Skip to comments.Did a Tsunami Wipe Out a Cradle of Western Civilization?
Posted on 01/15/2008 8:53:15 AM PST by forkinsocket
The effects of the Indian Ocean tsunami of December 2004 are only too well known: It knocked the hell out of Aceh Province on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, leveling buildings, scattering palm trees, and wiping out entire villages. It killed more than 160,000 people in Aceh alone and displaced millions more. Similar scenes of destruction were repeated along the coasts of Southeast Asia, India, and as far west as Africa. The magnitude of the disaster shocked the world.
What the world did not know was that the 2004 tsunamiseemingly so unprecedented in scalewould yield specific clues to one of the great mysteries of archaeology: What or who brought down the Minoans, the remarkable Bronze Age civilization that played a central role in the development of Western culture?
Europes first great culture sprang up on the island of Crete, in the Aegean Sea, and rose to prominence some 4,000 years ago, flourishing for at least five centuries. It was a civilization of sophisticated art and architecture, with vast trading routes that spread Minoan goodsand cultureto the neighboring Greek islands. But then, around 1500 B.C., the Minoan world went into a tailspin, and no one knows why.
In 1939, leading Greek archaeologist Spyridon Marinatos pinned the blame on a colossal volcanic eruption on the island of Thera, about 70 miles north of Crete, that occurred about 1600 B.C. The event hurled a plume of ash and rock 20 miles into the stratosphere, turning daylight into pitch darkness over much of the Mediterranean. The explosion was recently estimated to be 10 times as powerful as the 1883 eruption of Krakatau in Indonesia, which obliterated 300 towns and villages and killed at least 36,000 people.
(Excerpt) Read more at discovermagazine.com ...
No it didn't.
The Muslims are still there.
Always thought the tale of Noah’s Ark was a “result” of a tsunami...not the predecessor of one.
Excellent article. Thanks for posting.
No, it wasn't. It rained for 40 days and 40 nights.
“The effects of the Indian Ocean tsunami ...on the Indonesian island of Sumatra...”
“the 1883 eruption of Krakatau in Indonesia, which obliterated 300 towns and villages...”
Not to self: Cancel move to Indonesia.
It has been speculated that this event provides the background for the events portrayed in “Exodus.” That would get the attention of any Pharoah. But so far as I know, Egyptian records don’t reflect it. Yet Egyptologists get bent out of shape by the Biblical claim that the events of the Passover actually occured, because there is no Egyptian “record” of them.
“Did a tsunami wipe out the cradle of civilization?”
No, but it did damage the patio furniture a bit....
Maybe the one in the Indus Valley. Their ark ended up stuck way up in the mountains.
The wave that destroyed Atlantis [Destroyed by a giant tsunami?]
BBC On-Line | Friday, 20 April 2007 | Harvey Lilley
Posted on 04/22/2007 8:53:44 AM EDT by yankeedame
Layers of mystery: Archaeologists look to the earth for Minoan fate
Worcester Telegram & Gazette | Sunday, October 28, 2007 | Judy Powell
Posted on 11/04/2007 1:04:25 AM EST by SunkenCiv
New Ice-Core Evidence Challenges the 1620s age for the Santorini (Minoan) Eruption
Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 25, Issue 3, March 1998, Pages 279-289 | 13 July 1997 | Gregory A. Zielinski, Mark S. Germani
Posted on 07/29/2004 3:25:45 AM EDT by SunkenCiv
For one thing, Plato is the only surviving ancient source for the Atlantis legend, and he placed it outside Gibraltar, referred to as the Pillars of Hercules, and explicitly described the Americas as lying beyond Atlantis. There’s nothing in the Atlantis story to suggest any other location. Furthermore, the caldera which is the harbor of the island of Santorini is over 100,000 years old; the only major Theran eruption recorded in ancient sources (and remember, Minoan and Mycenaean societies were literate) dates to circa 200 BC, which is AFTER PLATO and AFTER HERODOTUS (who also writes quite a bit about Santorini / Thera / Calliste). Still furthermore, radiocarbon dates on the island are off by hundreds of years due to the preponderance of C12 in the volcanic soils. Still furthermore, the Greenland ice core data matches an Alaskan volcano, not Thera.
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Thanks for the pings brityank and Nowhere Man.
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Considering the fact that the ancient egyptians changed their history on a whim, I don’t know why we trust it to determine the timelines of ancient history.
A settlement on the island of Thera was destroyed during the Bronze Age. From ash from that explosion which landed on Greenland, an estimated date of 1628 B.C. was calculated about 20 years ago. The Minoans and Mycenaeans may have been literate, but we have no historical texts from either society. Most of the surviving Linear A and Linear B records are palace records (inventories and the like).
There were a number of chaotic periods in Egyptian history, known as “Intermediate Periods.” Exodus took place either during the second or third “intermediate period.” Probably during the 3rd, which was c. 1150 BC. Most Eqyptian histories note that the New Kingdom was already in decline, exhausted by constant warfare in its Asian possessions. Egypt’s control over Palestine and Syria was lessening, and local tribes were assuming autonomy. Due to chaos and internal instability, there are few surviving records from this time. That the Israelites would take advantage of the situation to make a “prison break” to Canaan is not surprising. Nor is it surprising that there is no Egyptian record of it.
This is well after the eruption of Thera, but coincides with massive volcanic eruptions elsewhere.
Let’s ping blam too.
Thanks. See post #12.
A worldwide flood would have no problem erasing people and buildings ... . But no, there is no God, right? We only take Him out of the closet on 9/11 type days and quickly tuck Him back in the closet again after we’ve rationalized what happened in a godless way.
Shoulda known you’d be all over this one. Thinking of you, tho...
It was a total re-make of the entire planet; is that a tsunami?
"Even when, during the respective Thera Conferences, individual scientists had pointed out that the magnitude and significance of the Thera eruption must be estimated as less than previously thought, the conferences acted to strengthen the original hypothesis. The individual experts believed that the arguments advanced by their colleagues were sound, and that the facts of a natural catastrophe were not in doubt... All three factors reflect a fantasy world rather than cool detachment, which is why it so difficult to refute the theory with rational arguments." -- Eberhard Zangger, "The Future of the Past", pp 49-50.
It is a question of authority. The Enlightenment was partly a project of discrediting the Bible as history and religion as a form of knowledge. The Egyptologists want their knowledge to be the historical standard. Where the Bible doesn’t fit their standard, they declare it to be in error. Pretty much the same way with scholars working in the general history of the Fertile Crescent. The latter has far more to do with the events of the Bible than Egyptian history does. Ironically, they more they uncover the literary remains of Mesopotamia etc. the more intellible the Biblical record becomes. The Bible is mainly about God and his people. What I realize as I read the comparisons between the God of Israel and the gods of the surrounding peoples are the radical differences and the how the convenant law molds a consciousness very different from that of the Canaanites and the Assyrians, for instance. Even the Zarathustrian religion seems to have but a superficial influence more or less like the influences of the Greek philosophers, a matter of imagery rather than substance. The religion of the Jews is sui generis, a fact that surrounding people attribute to stubborness and “superstitition.”
Which there is precisely zero evidence of.
“Which there is precisely zero evidence of.”
The evidence for it is all over the place.
You’re too blind to see it.
Egyptian “Intermediate Periods”. I am of the opinion that exodus occurred after the Second IP. The Hyksos conquerers of that period were also known as the “Shepard Kings” and were probably nomadic invaders from either the Middle East or the Western Desert or both. During that period the Isrealites may have been relatively autonomous. Once the Egyptians became ascendent in the 1500s BC they might have clamped down on the shepard peoples including Israelites to the point that it became intolerable.
After the 90 year reign of Tutmoses III, Amenhotep II had to deal with uprisings of the tributory states in the Middle East. This went on for some time and would have added to animosity toward Middle Easterners (Isrealites) settled in Egypt. In 1500 BC plus or minus 50 years there was a major eruption of Etna, and I think that it might have had an impact on the Nile watershed leading to the various plagues. I think that as this was a major volcanic event, there may have been other volcanic action, such as on the Arabian peninsula, i.e., “a pillar of fire by night, and of smoke by day”.
A smart guy like Moses, who might have been a ward of Queen Hatshepsut who was co-ruler during the last days of the ancient king Tutmoses III might have been involved in various palace coups and disturbances leading to his exile in the desert and later the decision to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. There was a major effort to wipe the Queen’s existance from the Egyptian royal record. So I am putting the Exodus in the 1400’s BC. Naturally the Egyptians would leave no record of such an embarrassing event. That’s my theory, and I’m sticking to it.
If I remember correctly, Plato was referring to a story by Solon of his talks with an Egyptian priest. The priest said these events were 9,000 years old, and since Solon was before Plato’s time which was around 400 BC, this pretty much adds up to 13,000 years ago which ties in nicely with the possible cometary cause of the Younger Dryas major cooling event. Links anyone?
:’) The conventional chronology is a pseudochronology. When Hatshepsut visited Punt, she did so when Solomon ruled in Jerusalem. The Hyksos invasion corresponded to the Exodus, in that the Hebrews were on the way out, and the Hyksos were on the way in.
There is evidence of major flooding in many areas, but not of a single flood which covered the entire earth. The release of hugh Ice Age melt lakes like Agazziz (sp?) and Missoula, and undoubtedly some in Europe and the Himilayas, would have really messed up some costal areas, which is where most of the “civilization” would have been.
Regarding Crete, my guess is that a signficant tsunami would have wiped out the port facilites, homes, ships and peoples where the shipbuilders and related artisans lived. The Cretan ships at sea would have survived, but with a decimated support system would have gradually rotted and declined in significance, leading to the weakness of the Cretan civilization and eventual conquest by the resurgent mainlanders.
Trouble remains that there’s no evidence for a tsunami; there’s not even evidence for any super-eruption from anything close to historic times. The pumice found in an Egyptian context was saddled on for years as evidence of a super-eruption; when the pumice was at last chemically analyzed to prove the link, it was found to be NOT from Thera, nor from anything close to the historical era reflected by the strata. So, *that* failure was dismissed as not important — despite the fact that it was the only supposedly solid evidence that any such super-eruption ever took place.
I had considered the 2nd Intermediate Period as the possible time of Exodus, but discarded it. Reason: I accept most of Joshua, Judges, Kings & Chronicles as historically accurate. I don’t always accept the Bible’s compilations of years as accurate. It’s pretty much undisputed that under the New Kingdom, Canaan was a province fully under Egyptian control. And Egypt exerted this control over quite a period. Yet, while the Bible mentions the conquests of Assyrians, Babylonians & Persians (all known historically through other sources) there is no biblical reference to Egyptian occupation.
Looking at the genealolgical timeline from Joshua through Kings/Chronicles, I see the greatest period of chaos in the Israelite conquest of Canaan, and then the rise of the kingdom of David & Solomon ~900-800 BC. Thereafter, Judea & Israel split, and the Assyrians assume ascendancy in the area. In the Bible, Assyrian King Sennarcharib refers to Egypt as a “broken reed,” which she surely wasn’t under the New Kingdom.
Thus, I put the Exodus at the 3rd Intermediate Period.
Another reason that I have tried to find reasonable explanations for the Exodus in the 1400s BC is that there are two dates in the Bible [and I hope maybe someone can tell me where, as I have forgotten] that indicate the Exodus was 400 and some years after the time of Abraham which was 18 to 1900 years BC, and 400 and some years before the Temple was built in Israel. Does anyone have those exact years, as well as the exact date for the Temple?
The traditional date of the Exodus is circa 1450 BC, hope that’s helpful. The traditional figure for the number of years between (I think) the Exodus and the building of the Temple is the same as the number years between, hmm, two other things, I forget. [blush]