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The Storm that Darkened the Entire World:
Did a Tsunami Strike Java and Sumatra During Ancient Times? (cont.)
By Dr. Caesar Voûte and Mark Long

Trace Remains Of An Ancient Cataclysm

What is particularly noteworthy about Central Java's Book of Ancient Kings is that it incorporates elements which are entirely consistent with what modern-day geologists have been able to deduce scientifically about volcanic eruptions. Although these Old Javanese documents date the catastrophe they describe as having occurred more a century before the year 535, this discrepancy in chronology can plausibly be explained as the result of copying and compilation errors. Palm-leaf manuscripts did not survive for very long in Java's unforgiving tropical environment; for this reason they had to be hand-copied from time to time in order to preserve their original information. Moreover, the Old Javanese Book of Ancient Kings could very well have been based on any number of earlier documents. As one of the leading Javanese writers of his day, Ranggawarsita III most certainly would have had access to earlier chronicles compiled by his illustrious forbearers at the Sultan's royal court.

However, before attempting to arrive at any conclusions we must first turn our attention to the geological evidence at hand. Scientists have discovered the trace remains of a mammoth volcanic eruption in ice core samples taken from both the Arctic and Antarctic regions - samples that in each case contain high levels of sulfuric acid in the very core strata that corresponds with the 535-536 time period. In fact, the sulfuric acid amounts recorded for this specific period were higher than for any other time span within the past 2,000 years, which strongly suggests that the event in question had indeed been of cataclysmic proportions. Furthermore, the gathering of similar samples from both polar ice caps is a very good indication that the release of sulfuric acid must have occurred in the earth's tropical zone, which is located midway between the globe's two polar regions.

The Malaysian geologist Dr. T. T. Khoo has reported several interesting facts that have come to light during his 25 years of geological fieldwork along the western coastline of the Malay Peninsula. His geological inspections in the vicinity of the Malacca Strait turned over coral blocks as large as 1 cubic meter as well as large stones of a similar size that might represent broken beach-rock formations. Those with yellowish, powdery surfaces appeared to him to be 6,000 years old. However, Khoo believes that at least some of the coral blocks may be considerably younger.

The fresher-looking blocks were found at the same places where coral build-ups are currently found offshore, such as Pulau Payar off Kedah as well as Cape Rachado and Pulau Upeh near Malacca. This is just what we would expect to find if huge tidal waves had deposited large chunks of coral along the coastline at some point during the past 2,000 years. However, additional geological and morphological studies in both South Sumatra and West Java will need to be conducted before we can be certain.

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