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March 2016 Athens, Greece © 2016. ADAMANTIA (AMANDA) N. LAOUPI All rights reserved

ISBN 978-618-82502-0-8

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To the women who raised me, My maternal grandmother Nadia, Whose loving spirit always sustains me like a rock And my mother, Lily, for flooding me with her unconditional love and joyful light, all my life long

Front Cover Image Artemis Temple (from West). Brauron, Attica, Greece. Photo by Amanda Laoupi, August 2010

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Homeric Hymn XXX to Gaea “Γαῖα θεά, μῆηεπ μακάπων θνηηῶν η᾽ ἀνθπώπων, πανηπόθε, πανδώηειπα, ηελεζθόπε, πανηολέηειπα, αὐξιθαλήρ, θεπέκαππε, καλαῖρ ὥπαιζι βπύοςζα, ἕδπανον ἀθανάηος κόζμος, πολςποίκιλε κούπη, ἣ λοσίαιρ ὠδῖζι κύειρ καππὸν πολςειδῆ, ἀιδία, πολύζεπηε, βαθύζηεπν᾽, ὀλβιόμοιπε, ἡδςπνόοιρ σαίποςζα σλόαιρ πολςανθέζι δαῖμον, ὀμβποσαπήρ, πεπὶ ἣν κόζμορ πολςδαίδαλορ ἄζηπων εἱλεῖηαι θύζει ἀενάωι καὶ ῥεύμαζι δεινοῖρ. ἀλλά, μάκαιπα θεά, καπποὺρ αὔξοιρ πολςγηθεῖρ εὐμενὲρ ἦηοπ ἔσοςζα, † ζὺν ὀλβίοιζιν † ἐν ὥπαιρ”

English translation by Evelyn-White "To Gaia (Earth) the Mother of All. I will sing of well-founded Gaia (Earth), mother of all, eldest of all beings. She feeds all the creatures that are in the worlds, all that go upon the goodly land, and all that are in the paths of the seas, and all that fly: all these are fed of her store. Through you, O queen, men are blessed in their children and blessed in their harvests, and to you it belongs to give means of life to mortal men and to take it away. Happy is the man whom you delight to honour! He has all things abundantly: his fruitful land is laden with corn, his pastures are covered with cattle, and his house is filled with good things. Such men rule orderly in their cities of fair women: great riches and wealth follow them: their sons exult with everfresh delight, and their daughters in flower-laden bands play and skip merrily over the soft flowers of the field. Thus is it with those whom you honour O holy goddess (semne thea), bountiful spirit (aphthone daimon). Hail, Mother of the gods (theon mater), wife of starry Ouranos (Heaven); freely bestow upon me for this my song substance that cheers the heart!"

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1. From Environmental to Disaster Archaeology 1.1 The systematic approach of Culture and Nature 1.2 The concept of niche and hierarchy: Levels of complexity 1.3 The many landscapes of the polis 1.4 Life-cycle Analysis (LCA) of urban landscapes 1.5 Carrying Capacity and Ecological Footprint Analysis 1.6 Coping Capacity: Adaptive Processes 1.7 Vulnerability, Disaster, Collapse 1.8 The socio-cultural profile of hazards in the ancient Greek mentality

13 14 17 21 23 24 26 28

2. Disaster Archaeology: a newborn field of Disaster Studies


3. Methodology 3.1 Issues of terminology 3.2 What kind of hazard or disaster? 3.3 Disaster Assessment of past catastrophic events 3.4. Indices, markers & proxy data of past disasters in archaeoenvironments 4. Compilation of mega-archaeodisasters 4.1 Volcanic Eruptions 4.2 Earthquakes 4.3. Tsunami 4.4 Complex geodynamics and hydrogeological hazards (landslides, high sedimentation rates, alluvial deposits- fans & deltas, subsidence, soil liquefaction) 4.5 Cyclones, tornadoes, hurricanes & storms 4.6 Famines 4.7 Flooding and other water-induced hazards 4.8 Climatic Changes 4.9 Biohazards 4.10 Space Hazards

46 59 61 62

69 73 75

79 82 84 88 97 100 105

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Archaeodisasters 4.11 Human-induced phenomena (urbanism, deforestation, pollution, agriculture, other human-induced deposition of erosion products, wildfires) 4.12 Mass extinctions 4.13 The Toba event 4.14 The disappearance of Neanderthals 4.15 The Quaternary extinction events: The Pleistocene or Ice Age Extinction and The Holocene or Recent Extinction

108 112 116 118 129

5. The Impact of archaeodisasters on human evolution and civilization 5.1 Cosmic Impact 5.2 Volcanic landscapes, Hominization and human civilizations 5.3 Climatic Changes

132 133 155 162

6. Archaeodisasters and human psyche 6.1 Bibliotheca Catastrophica 200 6.2 Disaster Mythology and Symbolism 213 6.2.1 Hephaistos, Athena and their Sanskrit parallels 214 6.2.2 The Greek legend of Phaethon and its Sanskrit parallels 233 6.2.3 Medusa Effect and Megalithic Monuments as comet observatories. As above, so below 239 6.3 Archaeodisasters in Arts 241 6.4 Ages of Humanity, Utopian and Eschatological Perspectives 250 6.5 Disaster Psychology 267 7. Disaster Anthropology 7.1 They were all humans.. Witnesses, survivors and victims of archaeodisasters 7.2 ‗Angry Earth‘, adaptation process and modern perspectives

272 280

8. Disaster Sociology and beyond 8.1 Chaos and Society 8.2 More on Disasters in Nature and Society

282 286

9. Disasters: a control weapon?


10. Disaster Economics


11. Heritage Management and New Technologies


Closing thoughts






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Foreword Dr Amanda Laoupi will have a place in the annals of social science as one of the rare creators of a branch of learning, that of Disaster Archaeology. Almost from its beginnings, archaeology has eschewed sudden, violent natural events from the range of interpretations it deemed fit for its findings. Destruction, however immense and farreaching, was preferably attributed to human causes, i.e. wars. If ancient texts pointed at large, natural catastrophic events, they were generally dismissed as scientifically irrelevant poetic exaggeration. So strong was academic intimidation, for instance, that even as late as the 1980s, in a field as exposed to seismic turmoil as the Middle-East, archaeologists hesitated to attribute destruction layers to something as aleatory as earthquakes, for fear of having their reasonings exposed as "unscientific." Yet, once archaeologists had begun to open their eyes and to free themselves from old biases, when the outlook on Earth‘s history changed, mostly in the wake of the discovery of the K/T boundary iridium layer, the impact of Shoemaker-Levy, increased attention turned to asteroids in order to keep scientists and equipments busy after the Cold War, it appeared even to prudent archaeologists that nothing seemed to have gone smoothly for very long, and the archaeological record is now replete with signs of sudden, wide-ranging, far-reaching destructive events, whatever period of human development one is considering. Dr Amanda Laoupi, among the first, has had the merit to recognize the emergence of a new field, and has turned her full attention to a comprehensive gathering and consideration of the rapidly accumulating evidence and to its expected corollary: the fact that the sacred cows of archaeology, so long and jealously protected, the slow and regular parallel accretions of time and debris-layers, would necessarily be put into question. Archaeologists who are not given to dispute over time scales are rare and one of the prominent aspects of Dr Laoupi‘s extensive study, which is perhaps the most unique and voluminous now extant, is its hundreds of references to temporal quarrels, besides its inclusive subject matter. It is not difficult, therefore, to signal the work that follows as one to be treated respectfully, attentively, and with the highest of expectations. Alfred de Grazia* * deceased

Chevalier de la Légion d‘Honneur Professor, Political Science New York University, New York, USA November 17, 2012

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Preface Anyone from every discipline should be interested in this new, innovative and exciting book. Within the dynamical frame of our planet every form of life has been undergone the consequences of change. Change of any kind and intensity. The study of human past is inseparable from the living environment. The various disciplines that study the variable environment established the post industrial specialization, albeit necessary though not efficient for the contemplation of natural changes as a whole. Here comes this new book, enhancing the interdisciplinarity and coining strongly the most needed gnostic subject of Disaster Archaeology. Archaeology has changed the strategy of research with the advent of new technologies and physical sciences applied to material and intagible culture, becoming an apparently fully interdisciplinary discipline. Amongst the many dimensions of archaeological research the new combined integrated subject is presented here by Dr Amanda Laoupi with the Disaster Archaeology. A plethora of individual papers are dealing with archaeology, the past human development, the cultural evolution, the anthropological interpretation of archaeology, but the hidden, elusive and/or unknown reasoning of cultural assets have been decisively aided by the application of natural sciences. The dating, provenance, characterization etc of geological and of archaeological origin materials, in many environments (from the costal to valley fields, from lagoons to submerged areas, from volcanic eruptions to earthquakes, from cometary and meteoritic impacts to atmospheric changes), determine important events associated with living beings. Humanity has experienced unprecedented each time environmental effects, all of which have a recurrent nature. The story of humanity deals with variations, extreme phenomena, crises, disasters, collapses, but peaceful intervals, though of short duration, progress and increased know how is linked to the chaotic trend. This book by Amanda Laoupi establishes and shows up this promising field and describes established methods, goals and techniques that cover equally scientific topics of the past, present and future societies. The chapters deal with a wide coverage of topics, and give a systematic ordering that flows nicely and tie well cultural evolution with natural phenomena, footprint and other evidence, the adaptive processes and socio-economic profile in particular in ancient Greece. Amanda promotes the newborn field of environmental studies for Disaster Archaeology breaking down the terms and making easy to understand the vocabulary and its connection to the meanings employed. She numbers all possible agents that coin disastrous effects of terrestrial and astronomical origin and discusses the Archaeodisasters‘ impact on human evolution and civilization. To achieve this she brings into the arguments art, symbolism, mythology apart of course of archaeological evidence. Several pieces referred to in the book have been approached partially and fragmentarily by authors in the past looking at terrestrial and extraterrestrial factors, and cohesion was lacking. This is what the book tries to achieve. This field can not easily be covered in a book but need many books. However, this book brings up all Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters significant agents and ideas that mark well the intent that emerges as a prothetic conscience from Amanda‘s good knowledge of the multiscientific field The question posed by the author of disaster being a control weapon and the chaotic behaviour of all these factors involved recalls the Heraclidean words ―war is father of everthing‖ implying the action- reaction dual effect in nature that at the (quasi) end creates changes of evolution in nature. Could it be predicted? This is still an open question left with the theory of chaos. But nevertheless, the content of the book covers important issues that were scattered, disregarded or seen from a distance, and this is to my view the essence of this book, to trigger educators to introduce this interdisciplinary field into the higher education systems. Ioannis Liritzis Professor of Archaeometry - University of the Aegean Editor-in-Chief: Mediterranean Archaeology & Archaeometry Membre de Correspondance de l’Academie de Sciences, Arts et Belles Lettres de Dijon Member of the European Academy of Sciences & Arts, Saltzburg Athens, Spring Equinox, 2013 (

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Prologue ―You don't live on the Earth, you are walking through the Earth‖ ~ Rumi The unpredictable, the chaotic, the changeable, have always fascinated human mind and forged human psyche. They are, also, present in societies and civilizations since the dawn of human history. But how can we tame such a vast, multidimensional and controversial topic in a single book? Which are the criteria for the selective bibliography, made out of thousands of relevant books, papers, articles, workshops, e-sites and all kind of scientific information? Which disasters should be mentioned and why? Which aspects of disasters should be analyzed and why? This book focuses on merging all disciplines, perspectives, theories, aspects and applications of disasters in their spatio-temporal framework (archaeodisasters), into one major scientific field (Disaster Archaeology). Short presentations are given, concerning the pioneering trends, the milestones of research, breakthroughs and people whose perspectives changed the way we deal with disasters today. Disaster Archaeology as well being a science in its own right, it is also an outstanding vehicle for learning many of the common principles that unite Science. In fact, this book is a journey and a path. A journey through time and human history since Hominid lineage appeared on Earth. And a path into human body, mind, spirit and psyche, and the way they adapt (perceive, react and create) in a constantly mutable world. Disasters (from local minor changes, to severe crises, major collapses and tragic catastrophes) are not mere ‗events‘ or ‗phenomena‘. They are ‗elements‘ and ‗processes‘ of Cosmos. They are expressions of cosmic energy, both in Universe and human societies. They embrace information and vibration; they transform, rearrange and forge. They are the vital forces of Cosmos, since they are considered both as triggering mechanisms and as results of energy flow. An amazing journey, an amazing path... Amanda Laoupi Dr Archaeoenvironmentalist / Disaster Specialist Athens, November 22, 2012

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Introduction Changes, crises, disasters, collapse... This is the story of Humanity... Disaster Archaeology belongs to Environmental Education and Disaster Studies, being a pioneering and promising field with established methods, goals and techniques that cover equally scientific topics of the past, present and future societies. Disaster Archaeology was established as an autonomous scientific field in 2005 by Dr. Amanda Laoupi, at CANAH (Centre for the Assessment of Natural Hazards and Proactive Planning) – NTUA (National Technical University of Athens) and presented at Athens University (Department of Archaeology and History of Art / Faculty of Geology and Geoenvironment) and various international meetings, in the form of postgraduate seminars and interdisciplinary papers. The founder outlined the goals of Disaster Archaeology as the following: a) to define the identity, the impact, and the dynamics of hazards and disasters in relation to past human civilizations, b) to try to find and analyze the kinds, frequency and magnitude of those, that are hidden in the ‗archaeological landscapes‘, c) to search for the adaptation process in past human societies and the ‗unfamiliar landscapes‘ formed after disasters by reconstructing the natural and cultural landscapes of the past that were used and modified by humans, and, d) to deal with hazard management matters concerning the cultural heritage in modern societies. The study of DA as originally defined, refers to events, processes, and facts that happened from the boundary of Plio/Pleistocene (with the appearance of Hominids on Earth) to the beginnings of the Industrial Era, but applicable, also, to modern era events and contexts. DA, though, as an area of study goes far beyond the aftermath of big catastrophic events and the visible or ‗recognisable‘ victims. In fact, studying DA is not only about ‗scenes‘ and results; it is also about searching for hidden interactions, data, markers, indices, and processes, as well as about giving conclusions and discussion topics. Hazards and catastrophes can happen in chaotic patterns, varying in frequency, magnitude, or functional structure. They also may have several impacts on human civilization (biological, ecological, environmental, socio-economic, political, technological, geographical, and cultural results) that are not always clearly defined, even by the victims or the generations following the event. These effects could be hidden in the ‗archaeological landscapes‘, due to diverse parameters (e.g. natural phenomena that constantly change the landscape and falsify the evidence, different applied techniques and methods concerning the retrieval of information). Many ‗entities‘, for example the vulnerability of ancient societies to environmental or human-made risks and their adaptation process to the ‗unfamiliar landscapes‘ formed after disasters, are not measurable as other proxy data can be. On the other hand, when archaeologists strike a destruction level during their excavation work, they may be dealing with global environmental events and cultural fractures, economic instabilities and movement of peoples, religious revival and suppression or revolutionary regimes, despair and major death. All the above-mentioned possibilities should be simultaneously taken under consideration by a disaster archaeologist. Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters Today, we should pay closer attention to the culture of crisis/ disaster, past or present, and look at how the disaster inscribes itself on the psyche and reconfigures hyper-modern subjectivity while also examining how politics must biologically constitute itself when faced with the catastrophe that is always to come. The archaeodisasters‘ story needs to be told through the meta-optics of politics/influence, science/conviction, vulnerability/recovery and technology/nature. Disaster science therefore must be a science of the non limit-experience of the Biosphere and a science of ‗conditions‘, ranging from a mosquito‘s bite to huge debris and cataclysmic effects. From Forensic scientific fields to Earth Sciences and Humanities, from Environmental and Landscape Archaeology to Salvage and Public Archaeology, from Disaster Mythology and Astrology, to Eco-Anthropology, Disaster & Anarchist Anthropology and Behavioural Modernities, from Shock Doctrine and Black Swan Theory to Dragon Kings, Disaster Archaeology has a broaden spectrum of topics, views, practices and contributions to unfold. This book introduces Disaster Archaeology and should be viewed as a framework for influential doctrines, a doorway to intriguing perspectives and an interdisciplinary anasynthesis of cutting-edge ideas, in order to merge applied, ecological, social and behavioural sciences, socio-cultural trends, and fundamental anthropological needs.

Temple of Poseidon (from the West) – Cape Sounion, Attika, Greece. Photo by Amanda Laoupi, October 2010

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Archaeodisasters Chapter 1: From Environmental to Disaster Archaeology 1.1 The systematic approach of Culture and Nature Beginning with the basics of Environmental Archaeology (Matthews, 2005; Reitz and Shackley, 2013), ancient cultures are viewed not only as accumulation or manifestation of artifacts, but also, as ecological units, where environment (ecofacts) and humans interact constantly, as well as ‗products‘ of human behavioral processes (mentifacts). In parallel, Landscape Archaeology (Sauer, 1925, pp. 19-54; Cherry, et al., 1991; Ashmore and Knapp, 1999, pp. 1-30; Bastian and Steinhardt, 2002) diversifies the cultural from natural landscape. Cultural landscapes include: a) the possibilities and manifestations of human choices and actions, b) any ‗creations‘ of humans, c) the scenery of human actions and their socio-economic perspectives, and d) the socio-symbolic dimensions of all the above-mentioned parameters. They have specific ‗coordinates‘, they are formed within tempo and locales, incorporating the collective memory of a human group, its cultural universe (as sites of memory), its identity (in ceremonial and symbolic level), the social hierarchy, the changes in goals and motives, its needs and behaviors. These landscapes progressively turn into archaeological landscapes. But, every archaeological landscape can be considered as a ‗target of scientific analysis‘, not a methodology per se, because it reflects only one part of the puzzle (Hirsch and O‘ Hanlon, 1995; Bradley, 2000; Barbieri, 2006; Atran and Medin, 2008). Thus, how did the natural and cultural landscapes of the past interact with each other, and to what degree? The perspective of ‗human ecosystems‘ had been born. The first attempt of the author, to tame topics of cross - biological, ecological, physical and socio-cultural concepts, is dated back to the 1990‘s, in the form of a PhD thesis under the general title ―Attica of Classical Era as Human Ecosystem. The Ecophilosophy of Aristotle and various methodological issues of Environme ntal Archaeology‖ (Athens University). This attempt had firstly to confront many misconceptions, for example that cities are separate from Nature and not participating in the ecosystems‘ analysis, along with various methodological and practical issues, such as the lack of a framework within which researchers interpret empirical studies, if any. The lack of a comparative or reference framework ended when a systematic methodology had been chosen. The main target was the analysis of the Classical city-state of Attica (due to the plenteousness of archaeological and philological evidence), within the schema of its natural, rural, urban and peri-urban landscapes. The works of Aristotle and Theophrastus offered an enormous help, because these philosophers filled the methodological gap between the physical and cultural systems. As it will be discussed at length in a later section of this book, Cosmos was considered as a unified, but diverse whole, whose inseparable aspects were the dualistic pairs (Order / Chaos, Culture / Nature). A wide range of social scientists, have been interested in landscape histories, particularly archaeologists, who are compelled to read the paleoecological records. Furthermore, through the exploration of historical records, the growth and collapse of specific spatiotemporal structures may be explained, as it has been demonstrated by Tainter et al. (2003) in the case study of the Roman Empire.

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Archaeodisasters The parallel developments within all the modern scientific fields are hardly accidental. Not only are the disciplinary boundaries highly porous and open to questions, but also, we have come to recognize that the questions posed and answers posited have a very long history within the philosophical itinerary of the ancient Greek thought. The scholars of ancient Greece, especially the philosophers, had succeeded in the working of integrated philosophical schemata that allowed the understanding, analysis and anasynthesis of the mechanisms behind the Cosmos. The prolific language (terminology and linguistic flexibility), the logical argumentation and the thorough detection of common structures, functions and analogies in the planetary, physical, biological, abiotic and socio-economic systems, had opened a doorway to new concepts, challenges and perspectives in Science. This huge step was reinforced, also, by the geographical and environmental reality of Greek landscapes. Mediterranean world is composed of scores of thousand physically differentiated micro-regions, the local ecologies of which have separable identities that continually interact with each other. Their evolution and transformation had to take into account longer time frames, in particular intergenerational and historical dimensions, along with other socio-cultural parameters, such as the urban hierarchies and the shift of populations, ideas and products. Human existence holds centre place in the urban ecosystems of ancient Greece. The ideals of democracy, spiritual freedom and scientific progress were forged in the physical and cultural landscapes of eastern Mediterranean, so richly varied and contradictory. Later on, after many years of environmental and ecological studies and the establishment of a new scientific field (Disaster Archaeology by the author in 2005), the interdisciplinary research focused once again on the undisputable triad of eco-analysis: Plato, Aristotle and Theophrastus. Amongst the multidimensional parameters of analysis are the concepts of Carrying Capacity and Population Pressure, along with various categorizations within the geopolitical structures, the life-cycle analysis, the sustainable development, urban metabolism, system limits, urban flows, and the concept of niche, hierarchy and of unfamiliar, alien or hostile landscape, of Copying Capacity, Vulnerability, Disaster and Collapse. The ancient Greeks authors were fully aware of the crucial role of natural phenomena and human-induced hazards that may cause perturbations in the equilibrium of ecosystems and the life of the cities. Plato with his ideas on urban management, environmental crises and the famous disaster myth of Atlantis, Aristotle with his thoughts on social metabolism, disaster management and the Atlas of human ecosystems, along with Theophrastus with his detailed studies on ecosystems and natural equilibrium, filtrated all the preceded knowledge (mythological cycles, Homeric Epics, Pre-Socratic Philosophers, Greek Geographers and Historians) and contributed greatly to an early scientific approach to Disaster Studies, as we acknowledge it today. 1.2 The concept of niche & hierarchy: Levels of complexity Complex systems are systems composed of many heterogeneous components that interact with each other in parallel. Natural complex systems self organize spontaneously to produce global patterns of behaviour that emerge from simple rules. The link between abstract computational models and physical, chemical, and biological systems is Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters expressed through non-equilibrium thermodynamics (Prigogine, 1980). Natural open systems are self -organized by the dissipation of Energy according to the Second Law of Thermodynamics (Odum, 1983). Once conceived as a bleak process, energy dissipation is now known to create ‗dissipative structures‘ that hasten dissipation (Prigogine, 1980). In open systems, dissipative structures may appear spontaneously in hierarchies of larger and smaller spatial and temporal scales (Holling et al., 2002). They are autocatalytic, meaning that the structure they form feeds back to capture and dissipate more energy. All the same, the study of complex human ecosystems is not necessarily human-centred, but rather focuses on the whole system complex dynamics of Matter, Energy, and Information, from all temporal and spatial scales / expressions, including those that are uniquely human. The primary niche dimension may be analyzed into three major ‗coordinates‘: time, habitat (space of habitation, action and reproduction) and resources. ‗Niches‘ vary over time and form the landscapes of power, because some centres are more powerful (in population dynamics, sufficiency of resources, environmental parameters, settlements‘ organization, transportation lanes, urbanization‘s level, etc) than others. Human societies reflect environmental complexity, being ‗hierarchical‘ in their nature (Kirsch in Schiffer, 1980; Renfrew, 1984). Emerging theories of niche construction (Laland et al., 1999), ecosystem engineering (Jones et al, 1997) and gene/culture coevolution (Cavalli-Sforza and Feldman, 1981; Sterns, 1992) forged strong cognitive bonds between Ecology and Ecological Psychology (EP). The classical ecological niche is a concept that refers to the theoretical space in which a species‘ presence is limited by chemical and physical conditions and inter-specific interactions in multiple dimensions. Niche construction is the process by which organisms create this space themselves through behavioural and ecological activity. Ecosystem engineering takes the constructive activity of organisms further, emphasizing the way in which species physically modify their habitat, redirecting ecological and evolutionary processes for an entire community of organisms within the local environment and changing the field of possible affordances. Consequently, Ecological Psychology has been developed on two fronts, on the cognition in animals and on the social epistemology in built environments. Let us go back and examine thoroughly the ancient Greek authors. The term ‗system‘ was used in ancient Greek language at least 2.500 years before our era. Democritus (Diels - Kranz 35-136, Testimonia B5: Diodorus I. 8.1 ff.) refers to human societies as cultural systems, further being analyzed into the subsystems of communication and symbolism. Aristotle analyzes the concept of system through spatial and temporal variations, along with observer‘s view. He also understands system‘s variables, the input of energy, the flow of energy and the transformation of matter, the concept of reversibility, the organization of space and information. Furthermore, structural concepts (‗laws‘) of Biogeography, Ecology, Bioclimatology, Meteorobiology, Historical-Geographical Pathology and other modern scientific fields already exist in the texts of Hesiod (e.g. in Works & Days, 383-694), Herodotus (III.108) and the Hippocratic School (e.g. On winds, waters and places). Aristotle and Theophrastus were the founders of Human Ecology (i.e. concept of niche, ecosystem, and agricultural systems). It is noteworthy that the teacher wrote an atlas of socio-political schemata, while the pupil wrote an environmental atlas of the ancient Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters Greek world, combining, in this way, the methodological framework of socio-economic and ecological analyses. The Mycenaean city-states were autonomous physical, socio-economic and cultural entities dispersed within the Greek landscapes, with their city-centre, the rural and peri-urban space, the acropolis and the sanctuaries, the established political alliances and the commercial network. Later on, Homer describes the natural environments that characterized those centres, by giving different ecological elements for each of them (i.e. Catalogue of the Ships in Iliad, II.494-759). In the Homeric narration about Achilles‘ shield (Iliad, XVIII.474-617), there is also a description of city‘s landscapes. Even the small rural communities of the Archaic Period, like the ones described in the Works and Days of Hesiod, maintain the basic functional elements of the periphery which refers to a core - nodal city (Scully, 1990, pp. 2-3). From the Homeric terms (polis, acropolis, asty, agora, gaia, aroura), gradually, the perception of urban and peri-urban landscapes got more and more differentiated (Pritchett, 1953, p. 269), including various spaces that reflect human management of the natural and modified environments: A. (1) soil that is appropriate for cultivation (agros), (2) cultivated field with cereals, vineyards and other vegetables (ge psile), (3) plot (gepedon), (4) forest of oaks (dryinon), (5) forest of pines (pityinon), (6) mountainous woody area (orgas), (7) cultivated area (aroura), (8) pasture land (nomos / nome), (9) woods (hyle), untouched, aboriginal landscape in the extremity of the city-state (eremia) and B. (1) sacred space / sanctuary (temenos), (2) city-centre (asty around acropolis), (3) ‗market place‘ (agora), (4) city as centre of the periphery (polis), (5) land property (chorion), (6) garden (kepos), (7) house (oikia), (8) plot above which a house is built (oikopedon), (9) cheap and quickly constructed building (synoikia). The concept of hierarchy is found and reflected on human activities (productive, administrational, social, religious, martial), and the functionality of the spaces, as they tend to be focal and complex. So, the ancient Greek spatial and environmental entities can be diversified and analysed with modern environmental analyses‘ methods. Environment can be viewed as Real/ Objective (geographical, operational and modified) and perceived. Socio-economic systems (SES) are based on environmental entities interacting with them (Butzer, 1982, Ch.13, p. 256, table 13-15). Cleisthenes of Athens (end of 6th century BCE) had wisely chosen the boundaries of geographical sub-lands in Attica, since fragmentation, complexity and variety are the characteristics of those landscapes (Hammond, 1972; Langdon, 1985, pp. 5-15). The geo-political and sociocultural boundaries of ancient Attica, as perceived by Athenians, who were fully aware of their natural and historical surroundings, were reflected on the ceremonial procession of the Eleusinian Mysteries (Golden and Toohey, 1997, pp. 132-164) , and on the famous Athenian Oath (Euripides Ion, 495; Lycurgus Against Leocrates, 76; Plutarch Alcibiades, 15.4; Hesychius s.v. Άγλασρος , etc) which was taken by the Athenian Ephebi in the name of Aglauros, a mythical attic heroine and a personification of attic land (Herodotus, VIII.53; Aristophanes Thesmophoriazoussai, 533. Dumont, I, 1876, pp. 8-15; Farnell, 1907, p. 19; Pelekides, 1962, p. 76; Der Kleine Pauly: Ephebia, 1967, pp. 287-291). This ecological ‗pre-Ionian‘ substratum was one of the pillars in the political tradition of Athenian State, as well as in its mythological itinerary, environmental deities and symbols, e.g. Erichthonius, Aglauros, Thallo, Auxo (Laoupi, 1999).

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Archaeodisasters 1.3 The many landscapes of the polis Landscapes are not only natural but also very much cultural, shaping people‘s experiences of both time and space. In addition, they are multi-temporal echoing collective memories (Tuan, 1974; Penning-Rowsell and Lowenthal, 1986; Cosgrove and Daniels, 1988; Gregory and Walford, 1989; Bender, 1993; Ingold, 1993; Fleming and Hamilakis, 1997). The landscapes of memory have always been multicultural and mutable, intersecting landscapes. Homer, Aristotle and Pausanias, as well as the majority of ancient writers described such units (astea). Their words reflect the richness of physical and human worlds in a vibrating chorus that encompasses a variety of components, characteristics, functions and levels. Greece, having a complex geomorphological, environmental and geographical reality, offered the ideal scenery to their inhabitants, since Prehistory, for the creation of varied physical, biological, abiotic and socio-economic systems. Consequently, the categorization of resources and the relevant human activities within the ecosystems of the ‗polis‘ in the form of balance: input / output (water supply, timber supply, agriculture, pastoralism, hunting, mining, energy sources, sewage disposal, climate exposure, pollution rates), along with the hierarchies within human society at geopolitical, religious, socio-economic, biological, cultural and administrative level, formed the complexity of ancient cities. These formations, in fact, never stopped functioning in the nucleus of Greek history, even if larger or different socio-economic patterns transformed the type of their government. Thus, the Greek landscapes are from the very beginning, segmented and multi- formed, and, modern scientists should study them as such. For example, Attica with its thousands of years of civilization includes ‗urban‘ environments with both physical and human landscapes. In addition, the landscapes of human activities (humanscapes) play a prominent role within urban environments. Within the afore-mentioned realities, during each historic period there existed, simultaneously, many forms of landscapes that are reflected on the environment leaving direct (archaeological) or indirect (intangible) traces: Natural & Human Landscapes Urban environments include both physical and human landscapes. The physical landscapes (soil, hydrology, topography, vegetation, climate, animal communities) dictate the kind, rates and limits of human exploitation over the natural resources, by enhancing some strategies and choices against some others. In addition, the landscapes of human activities (humanscapes) play a prominent role within urban environments and are divided into three categories of human-made ‗constructions‘ / mechanisms: (1) hardware, (2) software and (3) heartware (Harashina, 1996). Landscapes of Identity a. Unfamiliar, alien or hostile landscape: it is characterized as landscape of separation. Ancient cities hosted a variety of ‗ moving‘ or ‗alien‘ population which had its own particularities and experienced the deprivation of ‗home‘, e.g. slaves, metoikoi, political / economic refugees, orphans, very poor, aged or handicapped people, victims of war. The reverse procedure includes the merchants, the soldiers, people in exile or the nomads, the emigrants and the colonists. These landscapes of loss may have been originated in environmental (catastrophic phenomena such as earthquakes, soil liquefaction, volcanic eruptions, tsunami, landslides), or human-induced causes and Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters experienced by individuals (e.g. heroes, philosophers, geographers, historians), by groups of people (e.g. masters with their pupils, artistic workshops), ‗houses‘ / families (Homeric oikos), clans & tribes, or even whole cities. Finally, other rupturing parameters may function on a real or metaphoric level. For example, the geographical distance created the concept of borderlands, as many Greek colonies were built at the margins of the circumMediterranean world. Equally, alienating forces of modernity may rework a landscape, or a person may at the same time feel at home and powerful within a local landscape but marginal in terms of a larger political and economic landscape. The case of the first years of the Peloponnesian War, when the peasants of Attica were forced to move within the Athenian Walls (Aristophanes Peace, 306- 308, 551- 555 & 582-600; Thucydides, II.xiii & xiv; Aristotle Athenaion Politeia, XXII.24.1), having as a result the disturbance of the socio-economic and sentimental equilibrium of the Athenian society, is quite indicative of the stress experienced in similar cases by people who move violently away from their ‗homeland‘, even if they still live within the larger geopolitical boundaries of the same state. b. Landscape of return, reconciliation, unification: places of commemoration, of socio-cultural identity (e.g. cemeteries, agora, monuments), familiar paths / strategies / reactions, social bonds, myths & memories of homeland, genealogies & stories for the ancestors, the sense of self and belonging, shared language (idioms), familiar topography, familiar places within the landscape, feeling of safety. Homesickness (Homeric nostos) of Odysseus and the Oath of young Athenian Ephebi, reflect in the best way the multisensory elements that forge the concept of landscape in the mind and heart of ancient people, since, sight, sound, smell and touch, mind and body acted inseparably. Functional Landscapes Landscapes of ‗power‘ / production / maintenance / disposal / redistribution: natural features that provide resources for humans (e.g. woods, drinkable water, mines, cereal fields), areas where production takes place (e.g. industrial zones), conflict zones, communication network (harbours, lanes of transport, coastal settlements, nodal points), places where decisions are made (e.g. oracles, temples, agora), space of information / knowledge sharing (e.g. technological achievements, education, healing). Landscapes of human-made boundaries Ancient polis-states recognized various physical elements (e.g. shorelines, rivers, mountain heights and other natural features) as natural boundaries or characteristic points of reference within their landscapes. On the other hand, the human landscape was always segmented and shaped by the needs of daily life and the conventions of political organization (Cole, 2004, pp. 7- 8). Although the word ‗extremity‘ (Greek eschatia) has not yet been found in the Mycenaean Greek (Casevitz in Rousselle, 1995, pp. 19-30), the Ionian word with its derivatives already existed in the Homeric Poems, as they belonged to an agricultural terminology (i.e. Iliad II, 508 & 616; IX, 84; X, 206. Odyssey iv, 515-516; v, 488-491; xiv, 104). Later on, they are found in the works of the majority of Greek authors (i.e. Hesiod, Archilochos, Pindar, Plato, Xenophon, Aristotle, Suidas). Moreover, human societies are characterized by a number of human -made ‗boundaries‘ reflected on the landscape, political (citizen / foreigners or cast off), religious (people of the same or another religion), economic (rich /poor), biological

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Archaeodisasters (young / old, healthy / sick or crippled), social (private / public), within which the various groups have their own role and function. Three of them deserve special mention: a. Core / periphery and geopolitical boundaries: territorial organization depended on the terrain and other geomorphological & natural features. Greek literature, which is notoriously centred on cities, recognizes six ecological zones (plains, cultivable hillslopes, uncultivated hill-slopes, mountains, fens and the sea). Their character varied with climate, geology and time, as did the ancient Greek cities, which varied hugely in size, territory and resources (Rackham in Murray and Price, 1990, pp. 101-109). Most Greeks played out their roles living and working in the countryside. The archaeological evidence suggests a wide variety of settlement patterns, while many people lived in the urban centre and commuted daily to work in their fields. Especially, where a family's parcel of land was located further from the urban unit, the preferred ekistic mode was living in farmsteads during seasons of high agricultural demands. Labourers who did not own their own land could hire out themselves to those who did, at least on a seasonal basis. Even more, most social levels of society were involved in the production of food that was needed to support the population inhabiting the urban unit. According to the political reform of Athenian Cleisthenes (507 / 6 BCE), Attica with its 2.650 km2 during the period of maximum expansion, was divided into 10 tribes (phyles), 3 geographical departments (Paralia = coastal areas, Mesogaia = inland areas, Asty = city) & 30 trittyes (administrative units of racially related demes). Paralia had 10 trittyes, as Mesogaia and asty did, respectively. So, each tribe included 3 trittyes (one from Paralia, one from Mesogaia and one from Asty). The lately acquired areas (Oropos, Salamis, Lemnos) were not included to this system. In the case of Oropos, the whole area was distributed to the attical tribes. Although the population levels in the demes were constantly fluctuated, there was a standard per deme, perhaps of 65 men and of 130 - 1.500 inhabitants in average. In a total of 127 (+3?) demes of Classical Attica, 683 rich families and 491 members of the parliament (Boule) are registered (Osborne, 1987, pp. 38-46 & Table 2 a, pp. 197-200). Both the anatomy of Athenian society, and the archaeological evidence, show a powerful periphery with a high level of autonomy and various strong local profiles (Osborne in Murray and Price, 1990, pp. 265-293). This observation is detected in the local geographical differentiation of the attic landscapes that encouraged the geopolitical system (Eliot, 1962; Langdon, 1985) and in many political /social conflicts between the members of different demes / clans (Glotz, 1953). Finally, some areas of the ancient poleis were shielded from human overexploitation because they were sharply disputed by neighbouring states, for example the plain of Eleusis (hiera orgas) between Megara and Attica, sacred to Demeter, while others were artificially marked for communal institutions needed protection, for example the Athenian Agora (Cole, 2004, pp. 57-65). b. Gendered landscape (Cole, 2004, pp. 21-29): the hierarchies of divine authorities and the language used, reflected the human categorization of population (e.g. as feminine / female energy were considered the Earth, the continents, the countries & cities, the lakes & springs, and many fixed locations, while the Sky, the oceans, most rivers & streams, the winds, the flowers, and the long-distance movement were considered as masculine / male energy).

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Archaeodisasters c. Ritual space (Cole 2004, pp. 35-36 & 136): the Greek ideology of pollution recognized three categories of existence, the dead, the living and the immortal. There was, also, an internal categorization of sacred space within the hieron, for example, the boundary stones (horoi), the fenced enclosure (peribolos) and the basins of water (perirrhanteria) or the temenos (a place cut off). Furthermore, differences in ritual standards for males and females reflect the existing social differentiations. On the other hand, sacred landscapes were acting as protective shields against nature‘s overexploitation by individuals (Sinn in Hägg, 1992, pp. 177-187; Dillon, 1997, pp. 212 214). Political and other kind of borders were always subject to challenge and change. Landscapes of Perception a. Material Landscape (modified or built environment): urban and peri-urban (transitional zones) habitats are often fragmented and disrupted reflecting human activities, roles and hierarchies. In every built environment three variables can be determined (Wilk in Kent, 1990, pp. 34 -35 & 44), the naturally fixed (by the environmental surroundings and the climatic conditio ns), the flexibly interrelated (from the existent resources, the technical level and the economic subsystem, meaning the time, the capital invested and the energy consumed) and the culturally fixed (by the behavioural conventions and the cultural functions of the space). b. Symbolic landscape (belief system, worldviews, cultural configurations, habitus): landscapes are both reflections of natural environment and cultural identities. The physical environment is transformed into landscapes, and cultural groups transform it through the use of different symbols, symbols that bestow different meanings on the same physical objects (Abrahamsson, 1999). i. Imagined landscape had many forms: cosmic environments recognized by the gods themselves (Earth, Sky, river Styx), residence of fantastic / mythical creatures (e.g. Amazons, Centaurs), sinister / shadowy transitional place where weird beings were said to dwell (e.g. Sirens, Gorgons, Geryon, Cerberus), or on the contrary, places which act as shelter, nest and purgatory (e.g. caves). There are not ‗non-places‘ but places around which imagination weaves itself (Bender, 2001). ii. Sacred landscape had many forms: Mycenaean ruler‘s residence which integrated sacred activities within political authority and decentralized new authorities dispersed in the territory of Classical cities, where the gods were substituted for the rulers by guarding the surplus wealth and by serving as moderators of human competition (Cole, 2004, pp. 14 - 15). The sanctuaries protected the landscapes and served as ‗markers‘, for they were placed at or near natural borders indicating the limits the community‘s political reach. Particular divinities were associated with certain kinds of space or land, for example Hermes was associated with caves, Hephaistos with the island of Lemnos, Demeter with hills and springs, Apollo, Artemis and Hera with the marginal landscapes of the polis outside the settlements (Cole, 2004, pp. 16-21). iii. Educational / spiritual landscape: ordered or magical, centred or marginal, where exploration of ideas and expression of learning took place (agora as the nucleus of the socio-political life, stadium, academia, theatre). iv. Therapeutic landscape: ideal (e.g. the various ‗utopias‘ of ancient writers), mental or religious (e.g. temple, sanctuary, oracle, physical feature with a ‗healing‘ energy).

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Archaeodisasters v. Cognitive landscape: ―a more or less coherent, geographically grounded frame, through which we interpret the meaning of objects and events that can be connected to a specific area‖. Such landscapes have an emotive charge that allows us to organize them into elements that we like and elements that we dislike (Bruun, 1996, p. 8). All the aforementioned landscapes coexisted and merged with one another dynamically. 1.4 Life-cycle Analysis (LCA) of urban landscapes City as a living organism The holistic view of universe and all its parts and elements allowed ancient Greek scholars to conceive the analogies between the microcosm and the macrocosm. In the Homeric Iliad, metaphoric expressions echo the common perception that a city has the characteristics of a living organism (Posner, 1979, pp. 28-46; Lévy, 1983, pp. 55-73; Γιαηρομανωλάκης 1991, pp. 82-109). In addition, the city is treated as a whole, within the prospect of an external observer (Cole, 1976; Scully, 1990, pp. 8-9, 103, 105 & 109). The analysis of the structure of organic nature appeared initially in the mythical narrations and gradually transformed into a scientific and stochastic framework. Bodilylike terms and expressions in the Homeric Epics (i.e. Iliad, I.254, 481-2; II. 84, 159, 167, 560; XIV.36; XVI.34, 390-1) and many words that describe abstracted ideas in Greek language unify the physical, biological and intellectual worlds, humans lived in. The Ionian philosophers (e.g. Heraclitus, Anaximander, Empedocles), as well as the Pythagoreans, tried to conceive the inner common mechanisms that underlay the natural and human world. Parmenides, first, poses the question about the function of Cosmos as a living organism (Diels Kranz fr. 6, 8, 9). Plato, by using various linguistic schemata, establishes an integrated philosophical system, according to which Myth, Art and Logic are three powerful intellectual expressions of the human brain. On the other hand, the perception of the Universe as being created from a cosmic womb forged the cosmogenic mentality from the Presocratic philosophers to the Stoics. Universe is a ‗body‘ made of various wholes, it is a complex system analyzed into different autonomous subsystems (Plato Philebos, 29e 1-3). In Hesiod, the phenomenon of disease is not only biological but also cosmological, as a manifestation of disequilibrium and malfunction (e.g. Works and Days, 91-2, 102-4, 189, 255, 269). Moreover, the citizen of the polis may feel that their city is sick, because the moral, intellectual and political aspect of city‘s life is strongly interrelated to its biological and environmental situation (Herodotus, V. 28; Thucydides, II. 31, 49 & 53; Aristophanes Peace, 539; Euripides Helen, 370 ff.; Demosthenes, VI. 9. 39 & XVIII. 13.45). After Plato, Aristotle uses the biological / socio-cultural analogies in the analysis of complex living systems (Plato Theaetitos, 153B - C; Gorgias, 524B; Phaedon, 241 C; Philebos, 11 D & 41C. Aristotle Ethica Nicomachaea A6, 1097 b 22 ff, B5, 1106 a 10-14, Γ7, 1114 a 21 ff., E15, 1138 a 29-31; Politics Δ4, 1290 b 26 ff., E9, 1309, 26 ff., H1, 1145 a 30 ff.). Consequently, polis lives, transforms itself and dies like any other living organism in the Universe. Life-cycle Analysis (LCA) Ancient Greek thought is constantly preoccupied with the detection of a universal behaviour in cosmic, planetary, social and cultural level. Earth and humans‘ communities live as a global entity, for the mechanical, chemical and organic realities interrelate to each other in ‗cyclic‘ patterns. In fact, the word ‗cycle‘ is used in order to describe the Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters cycles of life in our planet, for example the hydrological, biological and solar energy. (Metaphysics A9, 346b 16-347a 12; A13, 349b 3-19; H5, 1044b 29 - 1045a 5. Physics D14, 223b 23-26. ). In addition, the cycles of people effecting environment and Nature limiting humans, continues spiralling through time, leaving its traces on the modern landscape. On the other hand, Greece is a varied country that presents opportunities for survival, subsistence and livelihood but in different ways as echo the exploitative strategies of ancient inhabitants. Many modern scholars of Ecological Anthropology have sought to understand the influences of landscape and energy flows on human land use and sociopolitical organization, although anthropologists rarely venture to compare human organization with that of other living systems (Tainter et al., 2003). Despite this fact, systems theorists (e.g. Miller, 1978), biophysical scientists (e.g. Holling, 2001) and Howard Odum (1996) were pioneering thinkers on the relationship between ‗energy‘ and ‗society‘. Our increasingly urbanized world deals with the same major problems that ancient writers (politicians, philosophers, historians, poets) had pointed out many centuries before our era, the conversion of land to urban uses, the extraction and depletion of natural resources, the limited absorptive capacity - disposal of urban wastes, sanitation issues, water supply, air pollution and cultural identity. Beyond Urban Ecology, according to which the interaction between living things and their environment in the city is mainly studied (Douglas, 1981; Gilbert, 1989), contemporary Urban Ecosystems Analysis re-discovers the blending of socio-economic and bio-physical factors within urban dynamics (energy, materials, nutrients, genetic & non genetic information, population, labour, capital organization, beliefs & myths), by understanding the city as an ecosystem or an organism with its own metabolic processes (Wolman, 1965; Douglas, 1983; UNU / IAS report, 2003). Especially, the five main methods (UNU / IAS report 2003) are all registered, analyzed and present in the texts of ancient Greek authors: (1) Systems Approach (detection of linkages between particular environmental phenomena and the social & natural systems, plus a hierarchical method of clarifying the relationship of each part to the whole, (2) Biological Analysis (balance, competition, invasion, succession, dominance, hierarchies, perturbation, resilience, resistance, persistence, variability), (3) Spatial Analysis (spatial heterogeneity, scale differentiation, landscape analysis, urban land-cover models), (4) Material Flow Analyses (material flow, energy flow, metabolism, ecological footprint) and (5) Social Analysis (social morphology, social identity, socio-cultural hierarchy, access and allocation of resources such as wealth, power, status & knowledge). Energy flow & Entropy The energy flow within dynamic nature is irreversible, nonlinear, constructive, multi-scaled and directional. The Second Law of Thermodynamics governs the unidirectional flow of energy through ecosystems. The second law was originally formulated for simple isolated systems close to equilibrium. We now recognize, nevertheless, that even open, far-from-equilibrium, self-organizing (auto-poietic) systems are subject to the forces of entropic decay. Clearly, however, not all such systems dissipate as expected (Ayres, 1994; Schneider and Kay, 1994). On the contrary, many biophysical systems, from individual foetuses to entire ecosystems actually gain in

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Archaeodisasters organizational complexity and mass over time (i.e. they increase their distance from equilibrium). Ecologists regard Thermodynamics as fundamental and focus on resource inputs and waste outputs (potential pollution), seeing the Economy also as a consumptive process. Humans are classified as macro- consumer organisms (Odum, 1971; Rees, 1997). Through population growth and technology, humans have inserted themselves as the dominant consumer organism in all the world‘s major ecosystem types. But humans differ from other consumer organisms in important ways. Not only do we have a biological metabolism, we also have an industrial metabolism (Ayres and Simonis, 1994). Of course, humans are also producers, but there are significant differences between production in the economy from production in ecosystems. Humans must extract large quantities of high-grade energy and material resources from ecosystems and other sources within the Ecosphere, if they want to sustain our bodies and all of economic goods and services. In short, all production by humans requires the consumption of a larger quantity of energy and material first produced by Nature (Rees, 1997 & 1999). In other words, living things are not equilibrium states but rather steady states maintained away from equilibrium by a continuous flow of energy and matter (Bertalanffy, 1952). To be a living thing, implies converting energy into organization and doing so, ceaselessly, and thus the order defining a living thing continuously adds to the universal entropy. Life prolifera tes horizontally (increase in number) and vertically (increase in levels of order) because the rate of entropy production is thereby increased. To summarize, it is to conceive living things as separate from their surrounds (Swenson, 1991). Modern cosmologists have detected the seeds of the afore-mentioned principles (order within chaos, low entropy reflecting high order and energy but unstable equilibrium, constant move and transformation of matter and energy) in the ancient mythologies of the circum-Mediterranean area and beyond. Open systems (e.g. tornadoes and typhoons, forms of cellular transport, solar spots, oscillations in the cycles of predator / prey, primitive unicellular organisms, thoughts and dreams, biological organisms, human brain, socio-economic systems such cities) require more and more entropy in their environments in order to ‗survive‘. The myths of Atum, Osiris and Adonis, even the allegory of Atlantis, along with the Sumerian, Babylonian, Greek and Induistic legends of world‘s creation are some enlightening examples echoing the deeper cosmological nucleus of ancient worldwide philosophy (Prigogine and Stengers, 1984; Prigogine, 1997; LaViolette, 2004). 1.5 Carrying Capacity & Ecological Footprint Analysis The concept of sustainable development and self-sufficiency are especially highlighted by the ancient Greek authors, as they are considered ‗conditio sine qua non‘ for the existence and survival of the poleis (i.e. Thucydides, II. 36.3 & II.41.1; Xenophon Athenaion Politeia, II.7 & 11-12; Aristotle Politics, A2, 1253a 1 ff.). The wise exploitation of the environmental resources, the assessment of the natural and humanmade structures (modern managers call it SWOT analysis), the rational management of the political and socio-economic powers within the city-state, define the human role, action and responsibility. On the other hand, there is a maximum potential for Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters environmental ‗productivity‘, apart from the Population Pressure (Pp), which is an inherent phenomenon in the communities of living organisms. Consequently, the subsystems of population dynamics, production rates, technology, strategies for survival and natural resources are in mutual interrelation. Human societies organize the annual cycle of their activities according to these parameters, in order to protect their feeding, maintaining and restoring processes (Sallares, 1991, Ch.II, par. 2, pp. 73-84 & 100). For non-human species, Carrying Capacity (indicated by ‗K‘ in the logistic equation, otherwise known as Cc or Kk) is typically defined as the maximum population that can be supported indefinitely in a defined habitat without permanently damaging the habitat (Gever, et al., 1991; Meadows, et al., 1992). In fact, according to some scholars, human ingenuity has been so successful historically in pushing back the limits to growth that ―this term has by now no useful meaning‖ (Simon and Kahn, 1984). Plato in his Laws (E, 737 C 1- D5; 737 E - 738 B) recognizes the afore-mentioned parameters that function as a limit between human ‗expansion‘ and environmental equilibrium. Aristotle in his Politics (B6, 1265a 39 ff.; H4, 1326a 1- b2; H6, 1327a) analyzes the population dynamics and re-defines the concept of self-sufficiency not only in terms of economic management, but in terms of biological / ecological spectrum, too. In reverse, Eco-footprinting is an analytic tool designed to estimate the ‗load‘ imposed on the Ecosphere by any specified human population. The metric used is the total area of productive land- and waterscape required to support that population (Rees 1996; Wackernagel and Rees, 1996). Eco-footprinting recognizes that humans remain a part of Nature and that the economic production/consump tion process interrelates with the biophysical output of a finite area of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. It, also, emphasizes biophysical (rather than monetary) measures of humankind-ecosystems relationships. Furthermore, Eco-footprint analysis has helped to reopen the controversial issue of human ‗Carrying Capacity‘. But rather than asking how large population can live in a given area, Ecofootprinting estimates how much area is needed to support a given population, wherever the relevant land is located. While trade enables increases in local populations, those populations are now dependent, in part, on the productivity of distant ecosystems. Thus, by shuffling resources around, trade increases total human load but does not increase total Carrying Capacity. Similarly, increasing technological sophistication has not decoupled the economy from the land. On the contrary, as history has proven, humans are more and more land-dependent. Thus, the ecological footprint of a specified population is the area of land and water ecosystems required on a continuous basis to produce the resources that the population consumes, and to assimilate the wastes that the population produces (Rees, 1992, 1995 & 1996; 1996; Rees and Wackernagel, 1994 & 1996; Wackernagel and Rees, 1996). 1.6 Coping Capacity: Adaptive Processes Coping Capacity or Adaptive Capacity is the ability of an ‗affected‘ (human or natural) system, region, or community, to cope with- or adapt to- the impacts and risks of internal or external oscillations (disturbances, perturbations, changes, uncertainties, shocks, hazards, stress). While the concept of Coping Capacity is more directly related to an extreme event (e.g. a flood or a volcanic eruption), the concept of Adaptive Capacity Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters refers to a longer time- frame and implies that some learning either before or after an extreme event is happening. The higher the capacity is, the lower the vulnerability of a system, region, community or household is. Moreover, Sensitivity refers to the degree to which a system will respond to a change, either positively or negatively (Folke, 2006) and Exposure relates to the degree of stress upon a particular unit of analysis; it may be represented as either long-term change in conditions, or by the magnitude and frequency of extreme events (IPCC, 2001). Adaptability (or Adaptive Capacity) was originally defined in Biology, to mean an ability to become adapted (i.e., to be able to live and to reproduce) to a certain range of environmental contingencies (Smit and Wandel, 2006). Adaptness is the status of being adapted, and an adaptive trait or an ‗‗adaptation‘‘ is a feature of structure, function, or behaviour of the organism that is instrumental in securing the adaptness (Dobzhansky, 1968). Adaptive Capacity in natural systems tends to be more limited than this in human systems. In human systems, Adaptive Capacity may be analyzed into different determinants, which include a variety of system, sector, and location specific characteristics: (1) the range of available technological options for adaptation, (2) the availability of resources and their distribution across the population, (3) the structure of critical institutions, the derivative allocation of decision-making authority, and the decision criteria that would be employed, (4) the stock of human capital including education and personal security, (5) the stock of social capital including the definition of property rights, (6) the systems access to risk spreading processes (e.g. insurance systems), (7) the ability of decision- makers to manage information, the processes by which these decision-makers determine which information is credible, and the credibility of the decision-makers, themselves, and (8) the publics perceived attribution of the source of stress and the significance of exposure to its local manifestations (Yohe and Tol, 2002). Of course, in the SES, the criterion for adaptness goes far beyond ‗‗being able to live and reproduce‘‘, by including the viability of social and economic activities, and the quality of human life. While the responses of biological systems to perturbations are purely reactive, the responses of human systems are both reactive and proactive (Smithers and Smit, 1997; Baskin, 2008). Ancient societies (nomadic, pastoral, agricultural, nautical, industrial, other, mixed) may have chosen diverse methods and ways of proactive planning, mitigation and adaptation: (1) established a suitable administrative and legislative framework in order to protect the environment and the population from hazards, (2) improved management policies, (3) invested on long term values (e.g. ecosystems‘ equilibrium, quality of life, human lives versus economic profit, prevention through education), (4) increased storage capacity and kept a stable transportation network, (5) enhanced adaptability to landscapes‘ evolution over time, (6) presented alternative scenarios for the day after, (7) acquired a profound knowledge of nature‘s mechanisms and environment‘s potential, (8) tied the bonds between the stronger and weaker members of the society, (9) protected the targets the most easily affected by hazards, (10) overcome political, religious, phyletic or other restrictions when facing hazards, (11) adopted new technologies, ideas or ways of help to overcome a disaster, or / and (12) shown a more flexible and adaptable profile toward crises. Material under copyright protection



1.7 Vulnerability, Disaster, Collapse Human exposure to environmental threats is not evenly distributed. Some locations, such as high latitudes, floodplains, river banks, marshy areas, small islands and coastal areas, may pose more risk than others. Human uses or modifications of the environment such as deforestation, increasing paved areas covered by buildings and roads, and river canalization, have created impacts often affecting areas a long way from the source of the environmental change. On the other hand, individual choices have an enormous bearing on where people live and work, with the result that human vulnerability is closely related to population density and distribution. As populations increase and there is more competition for land and resources, areas of higher potential risk are extended. The terms Vulnerability, Resilience and Adaptive Capacity, are relevant in the biophysical, as well as in the social realm. In addition, they are widely used by the life sciences and social sciences with different foci and often with different meanings, blocking the communication across disciplines. Depending on the research area, Vulnerability‘s concept has been applied exclusively to the societal subsystem, to the ecological, natural, or biophysical subsystem, or to the coupled SES, variously referred also as target system, unit exposed, or system of reference. Vulnerability, according to Adger (2006) is most often conceptualized as being constituted by components that include exposure to multi-scaled perturbations or external stresses, sensitivity to perturbation, and the capacity to adapt. Vulnerability is, also, thought of as a susceptibility to harm, a potential for a change or transformation of the system when confronted with a perturbation, rather than as the outcome of this confrontation (Gallopín, 2006). A system (i.e. a city, a human community, an ecosystem) may be very vulnerable to a certain perturbation, but persist without problems insofar as it is not exposed to it. The ancient writers recognized the importance of environmental and cultural parameters in the longevity and prosperity of the cities. Vulnerable places existed within the geopolitical boundaries of the city-states, prone either to physical hazards or to sociopolitical structural inconsistencies. Generally speaking, the ‗lifecycle‘ of hazards includes several phases, dynamically interrelated (Prevention- Preparedness - Response- Mitigation - Recovery). Urban management is present in the works of Hesiod, Aristotle, Plato, Xenophon and other ancient authors, where a serious attempt to categorize the causes of natural and man-induced changes both in the environment and human societies, is easily recognizable (de Romilly, 1977). Moreover, ancient Greeks were fully aware of the crucial role of natural phenomena and human- induced hazards that may cause perturbations in the equilibrium of ecosystems and the life of the cities. Thucydides refers to a severe drought spell (II.47-48) and describes the notorious Athenian plague (II. 48.1 - 54.5, 57 - 58.3, 64.1; III.87.1-3). Xenophon observes that settled areas undergo climatic changes due to the human presence and action, by using the example of snowfall ratio between unpopulated and populated areas (Cynegeticus, IV.9). Aristotle notifies the dynamics of natural subsystems (weather, water, soil and subsoil, plant & animal communities) which exercise strong influence on human societies (On Cosmos 6, 339a 18-30. Meteorologica A14, 351a 19 - 351b 8), observes the severity of several geological phenomena such as Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters the soil liquefaction (Metaphysics B8, 366a 23-28) and high sedimentation rates (A14, 352 a 6 - 18).Theophrastus writes on the various causes of soil erosion, describes the deforestation effects on the landscapes by using the example of Crete (De causis plantarum, I.v.ii-iii. On winds, 13). Finally, Strabo (XIV.6.v cap. 684) refers to an observation made by Eratosthenes on the irreversible results of forest‘s over-exploitation in the island of Cyprus. Apart from studying the causes of societal and environmental collapse in the civilizations of the past (Laoupi, 2006 refers in length to relevant bibliography: Velikovsky, 1950 & 1955; Carpenter, 1966; de Santillana and von Dechend, 1969; Hughes, 1975; de Grazia, 1981; Wigley, et al., 1981; Bintliff and Van Zeist, 1982; de Grazia, 1983; Mandelkehr, 1983; de Grazia, 1984; Moore, et. al., 1984; Kingston, 1988; Mandelkehr, 1988 and 1987; Drews, 1992; Chambers, 1993; Glantz, 1994; Hughes, 1994; Dalfes, et al., 1997; La Violette, 1997; Schoch and Aquinas, 1999; Fagan, 2000; MacGuire, et al, 2000; Bintliff, 2002), modern approaches differentiate, also, the criteria of disaster analysis (McAnany and Yoffee, 2010; Schwarz and Nichols, 2010; Morris, 2011; Montgomery, 2012; Ehrlich and Ehrlich, 2013). When referring to societal transformations, we speak about a number of parameters, such as the restriction of social differentiations, minor specialization economic, professional, territorial-, fainter control executed by central authorities, looser administrative bonds, lesser investment on the cultural subsystems - monumental architecture, literature, artistic works-, minor information‘s flow through several human groups between the centre and the periphery, looser redistributive network of resources, minor cooperation among people, minor territorial sovereignty. Respectively, the human ecosystem‘s viability, as well as its recovery potential can be summarize in few distinctive marks, biotopes‘ destruction, pollution‘s indices, natural resources‘ exhaustion, the kind and volume of produced litter, the aesthetic alterations, general cost for ecological ‗restoration‘, degree of environmental over-exploitation, degradation of human life‘s quality, growth rates of population (Torrence & Grattan, 2002; Harris & Thomas, 1991; Tainter 1988; Hern, 1979). The above-mentioned criteria reflect the transformation in the equilibrium of natural and cultural communities. The case of a full range human ecosystem‘s collapse is rarer in history and in fact should be considered as a result of highest vulnerability to natural and human-induced hazards, including three main interdependent parameters (exposure to stress, high potential risks and limited coping capacity) referring both to the environmental and cultural status of past human ecosystems (Halstead and O‘Shea, 1989; Watts and Bohle, 1993, pp. 45 – 46; Blaikie, et al, 1994; Oliver-Smith, 1996, pp. 303-328; Moseley, 1997, pp. 19-27; Byrne, 1997, pp. 17-29; Weiss and Bradley, 2001, pp. 609-612; MacKil, 2004, pp. 493-516). This phenomenon may be recognised in the case of eastern Mediterranean patterns during the end of Bronze Age, but not in case of Attica at the end of 4 th century BCE (Laoupi, 1999). 1.8 The socio-cultural profile of hazards in the ancient Greek mentality Disaster dynamics had proved to be so powerful that they changed the course of human history. Mighty empires collapsed and vanished or shocked irreversibly. Wideranging case studies have shown that natural factors triggered the fall of well organized Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters social systems when their normal coping mechanism failed. Drought or flooding, epidemic diseases like plague, syphilis and smallpox, tremendous volcanic eruptions and the fall of meteorites, tsunami and earthquakes influenced the circum-Mediterranean civilizations, the Northwest European, Asian and American civilizations. But, interdisciplinary disaster research is a relatively new area of interest among archaeologists, psychologists and other social scientists. The more recent trend treats disasters as social phenomena and tries to identify the underlying psychological aspects (Eranen and Liebkind, 1993). The prevalence of psychological symptoms and / or disorders (Rubonis and Bickman, 1991) during and after extreme environmental events may show a common profile among different cultures. Firstly, people use to look backward to a prior more fortunate time when humans lived happily by divine grace (e.g. the races of Hesiod, the blissful Atlantis kingdom). Prudence, good behaviour and moral integrity are, also, considered as ‗remedies‘ against the reappearance of the dreadful event. Even the gods and many heroic figures battle against the evil forces which want world‘s upheaval (e.g. Egyptian Osiris & Seth, Greek Olympians against the Titans and the Giants). On the other side, the ‗fleet or stay‘ dilemma was always present when people were familiar to a specific risk, or the hazard was infrequent or socially controlled. People seemed to be willing to take quite high risks in the case of rare events. Building on flood plains and steep slopes, under the shadow of volcanoes, or in earthquake prone zones are good examples. Another interesting issue is the mechanism of return to homeland. In some cases societies recover and stay in the same environmental setting, while others abandon the initial geographical area for good. This parameter reflects the concept of perception. The perception of hazards is critically important to how a community reacts to a forcing mechanism (Bryant, 1991; Torrence and Grattan, 2002). Delayed recovery may be attributed to the absence of clear perception (e.g. the case of Helike, where inhabitants preferred the place for millennia, although they are signs of previous destructions). Generally speaking, complex societies deal with follow-on effects less flexibly than the simpler ones. Particular social settings create vulnerable communities, the findings of which are echoed in the archaeological record, as the new behavioural traits or material culture may reflect a total replacement of a culture, a societal collapse, or, simply, the abandonment of local settlements. The positive response to hazardous phenomena may vary considerably. During the aftermath of catastrophe or environmental change, technological innovations are illustrated (e.g. intensive agricultural patterns associated with the end of Younger Dryas crisis, obsidian trade associated with volcanic areas, metallurgy associated with cosmic impact areas), new lands discovered (e.g. The Iron Age Cold Epoch and the Homeric Minimum that drove the ancient Greek colonization during the 9 th to 7th centuries BCE), new subsistence strategies and more efficient techniques were adopted (e.g. new hydraulic technologies in arid climates or after episodes of drought). In essence, crises use to stimulate rather than devastate the cultural traits of a society. The emplacement of nutrient-rich volcanic tephras and alluvial soils counterbalanced the lethal impact of volcanic eruptions, or the spread of malaria in marshy areas, and the dislocation of city‘s activities caused by coastal regression or transgression (e.g. ancient Mediterranean

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Archaeodisasters harbours, Piraeus, Thessaloniki, Ephesus, Oiniades or fertile marshy areas like Marathon) and the repeated repair attempts after the experience of severe effects. Some human groups are extremely adaptable in the face of disasters, being more tolerant of environmental perturbations than others. Two very compelling paradigms arise from the ancient Greek history. In spite the fact that individual inhabitants were highly vulnerable to ecologically or socially induced stress and catastrophe, polis-states were at the same time remarkably resilient. The basic mechanics behind this phenomenon may be the diversification and redistribution of both populations and resources (Mac Kil, 2004). Individual case studies of wandering cities testify the afore-mentioned argument. Myous‘ harbour in the early 5th century BCE was an active nautical centre with a capacity of 200 ships. Alluviation in the Great Maeander graben had transformed it into a marsh by the 1st century CE. Then, local inhabitants pressed out by encroaching malarial fens, moved to Miletus and adapted completely to this new environmental and social framework. The topic is crucial, and researchers have already broadened the chronological limits, in order to encompass the role of strategies or mechanisms and the effects of periodic resource shortages of any kind, which prehistoric societies dealt with (e.g. Button, 2010 on Early Prehistoric Cyprus). Additionally, we come upon another highly important parameter. Survivor mentality may also be a crucial factor in community‘s recovery from a disaster. Ancient writers describe profound social unease, panic and eschatological beliefs. The descendants recall the events for a long period of time. In fact, Sigmund Freud (1913) established the theory of collective trauma, according to which, underlying catastrophic incidents continue to be suppressed by the subconscious of human race, creating neurotic symptoms and dire psychological effects. Immanuel Velikovsky (1982) speculated that mankind suffers from a neurosis of collective amnesia caused by universal traumas. Other researchers have developed intriguing models of sudden evolution of mankind which gave birth to Homo Sapiens schizotypus, a human stage according to which, humans had the memory of many disasters (de Grazia, 2005 & 1983). Even today, psychiatric reactions to hazardous situations have not received sufficient attention, perhaps because it is widely believed that human beings can endure any kind of extreme stress. Separation from family, loss of all belongings and displacement provoke reactions merely somatic or sentimental (phobias, mistrust of strangers, life threat, feelings of hopelessness, personality disorders, mental illness, memory and concentration problems, amnesia, horror and nightmares) along with longterm effects (e.g. high rates of accidents or various forms of addiction). Moreover, biological, social, political and economic factors seem to influence the profile of vulnerability within human groups. Females experience stronger and more lasting reactions; older adults are at greater risk than the children and adolescents. Married or parental status seems to be aggravated after disasters. Finally, hazard preparedness after previous disasters seems to facilitate the resilience and recovery attempts. Other factors that influence the disaster profile are the existence of ethnic minorities, living already in a highly disrupted or traumatized community or having bad psychiatric predisposition. Unfortunately, the above-mentioned criteria are not yet estimated in the existed studies of archaeodisasters, though they open new ways of approach. Finally, the existing paradigms of both the environmental crisis concept and environmental disaster policy in the works of Plato and Aristotle need rethinking. In Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters fact, when they speak about the ‗ideal polis or state‘, and the sustainability (autarkeia), their main concern is to present models of environmental crisis management in the form of simulations and different scenarios of development of expected events, and suggest a set of in-advance measures to either prevent or mitigate the future disaster, expressed either as a natural crisis, a cultural disruption or both. Intended as an answer to ―what if?‖ questions, such models comply with the classical anticipation concept of disaster management and are naturally always proactive in their essence, building the basis for Environmental Sociology. The ancient philosophers also pointed out that the root of any environmental or social crisis is an inner spiritual aridity, and that any truly holistic environmental policy must include this in its approach. Even today, we need not only to conduct research in the physical and biological sciences; we also need to explore the humanistic, psychological and more sacred sciences as well.

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Archaeodisasters Chapter 2: Disaster Archaeology. A newborn field of Disaster Studies After the Industrial Revolution and the scientific and technological breakthroughs, the scientific community in parallel with independent researchers, included the archaeodisasters analysis in their agenda. Until the 19th century CE, the dominant scientific beliefs in Europe were founded on the biblical narratives of Creation and the universal deluge, apart from other ancient deluge myths, that have been discovered since then. In general, Earth's history was viewed as the result of an accumulation of catastrophic events over a relatively short time period. In this way, people were able to understand the observations of early geologists within the framework of a short Earth history. The dominant paradigm of modern Geology, in contrast, is Uniformitarianism (also sometimes described as Gradualism), according to which slow incremental changes, such as erosion, created the Earth's appearance. Recently a more inclusive and integrated view of geologic events has developed, changing the scientific consensus to accept some catastrophic events in the geologic past. Let us unravel the sequence of main ideas and concepts. James Hutton, sometimes known as the father of Geology, in the late 18th century CE, in his writing, tried to explain the formation of sedimentary rocks and to understand the immense stretch of geological time (the concept of Deep time). Catastrophism gradually becomes the undoubted paradigm of Geology in the post-Enlightenment and post-French-Revolution era. Only after 1830, Catastrophism was slowly replaced by Lyell's Doctrine of Uniformity, according to which the Earth's features had been shaped by same geological processes that could be observed in the present, acting gradually over an immense period of time. Lyell presented his ideas in the influential three volume work, Principles of Geology, published in the 1830s, where challenged theories about geological cataclysms proposed by proponents of Catastrophism like Cuvier and Buckland (Rudwick, 1972, pp. 174-175). From around 1850 to 1980, Uniformitarianis m ("The present is the key to the past") and Gradualism (geologic change occurs slowly over long periods of time) were the mainstream concepts followed by geologists who rejected the idea that cataclysmic events such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, or floods of vastly greater power than those observed at the present time, played any significant role in the formation of the Earth's surface. Nevertheless, they supported the idea that the long term action of such forces like erosion, and sedimentation, observed, also, today, had shaped the Earth. Noteworthy that the catastrophists of the early 19th century believed that God was directly involved in determining the history of Earth; some of the theories about Catastrophism in the 19th and early 20th centuries, as were in Antiquity too, were connected with religion, thus, catastrophic events were sometimes considered miraculous rather than natural phenomena and processes (Rudwick, 1972, pp. 174-179). Nevertheless, Catastrophism continued to be supported by intellectuals, among them especially Alcide Charles Victor Marie Dessalines d'Orbigny (1802-1857), and Sir Joseph Prestwich (1812-1896) professor of Geology at Oxford University. Catastrophism‘s main idea was that Earth has been affected in the past by sudden, shortlived, violent events, possibly worldwide in scope (Turney and Brown, 2007, pp. 20362041). The leading scientific researcher of Catastrophism in the early 19th century was the French anatomist and palaeontologist Georges Cuvier, as he wanted to explain the Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters patterns of extinction and faunal succession that he, and others, was observing in the fossil record. While he did speculate that the catastrophe responsible for the most recent extinctions in Eurasia might have been the result of the inundation of low-lying areas by the sea, he never made any reference to Noah's flood (McGowan, 2001, pp. 3-6). Nor did he ever make any reference to divine creation or to mechanisms by which, repopulation occurred following the extinction event. In fact, Cuvier, who was influenced by the ideas of the Enlightenment and the intellectual climate of the French revolution, avoided religious or metaphysical speculation in his scientific writings (Rudwick, 1972, pp. 133134). Cuvier, also, believed that the stratigraphic record indicated that there had been several of these revolutions, which he viewed as recurring natural events, amid long intervals of stability during the history of life on Earth. This led him to believe the Earth was several million years old (Rudwick, 1972, p. 131). To the contrary, in England, where Natural Theology was very influential during the early 19th century, a group of geologists that included William Buckland and Robert Jameson would interpret Cuvier's work in a very different way. Jameson translated into English the introduction Cuvier wrote for a collection of his papers on fossil quadrupeds, where he discussed his ideas on catastrophic extinction and published it under the title Theory of the Earth. He even added extensive editorial notes to the translation that explicitly linked the latest of Cuvier's revolutions with the biblical flood, and the resulting essay was extremely influential in the English-speaking world (Rudwick, 1972, pp. 133-135). Buckland spent much of his early career trying to demonstrate the interconnection between the biblical flood and the geological evidence. He frequently cited Cuvier's work even though Cuvier had proposed an inundation of limited geographic extent and extended duration. On the other hand, Buckland, willing to be consistent with the biblical account, was advocating a universal flood of short duration (Rudwick, 1972, p. 135). Eventually, Buckland would abandon Flood Geology in favour of the Glaciation Theory advocated by Louis Agassiz, who had briefly been one of Cuvier's students. In fact, these religious overtones in Britain were not nearly as prominent elsewhere (Rudwick, 1972, pp. 136-138). The Ice Age Theory was one of the milestones in environmental studies. The Swiss palaeontologist, glaciologist and geologist Jean Louis Rodolphe Agassiz was the first, who, in 1837, scientifically proposed the Earth had been subject to a past ice age, in his book Étude sur les glaciers (Study of Glaciers) dated to 1840. Charpentier and Venetz disapproved of the ideas of Agassiz, who extended their work claiming that most continents were once covered by glaciers. Another breakthrough was the theory of Variations in Earth's orbit also known as Milankovitch cycles, named after Serbian geophysicist and astronomer Milutin Milanković, who worked on it during First World War internment. Although other scientists such as Joseph Adhemar and James Croll, advanced similar theories, their verification was still difficult due to the absence of reliably dated evidence. It was only in 1976, when a seminal paper by Hays, Imbrie & Shackleton, verified the idea. Consequently, the Milankovitch cycles are a set of cyclic variations in characteristics of the Earth's orbit around the Sun. Each cycle has a different length, so at some times their effects reinforce each other and at other times they (partially) cancel each other. Milankovitch studied changes in the orbital Eccentricity, Obliquity, and Precession of Earth's movements. Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters The shape of the Earth's orbit varies in time between nearly circular (low eccentricity of 0.005) and mildly elliptical (high eccentricity of 0.058) with the mean eccentricity of 0.028. The major component of these variations occurs on a period of ca 413 Ka (eccentricity variation of ±0.012). A number of other terms vary between components 95 and 125 Ka (with a beat period of 400 Ka), and loosely combine into a 100- kyr-cycle (variation of −0.03 to +0.02). The present eccentricity is 0.017. In addition, the angle of the Earth's axial tilt (obliquity of the Ecliptic) varies with respect to the plane of the Earth's orbit. These slow 2.4° obliquity variations are roughly periodic, taking approximately 41 Ka to shift between a tilt of 22.1° and 24.5° and back again. Currently the Earth is tilted at 23.44 degrees from its orbital plane, roughly halfway between its extreme values. The tilt is in the decreasing phase of its cycle, and will reach its minimum value around the 10th millennium of CE. Furthermore, Precession is the trend in the direction of the Earth's axis of rotation relative to the fixed stars, with a period of roughly 26 Ka. This gyroscopic motion is due to the tidal forces exerted by the Sun and the Moon on the solid Earth, which has the shape of an oblate spheroid rather than a sphere. The Sun and Moon seem to contribute roughly equally to this effect. Finally, the orbital ellipse itself precesses in space, primarily as a result of interactions with Jupiter and Saturn. This orbital precession is in the same sense to the gyroscopic motion of the axis of rotation, shortening the period of the precession of the equinoxes with respect to the perihelion from 25,771.5 to ~21,636 years. Apsidal precession occurs in the plane of the Ecliptic and alters the orientation of the Earth's orbit relative to the Ecliptic. In combination with changes to the Eccentricity, it alters the length of the seasons. But, Milankovitch did not study this three-dimensional movement of Earth. In fact, the inclination of Earth's orbit drifts up and down relative to its present orbit; this movement is known as ‗Precession of the Ecliptic‘ or ‗Planetary Precession‘. Moreover, Earth‘s orbit, also, moves relative to the orbits of the other planets. The invariable plane, the plane that represents the angular momentum of the solar system, is approximately the orbital plane of Jupiter. The inclination of the Earth's orbit has a 100-kyr cycle relative to the invariable plane, being very similar to the 100-kyr-eccentricity period, and the 100kyr-pattern of ice ages. This statement, though, is under consideration. The 100-kyr-cycle has been consistent for the previous 700 Ka, but before that time climate cycles of about 40 Ka (obliquity) appear to dominate (Hays, Imbrie and Shackleton, 1976; Imbrie and Imbrie, 1980; berger et al., 1984; Muller and MacDonald, 1997; Kerr, 1999; Karner and Muller, 2000; Zachos, et al., 2001; Rudiman, 2003; Rial, 2004; Ruddiman, et al., 2005; Kawamura, et al., 2007). In the 1950s, Immanuel Velikovsky propounded Catastrophism in several popular books. Velikovskyism is a term referring to the pioneering work of Immanuel Velikovsky, this Russian-born American independent scholar, best known as the author of a number of controversial books reinterpreting the events of ancient history. For example, he speculated that the planet Venus is a former ‗comet‘, which was ejected from Jupiter and subsequently 3.5 Ka made two catastrophic close passes by Earth, 52 years apart, and later interacted with Mars, which then had a series of near collisions with Earth which ended in 687 BCE, before settling into its current orbit. Velikovsky used this to explain the biblical plagues of Egypt, the biblical reference to the "Sun standing still" for Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters a day (Joshua 10:12 & 13, explained by changes in Earth's rotation), and the sinking of Atlantis. Scientists once rejected Velikovsky's theories, often quite passionately, although today are widely re-discussed. Neocatastrophism is the explanation of sudden extinctions in the palaeontological record, caused by high magnitude, low frequency events, as opposed to the more prevalent geomorphologic thought which emphasises low magnitude, high frequency events (Encyclopaedia of Geomorphology, Andrew Goudie, p. 709). Over the past 30 years, however, a scientifically based Catastrophism has gained wide acceptance with regard to certain catastrophic events in the distant past. One impetus for this change came from the famous publication of a historic paper by Walter and Luis Alvarez in 1980 (Luis Alvarez Impact Event Hypothesis). The scientists suggested that a 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) asteroid struck Earth 65 Ma at the end of the Cretaceous period. The impact wiped out about 70% of all species, including the dinosaurs, leaving behind the so-called K–T boundary. In 1990, a 180 kilometres (110 mi) candidate crater marking the impact was identified at Chicxulub in the Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico. Since then, the debate about the extinction of the dinosaurs and other mass extinction events has centred on whether the extinction mechanism was the asteroid impact, widespread volcanism (which occurred about the same time), or some other mechanism or combination of them. Most of the mechanisms suggested are catastrophic in nature. In parallel, the observation of the Shoemaker-Levy 9 cometary collision with Jupiter illustrated how catastrophic events occur as natural events. Recent research has shown that dinosaurs of that time could have witnessed multiple hits from a cometary multiple impactor, maybe hundreds of thousands of years apart. This scenario seems to be verified after reestimating and redating of the Boltysh impact 24-kilometer-wide crater in the Ukraine. The third suspect seems, also, to be found in the North Sea; a multi-ringed impact structure, as discovered from the analysis of three-dimensional seismic reflection data, 20 km in diameter, with at least ten distinctive concentric rings located between 2 and 10 km from the crater centre. The geomorphology constrains its age to be 60-65 myr-old (Kelley and Gurov, 2002; Stewart and Allen, 2002; Bottke, Vokrouhlicky and Nesvorny, 2007; Jolley, et al., 2010). Furthermore, modern theories suggest that Earth's anomalously large Moon was formed catastrophically. In a paper published in Icarus in 1975, William K. Hartmann and Donald R. Davis proposed that a stochastic catastrophic near-miss by a large planetesimal early in Earth's formation approximately 4.5 ba, blew out rocky debris, remelted Earth and formed the Moon, thus explaining the Moon's lesser density and lack of an iron core (Belbruno and Gott 2005, pp. 1724-1745). Nevertheless, this impact theory does have some faults; some computer simulations show the formation of a ring or multiple moons post impact, and elements are not quite the same between the Earth and Moon (Binder, 1974, pp. 53-76; Stevenson, 1987, pp. 271–315; "Moonwalk", Geological Society of London, September 2009). Worth mentioning is also The Society for Interdisciplinary Studies, the principal object of which (according to its online statement at: ) is ―to advance the education of the public and, through the combined use of historical and contemporary evidence of all kinds, to promote a multidisciplinary approach to, and specialized research into, scientific and scholarly problems inherent in the uniformitarian theories in astronomy and history, and thus to promote active consideration by scientists, scholars and students of alternatives to those theories‖. One Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters of the Society's furtherance of its 'Principal Object' is ―to promote co-operation between workers in specialized fields of learning in the belief that isolated study is sterile‖. The SIS is a UK-based, non-profit- making organization with a worldwide membership, which includes laymen and academics alike. With its publications, Chronology & Catastrophism Review and Chronology & Catastrophism Workshop, plus residential weekend conferences and general speaker meetings, it brings together people from a wide-ranging spectrum of backgrounds and beliefs. The SIS was formed in 1974 in response to the growing interest in global cosmic catastrophes, initiated earlier by the publication of Immanuel Velikovsky's book, Worlds in Collision and its attempted suppression by the academic establishment. Amongst his most famous non-mainstream beliefs were his insistence on past planetary instability, particularly with regard to the planets Venus and Mars, the role of electricity in the Cosmos and the use of myth to provide evidence in respect of his theories. A scholar in his own right and a colleague of Albert Einstein, Velikovsky has been rightly called 'the father of modern catastrophism'. Many great discoveries and insights are made by intuitive non-scientists but, unfortunately, academia rarely welcomes challengers to established thinking. Despite this, in 1974 the SIS took up Velikovsky's challenge to the orthodox view of the Cosmos - as being one of planetary stability - to investigate: a) the role that cosmic catastrophes may have played globally in ancient times; how myths, recorded by cultures the world over, can help us discover what happened. A new generation of catastrophists arose who have continued to encourage investigation, and b) exchange of ideas in all fields opened up by Velikovsky's theories of global cosmic catastrophism, which demand that there should be corroboration between various other disciplines, making cosmic catastrophism truly interdisciplinary and inclusive. Such disciplines and subjects include: Archaeology, Stratigraphy, Psychology, Biology, Archaeoastronomy, Linguistics, Astrophysics, Geomagnetism, Religion, Mythology, Astronomy, Evolution, Palaeontology, various scientific dating methods and biblical studies to name a few. Art-history, ice-core dating, Earth reversals (or axis shifts), electricity in the Universe, and the effect of catastrophes of any kind on Earth's climate, are also addressed, along with the effect of past climate-change on chronology. In conjunction with plasma physics and rock-art, the mythology of the Axis mundi has, also, recently been given far more clarity. Since attempts at censorship and suppression of new and unorthodox ideas are still commonplace, any reconstruction of how the solar system operated once and operates now remains unacknowledged or underestimated by mainstream scientists. Moreover, the Immanuel Velikovsky Encyclopaedia is about the author, Immanuel Velikovsky, and the controversy that has resulted from his works. This collective work does not judge whether Velikovsky or his critics were right or wrong, but when documenting something, author tries to do it with sources. Many modern researchers have acknowledged that Velikovsky made predictions that have turned out to be correct (available at: Moreover, according to the Velikovsky Encyclopedia, Dutch geologist Johån Bert (Han) Kloosterman (born 1931) was the founder publisher of Catastrophist Geology (1976-1978), the journal devoted to the study of discontinuities in Earth history. Since 2003 and until 2009, he has been investigating Earth reversal myths, finding more

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Archaeodisasters than 60 worldwide. His focus in recent years has been the Usselo Horizon (2015), which marks the boundary line of the Younger Dryas event ( In parallel, American academician Charles Hutchins Hapgood (1958, 1962 & 1966) suggested the Pole Shift Theory (not to be confused with Plate Tectonics and Geomagnetic Reversals), according to which, the Earth's axis has shifted numerous times during geological history. A 15 degree pole shift occurred around 9,600 BCE, a time during which a part of the Antarctic was ice-free, thus, an ice-age civilization could have mapped the coast at that point in time. After Hapgood, several other authors have, also, proposed that sudden slippages of the Earth's crust caused wild climate fluctuations in the past with devastating biological consequences, due to a high-velocity asteroid or comet which hit Earth at such an angle that the lithosphere moved independent of the mantle or a high-velocity asteroid or comet which hit Earth at such an angle that the entire planet shifted axis, or due to an unusually magnetic celestial object which passed close enough to Earth to temporarily reoriented the magnetic field, ―dragging‖ then the lithosphere about a new axis of rotation (eventually, the sun's magnetic field again determined the Earth's, after the intruding celestial object ―returned‖ to a location from which it couldn‘t influence Earth), due to perturbations of the topography of the coremantle boundary, perhaps induced by differential core rotation and shift of its axial rotation vector, leading to CMB mass redistributions). Moreover, other researchers (J. Kirschvink, et al., 1997) proposed, a scientifically acceptable mechanism for the onset of rapid crustal slippage. According to them, this phenomenon took place 534 Ma, roughly coincident with the Cambrian Explosion of new life forms (new phyla). Thus, the resulting climate changes and environmental havoc could have been conducive to the rapid evolution of life. A geological team led by Princeton University‘s Adam Maloof and Galen Halverson of Paul Sabatier University in Toulouse, France (2006), lent credence to a 140-year-old theory regarding the way the Earth might restore its own balance if an unequal distribution of weight ever developed in its interior or on its surface (True Polar Wander). They claimed, too, that our planet did experience a significant pole rebalancing ca 800 Ma, North Pole having shifted more than 50 degrees (approximately about the distance between the equator and Alaska) in less than 20 Ma. Meanwhile, from 1971 onwards the American geophysicist W. Jason Morgan worked on the further development of the Plume Theory of Tuzo Wilson, according to which hotspots are roughly cylindrical convective upwellings in the Earth's mantle with temperatures that are 400º higher than the mantle and of slightly different chemical composition. In contrast with the tectonic plates, plumes do not move for millions of years, e.g. the ant-diametrical / antipodal plumes under Africa and Pacific Ocean exist at the same place for 250 Ma. Recent research confirms the initial theory (Morgan, 1971; Morgan, 1972; Larson, 1991; Morgan, 1991; Hagstrum, 2005; Foulger and Jurdy, 2007; Foulger, 2010; French and Romanowicz, 2015). The newest technology of quantum generator scanning revealed the real structure of Earth with engineering precision. The Radius of Earth‘s Nucleus is 2350 km and consists of: the outer layer (about 400 km) composed of a clay / sand mixture with inclusions of some crystals, the second layer (about 220 km) composed of various molten metals, the third layer (about 90 km) composed of molten lead, the fourth layer (about 360 km) composed by Uranium, the fifth layer (about 70 km) composed of graphite, the Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters sixth ‗gas‘ layer (about 90 km) which is a heat exchange area, and the seventh layer (about 720 km) which is a nuclear fusion reactor where some elements are synthesized (such as hydrogen, deuterium, tritium, carbon, lithium, methane, helium, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, oxygen and other gaseous elements). Thus, Earth‘s core consists of several geospheres (energetic – quantum - levels). This process is very similar to the one that takes place in the Sun, but in contrast to the Sun, Earth‘s energy seems not to be consumed. How is that? The pyramidal structures are aligned both to Earth‘s core and to specific stars. For example, the Himalayan and Bermuda pyramids provide HF energy exchange between Earth‘s core and Capella star (constellation Auriga), Mexican and English with Vega (constellation Lyra), as well as Egyptian, Polynesian and Crimean with Canopus (constellation Argo). One of them functions as transmitter, the others as receivers. The Sevastopol pyramids contain quartz emitters and three HF waveguide channels, finds that support further the hypothesis. These circuits (three phase systems in 120◦ angle) stabilize the motion and energy exchange of the Earth. Evenmore, sunghit(e) is a unique stone found only in the Republic of Karelia (Zazhoginskoe mine, Russia); It can be found also in the northern Caucasus and Kazakhstan but of different quality. It contains fullerenes, a special type of molecular carbon (the other two being diamonds and graphite), and it has the ability to clean water from almost of all organic compounds (including pesticides), metals, bacteria and harmful microorganisms. Its frequency characteristics are similar to the graphite‘s layer of Earth‘s core! According to the researcher and its team, it could be a remnant of an ancient explosion of the inner core of an unknown planet, or of the planet Phaethon or of another planet, the core of which exploded over the Mexican peninsula. That event tilted Earth‘s axis causing a giant tsunami that wiped out the entire civilization. Perhaps it was one of the three moons that orbited our planet in the remote past according to the Vedic scripts / the Daarian Chronology from the ‗Period of the Three Moons‘ (Russian professor & Academician Vitaly A. Gokh and its Torsion Technologies gokhe1.htm; see also the Cosmic Theories of the Destruction of Atlantis, Zhirov, 1970, pp. 371-374). Wal Thornhill in his online statement on Electric Universe (, highlights that his attempt opens up again science to the individual. ―Science will blossom in the new millennium as a cultural activity more integrated with history, the arts and the human condition‖. Australian physicist Wallace Thornhill and American author / inveterate promoter of neoVelikovskian ideas, David Talbott, created (, where interdisciplinary scientists and researchers bring extraordinary new possibilities to light, such as Plasma and electricity in space, failure of gravity-only cosmology, myths of dark matter, dark energy, black holes, neutron stars, and other mathematical constructs, the electric model of stars, predictions and confirmations of the electric comet. In fact, ―…Talbott is mounting a heresy even more radical than Velikovsky‘s. He claims, with complete assurance that Venus, Mars, Saturn, and Jupiter travelled very close to Earth within human memory. He says that together these planets presented a stupendous form in the sky, at times peaceful and at time violent‖ says Parsons (2005, ch.8 in Kenyon editor). The Plasma Universe ( is a term coined by Nobel Laureate Hannes Alfvén to highlight the importance of plasma throughout the Universe. Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters In parallel, the multidisciplinary independent researcher from Holland, Marinus Anthony Van der Sluijs (2005, pp. 3-52) claims that ―Cultural anthropologists often use the term 'axis mundi' in a looser sense than the strict astronomical one. Yet the objects they identify as ‗axis mundi‘ in mythological and early cosmological sources do not correspond to the present state of the axis of the Earth. The association of these objects with the axis of the earth does not appear to have been made explicitly and unambiguously before the 1st millennium BCE. By contrast, the mythological phenomenon loosely identified as the axis mundi dates back to the earliest stages of civilisation and is described by the most diverse cultures in remarkably similar terms. It can be explained by reference to a once visible entity in the sky, with a complex, evolving morphology and a possible link to the zenith or the pole. The prototype may have been the zodiacal light or, as recent insights in plasma physics indicate, an enhanced aurora formed in prehistoric times‖. He, also, introduced Plasma Mythology ( According to his statement, ―Space is not a vacuum punctuated by isolated bodies on perpetually stable courses, as defined by the law of gravity. Since the beginning of the Space Age, it has gradually been discovered that space consists for 99.99% of plasma and is threaded with electric filaments and magnetic fields spanning over many orders of magnitude‖. This new paradigm is known as Plasma Cosmology and was pioneered by the Swedish scientist, Hannes Alfvén (1908-1995). Plasma is a partially ionised gas regarded as the 'fourth state of matter', that responds with great sensitivity to changes in its magnetic fields and becomes visible to the human eye when it is pervaded by a sufficiently strong electrical current. The solid rock, the oceans and the lower regions of the Earth's atmosphere belong to the minute segment of the Cosmos that is not in the plasma state. Yet the Earth itself is bathed in an electromagnetic environment. This consists of the magnetic shell that shields the planet from the enveloping solar wind and other external features impinging on it, such as Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) and, far less frequently, cometary intruders into the inner solar system. In addition, plasma penetrates and controls a range of terrestrial phenomena, such as the aurorae, lightning, fire, tornadoes and lava flows. ―Unlike many previous theories of myth, the interdisciplinary connection with plasma science adds the invaluable benefit of testability; controlled laboratory experiments are capable of testing the theory by replicating the structures presented in myth and traditional art. Another test might consist in a comparison of the geographic distribution of specific mythical motifs to the way a hypothetical prototype in the sky would have appeared to terrestrial stargazers, allowing for latitude, longitude and altitude, local climates, the orbital motion of the Earth and other objects possibly involved. This line of investigation might be referred to as Mythogeography‖ (Van der Sluijs, 2011). Another prominent scientist and researcher, Dr. Paul LaViolette was the first to predict that high intensity volleys of cosmic ray particles travel directly to our planet from distant sources in our Galaxy, a phenomenon now confirmed by scientific data. He was also the first to discover high concentrations of cosmic dust in Ice Age polar ice, indicating the occurrence of a global cosmic catastrophe in ancient times. Based on this work, he made predictions about the entry of interstellar dust into the solar system, ten years before its confirmation in 1993 by data from the Ulysses spacecraft, and by radar observations from New Zealand. He also originated the Glacier Wave Flood Theory Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters that not only provides a reasonable scientific explanation for widespread continental floods, but also presents a credible explanation for the sudden freezing of the arctic mammoths and demise of the Pleistocene mammals. Moreover, he developed a novel theory that links geomagnetic flips to the past occurrence of immense solar flare storm outbursts. He was also the first to discover that certain ancient creation myths and esoteric lores metaphorically encode an advanced science of Cosmogenesis (1981; 1985; 1987; 2003; 2004; 2005a&b; 200910 ). According to Quantavolution Theory proposed by professor Alfred de Grazia in his initial statement (The Encyclopedia of Quantavolution and Catastrophe, by Alfred de Grazia -Publisher and Editor-in-Chief, & Earl R. Milton, A.B., M.A., Ph.D. Managing Editor, vol. I), 窶付he world from its beginnings, including the world of life and humanity, has changed largely by quantum leaps, rather than by tiny increments over great stretches of time. The over two million words of this collection of works by the author and collaborators present the full range of ideas and phenomena that pertain to this theory. It may be well to warn promptly against claiming any relationship to quantum field theory in physics, although dire consequences to gravitation concepts may inhere, because of the seeming all-sufficiency of new electromagnetic theory. Such a global change of perspective requires a search for new evidence, a reformulation of old evidence, a reconsideration of anomalies, changes in meanings of words and phrases, explorations of etymologies of words and concepts, and a reexamination of assumptions, often when they are so accepted as to be trite and so trite as to be ignored -- removed, indeed, from our very cognitive structures. For example, there is an immense idea that persists in the literature to the effect that the Moon was torn from the Earth; this story is told not only by scientists such as George Darwin and George Fisher but also by myths of various cultures. Invariably, if a discussion of the matter is allowed at all, the posited event is positioned in time billions of years ago in the conventionally agreed upon youth of the Earth. Such an event, if it were to be treated seriously in an encyclopaedia, would invade hundreds of articles with its causes and effects, changing practically every discipline in ways great and small. This set of works does not treat this idea alone as the true theory; but it considers it properly so serious as to warrant consideration under many headings. Such theories of "Quantavolution" play a part in all discussions as to the origin of the other bodies of the solar system; one needs to explain the considerations that have led serious scholars to ask whether and how the planets originated from the Sun or, if not, then from one or another of themselves (such as Jupiter). Furthermore, the universal belief of ancient cultures and legends, that the gods were born, and were members of the same family, would begin to stir our interest. In many cultures, there is said to have been an original chaos or world vapour and a catastrophic event from which the father of the gods was born and from him (or her) was born the succession of gods. Why "born" instead of having always been in existence? It is not enough to say that these phrases are only analogies with the birth of animals in nature, or only fairy tales based on the analogies. Why should this be? Many analogies cover realities: might this be such a case? When one says, "Babies are born like puppies," one certainly is not denying that babies are born. And why were all of these gods identified, if of any importance, with the planets and other sky bodies? Most, if not all, cultures, have insisted that the planets and other sky bodies are divinities. Does this not lend support to the hypothesis of a true succession of birth throes in the heavens? Would this be evidence of a marvellous early Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters philosophical synthesis connecting the birth of the cosmos to that of the members of an earthly family? No matter if the alarming thought should arise: the members of the solar system arose somehow from one another in a series of catastrophes that somehow early humankind had some knowledge or theory about. This is the kind of reasoning that unsettles many scientists and ordinary people who are content to rest with their ordinary perspectives on the universe; it is a "whistle-blower" on the prevailing paradigm of the sciences and the humanities, calling back the play to the line of scrimmage. The catastrophes responsible for the development of the theory of Quantavolution were immensely greater than these, to be sure, but the elemental forces at work, the chemistry, the electricity, and the psychic reactions are typical and homologous. As with a host of experiences of the past and present, the individual person must learn about catastrophes of the world -- past, present, and future -- from the testimony of the rocks, the skies, the fossils, the carvings, the ruins, and then from recorded history and logical thought. The theory of Quantavolution deals with the behaviour of substances of the real world so far as one can sense them. It proposes that change in nature and life occur largely as the result of catastrophic events; the events originate in the skies, which contain forces that are immeasurably greater than any in man or Earth and that are especially electrical. There are numerous "catastrophists" who have contributed to Q.. It is vital to appreciate that in Quantavolution, the word "catastrophe" loses its completely bad connotation; for what the world is today is an effect of catastrophe or, better, of Quantavolution, whose goodness and badness are intertwined and to be judged by the philosophy of good and bad consequences. The underlying philosophy of Quantavolution inclines toward a phenomenological instrumentalism. It regards a "truth" as a fitting and useful part of a system of such truths that constitute, as a whole a possible tolerable outlook upon existence. The terms pragmatism, logical positivism, and operationism come to mind when reaching out for related perspectives. As with catastrophists, many philosophers might be cited. Among them would be Plato, Ockham, Bruno, Locke, Berkeley, Vico, Husserl, Freud, Dewey, Mead, Wittgenstein, and Bridgman. The day may not be far off when a new philosopher will draw upon the applicable contributions of such thinkers and the fast-growing body of quantavolutionary literature to produce a new philosophy of science‖ (1966/1978; 1974; 1981; 1983a-d; 1984a-c; 2005). In 1979, Sheets and Grayson drew attention to the potential cultural effects of the natural hazards (e.g. volcanic tephra, earthquake-damaged walls, etc.) whose occurrences were apparent from many of archaeological excavations. Later on, a plethora of studies stressed the impacts of past natural disasters on ancient societies, the majority of them, authored though, or inspired by natural scientists, astronomers and other researchers, not from archaeologists per se, as had correctly highlighted by Torrence and Grattan (2002), who used the term Archaeology of Disasters to stress the role of volcanic impact in ancient societies. They, also, planted the seeds for a more interdisciplinary approach to disasters, either referring to past or to modern societies. The term Archaeology of Disaster is found in Byrne‘s work (1996/1997), too, but referring to the indigenous historical landscapes populated with traces or sites of pre-contact 'authentic' Aboriginal presence in Australia. Meanwhile, Japanese scientist Satoru Shimoyama first referred to the term Disaster Archaeology in 1997. In 1999, he presents the Ibusuku – site as the first recognized disaster archaeological site in Japanese Archaeology. Moreover, he refers to Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters the exact term, in his paper ―Volcanic disasters and archaeological sites in Southern Kyushu, Japan‖, in order to analyze the interconnections between the four categories of archaeological analysis (especially between ecofacts & artifacts in disasters as they are imprinted in archaeological sites) and volcanism in Japanese prehistory, willing to use the existing methodological approaches in a complementary fashion in the study of Archaeology and tephras (in Torrence and Grattan, 2002, Ch.18). Within the same conceptual framework that considers disasters as social phenomena, he, also, highlights the importance of disaster studies in his paper ―Basic characteristics of disasters‖ (in Torrence and Grattan, 2002, Ch.2). Additionally, another term has been introduced in the international scientific community, Archaeology of Destruction, in its deliberate, as editor suggested (Rakoczy, 2008), ambiguity and loose presentation, ―willing to unite archaeologists and nonarchaeologists in a discussion about the importance of destruction in human affairs ‖. Based on the Archaeology of Destruction Conference hosted by the University of York in May 2006, the book rose varied and complex questions ―in the form of enriching our understanding of the past, as well as of gaining insight into and contextual understanding of the destruction still occurring around us today, especially in areas long torn apart by ethnic or religious strife‖. In 2007, Richard Gould‘s book on Disaster Archaeology was also published. As the author (2011) reviewed, ―this book explores the increasingly obvious affinity between archaeology and forensic science, but the title of the book could be methodologically accurate only if Gould had provided a methodologically integrated comparative study of modern disaster analysis and an archaeodisaster, by studying all the parameters and data, both in contemporary and ancient societies. The reviewer only welcomes R. Gould‘s book, under this title, merely as an attempt to incorporate forensic archaeology‘s methodology into forensic anthropology‘s case studies in crisis and disaster events". There is, also, another term, archaeological disasters, which refers to modern era dilemmas that professionals (e.g. field archaeologists, heritage consultants, technicians, constructors) deal with, when are involved in excavations or the damage of archaeological heritage due to conflicts, wars, even environmental disasters (e.g. oil spills). The term is about cultural resource management and ethics in Archaeology (e.g. Meskell, 1998; Stapp and Longnecker, 2008; Hamilakis, 2009). All the same, the term Archaeology of Natural Disasters was initially used by the author, to connote a scientific discipline (Laoupi, 2005b), for first time worldwide, as established at the Centre for the Assessment of Natural Hazards and Proactive Planning – National Technical University of Athens (CANaH – NTUA) . But the author, by the same year (2005a) started to use the term Disaster Archaeology, too, term which was finally chosen to embrace the whole unique spectrum of sub-disciplines, methodologies and techniques dealing with archaeodisasters under its umbrella. Since then, it is widely used, explained and analyzed by the author, and accepted by the international scientific community, in post-graduate seminars and lectures, in conferences and workshops, in European Research Programs, and online. Especially in the web, Disaster Archaeology, as a unique interdisciplinary scientific field, was first presented at ―Disaster Pages‖ of Professor Disaster Specialist, George Pararas Carayannis ( DisasterArchaeology.html), later on

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Archaeodisasters (2010) having its own presence ( and Furthermore, nine online interdisciplinary projects have been launched: The author had, also, introduced three new terms, the term Archaeodisaster, to specify the disasters in archaeological time (paleodisasters referring to phenomena prior to human presence‘s on Earth; disasters referring to the post-industrial Era), Disaster Mythology, to unify the broad spectrum of worldwide myths, legends and traditions that directly or indirectly referred to archaeodisasters, and Disaster Astrology, to specify the technique of analyzing and interpreting past catastrophic events based on astrological charts and simulations. Since then, various scientists from all the fields that examine archaeodisasters have been given new terms, in order to describe the magnitude and severity of many past events or future trends and scenarios. These terms include the hyper-canes, the megalandslides, the mega-tsunami and mega- earthquakes, the mega-impacts, the supervolcanoes and mega-eruptions. Furthermore, the Anthropocene, term coined by ecologist Eugene Stoermer and widely popularized by the Nobel Prize-winning atmospheric chemist Paul Crutzen, is a recent and informal geologic chronological term that tries to identify the evidence and extent of human activities that have had a significant global impact on the Earth's ecosystems. In 2008, a proposal was presented to the Stratigraphy Commission of the Geological Society of London, to make the Anthropocene a formal unit of geological time; many scientists are now using the term. The Anthropocene has no precise start date, but based on atmospheric evidence may be considered to start with the Industrial Revolution (late 18th century), although other scientists link it to earlier events, such as the rise of agriculture, or even earlier, as 14 to 15 kya, based on lithospheric evidence, but this would be closely synchronous with the current term, Holocene. Another quite interesting perspective dates its onset even earlier during the Middle / Upper Pleistocene, based on the amazing archaeological finds at the Messak Settafet escarpment, a vast 'carpet' of stone-age tools made by Hominins in the middle of the Sahara desert (it is considered as the earliest demonstrated example of the scars of human activity across an entire landscape). Other researchers frame the term in AD 1610, when the collision between New and Old World started to be felt, or even in the 20 th century, specifically in AD 1964, when radioactive debris originated from nuclear weapons tests (Crutzen and Stoermer, 2000; Crutzen, 2002; Zalasiewicz, et al., 2008 & 2010; Foley and Lahr, 2015; Lewis and Maslin, 2015). V. I. Vernadsky had already used the term Noösphere — the ‗world of thought‘ — to highlight the growing role of human brain-power in shaping its own future and Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters environment (1926), while P. Teilhard de Chardin developed this concept with his theory of Omega Point (written 1938–1940 but published in 1955). In this theory, the universe is constantly developing towards higher levels of material complexity and consciousness, according to the universal Law of Complexity and Consciousness. Finally, three more ‗theories‘ are worth-mentioning. The Gaia hypothesis (also known as Gaia theory or Gaia principle), formulated by the chemist James Lovelock and co-developed by the microbiologist Lynn Margulis in the 1970s, who proposed that all organisms and their inorganic surroundings on Earth are closely integrated to form a single and self-regulating complex system, maintaining the conditions for life on the planet. Although it was received with hostility by the scientific community, it is now studied in the disciplines of Geophysiology and Earth System Science, some of its principles been adopted by Biogeochemistry, Systems Ecology, and other fields. Later on, it has been turned into a vague philosophy and movement (Watson and Lovelock, 1983; Lovelock, 1995; Capra, 1996; Margulis, 1999; Margulis and Sagan, 2000; Volk, 2002; Schwartzman, 2002; Lovelock, 2007 & 2009). According to the Medea Hypothesis, proposed by the paleontologist Peter Ward as an anti-Gaian hypothesis, and named after the mythological Medea, who killed her own children, multicellular life, understood as a superorganism, is suicidal; thus, microbial-triggered mass extinctions are attempts to return the Earth to the microbial dominated state. Past "suicide attempts" include (Ward, 2002; Elewa, 2009; Joseph, 2009; Ward, 2009): Methane poisoning (3.5 Ba), the oxygen catastrophe (2.7 Ba), the Snowball Earth, twice (2.3 Ba and 790–630 Ma), and at least five putative hydrogen sulfide-induced mass extinctions (such as the Great Dying, 251.4 Ma). According to Cronus Hypothesis (Bradshaw and Brook, 2009), ―speciation and extinction are analogous to the demographic processes of birth and dearth, for as death necessarily terminates life, extinction is an inevitable part of evolution, in a dynamic ebb and flow of life on Earth (order & chaos / entropy)‖. But the most intriguing hypothesis is the one of Panspermia, the term itself being first mentioned by the ancient Greek philosopher Anaxagoras (O'Leary, 2008). Later on, in the 19th century it was used again by several scientists, including Jöns Jacob Berzelius (1834), Kelvin (1871), Hermann von Helmholtz (1879) and, by Svante Arrhenius (1903). The British amateur astronomer William Huggins discovered, in the 1860‘s, that stars and nebulae were made of many of the same chemical elements found on Earth. The physicist Charles Townes and his small team, in 1968, detected first ammonia molecules in gas clouds near the centre of the Galaxy, then water molecules in the great star factory of the Orion Nebula. Gradually, radio astronomers tuned their telescopes to find more than 120 molecules including ammonia, formaldehyde, benzene, acetone, alcohols, acetic acid, and more complex organic molecules in the interstellar space (pre-biotic chemistry), and labbased experiments have shown that these molecules can, under the right conditions, form the precursors to complex bio-molecules necessary for life. Sir Fred Hoyle and Chandra Wickramasinghe went further by contending that life forms continue to enter the Earth's atmosphere, and may be responsible for epidemic outbreaks, new diseases, and the genetic novelty necessary for macroevolution. The whole concept suggests not only that life originated only once and subsequently spread through the entire Universe, but instead that once started, it may be able to spread to other environments suitable for replication. So, even our planet itself might be just one subpopulation within a widely dispersed Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters interstellar meta-population (Hoyle and Wickramasinghe, 2000; Napier, 2004; Joseph, 2009). The related but distinct idea of Exogenesis is a more limited hypothesis that proposes life on Earth was transferred from elsewhere in the Universe without making prediction about how widespread it is. Today, the Stardust Revolution highlights the biological heritage of Space on Earth, as it sees the night sky not as sterile and alien but rich with the building blocks of life, and the stars not simply as generators of light but also as pre-biotic stardust (Berkowitz, 2012). Considering all the afore-mentioned perspectives, modern research has shown that organic compounds are relatively common in space, especially in the outer solar system where volatiles are not evaporated by solar heating (Chang, 2009). Comets are encrusted by outer layers of dark material, thought to be a tar-like substance composed of complex organic material formed from simple carbon compounds after reactions initiated mostly by irradiation by ultraviolet light. It is supposed that a rain of material from comets could have repeatedly brought significant quantities of such complex organic molecules to Earth. Other sources of complex molecules have, also, been postulated, including extraterrestrial stellar or interstellar origin. For example, from spectral analyses, organic molecules are known to be present in comets and meteorites. In 2004, a team detected traces of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in nebula (Witt et al, 2003). More recently, in 2010, another team also detected PAHs, along with fullerenes, in nebulae (García-Hernåndez, et al., 2010). AHs are the most complex molecules so far found in Space. The use of PAHs has, also, been proposed as a precursor to the RNA world in the PAH world hypothesis (Battersby, 2004). The Spitzer Space Telescope has recently detected a star, HH 46-IR, which is forming by a process similar to that by which the Sun formed. In the disk of material surrounding the star, there is a very large range of molecules, including cyanide compounds, hydrocarbons, and carbon monoxide. In addition, PAHs have been found all over the surface of galaxy M81, which is 12 million light years away from the Earth, confirming their widespread distribution in Space (2008). The link between Comets and Panspermia was investigated further with a NASA Launch performed by NASA beginning in 2004, entitled "The Stardust Mission". Ion Propulsion spacecraft was loaded with machinery to bring back lab samples from the tail of a comet. The published document from NASA entitled "NASA Researchers Make First Discovery of Life's Building Blocks in Comet‖ can be found online ( 2009-126). In addition, scientists have found a potential building block for life in a Martian meteorite recovered from Antarctica. Parts of the rock show rich concentration in Boron, which played a key role in the development of ribonucleic acid, or RNA, according to the biochemists (Stephenson, et al., 2013). Disaster Archaeology supports the afore-mentioned research results and embraces the concept of Panspermia that is widely found in the belief systems of ancient civilizations. As Fred Hoyle and Chandra Wickramasinghe (1986) have proposed, not only life originated from outer Space in the distant past, but, also, that terrestrial evolution continues to be driven by the input of extraterrestrial genetic material (see Furthermore, they suggested that various historical pandemics were caused by bacteria or virii delivered by comets. Nowadays, many other scientists examine seriously the likelihood that various plagues of the past times have been started when bacteria and viruses from outer space invaders (plasma, g-rays, Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters comets, and meteors) reached the earthen atmosphere (Mike Baillie, Gunnar Karlsson, Graham Twigg et al). On the other hand inspired researchers such as Immanuel Velikovsky (, Alfred de Grazia ( QuantaSeries.htm) & Paul La Violette (, have already pointed out the interrelation of similar past events with the formation of myths in ancient societies. Such mega-events, though unknown to modern experience, are indicated by ancient lore and traditions from many places worldwide and by various geological and biological phenomena detected via geoarchaeological and bioarchaeological studies. Similarly, a growing number of scientists assert that catastrophic encounters of Earth with such phenomena have played a major role on Earth‘s shaping and equilibrium (geology, climate). Especially, Impact lore and mythology seems to be of huge importance among ancient cultures. Gods‘ divine flames, rare planetary conjunctions, the wrath of celestial gods, falling stones, arrows that bring devastation, malignant signs and disturbance of the hydroclimatic balance, deathly epidemics along with other natural phenomena, elimination of humans and new generations arisen, all these symbolic features disclose the powerful truths behind the legendary narrations and local traditions of the past. Furthermore, the symbolic language that reveals plagues, upheaval and natural bio-disasters reminds modern scientists of neglected or hidden parameters of environmental, socio-economic and cultural changes. The chaotic violent forces of Space phenomena and their mechanisms with their primordial impetus (burning heat, the phenomenon of ‗nuclear winter‘, darkness, catastrophic accompanying phenomena like earthquakes or landslides and tsunami) gave birth to deities, creatures and heroes who formed famous mythological cycles, narrations and traditions all over the world. They all interconnect the devastating impacts of such phenomena to the ‗gifts of life‘ (birth of gods, of arts, of skills & technologies as metallurgy etc). Since 2005, the author has also started an attempt to highlight the dual role of Space phenomena (simultaneously bringers of building blocks of life or even life, and destructors) and the interrelations between astrobiological processes and past epidemics by providing new evidence through famous mythical cycles and various archaeodata (cosmologies, religious beliefs, texts) in human history. Apart from being examined, analyzed and interpreted through the new perspective of Disaster Archaeology‘s methodology, they are correlated with contemporary facts and trends in Paleo / Bio- anthropology (gene mutations caused by exposure to extraterrestrial ‗material‘ that leaded to changes in human physiology, brain size and structure, metabolic functions, cognition, etc). You are welcome to join the eproject Human Evolution from Space (, where we promote interdisciplinary international cooperation on such topics. Instinctively, but not surprisingly, humans always conceived the skies as their primordial ‗home‘, feeling like ‗stardust children‘. It is written in our DNA, human life and Universe, we are one.

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Archaeodisasters Chapter 3: Methodology 3.1. Issues of terminology Undoubtedly, the basic communicative tool in case of multidisciplinary research is the use of terms, since special or technical words or expressions vary from discipline to discipline, from country to country or from decade to decade. Consequently, dealing with archaeoenvironmental matters requires a very explicit definition and grouping of various interdisciplinary terms and their dynamics within the conceptual and methodological framework of archaeodisasters‟s analysis. These archaeoenvironmental entities can be briefly described as following: A. Natural Events and Human Societies, B. Environmental Entities, C. Impact and D. Cultural Heritage. A. Natural Events and Human Societies i. Natural Phenomena Earthquakes, typhoons, torrential rainfalls and volcanic eruptions are considered as environmental activity that occurs in Nature, independently of the human presence on Earth, even if they are considered as negative inputs of human ecosystems‘ stability ii. Hazard Unexpected or uncontrolled / inevitable natural event of unusual magnitude, that threatens the life and activities of humans and has some special characteristics : a) reforms the natural and cultural landscapes, b) intensifies the degradation‘s processes, especially when human factors play a prominent role, c) may provoke a broad spectrum of losses within human society (Burton, et al., 1978). Other factors and human-induced hazardous events (e.g. wars, famine, desertification, pollution and contamination) are also included in this category. Especially, as Conflict Hazards may be considered the wars, acts of terrorism, civil unrest, riots and revolutions iii. Exposure to hazards (1) The state in which a subject (human being, property, infrastructures or the environment per se) is susceptible to the impacts of a Hazard (2) All the kind of ‗items‘ / values (human lives, material goods, services, social structures, development rates) that are more exposed to hazards iv. Hazard Probability Estimated likelihood of a hazard possibly occurring in a particular area v. Risk (1) A measure of the exposure of a subject (human being, property, infrastructure, or the environment) to suffering harm or loss given its vulnerability. (2) Hazard x vulnerability x exposure, or expected losses (lives, injuries, property damage and economic activity) due to a particular hazard for a given area and reference period. As existential risks are characterized ―those where an adverse outcome would either

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Archaeodisasters annihilate Earth or intelligent life or permanently and drastically curtail its potential (Bostrom, 2001) vi. Acceptable risk (1) Risk tolerance. (2) That level of risk that is sufficiently low that society is comfortable with it. Society does not generally consider expenditure in further reducing such risks justifiable (Australian National, 1994). (3) Degree of human and material loss that is perceived by the community or relevant authorities as tolerable in actions to minimize disaster risk (UN, 1992, p. 3) vii. Risk analysis Qualitative and quantitative analysis which determines the nature and the extent of risk, considering the potential impacts and the vulnerability of the subject (human being, property, infrastructure, or the environment) viii. Risk assessment A risk assessment tells you “The hazards to which your state or community is susceptible; What these hazards can do to physical, social and economic assets; Which areas are most vulnerable to damage from these hazards; The resulting cost of damages or costs avoided through future mitigation projects� (FEMA, 2001: iii) ix. Risk evaluation Evaluation of the tolerability of the estimated risks based on certain acceptability criteria x. Uncertainty The state according to which the probability of occurrence of the natural hazard and its impacts are unknown xi. Emergency A more serious situation than an incident, but less serious than a disaster (Oxford Canadian Dictionary, 1998) xii. Accident Unintended damaging event, industrial mishap (Disaster and Emergency Reference Centre, 1998) xiii. Assessment Survey of real or potential disaster which estimates the actual or expected damages and to make recommendations for prevention, preparedness and response (UN, 1992, p. 15) xiv. Crisis Management (1) Coordination of actions during acute emergency (D & E Reference Center, 1998). (2) The unplanned strategies that may be implemented to respond effectively to the challenges arising when a disaster strikes Material under copyright protection



xv. Early Warning To inform efficiently those potentially affected by the hazard of the actions to be taken in order to reduce the risk and respond effectively to the impending danger xvi. Forecast Statement or statistical estimation concerning the occurrence of a future event. This term is used with different meanings in different disciplines, instead of the term „prediction‟ (UN, 1992, p. 4) xvii. Preparedness The measures and activities taken to ensure effective response to the potential impacts of a hazard xviii. Prevention The measures and actions taken to avoid the potential impacts of a natural hazard xix. Proactive Management Measures taken and actions planned in advance, involving adjustments in the infrastructure and/or the existing legislature, in addition to arrangements among the relevant institutions xx. Mitigation Measures taken in advance of a disaster aimed at decreasing or eliminating its impact on society and on environment (UN, 1992, p. 4) xxi. Vulnerability (1) Situation derived from a number of parameters (natural, environmental, socioeconomic, cultural, technological), which transform and influence the response of human societies to hazards, or degree of loss resulting from a potentially damaging phenomenon. (2) “A set of conditions and processes resulting from physical, social, economic and environmental factors, which increase the susceptibility of a community to the impact of hazards” (U.N.I.S.D.R.., 2002, p. 24) xxii. Response Those activities and programs designed to address the immediate and short-term effects of the onset of an emergency or disaster (FEMA, 1992) xxiii. Recovery Those long-term activities and programs beyond the initial crisis period of an emergency or disaster designed to return all systems to normal status or to reconstitute these systems to a new condition that is less vulnerable (FEMA, 1992) xxiv. Sustainable development It is that which ―meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs‖ (UN World Commission, 1987, p. 8) Material under copyright protection



xxv. Transformational Adaptation A recent interdisciplinary concept (widely used in climatic changes and their impact on human societies) according to which: a) Intolerable losses usually lead to systemic or paradigm shifts, and power relations to transformation at different levels and dimensions, b) The changes are usually radical, challenging the current status quo, c) At personal and emotional level, the requiring changes are painful, scary and exhausting, d) Effective leadership is required, e) The timing of interventions is crucial and the process is conceived as a ‗journey‘, a ‗plan‘ or a ‗route map‘ (Lonsdale, et al., 2015). B. Environmental Entities i. Ecosystem The totality of abiotic and biotic elements and parameters within the environment which exists in a given geographical area. Ecosystems are complex adaptive systems that behave in a ‗non-linear‘ way through non-equilibrium thermodynamics. Ecosystems Ecology is a relatively young field, Tansley coined the term in 1935 (Prigogine, 1980; Odum, 1983; Prigogine and Stengers, 1984; Rindos, 1986; O‘Neill et al., 1986; Brooks and Wiley, 1988; Turner, 1989; Turner, et al., 1989; Moran, 1990; Turner, 1990; Durham, 1991; Crumley, 1994; Berkes and Folke, 1998; Levin, 1998; Marcus, 1998; Adams, 2001; Bentley and Maschner, 2003). Any natural ecosystem which is directly or indirectly related to the human presence is called human ecosystem (Young, 1974; Dalton, 1975; Whittaker, 1975; Rappenglueck, 2009). Recent interdisciplinary studies include another term which unifies the living reality of biological and social systems. According to this point of view, the natural analytical unit for sustainable development research is the socio-ecological system (SES). A SES is defined as a system that includes societal (human) and ecological (biophysical) subsystems in mutual interaction (Gallopín, 1991). It can be specified for any scale from the local community and its surrounding environment, to the global system constituted by the whole of humankind (the ‗anthroposphere‘) and the ecosphere ( ii. Environment The environment may be distinguished into Real / Objective and Perceived. The first can be further analyzed into: a) Geographical (the physical and biological landscape within which humans live and act), b) Operational (the space that can provide food and other sources for the survival of the humans) and c) Modified (the area which shows the visible ‗fingerprints‘ of human action). Moreover, the Perceived Environment includes the parts of Geographical and Operational Environment, visible or not, that human society knows about and make decisions out of them (Butzer, 1982) iii. Landscape The concept of place is a vivid entity which embraces human‟s perception of the landscape. Each and every place has its own identity, character and expression‟s patterns, its own language, tangible or metaphorical / spiritual. Each and every place constitutes of parallel and overlaying landscapes that include: rational forms & mythica l symbolism, the collective unconsciousness of people passing by or settling in them, multiple Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters coexisting cultures, traditions, customs and habits, varying environmental settings (climate, geomorphology, flora & fauna), visual, acoustic, savoury, smelling and tangible impressions and memories, as well as events, accidents and changing names. International conferences have defined the term „landscape‟ as „the visualization‟ of abiotic and biotic elements and parameters within the environment, that exist in a given geographical area and have a strong relation to each other, the natural place of ecosystem‟s expression, an area, as perceived by people, whose character is the result of the action and interaction of natural and / or human factors (European Convention, 2000; Palermo Declaration, 14 - 16 November 2003). This is only a glimpse into the vast world of landscapes, extended from Neurobiology to Astrophysics, for landscapes are created out of people‟s understanding and engagement with the world around them, constantly shaped and reshaped, always temporal, polyvalent and multivocal (Lindström, et al., 2014). They are not a „record‟ but a „recording‟ as they provoke memory and facilitate or impede action. They embrace both the untidiness of spatial temporalities and structural inequalities, as well as the past embedded in them (Bender, 2002). The complex intersections of memory and landscape (e.g. material or idealized, mental, inner, symbolic, gendered, sacred, familiar, of diaspora, of loss, of silence) are registered on the pathways of power, fiction, architecture, symbolism, gender, art, space‟s organization and death‟s reality. Thus, landscapes are no longer to be separated from human experience or seen as purely visual, they include, instead, movements, relationships, memories and histories through space and time (Feld and Basso, 1996). Modern archaeologists try to understand the landscapes that work and are worked on many different scales (Tilley, 1994; Bender, 2001). C. Impacts i. Crisis Short period of extreme danger or a cute emergency (D & E Reference Centre, 1998). A ―deeply felt frustration or basic problem with which routine methods, secular or sacred, cannot cope‖ (La Barre, 1971, p. Il). It implies instability with a potential for an evolution in different directions (Prince, 1920, pp. 16-17); either things become normal again afterwards or the situation deteriorates (Driessen, 1995, p. 65). When a community of people (organization, town, or a nation) perceives an urgent threat to core values or life-sustaining functions, which must be dealt with under conditions of uncertainty (Rosenthal, Boin and Comfort, 2001). Both in crises and disasters, we deal with unexpected, undesirable, unimaginable, and often unmanageable situations (Hewitt, 1983). But, a disaster occurs when a crisis escalates to a devastating ending (Boin, 2005; Boin and T‘ Hart in Rodriguez, Quarantelli and Dynes, 2007, ch. 3, pp. 42-54) ii. Catastrophe An unusually severe (extreme) disaster, with irreversible impacts in the economy, the social life and/or the environment. Often, scientists separate disasters from catastrophes, according to some main features, e.g. catastrophes have extremely large physical and social impacts, response requires federal initiative and proactive mobilization, in case of modern societies, massive challenges exceed those envisaged in pre-existing plans, emergency response system may be paralysed either at local or state Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters level, public is extensively involved in long-term response, and the effects are cascading and long-term, along with the recovery challenges which are massive (Community and Regional Resilience Institute; CARRI Research Report no 6, table 1, p. 2, by Kathleen Tierney, 2009; Available at:<>). iii. Calamity ―A massive or extreme catastrophic disaster that extends over time and space‖, e.g. Black Death (Drabek, 1996, 2.4) iv. Disaster The term can be defined in many ways: (1) Calamity beyond the coping capacity of the effected population, triggered by natural or technological hazards or by human actions (D & E Reference Centre, 1998; Perry in Rodriguez, Quarantelli and Dynes, 2007, ch. 1, pp.1-15) (2) An occurrence inflicting widespread destruction and distress in the economy, the social life and the environment (3) A serious disruption of the functioning of a community or a society involving widespread human, material, economic or environmental losses and impacts that exceed the ability of the affected community or society to cope using its own resources (International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, 2011) (4) Catastrophic event that causes a lot of casualties, injuries and deaths & destruction of human properties, disturbing ecosystems‘ stability. It may be of natural / environmental, human-induced / technological or ‗exoterrestrial‘ origin. ―Disasters occur when hazards meet vulnerability". A natural hazard will hence never result in a natural disaster in areas without vulnerability, e.g. strong earthquake in uninhabited areas. The term natural has consequently been disputed because the events simply are not hazards or disasters without human involvement. The degree of potential loss can also depend on the nature of the hazard itself, ranging from a single lightning strike, which threatens a very small area, to impact events, which have the potential to end civilization (Furedi, 2007). In recent years two other concepts have also gained popularity (initially used by May 2007 in cases produced by the US Federal Emergency Management Agency – FEMA, and, later in FEMA‘s Facilitator Guide, 2011), the terms cascading effects and cascading disasters (Peters, et al. 2008; Franchina, et al. 2011,), which do not coincide with the term toppling dominoes (Genserik, 2009) when referring to crises and disasters. The pivotal axis is the concept of "risk societies" in a global interdependence of human, natural, and technological systems, which can produce hazards and disasters (Alexander, 2000; Helbing, 2005; Perry and Quarantelli, 2005; D‘Ercole and Metzger, 2009; Helbing, 2013; Jha, et al., 2013). Another characteristic of cascading disasters is that they are considered as extreme events, highlighting unresolved vulnerabilities in human societies. The word disaster etymologically entered the English language from a work in French (désastre), which in turn was a derivation from two Latin words, dis (against) and astrum (stars) , hence, ‗the stars are evil‘... Thus, in its early usage, the word had reference to unfavourable or negative effects, usually of a personal nature, resulting from a star or planet (Quarantelli, 1987, p. 8) v. Disaster-induced Collapse of Human Ecosystems

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Archaeodisasters Long- interval event in human history, both environmental and cultural. The end of the 13th century BCE and the collapse of Bronze Age eastern Mediterranean civilizations are included among them (Laoupi, 2006) vi. Pollution The presence of pollutants (substances, noise, radiation, etc) in the environment in such a quantity, concentration or duration that may cause harm on human health, on the proliferation of living organisms and on the equilibrium of ecosystems, making the environment unfit to human uses. Its main forms are: air, water and soil, noise and light, littering, thermal and radioactive. Some of these existed since antiquity, for example, the cases due to Greek, Roman and Chinese metal production vii. Contamination Each form of pollution that is characterized by the presence of pathogenic microorganisms in the environment or other indicators that imply the probability of the presence of such micro-organisms. Any undesirable and dangerous change in the natural, the chemical and the biological properties of air, soil, subsoil, and the water, which can influence and threaten the health, the survival and the operations of all forms of life viii. Degradation Negative impact of pollution on the ecological equilibrium, the quality of life, the salvage of cultural heritage and the aesthetic values of human communities. Anthropogenic pollution or any other change in the environment, which is likely to impact: a. the ecological balance, b. the quality of life and the health of residents, c. the historical and cultural heritage, and d. the aesthetic values ix. Change Changes, either expressed as periodical phenomena with moderate character or as sudden, violent, and highly dangerous events, transform the natural ecosystems, rebuild the landscapes and forge new dynamics in human societies, by influencing the demographic stability, the socio-economic profile, the cultural trends and many investment strategies. There is a quite promising and thought provoking approach of archaeodisasters as a whole, within the framework of a holistic analysis, according to which we define every possible sphere of interaction between the event and its complications (de Grazia, 2005). The interdependence among these elements could be viewed through the lenses of the Geosphere, Astrosphere, Electrosphere and Plasmasphere, Atmosphere, Ecosphere and Biosphere, Theosphere, Mythosphere, Anthroposphere, Psychosphere, Chronosphere, etc As natural phenomenon, change can be: a) cyclical, encompassing the rhythmically repeated events (e.g. seasons of the year, day and night, tide), b) progressive, when the process lasts for many centuries exceeding the lifespan of man and few generations ahead (e.g. the formation of ice sheets or the erosion of the coasts) and c) irregular or chaotic (e.g. storms, volcanic eruptions, spread of epidemics, wandering of geomagnetic poles & magnetic field reversals). The periodicities in Cosmos include Milankovitch cycles (Eccentricity, Obliquity & Precession of the Earth's orbit) and many phenomena such as equinoxes and solstices, Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters length of the year, lunar & solar eclipses, lunar standstills, motion of inferior and superior planets, heliacal and achronal risings and settings, appearance of comets and super novae explosions, meteor showers & fire balls (bolides), sun spot cycles and coronal mass ejections, galactic core explosions, auroras and intense plasma phenomena, etc. As cultural phenomenon, change can be distinguished into three levels: a) the adaptive adjustments (e.g. the phases during Classical Period), b) the adaptive modification (e.g. the boundary between Classical and Hellenistic Era) and c) the adaptive transformation (e.g. the starting point of Industrial Epoch in Western societies) (Laoupi, 1999). Even if the controversial concept of change within Nature and Society was always present in the works of intellectual persons since early Antiquity, modern scholars have more flexible and interdisciplinary tools to register the multiple faces of past changes in the archaeoenvironments (Butzer, 1982; Einsele,, 1991; Harris and Thomas, 1991; Moseley, 1997; Liritzis, 2013). The natural ecosystems provide scientists with quite helpful information, not always easily retrieved, though. The sequences of events, which happen in a huge spectrum of space and time, being periodically or chaotically repeated, are imprinted on a series of elements, structures and markers that share a common approach, the main concept of Stratigraphy (Physical Stratigraphy, Lithostratigraphy, Chronostratigraphy, Biostratigraphy / Ecostratigraphy, Chemostratigraphy / Geochemical Stratigraphy, Seismic Stratigraphy, Cyclostratigraphy, Tephrostratigraphy, Bog Stratigraphy, Magnetostratigraphy). This concept, along with Taphonomy, is also the main methodological tool of archaeological investigations referring to the human ecosystems of the past and their ‗fingerprint‘ on Earth‘s archive. Furthermore, the concept of Accretion, meaning the visible or measurable transformation (in quality, quantity, context or composition) of material due to geological, biochemical and other processes, for example the formation of annual Ice-Layers, various Lacustrine Deposits and Geological Formations (e.g. soil formation / pedogenesis & Loess ), Tree-rings, Deep-Sea Sediments / Sapropels, Coral Bands and Algal Stromatolites, has enriched the worldwide scientific efforts with extremely resourceful data banks. In addition, T-GIS (Temporal Geographic Information System) seem to share some common functional characteristics not only with hazard research, but also with archaeological entities, even the Catastrophist Mythology itself (Laoupi, 2005). Most information embraced by the myths is spatial and temporal in nature, like the archaeological entities do, therefore, especially suited to the basic principles of GIS (Allen, et al., 1990; Langran, 1992; Peuquet, 1994; Koussoulakou and Stylianidis, 1999; Westcott & Brandon, 2000). Moreover, this challenging tool provides a complete lineage of elements, layers, sets and features concerning disaster topics, including the evolution of catastrophic phenomena over time and their state at any moment of human history. Respectively, often the use of a GIS platform in Cognitive Archaeology and Anthropology is wisely based on the acceptance that mythology is a historic source for archaeological research. Its use for the interpretation of mythological and geographical data aims at the deeper understanding of the mechanisms of continuity in a holistic and unified way. Modern technologies may be promising enough to provide both the practical framework and the assessment tools and strategies for the re-evaluation of ancient knowledge.

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Archaeodisasters Finally, a very promising tool is the comparative study of destruction layers all over the world, either as archaeological stratigraphic units or as a feature of geological sequences. Of course, there is a necessity for undertaking long field seasons, working on laboratory‘s data evaluation, collecting evidence from memory institutions and communicating with specialists, until we reach high level of synchronized well-explained sequences. x. Ecological Disturbances Intense events of short nature but with long-term impact (e.g. wildfires, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes) xi. Ecological Perturbations Gradual events with long term impact (e.g. drought spells, microbial ecosystem‘s perturbations such Ebola) xii. Ecological or Environmental Stress The term refers to physical, chemical, and biological constraints on the productivity of species and on the development of ecosystems. Ecological responses result when the exposure to environmental stressors increases or decreases in intensity. Stressors can be either, natural environmental factors (e.g. competition, herbivory, predation, parasitism, and disease), or human- induced (e.g. pollution, radiation). Some environmental stressors exert a relatively local influence, while others are regional or global in their scope. Generally, stressors are challenges to the integrity of ecosystems and to the quality of the environment. Species and ecosystems have some capacity to tolerate changes in the intensity of environmental stressors (resistance), but there are limits to this attribute, which represent thresholds of tolerance xiii. Ecological Shock Droughts and hurricanes are severe environmental shocks that punctuate the lives of vulnerable populations in many parts of the world, having direct impacts and longerterm effects. These, are diversified according to the resilience / sensitivity / vulnerability of complex systems (either natural or social), their coping mechanisms and recovery strategies. Moreover, human activities generate interlinked challenges that include climate change, emerging diseases, food and water crises, resulting in nonlinear, and perhaps, irreversible shifts in the behaviour of the planetary systems (Crépin, 2011). D. Cultural Heritage As cultural heritage can be assigned any kind of evidence related to human action, any ‗product‘ of human creativeness and expression, widely accepted for its scientific, historic, artistic and anthropological value. On the other hand, natural landscapes are also included in the lists of patrimony objects that must be protected. Issues of cultural heritage‘s vulnerability to natural and human-induced hazards are primarily examined by Rescue / Salvage / Conservation Archaeology, a scientific field which shares several characteristics with Disaster Archaeology. Terms as integrated conservation and protection management, preservation, consolidation, anastylosis, reconstruction, and Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters restoration, reflect the repeated human attempts, since Antiquity, to protect and exploit the cultural landscapes of the past (e.g. Cleere, 1984; Brandt & Hassan, 2000; Breen and Forsythe, 2001). Apart from the Greek constitutional framework, international meetings can provide all the terms needed for further analysis , e.g. UNESCO General Conference 17 October - 21 November 1972, Paris (Convention for the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage) & UNIDROIT 1995 Convention, International Committee for the Management of Archaeological Heritage (ICAHM) 9th General Assembly 1990, Lausanne (Charter on the Protection and Management of the Archaeological Heritage) , the United Nations Law of the Sea Convention - 16 November 1994, ICOMOS Charter 1990 (Charter for the Protection and Management of the Archaeological Heritage), ICOMOS 11th General Assembly, 9 October 1996, Sofia Bulgaria (Charter on the Protection and Management of Underwater Cultural Heritage), International Committee on the Underwater Cultural Heritage (ICUCH), November 1991 & UNESCO / DOLAS Convention, European Convention on the Protection of the Archaeological Heritage, 16 January 1992, Valletta , NATURA 2000 network, Directive 92/43/EEC, Rio Convention 1992, etc. i. Natural Landscapes Natural features (physical or biological formations), geological and physiographical formations, natural sites and protected natural areas (marine parks, national parks, aesthetic forests, protected monuments of nature, game reserves and hunting reserves, eco-development areas), along with the four types of biodiversity (genetic, species, habitat, landscape), are unified under the umbrella of this category ii. Cultural Landscapes Cultural landscapes include places, features, objects, memories and perceptions related either to natural or man-made environments, ranging from these that are lost or ‗mythical‘ , to those with numerous surviving features. Some are living landscapes, but their usage has altered them considerably, while others are largely unchanged. Sometimes, ‗fossil landscapes‘ (e.g. Pompei, shipwrecks on the sea floor of Black Sea) are unusually well preserved due to various environmental conditions or geological / physical processes. Monuments, caves of archaeological interest, groups of buildings, archaeological sites (open air areas, subterranean, submarine or coastal), mobile objects, archival material, scientific works, paleontological & paleoanthropological remains, industrial sites and landscapes of memory (e.g. languages, oral traditions, sacred and mythical landscapes), museums and collections, all are prone to diverse hazards, the impacts of which can demand extremely expensive restoration programmes. Finally, the category of the archaeological remnants underneath the surface of earth or water, usually being transformed into geological features (e.g. buried sites under river courses, cultivated lands, estuaries, layers of various sediments, etc) cry out for their complete protection from all kinds of physical disturbance iii. Archaeological Systems Any kind of information which is revealed today and concerns the human life in the past, refers either to the past human ecosystems or the archaeological landscapes. The Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters structure of the later is narrower than this of the former, because archaeological landscapes can be ‗frozen‘ in time (e.g. the fossil landscapes of Akrotiri and Pompei & Herculaneum) and may represent only some functions and choices of the society that are registered on the environment in specific ‗coordinates‘ (tempo, locales) or reflect the cultural ‗universe‘ of a human group during a specific period of time. Thus, an archaeological system includes the remains of human civilizations and their environmental setting. On the contrary, past human ecosystems embrace all the parameters, natural and cultural, that may leave various remains (ecofacts, artefacts & mentifacts) and interrelate to each other constantly. This point of view reinforces us to study the whole spectrum of natural and cultural phenomena, requiring an apt knowledge ranging from our solar system and Space weather to the microcosm of living cells, from the climax of historical events to the vast periods of geological time (Dalton, 1975; Wagstaff, 1987; Schama, 1995; Hirsch and O‘ Hanlon, 1995; Ashmore and Knapp, 1999; Ferran Dincauze, 2000) iv. Hazardscapes Concept that captures the discursive and material aspects of environmental and social hazards. The term has been coined in the 1990‘s initially referring to technological hazards (Corson, 1999) and it is used along two other terms riskspaces and disasterscapes although they are distinctive from each other because hazardscapes represent the existing and potential sources of natural and human-induced threats / hazards (―hazard as an agent‖), riskscapes portray potential damage / risks and disasterscapes demonstrate the actual damage from disasters. Thus a hazardscape can be defined here as a dynamic scape which reflects the physical susceptibility of a place and vulnerability of human life and assets to various hazards in a given human ecological system‖ where coexist and interact various agents and parameters (HS=Hazardscape: E= Ecosystem; H=Hazard; P1=Process; P2=Place; P3=People; PS=Physical Susceptibility; V=Vulnerability; R=Response) (Smith, 1992; Corson, 1999; Cutter et al., 2000; Gray, 2001; Glade, et al., 2005; Mustafa, 2005; ODESC, 2007; Reese et al., 2007; Khan and Crozier, 2009; Kapur, 2010; Paul, 2011). Khan, Crozier, and Kennedy (2012) extended the term hazardscape into the cognitive or behavioural sphere of analysis especially in geographical urban setting related to political economy. The socio-political analysis of hazards enriched the research going beyond the environmental and anthropological perspectives in disaster studies (Steinberg, 2000; Bankoff, 2001; Wisner, et al, 2004; Pelling and Dill, 2010; Khan, 2012) v. Conservation-Preservation Mild form of intervention (prevention and protection) that it is limited in interventions on the surface, without degrading the form and the structure of the monument. In a wider meaning of the protection of culture, it also includes other units: a) periodical or regular maintenance, b) preventive maintenance (preventive conservation), c) repairs, d) fixings (consolidation/stabilization), e) reinforcement/strengthening, f) further reinforcement (restoration) (Mallouhou-Tufano, 2004)

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Archaeodisasters vi. Integrated Conservation This term was adopted in the Statement of Amsterdam (1975) and the Convention of Granada (1985). It concerns the protection of the European architectural cultural heritage (monuments, cities, old historical districts, traditional villages, historical parks and gardens). In this category of intervention the following are included: (1) the integration of monuments not only in the natural and the historical environment, but also in the general city- and urban-planning, (2) the dynamic participation of all involved institutions, services and citizens, (3) the planning of the economic development and (4) various interventions, such as: a) revitalization, b) reuse, c) rehabilitation / improvement, d) regeneration, e) renewal, f) enhancement (Mallouhou-Tufano, 2004) vii. Protection A term of broader meaning that includes all the above mentioned terms (i.e. Conservation-Preservation, Integrated Conservation, Restoration , Reconstruction, Management, Integrated protection / conservation and management) as well as the establishment of legislative measures and ensuring the economic resources for the promotion of the desirable objectives (Mallouhou-Tufano, 2004) viii. Integrated Protection / Conservation and Management This term was used in the International Map for the Protection and Management of the Archaeological Heritage (1990). It includes the execution and implementation of developmental programs, that take into account a lot of parameters (environmental, educational, cultural, urban planning, city planning) and in which all the levels of power (local government, state, revenue service, archaeologists, citizens, associations) are actively involved. The basis of these programmes is the promotion and utilisation of the information for the public (Mallouhou- Tufano, 2004) ix. Heritage Management The Management of Archaeological Heritage arose as a concept and it was established as a research field in the middle of the 1980‘s. Given its dynamic and interdisciplinary properties, it includes: (1) the search and discovery of monuments (surface research, recording), (2) the excavations, (3) the interventions of fixing, maintenance and restoration, (4) the interventions of recognition, organisation, configuration, presentation and use of the monuments. The cultural monuments are considered to be ‗wealth-producing resources‘ (cultural resources), which the citizens experience via means of educational and recreational processes (Mallouhou- Tufano, 2004) x. Reconstruction Drastic intervention in the monuments that involves their construction anew or significant additions and reconstruction, with disproportionate percentage of new materials relative to the salvaged parts. Generally it is considered to be a condemnable practice. It is applied in cases of severe destruction (e.g. wars, fire and earthquakes) or within the frame ‗of educational/teaching‘ policy for defining the social profile of Archaeology, always observing the term of faith for authentic restoration (MallouhouTufano, 2004) Material under copyright protection



xi. Restoration Specialised intervention that aims on one hand to preserve the natural substance of the monuments and on the other hand to bring out their general cultural and innate characteristics (Mallouhou-Tufano, 2004) xii. Environmental Archaeology Interdisciplinary scientific field that studies the natural, built and socio-economic environments of the past within the integrated approach of human ecosystems. The framework of three components (resources, processes & effects) is related to three axes (A: flora, fauna, human beings, minerals, water, land, air, etc.; B: buildings, housing, communication system, water supply, etc.; C: human activities, education, health, arts and culture, economic activities, heritage, lifestyles in general) and based on archaeological remains (ecofacts, artefacts, mentifacts). Environmental Archaeology is concentrating its interests on the collection of various types of information to reconstruct the natural and cultural landscapes of the past that were â&#x20AC;&#x2014;usedâ&#x20AC;&#x2DC; and modified by humans (Dincauze, 2000) xiii. Landscape Archaeology Multidisciplinary in its approach to the study of culture, it is sometimes referred to as the Archaeology of the cultural landscape, studying the ways in which people in the past constructed and used the environment around them. The key feature that distinguishes this perspective from other archaeological approaches to sites is that there is an explicit emphasis on the study of the relationships between material culture, human alteration of land/cultural modifications to landscape, and the natural environment. It, also, studies how landscapes were used to create and reinforce social inequality and to announce one's social status to the community at large (Aston and Rowley, 1974; Wagstaff, 1987; Yamin and Metheny, 1996; Hood, 1996; Chapman, 2006; Branton, 2009; Spencer-Wood and Baugher, 2010) xiv. Rescue Archaeology Sometimes called Preventive or Salvage Archaeology, it embraces both archaeological survey and excavation carried out in areas threatened by, or revealed by, construction or other development, always undertaken at speed. These conditions could include, but are not limited to, the building of dams where sites of interest might exist in the flood plain, highway projects, major construction, or even before the onset of war operations. Urban areas with many overlaid years of habitation are often candidates, too. Rescue Archaeology is included in the broader category of Cultural Resource Management (CRM). But, the term and the practice of RA is largely restricted to Americas, West Europe, and East Asia, especially the United States, the United Kingdom, Korea, and Japan. In many European countries (e.g. in Germany), there is extensive Research Archaeology; in the Middle East, relative projects are generally named after the term Salvage Archaeology (Neumann and Sanford, 2001) xv. Public Archaeology

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Archaeodisasters Called, also, Community Archaeology (mainly in UK), it passes along information discovered in Academic Archaeology to people outside of the profession, via the Internet, or books, television programs, lectures, pamphlets, museum displays, archaeology fairs, or by opening up excavations to the public. Often, PA encourages the preservation of archaeological ruins, and, less commonly, continues government support of excavation and preservation studies associated with construction projects. Much of PA is conducted by museums, historical societies and professional archaeology associations. Increasingly, CRM studies in the United States and Europe require the presence of PA component, arguing that the results paid for by a community should be returned to that community. But, archaeologists must, also, face a range of ethical considerations when developing public archaeology projects (e.g. the minimizing of looting and vandalism, the discouragement of international trade in antiquities, and privacy issues associated with studied peoples), aggravated by a range of preconceptions on the part of the excavator, and the decayed and broken pieces of the archaeological record, as well as by the revelation of some unpleasant truths (Little, 2002; Merriman, 2004; Shakel & Chambers, 2004; Holtorf, 2005; Blain and Wallis, 2006; Joffe,2006; Holtorf,2007; Kristensen, 2007; Scherzler, 2007; Williams & Williams, 2007; Jameson, 2008; Pyburn, 2008; Scheper-Hughes, 2009; Smith and Waterton, 2009). 3.2 What kind of hazard or disaster? Any modern researcher who has to deal with archaeodisaster analysis and cultural heritage assessment, should be able to trace past catastrophes, landscapes‘ changes and ecological oscillations, as well as to recognize and classify the existent / possible hazards that may have impact on patrimony‘s units, either natural or cultural, before evaluating and analyzing them. These hazards are divided into natural (30) and human-induced (54). The natural hazards include the following phenomena: land movements, landslides, avalanches, soil liquefaction, earthquakes, sea-level changes, coastline regression / transgression, tsunami, volcanic eruption, submarine pockmarks of natural gas, gravitational waves, electromagnetic storms, rapid climatic changes, changes in the biochemical synthesis of waters, prolonged drought, floods, hail, unexpected frost or snow, prolonged burning heat, typhoons, tornadoes, stormy winds, dust / sand storms, soil erosion, desertification, extensive disappearance of plant and animal species, transgression of marshy areas, lethal mutations of pathogens / pandemics, meteoritic falls, wild fires, infestation / blight (e.g. insects, birds, reptiles, carnivores or undesirable plant species). The human-induced hazards include the following cases: massive movement of populations, drainage of marshes, lakes and rivers, burying of streams, habitation of sites near volcanoes or faults, changes of river‘s course, intentional fires, dams, land‘s deforestation, transmitters of electric power, extended industrial units, mines and quarries, overexploitation of natural resources, intensive cultivation of the land, noise pollution, exhaustion of ground water tables, destruction of wetlands, explosives and other kinds of vibrations, overpopulation, aesthetic alteration of the landscape, ignorance / indifference concerning the cultural heritage, degradation of life‘s quality, vandalisms, insufficient / non existent enclosure of the site, smuggling, insufficient / problematic Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters cleaning / hygiene of the site, other problems inside the site, destruction of subterranean antiquities due to land‘s cultivation, building procedures, etc, problems in static balance of monuments, unauthorized removal of architectural elements, cutting of architectural elements, mutilation of the monument, erosion, burying, alteration of site‘s general profile, alteration of monument‘s view, disappearance of various elements, items etc, defective watching of the site, defective conditions of conservation, study or storage concerning the materials found in the site, interventions of bad taste concerning the external spaces of the monument, use of ancient elements in later works, graffiti, existence of high buildings within 500 m. distance from the site, vicinity to dense populated area, various works in progress, e.g. harbour installations, industries, road construction, etc, unsuccessful methods and techniques of conservation, intensive rates of visitors, difficulties in site‘s accessibility, difficulties in site‘s touristic exploitation. Civil / political disorders can, also, affect, directly or indirectly the natural and cultural heritage, for example, cross-border pollution, non cooperative management of cultural resources among states that share common frontiers, war / conflict, biological war, chemical pollution, nuclear pollution, economic emergencies, riots and strikes, terrorism and sabotage. In fact, am initial hazard usually escalates into secondary hazards, for example, an earthquake causes landslides, building collapses, hazardous material spill, tsunami / seiche, water pollution, interruption of communication, water supply, transportation, etc (Lavalla and Stoffel, 1983, p. 119). In addition, Disaster Archaeology accepts the measuring entities of space and time, as presented by Dincauze (2000). Spatial Scales / Area (km2 ) / Spatial Units Mega - 5,1 x 10 8 Earth; < 10 8 Continents, Hemispheres Macro- 10 4 - 10 7 Physiographic province, region Meso - 10 2 - 10 4 Site catchment, area; 1-10 2 Locality, city, large city Micro - < 1 Locale, site, house, activity area Temporal Scales / Duration or Frequency (yr) / Spans Mega - > 10 6 (1 Ma) more than 1.000.000 years Macro 10 4 - 10 6 (10 Ka – 1Ma) 10.000 to 1 million years Meso 10 2 - 10 4 (0,1 Ka - 10 Ka) centuries to 10.000 years (millennial) Micro - < 10 2 (0,001 Ka - 0,1 Ka) less than one century (decadal) Disaster Archaeology makes use of many scientific fields, in order to study and interpret archaeodisasters, as well as their impact and traces in ancient cultures. Its objectives combine scientific and humanistic goals, including the identification and analysis of archaeological systems, in order to illuminate the long-forgotten cultural processes that created them. As a multidisciplinary enterprise, Disaster Archaeology includes attempts to reconstruct the full spectrum of elements composing a vanished society, its economy, commerce, political organization, religious beliefs, and mythology, before combining the existing evidence with complex information retrieved by other

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Archaeodisasters sciences, because the environmental setting is equally important when we study past catastrophic events. A great number of fields provide Disaster Archaeology with the needed information (Geoarchaeology, Volcanology, Archaeoseismology, Glaciology, Archaeoastronomy, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoceanography, Palaeohydrology, Paleontology, Palaeoanthropology, Palaeodemography, Palaeopathology, Palaeoecology, Archaeozoology, Archaeobotany, Palaeogeography, Palaeomagnetism, Tree-ring Dating). Respectively, research on archaeological topics may contribute to the study of archaeodisasters (Social / Behavioural Archaeology, Landscape and Environmental Archaeology, Astroarchaeology and Astromythology, Geomythology, Archaeometry, Study of ancient technologies, Study of communication systems - e.g. languages, commercial routes, alliances & wars, exchange patterns, systems of investment & imposition, religions, economies - , Study of ancient sources of information - e.g. analysis of written texts, artistic representations, ceremonies & rites, beliefs & oral traditions). Despite their undoubted and valuable help, though, the final evaluation of information remains a strictly archaeoenvironmental business. 3.3 Disaster Assessment of past catastrophic events There are many reasons why it has proved very difficult to obtain a consensus on the meaning of the terms 'disaster' and 'catastrophe'. Firstly, the disciplinary orientations restrict a unanimous approach. Some scholars regard them as synonymous, while others consider them as descriptive of different levels of impact. Thousands of titles relating to hazard assessment exist already worldwide causing interminable discussions. Similarly, instead of imposing a numerical threshold on archaeodisaster, not a particularly successful practice, the author proposes an alternative approach. i. Spatial and temporal definition The chosen areas that are the case studies of hazard analysis are determined according to their coordinates, their geographical setting and the period of time during which the research is referred to. ii. Identification of hazards A quite long catalogue of natural and man-induced hazards is always a useful tool, in order to understand the variety of archaeorisks. There is also another group of hazards, especially human-induced (e.g. industrial, technological or natural triggered by human action) that refer to modern landscapes, either natural or cultural. They must be equally studied, if scientists want to present a more holistic view of hazard/disaster analysis. iii. Hazard Evaluation According to the availability of information , researchers can define a number of escalated or measurable parameters: Predictability of the event, Probability of the event, Reversibility, Magnitude, Intensity, Duration, Frequency, Targets affected (human losses, injuries, crops, goods and holdings, facilities and services, infrastructure, buildings, landscapes, biodiversity, cultural universe), Severity of Consequences. iv. Evaluation of Vulnerability According to the availability of information, a number of escalated or measurable parameters can be defined as following: Carrying Capacity of the area (ecological & Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters anthropological), Differentiation of stress (ecological, cultural, and biological), and Determination of risk level (environmental, ecological, technological, anthropological / biological, cultural, economic, political). In other words, the number of people exposed to danger, the existence of social or other groups of people prone to specific hazard, the physical / mental conditions of humans, the possibility of quick recovery and the parameters that block it, the alternatives and the choices are some of the criteria, which may be further analyzed in a systematic way. v. Post shock Evaluation According to the availability of information, a number of escalated or measurable parameters can be defined as following: Visible or invisible results, Direct or indirect results, Short term or long term results, Permanent, transient or periodical results. vi. Hazard Management Policies The reaction of ancient population to crises may differ considerably: have the possibility to avoid the risk, have the possibility to control the risk, have the possibility to reduce the consequences of hazards, have the possibility to reduce the likelihood of their occurrence, have the possibility to transfer the risk, fully or partially. vii. Adaptive Processes In general, the ‗lifecycle‘ of hazards includes several phases, dynamica lly interrelated: Prevention- Preparedness - Response- Mitigation - Recovery. Even if the first two phases weren‘t present in hazard assessment of few ancient societies, they still had to deal with the rest crucial stages. 3.4. Indices - markers - proxy data of past disasters in archaeoenvironments The author suggested a more thoroughly organized approach and evaluation of archaeodisaster information, which may be of varied origin. This information should be formed in few main groups: geological - physical, paleontological / biochemical, astrophysical / geochemical & archaeognostic (archaeological, philological, historic, artistic and mythological). The catalogue is not exhaustive, only some outstanding examples are given to facilitate a further discussion amongst archaeologists and paleoenvironmentalists. Apart from the archaeognostic evidence, the three aforementioned groups are strictly studied by their disciplines, which provide Disaster Archaeology with the requested conclusions or suggestions.

Geological / Physical Markers ◗ Geotectonic formations proving sudden uplift or submerging of landmasses or / and sea level fluctuations ◗ Glaciofluvial deposits (e.g. Eskers) ◗ Existence of fossilized fauna and flora from different climatic zones and geographic areas within isolated geological strata (e.g. Lignite, charcoal, pit-coal) ◗ Existence of fossil plants (indicators of past global carbon cycle) ◗ Existence of buried fields with fulgurites (indicators of mega-lightnings) ◗ Existence of neighbouring kimberlite tubes Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters ◗ Existence of neighbouring hematite layers ◗ Existence of pure rock salt ◗ Existence of ferruginous non-Aeolian loess ◗ Existence of buried fields with tempestites (fossil winds indicators / storm deposits of mega or cosmic cyclones) ◗ Unnatural existence of petroleum in younger geological layers ◗ Existence of thick layers of peat ◗ Existence of buried river channels / beds ◗ Existence of unnaturally thick vegetation in rivers‘ palaeobeds ◗ Evidence of palaeocoasts ◗ Existence of wind-blown dunes ◗ Existence of palaeosols ◗ Evidence of palaeoseismic activity ◗ Existence of thick layers of volcanic ejecta ◗ Paleotsunami evidence ▪ Existence of rapid deposition of sterile marine sand in archaeological stratigraphy (tsunami event) ▪ Existence of whole trees within geological strata ▪ Boulders too large for transportation by storm waves dislocated high above the surf and far inland ▪ Boulder fields and boulder ridges with delicate setting and imbrication ▪ Floating boulders and clasts within chaotic sand deposits, e.g. typical bimodal tsunami sediments ▪ Beach sand and perfectly rounded beach pebbles and boulders far inland and up to more than +50 m asl ▪ Abrasion of soil and vegetation with a sharp scar, best identifiable on aerial photographs ▪ Huge amounts of sand deposited in one short pulse, subsequently transported inland and seaward ▪ Shells and molluscs of different species incorporated into the finer deposits in areas which lay high asl

Paleontological / Biochemical Markers ◗ Existence of thick layers of organic material within oceanic sediments ◗ Existence of dominating benthic fauna (foraminifera) in Sapropel layers ◗ Existence of high levels of 26 Al / 10 Be in marine sediments‘ or ice cores (cosmic activity) ◗ Smaller ratio of 10Be/9 Be in ice: intense solar magnetic field → less cosmic radiance on Earth → smaller percentage of 10 Be in earthen atmosphere

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Archaeodisasters ◗ Existence of high levels of Ni (and other trace elements) in deep sea sediments‘ cores (palaeoweathering, tectonism, sea currents) ◗ Abnormal distribution of grains of unequal size within the marine sediments‘ cores ◗ Existence of great quantity of microorganism within lower geostratigraphic units ◗ Existence of thick layers of carbonates as lake sediments or terrestrial sediments ◗ Evidence of fluctuations in the salinity of oceanic waters ◗ Evidence of fluctuations in Oxygen / Sulphur / Iron isotopes of oceanic waters ◗ Molecular and Organismal evidence of anoxia / hypoxia of waters - bottom water dissolved oxygen (DO) concentrations near zero- (deep sea, coastal, estuarine) ◗ Existence of oolites in sediments (narrow stratigraphic intervals of major extinction events) ◗ Abnormal distribution of trapped air bubbles / gas hydrates within permeable marine sediments‘ cores or ice cores

Astrophysical / Geochemical Markers ◗ Existence of tektites / microtectites in sediments ◗ Existence of shock fractures in rocks ◗ Detection of high levels of radioactivity in ancient materials / remains ◗ Existence of thick layers of scoria ◗ Existence of Stishovite / Silversand (Silicon Dioxide) ◗ Existence of shocked quartz ◗ Existence of foamed black glass not of volcanic origin ◗ Existence of pure white sand ◗ Existence of extended layer of black soil (black layers with ash, charcoal and carbonized remains = probable massive firestorms) ◗ Existence of extended vitreous layer of soil ◗ Existence of extended layer of black soil (algal bloom = disaster species after impact) ◗ Existence of extended layer of red ash (red phosphorus, iron oxides) ◗ Existence of extended layer of white ash (white phosphorus) ◗ Existence of extended layer of green –yellowish material (sulphur) ◗ Existence of sublimated / vitrified materials within the archaeological strata ◗ Biochemical evidence of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons ◗ Existence of glass-like carbon spherules within soil layers ◗ Existence of magnetic spherules within soil layers ◗ Existence of fullerenes within soil layers ◗ Existence of radioactive soil layers or artefacts

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Archaeodisasters ◗ Existence of nano-diamonds within soil layers or artefacts (possible source: meteorites of dwarf carbon-stars origin, e.g. a giant crystalline diamond star in the constellation Centaurus at 50 ly distance from Earth) ◗ Biochemical evidence of unusual abundances of heavy noble ‗Venus‘ gases (impact of low temperature comets) ◗ Biochemical evidence of noble gases (ratios of radiogenic Ar, Ne, 3-Helium) through crustal recycling caused by cosmic ray exposure / meteorites / volcanic activity / geotectonic activity ◗ Biochemical evidence of disturbed isotopes rates (i.e. Titanium, 40-Potassium, 10-Be, 26-Al, 36-Cl, 14-C) ◗ Detection of cosmogenic ammonia, mercury, formaldehyde (interstellar and extra galactic) ◗ Detection of rare siderophile elements (Os, Au, Pt, Ni, Co, Pd, Ir) ◗ Evidence of red snow / red rain ◗ Disturbances in tree-rings‘ development ◗ Detection of asphaltic material within destruction layers ◗ Detection of abnormalities in the palaeomagnetic data ◗ Existence of volcanic inclusions in ceramic clays, ice cores and sediments ◗ Detection of low / zero rates of vermins in the palaeosols ◗ Existence of L-sugars and L-DNA / D-amino acids that aren‘t products of racemization (extraterrestrial life)

Archaeognostic Markers ◗ Simultaneous destruction of settlements in the same latitude around the world ◗ Sudden abandonment of settlements ◗ Sudden and inexplicable disturbance of the archaeological chronostratigraphy ◗ Existence of dispersed destroyed architectural items or other objects (mud, wood, tiles, ceramics) / artefacts within the settlement ◗ ‗Selected‘ destruction of objects‘ groups ◗ Specific arrangement of the destroyed remains within the area ◗ Existence of marine materials within the settlement (sea weeds, mud, malacological material) ◗ Existence of unburied or hastily buried dead bodies ◗ No evidence of life in a previous dense populated areas ◗ Existence of skeletal materials showing evidence of violent death in situ ◗ Palaeopathological data (e.g. Symptoms related to radio-activity, rapid increase of specific diseases after an event)

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Archaeodisasters ◗ Adaptation Culture: a behaviour of adaptation to disaster is reflected on archaeological traces - Sudden and inexplicable change from sedantism to nomadism - Gradual reduction of living space within the settlement - Gradual reduction or absence of community‘s ‗investments‘ on construction works - Appearance of ‗crisis‘ architecture (e.g. handy constructions, repairs, changes of luxurious rooms into warehouses & stalls, more reconstructions and repairs of ruined areas) - Increase in the construction of protective walls in parallel with reduction in the ‗escape passages‘ (e.g. doors, streets within the settlement) - Sudden changes in the water supply system ◗ Crisis Cult (e.g. La Barre, 1971; Driessen, 1995) - Abandonment of open-air cults in the periphery and preference in indoor or ‗city‘ cults - Sudden crisis in ancient religious beliefs and traditions - Magical behaviours to control a disaster * Abhorrence for the red colour * Worship of Earth * Ceremonies to purify wells * Obsession with certain ceremonies (e.g. trepanation) * Universal symbols of disasters & hazardous phenomena (e.g. comets as dragons) * Celebration of ill-omened days * Burial of luxurious or religious items in hidden hoards - Historical sources & oral traditions (legends, myths) * Written testimonies for disasters * Artistic representations of events * Traditions for the disappearance or appearance of land masses * Wrath of gods * Movement of ancestors to other lands, epic journeys & colonisations, heroic deeds * Divine fires from Heaven, Cataclysms, darkness, plagues, giants, and monsters - Sudden turn into concentralization (economic, social, political levels) and / or Sudden signs of central authorities‘ disintegration - Sudden changes in commerce routes - Sudden preference in local goods and materials - Sudden technological changes - Sudden changes in political alliances, or in wars‘, conflicts‘ and invasions‘ rates - Massive movements of people Destruction layers may preserve evidence of human occupation and artefacts from subsequent damage and be unearthed almost intact. Towns like Akrotiri (Cycladic island of Santorini), Pompeii and Herculaneum (Italian peninsula), were rapidly engulfed in voluminous tephra and pyroclastic ejecta. Besides the inescapable surface exposure and degradation, the buildings and artwork were buried in their original context, so their Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters spatial and functional relationships remained largely undisturbed. The thick layer of reddish ash belonging to Troia IIg is also a well-known example of archaeological evidence related to a disaster event sometime in the past (de Grazia, 1984). Respectively, other key examples are the shipwrecks laid in anaerobic environments (e.g. on the floor of Black Sea) and sites covered by sand after flooding (e.g. Itatsuke, Yayoi - Japan, ca 3rd century BCE). Basic criteria of preservation mechanism are the depositional environment, main soil and sediment types, some typical conditions and environmental indicators, such as pH, the anoxic, toxic or oxic conditions of sediments and the presence of buried soil. For example, aerobic environments with pH 5.5 - 7.0 in the temperate zones, containing gleys and brownearths fully ventilated and evidently stratified, and lying on areas with sedimentary deposits, are indicative of rich archaeological evidence. The same happens, also, in the case of aerobic environments with pH >7.0, containing rendsinas, lake marls, tufa, alluvium and shell-sand fully ventilated, and laying on areas with steppe conditions, mollisols or karst formations. Moreover, anoxic or toxic conditions in lacustrine sediments, peat formations and buried environments, such as tar pits, permafrost soils and salt quarries (e.g. Chile, Siberia) preserve intact much archaeological and palaeontological evidence. Testimonies from ancient writers may be proved excellent sources of information. Observations, comments, descriptions and any other form of indirect information may help in the dating, evaluation or even identification of past events. Volcanic eruptions (e.g. the Plinian eruption of Vesuvius of AD 79, the pre-Krakatau eruption of AD 535), epidemics (e.g. the Athenian plague during the first years of Peloponnesian War or the Justinian plague of the 6th century CE, the burst of the Black Death or syphilis‘ expansion over Europe), earthquakes, soil liquefaction, tsunami and landslides (e.g. the famous Helike case of Classical Era in northern Peloponnesus, other seismic events in ancient circum-Mediterranean area) and extraterrestrial events and impacts (e.g. the Supernova explosion of AD 1054 or other significant sky events described by the Chinese archaeo astronomers), all were covered by the ‗archaeodisaster reporters‘. Respectively, observations made by indigenous people or described by foreign travellers (e.g. the impact of the hydroclimatic phenomenon El Niňo / ENSO on the ecosystems‘ equilibrium in southwestern America), and annual or regularly registered inventories of products and goods (e.g. cultivation of crops and production of wine in Pharaonic Egypt or in southern France during the Middle Ages) may reflect the climatic and environmental conditions in the archaeoenvironments. Finally, birth and death archives kept by local organized communities, may serve as palaeodemographical indices, which can tell us about the average age of death or the causes of death, highlighting many neglected social parameters. Oral traditions and mythological cycles from all over the world, are full of information concerning past disasters. The Indian legends of North America, the tales of Aborigines in the South Hemisphere, the secrets of the shamans in African and Indian tribes and, especially, the circum-Mediterranean mythology challenge modern researchers. The Mayan prophecies and the Aztecs‘ cosmology, the myth of Atlantis, the northwestern European sagas (e.g. Edda), the Sibylline Oracles, the epic narrations (e.g. the Homeric Epos in Greece, Mahabharata and other philological remnants of the civilization along Indus‘ valley), histories about gods, heroes and legendary journeys Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters (e.g. Aristaios as benefactor of the first inhabitants of Cyclades, Argonautic Expedition, Hercules‘ deeds, Titanomachy & Gigantomachy, Hephaestos‘ fall from heaven, Noah‘s and Deucalion‘s Flood, Phaethon) reflect the times when Sky, Earth and Water were in upheaval. Furthermore, the migration of symbols reflects the universal ‗language‘ of disasters. Crisis cult, various ceremonies, specific colours (e.g. red and black as symbols of dark powers), numbers and rituals (e.g. the mystic fires of Tamaatea in New Zealand), ill-omened days in ancient calendars, new forms of worship or disorder in religious structures, adoption of curious symbols (e.g. swastika and birds as symbols of comets, dragons, serpents, dogs), deities with chthonic character (Seth, Hecate) act as archetypal images of the collective unconscious. Even the artistic representations may cover a wide range of information, from coins to frescoes and from rock art to paintings and book‘s sketches. Finally, there are many traces of catastrophic events directly or indirectly found in the archaeological record. Some of them are the isochronous destruction of settlements in the same latitude, the sudden and unexpected abandonment of flourishing landscapes, the sudden increase of storehouses within settlements, changes in the management of water supplies, prevalence of local goods and items instead of a previously active trade contacts, existence of unburied corpses or offhand burials, items and architectural structures thrown down and dispersed, evidence of severe fire, flood or tsunami, palaeopathological evidence, sudden technological changes, massive moveme nts of people (e.g. the Sea People at the end of the 12 th century BCE or the tribes migrated from the Asian steppes to Western Europe after the 4 th century CE).

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Archaeodisasters Chapter 4: Catalogue of mega-archaeodisasters Throughout a short compiled presentation of the most lethal worldwide archaeodisasters, the author wants to highlight the dynamics of such events, instead of accumulating a huge amount of information concerning each case study. 4.1 Volcanic Eruptions ■ Yellowstone Volcanic Field, northwestern USA –VEI 8 (mega-colossal eruptions: 2.1 Ma, 1.3Ma and 640 Ka) ■ New Mexico super volcano (1.6 Ma and 1.2 Ma) ■ Haleakala, Maui - Hawaii (1 Ma, 800 Ka) ■ Toba, Sumatra – Indonesia –VEI 7 (788 ± 2.2 Ka) ■ Long Valley, California (760 Ka, 700 Ka) ■ Etna, Italy (0.5 Ma, 0.3 Ma and 170 Ka) ■ Toba, Sumatra – Indonesia –VEI 7 (73 Ka) ■ Yellowstone Volcanic Field: last great eruption 72 Ka (flow of rhyolitic lava on the Pitchstone Plateau) ■ Taupo, New Zealand – VEI 8 (26.5 Ka) ■ Aira, Japan (22 Ka) ■ Campi Flegrei, Italy (40 - 27 Ka, 15 – 9.5 Ka and 8050 - 1700 BCE) ■ Massif Central, France (final phase ca 12 – 3.5 Ka) ■ Laacher See Tephra, central Rhineland Neuweit Basin, Germany (dendrochronological dating: 12.916 Ka; tephrochronology: 12.900 ± 560 Ka) ■ Hasan Daği, Karapinar - Turkey (ca 6900 BCE ± 640) ■ Mount Mazama, Oregon - USA (5677 ± 150 BCE) ■ Cerro Blanco Volcanic Complex (CBVC), NW Argentina (ca 4200 – 4000 BCE): perhaps the biggest during the past five millennia in the central Volcanic Zone of the Andes, and possibly one of the largest Holocene eruptions in the world ■ Vesuvius, Italy (3780 BP): Avellino plinian eruption (characterized by modern geologists as the worst-case scenario for a future Vesuvian eruption) ■ Minoan Eruption of Santorini (Thera), Greece –VEI 7 (ca 1628 BCE) ■ The Hekla 3 eruption - Iceland (ca 1200 BCE): contemporary with the historical Bronze Age collapse ■ Vesuvius, Italy; 33,000 victims; VEI 5 (AD 79, August 24 or probably October 24) ■ Ambrym Island, Republic of Vanuatu, Pacific– VEI 6 + (AD 50) ■ The Hatepe eruption (sometimes referred to as the Taupo eruption); VEI 7 (ca AD 180 -230) ■ Ilopango Volcano, El Salvador – VEI 6 +; destroyed early Mayan cities, forcing inhabitants to flee (AD 450) ■ Krakatau, Indonesia –VEI 7 (AD 535) ■ Tsurumi Volcano (group of lava domes) – Kyushu island, Oita District, Japan: the violent eruption lasted for two months and threw the top of the volcano into the air ■ Changbaishan Volcano, China/ North Korea border – VEI 7 (AD 1000) ■ Eruption of Samalas volcano (part of the Mount Rinjani Volcanic Complex) on Lombok Island, Indonesia (AD 1257); one of the largest volcanic eruptions of the historic Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters period and of the past 7 Ka; caused the superposed century-scale cold summer anomalies, of which the Little Ice Age (LIA) was the most extreme ■ Plinian eruption of Quilotoa, Equadorian Andes (AD 1280) – VEI 6 ■ Eruption of Kuwae - a Pacific volcano; it has been implicated in events surrounding the Fall of Constantinople (ca AD 1453) ■ Huaynaputina, Peru –VEI 6; South America's largest volcanic eruption in recorded history (AD 1600): caused AD 1601 to be the coldest year in the North Hemisphere for six centuries; considered to be the triggering mechanism for the Russian famine of AD 1601–1603 ■ Cotopaxi volcano, Ecuador (April 4, AD 1768). One of the largest eruptions during 17th and 18th centuries A similar one happened on June 26, AD 1877 ■ Laki, Iceland (AD 1783); VEI 6 ■ Tambora, Sumbawa Island, Indonesia – the greatest eruption ever recorded, VEI 7 (April 5-12, AD 1815) with 92,000 victims ■ Krakatau, Indonesia; 36,000 victims –VEI 6; the loudest sound humans experienced; the first disaster of Communication Age (August 26-27, AD 1883) ■ Mt Pelee, island of Martinique – Caribbean; amongst the 30,000 inhabitants of Saint Pierre, only two survived; few hours after la Soufrière eruption (St Vincent Island, Carribean). The existence of the pyroclastic flow is recognized by the volcanologists for the first time, giving the name of pelean eruption to similar phenomena (May 7-8, AD 1902) ■ Novarupta, Alaska Peninsula –VEI 6; the largest volcanic blast of the 20th century, thirty times more than the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens and three times more than the 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo, the second largest in the 20th century (June 6-9, AD 1912 and thousands of vents steaming for years after the eruption) While worst-case-scenarios concerning super-volcano eruptions sometime in the future, refer to catastrophic impact for large parts of the world, that destructions would be minor compared with what scientists believe could be the largest lava flow in Earth's history, the Siberian Traps dated to 251 Ma, long before humans‘ appearance on the face of planet. The gigantic lava flow in Siberia lasted upward of a million years and flooded an area originally estimated as high as 7 million km² being thousands of meters thick. Some geologists suspect the eruption was caused by an extra-large plume of hot material welling up from the edge of the Earth's core (Rampino and Stothers, 1988; Mahoney and Coffin, 1997; Lu, et al., 2002). This phenomenon is the prime suspect in wiping out 90 percent of all living species 251 Ma - the most severe extinction event in Earth's history (aka the P-T extinction). Later on, between 60 and 68 Ma, at the end of the Cretaceous period, a large igneous province located on the Deccan Plateau of west central India (Deccan volcanic province or DVP) was formed, as one of the largest volcanic features on Earth. It consisted of multiple layers of solidified flood basalt that together are more than 2 km thick. The eruptions may have lasted fewer than 30 ka in total. In fact, scientists have detected a series of events that finally led to dinosaurs‘ extinctions. The Shiva crater, a large impact crater in the sea floor off the west coast of India, has also been dated in 65 Ma, right at the K–T boundary; it is considered as the triggering mechanism for the Deccan Traps as well as contributor to the acceleration of the Indian plate in the early Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters Tertiary. This event along with the impact of the meteoroid that formed the Chicxulub Crater (central America) pushed many species over the edge into extinction (Coffin and Eldholm, 1994; White & McKenzie, 1995; Chatterjee and Mehrotra, 2009; Abrajevitch, et al., 2015). Latest discovery speaks of which is now considered as the largest known explosive volcanic eruption. It shook up western Utah and eastern Nevada ca 30 Ma. The researchers (Emeritus Brigham Young University geology Professor Myron Best, Professor Bob Smith, Dr Jamie Farrell and their team) estimate that the unimaginable devastation covered 12,000 mi2 after the release of almost 6,000 km2 of magma. According to the Smisthonian / NASA Astrophysics Data System, the Wah Wah Springs Tuff (29.5 Ma) is one of four super volcanic eruptions (>1000 km3 of magma) of dacite that occurred near the peak of the ignimbrite flare-up in the Great Basin of northwestern America (Woolf, et al., 2008). Comparing to Yellowstone, this case seems even more devastating and severe. But, unlike Yellowstone‘s caldera, which is still an active one, that super volcano will unlikely ever erupt again (the findings are being presented at the AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco, December 9-13, 2013). In another study presented, also during the AGU Fall Meeting, researchers (Dr Marc Reichow -University of Leicester, and team) announced that they have been searching for more ancient volcanic eruptions that happened along the same stretch of continental plate that Yellowstone‘s super volcano sits on (Yellowstone hotspot), at a time window of between 12.5 to 8 Ma. So far, the team found that although they were fewer volcanic events during this period than had been estimated, those eruptions were far larger than was previously thought. A super volcano refers to a volcano that produces the largest and most voluminous kinds of eruptions on Earth. Although, the actual explosivity of these eruptions varies, the sheer volume of extruded magma is immense enough to radically alter the landscape and severely impact global climate for years, with a cataclysmic effect on life. Humans could be pushed to the edge of extinction. The term was originally coined by the producers of a BBC Popular Science programme in 2002, to refer to these types of eruptions. Though there is no well-defined minimum size for a ‗super-volcano‘, there are at least two types of volcanic eruption that have been identified as super volcanoes. Super -volcanoes are found throughout the world, there is even evidence to prove that there is a super - volcano beneath Loch Ness, Scotland; some of which erupted in prehistoric times and could erupt again (Rampino et al., 1988; White and McKenzie, 1989; Rampino and Self, 1993; Rampino, 2002; Oppenheimer, 2002; Meng-Yang, et al., 2004; Mason, et al., 2004; Verosub and Lippman, 2008; Houghton, et al., 2013; GVP). Apart the most notorious, Yellowstone (with a very rich bibliographic coverage; just only mention Girard and Stix, 2012, about its future volcanism, and, Huang, et al., 2015, for the full imaging of its continuous volcanic plumbing system), there are, also, calderas that have just not been well studied, a prime example being Ethiopia's Awasa caldera and Pastos Grandes caldera of Bolivia, which rivals the latter, which in turn rivals the largest in the world, Lake Toba, Indonesia. Second only to Yellowstone in North America is the Long Valley caldera, in east-central California, while New Zealand's Taupo caldera has been filled by water, creating what many describe as one of the world's most beautiful landscapes. There is, also, a sleeping monster in the heart of New Mexico, the Valles caldera that forms a large pock in the middle of North New Mexico, west of Santa Fe. Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters Consequently, volcanic eruptions have always played a crucial role in the evolution of human civilization (Lowe, et al., 2015). Their most evident impact on human communities was the massive death of unprepared people, like the plinian eruption of Vesuvius (Pliny the Younger, VI.16: August of AD 79 or, as recently debated October 24 based on Cassius Dio: LX.21) which devastated the flourishing centres of Pompeii and Herculaneum, killing thousands of people (Sigurdsson et al., 1985; Allison, 1999; Borgongino and Stefani, 2001; Luongo, et al., 2003; Cioni, et al., 2004; Stefani, 2006; Rollandi, et al., 2007). Nevertheless, other long-term impact caused more destruction in the flourishing communities of prehistoric Aegean after the Minoan eruption of Santorini‘s volcano in 1627 - 1600 BCE. Tephra layers have been found dispersed not only in the sea floor of eastern Mediterranean / Black Sea and the lacustrine sediments of southern Turkey, but also in depositional terrestrial sequences and archaeological strata in the Greek islands (i.e. Anaphe, Kos, Rhodes, Crete), the Nile valley, inland Anatolia, Syria and Israel. Apart from the generated tsunami that swept the coast of eastern Mediterranean, swarm earthquakes and the rainfall of volcanic ejecta, disastrous effects on vegetation and loss of cultivated land, death of animals, abrupt climatic changes, acidic contamination of aquifers, disruption of sea corridors between the states of the Bronze Age, plague, famine and socio-economic upheaval devastated the equilibrium of natural and human ecosystems in the region (Marinatos, 1939; Pararas-Carayannis, 1974; Sullivan, 1990; Driessen, 1999; Hansell and Oppenheimer, 2004; Hansell, et al., 2006; Horwell and Baxter, 2006; Gorokhovich and Fleeger, 2007). Apart from being a rich geoarchive due to island‘s location at the subduction zone on the Hellenic Arc, the LBA ‗Minoan eruption‘ of Santorini‘s volcano is, also, a very dynamic archaeodisaster case, because offers excellent geo-sequences that imprint the event per se, its phases, duration and magnitude, and its short-term and long-term results. Respectively, the most recent interdisciplinary research has disclosed new evidence for the magnitude of the event (being bigger than the mega-eruption of Tambora in AD 1815), the socio-cultural parameters of the event (there was no time available for preparedness or mitigation) and the revision of the chronological sequences of the eastern Mediterranean civilizations (few indicative references: Nixon, 1985; Sigurdsson, et al., 1990; Zielinski and Germani, 1998; Manning and Bruce, 2009; Warburton, 2009; Satow, et al., 2015). Even more, scientists correlate the eruption and its impact with archaeological and philological testimonies, such as the Bamboo Annals which describe the turbulent years of the collapse of the Xia Dynasty in China with a year without summer (approximately in 1618 BCE), the calamities of Admonitions of Ipuwer (a text from Lower Egypt dated to the Middle Kingdom or the Second Intermediate Period), the Rhind Mathematical Papyrus and the Tempest Stela of Ahmose I (Redford, 1992; Balter, 2006; Friedrich et al., 2006; Manning et al., 2006; Sigurdsson et al., 2006; Manning and Kromer, 2012; Manning, et al., 2014). Over a century ago, on August 26, 1883, the island volcano of Krakatau (Krakatoa), a virtually unknown volcanic island with a history of violent volcanic activity, located in the Sunda Strait, 40 km off the west coast of Java on the island of Rakata in Indonesia, exploded with devastating fury. The eruption was one of the most catastrophic natural disasters in recorded history. The effects were experienced on a global scale. Fine ashes from the eruption were carried by upper level winds as far away Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters as New York City. The explosion was heard more than 3000 miles away, and it is considered as the first disaster of the Communication Age, since the news travelled worldwide in 24h. Volcanic dust blew into the upper atmosphere affecting incoming solar radiation and the Earth's weather for several years. A series of large tsunami waves generated by the main explosion, some reaching a height of nearly 40 meters asl, killed more than 36.000 people in the coastal towns and villages along the Sunda Strait on Java and Sumatra islands. Tsunami waves were recorded or observed throughout the Indian Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, the American West Coast, South America, and even as far away as the English Channel. The 1883 eruption of Krakatoa, like the Minoan eruption has been assigned a Volcanic Explosivity Index or at least VEI of 6, which rates as ‗colossal‘ (Simkin and Fische, 1983; Blong, 1984). Furthermore, The White River Volcano, located in southeastern Alaska near the headwaters of the White River, produced two cataclysmic eruptions, about AD 20 and AD 720, that covered most of the Southwest Yukon Territory with voluminous ash falls. Anthropological studies indicate that the later and larger of the two outbursts, which deposited the East lobe of the White River Ash, caused profound disruption of the native population, possibly initiating a series of migrations that culminated in the formation of the Pacific Athapaskans in British Columbia and of the Apache and Navajo of the Southwest United States. One of the world's most active volcanic regions, the Aleutian Range of Alaska hosts at least 45 historically active volcanoes. Studies of peoples inhabiting the Aleutian Islands during the 18th century CE indicate that eruptions, including submarine activity, have repeatedly influenced the movements of native inhabitants. Dependent exclusively upon marine fauna for their existence, the Aleuts have apparently been forced to abandon settlements destroyed by tsunamis generated during earthquake-induced underwater landslides or submarine eruptions. In some cases, it appears that the Aleuts have deserted settlements because underwater activity killed the sea life that constitutes their sole food supply (Black, 1981; Moodie and Catchpole, 1992). 4.2 Earthquakes ■ Islands of Hawaii, Pacific Ocean (200 Ka, 100 Ka) ■ Golden Gate area, San Francisco Bay (ca 35 Ka) ■ Bronze Age events, Mediterranean (2400 -2300, 2100-2000, 1730 - 1650, 1450, 1365, seismic storms of 1250 – 1175 BCE) ■ Sparta, Peloponnesus - Greece (464 BCE) ■ Rhodes island, Dodecanese - Greece (226 BCE) ■ Early Byzantine Tectonic Paroxysm, Mediterranean (ca AD 350 – 550); especially: AD 365, July 21 with an estimated magnitude of 8+ R; AD 551 ■ Paroxysms of Dead Sea Fault, southwestern Asia (AD 100 - 750, AD 700 -1030 and AD 990 - 1210); especially: AD May 526, Antioch earthquake with an estimated toll of 250,000 victims ■ Constaninople, Byzantine Empire (December 14, AD 557); numerous casualties, various churches and buildings were damaged; the dome of the Agia Sophia cathedral was weakened and later collapsed completely in May, AD 558; the walls of Constantinople were so severely damaged, that in early AD 559, the attacking Huns Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters managed to pass through them ■ Mosul, Iraq (AD 847) ■ Qumis, Damghan - Iran (AD 856) with 200,000 victims ■ Corinth, Greece (AD 856) ■ Caucasus (AD 893) ■ Daipur, India (AD 893) ■ Ardabil, Iran (AD 893) with 150,000 victims ■ Aleppo, Syria (August 9, AD 1138) with 230,000 victims ■ Southwestern Syria (May 20, AD 1202); 7.6 R; about 1,100,000 victims ■ Cilicia, Anatolia - Turkey (AD 1268) ■ Chihli, China (AD 1290) with 100,000 victims ■ The 14th century events (e.g. AD 1303, AD 1323, AD 1348, AD 1356) ■ Sea of Marmara, Turkey (AD 1509) ■ Hausien, Shaanxi Province, China (January 23, AD1556); 830,000 victims ■ Shemakha, Azerbaijan (November 25, AD 1667) ■ Jamaica (June 7, AD 1692); 7.5 MMS; 5,000 victims ■ Sicily and southern Italy (January 11, AD 1693); 7.4 R; about 150,000 victims (one of the most powerful in Italian history) ■ Cascadia Subduction Zone, northeastern Pacific (AD 1700 event) ■ Lisbon, Portugal (November 1, AD 1755) ■ New Madrid, Missouri - USA (AD 1811 - 1812); 8 R ■ San Francisco, USA (AD 1906) ■ Messina, Straits of Messina, Italy (December 28, 1908); 7.5 R; 160,000 victims One of the most frightening and destructive phenomena of Nature is a severe earthquake and the terrible after- effects. For hundreds of millions of years, the forces of plate tectonics have shaped the Earth as the huge plates that form the Earth's surface slowly move over, under, and past each other. Sometimes this movement is gradual. At other times, the plates are locked together, unable to release the accumulating energy. When the accumulated energy grows strong enough, the plates break free. If the earthquake occurs in a populated area, it may cause many deaths and injuries and extensive property damage. According to the Sunspot Hypothesis, there is a correlation between sunspots and Earthquakes (electric earthquakes) via Ionosphere. An intensification of the magnetic field can cause changes in the Geosphere (Freund, 2003; Cassey, 2008). Changes in the Sun-Earth environment, affects the magnetic field of the Earth that can trigger earthquakes in areas prone to them. Recent examples are more than evident. Mount Pinatubo erupted in AD 1991, as did Mt. Aetna in conjunction with the end of the solar maximum. Then, two Mexican volcanoes, Mt. Popocatpetyl and Mt Colima erupted in AD 2000 (during Sunspot Cycle 23). Going back to a previous sunspot cycle, Mt. St. Helens exploded hot plumes of smoke and ash into the sky in AD 1980. El Chicon erupted in AD 1982 during the last year of the 1979- 1982 solar maximum. Mt. Aetna has a habit of erupting in tandem with peaks in solar activity, as the eruptions of 2000, 1991, 1969 and 1908, solar maximum years, reveal. Mt. Lassen erupted for the last time, in 1917 during World War I, at the peak of the sunspot cycle. Finally, Krakatoa exploded with massive fury on the last leg of the Venus transit (AD 1874-1882). Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters The scientific dialogue started in 1967, by John F. Simpson, who interconnected solar activity, radio noise and geomagnetic indices, observing that ―maximum quake frequency occurs at times of moderately high and fluctuating solar activity‖ (p. 417). Gui-Qing Zhang (1998), from the Beijing Astronomical Observatory - Chinese Academy of Sciences, analyzed three major pairs, the relations between sunspot numbers and earthquakes (M≧6), solar 10.7 cm radio flux and earthquakes, as well as solar proton events and earthquakes, concluding that earthquakes occur frequently around the minimum years of solar activity. Moreover, Mitch Battros‘ theory (1998 in 2005) proposes a sequence of interrelated phenomena, sunspots, solar flares (charged particles), magnetic field shift, shifting ocean & jet stream currents, as well as extreme weather, including also earthquakes, volcanoes, hurricanes or other extreme natural events. NASA uses the data from Space weather as pre-earthquakes signals (e.g. Casey, 2001; Freund, et al., 2009). Archaeoseismology (distinct sub-discipline of Palaeoseismology), provides information relative to seismic events, which can be possibly obtained from four principal types/categories of sources: instrumental (instrumental records), historical (witnesses), archaeological (artefacts), and geological (natural features). In fact, archaeological sites that are built over active faults are unique, for they yield the precise date and magnitude of individual historical earthquakes, while, the age and the areal distribution of earthquake-damaged features can help refine the epicentral location of past earthquakes. Few main criteria for the identification of possible earthquake damage in antiquity are: (1) Characteristic structural damage and failure of constructions (collapsed walls, patched walls, offset walls, opened vertical joints and horizontally slided parts of walls in dry masonry walls, diagonal cracks in rigid walls, triangular missing parts in corners of masonry buildings, inclined or subvertical cracks in the upper parts of rigid arches, vaults & domes, or their partial collapse along these cracks, slipped keystones in dry masonry arches and vaults, cracks at the base or top of masonry columns and piers, displaced drums of dry masonry columns, neat rows of parallel fallen columns, frequently with their drums in a domino-style arrangement, constructions deformed as if by horizontal forces (e.g. rectangles transformed to parallelograms) (2) Ancient constructions offset by seismic surface faults (3) Skeletons of people killed and crushed or buried under the debris of fallen buildings (4) Certain abrupt geomorphological changes, occasionally associated with destructions and/or abandonment of buildings and sites (5) Pattern of regional destruction (6) Destruction and quick reconstruction of sites, with the introduction of what can be regarded as ‗‗anti-seismic‘‘ building construction techniques, but with no change in their overall cultural character (7) Well-dated destructions of buildings correlating with historical (including epigraphic) evidence of earthquakes (8) Damage or destruction of isolated buildings or whole sites, for which an earthquake appears the only reasonable explanation (Jones and Stiros, 1996; Nur & Ron, 1997; Nur and Cline, 2000; Buck, 2006; Jusseret, et al., 2013). 4.3. Tsunami ■ Eltanin asteroid - southeastern Pacific (2.15 Ma) ■ Flank failure of Fogo, the oceanic volcano in Cape Verde Islands (ca 73 Ka): estimated wave run up heights exceeding 270 m. (Ramalho, et al., 2015) Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters ■ Storrega landslide – Edge of Norway's continental shelf, North Atlantic (ca 6100 BCE) ■ Eastern Etna‘s massive volcanic landslide that caused mega tsunami up to 40 m high (ca 8000 BCE); engulfment of coastal settlements within hours (Pareschi, Boschi and Favalli, 2006) ■ Valdez Marine Terminal, Alaska (ca 4300 - 3800 BCE) ■ Burckle crater, southeastern Madagascar / Fenambosy chevron - Indian Ocean (ca 3000 - 2500 BCE) ■ Eastern Sicily, central Mediterranean (2100-1635 BCE, 1000-800 BCE, 570-122 BCE, AD 1169, AD 1693) ■ Minoan eruption – eastern Mediterranean (ca 1628 BCE) ■ Eastern Mediterranean (ca 1365 ± 5 BCE) ■ North Euboikos Gulf, central Greece (12th century BCE) ■ West Chalkidiki peninsula, North Greece (479 BCE) ■ Malliakos Gulf, central Greece (426 BCE) ■ Gulf of Corinth, central Greece (373 BCE) ■ Lemnos island, northeastern Aegean Sea - Greece (330 BCE) ■ Makran coast, North Arabian Sea (326 - 325 BCE) ■ Lake Lucerne, Switzerland (AD 1601 and AD 1687) ■ Central - East Atlantic (AD 1755) ■ Eastern Mediterranean (4th -11th century CE) ■ Dalaman, southwestern coast of Turkey (events of AD 1481 and AD 1609) ■ Cascadia Subduction Zone, northeastern Pacific (AD 1700) ■ Lisbon, Portugal (November 1, AD 1755); up to 100,000 victims ■ Unzen, Japan (AD 1792); with 15,030 victims ■ Krakatoa, Sunda Straits - Indonesia (AD 1883) ■ Mauna Loa, Hawaii & Arica, Chile (AD 1868) ■ Meinji-Sanriku, Japan (AD 1896) A tsunami is a wave of water caused by the displacement of a body of water. The word comes from Japanese words "津波" meaning harbour and wave. Tsunamis are common throughout Japanese history, as at least 195 events in Japan have been recorded. Earthquakes, mass movements above or below water, volcanic eruptions and other underwater explosions, landslides and large meteorite impacts all have the potential to generate a tsunami, while meteo-tsunamis are caused by meteorological phenomena. The effects of a tsunami can range from unnoticeable to devastating. A mega-tsunami is an informal term used to describe very large tsunamis. The largest waves are caused by very large landslides, such as a collapsing island, into a body of water. The highest tsunami ever recorded was estimated to be of 524m vertical run-up on July 10, AD 1958, in Lituya Bay, Alaska. Eltanin case is the only testified, till now, example of the ca 140 impacts known on Earth to have occurred in the deep ocean. Deep-sea finds refer to an asteroid between 1 and 4 km in diameter, which splashed into the South Ocean, 1500 km off coast of Chile. The ten-megaton blast ripped up the ocean floor. Although the initial hypothesis of most of the asteroid probably vaporizing before it could leave much of a scar on the ocean floor, in AD 2004 a possible source crater was found at 57°47' S , 90°47' W under 5 km of water. The crater is 132±5 km in diameter. This huge impact disturbed the global Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters ecosystem, sent terrifyingly high tsunamis, sent enormous quantities of water and dust into the atmosphere, which would have influenced the climate, and intensified the Earth‘s pronounced cycle of continental glaciation (Gersonde et al., 1997; Ward & Asphaug, 2002; Goff and Dominey-Howes, 2010; Goff, et al., 2012). It could probably have been, also, a stimulus for humanity's first great migration out of Africa for Homo erectus, who, by that time, was emerging in Africa, and beginning to spread into cooler Eurasia. The three Storegga (storegga < the Great Edge, in Norse) Slides are considered to be amongst the largest known landslides; they occurred under water, at the edge of Norway's continental shelf, in the Norwegian Sea, 100 km northwest of the Møre coast. An area the size of Iceland slumped, causing a very large tsunami in the North Atlantic Ocean. In North Scotland, traces of the subsequent tsunami have been recorded, with deposited sediment being discovered in Montrose Basin, the Firth of Forth, up to 80 km inland and 4 metres above current normal tide levels, demonstrating a vertical run-up of around 20–25 m. Based on carbon dating of plant material recovered from sediment deposited by the tsunami, the latest incident occurred around 6200 ± 50 BCE (Bondevik, 2003; Weninger et al., 2008; Moffat, 2009). One of four chevron-shaped land features on the southwestern coast of Madagascar, near the tip of Madagascar, is 180 m high, at the distance of 5 km from the ocean. It is composed mainly of material found on the ocean floor. About 1450 km southeast from the Madagascar chevrons, in deep ocean, Burckle crater is found, discovered, by Dr. Abbott, in 2005, and estimated to be 4.5 to 5 Kyr- old (Abbott et al., 2005 & 2006). Chevrons such as Fenambosy have been hypothesized as providing evidence of ‗mega-tsunamis‘ caused by comets or asteroids crashing into Earth. The afore-mentioned impact event is considered as strong evidence for the triggering mechanism of the devastating flood in Mesopotamia between 2750 and 2900 BCE. Since tsunamis in the Mediterranean, were mostly generated by earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, it is no surprise that the geographical distribution of the historical tsunamis in the region generally resembles the trend of seismicity / volcanic activity (Ambraseys, 1962; Antonopoulos, 1979; Soloviev et al., 2000; Papadopoulos, 2016). Such a tsunami, dating to the 2nd millennium BCE, has been identified in the seabed between Crete and Santorini islands (Kastens and Cita, 1981; Aloisi, 2000). A computer simulation of a tsunami in the Cretan Gulf of Mirabello by Monaghan et al. (1994) calculated a wave height of about 40 meters. In several riparian areas on Crete, pumice layers have been found inland, occasionally even on top of Minoan ruins (Driessen and Macdonald, 2000; Gaignerot-Driessen and Driessen, 2012). On the Cycladic island of Anafi, East of Santorin, at the head of a valley and at a 270 m. elevation, a layer of pumice 5 m. thick was found. Considerable amounts of pumice concentrated in some areas along the East coast near Kato Zakro have also been reported (Watkins et al., 1978; Pararas – Carayannis, 1992; Minoura et al, 2000). At the archaeological site of Amnissos (6 km East of modern city of Herakleion), Professor Spyridon Marinatos, a prominent Greek archaeologist, found evidence of a building near the shore that had been swept by large waves. In its foundation and in cavities within the remnants of the structure, he found large quantities of pumice stone and sand. Further up the slope on the same island, in the villa of the frescoes, additional evidence was found that was similarly attributed to the action of tsunamis. Parts of the walls and corners of the rooms of that structure have collapsed in a peculiar manner. The walls there bulge outward, and large monoliths, Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters several tons in weight and measuring 2 m. long by 1 m. wide, have been moved out of position or are missing altogether. These effects can only be attributed to the suction of the receding water waves (1939). Herodotus in his Histories reported on a series of large waves and sea withdrawals occurring in spring of 479 BCE during the Greek- Persian war, and causing destruction of Poteidaia. Large portions of the Persian troops perished then, by drowning near the city, in western Chalkidiki peninsula (e.g. Papazachos and Papazachou, 1989). Herodotus‘s report is regarded as the first description of a historical tsunami. As early as 426 BCE, the Greek historian Thucydides inquired in his book History of the Peloponnesian War (3.89.1-4) about the causes of tsunami, and argued rightly that it could only be explained as a consequence of ocean earthquakes. He was the first in the history of natural science to correlate quakes and waves in terms of cause and effect: ―The cause, in my opinion, of this phenomenon must be sought in the earthquake. At the point where its shock has been the most violent the sea is driven back, and suddenly recoiling with redoubled force, causes the inundation. Without an earthquake I do not see how such an accident could happen‖ (Smid, 1970). Geologists today estimate the undersea quake of July 21, AD 365 (the strongest historical earthquake that ever occurred in Greece) to have been magnitude 8 or higher (? 8.5) on the Richter scale, with an assumed epicentre near Crete. Apart from causing widespread destruction in central and South Greece, North Libya, Cyprus and Sicily, it destroyed nearly all towns in Crete and generated a tsunami, which devastated the eastern coasts of the Mediterranean, particularly Alexandria and Nile delta, killing thousands and hurling ships nearly many kilometres inland. This catastrophe left a deep impression on the late antique mind, and numerous writers of the time referred to the event. Especially, the Roman historian Ammianus Marcellinus (Res Gestae, XXVI.10.15 - 19) described in detail the tsunami hitting Alexandria and other places in the early hours of that day, clearly distinguishing the three main phases of a tsunami (namely an initial earthquake,the sudden retreat of the sea, ensuing gigantic wave rolling inland). In fact, the event was so devastating that the anniversary of the disaster was still commemorated annually at the end of the 6th century in Alexandria as a ―day of horror‖ (Kelly, 2004; Shaw et al, 2008; Stiros, 2010). The November 1, AD 1755 event (LT 9:40) caused near- total destruction of Lisbon, Portugal and adjoining areas. The earthquake, approaching magnitude 9 on the Richter scale, with epicenter in the Atlantic Ocean about 200 km west / southwest of Cape St. Vincent, was followed by a tsunami (130 m. high) and fire. The death toll is estimated between 60,000 to 100,000 people. The earthquake accentuated political tensions in Portugal, profoundly disrupting the country's 18th century colonial ambitions; it was widely discussed and dwelt upon by European Enlightenment philosophers, and was the first earthquake studied scientifically for its effects over a large area leading to the birth of modern Seismology. Immediately after the earthquake, many inhabitants of Lisbon looked for safety on the sea by boarding ships moored on the river. But about 30 minutes after the quake, a large wave swamped the area near Bugie Tower on the mouth of the river Tagus. In some places, the waves crested at more than 30 m. The vast majority of the coastal towns and villages in Algarve were heavily damaged, except Faro, which was protected by its sandy banks. In Lagos, the waves reached the top of the city walls. In southwest Spain, the tsunami caused damage to Cadiz and Huelva, in fact the Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters waves penetrated the Guadalquivir River, reaching Seville. In Gibraltar, the sea rose suddenly by about two meters. In Ceuta the tsunami was strong, but in the Mediterranean Sea, it decreased rapidly. It, also, caused great damage and casualties to the western coast of Morocco, fromTangier, where the waves reached the walled fortifications of the town, to Agadir, where the waters passed over the walls, killing many. In addition, the whole event is considered as one major cultural disaster. For example, the Royal Library of the Royal Palace at Terreiro do Paço was lost together with its 70,000 books and hundred of famous artists‘ paintings, such as Rubens, Titian and Correggio. The Royal Archives of explorers‘ and navigators‘ accounts, such as Vasco da Gama, were also completely destroyed (Brooks, 1994; Dynes, 1999; Pereira, 1999; Neiman, 2002; Paice, 2008; Shrady, 2008; Santos et al., 2009). 4.4 Complex geodynamics and hydrogeological hazards (landslides, high sedimentation rates, alluvial deposits- fans & delta, subsidence, soil liquefaction) The Agulhas slide covering an estimated area of 20,000 km³, off South Africa, was post-Pliocene in age (ca 2.6 Ma), and it is considered as the largest so far described. The sea off Cape Agulhas is notorious for winter storms and mammoth rogue waves, which can range up to 30 metres, being capable to sink even the largest modern ships. Cape Agulhas (from the Portuguese words Cabo das Agulhas meaning Cape of Needles) is the geographic southern tip of the African continent, on the dividing point between the Atlantic and Indian oceans. Historically, the cape has been known to sailors as a major hazard on the traditional clipper route. It was most commonly known in Englis h as Cape Lagullas until 20th century (Dingle, 1977; Coleman and Prior, 1988). Far to the North, the Köfels landslide (Ötztal, Tirol, Austria) is recognized as the largest landslide in the crystalline Alps. Geologists claim that this event took place about 9.8 / 8.7 Ka, according to radiocarbon dating. Pumice and fused rock was found at this site; a total volume of 3.9 km³ is estimated, being 500m thick and covering 5 km in diameter. In total, four large landslides within the crystalline rocks of the eastern Alps have been investigated since 1997 (Brückl, et al., 1998; Ivy-Ochs, 1998; Sørensena and Bauer, 2003; Prager et al., 2008). This geological event has been, also, correlated to the Köfels impact event. A cuneiform clay tablet, which had puzzled scholars for over 150 years, including five unsuccessful attempts for translation, has been deciphered for the first time. The tablet seems to be a contemporary Sumerian observation of an asteroid (known also as 'Sodom and Gomorrah' asteroid) impact at Köfels, Austria, that suggests the asteroid being over a km in diameter, its original orbit being about the Sun of an Aten type, close to the Earth. This trajectory explains why there is no crater at Köfels. The impact theory was back into play by professor Alan Bond, Managing Director of Reaction Engines Ltd and Mark Hempsell, Senior Lecturer in Astronautics at Bristol University. But the radiocarbon dating of wood buried by the landslide indicates that the impact event (if any in the area of the Alps) took place four millennium later from the geological phenomenon. The above mentioned tablet is stored at the British Museum‘s cuneiform clay tablet collection (no K8538 known as ‗the Planisphere‘). It was found by Henry Layard in the remains of the library in the royal place at Nineveh in the mid-19th century. Today, it is thought to be a 700 BCE copy of notes made by a Sumerian astronomer watching the Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters night sky of his own time, who referred to the asteroid as a ―white stone bowl approaching‖ recording it as it ―vigorously swept along‖. Using computers to recreate the night sky thousands of years ago, scientists have pinpointed his sighting too shortly before dawn on June 29, in the year 3123 BCE (Julian calendar). About half the symbols on the tablet have survived and half of those refer to the asteroid. The other symbols record the positions of constellations and clouds (Bond and Hempsel, 2008). On the other hand, coastal areas on rivers‘ delta are extremely prone to sedimentation (deltaic alluvium), as they are environments of gradual accumulation of geological and human by-products, and transitive zones between fluvial and marine ecosystems. During Holocene and especially from Mid-Holocene Altithermal / Hypsithermal onwards, the rise of mean temperatures, the shift of the ICTZ, changes of rainfall patterns and the deposition of alluvial sediments - to the height of 5 meters- in the riverine valleys, gradually ended up to the permanent formation of sedimentary environments in the big deltas worldwide (Nile, Euphrates, Tigris, Huan Ho, Han, Yangtze, Ganges), which are the most fertile ecosystems of our planet. Alluvium (from the Latin word alluvius < alluere = to wash against) is soil or sediments deposited by a river or other running water, typically made up of a variety of materials, including fine particles of silt & clay, and larger particles of sand & gravel as well. The amount of solid matter carried by a large river is enormous, e.g. Mississippi River annually carries 406 million tons of sediment to the sea, Huang He, 796 million tons, and Po River, 67 million tons. This geological process should be diversified from the terms: (1) Colluvium (loose bodies of sediment that have been deposited or built up at the bottom of a low grade slope or against a barrier on that slope, transported by gravity; avalanches, mudslides and landslides are processes that deposit colluvium; it normally forms humps at the base of mountains or fan-shaped deposits similar in shape to alluvial fans that cover former ground surfaces; this process is an important phenomenon in the fields of archaeology & soil science; ancient sites can be preserved beneath colluvium, if later changes in the landscape such as deforestation, encourage a downward movement of material), (2) Eluvium or eluvial deposits (those geological deposits and soils that are derived by in situ weathering or weathering plus gravitational movement or accumulation; the transport of soil material from upper layers of soil to lower levels by downward precipitation of water across soil horizons), and (3) Illuvium (material displaced across a soil profile, from one layer to another one, by the action of rainwater; the transport of the material may be either mechanical or chemical). Cl. Vita - Finzi (1969), studying the Mediterranean valleys, observed the alluvial sequences, later known as Older and Younger Fill. It is about two major alluvial episodes in the Mediterranean valleys and plains, during Pleistocene glacial stages (? Early to MidWürm formation) and Roman to early Byzantine Era, when a new and fertile silt filled the river valleys, a process enhanced by other regional geological phenomena and local human interventions (e.g. valley of Eurotas - Laconia, southeast Peloponnesus). But, regional studies undertaken by Brückner (1986) and van Andel et al. (1990) in Greece show that regional and local river dynamics were more complex than the stratigraphic sequences of these two fills. Furthermore, the circum-Mediterranean area is an interesting case of constantly changing coastal landscapes that are registered in the local geoarchives (Pirazzoli, 1991; Rapp & Kraft in Kardulias, 1994; Bintliff, 2002; Ghisetti & Vezzani, 2004; Galili and Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters Rosen, 2011). Ancient authors (Herodotus, Thucydides, Plato, Aristotle, Theophrastus, Strabo, Pausanias, and Titus Livius) had realized these coastal changes and their repeated transformative impact on human societies. Coastal regression or transgression affected cities‘ prosperity and longevity. Well-known are the examples of ancient Mediterranean harbours like Piraeus, Thessaloniki and Ephesus. During the last decades, geoarchaeological surveys have demonstrated repeated changes in the coastlines of eastern Mediterranean during the Holocene. Ancient Pella was a coastal city around 500 BCE, while during the Late Roman Period was inland, at a distance of 30 km from the nearest coast. The Neolithic settlement of Dimini (Thessaly) was built ca 800 m. from the coastline, while today its position is ca 5 km. from the nearest coast. The same process made ancient Myous/Miletos (Ionian Coasts, Asia Minor) to lay 20 km from the nearest coast, in alluvial strata of 11 m. width. The ancient seaport of Oiniadai (Trikardo island, Akarnania, northwestern Greece), once belonged to the Echinades Islands, famous for its spectacular shipsheds of the 5th century BCE, has been engulfed by sediments of the Acheloos river. Today, it is surrounded by the alluvial plain, the distance to the open sea being between 9 and 11 km (Brown, 1987; Astaras and Sotiriades, 1988; Finke, 1988; Zangger, 1991; Reinhardt et al., 1994; Mac Kil, 2004; Vött et all, 2004). On the coastal plain of Achaia, between the Selinous and Kerynites rivers, Helike, known by its excavators as ‗the Greek Pompei‘, on the south coast of the Gulf of Corinth, provided archaeologists and other archaeoenvironmental scientists with intriguing testimonies. During the summer of 2001, a scientific team directed by the Greek archaeologist Dr. Dora Katsonopoulou, President of the Helike Society, and Dr. Steven Soter at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, discovered the first traces of the Classical Greek city of Helike, although the first offshore expedition (Helike Project) had taken place since 1988. They also discovered its prehistoric predecessor, an entire Early Bronze Age town, previously unsuspected, and evidently submerged in the same coastal plain some two thousand years earlier. In 2003, the World Monuments Fund included Helike in its ‗2004 List of the 100 Most Endangered Sites‘, in order to protect the Classical and Early Bronze Age sites from destruction by a new railroad that would run over them. So far, clearly marked occupation horizons reflect the Bronze Age, Archaic and Classical, Roman and Byzantine settlements in this highly unstable environment (high rates of sedimentation, active seismicity of Helike fault, phenomena of soil liquefaction, uplift and subsistence of Helike delta). Although a large portion of Helike‘s population died after the earthquake and the tsunami of 373 BCE, the higher areas of the polis continued to be used during Hellenistic Era (Proceedings of Helike Society Conferences, 1979 and 1995; Soter and Katsonopoulou, 1999; Katsonopoulou and Soter, 2003). But even if the subsistence patterns continued to exist for a long time spread into the whole area, the bond between the physical site and polis‘ integrity as a prominent political entity (meeting place of the Achaian koinon) ceased to exist after the major event of 373 BCE Ancient authors speak of this awesome disaster (Aristotle, Meteorologika A6, 343 b1-6; B8, 366 a23-28 & 368b 6-12 & De Mundi 4, 396a; Diodorus, XV.48 – 49; Strabo, VIII.7.2; Ovid, Metamorphoses I.263; Pausanias, VII.24.5 ff.; Aelian, On Animals XI1.19). The sea submerged the coastal cities of Helike along with the temple of Helikonian Poseidon and Boura, after a strong seismic shock. The local ferrymen were Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters saying that a bronze Poseidon stood erect in the strait / inland lagoon (ancient Greek poros), holding in one hand a hippocampus, which was dangerous to those fishing with nets. Helike‘s case is an extremely intriguing example not only for its scientific dynamics, but also for the integrated perception of natural hazards‘ spatio-temporal distribution and role within the modern cultural landscapes. Ιn fact, the phenomenon of seismic liquefaction, which played the key-role in this notorious historical case (Stewart and Vita-Finzi, 1998, pp. 41-56; Soter, 1999, pp. 275290; Soter and Katsonopoulou, 1999, pp. 531-563; Soter, et al., 2001, pp. 95-106; Katsonopoulou, Soter and Koukouvelas, 2003; Ferentinos, et al., 2015), was firstly analyzed by Aristotle in his Meteorologica (Laoupi, 1999). The ancient Greek philosopher wrote (B8, 366a 23-28) about the interdependence between soils‘ qualities and their behaviour during seismic events (giving as examples the areas around Hellespont, Achaia, Euboea and Sicily); he, also, used this complex geo-phenomenon as a paleoseismic marker, process that was used millennia later (e.g. Mansoor, Niemi and Misra, 2004, pp. 297-320); in fact, he used historical, geological and compositional criteria that were clearly defined as such only in the 20th century CE (Kramer, 1996). In soil mechanics, the term ‗liquefied‘ was first used by Hazen, in reference to the 1918 failure of the Calaveras Dam in California (1920). Liquefaction is more likely to occur in loose to moderately saturate granular soils with poor drainage, such as silty sands or sands and gravels capped or containing seams of impermeable sediments, existing below the ground water table or sea level. Consequently, deposits most susceptible to liquefaction are young (Holocene-age, deposited within the last 10 Ka) sands and silt of similar grain size (well-sorted), in beds at least metres thick, and saturated with water. Such deposits are often found along stream beds, beaches, dunes, and areas where windblown silt (loess) and sand have accumulated, all being first choice areas by people in the prehistoric and historic past. Some examples of soil liquefaction include quicksand, quick clay, turbidity currents, and earthquake induced liquefaction. Apart form Helike and Boura, Pliny tells about other Cities Which Have Been Absorbed by the Sea (cf. Seneca, Quaestiones Naturales VI.23, 26; VII.5, 16): Pyrrha and Antissa, the case of Keos island from which the sea suddenly tore off 10 km ―with many persons on them‖ (Pliny IV.20.6: the 4/5 of the island between the northern coast of the island and Euboea had been submerged in a catastrophic event). ―In like manner it carried off Eleusina in Boeotia, and half of the city of Tyndaris in Sicily. And not to speak of bays and gulfs, the earth feeds on itself: it has devoured the very high mountain of Cybotus with the town of the Curites; also Sipylus in Magnesia, and formerly in the same place, a very celebrated city, which was called Tantalis‖ (II. 93). These descriptions by Pliny are supported by corroborating references in other classical authors too (cf. in addition to the works cited above, study Lucretius, De Rerum Natura VI passim; Ovid, Metamorphoses, XV). 4.5 Cyclones, tornadoes, hurricanes & storms ■ AD 1054 (April, 30) Rosdalla tornado; Earliest known European tornado near Kilbeggan, Ireland

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Archaeodisasters ■ AD 1091 (October, 23) London tornado; Earliest known and perhaps strongest British tornado ■ AD 1119 (July, 30) Vyšehrad tornado; Earliest known and perhaps strongest Czech tornado ■ AD 1281 (August, 15 – 16) Hakata Bay typhoon; it wiped out the Mongol fleet of Kublai Khan (more than 4,000 vessels in total) during their second and final attempt at invading Japan, as they lost up to 75% of their troops & supplies; they are considered to be the earliest events for which the word kamikaze (‗divine wind‘), is widely used ■ AD 1362 (January, 16) Grote Mandrenke, northwestern Europe (England, the Netherlands, northern Germany and southern Denmark); more than 25,000 victims; impact on the Dutch-German-Danish coastline ■ AD 1551 or 1556 (September, 23) Valletta, Malta tornado; ca 600 fatalities; Perhaps deadliest European tornado ■ AD 1588 (September) The Spanish Armada storms in Ireland‘s coasts; the Spanish fleet was sent by Philip II to invade England ■ Great Storm of AD 1703 (November, 26-27 according to older calendar, and December, 7-8 according to modern calendar); The most severe storm or natural disaster ever recorded in the southern part of Great Britain; The first weather event to be a news story on a national scale, covered by journalists ■ Great Hurricane of AD 1780 (October, 10 - 16); Known, also, as Huracán San Calixto, the Great Hurricane of the Antilles, and the 1780 Disaster; 20,000 to 23,000 victims; Probably the deadliest Atlantic hurricane on record ■ Coringa Cyclone in southeastern India (November 25, AD 1839); ca 20,000 fatalities; Storms in the Bay of Bengal actually account for seven of the 10 deadliest hurricanes, typhoons and cyclones in recorded history; Henry Piddington, (official of the British East India Company), coined the term cyclone sometime around 1840, conceptualizing the ―swirling circle‖, after looking at the destruction caused by the 1789 and 1839 events ■ Great Bakarganj Cyclone in India, Bengal area now in Banlgadesh (October 31, AD 1876); ca 200,000 victims; Half of the deaths resulted from disease and starvation related to the flooding ■ AD 1876 (March 12) ―Lothar‘s big brother‖ mega storm southern Ireland & England, central Western Europe; major environmental and property damage ■ AD 1881 (October, 8) Haiphong typhoon, Vietnam; 300,000 fatalities; one of the deadliest cyclonic storms in history ■ Galveston Hurricane of September 8, AD 1900, Texas U.S.A.; 6,000 to 12,000 fatalities (Laughton and Heddon, 1927; Lamb and Frydendahl, 1991; Fitzpatrick, 1999; Winters, et al., 2001; Chenoweth, 2006) In Meteorology, a tropical cyclone (or tropical storm, typhoon or hurricane, depending on strength and location) is a type of low-pressure system which generally forms in the tropics. While some, particularly those that make landfall in populated areas, are regarded as highly destructive, tropical cyclones are considered as an important part of the atmospheric circulation system, which moves heat from the equatorial region toward the higher latitudes. Most tropical cyclones form in a worldwide band of thunderstorm activity known as the Intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ). They are classified into three main groups: tropical depressions, tropical storms, and a third group Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters whose name depends on the region. Especially, the term used to describe tropical cyclones with maximum sustained winds exceeding 117 km/h, varies depending on region of origin, as follows: (1) hurricane in the North Atlantic Ocean, North Pacific Ocean east of the dateline, and the South Pacific Ocean east of 160°E, (2) typhoon in the northwestern Pacific Ocean west of the dateline, (3) severe tropical cyclone in the Southwest Pacific Ocean west of 160°E or Southeast Indian Ocean east of 90°E, (4) severe cyclonic storm in the North Indian Ocean, (5) tropical cyclone in the Southwest Indian Ocean. Hurricanes are categorized on a 1-to-5 scale according to the strength of their winds, using the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale. A Category 1 storm has the lowest wind speeds, while a Category 5 hurricane has the strongest. These are relative terms, because lower category storms can sometimes inflict greater damage than higher category storms, depending on where they strike and the particular hazards they bring. In fact, tropical storms can also produce significant damage and loss of life, mainly due to flooding. The U.S. National Hurricane centre classifies hurricanes of Category 3 or above as Major Hurricanes. The Joint Typhoon Warning centre classifies typhoons / a strong Category 4 storm as Super Typhoons. There is, also, a polar counterpart to the tropical cyclone, called an arctic cyclone. A relatively new field of study called Paleotempestology studies evidence from prehistoric cases, based on the phenomenon of ‗overwash event‘, according to which catastrophic hurricanes would have the capability to drive sand over beach barriers and into coastal lakes and marshes. Using radiocarbon analysis and other dating techniques, researchers work to develop a chronology of prehistoric storms in order to analyze any emerging patterns or cycles. In Gulf of Mexico‘s case, hurricanes of catastrophic magnitude (a Category 4 or Category 5) directly hit each location only approximately 10 -12 times in the past 3.8 Ka. Respectively, the tsunami-borne sediments within Banda Aceh Cave (western part of the island of Sumatra), now 200 m away from the shore, present a sequence of 7 to 10 paleoevents from ca 7,5 to 3 Ka. The whole research (led by Professor Charles Rubin - from the Earth Observatory of Singapore – and his team and collaborators) is also focused on more recent events in order to understand the periodicities of deadly tsunamis in the area, similar to the AD 2004 event (Elsner and Liu, 2003; Louie and Liu, 2003; Murnane and Liu, 2004; Kiage and Liu, 2006; Morrill, et al., 2006; Liu, 2007a & b; Xu, et al., 2007; Tang, et al., 2008; Cole and Yang, 2009; Liu, et al., 2009; Dura, et al., 2011; Grand Pre, et al., 2012; Spiske, et al., 2013; online presentation, 4.6 Famines ■ According to ancient Egyptian tradition, Osiris came to Egypt to teach people how to plant grain for the first time; the Egyptians had descended into cannibalism due to a severe famine. The whole Africa was in a drought cycle at that time. A Mesopotamian legend, also, speaks of a seven-year-famine and in the well known Gilgamesh-Epos the god Anu gives a prophecy about a seven-year famine. A further Egyptian tale about a long-lasting drought, found in the so-called Book of the Temple, is related to the pharaoh Neferkasokar (late 2nd Dynasty), who faced a seven-year-famine during his reign. Similar Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters motif can be found in ancient Greek tradition with Demeter / Persephone symbolic pattern (Bar, 2001; Lichtheim, 2006) ■ 2742 BCE dimming Sun, intense volcanic activity worldwide, cold, drought, crop failure and seven-year famine during 3rd Dynasty‘s second pharaoh Djoser – Famine Stela – now disputed as being written during the Ptolemaic Dynasty (Barguet, 1953) ■ ca 2200-1950 BCE dimming Sun, cold, drought, crop failure and famine. The 4.2-kyraridification event / Bond Event 3; Collapse of the Old Kingdom and Akkadian Empire. An account from the First Intermediate Period stated: "All of Upper Egypt was dying of hunger and people were eating their children" (Bell, 1971) ■ 1370 BCE 50 days dimming Sun, two years dust in the air and seven-year famine during 18th Dynasty‘s ninth pharaoh Amenhotep III? The great famine in Egypt (after Joseph‘s interpretation of Pharaoh‘s dream) and the entire ancient world; Joseph was attuned to the climate changes that impacted the rise and fall of the Nile River (‗Joseph phenomenon‘). Scholars debate on whether the famous Imphotep is the same person with Joseph ■ Crop failure and epidemic during ‗Minos War‘ in Attica; famine and epidemic among the Pelasgians; epidemic and famine decimating Cretans returning home from the Trojan War (Sallares, 1991, p. 459). In Homeric Odyssey (xv.407-8), famine is classified in diseases, but the word ‗peine‘ is used instead of ‗limos‘. In the Laconian dialect of ancient Greece, ‗loimos‘ meant famine (Bourguet, 1927). The word ‗limus‘ (limos), the Latin ‗Fames‘, or personification of hunger is found in Hesiod (Theogony, 227) describing hunger as the offspring of Eris or Discord. A poetical description of Fames occurs in Ovid (Metamorphoses, viii. 800, c.), and Virgil (Aeneid, vi. 276) places it, along with other monsters, at the entrance of Orcus ■ 440 BCE famine in Ancient Rome ■ 357 BCE famine in ancient Attica ■ 335-325 BCE prolonged drought in ancient Greece and adjacent famine (Garnsey and Whittaker, 1983) ■ Secular historians such as Tacitus, Suetonius, and Josephus mentioned other famines during the period prior to AD 70 ■ 44 BCE forest-fires, rains, flooding /dust, cold, drought, crop failure and famine for two years, 2 months and 5 days, during the reign of Ptolemy XV Caesarion ■ Between 108 BCE and AD 1911 there were no fewer than 1828 major famines in China, or one nearly every year in one or another province, which however varied greatly in severity ■ AD 235 forest-fires, rains, flooding/dust, cold, drought, crop failure and famine for one year and 45 days, during the reign of Emperor Maximinus ■ Famine in West Europe associated with the Fall of Rome and its sack by Alaric I. Between AD 400 and 800, the population of the city of Rome fell by over 90%, mainly because of famine and plague ■ 639 AD famine in Arabia during the Caliphate of `Umar ibn Al-Khattab ■ AD 650 famine throughout India ■ 750's famine in Spain ■ AD 800-1000, severe drought killed millions of Maya people with famine and thirst and initiated a cascade of internal collapses that destroyed their civilization ■ AD 875-884 peasant rebellion in China inspired by famine Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters ■ AD 927 famine in Byzantine Empire ■ AD 967-968 severe famine in Egypt, caused by a low flood of Nile; 600,000 fatalities in and around Al Fustat, the-then capital of Egypt ■ AD 1016 Famine throughout Europe ■ AD 1022 & 1033 Great famines in India, in which entire provinces were depopulated ■ AD 1064-1072 Seven years' famine in Egypt ■ AD 1051 famine forced the Toltecs to migrate from a stricken region in what is now central Mexico ■ AD 1199-1202 famine in Egypt ■ AD 1230 famine in Novgorod ■ AD 1231-1232 famine in Japan ■ AD 1235 famine in England; 20,000 die in London, alone (a total of 95 famines in the Middle Ages) ■ AD 1315-1317 Great Famine in Europe ■ AD 1333 famine in Portugal ■ AD 1333-1334 famine in Spain ■ AD 1333-1337 famine in China ■ AD 1344-1345 Great famine in India ■ AD 1396-1407 The Durga Devi famine in India, lasting twelve year ■ AD 1441 famine in Mayapan, Mexico ■ AD 1445 famine in Korea ■ AD 1450-1454 famine in Aztec Empire ■ AD 1460-1461 Kanshō famine in Japan ■ AD 1567-1570 famine in Harar in Ethiopia, combined with plague; Emir of Harar, died ■ AD 1574-1576 famine in Istanbul and Anatolia ■ AD 1586 famine in England which gave rise to the Poor Law system ■ AD 1590s famines in Europe ■ AD 1601-1603 one of the worst famines in all of Russian history; famine killed as many as 100,000 in Moscow and up to one-third of Tsar Godunov's subjects; Same famine killed about half Estonian population ■ AD 1618-1648 famines in Europe caused by Thirty Years' War ■ AD 1630-1631 Deccan famine in India kills 2,000,000 (there was a corresponding famine in Northwest China, eventually causing the Ming dynasty to collapse in 1644) ■ AD 1648-1660 Poland lost an estimated 1/3 of its population due to the wars, famine, and plague ■ AD 1651-1653 famine throughout much of Ireland during the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland ■ AD 1661 famine in India, when not a drop of rain fell for two years ■ AD 1661-1662 famine in Morocco ■ AD 1680 famine in Sardinia ■ 1680s famine in Sahel ■ 1690s famine in Scotland which may have killed 15% of the population; in France killed 2 million people; in Estonia killed about a fifth of Estonian population; in Sweden killed 80 000 – 100 000 people; in Finland wiped out almost a third of the population ■ AD 1702-1704 famine in Deccan, India, killed 2 million people ■ AD 1708-1711 famine in East Prussia killed 250,000 people or 41% of its population Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters ■ AD 1738-1756 famine in West Africa, half the population of Timbuktu died of starvation ■ AD 1770-1771 famine in Czech lands killed hundreds of thousands people ■ AD 1783 famine in Iceland caused by Laki (volcano) eruption killed one-fifth of Iceland's population ■ AD 1784-1785 famine in Tunisia killed up to one-fifth of all Tunisians ■ Four famines - in AD 1810, 1811, 1846, and 1849 - in China claimed nearly 45 million lives ■ AD 1811-1812 famine devastated Madrid, taking nearly 20,000 lives ■ AD 1815 Tambora eruption, Indonesia. Tens of thousands died of subsequent famine ■ AD 1816-1817 famine in Europe (Year without a summer) ■ AD 1830 famine killed almost half the population of Cape Verde ■ AD 1835 famine in Egypt killed 200,000 ■ AD 1845-1849 Great Irish Famine killed more than 1 million people ■ AD 1846 famine led to the peasant revolt known as ―Maria da Fonte‖ in the North of Portugal ■ AD 1846-1857 Highland Potato Famine in Scotland ■ AD 1866 famine in India (Bengal and Orissa); one million perished ■ AD 1866-1868 famine in Finland. About 15% of the entire population died ■ AD 1869 famine in Rajputana; one million and a half perished ■ AD 1870-1871 famine in Persia is believed to have caused the death of 2 million persons ■ AD 1876-1879 famine in India, China, Brazil, northern Africa (and other countries). Famine in northern China killed 13 million people, 12-29 million died in India ■ AD 1888-1892 Ethiopian Great Famine. About one-third of the population died. Conditions worsen with cholera outbreaks (1889-1892), a typhus epidemic, and a major smallpox epidemic (1889-1890) ■ AD 1891-1892 famine in Russia caused 375,000 to 500,000 deaths. The afore-mentioned catalogue is not exhaustive but rather indicative for the severity and persistence of this phenomenon (Walford, 1878; Gerrard and Petley, 2013). A famine is a widespread shortage of food that may apply to any faunal species, acute (short-term) or chronic (long-term or cyclical) period of starvation; it is usually accompanied by increased mortality, regional malnutrition and epidemics- and following natural catastrophes (e.g. earthquakes, floods, volcanic eruptions, droughts) or/and human-induced events (wars, migrations). The phenomenon reflects human society‘s hazard management and it is considered as the most severe catastrophe‘s aftermath, apart from human losses during the disaster events. But famine, nowadays, is, also, regarded as a more complex condition with more common complex causality, requiring explanation, the identification of indicators of its progress, and recognition of its demographic effects (Kane, 1987). In fact, it is a socio-economic collapse rather than mere food crisis. Although it can be identifiable in the historical period from written records and potentially with archaeological corroboration, it can‘t be traced with accuracy in Prehistory, only approached by multifactorial analysis of indicators and studies of diet and nutrition, Paleodemography, environmental catalysts, and funerary ritual,

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Archaeodisasters Palynology, Dendrochronology, stable isotope analyses, Osteoarchaeology, and Social Archaeology (Morgan, 2012; VanDerwarker and Wilson, 2015). On the other hand, there is no clear evidence that the evolution of human civilization has reduced the risk of resource failure and starvation as successfully, as we like to believe. Episodes of starvation occurred among hunter-gatherer bands, because natural resources failed, and because they had limited ability either to store or to transport food. Equally, the gained advantages of agriculture and sedentism may be outweighed by the greater vulnerability that domestic crop species often display toward climatic fluctuations or other natural hazards, by the loss of mobility that results from agriculture and storage, the limits and failures of primitive storage systems, and the vulnerability of sedentary communities to political expropriation of their stored resources (Cohen, 1990, 1991 & 1997; LeBlanc, 2003). 4.7 Flooding and other water-induced hazards ■ Between 450 and 200 Ka Dam-busting 'megaflood' in Britain ■ ca 17-9 Ka Chepalyga‘s Flood = from the Caspian Depression via the Manych – Kerch spillway to the Black Sea Depression (Svitoch, et al., 2000; Mangerud, et al., 2001; Velichko, 2002); Chepalyga‘s theory of the Epoch of Extremal Inundations (EEI); the event as a great impactor on Mesolithic cultures in northern Pontic Zone (Chepalyga, 2006; Arslanov, et al., 2007) ■ ca after 12 Ka = The latest Missoula flood ■ Lake Agassiz' major drainage reorganization events; ca 13 Ka = possible triggering mechanism for the Younger Dryas Stadial / ca 10 Ka = possible triggering mechanism for the 8.2-kyr- event (Fischer, 2003; Flesche Kleiven, et al., 2007; Turney and Brown, 2007; Michalek, 2013; Galaasen, et al, 2014) ■ Huge flood of water poured out of the Amazon basin into the Atlantic ocean ca 11.811.7 Ka (Maslin and Burns, 2000). A global hydroclimatic event ■ ca 6200 BCE Doggerland overflooding ■ 6th millennium BCE Black Sea Case (Ryan and Pitman, 2000 & 2003). In the Babylonian King's Lists (its predecessor is the Sumerian King List), this is 3600 years, or one Saros cycle (a Nibiru 'orbital' cycle), after the Flood (Finkelstein, 1963; Crawford, 2004); event as a significant accelerator for the Neolithicization in the southern Pontic Zone ■ Excavations in Iraq have revealed evidence (flood stratum) of localized flooding at Shuruppak (modern Tell Fara, Iraq) and various other Sumerian cities, dated to ca. 2900 BCE. ■ AD 1287 Santa Lucia‘s flood. Storm surge, Netherlands; up to 80,000 victims ■ AD 1530 Saint Felix‘s flood. Storm surge, Netherlands; more than 100,000 victims ■ AD 1887 Yellow River (Huang He) flood, China; Estimation of victims ranges from 700,000 to 6 million) ■ May 31, AD 1889 Johnstown Flood, Pennslylvania, USA; 2,200 casualties. One of the worst floods in 19th ‘s century U.S.A.; one with the highest death toll in its entire history. First intervention of American Red Cross in the aftermath of a disaster.

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Archaeodisasters Many areas of the world experience periodic inundation or are prone to flooding due to local geomorphological and hydroclimatic conditions. It is, also, evident that multiple secondary factors increase their vulnerability to flooding, growing populatio n, denser occupancy of flood plains and other flood-prone areas, along with the expansion of unwise forms of watershed land use, being among them. Since Prehistory, humans have lived by the seas and rivers for a variety of reasons; without human populations near natural bodies of water, there would be no concern for floods. A flood happens when an area of land, usually low-lying, is covered with water. Periodic floods occur naturally on many rivers, forming an area known as the flood plain. Heavy rain, sometimes combined with melting snow, is the main triggering mechanism. Coastal areas are occasionally flooded by high tides caused by severe winds on ocean surfaces, or by tsunami. Monsoon rainfalls can cause disastrous flooding in some equatorial areas, and hurricanes can cause devastating flooding (storm surge and / or large amounts of precipitation), while heavy Atlantic storms push the water to the coasts of Europe. Undersea earthquakes, eruptions of island volcanoes that form a caldera and marine landslips on continental shelves may all engender a tidal wave that causes destruction to coastal areas. Floods are considered as the most frequent type of disaster worldwide. Either global or local event, Sea Level Rise (SLR) reflects the interaction between various parameters, such as eustatic or isostatic processes, tectonic mechanisms, local geological phenomena or accumulation processes, and characterizes many stages in the geological history of our planet (i.e. Butzer, 1983; Christie-Blick, 1986; Bailey and Parkington, 1988; van Andel, 1989; Flemming, 1998; Ryan & Pittman, 2000; Ryan et al., 2003). Coastal evolution after the Last Glaciation Maximum (LGM) and especially during the Late Pleistocene and Holocene is related to the amelioration of the climatic conditions, to the active sedimentary dynamics of marine, tidal, fluvial and lacustrine environments, extensive freshwater runoff, rise of vegetation cover and pedogenetic processes. 500 Ka ago Britain was connected to mainland Europe by a broad chalk ridge, which spanned what we now call the Dover Strait. But somehow that ridge was destroyed, forever separating England and France. The cause was revealed by an ultrahigh-resolution sonar survey of a large chunk of the channel's bedrock. It shows the Weald-Artois Ridge, as it is called, was breached and toppled by a monumental torrent that gushed from an overfilling glacial lake that the ridge had been damming on its northern side. All that is left visible of the chalky ridge on the British side are the Seven Sisters and the white cliffs of Dover. This vast glacial lake that occupied most of what is now the southern North Sea; corralled by glaciers to the North and the ridge in the South, the lake was also being constantly fed by the Rhine and the Thames. According to the researchers, the flood took place sometime between 200 and 450 Ka. One million cubic metres of water per second flowed for several months to carve the seafloor valleys, some of which are up to 10 km wide and 50 m. deep. The estimated flow rate was 100 times the average of the Mississippi river today, and 1000 times that of the Rhine. While the water of the megaflood would have flowed out to the Atlantic, later on, SLR during the Interglacial Period (ca 125 Ka), would have filled the valleys gouged by the flood to leave Britain an island (Gupta et al., 2007). A prehistoric pro-glacial lake in Western Montana, the largest ice-dammed lake known to have ever occurred, as big as Lakes Erie and Ontario combined, existed Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters periodically at the end of the Last Ice Age, between 15 and 13 Ka, having a maximum depth at 800 m.. The lake measured about 7,770 km2 and contained about 2,100 km3 of water, half the volume of Lake Michigan. The height of the ice dam typically approached 610 metres flooding the valleys of western Montana approximately 320 kilometres eastward. Magnetostratigraphic studies and cosmogenic burial dating reveal the spatiotemporal distribution of Pleistocene and Holocene cataclysmic flood deposits recording events as old as 1.1 Ma. These techniques may be applied throughout the stratigraphy of drill cores from palaeosols around extended river area (Pluhar et al., 2003 for Early and Mid-Pleistocene Missoula flood sediments). The Missoula Floods (Spokane Floods or Bretz Floods) were of a cataclysmic nature, sweeping periodically across eastern Washington and down the Columbia River Gorge, approximately 40 times during a 2-kyr period. These floods are noteworthy for having produced canyons and other large geologic features through cataclysmic events. Thundering waves and chunks of ice tore away soils and mountainsides, deposited giant ripple marks, the flood waters having run with the force equal to 60 Amazon Rivers. Car-sized boulders they can still be seen today even 750 km away! This was one of the largest floods in Earth‘s history (Bretz, 1925; Waitt, 1980; Allen, et al., 1986; Brunner, et al., 1999; Clague et al., 2003; Bjornstad, 2006). Back to the North Sea, Doggerland (name given by archaeologists and geologists to a former landmass in its southern part, stretched from Britain's eastern coast across to the present coast of the Netherlands and the western coasts of Germany and Denmark) once connected the island of Great Britain to mainla nd Europe during and after the Last Ice Age, surviving until about 6,500 or 6,200 BCE, though gradually being swallowed by rising sea levels. It was probably a rich habitat with human habitation in the Mesolithic period. First evidence of human presence in that tundra saw light in the early 20th century. At about 8,000 BCE, the north-facing coastal area of Doggerland had a coastline of lagoons, salt marshes, mudflats, beaches, inland streams, rivers, marshes, and sometimes lakes. It may have been the richest hunting, fowling and fishing ground in Europe during Mesolithic. Water abounded, fish, birds and other game would have been plentiful, as well as the lakes and marshes would also have provided reeds for basketry. Added to the existent hypothesis of the gradual flooding of Doggerland, the new hypothesis suggests that the final disaster came from the North, in the form of a tsunami, after the giant Storegga landslide around 6,200 ± 50 BCE. In the 1990s, Professor Bryony Coles named the area ‗Doggerland‘, producing a series of speculative maps of the area (Cole, 1988, 1999; Deruelle, 1999; Cole, 2000; Gaffney, et al., 2007; Weninger, 2008). In fact, a skull fragment of a Neanderthal, being over 40-kyr old, was recovered from material dredged from the Middeldiep, some 16 km off the coast of Zeeland, and was exhibited in Leiden in 2009 (online article at: The slide that caused the tsunami is considered as one of the largest submarine slides on Earth. The tsunami deposits contain samples of the moss Hylocomium splendens, the characteristic growth cycle of which confirms that the event occurred in late autumn (Rydgren and Bondevik, 2014). Additionally, during Pleistocene, there was one vast Ponto - Aralian Mediterranean extending from eastern Europe to western central Asia, a huge reservoir, the lowest part of the lip of which was probably situated somewhat more than 65 m. asl. Into this basin poured their waters the largest rivers of Europe (Danube, Volga) and few Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters great rivers of Asia, (Oxus, Jaxartes) with all the intermediate affluents. Furthermore, it received the overflow of Lake Balkash (then much larger), and probably, that of the inland sea of Mongolia. At that time, the level of the Sea of Aral stood at least 20 m. higher than it does at present, but Black, Caspian and Aral seas were already separated. The Black Sea case involves, in fact, three major phases: during 9.000 - 8.000 BCE, outflow of Black Sea toward North Aegean; during 8.000 - 6.000 BCE a rising in rainfall patterns resulting in a rising run off, turned the salt waters of Aegean Sea into brackish (like Ambrakikos Gulf and Black Sea today); during ca 5600 BCE, Aegean waters broke the natural ‗barrier‘ of Bosporus and overflooded Black Sea, which by that time had a 15 m. lower sea-level than Aegean, being a vast freshwater lake like the Caspian Sea (Aksu, et al., 2002; Lericolais, et al., 2009). In 1997, geologists William Ryan & Walter Pitman (Columbia University) proposed the model of a massive flood through the Bosporus (Ryan and Pittman, 2000; Ryan, et al., 2003). The Black Sea event was characterised by a 50.000 m3 / day water input and a 15cm / day SLR. This has led some scientists to associate this catastrophe with prehistoric flood myths (Dimitrov, 2004). A team of marine scientists led by Robert Ballard, detected ancient shoreline, freshwater snail shells, drowned river valleys, tool - worked timbers offshore and man made structures on seabed, roughly 91m of water off the Black Sea coast of modern Turkey. Radiocarbon dating of freshwater mollusc remains indicated an age of about 9 Ka (Ballard, et al., 2001; Ballard and Ward, 2004; Yanko-Hombach, et al., 2007). New evidence adds information about the salinity of Marmara Sea related to both Aegean and Black Sea past hydroclimatic fluctuations (Aloisi, et al., 2015). In Asia, the whole plain, in modern day Pakistan (in Larkana District, Sindh), now an arid area known as the Thar Desert, was once a very fertile plain traversed by this great river. In those days of Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa (, the area was one of the richest places in the world (Baloch, 1973; Possehl, 1979; Lal and Gupta, 1984; Flam, 1986 & 1993; Kenoyer, 1998). The prehistoric city of Mohenjo Daro was among the key centres of the Indus Valley civilization. In fact, it is the largest and most extensively excavated Indus city in Pakistan. The ruins of the valley's cities are immense. They are thought to have contained well over a million people each, with a system of town planning with straight streets and rectangular blocks, as well as wide main streets like modern boulevards, and heated public baths, a network of canals, pipes and sewers, with inspection peepholes, and an efficient drainage system with a highly efficient piped water supply (Baloch, 1988). Under the present flood plain lies a great depth of silt/clay which has buried 11 or 12 meters depth of occupation levels of that city ((in Sindi ‗mohenjo‘ means dead and ‗dero‘ means place, settlement), that had been destroyed by an extreme flood event or a series of them (Dales, 1968). Local legend says, also, that the city of Harappa (Dales, 1966) was destroyed by flood (in Punjabi, ‗harr‘ means flood and ‗paa‘ means place, remains). Raikes traces the cause of flooding to ―a combination of tectonically caused damming of a part of the Indus South of Mohenjo Daro coupled with the division of Indus flows between the Nara channel and that of the Indus proper‖. Behind the tectonism may have been a rising seacoast, together with ―extensive mud extrusions (including mud volcanoes) still active...‖ (Raikes and Dales, 1977; Raikes, 1979 &1984). In parallel, geoarchaeology uses the varved sediments / flood sediments as unique tool for the study of archaeoenvironments on an absolute time-scale ranging from single Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters years to seasons. They are annually laminated sediments (< Swedish varv = circle, periodical iteration of layers) that reflect past events of short duration (floods, fires and forest clearances) and other short-term anthropogenic activities, as well as the biotic responses to them. The hydrological balance and the climatic changes played a crucial role in the fate of several civilizations (the Sahel, Maya, South American, Scandinavian and circum-Mediterranean) because bodies of water (rivers, lakes, estuaries and coastal environments) have always been the strongest attractors for human population, thus, the geomorphology of such areas always interferes with archaeological research. Flood sediments from northern coastal Peru narrate the Holocene history of the El Niňo phenomenon (Wells, 1990; Sandweiss, et al., 1996). The reconstruction of ancient hydrological events, as paleofloods involve various disciplines including Geology, Geomorphology and Ecology, is based on the analysis of stratigraphic sequences and the sedimentary deposits. So, Pleistocene and Holocene fluvial sediments record episodic depositions; their sequences are often dominated by gravel facies that indicate deposition by a high-energy, gravel-bed rivers; fine-grained organic sediment bodies within the sequences yield palaeoenvironmental and biostratigraphical data from various biospecies (i.e. mollusca, insects, vertebrates, pollen and plant macrofossils). Their analysis reconstructs the past climatic phases (periodic climatic oscillations of the Holocene, phases of the El Niňo, moon-driven tides & solar irradiation, percentage of the annual rates of runoff & productivity) contributing to the worldwide d-bases of paleoclimatic data. Either way, water -related disasters take an enormous bill not only on human lives and economic losses, but, also, on environmental, social and cultural losses all over the world. The driven forces of water hazards may be generally categorized into three main groups: a) hydro-meteorological phenomena (HM), b) hydro-geological phenomena (HG) and c) anthropogenic causes (A). Their impact may also be assessed either as direct, or as indirect / long-term process. A special worldwide case study, the Giulia - Venezia region in Italy, is under high social stress from flood hazards apart from the serious health hazards from long-term freshwater and coastal water pollution. Venice and its lagoon were made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987. The entire city is an architectural masterpiece in which even the smallest building contains works by some of the world's greatest artists. Refugees from the Po Estuary fleeing foreign invaders founded the city in the 5 th century CE. In later centuries, Venice became part of the Byzantine Empire, then an independent citystate and a major maritime power in its own right. Venice extends across 118 small islands in a marshy saltwater lagoon at the northwestern corner of the Adriatic Sea. A series of barrier islands protect this low-lying city from‘ normal‘ storm surges. But a correlation of differently triggered phenomena (subsidence, storm surge flooding, tidal flooding, SLR in the Adriatic Sea and oil gas extraction offshore, not too far from the Laguna Veneta) induced either by nature (local geomorphology, wind patterns, seas, moon) or by man himself, repeatedly aggravates the situation. The phenomenon is called acqua alta by the locals. During the notorious flood of November 4, 1966, waters rose to almost two metres asl, turning that flood episode into the worst flood in the history of the city. Apart from Venice, Florence, another top art treasure city, suffered also tremendous damage due a unprecedented overflow of Arno river.

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Archaeodisasters In the past, the frequency of flooding surges increased a bit during the Wolf Minimum of solar activity (AD 1282-1342). Furthermore, in the period culminated in AD 1424, 1433 and 1442, an exceptional combination of the attractive luni-solar forces with the Moon in perigee, coincident with its maximum declination and the Sun and Moon being both at their greatest declination (Lamb, 1972), caused an increase in the frequency of exceptional tides. The next maximum in flooding surges occurrence was in the first half of the 16th century, during the Spรถrer minimum of the solar activity (AD 1416-1534); another maximum was between AD 1727-1805, for the increased occurrence of the scirocco wind (Eddy, 1977). Finally, an impressive increase of the flooding frequency was found since AD 1914, during the excavation of the first deep channel, and then more and more accelerated for to the above mentioned human activity (Camuffo, 1993). As the time went by, the historic centre of Venice and the entire lagoon have become more and more exposed to flooding. Today, with a tidal level of + 60 cm on the marigram of Punta della Salute, water begins to invade Piazza San Marco, one of the lowest areas of the city. With a tide of + 110 cm the 12% of the city is blocked with water and raised wooden walkways must be placed along established pedestrian. Thus, Venice provides an interesting example of excellent documentation and close interaction between man and the environment. Due to his geographical position close to the sea level, the city is extremely sensitive to climate changes and could, in the future, risk being fully submerged (Enzie and Camuffo, 1995). Furthermore, Underwater Archaeology studies past human life, behaviours and cultures, by using the physical remains found in salt or fresh water or buried beneath water-logged sediments. It is considered as a branch of Maritime Archaeology. Changes in sea-level due to local seismic events, or more widespread climatic oscillations or changes on a continental scale, even other geological phenomena, alter the coastal environments, having as a result the submersion of occupational sites, once in dry land. The remains may be within various sedimentary facies: (1) terrestrial (peat formation), (2) fluvial (floodplain / freshwater marsh -H- or levee / crevasse splay sediment -F-), (3) (fluviomarine-) fluvial (river channel), (4) fluviomarine (delta), (5) brackish (coastal swamp), (6) shallow marine, littoral (sand bar / spit), (7) brackish (marsh), (8) brackish marine (lagoon), (9) littoral, shallow marine (beach, shore face) and (10) marine (sublittoral environment). Marine and coastal environments (lagoons, river deltas, mangrove landscapes, dunes, fluvial routes, wetlands, islands, shorelines), apart from their natural and cultural significance, are, also, rich in archaeoenvironmental information, which is vital for a huge spectrum of scientists (e.g. Palaeoceanography, Paleoclimatology, Palaeontology, Palaeoecology, Disaster Archaeology). Another important aspect is that, parts of many contemporary seas were dry land during Palaeolithic and Mesolithic times and were then inhabited. Many remains of these habitations are preserved in the sediments of the seabed. These underwater settlement sites are unique in an international context. Obviously these scientific treasures call for a strong protection. Finally, the conservation conditions of the remains lying on the sea flour of several seas (e.g. Baltic, Black Sea) are extremely good. Low salinity, absence of shipworms and a large portion of oxygen-free bottom layers keep organic material intact.

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Archaeodisasters Underwater archaeological remains (deep water underwater excavations and shallow coastal excavations) are subject to a much wider array of physical, chemical and biological processes than their terrestrial counterparts. To encompass the effects of these processes data collection, recording, and interpretation must differ slightly from the procedures used on land, although they are no less scientific in their nature (Muckelroy, 1980; Bass, 1982; Masters and Flemming, 1983; Prott and O'Keefe, 1987; Cleere, 1988; Murdin, 1989; Neill and Krohn, 1991; Warren and Gubbay, 1991; Porojanov, 1999; Breen and Forsythe, 2001; Stanimirov, 2003). Nowadays, submerged landscapes are considered as a valuable asset of both natural and cultural heritage in European Union (European Marine Board, Position Paper 21, 2014). Additionally, wetlands are included in the Natural Heritage‘s list of every country in the world and are protected via the Ramshar Convention, but since humans have transformed the landscapes and the ecosystems in which they live during their long history on the planet, wetlands and biotopes are experienced tremendous anthropogenic impact. Various forms of pollution and contamination affect the ecological equilibrium of the environments, their integrity, identity and value. Except from romantic, aesthetic and cultural reasons, the protection of biodiversity / biotopes is a necessity for the future sustainable development of nations (Mitsch & Gosselink, 1993; Carlisle, 1998; Bayless, et al., 1999; Azous and Horner, 2001; Cylinder, et al., 2004; Dafis and Gerakis in Goulandris, 2004). Lands with shallow fresh, brackish or saline waters are characterized as wetlands, including the marshes, lakes, lagoons, rivers, streams, peat bogs, bushes, shallow coastal zones and mangroves, meadows covered by waters, estuaries, springs, salinas and rice fields. Potable water, water for irrigation needs, lush vegetation, abundance of game animals, increased food -gathering possibilities, neighbouring pasture lands, were the main reasons of why, the first sedentary human societies preferred similar environments to live and reproduce. Myths and legends, customs and technical works related to the wetlands, all testify their role in human civilization. For thousands of years, Lake Voiveis (Karla) (eastern Thessaly, Greece) was a paradise among the eastern Mediterranean wetland environments. It was drained by AD 1962, after local farmers‘ request for more cultivated land. Human intervention solved some problems and caused others more serious. So, twenty years later, the children of those who asked for lake‘s drainage, wanted their wetland environments back. Its restoration began in 1999. The sustainable use of aquatic resources seems to be the only safe way to the maintenance of biodiversity and the long-term development of local economies. Within the framework of the technical interventions in the area, significant archaeological evidence came to light, 14 human settlements dated from the Late Neolithic Period onwards. Thus, along with this important project of environmental ‗reconstruction‘, excavational activities confirmed the former philological evidence (Homer, Iliad B 711-3; Herodotus, VII.129; Euripides, Alcestis 588; Strabo, IX.5 et al.). Moreover, large dams are constructed in river basins where people have lived for long periods of times, from the prehistoric past to the present. They may also impact very large areas which encompass many cultural regions and tribal or indigenous groups. There is a strong scientific consensus that the construction of dams has led to incalculable loss, destruction and damage of cultural resources, ranging from shrines of local communities to world heritage monuments. Cultural Heritage Management (CHM) Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters should be a flexible methodological tool with internationally acceptable criteria and guidelines for an integrated assessment of the natural and cultural landscapes (World Commission on Dams, 2000). The famous case of the construction of the Aswan High Dam (started in 1953), which radically changed our knowledge of Egyptian Archaeology with the Nubia campaign, was vital for safeguarding Egypt against increasing water, energy and land demands. Similarly, the dam at Akosombo on the Volta River, which created the largest man-made lake in Africa (officially opened in 1966), was a catalyst for Ghanaian Archaeology. On the other hand, over the last forty years the lands impacted by the Siberian hydroelectric projects (Ob, Yenisey, lena, Amur and other rivers & tributaries) have witnessed a tremendous amount of cultural protection and conservation, for all the kinds of monuments have been united into a single â&#x20AC;&#x2014;cultural and historical heritageâ&#x20AC;&#x2DC; protected by the state. Nowadays, flood control and mitigation is normally a high priority under International River Basin Commissions in bilateral arrangements on trans boundary rivers. Egypt and Sudan have a long-established cooperation agreement for preparedness and operational management of the Nile summer floods. Finally, the controversial Three Gorges Projects (China), the largest reservoir project in the world, completed and fully functional as of July 4, 2012 (except for a ship lift), experienced lack of funding, shortage of trained personnel and serious problems related to administrative organization, logistical requirements and political constraints. The lack of an overall research design and the failure to incorporate a sampling schema based on issues of significance, resulted in the damage and destruction of some 1300 archaeological and historical sites, along with the total disfiguration of past cultural landscapes. Although the overall number of the reports and the identification of the sources made by Chen Shen (Royal Ontario Museum & University of Toronto, Canada) and his salvage team are not available, this effort is known to have been focused on the assessment of the degree to which the cultural heritage of the region is being properly protected. Long-term changes affect, also, the cultural sites and monuments in climates that experience interannual variability, in areas that are characterized by intense seismotectonic activity, in cases of uncontrolled human action or total abandonment of the cultural heritage. Temperature / humidity variations, periodic hydro meteorological effects (rain, snow, freeze-thaw cycles, moisturizing winds), apart from air pollutants, UV radiation, salt crystallization and biological weathering (colonization by microflora, i.e. fungi, algae, lichen & bacteria) interrelate each other in a vicious cycle of short- and long-term damage. These phenomena are often disregarded by heritage managers, even if they play crucial role in the overall status of the monuments, or by archaeologists, who abandon the sites to their fate without permanent monitoring controls, iterative assessment processes and strategic plans for sustainable tourist development. Weathering mechanisms of stone material (i.e. marbles & granites) that are exposed to marine environments are a constant threat to the coastal / island archaeological sites. The monuments of Delos (Cyclades island - Aegean) are damaged by the dissolution and crystallization of salts, occurring in cycles (succession of transfers in liquid & gas phases), by a sea spray deposit mechanism, without taking into account biological degradation and hydrological or thermal dilatation (Fitzner, et al., 1995;

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Archaeodisasters Fitzner, et al. , 1997; Fitzner and Heinrichs , 1998; Chabas and Jeannette, 2001; Fitzner, et al., 2002; Fitzner and Heinrichs, 2002; Fitzner and Heinrichs, 2004). The case of the Diolkos of Corinth is another sad combination of human negligence and environmental degradation. The Diolkos was an 8-km long paved trackway across the Isthmus of Corinth, over which ships could be hauled overland between the Gulf of Corinth and the Saronic Gulf, to save them sailing around the Peloponnese. It has ruts with a gauge of 1.52 m cut for the trolleys onto which the ships were loaded, and has been called the world's first railway. First built probably by Periander (625-585 BCE), it is mentioned by Thucydides as something ancient. Nowadays it has been superseded by the modern Corinth Canal. It is a monument of firstclass importance for the history of technology, and for the Greek achievement, generally. The western end of the Diolkos, excavated between AD 1956 and1962, lies today in a serious state of degradation. By 1985, the monument was already heavily eroded. Acid Rain, or more precisely acid precipitation, is the word used to describe rainfall that has a pH level of less than 5.6. This form of air pollution is currently a subject of great controversy because of its worldwide environmental damages. For the last ten years, this phenomenon has brought destruction in the United States, Canada and parts of Europe. Acid rain is formed when oxides of nitrogen and sulphite combined with moisture in the atmosphere, make nitric and sulphuric acids. These acids can be carried away far from its origin. One serious anthropogenic threat for the monuments is related to the atmospheric circulation of SO2, which is released from the combustion of sulphur contained mineral fuel. Acid rain causes damage on the riverine and lacustrine waters, on the soil and agriculture, as well as on the surface of the buildings. Acid rain contributes to the corrosion of metals and to the deterioration and soiling of stone and paint on buildings, statues and other structures of cultural significance. Limestone and marble turn to a crumbling substance called gypsum upon contact with acid. The damage inflicted on cultural objects is especially costly, since a loss of detail seriously depreciates the objects' value to society. Technicians use to say that ancient buildings and sculptures in a number of cities have been more weathered during the last 20 years than in the preceding 2000 years. Many monuments and beautiful historic artefacts of great importance all over the world suffer from air pollution, Parthenon â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Acropolis (Athens, Greece) and Taj Mahal â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Agra (India) being amongst them. Another interesting case is also the Maya ruins in the Yukatan Peninsula (southeastern Mexico, central America). The Maya monuments are considered as a whole, as Monuments to Mankind by UNESCO. However, there is great concern over the unwanted threat potential of acid rain on them. Effects of acid deposition on monuments are well known and demonstrated, either by natural weathering or by man made pollutants (Camuffo, 1992; Bravo, et al., 1998; International Workshop, 2005; Bravo, et al, 2006). Water hazards and water-related disasters cause various damages on the agricultural production, the local infrastructures and the communications network, apart from the bioclimatic changes (e.g. spread of diseases such as malaria), the food crises, the war conflicts and the general societal upheaval. All the above-said results make the cultural landscapes to suffer, because the sites and the monuments are destroyed or severely damaged, the tourist exploitation is stopped, the communication network is chaotic, the scientific research is blocked, the heritage is vulnerable to illegal activities, Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters political / religious / social / commercial restrictions and constraints are imposed and the agenda of the governments / international organisms finds no room for cultural issues. In addition, the displacement of people who are directly or indirectly affected by those hazards break the linkage between local populations and their cultural roots, hurting the plurality of identities, cultures and memories. Our wish is that global visions and strategies should be coordinated along with the awareness and preparedness of local communities, in order to preserve the landscapes of memory for the generations to come, without isolating the hydroclimatic changes from other environmental and societal influences. 4.8 Climatic Changes ■ Glaciation cycles & Plio-Pleistocene events ➠ Major steps in the evolution of African hominids (2.8 Ma, 1.7 Ma and 1.0 Ma) ■ Last Glaciation Maximum (ca 19 - 14 Ka) ■ Younger Dryas (ca 12.8 - 11.5 Ka) ■ Bond Event 8: coincides with the transition from the Younger Dryas to the Boreal (11.1 Ka) ■ Bond Event 7: unnamed event (ca 10.3 Ka) ■ Bond Event 6: correlates with the of glacier activity in Norway, as well as with a cold event in China (9.4 Ka) ■ Holocene Climatic Optimum (8000 - 6000 BCE) ■ Bond Event 5: correlates with the 8.2-kyr-event ■ Bond Event 4: correlates with the 5.9-kyr-event = one of the most intense aridification events during the Holocene (ca 3600 BCE - 2800 BCE: Climatic deterioration in western Europe and the Sahara) ■ Bond Event 3: correlates with the 4.2-kyr-event (beginning of a severe centennialscale drought in North Africa, Southwest Asia and midcontinental North America ➠ a series of exceptionally low Nile floods + the Sarasvati River dries up + desertification of the Thar Region begins) ■ Bond Event 2: roughly correlates with the Iron Age Cold Epoch (900-300 BCE); 800 BCE - 500 BCE = Homeric Minimum; ca 225 BCE = the Sub-Atlantic begins ■ Roman Optimum (RO): ca 200 BCE - AD 400 (Younger Fill) ■ Bond Event 1: roughly correlates with the Migration Period Pessimum (AD 450-900) ■ Medieval Warm Period Medieval ή Medieval / Little Optimum (MWP / MO): ca AD 800 - 1320 unusually warm climate in the North Atlantic region; Colonization of Greenland by Islander Viking Red Eric; Formation of modern European woods ■ Little Ice Age (LIA): ca 16th to the mid 19th century CE = period of cooling of both hemispheres; Climatologists and historians find it difficult to agree on either the start or end dates of this period ➠ three minima, beginning about 1650,1770 and 1850, each separated by slight warming intervals. Opposed to the term weather, which refers to current activity, climate includes temperatures, humidity, rainfall, atmospheric particle count and numerous other meteorological factors in a given region over long periods of time. The climate of a location is affected by its latitude, terrain, persistent ice or snow cover, as well as nearby Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters oceans and their currents. Paleoclimatology is the study and description of ancient climates using information from both non-biotic factors (e.g. sediments found in lake beds & ice cores) and biotic factors (e.g. tree rings & coral bands). It can be used to extend back the temperature or rainfall information for particular locations to a time before various weather instruments were used to monitor weather conditions. On the other hand, climatic models are mathematical models of past, present and future climates and they can be used to describe the likely patterns of future changes. According to Köppen‘s classification, the main climatic zones of Earth are: rain forest, monsoon, tropical savannah, humid subtropical, humid continental, oceanic climate, Mediterranean climate, continental steppe, subarctic climate, tundra, polar ice cap and desert. The highest temperature ever recorded on Earth is 57.8 °C (136 °F), at Al ‗Aziziyah, Libya in 1922, September 13; the coldest temperatures ever recorded on Earth is −89.2 °C (−128.6 °F), at Vostok Station, Antarctica, in 1983, July 21. The climate of our planet is a combination of interdependent structures, parameters, phenomena and processes that characterize the: Magnetosphere (the region around an astronomical object in which phenomena are dominated or organized by its magnetic field; Earth is surrounded by a magnetosphere, as are the magnetized planets Mercury, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus & Neptune), Plasmasphere (a region of the Earth's magnetosphere consisting of low energy cool plasma, above the Ionosphere), Geosphere (in modern texts, Geosphere refers to the solid parts of the Earth; in that context, some geologists prefer ‗Lithosphere‘ over Geosphere, but these can be used interchangeably) / Lithosphere (oceanic & continental; the crust and the uppermost mantle – Asthenosphere, which is joined to the crust across the Mohorovičić discontinuity), Pedosphere (the outermost layer of the Earth that is composed of soil and subject to soil formation processes; it exists at the interface of the lithosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere & biosphere), Biosphere (the part of the Earth, including air, land, surface rocks & water, within which life occurs, and which biotic processes in turn modify or transform; the global ecological system integrating all living beings and their relationships), Hydrosphere (the collective mass of water found on, under, and over the surface of a planet, consisting of water in all forms: oceans, inland seas, lakes & rivers, rain, underground water, ice either in glaciers or snow, atmospheric water vapour - as in clouds), Atmosphere (Earth‘s atmosphere consists, from the ground up, of the troposphere, stratosphere which includes the ozone layer, mesosphere, thermosphere which contains the ionosphere, exosphere and also the magnetosphere), and Cryosphere (the portions of the Earth‘s surface where water is in solid form, including sea ice, lake ice, river ice, snow cover, glaciers, ice caps/ ice sheets, frozen ground - permafrost & seasonally frozen ground; an integral part of the global climate system). As Ice Age is considered any period of long term reduction in the temperature of Earth's climate, resulting in an expansion of the continental ice sheets, polar ice sheets and mountain glaciers; its evidence is based on geological, chemical, and paleontological data that clearly show the record of Glacials and Interglacials over the past million years of Earth‘s history. These also confirm the linkage between ice ages and continental crust phenomena such as glacial moraines, drumlins, and glacial erratics. Glaciologically, today, we are still in an ice age, because the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets still exist. In brief, there have been at least four major ice ages in the Earth's past. The earliest hypothesized ice age, called the Huronian, was around 2.7 to 2.3 Ba, during the Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters early Proterozoic Eon. The earliest well-documented ice age, and probably the most severe of the last one billion years, occurred from 850 to 630 Ma (the Cryogenian period) and may have produced a Snowball Earth in which permanent ice covered the entire globe. A minor ice age, the Andean-Saharan, occurred from 460 to 430 Ma, during the Late Ordovician and the Silurian period. There were extensive polar ice caps at intervals from 350 to 260 Ma, during the Carboniferous and early Permian Periods, associated with the Karoo Ice Age. But, it is possible that glacial periods other than those above, especially in the Precambrian, have been overlooked because of scarcity of exposed rocks from high latitudes from older periods. The present ice age began 40 Ma with the growth of an ice sheet in Antarctica (Holarctic / Antarctic Ice Age). It intensified during the late Pliocene, around 3.5 Ma, with the spread of ice sheets in the North Hemisphere, and has continued into the Pleistocene. Since then, the world has seen cycles of glaciation with ice sheets advancing and retreating. The most recent glacial period ended about 10 Ka. Within the ice ages more temperate and more severe periods occur. There is evidence that ocean circulation patterns are disrupted by glaciations. The colder periods are called Glacial Periods, the long warmer periods Interglacials, such as the Palaeocene/ Eocene Thermal Maximum – PETM (about 55 Ma) and Eemian interglacial era (about 131-114 Ka). The Earth is now in an interglacial period known as the Holocene. The brief cooler period during interglacials, such as Older Dryas, Younger Dryas and Little Ice Age, are called Stadials. The brief warm period during ice ages, are called Interstadials, such as the Bølling /Allerød Oscillation (ca 14.7-12.7 Ka), being weaker than interglacials. The Glaciation / Interglaciation cycle ranges from 10 Ma to 100 Ma; The Glacials / Interglacials cycle ranges from 70 Ka to 100 Ka, and 10 Ka to 50 Ka respectively; Stadials / Interstadials cycle lasts approximately 2 Ka. During the Quaternary, there have been detected approximately 80 glacial cycles over this time. Ice ages can be further divided by location and time, e.g. Fraser (in the Pacific Cordillera of North America), Pinedale, Wisconsinan (in central North America), Devensian (in the British Isles), Midlandian (in Ireland), Würm (in the Alps), Weichsel (or Vistula, in northern central Europe), Valdai in East Europe; Zyryanka in Siberia, Llanquihue in Chile & Otira in New Zealand. The Quaternary started ca 3 Ma (J. Desnoyers, 1829), including the PlioPleistocene Boundary (ca 3 Ma - 1.8Ma) and the Pleistocene (ca 2 Ma - 10 Ka). The name ‗pleistocene‘ is derived from the Greek πλεῖζηος (pleistos meaning ‗most‘) and ‗καινός‘ (kainos meaning ‗new‘). The Pleistocene epoch, the third of the Neogene, follows the Pliocene epoch, and is followed by the Holocene epoch. The end of the Pleistocene corresponds with the end of the Palaeolithic Age, term used in Humanities, and Archaeology especially, and it is further divided into the Early, Middle and Late, along with numerous faunal stages. Finally, Holocene Climatic Optimum is the warm period during roughly the interval 9 to 5 Ka; it is also known, by many other names, including Hypsithermal, Altithermal, Holocene Optimum, Holocene Thermal Maximum, and Holocene Megathermal. The triggering mechanisms of ice ages remain controversial for both the largescale ice age periods, and the smaller ebb and flow of glacial–interglacial periods within an ice age, as well. The consensus is that several interrelated factors are important: atmospheric composition (the concentrations of carbon dioxide, methane, sulphur dioxide, and various other gases and particulates in the atmosphere); changes in the Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters Earth's orbit around the Sun known as Milankovitch cycles (and possibly the Sun's orbit around the galaxy); the motion of tectonic plates resulting in changes in the relative location and amount of continental and oceanic crust on the Earth's surface; variations in solar output; the orbital dynamics of the Earth-Moon system; and the impact of relatively large meteorites, and eruptions of super-volcanoes. All the same, a further analysis of those parameters is beyond the scope of the present work. The interdependence of climatic phenomena will be highlighted in the chapter concerning the impact of such phenomena on human evolution and civilization (Budyko, 1969; Maasch and Saltzman, 1990; Klinger, Taylor and Frazen, 1996; Muller and MacDonald, 1997; Ruddiman, 2003; Ditlevsen, 2009; Huybers and Wunsch, 2005; Huybers and Langmuir, 2009; Archer, 2010; Mainwaring, Giegengack and Vita-Finzi, 2010; Pierrehumbert, 2010; Widiasih, 2010; Zhang, et al., 2014). 4.9 Biohazards ■ Athenian Plague – killed a quarter of the Athenian troops and a quarter of the population over four years; during the Peloponnesian War (430 BCE) ■ Antonine Plague – Roman Empire; approximately 5 million victims (AD 165-180) ■ Plague of Cyprian (Saint Cyprian – Bishop of Carthage, De mortalitate; translation by Philip Schaff, from the book "Ante-Nicene Fathers", volume 5, 1885) – Roman Empire; from AD 250 onwards during the larger Crisis of the Third Century; it killed two Emperors: Hostilian in AD 251 and Claudius II Gothicus in AD 270; alleged to be caused either by some form of smallpox or measles (see Stathakopoulos, 2004; Furuse, et al., 2010) ■ Justinian Plague – Asia, Europe, Africa; up to 100 million victims (AD 540-750) ■ Black Death – Asia, Europe, Africa; approximately 100 million victims (AD 1300s 1720s) ■ Typhus outbreak – emerging during the Crusades, it had its first impact in Europe in AD 1489 in Spain (during fighting between the Christian Spaniards and the Muslims in Granada); in AD 1528, the French lost 18,000 troops in Italy and lost supremacy in Italy to the Spanish; in AD 1542, 30,000 people died of typhus while fighting the Ottomans in the Balkans; between AD 1655 and 1918, severe droughts and famines caused typhus‘ epidemic outbreaks in Mexico; the disease, also, played a major role in the destruction of Napoleon's Grande Armée in Russia, in 1812 ■ Effects of Colonization – (16th century) disease killed the entire native (Guanches) population of the Canary Islands; half the native population of Hispaniola was killed by smallpox; Mexico and Peru were ravaged by smallpox, aiding the European conquerors; measles killed a further two million Mexican natives. Researchers claim that the death of 90% to 95%of the Native American population of the New World was caused by Old World diseases ■ Cholera (also known as the Blue Death) Word derived from the Greek kholera (τολέρα) from kholē (τολή = bile) – First pandemic: India (its first known description is found in Snaskrit), China to Caspian Sea (AD 1816-1826). Second pandemic: Europe & North America (AD 1829-1851). Third pandemic: Russia, with over a million deaths (AD 18521860). Fourth pandemic: Europe & Africa (AD1863-1875) spread mostly in Europe and Africa. Fifth pandemic: North America (AD 1866). Sixth pandemic: Germany (AD Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters 1892). Seventh pandemic: little effect in Europe because of advances in public health, but Russia was badly affected again (AD 1899-1923) ■ Third Pandemic of Bubonic Plague – Worldwide; up to 12(?) million victims (AD 1850s–1950s) ■ Spanish Flu – Worldwide; up to 100 million victims (AD 1918-1920). First pandemic of influenza in AD 1510. The term ‗Pathocoenosis‘ was first used in a Medical Symposium held in London (1966) and includes the whole of pathological conditions present in a given population during a given period of time, such as the parameters of Nosology (quantitative & qualitative), the frequency and distribution of diseases in a given population group, ecologic and internal parameters (i.e. climatic conditions, population‘s density, morbidity rates, socio-cultural patterns, economic & technical framework). In addition, the ‗Law of Mac Neill‘ (1976) highlights the biological factor in human history, according to which, the process of population‘s conquest is based on the advantage of contagious diseases. The main invisible ‗enemies‘ of human species (Aufderheide, et al., 1998; Decker, 2003; Roberst and Manchester, 2005) are: Anthrax, Chicken Pox, Cholera, Diphtheria, Flu, Hepatitis, Infectious Pneumonia, Leprosy, Malaria, Meningitis, Mumps, Plague, Polio, Rabies, Rubella, Rugeole (measles), Scarlet Fever, Smallpox, Syphilis, Tetanus, Tuberculosis, Typhoid Fever, Typhus and Viral hemorrhagic fevers (e.g. Lassa fever, Rift Valley fever, Marburg, Ebola, Bolivian hemorrhagic fever). A Pandemic is an epidemic that spreads through human populations across a large area (for example a continent wide), or even spreads worldwide. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a pandemic can start when three conditions have been met: the emergence of a disease new to the population, the agent infects humans, causing serious illness, and the agent spreads easily and sustainably among humans. Finally, ‗Virgin Epidemics‘ are situations, according to which, a human group contacts for the first time a specific virus or other pathogen. Anthrax is an acute zoonotic disease caused by the bacterium Bacillus anthracis (highly lethal in some forms). The anthrax bacillus is one of only a few that can form long-lived spores found on all continents except for Antarctica; in a hostile environment, caused perhaps by the death of an infected host or extremes of temperature, the bacteria become inactive; dormant spores which can remain viable for many decades and perhaps centuries. Often, the outbreaks occur after climatic change such as heavy rains, flooding, or drought. The disease can be either pulmonary with mortality rates nearly 100% , gastrointestinal (gastroenteric) anthrax with fatality rates of 25% to 60%, and cutaneous, rarely fatal if treated, but without treatment about 20% of cases progressing to toxaemia and death. The German physician and scientist Robert Koch, first, identified the bacteria which caused the anthrax disease in 1875. In May 1881, Louis Pasteur performed a public experiment to demonstrate his concept of anthrax vaccination in animals. It is one of the oldest recorded diseases of grazing animals, such as sheep and cattle. The name anthrax comes from anthracites, the Greek word for anthracite (coal), in reference to the black skin lesions victims develop in a coetaneous skin infection. Modern authors believe it to be the Fifth or Sixth or Seventh Plague mentioned in the Book of Exodus in the Bible (Blancou, 2000; Bergman, 2011). It is mentioned also by Homer in Iliad (I. 1-54) as ‗burning plague‘, caused by the wrath of Apollo against Achaeans (Urso, 1993 & Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters 2001). Apart from Hippocrates (Epidemics, III.3.7), it was Virgil (1st century BCE) who provided one of the earliest and most detailed descriptions of an anthrax epidemic in his III Georgics (Sternbach, 2002), but, it was only in AD 1769, that Jean Fournier classified the disease as anthrax or charbon malin. Leprosy aka Hansen Disease (HD) is a chronic disease, caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium leprae. It has two common forms (tuberculoid & lepromatous), being further subdivided, and it is primarily a granulomatous disease of the peripheral nerves and mucosa of the upper respiratory tract, the primary external symptom of which, are skin lesions. Left untreated, leprosy can be progressive, causing permanent damage to the skin, nerves, limbs and eyes. Considered always as a social stigma, it got an effective treatment only in the late 1930s. The causative agent of leprosy was discovered by G. H. Armauer Hansen in Norway in 1873, being the first bacterium to be identified as causing disease in humans. Genomics research has indicated a Late Pleistocene model for leprosy‘s origin and transmission out of Africa. According to this scenario, Type II evolved first in East Africa (before 40 Ka) and was later transmitted to Asia, evolving into Type I & Type III, which is, also, common in West Africa and the Americas (Mariotti, et al., 2005; Monot, et al., 2005; Pinhasi, et al., 2005). Different M. leprae strains identified, also, in Medieval central and eastern Europe and Anatolia, came from central Asia or Asia Minor through westward migrations of Avars, as research suggests, while other strains identified in northern and western Europe were associated with Nordic and Saxon populations movements (Donogue, et al., 2015). It is supposed to have existed in India and China from ca 4000 BCE, but this dating is very difficult to be establish factually (Leung, 2009; Robins, et al., 2009). Probably the Mesopotamians did become familiar with leprosy during the 3rd millennium BCE. The disease seems to have been endemic in Egypt from at least the Old Kingdom period (ca 2700-2400 BCE); the term ukhedu is found in the Ebers Papyrus (Hulse, 1972). Leprous Egyptians died in some isolated place and were never mummified; Lucretius (99-55 BCE) claimed that elephas (leprosy) originated in Egypt. Apart from the Egyptian Ebers papyrus dated to 1550 BCE, the Sanskrit hymns of the Atharva Veda composed before the 1st millennium BCE seem to offer evidence (Bloomfield, 2004). Furthermore, Kinnier Wilson (1966) suggested that leprosy may have been the incurable skin condition mentioned in an Old Babylonian omen tablet, since the symptoms include loss of skin pigment, odor and an apparent outbreak of papules. It seems also that the disease has been known since biblical times. The disease occurs 68 times in the Bible, 55 times in the Old Testament (Hebrew = tsara‘ath) and 13 times in the New Testament (Greek = lepros, lepra). In the Old Testament of the Bible (Exodus 4:6; Numbers 12:10; 2 Kings 5:1-7 & 27; 2 Chronicles 26:19, 20), leprosy is frequently referred to as an ailment afflicting not just humans, but also houses and fabric, as a form of physical and spiritual pollution, which requires one to be excluded from the community, while in the New Testament, leprosy is frequently the object of Jesus‘ healing miracles (Luke 5:12,13; Mark 1:40-42; Matthew 8:1-3 & 26:6). Numerous people who are afflicted with leprosy are cured by Jesus, who at times may also forgive their sins. According to Matthew and Luke, Jesus, also, authorizes his disciples to heal leprosy in his name. The word ‗leprosy‘ derives from the ancient Greek words lepro (a scale) and lepein (to peel), coming into the English language via Latin and Old French. Leprosy was Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters already becoming globally distributed in the 7th century BCE, and by ca 250 BCE it was being reported by Greek physicians, known as elephantiasis (elephantiasis graecorum). In the West, the earliest known description of leprosy there was made by the Roman encyclopaedist Aulus Cornelius Celsus (25 BCE- AD 37) in his De Medicina, where he called leprosy ‗elephantiasis‘. It spread slowly west across Europe and by ca 40 BCE it had entered the British Isles, remaining the most feared disease of the Middle Ages, until the Black Death (Brody, 1974). Leper colonies or houses became popular then, particularly in Europe and India, and often ran along monastic lines. In France, alone, there were 2,000 such colonies between 11th to 13th centuries. The disease is, still, common in many countries worldwide, and in temperate, tropical and subtropical climates (Roberts, et al., 2002). Tuberculosis, a common and often deadly infectious disease caused by mycobacteria, mainly the Mycobacterium tuberculosis (other mycobacteria such as Mycobacterium bovis, Mycobacterium africanum, Mycobacterium canetti & Mycobacterium microti, also, cause tuberculosis, but these species are less common) usually attacks the lungs (as pulmonary TB) but can, equally, affect the central nervous system, the lymphatic system, the circulatory system, the genitourinary system, the gastrointestinal system, bones, joints, and even the skin (Wilbur, et al., 2008). It was also known with many other names, such as White Plague (because sufferers appear markedly pale), consumption (it consumed people from within, with a bloody cough, fever, pallor, and long relentless wasting), phthisis (ancient Greek word for consumption & phthisis pulmonalis), scrofula (in adults, affecting the lymphatic system and resulting in swollen neck gland), tabes mesenterica, lupus vulgaris, wasting disease, king's evil (t was believed that a king's touch would heal scrofula) or Pott's disease (or gibbus of the spine and joints). Today, doctors estimate that one third of the population worldwide carry the Koch bacterium, while 2 million people die annually of tuberculosis. The disease is more aggressive in women and persons between 15 and 45 years old, affecting fertility rates. The tubercle bacillus was discovered by the German scientist Dr. Robert Koch, in 1882. The disease caused 20% of all human deaths in the western world between the th 17 and 19th centuries CE, and still remains a cause of high mortality in developing countries. It is considered a crowd disease, and, initially, its origin has been associated with the Neolithic Demographic Transition (Hershkovitz, et al., 2015). The evolutionary history of this pathogen, based on biochemical genomic analyses, indicates that MTBC (M. tuberculosis complex) emerged about 70 Ka, accompanied migrations of anatomically modern humans out of Africa and expanded as a consequence of increases in human population density during the Neolithic period. But, MTBC displays characteristics indicative of adaptation to both low and high host densities (Comas, et al., 2013). A common ancestor of Mycobacteria Leprae and Tuberculosis has been detected in the Upper Devonian (300 Ma); it seems that TB balances Lepra. So, its bacterium is as old as the humankind is. Although the earliest, till recently, unambiguous detection of Mycobacterium tuberculosis thought to be the remains of bison dated 17 Kaq (Rothschild, et al., 2001; Lee, et al, 2015), the most ancient evidence of the disease has been found in a 500 Ka old human fossil of Homo erectus from modern Turkey. When the species moved north from African latitudes, it had to adapt to more seasonal climates. Since the young male‘s body produced less Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters vitamin D and this deficiency (Vitamin D deficiencies are also implicated in hypertension, multiple sclerosis, cardiovascular disease and even cancer) weakened his immune system, the door opened to tuberculosis (Kappelman, et al., 2008). A strain of M. tuberculosis arrived, also, from Asia during the population of the Americas during upper Palaeolithic times (Pearce-Duvet, 2006; Guichón, et al., 2015). It is believed to have first been recorded in a Chinese medical text dating from 2700 BCE. TB was found even in mummies coming from the ancient Egypt and Peru (Konomy, et al., 2002; Roberts and Buikstra, 2003; Zink, et al., 2003; Bos, et al., 2014); evidence of TB appears in Biblical scripture, and in religious books in India around 2000 BCE. It has been, also, studied by Hippocrates (Epidemics, II. 1 & 3 & III. 13) and Aristotle (The history of animals, 604 a 14 & 16-21). Recent biomolecular research has confirmed: a) the genotypic continuity of the infection that has ravaged the heart of Europe since prehistoric times (Masson, et al., 2013), and b) the co-existence of mixed infections in the same individual due to different M. tuberculosis genotypes (Kay, et al., 2015). Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease caused by the spirochetal bacterium Treponema pallidum pallidum. Although the route of transmission of syphilis is usually through sexual contact, there are examples of congenital syphilis via transmission from mother to child in utero. If left untreated, syphilis can damage the heart, aorta, brain, eyes and bones. In some cases these effects can be fatal (Kent and Romanelli, 2008). In 1998, the complete genetic sequence of T. pallidum was published, which may aid understanding its pathogenesis. The name of the disease was given by the Italian physician and poet Girolamo Fracastoro in his epic noted poem, written in Latin, entitled Syphilis sive morbus gallicus (Latin for ‗Syphilis or The French Disease‘), in AD 1530; the protagonist of the poem is a shepherd named Syphilus (perhaps a variant spelling of Sipylus, a character in Ovid's Metamorphoses) who suffered from Apollo‘s punishment. Its first recorded outbreak in Europe happened in AD 1495. It was known with many names, such as ‘great pox‘ (a 16th century term, in order to distinguish it from smallpox), ‗Lues venerea‘ (from Latin meaning ‗venereal plague‘), ‗Cupid's disease‘, and ‗The Black Lion‘ (the ulcers suffered by British soldiers in Portugal). Generally speaking, Treponematoses are diseases caused by species of the spirochete Treponema (Radolf and Lukehart, 2006). In addition to Syphilis, this group includes Yaws (a tropical disease characterized by an infection of the skin, bones and joints, caused by Treponema pallidum subspecies pertenue), Pinta (caused by Treponema carateum) and Bejel (caused by Treponema pallidum subspecies endemicum). The history of the disease is still under dispute (Oriel, 1994; Arrizabalaga, et al., 1997; Rothschild, 2005). There are four theories for the origin of syphilis, summarized by Meyer et al. (2002). The two theories suggest that either syphilis evolved from a less virulent, nonvenereally transmitted treponemal disease, or it was introduced from Africa. But, according to the pre - Columbian theory, evidence shows its existence in Old World. Researchers have noted that a Chinese medical case recorded in 2637 BCE, seems to be describing a case of syphilis (Lobdell and Owsley, 1974). Its symptoms are described by Hippocrates (Aphorisms) in Classical Greece, in its venereal/tertiary form. Skeletons in pre-Columbus Pompeii (Henneberg and Henneberg, 2002; Capasso, 2007) and Metapontum in Italy demonstrating signs of congenital syphilis, have, also, been found (Henneberg, M. and Henneberg, 1994). Other suspected syphilis findings exist for preMaterial under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters contact Europe, too, e.g. skeletons found in the Augustinian friary in the Northeast English port of Kingston upon Hull, and dated to 13th –14th century (von Hunnius, et al., 2006) and paleopathological evidence for congenital syphilis from the excavations in the Cathedral square in St Pölten, Austria, dated between1320 and 1390 CE (Gaul, et al., 2015). A European writer who recorded an outbreak of ‗lepra‘ in 1303 is "clearly describing syphilis". All the afore-mentioned cases, though, have been heavily disputed (Harper, et al., 2011; Armelagos, et al., 2012). On the contrary, according to the Columbian Exchange theory, syphilis was a New World disease brought back by Columbus and Martin Alonzo Pinzon. It is based on paleopathological data from precontact America (e.g. lesions on pre-contact Native Americans), linking crewmen of Columbus's voyages to the Naples outbreak of AD 1494 (Baker and Armelagos, 1988; Rothschild, et al., 2000; Meyer, et al., 2002). Genetically, both theories are correct. Phylogenetic evidence shows that yaws (aka frambesia tropica, thymosis, polypapilloma tropicum, parangi, bouba) is caused by a pathogen that infected our anthropoid ancestors and has evolved with our species. The remains (KNM-ER 1808) of a Homo erectus adult female from Kenya, (dated to ca 1.6 Ma), revealed signs typical of yaws in Mid-Pleistocene Africa (Rothschild, et al., 1995 but highly disputed by Dolan, 2011). Another Homo erectus evidence (a femur dated ca. 500 ka from Venosa, in southern Italy), suggests that when early humans as spread out from Africa, they took yaws with them (Belli et al., 1991; Dolan, 2001, suggests that this evidence refers to Homo heidelbergensis instead). Yaws is, also, present, in wild populations of our closest relatives, gorillas and chimpanzees (Harper, et al., 2008). Another evidence of syphilis - but not been fully examined recently - has been suggested in the cases of Gibraltar II and Neanderthal 1 specimens (Wright, 1971). The genes of venereal syphilis and related bacteria seem to originate from an intermediate disease between yaws and syphilis in Guyana, South America. Thus, it is not impossible that the organisms causing treponematosis arrived from America in the 1490s and evolved into both venereal and non-venereal syphilis and yaws (Crosby, 1969). Moreover, the disease was more frequently fatal in its first outbreaks than it is today; "by 1546, the disease had evolved into the disease with the symptoms so well known to us today‖, proving the changes of its virulence and the mutations its genes have undergone during human history (Diamond, 1997; Knell, 2003; Ficarra and Carlos, 2009). 4.10 Space Hazards ☄ Eltanin asteroid (2.15 Ma): Bellingshausen Sea of Antarctica ★ Super Novae explosion (ca 2My): The Scorpius – Centaurus OB association (Phrase mass extinction) ★ SN explosion (1 ma): In the constellation Scorpius (now a black hole) ☄A large meteorite ploughed into southeast Asia (ca 800 Ka). The impact splashed molten glass over the region, including Australia ☉ Galactic Core explosions (450-250 Ka): Sagittarius A* ★ SN explosion (340 Ka): Geminga (first shockwave) ↨ Calabrian Ridge 1 (325-315 Ka): CR1= magnetic excursion due to solar cosmic rays storm ☄ Wolfe Creek Crater (300 Ka): western Australia Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters ↨ Jamaica/Pringle Falls (215-210 Ka): J/PF = geomagnetic excursion due to solar cosmic rays storm ↨ Blake excursion (114-108 Ka): disappearance of Lower Paleolithic tools and appearance of Middle Paleolithic (Mousterian) tools ☄ Meteor Crater - Barringer Crater (49 kya): Winslow - Arizona ☉ Galactic Core explosions (73-35 Ka): Sagittarius A* ↨ Laschamp excursion (ca 43-41 Ka): caused by the passage of supernova shock fronts during a time of unprecedented long-term solar activity ★ SN explosion (41 Ka): comet-like objetcs ★ SN explosion (37 Ka): Geminga (second shockwave) ↨ Mungo excursion (37 Ka): the Middle/Upper Paleolithic boundary and the replacement of Neanderthals by Modern Man ↨ Mono Lake excursion (32 Ka): caused by the passage of supernova shock fronts during a time of unprecedented long-term solar activity ★ SN explosion (31 Ka): huge blast wave of iron-rich grains that impacted our planet ☉ Galactic Core explosions (15-12.5 Ka): Sagittarius A* ★ SN explosion (13 Ka): demise of mammoths and abandonment of Clovis sites in North America ☄ Sithylemenkat meteor lake in Alaska (14 Ka but doubted; researchers claim that it is older and others that it is of glacial origin) ☄ Meteor swarms (ca 11 Ka). Wide distribution of microspherules in a layer over 50 million km2 on four continents + peak abundances of nanodiamonds + other unusual forms of carbon such as fullerenes + melt-glass & iridium ☀ Tragic solar flare event (ca 12.9 Ka): Global Conflagration; Usselo Horizon ★ SN explosion (12.3-11 Ka): Vela constellation - Gum Nebula (Mischanowsky, 1979) ☄ Merewether Crater (ca 8 Ka): Ungava Bay - Canada + 13 impact craters ( the Henbury crater cluster): Alice Springs - Australia ↨ Complete geomagnetic reversal (7640 BCE): irrefutable geological evidence; event caused by an outside influence, most probably a comet ★ SN explosion (5.5 Ka): Eta Carinae; the shock wave from this explosion would reach Earth between 2000 and 2500 CE ↨ Complete geomagnetic reversal (3100 BCE): irrefutable geological and archaeological evidence; event caused by an outside influence. 29 June 3123 BCE: An asteroid approach on collision course is documented by a Sumerian astronomer (alleged collision happened near modern Koefels, Austria)? Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah ☄ ? Hephaistos events (ca 2200-1800 BCE): Sarasvati River - Thar Desert; Homeric Epics - eastern Mediterranean - southwestern Asia? Egyptian Ipuwer papyrus? Exodus from Egypt / the Ten Plagues ☄ ? Phaethon's ride /? Proto-planet Venus (ca 1200 BCE); de Jonge (2014) claims that the mysterious Longyou Caves (Shiyan Beicun on the Qiantang River, Zhejiang Province, China) – considered to be the 8th wonder of the ancient world – were built for the protection of the King and its royal court from the reappearance of a devastating comet or comet swarm in ca 1200 BCE ☄ Tupana event / Panela crater – northeastern Brazil (ca 1200 BCE) Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters ☾ Century of "perturbed months" (747 BCE- March 23, 687 BCE): the moon receded to an orbit of thirty-five to thirty-six days duration; it remained in such an orbit for a few decades until, at the next upheaval, it was carried to an orbit of twenty-nine and a half days' duration, on which it has proceeded since then ♁ Thunderbolt of Mars (years around the foundation of Rome, 753 BCE): the great city of Volsinium, by what is now Lago Bolsena, was destroyed, as said by the Etruscans ☀ Calendar reform in Egypt (8th century BCE): Cataclysm during the reign of the Pharaoh Osorkon II of the Libyan Dynasty; a 365 days solar calendar + in the ninth year of King Ptolemy Euergetes (239 BCE): a reform party among the Egyptian priests met at Canopus and drew up a decree ☄ Earliest confirmed sighting of Comet Halley (northern Greece, 466 BCE; Graham and Hintz, 2010): other later known observations 240 BCE / 164 BCE / 87 BCE by Chinese and Babylonian astronomers / perhaps its earlier known image on the coins of Armenian king Tigranes II the Great (95-55 BCE), silver and copper-bronze tetradrachms and drachms (Gurzadyan and Vardanyan, 2004); severe event of comet‘s debris hitting Earth (536 CE = known as the year when a decade-long cold snap begun) causing a worldwide turmoil, drought, famine and the Justinian plague (Zacharias of Mytilene, Chronicle, 9.19, 10.1); 1066 CE (Battle of Hastings & Bayeux Tapestry); 1456 CE, 1531 CE, 1607 CE, 1682 CE ☄ Comet split apart in winter 373/372 BCE (Yeomans, 1998). Aristotle mentioned (Meteorologica, A6, 343b.18-25) one bright comet during the winter months of that year when Asteios was the archon of Athens. It has been proposed that it was the same which reappeared in AD 1843 (Laoupi, 1999) ☄ Comet of winter 341 /340 BCE. Aristotle mentioned it (Meteorologica, A7, 344b. 31345a10) in relation of the Athenian archon Nichomachos (Laoupi, 1999) ★ SN explosion (December 7, AD 185): Sn 185 (SNR 315.0-02.3) - near the direction of Alpha Centauri; between the constellations Circinus & Centaurus ★ SN explosion (mid-May of AD 386): SN 386 (SNR 011.2-00.3) - Sagittarius constellation ☄ Swarm of cosmic debris (AD 534-536 / 545) ☄ Comet collision (January 17, AD 773) ☄ Comet swarms (AD 836-869) ★ SN explosion (spring of AD 1006): SN 1006 - Lupus constellation, just South of Scorpio ★ SN explosion (July 4, AD 1054): SN 1054 (initial explosion in 5446 BCE; visibility after 6.500 years) - Taurus constellation ☄ Tamaatea Fires (ca AD 1178) ☼ Zero sunspots (AD 1450–1540): Spörer Minimum ★ SN explosion (November, 6 AD 1572): SN 1572 or Tycho's Nova; Cassiopeia constellation ★ SN explosion (October 9, AD 1604): SN 1604, the last great supernova in our own galaxy or Kepler's Star; Ophiuchus constellation ☼ ‗Zero‘ sunspots (AD 1645-1715): Maunder Minimum (only about 50 sunspots recorded instead of the normal 40-50 thousands) Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters ☄ Great Comet of AD 1680. It was discovered on November 14, 1680 by the German astronomer G. Kirsch and it is the first telescopically detected comet in human history. Destruction of settlements in southwestern America + fall of ‗Easter Island Culture‘ (AD 1680) ☄ Great Comet of AD 1744. Visible for November 29, 1743 till March 6, 1744. By February 1, it rivaled the star Sirius in brightness displaying a curved tail 15 degrees in length. By February 18, the comet was as bright as Venus and displaying two tails. And on February 27, it peaked at magnitude -7 reported visible in the daytime, 12 degrees from the sun ☼ Zero sunspots (AD 1790-1820): Dalton Minimum ☄ Great Comet of AD 1843. It belongs to the Kruetz Sungrazing Comet Group, which has produced some of the most brilliant comets in recorded history ☼ The Carrington Event (September 1, AD 1859): the biggest reported solar storm and giant auroras (Clark, 2007) ☄ ? Comet Biela (October 8, 1871): Peshtigo - Wisconsin & Chicago fires ☄ Great September Comet of AD 1882. It was a gigantic member of the Kreutz Sungrazing Group and had been first spotted as a bright zero-magnitude object by a group of Italian sailors in the South Hemisphere on September 1. Later on, its nucleus broke into at least four separate parts. Today, some comet historians consider it as a ‗Super Comet‘ ☄ Tunguska event (June 30, 1908): Siberia ☄ Rupunui event (August 13, 1930): Amazonian Rain Forest - Brazil All ancestors living under turbulent skies, appear to have been preoccupied with cosmic phenomena, as early as the regular ritualistic observation of the sky, that gradually led to calendar‘s elaboration and later to the knowledge of the planets. The interdependence of cosmic phenomena will be highlighted in the chapter concerning the impact of such phenomena on human evolution and civilization. 4.11 Human-induced phenomena (urbanism, deforestation, pollution, agriculture, other human-induced deposition of erosion products, wildfires) Modern researchers have observed that ancient Greek writers classified the soils according to technical assessment; for example, according to colour-texture (Xenophon and Theophrastus), fertility (Plato and Strabo) and biochemical /medical considerations (Hippocrates and Theophrastus). Those categories correspond to modern Andisols, Mollisols,Vertisols, Aridisols, Spodosols, Alfisols, Entisols and Inceptisols, as well as aquic and salic conditions (Bech Borràs, 1999; Soil Survey Staff, 2000; Retallack, 2008). Furthermore, geomorphological studies and geochemical analyses of the soils related to ancient sites (city-states, sanctuaries, temples) reveal an intriguing interrelation. Nomadic, maritime, pastoral, estate and subsistence farming patterns in past cultures fit geological criteria, putting emphasis on different soil types for each group of deities from Classical Greece and Cyprus. These groups are: a) xerepts (suited to nomadic cultures; hunters) - subgroup of inceptisols - for Artemis & Apollo, b) arid coastal calcids (with emphasis on seafood / fishers; primarily in coastal cliffs and in the erosion fronts) for Aphrodite & Poseidon, c) xeralfs (in areas with very dry summers and moist winters; herders) - subgroup of alfisols - for Hera & Hermes, d) rendolls (formed in highly Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters calcareous parent materials, in humid regions; suitable for subsistence farms; family farmers) - subgroup of mollisols - for Demeter & Dionysos, e) fluvents (alluvial soils by repeated deposition of sediment in periodic floods; estate farmers) among Neogene sediments - subgroup of entisols - for Hestia, Hephaistos & Ares, f) anthrepts (human altered / city dwellers; in archaic citadels) - subgroup of inceptisols - for Athena & Zeus, and, g) lithic orthents (with much bare rock exposed, including land of persecuted minorities & caves; hermits) â&#x20AC;&#x201C; subgroup of entisols - for Persephone and Hades (Retallack, 2008). The oldest record of forest clearance by humans so far is the case of Ghab Valley in northwest Syria where Pre-Pottery Neolithic B (PPNB) people around 9 Ka (14 C calibrated) cleared the deciduous oak forest gradually expanded at the foot of Mt. Ansarie since 14.5 Ka (14 C calibrated). Later on, Pottery Neolithic people begun to clear the Lebanese cedar trees by 7.7 Ka (14 C calibrated). Then, Early Bronze Age people cleared the deciduous oak and Lebanese cedar forest causing its final disappearance from the eastern slope of Mt. Ansarie by around 4.9 (14 C calibrated) (Yasuda, et al., 2000). Respectively, anthropogenic impact on the environment, since prehistoric times, is recorded in the sedimentary archives. Ancient settlement patterns in Lower Mesopotamia reflect explicitly the dynamics of sedimentary processes in the area. The low-gradient Tigris / Euphrates deltaic plain with high aggradation rates and raised alluvial ridges, as well as the post-glacial sea-level fluctuations, the migration of the Persian Gulf shoreline and tectonic movements of Mesopotamian depression, had complex effects on population migrations and the settlement patterns (Morozova, 2003). Apart from the circum-Mediterranean area which is considered as the cradle of agricultural activities, researchers have been detected biological changes triggered by the transition from huntingâ&#x20AC;&#x201C;gathering by Mesolithic foragers to the food-producing economy of Neolithic farmers - through woodcutting, herding, fire and agriculture - in the Black Sea and Azov Sea coasts (Kaniewski, et al., 2015). Large-scale human activities such as construction of canals, dikes and dams, channel maintenance and flood control could also alter significantly the natural processes. Similarly, human-induced hazards may cause perturbations in the equilibrium of ecosystems and the life of the human ecosystems (Hughes and Thirgood, 1982; van Andel, et al., 1990; Bell and Boardman, 1992; Redman, 1999). Aristotle notifies the dynamics of natural subsystems (weather, water, soil and subsoil, plant & animal communities), which exercise strong influence on human societies (On cosmos 6, 339a 18-30. Meteorologika A14, 351a 19-351b 8), observing the severity of several geological phenomena such as the soil liquefaction (Meteorologika B8, 366a 23-28) and the interconnection between climatic changes and high sedimentation rates/cycles (A14, 352 a 6 - 18). Furthermore, Theophrastus writes on the various causes of soil erosion, describing the deforestation effects on the landscapes by using the example of Crete (The Causes of Plants, I.v.ii-iii; On winds, 13). As for Strabo (XIV.6.v cap. 684), he refers to an observation made by Eratosthenes on the irreversible results of forestâ&#x20AC;&#x2DC;s overexploitation in Cyprus. A native, spontaneous or natural forest is made up of autochthonous trees and self-regenerates naturally, due to the interaction between biotic and abiotic factors in the area. These places which, through their flora and fauna, help to protect the soil, regulate the climate, prevent erosions in hillsides and regulate the balance of the water cycle, have Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters been always suffered the fulfilment of multiple threats. Often various markers and proxies in the sediments and the stratigrahic layers include valuable indicators for past human activities that had a negative impact on the archaeoenvironments, such as urbanism, deforestation and pollution. In many parts of the world, the development of agriculture accelerated soil erosion processes, so the deposition of erosion products formed alluvial fans at the mouths of dry or temporarily drained valleys (Binford, 1983; Peglar, 1993; Hong, et al., 1994; Ramrath, et al., 2000; Ridgeway and Shiermmield, 2002; Edyta, 2004; MĂźllenhoff, et al., 2004; Thompson, et al., 2008). Finally, wildfires (uncontrolled fires burning in wild land areas, threatening though wildlife and rural areas, too), had always common causes, including lightning and droughts; they can also be started by human negligence or intension (livestock grazing, fuel wood cutting and other non-wood product uses, agriculture, warfare), even by other phenomena such as volcanic eruptions or impacts (meteors, asteroids). Especially, fires in the forest and other vegetation of the tropics and subtropics and the changing tropical land use, have increasing regional and global impact on the environment. The smoke plumes from tropical biomass fires carry vast amounts of atmospheric pollutants, including CO 2 , CO, NOx, N 2 O, CH4 , non-methane hydrocarbons, and aerosols. On the other hand, fires play a central role in the maintenance of many natural ecosystems and in the practice of agriculture and pastoralism (Levine, 1991; Goldammer, 1991; Crutzen and Goldammer, 1993; Goldammer, 1994; Pyne et al., 1996). Up to now, the earliest convincing evidence for human control of fire dates back between 460 to 230 Ka in China - Zhoukoudian Cave, where evidence shows that humans at least controlled fire (James, 1989), 500 Ka in Europe (Thieme, 1997; Roebroeks and Villa, 2001) and 790 Ka in Near East (Brain, 1988; Goren-Inbar, et all, 2004; Karkanas, 2007). Recent discoveries, though, pushes the timing for the human use of fire back by 300 Ka, to Homo erectus era. The team of researchers has identified microscopic traces of wood ash among excavated animal bones and stone tools in a sediment layer dated to about 1 Ma at the Wonderwerk Cave in South Africa (Berna, et al., 2012). Red patches of sediments from Chesowanja, Kenya, and from Koobi Fora FxJj 20, thought to be the oxidized remains of 1.6 to 1.5 myr-old hominin fires (Gowlett, et al., 1981; Clark and Harris, 1985; Wrangham, 2009; Andre, et al., 2010). But, the earliest evidence of fire control still remains the one from Swartkrans Cave, just north of Johannesburg, based on 270 charred bones heated to a very high temperature. Two hominid species were present at Swartkrans around 2 Ma, Australopithecus (or Paranthropus) robustus and an early species of Homo, possibly Homo erectus (Brain and Sillen, 1988; Brain, 2004). In Palaeolithic times, fire may have been used for heating, cooking or roasting plant and animal food, illumination, and for protection from predators; along with agriculture, this innovation was used for clearing and maintaining open vegetation, fertilizing soil, and facilitating cattle grazing (Clark and Harris, 1985; James, 1989; Williams, 2002; Wrangham, 2009; Bowman, 2011). But fire-use for ecosystem management, was not restricted to agrarian and herding societies; regular burning of landscape is reported for Native Americans and aboriginal people of Australia, known as â&#x20AC;&#x2014;fire-stick farmingâ&#x20AC;&#x2DC; (Delcourt, 1997; Bowman, 1998). Mesolithic hunter-gatherers are suspected to have manipulated vegetation in North Europe (Mason, 2000) by deliberately

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Archaeodisasters setting fires to improve the sight-lines for missile-based hunting and/or change vegetation to attract game species (Simmons and Innes, 1996; Bos and Urz, 2003). When Modern Humans entered Europe, they met another human population, the Neanderthals, well adapted to mid-latitude environments. Neanderthal knowledge of pyrotechnology is fully compatible with the hypothesis of their use of fire for ecosystem management (Caldararo, 2002). Numerous hearths have been found at Mousterian sites an, in a number of cases, there is clear evidence that they were deliberately constructed, maintained, and reused (Meignen et al., 2001; Vallverdu, 2005). Neanderthals, also, used fire to harden wooden spears (Movius, 1950) and to process birch pitch to haft stone tools (Koller, 2001; Grunberg, 2002). But research has shown that, contrary to Southeast Asia, no major increase in fire regime is recorded in Southwest Iberia or in West France at the onset or after the colonisation of these regions by Modern Human populations. Consequently, fire regimes in West Europe between 70 and 10 Ka, were mainly driven by the D-O millennial-scale climatic variability and its impacts on fuel load (Daniau, et al., 2010). On the contrary, evidence based on proxy record has shown that the environmental impact of human population in the central African rainforest was far more critical about 3 Ka, even greater than that induced by the Late Quaternary (1-0.5 Ma) climatic oscillations. In fact, the tropical rainforests had been disappeared, when Bantuspeaking farmers had been come there from the region that now encompasses modernday Cameroon and Nigeria, bringing their agriculture and iron smelting technologies with them. The ensuing erosion and effects on the climate created a drier, more savannah-like landscape, that resulted in the conditions we see today (Bayon, et al., 2012). Similar phenomena have been detected in other regions, too, like the Carpathian basin, where, by the end of the Neolithic period, the previously warm, humid and balanced climate gradually deteriorated; around 4700 BCE, during the Copper Age, newly settled human populations started large scale deforestation in order to clear land for their agriculture (Gyulai, 2006). In parallel, the evidence of ‗elm-decline‘ in Northwest Europe, as an episode in the vegetational sequence, reflected on pollen diagrams and dated to ca 3400-2800 BCE, has been, also, linked with human activities (Garbett, 1981; Dincause, 2000). Although the Neolithic agriculturalists deforested areas of woodland in whole Europe, this specific decline has been finally attributed to the elm bark beetle, a parasitic insect that carries with it Dutch elm disease. This hypothesis suggests, in addition, that farmers intentionally spread the beetle, so that they destroyed the elm forests, providing more deforested land for farming (Pearson, 2005). Moreover, evidence has proven that Roman Empire was the leading contributor to deforestation in the Mediterranean landscapes. The increasing populations and their needs and demands concerning housing and building, fuel and industries (e.g. mining, smelting, and making of ceramics), cultivation, animals and grazing, shipbuilding, urbanization and military activities, all parameters mentioned, contributed to this. Tainter argued that "deforestation did not cause the Roman collapse" (Tainter, 2006) ―but, it was definitively a part of it‖. In fact, as Williams highlighted, ―it is more likely that constant war, ravaging epidemics, rebellion, invasion from outside, a declining population, and an excessive degree of urbanization, separately or in combination, operated on the land in an empire that had extended beyond its means‖ (Chew, 1991; Hughes,1994 & 2001; Shipley and Salmon, 2006; Williams, 2006; Harbeck, et al., 2013). Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters One of the major human made ecological disasters is the case of Easter Island – originally known as Rapa Nui in Polynesian (Southeast Pacific Ocean), notorious for being a worldwide example of human avidity and environmental overexploitation. Scientists looking at the soil layers on Easter Island, show abundant plant and animal life dating back tens of thousands of years; there were many unique plants in Easter Island's forests when the first settlers arrived around AD 300. But in just a few generations the people of Easter Island drove their plants and animals to extinction. Nevertheless, ethnographers and archaeologists blame diseases carried by European colonizers and slave raiding of the 1860s for the devastation of local peoples (Diamond, 1998; Diamond, 2005; Peiser, 2005; Hunt and Lipo, 2006; Mulrooney, 2012). 4.12 Mass extinctions An extinction event or extinction-level event (ELE) is a period in time when a large number of species die out. Usually, the normal background rate of extinctions is about two to five families of marine invertebrates and vertebrates every million years, but since life began on Earth, there have been 20 global extinctions; among them, seven proven and two controversial major extinction events took place (Raup and Sepkoski, 1982; Dott and Prothero, 1994; Eldredge, 1991; Hallam and Wignall, 1997). Extinction event, according to both Biology and Ecology, refers to extinction of species, not all life (Ehrlich, 1981; Gohau, 1990; Glen, 1994; Jablonski, et al., 1996; Sole and Newman, 2002). Although many life forms may become extinct, the usual connotation is that the ‗event‘ is at most a transition in dominant life forms. Especially, for the past 500 Ma, the detected mysterious cycle of booms and busts in marine biodiversity, is now attributed to a periodic uplifting of the world‘s continents. According to researchers, the mechanism is related to the amount of the isotope strontium-87 found in marine fossils (Hallem and Bignall, 1999; Melott, et al., 2012). Even if those crises took place far beyond the human presence on this planet, they are worth mentioning in brief, due to their severity, impact and probability of happening again in the future. About 650 Ma, 70% of the dominant Precambrian flora and fauna, as well as stromatolites (Conway, 2000) perished in a great extinction. The Precambrian extinction has been correlated with a large glaciation event that occurred some time earlier than 650 Ma (Kennedy, et al., 1998; Bodiselitch, et al., 2005; Smith, 2009). The Snowball Earth hypothesis - term coined by geologists in 1992, supporting a hypothesis going back to 1948- (Walker, 1999; Hoffman and Schrag, 2000 & 2002), proposes that the Earth's surface became entirely or near entirely frozen at least once (Cryogenian period I & II; Cryogenian II: ca 850-630 Ma). This event was of such severity that almost all microorganisms were completely wiped out (Schopf and Klein, 1992; Sohl, et al., 1999; Kopp, et al., 2005). New geological and biochemical evidence, though, supports the Slushball Earth hypothesis, according to which our planet was not completely frozen throughout one of the extreme glaciations in the late Precambrian (Chumakov, 2008; Olcott et al., 2005; Le Heron, et al., 2011; Le Heron, 2012). The End-Ediacaran extinction event took place between 550-540 Ma, after the Ediacaran period, during which complex life had begun to take form for the first time on Earth. Then, tiny bacteria had evolved into the more complex and specialized Eukaryotes. But, when the oxygen levels began to fall over 50% of all species died. The huge Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters numbers of dead creatures decomposed and make up some of today‘s fossil fuels. A negative δ13 C excursion (a geochemical signal often associated with mass extinctions, representing a decrease in primary productivity and release of plant-based carbon), as well as the increase in black shale deposition representing global anoxia and global changes in oceanic circulation, reflect the period in the geological record. Although the exact cause of the lowering oxygen levels is yet unknown (recently rapid reversals of Earth‘s magnetic field which destroyed a large part of the ozone layer, have been proposed as the main triggering mechanism; see: Meert, et al., 2016), this mass extinction made room for the Cambrian explosion, a sudden diversifying of complex creatures beyond mere worms (Libes, 1992; Fike, et al., 2006; Schroder and Grotzinger, 2007; Laflamme, et al., 2013). 485.4 ± 1.9 Ma a series of mass extinctions at the Cambrian-Ordovician boundary (the Cambrian-Ordovician extinction events), eliminated many brachiopods and conodonts and severely reduced the number of trilobite species. According to the Glacial Cooling and Oxygen Depletion Hypothesis, continental glaciation at the CambrianOrdovician boundary is responsible for a decrease in global climatic conditions, destroying Cambrian fauna which were intolerant of cooler conditions. The cooling and depletion of water in marine waters as a causative agent for the Cambrian extinctions, has been advanced also by several geologists (Palmer, 1984; Miller and Taylor, 1984; Miller, et al., 1989; Taylor, 2006). At the beginning of Ordovician, the climate was very hot due to high levels of CO2 , which gave a strong greenhouse effect. The marine waters are assumed to have been around 45º C, which restricted the diversification of complex multi-cellular organisms. Moreover, the Ordovician saw the highest sea levels of the Paleozoic. But over time, the climate become cooler, and around 460 Ma, the ocean temperatures became comparable to those of present day equatorial waters, leading to the Great Ordovician Biodiversification Event known as GOBE (Webby and Droser, 2004; Young, et al., 2009; Munnecke et al., 2010; Runkel et al., 2010). In parallel, researchers have proposed the Ordovician meteor event to characterize the shower of meteors that hit our planet during the Middle Ordovician period, roughly 470 Ma, but this phenomenon is not associated with any major extinction event (hack, et al., 1996; Heck, et al., 2004; Korochantseva, et al., 2007). 447-444 Ma at the Ordovician-Silurian transition, two Ordovician-Silurian extinction events occurred, probably as the result of a period of glaciation. But, the movement of supercontinent Gondwana into the South Polar Region previously identified as the probable cause of intense rapid cooling and glaciation at that time, may have resulted from a GRB /Gamma-ray bursts within our galaxy (Melott, et al., 2004; Melott and Thomas, 2009). Marine habitats changed drastically as sea levels decreased, causing the repeated die-off of species. Those events were the second largest mass extinction on the face of Earth. 365 Ma (ca 370-360 Ma) in the transition from the Devonian period to the Carboniferous Period, about 70% of all species were eliminated. This was not a sudden event; evidence suggests that the extinctions took place over a period of some twenty million years. This extinction event affected the reef-builders so severely, that the reef building was not common until the appearance of the modern corals. 70% of marine invertebrates failed to survive until the Carboniferous. Among the organisms most Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters affected by the extinction event were placoderms, brachiopods, trilobites, conodonts and acritarchs. As the majority of the groups extinct in the Devonian, were warm water species, severe glaciation episode is once again suggested, as the main triggering mechanism of that mass extinction event. Other proposed hypotheses include a meteoritic impact, ocean anoxia, possibly triggered by global cooling, oceanic volcanism and the expansion of forests which depleted the atmosphere of CO 2 , dropping global temperature severely to the point of glaciation cycle‘s initiation (Mc Ghee, 1996; Algeo, 1998; Streel, et al, 2000; Rackie, 2003; Bambach, et al., 2004; White and Saunders, 2005; Bond and Wignall, 2008). 252 Ma, in the Permian-Triassic extinction event, known also as the ‗great Dying‘ or P-Tr event, about 96% of all marine species went extinct. At this time all the continents came together as the supercontinent Pangea; for the first time the area of the land exceeded that of the ocean. This catastrophe was Earth's worst mass extinction, coming close to eliminating multicellular life. In fact, 90-95 % of all known life was extinct, 53% of marine families, 84% of marine genera, and an estimated 70% of land species, including plants, insects (their only known mass extinction), and vertebrate animals (Erwin, 1993; Benton, 2005; Sahney and Benton, 2008). The Siberian Traps and the lava flows at Emeishan in China is the number one suspect for this catastrophe, leading Earth to an unprecedented nuclear winter (Macdougall, 1998; Koeberl and Martinez-Ruiz, 2003; Dobretsov, 2005; Isozaki, 2007; Reichow, et al., 2009; Saunders and Reichow, 2009; Fulger, 2010). According to researchers‘ estimation, between 6,300 and 7,800 gigatonnes of sulphur, between 3,400 and 8,700 gigatonnes of chlorine, and between 7,100 and 13,700 gigatonnes of fluorine, were released from magma in the Siberian Traps during the end of the Permian period (Black, et al., 2012). Acid rain, methane gasification, severe anoxic conditions were, also, among the implications of such mega-colossal phenomena. According to the most fresh, rigorous perspective, the whole process is clearly dated and explained. At the peak of the crisis (around 252.28 Ma), and for at least 20 Ka the planet was losing 3% of species every millennium (Black, et al., 2013). Those massive and colossal volcanic eruptions, the brush fires, and possibly even the combustion of coal seams ignited by hot lava, raised global temperatures and turned the oceans acidic and oxygen-deprived, but terrestrial and marine extinctions happened at the same time. Thus, the end-Permian extinction remains still the worse the planet has ever experienced, so far (Shen, et al., 2011). Moreover, two testified case of giant impacts seem to be interdependent events. R.A.Schmidt (1962) and J.G. Weilhaupt (1976) were the first to suggest the impact hypothesis. Von Frese et al., reported a subglacial basin about 500 km wide based on data from NASA‘s GRACE satellite, centred on 70º S, 120º E, in Wilkes Land, Antarctica, suggesting that the data is quantitatively consistent with thinned crust from a giant impact crater that is underlain by an isostatically disturbed mantle plug. The proposed crater is three times the size of the Chixulub crater, and the impact is assumed to have occurred before the formation of the East Antarctic coast that cuts across the ring faults. The impact was so huge, that it appears to have weakened the crust at the site, leading to the final separation of Australia from Antarctica, and, also, to the last stage in the fragmentation of Gondwana (Retallack, et al., 1998; Von Frese, 2006; Retallack, et al., 2007; Von Frese, et al., 2009). In fact, the Wilkes Land crater refers to two separate cases Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters of conjectured giant impact craters hidden beneath the ice cap of Wilkes Land, being separated below under the heading Wilkes Land anomaly and Wilkes Land mascon (mass concentration). Another large impact site from this time is the Bedout crater or the Bedout High, to the North of the western Australian coast. This geological and geophysical feature is now centred about 250 km off the northwest coast of Australia in the Canning and overlying Roebuck basins; it is a roughly circular area about 30 km in diameter where older rocks have been uplifted as much as 4 km towards the surface. Firstly proposed as one of the Permian candidates, by the Australian geologist John Gorter (1996), the impact hypothesis was developed further by Luanne Becker and co-workers (2004 & 2006). Finally, the James Marusek (2004) hypothesis includes all the above suggested mechanisms for the mass extinction at the end of the Permian, while recent intriguing findings suggest that ocean-dwelling Nickel-eating bacteria (Methanosarcina) played a key role during and after the colossal volcanic event, by exploding, releasing huge amounts of methane into the atmosphere and, thus, depleting ocean oxygen levels as a by-product of that metabolism (D.H. Rothman & team, AGU fall meeting 2012). 195 Ma, the Triassic-Jurassic extinction event eliminated about 20% of all marine families, as well as most non-dinosaurian archosaurs, most therapsids, and the last of the large amphibians. This event vacated terrestrial ecological niches, allowing the dinosaurs to assume the dominant roles in the Jurassic period. This event happened in less than 10 Ka and occurred just before Pangaea started to break apart. The massive volcanic eruptions, specifically the flood basalts of the Central Atlantic Magmatic Province (CAMP) seem to be the most obvious candidate as a triggering mechanism for this event (Rampino and Stothers, 1988; Hodych and Dunning, 1992; Mac Elwain, et al., 1999; Tanner et al., 2004; Whiteside, et al., 2007; Mac Hone, 2000; Whiteside, et al., 2010). 65 Ma, the Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction event killed about 85% of all species, including the dinosaurs, although most mammals, birds, turtles, crocodiles, lizards, snakes and amphibians were largely unaffected.. According to the famous Alvarez hypothesis (after physicist Luis and geologist Walter Alvarez), the mass extinction of the dinosaurs and many other living things was caused by the impact of a large asteroid on the Earth. Its geological evidence lays in the Yucatรกn Peninsula, at Chicxulub, Mexico; the impact crater had been created by a rock, the size of which could be approximately the entire size of Martian moon Deimos (mean radius 6.2 km); the collision would have released the same energy as 100 teratonnes of TNT (420 ZJ), over a billion times the energy of the bombs dropped on Nagasaki and Hiroshima (Alvarez, et al., 1980; Carslile, 1995; Alvarez, 1998; Kring, 2003; Schulte, et al., 2010; Robertson, et al., 2013). Concerning the dinosaurs, new evidence suggests that the multiple, smooth-edged fullthickness erosive lesions on the mandible, either unilaterally or bilaterally, found on tyrannosaurids fossils, and previously been attributed to actinomycosis, a bacterial bone infection, or bite wounds from other tyrannosaurids, are now related to an infection by a Trichomonas gallinae-like protozoan, the direct result of which was likely starvation (Wolff, et al., 2009). Even more, as in the case of PT event, volcanism was also related to impactism (Font, et al., 2016). The colossal eruptions at Deccan Traps, initiated by a hot spot in the Indian Ocean, covered an area of 1.5 million square kilometres to a depth of 150 m. The series of lava flows may have lasted less than 30 Ka in total. There is no consensus, Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters though, among the scientific community about the synchronicity of events. The first scenario speaks of Chicxulub predating the KT mass extinction by approximately 300 Ka or occurred 180 Ka after dinosaurs‘ extinction (Officer and Drake, 1985; White and MacKenzie, 1989; Chatterjee, 2003). Latest research correlates all the above-mentioned mechanisms and proposes that if that asteroid had struck a few million years earlier (when the range of dinosaur species was more diverse and food chains were more robust), or later (when new species had time to evolve), then non-avian dinosaurs would not been extinct and possibly humans would never be arisen in the evolutionary chain of life (Brusatte, et al., 2014; Punekar, et al., 2015). The second scenario speaks of Deccan Traps predating ca 250 Ka the impact, since the youngest lava flows emerged 66.29 Ma; 80 to 90% of the entire volume of that lava flooded out within about 750 Ka (Schoene, et al., 2014). Furthermore, the big extinction and the Chicxulub impact are separated by about 30 to 11 (based on more precise results) Ka, according to a 2013 research (Renne, et al., 2013). New evidence suggests that the extra-terrestrial impact cycles (31 ± 5 Ma periodicity) are more complicated than once thought, since Earth‘s (and our solar system‘s) path through the galactic disk (plane) of the Milky Way and its encounter with the Dark Matter (super massive Black Hole at Milky Way‘s heart) trigger interrelated comet strikes on Earth, flood-basalt volcanic eruptions and extinction events (Rampino, 2015). Dinosaurs‘ case seems to fall into this category of mega disasters. Do not mistake this periodicity with the 225-250 Ma periodicity of our solar system to revolve / orbit around our galaxy‘s center (Cosmic Year). 4.13 The Toba event Approximately 73.5 Ka, according to 40Ar/39Ar age determination‘s technique (the Toba ash layer retrieved from deep-sea cores of the Indian Ocean at the time of the OIS 5a-4 transition, estimated at 73.91 ± 2.59 Ka), in Sumatra -Indonesia, took place the largest explosive eruption of the last few hundred thousand years (Young Toba Tuff YTT), which created the Earth's largest Quaternary caldera (35 x 100 km), with a summit elevation at 2157 m (2.58º N & 98.83ºE). This caledera was formed during four major Pleistocene ignimbrite-producing eruptions, beginning at 1.2 Ma (Chesner, et al., 1991). Ice-core data and atmospheric modelling indicate an ~6 year residence time for the dense global aerosol cloud that caused a 'volcanic winter' with possible abrupt regional coolings of up to 15º C and global cooling of 3º to 5º C (and possibly greater) for several years. Similar phenomenon happened to the seas, with an ocean cooling with increased sea ice and snow cover. Even more, palynological records, coral reefs and sediment analysis testify this global ecological disaster. Being a low latitude volcano, Toba‘s dust and volatiles would have been injected efficiently into both North & South Hemisphere, covering a total eruption volume of 2,800 km3 (perhaps an underestimation), with estimated eruption cloud heights of 32 ±5 km, and an estimated duration of continuous fallout of Toba ash over the Indian Ocean at two weeks or less (Zielinski, et al., 1996). Chain reactions would, also, have taken place, as large amount of dead wood produced by the dead and damaged trees, along with drought conditions, increased forest fires and burning of this biomass, releasing large

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Archaeodisasters amounts of reactive species such as hydrocarbons, organic acids and nitrogen compounds into the global atmosphere. The severity of such colossal event, weakened the monsoon winds and changed abruptly the weather patterns worldwide (e.g. causing severe drought), destroyed almost totally the tropical vegetation and the majority of temperate and sub-arctic forests, decreased ocean productivity but caused blooming of algal biomass and phytoplankton that widespread coral death, reduced the standing crops of plants and animals, and drove human species to the threshold of extinction (Williams, et al., 2009). The severe population bottleneck, assumed to reduce global human population to only 3,000 to 10,000 individuals (~500 breeding females), seems to be followed eventually by rapid population increase, technological innovations and migrations. Those severely reduced and isolated populations in small refugia in Africa and Eurasia, through genetic drift and local adaptation, were undergone rapid racial differentiation (Gibbons, 1993; Rampino and Self, 1993; Ambrose, 1998; Rampino and Ambrose, 1999). In brief, there are few main hypotheses concerning Tobaâ&#x20AC;&#x2DC;s biological aftermath (Rampino and Ambrose, 1999; Wells, 2004). According to the Multiregional Hypothesis (Wolpoff and Caspari, 1997 & 1988), major subdivisions of our species evolved slowly and in situ, with gene flow accounting for the similarities now observed among groups. So, humans first arose near the beginning of the Pleistocene ca 2 Ma, and subsequent human evolution has been within a single, continuous human species. Although strongly disputed till recently, this hypothesis gained ground in 2011, when human leukocyte antigen (HLA) alleles from the archaic Denisovan and Neanderthal genomes, were found to show patterns in the modern human population, demonstrating origins from these nonAfrican populations, more than 50% for modern Europeans, 70% for Asians, and 95% for Papua New Guineans (Hardy, et al., 2005; Evans, et al., 2006; Abi-Rached et al., 2011). According to the Replacement Hypothesis (Lahr and Foley, 1994; Rogers and Jorde, 1995; Lahr, 1996; Stringer and Andrews, 2005; Stringers, 2011), earlier human populations were replaced, between 100 and 30 Ka, by modern humans who originated in Africa. According to a third perspective, based on studies of nuclear and mitochondrial DNA from present human populations (Jones and Rouhani, 1986; Wainscoat, et al., 1986; Harpending, et al., 1993; Tishkoff, et al., 1996), modern populations originated in Africa and spread to the rest of the Old World about 100 Ka. According to the Weak Garden of Eden version (Harpendinget, al., 1993), modern humans dispersed from Africa about 100 Ka and then went through a population bottleneck in ca 50 Âą 20 Ka, followed by a dramatic population increase. However, according to human mitochondrial DNA analysis (inherited only from one's mother) and Y chromosome DNA analysis (from one's father), all living humans' female line ancestry trace back to a single female (Mitochondrial Eve) at around 140 Ka, while, via the male line, all humans can trace their ancestry back to a single male (Ychromosomal Adam) at 60 to 90 Ka (Pritchard, et al., 1999; Takahata, 2003; Sykes, 2003; Dawkins, 2004; Oppenheimer, 2004; Wilder et al., 2004; Gonder et al., 2007; Behar et al., 2008). Especially present day-Europeans seem to have three ancestral genome pools according to recent research: the west European hunter-gatherers, the ancient North

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Archaeodisasters Eurasians related to Upper Palaeolithic Siberians, and the early European farmers, who were mainly of Near East origin (Lazaridis, et al., 2014). Furthermore, the international, multidisciplinary research team, led by Oxford University - under archaeologist Michael Petraglia (2007), in collaboration with Indian institutions, has uncovered what it calls ‗Pompeii-like excavations‘ beneath the Toba ash. They found stone tools above and below the thick layer of ash from the Toba eruption, that were remarkably similar; this shows that the huge dust clouds from the eruption did not wipe out the local population of people. Furthermore, both Neanderthals in Europe and the small-brained Homo floresiensis in Southeast Asia survived YTT (Petraglia, et al., 2012; Petraglia, and Boivin, 2014). But, the most recent interdisciplinary evidence suggests that that eruption did not severely impact the climatic conditions of eastern Africa and consequently it was not the cause of this human genetic bottleneck (Lane, et al., 2013). Even more, the modern human emergence in eastern Asia now is dated back to at least 100 Ka, before the Toba eruption (Liu, et al., 2010; Armitage, et al., 2011). Finally, the Red Deer Cave (Yunnan Province, China) and Longlin Cave (Guangxi Zhuang region, China) People, whose fossils have been radiocarbon dated between 14.5 and 11.5 Ka, show a mix of archaic and modern features as a separate species of humans that became extinct, perhaps a result of mating between Denisovans and modern humans. They, also, seem to be more recent than the afore-mentioned Homo floresiensis (dubbed "Hobbits") dated to 13 Ka (Curnoe, et al., 2012). Finally, recent biogenetic research revealed the unexpected existence of mtDNA lineage M in European individuals prior to LGM, a lineage which is absent in contemporary Europeans but highly frequent in modern Asian, Australasians and Native Americans. Even more, the research supported the general concept that all present-day non-Africans belong to two basal mtDNA haplogroups (hgs), M and N. This suggests a single major dispersal of non-Africans ca 55 Ka and a Late Glacial population turnover in Europe according to the researchers, although the population dynamics of that era remain still little known (Posth, et al., 2016). 4.14 The disappearance of Neandert(h)als The disappearance of Neanderthals is one of the most intriguing, controversial and complicated issues in Paleolithic Archaeology, as well as in Palaeoanthropology, worldwide, having given birth to a plethora of hypotheses, ranging from the inability of Neanderthals to cope with climate change, competitive exclusion or even genocide by anatomically modern humans, to hybridization with the Cro-Magnon populations. Generally speaking, Neanderthals (Homo Neanderthalensis) are classified as paleoanthropological specimens of Pleistocene species of the Homo genus which inhabited Europe and parts of West and central Asia. ‗Hominin' is the term used for all humans, living and extinct plus all our immediate ancestors (including members of the genera Homo, Australopithecus, Paranthropus and Ardipithecus); 'Hominid', formerly used for humans, has now been widened to include apes, modern and extinct (modern humans, chimpanzees, gorillas and orang-utans plus all their immediate ancestors). Neanderthals coexisted with anatomically modern humans for several thousand years before their ‗disappearance‘. Biological, anatomical, pathological, climatic, Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters environmental and social factors seem to have been interdependently contributed to this phenomenon. In brief, the following main hypotheses have been proposed: Although Neanderthals cranial capacity was larger than modern humans, and they were almost exclusively carnivorous and top predators, their population seems to have never steadily reached much more than 10,000 individuals (a highly debated issue; see Davies, et al., 2014). The semi-circular canals of the inner ear provide us with our sense of balance. So, the high correlation between the size of the canals and agility has been testified; throughout human evolution, our canals seem to have increased in size as our agility was increasing. Anatomically, Neanderthals had smaller canals than modern humans, and even earlier ancestors, being less agile and having short limbs and wide pelvis. This fact made long distance moves much harder for them to absorb shock and to bounce off from one step to the next. They had less efficient locomotion than modern humans. Even more, they had a more prominent projection around the elbow joint, and a narrow socket at the shoulder joint, thus they did not have the full capability for throwing spears (Sorensen and Leonard, 2001; Weaver and Steudel-Numbers, 2005; SteudelNumbers and Wall-Scheffler, 2009). In addition, Neanderthals body plan minimised the body's surface area to retain heat and to keep vital organs embedded deep within the body, to insulate them from the cold. They did survive the icy extremes – but they needed a lot of feeding, about twice calories‘ intake as much as we need today. This parameter had been aggravated both by the climatic changes, as the forests on which they depended began to recede, giving way to open plains, and by the effectiveness of their hunting tools and techniques, as modern humans made lighter stone points that could be fitted on to lighter spear shafts, they could hunt more effectively in an open landscape, and they could perform high levels of mobility to follow migrating herds. Estimations made by scientists, show that Neanderthal females would have faced daily energy costs during gestation and lactation of about 2,750-3,020 kcal. This is about 20% higher than for Homo erectus females and 10% higher than for middle Upper Palaeolithic humans. From this perspective, Neanderthals and Upper Palaeolithic modern humans would have behaved differently even under the same environmental conditions (Ruff, et al., 1997; Froehle, A.W. and & Churchill, 2001; Aiello and Key, 2002; Aiello and Wheeler, 2003; Hockett, 2012). Latest research highlights another factor, which may have acted as a triggering mechanism for Neanderthals‘ disappearance. Till now, there was a general assumption that identical total brain volumes imply identical internal organization. The authors argue that differences in the size of the body and visual system, between Neanderthals (significantly larger eye sockets - by an average of 6mm from top to bottom- meaning bigger eyes) and anatomically modern humans (AMHs) imply, also, differences in organization between even same-sized brains of these two taxa. Furthermore, different brain organization shows different copying abilities to fluctuating resources and cultural maintenance, as well as different ability to innovate and to adapt to quickly changed environments of Late Palaeolithic (Pearce, Stringer and Dunbar, 2013). On the other hand, if Neanderthal females hunted alongside males, the „reproductive core‟ of the population was constantly put in danger. But, the female Homo Sapiens was gathering food instead, to supplement their diet when game was in short supply, or she was going after small game, making her more suitable to use the resources of the environment, while big game hunting made males more resilient to this process Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters (Villote, et al., 2011; Kuhn and Stiner, 2006). Hunting techniques are also pointed out as the triggering mechanism for Neanderthals‟ disappearance, but from another perspective. The taming of the wolves - going back to 70 Ka - and later on their domestication (leading to the dogs as steady companions of Homo Sapiens in all their daily activities) gave a strong advantage to modern humans who finally became the predominant species in Europe (Thalmann, et al., 2013; Bocherens, et al., 2014; Shipman, 2015; Shipman, 2015). Moreover, Neanderthals were possibly the most carnivorous form of humans ever to have lived; they practiced cannibalism and/or mortuary defleshing. This habit could have spread a mad cow-like disease that weakened and reduced populations, thereby contributing to their extinction. As modern clinical tests show, medical instruments can carry infectious prions, which spread TSEs (transmissible spongiform encephalopathy), even after such tools have been sterilised. Consequently, sharing stone tools could have, also, spread the disease among Neanderthals, even those that did not practice cannibalism. Recent anthropological studies among a well-documented tribal group, the Fore of Papua New Guinea, who practiced ritualistic cannibalism, beginning in the early 1900s, have shown an affliction named kuru. By the 1960s, kuru reached epidemic levels and killed over 1100 people.That kuru was related to the Fore's cannibalistic activities. Within a hypothetical group of 15,000 individuals (e.g. of Neanderthals), such a disease could reduce the population to non-viable levels within 250 years, meaning 10 generations (Hockett and Haws, 2005; Rudolf and Antonovics, 2007; Underdown, 2008). In parallel, only a slight difference in iodine intake could have been responsible for the physical differences between Neanderthals and modern humans. Certain Neanderthal physical traits, associated with iodine-deficiency diseases (heavy brows, thick bones and musculature, propensities for degenerative joint diseases) did not persist even if their genes continued into later European populations. According to this point of view, the ‗Venus figurines‘ may not have been fertility symbols, as usually interpreted, but actually representations of Neanderthals, in they way the looked and were remembered by Cro-Magnons. Even today, about 30 % of the world's population is at risk of iodine-deficiency diseases, especially people isolated from the principal sources of dietary iodine like saltwater fish, shellfish and seaweed (Dobson, 1998). Studies have, also, shown that human blood group O, and negative Rhesus factor, may have been the majority among Neanderthals. In fact, at least two of the extinct, ancient humans had type O blood, making them the ‗universal donors‘. Modern research indicates that this mutation took place about 1 Ma, probably in the hominid common ancestor of humans and Neanderthals, as Natural Selection may sometimes favour a specific blood type. Type O seems to protect against severe malaria, tuberculosis, or syphilis, for example, but makes people more susceptible to bacteria that cause severe cholera and stomach ulcers, as well as to Hypothyroidism and higher risk of venous thromboembolism. Moreover, modern research conducted on women undertaking fertility treatment found that those with blood type O were up to twice as likely to have a lower egg count and poorer egg quality, affecting the chances of conceiving. Similar results begin to be gathered concerning male infertility rates and blood group O (Mourant, et al., 1978; Borιn, et al., 1993; Swerdlow, et al., 1994; Fry, et al., 2007; Lalueza-Fox et al., 2008; Khan, et al., 2010; The 66th American Society for Reproductive Medicine –

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Archaeodisasters ASRM Annual Meeting 2010: study from Yale University and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine). Apart from having low fertility rates as all O modern women, a Neanderthal woman with O Rh _ could bear only one healthy child, making her and her off springs prone to infectious diseases (e.g. plague). But, a Sapiens woman with other blood types and Rh+ could bear many healthy children. If endogamy was strong in Neanderthal groups, other hereditary difficulties would have been arisen, too, apart from interbreeding, that may have been a difficult and risky biological process for Neanderthal women. Today, the Basque are known to have the highest percent of Rh Negative Blood Factor (around 35 % Rh- ; the total percent of Rh Negative Blood for the whole World is only 7%). Another recent research refers to ―Neanderthal alleles [that] continue to shape human biology.. [and] caused decreased fertility in males when moved to a modern human genetic background‖. This phenomenon of hybrid infertility means that the offspring of a male from one subspecies (e.g. Neanderthal) and a female from another (e.g. modern human female) have low or no fertility. Being, also, at the edge of biological incompatibility shows that interbreeding was problematic after 500 Ka of separation (Sankararaman, et al., 2014). According to the scenario proposed by Paul Mellars and his colleague, Jennifer French, a swarm of Homo sapiens entered the Eurasian continent leaving the Neanderthals, who had thrived in the frigid conditions for 300 millennia, outnumbered by a massive 10 to one. Such an invasion, forced the local populations into fierce competition for food, fuel and other crucial resources. The researchers are based on archaeological evidence in Périgord, a former province of Southwest France, which is renowned for its Neanderthal and early human sites. The range of new technological and behavioural innovations (e.g. long-range hunting spears, stronger cooperation and communication, cave paintings, trade evidence) speaks of far more complex Sapiens societies (Mellars and French, 2011). But, controversial new findings speak of specialized toolkits, previously identified with modern humans and now clearly associated with Neanderthals (Soressi, et al., 2013). Other scientists stress the importance of climate changes as key factors of their disappearance (Finlayson, et al., 2006; Finlayson, 2010) The above-mentioned ‗genocide‘ could be enhanced by the dispersion of killing parasites and pathogens, prior unknown to Neanderthals‘ organisms. This whole process is known as the ‗Competitive Replacement‘ (Boule, 1912; Diamond, 1992; Banks, et al., 2008). A string of major volcanic eruptions ca 40 Ka, affected, also, the region between Italy and the Caucasus Mountains (e.g. the Campanian Ignimbrite super-eruption in Italian peninsula, and a smaller eruption thought to have occurred around the same time in the Caucasus Mountains - in the Elbrus volcanic province), contributing to the Neanderthals' decline by reducing their food supply. Studies of sediment layers at Mezmaiskaya Cave suggest a severe reduction of plant pollen and an absence of animal bones and human tools in the layers above the volcanic ash; this damage to plant life would have led to a corresponding decline in plant-eating mammals hunted by them. Abrupt climatic deterioration, thus, could, finally, put Neanderthals to extinction. The latest research reveals that the Campanian Ignimbrite (CI) massive volcanic eruption in Italy, caused a major environmental and climatic disruption in Europe, deteriorating even Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters more the daily lives of Neanderthal populations who were already under stress (Fedele, et al., 2002; Gilligan, 2007; Golovanova, et al., 2010; Lowe, et al., 2012). The author suggests another environmental triggering mechanism that could aggravate all the afore-mentioned phenomena, a world impact event, caused indeed by volcanism, but still neglected. The Oruanui eruption of New Zealand's Taupo Volcano was the world's largest known eruption in the past 70 Ka, with a VEI of 8. It took place around 26.5 Ka in the Late Pleistocene. The unusual and episodic eruption is divided into ten phases, the development of the caldera to its maximum extent occurring during phase 10 (Wilson, 2001; Manville and Wilson, 2004; Wilson, et al., 2006). This scenario may, also, be combined with the geomagnetic excursions of Laschamp and Mono Lake, synchronous with the Neanderthalsâ&#x20AC;&#x2DC; extinction, being the most dramatic events encountered by them over the past 250 Ka of their existence. The suggested ozone depletion had significant impacts on health of human populations (Valet and Valladas, 2010) But, in reality, even though Neanderthals are extinct, they are not disappeared from the face of Earth, because their genetic imprint lives within modern humans by interbreeding (Hybridization hypothesis). The point of divergence between Neanderthals and modern humans is detected ca at 706 Ka, as a difference in 27 nucleotids; the first proto -Neanderthal traits in Europe had been appeared around 500-350 Ka, the complete ones ca 130 Ka; they seemed to disappear from Asia around 50 Ka and from Europe ca 25 Ka. The most recent archaeological evidence dates back to ca 28 Ka and it is found at Vindija Cave - Croatia (1998), while the latest skeletal remains with Neanderthal traits come from Lagar Velho in southern Iberia, dated back to 24.5 Ka, and from the cave of Pestera Muierii, Romania (Freyer, 1992; Duarte, et al., 1999; Soficaru, et al., 2006; Trinkhaus, 2007; Jones, 2007; Stringer, 2012). Recent genetic studies on Neanderthal genome composed of over 3 billion nucleotides from three individuals, conducted by an international team of researchers, indicate some form of hybridization between archaic humans and modern humans that had taken place after modern humans emerged from Africa. The Neanderthals contributed up to 4% of modern Eurasian genomes, while the Denisovans (Reed, et al., 2004; Krause, et al., 2010; Reich, et al., 2010) contributed roughly 4-6% of modern Melanesian genomes. The interbreeding must have occurred early in the migration of modern humans out of Africa, perhaps in the Middle East, around 65 to 90 Ka (Dalen, et al., 2012). No evidence for gene flow in the direction from modern humans to Neanderthals was found. These results, though, donâ&#x20AC;&#x2DC;t rule out an alternative scenario, according to which, the source population of non-African modern humans was already more closely related to Neanderthals than other Africans were, due to ancient genetic divisions within Africa (Green, et al., 2010; Noonan, 2010). In addition, researchers at Oxford University and Plymouth University found evidence of Neanderthal and Denisovan viruses in the modern human DNA; probably those viruses originated in our common ancestors more than 0.5 Ma (Agoni, et al., 2012; Marchi, et al., 2013). More specifically, the research has revealed many intriguing secrets: (1) The analysis shows that the genetic difference is smaller between late Neanderthals and moderns than between older Neanderthals and moderns. This is not compatible with a replacement theory.

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Archaeodisasters (2) Ancient origins more than 100 Ka of a set of Y-chromosome mutations not found in Africa is indicative of Neanderthal and / or Asian Homo erectus contribution to our genome (Underhill, et al., 1997). (3) Hemochromatosis (HFE) has the highest prevalence in Caucasian groups. Neanderthals would have had great advantage for efficient absorption of iron, due to their frequent injuries during close-combat hunting, as the cure of hemochromatosis is to loose blood (Tomatsu, et al., 2003). (4) Factor V Leiden was introduced in the northern European population 35 to 40 Ka. After trauma, the formation of a thrombus is essential to stem bleeding, but any too little clotting results in bleeding disorders such as hemophilia, could be deadly as well as excessive clotting that produces blood clots blocking the lungs. The most common inherited mutation that predisposes to thrombosis is the factor V Leiden mutation, a common mutation, with a prevalence of 2% in Caucasian populations (Bauduer and Lacombe, 2005). (5) Freidreich Ataxia (FA) developed on a common haplotype only found in Europe, North Africa and Middle East. It has been dated to 10 to 25 Ka. FA, like hemochromatosis, is associated with iron transport. The primary cause of FA seems to be oxidative damage by free radicals. Either, there was a protective allele in Neanderthals against free radicals, or some mutation in the mitochondria protected them. In the first case, this allele might still be in the modern human gene pool, in the second, it was lost in the hybridization process (Colombo and Carobene, 2004). (6) Cystic fibrosis (CFTR) is a very diverse genetic disease, estimated to have been introduced 50 Ka in Europe, bearing, also, many similar properties to coeliac, and might in fact be related to gluten- intolerance. The purpose of CF probably was to protect against infection and parasites (e.g. against cholera or typhoid fever). CF is associated with high levels of salt in sweat, and this probably formed some sort of protection, if left on the skin. This genetic mutation of cystic fibrosis in humans seems to offer a selective advantage against Vibrio cholerae infections, being a similar mechanism to heterozygous carriers of Thalassaemia against malaria (Bertrandpetit and Calafell, 1996). Recently, researchers have plugged data from historical death rates for cholera, typhoid and tuberculosis (TB) into a complex demographic model (Poolman and Galvani, 2007). (7) Studies confirms a link between low IgA levels, otitis media and autoimmune diseases, like Coeliac Disease (CD), also known as gluten intolerance (Simoons, 1981). Many autistics have lower than normal IgA levels. The disease mostly affects people of European descent, and occurs more rarely in African and Asian populations. Neanderthals lacked nearly the entire gene variants linked to coeliac disease, suggesting that the disease developed more recently as humans evolved genetic resistance to epidemic diseases. (8) Comparing the HLA (human leukocyte antigen) genes of modern human populations with those from Denisovans and Neanderthals, the scientists identified a handful that could be traced back to ancient sexual encounters between the groups. One variant of HLA gene, most common in West Asian populations, the region where the mating probably happened , known as HLA-B*73, likely arose in modern humans after cross-breeding with Denisovans. The Neanderthals contributed, also, a string of HLA gene variants, or alleles, to the modern Eurasian population's gene pool. But, this intake lead also to auto-immune diseases among modern humans, e.g. a gene variant called Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters HLA-B51, which came from cross-breeding with Neanderthals and has already been linked to Behcet's disease, a rare and chronic inflammatory condition, known also as Silk Road Disease, due to its prevalence in the areas surrounding the old silk trading routes in the Middle East and in central Asia (Durrani and Papaliodis, 2008; Abi-Rached, et al., 2011). (9) Over 50% of people with schizophrenia are rhesus negative, and there are indications of similar frequencies in autism and Asperger (Hollister, et al., 1996). (10) One other major hypothesis seems, also, to be confirmed. The evolutionary origin of bipolar disorder (EOBD) shows the involvement of the circadian gene network in the pathophysiology of it; it is correlated with a cold-adapted build, and its moods vary according to light and season. Considering that selective pressures during the Pleistocene would have been greatest for women of reproductive age, they are expected to manifest winter depression more than males or younger females, which is the case. Thus, Neanderthals are considered as the ancestral source for bipolar vulnerability genes (susceptibility alleles). Researchers go beyond seasonal affective disorder, too, suggesting a probable annual hibernation period for Neanderthals who lived in the extreme cold conditions of higher latitudes (Kretchmer, 1970; Rosenthal et al., 1984 & 1987; Wehr and Rosenthal, 1989; Ciarleglio, et al., 2011; Sherman, 2012). (11) Phenylketonuria (PKU) is an autosomal recessive metabolic genetic disorder that can cause problems with brain development, leading to progressive mental retardation, brain damage, and seizures. Today, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2DC;s treated with a low-phenylalanine diet, but alone may not be enough to prevent the negative effects of phenylalanine levels; however there is currently no cure for this disease. It is heterogeneous; more than 400 different mutations in the phenylalanine hydroxylase (PAH) gene have been identified. The heterozygote advantage seems to function as following. The mild, wet climate of eucratic zone tends to encourage the growth of molds. In areas suffered repeatedly by famines, economic hardship and periods of poor nutrition over many centuries, food, prepared from moldy grain, which would otherwise be avoided, tends to be eaten; such food is likely to contain ochratoxin A, which causes pregnant women to miscarriage. But, if they are heterozygous for PKU, the higher concentration of phenylalanine in her blood would tend to protect the foetus (Woolf, et al., 1975; Woolf, 1996). (12) Huntington's Disease (HD), which causes progressive damage to the nervous system (uncontrollable movements, dementia, and psychiatric disturbances), is a neurodegenerative genetic disorder of western European origin. Having a prevalence of 15 per 100,000 in some western European populations, it is rare in Asians and Africans. All humans have two copies of the Huntingtin gene (HTT), which codes for the protein Huntingtin (Htt). The mutation is genetically dominant and almost fully penetrant, meaning that mutation of either of a person's HTT genes causes the disease. HD allele seems to protect against cancer (Sørensen, et al., 1999) and infectious disease (very much needed, because Neanderthals also carried Cystic Fibrosisâ&#x20AC;&#x2DC; alleles). It might even play a key role in their abilities to hibernate. EPA and DHA protect brain areas affected by HD in hibernating mammals, and play a role in relieving ADHD symptoms. In detail, the omega-3 fatty acids docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) are conditionally essential antiflammatory nutrients that enhance quality of life, lower the risk of premature death, and generate neuroprotective metabolites by functioning exclusively via cell membranes, in which they are anchored by phospholipid molecules. Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters DHA is proven essential to pre- and postnatal brain development, whereas EPA seems more influential on behaviour and mood (Kidd, 2007). (13) Psoriasis has 1 - 2 % prevalence in European descent, and much less in other ethnical groups and it is an auto-immune disease. It's, also, believed to be located on chromosome 6 in the HLA region. Some of the HLA genes passed into the human genome from Neanderthal and Denisovan gene pools, might lead to boosted immunity and, in parallel, to autoimmune diseases, such as multiple sclerosis, psoriasis, rheumatism and eczema (Abi-Rached, 2011; Gibbons, 2011; Hüffmeier et al., 2010). (14) Skin colour, hair colour, freckles and eye colour are related to three mutations in the melanocortin-1 receptor found on chromosome 16 - MC1R (R151C, R160W and D294H), the origin of which have been traced back to 50 to 100 Ka, as a result of hybridization with Neanderthals. Recent research has demonstrated that people with red hair have different sensitivity to pain compared to people with other hair colours, and naturally occurring low vitamin K levels (Mogil, et al., 2005; Liem, et al., 2005; Lalueza-Fox, et al., 2007). (15) The dopamine receptor subtype DRD4 7R gene is associated with risktaking, sensation-seeking, spatial orienting of attention and novelty-seeking, and is correlated with openness to new experiences, intolerance to monotony, and exploratory behaviour (temperament dimension of novelty seeking - NS). According to the human genome, the DRD4 7R gene suddenly showed up about 37 Ka, spread due to natural selection and is unlikely to be of modern human origin. In modern populations, 10% have the activated DRD4 7R gene, 20% are just carriers and ca 70% don't have it at all (Swanson, et al., 2000; Ding, et al., 2002; Wang, et al., 2004; Lunwall, et al., 2012). This gene increases also peripheral vision. (16) Recently, researchers have also identified the ARHGAP11B gene as a homininspecific gene (found in Neanderthals, Denisovans and modern humans), that drives the proliferation of neural progenitor cells that build the brain‘s neocortex. Sensory perception, motor commands, conscious thought, and language are involved in this brain area (Florio, et al., 2015). But, Neanderthals had an elaborate system of communication which was more musical than modern human language, process derived from the separation of language and music into two separate modes of cognition. In fact, Neanderthals possessed the gene for language - FOXP2 variant came to be found in both Neanderthals and modern humans (Carruthers and Chamberlain, 2000; Coop, et al., 2008; Kull, 2009; Cole, 2014) and had sophisticated music, art and tool craftsmanship skills, so they must have not been all that unattractive to modern humans at the time. Recent anatomical evidence (D‘ Anastasio, et al., 2013), along with archaeological evidence demonstrates that Neanderthals made musical instruments (Morley, 2003, 2005 & 2013). According to two main hypotheses, a co-evolution of what we today call music and language took place in the past (Steven Brown, 2000). Neanderthals had a peculiar proto-music/language, that was holistic (not composed of segmented elements), manipulative (influencing emotional states and hence behaviour of oneself and others), multimodal (using both sound and movement), musical (temporally controlled, rhythmic, and melodic), and mimetic (utilizing sound symbolism and gesture), including iconic gestures, dance, onomatopoeia, vocal imitation and sound synaesthesia, as well as enhancing ‗emotional intelligence‘ (Wallin, 1991; Benzon, 2001; Mithen, 2005). Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters Moreover, in overall size, the posterior portion of the Neanderthal brain, for example the occipital and superior parietal lobes, were slightly larger in length and breadth, than the modern human brain on average. Scientists consider this as a reflection of the environment in which they dwelled, and the neural capacities their life style required. Even more, Neanderthals‘ temporal lobe was well developed, bigger and little different from that of modern humans, as physical indices along with examination of their skulls and endocasts have shown. The limbic system (amygdale, hippocampus, temporal lobe) controls sexual stimulation, memories (of body and mind), feelings of love and affection, and the ability to form long-term attachments, as well as dream sleep (visual, emotional, and hallucinatory aspects), violence, murder, religious and spiritual experiences. Archaeological evidence supports the anthropological framework. On the other hand, anthropological evidence has demonstrated that the frontal lobes significantly expanded in length and height during the Middle to Upper Palaeolithic transition, an estimated increase in size by almost a third in the transition from archaic humans to CroMagnon. Generally speaking, frontal lobes are considered as the senior executive of the brain, responsible for initiative, goal formation, long term planning, the generation of multiple alternatives, the consideration of multiple consequences, and free will; they coordinate and regulate intellectual, creative, artistic, symbolic, and cognitive processes (Joseph, 2011). In addition, the latest research conducted claims that the absolute and proportional frontal region size, which increased rapidly in humans, was tightly correlated with corresponding size increases in other areas and whole brain size, and with decreases in frontal neuron densities. Thus, the search for the neural basis of human cognitive uniqueness should focus more on distributed neural networks, than on the frontal lobes in isolation (Barton and Venditti, 2013). Nevertheless, evidence shows that Homo symbolicus included both Neanderthals and Sapiens (for a short integrated perspective of human emotions see Tarlow, 2000; Henshilwood and d‘ Errico, 2011; Panksepp and Biven, 2012). Even more, a zigzag engraving on a shell - from a freshwater mussel species - found in Trinil, Java (Indonesia) in the 1890s by the Dutch palaeontologist Eugène Dubois, is the oldest abstract marking ever found, dated to 500 Ka, and its likely creator seems to be the common human ancestor Homo erectus (Joordans, et al., 2015). The shell is included in the Dubois collection (Naturalis museum, Leiden, The Netherlands). (17) A new, striking biological hypothesis links the unexplained disappearance of Homo Neanderthalensis to an increased foetal and maternal mortality due to preeclampsia, related to the largest increases in cranial capacity. Last adult exhibited 1740 cm3 cranial capacity. The human foetus needs 60% of its total nutritional supplies for the growth of the brain toward the end of the foetal phase (third trimester), while other mammalian foetal brains and ‗‗possibly australopithecines‘‘ require only 20%. The appearance of preeclampsia in humans could be linked to the development of a large brain in the Homo genus. While blood pressure elevation is the most visible sign of the disease, it involves generalized damage to the maternal endothelium, kidneys, and liver, with the release of vasoconstrictive factors being secondary to the original damage. It may affect both the mother and the unborn child, being most common of the dangerous pregnancy complications. Thus, preeclampsia could be a by-product of natural selection of that trait (Chaline, 2003).

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Archaeodisasters (18) Genetic studies performed in multiple modern human populations identified, also disease risk alleles that are common in one population but rare in others. For example, a gene variant that seems to increase the risk of diabetes in Latin Americans and East Asians appears to have been inherited from Neanderthals. In parallel, the SLC16A11 sequence is found in a newly sequenced Neanderthal genome from Denisova Cave in Siberia (The SIGMA Type 2 Diabetes Consortium, 2013). Moreover, genes involved in lipid catabolism detected in remains from Neanderthal sites, is three times more frequent in contemporary Europeans than Asian and African populations (Khrameeva, et al., 2014). In addition, another recent study has shown that a hypoxia pathway gene, EPAS1 (which regulates the body‘s production of haemoglobin), was previously identified as having the most extreme signature of positive selection in Tibetans, and at very low frequency among Han Chinese, explained by introgression of DNA from Denisovan or Denisovan-related individuals into modern humans (HuertaSánchez, et al., 2014). (19) According to the latest research findings, the modern human genome, compared with the Neanderthal and Denisovan genomes (reflecting low starch diets), on average possesses three times more copies of the gene for salivary amylase (AMY1 = an enzyme in saliva that helps break down starch). It seems that these modern human gene duplications occurred in the last 600 Ka, after the split between Neanderthals and Denisovans. AMY is a salivary endo-enzyme responsible for hydrolysis of α-1,4 glycosidic linkages in starch to produce maltose, maltriose, and other oligosaccharides, and it is the most abundant protein in human saliva but is also highly variable. Something like 70% of the calories in human agricultural population have been taken from the consumption of starch. Scientists hypothesized that dietary preference for high starch foods prevailed since individuals with more copies of AMY1 may be protected against death from diarrheal and intestinal disease (Perry, et al., 2007; Mandel, et al., 2010; Xu and Sin, 2012; Perry, et al., 2015). (20) Very few extinction (or near-extinction) events seem to have only one cause. A bacterial pandemic triggered by the weakening of immune systems due to other factors, such as starvation or airborne/waterborne pollution following the colossal Toba eruption, is, also, a very logical mechanism proposed by researchers for the Neanderthals‘ extinction. New genetic evidence suggests that those bacteria (e.g. Group B Streptococcus and Escherichia coli K1) were exploiting two immune system human genes, called Siglec-13 and Siglec-17, which are by then inactivated. This process was long, dating between 440 and 270 Ka, before modern humans split from our Neanderthal and Denisovan cousins. But some people may have had working versions of Siglec-13 as recently as 46 Ka. During that period, our ancestors were decimated by disease (Wang, et al., 2012). In addition, Neanderthals were distinguished at least in four subgroups, not being a homogenous group. Paleoanthropological studies based on morphological skeletal evidence have offered some support for the existence of four different sub-groups, one in western Europe, one in southern Europe, one in the Levant, and another in western Asia (Fabre, et al., 2009). Although many scientists question the interbreeding theory (Ander and Manica, 2012), genetic research has shown two periods of interbreeding between modern humans and Neanderthals; one period of interbreeding occurring around 60 Ka in the eastern Mediterranean, the other around 45 Ka in aastern Asia (Krause, et al., 2010). Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters The most recent and detailed genetic analysis of the existing data indicates that the divergence between modern humans and Neanderthals took place between 270 and 440 Ka, a common ancestor of which had lived within the last 500 Ka. Furthermore, their later interbreeding is reflected on the genome differences, in the degree to which, different geographically dispersed present-day population groups show Neanderthal ancestry. According to a first approach by the scientists involved in â&#x20AC;&#x2014;1000 Genomes Projectâ&#x20AC;&#x2DC;, more Neanderthal indicators have been found in northern China population in relation to the southern China, and in the southern populations of Europe more than the northern, with the Tuscans having the highest level of Neanderthal similarity (The 1000 Genomes Project Consortium, 2010; The Malapa Soft Tissue Project, by John Hawks, online at: Research on singularities in the Neanderthal genome has also shown 78 genes that have been located with changes, but because of the low genome coverage, there could be up to three times more. Some genes on the list are easy to interpret, for example, the changes in five olfactory receptors, which are probably inactivated nowadays because they are no longer important to our survival (Green, et al., 2010). Few different genes between Neanderthals and Homo sapiens sapiens are: RPTN (gene that encodes repetin, an extracellular epidermal matrix protein, involved in the sweat glands, the root hairs and tongue papillae), SPAG17 (important antigen for the structural integrity of the central apparatus of the sperm axoneme, it participates in male fertility), TTF1 (regulates ribosomal gene transcription), DCHS-1 (encodes for a protein involved in wound healing), CAN15 (encodes a protein of unknown function) and PCD16 (fibroblast cadherin, encodes a cell-cell adhesion protein, possibly involved in wound healing). All the same, recent research has shown that today, 85% of genetic variation occurs within groups, while only 15% can be attributed to allele frequency differences among groups (Long and Kittles, 2003). Even more, new evidence of complex human evolutionary history comes to light, as undescribed human remains are brought into evaluation by collaborative research projects (Condemi and Weniger, 2011; Curnoe, et al., 2012; Condemi, et al., 2013). Another recent comparative research on mtDNA genome sequences from different regions of Europe and other groups around the world, conlcuded that 35% of the sub-Saharan lineages in Europe arrived during a period that ranged from more than 11 kya to the Roman Empire times, while the other 65% of European lineages of African origins, represent population groups that arrived more recently. This is a clear threshold that represents the latest big climatic change from the Younger Dryas to the Holocene, accompanied by major human migrations (Cerezo, et al., 2012). Finally, evidence provided by a jawbone found in 2002 inside the cave system of PeČ&#x2122;tera cu Oase in southwestern Romania revealed that the Neanderthal signature of Oase individual's genome ranges between 6% and 9%, making it an unprecedented amount because present-day Neanderthal derived European genome ranges between 2% and 4%. That ancient man seemed to have a Neanderthal ancestor just four to six generations back, but he was also more closely related to modern East Asians and Native Americans than to today's Europeans (Fu, et al., 2015).

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Archaeodisasters 4.15 The Quaternary extinction events: The Pleistocene or Ice Age extinction & The Holocene or Recent Extinction There is a general pattern, related to human activity in the past 50 Ka, which has emerged. After the emergence of modern humans, few known extinctions occurred in those areas of longest human occupancy (Africa and Eurasia), but the migratio n of human beings into other areas is linked to the loss of many large vertebrate species. For example, it is estimated that about 50 Ka, Indonesia lost about 50% of its large mammals when human beings migrated there, and the movement of humans into Australia 60 to 40 Ka resulted in large mammals and other vertebrates disappearing (Johnson, 2006; Rule, et al., 2012). The Ice Age extinction event (from ca 15 to 9 Ka) is characterized by the extinction of many large mammals (mega-fauna) weighing more than 40 kg. In North America, around 33 out of 45 genera of large mammals went extinct, in South America, 46 of 58, in Australia 15 of 16, in Europe 7 of 23, and in sub-Saharan Africa only 2 of 44. Only in South America and Australia did the extinction occur at family levels or higher. According to the two initial hypotheses concerning the triggering mechanism of such event: (1) the animals died off due to environmental and climate change or (2) the animals were exterminated as a result of human activity - the â&#x20AC;&#x2014;prehistoric overkill hypothesisâ&#x20AC;&#x2DC; (Martin and Wright, 1967). The woolly mammoth, the woolly rhinoceros, the Irish elk, the cave lion, the cave bear, and saber-toothed cats were amongst the major mega-fauna species exterminated during that period (Diamond, 1984; Martin and Klein, 1989; Stuart, 1991; Martin and Steadman, 1999; MacPhee, 1999; Johnson, 2002; Burney and Flannery, 2005; Martin, 2005; Johnson, 2006; Louys, 2007; Doughty, et al., 2013). Mega-fauna species, according to the ecological perspective, are generally Kstrategists. Their growth pattern is characterized by large body, long juvenile period and great longevity, slow population growth rates, low death rates, and few or no natural predators capable of killing adults; population grows exponentially and then stabilizes around a max value. Their population size is characterized as smaller, but stable. Their environment is stable but characterized by diverse ecology. Their reproductive strategy is characterized by mate choice, pair bonds, large investment, parental care and few offspring. They are highly vulnerable to human overexploitation (Smith, et al., 2010; Evans, et al., 2012). The prehistoric overkill hypothesis, though, seems not to be universally applicable and is imperfectly confirmed. For instance, there are ambiguities around the timing of sudden extinctions of marsupial Australian mega-fauna, or that populations of humans, such as the Clovis culture in Americas, were too small to be ecologically significant (Pielou, 1992; May, 2001; Barnosky, et al., 2004). Even more, recent research has demonstrated that the annual mean temperature of the current interglacial, at least, what we have seen for the last 10 Ka, is no higher than that of previous interglacials, yet some of the same large mammals survived similar temperature increases. And the mega-fauna were more abundant and more widely distributed during interglacial (Davis, 1976; Bradley, 1985; Guthrie, 1988; Scott, 2010). Moreover, Second Order-Predation Hypothesis (which accounts for changes in animal, plant, and human populations via a disturbance in ecological balance) is more consistent with extinction than is Overkill (Whitney-Smith, 2006 & 2009). New research, though, suggests that the arrival of Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters humans, not climate change, caused mega-faunal extinction in this region of Australia, process which is reflected on the fossil record (McGlone, 2012; Rule, et al., 2012). On the other hand, The Hyper-disease Hypothesis attributes the extinction of large mammals during the late Pleistocene, to indirect effects of the newly arrived aboriginal humans, as along with them, animals and highly virulent pathogens travelled, also, with them (e.g. chickens or domestic dogs). Nevertheless, the disease hypothesis is not applicable in any case of Pleistocene fauna, due to the absence of evidence and various, pathological, immunological, biological and other reasons (MacPhee and Marx, 1997; Lyons, et al., 2004; Fiedel, 2005). But, as an alternative there is Tollmann's bolide theory, which claims that the Holocene was initiated by an extinction event caused by bolide (asteroid or meteorite) impacts in 7640 BCE (Âą200), events that triggered, also, the universal Flood, although recent research finds that there are many inconsistencies in such evidence. A much smaller one has been suggested to happen at 3150 BCE (Âą200) (Tollmann and Tollmann, 1994; Buckhanan, et al., 2008; Knight and Lomas, 2000; Haynes, 2009). Recent research, nevertheless, seems to incorporate the two major parameters for this overkill, humans and climate (Prescott, et al., 2012). Generally speaking, the megaevents that took place during the whole history of our planet were always the result of interdependent triggering mechanisms, phenomena and processes. New research seems to be in tune with the afore-mentioned statement. Drastic climate change may have caused severe changes in habitats and diets of animals, thus, a lack of minerals could be the triggering mechanism for metabolic disorder and bone diseases (osteoporosis, osteofibrosis, osteomalacia, osteolysis, cartilage atrophy and fractures resulting both in losing the ability to follow the herd and in high traumatism - in the formation of false joints, ulcers and friction grooves) that decimated for example the woolly mammoths, whose extinction has been debated since 1700 CE (see representative sample records from at: < mammoth.html >). In fact, three major waves have been detected by scientists, the first dated ca to 24-20 Ka, the second dated to ca 12-9 Ka and the third dated to ca 3.7 Ka, the last small survived groups in Alaska and Russian Arctic (Leshchinskiy, 2014). The reading of their complete genome (Palkopoulou, et al., 2015) has just disclosed another genetic bottleneck during the period between 300 to 250 Ka. The above-mentioned patterns of extinction rates have been continued throughout Holocene. Well-known fauna extinction episodes have taken place in the islands of the Mediterranean Sea at ca 10 Ka, during the settlement of Madagascar starting with the arrival of humans at 2 Ka, in Hawaii at ca 1.6 to 1.4 Ka, and, finally, in New Zealand after Polynesian settlers at 1.2 to 0.8 Ka (Anderson, 1989; Martin, 1989; Cherry, et al., 1991; Milberg and Tyrberg, 1993; Kirch, 1997; Benecke, 1999; Swiny, 2001; Benstead and Goodman, 2003; Blake and Bernard, 2005). Notably, all terrestrial vertebrates outside of Africa and Asia that weighed more than 1,000 kilograms have become extinct. Furthermore, a broad party of intellectuals believes that we are, at this moment, at the beginning of an accelerated anthropogenic mass extinction (Eldredge, 1999). In fact, E.O. Wilson (2002) estimates that at current rates of human destruction of the biosphere, one-half of all species will be extinct in 100 year period. Other researchers are sceptical about the current mass extinction arguing that, even if the current rate of extinction is Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters comparable or higher than the rate during a great mass extinction event, as long as the current rate does not last more than a few thousand years, the overall effect will be small. Thus, there is still hope that Humanity can eventually slow the rate of extinction through proper ecological management and sustainable development (see de Duve, 2010). The man-made disasters of modern era, as well as a detailed analysis of the human impact on the environment are beyond the scope of this book (few glimpses at: Hughes, 1994; Solnit, 2000; Curtis online at: <>).

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Archaeodisasters Chapter 5: The Impact of archaeodisasters on human evolution and civilization The study of hazards history has shown that the cultural patterns and networks are interdependent. Moreover, the characteristics, distribution, and complexity of Earth‘s cultural mosaics, all involve the parameter of disaster in their functional processes. Apart from influencing totally the course of human history (e.g. acute climatic episodes, epidemics and cosmic impacts), disasters had also influenced the division and control of Earth‘s surface. The forces of cooperation and conflict among people, the changes that occur in the use of resources and the migration of human populations had modified the natural and cultural landscapes of the past in a mutual way. Physical systems affect human societies and human actions modify the physical environment. Severe climatic and environmental changes had triggered human evolution and physical factors seem to have played an important role on Neanderthals‘ disappearance. Sudden deaths of a wide part of ancient population shook the demographic stability and severe injuries altered the social equilibrium within society. The transformation of natural ecosystems (e.g. reduced or increased resources‘ accessibility) and the geographical alterations (e.g. coastal evolution) caused changes in settlement patterns, environmental use and concept, migrations and wars. Respectively, major environmental events (e.g. cosmic impacts or giant tsunami) modified the face of whole areas. Other periodically expressed phenomena (e.g. El Niňo and Monsoons) had long-term impact on the socioeconomic structures of local communities worldwide, and crisis cults were always of critical importance within ancient societies. Beyond any doubt, disaster dynamics had proved to be so powerful, that they changed the course of human history. Mighty empires collapsed and vanished or shocked irreversibly. Wide-ranging case studies have shown that natural factors triggered the fall of well organized social systems, when their normal coping mechanism failed. Drought or flooding, epidemic diseases, tremendous volcanic eruptions, cosmic phenomena, tsunami and earthquakes influenced the circum-Mediterranean civilizations (SaharoSahel cultures, Iberian, Egyptian, Hittite, Mesopotamian, Minoan & Mycenaean, Etruscan, Roman), the northwestern European, Asian (Harappan, Chinese, Oceanian) and American (Mesoamerican & Andean) civilizations. On the other hand, the positive response to hazardous phenomena may vary considerably. During the aftermath of catastrophe or environmental changes, technological innovations are illustrated (e.g. agriculture after Younger Dryas crisis, obsidian trade correlated to volcanic landscapes, metallurgy correlated to impact areas), new lands discovered (e.g. evolution of the waterways and early human migrations, the trips of Vikings to northern Seas, the European expansion after the Little Ice Age), new subsistence strategies and more efficient techniques were adopted (e.g. the case of Moche Culture in Peru). In essence, crises use to stimulate rather than devastate the cultural traits of a society, for example, the emplacement of nutrient-rich volcanic tephras and alluvial soils counterbalanced the spread of malaria in marshy areas. Choosing to provide a broad coverage of the field rather than a detailed study of specific topics, main target of the author is the deep understanding of disaster dynamics. By drawing attention to the potential contributions of Disaster Archaeology in the study of human evolution and civilization, additional and unexplored dimensions of past human Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters activities, site developmental history and climatic- morphogenetic environments are disclosed. It is, also, worth observing that even the detailed multidisciplinary analyses based on data from the most distant parts of the world, may contribute significantly to the interpretation of archaeohazards mechanisms and their relevant socio-cultural patterns. 5.1 Cosmic Impact ―Impact cratering is the most fundamental geologic process in the Solar System‖ (Melosh, 2011, p. 222). This activity accompanied our planet from its distant past to the recent periods of Pleistocene and Holocene (Barrientos and Masse, 2014). Various chemical elements (i.e. C, O, N, H, S, Mg, K, Na, Cl, Ni, Ca, Fe, Mn, Sr, Ba, noble gases, trace elements), found in geological formations and sediments either as isotope fractionations, ratios or as concentrations of organic compounds, may speak of past bioclimatic oscillations and changes that have been associated with major disruption in civilizations. The afore-mentioned chemical elements may be studied as proxies for solar variability, cosmic rays‘ activity, variations in the geometry of Earth‘s orbit, seasonal and geographical distribution of incoming radiation, volcanic aerosols and past levels of greenhouse gases, or mirror anthropogenic activities, such as the rise of human population, deforestation and burning of fossil fuels (e.g. Coplen, et al., 1994). Recent experiments have uncovered evidence that a Supernova exploded near Earth about 2.8 Ma (asteroid Eltanin is the other candidate for that event). Apart from the existence of noble gases, for example Helium-3 (Amari and Ozima, 1988), radioactive iron atoms have been traced in ancient samples of deep-ocean material, likely being the debris of that explosion (Ericson, et al., 1963). For the first time, sea sediments are used as a telescope for the detection of a serious past disaster that opened the way to the evolution of human species due to climate changes in Africa after that severe cosmic ray flux. That seriously damage ozone layer, provoked or contributed to the PliocenePleistocene boundary marine extinction. Ellis, Fields, and Schramm (1996; see also Fields and Ellis, 1999; Benitez et al, 2002) detected an unusually high level of radioactive atoms in geological strata representing the ‗gold-plated signature‘ of a nearby supernova. ‗Supernova Archaeology‘ was born. Three years later, the pioneering work of Knie et al. (1999), presented the first evidence of just such a signature. The new study by Knie et al. (2004) is a high-precision assay of ancient, deep-sea material, a crust of manganese and iron deposits formed over millions of year on a rock in the deep ocean. The scientists estimated that a supernova exploding at that time, in a distance of about 120 light years from Earth. The basic method was similar to the original 1999 results, but used a different crust from a different location in the Pacific Ocean. The 28 layers containing the iron-60 atoms were isolated in a single layer 2.8-myr old, at a depth of 5.2 km. This particular crust was taken from an area a few hundred kilometres southeast of the Hawaiian Islands in 1980. In 2002 (Benitez et al), proposed the Scorpius-Centaurus OB association, a group of young bright O and B stars, as possible destructors which could have generated 20 SN explosions during the last 11 Ma. This Plio/Pleistocene event is now considered as the main triggering mechanism for the onset of last Ice Ages and the acceleration of Hominization.

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Archaeodisasters Genome researchers have just highlighted the gene SRGAP2 duplication (amongst a total of 30 in humans) that led to hominization and to the emergence of more advanced cognitive abilities. This specific gene was apparently duplicated at least twice over the past 4 Ma, once about 3.5 Ma and again about 2.5 Ma. Furthermore, neurodevelopment disorders, such as autism, epilepsy and schizophrenia may be, also, related to disruption of the ancestral SRGAP2 (Charrier, 2012; Dennis et al., 2012; CrossDisorder Group of the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium, 2013). A number of radioactive isotopes are, also, identified as possible diagnostic tools, such as Be-10, Al-26, Cl-36, Mn-53, Fe-60, and Ni-59, as well as the longer-lived I-129, Sm-146, and Pu-244, in the cases of the 35 and 60 kyr-old Be-10 anomalies observed in the Vostok Antarctic ice cores. In fact, present techniques of high precision encourage research for the very rare and heavy radioactive species halfnium-182 and plutonium244, produced by the mechanism known as the ‗r-process‘ in SN. Moreover, the Geminga SN explosion's first event (in the constellation Gemini) took place ca in 340 Ka. Bright as the full moon, it was one of the brightest celestial sources of gamma-ray radiation. That time, Homo erectus prospered in Africa, Europe and Asia. This event triggered another major Ice Age that lasted about 10 Ka. Neanderthals appeared and began to ʽreplaceʼ Homo erectus. Around 37 Ka, a second Geminga shock wave reaches Earth. In parallel, R. Firestone (U.S. Department of Energy‘s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory), along with Arizona geologist Allen Vest, conducted a research, willing to prove the theory of space-induced disasters of Pleistocene mega-fauna, according to which the debris from a supernova explosion coalesced into low-density, comet-like objects that wreaked havoc on the solar system long ago. The researchers found evidence of this impact layer in several archaeological sites throughout North America, where Clovis hunting artefacts and human-butchered mammoths have been unearthed. They, also, found evidence of the SN explosion‘s initial shockwave in the 34 kyr-old mammoth tusks, from Alaska and Siberia, that are peppered with tiny impact craters apparently produced by iron-rich grains. These grains may have been emitted from a supernova that exploded roughly 7 Ka earlier and about 250 light years from Earth. Firestone and West found magnetic metal spherules in the sediment of nine Clovis sites in Michigan, Canada, Arizona, New Mexico and the Carolinas. Their composition is very similar to lunar igneous rocks, known as KREEP, which were discovered on the moon by the Apollo astronauts, and have also been found in lunar meteorites that fell to Earth in the Middle East estimated to be 10 kyr-old. Meanwhile, the potassium-40 detected in the Clovis layer, is much more abundant than potassium-40 found in the entire solar system. The physical evidence discovered in various Clovis sites and in the mammoth tusks coincides, also, with radiocarbon peaks found in Icelandic marine sediment samples that are 41, 34 and 13 kyr-old. These peaks, which represent radiocarbon spikes, being highly above modern levels, can only be caused by a cosmic ray-producing event such as a supernova explosion (Firestone and Topping, 2001; Firestone, et al., 2006; Firestone, et al., 2007a-c; Fiedel, 2009; Firestone, 2009). Another most recent research speaks of asteroidal debris and bolides, the orbits of which were quite perturbed not only by close encounters with Earth – Moon system, but also with the orbits of Venus, Mars and Ceres. Such a cluster could dated between 40 and 20 Ka, and a by-product (a fragment of asteroid 2011 EO 40 ) could be the Cherlyabinsk superbolide Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters observed in the skies of Urals on 2013 February 15 (de la Fuente Marcos & de la Fuente Marcos, 2013). Moreover, a Vela SN explosion (known as the Vela Supernova Remnant or SNR) had been occurred between 12.3 and 11 Ka, about 800 light years away, in the southern constellation of Vela, which represents the sail of the mythical Argonaut's ship. This event is, also, considered responsible for the abrupt warming of Earth‘s climate, by 20º C or more, that ended the last Ice Age before the Holocene, and for the ASPM mutation (Abnormal spindle-like microcephaly-associated protein or abnormal spindle protein homolog or Asp homolog). In brief, new studies have shown that: (1) Genotypic changes in ASPM preceded marked phenotypic changes in hominoid brain evolution (Kouprina, et al., 2004). (2) ASPM may be a major genetic component underlying the evolution of the human brain (Zhang, 2003). (3) There is no evidence for positive selection on ASPM in current human populations, although relatively strong purifying selection is detected Zhang, 2003). (4) The human brain expansion set the stage for the emergence of human language and other high-order cognitive functions. The detected selective sweep in human FOXP2, a gene involved in speech and language development (Enard, et al., 2002; Zhang, et al., 2002), was estimated to have occurred no earlier than 0.2 - 0.1 Ma. So, the adaptive evolution of FOXP2 postdated that of ASPM, consistent with the common belief that a big brain may be a prerequisite for language (Deacon, 1988; Barkow, et al., 1992; Schepartz, 1993; D‘ Errico, et al., 2003). Microcephalin mutation had already occurred, as well as advanced cognitive functions in modern Homo sapiens ca 40 Ka. According to scientists, the gene microcephalin (MCPH1), one of six genes causing primary microcephaly (the others being: MCPH2, CDK5RAP2, MCPH4, ASPM and CENPJ), regulates brain size during development and has experienced positive selection in the lineage leading to Homo sapiens. Within modern humans, haplogroup D raised from a single copy ca 37 Ka and swept to exceptionally high frequency (70% worldwide today, except Sub-Saharan Africa) because of positive selection. But, it could be originated from a lineage separated from modern humans ca 1.1 Ma, and could be introgressed into humans by 37 Ka (Zhang, 2003; Evans, et al., 2004; Wang and Su, 2004; Mekel-Bobrov, et al., 2005; Evans, et al., 2006; Mekel-Bobrov, et al., 2007). Although Homo neanderthalensis has been proposed as the main gene pool for this mutation, the haplotype was so far not found by the scientists who studied the Neanderthal genome (Hawks, et al., 2007; Pennisi, 2009; Green, et al., 2010; Lari, et al., 2010). Extraterrestrial radiation, nevertheless, could be the triggering mechanism of such mutations throughout human history. A new allele (version) of ASPM appeared sometime between 14.1 and 0.5 Ka with a mean estimate of 5.8 Ka. The new allele has a frequency of about 50% in populations of the Middle East and Europe, it is less frequent in East Asia but highly frequent in Papua New Guinea, and has low frequencies among Sub-Saharan African populations. Currently, two alleles of this gene exist: the older (pre-5.8 Ka) and the newer (post-5.8 kya). About 10% of humans have two copies of the new ASPM allele, while about 50% have two copies of the old allele. The other 40% of humans have one copy of each. The rapid spread of a mutation (such as the new ASPM) through the population indicates that the mutation is somehow advantageous to the individual. Recent statistical Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters analysis has shown that the older forms of the gene are found more heavily in populations that speak tonal languages like Chinese or many Sub-Saharan African languages (Dediu and Ladd, 2007). Similar cosmic phenomena that caused turbulence on Earth have been, also, predicted by Paul la Violette, a pioneering American scientist, who proposed a unified Super Wave Theory (1983, 1985 & 2005). Many years of astronomical observations confirmed that the centre of our Galaxy explodes about every 10 Ka, each of these events lasting 100 years or so. Similar events trigger a lethal ‗Galactic super wave‘. La Violette suggested that a volley of Galactic cosmic rays had bombarded the Earth and our solar system toward the end of the last Ice Age (ca. 14 Ka). Later on, he was confirmed by the largest acidity spike in the entire Antarctic ice core record, which was of extraterrestrial origin. With his findings, he suggested that other such super waves had passed us, too, at earlier times, being responsible for the initiation and termination of the Ice Ages and mass extinctions. So, he was the first to suggest recurrent highly-frequent cosmic ray bombardment of the Earth. Moreover, his hypothesis that large amounts of interstellar dust and frozen cometary debris lie outside the solar system just beyond the heliopause sheath, forming a reservoir of material that would have supplied large amounts of cosmic dust during a prehistoric super wave event, was recently confirmed. In addition, he was the first to measure the extraterrestrial material content of prehistoric polar ice. Using the neutron activation analysis technique, he found high levels of iridium and nickel in 6 out of the 8 polar ice dust samples (73 to 35 Ka), an indication that they contain high levels of cosmic dust (see also Frisch, et al., 2013). Finally, satellite observations, along with geoarchaeological evidence (i.e. Usselo Horizon, a black layer found in Allerød sediments in southern England and in the Great Lakes Region) confirmed that a giant solar coronal mass ejection engulfed Earth and Moon near 16 Ka. One of the pioneering catastrophists and renown researcher Han Kloosterman, in a personal e-communication (January 25, 2014), described the evidence as a horizon / layer which ―don‘t behave like a soil (no B and C layers, an undersurface as well as an upper surface). The granulometry clearly shows that it is a Layer, with 2% extra material in the finest fractions - and that is wherein the North Americans find the "ET proxies‖ (pointing out that the correct spelling is Usselo and not Ussello, the E being almost mute and the U pronounced as an English Up). Nevertheless, the Usselo Black Horizon case is still highly debated, since the scenario for the onset of the Younger Dryas (YD) stadial (an extraterrestrial impact over the North American ice sheet caused the rapid cooling, but also resulted in worldwide high temperature biomass burning, North American mega-faunal extinction, and the disappearance of the human Clovis culture), proposed by Firestone et al. (2007), contradicts the geological and geochemical evidence of nanodiamonds and wildfire events in the same horizon (Kloostermann, 1999; Haynes, 2008; Kaiser, et al., 2009; van Hoesel, et al., 2012; Bement, et al., 2013; Mahaney, et al., 2013; Petaev, et al., 2013). But, also, apart from Earth‟s deadly engulfment by Galactic cosmic rays, GCRs could exert significant influence over global temperatures, as the Danish physicist Henrik Svensmark has proposed firstly in 1997 (2007). Cosmic ray flux on Earth has been monitored since the mid-20th century CE. In fact, since 1990‟s galactic cosmic ray flux on Earth has increased dramatically (Lockwood and Fröhlich, 2007; Erlykin, et al., 2013). Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters Gradually, famous worldwide myths have been interpreted as symbolic recordings of impact events of many kinds. According to the ancient Greek story of the Tantalides, Pausanias, when describing the catastrophe of the Greek Helike and Boura in 373 BCE (7.24.5 ff.), knew an analogy from his homeland (de Grazia, 2005). It was the mythical city of Tantalis on mount Sipylos (Northwest of Ermos river), 48 km East of Smyrna, which disappeared into a chasm (? the city of Zippasla in the Hittite texts).. From the fissure in the mountain, water gushed forth this chasm named Lake Saloe. The ruins remained visible in the waters of the lake until the deposits of the local torrent having covered them up with mud. Homer (Iliad, II.575, VIII.203 & XXIV.614-617) & Diodorus (XIV.80.1) speak of it, too. P. James (1991) located the legendary city in the area of Magnesia, in ancient southwestern Anatolia. The tragic place is, also, related to the heroine Niobe, daughter of Tantalus and wife of Amphion, king of Thebes - central Greece (Homer, Iliad XXIV.602; Plato Cratylus, 395D - E: devastation of Tantalis due to an earthquake and flood; Demokles in Strabo, 1.3.17; Apollodorus, The Library 3.46; Antoninus Liberalis Metamorphoses, 36; Plinius the Younger, 5.31; Ovid, Metamorphoses VI.145-310; Diodorus, IV.74; Quintus Smyrnaeus, Fall of Troy 1.390), whose 14 children, after being killed by Apollo (boys) & Artemis (girls) respectively, they had being staying unburied for nine days, because Zeus had turned local people into stones. Devastated, Niobe fled to Mount Sipylus (Spil Mount) of Lydia in Anatolia, where, later, she had turned into a stone waterfall, as she was weeping unceasingly for her lost children. Artemis, symbolizing the unseen forces of disease and sudden death, was, in addition, connected to other legendary plagues as a result of her wrath against local inhabitants of Bronze Age Greece. She was the goddess who brought sudden death to infants, girls and women, for she was not only the protector of girls, but, also by contrast, their destroyer too. Apollo possessed the complimentary role, bringing sudden death, illness and disease to boys and men. Ancient philological evidence is clear on this: ―Zeus has made you [Artemis] a lion among women, and given you leave to kill any at your pleasure" (Homer, Iliad XXI.470). ―[Odysseus to the ghost of his mother Antikleia] ―What doom of distressful death subdued you? Was it some long-continued sickness, or did the Artemis Iokheaira (archeress) visit you with her gentle shafts and slay you?‖ (Homer, Odyssey xi.172). ―And Artemis has her name from the fact that she makes people 'Artemeas' (Safe and Sound) ... And both pestilential diseases and sudden deaths are imputed to these gods [Artemis and her brother Apollo]‖ (Strabo, Geography 14.1.6). ―They say [the people of Phokis] that whatever cattle they consecrate to Artemis grow up immune to disease‖ (Pausanias, Guide to Greece X.35.7). Apart from the afore-said legend of the Niobids, there was other evidence for the existence of plagues during the prehistoric and historic times in Greece. Koronis was the daughter of the king Phlegyas (Thessaly), later got pregnant from Apollo to Asclepius. ―[Artemis] smote her [Koronis] down [with her arrows of plague]: and many a neighbour, too, suffered alike and was destroyed beside her; as when on the mountain from one small spark a raging fire leaps up, and lays in ruin all the widespread forest‖ (Pindar, Odes Pythian 3 str1-ant3). Furthermore, the wrath of Artemis began to destroy the inhabitants [of Patrai in Achaia]; the earth yielded no harvest, and strange diseases occurred of an unusually fatal character. When they appealed to the oracle at Delphi the Pythian priestess ... [ordered] that every year a sacrifice should be made to the goddess of Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters the fairest youth and the fairest maiden‖ (Pausanias, Guide to Greece VII.19.1). Similarly, ―The people of Aigialeia were smitten by a plague. The seers bade them propitiate Apollo and Artemis, they sent seven boys and seven maidens as suppliants to the river Sythas‖ (Pausanias, Guide to Greece 2.7.6). The ―[Spartans] Astrabakos and Alopekos ... when they found the image [of Artemis Orthia] straightway became insane. Secondly, the Spartan Limnatians, the Kynosourians, and the people of Mesoa and Pitane, while sacrificing to Artemis, fell to quarrelling, which led also to bloodshed; many were killed at the altar and the rest died of disease. Whereat an oracle was delivered to them, that they should stain the altar with human blood‖ (Pausanias, Guide to Greece III.16.7). In addition, ―after a female bear appeared in it [the shrine of Artemis at Mounykhia in Attika] and was done away with by the Athenians a famine ensued, and the god prophesied the means of relieving the famine: someone had to sacrifice his daughter to the goddess [to compensate her for the death of her sacred bear]‖ (Suidas s.v. Embaros eimi). ―A wild she-bear [sacred to Artemis] used to come to the deme of Phlauidoi [Brauron] and spend time there ... [until some men] speared the she-bear, and because of this a pestilential sickness fell upon the Athenians. When the Athenians consulted the oracle [the god] said that there would be a release from the evils if, as blood price for the she-bear that died, they compelled their virgins to play the bear‖ (Suidas s.v. Arktos e Brauronioi). The Goddess Hera was also involved in a case of plague (similar to the myth of Keos with the Lion and the Nymphs). This parallel myth which described severe hydroclimatic changes in Bronze Age Greece was the one referring to the island of Aigina in Saronic Gulf, initially colonized by the Pelasgians. According to this version, the jealous goddess Hera wanted to punish the inhabitants of the islands by sending a dragon (instead of a lion), in the form of drought and plague, which devastated the majority of living population. Then Zeus transformed the ants of the islands into people and called them Myrmidons, the ancestral tribe of the Homeric hero Achilles (Ovid, Metamorphoses VII. 520 ff; Strabo, Geography VIII.6.16) Respectively, the famous opening of Homeric Iliad (I, 9-11) tells us that "Zeus' son and Leto's, Apollo, who in anger at the king drove the foul pestilence along the host, and the people perished, since Atreus' son had dishonoured Chryses, priest of Apollo....". Perhaps, the information derived from the very first verses of Homer‘s Iliad about the plague which hit the Achaeans as a mark of divine presence, could be used as a chronological tool of the events during the period of the last one of the three cities of Troy described in the Epics (Laoupi, 2006a). Another Bronze Age plague probably occurred in mainland Greece, during the reign of Oedipus at Thebes. Oedipus, after killing his father Laïus without knowing his crime, he married to his mother Jocasta. They were happily married and over the years Thebes prospered under Oedipus' reign. Oedipus was known as a wise and just king. After two decades, the land began suffered from the drought and famine or plague (Sophocles, Oedipus the King 1316). Oedipus was determined to learn the truth of what was causing the woes to his kingdom. He learned that plague was caused by the murder of Laïus, and his killer went unpunished. The symbolic language of ancient myths correlates the heavenly bodies / phenomena (gods and goddesses) to the leit motif of deadly arrows that bring havoc and plagues among people. Those arrows are also correlated with falling ‗stones‘, ‗fires‘, and Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters other objects from the sky. In many races (de Grazia, 1983c), people believed that the stone axes fell from the heavens. In Japan, the stone arrow-heads are rained from heaven by the flying spirits, who shoot them. Similar beliefs are found in Brittany, in Brazil, Madagascar, Ireland, China, the Shetlands, Scotland, Portugal etc., as well as from the Aztec prayer to Tezcatlipoca, and from the Bible (Deuteronomy xxviii). Throughout history, humans have been faced with disastrous catastrophes which must be endured in order to survive. One of the most deathly disasters for humanity has been the plague. This term in Greek can refer to any kind of sickness; in Latin, the terms are plaga and pestis. In antiquity, two of the most devastating plagues were the Athenian plague of 430 BCE and the Justinian plague of AD 542. Although many disastrous epidemics probably occurred between the Athenian and Justinian plagues, few sources detailing these plagues have survived. One such disease, known as the Antonine plague, occurred during the reign of Marcus Aurelius (AD 161-180). It was brought back by soldiers returning from Seleucia, and before it abated, it had affected Asia Minor, Egypt, Greece, and Italy. The plague destroyed as much as one-third of the population in some areas, and decimated the Roman army. Another plague occurred during the reigns of Decius (AD 249-251) & Gallus (AD 251-253). This pestilence broke out in Egypt in 251, and from there infected the entire empire. Its mortality rate severely depleted the ranks of the army, and caused massive labour shortages. The plague was still raging in 270, when it caused the death of the emperor Claudius Gothicus (AD 268-270). The dendrochronologist Mike Baillie of Queen's University, (Belfast, Ireland) had just noticed some strange tree ring patterns that happened to coincide with the historical catastrophe during the Justinian Plague (2007). In addition, there was some sort of environmental downturn that weakened the human population, making humanity susceptible to bacterial or viral death on a large scale. More specifically, he compared these tree rings to dated ice-core samples that had been analyzed, and he discovered a very strange coincidence, ammonium. There are, as it happens, at least four occasions in the last 1500 years, during which scientists can confidently link dated layers of ammonium in Greenland ice to high-energy atmospheric interactions with objects coming from space: AD 539, 626, 1014, and 1908 (the Tunguska event). In short, there is a connection between ammonium in the ice cores and extra-terrestrial bombardment of the surface of the Earth, forming high-energy interactions. All these environmental coincidences, have, also, been related to the frequency of fireball activity in the Taurid meteor streams recorded in Chinese archives, during the AD 400-600 timeframe, and supported in work by British cometary astrophysicists. Baillie also points out that a series of such impacts/overhead explosions, would more adequately explain the longstanding problem of the end of the Bronze Age in the eastern Mediterranean during the 12th century BCE. During that malefic period of time, many major sites were destroyed and totally burned by the notorious â&#x20AC;&#x2014;Sea Peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2DC;. But, if that was the case, there ought to at least be some evidence for that, like dead warriors or signs of warfare... There were almost no bodies found, and no precious objects except those that were hidden away as though someone expected to return for them, or didn't have time to retrieve them. The people who fled were probably killed, too, in the act of fleeing and the result was total abandonment and total destruction of the cities in question. So, in his book, Exodus to Arthur: Catastrophic Encounters with Comets (1999), he correlates the findings of his tree-ring studies with a series of global environmental Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters traumas over the past 4400 years that may mark events such as the biblical Exodus, the disasters which befell Egypt, collapses of Chinese dynasties and the onset of the European Dark Ages. In another work of him, co-authored with Patrick McCafferty (2005), he focuses on the AD 540 event, as recorded in the historical records and myths of Ireland, showing that the imagery in the myths and the times between events are consistent with a comet with an earth-crossing orbit similar to P/Encke, as described by the British astronomers Victor Clube and Bill Napier (1990). In his latest book (2006), shows how the case of tree-ring and Greenland ice core evidence, along with descriptions in annals, myths and metaphors, adduced in support of the global environmental downturn at AD 540 (including the Justinian plague), also, applies to conditions extant at the time of the Black Death appearance in AD 1348. But, let us return to the case of Justinian Plague, known also as the Pelusium Plague, because it was first recorded there, via the maritime â&#x20AC;&#x2014;silk roadâ&#x20AC;&#x2DC; (Gregory of Tours, 1974; Stathakopoulos, 2004; Tsiamis, Poulakou-Rebelakou and Petridou, 2009). Even if many writers documented the Justinianic period, there are three main sources for that plague: John of Ephesus (Historia Ecclesiastica), Evagrius Scholasticus (Historia Ecclesiastica), and especially Procopius. Another source for the Justinianic plague is the Historia of Agathias. A lawyer and poet, he continued the history of Procopius. A further account is the Chronicle of John Malalas; however, this work may have copied Procopius (Mc Neil, 1976; Cartwright and Biddiss, 1991; Rosen, 2007; Little, 2006; Orent, 2004). The plague of Justinian (a pandemic), during which ca 100 million people died, ravaged the city of Constantinople and was named after the Byzantine emperor of the time, Justinian I, who ruled between AD 527-565. The epidemic started in May 542, during the festival for the founding of the city. It began in the waterfront districts and spread throughout the entire city. Black rats, presumably from either India or Africa, carried infectious fleas to the capital of the empire. The fleas were the true source of the epidemic, a fact of which the people remained ignorant. Byzantine physic ians could not find a treatment for, or prevention against, the plague. Nevertheless, the people did not flee the city. Some shut themselves inside their homes, thinking the self-imposed quarantine would spare them from the disease. Others took refuge in churches, thinking the sanctuaries would provide them with immunity. According to R. Sallares (in Little ed., 2006), a cool enough time period in the Middle East promoted the beginning of a pneumonic plague. Once the plague becomes pneumonic, then it only needs a constant supply of vulnerable hosts and the right temperature and humidity to promote respiratory spread. At the beginning of the Justinian plague, it was recorded as an unusually cool and wet year as far North as Ireland. The plague seems to have been incubating, as local epidemics, in normally hot and dry Egypt and nearby areas, possibly waiting for the right climate conditions to go pneumonic. Sallares (p. 240), also, pointed out the important connection between neck buboes and pneumonic plague. Neck buboes are not a sign of fleas biting the head, but of pneumonic transmission. Baillie (2006) proposed the great Antioch earthquake of AD 526, as one triggering mechanism, due to which, up to 250,000 people perished according to the description of John Malalas. Later on, scientists detected more intriguing coincidences. Analysis of tree rings shows that at in AD 540 in different parts of the world, the climate Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters changed. Temperatures dropped enough to hinder the growth of trees as widely dispersed as North Europe, Siberia, western North America and southern South America. A search of historical records and mythical stories pointed to a disastrous visitation from the sky during the same period. There was one reference to a "comet in Gaul so vast that the whole sky seemed on fire". According to a legend, King Arthur died around this time, and Celtic myths associated with him hinted at bright sky Gods and bolts of fire. Moreover, in the 530s, both Mediterranean and Chinese observers recorded an unusual meteor shower. Famine followed the crop failures and bubonic plague swept across Europe in the mid-6th century (Tsiamis, et al., 2013). David Keys, in a 1999 British television documentary based on his book suggested that an eruption of Krakatoa in AD 535 was the primary cause of a global climatic catastrophe that caused widespread famine, pestilence and collapse of many civilizations around the globe. Keys reasons that a huge volcanic eruption, somewhere near the equator sent volcanic emissions high into the stratosphere where air currents distributed them around the globe, creating a veil through which sunlight could not penetrate. As a result, the Earth sustained flooding and cooling over the next century, which caused the failure of crops. People and animals scattered and either starved to death or died from a pandemic that swept the civilized world in the 6th century (see also: Winchester, 2003; Lewis, 2002). Keys provides many lines of evidence, five of which are: tree rings, building of crannogs (wooden forts built over water in Ireland), writings from people living at the time, volcanic sulphates in 1,000-meter-deep columns of ice from Greenland in the North and from the Antarctic in the South, and carbon-dated charcoal in layers surrounding a buried layer of Krakatoa lava. Researchers argue, though, that similar environmental calamities took place around 3200 BCE, 2300 BCE, 1628 BCE and 1159 BCE. Each led to the collapse of urban societies in widely scattered portions of the globe. Destructive as they were, the natural disasters that have plagued Earth since the dawn of human civilization are but popguns compared with the truly titanic catastrophes of prehistoric eras. The 8th century CE event (AD 774-775) is, also, controversial. Initially detected as an unusual level of a radioactive type of 14C in some ancient Japanese cedar tree rings, and as a spike in levels of 10Be in the ice cores from Antarctica, it puzzled research teams. Three main triggering mechanisms have been proposed insofar: (1) the merging of two black holes or neutron stars or white dwarfs collision, in our galaxy (ca 3,000 to 12,000 light years away), produced a lethal gamma ray burst, which engulfed our planet, (2) a SN explosion (eighth-century entries in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle do record the appearance of a ‗red crucifix‘ glowing in the night sky, although the timing is uncertain and the interpretation of the phenomenon, ambiguous), its debris, though, would have been visible by telescopes today, (3) a giant solar flare, considering that the γ-ray burst is 10,000 times less possible to have occurred during that period of time (Miyake, et al., 2012; Allen in Lovett, 2012; Hambaryan and Neuhäuser, 2013). Later on, the 14th century marks the start of some serious climatic changes that caused widespread disturbances in seasons and crops. The result was widespread storms, rain, flood, droughts and of course serious crop failures. The worst, but far from the only one, was the ‗universal famine‘ (AD 1315-1317), which caused conditions almost too cruel to mention. It is reported through contemporary chroniclers, that parents ate their children, that people dug up bodies from churchyards for food, and that it even was Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters common for people to kill others for food. In Europe, North of the Alps and the Pyrenees, 10% of the population perished according to some estimates. Right before the Black Death another serious famine devastated nations, having affected one fifth of mankind. According to the majority of modern researchers, the Black Death came in three forms, the bubonic, pneumonic and septicaemic. Each of them killed people in a vicious way. All forms were caused by a bacterium called Yersinia pestis. The bubonic plague was the most commonly seen form of the Black Death. The mortality rate was 30-75%. The symptoms were enlarged and inflamed lymph nodes (around arm pits, neck and groin). The term 'bubonic' refers to the characteristic bubo or enlarged lymphatic gland. Victims were subject to headaches, nausea, aching joints and fever of 38º- 41º C, vomiting, and a general feeling of illness. Symptoms took from one to seven days to appear. But, patients with bubonic plague are not contagious to other people. The pneumonic plague was the second most commonly seen form of the Black Death. The pneumonic and septicaemic plague was probably seen less than the bubonic plague, because the victims often died before they could reach other places. The mortality rate for the pneumonic plague was 90-95% (if treated today the mortality rate would be 5-10%). The pneumonic plague infected the lungs. Symptoms included slimy sputum tinted with blood. Sputum is saliva mixed with mucus exerted from the respiratory system. As the disease progressed, the sputum became free flowing and bright red. Symptoms took one to seven days to appear. The septicaemic plague was the rarest form of all. The mortality was close to 100% (even today there is no treatment). Symptoms were a high fever and skin turning deep shades of purple due to DIC (disseminated intravascular coagulation). Victims usually died the same day symptoms appeared. The Black Death killed at least 75 million people in Eurasia alone, from AD 1347 to 1351. This is the worst pestilence ever in sheer numbers, but neither its mortality nor its global nature was unique. Around one third of Europe‘s population perished (25 million people). China, where the Black Death is said to have originated, lost around half of its entire population (going from around 123 million to around 65 million). In Mediterranean Europe, where the plague ran for about four years consecutively, it was probably closer to 70% to 75% of the total population. Africa lost approximately one eighth of its population (from around 80 million to 70 million). The plague is supposed to have originated in central Asia, or somewhere in Africa, where plague is endemic in some rodent populations. It is assumed that some environmental stimulus caused infected rodents to leave their normal habitats and infect rat populations, and ultimately human populations, in areas where there was no natural immunity. The mechanism of transfer is believed to have been infected fleas leaving the bodies of dead rats and moving to human hosts who were in turn infected by the feeding fleas (Marks, 1971; Nohls, 1971; Gottfried, 1983; Gregg, 1985; Geary, 1994; Horrox, 1994; Herlihy, 1995; Byrne, 2004; Benedictow, 2004; Kelly, 2005; Bennett and Hollister, 2006). During that period, more than 100 plague epidemics swept across Europe: in 1603, the Italian Plague of 1629-1631, the Great Plague of Seville of 1647-1652, the Great Plague of London of 1665-1666, the Great Plague of Vienna in 1679, the Great Plague of Marseille in 1720-1722, the Great Plague of 1738 and the 1771 plague in Moscow. Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters The epidemiologists Susan Scott and Christopher Duncan (2001 & 2004; see also Hufthammer and Walløe, 2012) from Liverpool University proposed the theory that the Black Death might have been caused by an Ebola-like virus, not a bacterium. Their research and findings are thoroughly documented in Biology of Plagues. More recently the researchers have published computer modelling demonstrating how the Black Death has made around 10% of Europeans resistant to HIV. There exists a strong genetic selection among European populations, in favor of the CCR5-Δ32 mutation, which makes a homozygous carrier resistant to HIV-1 virus infection (Galvani and Slatkin, 2003; Hummel, et al., 2005; Arenzana-Seisdedos and Parmentier, 2006; Xu and Sin, 2012). The historian Norman F. Cantor (2001) suggests the Black Death might have been a combination of pandemics including a form of anthrax and cattle murrain. He cited many forms of evidence including the fact that meat from infected cattle was known to have been sold in many rural English areas prior to the onset of the plague. On the other hand, Graham Twigg (1985) argued that the climate and ecology of Europe and particularly England made it nearly impossible for rats and fleas to have transmitted the bubonic plague of the 14 th century; thus, it would have been nearly impossible for Yersinia pestis to have been the causative agent of the plague. Based on his examination of the evidence and symptoms, he, also, demolishes the common theory of entirely pneumonic spread, proposing that the Black Death may actually have been an epidemic of pulmonary anthrax caused by Bacillus anthracis. Other epidemiologists and historians propose a viral hemorrhagic fever (Scott and Duncan, 2001), or a currently unknown pathogen (Cohn, 2002). Additionally, Gunnar Karlsson (1996 & 2001) pointed out that the Black Death killed between half and two-thirds of the population of Iceland, although there were no rats in Iceland at this time. The whole debate is summarized by Byrne (2004). But, after the identification of both DNA and protein signatures specific for Yersinia pestis in human skeletons from mass graves in northern, central and southern Europe, that were associated archaeologically with the Black Death and its subsequent resurgences, researchers confirmed that ―Y. pestis caused the Black Death and later epidemics on the entire European continent over the course of four centuries‖. In addition, there have been identified ―two previously unknown – which may no longer exist - but related clades of Y. pestis associated with distinct medieval mass graves. These findings suggest that plague was imported to Europe on two or more occasions, each following a distinct route‖. Finally, Y. pestis has been subdivided into three biovars (Antiqua, Medievalis, and Orientalis), subdivision made by modern microbiologists who were based on studies on modern strains. The Orientalis biovar caused Justinian's plague, the second Black Death pandemic that persisted in Europe until AD 1750, and the ongoing third pandemic that began in the Yunnan region of China in the mid-19th century, and spread globally via shipping from Hong Kong in AD 1894. On the contrary, the strains causing mass deaths in the 14 th century CE, were unrelated to either Orientalis (it contains the characteristic bp glpD deletion), Medievalis (with the stop codon characteristic in the napA amplified product), or modern Antiqua biovars; thus, distinct bacterial populations spread throughout Europe by that time (Drancourt, et al., 1998 and 2007; Haensch, et al., 2010, Bos, et al., 2011). Furthermore, the Black Death bacterium's entire family tree has been constructed by scientists in 2013. Researchers claim that Y. pestis recently evolved from the soilMaterial under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters dwelling bacillus Yersinia pseudotuberculosis, as this highly contagious pathogen acquired two more plasmids (pMT1 and pPCP1) that allowed it to invade mammalian hosts and cause disease. The two other major disease-causing species (Yersinia pestis & Yersinia enterocolitica), independently acquired DNA that allowed them to become pathogenic (Morelli, et al., 2010; Duan, et al., 2013; Reuter, et al., 2014). Latest evidence from Bronze Age Eurasian paleopathological data showed that till the first millennium BCE the viral strains did not cause bubonic plague, only the septicemic and pneumonic forms, the severity of which was far more serious with increased virulence and almost totally lethal results. Thus, today, the oldest direct evidence of Yersinia pestis (identified by ancient DNA in human teeth from Asia and Europe) dates back from 5 to 2.8 Ka (Rasmussen, et al., 2015). To sum up, bioepidemic research suggests that favorable conditions maintain plague foci and its widespread occurrence in wildlife rodent reservoir species prohibits plague‘s total eradication. Thus, its extraordinary adaptability is the key factor for the capacity of the plague bacillus to form permanent foci under highly diverse ecological conditions. And, although is not rated as high in killer disease climax today, as malaria and tuberculosis are, it seems that plague remains a fairly poorly understood threat which should not be ignored (Cohn, 2002; Austin Alchon, 2003; Chamberlain, 2004; Stenseth, 2008. But which was the real hidden triggering mechanism of that pandemic? A contemporary writer in Padua wrote: ―... a dragon at Jerusalem like that of Saint George that devoured all that crossed its path .... A city of 40,000 ... totally demolished by the fall from heaven of a great quantity of worms, big as a fist with eight legs, which killed all by their stench and poisonous vapours‖. In addition, a story by the Dominican friar Bartolomeo is enlightening: ―... massive rains of worms and serpents in parts of China, which devoured large numbers of people. Also in those parts fire rained from Heaven in the form of snow (ash), which burnt mountains, the land, and men. And from this fire arose a pestilential smoke that killed all who smelt it within twelve hours, as well as those who only saw the poison of that pestilential smoke‖. ... Petrarch's closes friend, Louis Sanctus, before embarking on his careful reporting of the plague... claimed that in September floods of frogs and serpents throughout India had presaged the coming to Europe in January of the three pestilential Genoese galleys. Numerous chroniclers reported earthquakes around the world, which prefigured the unprecedented plague. Most narrowed the event to Vespers, 1348, January 25. Of these earthquakes that "destroyed many cities, towns, churches, monasteries, towers, along with their people and beasts of burden‖, the worst hit was Villach in southern Austria. Chroniclers in Italy, Germany, Austria, Slavonia, and Poland said it was totally submerged by the quake with one in ten surviving (Horrox, 1994; Cohn, 2003; Baillie, 2006). Baillie (2006) quotes the contemporary work of Philip Ziegler (1969): ―Droughts, floods, earthquakes, locusts, subterranean thunder, unheard of tempests, lightning, sheets of fire, hail stones of marvellous size, fire from heaven, stinking smoke, corrupted atmosphere, a vast rain of fire, masses of smoke..‖. Ziegler discounts entirely reports of a black comet seen before the arrival of the epidemic but records: heavy mists and clouds, falling stars, blasts of hot wind, a column of fire, a ball of fire, a violent earth tremor, in Italy a crescendo of calamity involving earthquakes, following which, the plague arrived.

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Archaeodisasters Jon Arrizabalaga (1998) compiled a selection of writings in an attempt to comprehend what educated people were saying about the Black Death while it was happening. Regarding the terms used by doctors and other medical people in AD 1348, to describe the plague, he writes: ―One... Jacme d'Agramaont, discussed it in terms of an ‗epidemic or pestilence and mortalities of people‘ which threatened Lerida from ‗some parts and regions neighbouring to us‘ ... Agramont said nothing concerning the term epidemia, but he extensively developed what he meant by pestilencia. He gave this latter term a very peculiar etymology, in accordance with a from of knowledge established by Isidore of Seville (570-636) in his Etymologiae, which came to be widely accepted throughout Europe during the Middle Ages. He split the term pestilencia up into three syllables, each having a particular meaning: pes = tempesta: 'storm, tempest'; te = 'temps, time', lencia = clardat: 'brightness, light'; hence, he concluded, the pestilencia was 'the time of tempest caused by light from the stars'‖. If Florence was in the grip of an epidemic of colds, coughs and fevers, astrologers . . . declared that it was caused by the influence of an unusual conjunction of planets. This sickness ... came gradually to be known as ‗influenza‘ ‖ (Di Camugliano, 1933). The swollen reddish moon, unfavourable juxtaposition of the planets, solar and lunar eclipses, even hot and moist Jupiter were, also accused as messengers of death, plague and destruction (Vaughan 1986, pp. 260 & 269; Getz 1991; Smoller 2000; Cohn 2002, p. 229; Schenk, 2010; Gerrard and Petley, 2013). Inspired researchers such as Velikovsky (1950), de Grazia (1983) and La Violette (1997) have already pointed out the interrelation of similar past events with the formation of myths in ancient societies. Cometary or planetary near-encounter results in falling of gases, hydrocarbons, burning pitch and stones. Such events are unknown to modern experience but are indicated by ancient legends from many places worldwide and by various geological and biochemical phenomena detected via geoarchaeological and bioarchaeological studies. Robert M. Schoch goes further and, in his book Forgotten Civilization: The Role of Solar Outbursts in Our Past and Future (2012), examines also the catastrophic solar outbursts that ended the last Ice Age, wiping out antediluvian civilization leaving behind much of the evidence of that period. Furthermore, havoc from the sky was not only originated from the abovementioned phenomena, but, also, due to disturbances in planetary orbits (e.g. Venus and Mars Hypotheses). Modern researchers (i.e. de Grazia) have examined the ancient literary and geoarchaeological evidence suggesting that there were close flybys of the planet Mars in the past. Those flybys could create on the Earth the following phenomena : immense sub-crustal tides of magma (of 6 hour duration), immense oceanic tides, flooding continents, Earth spin axis "precessions" causing spin axis shifts, recharges of the Earth's geomagnetic field strength, paleomagnetic polarity reversals, orbit perturbations or ''warps" for both Earth and Mars, meteor-type impacts on Earth (since Mars had a rocky ring system, of which only Deimos & Phobos survive today). Close Mars flybys alternated between the ascending (October 24) and the descending intersection (March 20-21) crossroads. Close flybys rocked back and forth in 108-year cycles, like a rocking chair. Spedicato (2010, 2013 & 2014), Patten (1988), Ackerman (2001& 2001), and partially De Grazia (1984), gave, also, a timescale of Mars orbits and their interrelation with other planets in our solar system, including Earth, after the offset of Younger Dryas. Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters A very brief summary is the following. Till about 9450 BCE, Mars was a satellite of Earth (explaining its similar rotation period and angle over ecliptic). During the period between 9450 to about 7000 BCE, Earth got a second satellite, the Moon (there are over thirty theories for lunar formation and its recent origin was stated in Democritus, Anaxagoras, Aristotle, Apollonius, Plutarch, Ovid, Hyppolitus, Lucian and other ancient Greek writers) captured about 9450 BCE from a body of an estimated mass about ten times Earth mass (Spedicato, 2010). The researcher identified that body with the Greek Metis, or the Babilonian Marduk or other deities. The Moon, then, moved on an orbit closer to Earth than now (of a radius of about 270.000 km) and it appeared in the sky one and a half times bigger than Sun or Mars. At about 7000 BCE, Metis (?Nibiru) impacted over Jupiter (Ackerman, 2001 & 2001; Spedicato, 2013 & 2014), causing Jupiter to expel a mass particularly from its core (the goddess Athena expelled from Zeus head). Then, that mass from Jupiter impacted Mars, expelling him out of Earth‘s orbit. So, between 7000 BCE and 700 BCE, Mars moved along an elliptic orbit passing close to Earth every 54 years, at a distance even smaller than the Moon‘s distance (De Grazia, 1984; Patten, 1988). When Mars was closest to Earth, humans could have a clear sight of various aspects of its surface, especially of the volcanoes and Valles Marineris. In fact, Spedicato proposes an alternative theory according to which the three Giza pyramids were aligned not in similarity with the three main stars of Orion Belt (as proposed by Bauval and Gilbert, 1994), but with the three volcanoes of Mars visible by that time. Due to these gravitational tide effects when Mars was closest to Earth, many Martian volcanoes probably erupted. During one special event (Ackerman, 2001), Mars lost its core which become planet Mercury. Furthermore, it was during that cosmic event - hinted by ancient rituals and texts around the world, that twice Sun rose in East and twice in West (Velikovsky, 1950) - when the length of the year changed from 360 to 365 days. Saturn, another planet in strong implication with ancient legends concerning floods and disasters, if in a 30:1 resonance with Earth's orbit, would have been found in one or the other of only five zodiacal zones during ancient flyby years (Scorpio, Pisces, Leo, Gemini, Capricorn), and no others. In the October flybys, the giant Jupiter, in 12:1 resonance, was always in Cancer. When Saturn was 180 degrees opposite from Jupiter, in Capricorn, the two giants caused the maximum warping of Mars' orbit. So, Saturn in Capricorn could warp the Mars orbit 45,000 km closer to the Earth than Mars' average pathway (de Grazia, 1984). On the other hand, Velikovsky, after studying a plethora of evidence, had suggested that Venus came into our solar system within the last 4 to 5 Ka; it came flying past our Sun and was caught by the gravitational field. Venus spins in the opposite direction that it orbits the Sun, which no other planet does. In addition, it's spinning tremendously fast, and also it could well have been the thing which caused the strange happenings on our own planet as it flew by, recorded in the Bible: fired-up things in the sky (chariots of fire), weird tides in the oceans (parting of the Red Sea), as well as, an unbalanced earthen biology (the plagues of frogs & stuff). The Babylonians were the first to chart Venus, and, when looking at their records, Venus appears very suddenly ca 4 - 5 Ka. The Vedas said that the star Venus looks like fire with smoke. The star had a tail, dark in the daytime and luminous at night. This luminous tail, which Venus had in earlier centuries, is mentioned in the Talmud ―Fire as hanging down from the planet Venus‖.

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Archaeodisasters Described by the Chaldeans, the planet Venus `was said to have a beard. The term ‗beard‘ is used in modern astronomy in the description of comets. "Of the morning star, the great star, it was said that when it first emerged and came forth, four times it vanished and disappeared quickly. And afterwards it burst forth completely, took its place in full light, became brilliant, and shone white. Like the moon's rays, so did it shine. And, when it newly emerged, much fear came over them; all were frightened. Everywhere the outlets and openings [of houses] were closed up. It was said that perchance [the light] might bring a cause of sickness, something evil, when it came to emerge. But sometimes it was regarded as benevolent" - Ancient Mesoamerican recollections of Venus (de Sahagun, 1952, p. 11). As for the Mexicans, they called her a comet, `a star that smoked‘. Moreover, the peoples of the Mexican Gulf Coast were lamenting the destruction of their previous civilization by the jaguar-god (a Venus symbol) / the storm-god Hurracan. In China, the time of Emperor Yahou belongs around the time of Exodus; and there the waters ―overtopped the great heights, threatening the heavens with their floods‖. Venus is a sister planet to Earth. It is nearly the same size and density yet it has a surface temperature of 720° K, an atmosphere dominated by carbon dioxide and no evidence of oceans or ridges. It has been described as ―Earth‘s evil twin‖. In fact, Velikovsky has produced numerous citations from ancient sources to show how falls of a blood-like substance occurred when a ‗new‘ comet (later to become the planet Venus) came into catastrophic contact with the Earth: the Manuscript Quiche of the Maya, the so-called Papyrus Ipuwer from Egypt and the Book of Exodus all record the fact that the water in the rivers was turned into ‗blood‘. In addition he refers, also, to the Greek myth of the Sky-god Ouranos, the first ruler of the universe, who was castrated by his son Kronos and his blood fell to the Earth, impregnating it with a number of dreadful deities, along with ethereal Aphrodite. A more exhaustive survey of such legends would include the Sumerian myth of Inanna (a Venus goddess), who filled the wells of Sumer with ‗blood‘, the Egyptians story of the goddess Hathor, whose visits to Earth were associated with the covering of the land with a blood-like ‗beer‘, and the Norse legends of the ‗raining of blood‘ associated with the Valkyries. More specifically, the accounts of Exodus (7:24) and of Ipuwer lamentations agree that this bloody coloured water was unpleasant and maybe poisonous. It is recorded of the Nile that "the river stank" (Exodus, 7:21). There was disease among the cattle which, the researcher claimed, was due to dust of an irritant nature (de Grazia, 1983c, Ch.9). In the Biblical account (Joshua, x), ―the Lord cast down great stones from heaven upon them unto Azekah, and they died: There were more which died with hailstones than they whom the children of Israel slew with the sword‖. This event may be happened the day when the Sun "stood still" (a swing-back of cometary Venus?), according to Velikovsky, 52 years after the Exodus, showing that this hail was not of ice but of stone (1950, pp. 42-43, 51-53). The same researcher pointed out the similarities between Genesis and the Egyptian texts in detail (Papyrus 2:5-6 / Exodus 7:21; Papyrus 2:10 / Exodus 7:20; Papyrus 3:10 / Exodus 7:24; Papyrus 3:10-13 / Exodus 7:21; Papyrus 4:14 & 6:1 / Exodus 9:25; Papyrus 2:10 / Exodus 9:23-24; Papyrus 10:3-6 / Exodus 7:21; Papyrus 6:3 / Exodus 10:15; Papyrus 5:5 / Exodus 9:3; Papyrus 9:2-3 / Exodus 9:19 & 9:21; Papyrus 9:11 / Exodus 10:22; Papyrus 5:6 & 6:12 / Exodus 12:29; Papyrus 2:13 / Exodus 12:30; Papyrus 3:14; Exodus 12:30; Papyrus 7:1 / Exodus 12:21). Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters Venus hypothesis is also related to the 1918 flu pandemic. Influenza, commonly known as flu, is an infectious disease of birds and mammals caused by an RNA virus of the family Orthomyxoviridae (the influenza viruses). In humans, common symptoms of influenza infection are fever, sore throat, muscle pains, severe headache, coughing, weakness and fatigue. In more serious cases, influenza may cause pneumonia, which can be fatal, particularly in young children and the elderly. An influenza pandemic is an epidemic of the influenza virus that spreads on a worldwide scale and infects a large proportion of the human population. In fact, influenza is a reemerging epidemic disease recurring over centuries. In Europe there is evidence as early as the 9 th century CE, if not earlier. The respiratory disease known as febris Italica (Italian fever) was associated to Charlemagne‘s army in 876-877 CE. Later on, similar European-wide epidemics appeared between 1173 and 1387, two of them even called ‗influenza‘ (a popular Italian term). Another disease known as ‗sweate‘ (< sweat, Sudor Anglicus) was repeatedly epidemic between 1485 and 1551, but the physician Jean Fernel and other researchers thought that it was distinct from influenza (only in the 19th century was sweate identified as influenza). In 1410, an explosive respiratory epidemic, known as horion or le taq, caused violent coughing and miscarriages among pregnant women. Tommasino de‘ Bianchi and six other men (Francesco Muralto, Jean Bouchet, Jean Fernel, Jacques Houllier, François Valleriola, Ambroise Paré) wrote about a severe influenza pandemic in 1510. Two additional influenza pandemics took place in 1557 and 1580 (Morens, et al., 2010). In contrast to the regular seasonal epidemics of influenza, these pandemics occur irregularly, with the 1918 Spanish flu, the most serious pandemic in recent history, being responsible for the deaths of over 50 million people. There have been about three influenza pandemics in each century for the last 300 years. The most recent ones were the Asian flu in 1957 and the Hong Kong flu in 1968. The Spanish flu has been cited as the most devastating epidemic in recorded world history. More people died of influenza in a single year than in four-years of the Black Death Bubonic Plague from 1347 to 1351. Known as ‗Spanish Flu‘ or ‗La Grippe‘ the influenza of 1918-1919 was a global disaster. The flu was most deadly for people ages 20 to 40. An estimated 675,000 Americans died of influenza during the pandemic, ten times as many as in the world war (recent study reveals a possible triggering mechanism for such high death rates amongst young people, see Starko, 2009). The influenza pandemic circled the globe. Most of humanity felt the effects of this strain of the influenza virus. It spread following the path of its human carriers, along trade routes and shipping lines. Outbreaks swept through North America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Brazil & South Pacific (Taubenberger, 1997). How many mutations would make an avian virus capable of infecting humans efficiently, or how many mutations would render an influenza virus a pandemic strain, is difficult to predict. The sequences from the AD 1918 strain have been examined; it is the only pandemic influenza virus that could be entirely derived from avian strains. Of the 52 species-associated positions, 16 have residues typical for human strains; the others remained as avian signatures. The result supports the hypothesis that the 1918 pandemic virus is more closely related to the avian influenza A virus (Subtype involved: H1N1, after Hilleman, 2002) than are other human influenza viruses (Chen, et al., 2006; Klenk, et al., 2008; UMN CIDRAP, 2008). Even more, recent research proposes that the "pandemic and panzootic" virus of the influenza A strain that swept the globe in AD Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters 1918, seems to be rooted back to the dramatic outbreaks of equine influenza of AD 1872 and 1873 (Drummond, et al., 2006; Worobey, et al., 2014). Professor Louis Backman (1944) of Uppsala University, Stockholm, had suggested that it was entirely possible that organisms causing recent flu epidemics had come from Venus, Jupiter or Mars. ... Since then, laboratory workers know that bacteria and other living cells can survive the near-absolute-zero temperature of interplanetary space. ... Professor Charles B. Lipman of California University (Painesville Telegraph 2/24/1933) once claimed that he had found living bacteria locked in meteorites millions of years old. No one else has confirmed Lipman's finding, and scientists have remained skeptical. Later on, Backman thinks that life on Earth more properly started in the more favorable atmospheres containing methane and ammonia gases which surround planets, such as Jupiter, Venus and Mars. From them, living organisms may have been transported to our planet, by meteorites or by the propulsive power of the sun's rays. Recent articles describe a peculiar sequence of air-borne/rain-water-borne yeastlike bacterial attacks on astronomical photographic plate emulsions at a British observatory from AD 1937 to 1961. An underlying periodicity of these events appears to have had a significant positive correlation with the occurrences of inferior conjunctions of Venus related to Earth. Compared to Earth, Venus has a negligible magnetic field. That means that the Solar Wind can disturb its atmosphere directly, and can blow away fractions of its upper atmosphere (including airborne particulate matter) in comet-like fashion. It was found that the onsets of six confirmed Lockyer major microbial invasions occurred, on average, 55 days following strong geomagnetic storms nearest to inferior conjunctions of Venus. The shortest interval between geomagnetic storm and outbreak was 35 days and the longest was 67 days. Seasonal effects, also, appeared to play an auxiliary role, also, as to whether or not an invasion occurred. Invasion onsets occurred only during the months May through July. The Lockyer events (Barber, 1963 & 1997) were bacterial in nature but, in 1918 an inferior conjunction of Venus took place approximately on February, 9. The first reported case of the 1918-1919 influenza outbreak in the United States (at Camp Funston), was 30 days later. At this point one should also refer to a different approach of that pandemic according to which it was the after effect of the massive nation-wide vaccine campaign (Honorof and McBean, 1977). Furthermore, Gina Kolata (1999) calls attention to the often neglected phenomenon of how epidemics can move quickly through a country, "hopscotching over some towns while felling others" (p. 63). She reports that "After an influenza pandemic of AD 1789, a young American doctor named Robert Johnson puzzled over how the infection could spread so far and wide, and so quickly" (p. 63), discussing the rapid outbreaks in Great Britain and on ships at sea. Kolata reports that the 1918 "flu's mortality rates peaked in Boston and Bombay in the same week. But New York, just a few hours from Boston, had its peak three weeks later" (p. 62). Doctor finally decided that "influenza must arise from some sort of changes in the atmosphere (Aerobiology) but that, once it got started, it could spread from person to person" (pp. 63-64). On the other hand, SARS is a most unusual coronavirus. That is because it contains neuramidase, which is normally found in influenza viruses. It is better described as an orthomyxovirus-coronavirus hybrid. Both coronaviruses & orthomyxoviruses are known to infect animals, birds and humans. Both viruses have the ability to cross over from animals to humans. Those infected in the 1918 Influenza Pandemic shared similar Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters symptoms with those infected today with SARS. As a result it may be fruitful to study the 1918 Pandemic in greater detail (Taubenberger, et al., 2007). In addition, the first case of West Nile virus in the West Hemisphere has been reported to have occurred in New York City (two dead crows) on June 29, 1999. The onset may have been about two weeks earlier. According to a U.S. Government Accounting Office report, a veterinarian at Bayside Veterinary Clinic, found crows with signs of nervous system disorders in the mid-June to late July 1999 time frame. The birds were treated. Those that survived were released. If one chooses to think in terms of extraterrestrial pathogens entering Earth's upper atmosphere one to two months prior to their expression at the Earth's surface, then the upper atmosphere drop-in time frame would have been roughly from April, 29 to May, 29. In the middle of that period, the angle between Venus and Earth, with respect to the Sun, would have been on the order of 70 degrees. At that angle, the solar wind should have blown Venusian particles, biological or otherwise, well clear of the Earth. This contradicts the Venusian pathogen hypothesis (for an excellent short concentration of information regarding viruses, see Zimmer, 2012). Moreover, an unprecedented solar wind disruption took place on May 10, 1999, causing an intense Gamma-Ray Burst (GRB 990510), which may have some bearing on the interplanetary particle delivery problem. From late May 10, 1999 to early May 12, 1999, NASA's ACE and Wind spacecraft observed that the density of the solar wind dropped by more than 98 per century. This disappearance was the most drastic and longestlasting decrease ever observed. Dropping to a fraction of its normal density and to half its normal speed, the solar wind died down enough to allow physicists to observe particles flowing directly from the Sun's corona to Earth. This severe change in the solar wind, also, changed the shape of Earth's magnetic field and produced an unusual auroral display at the North Pole. Because of the decrease, energetic electrons from the Sun were able to flow to Earth in narrow beams, known as the ‗strahl‘. In parallel with the polar rain event, Earth's magnetosphere swelled to five to six times its normal size. NASA's Wind, IMP-8, and Lunar Prospector spacecraft, the Russian INTERBALL satellite & the Japanese Geotail satellite observed the most distant bow shock ever recorded by satellites. Earth's bow shock is the shock front where the solar wind slams into the sunward edge of the magnetosphere (see NASA's article: ―The Day the Solar Wind Disappeared‖). The GRB radiation flashed through the solar system from a point near the South Celestial Pole, and that most of the material density associated with the solar wind, is concentrated near the solar system's equatorial plane (Briggs, et al., 1999). And there‘s more.. New supporting evidence of extraterrestrial correlations of the origins of diseases is growing steadily. First there's the sun-flu connection: "Influenza epidemics are more likely to sweep the globe when the sun develops spots and sends its excess energy barrelling toward Earth, according to Canadian researchers. Kenneth Tapping, solar researcher and project director for Canada's National Research Council, pointed to the striking correlation between flu pandemics and the peaks of the 11-year sunspot cycle, also known as the Solar Maximum. The scientist and his colleagues compared historical records of flu pandemics and solar flare activity dating back to the early 1700s.. They found a definite tendency for pandemics to occur during periods of Solar Maximum, and a statistical simulation suggested that the chance of the cycles being randomly coincidental was less than 2% (Tapping, et al., 2001). Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters Even the economists have detected possible links between solar activity and the economic fluctuations. For example, Carlos Garcia-Mata and Felix Schaffner (1934) observed that there is a correlation between the appearance of sunspots near the solar equator (which happens just after the sunspot peak) and times of economic depression. Moreover, destruction layers with hydrocarbon presence and other characteristics mentioned above (like cinnabar, with sweet taste, loosing its power with the time passing over or being periodically recharged) may be another evidence of past celestial events, as combustion residues, or chemical fusion by-products). Such events are indicated by ancient legends from many places and by various geological and biological phenomena (Velikovsky, 1950 & 1955; Clube and Napier, 1982; Iyengar, 2004). In addition, the Exodus from Egypt contains evidence of celestial impactism. Biblical references indicate radiation and radiance of various types: a complex chemically- loaded dew, red phosphorus; hydrocarbons (naphtha), unidentified poisons; sulphur, mercury, ammonia, cinnabar (cinnamon), formaldehyde, manna & perfumes (Velikovsky, 1950 & 1955; de Grazia, 1984a; Peiser, et al., 1998). The biblical plagues of Egypt (Ginzberg, 1909; de Grazia, 1983a) - independently of their interpretations, and they are so many of them (for a short example / summary of their explanation see Marr and Malloy, 1996; Trevisanato, 2005) - present a coherent sequence of plagues that are interconnected in a ‗natural‘ order (turning of rivers into blood, invasion of frogs, lice, mixed hordes of wild beasts, grievous pestilence, rain of naphtha, hail, locusts, dungeon darkness, death of the first born children). If we observe the sequence of events, the pestilence preceded the naphtha, hail and darkness, but came after the bloody waters and the upheaval in the fauna. One could assume that the space – induced disaster came by degrees, first as a contamination in the atmosphere and the waters, causing massive migrations of insects and animals. Later on, heavier particles entered the earthen atmosphere causing more ‗tangible‘ events. Many ancient writers known to us, who commented on the period of Exodus, mentioned a great sky-connected disturbance of the world. Among them are such wellknown figures as Augustine, Eusebius, Pliny, Plutarch, Ovid, Seneca and Varro (these and others are collected and quoted by Velikovsky, in 1950). Two British Astronomers, V. Clube and W. Napier (1982), who assign a comet to the Exodus days, were based on Velikovsky‘s perspective, too. In AD 1602, German professor Abraham Rockenbach, Frankfurt University, published a "Treatise on Comets according to a New Method," there offering the following conclusion: in the year 1495 BCE - as many trustworthy authors, on the basis of many conjectures, have determined - a comet appeared which Pliny, also, mentioned in his second book. It was fiery, of irregular circular form, with a wrapped head; it was in the shape of a globe and was of terrible aspect. It is said that King Typhoon ruled at that time in Egypt. Certain (authorities) assert that the comet was seen in Syria, Babylonia, India, in the sign of Capricorn, in the form of a disc, at the time when the children of Israel advanced from Egypt toward the Promised Land, led on their way by the pillar of cloud during the day and by the pillar of fire at night (Bimson, 1977). The famous papyrus of Ipuwer, an Egyptian writing, laments for the plagues that devastated the fertile lands of Egypt: ―Years of noise. There is no end to noise. The land turns round as does a potter's wheel. The towns are destroyed. Upper Egypt has become dry. All is ruin. Gates, columns and walls are consumed by fire. The fire has mounted up on high. Plague is throughout the land. Blood is everywhere. The river is blood. Men Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters shrink from tasting and thirst after water. Hair has fallen out for everybody. Women are barren; none can conceive. Trees are destroyed. No fruit nor herbs are found. The Desert is throughout the land A foreign tribe from abroad has come to Egypt Woe is me because of the misery of this time‖ (Gardiner, 1909; Velikovsky, 1950; Greenberg, 1973 & 1975; Lowery, 1977 – 1978). To conclude, there is a broad interdisciplinary consensus, today, that the main triggering mechanisms behind small and bigger extinction events were not terrestrial phenomena per se, but cosmic ones, such as boloidal impacts and nearby supernovae, being collectively far more effective during the solar system's traversal of spiral arms. Scientists used the best available data on the location and kinematics of the Galactic spiral structure (including distance scale and kinematic uncertainties), presenting evidence that arm crossings provide a viable explanation for the timing of the large extinctions (Leitch and Vasisht, 1998). Furthermore, recent research has shown that even the milder geomagnetic field fluctuations may predispose to genetic and immunological alterations favourable to influenza epidemic spread, as well as the expression of infectious diseases (e.g. HIV), chronic inflammatory diseases (e.g. rheumatoid arthritis, asthma), cancer, etc (Zaporozhan and Ponomarenko, 2010). Finally, the geomagnetic reversals are interrelated to various cosmic phenomena and have a huge, but subtle, impact on human evolution. In fact, Albert Einstein believed that the origin of the Earth‘s magnetic field was one of the greatest unsolved mysteries in physics. Generally described, a geomagnetic reversal is a change in the Earth's magnetic field, when the positions of Magnetic North and Magnetic South are interchanged. During periods of normal polarity, the direction of the field was the same as the present direction, while in reverse polarity, the field was the opposite (chrons). Although the time spans of chrons are randomly distributed, a ‗periodicity‘ has been recognised, with most ranging between 0.1 and 1 Ma. About 400 polar shift reversals have occurred during the past 330 Ma, while the average interval between reversals during recent geological times has been about 200 Ka. The latest one, the Brunhes–Matuyama reversal, took place 780 Ka. There are, also, brief disruptions that do not result in reversal, called geomagnetic excursions, which can be characterized as dramatic, typically short-lived decreases in field intensity, with a variation in pole orientation of up to 45◦ from the previous position; they are generally not recorded across the entire globe (14 found in the last 1 Ma). But recent studies propose a different picture of a geomagnetic field enjoying long periods of stable polarity (Kent and Grandstein, 1986; Huestis and Acton, 1997; Gubbins, 2002; Cande and Kent, 2003; Merrill, 2010). Modern scientists correlate weather extremes, widespread volcanism and major earthquakes, along with the onset of glaciation cycles, with geomagnetic reversals. At least 12 magnetic reversals can be linked to glaciation events during the last 3 Ma alone, such as the Jaramillo, Brunhes, Biwa I, Biwa II, Biwa III magnetic reversals / excursions (Rampino, 1979; Coe and Prevot, 1989; Marzocchi and Mulargia, 1992; Coe, et al., 1995; Mandea and Corte, 2009; Olson, 2002). In addition, the reversals can be extremely fast, like the Laschamp geomagnetic excursion, which is correlated to the devastated Campanian Ingimbrite eruption of the Phlegrean Fields in central Mediterranean, around 41 Ka, as well as to the environmental Heinrich Event 4, and the Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters cultural ‗Middle to Upper Paleolithic transition‘. The duration of the event was 440 years, while the transition from the normal field lasting 250 years. The researchers claim that the reversed field was 75% weaker, whereas the strength dropped to only 5% of the current strength during the transition (Guillou, et al., 2004; Lund, et al., 2005; Fedele, et al., 2008; Roberts, 2008; Nowaczyk, et al., 2012). We should, also, mention the South Atlantic Anomaly or South Atlantic Magnetic Anomaly (SAMA), which is an area where the Earth's inner Van Allen radiation belt comes closest to our planet's surface, and Earth's magnetic field is weakest (the contrary is happening to North Pacific Ocean). This belt traps radioactive particles that originate from solar flares and shields the Earth from the strong solar winds. The proton belt, which is the closest to our planet (the electron belt is the other), traps protons and it is 1200-1300 km high except for one spot; off the lower coast of Brazil, it dips as close as 200 km from the Earth's surface! The effect, that is characterized by a South /Westward drift and caused by the non-concentricity of the Earth and its magnetic dipole, leads to an increased flux of energetic particles in this region and exposes orbiting satellites to higher than usual levels of radiation. Some scientists believe that this area, the surface of which increases since AD 1600, may become Earth‘s new South Pole, after the undergoing geomagnetic reversal. Even more, there seems to be an intriguing relationship between the SAA of the geomagnetic field and the current trend in global sea level rise, as these two geophysical variables have been growing coherently during the last three centuries. Other large scale geomagnetic anomalies are, among others, the Siberia High (SH), North Pole (NP) and South Pole (SP) (Mandea, et al., 2007; Hartmann and Pacca, 2009; Adriani, et al., 2011; De Santis, et al., 2012). The World Digital Magnetic Anomaly Map /WDMAM project is an international effort to integrate all available near-surface & satellite magnetic anomaly data (for details, see One of the main hypotheses regarding the correlation of Earth‘s magnetic field behaviour with the evolution of life has been made by Kopper and Papamarinopoulos (1978). Their statistical test was confined to the period between 125 and 10 Ka, during which, the Blake and Mungo reversals are known to have occurred. They proposed that: (1) Blake excursion (114-108 Ka) coincides with the disappearance of Lower Palaeolithic tools and the appearance of Middle Palaeolithic (Mousterian) tools and Neanderthal man, (2) Mungo excursion (37 and/ or 32 Ka) was synchronized with the Middle/Upper Palaeolithic boundary and the replacement of Neanderthals by Modern Man. Although these dates are now related to other environmental factors, too, the main correlation of magnetic reversals and their interconnected mechanisms (e.g. increased cosmic radiation, increased ultraviolet radiation, climatic change and biomagnetic dysfunction) with evolutionary discontinuities in all biospecies, are well identified (Uffen, 1963; Plotnick, 1980; Raup, 1985; DeMeo, 1991; McHargue, et al., 2000; Birk et al., 2004; DeMeo, 2004; Felix, 2008; Glassmeier and Vogt, 2010; Valet and Valladas, 2010). In the meanwhile, the interrelation between bio-electrical processes in the human body and electromagnetic processes in the Earth and Cosmos, have been investigated long ago. Although 19th century physics believed to have evidence that light is merely a magnetic wave, quantum physics has shown that the connection between light, electricity and magnetism is far more complicated, perhaps, representing the ancient Greek ‗ether‘. Today, it is well known that: (1) the oscillations of certain electrical frequencies in even Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters small quantities and for short durations, have consequences that, although difficult to measure, are influential even to the tinniest structures of matter (molecules, cells) and/or detrimental to health, (2) electromagnetic phenomena influence a human being's thinking, feeling and willing. In AD 1917, Rudolf Steiner spoke about the important future task of establishing a new Geographic Medicine, or rather a Medical Geography (lecture II delivered in St. Gallen, Switzerland, in November 16). Later on, in 1963, the pioneer in the field of Electromedicine, and electrochemically induced cellular regeneration, the American physician Robert Becker, first formulated the theory that the natural, geographically determined magnetic environment presumably has an influence on human behaviour, establishing Electrobiology (Becker and Marino, 1982). In addition, Schumann Resonance Electromagnetic Fields are correlated with the evolution of life. There is a continuous extremely low frequency (ELF) process in the geomagnetic field (in Ionosphere, Plasmasphere and Magnetosphere). The first documented observations of global electromagnetic resonance were made by Nikola Tesla (1905) at his Colorado Springs laboratory in 1899, but the global electromagnetic resonance phenomenon was named after physicist Winfried Otto Schumann, who predicted it mathematically in 1952. Thus, the peaks of this resonant characteristic of the system are called the Schumann resonances, and reside approximately on 100, 21, 14.1, 7.8, 5.7, 4, 1, 0.1 and 0.001 Hz, while the most common geomagnetic frequency is 7.86 Hz. Frequencies between 8.8 and 13.2Hz, between the Schumann resonance maximums, confirm that the human body absorbs, detects and responds to ELF signals. The entire biosphere, including humans are adapted to it and benefit from it, via electrophysiological responses. Researchers have been broadening the significance of Schumann resonances beyond the domain of Geophysics, where it initially began, to the fields of Bioenergetics, Acupuncture, and Electrobiology (Mitsutake, et al., 2005; Cosic, 2006; Close, 2012). Another hypothesis was the evolutionary theory of Punctuated Equilibria proposed by Eldredge and Gould (1972 & 1977), according to which new species (as discontinuities in the fossil records and evidence of evolution) occurs by rapid bursts and quick dramatic alterations. Initially controversial, the hypothesis has now been proved if related to polarity reversals and their impact. The chiral symmetry (handedness) of life forms is interrelated to the orientation of the magnetic field (Jacobs, 1984; Ecke, et al., 1995). Especially, with regard to DNA, a change in the orientation of the magnetic field could be translated into a left-handed (counter-clockwise spiral) to right-hand (clockwise spiral) switch, Z-DNA to B-DNA or the reverse, leading to gene frequency, activation or deactivation, as certain sequences of DNA are more 'electromagnetically vulnerable', thus more prone to reversal of spin, than others (Lodish, et al., 1995; Griffiths, et al., 1996; Rao and Henderson, 1996). DNA is one of the three major macromolecules (along with RNA and proteins) that are essential for all known forms of life, and exists in many possible conformations that include A-DNA, B-DNA, and Z-DNA forms, although, only B-DNA and Z-DNA have been directly observed in functional organisms (Sinden, 1994; Berry and Watson, 2003; Ghosh and Bansal, 2003; Glavin, et al, 2012). Although A-DNA is a right-handed double helix fairly similar to the more common and well-known B-DNA form, but with a shorter more compact helical structure (Basham, et al., 1995), Z- DNA is a left-handed double helical structure in which the Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters double helix winds to the left in a zig-zag pattern. It is found only transiently when genes are actively being transcribed, and it occurs mainly in specialized sequences of nucleotides (Rich, et al., 1984). The researchers discovered that the protein that binds to Z-DNA is an enzyme that changes the genetic message contained in the messenger RNA molecule, by changing one of the four nucleotides into another. Surprisingly, some of the modified proteins created by the editing enzyme are very important, and several have been found in the brain, like serotonin (Wang, et al., 1979; Hall, et al., 1984; Schwartz, et al., 1999; Rich and Zhang, 2003). In general, DNA can adopt many structures that differ from the canonical B-form, and several of these non-canonical DNA structures have been implicated in genetic instability associated with human disease. In fact, such sequences are not only known to cause more than 30 neurological diseases, but may also contribute to human disease susceptibility (Biffi, et al., 2013; Bacolla, et al., 2010). Moreover, single-stranded DNA possessed by certain viruses, prokaryotes and protists, is anticipated to react to magnetism in a like manner, because their DNA is probably twisted in some way due to the presence of chiral centres in nucleotides (Kim, et al., 2003; Kim, et al., 2004; Zaporozhan and Ponomarenko, 2010). 5.2. Volcanic landscapes, Hominization and human civilizations Interdisciplinary research has, also, shown that the environmental stimuli made our remote ancestors to choose repeatedly the volcanic environments, where they survived, lived, reproduced and evolved. Some of the most numerous and extensive finds of fossil and archaeological material relating to the earliest phases of human evolution (e.g. Rift Valley, Jordan Rift, S. Caucasus, Sangiran Dome in Indonesia), are beyond coincidence, indicating a relationship between distinctive, topographically complex volcanic landscapes (fault-bounded basins, uplifted terrain, ubiquitous volcanoes, lava fields) and water bodies, that deserves closer investigation. Hominins dispersal followed the same patterns, too. The geochemistry of such environments includes, amongst other valuable elements, the naturally occurring Halogens (fluorine, chlorine, bromine, iodine). Especially, chlorine, bromine and iodine are strongly enriched in the sea, while iodine and to a lesser extent bromine, are further concentrated in the marine algae. Minerals, sediments, clays and bedrocks in igneous environments, are rich in such elements, and are influenced by proximity to the sea. Iodine and chlorine are essential elements for mammals, and fluorine has been shown to have beneficial effects on bone and tooth formation. However, excess quantities of dietary fluorine can be harmful. It is possible, in view of its ubiquitous occurrence in the biosphere, that bromine has a hitherto unknown function in human and animal health (Fuge, 1988). Furthermore, apart from the degassing of bromine and iodine from volcanoes, volcanic landscapes contain a lot of other rare elements (lithium, rubidium, arsenic, boron, strontium, antimony, germanium, etc), iron, copper, zinc, and selenium, being the other brain selective minerals. But no other species, including primates, exhibits symptoms of iodine deficiency. The inability of humans to conserve iodine seems to reflect hominids way of life on highly active tectonic areas and shorelines, with a diet rich in iodine absorption (BrownGrant, 1961; Venturi, et al, 2000). In 2008, this ancestral antioxidant action of iodides has Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters been experimentally confirmed by Küpper et al. Since 700 Ma, thyroxin was already present in fibrous exoskeletal scleroproteins of the lowest invertebrates (Porifera and Anthozoa), but, without showing any hormonal action. When some primitive marine chordates started to emerge from the iodine-rich sea and they were transferred to iodinedeficient fresh water and finally to the land, their diet became iodine deficient. Therefore, during progressive slow adaptation to terrestrial life, the primitive vertebrates learned to use the primitive thyroxin in order to transport antioxidant iodide into the cells, for a better adaptation of the organisms to terrestrial environment (fresh water, atmosphere, gravity, temperature and diet). Recent research has proven that, "Iodides have many nonendocrine biologic effects, including a role they play in the physiology of the inflammatory response. They improve the phagocytosis of bacteria by granulocytes and the ability of granulocytes to kill bacteria. They concentrate around tumours and granulomas in man and animals. They, also, move into areas of tissue injury‖ (Dobson, 1998; Stone, 1988, p. 125). The circumstances of human brain evolution are of utmost importance to accounting for human origins, too, yet still poorly understood, and they can be focused to three main points: (1) The human brain cannot develop normally without a reliable supply of several nutrients, notably docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), iodine and iron, (2) The human foetus has about 13 % of body weight as fat, a key form of energy insurance supporting brain development that is not found in other primates (survival of the fattest babies was the key to human brain evolution), and (3) The genome of humans and chimpanzees is <1 % different, fact that shows differentiation in habitats, during the last 5-6 Ma of hominid evolution. Shellfish, fish and shore-based animals and plants are the richest dietary sources of the key nutrients needed by the brain (Braun, et al., 2010). The consumption of most shore-based foods requires no specialized skills or tools, whether on the shores of lakes, marshes, rivers or the sea. So, the presence of body fat in human babies appears to be the product of a long period of sedentary, shore-based existence by the line of hominids destined to become humans (Broadhurst et al, 1998 & 2002; Cunnane and Crawford, 2003; Cunnane, 2005 & 2006; Cunnane and Stewart, 2010). Consequently, some of the most numerous and extensive finds of fossil and archaeological material relating to the earliest phases of human evolution indicate a strong relationship between distinctive, topographically complex volcanic landscapes and water bodies, that deserves closer investigation. Hominins dispersal followed, also, the same patterns (King and Bailey, 2006). Finally, such landscapes offered access to lava and other volcanic ejecta, as a raw material for tools. The Lower Palaeolithic site of Dmanisi (Republic of Georgia, 1.8 to 1.7 Ma), once grasslands surrounded by mountains with forests, offers evidence for Homo erectus (now sometimes referred to as Homo georgicus‟) behavioural choices (Cabunia et al., 2000; Calovo-Rathert, et al., 2008; Mgeladze, 2011). To conclude, the influence of environmental chemical elements on the processes of hominization and encephalisation is critical. Just like calcium and oxygen, iodine, contained in the Earth's crust and the oceans, follows a cycle to the sphere surface, and can be regarded as a stimulus to which the organisms react. The morphological and physiological iodine‘s role in the organisms is significant. Iodine influence on the caudal or cerebral tissues development or regression is well-known. The thyroid hormone acts about on all tissues but with more effectiveness on bone and nervous tissues. Brain Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters development claims higher amounts. The iodine influence in the cerebral tissue development at the man was highlighted by many researchers (Pharoah, et al., 1976). In humans, the adult organism contains from 15 to 20 mg iodine, 70 % to 80 % of which is in the thyroid (Underwood, 1989). Not surprisingly, thus, the Hominids evolution, since the Proconsul appearance approximately 7 Ma (Dobson, 1998; Lewin, 1999), and until the arrival of the Cro-Magnon type modern man, was carried out, in the vicinity and under the influence of the volcanic iodine sources. In the same way, many probabilistic couples, physical stimuli/physiological reactions, should have played a significant role in human evolution (e.g. electromagnetic waves/vision, sonorous waves/hearing, pheromones/sense of smell, etc). The same patterns seemed to exist during later times. Spring fed water sources provided potable water, adequate iodine and other micronutrients as cobaltium and selenium, along with bedrocks and sediments containing iodine. The ideal spots to find big game in Pleistocene were soils underlain or surrounded by volcanic sediments (Haynes, 2002). Massif Central (France) is one of the prominent Palaeolithic examples. Later on, during the last five millennia, the Neolithic era gives rise to five historical civilizations principal cradles (regarded as the greatest societal units, by Toynbee), more or less correlated with volcanic areas: (1) The Mediterranean-Middle-East - Zagros & Aegean Sea recent faults, Miocene/Current Cyclades archipelago volcanicity, (2) India Indus hollow fracture, (3) China Tancheng-Lujiang and Xingan-Taihang Earth's crust fractures zone and Quaternary major faults, Taihang mountains risings and quaternary cracks , (4) Mexico - volcanic Top-Plates, and (5) Peru - Andes Cordilleras volcanic High-Grounds. The Massif Central area is the largest magmatic province of the West-European Rift system, being named because it is right in the middle of France. Auvergne is at the heart of this area. The Massif Central is made up of extinct volcanoes, reaching heights of 1,885m in the area surrounding the region's capital Clermont-Ferrand. The highest peak is Mont Dore (1,885m), the largest group of volcanoes in Europe. The volcanic cones are called ‗puys‘ (pronounced pwee), the most famous and impressive of which, is the Puy de Dôme on the west of Clermont-Ferrand. The spatial-temporal distribution of Tertiary-Quaternary volcanism in the area, shows that three magmatic phases can be defined, each of them characterized by different volumes and different locations. These continental alkaline volcanics range in age from 65 Ma to 3.45 Ka and can be divided by geography and age into 20 separate areas (Downes, 1987, pp. 517 – 530; Michon and Merle, 2001, pp. 201-211). According to modern archaeoenvironmental research, the Pleistocene volcanic activity in the French Massif Central was often brutal and devastating, with volcanic products dispersed far away into vast geographic zones, some lacks of occupation could result from it, showing that prehistoric populations adjusted to the volcanic activity‘s periodical pattern. In a second time, effects and products of volcanism favour human settlement (crater lakes, rock-shelters under lava flows, etc). Noteworthy is the fact that human presence in the area dates back to the Upper Pliocene, ca 2 Ma (although not accepted unanimously by the scientific community; see Raynal et al., in Roebroecks and van Kolfschoten, 1993), adjusting to the climatic cycles of glacial /interglacials. Between 40 and 25 Ka, a peak in the basaltic flows caused the geological formation of rock-shelters that were occupied 20 or 10 Ka later, during the Magdalenian. A final Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters eruptive crisis with plinian / strombolian cataclysmic eruptions, took place between 11 and 7 Ka, probably explaining the absence of Mesolithic tool industries in the area of Basse – Auvergne. But, the Pleistocene interglacial and Holocene landscapes were extremely favourable to humans, with lush vegetation, rich fauna, fertile soils and abundant tool-fit materials. The most recent stage of biotopes full exploitation comes with the Neolithic, ca in 5000 BCE, through a gradual ecological / economic readaptation. All these volcanic sceneries seemed to enhance the pastoral / agricultural processes (Raynal and Daugas, 1984, pp. 7-20; Daugas and Raynal, 1988; Guilaine, 1998). Furthermore, during Neolithic Times Anatolia was the centre of an advanced culture (Kozlowski and Aurenche, 2005). Excavations during the years 1961 – 1965, unearthed Çatal Höyük in central Anatolia (modern Turkey), disclosing it as a major site. The settlement consisted of brick houses with entry over ladders from roof level. The houses contained a hearth and stove and had platforms for sleeping and working. It is believed to have had a population of around 7,000 people, who cultivated grains and oil seeds and may have practiced animal husbandry. Eruptions from Hasan Daği impacted Neolithic communities, being dramatically recorded in paintings that depict apparent caldera formation about 7600-7500 BCE. Other paintings illustrate eruptions producing pyroclastic flows and lava flows that destroyed towns and villages. The religious quarter of Çatal Höyük contains several shrines with wall paintings of outstanding quality. A vivid, nearly naturalistic wall painting from one of the shrines depicts the plan of the city and a remarkable Neolithic portrayal of the active twin-peaked volcano of Hasan Daği, eight miles to the east of the city. This is the earliest known visual record of a volcanic eruption, dated to about 6200 BC, plus or minus 640 years, according to a new dating technique that analyzes zircon crystals in volcanic rock (Schmitt, et al., 2013). The mural shows a cinder cone, perhaps one of the cinder cones in the Karapinar volcanic field that lies about 30 miles east of Çatal Höyük, ejecting tephra from the summit vent. The volcano is shown exhibiting only mild strombolian activity. Several features suggest that the painting is not simply a landscape, but is an icon of the Volcano Goddess. The contours of the volcano are breast-like and the overall shape of the volcano closely matches schematized "bison-woman" Palaeolithic designs and other goddess representations; it looks distinctly like a body, much more so than like a mountain. The spots on the volcano's flanks, described as ‗glowing firebombs of lava‘, are very similar to the ‗leopard-skin spots‘ that are a characteristic sign of the Goddess of Çatal Höyük throughout the city's artwork. The painting is a shrine mural (northern and eastern sides), an expression of religion, and clearly a representation of the Mother Goddess of Obsidian. Mellaart, Thompson, Gimbutas, and other researchers, have connected the animal art in Lascaux with the animal art of Çatal Höyük, with its hundreds of representations of bulls, rams, leopards, vultures, and other animals (Mellaart, 1964 & 1967; Thompson, 1981; LeroiGourhan, 1982; Gimbutas, 1989; Sigurdsson, et al., 1999; Karakhanian, et al., 2002; Meece, 2006; Ort, et al., 2008). The evidence suggests that dozens of shrines, as well as the city's artwork, artisanry and architecture, may have all been inspired and supported by a religious control of the sacred obsidian trade. The Anatolian obsidian, ‗purchased‘ in Çatal Höyük, with an exchange of valuable lumber or Mediterranean seashell, in its way Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters a thousand miles Southward to Jericho. Jerichoâ&#x20AC;&#x2DC;s craftsmen, paying for the black volcanic glass with equally black chunks of bitumen from the shores of the Dead Sea, would work the obsidian into a variety of stone tools that were sharper and harder than steel (Carter, 2006; Carter, 2007; Carter and Shackley, 2007; Carter, et al, 2008; King, et al, 2008). Furthermore, obsidian, this black and shiny volcanic glass, has been one of the main features of Mesolithic / Neolithic and Bronze Age trade across the circumMediterranean world, as it was considered a semi-precious stone by the ancients, initially, a very important raw material for the manufacture of weapons and tools. Since prehistoric times, humans noticed that obsidian was more abundant and sharper than flint, later, more easily worked and even cheaper than copper. Especially, the Neolithic Era, in the Holocene between 12,000 and 3,000 BCE was connected with vast demographic growth and the development of agriculture marks the steady arrival of man on the Mediterranean islands and the outbreak of the transformation of the natural environment. Melos and adjacent small islands have grown from submarine and subaerial volcanism that, initially, was dominantly andesitic and basaltic, but ended with predominately rhyolitic eruptions. Melian obsidian is found at many sites, as far as western Mediterranean, northern Aegean, and Egypt, and researchers have recognised the Aegean island as a very important trade centre of the ancient world (Farrand, 1999; Karimali, 2002). In fact, the famous inland cave of Franchthi, gave, with its geoarchaeological evidence (Farrand, 1999), the clues for a Mesolithic trade between the islands and the mainland. The second phase of the Mesolithic is characterized by the appearance of large quantities of large fish bones and the appearance of substantially larger quantities of obsidian from Melos as a material in the local chipped stone industry. These two developments imply that, apart from sea trade, deep-sea fishing may have been done for the first time, revealing a flourishing Aegean network during the Neolithic. But a plethora of modern research, both archaeological and geochemical (for an extended bibliographical d-base, see the Eurasian Source References by The International Association for Obsidian Studies :, now highlights obsidian of non-Melian origin, such as that from the Carpathians (e.g. Kilikoglou, et al., 1996, pp. 343 - 349), central Anatolia, Antiparos and, particularly, Yali of Nissyros (Georgiades, 2008, pp. 101-117). The map of prehistoric obsidian exchange (Torrence, 1981; Perles, 1992, pp. 115-164) includes trade centres of central and western Mediterranean, e.g. the Middle Neolithic obsidian trade in the North was dominated by the Lipari source. Other island sources came from Palmarola, Pantelleria, and Sardinia. The spatial and chronological patterns of obsidian distribution helped scientists to address archaeological issues, like the colonization of the islands, the introduction of Neolithic economies, and the increasing social complexity of Neolithic and Bronze Age societies in central Mediterranean (e.g. Tykot, 2002, pp. 618-625; Malone, 2003, pp. 235-312; Farr, 2006, pp. 85-99). Nevertheless, it is unknown yet, to what degree these Early Neolithic patterns of connectivity across the Mediterranean were temporarily transformed into more stable exchange structures between Italy, the Balkans and the Aegean. Signs for a cross-linking of these separate exchange networks, such as the important Neolithic and Copper Age interregional zones of maritime interaction (for instance the distribution of Liparian and Sardinian obsidian varieties in the central and western Mediterranean, as well as Melian obsidian in the Aegean), are not well established yet. Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters The largest number of wrecks have been found in the west Mediterranean - off Provence in France, Tuscany in Italy, Bonifacio in Corsica, the Balearic islands, the Aeolian islands, and southeastern Sicily - all places where sport diving and archaeological research have been intensive. Elsewhere, exploration has been more sporadic, as in the Adriatic, or very limited, as off North Africa. The distribution of these wrecks speaks about patterns of ancient shipping. Mediterranean seafaring for colonization and trade was widespread before Bronze Age‘s onset. The economic aspect of volcanic landscapes exploitation is far more complex than previously thought. Apart from the technological skills of detection and extraction (procurement), the adaptedness to local conditions, the resources‘ management, seafaring breakthroughs, and social patterns of trading exchanges, there is a variety of perspectives from the form of ‗raw material‘, to ‗pre-forms‘ or ‗end products‘. ―One might consider, also, the socially meaningful gifting of skilled and valuable objects, such as necrolithic blades and cores (either alone or as part of a ‗toilet kit‘), while ‗obsidian‘ in the form of raw material or preformed cores was exchanged in more mundane settings, aside from the ‗main event‘ of a wedding, funeral, gift giving ceremony or some other exclusive forum‖ (Carter, 2007 & 2008; Carter, 2014: obsidian in early prehistoric archaeology). Such processes (from the perception of a volcanic landscape to its final modification) forged the identity of these areas, as well as the communities that interacted with them in many ways (e.g. mining, redistribution, consumption, burial practices, zonation of influence, formation of mythological cycles), through engaging in different sets of overseas relations (Delerue, 2007; Knappett, 2011). Thus, not surprisingly, volcanic environments, even being highly risky, they have a lot to offer to humans. The slopes of volcanoes and the surrounding regions are covered with rich, volcanic soil that gives lush vegetation and blooming ecosystems. Volcanoes also create brand new islands. Over hundreds of thousands of years, these volcanoes breached the surface of the ocean /sea becoming habitable islands, and rest stops during long sea journeys. Unique species of plants and animals evolved into new forms on these islands, creating balanced ecosystems. Another volcano benefit is the many precious gems and building materials that can only come from volcanoes. Opals and obsidian are produced in volcanoes. Volcanic eruptions produce pumice stones, which people have used to remove excess skin. Hardened volcanic ash, called tuff makes a strong, lightweight building material. The ancient Romans used tuff to make a strong, lightweight concrete for walls, and buildings. The roof of the Pantheon in Rome is made of pumice concrete because it‘s so lightweight. Even more, regions of volcanic activity are enormous sources of geothermal energy with its healing properties, appreciated thousand years before modern era. Hominids and humans by instinct weighed the negative impacts against the positive impacts and repeatedly chose to live under the shadows of volcanoes. The physical traits of Obsidian (fire element) are associated with the relief of pain, and its energies enhance vigor, strength, stamina, constancy, permanence, tenacity, courage and self-control; it is considered as the stone of entrepreneurs and inventors. It prevents the flow of negative energy; humans perceived obsidian as a stone of protection and honesty, bringing out the warrior spirit. In Chakra healing, Obsidian reflects the base chakra that controls our ‗grounding‘ to the Earth, being associated with all our survival

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Archaeodisasters instincts and self-preservation; relating also to the physical body, individuality, stability and security. Chakra (< Sanskrit ‗wheel‘) is like a vortex, a constantly revolving wheel of energy. These vortexes connect the subtle bodies and act as transducers for life-force energy. Chakras distribute the life force through the physical and subtle bodies. They are the source of physical, emotional, mental and spiritual energy. Traditionally, there are nine major chakras associated with the physical body, counting two above the head within the etheric field, which are not normally referred to. They are aligned with the spine and located in the base of the spine, the lower abdomen (sacral), the solar plexus, the heart, the throat, the centre of the forehead (third eye), and the crown of the head. When our chakras are blocked, or not in balance, the free flow of energy is impeded, leading to physical, emotional, mental or spiritual disease. When the chakras are unblocked and free-flowing, however, we enjoy optimum health. Each chakra is associated with specific colours and crystals and governs different aspects of human emotion and behaviour. Using crystals with the chakras can have a great healing effect. So, Obsidian aids the digestion and detoxifies. It reduces arthritis pain, joint problems and cramps. Moreover, it brings clarity to the mind and clears confusion, by dissolving emotional blockages and ancient traumas. Worth mentioning that Obsidian is a very powerful stone, one which reminds us that Birth and Death are simultaneously and constantly present, one with the other, always as one, an experience lived by our remote ancestors in volcanic landscapes, both fertile and deadly. This is a stone that has always been associated with guardian spirits that watch over us, and is connected to protection on all levels. Although most people are familiar with the regular black obsidian, there are several other types including: Apache Tear, Blue, Blue/Green, Gold Sheen, Mahogany, Rainbow, Red, Silver Sheen and Snowflake. Obsidian can be found almost anywhere there has been volcanic activity in the past, but not all the sources are currently being mined. Most mining is done in Armenia, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Java, Kenya, Mexico, New Zealand, Scotland, Turkey, and United States (Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Montana, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas & Utah). Mayan Priests used scrying mirrors made of obsidian for foretell the future. They called the mirrors, ‗smoking mirrors‘, as black Obsidian, is a diviner's stone (Stein, 1987; Gardner, 1988; Melody, 1995; Stein, 1996). In parallel, vortices are high energy spots on the Earth, due to its electromagnetic field. NASA research has proved that the human energy field is tuned in to certain ‗Earth Waves‘. These ‗hot spots‘ are linked by Ley lines (energy lines). Earth vortices are analogous to the chakras in the human body. Ley lines are alleged alignments of a number of places of geographical interest, such as ancient monuments and megaliths that are thought, by certain adherents to dowsing and New Age beliefs, to have spiritual power. Plato (Phaedo, 110b) recognized grids and their patterns, devising a theory that the Earth's basic structure evolved from a simple geometric shapes to more complex ones. These shapes became known as platonic solids: cube (4), tetrahedron (3), octahedron (8), dodecahedron (12), and icosahedron (20). In Timaeus, Plato associated each shape with one of the elements, Earth, Fire, Air, (A)ether, and Water. The Earth's energy grid, from the beginnings of its evolutionary course, has evolved through each of these shapes to what it is today. Each shape, superimposed, one upon the other to create a kind of all encompassing energy field that is the very basis of Earth holding it all Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters together. Volcanic environments are highly energy conductors symbolizing the female power of Earth, which gives birth and death to its creatures (c.f. the Obsidian Neolithic religion). These highly active geotectonic areas were also connected to sacred places of divination. A famous example is Delphi Oracle (central Greece). Recent studies have speculated that the prophetic powers of Pythia at the Temple of Apollo were induced by hydrocarbon vapours, specifically ethylene, rising from bedrock fissures at the intersection of the East-West Delphi fault with the North -Northwest / South - Southeast Kerna fault, and producing neurotoxic effects, including trance and delirium. New surveys including gas flux from soil, gas in groundwater, and isotopic analyses of spring scales, provide the experimental confirmation of the gas release in the Delphi area (De Boer, et al., 2001; Etiope, et al, 2006). The geothermal waters have medical properties too, as they benefited diseases of the skin and blood, nervous affections, rheumatism and kindred diseases, and the "various diseases of women". Scientists have proven that bathing in the lagoons has positive effects on rheumatics, psoriasis, acne, dermatitis and eczema, Pimples, Blackheads, Whiteheads, Blemishes, Large Pores and Rosacea. Sulphur naturally occurs in volcanoes, surfacing upwards daily from underground steam vents and is also found in hot minera l springs. Natural Volcanic Sulphur is well documented in medicine for its anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory and natural antiseptic properties; they make it an excellent active ingredient. Latest research has confirmed a paleoanthropological and archaeological reality, volcanoes were healing places. Enzymes with extraordinary properties such as virulence neutralization ability, which could replace antibiotics and be used in soils‘ depollution - decontamination or protect against chemical/bacterial pollution and biological war (neurotoxins), are detected in hot waters of volcanic origins, e.g. Sulfolobus solfataricus from Vesuvius (e.g. She, et al., 2001; Gene & Greentech applications). 5.3 Climatic Changes Pleistocene climate was characterized by repeated glacial cycles, when continental glaciers pushed to the 40th parallel in some places; it is estimated that, at maximum glacial extent, 30% of the Earth's surface was covered by ice. In addition, a zone of permafrost stretched southward from the edge of the glacial sheet, a few hundred kilometres in North America, and several hundred in Eurasia. The mean annual temperature at the edge of the ice was −6 ° C; at the edge of the permafrost, 0 ° C. During interglacial times, such as at present, drowned coastlines were common, mitigated by isostatic or other emergent motion of some regions. Modern scientists via interdisciplinary research, try to identify the main characteristics of cold and warm Pleistocene phases alternatively. Although one should keep in mind that every phase / period even of the minor cyclicities, had its own ‗footprint‘, the author has compiled a short grouping of these characteristics (which are interrelated often simultaneously), as a guideline for disaster archaeologists.

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Archaeodisasters Cold Phases * Summers of North Hemisphere when Earth being at aphelion (due to its elliptical path) â&#x20AC;&#x201C; minimum obliquity & high eccentricity * Strong inclination of Earth's axial tilt is particularly threatening to advanced forms of life * Less intense solar radiation arriving on Poles (sunlight falling on Earth at aphelion is about 7% less intense than it is at perihelion according to average worldwide measurements) * Slower rates of ice's melting * Thicker and denser ice layers * Thinner tree-rings * Prevalence of geotectonic activity * Lesser volcanic activity globally * Extended areas of land covered by ice-sheets * Drier climate / less precipitation * Stronger wind patterns / more loess accumulation * Lower mean temperatures globally * Lower mean sea-surface temperatures (SST) globally * Lower sea level globally * Disturbance in Conveyor belt of Earth's oceanic circulation / lesser heat transfer from Equator to Poles / heating of tropical waters * Limited algae's photosynthetic activity in seas / lesser alkenone concentration in sediments * Phosphogenesis and Denitrification * Hypoxia / Anoxia in deep seas' waters * Weaker monsoon weather system * Reducing of surface waters' density * Lower NAO index * Higher salinity / density index of ocean waters * Higher concentration of isotope 18 O in waters (16 O is more easily precipitated) * Higher concentration of isotope16 O in ice (16 O freezes more easily) * Higher isotope rates 18 O / 16 O or δ 18 O (glacial oxygen isotope stage with even number) * Lower concentration rates of Mg / Ca in foraminifera * Cease of corals' expansion * Higher and more stable isotope rates of 10 Be / 9 Be and 36 Cl / 35 Cl in annual ice layers and atmosphere * Lesser percentage of Green House's gases in atmosphere * Higher concentration rates of 14C in atmosphere (? weaker solar magnetic field + intense cosmic radiation) * Lesser stratospheric ozone's production / lesser solar radiation trapped on Earth * Stable release of CH4 (Methane) * High reduction of CO 2 in oceanic and atmospheric circulation (30%) * Higher concentration rates of Fe (cold waters) + more phytoplankton = lower concentration rates of O 2

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Archaeodisasters * Fewer mosquitoes and other water -loving insects population * Fewer dark-coloured surface plants (algae, leaches) in deserts and polar areas / higher Earth's albedo * Fewer presence of terrestrial pollen in marine sediments (Artemisia / Chenopodiaceae / Ephedra) * Domination of semi-arid areas and steppes * Domination of Dinocysts species (e.g. Nematosphaeropsis labyrinthus, Bitectatodinium tepikiense, Lingulodinium machaerophorum, Brigantedinium) * Domination of Planktonic Foraminifera cold water species as bioindicators (Neogloboquadrina dutertrei sinistral, Cassidulina reniforme, Islandiella helenae, Turborotalita quinqueloba, Globigerinita glutinata, Globorotalia scitula). Worth mentioning that some microorganisms, used by modern scientists as bio-indicators for past climatic variations, such as 'Neogloboqudrina pachyderma', change their shell coiling direction in response to seawater temperature change. Warm Phases * Summers of North Hemisphere when Earth being at perihelion * Less inclination of Earth's axial tilt * Strong solar radiation arriving on Earth's atmosphere * Rapid melting of icecaps * Thinner layers of annual ice accumulation * Thicker and denser tree-rings * Prevalence of sedimentary and erosional processes / pedogenesis * Stronger volcanic activity globally * Lesser areas covered by icecaps * Wetter climate / More precipitation * Higher mean temperatures globally * Higher SST globally * Higher sea levels globally * Normal atmospheric/ oceanic interconnected cycles * More intense photosynthetic activity of algae in ocean waters (higher marine productivity) / higher concentration rates of alkenone in sediments * Circulation of free O in ocean waters * Normal function of Conveyor Belt / higher heat transfer from Equator to Poles / cooling of tropical waters * Weaker wind patterns in the deserts * Increasing of surface waters' density * Higher NAO index * Uniform isotopic ratios of 18 O /16 O in waters / glacial oxygen isotope stage with odd number * Lesser salinity and density rates of marine waters * Higher concentration rates of Mg / Ca in planktonic foraminifera * More rapid expansion of corals' colonies * Low concentration of 14 C in atmosphere (similar process when the solar activity is high and cosmic rays influx is low and during increase in upwelling deep ocean water which releases large quantities of â&#x20AC;&#x2014;oldâ&#x20AC;&#x2DC; carbon with lower 14 C concentration in atmosphere) Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters * Lesser concentration rates of isotope 10 Be and 36 Cl in atmosphere * Higher isotope ratio of 10 Be / 9 Be and 36 Cl / 35 Cl in annual ice layers * Higher concentration rates of Green House gases (Water vapor aka H2 O, Carbon dioxide aka CO 2 , Methane aka CH4 , Nitrous oxide aka N2 O, Ozone aka O3 and Chlorofluorocarbons aka CFCs) * Fast release of CH4 (Methane) from sediments, volcanic gases etc * Vast burial of organic C in marine sediments * Higher concentration rates of stratospheric Ozone * Higher absorption of solar light * Dramatic increase of CO 2 in atmospheric circulation / reduction of CO 2 in oceanic circulation * Expansion of marshes, malaria and other waterborne epidemics (e.g. cholera) * Expansion of dark-coloured surface plants in desert and polar areas / Lesser Earth's albedo * Expansion of forests and lush vegetation (domination of Cupressaceae / Betula / Hippophae / Querqus / Ericaceae) * Domination of landsnails in archaeological strata * Domination of Planktonic Foraminifera warm water species as bio-indicators (Neogloboqudrina pachyderma dextral, Globigerinella aequilateralis, Globigerina calida, Globigerina falconensis, Epistominella vitrea, Globigerinoides elongatus - sapropel conditions) * Domination of Benthonic Foraminifera warm water species, as bio-indicators (e.g. Chilostomella mediterranensis, Globobulimina affinis). Dramatic changes in early human evolution occurred in East and South Africa during the last ca 5 Ma, for example, the gradual emergence of larger and bigger brained species, the first appearance of our genus, Homo, and the development of stone tools near ca 2.6 Ma. The fossil record being in full agreement with the paleoclimatic evidence, suggests that African fauna, along the drying of its climate, was evolved in series of ‗pulses‘, near ca 2.8, 1.8, and 1.0 Ma, when major ecological shifts took place. The evolution of hominids and other African vertebrates may have been strongly shaped by these past changes in African climate. Researchers found evidence in Africa that over the past 3 Ma, giant lakes up to 300 metres deep formed and then vanished with the changing climate (deMenocal and Brown, 1999; deMenocal, 2004; Cohen et al., 2007; Trauth et al., 2007; Maslin and Trauth in Grine et al., 2009; Trauth et al., 2010; Kahlke et al.., 2011; Hetherington, 2012). Their disappearance was followed by periods of extreme drought. Mark Maslin, director of the Environment Institute at University College London, describes it accurately: "If you look at the new species of hominid that evolved, 80% of those, or 13 out of 15, appeared during these pulsed climate periods. It suggests new human species evolved when the climate was highly variable‖ (Maslin and Christensen, 2007). We should also take under consideration a different perspective, according to which Eurasia has been, in parallel, the cradle of evolution from Hominoids to Hominids (de Bonis, et al., 2001; Agustí, 2007; see also Helladopithecus semierectus , up to 17 Ma, proposed by Greek professor of Paleoanthropology Aris Poulianos after his findings in Petralona Cave, Chalkidiki, Greece). Scientific evidence indicates that humans evolved into their present form during the Pleistocene. At the beginning of the Pleistocene Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters Paranthropus species are still present, as well as early human ancestors, but during the Lower Palaeolithic they disappeared, and the only hominid species found in fossilic records, is Homo erectus for much of the Pleistocene. The fossils of Hominines are relatively well known: Sahelanthropus tchadensis (7 Ma), Orrorin tugenensis (6 Ma), Ardipithecus (5.5-4.4 Ma) with species Ar. kadabba & Ar. Ramidus, Australopithecus (42 Ma) with species Au. anamensis, Au. prometheus, Au. afarensis, Au. africanus, Au. bahrelghazali & Au. garhi, Kenyanthropus (3-2.7 Ma) with species Kenyanthropus platyops , Paranthropus (3-1.2 Ma) with species P. aethiopicus, P. boisei & P. robustus, and Homo (2.8 Maâ&#x20AC;&#x201C;present), with species Homo habilis, Homo rudolfensis, Homo ergaster, Homo georgicus, Homo antecessor, Homo cepranensis, Homo erectus, the 2013 discovered Homo naledi (perhaps up to 3 Ma), Homo heidelbergensis, Homo rhodesiensis, Homo Sapiens Neanderthalensis, Homo Sapiens idaltu, Archaic Homo Sapiens, Homo floresiensis. More specifically, around 2.8 Ma, took place the most significant event in early hominid evolution, when at least two separate lineages emerged from this bipedal ancestral line; the earliest members of the "robust" australopithecine lineage first occurred in the fossil record, being distinguished by uniquely large masticatory adaptations. The Makapansgat figurine, a 260-gram reddishbrown jasperite cobble, aka the pebble of many faces, is also dated to ca 2.9 Ma and it was found with the bones of Australopithecus africanus in Makapansgat cave in South Africa, revealing some sort of capacity for symbolic thinking amongst early Hominins (Bednarik, 1998; Kleiner, 2011; Bednarik, 2013). Near 2.5 Ma, a second lineage, Homo habilis (who had smaller molars and larger brains than the Australopithecines), represented by the earliest members of our genus Homo, first occurred in East African sections. The earliest fossils of the Homo clade are characterized by much larger absolute cranial volumes than any prior hominid species. The earliest known stone tools (the first crude choppers & scrapers comprising the Olduwai complex) are now also well dated to near 2.6-2.5 Ma. Those events seem to be separate adaptations to a more arid, varied environment, expressed as the synchronous existence of two distinct hominid lineages. By 1.6 Ma, Homo habilis became extinct and his immediate successor and our direct ancestor, Homo erectus, first occurs in the fossil record near 1.8 Ma, being the first human ancestor to walk truly upright (evolution of locking knees and a different location of the foramen magnum), and to use fire to cook their meat. As early as 1.8 Ma, Homo erectus may have migrated to southeastern Asia, and, near 1.4 Ma, earliest occurrences of the more sophisticated Acheulean tool kit (bifacial handaxes) occurred. By then, too, the â&#x20AC;&#x2014;robustâ&#x20AC;&#x2DC; australopithecine lineage became extinct, and by 1 Ma, Homo erectus had broadly expanded its geographic range and occupied sites in North Africa, Europe & West Asia. Homo neanderthalensis lived from about 250 to as recent as 30 Ka; Homo sapiens sapiens lives from about 250 Ka to the present. The two shared a common ancestor back to 660 Ka and beyond. Palynological records from the Congo fan show that environmental change in equatorial Africa took place about 1.05 Ma. Prior to 1.05 Ma, a glacial- interglacial rhythm is not obvious in the African vegetation variation. Between 0.9 and 0.6 Ma, interglacials were characterized by warm dry conditions, while glacials were characterized by cool humid conditions. To sum up, the climate conditions in the tropics were increasingly influenced by the glacialinterglacial variations of continental ice sheets (Dupont, et al., 2001).

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Archaeodisasters Later on, a transition from a time period with extreme droughts (135 to 75 Ka) to a stable, wetter climate may have stimulated the expansion and migration of human populations. According to the sediment cores analysis from Lake Malawi, which are the longest continuous record of climate change available from the continental tropics, before about 70Ka, the climate was highly variable, African lakes dried up completely and then refilled, so, plant and animal populations grew and died out (Scholz, et al., 2007; Hetherington and Reid, 2010; Beuning, et al., 2011; Woltering, et al., 2011). Especially, archaeological data from northern Israel indicate that one of the major waves of early modern human expansion out of the African continent occurred between 130 and 100 Ka. Absolute U-Th dating of speleothems (Vaks, et al., 2007) provides, also, evidence for a period of enhanced rainfall activity between 140 and 110 Ka in the central and southern Negev Desert, Israel (the highest speleothem deposition rate occurring in the earlier half of the 140-110 -kyr period) - while no speleothem deposition was found between 185 and ca 140 Ka (MIS 6), between ca 110 and 90 Ka (MIS 5.4–5.2), and after ca 85 Ka (i.e., during the most of the interglacial MIS 5.1, the last glacial period, and the Holocene). Climate, even under the most regular patterns, transforms human body causing physiological changes to physical and intellectual performance (e.g. blood flow, loss of energy and ability to concentrate, fluctuations of fertility rates, changes in gestation period). Modern research highlights that natural selection was not always a matter of ‗survival of the fittest‘ but, also, survival of those most adaptable to changing surroundings. Hominines experienced cyclical and predictable changes, as well as largescale and unpredictable shifts in temperature and precipitation, that, in turn, caused vast changes in vegetation – from grasslands to forests, and from extremely cold to warm climates. In addition, various tectonic phenomena altered the topography and climat ic conditions of vast areas (e.g. volcanic eruptions and forest fires alter the availability of food, water, shelter, and other resources). According to Variability Selection Hypothesis and Ratchet Effect (Potts, 1988, 1996 & 1998; Richerson and Boyd, 2000; Alvard, 2003; Henshilwood, 2008; Tennie, et al., 2009), high environmental instability was the key to the evolution of important human adaptations to environmental novelty, such as early bipedality, stone transport, diversification of artefact contexts, encephalization, and enhanced cognitive and social functioning in the framework of cumulative culture (ongoing projects by Smithsonian – National Museum of Natural History available online at: Recent research has, also, revealed an ‗ebb and flow‘ model, according to which, early Pleistocene populations were thought to survive in refugia of southern Europe, during cold stages, only expanding northwards during fully temperate climates (e.g. Roebroeks, 2006; Parfitt, et al., 2010). There is a large body of literature devoted to the impact of variable climate on human body and well-being, too. Although ‗racial‘ differences are a touchy matter, amid such discussions, a consensus exists that climate and relevant parameters has influenced the evolution of the human physique. The undergone change since our species first evolved, were either universal, or more regional in effect. The changes apparent in worldwide populations include a decrease in both overall body size and brain size, as well as a reduction in jaw and tooth proportions. Regional populations have, also, evolved different physical and genetic characteristics in response to varying climates and lifestyles.

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Archaeodisasters Comparing the average heights of European males to estimated heights of skeletal human remains, one concludes that: (1) at 40 Ka, the mean height of Cro-Magnon males was 183 cm. Probably, the required greater body strength due to a physically demanding lifestyle, along as their recent African ancestry, affected populations height, and tall, long-limbed builds (2) at 10 Ka, the mean height of European males was 162.5cm, a dramatic reduction in size, perhaps influenced by global climatic change and the adoption of agriculture (e.g. malnutrition as a result of failed crops and a more restricted diet, new diseases spread into human populations) (3) today, the mean height of European males is 175 cm, due to improved diet and health care, along with inbreeding caused by urbanisation and a global greater mixing of populations and their genes (e.g. Henry and Ulijaszek, 1996; Komlos, 1998; Cameron, 2002; Komlos, and Baten, 2004; Koepke and Baten, 2008; Steckel, 2009). In parallel, although the last 2 Ma there has been a trend toward a bigger brain that has affected many species in our family tree, this trend has seen a reversal in our own species and our brains are now the smallest they have been at any time in the past 100 Ka: (1) at 100 Ka, the average brain size was 1500cc (2) at 12 Ka, the average brain size was 1450cc (3) today, the average brain size is 1350cc (e.g. Kappelman, 1993; Aiello and Wheeler, 1995; Changeaux and Chavillon, 1995; Finlay, Darlington and Nicastro, 2001; Allen, Damasio and Grabowski, 2002; Roth and Dicke, 2005). Nevertheless, anthropologists had studied the skeletal remains of a North Africa‘s ancient population, known as ‗Mouillans‘ - mostly of women and children (from Ad Afalu bu-Rummel, Meechta el-Arbi, AliBascia, La Mouillah, Kef –um, Der el-Soltan), dating them to ca 17 and 10 Ka; they posed the largest cranial capacity of any population the world has ever seen (maximum at 2,300 cm3 ). Initially thought to be linked to Cro-Magnon, they are now considered as having clear anatomical differences (Marchand, 1936; Petrau and Roidinger, 1996). The following examples of human body‘s appearance are, also, characteristic. Over thousands of years, cooler climates produced larger people, because their extra mass helps them retain heat. Moreover, skin colour is determined largely by the amount of melanin, a dark pigment, in the outer layer of the skin. In sunny climates close to the Equator, natural selection has favoured dark, melanin-rich skin, which protects its owner by absorbing harmful ultraviolet rays before they penetrate to lower layers. But some ultraviolet light must penetrate the skin, so that the body can produce Vitamin D. Thus, at higher latitudes, where sunlight is less intense, pale skin with little melanin is the norm. Melanin, also, determines eye colour. Dark eyes are generally favoured by nature. In Europe, however, almost 50 percent of the population has blue, green, or gray irises, such people may see further in dim light. Moreover, the eyes of the Chinese, Japanese, Eskimos, and other people of Mongoloid descent (one third of the world‘s population) are protected by epicanthic folds, composed of fatty tissue, probably evolved among their forebears inhabiting the Arctic in order to insulate the eye against freezing, and to provide an additional shield against glare from snow and ice (Katzmarzyk and Leonard, 1998; Moore, 2001; Young, et al., 2005; Norton, et al., 2007; Parra, 2007; Jablonski and Chaplin, 2010; Xu and Jin, 2012). Furthermore, the scientific field of Bioclimatology links climate to everything from homicide to human fertility and mental acuity, dealing with the effects of the physical environment on living organisms over an extended period of time (Schneider Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters and Londer, 1984), while Sociobiology proposes that social behaviour has resulted from evolution (Wilson, 1975 & 1978; Cohen, 2010). Evolutionary Psychology (a discipline strongly related to Evolutionary Anthropology), though, emphasizes that neural mechanisms of humans evolved in an ancestral environment that differed from the current environment, whereas animal sociobiologists look at animal adaptations to the current environment (Lewontin, et al., 1984; Pinker, 2002; Buss, 2005; Dawkins, 2006). All the same, hormones seem to have played a crucial role in human evolution and civilization (Maxwell, 1984; Nyborg, 1994; Stearns and Koella, 2007; Correia, 2009). Human societies have evolved through a complex system of climate and ecological interactions. Known records suggest intimate relationship of adaptations, mitigations and migrations to climate extremes, leaving their impacts on human societies. Research all over the world has shown that massive outflow of population occurred during those critical periods, in an environment of cold and dry climate signalled by the regressions of the seas. The expansion of farming proceeded during warm and wet periods coeval with the sea-level rise. Before Last Glaciation Maximum (LGM), humans had spread all over the world, as the anthropological evidence testifies. During the LGM (between 26.5 and 19 Ka), ice sheets covered the whole of Iceland and all but the southern extremity of the British Isles. Northern Europe was largely covered, the southern boundary passing through Germany and Poland. In North America, the ice covered essentially all of Canada and extended roughly to the Missouri and Ohio Rivers, and eastward to New York City, but parts of the Alaska remained unglaciated except at higher elevations. Ice sheets also covered Tibet (scientists continue to debate the extent to which the Tibetan Plateau was covered with ice), Baltistan, Ladakh and the Andean altiplano. In Africa, the Middle East and southeastern Asia, many smaller mountain glaciers formed, especially in the Atlas, the Bale Mountains and New Guinea. The Indonesian islands as far East as Borneo and Bali, were connected to the Asian continent in a landmass called Sundaland. Australia and New Guinea were connected forming Sahulland. In these warmer regions of the world, climates were cooler and almost everywhere drier; in extreme cases, such as South Australia and the Sahel, rainfall could be diminished by up to 90% from present. In addition, most of the world's deserts expanded. It was a cold, dry, and inhospitable world, with frequent storms and a dustladen atmosphere (Sibrava, et al., 1986; Ehlers and Gibbard, 2004; Mangerud, et al., 2004; Mithen, 2006; Clark, et al., 2009). Evidence has shown, nevertheless, that earlier of the LGM, a full glacial maximum took place in the South Hemisphere (65.1 ± 2.7 Ka) but with ‗Unfinished Termination‘, leaving behind substantial ice on the northern continents estimated about 50% of the full LGM ice volume. In fact, although the transition from interglacial to full glacial conditions in South Hemisphere climate could happen in about 15 Ka, similar transition in the North Hemisphere required half a glacial cycle (Schaeffer, et al., 2015). LGM glaciers forced early human populations who had originally migrated from northeastern Siberia into refugia, reshaping their genetic variation through mutation and drift, establishing the older haplogroups found among Native Americans, whereas post LGM migrations are responsible for northern North American haplogroups (Dillehay and Meltzer, 1991; Schanfield, 1992; Wallace and Torroni, 1992; Bonnichsen and Steele, 1994; Akazawa, 1999; Perego, et al., 2010). The Mediterranean Sea is, also, a prominent example of early seafaring, probably thousand of years before LGM (Mithen, 2003; Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters Broodbank, 2006; Kopaka and Mantzanas, 2009; Ammerman, 2010; Vavouranakis, 2011). The complete sequence of late Pleistocene climatic periods defined for North Europe are: the Oldest Dryas, the Bölling (interstadial), the Older Dryas (stadial), the Allerød (interstadial), and the Younger Dryas (stadial), the Holocene beginning immediately afterward. The last three just mentioned are, also, Blytt-Sernander periods. The Dryas periods were named after an indicator genus, the alpine /tundra plant Dryas octopetala (mountain avens) detected in core samples of glacial ice and peat bogs and flourished during the penultimate stadial of the Pleistocene (for the last glacial / interglacial climatic cycles as reflected on marine sediments, see, also, Aidona and Liritzis, 2012). The Oldest Dryas extended from 19 Ka to about 14.65 Ka, although its boundaries are highly debatably (Niessen, et al., 1992; Zaks, et al., 2009; Shakun and Carlson, 2010; Darnault, et al., 2012). The European cultures of that period are known as upper Palaeolithic and are attributed to Cro-Magnon populations. The Magdalenian culture of reindeer hunters prevailed in western Europe, while, from the Carpathians eastward the Epigravettian continued the prior Gravettian. To the Far East, the Jōmon culture had already become sedentary, was producing some food, possibly grew rice, even though they were not at all urban, and manufactured the first testified evidence of pottery. During that period, also, the domestic wolf (a distinct breed of Canis lupus with smaller teeth) and the domestic dog (Canis familiaris) helped with the hunting, gradually becoming adept at herding. New evidence suggests that the cultivation of cereal grains had begun already by 14 Ka in multiple regions in the Fertile Crescent, roughly at the same time, rather than just a single core area (Riehl, et al., 2013). The Older Dryas took place ca 14 Ka. In North Europe, an existed alternation of steppe and tundra environments, depending on the permafrost line and the latitude. The first trees, birch and pine, had spread into North Europe 500 years previously, but during the OD, the glacier advanced again and the trees retreated southward, to be replaced by a mixture of grassland and cool-weather alpine species (arctic tundra). The great extinction, especially of mammals, continued throughout this period. The Younger Dryas, also referred to as the Big Freeze, was a brief (ca 1300 ± 70 years) cold climate period following the Bölling/Allerød interstadial at the end of the Pleistocene between approximately 12.9 to 11.65 Ka, and preceding the Preboreal of the early Holocene; it was detected from layers in norhern European bog peat. In Ireland, the period has been known as the Nahanagan Stadial, while in the UK it has been called the Loch Lomond Stadial and most recently Greenland Stadial 1 (GS1). Thermally fractionated nitrogen & argon isotope data from Greenland ice core GISP2 indicates that the summit of Greenland was ~ 15°C colder during the Younger Dryas than today. In North America, there was a decline of the Clovis Culture and a final extinction of many Pleistocene species (Broecker, 2006; Ballenger et al., 2011; Meltzer & Holliday, 2010; Straus et al., 1996). In Asia, there was more dust in the atmosphere, originating from the deserts (Berger, 1990). But the Younger Dryas is mostly known as the triggering mechanism for agriculture‘s onset (Richerson, et al., 2001; Bar-Yosef and Belfer-Cohen, 2002; Gasse, et al., 2015). The cold and dry climatic conditions lowered the carrying capacity of Levantine lands, forcing the sedentary Early Natufian population into a more mobile Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters subsistence pattern. Further climatic deterioration during YD, is thought to have brought about cereal cultivation. Natufian was a Mesolithic culture (successor especially to Kebaran culture and other Epipaleolithic societies in the area) but unusual in that it built stone architecture before the introduction of agriculture. The period is commonly split into two sub-periods: Early (14.5-12.8 Ka) and Late (12.8-11.5 Ka), and their living areas were dispersed among the high mountains of Lebanon and the Anti -Lebanon, the steppe areas of the Negev desert in Israel and Sinai, as well as the Syro -Arabian desert (Bar-Yosef, 1987; Bar-Yosef and Valla, 1992; Bar-Yosef, 1998; Clutton-Brock, 1999; Moore, et al., 2000; Bellwood and Renfrew, 2002; Munro, 2003; Dubreuil, 2004; Simmons, 2007; Riehl, 2008; Balter, 2010; Bar-Yosef, 2016). The transition into the Holocene was characterized by intense climatic oscillations. The theory of 1500-year climate cycles (≈1470 ± 500 years) in the Holocene was postulated by Gerard C. Bond (Lamont - Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University) and initially based on petrologic tracers of drift ice in the North Atlantic. These events were correlated with most weak events of the Asian monsoon over the past 9 Ka, most aridification events in the Middle East, and changes in vegetation communities across all of North America (Cobb et al., 2005). The list of the events (as mentioned also elsewhere in the book, in the catalogue of climatic changes) is the following: Bond Event 8 (11.1 Ka) which coincides with the transition from the Younger Dryas to the Boreal; Bond Event 7 (10.3 Ka); Bond Event 6 (9.4 Ka) which correlates with the Erdalen event of glacier activity in Norway, as well as with a cold event in China; Bond Event 5 (8.2 Ka); Bond Event 4 (5.9 Ka); Bond Event 3 (4.2 Ka), which correlates also with the collapse of the Akkadian Empire and the end of the Egyptian Old Kingdom; Bond Event 2 (2.8 Ka), correlates with an early 1st millennium BCE drought in the eastern Mediterranean, possibly triggering the collapse of Late Bronze Age cultures; Bond Event 1 (1.4 Ka). To sum up, most Bond Events do not have a clear climate signal, some corresponding to periods of cooling, others being coincident with aridification in some regions. Nevertheless, the only Holocene Bond Event that has a clear temperature signal in the Greenland ice cores, is the 8.2-kyr-event (also detected, environmentally and archaeologically, in northern Greece; see, Lespez, Tsirtsoni, Darcque, et al., 2013). Moreover, Bond Events may be correlated with the 1800-year lunar tidal cycle (Bond et al., 1997; Keeling and Whorf, 2000; Bond, et al., 2001; Viau, et al., 2002; Gupta, et al., 2003; Yongjin, et al., 2005; Cox, 2007; Zou et al., 2007). They may, also, be the interglacial relatives of the glacial Dansgaard-Oeschger or D-O events, which were rapid climate fluctuations that occurred 25 times during the last glacial period as climatic periodicities. These events are considered as a redistribution mechanism within the climate system because, apart from the Arctic, they are also found in Antarctic cores with a corresponding but reverse signal, the antiphase (the bipolar see-saw hypothesis). Thus, Bond Events are considered as the Holocene climate cyclicity parallels of Pleistocene Dansgaard–Oeschger Events. In fact, the Little Ice Age (LIA), ca between 400 to 200 years ago, has been interpreted by some scientists as the cold part of a D-O cycle (Dansgaard, et al., 1993; Bond and Lotti, 1995; Bond, et al., 1997; Bond, et al., 1999; Alley, 2000; Maslin, et al., 2001; Schulz, 2002; Rahmstorf, 2003; Stocker and Johnsen, 2003; Braun, et al., 2005; Svensson, et al., 2006).

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Archaeodisasters In addition, Heinrich Events (Heinrich, 1988; Bond et al., 1992; Bar-Matthews, et al., 1997; Vidal, et al., 1999; Broecker, 2002), first described by marine geologist Hartmut Heinrich, lasted around 750 years and occurred, also, during the last glacial period but during some and not all, of the periodic cold spells preceding the rapid warming D-O events, which repeat around every 1,500 years. Some scientists (Broecker, 1994; Bond and Lotti 1995) identify the Younger Dryas Episode as a HE, which would make it HE0. On the other hand, the scientific literature uses geological or climate-based epoch names, such as Pleistocene and Holocene, but the exact definitions of these units can change with new data. Archaeologically expressed, the time after LGM is roughly categorized into the Mesolithic Period, The Neolithic Period, Bronze Age and Historic Times. These frames are used in terms of ―material cultures‖ describing technologies identified by archaeologists, and not exact dates, too. All the same, the whole package of new technologies and inventions, was not always transferred together to new regions, for example, farming itself may have entered some areas later than it did others, but pottery appeared at almost the same time in all of these areas. The Mesolithic Period is extended from about 12 to 7 Ka in northwestern Europe (Maglemosian & Azilian cultures), about 22 to 11.5 Ka in Levant (Kebara & Natufian cultures), and about 16 to 2.4 Ka in Japan (Jōmon cultures). Some authors, also, use the term ‗Mesolithic‘ for a variety of Late Palaeolithic cultures subsequent to the end of the last glacial period, whether they are transitional towards agriculture or not, while other authors use the term ‗Epipaleolithic‘ to distinguish between cultures which are late developments of hunter-gatherer traditions but not in transition toward agriculture, from those cultures, like the Natufian, which were transitional. People of that era needed to adapt successfully to changing environments characterized by rising sea levels, in order to find new food sources and develop new toolkits (microlith tools). The settlements got more complex, one prominent example being Lepenski Vir (Serbia – Balkans), with one large settlement and around it, ten satellite villages. The leading Mesolithic adaptation trend was sedentism, population growth and use of plant foods as evidence of the transition to agriculture (Galanidou and Perlès, 2003; Anthony, 2007; Douglas Price, 2007a & b; Gronenborn, 2007; Rosen, 2007; Cauvin, 2010). Generally speaking, the Neolithic period was characterized by farming, herding, polished stone axes, timber longhouses and pottery (Gupta, 2004; Weiss, et al., 2006; Barker, 2009). The adoption of agriculture is known as the ‗Neolithic Revolution‘ (Childe, 1936). The complex, larger settlements (i.e. Göbekli Tepe, Çatal Hüyük, Jericho) started before 9 Ka in the fertile crescent, in the Mediterranean, the Indus valley, China and southeastern Asia, along with large-scale constructions, such as towers, walls and ceremonial sites. The planting and harvest processes (the oldest evidence is dated to ca 10.5 Ka) led to widespread ground stone and polished stone artefacts, including tools for grinding, cutting and chopping (Haïdar – Boustani, 2001 -2002; Perlès, 2001; Hassan, 2002; Bellwood, 2004; Habu, 2004; Peltenburg and Wasse, 2004; Semino, et al., 2004; Scarre, 2005; Lancaster, 2009; Hadjikoumis, et al., 2011). The famous village of Skara Brae (Orkney, Scotland), widely known as the ‗Scottish Pompeii‘, contained stone beds, shelves, even an indoor toilet linked to a stream (Childe and Clarke, 1983; Renfrew, 1985; Darvill, 1987; Ritchie, 1995). The majority of Neolithic societies, even though

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Archaeodisasters hierarchical, were still relatively simple and egalitarian (Langer and Killen, 1998; Katz Rigby, 2000; Kuijt, 2000; Guthrie, 2005; Bowles and Choi, 2013). The ‗Secondary Products Revolution‘ occurred when ancient people recognised that animals, also, provided a number of other useful products, such as primary consumption (meat), hides and skins (from no domesticated animals), manure for soil conditioning (from all domesticated animals), wool (from mammoths, llama, alpaca and Angora goats), milk (from goats, cattle, yaks, sheep, horses and camels) and traction (from oxen, buffalo, onagers, donkeys, horses and camels). According to SPR model, proposed by Andrew Sherratt, these innovations first appeared in the Near East during the 4th millennium BCE and spread to Europe and the rest of Asia soon afterwards (Sherratt, 1981; Serjeantson and Field, 2006). Anyhow, human populations seemed to be highly adjusted to those quickly shifted environments (Renfrew and Bellwood, 2003; Fagan, 2004). Recent evidence discloses that there were at least two major Neolithic formation zones in the Near East, the traditional core area extending from Sinai in the South, up to the East Anatolian highlands on the North, and the other, the Anatolian Neolithic zone in central and western parts of the peninsula. In fact, the Near East model shows is incomparably high rate of change in settlement and cultural patterns, in technology, and in the composition of assemblages. The striking innovations that took place throughout the Neolithic Period are too voluminous in every aspect of culture. It was a period of experimentation, carried through in the most orderly and organized way, and any change or innovation was, almost instantly, shared through the entire Near Eastern Neolithic region via an active, efficient and complex communicative system (Özdogan, 1997). Recent genetic studies prove the initial archaeological suggestion that ‗migrating agriculturalists‘ spread this new way of life. But, the Late Neolithic was, also, for Europe, a period of cultural and economic change, with new European cultures emerging, after a considerable genetic influx, as the data indicate (Skoglund, et al., 2012; Brotherton, 2013). New evidence from the Neolithic cultures in central Europe throws more light on the turbulent prehistoric periods of geoclimatic changes, which triggered sociocultural upheaval. Although it is premature to make conclusions, archaeological evidence reveals inter-human attacks and massacres about 7 Ka (known as the Massacre Theory), the causes of which could vary from a possible breakdown of local economic systems, to a more general disturbance affecting a larger area of Europe, even to migration waves triggered by severe worldwide climatic changes. Similar motif has been suggested for the archaeological evidence in Near East (drought periods causing social decline, upheaval and collapses), although remains still controversial (Roper, 1974; De Meo, 1991; Teschler-Nicola, et al., 1999; Wild, et al., 2004). Another example of climatic interconnections and landscape transformations during late Pleistocene and Holocene is Sahara desert, one of the most striking climate changes in our planet‘s past, the climate of which has undergone enormous variation between wet and dry conditions over the last few hundred thousand years. During the LGM, the Sahara desert was more extensive than it is now, with the extent of the tropical forests being greatly reduced. This phase is associated with high rates of wind-blown mineral dust, found in marine cores that come from the northern tropical Atlantic. West African sediments record the ‗African Humid Period‘ between 16 and 6 Ka (with an interval of a short dry spell associated with the YD, around 14.5 Ka), when Africa was Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters much wetter due to a strengthening of the African monsoon (Gasse and Van Campo, 1994). These climatic conditions indicate a DO event, which peaked during the Holocene thermal maximum climatic phase at 6 Ka, when mid-latitude temperatures seem to have been between 2 and 3 degrees warmer, than in the recent past, and the rainfall in the Ethiopian Highlands were, also, higher (Kröpelin, et al., 2008; Skonieczny, et al., 2015). During that period, the Saharan desert was dotted with numerous lakes containing typical African lake crocodile and hippopotamus fauna. This lost paradise was the home of several extinct civilisations, traces of which still are preserved across the Sahara‘s galleries of cave art. Those cultures exhibited advanced stone tools, art and dramatic anthropomorphic symbolism. Especially, in the area of Tassili n'Ajer (meaning ‗Plateau of the Rivers‘, now a lunar landscape), a mountain range in the Algerian section of the Sahara Desert enclosing a vast plateau in southeast Algeria at the borders of Libya, Niger and Mali, with a coverage of 72,000 km2 , the exceptional range and density of rock art paintings-pictograms and engravings-petroglyphs (over 15,000) reveal an astonishing Neolithic past (Lhote, 1959; Bahn, 1998; Chippindale and Tacon, 1998; Coulson and Campbell, 2001; Whitley, 2001; Clottes, 2002; Mattingly, 2003 & 2007). In the eastern part of Green Sahara, once a large basin in the Nubian Desert, Nabta Playa located approximately 800 km south of modern day Cairo or about 100 km west of Abu Simbel in South Egypt. Beginning around 12 Ka, this region began to receive more rainfall, filling a lake. Archaeological discoveries reveal that the prehistoric peoples who inhabited the area, led livelihoods of high level organization (e.g. aboveground and below-ground stones constructions, villages designed in pre-planned arrangements, deep wells that held water throughout the year). But the most astonishing discovery was about one of the world's earliest known examples of archeoastronomical sites. By 7 Ka onwards, these people constructed megalithic monuments, roughly contemporary to the Goseck circle in Germany and the Mnajdra megalithic temple complex in Malta. Archaeoastronomers consider them as a conceptual representation of the motion of the sky over a precession cycle. In fact, the calendar circle correlation with Orion's belt and Sirius occurred between 6400 BCE and 4820 BCE, matching the radiocarbon dating of campfires around the circle. Measurements confirm, also, the possible alignments with Sirius, Arcturus, Alpha Centauri and the Belt of Orion. Other researchers go even beyond this dating, recognizing a representation of the Milky Way as it was in 17,500 BCE and maps of Orion at 16,500 BCE (Wendorf and Malville, 2001; Wendorf, et al., 2001; Brophy, 2002; Irish, et al., 2002; Brophy and Rosen, 2005; Malville, et al., 2008). According to the scientific research conducted by the Sahara Mega-Lakes Project team, Megafezzan had a maximum lake area of 130,000±7000 km2 and a catchment area of 350,000 km2 , being the only lake that provides long term record of climate change in the central Sahara; Lake Tritonis and Lake Chad (Drake and Bristow, 2006; Drake, et al, 2010) were the other two giant lakes of that period. At its peak (sometime before 7 Ka), Lake Chad was over 173 m deep with an area of at least 400,000 km2 , bigger than the Caspian Sea, the biggest lake on Earth today (Fezzan & Sahara Mega-Lakes projects, available online at:; Kutzback, et al., 1996; Unesco, African Pollen Database Report 2001; De Villiers and Hirtle, 2002; Gwin, 2008; Sereno, et al., 2008).

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Archaeodisasters The Tritonian Sea figured in the mythical birth of Goddess Pallas Athena, related, also, to other great mythological cycles such as the Argonauts, the Libyan Amazons and Perseus / Medusa (Cledenon, 2009; Mayor, 2014). Lake Tritonis was a large body of fresh water, somewhere between Libya, Tunisia, Algeria and the Mediterranean coasts, described in many ancient texts by Greek writers (Iliad, IV.515& VIII.839; Herodotus, iv.42 & 179 - 180; Euripides Ion, 872; Apollonius of Rhodes, iv. 1495 & 1552). In fact, Herodotus gave it an area of 2,300 km2 , or, half the size of the contemporary United States state, Rhode Island. Nowadays, there is Chott el-Djerid, a seasonal lake which is marshy and shallow; in the 1st century BCE Diodorus Siculus (book III) reports an old myth that Lake Tritonis ―disappeared from sight‖ during an earthquake, that caused drainage to the sea of most of its fresh water. Thus, the Holocene Climatic Optimum (also known by many other names, including Hypsithermal, Altithermal, Climatic Optimum, Holocene Optimum, Holocene Thermal Maximum and Holocene Megathermal) was a warm period during roughly the interval 9 to 5 Ka. The general increases of mean temperatures were up to 4 °C near the North Pole, northwestern Europe experienced warming, while there was cooling in the South; and, as new research suggests, warming in Europe during the mid-Holocene was greater in winter than in summer, which is an apparent paradox not consistent with current climate model simulations and Milankovitch theory (Mauri, et al., 2015). This was the warmest period in the last 125 Ka with minimal glaciation and highest sea levels (Gagan et al., 1998; Davis, et al., 2003; Kaufman, et al., 2004; Koshkarova and Koshkarov, 2004; Mayle, et al., 2004). But, during HO, there were climatic fluctuations, too, that were expressed as sudden decrease in global temperatures. A rapid cooling around 6,200 BCE that lasted for the next two to four centuries, is known as the 8.2-kyr event the causes of which are disputed (Alley, et al., 1997; Bond, et al., 1997; Barber, et al., 1999; Renssen, et al., 2001; Alley and Ágústsdóttir, 2005; Kendall, et al., 2008; Berger and Guilaine, 2009). Furthermore, the transitions into and out of Holocene Optimum occurred within decades, not within millennia, as previously thought. A sudden subsequent movement of the ITCZ Southwards, linked to changes with the El Niño-Southern Oscillation Cycle, led to a rapid drying out of the Saharan and Arabian regions, which quickly became desert (Cremaschi, 1998; Claussen, et al., 1999; Berke, et al., 2012). This event, known as the 5.9- kyr climatic event, one of the most intense aridification events during the Holocene, identified both in North Atlantic cooling episode cycles (Bond, et at., 1997) and in the Erhai Lake sediments in southwest China (Zhou, et al., 2007), was the triggering mechanism for the desiccation of the Sahara desert, and a world wide migration to river valleys leading to the emergence of first complex, highly organised, state-level societies (e.g. Early Dynastic Period in both Egypt First Dynasty, and Sumer). In the Middle East, the event led to the abrupt end of the Ubaid period. The Ubaid culture had a long duration, beginning before 5,300 BCE and lasting until the beginning of the Uruk period, ca 4100 BCE. The invention of the wheel and the beginning of the Chalcolithic period fall into the Ubaid period. The tell (mound) of Ubaid near Ur in southern Iraq, has given its name to the prehistoric Pottery Neolithic to Chalcolithic culture, representing the earliest settlement on the alluvial plain of South Mesopotamia. Even more, researchers have linked the event, to the rise of ‗modern‘ societies, the main characteristics of which, were patriarchy, institutionalised warfare, social stratification, abuse of children, the Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters development of the human ego, separation from the body, the rise of anthropomorphic gods and the concept of linear historic time (Griffith, 2001; Taylor and DeMeo, 2005; Brooks, 2006). In parallel, by 3400 BCE, Sahara was as dry as it is today, and it became a largely impenetrable barrier to humans, with only scattered settlements around the oases, but little trade or commerce through the desert (Petit-Maire, et al., 1997; Gearon, 2011; Clarke, et al., 2015). At the beginning of the 3rd millennium BCE, the Late Holocene started (Roberts, 1998; Mackay, et al., 2003). The Piora Oscillation was an abrupt cold and wet period generally dated to the period of ca 3200 to 2900 BCE. Highly controversial, this period has, also, been associated with the end of the Uruk period, the floods of the Gilgamesh epic and Noah's flood of the Book of Genesis, as well as with the domestication of the horse in central Asia (Lamb, 1995; Matossian, 1997; Magny and Haas, 2004). Later on, the 4.2-kyr severe aridification event is considered as one of the most severe climatic events of the Holocene period in terms of impact on cultural upheaval. In South Asia, the Indian monsoons that provide 80% of the Nile flow were deflected. Similar phenomena of extended drought are registered near the sources of Nile, Tigris and Euphrates, Indus and Yellow Rivers. Thus, starting in ca 2200 BCE, the event was the triggering mechanism of the collapse of the Old Kingdom in Egypt, the Harappan culture in India, the Neolithic cultures in central plains of China, as well as the Akkadian Empire in Mesopotamia (Mandelkehr, 1983; 1987a & b, 1991a & b; Gibbons, 1993; Weiss et al., 1993; Dalfes, et al., 1997; Napier, 1997; de Menocal, 2001; Douglas, 2001; Master, 2002; Ristvet, 2003; Stanley, et al., 2003; Staubwasser, et al., 2003; Wu and Liu, 2004; Drysdale, et al., 2005; Arz et al., 2006; Linden, 2006; Gao et al., 2007; Berhandt, et al., 2012; Erdal, 2012; Giosan, et al., 2012; Müller, 2015). Similarly, during the last Bronze Age centuries (14th -12th), major environmental and social upheaval shook the circum-Mediterranean world (Carpenter, 1966; Drews, 1992; Kobres, 1992; Pirazzoli, 1996; Peiser, et al., 1998; Nur and Cline, 2000/1; de Grazia, 2005; Kaniewski, et al., 2010; Kaniewski, et al., 2013; Langgut, et al., 2013). This turbulent period experienced climatic / geotectonic upsetting and fierce celestia l events (Sallares, 1991, p. 391, refers to many scientists who examined various natural forces as possible triggering mechanism for the societal collapse during the end of the Bronze Age, e.g. Carpenter, 1966; Parry, 1978; Weiss, 1982; Longo, 1984; Shrimpton, 1987; Tsonis, et al., 2010). But, apart from the main triggering mechanisms, such as impacts or /and seismic storms, the shaken equilibrium was, also, expressed via the hydroclimatic patterns worldwide. Worldwide evidence, also, shows the existence of extreme El Niños, which were translated into harsh and prolonged drought (even 200 years period) in eastern Mediterranean. The collapse of Minoan civilization seems to be deciphered under this perspective (Wang and Tsonis, 2008). A global coupled ocean-atmosphere quasi periodic phenomenon was present throughout the Holocene, as an omnipotent mechanism linking climatic patterns between both hemispheres, while the mechanisms that cause the oscillation still remain under study. The Pacific Ocean signatures (El Niño: warm phase / La Niña: cool phase, previously known as ‗anti-El Niño‘, and ‗El Viejo‘ meaning "the old man‖) are important temperature fluctuations in surface waters of the tropical eastern Pacific Ocean. The name El Niño (< Spanish for "the little boy‖), refers to the Christ child, because the Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters phenomenon is usually noticed around Christmas time in the Pacific Ocean off the west coast of South America (Phillander, 1990). Charles Todd, in AD 1893, and Norman Lockyer in AD 1904, who noticed that droughts in India and Australia tended to occur at the same time were among the first modern scientists observing the telecommunication of global hydroclimatic phenomena. But, these effects were first described in AD 1923 by Sir Gilbert Thomas Walker (Walker, 1923 & 1924; Walker and Bliss, 1930 and 1937), who coined the term ‗Southern Oscillation‘ to dramatize the ups and downs in this eastern – western Pacific "seesaw" effect. Thus, the Walker Circulation was named after the man who first predicted that weather is a global phenomenon. ENSO (El Niño combined with Southern Oscillation) is associated with floods, droughts and other disturbances in a range of locations around the world (Glantz, 2001), being the most prominent known source of inter-annual variability in weather and climate around the world. ENSO has signatures in the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans (Phillander, 2004; Iyengar, 2009). There is evidence for ENSO-like climate variability during near-peak glacial conditions, at least existing for the past 130 Ka. It might, also, get disappeared for decades, causing cold episodes (e.g. Younger Dryas) or be permanent, for example during Pliocene (Fedorov, et al., 2006). There is evidence, too, for strong El Niño events, at least, during the early Holocene 10 Ka (Carrè, et al., 2005; Koutavas, et al., 2006). Evidence has shown that the phenomenon had affected pre-Columbian Incas, and it is considered as the triggering mechanism for the demise of the Moche and other preColumbian Peruvian cultures (Caviedes, 2001; Sandweiss, et al., 2001; Diamond, 2004). Moreover, strong El-Niño effect during AD 1789-1793 caused poor crop yields in Europe, which, in turn, helped touch off the French Revolution. The extreme weather produced by El Niño in AD 1876-1877, caused the most deadly famines of the 19th century (Grove, 1998; Fagan, 1999). Major ENSO events were recorded in the years AD 1790-1793, 1828, 1876-1878, 1891, 1925-1926, 1972-1973, 1982-1983, 1997-1998, and 2010-2011 (Davis, 2001). Finally, the latest research suggests further implications between ENSO and influenza pandemics (Shaman and Lipstich, 2012). On the other hand, the Meltemi wind, known by the old Greeks as the Etesian northern winds (RE s.v. ‗Winde‘; Jackson, 2003), results from a high pressure system (>1025) laying over the Balkan/Hungary area and a relatively low pressure (<1010) system over Turkey. Although this katabatic wind can bring about harsh sailing conditions, it, also, provides cooling, low humidity and good visibility. Furthermore, it can be characterized as one of the few Mediterranean winds that do not necessarily die out at the end of the day and can easily last more than three to six days. Its onset happens when the monsoonal effect of the summer season, that leads to the development of an intense heat trough over southern Asia, extends westward over the Anatolian plateau. Higher pressure dominates over the relatively cooler surface of the Mediterranean Sea, and settled, dry weather persists. Northerly winds prevail along the Greek coast during the winter too, but only those northerly winds occurring between May and November are considered Etesian (Pezzoli, 2005). Thus, the wave field variability patterns (inter-annual and inter-decadal) of Aegean Sea are associated with consistent sea level pressure (SLP) and surface wind field structures. The winter average significant wave height (SWH) is anti-correlated with the winter NAO (North Atlantic Oscillation) index, which shows a correspondingly Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters increasing trend. During summer, a minor component of the wave field inter-annual variability presents a statistically significant correlation with the Indian Monsoon reflecting its influence on the meridional Mediterranean circulation (Lionello and Sanna, 2005). Furthermore, the teleconnections with Indian monsoon and Sahel rainfall transform the meteorological and marine dynamics over the Mediterranean area on an interannual time scale (Reicich, et al., 2003). An intensification of the Asian monsoon enhances the Etesian winds, due to the enhanced pressure gradient between the two regions (Ziv, et al., 2004). On the other hand, the numerous islands of the Aegean and especially Crete (a mountainous island in the South Aegean oriented perpendicular to the surface flow) seem to play an important role in the modification of the wind field during the Etesians (Kotroni, et al. 2001). Finally, studies reveal that significant tendency is shown for both Etesians and sector boundaries of the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) to occur on the same solar rotation days, during the main period of the Etesians effect (July -August). In addition, the solar activity seems to control the Etesians distribution (Wilcox, et al., 1976; Metaxas, 1977; Repapis, 1978; Tritakis, 1985). And now, let us detect all this above-mentioned knowledge in the ancient lore. In the Andean regions, rainfall is seasonal and usually starts in October, but every few years the onset of the rains is delayed by up to several weeks. For hundreds of years, the farmers have observed the Pleiades, which become visible in the South Hemisphere skies in June. If the Pleiades shine brightly in June, they can start planting their potatoes in October, as there will be adequate rainfall during the critical months of December through February. However, if the Pleiades look dim, planting is delayed until November. Every two to seven years along comes the hydro-climatic phenomenon known as El NiĂąo, during which, thin cirrus clouds appear very high in the skies over the Andes in June (Hurrell, 1995; Svensmark and FrĂźs-Christensen, 1997; Fagan, 2000; Roig, et al., 2001; Koutavas, et al., 2002 ; Stott, et al., 2002). These cirrus clouds cause the Pleiades to appear dim to the naked eye (Orlove, et al., 2000). But, the archaeometeorological observations made by the Andean farmers several centuries ago, had been, also, made by peoples of the Mediterranean region, at least two millennia BCE. The interrelation between the clearness of the atmosphere and the amount of clouds, the intensity of seasonal climatic phenomena and the visibility of Pleiades, is recorded in the text of Theophrastus (On Signs, 29 and 43) dated to the 4th century BCE (Laoupi, 2005b). There is one more striking evidence, too. Especially ancient Greek mythology offers significant clues about the implication of the water element in the Pleiades mythological nucleus. This water element reflects various information about: a) the fluctuations on the biochemical structure of Earthâ&#x20AC;&#x2DC;s atmosphere related to the global hydro-climatic phenomenon of ENSO, b) some extra events of deluge related to the Pleiades (either as source of the event, or as an astronomical correlation) that gave them a chthonian and malignant character and c) the periodicity of the hydro-climatic phenomena (e.g. ENSO and NAO) with their peaks and falls in their dual cycles (Pleiades, Hyades and Poseidon = mild and wet / Sirius, Orion = hot and dry). There are, indeed, too many traditions connecting the Pleiades, with some kind of catastrophe to be overlooked. When people talk about seasonality and Pleiades, they often refer to food, Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters hunger and destruction too (Laoupi, 2005b). In fact, Dizionario Etimologico Ottorino Pianigiani relates the ancient Greek name Orion (written with omega) to: a) the Celtic world uria (rain) later possibly to French orage or Italian uragano, and, b) to Sanskrit ur (water) and its variants vara (rain), varuna (god of waters, and urine (a kind of water flowing as well from a certain height). Furthermore, the teleconnection of the global hydroclimatic phenomena (e.g. ENSO, NAO & monsoon patterns) which relates the intensity of the monsoons in Indian Ocean, the rainfalls in central Africa and the Sahel boundary to the annual flooding of the Nile and the summer winds in eastern Mediterranean, is reversely detected in prehistoric and historic Greek tradition. In Homeric Iliad (X, 29 - 31 & XXII, 30 -31), Sirius is characterized not only as the brightest star of the night sky, but, also, as a malignant symbol that causes suffering to mortals. The name of this star comes from the Greek epithet ‗seirios‘, meaning glowing or scorcher. In Orphica (Argonautica, 120), the Greek word sirius (seirios) was firstly used as an adjective for the sun‘s glow (see also Hesiod Works and Days, 417; Hesychios and Suidas, s.v. ‗seirios‘). Paul Faure, having assumed that any sign from Hieroglyphic or Linear A that was identical to one known in both Linear B and the related Cypriot syllabary, had the same meaning as the Linear B-Cypriot one, analyzed inscriptions on offerings found at ten caves or underground caverns in Crete, well known centres of Minoan cult. In fact, couple of these was associated with peak sanctuaries. Comparing the inscriptions piece by piece to very early Greek, Faure came to some intriguing conclusions. Among the Minoan deities‘ names identified by Faure and found across the island of Crete, at Petsopha, Juktas, Apodoulou, Mt. Vryssinas, Psychro, Kato Symi and Arkalochori, the name SI-RU or SE-RI-O also appears. But, apart from Siru or Serio, who seem to represent a sun deity, there is a lunar / solar trinity including NO-PI-NA (in later Greek = Nymph or Maiden), who represents a new-moon goddess, and MA (in later Greek = Mother), who represents a full- moon goddess. Figures of the sun and moon occur frequently in Minoan iconography (Morgan, 1990; Faure, 2002). New evidence suggests the wide use – in the Minoan Libation Formula continuing into the Mycenaean Period of the world SI-RU-TE (with the variant SI-RU-DU), where the suffix –TE seems to refer to an acting subject, the goddess, and the SI-RU to the verb destroy (found also in Sanskrit), according to post- doctoral researcher Gareth Owens (Linguistics, Athens University), who recognises the Pelasgian substratum of Minoan and other Bronze Age Aegean languages (1999 and 2000). Within this perspective, the text imprinted on Phaistos Disc is considered as a humn to the Great Mother Goddess (―The Epiphany of our Shining Mother‖), which, in Side B includes the word SI-RU-TE/ TI-RJU-TE (the destroyer) and, amongst other epithets, the word PA-JE-RE-SA = PHAE+-RE-SA (the shining ~ Pasiphae). This is strongly proven linguistic approach, but researchers should take under consideration the archaeoastronomical interpretations, too. All the same, the feminine identity of this word (goddess the destroyer) is similar to the princess Sothis (Sirius) of the ancient Egyptian tradition. Especially, the Keian astromyth speaks of two major environmental disasters, the change in wind patterns (with subsequent drought) and the pestilence (Laoupi, 2006b). Hearing of the death of his son Androgeos, in Attica, during the festival of Panathenaia, the Cretan king Minos mustered a large army and navy against Athens and its king Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters Aegeus. Minos captured many islands as he approached Attica, becoming the Lord of the Aegean. In his campaign against mainland Greece, he had captured the kingdom of Megara, ruled by Nissus. From there, he moved his army and navy against Athens. The siege of Athens, however, was long and frustrating. So Minos prayed to his father, Zeus, the mightiest of the gods, for aid. Then, Zeus caused Athens to suffer from famine and pestilence. The Athenians suffering from war and plagues asked the oracle how they might survive. The oracle informed them that only sacrifices can be made to end the war, plague and famine. Since Minos had lost a son, Aegeus must give him seven youths and seven maidens every nine years, as tributes. These young Athenians would be confined in the Labyrinth, as food to the monster Minotaur. Aegeus had no choice but to comply with Minos' demands. The myth reflects clearly the environmental substratum of geopolitical changes during that period of Minoan thalassocracy. On the other hand, the prehistoric population of Keos or Ceos (Cycladic islands, Aegean Sea) was a witness to a severe environmental change. In the remote past, deadly heat, drought and severe plague caused much suffering around the ‗islands of Minos‘. Delphic prophecy counselled Aristaeus (Aristaios) to sail to Keos, where he would be greatly honoured. The hero came to the island and sacrificed to Sirius and Zeus Ikmaios (Lord of Moisture) on the highest peak (its modern name is Prophetis Helias), on behalf of all the Greeks. Zeus listened to his prayers and sent the etesian winds blowing for forty days after the heliacal rising of Sirius during summer (Aristotle, fr. 511; Theophrastus On Winds, 14; Diodorus, IV.81.1; Hyginus Astronomica, 2.4; Nonnos, XIII.253). Since that time, the priesthood of the island (Callimachus, Aitia Fr. 3.1 -from Oxyrhynchus Papyri 7) - the first hierophant of which was the Pelasgian Aristaios - established an annual celebration to honour Sirius the day of its heliacal rising, during which, they used to invoke for help and protection (Apollonius, II.498 - 527). In Antiquity, Keos was considered as the main solar island, and it was called Σσρίη by Homer (Homer Odyssey xv, 400-409), and later Σειρία or Σσρία (Frazer, 1890; Svoronos, 1899). What about those Late Bronze Age plagues? It is difficult to say what the earliest recorded outbreak of the bubonic plague is. This, generally neglected, parameter of that turbulent period, the epidemic diseases (i.e. Walløe, 1999), seemed to play, also, a crucial role in the collapse of the Hittite empire and the problems of Pharaonic Egypt, as well as in the upheaval of eastern Mediterranean. The Ebers Papyrus (ca 1534 BCE) is the earliest written evidence of the symptoms of what we now recognise to be bubonic plague. The Hearst Medical Papyrus (ca 1520 BCE) refers to ‗when the body is blackened with spots‘, which are elaborated on in the London Medical Papyrus (1350 BCE). Smallpox (Variola major & minor) is also an epidemic disease caused by a virus that plagued humanity for millennia. In fact, it was the first and only disease ever intentionally eradicated from the face of our planet (Shurkin, 2000; Glynn and Glynn, 2004). Historians speculate that it appeared around 12 Ka, in the agricultural settlements of northeastern Africa. From there, it probably spread to India via Egyptian merchants. It was known in China as early as 1122 BCE. The first clear description of smallpox was recorded by a Chinese medic by the name of Ko Hung. In fact, two goddesses were worshipped in India and China, to prevent or cure the disease, Shitala (she literally means smallpox in Sanskrit) and T‘ou-Shen Niang-Niang (Hopkins, 1983; Kinsley, 1988; Ferrari, 2009) It is mentioned in ancient Sanskrit texts of India, too. In the 1500s, the Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters Spanish and Portuguese transported it to the New World, where it decimated the Aztec and Inca populations in central and South America. Today, researchers estimate that it may have killed ½ billion people throughout history. The first known smallpox epidemic seems to be recorded in 1350 BCE. During the Egyptian / Hittite war, Egyptian prisoners spread the disease to their enemies. Even the Hittite king Suppiluliumas I the Great, and his heir, Arnuwandas, fell victim to the virus in ca 1322-1321 BCE. Apart from soldiers, captives, officials and traders, handmaidens, needlewomen, musicians and slaves, who went directly into court circles, aggravated also the whole situation in both empires. The pandemic thought to be a divine wrath upon Hittites, and its story is told in the Plague Prayers of Mursili II, a document, found in the ruins of the ancient city of Hattusha, the Hittite Capital, and written by one of Suppililiuma‘s son, Mursili II (ca 1327-1295 BCE), who succeeded his father following his death. Eventually, the land of Hatti had been devastated by that plague (Beckman, 1999; Singer, 2002; Bryce, 2005). Amenophis III erected more than 700 statues of Sekhmet, the goddess of pestilence in Egypt, a symbolic prophylactic measure to ward off disease from his nation. During the Amarna Period, beginning in Akhenaten‘s Year 11 (post-Jubilee period) and continuing throughout the remaining seven years of his reign, there were reports, in Amarna Letters (EA 11, EA 35, EA 96, EA 932), of widespread pestilence and plague, along with devastating famine. Nergal, the god of pestilence, was abroad in his land, Alashia (a kingdom in Bronze Age Cyprus?), reducing the production of copper ingots for the pharaoh. Plague was, also, recorded on the mainland at Byblos and Sumura. During that time, no new ―temples‖ were built, food offerings were no longer shown, and the Egyptians showed off how fat they were (Redford, 1984; Aldred, 1988). The bioarchaeological findings from the Amarna South Tombs Cemetery show a ‗demographic anomaly‘, which is, according to researchers, a possible indication for a catastrophic death assemblage due to pandemic disease. Like the Athenian Plague, there is a controversial literature over this topic, the virus which caused the pandemic hasn‘t been identified for sure, and the disease may be smallpox, Pneumonic or even Septicaemic plague (highly contagious and spread via human contact), malaria or even a virulent strain of influenza (Scholtissek and Naylor, 1988; Shortridge, 1992; Margerison and Knusel, 2002; Moran, 1992; Singer, 2002; Panagiotakopulu, 2004; Gowland and Chamberlain, 2005; Kozloff, 2006; Castex, 2008; Hawass, et al., 2010; Zabecki and Rose, 2010; Kemp, et al., 2013). Later on, the pharaoh Ramessses V died of smallpox in 1157 BCE, at the age of 35. The scars of the disease have been found on his mummy, as well as on other mummies of the 18th to 20th dynasties, considered as its earliest credible clinical evidence. There are two clinical forms of smallpox. Variola major is the severe and most common form of smallpox, with a more extensive rash and higher fever. There are four types of variola major smallpox based on the RAO classification: ordinary, modified, flat, and hemorrhagic. Historically, variola major has an overall fatality rate of about 30%, however, flat and hemorrhagic smallpox are usually fatal. In addition, a form called variola sine eruptione (smallpox without rash) is seen generally in vaccinated persons. Variola minor is a less common presentation of smallpox, and a much less severe disease, with historical death rates of 1% or less. Subclinical (asymptomatic) infections with variola virus have also been noted, but are not believed to be common. Generally Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters speaking, this disease was highly contagious with high fatality rates (up to 40%) and severe social side effects (Ruffer and Ferguson, 1911; Ruffer, 1921; Cerny, 1975; Hopkins, 1983; Fenner, et al., 1988; Barquet and Domingo, 1997; Christopher, et al., 1997; Alibek and Handelman, 1999). Meteorological and other fluctuating environmental conditions make the spread of any contagious disease an unpredictable agent in human history. Thus, Bronze Age cultural centres of eastern Mediterranean had repeatedly suffered from severe environmental upheaval, convincingly testified by modern interdisciplinary scientific studies. The primordial Aegean ceremonies that honoured Sirius echo the recollection of those past catastrophic events. Consequently, the invocation of LBA priesthood to Sirius on peak sanctuaries just before its heliacal rising seems to reflect, wisely, the knowledge of these teleconnections of the Etesian winds with monsoonal behaviour, rates of Sahel rainfall and Nile‘s flooding, solar activity and summer climatic patterns across eastern Mediterranean. On the other hand, between 1206-1187 BCE, there is evidence of major droughts in the eastern Mediterranean. Hittite and Ugarit records show requests for grain were sent to Egypt, probably during the reign of Pharaoh Merenptah. There was, also, a general abandonment of peasant subsistence agriculture in favour of nomadic pastoralism in central Anatolia, Syria and North Mesopotamia, Palestine, the Sinai and northwestern Arabia. Carpenter (1966) had already suggested that droughts of equal severity to those of the 1950s in Greece would have been sufficient to cause the Late Bronze Age collapse (Kaniewski, et al., 2010; Drake, 2012). In fact, the ‗Greek Dark Ages‘ that followed, occurred during prolonged arid conditions that lasted until the Roman Warm Period (Drake, 2012). In addition, at the end of the 2nd millennium BCE, a combination of environmental and socio-cultural factors, led to the Sea People migration and the collapse of the circum-Mediterranean empires (Cline, 2014). The raiding of migratory peoples and their subsequent resettlement was the main trend of the Late Bronze Age in the Mediterranean (Woudhuizen, 2006; Peczynski, 2009). Their identity still remains enigmatic to modern scholars, who have only the scattered records of ancient civilizations and archaeological analysis to inform them (Wilson, 1956; Oren, 2000; Fagan, 2003, p. 186; Knapp, 2013, pp. 448-449; Singer, 2013; Weeden, 2013). Their identities and motives, though, seem to be known to the ancient Egyptians. In fact, many had been subordinate to the Egyptians or in a diplomatic relationship with them, for at least as long as the few centuries covered by the records. The majority of hypotheses related to their origin and history, are beyond the scope of this book. Nevertheless, the ‗Anatolian famine hypothesis‘ and the ‗Invader Hypothesis‘ should be taken under consideration. According to the first hypothesis, the weather teleconnections globally have created, repeatedly, in the past, such climatic condition, as triggering mechanisms to environmental and socio-economic upheaval. Drought, scarcity of grains and, finally, famine and migrations, can be testified through- and from- archaeological evidence. Herodotus portrays the wandering and migration of Lydians from Anatolia because of severe famine (Histories, I.94). The Merneptah Stele, mentions also shipments of grain to the Hittite Empire to relieve famine (Manassa, 2003). Tablet RS 18.38 from Ugarit mentions, too, grain to the Hittites, suggesting a long period of famine, connected further, Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters in the full theory, to drought. In the Great Papyrus Harris, it is written that Ramesses III fought wars against the Peoples of the Sea, subdued them and made them subjects of Egypt (Breasted, 1906). Scientists have testified a general climatic crisis in the Black Sea and Danubian regions (as known through pollen analysis and dendrochronology), about the year 1200 BCE, that could have caused migration from the North (Wood, 1987, p. 221). Furthermore, researchers (Weiss, 1982) used the Palmer Drought Index (sometimes called the Palmer Drought Severity Index, often abbreviated as PDSI), a measurement of dryness based on recent precipitation and temperature, to correlate modern data to climatic scenarios in the past (Dai, et al., 2004). Finally, the weather patterns in North Hemisphere, have been detected in their interdependence, according to which, mid-winter storms from the Atlantic diverting to travel north of the Pyrenees and the Alps, bring wetter conditions to central Europe, but drought to eastern Mediterranean (Fagan, 2003). According to the second hypothesis, there was a major disturbance worldwide, from the Danube valley to the plains of China. Although based on a plethora of archaeological evidence, this correlation still remains controversial (Grant, 1969; Finley, 1981; Drews, 1995). The 1st Millennium that coincided with the Greek Colonization and the expansion of Greek civilization, was marked by the Iron Age Cold Epoch (Iron Age climate Pessimum or Iron Age Neoglaciation), lasting from about 900 BCE to about 300 BCE. The period was characterized by an unusually cold climate in the North Atlantic region, ending the last SLR. Especially, during the Homeric Minimum (800 BCE - 500 BCE), the rates of solar activity were lower than usual and the geomagnetic Etrussia-Sterno excursion took place (Gribbin, 1978; Raspopov, et al., 2000; Raspopov and Dergachev, 2003; Raspopov, et al., 2005; Plunkett and Swindles, 2008). The palaeoecological and geological evidence indicates that climate changed from relatively warm and continental to oceanic in northwestern Europe. The extension of fens and bogs, as well as the emergence of salt marshes, caused loss of cultivated land and led to migration from these low-lying areas, which had become marginal for occupation. Scientists have detected evidence for a synchronous climatic change elsewhere in Europe, and in other continents around that period, which was, also, characterized by temporary aridity in tropical regions and a reduced transport of warmth to the temperate climate regions by atmospheric and/or oceanic circulation systems (Van Geel, et al., 1998; Swindles, et al., 2007). The Hallstatt culture was the predominant central European culture from 8th to 6th centuries BCE, preceded by the Urnfield culture of the 12th century BCE (Late Bronze Age) and followed in much of central Europe by the La Tène culture. It is commonly linked to Proto-Celtic and Celtic populations in its western zone and with (pre-) Illyrians in its eastern zone (Pydyn, 1999; Carpenter, 2010; Kristinsson, 2010). To the South, the low lying mountain ranges of Greece had already separated the land into individual communities (city-states), at least since Bronze Age. But, the small size and poor soil quality of the land did not allow the city states to support large populations, fact enhanced by the climate deterioration during Homeric Minimum. Thus, after a deep socio-economic crisis, dated from 12th to 10th centuries BCE and the improvements made between 900-750 BCE, a mass wave of colonization took place, along with a cultural renaissance in scientific breakthroughs, artistic, political and economic / commercial advances. In fact, researchers estimate that, during the period Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters from 800 BCE to 400 BCE, the Greek population of 1 million, increased to a total of 10 million. Greek colonists spread around Mediterranean and beyond, initially forced by limited resources (e.g. metals, grain), later instilling a strong feeling of individualism and humanism, which, also, led to the rise of democracy in Greece (McEvedy and Jones, 1978; Boardman, 1999; Chew, 2006; Hansen, 2006; Hall, 2007; Nijboer, 2011). Furthermore, a well- documented interconnection is detected between the fall of Ancient Athens and environmental factors. During the 5 th century BCE, the plague of Athens seemed to have a crucial impact on Peloponnesian Warâ&#x20AC;&#x2DC;s outcome. The â&#x20AC;&#x2014;Plague of Athensâ&#x20AC;&#x2DC; is a medical and historical classic, which has fascinated doctors and historians for centuries. It was a devastating epidemic, which hit the city-state of Athens in ancient Greece, during the second year of the Peloponnesian War (430 BCE), when an Athenian victory still seemed within reach. It is believed to have entered Athens through Piraeus, the city's port and sole source of food and supplies. The epidemic broke in early May of 430 BCE, with another wave in the summer of 428 BCE and in the winter of 427-426 BCE, lasting for 4.5 to 5 years. The contemporary historian Thucydides portrays a virgin soil epidemic with a high attack rate, and an unvarying course in persons of different ages, sexes, and nationalities. In his History of the Peloponnesian War, he described the coming of an epidemic disease which began in Ethiopia, passed through Egypt and Libya, and then arrived to the Greek world (II.47 - 55): "As a rule, however, there was no ostensible cause; but people in good health were all of a sudden attacked by violent heats in the head, and redness and inflammation in the eyes, the inward parts, such as the throat or tongue, becoming bloody and emitting an unnatural and fetid breath. These symptoms were followed by sneezing and hoarseness, after which the pain soon reached the chest, and produced a hard cough. When it fixed in the stomach, it upset it; and discharges of bile of every kind named by physicians ensued, accompanied by very great distress. In most cases also an ineffectual retching followed, producing violent spasms, which in some cases ceased soon after, in others much later. Externally the body was not very hot to the touch, nor pale in its appearance, but reddish, livid, and breaking out into small pustules and ulcers. But internally it burned so that the patient could not bear to have on him clothing or linen even of the very lightest description; or indeed to be otherwise than stark naked. What they would have liked best would have been to throw themselves into cold water; as indeed was done by some of the neglected sick, who plunged into the rain-tanks in their agonies of unquenchable thirst; though it made no difference whether they drank little or much. Besides this, the miserable feeling of not being able to rest or sleep never ceased to torment them. The body meanwhile did not waste away so long as the distemper was at its height, but held out to a marvel against its ravages; so that when they succumbed, as in most cases, on the seventh or eighth day to the internal inflammation, they had still some strength in them. But if they passed this stage, and the disease descended further into the bowels, inducing a violent ulceration there accompanied by severe diarrhea, this brought on a weakness which was generally fatal. For the disorder first settled in the head, ran its course from thence through the whole of the body, and everywhere it did not prove mortal, it still left its mark on the extremities; for it settled in the privy parts, the fingers and the toes, and many escaped with the loss of these, some too with that of their eyes. Others again were seized with an entire loss of memory on their first recovery, and did not know either themselves or their

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Archaeodisasters friends" (translation by M.I. Finley in The Viking Portable Greek Historians, pp. 274275). A number of diseases have been proposed by modern scientists (McNeill, 1976; Poole and Holladay, 1979; Morgan, 1994; Dixon, 1996; Olson, 1996; Holmes, 2003; Cunha, 2004; Kazanjian, 2015) in their effort to explain the mystery (Cholera, Malaria, Smallpox, Bubonic Plague, Herpes Simplex, Toxic Shock Syndrome, Ebola, Influenza / toxin - producing staphylococci, Measles, Ergotism, Rift Valley Fever, Anthrax, Glanders, Tuberculosis, Cowpox, Cat scratch). But, a mass burial pit containing at least 150 bodies with few burial offerings, which had been discovered during the excavational season of 1994-1995 by the 4th Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities Ephorate (Athens), seems to have solved the mystery. Deep beneath the Kerameikos cemetery in Athens, the palaeopathological evidence offered tools for Molecular Biologyʼs analyses (DNA PCR and sequencing techniques). The dental pulp extracted from victims (by Manolis Papagrigorakis of the University of Athens and his team) showed a positive reaction for Salomonella enterica serovar Typhi, identifying Typhoid fever as the main suspect of Athenian plague. The medical word typhus comes from the Greek typhos (ηύθος) meaning smoky or hazy, word which describes the state of mind of those affected with typhus. The typhoid fever‘s hypothesis, though, still remains controversial (Papagrigorakis, et al., 2006; Shapiro, et al., 2006; Littman, 2009). Although epidemics was a phenomenon always present in human history and society, the majority of them in the ancient world have not been recorded (Cuhna and Cunha, 2008, p. 1), or perhaps information has been lost to time (Martin and MartinGranel, 2006, pp. 977-978). On the other hand and till recently, written historical accounts have been the only sources for detecting the aetiologies of the ancient plagues described, giving room for multiple translation variability and interpretation (Martin and Martin-Granel, 2006, pp. 279-281). Considerable inaccuracies, also, happen between clinical observations, modern terms and translations (Parry, 1969, pp. 106-118; Morens and Littman, 1992, p. 278; Cuhna and Cunha, 2008, p. 18). There is a variety of other bioarchaeological and paleopathological agents, too, that obscures the existing evidence and often leads to misunderstandings (Spence, 2013). Thus, the Kerameikos mass gravesite probably contains the victims from a typhoid fever outbreak, perhaps due to a single contaminated water source, not the victims of an extended epidemic that ravaged the whole Athenian population (Morens and Littman, 1992, p. 284; Spence, 2013, p. 28). Even more, the PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) methodology used by Papagrigorakis and colleagues would not have been suitable for the detection of Ebola, Lassa or Dengue viruses in tooth pulp (Spence, 2013, p. 32). Athens lost perhaps one-third of its population, sheltered within its walls, a quarter of the Athenian troops and a quarter of the population over four years. Sudden, lethal and tenacious, the strange plague killed many of Athens's infantry, some expert seamen and their leader Pericles, who died during one of the secondary outbreaks in 429 BCE, and both of Pericles' legitimate sons. This disease fatally weakened the dominance of Athens, but the sheer virulence of the disease prevented its wider spread. It was not until 415 BCE, that the Athenian population had recovered sufficiently to mount the disastrous Sicilian Expedition. During the 4th century BCE, prolonged dry spells and drought brought Athenian power to its knees. At least 68 wells (till the excavations of 1977) have been traced in the Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters Athenian Agora, 34 dated to the 5th century, 28 to the 4th century, and 6 unidentified. At least 16 of them had been abandoned by 400 BCE. Most recent excavations have been raised their number to 400 wells (McCamp, 1978 & 1982). Especially, the extended drought between 350-325 BCE, shook eastern Mediterranean, maybe a repeated scenario since the late 8th century BCE. Tree-ring data captured the clearly expressed drought signals of 8th , 4th and 2nd centuries BCE in Attica. Moreover, a larger number of drought periods during the last 7 Ka have been identified in the Aegean, based on archaeological tree-ring data (McCamp II, 1979; Kuniholm, 1990; Hughes et al., 2001). There was, also, another factor, most crucial or more lethal, that caused the final breakdown of ancient Greek civilization? Probably, yes! The silent killer, malaria, closely related to wetter and warmer climatic phases, to the expansion of marshes, and finally, to the global hydroclimatic cycles such as ENSO (Poveda, et al., 2001; Zhou, et al., 2004; Parham, et al., 2011; Neafsey, et al., 2012). A vector-borne infectious disease caused by protozoan parasites (mainly by Plasmodium falciparum, Plasmodium vivax, Plasmodium ovale and Plasmodium malariae) and transmitted by female Anopheles mosquitoes, usually, by only 30–40 species (e.g. Anopheles anopheles sacharovi, Anopheles gambiae, Anopheles cellia superpictus), malaria is widespread in tropical and subtropical regions, including parts of the Americas, Asia and Africa. At least from post-Colombian times until the middle of the 20th century, especially P. vivax malaria extended throughout almost the entire inhabited world, with the exception, presumably, of West and central Africa. During 19th century, the affected areas included southern England, Sweden, Germany, Poland, Russia, Holland, and France, as well as large areas of Spain and Italy, most of Greece, Turkey, the Balkans, and beyond (Macculloch, 1827; Reider, 2000; Mendis, et al., 2001; Huldén, et al., 2005). Even today, there are approximately 515 million cases of malaria annually, killing between 1 and 3 million people. Generally speaking, the malaria parasite has been responsible for half of all human deaths since the Stone Age, and one in 14 of us alive today still carry genes that protect us from its ravages (World Malaria Report summary 2010). Research has shown that malaria has infected humans for over 100 Ka and Plasmodium may have been a human pathogen for the entire history of the species, although all species of human malaria and their vector mosquitoes were probably absent in Europe during the glacials. Human malaria likely originated in Africa, but the first evidence of malaria parasites was found in mosquitoes preserved in amber from the Palaeogene period, ca 30-myr-old (Sallares, et al., 2004; Poinar, 2005). The term originates from Medieval Italian (mala aria < bad air; the disease was formerly called ‗ague‘ or ‗marsh fever‘ due to its association with swamps), probably first used by Leonardo Bruni in a publication of AD 1476. The unique periodic fevers of malaria are recorded in ancient texts, beginning in 2700 BCE in Nei Ching, a seminal text of ancient Chinese medicine, edited by Chinese Emperor Huang Ti (Dong, et al., 1996), in Egypt (Bianucci, et al., 2008), in Mesopotamia, as early as ca 2000 BCE (Bruce-Chwatt, 1965), later on, in Vedic writings of 1600 BCE in India (Cox, 2002; Tipton, 2008; Webb, 2009), and in the 5th century BCE Greece, when the great Greek physician Hippocrates, often called ‗the Father of Medicine‘ (e.g. Epidemics, I.6, I.24, III.12; On airs, waters and places, X-XII. See, also: Aristotle Problems, 866α32 ff; Theophrastus History of Plants, IV.xi.iii), described the characteristics of the disease and related them to seasons and Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters location (Cunha and Cunha, 2008). During the 2nd century BCE, the Qinghao plant, the active ingredient of which, artemisinin, has been found to be effective in antimalarial drugs, is described in the medical treatise 52 Remedies. But only in AD 1971, Chinese scientists isolate Qinghao's active ingredient, artemisinin. In parallel, during the early 17th century CE, the Spanish missionaries learn about the medicinal qualities of bark (which contains quinine, an effective antimalarial) from the Peruvian Cinchona tree from the indigenous people in the New World (Shah, 2011). New paleopathological and genetic evidence shows that the young pharaoh Tutankhamun (1341 - 1324/3 BCE) died of complications of malaria combined with Kohler disease II (Hawass, et al., 2010). Even more, another team of Egyptian scientists under the direction of Ashraf Selim and Sahar Saleem, had already concluded since 2005, based on the CT scan findings, that the pharaoh died of gangrene after breaking his leg, condition aggravated by pre-existent severe cerebral malaria. All the same, the traces of malaria parasite in the pharaoh's blood are the oldest mummified genetic proof for malaria in ancient population that we have today. Malaria has been found to cause widespread anaemia during a period of rapid brain development, and, also, direct brain damage, thus, cognitive impairments, especially in children. Moreover, it causes both high death rates in neonates and high rates of miscarriages in pregnant women, as well. In fact the term ‗phrenitis‘, related to cerebral malaria, and used by Hippocrates and his followers, refers to acute inflammation of mind and body, characterized by a mental confusion or continuous delirium with fever, leading, if left untreated, to paralysis, coma, and death. In addition, the term ‗melancholy‘, later known as ‗depression‘ (< ancient Greek words ‗melas‘ = black & ‗chole‘ = bile, one of the four major pathophysiological types/bodily fluids/humours, according to the ancient Greek Biophilosophy) was related to its extended neurophysical symptoms and was used widely after the 4th century BCE in ancient Greek terminology and arts. Cerebral malaria, a major syndrome of falciparum malaria, perhaps the most common non-traumatic encephalopathy in the world, has been proposed as the main factor of ancient Greek population's physical and spiritual decline, and as the main cause of Greek colonies collapse in South Italy and Sicily (Strabo Geography, V.4.13.251C; Pliny the Younger Letters, V.6.2). Especially, the ancient Greek case of Classical era expansion of malaria, has raised scientific controversies, as it has been suggested that, either the ‗endemic‘ malaria decimated the Persian armies, saving this way Greece during the Greco-Persian Wars of 5th century BCE, or the Persians suffered from an affliction brought with them, spreading out a new ‗variety‘ of malaria infection (Sigerist, 1960; Bruce-Chwatt, 1965). Some researchers believe, also, that malaria epidemics greatly contributed to the fall of the Roman Empire; the other lethal cause being the lead poisoning. The Romans called malaria the ‗rage of the Dog Star‘ since its fever and chills so often arrived during the caniculares dies (the dog days of summer, most commonly experienced in the months of July and August in the North Hemisphere; the term was used earlier by the Greeks, ἡµέραι κσνάδες, see, e.g., Aristotle Physics, 199a2). To avoid it, ancient Romans prayed for relief at temples dedicated to the fever goddess, Febris (Brady, 1815, p. 89; Henry and Jones, 1907; Booty, 1976, pp. 42–44; Grmek, 1979; Nriagu, 1983; Aufderheide et al., 1992; Sallares, 2002; Soren, 2003; Sallares, et al., 2004; Roberts and Manchester, 2007; Waldron, 2009). Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters In parallel, malaria is a very special case study for human biogenetic adaptation, because it is an explicit example of how environmental changes can shape human evolution (with three main expressions: heterozygous thalassaemia & sickle-cell anaemia being among the most common genetic disorders of humans, G6PD deficiency, and the Duffy- negative blood group). Generally speaking, Genetics and Evolutionary Biology have detected the independent and different - globally and locally - evolutionary responses to malaria by world populations (Liu, et al., 2015). To give, also, a general short medical description of them, thalassaemia is a group of inherited autosomal recessive blood disorders, in which, the genetic defect, caused either by mutation or deletion, results in reduced rate of synthesis or no synthesis of one of the globin chains that make up hemoglobin. The subsequent formation of abnormal hemoglobin molecules causes anaemia, the main symptom of the thalassaemias. Thus, it is considered as a quantitative problem of too few globins synthesized, and can also coexist with other hemoglobinopathies (Weatherall and Clegg, 2001). The two major forms of the disease, alpha- (West Africa, South Asia, Terai region of Nepal, India, Americas) and beta- (particularly prevalent among Mediterranean and circum-Mediterranean peoples, and Maldives‘ population being with the highest concentration of carriers), are prevalent in discrete geographical clusters around the world – strongly associated with malarial endemicity in ancient times (Terrenato, et al., 1988; Modiano, et al., 1991; Reports on Thalassaemia in Maldives, in UN Building, WHO Reference Library). The term, itself, first used in AD 1932, reflects this geographical association, named after two ancient Greek words being still in use today (thalassa = sea + Haema = blood). The heterozygous carriers have a selective survival advantage on both situations, against severe malaria and severe anaemia, and probably against other risk factors as well (known as ‗heterozygous advantage‘), perpetuating thus, the mutation through the mechanism of Balanced Polymorphism (Yuthavong and Wilairat, 1993; Tassiopoulos, et al, 2005). On the other hand, Sickle-cell disease (sickle-cell anaemia or drepanocytosis or SCD / SCA), a hemoglobinopathy, is a qualitative problem of synthesis of an incorrectly functioning globin. Healthy red blood cells typically live 90–120 days, while sickle cells only survive 10–20 days, due to extravascular hemolysis. Although β_S heterozygotes are strongly protected against all forms of severe malaria, people with SCD are uniquely vulnerable to malaria. One-third of all indigenous inhabitants of Sub-Saharan Africa carry the gene. There is evidence that the HbS mutation occurred independently at least five times in the human past. But, there is a cancellation of malaria protection, when athalassemia and the sickle-cell trait are co-inherited. This seems to be the main reason of their non-coexisting in the majority of geographical areas with endemic malaria, such as Mediterranean (Penman, et al., 2009). There, also, the possibility of double heterozygous state, such as Hb S/b thalassaemia, the clinical severity of which depends on the type of β-thalassaemia mutation. Furthermore, the geographical distribution of G6PD deficiency (characterised by abnormally low levels of Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase, a cytosolic enzyme, the main symptoms of which are anaemia, jaundice and hemolysis ) is consistent with evolutionary selection by malaria (Ganczakowski, et al. 1995), and analysis of haplotypic structure at the G6PD locus supports the hypothesis of recent positive selection (Tishkoff, Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters et al., 2001; Sabeti, et al., 2002). As it is linked to the X chromosome, most people who suffer from it are males, while the heterozygous cases are always women (Mazza, 2002; Cappellini and Fiorelli, 2008). Widely known as Favism, too, it is characterized by hemolytic anaemia in response to ingestion of fava beans, described since antiquity. Herodotus (II.37) reports that Egyptian priests consider beans to be unclean. Bean eating was, also, taboo for Orphics and the initiates at Eleusis (Pausanias I.37.4; Porphyry De Abstinentia, IV.16). Furthermore, one major theory for the Pythagoreans avoidance of beans, though controversial, is their relation to favism (Rendall, St. & Riedweg, 2005; Simoons, 1999; Brumbaugh, R. & Schwartz, 1980; Lieber, 1973; Detienne, 1972; Andrews, 1949; Delatte, 1930). To sum up, the different geographic distributions of thalassemias, G6PD deficiency, ovalocytosis, and the Duffy-negative blood group, are further examples for the general principle that different populations have evolved different genetic variants to protect against malaria. Malaria still remains a major killer of children worldwide, and the strongest known force for evolutionary selection in the recent history of the human genome, since the origination of agriculture within the past 10 Ka (Pauling et al., 1949; Allison, 1954; Feng, et al., 2004; Kwiatkowski, 2005; Dronamraju and Arese, 2006). Strangely enough, before the 20th century, and the effective treatment with penicillin, a single strain of malaria was used to cure late syphilis (neurosyphilis), no other treatment being available. Without treatment, when syphilis starts to affect the brain, it is 100% fatal, while malaria kills about 5% of the people who are infected. The prolonged high fevers associated with an outbreak of malaria, raises the body temperature enough, killing Treponema pallidum, the spirochaete bacterium which causes Syphilis. This discovery was made by Julius Wagner-Jauregg, who won the 1927 Nobel Prize for Medicine for his work in this field. The secrets of past climatic changesâ&#x20AC;&#x2DC; impact on human body and life, can, also, been unravelled through another intriguing perspective! Oxygen isotopes, initially studied by paleoclimatologists for strictly environmental research, are widely known to be related to various climatic factors that affect the elemental composition of water. Thus, the relative amounts of oxygen isotopes of both meteoric (rain, snow) and environmental water (rivers, springs, lakes) vary by region, like local factors do (e.g. temperature, humidity, distance from the coast, latitude, rainfall, and elevation). This means that different water sources in different areas have different ratios of stable oxygen isotopes (18 O / 16 O). Since the 1990s, though, bioarchaeologists began studying stable oxygen isotopes in order to investigate ancient migration, based on the following logic. The majority of the oxygen that a person ingested or inspired while his teeth were forming came from local water sources. So, the measured δ18 O value from his hard tissue would be characteristic of the geographical peculiarities of that water, which left its unique 'imprint'. Gradually, by using this technique, researchers accomplish to identify past human mobility and trace the geographical homelands of ancient populations (Prowse et al., 2007; Killgrove, 2010; Pollard, et al., 2011). Furthermore, differing oxygen isotope ratios can be traced in humans, too, as a result from smoking, exercise, and disease. Oxygen isotope fractionation is lower in people suffering especially from anaemia, as the binding of oxygen to hemoglobin is a fractioning process. This logic offered far-reaching implications for bioarchaeological analysis, because it is currently quite difficult to identify individuals with sickle-cell Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters disease, and other kinds of hemoglobinopathies within an archaeological population. Of course, cribra orbitalia and porotic hyperostosis can be used as markers, but they are not exclusively anaemic signs (Angel, 1966; Reitsema and Crews, 2011). Up to now, one of the most ancient indirect, osteological, evidence for thalassaemia, based on a pathological humerus, comes from the submerged village of Atlit-Yam, now located 200 to 400m offshore and 8 to 12m below sea level in the North Bay of Atlit, 10 km south of Haifa off the coast of Israel. The pre-pottery Neolithic B site is dated to ca 8.6 to 8.3 Ka (Hershkovitz, et al., 1991; Sallares, et al., 2004). Tuberculosis evidence (from a mother and its child perhaps succumbed and buried together) is also present in the skeletal material excavated from this site, as they seem to be the earliest confirmed cases of the disease (Hershkovitz, et al., 2008; Hershkovitz, et al., 2015). Later on, Roman Empire expanded through the period we now call the Roman Optimum, or Roman Warm Period (Patterson, 1995; Bianchi and McCave, 1999; Harris, 2013), extending from ca 200 BCE to AD 400 (Patterson et al., 2010). During RO, there was a peak of solar irradiance, an intense sedimentation process (known as the Younger Fill), similar weather patterns and annual temperature variations with climate of today and fewer rainfall / highest salinity in the riverine runoff of central West Atlantic during summers. Scientists have used a variety of proxies/markers to identify the switch between the two climatic phases. Amongst them, are: (1) the alpine glaciers (Röthlisberger, 1986), (2) the deep ocean sediments (Bianchi and McCave, 1999), (3) the introduction of vineyards in southern England by Romans - a successful cultivation option, also, during the early Medieval Period, and since the later 20th century (Brown, et al., 2001; Scheidel, et al., 2007), (4) olive presses that have been found at Sagalassos in Pisidia – southwestern Anatolia, where human occupation is attested from the late 12th millennium BP up to the 13th century CE (Vermoere, 2004; Scheidel, et al., 2007), (5) the dendrochronological evidence, e.g. wood extracted from the columns interior wooden joints of the Parthenon temple (Mariolopoulos, 1962; Sallares, 1991; Liritzis and Kosmatos, 1995), and (6) the testimonies of ancient writers who describe the Greek climate in the 5th and 4th centuries BCE, as equivalent to that of modern times (e.g. Theophrastus wrote in his History of Plants, ΙΙΙ.5, that date trees / Phoenix dactylifera could grow in Greece if planted, but could not set fruit there); but the climatic conditions significantly warmer during the crossing of the Alps by Hannibal and afterwards (Scheidel, et al., 2007). The Vandal Minimum (VM) climate episode, known, also, as Migration Period Pessimum or Dark Ages Cold Period, was named after the Vandal invasion to the Roman Empire and lasted ca AD 400-AD 800. It was first documented in European proxy records as cold and dry, with increased frequency of severe weather. The period, correlated with Bond event 1 in the North Atlantic sediments, was characterized by a weakened solar activity and geomagnetic field (Soon and Yaskell, 2003), meteor swarms hitting Earth, intense volcanic activity worldwide (e.g. AD 416, according to ancient Javanese scriptures, the first known eruption of Krakatau; AD 536 eruption of Vesuvius), intense El Niño signals, a general atmospheric cooling, rising lake levels, increased bog growth, and a peak in lake catchment erosion in much of Europe (Stothers and Rampino , 1983; Rigby, Symonds and Ward-Thompson , 2004; Arjava, 2005; Patterson, et al., 2010; D'Arrigo, et al., 2012), a retreat from agriculture, including pasturing and cultivation of crops, reforestation in large areas of central Europe and Scandinavia, and destructive Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters droughts that ravaged whole areas, such as Sahel and Mesoamerica. The ‗Fimbulwinter‘ (the great or mighty winter that serves as a forewarning of Ragnarök) is referred in Snorri Sturluson's Edda, and its impact on sharp agrarian decline, social unrest, and demographic disaster in Scandinavian lands is thought to be a catalyst for the Viking diaspora (Gräslund and Price, 2012). On February, AD 535, the submarine ancestor of Anak Krakatau erupted with devastating fury, an eruption now classified as VEI 7 (Simkin and Siebert, 1994; Wohletz, 2000; Larsen, et al., 2008). Writers acted like modern reporters, who describe calamities and disasters. Flavius Cassiodorus wrote about conditions that he experienced during the year AD 536: "The Sun... seems to have lost its wonted light, and appears of a bluish colour. We marvel to see no shadows of our bodies at noon, to feel the mighty vigour of the Sun's heat wasted into feebleness, and the phenomena which accompany an eclipse prolonged through almost a whole year. We have had a summer without heat. The crops have been chilled by north winds, [and] the rain is denied", as well as Procopius: "...during this year a most dread portent took place. For the Sun gave forth its light without brightness...and it seemed exceedingly like the Sun in eclipse, for the beams it shed were not clear" and the Roman Officer John the Lydian or Lydus: "The Sun became dim...for nearly the whole that the fruits were killed at an unseasonable time", the 6th -century Syrian bishop, John of Ephesus: "The sun became dark... Each day it shone for about four hours and still this light was only a feeble shadow' ―In the sky there was the most dread portent of the hunger and pestilence to come. The sun gave forth its light without brightness like the moon during the whole of this year. God‘s wrath turned into a wine-press, as it were, and pitilessly trampled and squeezed the inhabitants of the cities like fines grapes‖, and Michael the Syrian did: "The Sun became dark and its darkness lasted for eighteen months. Each day it shone for about four hours, and still this light was only a feeble shadow...the fruits did not ripen and the wine tasted like sour grapes". In China, a whole set of events was, also, natural-induced. "The stars were lost from view for three months", the expected rains did not eventuate, and snow was seen in the middle of summer, famine was widespread, and in the midst of the turmoil, the Emperor abandoned the capital. Furthermore, Chinese historical records of AD 540, mention that "Dragons fought in the pond of the K'uh o. They went westward....In the places they passed, all the trees were broken ". Based on archaeoastronomical calculations, scientists estimated that during that occasion, and every 2.5 Ka, Earth passes through the core of the Taurids meteor stream (Marsden, 1967; Clube and Napier, 1982; Marsden, 1989; Bailey, et al., 1990; Clube and Napier, 1990; Steel, Asher and Clube, 1991; Bailey, et al., 1992; Steel and Clarke, 1997; Atkinson, 1999; Baillie, 1999; Keys, 1999; Wickramasinghe, 2001; Milne, 2002; Baillie and McCafferty, 2005; Wickramasinghe, 2005; Baillie, 2007; Wickramasinghe, et al., 2009; Napier, et al., 2015). Then, came the dreadful plague, the notorious Justinian Plague (see Ch.5.1), named after the Byzantine emperor Justinian I, who contracted the disease yet survived. It was one of the greatest plagues in history; its social and cultural impact is comparable to that of the Black Death. In 6th century China, droughts followed by floods allow rodent population to grow unchecked by predators that had died off. These rodent swarms invade trade ships involved travelled from East to West to Alexandria and Constantinople. Moreover, according to the most popular scenario, further cchanges in Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters temperature triggered plague bacillus into high gear, blocking the flea‘s gut and making them voracious. Fleas bite any warm body multiple times and spread plague through Europe. The plague weakened the Byzantine Empire at a critical point and it may also have contributed to the success of the Arabs a few generations later in the ByzantineArab Wars (Brown, 2001; Little, 2006; Rosen, 2007). After the last recurrence in AD 750, major epidemic diseases did not appear again in Europe until the Black Death. But, new research indicates that previous plagues like the Justinian weren't caused by the same agent as the medieval epidemic. Thus, those epidemics before Black Death were either caused by a Yersinia pestis strain that is completely extinct, or caused by a different pathogen that we have not detected yet (Boss, et al., 2011). During that era, which was characterised as the transition from Late Antiquity to the Early Middle Ages, vast people movements (such as the Goths, Vandals, Lombards, Suebi, Frisii and Franks, the Visigoths, Ostrogoths, Bulgars, Moors) from Asia to Europe, due to malnutrition and social unrest, changed the geographical and geopolitical landscapes. Water shortage and lack of supplies led even to the abandonment of the famous ‗Silk Road‘. Instead of the term ‗invasion‘, German and Slavic scholars use the term ‗migration‘, to aspire the idea of dynamic changes through population movements. Either mass movements, or gradual process of small-scale cultural and demographic changes, the historical, socio-economic and political analysis of perspectives, is beyond the scope of this book (Geary, 2003; Noble and Goffart, 2006; Kulikowski, 2007; Halsall, 2008). In the West Hemisphere, El Niño impact on South America was tremendous. After a period of flourishment, reflected on one of the most glamorous archaeological discoveries, the tomb of the Grand Lord of Sipan (Alva and Donnan, 1995; Benson and Cook, 2001; Pillsbury, 2001; Bourget and Jones, 2008), ecological disequilibrium shook the Moche or Mochica civilization, one of Peru's most important pre-Hispanic civilizations, based on coastal sites in alluvial fans. Although there were periodic floods in northern Peru, there was 30% less rainfall in southern Peru, phenomenon that led to sites‘ abandonment from during the 6 th and 7th centuries CE. The strongest signals of El Niño (‗mega El Niño‘) happened during the years AD 534-AD 540 and AD 563 –AD 594. The late 6th century Moche civilization suffered a 30-year drought in the mountains, followed by 30 years or so of heavy rain and snow; the Moche capital was destroyed, field and irrigation systems swept away, and widespread famine ensued. But more recent evidence demonstrates that these events did not cause the final Moche demise, because polities survived beyond AD 650 in the Jequetepeque and the Moche Valleys (Moseley, 1987; Shimada, et al., 1991; Keefer and Moseley, 1994; Moseley, 1997; Keys, 1999; Fagan, 2000; de Menocal, 2001; Gálvez Mora & Runcio, 2004). Regarding the data for climatic change‘s role in the AD 750-AD 1000 Maya collapse, a number of scholars strongly dislikes the term ‗collapse‘. In fact, the Maya region had experienced three major drought episodes: between 475-250 BCE, between 125 BCE-AD 210, and from AD 750–AD1025. The third has been identified as the driest episode of the past 7 Ka in Mesoamerica. Scientists have detected hydroclimatic patterns of periodicity (50-year & 208 -year cycles) which are correlated with the decline and abandonment of the Classic Period Maya cities of the southern Maya lowlands of Mesoamerica, during the 8th and 9th centuries CE (Hodell, et al., 1995; Gill, 2000;

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Archaeodisasters Richardson, 2000; Hodell, et al., 2001; Demarest, 2004; Demarest, et al., 2004; Peterson and Haug, 2005; Lucero, 2006). This Mesoamerican civilization is a remarkable exception, because it had been prospering in the tropical swampland, not in ‗rainforest conditions‘ as it is usually believed, but, technically, in a seasonal desert without access to stable sources of drinking water. Thus, the Mayans were relying upon rainwater rather than permanent sources of water. According to the Systemic Ecological Collapse Model, the mega–droughts that hit the Yucatán Peninsula and Petén Basin areas with particular ferocity, were devastating for several reasons: (1) the thin tropical soils become unworkable when are deprived of forest cover, (2) even the regular seasonal drought dry up surface water, (3) there is an absence of ground water, (4) there is a rarity of lakes, especially in the Yucatán Peninsula, (5) there is an absence of river systems, such as in the Petén Basin, (6) tropical vegetation requires regular monsoon rain, and (7) socio-economic equilibrium was heavily dependent on water-based intensive agricultural techniques, particularly during the Classic period (Coe, 1999; Webster, 2002). In addition, the disease theory takes under consideration the X factor to all collapses. This is the biological one. Epidemics could explain some rapid depopulation, both directly through the spread of infection itself, and indirectly, as an inhibition to recovery over the long run. There are many candidates for that. According to Dunn (1968), Wiley and Shimkin (1973), and other researchers (Anderson and May, 1982; Santley, et al., 1986), infectious diseases spread by parasites are common in tropical rainforest regions, such as the Maya lowlands, for example, malaria, American trypanosomiasis, ascariasis, and some enteropathogens that cause acute diarrheal illness. Another lethal factor is yellow fever caused by the female Aedes aegypti, Aedes albopictus and other mosquito species transmission. This is a serious infectious acute viral hemorrhagic disease, characterized by jaundice (which gives the patient yellowish skin), occurring in tropical regions of Africa, central America, and South America. Although there is no cure, a vaccine does exist to guard against yellow fever. Tens of major outbreaks happened in Americas, since yellow fever was first identified by Europeans in Yucatan in AD 1648. Today, 10% of the people who contract yellow fever die from the disease. During the 20th century, yellow fever has been researched by several countries as a potential biological weapon (Oldstone, 1998; Murphy, 2003; Pierce and Writer, 2005; Espinoza, 2009; Nuwer, 2009). Archaeological evidence from the central Mayan lowlands reflects a population decline from urban levels of between 2.5 and 3.5 million, to around 536 thousand, in the two hundred year interval between AD 800 and AD 1000, the period known as the Classic Maya Collapse (Wilkinson, 1995; Lutz, et al., 2000; Suck, 2008). Those dates, though, are still under consideration by other research teams (Wright and White, 1996). Far to the South, between AD 1000 and 1100, the Tiwanaku ‗empire‘ (Tiwanaku IV and V periods) collapsed along with the deterioration of its regional agricultural systems. The ruins of the ancient city-state‘s capital, known also as Tiahuanacu, are near the southeastern shore of Lake Titicaca in western Bolivia (La Paz Department, Ingavi Province, Tiwanaku Municipality), about 72 km west of La Paz. It was extended in the high river basins of the Tiwanaku and Katari rivers, at altitudes between 4200 and 3800 m asl. During the wetter period from 1500 BCE to AD 1100, climate enhanced the development of specialized agricultural methods, which stimulated population growth Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters and sustained large human settlements. The reverse of climatic conditions caused declining agricultural production, field abandonment, and cultural collapse. Chronic drought, now documented in the Quelccaya ice cap (Shimada et al., 1991; Thompson et al., 1994; Graham, 2004; Graham, et al., 2007), was too severe and long-lasting for the Tiwanaku agroengineers. The process of collapse, though, is of various nature, thus researchers claim that the abandonment may have occurred before the drought had even started, due to some kind of rebellion, factional conflict, or other social problem, a generation or so previously (Janusek, 2008; Goldstein, 2005; Baker et al., 2001; Bahn, 1999; Binford et al., 1997; Kolata, 1996, 1993, 1986). Either way, beyond the northern frontier of the Tiwanaku state, a new power started to emerge in the beginning of the 13 th century, the Inca Empire. Back to Europe, evidence has shown that the climatic improvement that followed the Vandal Minimum occurred earliest in Iceland at AD 470. The warming trend continued with another period of exceptional warmth from AD 600 to AD 760, corresponding to the onset of the Medieval Warm Period or Medieval Optimum in Iceland. In fact, the warming in Iceland preceded the rest of western Europe, where the maximum warmth began in the period AD 800-AD 850. The periods of settlements establishment, both in Ireland and Greenland, reflect climatic conditions favourable to sea voyages (e.g. warm temperatures and a lack of sea ice, large farms and abundant crops). But, in the period immediately following the settlement of Iceland, summer temperatures remained high, while winter temperatures decreased significantly (Luterbacher, et al., 2016). Finally, after a short-live a warming trend occurred after AD 1120, by AD 1320, the average summer and winter temperatures were already 2.0 °C lower in just 70 years. Then, historical documents recorded severe weather and sea ice in the late 1300s and early 1400s, and the sailing route from Iceland to Greenland that had been previously ice-free was abandoned by AD 1342. So, by AD 1360, the western settlement in Greenland was abandoned, and by AD 1450, the eastern settlement. Both settlements, at their peak, had an estimated population of 3 to 5 thousand, consisting of at least 400 farms, as they have been identified by archaeologists (Patterson, et al., 2010). Respectively, in AD 793, the major Viking expansions outward from Scandinavia had begun, first being the raid at Lindisfarne, England. In AD 835, Vikings invaded England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, and France, and by the mid-9th century most of these areas were permanently occupied by Vikings. In AD 874, began the settlement of Iceland and the Viking immigration from Norway, England, Ireland, Faeroes, etc. Later on, during the period AD 1080-AD 1180, mild winters and dry summers occurred in western Europe. By AD 1100, the human population of Iceland reached an estimated peak of 70 thousand inhabitants (Le Roy, 1971; Magnusson, 1987). Moreover, in the year AD 1104, Hekla volcano erupted in Iceland, and since then, it become one of the most active volcanoes in the world. The eruption caused the complete destruction and abandonment of the rich farming region of Thjórsárdalur (Bárdarson, 1991). Furthermore, the Norse colonization of the Americas began as early as the 10th century. According to the Icelandic sagas (Eirik the Red's Saga and the Saga of the Greenlanders), all four of Erik the Red's children visited the North American continent, his sons Leif, Thorvald – who died there, and Thorstein and their sister Freydis. Nevertheless, the continental North American settlements, aimed to exploit natural resources, such as furs and in particular lumber, were small and did not develop into permanent colonies, in contrast to the Norse Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters colony in Greenland that lasted for almost 500 years (Reeves et al., 1906; Wernick, 1979; Anonymous, 1995; Fitzhugh and Ward, 2000). Scientists have recently enriched the knowledge of weather patterns just before the Medieval Warm Period, based on Arabic testimonies from writers such as al-Tabari (AD 913), Ibn al-Athir (AD 1233) and al-Suyuti (AD 1505), according to which, apart from severe hailstorms, snowfalls in the Iraqi capital of Bagdad in AD 908, 944 and 1007 caused even the rivers to being frozen, temperature drop during the 10th century, occurring immediately before the MWP (Dominguez-Castro, et al., 2012). In the meantime, far to the west, beginning in the mid-to-late first millennium CE, and continuing into the 14th century, the western part of North America was, also, struck by a wave of severe droughts each of multi-decadal duration and coming in short succession (Douglass, 1929; Dillehay, 1974; Stine, 1994; Woodhouse and Overpeck, 1998; McCabe, et al., 2004; Herweijer, et al., 2006; Benson, et al., 2007b ; Cook, 2007; Stahle and Dean, 2011). Worth mentioning that Jones et al. (1999) have reviewed the compelling evidence for the impact of drought on Indian societies, including a role in the successive abandonments of ancestral Puebloan settlements in the first centuries of the last millennium. The great cliff cities in the Four Corners region of the West, such as Chaco Canyon and Mesa Verde, were all abandoned towards the end of the drought. Unfortunately, by the time wetter conditions returned, the Spaniards had, also, arrived and probably prevented Indians from the establishing irrigation-based complex urban societies. Today, the character and severity of medieval mega-droughts can be reconstructed from the signature they left within the environment, both natural and human (Meko, et al., 2007; Seager, et al., 2007). Nevertheless, the mega-droughts are considered as the main triggering mechanism for the collapse, other interdependent causes being the deforestation and topsoil erosion, the conflict / warfare (probably because of competition for limited resources, as seen by the aggregated and defensive nature of many of the 13th century Ancestral Puebloan settlements), as well as the increasing population density along with declining population health standards. One of the most controversial evidence for the huge environmental stress that altered the physiognomy of southwestern cultures is cannibalism. Some scholars interpret disarticulated, cut-marked and heat-altered human remains, from non-burial contexts at prehistoric Puebloan (Anasazi) archaeological sites in the Four Corners region of the American Southwest, as evidence of cannibalism (Ahlstrom, et al., 1995; Adler, 1996; Adler, et al., 1996; Gumerman, 1998; Kohler and Matthews, 1998; Marfar, et al., 2000; Nelson and Schachner, 2002; Doyel and Dean, 2006; Benson, et al., 2007a). Generally speaking, the 10th to 14th century Medieval Warm Epoch (Hughes and Diaz, 1994) caused a series of socio-economic changes, including the promotion of viticulture in England, cereal agriculture in Iceland (Street-Perrot, 1994), the collapse of Norse Greenland settlement (McGovern, 1990; Amorosi, et al, 1997; Barlow, et al., 2007) and the demise of Anasazi agriculture in the southwest USA (Fish and Fish, 1984; Van West, 1991; Fagan, 2009). The signals of that climatic phase are, also, detected via other markers all around the world. For example, Nile gauge records of variations in Nile floods from the 9th to the 15th century reveal pronounced episodes of low Nile and high Nile flood discharge. Furthermore, the historical data reveal that this period was characterized by the worst known famines on record. In fact, during the Medieval Warm Period, reversals of Nile Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters flood discharge recurred at short intervals; the transition from one state to the other was characterized by incidents of low, high or a succession of both low and high extreme floods. The key transitions occurred at ca AD 900, 1010, 1070, 1180, 1350 and 1400 (Hassan, 2007). Moreover, climatic changes have corresponded to / or indirectly encouraged alterations in building styles, artistic features and various technological innovations, as many researchers have already pointed out. One major example is the dramatic architectural change of the high Middle Ages, that from Romanesque to Gothic between AD 1150 and AD 1200. The Romanesque style, characterized by small windows, low inclination roofs, and a general Classical Mediterranean design, was more suitable to the dry, warm Mediterranean climates; it remained popular well into the 13th and 14th century in South and West France and Italy, long after the invention of the Gothic style. But, as rain, snow, cloudier weather, and colder temperatures became more prevalent in the North of Europe, architects were compelled to design churches and cathedrals that would provide more interior lighting (larger windows) and better roofing. Thus, the Gothic style, that was characterized by high inclination roofs, large symmetric windows, and efficient drainage system, was more suitable the Little Ice Age climate (Simmons, 2006, 2007 & 2008). In addition, during the period between AD 1100 and 1300, the warm and dry interval was identified in West central Asia based on lake sediment analysis, and in the North of the Tien Shan Mountains in northwest China (Li and Ku, 2002; Long, et al., 2011). The climatic patterns of monsoons in Asia (Sinha, et al., 2011), between the mid 14th to 15th centuries, are correlated with famines and mega-droughts (monsoon megadroughts or MMDs), as well as with various societal changes, such as significant political reorganization within India (Dando, 1980; Pant, et al., 1993; Maharatna, 1996), the collapse of the Yuan dynasty in China (Zhang, et al., 2008), Rajarata civilization in Sri Lanka (Indrapala, 1971), and the Khmer civilization of Angkor Wat fame in Cambodia (Buckley, et al., 2010; Day et al., 2012). A similar â&#x20AC;&#x201C; to the transition between Vandal Minimum and Medieval Optimum process took place between Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Age / LIA (ca AD 1250 â&#x20AC;&#x201C;AD 1850). The term Little Ice Age was originally coined by F. Matthes in 1939, to describe the Late Holocene, during which a particularly dramatic series of mountain glacier advances and retreats, were analogous to, though considerably more moderate than, the Pleistocene glacial fluctuations. This 4-kyr-period has now become known as the Neoglacial Period (Mann, 2002). The LIA was a time of cooler climate in most parts of the world, with average global temperatures 1-1.5Âş cooler than they are today. The cooler temperatures were caused by a combination of less solar activity and large volcanic eruptions (Gao, et al., 2008; Field, et al., 2009). Plenty of evidence has been used to reconstruct the interrelations between climatic shift and daily life in Europe. Fur trappers reported that southern Hudson Bay remained frozen for about three weeks longer each spring. Fishermen reported large amounts of sea ice floating in the North Atlantic. By AD 1350, a series of disastrous wind-blown sand drifting along northwestern coast of Denmark begun, with episodes of wind erosion and sand-dune migration occurring several times in the following centuries (Clemmensen and Andersen, 1998). In AD 1775, there was the worst episode of sand-dune drifting. Many farms, villages, and churches were destroyed during the late 1700s. In Great Britain and the Netherlands, canals and Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters rivers were frequently frozen deeply enough to support ice skating and winter festivals. Alpine glaciers grew larger, engulfing mountain villages. The decade between AD 1810 and 1819 was the coldest of the last 1250 years in the French Alps, according to tree-ring data (Corona, et al., 2011). Tree ring data and records of cherry tree flowering show that in general winters were longer and growing seasons shorter. This change led the farmers of northern Europe to desert their farms and villages; in fact, during the harshest winters, bread had to be made from the bark of trees because grains would no longer grow. Thus, limited crops and unhealthy livestock caused famine in areas of North and East Europe. In the late 1600s, recurrent famine ravaged Scotland, leading 100,000 Scots to immigrate to northern Ireland (Oppenheimer and Boyle, 1990), and Estonia, where 70 to 75 thousand people died during the famine (Tannberg, et al., 2000). Even more, when the weather was wet, disease that affected people, animals and crops, including the bubonic plague, was strongly favoured (Mann, 2002; Nesje and Dahl, 2003; Cowie, 2007). The wide temperature range and the fluctuations within this climatic phase were, also, a common trait. By AD 990, the cold trend was already present in Iceland, many centuries before the rest of Europe. Written documents from AD 1145 to 1572 mentioned incidents of severe sea ice, but there is a lack of data from AD 1430 to 1560. Likewise, the weather of London during the year of the Great London Fire of 1666 is well known to have been hot and dry (Patterson, et al., 2010; Rietveld, 2012). Those fluctuations, reflected on the δ18O values from molluscs preserved in near-shore marine cores from Iceland, and found in descriptions from the Norse Sagas (Langer, 2015), the Annals, and Book of Settlements, today have names: Oort minimum (AD 1010- AD 1050), Wolf minimum (AD 1280-AD 1350), Spörer Minimum (AD 1460-AD 1550), Maunder Minimum (AD 1645-AD 1715) and Dalton Minimum (AD 1790-AD 1830). Worth mentioning is that, the first record of sunspots dates to around 800 BCE in China, and the oldest surviving drawing of a sunspot dates to AD 1128. In AD 1610, astronomers began using the telescope to make observations of sunspots and their motions. Today, the interrelation between Sun‘s activity and Earth‘s climate is scientifically proven (e.g. Perry and Hsu, 2000; Shindell, et al., 2001; Foukal, et al., 2006; Steinhilberg, et al., 2009). Especially, the Spörer Minimum was a 90-year span of low solar activity, and it was identified and named by John A. Eddy (1976), who discovered it by analysis of the proportion of 14 C in tree rings, a biochemical signature strongly correlated with solar activity. The period is named for the German astronomer Gustav Spörer. Furthermore, the Maunder Minimum (or the prolonged sunspot minimum) was a 70-year span of extremely low solar activity. Although this phase has been emphasized, also, by John A. Eddy (1976), astronomers before him had named the period after the solar astronomer Edward W. Maunder. The possible absence of sunspots for that period was first pointed out by Spörer (1887), who used the extensive compilation of data by Wolf (AD 1852, 1856). By AD 1868, Wolf had a more or less reliable sunspot number reconstruction back to AD 1745 (Hoyt and Schatten, 1997). Spörer's work was then summarized by Maunder in 1890 and 1894 (Maunder, 1922), who related, following Clerke in 1894, this dearth of sunspots to an absence of terrestrial aurorae (Legrand et al., 1992; Lean, 2000; Letfus, 2000; Soon and Yaskell, 2003; Schröder, 2005; McCracken and Beer, 2014). Similarly, the Dalton Minimum, a 40-year period of low solar activity, was named after the English Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters meteorologist John Dalton. The population of Iceland fell by half, but this result was perhaps caused by fluorosis after the eruption of the volcano Laki in AD 1783 (Jackson, 1982; Stone, 2004; Witze, A. and Kanipe). The notorious „Year without a summer” (1816), occurred during the Dalton Minimum, but its prime reason was the super colossal eruption of Mount Tambora in Indonesia (1815). In addition, the years of AD 1824, 1837, and 1847 may be linked, respectively, to the large, cataclysmic volcanic eruptions of Galunggung (Indonesia) in 1822, Cosiguina (Nicaragua) in 1835, and, perhaps, Hekla (Iceland) in 1845 (Wilson, 1998; Komitov and Kaftan, 2004; Wagner and Zorita, 2005). Generally speaking, there is no agreed beginning year of the Little Ice Age, as well as no agreed end. But there is a broad consensus on this climatic impact. The European peasants had repeatedly suffered by the chill and its effects, by hypothermia, bread riots and severe famines. Intensive witch-hunting episodes in Europe during the Middle Ages, the French Revolution (AD 1789-AD 1799), even the Industrial Revolution (AD 1750- AD1850) are complex socio-cultural phenomena that are attributed to the harsh cold spells of LIA (Le Roy Ladurie, 1971; Behringer, 1999; Fagan, 2001). A very interesting perspective is also the interrelation between LIA climatic patterns of environmental events, and artistic works of that time. Winter depictions before AD 1550 were rare. Gradually, winter sports, snowscapes, different colours of the sky, cloudiness and darkness were the main motif (Thornes and Constable, 1999; Macdougall, 2004). Even the famous quality of Stradivarious violins is linked to the right properties of wood used for their productions, as it grows denser during cold than warmer periods. It is estimated that Antonio Stradivari made 1100 instruments - violins, guitars, violas, and cellos - of which about 600 survive today (Burckle and Grissino-Mayer, 2003). In other parts of the world, the LIA has been testified, too. There are records that describe permanent snow on mountain peaks at levels where it does not occur today, both in Ethiopia and Mauritania, as well as records of repeated severe floods of Niger River in Timbuktu, an important city on the trans-Saharan caravan route (Reiter, 2000). The cultivation of oranges, a warm weather crop, was abandoned in Jiangxi Province, in China. Moreover, during two of the coldest and driest periods in North and central China (AD 1660-1680, 1850-1880), the most frequent typhoon strikes in Guangdong had been recorded (Kam-biu, et al., 2001). To conclude, the period of AD 1400-AD 1750, was a cold and wet interval in western central Asia based on lake sediment, north of the Tien Shan Mountains in northwest China (Long, et al. 2011). Recent research has shown the direct correlation between the aggression wars mostly from the northern pastoral nomadic societies / the collapses of the agricultural dynasties of the Han, Tang, Song and Ming, and the prevalence of low temperatures, as well as an indirect correlation between the frequency of internal war within the Chinese dynasties and drought spells / locust plagues (Zhang, et al., 2010). In Americas, there is evidence for drought, cold and famine (AD 1441-AD 1461), as it was recorded in the Spanish/Mayan historical accounts of Chilam Balam of Mani and the Chilam Balam of Chumayel (Curtis, et al., 1996; Gill, 2000). Additionally, the Codex Ramerez records that, between AD 1450-AD 1451, a prolonged cold, drought period, with no rain, but heavy snowfalls and summer frosts, destroyed the Aztec empire‘s annual harvest in central Mexico. Today, the phenomenon is attributed to El Niño and verified by sediment analysis from large cenotes and lakes in Yucatan

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Archaeodisasters peninsula (Hodell, et al., 2005). Later on, the early European settlers reported exceptionally severe winters (Lamb, 1995). During LIA, northern South America experienced about 10% more rainfall than during 20th century, phenomenon related to cooler spring sea surface temperatures in the tropical North Atlantic (Reuter, et al., 2009). Nevertheless, around AD 1320 and to the end of the 16th century, a transition to the stressful and extreme climate of the LIA began in the southern part of the continent. During the 17th century, there was an intermediate benign period of major climatic stability, characterized by very scarce extraordinary floods and few droughts. By the start of the 18th century, however, and lasting until the beginning of the 19th century, both glaciers in the southern Andes advanced, and the plains of the central region of Argentina suffered intense droughts. Today, those two cold phases are identified to the Spörer and Maunder Minimums respectively (Cioccale, 1999). In fact, further paleohydrological and paleoclimatic data support the worldwide impact of LIA as a global event, the onset and termination of which are clearly defined in local regions (Thompson, et al., 1986; Chepstow-Lusty, et al., 1998; Harrison and Winchester, 2000; Valero-Garces, et al., 2000; Jenny, et al., 2002; Valero-Garces, et al., 2003). Similarly, the LIA has been identified in the area of the Pacific Islands, where this climate change, was broadly marked by cooler temperatures, observed increase in El Niño frequency, and lower sea levels; an important determinant of human cultural change during the last millennium, and especially, of the ‗AD 1300 event‘. The environmental stressors were the triggering mechanism for increased upland erosion and lowland sedimentation, as well as for a dramatic reduction in near-shore coral-reef productivity and the abrupt fall in the food resource base. They also led to socio-cultural transformations, such as conflict, settlement-pattern changes, and the end of longdistance voyaging. Conflict increased during/after the AD 1300; the large coastal settlements on many islands were abandoned in favour of caves and/or smaller fortified hilltop settlements. Successful long-distance voyages ceased, as did interisland exchange within many archipelagos (Nunn, 2000; Nunn and Britton, 2001; Turney, et al., 2016). The most recent interdisciplinary research has been focused on precisely dated records of ice-cap growth from Arctic Canada and Iceland, which showed the abrupt onset of LIA summer cold and ice growth beginning between AD 1275 and 1300, and being followed by a substantial intensification between AD 1430 and AD 1455. This onset can be linked to an unusual 50-year-long episode with four large sulphur-rich explosive eruptions, each with global sulphate loading >60 Tg (Miller, et al., 2012). The anomalous seasons (extremely mild) between AD 1257 and 1259 are now attributed to Samalas volcano (ancestor of Rinjani volcanic complex) on the island of Lombok, near Bali. New evidence from tephra geochemistry, stratigraphic data, radiocarbon dates, and a medieval chronicle, spotted the source of this eruption. On the other hand, the volcanic aerosol veil led, in AD 1258 and 1259, to two of the coldest and wettest summers in the North hemisphere experienced in the last 1,000 years (Briffa, et al., 1998), as well as to exceptionally cold European winters. Severe famine was recorded across England, France, Germany and Italy, followed by widespread mortality from the starvation (Stothers, 1999 & 2000; Keene, 2011; Gerrard and Petley, 2013). That eruption was amongst the most violent of the last 7 Ka, with a VEI estimated at a minimal value of 7 (Langway et al., 1988; Oppenheimer, 2003; Lavigne, et al., 2013). Material under copyright protection



Chapter 6: Archaeodisasters and Human Psyche 6.1 Bibliotheca Catastrophica Disaster Literature can be both approached as mental process and behavioural expression, where imagination, reality and cognitive patterns are strongly interrelated. As disasters and crises of all kind were always present in human history, written testimonies are full of information concerning the events per se, as well as concerning their transformation into creation myths, destruction lore and contemplation on human tragedy and on the visible / invisible bonds between nature and human culture and society. The ancient Egyptians had a concept they called the Sep Tepi (First Time), meaning the primordial golden age of the gods. According to the Egyptians own legends, the dynastic Egyptians enjoyed the exceptionally advanced technologies and mystical systems, which were actually the legacy of this elder culture, ended by a fierce catastrophe. The Edfu building texts (Collins, 2002) record the history of the Sep Tepi as it was passed down among the ancient priesthood. According to the Edfu Buiding Texts, in the aftermath of a global flood, groups of creator gods with unusual characteristics and sages embarked on temple-building programs at wisely chosen locations. The Indian Vedas and traditions from Easter Island are identical (Silva, 2011). The whole concept seems to have been overcome by Akhenaten‘s theology of ‗light without darkness‘. The texts describe a temple surrounded by a possibly man-made channel of water with a nearby field of reeds. This is called the Island of the Egg, and it is associated with the point of First Creation, or the Island of the Twin Flames. Divine pillars (djed pillars), were situated around a sacred domain here called the Wadjeset-Hor or Wadjeset-Neter (homeland), the original divine inhabitants of which numbered 60, along with the Sages and an enigmatic figure known simply as ―This One‖ (embodied bird). Then, the Eye wreaked destruction on enemy and allies alike, causing mass devastation. The first temple was destroyed and all the inhabitants died. There is a period of darkness where death and decay are everywhere, and the Island of the Egg is now renamed, being given titles like the Island of Combat, the Island of Trampling, and the Island of Peace. This is the end of the First Age, or Sep Tepi. Then, a second generation of divine inhabitants reclaimed this sacred area, the Shebtu (ogdoad of builder-gods). They inexplicably sailed away to another part of the world to continue their task of rebuilding. As time passed, the divine inhabitants of the Wadjeset-Neter were replaced by the Shemsu-Hor (―Followers of Horus‖), semi-divine beings who ruled pre-dynastic Egypt and, eventually by the Horuskings of the First Dynasty circa 3100 BCE. The ancient historian Manetho described a period of about 25 Ka before the rise of Menes, first king of the First Dynastic period in Egypt. The first rulers were the gods themselves, particularly Horus, who ruled for a period of about 13 Ka. Herodotus records that 11.34 Ka have passed since the reign of the first Pharaoh, placing the beginning of that reign in the 12 th millennium. It is likely that this first Pharaoh was included among the Shemsu-Hor, who was recognized as being demi-divine, like the later Horus-kings. Circa 3100 BCE, Hor-Aha (Menes) united the Upper and Lower Egypt initiating the First Dynastic Period. Even more, the ancient Egyptians always feared the possibility that the world would return to a watery darkness, if the Sky and Earth reunited. The Book of the Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters Celestial Cow, thought to have been originated from the Amarna Period, details the efforts of Man and God to keep the Sky from collapsing into the Earth. Nevertheless, eventually, according to their cyclic idea of cosmos' catastrophe and rebirth, our world would end and the watery darkness would return. In the Egyptian end of time, a snake will emerge when the sky collapses into the Earth and recreates watery darkness, returning to the Chaos where he originated. The book may have originated from the Pyramid Texts, but by the New Kingdom this main idea was developed to explain death and suffering in an imperfect creation. Researchers, also, consider the motif thematically similar to more developed accounts of the destruction of mankind in the Mesopotamian and in the biblical stories of the flood (Hornung, 1999; Pinch, 2004; Lichtheim, 2006). In addition, the Ipuwer Papyrus contains an ancient Egyptian poem, called The Admonitions of Ipuwer or The Dialogue of Ipuwer and the Lord of All (Papyrus Leiden I 344 recto). The sole surviving manuscript that is dated (as a copy) to the later 13th century BCE (no earlier than the 19 th dynasty in the New Kingdom), describes how Egypt was afflicted by natural disasters, where chaos, warfare, famine and death prevailed, during the first or second Intermediate Period (Quirke, 2004): ―.. Indeed, the women are barren and none conceive.. Indeed, [hearts] are violent, pestilence is throughout the land, blood is everywhere.. Indeed, the river is blood, yet men drink of it. Men shrink from human beings and thirst after water. Indeed, the ship of [the southerners] has broken up; towns are destroyed and Upper Egypt has become an empty waste.. Indeed, [. . .] because of noise; noise is not [. . .] in years of noise, and there is no end [of] noise...‖ This particular text caused a huge and very interesting debate between interdisciplinary researchers. Some connect it to the Minoan eruption of Santorini‘s volcano, the Hyksos invasion and the famous Exodus (Gardiner, 1909; Velikovsky, 1952; Stiebing, 1989; Roger, 2003; Enmach, 2005), others to the concept of theodicy, as the dialogue in the later passages of the poem reflects one of the most pristine human questions, about the causes of Evil and Chaos in the world (Kemp, 2005; Enmarch, 2008). Finally, others recognize a striking similarity to the Sumerian city laments and to the Egyptian laments of the dead (Morenz in Tait, 2003), reflecting the general utopian or messianic concept of humans about a golden past or the vision of an upcoming savour (Peet, 1924; Breasted, 2005). Moreover, apart from the physical explanations, the life-giving water that turned into blood, can, also, be interpreted as a horrific metaphor; its parallels are found in the Aeneid, and in the Late Antique hermetic tract the Apocalypse of Asclepius (70.3 - 78) (Parkinson, 2010). In the framework of Disaster Literature, one major source of narration is the biblical book of Exodus, according to which, the Ten Plagues of Egypt were calamities that Israel's God, Yahweh, inflicted upon Egypt to persuade Pharaoh to release the illtreated Israelites from slavery. The identification of the plagues and their dating and further analysis, though, is beyond the scope of this book. The series of events were: the Beginning of the curses (Ex. 5:1–9, 7:8–13), the Plague of blood (Ex. 7:14–25), the Plague of frogs (Ex. 7:25–8:11), the Plague of lice or gnats (Ex. 8:12–15), the Plague of pestilence (Ex. 9:1–7), the Plague of boils (Ex. 9:8–12), the Plague of hail (Ex. 9:13–35), the Plague of locusts (Ex. 10:1–20), Plague of darkness (Ex. 10:21–29) and the Death of the firstborn (Ex. 11:1–12:36) (Velikovsky, 1950; de Grazia, 1983b & 1984a; Goedicke, 1995; Marr and Malloy, 1996; Trevisanato, 2005). According to the most recent archaeological perspective, the plagues occurred at an ancient city of Pi-Rameses on the Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters Nile Delta, which was the capital of Egypt during the reign of Pharaoh Ramesses II, who ruled between 1279 BCE and 1213 BCE. This city appears to have been abandoned around 1000 BC. After a very favourable wet climatic period (in terms of data analysis from stalagmites in Egyptian caves see Vaks, et al, 2007), a dramatic shift into dryness came, triggering the environmental onset of the plagues. Another written evidence is the Tempest Stele or Storm Stele, which was erected by the pharaoh Ahmose I early in the 18th dynasty of Egypt (ca 1550 BCE), its fragments found in the third Pylon of the temple of Karnak at Thebes. It described a great storm striking Egypt during that time, destroying tombs, temples and pyramids in the Theban region and the work of restoration ordered by the king. The interpretation of this text remains also highly debated (Davis, 1990; Wiener and Allen, 1998). For the Merneptah Stele and the Great Papyrus Harris, see Ch. 5.3 referring to Sea People and their environmental setting). Finally, the Decree of Canopus, a bilingual inscription in two languages, and in three scripts, was written on a memorial stone stele. It was a decree by Egyptian priests honouring Pharaoh Ptolemy III Euergetes, Queen Berenice, his wife, and Princess Berenice in 238 BCE, referring among others, to famine relief, calendar reform, Egyptian religion and governmental organization in Ptolemaic Egypt (Pfeiffer, 2004). The Sumerian King List, which is an ancient manuscript originally recorded in the Sumerian language, listing kings of Sumer (ancient southern Iraq), that blends prehistorical, perhaps mythical predynastic rulers, with implausibly lengthy reigns with later, more plausibly historical dynasties. The cuneiform tablet was found at the site of ancient Nippur in the early 1900s by German-American scholar Hermann Hilprecht, and it was published in 1906. In general, the list is an important chronological tool for the 3rd millennium BCE, despite the fact that many of the dynasties are listed reined simultaneously from varying localities. Up to now, none of the predynastic ‗antediluvian‘ rulers have been verified via archaeological excavations, epigraphical inscriptions, or otherwise. Furthermore, after that discovery, at least 18 other exemplars of the king‟s list have been found. Worth mentioning is, also, the remark that the antediluvian portion of the King List is very different from the biblical account. It only contains eight kings, while Genesis has ten patriarchs, but it does not include the Sumerian first man or the Flood hero. In parallel, the earliest portions of the list were preserved in the later Babylonian and Assyrian king lists into the 3rd century BCE, when Berossus' Babyloniaca popularized fragments of the list (he was a Babylonian astronomer, writer and priest of the Hellenistic Era). The Uruk List of Kings and Sages (ULKS) or the Apkullu-list (Tablet No. W.20030, 7), was created in ca 165 BCE, and was discovered by German archaeologists at an ancient temple at Uruk, in 1960. It contains a series of kings, equivalent to the Sumerian antediluvians, called ‗Apkullu‘ (Walton, 1981; Morby, 1989; Algaze, 1993; Hess and Tsumura, 1994; Davila, 1995; Englund, 1998; Van De Mieroop, 2004; Glassner, 2005; Friberg, 2007; Chen, 2009. Electronic Text Corpus of Sumerian Literature available online at: The Enûma Eliš was the Babylonian creation myth, about a thousand lines (named after its opening words), written in Old Babylonian on seven clay tablets, and recovered in AD 1849, in fragmentary form, in the ruined Library of Ashurbanipal at Nineveh (Mosul, Iraq). Researchers claim that the composition of the text probably dates to the Bronze Age, to the time of Hammurabi or perhaps the early Kassite Era (roughly 18th to 16th centuries BCE), although some scholars favour a later date of ca 1100 BCE. Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters The majority of them agree, though, in the strong interrelation between EE and the Book of Genesis. The latest includes, amongst other topics, the Creation‘s narration (origin, order, meaning and destiny of Cosmos), the deluge of Noah and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. In addition, the Erra or Irra Epos was named after the Akkadian plague god Erra and dated to 8th century BCE. Given the copies (at least 36) recovered from five first-millennium sites (Assur, Babylon, Nineveh, Sultan Tepe and Ur) archaeologists consider it as a central poem to Babylonian culture, perhaps more popular than the Epic of Gilgamesh (Smith, 1876; Cagni, 1969 and 1977; West, 1997; Foster, 2007). Other researchers, such as Zecharia Sitchin (2007) claim that disaster evidence from Sinai (broken and blackened stones) and Mesopotamia (windblown desolation) are linked to the tale of Erra Epos and the biblical tale of Sodom and Gommorah, to the abrupt climatic change around the fourth quarter of 21 st century BCE. In fact, Strabo states (XVI.2.44) that locals living near Moasada say that ―there were once thirteen inhabited cities in that region of which Sodom was the metropolis, but that a circuit of about sixty stadia of that city escaped unharmed; and that by reason of earthquakes and of eruptions of fire and of hot waters containing asphalt and sulphur, the lake burst its bounds, and rocks were enveloped with fire; and, as for the cities, some were swallowed up and others were abandoned by such as were able to escape. But Eratosthenes says, on the contrary, that the country was a lake, and that most of it was uncovered by outbreaks, as was the case with the sea‖. The pioneer British assyriologist and linguist, Archibald Sayce, translated an Akkadian poem describing cities that were destroyed in a rain of fire, written from the view of a person who escaped the destruction, but the names of the cities are not given. Later on, Giovanni Pettinato claimed (1976) that a cuneiform tablet that had been found in the newly discovered library at Ebla, contained the names of all five of the cities of the plain (Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboim, and Bela), listed in the same order as in Genesis. All the same, the destruction event is today among the most debated in interdisciplinary studies (Smith, 1876; Sayce, 1895; Pettinato, 1981; Wyatt, 2001; Foster, 1995; Harris and Beardow, 1995; Young, 1995; Horowitz, 1998; Stordalen, 2000; Chavalas and Younger, 2002; Bottéro, 2004; Rochberg, 2010). Furthermore, a very intriguing and insightful interpretation of Enuma Elis has been given by Zecharia Sitchin, who considers EE as a Cosmology of our Solar System, with the names of the gods being the Sumerian names of our nine planets. According to his perspective, Tiamat was the ‗old Earth‘, an existing 10th planet was called Nibiru (Marduk), and Earth‘s moon was Kingu. When the intruder planet (Nibiru), entered the early Solar System made Uranus turn a 90º axis, pulled a moon of Saturn away becoming Pluto, and then has a moon impact with Tiamat, between Mars and Jupiter. Then, half of Tiamat becomes the Asteroid belt and Comets. The other half of Tiamat from a second impact is pushed to third position from the Sun as new Earth, keeping Tiamat‘s old Moon (Kingu). Marduk now as Nibiru is locked in a counter clockwise 3.6-kyr orbit. Thus, the flood was an interplanetary not a planetary event (Sitchin, 1991, 2001 & 2002). The Epic of Gilgamesh, amongst the earliest surviving works of literature, was discovered by Hormuzd Rassam, a native Assyrian assyriologist, British diplomat and traveller, in AD 1853. The epic begins with the five old Sumerian poems, usually dated to the period 2150-2000 BCE (then came the ‗standard‘ Akkadian version which consists of 12 tablets), and was edited by Sin-liqe-unninni sometime between 1300 and 1000 BCE, Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters later found in the library of Ashurbanipal in Nineveh. In tablet VI, we learn that Ishtar, in order to revenge Gilgamesh, leads the Bull of Heaven to Uruk, causing widespread devastation, as it lowers the level of the Euphrates River, dries up the marshes, and opens up huge pits that swallow 300 men! One can see the very stimulating combination of the ancient Greek myths of Minotaur and Phaethon (Laoupi, 2016, forthcoming monograph). Tablet IX opens with Gilgamesh grieving for Enkidu. Fearful of his own death, his decides to seek Utnapishtim (‗the Faraway‘), and learn the secret of eternal life; Utnapishtim and his wife were the only humans to have been granted immortality by the gods, as were among the few survivors of the Great Flood. The whole flood account matches both the biblical narration (Genesis, VI - IX), and the flood story that concludes the Epic of Atra-hasis (Maier, 1997; George, 1999; Gmirkin, 2006; Azize and Weeks, 2007). Moreover, there is the Atrahasis epic, the most complete surviving version of which is written on three tablets in Akkadian, the language of ancient Babylon. According to this text, Atra-Hasis (‗exceedingly wise‘) is the protagonist of the 18 th century BCE creation myth and flood story. The whole epic tradition continued to be copied many centuries later and in many versions. His name appears on one of the Sumerian king lists, as being king of Shuruppak in the times before the flood. Tablet XI of Gilgamesh Epic labels, also, Atra-hasis, as the son of Ubara-Tutu, king of Shuruppak, while the Instructions of Shuruppak (among the oldest surviving ‗wisdom‘ literature, dated to the early 3rd millennium BCE), instead, label him (under the name Ziusudra) as ruler of the city of Shuruppak and priest, son of the eponymous Shuruppak, and grandson of Ubara-Tutu (Laessoe, 1956; Alster, 1974; Tigay, 1982; Lambert and Millard, 1999). As mentioned in Sumerian King List, "then the flood swept over". The evidence came from the flood – riverine strata excavated in various archaeological sites in Iraq, the most famous being Shuruppak (modern Tell Fara), dated to ca 2900 BCE (Crawford, 2004). The third surviving Babylonian deluge epic is the tale of Ziusudra, known from a single fragmentary tablet written in Sumerian (about 2/3 of which are now lost), dated, by its script, to the 17th century BCE. (Eridu Genesis), but researchers conclude that the personality of the heroic figure had been identified and venerated by the middle of the 3rd millennium BCE (Landon, 1923; Kramer, 1967; Best, 1999). The Chaldean account of the Flood is given by the afore-mentioned Berosus. The Babylonians believed in the existence of a patriarch named Sisit, the Xisuthrus of the Greeks (the Sumerian Ziusudra or Zin-Suddu), who was supposed to have attained to immortality without death. Izdubar, according to the notions of the time, resolved to seek Sisit, to ascertain how he became immortal, that he might attain to a similar honour. To Sisit, the deity of Kronos foretold that on the fifteenth day of the month Daesius there would be a deluge of rain: and he commanded him to deposit all the writings whatever which were in his possession, in the City of the Sun at Sippara (Smith, 1876; Verbrugghe and Wickersham, 2000). The story of the Great Flood is, also, told twice in the Quran, in Sura 11 and Sura 71. The hero was Nuh. In various Hindu traditions, Manu was the flood hero (Bhagavata Purana, 8.24.12; Matsya Purana, Ch.I, 10-33 & Ch.II, 1-19), the progenitor of mankind and the very first king to rule this Earth; he was, also, the one who saved mankind from the universal flood. As he was absolutely honest, he was initially known as ‗Satyavrata‘ (One with the oath of truth). According to Theosophy, the ‗Vaivasvatu Manu‘ is one of the Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters most important beings at the highest levels of Initiation of the Masters of the Ancient Wisdom, along with Gautama Buddha, and others. Each root race has its own ‗Manu‘ as a physical incarnation (Flood, 1996; Misra, 2007). Moreover, the myths of creation and the Deluge of Manu are cited in Mahâbhârata (Vana Parva III, section CLXXXVI) and in Shatapatha Brahmana (1-8) (Klostermaier, 2007). Another thrilling aspect of Indian literature, apart from the flood, is the impactism, as well as other cosmological and environmental topics (see Ch. 6.2 Disaster Mythology and Symbolism). Apart from Puranas (religious texts, notably consisting of narratives of the history of the universe from creation to destruction, genealogies of kings, heroes, sages & demigods, and descriptions of Hindu cosmology, philosophy and geography), the epic Mahabharata (roughly ten times the length of the Iliad and Odyssey combined, or about four times the length of the Ramayana) and the epic Valmiki Ramayana, the Vedas are four in number -- the Rig, Sama, Yajur and Atharva. Each Veda itself is composed of parts. The layers of text reflect the chronology of composition, with the Samhita being the most ancient part and the Upanishads the most recent. It is agreed among scholars that the Rigveda Samhita (RV for brevity) is by far the oldest part of the Vedas. The RV contains 1028 suktas (hymns dedicated to various deities) with a total of 10552 mantras (verses) arranged in 10 Mandalas or books (Dimmitt & van Buitenen, 1978; Lerner, 1988; Arya, 1998; Brockington , 2003; Buck and van Nooten, 2003; MacDonell, 2004; Badrinath, 2006; Avari, 2007; Bhasin, 2007; Witzel, 2007). Sanskrit literature of ancient and medieval India is rich in archaeoenvironmental information (Iyengar, 2004; Laoupi, 2011a). Ancient Vedic people, as all ancestors living under turbulent skies, appear to have been preoccupied with cosmic fires (meteoritic swarms and comets), as early as the regular ritualistic observation of the sky, that gradually led to calendar‘s elaboration and later to the knowledge of the planets (Iyengar, 2010). Kumari Kandam legend is the most famous amongst other submerged lands traditions in Indian literature - ancient and medieval Sanskrit and Tamil works about South India‘s lands lost to the ocean (Subrahmanian, 1996; Ramaswamy, 2004). Flood stories, conflagration / impact and epidemics stories, upheaval and celestial combat stories, are, also, present in the ancient Greek, Roman and Byzantine literature. Nevertheless, the major legend of Atlantis and the Ages of Humanity will be presented in Ch. 6.4 (Utopian and Eschatological Perspectives). Hesiod's Theogony is written in the Epic dialect of Homeric Greek, as a large-scale synthesis of a vast variety of the first Greek mythical cosmogony (Athanassakis, 1983; Lamberton, 1988). Today, researchers recognize the influence of Anatolian, Near East and Mycenaean traditions, such as the Babylonian Dynasty of Dunnum (Theogony of Dunnum or Dunnu or the Harab Myth), the Ugaritic Baal cycle, and the Hittite mythical texts, notably the Anatolian Kingship in Heaven (or Kumarbi Epic). The main topic is always the transformation of Chaos into Cosmos, the conflict of generations of the gods who represent the various states of human civilization (aspects of fertility, agriculture and the seasonal cycle, wild & domesticated animals, herdsman, pasture, viniculture, etc) and the role of humans in it. The ancient Mesopotamian tale of the Dynasty of Dunnum spread across to Phoenicia and over the Aegean (Lambert and Walcot, 1965; Wasilewska, 2001; Hallo, 2010). In addition, the Baal cycle, written on a series of clay tablets in a cuneiform alphabet, was an Ugaritic cycle of stories about the Canaanite god Baal (Hadad), the god of storm and fertility (Gibson, 1977; Smith, 1994; Smith and Pitard, 2009). Finally, Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters Kumarbi was the Hurrian/Hittite god, son of Anu, and father of the Weather-God Teshub, who later deposed him. The ferocious wars between Earth and Sky gods on the Heaven‘s kingship were described by all the afore-mentioned epic cycles and other circumMediterranean cosmologies, such as Bundahishn (meaning ‗Primal Creation‘), written in the 11th or 12th century CE. This name is traditionally given to an encyclopædiaic collections of pre- /Zoroastrian cosmogony and cosmology corpus (Avesta) written in Book Pahlavi, while the original name of the work is not known (Kellens, 1983; MacKenzie, 1990). The Epic of Manas (Kyrgyz: Манас дастаны) – heroic deeds in three books, in about sixty versions and in entirely oral form - is considered as the traditional epic poem of the Kyrgyz people, twenty times longer than the Homeric epics Iliad (15693 verses) and Odyssey (12110 verses) taken together, and, two and a half times the length of the Indian epic Mahabharata (Hatto, et al., 1980). Apart from other given information, the epic singers were, also, knowledgeable about geological occurrences, various natural phenomena and changes on the Earth. Amongst the typical themes are the divine exemplary heroes, battles against enemies (human and monster), talking and flying horses and shape shifting. On the other hand, a plethora of ancient Greek and Roman writers, such as

Aeschylus, Apollonius Rhodius, Aristophanes, Diodorus of Sicily, Euripides, fragmenta of various historians & comedians, Herodotus, Hesiod, Homer, Kallimachos, Lucian, Pausanias, Pindar, Plato, Sophocles, Strabo and Virgil, mentioned, also, the Titans and the Giants, as well as the cosmic wars (Titanomachy and Gigantomachy). The Titans seemed to have played a prominent role in the poems attributed to Orpheus, but, with interesting differences from the Hesiodic tradition. The Titans were the oldest race amongst the Gods, sons of Gaia (Earth) & Ouranos (Sky): Oceanos, Koios, Kreios, Hyperion, Iapetos and Kronos. Often, their descendants called, also, Titans (e.g. Prometheus & Epimetheus, Atlas, Helios, Hecate and the Olympian Gods). Respectively, Titanides were the daughters of Gaia or Tethys & Ouranos, sisters and wives of Titans, six in number (Rhea, Phoebe, Tethys, Theia, Dike, Mnemosyne and Themis). The agitation and the rivalry begun when Ouranos, first ruler of the Universe, hated his own offsprings, Hecatoncheires & Cyclopes, so he threw them into Tartarus. Ouranos‘ wife and mother of the above - mentioned creatures, Gaia, who grieved at the destruction of her children, persuaded her other children, to attack and dethrone their father. The older son, Kronos, mutilated his father with a sickle, evoking his curse. From the outflowing blood of the castrated god, were born the goddess of Love and Beauty Aphrodite, the Furies, the Giants and the Nymphs of the beech - trees. All Titans together set their brothers free and enthroned Kronos, as the new leader of the Gods. But again, Hecatoncheires and Cyclopes were thrown, unjustly, into Tartarus, by their oldest brother. Then, Zeus, Ouranos‘ son, with the other Olympian Gods by his side, begins a new war, against the older gods, the Titans. Only Oceanos and Themis sided with Zeus, because they knew that neither the brute nor the violent would prevail, but the clever. After a long and cruel struggle, known as Titanomachy, Titans were defeated on the mountain Othrys by the Olympian Gods and their allies, Hecatoncheires and Cyclopes. During that turbulent period, Cyclopes made the thunderbolt for Zeus and Hecatoncheires were established as the wardens of Titans in Tartarus, before them being permanently condemned to exile in the furthest West. Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters With the Titanomachy coming to an end, a new universal order was established, with Zeus being the prime leader, but soon enough, his power was disputed and the equilibrium was about to reverse, due to the events of Gigantomachy. But, the ancient Greek myth of the Giants‘ Revolt wasn‘ t mentioned in the poems of Homer and Hesiod, appearing later, during the 6th century BCE. The ancient Greeks distinguished: a) between the Giants who disputed the power of the usurper Zeus and the autonomous rebels (e.g. the theriomorphic Typhoon), b) between the theriomorphic creatures and the anthropomorphic Giants, who were repulsive because of their strength, violence and stature, and c) between the god - fighter Giants who were children of Gaia (e.g. Alcyoneus, Antaios) and the others who were not. The names of several Giants are related to some physical phenomena and ecofacts: Enkelados < ancient greek word kelados (the loud noise, the meteorological or geological crash), Mimas < mimichmos (the subterrenian dull sound, the neighing), Rhoitos < rhoibdos (the deafening sound) & rhoisos (the hissing sound), Porphyrion < pyr (the fire, either as a mass of hot missile, or as a person who causes a fire destruction), Pallas & Pallene < pella (the stone and its correlating words), etc. There is no evidence for their birth in the written texts of Classical Period, but, according to a later tradition, the pregnant Gaia, half-opened the Phlegrae plain, bringing them to life, as adolescents. The final battle of Gigantomachy took, also, place in Pallene, former Phlegraean or "burning" fields, the location of which was: (1) in the westernmost of the three Macedonian peninsulas jutting into the Aegean Sea from Chalcidice; between the Thermaic and Toronean Gulf, there was an isthmus which joined the peninsula to the mainland and a city with the later name of Cassandra (Pausanias, Description of Greece I.xxiv.2), (2) in the mountainous Arcadia (Peloponnesus), as Pausanias describes (VIII. xxix.1 - 3: ― The Arcadians say that the fabled battle between giants and gods took place here and not at Pallene in Thrace, and at this spot sacrifices are offered to lightnings, hurricanes and thunders ‖), and (3) according to a later tradition (Strabo, V.iv.iv ff & VII.xxv -xxvii), in Campi Flegrei in Italy. During that battle, Zeus and Hera exterminated Porphyrion, Hercules beat Alcyoneus, Athena won Enkelados & Pallas, Apollo Ephialtes, Poseidon Polybotes, Dionysos Rhoitos, and Hecate Klityos. Hephaistos, after being in serious trouble and saved by Helios, killed Mimas. Worth-mentioning is that the motif of fire-bearing Hephaistos, who brings destruction ‗with his blazing shower of deadly Lemnian flame‘ is highlighted in Gigantomachy, when Hephaistos killed Mimas by throwing molten iron at him (Apollodorus, I.37) or exhausted sank on the battlefield of Phlegra (Apollonius, III.23). Within this conceptual framework, goddess Hera‘s symbolical substratum seems to be, also, strongly related to the spirits of fire, not only to the sky and moon (Laoupi, 2006a). This fact functions better within the logic of Hephaistos‘ birth from her. Generally speaking, Fire and its permanent fermentation seem to have a significant role in Gigantomachy‘s events. Fire is related to the goddess Hera, ‗mother‘ of all the fire spirits. In the ancient Greek mythology, a number of Giants and deities were connected, directly or indirectly, with her. Among the Giants, Ixion, the arrogant, is tied to a burning wheel for punishment. The two cycles of events both deal with a long and ‗painful‘ transformative process from the chaotic and primordial natural forces into a ruled universe. Especially, Gigantomachy is a sequence of different events and persons with a various symbolism, Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters naturalistic, environmental, cosmic, religious, sociological, historical, anthropological, folkloric, linguistic, etc proving, once more, the richness of the ancient Greek mythical thought. It is a cosmic climax of clash and environmental upheaval that is listed in the mythological events of Titanomachy & Gigantomachy. Such events are the throwing of huge stones by Alcyoneus (the oldest and strongest giant who played the most crucial role in the battle field), the deeds of Aloades (the brothers Otos & Ephialtes), who put the mountain Pelion over the mountain Ossa in order to reach Olympus, deeds that record the geological changes of Tempi area, in Thessaly, or the activity of the giants Ephialtes & Polybotes in the islands of eastern Aegean (Karpathos, Nisyros), areas with intense volcanic and seismic activity. Thus, the rivalry, the pursuit and the battles between the Olympian Gods and the Giants, in Greece and Egypt, incarnate the internal changes of the elementary primordial natural forces and the cosmic reordering that took really place in eastern Mediterranean Region, during a remote period of time. Shifts of the crust, submarine trenches, orogeny, erosion and sedimentation, the emergence and fragmentation of the mainland of Aegaeis, tectonic faults, volcanic eruptions and sealevel changes symbolize the perpetual struggle between the natural elements (fire, water, air, soil). The dualism of the natural powers and elements, is, also, revealed through their role in the ecological equilibrium. The chaotic violent forces of the natural world with their primordial impetus (burning heat, the winter‘s darkness, catastrophic phenomena like storms, volcanic eruptions and earthquakes) differentiate from the order of the beneficent natural periodicities (impact of the solar energy, rainfall, breeze, seasonality, formation of fertile lands). Later on, in Hellenistic Alexandria and afterwards, there was a tendency to allegorically interpret the archaic myths. The 5th century court poet of Emperor Honorius, Claudian -regarded as the last great poet in the classical tradition-, composed a Gigantomachia, according to which, Gigantomachy was a metaphor for catastrophic geomorphic change in the past. Plato in its Republic (378c) mentions that Gigantomachy was narrated ―woven on the peplos of Athena at the Panathenaic festival". The topic was amongst the most preferable in ancient artistic depictions and had a prominent role in Athenian lore and tradition. The ‗Gigantomachy pediment‘ of old Athena temple on Acropolis is a famous example; its fragments are now exhibited in the New Acropolis Museum (Kerenyi, 1951; Moore, 1995; Mayerson, 2001; Hurwit, 2004). Furthermore, in ancient Greko-Roman literature, the researchers can find a plethora of information and symbolic interpretations concerning all the spectrum of archaeoenvironmental sciences, from Geomythology, Paleodemography and Bioclimatology, to Archaeoastronomy and Geopathology, the whole extend of which, could not be presented in this book. We should briefly mention, though, the case of Vesuvius‘ Plinian eruption (Tacitus The Annals, XV; Pliny Natural History, 3.40 ff. and Letter, 6.20; Strabo Geographica, V; Vitruvius De Architectura, II; Seneca Topics in Natural History, VI.1; Dio Cassius Historia Romana, LXVI), as well as the three Deluges referred in ancient Greek tradition. The Deluge of Ogyges, named after the first king of Thebes in Beotia or a king of Attica (Aeschylus, The Persians I.37; Plato Timaeus, 22 and Critias, 111-112; Pausanias, Description of Greece 9.5.1; Apollonius Rhodius, iii. 1177; Africanus, Chronography, quoted in Eusebius' Praeparatio Evangelica, 10.10, etc; Paepe, et al., Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters 1984; Paepe, et al., 1995; Liritzis and Raftopoulou, 1999; the Kratilos gravel layer in Attica) was related to severe environmental phenomena. During that flood the colour, size, shape and course of planet Venus changed - phenomenon that was reported by two famous mathematicians, Adrastus of Cyzicus and Dion of Naples, and by Marcus Terentius Varro (referred in Saint Augustine, The City of God XXI.8; Eusebius of Caesarea, Chronikon 1; Caduff, 1986). There was, also, no daylight for nine months and the volcanoes of the Aegean Sea were active. The flood of Deucalion was the most popular in ancient Greek tradition (Hesiod, Catalogue of Women frag. 2-7 and 234; Hecataeus of Miletus, frag. 341; Pindar, Olympian Odes 9; Plato, Timaeus 22B, & Critias 112A; Apollonius of Rhodes, Argonautica 3.1086; Virgil, Georgics 1.6; Hyginus, Fabulae 153 and Poeticon astronomicon 2.29; Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Roman Antiquities 1.17.3; Ovid, Metamorphoses, 1.318ff. & 7.356; Strabo, Geographica, Bibliotheca 1.7.2; Plutarch, Life of Pyrrhus, 1; Lucian, De Dea Syria 12, 13, 28, 33; Pausanias, X.38.1; Nonnus, Dionysiaca III.211 & VI.367. See also the Flood of Orpheus, Marazov 2006). The flood of Dardanus was named after Dardanus, whose ancestral roots were connected to the king Atlas, Hesperia, the foundation of Troy and Argosy, and it was related to one severe Black Sea flooding episode (e.g. Plato, Laws, III.682a; Dionysius of Halicarnassus, 1.61–62; Virgil Aeneid, 3.163ff 7.195-242 etc). All the afore-mentioned cataclysms still remain controversial and under interdisciplinary scientific debate. On the other hand, fascinating observations for climatic, geological and astronomical phenomena, as well as epidemics, wars, famines, and natural disasters, continued to be present in the authors of Hellenistic, late Roman and Byzantine periods, such as Philo of Byzantium, Heron of Alexandria, Galen, Eusebius, Prokopius, John Malalas, Theophanes and Niketas Choniates (g.e. Allen, 2013). Collectively, the Egyptian, Roman and Byzantine empires provided, also, records of some 4000 years of environmental changes, covering geographically a large part of Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. Few more examples of oral traditions all over the World are the following. In Batak traditions, in Sumatra - Indonesia, the Flood legend narrates that the Earth rests on a giant snake, Naga-Padoha, which, tired of its burden, it shook the Earth off into the sea. Then, the god Batara-Guru saved his daughter by sending a mountain into the sea, and the entire human race descended from her; and the Earth was placed again, back onto the head of the snake (Humbolt, 1936; Dundes, 1988). A different perspective is reflected to the Australian Aborigines story, according to which, during the Dreamtime, a huge frog named Tiddalik drank all the water in the world and a drought swept across the land (Morton, 2006). The only way to finish the drought being to make the frog laugh, the animals from all over Australia gathered together and one by one attempted to make the frog laugh. Only the eel succeeded, and the water poured from his mouth in a flood, filling the deepest rivers, covering the land, and drowning many men and animals. In Malaysia, according to the legend of the Temuan (one of the 18 indigenous tribes), the great flood was the ‗celau‘ (storm of punishment), sent for the sin of the people who angered the gods and ancestors. Only two of the Temuan tribes, Mamak and Inak Bungsuk, survived the flood by climbing the Eaglewood tree at "Gunung Raja" (Royal Mountain), which thereafter became the birth place and ancestral home of the Temuan tribe (Centre for Orang Asli Concerns (COAC); Orang Asli Temuan Web Site). Finally, Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters in Hawaiian tales, a human couple (Nu'u & Lili-noe), survived a flood on top of Mauna Kea on the Big Island. Although the made sacrificed to the moon, to which they mistakenly attributed their safety, Kane, the creator god, descended to Earth on a rainbow, explaining Nu'u's mistake, and accepting their sacrifice "Nu'u". According to the Marquesas legend, the Great War god Tu was angered by his sister Hii-hia. His tears flooded the World, only six people survived (Nunn, 2008). Another famous lore is the Maori ‗Mystic Fires of Tamaatea‘. In New Zealand there is evidence for widespread forest destruction and the Maori place-names and legends are in accordance with the 15th century timing of an apparent Tunguska-type meteor impact in the South Island. Additionally, Chinese, and Japanese meteor sightings, comets, and mega-tsunamis in Australia are, also, related to this event (Duncan & Snow, 1992; Bryant, 2001; Goff, et al., 2003). The Asian meteorite records are the most complete (Hasegawa, 1992 & 1996; Yang et al., 2005a). Of particular interest with regard to archaeodisasters, is the The Ch'u Silk Manuscript, an astrological and astronomical text discovered in a Warring States period tomb (ca 300 BCE) from the southern Chinese state of Chu, consisting of both illustrations and texts. Although the risks of its translation and interpretation are always high, researchers have identified in its contents, the synodic period of Jupiter, a lunisolar calendar, the creation myths of the Chu people, and a description of events when heaven is in disarray (Barnard, 1972; Barnard, 1973; Cook and Major, 1999). According to the creation myth, the legendary emperor and culture hero Fu-Xi (or Fu-Hsi), along with his sister/wife Nüwa, were the only survivors of the great flood that swept the land of China. Fu-Xi taught his subjects to cook, to fish with nets, and to hunt with weapons made of iron, instituted marriage and offered the first open-air sacrifices to Heaven, being the father of the Chinese Tai Chi Philosophy of Yin and Yang and thus the I Ching. On the other hand, Nüwa, to stop the great disaster, mended the collapsed sky, repaired the Heaven with coloured rocks and killed the black dragon which caused floods / the brutal beasts that killed humans, used clay to create humans and human society, and created the marriage system to enable humans to multiply offspring. In this way, disasters were conquered and mankind was saved. Many Chinese ancient books (e.g. Book of Changes, Elegies of Chu, Writings of Prince Huainan, and Book of Mountains and Seas) include the legend of this couple. Even today, the Miao and Dong peoples in China's Yunnan Province, still worship Nüwa as their own primogenitor. Furthermore, one of the main motifs in Chinese mythology and Classical Chinese poetry is the Great Flood of China, which continued for at least two generations, and was accompanied by storms, famine and great population displacements. This major flood event it is traditionally dated to the 3rd millennium BCE, during the reign of the Emperor Yao / Gun & Yu. The Chinese versions of the worldwide flood myth have a different perspective from the majority of other cultures‘ similar legends. They include the concepts of disaster planning, control and mitigation, e.g. the hydrological engineering, the administrative reforms, the acquisition of the agricultural civilization, etc (Wu, 1982; Allan, 1991; Collins, 1993; Yang, et al., 2005b; Xiaoping, 2007). In the Americas, the archaeodisaster literature and lore are very rich in symbolic information. In Inca mythology, Viracocha, the great creator god in the pre-Inca and Inca mythology in the Andes, destroyed the giants with a Great Flood around the Lake Titicaca, and two people repopulated the Earth, having survived in sealed caves. This Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters event, known as ‗Unu Pachakuti‘, was of paramount importance in local linguistic and cultural traditions. The chronicle of Fernando de Montesinos, Memorias Antiguas y Historiales del Peru (AD 1642) includes a very long list of pre-Incaic kings descended from Ophir, the great-grandson of Noah. Recent research and ethnohistorical / archaeological data seem to support the correlation with the current prehistoric periodization in the Andes with promising results, though still controversial. Furthermore, occurrences of eclipses, comets, even supernovas are, also, included in the Chronicles, e.g. during the period AD 800-AD 850 (Oppolzer, 1887; Clark and Stephenson, 1977; Yeomans, 1991; Dover, et al., 1992; Kolata, 1993; Albarracin-Jordan, 1999; Anderson, 1999; Kronk, 1999; Andrews, 2000; Kronk, 2004, 2007 & 2008; Kronk, 2010; Means and Sir Markham, 2010). According to Chibcha legends (by Muisca Culture in parts of present day Colombia and Panama), Bochica was a culture hero and a spiritual/secular leader, a bearded man who came from the East. He taught ethical and moral norms by giving a model by which to organize states, agriculture, metalworking and other crafts before leaving for the west to live as an ascetic. But local people later forsook the teachings of Bochica turning to a life of excess, so, a flood engulfed the Savannah of Bogotá, where they lived. Bochica, eventually, returned on a rainbow, when his people appealed to him for aid, and created the Tequendama Falls, through which the floodwaters could drain away. According to tribal legends, Bochica‘s wife, Chia / Huitaca, goddess of sensual pleasure, was guilty for the great flood, she wanted to revenge her husband; he, in reverse, hurled her into the sky, turning her into the moon (Kroeber, 1946; Cotterell, 1986; Arango Cano, 1989). To the North, the Aztec codices written by pre-Columbian and colonial-era Aztecs are similarly valuable sources of narrations. Especially, the Boturini Codex, painted by an unknown Aztec author (ca AD 1530- AD 1541), narrates the story of the legendary Aztec journey from Aztlán to the Valley of Mexico (e.g. Smith, 1984; Jáuregui, 2004). The location of that land is still highly debated amongst researchers, but one specific hypothesis had always been more controversial. In the mid-19th century, fringe theorist Ignatius L. Donnelly (1882), proposed a connection between Aztlán and the fabled ‗lost continent‘ of Atlantis of Greek mythology. The Anales de Cuauhtitlan, a very important early source originally written in Nahuatl, describes the attire of Aztec god Quetzalcoatl at Tula (Velázquez, 1945). He was known primarily, as a boundary maker (and transgressor) between Earth and Sky, a creator deity having contributed essentially to the creation of Mankind. Worth mentioning that the mythological material extant for Quetzalcoatl is perhaps the largest of any other Mesoamerican deity, complex and convoluted, though, the essential cross- culture character of Quetzalcoatl ranging from demon to mythical deity or a European foreigner. The Maya equivalent of Quetzalcoatl was Kukulkan, the ‗quetzel bird-snake‘ or ‗plumed serpent‘. Although the royal authority symbols of Sun and Venus were adopted by the hierarchical states in the pre-Classical Maya period, Kukulkan in fact a postClassical deity, is illustrated in the Venus pages of the Dresden Codex, which was compiled in the post-Classical period, probably after AD 1200. A sky-, Venus-, creator-, war- and fertility-related serpent deity was prominent in Mesoamerica, as well as god of culture and civilization. In addition, six pages of the Dresden Codex and a plethora of inscriptions are devoted to Venus, the two-headed Maya ‗cosmic monster‘, showing Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters Venus deities armed with spears to pierce their victims (Closs, 1979; Aveni, 1992; Cochrane, 1997; Aveni, 2001). In Maya mythology, too (e.g. Popol Vuh, part 1, Ch.3 in a recent division, because the original manuscript is not divided into parts or chapters; Tedlock, 1985), when first humans angered the gods, Huracan (‗one-legged‘), a wind, fire and storm god who lived in the windy mists above the floodwaters, caused the Great Flood after the second generation of humans angered the gods, from which only four men and four women survived repopulating the Quiche world. He was, also, one of the creator deities who participated in all three attempts at creating humanity (Miller and Taube, 1993; Schele, et al., 1993). Generally speaking, the Mesoamerican literatures cover a broad spectrum of expressions, from the records that related religion, time and astronomy, to the carved monumental structures (such as stelae, altars & temples) that memorized history, power or legacy, and from oral and pictorial traditions of mythical and narrative kind, today, almost lost, to every day literature such as graffiti inscriptions. Furthermore, many of the post-conquest texts are historical accounts (annals or oral accounts of aged community members and personalized literary accounts of the life of a people or state), sometimes incorporating prophetical material, for example the Mayan Chilam Balam books (Garibay, 1971; Carrasco, 1998; Tedlock, 2010; see, also, the Mesoamerican Codices in the University Libraries Online at: ; ; Especially, the eschatological theme of the Aztec ‗Five Suns‘, along with Maya ‗Cosmogenesis‘ and the Hopi Prophecies, will be presented in Ch.6.4 (Ages of Humanity, Utopian and Eschatological Perspectives). Back to Europe, disaster literature is rich in variety and symbolism. The Greek mythical nucleus of the Titanomachy and Gigantomachy fall into a class of similar myths throughout Europe and the Near East, with the main motif of the wars between the gods, for example the wars of the Æsir with the Vanir and Jotuns in Scandinavian mythology. Snorri Sturluson, an Icelander poet, chief and diplomat of the early 13 th century CE, who believed that pre-Christian deities trace real historical people, composed the Eddas and the Heimskringla, but scholars think that the Poetic Edda (aka the Elder Edda) had been composed centuries earlier than its transcription. There is also the Danish Gesta Danorum, the Books 1-9 of which deal with Norse mythology, by Saxo Grammaticus. Supernatural creatures, heroes and heroines, kings and gods are all involved in epic deeds and fierce wars. Especially, Völuspá or Prophecy of the Völva (Seeress), the first and best known poem of the Poetic Edda, preserved whole in the Codex Regius and Hauksbók manuscripts while parts of it are quoted in the Prose Edda, narrates the story of the creation of the world and its coming end related by a völva (shamanic seeress in Norse paganism and a recurring motif in Norse mythology) addressing Odin. Respectively, the Prose Edda consists of a Prologue and three separated books, the first of which is Gylfaginning, which narrates the creation and foretold destruction and rebirth of the Norse mythical world. The two flood events (the one before the creation of this world and the final catastrophe) were related to the race of giants who lived on Earth. The famous Ragnarök will be cited in Ch.6.4 (Ages of Humanity, Utopian and Eschatological Perspectives). Furthermore, the flood myth is present in Finnish lore, in the Kalevala Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters rune entitled ‗Haava‘ (The Wound, section 8), where Väinämöinen attempting a heroic feat, was badly wounded; the blood from this wound covered the entire Earth. Similarly, the Anglo-Saxon epic poem Beowulf, written in Old English about AD 1100, describes the adventures of a great Scandinavian warrior who lived between the late 5th century CE and before the beginning of the 7 th century. The text, survived in a single manuscript known as the Nowell Codex, has traditionally been associated with the biblical flood, and, especially with Homer‘s Odyssey and Virgil‘s Aeneid, as it is herocentred and comprises heroic deeds, dragon fights and creation myths. Moreover, according to the apocryphal history of Ireland Lebor Gabála Érenn (The Book of the Taking of Ireland or the Book of Invasions / Conquests), which recounts the mythical origins and history of the Irish from the creation of the world down to the Middle Ages, Noah's granddaughter Cessair and her people, the Gaels were the first inhabitants of Ireland wiped out by a flood 40 days after reaching the island. Later on, another descendant of Noah, Partholon and his people settled on Ireland, but ten years after their first arrival, and, in a single week, they are wiped out by a plague, which left only one survivor. Thirty years after the extinction of the Partholonians, Nemed's people reached the island, but another flood rose and killed all but thirty of the inhabitants, who scattered across the world. Finally, the Tuatha Dé Danann – meaning peoples of the goddess Danu (the divine creator, the eternal energy of the Divine Feminine; goddess of the primordial waters of creations in Hindu mythology, too), descendants of another group of the scattered seed of Nemed, returned to Ireland from the far North, where they have learned the arts of pagan magic and druidry, on - or about - May 1st (Branston, 1957; Faulkes, 1987; Carey, 1993; Bosley, 1999; Ellis Davidson and Fisher, 1999; Abrams and Greenblatt, 2000; Lindow, 2001; Carey, 2005; MacKillop, 2005; North, 2006; Abram, 2011). 6.2 Disaster Mythology and Symbolism The detection, deciphering and decoding of transcultural disaster myths and symbolism are one of the most fascinating and intriguing topics concerning archaeodisasters. In the history of humankind, the mythological language and symbolism have been based both on survival instincts and communication skills. The term ‗Disaster Mythology‘ (plus the ‗archaeodisasters‘ & ‗Disaster Astrology‘) was firstly used by the author Dr. Amanda Laoupi in 2005, as a interdisciplinary sub-field of Disaster Archaeology, in order to embrace all the ancient legends, myths, traditions and symbols that were related, directly or indirectly, to past ‗nature-induced‘ disasters and catastrophes. Disaster Mythology seems to use a universal unconscious language, which presents some specific normae: a) collectively experienced events with tragic consequences make myths via a mechanism of symptomatic relief, b) the historical character of the myth demands a cryptographic detection many generations after the initial event, c) perhaps both the myth-teller and myth-hearer want the truth to remain concealed, d) this concealment may reinforce symptomatic relief from the dreadful event and e) the duration of pain after the event (for many generations ahead) interrelates with its therapeutic mechanism. Dreams and myths bury the most intense memories under the conscious mind by suppressing and controlling anxiety. Various cultural personalities are characterized by different archetypes and phenotypes. That‘s Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters why we encounter several identical kernels in the expression of the catastrophic events (e.g. the symbols of comets) along with many different stories about them. The use of common symbols makes the social system operating correctly. The heroes and the gods are known by many epithets that describe their traits. ―The gods in Homer are great gods, because one thunderstorm does not make a great god, nor does one volcano...‖ Human tragedies in the past gave birth to great myths (de Grazia, 1984c). We have already reported the main creation and other cosmological myths among the ancient civilizations, along with the flood myths and the heroic deeds. The figures depicted in mythical episodes represented socio-cultural archetypes and natural forces/events or historical framework. As it is afore-mentioned, the utopian / eschatological mythical cycles will be presented in Ch.6.4 (Ages of Humanity, Utopian and Eschatological Perspectives). But one particular subfield of Disaster Mythology is of exceptional importance and complexity, the one of impact myths and lore (impact used as term denoting any cosmic effect on Earth). Let us follow the path of Hephaistos. Ancient Greek Hephaistos as a meteor/comet god and his puzzling mythical motif, in comparison to its Sanskrit parallels, holds a prominent role in it. 6.2.1 God Hephaistos, Goddess Athena and their Sanskrit parallels The Neoplatonists (a revival of Platonism in the 3rd century CE) accepted the Twelve Gods as a legacy from Plato. Generally speaking, Vesta represents Earth, Neptune Water, Juno Air, and Vulcan Fire. So, Jupiter, Neptune and Vulcan belongs to the Creators of the universe, Vesta, Minerva and Mars to the Guards, Ceres, Juno and Diana to the Life-givers and Mercury, Venus and Apollo to the Uplifters. The creative and paternal gods make the universe, the life-givers give it life, uplifters harmonize it, and the guards preserve and protect it (Gillman, 1996-1997). Especially, Hephaistos or Hephaestus, the god of volcanic and thermal activity, of wild and destructive fires, the patron of smiths and metalworkers, builders, architects; stonemasons, carpenters and wood-workers, seems to represent not only the earthen / subterranean fires but this of extra-terrestrial origin, ever awful and uncontrollable. Divine smiths are peacemakers, too, for they are connected to celestial and subterranean fields, by acting as mediators between them. But, there is a -till recently neglected- agent which could destroy civilization and cause earthly turbulence, the exo-terrestrial encounters. Astronomical evidence indicates that our ancestors viewed a much more active sky than we do. Particularly during the past twelve thousand years, such deliveries were not uncommon. Much evidence suggests that humanity witnessed, and was affected by, the break-up of a very large comet over this time period. Along with the luminaries, the solar deities (e.g. Apollo, Hercules, Helios) and the moon goddesses (Aphrodite Ourania: Hecate - Hera - Artemis) which represented the female reproductive force, there was another sacred fire represented by cosmic ‗invaders‘ (e.g. Typhoon, Hephaistos, Phaethon) or other phenomena (e.g. Sirius, Saturn, Jupiter). In summary, the strong parallelisms of symbols, words, images and allegories in the worldwide knowledge indicate that the ‗Greek‘ Hephaistos was derived from the Pelasgian religious circum-Mediterranean substratum (see also Brommer 1978, pp. 1-3; Burkert 1985, p. 167; Cassola 2002, pp. 15-19; Barbanera, 2013; forthcoming monograph by the author), reflecting some major celestial events dated back to the beginning of 2n Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters millennium BCE. Through this perspective, the Homeric Epics are a palimpsest of archaeoenvironmental knowledge, as they are built on layers of information. Florence and Kenneth Wood (1991), Alfred de Grazia and NASA, first alleged that Vulcan may be connected to meteoritic phenomena. First, the author in 2005 highlighted the importance of some Sanskrit data for the elaboration of a framework for the Bronze Age disaster astromyths. Sanskrit literature of ancient and medieval India is rich in information about environmental sciences (Iyengar, 2004). Consequently, the author (Laoupi, 2006a, 2010 & 2011a) focused her research on the argumentation of this statement by comparing data from the Sanskrit writers, the worldwide iconography and the geoarchaeological, palaeoanthropological, palaeoclimatic and archaeoastronomical evidence, dealing, also, with the spatial and temporal itinerary of impact myth‘s elaboration. Furthermore, the psychological filtration was taken under consideration. The main symbolic impact language of Heaven includes the motifs of fall on Earth, lameness, hair/serpent, mule/horse, river/sea flood waters, birds and swastika. Especially, the symbolism of cosmic-induced epidemics is already presented in Ch.5.1 (Comsic Impact). Crippled at birth, Hephaistos was thrown from mountain Olympos (Heaven) by his mother Hera, for she was ashamed of his deformity (Homer Iliad, XVIII.136; Quintus Smyrnaeus Fall of Troy, 2.549). Another version of Greek myths wants him to be casting from Heaven by Zeus himself, when the former tried to help Hera. Then the ‗cosmic invader‘ passed the ‗magic threshold‘ (? the atmosphere of our planet), travelling ‗all day long‘ before landing in the island of Lemnos ‗around sunset ‘. In fact, ‗there was not much life left in him‘, as he was crippled in both legs (Homer Iliad, I.568 ff & 620; Apollodorus Library, 1.3.5)... But most sources claim that Hephaistos landed in the sea near Lemnos, and was washed up on the shore, where he lay broken until rescued by the Nereids, Thetis and Eurynome (Iliad, XVIII.136 & 423- 432; Homeric Hymn 3 to Pythian Apollo, 310; Apollodorus, I.3.11ff.; Pausanias, VIII.41.5). Secretly, Hephaistos lived with these goddesses in their underwater caves for nine years. He lived in their "mykhos", a Greek word meaning both innermost place and the women's apartments of a house. This nine year hibernation holds a very strong symbolism reflecting a second womblike incubation which awoke his creative energy. We must be very careful, though, because the word Eurynome was also used as an epithet of Artemis (Pausanias, VIII.41.5)! The Prabhasa-ksetra-mahatmya book (PK) of the Skandapurana contains references to similar phenomena focused on the area of Sarasvati River (northwestern part of India - 23.5˚ N, 71.5˚ E), mentioning a smoky demon and heavenly objects that made holes in the ground. In one episode, the Sarasvati River, carrying fire, enters the Ocean, as well as the level of the sea rose and dropped due to devastating tsunamis. Professor Iyengar (2004) pointed out the verses indicating that a ‗metallic‘ object eventually landed on Earth, and thus, describing the descent of the goddess. Even more, the hymns of RV seem to function as palimpsest, like the Homeric Epics, as they both can be interpreted in several different ways. The word dhûmaketu and vibhâvasu (which in one place in the RV is said to be like a big rock) could possibly describe some transient celestial object, and the well known Vedic deities (initially interpreted as thunderstorm and wind gods), the maruts, through their physical actions, could be meteoritic showers or storms. The Atharvan.a Veda has a famous hymn in which dhûmaketu is mentioned Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters along with Sun, Moon and Râhu (the eclipse causer). In addition, Kauúika Sûtra of the Atharvan.a Veda mentions the event of the Seven Sages (Ursa Major) veiled by dhûmaketu, which could have meant a comet (Iyengar, 2010). Moreover, Hesiod, as well as Roman sources, claims that Hera gave birth to Hephaistos parthenogenically, without Zeus' participation, since she was angry at him for birthing Athena from his own head without first procreating with her. Thus, Hesiod in Theogony (924-929) highlights the analogy between Athena and Hephaistos (Apollodorus, I.19; Cicero, III.22). Plato in Critias (109B-D) declares that Hephaistos and Athena are of the same father, they are of the same nature (Graves, 1969). The Roman equivalent of Athena (Minerva) was Hephaistos (Vulcan). The sequence of the Twelve Gods appears in the Rustic Calendar, in Manilius and at the Altar at Gabii. Aries and Libra had Athena-Minerva and Hephaistos-Vulcan as their guardian gods, alternatively. Aries symbolizes the head from which Athena sprang. At this point we should emphasize that the double symbolization of Hera - the moon goddess and Athena as planet Jupiter, was the nucleus of one Homeric archaeoastronomical substratum. This aspect explains the names of the planets in the planetary conjunction of 1953 BCE, and a periodical phenomenon with ten years interval (Iliad II, 156; IV, 8; V, 418; VIII, 418 - 419), when the moon and planet Jupiter, in their major luminescence, conjunct in a specific zodiacal asterism (Wood, 1991). The other substratum seemed to represent the fire spirits within the figures of ‗Pelasgian‘ Hera and Athena. In the same conceptual framework, Hephaistos was treated as the creator of the asterisms, a creative force in the Universe (Iliad I, 597 - 607) and the mythical fall on Lemnos as god‘s stay below the horizon, in the realm of Thetis (the asterism of Eridanus) where he created the asterisms of the South Hemisphere (Wood, 1991). Although in the verses of Odyssey (xviii.283), the workshop of the god is on the island of Lemnos, in the Iliad (XVIII.369) this is located in the heavens. The asterism of Perseus is more probably connected with Hephaistos not because of its shape (Wood, 1991) but to its relationship with the meteor swarms of Perseids, visible from July, 25, to August, 4. These flames are, also, described as burning the sky (Iliad V, 4-8). The two gods were considered as grand teachers of humanity (Homeric Hymn to Hephaistos). Their archetypal symbolization is related to exo-terrestrial invaders that cause terror and destruction on Earth (comets, asteroids, plasma and planet‘s outburst). Athena is a mistress of disguise, as Homer constantly points out. Perhaps, Pallas Athena represented the proto-planet Venus (Typhon = the cometary tail of proto-Venus), in her cometary behaviour (Wallis, 1972) and was worshipped among the peoples of Mediterranean (de Grazia, 1984b; Talbott, 1994). That Venus, later identified with the goddess Aphrodite and the planet Venus‘ dual appearance in the sky (evening = female and morning = male), was Aphrodite barbata (bearded), or the Cyprian goddess Aphrodite with a beard, a strong image of bisexuality (Pauly - Wissowa R.E.). Athena holds, also, her primordial androgynous image, as male, bearded serpents were found on a pediment of the Archaic Athenian Acropolis (Talbott, 1994). Athena ―she herself had no womb, for when she carried children, it was in a basket‖ (Deutsch, 1969). In the Orphic Hymns (32.10 - 11) is clearly addressed by the words: ‗born both as male and female‘, ‗agile and luminous‘ and ‗draco‘ (for more detailed connections between Athena and Hephaistos, see also, Cook, 1914). Respectively, Athena‘s mother, Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters Metis, ―pregnant of Athena, entered the body of Jupiter and Athena was expelled from Jupiter‘s head‖ (Hesiod, 890; Apollodorus, VII.3 and Hyginus). In the Sumerian cosmology, the planet-god Tiamat opened as a shell, spread its entrails into space, left a trail of luminous pearls, sometimes associated to the Milky Way, and splashed Earth with salty water (Leick, 1991; Kak, 1996; Leick, 2002; Scranton, 2007; Merrick, 2012; Scranton, 2012). Planet Venus is symbolized by the ‗crux ansata‘ (Egyptian Ankh), a combined phallus and vulva. Consequently, as we can detect two Heras, two Athenas and two Hephaistos in the Epics, we can also find the two Aphrodites, the Ouranian / Selenian and the planetaryVenus. According to Velikovsky / Ackerman scenario based on the Vedas, the goddess Aditi, almost the only goddess mentioned by name in the Rig-Veda as the mother of any of the gods, was the original manifestation of the proto-planet Venus, which was 'born' out of Jupiter, as the result of an enormous impact. An Aditya (a son of Aditi) was the famous Agni, the only deity to be born in Heaven. The distorted shape of the still liquid proto-Venus Agni gave him the epithet ‗the horse face god‘. The influence of protoVenus on Earth‘s surface, at close inferior conjunctions, was so intense (e.g. continuous earthquakes, very high tides and even changes in the orientation of the spin axis of our planet), that it had received two more expressions: (1) the god Mitra, the guardian of the day, and (2) the god Varuna, the guardian of the night, when the atmosphere of the protoVenus could only be seen. Moreover, the Vedic deities associated with the different appearances of protoVenus itself, were the minor Adityas: (1) since proto-Venus‘ orbit swung out farther from the Sun than the Earth, it could sometimes appear in the night sky, thus it was the protector of the travellers at night, Pushan (the banisher of darkness), (2) when it appeared as a morning star, just prior to dawn, it was brilliant, Savitar (―He rides in a chariot drawn by radiant, white-footed steeds....He illumines the Earth...his golden arms stretch out to bless...the other gods follow him‖), (3) when it appeared in the daytime, it was bright enough to be seen along side the Sun, Surya, (the 'sun maiden'), (4) the auroras were caused when proto-Venus approached the Earth from the dawn side, the Ushas, (5) the glowing emissions from the hot gases vented from proto-Venus at the poles of the Earth were precedent of the auroral phenomena, they were the 'two Horsemen' or 'Sons of Heaven', the Asvins (Ackerman, 1996, p. 17 ff.). On the other hand, Indra (planet Mars? – the Babylonian Nergal), was described as changing his aspect, or being 'released' from their bonds, meaning that he had his orbit changed, since he was ejected from this orbit by proto-Venus, and as a result moved outward toward the Earth. Mars was captured and released from orbit about one hundred times, a phenomenon occurring at fifteen year intervals, during which, proto-Venus was at its closest point to the Earth. Their ‗conflict‘, between Varuna and Indra, was described in the Rig Veda. Finally, Agni (fire) left Varuna (proto-Venus) and moved to Indra (Mars). This transfer of power can, also, be detected in both Egyptian and Greek mythological symbolism, in terms of the deities Osiris and Zeus, respectively (Ackerman, 1996, p. 33 ff.). In ancient Asian symbolism (Japan, India), there is an intriguing and strong correlation between the sky goddess and the cosmic dragon. The Japanese monk Kokei wrote the narrative of Enoshima Engi (EE) in AD1047, mentioning spectacular Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters phenomena that took place in the early summer of AD 552 (dark clouds covering the sea, earthquakes, boulders falling from the sky, lightning-bolts, rocks and sand spurting up from the sea, flames on the water, the emergence of an island), when the bright goddess appeared above the clouds (Benzaiten / Sarasvati) and descented on the island. Modern scholars translated the narrative and highlighted the historic coherence of Sarasvati‘s legend in the symbolic language of Far East. Vyasa, the narrator of the Mahabharata, is traditionally considered the compiler of the Puranas, which are a genre of important Hindu, Jain or Buddhist religious texts, notably consisting of narratives of the history of the universe from creation to destruction, genealogies of kings, heroes, sages, and demigods, and descriptions of Hindu cosmology, philosophy, and geography. The above mentioned phenomena in EE resemble to the phenomena mentioned in a Purana as having occurred around the Sarasvati River (Juhl ανδ Iyengar, 2006). "She, whom they call the star with loosened tresses, descending as misfortune on the village. The Brahman‘s consort, she disturbs the kingdom where hath appeared the hare with fiery flashing".Atharva Veda-5.17.4 (R. Godbole The meaning of Vedas Indian legends claim that the beautiful goddess Saraswati (or Sarasvati) sprung from the forehead of her father Brahma. It is said that as soon as Brahma looked at her beauty, he was filled with desire for her. Unhappy with the amorous attentions he bestowed upon her, she tried to dodge and hide. This is why the River Saraswati flows underground. And the brief appearance she made above ground is the moment, legends assert, that she stopped to rest from her tiring run. Saraswati is generally represented in Hindu mythology as the divine consort of Lord Brahma, the Creator of the Universe. Since knowledge is necessary for creation, Saraswati symbolizes the creative power of Brahma and the power of the wisdom. The goddess was always portrayed with water in background, blooming lotus, white swans, and bathing elephants. She was worshiped by all persons interested in art and knowledge, especially students, teachers, scholars, and scientists (Danino, 2010). Mahabharata, on the other hand, mentions clearly the catastrophic cosmic phenomena: ‗Noisy and burning meteorites in thousands of numbers started falling down. With terror Earth started shaking. As Arjuna advanced to the battlefield dry winds started blowing and sharkarā showered‘ (7.64.6 and 7). ‗When the Great War exceeding all limits began, there were catastrophes. With forests and mountains Earth shook. O King, from the skies, many meteorites like sticks and burning coal started hitting in all directions. Heavy dry winds with sharkarā started blowing. The elephants started shaking with tearful eyes‘ (9.22.20 to 22). ‗O King, like a swarm of glow-worms, the burning stone powder (ashmachūrna) caused such havoc that major part of your army perished.‘ (7.97.36). ‗The stones were broken in the sky by sharpened arrows. The noise and commotion was so much that all your elephants, horses, chariots and infantry ran away. With that heavy shower of stone dust (ashmachūrna) like a swarm of angry bees, your army just scattered.‘(7.97.41 & 42). Vīrudha was probably a large piece of meteorite and sharkarā or ashmachūrna were the smaller pieces (R. Godbole The meaning of Vedas Physically, Hephaistos was a muscular man with a thick neck and hairy chest who because of a shortened, lame leg (? lame = one - footed) and club foot (with feet facing Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters backwards), supported himself with the aid of a crutch. Bearded, he most often dressed in a ragged sleeveless tunic and woollen hat. Most frequently, he was portrayed in art holding the tools of his trade, especially the blacksmith's hammer and tongs. Sometimes, he was surrounded by the Kabeiroi (Herodotus, III.37), the dwarflike blacksmith servants of the Mother Goddess who helped in his subterranean forge. His sacred animal, the ass / mule (Hyginus Astronomica, II.23; Antoninus Liberalis, 28) was also among the sacred animals of Seth - the Egyptian parallel of Typhoon (Herodotus, III.37: in Egypt, there was a temple of Hephaistos). Vase paintings show Hephaistos upon a mule, symbol of sexual barrenness. The Roman authors represented him in the form of a phallus in the hearth fire (comet‘s phallus‘ tail). A comet in its typical apparition may be symbolized as an angel with wings, a helmeted head and a long-haired creature, a phallus with testes or as a head with two massive arms (de Grazia, 1984b). Herodotus II.51) mentions that: ―the mysteries of Cabeiri-rites which the men of Samothrace learned from the Pelasgians who lived in that island before they moved to Attica and communicated the mysteries to the Athenians. This will show that the Athenians were the first Greeks to make statues of Hermes with the erect phallus, and they learned the practice from the Pelasgians...‖ The characteristics attributed to him remind us of the coma when comets are hit by the solar wind. The word comet derives from the ancient Greek epithet καρηκομόων (hairy), thus, comets were the ‗hairy stars‘ (αζηέρες κομόενηες). This epithet is already present in Homeric epics (Barrett, 1978; Heidarzadeh, 2008). The description of an ancient Greek painting by Philostratus the Elder (Imagines, 1.1), too, notices that Homer inspired the ancient artist in the scene of Skamandros and Hephaistos: ―... The fire which envelops Hephaistos flows out on the surface of the water and the River is suffering and in person begs Hephaistos for mercy. But the River is not painted with long hair, for the hair has been burnt off; nor is Hephaistos painted as lame, for he is running; and the flames of the fire are not ruddy nor yet of the usual appearance, but they shine like gold and sunbeams. In this Homeros is no longer followed...‖ And it is noteworthy that one of the two god‘s substances is characterized by speed, an attribute not consistent to his malformation. But the epithet lame in ancient Greek may also be interpreted as strongarmed and ambi-dextrous. During the Middle Ages, comets were known as ‗hairy stars‘, and their representation on coins often took the form of crude and irregularly shaped symbols such as combs, bars, pyramids, etc. It is difficult to truly appreciate the visual phenomena that such a large object could produce, as it neared the furnace of our solar system. Gases from such an object might produce a tail which would span the orbits of the inner planets. When in close proximity to Earth, the size of such an apparition would make the Sun and Moon appear as dwarfs. Combined evidence suggests that our ancestors having witnessing such mega-comet activity were influenced both psychologically and physically (Kobres, 1992). Additionally, Phaethon‘s western parallel, Quetzalcoatl (the feathered serpent), according to the Annals of Quauhtitlan, immolated himself on the shores of the eastern sea, and from his ashes raised birds with shining feathers (symbols of warrior souls mounting to the sun), while his heart became the Morning Star... Tezcatlipoca, his antagonist defeating Quetzalcoatl in ball- play (a game directly symbolic of the movements of the heavenly orbs), cast him out of the land into the East, where he Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters encountered the sun and got burned. This may be a mythological record of an intense meteor storm from the still active Taurid stream, which presently peaks around the first of November appearing to radiate from near the Pleiades star cluster. Initially, this unairworthy bird was associated with the meteor bombardment from comet Encke, which until recently was thought to be the sole source for the Taurid meteors. However, the discovery of other large contributors, once active comets, rules out a positive identification ( Consequently, cultures throughout the world experienced space-induced disasters, hardships and a global perturbation of climate, during the period 1200 - 1000 BCE. Respectively, the upheaval of the period ca 2200 - 1800 BCE may be connected to other impact phenomena related to the deeds of the god Hephaistos and its Sanskrit parallels. Another interesting aspect of this folk memory which might shed some light on why the rolling cross motif is linked to birds is the image of a one-legged fowl. This is also a characteristic of the Chinese divine pheasant which was closely associated with the fabulous, lame, raven-beak-nosed emperor, Yu, who could transform himself into this pheasant or a bear (Yu, who has been praised of attempts to stop floods in China, reigned according to the standard chronology from 2205 BCE to 2197 BCE ; the legend tells that at the time of the birth of Abra(ha)m there was a supernova; Bamboo Annals give one in 2287 BCE; Abraham was of age 99, when Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed). One of Yu's enemies, the Owl, who invented thunder and lightening, was also one-footed (Barnard, 1972, pp. 122-156; Barnard, 1973, pp. 118-121 & 150-151; Lonsdale, 1982, pp. 169-181). Another aspect of comets, which is evident in ancient lore, involves shape shifting. A comet is three dimensional and could appear as quite a different animal when viewed from a different angle (e.g. the fabled ability of Yu mentioned above to transform himself into a pheasant or bear). Our ancestors' stories speak of weakening gods and fantastic births, because comets can also change spontaneously; a gas emitting area could become dust, or a piece of the comet could break away, creating another comet, perhaps initially more flamboyant than its parent. In Chinese lore, Ts'ang Chieh, the four eyed legendary inventor of writing, was inspired to create written symbols from noticing the marks of birds' feet in the sand. His ancient style is known as ‗bird foot-prints writing‘ (Mac Culloch and Canon, 1928, vol. 8, p. 31). Symbolic bird tracks, even if they had not been recognized as such, appear on objects unearthed by Heinrich Schliemann from Hissarlik in Asia Minor (Schliemann, 1881, pp. 334-353). More than 700 owl-faced idols and vases were also collected from the third city of Troy, as copies of the ancient Palladium, which was fabled to have fallen from heaven with joined feet... And Glaux is the little owl, Athene noctua, emblem of old and new Athens, reminding us of the Homeric ‗owl-eyed Athena‘. The seven hymns in RV, with the word dhûmaketu, are considered here, in the order of the books in which they appear (Iyengar, 2010). Hymn (1.27) in praise of Agni by Sƒunah.sƒepa Ajigarti, starts comparing agni to a horse with tail (vâravantam). In the next verse (I.27.2) this object is qualified as having wide motion (pr. thupragâmâ). In (I.27.6), Agni is called citrabhânu, one having varied colours. This fire is qualified in (I.27.10) as rudra, one with ferocious form. In fact, instead of taking this Agni to be earthly fire, if it is understood to be a transient celestial object, as having a tail

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Archaeodisasters (vâravantam). The transient nature of the fire, probably named vibhâvasu or bhâ with links to maruts, hints at this object to be a comet. Every verse of the hymn (Hymn 1.94 to Agni) ends with the refrain: ―let us not suffer injury as we have friendship with you‖ (agne sakhye mâ ris.âmâ vayam tava). This is a prayer to Agni seeking protection particularly from the fiery maruts. RV seers call terrestrial fire agni, fire in the mid-space jâtavedas and fire in the sky vaiúvânara. There is a mystic meaning to the word jâtavedas. The famous hymns (I.162 & I.163) on Asƒva by Aucathya are traditionally taken to refer to the Horse-sacrifice (Asƒvamedha). But these hymns primarily describe a bright horse-like moving object in the sky. The celestial horse is a replica of which is sacrificed in the Asƒvamedha is described (Hymn I.162). This is the medhyâúva (sacrificial horse) born out of tvas.t. â (I.162.19). This particular verse has two meanings referring to both the divine horse which was killed by gods and the terrestrial animal which is to be similarly sacrificed by men. The above deity called arvan was the first born in the sky, making sound, with wings of falcon and ankles of deer (I.163.1). This horse, given by Yama for Indra to ride, was harnessed by Trita (Iyengar, 2010). Here the word dhûmaketu seems to be used in the sense of a smoke cover. However the agni addressed in this hymn has for its background not any ordinary terrestrial fire but the one in mid-space significantly coloured red. The next verse (I.94.11) mentions that the drops of this agni eat grass (drapshâh. yavasâdah.). This may as well refer to destruction of grain fields. This is followed by a request to Mitra and Varun.a to protect the poet from the strange fury of maruts who live in mid-space. The description of maruts is picturesque as, avayâtâm marutâm hel. a adbhutah. (1.94.12). This can be directly translated as ‗the cry (rumbling sound) of the descending maruts is strange (unprecedented)‘. Hymns (I.166) onwards by Agastya further reveal the physical side of maruts. All creatures on Earth along with their dwellings shake in fear that they might get hit by the weapons of maruts. The tearing weapons of maruts hit animals like well aimed darts. Maruts are visible at a distance shining like stars. The visible hair-like extension of the maruts is figuratively described as rodasî, their companion with dishevelled hairs (vis.ita stukâ; I.167.5). Maruts, although formless, seemingly have a form. They are self born and always tremble in their path. They come in thousands like waves on water (I.168.4). They came down to Earth together effortless, with burning looks and shook the mountains (svayuktah. divah. vr. thâ ava âyayuh.…bhrâjadr.s.t.ayah. dr. l. hâni cit acucyuvuh. || I.168.5). The next verse, indirectly mentions that they enter the sea. Maruts on their approach gleam like serpents (ahi bhânavah.). Their stormy shower was only like a water stream. Moreover, the RV poet describes the sequence in which he saw the horse. In (I.163.5) he says; ‗I saw your reins‘ (te bhadrâ raúanâ apasƒyam). Next the poet in first person says that ‗he saw the head of the horse in the sky flying down towards the Earth‘ (divâ avah.patayantam patatri….. sƒirah. apasƒyam || 1.163.6). This is continued in the next verse to inform: ‗I beheld your best form at the cow‘s foot‘ (te rûpam uttamamapasƒyam……â pade goh.). Primarily for an object seen in the sky it should have been natural to mention its location with respect to the stars and hence one should take ‗cow‘s-foot‘ as the naks.atra with that meaning which is pros.t.ha-pada (Pegasi). Reference to this location appears again in RV (III.39.5 & IX.71.5). The hymn, which so far described a single object, refers to multiple celestial horses in the next verse Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters (I.163.10) comparing their flight to that of a line of swans (hamsâ iva úren.isƒo yatante). This picture is a plain indication of bright meteorites flying like birds in a line. This simile is again used in (III.8.9) to describe the arrival of yûpâh., the sacrificial columns of gods in the sky, which has an inbuilt comet image (Iyengar 2010) Thus, Vedic literature has sufficient evidences for us to maruts (a group of deities, usually known as sons of Rudra and occasionally directly as Rudrâh) in RV, that should have depleted the population in the northern parts of ancient India. The main action of maruts had been to kill. The celestial Agni, called dhûmaketu (comet), was only related to two other celestial objects namely maruts and vibhâvasu (meteoric storms). They are said to be separated among themselves. They increase by two and three and their count varies from 21 (I.133.6) to 49 (VIII.28.5) to 63 (VIII.96.8). They could even be seen in waves of thousands (I.168.4) (Iyengar, 2010). Even more, they are closely associated with Indra in many hymns and these hymns had been read like recollection of past events. They are drop like (falling objects) and shining like suns (I.64.2). It is indicated that maruts induced winds and rains before their arrival. This seems to have been the reason for the traditional interpretation of maruts as storm deities before rainfall. They are, also, described as having wheels of gold and rushing like boars with tusks of iron. Hymn (V.52) is a laudation in which maruts are said to be capable of exceeding the nights in their travel, which means they were visible in day light also. They are praised in the sky, on Earth and in the rivers (Hymn V.52.7). Specifically they are found in the River Parus.n.î (V.52.9). Maruts dug a well for Gotama (V.52.12), as in RV (1.85.10-11) which in physical terms would mean creation of an impact crater. This hymn (V.52.17) ends in referring to River Yamunâ. The material carried in maruts are described to be of equal measure like spokes (in wheels) and (length of) days (Hymn V.59.5). ―Hey maruts! When you start playing, even the ancient big mountain fears your sound. The lofty regions of the sky tremble. Carrying spears you rush together like a stream of water‖ (Hymn V.60.3). Swastika, on the other hand, is an ancient world-symbol that is filled with occult meaning. It is an alchemical, cosmological, anthropological, and magical sign, and contains seven keys to its inner meaning (Zenith and Nadir; North, South, West, and East; the Centre). The motif seems to have first been used in Upper Palaeolithic Eurasia. The earliest known swastika is engraved on the underwings of a flying bird, made of mammoth ivory, dating as early as 18 to 15 Ka (Campbell, 1991; Johnson, 1998, p. 236; Fuiten, 2005, p. 57 ff.). It was also adopted in Native American cultures, seemingly independently. The swastika (from Sanskrit svastika in Devanagari, a writing system of northern Indian languages) is an equilateral cross with its arms bent at right angles in either left-facing or right-facing direction. The swastika is a holy symbol in Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism. Archaeologically speaking, there is a profound relationship between the swastika and fire (sun, wheel of creation, architecture of Cosmos) through creation and evolution. The swastika is found all over Hindu temples, signs, altars, pictures and iconography where it is sacred. It is used in all Hindu weddings, festivals, ceremonies, houses and doorways, clothing and jewellery, motor transport and even decorations on food items like cakes and pastries. The word first appears in the Classical Sanskrit, in the Ramayana and Mahabharata Epics. In the Bhavishya Purana (one of the 18 major Hindu Puranas, written in Sanskrit and attributed to Rishi Vyasa, the compiler of the Vedas), it is a weapon of a snake king (dragon), Takshak. Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters The association of the Sanskrit term ‗svastika‘ with this symbol may be traced in the Astika Parva (Mahabharata), which relates the birth of a cosmic bird par excellence-Garuda. This fabulous winged deity had radiance like the Sun, could change shapes at will, and destroyed other gods and kings by casting down fire and stirring up storms of reddish dust which darkened the Sun, Moon and stars. Clearly Garuda was symbolic of an Earth approaching comet. The Han Dynasty silk comet atlas is used as a compelling explanation for the ubiquity of the swastika motif. A reproduced portion of this silk atlas with its comet drawings was probably related to the breakup of the progenitor of comet Encke and the Taurid meteoroid stream (Clube and Napier, 1982, p. 155) Victor Clube and Bill Napier). This object could have produced several very bright comets in short period (~3.3 years) orbits that crossed Earth's path. Moreover, comet Encke's polar axis is only 5 degrees from its orbital plane (Whipple and Green, 1985). Such an orientation is ideal to have presented a pinwheel like aspect to our ancestors when comet Encke was more active. In fact, an outgassing comet that could produce a pinwheel appearance to someone looking down the comet's axis of rotation would look very different to an observer viewing the same comet along its Equator (Sagan & Dryuan, 1985). According to the Comet / bird hypothesis, when a comet approaches so close to Earth, the jets of gas streaming from it, bent by the comet's rotation, became visible, looking like a swastika. This observation is drawn from an ancient Chinese manuscript that shows comet tail varieties (Sagan and Druyan, 1985). Respectively, the swastikalike comet on the Han Dynasty silk comet atlas was labelled a ‗long tailed pheasant star‘. Thus, many swastika and swastika-like motifs may have been representations of bird tracks, including many of those found by Schliemann in Troy and afore-mentioned (Kobres, 1992). Ancient Greek architectural designs are replete with interlinking swastika motifs. A swastika border is one form of meander. The Greek goddess Athena, traced in Minoan religion, Artemis and Astarte, were sometimes portrayed as wearing robes covered with swastikas. Furthermore, according to eastern Mediterranean geoarchaeological evidence (the impacted earths, the grey pottery/metallurgy and the radioactive environments), the ‗flame of Hephaistos‘ or his ‗red breath‘ (characterized as purest flame) was a leit motif among ancients (Orphic Hymn 66 to Hephaistos; Homer Iliad, II.426, IX.467, XVII.88 & XXIII.33 and Odyssey xiv.71; Hesiod Theogony, 864; Aristophanes Birds, 436; Quintus Smyrnaeus, XIII.170, XIII. 367 & IV.160; Suidas, s.v. 'Hephaistos'). Although ancient writers mention it together with Keian, Cappadocian and Sinopic earths, all four being identified as red earths, Pliny‘s comment makes the difference. This earth (terra lemnia, rubricata or sigillata) resembles cinnabar (XXXV.14), it had a pleasant taste, too, while Galen (XIII.246b) adds that ―it differs from miltos because it doesn‘t leave a stain when handled‖. The same writer, during his visit to Hephaestias, analyzes the myth of Hephaistos and his relationship with Lemnos (the god himself cured his awful trauma from his landing on the island by using this earth), saying that ―the mythical hill, also known as Mosychlos, appeared to be burnt due to its colour and from the fact that nothing grows on it‖. Belon, during his journey in the 16th century CE, refers, also, to the yellow/white colours of the earth, equally explained by the presence of hydrothermally altered rocks. Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters The ritual of its extraction highlights its peculiarity. On the other hand, the god was renown as an ‗aithaloeis Theos‘, meaning the sooty god (Suidas, s.v. 'Aithaloeis theos') and in Lemnos, Hephaistos was worshipped as a god of healing, his priests possessing antidotes to poisons. Later on, the priestesses of Artemis had the right to use this earth (Hall and Photos-Jones, 2008). That Artemis was connected to the Anatolian nucleus of Amazons. Consequently, hydrocarbon evolution due to past volcanic activity may be one explanation. Destruction layers with hydrocarbon presence and other characteristics mentioned above (like cinnabar, with sweet taste, loosing its power with the time passing over or being periodically recharged) may be another evidence of past celestial events (combustion residues, chemical fusion). Troy IIg conflagration (first fall) produced an up to 6 m. bed of ashes and a layer of calcined debris up to 3 m. high. Experts on wild fires claim that there was never seen ―red ashes of wood in natural fires, because ash residue from the burning of a city is measured in inches, rather than feet‖. The mysterious melted copper and lead which covered a large area, according to Schliemann, might have originally been deposits that contributed to the attractiveness of the site for lightning discharges. After Schliemann‘s observations on this destruction layer of the ‗burnt city‘, the Cincinnati archaeologists, under the leadership of Carl Blegen, examined closely the ruins of the Burnt City-Level IIg by their code. The stratum of Troy IIg had an average thickness of more than 1 m.; it consisted mainly of ashes, charred matter, and burned debris. This deposit apparently extended uniformly over the entire site, eloquent evidence that the settlement perished in a vast conflagration from which no buildings escaped ruin. The catastrophe struck suddenly, without warning, giving the inhabitants little or no time to collect and save their most treasured belongings before they fled. Moreover, the Cincinnati team mentions several places of the greenish- yellow discoloration (? sulphur oxides). The calcinated debris of the old city was strong enough to become the foundation of the new city walls of Troy III (de Grazia, 1984a). In 1948, Professor Schaeffer, excavator of Ras Shamra-Ugarit, published a treatise on comparative stratigraphy of the Near and Middle East during the 2nd millennium BCE, where he includes the permanent destructions of settlements from Troy and Egypt to Persia, and even beyond into China. Cometary or planetary near-encounter results in falling of gases, hydrocarbons, burning pitch and stones. Such events may be unknown to modern experience but are indicated by ancient legends from many places and by various geological and biological phenomena (Schliemann, 1875 & 1888; Schaefer, 1948; Velikovsky, 1950; Blegen, 1963; Rapp and Gifford, 1982; de Grazia, 1983c & 1984a). The Mexican Annals of Cuauhtitlan speaks of an ―age which ended in the rain of fire‖. The Popul-Vuh, the sacred book of the Mayas, narrates about an endless fiery rain from the sky. The Manuscript Quiche from the people of Mexico is more detailed as it speaks about a rain of bitumen and a sticky substance. The Papyrus Ipuwer notes that the fire almost ‗exterminated mankind‘, ‗naphtha, together with hot stones, poured down upon Egypt‘. Naphtha means petroleum in Aramaic and Hebrew (Velikovsky, 1950 & 1955; de Grazia, 1981, 1983b &1984a; Tedlock, 1992; Taube, 1993; Tedlock, 1996; Gilbert and Cotterell, 1996; Coe, 1999). The afore-mentioned clues intrigue us to think that the famous Deluge oh Noah describes a period of fiery rain and not a merely water flood (Laoupi, 2006). Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters Alternatively, what is the most astonishing is the correlation between metallurgy and natural phenomena that enhance its expansion: ―iron, though that is the strongest substance, melts under stress of blazing fire in the mountain forests worked by handicraft of Hephaistos inside the divine earth‖. Once again, the sacred knowledge is derived from both gods, Hephaistos and Athena (Odyssey, vi.233 & xxiii.160; Homeric Hymn 20 to Hephaistos; Hesiod Theogony, 820 ff; Solon fr. 13; Plato Protagoras, 320C - 322A). In ancient Greek mystical tradition odd information seems to be rather provoking... The ‗Idaioi Daktyloi‘ (Diodorus, V.63.3), well known in Minoan Crete, were interrelated with Asia Minor - especially with the area of Phrygia -, with the god Hephaistos, as well as with the technical skills of metallurgy and the mountainous regions that contained iron ores (1a, 4, F.89 Schol. Apollonius Rhodius, I.1129). In fact, the texts refer to two different situations, the ‗creation of iron‘ and the mining activities. In Delphi, pilgrims initially venerated an ovoid / cone stone (probably of meteoritic origin) which was believed to come from the sky god Kronos and later replaced by the famous ‗Omphalos‘ (Roux, 1976). Similarly, the Ephesians are said to have worshipped in the temple of Artemis, his sister goddess, ‗that symbol of her which fell from heaven‘ (Acts xix-35). And in Heliopolis / Baalbek, they venerated black conical stones (Hitti, 1951, p. 312). Moreover, some scholars propose that an astronomical observatory tower once stood at Letopolis sacred Egyptian city, associated also with thunderbolts or meteorites, and some sort of nocturnal fire offerings (Velikovsky, 1950; Budge, 1999, p. 358, note 5; Bauval, 2006, p. 75). There was, also, the meteoric benben stone, in the famous Temple of the Phoenix at Heliopolis (Bauval, 1990). In Egypt, the belief that the Pharaoh could magically control celestial events is well attested in literature. The personage of these fleshy gods was often directly equated with a cosmic object (Wainwright, 1938). For instance, we can read (Faulkner, 1969, p. 224) in utterance 570 of the Pyramid Texts (translated sections 1454-1455): ―Do not break up the ground, O you arms of mine which lift up the sky as Shu; my bones are iron and my limbs are the Imperishable Stars. I am a star which illumines the sky, I mount up to the god that I may be protected, for the sky will not be devoid of me and this earth will not be devoid of me for ever‖. De Grazia (1983c) generalized about the origin of several of the metals used by ancient people (see also: A NICKEL PICKLE by Bob Kobres, available at: The Egyptians called iron ‗the bones of Typhon‘, ‗the metal from heaven‘, or ‗the gift from Seth‘ and meteoritic iron was known to the early dynasties (Velikovsky, 1978). As for the Hebrew, they called it ‗nechoset‘, meaning ‗dropping of the (cosmic) serpent‘. We shall also remember that meteoroid falls can accomplish hard crashes, as well as soft landings. In this case, an iron ore may be formed. Similar masses of iron (ore-mountains that are evidently foreign to their surroundings) are found in Greenland, Austria, Sweden, Russia, India, North and South America, and West Australia (de Grazia, 2005). In fact, recent analysis of tube-shaped beads excavated from grave pits at the prehistoric Gerzeh cemetery, dated approximately to 3300 BCE, that represent the earliest known use of iron in Egypt, brought to light the use and perception of meteorite iron in ancient Egypt (Johnson, et al., 2013). There is also another intriguing scenario, according to which, ca 30 Ma an impactor generated a blistering atmospheric fireball, creating surface temperatures of 1,800◦ C, and leaving behind a field of glass in the area of today‘s Southwest Egypt and Southeast Libya (see: Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters the works of the team of the Austrian astrochemist Christian Koeberl, the American geophysicist John Wasson, Dr Mark Boslough at Sandia National Laboratories, and the BBC Horizon programme at: The Libyan Desert Glass (LDG) is made of silica (silicon dioxide), and it is the largest known deposit of a natural silica glass on the planet Earth (about 98% SiO2). The transparent-totranslucent pieces are clear-to-opaque white or yellow-to-green in colour, which glitter like gems in the bright desert sun (Murali, et al., 1988 & 1989; Corliss, 1990). A piece of such glass had been worked out by ancient Egyptian jewel makers; the end product was the famous pharaoh‘s Tutankhamen scarab pendant (now at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, Inventory number: JE 61884; 18th dynasty). In their Snaskrit parallels, Maruts showered medicines which were accepted by Manu, the ancestor of the poet (II.33.13). But, the material they rained is not said to be ordinary water. It is described as soma, ghee, milk, honey or a liquid coloured like honey (Iyengar, 2010). Soma (like ambrosia and manna) had some specific characteristics: a) today no one really knows its identity, b) it was lost due to unknown reasons , c) various substitutes were used by ancient people, d) it was believed to be linked with – or emitted light (jyoti) and came from Heaven, e) it was believed to be an intoxicant or a hallucinogen, f) its juice was supposed to give immortality, g) it was a divine plant or a impact glass. In Mandala 9 there are hardly any references of people drinking Soma, because it was considered as harmful for human consumption; nevertheless, it is possible that supernatant water mixed with milk, honey etc. was consumed initially. The same author in his book ‗Birth of Indra‘, worked out the hypothesis that Indra was a bright comet visible in the sky from the 8th millennium BCE onwards, based on the fact that the birth of this God and the terror that he created in the minds of people, was a catastrophic event. Shortly after his birth, Indra battled and eventually slew the dragon Vritra, who concealed the sun and imprisoned the waters: "Moreover, when thou first wast born, O Indra, thou struckest terror into all the people. Thou, Maghavan, rentest with thy bolt the Dragon who lay against the waterfloods of heaven" (IV:17:7). Very often, also, in the Vedic texts, the life-giving waters are compared to cows. Indra was therefore, called visvakarman (All-Maker, Creator and Lord over all creation). Indra was notorious, too, for his thirst for Soma. Upon drinking it, Indra's body swelled to a gigantic size, filling Heaven and Earth (Atharva Veda). Some researchers interpret it as a climbing plant (Sarcostema Viminalis or Asclepias Acida), a hallucinogenic plant, some others as an ambrosia-like herb, etc. In the Veda it is explicitly identified with the milk of the celestial cows (for more interpretative details, see Ev Cochrane‘s, Indra: A Case Study in Comparative Mythology available at: Other researchers (ie Parpola, 2002) discovered that in Vedic religion honey was associated with the cult of Azvins, the charioteer gods. Moreover, the southern central Asia worship of Indra was associated with the drink called *Sauma (whence Vedic Soma and Avestan Haoma) and in all likelihood prepared out of plants of the genus Ephedra. Ephedra twigs bundled into little bags, accompanied into the grave the famous mummies of the early Sinkiang culture of Loulan alias Qäwrighul (ca 2000-1550 BCE). nd The shrine at Bronze Age settlement, Togoluk 21, dated back to the late 2 millennium, contained vessels which revealed remains of Ephedra, but in conjunction with the pollen of poppies. An engraved bone tube from the same shrine was also found to contain poppy Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters pollen. In addition, unearthed artefacts gave tantalising clues as to what sort of rituals took place in these Bronze Age shrines (e.g. Gonur south in the Kara Kum desert of Turkmenistan, Togoluk 1, etc). Generally speaking, western investigators over the last two hundred years, proposed, apart from Ephedra, a number of hallucinogenic candidates for that psychoactive beverages, such as cannabis, a fermented alcoholic drink, Syrian rue (Peganum harmala), rhubarb, ginseng, the fly-agaric mushroom , opium and wild chicory (‗Soma‘, from The Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Substances by Richard Rudgley Little, Brown and Company, 1998; see online Moreover, there is a great tradition in metallurgy in central South Asia, and especially around the Sarasvati – Shindi areas. The first metallic objects came from a burial excavated at the Neolithic site of Mehrgarh (Kachi plain, Baluchistan - Pakistan), dated to the first part of the 7th millennium BCE. Experts say that hammering of unalloyed copper was the exclusive technique used to manufacture these small ornaments. Their discovery suggests that the first metallic objects found in this area are more than a millennium older than previously thought. Even more, apart from Dvaraka, more than 35 sites in North India have yielded archaeological evidence (copper utensils, iron, seals, gold & silver ornaments, terracotta discs and painted grey ware pottery), and have been identified as ancient cities described in the Mahabharata. Similarly, in Kurukshetra, the scene of the great Mahabharata war, iron arrows and spearheads have been excavated and dated by thermoluminence methods to 2800 BCE, the approximate date of the war given within the Mahabharata itself. Thus, it seems, it wasn't until approximately 3800 BCE, that bronze was produced in Tepe Yahya (Kermān Province, Iran) from the accidental blending of copper with other metals. This new mixture exhibited better properties than copper alone. By 3000 BCE, the use of copper was well known in the Middle East, extending westward into the Mediterranean area. Cemeteries in present-day Baluchistan have iron objects. It is worth mentioning that the earlier iron found in Middle East archaeological sites was essentially meteorite material, sculptured as rock/stone carvings, and was not metallurgically processed at all, but well known in ancient India, since iron can be a by-product of copper technology. Recent discoveries reveal that iron was known in the Ganga valley in mid 2nd millennium BCE. Rust-free steel was, also, an Indian invention, and remained an Indian skill for centuries. Another important Indian contribution to metallurgy was in the isolation, distillation and use of zinc (Tripathi, 1998). On the other hand, although no archaeological evidence of glass making is found so far in Indus Civilization, there was a substance called ‗Vitreous Paste‘, which has a smooth (conchoidal) fracture in various colors, contains fine spherical air bubbles, shows a hardness of ‗6‘ on Mohr‘s scale, and a specific Gravity range 2.2 to 2.5. Indus faience was made by pounding vitreous paste and heating the powder for molding and coating. Thou art one of the Vedic Hiranyas (gold?), from Soma wast thou born. Atharva Veda 4.10.6. This Hiranya was born thrice, Once, when it became dearest to Agni, Once, when it fell down when Soma was bruised, Once, when it entered Waters as sperm, Let this threefold Hiranya be yours for life! Atharva Veda 5.28.6. The naturally formed glass, which is a mixture of silica and metal oxides, occurs in three types- Obsidian (of volcanic origin), Impact glass (formed due to high pressure and temperature generated due to meteorite impacts) and the glass derived from lightning and atomic explosions (when small glass particles are formed). The Harappa Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters investigators point out that many, if not all, of the faience specimens have been fired at a very considerable heat and probably for a long time, as whether the quartz grains are coarse or fine the faience is thoroughly well cemented together. This Grey-ware, vitreous paste is considered by modern investigators as a vital physical evidence of past impactism. The Late Harappan Period at Harappa is represented by the Cemetery H culture (1900 - 1300 BCE), name given after the discovery of a large cemetery filled with painted burial urns and some extended inhumations. Experts have noticed that the technology of faience manufacture became more refined, possibly in order to compensate for the lack of raw materials such as shell, faience and possibly even carnelian. In addition, the reddish pottery, painted in black, with antelopes, peacocks, sun or star motifs, with different surface treatments to the earlier period, is the common one. Especially, the falling stars, the flying birds and mysterious objects with long tails or plumes of smoke, are among the impact symbolism in the iconography of the area (for a general knowledge of the area, see Kenoyer, 1991). The area was excavated by Madho Sarup Vats from 1926 to 1934, and had revealed two distinct levels of burials, but all of which were dug into a thick layer of debris that covered the ancient land surface to the South (Masson, 1842; Wright, 2010). The demise of the site, which was one of the largest urban centres of Indus Civilization, is now characterized as collapse. The main factors contributing to this disintegration after 1900 BCE were intense climatic changes due to a weakened monsoon system, which acted as triggering mechanism, and their consequent socio-economic disruption and evidence of declining health (e.g. cases of lepra and tuberculosis) and increased interpersonal violence (Possehl, 2002; Staubwasser and Weiss, 2006; Robbins Schug, et al., 2012; Robbins Schug, et al., 2013). Another shocking but also contradictory, evidence comes from the field of Palaeoanthropology, too, being highly controversial, though. The remains of Mohenjo Daro are in modern day Pakistan (in Larkana District, Sindh); this ancient city was, also, among the key centres of the Indus Valley civilization. In fact, it is the largest and most extensively excavated Indus city in Pakistan. The ruins of the valley's cities are immense, as it is also referred in previous chapter (4.7). They are thought to have contained well over a million people each, with a system of town planning with straight streets and rectangular blocks, as well as wide main streets like modern boulevards, and heated public baths, a network of canals, pipes and sewers, with inspection peepholes, and an efficient drainage system with a highly efficient piped water supply. Surprisingly, the ruins of the ancient cities of Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa are extremely radioactive. In Mohenjo-Daro, in an epicentre 50 m. wide, everything was crystallised, fused or melted; 60 m. from the centre the bricks are melted on one side, indicating a blast. The excavations down to the street level revealed 44 scattered skeletons, flattened to the ground. A father, mother and child were found flattened in the street, face down and still holding hands. The scientists D. Davneport and E. Vincenti put forward an amazing theory; that the ancient town had been ruined with a nuclear blast, technology already known by ancient people (Corbovsky, 1966; Mooney, 1975; Davneport and Vincenti, 1979; Hatcher Childress, 1991 and 2015). After thousands of years, they are still among the most radioactive human remains that have ever been found, comparing with those of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Later excavation unearthed more skeletal remains in other Indus valley ruins like Harappa (â&#x20AC;&#x2014;all the bones found were discolored green, and most of Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters them had become very hardâ&#x20AC;&#x2DC;), Dholavira, Lothal etc., now numbered, more than 300... Furthermore, in the forest areas between the Indian mountains of Raj Mahal and the Ganges, the explorer de Camp came upon charred ruins, a number of huge masses fused together and hollowed at various points. On the other hand, there is not any evidence of an instantaneous mass death, as evidenced in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, or of any major war or invasion; in fact, some of these skeletons were actually buried at different ground level, pointing to different periods of time. The whole archaeological setting still remains a mystery. On the other hand, according to the latest research in the whole area, which has yet to be fully published, Harappan culture began around 2000 years earlier than previously thought. Archaeologists B.R. Mani and K.N. Dikshit claim that the preliminary findings indicate the cultural remains of the pre-early Harappan horizon going back to between 7380 to 6201 BCE (International Conference on Harappan Archaeology by the Archaeological Survey of India â&#x20AC;&#x201C; ASI. Chandigarh, 2012; covered online by news agencies). The ancient document of Mahabharata epic gives the photographic and audio references for that catastrophic event dated to the 2nd millennium BCE (brightness of the blast, column of rising smoke and fire, fallout, intense shockwaves and heat waves, appearance of the victims, effects of radiation poisoning). Local legend says that city of Harappa was destroyed by flood (in Punjabi â&#x20AC;&#x2022;harr" = flood and "paa" = place, remains). As for Mohenjo Daro, the linguistic evidence is, also, indicative (in Sindi, "mohenjo" meaning dead, and "dero" meaning place, settlement). Finally, the geoarchaeological evidence of Bronze Age impactism remains a powerful interpretative tool for Disaster Archaeology. The impact craters in Al Amarah marshes of South Iraq (near the Tigris-Euphrates Confluence) are dated, too, to ca 2000 BCE (Master, 2002). Descriptive passages in The Epic of Gilgamesh (dated to the period 1600-1800 BCE) may describe such an impact and tsunami, suggesting a link to the Sumerian Deluge (Britt, 2001; Matthews, 2001). Many scholars have suggested that sudden climate changes and catastrophic events around 2200 BCE could be linked to a comet or asteroid impact (Bjorkman, 1973; Weiss, et al., 1993; Courty, 1997; Napier, 1997; Peiser, 1997; Master, 2001 & 2002). In fact, Master (2001 & 2002) and Master and Woldai (2004 & 2006) estimated that the alleged Umm al Binni impact should have produced the energy equivalent to thousands of Hiroshima sized bombs. This impact signal of the 4-kyr-event throughout land and seas (Courty, et al. in Evans, et al, 2005) shows some characteristics: a) the co-occurrence in distant regions of flow-glass debris with similar petrographical and geochemical characteristics, and b) the distinctive heated soil surface, both identified the distal dispersion of impact ejecta. The facies, petrography and geochemistry of the distinguishing features are compared from sedimentary records in soils, ancient habitations, lakes and deep-sea cores in various regions of the North and South Hemispheres. The best-preserved record of the ejecta dispersion (nearly intact signals) is observed in continental deposits at specific locations where the impact-related surface were rapidly buried. Another serious case is the Kamil Crater, in the eastern Uweinat Desert (SouthWest New Valley Governorate, Egypt, 0.6 km north of the border with the Sudan and 600 m asl). It was recently located (2008), through use of Google Earth satellite imagery by Vincenzo de Michele. The first geophysical study of the Kamil Crater was conducted during an Italian-Egyptian expedition undertaken on February, 2010. It is estimated to be Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters less than 5-kyr-old, and it was produced by an iron meteorite that has been given an official name after the closest topographic feature in the area, Gebel Kamil - which fragmented into thousands of pieces upon impact with the sandstone bedrock (Folco, et al., 2010). As the author has already proposed, the ancient epics, both of eastern Mediterranean and Sanskrit literature, are of a palimpsest nature, including various disaster information dated back to 2nd, even 3rd millennium BCE The 4th / 3rd boundary and its global upheaval is detected in ancient Indian collective memory. The beginning of Kali Yuga starts on February 18th , 3102 BCE; seven planets near Asterism of Revati were identified, an archaeoastronomical event now confirmed, along with a comet‘s disintegration around 3100 BCE. Even more, Indus excavations show a line of discontinuity around 3100-2600 BCE. Finally, Dendrochronology confirms that 3102 BCE was a catastrophic year for our planet. MB mentions the drying up of River Sarasvati, connecting the river with Irin.a or the Ran-of-Kutch. It mentions that Rann would lose its sanctity since Sarasvati moved away towards the desert (Iyengar and Radhakrishna, 2007). In the first book, hymn (1.186) mentions maruts to be flying over Irin.a with their sparkling missiles. Irin.a, a place or a region named six times in RV, is traditionally translated as desert. Later Vedic texts identify Irin.a with disaster. Recent research has been shown that this region, during the time of RV, should have been spatially contiguous with the present day Rann-ofkutch. In hymn V (52.9), maruts are described to crush the hills near River Parus.n.î, (River Ravi in Punjab). In the eighth book, we read about the country, full of Soma (plants), where, accordingly to Vedic tradition, the Horse‘s head was hit by vajra, the weapon of Indra. In RV (X.75.5), Ârjikâ and Sus.omâ are listed along with a river named after maruts as Marudvr.dhâ. These rivers are generally identified to be in Punjab. In RV (V.52.17) maruts are connected, also, to River Yamunâ, which almost surely would not have been following the course of the present day river of the same name. Moreover, the references to Maruts are, also, linked to the rivers Sindhu (Indus), Krumu, Kûbhâ and Sarayû further North-West of greater India. Consequently, the meteoritic showers covered a wide region of ancient India. Especially, in RV (II.30.8), the River Sarasvatî is said to have been followed by maruts. In the famous prayer to Sarasvatî by Vasis.t.ha, first the river is addressed asuryâ (throwers of stones) and in the next verse her friends are said to be maruts (VII.96.1, 2). Significantly, in the tenth book (X.17.8-9) goddess Sarasvatî is invoked seated in the same chariot as the ancestor deities, meaning that the river was treated as dead, which, in the language of RV should have been after frequent sightings of maruts in the visible sky above the River Sarasvatî (Iyengar, 2010). In 1980, scientists (lead by Professor Yashpal) announced that they had recognised the palaeochannels of the River Saraswati using satellite imagery. In 1996, Professor Valdiya had traced the course of the river from West Garhwal in the Himalayas to the Gulf of Khambat in Gujarat, by using hydro-geological techniques. Other prominent scientists investigated the topic, too (Agrawal, et al., 1980; Valdiya, 2002; Kalyanaraman, 1999 and 2008a & b). Saraswati is mentioned more than 60 times in the Rigveda. Thus, it is clear from the Vedic texts, that the Rigvedic people lived on the banks of a river called Saraswati. The major rivers of North-West (areas of Punjab, Sindh, Rajasthan & Gujarat) were: Saraswati, Sindhu (Indus), Vipasa (Beas), Vitasa (Jhelum), Parushni (Ravi), Asikni (Chenab), Shatadru (Sutlej), Yamuna, Drishadwati Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters and Lavanavati. All those rivers have changed their courses since Vedic times; the last four were tributary to Sarasvati; three of them, Saraswati, Drishadwati and Lavanavati, no longer exist. There were about 300 cities (apart from so many supporting towns and villages, thousands in number) along the banks of Saraswati, once having a flourishing civilization. On the other hand, Mahabharata has allusions to the underground Saraswati, while there are numerous mentions of Ganga. Researchers interpret this fact as the reflection of the shift from Vedic literature, centered on the Sarasvati, to the Puranic literature, centered on the Ganga. The text of Parâúara, and subsequently Vr.ddha-Garga, preserves a tradition originating around 1400 BCE, but records a list of twenty-six comets (Ketu) with names and year numbers going back in time for nearly 1.3 Ka! This fact not only supports the deciphering of some RV deities as transient celestial objects, but, also, indicates the existence of a parallel tradition of sky observations contemporaneous with what is mentioned poetically in RV. The information includes comets specific names, year number and position in the sky, movement, colour, visibility, duration, and effect on Earth. The ancient astronomers classified meteors (ulkâ) into five types; they even proposed the existence of a dark object called Râhu as the cause of both solar and lunar eclipses, already known to the Atharvan.a Veda. In addition, they were, aware of some periodicity in the occurrence of eclipses, even though their values lacked clarity... In all the ten books of Vedic literature, scientists can find direct and indirect references to the battle between Indra and Vr.tra, for the re-establishing of the light. The release of waters of RV is most probably the samplava (Flood) of Parâúara, from which his tradition counts sequentially the years for the appearance of twenty-six comets (in Atlantis story by Plato, the Egyptian priest correlates Deucalion‘s Flood and Phaethon‘s event). According to Sanskrit researchers, the references to the moon, months, intercalation and the lunar number 3339, probably belong to another strata of RV coming after the havoc caused by maruts and the consequent climate alteration effects subsided. The above-mentioned number 3339 seems to be the 18-year eclipse period associated in RV with the moon and a total lunar eclipse (Iyengar, 2010). In the Mediterranean latitudes, Troy IIg seems to be the witness of multi-regional catastrophes and collapse dated to ca 2200 BCE onwards (similar to Egyptian Old Kingdom, Harappan Culture, Canaanite settlements, Malta & Akkad), and to cultural revivals, migrations and social reorganizations during the period 2000 - 1800 BCE. The climatic upsets of the period 2200 - 1800 BCE, have been interpreted within interdisciplinary studies (see Ch.5.3). Finally, archaeoastronomical information has been deciphered in the Iliad, offering to the scientists a strong argument on the chronological structure of the Homeric Epics (Wood, 1991). On March 5, 1953 BCE, a conjunction of five planets (Jupiter, Saturn, Mars, Venus & Mercury) with the new moon, was visible in the geographical latitude of Greece. This information, hidden in the verses of Iliad (I, 493 - 494), was referred by the Chinese astronomers of that time. Modern researchers, Kevin Pang of JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory) and John Bangert of the Naval Observatory (Sky and Telescope December 1993, Newsnotes 13 - 14; Available at: have discovered that the conjunction was visible in the night sky for some days, in fact, during February 26, their alignment was the most perfectly observed for the last 6 Ka! Pang found a passage in a Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters 1st century BCE text of Hong Fan Zhuan that says: ―The Ancient Zhuanxu calendar (invented in about 2000 BCE) began at dawn, in the beginning of spring, when the sun, new moon and five planets gathered in the constellation Yingshi (Pegasus)‖. This book was written by Liu Xiang who lived from 77 to 9 BCE. Even more, one of the three cities of Troy, described by Homer, is referred to the period around 1800 BCE, when the polar star Thuban (a Draco), according the phenomenon of the wobble of Earth‘s axis (Precession of the Equinoxes), gave its place in the Heavens (in 5,356 BCE started Draco‘s polar phase according to Brophy, 2002) to the star b Ursus minor (Indra killing the dragon?). The fall of that Troy was, also, symbolized by the retirement of the constellation Ursus major from the area of the celestial North Pole.

Erechtheion temple, the holiest of all Athenian temples (from the South) – Acropolis of Athens, Greece. Photo by Amanda Laoupi, September 2013. There is a strong correlation between night skies (constellation of Draco), nocturnal festivals and the chthonic cults in Athenian Acropolis (Gerding and Gerding, 2006; Boutsikas, 2007 & 2011; Boutsikas and Hannah, 2012). The historian Herodotus (VIII.41) reports that the great snake (of the goddess Athena), (living at Erechtheion), guards the Acropolis and monthly receives offerings made of honey cake. But, the snake's occasional refusal to eat the cakes was thought a disastrous omen. At the time of the Persian invasion, the snake refused to eat the offering. 'And when the priestess announced this, the Athenians deserted the city the more readily because the Goddess herself had deserted the acropolis". The interrelation between Athena and Erechtheus in Erechtheion is found already in the description in the Catalogue of Ships in Homeric Iliad (II.549). The temple of Hephaistos (Theseion) was also built across Parthenon in the Athenian Agora. On the Parthenon Frieze Athena and Hephaistos were depicted as a couple - no 36 & 37 (Plato, Critias 109c-110; Plato, Laws 920d; Plato, Protagoras 321d; Pemberton, 1976; Mark, 1984; Long, 1989)

A tablet from Knossos dated to the 14th century BCE mentions the word a-pa-i-tijo which may correspond to Hephaistos or Hephaistion, that is ―sacred to Hephaistos‖ (Landau, 1958; Chadwick and Baumbach, 1963, p. 201; Chantraine 1970, p. 418; contra, Frisk 1972, p. 102; Barbanera, 2013). And the other, Troy VI, was under siege ca. in 1312 BCE, as new archaeoastronomical evidence of a total solar eclipse implies (Pang, et all, 1989; Henrikkson, 2006 & 2007). The last Homeric Troy of Odysseus now can safely be dated to the beginnings of 12th century BCE (thus the second sack of Troy by the Achaeans ca in 1190 BCE). Astronomical references in Odyssey (xx, 356-357), seem to pinpoint the total eclipse of the sun on the day that Odysseus supposedly returned on at Ithaca, April 16th , 1178 BCE, Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters close to noon local time. The seer Theoclymenus foresaw the death of the suitors, ending by saying "the sun has been obliterated from the sky, and an unlucky darkness invades the world"; the Greek philosopher Heraclitus and the historian Plutarch suggested, first, that the prophecy of Theoclymenus referred to a solar eclipse. More recently, astronomers Carl Schoch and Paul Neugebauer computed in the 1920s that a total solar eclipse occurred over the Ionian Islands. Finally, physicist Marcelo Magnasco and astronomist Constantino Baikouzis investigated also other celestial events registered in Odyssey, before concluding to the same result (Baikouzis and Magnasco, 2008). On the other hand, Papamarinopoulos‘ team (2012) correlates the annular solar eclipse of 1207 BC (Julian Day 1280869) October 30, given that it was observable in the latitude of the Ionian Islands, and described by Homer (Odyssey, xx. 356-357), with Odysseus‘ return to Ithaca. 6.2.2 The Greek legend of Phaethon and its Sanskrit parallels In AD 1927, Franz Xaver Kugler, a Jesuit scholar who had devoted over thirty years to the study of cuneiform astronomical texts, published an essay entitled The Sibylline Starwar and Phaethon In the Light of Natural History, asserting that a large impact event in the Mediterranean Sea inspired fire-from-above legends such as Phaethon's ride. Coincidentally, it was also in 1927 that Leonid Kulik, a Russian Scientist, located the area which was devastated by the 20 MT aerial explosion in Tunguska event of June 30, 1908 (; Kobres, 1995). Emilio Spedicato (2007) suggested the year 1447 BCE as Phaethon's passing, Clube and Napier (1982) the year 1369 BCE, and Kobres (1995) and Papamarinopoulos (2007) the year 1159 BCE, respectively. Spedicato (2014) refers, also, to Homer who did not quote Deucalion but did mention Phaethon and Lampos as visible at sunrise. Perhaps the one body Lampos crashed over Africa (Mauritania, southern Egypt?) while Phaethon spiralled towards Earth, fragmented over Arabia, entered atmosphere over eastern Mediterranean Sea, fired palaces of Minoan Crete and forests of central Europe, and finally exploded over Eider in northern Germany. According to the archaeoastronomical evidence, the main suspect of the periodical havoc caused on Earth during the Holocene, were the fragments of the initial giant comet Encke, which first appeared 20 Ka, approached the Earth every 1000 years or so, causing various environmental disasters. The Bronze Age years were ca 1200, 2300 and 3300 BCE (Clube and Napier, 1990). Papamarinopoulos (2007) suggested a further coherence, the identification of the Greek goddess Athena with Phaethon as female appearance (Phaethoussa) and the Egyptian Sekhmet ―For in truth the story that is told in your country as well as ours, how once upon a time Phaethon, son of Helios, yoked his father‘s chariot, and, because he was unable to drive it along the course taken by his father, burnt up all that was upon the Earth and himself perished by a thunder-bolt. Now this has the form of a myth, but really signifies a declination of the bodies moving in the heavens around the earth, and a great conflagration of things upon the Earth, which recurs after long intervals ‖ (Plato Timaeus, 22C 3-7). In the Sanskrit parallels of disaster myths, Agni and Indra are the most important deities of RV. Professor Iyengar (2010) gives an intriguing presentation of references, the Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters exact order and notes of which is kept untouched below. In RV (1.51.4), Indra is said to have established sun after destroying Vr.tra, and maruts are prayed to remove the darkness and create the light, which people were longing for (1.86). Hymn (I.175) is about Indra stealing Sun‘s wheel, which could be a euphemism for the absence of normally expected rise, movement and setting of the sun. Hymns (1.183 & 184) refer to the ending of a period of darkness. In the second book hymn (II.15) is about Indra crushing the vehicle of, which is a metaphor for a continuous dawn like condition without a visible sun. Indra had to be supplicated by men who struggled to get sunlight (II.19). Indra found the sun dissolving in darkness near the cow‘s-foot (sûryam viveda tamasi ks. ayantam | III.39.5). In hymn IV (16.9) Indra is implored in the battle for sunlight. Indra is said to have hurt, daughter of the sky, near River Vipâúa (IV.30.911), which refers to absence of day break. This event is recounted in a slightly different form in the tenth book in hymn (X.138). In hymn V (31.11) when the night was ending, sun‘s wheel is said to have gone backwards (? a wide meteoritic ring or trail of a comet obstructing the sun‘s orb being seen from the Earth). Another hymn mentions (X.156.4) that agni has made sun mount the sky. Several hymns to Indra are prayers for sunlight or laudation after sunlight was restored. In hymn VI (17.5) Indra gives splendour to sun, which had been lost. In RV (VI.39) the reference is to a light called indu which brightened the worlds that were not shining. Reference to the widespread abnormal darkness appears in one form or other in several places of RV, with its all pervasive cosmological, philosophical, mystical and religious influence spread all through the later Vedic texts (Iyengar, 2010). Moreover, modern researchers claim that there are at least three layers of text in Mahabharata, too, as in the Homeric Epics, since the war is only one incident in them (Laoupi, 2006). Planetary placements, solar eclipses and cometary references alloy their counting. MB knows, also, the drying of the river Sarasvati. Another, perhaps chronological tool is that MB mentions donkey / mules (khara) drawning chariots (see Hephaistos‘ depictions in contrast to Phaethon and the horses of Sun) as the fastest way of transport, so the horses came at a later layer of the text. To sum up, the R.gvedic descriptions of maruts killing people on Earth, birth of agni and the Horse in the sky, Vr.trâ covering the sun, Indra restoring sunlight, and celestial deities coming down to Earth (India), are to be taken as space-induced disasters and events that have happened during the 3rd - 4th millennium BCE or even earlier. This hints that the Taurid complex was the most likely causative agent in the Yajurveda period since; even now the two branches of the Taurid meteor shower appear in MayJune and November-December. The later Vedic texts, also, declare that once upon a time people got killed by maruts. These points reinforce the conclusion that maruts in RV represent meteoritic showers and not thunder storms of the rainy season (Iyengar, 2010). Even more, Indra may symbolize the bright comet, the main cause of catastrophic events, Adityas are bright comets formed by disintegration, and Rudra-Maruts are meteoric showers. But, Indra, too, the mighty one, " didst crush Usas, though daughter of sky, when lifting up herself in pride. Then from her chariot Usas fled, affrighted, from her ruined car, when the strong god had shattered it. So there this car of Usas lay, broken to pieces, in Vipas, and she herself fled far away‖ (RV – 4.30.5, 9, 10, 11). Later on, Indra‘s position has been reduced to that of a rain-god in later Sanskrit literature. Perhaps this made maruts, the constant companions of Indra to be equated with winds (Iyengar, 2010). Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters In the ancient Greek traditions, this different nature of the two bodies (Hephaistos and Phaethon) is, also, testified by the verses of Nonnos (Dionysiaca, XXIX.376), where the god Ares seems to be willing to fight against Zeus, Phaethon, Hephaistos and Athena (comets, meteoric showers and other impact phenomena), in order to set his beloved Aphrodite free. And Hermes addressed Phaethon as follows: "Then you will shine in the sky like the Sun God next to Ares, scattering that thick invisible darkness far away; a miracle unheard of in the course of the ages‖ (Dionysiaca, XXVIII.971). The implication of all these afore-said cosmic bodies (Sun, Zeus, Poseidon as Earth, Phaethon) is, also, testified in the Greek myth. Phaethon accidentally turned most of Africa into desert; bringing the blood of the Ethiopians to the surface of their skin, turning it black. "The running conflagration spreads below. But these are trivial ills: whole cities burn, And peopled kingdoms into ashes turn" (Ovid, Metamorphoses II. PHAETHON). Rivers and lakes began to dry up, Poseidon rose out of the sea and waved his trident in anger at the sun. Eventually, Zeus was forced to intervene and stroke the runaway chariot with a lightning bolt to stop it, Phaethon plunging into the River Eridanus. Then, Helios, stricken with grief, refused to drive his chariot for days, blaming Zeus for the death of his son. Finally the gods persuaded him to not leave the world in darkness. More specifically, Aristotle mentions that "...the stars...fell from heaven at the time of Phaethon's downfall" . Thus, the ancient Greek philosopher claimed that Phaethon caused a meteor shower (Meteorologika, I.8). This has led many modern scientists, including Velikovsky, to speculate that Phaethon was a comet. Velikovsky concluded from his extensive interdisciplinary research that the planet Venus was remembered from the time of the dawn of civilization as a brilliant cometary body, too. In an alternate genealogy, Phaethon was the son of Eos and Cephalus, whom Aphrodite stole away, while he was no more than a child, to be the night-watchman at her most sacred shrines (Hesiod Theogony 986; Apollodorus 3.181; Pausanias 1.3.1). The Minoans (Pelasgian substratum) called him Adymus, by which they meant the morning and evening star (Hesiod Theogony, 986; Solinus, XI:9; Nonnus Dionysiaca, XI.131 and XII.217). ―The fourth star is that of Venus [Aphrodite], Luciferus [Eosphoros] by name. Some say it is Juno‘s. In many tales it is recorded that it is called Hesperus, too. It seems to be the largest of all stars. Some have said it represents the son of Aurora [Eos] and Cephalus, who surpassed many in beauty, so that he even vied with Venus, and, as Eratosthenes says, for this reason it is called the star of Venus...‖ (Pseudo-Hyginus, Astronomica 2.4). Hephaistos should be treated as a ‗previous‘ situation in comparison to Phaethon, and not identified to it. Hephaistos and Athena was a ‗couple‘. Athena could be the protoplanet Venus (shared some characteristics with the goddess Saraswati); some impact phenomena took place between that Venus and (asteroid/comet ?) Hephaistos causing havoc on Earth. Phaethon was related, according to Greek writers, to Venus (since the Minoan / Pelasgian times). The ‗androgynous‘ nature is both present at Hephaistos / Athena and Venus / Phaethon levels. Alternatively, Radlof's theory (1823) claims that the planets were on different orbits than today, speculating that the planet Venus (Hesperus) was one of the fragments of the exploded planet Phaethon (between Mars and Jupiter) by a comet from Jupiter belt, explaining both Varro's statement, regarding Venus' changed appearance, and Phaethon's links to Venus. Hephaistos, Athena and Indra had, in addition, another dual archetypal substratum. They were both destructors and life-givers and protectors. For instance, Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters Metallurgy in impacted areas was considered as a gift of sky gods. Phaethon, as a later sky episode, has more concrete traits, those of the cosmic destructor, representing the intruders in our planetary system that disturb the normal orbits of the planets, as the Egyptian priest claims in Plato‘s narration. Shortly after his birth, Indra battled and eventually slew the dragon Vritra, who had concealed the sun and imprisoned the waters, securing, in this way, the release of the sun together with the life-giving waters (RV, IV:17:7). According to Velikovsky (1950), the universal myth of the dragon-combat reflected a celestial drama of recent occurrence, one which featured the planet Venus in a wildly erratic orbit. Swastika was the symbol of the dragon. So, Indra holds apart, the Heaven and the Earth, becoming Creator and Lord of the Cosmos. Moreover, Indra was invoked as the supporter of Heaven, as well as a tree, spring, and mountain (common symbolic motifs worldwide of Axis Mundi). He restored the sun‘s path and Maruts (meteors) are its companions, as a phenomenon of our solar system. Additionally, a plethora of modern astrobiological evidence suggests that life and waters on Earth are probably of cosmic origin. But, modern researchers have convincingly pointed out, also, symbolic similarities between Indra and planet Mars / Greek god Ares in his destructive behaviour in the Bronze Age skies (Cochrane, 1991). This fact could echo, surprisingly, the erotic triangle of Hephaistos – Venus – Mars in Homeric Odyssey, where Hephaistos is furiously against Ares, whilst, in the Homeric Iliad (XXI, 405-408), Ares fall in battle at the hands of Athena. Equally, Indra could be interpreted as destructor and protector, or being ‗two‘ Indra (like the two ‗Venus‘ and two ‗Hera‘ in the Epics). Another shocking detail arises in the motif of the charioteer. Auriga is a constellation in the northern sky. Its name is Latin for 'charioteer', from the ancient Greek Heniochos. In ancient Greek tradition and until the 17 th century CE, he was the personification of Erichthonios (< eris = strife + chthon = Earth), son of Hephaistos and Athena, who invented the chariot drawn by four horses, in order to be able to travel (being, also, ‗lame‘ as his father). The lower part of his body was snake-formed (Hyginus Fabulae, 166). In the statue of goddess Athena, in the Parthenon temple (Athens' Acropolis, he was the snake hidden behind her shield, because it was said that when the basket was opened, he jumped out and hid behind the shield of Athena (the Aegis). The constellation was related to the katasterism of Erechtheus‘ daughters, too, known as Hyades or Hyakinthidai in Athenian tradition, and their sacrifice, as well as with Orion known also as Hyakinth (Boutsikas and Hannah, 2012). He was, also, associated, by Manilius (Astronomica, V, pp. 305-309) and later, by J.J. de Lalande, to Bellerefon, Phaethon and Absyrthe, or Apsurtos. In Indian mythology, we can detect a parallel for this charioteer motif, Aruna, or Arun, as in the Hindu Pantheon Surya, the sun, is shown drawn by four horses, with his charioteer, the lame Aruna, seated in front of him. He is believed to be a cripple (without thighs), and characterised as the reddish one. In addition, Aruna is the name of the Hittite god of the sea, the Vedic Varuna. In Graeco-Babylonian times, the constellation of Auriga was Rukubi, the Chariot. A Turkish planisphere shows Auriga's stars depicted as a Mule. There was, also, Phaethon / Sekhmet / Surt in the second half of the 2nd millennium BCE (Combes, 2007). The devastating fire of Sekhmet torched the lands of the ninth cycle. During antiquity, our planet was divided into nine parallels, the ninth being comprised of the northern lands, such as Sweden, Norway, Denmark, North Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters Germany and Iceland (Edgerton and Wilson, 1936). Inscriptions and texts from the Near East civilizations referred to 'the fire -star that was wandering in the sky and then, fell on Earth, causing death and devastation'. The Egyptians during the reign of Ramesses III claimed that Sekhmet (Greek name, Sachmis) disturbed the harmony of the world (Spanuth, 1977, pp. 170-171). According to an Egyptian myth, the god Horus, himself, was burned by the lethal fires of the goddess Sekhmet, a warrior goddess whose breath created the desert (Pinch, 1994, p. 45). Sekhmet was seen, too, as a bringer of disease as well as the provider of cures to such ills. During an annual festival - of intoxication - held at the beginning of the Egyptian year, the Egyptians danced and played music to soothe the wildness of the goddess and drank great quantities of beer ritually to imitate the extreme drunkenness that stopped her wrath - when she almost destroyed humankind. Her cosmic trajectory of the 2nd millennium BCE probably followed a South-East / North-West orientation, from the Indian Ocean, to northern Africa, eastern Mediterranean, central Europe and North Sea. The Epic of Ragnarök speaks of the Fire Giants that came from the South. Modern researchers, in fact, claim that they are safely able to date the events, based on archaeological testimonies and archaeoastronomical calculations. Please, keep in mind, too, the ancient Greek tradition recording that Bellerophon's grandsons Sarpedon and the younger Glaucus fought in the final Trojan War. The ancient Egyptian disaster symbolism and cosmovision, included, also, Apophis, the demon - dragon, who was born from Neith (the parallel of Athena) and was the constant rival of the sun's itinerary in Heavens. His blood turned the sky's colour into red. In fact, it is the Greek name for the Egyptian mythological creature Apep, the symbol of all evil things, the personification of darkness and chaos (for more details, see Maravelia, 2009). In Norse mythology, Surt (< Old Norse black or the black one) is attested in the Poetic and Prose Edda. In both sources, Surt is foretold as being a major figure during the events of Ragnarök; carrying his bright sword, he will go to battle and afterward the flames that he brings forth will engulf the Earth. He comes from the South, and he is mentioned as having a female companion (see also: Langer, 2013). According to Clement of Alexandria in his Stromata (book I), " the time of Crotopus occurred the burning of Phaethon, and the deluges of Deucalion‖. The Egyptian priest, too, in Plato's Timaeus, refers to the event of the Deluge and the 'Greek' legend of Phaethon. We, also, saw the connection of Indra and the release of cosmic waters, but let us return to the ancient Greek tradition. Deucalion was the son of Prometheus, the creator of mankind, while Pyrrha was the daughter of Pandora, the first woman. In Hyginus' Fabulae (152 A), Zeus pretending that he wanted to put out the fire, caused by Phaethon, let loose the rivers everywhere, and all the human race perished except Deucalion and Pyrrha. The mythographer Apollodorus wrote that Zeus wished to destroy the men of the Bronze Age, giving, this way, a first framework of the event. According to the myth, the devastating waves of the flood were ordered back by Triton's blowing the conch. The conch had been used by Aigokeros (Capricorn, the goat-fish), who ruled the winter solstice in the world-age when Aries ‗carried‘ the sun. Thus, this formula includes the information of a constellation that ceased to mark the autumnal equinox, gliding below the Equator (being drowned).

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Archaeodisasters Aquarius was called ‗Deucalion‘ in Astronomy (Hyginus, I.II). In Attica, he was, also, called ‗Cecrops‘, that‘s why Suidas observes the division of the Athenian people by Cecrops (related to the four seasons, twelve months, thirty days, etc). The name is not of Greek origin according to Strabo (VII.7.1), or it might mean 'face with a tail': it is said that, born from the Earth itself, he had his top half shaped like a man and the bottom half in serpent or fish-tail form. According to the ancient Athenian tradition, those two events (Deucalion flood / Cecrops & Erichthonius / Phaethon), are inextricably interrelated. An intriguing testimony is given by Nonnus, (Dionysiaca VI. 206 ff), where he describes the great Deluge in astrological terms: Sun in Leo (summer solstice) + Moon in Cancer + Venus in Taurus + Mars in Scorpio (just opposite of Venus) + Jupiter in Pisces with Moon trine + Saturn back from Aquarius, to his home at Capricorn: "After the first Dionysos [i.e. Zagreus] had been slaughtered [by the Titanes], Father Zeus learnt the trick of the mirror with its reflected image. He attacked [Gaia, Earth] the mother of the Titanes with avenging brand, and shut up the murderers of horned Dionysos within the gate of Tartaros: the trees blazed, the hair of suffering Gaia (Earth) was scorched with heat. He kindled the East: the dawnlands of Baktria blazed under blazing bolts, the Assyrian waves set afire the neighbouring Kaspian Sea and the Indian mountains, the Red Sea rolled billows of flame and warmed Arabian Nereus. The opposite West also fiery Zeus blasted with his thunderbolt in love for his child; and under the foot of Zephyros the Western brine half-burnt spat out a shining stream; the Northern ridges-even the surface of the frozen Northern Sea bubbled and burned: under the clime of snowy Aigokeros [i.e. the constellation Capricorn] the Southern corner boiled with hotter sparks…‖. After that upheaval which caused burning heat across the North Hemisphere, the deluge happened. Consequently, the symbolic motifs of the charioteer (Phaethon) and the fish –goat (Deucalion) were interconnected in time, giving to modern researchers a safe dating tool (for another analysis of this flood event, see Spedicato, 2007). Thus, groups of prehistoric people, all around the globe, left their memories of divine (celestial) catastrophes in poetic language upon which, their successors added further observation of the sky leading to lunar and solar rituals and calendars. The legendary tales and the ‗persons‘ (gods & goddesses, heroes, companions, off springs, etc) involved, do not exclude each other, in fact, they are perfectly interconnected, giving us, the general chronological framework to those stories and the pace of those repeated cycles of havoc in Heavens and upon Earth. It was, also, during Cecrops' reign in Cecropia (Attica) that: (1) Poseidon and Athena contested for the patronage of Attica or Athens. Cecrops and the people thought that olive tree was more useful than salt-water well, so they awarded the city to the goddess and named the city after her – Athens. Poseidon, then, enraged with the decision, flooded Attica (2) Hephaistos the smith-god tried to ravish Athena, the virgin wargoddess. Athena fought Hephaistos off, causing the god's semen to fall on the soil of the Acropolis. God's semen had impregnated Gaea (Earth), causing an earth-born creature to be born; an infant with legs and tail of a serpent. Athena took the infant and named him Erichthonius, putting him under her full protection. Later on, Erichthonius established the Panathenaic festival in honour of Athena. According to the Parian Chronicle, or Parian Marble (Marmor Parium), Cecrops reined between 1581/0-1531 BCE and Erichthonius between 1422-1372 BCE, respectively.

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Archaeodisasters Furthermore, according to Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Dardanus left Pheneus in Arcadia to colonize a land in the northeastern Aegean Sea. When Dardanus' deluge occurred, the land was flooded and the mountain, where he and his family survived, formed the island of Samothrace. ―And the Samothracians have a story that, before the floods that befell other peoples, a great one took place among them, in the course of which the outlet at the Cyanean Rocks was first rent asunder and then the Hellespont. For the Pontus, which had at the time the form of a lake, was so swollen by the rivers which flow into it, that, because of the great flood which had poured into it , its waters burst forth violently into the Hellespont and flooded a large part of the coast of Asia and made no small amount of the level part of the land of Samothrace into the sea; and this is the reason, we are told, why in later times fishermen have now and then brought up in their nets the stone capitals of columns, since even cities were covered by the inundation... dedicated altars upon which they offer sacrifices even to the present day‖ (Diodorus of Sicily, V.47.1 ff.). Dardanus left Samothrace on an inflated skin to the opposite shores of Asia Minor and settled on Mount Ida. His grandson Tros eventually moved from the highlands down to a large plain, on a hill that had many rivers flowing down from Ida above and built a city, which was named Troy after him (Plato, Laws C 682a). The mythical King Erichthonius of Dardania was the son of Dardanus, King of Dardania, and Batea. Only Homer refers to his reign (Iliad, XX.215-234). On the other hand, Strabo (XIII.1.48) records, but discounts, the claim by "some more recent writers" that Teucer or Teucros (the father of his mother Batea) came from the deme of Xypeteones in Attica, supposedly called Troes (meaning Trojans) in mythical times. These writers mentioned that Erichthonius appears as founder both in Attica and the Troad, and may be identical. Surprisingly, once again, legends of the ancient world give us the answers. The author suggests that the heroes Erichthonios (serpent - like), Bellerefon (dual nature: Pegasus as a winged horse = comet, and as slaughterer of the dragon fire-breathing Chimaera) and Phaethon (charioteer) were the cosmic charioteers, who come in the skies generations after their parents‘ (Hephaistos and Athena) appearance, and ‗died‘ punished for their arrogance. It is noteworthy that Erichthonios‘ and Bellerefon‘s cults belong to the Pelasgian substratum (Anatolia and Asia Minor), as Hephaistos did. Bellerefon was the greatest hero and slayer of monsters, alongside of Cadmus and Perseus, who had, also, fought against dragons, being associated to eastern Mediterranean mythological cycles. 6.2.3 Medusa Effect and Megalithic Monuments as comet observatories. As above, so below The snake-headed Medusa is a pivotal figure in the mythological cycle of Perseus (she was decapitated by the hero), Atlantis (Poseidon's liaison with the Gorgon), and Athenian / Pelasgian substratum in northern Africa (known as a very beautiful priestess of the goddess Athena, who transformed her into a chthonic monster; later on, she placed Medusa's head on her shield as Gorgoneion). Apart from a plethora of stimulating interpretations and perspectives ranging from psychoanalysis to feminism and other archetypal socio-cultural patterns (e.g. Freud, 1940; Brunnel, 1995; Siebers, 2002; Solnit, Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters 2003), there are some pivotal key-symbols in her legend, associated to the matriarchal prehistoric societies and to impact mythology, as well. As researchers believe, the snakes and reptilian skin are symbols of the natural cycle of birth, death and rebirth, the cycle being, also, paralleled with women's natural cycle of menstruation, which was believed to be synchronized with the cycles of the moon and tide. This correlation highlights the intimate connection with the Earth. Her depiction in ancient Greek Art includes wings and boar tusks, too. The wings may symbolize the sky, as well as the freedom and mastery over worlds. In addition, the boar tusks symbolize both pain and fear, but, also, birth and fertility. Even more, Medusa, a powerful feminine symbol, had the ability to turn men into stone, in other words, she has the power over all life, the ability to return life back to the Earth from which it came. And her decapitated head (both a mirror and a mask) continued to retain its power, manifesting control of both Life and Death (Argonautica, IV.1515; Hesiod Theogony, 270 ff.; Homer Iliad, V. 741, VIII. 349, XI. 36; Herodotus, II. 91; Aeschylus, Phorcideslost play; Pausanias, ii. 21.5-6; Virgil Aeneid, vi. 289; Ovid Metamorphoses, IV.754 ff.; Diodorus, III.55; Lucan Pharsalia, IX.820; Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca II.144; Nonnus Dionysiaca, XXXI.13, etc). Another strong thought-provoking perspective is the ‗identification‘ of Athena and Medusa, as solar symbols. Although being both objects of desire, Athena and the sun are unapproachable and terrifying for those who come too close. Structural elements of this illustration are found both in the Platonic myth of Phaedrus (247-2488E), in which the downfall of souls is brought about by an overpowering desire to see the ‗Sun‘, and in the Platonic myth of the Cave (The Republic, 514-517A). In parallel, since antiquity, people perceived Medusa in her environmental proportions. The poet Hesiod had imagined the Gorgones as reef-creating sea-daemons, personifications of the deadly submerged reefs which posed such a danger to ancient mariners. Medusa herself was a portrayed as a storm daemon whose visage was set upon the storm-bringing aigis-shield of Athena. Another intriguing interrelation is the one between Gorgones and Demeter Erinys (the Fury), and the three Erinyes. These were considered as the bringers of drought, the withering of crops and the coming of famine. Furthermore, Demeter was titled ‗Chrysaoros‘ in Homeric poetry, further suggesting a close link between this attribute and the offsprings from decapitad Medusa‘s head, Chrysaor, a golden-sworded giant (symbolizing the corn?) and the winged horse Pegasos (representing the ending of drought with the release of the waters of springs?). But all the afore-mentioned symbols are strongly correlated with impactism, too. The fascinating combination of life and death is always present in the worldwide symbolism of all cosmic-induced disasters, as we have already presented and explained. The hero Perseus was conceived by her mother Danae, when Zeus visited her in the form of a shower of gold (phenomenon of meteor shower of Perseids?). The fixed star Algol (β Per), located in the constellation Perseus, was referred to as Lilith – Adam‘s first wife (e.g. Isaiah 34:14 of the Old Testament screech owl or night-monster) by the Hebrews in the Talmud. This star has a universal reputation as the most evil star in the Heavens and is usually associated with the eye or head of Medusa, its name derived from Arabic alGhul, which means ‗The Ghoul or The Demon Star‘ (Ridpath & Tirion , 2007; Allen, 1899). Given her direct interrelation with Athena (proto-planet or comet?), Medusa could

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Archaeodisasters represent plasma/ Birkeland currents and all instantaneous fossilization phenomena, still controversial and highly debated. On the other hand, an intriguing hypothesis seems to gain supporters. The megalithic culture of western Europe is strongly correlated with comet catastrophes. Brittany, in France is the most important centre of this culture, where, besides the passage graves, there are, also, the ―gallery graves‖, 7 out of 140 being decorated with petroglyphs. Researchers claim that they have recognised their archaeoastronomical symbolic language, according to which, past impact disasters are ‗presented‘. In addition, other interrelated issues are also examined, such as the expansion of megalithic cultures to Americas. Even more, Stonehedge I, Newgrange and other famous megalithic monuments have been correlated with, not only sun and moon observations, but also with eclipses, comets and meteorites‘ predictions (for an alternative catastrophe ‗reading‘, see de Jonge, available at:; Balfour, 1992; Burl, 1993; Steel and Clarke, 1997; De Jonge and Wakefield, 2002a & b; Cope, 2004; De Jonge and Wakefield, 2009). 6.3. Archaeodisasters in Arts From paintings, coins and masks, to scrolls, voodoo flags and puppets, the human expression after crises and catastrophes ranges widely. The behavioural problems arisen after such stressful situations, which are soothed by the universal language of arts and the cross-cultural expression of compassion and solidarity. In its very own nucleus, each disaster holds the promise of creation and innovation, art being a successful copying mechanism within community‘s resilience strategies. Here are few short selective examples of how humans experienced and perceived a variety of catastrophes and cosmic events (Landow, 1982; Davis, 1992; The Associated Press Library of Disasters, 1998; Smith, 2001; Kozák and Čermák, 2010).

Pompeii, House of the Centenary (Casa del Centenario or House of the Centenarian), IX.8.3-6; among the largest houses in the city; the earliest known depiction of Vesuvius. Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli (inv. nr. 112286). Wikimedia Commons; Public Domain Image source: . Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters Volcanoes had always been a very stimulating artistic topic. We can see Bacchus, Agathodaemon and Mount Vesuvius on a fresco from a household shrine (House of Centenary, Pompei), now exhibited at the National Museum, Naples. Europeans, during the notorious ‗Year without a summer‘ (aka the Poverty Year, Year There Was No Summer, and Eighteen Hundred and Froze to Death) in AD 1816, experienced severe summer climate abnormalities with global temperatures dropping by about 0.4–0.7 °C. Apart from the midpoint of one of the Sun's extended periods of low magnetic activity, called the Dalton Minimum, a volcanic winter event, was caused by a succession of major volcanic eruptions of Mount Tambora, in the Dutch East Indies (Indonesia) in AD 1815. It was considered as the most powerful volcanic eruption of the past 10 Ka. High levels of volcanic ash in the atmosphere led to unusually spectacular sunsets during this period, a natural feature celebrated in the paintings of Joseph Mallord William Turner, giving rise to the yellow tinge that is predominant in his paintings.

Chichester Canal, Sussex, southern England. AD 1828. J.M.W. Turner. Oil on canvas. Commissioned by George Wyndham, 3rd Earl of Egremont. Accepted by HM Government in lieu of tax and allocated to the Tate Gallery 1984. In situ at Petworth House Reference T03885. Image source: ing%29. Wikimedia Commons; Public Domain

Moreover, the devastating colossal eruption of Krakatau (August 26, 1883) is depicted on AD 1888 lithography.

Image source: . Wikimedia Commons; Public Domain

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Archaeodisasters Most commonly, in ancient world, the Gigantomachy signified the victory of civilization over disorder, especially the triumph of Greek over barbarian culture, sharing this allegory with other battle-myths, such as the Centaurs & Lapiths and the Greeks & Amazons motifs. Initially, it was shown in the sculptures of the West pediment of the temple of Apollo at Delphi (ca 520 BCE). After the Greek victories in the Persian wars (480-479 BCE), its political and cultural allegory, was highlighted on the eastern metopes of the Parthenon (ca 440) and was painted on the inside of the shield of Pheidias‘ statue of Athena Parthenos. The Gigantomachy continued to be popular into Roman and early Christian times, times, perhaps as an allegory of the victory of the soul over death. But the most famous artistic work on Gigantomachy is the Great Altar of Pergamum with the Gigantomachy frieze. The Kingdom of Pergamos occupied, periodically, the areas of Lydia, Lycaonia, Mysia, Pamphylia, Pisidia and Phrygia. Its capital city, Pergamon, was a commercial, industrial and artistic centre, famous for its Library with 200,000 books, second only to Alexandria‘s Library. The jewel of the ancient city was the Great Altar, which was standing on the acropolis and was among the most prominent monuments of the ancient world, compared even to the Zeus‘ Great Altar at Olympia (Radt, 1999). The whole monument has been reconstructed and exhibited in the ‗Pergamon Museum‘ of Berlin. The city of Pergamon declined from the 3rd century AD onwards, when a disastrous earthquake gave the final stroke to its gradual decline. The Great Altar was probably constructed during the reign of Attalid Eumenes II (197 - 159 BCE). The monument was a complicated construction with a Π shape. The synthesis of Gigantomachy, which is represented in the Great Altar, includes a great number of figures characterized by boldness, artistic invention and plastic wealth. The protagonists of the right half of the synthesis of the East Frieze are the victorious gods Zeus and Athena against the Giants. Athena runs after Alcyoneus. The left foot of the chased giant touches his mother, Gaia, who is represented coming out from the soil, with her hair falling over her shoulders, her face being terrified and sad. Gaia‘s right arm touches Athena‘s knee, as a gesture of supplication for her children, the Giants. Probably in the 2nd century CE, the Roman Lucius Ampelius recorded the " Pergamo ara marmorea magna" in his liber memorialis (Miracula Mundi, VIII.14).

Part of the Gigantomachy frieze of the Pergamon Altar. Athena and Nike fight Alkyoneus (left), Gaia rises up from the ground, pleading with Athena to spare her sons (right). Pergamon Museum, Berlin. Image source: By Gryffindor, 2007, public domain

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The flood myths had, also, gave birth to pieces of great artistic value. The vault of the Cappella Sistina Ceiling (Vatican) covers 800 m2 of fresco painting, Michelangelo Buonarrotiâ&#x20AC;&#x2DC;s masterpiece. The centre of the vault is decorated with nine scenes from Genesis, four large and five small ones, the Noahâ&#x20AC;&#x2DC;s Flood being amongst them (created between AD 1508 and 1512).

The work of art depicted in this image and the reproductions thereof are in the public domain worldwide. The reproduction is part of a collection of reproductions compiled by The Yorck Project. The compilation copyright is held by Zenodot Verlagsgesellschaft mbH and licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. Image source:

Deucalion and Pyrrha, mythical figures as portrayed from AD 1562 version of Ovid's Metamorphoses. Other representative examples are the engravings by Hendrik Goltzius (AD 1589, now in London), and the oil-sketch by Rubens (AD 1636, now in Madrid).

Virgilius Solis, a member of a prolific Germanic family of artists. His prints were sold separately or formed the illustrations of books. A faithful photographic reproduction of an original two-dimensional work of art. The work of art itself is in the public domain. This work is in the public domain in the United States, and those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 100 years or less. Image source: File:Virg il_ Solis_-_Deucalion_Pyrrha.jpg

Famous is also a dramatic composition of the notorious AD 1755 Lisbon earthquake and tsunami. This is the frontispiece illustration taken from the book by Hartwig, in AD 1887, and this view is from the right bank of the Tagus looking west. The depiction could be characterized as photo-like, with the large movements of water masses, the sinking ships, the collapsing houses in the front along the river bank, and the panicked crowds trying to escape.

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AD 1755 copper engraving showing Lisbon in flames and a tsunami overwhelming the ships in the harbour. Original in: Museu da Cidade, Lisbon. Reproduced in: O Terramoto de 1755, Testamunhos Britanicos = The Lisbon Earthquake of 1755, British Accounts. Lisbon: British Historical Society of Portugal, 1990. This work is in the public domain in the United States, and those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 100 years or less. Image source: Lisbon_earthquake

The Basel earthquake of October 18, AD 1356, is the most significant seismological event to have occurred in central Europe during its recorded history. The Swiss painter Karl Jauslin envisioned the event in his work of the 19 th century.

For extended depictions of famous disasters that occurred from the 14th to the 20th centuries, see Kozák & Čermák, 2010. This is a faithful photographic reproduction of an original two-dimensional work of art. The work of art itself is in the public domain. This work is in the public domain in the United States, and those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 100 years or less. Image source:

Images of death and the macabre were common during the medieval era, as they were highly influenced by the lethal Plague that spread across Europe during the mid-14th century ravaging almost the entire population; according to scientific estimations, it reduced the world's population ca 20%, in AD 1400. The Black Death was one of the deadliest pandemics in human history, peaking in Europe between AD 1348 and 1350. The illustrated manuscripts of Psalter and Book of Hours of Bonne de Luxembourg (illustrated by Jean Pucelle) depicted the legend of ‗The Three Living and The Three Dead‘, the essence of medieval thought during the plague (Williman), although other researchers argue that one of the best works depicting scenes of death from the late medieval era, is ‗The Triumph of Death‘, in Campo Santo (Polzer in Williman, 1982, pp. Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters 107-130). Other artistic and socio-cultural features of medieval thought inspired by the horror of the disease and its impact were the re-interest in alchemy, as well as supernatural images, mythological beasts and images of the Cosmos. Many of those images were copied by artists, this subject matter continued to be popular up until the Renaissance, known as the ‗Dance of Death‘, an expression that originated from the French ‗La Danse Macabre‘ (Woods, et al., 2007).

A scene showing monks, disfigured by the plague, being blessed by a priest. From a late 14th century manuscript in Latin. Omne Bonum by James le Palmer, England , AD 1360-AD 1375. This is a faithful photographic reproduction of an original two-dimensional work of art. The work of art itself is in the public domain. This image (or other media file) is in the public domain because its copyright has expired. This work is in the public domain in the United States, and those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 100 years or less . Image source:

On the other hand, the cosmic phenomena and their impact on Earth were the mostly depicted amongst all the other themes through the ages. The cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were mentioned in the Book of Genesis and throughout the Hebrew Bible, in the New Testament and in deuterocanonical sources, as well as in the Quran. Interdisciplinary team of researchers will held excavational works in 2013, at Tall elHammam, located amidst agricultural fields northeast of the Dead Sea in the southern Jordan River Valley, claiming that the site's location, size, occupation periods, stratigraphy, and some of the finds suggest the infamous, ill-fated biblical city of Sodom. But, the mainstream hypothesis refers to destruction due to comet‘s debris in the general catastrophic framework of worldwide culture collapses around 2200 BCE.

The Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah by John Martin, 1852. Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne . This work is in the public domain in the United States, and those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 100 years or less. Image source: rrah Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters The legend of Phaethon, also, as it has been decoded in the afore-mentioned chapter of this book, is amongst artists‘ favourite topics, including Pablo Picasso (Etching. Les Metamorphoses, Chute de Phaeton avec le Char de Soleil. Edition: 145. Printed by Louis Fort, Paris 1931. Reference: Cramer 19).

Left: The fall of Phaeton by Johann Liss (a leading German Baroque painter, active mainly in Venice), early 17th century. Sammlung Denis Mahon. The work of art depicted in this image and the reproductions thereof are in the public domain worldwide. The reproduction is part of a collection of reproductions compiled by The Yorck Project. The compilation copyright is held by Zenodot Verlagsgesellschaft mbH and licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License . Image source: Bton

The explosion of a supernova in Crab Nebula, at a distance of 6300 light years, in 5446 BCE (one of the few Galactic supernovae, the date of which is well established) seen in sky from July 4, AD 1054 to April 6, AD 1056 (initially of yellow color, later of red/white), was recorded n multiple Chinese & Japanese documents and in one document from the Arab world, and observed by American-Indian tribes and Europeans as well. At least six iconographs (Chaco Canyon - New Mexico, northern Arizona, Fern Cave in Lava Beds National Monument - North California, Symbol Bridge - California, Abo Monument - Mexico) seem to depict the event as it dazzled the sky watchers of that time, but its absence from Latin literature is related to the historic event of the Schism (July 1 AD 1054) which was of higher priority. Today, the nebula (known, also, as the first Messier object, or M1) and the pulsar are the most studied astronomical objects outside our Solar System. Worth mentioning that, the symbol of a crescent moon and star has been used since antiquity, imprinted on coins, flown on flags. The Sumerians symbolized their moon god – the most popular amongst Mesopotamian deities, since 2000 BCE onwards, the Zoroastrian traditions had depictions of the symbol, the Greeks used it to represent the goddess Artemis (e.g. the emblem of the city of Byzantium since 339 BCE continuing through the Byzantine empire later on, dedicated to their protectress Hecate), the Carthaginians used it to represent their chief goddess Tanith (‗the serpent-lady‘), the dominant religion of Arabia was the cult of the moon-god, and it was used in worship in central Asia and Siberia (Fuiten, 2005, p. 52 ff.). On the other hand, researchers have also correlated the symbolism of SN explosion with the crescent moon/star on Islamic flags.

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Left: Code of Ur-Nammu. Ur-Nammu (seated) bestows governorship on Ḫašḫamer, ensi of Iškun-Sin (cylinder seal impression, ca. 2100 BC). Original 1915 caption: "Worship of the Moon God. Cylinder-seal of Khashkhamer, patesi of Ishkun-Sin (in North Babylonia), and vassal of Ur-Engur, king of Ur (ca 2400 BCE) (British Museum). Photo: Mansell" Mackenzie, 1915, p. 50. This UK artistic work, of which the author is unknown and cannot be ascertained by reasonable enquiry, is in the public domain . Image source: Right: Image of the Crab Nebula in Infrared at 3.6 (blue), 5.8 (green) and 8.0 (red) µm. The image has been made by Médéric Boquien from the public image archive of the Spitzer Space Telescope (courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech). For each band, the *maic.fits images were combined using IRAF imcombine with the parameters combine=median; reject=none; offsets=wcs. The final color image was made using DS9 with the following command line: ds9 -rgb -red ch4/pbcd/ch4.fits -scale limits 10 60 -green ch3/pbcd/ch3.fits scale limits 3 50 -blue ch1/pbcd/ch1.fits -scale limits 1 15 -view colorbar no. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled GNU Free Documentation License.

In addition, the Ages of Humanity and the worldwide myths of humankind has attracted poets from Dante (AD 1314) to W. H. Auden (1964), and artists from Lucas Cranach (AD 1530) to Henri Matisse (1906), whose painting The Joy of Life evokes the innocence of a Golden Age.

Das Goldene Zeitalter. Gemälde von Lucas Cranach dem Älteren, um 1530, Alte Pinakothek, München. The Golden Age by Lucas Cranach the Elder. Image source : ldenes_Zeitalter This work is in the public domain in the United States, and those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 100 years or less

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Archaeodisasters Finally, another intriguing topic which could be a whole dissertation‘s or scientific project‘s thematic nucleus, is the worldwide mythical representations of spirits/ creatures/gods and goddesses who represented cosmic forces, natural disasters and hazardous phenomena. Tribes, cultures and civilizations all over the world envisioned similar patterns of differentiated artistic expressions, being always both breath-taking and inspirational.

Left: Quetzalcoatl, the feathered serpent deity, as depicted in the 16th century CE Codex TellerianoRemensis. The Legend of the Five Suns is a corpus (ancient texts, calendars, oral traditions, pictographs on stone) of creation myths, describing the doctrine of the Aztec and other Nahua peoples, in which the present world was preceded by four other cycles of creation and destruction. This cycle couldn't continue for ever; there would only be five ages or ‗Suns‘ each of them h aving its own name, sign and ruling divinity. It comprises the mythological, cosmological and eschatological beliefs and traditions of earlier cultures from central Mexico and the Mesoamerican region in general. Image source: Centre: The Egyptian god Set (also spelled Seth, Sutekh or Seteh), based on New Kingdom tomb paintings, by Jeff Dahl. God of storms, chaos, darkness and the desert. Image source: . Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or an y later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front -Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled GNU Free Documentation License. Right: A Tamil depiction of Kali Ma (< Sanskrit Kala = death, time & blackness / Ma = mother; the Earth-goddess Nirrti of Rig-Veda and beyond; the three-part goddess: virgin – mother - crone), 12th century CE. Bronze, National Museum of India. Hindu goddess associated with eternal energy. Her name means black, time, death, lord of death, shiva etc. Since Shiva is called Kāla - the eternal Time, Kālī, his consort, also means "the Time" or "Death". Hence, Kali is considered the goddess of time an d change. Although sometimes presented as dark and violent, she is largely conceived as a benevolent mother goddess, too. Image source: . Permission is granted to copy, dis tribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front -Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled GNU Free Documentation License.

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Archaeodisasters 6.4 Ages of Humanity, Utopian and Eschatological Perspectives Probably, Death and Rebirth as cosmic / socio-cultural phenomena ruling lives, fates and civilizations, are the most intimate and sacred human motifs related to every disaster. Although this topic should be a very detailed thesis of its own, this book gives the main indicative perceptions and perspectives, as believed by ancient cultures all over the world. Even if ‗Utopia‘ (from the Greek οὐ-ηόποι, no-where), a word coined by Thomas More, usually has an ‗illusory,‘ ‗imaginary,‘ ‗idealistic‘ or ‗visionary‘ meaning, it was widely accepted by ancient classical Greek and Latin writers (e.g. Xenophanes, Herodotus, Hecataeus of Abdera, Ephorus, Euhemerus, Plato, Plinius, Virgil, Ovid, Strabo). Those identified archaic myths about creation and primal creatures, found in the epic poems of Homer and Hesiod, as being symbolic ways of describing actual events and processes in deep time or within human memory. Euhemerus, a late 4th century BCE Greek mythographer at the court of Cassander, king of Macedon, following the systematized method of myths rationalization and their linkage to historic events, and according to Hellenistic rationalized naturalism, in his main work, Sacred History, claimed to have travelled to a group of islands in the waters off Arabia (see Pliny, Historia Naturalis XXXVI. 17. 2; Diodorus, V.41-46). In Panchaea, one of these islands, home to a utopian society made up of a number of different ethnic tribes, the births and deaths of many of the gods were inscribed on a golden pillar in a temple of Zeus Triphylius. In addition, the strong underlying correlations with astral symbolism and Babylonian traditions have been recognized by modern scientists, as the Sun cult and its framework – the Sun state (Bidez, 1932, pp. 275-276; Ferguson, 1975, p. 106). Some ancient writers (Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound, 420; Apollodorus, II.1.5.4; Plautus, Comediae, Trinumus, Act III; Ptolemy, III.10.7) mention that Arabia was not the deserted hot land of the South (Asian Arabia), but the area of the North, between Aimos peninsula and the Black Sea (Carpathians – Istru – Euxine Pontus), where absinth meadows exist all over the vast plains . Other legendary convention of idealized societies were the Hyperboreans, made concrete in the legendary figure of the Scythian philosopher-hero Anacharsis, or the idealized Meropes of Theopompus enriched by contacts with India, but as a parody of Plato‘s Atlantis (Kirk, 1970; Hutton, 1993; Buxton, 1994; Lefkowitz, 2003). Modern researchers, also, find similarities with Plato's Atlantis or the exotic seven tropical isles of the Sun described by Iambulus (which was noted in Diodorus II.55ff.), as well as with the perfect and paradigmatic society as, described in the last part of Heliodorus’ Aethiopica, a model for a political utopia. Generally speaking, one should follow Kytzler‘s distinction, too, between ‗descriptive‘ and ‗constructive‘ Utopias. The constructive fantasy shares the features of mythos and logos, of physis and nomos. Furthermore, according to Clay and Purvis (1999), both Euhemerus‘ Panchaea and Iambulus‘ Islands of the Sun, belong to the ‗utopias of discovery‘ (Brown, 1946, p. 262; Negley and Patrick, 1952; Spyridakis, 1968, p. 338; Negley, 1977; Kytzler, 1988, pp. 11–15; Morgan, 1989; Cohn, 1993; Gómez Espélosin, et al., 1994, p. 270; Von Nesselrath, 1998; Ashton and Whyte, 2001; Bridgman, 2005; Scafi, 2005; Pinheiro, 2006).

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Archaeodisasters The most famous account of antiquity is, nevertheless, Plato‘s Atlantis, another huge topic which has generated thousands of written works, research projects, expeditions and various controversies throughout the centuries. The author considers Atlantis as one of the leading worldwide disaster mythical cycles with various substrata and relevant interpretations. In fact, the worldwide legend of Atlantis is a multi- layered 'anthropological' myth with strong cross-cultural parallels that echoes humanity's experiences on mega-archaeodisasters, which had been filtrated through different symbolic languages. So, in this point of view, Atlantis as described by Plato may have not existed exactly as a whole, but as hidden information of different origin (chronological, topographic, environmental, archaeological, astronomical, etc), like the Homeric Epics and other famous literature of the ancient world. According to the Hindu myth of Manidvipa, the Hindu trio, Shiva, Shava and Shakti (Kali), are often depicted fleeing their destroyed world the ‗Island of the Jewels‘ (Manidvipa), as the sole survivors. The main concept of Trimurti, refers to Brahma as white (creation), Shiva as red (destruction), and Vishnu /Krishna (preservation) as black or blue, the three states of cosmic energy; perhaps, also, an allegory of the survived three races (red, white and black), colors referred, too, in Atlantis narration by Plato. In Indian mystical symbolism, the Dravidian races (Kshatryas or Warriors) adopted red for their heraldic colour (symbol of blood, gold and copper, the ruddy metals), the Brahmans adopting white or silver. Generally speaking the devils (asuras) are black and the gods are white. But, these specific colors are similarly interrelated to the Physio-Kundalini Chakra system and the two nerve channels symbolized by the serpents of the Caduceus (the male Pingala = red, the female Ida = white, and the central Sushumna = black). Furthermore, in the epic poem Mahabharata (e.g. Santi Parva, Section CCCXXXVII), Tripura (Triple City or three flying cities of affluence, power and dominance over the world, or the Demons of Gold, Silver and Bronze), the capital city of Atala (the white island) reminds of Plato's Atlantis, as it was divided into three concentric parts by canals. Maya is believed to be the designer and king of Tripura. During the war between the Devas (angels) and the Asuras (demons) Tripura is sent burning to the bottom of the 'West Ocean' by Lord Shiva. In the disaster psychology of ancient people, it was not unusual for a destroyed or sunken land like Atala to re-emerge in later religion as a ‗land of the departed‘ (either hell or paradise), for example, among the Egyptians, Amentet (Land of the West) eventually symbolized the ‗realm of the dead‘. Additionally, the translator of Surya Siddhanta, an ancient Sanskrit text on astronomy (Whitney, 1860) mentions an 'island' (dwipa), called Jambu Dwipa, surrounded by rings of alternating land and water. The Dravidian traditions, too, speak of a vast sunken land known as ‗Rutas‘, located towards the southeastern part of India. The Dravidas, the later Indian caste of Kshatryias (Warriors), whose heraldic colour is red, claim to have moved to India from that land, once sunk under the sea, during a great cataclysm. The name of the sunken land (Mac Donnell, 1974) seems to derive from the Sanskrit word ‗radix rudh‘ (red) and the Dravidian word "ruta" (to be red, to burn). Archaeological evidence in central Asia (e.g. the ground plan of the Daschly-3 ‗palace‘) is, also, strikingly similar to the Tantric mandala, the ritual ‗palace‘ of the god or goddess in the Hindu cult (Shengde, 1977; Brentjes, 1983; Lucacs, 1984; Brentjes, 1987; Mallory, 1989; Parpola, 1993; Brauen, 1997; Mallory, 1998; Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters Bryant, 2001; Jones-Bley and Zdanovich, 2002; Krishnamurti, 2003; Parpola and Carpelan, 2005; Reich, et al., 2009; Zhao, et al., 2009). Furthermore, all ancient cosmologies were concerned with the idea of Ages of Humanity, as Humanity has decayed from an earlier age of bliss. The interpretation of this topic has been multi-dimensional and interdisciplinary. From all the perspectives, the following is amongst the most intriguing. When the three great astronomical cycles—the Milky Way, the Ecliptic, and the Equator—coincided at the Vernal Equinox, the World was in its right shape and the human race lived in a state of eternal spring. The three Gorgons (meaning ―pivot‖?) were standing at that point, where the three circles of the Cosmos used to meet. But the Greeks claimed that two of the Gorgons were immortal and one was mortal, for, by their times, the Milky Way met no longer at the same point with the Ecliptic and with the Equator ( Thus, there is a great cycle, both cosmological and planetary, according to which the inverse changes between Equinoxes and Solstices mark, also, changes in human societies and human consciousness. The ‗Great Year‘ of the precession (also known as Platonic Year, after Plato, Timaeus 39D) is computed by the round figure of 26 Ka (25,776 years), the happy state of mankind existing 6 Ka before the Age of Pisces (Norelli-Bachelet, 1978; Grasse, 2002; Spencer, 2002; Tarnas, 2006; Amao, 2007; Wright, 2007). According to the Platonic Cosmology, reference is made to the Transmundane or Supra-Celestial Sun, a Central Sun, if we identify Plato's Supra-Celestial Sun with the galactic center. The Neoplatonist Proclus in his Commentary on Timaeus refers to it: "There is the true Solar World and the Totality of Light [where] the Sun, also being Supermundane, sends forth the Fountains of Light". The Galactic Coordinate System has been established in 1958 by the International Astronomical Union and it is a spherical coordinate system with the Galactic Plane as the Equator, where Galactic Latitude is the angle above or below this plane, and Galactic Longitude is measured along a line running through the Milky Way using 0◦ for the Galactic Centre in Sagittarius. The Galactic or Cosmic Year is the time it takes Earth's solar system to revolve once around the galactic centre, raging from 225 to 250 million Earth years. When we look up to the constellation of Sagittarius, who, with its arrow aims directly at the galactic centre (located at 2° Sagittarius), we can locate an extraordinarily intensive point of infra-red light recently discovered. This is the actual centre of our Milky Way galaxy, called Sagittarius A*, an energy source, approximately 50 light years in diameter, some 25,000 light years from our solar system, about 500 million times more powerful than our Sun (Reid and Brunthaler, 2004). The Stoics even come to explain the Milky Way as the itinerary of the souls of the dead who travel between the Heavens and Earth. Dante, in The Divine Comedy (Paradise 33:144-145) wrote that all the stars that we see in the heavens are Suns, like our Sun; all of them rotate slowly in a clockwise direction around the Central Sun, "Like a wheel that is evenly moved by the love that moves the Sun and the other stars". Our solar system also seems to bounce up and down the Galactic Plane, passing through it every 35 to 40 Ma. Impactism follows this periodic pattern, since the correlation of events on Earth‘s surface with the impact risk gets 10-fold during those periods. NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory astronomer Paul Weissman doesn‘t recognise though this synchronicity / periodicity. Nevertheless, the interdisciplinary international research detects strong correlations between ‗space weather‘ and geodynamic and hydroclimatic patterns on Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters Earth via Cosmoclimatology (McFadden, et al., 2007; Svensmark, 2007; Svensmark and Calder, 2007; Wickramasinghe and Napier, 2008; Khain and Khalilov, 2009a-c; Gardner, et al., 2010; Bailer- Jones, 2011). Another correlation between cosmic / human changes, rebirth and astrosymbolism is the following. The strongest and deepest symbolism of Sirius‘ cult among the circumMediterranean civilizations is its connection to the idea of ‗passage‘ viewed as a ‗beginning‘. Ancient Egyptians greatly celebrated their New Year‘s Day (Peret Septed), which coincided with the reappearance of Sothis (heliacal rising) after 70 days of invisibility (the solemn ceremonies of mummification lasted for 70 days too) and the beneficent annual flooding of River Nile. This recurring pattern actually functions as the basis of Egyptian chronology (ascensions of pharaohs) and it is the only method that allows modern scientists to date ancient events down to the year. Moreover, decans (time division of the ‗twelve‘ hours from sunset to dawn using the rising of the brightest stars) of Sirius and the stars of Orion Belt are the only decans that Egyptologists have safely identified (Laoupi, 2006b). Consequently, the beginning of the year in Egypt, as it was later in Classical Athens as a remnant of Pelasgian origin (see forthcoming monograph of the author), is not Aquarius as among the Romans, but Cancer, for the star Sothis (Sirius) borders on Cancer. When this star was rising, they used to celebrate the calends of the month and the beginning of their year. So, this is the place of the heavens where generation commences. On the other hand, the doors of the Homeric cavern (Porphyry, On the Homeric Cave of the Nymphs 2-3, 21-24 & 28) are not dedicated to the East and West, nor to the equinoctial signs (Aries and Libra), but to the North and South, to those ports or celestial signs which are the nearest of all to these quarters of the world (the two platonic ‗gates‘ : Cancer / Moon = the gate through which souls descend and Capricorn / Saturn = the gate through which souls ascend). Consequently, the sacred cave described by Homer (Larson, 2001), is sacred to Nymphs (immortal souls of beings), having the two gates of the Sun (2. 8. 393-395). New, breath taking evidence now speaks about Sirius cult in the megalithic enclosures of Göbekli Tepe (Urfa, modern southeasternTurkey) dated back to the 10 th millennium BCE! This hypothesis is supported by Professor Giulio Magli from Milano Polytechnic University (<>) and perfectly matches the afore-mentioned North / South orientation, the Pelasgian substratum coming from Anatolia and the strong prehistoric symbolism coming from the Paleolithic times. The other perspective of the star Deneb of the constellation of Cygnus (by Andrew Collins and Rodney Hale, available online at: <>) since the target orientation of the megalithic temple is also surprisingly correlated with Apollo‘s substratum (and Aristaios of Keos island). Research is still open and quite intriguing. In addition, ancient historians and especially Plato, referred to repeated cycles of catastrophes, the ages being the AION, symbolized by the Ouroboros (the self-sustaining, tail-eating snake / dragon), its various connotations being: the returning cyclical nature of the seasons, the oscillations of the night sky, the self-fecundation, the disintegration and re-integration, the complete truth and cognition, the Androgyne, the primeval waters / the potential before the spark of creation, the undifferentiated / the Totality / the primordial unity / the self-sufficiency, the idea of the beginning and the end ('My end is my beginning'), the half light and half dark (like the opposing principles as illustrated in the Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters Chinese Yin-Yang symbol), a Jungian archetype and the ultimate symbol for the life cycle philosophy all over the world. Python cult (or the cosmic rainbow snake) is, also, registered amongst the most pristine Palaeolithic cults, as evidence suggests (Robbins, et al., 2007). The Ouroboros is a cosmovisional idea strongly related to the concept of catastrophes periodicity both in Universe and human civilizations, and to the eschatological symbolism. Moreover, apart from its semantics in ancient Egyptian forma mentis, in the Alchemy and Freemasonry, it was already present in Chaldean Astronomy, correlated with the nodes and the eclipses, as the North Pole of Moon‘s orbital plane around the Earth, lies in the constellation of Draco (Maravelia, 2006 & 2009). The Ouroboros‘ infinite energy means in fact the creation and recreation of a wave of energy – which is the basic carrier of energy/information, the eternal present or the eternal return, the inner ‗sun‘, even the spiritual travel, without ‗moving‘, from one reality to another (Broadhurst and Miller, 2000 & 2003). Of all the world's monsters, the dragon appears to be the most universal, related to the themes of chaos and disaster, as well as to the processes of fertility and rebirth, and the revolutions of the cosmos. Another intriguing symbolism of ancient Greek (Pelasgian) origin, suggested and supported by many, is the following (without further commentary and analysis). Atlas was the protector from pole shifts, by keeping the world steady on his shoulders; Maia / Maya, his daughter, was the goddess of spring and rebirth, her name meaning ‗the maker‘. God Hermes was her son by Zeus, the innovator (he discovered the flame, constructed the first lyre and flute, and introduced words and numbers; he invented medicine, astrology, weights, measures and commerce), was carrying the Caduceus, the similarity of its symbolism to the double helix of DNA is more than striking. The Egyptian Uraeus and the Induistic Kundalini enlightment have, also, serpentine correlated symbolism. The Chinese cosmovision was, also, based on the cyclic perspective of Time, as ancient Egyptian, Sumerian, Babylonian, ancient Greeks and Mayan was, too. Firstly, there was the legendary commission of the Emperor Yao in 2357 BCE to set the seasons by particular stars. On the other hand, the written evidence dates back to the records from the Shang, Chou (beginning in 1122 BCE), and Han (beginning in 202 BCE). But, according to the outstanding Chinese astronomy scholar and planetarium director Julius Staal (1917-1986), the pivotal idea of the Four Beasts probably dates to 15,600 BCE, the age of three-quarters of this precessional cycle. The heart of the Blue Dragon is considered to be Antares, the heliacal rising of which marked the spring equinox in 15,500 BCE. The figure of a dragon reaching for a pearl is a very important Chinese symbol, representing the full moon caught in the horns of the Blue Dragon. As for the archaeological evidence, it seems to be dated to the Neolithic Period, ca 6 Ka, since one burial (tomb M45), found in 1987 in a Neolithic site in Puyang, Henan, China, of a tall adult male (thought to be a shaman by some archaeologists) and three young children included mosaics formed from white clam shells (designs of a tiger and a dragon). In brief, there were four huge constellations, roughly centred on the celestial Equator: the Blue Dragon (TSHANG-LUNG: western constellations of Virgo, Libra, Scorpio & Sagittarius), the Red Bird (TCHOU-NIAO: western constellations of Gemini, Cancer, Hydra, Crater & Corvus), the White Tiger (PAI-HOU: western constellations of Andromeda, Aries, Taurus & Orion), and the Black Tortoise (HIOUEN-WOU: western constellations of Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius & Pegasus). Each beast had its seasonal Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters palace, the Blue Dragon its Spring Palace, the Red Bird its Summer Palace, the White Tiger its Autumn Palace, and the Black Tortoise its Winter Place. Furthermore, each of these beasts, included seven sections (Houses or Mansions), which roughly define the path of the Moon. Even though these Four Beasts were not created to show the path of the Sun, the space covered by them in the sky included the Ecliptic, since the house sections identified the Moon‘s path, and the Moon‘s path includes the Ecliptic (Lum, 1948; Harley, 1970; Staal, 1984 & 1988; Aveni, 1993; Selin, 1997; Chang, et al., 2002). In parallel, the main mystical archetypes of Death and Rebirth, reflecting the cosmological cycles, are, also, recognized by modern researchers (e.g. Pellech, 2001) to be present at least during Late Palaeolithic onwards, found in the lore and monumental evidence of all ancient cultures, under differentiated expressions, which keep in common the motif of the soul bird (phoenix revived from its own ashes) female/male synergy and the resurrection issue. Osiris / Isis, Ades / Persephone, Adonis / Aphrodite, the annual cult of Baal, are among the most famous religious beliefs. Finally, the social normae in Minoan and Sumerian cultures, the Orphic creation myth of Pelasgians, the goddesses Artemis / Aphrodite / Hecate & Gaia, the Eleusinian mysteries of Pelasgian origin, as well as, the mystical symbolism of the "Tree of World" and the "Wheel of World", all attributed to a former ‗matriarchal‘ world (the Paradise), gradually displaced by patriarchal dominance (which was connected with the fall of mankind in the Bible), are prominent examples of how ancient people visualised the evolution of human society within the framework of natural catastrophes through the ages (Rosaldo and Lamphere, 1974; Gimbutas, 1982 & 1989; Brown, 1991; De Santillana and Von Dechend, 1992; Gimbutas, 1999; Stearns, 2000; Eller, 2001; DeMeo, 2003; Dovasio, et al., 2007; more to come with author‘s new work on the Pelasgian substratum of eastern Mediterranean and Pontic spirituality). On the other hand, the main worldwide traditions concerning the precession of the Equinoxes, the Ages of Humanity and the cyclical fate of cosmos, are: the five Ages of the Hesiodic Corpus, the Induistic Yugas, the northern lore and the Mesoamerican lore. Cosmos, as contrasted to Chaos, was the universe considered as a harmonious and orderly system, in several Mediterranean religions. Within this concept, the Cosmos was a complex system of interrelationships between gods, humans, political entities, ancestors, and others. Especially, Hesiod and later, Plato and Ovid, narrated the stages of Humanity (Smith, 1980; Vernant, 1983; Strauss Clay, 2009; Cruttenden, 2006; Johnston, 2007; Boys-Stones, G. R. and Haubold, 2010): the Golden (within the rule of Kronos), the Silver (within the rule of Zeus), the Bronze (came to an end with the flood of Deucalion, who ruled the Pelasgian land), the Heroic (heroes & demigods who fought in Thebes and Troy) and the Iron Ages (―the gods will have completely forsaken humanity"). We are the creation of Prometheus, a Titan, who shaped man out of mud, goddess Athena breathing life into his clay figure; Pandora was the first mortal woman of the Fifth Age. God Hephaistos made haste, mixing earth with water, and put in it the voice and strength of human kind, fashioning a sweet, lovely maiden-shape, alike to the immortal goddesses; this was the revenge of Zeus towards impetuous men (Hesiod, Works and Days II. 60ff). ―In this wise and for these reasons were generated Night and Day, which are the revolution of the one and most intelligent circuit; and Month, every time that the Moon having completed her own orbit overtakes the Sun; and Year, as often as the Sun has Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters completed his own orbit. Of the other stars the revolutions have not been discovered by men (save for a few out of the many); wherefore they have no names for them, nor do they compute and compare their relative measurements, so that they are not aware, as a rule, that the ‗wanderings‘ of these bodies, which are hard to calculate and of wondrous complexity, constitute Time. Nevertheless, it is still quite possible to perceive that the complete number of Time fulfils the Complete Year when all the eight circuits, with their relative speeds, finish together and come to a head, when measured by the revolution of the Same and Similarly-moving. In this wise and for these reasons were generated all those stars which turn themselves about as they travel through Heaven, to the end that this Universe might be as similar as possible to the perfect and intelligible Living Creature in respect of its imitation of the Eternal‖ (Plato Timaeus, 39C-D). The Great Year and the periodicity of cosmic order is, also, reflected in the ancient Egyptian theosophical tradition and its famous monuments (e.g Sphinx, the Narmer Plate), as well as, in other famous astronomical centres of ancient times (e.g. Tiahuanaco, Metsamor, in the cosmic mysteries of Mithra). In the Calendar Year of the Ages of the Zodiac, the First Age of Leo dawned on the Vernal Equinox of the North Hemisphere, on June 21, 10,948 BCE (the astrophysicist Thomas G. Brophy in 2002, though, dated the start of the Age to 10,909 BCE, when the galactic centre of Milky Way Galactic Plane – 26,000 light years away – was culminated northerly on Vernal Equinox sunrise; the Giza pyramids marked also this astronomical event). Almost 6.5 Ka later, in 4468 BCE, the Fourth Age of Taurus begun. This Precession of the Ages of the Zodiac is based on the fixed cross of the four zodiac signs: Leo – Taurus /Bull – Aquarius/Man – Scorpio/Eagle. Nevertheless, the precise beginning of the New Seventh Age of Aquarius, which is about to happen (or according to some researchers has already begun), is highly disputable worldwide, because the extended limits of this constellations are not clearly specified and the calculation methods vary considerably. The beginning of the 10th Age of Scorpio, will take place when Scorpio will dawn on Spring Equinox of AD 8492. A revolution through the heavens of twelve 30-degree segments can take one year or, in the case of Precession of the Ages of the Zodiac, 25.92 Ka (thus, the sky is divided into 12 constellations; each zodiac moves 1° on the horizon every 72 years). A further division into 15-degree segments creates the 24-hour day. Moreover, within this Great Year are four Seasons, which are defined by the Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter Equinoxes & Solstices; within each Season, are three Ages, comprising a 90-degree rightangle like a set-square, one fourth part of the circle (e.g. within the Zodiacal Season of Aquarius there are the three Ages of Aquarius /Man, Capricorn /the Sea Goat and Sagittarius /the Archer). The following numbers can, therefore, be regarded as precessionary: 12 ... 30 ... 72 ... 360 ... 2,160 ... 4,320 and 25,920 (de Santillana and Hertha von Dechend, 1969; Campio, 1999; Spencer, 2000; MacKinnell, 2002; Grasse, 2002; Tamas, 2006; Amao, 2007; Wright, 2007). There are analogous concepts in the religious and philosophical traditions of the South Asian subcontinent, too (Heinberg, 1989). In the Vedic or ancient Hindu culture, Yugas are the main theosophical and cosmological pattern, as history is viewed as cyclical, composed of Yugas with alternating Dark and Golden Ages. Life in the Universe is created and destroyed once every 4.1 to 8.2 Ba, symbolizing which one full day (day and night) for Brahma, whose lifetime may be 311 Tr and 40 Ba. The seasonal fluctuations are a small reflection of the great cycles, for each Yuga involves stages or Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters gradual changes which the Earth and the consciousness of mankind. A complete Yuga cycle is said to be caused by our solar system's motion around another star (Mahabharata, Shanti Parva, 231.12-32; Brahmanda Purana; Linga Purana, 4.24-35; Vishnu Purana, 1.3; Bhagavata Purana, 3.11.19; Bhagavad Gita, 8.17; Vayu Purana, 57). According to the Laws of Manu or Manusmṛti (Sir Jones, 1796, Olivelle, 2004), these four ages last 4.32 Ma: Satya Yuga lasts for 1.728 Ma; Treta Yuga lasts for 1.296 Ma; Dwapara Yuga lasts for 864 Ka; Kali-Yuga lasts for 432 Ka. These four Yugas make up a Maha Yuga, a Catur Yuga, or a Divya Yuga. 1000 Maha Yugas taken together equals one day of Brahma or 4.32 Ba. Brahma‘s night is of an equal length which is also 4.32 Ba. Taken together Brahma‘s day and night are 8.64 Ba in total. Brahma lives for 36,000 "Brahma days" so his lifespan is equivalent to 311 Tr plus 40 Ba. After his death there is an equivalent period of 311 Tr and 40 Ba when the Universe is unmanifested. Then a new Brahma is born and the cycle starts all over again. Taken together the life and the death of Brahma, this period equals 622 Tr and 80 Ba. This equals one cycle out of innumerable cycles in the Vedic Universe. On the other hand, there is another numeric interpretation of Yugas‘ duration: Satya Yuga lasts for 4.8 Ka; Treta Yuga lasts for 3.6 Ka; Dwapara Yuga 2.4 Ka; Kali Yuga lasts for 1.2 Ka, a total of 12 Ka for one arc, or 24 Ka to complete the cycle, almost one Precession of the Equinox (Sri Yukteswar, 1949). According to Brahma Kumaris (Barrett, 2001), the cycle repeats identically every 5 Ka and it is composed of five ages: the Golden Age (Sat Yuga), the Silver Age (Treta Yuga), the Copper Age (Dwapar Yuga), the Iron Age (Kali Yuga) each exactly 1.25 Ka long, and the Confluence Age (Sangam Yuga). According to Hinduism, Time is responsible for our suffering because it subjects us to the law of Karma, and it is not linear, but cyclical, the process of creation itself has both the phases of involution and evolution, as a never ending process. Each time cycle has three phases, beginning, middle and end, followed by a period of rest. Creation ends when God withdraws all [His/Her] energies into [Himself/Herself] and rests them in a state of inactivity, then [He/She] commences a new cycle of creation, by activating [His/Her] dynamic energy and releasing the souls into its custody to manifest things and beings. During the Age of Truth, humans led very pure lives adhering to truth. As everything was transparent and visible, there was nothing to conceal, and their physical bodies were much lighter and less dense than the bodies of today. They radiated light, free from the common vices, namely sexual desire, anger, pride, greed and envy. Although those embodied beings were subject to the cycle of births and deaths, they lived longer for hundreds or even thousands of years as their subtle bodies lasted longer and suffered much less wear and tear. Gradually, as rajas (pride) and tamas (ignorance) became active in many humans, they lost contact with their bliss body, and become vulnerable to the pairs of opposites and the experience of suffering. Decline in the moral standards, and the increase in the impurities of egoism, ignorance and delusion, were the main characteristics of the second age. During the third age, humans lost the majority of their purity (sattva), and their bodies became physically denser and sensually more outgoing. Thus, people was conscious only of their three outer bodies, the breath body, the mental body and the physical body (food body) and become more materialistic, competitive and ambitious. During the fourth age (similar to the one we experience nowadays), the mind became attached to the sense objects and purity (sattva) Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters disappeared. We are aware only of our physical and mental bodies, having lost contact with our inner bodies, even though we know the limitations of our sensory knowledge. The descent of the soul (consciousness) into the matter has been now completed and a new cycle is about to begin. Finally, there is the Kalachakra tradition. Although the term is usually referred to a very complex, esoteric and advanced teaching and practice in Tibetan Buddhism, it revolves around the concept of time and cycles, from the cosmic cycles of the planets, to the cycles of human breathing, teaching the practice of working with the most subtle energies within one's body on the path to enlightenment. It is a Sanskrit term used in Tantric Buddhism, literally meaning the ‗time-wheel‘ or ‗time-cycles‘, which is /are without beginning or end (concerning the polyvalent sign of wheel in Indian tradition, see, also: Dharmachakra, Sudarshana Chakra and Saṃsāra). This spiritual system is equally accepted by the Vedas, Upanisads and Puranas, Hindus, Jainas and Buddhists, and is related to the ancient Vedic tradition. The Kalachakra Tantra is divided into five chapters (Bryant, 1995; Benzin, 1997; Hopkins, 1999; Wallace, 2001; Kilty, 2004; Henning, 2007). In northern European traditions, as it is already mentioned (ch. 6.1 Bibliotheca Catastrophica), Völuspá, apart from world‘s creation, describes, also, Ragnarök (fate of the gods), the destruction of the gods, where fire and flood overwhelm Heaven and Earth as the gods fight their final battles with their enemies. During this apocalyptic event, Jormungandr, the great World Serpent that lies beneath the sea surrounding Midgard, the realm of mortals, will rise up from the watery depths to join the conflict, resulting in a catastrophic flood that will drown the land. Then, a beautiful reborn world will rise from the ashes of death and destruction. Finally, the most famous of all Aztec and other Nahua people legends is the Creation myth of the ‗Five Suns‘. The pivotal theme (there are variations and alternative myths, too) – that the Cosmos goes through a series of deaths and rebirths - has survived in pictographs painted or carved on stone, in texts of ancient Mexico and scattered oral traditions kept by the distant descendants of the Aztecs. The primary source for Aztec mythology is the Codex Chimalpopoca. In brief, five was a sacred number amongst Aztecs, symbolizing the five directions. These directions were the four cardinal points / cosmological directions plus the centre. The centre was understood to be the star cluster of the Pleiades or the conjunction of Sun/Pleiades in their zenith in the ‗heart of the sky‘, as, also, embodied in Maya Kukulkan‘s pyramid in Chichen Itza (Jenkins, 1998; Laoupi, 2005b; Nur and Burgess, 2008). The first creator of the Universe, Ometeotl, symbolizing the duality in unified energy, gave birth to four children, the four Tezcatlipocas, who preside over Each one of the four cardinal directions. Over the East, the White Tezcatlipoca, Quetzalcoatl, the god of light, mercy and wind presides. Over the South, the Blue Tezcatlipoca, Huitzilopochtli, the god of war presides. Over the West, the Red Tezcatlipoca, Xipe Totec, the god of gold, farming and spring time, presides. And over the North, the Black Tezcatlipoca, ruling over the Earth, night, sorcery, and judgment, presides. Archaeological evidence shows the Plumed Serpent portrayed as a man with a black sun within a yellow sun, with four black rays moving out of four yellow rays (death and fecundity as well). According to some authors, these sets of four rays symbolize the four cardinal points and the four

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Archaeodisasters quarters, the annual rotation of the Heavens, and the universal rulership portrayed in the great dance called 'Mitotiliztli', which reproduces the appearance of a wheel. During the Nahui-Ocelotl (Jaguar Sun), the inhabitants of the Earth were giants; this world came to an end when the sun fell from the sky and set the world ablaze, with no light, the remaining people were devoured by jaguars. Tezcatlipoca (smoking mirror) was the first god to be a sun (Venus of the evening). The natural replacement was Quetzalcoatl (feathered serpent), who became the next sun (Venus of the morning). During the Nahui-EhĂŠcatl (Wind Sun), a great hurricane raged across the land and blew the people off the face of the world; only few people survived by being changed into monkeys and scattering themselves in the forests and mountains. During Nahui-Quiahuitl (Rain Sun), presided by Tlaloc, a god of rain, humans were destroyed when fire and gravel rained down from the sky and set the land ablaze, only birds survived (or inhabitants survived by becoming birds). During Nahui-Atl (Water Sun), the gods created humans from ashes and gave them acorns for food; this world was flooded turning the inhabitants into fish, only a couple escaped but were transformed into dogs. Then, the Aztec sun goddess, and Tlaloc's sister, Chalchiuhtlicue (lady of the jade skirts, lakes and streams), presided. The final fifth world, Nahui-Ollin (the four Movement or Earthquake Sun) this world, our world, was put into movement when gods sacrificed their blood to provide him with the energy for it; when the sun no longer receives enough blood to continue his course, this world, governed by two luminaries, Nanauatl (or Nanauatzin) the Sun, and Tecciztecatl the Moon, will be destroyed by earthquakes. According to the Aztec sunstones and del Rio Manuscript, 20.8 Ka have passed and the final fifth age of 5.2 Ka is about to complete the current Precession cycle (Brotherston, 1992; Jones and Molyneux, 2002; Olivier, 2003; Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2DC; Connell and Airey, 2005; Smith, 2005; AgguilarMoreno, 2007). On the contrary, the Popul Vuh, the sacred book of the Maya of Guatemala, refers to just three world ages. The gods Tepeu (or Huracan) and Gucumatz were the creators/protectors of the First Age, peopling Earth with animals and then trying to create human beings from mud. However, the mud dried, humans crumbled to dust, and were washed away by the waters of a flood. The gods then created men from wood and women from rushes, but this new race of humans lacked the intelligence to communicate with the gods and became wicked. So, the storm god Huracan stirred up a great flood loosing monsters to devour the humans who had escaped the flood, although some survived to become monkeys. Humans of the Third Age are characterized by greater intelligence, being created from maize dough (Grube, 2000; Jones and Molyneux, 2002; Phillips, 2004). The pivotal concept of cosmic wheel and cyclic catastrophes is, also, present in Maya cosmovision. The world is conceived as a system of colour symbolism: red with the East, white with the North, black with the West and yellow with the South (e.g. in Dresden Codex). Each successive year followed the same rotation according to the day with which it began, the Kan years ascribed to the East, the Muluc years to the North, the Ix years to the West and the Cauac years to the South, as shown by the calendar wheel of the Book of Chilam Balam of Ixil. In addition, the gods set up the four Trees of Abundance at the cardinal points to commemorate the previous destruction of the world (Knowlton, 2010).

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Archaeodisasters In 2010, an amazing archaeological discovery took place under the dense vegetation of Guatemala's Peten region rain forest, the house structure probably being the house of a scribe with connections to the Maya king or royal family of Xultún. Three walls adorned with paintings were uncovered, some apparently representing the various calendrical cycles charted by the Maya, such as the 260-day ceremonial calendar (Tzolk'in), the 365-day solar calendar (Haab), the 584-day cycle of the planet Venus (either 580 or 588) and the 780-day cycle of Mars. Four long numbers on the wall seem to represent all of the astronomical cycles ‒ such as those of Mars, Venus and the lunar eclipses, extending about 7 Ka into the future (Saturno, et al., 2012)! An 819-day count is, also, attested in a few inscriptions from other Maya sources, as well as, repeating sets of 9-day (‗nine lords of the night‘) and 13-day intervals associated with different groups of deities, animals, and other significant concepts. At this point, one should emphasize the most recent archaeoastronomical suggestions made by a team of Greek researchers concerning the Venus calendars in Antiquity. According to this compelling theory, the Neolithic objects in the shape of ‗frying pans‘ that have been found in Greece, and were decorated with concentric circles, spirals, radial patterns and sometimes rowing vessels, were used as calendars to perform astronomical calculations of the orbits of Venus, Jupiter, Mars and Sun. Moreover, it appears that during the Neolithic era the inhabitants of Greece not only knew that Earth requires 365 days to make a complete circuit around the Sun, but also that Venus needs 584 and Jupiter 399 days respectively. Finally, the correlation of Venus‘ cycle with human pregnancy was probably well established, since half of Venus cycle (ca 9 months) coincides with the biological cycle of pregnancy (Tsikritsis, et al., 2013). Haab had 18 months with 20 days in each month; the 19 th month called ‗Vayeb‘, it had 5 days, considered extremely unlucky. The lunar Tzolk'in, symbolizing the length of human pregnancy, was based on the movement of the constellation Pleiades, seen as the tail of a rattlesnake called ‗Tz'ab‘. The sun‘s revolution around the Pleiades last 25.77 Ka, a Great Year. This calendar needs adjustment only one day every 380 Ka! Even more, two tzolkin years were used as an astronomical calendar unit to calculate the three eclipses that happen during them; thus, it was a synchronized ‗cosmic‘ clock that interrelated the cycles of the universe to Earth‘s reality and human biological cycles. The synchronization of Tzolk'in and Haab gave the Calendar Round, which repeats every 52 solar years or 18,980 days. Thus, to specify dates over periods longer than 52 years, Mesoamericans used the Long Count calendar (Tun). The Long Count calendar identified a date by counting the number of days from the Mayan creation date ‗4 Ahaw, 8 Kumk'u‘, identified as August 11, 3114 BCE in the proleptic Gregorian calendar or September 6, in the Julian calendar. Moreover, there were four other rarely used higher-order cycles: piktun, kalabtun, k'inchiltun, and alautun. Further suggestions have been made, connecting the ancient Mayan Long Count calendar (5.126 Ka or more precisely 5,125.36 years = 13 bak'tuns or 260 k'atuns = Age), with a cycle of Earth-SunMoon magnetic interactions and with earthquakes/eclipses patterns. Totally, the Maya created 17 different calendars based on the Cosmos, some of these going back as far as 63 Ma (Severin, 1981; Brotherson, 1982; Tedlock, 1985 & 1992; Coe, 1992; Jenkins, 1994; Malmström, 1997; Milbrath, 1999; Aveni, 2001). As it is widely known, there is a huge literature (beyond the scope of this book) over the Mesoamerican Long Count that speaks about the end of the world on December Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters 21, AD 2012. In fact, this date is both the end of Katun 4-Ahau (AD 1993 - 2012), and the end of b'ak'tun 13 (or the current cycle of 20 katuns). Today, the Book of Chilam Balam of Chumayel, the Codex Perez and the Book of Chilam Balam of Mani give us the prophetic cycle of thirteen katuns (the 256-year cycle or the short count) as following (Scofield, 1997): Katun 11-Ahau: Apparently food is scarce during this katun and invading foreigners arrive and disperse the population. There is an end to traditional rule, there are no successors. Since this is the first katun it always opens up a new era. It was during the span of this katun that the Spanish began their takeover of Yucatan and imposed Christianity on the natives. Katun 9-Ahau: This is a period of bad government, when the ruler abuses his people and commits misdeeds. Rulers are so bad that they wind up losing some of their power to the priests. Carnal sin and adultery are practiced openly, by rulers and others, and it is, also, a time of wars. It is the katun of the "forcible withdrawal of the hand," a phrase the meaning of which is unclear. Katun 7-Ahau: This is apparently a time of social excess including drinking and adultery, a low point in the history of the society. Governments stoop to their lowest. The "bud of the flower," an allusion to eroticism, is said to sprout during this katun. Katun 5-Ahau: During this katun of misfortune, rulers and their subjects separate -- the people lose faith in their leaders. Leaders may be harshly treated, even hung. There is also an abundance of snakes, a great famine, and few births during this period. Katun 3-Ahau: This katun brings changes and calamities, such as drought and wars. The people will become homeless and society will disintegrate. Katun 1-Ahau: This katun brings even worse troubles, weak rulers and destruction. Governments fall apart due to rivalries. There may, also, be a great war which will end and brotherhood will return. Katun 12-Ahau: Finally a good katun. During this period government and rulers are wise. Poor men become rich and there is abundance in the land. There is friendship and peace in the land. There will be six good years followed by six bad before well-being returns. Katun 10-Ahau: Although this is a holy katun, there is trouble in the land once again. This katun brings drought and famine and is a time of foreign occupation, calendar change, and sadness. Katun 8-Ahau: This may be the worst of the katuns, as both Chichen Itza and Mayapan, the two great ruling cities of Yucatan, were destroyed during its period. The texts speak of demolition and destruction among the governors, an end to greed, but much fighting. It is the katun of "settling down in a new place". Katun 6-Ahau: This is a time of bad government and deceptive government. There is also starvation and famine. Katun 4-Ahau: There will be scarcities of corn and squash during this katun and this will lead to great mortality. This was the katun during which the settlement of Chichen Itza occurred, when the man-god Kukulcan (Quetzalcoatl) arrived. It is the katun of remembering and recording knowledge. Katun 2-Ahau: For half of the katun there will be food, for half some misfortunes. This katun brings the end of the "word of God." It is a time of uniting for a cause.

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Archaeodisasters Katun 13-Ahau: This is a time of total collapse where everything is lost. It is the time of the judgment of God. There will be epidemics and plagues and then famine. Governments will be lost to foreigners and wise men, and prophets will be lost. But, the closing of whole cycles was a time for celebration for ancient Maya and not Doomsdays, as it is widely believed today. Of course, they had recognized the fundamental changes Humanity undergoes when skies shift. Today, it is widely acknowledged that the Mayan calendars were designed to synchronize life patterns with Earth cycles, biological cycles and celestial/galactic cycles. As it is already mentioned earlier in this chapter, ancient lore celebrates the minor and major cosmic cycles, e.g. the galactic alignment. During our Age, the winter solstice happens in the constellation of Sagittarius, almost 3◦ from the galactic centre, which is ca 2◦ apart from the Ecliptic. Earth is about to enter the navel of Vishnu (end of a full precession + galactic alignment), when the Sun is closest to Visnu Nabhi. This actually physical process differentiates the cosmic energy received by our planet, altering the initiation‘s stage of Humanity. Every 26 Ka, the ‗father‘ Sun unites with the Cosmic Mother (the galactic centre as cosmic womb) to bring into life a new ‗humanity‘. Beyond us, in the cosmic polarity, in the direction of the Galactic AntiCenter, towards the Pleiades, Gemini and Orion, lies the great open-ended expanse of space beyond our own Galaxy. In addition, Earth lies 26 Ka of light from the Galactic Centre, thus, a beam of light that begun its journey 26 Ka of light ago, would arrive on Earth after a full ‗platonic precession cycle‘. Even the coil of life (DNA) is interrelated to Earth's rotation and its magnetic polarities, as well as the cosmic ray showers which originate in our own spiral galaxy. Sequences and cycles are readily described as spirals in the cosmic realities; the Fibonacci spiral is fundamental to all life forms. A recent astronomical discovery left scientists speechless; the DNA nebula is about 300 light-years from the super massive black hole at the centre of the Milky Way. It's looks like having two strands (gas & dust) of rope connected to a fixed point, by spinning the strands, they form a double helix fashion (Reiche, 1937; Schele & Freidel, 1990; Davis, 1991; De Santillana and Von Dechend, 1992; MacKenna, 1994; Norelli-Bachelet, 1994; ; Jenkins, 1998; Schele and Mathews, 1998; Moore, 2001; Jenkins, 2002; Philips, 2004; LaViolette, 2005; Morris, et al., 2006; Pinchbeck, 2006; Joshi, 2007). Thus, the concept of ‗wheel‘ as a pivotal cosmovision was present in ancient human societies since Palaeolithic, the ‗whirlpool‘ symbolizing Earth‘s rotation around its axis, around the Sun and our Galaxy. Later on the idea existed in tribes such as the Chorti of Guatemala, who visualize our galaxy as a wheel. Apart from circumMediterranean cultures and pre-Colombian Americas, the Precession of Equinoxes and the Galactic cosmovision has been also detected in Vedas and Indus civilization (Wisdom, 1940; De Santillana and Von Dechend, 1992; Feuerstein, et al., 1995; Wilson, 1996; Jenkins, 1998; Sellers, 2003). Consequently, the global ancient wisdom of the Human Ages has been variously proven. Even, taken literally, science has shown how cosmic events (e.g. supernovae explosion, cometary debris, solar conflagrations, galactic centre‘s explosions) altered the human DNA by mutations changing the course of human evolution and Life itself on this planet (see Ch.5.1). The Americas are, also, known for the Hopi mythological lore and prophecies. According to them, humans moved away from Sotuknang, the creator, repeatedly. He Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters once destroyed the world by fire, and then by cold and recreated it both times for the people, survived by hiding underground, but still followed the laws of creation. Nevertheless, people became corrupt and warlike a third time. As a result, Sotuknang guided the people to Spider Woman, and she cut down giant reeds and sheltered the people in the hollow stems, because Sotuknang wanted to cause a great flood. The reeds came to rest on a small piece of land, and the people emerged, with as much food as they started with. The people travelled on in their canoes, guided by their inner wisdom to the Northeast, passing progressively larger islands, until they came to the Fourth World. After reaching the fourth world, the islands sank into the ocean. Hopi Elders passed warnings and prophecies from generation to generation through oral traditions and reference to ancient rock pictographs and tablets. The most famous of the prophecies states: ―When the Blue Star Kachina – the Sakwa Sohu (Venus, Sirius, comet, cosmic volley from the centre of our galaxy, supernova explosion?) makes its appearance in the heavens, the Fifth World will emerge. This will be the Day of Purification" . The Hopis claim, also, that there will two more worlds after this, "the Sixth Age" - The World of Prophecy and Revelation, and "the Seventh Age" - The World of Completion (La Violette, 2005; David, 2006 & 2008). Furthermore, eschatological lore was always present in the cultural patterns of human societies since the beginning of recorded time, dealing with the afterlife and the end of the world. The major religions have their own theories on the topic, which often include fateful battles between the forces of good and evil and cataclysmic natural disasters. The Islamic story of Qiyamat describes the Day of Judgment, when God will reward the good and punish the evil (Quran). Equally famous is John's Revelation in Christian tradition. These two major literary sources are so over examined and analyzed today, thus, this book will not further mention any other information concerning their content. In Hinduism, there is the belief that the god Vishnu will come back in the last cycle of time as a figure called Kulki, riding a white horse, carrying a sword that looks like a comet and destroying the forces of evil. In some Buddhist prophecies (the equivalent of Armageddon is Shambhala), good triumphs over evil and the planet will be restored rather than destroyed, so people can pursue enlightenment. To the West, the coming of a great Spiritual Being, usually identified as Quetzalcoatl (translated into Mayan as Kukulkan) was given great emphasis by Chilam Balam (Pinchbeck, 2007). On the other hand, many other controversial Bibles survived in our era including the ‗Dead Sea Scrolls‘ from Israel, the ‗Nag Hammadi Library‘ from Egypt, the ‗Kebra Nagast‘ from Africa, the ‗Bee Bible‘ from China (still a part of the canon of eastern Orthodox Christians), the ‗Writings and Teachings of the Buddha Issa‘ (Jesus) from Tibet and the extensive ‗Kolbrin Bible‘ from Britain. Each contains a different perspective of cosmological beliefs about world‘s creation and destruction. Especially the latest, considered as an amalgam of Judaic/Christian and Druid mystical knowledge, speaks of recurrent catastrophes that Earth has experienced in the past and of the return of the ‗Destroyer planet‘, a dark star that has caused a disaster in the past and is predicted to do so, again. Generally speaking, it is about an upcoming celestial event, found under different names in Nostradamus (bearded star), Mother Shipton (Fiery Dragon), Maya calendar prophecies (Red Comet), the Egyptians and Hebrews (the Destroyer), as well as in Celts (the Frightener). Today, this object is, also, known as Wormwood, Nibiru, Planet X and Nemesis (Manning and Masters, 2006; Collins, 2011). Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters In addition, a special reference should be written on Sibylline Oracles, a compilation of 12 books - or 14, of different authorship, date, and religious conception, the final arrangement of which, are attributed to an unknown editor of the 6th century CE, Alexandre. But researchers suggest that, although undergone revisions, enrichment and later adaptations, those surviving texts may include, too, some fragments or remnants of the Sibylline Books from the Cumaean Sibyl, originally kept in temples in Rome, and accidentally destroyed by fire in 83 BCE. Various motifs from Homer and Hesiod, from pagan and near eastern legends (e.g. Garden of Eden, Flood of Noah, Tower of Babel), and eschatological patterns are all involved, along with mystical traditions, still controversial. According to the ancient authors, the number of female prophetesses who envisioned disasters and upcoming calamities varied from one (e.g. Heraclitus, Aristophanes, Plato and Plutarch), to ten or more (e.g. Varro, Tacitus), the Erythraean Sibyl herself, claiming to be older than Homer. The oldest collection of written Sibylline Books, today, differentiated from the Sibylline Oracles (they typically predict disasters rather than prescribe solutions) appears to have been made about the time of Solon and Cyrus at Gergis on Mount Ida (Troad), some genuine verses of which are preserved in the Book of Marvels of Phlegon of Tralles. Generally speaking, the Sibylline Oracles are compared to Nostradamus prophecies, being constantly used for both civil and cult propaganda (Geffcken, 1902; Bate, 1918; Parke, 1988; Buitenwerf, 2003; Broad, 2006; Hunter-Hindrew, 2007). Furthermore, Michel de Nostradame, more commonly known as Nostradamus, was a French apothecary and reputed seer. He had published collections of prophecies that have since become famous worldwide. The first edition of his book Les Propheties (‗The Prophecies‘) appeared in AD 1555, containing one thousand mainly French quatrains. Although he still remains a very controversial personality, whose works have been misunderstood or even misinterpreted, many of his prophecies are fulfilled by now, such as the death of king Henry II of France in AD 1559, the AD 1666 London fire, the AD 1789 French revolution, the emperor Napoleon, both World Wars, Hitler, the nuclear destruction of Hiroshima and Nagashaki, the Kennedy assassinations, etc. But Nostradamus' most famous doomsday prediction warns future generations of a King of Terror descending from the skies in July AD 1999. Actually, Nostradamus never said that the Doomsday Comet (the ‗bearded star‘) would pass Earth in the year 1999 and seven months. He predicted (C= Century; Q = Quatrain): "The Great Mountain, one mile in circumference, after peace, war, famine flooding... It will spread far, drowning antiquities and their mighty foundations" C1 Q69; "Heat upon the water like that of the Sun, around Negrepont, the fish will become half cooked" C2 Q3; "During the appearance of The Bearded Star, the three great princes will be made enemies. The shaky peace on Earth will be struck by fire from the skies. Po, The winding Tiber, a serpent placed on the shore" C2 Q4; ―The Great Star will blaze for seven days; The Cloud will cause two suns to appear. The Huge dog will howl at night When the great pontiff will Change lands― C2 Q41; ―After a great misery for mankind an even greater approaches. The great cycle of the centuries is renewed: It will rain blood, milk, famine, war and disease. In the sky will be seen a fire, dragging a tail of sparks‖ C2Q46;

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Archaeodisasters ―Mabus will soon die, Then will come a horrible slaughter of people and animals At once vengance revealed coming from a hundred hands Thirst and Famine when The Comet shall pass‖ C2 Q72; "Very near the Tiber hurries the Angel of Death. A short while before a great flood‖ C2 Q93; "Seven times it {tidal wave} approaches the sea shore of Monaco" C3 Q10; ―In the Cyclades, in Perinthus and Larissa, [Greece] In Sparta, all of Peloponnesus: [also Greece] A great famine, plague through false dust [fallout?] Nine months it will last and through the whole peninsula‖ C5Q90; ―There will appear towards the seven stars of Ursa Minor and Polaris Not far from Cancer, the Bearded Star Susa, Siena, Boeotia, Great Rome will die, the night having vanished‖ C6 Q 6; The sky will burn at 45 degrees latitude, fire approaches the new city. Suddenly a huge, scattered flame leaps up, when they want to have verification from the Normans {France} C6 Q 97. "At the place where Jason built his ships, there will be such a great sudden flood that no on the land will have a place to fall on. The waters mount the Olympus Festulan" C8 Q16; ―In the Year 1999 and seven months The Great, King of Terror shall come from the sky. He will bring to life the King of The Mongols. Before and after, Mars reigns happily" C10 Q 72. Speaking astronomically, the planet Mars is closer to Earth today, then it has been in the last 60 Ka, as of August 27, AD 2003. Speaking symbolically, planet Mars is associated with wars and devastation, a worldwide situation well proven during the last decade. The afore-mentioned King of The Mongols may be today‘s China, which could cause a worldwide upheaval after such a catastrophe. The cosmic heretic (a comet, an asteroid, planet ‗Nibiru‘?) will be seen coming towards Earth from the constellation of Cancer, from the South, passing through the Big Dipper to North Star, and will be visible to Earth for seven days. It will bring destruction upon Britain (great dog) Rome and the Vatican. An initial massive tidal wave will sweep away coastal areas in Aegean Sea from the impact site near the island of Euboea, and then devastation will be spread across Mediterranean. Nostradamus refers, also to what seems to be the ‗Wormwood‘ in Christian Revelation (although the word wormwood appears several times in the Old Testament, it is clearly referred as a named entity in New Testament, after the third angel and its trumpet). This burning star will hit the waters of America, and the northeastern Coast. These are only one perspective within a vast lore concerning Nostradamus‘ prophecies and our era (Leoni, 1982; Leroy, 1993; Wilson, 2003; Lemesurier, 2012). Of course there are other famous names (e.g. Mother Shipton, Madame Ηelena Blavatsky, Edgar Cayce) interrelated to prophecies, catastrophes and theosophism, open to interpretation. But it would be impossible to cover in every detail this intriguing topic in this book, which aims at a spherical broader presentation of disasters instead of a detailed investigation on specific topics. Generally speaking, human extinction scenarios, concerning events in the near future, include a supernova explosion, a giant impact, a colossal volcanic explosion, a disastrous encounter with a black hole, severe geomagnetic reversal, the spread of a new, uncontrollable pandemic, the sudden appearance of an anomalously large solar flare Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters pointing towards the Earth, or global nuclear annihilation, violent climatic changes, famine resulting from overpopulation, loss of a breathable atmosphere, for example due to an anoxic event, or destruction of the ozone layer, a Snowball Earth phenomenon. To the remote future, human extinction scenarios include: (1) Gliese 710, an obscure, 10th magnitude orange dwarf star situated about 63 light years away in the constellation Serpens. Astronomers first took note of this modest star about a decade ago; in ca 1.5Ma it should pass about 1.3 light years from the Sun, causing trouble in the Oort Cloud, (2) Nemesis, a supposed companion of the Sun that triggers a death-dealing rain of comets every 26 Ma, (3) an encounter of our Milky Way galaxy, in about 3 Ba, with Andromeda galaxy, which may or may not result in a collision, (4) the Sun's stellar evolution when it will reach the red giant stage, ca in 5 Ba, (6) other unexpected cosmic events, such as a vacuum phase transition, (7) human evolution via traditional natural selection over a period of millions of years; Homo Sapiens will gradually transits into one or more new species (scientists and researchers claim that this process has already begun, referring to the activation of 12-strand DNA), (8) first contact with alien intelligence, (9) human extinction as a result of Omnicide (due to human actions), such as destruction of the Earth's ecosystem (Ecophagy), (10) disruption, chemical, biological, or otherwise, in humans' ability to reproduce properly, or at all, etc (Asimov, 1956; Goodman and Hoff , 1990; Leslie, 1998; Cawthorne, 2004; Weisman, 2007; Kamme, 2008; Bostrom and Circovic, 2011; Palmer, 2011). The whole concept is amongst the most fascinating anthropological, philosophical and socio-cultural perspectives of disaster topics, with a huge bibliography and coverage. The ancient lore, the primitive thought, the pristine knowledge of humankind, especially in times of chaos and change, are the key element of Shamanism in New Age, a ‗system‘ that comprises a range of beliefs and practices related to the communication with the spiritual world; an inner journey into healing, well being, through spiritual and/or mystical experiences and soul-retrieval practices, that awakes the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual parts of the self to new possibilities, by fulfilling the soul's potential. Especially, the post-traumatic experiences after disasters, which may be pushed back to the unconscious clinging there, like being in 'the cave of the lost children', result in a fragmented self and a soul loss. A variety of life conditions, such as accidents, abuse or physical violation, shock of any kind, trauma or grief, even breakup of a relationship or loss of a loved one, cause unbearable pain, mental and emotional disorders, as well as illnesses (Campbell, 1983 & 1976; Nicholl, 1989; Harner, 1990; Moss, 1998; Kehoe, 2000; Winkelman, 2000; Vitebsky, 2001; Ingerman, 2006; Znamenski, 2007; Eliade, et al., 2012). A large number of archaeologists and historians of religion claim that Shamanism may have been a dominant religious practice for humanity during the Palaeolithic. In fact, recent archaeological evidence suggests that the earliest known shamans, dating to the Upper Palaeolithic, were women, exhibiting a two-spirit identity. On the other hand, as being the primary teacher of tribal symbolism, the shaman may have a leading role in this ecological management of local societies. He / she actively restrict hunting and fishing, and is able to ‗release‘ game animals, or their souls, from their hidden abodes (Kleivan and Sonne, 1985; Merkur, 1985; Reichel-Dolmatoff, 1997; Vitebsky, 2001; Eliade, 2004; Tedlock, 2005; Pitulko, et al., 2012; Winkelman, 2013).

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Archaeodisasters But ‗New Age‘ seems to be old enough. All the modern aspired cosmovisions which embrace a plethora of interrelated scientific perspectives and spiritual manifestations have been already present in the mystical knowledge of ancient people. From Geopathology, Ley Lines / Energy Vortices (‗Dragon paths‘ in Chinese lore) and etheric field, to the new ecological paradigms, Eidetic Cosmology and Transpersonal Psychology, cosmic wisdom is always present in human cultures since the dawn of civilization... Through another perspective, New Age or Postmodern New Age has not yet started, because the current cosmic cycle has not completely closed. 6.5 Disaster Psychology As we have already seen, disaster dynamics had proved to be so powerful that they changed the course of human history. Mighty empires collapsed and vanished or shocked irreversibly. Wide-ranging case studies have shown that natural factors triggered the fall of well organized social systems when their normal coping mechanism failed. Drought or flooding, epidemic diseases like plague, syphilis and smallpox, tremendous volcanic eruptions and meteoritic impacts, tsunami and earthquakes, influenced the circum-Mediterranean civilizations, the northwestern European, Asian and American civilizations. Disaster research is a relatively new area of interest among archaeologists, psychologists and other social scientists. The more recent trend treats disasters as social phenomena and tries to identify the underlying psychological aspects (Eranen and Liebkind, 1993). The prevalence of psychological symptoms and / or disorders (Rubonis and Bickman, 1991) during and after extreme environmental events may show a common profile among different cultures. Firstly, people use to look backward to a prior more fortunate time when humans lived happily by divine grace (e.g. the races of Hesiod, the blissful Atlantis kingdom). Prudence, good behaviour and moral integrity are, also, considered as ‗remedies‘ against the reappearance of the dreadful event. Even the gods and many heroic figures battle against the evil forces, which want world‘s upheaval (e.g. Egyptian Osiris against Seth, Greek Olympians against the Titans and the Giants). On the other side, the ‗fleet or stay‘ dilemma was always present when people was familiar to a specific risk, or the hazard was infrequent or socially controlled. People seemed to be willing to take quite high risks in the case of rare events. Building on flood plains and steep slopes, under the shadow of volcanoes, or in earthquake prone zones, are good examples of such behaviour. Another interesting issue is the mechanism of return to homeland. In some cases, societies recover and stay in the same environmental setting, while others abandon the initial geographical area for good. This parameter reflects the concept of perception. The perception of hazards is critically important to how a community reacts to a forcing mechanism (Bryant, 1991; Torrence and Grattan, 2002). Delayed recovery may be attributed to the absence of clear perception (e.g. the case of Helike, where inhabitants preferred the place for millennia, although they are signs of previous destructions). Generally speaking, complex societies deal with follow-on effects less flexibly than the simpler ones. Particular social settings create vulnerable communities, the findings of which, are echoed in the archaeological record, since the new behavioural

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Archaeodisasters traits or material culture may reflect a total replacement of a culture, a societal collapse, or, simply, the abandonment of local settlements. The human brain is the most complex organ known in the observable universe. A very intriguing, hotly debated, though, perspective is, also, the Bicameralism in Psychology, a term coined by the psychologist Julian Jaynes (1976), according to which human brain, at least 3 Ka and beyond, was in a state of cognitive functions being divided between one part of the brain which appears to be „speaking‟, and a second part which listens and obeys. This mind experiences the world similarly to the schizophrenic mentality without making conscious evaluations in novel or unexpected situations. The regions responsible for this mentality (right temporal lobe) are somewhat dormant in the right brains of most modern humans. His interdisciplinary approach uses many transcultural examples such as music, poetry and myths in ancient Greece and the Old Testament. On the contrary, the cognitive functions of introspection, self-consciousness and dream analysis is present in the Epic of Gilgamesh and Odyssey. The bicameral minds of ancients were strongly and violently tested by extreme environmental conditions (e.g. earthquakes, plagues, droughts and climatic changes), severe catastrophes and socio-cultural upheaval (e.g. migrations). Consequently, consciousness (selfawareness, flexibility, creativeness, language as necessary component of subjective consciousness, etc), like bicamerality, emerged as a neurological adaptation to social complexity in a changing world. Today, the concept of the need for external authority in decision-making (bicameralism) survives in religious prophecies and rituals (as the majority of the world‟s cultures encourage or require members to enter alternative states of consciousness /ASC), hypnosis, possession states and schizophrenia (Siegel and West, 1975; Lewis-Williams, 2002; Shanon, 2002; Huxley, 2004; Lewis-Williams and Pearce, 2005; Hodgson, 2006; Hodgson and Helvenston, 2006; Kuijsten, 2007 & 2012). Even more, during cosmic catastrophes, human brain seems to disintegrate objective reality and produce subjective states of consciousness similar to those of schizophrenia; respectively, schizophrenic brain disintegrates subjective reality with visions of cosmic catastrophes. Nevertheless, fear (along with anxiety, frustration, and depression) is the universal pivotal feeling before, during and after a catastrophe. The paranoiac aspects of primordial and existential fear, are subconsciously present in human brain, and vice versa, fear fathers destructiveness and creativeness. For example, researchers claim that the last works of Leonardo da Vinci, the drawings on the end of the world by flood, fire, hurricane, and explosive seism, were the greatest ones. In human history, both ontogenetically (on the level of the individual), as well as phylogenetically (on the level of the human species), there is always the irreconcilable conflict between two great, primordial drives: Eros (love, creation, ‗immortality‘) and Thanatos (death, destruction, time). Nietzsche conceived the idea of the ‗eternal return‘, the recurrence of all sacred things, amor fati (the love of fate). Heidegger believes that we will always be with anxiety, with fear, and with dread, due to the unknown and unpredictable future, in personal, interpersonal and intercultural level. Furthermore, the end of the world may, also, be the projection of our internal catastrophe. Perhaps, the human awareness of death and the cosmic cycles within which, existence annihilates and re-emerges, is the most tragic expression of human soul‘s agony towards disasters; and it is poetically expressed in Seneca's ancient tragic drama, Thyestes, when the chorus chants of the shocking fiery passage of Phaethon in his solar chariot (Wartling, 1966): Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters ―This is the fear, the fear that knocks at the heart That the whole world is now to fall in the ruin Which Fate foretells; that Chaos will come again To bury the world of gods and men; that Nature A second time will wipe out all the lands That cover the earth and the seas that lie around them And all the stars that scatter their bright lights Across the Universe‖ (Spring, 1939; Eissler, 1962; Heidegger, 1962; Freud, 1963; Marcuse, 1966; Nietzsche, 1966; Freud, 1967; Marcuse, 1969; Marcuse, 1969; Myers and Sizemore, 1975; Nietzsche, 1978; Benson and Zaidel, 1985; Brown, 1985; de Grazia, 1983c; Onians, 1988; Stove, 1989; Laughlin, et al., 1990; Merlin, 1991; Weissman, 1993; Laughlin, 1994 and 1997; Brown, et al., 1998; Winkelman, 2000; Laughlin and Throop, 2001; Jeeves, 2004; Zimmer, 2004; Cohn, 2007; Kuijsten, 2007; Smith and Kosslyn, 2007; Harris, 2009; Sommer and Kahn, 2009; Lightbody, 2010). On the other hand, Disaster Psychology is a relatively new discipline focusing on culturally relevant, community-based crisis intervention and stress reduction for survivors. It enables humans to understand the lingering trauma and mental wounds of men, women and children, that might otherwise go unrecognized, yet last a lifetime. It includes refugees and survivors of torture, terrorism, genocide attempts, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunami, and other manmade or natural disasters. But, even today, psychological reactions to hazardous situations have not received sufficient attention, perhaps because it is widely believed that human beings can endure any kind of extreme stress... Separation from family, loss of all belongings and displacement provoke reactions merely somatic or sentimental (phobias, mistrust of strangers, life threat, feelings of hopelessness, personality disorders, mental illness, memory and concentration problems, amnesia, horror and nightmares) along with longterm effects (e.g. high rates of accidents or various forms of addiction). The common traumatic stress reactions are grouped into four main categories, including: (1) the emotional reactions (Anxiety and/or fear - Guilt - Grief and/or depression - Anger), (2) the cognitive reactions (Nightmares - Confusion and/or disorientation - Difficulty concentrating), (3) the physical reactions (Nausea and/or upset stomach - Dizziness Headache - Restlessness - Difficulty sleeping) and (4) the interpersonal effects (Avoidance and/or withdrawing - Emotional outbursts - Erratic behaviour). Not surprisingly, disaster psychologists make clear statements on how crises and disasters are interrelated with human actions and reactions. The disastrous processes hold the power, in term of control, influence, capacities and strengths, concerning the human emotions and behaviours. Thus, disaster management is not conceived as a controlling mechanism on the events per se, but on dealing with them. Modern trends and perspectives are summarized in that ―thinking, planning, preparing, drilling for disasters, is not paranoia. Thinking, planning, preparing, drilling for disasters, is intelligent. People who feel prepared are happier... ‖ (Hawkins-Mitchell, 2013, p. 235). More attention should be given to the varied social implications of hazards and disasters in the lives of people, especially from gender perspective, since biological, social, political and economic factors seem to influence the profile of vulnerability within human groups (e.g. Young, 1995; Van der Kolk, et al., 1996; Young, 1997; Disaster Mental Health Response Handbook, 2000; Bergiannaki - Dermitzaki, 2003; TOT INFORMATION MANUAL-1, 2005; Australian Centre for Post traumatic Mental Health, 2007; NATO/EAPC UNCLASSIFIED, 2008; Declaration of Psychosocial Rights, 2009). Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters Throughout human history, and in many parts of the world, even today, women viewed as an anthropological group, generally face greater marginalization and oppression than their male counterparts. Special social relations produced and reinforced gender differences and inequalities in any given context, especially when relating to natural resources or natural hazards, in the past, as well as in modern human communities. Moreover, apart from the females, who experience stronger and more lasting reactions, older adults are at greater risk than the children and adolescents. Married or parental status seems to be aggravated after disasters. Finally, hazard preparedness after previous disasters seems to facilitate the resilience and recovery attempts. Other factors that influence the disaster profile are the existence of ethnic minorities, living already in a highly disrupted or traumatized community or having bad psychiatric predisposition (Horowitz, Wilner and Alvarez, 1979; Dollinger, 1986; Solomon, 1995; DeVries, 1996; Marsella et al., 1996; Breslau, et al., 1997; Dyregrov, Solomon and Bassøe, 2000). The above-mentioned criteria are not yet fully estimated in the existed studies of archaeodisasters, despite of opening new ways for interdisciplinary approach. Furthermore, human extinction per se, is a philosophical, anthropological and socio-cultural mentifact. Research has shown that disasters are far more likely to bring out the best in the majority of people expressed as human solidarity during the first phase after catastrophes, except for the “elite panic”, a well known phenomenon analyzed by disaster sociologists (Solnit, 2010). On the other hand, the human „adaptive‟ strategies for survival include the psychic and noetic mobilization, expressed variously amongst different human groups and individuals, as eschatology, utopianism, beliefs in cyclic regeneration, assessment of existential risks (of those threatening the entire future of humanity), extinction scenarios, and other perspectives in their personal and collective interactions. Another intriguing aspect of analysis includes the human perception of risk and disaster (real, conceived or functional / psychic, biological, cultural), the level of fear, the short-term versus long-term survival reactions, the visibility of risk by persons or societies, etc (Bostrom, 1999, 2000, 2001 & 2002; Matheny, 2007; Savulescu and Bolstrom, 2008). According to the anthropological perspective of Cultural Theory of Risk, risk perception is highly biased by social structure, and it is a stronger influence than economic or cognitive structures (Starr, 1969; Douglas and Wildavsky, 1982; Kahneman, et al., 1982; Thompson, et al., 1990; Dake, 1991; Douglas, 1997; Sjoberg, 2000; Oltedal, et al., 2004; Leiserowitz, 2006; Kahan, 2008; Cirkovic, et al., 2010; Hillerbrand, et al., 2012). Those who belong to ‗individualist‘ societies, tend to adopt a ‗trial-and-error‘ approach to risk, even to unsuitably rare dangers, such as extinction events, as they believe that Nature operates as a self-correcting system, returning to its stable state after any kind of disturbance. Even more, high technology societies seem to become ‗hierarchist‘ (Nature capricious) or ‗fatalist‘ (Nature perverse/tolerant) in their attitudes to the ever-multiplying risks threatening them. The risk minimization could be operational, socio-cultural and emotional/psychological. Humans tend to ‗react‘, either with denial (availability heuristic), disconfirmation bias or positive outcome bias - phenomenon confirmed even in risk analyses of Behavioural Finance (Kahneman and Tversky, 1979; Schwarz and Thompson, 1990; Kagel, et al., 1995; Heukelom, 2006).

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Archaeodisasters Consequently, the core of risk perception, as well as of human reaction to disasters, is anthropic. Human emotions, religious beliefs, artistic sensitivities, and specific intelligence patterns, can not erase the existing â&#x20AC;&#x2014;animalisticâ&#x20AC;&#x2DC; heredity of violence, survivor instincts and limbic system expressions in humans. But humans are aware of Lifeâ&#x20AC;&#x2DC;s destiny on Earth, having knowledge of their own demise, as majority of species that have existed on this planet, have become extinct; from this perspective, human extinction would be, also, inevitable (Diamond, 1992; Raup and Gould, 1992). Or may be not?

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Archaeodisasters Chapter 7: Disaster Anthropology 7.1. They were all humans... Witnesses, survivors and victims of archaeodisasters Our ancestors lived in highly active volcanic environments, since Lower Pleistocene. Generally speaking, there are more than 60 ancient hominid track sites ranging in age from 3.7 Ma to less than 2.5 Ka, recorded from all continents except Antarctica, but no ichnotaxonomic names have ever been formally proposed for hominid tracks. Unfortunately, the hominid track site sample includes only about a dozen sites where footprint preservation is good enough to show details of diagnostic foot morphology and typical track way morphology (Grattan and Torrence, 2007; Kim, et al, 2008). Three and a half million years ago (geologic dating) in a location now known as Tanzania, the Sadiman palaeovolcano erupted surrounding the area with ash (Zaitsev, et all, 2011). The rain that followed the event, created a natural type of cement which fossilized the footprints of any species that may have walked over the wet ash (Agnew, Demas and Leakey, 1996). One of these species happened to be a hominid. The Laetoli track way was discovered in volcanic ash sediments. This fossilized footprint pattern indicated the animal was a bipedal animal, turning this evidence into a tremendous discovery, which uncovered when in hominid history our ancestors began walking on two legs. Fossils of the hominid Australopithecus afarensis dating to 3.8 to 3.6 Ma, were found in the surrounding areas, thus, the scientists were able to identify these tracks. Scientists have, also, found even more evidence for bipedalism in A. afarensis, because he had special anatomy of the shin bone that indicated an upright posture. Unfortunately, these footprints are in danger of being destroyed, although they represent the earliest direct evidence of kinematically hominin bipedalism, showing that extended limb bipedalism evolved long before the appearance of the genus Homo. Since extended-limb bipedalism is more energetically economical than ape-like bipedalism, energy expenditure was likely an important selection pressure on hominin bipeds by 3.6 Ma (Raichlen, et al, 2010; for other footsteps of Pleistocene era, see also Bennett, et al., 2009 and Ashton, et al., 2014). Humans left, also, tracks (20 cm each) in the volcanic ash of the Roccamonfina volcano South Italy (41.3 N, 14.9 E), initially dated between 385-325 Ka, but with a refined 40 Ar / 39 Ar technique, at 348-340 Ka. Just to the north of the city of Naples, in the province of Caserta, is the Roccamonfina Regional Park, the most prominent part of which is the Roccamonfina volcano, the oldest volcanic complex in the Campania region of Italy. It had three main eruptive periods: (1) 630-400 Ka; (2) 385 and 230 Ka; (3) a period that ended in 50 Ka, just as the better known eruptions to the South (e.g. the Archiflegrean caldera and, later, Mt. Vesuvius) were about to start. There are 56 such impressions on the slopes of the volcano; they were footprints made during its second eruptive period. The prints display raised arches and ball and heel impressions; they were left by a small band of individuals, from 3 to 6 persons. The prints and length of stride indicate that they were under five-feet tall. The scientists measured the dimensions of the tracks and estimated that the individuals who made them were no taller than 1.5 meters in height. These footprints were made awfully close to the Climatic Termination IV, a time at which the global ecosystem was making transition between a glacial maximum and the Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters sudden establishment of warmer conditions. Initially, scientists believed that the individuals belonged to a pre-human species, probably to the hominid ancestor, Homo heidelbergensis, the direct ancestor of both Homo neanderthalensis and Homo sapiens. If these assessments are correct, they are the oldest prints of the Homo genus ever found. But, if the estimation of the size of the individuals is correct, they were somewhat shorter than the typical adult Homo heidelbergensis. Paolo Mietto, of the University of Padua, and his colleagues, think the Campanian tracks were made by early Neanderthalensis, maybe a group of children. Remains of this species have been found in several places in Italy, including Circe's grotto, a site north of Campania, where the legendary witch of that name, is supposed to have lived (Mietto, et all, 2003). Although they were first reported reliably and scientifically just a few years ago in 2003, the prints have been known to locals for centuries and have earned the name in folklore as the ‗Ciampate del Diavolo‘ (the Devil's footprints). Whoever they were, they were scrambling downhill (there are also hand prints to indicate that they reached down to steady themselves on the steep terrain), running through molten lava. Most likely they were fleeing an eruption, as they descended the treacherous side of the volcano... We don't know if they finally made it. During another Palaeolithic eruption, ca 40 Ka, the fallen ash (type of volcanic tuff is known as the Xalnene) trapped and fossilized human footprints. In AD 2003, British scientists found them, in central Mexico, in an abandoned quarry close to the subaqueous, monogenetic Cerro Toluquilla volcano (near Puebla, Mexico City). The ―Toluquilla footprint layer‖ contains both human and animal footprint traces preserved on the upper bedding planes of the ash, which was deposited in the shallow Pleistocene Lake Valsequillo. The footprints were made and preserved during the latest stages of deposition of the ash, and are present in several layers in the top 20 cm of the ash succession, where they are interbedded with lake sediments (Gonzalez, et al, 2003; Gonzalez, et al., 2006 a & b). The Xalnene Ash was exposed on lake shorelines during low stands in the water level, associated with either water-displacement during the volcanic eruption, or due to climatically-driven fluctuations in the water balance. This date indicates that humans were in the Americas 25 Ka before the coalescence dates from the most recent genetic studies, and 27 Ka before the Clovis culture (in addition to this, check the evidence from Stanford and Brandley, 2012). Late Ice Age human footprints (more than 700!) were also discovered in the area of Willandra Lakes (southeastern Australia), dated at ca 20 Ka. They show aboriginal children, teenagers, and adults walking around in, what was once a wetland swamp, but now is a dried-up lake bed. The Willandra Lakes Region is an extensive area that contains a system of ancient lakes formed over the last two million years, most of which are fringed by a crescent shaped dune or lunette. Aborigines lived on the shores of the lakes for at least 50 Ka, and the remains of a 40 Ka old female found in the dunes of Lake Mungo are believed to be the oldest ritual cremation site in the world. It was one of 15 World Heritage places included in the National Heritage List on May 21, 2007 (Bowler, et al., 1970; Barbetti, 1972; Thorne, et al., 1999; Bowler, et al., 2003; O‘ Connell and Allen, 2004). The opalised cranium and partial skeleton found in dune deposits near Lake Garnpung, one of the Willandra lakes in New South Wales, Australia, aka WLH 50, dated to ca 26 Ka (37.4-16.5 Ka), a very robust and archaic male species with 1540 cranial capacity, seems, also, to be another paleoanthropological challenge to the scientists who study Australian prehistory (Wolpoff and Sang-Hee, 2014). Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters Moreover, in the late 1990′s, South Australian social anthropologist/archaeologist Dr Colin Pardoe (1991 & 1995) investigated the colossal assemblage of skeletons scattered on the southeastern corner of Lake Victoria (dated to ca 10 Ka), who were unearthed when Lake Victoria was partially drained. Recent interdisciplinary research in the area connects the catastrophe features (e.g. geomorphologic features of lunettes, aboriginal tales, palaeoanthropological material, remains of extinct mega-fauna) with an archaeodisaster caused by ‗electroblemes‘ (Mungo Excursion, Coronal Mass Ejection and lethal Aurora Australis, plasma discharge, SN explosion, etc), comparing Australian Lakes Mungo and Victoria, with the fate of Sodom and Gomorrah (Peter Mungo Jupp website; the event online at: ). Finally, in the area of Vesuvius, Italy, a volcanic catastrophe, even more devastating than the notorious AD 79 Pompeii eruption, occurred. According to the scientists, the 3780-kyr Avellino plinian eruption produced early violent pumice fallout and a late pyroclastic surge sequence that covered the volcano surroundings as far as 25 km away, burying land and villages. Palaeoanthropological evidence shows that a sudden, en masse evacuation of thousands of people occurred at the beginning of the eruption, before the last destructive column collapse. Although most of the fugitives likely survived, the desertification of the total habitat caused a socio-demographic collapse and the abandonment of the entire area for centuries (Mastrolorenzo, et al., 2006). At present, at least 3 million people live within the area destroyed by the Avellino Plinian eruption. Comments by Roman authors (Strabo, V.4.8; Vitruvius II.6.1-2) indicate a memory of Vesuvius' eruptions which were probably pre- Roman. Volcanological and archaeological evidence identify the last prehistoric eruption in the early 1st millennium BCE. Later written reports indicate that eruptions occurred in the 2nd, 4th , 9th and 17th centuries AD and in the early and mid-20th century, but, Vesuvius' eruption on August (? October) 24, AD 79, during the early Roman Empire remains the most notorious of all. The AD 79 eruption of Mt Vesuvius had a devastating effect on the populations of Pompeii, Herculaneum, Stabiae and the rural villas, which lay to the west and southwest of the mountain. Apart from the heat and the gas poisoning, that killed instantly many people, the pyroclastic flow (six distinctive pyroclastic surges have been identified) of ash and mud trapped many victims preserving them within ghostly bodyshaped tombs. Suffocated, blasted or cooked, the poor victims are now amongst the most notorious exhibits of worldwide disasters. Researchers estimate that the temperature, capable enough to light gasoline and other fuels under certain conditions, but not enough to ignite clothing, ranged form 250◦ to 300◦ C, and the time of exposure was about 30 seconds or so. Death would have been during the first few seconds of that time. Much of the material remains of these populated areas had been completely and irretrievably covered by the volcanic debris. These material remains were preserved largely intact for nearly 2 Ka, before being revealed to the modern western intellectual world in the early to mid-18th century (Mastrolorenzo, et al., 2006 & 2010). Furthermore, plagues that devastated entire empires left behind millions of victims since antiquity. Few of them have been identified by archaeologists and thoroughly studied by interdisciplinary teams. Apart from the mummy of Ramesses IV (with the smallpox signs on his skin) and the mass burial pit at Kerameikos district where victims of the Athenian Plague had been buried (see Ch.5.3 Climatic Changes), another Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters notorious example is the 1,500 victims of Black Death found in a mass grave on Lazzaretto Vecchio, an Italian island of Venetian lagoon, just a few miles away from Venice's Piazza San Marco. The island was the site of a hospital in the mid-1800s when the Plague struck the city, but it had been used for isolating Plague victims as far back as the 15th or 16th century CE. In fact, it is considered as the world's first lazaret (quarantine colony intended to help prevent the spread of infectious diseases). Later graves are just huge pits where "monatti," or "corpse carriers," were upended with great loads of bodies. Since 2004, year of the initial discovery, the remains of thousands more are expected still to be found, as the death-toll reportedly reached 500 per day in the 16 th century (Valsecchi, 2007). Moreover, there also a fascinating folklore aspect in the case of the Fontanelle cemetery in Naples, an ossuary, located in a cave - once held some 8 million human bones and extended in 30,000 m2- in the tuff hillside in the Materdei section of the city. Many Neapolitans insisted on being interred in their local churches even after the Spanish arrival in the early 16th century CE. Obliged to make space in the churches for the newly interred, undertakers started removing earlier remains outside the city to the aforementioned cave, where in AD 1656, thousands of anonymous corpses, victims of the great plague of that year, were added. The last great case of dead corpses seems to have been in the wake of the cholera epidemic in AD 1837. After having undergone an excessive restoration, the place is now open to the public on a fulltime basis (Regina, 1994; Puntillo, 1994; Liccardo, 2000). On the other hand, few of earthquakes victims during archaeodisasters, are now discovered by archaeologists. ‗Doreen‘, a female smashed skeleton found in AD 1992 by archaeologists, during the excavation of Tell Dor, 25 km West of Megiddo (Phoenician city), was an earthquake's victim (Nur and Burgess, 2008). The event was dated to ca 1050 BCE. Widespread devastation contemporaneous with that of Dor, was testified at other sites, too (Akhziv, Tell Keisan, Tell Abu Hawam, Tel Mikhal, Yokneam, Afula, Bet Shean). They were all destroyed together within seconds by a magnitude 5.5 - 6.5 earthquake on the nearby Carmel fault, or magnitude 6.3 - 7.0 on the more distant Dead Sea fault. The excavator, Andrew Stewart (University of California, Berkeley) describes the scene: "She seems frozen in surprise and fright. Her body is twisted and her hands cover her face. The earthquake apparently sent a six-foot stone wall tumbling down on her and on a storage bin full of pottery. Two boulders crushed Doreen's skull, and a jagged pottery fragment pierced her head as she fell. A rock struck her right hand and drove a finger into her nose. Her spinal column was pushed up into her brain case" (Stewart, 1993; see also The Tell Dor Archaeological Expedition online at:; for Dead Sea fault earthquakes, see: Begin, et al., 2005; Alfonsi, et al., 2012). The huge archaeological site of Kourion just outside Limassol in Cyprus is one of the most important historical areas on the whole island, being the centre of one of the 12 ancient kingdoms of Cyprus. The great earthquake, known as the July 21, AD 365 event, caused devastation across eastern Mediterranean, as part of the Early Byzantine Tectonic paroxysm (EBTP: mid-4th to the mid-6th centuries CE). The first skeletons were unearthed, at the ‗earthquake house‘ (on the South-East facing slopes overlooking the Mediterranean coast), in AD 1934. Decades later, archaeologists found the three embraced skeletons, a skeleton of a couple with their baby, crushed under their collapsed Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters house while asleep (David Soren, University of Arizona, 1985). The excavator, Caterina Dias, found the woman, estimated to be about 19 years old, clutching her small child of about 18 months of age to her chest. Her arms were raised to protect the child's head, which was tucked under her chin. The man shielded the woman with his body, stretching his left arm across her to hold the child's back and putting his left leg up over hers (Soren, 1988). Archanes case includes one of the most famous worldwide archaeological skeletal finds, related to both devastating earthquake activity and highly disputed human sacrifice practices. Archanes is a municipality in the Heraklion Prefecture, Crete, Greece. It is, also, the archaeological site of an ancient Minoan settlement in central Crete. Since AD 1966, Archanes has been excavated by the Greek Archaeological Society under the supervision of John and Efi Sapouna-Sakellaraki. Anemospilia (means 'caves of the wind') was first excavated in 1979 by J. Sakellarakis. The temple was destroyed by earthquakes, the same earthquakes which destroyed the Old Palaces at Knossos and Phaistos at that time. Traces of ash and charcoal were found on the ground, and from this, one can postulate that the building was burnt down. The temple is set out, with three chambers and one annex leading into them. It is located at the northern end of Mount Juktas (legendary birthplace of Zeus). Modern Heraklion can be seen from the site (about 7 km from Knossos). It was on a hillside facing north towards the palace complexes of Knossos. Apart for a very crushed and burned fourth unidentified skeleton, in the western chamber, two skeletons were found on the floor. One body was of a 28 year old female (high priestess). The other skeleton was that of a male, he was aged in his late thirties, and about 180cm tall, and powerfully built, he was lying on his back with his hands covering his face, as if to protect it. His legs were broken and his body was found near the centre of the room next to a platform, at the base of the platform was a trough. On top of the platform another body was found, one of an 18 year old male; he was found in the foetal position, lying on his right side. Amongst the bones was found an ornately engraved knife. His legs were forced back so that his heels were almost touching his thigh, indicating that they were tied there. His jaw was closed. The priest and priestess seemed to be only half way through the ceremony when the body caught fire. The blood human sacrifice is now considered as an unequivocal archaeological evidence related to the environmental upheaval of those days (17 th century BCE, end of the First place period MMII), when savage earthquakes were rocking the island of Crete, and the socio-cultural reaction to it, an extreme measure to appease the deities (Gesell, 1983; Hughes, 1991; Sakellarakis & Sapouna-Sakellarakis, 1992; Dickinson, 1994; Spencer, 1995; MacGillivray, 2000). The sacrificial rituals per se, are considered by many anthropologists, sociologists and archaeologists, as a behavioural modernity of Homo sapiens, along with symbolic thought and behaviour, language, art, religion, burial, myth-making, cooking, game playing and jokes, others claiming that the afore-mentioned expressions and activities are the mentifacts of a gradual accumulation of knowledge, skills and culture occurring over hundreds of thousands of years of human evolution (Diamond, 1992 & 1999; McBrearty and Brooks, 2000; Ehrlich, 2002; Skoyles and Sagan, 2002; Oppenheimer, 2004; Buller, 2005; Klein, 2008). Especially, the rituals of human sacrifices in times of natural disasters, such as droughts, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and comets, were always seen, by ancient Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters cultures, as a sign of anger or displeasure of gods and sacrifices were made to appease the divine ire. In ancient Japan legends there is Hitobashira (‗human pillar‘), according to which, maidens were buried alive at the base or near some constructions as a prayer to ensure the buildings against disasters or enemy attacks (Triplett, 2004). They can be practised on a number of different occasions and in many different cultures, and even if can be found in 'equilibrated' societies, they have, also, turned into "blood frenzy" and mass killings during several times in human history. Notorious example is the Thuggee cult of the goddess - of death and destruction -Kali in India (Pinchman, 1994; Russell & Lai, 1995; McDermott and Kripal, 2003; Dash, 2005), responsible for approximately 2 million deaths. Worth-mentioning is, also, the pagan Roman law, which, in its Twelve Tables, contains provisions against evil incantations and spells, intended to damage cereal crops. In 331 BCE, 170 women were executed as witches and responsible for an epidemic illness. In 184 BCE, about 2,000 people were executed for witchcraft (veneficium), and in 182-180 BCE another 3,000 executions took place, again triggered by the outbreak of an epidemic. These persecutions of witches continued in the Roman Empire until the late 4th century CE. But the Roman tradition expressed via the Lex Cornelia de sicariis et veneficiis by Lucius Cornelius Sulla in the 2nd century BCE, became an important source of late Medieval and early Modern European law on witchcraft (Garnsey and Saller, 1987; Luck, 1985; Bradley, 1997; Rives, 2003; Behringer, 2004). This socio-cultural phenomenon was always related to human psychic reactions under stressful environmental conditions (e.g. during Black Death outbreaks). Later on, it had been known as the witch hunt orgy of massacres in Europe and North America during the Early Modern period (ca AD 1480 to 1750), resulting in an estimated 40,000 to 60,000 executions; the witch-hunts sponsored by the Roman Catholic Inquisition begun only in the Late Middle Ages (Cohn, 1993; Barry, et al., 1996; Purkiss, 1996; Sagan, 1996; Mormando, 1999; Summers, 2003; Wallace, 2004; Levack, 2006; Jensen, 2007; Thurston, 2007; Fraden and Fraden, 2008; Ankarloo and Clark, 2010; Gaskill, 2010). Moreover, some of the most famous forms of ancient human sacrifice were performed by various Pre-Columbian civilizations in the Americas. Amongst the most notorious were: (1) Incas, who performed child sacrifices (children were considered as pure beings) during or after important events, such as the death of their emperor (Sapa Inca) or during/after a famine, eclipse, earthquake or epidemics, (2) the Teotihuacano culture, where burials of children have been uncovered at the four corners of the Pyramid of the Sun and newborn skeletons have been associated with altars, and (3) the Aztecs, who practiced human sacrifice on a large scale (by thousands). The most dreadful, combined with anthropophagy, were when they offered human victims to the god Huitzilopochtli to restore the blood he lost, as the sun was engaged in a daily battle, and the human sacrifices which prevented the end of the world that could happen on each 52year cycle. The preparation of Tlacatlaolli (a Nahuatl word roughly meaning ‗maize-andman stew‘ or alternately ‗human stew‘) was the culmination of an elaborate Aztec ritual of human sacrifice, described in the Codex of Mendoza. With anthropological, ecological, socio-cultural, political, religious and psychological perspectives, there is a rich bibliography on this controversial topic (Codex Ixtlilxochitl by Fernando de Alva Cortés Ixtlilxochitl; Harner, 1977; Harris, 1991; Serrano Sanchez, 1993; Kahaner, 1994; Clendinnen, 1995; Hassig, 1998; Winkelman, 1998; Reinhard, 1999; Carrasco, 2000; Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters Smith, 2000; Aldhouse-Green, 2001; de Mause, 2002; Stuart, 2003; Godwin, 2004; de Sahagún, 2006; Bremmer, 2007). Another controversial issue is the survival cannibalism evidence at Anasazi sites of southwestern USA. In fact, it is one of the great prehistoric puzzles: what pushed those people who created one of the most sophisticated civilizations in North America (their modern-day descendants are the highly spiritual Hopi, Zuni and Pueblo peoples), to abandon their beautiful stone dwellings in the mid-12th century CE, in great haste, leaving behind even food cooking over fires and sandals hanging on pegs? In Chaco Canyon, Chimney Rock Archaeological Area, and Mesa Verde researchers have already discovered at least 38 sites with cannibalistic evidence. Population pressure and environmental factors seem to be the main triggering mechanism for the onset of such attitude, and for their subsequent demise as well (White, 1992; Askenasy, 1994; Pe Blanc, 1999; Billman, et al., 2000; Marlar, et al., 2000; Turner II and Travis-Henikoff , 2008; Constantine, 2009; Turner II, 2011). Even more controversial remain the cannibalistic rituals among Neolithic and Palaeolithic tribes (Arens, 1979; Reeves- Sanday, 1986; Villa, 1992). There is archaeological evidence of human sacrifice in Neolithic to Eneolithic Europe. For example, in modern southwestern Germany (Herxheim), archaeologists unearthed clear evidence of mass cannibalism; even children and unborn babies were on the menu (dated to ca 7 Ka), during a time, when the first European farming society may have been collapsing in upheaval and violence. Although, cannibalism, either survival or aggressive, is a behaviour occurred since the beginning of human history, we can‘t tell for sure if it was a ‗usual‘ one, amongst Neanderthals and archaic hominids, too (Bulestin, et al., 2009). Among stone core-choppers, chipping debris and the bones of bison, deer, wild sheep and other animals, scientists dug up the butchered remains of at least 6 human children and adolescents, from the cave, called Gran Dolina (Sierra de Atapuerca, northeastern Spain), one of the oldest human sites in Europe - only Dmanisi in Georgia being older. The human bodies were decapitated, the brains had been eaten and the bones smashed to get the nutritious marrow inside. This oldest layer, called the Aurora stratum (or TD6), was dated using electron spin resonance to approximately 780 Ka or a little earlier. The evidence of butchering, including dismembering, defleshing, and skinning of the hominids is the oldest proof of human cannibalism found to date. Furthermore, anthropologists claim that the human remains belong to a hominid ancestor called Homo antecessor, or perhaps Homo erectus. The whole evidence spans a period of around hundred thousand years, indicating that the practice was not just confined to times of food crises (Carbonell, et al., 1995; Bermúdez de Castro, et al., 1997; Bermúdez de Castro, et al., 2012). On the other hand, amongst rock art murals and a total of 333 lithic artefacts, including side scrapers, denticulates, a hand axe, and several Levallois points, scientists recovered the remains of at least 12 Neanderthal individuals (3 men, 3 adolescent boys, 3 women and 3 infants), in the Sidrón Cave (Piloña municipality, Asturias, northwestern Spain). This case of cannibalism is characterized by scientists as a response to severe episodes of extreme scarcity, at ca 43 Ka. The skeletal remains, also, revealed that there were at least two differentiated groups of Neanderthals (according to their bone structure), coincided with their North-South geographical distribution: (1) southern Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters Neanderthals from the Iberian Peninsula, the Balkans, the Middle East and Italy, and (2) northern Neanderthals from populations living north of the Pyrenees, the Alps, portions of Asia and central and eastern Europe (Kuhn and Stiener, 2006; Rosas, et al., 2006). The most highly disputable human skeletal remains, though, are those excavated at Krapina (Croatia), dated to ca 130 Ka. The almost 900 fragments, and several investigations resulted in contradicting interpretations, probably coincide with ritual behaviour (ritual defleshing in secondary burial site) rather than cannibalism (PathouMathis, 2000; Cole, 2006a & b; Frayer, 2006; Orschiedt, 2008). All the same, the fluid nature of Palaeolithic research expands its finds every year. Usually, anthropologists categorize cannibalism into several typologies, such as dietary, ceremonial, and obligatory or emergency ration cannibalism (Nickens, 1975); gastronomic, ritual or magical, and survival cannibalism (Arens, 1979); famine, competition or revenge, mortuary, cannibalism as a "behavio ural referent of a mythical charter for society and, with other social and cosmological categories, is a condition for the maintenance and reproduction of the social order", cannibalism as "part of the cultural construction of personhood" (Reeves- Sanday, 1986); survival, ritual, and preferential cannibalism (Sagan, 1974); endophagy, exophagy, ritual, and famine cannibalism (Tannahill, 1975); dietetic, famine, fertility, gluttony, magic, pietistic, punishment, revenge, shipwreck, and siege cannibalism (Hogg, 2007), etc. In a plethora of cases, environmental stress on human populations, can lead to cannibalism as a copying mechanism/ adaptive response for restricted or fluctuating environmental resources, to maintain equilibrium with the carrying capacity of the local surroundings (Schorr, 1970). Generally speaking, there is a deluge of articles and books, popular and specialized, dealing with this intriguing topic. Ancient mythologies and folklore are, also, full of similar phenomena that still remain a human taboo. In addition, the topic of human blood sacrifices has been related to the origins of religions and ancient political systems. Amongst various anthropological, archaeological, philological and ethnographic evidence, one should mention Theophrastus‘ estimation (On Piety, 12.122-123; in Porphyry‘s work on Abstinence) about the origins of blood sacrifices in Greece: ― times when unusual hardships came upon our race, were living beings [dedicated] to sacrifice‖, and Augustine‘s statement (De Civitate Dei, 18.12) about the origins of priestkingship and a flood cataclysm: ―In those times [after the flood of Deucalion], the kings of Greece initiated the worship for the pagan gods which were to rekindle in annually renewed festivities the memory of the Flood and the salvation of the people, as well as the difficulties of the life of those who were at first resettled into the mountains, then into the plains‖. In addition, games, festivities and warlike dances, e.g. in the honour of mortal Castor (both the Dioscuri were considered as the inventors of war dances, spirits of light and protectors of sailors) it seems to represent the war of the [celestial] giants. Athenaeus, mentioning Menippus the Cynic statement in his Banquet, writes about a dance which was called the ‗burning of the world‘. According to the ancient Greek sacrificial ritual, holocausts were apotropaic rituals, intended to appease the spirits of the Underworld, including the Greek heroes (spirits of the dead); and the malign powers, such as the Keres and Hecate (See, also: Deipnosophists, XIV.27 in C.D. Yonge, ed.; Burkest, 1972; Harrison, 1991; Rind, 1996).

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Archaeodisasters 7.2. ‗Angry Earth‘, Adaptation process and modern perspectives According to the complicated theoretical framework of Disaster Studies, Archaeology, Sociology, Anthropology and Earth Sciences intersect each other. But Disasters as a sui generis study object seem to be historically neglected by anthropologists. Only since 1980‘s, researchers understood their dynamics, viewed them as a cultural phenomenon, too, and considered them as an emerging field destined to be a major issue of academic enquiry in 21st century. Although fieldwork anthropologists and cultural geographers always encountered natural hazards that turned into disasters for local societies, as well as the cultural response to them, mainstream anthropology was focused on 'normal daily life'; anthropologists seem to agree that the early anthropological contributions to disaster studies came about by chance, as disasters were treated either as catalyst factors for change, or as indicators of human adaptation to the natural environment. Gradually, historical, economic, political, ecological and other parameters came into the anthropological play. Furthermore, disasters have a remarkable ability to bring forward social relations and power structures that were otherwise hidden in the social fabric. Thus, disasters can been seen not as natural phenomena and isolated, unexpected, unprecedented and uncertain events, but as social and historical processes. Anthropology, in a holistic and comparative way (through contemporary, historic and prehistoric case studies) focuses on how cultural systems (e.g. beliefs, behaviours, and institutions characteristic of a particular society or human group) interrelate with society‘s disaster vulnerability, preparedness, mobilization, and prevention, by examining its cultural, social, political, economic, and environmental domains. Consequently, it searches for the influence of risks / crises / catastrophes on human ecosystems, contributing to the complete life cycle of disaster from issues of vulnerability and risk perception, individual / social responses and coping strategies, to relief and recovery efforts (e.g. Vayda and McKay, 1975; Hewitt, 1983; Ortner, 1984; Barth, 1989; Shipton, 1990; Oliver-Smith and Hoffman, 1999; Redman, 1999; Bawden and Reycraft, 2000; Bankoff, 2001; Hoffman and Oliver-Smith, 2002; Bankoff, 2003 & 2004; Henry, 2005; Grenfell, 2008). In addition, Blaikie et al. (1994) developed a very influential, interdisciplinary applied approach to disaster research, a conceptual tool, and to some extent a method aimed both at social scientists and disaster practitioners. This approach has specific and detailed definitions concerning the vital terms of disaster studies: (1) Disaster: A disaster consists of three interrelated factors; hazard (H), vulnerability (V), and risk (R). These three factors relate to each other via the equation R = H + V, which is the definition of a disaster; (2) Hazard: A hazard is the physical agent in a disaster. A hazard can be forecasted via probability studies. However, the statistical likelihood of a given hazard to occur says very little of the actual level of risk a given society or segment of a population is subjected; (3) Risk: The risk concept is somewhat more problematic as it is hard to separate it analytically from the concept of disaster as " risk is a compound function of this complex (but knowable) natural hazard and the number of people characterised by their varying degrees of vulnerability who occupies the space and time of exposure to extreme events" ; (4) Vulnerability: People's vulnerability derives from a spectrum of historical processes, and it is people who cope with disasters not disembodied systems. Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters The afore-mentioned research framework is called the Pressure and Release Model (PAR-model), which takes into account the series of vulnerability creating processes (with three interrelated causal phases: Root Causes, Dynamic Pressures, Unsafe Conditions) and natural or man -made hazards. Nowadays, though, scientific community speaks about anthropological trends and not models: (1) The Archaeological/Historical Approach. How the physical and social processes lead to disaster events and which adjustments and adaptive factors are involved in cultural survival or demise (Bolin and Stanford, 1999, Moseley, 1999; Oliver-Smith, 1999; Garcia Acosta, 2002; Oliver-Smith, 2002, etc); (2) The Political Ecology Approach. A combination of cultural ecology and political economy focusing both on the human use (economic structures, policies, forces, and overall ideologies) of the natural environment and the adaptation process of human societies to their natural environments (Smuck-Widmann, 1996; Moseley 1999; McCabe 2003, etc); (3) The Applied/Practicing Approach. Prediction, mitigation, and prevention of humanitarian disasters, e.g. warning systems, traditional adaption to the natural environment, local technical knowledge, relief efforts, the actual relief work and situation, and the political and practical implications of relief aid (Hendrie, 1997; Rajan, 2001; Haug, 2002) (4) The Socio-cultural/Behavioural Approach. It is related to the social realm, according to which all cultural and social issues do not deal directly with the environment (Dyer and McGoodwin, 1999; Oliver-Smith and Hoffman, 1999; Rashid and Michaud, 2000, etc). Not surprisingly, Disaster Archaeology includes all the abovementioned approaches, embracing the broadest spectrum of perspectives.

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Archaeodisasters Chapter 8: Disaster Sociology and beyond 8.1. Chaos and Society As we have already presented (see Ch.6.4) humans usually perceive reality, historic patterns and societal norms, in contrast with chaos, disasters or utopias. Especially, almost every utopia reflects marginality, ‗nowhere‘, a creation of individual or collective imagination. In fact, according to the materialist thinkers, utopia is confined to the ephemeral and immaterial realm of fantasy and ideals. According to the ‗Frankfurt school‘, totality already exists, utopia is only the longing for the new, either being a fresh experience, or a new combination of some of the possibilities within a spectrum, but the spectrum always remains the same. Even more, the quest for utopia would often cause the repetition of the same, particularly of the catastrophes of the past (Benjamin, 1968; Wolin, 1994; Adorno and Horkheimer, 1997; Adorno, 2004 & 2005). Researchers had, also, considered the human characteristic of making myths as an attempt to express reality; thus, Myth is reality par excellence (Mannheim, 1956; Eliade, 1966; Maurer, 1971; Link-Salinger Hyman, 1977; Durand, 1979; Castoriadis, 1997 & 1998). Additionally, in modern societies, the myths of happiness simply propagate different kinds of utopias through the advertising industry, for example, well-being through consumption, success stories of the jet set, etc. The roots of such duality between utopic but unattainable thought, and harsh, but well-ordered reality can be traced in the cosmologies of ancient circum-Mediterranean civilizations (e.g. Mesopotamian, Egyptian, Hebrew and Greek), according to which Chaos is unprincipled, an-archic, without „archai‟. The primordial fear of humans, constantly revived as a cultural heritage pattern with various expressions and forms, was the return to chaos (conceived in three ways, as Non-Being, as Disorder and as a separating gap), dissolvement and „death‟, the dread of anarchy (Milton, 1667; Hall, 1982). Nevertheless, other cosmovisions and modern science do not always consider chaos as disorder, but as unpredictable, while ‗things‘ (from microcosm to macrocosm) which are chaotic, may be governed by laws unknown to us, or they may be unpredictable. Chaos itself may even be deterministic, because randomness does not exclude regularities and equilibrium (Lorenz, 1963; Quarantelli, 1978; Prigodine & Stengers, 1984; Gleick, 1987; Stewart, 1989; Kiel, 1994; Abraham and Gilgen, 1995; Robertson and Combs, 1995; Murphy, 1996; Butz, 1997; Matthews, et al., 1999). Consequently, Utopian Realism should be about the infinite creative possibilities carried by the unexpected, from Universe and individuals to groups and societies. It analyzes the dynamics of power. Moreover, Anarchism does not attempt to occupy some defined space, to create some specific identity around a common symbolic reference, to match the real with the ideal, because it is not an ideology in competition with other ideologies; it embraces the diverse and real game of all the practices and theories which are pregnant through all the multiform shades of reality, simply trying to allow all forces of emancipation to federate. Under this perspective, Earth‘s life and human history are anarchy per se, because both are the conjunction of myriads of causes, which create singular and unpredictable events which apparently come from ‗nowhere‘. Unbelievable and ‗normal‘, random and predicted, are mutually perplexed in Life, Nature, History and Society. And, a new type of activist is (re)born, the utopian who will facilitate these Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters exchanges to produce the magic of creativity, without playing the role of a leader, as being ‗nowhere‘ (Creagh, 2007; Graeber, 2007; Gelderloos, 2010)... On the other hand, non-linear dynamics deserve deeper and most interdisciplinary analysis. Physics, Statistical Mechanics, Mathematics and Chemistry were the first disciplines that found very promising applications based on the concept of Lévy flights, named after the French mathematician Paul Pierre Lévy. They model activities that involve a lot of small ‗steps‘, and are used in stochastic measurement and simulations for random or pseudo-random natural phenomena (Cheng and Savit, 1987; Shlesinger, et al., 1995; Viswanathan, et al., 1999; Viswanathan, et al., 2002). It was early in the 20th century, when French mathematician Gaston Julia discovered a fractal formula, now referred to as ‗the Julia Set‘. Later on, fractals have been recognized as the geometry of complex nonlinear systems, the term being coined by the mathematician professor Benoit Mandelbrot (the term ‗Lévy flight‘ was, also, coined by him). Fractal Systems are complex, non-linear, interactive systems which have the ability to adapt to a changing environment, and are characterised by the potential for self-organisation, existing in a non-equilibrium environment. FS‘s evolve by random mutation, self-organisation, the transformation of their internal models of the environment, and natural selection. Examples include living organisms, the human nervous and immune system, corporations, societies, and so on. Even, cell phone companies use antennae convoluted into fractal shapes to pick up different radio frequencies enabling Bluetooth and Wi-Fi capabilities on the same phone. Fractal Theory is not the same as Chaos Theory, which is derived from mathematics. Although Chaos Theory is not the same to fractals, Chaos does have a place in Fractal Theory. A system in equilibrium does not have the internal dynamics to enable it to respond to its environment and will slowly (or quickly) die, while a system in chaos ceases to function as a system. The most productive state to be in is at the edge of chaos where there is maximum variety and creativity, leading to new possibilities. Nowadays, a huge variety of scientific fields examine this concept, Astrophysics, Fractal Archaeology, Landscape Ecology Zoology, Oceanography, Spatial Demography, Epidemiology, Cardiology and Sociology being amongst them (i.e. Mandelbrot, 1983; Goldberger, 1990; Goldberger, et al., 1990; Barnsley, 1993; Solomon, et al. 1993; Hawkins, 1995; Weeks and Swinney, 1998; Janssen, et al., 1999; Lewis, 2000; Zhou and Sun, 2001; Brown, et al., 2002; Watkins, 2002; Novak, 2004; Veneziani, 2004; Lagutin, et al., 2005; Reynolds, 2005; Imkeller and Pavlyukevich 2006; Perakakis, 2009; Lesmoir-Gordon, 2010; Kermani and Fatemi, 2011; Spencer-Wood, 2013). Random structures and processes, as well as anomalous diffusion (e.g. the spreading of epidemic diseases, high energy cosmic ray propagation in the galactic medium, space weather and auroral indices, plasma turbulence, radio-wave scattering in the interstellar medium, comet motions, climatic variables, genomic sequences, the organization of cities, the decision for hunting targets by aboriginal people, earthquake data analysis, financial mathematics, cryptography, signals analysis) are examined under this spectrum of ‗fractal walks‘. In complex ecosystems the distribution of food is fractal, too. Furthermore, our genes and DNA create fractal templates which are used in complex processes involving information exchange (thus, DNA is characterized as the ‗newest data – storage device‘). This process occurs within 98.7% of the so-called 'Junk' Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters DNA. Generally speaking, as ‗Junk DNA‘ can be characterized the portions of the DNA sequence of a chromosome or a genome for which no function has yet been identified. According to Wikipedia, ―these chromosomal regions could be composed of the nowdefunct remains of ancient genes, known as pseudogenes, which were once functional copies of genes but have since lost their protein-coding ability (and, presumably, their biological function). After non-functionalization, pseudogenes are free to acquire genetic noise in the form of random mutations‖. Today, the term is not used per se and it includes various sub-categorizations. More than 90% of the genome contains non-coding sequences (not expressed as proteins), previously referred to as junk DNA. DNA is now considered as a four- dimensional resonator, generating as well as receiving information signals (Ohno, 1972; Pellionisz, 1989; Mantegna et al., 1994; Zu-Guo, et al., 2002; Pellionisz, 2002; Biémont & Vieira, 2006; Pellionisz, 2006; Rigoutsos, et al., 2006; Simons and Pellionisz, 2006a & b; Pennisi, 2007; Catani, 2010; Fudenberg, et al., 2011; Bancaud, et al., 2012; Church, Gao and Kosuri, 2012; Goldman, et al., 2013; Rands, et al., 2014). Respectively, many archaeological patterns are fractal (even the famous Phaistos disc can be studied, also, from fractals perspective). Therefore, fractal analysis is an indispensable method in our efforts to understand non-linearities in past cultural dynamics (Zubrow, 1985; Brown, et al., 2005; Hamilton, et al., 2007). Fractal Geometry or ‗the geometry of Chaos‘ is the study of the form and structure of complex, rough, and irregular phenomena, both natural and cultural (Mandelbrot, 1967, 1977 & 1983). Fractals all belonged to a single type of universal phenomenon. The basic premise of fractal analysis is that many complex and irregular patterns traditionally believed to be random, bizarre, or too complex to describe, are in fact strongly patterned and scale invariant. A wide range of human settlement patterns are known to be fractal (Brantigham, 2006), both in terms of geomorphology (patterns of archaeological settlement, taphonomy, stratigraphy) and of settlement itself (landforms, river networks, water sources, coasts, soil types). The concept of ‗scale-free‘ phenomena that share common ‗harmony‘, though chaotic at first, are now used to predict natural disasters, as disaster studies have been infused with new vitality by non-linear dynamics perspective, because fractals, being a mathematical formula of a pattern that repeats over a wide range of size and time scales, are hidden within most of the complex systems (e.g. Barton and La Pointe, 1995; Sellnow, et al., 2002; Di Martino, et al., 2007; Fairmal and Rucker, 2009; Liang, et al., 2009; Yulmetyev, et al., 2009). Another intriguing topic that embraces fractals is the crop cycles cases around the world. Researchers acknowledge fractal geometry in them, e.g. in the so-called 'Julia set' at Stonehenge in 1996, and in the 'Triple Julia set' at Windmill Hill the same year. On the other hand, a very old and pristine art of Asia, described in ancient Sanskrit texts, ‗kolam‘, is, also, acknowledged as reflecting fractal geometrical patterns. This form of painting can be found in India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and a few other Asian countries. The designs can cover areas up to 3 meters by 3 meters, two famous examples being the Anklets of Krishna and the snake. Occasionally they consist of small patterns repeated many times, but more often they are small drawings connected in very sophisticated ways. The mathematical properties of Kolam are being used in Computer science field and Computational Anthropology. Fractals are now recognized in many

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Archaeodisasters patterns of Indu and Buddist art, such as ‗mandala‘ (e.g. Archana, 1985; Yanagisawa and Nagata, 2007). Moreover, fractals are now interrelated to ultra high frequency subtle energies, such as consciousness (scalar waves), tachyon energy, and zero point energy (energy between subatomic particles of matter); they program and store information in — and are transmitted by — water, soil and stone, bone, and blood, in the form of crystals, because crystals are frequency resonators that hold, amplify, and transfer information. But modern scientists rediscover what ancient wisdom already knew as the energy of Life, e.g. the Chinese Qi/‗Chi‘, the Japanese ‗Ki‘ and the Indian 'Prana'/ ‗Akasha‘, the Pythagorian ‗aether‘, the Platonic solids, the Egyptian great pyramid being actually half an octahedron and is able to resonate with the torsion fields of the Earth, etc. In fact, Earth itself accelerates to maximum speed towards the Galactic Centre, starting around the time of the Spring Equinox followed by deceleration after September. This momentum seems to be generated by a strong energetic wave or pulse. The Seasonal Variations in ether-drift velocities are also interrelated to Earth‘s motion both around the Sun and the galactic plane (Michelson and Morley, 1887; Morley and Miller, 1907; Miller, 1922; Swenson, 1972; Reich, 1973; DeMeo, 2002 & 2004). In the mid-1800s, Louis Pasteur discovered that the building block of life known as ‗protoplasm‘ is inherently not symmetrical, and that colonies of microbes grow in a spiral structure (recognized by modern scientists as fractal like growth, see Tsyganov, et al., 1999; Lambert, et al., 2003; Huang et al., 2012, etc). This ‗sacred geometry‘, was, also, known as the spiralling form of Fibonacci, Golden Mean and / or ―phi‖ spiral. In 1913, Dr. Eli Cartan was the first to clearly demonstrate that the 'fabric' (flow) of space and time in Einstein‘s general theory of relativity, not only 'curved', but it, also, possessed a spinning or spiralling movement within itself known as 'torsion' (Cartan, 1981). In the 1930‘s, H.S. Burr (and later on, his student and colleague Leonard Ravitz) worked at Yale on accumulating data that could support the hypothesis of the bio-electric field (Life fields aka L-fields) as acting as a causal agent in development, healing, mood and health, in other words as being the organizing matrix for the body just disappearing after physical death. The phenomena of the cosmos seemed once again to interrelate, e.g. phases of the moon, sunspot activity, thunderstorms, ovulation cycles of women, etc (Lund, et al., 1947; Burr, 1972; Playfair and Hill, 1979; Becker and Selden, 1985; since then Electrobiology is covered by an extended list of books and papers). In the late 1950‘s, Russian astrophysicist, Nikolai Kozyrev has proven that human thoughts and emotions relate to torsion fields or vacuum domains - the equivalent of the electromagnetic imploding vortexes in the vacuum of space (Kozyrev, 1971; Bohm, 1980; Laszlo, 2004). Another scientist, from the Heart Math institute, Daniel Winter, went further. He has proven that emotion is actually an implosion of electromagnetic energy from the heart and mind, when coherence is reached between the waves in ECG (electrocardiogram) and EEG (Electroencephalogram). Especially, the feelings of love harmonically entrain brain and heart waves by Golden Mean ratio related frequencies, in the frequency spectrum of the EEG and ECG, creating an imploding vortex in the energy field around the person. Today, we are aware of the vortical structures in chakras spin energies and oceanic vortices that produce the plankton blooms. Finally, a Japanese scientist, Masaru Emoto has proven that the formation of ice crystals from water samples can be altered by human intention. ―Bliss is fractal‖ (MacKenna and MacKenna, 1994; Material under copyright protection


Archaeodisasters Winter, 1997; Puthoff, et al., 2002; Emoto, 2004; Horowitz, 2005; Chaplin, 2007; Winter, 2007; Pollack, 2013). Early in the 20th century, Buckminster Fuller suggested a system of holistic thinking, according to which, breaking down a subject and studying its parts separately, as is done in Science today, can never lead to a comprehensive understanding of the whole, because "Nature has only one department and one language" (Synergetics II, p 234; Buckminster Fuller and Applewhite, 1975; Edmondson, 2009). Ancient knowledge and modern research agree on the 'Broadband Connectivity' we share with the rest of the natural world (Kitzbichler, et al., 2009). Fractal dynamics in broadband synchronization exist at every scale of measurable reality (from quantum to cosmic), and human consciousness is both simply and profoundly a portal through which such fractal connectivity flows. Cosmos, humans and societies are inextricably bonded and profoundly interconnected. The latest biophysical and biomolecular cutting-edge research gives two thrilling examples. DNA (especially the ‗junk‘) uses rules, similar to which, human languages do (in syntax, semantics and grammar). Moreover, living chromosomes exhibit certain frequency patterns onto a laser ray, influencing DNA‘s frequency, and thus, the genetic information itself. Consequently, DNA creates the ‗body‘ and serves as data storage and communicator. These are the three new constants in holographic universe: vibrations, information and hyper-communication (Combs and Holland, 1990; Gariaev, et al., 1992; Combs, 1996; Ho, 1998; Fosar and Bludorf, 2001; Strassman, 2001; Combs, et al., 2004; Carroll, 2010; Montagnier, et al., 2010; Gariev, et al., 2011; Church and Regis, 2012; shCherbak and Makukov, 2013). 8.2 More on Disasters in Nature and Society According to Bertalanffy (1973), a system is a ―set of interacting elements‖. The biological, neural, social and cultural systems are considered complex natural systems. As such, they share common characteristics: a) they exchange ‗energy‘ with their environments, so, they are open, b) they are self-organized with a hierarchy of interacting complexity levels and c) they may memorize their experiences in order to adapt to various internal or external conditions through a change of response (analysis - selection realization - evaluation - memorization). For example, artificial neural networks (ANN) are characterized by an interdependence between qualitative (‗cognitive‘) and dynamical (‗emotional‘) aspects of stimuli. Emotions, as a result of the self-monitoring of the neural system, control both learning and recognition processes, thus, they can enhance the effectiveness of cognitive processes. Respectively, ‗repeller networks‘ can selectively reject unwanted patterns (Zajonc, 1983; Lewenstein and Novak, 1989 a & b; No