Ancient Stone Carvings Tell The Story Of When The Earth Was Hit By A Comet 13,000 Years Ago
Ancient stone carvings found at an archaeological site in southern Turkey tell the story of when the Earth was hit by a comet and the planet was plunged into a mini ice age roughly 13,000 years ago. Known as the Vulture Stone, the stone pillar suggests that the planet was struck by comet fragments.
The stone carvings are located at the Gobekli Tepe site, which is believed to have once been an ancient observatory. Here, there is an illustration of a headless man which stands to represent a great disaster and much loss of life following the event. Other animal carvings, which were interpreted as astronomical symbols, were useful in pinpointing the event to around 10,950 BC. By comparing these results with an analysis performed on a Greenland ice core, the time period is exact. It turns out that the cataclysm ushered in a cold spell that lasted for 1,000 years.
“It appears Gobekli Tepe was, among other things, an observatory for monitoring the night sky,” said lead researcher Martin Sweatman, from the University of Edinburgh’s School of Engineering.
“One of its pillars seems to have served as a memorial to this devastating event – probably the worst day in history since the end of the Ice Age.”
These stone carvings have remained an important reminder for the people of the observatory for the following millennia, indicating that the event had long-lasting impacts on the society. Some of the symbols found on the stone carvings indicate that they ancient astronomers even observed a shift in the planet’s rotational axis. It also indicates that the Earth periodically goes through sections of space where comet fragments are more numerous and thus, comet impacts more likely.