There was a show on the Discovery Channel this evening called "Why Egypt Fell". Based on core samples taken from a lake Lower Egypt (near the Pyramids) and other ones taken in the Persian Gulf, it was concluded that a massive drought hit both Egypt and Mesopotamia about 2200 years ago and was most likely caused by a change in the Atlantic Gulf Stream.
According to the documentary, researchers use a "rule of thumb" with lake sediments that 3 1/2 feet equals 1000 years of time.
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