at the Hague
“The environmental stakes in this case are very high: The wetlands involved are the remains of the only inland sea delta in Europe. This delta survived since the last Ice Age, when the Pannon Sea filled the Carpathian Basin. Some 400 unique species have survived from what used to be this Pannon sea delta, and what today is called the Szigetkoz (“the region of a thousand islands”–in Hungarian), where, since the rerouting, not a single island remains,–as there is no water.”
The Danube Lawsuit is a ground breaking legal question which argues that nations up river don’t have the right to destroy habitat below.
With the necessity to show what watershed had been affected by the Slovakian canal, bore hole evidence from thousands of sites across the basin were examined and it could be shown that at the end of the last ice age, Lake Pannon filled the basin and the area in question had been a delta where the waters from the upper Danube entered this body of water.
So how does this greatly affect our world when we don’t live in the basin and noone is peeing our stream It might just touch us historically, mythologically and biblically. In short it might just change everything.
It must be asked how and when exactly Lake Pannon formed. Was there a previously existing lake which newly liberated ice age waters entered It is apparent how deep the water became from the height of the deltal plateau at the centre of this question. In any case, bore hole evidence suggests that there was a large surge of water which brought a thick sand deposit to cover a layer of charcoal and pebbles near the head end [Nagy Mohos] and all that covered a long lived meadow.. At the opposite end of the basin [upper Timis], again direct evidence of a great surge and a huge landslide 8000 years later.
What was the effect on the population of the basin which was heavily populated considering the ideal conditions. What would have happened to the traces of these people and who would have survived. What affect did it have on the mesolithic-neolithic transition Maps of the era do not include a great body of water even though it is logical to assume it would have had a great deal to do with molding civilization. It would have had a name and its character certainly changed over time. It seemingly is never mentioned in any literature but is it Terms such as “coasts” of Illycrium and a “fleet” on the Danube with no obvious port suddenly take on new meaning but why has this been missed.
In part it is because of faulty interpretations of classic translations of important texts which become gospel and in part an unconscionable arrogance that permeates some strata of society.
Stratigraphic analysis of Late Quaternary sediments of the Sea of Marmara Basin (SMB) indicates that it was a freshwater lake during the late glacial to ca 12,000 yr BP, depositing sediments with a Neoeuxinian fauna characteristic of the Black Sea Basin At ca 12,000 yr BP, it was inundated by the Mediterranean waters and gradually converted into a marine realm as indicated by the presence above the Neoeuxinian sediments of a mixed layer, containing both marine and freshwater fauna A sapropelic sediment layer was deposited between 10,600 and 6400 yr BP under suboxic bottom water conditions This layer roughly corresponds in time to S1 sapropel unit of the eastern Mediterranean, suggesting a common origin Its presence in the SMB, therefore, supports the hypothesis that a large influx of freshwaters from the Black Sea was an important factor in sapropel formation in the eastern Mediterranean A second sapropelic layer formed in the SMB during 4750 to 3200 yr BP The earliest known record of Mediterranean water in the Bosphorus is at ca 5300 yr BP, suggesting a later marine inundation than the 7150 yr BP event suggested by Ryan and co-workers An abrupt drowning of Black Sea shelf at 7 5 kyr BP, Geo-Eco-Marina, 2, Proc Int Workshop on Fluvial-Marine Interactions, Mainas, Romania, 1-7 October, 1997, pp 115-125 and Ryan, W B F , Pitman III, W C , Major, C O , Shimkus, K , Moskalenko, V , Jones, J A , Dimitrov, P , Görür, N , Sakinç, M , Yüce, H , 1997b An abrupt drowning of Black Sea shelf, Mar Geol 138 (1997) 119-126) This implies that either earlier marine connections with the Black Sea were through a different waterway or the earlier marine record in the strait has been eroded The present two-layer flow system was established at 4000 yr BP
The last Ice Age reached its maximum expansion approximately 22,000 BP. That accumulation of continental glaciers led to a drop of approximately 125 m of the global sealevel. As post-glacial global warming gradually thawed the glaciers, sealevel started to rise, and but for a short cold span in the Younger Dryas period, some 12,000 BP, sealevel rose steadily until it stabilized at its present level some 6,000 years ago. The effect of this global warming on lakes was twofold, the melting glaciers increased the inflow of rivers into inland lakes leading the water levels to rise, but the continued global warming led lakes in some continental regions to desiccation and their water levels dropped. Approximately 16,000 years ago no interchange of water took place between the Aegean Sea, the Marmara Lake and the Euxenic Lake, because water level is those three aquatic provinces was lower than the topographic elevation of the sills that bound the Marmara from north and south, namely the Bosporus and the Dardanelles, respectively. The depth of the Dardanelles is 86 m below the present sealevel, and that of the Bosporus was probably similar to the present sill depth of 33 m. Some 12,000 years ago the rising Mediterranean Sea invaded the Marmara, submerging the coastal structures but not obliterating them. Global sealevel continued to rise after the short intermission during the Younger Dryas Period, but the simultaneous warm and dry continental climate led to the drop of the level of the Euxenic Lake, until the sill of the Bosporus was breached too ca. 8000 years ago, and the fresh-water Euxenic Lake became the Black Sea.
The marine geologists who explored the Black Sea in the past were well aware that the chemical composition of the water of that sea changed from nearly fresh lake water to marine salty water in the Plio-Pleistocene (Arkhangel’sky, 1927; Strakhov, 1967, 1969; Ross and Degens, 1974). They also found out that in late Pleistocene to early Holocene times the level of the Euxenic Lake changed drastically, it rose after the deglaciation, then dropped drastically due to the warm and arid climate in its drainage basin, and estimates of sealevel drop of more than 100 m had been presumed. Such large variations in lake levels are not unique to the Euxenic Lake, and were measured also in Lake Van in central Anatolia (Landmann et al., 1996), in the Dead Sea (Bartov et al., 2002), in lakes in North America (Harrison, 1989) and in the Altiplano pf South America (Baker et al., 2001). However, the late Pleistocene Euxenic and Marmara Lakes differed from the other lakes because of narrow and shallow valleys that detached them from the Aegean offshoot of the Mediterranean Sea. The Dardanelles, some 40 m above the LGM low stand, separated the Marmara from the Aegean Sea, and the Bosporus, some 60 m above the low stand, disconnected the Euxenic Lake from the global ocean system. Since the drop of the water level in the lakes coincided with the global rise in sealevel, the level of Lake Marmara was traced at depths of 93 and 98 m below its present level. When global sealevel breached the Dardanelles Straits at present water depth of 86 m, just before the Younger Dryas Period, it not only changed the water composition from fresh to marine, but also raised the water level by circa 10 m. In the early Holocene, when the level of the Mediterranean rose above the Bosporus threshold of ca. -33 m (Çagatay et al., 2000; Görür et al., 2001), the level of the Euxenic Lake was at the approximate level of the Marmara lake before flooding, namely ca. 90 m below the present sealevel. That difference of water levels resulted in very intensive flow of marine water into the Euxenic Lake that turned abruptly into the Black Sea.
[24ε] ἓν ὑπερέχει μεγέθει καὶ ἀρετῇ: λέγει γὰρ τὰ γεγραμμένα ὅσην ἡ πόλις ὑμῶν ἔπαυσέν ποτε δύναμιν ὕβρει πορευομένην ἅμα ἐπὶ πᾶσαν Εὐρώπην καὶ Ἀσίαν, ἔξωθεν ὁρμηθεῖσαν ἐκ τοῦ Ἀτλαντικοῦ πελάγους. τότε γὰρ πορεύσιμον ἦν τὸ ἐκεῖ πέλαγος: νῆσον γὰρ πρὸ τοῦ στόματος εἶχεν ὃ καλεῖτε, ὥς φατε, ὑμεῖς Ἡρακλέους στήλας, ἡ δὲ νῆσος ἅμα Λιβύης ἦν καὶ Ἀσίας μείζων, ἐξ ἧς ἐπιβατὸν ἐπὶ τὰς ἄλλας νήσους τοῖς τότε ἐγίγνετο πορευομένοις, ἐκ δὲ τῶν νήσων ἐπὶ τὴν καταντικρὺ πᾶσαν ἤπειρον τὴν περὶ τὸν ἀληθινὸν ἐκεῖνον πόντον. τάδε μὲν γάρ, ὅσα ἐντὸς τοῦ στόματος οὗ λέγομεν, φαίνεται λιμὴν στενόν τινα ἔχων εἴσπλουν: ἐκεῖνο δὲ πέλαγος ὄντως ἥ τε περιέχουσα αὐτὸ γῆ παντελῶς ἀληθῶς ὀρθότατ᾽ ἂν λέγοιτο ἤπειρος. ἐν δὲ δὴ τῇ Ἀτλαντίδι νήσῳ ταύτῃ μεγάλη συνέστη καὶ θαυμαστὴ δύναμις βασιλέων, κρατοῦσα μὲν ἁπάσης τῆς νήσου, πολλῶν δὲ ἄλλων νήσων καὶ μερῶν τῆς ἠπείρου: πρὸς δὲ τούτοις ἔτι τῶν ἐντὸς τῇδε Λιβύης μὲν ἦρχον μέχρι πρὸς Αἴγυπτον, τῆς δὲ Εὐρώπης μέχρι Τυρρηνίας. αὕτη δὴ πᾶσα συναθροισθεῖσα εἰς ἓν ἡ δύναμις τόν τε παρ᾽ ὑμῖν καὶ τὸν παρ᾽ ἡμῖν καὶ τὸν ἐντὸς τοῦ στόματος πάντα τόπον μιᾷ ποτὲ ἐπεχείρησεν ὁρμῇ δουλοῦσθαι. τότε οὖν ὑμῶν, ὦ Σόλων, τῆς πόλεως ἡ δύναμις εἰς ἅπαντας ἀνθρώπους διαφανὴς ἀρετῇ τε καὶ ῥώμῃ ἐγένετο: πάντων γὰρ προστᾶσα εὐψυχίᾳ καὶ τέχναις ὅσαι κατὰ πόλεμον, τὰ μὲν τῶν Ἑλλήνων ἡγουμένη, τὰ δ᾽ αὐτὴ μονωθεῖσα ἐξ ἀνάγκης τῶν ἄλλων ἀποστάντων, ἐπὶ τοὺς ἐσχάτους ἀφικομένη κινδύνους, κρατήσασα μὲν τῶν ἐπιόντων τρόπαιον ἔστησεν, τοὺς δὲ μήπω δεδουλωμένους διεκώλυσεν δουλωθῆναι, τοὺς δ᾽ ἄλλους, ὅσοι κατοικοῦμεν ἐντὸς ὅρων Ἡρακλείων, ἀφθόνως ἅπαντας ἠλευθέρωσεν. ὑστέρῳ δὲ χρόνῳ σεισμῶν ἐξαισίων καὶ κατακλυσμῶν γενομένων, μιᾶς ἡμέρας καὶ νυκτὸς χαλεπῆς ἐπελθούσης, τό τε παρ᾽ ὑμῖν μάχιμον πᾶν ἁθρόον ἔδυ κατὰ γῆς, ἥ τε Ἀτλαντὶς νῆσος ὡσαύτως κατὰ τῆς θαλάττης δῦσα ἠφανίσθη: διὸ καὶ νῦν ἄπορον καὶ ἀδιερεύνητον γέγονεν τοὐκεῖ πέλαγος, πηλοῦ κάρτα βραχέος ἐμποδὼν ὄντος, ὃν ἡ νῆσος ἱζομένη παρέσχετο.”
πέλα^γ-ος , εος, to/, gen. pl.
A.“πελαγέων” Hdt.4.85, S.Aj.702 (lyr.), “πελαγῶν” Th.4.24 ; Ep. dat. πελάγεσσι (v. infr.) :—the sea, esp. high sea, open sea, “π. μέγα” Il.14.16, Od.3.179, etc.; “ἐν πελάγεϊ ἀναπεπταμένῳ” Hdt.8.60.ά ; διὰ πελάγους out at sea, opp. παρὰ γῆν, Th.6.13 : freq. coupled with other words denoting sea, “ἁλὸς ἐν πελάγεσσιν” Od.5.335 ; “π. θαλάσσης” A.R.2.608 ; π. πόντιον, πόντου π., Pi.O.7.56, Fr.235 ; ἅλιον π. E.Hec.938 (lyr.).
2. of parts of the sea (θάλασσα), freq. with geographical epith., Αἰγαῖον π. A.Ag.659, etc., cf. Hdt.4.85 (“π. Αἰγαίας ἁλός” E.Tr.88, Men.Pk.379) ; “Ἰκαρίων ὑπὲρ πελαγέων” S.Aj.702(lyr.), cf. Luc.Icar.3 ; “ἐκ μεγάλων πελαγῶν τοῦ τε Τυρσηνικοῦ καὶ τοῦ Σικελικοῦ” Th.4.24.
3. flooded plain, γίνεται π. Hdt.2.97, cf. 3.117.
θάλασσα [θα^], Att.θα?́λα^μ-ττα IG12.57 (but
A. “θάλασσα” 22.236（338/7 B.C.)), h(: —sea, Il.2.294, etc.: freq. of the Mediterranean sea, ἥδε ἡ θ. Hdt.1.1, 185, 4.39, etc.; ἡ παρ᾽ ἡμῖν θ. Pl.Phd.113a; “ἡ θ. ἡ καθ᾽ ἡμᾶς” Plb.1.3.9; ἡ ἐντὸς καὶ κ. ἡ. λεγομένη θ. Str.2.5.18; ἡ ἔσω θ. Arist.Mu.393b29; ἡ ἔξω θ., of the Ocean, Id.Mete.350a22; ἡ Ἀτλαντικὴ θ. Id.Mu.392b22; ἡ μεγάλη θ. Plu.Alex.73; of a salt lake, Arist.Mete.351a9; “ἐς θάλασσαν τὴν τοῦ Εὐξείνου πόντου” Hdt.2.33; “πέλαγος θαλάσσης” A.R.2.608; κατὰ θάλασσαν by sea, opp. πεζῇ, Hdt.5.63; opp. κατὰ γῆς, Th.7.28 codd.; κατά τε γῆν καὶ κατὰ θ. Pl.Mx.241a; “χέρσον καὶ θ. ἐκπερῶν” A.Eu.240; τῆς θ. ἀνθεκτέα ἐστί one must engage in maritime affairs, Th.1.93; οἱ περὶ τὴν θ. sea-faring men, Arist.HA598b24, cf. Pol.1291b20; “θ. καὶ πῦρ καὶ γυνὴ—τρίτον κακόν” Men.Mon.231, cf.264: metaph., κακῶν θ a sea of troubles, A.Th.758 (lyr.); ὁ Κρὴς τὴν θ. (sc. ἀγνοεῖ), of pretended ignorance, Suid.
2. sea-water, ἔστω ἐν χαλκῷ ἡ θ. Hp.Coac.427, cf. Diph.Siph. ap. Ath.3.121d, Moschio ib.5.208a, Plb.16.5.4, Dsc.2.83.
3. well of salt water, said to be produced by a stroke of Poseidon’s trident, in the Acropolis at Athens, Hdt.8.55; “θ. Ἐρεχθηΐς” Apollod.3.14.1.
4. channel, LXX 3 Ki.18.32.
πόντος , o(: Ep. gen.
*A. “ἐκ ποντόφιν” Od.24.83:—sea, esp. open sea, common from Hom. downwds., exc. in Prose, where it is chiefly used of special seas (v. infr. 11); in the general sense, “ὁπότε πνεῦμα ἐκ πόντου εἴη” Th.4.26, cf. Pl.R.611e, Ti.25a, LXX Ex.15.5; π. ἀπείριτος, ἀπείρων, εὐρύς, μεγακήτης, Od.10.195, Il.1.350,6.291, Od.3.158; π. ἠεροειδής, ἰοειδής, μέλας, οἶνοψ, 2.263, 11.107, Il.24.79, 23.316; π. ἀτρύγετος, ἰχθυόεις, 15.27,19.378; opp. γαῖα, 8.479, etc.; κέλευθοι, πλάξ, πεδίον πόντου, Pi.P.4.195,1.24, A.Fr.150 (anap.); π. ἁλὸς πολιῆς the wide waters of the grey brine, Il.21.59, Thgn.10,106; πόντου γέφυρα, πύλαι, of the Isthmus, Pi.N.6.39,10.27.
2. metaph., “π. ἀγαθῶν” Sophr.159; “π. χρυσίου” Phoen.1.2; “ἐκπεσεῖν εἰς τὸν ἀνομοιότητος π.” Pl.Plt.273d (ap.Dam.Pr.5).
II. of special seas, π. Ἰκάριος, Γρηΐκιος, Il.2.145, 23.230; “ὁ Αἰγαῖος π.” Hdt.2.97, etc.; “ὁ π. οὗτος” Id.4.177 (v.l.); Ἰόνιος, Σαρωνικός, Σικελός, E.Tr.225 (lyr.), Hipp.1200, Cyc.703: esp. π. Εὔξεινος, Id.IT125 (lyr., nisi leg. Ἄξεινος ）“; ὁ Εὔξεινος π.” Hdt. 1.6, Th.2.96,97 (called Ἄξεινος, E.IT218 (lyr.)); generally called simply ὁ Πόντος or Πόντος, A.Pers.878 (lyr.), Hdt.7.147, Ar.V.700, Arist.Mete.354a14, al.; but Hdt. has also ὁ πόντος for the sea, 4.99, 177.
2. the country Pontus on the S. shore of the Black Sea, App.Mith.8, etc.: Adj. Ποντικός (q.v.).
III. personified as son of Gaia, Hes.Th.132,233 sq. (Cogn. with πάτος, q.v.)
Aristotle wrote of a large island in the Atlantic Ocean that the Carthaginians knew as Antilia. Proclus, the commentator of “Timaeus” mentions that Marcellus, relying on ancient historians, stated in his Aethiopiaka that in the Outer Ocean (which meant all oceans, not just the Atlantic) there were seven small islands dedicated to Persephone, and three large ones; one of these, comprising 1,000 stadia in length, was dedicated to Poseidon. Proclus tells us that Crantor reported that he, too, had seen the columns on which the story of Atlantis was preserved as reported by Plato: the Saite priest showed him its history in hieroglyphic characters. Some other writers called it Poseidonis after Poseidon. Plutarch mentions Saturnia or Ogygia about five days’ sail to the west of what is called nowadays Britain. He added that westwards from that island, there were the three islands of Cronus, to where proud and warlike men used to come from the continent beyond the islands, in order to offer sacrifice to the gods of the ocean.
Other Greek accounts:
An important Greek festival of Pallas Athene, the Panathenaea was dated from the days of king Theseus. It consisted of a solemn procession to the Acropolis in which a peplos was carried to the goddess, for she had once saved the city, gaining victory over the nation of Poseidon, that is, the Atlanteans. As Lewis Spence comments, this cult was in existence already 125 years before Plato, which means that the story could not be invented by him.
The historian Ammianus Marcellinus wrote that the intelligentsia of Alexandria considered the destruction of Atlantis a historical fact and described a class of earthquakes that suddenly, by a violent motion, opened up huge mouths and so swallowed up portions of the earth, as once in the Atlantic Ocean a large island was swallowed up.
Diodorus Siculus recorded that the Atlanteans did not know the fruits of Ceres. In fact, Old World cereals were unknown to American Indians.
Pausanias called this island “Satyrides,” referring to the Atlantes and those who profess to know the measurements of the earth. He states that far west of the Ocean there lies a group of islands whose inhabitants are red-skinned and whose hair is like that of the horse. (Christopher Columbus described the Indians similarly.)
A fragmentary work of Theophrastus of Lesbos tells about the colonies of Atlantis in the sea.
Hesiod wrote that the garden of the Hesperides was on an island in the sea where the sun sets. Pliny the Elder recorded that this land was 12,000 km distant from Cádiz.
Uba, a Numidian talks of an enormous island outside the Pillars of Hercules. He describes it as having a climate that is very mild; fruits and vegetables grow ripe throughout the year. There are huge mountains covered with large forests, and wide, irrigable plains with navigable rivers. Scylax of Caryanda gives similar account.
Marcellus claims that the survivors of the sinking Atlantis migrated to Western Europe.
Timagenes tells almost the same, citing the Druids of Gaul as his sources. He tries to classify the Gallic tribes according to their origins and tells of one of these claiming that they were colonists who came there from a remote island.
Theopompus of Chios, a Greek historian called this land beyond the ocean as “Meropis”. The dialogue between King Midas and the wise Silenus mentions the Meropids, the first men with huge cities of gold and silver. Silenus knows that besides the well-known portions of the world there is another, unknown, of incredible immensity, where immeasurably vast blooming meadows and pastures feed herds of various, huge and mighty beasts.
Claudius Aelianus cites Theopompus, knowing of the existence of the huge island out in the Atlantic as a continuing tradition among the Phoenicians or Carthaginians of Cádiz.
Perhaps the Byzantine friar Cosmas Indicopleustes understood Plato better than the ancient and modern “Aristotelians”, says Merezhkovsky. In his Topographia Christiana he included a chart of the (flat) world: it showed an inner continent, a compact mainland surrounded by sea, and this was surrounded by an outer ring-shaped continent, with the inscription, “The earth beyond the Ocean, where men lived before the Flood.” The Garden of Eden is placed in the eastern end of this continent.
“But one of the mouths of the Araxes flows with clarity into the Caspian Sea; but the Caspian Sea is by itself, not connected to the other sea. For the sea navigated by all the Greeks and the one outside the Pillars called the Atlantis Sea and the Erythraean, are one and the same.” (Translated by R. Cedric Leonard)
There is no reference to the term “Atlantic Ocean” prior to 1601; however, there are references to “Atlantis” which in archaic Greek at the time of Solon was “Atlantikon”. It simply means “Sea of Atlas”.
So what was Herotdotus referring to? To make matters more confusing, Herodotus lived from 484bc to 425bc (Plato was two years old when Herodotus assumed room temperature) and the Greeks weren’t even sailing into the Atlantic Ocean until after Pytheas’ expedition circa 330bc to 320bc – over a hundred years later.
The Late Glacial and Holocene climatic oscillations in Hungary are manifested by changing fluvial and aeolian sand deposition, as well as by intercalated soil formations. The sand-blown territories have special interest since the buried fossil soils provide detailed information about climate and environment changes. During the past two decades the time of the sand-moving periods was studied exclusively by radiocarbon age determination, but by now, thanks to the latest investigations, these results have been controlled and completed by the thermoluminescence and infrared optically stimulated luminescence dating methods. These techniques have been applied to provide a more detailed chronological framework for Late Pleistocene and Holocene sand accumulation periods.
Five aeolian sand accumulation periods can be recognized covering the Late Glacial and Holocene time period at 14.0±2.3, 12.0±1.9, 9.2±1.7, 6.0±0.5 and 0.6±0.07 ka. The sand-blown formations are intercalated by soil horizons. The radiocarbon age estimates provide evidence for Late Glacial (Bölling, Alleröd) and Lower-Atlantic soil-forming periods.
The Köfels rockslide (Ötztal, Tirol, Austria) is recognized as the largest rockslide in the crystalline Alps. This event tookplace about 8700 radiocarbon years BP. The sudden deepening of the erosional basis of the Ötz Valley by about 300 m at the upstream margin of the rockslide and the significant change of the state of stress at the toe of the slope after the retreat of the last main glaciation
Noah, of which the name in Hebrew is Né or Mnée, which means repose, is the common father of all peoples: he is in the Scriptures the first man who reigned in a sense after the deluge: he who found himself the chief and natural sovereign of all humanity then reduced to his family
During the Early and Middle Holocene, warmer periods led to the gradual submergence of the western Black Sea coast. At the end of the 5th millennium BC, the so-called New Black Sea Transgression caused the water to overflow parts of the mainland. During its second stage (mid-4th millennium BC) a 2-meter drop in sea level occurred.
During the Eneolithic Age (ca. 3500-2500 BC), such climatic changes led to the formation of a new shoreline, and thus to the populating of coastal and harbor settlements. These dynamic coastal processes help explain the high number of submerged settlements (fig.2) dating from the final period of the Eneolithic. At least ten settlements are recorded, a concentration suggesting a Late Eneolithic settlement base along the western Black Sea coast, which continued into the Bronze Age.
At the end of the Early Bronze Age and in the Middle Bronze Age, a new sea level rise began, which destroyed the settlements built on the first overflowed terrace, and turned the rivers’ mouths into gulfs. This elevation in sea level lasted until the end of the 2nd millennium BC or the beginning of the 1st millennium BC, after which the so-called Fanagorian Regression lowered sea level by 3-4 m. After the end of the 5th c. BC, the Second Wallachian Transgression began, which continues to the present to raise sea levels 1.4 – 4.4 mm/year. Since the 5th c. BC, the sea level has risen some 9.40 m.
All sites from the Late Eneolithic and Bronze Age on the western Black Sea coast have consistent settlement features and artifacts, including house posts, ceramics (fig.3), flint tools, cult objects (fig.4), and other materials. These finds provide evidence for the submergence of the settlements soon after they were abandoned. The depth of submergence does not exceed 9-10 m, indicating that the sea level rose by about 10 m (Porojanov 1999).
The Carpathian Basin is a very deep [up to 7km] bowl formed as several plates came into conflict over millions of years and continue to do so even today. In the more established language of the mature scientist, it has become filled with several kilometers of flood and wind-like deposits from the several ice ages which have affected the area. It was an established fact that the basin had hosted a long lived lake/sea [Pannon] for millions of years but it had been conventional wisdom that this lake had disappeared at least 100,000 years if not millions of years ago.
“When we state here, from a palaeontological and archaeological point of view, the existence of humans in the lands of Dacia, even since the quaternary epoch, we don’t want to assert by this that all the regions of this country, as they present themselves today, could have been inhabited by man in that remote epoch. The physiognomy of the countries of Dacia has not always been the same as in the historical epoch.
A significant part of the extended plains of Hungary were, even at the beginning of the Neolithic period, covered by large masses of fresh water, which little by little, during the course of several thousands of years, have retreated through the cataracts of the Danube and even maybe through subterranean channels.
Even today, a significant district in the north-west of Romania is called Maramures, meaning dead sea, mare morta. The Cimbri called the northern ocean Morimarusam, hoc est mortuum mare. On another hand, the historical documents of Middle Age Hungary mention often different swamps, lakes and marshes in the Tiso-Danubian basin, which in those times were called Mortua, Mortva and Mortua magna, meaning dead water. Even the name Mures, of the principal river of Transylvania, which appears in the medieval historical documents under the name Morisius, Marusius, Morusius, is evidence that in a remote time the basin of this river was only a dead water (Marusa). And on another hand, there still exists in Romania, an old and widespread tradition that the plains of the Romanian country, of Hungary and the valleys of Transylvania, were once covered by an internal sea.
So, George Brancovici’s Chronicle, written around 1690, contains the following tradition about the sea in the countries of Dacia. “This Pombie (Pompei the Great), cut the bridge at Byzantium, so that the black sea entered into the white sea and it is told that the countries of Moldova, Muntenia and Ardel were left dry”. This tradition, that in a remote epoch the Black Sea had no issue, was first stated by Strato from Lampsac. The Black Sea, maintains he, might have once been completely closed, and the strait at Byzantium might have opened because of the enormous pressure of the masses of water brought in the Euxine Pontus by the great rivers.
The same may have happened also, says he, with the Mediterranean Sea, which, following a great accumulation of river waters, might have broken the western barrier, and, following its flowing into the external sea, the former swampy places of Europe might have drained. Another tradition, identical in fact with that of Brancovici’s chronicle, is communicated from the village Habud, in the Prahova district: A long time ago, the land of this country, this tradition tells us, was covered with water, which could never drain, because at there was a rock mountain at the Black Sea.
The Turks started to cut that mountain. They dug for twenty four years and still could not finish, but a great earthquake came and broke that mountain in two, and immediately the water drained in the sea. Finally, another tradition is transmitted from Banat, Maidan village: “We heard from our elders that the land which we inhabit now, might have once been a sea of water, and only in the mountains dwelt some wild men, whom our ancestors defeated, then settled here. Our king Trajan opened the way for the water here, at Babacaia. ‘
We note that in Romanian traditions Hercules also appears often under the name Trojan. When there was water here, the people got about in boats and sailboats. It is said that the “cula” from Verset might have been built in those times. One could see from there to another “cula” across the Danube, and to another, across the Mures; when an enemy boat came, a big light was made on top of the “cula”, to let the other brothers know that the enemy had entered the country”.
We also note here that in Hungary there still exists a folk tradition that the plains of that country were once covered by water, which later had drained through the strait of the Iron Gates.”
The traditional source of the Danube lies in a park at Donaueschingen, at a height of 2,230 feet on the slopes of the Black Forest. The river bubbled happily from a stone basin adorned with a buxom female to symbolize the fertile blessings of water. It was a most convenient source as it could easily be visited with the children on a family walk. However, in 1955, a determined explorer managed to hack his way through dense undergrowth on the upper slopes of the Black Forest. At a most inconvenient height of 3,537 feet above sea level he discovered the true source of the Danube in a region difficult of access. This stream–the “Breg”–soon joins with the “Brigach” to form the Danube.
The Danube is constantly disappearing down cracks into the limestone and reappearing somewhere else. The traditional source in the park is just one of many such springs. In fact, when scientists attempted to map the unseen network of underground drainage by colouring the water with dye, they discovered that some of the Danube water actually ends up in the Rhine after flowing through ten miles of unexplored caves. The Danube meanders across Bavaria and breaks through a limestone gorge at Kelheim, where it is joined by the Main-Danube canal. Below Kelheim, the Danube is navigable for larger river traffic, including cruise vessels. At Passau, the Danube is joined by the Inn River that rises in the Swiss Alps and drains much of Austria. As the Inn is wider than the Danube and carries more water, the Swiss and Austrians have long argued that the entire river should be named the “Inn” and not the Danube. From Passau, the Danube enters Austria and begins its most beautiful stretch as it flows through the steep, wooded foothills of the Alps. The Wachau Valley is the Danube’s answer to the Rhine Gorge. The craggy heights are studded with ruined castles (including that of Richard the Lion-Heart at Durnstein) and the steep slopes are clothed with Austria’s finest vineyards.
At Vienna, where the river is already 900 feet across, the Danube enters a huge basin of flatland some 300 miles across that stretches past Budapest and onwards to the east of Belgrade. Here the vast grasslands of Hungary became the “granary” of the Austrian Empire. The Danube flows unhurriedly through the flat expanse except in two places. The first is the “Hungarian Gates,” where the Danube cuts through the low mountains of the Western Carpathians just before reaching Bratislava. The Hungarian Gates marked–as the name suggests–the entrance to Hungary, and the traveler will see the remains of the Roman and medieval forts that guarded this strategic passage.
After Bratislava–itself strategically situated on the heights of the Hungarian Gates–the Danube continues to flow through the vast, flat plain until suddenly it once again runs up against a fold of the Western Carpathian Mountains and cuts through them in a spectacular gorge. Until now, the Danube has been flowing to the east, but here its course changes dramatically to the south. The change is so abrupt that the region is named the “Danube Knee” for the very simple reason that the course of the river resembles a giant knee.
To the east of the Serbian capital, Belgrade, the Danube breaks through the Southern Carpathian Mountains in a dramatic series of gorges some 90 miles long. This stretch of the river is generally (although incorrectly) referred to in the plural as the “Iron Gates” after the “Iron Gate”–the name given to the lowest gorge.
Some two miles long, the Iron Gate proper is the deepest gorge in Europe. It is marked by “Trajan’s Tablet,” an inscription cut into the living rock to commemorate the Roman road built by Trajan in the 1st century AD. Trajan’s road secured Roman rule over the fertile province of Dacia, today’s Romania. For 90 miles, the mountains encroach on the Danube, sometimes hemming the river in to a width of less than 500 feet. Sheer cliffs rising 800 feet and more overlook the Danube in places. This was the most dangerous section of the Danube, where the river surged with enormous force. Vicious rapids and fearful whirlpools were the dread of sailors until the completion of a huge dam in 1972 “drowned” the rapids under many feet of water and turned the turbulent river into a peaceful reservoir.
Once clear of the Iron Gate, the Danube enters another huge area of lowland known as the Danubian Plain, enclosed by the Carpathians to the north and the Balkan Mountains to the south. Here the river flows lazily over its flat floodplain, through marshes and swamps towards its delta on the distant Black Sea. On reaching its delta, the Danube divides into three main channels that flow through a wilderness of reed-filled marshes and sandy islands. When the Danube floods, it reaches a width of 12 miles.
The delta continues to grow into the Black Sea at the rate of 80 to 100 feet a year. So much silt is deposited that navigation is only possible by continuous dredging of the Sulina Channel, which has been straightened and deepened to a depth of 23 feet. Because of its moving sand and gravel banks (before the Danube was dammed, it used to move 6.5 million tons of the stuff past Vienna each year), its floods and rapids, plus sudden and violent storms, the Danube was always a potentially dangerous river.
“The garden of Eden is not viewed by the author of Genesis simply as a piece of Mesopotamian farmland, but as an archetypal sanctuary, that is a place where God dwells and where man should worship him. Many of the features of the garden may also be found in later sanctuaries particularly the tabernacle or Jerusalem temple. These parallels suggest that the garden itself is understood as a sort of sanctuary,” ibid. 182, quoting Wenham.
“In 7:20 this phrase [‘fifteen cubits above’] is difficult to decipher, largely because of the word that the NIV renders ‘depth’ The Hebrew text says, ‘Fifteen cubits from above [milma’la] rose the waters, and the mountains were covered.’ It is therefore not at all clear that it is suggesting the waters rose fifteen cubits higher than the mountains…As an adverb modifying the verb ‘rose,’ it suggests that the water reached fifteen cubits upward from the plain, covering at least some part of the mountains,”
“This way of think yields a flood of the then-known world (with boundaries as described, for instance, in the Sargon Geography and in the list of Noah’s descendants in Gen 10); it covered all the elevated places that were within eyesight of the occupants of the ark. Though this would be a geographically limited flood, it could still be anthropologically universal if people had not yet spread beyond this region,” 328.
John Walton on Genesis
The date of the first settlement of the Jews in Austria, like that of almost all other European countries, is enveloped in obscurity. Folk-lore speaks of a Jewish kingdom [Judaesaptan, Judaysaptay] supposed to have been founded in Austria, 810 [or 859] years after the Deluge, by a Jew [or pagan] called Abraham, who came from the wonderland “Terra Ammiracionis” or “Theomanaria beyond the Sea” to Auratim with his wife, Susanna, and his two sons, Salim and Ataim. (Pez, “Scriptores Rerum Austriacarum,” i. 1046 et seq., quoted by Scherer, “Rechtsverhältnisse der Juden,” 1901, i. 112 Chronik von den 95 Herrschaften)(from Hagen).
The lower Danube is one of the biggest sedimentary
traps in the northwestern Black Sea region. In this
area, lagoonal sediments that are considered to be
equivalent with the Karangatian transgression, outcrop
4-5 m above the present sea level, except in the
Danube delta proper and the aquatory of limans
where the top of lagoon sediments is at -3 to -8 m
depth. The richest brackish mollusc fauna, with small
mammal remains, was found near the village of
Novonekrasovka, on the eastern scarp of the Yalpug liman.
The two lagoonal sandy patches (4-5 m thick in
total), each with gravels at the base, occur in the lowest
part of this section. The lagoonal sediments are
overlain by lacustrine clay silts (1.6 m thick) and loess
(8 m) with two buried soils (the lower is a hydromorphous
soil and the upper is characterized by icewedge
pseudomorphs). The upper soil could be conventionally
assigned to the interstadial Bryansk soil.
The lower lagoonal accumulation contains brackish
mollusc species such as Didacna danubica and D. ultima.
In the upper part, a number of brackish forms,
including Didacna danubica, Monodacna subcolorata,
Hypanis fragilis, Adacna plicata, Micromelania lincta
and Dreissena polymorpha, were recovered. The brackish
mollusc fauna is accompanied by fresh-water thermophiles
such as Corbicula fluminalis and Melanopsis
praerosa, which do not exist in this area now since
their northern limit is 500 km to the south (southern
Bulgaria). This indicates that these lagoonal sediments
are of interglacial age.
The changes in the palaeogeographic environment have
influenced the development of ancient civilizations, especially
of those which have inhabited the big river valleys or the
coastal zones of Sea basins. The Sea coast changes
permanently and its motion can be traced for a 5000-10000
year period in the rivers mouth at the contact with the Sea
basins (Kanev, 1983, 289). The changes in the Sea level
caused by alternating transgressive and regressive phases are
marked in the relief in the form of sea terraces on the shelf or
on the coast.
One of the most important events in the geohistorical
development of the Black Sea is the origin of Bosporus
straight, making a connection with the World Ocean. At the
beginning of the Upper Pleistocene (130000 years ago) the
sea has been subjected to the so called Karangatian
transgression. Several terraces of Karangatian age (Upper
Pleistocene) have been proved along the Black Sea coast: at
cape Karangat (Kerch Peninsula) with 7-8 m height; at the
Caucasus coast (two terraces have been proved 24-26 m and
12-14 m high respectively). At the Turkish coast the terraces
are 20 m and 10 m high, and at the Bulgarian Sea shore the
Karangatian terraces correspond to the Pomorie and
Keremidarska terraces, with 20-25 m and 8-15 m height
respectively (Popov, Mishev, 1974, 262). In the region of the
towns of Byala and Sozopol the sediments of these terraces
contain typical mollusk fauna of the Karangatian age.
During this stage the Black Sea basin had three phases of
salt enrichment, with a maximum of over 30 pro mill. The
significant degree of salt content is caused by the intrusion of
large portions of Mediterranean waters through the Bosporus
as a huge waterfall (the level of the Black Sea has been then
about 180 m lower from the present level). The fauna in the
Black Sea changes from fresh water to sea water (Baltakov,
2003, 208-215). This natural cataclysm that occurred between
130000-70000 years ago is described in the monograph
Noahs Flood (Ryan, Pitman, 1998) where it has been fixed at
the time of 5600 BC and mechanically linked to the legends for
the Worlds Flood.
After the Karangat stage of development of the Black Sea
basin a regression of the Sea level took place. The contacts
with the Mediterranean and the Caspian Seas are broken
again and its supply is dominated by waters of the continental
glacier. This leads to a new stage of fresh water content
causing the death of the seawater fauna and the origin of
sulphur hydrogen (H2S). About 25000 years ago a new
continental glacier has formed. This is the beginning of the last
ice period Vurm 3 (for glacier ages and related climate
changes see Imbrie, Imbrie, 1979). The glacier is considered
stable for about 8000 years, and then its first cede takes place
between XIV-XI mill. BC, the second one between XI-IX mill.
BC and the last one between XI-VI mill. BC. The melting of
the ice shield caused the rise of the World Ocean level, i.e. a
new post glacial transgression has occurred, known as the
Flandrian. The Black Sea level reached 5-6 m above the
present one, which has been proved by the height of the
formed at that time Old Black Sea (Old Chernomorsk) terrace.
The Flandrian post glacier transgression has a specific
behavior in the Black Sea basin. Several reasons can be listed
in this respect: the geographical position of the Black Sea; the
area of its water supply that is 4 times larger than the basin
itself; the declination of the shelf in North-South direction; the
direction of the dominating winds; the glacier isostatic
movements; climatic changes.
In the early Pleistocene, it met here a swampy flat which it filled up gradually. When Lake Geta, the last residual lake, was silted up, the river finally found its way to the Black Sea. Its first mouth was south of the Dobrogea region, but due to the tectonic uplift of this area in the second half of the Pleistocene, it was forced to take a roundabout way along the northern margin of the Dobrogea. Because of climate-induced variations of the water level of the Black Sea in the order of 70 to 80 m, a rather far; east-west shift of the debouchure took place. Even today, one finds traces of ancient beds of the Danube on the seafloor. One of the most significant changes in flow direction was experienced by the River Olt, which originally had been a tributary to the River MuredMaros, but was then captured by a smaller, yet direct Danube tributary that had cut deeply into the Southern Carpathian Mountains, so that it was diverted towards the Danube. In this way, the Transylvanian Basin, that was originally uniform in hydrographic terms, became divided between the catchments of the River Tisza/Tisa and the Danube.
At the beginning of the Holocene, the development of the present-day river system was nearly completed. Only three changes are worth mentioning. First, karstification of the Swabian Alb continued, with the consequence that a considerable portion of Danube’s discharge reached the Rhine basin underground via sinks. This process will lead after some time to the loss of the Danube headwater area.
Secondly, there was a tectonic uplift of the region Nyírség in the north-eastern part of the Great Hungarian Plain. This forced the River Tisza/Tisa to leave its original southward course towards the Cris/Körös Depression, to turn northwards, and to flow round the block of Nyírség. The Tisza/Tisa then followed the depressions along the northern margin of the lowland plain, so that its whole system of tributaries was re-structured.
Finally, in the early Holocene, the Black Sea transgressed into the debouchure area of the Danube up to the foreland of the Carpathian Mountains. This transgression, however, was limited in time, so that the Danube was then able to fill up the embayment and to develop over the past 2000 years its present delta
The current geomorphology of the coastal delta is the result of the
long term interaction between the Danube River and north-western
part of Black Sea during the Holocene period, beginning some
16,000 years ago (PANIN, 1974, 1998; MIHAILESCU, 1989). At that
time, the Sea level was about 9 m higher than our days and the river
has formed an estuary. Subsequently, the level of the Black Sea dropped,
and a series of sand bars, channels and lagoons were formed, a
process that has continued up to the present day. Currently, about
79% of the coastal delta is at or above the modern sea level and the
rest of 21% bellow sea level.
As a contribution to the general discussion of the
genesis of central European river systems and floodplain
landscapes, our project attempted to reconstruct
the late Pleistocene and Holocene change of
the fluvially characterised landscapes in the Ingolstadt
basin on the basis of stratigraphical and pollen
Quaternary geological findings
A great diversity of terraces, meanders and oxbows
characterise the Danube valley in the Ingolstadt
basin between Neuburg/Donau and Neustadt/Donau
over a distance of around 45 kilometres and a
width of over 5 kilometres. It is possible to identify up
to six different floodplain terraces, of which the oldest
belongs to the originating Subboreal times and five to
the Subatlantic times. They are clearly distinguished
from the older Holocene terraces by terrace stages of
Late Glacial Times
In the vicinity of the late glacial terraces near
Zuchering and Manching to the South of Ingolstadt,
numerous palaeochannels were found which obviously
drive from a braided river system which pervaded
the Ingolstadt basin in the late glacial age.
Preboreal/Boreal Times (11.100-9.000 BP)
In the early Postglacial Times, the tendency towards
changes in river courses and aggradation processes
were less pronounced. Well-developed meanders
originated at only comparatively few places, which,
apart from several terraces to the North and South of
today’s Danube floodplains, were re-eroded in the
further course of the fluvial development: the result is
a large gap in the discovery of early Holocene sediments.
Atlantic Times (9.000-5.750 BP)
From around the middle of the Atlantic times, fluvial
arms changed frequently and the first palaeomeanders
formed at the northern edge of the late
glacial lower terrace. In these older arms, peat layers
up to 2 m thick developed and beneath this, largely
reed and sedge peats and partly also swamp forest
peats. In additions, fine sediments and, in several
river bows, colluvial layers were deposited.
Subboreal Times (5.750-2.750 BP)
A notable change in the fluvial history occurred
during the Subboreal times. In this period, more and
more meanders developed and were cut off,
during which the entire system of rivers slowly moved
from the South northwards (“subboreal maximum
shift). The reason for the development of the bronze
age river bows were frequent maximums in the water
volumes caused at this time by heavy erosion in the
vicinity of the rivers and which were accompanied by
an increase in the transport and sedimentation of alluvial
loams: silt and clay are measured here at up to 1
m, in places even more.
Subatlantic Times (2.750 BP – today)
In the first half of the Subatlantic times, the higher
flood frequency reached its climax: the tendency towards
the movement of fluvial arms was then at its
greatest and the sedimentation encompassed the
entire meander belt. Particularly in the early Iron Age
and the early period of the Roman empire, numerous
floodplain terraces and oxbows were created
. In the latter, as proven by stratigraphical results,
substantial depositions of up to 2 m thick alluvial loams
In the middle and late subatlantic times, the tendency
towards the reworking of sediments and the movement
of fluvial arms fell again.
Vegetation and landscape historical results
An extensive investigation of the silt and peat infill
deposits was conducted by pollen analysis (a total of
12 profiles and several individual samples for the periods
I, II and III).
According to the presented results, the appearance
of the Ingolstadt basin landscape was characterised
by sparse coniferous forests (pine) during the Older
Dryas. Other types of trees included birch (Betula)
and willow (Salix) as well as less frequent species of
sea buckthorn (Hippophae), calluna heath and juniper
(Juniperus). In the herbal flora, heliophilous floral
elements dominated, including numerous subarctic
elements of steppes and tundra.
During the Alleröd, the proportion of open land reduced
and the coniferous forests grew thicker. Apart
from the slight decline of the frequency of birches,
this is indicated particularly by the substantial decline
of all cold-steppe elements.
With the decline of the climate in the younger Dryas,
the birch gained slightly more ground over the pine
(Pinus) than previously. At the same time, subarctic
tundra elements again proliferated.
Preboreal / Boreal Times
A phase of coniferous forests rich in hazel typical for
the existing pollen spectra. The reason for this is the
already mentioned gap in the discovery of alluvions
which represents the early period of the Holocene.
At the beginning of the Atlantic times, mixed deciduous
woodlands developed in the Ingolstadt region
with the successive colonisation by the deciduous
trees elm (Ulmus), oak (Quercus), alder (Alnus) and
lime (Tilia). At the same time, the heliophilous trees
birch and hazel (Corylus) were declining. The pines
were largely displaced from the vegetation of the
river landscape. They only persisted in special habitats
such as gravels and sand drifts. From the middle
Atlantic times onwards, copper beech (Fagus) and
carpinus were also found, and at the same time, pollen
discovered from spruce (Picea) and fir (Abies)
prove the proliferation of these conifers in the alpine
foothills and in the Bohemian forest massif. The first
indications of agricultural colonisation are provided
by the discovery of cereal pollen and other anthropogenic
indicators during the middle and younger
Atlantic times. In particular, there are also clear indications
of the beginning of the spread of heath.
However, despite the numerous indications of
human colonisation, the effects of man on the forest
landscape were more limited during the Neolithic period.
During the end of the Atlantic times, the beech
began its final spread, culminating in its climax in the
The main characteristic of the subboreal phases is
the beginning destruction of the alder forests. Apart
from the simultaneous increase in excessively high
floods, the influence of man may also be a cause of
this development. Thus, meadows and pastures as
preboreal and boreal vegetations was not found in
early as the bronze age are a first sign of the beginning
establishment of grassland culture in the flooding
area. Furthermore, an extension of cereal husbandry
to areas outside the floodplains is documented.
Of the places in the vicinity of the Danube floodplains,
particularly the low terraces were suitable for
cultivation and, in fact, it was possible to prove the
existence of Bronze Age dwellings on the low terrace
near Zuchering in the South of the examined area.
Finally, as in the Neolithic, dwarf shrub heath must
also be anticipated.
The present-day drainage system of the Carpathian Basin originates from the gradual regression of the last marine transgression (brackish Pannonian Sea). The flow directions of the rivers including the Danube, are determined by the varying rates and locations of subsidence within the region. The Danube, which forms the main axis of the drainage network, first filled the depression of the Little Plain Lake and then, further southward, the Slavonian Lake. From the end of the Pliocene, the crustal movements which caused the uplift of the Transdanubian Mountains, forced the Danube to flow in an easterly direction, towards the antecedent Visegrid Gorge, and into the subsiding basins of the Great Plain. Climatic changes during the Pleistocene had the effect of forming up to seven fluvial terraces. The uplift of the mountains is demonstrated by the deformation of the terraces, while the subsidence of the Plains is proven by an accumulation of several hundred metres of sediment. The river only occupied its present position south of Budapest in the latest Pleistocene.`
At the beginning of the Holocene, the oceans and the Mediterranean sea-level were ~50-40 m lower than today (Pirazzoli, 1998: 78). Along the Carmel coast, marshy clays were embedded in the troughs between the coastal kurkar ridges. A submarine borehole a few km off Caesarea revealed a 8900 yr old organic terrestrial peat at 35 m below the present sea-level (Neev et al., 1987: 21). The terrestrial peat (N. Bakler, personal comm. 2004) was probably embedded in coastal swamps that were slightly elevated above the ancient sea-level, thus sea-level ~8900 yr BP was more than 35 m below today’s. and the coastline was situated ~3–4 km west of the present one.
The discovery of an underwater canyon (named Adam Canyon after the fisherman diver who first identified it) some 1500 m west of Kfar Samir, provides the basis for a possible reconstruction of the drainage system in the region. The bottom of the canyon is at 20–25 m below the present sea-level, and it is covered with coarse sand and limestone pebbles originating in Mount Carmel. This canyon crosses the Tira kurkar ridge from east to west. Its walls are steep, and reach 3-5 m in height. The geomorphological characteristics of the canyon indicate that it was created by a relatively large wadi, during a low sea stand. The present Carmel coastal wadis east of the submerged canyon are too small to create such a large canyon. It is proposed that the Carmel coast kurkar ridge and the Tira ridge (that run continuously from Haifa to Atlit), blocked the natural flow of the coastal wadis to the sea. All the wadis, from N. Megadim in the north to N. Maharal in the south were forced to cross the Carmel coast ridge through the N. Oren canyon and the presently submerged Tira ridge through the «N. Oren Gap» to the west (Fig. 4). The northern wadis, from N. Mitleh to N. Ahuza (including N. Galim) were blocked by the Carmel coast eastern ridge creating marshlands and shallow bodies of water in the eastern trough. The water gradually flowed northward, and then drained westward by crossing the Carmel coast ridge at N. Ovadia passage, and near Kfar Samir where the present-day Carmel coast ridge disappears under the surface. These and other wadis from the north (N. Ezov, N. Siah and N. Amiq) eventually reached the sea by crossing the present day submerged Tira ridge through the deep Adam Canyon.
Pre-Pottery Neolithic C (8150-7550 yr BP)
The Pre-Pottery Neolithic C site of Atlit-Yam is presently submerged, to a depth of 8–12 m some 200-400 m offshore. Radiocarbon dates of wood remains from the site provide a range of 8180-7550 yr BP (Galili et al., 1993, Galili and Sharvit, 1999). The architectural finds consist of stone-built water-wells (Galili and Nir, 1993; Galili and Sharvit, 1998), foundations of rectangular structures, a series of long walls, ritual installations and stone-paved areas (Galili et al., 1993). In addition, 65 human skeletons were recovered. Faunal remains include bones of wild and domestic sheep/goats, pigs, cattle and dogs as well as wild animals and more than 6000 bones of marine fish. Large quantities of botanical remains as well as artifacts made of stone, bone, wood and flint were also recovered. Many of these artifacts (such as fishing net sinkers and knives) may be associated with fishing activities. The archaeological material indicates that the economy of the site was complex, and was based on the combined utilization of terrestrial and marine resources, involving plant cultivation, livestock husbandry, hunting, gathering and fishing (Galili et al., 2002; Galili et al., 2004).
During the occupation of the Pre-Pottery Neolithic C settlement in the north bay of Atlit, sea level was ~16 m below present-day level and the coastline north of N. Oren was extensively indented, creating lagoons and shallow bays (Fig. 8A). The submerged kurkar ridge situated ~200 m west of Atlit-Yam at a water depth of 6-10 m, was then a rocky coastal ridge that sheltered the settlement from southwesterly and westerly storm winds and sea spray. During the Pre-Pottery Neolithic C period, the Tira kurkar ridge must have been an elongated north-south oriented peninsula a few kilometers long, partially surrounded by seawater and connected to the mainland at its northern end. The western and southern slopes of the ridge formed rocky coastlines with small bays, coastal caves and E-W oriented erosion channels. Down to a water depth of 5-6 m (21-22 m depth today), the sea bottom west of this rocky peninsula was probably a highly productive and rich rocky habitat. The sand layer that covered the bottom of the trough during the Pre-Pottery Neolithic C, when sea-level was considerably lower and there was less sand in the region, must have been 1-2 m thinner than it is today. The trough situated between the peninsula and the mainland formed a 3-4 km long shallow (1-2 m deep) sandy lagoon. Another kurkar ridge, the Megadim ridge (Eytam and Ben-Avraham, 1992) 1-2 km wide, and ~8 km long, is located some 3.5 km northwest of the Atlit-Yam site, at a water depth of 32-42 m. At the time of occupation of Atlit-Yam, the summits of this ridge were at a water depth of ~16-25 m. Five different marine habitats can be postulated in this region during the Pre-Pottery Neolithic C:
- an approximately 3-5 km long rocky coastline on the west slope of the peninsula (the presently submerged Tira ridge north of the village);
- several sq km of shallow (0-5 m deep), rocky sea-bottom west of the peninsula;
- about 1-2 sq km of shallow sandy lagoon east of the peninsula;
- about 4-5 sq km of relatively deep (16-25 m) rocky sea-bottom (presently a submerged kurkar ridge at a depth of 32-42 m);
- a sandy beach about 8 km long, with a sandy sea-bottom that may have been occupied by mollusks, crabs and fish.
South of Atlit, the coast was sandy and straight. Alluvial sediments filled the eastern trough and in the northern section water overflowed directly via the wadis (e.g., through the N. Galim and N. Ovadia Passages; Fig. 3) to the sea. The overflow created alluvial fans abutting the western slopes of the eastern Carmel coast ridge (south and north of Tel Kones) (Fig. 3), while depositing limestone pebbles as well as boulders in N. Galim on top of the marshy clays.
Pottery Neolithic (7100-6300 yr BP)
Five Pottery Neolithic sites: Kfar Samir, Kfar Galim, Tel Hreiz, Megadim and Neve-Yam (Fig. 1), which were submerged at depths of 0.5-5 m, date to 7100-6300 yr BP (Fig. 5: 7). Finds in these sites include water-wells constructed of alternating layers of tree branches and stones, and pit-installations, some lined with undressed stones, and others dug into the clay sediment. The pits contained waste from olive oil extraction including thousands of crushed olive-pits (Galili and Weinstein-Evron 1985; Galili et al., 1989; 1997). Bones of domestic animals and fish were also found (Horwitz et al., 2002), as well as artifacts made of stone, wood, and flint. The ceramic assemblages included a variety of vessels for cooking and storage. At Neve-Yam, a cemetery comprising stone-built graves that contained six human skeletons was recovered. This represents one of the earliest known organized cemeteries located apart from the dwelling area of a site (Galili et al., 1998).
The economy of the Pottery Neolithic settlements was based mainly on terrestrial resources, cultivation and herding. During the occupation of the Pottery Neolithic settlements between 7100 and 6500 yr BP, the sea was ~9 m below present sea-level. A row of offshore islands was situated parallel to the coast from Atlit northward, while to the south the coast was straight, with sandy bays (Fig. 8B). Compared with the Pre-Pottery Neolithic C, the amounts of highly reproductive rocky habitats and fishing grounds had declined, the shallow lagoon had disappeared, and wide sections of the coastal region had been flooded by the rising sea or covered with sand.
4. Chalcolithic period (6200–5700 yr BP)
Until now, no cultural traces of Ghassulian Chalcolithic entities have been recorded on the sea bottom along the Carmel coast. However, several 14C datings of olive pits recovered from an installation used for the extraction of olive oil in Kfar Samir site (Galili et al., 1997), indicate that sea-level during the Chalcolithic period was lower at least by 2.5-5.0 m than at present (Fig. 5: 8-9).
Reconstruction of the paleo-coastal landscape at that period is based on the proposed reconstructed sea-level and on archaeological, sedimentological and biological finds. Lenses of dark-gray soft clay containing in situ Cerastoderma glaucum mollusks were located in the north bay of Atlit, west of the N. Megadim inlet and near the Kfar Samir site. The clay deposits were embedded on top of the dark brownish hard clays (termed Carmel coast clay) at 1-3 m water depth (Galili, 1985a; Galili and Inbar, 1987). The shells were uneroded, with the shell segments joined together, and smaller and more delicate than similar shells living in the open sea. The patterns of mollusk deposition indicate that they inhabited low-energy coastal areas. These mollusks can survive in severe conditions with extreme ranges of both temperature and salinity (brackish to hyper-saline, Barash personal comm., Galili, 1985a). These mollusks are common today in the salt ponds of Atlit, in which the salinity constantly changes during the process of salt production (high salinity caused by evaporation and lower salinity during winter rains). The dark-gray soft clay deposit, post-dates the submerged Pottery Neolithic settlements. This clay was deposited in brackish to hyper-saline coastal bodies of water, at an elevation close to the sea-level at the time of deposition. Since the gray soft clay is at 1-3 m below present sea-level, it can be dated to the Chalcolithic-Early Bronze periods. Judging by the Cerastoderma glaucum mollusks it is suggested that brackish to hyper-saline coastal bodies of water existed on the northern Carmel coast during the Chalcolithic period. Such bodies of water (at an elevation of 1-3 m below the present sea-level), could have been developed by a physical barrier (located east of the Chalcolithic coastline) that blocked natural fluvial drainage. The presently submerged Tira ridge, with its apex at elevations of 10–14 m below present sea-level, could not have created such a barrier, since it was too low. It is suggested that continuous longitudinal sand dunes, which had advanced eastward with the rising sea, created a barrier that blocked the flow of the coastal wadis. The considerable reduction in the rate of sea-level rise from the Chalcolithic period to the Early Bronze Age (~6000-5000 yr BP) (Fig. 5), may have dramatically increased the accumulation of sand along the Israeli coast. Such a process could have created the dune barriers that blocked the coastal wadis’outlets. As a result, a series of brackish to saline water bodies were formed at 1-3 m below present sea-level. These coastal wetlands were at elevations of 1–2 m above the Chalcolithic sea-level, and their salinity varied according to the amount of precipitation and evaporation.
With the continuous rises in sea-level, the sand dunes shifted eastward, and by the Early Bronze Age, sea-level reached ~2 m below its present level (Fig. 5). As the bodies of water east of the sand dune barriers mixed with sea water, salinity increased and a population of Cerastoderma glaucum mollusks, which can tolerate high levels of salinity, developed. During the Middle Bronze Age, sea-level reached its present level (Fig. 5), the sand dunes may have been eroded by the rising sea, and the coastal saline bodies of water drained or silted. The dark-gray clays that where deposited in brackish to hyper-saline coastal bodies of water, containing the Cerastoderma glaucum mollusks remain as isolated lenses on top of the brownish Carmel coast clay.
5. Historical Periods (Fig. 8C)
– Early Bronze Age (~5000 yr BP): an Early Bronze Age amphora containing Aspatharia (Spatopsis), cf. nilotica mollusks, was found in the north bay of Atlit (Fig. 2: B) at 10 m depth. The amphora was dated to ~5000 yr BP using 14C dating and parallels of pottery vessels (Sharvit et al., 2002). It is not possible to use the amphora as an indicative sea-level marker, since it is not clear whether the pottery vessel originated from a wrecked ship that was washed ashore, or was dumped from an anchored vessel. However the amphora can provide, with some precision, the lowest possible sea-level for that period (Fig. 5: 10).
– Middle Bronze Age (~4000 yr BP): Middle Bronze Age graves and shipwrecks can provide a rough indication of sea-level in that period. Middle Bronze graves were recovered at elevations of 0.5-1.5 m above the present sea-level in the north bay of Atlit. The graves that were dug on shore can provide the uppermost possible sea-level during the Middle Bronze (Fig. 5: 11-12).
Five clusters of Middle Bronze Byblos-type stone anchors and a few pottery vessels were recovered from the northern Carmel coast off Kfar Samir, Kfar Galim, Megadim, Atlit South Bay and Neve-Yam ( Galili, 1985b; Galili et al., 1988; 1996; Sivan et al., 2001). The distribution patterns of the Middle Bronze assemblages on the sea bottom, at water depths of 3-4 m below the present sea-level, indicate that they originated from wrecked ships that were washed ashore by storms. The anchors may thus provide an upper and lower possible sea-level at that period with accuracy range of ± 0.5 m. It seems that during the Middle Bronze Age sea-level was at, or close to the present sea-level (Galili et al., 1988).
– Late Bronze Age to Byzantine period (3500 –1500 yr BP): clusters of anchors and heavy objects originating from shipwrecks along the Carmel coast and the entire Israeli Mediterranean coast are found at 3-4 m depth. They indicate that sea-level from the Middle Bronze to the Medieval periods was stable (± 0.5 m) (Fig. 5: 13-16).
Rock-cut installations, such as pools fed with sea water by gravity, quarries and installations for salt production on the Carmel coast are found at elevations that enable functioning at present sea-level (Bushnino and Galili, in press; Galili and Sharvit, 1995; 1997). These rock-cut installations date to 2500-1000 yr BP and support the hypothesis that sea-level was stable (± 0.5 m) during these periods.
The civilizations that developed in the arid climates of the Fertile Crescent are dominated by large rivers-Nile in Egypt and the Tigris and Euphrates in Mesopotamia. In Egypt the regular inundations of the Nile, rising in July until the middle of October, followed by rapid subsidence, permitted a unique horticulture based on basin irrigation (Janick 2002). The system involved a system of dikes to retain the flood and encourage infiltration into the soil. Earthen banks, parallel to the river together with intersecting banks, created a checker board of dike-enclosed areas, between 400 and 1600 ha each. Canals led the water to areas difficult to flood. The flood waters ran through a series of regulated sluices into each basin, flooding the land to a depth of 0.3 to 1.8 m. The water could be held for a month or more; the surplus was drained to a lower level and then returned to canals that emptied into the Nile. The advantage of basin irrigation was that no further irrigation was needed for a winter crop of grain, and the silt, rich in organic matter and phosphates, made fertilization unnecessary.
With fruit tree culture, permanent ponds were an important innovation and the ornamental gardens enclosing ponds testify to their widespread use by the wealthy. In addition, shallow wells, 4 to 35 m in depth, were dug to be replaced later by deeper artesian wells up to 380 m deep. The culture of fruit crops demands constant and controlled irrigation during the spring and summer drought. At first, irrigation was carried out manually with pots dipped in the rivers, carried on the shoulders with yokes, and poured into field channels. By the time of the New Kingdom (1500 to 1100 BCE), the shaduf, a balanced counterpoise, became the irrigating mechanism for gardens. Later, water lifting techniques included Archimedes’ screw, the sakieh or chain of pots, and siphons (Fig. 6).
In Mesopotamia, cultivation in the Tigris-Euphrates flood plain is and always has been dependent on irrigation, and the management of this technology may have been the impetus for the development of nation-states (Pollock 1999). Irrigation started as small-scale projects but eventually increased in complexity and involved centralized control. The creation of state-controlled irrigation led to a strong central authority requiring conscripted service (corvée) for canal maintenance. The Laws of Hammurrabi richly describe a legal system enforced to maintain the integrity of an irrigated agriculture:
§53 If a man neglects to reinforce the embankment of the irrigation canal of his field and does not reinforce its embankment, and then a breach opens in its embankment and allows the water to carry away the common irrigated area, the man in whose embankment the breach opened shall replace the grain whose loss he caused.
§54 If he cannot replace the grain, they shall sell him and his property, and the residents of the common irrigated area whose grain crops the water carried away shall divide the proceeds.
§55 If a man open the branch of the canal of irrigation and negligently allows the water to carry away his neighbor’s field, he shall measure and deliver grain in accordance with his neighbor’s yield.
§56 If a man opens an irrigation gate and releases waters and thereby he allows the water to carry away whatever work has been done in his neighbor’s field he shall measure and deliver 3,000 sila of grain per 18 iku of field.
Because of the braiding character of the Euphrates, short canals, about 1 km in length could be dug from the numerous river channels and managed by local groups (Pollock 1999). The natural flow of the river and overflow resulted in natural levees, and in the process the riverbed was gradually raised until it flowed above the level of the surrounding land. This made it relatively easy to cut irrigation channels through the natural levee and allow the water to flow by gravity to cultivated fields and gardens. The natural levees with their good drainage were prized for fruit tree cultivation, but irrigation required water lifting technology. The natural vegetation of the alluvial plain provided pasturage for sheep and goats; it was once home to game animals such as jackals, lions, gazelles, onagers, and hyenas, as illustrated in the hunting scenes in Babylonian bas reliefs now hunted to extinction. Long-term irrigation, however, led to unintended consequences and today much of the area is a vast salty waste as a result of salinization.
” Proteus, a name tremendous o’er the main,
The delegate of Neptune’s watery reign ”
says Homer; and Virgil further tells us:
” In the Carpathian bottom makes abode
The shepherd of the sea, a prophet and a god;
High o’er the main in watery pomp he rides,
His azure car and finny coursers guides,
Proteus his name.”
He traditionally kept the seals belonging to his father (Neptune’s) herds. To him Telemachus resorted for advice.
When the abyss had not been made, and Eridu had not yet been constructed, it is said that the whole of the lands were water. But when a stream was figured within the firmamental sea, “in that day Eridu was made; E-Sagila was constructed which the god Lugal-Du-Azaga had founded within the abyss”. Two earthly cities were built upon a heavenly model, and the earthly Eridu corresponded to a celestial or divine original. Thus the earliest seats of civilization founded in Babylonia were modelled on cities that were already celestial and therefore considered to be of divine origin In Eridu in a pure place the dark kiskan grows; Its aspect is like lapis lazuli branching out from the apse. In the place where Ea holds sway, in Eridu full of abundance- His abode being in the Underworld, (His) chamber a recess of the goddess Engur- In his pure house is a grove, shadow-extending, into whose midst no man has entered; There are Samas and Tammuz. Between the mouths of the two rivers Are the gods Kahegal and Igibegal, the [genii of Eridu.] That kiskana one has gathered; over the man the incantation of the apsu he has recited; Upon the head of the man possessed he shall place (it). the kis-kanu was imagined to grow in the subterranean fresh-water ocean whence the rivers flow, the home of Enki’ or Ea, son of Engur. Eridu, the name of Ea’s chief cult-city, is employed as a name of the apsu, just as Kutfu (Kutha), the city of Nergal, is a common name of Aralu (Hades), over which Nergal ruled.