40.000 Years Ago, or thereabouts

11 Jul 2020

Now for the big scruncher. A bit of old hat perhaps but it paints a catastrophic picture in the period when the Neanderthals disappeared. See for example https://phys.org/news/2011-05-neanderthals-died-earlier-believed.html ... the Neanderthals died out nearer 39,000 years ago even though some fossil bones have been dated as young as 29,000 years ago. This new finding revolves around a refined method of C14 carbon dating and implies that Neanderthals and Modern humans never interacted with each other in Europe. So, we have a study finding based on modern C14 methodology where the proponates of the two groups mixing have to rely on an older C14 methodology that has been found wanting - past its sell by date. The point to bear in mind is that Neanderthals and their artefacts are always found below those of modern humans - in Europe at least. The fact that Neanderthal genes are still carried by modern Europeans and others has led scientists to think the obvious - contact between the two groups, and genetic mixing, took place. On the other hand it does not have to have occurred in Europe - or even in western Asia. Logic would indicate another factor might be relevant - a bottleneck. In other words, large numbers of Neanderthals may have died out in a catastrophic event at 39,000 years ago, along with a mass die off of animals, and the survivors, mixed with other survivors to create modern humans. After all, mammoths did not die out 40,000 years ago, but continued, after a decimation of their population, until the end of the Pleistocene. A small population survived even longer on some Arctic islands, deep into the Holocene. The new study confirms the lack of Neanderhal fossils younger than 39,000 years ago, in any region of western Eurasia. It is thought Denisovans were extent in eastern Eurasia - and they also disappeared about the same point in time.

So what did wipe out the Neanderthals? At www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101006094057.htm ... we are told volcanoes wiped out the Neanderthals. Big time volcanoes. Massive eruptions, The researchers, from Russia, describe the disappearance as abrupt - on a geological time scale (which might not exactly be as abrupt as in an instant). The geological time scale is uniformitarian - a gradual process of change. Hence, the time scale is fluid. It occurred  contemporary with powerful volcanic activity in western Eurasia - not just in Europe but further afield. Evidence for the catastrophe comes from the Mezmaiskaya cave in the Caucasus (southern Russia), a site rich in Neanderthal bones and artifacts. Recent excavations, back in 2010, revealed two distinct volcanic ash layers, and Neanderthals never survived the last layer. The geology also shows these volcanic eruptions were followed by major climate change. Sediments from the cave reveal a reduction in pollen concentration as if the volcanism had cooled the global climate. The ash layers correspond chronologically with the Campanian Ignimbrite so called super eruption, which occurred roughly 40,000 years ago, in Italy. It would sem that eruptions were taking place at the same point in time in the Caucasus region - and presumably elsewhere around the world. It coincided with a massive die off of humans and animals, we are told.

The Campanian Ignimbrite eruption occurred in the central Mediterranean. It has been attributed  to a 13 km wide caldera, the Phlegraean Fields, located 12 miles west of Vesuvius (therefore not far from Naples). The event coincides with a number of global events and local phenomena. Or, that is, what is currently known about. These include widespread discontinuities in the archaeological sequences, climate oscillations and bio cultural modifications. It marks the transition from the Middle to the Late Palaeolithic periods. It also marks Heinrich event 4 - a prolonged cooling period of climate (somewhat akin to the Younger Dryas event, Heinrich event 1). It also coincides with the Laschamp event - a magnetic reversal. Sediment cores from the Black Sea show that during the Laschamp event compass needles would have pointed south rather than north.

   ... At www.livescience.com/31560-ancient-super-eruption-larger.html ... back in 2012 we were told the eruption was even bigger than first thought as the caldera in Italy was the largest volcano in Europe over the last 200,000 years, and affected the whole of central and eastern Mediterranean regions. . It was responsible for the Campanian Ignimbrite.

See also www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4756320/ ... 'Recontructing the plinian and co-ignimbrite series of large volcanic eruptions; a novel approach for the Campanian Ignimbrite' - which includes a lot of eruption modelling. What all these articles have in common is that they assume the eruption was solely as a result of the African plate hitting against the Eurasian plate system. As a result of that assumption they do not bother to look any further for the vector - what set the volcanism in motion. Bill Napier has suggested a massive comet, a centaur object from beyond the orbit of Jupiter, first entered the inner solar system around 40,000 years ago, and set in motion a series of catastrophic events. That is one theory - but the idea of impacts or atmospheric airbursts is not part of research as far as Heinrich 4 is concerned, even though it is increasingly likely that such activity was involved in Heinrich 1.

The same can be said of the full article available to download at https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0065839 ... 'The Campanian Ignimbrite Eruption; new data on volcanic ash dispersal and its protracted effect on human evolution' ... where we learn that thick depoists of tephra have recently been found in Romania. The eruption, as previously noted, coincided with Heinrich 4 and a stadial in  Greenland (stadial 9) associated with the enhanced sea ice in the North Atlantic and cold conditions across Europe. There were in fact two stadials, 8 and 9, and these appear to coincide with the two ash layers in Mezmaiskaya cave in the Caucasus. There was also a southwards shift of the polar front which persisted over a long period of time. The relevance of south shifting polar fronts can be read and digested by reading HH Lamb's work from 50 years ago, 'Climate, History, and the Modern World'.