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  • Did Egypt's Old Kingdom Die -- or Simply Fade Away?

    12/28/2015 4:46:55 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 32 replies
    National Geographic ^ | December 24, 2015 | Andrew Lawler
    For nearly a millennium, Egypt's early pharaohs presided over a prosperous and wealthy state that built countless temples and palaces, enormous public works, and the famous Giza pyramids. Much of that prosperity depended on the regular inundations of the Nile River in a country that otherwise would be only desert. Then, around 2200 B.C., ancient texts suggest that Egypt's so-called Old Kingdom gave way to a disastrous era of foreign invasions, pestilence, civil war, and famines severe enough to result in cannibalism. In the past decade, climate data revealed that a severe and long-term drought afflicted the region during this...
  • Archaeologists discover possible ruins of ancient Sodom in the Holy Land

    10/03/2015 9:00:26 PM PDT · by 2ndDivisionVet · 22 replies
    The Week ^ | September 29, 2015 | Becca Stanek
    The long-lost Biblical city of Sodom — a city that the Bible claims was destroyed by God because of its immorality — may finally have been found. Archaeologists have uncovered a slew of monumental structures and artifacts in a Jordan Valley mound known as Tall el-Hammam offering evidence of a city-state that is believed to have thrived during the Bronze Age when other Holy Land cities were being abandoned or were in decline. Based on the location, dates of occupation, and the remains of other ancient cities nearby, archaeologists think it's the best candidate yet for what was once Sodom....
  • Possible site of ancient Sodom yields more finds

    09/29/2015 12:42:54 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 58 replies
    Popular Archaeology ^ | Monday, September 28, 2015 | editors
    But based on the excavated evidence, the city’s Bronze Age heyday seems to have nevertheless come to a sudden, inexplicable end toward the end of the Middle Bronze Age—and the ancient city became a relative wasteland for 700 years, for the most part void of human habitation. The comparatively paltry or lack of Late Bronze Age material is a testament to this, with the same pattern shown in the smaller, nearby sites. A strange development, thinks Collins, for a great city-state that flourished even through the catastrophic climate changes that arguably led to the collapse of the great cities of...
  • Mesopotamian Climate Change (8,000 Years Ago)

    02/15/2004 11:18:28 AM PST · by blam · 72 replies · 5,365+ views
    Geo Times ^ | 2-15-2004
    Mesopotamian climate change Geoscientists are increasingly exploring an interesting trend: Climate change has been affecting human society for thousands of years. At the American Geophysical Union annual meeting in December, one archaeologist presented research that suggests that climate change affected the way cultures developed and collapsed in the cradle of civilization — ancient Mesopotamia — more than 8,000 years ago. Archaeologists have found evidence for a mass migration from the more temperate northern Mesopotamia to the arid southern region around 6400 B.C. For the previous 1,000 years, people had been cultivating the arable land in northern Mesopotamia, using natural rainwater...
  • Archeologists Explain Historical Climate Change 4,000 Years Ago

    06/17/2015 7:42:27 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 34 replies
    The Costa Rica Star ^ | June 17, 2015 | David Blanco Bonilla
    Caral, the Americas’ oldest civilization, located north of present day Lima, Peru, faced a grave crisis as a result of climate change some 4,000 years ago, archaeologists said. “Droughts were so severe that they could have lasted between 60 and 130 years, which could explain why there were social crises in (civilizations like) Caral, Moche and Tiahuanaco,” archaeologist Ruth Shady, director of the Caral Project, told Efe. Women played leading roles in Caral and a team led by Shady has been working for eight years in Vichama, an urban center near the Vegueta district, in the northern province of Huaura,...
  • Ancient megadrought entombed dodos in poisonous fecal cocktail

    04/30/2015 7:13:19 AM PDT · by Utilizer · 55 replies
    AAAS ^ | 28 April 2015 5:15 pm | David Shultz
    Nine hundred kilometers off the east coast of Madagascar lies the tiny island paradise of Mauritius. The waters are pristine, the beaches bright white, and the average temperature hovers between 22°C and 28°C (72°F to 82°F) year-round. But conditions there may not have always been so idyllic. A new study suggests that about 4000 years ago, a prolonged drought on the island left many of the native species, such as dodo birds and giant tortoises, dead in a soup of poisonous algae and their own feces. The die-off happened in an area known as Mare aux Songes, which once held...
  • Climate change caused empire's fall, tree rings reveal

    05/31/2014 6:06:31 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 45 replies
    Cornell Chronicle ^ | May 14, 2014 | Linda B. Glaser
    A handful of tree ring samples stored in an old cigar box have shed unexpected light on the ancient world, thanks to research by archaeologist Sturt Manning and collaborators at Cornell, Arizona, Chicago, Oxford and Vienna, forthcoming in the June issue of the Journal of Archaeological Science. The samples were taken from an Egyptian coffin; Manning also examined wood from funeral boats buried near the pyramid of Sesostris III. He used a technique called “dendro radiocarbon wiggle matching,” which calibrates radiocarbon isotopes found in the sample tree rings with patterns known from other places in the world that have already...
  • Ancient City Mysteriously Survived Mideast Civilization Collapse

    07/30/2011 7:26:54 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 24 replies
    LiveScience ^ | Thursday, July 28, 2011 | Owen Jarus
    As ancient civilizations across the Middle East collapsed, possibly in response to a global drought about 4,200 years ago, archaeologists have discovered that one settlement in Syria not only survived, but expanded. Their next question is -- why did Tell Qarqur, a site in northwest Syria, grow at a time when cities across the Middle East were being abandoned? "There was widespread abandonment of many of the largest archaeological sites and ancient cities in the region and also large numbers of smaller sites," said Jesse Casana, a professor of anthropology at the University of Arkansas. "At Tell Qarqur and probably...
  • Comets And Disaster In The Bronze Age

    04/30/2007 4:38:09 PM PDT · by blam · 63 replies · 2,021+ views
    British Archaeology ^ | December 1997 | Benny Peiser
    Comets and disaster in the Bronze AgeCosmic impact is gaining ground as an explanation of the collapse of civilisations, writes Benny Peiser At some time around 2300BC, give or take a century or two, a large number of the major civilisations of the world collapsed. The Akkadian Empire in Mesopotamia, the Old Kingdom in Egypt, the Early Bronze Age societies in Israel, Anatolia and Greece, as well as the Indus Valley civilisation in India, the Hilmand civilisation in Afghanistan and the Hongshan Culture in China - the first urban civilisations in the world - all fell into ruin at more...
  • Deconstructing the Walls of Jerico

    06/22/2002 5:13:53 AM PDT · by Seti 1 · 21 replies · 1,779+ views
    Following 70 years of intensive excavations in the Land of Israel, archaeologists have found out: The patriarchs' acts are legendary stories, we did not sojourn in Egypt or make an exodus, we did not conquer the land. Neither is there any mention of the empire of David and Solomon. Those who take an interest have known these facts for years, but Israel is a stubborn people and doesn't want to hear about it. This is what archaeologists have learned from their excavations in the Land of Israel: the Israelites were never in Egypt, did not wander in the desert, did...
  • New Thoughts on the Impact of Climate Change in Neolithic China

    01/12/2015 2:11:03 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 23 replies
    Archaeology Magazine ^ | Friday, January 09, 2015
    It had been thought that the deserts in northern China are one million years old, but a new study of the Hunshandake Sandy Lands of Inner Mongolia suggests that its desert is only 4,000 years old. Xiaoping Yang of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Louis Scuderi of the University of New Mexico, and their colleagues examined the patterns of dunes and depressions in the region and lake sediments, and they dated quartz from the region with a technique known as optically stimulated luminescence. They found that Hunshandake had deep lakes and rivers beginning some 12,000 years ago. "We're amazed by...
  • Climate Key To Sphinx's Riddle

    01/08/2007 11:27:02 AM PST · by blam · 44 replies · 1,890+ views
    Scotsman ^ | 1-7-2006 | Jeremy Watson
    Climate key to Sphinx's riddle JEREMY WATSON 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...
  • Clay tablet holds clue to asteroid mystery

    03/30/2008 8:33:39 PM PDT · by bruinbirdman · 52 replies · 2,124+ views
    The Telegraph ^ | 3/31/2008 | Nic Fleming
    British scientists have deciphered a mysterious ancient clay tablet and believe they have solved a riddle over a giant asteroid impact more than 5,000 years ago. Geologists have long puzzled over the shape of the land close to the town of Köfels in the Austrian Alps, but were unable to prove it had been caused by an asteroid. Now researchers say their translation of symbols on a star map from an ancient civilisation includes notes on a mile-wide asteroid that later hit Earth - which could have caused tens of thousands of deaths. The circular clay tablet was discovered 150...
  • Climate and Drought Lessons from Ancient Egypt

    08/18/2012 11:29:28 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 22 replies
    ScienceDaily ^ | Thursday, August 16, 2012 | United States Geological Survey et al
    Ancient pollen and charcoal preserved in deeply buried sediments in Egypt's Nile Delta document the region's ancient droughts and fires, including a huge drought 4,200 years ago associated with the demise of Egypt's Old Kingdom, the era known as the pyramid-building time... said Christopher Bernhardt, a researcher with the U.S. Geological Survey... "Even the mighty builders of the ancient pyramids more than 4,000 years ago fell victim when they were unable to respond to a changing climate," said USGS Director Marcia McNutt. "This study illustrates that water availability was the climate-change Achilles Heel then for Egypt, as it may well...
  • Ancient Egypt was destroyed by drought, discover Scottish experts

    08/04/2011 5:51:22 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 71 replies
    Scotsman, Tall and Handsome Built ^ | Tuesday, August 2, 2011 | Lyndsay Buckland
    ...the fall of the great Egyptian Old Kingdom may have been helped along by a common problem which remains with us now -- drought... a severe period of drought around 4,200 years ago may have contributed to the demise of the civilisation. Using seismic investigations with sound waves, along with carbon dating of a 100-metre section of sediment from the bed of Lake Tana in Ethiopia, the team were able to look back many thousands of years. They were able to see how water levels in the lake had varied over the past 17,000 years, with the sediment signalling lush...
  • Comets,Meteors & Myth: New Evidence For Toppled Civilizations And Bibical Tales

    08/11/2002 5:32:56 PM PDT · by blam · 19 replies · 3,661+ views
    Science Tuesday/Space.com ^ | 11-13-2002 | Robert Roy Brit
    Comets, Meteors & Myth: New Evidence for Toppled Civilizations and Biblical Tales By Robert Roy Britt Senior Science Writer posted: 07:00 am ET 13 November 2001 "...and the seven judges of hell ... raised their torches, lighting the land with their livid flame. A stupor of despair went up to heaven when the god of the storm turned daylight into darkness, when he smashed the land like a cup." -- An account of the Deluge from the Epic of Gilgamesh, circa 2200 B.C. If you are fortunate enough to see the storm of shooting stars predicted for the Nov. 18...
  • Archaeologists Unearth 1,700 Year-Old Canal System Near Lake Okeechobee (Florida)

    06/07/2002 2:13:56 PM PDT · by blam · 117 replies · 4,771+ views
    Sun- Sentinel ^ | 6-6-2002 | Rhonda Miller
    Archaeologists unearth 1,700 year-old canal system near Lake Okeechobee By Rhonda Miller sun-sentinel.com Posted June 6 2002, 6:17 PM EDT ORTONA – Archaeologists on Thursday said they have uncovered a sophisticated 1,700 year-old canal system and a huge pond dug by ancient Indians near this tiny town, located west of Lake Okeechobee. The canal site is so important that it could rival the discovery four years ago of the mysterious Miami Circle ruins near downtown Miami, one expert said. Ortona, population 500, is located on Route 78 and is 13 miles west of Moore Haven. The town is sited just...
  • Slam, bang, thanks Saddam: new meteor theory

    11/05/2001 7:38:35 AM PST · by dead · 37 replies · 1,277+ views
    Perusal of an article about Saddam Hussein's canal-building projects has led a scientist to a startling discovery about the mysterious collapse of Middle East civilisations more than 4,000 years ago. Sharad Master, a geologist at the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, saw on satellite images of southern Iraq a large circular depression which he believes is a meteor crater. If confirmed, it would indicate an impact equivalent to hundreds of nuclear bombs, causing devastating fires and flooding in an area which would have been shallow sea at the time. The discovery could explain why so many early cultures went into ...
  • The Dark Ages: Were They Darker Than We Imagined?

    06/08/2003 10:31:29 PM PDT · by blam · 110 replies · 6,406+ views
    The Universe ^ | 9-1999 | Greg Bryant
    The Dark Ages : Were They Darker Than We Imagined? By Greg Bryant Published in the September 1999 issue of Universe As we approach the end of the Second Millennium, a review of ancient history is not what you would normally expect to read in the pages of Universe. Indeed, except for reflecting on the AD 837 apparition of Halley's Comet (when it should have been as bright as Venus and would have moved through 60 degrees of sky in one day as it passed just 0.03 AU from Earth - three times closer than Hyakutake in 1996), you may...
  • Dawn Of American Religion Found (2,250 BC)

    04/14/2003 4:53:48 PM PDT · by blam · 18 replies · 991+ views
    The Telegraph (UK) ^ | 4-15-2003 | Roger Highfield
    Dawn of American religion found By Roger Highfield, Science Editor (Filed: 15/04/2003) The oldest image of a deity in the Americas has been discovered by archaeologists - pushing back the origin of religion there by 1,000 years. A 4,000-year-old gourd fragment bearing an image of the Staff God A 4,250-year-old gourd fragment found in a looted cemetery on the Peruvian coast, 120 miles north of Lima, bears an archaic image of the Staff God, which was the principal deity in the region for millennia. "Like the cross, the Staff God is a clearly recognisable religious icon," said Jonathan Haas, of...
  • Meteor Clue To End Of Middle East Civilisations

    06/08/2003 7:17:12 PM PDT · by blam · 81 replies · 1,393+ views
    The Telegraph (UK) ^ | 4-11-2001 | Robert Matthews
    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...
  • Ancestors Of Turks Came To Anatolia In 2000s BC

    08/27/2004 9:18:36 AM PDT · by blam · 27 replies · 886+ views
    Turkish Press ^ | 8-27-2004
    Ancestors Of Turks Came To Anatolia In 2000s B.C. AFP: 8/27/2004 ERZURUM - Various archeological and cultural findings prove that Turks had come to Anatolia around 2000s B.C., Associated Prof. Semih Guneri said on Friday. Prof. Guneri and his team recently unearthed artifacts in excavations in Turkey's eastern provinces of Erzurum and Hakkari. According to experts, steles discovered by Associated Prof. Veli Sevin in Hakkari in the past will shed light on the question of ''When did Turks first come to Anatolia?''. Experts started to discuss this matter when a statue head which was sculpted around 2000s B.C. and was...
  • Drought That Destroyed A Civilisation

    11/16/2003 11:05:23 AM PST · by blam · 38 replies · 2,105+ views
    The Herald (UK) ^ | 11-11-2003 | Martin Willians
    Drought that destroyed a civilisation MARTIN WILLIAMS November 11 2003 IT is one of history's biggest mysteries and has confounded experts for hundreds of years. But a team of scientists believe they have discovered why the world's first great civilisation, established in Egypt nearly 5000 years ago, crumbled and plunged into a dark age that lasted for more than 1000 years. The researchers, including one academic from St Andrews University, have produced new evidence linking the demise of the Egyptian Old Kingdom with decades of drought after a study of layers of sediment at the source of the Blue Nile...
  • 200-year-long drought may have killed Sumerian language

    12/05/2012 6:09:59 AM PST · by Renfield · 50 replies
    MSNBC ^ | 12-4-2012 | Tia Ghose
    A 200-year-long drought 4,200 years ago may have killed off the ancient Sumerian language, one geologist says. Because no written accounts explicitly mention drought as the reason for the Sumerian demise, the conclusions rely on indirect clues. But several pieces of archaeological and geological evidence tie the gradual decline of the Sumerian civilization to a drought. The findings, which were presented Monday here at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union, show how vulnerable human society may be to climate change, including human-caused change....
  • Disaster That Struck The Ancients

    12/08/2001 2:51:43 PM PST · by blam · 207 replies · 13,091+ views
    BBC ^ | 7-26-2001 | Fekri Hassan
    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. ...
  • An Impact Event in 3114BC? The beginning of a Turbulent Millennium.

    01/03/2003 8:06:06 PM PST · by ckilmer · 50 replies · 8,249+ views
    An Impact Event in 3114BC? The Beginning of a Turbulent Millennium. Recurring Phenomenon: The Cosmic DisasterThe Mayan CalendarStonehengeA Possible Source for the 3100 BC Event Collected and commented by Timo Niroma, Helsinki, Finland Go to the Evidence of Astronomical Aspects of Mankind's Past and Recent Climate Homepage Recurring Phenomenon: The Cosmic Disaster Besides the most evident cosmic catastrophes ca. 2200 BC and 2345 BC there are other events during the Holocene that are so widely global and difficult to explain by only the Earth's own mechanisms that a cosmic explanation must evidently be taken into account. The first so-called...
  • Evidence for Major Impact Events in the late Third Millennium BC

    09/04/2002 4:48:54 PM PDT · by vannrox · 90 replies · 15,336+ views
    The Climax of a Turbulent Millennium: Evidence for Major Impact Events in the late Third Millennium BC Timo Niroma, Helsinki, Finland The First Intermediate PeriodThe Curse of AkkadTroy IIgThird Millennium BC Climate Change and Old World CollapseNatural Catastrophes during Bronze Age Civilisations Two separate cataclysmsSodom and GomorrahWhere did the impacts occur? The First Intermediate Period Selections from "The Egyptians" by C. Aldred (London 1987). "At this distance of time, the overthrow of the Old Kingdom at the end of the Sixth Dynasty has all the appearance of being sudden and complete. "Recent research has attributed the abrupt nature of...
  • Meteor Clue To End Of Middle East Civilisations

    01/03/2002 10:50:09 PM PST · by blam · 80 replies · 12,059+ views
    The Telegraph (UK) ^ | 11-04-2001 | Robert Matthews
    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 ...
  • Charcoal reveals wildfire history

    07/16/2006 3:07:22 PM PDT · by annie laurie · 20 replies · 333+ views
    BBC ^ | Friday, 14 July 2006 | Unattributed
    UK scientists have traced the history of wildfires by studying lumps of ancient charcoal from around the world. The fossils show the incidence of fires through time is closely related to the level of atmospheric oxygen. Andrew Scott and Ian Glasspool say huge swathes of the planet were ablaze when concentrations of the gas peaked some 275 million years ago. Their research is published in the US scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. "People might think the charcoal they pull out of a bonfire is just rubbish; but look at it under a microscope and you see...
  • The Roots Of Civilization Trace Back To ... Roots

    09/19/2005 3:25:13 PM PDT · by blam · 28 replies · 775+ views
    Eureka Alert ^ | 9-19-2005 | Mark Cassutt
    Contact: Mark Cassutt cassu003@umn.edu 612-624-8038 University of Minnesota The roots of civilization trace back to ... roots MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL- About five to seven million years ago, when the lineage of humans and chimpanzees split, edible root plants similar to rutabagas and turnips may have been one of the reasons. According to research by anthropologists Greg Laden of the University of Minnesota and Richard Wrangham of Harvard University, the presence of fleshy underground storage organs like roots and tubers must have sustained our ancestors who left the rain forest to colonize the savannah. They have published their research in...
  • The Law Code of Hammurabi. (Complete Translation)

    08/27/2002 7:51:44 AM PDT · by vannrox · 25 replies · 754+ views
    The Yale School of Law. ^ | ~3000BC translated 1996. FR Post 8-26-02 | Translated by L. W. King
    The Avalon Project at Yale Law School The Code of Hammurabi Translated by L. W. King When Anu the Sublime, King of the Anunaki, and Bel, the lord of Heaven and earth, who decreed the fate of the land, assigned to Marduk, the over-ruling son of Ea, God of righteousness, dominion over earthly man, and made him great among the Igigi, they called Babylon by his illustrious name, made it great on earth, and founded an everlasting kingdom in it, whose foundations are laid so solidly as those of heaven and earth; then Anu and Bel called by name me,...
  • The Ghost Empire - Climate Change, Global Warming, Drought and Desertification

    06/09/2013 7:45:49 AM PDT · by blam · 16 replies
    TMO ^ | 6-9-2013 | Richard Mills
    The Ghost Empire - Climate Change, Global Warming, Drought and Desertification Commodities / Climate Change June 08, 2013 - 07:29 PM GMT By: Richard Mills Drought is a normal recurring feature of the climate in most parts of the world. It doesn’t get the attention of a tornado, hurricane or flood. Instead, it’s a slower and less obvious, a much quieter disaster creeping up on us unawares. Climate change is currently warming many regions, overall warmer temperatures increase the frequency and intensity of heat waves and droughts. We can prepare for some climate change consequences with public education, water conservation...