AO Magazine - May 2019

Ancient Origins IRAQ Tour

AO Magazine - May 2019

Ancient natural disasters including meteor strikes, tsunamis, volcanos, and floods had a devastating effect on the fragile psychological coping mechanisms of our forebearers. Having little external autonomy over such overwhelming cataclysmic events, they projected omnipotent power onto their gods, and believed natural disasters were punishment for personal wrongdoings or worse, the whims of peeved gods. In order not to succumb to debilitating, frantic fear, they developed rituals and sacrifices designed to appease those same gods to avert disasters and to gain some perceived sense of control. The pallet of naturally occurring phenomena was often colored with animated superhuman attributes in order to make sense of an unpredictable and dangerous world.

In this issue, we look at ten deadly volcanos – Vesuvius, Santorini, Hekla, Fuji, Krakatoa and more – which must have seemed like angry gods spewing their wrath, leaving destruction in their wake and changing the landscape forever.

Sometimes it is not only the world that changes, but our deepest faith and beliefs. Could it be that the event describing the conversion of Paul the Apostle, was, in fact, an exploding meteor? The implication would be that a cosmic phenomenon nudged Christianity in its infancy, gaining momentum over 2,000 years to become a major world religion and changing the course of history.

In yet another ancient disaster, author David Hatcher Childress proposes that Easter Island, the Lost Land of Hiva, was struck by a terrifying tidal wave that buried the famous moai statues in many layers of mud and muck, so that all we see now are their iconic heads.

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Ancient Origins Quotations