(Phys.org) —A period of rapid, intense cooling, known as the Younger Dryas, took place about 13,000 years ago. Scientists think this sudden change in climate caused the extinction of many large mammals, such as the mammoth, and was the reason for the disappearance of North America’s Clovis people. According to one hypothesis, a cosmic impact caused the climate to cool. Using data from the Greenland ice core, Michail Petaev and his colleagues at Harvard University have found what appears to be evidence of this impact. Their research appears in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
This is fascinating because ti approximately coincides with the age of one of the neolithic structures we know of – Göbekli Tepe. Carbon dating puts this site at 11,000 years old but some structures may go back even further.
So a major asteroid burst may have been responsible for the death of megafauna, as well as the destruction of entire human communities. HUge wildfires and huge drops in temperatures killed off a lot of wildlife, if this theory is true.
This is all still circumstantial, based on metal ratios. They need to find a lot more evidence but it is intriguing what effect this impact might have had on neolithic civilization. The discovery of impact spherules might just be the needed evidence.