The eruption occurred just before the 1815 Tambora volcanic eruption, which is famous for its overwhelming impact on climate worldwide, with 1816 given memorable names such as ’Eighteen-Hundred-and-Froze-to-Death’, the ‘Year of the Beggar’ and the ‘Year Without a Summer’ due to unseasonal frosts, crop failure and famine across Europe and North America. The extraordinary conditions are considered to have inspired literary works such Byron’s ‘Darkness’ and Mary Shelley’s ‘Frankenstein’.
However, the global deterioration of the 1810s into the coldest decade in the last 500 years began six years earlier, with another large eruption. In contrast to Tambora, this so-called ‘Unknown’ eruption apparently occurred unnoticed, with both its location and date a mystery. In fact, the ‘Unknown’ eruption was only recognized in the 1990s, from tell-tale markers in Greenland and Antarctic ice that record the rare events when volcanic aerosols are so violently erupted that they reach the Earth’s stratosphere. Read more.
A new study of pest insects found in an ancient seed jar on the Greek island of Santorini suggests the major volcanic eruption that took place there around 1600 B.C.—and which may have inspired the legend of Atlantis—happened in early summer.
The “Atlantis” eruption was one of the most significant volcanic eruptions in human history. The blast is credited for not only ending the Minoan civilization, but also for affecting ancient Egypt and other communities around the eastern Mediterranean, explained Eva Panagiotakopulu, an archaeologist and fossil-insect expert at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.
Based on previous evidence, scientists had concluded that the eruption happened sometime between 1627 to 1600 B.C. But there has been one important and unresolved question about the event: What season did it take place in? Read more.
A University of Colorado Boulder-led team excavating a Maya village in El Salvador buried by a volcanic eruption 1,400 years ago has unexpectedly hit an ancient white road that appears to lead to and from the town, which was frozen in time by a blanket of ash.
The road, known as a “sacbe,” is roughly 6 feet across and is made from white volcanic ash from a previous eruption that was packed down and shored up along its edges by residents living there in roughly A.D. 600, said CU-Boulder Professor Payson Sheets, who discovered the buried village known as Ceren near the city of San Salvador in 1978. In Yucatan Maya, the word “sacbe” (SOCK’-bay) literally means “white way” or “white road” and is used to describe elevated ancient roads typically lined with stone and paved with white lime plaster and that sometimes connected temples, plazas and towns. Read more.