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China’s Great Flood—just a myth?

A new discovery suggests that it happened—but there is more at stake here than archaeology

By Philip Ball  

Tourists watch the Hukou Waterfalls on the Yellow River in Linfen, north China's Shanxi Province, July 21, 2016 ©Xinhua/SIPA USA/PA Images

The discovery of geological evidence for a massive flood on the Yellow River around 4000 years ago will surely delight the Chinese authorities. According to a paper published in Science by a team of primarily Chinese archaeologists and geographers, this event lends support to the ancient idea of a prehistoric civilization called the Xia dynasty,…

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