Ancient nuclear war

One of the woo-woo ideas out there is that a nuclear war took place in the ancient past, perhaps circa 2500 bca, inspiring accounts in the Hindu vedas and other ancient myths. I doubt this is true; my question is, is this pure ass-hattery based on specious misinterpretations of the supposed evidence? Or are there some interesting coincidences and a few genuinely puzzling things that probably have mundane explanations but are nonetheless intriguing?

Yes. Pure ass hattery.

I’m no expert, but I would have to think even after 10,000 year we would detect traces of plutonium and other byproducts of a nuclear bomb in the soil.

Not to mention the lack of any evidence of an industrial nuclear-capable civilization. It’s not like Ancient Babylonians could have cobbled together an atomic bomb with rocks and coconuts.


Just to play devil’s advocate, do you think that all currently inhabited areas have had their soil checked for radiation? (Let alone the inhospitable places.)

Just for giggles, what does a reading of Hiroshima soil read at (currently)?

What about Xenu?

Hiroshima was only one bomb that wasn’t particularly dirty (relatively speaking). Chernobyl might be a better example and that place is still definitely hot and will be for a long time.

A civilizations (a nuclear war implies at least two civilizations) ending nuclear strike would involve multiple weapons.

The detonation of multiple weapons for testing has already forced us to adjust how we do C14 dating because of all the radioactive crap we released in the atmosphere.

We don’t have to do any such adjustments for C14 dating anytime near 2500 BCE, nor for any other radioactive dating around that timeframe.

We’d notice deposits of fused quartz, which I understand are created by two things on such a scale; nuclear weapons and meteorite impacts (exploding volcanoes don’t produce a sharp enough shockwave). It was one of the pieces to evidence that led to the acceptance that a major impact killed or contributed to killing the dinosaurs. So even if there wasn’t any trace left of the radioactive material (as long as we are being absurd here, let’s presume they had invented clean pure fusion bombs), we’d still see evidence for what looked like a civilization wiped out by a huge swarm of large meteorites.

This. That there was no advanced civilization remaining, the war would have literally blown them back to the Stone Age.

That and the absolute absence of 2500 BC X-Men.


That’s the sources of the Greek Hero’s like Hercules. The Titans.

The Biblical references of “giants”.

P.S.: The real builders of the Pyramids of Giza, hefting those 100ton blocks of stone.

Man, what a blast from the past, in my twisted youth (I got better) I used to devour books from Peter Kolosimo or Von Daniken, etc, IIRC one book did made reference to very old glazed areas of deserts looking like the modern “turned to glass” test areas of nuclear explosions.

It was when I realized that trace elements of those ancient nuclear devices should had appeared in those ancient glassed fields that I began to realize the hooey those writers were pushing.

A large-scale exchange of nuclear weapons would have left an unmistakable bump in carbon-14 levels in the atmosphere. This would have thrown off all carbon dating of everything younger than the alleged nuclear war. Carbon-14 dating has been rigorously confirmed through dendrochronology for some 10,000 years, so a nuclear war in that time period seems to be ruled out.

The one most basic piece of evidence against the idea that there was a large scale nuclear capable civilization in the distant past is the fact that all of the most easily retrievable surface resources were still around for us to get at them. Chunks of gold and copper just laying around, surface iron deposits untouched, etc.

Which reminds me: worst episode of Gilligan’s Island EVER.

Also, we have found places where natural nuclear fission reactions have occured and those took place around 1.7 billion years ago. So I would think we would find more evidence of a nuclear exchange than a few passages in old books.

[mind blown]…or you know, those are the sites of the reactors the ancients used to produce their nukes!!! [/mind blown]

So, the dinosaurs nuked each other to extinction?

Actually, we do not even need the lack of evidence for a nuclear war. We already have the utter dearth of evidence of any complex civilizations from ancient times. The argument might be made that the civilizations all got “blown up,” but that claim would fail on practical consideration. Even utter nuclear destruction of cities would have left a lot of evidence in terms of foundations and underground structures. To support such civilizations, there wouild have needed to be extensive agriculture and we have no evidence of domesticated plants in prior centuries–not even domesticated plants that went “feral.” And think of the significant cuts through the earth that we have made building canals, leveling mountain tops or cutting passes through them, or filling in valleys with causeways. Weisman’s The World Without Us was interesting in some ways, but aside from Mount Rushmore, he ignored a lot of the changes humans have carveds out of stone that will still be around for millennia. Nothing like that has been found.

This is a good point.

The ancient-nuclear-war believers now have to prove that the precursors developed their technology without ever seeing a use for the easily accessable copper, iron and coal.

An aspect in their defence however, it is more likely the further back you go, as ruins can erode and devices can get crushed. Don’t forget, 4500odd years ago is a blink in the history of anatomically modern man.

Unlikely; altogether I think that idea has been used in a sci-fi story occasionally.

Sure, there was ancient nuclear war, only back then they called atoms “God-mites”, and missiles were “big arrows” and the “Manhattan Project” was called the “Damascus Initiative.”

Well there is this:

Has the quartz Der Trihs mentioned. It’s not unique either, and such formations are used as evidence by those who want to believe. The sources for some of these have been pinpointed to this meteor or that, but some are still unknown. As others have mentioned though, no radiation, so no nukes. Guess they fought with anti-matter :wink: