Skip to comments.Noah's Ark Flood Spurred European Farming
Posted on 01/24/2008 3:04:09 PM PST by blam
Noah's Ark flood spurred European farming
Ancient Canadian flood cascaded changes across Europe
Randy Boswell , CanWest News Service
Published: Monday, November 19, 2007
A British scientist has found evidence linking the catastrophic collapse of a glacial ice dam in Canada more than 8,000 years ago and the rapid spread of agriculture across Europe around the same time.
The dramatic discharge of freshwater from prehistoric Lake Agassiz - which covered much of Central Canada at the end of the last ice age - has long been blamed for altering global climate patterns and raising sea levels around the world by at least a metre in a matter of months.
The deluged shorelines caused by the colossal Canadian gusher have even been associated with the "great flood" myths common to many ancient cultures - including the biblical story of Noah's Ark.
A file picture taken 15 May 2004 shows the Ararat mountain. The snow-capped mountain -- named in the Bible as the place Noah's Ark grounded after the Great Flood -- dominates the horizon from as far away as Armenia's capital Yerevan.
Now, University of Exeter geologist Chris Turney believes he has traced the sudden proliferation of farming across neolithic Europe to an exodus of coastal people moving inland to escape the results of the Agassiz flood.
"It still blows my mind to think that a release of water from Canada could set off a cascade of changes all the way across in Europe," Turney told CanWest News Service. "It just goes to show how people and the environment are intimately linked."
The existence of a supersized Lake Agassiz, named for a leading 19th-century geologist, has been known since the late 1800s. Formed some 12,000 years ago from the meltwater of retreating glaciers at the end of the last full ice age, the lake was encircled by beaches still visible today as sandy ridges throughout Central and Western Canada.
Initially centred around the present Ontario-Manitoba border, Lake Agassiz formed, at its greatest extent, a 1.5-million-square-kilometre freshwater basin - an area larger than the combined areas of Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
University of Manitoba geologist Jim Teller's reconstruction of the lake's dying throes has kick-started a worldwide wave of research into what was undoubtedly one of the most awesome natural events in Canadian prehistory.
With the lake at the greatest width and depth ever in its 4,000-year lifespan, the glacier that had dammed Agassiz's northern shore broke somewhere along ice-bound Hudson Bay. A huge torrent gushed into the ocean, draining a volume of fresh water equal to about 15 Lake Superiors in a few months.
Some of this country's earliest aboriginal occupants may have even witnessed the epic occurrence since the peopling of Canada roughly coincides with the retreat of the glaciers.
Teller has also theorized Agassiz's final, cataclysmic burst caused such a surge of seawater around the world it might have given rise to the Noah's Ark saga and other ancient accounts of massive floods.
Among the effects, scientists believe, was the breaching of an earthen barrier between the Mediterranean and Black seas in southeast Europe and extensive flooding of the Black Sea shoreline.
Turney, author of the newly published Bones, Rocks and Stars: The Science of When Things Happened, specializes in reconstructing ancient events from the archeological and geological record.
His study, published in the latest edition of Quaternary Science Reviews, shows that up to 145,000 people from farming sites near the Black Sea would have been forced out of their lands by the flooding and into territory occupied by hunter-gatherer cultures of inland Europe.
"The collapse of the Laurentide Ice Sheet and release of freshwater 8,740 to 8,160 years ago abruptly raised global sea levels by up to 1.4 metres," the study says. "Flooding of coastal areas led to the sudden loss of land favoured by early farmers and initiated an abrupt expansion of activity across Europe, driven by migrating Neolithic peoples."
Turney tracked the sudden spread of European farming about 8,000 years ago by mapping the locations and dates of the earliest known agricultural settlements discovered by archeologists. What the data shows, he says, is a clear sequence of flooding, migration and resettlement of farmers across Europe after the Lake Agassiz deluge.
Yes. It’s priced at $10.17 at Amazon & the reviews look decent.
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I did a quick check, and I see that you are correct. I did not think that the time line had extended that far back yet, but I see that in Europe, it has been extended back to over 12,000 years. Do you know if it has been applied to the Agassiz event?
With all the animals (but two per species dead) they had to figure out some way to eat...and drink.
Thank god someone left some grain in a pot outside in the rain.
Noah’s Ark is melting in the dark
All the sweet, green icing flowing down
Someone left the seedcake in the rain
I don’t think that I can take it
‘Cause it took so long to bake it
And I’ll never have that recipe again
Can’t say. The melting of the N America glacial cap happened in stages over about 4000 years, each stage raising the world ocean level 100-200 feet suddenly due to collapse of ice dams. These events were roughly 9000, 11000, and 13000 years ago. The story in this article doesn’t fit this sequence well if at all.
...they will be able to date it to the year the tree was cut.Only if there is bark on the tree.
I think your 9,000 year date is too long ago. It should be closer to 8,000...even 7-8,000 years ago perhaps.
I never actually look up anything. :)
THere were probably several times when the sea level increased permanently by feet or meters. If indeed a boloid event caused major disruption and tsunamis 13,000 years ago, this would have become part of oral history for many generations. Although the Agassiz even would only have raised the worlds oceans by a foot and one half; first, since the water flooded into the North Atlantic and the Caribbean very suddenly, it may have caused tsunami type conditions striking Europe and North Africa. The initial increase in water level would have been on the order of one or two meters before the levels settled down world-wide, not to mention possible much higher tidal surges (tsunamis).
With an oral history of other significant rises, coastal and marshland peoples might have considered it prudent to move the settlements inland permanently.
I think the Incas probably took to the mountains because of tsunamis.