Hekla's Tsunami and Atlantis

And if yesterdays posting were not enough we have this item which even gives us a firm description of the 1159 event. It confirms the existence of a major tsunami on the west coast of Scotland.

This same tsunami traveled south parallel to the Iberian coast and hit the Moroccan Coast squarely. Look at a map. Much of this energy would also funnel toward the strait of Gibraltar, even if only as tangential effect. An additional funneling effect would cause a massive energy release into the mouth of the river which is naturally funneled.

Quite honestly, this was one dumb place to build a sea level city. It is quite likely that the city was built on a large delta island and after the tsunami; the shallow coastal plain was converted into a mud plain which is still intact.

This tells us the size of the event, and a casual look at a map immediately confirms our worst fears regarding the particular river mouth.

What I find most astounding, having followed the debate on Atlantis since I was a teenager, is the fact that the report of Plato is completely trustworthy. I read way too many attempts to relocate and modify by questioning the accuracy of the report. In retrospect, scholars should have asked only two questions. Were the scholars of Egypt five hundred years earlier capable of recording momentous recent history and was Plato smart enough to get it right? Of course they were.

The big news is that Athens was well founded well back in the Bronze Age if it could sustain a war against Atlantis just before 1159 BCE. This also puts the Homeric literature back before Atlantis rose to dominate its culture and also explains its survival.

I personally anticipate that we have located less than ten percent of all urban centers associated with the Bronze Age in both Europe and the Middle East. This has severely clouded our understanding of the actual robustness of this world. And my earlier postings have made clear that the population of the Americas was equally robust.

I also forget that I have at least partially appreciated the depth of the European Bronze Age for over twenty years and have anticipated many of the discoveries as they emerge. Why do you think I jumped on terra preta? I knew they had to be there. My readers are unlikely to have any of this background.

First though, the manufacture of bronze requires a large central economic base to properly sustain itself as compared to iron. This existed for over two thousand years and finally ended in 1159 BCE. The value of copper was that of currency during this era. Homer makes that very clear as does the fact that ore grading a mere eight pounds to the ton was mined in Ireland. That alone explains the mining of ores grading a hundred pounds or more to the ton in Lake Superior country and in Bolivia. And yes, the infrastructure is emerging compared to what was to hand twenty years ago. Archeology is slowly catching up.

Atlantis was the natural choke point for this trade and industry as the same area was for the conquistadors. A large city there, drawing adventurers from both the northern European littoral and the Mediterranean littoral could organize fleets to dominate both at will. The historical evidence suggests that they were locked into a battle to cease control of Egypt in 1159 BCE and most certainly would ultimately have won as did the Romans a thousand years later.

The foundations have now been located and they match the description of Plato. Read yesterday’s post.

I personally admit that I never dreamed this city state could be other than as an exaggeration of something else. And the history described seemed fabulous in light of the accepted backwardness. I also was Greek centric in my thinking as I had to be. To find it sitting in the mud right were Plato said it was with floor plan intact is a miracle.

Now we need to convince the historians of the historicity of the Bronze Age Atlantic trading empire of Atlantis with a history that was at least a thousand years old in 1159 BCE. It was the collapse of the Bronze Age itself that allowed no successor state to take its place, The Atlantic littoral fell into a deep sleep that only truly ended with the Romans.

It is also heartbreaking to know that two thousand years of the histories of many coterminous organized nations is totally lost.

21 May 2006

The impact of a volcanic eruption to prehistoric Scotland

Mount Hekla is one of Iceland's most active volcanoes. It was known to islanders as the "Gateway to Hell" - with good reason. When it erupted in 1159 BCE the effects were felt hundreds of miles away. In Scotland the whole of the west coast was devastated. A sulphuric cloud of ash and acid rain fell on the land, a tsunami raced across the sea and the sun was hidden for years. Such an event immediately changed the lives of the inhabitants of what we now call Scotland and may well have permanently changed their way of life.

Alistair Moffat, author of Before Scotland, has no doubt that when Hekla blew, the west coast inhabitants must have heard the boom and panicked. Moffat thinks they would have been in no doubt that the god's were angry. The eruption would have been heralded with ferocious electrical storms and the weather would have changed. These people, who we think lived by gathering food from the sea, would have seen their livelihood disappear. The sea changed, crops would have failed and afterwards, for a generation, there was no summer. "We know it happened because of dendochronology. By measuring tree rings in ancient trees you can see that it was a climate-changing event. It shows that for 18 to 20 years there were no summers."

Faced with this, Moffat maintains that the people would have had little choice. They must have moved, quitting the populous west coast and moving east."My own view is that people moved to avoid the anger of the gods," says Moffat. This sudden influx of people moving east resulted in, according to Moffat, a change from a hunter-gatherer society into a much more warrior-like one. "Archaeological records support this. There were more swords and less ploughshares found – a crude way of putting it. The decorative jewellery [from this time] too speaks of a warrior elite." Moffat believes that the pressure for land led to the creation of what he describes as a "iron warlords" – people who won their honour and wealth through battle and protecting land.

Where do they get this? Anyone on the west side died unless they were extraordinarily lucky and the restoration of agriculture was at least a generation away. The east coast was spared but swiftly impoverished which explains a return to barbarism. And hunter gatherers do not use plowshares.

It is possible that people's religious lives also changed in reaction to the cataclysmic events after Hekla. Moffat believes that people in prehistoric Scotland started to worship by water hoping to propitiate the gods who could command the seas. This worship took the form of placing expensive goods in watery or boggy places. "These objects were items of value," explains Moffat. It's like us throwing bars of gold into the water." Nowhere is this more evident than in Duddingston Loch, Edinburgh. In 1778 a massive find of 53 late Bronze Age weapons were dredged from the loch. Moffat believes they were put there during a ritual. And who can blame these people for trying to get on the right side of these gods whom they thought had such power.

Source: The Scotsman (18 May 2006)

I hate to be hard on anyone but the only reason 53 swords end up in a loch is that the damn boat sank.

The Baltic was surely uninhabitable after this and that explains the sharp movement south of Nordic peoples about this time.

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