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July 21, 2011

Earliest known visual record of a volcanic eruption — 6,200 B.C.


According to archaeologist Stephen L. Harris, writing in the "Encyclopedia of Volcanoes" (1999), "The picture is a remarkable Neolithic portrayal of an active volcano," with the orange, spotted object in the picture above having been identified by British archaeologist James Mellaart as the twin-peaked volcano Hasan Dagi in southern Turkey, near Çatalhöyük, which has been called the world's oldest known city, the site consisting of a town of many buildings that appears to have flourished between 8,000 and 10,000 years ago.

The painting above, believed to portray the higher of the volcano's two cones actively erupting, is one of the wall paintings discovered at the site.

The lower portion of the painting is interpreted by Mellaart, who discovered and excavated the town between 1958 and 1964, as depicting the closely-packed buildings of the town itself.

Much more on the discovery and its attribution here.

The painting can be seen at the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations in Ankara, Turkey.

[via Joe Peach]

July 21, 2011 at 12:01 PM | Permalink


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Leopard-skin rug? The "new" idea, which was the original thought of the discoverer, seems plausible if not quite as interesting.

Either way, I learned a new-to-me candidate for earliest city. Thanks!

Posted by: John A | Jul 23, 2011 3:19:45 AM


Posted by: Milena | Jul 22, 2011 1:22:27 PM

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