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Drought That Destroyed A Civilisation
The Herald (UK) ^ | 11-11-2003 | Martin Willians

Posted on 11/16/2003 11:05:23 AM PST by blam

Drought that destroyed a civilisation

MARTIN WILLIAMS November 11 2003

IT is one of history's biggest mysteries and has confounded experts for hundreds of years. But a team of scientists believe they have discovered why the world's first great civilisation, established in Egypt nearly 5000 years ago, crumbled and plunged into a dark age that lasted for more than 1000 years.

The researchers, including one academic from St Andrews University, have produced new evidence linking the demise of the Egyptian Old Kingdom with decades of drought after a study of layers of sediment at the source of the Blue Nile at Lake Tana in northern Ethiopia.

The Sphinx and the pyramids at Giza are among the only remaining legacies of the Old Kingdom, which lasted from 2575 to 2150 BC, before the time of Tutankhamen, Ramses, and Queen Nefertiti. The destruction of the pharaohs' power and the collapse of central government had followed 1000 years of cultural advancement, with its characteristic architecture, literature, and art.

The famine that followed the drought was so severe that there is evidence people violated the royal dead and that some were forced to eat their own children. Some of the theories for the collapse of the world's greatest dynasties have included political conflict and an invasion from Asia.

But most historians believe the initial breakdown was prompted by significant drops, over two or three decades, in the level of the Nile, whose annual floods were crucial for the irrigation of crops. Texts from the period say that the famine was brought about by the failure of the floods, but there has been little scientific proof of this. Other scientific studies have shown a short-lived but pronounced decline in rainfall and reduced water-flow around 2150 BC over an area that extended from Tibet to Italy.

Researchers now believe they have proof that the downfall of the kingdom was triggered by a drought caused by a shift in climate and resulting in a decrease in the Nile floods.

One of the team, Dr Richard Bates, of St Andrews University's school of geography and geosciences, said sediment samples from the lake bed during the three-week climate-change study showed that drought conditions existed in the lake at the relevant time.

After making 12-metre bore holes in the lake bed, the team discovered that lake sediments had given way to drier soils 4.5 metres down, showing that the lake, usually around 14 metres deep, was at best shallow and at worst completely dried out.

As sediment is estimated to fill lakes at an average of 1mm a year, the team said the drought conditions discovered coincided with the end of the Old Kingdom era, approximately 4500 years ago.

Dr Bates, who carried out the research with Dr Henry Lamb, a scientist from the Institute of Geography and Earth Sciences at the University of Wales in Aberystwyth, said yesterday: "The indications are that we have found drought periods and a significant change in climate and lake levels at about the right time frame.

"It tells us that the lake has certainly been a heck of a lot shallower than it is today and potentially it has dried out, or parts of it have dried out. "What we did was log the sediment through the base of the lake, which is the ground truth in terms of telling what the environmental conditions were like. "As you go deeper into the sediment you go back in time into the age of the lake and one of the primary goals for this first trip was to see if we can get back sediments as far back as 4500 years ago which marked the end of the Old Kingdom."

The group also hopes to use the data to establish whether the same – or worse – could happen today, by uncovering the secrets of climatic change. They believe it will help governments to prepare for future extreme weather conditions.

The team is now preparing to radiocarbon date the samples at a laboratory in Florida for final confirmation of their age and plans to carry out further seismic studies next year.

IT is one of history's biggest mysteries and has confounded experts for hundreds of years.

But a team of scientists believe they have discovered why the world's first great civilisation, established in Egypt nearly 5000 years ago, crumbled and plunged into a dark age that lasted for more than 1000 years. The researchers, including one academic from St Andrews University, have produced new evidence linking the demise of the Egyptian Old Kingdom with decades of drought after a study of layers of sediment at the source of the Blue Nile at Lake Tana in northern Ethiopia.

The Sphinx and the pyramids at Giza are among the only remaining legacies of the Old Kingdom, which lasted from 2575 to 2150 BC, before the time of Tutankhamen, Ramses, and Queen Nefertiti.

The destruction of the pharaohs' power and the collapse of central government had followed 1000 years of cultural advancement, with its characteristic architecture, literature, and art.

The famine that followed the drought was so severe that there is evidence people violated the royal dead and that some were forced to eat their own children. Some of the theories for the collapse of the world's greatest dynasties have included political conflict and an invasion from Asia.

But most historians believe the initial breakdown was prompted by significant drops, over two or three decades, in the level of the Nile, whose annual floods were crucial for the irrigation of crops. Texts from the period say that the famine was brought about by the failure of the floods, but there has been little scientific proof of this. Other scientific studies have shown a short-lived but pronounced decline in rainfall and reduced water-flow around 2150 BC over an area that extended from Tibet to Italy. Researchers now believe they have proof that the downfall of the kingdom was triggered by a drought caused by a shift in climate and resulting in a decrease in the Nile floods.

One of the team, Dr Richard Bates, of St Andrews University's school of geography and geosciences, said sediment samples from the lake bed during the three-week climate-change study showed that drought conditions existed in the lake at the relevant time.

After making 12-metre bore holes in the lake bed, the team discovered that lake sediments had given way to drier soils 4.5 metres down, showing that the lake, usually around 14 metres deep, was at best shallow and at worst completely dried out.

As sediment is estimated to fill lakes at an average of 1mm a year, the team said the drought conditions discovered coincided with the end of the Old Kingdom era, approximately 4500 years ago.

Dr Bates, who carried out the research with Dr Henry Lamb, a scientist from the Institute of Geography and Earth Sciences at the University of Wales in Aberystwyth, said yesterday: "The indications are that we have found drought periods and a significant change in climate and lake levels at about the right time frame.

"It tells us that the lake has certainly been a heck of a lot shallower than it is today and potentially it has dried out, or parts of it have dried out. "What we did was log the sediment through the base of the lake, which is the ground truth in terms of telling what the environmental conditions were like. "As you go deeper into the sediment you go back in time into the age of the lake and one of the primary goals for this first trip was to see if we can get back sediments as far back as 4500 years ago which marked the end of the Old Kingdom."

The group also hopes to use the data to establish whether the same – or worse – could happen today, by uncovering the secrets of climatic change. They believe it will help governments to prepare for future extreme weather conditions.

The team is now preparing to radiocarbon date the samples at a laboratory in Florida for final confirmation of their age and plans to carry out further seismic studies next year.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Egypt; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: ancienthistory; archaeology; catastrophism; civilisation; climatechange; curseofagade; destroyed; donovancourville; drought; egypt; exodus; ggg; giza; godsgravesglyphs; history; oldkingdom; pyramids; sphinx
They should have asked me, I can tell them what happened...it was a meteor shower that struck the entire region and likely other areas on the earth.

I also believe the celestial event is recorded in the Soddom & Gomorra story and provides the imagery for Revelations.

1 posted on 11/16/2003 11:05:23 AM PST by blam
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To: blam
All droughts are caused by global warming. All excessive rainfall too.
2 posted on 11/16/2003 11:08:14 AM PST by palmer (They've reinserted my posting tube)
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To: blam
Nah, flouride in the drinking water, yah, that's it.
3 posted on 11/16/2003 11:08:59 AM PST by tet68 ( Patrick Henry ......."Who fears the wrath of cowards?")
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To: farmfriend
Included in the below linked thread is a picture of one of the impact craters. It was discovered after Saddam drained the swamps where the "Marsh Arabs" lived.

Disaster That Struck The Ancients

4 posted on 11/16/2003 11:12:18 AM PST by blam
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To: blam
What did Hillary know and when did she know it?

But seriously, your theory sounds completely plausible, blam.

5 posted on 11/16/2003 11:12:23 AM PST by EggsAckley (..................."Dean's got Tom McClintock Eyes".........................)
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To: blam
Guess herring are off the hook.
6 posted on 11/16/2003 11:16:22 AM PST by mewzilla
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To: blam
They should have asked me, I can tell them what happened...

No, no, no. It was the vast right wing conspiracy...out to destroy people of color.

7 posted on 11/16/2003 11:24:26 AM PST by VRW Conspirator (There never will be a perfect world on earth by the hand of man.)
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To: palmer
The New York Times abd the rest of the liberal "media" will report that the drought in ancient Eygpt was caused by too many SUVs and global warming.

That, and of course it is all Bush's fault!

8 posted on 11/16/2003 11:29:47 AM PST by friendly (Man is so made that whenever anything fires his soul, impossibilities vanish.)
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To: VRW Conspirator
"No, no, no. It was the vast right wing conspiracy...out to destroy people of color."

Nah. It's my theory that the early Egyptians and Sumerians (as well as the Caucasian mummies found in China) were all refugees from the Black Sea flood (Noah's Flood?) in 5,600BC. Archaeological evidence from the Anatolian Plateau 'hints' at this possibility.

9 posted on 11/16/2003 11:32:48 AM PST by blam
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To: blam
It was the joos' fault.
10 posted on 11/16/2003 11:37:25 AM PST by Jeff Chandler (I'm a racist, you're a racist, we're all racists, hey!)
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To: palmer
You forgot to add that cold winters are also an indication of global warming
11 posted on 11/16/2003 11:37:52 AM PST by sticker
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To: blam
AIEEEE! Global Warming Kills!!
12 posted on 11/16/2003 11:59:15 AM PST by pabianice
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To: palmer
All droughts are caused by global warming.

I thought this was was brought on by Moses. ;-)
13 posted on 11/16/2003 12:13:51 PM PST by AdA$tra (Hypocricy is the Vaseline of social intercourse....)
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To: pabianice
I wonder why they didn't say anything about finding old refrigerators and air conditioners in that sediment.
Surely it must have been the ancient escaped freon 12!
14 posted on 11/16/2003 12:15:20 PM PST by Senormechanico ("Face piles of trials with smiles...it riles them to believe that you perceive the web they weave.)
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To: Jeff Chandler
Nah. I was W's fault.
15 posted on 11/16/2003 12:17:37 PM PST by Paul Atreides (Is it really so difficult to post the entire article?)
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To: Thud
You will find this of interest.
16 posted on 11/16/2003 12:54:38 PM PST by Dark Wing
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To: AdA$tra
"I thought this was was brought on by Moses. ;-)"

Nah, this was about 500 years before Moses and the Exodus.

17 posted on 11/16/2003 7:02:11 PM PST by blam
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To: blam
The Etyptians and Sumerians most likely would be Caucasians, but they wouldn't be white Caucasians, they'd be brown -- more suitable colouring for warmer, desert climates.
18 posted on 12/03/2003 5:52:04 PM PST by Cronos (W2004)
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To: Cronos
"The Egyptians and Sumerians most likely would be Caucasians, but they wouldn't be white Caucasians, they'd be brown --"

I would not be so sure of that. These folks were likely to be the refugees from the Black Sea flood in 5,600BC. Probably some mixture though.

19 posted on 12/03/2003 6:06:56 PM PST by blam
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To: Cronos
The Etyptians and Sumerians most likely would be Caucasians, but they wouldn't be white Caucasians, they'd be brown -- more suitable colouring for warmer, desert climates.

I don't think there is any basis for that conclusion. Some Israelites (David, for example) are described in the Bible as "ruddy and fair", and they lived in these same areas.

20 posted on 12/03/2003 6:07:07 PM PST by skraeling
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To: skraeling; blam
From 5,600 to about 4,000 would be enough time for the nation to ge a tan. We witness the same in Iran. They are much purer Aryans (Aryan = Iran) than Germany, but they have a light brownish complexion. The point I'm trying to make is that the coloured bit is daft, they were Caucasians, most likely C with a tan.
21 posted on 12/03/2003 7:17:14 PM PST by Cronos (W2004)
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To: skraeling
ruddy and fair could be a lighter tinge, not necessarily a lack of melanin. Kind of like Pathans.
22 posted on 12/03/2003 7:18:20 PM PST by Cronos (W2004)
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To: Cronos
Do you suggest Iranians and Germans are of the same stock?
23 posted on 12/03/2003 7:19:15 PM PST by skraeling
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To: Cronos
ruddy and fair could be a lighter tinge, not necessarily a lack of melanin. Kind of like Pathans.

To me, ruddy and fair suggests red haired and blued eyed with a "ruddy" white complexion, like an Irishman, or any of his many Celtic European relatives.

24 posted on 12/03/2003 7:21:39 PM PST by skraeling
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To: skraeling
Iranis are a purer stock of Aryans, Germans have more intermingling with other groups. but they are of the same stock, the same language group, the same proto-religious group.
25 posted on 12/03/2003 7:21:46 PM PST by Cronos (W2004)
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To: Cronos
"The point I'm trying to make is that the coloured bit is daft, they were Caucasians, most likely C with a tan."

I think at that early date that they were still 'light' Caucasians however, I'm not prepared to argue the point.

I'm presently completing a book by Dr Robert Schoch (He's the geologist/geophysist who dated the Sphinx at about 9,000 years old) titled The Voyages Of The Pyramid Builders. He thinks the early inhabitants of Mesopotamia may have been from Sundaland. (The area around Indonesia that went underwater at the end of the Ice Age.) So...

26 posted on 12/03/2003 7:34:27 PM PST by blam
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To: blam
TRue, I've seen the same idea in a documentary viz. that the Sphinx was built in 10,500 B.C. according to the alignment of the stars and it is one of the few remnants of a Ice Age civilisation. It seems quite possible, considering that lately there have been a few discoveries of cities offf the continental land shelf which would have been on dry land in Ice Age times.
27 posted on 12/03/2003 7:42:10 PM PST by Cronos (W2004)
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To: Cronos
"considering that lately there have been a few discoveries of cities offf the continental land shelf which would have been on dry land in Ice Age times."

You mean like this one?

Lost Civilisation From 7,500BC Discovered Off Indian Coast

28 posted on 12/03/2003 7:48:20 PM PST by blam
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To: blam
9 unknown men?
29 posted on 12/03/2003 7:58:45 PM PST by Cronos (W2004)
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To: Cronos
"9 unknown men?"

Don't understand.

30 posted on 12/03/2003 8:15:19 PM PST by blam
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To: blam
No, sorry that was a post in the link you sent about Asoka's 9 unknown mystics.
31 posted on 12/03/2003 8:17:41 PM PST by Cronos (W2004)
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To: tet68
Change in earth's polarity, yeah, that's it...

Nah, fluoride in the drinking water, yah, that's it.

32 posted on 12/03/2003 8:22:38 PM PST by GOPJ
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To: Cronos
"No, sorry that was a post in the link you sent about Asoka's 9 unknown mystics."

Oh. Been a while since I read that thread.

33 posted on 12/03/2003 8:25:23 PM PST by blam
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34 posted on 12/03/2003 8:28:06 PM PST by Consort
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To: blam; FairOpinion; Ernest_at_the_Beach; SunkenCiv; 24Karet; 3AngelaD; 4ConservativeJustices; ...
Ping from the ancient past. :')
Please FREEPMAIL me if you want on, off, or alter the "Gods, Graves, Glyphs" PING list --
Archaeology/Anthropology/Ancient Cultures/Artifacts/Antiquities, etc.
The GGG Digest
-- Gods, Graves, Glyphs (alpha order)

35 posted on 12/13/2004 10:57:51 PM PST by SunkenCiv ("All I have seen teaches me trust the Creator for all I have not seen." -- Emerson)
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To: blam
"I thought this was was brought on by Moses. ;-)"

Nah, this was about 500 years before Moses and the Exodus.

Or about the time of Joseph's drought in Egypt?

36 posted on 12/14/2004 4:55:18 AM PST by John O (God Save America (Please))
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To: skraeling
Do you suggest Iranians and Germans are of the same stock?

All human beings are ultimately of the same stock and there has been plenty of genetic mixing over the years. There is a reason why there is a northern band of Ural-Altaic languages running from Finland to Japan and a southern band of Indo-European languages running from Ireland and Iceland to India and China. In some cases, the Europeans went East. In other cases, the Asians went West. Look at the Lapps in Finland or the Europeans that carried Tocharian to China. And there was also quite a bit of North to South churning, too (there is a reason why there are dark haired and dark skinned Irishmen and I've read that the Japanese have a Malaysian genetic component as well as a Siberian one).

If you are really interested in the topic, I'd suggest doing a search on Amazon for Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza and take a look at his History and Geography of Human Genes. I also personally suspect (and some initial studies in Europe seem to suggest this) that they will ultimately find a different pattern of X and Y chromosome inheritence in many areas due to foreign warriors marrying local women and women being sent to other groups in trade.

Finally, I'd warn against confusing genetics and languages or cultures. "German" and "Celtic" are language and culture based divisions, not necessarily genetic divisions. Remember that the "Celts" once spread from Greece to Ireland yet the "Celts" on the fringes of Ireland and Scotland are genetically simliar to the Basques of Spain while I suspect the "Celts" in Macedonia were genetically closer to the Greeks or Hittites. Why? Just because a language or culture moves does not mean that genetics are carrying it. And even where the genes do move with the language and culture, there was (and still is) plenty of mixing and assimilation rather than replacement or extermination.

To put this another way, the people of Ireland and Scotland are not now genetically Germanic or Italic simply because they now speek a Germanic pidgin language with Italic influences (English). African-Americans do not magically gain Germanic genes simply because they speak English, either, or have picked up European religions or cultural elements. Genes do not carry language and culture nor do language and culture follow neat genetic boundaries. Yes, there are African-Americans with Northern European genes because of the now close contact between those two genetic pools in the United States and elsewhere. There are also plenty of European Americans walking around with American Indian, Asian, and African genes for much the same reason. A similar process has been going on for thousands, if not millions, of years. Even in the case of the widespread replacement and extermination of the indiginous people in North America, there are plenty of American Indian genes in the European gene pool and plenty of European genes in the American Indian gene pool.

37 posted on 12/14/2004 9:06:15 AM PST by Question_Assumptions
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To: 75thOVI; AndrewC; Avoiding_Sulla; BenLurkin; Berosus; CGVet58; chilepepper; ckilmer; Eastbound; ...
Just updating the GGG information, not sending a general distribution.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list. Thanks.
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38 posted on 02/27/2006 9:17:21 AM PST by SunkenCiv (My Sunday Feeling is that Nothing is easy. Goes for the rest of the week too.)
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39 posted on 09/15/2008 10:03:38 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/_______Profile hasn't been updated since Friday, May 30, 2008)
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