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quote:Between 17,000 years ago and 7000 years ago, at the end of the last Ice Age, terrible things happened to the world our ancestors lived in. Great ice caps over northern Europe and north America melted down, huge floods ripped across the earth, sea-level rose by more than 100 metres, and about 25 million square kilometres of formerly habitable lands were swallowed up by the waves.Marine archaeology has been possible as a scholarly discipline for about 50 years - since the introduction of scuba. In that time, according to Nick Flemming, the doyen of British marine archaeology, only 500 submerged sites have been found worldwide containing the remains of any form of man-made structure or of lithic artefacts. Of these sites only 100 - that's 100 in the whole world! - are more than 3000 years old.This is not because of a shortage of potential sites. It is at least partly because a large share of the limited funds available for marine archaeology goes into the discovery and excavation of shipwrecks. This leaves a shortage of diving archaeologists interested in underwater structures and a shortage of money to pay for the extremely expensive business of searching - possibly fruitlessly - for very ancient, eroded, silt-covered ruins at great depths under water. Moreover, with the recent exception of Bob Ballard's survey of the Black Sea for the National Geographic Society, marine archaeology has simply not concerned itself with the possibility that the post-glacial floods might in any way be connected to the problem of the rise of civilisations. ( http://www.ngnews.com/news/2000/11/1103200...acksea_3252.asp [nofollow] )In 1997 a chain of mountains almost 2000 kilometres long and more than 3000 metres high was discovered in the South Pacific. Nobody ever knew the mountains were there before because they are under water - as, in fact, is 70 per cent of the earth's surface. Marine archaeologists -- who are looking for targets much smaller than mountain-ranges under the sea -- can therefore be forgiven for finding just 100 submerged sites more than 3000 years old in the past half century. Even at the crude mapping level, it is one of the absurdities of scientific priorities that we now have a better map of the surface of Venus than we do of the 225 million square kilometres of our own planet's sea-floor.On land it is obvious that archaeology still has much more work to do before it can honestly claim to have fully understood (rather than merely theorised about) the process by which the great civilisations of ancient history arose. Vast areas of the earth's surface - the Sahara Desert, for example (which was green for 4000 years at the end of the Ice Age) - have hardly benefited from the attentions of archaeologists at all. And even in countries like Egypt which have been intensively excavated for more than a century new discoveries can still be made that call established views and chronologies into question.In December 2000 excavations at Abydos in Upper Egypt by a University of Pennsylvania/University of New York team demonstrated that the intriguing religious practise of boat burial - for example the so-called solar boat of Khufu buried on the south side of the Great Pyramid of Giza - is very likely to have predynastic origins. A fleet of 14 boats found buried at Abydos a decade ago were originally assigned to the mortuary complex of Pharaoh Khasekhemwy of the Second Dynasty (circa 2675 BC). However, after thoroughly examining one of the boats (a sophisticated narrow-prowed "sewn" boat about 23 metres long made of wooden planks lashed together with rope), the excavators now believe that "the ships were buried some centuries before Khasekhemwy's enclosure was built. The fleet may have been intended for use in the afterlife of a much earlier pharaoh, perhaps even Aha [circa 2920 BC], the First Dynasty ruler of Egypt..." ( http://www.archaeology.org/online/news/abydos.html [nofollow] ) If this is the case, since the boat-burials at Abydos are far from being the work of beginners, then it seems obvious that the practise -- and the entire wonderful religious apparatus that goes with it -- must predate the First Dynasty.But by how much?Nobody knows.Another interesting development also announced in December 2000 was the discovery of a group of very unusual ancient tombs at Elkab in Upper Egypt. The Elkab tombs are thought to date to the Second Dynasty, although the site itself has yielded evidence of continuous occupation from 8000 years ago until about 2000 years ago. The tombs are circular stone structures (with diameters of 18 to 20 metres) which in two cases were carefully arranged around large natural boulders. They have been compared with the Neolithic funeral mounds of Europe and, as the Belgian excavators admit, are of a type "thus far unknown in Egypt". ( http://www.usatoday.com/weather/science/ar...tdawn121200.htm [nofollow] )So much then for the archaeologists having the whole picture about the evolution and development of any civilisation - even ancient Egypt which has been the subject of more archaeological investigation than any other.But now let's remember as well that along continental margins and around islands across the world an area bigger than the Unites States of America was inundated at the end of the Ice Age: 3 million square kilometres (an area the size of India) was submerged around Greater Australia alone; another 3 million square kilometres went under around South-East Asia; the Florida, Yucatan and Grand Bahama Banks were fully-exposed off the Gulf of Mexico; huge areas of land were swallowed up in the Mediterranean, the Black Sea, the North Sea and the Atlantic, etc, etc, etc - the list really does goes on and on.In my view the possibility of a serious "black hole" in scientific knowledge about recent prehistory is plausible, reasonable and worthy of consideration. I therefore propose that the conclusions of modern archaeology regarding the origins and early evolution of human civilisation should be treated as provisional until a comprehensive, global, marine-archaeological survey of continental shelves down to depths of at least 120 metres has been undertaken.
quote:Quote:Hancock's previous work, including the popular and controversial Fingerprints of the Gods, has drawn criticism for its leaps of faith and allegedly pseudoscientific conclusions, but Heaven's Mirror proves at least a little more substantial. His chief thesis is that numerous ancient sites and monuments--the pyramids of Mexico and Egypt, the ruins of Angkor Wat in Cambodia, the monuments of Yonaguni in the Pacific, and the megaliths of Peru and Bolivia--are situated in such a way, geodetically, that they point towards some separate and uniform influence, some lost civilization or "invisible college" of astronomer-priests. And that civilization, as evidenced in the mathematics and architecture of the sites, points towards some gnosis, or body of knowledge, that would allow humanity to transcend the trap of mortality, a worldview in which the knowledge-giving serpent of Eden is not a villain but a hero.
quote:the basic theory:Quote:"First of all, there is a common legacy of all these world wide ancient civilizations that they do not even address. This legacy lies not in the 'modern' myth of Atlantis, but in the myths and legends of each of these civilizations which make common reference to cataclysms, especially floods, similar gods or god experiences, and precessional and other astronomically significant numbers, etc, etc. The writing, architecture, and agriculture of these ancients are by products of their development which had its roots in a lost civilization of 12000 years ago. Who today remembers his great grandfather much less thousands of years ago, yet we are subtly influenced by him in ways unknown to us. We have built our lives on the legacy of our ancestors.A survivor of some cataclysm, say a flood, who barely escapes with his life, lands on an island that was a mountain top with little or nothing left of his former life but the knowledge and resourcefulness of how to survive. He may have used a computer or driven a car, but he can't build one nor does he have the materials. He may have organizational skills, however, and be able to bring order to a confused more primitive people who have become cannibalistic as well as chaotic as they crowd together on the top of this mountain. Although he , of course, can read and write, there is nothing to read and no one can read what he writes, so he draws pictures to communicate where language does not work. Others copy his pictures and add their own personality to them until after many millennia a system of picture writing has been established. A system used to record the memory of 'he' who taught them in the beginning.Likewise,the use of certain building techniques spring from those first shelters that 'he' helped them build. Certain architectural styles stem from 'his' own architectural background. These are modified to fit the materials and function of their civilization.Though 'he' probably was not keeping seeds on board 'his' boat at the time of 'his' escape, 'he' knows enough about planting to make use of the indigenous plant life in order to introduce agriculture. Most people today have a basic understanding of growing food which they could use in a time of crisis. Again 'his' agriculture would be in keeping with the resources at hand. As the years went by, everything 'he' taught them would appear as if it were developed by the people themselves.The legacy of the ancients of the lost civilization lies in their knowledge and know-how. They imparted this to those lesser informed, then died. Some of the knowledge was retained and passed on either in myths or in functionality as in the development of structures, agriculture, and picture writing. Around the world this development would be similar, but appropriate to the area that each ancient influenced. And there was a universal symbol left by the ancients, which even school children know, --the serpent, with or without feathers."
quote: quote: In an unprecedented step, the Broadcasting Standards Commission, an organisation appointed to uphold standards and fairness in UK broadcasting, has found the BBC guilty of unfairly representing alternative history authors Graham Hancock and Robert Bauval in a programme broadcast in November of last year. The BBC 2 programme, entitled Atlantis Reborn, was part of the flagship Horizon strand of science-oriented documentaries. The programme-makers, Bettina Lerner (series editor), Christopher Hale (director/producer), and Julian Hudson (researcher), claimed to provide a balanced and objective "testing" of unorthodox theories relating to the development of human civilisation. Now the Broadcasting Standards Commission has judged that the central part of their attack on Hancock and Bauval was unfair. It appears this is the first time in Horizon's 35-year history that it has been found guilty of unfairness by an independent commission. The BSC's finding is therefore a severe blow to Horizon's well-established reputation for even-handedness.
quote:[“Supernatural: Due to or manifesting some agency above the forces of nature, outside of the ordinary operation of cause and effect.”]Supernatural * The evolution of modern humans has taken more than five million years but until less than 50,000 years ago we had no art, no religion, no sophisticated symbolism, no creative and innovative thinking, and quite possibly no language. Then, a dramatic and electrifying change overtook our ancestors in every part of the globe, and all the skills and qualities that we value most highly in ourselves today appeared suddenly, already fully formed, as though bestowed on us by hidden powers. Scientists describe this change as “the greatest riddle in human history”. * The first art of mankind, in the painted caves and rock-shelters of southwest Europe and South Africa, dates back to the time of the great change. Why do these ancient paintings, tens of thousands of years old, depict beings of a kind that are never found in nature – strange and eerie hybrids with the heads of animals and the bodies of humans? * In the depths of the Amazon rainforest tribal shamans drink a powerful hallucinogenic brew called Ayahuasca (“the vine of souls”) in order to induce visions. When they return to normal consciousness, after experiencing what they believe is out-of-body travel in the spirit world, they make paintings of the “intelligent beings” they have encountered. Why are many of these beings also depicted as uncanny hybrids with the heads of animals or serpents and the bodies of humans? And why do the shamans say that they have taught them everything they know about how to live in the jungle, and about the medicinal value of rainforest plants? * Why do Western lab volunteers, placed experimentally under the influence of hallucinogens such as DMT, psilocybin, mescaline and LSD, report visionary encounters with “beings” in the form of animal-human hybrids – beings identical to those the Amazonian shamans claim to meet and to those painted by our ancestors in the prehistoric caves? * What is the significance of the astonishing similarities between the entities known as “aliens”, ET’s” or “greys” in modern popular culture, the entities known as “fairies”, “elves” and “goblins” in the Middle Ages, and the entities that shamans in surviving tribal cultures know as “ghosts”, “gods” and “spirits”? Why are such figures depicted in prehistoric art as far afield as Africa, Europe, the Americas and Australia? * Why have eminent scientists at the cutting edge of consciousness research, especially those who study the ways that hallucinogens work in the brain, recently begun to question long-established theories about the nature of reality? Why are some now even ready to consider the possibility, long ago embraced by shamans, that, far from being “false perceptions”, what we see in the strange imagery and experiences of hallucinations may be real perceptions of other “dimensions” and the beings inhabiting them? * Why did Nobel Prize-winner Francis Crick keep concealed until his death the astonishing circumstances under which he first “saw” the double-helix structure of DNA? And why did he become convinced that natural laws are unable to explain the mysterious complexity of the DNA molecule itself? * Why does the 97 per cent of DNA that scientists do not understand – so-called “junk DNA” – contain chemical “sequences” arranged in patterns and frequencies that are otherwise only found in the deep coding of all human languages? * Could the “supernaturals” first depicted in the painted caves and rock shelters – and still accessible to us today in altered states of consciousness – be the ancient teachers of mankind? Could it be they who first ushered us into the full birthright of our humanity? And could it be that human evolution is not just the “blind”, “meaningless” “natural” process that Darwin identified, but something else, more purposive and intelligent, that we have barely even begun to understand?SupernaturalThese are some of the mysteries at the heart of the quest Hancock unfolds in the pages of his new book Supernatural – a quest that takes him on a journey of adventure and detection from the depths of the Amazon rainforest, to the stunningly beautiful painted caves of prehistoric Europe, and to ancient painted rock-shelters in the remote mountains of South Africa. This is a book of page-turning story-telling with electrifying descriptions of the daunting journey that Hancock must undertake as he drinks hallucinogens with tribal shamans in the Amazon and self-experiments with DMT, psilocybin and the African visionary drug known as Iboga – “the plant that enables men to see the dead.” But Supernatural also has an exciting basis in the latest science – much of it so far largely unknown to the general public. Thus, although the book takes readers into unusual and daring areas of enquiry, and investigates extraordinary possibilities about human origins, and about the nature of consciousness and of reality, the argument is underpinned throughout by the discoveries and views of eminent scientists doing cutting-edge research.Supernatural is published in the UK on 6 October 2005 and in the US during 2006. Copies can be purchased direct from Amazon.co.uk, see here. Graham Hancock will give a number of lectures at bookshops in cities throughout the UK during October 2005. Details of the lecture schedule will be published and updated here.
quote:It is difficult for those who have not experienced Ayahuasca, or other related shamanic hallucinogens, to visualise the strange parallel realities into which these substances bring us. Fortunately, however, a number of shamans in the Amazon are also gifted artists and have made paintings of their own visions. Through these paintings it is possible for all of us to get some glimpse of the Ayahuasca Otherworld – which, mysteriously, is not a different place for each different individual who drinks Ayahuasca. On the contrary, whether experienced by an Amazonian shaman, or an American lawyer, or a European businessman, or a Japanese fashion designer, the Ayahuasca realm is always recognizably the same place, inhabited by the same intelligent beings with the same mission to teach us important truths about ourselves and the nature of the universe. The Peruvian shaman Pablo Amaringo is the most famous and gifted of Ayahuasca artists working today and has kindly granted us permission to reproduce here a gallery of his paintings. Click on any of the images for a larger view.