Apparently the worst year to be alive. It sure sounds it. Notice at the end of the article that over a century later there is evidence of the rise of the merchant class for the first time, in 660. Which they can tell from ice cores. Okay, I'm in.
There is a renaissance-before-The Renaissance theory of European development that looks for earlier and earlier signs of when the traditional Renaissance (eh, about 1300) began. I like it, even while chuckling at it. CS Lewis's belief was that Medieval and Renaissance traits were continuous, with no sharp break. His view was not favored during his lifetime. It has gone in-and-out of fashion since then. Not that I am suggesting that historians are slaves to fashion, or anything like that. Other historians have thought that the so-called "Dark Ages" were very short, if they existed at all, and are continuous with Medieval attitudes.
Everyone knows that history is largely continuous, not sharply delineated, and even when dramatic events such as the Crusaders encountering Mediterranean art, customs, and science change the mix back in the home town, the result is usually only observable in retrospect. 1067 was actually not that different from 1066 on the ground. But somehow all of us, not just professional writers and historians trying to impose a structure, fall into the idea that the lines we draw have much meaning. We have to have structure to understand anything at all, I suppose, so they are useful even if they are periodically destroyed.
So 660. The first rise of the merchant class. Mark it down. It's the earliest date for the ren.-before-Ren. that I have seen. The stirrup comes in the next century, and heck, the founding of America becomes inevitable. A good writer could make it look that way, anyway.