Research NewsArchaeology

Black Sea Deluge May Have Helped Spread Farming

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Science  20 Feb 1998:
Vol. 279, Issue 5354, pp. 1132
DOI: 10.1126/science.279.5354.1132

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Two oceanographers have put together evidence from analyses of Black Sea sediments indicating that about 7500 years ago, a great deluge the equivalent of 200 Niagara Falls suddenly filled the Black Sea to its present level. The researchers suggest that this disaster helped spread farming into central Europe and perhaps even inspired the biblical account of Noah and the flood. This catastrophic tale is winning support among oceanographers, but archaeologists question the flood's impact on human prehistory.