Neolithic mural may depict ancient eruption
Volcanic rock dating suggests the painting of a Çatalhöyük mural may have overlapped with an eruption in Turkey according to results published January 8, 2014, in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Axel Schmitt from the University of California Los Angeles and colleagues from other institutions. Scientists analyzed rocks from the nearby Hasan Dagi volcano in order to determine whether it was the volcano depicted in the mural from ~6600 BC in the Catalhöyük Neolithic site in central Turkey. To determine if Hasan Dagi was active during that time, scientists collected and analyzed volcanic rock samples from the summit and flanks of the Hasan Dagi volcano using (U-Th)/He zircon geochronology. These ages were then compared to the archeological date of the mural.
Volcanic rock textures and ages support the interpretation that residents of Çatalhöyük may have recorded an explosive eruption of Hasan Dagi volcano. The dating of the volcanic rock indicated an eruption around 6900 BC, which closely overlaps with the time the mural was estimated to have been painted in Çatalhöyük. The overlapping timeframes indicate humans in the region may have witnessed this eruption.
Alternative interpretations of the mural include the depiction of a leopard skin, consistent with other art at the Çatalhöyük site.
Schmitt adds, "We tested the hypothesis that the Çatalhöyük mural depicts a volcanic eruption and discovered a geological record consistent with this hypothesis. Our work also demonstrates that Hasan Dagi volcano has potential for future eruptions."
Source: Public Library of Science
Latest Science NewsletterGet the latest and most popular science news articles of the week in your Inbox! It's free!
Check out our next project, Biology.Net
From other science news sites
Popular science news articles
- Bats' flight technique could lead to better drones
- Six new fossil species form 'snapshot' of primates stressed by ancient climate change
- 'Slow' NZ seabed quake sheds light on tsunami-earthquake mechanism
- World's shallowest slow-motion earthquakes detected offshore of New Zealand
- UCI astronomers determine precise mass of a giant black hole
- Seeking to rewind mammalian extinction
- Perceived diversity in neighborhoods is related to more prejudice, study finds
- Imodium for a legal high is as dumb and dangerous as it sounds
- An experiment seeks to make quantum physics visible to the naked eye
- Made better through science: Calcite tuned to be mollusk-tough
- Critically Endangered and ancient Himalayan wolf needs global conservation attention
- Nearby massive star explosion 30 million years ago equaled detonation of 100 million suns
- Newly discovered titanosaurian dinosaur from Argentina, Sarmientosaurus
- One oil field a key culprit in global ethane gas increase
- First multi-year study of honey bee parasites and disease reveals troubling trends