The Euphrates River winds for 1740 miles from the mountains of Ararat to the Persian Gulf. While the mountainous plateau of eastern Turkey creates a formidable barrier to travel, two major rivers, the Euphrates to the south and west and the Aras to the north and east, would have provided the perfect escape routes to more hospitable lands. Could God have selected a more fortuitous landing spot than the Kagizman Range, only a few miles from mountain streams leading in both directions? Consider the western route and how it aligns with archeology.
The oldest settlements lie along the Euphrates in the piedmont area called the Fertile Crescent. Only rafts would be needed to float down the river with animals and supplies, and the builders of the great Ark would have had no difficulty managing that feat. At 5 miles per hour, they could have attained the Fertile Crescent in ten days, without needing to do extensive exploration. After about 500 miles of floating, they would have encountered the inviting, well-water plain leading to the famous Karacadag. (see map)
Everyone in archeology has been taught that agriculture began on the “hilly flanks” of Mount Karaca, aka Karacadag. This pivotal event was established in 2006, when the German Max Plank Institute determined that the oldest strain of wheat is still growing there. We can be reasonably sure that the Ark landed in the Kagizman Mountain Range and that farming began on Karacadag. Now, simply from geography, we understand that they could have both happened in the same year. This stands in stark contrast to the academic position that the transition from cave men to farming, that is, the domestication of wheat, took thousands of year. Really? Thousands of years?
One of the most famous early settlements on the Euphrates River is Nevali Cori. The model shown above depicts this small hamlet with sturdy, rectangular brick buildings. Actually, 23 shotgun houses have been uncovered, but that includes five different strata. One feature of the long multi-room houses is a type of stone pier foundation that included crawl spaces, which matches buildings at Cayonu. (see drawing below) One larger building had a terrazzo floor with lime cement. Lime ash was used for flooring in England from the 15th to 19th century. Lime was cooked in wood-fired lime ovens. Terrazzo usually has chips of marble or granite set in the lime cement and smoothed for a sturdy and beautiful finish. I’m actually very impressed by the care giving to building technics at this early time. Similar work was found at Cayonu and Gobekli Tepe.
Other traits were shared between settlements in this area. Local limestone was carved into statues, sculptures, and reliefs. Animals and people were the subjects. Some items were heated to 1000° Fahrenheit. Most remarkable were stone pillars that were built into the wall of the largest building, with two ten-foot-tall free-standing stone pillars in the middle. This style is freakishly similar to the rings of pillars at Gobekli Tepe. Gobekli Tepe, which is only 26 miles away, looks like Stonehenge but is much older, with stone pillars weighing between 20 and 60 tons. Mysterious pillars were also found at nine other locations. Such similarities indicate strong ties between the small family groups around the region.
160 and 180 miles further down the Euphrates River, Mureybet and Abu Hureyra have been found to be key links to the Levant, which we know as Canaan. Mureybet began as a temporary campsite with just a cooking hearth. Abu Hureyra had round huts. Both are linked to what is called the Natufian culture. We can easily imagine that as families grew, they migrated quickly south into Canaan as explorers and migrating hunters, continuing down into Egypt. (see below) We definitely see a strong migration west to Turkey, Cyprus, Crete, and Greece, and east toward the Balikh, Khabur, and Tigris Rivers.
Although secular and Biblical archeologists agree that civilization eventually migrated out of the Near East, they disagree on the origin of humans. The global flood seems like a myth. Yet to Biblicists, animals turning into people seems like a myth. So let’s continue to expand the Biblical narrative, especially since the facts support the Bible so well.
We’ve seen how Noah, Shem, and Japheth could have gone west from Kagizman on the Euphrates River. Next week, let’s see how Ham could have gone east on the Aras River.