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Flood Myths Revisited

The Atra-Hasis and Matsya Purana have something in common: flood stories which destroy mankind and one among the men, favored by the gods, becomes the progenitor of mankind. The floods mentioned in the epics are of gargantuan scale, capable of wiping off all life forms. According to the Atra-Hasis, the flood lasted for seven days; I am not sure about Matsya Purana.

Ten thousand years back when the glaciers melted and the sea levels rose, various neolithic settlements must have got wiped off. Are the flood myths an accurate depiction of those events or an exaggeration?

It was known previously that the rise in sea level created a connection between the Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea. Before this the Black Sea was a fresh water lake. It was also believed that the Black Sea rose 150 to 195 feet, submerged human settlements, and drove the ancient farmers out.

New evidence — based on carbon dating mollusk fossils — suggest that the Black Sea rose only 15 to 30 feet. It also suggests that the land that was submerged was less: 2,000 square kilometers, not 70,000 square kilometers as believed.

“So if this is true, it means that the magnitude of the Black Sea flood was 5 or 10 meters but not 50 to 60 meters,” said Giosan. “Still, having flooded the Black Sea by 5 meters can have important effects, for example, drowning of the Danube Delta and putting an area of 2,000 square kilometers of prime agricultural land underwater. This has important implications for the archaeology and anthropology of southern Europe, as well as on our understanding of how the unique environment of the Black Sea formed.” [Danube Delta Holds Answers to ‘Noah’s Flood’ Debate ]

See: Multimedia presentation

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4 Responses to Flood Myths Revisited

  1. Vishal K February 23, 2009 at 2:44 am #

    That was an interesting piece of information. Even the present, humongous floods destroy properties and farms, and claim millions of lives every year. One such example is the floods associated with river Kosi last year in Bihar. Be it man or animal, nothing was spared.
    Open Source Jortal

  2. Vinod Khare February 23, 2009 at 5:03 pm #

    Thanks for this interesting post. I didn’t know the connection between the flood myths and the glaciers melting. Would like to hear more about it.

  3. Vishal kendre February 25, 2009 at 7:34 am #

    I predominantly thought that China was the place where silk was produced. Hence we have got the famous silk route from which the silk trading was believed to be carried out. It’s hard for facts to be verified and that’s what this article has proved.

  4. jk February 25, 2009 at 11:15 am #

    Vishal,

    Nothing much has changed. We have only a small sample from Indus, so unless we know more, we can only be speculative.

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