The giant landslide centred at Köfels in Austria is 500m thick and five kilometres in diameter and has long been a mystery since geologists first looked at it in the 19th century. The conclusion drawn by research in the middle 20th century was that it must be due to a very large meteor impact because of the evidence of crushing pressures and explosions. But this view lost favour as a much better understanding of impact sites developed in the late 20th century…
…new research by Alan Bond, Managing Director of Reaction Engines Ltd and Mark Hempsell, Senior Lecturer in Astronautics at Bristol University, brings the impact theory back into play. It centres on another 19th century mystery, a Cuneiform tablet in the British Museum 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, and was made by an Assyrian scribe around 700 BC. It is an astronomical work as it has drawings of constellations on it and the text has known constellation names. It has attracted a lot of attention but in over a hundred years nobody has come up with a convincing explanation as to what it is.With modern computer programmes that can simulate trajectories and reconstruct the night sky thousands of years ago the researchers have established what the Planisphere tablet refers to. It is a copy of the night notebook of a Sumerian astronomer as he records the events in the sky before dawn on the 29 June 3123 BC (Julian calendar). Half the tablet records planet positions and cloud cover, the same as any other night, but the other half of the tablet records an object large enough for its shape to be noted even though it is still in space. The astronomers made an accurate note of its trajectory relative to the stars, which to an error better than one degree is consistent with an impact at Köfels.
Ancient Sumerians were superb observers of the night sky and are credited with the founding of astrology, which surprisingly is still practiced and followed to this day. They passed this practice on to their Assyrian and Babylonian descendents, who spread it to the Hebrews.
After the Babylonians came the Persian Empire, who no doubt practiced it and when Alexander the Great conquered them, it spread even more through the West. The ancient Egyptians practiced a form of astrology and some argue they taught the Sumerians, but the Sumerians were contemporaries and possibly an older culture, so it might be the other way around, nobody is sure. That is how mainstream historians see it anyway and there are other alternative histories that contradict the main doctrine, but that’s for another post.
It’s interesting to note that ancient Middle Eastern cultures show a certain continuity, because the article says the cuneiform tablet is Assyrian and that it was a copy from a Sumerian original that was 2400 years older. So astronomical observation was a well developed discipline that no doubt had well trained observers. Modern researchers obviously are taking this into account as they verify the meteorite theory.
Ancient Sumerians are also credited with another astronomical observation, an event that might occur every 5000 years like clockwork.
Does ‘Nibiru’ ring a bell?