The great Biblical flood described in Genesis has long been a subject of speculation. The dream of proving the Bible as literal truth has been irresistible, producing both spurious claims and serious scholarship.
As bestselling historian Ian Wilson reveals in this fascinating book, evidence of a catastrophic event has been building steadily, culminating in the work of William Ryan and Walter Pitman. Their research has shown that around 5600 B.C. there was an inundation in the Black Sea of such proportions that it turned that freshwater lake into a saltwater lake by connecting it to the Mediterranean. There was a flood, and whether caused by God's wrath or not, it destroyed everything around it for hundreds of miles, killing tens of thousands of people.
Exploring all the archeological evidence, Wilson explains how the Black Sea flood and the biblical flood have to be connected. In particular, Wilson argues, learnedly and persuasively, that the center of the civilized world was farther to the west than previously thought—not in Egypt or Mesopotamia but in what is today northern Turkey.
Scrupulous in its details and compelling in its sweep, Before the Flood is narrative detective history at its most provocative, contributing a vital new chapter to the debate about the Bible and origins of the modern world.