© David L. Kennedy, Aerial Photographic Archive for Archaeology in the Middle East

Seen here from above, the ruins of Bab edh-Dhra, near the southern end of the Dead Sea, have often been associated with Biblical Sodom. During the Early Bronze Age (3000–2350 B.C.E.), Bab edh-Dhra was a sizable walled town that covered 12 acres and included several large broadroom sanctuaries (one of which is visible near the center of the photograph, indicated by the arrow). After a massive, fiery destruction around 2350 B.C.E., the city was largely abandoned.

The Bible gives no indication, however, that Sodom or any of the other “cities of the plain” was located in the desolate lands around Bab edh-Dhra. Rather, Genesis 13 clearly indicates that Sodom was north of the Dead Sea, in the fertile and well-watered kikkar east of Bethel and Ai.