The destruction of the city of Akkad by a cosmic asteroid impact and the link to global climate change.

To read the full-text of this research, you can request a copy directly from the authors.


We focus on one of the most important events in human history, the 4.2 kiloyear event, when great civilizations around the world collapsed into anarchy and social chaos. From this moment on, climate cooling and widespread aridification began, lowering agricultural food production and human living conditions. Various hypotheses exist about its cause; the most promising approach links the 4.2 kiloyear event to a cosmic asteroid crash into Mesopotamia. The asteroid landed in a densely populated area; we examine at first major translations of preserved Sumerian documents on details and progression of this catastrophic event. We quote major impact features as observed by historical Sumerian eyewitnesses. The impact, as a full strike, eradicated the Imperial city of Akkad. The impact damaged all other Sumerian towns to different degrees. Based on our findings, we identify the location of the missing city of Akkad. We analyze the onset of global cooling and severe aridification in the framework of our cosmic climate footprint analysis for a selected 1,000 year timeframe. This footprint analysis of Holocene climate change affirms the occurrence and date of the impact event. We also identify volcanic mega-eruptions, which are responsible for multi-decadal global temperature dips but which cannot cause centennial-long climate changes. The footprint analysis takes 5 climate macroforcings into account and explains global cooling and aridification based on impact-related causes.

No full-text available

Request Full-text Paper PDF

To read the full-text of this research,
you can request a copy directly from the authors.

... The river sediment estuary at the Sumerian Umm---al---Binni location is of abyssal depth, filling the gap between two continental plates, the Eurasian and the Arabian plates. The K8538 observations describe impact conditions of the bolide into abyssal sedimentary mud, releasing the impact energy via dust, ash and vapour plumes, rising from deep out of the shallow Persian Gulf estuary, constantly being fed by renewed inflowing salty Gulf waters, producing vapour columns, elevating sedimentation mud for more than 24 hours into the air [18]. For this reason, mud plumes with high tempest velocities devastated all of Sumeria, by depositing salty Gulf mud over hundreds of kilometres land distance, in the prevailing wind direction West. ...
... Hot burning ash columns lit the sky at night. The comet crashed in a densely populated area, producing an impact crater of 3.4 km in diameter, which destroyed the first empire of the word, the Akkadian empire, and buried two large cities, Agade and Lagash entirely with "Su---Bir" fly ash and dust ("Bir": scaHered material, "Su": sinking, submerging) described in detail in [18], our paper of "The destruction of the city of Akkad by a cosmic asteroid impact and the link to global climate change". Geological evidence from the impact site is presented. ...
Full-text available
The K8538 is the world's first scientific documentation on approach and terrestrial impact of a large comet on Earth. Observations were made on top of an astronomical tower, located 100 km close to the impact site. The report is presented in form of a sequence of eight pictures, explaining the comet's first astronomical sighting, the appearance of comet tail and coma, the growing comet size, the comet flight across the sky and finally, its visible impact beyond the horizon, i.e. the impact flash lighting of the sky and the subsequent elevation of ash plumes, glowing beyond the horizon, spreading North and West. The impact itself is not described as a blast pressure wave but rather as an ash and dust tempest, rising out of mud sediments from the Tigris and Euphrates river delta, where the hot comet found its burial. The astronomical observer carried out trigonometrical measurements to record the flight path in the sky, flying distances and flying times. The observer started his measurements as soon as the comet showed its spectacular size, coma and tail, which convinced the observer, that an extraordinary celestial event was about to take place. The K8538 is a full comprehensive analysis of the comet event; its eight-picture sequence is cohesive. The tablet is a masterly work, explaining with as little text a maximum amount of impact event features. The tablet is a late Babylonian copy of the early old Sumerian original. Written cuneiform signs of two zodiacal constellations, Orion and Triangulum, are later Babylonian copy scribe additions and were not part of the Sumerian original. The K8538 tablet had high priority in Babylonian times, because it provided the documented evidence that the comet emerged out of the constellation Triangulum, Mul-Apin, onto which late Babylonian astronomy and religion rested. The tablet eyewitness account shows Mul-Apin as celestial seat of Gods and celestial source of destructive meteors on Earth. For this reason, the K8538 was guarded, copied and refreshed over more than 1,500 years, until the late Babylonian period, after the observed meteor impact in 2,193 BC. The tablet does not deal with any Babylonian zodiacal astrology. The described cosmic impact on Earth is the so-called 4.2 kyr event, shown in our other Holocene climate change studies. The comet impact is responsible for a 300 year long drop in global temperatures combined with lasting mega-droughts, which led to the collapse of various ancient civilizations around the world.
... The course of the comet, described on the K8538 clay tablet is this of Northern Taurids comet showers (Bashewa Weather, 2016), coming out from the Pleiades, crossing over to Orion and impacting thereafter on Earth, after being visible in its approach for 20 days. In 2193 BC, the direct hit of the comet into shallow waters and into the abyssal sediments of the Persian Gulf produced immense fire columns of hot sediment dust, mixed with salty steam out of Gulf waters, arising as dust impact plume above the impact site and covering large parts of Southern Mesopotamia with hot dust (Seifert, 2013). This impact and the impact dust layer was archaeologically discovered in 1998 (Courty, 1998;Courty, 2001), 20 cm thick in Northern Mesopotamia, in large distance to the impact site. ...
Full-text available
We analyze each spike of the temperature evolution within this 2900-1650 BC time frame, using the GISP2 Holocene temperature series. The analysis applies our paMern recognition grid, as explained in the first Holocene paper, commencing 8500 BC. The grid consists of vertical and horizontal lines, placed on this selected Holocene time span. The distances between vertical grid lines, demonstrating Earth orbital periodicity, augment by 6.95 years for each successive periodicity cycle. There are 3 horizontal grid lines, the central line is the Milankovitch line, signifying the GISP2 borehole core temperature, if all other climate drivers were excluded. The two other horizontal lines are the upper and the lower Earth orbital oscillation line, within which the Earth climate varies, if not impacted by large cosmic bolides. As we demonstrate, the Holocene temperature evolution does not remain confined within these upper and lower horizontal lines, because strong cosmic impacts always and necessarily produce a strong temperature down-spin spike, followed by a strong upward temperature rebound spike, regressing thereafter. This is the so-called Z-shaped temperature paMern of each cosmic impact on Earth. The 2900-1650 BC time frame contains two important cosmic impacts, which cause the so-called " Bond-events " or " Millennium cycles ". The very large cosmic Burckle impact into the Indian ocean sent global temperatures steep down, thus one Bond event. A smallish impact, the Sumerian K8538 impact in Iraq, in combination with a down-moving periodicity curve produced the second temperature drop, another Bond event, also called " 4.2 kyr event ". Both, the Burckle event at 4.8 kyr, and the " 4.2 kyr event " caused steeply declining temperatures with a drying atmosphere, resulting in severe and century long drought conditions on Earth. Large agricultural societies, which developed since 3000 BC, such as in Sumer, Egypt, China and India collapsed. The Sumerian-Akkadian culture with its capital city Agade was wiped off the map by a direct bolide hit. Details of bolide impacts, drought and society demise are provided.
Full-text available
The paper adds new translation knowledge to our 2014 paper: “The Sumerian K8538 tablet, the great meteor impact devastating Mesopotamia”. We present an improved, detailed fixing of the meteor impact day and impact hour, according to data provided on the tablet. A sky map for Northern Taurids meteor showers shows the comet flight path in the sky. Other useful information is given concerning climatic change, following the meteor impact, the meteor impact aftermath and new details for the relation of the cosmic impact to the Christian Bible, in particularly to Genesis and Apocalypse. The meteor impact occurred at 10:56 am, on September 22, 2193 BC, after the meteor emerged at 5:34 am at dawn and after a flight time of 5 hours 22 minutes. These numbers can clearly be deduced out of observation data entries in the tablet’s pictographic records and in comparison to LOD (length-of-day tables) for the corresponding Mesopotamian latitude. The K8538 tablet is property of the British Museum. Unfortunately, the museum is staunched in its opinion that this tablet represents the Babylonian sky as a so-called “planisphere”. This opinion is based on an interpretation, which we, for the first time, analyze in comprehensive detail, item by item, in this paper. Result: The planispheric concept of the Babylonian sky on this tablet is a hoax: Not one single correct argument proves alleged recorded planispheric constellations on the tablet, except one, already found by L. W. King, over 100 years ago, back in 1912. As translated in our 2014 K8538 paper, the tablet has never been a planisphere, but is a pictographic “cartoon” story, probably the first recorded cartoon of the world, consisting of a sequence of 8 subsequent pictures, to be turned while reading, to advance the story. All 8 pictures exclusively show observations, recorded measurements and specific details of flight and impact of this disastrous meteor, which destroyed the nearby Akkadian capital in Mesopotamia. Because Southern Iraq in the impact area was swamp and marshland until recently, an exploration of the discovered impact crater, Umm-al-Binni, was impossible. For the first time, it is feasible from 2019 on, and a first crater inspection will soon be conducted. Due to missing explorations of the impact crater, Near-East historians, until now, did not recognize the historical cosmic impact event, but we may expect that this will change in the near future.
Full-text available
Winter storms in California's Sierra Nevada increase seasonal snowpack and provide critical water resources for the state. Thus, the mechanisms influencing precipitation in this region have been the subject of research for decades. Previous studies suggest Asian dust enhances cloud ice and precipitation (1), while few studies consider biological aerosols as an important global source of ice nuclei (IN). Here, we show that dust and biological aerosols transported from as far as the Sahara were present in glaciated high-altitude clouds coincident with elevated IN concentrations and ice-induced precipitation. This study presents the first direct cloud and precipitation measurements showing that Saharan and Asian dust and biological aerosols likely serve as IN and play an important role in orographic precipitation processes over the western United States.
Full-text available
Archaeological and soil-stratigraphic data define the origin, growth, and collapse of Subir, the third millennium rain-fed agriculture civilization of northern Mesopotamia on the Habur Plains of Syria. At 2200 B. C., a marked increase in aridity and wind circulation, subsequent to a volcanic eruption, induced a considerable degradation of land-use conditions. After four centuries of urban life, this abrupt climatic change evidently caused abandonment of Tell Leilan, regional desertion, and collapse of the Akkadian empire based in southern Mesopotamia. Synchronous collapse in adjacent regions suggests that the impact of the abrupt climatic change was extensive.
15 temperature evolution
  • J Seifert
  • F Lemke
J. Seifert and F. Lemke 15 temperature evolution, Clim. Past. Discuss. 8, 1005-­-1056, 2012, doi: 10.5194/cpd-­-8-­-1005-­-2012
The Lower Mesopotamian Plain: A Sedimentation Model
  • Jaroslav Domas
Jaroslav Domas, The Lower Mesopotamian Plain: A Sedimentation Model, hEp:// www/backissues/112/News%20Reports.pdf
  • Y Sabah
  • Yacoub
Sabah Y. Yacoub: Stratigraphy of the Mesapotamia Plain, Iraqi Bull Geol. Min. Special Issue No. 4, (2011) p. 4 7 ---8 2, h E p : / / w w w. i a s j. n e t / i a s j ? func=fulltext&aId=61737
Excavations at Ur, A Record of 12
  • Leonard Woolley
Leonard Woolley, Excavations at Ur, A Record of 12
A reconstruction of regional and global temperatures for the past 11
  • Marcoe
as in MarcoE, et al: A reconstruction of regional and global temperatures for the past 11,300 years, Science, vol 339, nr. 6124, pp.1198---1201, Mar 2013. Temperature data: hEp://, hEp://