THESSALONIKI – Two new theories on the Great Flood created some sensation among scientists attending a geological conference in mid-April in Greece’s northern capital of Thessaloniki. Geological evidence, presented by two Russian scientists during the Fifth International Symposium on the Geology of the Southeastern Mediterranean, suggested different theories for the cataclysm that overwhelmed the Earth. No one until now has come up with scientific proof of the Biblical story of the Flood. But at the Thessaloniki symposium, two members of the Academy of Sciences in Moscow could be said to have carried their dispute to Greek soil, given their disagreements over when and where the event took place. Russian geologist Andrei Tsepaliga, who has carried out studies in the Caspian and Black Sea areas, avers that the flood took place 10,000-15,000 years ago at the end of the Ice Age. The sudden rise in temperatures resulted in the melting of the ice and a rise of 200 meters in the level of the Caspian Sea. The process, which lasted 100 years, set off a chain reaction within an expanse of 1 million square kilometers that included the Black Sea, the Aral Sea, the Sea of Marmara and even the Northern Aegean. Tsepaliga has based his theory on an analysis of geological sediment in this area, clay deposits drilled up from the Black Sea and on fossils of endemic species in the Caspian area. He speculates the flood myth was passed down by people who lived in the Caspian area and migrated to Mesopotamia. Colleague Vladimir Trifonov claimed that the flood took place 6,000 years ago, in Mesopotamia, and was due to a combination of factors. The melting of the polar ice cap in Antarctica, followed by a rise in the sea level by a meter a year, was compounded by climatic change, with the result that the Tigris and Euphrates rivers flooded, forcing the inhabitants of the area to migrate to other areas and northward – all within the space of a week. Trifonov invokes geological deposits at the ancient Sumerian city of Ur as well as Sumerian writings claiming that they were the original source of the Bible story. He referred to archaeological studies to name the mountain where a vessel fetched up bearing the survivors. That was Mount Nisir on today’s Iraq-Iran border and not Mt Ararat, where, he said, he had carried out studies for years without ever finding signs of flooding.