From: Mark Odegard
From: Piotr GasiorowskiIt seems a priori likely that the Ryan-Pitman flood overflowed into the Caspian depression through the natural spillway of the Don-Volga interfluve. The modern Caspian is a body of salt water (brackish in the northern part) with partly marine fauna -- in apparent contradiction to what is known about its Pleistocene past. Its present-day level is ca. -28 m, that is more than 100 m higher than the level of the old freshwater Euxine. These facts can be accounted for if we envisage a pre-5500 BC Caspian in the form of a deep freshwater lake (or rather two large lakes forming an 800 km long figure "8") located within the southern and central parts of the modern Sea. The influx of salt water from the Black Sea event filled the depression almost to the brim.The Aral Sea situation is less clear: the Aral is smaller, very shallow (as compared to the Euxine and Caspian) and extremely unstable (it has shrunk catastrophically by 50% over the past 40 years as a result of Soviet hydroengineering experiments). Its salinity varies in reverse proportion to its dimensions. During the Holocene both transgression and regeression have occurred, with the maximum known level some 50 m higher and the minimum level even a few meters lower than today, according to my sources. If after the Black Sea event the level of the Caspian rose to about the contemporaneous sea level, one could expect the flooding of the flat plains of western Kazakhstan and perhaps the formation of an ephemeral Caspian-Aral system. John seems to know a lot about ancient sea levels; perhaps he can offer some some references to information on the hydrogeography of Central Asia during that period.One thing seems likely: the North Euxine-Caspian steppe was a natural disaster area in the mid and late sixth millennium BC.PiotrThis is a recent, respectable link on the Black Sea flood.It gibes with everything I've read so far.The more I get into this, the more I think all bets are off. The history of the European Neolithic has to be completely re-thought and re-written.From what we can reconstruct of IE mythology, it seems they did NOT have a flood-myth. The lack of oceanic/seafaring terms has long been pointed to as making them an inland people. If they had experienced the Black Sea flood, and had been refugees from it, or even if they had been somewhat to the north of it, some whisper should have survived, but there is nothing.Linearbandkeramik keeps looking better to me. I wonder what Gimbutas would have thought.Mark.