The story of Noya (Noah) forms the basis of Armenia’s Christian religious identity, but in fact there is no recorded account of the Flood in ancestral Armenian mythology until the kingdom of Urartu and later, Christianity. Of all ancestral peoples who left records of their living in the region, there is not one single account of the Flood, which is widespread among other cultures in the region.
The reason for this is simple, if one believes the account of the biblical flood and subsequent regeneration of the human race:
According to the biblical timeline the Armenians are direct descendants of Japheth, one the grandsons of Noah, whose ark landed on the top of Mount Ararat after the Great Flood. During the deluge Noah's ark came to rest on the Mountains of Ararat, and his sons and grandsons whose progeny increased there had to emigrate to other lands. While some of Japheth's sons stayed in the vicinity of Ararat, the others went towards Mesopotamia. Haik, who was believed to one of Japheth's grandsons and the heroic patriarch of the Armenian people, was among those who went to Babylon. Another offspring, Aram, is credited with founding the Syrian kingdom.
"Now these are the generations of the sons of Noah; Shem, Ham and Japheth: and unto them were sons born after the flood.
"The son of Japheth; Gomer, and Magog, and Madai, and Javan and Tubal, and Meshech, and Tiras.
"And the sons of Gomer; Ashkenaz, and Riphath, and Togarmah".
Armenians consider themselves as coming from the House of Togarmah or Torcom. There is a cuneiform inscription that refers to the walled town of Tilgarimnu near Malatia in ancient Armenia. Others think that Togarmah is made up from two words: "take" (meaning tribe or race in Sanskrit) and "Armah" (Armenia).
Of course some of you may want to suspend some archeological facts for a little mythical belief. However, considering the discovery of Troy was pointed to by a story of the "mythical" Trojan War (which is now known to have actually occurred), and the Old Testament has been more and more shown to indicate actual history, perhaps this timeline does not need to be treated so much as legend but as a symbolic representation of actual events.
For example, there was a flood that covered much of the world around 13,600 BC as the world warmed through a tilting of its rotational axis, causing glaciers to melt. The Bible speaks of the mountain Noah lands on as Ararat or Alarod. In the Aramaic version of Genesis, the bible doesn't speak of Noah landing on 'the mountain of Ararat', but on 'the mountains (plural) of Ararat'. Later cultures called the region Urartu or Arata. These different words describe the same place.
The consequent raising of seawater inundated all of the lowlands in the Near East. Some speculation is made that rather than being seen as an actual boat, Noah’s ark can be considered as a symbolic embodiment of life (the ark of the covenant, for example, existed both as a thing and as an idea--the compact between God and man).
This has led some historians to think of the highlands of Armenia as a symbolic ark, on which life continued during and after the flood. There are no archeological signs of flooding from this period, which would have escaped the floods of the worst glacier melting. As such, it points to the plateau for the beginnings of life after the flood, or symbolically, the beginnings of civilization.
Thus the people's living in the area would have no reason to create a flood myth, as they were not in danger of flooding. Noah and his kind landed on the mountains of Ararat, which had been spared flooding.
Another source of the Noya myth which predates the biblical account by a thousand years or so is the Sumerian flood myth, found on cuneiform fragments from ca. 4000 BC. Read the inscriptions and see how closely the Noah myth follows the Sumerian:
The Sumerian Great Flood
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...... sets up ....... "I will ...... the perishing of my mankind; for Nintud, I will stop the annihilation of my creatures, and I will return the people from their dwelling grounds. Let them build many cities so that I can refresh myself in their shade. Let them lay the bricks of many cities in pure places, let them establish places of divination in pure places, and when the fire-quenching ...... is arranged, the divine rites and exalted powers are perfected and the earth is irrigated, I will establish well-being there."
After An, Enlil, Enki and Ninhursaja had fashioned the black-headed people, they also made animals multiply everywhere, and made herds of four-legged animals exist on the plains, as is befitting.
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" I will oversee their labor. Let &X;&X; the builder of the Land, dig a solid foundation."
After the ...... of kingship had descended from heaven, after the exalted crown and throne of kingship had descended from heaven, the divine rites and the exalted powers were perfected, the bricks of the cities were laid in holy places, their names were announced and the ...... were distributed. The first of the cities, Eridug, was given to Nudimmud the leader. The second, Bad-tibira, was given to the Mistress. The third, Larag, was given to Pabilsaj. The fourth, Zimbir, was given to hero Utu. The fifth, Curupppag, was given to Sud. And after the name of these cities had been announced and the ...... had been distributed, the river ......, ...... was watered, and with the cleansing of the small canals ...... were established.
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......seat in heaven. ...... flood. ...... mankind. So he made ....... Then Nintud ....... Holy Inanna made a lament for its people. Enki took counsel with himself. An, Enlil, Enki and Ninhursaja made all the gods of heaven and earth take an oath by invoking An and Enlil. In those days Zi-ud-sura the king, the gudu priest, ....... He fashioned ....... The humble, committed, reverent ....... Day by day, standing constantly at ....... Something that was not a dream appeared, conversation ......, ...... taking an oath by invoking heaven and earth. In the Ki-ur, the gods ...... a wall. Zi-ud-sura, standing at its side, heard: "Side-wall standing at my left side, ....... Side-wall, I will speak words to you; take heed of my words, pay attention to my instructions. A flood will sweep over the ...... in all the ....... A decision that the seed of mankind is to be destroyed has been made. The verdict, the word of the divine assembly, cannot be revoked. The order announced by An and Enlil cannot be overturned. Their kingship, their term has been cut off; their heart should be rested about this. Now ....... What ......."
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All the windstorms and gales arose together, and the flood swept over the ....... After the flood had swept over the land, and waves and windstorms had rocked the huge boat for seven days and seven nights, Utu the sun-god came out, illuminating heaven and earth. Zi-ud-sura could drill an opening in the huge boat and hero Utu entered the huge boat with his rays. Zi-ud-sura the king prostrated himself before Utu. The king sacrificed oxen and offered innumerable sheep.
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"They have made you swear by heaven and earth, ....... An and Enlil have made you swear by heaven and earth, ......."
More and more animals disembarked onto the earth. Zi-ud-sura the king prostrated himself before An and Enlil. An and Enlil treated Zi-ud-sura kindly ......, they granted him life like a god, they brought down to him eternal life. At that time, because of preserving the animals and the seed of mankind, they settled Zi-ud-sura the king in an overseas country, in the land Dilmun, where the sun rises.
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