Lots of people have a vague feeling that the content of various old stories are more than just a good yarn written to make certain points. In fact, various poeple have managed (using the techniques pioneered by heinrich schliemann on homer's iliad) to demonstrate that at least some of the stories are actually oral history that has been writen down at a later date.
The story usually goes as follows:
Other examples of this include noah's flood, the ten plagues of egypt, the destruction of sodom and gamorah, the search for troy and a number of others. In each case, it has started out in an identical manner, with someone thinking that the description was too good, and going from there to try and come up with a plausable, (usually) interdisciplinary explanation for the events.
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