Sunday, August 07, 2016

Evidence of Great Flood in Asia?

There's a flood tradition in many global cultures. In China, some recent archaeological evidence has been uncovered that suggests at least one major flood did indeed occur during the era of Emperor Yu, but that Emperor Yu's reign began hundreds of years later than previously believed.

As they note over at Gizmodo:
"There are different versions of the Great Flood myth, handed down through oral tradition for hundreds of years before finally being written down around 1000 BC. But all feature the heroic Yu, who figured out how to dredge and channel all the flooded rivers and tributaries to control the floodwaters—a task that purportedly took decades to accomplish, even with the help of a dragon to dig channels and a giant turtle to haul mud. (Myths have their fanciful elements.) This led to him becoming emperor and establishing the Xia dynasty in China."

This certainly has some interesting implications especially as cultures such as the Hmong reconstruct their history in greater detail from their time in what is now modern China.

You can read the full article in Science here. Per the abstract:
"China’s historiographical traditions tell of the successful control of a Great Flood leading to the establishment of the Xia dynasty and the beginning of civilization. However, the historicity of the flood and Xia remain controversial. Here, we reconstruct an earthquake-induced landslide dam outburst flood on the Yellow River about 1920 BCE that ranks as one of the largest freshwater floods of the Holocene and could account for the Great Flood. This would place the beginning of Xia at ~1900 BCE, several centuries later than traditionally thought. This date coincides with the major transition from the Neolithic to Bronze Age in the Yellow River valley and supports hypotheses that the primary state-level society of the Erlitou culture is an archaeological manifestation of the Xia dynasty."

Meanwhile, here's a Japanese take on Yu the Great fighting a great dragon by Totoya Hokkei, possibly in 1820 or 1832.

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