Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Science

A Lost Civilization Beneath the Persian Gulf? 277

Posted by kdawson
from the tigris-is-for-neandertals dept.
Phoghat sends news of a new theory that a once-fertile landmass beneath the Persian Gulf may have supported some of the earliest humans outside of Africa. "Perhaps it is no coincidence that the founding of such remarkably well developed communities along the shoreline corresponds with the flooding of the Persian Gulf basin around 8,000 years ago... These new colonists may have come from the heart of the Gulf, displaced by rising water levels that plunged the once fertile landscape beneath the waters of the Indian Ocean."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

A Lost Civilization Beneath the Persian Gulf?

Comments Filter:
  • by rarel (697734) on Friday December 10, 2010 @05:46PM (#34519072) Homepage
    and we will thrive... and we will call it... "this land"
  • Wasn't there a book about "crocodile people" who lived in the area of Persian gulf? I am however not sure where I read it and who wrote it.. It was of course borderline fantasy, but still, I recall it was quite interesting.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by jcampbelly (885881)

      It was a work of fiction by HP Lovecraft called "The Nameless City"

      Cool story - a lot of his stuff can be found fulltext on the internet, but here's the Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Nameless_City [wikipedia.org]

    • There were crocodile people under the Mediterranean sea in "Ilium" by Dan Simmons. His books are usually based on several classical works at once (Hyperion was based on the Canterbury tales) so it's likely he got this theme from a much older work: http://www.amazon.com/Ilium-Dan-Simmons/dp/0380817926
    • by Orne (144925)

      Atlantis [hatrack.com], by Orson Scott Card.

      The gist is, Science(tm) has invented a machine that can view backwards in time, scientist finds society under the Red Sea. Cue up ancient barbarian, who leaves his crocodile worshiping village in a right of manhood, goes to the Indian Ocean, finds that the ancient floodwall is about to break in the monsoon, returns to his village warning everyone, builds a Super-boat, he and a small group survive while the city sinks beneath the waves. Amalgamation of Gilgamesh, Noah's Ark,

  • Is this place which was flooded where the Indo-European language roots come from?

    And when Helen sank a thousand ships, was she really just sending them home?

    Is Captain Jack Sparrow upside down in the Med?

    • It's been awhile since class, but if I recall the original PIE speakers were from Eastern Europe near the Caspian Sea (assuming you agree with the Kurgan theory). Which of course isn't to say that these didn't speak some sort of early or proto-PIE with their descendants ultimately speaking PIE.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by oldspewey (1303305)

        the original PIE speakers were from Eastern Europe near the Caspian Sea

        I've heard of Klipsche, Mission, and PSB, but you must be talking about some kind of hardcore audiophile gear there.

      • Proto Proto Indo European? AKA P-PIE.....thats....pretty nasty :P
    • Re:So... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by MaskedSlacker (911878) on Friday December 10, 2010 @07:00PM (#34519742)

      Is this place which was flooded where the Indo-European language roots come from?

      No. There are too many cold weather/northern animal words shared across IE languages. The north Caspian Sea area is the most likely, though there are other possibilities. Any area as far south as the Persian Gulf though is highly unlikely based on weather/animal words shared across IE languages.

      Though it may be where Proto-Semitic language roots come from (Hebrew, Aramaic, Arabic, Syriac, Assryian, etc.), but there is extensive debate on that as well (whether Afroasiatic languages like the Semitic family formed in Africa and moved north, or the Middle East and moved south).

      Also, Helen didn't sink any ships. The phrase is 'launched a thousand ships.'

    • by corbettw (214229)

      The oldest languages around the Persian Gulf are Semitic, so it's unlikely the forerunners of the Indo-Europeans lived in the hypothetical valley now sitting under the waves.

      • Re:So... (Score:5, Informative)

        by MightyMartian (840721) on Friday December 10, 2010 @07:28PM (#34520058) Journal

        The oldest languages around the Persian Gulf are not Semitic. The oldest language that can be attested are Sumerian and Elamite, which are both isolates, with know perceivable connection to any other spoken language. The Akkadians and other Semitic tribes were later invaders that seized Sumer, though they largely retained the Sumerian religion and the language as a sort of liturgical language (much like Latin was to become after the fall of Rome). No one can be quite certain where the Semitic languages arose, though the parent Afro-Asiatic family appears to come East Africa, and the Semitic languages may have arisen in the Arabian Peninsula.

      • Re:So... (Score:5, Informative)

        by Guido von Guido (548827) on Friday December 10, 2010 @07:30PM (#34520072)

        The oldest languages around the Persian Gulf are Semitic, so it's unlikely the forerunners of the Indo-Europeans lived in the hypothetical valley now sitting under the waves.

        The Sumerians, the Hurrians and the Elamites want to have a word with you. (None of their languages were remotely Indo-European, but they weren't Semitic, either.)

  • EGADS!!! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Apothem (1921856) on Friday December 10, 2010 @05:53PM (#34519128)
    It's the lost city of... ATLANTA!
  • Noah, etc (Score:5, Interesting)

    by aBaldrich (1692238) on Friday December 10, 2010 @05:59PM (#34519172)
    So is this the origin of the flood myth? It seems more plausible than the south-east indian origin. I see it as a middle-point between Egypt's myth of Atlantis and the Sumerian flood tale as told in the Epic of Gilgamesh.
    • If I had a nickel for every ancient civilization that had a flood myth...

    • by arth1 (260657)

      So is this the origin of the flood myth?

      Or another attempt at lending credence to the myth, by people of a faith where it's central?

      • Or just more shitty science journalism?

        This is like saying "lost civilization suspected on Beringia!" Well, the fact is that in both cases, the landmasses in question would likely have been home to nomadic hunter-gatherers. I'm not trying to sound snobbish or pejorative, but generally we apply the name "civilization" to settled, agriculturally-depndent, centralized, urbanized societies.

      • by aussie_a (778472)

        There was actually a considerable amount of flooding in our ancient past, that the flood myth is quite clearly based off. No the entire world wasn't covered in water. No there weren't only two survivors along with many animals on a single boat. But the terror inspired by the rising water is quite clearly what inspired those myths.

      • by perpenso (1613749) on Friday December 10, 2010 @06:58PM (#34519724)

        So is this the origin of the flood myth?

        Or another attempt at lending credence to the myth, by people of a faith where it's central?

        It is unscientific to dismiss a theory because it lends credence to religious beliefs. Do you realize that the current cosmological theory for the origin of the universe, the "big bang" theory, was initially dismissed by the "leading scientists" of the day because (1) it was developed by a roman catholic priest and (2) it seemed too close to the "creation myth of genesis". The term "big bang" was coined by these "leading scientists" to mock the theory.

        Secondly, many myths and legends have a bit of truth behind them. Sometimes based on a multigenerational telling of historical events and sometimes as an attempt to explain things beyond a culture's scientific understanding. A real scientist tries to interpret myths and legends, not ignore or dismiss them.

        • This was old news from a couple days ago, covered on some respectable media outlets

          What? Perposterous! Next you'll be claiming they found Troy or some such by looking where Greek Mythology said it was.

    • Re:Noah, etc (Score:5, Insightful)

      by eln (21727) on Friday December 10, 2010 @06:05PM (#34519248) Homepage
      We're the most technologically advanced civilization that ever was, and we still have city-destroying floods even in industrialized nations with some regularity. Before the invention of modern irrigation and damming, massive flooding was even more common and more devastating. Given this, and the fact that basically every ancient civilization has myths involving massive floods, I doubt you could really point to any single event as the origin of any given flood myth with any degree of certainty.
      • Re:Noah, etc (Score:4, Insightful)

        by endymion.nz (1093595) on Friday December 10, 2010 @06:49PM (#34519648)
        But, the end of the last ice age about 8,000 - 10,000 years ago would have inundated many coastal settlements at about the same time.
      • We're the most technologically advanced civilization that ever was

        Well, obviously you haven't been watching Ancient Aliens lately!

    • So is this the origin of the flood myth?

      Yes, this is the only time any ancient civilization experienced a flood, so it must be.

    • I don't see any evidence of anything. Okay, there was more land exposed during the Glacial Maximum in the Persian Gulf, hardly a surprise. There were early humans, both pre-H. sapien migrations and H. sapiens for extended periods in the region... known for a long time. There were people camping along the shores of the Persian Gulf... well known and fits into the general theory that early migrations of modern humans out of Africa were along the coasts of the Indian Ocean.

      Where this totally runs of the rai

    • Perhaps "eden" ... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by perpenso (1613749) on Friday December 10, 2010 @06:36PM (#34519546)

      So is this the origin of the flood myth?

      The folks who once lived in what is now the Black Sea would probably want to share the credit for that one. They seem to have had a similar flood event.

      FWIW some geologists who compared the old testament to satellite images found some evidence suggesting that the rivers identifying the location of eden are consistent with rivers (current and ancient) converging on a location now in the Persian Gulf.

      • by geekoid (135745)

        IF the bible was correct, then they would need to see a big wall of flame.

        Also, I can compare text in Moby dick and find correlations to the bible. BFD

        • by perpenso (1613749)

          IF the bible was correct ...

          Correct as in a people's ancestors once lived in a region where five major rivers flowed but they had to leave?

          ... then they would need to see a big wall of flame.

          A "big wall of flame" sounds like a phrase we use today when describing a forest fire? Like a flood, a big forest fire could inspire people to leave an area.

          Also, I can compare text in Moby dick and find correlations to the bible. BFD

          Moby Dick was not a collection of ancestral observations and rules for survival in a given region, the old testament may be so to some degree. Consider a pre-literate pre-scientific society passing along historical observations from one generat

      • by Wyatt Earp (1029)

        Every human living near a coast line 8-12000 BCE would have a flood event.

        Even here in North America, the coast lines were 50-200 miles further out than they are now.

      • by Esteanil (710082)
        Not to mention when Thera (San Torini) exploded (volcano), sending a tsunami over Crete and salting the earth, thus eradicating the Minoan civilization.
    • Re:Noah, etc (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Yvanhoe (564877) on Friday December 10, 2010 @06:43PM (#34519604) Journal
      Interestingly, most civilizations that developped near shorelines have flood myth and most inland civilization don't have it. Floods happen really frequently you know.
    • by geekoid (135745)

      No. the origin is most likely dealing with a heavy rain and flood that cause a major merchant house to move.

      It's more likely it was just made up out of whole cloth to make a point.

  • because of global warming.

    --
    BMO

    • because of global warming.

      -- BMO

      Or alternatively, because we are not amidst a severe ice age.

      • by Cryacin (657549)
        whoosh!
      • by bmo (77928)

        It was an almost troll. I'm kinda bitchy these days about how I turn on PRI's "Living on Earth" and how everything is tied to global warming somehow, no matter how tenuous the link. And NPR+PRI are supposed to be the smarter end of the spectrum of mainstream media. It's no wonder that the public in the US thinks that most of climate change science is a lot of "sky is falling" chicken-little fear mongering if that's the best US media has to offer.

        BBC programs are much more sane, but we don't get them much

        • by Pax681 (1002592)

          BBC programs are much more sane, but we don't get them much on this side of the pond.

          -- BMO

          easy..... go download Expatshield [expatshield.com] and you can watch all the BBC, Channel 4 and brit programs you want :P

          you are very welcome!

    • ...Or it could be that there is ALWAYS land under water! Geez...
  • Atlantis? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by rsborg (111459)

    Perhaps this is the fabled Atlantis [wikipedia.org] described in Plato's accounts?

    Scholars dispute whether and how much Plato's story or account was inspired by older traditions. Some scholars argue Plato drew upon memories of past events such as the Thera eruption or the Trojan War, while others insist that he took inspiration from contemporary events like the destruction of Helike in 373 BC[1] or the failed Athenian invasion of Sicily in 415–413 BC.

    Alternatively it may be the basis of the Noah's Ark / Flood mythology.

    • Didn't Plato explicitly state his account described a fictional utopic civilization?

      • by a whoabot (706122)

        Didn't Plato explicitly state his account described a fictional utopic civilization?

        Here's the situation. Atlantis is described in two fictional dialogues by Plato -- the Timaeus and its sequel, the Critias. In these dialogues, a character, Critias, gives a story, which he says he received from his grandfather (also named Critias, which is not unusual for the Greeks), who received it from his father, Dropides, who received it from the famed (and mysterious) Solon, who received it from an "old priest" in a

    • by geekoid (135745)

      Plato said it was an alagory, and there is no evidence of Noah, his ark, or global flooding.

      So, please, leave the myths out of science, mkay?

  • Quick! (Score:3, Funny)

    by Renaissance 2K (773059) on Friday December 10, 2010 @06:02PM (#34519206)
    Let's drill for oil there!
    • Yes.

      IIRC the exclusive economic zones meet in the middle so we're going to have to pay the bastards.

      We drill just on the Saudi side of the line and horizontal drill as far into Iran as technically possible.

  • but a cataclysm destroyed their civilization and the landform it was built upon. A few survivors made it to Egypt,where they built the pyramids and started an occult tradition of secret knowledge that has been passed down to this very day.

    I know this because my insurance agent told me. He belongs to this fraternal organization where they dress up in robes and are instructed in that secret knowledge by the guy who sold me my house.

  • Not that I necessarily believe in that, but two of the 4 rivers near the Garden of Eden were supposedly the Tigris and Euphrates, and the other 2, as far as I know, have not entirely been explained, though there are some theories.

    • The word you are looking for is 'hypothesis', not theories.

      Not meant as a dig against you personally, but you probably grew up surrounded by people who do believe that myth, and it can be hard to realize that it really is just a story.

      • by geekoid (135745)

        no,it doesn't even qualify as a hypotheses.

        Stupid ass idea is more like it.

        • Considerable effort was put into proving Ye Olde Flood, but even da Vinci recognized the problems, and by the end of the 18th century, it was known to have been just a story that could not in any way explain the geological observations. Still, a lot of Creationists and semi-Creationists put a helluva lot of effort into trying to prove the veracity of the Genesis flood myth. Just as bad are those people like Robert Ballard, who, looking for sexy headlines, promote daft ideas.

  • by jcampbelly (885881) on Friday December 10, 2010 @06:31PM (#34519498)

    Here's a link to the abstract just to nip all this 3rd and 4th hand speculation about flood myths and Atlantis: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/abs/10.1086/657397 [uchicago.edu]

    It's great for bringing public attention but not so great for highlighting the actual science behind the pop sci article.

  • It sounds like some "real" archaeologists might owe Graham Hancock an apology. He's been saying for years that entire civilizations were swallowed up and lost at the end of the last ice age:

    http://www.grahamhancock.com/archive/underworld/ [grahamhancock.com]

    I take his theories with a really large grain of salt, but it seems the basic idea isn't so crazy anymore.

    Necron69

  • None of you are asking the important question. Which is, of course, whether I should be going underwater off the far southern coast of Kalimdor, and looking for places to dig.

<<<<< EVACUATION ROUTE <<<<<

Working...