The world got warmer. By 9,000 BC the great glaciers had almost entirely melted and as a result much less water flowed down the rivers into the New Euxine Lake. Temperatures became so hot that waters in the lake evaporated to the point where the surface dropped below the Bosporus outlet. The lake's water no longer flowed into the Mediterannean. As the centuries passed and the warming of the earth continued the Euxine lake shrank smaller and smaller and sank lower and lower. At the same time the polar icecap continued to melt and its water filled the oceans, erasing the land bridge that once connected Britain with the mainland. --Until there came a time, after thousands of years, that the surface of the Euxine lake was 400 feet below the surface of the Mediterranean Sea -- and the Mediterranean Sea was so full that it was close to the point where it would overflow the old Bosporus channel and pour down into the New Euxine Lake!! It was just a matter of time...
The Great Event occured about 5600 BC. The first trickle of sea water broke through the Bosporus and began to flow down the steep 400 foot incline to the freshwater Lake below -- and as the tiny stream flowed it dissolved its banks and became wider and deeper -- until within a relatively short time the stream became a horrendous waterfall 400 times mightier than Niagra Falls, so loud that its roar could be heard sixty miles away, filling the freshwater lake with salty ocean water, thereafter to be known as the Black Sea.
Of course when the Black Sea was filling up, covering their homes, the people had no idea if it was ever going to stop. Flooding they understood. They lived on rivers. All rivers flood. They simply moved to higher ground and carried on with their lives there until the flood subsided. But this flood was different. It covered their homes which no previous flood had ever done. And then it kept coming. The new shoreline of the Black Sea expanded a mile every day on average, more in some places, less in others. The people standing on their "higher ground" watched it rise and rise -- until they had to run for their lives again. Some people were on hills totally surrounded by water. Then the hills were gone and they were swimming or floating on trees -- or drowned. Some people were fortunate enough to be on the edge of mountain ranges or at least very tall ranges of hills. These saw the lake rise hundreds of feet and fled in fright through mountain passes to safety, in whichever direction was afforded them. The roar of the end-of-the-world waterfall became louder and louder too -- until it could be heard 500 kilometers away. They could certainly hear the roar in the world's most ancient city, Catal Huyuk.
The frightened people were like animals fleeing before a forest fire. Entire tribes rushed into the forbidden land of their neighbors. Everyone was uprooted, strangers from different tribes fleeing together in horror. Refugees poured through Catal Huyuk and Hacilar with the terrible news that the sea had swallowed their homes and farms and was advancing surely to devour Catal Huyuk and Hacilar too. What incredible panic!
The city of Hacilar was an off-spring of Catal Huyuk. The oldest pottery shards there date to about 6700 BC, and is known to have continued until around 5500 BC-- when it suddenly ceased to exist as a city. Marija Gimbutas says After Hacilar, Anatolian neolithic is not well known, whereas the culture of southeastern Europe flourished and reached its climax between 5500 and 4500 BC. The two areas diverged Of course, she wrote these words prior to Ryan and Pitman's discovery of the Black Sea Flood. So she was not able to take their date of 5600 BC into her understanding of what happened to Catal Huyuk and Hacilar, or the affect it had to have upon the surrounding Old European cultures .
The people this Great Flood effected were the forefathers and foremothers of civilization as we know it today. Their society had come down to them through untold milleniums of intense growth, from the ancient days of following the mammoths along the riverways carving their ivory Mother figurines, through the ending of the great ice age, melting of the ice cap, and warming of the climate with all the changes this brought to their lives, through the age of the early Natufian settlers, through the coming into existance of the world's first city Catal Huyuk and the highly intelligent matristic peoples who lived by the rivers and hotsprings west of the Black Sea. And then the Great Flood came to these people -- the most amazing calamity the human race had ever known.
There must have been some of them who actually lived within sight of the great waterfall. What a vision their eyes beheld. A vision of clamity that would seer their souls so deeply that their stories of the event would be repeated to their children generation after generation after generation -- literally for thousands of years. Great as their vision of the unbelievable waterfall must have been, perhaps the only other event that might have compared would be the Great Rainbows that must have been generated all across the sky all around the waterfall. These too made it into their tales, a sign to them from the Creator that the world would only be destroyed by water this one time, and never again. Just think of those heart-awakeningly beautiful giant rainbows! Never since has mortal eyes beheld such beauty in the heavens. Rainbows upon rainbows upon rainbows upon rainbows upon rainbows upon rainbows upon rainbows upon rainbows upon rainbows upon rainbows upon rainbows...
Even with this enormous amount of water rushing into the Black Sea it did not fill over night, for it is a huge body over a mile deep, 750 miles long and 380 miles wide. The Black Sea rose a foot every day. It took several years to rise 400 feet to level of the Mediterranian and Aegean. The neolithic people living around the edges of the water saw their homes of many generations flooded and still the water rose, pushing them back desperately into the lands of their neighbors. Those who lived beyond the sound of the roar watched the waters rise in wonder, and met the fleeing refugees in perplexity. This was the most amazing thing that had ever happened. Entire cultures were forced to pick up whatever of their belongings that they could carry and rush away from the rising water. They rushed away in every direction, pushing their way in and through neighbor's lands where heretofore none of their tribe had previously been brave enough to go, for tribes have boundaries. No boundary held them anymore. Here was the diaspora of mankind. Because of this great flood immigrant cultures arrived in totally new lands and started entirely new civilizations, some of the most ancient civilizations known to man. And they all knew what an amazing thing it was that they had been through. Stories about this great flooding of their entire world would be passed along to their children and children's children for thousands of years to come.
Previous to the great flood the people of the great city cultures of Catal Huyuk and Hacular in Anatolia had no difficulty in knowing the Koronovo and Vinca and other cultures of the west of the Euxine Lake along the great rivers, and vice versa. But after the Bosporus channel roared into existance it would be more difficult for these people cross over to the other side to visit each other. Vincas could not pass easily to Anatolia. Anatolians could not pass easily to the Danube communities.
The Danube had always been a great highway. Now more than ever, the first farmers of the Black Sea took to that highway and moved in great numbers on to Northern France and from there to Spain. It is no coincidence that the first farming along the Danube and Rhine dates to the same timeframe as the cataclysmic flooding of the Black Sea, 5500/5600 BC.
The map at the top of the page is sort of a mongrel thing, putting together information gleaned from various sources. The dates of the first farmers came from Gimbutas.
The hotsprings locations are my own research. Hotsprings are natural features of the earth and are much older than the oldest human civilizations. It's not difficult to see that the earliest human cities were deliberately located near hotsprings. They were looking for hotsprings because they were considered the most sacred places. It's amazing others have missed this fact. I think most archeologists and historians have had little or no personal experience with wilderness hotsprings and therefore really have no idea what they meant to primitive people. Most hotsprings have been built up for commercial purposes, are surrounded by walls and ceiling. It's not possible to appreciate such hotsprings in the same way of our ancestors knew them. One would have to arrive with one's family, tired and cold and perhaps wounded and perhaps old and rheumatic and unable to hunt or forage because of the disabilities, and settle into the hot healing waters with your loved ones, to begin to perceive the holy place they have been since the dawn of time. It seems extremely odd to such as us, who know about the sacredness of thermal springs, to read the works of great archeologists and historians who write of the birth of sacred writing or the spread of Old-European Danubian/Dneister cultures westward, and fail to mention that the lands immediately west of the Black Sea contain not a few, but thousands of hot springs. Romania has three thousand! Checkoslovakia has over two thousand thermal and mineral springs! And the land immediately south of the Black Sea, Anatolia, home of Catal Huyuk the world's most ancient city, has over a thousand hotsprings! What a heavenly part of the world! A land of marshlands full of birds and birds nests and eggs, fish and molusks, deer, everything in incredible abundance. And on top of it all, thousands and thousands of heavenly hotsprings for their most exquisite pleasure. If ever there was a garden of Eden on the earth for the human race this was it.
And then the Great Lake rose and swallowed all the civilization that lived on its shores, sent the people fleeing for their lives in all directions.
People who lived on the South Eastern shores of the Black Sea headed South East away from the rising waters. Of course they were familiar with their back yard. They were foragers. They knew where they were going. Their trek brought them to Mt Ararat and Lake Van. The Bible tells us Noah's ark rested on Mt Ararat after the Flood. The Black Sea waters never rose that high. But the refugees of the South-eastern shores of the Black Sea would naturally have headed there. It is also interesting to note that the area immediately around Mt Ararat and Lake Van contain a great many sacred natural hotsprings. One might easily suppose that these people would never again trust the Black Sea enough to return and live near it. They would remain near Lake Van and Mt Ararat and make their homes. Nearby are the sources of both the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. In the centuries that followed their children would move down these rivers and create cities: Nimrod, Resena, Mari, Ninevah and much later the cities of Sumer, and Babylon, and Ur.
The people of Catal Huyuk would also head east to the Tigris and Euprhrates Rivers lending their building skills to the creation of the new cities. Flint axes found on the Tigris and Euphrates came from Hasan Dag volcano in Anatolia.
Other refugees followed the shores of the Levant to Jericho and beyond to the land that has come to be called Egypt. Their descendants built the pyramids.
The people that lived in the northwest of the Black Sea pushed on to the Caspian and crossed the Volga river forcing them to confronts the Kurgan people of the land that now bears the name Kazakhstan, the ramifications of which we will read in the pages to follow.
The new lands would in many ways not be as nice as the lands they had left behind, a world of thousands upon thousands of natural hotsprings, where a simple emersion was a blessing and an enlightenment. Few would be the hotsprings in their new lands, their blessings and enlightenment would for the most part be merely a vague memory passed on in obscure religious traditions.
|The left-hand figurine is Vinca from 5000 BC
(Danube people west of the Black Sea.) The righthand figurine is an Iberian druid from 500
The people who lived to the west of the Black Sea followed the Danube and Dneister rivers west, some venturing down the boot of Italy, others proceeding on to France and Spain. Around 4500 BC the Danubians crossed the channel and settled on the island of Britain. There is only one natural thermal springs in all of Britain. The first people must have considered it very sacred. They built Stonehenge only a few miles away.
The scientists who made the discovery of the ancient catastrophe of the Black Sea are William Ryan and Walter Pitman of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in Palisades, New York. They have taken extensive core-samples from the bottom of the Black Sea and discovered that up to 7500 years ago it was a much smaller freshwater lake, 400 feet lower than sea level when the flood burst through the Bosporus that changed the world. I encourage you to read their book, NOAH'S FLOOD. This website will only be able to scratch the surface of the subject which their book covers excellently and thoroughly. Also bear in mind that in writing this article I diverge from their work in some areas and include material that I have gleaned from other scientist authors, the most notable being Marija Gimbutas particularly from her books THE CIVILIATION OF THE GODDESS and THE LANGUAGE OF THE GODDESS. To my mind the research of Gimbutas and Ryan and Pittman go together like two peas in a pod. Also many of the ideas in this website are purely my own, for instance the idea that the first clothing of the human race came from the abundant piles of mammoth-shedded wool which covered the primordial landscape, which early hunters would fix around them to disguise themselves as mammoths in order to creep up on a herd. And it is my own idea that it was the gargantuan rivers that kept the Siberian/Kurgans in the east during the final milleniums of the ice age... I have my own ideas about many of these things.
Regarding the work of Marija Gimbutas: She is like an oracle. The womb of life truly was the first essence of theosophic study and even veneration. It is as clear as nature to me.
To read the National Geographic information on Ballard's research into the Black Sea Flood click here
To read the pbs.org account of the Black Sea Flood of 5600 BC click here.
A review of NOAH'S FLOOD by Mark Rose
Click here to read a very well-written article that appreciates the Black Sea Flood concept but trashes the diaspora...
Onward to the next chapter: the Mammoth Riders