Amos Frumkin

The strikingly human shaped pillar has long been thought to be the remains of Lot’s wife who, according to the Bible, was turned into a pillar of salt for looking back to see God’s judgment on Sodom and Gomorrah.

Two thousand years ago, the Jewish historian Josephus wrote of having visited an extraordinary pillar of salt near the Dead Sea, thought to be the remains of Lot’s wife. But if Josephus already knew this story 2,000 years ago, when did the ancient tradition develop, and how did it originate? A recent geological study of the pillar provides a remarkable answer that takes us back to the earliest epochs of Biblical history.