[LNHY/ACRA] The Daily Super Short-Short Story #63 [Long, again]
icycalmca at yahoo.com
Thu Nov 25 21:06:53 PST 2004
Eagle <eagle at eyrie.org> wrote in message news:<873byypqrv.fsf at windlord.stanford.edu>...
> phippsmartin <phippsmartin at hotmail.com> writes:
> > Well, it does bring up an interesting point of discussion. Was the
> > Sumarian civilization wiped out by a flood?
> There is some archeological evidence for two significant local floods in
> that area, either of which may be the underlying historical event behind
> the Biblical flood account (probably with some intervening oral retellings
> before the account was written down). There was a significant flooding
> and expansion of the Black Sea around 5600 BC at the end of an ice age,
> and it's believed that the Persian Gulf was dry land during the ice age
> period at around 10000 BC and at some point reflooded.
> I think both of those events are a bit early for a wiping out of Sumerian
> civilization, though (and unless I'm misremembering my geography, the
> Black Sea flood was a little far north for that).
Sadly, you, and maybe millions of other people,
have been misled on this subject.
Alas, there was no "Noachian" Black Sea Flood, and
the science in William Ryan's and Walter Pitman's book
"Noah's Flood: the event that changed history" has in
several cases been superceded by better information that
indicates that there was no such event, and was in most
cases preceded by evidence that indicated that there was
no such event.
Ryan and Pitman set out to overturn the orthodox view of
the history of the Black Sea, but they have apparently
abandoned their hypothesis, if more recent articles
co-authored by Ryan are any indication.
The orthodox view has prevailed, subject to some recent
There is evidence that there was an _outflow_ southward
from the Black Sea through the Bosphorus into the Mediterranean
from more than 10000 years ago
(well before Ryan and Pitman's initial 5600 BCE flood date),
continuously until the present day, though there may have been
a relatively short interruption.
And evidence from the south shore of the Black sea shows that
the level of the Black Sea was only 18 m below the present level
at the time of the supposed flood.
The more recent claim by Ryan puts the flood date at 8400 BP,
or about 9000 years ago, but then the "floodwaters" through the
Bosphorus channel would have been only about 5 metres deep.
9000 years ago is when everybody else always thought that
Mediterranean saltwater first entered the Black Sea. At about
that time, the last phase of Glacial Lake Agassiz, in central
Canada, finally found an outlet to the sea through or under the
remnants of the Laurentide Ice Sheet, and so out into the North
Atlantic, raising sea level an appreciable amount, and _perhaps_
triggering a sudden inflow of saltwater into the Black Sea basin.
But probably not sudden or great enough to inspire a Noachian
Better candidates are widespread inundation of low-lying parts
of the Persian Gulf associated with the final draining of Glacial
Lake Agassiz, and similar flooding of the Tigris-Euphrates delta,
and (most likely) simultaneous flooding of the Tigris and Euphrates,
which would have looked like a flooding of the entire world from
the viewpoint of a person near present-day Baghdad. These candidates
could each or all have inspired the flood myth in the epic of
Gilgamesh, which predates the first known appearance of the Noachian
Check this out, for a layman-friendly synopsis of the refutation:
On the draining of Glacial Lake Agassiz:
And here's a fairly recent news item on refutation of Ryan's
and Pitman's hypothesis:
January 14, 2003
Scientists are seriously challenging a recent, fascinating proposal
that Noah's epic story -- setting sail with an ark jam-full of animal
couples -- was based on an actual catastrophic flood that suddenly
filled the Black Sea 7,500 years ago, forcing people to flee.
In a detailed new look at the rocks, sediments, currents and seashells
in and around the Black Sea, an international research team pooh-poohs
the Noah flood idea, arguing that all the geologic, hydrologic and
biologic signs are wrong.
Little that the earth can tell us seems to fit the Noah story, they
say. The new research takes direct aim at the work of two Columbia
University geologists -- William Ryan and Walter Pitman -- whose
proposal in 1997 ignited much new interest, and much new research,
into Middle East history and geology.
Also, Ballard did not find Noah's House, and he has recently
admitted that he didn't find any evidence of human occupation
of the Black Sea continental shelf, let alone any support for
the BSFlood hypothesis.
Here is another recent news article telling you about that
(please be warned that several statements in the article
are erroneous, e.g.
"Scholars agree the Black Sea flooded when
rising world sea levels caused the Mediterranean to
burst over land and fill the then-freshwater lake."):
"Black Sea Trip Yields No Flood Conclusions"
There was no actual ruined building found by Ballard, but
rather just a partly rectangular outline of raised bed
on the continental shelf, that might even be
the outline of
the wheelhouse of a modern freighter.
To the northwest the outline continues, and narrows to a point.
To the southeast, the outline continues for a shorter distance,
and ends in a rounded curve.
Just what you'd expect when a sunken ship's hull is covered with
The wood didn't necessarily contaminate the site, it might have
been part of the ship, and so accurately dates the site.
The roughly-worked stones could have been the ship's ballast.
If you wish, I can supply links to the writeups on Ballard's finds
in professional journals.
And here are a couple of scientific papers:
"Is the abrupt drowning of the Black Sea shelf at 7150 yr BP a myth?"
"Persistent Holocene Outflow from the Black Sea to the Eastern
Mediterranean Contradicts Noah's Flood Hypothesis"
And there's lots more, but you'd need access to scientific journals
to read it, but you could ask me for more details if you want them.
Some of the articles are available on the Web.
Sorry to splash water in the frying pan.
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