Ancient symbols carved in stone at an archaeological site in Turkey tell the story of a devastating impact that triggered a mini Ice Age on our planet more than 13,000 years ago. The evidence, known as the Vulture Stone, suggests that several fragments of the comet Reached the Earth around 11,000 BC.
The sculptures were discovered at Gobekli Tepe, an archaeological site in southern Turkey, which experts now believe may have been an ancient observatory. Computer software was used to combine animal inscriptions – interpreted as astronomical symbols – to star patterns.
Researchers suggest that the disaster occurred in 10,950 BC. Other evidence found in an ice core in Greenland indicates an impact roughly the same period. The cataclysm ushered in a cold climate that lasted 1,000 years.
“It seems that Gobekli Tepe was, among other things, an observatory to monitor the night sky,” said Martin Sweatman, a researcher at the University of Edinburgh School of Engineering in Scotland. “One of its pillars seems to have served as a memorial to this devastating event – probably the worst day ever since the end of the Ice Age.”
The sculptures seem to have remained important to Gobekli Tepe for millennia, indicating an event that had a very serious and lasting impact. A series of symbols on the stone suggest that long-term changes in the axis of rotation of the Earth were recorded by early astronomers using a The finding also supports the theory that the Earth experiences periods when comet impacts are most likely due to the planet’s orbit.