Catastrophism news

back to 536AD

I've already done this story but it has popped up again as New Scientist is offering it as a free to download article in order to entice new contributors. The link was sent in by Chris Phillips - go to ... published in New Scientist issue 2952, 20th January 2014. It seems the article has now gone back into a paywall.

Peter M James, global cataclysms

Peter M James second article at (March issue, page 87-98) is interesting but we need to bear in mind he is not an archaeologist or a historian, which explains why he gets the Hyksos mixed up with end of LB and end of the Old Kingdom. SIS has published lots of articles on Holocene neo-catastrophism so the subject is well known to most readers and they will be able to take him to task for this and that, I'm sure. However, he is a geologist and is at his best in that subject matter.

Why Egypt Fell

The link below is to a video of a programme on Discovery Channel some time ago. It relates the story of archaeologists seeking to understand why the Old Kingdom fell - and why eighty per cent of villages in the delta ceased to exist (suddenly and dramatically). Of course, if you look at the event from a terrestrial point of view you will reach a terrestrialised answer. In the case of the film makers the Old Kingdom of Egypt and the Akkadian Empire in what is now Iraq, fell as a result of drought.

Gobekli Tepe

George Howard has uploaded an interesting video at ... which is worth watching. When did civilisation really begin?

Mons Olympus and the three volcanoes on Mars

Emilio Spedicato is a well known figure in catastrophist circles and over the years has come up with some very good ideas. Over at ... he has come out with an alternative to the Bauval and Gilbert interpretation of the lay-out of the three main pyramids in Egypt. Apparently, La Violette and others have claimed they do not exactly match the alignment of the three stars in the Belt of Orion and therefore our friend and his associates looked around for an alternative astronomical phenomenon.

Yucatan Pop

At ... evidence of a massive tsunami wave that struck the eastern side of the Yucatan Peninsular has been found. It is claimed it occurred 1500 years ago, at some point after AD450. It could have been caused by an underwater land slip, a Caribbean volcano, an earthquake, or a meteorite strike. No chance of knowing. Even the date is wide open as it is presently dated somewhere between 450 and 900AD. It requires a more secure dating analysis, using C14 on sediments from above and below the tsunami level.

The year of 365AD

This is the year of a big earthquake in the central Mediterranean area, an earthquake that produced a tsunami wave that caused widespread destruction as far afield as Cyprus and Egypt. It is described graphically by the Roman historian Ammianus Marcellus - see for starters

under the water hazels

At ... in February of last year the spring storms near Penzance in Cornwall uncovered tree stumps from between 4000 and 6000 years ago (C14 dates). There are forest beds west of Penzance, at Wherry Town, and to the east of Penzance, at Chyandour. They were therefore submerged either at the 3000BC or the 2300BC events (it would seem the more likely). In addition there are the remains of submerged woodland in Mounts Bay and at Portreath Beach, and also in Daymer Bay.

another submerged forest, this time in the Wash

The Wash is a geographical feature in case anyone reading this is not aware of UK topography. It adjoins the Fens, a vast tract of marshland (now drained) on the North Sea coast, and when Dogger Land was in existence this whole area would have been at a higher elevation to the sea level of the period. There is plenty of evidence, geologically, that the Fens, during most of the Holocene, were high and dry.

Catastrophe at 6150BC

At ... which is the well known Storegga tsunami that was triggered by a submarine landslide in the upper portion of the North Sea, off the coast of Norway. Sand deposits overlie the remains of coastal settlements in both Norway and Scotland. The event is dated at 8150 years ago - right on the button of an event that had global repercussions in climate change and the drowning of Sunda Land in SE Asia.