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The fall of Phaethon: a Greco-Roman geomyth preserves the memory of a meteorite impact in Bavaria (south-east Germany)

  • Barbara Rappenglück (a1), Michael A. Rappenglück (a1), Kord Ernstson (a2), Werner Mayer (a1), Andreas Neumair (a1), Dirk Sudhaus (a3) and Ioannis Liritzis (a4)...

Arguing from a critical reading of the text, and scientific evidence on the ground, the authors show that the myth of Phaethon – the delinquent celestial charioteer – remembers the impact of a massive meteorite that hit the Chiemgau region in Bavaria between 2000 and 428 BC.

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Hyginus Fabulae (ed. P.K. Marshall 2002, second edition). München; Leipzig: Saur.

B. Masse 2007. The archaeology and anthropology of Quaternary period cosmic impact, in P. Bobrowsky , & H. Rickmann , (ed.) Comet/asteroid impacts and human society: 2570. Berlin; Heidelberg; New York: Springer.

D. Stöffler & F. Langenhorst . 1994. Shock metamorphism of quartz in nature and experiment: I. Basic, observation and theory. Meteoritics 29: 155181.

Z.Q. Yang , J Verbeeck , D. Schryvers , N. Tarcea , J. Popp & W. Rösler . 2008. TEM and Raman characterisation of diamond micro- and nanostructures in carbon spherules from upper soils. Diamond & Related Materials 17: 937943.

H. Yonenobu & C. Takenaka . 1998. The Tunguska event as recorded in a tree trunk. Radiocarbon 40(1): 367371.

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  • ISSN: 0003-598X
  • EISSN: 1745-1744
  • URL: /core/journals/antiquity
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