Tell el-Hammam

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Tell el-Hammam
تل الحمام
Tall el-Hammam overlooking the Jordan Valley 2007.jpg
Tell el-Hammam overlooking the Jordan Valley
Tell el-Hammam is located in Jordan
Tell el-Hammam
Shown within Jordan
Alternative nameTall al-Hammam
LocationJordan
RegionAmman Governorate
Coordinates31°50′25″N 35°40′25″E / 31.8402°N 35.6737°E / 31.8402; 35.6737
History
CulturesChalcolithic, Early Bronze Age, Middle Bronze Age, Late Bronze Age, Roman Age, Byzantine, Umayyad

Tell el-Hammam (also Tall al-Hammam) is an archaeological site in Jordan, in the eastern part of the lower Jordan Valley close to the mouth of the Jordan River. The site has substantial remains from the Chalcolithic, Early, Intermediate and Middle Bronze Age, and from Iron Age II. There are different attempts at identifying the site with a biblical city.

Possible identifications in different periods[edit]

  • In the Late Bronze Age, the area around Tell el-Hammam is identified by many scholars as Abel-Shittim.[1]
  • 1st century CE – Livias (Latin: Liviada) under Herod Agrippa, 4 BCE.[2] Traditionally, the Roman city of Livias is identified with the small Tell er-Rameh,[3] although William F. Albright identified Livias/Bethharam with Tell Iktanu,[4] 2.75 km (1.71 mi) ESE of Tell er-Rameh. Recent excavations at Tell el-Hamman have led to the theory that nearby Tell er-Rameh was the commercial and residential centre of Livias, while the administrative centre was located at Tell el-Hammam.[5] In the Roman, Byzantine, and Umayyad periods (165 BC[dubious ]–AD 750) the site was part of the city of Livias (also known as Julias), an important city in Perea, rebuilt by Herod Antipas.[6]
  • Byzantine period – Livias. In 384 CE, the Spanish pilgrim Egeria (Etheria or Aetheria) testified that a presbyter (elder/bishop) had a house in Livias.[7] According to Le Quien[8] Livias was still a see in the 5th and early 6th century. Byzantine administrative records list three bishops from Livias: Letoius, who was at the council of Ephesus in 431 CE;[7] Pancratius, who was at the council of Chalcedon in 451 CE; and Zacharias who attended the council of Jerusalem in 536 CE.[9] Theoteknos, the first theologian to articulate the doctrine of the Assumption of Mary,[10] was the most famous bishop of Livias, officiating sometime between 550 and 650 CE.[citation needed]

History[edit]

The site was occupied in the Chalcolithic (c. 4300–3600 BCE), Early Bronze Age (c. 3600–2000 BCE), Middle Bronze Age (c. 2000–1550 BCE), Iron Age II–III (c. 980–332 BCE)[clarification needed],[11] and Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, and Umayyad periods (163 BCE–750 CE).[12] The most substantial findings are from the Early Bronze Age, Intermediate Bronze Age, and Middle Bronze Age.[13]

Chalcolithic[edit]

[clarification needed]

At the bedrock remains of broadhouses were found dating to the Chalcolithic.[citation needed]

Early Bronze Age[edit]

[clarification needed]

In the Early Bronze Age, Tell el-Hammam was the largest city-state in the Southern Levant.[11]

Early Bronze I[edit]

The Early Bronze I (3600-3050) The Chalcolithic broadhouse stone foundations were built over in the Early Bronze I.[citation needed] Apparently, there was continuous occupation from the Chalcolithic into the Early Bronze I.

Early Bronze II[edit]

The Early Bronze II (3050-2650)

Early Bronze III[edit]

The Early Bronze III (2650-2350) started with a flourishing period that was followed by drier climate from 2500 BC onwards.

Early Bronze IV[edit]

The Early Bronze IV (2350-2000) saw the region decline with drought.

Middle Bronze Age[edit]

Middle Bronze I[edit]

During Middle Bronze Age I (MB I; ~2000–1800 BCE) rainfall was more plentiful, and the level of the Dead Sea rose to about 370 mbsl, at least ~ 50 m higher than its current elevation of 430 mbsl.[14]

Middle Bronze II[edit]

The Middle Bronze II (1800-1550) was the main period for Tell el-Hammam. The city was protected by walls enclosing an area of 85 acres (34 ha) and was divided into an upper and lower city, while the much larger general occupational area around the walled city covered 240 acres (97 ha).[15] It can be compared in size with Hazor (200 acres (81 ha)) and Ashkelon (150 acres (61 ha)), while Jerusalem and Jericho were only 12 and 10 acres (4.9 and 4.0 ha) respectively.[11]

Late Bronze[edit]

Like most sites in the Jordan Valley, it was vacant in the Late Bronze Age (c. 1550–1200 BCE). Only some Late Bronze pottery was discovered in a tomb,[12] and a single freestanding LB2a structure in Field UA on the upper tell.[16] The "Late Bronze Gap" (first named by Flanagan at Tall Nimrin) of c. 550 years is not unique to Tall al-Hammam but characteristic of many of the sites in the Jordan valley (Hebrew kikkār) region,[dubious ] including Tall Iktanu, Tall Kefrein (al-Kefrayn), Tall Nimrin,[17] Tell el-Musṭāḥ, Tall Bleibel (Bulaybil), etc.[18]

Hellenistic period[edit]

[clarification needed]

Early Roman, Byzantine, and Early Islamic[edit]

Early Roman,[clarification needed] Byzantine, and Early Islamic remains have been excavated between 2005 and 2014. The discoveries included a large Roman bath complex (thermae,[clarification needed] 34.2 m × 40.6 m (112 ft × 133 ft)), aqueduct (165 m (541 ft) exposed), two defensive towers, coins, glass, as well as Roman, Byzantine, and Early Islamic[clarification needed] pottery.[5][19]

Research history[edit]

Claude Reignier Conder recorded the site in the nineteenth century and Père Mallon described it in detail in 1932. Both noted remains of a Roman bath complex that have since disappeared, which presumably gave the tell its name ("Hill of the Hot Baths").[20] The renewed campaign of excavations discovered in 2011 a small Byzantine bath installation (5 m x 2 m), reminiscent of the Roman bath at Ramat HaNadiv[clarification needed] (southern Mount Carmel, Israel).[5]

Nelson Glueck visited the site in 1941 and identified Iron Age ruins, which he associated with biblical Abel-Shittim.[20]

Kay Prag briefly surveyed the site in 1975–1976 while she was working at the adjacent Tell Iktanu.[20] She returned in 1990 to conduct a complete survey and excavate parts of the Bronze Age levels.[20]

Since 2005, the site has been excavated by a joint project of the unaccredited Trinity Southwest University (Albuquerque, New Mexico) which states that the Bible speaks "with absolute and authority in all matters upon which it touches."[21] and the creationist Veritas International University's College of Archaeology & Biblical History (Santa Ana, California), headed by young earth creationist Steven Collins.[18][12][22]

Air burst claim[edit]

A group of researchers sponsored by the controversial Comet Research Group, including one member of the current excavation team, published a paper claiming that Tell el-Hammam was destroyed cataclysmically by an air burst.[23] Two-thirds of the authors are members of the Comet Research Group,[24] which also claims that the Younger Dryas were caused by a comet impact.[25] The theory is presented in conjunction with the claim that the site may be the source of the biblical story of the destruction of Sodom.

Others raised doubts about the claim [26] and showed that the authors altered some of the images used as evidence.[27] The authors initially denied tampering with the photos but eventually published a correction in which they admitted to inappropriate image manipulation.[28] Subsequent concerns that have been brought up in PubPeer have not yet been addressed by the authors, including discrepancies between claimed blast wave direction compared to what the images show, unavailability of original image data to independent researchers, lack of supporting evidence for conclusions, inappropriate citation to young Earth creationist literature, and misinformation about the Tunguska explosion. [29]

An op-ed published in Sapiens Anthropology Magazine called the claim "pseudoscientific", suggested that it could erode scientific integrity, and warned that it may lead to the destruction of the site by looters. It also states that few knowledgeable archaeologists believe that the site represents Sodom or Gomorrah.[30]

Physicist Mark Boslough, a specialist in planetary impact hazards and asteroid impact avoidance, has undertaken a sustained critique in social media and in print of the hypothesis that an air burst was responsible for the destruction of human settlements at Tell el-Hammam. His critique calls attention to a perspective of biblical inerrancy that has been used in claims that an air burst destroyed the biblical town of Sodom.[31]

A review of the evidence for an impact event states that the proper criteria for showing an airburst have not been met.[32]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^
    • Numbers 25:1
    • Deuteronomy 34:9
    • Joshua 2:1; 3:1
    • Thomson, William M. (1886). The Land and the Book: Lebanon, Damascus, and Beyond Jordan. Vol. 3. New York: Harper & Brothers. p. 669.
    • Glueck, Nelson (1934). "Explorations in Eastern Palestine, II". The Annual of the American Schools of Oriental Research. 15: ix–202. doi:10.2307/3768504. JSTOR 3768504.
    • Glueck, Nelson (October 1943). "Some Ancient Towns in the Plains of Moab". Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research. 91 (91): 7–26. doi:10.2307/3219054. JSTOR 3219054. S2CID 163213632.
    • Miller, J. Maxwell; Tucker, Gene M. (1974). Ackroyd, P. R.; Leaney, A. R. C.; Packer, J. W. (eds.). The Book of Joshua (Cambridge Bible Commentaries on the Old Testament). Cambridge, New York: Cambridge University Press. p. 199. ISBN 978-0521097772.
    • Harrison, R. K. (1983). "Shittim". In Blaiklock, E. M. (ed.). The new international dictionary of biblical archaeology. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Regency Reference Library from Zondervan Pub. House. p. 413. ISBN 978-0310212508.
    • MacDonald, Burton (2000). East of the Jordan : territories and sites of the Hebrew scriptures. Boston, MA: American Schools of Oriental Research. p. 90. ISBN 978-0897570312.
    • Merrill, Selah (1877). "Modern Researches in Palestine". Journal of the American Geographical Society of New York. 9: 109–125. doi:10.2307/196563. JSTOR 196563.
    • Merrill, Selah (1879). "Modern Researches in Palestine" (PDF). Palestine Exploration Quarterly. 11 (3): 109–115.
  2. ^ Frangié-Joly, Dina (2015). "The Fort of Umm Hada (Historical and Archaeological Research)". ARAM Periodical. 27 (1&2): 105–123. ISSN 0959-4213.
  3. ^
    • Jastrow, Morris; Buhl, Frants (1906). "Beth-Aram". Jewish Encyclopedia. Funk & Wagnalls. p. 119.
    • Vailhé, Siméon. "Livias". In Herbermann, Charles George (ed.). Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 9. p. 315.
    • Glueck, Nelson (October 1943). "Some Ancient Towns in the Plains of Moab". Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research. 91 (91): 7–26. doi:10.2307/3219054. JSTOR 3219054. S2CID 163213632.
    • Prag, Kay (January 1991). "A Walk in the Wadi Hesban". Palestine Exploration Quarterly. 123 (1): 48–61. doi:10.1179/peq.1991.123.1.48.
    • Donner, Herbert (1992). The Mosaic Map of Madaba : an introductory guide. Kampen, the Netherlands: Kok Pharos Pub. House. p. 39. ISBN 90-390-0011-5.
    • Dvorjetski, Esti (2007). Leisure, pleasure and healing : spa culture and medicine in ancient eastern Mediterranean. Leiden: Brill. p. 202. ISBN 978-90-04-15681-4.
  4. ^ Albright, W. F. (1924). "The Jordan Valley in the Bronze Age0". The Annual of the American Schools of Oriental Research. 6: 13–74. doi:10.2307/3768510. JSTOR 3768510.
  5. ^ a b c Graves, David E.; Stripling, Scott (2011). "Re-Examination of the Location for the Ancient City of Livias". Levant. 43 (2): 178–200. doi:10.1179/175638011X13112549593122. S2CID 162399714.
  6. ^ Josephus Antiquities 20.29; Jewish War 2.168; 2.252; see also Theodosius Top. 19.1; Harold W. Hoehner, Herod Antipas: A Contemporary of Jesus Christ (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Academic, 1980).87-91
  7. ^ a b Egeria (1999). Egeria's travels. Translated by Wilkinson, John (3rd ed.). Warminster: Aris & Phillips. ISBN 978-0856687105.
  8. ^ le Quien, Michaelis (1740). Oriens christianus in quatuor patriarchatus digestus; quo exhibentur Ecclesiæ, patriarchæ, cæterique praesules totius Orientis. Vol. 3. Paris: Typographia Regia. p. 655.
  9. ^ Schürer, Emil (1973) [1886–1890]. The history of the Jewish people in the age of Jesus Christ (175 B.C.-A.D. 135). Edinburgh. ISBN 0-567-02242-0. OCLC 912175.
  10. ^ Antoine Wenger, L'Assomption de la T.S. Vierge dans la tradition byzantine du VIe au Xe siècle. études e documents, Archives de l'Orient Chrétien 5 (Paris: Institut français d'études byzantines, 1955)
  11. ^ a b c Collins, Steven; Kobs, Carroll M.; Luddeni, Michael C. (2015). The Tall al-Hammam excavations. Volume one, An introduction to Tall al-Hammam with seven seasons (2005-2011) of ceramics and eight seasons (2005-2012) of artifacts. Winona Lake, Indiana: Eisenbrauns. ISBN 978-1575063690.
  12. ^ a b c Collins, Steven; Aljarrah, Hussein (2011). "Tall al-Ḥammām season six, 2011 : excavation, survey, interpretations and insights". Annual of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan. 55: 581–607. ISSN 0449-1564.
  13. ^ Banks, Rebecca (26 January 2017). "Endangered Archaeology as captured with the Aerial Archaeology in Jordan Project: September 2016 Season: Tell el-Hammam". Oxford: Endangered Archaeology in the Middle East & North Africa (EAMENA) – University of Oxford. Retrieved 1 January 2022.
  14. ^ Bunch et al 2021
  15. ^ Collins & Scott (2013), p. 157
  16. ^ Collins, Steven; Byers, Gary A.; Kobs, Caroll M. (2015). "Tall El-Hammam Season Ten, 2015: Excavation, Survey, Interpretations And Insights". Biblical Research Bulletin. Trinity Southwest University. 15 (1): 1–37. ISSN 1938-694X.
  17. ^ Flanagan, James W.; McCreery, David W.; Yassine, Khair N. (1994). "Tell Nimrin: Preliminary Report on the 1993 Season". Annual of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan. 38: 207.
  18. ^ a b Collins, Steven; Hamdan, Khalil; Byers, Gary A. (2009). "Tall al-Ḥammām: preliminary report on four seasons of excavation (2006–2009)". Annual of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan. 53: 385–414. ISSN 0449-1564.
  19. ^ Graves, David Elton (2021). Collins, Steven; Byers, Gary; Stripling, D. Scott (eds.). A Preliminary Report on the Tall al-Ḥammām Excavation Project: Roman, Byzantine and Islamic Remains, Field LR (2005–2017). Electronic Christian Media. ISBN 979-8748800105.
  20. ^ a b c d Prag, Kay (1991). "Preliminary Report on the Excavations at Tell Iktanu and Tell al-Hammam, Jordan, 1990". Levant. 23 (1): 55–66. doi:10.1179/lev.1991.23.1.55. Retrieved 2 May 2020.
  21. ^ "About". Trinity Southwest University. Trinity Southwest University. Retrieved 16 July 2022.
  22. ^ Steven Collins G. Byers, C. Kobs, et al, "The Tall el-Hammam Season Eleven, 2016: Excavation, Survey, Interpretations, and Insights", Jordan Department of Antiquities, March 2016
  23. ^ Bunch, Ted E.; LeCompte, Malcolm A.; Adedeji, A. Victor; Wittke, James H.; Burleigh, T. David; Hermes, Robert E.; Mooney, Charles; Batchelor, Dale; Wolbach, Wendy S.; Kathan, Joel; Kletetschka, Gunther; Patterson, Mark C. L.; Swindel, Edward C.; Witwer, Timothy; Howard, George A.; Mitra, Siddhartha; Moore, Christopher R.; Langworthy, Kurt; Kennett, James P.; West, Allen; Silvia, Phillip J. (December 2021). "A Tunguska sized airburst destroyed Tall el-Hammam a Middle Bronze Age city in the Jordan Valley near the Dead Sea". Scientific Reports. 11 (1): 18632. Bibcode:2021NatSR..1118632B. doi:10.1038/s41598-021-97778-3. PMC 8452666. PMID 34545151.
  24. ^ "Scientists & Members". Comet Research Group. 10 September 2016. Retrieved 2 February 2022.
  25. ^ "Comets, Diamonds, & Mammoths". Comet Research Group. 9 September 2016. Retrieved 2 February 2022.
  26. ^ Marcus, Adam (1 October 2021). "Criticism engulfs paper claiming an asteroid destroyed Biblical Sodom and Gomorrah". Retraction Watch. Retrieved 24 November 2021.
  27. ^ Bik, Elisabeth (2 October 2021). "Blast in the Past: Image concerns in paper about comet that might have destroyed Tall el-Hammam". Science Integrity Digest. Retrieved 24 November 2021.
  28. ^ Bunch, Ted E.; LeCompte, Malcolm A.; Adedeji, A. Victor; Wittke, James H.; Burleigh, T. David; Hermes, Robert E.; Mooney, Charles; Batchelor, Dale; et al. (22 February 2022). "Author Correction: A Tunguska sized airburst destroyed Tall el-Hammam a Middle Bronze Age city in the Jordan Valley near the Dead Sea" (PDF). Scientific Reports. 12 (1): 3265. doi:10.1038/S41598-022-06266-9. ISSN 2045-2322. PMC 8864031. PMID 35194042. Wikidata Q111021706.
  29. ^ Bunch, Ted E.; Lecompte, Malcolm A.; Adedeji, A. Victor; Wittke, James H.; Burleigh, T. David; Hermes, Robert E.; Mooney, Charles; Batchelor, Dale; Wolbach, Wendy S.; Kathan, Joel; Kletetschka, Gunther; Patterson, Mark C. L.; Swindel, Edward C.; Witwer, Timothy; Howard, George A.; Mitra, Siddhartha; Moore, Christopher R.; Langworthy, Kurt; Kennett, James P.; West, Allen; Silvia, Phillip J. (September 2021). "A Tunguska sized airburst destroyed Tall el-Hammam a Middle Bronze Age city in the Jordan Valley near the Dead Sea". Scientific Reports. 11 (1): 18632. Bibcode:2021NatSR..1118632B. doi:10.1038/s41598-021-97778-3. PMC 8452666. PMID 34545151. Retrieved 9 August 2022.{{cite journal}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  30. ^ Kersel, Morag M.; Chesson, Meredith S.; Hill, Austin "Chad" (15 December 2021). "When Biblically Inspired Pseudoscience and Clickbait Cause Looting". Sapiens.
  31. ^ Boslough, Mark (2022). "Sodom Meteor Strike Claims Should Be Taken with a Pillar of Salt" (PDF). Skeptical Inquirer. 46 (1): 10–14.
  32. ^ Jaret, Steven J.; Scott Harris, R. (25 March 2022). "No mineralogic or geochemical evidence of impact at Tall el-Hammam, a Middle Bronze Age city in the Jordan Valley near the Dead Sea". Scientific Reports. 12 (1): 5189. Bibcode:2022NatSR..12.5189J. doi:10.1038/s41598-022-08216-x. PMC 8956582. PMID 35338157.

External links[edit]