The well-known alternate researcher Graham Hancock often states,
“Well over 200 cultures worldwide have been found to have preserved accounts of such a Deluge.”
I don’t know how anyone knows about 200 or more, but I know of quite a few deluge myths myself, including Babylonian and Mayan, and I wouldn’t doubt that there are several score at the very least least. Hancock points out several. As I understand it, most are in cultures that had fairly small contact with the outside world, and they are spread out around in corners of the world where it seems doubtful that they learned such histories from others.
At the same time, the one we are most familiar with is Noah, and it is considered by scholars to have been taken from the Babylonians during the Babylonian captivity. That attribution may or may not be true, and I am sure the scholars have lots of arguments on their side. At the same time, historian types accept that “everybody’s got an opinion, and nobody’s is necessarily true,” so let’s throw something new into the mix, something I came up with that may or not be “necessarily true” but which might have a seed of truth in it.
First let’s start out with that 200 plus deluge story and consider that maybe even WITH the Babylonian captivity, the Jews DID have their own story before they went to Babylon. The Babylonians certainly had one from a very early time, but if we tentatively accept that such a deluge happened, then it would be odd that the Babylonians had a universal flood along with 200 other cultures, but that somehow the Jews in the Levant did not. It is only about 875 kilometers as the crow flies from Jerusalem to Babylon, after all. That is nothing compared to the 12,000 km from Babylon to California where some deluge stories existed in cultures which were not captured by the Babylonians.
Let’s Get On With This
Okay, so I’ve run across reasons to consider that maybe the Jews did have a deluge, along with many other cultures. I am about as un-religious as anyone can be right now, so I almost have to apologize for perhaps agreeing with the Fundamentalists.
Now, given the location of the Levant, the likeliest source of a deluge is not the Dead Sea nor the Red Sea, and certainly is not the Black Sea or the Arabian Sea. The likeliest source would be the Mediterranean, which is right at their doorstep.
And if the “fountains of the deep” has any meaning at all, in terms of a great deluge, it certainly does not mean “underground sources”, as the New English Bible suggests. The International Standard Version phrases it as, “The water sources from the ocean depths”, and I would agree. (It is interesting to see the different phrasings in various translations, telling us that there is a lot of flexibility in how translations can be phrased.)
So, if we take that and try to run with it, we get a deluge coming from the west, and its natural flood direction would be to the east, yes?
The Dead Sea
The first suggestion that this might be correct is the Dead Sea, the lowest place on Earth, and which is extremely salty – hypersaline is the correct term. It is what is called an endorheic lake – a lake without an outlet. If the Mediterranean had, in fact, somehow risen up and flooded eastward, one obvious effect would be to dump salt water into the closed basin that includes the Dead Sea. And when the waters abated, what would happen to the salt water there? It would get more and more salty – which just happens to be what we DO see.
The Harrats in Saudi Arabia
Along that route of possible Mediterranean flood waters, past Israel and where a Mediterranean flood might carry a rudderless vessel, down in west central Saudi Arabia’s volcanic zone, there also happen to be Harrat Lunayyir, Harrat Khaybar, Harrat Ma’tan, and Harrat Muzayyin, all somewhat close to the Holy city of Medina in western Arabia. They are listed here in order of proximity to Israel. These are all lava fields with the designation “Harrat“. The elevations at these lava fields are much more flood-friendly, being below 1,100 meters. Compared to 5,137 meters, 1,100 meters makes for a much more palatable flood.
Online I could not find a specific meaning for “harrat“, so the rest of this will be a little more speculative than I’d like it. The transliterated spelling of harrat is, I believe, HARRT.
Genesis 8:2 tells us that that Ark of Noah came to ground on the mountains of Ararat, or ON Mt Ararat (Genesis 8:4), depending on which of those flexible translations we attend to. The Hebrew term is אֲרָרָֽט. Transliterated, that is ARRT.
I have trouble with the story at this point. We have a vessel that was floating on top of these monstrous waters for 150 days (Genesis 8:3), captained by some dude named Noah who we have not been told has any nautical experience at all. The vessel is not known to have any steering. He is not in possession of a compass, as far as we are told (and compasses were invented in China much later). The waters were supposed to have been 15 cubits higher than any mountain.
So, as far as we are told, this Noah had no way of knowing where he was. Still, when he alights from his vessel, this mountain that he landed on somehow has a name, even though all of the destruction we ARE told about is supposed to have occurred. Questions arise:
- Did the mountain have a signpost on it?
- Were there people standing there to tell them its name?
- If so, how did those people survive being under at least 15 cubits of water all that time?
- Why would a flood from the Mediterranean Sea flow to the north?
(Now, Lake Van which is southwest of Mt Ararat is a saline lake, so that would be consistent with a salt water flood near Mt Ararat. Lake Van is an endorheic lake – it has no outlet to the sea or to another lake – such as the Dead Sea, the Caspian Sea, and the Aral Sea.
Among my objections is that if Ararat was to become flooded, it seems much more likely to come from either the Caspian Sea or the Black Sea – which it is between. It is 310 km from the Black Sea, 425 km from the Caspian, and 780 km from the Mediterranean. Arguing against the Caspian, however, is that it is ALSO – like the Dead Sea – below Sea level. To flood to the top of Mt Ararat (elevation 5137 m / 16853 ft) it would first need to fill up a lot just to get up to sea level.
That elevation of Mt Ararat also makes it a very difficult sell for a global flood to overtop it.
The Harrat lava fields are much lower altitudes, which makes them much more likely to have been flooded if there was a general, global flood.
HARRT vs ARRT
So, linguistically, we have HARRT and ARRT – Harrats and Mt Ararat. Neither Arabic nor Hebrew originally had vowels, with the exception of Alef and Iod – A and I. H’s in Arabic include at least three different H’s – a soft H (similar to the GH in Greek), a medium H, and a hard H (like the German hard H). And if I am not mistaken, there is even a VERY hard H in Arabic. Hebrew is not much different. The two languages have many, many commonalities, having been derived from the same language somewhere early in history.
I am not definitively stating that instead of ARRT the original term used was HARRT, but I am strongly suggesting it.
In my searches I found the term “lahar”, which I’d heard before, and its root appears to be close enough that I thought there would be a connection there, too. In looking it “lahar”, everywhere I looked a lahar was labeled a mud flow, as opposed to a lava flow. The word itself was designated to have come from the Javanese. A lahar is said to be a mud flow resulting from water saturation – essentially a mud avalanche. Taking one peek at the tem in Javanese, however – the supposed source of the term – when I plugged it into Goggle Translator, what came up? Lava, and only lava. GT would list other translations if they showed up anywhere in its database. So, lahar means LAVA. Well and good for this idea. Funny that Wikipedia only mentions lahar as mud flows, even though Wiki points to Javanese as the source of the word.
Especially interesting is that Java is the second largest of the Indonesian islands and that Indonesia – and especially Java – is a Muslim country, the most populous Muslim country in the world, in fact. So, a tie-in with some Arabic term could be considered not unexpected (if such a tie-in is real). The website AboutWorldLanguages.com has this on its Javanese page:
The vocabulary of Javanese has been enriched by numerous borrowings from other languages. One of the earliest sources of borrowing was Sanskrit from which an estimated 25% of the vocabulary in Old Javanese literature was derived. Today, many Sanskrit words are still in use, particularly in formal speech and writing. Javanese has also borrowed words from Arabic, Dutch, and Malay. Most Arabic loanwords have to do with Islam.
So, is it possible that HARRT and ARRT and lahar all come from the same root, meaning lava? It seems possible, though I ran out of options in my search. The har root (however it is spelled exactly) seems certainly tied to lava. And lava is VERY easily identified.
So, in a fairly short time, I’ve found both geographic and linguistic possibilities for an alternative Ark landing location. The information (I won’t call it evidence at this point) suggests the following is possible:
- If there was a global flood, whatever the cause, that it was experienced by many cultures
- One of those cultures was certainly Babylonian, but possibly also the earliest Jews, or pre-Jews (Abraham, the founder, was certainly from the Babylonian captivity times, but Noah, if real, was dated before Abraham).
- Whoever Noah was, if real, it is highly unlikely that he would know, on sight, the name of a very tall mountain 1,000 km away to the NE
- After some global flood there certainly would not have been signposts declaring the mountain as Ararat
- After such a global flood, and underneath the waters the Ark was floating on, the idea of people being there to point out the name is ludicrous.
- So, how could a NAMED hill or mountain be known by people who floated there from 1000 km away?
- It is much more likely that the name used was a descriptive term for the TYPE of land that the intrepid Noah found, such as HARRT – a lava field. “Look, guys! It’s lava! We landed on a lava field! A harrat! We should write that down! Okay? Let’s record it as ARRT.”
- I put out the suggestion that the term was slightly mistranslated early on, and others have simply accepted that ARRT – Ararat – name, but erroneously.
- Which Harrat? Harrat Lunayyir is closest, but actually quite close to the Red Sea, which would complicate mattrers of a vessel floating from upby theMediterranean Sea. Harrat Khaybar is a close second, distance-wise, and is much more inland. The other two are about 50 km farther from Jerusalem, and would suffice, probably, but I would suggest Harrat Kahybar.
Which would make it Noah, with an Ark, in the Harrat Khaybar. That is my final answer. . . LOL
One question that could be asked – and some have – is WHY would there be any such flooding? That I am addressing at the present time, and I’ve found a startling quantity of evidence, which I have not reached the end of yet. New info comes in every week. It is some of this evidence that made me look in western Saudi on a lark, to see if there was perhaps some geographical feature that was perhaps confused with the Ararat up in Turkey. I wasn’t expecting any, but wasn’t surprised when the Harrats showed up. I was looking for mountains with some name close to Ararat. And in fact the Harrats showed up almost exactly where my other evidence suggested I look.
Does that man this is true, this post? Who knows? But I think it stands a fairly good chance, when all is said and done. I am an engineer, and I don’t do silly. I think the many deluge accounts strongly suggest that some such event happened IN THE TIME OF MAN and that it was a bottleneck event. It seems logical, given the number of unanswered questions very early in our history. It seems to me that the present paradigm fails and is in need of replacement.
A population bottleneck is an event that drastically reduces the size of a population. The bottleneck may be caused by various events, such as an environmental disaster, the hunting of a species to the point of extinction, or habitat destruction that results in the deaths of organisms. The population bottleneck produces a decrease in the gene pool of the population because many alleles, or gene variants, that were present in the original population are lost. Due to the event, the remaining population has a very low level of genetic diversity, which means that the population as a whole has few genetic characteristics. [From Nature Magazine]