Scientists have recently found evidence that might prove that the legendary Chinese Flood which took place in Central China four millenniums ago might have been real. The legend has it that there was a flood so high “it threatened the very heavens” and a hero, Yu the Great, who started the mythical Chinese Xia Dynasty. Now, scientists have proofs that the story is no longer a myth.
The legend has passed from generation to generation. However, according to a team of archaeologists and geologists from the Peking University in Beijing, it did occur. It was approximately 4,000 years ago when a massive earthquake caused boulders to form a dam across the Jushi Gorge, and this new dam blocked the way into the Yellow River. Qinglong Wu, who led the investigation, said the dam was about half a mile wide and 660 feet tall, as big as the Hoover Dam.
Unfortunately, nine months later the enormous dam broke, and the water went downstream, devouring the Yellow River Valley. It was so high, it reached the hills and everything in its way, no settlement was saved from the water’s ferocity.
Scientists believe that the outburst flood contained around 3.8 cubic miles of water and might have reached more than 1250 miles downstream. It is also considered that it is likely to be the largest flood since the Iced Age and that it probably lasted 22 years.
“To put that into perspective, it’s among the largest known floods to have happened on Earth during the past 10,000 years,” said geologist Darryl Granger, one of the co-authors of the study, “It’s more than 500 times larger than a flood we might expect on the Yellow River from a massive rainfall event”, he added.
According to the myth, years after the flood occurred a hero entered and spent decades organizing campaigns to build digs and channels for the floodwater, never setting foot in his house until he accomplished the mission. People was so thankful and amazed by this man – who would later be called Yu the Great – that it is believed he became the emperor of China’s mythical first dynasty, the Xia.
Revealing the myths
To make these conclusions, the scientific team looked for sediments in the Yellow River Valley, and some appeared to be originally from the Jishi Gorge. As well, researchers examined the archeological site of Lajia -known as China’s Pompeii- hoping to find a connection between the outburst flood and the abandonment of Lajia. The scientist found, using radiocarbon dating, skeletons from 3900 years ago, an important fact to the Great Flood investigation.
Additionally, the research also gave information of the emergence of the Erlitou culture. Scientists expect they can soon show a real connection between the flood, the Xia, and the Erlitou sites. This investigation has amazed and impressed the scientific community, but beyond the newly revealed facts about the Great Flood, this could be the beginning of more studies aiming to solve the now-unknown mysteries.
Source: Nature World News