Ancient flood dating

05-Aug-2019 07:46

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Upon the insistence of Four Mountains, and over Yao's initial hesitation, the person Yao finally consented to appoint in charge of controlling the flood was Gun, the Prince of Chong, who was a distant relative of Yao's through common descent from the Yellow Emperor.Year in and year out, many times, and to great extents; Gun applied the magical Xirang earth in attempt to block and barricade the flood waters with dams, dikes, and embankments (which he built with the special powers of the magic soil).Among these responsibilities, Shun had to deal with the Great Flood and its associated disruptions, especially in light of the fact that Yao's reluctant decision to appoint Gun to handle the problem had failed to fix the situation, despite having been working on it for the previous nine years.Shun took steps over the next four years to reorganize the empire, in such a way as to solve immediate problems and to put the imperial authority in a better position to deal with the flood and its effects.Treated either historically or mythologically, the story of the Great Flood and the heroic attempts of the various human characters to control it and to abate the disaster is a narrative fundamental to Chinese culture.Among other things, the Great Flood of China is key to understanding the history of the founding of both the Xia dynasty and the Zhou dynasty, it is also one of the main flood motifs in Chinese mythology, and it is a major source of allusion in Classical Chinese poetry.All of these acts can be seen as preparatory to the fighting of the flood, as this was an effort requiring extraordinary levels of synchronized and coordinated activity over a relatively large territory: the timing was synchronized through the calendar reform and the engineering measures were made possible by standardizing the weights and measures.

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Yao sought to find someone who could control the flood, and turned for advice to his special adviser, or advisers, the Four Mountains (四嶽 or 四岳, Sìyuè); who, after deliberation, gave Emperor Yao some advice which he did not especially welcome.

Accounts vary considerably about the details of Gun's demise; but, in any case, the sources seem to agree that he met the end of his human existence at Feather Mountain (although again accounts vary as to whether this end was death, through execution by Zhurong, or through a metamorphic transformation into — depending on account — a yellow bear, a three-footed tortoise, or a yellow dragon. Various myths suggest that this occurred under circumstances that would not meet the normal criteria for historical fact.

Yu would continue the struggle to contain the flood waters.

According to mythological and historical sources, it is traditionally dated to the third millennium BCE, or about 2300-2200 BC, during the reign of Emperor Yao.

However, archaeological evidence of an outburst flood on the Yellow River, comparable to similar severe events in the world in the past 10,000 years, has been dated to about 1900 BC (a few centuries later than the traditional beginning of the Xia dynasty which came after Emperors Shun and Yao), and is suggested to have been the basis for the myth.

Next, for the period of a month, Shun convoked a series of meetings, ceremonies, and interviews at the imperial capital with the Four Mountains and the heads, lords, or princes of the realm's houses, clans, surnames, tribes, and nations.

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