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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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To: FairOpinion
"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"

I have a thread on that too.

What Caused Argentina's Craters?

21 posted on 06/08/2003 7:53:07 PM PDT by blam
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To: blam
Or maybe there was a Flood that wiped out civilization in the Middle East 4000 years ago.
22 posted on 06/08/2003 8:01:10 PM PDT by LiteKeeper
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To: Ronly Bonly Jones
Moses’ Comet

Mike Baillie
Discovering Archeology, July/August 1999

Moses called down a host of calamities upon Egypt until the pharaoh finally freed the Israelites. Perhaps he had the help of a comet impact coupled with a volcano. A volcano destroyed the island of Santorini in the Aegean Sea (between today's Greece and Turkey) around the middle of the second millennium B.C. Researchers Val LaMarche and Kathy Hirschboeck suggest the volcano might be associated with tree-ring evidence for several years of intense cold beginning in 1627 B.C. Could that form the basis for strange meteorological phenomena recorded in the biblical book of Exodus?

In the book of Exodus, which describes events a few hundred kilometers from Santorini, we read of a pillar of cloud and fire, a lingering darkness, and the parting of the Red Sea. An enormous column of ash must have hung in the sky over the eruption (the Israelites’ “pillar of cloud by day and fire by night?”), and the volcano doubtless caused a tsunami, or tidal wave (which could have drowned a pharaoh's army). The Exodus story is traditionally dated to either the thirteenth or fifteenth century B.C. Those dates, however, depend ultimately on identifying the “Pharaoh of the Oppression,” and historians have never proven to which ruler that infamous title referred. Many biblical scholars will disagree, but I suggest that a seventeenth-century B.C. date is not impossible.

The argument can be bolstered. Equally catastrophic meteorological conditions are recorded in the Bible for the time of King David. Psalm 18, in reference to David, speaks of terrifying events: “Earth shook and trembled. The foundations of the hills moved and were shaken. ... Smoke ... fire ... darkness ... dark waters ... thick clouds of the skies ... hailstones and coals of fire.” On some chronologies, David is placed 470 years after the Exodus. The spacing between the two disastrous events recorded in Irish tree rings at 1628 and 1159 B.C. is 469 years. The Exodus story includes dust, several days of darkness, hail, dead fish, undrinkable water, cattle killed by hail, water breaking out of rocks, the earth opening, the sea parting as in a tsunami, and so on. Someone looking at the Exodus story and knowing descriptions of other distant volcanic effects might offer the possibility that the Israelites escaped from Egypt under the cover of a major natural catastrophe. There may be veiled references to comets in the biblical narrative, leading to the possibility that the Santorini eruption itself may have been triggered by a bolide (comet or asteroid) impact. David Levy, co-discoverer of the comet that bears his and Jean Shoemaker's names, has argued that the description of the “angel of the Lord in the sky over Jerusalem with a drawn sword” (1 Chronicles 21) could be a reference to a comet. The Angel of the Lord was, of course, also present at the Exodus, as it was “traveling in front of Israel's army.” Further, there are indications that as the Israelites left Egypt, the night was as bright as midday. The nights over Europe were reported to have been daytime-bright after the only known modern bolide impact, the Tunguska explosion over Siberia in 1908.

These stories raise the question of whether comets recorded by the Chinese at the start and end of the Shang Dynasty, at very near the same dates, were the same as the comets that may be recorded in the Old Testament. I believe that we know the answer: In the last five millennia, several dynastic changes and dark ages have been the direct result of impacts and/or volcanoes. The consequences of such events must have been devastating, leading to apocalyptic imagery in religious writing and predictions of the end of the world. Zachariah of Mitylene lived through the environmental disaster that began about 540 A.D. In the mid-550s, he wrote in his twelve-volume records of the trials the world had survived: “In addition to all the fearful things described above, the earthquakes and famines and wars, ... there has also been fulfilled against us the curse of Moses in Deuteronomy."“ The curse included pestilence, consumption, fever, fiery blasts from the skies, mildew, a rain of powder and dust, and darkness. The curse of Moses must have seemed an appropriate description of life after the impact of a piece of a comet.

23 posted on 06/08/2003 8:01:20 PM PDT by blam
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To: blam
I have a thread on that too.
What Caused Argentina's Craters?
---

Great. Thanks. Very interesting. Each investigation: in Egypt, Iraq and Argentina was done separately and they independently came up with the approx time frame, which is the same and it all fits together.

And they say we shouldn't worry about Meteors. I don't think we should worry, but I do think that with our current technologies we should develop a system so we can do something about them.
24 posted on 06/08/2003 8:11:49 PM PDT by FairOpinion
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To: RightWhale
Yes, the more digging we do into the past, the more evidence we unearth to suppport at least Velikovsky's claim of ancient destruction, if not his theory about its cause. Interesting stuff...
25 posted on 06/08/2003 8:22:02 PM PDT by plusone
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To: LiteKeeper
"Or maybe there was a Flood that wiped out civilization in the Middle East 4000 years ago."

Does A Global Flood Make The Whole Bible Less Credible?

26 posted on 06/08/2003 8:27:24 PM PDT by blam
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To: balrog666
Ping for perusal over the morning coffee.
27 posted on 06/08/2003 8:29:45 PM PDT by balrog666 (When in doubt, tell the truth. - Mark Twain)
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To: blam
BUMP
28 posted on 06/08/2003 8:31:50 PM PDT by Mike Darancette (Soddom has left the bunker.)
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To: KellyAdmirer
You forget that the egregious hucksters on TV are televangelists.

But don't let that stop you from being condescending as to real scientists - it helps identify which luddites shouldn't be listened to.

29 posted on 06/08/2003 8:34:47 PM PDT by Chancellor Palpatine (nice taglines are for sissies)
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To: andrew1957


We could always say it was a meteor.. ;-)

The meteor moab...I like it.
30 posted on 06/08/2003 8:39:40 PM PDT by SouthernFreebird
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To: blam
You post the most fascinating articles. This crater looks to be a possible "God-Zot." :^)

A good deal of speculation going on which is always fun; especially when ancient histories, lore, and cultures are involved. This article combined with the one about Iran opening up it's Persian past make for great reading. Thanks for the post.

31 posted on 06/08/2003 8:42:45 PM PDT by Ligeia
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To: Ligeia
Thanks.

"the one about Iran opening up it's Persian past make for great reading."

Do you have a link to this artricle?

32 posted on 06/08/2003 8:46:08 PM PDT by blam
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To: blam
Here you go. It's not much yet but it's a very encouraging start.

Iranians going back to pre-Islamic Days

33 posted on 06/08/2003 8:49:21 PM PDT by Ligeia
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To: All
http://abob.libs.uga.edu/bobk/cccmenu.html

The above link will take you to the Cambridge Conference
Network which follows such news.

Piser has had speculation of large craters in southern
Iraq for some time now. What remains to be done now is
to get in and get some core samples to narrow the date
range. I'm sure that the margin of error in dating the
age of the suspected impact crater is currently large
enough to terminate the civilization of your choice.
34 posted on 06/08/2003 8:54:35 PM PDT by DeepDish
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To: SouthernFreebird
I like that LOL, The meteor moab, we can deny everything, and still level Mecca, Iran, just give it a guidance system looking for minarets. To the moon alice....
35 posted on 06/08/2003 9:01:11 PM PDT by holyh2o
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To: holyh2o
this site explains it all in great detail.....www.mt.net/~watcher/ufos.html
36 posted on 06/08/2003 9:13:10 PM PDT by gypsy-joker (praise the lord and pass the ammunition)
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To: Ligeia
"It's not much yet but it's a very encouraging start."

Thanks, Encouraging, I agree.

37 posted on 06/08/2003 9:17:32 PM PDT by blam
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To: PatrickHenry
Pretty cool stuff, I love science, it is just too much fun!!
38 posted on 06/08/2003 9:20:30 PM PDT by Aric2000 (If the history of science shows us anything, it is that we get nowhere by labeling our ignorance god)
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To: Chancellor Palpatine
Thanks, always glad to help out. Haven't been called a Luddite in a while, feels real good!
39 posted on 06/08/2003 9:22:00 PM PDT by KellyAdmirer
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To: Thud
FYI
40 posted on 06/08/2003 9:22:02 PM PDT by Dark Wing
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