During 1974-1975 excavations at the city of Ebla in Northern Syria, public archives were discovered, containing over 17,000 clay tablets, written in cuneiform script, dating to 2450-2350 BC.
Names recorded on the tablets sound very familiar to Old Testament readers, including Mi-ka-Ilu (Michael), meaning "Who is like El [God]?" Others include Ish-ma-El (Ishmael), E-sa-um (Esau), Sha-'u'-lum (Saul), Da-'u-dum (David), and a name which means "El heard me." Of further interest is "En-na-ni-Ya" ("Hananya" or Anania", which in Greek transliterates as "Ananias" (Acts 1; 9), meaning "Ya has mercy on me".
The cities "Sodom" and "Gomorrah" are named. Located on the King's Highway, running from Damascus to Arabia, these towns were regularly visited during the years 2,500-2,300 BC. They are called "the five cities of the Plain," the same designation used in Genesis:14:2). The cities included Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboyim and Zoar. One tablet notes that Zoar’s earlier name was Bela (Gen:14:2,8).
These records are enormously supportive of the Genesis accounts. Some tablets discuss transactions with the Hittites long before Abraham bought the Cave of Machpelah from the Hittites as recorded in Genesis:23:9.
(For further information see Jerusalem Christian Review,