Geologic Evidence May Support Chinese Flood Legend
A deluge that washed down the Yellow River nearly 4,000 years ago could be linked to the founding of China’s semi-mythical first dynasty.
Nearly 4,000 years ago, a landslide sent boulders and sediment tumbling into a valley of the Yellow River. The carnage created a massive earthen dam some 660 feet (200 meters) tall, cutting off the river for months.
When that dam finally burst and the river broke free, a massive flood raged across the countryside—and potentially altered the course of Chinese history.
That’s the story told by sediments and archaeological remains described Thursday in a provocative new study published in Science. If correct, the geologic evidence provides a kernel of truth to one of the country’s most important legends: a great flood that paved the way for the Xia, China’s semi-mythical first dynasty.
“Its importance is just like the story of Noah’s flood