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  • Floods, droughts, volcanos, meteors, plagues...

    The idea of this thread is to try an collect information about natural disasters of prehistory, and ancient history which may have impacted human migration or survival in different areas.

    I'll start with this which I just found:
    HTML Code:
    Chaine de Puys
    Chaine des Puys is a volcanic province in south-central France. Eruptions began about 150,000 years ago. The most recent eruption was about 4,040 B.C. Puy de Dome is the one of the youngest volcanic feature in the province. The most recent eruption at Puy de Dome was about 5,760 B.C. Deposits at Puy de Dome indicate that the volcano had Strombolian and Pelean type eruptions. Photograph copyrighted and provided by Steve O'Meara of Volcano Watch International.

    Volcanism began in the Massif Central of France about 20 million years ago. Compositions include basalt, andesite trachyte, and rhyolite. Volcanism far from the edges of tectonic plates, such as Chaine des Puys, is rare. Changes in the mantle may have led to volcanism at Chaine des Puys. Several lines of evidence indicate thinning of the crust and upwelling of the asthenosphere. The rising mantle "diapir" was probably a total of 30-60 miles (50-100 km) in diameter. The question has been raised if a hot spot is involved but no definitive evidence has been found.

  • #2
    17th Century BCE Eruption of Thera

    The last I looked into this, the estimates for the strenght of the eruption of Thera were higher than what is reported here. Charles Pellegrino's Unearthing Atlantis (1991) is well worth reading. Dr. Pellegrino is a scientist qualified to investigate such events as the eruption of Thera. Whether his suggestions will all survive further analysis remains to be seen. Sadly, this topic does not seem to get the attention I believe it deserves.


    http://www.mystae.com/restricted/str...era/thera.html
    The Eruption of Thera
    Devastation in the Mediterranean

    (1) Greater Than Krakatoa

    "When Krakatoa exploded on August 26, 1883, it caused widespread destruction and loss of life on the coasts of Java and Sumatra. Blast waves cracked walls and broke windows up to 160 km. away. Tidal waves, reportedly up to 36 metres high, inundated the shores of the Sunda Strait, destroying nearly 300 towns and villages, and overnight more than 35,000 people lost their lives."
    - J. V. Luce, "The Changing Face of the Thera Problem"

    "Krakatoa erupted noisily. It could be heard as much as 3,000 miles away on Rodrigues Island in the Indian Ocean. Vibrations shattered shop windows 80 miles off. The energy; released in the main explosion has been estimated to be equivalent to an explosion of 150 megatons of TNT."
    ...

    According to current data, the last two great eruptions of Vesuvius occured in 3580 B.C.E and 79 C.E. (the latter being the eruption which buried Pompei and Herculaneum). Both Krakatoa and Thera have a Volcanic Explosivity Index or VEI of 6 which rates them as "colossal" with a plume height over 25 km and a displacement volume of between 10 and 100 ks km 3. Eruptions of this size occur only once every few hundred years on earth. Although the dating of pottery supports the fifteenth century time frame for the Thera eruption, dendrochronology and radiocarbon dating supported by historical records place it at 1628/7 B.C.E. .

    ...

    "Estimates of the volume of material displaced by the Thera eruption indicated an intensity five or six times as great as that of Krakatoa..."
    - Dr. Floyd McCoy, in Ground Truth, Earthwatch Research Report

    (2) A Great Flood Tide

    "About 7 cubic miles (30 cubic km) of rhyodacite magma was erupted. The plinian column during the initial phase of the eruption was about >23 miles (36 km) high."
    - "Santorini, Greece"
    ...
    "The sea poured into this enormous void through fractures in the ring of land, in the northwest and southwest of the island. If the chamber collapse was sudden, the flow of water must have generated tidal waves to the north and southwest."
    - Christos G. Doumas Thera - Pompeii of the Ancient Aegean, p. 137-138

    "Knossos [the Minoan capital] was shattered by a succession of earthquakes that preceded or accompanied the eruption, while great waves resulting from it appear to have damaged settlements along the northern coast of Crete."
    - Encyclopaedia Britannica

    "On the west cost of Turkey, just north of the island of Rhodes*, is a small body of water whose shoreline is like an ever-narrowing funnel. Its open mouth faces west, toward Thera, and anyone living behind that mouth might just as well have been a flea located in the throat of a cannon. As the shock wave surged east between increasingly confined shorelines, the waters piles higher and higher until at last they became a foaming white mountain eight hundred feet tall. The wave penetrated thirty miles inland, in the general direction of Mount Ararat; and when it receded, it dislodged house-sized boulders, scoured the soil and carved out channeled scablands. Elsewhere, on a strip of Turkish coast only ninety miles north of the funnel, the wave seems to have risen barely twenty feet high. Tsunamis are like that - capricious."
    - Charles Pellegrino, Unearthing Atlantis (1991) p. 87
    * "Where local lore has it that a city called Cyrbe was 'swallowed up by a great flood-tide'."
    Bronze Age Map

    "There came a sound, as if from within the Earth
    Zeus' hollow thunder boomed, awful to hear.
    The horses lifted heads towards the sky
    And pricked their ears; while strange fear fell on us,
    Whence came the voice. To the sea-beaten shore
    We looked, and saw a monstrous wave that soared
    Into the sky, so lofty that my eyes
    Were robbed of seeing the Scironian cliffs.
    It hid the isthmus and Asclepius' rock.
    Then seething up and bubbling all about
    With foaming flood and breath from the deep sea,
    Shoreward it came to where the chariot stood."
    - Euripides, The Hippolytus

    "According to the oral tradition handed to Euripides [who lived on the west Aegean between 480 and 405 B.C.], a wall of water heaved up from the deep, into a sky as clear as glass. This is precisely what one would expect if the poet had recorded the memory of Bronze Age Tsunamis in the western Aegean, which was spared the added calamity of Thera's death cloud."
    - Charles Pellegrino, Unearthing Atlantis (1991) p. 89

    "Later Greek traditions, such as the story of Deucalion's flood, may enshrine a memory of similar waves that swept the coasts of the mainland at this time."
    - Encyclopaedia Britannica

    Comment


    • #3
      Thera :Pumice belt west of Alexandria Egypt

      This seem like reliable information.
      http://baheyeldin.com/science/pumice...ean-coast.html
      On the Mediterranean coast west of the city of Alexandria, in Egypt, there is a belt of pumice embedded in the sedimentary stone that covers the landscape there. This article describes this belt and its possible origins.
      Introduction:

      On the Mediterranean coast west of the city of Alexandria, in Egypt, there is a belt of pumice embedded in the sedimentary stone that covers the landscape there.

      As a youngster, I used to spend summers in Agami Abou Youssef, a resort area 18.5 km West of Alexandria, and I remember with curiosity wondering what this belt was.

      Pumice is an unusually light rock due to the many bubbles inside it. Most pumice floats on water. It is formed by volcanic eruptions when molten lava is shot in the air with many bubbles of gas in it. As it cools, it solidifies into pumice.
      Description:

      The belt is about one meter or less wide, and is parallel to the coast line. It is about 600 meters away from the present coast line.

      The pumice is visible on the surface, and is not covered by layers of any depth of the said sedimentary stone.

      The pumice pieces are small, most being about 5 cm in diameter. Most are round or oblong. The color is mustard brownish.

      The sedimentary stone that the pumice is embedded in is made of the exact same kind of sand that is on the coast there, hardening over the ages and composing this rock.

      The width of the belt is unknown, and probably goes on for tens or hundreds of miles.

      The area is now built up and the exact places where I saw this belt are now under gardens and villa foundations. However, there are still exposed areas a bit west of the original place. Perhaps on a future visit, I can try to find another area and get pictures and more exact measurements.
      Origin:

      Since the belt lies parallel to the sea coast, the pumice must have floated over the water, and then pushed by the waves to the shore. As the sand was transformed into stone, the pumice became embedded into it. Since pumice originates from volcanic eruptions, it is certain that an event like the Thera volcanic eruption is the source of this pumice.
      Questions:

      Some questions need to be answered in order to date this pumice correctly and identify its source:

      * Is the type of pumice in this belt identical to the pumice present today in Santorini?
      * Is the type of pumice in this belt identical to the pumice present today in Crete, with the origin being the Thera eruption?
      * Is the type of pumice in this belt identical to the pumice found in Tell El Dab'a exacavations?
      * Can the shore line recede by 600 meters in 3500 or so years?
      * Can any exact dating be done on the pumice belt that would help narrow the dating of the Thera eruption (provided the type of pumice is identical)?
      * Are there any other known volcanic eruption in the eastern Mediterranean that this pumice can be traced to?

      All this is material for future research. Anyone interested?
      Responses from Specialists

      Since I was interested in this topic, I did some searching on the internet for people who may have the answers to this puzzle. I initially contacted Sturt Manning, who is now in Tornoto teaching History of Fine Art, since he wrote a book A Test of Time, when at Reading in the UK.

      He said that this is outside his are of speciality, but referred me to two other people, including Max Bichler in Vienna, Austria.

      Max kindly wrote back in January 2005 saying:

      Dear Khalid,
      This sounds actually highly interesting!

      To your questions:

      The provenience of the pumice can be easily detemined by chemical analysis. My working group is running an analytical database on all relevant pumice producing eruptions in the Eastern Mediterranean for the last million years.

      We also checked the Tell el Daba finds for their volcanic source and it turned out, that most of them were Santorinian, But other sources like Nisyros, Kos and Giali were present, too.

      Our database comprises presently 3 eruption cycles at Milos, 6 at Santorini, 2 at Nisyros, 2 at Giali and 1 at Kos (all Greece).
      Additionally, there are also included 6 of the biggest Kappadokian eruptions in Turkey.

      Changes in the coastline in the order of magnitude you describe are absolutely possible for such geological time spans.

      I would be highly interested to receive samples from your pumice belt for analysis. A set of samples covering the whole width of the belt at one place would be interesting.

      Best regards from Vienna,
      Max Bichler

      So, perhaps the mystery of this pumice belt will solved at some point, and we may have a more exact date for Thera and other eruptions.

      Comment


      • #4
        Akrotiri of Thera

        There are some good pictures on this page, as well as additional information.
        http://www.culture.gr/2/21/211/21121a/e211ua08.html

        It is one of the most important prehistoric settlements of the Aegean. The first habitation at the site dates from the Late Neolithic times (at least the 4th millenium B.C.). During the Early Bronze Age (3rd millenium B.C.), a sizeable settlement was founded and in the Middle and early Late Bronze Age (ca. 20th-17th centuries B.C.) it was extended and gradually developed into one of the main urban centres and ports of the Aegean. The large extent of the settlement (ca. 20 hectares), the elaborate drainage system, the sophisticated multi-storeyed buildings with the magnificent wall-paintings, furniture and vessels, show its great development and prosperity. The various imported objects found in the buildings indicate the wide network of its external relations. Akrotiri was in contact with Crete but also communicated with the Greek Mainland, the Dodecanese, Cyprus, Syria and Egypt. The town's life came to an abrupt end in the last quarter of the 17th century B.C. when the inhabitants were obliged to abandon it as a result of severe earthquakes. The erruption followed. The volcanic materials covered the entire island and the town itself. These materials, however, have protected up to date the buildings and their contents, just like in Pompei.

        Comment


        • #5
          Black Sea Flood Hypothesis

          By examining the various fragments of evidence I am aware of regarding this topic, I am convinced it is far from a dead issue. There are, however, a few extremely passionat fanatics who insist the senario put forth by Ryan and Pitman has been refuted beyond question. Judge for yourself. Ryan and Pitman's book is worth reading regardless of whether the flood model hold water. It was a major eye-opener for me.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Sea_deluge_theory
          The Black Sea deluge is a hypothesized prehistoric flood that occurred when the Black Sea rapidly filled, possibly forming the basis for some Great Flood myths. The theory made headlines when it surfaced in The New York Times December 1996.

          In 1998, William Ryan and Walter Pitman, geologists from Columbia University, published evidence that a massive flood through the Bosporus occurred about 5600 BCE. Glacial meltwater had turned the Black and Caspian Seas into vast freshwater lakes, while sea levels remained lower worldwide. The fresh water lakes were emptying their waters into the Aegean. As the glaciers retreated, rivers emptying into the Black Sea reduced their volume and found new outlets in the North Sea, and the water levels lowered through evaporation. Then, about 5600 BC, as sea levels rose, Ryan and Pitman suggest, the rising Mediterranean finally spilled over a rocky sill at the Bosphorus. The event flooded 60,000 mile² (155,000 km²) of land and significantly expanded the Black Sea shoreline to the north and east. Ryan and Pitman wrote:
          Black Sea today and in 5600 BCE according to Ryan's and Pitman's theories
          Enlarge
          Black Sea today and in 5600 BCE according to Ryan's and Pitman's theories

          "Ten cubic miles [42 km³] of water poured through each day, two hundred times what flows over Niagara Falls. …The Bosporus flume roared and surged at full spate for at least three hundred days."

          Although neolithic agriculture had by that time already reached the Pannonian plain, the authors link its spread with people displaced by the postulated flood. It has been suggested that the survivors' memory of this event was the source of the legend for Noah's Flood. Initial resistance came from those who looked for more detailed correlation with the Book of Genesis (see Noah's Ark and Mount Ararat) or preferred as prototype the similar marine ingression that formed the Persian Gulf in the lower Tigris and Euphrates valley.

          In a series of expeditions, a team of marine archeologists led by Robert Ballard identified what appeared to be ancient shorelines, freshwater snail shells, drowned river valleys, tool-worked timbers, and man-made structures in roughly 300 feet (100 m) of water off the Black Sea coast of modern Turkey. Radiocarbon dating of freshwater mollusk remains indicated an age of about 7,000 years.

          Comment


          • #6
            535 CE: Mother of Krakatoa

            Keys's book is worth reading simply for the crash course in human migrations in the 6th Century. He really does go from the anatomy of a flea to the downfall of empires.
            Catastrophe: An Investigation into the Origins of the Modern World
            Amazon.com
            Everybody knows the Dark Ages weren't really dark, right? Not so fast, counters archaeological journalist David Keys, maybe it's more than just a slightly judgmental metaphor. His book Catastrophe: An Investigation into the Origins of the Modern World, based on years of careful research spanning five continents, argues that sometime in A.D. 535, a worldwide disaster struck and uprooted nearly every culture then extant. Given contemporary reports of the sun being blotted out or weakened for nearly a year and a half, followed by famine, drought, and plague, it's hard not to think that so many reports from all over the world must be related.

            Keys shows a keen grasp of both the written historical record from Asia, Africa, and Europe and the archaeological evidence from the Americas, and tells many tales of great havoc destroying old empires and laying the ground for new ones. Rome may have fallen, but Spain, England, and France rose in its place, while farther east, Japan and China each unified and gained strength after the chaos. Could an enormous volcanic eruption have had such influence on the world as a whole, and could the same thing happen tomorrow? Catastrophe makes no predictions, but leaves the reader with a new sense of history, nature, and destiny. --Rob Lightner

            From Publishers Weekly
            In Keys's startling thesis, a global climatic catastrophe in A.D. 535-536--a massive volcanic eruption sundering Java from Sumatra--was the decisive factor that transformed the ancient world into the medieval, or as Keys prefers to call it, the "proto-modern" era. Ancient chroniclers record a disaster in that year that blotted out the sun for months, causing famine, droughts, floods, storms and bubonic plague. Keys, archeology correspondent for the London Independent, uses tree-ring samples, analysis of lake deposits and ice cores, as well as contemporaneous documents to bolster his highly speculative thesis. In his scenario, the ensuing disasters precipitated the disintegration of the Roman Empire, beset by Slav, Mongol and Persian invaders propelled from their disrupted homelands. The sixth-century collapse of Arabian civilization under pressure from floods and crop failure created an apocalyptic atmosphere that set the stage for Islam's emergence. In Mexico, Keys claims, the cataclysm triggered the collapse of a Mesoamerican empire; in Anatolia, it helped the Turks establish what eventually became the Ottoman Empire; while in China, the ensuing half-century of political and social chaos led to a reunified nation. Huge claims call for big proof, yet Keys reassembles history to fit his thesis, relentlessly overworking its explanatory power in a manner reminiscent of Velikovsky's theory that a comet collided with the earth in 1500 B.C. Readers anxious about future cataclysms will take note of Keys's roundup of trouble spots that could conceivably wreak planetary havoc. Maps. BOMC and QPBC selections. (Feb.)
            Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
            There's a bunch of info here:
            http://www.hbci.com/~wenonah/history/535ad.htm
            Last edited by Hetware; 24 January 2006, 12:32 PM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Just reading the stuff presented here, it looks like the facts are being bent to fit the conclusion. The western Roman Empire was long gone by AD 535. The eastern empire (they considered themselves to be the continuation of the Roman Empire) was at that time entering its own period of glory under Justinian.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Calypte
                Just reading the stuff presented here, it looks like the facts are being bent to fit the conclusion. The western Roman Empire was long gone by AD 535. The eastern empire (they considered themselves to be the continuation of the Roman Empire) was at that time entering its own period of glory under Justinian.
                I believe you should read the book. Keys does not assert that this lead to the fall of the Western Empire. He does however discuss at lenght events in the Eastern Empire as well as the rise of the modern European order.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Some say the Heathen Goths destroyed it. Others claim it was destroyed by Christian zealots.

                  http://www.turkishclass.com/picture_1303

                  http://www.google.com/search?q=ephesus+Library+celcius

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Glacial Lake Agassiz began to drain after a massive ice damn collapsed ~8200 yrs ago, causing the north, irish, and baltic sea basins to fill with water.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Hetware
                      The last I looked into this, the estimates for the strenght of the eruption of Thera were higher than what is reported here. Charles Pellegrino's Unearthing Atlantis (1991) is well worth reading. Dr. Pellegrino is a scientist qualified to investigate such events as the eruption of Thera. Whether his suggestions will all survive further analysis remains to be seen. Sadly, this topic does not seem to get the attention I believe it deserves.

                      if you want to talk atlantis go where it started tristan by plato
                      and you explain to me how he knew about the atlantic and the americas and then the pacific
                      then we can talk atlantis it wasnt any damm island in the mediteranian

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        my stupid christain brothers

                        my stupid christain brothers are responsible for the burning of alexandria

                        if that didnt burn we would have alot of the anchient knowledge too bad

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          meteors..

                          http://fullcoverage.yahoo.com/s/spac...Z1BHNlYwMxNzAw

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            8,200 years bp........

                            Originally posted by Cromag
                            Glacial Lake Agassiz began to drain after a massive ice damn collapsed ~8200 yrs ago, causing the north, irish, and baltic sea basins to fill with water.
                            The separation by flood of the Isle of Wight from mainland Britain in a (presumably pre-Keltic) local oral transmission is firmly (!) given as 8000 years ago.
                            Just a a little later comes the estimated Noah-named Black Sea fill of 7000 years bp.
                            The damn warming continues ?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              yes the melting continues.

                              http://www.clearlight.com/~mhieb/WVF.../ice_ages.html

                              Comment

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