Skip to comments.Climate Key To Sphinx's Riddle
Posted on 01/08/2007 11:27:02 AM PST by blam
Climate key to Sphinx's riddle
GLOBAL warming is one of the greatest threats to present day civilisation but work by a team of Scots scientists suggests the ancient Egyptians may have been earlier victims of climate change.
The pharaohs ruled their empire for hundreds of years, spreading culture, architecture and the arts before it collapsed into economic ruin. Why that happened is one of the great mysteries of history.
Now a team of scientists from Scotland and Wales believe the answer lies beneath the waters of Lake Tana, high in the Ethiopian Highlands, and the source of the all-important Blue Nile.
Samples taken over the past two years from sediments beneath Tana, which supplies the water which makes the lower Nile valley so fertile, reveal the lake may have almost dried up during the critical period around 4,200 years ago due to climate change.
According to the team's theory, the flow of water on which the farm-based ancient Egyptian economy thrived would have slowed to a trickle, causing a devastating famine that lasted for 200 years.
That would have been enough to destroy the Old Kingdom and its people, leaving only the pyramids and the Sphinx at Giza as their legacy to history.
The research is being carried out by a geological team from St Andrews University and the University of Wales, Aberystwyth.
Dr Mike Marshall, from the Institute of Geography and Earth Sciences at Aberystwyth, said that when the project began in 2003, the drought was only a theory, but the pieces of the jigsaw are now being unearthed.
"We have found evidence of drought events at several levels in the lake's sediments. That correlates with 4,200 years ago. Lake Tana at that time could have been at a very low level.
"It wasn't completely dried out, but the lake became less extensive. Parts of the fringes of the lake bed could have been exposed completely and so the water flow may have been much less than normal for long periods. This could have had a severe effect on water flows further down the Nile."
The Old Kingdom flourished between 2575BC and 2150BC and bequeathed the world some of its most iconic stone monuments. But historians have argued over what was to blame for the Kingdom's demise.
Theories include invasion from Asia or internal political conflict, but more likely are the consequences of repeated and damaging drops in the level of the Nile over decades. Although written archives from the era record famine resulting from drought, proof of what stopped the annual Nile floods from occurring has been hard to find.
Lake Tana feeds the Blue Nile, which joins the White Nile at Khartoum in Sudan. The Blue Nile provides two-thirds of the water in the Nile proper, which flows through Egypt to the Mediterranean. Annual monsoons in the Ethiopian Highlands have led to the yearly flooding of the Nile, which was so important to ancient civilisations in the area.
But although 53 miles long and 41 miles wide, the lake's greatest depth is 50 feet, which scientists believe would make it highly vulnerable to climate change.
Working from fixed and moving barges, the academics, backed up by Ethiopian drillers, have taken core samples from bore holes in the lake bed sediments dating back at least 18,000 years.
At that level, 79 ft down from the lake bed, they found strong evidence that Tana had completely dried out, suggesting a dramatic change in the Earth's climate.
Seismic surveys carried out by Dr Richard Bates from St Andrews' School of Geography and Geosciences have revealed the sediments are much deeper than previously considered.
"What we now know is that the lake dried out 18,000 years ago, which corresponds with the end of the last Ice Age. As we get better at what we are doing we should be able to detect the nuances of what went on in the lake after that time," Bates said.
The team returned to Ethiopia last month to continue their research.
Bates said: "The opportunity to establish such a long and detailed record of climate change at the heart of Africa has important implications, not only for trying to understand past, present and future climate change, but as we delve back into the past, it will also have important implications for the study of human development and the migration of early man from the cradle of mankind."
Heating planet: the theories THERE is little debate that the globe heated up significantly during the 20th century - between 0.4° and 0.8° Celsius - but the reasons why vary.
The dominant theory, the greenhouse effect, is based on so-called 'greenhouse gases' such as carbon dioxide and methane trapping radiation from the sun below the earth's atmosphere.
A minority of researchers argue there is no conclusive proof that man is to blame, since the evidence is circumstantial. Some argue the warming is a result of natural variation, primarily due to cycles of radiation from solar flares. Others recognise the greenhouse theory , but note the high emissions from natural phenomena such as volcanoes. Most scientists agree man's impact has accelerated the process.
In a couple minutes, I'll show you what happened 4,200 years ago, it's recorded in the tree-rings world-wide.
I can't believe the first lie... er line says that "Global warming" is the greatest threat.. blah blah
This is an example of the new effort over the past year to isolate and marginalize those who disagree. It's frighteningly Orwellian.
"But no records existed for 2,200BC. Then came a breakthrough - a new discovery in the hills of neighbouring Israel. Mira Bar-Matthews of the Geological Survey of Israel had found a unique record of past climates, locked in the stalactites and stalagmites of a cave near Tel Aviv.
What they show is a sudden and dramatic drop in rainfall, by 20%. It is the largest climate event in 5,000 years. And the date? 2,200 BC.
It was a swarm of asteriods that impacted.
"His inspiration was the little known tomb in southern Egypt of a regional governor, Ankhtifi. The hieroglyphs there reported "all of Upper Egypt was dying of hunger to such a degree that everyone had come to eating their children".
But the gist of the whole thing is, Global Warming existed thousands of years ago with no fossil fuels to cause it. So how can the GW alarmists say WE are causing Gw, when clearly it is a natural phenomena, the WE have NO control over?.........
German scientists made ice-core samples in the glaciers in the Alps last year and found that in Hannibals day the Alpine glaciers were 50% LESS extensive than they are today.
Hannibal must have used some mighty massive SUVs in crossing the Alps - in order to have caused such wide-spread destruction. I wonder where is the cave he hid them in and why archeologists are not looking for them.
Stop exercising reason before someone gets hurt - probably a woman, child, or person of color.
Just accept your white guilt, bare your throat, and be happy to die for the greater glory of the Planet and its fearless Leaders!
The new STORY is "Well ok this is a naturally recurring phenomena, but man is accelerating the climate changes."
Egypt failed because of the 10 plagues in Exodus. It was brought up to show that even the greatest of empires is subject to the will of God, and rules only because God lets it rule.
Damned SUVs. Killed the Egyptians too!
Right here in this FR thread elephant farts are mentioned as though they're particularly significant. Termites far exceed the mass of elephants - an endangered species - and termite farts exceed elephant's and man's. Then volcanoes, gassed off clathrates et cetera ad nauseam.
I can't believe how 'Global Warming' is finding its way into almost every article these days
At least it is easier to spell than tsunami...
This is impossible! (Unless ancient astronauts gave the Pharos automobiles to pollute the world with! Humm!)
Didn't have to read any further.
dried up during the critical period around 4,200 years ago due to climate change........Wow! and it's taken all that time to hit Lake Lavon here in Texas.........
But the Sphinx's posterior sphincter
Is clogged with the sands of the Nile
Which explains the hump on the camel
And the Sphinx's inscrutable smile!
Obviously, all those chariots the Egyptians were driving!
You make a good point - this should help prove that man is not the cause of our current warming cycle.
A drought/famine as recorded in Genesis 41?
Why don't they believe the written records? Or do they just want proof of their own?
Some years ago, circa 1971, I took my kids the the Crandon Park Zoo on Key Biscayne.
We were in the petting zoo section letting the kids pet the animals.
The big cats started roaring ( or so I thought) so I gathered up my daughter, about 4y.o. and told her and her brothers we should go see the keepers feeding the lions.
Well, we rounded an exhibit and found the source of the roaring.
Mrs. camel on her knees and Mr. camel on top of her.
She would turn her neck to the rear and roar every few minutes.
Kids got an education that day.
Is this lake near enough to the Great Rift Valley to have been affected by plate movement?
Socialist One-World blather creeps into archaeology on little cat feet. It's everywhere.
70,000 years ago...
Ancient drought 'changed history'
BBC | 12/07/05 | Roland Pease
Posted on 12/08/2005 6:58:46 AM EST by TigerLikesRooster
Evolution in Your FaceLake Victoria, Africa's largest lake, is home to more than 300 species of cichlids. These fish, which are popular in aquariums, are deep-bodied and have one nostril, rather than the usual two, on each side of the head. Seismic profiles and cores of the lake taken by a team headed by Thomas C. Johnson of the University of Minnesota, reveal that the lake dried up completely about 12,400 years ago. This means that the rate of speciation of cichlid fishes has been extremely rapid: something on average of one new species every 40 years!
by Patrick Huyghe
Wayback Machine versions
Wasn't this a case of Global Cooling caused (presumably) by dust?
Yes, just like the Dark Ages in 540AD...which incidently, was a worldwide event too.
Does this not possibly fit the correct timeline for that great famine in egypt and surrounding countries during the reign of Pharoh and Joseph?
Joseph predicted Pharoh's dream of a great famine.
It's interesting that the author of the article refrained from mentioning that point, but instead segued into more Global Warming propaganda.
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Stalagmites reveal past climateThe researchers examined four stalagmites from Crevice Cave, the longest cave known in Missouri, located about 75 miles south of St. Louis. The stalagmites appeared to have been broken by natural forces such as floods or earthquakes and were found about 80 feet below the ground surface, says Dorale. The team determined when the stalagmite layers were deposited, then deduced paleotemperatures and the general types of vegetation growing in the vicinity during that era by examining the carbon and oxygen isotopes within the calcium carbonate. The profile showed that the area had been covered by forest 75,000 years ago, but by 71,000 years ago, it was savannah and by 59,000 years ago, had become a prairie. Between 55,000 and 25,000 years ago, the forest had returned and persisted. Dorale explains that the pattern is consistent with climatological records from the ocean.
by Kristina Bartlett and Devra Wexler4,000-year-old planned community unearthed"'Evidently, the conception of what was urban in 2500 to 2000 B.C. was not all that different from what is considered urban today,' said Guillermo Algaze, an associate professor of anthropology at the University of California, San Diego, who has been directing the excavation of Titris Hoyuk, a 125-acre walled urban site in the Euphrates River Basin in southeastern Turkey that flourished for a brief time in the third millennium Bronze Age. In its heyday, Titris had about 10,000 residents. Titris was a failure as a city and as a civilization, rising and falling within a 300 year period, never again to be reoccupied. But, said Algaze, Titrus's failure -- probably due to a shifting in trade routes -- is also the key to its appeal to modern archaeologists."
Oct 13 2000Tuba"The women in the tomb were highly ornamented. The ibex (goat above) was made of lapis lazuli which was available only in Afghanistan at the time. Evidence amassed thus far by Schwartz and Curvers indicates that Tubaarose as a political and economic center around 2500 BC, with a population of 5,000 to 7,500 people. The city, which was on a major east-west trade route that connected the Mediterranean coast with upper Mesopotamia, collapsed and was abandoned around 2100 BC possibly due to drought, only to resurrect itself as the primary urban center of the Jabbul plain until around 1200 BC."
Oct 13 2000
Hannibal did not have any SUV's. He had farting elephants. Methane is just as bad as carbon dioxide. So there!! ;-)
I think global warming is due to the agency of human beings.
Too many politicians bloviating have increased atmospheric gases and hot air.
You miss the point; they find periods of change in the past, then they find evidence of high CO2 levels in the same time frame, they then surmise that the damage caused then was from climate change caused by carbon dioxide but it was unavoidable as no technology existed then and society was unsophisticated and hence, blameless.
The next step in this argument is to fast forward to the present and say that we have all the evidence needed to show that excessive levels of CO2 leads to disaster, we have increasing levels now, we have technology and we are sophisticated enough to use technology to slow or even stop the increasing levels of CO2 so we must do it and we must not brook any resistance.
Perfect argument: if you buy the first part, you must also buy the second part.
It is kind of like when Best Buy sells you a high-tech electronic gizmo; they won't ring you up until they go through their spiel about the extended warranty available and the warning that all electronics break down and they fail without any notice or symptoms, so buy now or pay later.
What will we do if CO2 in the atmosphere reaches 0.05%?
Go to the zoo, witness the "facts of life!"
"What we've got here, Luke, is a
failure to communicate Inconvienent Truth. Now fill that crater up."
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