The infamous ancient cities of Sodom and Gomorrah may yet be found.
Russia and Jordan have signed a contract for scouring the bed of the Dead Sea, hoping to discover archaeological evidence of the two lost cities. A Russian film company is underwriting the underwater expedition, so that they may produce an exclusive documentary on the project and its potential findings.
According to Dead Sea exploration project member Zia Madani (quoted in “Israel National News”), the exploration for the biblical times cities is scheduled to start in late December 2010.
As recently as Friday, December 17th, a team of international scientists were drilling and analyzing potential temperature anomalies at the bottom of the Dead Sea, which could be consistent with ancient earthquake activity in the region.
What were Sodom and Gomorrah?
Sodom and Gomorrah were two cities in the ancient Holy Land, whose stories appear in the Old Testament of the Bible. According to the account, found in Genesis 19, the Lord God destroyed the two cities with fire and brimstone from Heaven, after the inhabitants refused to repent of repeated wickedness.
Christian, Jewish and Muslim scriptures point to sexual sin as a primary reason for the divine wrath upon Sodom and Gomorrah. In fact, the modern word “sodomy” is attributed to this event.
Throughout history, scientists and historians have postulated that the cities may have been demolished by an earthquake or meteor storm. (Of course, such a disaster would easily be tagged an “act of God” – even by modern insurance companies.)
Geologists, archeologists and antiquarians have considered several possible locations for the ancient cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. Most research has focused on the region surrounding the Dead Sea and the nearby Mount Sodom, which consists primarily of rock salt.
Why are the exploration teams searching under the Dead Sea for Sodom and Gomorrah?
Recently, the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration ( NASA ) produced satellite photographs of the Dead Sea, which seemed to show odd debris on the bottom of the famous Middle East salt lake. These images appeared inconsistent with sights to be expected in such a location.
An Israeli submarine was allegedly dispatched to hunt for the unusual objects, which were found to be across the Jordanian border of the Dead Sea. Jordan barred Israel from further exploration.
Why was the Russia team selected for the Dead Sea project?
Apparently, the Russian company possesses underwater exploration technologies that are equipped to withstand the high salinity of the Dead Sea, which is 1,240 feet deep.
The Dead Sea is world-famous as one of Earth’s most hypersaline bodies of water, nearly nine times saltier than the oceans. The Dead Sea is comprised of 33.7 percent saline. These high salt levels prevent oceanic creatures from inhabiting the Dead Sea; this condition is, of course, the reason for the deep salt lake’s name.