I’ve told you before about the Chiemgau Impact Hypothesis, where a small group of researchers cultivate a minority view of a glaciogenic lake basin in Bavaria as a meteorite crater dating from the 1st Millennium BC. Here on Aard I’ve published a paper in collaboration with geologists Robert Huber and Robert Darga where we explain that it’s an unlikely fringe idea. And now a peer-reviewed paper (pay wall) has appeared in Antiquity where the hypothesis is refuted, gently but crushingly.

Gerhard Doppler and colleagues at the Geology Service of the Bavarian State Board for the Environment explain the geology of Lake Tüttensee and offer new radiocarbon dates from a drill core in the lake sediments, demonstrating that indeed, the basin formed at the end of the Ice Age just as every German geologist has known for a century or more.

The idea of a meteorite impact during the Iron Age has been advocated by the Chiemgau Impact Research Team (to which most of the authors of the Antiquity article belong) and has been eagerly taken up by the media. However, multiple geological, archaeological and astronomical arguments are contrary to this interpretation. Moreover, new data show that the Tüttensee basin originated not 2500 years ago but 12 500 years ago, i.e. at the end of the Ice Age. We can only conclude that the interpretation of the Phaethon myth by Rappenglück et al. (2010) is pure speculation.

The Chiemgau group, characteristically, respond with an ad hoc hypothesis: they suggest (without any evidence) that the sediment sequence studied by Doppler et al. actually formed beside the lake and has slid into the “crater” some time after an impact in the 1st millennium BC.

Comments

  1. #1 Deborah
    March 7, 2011

    Excellent. But it’s always the same when refuting marginal ideas and pseudoscience, isn’t it. There’s always a “could have been” come-back. Somewhere on Aard have you got a delightful post on that Bosnian “pyramid”? I should search.