Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

New Finds Worldwide Support Flood Myths
National Geographic News ^ | May 28, 2002 | Brian Handwerk

Posted on 05/31/2002 5:00:48 PM PDT by vannrox

New Finds Worldwide Support Flood Myths




Brian Handwerk
for National Geographic News
May 28, 2002




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 seriously—a view that most Western academics reject," he said. "But here in Mahabalipuram we have proved the myths right and the academics wrong."


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: archaeologist; archaeology; atlantis; blacksea; blackseaflood; cabodesanantonio; catastrophism; city; cuba; discovery; flood; ggg; gods; godsgravesglyphs; grahamhancock; grandcanyon; greatflood; hancock; history; india; liviugiosan; mahabalipuram; myth; noah; noahsflood; pallava; science; sunken; tales
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-4041-49 next last

1 posted on 05/31/2002 5:00:48 PM PDT by vannrox
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: vannrox;blam;Gods, Graves, Glyphs;
To find all articles tagged or indexed using 'Gods, Graves, Glyphs'

Click here: 'Gods, Graves, Glyphs'

2 posted on 05/31/2002 5:07:09 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: vannrox
Worldwide flood, eh? Whodathot.
3 posted on 05/31/2002 5:11:15 PM PDT by anniegetyourgun
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: vannrox
Gee, I guess that Ark sitting on top of a 14,000 foot mountain in Turkey is a myth, that's why Islamic Turkey is so presistent about not letting anybody up there to have a look.
4 posted on 05/31/2002 5:50:24 PM PDT by Russell Scott
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: anniegetyourgun
There's PLENTY of evidence that such catastrophies have occurred during the existence of Modern Man; it BEHOOVES US to discover when & How these events occurred--& WHY they occurred!

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!

Doc

5 posted on 05/31/2002 5:50:53 PM PDT by Doc On The Bay
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
Thanks Ernest. This article does not mention that with all the ice melting from the end of the Ice Age, there should be 'flood' stories and legends in every culture that survived. Also, they left out one of my favorite floods, The Black Sea flood, "Noah's Flood."
6 posted on 05/31/2002 5:53:45 PM PDT by blam
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: vannrox
"Expedition leader Monty Halls described the excitement..."

As in "Come on Down!" excitement?

Face it: might be a bad pun, but it's a twofer...

7 posted on 05/31/2002 5:55:26 PM PDT by norton
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Doc On The Bay
"We DO NOT understand the "History of Man" over the past 10 Millenia very well! "

Some of us do. It was a period filled with tremendous catastrophies. (even a number of celestial events)

8 posted on 05/31/2002 5:57:43 PM PDT by blam
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: norton
On the serious side:
All myths are based on something that really did take place.
A 'world flood' might only be a bigger than expected overrunning of river banks, it might be an earth quake that dumped some poorly sited buildings into the lake or ocean. Or, it might have been a worlwide event that at least overran existing tidelands and protective levees.

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?

9 posted on 05/31/2002 6:03:51 PM PDT by norton
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Doc On The Bay
it BEHOOVES US to discover when & How these events occurred--& WHY they occurred!

Bees don't have hooves, they have feet.

10 posted on 05/31/2002 6:07:34 PM PDT by Blue Screen of Death
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: blam
Kindly enlighten "the Rest of us!"

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??"

Doc

11 posted on 05/31/2002 6:18:31 PM PDT by Doc On The Bay
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Doc On The Bay;farmfriend
"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.

12 posted on 05/31/2002 6:53:25 PM PDT by blam
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: norton
Rehwinkel has a very good book on "The Flood," old but full of great insights. He had a theory about a coincidence. Every culture has a death day where people dress up as dead people, ghosts and skeletons. Well, death is universal. But this death day is almost the same all over the world. We call it Halloween. He wondered if that was the date of the Flood starting, remembered in cultic fashion.

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.

13 posted on 05/31/2002 7:01:16 PM PDT by Chemnitz
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: Doc On The Bay
WHAT "Catastrophic Events??"

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.

Catistrophic Event

14 posted on 05/31/2002 7:11:22 PM PDT by Mike Darancette
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Mike Darancette
"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.

15 posted on 05/31/2002 7:16:15 PM PDT by blam
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: Doc On The Bay;Mike Darancette
Ancient Apocalypse
16 posted on 05/31/2002 7:23:44 PM PDT by blam
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Mike Darancette
Comets And The Bronze Age Collapse
17 posted on 05/31/2002 7:28:10 PM PDT by blam
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: vannrox
bump
18 posted on 05/31/2002 7:28:42 PM PDT by Centurion2000
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: blam
"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 . . . . "

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.

19 posted on 05/31/2002 7:53:01 PM PDT by David
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: David
"2354 BC is the Biblical date for the Flood."

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.

20 posted on 05/31/2002 8:15:19 PM PDT by blam
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-4041-49 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson