The researchers wrote: “It is worth speculating that a remarkable catastrophe, such as the destruction of Tall el-Hammam by a cosmic object, may have generated an oral tradition that, after being passed down through many generations, became the source of the written story of biblical Sodom in Genesis.”
They added: “If so, the destruction of Tall el-Hammam is possibly the second oldest known incident of impact-related destruction of a human settlement, after Abu Hureyra in Syria ~12,800 years ago.”
However, not everyone is convinced by this theory of cosmic destruction.
Robert Mullins, Chair of the Department of Biblical Studies at Azusa Pacific University, challenged the throy of Tall el-Hammam being the site of Sodom.
He told Christianity Today: “In my opinion, this is an example of evidence being marshalled to support the identification of the site as Sodom, as opposed to letting the site speak for itself.”