Lost civilization under Persian Gulf?

Dec 08, 2010

A once fertile landmass now submerged beneath the Persian Gulf may have been home to some of the earliest human populations outside Africa, according to an article published today in Current Anthropology.

Jeffrey Rose, an archaeologist and researcher with the University of Birmingham in the U.K., says that the area in and around this "Persian Gulf Oasis" may have been host to humans for over 100,000 years before it was swallowed up by the Indian Ocean around 8,000 years ago. Rose's hypothesis introduces a "new and substantial cast of characters" to the human history of the Near East, and suggests that humans may have established permanent settlements in the region thousands of years before current migration models suppose.

In recent years, have turned up evidence of a wave of along the shores of the Gulf dating to about 7,500 years ago. "Where before there had been but a handful of scattered hunting camps, suddenly, over 60 new archaeological sites appear virtually overnight," Rose said. "These settlements boast well-built, permanent stone houses, long-distance trade networks, elaborately decorated pottery, domesticated animals, and even evidence for one of the oldest boats in the world."

But how could such highly developed settlements pop up so quickly, with no precursor populations to be found in the archaeological record? Rose believes that evidence of those preceding populations is missing because it's under the Gulf.

"Perhaps it is no coincidence that the founding of such remarkably well developed communities along the shoreline corresponds with the flooding of the Persian Gulf basin around 8,000 years ago," Rose said. "These new colonists may have come from the heart of the Gulf, displaced by rising water levels that plunged the once fertile landscape beneath the waters of the Indian Ocean."

Historical sea level data show that, prior to the flood, the Gulf basin would have been above water beginning about 75,000 years ago. And it would have been an ideal refuge from the harsh deserts surrounding it, with fresh water supplied by the Tigris, Euphrates, Karun, and Wadi Baton Rivers, as well as by underground springs. When conditions were at their driest in the surrounding hinterlands, the Gulf Oasis would have been at its largest in terms of exposed land area. At its peak, the exposed basin would have been about the size of Great Britain, Rose says.

Evidence is also emerging that modern humans could have been in the region even before the oasis was above water. Recently discovered in Yemen and Oman have yielded a stone tool style that is distinct from the East African tradition. That raises the possibility that humans were established on the southern part of the Arabian Peninsula beginning as far back as 100,000 years ago or more, Rose says. That is far earlier than the estimates generated by several recent migration models, which place the first successful migration into Arabia between 50,000 and 70,000 years ago.

The Gulf Oasis would have been available to these early migrants, and would have provided "a sanctuary throughout the Ice Ages when much of the region was rendered uninhabitable due to hyperaridity," Rose said. "The presence of human groups in the oasis fundamentally alters our understanding of human emergence and cultural evolution in the ancient Near East."

It also hints that vital pieces of the human evolutionary puzzle may be hidden in the depths of the Persian Gulf.

Explore further: Archaeologists, tribe clash over Native remains

More information: Jeffrey I. Rose, "New Light on Human Prehistory in the Arabo-Persian Gulf Oasis." Current Anthropology 51:6 (December 2010).

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User comments : 20

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mdraghici
1 / 5 (10) Dec 08, 2010
Please search google for this story to learn more about this topic: Cosmic Impact Site That Created Earth's Axial Tilt and Fault Lines, by Mihai Draghici
Caliban
5 / 5 (4) Dec 08, 2010
Please search google for this story to learn more about this topic: Cosmic Impact Site That Created Earth's Axial Tilt and Fault Lines, by Mihai Draghici


I think Zecharia Sitchin may have scooped you!

kevinrtrs
1.6 / 5 (14) Dec 09, 2010
Strange, this sounds more and more like a description of the biblical flood. All the names and places plus the civilisations with domesticated animals AND agriculture points to a pre-biblical flood era.
The dates are also getting a lot closer to that time, it's just that the methods used to determine those dates allow for an excess background residue which makes them older than they should be.
Two things of note:
1. Agriculture was part of human life from the beginning.
2. The flood was global and covered the whole earth.
Researchers are going to run into so many parallels the co-incidences will be just too many to ignore.
Quantum_Conundrum
1.2 / 5 (10) Dec 09, 2010
Yeah, it is suspiciously in the exact location the Bible describes as the Garden of Eden, with, I think, the same 4 rivers, etc. Certainly the Tigris and Euphrates are indisputable.

One of the things our atheistic counterparts fail to acknowledge is that the Bible describes the great flood as being both an atmospheric phenomenon AND a geologic phenomenon, as water both came from "The windows of heaven" perhaps describing even a miraculous creation of extra water as needed, AND it came from "the fountains of the deep" (perhaps geysers, ocean vents, volcanoes, etc.)

Where did the water come from? Expulsion from minerals, both in bubble inclusions and in chemical forms.

In the opening passage of the Bible we find that the earth was created in a submerged "water world" state, and that the dry land appeared after the initial moment of creation, as the vast majority of water (maybe 95 to 99%,) was apparantly absorbed into minerals.

"Noah's flood" was a repeat.
Quantum_Conundrum
1 / 5 (10) Dec 09, 2010
If we took away plate techtonics such that the Earth were a perfectly smooth marble, then even the water that exists today on Earth would totally cover all land masses, just as we find in the opening paragraphs of Genesis.

If we then cause a cataclysm (God commands the dry land to appear,) the Earth ruptures and contorts producing mountains and continents, and trenches to hold vast quantities of excess water. Additionally, water is absorbed through chemistry to produce various forms of minerals.
barakn
5 / 5 (5) Dec 09, 2010
The Wadi "Baton" is an error due to over-reliance on spell-checking. It's actually Wadi Batin or Wadi al-Batin.
Caliban
5 / 5 (8) Dec 09, 2010
It is certain that, towards the end(s) of the last ice age, there were mega floods in various places around the globe. However, there is no evidence of a universal inundation, and to claim so is to lie.

It is amusing, though, to watch the YEC crowd latch onto this evidence of (perhaps rapid) sea-level rise as evidence for not just the story of Noah's Flood(specifically, since -according to the YEC'ers- it was mandated by God), but also, by extension, as compelling evidence for the entirety of the creation Myth, and therefore as evidence for the literal truth of the biblical writings.

It entirely escapes these person's understanding that this same tale of the Flood is universal in human cultures, the vast majority of which are not Judeo-Xian, and therefore, since they tell the same tale, by the same logic should have to be admitted as literally true, as well. This little paradox is conveniently ignored, of course, as it tends to corrode the basis of that type of solipsism.
Yevgen
3.7 / 5 (3) Dec 09, 2010
Strange, this sounds more and more like a description of the biblical flood. All the names and places plus the civilisations with domesticated animals AND agriculture points to a pre-biblical flood era.
The dates are also getting a lot closer to that time, it's just that the methods used to determine those dates allow for an excess background residue which makes them older than they should be.
Two things of note:
1. Agriculture was part of human life from the beginning.
2. The flood was global and covered the whole earth.
Researchers are going to run into so many parallels the co-incidences will be just too many to ignore.


Flooding of Black Sea (that used to be a little lake before the Bosporus Strait was breached) is another strong candidate for biblical flood:
http://en.wikiped...e_theory

This one strongly reminds me on legend of Atlantis.
It was an island with advanced civilization, which suddenly disappeared.
panorama
5 / 5 (1) Dec 09, 2010
I thought of Gilgamesh when I read this. This is interesting though, I hope they start recovering some artifacts from the Persian Gulf.
cyberCMDR
5 / 5 (5) Dec 12, 2010
Every myth has some grain of truth behind it. Just don't mistake that grain for the whole truth.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (3) Dec 12, 2010
If we took away plate techtonics such that the Earth were a perfectly smooth marble, then even the water that exists today on Earth would totally cover all land masses, just as we find in the opening paragraphs of Genesis.
But you can't take away plate tectonics, and no, there isn't enough water to cover the whole of the earth if it was a perfectly smooth marble.
dtxx
4.1 / 5 (9) Dec 12, 2010
Completely leaving the bible and christian myth out of this, how does the flooding of the persian gulf give you any basis to speculate on a global flood? Geological processes can clearly change sea level. And if it was the great biblical flood, which I think most christians agree is not currently happening, then why didn't the water recede after god was done? Why is it still wet there? And where is the evidence the water flooded anything besides a basin of about 60 archaeological sites?
dtxx
4.1 / 5 (9) Dec 12, 2010
Let me put it another way: If you did not have a bible which claimed there was a global flood which you are trying to find proof for, would you have otherwise drawn the conclusion from this article that such happened? I strongly doubt this article suggests a global flood to anyone except those who already believe in it based on faith and seek proof of the biblical interpretation of creation.

And I still don't understand your gripe with science. If you must believe in a god, isn't it reasonable to assume he set natural laws in place with the world as we see it today in mind as the outcome?

I personally find the idea nauseating, but society needs to reach a point where religion at least stops impeding science and education.

Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (6) Dec 12, 2010
Completely leaving the bible and christian myth out of this, how does the flooding of the persian gulf give you any basis to speculate on a global flood?
Because conservative christians like to exaggerate. "3% tax increase is the end of democracy" is about the same amount of exaggeration as claiming this was a global flood.
JES
not rated yet Dec 12, 2010
This is outlandish (sorry, I simply had to...)
Ethelred
5 / 5 (7) Dec 12, 2010
Strange, this sounds more and more like a description of the biblical flood.
Strange how the time is so totally wrong then. 8,000 years ago is not exactly 4400.

it's just that the methods used to determine those dates allow for an excess background residue which makes them older than they should be.
Would you care to even a smidgen of evidence to support that. So far the best I have ever seen on stretching out the Biblical Timeline is just 300 years.

1. Agriculture was part of human life from the beginning.
Where are those cave drawings of early humans pushing plows?

2. The flood was global and covered the whole earth.
Not in that article. Nor is there any evidence anywhere on Earth. Including the DNA of all life on Earth.

Now Kevin will proceed to pretend this post doesn't exist. Kind of like the evidence for HIS flood.

Ethelred
Ethelred
4.5 / 5 (8) Dec 12, 2010
One of the things our atheistic counterparts fail to acknowledge is that the Bible describes the great flood as being both an atmospheric phenomenon AND a geologic phenomenon
Actually I am fully aware of that. I have read Dr. Brown's hilarious attempt to use that idea to patch up the Flood. His ideas would have resulted in a par-boiled Noah
AND it came from "the fountains of the deep"
All of which would be HOT. And the volumes of water needed are even more than the present oceans contain. The highest mountain is 7 miles high.

I saw one YEC creationist run the numbers on Brown, something Brown has never done, and he found the Waters of the Deep would have converted to steam before reaching the surface and the steam would have reached escape velocity. This was from a guy that believes in the Flood.

I still want to know what you Fundamentalists think happened to the Egyptians that were building pyramids in 4400 and even 4700 which is as far back as it can be pushed.

Ethelred
Graeme
5 / 5 (1) Dec 13, 2010
It sounds like those archaeologists must have been reading "Underworld: The Mysterious Origins of Civilisation" by Graham Hancock. This is not exactly a new idea.
OdinsAcolyte
1 / 5 (2) Dec 27, 2010
Submerged because we thawed from the last ice age and continue to due so until the next arrives. AGW....yeah.
denijane
not rated yet Dec 27, 2010
This was already pointed by Graham Hancock in Underworld. So nothing new here. It's the same hypotheses but with even less proof. I do agree with it, but it's about time to find some evidences it really happened this way.

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