He picks up his gin and sips slowly on it. We are having our weekly drink at the Qantas Club at Sydney airport before he flies home for the night. I am nineteen.
And I really shouldn’t have worn this hat. It’s too “Che Guevara meets Francois Truffaut”. Too directorly.
I have just asked my father if I can borrow twenty grand against his credit rating to buy a camera and go looking for a sunken city. Probably should have worn a suit. Do I even own a suit?
“Well.” He puts the gin back on the coffee table. “If you’re going diving in Micronesia you’re not going without me.”
Reel it in, Gordon. I pull a book from my manbag and open it to a pre-marked page. Full colour images and maps of Nan Madol. My father’s eyes finally open back up. “Oh, now you’re talking.”
After much negotiating about repayments and me swearing not to do a Masters (which would have been more expensive) we got our kit and flew to Micronesia in late January, 2002.
The documentary was terrible. What would you expect from a nineteen year old and his shortsighted dad who was obsessed with the zoom function despite being banned from using it?
I don’t even have a complete copy of it anymore, just the original DV CAM tapes. (Anyone know where I can get a DV CAM player?)
But it was a terrible documentary about a very important subject -as so many documentaries are.
So whilst on Pohnpei I went to Liduduhniap waterfall, famous for granting wishes. It’s also famous for its giant eels unfortunately, not that this deterred me.
Clambering down the wet, slimy incline and swimming out into the pool, I found a rock to stand on, facing up at the waterfall.
And I wished.
I wished that, one way or another, the information at the core of my little film would reach a wider audience… wider than my film class and whoever plays student documentaries in Sydney.
As the wish ended, a gust of wind raced up the hill and atomised some waterfall spray, for a split second creating dozens of tiny rainbows around the small lagoon.
And here we all are.
Atlantis as a magic eye puzzle
Atlantis, like the existence of aliens, is actually only a recent heresy. For most of history and across most of the world it was taken as a given that an antediluvian culture was lost beneath the waves prior to the development of our own. It is the quintessential origin story of mankind.
The movement from “myth” as something magicians might recognise to “myth” as something Dawkins might say is based on two foundational errors:
- The belief in classical superiority: For most of history’s existence it was taken as unequivocally true that civilisation emerged in the Fertile Crescent and reached its apogee with Greece. No other parts of the world were permitted to have earlier civilisations. (Look up the Aryan Invasion Theory… a favourite of Hitler.)
- Mistaking literalism for ‘good science’: The rejection of all myths as ‘untrue’ was mistakenly considered to be ‘good science’. In a way this error was a necessary step because it served to break up the unhealthy marriage between early history and Biblical archaeology. All myths became false. All pottery fragments became true.
But we are dealing with the archaeology of a memory here. Memories don’t tend to leave potshards in neat sedimentary layers next to helpful handwritten texts describing precise cosmologies and relationships to other cultures.
Memories of cataclysms? Even less so.
And here’s the thing about Atlantis. We don’t need to go out and find precise evidence of a legend… we simply need to refocus our eyes and look at the evidence which is already there.
Then, like a magic eye puzzle, something genuinely remarkable comes into view.
The tip of the ice age
It hasn’t escaped many pseudohistorians’ notice that the first observable tips of centralised human civilisation -Sumer, Egypt, the Indus Valley- have a tendency to appear fully formed at the end of the ice age and, in most cases, get technologically worse before recovering.
Of course, it only appears like they appear. If you were to ask them, you would get a very different (longer) story. In every case we have almost arbitrarily picked a date when a culture began, largely to satisfy an existing global chronology.
By way of example, here’s a reasonable compilation of Ancient Egyptian mytho-chronology. Conventional history has the Ancient Egyptian dynastic story start with Menes, despite the fact it goes back thousands of years before that in every available source: Edfu, Manetho, Seti I’s king lists. But they are all ‘mythical’, you see. And yet certain dates seem to line up.
- 28,000 BCE: The ancient historian Manetho describes a period of about 25,000 years before the rise of Menes, first king of the First Dynastic period in Egypt. The first rulers are the gods themselves, particularly Horus, who ruled for a period of about 13,000 years.
- 15,000 to 11,000 BCE: Cataclysmic end of the last Ice Age, typified by a rising of waters and multiple natural disasters.
- 15,000 BCE: According to the Edfu Building texts, when the original gods are destroyed, after a transitional time of darkness, death, and decay, there is a period of rebuilding led by the Shebtui, or builder-gods, who then leave for parts unknown to continue their work.
- 12,500 to 9500 BCE: the people of the Nile river valley have agriculture, domesticated animals and advanced tool-making technology as attested by tens of thousands of vases, cups, and other artifacts carved from excessively hard stones such as diorite, amethyst, porphyry, and rose quartz.
- 12,000 BCE: In the fifth century BCE, Herodotus records that 11,340 years have passed since the reign of the first Pharaoh, placing the beginning of that reign in the twelfth millennnium. It is likely that this first Pharaoh is included among the Shemsu-Hor, who were recognized as being demi-divine like the later Horus-kings.
- 11,380 to 9220 BCE: Precessional Age of Leo. Several writers have argued convincingly that the Sphinx is dated to this period and is intended as a monument to mark specific events related to this age. The date of 10,500 BCE seems significant based on astronomical parallels that occur on the Spring Equinox in that year. The Valley Temple and Osireion, as well as other cyclopean structures probably date to this period or before.
In order to give ourselves a ‘magic eye’ view of Atlantean history, then, it becomes necessary for each area we look at to satisfy two criteria:
- That there is proof of occupation stretching back between the end of the ice age and the last glacial maximum.
- That the geographic areas suffered substantial land loss as a result of rising sea levels.
Where these two points align you can say with confidence that our ancestors in those areas experienced a cataclysmic sea level rise.
For a long time, scientists had assumed a gradual expansion of African people through Sinai into both Europe and Asia. Then, bizarrely, it became clear from both genetics and archaeology that Europe was peopled later (after 40,000 years ago) than Australia (before 50,000 years ago).
So a new idea was born, sometimes called the “beachcomber express,” in which the first ex-Africans were seashore dwellers who spread rapidly around the coast of the Indian Ocean, showing an unexpected skill at seafaring to reach Australia across a strait that was at least 40 miles wide.
The fact that the long-isolated Andaman islanders have genes that diverged from other Asians about 60,000 years ago fits this notion of sudden seaside peopling.
Sea levels were 150 feet lower then, because the cold had locked up so much moisture in northern ice-caps, so not only were most Indonesian islands linked by land, but the Persian Gulf was dry and, crucially, the southern end of the Red Sea was a narrow strait. Recent work by Prof. Geoffrey Bailey and colleagues from York University in Britain has shown that the gap was often less than 2½ miles wide for up to 60 miles. People would not have needed to move through Sinai and the inhospitable Arabian desert to reach the Indian Ocean shoreline. They could raft or swim across a narrow marine canal.
The story grew more complicated last year when a team led by Hans Peter Uerpmann of the University of Tübingen in Germany described a set of stone tools found under a rock overhang in eastern Arabia, dating from 125,000 years ago. The tools were comparable to those made by east Africans around the same time. This was when Arabia was wetter than today, but the Red Sea crossing was wider.
So maybe Arabia was colonized early and there was a long pause before the Beachcomber Express set off for southeast Asia? If so, the genetics of Arabians should show convergence on an ancient ancestor of more than 125,000 years ago. They don’t: Recent research suggests a common ancestor only 60,000 years ago.
Two ways out of the impasse come to mind. One is that the Arabian settlers of 125,000 years ago died out and were replaced by a new exodus from Africa. The second is that there may have been back-migration into Africa to muddy the genetic water. Complicating the issue is the volcanic eruption of Toba, in Sumatra, around 74,000 years ago, which injected so much sulfurous dust into the high atmosphere that it caused prolonged droughts that might have come close to wiping out many human populations.
So we have a minimum of 30,000 years of little monkey tokens in southern India, island south east Asia and -stay with me on this- central and southern America.
Our new understanding of climate and sea-level change sheds light on something that has long puzzled archaeologists: How did modern humans colonize the far reaches of the globe so quickly after their exodus from Africa? If Erlandson and his colleagues are right, it was a series of sea voyages and river crossings that brought our ancestors to alien lands, launching the greatest biological invasion of all time.
Twenty years ago, most archaeologists would simply have laughed at the idea of Ice Age mariners colonizing the globe. These days, as minds are opening to the possibility, Erlandson and others are beginning to receive major grants that will speed up the pace of research. “Now that people are thinking about coastal migration,” Erlandson says, “we have a truly golden opportunity.”
Now we need to have a look (FINALLY) at a map. Below is the shape of the world at the Last Glacial Maxium.
10 million square miles -an area the size of Europe and China combined- went under the sea between this point and the end of the ice age. Notice southern India is connected to Sri Lanka? Notice Brazil is decidedly fatter? Notice central America has a weird Caribbean growth?
Most importantly, notice how island south east Asia is all joined up? That’s where most of the land was lost. Sundaland.
From New Statesman:
One of the more intriguing suggestions in the past decade is that the initial spread of humans from Africa extended along the southern coastline of Eurasia, to what is now Southeast Asia, then a subcontinent called Sundaland that was twice the size of modern India, stretching from Burma to Borneo. The flooding of this fertile paradise as the last Ice Age ended forced these people to adapt to new lifestyles, flee to new lands, or become extinct.
Polynesia has the highest concentration of flood myths anywhere on the planet.
Given that ‘poly’ means ‘many’ and ‘nesia’ means islands, should this be surprising?
The Pacific is a hemisphere. It doesn’t look like it on most maps but it is basically half the entire world. In just a few short centuries the early Polynesians colonised every habitable speck from one side to the other. It is without peer the greatest act of exploration mankind undertook until the Apollo missions.
I put it to you that what these guys didn’t know about water wasn’t worth knowing. And from Melanesia to Easter Island there are stories of floods and there are stories of The Flood.
The trouble, of course, is that the timings of many Polynesian stories of The Flood don’t match up with when we think they colonised the Pacific. And here is where we get to the crux of my graduating thesis; Wet Feet: Un-writing The History of The Pacific. (Gods, what a dickbag.)
- Polynesia was the last place to be discovered and colonised by European powers. By the time the colonisers arrived, the story of mankind had been, in a literal sense, ‘written’ in the drawing rooms of London and Amsterdam. Civilisation began in the Fertile Crescent, moved into Europe and India, moved into China and Japan, moved into the Americas… the end. And so Polynesians were tacked on the end of the Asian story: the largest people on earth somehow descended from the smallest in the space of seven hundred years, between 500AD – 100AD.
- Cultures living in perishable environments tend to create perishable artifacts. They aren’t super-fans of amphorae. So there was nothing to ‘date’.
Eventually some pottery was found that kinda matched the geographic area and some super-scientific linguistic analysis was used to demonstrate the out-of-Taiwan ‘speedboat to Polynesia model’.
And then Dr Oppenheimer came along. (Not that one.)
The motif is found right across the Polynesian island and even in lower levels in the mountains of Peru.
It’s a genetic adaption to malaria that first appeared about 17,000 years ago. In island south east Asia. Look up at that map again.
More was to come.
Including marker that is 30,000 years old, from the Spice Islands and is an adaptation for cold weather. On the equator. This can only have developed in response to many millennia of exposure to life in an oceanic environment. These selective advantages would have meant the difference between life and death for the eventual colonisation of Pacific islands. Summed up in Polynesian Cold Resistance and Famine Resistance: “In the case of the Spice Islanders, ancestors of the Polynesians, as for cold-adapted Neanderthals in Europe, we suggest that nature took exposure to a long-standing continuous risk of hypothermia seriously.”
From the New Statesman again:
DNA research led by Leeds University’s Martin Richards, one of only two professors of archaeogenetics in the world, supports this idea, showing that the stone-age people on the southeastern shore of Sundaland expanded across the newly formed island chains 12,000 years ago.
The new theory, published in the journal Molecular Biology and Evolution, is likely to draw bitter criticism from supporters of the old consensus, based on linguistics, that the area is populated today by descendants of a rice-growing people called the Austronesians who expanded from Taiwan just 4,000 years ago. “Some quite forceful archaeologists have been extremely reluctant to accept this,” says Professor Richards. “And I haven’t met a single linguist willing to give up the out-of-Taiwan argument.”
Professor Richards argues that many populations will have been wiped out as their land disappeared beneath the waves.
But one group could have been pre-adapted to the new environment, which had fewer inland plains and meandering riverbanks and twice as much coastline – the people of southeast Sundaland, who may have had a maritime culture linking them to the nearby Wallacean island group, named after the Victorian naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace, which includes New Guinea.
If you’re just tuned in, that’s gene-markers putting the greatest oceanic culture ever on a sunken continent. Let’s get some physical remains:
The artefacts — nearly 39,000 fishbones and three fish hooks — were found in a limestone cave in Jerimalai in East Timor, 50 metres (165 feet) above sea level, said Sue O’Connor from the Australian National University’s department of archaeology and natural history.
“There was never any hint of (what) maritime technology people might have had in terms of fishing gear 40,000 years ago,” O’Connor, the study’s lead author, told Reuters by telephone from Canberra.
“(This study showed) you got ability to make hooks, you are using lines on those hooks. If you can make fibre lines, you can make nets, you are probably using those fibres on your boats.”
“It gives us a lot of information on how people subsisted on these very small islands on their way to Australia,” she said.
Modern humans were capable of long-distance sea travel 50,000 years ago as they colonised Australia, but evidence of advanced maritime fishing has been rare.
Researchers until now have only been able to find evidence of open-ocean fishing up to 12,000 years ago.
Most of these gene markers run up the Asian coast.
It’s a trick of the map but, because the Pacific is a hemisphere, it’s more or less the same distance to get to South America by way of Russia and Alaska and then come back home across the equator. This enables you to take advantage of oceanic currents both heading out and heading back again.
(It would also explain the pre-Beringia evidence stretching from Alaska to California.)
Just up the Asian coast from Sundaland, before the end of the ice age -you know, in case it might be connected- this was above sea level at the time.
So summing up Sundaland then:
Genetic markers and physical evidence put a population of seafarers on a sunken continent for tens of thousands of years with incontrovertible proof of contact with South America.
The descendants of this population then set out into the Pacific, taking with them an exquisite knowledge of the stars, a tradition of megalithic building and the greatest concentration of flood myths found anywhere in the world.
Doesn’t that sound familiar?
One of the other guests is a friend from her university course. He is Sri Lankan. As we sit in the stairwell smoking cigarettes and drinking the worst vodka ever sold, I ask him about Sri Lanka’s sunken cities.
He eyes me suspiciously. “How do you know about that?” (Time to move in for the kill.)
A few drinks later and it turns out there are loads of sunken ruins around Sri Lanka… the most impressive being in the north. So the opening chapters of Underworld were smilingly familiar:
Five kilometres off the south east coast of India, in the shark-infested Bay of Bengal, an ancient man-made structure sits at the bottom of the sea. The structure is U-shaped, like a huge horseshoe, its periphery measures 85 metres and its walls are about 1 metre thick and two metres high.
‘Ancient. Definitely!’ Rao exclaimed. ‘And, in fact, where really was the origin of India’s earliest-known civilization – the Indus Valley civilization? Scholars guess but nobody knows. The Indus Valley script is already a highly developed script when it first appears in the third millennium BC. The early architecture is already developed – you have got brick structures, you have got drains, everything is planned and all that – so there must be something before that. Where is the evolutionary phase? We don’t know.’
At its peak around 2500 BC, the Indus-Sarasvati civilisation had at least six inland cities of more than 30,000 people.
The cities were highly developed with a great degree of pre-planning in streets, covered sewage systems, private toilets, running water to homes, remarkable plumbing and homes constructed of kiln-fired brick. This is more sophisticated than many of the cities in India, Pakistan and Asia today.
What is so special bout kiln-fired brick? According to Jay Carrigan, the former VP of Alton Brick of Illinois, “It requires 1,700-1,900 degrees of heat to bake the bricks. Currently the ceramic lining is used inside the ovens and the oven needs to withstand temperatures of 2,500 to 3,000 degrees”.
It is simply impossible that a complex civilisation with indoor plumbing that fires bricks to almost two thousand degrees centigrade emerged from nowhere. Which is why, for most of history, European scholars have assumed the city-building tech came from outside India… largely in the form of invading Mesopotamians who brought their craftsmen.
The earliest Indus-Sarasvati sites on land are 9,000 years old… and the sunken structures on the other side of the country were submerged 11,000 years ago.
If anything, the tech went the other way… out of India into Mesopotamia. (And I would argue that indeed some of it did.)
Where Kumari Kandam becomes important is in the consideration of the Vedas. Following the collapse of the Aryan Invasion theory, the Rig Veda, already the longest-used spiritual text on the planet, is essentially homeless… If there were no ‘Aryans’ to bring these ideas into India, then where did they come from?
At this point it’s worth noting that the dating of the Vedas is essentially arbitrary. Because they predate Buddha (500 BC), European Orientalists basically took a stab that they were collected/codified a thousand years earlier. (Never mind the fact they initially were an oral tradition which, as you might expect, is near-impossible to date.)
A sublime, astrologically-influenced set of guidelines and techniques for spiritual advancement sitting right next the earliest and most advanced civilisation yet found. Complete with references to global foods and mass migrations of people out of coastal cities. And for some reason, it was supposed to have been compiled a scant seven hundred years after Indus-Sarasvati?
Speculating further, the author explores the profound reasons underpinning civilization. Although the modern West is dominated by material and economic theories of human life, India with its vibrant spiritual culture . . . raises the possibility that the real origins of civilization could be very different — not driven by economics but by the spiritual quest that all true ascetics of India still pursue with the utmost dedication. . . .
And since archaeologists are now in universal agreement that there is an unbroken continuity of culture from Mehrgarh I [a prehistoric city in Baluchistan, located 500 km from the Pakistani coast] around 9000 years ago all the way down to the great cities of the Indus-Sarasvati civilization around 4500 years ago, shouldn’t we expect signs of the same yogic ethic to turn up there?
When trying to extrapolate backwards from Hindu spirituality today to what it may have looked like in Kumari Kandam it seems useful to consider what the Hermetica looks like compared to what we know of the earliest Ancient Egyptian beliefs. Echoes of echoes, tumbled down over a length of time much greater than that separating yourself and Jesus.
But there may still be a glimmer of original fire behind all that smoke. We’ll come back to this.
I’m just going to come right out and say it. There is ample evidence of occupation in Central America and the northern parts of South America from 30,000 years ago. Ample.
Clovis may have been a thing… but it certainly wasn’t the first thing.
“A total of seven charcoal samples from hearths at site BPF 1 were subjected to the full ABOX-SC procedure and their radiocarbon contents were determined by accelerator mass spectrometry at the Australian National University. Five of the samples proved to be even beyond the limit of this new technique, returning ages of greater than 56,000 BP. Finite ages of 53,000 and 55,000 BP were obtained for the remaining two (Santos et al., in manuscript).
These new results push back the time of human occupation at the Pedra Furada site by at least another 8,000 years relative to the previous results. Hence, it appears that humans were already at this site about 60,000 years ago, and possibly even earlier.”
“My research could have implications for the ancient burial rights of North American Indians because it’s quite possible that dolichocephalic man existed in North America well before the native Indians,” she said. But even more controversial is the suggestion that Peñon woman could be a descendant of Stone Age Europeans who had crossed the ice-fringed Atlantic some 15,000 or 20,000 years ago.
This theory first surfaced when archaeologists found flint blades and spear points in America that bore a remarkable similarity to those fashioned by the Solutrean people of south-western France who lived about 20,000 years ago, when the ice age was at its most extreme. The Solutreans were the technologists of their day, inventing such things as the eyed needle and the heat treatment of flint to make it easier to flake into tools. They also built boats and fished.
More on the ancient Trans-Atlantic connection:
Another key argument for Stanford and Bradley’s proposal is the complete absence of any human activity in north-east Siberia and Alaska prior to around 15,500 years ago. If the Maryland and other east coast people of 26,000 to 19,000 years ago had come from Asia, not Europe, early material, dating from before 19,000 years ago, should have turned up in those two northern areas, but none have been found.
That’s on one side of the coast. Let’s return to the other. Don’t forget about the Polynesian Motif showing up in the mountains of Peru, either.
The oldest signs of habitation in north or south America were previously believed to be stone spear points discovered at Clovis, New Mexico, in the 1930s. They were dated at 11,000 years old. Charcoal, a chipped stone stool and scraps of food found recently, however, have been dated at 40,000 years old -the remains, perhaps, of a campfire lit by ancient seafarers from Asia.
The theory that Aborigines could have travelled by water to the Americas has been given further credence by the discovery of a painting of an ocean- going vessel in Western Australia, which is 20,000 years old. The 4,000-mile journey between Australia and South America can still be undertaken with relatively short island hops.
Dennis Stanford, chairman of the anthropology department at the Natural Museum of History in Washington DC, believes the capability of prehistoric peoples has long been underestimated. “Way back then they weren’t really ‘cave’ people, they were pretty sophisticated, ” he said. “I think Neolithic people were doing a whole lot more than we give them credit for; they were just as smart as you and I, they just did different things.”
Here, then, we get to the crux of the problem:
The above admission(s) opens up several other problems. Archeology is beginning to demonstrate clearly that ice age mankind was getting to the shores of the Americas. But to cross a 3,000 mile-wide ocean requires some technology and logistics that are not being faced. It takes months to cross a body of water as large as the Atlantic, which necessitates food, water and other supplies, which in turn require a sufficient amount of onboard storage space. Therefore, we are not talking about small flimsy boats made of animal skins, and a crew of two. A crew of at least a dozen is far more likely.
We are, therefore, postulating a ship at least as large as the average Viking vessel, or possibly as large as ancient Phoenician warships. Such would need to be propelled by sails or other means, which would necessitate a sizeable crew. Navigational knowledge and techniques (with the necessary instrumentation) must be assumed.
Central and South America suffer from a similar ‘historical erasure’ as Polynesia but for slightly different reasons. South America in particular was probably subject to the worst incidence of colonisation in the entire mercantile expansion and the Spanish were genuinely loathe to attribute value or longevity to any part of the indigenous ‘demonic’ culture.
But, luckily (?), in the ensuing centuries, emerging powerhouse economies like Brazil are developing robust domestic academic industries -as is India- and is increasingly dismissive of old order (foreign imposed) dates if they don’t match what’s found on the ground.
And holy shit is there a lot of it. Let’s race through some of my favourites:
- Have you ever been to/looked at Tiahuanaco and thought to yourself “600AD? There are buildings in England older than that. Bullshit.”
- Every Andean civilisation considered Lake Titicaca to be the original place of creation.
- Tiahuanaco has only been fractionally excavated due to very high levels of silt covering the early layers, there is decent photographic evidence of subsurface structures in the nearby lake.
- The city is aligned to lake levels from almost 10,000 years ago.
- One of the Tiahuanaca’s stones weighs 170 tonnes. Puma Punku has a megalith that weighs 447 tonnes. One of Sacsayhuaman’s weights 355 tonnes. It is one of the largest blocks ever incorporated into any structure anywhere. Let that sink in.
- de la Vega recounted the one time the Spanish witnessed the Incas trying to lift a megalith: twenty thousand of them pulled it up and down mountains by rope, the rope snapped, three thousands of them were crushed.
- Tiahuanaco’s principal quarry was 60km away from the site.
- The metal clamps that held the megaliths together would have required a portable smelter capable of extremely high temperatures to create an arsenic nickel bronze alloy. No such tech has been attributed to pre-Columbian America. Also there is no nickel in Bolivia.
- When the Spanish asked the Aymara if the Inca built Tiahuanaco they laughed and said it was built long before the Inca reign.
- Viracocha (Andean) and Quetzalcoatl (Mexican) are both pale-skinned, bearded civilising gods. Viracocha emerged on the island Titicaca (The Island of The Sun) after the flood. Tiahuanaco was his first city.
- Carvings at Tiahuanaco depict a Toxodon -which became extinct more than 12,000 years ago. Other carvings depict an elephant that is either an extinct subspecies -also from 12,000 years ago- or a picture of something you find in Africa or Asia.
- It’s astronomical alignments point to a date of approximately 12,000 years ago. No, they really do.
- The former National Director of Bolivian Archaeology in a 1997 interview stated that the astronomical alignments are from 12,000 years ago. He resigned soon after. In a follow-up with Graham Hancock in Heaven’s Mirror he said “Tiahuanaco could be Atlantis, more or less”.
Undoubtedly the Inca occupied and altered numerous megalithic sites such as Tiahuanaco. But don’t buy the orthodox chronology. It’s completely wrong. Where did the Olmecs come from? Each new discovery pushes the date back by maybe a century but it is still not good enough. Tiahuanaco is another jigsaw where the final piece doesn’t match the last hole. If it’s twelve thousand years old then the entire story of the Americas is wrong and needs to be refigured.
Check the numbers. How are orthodox historians dating Calakmul, for instance?
Just because I throw Timmy down the well doesn’t mean I built the damn well. And certainly not on the same day as the throwing.
Olmecs, Mayans and Incas… three civilisations obsessed with repeating epochs who freely admitted theirs were not the first feet to walk their own path, each with unbelievably precise astronomical and calendrical understandings that can only have been acquired over centuries of observation.
There are gigantic megalithic structures astronomically aligned to 12,000 years ago in the mountain tops, there is genetic and archaeological evidence of trans-oceanic contact in both directions dating back thirty thousand years, there is a civilising god appearing after a global flood in an area that lost a lot of land to the end of the ice age.
And it turns out that there was a vast network of cities in the Amazon jungle when it wasn’t even jungle:
For some scholars of human history in Amazonia, the geoglyphs in the Brazilian state of Acre and other archaeological sites suggest that the forests of the western Amazon, previously considered uninhabitable for sophisticated societies partly because of the quality of their soils, may not have been as “Edenic” as some environmentalists contend.
Instead of being pristine forests, barely inhabited by people, parts of the Amazon may have been home for centuries to large populations numbering well into the thousands and living in dozens of towns connected by road networks, explains the American writer Charles C. Mann. In fact, according to Mr. Mann, the British explorer Percy Fawcett vanished on his 1925 quest to find the lost “City of Z” in the Xingu, one area with such urban settlements.
While researchers piece together the Amazon’s ecological history, mystery still shrouds the origins of the geoglyphs and the people who made them. So far, 290 such earthworks have been found in Acre, along with about 70 others in Bolivia and 30 in the Brazilian states of Amazonas and Rondônia.
My assertion is not that the Mayans and the Inca weren’t megalithic societies, my assertion is that Central and South America have been almost continuously occupied by megalithic cultures for fifteen to twenty thousand years.
One last thing. At the end of last year a Mexican tourism minister claimed the government is releasing evidence of ancient alien contact with the Mayans and that there is a three thousand year old landing pad in the jungle. (Also Mexico City consistently has the coolest UFOs. Perhaps it’s like showing up to an old friend’s house only to find out they’ve moved?)
There’s really no other way to say it. There is an Atlantis-shaped hole in the story of the Americas.
We’ll come back to it. First let’s look up.
Tumbling forward and backward in the sky
The thing about trans-oceanic navigation is that it relies on an understanding of the night sky that can only come from countless centuries of observation.
The thing about astrology is that it relies on an understanding of the night sky that can only come from countless centuries of observation.
So let’s use those magic eye skills and paint ourselves a picture of the ancient, ancient Near East and Mediterranean:
Seafaring before the Neolithic – circa 7th millennium BCE – is a controversial issue in the Mediterranean. However, evidence from different parts of the Aegean is gradually changing this, revealing the importance of early coastal and island environments. The site of Ouriakos on the island of Lemnos (Greece) tentatively dates to the end of the Pleistocene and possibly the beginning of the Holocene, circa 12,000 BP.
Twelve thousand BP? Let’s go further.
This paper summarises the current development in the southern Ionian Islands (Kefallinia and Zakynthos) prehistory and places it within the context of seafaring. Archaeological data from the southern Ionian Islands show human habitation since Middle Palaeolithic going back to 110 ka BP yet bathymetry, sea-level changes and the Late Quaternary geology, show that Kefallinia and Zakynthos were insular at that time. Hence, human presence in these islands indicates inter island-mainland seafaring. Seafaring most likely started some time between 110 and 35 ka BP and the seafarers were the Neanderthals. Seafaring was encouraged by the coastal configuration, which offered the right conditions for developing seafaring skills according to the “voyaging nurseries” and “autocatalysis” concepts.
A hundred and ten thousand years? That means that by the time it gets to -say- twenty thousand years BP there should be evidence of trade and trans-oceanic exchange.
And there is. From as far afield as Jordan.
Excavations at the site of Kharaneh IV are providing archaeologists with a new perspective on how humans lived 20,000 years ago. Although the area is starkly dry and barren today, during the last Ice Age the deserts of Jordan were in bloom, with rivers, streams, and seasonal lakes and ponds providing a rich environment for hunter-gatherers to settle in.
“People lived here for considerable periods of time when these huts were built. They exchanged objects with other groups in the region and even buried their dead at the site. These activities precede the settlements associated with the emergence of agriculture, which replaced hunting and gathering later on. At Kharaneh IV we have been able to document similar behaviour a full 10,000 years before agriculture appears on the scene.”
“Inside the huts, we found intentionally burnt piles of gazelle horn cores, clumps of red ochre pigment and a cache of hundreds of pierced marine shells. These shell beads were brought to the site from the Mediterranean and Red Sea over 250 km away, showing that people were very well linked to regional social networks and exchanged items across considerable distances.”
What would be ideal is if we could find a site that connects backwards into the ice age to the first time we met the neighbours… as well as forwards towards the first acknowledged civilisations on our side of the ice age… Egypt and Sumer.
Enter Gobeklitepe. (I heartily recommend buying this documentary.)
Here we find, at the very end of the ice age, thousands of years before agriculture, in an area where people don’t appear to have settled… a megalithic zodiac.
The carvings on the T-pillars encircling the larger central pillars appear to stand for different zodiacal signs. The therianthropic imagery appears to depict constellations.
The stones are between forty and sixty tonnes. Only 6 of 20 temples have so far been excavated.
Each temple appears to follow a similar shape: two large T-shaped stones, depicting stylised human beings, surround by a circle of smaller T-shaped stones. (The number of smaller pillars vary from temple to temple.) Every temple was originally open to the sky and they all faced south.
Gobeklitepe is a sanctuary rather than a settlement, the Vatican complex of Stone Age temples.
Symbols we may recognise include the scorpion and multiple Taurine depictions… to me these connect back to our earliest spiritual cave art as well as forward to Egypt and Babylon (all Babylonian gods are depicted with horns or horned helmets)… is it the Horned God coming into view for the first time as we cross the threshold of the end of the ice age?
The temples represent in stone a gathering of stellar beings around what are probably archetypal ancestors in the centre.
Two other repeated symbols of interest are the crane… potentially the first appearance of Thoth as civilising teacher (and resident of the moon) in the archaeological record.
The second one is the snake. This ties neatly backwards into the prevailing theory of entheogenic imagery, typically beginning with a snake, but also ties in with what is potentially a key contributor to locating the original home of the zodiac… a proto-Vedic understanding of kundalini. (And we know there are contemporaneous buildings underwater off the coast of India… one of the first locations mankind landed at after leaving Africa.)
In fact, the Urfa museum, houses a statue head pulled from the similar Nevali Cori temple before it was flooded to build a reservoir. This head has a carved snake crawling up from the neck (in kundalini fashion) over the top of the skull (above the pineal gland) and finishing at the ‘third eye’. (Sidebar: This is what I have always personally thought the uraeus represented.)
The final tie-back to the shamanic era, Klaus Schmidt, head of the Gobeklitepe dig from day one, says the ‘food preparation’ structures in the middle of most of the temples were “very likely used for drug preparation.”
Cosmological connections can only ever be circumstantial. Similarities in belief and ritual may appear obvious to the magically inclined but what is really needed to tie everything together is something that can be measured. Something like the fact that numerous ancient temples around the world -including Gobeklitepe- are built for sound:
The results of recent research suggests that ancient, or prehistoric, builders of the monumental structures found in such diverse places as Ireland, Malta, southern Turkey and Peru all have a peculiarly common characteristic — they may have been specially designed to conduct and manipulate sound to produce certain sensory effects.
Those structures that have been excavated feature massive, T-shaped, standing limestone pillars. “In the center of a circular shrine,” she says, “a limestone pillar “sings” when smacked with the flat of the hand. Obviously made to represent a human with a decorated belt and hands carved in relief at its waist, it bears unexplained symbols in the area of the throat.”
And now, new findings of a recent archaeoacoustic study suggests that the ancients of the 3,000-year-old Andean ceremonial center at Chavín de Huántar, in the central highlands of Peru, practiced a fine art and science of manipulating sound with architecture to produce desired sensory effects.
With the assistance of architectural form and placement, and sounds emitted from conch-shell trumpets, the “oracle” of Chavín de Huántar “spoke” to the ancient center’s listeners.
“How curious that such varied ancient structures, separated by so much time and distance, should have common features which imply sophisticated knowledge”, observes Eneix. “Did the architects of the day each make and develop their own discoveries or did they inherit a concept from some older school of learning? Adding the time element to other fields of comparison suggests human trail-blazing of monumental proportion.”
It’s worth mentioning that Ray Sherwin recounts an anecdote in passing about his time living in Egypt where he strayed away from his friends at a particular temple and found himself in a space where his normal speaking voice was amplified like the Great Oz in the public spaces.
What’s also worth mentioning in the context of entheogens… if you haven’t heard percussive music while under their influence you may want to look into it. My gut/pineal gland tells me this could be the secret to sonic temples.
Pulling all these disparate threads together, may I put it to you that we can make some confident assumptions regarding the antediluvian worldview?
- The use of entheogens and music as a means of entering an Otherworld that is in some way matched with the stellar (astral) realm.
- Based on how these data pop up in later epochs I will go out on a limb and suggest an afterlife belief in intentional reincarnation. (ie it’s your choice to come back.) Yes, this is a personal preference but I also happen to think it is the best match for the available information. Feel free to suggest alternatives.
- The possibility of some kind of personal spiritual technology/yoga as evidenced by the meditational resting of the hands of the large T-pillars and the presence of kundalini imagery.
- Teachers from, teachers ‘who are’ the stars, in either physical or (more likely) non-physical form.
- A vastly ancient zodiac. Both this point and the one above may be the by-products of trans-oceanic navigation. (Or that could be reversed for the same effect.)
- A sky/ground connection that involves building models of the cosmos out of ritual spaces.
Quite a number of these threads can be found woven into the earliest post-ice age civilisations, specifically Sumer and Egypt. Significantly, we can make the pleasingly wild speculation that just as Hermetic notions of sky/ground dualism are tumble down notions from Dynastic Egypt…The Egyptian versions of this belief may well be tumble downs from antediluvian civilisation. For what is Gobeklitepe if not “As above, so below?” (Personal sidebar: RO… this was what I meant the other night.)
If the essay stopped here it would comprise a complete -and not entirely unreasonable- reexamination of existing historical data to paint a picture of a connected world of global maritime cultures stretching back to the last glacial maximum.
The idea being that Atlantis isn’t a place, it’s a shared global memory of a catastrophe that caused mankind to effectively hit the ‘reset’ button and start again. There is no need for Atlantis to be a single physical location when it is better to think of it as a tumbled down constellation of ancestral memories.
But that’s just not as much fun as outraging your sense of reason and good taste.
So I’m going to tell you where Atlantis is.
Heresy of heresies
- Beyond the Pillars of Herakles (straights of Gibraltar) in what can truly be called the Great Ocean.
- A seafaring nation with it’s capital in the middle of a continent.
- Starting from a distant point in the Atlantic, it invaded Europe and Asia
- It is an island larger than Libya and Asia. The ‘greatest’ island.
- It was possible for the travelers of that time to cross from it to the other islands, and from the islands to the whole of the continent over against them which encompasses that veritable ocean.
- “Yonder is a real ocean, and the land surrounding it may most rightly be called, in the fullest and truest sense, a continent. Now in this island of Atlantis there existed a confederation of kings, of great and marvelous power, which held sway over all the island, and over many other islands also and parts of the continent.”
It can only be the Americas. where else
- Can you put the capital of a seafaring empire in the middle of a continent and still have it accessible to the ocean if not the Caribbean?
- Can be considered ‘in the truest sense a continent’ surrounded by a ‘real ocean’? North and South America; one chunk of land with the two great oceans of the world surrounding it.
- Can you island hop, cross some hills and go from one ‘veritable ocean’ (Atlantic) to the other (Pacific)?
- Can you hold sway ‘over many other islands’ (the Caribbean) and ‘parts of the continent’ (Peru and Brazil)?
- Do the timings given in Timaeus coincide with the loss off vast amounts of coastal land in Brazil and the Yucatan?
The trouble with the word ‘Atlantis’ is people invoke it when talking about any newly discovered urban settlement… sometimes it doesn’t even have anything to do with water. (And nothing about Thera matches up. Nothing. Wrong place, wrong time, wrong shape and Solon knew about Thera. He didn’t need some passive aggressive Egyptian priest calling him a child over Thera.)
Thus, ‘Atlantean’ means two things that are often conflated but don’t need to be:
- ‘Atlantean’ in the sense of ‘pertaining to antediluvian culture or evidence’. ie all the other stuff we’re talking about in this post.
- ‘Atlantean’; pertaining to the city and empire that Plato wrote about.
And I put it to you that the Egyptian priest in Timaeus pointed to a hieroglyphed pillar and told Solon the specific story of the destruction of the first megalithic culture in the Americas. (Recall that New Kingdom mummies including Tutankhamun are sometimes found with traces of nicotine and cocaine, both Central and Southern American substances.)
So the 2000 AD discovery of a mysterious city of platforms, pyramids and grand concourses sunk off the western tip of Cuba should surely be big news?
And yet it kinda isn’t. (History Channel is not big news.)
In 2000 [Paulina Zelitsky] and a Canadian crew headed an expedition to look for petroleum in deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico. When they tracked the marine bottom the scientists found an unusual, intriguing image: great constructions of stone, perfectly aligned under the water, on an extension of several thousands of square meters.
Paulina Zelitsky, using her sonar equipment found the remains of a city under the sea, with great buildings, avenues and wharves made of granite.
“These constructions seemed polished, formed by not by limestone as might be expected. The images showed, very great stones, aligned in symmetrical form, very well organized assembly, as if they were the result of city-planning and sitting on a volcanic crystal sediment, very fine, like sand.”
The scientists saw, to a side of those constructions, something similar to streets, avenues, bays and structures similar to wharves of some port. They understood that the material of the constructions and the volcanic crystal of the floor could not be formed at this great depth (2,200 feet) under the sea but rather, on the surface, in contact with oxygen.
First in arriving at the coast of the Gulf of Mexico were the Olmecs, who soon founded Sale, in Tabasco. According to the oral tradition of that culture, their predecessors identified their origin in an island that disappeared, called “A tlan you cu”.
Zelinsky found the site, went back the next year, went back in 2004 and then… that was it.
Nothing since then. The internet tells me she’s almost gone into hiding.
I think about this sometime on my trips to the British Museum. As I walk through giant room after giant room, everything neatly labelled and dated, it occurs to me… Atlantis has been found. If you admit that fact then the museum is in immediate need of miles and miles of redecorating. And this is just one place. The whole edifice of the western European narrative starts to slip like a clown’s face in the rain.
But -Hail Chaos- one of the upsides of this apocalypse is its multiplicity of narratives. Everyone knows our elected leaders are lying about Greece/The Euro/bank bailouts/how much tax they pay… and yet they will still parrot the lie. Everyone knows that healthcare policy is set to help global pharmaceutical companies and has nothing to do with the actual provision of healthcare. Everyone knows that the food pyramid on the side of the cereal packet that coincidentally has cereal at the bottom is bullshit.
There is a fucking city of step pyramids and processional streets stretching thousands of square metres at the bottom of the sea. If you ignore it, we will ignore you. Praise be to Babalon but the role of untalented, gatekeeping historian has been permanently disintermediated in the digital apocalypse.
Watch some videos of the structures. Here’s part 1. Part 2 is below. Dear god, mute your computer before you hit play!
So… most days that’s why I think nothing else has come of the discovery of honest-to-god Atlantis. If they ignore it they don’t have to pretend it’s there.
That’s most days….
On other days… well, if you spend enough time on the fringes of pseudohistory you start to hear some really weird things… little stories that have the ring of truth but nothing you can sink your teeth into. Like this woman’s story from Guantanamo Bay in 1980 who was told by a drunk navy seal that they had found Atlantis down there:
“[I] was in the navy and stationed at GITMO Bay in 1980-1981. At that time we were supplying ships that were on a mission off of the coast. We were told they were mapping Atlantis.
There were subs, seals, etc. all involved.
We were told that the city they had found was huge, with writings on walls, etc.
We had of course asked them how they knew it was Atlantis and their response was… “it was written all over the place.”
Here is what I can remember. My MOS was shipserviceman, basically supply. There were a lot of experimental ships coming in and out that we would prepare pallets of supplies. Only specific people with the proper classification would take it to the ships or come and pick it up. We were not allowed near them.
I never talked to anyone specifically… it was what the men that delivered the goods were telling the rest of us when they came back. (Disparaging, I know.) However, at the time we figured they were full of it! So it was not really something that details would come in handy on later type of thing.
I CAN tell you what I was told. Unfortunately I am afraid there is not much detail to it. It was easy to get drunk seals to talk when there were cook outs on the beach.
They were mapping it out and studying it.
They did not want anyone to know about it until they had gotten all the information they could from it.
They had mentioned pyramids but not sphinx’s. They said that there were all kinds of buildings and roads were paved with stone.
Like I said earlier we asked them how they knew it was Atlantis…their reply was “It is written all over the place.” Which to me made no sense!
They had not mentioned crosses or anything else. Just that it looked like this city went from coast to coast. They were worried that Castro would try and claim it.
There are other events that occurred that you may be able to check on and verify that occurred during this same time.
One was the USS Pegasus…an experimental ship that was also a hydroplaning type. It was very operational and from what we heard out maneuvered jets easily.
Another was the USS Boeing that blew her boilers while in dock. Another was during a defense exercise a Russian Sub came up in the bay. No one knew that it was even there until they surfaced.
These are just a few things. I am sorry I cannot remember more, however I hadn’t even thought about it in something like 23 years and I was reading your website.
And on other days I think there might be something behind this. (Probably not the ‘working machines’ part.) No matter… the city is there either way.
Here’s Zelitsky’s last interview:
“Nobody knows where Olmecs came from. Nevertheless they have a very ancient art, perhaps more than 3,500 years old. One does not know its origin or its antiquity.
But all agree that they came from the East. It is very probable that some islands that sank with these established civilizations were of the Olmecs.
Some speak of the Atlantis and in Mexico they speak of Atlantic?. I believe that perhaps these structures belong to the Olmec civilization.
We believe, and many scientists are in agreement, that perhaps the Yucatan Peninsula was united by a great mountain range to Cuba and probably there, lived a native population who constructed a city. A natural catastrophe, for example an earthquake, could have caused the disaster and the collapse of the city.”
It’s important to remember that western civilisation is only a couple of thousand years old. (Arguably it’s a thousand.) Between the first signs of life in areas that were inundated and the end of the ice age, people with the exact same brain as ours had between five and twenty times the number of years we required to reach our current level of cultural complexity.
From the first evidence of life in Central America to the sinking of this mysterious city, fifteen thousand years. That’s 7.5 times the distance between you and Jesus. (I’m going to start using Jesus as an official unit of temporal measurement.) Even in areas of low population density, think about the level of cultural sophistication that could easily be achieved with timeframes like that.
Conclusion: coconuts and bananas
What would antediluvian cultures have traded with each other? What did they eat on their long voyages?
Here’s my favourite one:
The coconut is Indian and south east Asian and yet is found right across every single speck of possible land between Indonesia and the Pacific coast of South America.
Did they get there on their own?
- The coconut has persistently failed all long distance germination tests. It’s great getting to the next island over. Not so great getting to Peru.
- Getting there unaided would have meant travelling against the most powerful current on the planet.
It seems even wikipedia will admit to a human hand in the coconut’s arrival. No dates are given of course, though I will point out they are depicted in Mayan art.
Here are a whole bunch more anomalies. I remind you of two things:
- First available evidence is not evidence of initial arrival.
- None of these items fit within the current narrative of world history.
- Peanuts- native to the Americas- have been found in two different Chinese digs dating back to 3300-2800 B.C. in Kiangsu (Jiangxu) and Chekiang (Zhejiang) Provinces.
- The American hibiscus was taken first to China and then by the Chinese to Persia before the time of Christ. It is also found right across the Pacific.
- According to George Carter there is proof that the sweet potato was carried out of America at least three different times before Columbus. (Similar tubers were grown in the highlands of PNG.) The sweet potato from America had a very early presence in Asia. It had reached Polynesia by 800 and even had the same name there as in America. (Kumara.)
- Chickens found in the Americas were Asian types. Chicken bones in America dated to 900 A.D. are very similar to those from southeast Asia. Even what some American Indians called chickens is almost identical to their Chinese names.
- The sailing rafts of Ecuador are of Asiatic design. The American Indian name for these sailing rafts is derived from ancient Chinese.
- There were stone bark-cloth beaters in S. East Asia before 2400 B.C. Nearly identical beaters from the Americas date back to about 1500 B.C.
- Twice since 1976 Chinese stone anchors (a style unknown to the early Native Americans but used in China 2000 years ago) were found off the California Coast. Judging the manganese accumulation on them it was estimated they had been on the sea bed for 2000 to 3000 years.
- China had cotton well before 3000 BC. Wild American cotton can’t be spun or made into cloth unless it is crossed with old world cotton. Someone would have had to bring old world cotton seeds to America to do that.
- Cotton in Peru has been carbon dated to before 2000 BC.
Onto my second favourite. The banana has no wild relative in the New World but the banana leaf has been frequently found in ancient Peruvian tombs. Properly ancient Peruvian tombs. Millennia BC.
It seems probable that the plantain, or banana, was cultivated in South America before the discovery by Columbus. It seems indigenous to the hot regions of the Old World and the New, or at any rate to have been present in the New World before the discovery by Columbus, as banana leaves are found in the huacas, or Peruvian tombs, anterior to the Conquest. Bancroft says the Mexicans offered the “fat banana” at the shrine of the goddess Centeotl.
This circumstantial account has always failed to satisfy a certain number of botanists, whose belief that the banana was found here long before the arrival of Columbus is based partly on tradition, more on the belief that it could never have spread so rapidly in the years following the conquest, as to account for its abundance in the many localities where it is reported by early writers; partly on the large number of distinct varieties to be found in the tropical parts of America, and partly on the finding of leaves resembling those of the banana, in pre-Columbian graves in South America. The first consideration seems to have weighed heavily with von Humboldt, who did not hesitate to declare the fruit a native of America, saying, “It is a constant tradition, in Mexico and on all the mainland, that the platano arton and the Domenico12 were cultivated there long before Europeans arrived.” Most of the botanists who have studied the subject have not considered tradition a sufficient ground for judgment: De Candolle contented himself with a verdict for “a prodigious antiquity of cultivation; in consequence, a primitive existence in Asia and a diffusion synchronous with that of the races of mankind, or even earlier.”
The banana was known to Buddha, to Mohammed, it was cultivated in Africa at least 1000BC… the Greeks knew what a coconut was, the word for ‘yam’ is the same on both sides of the Pacific. The guava and the kidney bean, both American, were found in southern India by the second millenium BC at the latest.
So, like a magic eye puzzle, Atlantis comes into view at last.
Despite the existence of sunken cities in multiple locations across the world, it turns out we didn’t even need them. Orthodox evidence itself will do the trick in the end.
As our eyes unfocus and look again at the map, we see tens of thousands of years of sustained contact, we see the inarguable proof of a global trade in what our distant, distant ancestors considered valuable… considered crossing oceans for.
And it turns out they are the same things I consider valuable today: spiritual ideas and cocktail ingredients.
What were you expecting to find? Grecian pillars?
That is so three millenia ago.