THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC CHANNEL’s famous archaeological explorer, Robert Ballard, has been looking for evidence to support the Biblical flood of Noah from THE OLD TESTAMENT, and has uncovered some evidence to support this story of an ancient flood in the Mideast. However, it should also be noted that ancient accounts of a great flood are also commonplace among many other cultures and certainly not just unique to this ancient Jewish account.
THE BIBLE only claims that Noah and his family and the selected animals survived after the claimed possible 120 year mission to build the giant ark boat. Further, Noah was supposed to be something on the order of 500 years old when had one child, Japheth, or 502 when had his second son, Shem, so you have to judge how much of this account is merely ancient Jewish fable and how much is concrete fact here. THE OLD TESTAMENT was supposed to be a historic account of the ancient Jewish people and their history in the Mideast region. And while many of the stories border on the outrightly fantastic, the account of the great prophet Ezekiel seemed to have predicted the future of the Jewish people including their scattering throughout the world, then the amazing recreation of the 1948 Jewish state of Israel, and finally a later future war in which this state would be destroyed if not for the intervention of God. Whether, Ezekiel was indeed a great prophet who could accurately foretell the future, or simply that his accounts helped to spur many Jews to creating the state of Israel as a response to the Nazi persecution in Europe may be debatable. But, THE OLD TESTAMENT remains a great and mysterious book that has become a great source of study since it was first written. A beautiful piece of literature, well worth study.
But, other cultures also speak of a great flood as well. The Babylonian tale of King Gilamesh is a tale one of the king seeking immortality, but encountering a great flood instead, so he builds a giant boat to rescue his family as well as animals until the waters recede.
The Native American Indian tribes spoke of a great flood that their ancestors had to survive, but the early missionary priests rejected such stories as works of the Devil, made up to mimic THE BIBLE.
The Irish have their own legend of Queen Cesair, who supposedly sailed the oceans for seven years when some great flood was supposed to overwhelm ancient Ireland.
And, both the Romans the Greeks, believe in the legendary tale of Deucalion and Pyhrra, who supposedly built a giant ark-like boat to rescue themselves and their family and animals who sailed during a great flood.
There is nothing in the account of the ark story that differs much from stories of many other cultures, so this ancient Jewish account really is not unique in any way from other ancient tales. But, Ballard has uncovered scientific evidence suggesting a great melting of ice poles as far back as 12,000 years ago might have resulted in later flooding as late as 7,500 years ago.
Ballard’s scientific works are presented on THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC NETWORK, making for some interesting information and programming, giving both believers of the Biblical account of Noah as well as the scientific minded some interesting archaeological findings to ponder.