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A Lost Civilization Beneath the Persian Gulf?

kdawson posted more than 3 years ago | from the tigris-is-for-neandertals dept.

Science 277

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."

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this land is a fertile land... (5, Funny)

rarel (697734) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519072)

and we will thrive... and we will call it... "this land"

Re:this land is a fertile land... (3, Funny)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519258)

I think we should call it... "your grave"!

Re:this land is a fertile land... (2)

Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519388)

...the inevitable betrayal!

It's the lost city... (3, Funny)

Cryacin (657549) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519482)

of Atlanta!

Re:this land is a fertile land... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34519774)

Ha ha! Mine is an evil laugh!

BEWARE link leads to popups (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34519440)

and spam and spam

Old testament .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34519078)

So here we have the origin of much of the stuff in the old testament ...

Re:Old testament .... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34519106)

Yes, your invisible friend was the murderer.

Re:Old testament .... (5, Funny)

MachDelta (704883) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519476)

Does this mean that we'll have radicals from major religions rowing around the indian ocean in dinghies, firing mortars at eachother while screaming "GET OFF MY HOLY WATER, INFIDEL!"
?

'Cuz its honestly not a bad idea.

Re:Old testament .... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34519618)

Hey, whatever keeps them from immigrating to the civilized world, I'm all for it!

Re:Old testament .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34519848)

Let's not exclude the heathen-killers from the show - We wanna get rid of ALL of the blood-crazed freaks, right?

A book? (1)

TamCaP (900777) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519094)

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:A book? (3, Informative)

jcampbelly (885881) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519212)

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]

Re:A book? (2)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519584)

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

Re:A book? (1)

dweinst (218284) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519676)

Orson Scott Card's "Pastwatch: the Redemption of Christopher Columbus" had a chapter or two. These were expanded to (or based on) his short story "Atlantis".

So... (1)

Oxford_Comma_Lover (1679530) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519100)

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?

Re:So... (2)

Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519428)

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:So... (3, Funny)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519518)

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.

Re:So... (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519556)

Proto Proto Indo European? AKA P-PIE.....thats....pretty nasty :P

Re:So... (5, Interesting)

MaskedSlacker (911878) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.'

Re:So... (1)

corbettw (214229) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519876)

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.

I know this, I know this! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34519116)

Quick, check for a Stargate. Then haul it back here.

EGADS!!! (5, Funny)

Apothem (1921856) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519128)

It's the lost city of... ATLANTA!

Re:EGADS!!! (2)

kiveya (1864740) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519804)

Crap! I was hoping for the lost city of Atlantis. So what do you think they'll find down there? I'm betting on peach trees and a poorly constructed highway system.

Re:EGADS!!! (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 3 years ago | (#34520050)

Don't forget CNN.

Ah!!! Throw it back! Throw it back! :-D

Noah, etc (4, Interesting)

aBaldrich (1692238) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:Noah, etc (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519204)

If I had a nickel for every ancient civilization that had a flood myth...

Re:Noah, etc (1)

arth1 (260657) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519208)

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?

Re:Noah, etc (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519678)

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.

Re:Noah, etc (2)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519698)

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.

Unscientific to dismiss legends and myth ... (5, Insightful)

perpenso (1613749) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:Unscientific to dismiss legends and myth ... (1)

NEDHead (1651195) | more than 3 years ago | (#34520042)

Actually I believe Hoyle coined the term 'Big Bang' as a mocking of the theory, he being a proponent of the 'steady state' theory.

Re:Noah, etc (4, Insightful)

eln (21727) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519248)

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 (3, Insightful)

endymion.nz (1093595) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:Noah, etc (0)

khallow (566160) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519896)

we still have city-destroying floods even in industrialized nations with some regularity.

These "city-destroying" floods haven't actually destroyed a city yet.

Re:Noah, etc (1)

phreakincool (975248) | more than 3 years ago | (#34520018)

Right, the cities are still intact. They're just under 500 ft. of water.

Re:Noah, etc (1)

uniquename72 (1169497) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519324)

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.

Re:Noah, etc (2)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519536)

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 rails is the whole Atlantis-based crapola. There is zero evidence of an advanced civilization, or civilization of any kind, being found on the sea floor of the Persian Gulf, and that, at a minimum, would need to be found to even justify any part of this claim. Everything else we've learned about the rise of civilization in the Old World; in particular in Eurasia, is that it wasn't until at least a couple of thousand years after the end of the glacial maximum that we begin to see the rise of agriculture, and the roots of it appear far to the north of the Persian Gulf, in the mountainous regions of Iran and far to the east in China, and it is out of these two areas that the vast majority of cereal crops and domesticated livestock species come from.

This is just bullshit science journalism coupled with mad musings. Soon enough, it will be junked like all that crap about the Black Sea Flood.

Perhaps "eden" ... (3, Interesting)

perpenso (1613749) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:Perhaps "eden" ... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34519616)

So the people of Israel really do belong deep under the sea.

Re:Perhaps "eden" ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34519798)

So the people of Israel really do belong deep under the sea.

No, God kicked them out of eden and eventually gave them palestine as a consolation prize.

Re:Perhaps "eden" ... (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519744)

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

Re:Perhaps "eden" ... (2)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 3 years ago | (#34520048)

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.

Re:Noah, etc (5, Insightful)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519604)

Interestingly, most civilizations that developped near shorelines have flood myth and most inland civilization don't have it. Floods happen really frequently you know.

Re:Noah, etc (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519738)

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.

The land is under water... (1)

bmo (77928) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519178)

because of global warming.

--
BMO

Re:The land is under water... (1)

swanzilla (1458281) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519412)

because of global warming.

-- BMO

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

Re:The land is under water... (1)

Cryacin (657549) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519494)

whoosh!

Re:The land is under water... (1)

bmo (77928) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519612)

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 on this side of the pond.

--
BMO

Atlantis (0)

Thelasko (1196535) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519180)

I'm surprised there is no mention of Atlantis [wikipedia.org] in TFA.

Attempt at justifying religion again? (-1)

arth1 (260657) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519184)

Why are anthropologists and archeogeneticists making assumptions about geological changes?

Until I hear about a few geologists supporting this, I read this as Yet Another attempt at trying to legitimize the Abrahamic religion flood myth.
That the man behind this was educated at the Southern Methodist University makes it, in my opinion, more likely that there's a bias here.

Re:Attempt at justifying religion again? (-1, Troll)

aristotle-dude (626586) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519228)

I'm guessing that Mitochondrial Eve must really bake your noodle then. No matter how you try to spin it, the mitochondrial DNA of modern humans trace back to "ONE" female.

Re:Attempt at justifying religion again? (1)

arth1 (260657) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519272)

Um, and?
Why should that be a problem?

Re:Attempt at justifying religion again? (0)

aristotle-dude (626586) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519354)

Um, and?
Why should that be a problem?

Are you really that dense? Mitochondrial Eve demonstrates that we did all come from a single female "mother of us all". You cannot prove a "father of us all" through DNA because of the nature of the male chromosomes but that does not mean that it could have happened. There are two possibilities. 1. Humanity resulted from mating of one single female with multiple males OR 2. Humanity resulted from the mating of one male and an Eve female.

Either way, you cannot get around the fact that some amount of inbreeding would have had to take place.

Breeds of dog are the result of directed inbreeding for a specific purpose.

Re:Attempt at justifying religion again? (3, Informative)

CyberBill (526285) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519392)

There was not a single female ("Eve") alive at that time, there were at least thousands of females, and those females were all reproducing.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitochondrial_Eve [wikipedia.org]

This image explains it pretty well:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:MatrilinealAncestor.PNG [wikipedia.org]

Re:Attempt at justifying religion again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34519620)

I could draw a cartoon and call it proof too, it doesn't mean that it's accurate.

Even evolutionary "science" (i.e. the religion of evolution) claims that all mankind is descended from a single "Mitochondrial Eve"

I'm curious as to what religion you might be, since you apparently don't believe in evolution or creation. Probably one of those really wacky ones... Scientology maybe?

Re:Attempt at justifying religion again? (2)

arth1 (260657) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519796)

I could draw a cartoon and call it proof too, it doesn't mean that it's accurate.

It's not the drawing, but the logic behind it.

Evolution is all about the survival of the fittest (i.e. the best adapter). If Eve's descendants had even a minute advantage, that would in not too many generations make it more likely than not that everyone were descended from Eve.
That doesn't mean that mitochondrial Eve was the only woman who had children, nor that we aren't descended from her contemporary females along any of the billions of lines with paternal elements.

The picture makes sense because it makes sense, not because someone drew it.
I'm sorry, but the picture the Abrahamic religions draw of Eve doesn't make that sense, and requires faith instead of logic.

Re:Attempt at justifying religion again? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34519714)

You cannot prove a "father of us all" through DNA because of the nature of the male chromosomes

Actually, you can, via Y chromosome. And it is far more recent than the mitochondrial Eve (~60,000 years instead of ~300,000 years).

Re:Attempt at justifying religion again? (2)

MaskedSlacker (911878) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519886)

Not quite. Mitochondrial Eve is a last common matrilineal ancestor, but that is NOT the same as saying that we are all descended from her, and her alone, in the way the biblical story goes, with the children of Eve interbreeding, and so on. What does mean is that if you trace any matrilineal line of descent, it goes back to her. If you trace a mixed line, it may (and some mixed lines definitely will) lead back to a different woman living at the same time.

Re:Attempt at justifying religion again? (4, Funny)

Eivind Eklund (5161) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519464)

Well, all the Y chromosomes trace back to a single male, too. The only problem for the Adam-Eve myth is that they lived 150,000 years apart, so likely they were not married.

Re:Attempt at justifying religion again? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34519580)

Old guys like young broads, even 150,000 year old guys.

Re:Attempt at justifying religion again? (2, Interesting)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519628)

Well, all the Y chromosomes trace back to a single male, too. The only problem for the Adam-Eve myth is that they lived 150,000 years apart, so likely they were not married.

That is actually not a problem. According to the Bible, everyone alive today is descended from Noah. According to the Biblical flood story, all male genetic material would come from Noah, but not all female genetic material would come from his wife. According to the Biblical account, Noah survived the flood along with his sons and their wives. Noah's sons were married before the flood. So, according to the Biblical account, while the most recent common source of all female human genetic material is Eve, the most recent common source of male human genetic material is more recent.

Re:Attempt at justifying religion again? (3, Informative)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519788)

Except that it's hard to reconcile the story with the fact that Noah and the "Eve" figure lived over a hundred thousand years apart.

The Noah story is a myth. The Flood story is a myth. The Adam and Eve story is a myth. It's pointless to try to force fit science to myth, or myth to science.

ONE != ONLY ancestor (4, Informative)

mangu (126918) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519760)

No matter how you try to spin it, the mitochondrial DNA of modern humans trace back to "ONE" female.

To say we all descend from ONE woman does not mean she was the ONLY woman on earth at the time.

Look at it this way: all my brothers, sisters, and cousins descend from my grandmother. But we have TWO grandmothers. Capisce?

Re:Attempt at justifying religion again? (3, Insightful)

ByteSlicer (735276) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519806)

I'm afraid you misunderstand what 'mitochondrial Eve' entails.
It simply means that all living humans have some mitochondrial DNA in common, which they all inherited from a single female ancestor.
It does not mean there was only one female ancestor.
That common ancestor lived at the same time with other females (and males), some of which passed on their mitochondrial DNA to people living today, just not to all of them.

Re:Attempt at justifying religion again? (1)

HiThere (15173) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519810)

Sorry, but you slightly misunderstand "Mitochondrial Eve". It doesn't prove that we can all trace our bloodline back to one female, but rather that along the ancestral line that has only females in it's component, all the ancestors at one point in time had identical (or almost identical) mitochondria. This could be a small group of closely related women as well as one woman. And it's quite possible that no other gene of that particular set of women survived to present day.

It's very close to what you interpret it as saying, but I think different. And significantly different.

Remember that the mitochondrial line has only two special features:
1) the genes mutate rapidly, and
2) it is only inherited along the female line. (I.e., sons don't pass on mitochondrial genes.)

The interesting thing is, if you count all genetic lines, then every person alive today is descended from every person alive at around the time of Julius Caesar (give or take a century) who has any remaining descendants. That's a lot shorter time line. (Personally, I find that one hard to swallow. But all it takes is one shipwrecked sailor and an otherwise isolated gene-pool becomes quickly merged.) (And note the caveat "who has any remaining descendants". A lot of lines were shuffled out of existence in recombination, even ignoring those who didn't leave any grandchildren.)

(Then, as mentioned, there are the studies of the y-chromosome. But that doesn't mutate as rapidly, so it provides a less satisfactory clock.)

Re:Attempt at justifying religion again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34519240)

What the fuck? That's a nice Jumping To Conclusions Mat there bro.

Re:Attempt at justifying religion again? (2)

scourfish (573542) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519278)

The timescale given doesn't really fit in with any sort of creationist timeline and the Methodist church advocates evolution.

Re:Attempt at justifying religion again? (-1, Troll)

aristotle-dude (626586) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519500)

The timescales were invented by proponents of evolution long before any dating methods were developed. Those dating methods were conveniently calibrated to support those previously made up timescales.

Any time evidence popped up either here or on the moon which contradicted those timescales, the inconsistency was quickly covered up and the numbers were fudged to make it all fit again.

Re:Attempt at justifying religion again? (2)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519976)

That is pure bullcrap. The time scales increased because our understanding of various geological processes increased, not to mention our understanding of various decay rates. But the age of the Earth being pegged at about 4.5 billion years has been accepted for decades now.

But please, don't let the facts get in the way of your paranoid anti-science rantings.

Re:Attempt at justifying religion again? (2)

Brett Buck (811747) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519300)

That the Persian Gulf was once smaller and dry where it is now wet is not in dispute, as far as I know.

Re:Attempt at justifying religion again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34519570)

Sounds like the Persian Gulf is just like your girlfriend!

I don't even know what that means.

Re:Attempt at justifying religion again? (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519606)

Didn't you people see Ice Age - The Meltdown ?!?!?

Re:Attempt at justifying religion again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34519608)

Maybe he is. But what about the water in space? (Genesis 1:2, 1:6, 1:7) The first thing to do would be to make a phone call to the International Space Station and ask if there's water in space. If not, then the God drowned everyone-tale fails, no matter how many sunken civilizations you come across.

Silly to assume bias because scientist has faith (4, Insightful)

perpenso (1613749) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519878)

>Until I hear about a few geologists supporting this, I read this as Yet Another attempt at trying to legitimize the Abrahamic religion flood myth. That the man behind this was educated at the Southern Methodist University makes it, in my opinion, more likely that there's a bias here.

You realize you are engaging in the same bias practiced by those who dismissed the big bang theory because it was formulated by a roman catholic priest and seemed too close to the story of genesis? I am not vouching for this guy from SMU, just offering something for you to consider when you learn that a scientist has faith. Newton comes to mind too.

Also what is wrong with myth? They are sometimes a pre-literate pre-scientific civilization's attempt to pass along observations from one generation to the next. A real scientist would try to interpret the myth, not dismiss it.

Re:Attempt at justifying religion again? (5, Insightful)

Arker (91948) | more than 3 years ago | (#34520046)

Archaeologists study Geology intensely, and any team of size will include a Geologist.

Also Southern Methodist is a great place for archæology, home to Lewis Binford among others. The Methodist church isnt fundamentalist and doesnt have a problem with science.

So you were offbase on every point.

Atlantis? (1, Interesting)

rsborg (111459) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519200)

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.

Re:Atlantis? (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519280)

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

Re:Atlantis? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34519752)

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

No, absolutely not. Plato described Atlantis as an evil society. The utopian Atlantis is a much later invention.

Re:Atlantis? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34519358)

This explains why everyone thought Noah was crazy for building the Ark.

I guess if he just walked a little he would've avoided the flood.

Re:Atlantis? (1)

kanto (1851816) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519758)

Noah's ark story is most likely a ripoff [wikipedia.org] . Atlantis, who knows? But I'd like to point out that we should stop assuming every time we find a group of people who lived and vanished that they were a civilization; might have been complete anarchist arseholes for all we know.

Re:Atlantis? (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519764)

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! (3, Funny)

Renaissance 2K (773059) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519206)

Let's drill for oil there!

Re:Quick! (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519780)

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.

Re:Quick! (1)

rgigger (637061) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519946)

Let's drink that milkshake!

New? (1)

mofolotopo (458966) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519320)

Unless I'm mistaken, this "new theory" was part of the plot of an Orson Scott Card book, Pastwatch.

Re:New? (1)

Insightfill (554828) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519682)

The discovery of the 'flood' in PastWatch from Orson Scott Card was just a neat side story - nothing more.

Re:New? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34519686)

You're mistaken, it was the Red Sea in that book.

And of course they had advanced technology, (1)

hey! (33014) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519330)

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.

Investigate This Carefully (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34519360)

It may be R'lyeh!

The dry land is an established fact, right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34519410)

The dry land is an established fact, right? AFAIK, most scientists agree that sea levels were much lower 10-20k years ago due to the ice age. There was a land bridge in Alaska, and the San Francisco bay didn't exist. You could walk to the Farralone islands which are now something like 14 miles out in the ocean.

Given that these lands existed, it seems likely that humans lived on them.

FWIW, I always picture a primitive man with a fire. Another guy comes along and says, "hey, put out that fire. You're warming up the planet. If you don't stop that, it'll be the Farralone islands instead of the Farralone hills, and the whole planet will be destroyed".

Garden of Eden? (1)

nebaz (453974) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519472)

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.

Re:Garden of Eden? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34519524)

Well here's my explanation (read: theory) that you will not necessarily believe in. The Tigris and Euphrates of today are not the same ones from the Garden of Eden. There are two reasons. 1: the Flood drastically rearranged the earth's surface, and those rivers would be non-existent. They saw rivers that reminded them of the old ones, and gave them the same name. 2: the Tigris and Euphrates (and other 2) of the Garden of Eden were fed out of the ground by a single spring, further suggesting that they are not the same, but rather just have the same name.

Re:Garden of Eden? (0)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519850)

Pretty crappy theory. The amount of energy released in the short period (a matter of a few months) to so thoroughly rework the landmasses would turn the surface of the Earth molten. Noah couldn't have had an ark, he would have had to have had some sort of craft capable of floating of lava, or maybe an orbiting space craft with sufficient air and resources to keep a helluva lot of animals alive, and probably most of the rest of life on the planet, because as hardy as critters like Archaea are, I doubt they could live on a molten planet.

Re:Garden of Eden? (1)

PhreakOfTime (588141) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519650)

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.

Re:Garden of Eden? (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519790)

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

Stupid ass idea is more like it.

Re:Garden of Eden? (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519964)

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.

Knock it off with the pseudoscience (5, Informative)

jcampbelly (885881) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Underworld? (1)

Necron69 (35644) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519634)

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

Got it wrong, mate (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34519778)

Actually, civilization is lost around the Persian Gulf, not beneath it.

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