Damien Mackey has a Flood Problem.
On the one hand, he is or claims to be a Biblical inerrantist. This means a purely Mesopotamian Flood - which would not have covered mountains around Mesopotamia, which would not have landed any Ark on the Mountains of Ararat - won't do. It has to be greater.
On ther other hand, he thinks that Neolithic (as dug up by archaeology) and Bronze Age (as dug up by archaeology) meet when Tubal-Cain invented bronze; this implies that Tubal-Cain was alive around a time which carbon dates to 5000-4000 BC (or the carbon dated age of beginnings of Bronze Age around Uruk).
But a Flood after this archaeological limit - I should underline, not the actual year 5000 BC, but after the carbon dated year 5000 BC - would be indeed a fairly shallow Mesopotamian one : it would be the Flood corresponding to the Mesopotamian Flood layer. The one advanced by minimalising Biblical apologetics in Und die Bibel hat doch recht (1955, Werner Keller).
Excavations in Iraq have revealed evidence of localized flooding at Shuruppak (modern Tell Fara, Iraq) and various other Sumerian cities. A layer of riverine sediments, radiocarbon dated to about 2900 BC, interrupts the continuity of settlement, extending as far north as the city of Kish, which took over hegemony after the flood. Polychrome pottery from the Jemdet Nasr period (3000–2900 BC) was discovered immediately below the Shuruppak flood stratum.
Obviously the Shuruppak flooding dated to end of Uruk period is not what Damien Mackey is looking for.
So, how did Damien Mackey come to this conundrum?
- 1.) He rightly believes that the Four Rivers of Paradise have been correctly identified after the Flood.
Specifically Frat and Hiddekel as Euphrates and Tigris (Douay Rheims gives the modern names straight off).
He thinks that "if the Flood had been global, this could not have happened". The layers of fossils being too thick would have covered all pre-Flood landmarks.
- 2.) He thinks that if Noah was historical, he can't have been prehistoric. Definitions of the one exclude those of the other.
- 3.) He thinks Noah was no Neanderthal.
I agree for racial reasons with that last point. Our genome is at present not very Neanderthalian. Cuozzo's estimate they are simply modern humans who lived longer (if I got him correctly) was made before th sequencing of the Neanderthal genome. After this sequencing by Svante Pääbo, Neanderthals were not just "modern humans" that had lived longer than we. Their genes even don't seem quite ideal for the long life-spans in Noah's line.
So, how do I solve these conundrums?
First, I answer, before any resolution of specific difficulties that Noah's Flood was indeed world wide.
Then, I think Noah had an inlaw, a daughter in law, who was half or perhaps quarter Neanderthal.
I also think that carbon 14 level in atmosphere was around 3.9% of present level or lower.
I also think that the sedimentation and abrasion events during the Flood year took an uneven toll of landmarks. Parts of the riverbeds were riverbeds again after the Flood, parts of them weren't.
Whether you take, first the common standard being Frat and Hiddekel = Euphrates and Tigris, but then whether you take Phison and Gehon as Nile and Ganges, or as Nile and Syr-Daria and Amu-Daria, or as Nile and Danube, or as Nile and Blue Nile ... all of these correctly identified riverse do not flow from one single river now, nor even in the same direction. Something has certainly been covered. Probably some rivers now flow in reverse direction in ancient river beds.
On my diagram, I was conservative in making this reversal of river beds only for Danube. The stretch which now flows from Alps to the Black Sea would in pre-Flood probably have flown from the river which broadened to Black Sea to a sea shore which rose into the Alps (there is a whale in Linz and a seal in Nussdorf near Vienna - they are considered Tertiary, and I consider them as pre-Flood).
I considered that river 3 went south through what is now Red Sea and then North in the Nile. I could instead have given it a divide, main branch south into the land of Hevilath through what is Nile and a side branch flowing West through what is now the Mediterranean. In that case the Nile would also have been reversed direction of river bed. Or suppose Nile flowed directly from a place in the South along with the rest, then Euphrates and Tigris would be now reversing the direction, N-S instead of S-N.
For the second point, Noah is not pre-historic, since he is either already writing or at least orally transmitting a reliable record. But this does not mean he can't have been datable (if we found his bones) to dates considered as prehistoric.
And, for the third point, I consider that Neanderthals were living in ways which Noah could foresee, either humanly or by divine inspiration, involved skills which would be useful for the post-Flood situation.
Hence, one maid whose mother was Sethite or Cainite (either way "modern human" except for longer lifespan) but whose father was Neanderthal was chosen as one of the wives for his sons, probably Japheth's wife.
Then, after the Flood, the stone-age skills she had or which her father transmitted to the Noah family (he could be the man of Tabun?), became useful. It took some centuries of "Late Palaeolithic" to get things in order so agriculture and metallurgy became again possible. Neolithic is the rediscovery of agriculture (there were never any pre-agricultural days before Adam) and Bronze Age is the rediscovery of metallurgy.
And I think this answers all of his points, which I will now try to summarise:
- 1.) Riverbeds are only partially recovered and sometimes reversed. This is because there was a post-Flood covering and a post-Flood landraising in parts;
- 2.) Neanderthals were one race living before the Flood, they were not all of mankind (so Noah would not have been a Neanderthal), and not necessarily of Nephelim stock (though they could be that too, but if so probably less Nephelim and more pure-human than the Kauravas of the Cainite cousinicidal war mirrored as Mahabharata);
- 3.) The limit between stone age and bronze age as defined by archaeology marks a post-Flood rediscovery of the resources. As the Neolithic somewhat earlier marks a post-Flood resuming of agriculture (probably after some trial and error for selection of best suited post-Flood grains).
The pre-Flood (as I presume) Mousterian culture was probably continuing the early Adamite custom of stone tools, probably also discontinuiing the early Adamite customs of agriculture and shepherding. And if you realise that the European coordinates of the Crust of the Earth also included biotopes of Permian Biarmosuchi or Triassic Dimetrodontes, you might realise that mobility not tied down to either fields or herds would have been an advantage then and there.
The Aurignacian, Gravettian cultures are associated with the arrival of modern European populations and are therefore post-Flood, as well as obviously the Magdalenian.
As obviously, if carbon 14 levels were rising rapidly, this is shadowed by a stretching out of real time scale into the fantastic one of the carbon dates.
Hans Georg Lundahl
Conversion of St Paul