First Evidence Meteor Impact
Ended The Bronze Age

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.
From Alfred Lehmberg
Immanuel Velikovski...
Yeah, I hear some of your internal dialogue, you're wrong -- shut up. I've heard testimony from four Ph.D. college professors (hard sciences -- astronomy, chemistry, physics) on what they thought of I.V. ...
...Two of the professors said he was "a great thinker ahead of his time", and the other two said he was "crazy". When questioned further, which two, do you suppose, had never read his books? Guess wrong, friends and neighbors, and be relegated to *Reality* TV re-runs...
Here are the two main Velikovski detractors:
Those that have never read, but repeat some tired, old, taken-out-of-context -- strange sounding... nearly impossible to prove or disprove item that *someone else* told them about. or. The worst type, the CSICOP clan sociopaths that have a big axe to grind for maintaining their status quo in a smarmy bid to stay in a sunny spot at the funding trough!
Mainstream reaction to his work is the most repugnant because the mainstream knows better. When the Catholics persecuted Galileo for his threatening effrontery at least they rationalized a vengeful God as their excuse. All the CSICOP boys have is a lack of desire to rethink their own work, and a manufactured, petulant, and unreasonable embarrassment at being caught wrong.
The books to read are "Worlds in Collision," and " Earth in Upheaval, " These are worth reading if for no other reason than that they are the subject of such hateful derision and vituperation by the establishment! Recent findings seem to further demonstrate the validity of these books...
The Alien View says "read specifically what you are told not to read." The stronger the warning to avoid, the more your investigation should be drawn. Velikovski, by the way, seems better referenced than his detractors, which are all proclamation and limited imagination, and who all campaigned, heroically, to keep his work from even seeing the light of DAY!
Immanuel Velikovski... right again?
What else might he be right about...


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