From this place with a brilliance they will rush forth, from Earth to Heaven, clad with terror.”
A God named Ishum, meaning “Scorcher”, was then appointed to join Erra in the Lower World (Africa) to prime the weapons and deliver them to their targets. Zecharia Sitchin has identified this God as Ninurta. As the son of Enlil by his half-sister Ninharsag, Ninurta was the direct rival of Marduk, the son of Enki. As for Erra, there is little doubt that this God was Nergal, a God who was often referred to in ancient texts as the “raging king”, “the violent one” and pointedly “the one who burns”, a God of war and hunting and a bringer of pestilence. It was Erra/Nergal, an embittered and jealous brother of Marduk, who assumed the most aggressive role, vowing to destroy not only Marduk and his supporters, but also his son Nabu.
Erra suggested that the weapons be used against the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah where Marduk and his son Nabu were thought to be hiding, and, for reasons which will later become clear, against the Sinai space centre itself:
“From city to city an emissary [weapon] I will send; the son, seed of his father, shall not escape; his mother shall cease her laughter... To the place of the Gods, access he shall not have; the place from where the Great Ones ascend I shall upheaval.”
Ninurta tried to calm Erra with words almost identical to those used by Abraham to God in the Biblical account:
“Valiant Erra, will you the righteous destroy with the unrighteous? Will you destroy those who have against you sinned together with those who against you have not sinned?”
Having agreed on a plan, the two Gods then carried out the devastating attack, Ishum to the space centre and Erra to Sodom and Gomorrah: Ishum to Mount Most Supreme set his course; the awesome seven, without parallel, trailed behind him. At the Mount Most Supreme the hero arrived; he raised his hand the Mount was smashed. The plain by the Mount Most Supreme he then obliterated; in its forests not a tree stem was left standing. Then, emulating Ishum, Erra the King’s Highway followed. The cities he finished off, to desolation he overturned them. In the mountains he caused starvation, their animals he made perish.
The "Khedorlaomer Texts” confirm the details of the Erra Epic and summarize the destruction: He who scorches with fire, and he of the evil wind, together performed their evil. The two made the Gods flee, made them flee the scorching. That which was raised towards Anu to launch they caused to wither: its face they made fade away, its place they made desolate. According to the Erra Epic, the attack by Erra not only destroyed the evil cities of Sodom and Gomorrah but also created the Dead Sea as we know it today:
He dug through the sea, its wholeness he divided. That which lives in it, even the crocodiles, he made wither, as with fire he scorched the animals, banned its grains to become as dust. Did crocodiles once live in the Dead Sea? It is no coincidence that nine hundred years earlier Gilgamesh was warned not to let his hand touch the “waters of death”, as his boat approached the far western shore of the “Sea of the Waters of Death”. In modern times it is known as the Dead Sea for a different reason because its concentration of salt is so high that marine life cannot live in it.
Where did the events of Sodom and Gomorrah take place?
The Bible clearly identifies the Valley of Siddim with the Salt Sea, suggesting that there had once been a valley where the waters now lie. Modern reference books state that the destroyed cities were indeed once situated in the area of the Dead Sea, drawing this conclusion from Greek and Roman historians, who stated that the valley was inundated after the event. It is no coincidence that the name Gomorrah came to mean “submersion” in the Hebrew language, nor that the Bible refers to the Salt Sea as the Sea of the Arabah, the latter term in Hebrew meaning “dry or burnt up”, and thus commemorating the attack.?’ Can all of these sources be wrong?
More specifically, scholars locate the evil cities in the southern part of the Dead Sea, which to this day is called “Lot’s Sea”, commemorating the man who was allowed to escape the disaster. The Bible provides a number of further clues which pinpoint the exact location: references to salt, bitumen and tar Pits all fit the southern part of the Dead Sea. First, this area still remains, in places, a flat salt marsh. And secondly, to this day, lumps of bitumen still float to the surface of the Dead Sea, which for this reason was called Lake Asphaltites in ancient times. In addition, the south-east shore of the Dead Sea is indeed “well-watered” and rich in vegetation, in accordance with the Biblical description. What physical evidence might prove that a nuclear explosion occurred at the Dead Sea in ancient times?
The geology of the Dead Sea is unusual. It is divided into two parts by a large peninsula called the Lisan (“the Tongue”), which reaches to within two miles of the western shore. North of the Lisan, the Dead Sea is up to 1,310 feet deep, the lowest landlocked point on Earth. To the south, in complete contrast, the waters are shallow, from only three to fifteen feet deep. Could this unusual geological feature be attributed to an explosion which breached the original Lisan and caused the previously dry “valley of the fields” to become submerged under water? To this day, unnatural levels of radioactivity are found in the water of springs around the southernmost edges of the Dead Sea.
One study confirmed that this radioactivity was sufficiently high to “induce sterility and allied afflictions in any animals and humans that absorbed it over a number of years”. Further evidence of an explosion is being revealed by the falling level of the Dead Sea, which has in recent years dropped from 1,280 feet to 1,340 feet below sea level?
The shrinkage of its surface area has exposed bizarre fissures, described by one observer as “almost architecturally articulated rock fissures”. What about the high salt concentration, more than five times the normal level? This is actually caused by the absence of any outlet from the Dead Sea other than by evaporation.
The 6.5 million tons of fresh water which pour in every day from the Jordan River erode natural salt from the Dead Sea floor, which cannot evaporate, and this increases the salt concentration. But here is a strange fact. In October 1993, it was announced that Israeli and German scientists would attempt to take samples of sediments from beneath the Dead Sea, using the latest drilling technology. Previous attempts had failed due to an extremely hard layer of rock salt, only a few feet beneath the bottom of the Sea! What unnatural event could have formed a crust of rock salt so hard that modern technology struggled to penetrate it?
Now let us move south to an even more dramatic proof of ancient nuclear weapons. Zecharia Sitchin has highlighted an enormous geological scar on the Sinai peninsula, exactly where the space centre of the Gods ought to be. This scar is visible from high above the Earth, appearing as a mysterious white patch. Whilst the thousands of tiny lines are wadis (dry riverbeds), no scientific explanation of the bright scar (situated bottom, left of centre) has ever been forthcoming.
Furthermore, in the eastern Sinai, millions of blackened stones are found strewn for tens of miles. These stones are, without any doubt, unnatural. The expeditions to the Sinai by Nelson Glueck in the 1950s highlighted the existence of numerous blackened rocks, scattered across the landscape. These rocks have more recently come to the attention of Emmanuel Anati, who was attracted to the region by his interest in rock art. Following his first expedition in 1955, Anati carried out several field trips to the site of Har Karkom (Jebel Ideid), a sacred mountain from the third millennium BC. Anati’s book, The Mountain of God, shows many boulders, several feet in diameter, on which ancient travellers have etched various signs and symbols (Plate 45). Anati’s photographs clearly demonstrate that the rocks are blackened only on the surface.
Emmanuel Anati also describes the large mountain plateau of Har Karkom as covered in an expanse of black stone fragments, known as “hamada”. In some places, the hamada has been cleared in ancient times to form so-called “hut circles”. Again, Anati’s photographs (Plate 46) demonstrate that the blackened stones are a thin surface layer. The ground beneath is a hard light-brown coloured surface, which from the air reflects the sunlight to create the appearance of bright white patches. What do the geologists have to say about the blackened rocks in the Sinai? They admit that they resemble volcanic rock, and yet this cannot be so, since there are no volcanoes anywhere near the Sinai. These stones are an anomaly - an impossibility that cannot be explained by conventional science.
Due to the perceived “impossibility” of nuclear weapons four thousand years ago, the debate goes no further. But it cannot be denied that the black, charred rocks are there in the Sinai, as is the enormous scar. The only possible explanation is that provided by Zecharia Sitchin - an unnatural explosion. In this context, everything begins to make sense. Chronologically, the destruction of the space centre, Sodom and Gomorrah and the fall of Sumer can all be tied together c. 2000 BC (the era of Abraham). The Sumerian lamentation texts clearly link the “evil wind” to the events in Sinai, by their references to “a great storm directed from Anu”, a “storm in a flash of lightning created” and by stating “in the west it was spawned”.
The Dead Sea and the space centre in Sinai are indeed located to the west of Sumer. Other references pinpoint the Sinai specifically:
“from the midst of the mountains it had descended upon the land, from the Plain of No Pity it hath come”.
It only remains to offer a convincing explanation of why the Gods permitted such extreme force to be used. In order to understand the full story of how the Gods decided to sabotage their own space facilities, we must begin with the Tower of Babel incident in which the God Marduk attempted to rebuild his pre-Flood city in Sumer. After the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, the other cities of the plain, and the space centre, the repercussions spread far and wide.
The nuclear fall-out in Sumer caused many survivors to become refugees. Their migrations were accompanied by a high level of culture and technology, hence explaining many of the mysterious breakthroughs c. 2000 BC which archaeologists have uncovered all over the world. The mysterious lost city of Petra is located less than sixty miles directly south from the southern part of the Dead Sea where Sodom and Gomorrah are believed to have once stood. It was thus within reach of, and a safe distance from, Lot’s initial destination of Zoar, the small town which had been spared from the destruction.
Petra was located in a mountain range that extended all the way south from the Dead Sea almost as far as the Gulf of Aqaba, which is then surrounded by mountains on both sides. Anyone fleeing south had little choice but to seek refuge in these mountains. Hachette’s Guide to the Middle East describes Petra as:
... not so much a town as a natural stronghold where one could seek refuge without having to build walls, and where one could live in the caves as comfortably as one could in man-made houses.
Petra, literally meaning “Rock”, is entered via a narrow Siq one mile long and as narrow as six feet across, beneath two cliffs which rise up to 260 feet in height. This dusty trail was featured in the film Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade. As one exits the Siq, one enters what has rather aptly been described as a “fairy city of pink sandstone”. Over a site of eight square miles, a fantastic array of temples and tombs has been carved out of the sandstone rock. Having been “discovered” in 1812 by a young Swiss explorer named Johann Ludwig Burckhardt, little progress has been made in our knowledge of this once important site. As one book admits: “almost nothing is known about its origin or nature”. Nevertheless, the extensive collection of carved temples and tombs at Petra is generally attributed to the Nabateans, a people of mysterious origin, who gradually infiltrated the area around 500-400 BC.
These Nabateans became wealthy on account of Petra’s position as an important crossroads of two important trade routes, and it is thus naive to think that previous travellers and occupants did not also leave their mark. Indeed, Petra contains a bewildering variety of different styles and different cultures.
On the one hand there are numerous depictions of step-pyramids, indicating a Mesopotamian link, on the other obelisks and serpents indicating an Egyptian connection. The Romans, too, could not resist the urge to build a huge amphitheatre here. Most of the tombs and temples are very simple designs - natural clefts enlarged to form cavities, surmounted on the outside face of the cliff by two dimensional relief work of mediocre quality. Many of these facades are badly eroded due to their exposure to the elements.
The Ed Deir (“the Monastery”), in contrast, is impressive, standing 135 feet high and 150 feet wide. Its upper parts are carved in three dimensions, and the main artistic feature is a splendid urn which is itself 30 feet high. The Monastery is dated to around AD 40, which may be a reasonable estimate, since it has suffered little erosion despite its exposed position in the side of a hill.
However, although well-carved and well-preserved, the simple style and imposing size of the Monastery bear no comparison to “the Treasury”. To me, El Khazneh (“the Treasury”) stands out clearly from the rest of Petra as a work of vastly superior quality. As shown in Plate 53, the detailed three dimensional carving is stunning, and would be unthinkable for an artist to undertake today.
It bears comparison with the great Sphinx of Egypt.
After the nuclear destruction in 2024 BC, Lot and his daughters traveled south and discovered the entrance into the mountains. In those days, Petra was surrounded by forests of cedar and pine, in contrast to the arid desert of today. At the end of the Siq, they found the cave in which, according to the Bible, they took up residence. After the death of Lot, his sons (by his daughters) Moab and Ben-Ammi dedicated themselves to commemorating their father (and perhaps their father’s wife who was turned to vapour) by the elaborate carving of the building now known as the Treasury. The urn (the symbolism of which no-one has explained) signified the ashes of their dead father, and was perhaps also a memorial to their father’ s wife.
After this task was completed, the sons’ curiosity led them into the outside world. As recorded in Genesis, one son Moab formed the tribe known as the Moabites, who lived in the mountain range where Petra lies. The other son, BenAmmi, became the father of the Ammonite tribe - the city Ammon today stands just 90 miles north of Petra.
In later times, the Edomites and Nabateans came to the area. Some emulated what they saw, sometimes with their own artistic, cultural bias, but none applied the same diligence as the original artists. Over thousands of years, the site lost its importance and the knowledge of its origins was restricted to a chosen few. Those few clues which were handed down then became enshrined in the Biblical myth of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.
Could this be the reason why scientists are reluctant to search for the origins of Petra?