Nature 13/09/19 “Noah’s flood”: the worst disaster in the Black sea

As is known, in each joke –only a joke share. The same can be said about the myths. Very often they share only of the myth but they were based on real historical events. One of the most striking biblical legend tells of the great flood that nearly destroyed humanity.

Such myths about the flood met dozens of people of the Middle East and the Mediterranean region (including the ancient Greeks). Scientists have long sought confirmation of the events that could form the basis of such legends in the 1920s, British archaeologists (Leonard Woolley) proved that in Mesopotamia found traces of a powerful ancient floods. Similar traces were found later in other places in the region. Traces of the world, or at least very large-scale disasters associated with flooding, found Bulgarian scientists (P. Dimitrov) and Soviet geologists and archaeologists (V. A. Safronov, A. L. Chepalyga, etc.). According to one version, the prototype of the legend was the flooding of the Persian Gulf due to the melting of glaciers.

But perhaps the most bold and persuasive hypothesis about the origin of the legend put forward by scientists the US, about 20 years ago. In 1999, the American geologists from Columbia University, William Ryan and Walter Pitman published a sensational work entitled “Noah’s flood: the new scientific study of the event that changed history”.

In the book, researchers argue that about 5.5 thousand years BC the water level in Black sea rose by 140 meters. Ryan and Pitman called it “black sea flood”. The former large freshwater lake with a water level below the world ocean, the Black sea connected with the Mediterranean by the generalized rise of the oceans. Having studied the shoreline and sediments of the Black sea, geologists have found the rise of the water level. A huge portion of the seabed was formerly dry land, and there was no accumulation of marine sediments. The sea increasedaxis almost 50%, and of course, everyone who lived in the flooded area (approx. 155 thousand square kilometers), were victims of this great event. The dates on which according to the researchers, occurred the black sea flooding, correspond roughly to the biblical date of the flood.

the Cause of the accident and break the waters of the Mediterranean sea to the Black could be the strong earthquake and the eruption of underwater volcanoes (for example, about a thousand years BC, the Santorini volcano erupted and produced a flood on the coast of the Mediterranean sea). Another consequence of Ryan and Pitman say the emergence of the Azov sea. In addition to coastlines, paleography and paleobotany (learned how varied the flora and fauna of the Black sea), in favor of their hypothesis is definitely proven the fact that the water of the Black sea was once fresh, and the sea itself was very close to him Caspian. These sea-lake formed by melting glaciers after last ice. Plants and animals of the Black sea about 5.5 thousand years BC was freshwater, and then died and was replaced by marine. Only preserved their remains in freshwater, the remaining randomly isolated estuaries and rivers near the Black sea.

Critics of the theory say that the water from the Black sea could overflow on the contrary, in the Mediterranean. However, the flooded river valley on the black sea bottom and the traces of human life discovered in the same place (tools and buildings) suggests that a huge space was flooded with salt water. People have always lived near bodies of water therefore the flood was supposed to be a horrifying disaster with a huge number of victims, and representatives of an advanced civilization of which we know very little due to the effects of the disaster.
no Wonder that many people have created and passed on thousands of years of tradition about the flood that gave their culture a new beginning. People were forced to migrate EN masse and begin to re-establish economic life. Proponents of the hypothesis of Ryan and Pitman concernedut it is with the migration of refugees the emergence of the Tripolye culture.

“Trypillia”, who lived to the North-West of the Black sea between the Danube and the Dnieper with the 6th Millennium BC, was highly developed already in the time of their appearance in this territory, which speaks in favor of the fact that they were there as a result of the mass migration. In their anthropological structure very mixed – a variety of types together in one culture that in the era of low mobility should have a good reason. Genetics of these people links them to the Balkan peoples, which they could give a boost to development. The improvement of the methods of underwater archaeology in the future will reveal to us the details of the incident are 7.5 thousand years ago, disaster, and origin, life and destiny of the peoples who fell victims.

Konstantin Dmitriev

© Russian Seven

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