Date sent: Wed, 21 May 1997 12:23:23 -0400 (EDT)
From: Benny J Peiser <>
Subject: Conference Programme
Priority: NORMAL


I am pleased to inform you that the organsing committee of the
Cambridge conference (i.e. Prof Mark Bailey, Prof Trevor Palmer and
I) have now finalised the conference programme. I have attached the
invitation together with the programme timetable below.

Can I also remind members that the last payment date for conference
registration is 31st May 1997.

Benny J Peiser

Archaeological, Geological, Astronomical and Cultural Perspectives

The SIS Cambridge Conference will bring together historians,
archaeologists, geologists, climatologists and astronomers in order
to discuss whether the 'giant comet' hypothesis brought forward by
astronomers such as Victor Clube, Bill Napier, Sir Fred Hoyle,
David Asher, Mark Bailey, Duncan Steel et al. can be substantiated
by the archaeological, climatological and historical records.


Ever since Claude Schaeffer published his book Stratigraphie
Comparee et Chronologie L'Asie Occidentale in 1948, there has been
continuous scientific debate about the nature and extent of the
destructions of Bronze Age civilisations. Schaeffer claimed that
the repeated collapses of Bronze Age cultures were not caused by
action of man but instead by seismic activity. During the last
decade, eminent archaeologists and geologists have substantiated
his claim and have linked destruction layers in Aegean and Near
Eastern sites with natural disasters rather than with military
conquests. The interpretation, however, which maintains that
destruction layers or the mass abandonment of settlements were
caused by seismic or climatic catastrophes, has been disputed due
to the ambiguity of the stratigraphical record. The need for an
accurate methodology of verifying the actual cause, extent and
synchronicity of Bronze Age collapses is therefor essential.


Research in the field of astronomical neo-catastrophism and impact
cratering has quickened its pace since the early 1980s. An
increasing number of astronomers have suggested that a series of
cosmic disasters punctuated the Earth in prehistoric times. These
scholars claim that a more 'active' and threatening sky might have
caused major cultural changes of Bronze Age civilisations, belief
systems and religious rituals. Can the astronomical evidence
brought forward by these astronomers be substantiated by
historical, archaeological and climatological evidence?


In light of new astronomical and archaeological theories and the
emergence of scientific neo-catastrophism, it seems necessary to
re-assess the origins and cultural implications of apocalyptic
religions and catastrophe traditions in ancient mythologies and
rituals. In particular, the significant cultural and religious
changes at the beginning of the Bronze Age and those which occurred
after its final collapse will be re-evaluated.



Friday, 11th July 1997

from 15.30 Tea available

18.45 Dinner in the Dining Hall

19.45 Welcome Address: Prof Trevor Palmer (Nottingham
Trent University and SIS Chairman)

Keynote Address: Robert Matthews, FRAS (Science
Correspondent, The Sunday Telegraph)

Saturday, 12th July

8.00 - 8.45 Breakfast

Morning Session: ASTRONOMY

9.00 - 9.35 Prof Mark Bailey (Armagh Observatory): Sources and
Populations of Near-Earth Objects: Recent Findings
and Historical Implications

9.35 - 9.45 Discussion

9.45 - 10.20 Dr Bill Napier (Armagh Observatory): Cometary
Catastrophes, Cosmic Dust and Ecological Disasters
in Historical Times

10.20 - 10.30 Discussion

10.30 - 11.00 Tea/coffee break

11.00 - 11.35 Dr Duncan Steel (Spaceguard Australia): Before the
Stones: Stonehenge I as a Cometary Catastrophe

11.35 - 11.45 Discussion

11.45 - 12.20 Prof Gerrit Verschuur (Memphis University): Our
Place in Space: The Implications of Impact
Catastrophes on Human Thought and Behaviour

12.20 - 12.45 Discussion

12.45 - 13.45 Buffet lunch in the Dining Hall


14.00 - 14.35 Dr Marie-Agnes Courty (Institut Natinal Agronomique
Paris-Grignon): Abrupt Climate Change around 2200
BC: Stratigraphic and Geochemical evidence from the
Middle East

14.35 - 14.45 Discussion

14.45 - 15.20 Prof Mike Baillie (Queen's University Belfast):
Tree-Ring Evidence for Environmental Disasters
during the Bronze Age: Causes and Effects

15.20 - 15.30 Discussion

15.30 - 16.00 Tea/coffee break

16.00 - 16.35 Dr Benny J Peiser (Liverpool John Moores
University): Comparative Stratigraphy of Bronze Age
Destruction Layers around the World: Archaeological
Evidence and Methodological Problems

16.35 - 16.45 Discussion

16.45 - 17.20 Dr Bruce Masse (University of Hawaii): Earth, Air,
Fire and Water: The Archaeology of Bronze Age
Cosmic Catastrophes

17.20 - 17.30 Discussion

17.30 - 18.05 Dr Bas van Geel (University of Amsterdam): The
Impact of Abrupt Climate Change around 2650 BP in
NW-Europe: Evidence for Climatic Teleconnections
and a tentative Explanation

18.05 - 18.15 Discussion

18.15 - 19.00 Poster Presentations & Discussion

18.15 - 19.00 Film (by Amos Nur and Chris MacAskill): The Walls
Came Tumbling Down: Earthquakes in the Holy Land

19.00 Evening Dinner


Sunday, 13th July

8.00 - 8.45 Breakfast

Morning Session HISTORY & CULTURE

9.00 - 9.35 Dr Victor Clube (Oxford University): Predestination
and the Problem of Historical Catastrophism

9.35 - 9.45 Discussion

9.45 - 10.20 Prof Bill Mullen (Bard College): The Agenda of the
Milesian School: The Post-Catastrophic Paradigm
Shift in Ancient Greece

10.20 - 10.30 Discussion

10.30 - 11.00 Tea/coffee break

11.00 - 11.35 Prof David Pankenier (Lehigh University):
Heaven-sent: Understanding Disaster in Chinese
Mythology and Tradition

11.35 - 11.45 Discussion

11.45 - 12.20 Prof Gunnar Heinsohn (University of Bremen): The
Catastrophic Emergence of Civilisation: The Coming
of the Bronze Age Cultures

12.20 - 12.45 Discussion

12.45 - 13.45 Lunch


13.45 - 14.20 Prof Amos Nur (Stanford University): The Collapse
of Ancient Societies by Great Earthquakes

14.20 - 14.30 Discussion

14.30 - 15.05 Dr Euan MacKie (Hunterian Museum, Glasgow
University): The End of the Upper Palaeolithic in
the Dordogne and the 'Vitrified Forts' in Scotland

15.05 - 15.15 Discussion

15.15 - 15.50 Prof Irving Wolfe (University of Montreal): The
'Kultursturz' at the Bronze Age - Iron Age Boundary

15.50 - 16.00 Discussion

16.00 - 16.10 Benny J Peiser: Closing Address

16.10 Tea/coffee & farewell

CCCMENU CCC for 1997