The location of the original city of sin, Sodom - destroyed by fire and brimstone according to the Bible - may have been discovered in Jordan.
Archaeologists excavating the Tall el Hammam site say it was a major Bronze Age city-state and matches "every Sodom criterion".
Steven Collins and his team have been at the "monstrous" site since 2005 and have discovered palace structures, towers and formidable defences.
Sodom and the neighbouring city of Gomorrah were destroyed by God, according to the Book of Genesis, because their inhabitants were riddled by sin and depravity.
The final judgement was delivered after angels, disguised as men, were unable to find just 10 righteous people in the cities.
Mr Collins told Popular Archaeology: "I concluded that if one wanted to find Sodom, then one should look for the largest city on the eastern Kikkar that existed during the Middle Bronze Age, the time of Abraham and Lot.
"When we explored the area, the choice of Tall el Hammam as the site of Sodom was virtually a no-brainer since it was at least five to 10 times larger than all the other Bronze Age sites in the entire region."
The site, in the southern Jordan Valley, eight miles northeast of the Dead Sea, is marked out by a large mound that dominates the landscape and appears to have consisted of a lower city, and an upper city - where the rich and elite lived.
Researchers have found evidence of defensive walls 10m high and 5m thick, with a network of gates, towers and plazas.
Altogether, it is believed the lower defence structures rose about 30m from the surrounding terrain
They also say ramparts, built in the Middle Bronze Age, protected the privileged residents of the upper city from attack.
"It was a huge undertaking, requiring millions of bricks and, obviously, large numbers of labourers," Mr Collins told Popular Archaeology.
"It was an impressive and formidable defensive system protecting the residences of the wealthier citizens of the city, including the king's palace and related temples and administrative buildings."
The remains of a "Red Palace" in the upper city have been discovered, as well as a large complex further down.
However, life in the city appears to have come to a sudden halt near the end of the Middle Bronze Age and was all but abandoned for 700 years, say archaeologists.
It is hoped the ongoing excavations by the research team will help shed light on the mystery.