Written by Nils
The coldest year the last 2000 years were year 536 CE; followed with 10 years of extreme cold climate. This is also the year that changed everything in the world. Research has shown that this distinct year were about 3 degrees colder than normal without telling much about why. We also find that important traditions changed and the way we arranged our life’s become different. We buried people different starting from this year, people left their farms and a new tradition with sacrificing people for the gods started; not to forget offerings of gold and other precious items to the gods. The question is what crisis provoked this change!
Procopius (Mediterranean) discovered in year 536 CE that the sun lost its power and that it faded. This state continued for about 18 months. Then from year 541 CE a pest killed millions of persons all over Europe. The same days we also find wars pass over the European continent. Something happened, and this something had a huge impact on our life’s, beliefs and traditions.
Researchers have when postulated an impact of a comet creating dust that blocked the sun light, and others have postulated a volcanic eruption throwing particles into the atmosphere and blocking the sun light. More religious people have said that this change were due to that the gods were upset; of course in that times modern way of thinking. The concentrations of Sulphur found in the ice on Greenland and Antarctica is very concentrated in the layers corresponding to the years 536 CE and 540 CE; something that indicates two huge separate volcanic eruptions. It is not sure what volcano that erupted, but most likely it was one in the north and one in the tropics; meaning two separate volcanoes. Please, do not mix these eruptions with the huge eruption around year 800 CE.
In Norway and in great parts over Europe we find a dramatic change in mining and the production of iron. Mostly we find these productions to be temporarily closed down together with the production of ceramics. Even the way people were buried changed dramatically in this period. It is thought that this wasn’t caused by cold winters, but by cold summers. A cold summer changes the agriculture in arctic areas like Norway. A short summer that gets shorter does not really exist as a summer; making the summers between year 536 CE and 545 CE really not existing. Perhaps the snow went away, but the time for creating a harvest in an agricultural perspective did not exist. Most likely it was summers filled with floods and extreme rain, and then it were winter again. The agricultural landscape was slowly transformed back into wild forest again.
We have many indicators for that this time period changed the way people lived. Most likely this was the trigger for the biggest change in living as we know of from the last 6000 years. From smaller units we find the growth of bigger units and a definition of power. For many it is thought that the 10 years of disaster created a degeneration of the society and a strengthening of the Nordic religions and the belief on Ragnarok.
What will happen after the next volcanic eruption; because it will come? Before we had problems related to cold summers, plague and failed harvests; resulting in one of the biggest disasters in European history. Now we have problems with airplanes and stranded tourists, but is that everything we should be afraid of?