Monday, July 24, 2017

The Historicity of Noah's Flood

Alice C. Linsley

The historicity of the flood in Genesis is highly probably once we determine when and where Noah lived, using the data of Scripture. One of Noah's grandsons is called "Kush" (Gen. 10) which is also a place name associated with the Nile Valley. This is a clue that Noah lived in Africa, not the Middle East.

Noah lived c. 4200 BC, at a time when the water systems of Central Africa were larger. There was a seaway through the Sahara, and the Benue Trough connected to Lake Chad and to rivers and lakes of the east which in turn connected to the Nile.

Analysis of the kinship pattern of the rulers listed in Genesis chapters 4, 5, 10, 11, 25 and 36 reveals that these rulers have a common ancestry. This is because the Hebrew ruler-priests were a caste and typical of caste, they took the marriage partners from members of the caste (caste endogamy).

The Hebrew ruling lines intermarried. In the diagram below, the intermarriage of the lines of Ham and Shem is evident. Cain's daughter married her cousin and named their firstborn sone Kenan, after her father. Irad's daughter married her cousin and named their firstborn son Jared/Yared/Irad, after her father. Consistent with the cousin bride's naming prerogative, Lamech's daughter, Naamah, named her firstborn son Lamech, after her father.

Genesis 10:8 tells us that Nimrod was a Kushite kingdom builder who established his territory in Mesopotamia. He married a cousin, a Hebrew princess of Sumeria who named their firstborn son Asshur after her father. Abraham is one of Nimrod's descendants. Nimrod was one of Noah's great grandsons. This is a clue that Noah was not Mesopotamian. His homeland was in Africa.

This identical pattern of intermarry (endogamy) is evident between the lines of Cain and Seth. In the diagram below, note that Lamech, a descendant of Cain, had two wives. By his wife Zillah, he had a daughter named Naamah. Naamah married her patrilineal cousin Methuselah. Methuselah is a descendant of Seth. Naamah named her first born son Lamech, after her father. Lamech the Younger is the great grandfather of Noah.

We may logically wonder if Noah might have lived in the Nile Valley (Kush) or perhaps in the region of Lake Chad which connected to the Nile in the period of the African Aqualithic.

The region of Lake Chad was called Borno or Benue, meaning "Land of Noah." Even today the natives of that region consider it to be Noah's homeland. The local Kanuri people call Lake Chad Buhar Nuhu, meaning "Sea of Noah." This is the only place on earth that is claimed by the native population to be Noah's homeland. Since Abraham's early ancestors (4200 BC and before) came out of Africa this should not surprise us.

The Lake Chad Basin is relatively flat and prone to monsoonal flooding. It is ringed by mountains from which water drained into the Basin. The Chad River Basin is shown in this map outlined in red.

At the time Noah lived, the Sahara was much wetter. There was an extensive system of interconnected lakes and rivers. The western Nile watershed extended well into the Sudan. Hydrological studies indicate many periods of flooding from the Nile to the Atlantic coast of Nigeria. Noah lived in the region of Lake Chad. The gray shaded areas show the ancient water ways in the African Sheer Zone.

There was an abundance of reeds. According to Genesis 6:14, Noah's ark was constructed of גפר (gofer/gopher), which is the word used to describe the basket in which Moses floated on the Nile. In other words, the ark was constructed of reeds. The hollow reeds were extremely buoyant. Such vessels are still constructed by the marsh Arabs of Iraq and East Africans.

There is a great deal of evidence that boats were once prevalent in the Sahara. The black mahogany Dufuna dugout (shown below) was found in the Sudan buried 16 feet under clays and sands whose alternating sequence showed evidence of deposition in standing and flowing water. The dugout is 8000 years old. By comparison, Egypt's oldest boat is only about 5000 years old. Peter Breunig (University of Frankfurt, Germany) has written this description of the Dufuna boat: “The bow and stern are both carefully worked to points, giving the boat a notably more elegant form”, compared to “the dugout made of conifer wood from Pesse in the Netherlands, whose blunt ends and thick sides seem crude”. Judging by stylistic sophistication, Breunig reasons that, “It is highly probable that the Dufuna boat does not represent the beginning of a tradition, but had already undergone a long development, and that the origins of water transport in Africa lie even further back in time.”

Boats appear on prehistoric rock paintings in the Sahara. Many show people transporting long horn cows by boat. The Proto-Saharan were cattle-herding. Here are examples of the sickle, incurved sickle, square, incurved square, and flared boat types found on the prehistoric rock art of the Central Eastern Desert of Egypt.

The historicity of Noah’s concern for animals is supported by the discovery that Proto-Saharan rulers kept royal menageries of exotic animals. The oldest known zoological collection was found during the 2009 excavations at the shrine city of Nekhen on the Nile. The royal menagerie dates to about 3500 BC and included hippos, elephants, baboons and wildcats. Noah would have known about the shrine city of Nekhen. It was one of the earliest worship centers for the Horite Hebrew. This painting was found on the wall of a tomb in Nehken.

At Nekhen archaeologists discovered a mummified ruler with red hair and a red beard. Although most of the hair found in the graves at Nekhen was of a dark brown color, natural red hair was discovered in association with the male in Burial no. 79. (Nekhen News, page 8)

Noah and his descendants appear to be in Y-DNA Haplogroup R1b. The R1 rulers were the "mighty men of old" who dispersed into southern Europe, the Tarim Valley of China, and eventually into the British Isles. About 70% of native British men are in Haplogroup R1b. The dark red spot in Central Africa is Noah's homeland near Lake Chad.

Populations of the Lake Chad region before Noah

The oldest known cemetery in the Sahara dates to 7500 B.C., about 3500 years before the time of biblical Noah. The material evidence indicates a settled population at the edge of a very large lake or trough, possibly Lake Mega-Chad which connected to the Benue Trough.

The initial discovery was made by National Geographic photographer Mike Hettwer in 2000, and the excavation work was led by University of Chicago archaeologist, Paul C. Sereno, famous for his discovery of dinosaurs.

About 7500 B.C., at the time that this graveyard was used, Lake Chad had an area of about 249,000 miles. It is likely that the graveyard that Paul Sereno uncovered was originally at the edge of Lake Mega-Chad.

According to a recent report about the cemetery site, "The burial density, tool kit, ceramics, and midden fauna suggest a largely sedentary population with a subsistence economy based on fishing and on hunting of a range of savanna vertebrates."

This Gobero skeleton measures 6 feet.
Photo (c) Mike Hettwer, courtesy Project Exploration

According to Sereno, the Early Holocene people left when it became arid, but the area was repopulated by a taller people around 4600 B.C. when humid conditions returned. That is the time of Noah whose descendants are described as tall in the Bible.

The region was much wetter than today and the inhabitants of the area experienced flooding. There was flooding on and off over a long period, and wet conditions prevailed from 7700-6200 (phase 2).

Sereno states, "The darkened bone color of all human skeletons in phase 2 burials is indicative of sustained inundation." (Read about Sereno's findings here.)

Another wet period corresponds to the time that Noah would have lived in the region of Lake Chad, between 4200 and 3800 B.C.


Father-Son Light said...

I am always amazed at your work.
How I wish just a few Nigerians and Sub-Saharan people will wake up to study these things.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Thanks Alice.I can say that i always enjoy reading along through your research.Really appreciate the amount of work you put into it

Susan Preston said...

Alice, your list of Abraham's ancestors has him coming from the line of Ham. Unless I am reading it wrongly, the Bible has him descended from Shem.
Am I reading your chart correctly?

Alice C. Linsley said...

Abraham's ancestors were a ruler-priest caste. They practiced endogamy. Abraham is descendant of both Shem and Ham, as their lines intermarried.

See this: