Lost Worlds and New Species Found

ekim68

Mike
Joined
Jul 8, 2003
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58,026
An immense mystery older than Stonehenge

When German archaeologist Klaus Schmidt first began excavating on a Turkish mountaintop 25 years ago, he was convinced the buildings he uncovered were unusual, even unique.

Atop a limestone plateau near Urfa called Gobekli Tepe, Turkish for "Belly Hill", Schmidt discovered more than 20 circular stone enclosures. The largest was 20m across, a circle of stone with two elaborately carved pillars 5.5m tall at its centre. The carved stone pillars – eerie, stylised human figures with folded hands and fox-pelt belts – weighed up to 10 tons. Carving and erecting them must have been a tremendous technical challenge for people who hadn't yet domesticated animals or invented pottery, let alone metal tools. The structures were 11,000 years old, or more, making them humanity's oldest known monumental structures, built not for shelter but for some other purpose.
 

ekim68

Mike
Joined
Jul 8, 2003
Messages
58,026
A giant space rock demolished an ancient Middle Eastern city, possibly inspiring the Biblical story of Sodom

As the inhabitants of an ancient Middle Eastern city now called Tall el-Hammam went about their daily business one day about 3,600 years ago, they had no idea an unseen icy space rock was speeding toward them at about 38,000 mph (61,000 kph).

Flashing through the atmosphere, the rock exploded in a massive fireball about 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) above the ground. The blast was around 1,000 times more powerful than the Hiroshima atomic bomb. The shocked city dwellers who stared at it were blinded instantly. Air temperatures rapidly rose above 3,600 degrees Fahrenheit (2,000 degrees Celsius). Clothing and wood immediately burst into flames. Swords, spears, mudbricks and pottery began to melt. Almost immediately, the entire city was on fire.
 

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