Did Meteor Impact in Greenland Kill Stone Age America?
Update December 2018: The discovery of the massive Hiawatha Meteor Crater in Greenland has reopened debate on stone age America. Believed to be between 12,000 and 3 million years old debate rages on. Dating the massive crater is a problem being buried by ice. The crater is 19 miles wide.
See the graphic Hiawatha Meteor Crater 2.
Since the 1880s climate activists claim the earth has warmed. They claim most of this occurred since the 1990s and we should panic - that is proof of human induced climate change. It is unprecedented they claim.
No it isn't. We are in a post-glacial period earth scientists call Holocene that began 11,700 years ago. Sea level was hundreds of feet lower 20,000 years ago. The Tennessee and Ohio valleys were tundra and grasslands, Chesapeake Bay a river valley.
Stone age humans from both Asia and perhaps Europe lived here. Known as the Clovis culture they suddenly disappeared along with many species of large mammals.
Sudden and dramatic climate change was common and well documented. Between 15,000 and 7,000 years ago "three abrupt sea-level rises corresponded to sudden shifts in global climate." (Stanley 500)
Studies of corals in the Caribbean island of Barbados provide clues. The island has been going through techtonic uplifting which means fossil corals that were once under water are above the shoreline line today. Though various methods I'll leave to the textbook, sudden sea level rise occurred 15,000, 12,000, and 8,000 years ago.
As the long deadly ice age was coming to an end and life could spread across the continent, disaster struck North America and Europe. This killed the Clovis people, the mammoths, and plunged the region into another ice age lasting over 1000 years. Scientists call this the Younger-Dryas period.
This event left a layer of ash (Younger-Dryas Boundary or YDB) from California to Syria. In Murrey Springs, Arizona "the black layer infills many mammoth footprints to drape over an almost fully articulated mammoth skeleton and a Clovis fireplace, yet no Clovis artifacts have been above the YDB".
Further, "fossils of extinct large mammal species occur right up to the YDB but not above it." (Stanley 504)
So the world came out of an ice age and sudden and dramatic warming is well documented. But that is not what wiped out the Clovis culture or the large mammals of North America. What would leave millions of square miles of ash?
On June 30, 1908 a "superbolide" explosion occurred in the Tunguska region in central Siberia. While information is sketchy scientists believe the explosion occurred between 3 to 6 miles high. It destroyed through blast and fire 770 square miles of forest. It left no crater.
The object has been estimated to be from 200 to 600 feet in diameter. (60 to 190 meters.) Using supercomputers scientists guess the explosive yield of 10 to 30 megatons. (Wiki)
No doubt today that a Tunguska size event over a large urban area such as Chicago would kill millions, but what would happen with a continent wide event?
Stone Age America 12,900 Years Ago
"Stone-age Europeans were the first to set foot on North America, beating American Indians by some 10,000 years, new archaeological evidence suggests. ... In a discovery that could rewrite the history of the Americas, archaeologists have found a number of stone tools dating back between 19,000 and 26,000 years, and bearing remarkable similarities to those made in Europe.
All of the ancient implements were discovered along the north-east coast of the USA...Adding to the weight of evidence is fresh analysis of a stone knife unearthed in the US in 1971 that revealed it was made of French flint."
Read more: Stone-age Europeans 'were the first to set foot on North America' By Matthew Day 28 Feb 2012
13,000-22,000 years ago America was nothing like it is today. Ice sheets still covered entire states north of central Ohio but were in retreat. Chesapeake Bay was a river valley and the Atlantic shoreline extended hundreds of miles into the present day Atlantic. Ice covered 3 million square of ocean in the North Atlantic at its peak.
See the graphic Ocean Levels over time.
The North Sea and other Atlantic coastal areas was home to mammoths, forests, and humans. Fishing nets today dredge up fossilized wood, tree stumps, and animal bones including those of mammoths.
There's good evidence that stone age European hunters found their way to America as early as 22,000 years ago following the ice hunting seals and fish. Cave paintings in Europe depict seals. In America the Clovis people had spear points that resemble those in Europe and are not found in Siberia.
They proceeded Asians that had joined them by this time. This is the subject of hot debate as their tools were found in Virginia and Maryland. A stone knife has been traced to flint in modern France.
"Recent studies have suggested that the glaciers that helped form the bridge connecting Siberia and Alaska began receding around 17,000 to 13,000 years ago, leaving very little chance that people walked from one continent to the other.
Also, when archaeologist Dennis Stanford of the Smithsonian Institution places American spearheads, called Clovis points, side-by-side with Siberian points, he sees a divergence of many characteristics...Clovis points match up much closer with Solutrean style tools, which researchers date to about 19,000 years ago. This suggests that the American people making Clovis points made Solutrean points before that.
There's just one problem with this hypothesis Solutrean tool makers lived in France and Spain. Scientists know of no land-ice bridge that spanned that entire gap."
Yes there was 3 million square miles of ice. Read more: "First Americans May Have Been European" by Bjorn Carey February 19, 2006
This is hotly disputed it seems more for political reasons more than anything else. But where did the Clovis people go regardless of origins? Evidence suggest a mega-Tunguska event over North America.
"Artifacts from the Clovis culture, whose members are believed to be among the earliest settlers of this continent, disappeared from the archaeological record. Northern glaciers moved southward and forests turned into tundra. The period is linked to the onset of agriculture in the Middle East, perhaps because hunting and gathering could no longer provide adequate food supplies."
It wasn't just the Clovis people but most large animals including mammoths, giant ground sloths, saber-tooth cats, horses, camels, cave bears, etc. The recent Siberian explosions are nothing as this event could have reached 1 million megatons or more:
"An international team of researchers that included earth scientists James Kennett of UC Santa Barbara examined soil samples dating from the Younger Dryas at 18 sites in North America and Europe. At most of the sites, they found micro-spherules of silica similar to those that have been linked to other meteor impacts. The micro-spherules were in the layer dated to the Younger Dryas, but not in the layers above or below it.
At three sites, however - in Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Syria -- they found melted glass that could only have been formed at very high temperatures. The glass, similar to that observed following the Trinity nuclear test explosion in New Mexico, was formed at temperatures of 3,100 to 3,600 degrees Fahrenheit, the temperatures that would have been reached during an impact event. Chemical studies showed that the material was not cosmic in origin, not man-made and not volcanic."
See the graphic Hiawatha Meteor Crater 2.
Massive forest and grass fires would have covered entire states killing most large animals and humans. This is believed by some to have caused the Younger Dryas ice age lasting 1000 years and reducing states like Tennessee and Virginia to arctic deserts.
Later due to climate change and global warming that continues to this day ice melted flooding millions of square miles of then coastal areas where many of the Clovis and/or Solutrean people likely lived. The polar bears did just fine.
This explosion is disputed because of a lack of an impact crater. Others suggest it may have struck the Canadian ice sheets which would leave no crater unless really massive enough to punch though over a mile of ice. Much of the breakup could have landed in the Atlantic Ocean.
Read more: "New evidence that extraterrestrial impact killed off the mammoths" June 12, 2012 By Thomas H. Maugh II.
That possible evidence may have been found.
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