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Meteor Clue To End Of Middle East Civilisations
The Telegraph (UK) ^ | 4-11-2001 | Robert Matthews

Posted on 06/08/2003 7:17:12 PM PDT by blam

Meteor clue to end of Middle East civilisations

By Robert Matthews, Science Correspondent
(Filed: 04/11/2001)

SCIENTISTS have found the first evidence that a devastating meteor impact in the Middle East might have triggered the mysterious collapse of civilisations more than 4,000 years ago.

satellite images of southern Iraq have revealed a two-mile-wide impact crater caused by a meteor

Studies of satellite images of southern Iraq have revealed a two-mile-wide circular depression which scientists say bears all the hallmarks of an impact crater. If confirmed, it would point to the Middle East being struck by a meteor with the violence equivalent to hundreds of nuclear bombs.

Today's crater lies on what would have been shallow sea 4,000 years ago, and any impact would have caused devastating fires and flooding.

The catastrophic effect of these could explain the mystery of why so many early cultures went into sudden decline around 2300 BC.

They include the demise of the Akkad culture of central Iraq, with its mysterious semi-mythological emperor Sargon; the end of the fifth dynasty of Egypt's Old Kingdom, following the building of the Great Pyramids and the sudden disappearance of hundreds of early settlements in the Holy Land.

Until now, archaeologists have put forward a host of separate explanations for these events, from local wars to environmental changes. Recently, some astronomers have suggested that meteor impacts could explain such historical mysteries.

The crater's faint outline was found by Dr Sharad Master, a geologist at the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, on satellite images of the Al 'Amarah region, about 10 miles north-west of the confluence of the Tigris and Euphrates and home of the Marsh Arabs.

"It was a purely accidental discovery," Dr Master told The Telegraph last week. "I was reading a magazine article about the canal-building projects of Saddam Hussein, and there was a photograph showing lots of formations - one of which was very, very circular."

Detailed analysis of other satellite images taken since the mid-1980s showed that for many years the crater contained a small lake.

The draining of the region, as part of Saddam's campaign against the Marsh Arabs, has since caused the lake to recede, revealing a ring-like ridge inside the larger bowl-like depression - a classic feature of meteor impact craters.

The crater also appears to be, in geological terms, very recent. Dr Master said: "The sediments in this region are very young, so whatever caused the crater-like structure, it must have happened within the past 6,000 years."

Reporting his finding in the latest issue of the journal Meteoritics & Planetary Science, Dr Master suggests that a recent meteor impact is the most plausible explanation for the structure.

A survey of the crater itself could reveal tell-tale melted rock. "If we could find fragments of impact glass, we could date them using radioactive dating techniques," he said.

A date of around 2300 BC for the impact may also cast new light on the legend of Gilgamesh, dating from the same period. The legend talks of "the Seven Judges of Hell", who raised their torches, lighting the land with flame, and a storm that turned day into night, "smashed the land like a cup", and flooded the area.

The discovery of the crater has sparked great interest among scientists.

Dr Benny Peiser, who lectures on the effects of meteor impacts at John Moores University, Liverpool, said it was one of the most significant discoveries in recent years and would corroborate research he and others have done.

He said that craters recently found in Argentina date from around the same period - suggesting that the Earth may have been hit by a shower of large meteors at about the same time


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: ancienthistory; catastrophism; civilisations; clue; craters; crevolist; curseofagade; donaldpatten; donaldpatton; donpatten; donpatton; east; gilgamesh; godsgravesglyphs; iraq; marsharabs; meteor; meteors; middle; mikebaillie; satellites
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Slow news day. I liked this article so much, I decided to post it again.
1 posted on 06/08/2003 7:17:12 PM PDT by blam
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To: blam
Disaster The Struck The Ancients
2 posted on 06/08/2003 7:19:43 PM PDT by blam
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To: blam
Very cool.

I here tell there ae some even more recent craters in Iraq, coincident also with the end of a tyrant's reign.

Very cool.
3 posted on 06/08/2003 7:22:18 PM PDT by jwfiv
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To: blam
I think it's about time that more large meteors land in a few selected places, to end Middle East Civilization as it exist's today.
4 posted on 06/08/2003 7:22:27 PM PDT by andrew1957
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To: blam
Intriguing! Do you have a link to the first posting? I'd like to read over the comments.
5 posted on 06/08/2003 7:29:15 PM PDT by AntiGuv ()
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To: andrew1957
I think it's about time that more large meteors land in a few selected places, to end Middle East Civilization as it exist's today.

We would miss the Wahhabis and the Palestinians, but sometimes you can always hope...

6 posted on 06/08/2003 7:29:40 PM PDT by xJones
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To: blam
Thanks.
7 posted on 06/08/2003 7:31:13 PM PDT by patriciaruth
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To: VadeRetro; jennyp; Junior; longshadow; *crevo_list; RadioAstronomer; Scully; Piltdown_Woman; ...
Try this for a change. PING.
8 posted on 06/08/2003 7:32:02 PM PDT by PatrickHenry (Felix, qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas.)
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To: AntiGuv
"Intriguing! Do you have a link to the first posting? I'd like to read over the comments."

Not sure, I'll go look.

9 posted on 06/08/2003 7:33:55 PM PDT by blam
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To: blam
"He said that craters recently found in Argentina date from around the same period - suggesting that the Earth may have been hit by a shower of large meteors at about the same time"

Very interesting. These various findings corroborate the event.


10 posted on 06/08/2003 7:35:52 PM PDT by FairOpinion
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To: blam
Ladies and gentlemen, scientists of all persuasions, step right up!

Got a problem with why something stopped unexplainably in the distant past, like dinosaurs, ancient civilizations, ice ages, what have you? Well, call Dandy Bob, the Fix-it Man, and he will, for a special low fee just for you and which expires one hour before your dissertation is due, fix you up with a special, guaranteed to be unprovable and irrefutable, earth shaking (haha) and ultimately irresistible gen-u-wine Comet Theory to prove that destruction of all that was but is no more was just a bolt from the heavens!

Hurry, hurry, operators are standing by the phones, first ten callers get authentic "Photos from Space" that PROVE, yes, PROVE that there be strange bumps in the ground somewhere in the general vicinity of that thing you need an answer for that might be, er, must be the elusive FIREBALL FROM THE HEAVENS that will get you and your theory into the scientific textbooks!

11 posted on 06/08/2003 7:36:06 PM PDT by KellyAdmirer
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To: blam
Immanuel Velikovsky presents lots of information in his various popular books about natural causes of the events of the Exodus. While the date of the Exodus is uncertain at best, many of the phenomena listed could be attributed to a bombardment of meteorites. Velikovsky goes on to postulate that the huge deposits of crude oil in the region could have been from a rain of oil coming at the same time and from the same source.
12 posted on 06/08/2003 7:38:21 PM PDT by RightWhale (gazing at shadows)
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To: blam
The catastrophic effect of these could explain the mystery of why so many early cultures went into sudden decline around 2300 BC.

No, it doesn't; do the math. If the civ's went out in 2300 BC because of the 2000 BC meteor, then they "knew it was coming" 300 years in advance and just folded.

On the other hand, the timing is just such (2000 BC) that the flaming debris from the meteor could well fit the description of what happened to Sodom and Gomorrah just about exactly at that time.

13 posted on 06/08/2003 7:39:34 PM PDT by Migraine (my grain is pretty straight today)
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To: KellyAdmirer
I don't noah, but there's a Lot gomorrah to be said for this than first meets the eye....
14 posted on 06/08/2003 7:40:39 PM PDT by Ronly Bonly Jones
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To: blam
This is hugh! Hello, Sodom Holiday Inn? Could I book a room this weekend? Me and the missus need a weekend alone, maybe tour Gomorrah. Take in the sights. LOVE the food, yes, although a little bit pillar-of-salty, though.
15 posted on 06/08/2003 7:40:53 PM PDT by searchandrecovery
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To: RightWhale
Agreed. Velikovsky had some amazing ideas, far ahead of his time....
16 posted on 06/08/2003 7:41:06 PM PDT by Judith Anne (The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits.)
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To: zot
Ping.
17 posted on 06/08/2003 7:43:03 PM PDT by Interesting Times (Leftists view the truth as an easily avoidable nuisance)
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To: AntiGuv
"Intriguing! Do you have a link to the first posting? I'd like to read over the comments."

Yup. Here it is.

18 posted on 06/08/2003 7:46:22 PM PDT by blam
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To: blam
There is some evidence that the el-'Ubaid culture was inturupted, with a layer of silt and mud seperating the begining and continuation of the culture that developed into Sumeria.

Dosen't quite fit in to this time line though, I wonder if the "Bull From Heaven" is significant.

19 posted on 06/08/2003 7:47:02 PM PDT by Little Bill (No Rats, A.N.S.W.E.R (WWP) is a commie front!!!!,)
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To: andrew1957
I think it's about time that more large meteors land in a few selected places, to end Middle East Civilization as it exist's today.

Your tagline space could be put to good use with this one.

20 posted on 06/08/2003 7:49:48 PM PDT by Thinkin' Gal (Guten Tag!)
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