About Us

What Horrible Thing Happened Around the World in AD 536? AIA Lecture Series

April 24, 2013

Archeological Institute of America (AIA) Distinguished Lecture Series

Payson Sheets, Ph.D., University of Colorado, Department of Anthropology, will present a free Archaeological Institute of America (AIA) lecture, “What Horrible Thing Happened Around the World in AD 536?,” 7 p.m., Wednesday, April 24, at the University of Colorado Museum of Natural History.

Join this lecture and learn about the few literate cultures in AD 536 who recorded intense cold, crop failures, starvation, and deaths.  How nearly 75 percent of the people in a northern Chinese kingdom died.  What similar problems were reported around the Mediterranean. Why tree rings in North America, Europe, and Asia record 15 years of cold beginning in AD 536. Sheets explains, “Ice cores in Greenland and in Antarctica record a dramatic increase in sulfur in this same year, indicating a volcanic eruption was the cause, and not an asteroid impact.” Sheets adds, “The worldwide sulfur circulation indicates an eruption in a tropical latitude, and the greater sulfur in Greenland indicates an eruption north of the equator. El Salvador's Ilopango eruption, which appears to have occurred more recently than the 5th century, is the likely candidate for the worst worldwide disaster in the past few millennia.”   

For information on the Archeological Institute of America (AIA) contact Boulder AIA President Steve Lekson at lekson@colorado.edu or 303-492-6671. For information on the University of Colorado Museum of Natural History, to receive exhibit, talk, lecture, Family Day and workshop invitations, to sign up for regular museum updates or become a museum member visit: http://CUmuseum.Colorado.edu or call 303.492.6892.


Return to Museum News.