Has happened to Noah's flood

panorama : Sensational find: the scene of the biblical flood

It is well known who survived the Flood: Noah, his wife, his sons with their wives and a couple each of all cattle, all birds and all worms on earth - this is how the Old Testament narrates. What the Bible does not answer, and science is all the more interested in it, is the question of who was destroyed by the Flood. After all, these people are said to have been so "corrupt" that God sent the flood to wipe them out.

An expedition of archaeologists and geologists from the USA believes they have come a big step closer to this secret. The expedition organized by the US scientific society "National Geographic" announced the discovery of the remains of a human settlement in the Black Sea on Wednesday - the most convincing evidence to date for the thesis that the flooding of the present-day Black Sea region by the Mediterranean Sea is the historical template for the biblical There was a deluge.

"This is an unbelievable discovery," said expedition leader Robert Ballard from aboard the research vessel "Northern Horizon". Ballard, who with his "Institute for Research" found the wrecks of the "Titanic" and the German warship "Bismarck", among other things, heads a team of scientists who have been researching this evidence in the Black Sea for years on behalf of "National Geographic" .

The Mediterranean broke its way

On board the expedition ship are scientists from several American universities and research institutes, as well as a representative of the Turkish monument office - and everyone is absolutely over the moon. "This is a significant discovery that will rewrite the cultural history of this key region between Europe, Asia and the ancient Middle East," believes Fredrik Hiebert of the University of Pennsylvania, the project's chief archaeologist.

It has always been clear that the Flood must have happened somewhere in this region: Mount Ararat, on which the ark landed after the flood, is located in the far east of Turkey. But where exactly and especially when "the waters (grew) so much on earth that all the high mountains under the whole sky were covered", there have so far only been theories.

The American geologists William Ryan and Walter Pitman from Columbia University developed the most concrete scientific thesis to date. In their 1997 book "Noah's Flood", the two scientists used seismic profiles and sediments to demonstrate the existence of a flooded landscape at the bottom of the Black Sea off the Turkish coast. According to your thesis, people lived there until about 7,500 years ago - until the great flood struck them.

According to the findings of the geologists, the inhabitants of these settlements lived on a freshwater lake, which was separated from the Mediterranean by a wide strip of land. Since the end of the last ice age around 12,000 years ago, however, the pressure of the Mediterranean on this strip of land has increased because the sea swelled more and more due to meltwater from the glaciers.

Around 5500 BC the time had come: the Mediterranean broke a path through the strip of land with enormous force and poured roaringly and thunderously into the lower land around the freshwater lake, on the banks of which the settlement now found lay.

A waterfall several times the height and volume of Niagara Falls tumbled in on the area, sweeping it all away. The path that the sea broke back then is known today as the Bosphorus Strait, the flooded landscapes as the Black Sea.

Last link in the chain of evidence

The thesis enjoyed great recognition in scientific circles, but for the assumption that this natural event also represents the historical core of the great flood, which was reflected in the Old Testament as well as in Greek and Roman mythology, one link was still missing in the chain of evidence: evidence that people actually lived in the area before the disaster. Only if people lived in the area who were hit by the floods, and there were people who witnessed the tremendous natural disaster at a safe height, could there have been a tradition like that of the flood from this point.

Last year, the National Geographic Expedition came a little closer to this evidence when they found traces of a former freshwater lake off the Turkish coast. Rock samples confirmed that the lake was actually swallowed by the sea around 7,500 years ago. And the discovery of a rock with which tools were made in the Middle East at that time confirmed the researchers in their hope for human traces.

Nevertheless, the expeditionaries were not prepared for the clarity their unmanned diving device "Argus" brought to the surface from a depth of 100 meters: The "Argus" filmed an entire house with beams and stone tools lying around 20 kilometers off the Turkish coast near Sinop .

Because the site is in the oxygen-free depths of the sea, even the wood has been preserved. "The excitement on board is unbelievable", reported one expedition member: "The scene of the flood has been discovered."

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