Ancient Weapons Of Mass Destruction

ancient weapons of mass destruction sodom and gomorrah

Weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) are defined as biological, nuclear, chemical, radiological or other weapons that can kill or harm a large number of people or cause a significant amount of damage to both human-made and natural occurring structures, as well as the Earth’s biosphere.

Perhaps the most written-about use of modern day WMDs is the tragic event that occurred at the end of World War II when the United States used atomic bombs against the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan. Over 225,000 were estimated to have been killed instantly or wounded, with many of the survivors later perishing due to acute radiation poisoning and other related health issues.

Ancient biological warfare

Many have speculated that ancient civilizations not only used primitive weaponry such as axes, swords, bows and catapults, but also developed terrifying devices that could inflict a large amount of damage, much like the weapons of mass destruction we have today.

Adrienne Mayor, a folklorist who specializes in the early history of science, argues the first biological weapon was created when mythic Greek hero Hercules killed the Lernaean Hydra and dipped his arrows into its poisonous blood. He would later use these arrows to slay other foes, such as Geryon, the Stymphalian Birds and Nessus.

Mayor says these toxic arrows “were the Bronze Age‘s terror weapons.” She commented:

“Almost as soon as they were created, poison weapons set in motion a relentless train of tragedies for Hercules and the Greeks – not to mention the Greeks’ enemies, the Trojans.”

Although some believe these types of mythological stories and teachings to be purely fiction, it is still interesting considering Ancient Greece dates back to the 13th century BC yet still hinted at possessing sophisticated and deadly weaponry – even if it was done through their religious lore.

ancient weapons of mass destruction black death plague

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Around the same time, the Hittite Empire put forth a non-defensive, “strike first” military doctrine. Instead of using conventional weapons to attack their foes, they sent plague victims into their lands. As you can guess, disease quickly spread among the population, resulting in many deaths.

This last example raises a moral dilemma: Is large-yield ordinance dropped from fighter and/or bomber aircraft more civilized than clay pots filled with scorpions or rotting, disease-infested cow carcasses launched from trebuchets?

Sodom and Gomorrah: Divine intervention or weapons of mass destruction?

ancient weapons of mass destruction sodom and gomorrah brimstone and fire

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In the first book of the Old Testament, Genesis, it is written there were two ancient cities – Sodom and Gomorrah. Within each city existed great wickedness and sin.

The story of judgement is told in Genesis 18-19 when Abraham consulted God about His plan for each city:

“And the Lord said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous; (18:20)”

“I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know. (18:21)”

“And Abraham drew near, and said, Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked? (18:23)”

“And the Lord said, If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes. (18:26)”

The story continues, with Abraham negotiating the number of righteous people in the city down to ten, so that if ten good people were found, the city would be spared.

Two angels were later dispatched to Sodom and were met by Abraham’s nephew, Lot. Genesis chapter 19, verses 1-2 & 4-5:

“And there came two angels to Sodom at even; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom: and Lot seeing them rose up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground; (19:1)”

“And he said, Behold now, my lords, turn in, I pray you, into your servant’s house, and tarry all night, and wash your feet, and ye shall rise up early, and go on your ways. And they said, Nay; but we will abide in the street all night. (19:2)”

“But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter: (19:4)”

“And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them. (19:5)”

The saying “know them” most likely means to engage in sexual relations. Wikipedia nicely summarizes the ultimate fate of each city:

“Lot refused to give his guests to the inhabitants of Sodom and, instead, offered them his two virgin daughters ‘which have not known man’ and to ‘do ye to them as [is] good in your eyes.’ However, they refused this offer, complained about this alien, namely Lot, giving orders, and then came near to break down the door. Lot’s angelic guests rescued him and struck the men with blindness and they informed Lot of their mission to destroy the city. Then (not having found even 10 righteous people in the city), they commanded Lot to gather his family and leave. As they made their escape, one angel commanded Lot to ‘look not behind thee.’ However, as Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed with brimstone and fire from the Lord, Lot’s wife looked back at the city, and she became a pillar of salt.”

The most relevant portions of the story, as it relates to this article, are at the very end: Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed with brimstone and fire… and [Lot’s wife] became a pillar of salt.

If you practice one of the Abrahamic faiths, perhaps you take what happened to these two cities at face value – meaning you believe God used His divine power to issue judgement, thus punishing the inhabitants for their sins. But, is it also possible this story could be an allegory for another event that occurred, be it natural, man-made or even extraterrestrial in origin?

Although these cities existed in ancient times, and the technology level was thought to be archaic at best, destroying a whole city almost instantaneously, let alone two, would take extremely powerful weapons of mass destruction or a natural event (like a meteor strike or volcanic eruption). The words “brimstone and fire” could provide a hint as to what may have occurred.

When volcanoes erupt, they spew lava (which burns and ignites anything flammable in its path) as well as gases, such as sulfur dioxide. Brimstone is an alternative name for sulfur. This is one possibility, although according to New Scientific Evidence for God, there were no volcanoes or volcanic deposits located near either city.

Another theory is if advanced extraterrestrial civilizations are real and have visited Earth for millennia, perhaps they intervened during certain times in human history (and this might be one of them). Often referred to as ancient aliens, these visitors would have most likely harnessed the power of the atom in a destructive capacity, much like we do today. They may have even had more advanced weapons.

That said, they could’ve easily destroyed large cities, whole empires or gifted these weapons to other human civilizations to be used against their rivals. The biblical excerpt “she became a pillar of salt” could have meant Lot’s wife not only simply looked back at the city as it was being ravaged, but actually stayed there or traveled towards the explosion, resulting in her being consumed by fire and turning to ash.

According to the Atomic Archive:

“Temperatures of a nuclear explosion reach those in the interior of the sun, about 100,000,000° Celsius, and produce a brilliant fireball.”

This is, of course, all speculation, as there is no direct evidence (besides various drawings, paintings and hieroglyphics) that extraterrestrials stopped by our planet during the time of antiquity.

ancient weapons of mass destruction ramayana and mahabharata

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Other tales exist that hint about unorthodox, powerful weaponry in ancient times, such as the Indian stories of Ramayana and Mahabharata:

“Gurkha, flying a swift and powerful vimana (fast aircraft) hurled a single projectile (rocket) charged with the power of the Universe (nuclear device). An incandescent column of smoke and flame, as bright as ten thousand suns, rose with all its splendor.”

“It was an unknown weapon, an iron thunderbolt, a gigantic messenger of death, which reduced to ashes the entire race of the Vrishnis and the Andhakas. The corpses were so burned as to be unrecognizable. Hair and nails fell out; Pottery broke without apparent cause, and the birds turned white.”

“…After a few hours all foodstuffs were infected… to escape from this fire the soldiers threw themselves in streams to wash themselves and their equipment.” (Source: World Mysteries Blog)


Although every story featured in this article is up to interpretation, it does make the mind wonder whether we – as humans at this point in time – are actually the most advanced we’ve ever been, or if there are relics waiting to be discovered that will rewrite not only history, but our belief of how we survived and evolved (technologically). Perhaps we’ve even destroyed ourselves in the past with weapons of mass destruction, only to emerge again stronger than ever before.

With the worry over World War III and possible nuclear Armageddon these past few decades, this might not be a far-fetched idea.

Main image credit: John Martin, 1852

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