<465 B.C.>

The Chiemgau Comet - Time zero for the Celts (documentary film)

documentary film by Sven Hartung and Guido Weihermüller (2006)

The Chiemgau Comet
"The Chiemgau-comet - time zero for the Celts" (transcript of the film, translated into English)
This is a 45 minutes German documentary film made by ZDF (Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen) in the series "TERRA - X," by Sven Hartung and Guido Weihermüller, about the recently discovered  impact site of a comet in Chiemgau, in Bavaria, in the 5th century B.C., when the area was inhabited by Celts. Because of its remarquable, all-around quantavolutionary character, Ami de Grazia presented it at the 2010 Conference of Quantavolution in Villaines-la-Gonais. She acquired the transcript of the German text from the producer, ZDF, and translated it into english. The film was shown with the sound turned off and with Ami speaking the english text along, in an attempt at live dubbing...

Remarkably, the Quantavolutional aspects of the film run the whole gammut of those extolled by Alfred de Grazia (who did not cooperate on the film):
* arrival of iron from heaven
* unusual magnetic characteristics of some rocks involved in the impact
* an "inexplicable gap" in the archaeological record
* changements in the behavior of the affected survivors - increased aggressivity
* changements in the nature of the gods
* far reaching technological and economic changements
* persistance of local words connected to the disaster (Donnerlöcher - "thunderholes")
* changements in the culture
The Chiemgau Comet - Time zero for the Celts (image from the film)
This is from the advertizing text of the film:

On a mild fall day in the year 465 B.C., ominous giant lightning strokes and deafening thunder suddenly disrupt life in Celtic settlements in the Chiemgau, between Munich and Salzburg, in today's Bavaria. Only moments later, monstrous fiery projectiles  hit the ground. All life in a perimeter of some 2,000 square kilometers is extinguished.
Some 10,000 people lose their life: a comet of a diameter of ca 1,000 meters has exploded at an altitude of 70km. The fragments precipitate towards Earth at a speed of 4,300 km/hour. The devastating energy at impact equals that of 8,000 Hiroshima bombs.
Indeed, ancient authors mention the event, but the first physical traces of the event will emerge only in 2000, when hobby treasure-hunters, searching for traces of Celtic settlements, found their instruments suddenly signalling the presence of a considerable deposit of metal. At a depth of 50cm, they found tiny metall spheres and glazed stones - the signs of a thermic shock. With time, research teams will discover over a hundred craters. Probes from bee-hives of the area will reveal the astonishing presence, in honey, of pre-solar matter, transported by the comet...

The film presents itself as a scientific thriller, which accompanies researchers from different fields along their discoveries around the Chiemgau.  3-D animations and dramatic reenactments bring the catastrophe to life. New historical findings reveal, how the impact of a comet transformed the world of antiquity.

A message from Prof. William C. Mullen, Bard College

(...) I want you to know that your good work with the Chiemgau documentary has already been spread abroad to the 15 students reading Gibbon with me.  I had them over to my house with my new Grand Convergence linking up my laptop to my 52" LCD Sony Bravia flat screen, and onto it I projected, amazing to say, the complete Chiemgau documentary which, I discovered is available in 5 roughly  8 minute parts on YouTube:






The clever students even found a setting which made all five you-tube parts play continuously without a break; hooked the YouTube audio up to my sound system; and naturally enlarged the image to cover the entire 52" flat screen.  I, in turn, joyously adopted the role of Ami de Grazia.  I had xeroxed for each student a printout of your English translation, Ami, but discouraged them from trying to read it while watching the screen; rather, like you at the 2010 conference, I read your English over the voice of the German narrators and the talking head scientists, following your cue in generally lowering the volume so that I didn't have to shout.  The students, who departed armed with both a vivid memory of the film and their own copy of the Englished narrative, can recur to Chiemgau if they write a paper on, say, quantavolutionary episodes encountered in Gibbon during the decline and fall, about which they have already heard, and which in The Years Without Summer and the Reign of Justinian they will contemplate in great detail. As of the Chiemgau film they have begun with one such episode which, I underscored after the film, contributed to the RISE of the Roman Empire, in the form of ferrum noricum and the resultant lethal Roman short sword.  I then concluded the evening with a 20 minute History Channel "Decisive Battle of the Ancient World", Cynoscephalae, in which the Macedonian phalanx succumbed to the flexible individual units of Romans who outflanked them and hacked them down with, yes, the same short sword.  The series uses state of the art video game technology to replicate the interaction of the vast numbers of troops, in their known formations, with the specific topography and dynamic progression of the battle.  It becomes real as never before.  The students (who, it turns out, have ended up 14 male and 1 female) went wild, and we have planned a whole series of extra-curricular "Decisive Battle" evenings at my place this semester, optional (and the one woman is among those who signed up!) (...)
(September 28, 2010)

The DVD of the film "The Chiemgau Comet" (in the original German) can be ordered from the German <amazon.de> site. It is volume 08 of the series "Terra X." It comprises two other features, one on copper mining in Antiquity.
Order "The Chiemgau Comet" from the German Amazon.de site
Order "The Chiemgau Comet" on the Amazon.de second hand market 
Order "The Chiemgau-Comet" from the on-line shop of ZDF
The grazian-archive website

dimanche 10 octobre 2010Contact: d e g r a a m i @ g m a i l . c o m