Lost Civilization of the Persian Gulf

Anyone familiar with my postingsand with work on the rise of the sea level coincident with the dissolution ofthe northern Ice Age knows that the Persian Gulfwas hugely inundated.

This work has pieced together theground evidence and notes the abrupt emergence of ‘coastal’ communities at thesame time some 8000 years ago.  It isnatural to conclude that a large settled population was driven out and duringthe period in which the massive melt water sea collapsed rather abruptly bysudden flooding.

All this is presaged in biblicalaccounts that speak to us from the late Bronze Age, even though the finalsubmergence took place around 8,000 years ago by this reckoning.

A more important observation isthat the Persian Gulf can actually be sealed off and slowly drained to restorea premium agricultural region the size of Britain.  The choke point at the Strait of Hormuz is around 60 kilometers across and the depth does notexceed ninety meters or around three hundred feet.
The sea evaporates more water thanit receives by way of its river systems and actually produces a brine outflowwhile receiving replenishment from the Indian Ocean.

Actual damming with massiveearthen dams is quite practical and should be done with two widely separateddams to provide an internal hydraulic lock that naturally prevents anyundermining and connection.  This couldbe progressively filled to sea level and plausibly occupied with a mangroveswamp to completely stabilize the blockage of the strait.  This is a huge undertaking but that is nowwithin our capacity.

The actual PersianSea will then begin to decline quiterapidly opening up fresh sea bed every year that can be progressively wateredby irrigation of the available riverine waers and perhaps new flows caused byapplication of the ‘Eden’machine that I have posted on in the past.

I would do one other thing in thiscase and that is to pump deep brine out of the sea into the Indian Ocean.   In this manner wewill not have a remnant dead sea that is impossible to work with.  Once the entire sea has been stabilized at alevel in which evaporation matches actual fresh water inflow then suchextraction will become fairly minor in order to maintain sweetness.  The remnant sea should be rather small sincemost of the river water will feed irrigation and its natural evaporation.
What can be created is a naturallyenclosed basin that is never bothered by severe weather and is an optimalgrowing environment for high yield agriculture, not unlike the Great Valley.

LostCivilization May Have Existed Beneath the Persian Gulf
Jeanna Bryner LiveScienceManaging Editor

– Fri Dec 10

Veiled beneath the Persian Gulf, a once-fertilelandmass may have supported some of the earliest humans outside Africa some 75,000 to 100,000 years ago, a new review ofresearch suggests.

At its peak, the floodplain now below the Gulfwould have been about the size of Great Britain, and then shrank aswater began to flood the area. Then, about 8,000 years ago, the land would havebeen swallowed up by the Indian Ocean, thereview scientist said.

The study, which is detailed in the December issueof the journal Current Anthropology, has broad implications for aspects ofhuman history. For instance, scientists have debated over when early modern humans exited Africa, with datesas early as 125,000 years ago and as recent as 60,000 years ago (the morerecent date is the currently accepted paradigm), according to study researcher JeffreyRose, an archaeologist at the University of Birmingham in the U.K.

"I think Jeff's theory is bold and imaginative,and hopefully will shake things up," Robert Carter of Oxford BrookesUniversity in the U.K. told LiveScience. "Itwould completely rewrite our understanding of the out-of-Africa migration. Itis far from proven, but Jeff and others will be developing research programs to test the theory."

Viktor Cerny of the Archaeogenetics Laboratory,the Institute of Archaeology, in Prague, called Rose's finding an"excellent theory," in an e-mail to LiveScience, though he alsopoints out the need for more research to confirm it.

The findings have sparked discussion amongresearchers, including Carter and Cerny, who were allowed to provide commentswithin the research paper, about who exactly the humans were who occupied theGulf basin.

"Given the presence of Neanderthalcommunities in the upper reaches of the Tigris and Euphrates River, as well asin the eastern Mediterranean region, this may very well have been the contactzone between moderns and Neanderthals," Rose told LiveScience. In fact,recent evidence from the sequencing of the Neanderthal genome suggestsinterbreeding, meaning we are part caveman.

Watery refuge

The Gulf Oasis would have been a shallow inlandbasin exposed from about 75,000 years ago until 8,000 years ago, forming thesouthern tip of the Fertile Crescent, according to historicalsea-level records.

And it would have been an ideal refuge from theharsh deserts surrounding it, with fresh water supplied by the Tigris,Euphrates, Karun and Wadi Baton Rivers, as well as by upwelling springs, Rosesaid. And during the last ice age when conditions were at their driest, thisbasin would've been at its largest.

In fact, in recent years, archaeologists have turnedup evidence of a wave of human settlements along the shores of the Gulf datingto about 7,500 years ago.

"Where before there had been but a handful ofscattered hunting camps, suddenly, over 60 new archaeological sites appearvirtually overnight," Rose said. "These settlements boast well-built,permanent stone houses, long-distance trade networks, elaborately decoratedpottery, domesticated animals, and even evidence for one of the oldest boats inthe world."

Rather than quickly evolving settlements, Rosethinks precursor populations did exist but have remained hidden beneath theGulf.

"Perhaps it is no coincidence that thefounding of such remarkably well developed communities along the shorelinecorresponds with the flooding of the Persian Gulfbasin around 8,000 years ago," Rose said. "These new colonists mayhave come from the heart of the Gulf, displaced by rising water levels thatplunged the once fertile landscape beneath the waters of the Indian Ocean."

Ironclad case?

The most definitive evidence of these human campsin the Gulf comes from a new archaeological site called Jebel Faya 1 within theGulf basin that was discovered four years ago. There, Hans-Peter Uerpmann ofthe University of Tubingen in Germany found three differentPaleolithic settlements occurring from about 125,000 to 25,000 years ago. Thatand other archaeological sites, Rose said, indicate "that early humangroups were living around the Gulf basin throughout the Late Pleistocene."

To make an ironclad case for such human occupationduring the Paleolithic, or early Stone Age, of the now-submerged landmass, Rose said scientistswould need to find any evidence of stone tools scattered under the Gulf."As for the Neolithic, it would be wonderful to find some evidence forhuman-built structures," dated to that time period in the Gulf, Rose said.

Carter said in order to make for a solid case,"we would need to find a submerged site, and excavate it underwater. Thiswould likely only happen as the culmination of years of survey in carefullyselected areas."

Cerny said a sealed-tight case could be made with"some fossils of the anatomically modern humans some 100,000 years oldfound in South Arabia."

And there's a hint of mythology here, too, Rosepointed out. "Nearly every civilization living in southern Mesopotamia has told some form of the flood myth. Whilethe names might change, the content and structure are consistent from 2,500B.C. to the Genesis account to the Qur'anic version," Rose said.

Perhaps evidence beneath the Gulf? "If itlooks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, we have at least to consider thepossibility that we have a small aquatic bird of the family Anatidae on ourhands," said Rose, quoting Douglas Adams.

From Wikipedia

This inland sea of some251,000 km² is connected to the Gulf of Oman in theeast by the Strait of Hormuz; and its western end ismarked by the major river delta of the Shatt al-Arab, which carries the waters of the Euphrates and the Tigris. Its length is 989 kilometres, with Irancoveringmost of the northern coast and Saudi Arabia most ofthe southern coast. The Persian Gulf is about 56 kilometres wide at itsnarrowest, in the Strait of Hormuz. The waters are overall veryshallow, with a maximum depth of 90 metres and an average depth of 50 metres.

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