Geographical sites:

  • Thera (click here to focus in map)
  • China (click here to focus in map) (see also GeoNames #1814991)
    Geonames_icon People’s Republic of China independent political entity


Text #8951

Freewalt. "The Theran Disruption"
[pp. 10--11]


The Bamboo Annals, which record the earliest legends of ancient China, also describe similar events. According to the Bamboo Annals , “In [king Jie’s] 10th year, the five planets went out of their courses. In the night, stars fell like rain. The earth shook.1 Later in the text, the Bamboo Annals state , “The sky was overspread with mists for three days.” The mists occurred during the reign of king T’ae -Këah (T-ae Che or Tai Jia), the fourth ruler of the Shang dynasty, who was enthroned c. 1530 BC. The reign of king Jie of Xia, which ended in approximately 1600 BC, and the reign of king T’ae -Këah of Shang, which occurred nearly seventy years later (based on the chronology offered in the Bamboo Annals ) both occurred within the c. 1670-1520 BC radiocarbon date range of Thera and the ice-core and tree-ring range of c. 1740-1440 BC.

  1. James Legge, The Chinese Classics: Vol. III, Part I (London: Trübner & Co, 1865), 125.

Text #8952

Editorial comment by Laura Knight-Jadczyk

The testimony from the Bamboo Annals is highly suggestive of either an overhead comet explosion of the Tunguska/Chelyabinsk type, or an actual asteroid type impact. One is not certain what to make of the statement that the “five planets went out of their courses” except to speculate that tectonic deformation of the viewing site gave this impression. However, the statement that “stars fell like rain” is a strong hint that a comet fragmented in the atmosphere which could have triggered an earthquake and many other effects.

Text #8956

Editorial comment by Laura Knight-Jadczyk

The dating of the Theran eruption has been corrected to 1650 BC by Manning et al. See E#5160

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