Scientists find world`s oldest weather report in Egypt?

Last Updated: Thursday, April 3, 2014 - 19:48

Zee Media Bureau

Washington: Scientists suggest that an inscription on a 3,500-year-old stone block from Egypt may be one of the world`s oldest weather reports.

According to researchers, a new translation of a 40-line inscription on the 6-foot-tall calcite block called the Tempest Stela describes rain, darkness and “the sky being in storm without cessation, louder than the cries of the masses”.

Scientists at the University of Chicago’s Oriental Institute believe that the unusual weather patterns described on the slab were the result of a massive volcano explosion at Thera - the present-day island of Santorini in the Mediterranean Sea.
“This is important to scholars of the ancient Near East and eastern Mediterranean, generally because the chronology that archaeologists use is based on the lists of Egyptian pharaohs, and this new information could adjust those dates,” explained Nadine Moeller, an assistant professor of Egyptian archaeology at the Oriental Institute.

The new translation suggests the Egyptian pharaoh Ahmose ruled at a time closer to the Thera eruption than previously thought - a finding that could change scholars’ understanding of a critical juncture in human history with Bronze Age empires realigned.

The Tempest Stela dates back to the reign of the pharaoh Ahmose, the first pharaoh of the 18th Dynasty.

The block was found in pieces in Thebes, modern Luxor, where Ahmose ruled.

Felix Hoeflmayer, Oriental Institute post-doctoral scholar said, until now, the archaeological evidence for the date of the Thera eruption seemed at odds with the radiocarbon dating.
However, if the date of Ahmose’s reign is earlier than previously believed, the resulting shift in chronology “might solve the whole problem”, Hoeflmayer added.

The research, published in the Journal of Near Eastern Studies, hints that the inscription might give new evidence about the chronology of events in the ancient Middle East.

With Agency Inputs

First Published: Thursday, April 3, 2014 - 19:48

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