Let me introduce you to the remarkable French archaeologist Claude Schaeffer. He excavated Enkomi in Cyprus and Ugarit along the Syrian coastline. He also examined over forty other the Middle East sites. This was around the period from three thousand to six thousand years ago. What amazed him was that of six civilizations laid down, each was separated by a vast destruction layer up to thirty meters of ash. What could have caused this massive damage?
Certainly no conquering hoard would have left such fearful devastation. Conventional explanations would not work. A hundred forest fires could not lay down such a fearful evidence of destruction. Ugarit and Byblos, mere kilometres from Baalbek, had been ravaged by earthquake, fire, Tsunamis and inexplicable devastation numerous times. Ugarit was totally covered in debris and the coastline changed dramatically. The city was totally abandoned never to be rebuilt.
What agent could totally wipe out a civilization? Not only was one city was destroyed, but an entire network stretching from Troy to ancient Egypt.
Claude Schaeffer’s investigations in the Middle East found that each and everyone told the same story. The demise of a civilization followed by a clear cut gap that allowed no interplay or influence from the preceding one. And not just once but at least six times (even more he speculates in private correspondence) this massive destruction occurred. Across eras separated by two thousand years, from the close of the early Bronze age to the opening of the Iron Age.
Let us be clear these were not slow Darwinian events. This was sudden and dramatic destruction, flying totally in the face of Darwin, Hutton and Lyle’s theory of slow uniform changes on the face of the Earth. Schaeffer called these massive destruction areas “zones de tremblement”. He was bold enough, to assign catastrophic natural events as the premier agent in the rise and fall of civilizations.
“Having for the first time established in Stratigraphy Comparee. those successive crises during the IInd and IIIrd millennium from the Caucasus down to Egypt, I was tempted to look for the causes among which were earthquakes, tidal waves, climatic changes and other natural catastrophic agents”.
Claude Schaeffer and ancient natural destructions
Claude Schaeffer believed that warfare and politics had little overall effect when compared to the chaotic whims of nature. These affairs of mankind were but mere trifles when compared to natures’ dramatic and deadly cataclysms.
“For with the new confirmations those crises could no longer be questioned by the great number of sceptical short-sighted archaeologists among which I live now in some sort of scientific isolation, so striking are the proofs and so accurate the dates established by the new discoveries. When their testimony will have been shown, those great crises will explain better than before, the historical development of the most ancient civilizations and its mechanism, and they will definitely take out of the hands of man the command of the great historical happenings we thought he possessed”.
Claude Schaeffer saw these events as the cause of race movements. It clearly explained the theme behind the collapse of nations. This was the cause of subsequent dark ages when mankind lost their ability to write and cooperate in complex societies. Observations of modern Volcanoes and earthquakes only offered a partial explanation. The ancient events were extraordinarily more numerous than recent history describes. According to classical sources, such as the historian Pliny, ancient Earthquakes were far more numerous.
During the Punic wars of 217BC between Rome and Carthage, fifty seven earthquakes were recorded in Rome in one year alone. Nowhere in the modern world is this concentration seen. Claude Schaeffer also noted the ancient volcanoes were incredibly powerful! He observed that a volcano on the island of Santorini had erupted in July 1956. “There, under our eyes, on a smaller scale, is happening what happened in earlier times on a gigantic scale”. He struggled to explain the cause for these amazing phenomena. But one man knew the answer.