Pottery Investigation from Ancient Times Reveals Disaster

There are theories of sudden changes in climate in historic times. We all know about the Ice Age, and the subsequent melting of the glaciers. These climate changes are thought to have caused migrations and other variances in where humans lived. There is some interesting new evidence found on some ancient pottery that may help us understand one big change that may have been a major disaster.

The Evidence

Scientists are dating this incident around 8,000 years ago. There is said to have been a fast cooing of the earth during this time. The summers may have been drier, as a result. The focus was on the Northern Hemisphere. It has long been thought that farming may have been negatively affected by these climate changes. Now there is some evidence of this possibility. Animal fat remains has been found on broken pieces of ancient pottery. The archaeological site in question is called Catalhoyuk, and it is located in Turkey.

Past Times

This particular site was once a great ancient city. It has been found that they grew wheat, barley, and peas. Goats, sheep, and cows were handled, as well. The population in the area topped out at around 10,000 people. They were, interestingly, for their plastering skills. They used it on their walls, as an art background, and on skulls. Today, Catalhoyuk, is a hub for archaeological study.

The Event

The large event that took place is now called the 8-2 kiloyear event. This marks the 8,200 years ago that it is perceived to have happened. The cooling temperatures caused a change in sea currents and predictable patterns of weather. This, in turn, affected livestock. Livestock need more to eat when temperatures drop. The grazing lands may not have survived during this, either. The animals would have showed a change in size, with less fat. Researcher set to work looking for chemical traces of a change in the fat residue on the pottery from this time period.


The pottery form the time period 8,200 years ago showed an increase in heavy hydrogen when compared to samples from other times. It was about a nine percent difference. Research done on plants at an earlier time showed less hydrogen isotopes during times of less rain. The animals ate the plant life during this dry period, showing changes in their fat.

This new evidence can help researchers further prove different climate changes throughout history. They can now look at different samples from around the world, and find out what was going on at the time with the climate. This is an interesting factor in how past societies changed with the climate.

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