Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Was Earth Repopulated After Noah's Flood?

Alice C. Linsley

My grandmother was a brilliant woman.  She read her Bible in Greek and Hebrew and spoke Telegu fluently. She was born in India and lived there for the first 16 years of her life. Her experience of different cultures was considerable and she had a good anthropological sense.  I invite you to read more about her remarkable life here.

My older sister once asked my grandmother if all the peoples of the earth came from Noah's three sons after the flood. Grandmother Linsley expressed her doubt that this was the case.  In doing so, she was not expressing an iota of doubt about the truth of the Bible. She taught an adult Bible class every Sunday for more than 30 years and she believed that the Bible is trustworthy. However, she recognized that some interpretations of Genesis fly against the evidence of globally dispersed populations before, during, and after the time of Noah.

Noah lived approximately 2490-2415 BC, when the Sahara experienced a wet period (Karl W. Butzer 1966). This is the period of the Old Kingdom, a time of great cultural and technological achievement in Egypt. This places Noah and his sons in relatively recent history, not at the dawn of human existence. They ruled over territories during the 7th, 8th and 9th Dynasties in Egypt.

First Intermediate Period
2475-2445 BC: 7th - 8th Dynasties Noah, Shem, Ham, Japheth and Kush

2445–2160 BC: 9th -10th Dynasties Nimrod, Arpachshad, Salah, Eber and Peleg and Joktan

Middle Kingdom
2160-2000 BC: 11th Dynasty Nahor, Terah and Abraham

2000-1788 BC: 12th Dynasty Jacob, Esau, Joseph

These were rulers over the ancient Afro-Asiatic Dominion which extended from Nigeria to India and Anatolia. Noah descendants spread out of Africa. Genesis 10:8-12 tells us that Noah's great grandson Nimrod built an empire in Mesopotamia.  He was one of the sons of Kush. DNA studies have confirmed the Kushite migration out of Africa. However,  human populations were already scattered widely, especially at the more temperate zones. 

Some of those dispersed populations were from earlier migrations out of Africa. MIgrationas out of Africa appear to have occured about 120,000 years ago, 100,000 years ago, and about 70,000 years ago. The Kushite expansion coincided with the spread of the Horite Hebrew religion. In ancient texts they are called 'Apiru, Hapiru, Abru and Habiru. In the proto-Saharan languages p is often replaced by b so Hapiru also appears as Habiru. Both are related from the ancient Akkadian Abru which means priest.

The Hapiru (Akkadian Abrutu - priest caste) served the high kings in their royal shrines and temples. A temple was considered the house—pirû—of the god, so Ha-piru referred to priests who served at the temple or water shrine. In the case of Abraham's people this referred the Horite priests, devotees of Horus, called "son of God." His emblem was the Sun. The ancient Dravidians referred to their east-oriented temples as Opiru, meaning "Sun House."

The word Habiru does not designate a tribal group or ethnicity, but rather a caste of priests who were dispersed among Afro-Arabian and Afro-Asiatic peoples. We know them as Hebrew. Some of these priests were called "tera." Terah is the title of Abraham's father (Gen. 11).

What was happening in Africa before Noah?

The evidence of archaic human industry, religion, ritual burial, and domesticity in Africa, Arabia and China creates a more accurate picture of the earlier populations.

On the Arabian Peninsula, the Qafzeh population was using tools 125,000 years ago at Jebel Faya and burying their dead in red ochre.

Humans were making reed mattresses 77,000 years ago in South Africa. That is where the oldest mattress— made from compacted grasses and leafy plants— was found at the Sibudu Cave site in KwaZulu-Natal (map).  In this same region a stone carving of a python has been found that dates to 70,000 years.

Tsodila Hills of Botswana
Photo credit: S. Coulson
There is the evidence of mining in South Africa between 80,000 to 100,000 years ago. These are major mining operations that included quarries and tunnels. It is estimated that a million kilos of red ocher ore was excavated from several mines. At one mine half a million stone-digging tools were found. The red ocher was ground to power and was used globally to bury rulers. Anthropologists agree that the red ocher symbolized blood. Apparently, it was connected to the people’s hope or expectation that the ruler might rise from the dead and lead his faithful people to immortality.

The Pengtoushan culture thrived along the Yangtze River between BC. 7500–6100, and the Yangshao culture flourished along the central Yellow River between BC. 5000 and 3000. Yangshao nobles wore silk garments. 

About 4000 years before Noah people were using dugouts to navigate the rivers of the Sahara. This is attested by the discovery of an 8000 year old black mohagany dugout in Dufuna in the Upper Yobe valley along the Komadugu Guna River in Northern Nigeria. This region was much wetter at the time that Noah and his sons ruled there.

8000 year old dugout found in the Sahara

Cemetaries were established which reveal ritual burial. Paul Sereno unearthed 10,000 year old skeletons at Gobero in Niger. These were buried on the edge of a paleolake on the northwestern rim of the Chad Basin. The Gobero site is the earliest known cemetery in the Sahara and the skeletons found there indicated that some were at least 6 feet tall.

Gobero skeleton (G3B8) measures 6 feet 6 inches
Photo (c) Mike Hettwer, courtesy Project Exploration

At the time of the Gobero populations (9700-4400 years ago), humans were dispersed globally, and during the time of Noah these populations were not destroyed. Consider the following population estimates by urban center between 2400 and 2200 BC, the time when Noah's flood would have occurred:

Memphis, Egypt - 32,000 inhabitants

Lagash, Iraq - 60,000 inhabitants

Mohenjo-daro, Pakistan - 40,000 inhabitants

Mari, Syria -50,000 inhabitants

Baodun settlements, China - Baodun is the largest settlement, covering an area of about 373 miles. There is no evidence of destruction by flooding though all six Baodun settlements straddled the Min River in central Sichuan province. The Min is a tributary of the upper Yangtze River.

There is no evidence that any of these peoples were wiped out by a worldwide flood   The evidence simply does not support the interpretation that all the peoples of the earth were destroyed in a catastrophic global flood and that the earth was repopulated by Noah's descendants.

As a fascinating side note, the oldest known zoological collection was discovered during excavations at Hierakonpolis or Nekhen on the Nile in 2009. This royal menagerie that dates to 3500 BC and included hippos, hartebeest, elephants, baboons and wildcats. The story of the Proto-Saharan ruler Noah preserving a collection of animals is based on historical reality.


Unknown said...

Ms Linsley

The question is when did the flood of Noah happen?

I want to make a few points.

It is clear that you do biblical and scientific research. Which puzzle me why you are using the biblical timeline in the article to date Noah flood. (Example time of Noah living).

According to scientific research the human population did drop to about 2000 people, thousands of years ago. It is not known what happen to cause this drop. However, it was from these survivng African people that the whole world was populated

No disrespect to your grandmother but during her time people did not have all the scientific information that we have available to us today.

Ms Linsley, you are saying all the people were not destroyed during Noah's Flood punch holes in the flood story.

So I ask you what was the purpose of Noah Flood if everyone was not destroyed? According to the bible it was to destroy all Humans and start over. You cant have it both ways.

PS The people that built the pyramids were of Africans orginial. So you can add that to what the other people were doing. In fact it was when the Hyksos and other came into Egypt (Pyramids had already been built when they arrived) The people in the land of Ham begin to take on lighter skin.

Unknown said...

To make myself clear. My main point is the bible has compressed the history of the world which is over 4 billions years old into a time period of est 5000 yrs which led me to believe.

1. Noah flood happen way over 200,000 years ago.

2 Noah lived around 2500 BC and the flood was just his imagination.

3. Noah flood story is not literally.

Alice C. Linsley said...


The book of Genesis is not about human origins or the whole of world history. It is about the origins of Messianic expectation among Abraham's Nilotic ancestors and Genesis is told from their perspectives.

The flood which Noah experienced took place between about 2500 and 2000 BC. In Noah's time, the Proto-Saharans experienced a prolonged wet period due to monsoons circulating from the Indian Ocean. This has been confirmed by the research of Karl W. Butzer. He now teaches at the University of Texas, Austin. He is a world recognized expert on ancient Nilotic civilizations.

Noah lived in the region of Bor-Nu (Land of Noah) near Lake Chad. This is the only place on Earth that claims to be Noah's homeland. Satellite photographs reveal that Lake Mega-Chad was once a huge body of water, five times the surface area of Lake Superior and with a depth ranging from 200 to 600 feet. This part of Africa was much wetter during the Holocene due to climate cycles and the African rifts that created great watersheds or troughs. It experienced another briefer wet period during the time that Noah lived there.

During this wet period, the major water systems from the Benue Trough to the Tigris-Euphrates overflowed, creating a vast watery world. This was the world that Noah knew, so from his perspective the whole world was flooded.

Then, as today, catastrophic events were regarded as "acts of God" and divine judgment.

"No disrespect to your grandmother but during her time people did not have all the scientific information that we have available to us today."

I'm sure she would not take this as disrespectful. :)

Today we have the linguistic, anthropological, DNA, archaeological and climate studies to confirm the biblical account. This blog is all about that!

Unknown said...

Ms Linsley

Thank you for your reply to my comments.

Your explanation of the flood story makes a lot of sense. However, it is a long way from the flood story written in the bible.

Given, that it is written in the bible that "from one blood comes many nations" and today DNA has proven this to be true. It may be that the Noah flood story was a way to allegory show what some Scientists are saying about at one point the human populations was near extinction, but a few strong people held on for the survivial of the human race. (Just a thought).

One again thank you and I enjoy reading your blog.

Alice C. Linsley said...


I would be interested to see the DNA studies that show that all the peoples of the earth come from "one blood." Please cite your sources.

Different peoples come from Noah and his Kushites descendants. This has been verified by DNA studies that prove the Kushite expansion mentioned in Gen. 10. However, we don't know how all the peoples are related. As far as I know, no DNA studies have linked all the archaic populations as "one blood." Some are still debating whether of not the Lucy and her community were even human.

Among modern humans the Ainu have been identified at the center of Cavalli-Sforza's genetic distance chart. They originated in the Nile and migrated as far as Japan. See:

Unknown said...

Right off hand SPENCER WELLS. Wells is a geneticist and anthropologist, an Explorer-in-Residence at the National Geographic Society, and Frank H.T. Rhodes Class of '56 Professor at Cornell University. He leads The Genographic Project.

Mr Wells is just one of many that have been doing this research.

Spencer Wells Documentary "A Journey of Man.

Also his paperback A journey of man A genetic odyssey

"Around 60,000 years ago, a man—genetically identical to us—lived in Africa. Every person alive today is descended from him. How did this real-life Adam wind up as the father of us all? What happened to the descendants of other men who lived at the same time? And why, if modern humans share a single prehistoric ancestor, do we come in so many sizes, shapes, and races?"
Spencer Wells from Amazon book site

Also information google "Mitchondrial Eve" that goes back even farther than 60,000years
According to some scientists all female alive today are descentants from one African woman.

There are many others but Spencer Wells is a good source to start.

This is not new this information has been out for years and written about.

Alice C. Linsley said...


The MT-DNA of modern humans is much older than 60,000 years. The Y-chromosome is not as old because it can become extinct, which is what apparently happened. From a biblical perspective this would be expected if by Adam's sin came death to his line.

A maternal ancestor to all living humans called "Mitochondrial Eve" lived about 200,000 years ago, at roughly the same time anatomically modern humans are believed to have emerged.

This conclusion is based on analyses of mitochondrial DNA. Found in the energy-producing centers of cells, mitochondrial DNA is passed down the maternal line, and can be traced back to one woman.

However, this doesn't mean she was the first modern woman, rather it indicates that only her descendants survive to the present day.

"There is always some other female that predated mitochondrial Eve, whose DNA didn't make it up to modernity," said Marek Kimmel, a professor of statistics at Rice University. "So the age of the mitochondrial Eve is always less than the age of the true, first female modern human."

Unknown said...

Thanks again Ms Linsley for your reply.

I have been on the internet over a year trying to read and gather information for a better understanding of the bible and a study of human origin.

I came across your site after doing a google search. (Cant remember exactly what I typed in).

You have an excellent site full of good information.

Alice C. Linsley said...

Thank you, Dee. I've been researching Genesis for over 30 years and I hope to share some of what I have learned through this blog.

Have you checked out the INDEX?

John said...

I see that this is an older thread but I am hoping you will still respond to comments and questions.

It seems to me that you accept evolution as you write of pre-modern humans. Where do you insert God into the creation of mankind? If you believe in a soul at what point was it inserted into hominids in your opinion?

I would have a million questions for someone who like you who is a serious, knowledgeable scholar and still believes in what seems to me a fairy tale.

Thanks in advance. John

Alice C. Linsley said...


I do not accept all aspects of Darwinian evolution. When I speak of "archaic humans" I am not suggesting that these were less than human or part of a branch of human evolution. There has been no change in essense of humanity, only flux or change in form. This can be explained by adaptation. God created all species with the potential to adapt to changing environments in order to survive. Archaic humans had the same essence as humans today. That would include having been created by God and having a soul/spirit.

John said...

Thanks for the response and clarification Alice.
Have a good one.

Anonymous said...

Hi, whether you are a scholar or a true child of God, the facts are in the Bible which is a book of facts and prophesies. In Genesis 8:15 Then God said to Noah, "Come out of the ark you and your wife and your sons and their wives. In Genesis 9:1 God blessed Noah and his sons saying to them to be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth. Gods words are powerful and true. Said the same in Genesis 9:7(repeating what he said in 9:1. From 9:18-19 Noah's 3 sons populated the earth quickly with theirs wives of course. Maybe incest, but not our time as it is today. They populated the nations. Sons of sons of sons and so on. Genesis 10:1-32. Genesis 10:32 These are the clans of Noah's sons, according to their lines of descent within their nations. From these the nations spread out over the entire earth after the flood. All Biblical, so very possible and true. God Bless You

BibleGeorge said...

Hi Alice,

I hope I can still comment on this old thread.
My question is in regards to your post:
"Noah lived in the region of Bor-Nu (Land of Noah) near Lake Chad. This is the only place on Earth that claims to be Noah's homeland."
You mention that is place is in Africa.

My question is: How could Noah's flood have taken place in Africa if the Bible states that the ark landed on Mount Ararat (Turkey)?

Alice C. Linsley said...

Borno is in the region of Lake Chad. This is also the homeland of Kain, Seth, Enoch, Lamech, Methuselah, etc. Abraham's ancestors were Nilo-Saharans, and are sometimes called "Kushites" because they were descendants of Noah by his grandson Kush (Cush) - Genesis 10.

Ararat is a mountain chain in Turkey. Because of the Gilgamesh Epic translators assumed that Noah's ship came to rest in that region. The word in Genesis is Har-arat, and is an Arabic word. Har-arat means Mount of Vehemence, a reference to the intensity of divine judgment. This fits the story. God was vehement about the corruption on earth.

Alice C. Linsley said...

We discuss these matters in greater depth at the international Facebook forum The Bible and Anthropology.