A now-extinct village in northern Syria is likely the first example of a community of people who were Hit indirectly It was destroyed by a large comet that struck Earth about 12,800 years ago. The comet’s strike led to a radical shift in lifestyle from hunting to agriculture and even control of wild animals, according to a new analysis of remains excavated from the area in the 1970s.
“Based on current analyses, this would be the first example of a human settlement catastrophically affected by a cosmic impact event,” the researchers wrote in the new study.
The team’s new interpretation of material excavated from the prehistoric village of Abu Hurairah, which is now submerged under the Lake Assad reservoir in northern Syria, indicates a radical change in the local climate at that time. Land It collided with fragments of the 62-mile-wide (100-kilometer) decomposed ice body called… Centaur. These objects have a dual nature in terms of their appearance Asteroids But they leave a trail of gas and dust in their wake Comets.
Related: Did the strike of a comet 13,000 years ago change human civilization as we know it?
In what is known as an airburst, one of the comet’s pieces filled with immense heat is believed to have exploded high in the planet’s atmosphere and rained down intense shock waves over the village, thus wiping out its inhabitants. Scientists also suspect that this event, called the Young Dryas impact hypothesis, covered the region in dust, blocking sunlight and causing a cold winter.
Before the comet struck, the record shows that settlers consumed mostly wild fruits, berries, and legumes, while post-event remains show that their diet shifted to grains and lentils, as a result of early experiments in agriculture.
The region also saw a significant rise in drought-resistant crops, reflecting the change from a cool to a drier climate, according to the new study. “Villagers began growing barley, wheat and legumes,” James Kennett, a professor emeritus at the University of California Santa Barbara and co-author of the new study, said in a report. statement. “This is what the evidence clearly shows.”
These results are consistent with Hypothesis 2007 Our planet has witnessed several comet atmospheric explosions across the continents. Researchers say that parts of the giant comet that exploded over the Syrian village also rained down rain on more than 50 known locations across at least five continents.
The researchers say that because the comet’s “impact” was indirect and was actually an explosion in the air, there are no craters in the ground. But the hole is not required,” Kennett said in the same statement.
“Many acceptable impacts do not have a visible crater.”
This research is described in A paper Published September 28 in Airbursts and Cratering Impacts.
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