"And the sun was risen upon the earth when Lot entered into Zoar. Then the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven; and He overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground.... and Abraham...looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the plain, and the smoke of the country went up as the smoke of a furnace." Genesis 19: 23
"And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes [God] condemned them with an overthrow, making them an example unto those that after should live ungodly." II Peter 2: 6
Ron Wyatt (Re Bible and History page) has done it again. His ability to think outside the traditional box seems to have opened up the historical reality of Sodom and Gomorrah for the world. While driving in the Dead Sea area many years ago, in a protracted search for the ruins of Sodom and Gomorrah, he suddenly realized they were in plain sight. The landforms he was casually noticing suddenly focused and took form like a salt map of old. The land formations, though earth-like, were not land. They carried shapes and angles not characteristic to natural shapes. Stopping his car, he went over for a closer look...and was stunned.
Not dirt or sand, the landforms were a powdery, white-ish substance akin to ash that broke off and crumbled easily. The formations themselves had arches and windows as if they were buildings and homes. In stepping back, he realized that what he was looking at was a city...a city of ash.
Below are photos of the ash formations Wyatt found over time (as have several others since), at certain locations around the Dead Sea that have the form and shape of man-made structures. Angular square and rectangular shapes combined with arcs and curves suggest homes and possible religious shrines and, in places, give the appearance of cities. Here in these sites, and these alone, sulfur pellets - brimstone - abound, encrusted in the ash. It was with "fire and brimstone" that God destroyed the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. Hidden in plain sight, it is increasingly believed that these are the remains of those cities that Biblical scholars have been searching for for over 1800 years!
In Peter's reference to Sodom and Gomorrah, he says they "were turned into ashes." These ash formations may indicate that the structures were literally turned into ashes, rather than brought down to ashes.
Jewish historian Josephus, writing after the time of Christ, speaks of the remains of Sodom and Gomorrah that existed at that time.
"Now this country is then so sadly burnt up, that nobody cares to come at it;... It was of old a most happy land, both for the fruits it bore and the riches of its cities, although it be now all burnt up. It is related how for the impiety of its inhabitants, it was burnt by lightning; in consequence of which there are still the remainders of that divine fire; and the traces (or shadows) of the five cities are still to be seen,..."
Josephus' reference to "five cities" may be understood from Genesis 19:17 in which the angel told Lot: "Escape for your life; don't look behind you, neither stay in the plain; escape to the mountain, lest you be consumed." Lot then pleads with the angel to let him escape to a "little city" rather than the mountain. The angel then says, "I have accepted you concerning this thing...I will not over throw this city..." The implication is that that city was also targeted for destruction, as was all the plain round about. It has always been known - and is alluded to by Peter - that Sodom and Gomorrah were just 2 of "five cities" that were were included in the destruction to rain down upon the plain. See maps below.
The photo to the right, taken from a newspaper article, is of a present-day village in Afghanistan. Though fuzzy, it shows striking similarities to the ash formation found in the Dead Sea area.
rural village in present day Afghanistan
Likely City of Sodom
From a height, one can see that the cities are laid out in an obvious man made 'square' formation. The surrounding material is all normal brown rock. The obvious question would be if the cities were destroyed 3900 years ago, how is it that the ash has not been completely eroded away? Research showed that objects burned with sulphur leave a remaining ash heavier than the original material
Notice the coloration differences between the city area and that of the Masada ridge in the background
Man-made formations are found in the cities, including ziggurats, sphinxes, windows, arched doorways and walls resembling double Canaanite city walls.
Several oxydized bronze spearheads were found and even a skeleton that had completely turned to ash was found in Sodom. The marrow was visible at the ends of each of the bones. With a molecular frequency radar generator, Ron Wyatt found gold salts, the by-product of vaporized gold. Samples of the material were taken and tested which proved to be pure ash.
From a distance, these two formations appear to be buildings. Up close, they are 100% ash that can be easily broken off and crumbled by hand. These, and all sites in the area, are
unique. The intense fire that rained down upon these cities from God was so hot it burned the limestone blocks that were used in the construction of the cities. According to the Wyatt Foundation, the ash there today is composed of Calcium Sulfate and Calcium Carbonate which are by-products of limestone and sulfur burning. Other cities that have been destroyed by fire or by volcanoes, like Pompeii, have a layer of ash on top, but under that is the original material. Here however, we see entire cities completely turned to ash, exactly as the Bible describes in II Peter 2:6, "...And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an example unto those that after should live ungodly."
Several ash formations in the area show this kind of fragile layering similar in effect to burned newspaper rolls.
background shows the Dead Sea with an ashen sphinx-like stucture in the foreground
Unusual, swirling formations distinguish this part of Israel and are unique in the world. The extremely high burning temperatures (5,000 to 6,000 degrees for burning sulfur) created a multi-shaded layering of ash. The technical explanation for this unique layering of the ash, according to the Wyatt Foundation, is that it "was formed by thermal ionization, caused by electrons repelling and attracting, creating a swirling effect in the remains."
Sphinx-Like Ash Formations
Several of these ashen, sphinx-like formations have been found around the Dead Sea. Most of those shown here are from the area of Gomorrah.
This sphinx-like formation on a raised platform is about 40 feet long and was made of a different whiter material than the surrounding platform. It may have been a worship figure or god and was made of a special material.
foreground formation located between Masade (background) and the Dead Sea
This location - between Masada and the Dead Sea - is considered to be the site of Gomorrah.
Below are other ash formations that closely approximate the shape and size of ancient ziggurats.
close-up view with Masada to the right
see overlay below of ziggurat form on this ash formation
ash formation in Sodom - faint overlay of ziggurat image
ziggurat image overlaying same ash formation in Sodom strongly suggests it as a ziggurat, or pagan worship site
Dead Sea Area Maps
Map below pinpoints the location of 5 sites found in the Dead Sea area containing significant ash remains.
Zoar, the small city Lot sought refuge in, is situated at the southwest point of the Dead Sea.
Dead Sea lies southeast of Jerusalem. All destruction sites, as well as Masada, run the western edge of the Sea.
Before their destruction, Sodom and Gomorrah were the crown jewels of that part of the world. When Abram gave his brother first choice of the land they were to possess, Lot chose that area. Genesis 13: 10-12 describes this scene: "And Lot lifted up his eyes and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered every where...even as the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt, as you come unto Zoar. Then Lot chose all the plain of Jordan; and Lot journeyed east...and dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom." In verses 29-30, the story concludes. "And...when God destroyed the cities of the plain...and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when he overthrew the cities in which Lot dwelled...Lot went up out of Zoar and dwelled in the mountain, and his two daughters with him; for he feared to dwell in Zoar, and he dwelt in a cave, he and his two daughters."
Dead Sea as seen from atop Masada
view of barrenness around Dead Sea
This land, which today is desolate...literally nothing grows on it...is described in the scripture above as being like the garden of Eden! The sea that is there today has no life in it, and has the greatest salt content of any body of water on earth. Salt-water fish, when transferred to the Dead Sea, soon die. People literally float atop it on their backs like rafts. It was in this place that Lot's wife was turned into a pillar of salt when she looked back upon Sodom. Here, too, is a mountain of salt, Mt. Sodom. The Dead Sea is a relic - a reminder - of the fiery holocaust that rained down upon Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities of the plain of the Jordan river. It's salt - and its deadness - monuments to God's judgment upon those who sinned continuously before Him.
Mountain of Salt - 300 feet high and five miles long
On the southern arm of the Dead Sea, Mt. Sodom is a massive ediface of salt; almost a billion tons of salt so pure it is almost ready for the table. This mountain, and the briney waters of the Dead Sea, provide context for the fate of Lot's wife.
Also unique in all the world are the sulfur balls embedded in the ash throughout the region. Each of the cities of the plain contain evidence of brimstone which rained down upon the cities. The brimstone is composed of 96-98 percent 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 percent 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 percent pure sulfur and are of the rhombic type.
ash rock with embedded sulfur balls, or brimstone
brimstone from Gomorrah
pure sulfur encapsulated in a "burn ring" embedded in ashen rock
Embedded in these pure ashen remains, above and to the left, are sulfur, or brimstone, balls. Sulfur is usually found in crystalline form, but this sulfur is unique in the world because it is round, white and has the consistency of compact powder.
Normal composition is usually 30-40% sulfur, while these sulphur balls are 95-98% pure sulfur. The impurities in the sulfur are metals that would add to the heat given off. It burns at 5000-6000 degrees Fahrenheit. Ron Wyatt's exploration team had this sulfur tested at Galbraith Laboratories, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA. They were told that a BTU test could not be done because it would damage their stainless steel testing chamber.
Sulfur is usually only found near volcanoes, sulfide ore mineral veins, or with sedimentary rocks associated with anhydrite, gypsum, limestone and saltdomes. The presence of burn rings surrounding these sulfur balls indicates they were burning at some time in the past.
brimstone ball embedded in the side of ziggurat formation