About 3,700 years ago, a meteor or comet broke out in the Middle East and destroyed human life across the country, called Middle Ghor, north of the Dead Sea, according to archaeologists who have found evidence of a cosmic explosion.
Air "in the moment, devastated about 500 km2 [about 200 square miles] just north of the Dead Sea, not only to destroy 100 percent [cities] and cities, as well as removing farmland from one-time fertile fields and covering the eastern Middle Ghor with superheated saline salt of dead Dead Sea anhydride salts that overwhelmed the country with shock-shock waves, "researchers wrote in a paper abstract that was presented at the annual meeting of American Schools of Oriental Research, held in Denver from November 14 to 17. Anhydride salts are a mixture of salt and sulfate.
"Based on archaeological evidence, it took at least 600 years for civilization to re-enter the Middle East Ghor to recover sufficiently from destruction and soil pollution," they wrote. Among the ruined places was Tall el-Hammam, an ancient city that covered 36 hectares of land. [Wipe Out: History’s Most Mysterious Extinctions]
The evidence that scientists have discovered about the explosion is 3700-year-old Tall el-Hammam ceramics that have an unusual appearance. The surface of the ceramic was vitrified (turned on the glass). The temperature was so high that pieces of zirconium in the ceramics changed to gas – something that requires a temperature of more than 730 degrees Fahrenheit (4000 degrees Celsius), said Phillip Silvia, field archaeologist and supervisor with the Tall el-Hammam Project. The warmth, though powerful, did not last long enough to burn all the ceramic pieces, so the portions of the ceramic under the surface were relatively undamaged.
The only natural occurrence that can cause such an unusual pattern of destruction, says Silvia, is a cosmic explosion – something that happens occasionally throughout Earth's history, such as an explosion in 1908 at Tunguska in Siberia.
Also, archaeological excavations and surveys in other cities in the affected area indicate a sudden destruction of life about 3700 years ago, Silvia said. No craters have yet been found, and it is unclear whether the culprit was a meteor or a comet that exploded above the ground.
The fact that only 200 square kilometers of land was destroyed suggests that the incidence of the explosion occurred at low altitudes, probably not more than 3 km above ground, Silvia said. For comparison, Tunguska's explosion severely damaged 830 square miles or 2150 square kilometers of land.
Team results are preliminary and research is ongoing, Silvia stressed. The team includes Trinity Southwest University, North Arizona University, DePaul University, Elizabeth City State University, New Mexico Tech and Comet Research Group.
It originally came out on living science.