The Problem Of Continuity Of Bronze Age Civilizations And A Worldwide Flood - Christians for Truth
Here we continue with the second part of our series addressing Charles Weisman’s booklet Facts And Fictions Regarding Noah’s Flood. In the first part, we saw that the actual language of the biblical account of the Flood in Genesis does not support the contention that the flood was worldwide.
In this next part, Weisman addresses the archeological evidence of the world’s great civilizations that existed at the time of the Flood — and shows that there is no evidence in the archeological record that these civilizations experienced any disruptions or setbacks during the time at which the Flood took place.
Of course some of these ancient cultures had their own myths about a “Great Flood” — such as the Sumerians — and the similarities between their flood myth and Noah’s flood are striking. However, the dating of these different flood myths does not line up with the chronology of the Bible, nor does the archeological evidence from these civilizations line up with these floods having occurred at the same time.
And keep in mind that ancient civilizations such as the Minoans and Phoenicians were advanced seafaring peoples — and if there were a great flood, they would have had thousands of ships and boats at their disposal to survive any catastrophic flood.
Weisman doesn’t deny that there could have been catastrophic floods in more ancient times — prior to recorded history — which could have been the basis of these different flood myths across different cultures. But just because there were difference flood myths from different cultures doesn’t mean they refer to the same historical flood — and certainly not the same flood in the Bible — the dating of which precludes the idea that all these floods are one and the same.
Here Weisman provides an overview of the great ancient civilizations and shows a lack of evidence in the archeological record of any catastrophic interruptions that we would expect to see if there had been a worldwide flood.
The Flood of Genesis was a true historical event which occurred at a specific period of time. The date at which the Flood occurred — according to Ussher’s Bible Chronology — was in the year 2348 B.C. Frederick Haberman [in his book Tracing Our Ancestors, p.16] states that this date was correct within four years — “the correct date for the Deluge is from November 1, 2345 (Genesis 7:11), to November 11, 2344 B.C. (Genesis 8:14).”
This date of the Flood falls within a period of history known as the “Bronze Age,” which dates from about 3000 B.C. to 1200 B.C. The significant discovery of bronze — along with other advances such as increased trade routes, ox carts, domestication of draft horses, the bellows, potters wheel, and the plough — resulted in a cultural revolution second in importance only to the modern Industrial Revolution.
If there was a worldwide cataclysmic flood, it would have upset world progress so drastically that it would have taken centuries for the world to recover. However, there is no evidence of this at all as the Bronze Age did not stop and then restart all over again — or revert to the Stone Age.
The Flood of Genesis occurred at a period of time in which there exists definite traces of recorded history. While written records of this time are sparse, there also exist other archaeological records such as city ruins, tools, pottery, weapons, skeletal remains, and other artifacts which support the chronicles and written records that do exist.
These records all show that there were many great civilizations existing in various parts of the world at the time Noah’s Flood occurred — with a worldwide population of 50 to 100 million. If a worldwide flood occurred at this time, the earth’s population would not yet have recovered the loss.
The Flood of Genesis thus occurred in a period of time in which we have a verifiable history of numerous civilizations existing with no evidence of a catastrophic disruption from a worldwide flood. If there were a worldwide flood, then all civilizations and cultures would have been destroyed along with their advancements, governments, inventions, cultural habits, languages, and arts which were peculiar to each civilization.
What history does reveal to us, however, is that none of the known civilizations and cultures throughout the world have large gaps or voids in their chronology as a result of being destroyed by a universal flood. It certainly would not be plausible to believe that they were destroyed — and then suddenly — within a few years — miraculously reappeared in their original size and strength.
The six oldest civilizations that had an ongoing and well-established culture according to recorded history are: Sumer (Mesopotamia), Egypt, China, Minoan, Indus Valley, and the Holy Land or Phoenicia.
Some of the earliest written records of an advanced civilization are those of the Sumerian civilization in Mesopotamia. Its first dynasty, according to Sumerian King-Lists, dates to about 3350 B.C. Laurence Waddell has done exhaustive research on Sumerian chronicles, seals, King-Lists, and other records which show a continuous, ongoing civilization from 3350 B.C. well through the period of the Flood [see his book The Makers of Civilization In Race And History].
In fact, Mesopotamia was undergoing great prosperity and expansion during the period of the Flood under the well-known ruler, Sargon The Great (2300 B.C.). Further growth and expansion continued under his grandson, Naram-Sin (2250 B.C.). By the time of Abraham (1930 B.C.), Mesopotamia was heavily populated and a thriving center of civilization and culture. These historical facts could never have occurred if its entire civilization had been obliterated by a flood.
Of all ancient civilizations that of Egypt is the most familiar. Egypt’s dynastic history started with the uniting of upper and lower Egypt by King Menes about 3100 B.C. The period of Egyptian history known as the “Old Kingdom” extended from 2800 to 2175 B.C. — which covered the third through the tenth dynasties. There was no record of a sudden and complete interruption within this great epoch of Egyptian history by a great deluge. Further, the Step Pyramid, the Great Pyramid, the Sphinx and other Egyptian monuments that were built prior to the Flood would surely have been destroyed by the magnitude of the flood described by creationists.
A reasonably accurate history of China begins around 3000 B.C. Valuable information on this culture has been obtained from the Chinese sacred book known as Shu King. According to the chronology of this text — and verified by archaeological finds — China was undergoing a prosperous period during the Yao Dynasty (between 2400 – 2200 B.C.) with no record of a cataclysmic interruption of its civilization.
Minoan history is perhaps as old as that of Egypt. Based on the island of Crete, the Minoan civilization entered a high state of cultural advancement about 2500 B.C., with the founding of Knossos the capital city. The Minoan civilization is often viewed as the first great civilization of Europe and the focal point of world history around the middle of the second millennium B.C. It had already produced many artistic works, established cities, had an alphabet, and made use of bronze prior to the date of the Flood.
It continued to grow and develop — and by 2000 B.C. became established as a center of trade and culture until 1470 B.C. when it was destroyed by a volcano. The archaeological remains of the Minoan civilization — including hundreds of written records on clay tablets — all show a continuous ongoing culture from 2800 to 1470 B.C. No devastating flood occurred on Crete during this period of time.
The civilization of the Indus Valley also has some very early beginnings. Laurence Waddell — who performed diggings and research also in this location — shows by ancient Indian Official King-Lists and Chronicles that this civilization’s recorded history extends back to 3100 B.C. [see The Makers of Civilization In Race And History].
A thriving cultural state started here around 2500 B.C. — notably within its two major cities, Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro, which rivaled that of Egypt and Mesopotamia. This ancient civilization — which also contained some 100 smaller cities, towns and villages — continued uninterrupted until 1500 B.C. when it fell for unknown reasons.
We also see the same situation with Phoenicia — a thriving cultural and trade center existing before, during and after the Flood.
These six great civilizations, along with a host of other cultural groups such as the Japanese, the American Indians, and the Negro tribes of Africa — all survived the period of the Flood. Thus, the evidence provided by history shows that no devastating universal flood could have occurred since the time of recorded history — about 3500 B.C.
How could all of these civilizations, cultures, and tribes — along with the tens of millions of people that embodied them — suddenly disappear from history and then suddenly reappear all over the world, carrying on with the same cultural habits, the same style of art, the same writing and language, the same architectural designs, etc., that were often unique to each civilization?
History paints a very grim picture for those “fundamental” Christians and creationists who proclaim the Bible tells of a worldwide flood. In fact, it proves that no universal flood had ever occurred in the past 6,000 years.