Most of us are familiar with the idea of lost civilizations.
Whether it is through television, or comic books or through the
original source of Plato's Timaeus, we have all at one point or other
heard about the 'lost kingdom of Atlantis' as well as slightly less known examples such as Lemuria.
of us who are educated can be entertained by these notions, but
ultimately dismiss them as being fanciful and unfounded. Our modern and
well developed understanding of archeology and of our history tells us
that the legend of Atlantis is just that, a legend.
What if, however the answers were not as 100% airtight as you might think, and that while conventional wisdom may indeed be true, that there are serious and legitimate questions to be asked about and explored regarding our history.
One person doing just that is journalist and world renowned author and historical/archeological sleuth Graham Hancock.
Born in Edinburgh Scotland,
and spending a significant period of his childhood in India, where his
father practiced as a surgeon, Hancock began his writing career not as
an explorer of ancient mysteries, but rather as a journalist.
fact there are some who are more interested in debunking unusual and
novel and innovative ideas out of hand, who like to point out that
Hancock is not an Archeologist.
For the record, Graham Hancock
is not an Archeologist, and has never claimed to be one. He is however
an investigator of ancient mysteries with a very keen interest, a wealth
of experience investigating various sites across the globe and a deep knowledge of the subject, both conventional and non.
What drew Hancock into the world of ancient mysteries
was stories he would hear while working as the East Africa
correspondent for the highly regarded magazine 'The Economist', in which
claims were made that the 'ark of the covenant'
in which were placed the commandments given (as the faithful will say)
by God unto Moses, was in fact located and kept in a town in Ethiopia
His investigation into this mystery and
subsequent book, 'The Sign and the Seal ' became a best seller and set
Hancock on a path that would take him from the tops of the great
pyramids, to the bottom of the ocean, seeking out and exploring ancient
mysteries, the most preeminent of those being the concept of a lost
civilization, a lost chapter in our collective history.
The Lost Civilization
exploration of the idea of a lost chapter in human history, is one that
will take you across the globe and over ten thousand years into the
past, but might be best started by looking at the remarkable work, architecture and engineering of the ancient Egyptians, most famously and notably expressed in the great pyramid at Giza.
is remarkable about Giza, is not just it's scale, but the accuracy and
exacting tolerances to which it was built, a feat that would be a
challenge for us in this modern age, and one that the ancient Egyptian's
presumably did with human manual labour.
This is not
suggest, however that some sort of supernatural or otherworldly force
was at work here, such as the Anunnaki, the civilizing ancient
astronauts of ancient Babylon posited to the world by Zechariah Sitchin.
It does, however challenge credibility that the ancient Egyptians
go from being presumably nomadic tribes and not building a whole lot of
anything, to these massive and exactingly constructed monuments and
megaliths springing up seemingly over-night and with little to precede
it, or show steps towards the development of that knowledge.
This is an Historical
mystery, but not one without answers, as Hancock questions why we are
so quick to dismiss what the very peoples and civilizations that we are
studying have to say about themselves and their development. Not to be
taken as being a completely literal account, but to give us a window
into the past through a legendary account most likely with some basis in
What we find is talk of a 'golden age' called Zep Tepi,
in which gods walked among men, and preeminent among them is the
Promethean figure of Osiris, who brings civilization to humanity.
is particularly intriguing about this, is that this concept of a 'great
civilizer' is repeated across the globe, among cultures that should
have had no connection or interaction with each other. In addition to
this other similarities start to crop up, such as the importance of
pyramid building in ancient Egypt and then much later on in Mesoamerican
civilization, or the global prevalence of flood myths.
could be nothing more than a series of massive coincidences, or somehow
the practices that we as human beings will naturally gravitate towards.
or it suggests that these legends, and this knowledge comes from a
common and ancient source, a mother culture that has since vanished,
with all but a hint of it's existence erased from history.
Could this be true and is it even possible?
Show us just one pottery shard!
most serious flaw in this line of thinking, and one that supporters of
more orthodox theories will point out is a lack of physical evidence.
certainly, there are controversies regarding dating in the first place,
especially inorganic material. Also a lot of dating is done
contextually, which can cause problems if working from a false premise.
Some, as John Anthony West has famously done with the Sphinx,
may challenge the conventional dating, and in this regard Hancock
alongside Egyptologist and engineer Robert Buval have also provided
evidence that while not outright giving a different date for the Sphinx
or the great pyramids, does suggest that the entire Giza site was built
to correspond with a much earlier period, of about 10500 BC.
however Hancock believes the reason we are not finding the smoking gun
is not only are too few people looking, but they are also looking in
the wrong place.
This is because human settlement, and thus human civilization
tends to like to pop up around water-ways and coastal areas. If we are
indeed looking at 10500 BC as being relevant to the story we should
take note that what was prime real estate for human habitation in this
time, is now very much under water today.
If one is to shrug
or look to dismiss this, one should note that this lost coastline is not
an insignificant area, as 25 million square kilometers were swallowed
The cause of this loss of shoreline was the end of the
last ice age, in which kilometers thick sheets of ice melted, and
massive glacial lakes emptied. These would have been events with
dramatic and catastrophic peaks. This period of massive global flooding
might also make one ponder the possibility that the story of Atlantis
vanishing beneath the waves, as well as the biblical story of Noah, and
in fact all of the flood myths which can be found throughout the world,
in fact hearken back to this time.
A lot of research and exploration would need to be done, as so far marine archeology has barely scratched the surface.
as nascent as this field truly is there are already discoveries that
suggest further investigation is meritted, such as the structures off of
Yonaguni Japan. While debate still continues as to whether they are man-made or natural.
If it is proven
they are man made, then this would have profound implications as the
site was last above water around, yes you guessed it, around 10,000
There is a long way to go before any of this is
even close to becoming proven, espescially considering it would be
uprooting long held conventional wisdom. However,
as Hancock says, he is not trying to provide absolute
answers, but rather possibilities, about what might have happened in the
shadows of our distant past.
See page 2 for the next article, 'Uncovering Atlantis: Evidence of a lost chapter in human history'