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Thread: "Noah's Ark discovery raises flood of questions"

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    "Noah's Ark discovery raises flood of questions"

    Noah's Ark discovery raises flood of questions

    January 28th, 2014 - 10:37 AM ET

    Opinion by Joel Baden, Special to CNN

    That faint humming sound you’ve heard recently is the scholarly world of the Bible and archaeology abuzz over the discovery of the oldest known Mesopotamian version of the famous Flood story.

    A British scholar has found that a 4,000-year-old cuneiform tablet from what is now Iraq contains a story similar to the biblical account of Noah’s Ark.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Humanist View Post
    Noah's Ark discovery raises flood of questions

    January 28th, 2014 - 10:37 AM ET

    Opinion by Joel Baden, Special to CNN
    This is really interesting, I have no doubt that there was some sort of flood, possibly one that occurred right at the end of the last ice age?

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    Round boats seem common around regions east and west of Iraq:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_coracle

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coracle

    did it travel with farming maybe?
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    Quote Originally Posted by soulblighter View Post
    Round boats seem common around regions east and west of Iraq:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_coracle

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coracle
    That is interesting.

    From the Wikipedia article on Indian coracles:

    Dimensions of Indian coracles.


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    There seems like there is some historical truth to the event, given the fact that several civilizations have the tale as part of their oral and written culture.

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    This is old news, first reported in 2010. The discovery is included in my coverage of the deluge stories. http://www.ancestraljourneys.org/ori...s.shtml#Deluge

    A newly-translated version dated around 1,700 BC actually describes the shape and design of the craft, which turn out to be completely different from the ark of modern imaginings. It was to be circular, built of plaited palm fibre, waterproofed with bitumen, with cabins on it. Probably such circular craft were in common use on the rivers of Mesopotamia. Over a thousand years later skin-built coracles were seen there by Greek historian Herodotus.

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    Quote Originally Posted by leonardo View Post
    There seems like there is some historical truth to the event, given the fact that several civilizations have the tale as part of their oral and written culture.
    So many cultures have preserved a flood myth that some authors toyed with the idea that it must be based on an actual apocalyptic event, a real flood that covered the whole world, but no such event has occurred during the time of mankind. However some of these myths appear connected in the sense that one mythology has influenced another.

    The tale of Noah and his ark in Genesis, the first book of the Jewish Torah and Christian Old Testament, is notably similar to the flood story in the Epic of Gilgamesh, a collection of stories first written down by the Sumerians in the 3rd millennium BC. It recurs in Babylonian literature.The Jews probably picked up the flood story during their captivity in Babylon. How the deluge passed into Greek myth is less obvious, but the story of Deucalion's Flood has clear similarities.

    Attention has therefore turned to notable regional floods which might be the foundation for these stories. The flooding of the Black and Caspian Seas at the end of the last Ice Age has been a popular choice. It certainly was dramatic, though not to the catastrophic degree that some have proposed. The problem is that the location and the date (about 10,000 BC) do not fit. The earliest flood stories are set on the river plains of Mesopotamia, after farmers had settled there about 6,000 BC. The flooding of the Black Sea, even if it had occurred closer to 7,000 BC, as William Ryan and Walter Pitman proposed in their popular book Noah's Flood (2000), would not have affected the cradle of agriculture, protected by the mountains south of the Black Sea, let alone forced farmers to migrate into Europe as they contended. The flood mainly spilled water onto the low-lying land to the north of the Black Sea, where there were no farmers at the time. The hunter-gatherer bands that roamed there no doubt retreated out of its path, but their mobile life-style would make that easy.

    Another idea is that the inundation of southern Mesopotamia c. 6,000 BC that created the Persian Gulf could have lived on in memory as the Deluge. This is in the right region, but the wrong time - just before agriculture arrived there from the north. Its supporters have to rely on supposed towns vanished beneath the waters to give it any plausibility. It was also a slow process.

    Evidence of flooding at Mesopotamian cities such as Uruk c. 2900 BC may not capture the imagination to the same degree, but it has the merit of being in the right place at the right time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jean M View Post
    So many cultures have preserved a flood myth that some authors toyed with the idea that it must be based on an actual apocalyptic event, a real flood that covered the whole world, but no such event has occurred during the time of mankind. However some of these myths appear connected in the sense that one mythology has influenced another.

    The tale of Noah and his ark in Genesis, the first book of the Jewish Torah and Christian Old Testament, is notably similar to the flood story in the Epic of Gilgamesh, a collection of stories first written down by the Sumerians in the 3rd millennium BC. It recurs in Babylonian literature.The Jews probably picked up the flood story during their captivity in Babylon. How the deluge passed into Greek myth is less obvious, but the story of Deucalion's Flood has clear similarities.

    Attention has therefore turned to notable regional floods which might be the foundation for these stories. The flooding of the Black and Caspian Seas at the end of the last Ice Age has been a popular choice. It certainly was dramatic, though not to the catastrophic degree that some have proposed. The problem is that the location and the date (about 10,000 BC) do not fit. The earliest flood stories are set on the river plains of Mesopotamia, after farmers had settled there about 6,000 BC. The flooding of the Black Sea, even if it had occurred closer to 7,000 BC, as William Ryan and Walter Pitman proposed in their popular book Noah's Flood (2000), would not have affected the cradle of agriculture, protected by the mountains south of the Black Sea, let alone forced farmers to migrate into Europe as they contended. The flood mainly spilled water onto the low-lying land to the north of the Black Sea, where there were no farmers at the time. The hunter-gatherer bands that roamed there no doubt retreated out of its path, but their mobile life-style would make that easy.

    Another idea is that the inundation of southern Mesopotamia c. 6,000 BC that created the Persian Gulf could have lived on in memory as the Deluge. This is in the right region, but the wrong time - just before agriculture arrived there from the north. Its supporters have to rely on supposed towns vanished beneath the waters to give it any plausibility. It was also a slow process.

    Evidence of flooding at Mesopotamian cities such as Uruk c. 2900 BC may not capture the imagination to the same degree, but it has the merit of being in the right place at the right time.
    I saw a documentary on the Discovery or History channel a few years back where it was proposed the Garden of Eden now sits under the Persian Gulf, inundated by the flood you mention.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jean M View Post
    The tale of Noah and his ark in Genesis, the first book of the Jewish Torah and Christian Old Testament, is notably similar to the flood story in the Epic of Gilgamesh, a collection of stories first written down by the Sumerians in the 3rd millennium BC. It recurs in Babylonian literature.The Jews probably picked up the flood story during their captivity in Babylon. How the deluge passed into Greek myth is less obvious, but the story of Deucalion's Flood has clear similarities.
    I am not familiar with the Greek story of Deucalion's Flood. I read this on Wikipedia:

    Of Deucalion's birth, the Argonautica (from the 3rd century BC) states:

    "There [in Achaea, i.e. Greece] is a land encircled by lofty mountains, rich in sheep and in pasture, where Prometheus, son of Iapetus, begat goodly Deucalion, who first founded cities and reared temples to the immortal gods, and first ruled over men. This land the neighbours who dwell around call Haemonia [i.e. Thessaly]."

    The fullest accounts are provided in Ovid's Metamorphoses (8 AD) and in the Library of Pseudo-Apollodorus.[9] Deucalion, who reigned over the region of Phthia, had been forewarned of the flood by his father, Prometheus. Deucalion was to build a chest and provision it carefully (no animals are rescued in this version of the Flood myth), so that when the waters receded after nine days, he and his wife Pyrrha, daughter of Epimetheus, were the one surviving pair of humans. Their chest touched solid ground on Mount Parnassus,[10] or Mount Etna in Sicily,[11] or Mount Athos in Chalkidiki,[12] or Mount Othrys in Thessaly.[13]

    If the above dates are the earliest attestations, and if we take them to signify (perhaps in error?) its origins in the Greek-speaking world, then the period of Greek domination of Mesopotamia (i.e. beginning with Alexander and continuing for many decades thereafter) may serve as a possible avenue for its "export" to Greece. Not completely unlike, perhaps, how it may have entered Jewish literature/mythology.
    Last edited by Humanist; 02-16-2014 at 12:37 AM.

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    Or could it be that the same story was spread throughout a number of cultures and, over the years, modified to suit local beliefs etc.

    I can't argue that there was never a flood, but, "onto the Ark, two by two?"
    Last edited by Ian B; 02-16-2014 at 06:00 AM.
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