The story of Noah's Ark and the Great Flood is one particular of the most popular from the Bible, and now an acclaimed underwater archaeologist thinks he has discovered proof that the biblical flood was actually primarily based on true events.
In an interview with Christiane Amanpour for ABC News, Robert Ballard, one particular of the world's very best-recognized underwater archaeologists, talked about his findings. His group is probing the depths of the Black Sea off the coast of Turkey in search of traces of an ancient civilization hidden underwater because the time of Noah.
See photos from her journey Here
Ballard's track record for getting the not possible is properly recognized. In 1985, employing a robotic submersible equipped with remote-controlled cameras, Ballard and his crew hunted down the world's most popular shipwreck, the Titanic.
Now Ballard is employing even extra sophisticated robotic technologies to travel farther back in time. He is on a marine archeological mission that may possibly support the story of Noah. He mentioned some 12,000 years ago, a lot of the globe was covered in ice.
"Exactly where I reside in Connecticut was ice a mile above my house, all the way back to the North Pole, about 15 million kilometers, that's a massive ice cube," he said. "But then it started to melt. We're speaking about the floods of our living history."
The water from the melting glaciers began to rush toward the world's oceans, Ballard stated, causing floods all around the world.
"The concerns is, was there a mother of all floods," Ballard mentioned.
According to a controversial theory proposed by two Columbia University scientists, there seriously was a single in the Black Sea area. They believe that the now-salty Black Sea was once an isolated freshwater lake surrounded by farmland, until it was flooded by an enormous wall of water from the rising Mediterranean Sea. The force of the water was two hundred instances that of Niagara Falls, sweeping away all the things in its path.
Fascinated by the notion, Ballard and his group decided to investigate.
"We went in there to look for the flood," he stated. "Not just a slow moving, advancing rise of sea level, but a really massive flood that then stayed... The land that went beneath stayed below."
4 hundred feet under the surface, they unearthed an ancient shoreline, proof to Ballard that a catastrophic event did come about in the Black Sea. By carbon dating shells identified along the shoreline, Ballard stated he believes they have established a timeline for that catastrophic occasion, which he estimates happened around five,000 BC. Some authorities believe this was around the time when Noah's flood could have occurred.
"It likely was a bad day," Ballard said. "At some magic moment, it broke by means of and flooded this location violently, and a lot of actual estate, 150,000 square kilometers of land, went below."
The theory goes on to suggest that the story of this traumatic occasion, seared into the collective memory of the survivors, was passed down from generation to generation and at some point inspired the biblical account of Noah.
Noah is described in the Bible as a family members man, a father of three, who is about to celebrate his 600th birthday.
"In the early chapters of Genesis, individuals reside 800 years, 700 years, 900 years," stated Rabbi Burt Visotzky, a professor of Talmud and Rabbinics at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York. "Those are mythic numbers, these are way also massive. We do not quite know what to do with that. So at times those significant numbers, I believe, also serve to reinforce the mystery of the text."
Some of the facts of the Noah story appear mythical, so many biblical scholars think the story of Noah and the Ark was inspired by the legendary flood stories of nearby Mesopotamia, in particular "The Epic of Gilgamesh." These ancient narratives had been already getting passed down from 1 generation to the subsequent, centuries before Noah appeared in the Bible.
"The earlier Mesopotamian stories are incredibly equivalent exactly where the gods are sending a flood to wipe out humans," stated biblical archaeologist Eric Cline. "There's a single man they choose to survive. He builds a boat and brings on animals and lands on a mountain and lives happily ever immediately after? I would argue that it really is the similar story."
Catastrophic events of this sort are not distinctive to the Bible. Some contemporary examples contain the 2004 tsunami that wiped out villages on the coasts of 11 nations surrounding the Indian Ocean. There was also Hurricane Katrina, described as the worst hurricane in United States history.
Scholars aren't certain if the biblical flood was bigger or smaller than these modern day day disasters, but they do consider the experiences of folks in ancient occasions were equivalent to our own.
"If you witness a terrible all-natural disaster, yes, you want a scientific explanation why this has happened," mentioned Karen Armstrong, author of "A History of God." "But you also need to a thing that will aid you to assuage your grief and anguish and rage. And it is here that myth aids us through that."
Regardless of irrespective of whether the facts of the Noah story are historically accurate, Armstrong believes this story and all the Biblical stories are telling us "about our predicament in the globe now."
Back in the Black Sea, Ballard mentioned he is aware that not everyone agrees with his conclusions about the time and size of the flood, but he's confident he's on the path to obtaining a thing from the biblical period.
"We began obtaining structures that looked like they have been man-produced structures," Ballard mentioned. "That's exactly where we are focusing our focus appropriate now."
At initial Ballard's team identified piles of ancient pottery, but then they produced an even a lot more important discovery. Final year, Ballard discovered a vessel and 1 of its crew members in the Black Sea.
"That is a perfectly preserved ancient shipwreck in all its wood, appears like a lumber yard," he stated. "But if you appear closely, you will see the femur bone and actually a molar."
The shipwreck was in surprisingly great condition, preserved because the Black Sea has virtually no oxygen in it, which slows down the course of action of decay, but it does not date back as far as the story of Noah.
"The oldest shipwreck that we have found so far of that region is about 500 BC, classical period," Ballard stated. "But the question is you just hold searching. It really is a matter of statistics."
Nevertheless, Ballard stated the uncover gives him hope that he will uncover something older "due to the fact there, in truth, the deep sea is the biggest museum on Earth," he stated.
Ballard does not think he will ever locate Noah's Ark, but he does think he may possibly come across proof of a individuals whose whole planet was washed away about 7,000 years ago. He and his team said they program to return to Turkey next summer time.
"It really is foolish to assume you will ever discover a ship," Ballard stated, referring to the Ark. "But can you discover persons who were living? Can you obtain their villages that are underwater now? And the answer is yes."
Tune in to Christiane Amanpour's two-aspect ABC News particular, "Back to the Starting," which explores the history of the Bible from Genesis to Jesus. Component one airs on Friday, Dec. 21 and aspect two on Friday, Dec. 28, each beginning at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.
Our editors found this article on this site using Google and regenerated it for our readers.