How Much History Do We Know?
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 Old ideas are discarded as new evidence supplants the outdated.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.
Today, discussion of life on Mars, or of sending a submarine probe the water ocean on Jupiter’s moon, Europa is reported in mainstream media. No one’s asking about tinfoil hats now.
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?
Please visit these sites for more information on these topics:
Gobekli Tepi http://gobeklitepe.info/temples.html
Ancient Egypt and Zep Tepi http://alternativearchaeology.jigsy.com/zep-tepi
Plato’s Dialogues on Atlantis http://atlantis-today.com/Atlantis_Critias_Timaeus.htm
good stuff. love these posts, Serena
Good post, Serena. In Sumer there are cuneiform tablets that talk about an earlier idyllic civilization called ancient by people living around 2500BCE. So much of history is subject to interpretation, which often falls prey to the pc norms of the historian’s own time. Like the Oxus civilization that conservative archaeologists refuse to acknowledge as matriarchal.
Sumer’s an interesting one. I read Zechariah Sitchin’s first book about the Nephilim. Not sure I buy his whole interpretation but I did find it interesting.
I’m not too keen on his stuff. I’ve studied a lot of the ancient languages journals and read mostly the academic works.
Zechariah is not my favorite, I only made it through one of his books. I think the idea of a star-traveling race that helped give early hominids a boost is plausible, heck, even Battlestar Galactica did that one, but I have a really hard time with his concepts about Nibiru. Very cool that you’ve studied the journals, not something I’ve had the time to do.
Very nicely written. I find the idea that we are only a 4000 year old society rather narrow thinking as well. I suspect we just don’t understand a whole lot about ourselves, who we are, and how it is we have forgotten our history.
Thank you Gilgamesh! One of my favorite authors, Graham Hancock, likes to say we are a species with amnesia.
We seem to have a lot of interests in common. From Chickens (I loved my chickens. Had my rooster for almost 10 years!) to Reiki to ancient history.
I am eclectic. 🙂 Always nice to meet a fellow chicken-phile and Reiki practitioner. Thanks for reading and commenting!
Oh gods, Serena, now my mind is working overtime. I have always believed in the idea that humanity’s progress was more of a dance (three steps forward and two steps back) than a steady climb. Love this post.
Thanks, Prudence! It does make more sense that way, doesn’t it?
This was a great post. One thing I’ve noticed is that every time we think we have it “all figured out” something happens to prove to us we don’t. For example, each time scientists claim that everything has been discovered, they discover another life form (usually in the ocean) that they knew nothing about.
Thanks, Marcy! How often have we heard: “Organisms can’t live without xxxxx ” and then they find something doing just that at the bottom of an ocean trench. I really hope some space-crazy billionaire funds the Europa probe. I would love to know what’s in that ocean before I die!
Love this post! Well done. 😉 I especially love the line in the comments, “we are a species with amnesia.” It really would seem to be true, wouldn’t it? So many things about our own history we don’t understand. And some pretty interesting things we keep finding all the time.
I think the amnesia is sometimes self-induced. Often willfully and with eyes closed tight. Sad, but I am also finding that is less and less so, that more and more people are waking up to the possibilities, the ‘what-if’s’ and aren’t as likely to simply dismiss them out of hand. Which I find wonderfully encouraging! 🙂 Thank you my friend!
It is amazing what we’re still uncovering. Thank you for the links about those fascinating ancient places.
Welcome, Reetta! Enjoy!
While I love this post, I do have to add a caveat that “Scientists” usually don’t say “It is impossible” but more along the lines of “What sort of proof do you have for your claim? If none, then we’ll keep basing our theories on what we do know versus speculation”….
A local friend of mine has written some wonderful books on similar things (look up Laird Scranton if you like books on how much the ancients probably knew that we don’t give them credit for); and your mention of Steam Energy–well Terry Jones in his Ancient Inventions series (sadly short lived) noted that the Ancient Romans and Greeks used it too…
True there is a lot of scoffing in some “hallowed halls”, but any decent lover of knowledge should want to know the truth; and there is SO much truth out there that we don’t know…
Keep the open mind, keep questioning, keep asking others to think. We need that. 😀
Minds really need to be open to function properly. 😉 Glad you enjoyed the post. I did a quick search for Laird Scranton and found a bit on the Dogon, just a quick scan, but really interesting stuff! Thanks for the tip!
Great post. I’ve always been intrigued by the story of Atlantis. I visited Santorini, a beautiful Greek island a few years ago. Some say Santorini was once actually Atlantis.
Santorini is beautiful! It’s been close to 20 years since I was there, but I remember it well! I’m not learned enough to say if the Minoan city on Santorini was or wasn’t Atlantis, but it certainly fits the bill for rapid and tragic demise.
There is no doubt we are missing out on parts of our history. We’re re-writing as fast as we can. I visited caves in south-central France with ancient paintings a couple years ago and was blown away. Thank you. You’ve given me more places to read about and ponder.
Glad you enjoyed my post. Thanks for taking the time to comment. I’m jealous of your trip to France, I would love to be able to visit some of those sites. How cool you had that experience!
Hi Serena, just stopping by to let you know I have passed the Kreativ Blogger Award on to you. Enjoy x
Thanks Emma! Much appreciated!