Storytelling is one of the greatest gifts given to mankind. Through stories, we are able to share information, entertain audiences, stir emotions, inspire action, and preserve moments. As children, we enjoyed listening to stories told to us by our parents. And as adults, we are able to craft our own narratives.
Today, there are many ancient stories for us to get lost into. There are ancient legends that continue to capture the imagination of many – legends that may have actually been inspired by real events. Read about them below.
1. The Great Flood
Researchers believe that this biblical tale, along with the Epic of Gilgamesh, were inspired by real events. The two stories are quite similar. In the Mesopotamian saga that dates back to 7th century BCE, the gods conspired to create a great flood to destroy the world. One of the gods told a man named Utu-napishtim to build a boat to save himself and his family, along with a selection of animals.
According to geological records, around 11,500 years ago, toward the end of the last glacial maximum, the Black Sea was starved of its glacier meltwater source. The Black Sea dried up, while the Mediterranean Basin was refilled with seawater from the Atlantic Ocean. Eventually, the Mediterranean Sea overflowed into the Black Sea, which caused the sediment barrier between the two to become like a waterfall 200 times the volume of the Niagara Falls. Some believe this inspired the story of the Great Flood.
There’s another theory, though. A recent study confirmed that the worst flood of the last 10 millennia happened along the Yellow River at the exact date referenced in ancient texts. Archaeological evidence also suggests that the mythical first line of monarchs in China – the Xia dynasty – may have been real.
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