I have always been fascinated by the legends of Atlantis. I find the idea that an entire civilization could be ‘lost’ intriguing because in school we are told we know everything about man’s progressive rise. From the hunter-gatherer, to the city-states in the Fertile Crescent, through the Victorian Age up until now the entire trend is laid out in a slow continuous climb, with the odd dip here and there, such as the Dark Ages.
In the halls of academia, the idea of any organized human settlements or civilization outside of the accepted timeline is dismissed, with anything from scorn to laughter. The rise of humanity and civilization has been chugging along in gentle ascent, building us up to the pinnacle we now occupy, with our iPhones, plasma TV’s and central heating. After all, we already have the sum total of all knowledge that ever was or will be. Right?
The thing is, knowledge is always growing, expanding. Old ideas are discarded as new evidence supplants the outdated.
For example, around the time of the invention of the steam locomotive, it was widely accepted that the human body could not withstand speeds greater than around 25 m.p.h. We’ve kind of blown past that one, haven’t we?
Astronomers and space scientists for years have been telling us there is no water on the Moon, that Mars is an arid, dead planet and there is no life other than Earth in the solar system. Up until just a few short years ago if you suggested that there was water, or (gasp) life on Mars, or one of the more remote outer planetary-type bodies you would be laughed at, ridiculed. Worse, people would ask if you enjoyed your alien probing.
In light of this, is questioning our own history here on Earth so very Earth-shaking? Is there any evidence of an ancient civilization? Maybe more than one?
In the Dialogues of Plato we read about Solon, who traveled to Egypt and was told by an aged priest that there have been not one, but many deluges that have nearly wiped out human civilization. Atlantis, destroyed around 9,000 years before Solon heard the tale, was only the most recent. The priest tells Solon that the Egyptians have recorded many such deluges, in which humanity is knocked off whatever pinnacle of civilization it has risen to, and survivors are reduced to hunter-gather levels. Also, the Turin Papyrus documents over 36,000 years of Egyptian history, going back to the First Time, or Zep Tepi.
Currently, humanity is considered to have transitioned from the hunter-gatherer lifestyle to concentrating in villages and then cities and city-states between five and six thousand years ago. This occurred in four separate regions, Mesopotamia, Egypt, the India and China.
Except what if that timeline is wrong? In Fingerprints of the Gods, by Graham Hancock he describes how a conference of geologists were shown pictures of erosion in a rock formation and asked to identify what type of erosion it was. They were easily able to tell it was caused by heavy rainfall. Then the geologists were told the photographs were of the Sphinx. There hasn’t been heavy rainfall on the Giza plateau for more than 10,000 years.
The ruins of Tiahuanaco, lie at the south end of Lake Titicaca in Bolivia. Originally thought to date to 4,000 years ago, mounting evidence has pushed this date back to 12,000 and even 14,000 years ago. Huge blocks, some weighing anywhere from 150 to 440 tons are carved with machine-like precision to interlock perfectly. Tiahuanaco, like Egypt, appears out of nowhere, a fully formed society that builds monolithic structures that would difficult if not impossible to recreate with our current technology.
Now consider Gobekli Tepe, in Turkey, discovered in the last twenty years. Again, giant monolithic temples constructed of huge blocks. However this collection of ruins is accepted as dating to 12,000 years ago! Archeologists are conflicted because this is the ‘hunter-gatherer’ period and nobody at that time is supposed to have the skill or technology to construct these sorts of structures. So how to explain this?
Unless, there was some unknown, or lost, civilization that now only persists in myth and legend. One that had an advanced technology as evidenced by the structures that remain after so many centuries. Atlantis. Does it really seem so impossible now?
What do you think? Is it possible we need to revise our current perception of human history? Could we be ‘missing’ a large part of our past?
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