Sanderson Building, LT-1
Discovery of a (very) ancient zodiac, with implications for many areas of science
Over the last few years, evidence has converged in favour of the Younger Dryas impact hypothesis, which suggests a cosmic collision with cometary debris occurred circa 10,900 BC. This hypothesis suggests it is this catastrophic event which is primarily responsible for many known effects at that time, including dramatic climate change, extinction of many species of megafauna, and human cultural transitions on several continents. Despite claims to the contrary from some quarters, the latest astronomical evidence suggests this kind of event is expected. Indeed, the archaeological record should be full of events of this kind over the last 30,000 years or so.
Recently, with help from a few co-workers, I discovered the almost certain existence of an ancient zodiac, written in terms of animal symbols representing the constellations we still use today. Together with ancient knowledge of precession of the equinoxes, this enabled ancient ice-age people to record these catastrophic events. Evidence from very ancient cave sites across Western Europe, including Lascaux and Chauvet, and from slightly less ancient archaeological sites in south east Turkey, including Gobekli Tepe, support this claim with a remarkable degree of confidence. If correct, it means the capabilities of ancient humans have been underplayed. The consequences for many other areas of earth science are just as profound.
Dr Martin Sweatman is a Reader in Chemical Engineering in the School of Engineering at Edinburgh. For his day job he studies the statistics of the motion of atoms and molecules (statistical mechanics) using theory and molecular simulation, which has applications in many areas, including chemical engineering processes.