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Ancient explosions in ancient architecture ... preliminary thoughts

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posted on Aug, 1 2012 @ 12:16 PM
From time to time we see evidence in ancient architecture, signs of possible large scale explosions.

Speculation regarding such explosions usually points in the direction of aliens, or other such more fanciful ideas among non-academics, and fringe sites like this.

One such location that examples evidence of an explosion is the mysterious site of Puma Punku.

Such explosions, or evidence pointing in the direction that an explosion happened is something of a bother.
What was around that could cause such explosions?

Many of the more fanciful minded will talk about ancient lost technologies of super advancement, yet, there's no real evidence of such, so, talk in that direction is essentially fruitless mental masturbation on thoughts of fantasy.

What WAS around that could cause explosions, even quite surprisingly large explosions was grain, and maize.

Grain and maize? How can they make big explosions?

This of course is just a preliminary speculation, but, a speculation for a logical, probable explanation to account for some of the evidence in locations of ancient sites where there's some degree of evidence for large unexplained explosions.

How can grain and/or maize cause large explosions?
Ask any farmer that has a grain elevator or grain silo.
Grain elevators and grain silos are extremely risk prone toward causing large explosions due to dust build up.

Dust Explosion - wiki

A dust explosion is the fast combustion of dust particles suspended in the air in an enclosed location. Coal dust explosions are a frequent hazard in underground coal mines, but dust explosions can occur where any powdered combustible material is present in an enclosed atmosphere.

Many materials that are commonly known to oxidise can generate a dust explosion, such as coal, sawdust, and magnesium. However, many otherwise mundane materials can also lead to a dangerous dust cloud, such as grain, flour, sugar, powdered milk and pollen.[3] Many powdered metals (such as aluminium and titanium) can form explosive suspensions in air.
The dust can arise from activities such as transporting grain, and indeed grain silos do regularly have explosions.

Thus, in any sufficiently advanced primitive society that's developed agriculture as a means of sustenance, agriculture will necessarily result in a need to store grain, maize, milled flour, and whatever products or product derivatives result from said agriculture.

Storage of these materials, without adequate ventilation, and/or electrical grounding against static discharge, or lightning strike in seasonal storm weather could very well result in massive explosions of grain storage facilities.

Here's an old sterogram from one particular mill disaster listed in the wiki posted above:

Here also is the story about the Washburn Mill disaster of 1878:
Washburn Mill Disaster of 1878

On May 2, 1878, the Washburn ‘A’ Mill — the largest flour mill in the United States at that time — exploded. The mill exploded when flour dust in the air inside it ignited. The explosion claimed 18 lives, decimated the surrounding area, and brought instant notoriety to Minneapolis. The tragic explosion led to reforms in the milling industry. Ventilation systems and other precautionary devices were devised in order to prevent further tragedy.

This happens now, in modern times too, and as above, in notable situations resulted in some sizable devastation.

With this in mind, it would seem probable that such risks were also present with the storage of grain products in primitive societies and could very well have resulted in some extreme disaster scenarios we have no real answers for in the ruins of some architectural curiosities today.

This preliminary look is purely speculation at the moment, and does not aim to explain all unknown evidence of explosions in primitive architecture, including Puma Punku (that was detailed merely as an example of evidence of explosions). It does, however, aim to fill an objective and rational niche for the possible, and probable logical explanation of some ancient sites which may show such evidence of explosions.

Comments and criticism is welcome, but, please consider, again, this is not an explanation for all explosions in ancient cultures, only a fraction, and none as of yet have even been framed for examination with this preliminary in mind.

posted on Aug, 1 2012 @ 12:25 PM
This is a very good theory. I work across the street from a grain elevator, and talk with the guys that work there often about the explosion hazards. Considering that it is known that crops such as maize were of extreme importance to early cultures, and were also known to have bulk storage facilities, this is actually quite possible.

S + F

I'll have to do some further research into these ideas and see where they may lead.
edit on 1-8-2012 by isyeye because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 1 2012 @ 12:29 PM
Is there any evidence that a sufficient amount of grain was stored at that site to account for an explosion of that magnitude?

posted on Aug, 1 2012 @ 12:37 PM
reply to post by Druscilla

Excellent thread Druscilla. I like the way you propose a *logical* possible explanation, before jumping straight into the ET theories. I'll be following this one for sure.....


posted on Aug, 1 2012 @ 12:41 PM
reply to post by Druscilla

Good thinking on this topic.

It is a completely possible explanation, though not as exciting as many on ATS probably wish for.

posted on Aug, 1 2012 @ 12:52 PM
reply to post by Klassified

No, there is no evidence, that i'm aware of that Puma Punku was a grain storage repository.
I was merely using that site as an example of primitive architecture that shows indication of structural fragmentation and scattering possibly caused by explosion.

This preliminary proposition does not aim to claim that Puma Punku itself was a grain repository, or that any theoretical explosion taking place there was indeed caused by it's use as a grain repository.

This proposition does, however, aim to frame the idea that other sites (unnamed) that show similar structural fragmentation and scattering, very well could indeed evidence a grain repository site that experienced catastrophic explosion.

Even modern grain repositories with all our awareness of the hazards of dust explosions and safety regulations in place still experience these disasters. It would thus seem probable that primitive societies would not have similar awareness of the hazards involved, and could very well have experienced large scale incidents.

Consider also the frequency of famine in historical record due agricultural ignorance in regard to crop rotation and leaving fields fallow. This frequency of famine would have spurred many a culture to have grain reserves in storage to cover and span the gap of famine times.
Larger grain stores to cover the chance of years of famine would necessarily result in larger risk for greater explosions.

Granted, right now, this is just speculation, but, speculation in an attempt to follow a probable path of explanation for structural remains that do indeed indicate the possibility of explosions without resorting to fantasies about super highly advanced civilizations with alien destructive technology.

edit on 1-8-2012 by Druscilla because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 1 2012 @ 01:10 PM
Until the advent of the electric light most if not all large grain mills were a daytime only proposition. Open flames were too risky because of the chance of a dust explosion. Nice theory OP

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posted on Aug, 1 2012 @ 01:16 PM
Here's an additional link on the Washburn Mill disaster:
Washburn Mill explosion

Example of the destructive power of the explosion as detailed in the story -

On May 2, 1878, at 7:10 p.m., a spark ignited flour dust in the Washburn A Mill. The explosion that followed blew the mill’s concrete roof several hundred feet in the air and leveled the seven and a-half story limestone building. The nearby Humboldt and Diamond Mills also were flattened by the explosion, and one third of the city’s business district was destroyed by the fire. The explosion broke windows as far away as Summit Avenue in St. Paul, and limestone blocks landed in yards eight blocks from the milling district.

Please note, I'm only using the Washburn Mill disaster as an example of the destructive force a dust explosion attributed to grain storage may cause.

I currently have not queried into actual primitive 1500+ years old sites showing evidence of structural fragmentation and scattering that evidences an explosion to frame or test this preliminary proposition.

Eventually I hope to do so.

posted on Aug, 1 2012 @ 02:28 PM
reply to post by Druscilla

There might be something to this many of the Egyptian Pyramids for example show large cracks as if from a possible internal blast of some sort and many had once upon a time thick residue on the walls originally before the modern Egyptians cleaned them for the tourist industry

There is ample evidence around the world for some sort of large scale destruction, could also explain why some sites show vitrification from intense heat of some sort. Interesting theory

S & F

posted on Aug, 1 2012 @ 03:04 PM
reply to post by Druscilla

While it is true, speculation is still just that, speculation. I appreciate your approach in looking for the simplest and most plausible answers first, before entertaining more elaborate causes.

posted on Aug, 1 2012 @ 04:25 PM
Nice thread.
Thank you!

Here is a list of grain elevator explosions for further research.

posted on Aug, 1 2012 @ 05:10 PM
Very good theory!!! And one that I suspect most people would not even think of. If it even explains 1% of the ancient explosive evidence it is still a explanation. I wonder if any of the others were victims of putting together materials that react explosively? The explanation of course at the time would have been "we have angered the gods".

posted on Aug, 1 2012 @ 06:04 PM

Originally posted by SLAYER69
reply to post by Druscilla

There might be something to this many of the Egyptian Pyramids for example show large cracks as if from a possible internal blast of some sort and many had once upon a time thick residue on the walls originally before the modern Egyptians cleaned them for the tourist industry

There is ample evidence around the world for some sort of large scale destruction, could also explain why some sites show vitrification from intense heat of some sort. Interesting theory

S & F

Well, i wouldn't really expect neolithic grain silos to actually create the kind of heat needed for vitrification. My initial thoughts on this are that it is a great, great theory. But for places like Mohenjodaro, not quite so applicable.

posted on Aug, 1 2012 @ 08:42 PM
I found this blog article which would seem to support these early speculations.

Unfortunately, the root source cited; "Prehistoric Grain Explosions" J. van Leuven (Antiquity) 1979, is unavailable online, though it's listed in some catalogs.

Great Balls of Floury Fire

... it suggests that food, more particularly grain, had the potential to bring powerful Mycenaean city states, including Knossos, to their knees.

Now if this was just a question of the lack of food or even a surplus of bad food there would be nothing to say ... But Pylos and Knossos and Zarkos seem all to have been destroyed by conflagrations in the very early centuries BC and these conflagrations may have had their origin in the local grain supply.

It's notable that Knossos suffered greatly and was rebuilt with some effort after the Santorini volcanic eruption also called the Thera explosion that essentially destroyed most of Minoan civilization around 1645–1600 BC, some 3,600 years ago.
Minoan Eruption

The Knossos site, was however rebuilt, until, it would seem, it was destroyed again by 'conflagration', and abandoned around 1380–1100 BC, some 3,100-3,380 years ago. With date ranges having a margin of error, some dating gets as close to a mere 100 years after the Thera event that Knossos was burned and abandoned, as well as up 400-500 years afterwards.

Conflagration is another way of saying 'fire'. From tidbits in other journals I'm finding mention of outwardly exploded wall collapses with shrapnel like fragments of masonry and structural material found embedded in other structures. Such would indicate an explosion resulted in whatever hugely devastating fire that in turn resulted in the final abandonment of a once thriving bronze age site.

Other sites mentioned in the blog linked above, that I've yet to look into are Pylos and Zarkos. I've yet to look at those sites in any detail and am still only just barely scratching on Knossos.

posted on Aug, 1 2012 @ 11:53 PM

Originally posted by bigfatfurrytexan

Well, i wouldn't really expect neolithic grain silos to actually create the kind of heat needed for vitrification. My initial thoughts on this are that it is a great, great theory. But for places like Mohenjodaro, not quite so applicable.

There very well could be mitigating circumstances involving storage facilities for many goods. A room, warehouse, silo, or whatever storage method was used for long term grain storage, could very well have been in close proximity to, and even shared with other storage rooms or areas that held large reserves of lamp oil for instance.

A dust explosion from grain could then provide the initial force of power and heat flash with scattering of even further grain dust particulates in the blast for a sustaining fireball reaction where this then combines with lamp oil stored in close proximity caught up in the blast and aerosol-ized in the force of the explosion, fueling a hotter reaction that might account for evidence of vitrification, and glazing in some sites.

Such, though potentially probable, is still speculation and would by needs be tested, and/or run by those with a strong knowledge base of both chemistry, explosions and material reactions relevant to items we know neolithic and bronze aged cultures kept in storage.

edit on 1-8-2012 by Druscilla because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 2 2012 @ 03:02 AM
we meet again, here is one idea well worth considering which should fit your current mind set." target="_blank" class="postlink" rel="nofollow">
have fun.

posted on Aug, 2 2012 @ 03:25 AM
I tend to wonder a lot about the residue in the pyramids too..... Putting the thought of large storage areas and explosions together the first thing that comes to mind is fuel. But gasess or vapors more than liquids.... Methane being the first but also alcohol. Theres tales of the pyramids being a power source but we have no artifacts of anything that would be ran off of a gas type of fuel. Hmmmm

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posted on Aug, 2 2012 @ 04:15 AM

Originally posted by ancientthunder
we meet again, here is one idea well worth considering which should fit your current mind set." target="_blank" class="postlink" rel="nofollow">
have fun.

I don't see how the Tunguska Event has anything to do with neolithic and/or bronze age architectural ruins that show evidence of explosive events where such events point toward explosive forces starting inside buildings as indicated by walls blown outward with structural fragments and debris scattered over a wide area.

If, however, you're leaning on the idea that there are stealth comets that can suddenly appear inside neolithic and/or bronze age architecture without doing harm to the outside structure, only to then explode from the inside, you might be onto to something, but, I have to say, I personally feel the probability likelihood for stealth comets occurring, or stealth comets occurring in such frequencies to effect relatively small scale disasters in the historical record as compared to the Tunguska Event quite improbable down to the point of almost zero probability.

I don't discount your theory that stealth comets might very well exist, but, I'd suggest you consider starting an entirely different thread regarding the mysterious and deadly stealth comet since this one is more in consideration for a culprit of higher probability, namely the rather un-climactic sounding, but deadly dangers and hazards of grain storage in primitive culture.

edit on 2-8-2012 by Druscilla because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 2 2012 @ 04:56 AM
reply to post by Druscilla

I can see your point, but take another look. Most ancient buildings from all corners of the world included a roof made out of wood. The pressure of wood is from the inside to the outside walls, when they collapse they push the walls outwards always. Now when something comes from outer space, its not always in one piece and if it is as it enters our atmosphere it can fracture in to many smaller particles. If those pieces were to fall inside a building they would be like small bombs and would effectively blow the walls outwardly. Not saying that what your saying is not plausible, just saying that something like this is possible. In Australia they are know as thunder eggs! But in America maybe know as piedras de fuego, In many deserts small rocks that show signs of passing through extreme heat can be found. I am not a scientist in the least, but I know quiet a bit about building and I know that a sound blast can knock trees over with ease without impact.You will notice in the article I have placed, that sound alone demolished an enormous forest.So these sound bombs from outer space have abilities to knock down buildings too.

posted on Aug, 2 2012 @ 05:23 AM
reply to post by ancientthunder

I see your point, but, still, the probability of meteoric debris being held accountable for exploded neolithic and bronze age buildings of the frequency evidenced in the historical archive is substantially small down to the point of near zero.
Right now, in modern times, there's substantially more buildings and people all over the planet, presenting a vastly greater target area, and still the incidence of small or any sized space debris penetrating or making contact with modern structures is absolutely tiny.

Neolithic and Bronze age populations were much smaller, presenting a vastly smaller target area such that meteor strike even once over a 2000 year period between BC and AD is so small as to be inconceivable.

Tunguska, a huge event impacting miles of area, occurring in relatively modern times compared to neolithic and bronze age populations, had relatively small effect as it applies to people since it just leveled a chunk of Siberia wilderness, even though during the time the event occurred, civilization worldwide had a much larger target footprint than neolithic and bronze age cultures.

Meteors, and comets or any other potential extraterrestrial impactor threat are such low threats in frequency and effect that they can essentially be dismissed almost in entirety.

Besides that, any substantial sized extra terrestrial impactor large and fast enough to cause damage on the scale described by grain dust explosions would leave evidence of an impact event behind. We'd have iriduim dusting, cratering, and a number of other indicators well documented and quite commonly known already in the field considering that to specialize in archaeology, one must also have sufficient concentrations in geology with sufficient knowledge to identify an impact event over other possible factors.

Thus, impact events, even small scale events, are still so fractional a possibility as to register near zero in probability.

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