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Disaster That Struck The Ancients
BBC ^ | 7-26-2001 | Fekri Hassan

Posted on 12/08/2001 2:51:43 PM PST by blam

Thursday, 26 July, 2001, 12:12 GMT 13:12 UK

Disaster that struck the ancients

The pharaohs of the Egyptian Old Kingdom had built the mightiest legacy of the ancient world - the pyramids at Giza. But after nearly a thousand years of stability, central authority disintegrated and the country collapsed into chaos for more than a 100 years.

What happened, and why, has remained a huge controversy. But Professor Fekri Hassan, from University College London, UK, wanted to solve the mystery, by gathering together scientific clues.

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".

Dismissed as exaggeration and fantasy by most other Egyptologists, Fekri was determined to prove the writings were true and accurate. He also had to find a culprit capable of producing such misery.

Stalactites and stalagmites

"My hunch from the beginning was that it had to do with the environment in which the Egyptians lived." Fekri felt sure the Nile, the river that has always been at the heart of Egyptian life, was implicated.

He studied the meticulous records, kept since the 7th Century, of Nile floods. He was amazed to see that there was a huge variation in the size of the annual Nile floods - the floods that were vital for irrigating the land.

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.
As Israel and Egypt are in different weather systems, Fekri needed evidence of some worldwide climate event to link this to the collapse of the Old Kingdom. And the evidence came out of the blue.

Geologist Gerard Bond, of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University, US, looks for climate evidence in the icebergs of Iceland. As they melt on their journey south, they leave shards of volcanic ash on the ocean floor.

Dry lake

How far they travelled before melting tells him how cold it was. Cores of mud from the ocean floor revealed to him regular periods of extreme cold - mini ice ages - in Europe every 1,500 years, and lasting 200 years. And one mini ice age occurred at 2,200 BC.

Fekri Hassan: Looked at lake-bed cores

Gerard's colleague, Peter deMenocal, looked at climate records for the rest of the world at exactly the same time. From pollen records to sand, the story was the same - a dramatic climate change from Indonesia to the Mediterranean, Greenland to North America.

Scientists were confirming everything Fekri believed - severe climate change causing widespread human misery 4,200 years ago, misery we are only now learning about for the first time.

Back in Egypt, Fekri wanted to put the last piece of the puzzle in place. He wanted direct evidence of this severe climate change in the Nile. And he found it drilling cores in a large lake that had been fed by a tributary of the Nile in ancient times.

He discovered in the critical period, as the Old Kingdom collapsed, the lake had dried up completely - the only time in the whole history of this lake that this had happened. At last, Fekri felt he had proved that the writings on Ankhtifi's tomb were really true. It was nature that had driven people to desperation.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Egypt
KEYWORDS: ancientegypt; archaeology; bolide; catastrophism; climate; curseofagade; donovancourville; drought; economic; egypt; exodus; fekrihassan; ggg; globalwarminghoax; godsgravesglyphs; history; iceage; impact; megadrought; mikebaillie; miniiceage; oldkingdom; paleoclimatology; sphinx; stalactites; stalagmites
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To: Lessismore
"For more tree ring stuff Henri D. Grissino-Mayer's Ultimate Tree-Ring Web Pages"

Bookmarked.

41 posted on 12/08/2001 5:52:07 PM PST by blam
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To: Lessismore
"Evidence for Astronomical Aspects of Mankind's Past and Recent Climate Timo Niroma, Helsinki, Finland"

I love this one. Another bookmark. lol (mucho thanks)

42 posted on 12/08/2001 5:56:12 PM PST by blam
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To: MHDouglas
I believe that Sumer was around 4000 B.C.
43 posted on 12/08/2001 5:58:15 PM PST by sheik yerbouty
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To: gnarledmaw; JudyB1938; dead; sawsalimb; grimalkin; Thinkin' Gal; Fifth Business
Bump for you.
44 posted on 12/08/2001 5:59:05 PM PST by blam
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To: Maceman
>I do know that a hell of a lot of lives and resources were wasted in the building of some of the most wasteful structures in human history.

For all we know (since we know very little) it provided employment for lots of people, feeding lots of families, straightening lots of teeth, and making lots of chariot payments. Anything beyond that is probably just speculation...

45 posted on 12/08/2001 5:59:32 PM PST by skraeling
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To: ctdonath2; RightWhale; jennyp; Publius6961; rightofrush; white rose
Bump for you.
46 posted on 12/08/2001 6:03:09 PM PST by blam
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To: blam
>impact crater in Iraq that was dated at 2200BC.

That's very interesting. Happened within perhaps a hundred years of the birth of Abraham, in Ur, Iraq.

47 posted on 12/08/2001 6:06:38 PM PST by skraeling
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To: LostTribe
Can you connect any of you lost tribes data to this event/period?
48 posted on 12/08/2001 6:18:04 PM PST by blam
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Comment #49 Removed by Moderator

Comment #50 Removed by Moderator

To: nomasmojarras
Interesting theory. Bump.
51 posted on 12/08/2001 7:22:51 PM PST by Ciexyz
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To: Maceman
You can't have a Pharoah-God ruler single handedly directing the people and the nation's resources by fiat and still expect to maintain a viable economic condition over the long run.

It wasn't like that. The pharaonic Egyptians were remarkably republican. Each citizen was expected to adhere to a moral code that is surprisingly modern, maybe even proto-Christian. They had a wealthy and powerful civilization, were highly advanced technologically, and they had extensive trade with the rest of the known world.

When Egypt collapsed, it wouldn't have been just Egypt, the rest of civilization would have been in deep trouble at the same time.

52 posted on 12/08/2001 7:31:11 PM PST by RightWhale
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To: nomasmojarras
"It wasn't the "moon map" thread was it?"

No, thanks. It was the one I posted in post #15.

53 posted on 12/08/2001 7:38:16 PM PST by blam
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Comment #54 Removed by Moderator

To: blam
This may be off the subject a bit.We have been bombarded with this global warming crap for the past few years but just prior to that they were screaming "the ice age is coming, the ice age is coming". Today I was reading AIR & SPACE MAGIZINE and their was a small story about a group that is restoring a P 38 from WW11. They recovered it in Greenland under 268 ft of ice. There was another plane recovered nearby deeper than that I believe. This happened in just 50 years.
55 posted on 12/08/2001 7:54:51 PM PST by tubebender
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To: RightWhale
"When Egypt collapsed, it wouldn't have been just Egypt, the rest of civilization (worldwide) would have been in deep trouble at the same time."

...and you know my opinion, "this has happened many times on a global scale."

56 posted on 12/08/2001 8:20:09 PM PST by blam
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To: blam
Bumping an area of interest, in pursuit of any more interesting links that arise...;^)
57 posted on 12/08/2001 8:24:04 PM PST by Le-Roy
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Comment #58 Removed by Moderator

To: toddhisattva
Yes it did :) Wondered if anyone noticed my post. LOL!! Got two good RF spikes as fregment "L" hit!
59 posted on 12/09/2001 2:17:42 AM PST by RadioAstronomer
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To: RadioAstronomer
LOL!!!! What is a fregment? (fragment) ROFL!!!!!!!!!!
60 posted on 12/09/2001 4:14:08 AM PST by RadioAstronomer
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