3,600-Year-Old Remains of Man Killed by Bronze Age Tsunami Discovered, Researchers Say

A team of researchers recently found the 3,600-year-old remains of a man believed to have been killed by a Bronze Age tsunami.

According to Phys.org, the discovery was made at a dig site called Çesme-Bağlararası, which is located in western Turkey.

"The dig site has been yielding Late Bronze Age artifacts for several years but it was only recently that the digging uncovered evidence of a tsunami—layers of ash and debris that were prevented from being washed back into the sea by a retaining wall," reported Phsy.org.

Scientists are confident that the tsunami in question was one created by the eruption of Thera—a volcano located in modern-day Santorini.

"The 'super-colossal' eruption of Thera, categorized as a 7 (out of 8) on the volcanic explosivity index, is estimated to have been one of the most destructive eruptions in human history, with some researchers likening it to the detonation of millions of Hiroshima-type atomic bombs," National Geographic said of the "cataclysmic" event.

Britannica further explained that ash and pumice from the eruption have been found in Egypt and Israel. The encyclopedia added that the event inspired the legend of Atlantis, as well as Biblical stories found in the book of Exodus.

For years, many researchers have argued about when, exactly, the eruption took place, Newsweek previously reported. Evidence from human artifacts suggested that Thera erupted sometime between 1570 and 1500 B.C; however, the radiocarbon dating of trees found just below the volcanic ash on Santorini "indicated that the eruption took place around 1600 B.C."

Scientists are eager to pinpoint an eruption date, as this knowledge could help tie together the region's history.

"The volcano erupts and represents one short moment in time," Charlotte Pearson, an assistant professor of dendrochronology at the University of Arizona Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research, said in 2018.

"If you can date precisely when that moment is, then whenever you find evidence of that moment at any archeological site, you suddenly have a very precise marker point in time—and that's really powerful for examining human/environmental interactions around that time period."

Despite killing an estimated 35,000 people, scientists have yet to find the remains of any of Thera's victims. That is, until now.

While the man's remains have yet to be directly dated, researchers believe that they will align with radiocarbon dates found on materials sampled nearby, thereby tying it to the Thera tsunami, National Geographic explained.

In addition to the man's remains, researchers also found the remains of a dog, reported Phys.org. The man was found "pushed up against a wall" while the dog was found in a nearby doorway.

Tsunami
A team of researchers recently found the 3,600-year-old remains of a man believed to have been killed by a Bronze Age Tsunami. Ig0rZh/istock