Mythos 66 – 4.2 Kiloyear Event

 

The Holocene Climate Optimum (HCO) was a warm period during roughly 9,000 to 5,000 years ago, which caused the bulk of the glacial melt and sea level rise at the end of the last glacial period. During the HCO the desert regions of Central Asia were extensively forested due to higher rainfall, and the treeline extended all the way to Arctic Ocean in most of Siberia.(1)Glen M. MacDonald, et al. (2000) “Holocene Treeline History and Climate Change Across Northern Eurasia,” Quaternary Research Volume 53, Pages 302–311 This climatic condition reversed around 4,200 years ago, when the world suddenly cooled for around a century, and the formerly moist air dried. The 4.2 Kiloyear Event, as it is called, is documented to have been one of the most severe climatic shifts of the Holocene in regard to its impact on human civilization.(2)Peter B. deMenocal (2001) “Cultural Responses to Climate Change During the Late Holocene,” Science, Volume 292, Number 5517, Pages 667–673 It is believed to have caused the collapse of the Old Kingdom in Egypt,(3)Jean-Daniel Stanley, et al. (2003) “Nile flow failure at the end of the Old Kingdom, Egypt: Strontium isotopic and petrologic evidence,” Geoarchaeology, Volume 18, Number 3, Pages 395–402 and the Akkadian Empire in Mesopotamia.(4)Ann Gibbons (1993) “How the Akkadian Empire Was Hung Out to Dry,” Science, Volume 261, Number 5124, Page 985 The drought may have also initiated southeastward movement of the Indus Valley Civilization.(5)M. Staubwasser, et al. (2003) “Climate change at the 4.2 ka BP termination of the Indus valley civilization and Holocene south Asian monsoon variability,” Geophysical Research Letters, Volume 30, Number 8, Page 1425 The drought may have also caused the collapse of Neolithic Cultures around Central China at the time.(6)Wenxiang Wu and Tungsheng Liu (2004) “Possible role of the ‘Holocene Event 3’ on the collapse of Neolithic Cultures around the Central Plain of China,” Quaternary International, Volume 117, Number 1, Pages 153–166 A similar account is found in the Avesta:

The sixteenth of the good lands and countries which I, Ahura Mazda, created, was the land by the sources of the Rangha (Raŋhā), where people live who have no chiefs. Thereupon came Angra Mainyu, who is all death, and he counter-created Winter, a work of the Daevas.- Avesta (7)Avesta, Fargard 1.19, Translated by James Darmesteter 1898

The 4,000 Year Old Beauty of Xiaohe Mummy from Xinjiang

The 4,000 Year Old Beauty of Xiaohe Mummy from Xinjiang

If the Raŋhā was the Volga of the Russian heartland, then it would explain why the Aryans found themselves back in a land where the climate shifted back to bitter winter conditions. This region remained under Indo-European (Cimmerian, Sakan, Sarmatian, and Gothic) occupation until around 1,600 years ago, well into the Historic era of the Greeks and Romans. After the 4.2 Kiloyear Event, Indo-Europeans are documented migrating in many directions. Between 4,000 and 3,700 years ago Indo-Europeans migrated into the region of modern Turkey conquering the native Hattian people, and forming the Hittite Empire.(8)Trevor Bryce (2005) The Kingdom of the Hittites, New Edition, Page 12 By 3,800 years ago light skinned blond and red-haired people were living in the Tarim Basin of Xinjiang (China),(9)J. P. Mallory and Victor H. Mair (2000) The Tarim Mummies: Ancient China and the Mystery of the Earliest Peoples from the West, Page 237 which are believed to be the ancestors of the later Indo-European Yuezhi people.(10)J. P. Mallory and Victor H. Mair (2000) The Tarim Mummies: Ancient China and the Mystery of the Earliest Peoples from the West, Page 55 Victor Mair, professor of Chinese at the University of Pennsylvania, claims that the earliest mummies in the Tarim Basin were exclusively Caucasoid with East Asian migrants arriving in the eastern portions of the Tarim Basin around 3,000 years ago while the Turkic peoples arrived around the year 842 AD.(11)Clifford Coonan (August 28, 2006) “A meeting of civilisations: The mystery of China’s celtic mummies,” The Independent Mair further added:

The new finds are also forcing a reexamination of old Chinese books that describe historical or legendary figures of great height, with deep-set blue or green eyes, long noses, full beards, and red or blond hair. Scholars have traditionally scoffed at these accounts, but it now seems that they may be accurate.- Victor H. Mair (12)Victor H. Mair (March/April 1995) Mummies of the Tarim Basin, Archaeology, Volume 48, Number 2, Pages 28–35

Other ancient Indo-European tribes migrated south settling in the Indus Civilization in a series of migrations beginning around 4,200 years ago. Genetic research shows the two South Asian ethnic groups mixed between 4,200 to 1,900 years ago, after which mixture between even closely related groups became rare because of a shift to caste-based endogamy.(13)P. Moorjani, et al. (2013) “Genetic evidence for recent population mixture in India,” The American Journal of Human Genetics, Volume 93 Number 3, Pages 422-438 Endogamy is the practice of marrying within a specific ethnic group, class, or social group, rejecting others on such a basis as being unsuitable for marriage or for other close personal relationships.

References   [ + ]

1. Glen M. MacDonald, et al. (2000) “Holocene Treeline History and Climate Change Across Northern Eurasia,” Quaternary Research Volume 53, Pages 302–311
2. Peter B. deMenocal (2001) “Cultural Responses to Climate Change During the Late Holocene,” Science, Volume 292, Number 5517, Pages 667–673
3. Jean-Daniel Stanley, et al. (2003) “Nile flow failure at the end of the Old Kingdom, Egypt: Strontium isotopic and petrologic evidence,” Geoarchaeology, Volume 18, Number 3, Pages 395–402
4. Ann Gibbons (1993) “How the Akkadian Empire Was Hung Out to Dry,” Science, Volume 261, Number 5124, Page 985
5. M. Staubwasser, et al. (2003) “Climate change at the 4.2 ka BP termination of the Indus valley civilization and Holocene south Asian monsoon variability,” Geophysical Research Letters, Volume 30, Number 8, Page 1425
6. Wenxiang Wu and Tungsheng Liu (2004) “Possible role of the ‘Holocene Event 3’ on the collapse of Neolithic Cultures around the Central Plain of China,” Quaternary International, Volume 117, Number 1, Pages 153–166
7. Avesta, Fargard 1.19, Translated by James Darmesteter 1898
8. Trevor Bryce (2005) The Kingdom of the Hittites, New Edition, Page 12
9. J. P. Mallory and Victor H. Mair (2000) The Tarim Mummies: Ancient China and the Mystery of the Earliest Peoples from the West, Page 237
10. J. P. Mallory and Victor H. Mair (2000) The Tarim Mummies: Ancient China and the Mystery of the Earliest Peoples from the West, Page 55
11. Clifford Coonan (August 28, 2006) “A meeting of civilisations: The mystery of China’s celtic mummies,” The Independent
12. Victor H. Mair (March/April 1995) Mummies of the Tarim Basin, Archaeology, Volume 48, Number 2, Pages 28–35
13. P. Moorjani, et al. (2013) “Genetic evidence for recent population mixture in India,” The American Journal of Human Genetics, Volume 93 Number 3, Pages 422-438