Ancient symbols carved into stone at an archaeological site in Turkey tell the story of a devastating comet impact that triggered a mini ice age more than 13,000 years ago. Evidence from the carvings, made on a pillar known as the Vulture Stone, suggests that a swarm of comet fragments hit the Earth in around 11000 BC.
Computer software was used to match carvings of animals – interpreted as astronomical symbols – to patterns of stars and pinpoint the event to 10950 BC.
Other evidence for the impact from a Greenland ice core suggests roughly the same time frame. The cataclysm ushered in a cold climate lasting 1,000 years and is likely to have resulted from the break-up of a giant comet in the inner solar system.
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