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An 18-member international team of researchers that includes James Kennett, professor of earth science at UC Santa Barbara, has discovered melt-glass material in a thin layer of sedimentary rock in Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Syria. According to the researchers, the material –– which dates back nearly 13,000 years –– was formed at temperatures of 1,700 to 2,200 degrees Celsius (3,100 to 3,600 degrees Fahrenheit), and is the result of a cosmic body impacting Earth.
These new data are the latest to strongly support the controversial Younger Dryas Boundary (YDB) hypothesis, which proposes that a cosmic impact occurred 12,900 years ago at the onset of an unusual cold climatic period called the Younger Dryas. This episode occurred at or close to the time of major extinction of the North American megafauna, including mammoths and giant ground sloths; and the disappearance of the prehistoric and widely distributed Clovis culture.
He added that the archaeological site in Syria where the melt-glass material was found –– Abu Hureyra, in the Euphrates Valley –– is one of the few sites of its kind that record the transition from nomadic hunter-gatherers to farmer-hunters who live in permanent villages. "Archeologists and anthropologists consider this area the 'birthplace of agriculture,' which occurred close to 12,900 years ago," Kennett said.
Although this is generally held to be the result of normal cultural change through time, numerous other reasons have been suggested to be the driving force for the observed changes in the archaeological record, such as an extraterrestrial impact event or post-glacial climate change with numerous faunal extinctions.
Originally posted by timewalker
This might not seem like a big deal to some, but if fact, the history books were just re-written, again. It is commonly held that the Clovis just faded to the American Native Indian culture. This points to an near extinction level event and the few that survived gave birth to the Indians and most likely killed nearly all of humanity around the world giving rise to modern culture.