“Oh, you must have spoken to Jerrod. I saved his author from enormous embarrassment and public ridicule. As I explained to Jerrod, that author clearly ignored the last decade’s evidence refuting the Black Sea flood hypothesis. Another noted scholar hypothesizes a major meteor strike in the Black Sea around 9,000 BCE may have caused the legendary flooding, wiping out the advanced civilizations thought to have lived on the northern shores.”              Peter Gollinger, May 2021

The Black Sea was once a freshwater lake represented by the light blue area in the center.

The Flood Mythology

Noah and his ark.  One of the most famous stories of Genesis presented in the three Abrahamic religions.  The story of a great deluge, a great flood, is found in a multitude of ancient stories from all over the world across diverse cultures and religions.  In the Americas, among the Hopi, the Mayan, the Aztecs, the Huaxtecs.  In lore from China, India, Korea, Malaysia, and the Philippines.  In medieval Irish, Welsh, and Norse legends.

The oldest recorded flood myth comes from ancient Sumerian text in the epic Giglamesh dating back to 2000 BCE.  Thought to be an epic poem told orally from generation to generation, this story had been written in Sumerian cuneiform on tablets, then Akkadian cuneiform text, and later in Babylonian text.  Some believe this Sumerian epic may have influenced the Jewish scribes in exile in Babylonia during the formative writing of the Torah.  Other debate that the Genesis account is older than Giglamesh having been handed down through generations to the Prophet Moses.  Either way, an inspiration moral story was passed through generations by word of mouth until the day mankind was able to permanently inscribe the lore.

The Black Sea Flood Hypothesis

In 1996, William Ryan and Walter Pitman proposed that a post ice age glacial melt bloated Mediterranean Sea breached the Bosporus and caused a catastrophic flood of the once large inland freshwater lake.  Using marine life data, they hypothesized this breach caused a waterfall 400 times greater than the Niagara Falls around 5500 BCE rapidly flooding the shallow lands around the Black Sea.

This hypothesized some scientists to further proposal that the rapid disruption of farming lands lead to the great migrations of people away from these lands spreading the Proto-Indo-Europeans across to other lands taking their language with them.  The inevitable question of whether this Black Sea deluge led to the flood stories of Noah and Giglamesh has been raised as well.

How Can There Be So Many Flood Myths and Religious Stories?

Did the great melt of the last ice age, which started somewhere between 16,000 and 15,000 years ago led to devastating floods around the world?  Are our stories today the result of ancient people retelling these catastrophic life altering events to warn future generations?

The Matriarch Matrix – A tale that started on the north shores of the Black Sea

At the heart of this epic story, an intrepid early Neolithic couple lived with their daughter and son farming, fishing, and hunting along the shores of a Big Lake.  They are survivors of the tyranny and terror of a race of giant warriors who enslave and denigrate the people in lands they wish to take.  A story that has been repeated throughout the millennia thousands and thousands of time.  Their endeavor to ensure generations to come have the strength and will to overcome such adversity leads to a legend that is passed down orally to their next generations.

 “I remember looking back at the shoreline. The waves began to recede, exposing the beach and lake bottom. When we reached the dark part of the lake, where we could never set anchor, we were lifted up and down on the highest waves I have ever seen. As Nanshe had yelled to do, I was roped in tightly at the rear of the boat, helping Narn with the rudder. And then we saw it behind us. The waves, which were enormous when we crested them, became the size of mountains as they rushed across the exposed lake bed and then demolished the beach in front of it. Nanshe told us later that God had killed the giants, who defiled God’s people.” 

Ki, first daughter of Nanshe, 9600 BCE

Further Reading:

“Geologists Link Black Sea Deluge To Farming’s Rise”, JOHN NOBLE WILFORD, New York Times (DEC. 17, 1996) http://www.nytimes.com/1996/12/17/science/geologists-link-black-sea-deluge-to-farming-s-rise.html

“Compilation of geophysical, geochronological, and geochemical evidence indicates a rapid Mediterranean-derived submergence of the Black Sea’s shelf and subsequent substantial salinification in the early Holocene”, A.G. Yanchilina, et. al., Marine Geology, Volume 383, 1 January 2017, Pages 14–34 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0025322716302961

“Ancient Chinese Megaflood May Be Fact, Not Fiction”, David R. Montgomery, Scientific American, August 5, 2016

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/ancient-chinese-megaflood-may-be-fact-not-fiction/

“A Catholic Perspective on a New Attraction”, July 19, 2016

https://www.catholic.com/magazine/online-edition/a-catholic-perspective-on-a-new-attraction

Photo: Licensed from Depositphoto.com

Just Whose Flood Was That?
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