21.000 x 7.000 x 1.000 inches
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Painting - Watercolor
Sodom Found. Apparent site of ancient Sodom, known today as Tall el-Hammam in western Jordon, looking west with the northern edge of the Dead Sea in the distant upper left and Jerusalem 15 miles beyond that with the Mediterrean 40 or so miles beyond. As of Mar 2013, the central white/yellow mound here -- tell, in Hebrew, or tall, in Jordanian -- is in its eighth year of excavation. Estimates locate this as Sodom based on the 1) location -- the Jordan valley area east of Bethel and Ai as described in Genesis 13:1-13; 2) time -- a sudden, unexplained halt here to life on the 100-acre mound about 1600 B.C., Middle Bronze Age, paralleling the estimated time of the Biblical Sodom story and, 3) in-ground evidence -- pottery sherds melted to a froth, indicating volcanic-type temperatures well-above 2000 F* -- but no volcanic activity is known to have occurred in this area for more than 10,000 years previously; a level of ash one to three feet deep with human bone fragments "churned" throughout and foundations of heavy fortifications with a front gate, as suggested in Genesis 19:1. Ruins demonstrate the settlement was very well fortified and continuously occupied for over 1000 years prior to this apparent destruction, with layers of material not clearly distinguished by change, indicating a somewhat closed society. No new settlements were built atop the 1600 BC devastation until about the time of King David, in 1000 B.C., and similarly with other smaller mounds in the area. This is a summary of the article in the Mar/Ap, 2013, Biblical Archaeology Review (BAR) magazine, http://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/magazine/, and from also the university and dig website which offers detailed, on-going reporting at: http://tallelhammam.com/Reports___Publications.html
The watercolor is the artist's impression from a two-page-wide photograph in the BAR magazine article. *Note: Author in subsequent Aug/Sept '13 issue of BAR estimates temperature at 14000 F, "consistent with temperatures of a targeted, cosmic airburst" -- similar to that of meteors over Siberia in 1908 and Russia in February of 2013 -- over the entire Dead Sea area, occurring est. between 1750 and 1650 B.C.E (B.C.).
March 8th, 2013
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