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If that dam gave away, they reasoned, it would have caused a major flood.

His successful efforts to tame the river led to his divine right to leadership, the first Chinese dynasty, the Xia, and the beginnings of Chinese civilization.Even secular scholars have recognized the parallels between the Babylonian, Phoenician, and Hebrew accounts, although not all are willing to label the connections as anything more than shared mythology.The stories that were discovered on cuneiform tablets, which comprise some of the earliest surviving writing, have obvious similarities.An ancient landslide once blocked the Yellow River at Jishi Gorge in China, shown here. E., when a legendary hero named Yu tamed Yellow River flooding and earned a mandate to become the founding emperor of the Xia dynasty, the country's first.The resulting lake eventually burst through the rubble dam, causing what may have been one of history’s largest floods. That’s the story according to texts written long after the fact, and many Chinese believe their civilization started with emperor Yu.

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