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It took me a little by surprise to see the late dates of the 40’s BC in this article. I had been studying the effects of volcanic eruptions together with meteorite impacts and aerial blasts of comets exploding in flight, such as the one believed to have caused the Tunguska Event in 1908. The eruption of the Sunset Crater volcano, coincides closely with the collapse of the Chaco Civilization around 1200 AD and another volcano, possibly Thera in combination with one or more meteorite impacts near the Euphrates were major elements leading to the collapse of the Late Bronze Age civilizations of the Mediterranean in 1187 BC. Either can set off a cascade of catastrophes by blocking sunlight with clouds of ash or dust or both. Plants die, the herbivores feeding upon them die, leading to carnivores dying and somewhere in this chain, omnivores such as humans die. Civilizations can generally survive one of these events but the simultaneous occurrence of several of these events has drastic effects on all life forms. Goodyear in his Cycle of Cosmic Catastrophes, credits the extinction of the megafauna and Clovis culture to these and argues that they occur repeatedly in great cycles. Recently various people have been adding mass coronal ejections to the equation suggesting that these likewise affect social events and atmospheric disturbances as well as elevated radiation, continent wide wildfires , and the activation of volcanoes, earthquakes along fault zones, tsunamis and massive sinkholes. Acceptance of these theories is slowly gaining traction but resistance is still high. The obstacles to general acceptance lie in identification, location and interpretation of the evidence. In attempting to understand these debates I am constantly reminded of Goya’s depiction of two men flailing each other with clubs while sinking in quicksand.
Interesting read but what does Et tu brute? have to do with a volcanic eruption?
The phrase is a reference to Julius Caesar’s assassination as imagined by Shakespeare.