Todd Bolen/

THE SCENE OF GOD’S FURY? The site of Bab edh-Dhra, located in a broad plain at the southern end of the Dead Sea about 20 miles northeast of Mt. Sedom, has been suggested as a candidate for Biblical Sodom by its excavators Walt Rast and Thomas Schaub, among others. This walled town packed with mudbrick houses and surrounded by tombs was intensively inhabited throughout the Early Bronze Age until roughly the end of the third millennium B.C.E., but was utterly destroyed and then abandoned during the last few centuries of that era, precisely the time when Frumkin believes the Sedom salt pillar first appeared. Could the destruction of Bab edh-Dhra and the cave collapse on Mt. Sedom that created the pillar of salt have been caused by the same earthquake? And if so, was it this singular cataclysmic event that inspired the Biblical stories surrounding the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah?