Skip to comments.New Finds Worldwide Support Flood Myths
Posted on 05/31/2002 5:00:48 PM PDT by vannrox
Ancient stories of massive floods pass from generation to generation and in many places in the world are integral to a people's spoken history. The tales differ by locale, but commonly feature either torrential rains or a hugely destructive wall of water bursting into a valley, destroying everything in its path. In many cases, the flooding is an act of retribution by displeased gods.
Scientists, historians, and archaeologists view many of these enduring tales as myth, legend, or allegoric tales meant to illustrate moral principles. Recent findings indicate that at least a few of them could be based on real floods that caused destruction on an enormous scale.
This temple, in Mahabalipuram, India, is said to be one of seven that formerly stood at this site. New finds suggest that there may be some truth to the story that the other temples were destroyed by a flood.
Cuba's Sunken City
Deep in the waters of Cabo de San Antonio, off Cuba's coast, researchers are exploring unusual formations of smooth blocks, crests, and geometric shapes. The Canadian exploration company that discovered the formations, Advanced Digital Communications, has suggested that they could be the buildings and monuments of an early, unknown American civilization.
Many scientists are skeptical of any theory that might tempt people to draw a parallel with the fabled lost city of Atlantis. Geologist Manuel Iturralde, however, has stressed the need for an open mind while investigations of the site continue.
"These are extremely peculiar structures, and they have captured our imagination," said Iturralde, who is director of research at Cuba's Natural History Museum. Iturralde has studied countless underwater formations over the years, but said, "If I had to explain this geologically, I would have a hard time."
In his report on the formations, Iturralde noted that conclusive proof of man-made structures on the site would reinforce some oral traditions of the Maya and native Yucatecos. These people still retell ancient stories of an island inhabited by their ancestors that vanished beneath the waves.
Iturralde makes it clear, however, that just because no natural explanation is immediately apparent, it doesn't rule one out. "Nature is able to create some really unimaginable structures," he said.
Further research is scheduled to take place over the summer. Data thus far has been collected using sonar scans and video. The structures are buried under 1,900 to 2,500 feet (600 to 750 meters) of water; collecting samples from the granite blocks and the sediment in which they are imbedded is the next step.
Such samples could yield the important clues to the origins of these strange structures, and perhaps alter our view of North American ancient civilizations, the researchers say.
Temples Beneath The Sea
Off the coast of Mahabalipuram, in Tamil Nadu, South India, the discovery of a complex of submerged ruins has sparked an investigation into their origin. Local lore has long held that the area once boasted seven magnificent temples, but that six of these were swallowed by the sea. The seventh, and only remaining temple, still stands on the shore.
Stories passed from one generation to the next tell of a large, beautiful city that once occupied the area. The legends say the ancient metropolis was destroyed by the gods who were jealous of its beauty, and sent a flood to bury it beneath the waves.
Best-selling author Graham Hancock spent several years cataloging and studying these myths. When he returned to the area as part of an expedition team jointly sponsored by Great Britain's Scientific Exploration Society (SES) and India's National Institute of Oceanography (NIO), the goal was to search beneath the sea for evidence to support the flood tales.
Local fishermen raised on the legends were able to point the team to a dive site where the ruins were located. Expedition leader Monty Halls described the excitement the team felt on discovering the underwater structures.
"The initial feeling was one of disbelief," Halls recalled. "The sheer scale of the site was so impressive, and the fact that it was so close to shore. This gradually gave way to absolute elation."
Diving in challenging conditions, the team found the "foundation of walls, broken pillars, steps, and many scattered stone blocks," said Kamlesh Vora, a marine archaeologist with NIO.
Vora, Halls, and the rest of the team were quickly convinced that they had made a major discovery of man-made structures. "Here there would be no furrowed brows, no peering at reefs from different angles, no dusting for elusive archaeological fingerprints," said Halls. "Here man was everywhere."
Still, the Mahabalipuram expedition has created as many questions as it has answered.
"It is very rewarding that we have found something of such significance," Halls said. "However, the real questions still demand answers: How old is it? How extensive is it? What artifacts remain hidden in the ruins? For these reasons we must return as soon as possible and give this wonderful site the scientific and disciplined inspection it deserves."
Vora agrees that much work remains to be done on the site, which spreads over an area of several square miles. "We will have to carry out extensive explorations beyond this area to find out if the man-made structures observed underwater are indeed of the same temple complex," he said.
"All structures are made of granite stone which is locally available," Vora continued. "The archaeological and inscriptional evidence of sites on land near shore indicate a possible date of construction of these structures between 1,500 to 1,200 years before present. We now need to carry out detailed explorations and searches for datable antiquities and inscriptional evidences on the finds."
If the Mahabalipuram ruins are found to be of the same temple complex as the shore temple, the discovery would lend credence to the local tales that outsiders have often disregarded as legend.
Graham Hancock, for one, is already convinced that the link exists. "I have argued for many years that the world's flood myths deserve to be taken seriouslya view that most Western academics reject," he said. "But here in Mahabalipuram we have proved the myths right and the academics wrong."
Click here: 'Gods, Graves, Glyphs'
I, personally, DON'T want to "start over again in the 'Stone Age!'"
We DO NOT undestand the "History of Man" over the past 10 Millenia very well!
As in "Come on Down!" excitement?
Face it: might be a bad pun, but it's a twofer...
Some of us do. It was a period filled with tremendous catastrophies. (even a number of celestial events)
There is SOMETHING behind the fact of near universal flood myths...
Perhaps some enterprising grad student could take a look at the north/south orientation of those myths?
PS - The only thing I wonder about is the timeline; whatever happened in the reported case happened after the reported birth of Christ - kind of tough on biblical chronology?
Bees don't have hooves, they have feet.
The "PC History of Modern Man" describes NO major Catastrophic events--it merely cronicles the dubious abuses of "the Coloured ones" by "the White Oppressors!"
WHAT "Catastrophic Events??"
Just for starters.
The 'long-ring' tree ring data for the last 10,000 years (Yes, the tree ring chronology has finally been filled out for 10k years) indicates that there were five worldwide catastrophic events within the last 10k years, the dates are: 3195BC, 2354BC, 1628BC, 1159BC and 540AD and two smaller events at 207BC and 44BC. Some refer to these events as 'near-extinction events.' (These dates, except for 540AD, are supported by the ice core data) The dates are no longer in question but the causes are still being debated.
The 540AD date does not have an acid layer (volcano) in the ice cores and this leads some to speculate that it was a comet/asteroid that crashed into the Celtic sea and began the Dark Ages.
The Bible teaches that a global flood killed all life on the land. I believe the Word and I also enjoy seeing all the evidence left behind for the doubters.
About 7600 years ago the Black Sea was a huge fresh water lake within a very short time it became a salt water sea connected with the Mediterranean.
I have the book Noah's Flood by Ryan and Pittman, good book. I'm beginning to think that something similar happened in the Gulf Of Mexico.
2354 BC is the Biblical date for the Flood.
At some point, I believe you posted an online site for ancient chronology--if you have it conveniently available, could you please put it up again. Thanks.
That is the Usser date. James Usser (1580-1655), Archbishop Of Armagh, Church Of Ireland. He is famous for dating the earth at 4004 years old.
I'll look around and see if I can find the timeline you requested. My files are a mess and I may not find it.