In the south of Turkey, in the west of Iraq, in the north of Saudi Arabia and in the north-east of Egypt there is a country called Syria. This country hosts a site of great historical, cultural and environmental significance. This site was one of the first known human settlements on earth: Abu Hureyra. A report by UC Santa Barbara researchers has shown that this site may very well have been annihilated by the cosmic impact of a well-placed comet.
By studying the masses of materials recovered from Abu Hureyra, the researchers discovered meltglass. They found the meltglass alone, they found the meltglass sketched on the building material and animal bones. They found meltglass in abundance. They call it “AH Glass” (Abu Hureyra glass).
The appearance of molten materials is not uncommon in archaeological excavations. The composition of this meltglass was such that no common means could justify it. This meltglass could not have been produced by lightning, nor by a man-made fire, nor by a volcano.
In Abu Hureyra’s meltglass it contained minerals such as corundum, mullite and suessite. Suessite has been found relatively commonly in meteorites discovered by man in modern times. Teresstrial suessite is quite rare that this mineral is more likely to have originated on a shattered comet, hit Abu Hureyra in a meteorite and melted in the glass that these researchers reported on the site.
The melting points of the minerals found in the meltglass on the site of this discovery were around 2044 ° C, 1840 ° C and 2300 ° C – very, very hot. Due to the composition of these findings and the probabilities of formation through any type of medium, the results of the study were that this site was affected by the impact of fragments of material that fell after a comet broke about 12,800 years ago.
“The formation of AH glass seems to require the occurrence of an intense and sudden high temperature event similar to known impacts that produce tektite. Collective evidence is best explained by the hypothesis that at least one high-energy, high-temperature hyper-speed event occurred near Abu Hureyra ~ 12,800 years ago, most likely an air flow likely accompanied by impacts on the ground by fragments of impact. ”
This isn’t the only place where this type of fragment hits. Citing numerous studies conducted in recent decades, researchers in this paper have suggested the possibility of “multiple explosions / impacts on at least four continents”. The connection of these points could allow us to connect points between the impact sites, giving us a kind of photograph of a single moment in time, to the point where humans stopped relying exclusively on hunting and gathering and started to cultivate the earth.
Previous research on the potential climate change / cosmic impact (of the type suggested by this new research) for this period in human history, with “multi-continental explosions, probably caused by the flow of debris from a short run comet”.
This research has suggested that this peppering of our planet with pieces of comets may have been the event (or series of events) that pushed humans into their agricultural era. This document indicates researchers Moore and Kennett, who speculated that “the climate changes triggered by the impact led the inhabitants of the prehistoric village in Abu Hureyra to go from hunting / harvesting to cultivation, indicative of early agriculture, one of the most significant in human history. ”
For more information, take a look at two research papers to get started. The previous article is Moore, A. & Kennett, D. Cosmic impact, Younger Dryas, Abu Hureyra and the beginning of agriculture in western Asia. Eurasian prehist 10, 57–66 (2013).
The most recent document is Moore, A.M.T., Kennett, J.P., Napier, W.M. et al. Cosmic impact tests in Abu Hureyra, Syria at the beginning of the young Dryas (~ 12.8 ka): high temperature melting at> 2200 ° C. Sci Rep 10, 4185 (2020). Find this document with DOI: 0.1038 / s41598-020-60867-w – it’s an interesting read!
NOTE: Thanks to the completion of the Taqba dam (Euphrates dam) in 1973, the site on which this research focuses is now under water. Without the resources collected by archaeologists before the dam was built, this research would never have been possible.
It may still be possible for divers to continue collecting material from Abu Hureyra if given the opportunity by local government officials. If you are thinking of doing this dive, please let us know!