Originally posted by longbow
While you made some good points in your theory, I disagree. Indeed some people say that Thera explosion created 250meters high tsunami waves(!!!),
which destroyed Crete, but I highly doubt they had some effect on Egypt and other countries.
A 200m high wave does not mean it will do more damage than a 5m high wave that is 20 miles long... It's the volume of water displaced at the source
that dictates the level of damage (inland).
A volcano eruption the size of what occurred in 1500 BCE (more likely 1650 BCE based on carbon dating) would indeed adversely effect every major
civilization around the Med. Tuna stocks would be impacted directly by the pollution from the ash as would other food stocks from the sea (a very
important source, if not the most important
, of protein for the entire region at the time). And it most definitely would have had an impact on
the Nile Delta (a region that is, in most places, 0-2m above sea level). The sulphur dioxide emitted by the volcano also caused a decline in
temperature, which resulted in poor harvests for several years not only in the immediate area but also in most of the Northern Hemisphere.
1. Ancient Mediterranean civilizations were not on coasts (except Creta and maybe some Acheans) Egypt centre was near Cairo, Babylon and Asyria was
not acessible from mediterranean sea at all, Hittites lived in Anatolia (quite high above sea too).
I disagree strongly regarding your knowledge of Egypt. Over 50% of Egypt's entire farm region was the Nile Delta, which at that time was over twenty
times the size it is today, and the majority of it's fish source was also the Med. A large volcanic eruption, and the ensuing tidal wave would indeed
have been viewed as "the great flood" if nothing less than the wrath of the gods/God.
Many parts of the northern coast of Africa were also a fertile regions prior the "salting of the earths" by the Roman Empire at the end of the Punic
war (Carthage and elsewhere), and was another important civilization which grew to be the most influential from 800BCE right up to about 146BCE (when
Rome wiped the earth with them). This area was indeed a coastal, inhabited, actively farming fishing and trading, civilization in 1650.
"Around 1640 BCE, towards the end of the "Middle Kingdom", central authority in lower Egypt seemed suddenly to perish and the rulers of the land
fled to the southern city of Thebes leaving the capital in Memphis, while some nomadic tribes supposedly coming from Asia were plundering the towns
around the Nile delta. For more than a century, it is believed, these "foreign invaders" dominated Egypt and established a new state in the northern
part of the land, called the "Hyksos Kingdom". Just who were those "Hyksos" people? We do not have much exact evidence but mainstream Egyptology
suggests that they were the coalition of some nomadic tribes, wandering around the eastern borders of Egypt and at one time they attacked and defeated
the ruling dynasties, then invaded the northern part of the land. The so-called "Hyksos Rulers" (foreign kings) could only be overthrown around 1570
BCE by pharaoh Ahmose (also spelled Amosis) I and the order was finally restored in Egypt, marking the establishment of the New Kingdom."
It's pretty easy to put 2 and 2 together. The loss of fish stocks and the devastation of their primary agriculture region by a tidal wave would most
certainly leave the Egyptian rulers in a state of vulnerability. This certainly would account for the Hyksos Rulers... It wasn't until ~1570 BCE, 70
years later, that the Egyptians under pharaoh Amosis drove the Hyksos out. And, as I've said from the beginning, 1650 is "probably" a more
accurate date of the eruption of Thera.
Or maybe you don't know much about Egypt between 1700-1400 BCE other than what you've been shown in movies or "made for TV" specials (most of this
is usually related to more "recent" times under Cleopatra)?
2. Thera explosion took place 1500BC. Please not the while for Greeks it was time of legends, the Egyptians and Babylonians lived in deep historical
time and if such disaster that influenced their lives (and created legends) happened they would surely mention it somewhere in their writings!!! But
there are no talks about some natural disaster at that time. The Babylonia flood stories are much older.
So I don't think Thera explosion influenced other Meditarean civs except Creta.
[edit on 2-4-2005 by longbow]
Again you're completely mistaken on your time period and your ruling civilizations and even your geography. In 1650 the ruling "super power" of the
Mediterranean were the Minoans, not Greeks (the Mycenaeans took power over the Minoans AFTER the fall of Crete to a natural disaster), certainly not
the Romans, definitely not Babylonians (a culture which existed predominantly from ~6000BCE until 500BCE, and was in Persia
(They lived in
the area of present day Iraq between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers where the two rivers join the Persian Gulf.
), on the other side of the
mountains separating the Med from Persia. Surely you've seen a map of that 1/4 of the world? Why would a civilization located 1000 miles away from
the Mediterranean have a "history" (i.e. stories, fables, etc) of "the Great Flood" that would not have reached them simply due to the giant hills
The Babylonia flood story I think you're referring to (the god Enlil attempted to wipe out humanity by means of a great flood) doesn't fit into the
other religious flood stories time-wise or "god" wise. But it sure lends credibility to the fact that a large portion of Judaism and Christianity
have parts of their holy books ripped off (plagiarized) from texts that predate even the "creation of the earth" according to both religions.
Cuneiform tablet with the Sumerian Flood story, ca. 1740 B.C.; Old Babylonian period. Mesopotamia, Nippur. Cuneiform inscription in Sumerian.
Clay; H. 10.2 cm (4 in.); W. 13.3 cm (5 1/4 in.); Thickness 4.5 cm (1 3/4 in.). University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology,
This fragmentary poem recounts how the god Enlil attempted to wipe out humanity by means of a great flood. After the creation of the world, all was
well; humanity was established, animals multiplied everywhere, kingship was lowered from the heavens, and the main cities of Sumer were apportioned to
the major divinities. The text breaks at this point, but from parallel Babylonian stories we can surmise that the noise of teeming humanity proved to
be too much for Enlil, who decided to end it for all time. The other gods and goddesses lamented this decision, but only the crafty Enki took action,
revealing the future to a king by the name of Ziusudra. The text breaks once again, but it undoubtedly continued with a description of the
construction of a large boat that would withstand the coming deluge. And so Ziusudra survived the flood:
"All the destructive winds (and) gales were present,
The storm swept over the capitals.
After the storm had swept the country for seven days and seven nights . . . .
And the destructive wind had rocked the huge boat in the high water,
The Sun came out, illuminating the earth and the sky.
Ziusudra made an opening in the huge boat,
And the Sun with its rays entered the huge boat.
The king Ziusudra
Prostrated himself before the sun god;
The king slaughtered a large number of bulls and sheep."
Ziusudra saved the seed of humanity, and in return he was made immortal and was settled in far-off Dilmun.
I have gotten off track here, and amused myself with it somewhat, and for that I apologise.
But, the fact remains, there was a huge volcanic eruption in 1650 (*there about), this cataclysmic event led to the fall of the most powerful
civilization in the region, it more likely than not adversely effected all other civilizations in the region, including Egypt, Greece, Turkey, Syria
(what is now Israel, etc.) Probably didn't reach much further than Greece however, Italy is on the other side of this land mass, and the wind usually
only travels generally in one direction when spreading ash fallout... (Although the ash layer from this event IS found all the way up in Iceland)
Yes, there probably was a flood event in Persia a hundred or so years earlier. Yes there most definitely were large flood events in China at least 5
separate times (recorded by various writers including Buddha). Yes there are large flood events today -- but the difference now is the world is a
small place, back then an area 500 miles long by 200 miles wide WAS THE WORLD to the civilization living there. Surely, if you took one of the recent
floods in the southern USA, or in northern Europe, and moved it back in time to 1600 BCE it would most definitely be written up as a flood from the
gods set forth to wipe humanity from the earth! Seriously...
All I'm saying is, this volcanic event ties in neatly with 3 religious writings, ties in perfectly with the fall of a civilization, ties in perfectly
with the fall of the Egyptian rulers at the same time, and ties in perfectly with many many stories from many different cultures in the area regarding
famine and flooding and the skies darkening (not to mention fire and brimstone =).
I certainly don't claim to be an expert on Egyptian civilizations, but then neither are you apparently...
And for the record, I am not implying that every coastline of the Mediterranean was flooded by a tidal wave, I am simply saying that it effected many
important civilizations in many locations; adversely for some, for others it was an opportunity of power (Greece).
[edit on 2-4-2005 by CatHerder]