Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Lost Culture Buried by Volcano

I love reading great historical articles and thought you might find this interesting!


Scientists Claim to Find 'Lost Culture' Buried by Volcano
Tuesday, February 28, 2006
NARRAGANSETT, R.I.  — Scientists have found what they believe are traces of the lost Indonesian civilization of Tambora, which was wiped out in 1815 by one of the biggest volcanic eruptions in recorded history.


Mount Tambora's cataclysmic eruption on April 10, 1815, buried the inhabitants of Sumbawa Island under searing ash, gas and rock and is blamed for an estimated 88,000 deaths. The eruption was at least four times more powerful than Mount Krakatoa's in 1883.


Guided by ground-penetrating radar, U.S. and Indonesian researchers recently dug in a gully where locals had found ceramics and bones. They unearthed the remains of a thatched house, pottery, bronze and the carbonized bones of two people, all in a layer of sediment dating to the eruption.


University of Rhode Island volcanologist Haraldur Sigurdsson, the leader of the expedition, estimated that 10,000 people lived in the town when the volcano erupted in a blast that dwarfed the one that buried the Roman town of Pompeii.

The eruption shot 400 million tons of sulfuric gases into the atmosphere, causing global cooling and creating what historians call "The Year Without a Summer." Farms in Maine suffered crop-killing frosts in June, July and August of 1816. In France and Germany, grape and corn crops died, or the harvests were delayed.

(The rest of the article found here. Pictures too!)

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