The great flood in China is considered to be the greatest cataclysm on Earth which happened for the last 10,000 years and scientists might have found the evidence of it on the banks of the Yellow River in northwest China’s Qinghai province.
There was always a debate going on between the scientists as for this flood to be a myth, a part of the story to highlight the legitimacy of China’s dynasty or no, and the disaster which happened 4000 years ago might actually match the Great Flood described in Chinese legends.
The recent findings were immediately published in the journal Science and include the scope of the flood, that can hardly be described. According to the scientists, the wall of the water should have been 427 feet high, which equals one third of the height of the Empire State building, and burst into a natural dam in the Jishi Gorge, rushing down with a speed of 300, 000-500, 000 cubic meters per second. Once the dam broke, the Yellow River rose 125 feet above its normal level.
This kind of flood can’t be compared basically with nothing, and is 500 times larger than any flood we might expect to happen on the Yellow River from a massive rainfall.
The research was done by Wu Qinglong, a professor of geography at Nanjing University and mapped certain flood sediments along both sides of the river and even outlined the scenario of the disaster. Scientists think that it could be an earthquake to trigger the massive rock slide which dammed the river and within six to nine months, the lake was filling up behind the 600 foot high dam. Once this dam overtopped and failed, the flood took place.
With such a speed water inundated Neolithic villages like Lajia, which was called Asian Pompeii. But before the flood the village was ruined by the earthquake, the same one that caused the flood. Archaeologists have discovered bodies and artifacts frozen in time, like the world’s oldest bowl of noodles.
This flood could be actually the one Yellow River Flood described in Chinese sources, such as the Book of Documents and the Record of the Grand Historian. According to the legends, the legendary hero, Yu the Great has got a divine mandate allowing him to tame the flood waters. Yu has established the Xia dynasty, the purported first dynasty of China and managed to bring political order out of the chaos left after the natural disaster. But the reliability of these sources has been many times debated as some of these stories are clearly legendary.
But if the real flood we are talking about now is truly the Great Flood of those ancient legends, then the Xia dynasty has been established more recently that it was believed. It has been dated to 2200 BCE, and sometimes even 2700 BCE, but basing on the found skeletons of the children buried under the house remains during the earthquake at Lajia, then the flood might have taken place around 1920 BCE. It is also a time of the Bronze Age in China.
Such discoveries are a great example of showing how some legends turn into truth.