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A catastrophe remembered: a meteorite impact of the fifth century AD in the Abruzzo, central Italy

A catastrophe remembered: a meteorite impact of the fifth century AD in the Abruzzo, central Italy


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A catastrophe remembered: a meteorite impact of the fifth century AD in the Abruzzo, central Italy

Roberto Santilli, , Jens Ormo, Angelo P. Rossi, Goro Komatsu

Antiquity, Volume: 77 Number: 296 (2003)

Abstract

A meteorite impact crater in the Sirente mountains, central Abruzzo has recently been dated to the four/fifth century AD. The author shows that this catastrophic event can be equated with a locally preserved legend which describes how local people saw a new star fall to earth during a pagan festival. Their conversion to Christianity was expeditiously effected.

The Sirente crater is located at an altitude of 1100 metres in the Abruzzo Mountains, on a plain on the northern side of the 2348 metres high Sirente massif, inside the Sirente-Velino Regional Park (Figures 1 and 2). It shows strong geological similarities with known meteorite craters and was the first to be identified in Italy (Ormo et al. 2002 a & b).


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