W6 Archaeology in the News Post

Source: New York Times

Title: Scientific Evidence of Flood May Give Credence to Legend of China’s First Dynasty

Author: Nicholas Wade

I found and read an article on how scientists found evidence of a flood in the Yellow River Valley in China about 4,000 years ago that killed many, many people. These scientists claim that this may be China’s “semi-legendary first dynasty”. Records of the first dynasty (Xia) contain stories of a Great Flood with Emperor Yu (a savior). Historians were never sure weather this was just a story, a real event, or a mixture of the two; but now, archaeologists have discovered evidence of this Great Flood.

A team of archaeologists used radiocarbon dating of the skeletal bones of three children that were killed by the earthquake that dammed the river, causing the flood. They concluded that the event took place around 1920 B.C. This means that the Xia dynasty would have begun even earlier than that—around 2070 B.C.

I think this is a very interesting article because it changes what we have known about the Chinese history so far. I do not remember much from my history classes in high school, but I do remember learning about the Chinese dynasties. Also, this related to what we learned this week about radiocarbon dating. We learned that radiocarbon dating is a form of absolute dating. We also learned a little bit about how to come up with the dates that archaeologists do using this method.

One thought on “W6 Archaeology in the News Post

  1. This sounds like a really interesting article! It is really cool that they were able to use bones to make a discovery about the history of a Chinese dynasty. It is always very surprising to me when discoveries are made that could seriously change how we view history or a certain group of people. It is interesting that archeologists are able to match what they have discovered due to science to what one can read in historical literature. Discoveries like this also make me wonder what kinds of evidence modern archeologists and historians are missing that could make the history of a certain place more complete. Great post!

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