Civilization in the Ice Age

We know that there was some kind of civilization around at the end of the last Ice Age, about 12,000 years ago. We’ve found thier stone works. There was also the Atlantis Myth, that said it was located outside the gates, and surrounded by ice. So can we make any “good guesses” about what the world of civilization looked like then? Where there might be artifacts to be found?

has an interesting set of graphs and some speculation wrapped around it. First up, their idea about what the “livable” places would have been in the cradle of civilization:

Habitable areas 20,000 years ago.

Habitable areas 20,000 years ago.

Livable Ice Age Lands 20,000 years ago

Livable Ice Age Lands 20,000 years ago

I think this is a bit pessimistic. The text says:

Glaciers of about 20,000 years ago are shown in dark blue, blue, and light blue in this map from The Times Atlas of World History (Times Books (4th ed) 1993). Red shows the extended land area due to low sea levels about 20,000 years ago, and green and yellow show areas favorable for human habitation in wet and dry periods, respectively. The two turqouise squares show the locations of the Sphinx-Giza complex at the mouth of the Nile River, at the intersection of the favorable Asian and African areas, and Gora Belukha in Central Asia, which may be known in China as Kunlun Shan, home of Xi Wang Mu, the Queen of the West, and in India as Su Meru, home of Indra.

First off, people live in a whole lot of different kinds of places. Neanderthals lived up close and personal with the ice, and if the moderns were not “in their face” then, would have not gone extinct / merged with moderns. Second, take a look at that coastal area. We are pretty sure there was a city in the Indus area of India in that red. We know folks have been living in coastal areas for tens of thousands of years before this map. IMHO, there’s a LOT more of that area that is livable.

Per Atlantis, it must be found near ice with a circular harbor (per Solon from the Egyptian Priest story). Only two places look possible. In the area where Italy joins the alps, if those glaciers reach the sea on the west side. (The east side is a long low valley. Likely a very good place for some underwater archeology…) and outside the Med. Sea up toward what would become Britain. Nowhere else has the requisite ice meeting the sea.

Notice that the Persian Gulf has become a nice flat plain. That matches with the Biblical story about an ‘Eden’ being flooded out. By this time, early humans had already made it to Australia some 30,000 years before, so that entire coastal area was likely occupied, IMHO.

The Nile, then, was not the same as now (it’s done a whole lot of eroding since then, for one thing); but I would expect there to still be livable and near any river. Their “green” for when dry and “yellow” when wet is a bit, um, restrictive too IMHO. The tropics have species that are frost tender with consistent water demands, and didn’t go extinct, while there are clear differences of European vs Asian vs African species showing long separation between them (so long periods of isolated livable areas).

With all that said, I think the map does have some merit. That green swath over Turkey / the Levant is where most genetic studies find the origin for European genetic types. It is also likely the reason we find 12,000 year old carved stones in the middle of it.

Their other map shows 18,000 years ago, and a global view.

18,000 years ago  climate zones

18,000 years ago climate zones

Ice Age Lands 18,000 years ago

Ice Age Lands 18,000 years ago

Their text says:

At the peak of glaciation, about 18,000 years ago, sea level was about 85 meters lower than it is now (which is about 50 meters lower than it was when the Ice Age ended about 11,600 years ago).

At 18,000 years ago, the Earth looked like this map from Earth and Life Through Time, by Steven Stanley, (Freeman (2nd ed) 1989):

85 meters or about 250 feet down. Look for old coastline and excavate it…

Looks like Chile, Argentina, and a lot of Peru and Bolivia “have issues”… Canada, of course, is toast. Russia does better than I’d expected. The northern Germanic nations of the EU are done for… (which likely explains why we have a demonstrable migration of Germanics into that area and Celts into the Gaulish / British areas as the ice left.) The Desert Southwest of the USA and Mexico do nicely. Australia too. Lots of the ‘outback’ gets some life.

It also looks like there is a fair amount of Steppe and Savannah in areas the other map does not flag as ‘livable’. People do rather well in Steppe and Savannah… It looks like a clear path “out of Africa” along the coast to the Red Sea and along the Nile to the Levant. We can also see why historically the “European” types of Hungary and the Tocharians were doing just fine in Asia. The Asian type originated in South East Asia. The “European” type was actually a Levant / West & South Asia type.

As we enter into the next Ice Age Glacial, it looks like the Canadians need to head south fairly fast. (I suggest Florida or Mexico) and it looks like the Germanics get screwed. From Switzerland to Norway, England to Prussia. Ice. I suggest Australia, Florida, or Brazil… ( I expect Russia and the Chinese will be ‘busy’ with each other…) It also looks like the “Islamic World” stays about the same. North African / Arabian sand, Indonesian jungle.

Turkey is interesting. It shows why so many “European” ethnic groups have roots reaching back to Anatolia / Turkey. Celts, Slavics, and more. That was the best place north of Africa. Lots of coastline, warm enough, but with water.

Interesting to note that Japan does well too, but gets reconnected to the mainland. Alaska rejoins Asia and gets an ice barrier to the “lower 48”.

The good thing is that we’ve got a few thousand years just to get started on the ice, and then about 80,000 more years to build up to full thickness. So “no hurry” on the passport ;-)

It does look to me like Turkey, offshore of Atlantic France and South England would be interesting places to survey for ruins. Offshore India near historic rivers and at the bottom of the Persian Gulf as well. It also looks like attempting to “preserve” Canada as pristine is a bit silly. Go ahead and mine and extract the tar sands. It’s going under ice for 100,000 years in about 2000 years (hopefully not less…)

All in all, an Ice Age is worse for us than what we have now; since the large amount of land very far north nets buried in ice, and the added land around the edges is smaller. There are a lot of areas that become more ‘marginal’. Colder. Drier. Most likely it will be a reduction in carry capacity of the Earth. I hope that 2000 years from now we’re already leaving this planet for space colonies. The alternative is likely a “getting close” in the tropics with a whole lot of technological food growing (nuclear greenhouses).

At any rate, that’s what I’m seeing in those maps. Where we were, and where we return in a couple of thousand years.

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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63 Responses to Civilization in the Ice Age

  1. u.k.(us) says:

    CO2 vs the mongol hordes.
    Windmills as a repellent.
    Updates are not likely…

  2. Those maps don’t look too encouraging for us Welsh folks. Apparently there will be 1,000 m of ice sitting on my home town when the next glacial hits.

    Elsewhere I have read that at the peak of the last glacial the sea level was ~120 meters lower than today:

    Surely that would close the straights of Gibraltar making the Mediterranean an inland sea less deep than it is today. That would lead one to expect submerged buildings at comparatively shallow depths. Here is a video by the university of Nottingham that seems to support this idea. What surprised me it the age of the buildings currently thought to be only 5,000 years old. That suggests the incursion of the Atlantic much later than I would have guessed.

  3. Ian W says:

    @ gallopingcamel

    I read that it was the flooding due to Lake Agassiz ice dam failing and the sudden rise in sea level that resulted in the Atlantic flooding through the Straits of Gibraltar. This could account for a lot of the diluvian stories. See

    The same sudden sea level rise is also blamed for the formation of the Black Sea.

  4. Baa Humbug says:

    The maps aren’t loading and nor is the first link. Anyone else have the same prob?

  5. Zeke says:

    There has been a case made that “Atlantis” may have referred to the Island of Santorini. It has some beautiful towns preserved in ash, including rooms with frescoes of daily life, and a map of the island which shows a circular harbor with an island in the middle. One bit of supporting proof they use is that the name “Cepchu” is Crete in Egyptian. They say it was destroyed catastrophically @1645 BC.

    I think there are plenty of alternative locations for Atlantis for the reasons EM Smith gave and others.

    What is remarkable about these cities and the 6 cities on Crete (including Knossos) are their running water and drainage. Underground systems and pipes delivered water to the houses and in many cases the buildings were 2 or 3 stories high. There were sewer systems as well that were ingenious in construction so that there was no odor, and these were found in every house. The cities in the Indus Valley also had baths and running water to each house, and toilets in some – and it is now thought that the large round towers every few blocks are water towers. The take home point is that drainage of both the land and in cities was quite advanced by the early Bronze Age, with the trademark clay pipes which fit one into the other.

    When studying ancient cities, I have found it is interesting to pay very close attention to the lay out and the drainage. Before the Classical Age, some civilizations have excellent water systems and the houses, remarkably, are basically all the same size, without the enormous concentration of wealth on an aristocracy. I think this is important because scholars love to paint a picture of a few wealthy families holding power, but there are other types of ancient societies that seemed to have some upward mobility, and an economically vital merchant, trading, and craftsman class that produced wealth. This does not fit the template but there is a lot of evidence for it.

  6. Tony Hansen says:

    Same for me.

  7. p.g.sharrow says:

    @EMSmith; Your redheaded ancestors may well have originated in the forests of the Baltic Valley, surrounded by the Ice Mountains to the north and the glaciers of Central Europe. The Celts built in wood and preserved Knowledge by rote memory. Nothing to impress a modern Archeologist. People of a lost homeland, constantly on the move.
    The Atlantean civilization was a confederation of sea traders that became wide spread and powerful 4,000 years ago, before destruction of it’s main base in the Santareni Volcano explosion and the resultant series of tsunami waves decimated the traders ports all over the Mediterranean. A loosely connected empire that conducted commerce over all the world from port to port trading post or city. Not really a landed Empire. Still they were very wide spread and powerful, as well as needed, from the point of view of landed Kings.
    It only takes a few hundred years for a human empire to flower and disappear. If their records are not carved in stone they disappear or are assimilated very quickly. All that is left are myths and legends. pg

  8. Tom Harley says:

    Reblogged this on pindanpost.

  9. R. de Haan says:

    The horror to realize what our civilization will bring to future archeologists, windmills and a metal box containing a Donald Duck cartoon…

  10. E.M.Smith says:

    @Baa Humbug and Tom Hansen:

    I’ve uploaded copies of the images directly to the blog, rather than just link to the site. Let me know if you can see them OK. Unfortunately, WordPress is not letting me make them large sized. (W.P. has “quirks” sometimes. Right now it looks like the ability to set image sizes is a bit bent…)

    I would guess that for some reason the site address is blocked at whatever country you are in, or by some particular ISPs. Lord knows why…

  11. E.M.Smith says:

    Per Atlantis and Santorini:

    I think it was not Atlantis. Primarily for the simple reason that we have a written description of the place and it is supposed to be surrounded / nestled in mountains with cliffs of ice. That’s just not a Mediterranean Island. Santorini may well have been atlantian, but not Atlantis proper. (Or the Solon story is bogus…)

    IIRC the Mediterranean has been in existence for a very long time (circa 5.5 million year scale)

    So it didn’t just form up again as this glacial ice melted. That means folks could have been sailing it for while, and even going out into the Atlantic coast of France.

    IIRC the Strait of Gibraltar was then ‘scoured down’ to about where it is now, about 700 ft deep (and about 3 x the depth of ocean rise during the glacial end…) So it wasn’t a flood of the Med that folks remembered as it was already flooded. A big surge into the Black Sea did happen as it was cut off, and the “Eden” of the floor of the (to be) Persian Gulf went under. Likely fast, too.

  12. Otter says:

    I’ve been wondering lately, if the Dutch people might have a strong ancestry out of Doggerland.

  13. punmaster says:

    . . . Steppe and Savannah . . .

    Sure sounds like a good name for a band, especially if either or both look like
    Mary Huff of Southern Culture On the Skids.

    . . .the Canadians need to head south fairly fast. (I suggest Florida or Mexico) . . .

    Choose Mexico. We have enough cold weather people here now.

  14. Bill Irvine says:

    Lots of interesting stuff being dredged up between UK and Holland / Germany on the Dogger Bank. Dry and livable during the last Ice-Age. Now called Doggerland.
    Also the weight of ice pressed down northern UK and southern UK rose, see-saw effect. Of course that is now being corrected and Scotland is rising.
    The grave goods found also show that trade in UK covered all the known world.
    I am sure that our Scandinavian and North European neighbours (neighbors, naybors) have much other evidence.

  15. Harpo says:

    Our only source for Atlantis is Plato’s dialogues. No mention of ice there. It was almost certainly a garbled version of the Minoan civilisation.

  16. Gail Combs says:

    E.M. It is not the ice that is going to be the OH NOES! of a returning ice age but the sudden climate change. In this case the landing isn’t the problem but the fall is. The ‘Climate Change’ can be either warm or cold as the transition insolation is approached.

    Abrupt Temperature Changes in the Western Mediterranean over the Past 250,000 Years
    Predictable orbital variations led to insolation changes, which triggered less frequent but very intense oscillations. Accordingly, the last glacial inception (substage 5d) has been attributed to a connection between orbital forcing and thermohaline circulation beyond a freshwater threshold within the ocean-atmosphere-sea-ice system…

    ….The onset of the LEAP occurred within less than two decades, demonstrating the existence of a sharp threshold, which must be near 416 Wm2, which is the 65oN July insolation for 118 kyr BP (ref. 9). This value is only slightly below today’s value of 428 Wm2. Insolation will remain at this level slightly above the glacial inception for the next 4,000 years before it then increases again…..

    Click to access LEAP_Nature__Sirocko+Seelos.pdf

    However the transition threshold is not cast in stone and there is quite a bit of controversy over whether the Holocene is going to be double long or is ending shortly or has already ‘ended’

    Can we predict the duration of an interglacial?

    …We propose that the interval between the “terminal” oscillation of the bipolar seesaw, preceding an interglacial, and its first major reactivation represents a period of minimum extension of ice sheets away from coastlines…

    …thus, the first major reactivation of the bipolar seesaw would probably constitute an indication that the transition to a glacial state had already taken place….

    …“With respect to the end of interglacials, the MIS 5e– 5d transition represents the only relevant period with direct sea-level determinations and precise chronologies that allow us to infer a sequence of events around the time of glacial inception…

    …Thus, glacial inception occurred ~3 kyr before the onset of significant bipolar-seesaw variability…

    …Given the large decrease in summer insolation over the Last Interglacial as a result of the strong eccentricity-precession forcing, we suggest that the value of 3 kyr may be treated as a minimum. We thus estimate interglacial duration as the interval between the terminal occurrence of bipolar-seesaw variability and 3 kyr before its first major reactivation….

    …Comparison [of the Holocene] with MIS 19c, a close astronomical analogue characterized by an equally weak summer insolation minimum (474Wm−2) and a smaller overall decrease from maximum summer solstice insolation values, suggests that glacial inception is possible despite the subdued insolation forcing, if CO2 concentrations were 240±5 ppmv (Tzedakis et al., 2012).”

    Transient simulation of the last glacial inception. Part II: sensitivity and feedback analysis

    ….The sensitivity of the last glacial-inception (around 115 kyr BP, 115,000 years before present) to
    different feedback mechanisms has been analysed…. Only if we run the fully interactive model with
    constant present-day insolation and apply present-day CO2 forcing does no glacial inception appear at all. This implies that, within our model, the orbital forcing alone is sufficient to trigger the interglacial–glacial transition, while vegetation, ocean and atmospheric CO2 concentration only provide additional, although important, positive feedbacks. In addition, we found that possible reorganisations of the thermohaline circulation influence the distribution of inland ice.….

    Yeah, A model (Rolls eyes)

    We have been spoiled by the remarkably constant climate during the Holocene.

    Abrupt Climate Change: Inevitable Surprises (2002)
    Executive Summary

    Recent scientific evidence shows that major and widespread climate changes have occurred with startling speed. For example, roughly half the north Atlantic warming since the last ice age was achieved in only a decade, and it was accompanied by significant climatic changes across most of the globe. Similar events, including local warmings as large as 16°C, occurred repeatedly during the slide into and climb out of the last ice age. Human civilizations arose after those extreme, global ice-age climate jumps. Severe droughts and other regional climate events during the current warm period have shown similar tendencies of abrupt onset and great persistence, often with adverse effects on societies.

    Abrupt climate changes were especially common when the climate system was being forced to change most rapidly. Thus, greenhouse warming and other human alterations of the earth system may increase the possibility of large, abrupt, and unwelcome regional or global climatic events. The abrupt changes of the past are not fully explained yet, and climate models typically underestimate the size, speed, and extent of those changes. Hence, future abrupt changes cannot be predicted with confidence, and climate surprises are to be expected.

    The new paradigm of an abruptly changing climatic system has been well established by research over the last decade, but this new thinking is little known and scarcely appreciated in the wider community of natural and social scientists and policy-makers.
    pg 27
    …data from the cores over the most recent 110,000 years, and the multiparameter analyses give an exceptionally clear view of the climate system. Briefly, the data indicate that cooling into the Younger Dryas occurred in a few prominent decade(s)-long steps, whereas warming at the end of it occurred primarily in one especially large step (Figure 1.2) of about 8°C in about 10 years and was accompanied by a doubling of snow accumulation in 3 years; most of the accumulation-rate change occurred in 1 year….

    To completely ignore the possibility of wild weather as the earth approaches the magic trigger insolation is utterly stupid yet the darn international grain traders have convinced eveyone that grain reserves are not necessary because grain can be purchase from elsewhere in the world while the big boys buy up large tracts of land in the USA, Africa and South America and the worlds farmers are saddled with a national officialdom brandishing that most vicious of anti-entrepreneurial weapons: ‘sanitary and hygiene regulations’ – as enforced by national governments… The so-called global food economy is in reality the instrument of a relatively small number of very wealthy transnational corporations. It is a small club that nevertheless harbours very big ambitions. – IDIOTS!

    How to fight a food crisis: To blunt the ravages of drought and market greed, we need a national grain reserve.
    ….over the next quarter of a century the dogma of deregulated global markets came to dominate American politics, and the 1996 Freedom to Farm Act abolished our national system of holding grain in reserve….
    As for all that wheat held in storage, it became part of the Bill Emerson Humanitarian Trust, a food bank and global charity under the authority of the secretary of Agriculture. The stores were gradually depleted until 2008, when the USDA decided to convert all of what was left into its dollar equivalent. And so the grain that once stabilized prices for farmers, bakers and American consumers ended up as a number on a spreadsheet in the Department of Agriculture…

  17. Bloke down the pub says:

    We know that there was some kind of civilization around at the end of the last Ice Age, about 12,000 years ago. We’ve found thier(sic)stone works. There was also the Atlantis Myth, that said it was located outside the gates, and surrounded by ice.
    Do you have a reference for it being surrounded by ice?

  18. R. de Haan says:

    @Bill Irvine says:
    5 May 2013 at 12:11 pm
    Lots of interesting stuff being dredged up between UK and Holland / Germany on the Dogger Bank. Dry and livable during the last Ice-Age. Now called Doggerland.
    Also the weight of ice pressed down northern UK and southern UK rose, see-saw effect. Of course that is now being corrected and Scotland is rising.
    The grave goods found also show that trade in UK covered all the known world.
    I am sure that our Scandinavian and North European neighbours (neighbors, naybors) have much other evidence.”

    Not everything found is from pré interglacial periods, uring the interglacial we have had several sea level changes and some fierce 13th and 14th century floods that turned land into sea again.
    During the last and previous ice age there was no North or East Sea. The current UK, Ireland and continental Europe were a single landmass. To the North, Scandinavia was also part of the landmass but practically uninhabitable as the ice cap came as South as the line Utrecht- Arnhem in the Netherlands. The hilly landscape, Utrechtse Heuvelrug and Posbank are still visible landscape markings that show where how far the ice cap progressed. It must have been a magnificent sight to walk along this gigantic ice wall that because of it’s weight pushed such an amount land into hills like a giant bulldozer. In Drenthe the icecap left numerous huge boulders behind that were used as grave stones by the locals, just google hunnebedden if you want to know more.

  19. R. de Haan says:

    p.s The doggersbank today is a shallow sea where fishers go to catch haring.

  20. adolfogiurfa says:

    Back in 1911: Frozen Niagara Falls:

  21. Gail Combs says:

    This is the Koppen boundries map for the mid west USA. It shows the movement of the boundry by decade. 1910s were about the same as the 1970s and 2 degrees latitude south of where they are now. Therefore a frozen Niagara Falls in 1911 is not too surprising.

    This is the world map

    Köppen climate classification
    Köppen climate classification, widely used, vegetation-based empirical climate classification system developed by German botanist-climatologist Wladimir Köppen. His aim was to devise formulas that would define climatic boundaries in such a way as to correspond to those of the vegetation zones (biomes) that were being mapped for the first time during his lifetime. Köppen published his first scheme in 1900 and a revised version in 1918. He continued to revise his system of classification until his death in 1940. Other climatologists have modified portions of Köppen’s procedure on the basis of their experience in various parts of the world.

    Köppen’s classification is based on a subdivision of terrestrial climates into five major types, which are represented by the capital letters A, B, C, D, and E. Each of these climate types except for B is defined by temperature criteria. Type B designates climates in which the controlling factor on vegetation is dryness (rather than coldness). Aridity is not a matter of precipitation alone but is defined by the relationship between the precipitation input to the soil in which the plants grow and the evaporative losses. Since evaporation is difficult to evaluate and is not a conventional measurement at meteorological stations, Köppen was forced to substitute a formula that identifies aridity in terms of a temperature-precipitation index (that is, evaporation is assumed to be controlled by temperature). Dry climates are divided into arid (BW) and semiarid (BS) subtypes, and each may be differentiated further by adding a third code, h for warm and k for cold…..

    The Köppen classification has been criticized on many grounds. It has been argued that extreme events, such as a periodic drought or an unusual cold spell, are just as significant in controlling vegetation distributions as the mean conditions upon which Köppen’s scheme is based. It also has been pointed out that factors other than those used in the classification, such as sunshine and wind, are important to vegetation. Moreover, it has been contended that natural vegetation can respond only slowly to environmental change, so that the vegetation zones observable today are in part adjusted to past climates. Many critics have drawn attention to the rather poor correspondence between the Köppen zones and the observed vegetation distribution in many areas of the world. In spite of these and other limitations, the Köppen system remains the most popular climatic classification in use today.

    This is to my mind a better way of looking at climate over time because it tells you a lot more about the actual climate and is a bit harder to fudge and adjust.

  22. Old woman of the north says:

    People were living along the Australian coast at about 180m below where the waterline is now. Archaeological evidence of this is under water. A quarry on South Molle Island was used by people who walked there during the Ice age.

  23. E.M.Smith says:

    @Block Down The Pub:

    It was a couple of decades back. I’ll try to remember / find it. But Harpo sent me off to read Plato and the translation I found makes no mention of Ice… So it was either a broken translation, or someone “made stuff up” in some Atlantis thing I read way back when…

    The version I read stated ice surrounding the plain. Yet this one:
    just says “mountains”. So at this point I don’t know if I read a dodgy translation before, or someone “making stuff up”. So it looks like you are correct (provided the linked text is an accurate translation) and ice is not a characteristic feature.

    (Darn it all… in the prior write up, the ice struck me as a great ‘locational tool’ since we have geologic evidence for where ice existed and it narrows the possible locations).

    Having just read Critias, it clearly does not describe Atlantis as being anywhere in the Mediterranean. It goes out of it’s way to place it outside and on the way to a larger continent and another larger “true ocean” (which is pretty much how the Pacific / Southern ocean would look on a map or globe, that roughly 1/2 the planet that looks like nearly nothing but water if you center your view mid-pacific…)

    I’m not really an Atlantis Bug, so not all that interested in “Atlantis Food Fights” over pet theories (other can indulge if they like, just don’t expect me to put too many oars in the water on it. It’s more an occasional weak ‘passing fancy’ for me.) But one bit from Critias makes it pretty clear Atlantis must be outside the Mediterranean, in the Atlantic Ocean, and between Africa / Europe and another giant continent. (i.e. N & S America).

    In this mountain there dwelt one of the earth born primeval men of
    that country, whose name was Evenor, and he had a wife named Leucippe,
    and they had an only daughter who was called Cleito. The maiden had
    already reached womanhood, when her father and mother died; Poseidon
    fell in love with her and had intercourse with her, and breaking the
    ground, inclosed the hill in which she dwelt all round, making
    alternate zones of sea and land larger and smaller, encircling one
    another; there were two of land and three of water, which he turned as
    with a lathe, each having its circumference equidistant every way from
    the centre, so that no man could get to the island, for ships and
    voyages were not as yet. He himself, being a god, found no
    difficulty in making special arrangements for the centre island,
    bringing up two springs of water from beneath the earth, one of warm
    water and the other of cold, and making every variety of food to
    spring up abundantly from the soil. He also begat and brought up
    five pairs of twin male children; and dividing the island of
    Atlantis into ten portions, he gave to the first-born of the eldest
    pair his mother’s dwelling and the surrounding allotment, which was
    the largest and best, and made him king over the rest; the others he
    made princes, and gave them rule over many men, and a large territory.
    And he named them all; the eldest, who was the first king, he named
    Atlas, and after him the whole island and the ocean were called
    Atlantic. To his twin brother, who was born after him, and obtained as
    his lot the extremity of the island towards the Pillars of Heracles,
    facing the country which is now called the region of Gades in that
    part of the world,
    he gave the name which in the Hellenic language
    is Eumelus, in the language of the country which is named after him,
    Gadeirus. Of the second pair of twins he called one Ampheres, and
    the other Evaemon. To the elder of the third pair of twins he gave the
    name Mneseus, and Autochthon to the one who followed him. Of the
    fourth pair of twins he called the elder Elasippus, and the younger
    Mestor. And of the fifth pair he gave to the elder the name of
    Azaes, and to the younger that of Diaprepes. All these and their
    descendants for many generations were the inhabitants and rulers of
    divers islands in the open sea; and also, as has been already said,
    they held sway in our direction over the country within the Pillars as
    far as Egypt and Tyrrhenia.

    So we know what it was facing. Gades or Cadiz.

    From the wiki:

    Cádiz is a province of southern Spain, in the southwestern part of the autonomous community of Andalusia, the southernmost part of continental Western Europe.

    It is bordered by the Spanish provinces of Huelva, Seville, and Málaga, as well as the Atlantic Ocean, the Mediterranean Sea, the Strait of Gibraltar and the British overseas territory of Gibraltar. Its area is 7,442 square kilometers.

    Basically the province around the Rock of Gibraltar and facing out toward the Atlantic in a southwest orientation. So go Southwest and look for island remnants of mountain peaks…

    You run into the Canary Islands:
    though it could extend north toward the Azores as well.

    It sure looks to fit all the locational descriptors.

    FWIW, the text also says that they dominated in the Mediterranean, so I’d expect Santorini to have been one of their islands too, just a more remote one. The people of the Canaries have an oral history of a lot of disaster / collapse and have some carvings with a script on it that has similarities to ancient script found on Med. islands. IIRC it was like Linear A? Unfortunately, the Spanish pretty much destroyed their language and history, so we can’t recover it any more.

    So I think a simpler explanation that still accounts for all the known facts is that the collapse of Atlantis was well before Santorini blew up. Most of the folks escaped into the Med. and founded the Minoan society (that later in the Bronze Age gets wiped out in the volcano) while a few headed the other way to the ‘other continent’ giving rise to their myths. It would be interesting to look at how big those Atlantic islands would be with water 85 m lower and see if the sizes match the description in Critias (that includes specific sizes…)

    Solon was about 600 B.C. and Santorini blew up 1000 years before. The Egyptians were saying:

    To this city came Solon, and was received there with great honour; he asked the priests who were most skilful in such matters, about antiquity, and made the discovery that neither he nor any other Hellene knew anything worth mentioning about the times of old. On one occasion, wishing to draw them on to speak of antiquity, he began to tell about the most ancient things in our part of the world-about Phoroneus, who is called “the first man,” and about Niobe; and after the Deluge, of the survival of Deucalion and Pyrrha; and he traced the genealogy of their descendants, and reckoning up the dates, tried to compute how many years ago the events of which he was speaking happened. Thereupon one of the priests, who was of a very great age, said: O Solon, Solon, you Hellenes are never anything but children, and there is not an old man among you. Solon in return asked him what he meant. I mean to say, he replied, that in mind you are all young; there is no old opinion handed down among you by ancient tradition, nor any science which is hoary with age. And I will tell you why. There have been, and will be again, many destructions of mankind arising out of many causes; the greatest have been brought about by the agencies of fire and water, and other lesser ones by innumerable other causes. There is a story, which even you have preserved, that once upon a time Paethon, the son of Helios, having yoked the steeds in his father’s chariot, because he was not able to drive them in the path of his father, burnt up all that was upon the earth, and was himself destroyed by a thunderbolt. Now this has the form of a myth, but really signifies a declination of the bodies moving in the heavens around the earth, and a great conflagration of things upon the earth, which recurs after long intervals; at such times those who live upon the mountains and in dry and lofty places are more liable to destruction than those who dwell by rivers or on the seashore.

    Many destructions can happen in 1000 years, yet the Egyptians were a few thousand years old then. Talking about “many destructions of mankind” implies (really, says…) “before us too”. They also have a historical record of the Minoans and of their destruction. (i.e. “they have met”); so why not call them Minoans? Because it wasn’t them. (IMHO).

    The fact is, that wherever the extremity of winter frost or of summer does not prevent, mankind exist, sometimes in greater, sometimes in lesser numbers. And whatever happened either in your country or in ours, or in any other region of which we are informed-if there were any actions noble or great or in any other way remarkable, they have all been written down by us of old, and are preserved in our temples. Whereas just when you and other nations are beginning to be provided with letters and the other requisites of civilized life, after the usual interval, the stream from heaven, like a pestilence, comes pouring down, and leaves only those of you who are destitute of letters and education; and so you have to begin all over again like children, and know nothing of what happened in ancient times, either among us or among yourselves. As for those genealogies of yours which you just now recounted to us, Solon, they are no better than the tales of children. In the first place you remember a single deluge only, but there were many previous ones; in the next place, you do not know that there formerly dwelt in your land the fairest and noblest race of men which ever lived, and that you and your whole city are descended from a small seed or remnant of them which survived. And this was unknown to you, because, for many generations, the survivors of that destruction died, leaving no written word.

    So the Egyptians say there was more than one deluge. Perhaps they had some history of the way the Ice Age Glacial ended in a ‘wavering’, with the Younger Dryas being only the last swing. (More unlikely would be that they new about multiple interglacials, but that’s hard to explain…) Most likely is that the had records of the Dryas events, Sahara as jungle, then the collapse into the Nile as a refuge (and rise of their society…)

    In that context, for Atlantis to have been Santorini, requires that the Egyptians NOT pay attention to their own written history (that they state they had at this point), NOT know the Minoans as Minoans (when they traded with them…), NOT think themselves an ancient people and the Atlantians pre-dating them (in conflict with the form of the narrative), and somehow interpret a volcanic explosion / tidal wave as an island sinking (when there are other records of the explosion…), and have the physical location in the wrong place relative to the far end of the Mediterranean and have the size wrong (“larger than Lybia and Asia” – i.e. the Levant and north Africa) for things in places they regularly sailed with precision.

    All a bit hard to accept…

    So if you take “ice” out of the description (as the translation of Critias seems to say); then the only reasonable place is the island cluster just off the Africa / Spanish coast. With the timing being about the Younger Dryas.

  24. E.M.Smith says:


    When looking at things talking about how extreme the ‘climate oscillations’ can be do remember that looking at ONE place, especially in N. Europe, give a very biased view. In an earlier posting we saw that when the heat didn’t go to N.Atlantic / UK, it backed up in the whole of the area around the Gulf of Mexico and Florida. So in any new Ice Age Glacial with a thermohaline shutdown / slowing; the UK / EU get the Big Freeze Aw Shit, and the USA gets a bit more rain the “Desert Southwest” and a longer summer in Florida… i.e. better for growing crops, not worse…

    Holocene, we’ve had much more stable temperatures in part due to the added warmth making the T.H. Circulation more reliable…

    Once the system is in the `warm’ mode with convection in latitudes north of Iceland, it becomes insensitive to the applied, weak 1,500-year forcing cycle (this experiment was performed but is not detailed here). The freshwater budget of the Nordic Seas is then dominated by the vigorous circulation; anomalies in surface forcing cannot accumulate to create noticeable salinity anomalies as in the stratified `cold’ mode. For this reason, the Holocene climate in our model is stable with respect to the 1,500-year forcing cycle, while the glacial climate is not. We can thus explain the large fluctuations of Greenland temperature during the glacial climate in terms of ocean circulation instability, requiring only a weak trigger but not necessarily any major ice-sheet instability. In the Holocene, the 1,500-year cycle is still present but is not amplified by ocean circulation instability, so that its signature is only weak.

    First off, this is A Very Big Deal! It means that as long as we’re warm, we stay warm and relatively stable. Secondly, it says that once we start getting significantly cold, things become more unstable, and we can ‘latch up’ into a very cold configuration of water flow.

    So look at this graph:

    Looks really bad DURING the glacial with some really made swings. But that’s what you get in Greenland, not in Florida (or the Carolinas ;-)

    Now imagine a ‘line’ along the tops of the peaks of warm in the Glacial time. Notice it runs just below our present temperatures… A bit colder and we enter the unstable regime…

    But again, that’s “way bad” for UK and EU who depend on heat delivery, not so bad on the tropics or any ‘heat source’ areas. Which includes basically all of the “lower 48” as our winds come in off the Pacific and Gulf of Mexico while California already has darned cold water off shore and the Gulf warms up when the Thermohaline slows down. (If California water drops from the present 40F to 35 F I doubt we’d even notice…)

    Similarly Australia gets water from the South Pacific. Not much going to change there. (South Island New Zealand might have more cold… but I’m not sure).

    So in the USA, we get some rain cycling, but temperatures not so much.

    Then this paper finds evidence for the changes in water flow in Florida during the last glacial:

    Click to access Grimm_et_al_Lake_Tulane.pdf

    What I find particularly interesting about this one is that it shows that even Florida is anti-phase to Greenland. Mostly it is based on water, rather than directly on cold, but that’s fine. It finds that during the glacial (when Florida was about twice as wide as it is today), the way rains were controlled by warm / cold was about the same. When it is cold, not much rain. When it’s warm, lots of rain. Now that happens between winter and summer, then it shows up as a climate shift.

    So every Heinrich Event shows up as cold in Europe, but wet in Florida (so the pine trees grow and the pine pollen spikes up) as Florida gets wetter and warmer. When it’s warm in Europe, Florida is more cool, so dry, and you get oaks. There’s a lot more in the article. Grasses and some other plants too. GISP Ice cores.

    Heinrich Events come around every few thousand years, and on a modestly predictable basis, so enough time to adjust planting schedules. Just measuring the Gulf Stream flow rate is sufficient to make probable rainfall decisions (on that time scale).

    From the paper in the link:

    Two main types of abrupt climate changes have punctuated the last glacial period: Dansgaard±Oeschger (D/O) events and Heinrich events. D/O events typically start with an abrupt warming of Greenland by 5±10 8C over a few decades or less, followed by gradual cooling over several hundred or several thousand years.

    So you get ‘a few decades’ for onset of ‘abrupt’ warming. Then several hundred to thousands of years of cooling. So plenty of adjustment time. And that’s in Greenland at the ‘wrong end’ of the process… so Florida ought to be dandy.

    This cooling phase often ends with an abrupt final reduction of temperature back to cold (`stadial’) conditions. D/O climate change is centred on the North Atlantic and on regions with strong atmospheric response to changes in that area, and shows only a weak response in the Southern Ocean or Antarctica.

    Remember that “abrupt” was ‘several decades’ above… Not notice that it is focused on the North Atlantic. So don’t farm in the North Atlantic then ;-) “Only a weak response in the Southern Ocean or Antarctica” also means not a whole lot of change in South America, Australia, South Africa, Indonesia, India, … And if the South Pacific isn’t changing much, the North Pacific will have problems doing anything very extreme… We will likely get a bit cooler (as the warm water from Japan backs up near them and Korea…) here in California, and have less rain (so a large drought possible, but at least not the killer floods of the 1800s…). OK, that’s a problem for the “salad bowl”, but as the Desert Southwest gets more rain, we do more Arizona Lettuce and less California…

    Overall, this says to me that Bond Events / D.O. Events / Heinrich Events are a Very Bad Thing for the UK / EU, and much less important to the rest of us; with darned near no meaning to folks on Pacific Islands, in South America, or even in the Gulf States. Africa below the Sahara and folks around the Indian Ocean too.

    Yes, likely to be some issues even in those areas, but not too bad. Biggest risk I see is just more Drought in places like California. (But with offsetting increases in rain elsewhere, some of them relatively dry and finding more rain beneficial).

    For the USA, it looks like we’re just not likely to have too much bad happen. It’s Canada that gets crushed with snow that doesn’t end… and the UK / northern EU that end up suddenly getting their ‘latitude appropriate’ weather ;-)

    The `waiting time’ between successive D/O events is most often around 1,500 years, or, with decreasing probability, near 3,000 or 4,500 years (ref. 9). This suggests the existence of an as-yet unexplained 1,500-year cycle which often (but not always) triggers a D/O event.

    Basically, a once every 1500 year event that sometimes skips… and people have put up with them forever…

  25. The area in which I live (central Washington State) was not covered by ice during the last glacial advances nor during the Ice Age of long ago – that one did bring ice closer. Much of central WA was treated to great floods when an ice dam in Northern Idaho sprung a leak – many times but 12,000 years ago works. You can believe them or not but it has been reported that the Yakamas were here then and watched the flood back up into the lower stretch of the Yakima River south of the town by that name. They lived by and ate from the rivers. Still do. Likely they won’t move.

  26. Gail Combs,
    “To completely ignore the possibility of wild weather as the earth approaches the magic trigger insolation is utterly stupid yet the darn international grain traders have convinced eveyone that grain reserves are not necessary….”

    Like a broken record I keep proposing the Hammurabi model for carbon sequestration. Store non perishable food stuffs such as grain during the “Fat” years to ensure your people don’t starve during the “Lean” years. Given the EEC’s ability to create “Butter Mountains” and “Wine Lakes” I am astounded that no serious effort has been mounted to store grain in vast quantities for the inevitable “Rainy Year” or “Rainy Decade”.

    Given that climate disaster can strike so quickly as in 1815 following the Tambora eruption, where are the modern Hammurabis?

  27. Tony Hansen says:

    Thankyou for the uploaded images

  28. Adam Gallon says:

    The Med didn’t exist during the Ice Ages. The Straits of Gibraltar were closed and there’s insufficient water flowing into the basin from rivers, to counteract evaporation.
    The fossil remains of pygmay elephants found on various Mediterranean islands show that they were accesable from mainland Europe & Africa.
    The various flood legends have been linked to the breaching of the Straits, or the Dardanelles.
    The coastal route “Out of Africa” for our Homo Sapiens ancestors is well established. The alternative route northwards through the Levant, does seem to have been closed by desert conditions too frequently.

  29. J Martin says:

    On the subject of food storage, it is something that many people don’t have the space for, a house with a substantial cellar would ideal. Houses with cellars used to be more popular in the UK, but virtually no modern house in the UK is built like that anymore. Houses with cellars are more widespread in Germany I believe.

    But perhaps the single biggest problem facing people in a disaster, and quite likely the more immediate one, is the subject of WATER. 3 days without water and we are in trouble.

    Any preparation for an inevitable disruption of the things we take for granted ought to take into account the fact that water mains and pumps could be disrupted on a scale that the authorities would not be able to cope with.

    Therefore some means of capturing, storing and purifying water is crucial. I would also want to separate out brown water, eg. shower, washing machine, and use this for flushing toilets.

    I guess in a real emergency some quick and dirty DIY and buckets will suffice.

    In an ideal World, I would have a large detached, isolated house, with separate underground tanks for brown water and rain / stream water. Day to day the brown water would be used for flushing the loo, and the rain water for watering the garden, but I would have in place the means to filter / purify the rain water for human consumption.

    Significant food, would be stored and rotated. Bulk grains could be kept, then as they aproached the end of their shelf life could be fed to livestock, thus not wasted.

    One thing I really really want is a book on Victorian (and older) food storage techniques. A few years ago watching a television program about life in the Victorian era I was amazed to learn that even in Victorian times they were able to keep whole apples for an entire year !

    Previous generations had many food storage techniques for pretty much everything. Knowledge which I hope has been preserved in books somewhere. I really must make the effort to find a suitable reference book or two.

    Though, living in my current abode, a modern (small), commuter house in suberbia, I certainly have no space to prepare, so all I can do is pray that no real big disaster happens in my lifetime.

  30. Graeme No.3 says:

    an interactive map. It shows a number of shallow areas SW of the Straits of Gibraltar running roughly northward from what I think is Funchal (Madiera). These seem to fit description better.

    Unfortunately, Madiera was unoccupied when ‘discovered’ by the Portuguese.

    The Azores don’t seem to be connected via any shallow sea areas to either Madieras nor Canaries.

  31. adolfogiurfa says:

    @J Martin : It would be also advisable an Absorption refrigerator:

  32. Gail Combs says:


    Here in the USA several states have laws against ‘Hoarding’ and during emergencies the government can and will come in and confiscate and/or destroy your stored food. The Executive Directives and Laws: link one comment I read said …a few people in the after math of hurricane sandy and are currently in jail for emergency hoarding. and under regular law any emergency food/meds that exceed 30 days stock can be confiscated at anytime…. but I can not find any confirmation of that comment except this old article from 1918: NAVY MAN INDICTED FOR FOOD HOARDING; Medical Director Nash Had Tons of Food Supplies Stored in His Home. and this is the 1917 lawlink And an interesting article by American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law on hoarding in general.

    Freedom Force International has a listing (cached) of articles on how FEMA responded to Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans in 2005 and it is NOT pretty.

    There has been widespread criticism of the response of US officials to Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans in 2005. The tone of these complaints is that the authorities failed to do their job quickly enough….

    In news coverage of this tragedy, the most significant events often were buried beneath a blanket of heart-wrenching stories of personal survival, scenes of awesome destruction, reports of looting, and interviews with experts. However, the key to understanding can be found in the following list of news headlines, most of which did not make it into mainstream coverage. These reports make it clear that the government did not fail to respond in a timely fashion. The problem was that it did respond – but in such a way as to actually hinder rescue operations. There were too many instances for this to be merely a mistake or a bureaucratic snafu. There is a clear pattern here that cannot be denied…..

    …The only legitimate function of government is to protect the lives, liberty, and property of its citizens. In New Orleans, however, it was clear that the primary job of the military, FEMA, and Homeland Security was, not to protect citizens, but to protect the government and keep it functioning. It can be argued that, if government does not protect itself first, it may not be able to protect its citizens, so that should be its first obligation. However, the government was not in danger in New Orleans. Aside from one or two snipers, its forces were never under attack, and its ability to function was never threatened; so the self-preservation argument is not valid in this case.

    It was clear from the start that the goal of FEMA and Homeland Security was, not to resue people, but to control them. Their directive was to relocate families and businesses, confiscate property, commandeer goods, direct labor and services, and establish martial law. This is what they have been trained to do. The reason they failed to carry out an effective rescue operation is that this was not their primary mission, and the reason they blocked others from doing so is that any operations not controlled by the central authority are contrary to their directives. Their objective was to bring the entire area under the control of the federal government – and this they succeeded in doing very well…..

    Here is the law from the “Defense Protection act”

    TITLE 50, DEFENSE > ACT > TITLE I > § 2072
    In order to prevent hoarding, no person shall accumulate
    (1) in excess of the reasonable demands of business, personal, or home consumption, or
    (2) for the purpose of resale at prices in excess of prevailing market prices, materials which have been designated by the President as scarce materials or materials the supply of which would be threatened by such accumulation. The President shall order published in the Federal Register, and in such other manner as he may deem appropriate, every designation of materials the accumulation of which is unlawful and any withdrawal of such designation.
    In making such designations the President may prescribe such conditions with respect to the accumulation of materials in excess of the reasonable demands of business, personal, or home consumption as he deems necessary to carry out the objectives of this Act.…2—-000-.html

  33. Gail Combs says:


    Some of my fellow N.Carolinians, the Granny Warriors wrote a book recently on the subject. This is their website: (And no I am not one of them although I have e-mail contact)

  34. crosspatch says:

    During the ice ages we have interstadials that last hundreds of years with temperatures near modern levels in much of the temperate region of the planet. Ice would rapidly retreat northward in North America and Europe and sea levels begin to rise before the next stadial event would allow the ice to advance again. Climate during glacial periods is extremely unstable with sharp swings in temperature of large amounts sometimes lasting for many centuries and then reversing. There will be periods when the upper midwest is unusable for agriculture and there will be periods when it will be usable. and there will be periods in between where it is boggy marsh from retreating ice.

  35. Quail says:

    Linguistic support for Turkey

    “…Borrowing a technique used to reconstruct family trees for viruses, an international research team has come down squarely on one side of the debate: Indo-European languages originated in Anatolia, a southwestern Asian peninsula that is now part of Turkey, between 8,000 and 9,500 years ago, and were carried, at least in part, by the spread of agriculture…”

  36. adolfogiurfa says:

    Food Storage. Wow! you don´t live in a free country anymore; it seems true that Reptilians stuff… :-)

  37. E.M.Smith says:

    Adam Gallon says:
    6 May 2013 at 10:21 am

    The Med didn’t exist during the Ice Ages.

    Um, I think it depends on WHICH Ice Ages one is talking about. We are presently in an Ice Age (no, really!), just in an “interglacial” period during the ongoing Ice Age. (Folks frequently call the “Glacial Periods” “ice ages”, but in reality, it’s all one big Ice Age…)

    Modern Humans are of a ‘few hundred thouand” year existence, so only a “few” of the glacial / interglacial cycles of this particular Ice Age. Our earliest Hominid ancestor is about 6 million years old (about the same time that grasses evolved, we started the change from Chimps / Orangutans to hominids). Turns out the Mediterranean is about the same:

    The Messinian Salinity Crisis (MSC), also referred to as the Messinian Event, and in its latest stage as the Lago Mare event, was a geological event during which the Mediterranean Sea went into a cycle of partly or nearly complete desiccation throughout the latter part of the Messinian age of the Miocene epoch, from 5.96 to 5.33 Ma (million years ago). It ended with the so-called Zanclean flood, when the Atlantic reclaimed the basin.

    Sediment samples from below the deep seafloor of the Mediterranean Sea, which include evaporite minerals, soils, and fossil plants, show that, about 5.96 million years ago in the late Miocene period, the precursor of the Strait of Gibraltar closed tight and the Mediterranean Sea, for the first time and then repeatedly, partially desiccated. 5.6 Ma ago the strait closed for the last time and, because of the generally dry climate conditions, within a millennium the Mediterranean basin nearly completely desiccated, evaporating into a deep dry basin bottoming at some places 3 to 5 km (1.9 to 3.1 mi) below the world ocean level, with a few hypersaline Dead Sea–like pockets. Around 5.5 Ma, less dry climatic conditions allowed the basin to resume receiving more fresh water from rivers, with pockets of Caspian-like brackish waters getting progressively less hyper-saline, until the final reopening of the Strait of Gibraltar 5.33 Ma with the Zanclean flooding

    So the Mediterranean came back into existence just about the time we were a slightly brighter than average Chip… and long before being anything close to human.

    Lucy is the common name of AL 288-1, several hundred pieces of bone representing about 40% of the skeleton of a female Australopithecus afarensis. It was discovered in 1974 at Hadar in the Awash Valley of Ethiopia’s Afar Depression. In paleoanthropology, usually only fossil fragments are found, and only rarely are skulls or ribs uncovered intact; thus this discovery was an astounding feat that provided an overwhelming amount of scientific evidence. Lucy is estimated to have lived 3.2 million years ago, and is classified as a hominin.

    The skeleton shows evidence of small skull capacity akin to that of apes and of bipedal upright walk akin to that of humans, supporting the debated view that bipedalism preceded increase in brain size in human evolution.

    So there had been a Mediterranean for about 2 million years while we still had brains the size of an ape…

    There are also mixed alternating fossil layers of Neanderthal and modern humans in the Levant. We know people were living there, and arriving from both north and south. The route was open (though maybe not both ways at the same time… rather like the Sahara Pump).

    Pigmy elephants evolve on islands over a long period of time…

    @John F. Hultquist:

    I’d not leave, I’d just go “up slope” of the nearest mountains…

    @Tony Hansen:

    You are most welcome.

    @J. Martin:

    Doesn’t take much space to be “prepared enough” (which, sadly, may largely just mean “can live 3 months while most everyone else starves and then you can farm their dirt…)

    It’s about one dry pound of food per person per day. The calculations are in the link, but as a rough cut, you can get about 8 lbs / gallon. That’s 45 gallons, or about the size of a coffee table if stacked up. Do you have room for a coffee table? Put the cans / jars / boxes under it, cover with a nice knitted or quilted cover, and call it done. Most folks can fit it under their bed, or in the bottom of their dressing closet.

    I have:

    and it’s pretty good. They basics are easy too.

    1) Dry it. Dry stuff keeps well.
    2) Salt it. Salt kills spoilage organisms.
    3) Ferment it. (Especially things like cheeses and even lactose fermentations)
    4) Pickle it. (Using vinegar from a vinegar fermentation).
    5) Shift the pH dramatically. (Acid like Vinegar though some use lye like Nordic fish…)
    6) Can it (pressure canning best, but water bath works if you make it acid – like tomatoes).
    7) Spice heavily. Some spices are preserving.
    8) Smoke it. Not only does that cook and dry, concentrating salts, but it also is directly a preservative as smoke kills a lot of bugs…)

    That’s the major bits. Yes, the knowledge is preserved. Doesn’t to YOU a damn bit o good when the SHTF, though, if you didn’t practice any of it or buy the book… There are also specific books on all the above methods that go into great detail. Me? I’m skilled at canning, salting, drying, and getting good at smoking. Pickles I’ve done, but not good pickles… and I’m OK at fermenting yogurt and beer, but only so-so at wine and have not done cabbage. I’ve also not done a traditional beef ‘corning’ salt / pickle. Most methods are not hard, but practice helps.

    Like: for smoked fish, you need to make cuts at the right spacing so it dries and smokes fast enough before it starts to decay, and you need to be able to pick out ‘edible’ wood from “tastes like crap” from “poison” … (Don’t smoke food with poison oak, poison hemlock, oleander, …) Most fruit and nut trees are good, as is Oak. Pine is, er, um… I’d go for mesquite or manzanita myself… as they are pretty much all over the South West and North West respectively and easy to identify… and they taste good ;-) Then you need to be close enough to get enough smoke and drying, but now so close as to cook the fish… Practice helps…

    Salting is easy… if you have the salt… Drying is easy… if you are not being rained out… It’s best to have a variety of techniques in hand so you can adjust to what you have.

    There is ALWAYS space to prepare…

    When “on the road” and living in hotels, my ‘preparation’ was a Crisis Kit of tools (pans, stove, knife,…) and if something was about to go “Bump”, my strategy was an immediate run to whatever store was open, and buy 50 lbs of beans, rice, pasta, canned sauce, salt, sugar, tea bags. Easily fit in the trunk of the car and I’ve got a 50 day survival ration for under $100. Add multi-vitamin and you are set… modulo water.. and depending on the place, I’d buy a couple of ‘flats’ of bottled water. 48 bottles. Never had to do it. But had the $100 in the pocket and the plan in pace. On any news report, I’d be done in the first hour … If I can be prepared with nothing but my car, you can be prepared with an entire apartment…

    @Graeme No.3:

    Nice maps! Looks like Iceland gets a lot bigger…. Also looks like some kind of ridge just outside the gates of the Med. and then a large blob on top of the mid Atlantic ridge. If water were lower, and that had some uplift, it would fit the description…


    I think prior methods had put it near there and / or on up the Caucasus (that’s still close to there). So the Hittite / Scythian areas…


    I think most of that is intended to be used against commercial operations, but yes, still a good idea to keep a low profile and “be prepared”. Both with the needed materials and with means to hide / defend it…


    That’s one of the bigger issues, IMHO. It’s not the loss of land during the Glacial that’s the problem, it’s the way weather becomes MUCH more unpredictable and extreme…

  38. Zeke says:

    If you read the Ingalls Wilder books, there are quite a few descriptions of how farms were run and food was preserved; esp. the Farmer Boy, as the Wilders did not move as much and had a very successful farm. I remember they cut ice from the river in winter, and kept it all summer by packing the ice with about an inch of sawdust between the blocks. A lot of history there. My folks built sod houses in the Dakotas after the Civil War and I find old newspaper articles about snowstorms, locusts, and great losses of fruit trees, cooking weeds to start, and trading with the Indians. Strong marriages and lots of kids. They all said they would do it again, but my branch headed of to Yale to become a pastor. If the wife worked outside the home, there was a divorce; there were no others besides in those cases.

  39. PhilJourdan says:

    On the issue of Atlantis, I followed your logic – as I am sure others have as well, yet it still remains a mystery. I suspect it is going to be found some place not expected, and they will then have to reconstruct why they found it there based upon the narrative.

    Your mention of the Black sea fits into the narratives about Noah’s ark. Indeed, we are finding that most historical myths (whether biblical or otherwise) are based on some degree of reality. We just have advanced so far, we sometimes forget how to be in awe of local phenomenon that was unexplainable to the humans of that time.

  40. Quail says:

    Great food storage analyzer.

    Enter what you have or would like to buy, plus how many people and ages. It will list how long you can expect to eat, plus lists calories, fats, carbs, some vitamins etc. It enables you to see the gaps in your storage.

    If you create an account you can save your list and update any time, or stay anonymous and print it out unsaved.

  41. E.M.Smith says:


    Interesting family history. Yeah, they were Engineers then in the true sense of the word. (Making what you need out of what you have. Whatever that is. Sod. Trees. Skins. Rocks.)

    My “heritage” is more mixed bag. Several generations of sailors on Mom’s side. (Perhaps all the way back to Vikings. I was raised with the Viking Mythology and told we were descended of Vikings… plus the blonds, redheads, and blue eyes on that side of the family tend to argue for it too ;-) Dads side (also with redheads) has 2 divergent lines, but both land bound. Blacksmiths (back to the 1700s…when we lose track) and Farmers. Some of them Amish, some Irish. Oddly, when you track back all the Irish, British / Viking, German / Amish and even the smattering of French, they all originate from one side or the other of the English Channel… From the Iberian end where the Irish moved to Ireland from Iberia, on up past the French coastal area where the “smattering” was from, and on up past “Mum” on the England side to the Amish origin point near Holland (from which they went to Switzerland, then USA). So they went many different ways, to end up in California ;-)

    In the “folks also looked at” list at Amazon for the prior book, was this one, that looks very interesting. It also lists a couple of methods I knew about, but forgot to mention above, so:

    9) Sugaring. So all those jams, jellies, sugar packed fruits & “candied” things…
    10) Alcohol. “Brandied” things…

    They also list “cold storage” but that’s just a root cellar instead of a fridge, and “oil”, but while I’m familiar with some things preserved in oil, it isn’t a major method and frankly other than olives and some spice mixes I can’t think of any other uses (but that might just be my limitation…). Preserving in oil just seems like using a lot of valuable oil… but maybe I’m just needing some reading on it… ;-) Or tasting ;-) ;-)

    Preserving Food without Freezing or Canning: Traditional Techniques Using Salt, Oil, Sugar, Alcohol, Vinegar, Drying, Cold Storage, and Lactic Fermentation
    Typical books about preserving garden produce nearly always assume that modern “kitchen gardeners” will boil or freeze their vegetables and fruits. Yet here is a book that goes back to the future—celebrating traditional but little-known French techniques for storing and preserving edibles in ways that maximize flavor and nutrition.

    Translated into English, and with a new foreword by Deborah Madison, this book deliberately ignores freezing and high-temperature canning in favor of methods that are superior because they are less costly and more energy-efficient.

    As Eliot Coleman says in his foreword to the first edition, “Food preservation techniques can be divided into two categories: the modern scientific methods that remove the life from food, and the natural ‘poetic’ methods that maintain or enhance the life in food. The poetic techniques produce… foods that have been celebrated for centuries and are considered gourmet delights today.”

    Preserving Food Without Freezing or Canning offers more than 250 easy and enjoyable recipes featuring locally grown and minimally refined ingredients. It is an essential guide for those who seek healthy food for a healthy world.


    Nice to know it made at least a little sense to someone ;-)

    But yeah, when someone dredges up some ‘stuff’ of the Atlantic ocean floor it’s going to turn a lot of heads, wherever they find it. But given the description with harbors and a culture of sea trading, it will be found at 250 to 300+ feet down… plus any land subsidence…


    Neat… I’ll take a look!

  42. Bill McIntyre says:

    In the northern hemisphere, Europe goes first by ~ 1ky.
    Probably a result of the Zig-Zag jet streams.
    We will have dryer and maybe shorter summers but our extra CO2 will mitigate that a bit.

    Sweet zones existed throughout the last glacial period ; Eastern Siberia, Nova scotia, and Yukon – Alaska. ( All home to wooly mammoth populations )

    The main problem for the woolys and their friends was the collapse of mountain glacial dams.
    the last surviving woolys (a dwarfed scattering on islands off the Siberian coast) were victims of the 4kya event (which also glaciated southern Alberta).

    In our last glacial period there was a ~ 33ky temperature cycle (dominant) within ~15 degrees of the equator. And which all shorter cycles (Solar and Milankovitch) followed. You can see the results on reconstructions of the period.

    There were rapid climate changes in equatorial areas timed by this cycle. The rapidity indicative of “tipping points” (perhaps associated with the shorter cycles?)

    There is (on long term climate reconstructions) evidence of a 150my recurring cold period.
    We are in the midst of the fourth such period. These periods evidence a cyclicity of Short – Long – Short – ??.

    Both the 33ky and 150my cycles are courtesy of our galactic center.

  43. Gail Combs says:

    Bill McIntyre says: …. Both the 33ky and 150my cycles are courtesy of our galactic center.
    Are you talking about this? The Milky Way Galaxy’s Spiral Arms and Ice-Age Epochs and the Cosmic Ray Connection By Nir Shaviv

  44. Zeke says:

    “Several generations of sailors on Mom’s side. (Perhaps all the way back to Vikings. I was raised with the Viking Mythology and told we were descended of Vikings…”

    In those old family sayings, there is usually truth somewhere (: I am almost certain my own offspring are part Viking. :D A test of descent is to put on a Viking helmet, and you just know.

  45. Gail Combs says:

    On food preservation:

    You can always buy mason jars, but for the stuff you preserve by drying or smoking it is useful to collect glass jars, especially wide mouth glass jars. Plastic isn’t worth beans for long term food storage and metal is iffy.

    On dehydrators:

    I have seen our Mexican neighbors here in NC take fresh killed deer, butcher it and then hang thin strips of raw meat over a clothesline!

    Goat and rabbit meat are a good candidate for drying or smoking because it has no fat to go rancid.

    Chart of Calories, Protein, Fat Values for Meat: (rabbit) and (for goat)

    Venison: and

    For the do it yourself type – field dressing:

    There is also a book available on home butchering lambs, goats…

    Me? I take mine to the local slaughter house.

  46. Zeke says:

    “When someone dredges up some ‘stuff’ of the Atlantic ocean floor it’s going to turn a lot of heads, wherever they find it. But given the description with harbors and a culture of sea trading, it will be found at 250 to 300+ feet down… plus any land subsidence…” ~CheifIO

    I am not afraid of this possibility either. Archaeologists have commented that the amount of cultivated land to support some of the enormous ancient structures on the Mediterranean island of Malta is not sufficient to support the civilisation there.

    One possibility is that the sea was much lower at the time, which would mean there were cities and farmlands on the shelves. If ancient people were originally settled on the shelves by the sea, and the sea rose suddenly, the evidence will be there. This also helps to understand the desire on the part of Bronze Age cultures to live and build cities well inland, and on hills. Of course, the inland cities on hills are also defensible, and are safer wrt the malaria.

  47. Gail Combs says:

    “….This also helps to understand the desire on the part of Bronze Age cultures to live and build cities well inland, and on hills….”

    Too bad that wisdom was not passed down to the present day. During Huricane Fran I stood about 1/2 way down my property to the river and looked at the several deep feet expanse of floodwater going the rest of the 1/2 mile to the former river bank. There are now houses there beside my property…..

  48. PhilJourdan says:

    @Gail Combs:

    That would have been the 90s, right? I remember we were having issues with the “F Troop” (Fran and Floyd) before the “I Brigade” took over in the 21st century (Irene, Isabel, and Isaac – that one got my aunt down in FLA). Which means your neighbors are either very young, or have the memory of gold fish.

  49. Zeke says:

    You have to respect rivers. They are beautiful and have fish but they rage, flood, and change course. People here are paying enormous flood insurance to be by the river within the 100yr floodplain, so they know what they are doing. It is the onerous restrictions and requirements on water front land by local, state, and federal governments and environmental lobbies that concern me.

  50. crosspatch says:

    It’s not the loss of land during the Glacial that’s the problem, it’s the way weather becomes MUCH more unpredictable and extreme…

    Realize that tropical insolation doesn’t change much according to the wobble of the axis. The amount of energy landing in the tropics stays about the same. The amount of energy landing in the polar regions changes dramatically. What is saving us right now is that our orbit about the sun is close to circular and actually getting more so. We aren’t in a period of extremely elliptical orbit. But more importantly, what seems to happen is that the main heat transfer mechanism during an ice age seems to switch from ocean to atmosphere. It is as if something happens with the oceans that prevents tropical heat moving North and so the atmospheric jets take over that role. Since there is a greater extreme between pole and tropic, the storms during such a period are likely tremendous and nothing like what we see today. We probably get great “atmospheric rivers” that dump precipitation (thus radiating heat to space) for weeks at a time. In a case where you can get 10-20 feet of snow a week for several weeks (I have seen 10 feet of snow in a single storm in the Sierras) it wouldn’t take long to build up more snow than can melt the following summer, particularly if the jet patterns are such that one gets no rain in the summer to melt the snow in a hurry.

    As sea level falls, the outlet of the Gulf of Mexico becomes constructed, Arctic ocean becomes cut off from the Northern Pacific, a land barrier forms cutting off the Indian Ocean from the Pacific north of Australia except for one narrow passage and the only significant mixing with the Indian Ocean now comes from the Southern Ocean. The entire system seems to configure itself so that it is more difficult for the warm water to circulate toward the polar regions in the Northern Hemisphere.

    Then there’s this:

    The new findings are somewhat disturbing because they suggest that at some points during an ice age, sea level can rise as much as 2 meters over the course of a century. “It’s tough to explain how to melt that much ice that fast,” he admits.

    2 meters of rise is huge, particularly in broad flat areas such as what is now under the Adriatic Sea or Persian Gulf. That could push a tribe miles into another tribe’s territory and result in serious turmoil.

  51. Gail Combs says:

    Phil Jourdan, Fran hit September 6, 1996 we had eight more hit since then but most hit the coast not the piedmont.

    What frosts my tail is we were not allowed to build on 106ac without going to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and getting a signed and stamped flood plan map of our acreage. Even with the map and the house on a ridge over 100 ft ABOVE the 100 year flood level we could not have a basement. So why the heck were my neighbors allowed to build? CAN YOU SAY CORRUPTION? GRRRrrrr

  52. Graeme No.3 says:

    Gail Combs says: re frosty tail..
    Have you thought of a shipping container buried in the ground (or above ground with earth berms)?
    Shipping companies often have surplus containers; in the third world they’re used as housing. A quick check may be in order. Then there is the cost of transport.

  53. Bill McIntyre says:

    @Gail – 7 may 4:28 PM

    If things were able to cross, “willy-Nilly”, Our galactic spiral arms we would not be a spiral galaxy.

  54. Gail Combs says:

    The spiral arms are wave patterns composed of stars sort of like cars in a traffic jam. The “jam” stays put, more or less, but the cars pass through it. The idea even has a Wiki page.

    Density Wave Theory
    …Lin and Shu proposed in 1964 that the arms were not material in nature, but instead made up of areas of greater density, similar to a traffic jam on a highway.[3] The cars move through the traffic jam: the density of cars increases in the middle of it. The traffic jam itself, however, does not move (or not a great deal, in comparison to the cars). In the galaxy, stars, gas, dust, and other components move through the density waves, are compressed, and then move out of them.

    More specifically, the density wave theory argues that the “gravitational attraction between stars at different radii” prevents the so-called winding problem, and actually maintains the spiral pattern….

    Niv Shaviv states:

    each time we cross a galactic arm, we should expect a colder climate. Current data for the spiral arm passages gives a crossing once every 135 ± 25 Million years. (See fig. 2 on the left. Note also that the spiral arms are density waves which propagate at a different speed than the stars, that is, nothing moves at their rotation speed).

    From the references by Shaviv

    Journey through milky way keeps us cool
    New Scientist vol 175 issue 2352 – 20 July 2002, page 20

    IN THE search for what triggers ice ages, everything from space dust to Earth’s wobbly orbit has been blamed. But a much bigger mover and shaker could be to blame for these icy spells – the Milky Way itself.

    Our Solar System rotates around the Milky Way’s core at twice the speed of its four spiral arms, meaning we pass through each of them on our journey round the Galaxy. But the trip is made perilous by cosmic rays, deadly high-energy particles that stream out from exploding supernovae. The Milky Way’s arms are peopled by dense clusters of short-lived stars going supernova and belting out these cosmic rays….

    Shaviv did not pull the idea out of thin air and he did research to prove or disprove it.

    …The spiral pattern speed of the Milky Way has not yet been reasonably determined through astronomical observations. Nevertheless, a survey of the literature reveals that almost all observational determinations cluster either around ∆Ω ≈ 9 to 13 (km s−1 )/kpc[11] or around ∆Ω ≈ 2 to 5 (km s−1 )/kpc[12]. In fact, one analysis [13] revealed that both ∆Ω = 5 or 11.5 (km s−1 )/kpc fit the data. However, if the spiral arms are a density wave [14], as is commonly believed [15], then the observations of the 4-arm spiral structure in HI outside the Galactic solar orbit [16] severely constrain the pattern speed to ∆Ω > 9.1 ± 2.4 (km s−1 )/kpc, since the four arm density wave spiral cannot extend beyond the outer 4 to 1 Lindblad resonance [17]. We therefore expect the spiral pattern speed obtained to coincide with one of the two aforementioned ranges, with a strong theoretical argumentation favoring the first range.

    To validate the above prediction, that the CRF varied periodically, we require a direct “historic” record from which the actual time dependence of the CRF can be extracted. To find this record, we take a compilation of 74 Iron meteorites which were 41 K/40 K exposure dated [18]. CRF exposure dating (which measures the duration a given meteorite was exposed to CRs) assumes that the CRF history was constant, such that a linear change in the integrated flux corresponds to a linear change in age. However, if the CRF is variable, the apparent exposure age will be distorted…..
    [14] Lin C. C., Shu F. H., Astrophys. J. 140, 646 (1964).

    Click to access PRLice.pdf

  55. PhilJourdan says:

    @Gail Combs – Fascinating! Thank you for the link, And the education.

  56. Gail Combs says:

    No problem. I am a bit like EM, I take a string and tug. However you are correct it is a fascinating concept.

  57. adolfogiurfa says:

    @Gail Combs & All: It´s simple and beautiful:

    Click to access unified_field.pdf
    The higher frequencies and higher densities of vibration are at the center of galaxies:

  58. E.M.Smith says:


    Yeah, I really liked that too ;-) The first time I ran into it was an ah ah moment as to some of our periodic history patterns… Sciencebits in particular is a ‘must read’…

  59. Gail Combs says:

    Sciencebits is very much worth reading. I am surprised Niv Shaviv is not more popular, although many people may read and not comment like me.

  60. Bill McIntyre says:

    I can see what you are saying but I think we could get the same effects if we stayed “at home”.

    There isn’t enough consensus of research on some parameters and none on others that would enable any one to support any theory.

    Basically, people cannot argue coherently for any theory regarding the 150my “problem”.

    You are free to believe what you believe – and I am free to believe what I believe.

  61. If you look at civilisations around 2000BC , nearly everything “civilised” was close to the sea or in low lying areas, usually on rivers.

    If there had been a 500′ sea level rise since then, how many traces would we find of Egyptian, Greek, Sumerian etc etc civilisations?

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