Friday 1 January 2016

Partholon and the great flood

Storm Frank causing havoc across the country

This is a headline form one of the Irish newspapers. Storm Frank is the sixth to hit Ireland since the start of the winter. Huge areas or arable land are under water an so are thousands of houses in towns close to coast, rivers and lakes. These are just some of the images that show the extent of devastation caused by the cumulative effect of this winter's bad weather.

I feel so sorry for all the poor people who are currently being literally flooded out of their houses. And this is not the first year that Ireland has been experiencing such bad weather. I think that this is now third or fourth winter in a row that Ireland has been battered by storms and if it continues like this, a lot of areas in Ireland will become unsuitable for human habitation and will have to be evacuated. And there is very little anyone can do....

Looking at the above images reminded me of something I read in the old Irish annals. 

The old Irish annals tell us that the first race that lived in Ireland were Fomorians. Then the flood came. Then, after the flood, came the people of Partholón. 

In the "Annals of four masters" we find these comments regarding the life of Partholon and his people in Ireland:

From the Deluge until Parthalon took possession of Ireland 278 years....

The age of the world, 2520 (2680 BC) Parthalon came into Ireland

The Age of the World, 2545 (2655 BC) Rudhruidhe, son of Parthalon, was drowned in Loch Rudhruidhe, the lake having flowed over him; and from him the lake is called.

The Age of the World, 2546 (2654 BC) An inundation of the sea over the land at Brena in this year, which was the seventh lake eruption that occurred in the time of Parthalon; and this is named Loch Cuan.

The Age of the World, 2820 (2380 BC) Nine thousand of Parthalon's people died in one week on Sean Mhagh Ealta Edair, namely, five thousand men, and four thousand women. Whence is named Taimhleacht Muintire Parthaloin. They had passed three hundred years in Ireland. Ireland was thirty years waste till Nemed's arrival.

The Age of the World, 2850 (2350 BC) Nemed came to Ireland.

Seathrún Céitinn's Foras Feasa ar Érinn says that Patholon arrived to Ireland in 2061 BC, Annals of Four Masters says that they arrived at 2680 BC. So basically Partholon arrived sometimes in the second half of the 3rd millennium. 

It seems that Partholon and his people also perished in another flood 300 years after they arrived to Ireland which was 300 (278) years after the great flood. Maybe this second flood was another local weather event, like what we are seeing this winter in Ireland. But maybe the above descriptions are actually describing "the flood" and the dates and names got somehow mixed up in some of the Irish annals over the millenniums. I believe that the later could be the case considering that the two Irish annals that talk about the arrival of Partholon give drastically different arrival dates. Seathrún Céitinn's Foras Feasa ar Érinn says that Patholon arrived to Ireland in 2061 BC, Annals of Four Masters says that they arrived at 2680 BC. But also because we actually know when the "great flood" actually did hit Ireland. 

In the book "The Secrets of the Irish Landscape" we read that according to the dendrochronological research done in Ireland on Irish bog Oaks in the Lough Neagh area, during the period between 2354 BC and 2345 BC the oaks completely stopped growing and showed bark changes which indicate that they were submerged in water. 

It seems that it started to rain and it didn't stop for 10 years. This probably caused complete collapse of agriculture and famine. And the end of what ever culture existed in Ireland at the time. It is very interesting that the date of this catastrophic weather event falls, according to the Annals or Four Masters, right after the date of the demise of Partholon's people and the date of the arrival of Neimhid. So was this "a flood" or "the flood"?

Believe or not, the Ussher chronology, a chronology of the history of the world, which was written by James Ussher, the Archbishop of Armagh (Church of Ireland) in the 17th-centurygives in its list of dates2348 BC as the date for the biblical flood. This date falls right in the middle of the above major weather event. Ussher claimed that he determined the date of the flood from a literal reading of the Bible. But did he actually use Irish annals instead? And if so did he mistook a local Irish flood for the "biblical" global flood? Is there another record of a great flood that happened around 2348 BC? Well there is actually. 

Ancient Chinese records recorded a "great flood" which occurred at exactly the same time. They say that during the reign of the First Emperor, Yao, who came to the throne in 2357 BC,  there were "huge floods that overtopped the mountains".

The floods started in the 12th year of his reign (2346 BC) and lasted for 9 years. This corresponds almost exactly with the actual dendrochronological records from Ireland.

Now let me make something clear here. One of my friends said in his comment on my article: "there have been innumerable local 'floods' throughout history and pre-history, of course, and they would seem global to those being flooded- but a global flood is a scientifically impossible event. There is simply not enough water on Earth for such a thing to occur, and there never has been."

I actually agree with this. The problem is in what people understand when they read "global flood". The flood can be global if there is a global weather event which causes intensive long term rain which inundates the rivers and lakes. Both Irish, and Chinese sources talk about huge local floods, not global submersion. And for Ireland we actually have dendrochronological records that prove that this actually happened during the period 2354 - 2345 BC. Biblical flood could have been just the description of the same thing in the near east. The weather event was global, and we have proof of this from around the world and we have the records of this event with dating from the Irish and the Chinese annals which correspond to the actual dendrochronological records. So it is possible to have a global weather event which can cause large local floods globally. 

This event was probably caused by the fragmented asteroid or comet impact, which caused a kind of "nuclear winter" which lasted for 9 years. It also caused the emergence of the belief in the stone sky, firmament. I will talk about the belief in the stone sky in one of my next posts.

Anyway back to Irish floods.


What happened exactly in Ireland around the time of the great flood? 

Well there are two possible scenarios. 

The first scenario is that Partholon and his people did arrive to Ireland in 2680 BC as the Annals of Four Masters says. They spent 300 years in Ireland and perished during the great flood (2354 - 2345 BC). Well maybe not all of them perrished. The Irish annals say that after the people of Partholon died out, Ireland "thirty years waste" until Nemed arrived with his people. Nemed was said to have been the descendant of Tait, Partholon's brother. If the people of Partholon were skilled sailors, miners, metalworkers and traders, they probably kept contact with their old country, probably even regular trade contacts. So maybe when Ireland was devastated during the flood, the refugees from Ireland went back down south, maybe back to Montenegro, or even further back to Pontic region. 

The second scenario is that Partholon and Nemed arrived together, but not in 2680 BC as the Annals of Four Masters says, but in 2061 BC as Seathrún Céitinn's Foras Feasa ar Érinn says. This would then fit the first entry about Partholon: "From the Deluge until Parthalon took possession of Ireland 278 years...."

If "the flood" was in the period 2354 - 2345 BC, then 278 (300) years after "the deluge" is 2076 BC (2054 BC) -  2067 BC (2046 BC) . The date that the Seathrún Céitinn's Foras Feasa ar Érinn gives as the date when Patholon arrived to Ireland, 2061 BC, falls right into this interval. This is very interesting. 

Both scenarios correspond well with the dates of the Montenegrian tumuluses containing the golden cross discs (3000 - 2700 BC) and with the dates of the golden cross discs found in Ireland (2500 - 2200 BC).

So did Partholon arrive to Ireland before or after the great flood? What do you think? The thing is this is not even the most important thing. The most the important thing here is that the Irish annals preserved the date of this flood pretty accurately for almost four and a half thousand years...Think about it. 3500 years of oral history only recorded 1000 years ago...Not myth, history...How many other examples of this do we have around? 

I will talk more about this in my future posts. 

In the meantime I want to recommend the book "Climate Development and History of the North Atlantic Realm" by Gerold Wefer in which he explores these climate events and their causes. It is a very interesting read. 


  1. This is really fascinating. I never knew about the Irish flood.

  2. Check this

    1. Looks very interesting Gorki. I shall read in my lunch break ;)

  3. Hi Goran, thanks for the very interesting post and the book tip. Would it make sense to assume that Partholon's people migrated to Ireland as a reaction to climate change? In previous blogs you mention that the Montenegrian Tumuluses were built in a mountainous region which, presumably, were not affected by flood but, maybe, extreme cold. If there was a change in world climate at this time this would correspond with the massive change in neolithic culture throughout Europe. It changed, very quickly, from stone to metal. With the evidence of a greater use of weapons, fortifications and warrior burials These times also appear to be violent and desperate causing people to migrate large distances, even causing a sustained threat to the Egyptian Empire

    In her book, Ancestral Journeys, Jean Marco mentions how early neolithic farmers were forced into the Pontic regions from the Near East as an outpouring of glacial water from North America flooded into the Atlantic about 8000 years ago. As a result, the original agricultural regions became cold and arid and the more northern areas became warm and humid. Thus, causing farming methods to filter out into Northern Europe.

    Incidentally there was a similar change in climate around 1800 BC. This brought about a big change around the Stone Henge site which went under the plough for the first time. Although the stones were still respected, It seems that the cattle herding culture had suddenly died away. There was another massive change around 1277 BC which caused the collapse of practically all the great Mediterranean civilizations, except Egypt and heralded the birth of the Iron Age.

    1. Yes, I would agree that the catastrophic climate events played a great role in the historical events in the last 10,000 years. I am not sure why the people who built montenegrian tumuluses migrated to the Western Europe from Azov area. That is yet to be solved :)

  4. Simply you are doing good job

  5. Irish Law is an ancient literature & tradition. Women are highly esteemed in Irish history. Legally, Ireland is the first country to legislate for women, and claim the first judicial judgments came from female judges.

  6. There is a group that fits the skill set of Partholon. Master seamen and suberb metal workers, the Minoans were known for their "global" commerce.
    Read The Lost Atlantis by Menzies and you will be blown away not only by his theories, but the bibliography he includes in the book.
    Ancient world was much more interconnected than we believe.