ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - An Albuquerque archeologist and his team have returned withartifacts from a dig site near the Dead Sea which they believereveals the lost city of Sodom.
Dr. Steven Collins and a team of about 70 have spent the lastfour years digging in Jordan. They have recovered thousands ofartifacts, most of it pottery.
They have also discovered human and animal bones, jewelry andweapons.
"We have some Roman from the Iron Age, say from about 600-700BC, going all the way back to Bronze Age, even very early in thebronze age going back to about 3000, even back as early as 4000BC," Collins said.
Collins and his team have brought all the pieces back toAlbuquerque for further study.
"Human beings are very prone to fads, and in pottery the potteryforms are changing constantly over time," Collins said. "No oneuses them for more than 35 years or so.
"By identifying the forms that are tied to certain periods wecan date the layers of dirt that we are digging."
Collins said based on the location of the site and the age ofthe pottery they believe they have in fact found the lost city.
"The prescribed profile from Bible is that we would have aMiddle Bronze Age city that was destroyed and not reoccupied forsome time," Collins said. "That's exactly what we've got
According to the writings in the Bible the holy cities of Sodomand Gomorrah were so filled with sinners "the Lord rained downburning sulfur" on them.
Collins and his team have brought in two scholars who they hopewill help them determine if these pieces really are from the lostcity of Sodom.
A leading Jordanian scholar is lending his expertise as is Dr.Bob Mullins from Azusa Pacific University in California.
"It's the location, based on the biblical text, where Sodom andGomorrah should be," Mullins said. "I do agree with Steve onthat.
"The period fits, Middle Bronze Age."
It will likely be years before scholars can determine if theartifacts are from Sodom as believed. Dr. Collins said this processusually take 10 to 15 years or more.
Right now they are in the fourth year of their dig. The groupwill return to the site to dig some more this summer.
For an account of project from the Associates for BiblicalResearch current to January,
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