Gobekli Tepe, in southern Turkey (Picture: Getty Images)
Symbols scrawled at an ancient site confirm a comet hit Earth more than 13,000 years ago and triggered a mini ice age, according to scientists.
Evidence from the carvings at Gobekli Tepe, in southern Turkey, suggest comet fragments hit the planet in around 11,000 BC, which led to the extinction of the wooly mammoth.
An image of a headless man on one of the pillars, known as the Vulture Stone, was thought to symbolise human disaster and extensive loss of life.
Scientist from the University of Edinburgh’s School of Engineering now believe the site in Turkey may have been an ancient observatory.
Lead researcher Dr Martin Sweatman said: ‘It appears Gobekli Tepe was, among other things, an observatory for monitoring the night sky.
A comet hit Earth more than 13,000 years ago (Picture: Getty Images)
A replica of a stone with Ancient symbols carved into it from an archaeological site in Turkey (Picture: PA)
‘One of its pillars seems to have served as a memorial to this devastating event – probably the worst day in history since the end of the Ice Age.’
The scientists used computer software to match animal carvings on the site to patterns of stars.
This allowed them to pinpoint the comet impact to 10950 BC.
Scientists used computer software to match animal carvings (Picture: Martin Sweatman/Stellarium)
Scientist now believe the site in Turkey may have been an ancient observatory (Picture: Getty Images)
The team at the University of Edinburgh also compared the scrawlings to evidence from the impact in Greenland and found the timelines matched.
Following the devastating impact a cold climate swept in that lasted 1,000 years.
The findings of the report are published in the journal Mediterranean Archaeology and Archaeometry.