In Post 25, we compared the legends of huge floods with the evidence of glaciers and permafrost melting. We particularly focused upon the flooding of the Black Sea by the Mediterranean overflowing through the Bosporus, as a consequence of the world’s oceans rising 120 meters (393 feet). We referred back to Post 2 where we introduced the subject of seas rising as a consequence of the present global warming that has followed the Last Glacial Maximum some 20,000 years ago.
However, I neglected to emphasize that the Black Sea fresh water lake being flooded by the rising sea level (fueled by melting glaciers during the present Global Warming) overflowing into the lower Black Sea through the Bosporus was merely an hypothesis, not a theory, not a scientific theory, and certainly not a fact – a term often called “settled science” by charlatans. In fact, the idea is called the Black Sea Deluge Hypothesis.
Black Sea Before and After (White Area) Being Filled By Mediterranean Overflow. Source.
I do not introduce this progression of knowledge to dispute the hypothesis or the involved scientists but, quite to the contrary, to demonstrate that there is very little “settled science” by definition. You will understand the relevance and importance of this assertion regarding archaeology after examining and comparing the above links regarding the terminology. Don’t blame me if that study unsettles some of your opinions. It will sharpen your analytic powers.
Many of us were well-schooled in the scientific method. But there are many good educational tracks that do not produce competency in the scientific method. No one should make assertions about any of the sciences, until understanding that one’s idea is not science unless it has been tested, affirmed, rigorously challenged, and open to further challenges by the scientific method.
Beware anyone saying that the facts about an important matter are “settled science.” A provocative PowerPoint presentation, factually unsupported by the scientific method, is just the presenter’s opinion—or worse—willful deception intended to herd the audience into a desired behavior which satisfies the deceiver’s intentions. Like the Buffalo Jump. Follow the money, like government and NGO subsidies and grants, access to publishing in respected journals, tenure….
That’s enough for today regarding the scientific method. You, too, should be ready and receptive to explore new data-supported hypotheses that challenge your working knowledge—which might indeed be made obsolete by new facts. A true scientist is ready to scrap (or demote) his old knowledge if it is made obsolete by a better supported new knowledge. That’s how medical treatment of open-wound infections advanced from maggots to sulpha drugs to penicillin. With the emergence of drug-resistant bacteria, as with gangrene, maggots are making a comeback.
The Caspian Sea Today. Source.
Next, I want to share with you an insight into prehistoric archaeology. This week, I was reading pages 136 and 137 of David Anthony’s The Horse, The Wheel, And Language (see Bibliography) and learned how a surge in glacial and permafrost melting from 14,000 to 12,000 BC produced a huge expansion of the Caspian Sea which caused it to find its way northwest around the Caucasus Mountain range into what is called the Manych Depression and south to the Black Sea, which it nearly filled before sea levels in both seas stabilized. I immediately went to the web and found the web site of the research team. It’s worthy of study.
The Late Glacial Great Flood in the Ponto-Caspian Basin. Source.
Pow! Here is a scientific hypothesis which runs counter to the Black Sea Deluge Hypothesis (BSDH). Do I react and shout, “No, it can’t be! The BSDH is settled science!” Hardly. For all I know, neither might withstand further scientific inquiry. Indeed, the two floods happened at such widely different times that they’re essentially independent, not in conflict, and could have both happened. However, I am enthused by the archaeological implications of the Caspian expansion and overflow. Why? Because the land inundated by the Caspian expansion was far larger than that in the Black Sea; it was productive land; the expanded sea remained so for several thousand years, separating people of the steppes long enough that they developed along different lines.
The Expansion and Contraction of the Caspian Basin. Source.
Those on the west side developed the Proto-Indo-European language (PIE), invented the wheel, and domesticated sheep and cattle, among other innovations. Those isolated on the east side remained hunter-gatherers for thousands of years.
The Cascade of Waters During the Great Flood of Caspian. Source.
Now, we have two hypotheses about what caused the water level in the Black Sea to rise to its current level, and two hypotheses about lands affected by the Outburst Floods at the beginning of the present global warming.
What I haven’t found is a report on the archaeology of the lands bordering the enlarged Caspian and Black Seas, and I’m unwilling to spring $268 for The Black Sea Flood Question: Changes in Coastline, Climate and Human Settlement by Valentina Yanko-Hombach and Allan S. Gilbert, which is listed on Amazon. So, if any of you who are registered as users have access to this book through your university library and are willing to read it and write a book report, I’ll provide the blog space right here. You’ll get it published as the blog for that week, under your name.
While on that subject, if any of you who registered as a user want to write and publish a report in this blog on any subject regarding the Middle East, Eurasia, and northeast Africa which is pertinent to the Chalcolithic, Early and Middle Bronze Ages, under your name, contact me and we’ll get it done.
Thanks for visiting,