If Vietnam has the legend of Son Tinh – Thuy Tinh to portray human efforts in overcoming floods, the Chinese people also have a similar legend about Ha Vu Tri Thuy.
According to Chronicles of Sima Qian, the country of China more than 2,200 years BC was placed under the rule of King Nghieu. During this time, a great flood occurred and covered the whole country. No part of China escaped.
“Like an endless stream of boiling water, the flood poured down destructively, it even threatened the heavens.“, the Book of Chronicles.
In the midst of this era, a prince named Con was tasked with protecting people from flood waters. His strategy was to build large dams to block the flow of water. Unfortunately, human strength has not won against heaven. The dams are effective in the short term, but are overwhelmed by floodwaters later.
After 9 years, whatever will come, Con’s dam is broken, creating a very terrible cataclysm in history. King Nghieu then condemned and executed Con, leaving a country of China to remain submerged in water.
Many people believe that this great cataclysm is just a Chinese fiction associated with the reign of King Yao – apparently also a legendary king when Chronicles of Sima Qian wrote that he lived to be 120 years old and ruled. his dynasty for 100 years.
But a 2016 study published in Science found: While King Yao may be a fictional figure, the cataclysm 4,000 years ago in China is likely a historical fact.
The biggest cataclysm in world history for 10,000 years
In their scientific paper, a group of archaeologists said that while they were mapping sediments along the Yellow River, a shocking evidence was suddenly discovered. It is a layer of sediment up to 20 m thick, indicating that the Yellow River water once rose to a height of 38 m from now.
Scientists said that apart from a giant dam, nothing can make the Yellow River water rise to this level. It is evidence of a natural structure similar to Con’s dams as recorded by Sima Qian Chronicles.
The sediment shows that the Yellow River water was once 38 m higher than it is now.
While the dam’s construction is largely a fiction, scientists say the Yellow River may still be blocked off by a real historical event. It was a strong earthquake that caused a large amount of rock and soil to fall into the area known as Tich Thach Alley. It blocked the Yellow River at an altitude of 100 m and stored up to 16 billion cubic meters of water.
After about 6-9 months, the water force caused the dam to break and caused a terrible cataclysm. Water poured down at speeds of 300-500 thousand cubic meters per second, equivalent to the deadliest flood ever recorded on the Amazon River.
Study co-author Professor Darryl Granger from Purdue University said: “This is one of the biggest floods ever to have happened on Earth in the past 10,000 years. The flood is capable of destroying settlements as far as 2,000 km downstream of the Yellow River.
For the Chinese people at that time, the great cataclysm was an apocalypse-like sight. Archaeologists have found bones buried in black sand dating back to 1920 BC confirm this event.
It is possible that ancient Chinese people were killed in the earthquake, then buried by mud in floods.
This geological evidence is extremely consistent with the flood story depicted in ancient apocryphal writings, suggesting that the myth of the Great Flood under King Nghieu was real. Then could the Xia Dynasty, which started Chinese civilization soon after, be true?
Is the Ha Vu dynasty real or not?
The Chronicle of Sima Qian continues, shortly after Con failed to rule the water, King Nghieu also died and gave the throne to Ngu Thuan. Thuan hands over the water treatment to Vu, Con’s son.
Unlike his father, Vu does not use an anti-nature strategy – instead of building a dam to block the water, Vu has gathered villagers to help him dig a canal and dredge the river.
When the Yellow River bed is dredged and canals are dug through new fields, water is dispersed and flows into an irrigation system for agriculture rather than creating devastating flash floods.
Both the basin areas along the Yellow River and Vi Thuy River were then beginning to be reconstructed and developed into a center of economic and trade in China. Vu’s merit was recognized by King Thuan. After his death, Thuan did not pass the throne to his son, but supported Vu to become king, founding the Ha Dynasty.
Correlation between the ages in the legend of the Lower Wuzhui and archaeological evidence of the great flood in China.
“Xia Yu created order out of chaos. He created a civilization center for the Chinese people from the wild peripheries.“study co-author David Cohen, associate professor of anthropology at National Taiwan University, said. “This gave him the divine mission to establish the first dynasty.”
Historical evidence shows that around 4,000 years ago, coinciding with the Xia dynasty, the Bronze Age began in China, and the settlements grew to 10 times their size during the Neolithic period. .
A memorial statue of Xia Wu in China
Although there is currently no direct evidence showing the existence of Ha Vu and his dynasty, the coincidence of the great flood event with the period of new civilization development is said to be a remarkable point. .
Some ancient stone carvings and tombs found also match those recorded in the History of Sima Qian. “But we need more archaeological evidence“, Said Cohen.”The correlation between the ages is quite interesting, but even with a real cataclysm, the Xia dynasty cannot be proven to exist.
See Iflscience, BBC