Numismatic and History Discussions > History and Archeology

The 'Chiemgau Impact'

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Jochen:
Hi, anyone who knows the 'Chiemgau Impact'?

This evening I have seen a scientific documentary film about the 'Chiemgau Impact'. In c.465 BC a comet displode over South-Germany and its parts made an impact in the Chiemgau, a landscape between Munich and Salzburg. This impact is reported by Plutarch too and is proofed during the last two years by geologists from the University of W├╝rzburg. By this impact an area of about 2000squarekilometers was destroyed and all human beings living there were killed. This people were Celts.

This impact caused many consequences:

1. The religion of the Celts changed from natural religion to a bloody religion of heaven gods, worshipped by killing not only their enemies. And here the notorios cruelty and rage of them in the battle starts.

2. The impact caused the big exodus of the Celts to the West, South and East. Rome was conquered and occupied for more than a half year. In Asia Minor they erected a mighty reign for many years. And they settled in Gallia.

3. The Norici who thereafter were living in the region of the Chiemgau found a special metal - from the burst comet - which they melted to a special iron, called 'ferrum Noricum' by the Romans, which was much better than all other iron, harder and more elastic, like steel. The reason: This extraterrestrial iron from the comet has much more carbon than the terrestrial iron. An analysis of the iron from these old gladii has shown that they have a fraction of this extraterrestrial iron!

This 'ferrum Noricum' was used to make the Roman gladii and so they could begin to conquer the world. The Norici were never defeated by the Romans but were their allies from the beginning.
 
This I want to share with you!

Best regards

Howard Cole:
You have to watch out for those TV shows.  They got their date a little early.  Here is the report from Astronomy, from the people doing the research.
http://www.astronomy.com/asy/default.aspx?c=a&id=2519

Here is the same article in PDF format.
www.uni-wuerzburg.de/mineralogie/schuessler/Did_the_Celts_see_a_comet_impact_in_200_B.pdf

They date the impact to around 200 BC.  Also the show seems to exaggerate the results from the impact.  TV seems to always need a good story.

As for Ferrum Noricum, the following article seems to imply that it was from iron ore and not the meteor.
http://archeologiamedievale.unisi.it/SitoCNR/Metalli/Testi/11.rtf

This was also a C-class asteroid, which are defined as the following.
A very dark and non-reflective asteroid, gray in color, with a composition believed to be similar to that of carbonaceous chondrites (the "C" stands for carbonaceous). C-class asteroids are the commonest type known and dominate the outer part of the main asteroid belt.
Which most likely did not have enough metallic iron to make all the weapons that the Celts and Romans used.

To provide enough iron it would have had to been a very large M-class asteroid.

Jochen:
Thanks, Howard, for the links! It will need some time to look at them! My opinion is
 
1. The Impact is a fact!
2. To date the impact to a correct time should be no problem to a geologist.
3. That in this region today extra-terrestrial iron could be found is a fact. A geologist should
    be able to determine that.
4. There is an enigmatic cultural gap between the Hallstein culture and the younger Celtic   
    culture.
5. The claim that the Norici have made Roman gladii out of this extra-terrestrial iron can't be
     proofed.
6. That this could be a reason for the military predominance of the Romans is only a fiction of
     the TV.

Best regards

Robert_Brenchley:
Off the top of my head, I can't remember the name of the glassy 'cobbles' they found. But these are typical of meteor impacts; the heat of the impact melts or half-melts the rock and throws it outwards; the shape comes as a result of the molten material solidifying in flight as it cools. Dating such things isn't always easy; they need something like carbonised material from the fire resulting from the impact to give a really good date. Depending on the soil conditions in the area, this may not be possible.

Pscipio:
I saw that documentary as well. While the story about the Impact sounds plausible and well documented, the conclusions concerning the roman history were a bit ridiculous: pretending that it was the ferrum noricum that enabled the Romans to conquer the world is so simplifying, that I honestly was pretty disappointed by the documentary as a whole afterwards. Whoever was responsible for that part of the telecast obviously doesn't have any deeper understanding of roman history. The whole story already fails because it wrongly implies that it was the ultimate roman goal, from the beginning, to conquer all the world. My personal summary: the idea of a roman army seeking for ferrum noricum to gain a superior armament to reach such an imaginary objective does not correlate to the claim of that documentary to be scientific profound, and that unfortunately casts a poor light on the whole telecast.

Lars

PS: the date of the impact is supported by a note from Plutarch who dated it to 467 BC (at least they said so in the documentary - I don't have Plutarch at home to check it).

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