Saturday, July 23, 2011
The Sunken Foreunners of Asia's Ancient Civilisations
Portrait of Graham Hancock
I own a copy of the book UNDERWORLD and I refer back to it from time to time. On this blog I thought I would arrange some papers from different places off the internet so that others could have their say on the matter: One thing in particular struck my imagination and so I did some editorializing toward the bottom of the blog. Hancock's thesis is that there were many sedentary higher cultures on the lower-lying land areas exposed at lowered sea levels during the final parts of the Ice Age, and which now lie at the bottom of the sea.
Official Graham Hancock UNDERWORLD Site
"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.
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."
Bridging the Myth and Science of the Flood
By Harry Young
Myths from around the world tell of a time in earth's history when great civilizations and vast expanses of land were consumed by cataclysmic floods. Who were the people who formed these civilizations, where and how did they live, what happened to their cities and settlements and the lands they lived on? In his latest book, Underworld: The Mysterious Origins of Civilization (Crown Publishers, New York, 2002; 760 pages, photographs, ISBN 1400046122, hardback, $27.50), Graham Hancock explores these mysteries. Expanding investigations chronicled in Fingerprints of the Gods and Heaven's Mirror, he lays out evidence based on modern scientific research, comparative mythology, religious and spiritual observances, firsthand diving exploration of underwater megalithic structures, and ancient maps to demonstrate the likelihood that a technically advanced civilization unrecognized by modern science —capable of navigating the globe and with a profound understanding of architecture and building, astronomy, and geography — existed before and during the last Ice Age and was wiped out by global flooding.
Only in the last fifty years, since the invention of scuba diving, has systematic marine archeology been possible. Due to limited funding and the enormity of the world's oceans, marine archeologists have barely begun to investigate the millions of square kilometers of coastal shelf inundated since the end of the last Ice Age. When they do, shipwrecks are their most common quarry, not signs of antediluvian civilizations, "for the traces, anywhere and everywhere around the world, of submerged structures do not make sense within the current paradigm of history." As a result the underwater world represents a void in our knowledge of our planet and of ourselves. Myths, however, have much to say:
Descriptions of a killer global flood that inundated the inhabited lands of the world turn up everywhere amongst the myths of antiquity. In many cases these myths clearly hint that the deluge swept away an advanced civilization that had somehow angered the gods, sparing 'none but the unlettered and the uncultured' and obliging the survivors to 'begin again like children in complete ignorance of what happened . . . in early times.' . . . The academic consensus today, and for a century, has been that that the myths are either pure fantasy or the fantastic elaboration of local and limited deluges — caused for example by rivers overflowing, or tidal waves. — p. 20
Looking for evidence of ancient cataclysmic floods, Underworld explores up-to-date geological and climatological research on what may have happened during the last 17,000 years. Central to Hancock's investigation are inundation maps created by Dr. Glen Milne of Durham University which show vast tracts of mostly coastal land which were submerged by three waves of cataclysmic flooding between 17,000 and 8,000 years ago. The area of land — the best quality habitable land of that time — lost to the sea was huge: 5 percent of the earth's surface or 25 million square kilometers. While such maps cannot be 100 percent accurate, Hancock believes they are accurate enough to support his theories.
Finding an accurate model of the behavior of the oceans during the peak meltdown period at the end of the last Ice Age (approximately 14,000 to 7,000 years ago) is difficult. Experts disagree over the sequence, chronology, and consequences of events, and even the terminology used. For the purpose of the Underworld inquiry Hancock uses the term "the last Ice Age" to refer to the period between 125,000 and 17,000 years ago; and the term Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) to signify the period between approximately 22,000 and 17,000 years ago when the ice sheets were at their maximum. At this time most of northern Europe and North America was under ice several kilometers thick, containing so much water that the global sea level was between 115 and 120 meters lower than it is today. Many areas of land habitable today were uninhabitable before the flood and vice versa, especially around low-lying coasts.
The many cycles of the Ice Age correlate with the obliquity and precession of the earth's axis and the changing eccentricity of its solar orbit. These with other factors such as volcanism, asteroidal or cometary impacts, radical thaws and freezes, and geodynamic changes in the earth's crust or mantle are considered by science sufficient to explain the patterns of global glaciation and deglaciation. The effects of these forces were immense and devastating. The earth, like a huge sphere of gel, is malleable, and pressure on one area causes an indentation that forces the surrounding area to rise. Such isostacy occurs when ice caps weigh down on the earth's crust. When the ice melts, the pressure lessens and the bulge surrounding the indentation rebounds and eventually retains its original level. Thousands of billions of tons of ice weighed on the continental landmasses of North America and Europe at the time of the LGM 17,000 years ago. The water forming this ice came originally from oceans, so just as the ice pressed the continents down, correspondingly the ocean beds rose as the water burden above lightened.
Although there is scientific proof from core samples and in the coral record that sea levels once rose very rapidly, the scientific majority still hold that the 120 meter sea-level rise in the last 10,000 years of post-glacial flooding represents a non-cataclysmic rising process of about one meter per year. Flood myths say differently, as do experts such as the late Cesare Emiliani, Professor of Geological Sciences at the University of Miami, and John Shaw, Professor of Earth Sciences at the University of Alberta, whose work, among others, Hancock draws on to form a synthesized theory. He describes the melting of the ice sheets, and ensuing floods and earthquakes unimaginable by modern standards. For instance, in Canada meltwater flooded around a giant ice barrier into Hudson Bay, the Arctic Ocean, and the Gulf of Mexico with a force of around ten million cubic meters per second — enough to drain Lake Ontario in four days.
The world at the Last Glacial Maximum. Darker tint shows extra land above sea level.
Research since the 1970s suggests that there were three global super-floods: 15,000 to 14,000 years ago; 12,000 to 11,000 years ago; and 8,000 to 7,000 years ago. The second period ties in with the date Plato ascribed in the Timaeus and Critias to the destruction by earthquakes and flooding of Atlantis, and with the Tamil myth of the submerging of the fabled land of Kumari Kandam. There is also strong evidence that nearly half the total meltwater released at the end of the last Ice Age was concentrated into these three relatively short periods. Such events would have had a momentous impact on the human inhabitants at that time, leaving a marked impression on oral tradition, the original transmitter of all ancient myths.
Contrariwise, modern archeology tells us its story of civilized humanity based on numerous conflicting theories and interpretations of data, and scant material evidence from archeological sites covering a tiny area of the earth's surface, almost all of which are on land. Current mainstream thinking puts fully evolved humans on earth 100,000 years prior to the beginning of the first floods and cataclysms of around 17,000 years ago — long enough for high civilizations to have developed. A dearth of land-based evidence is no proof that they did not. Land-based evidence does exist, however, although interpretation is one major barrier to realizing what it signifies.
One main section of Underworld concentrates on India: its ancient inhabitants and spiritual traditions, specifically the Indus Valley civilization and the Vedas. Since the 1890s scholars have thought the Vedas were composed by Indo-European invaders — the Aryans — and codified by them around 1500 BC. This theory was almost entirely based on the misinterpretation of a few dozen skeletons found in the ancient Indus Valley. Another cornerstone of the now controversial Aryan Invasion Theory is the similarity between Sanskrit (the language of the Vedas) and ancient and modern European languages such as Latin, Greek, English, Norwegian, and German. However, in the last ten years the Aryan Invasion Theory has fallen apart. The generally accepted proposed codification date of 1200 BC, first established by Max Muller in 1890, does not signify either the Vedas' date or era of origin. Many researchers now accept that their composition lies long before in India's oral tradition and that they could be the creation of the Indus-Sarasvati civilization, inferring that there was a movement of language from India to Europe rather than from Europe to India.
The Vedas themselves, however, contain an account of their creation: the story of Manu, India's Noah. Hancock draws close ties between the story of Manu, that of the Sumerian flood survivor Ziusudra, the ancient yuga theory of the cyclical destruction and rebirth of worlds, and the Seven Sages, a group of "wise men" whose duties include the preservation of the knowledge contained within the Vedas:
the ancient traditions of India itself . . . explain that Manu and the Seven Sages retreated to the Himalayas from a place that was not the Himalayas at the time of a terrible oceanic flood, and that they brought with them from their antediluvian homeland not only the Vedas but also all the 'seeds' that would be necessary to re-establish permanent food-producing settlements. — p. 174
Hancock goes on to speculate, based on analysis of mythological and scientific evidence concerning glaciation and flooding in the Himalayan region, that "the sages who composed at least some of the verses of the Vedas could have been in the Himalayas 12,000 years ago to witness the end of the Younger Dryas," a sudden unexplained global climactic freezing. But this "does not fit in at all with the much later date that scholars habitually assign to composition of the Rig Veda" (p. 196). 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? — pp. 196-7
Graham Hancock pursues these signs in ensuing chapters.
The first of Underworld's many accounts of underwater expeditions begins in India as the author, collaborating with divers from India's National Institute of Oceanography (NIO), dives at the northwest coastal town of Dwarka, sacred to Krishna. Sunken ruins lie off the coast, but it is difficult to match the date of the archeology (1700 or 1800 BC) to the Indian traditional date of 3100 BC when ancient legend holds that Dwarka became submerged and Krishna's death commenced the kali yuga. Ruins dating to and before that time are found only in deeper water. Hancock and NIO divers also explored a mysterious U-shaped masonry structure at a depth of 23 meters, 5 km off Poompuhar in the Bay of Bengal. Inundation maps suggest that it would have been submerged about 11,000 years ago. Subsidence may account for this object's extreme depth, but without further research its origin, location, and purpose remain a mystery. Hancock also investigates the myth of Kumari Kandam, an antediluvian civilization said to have existed thousands of years ago around south India. It is believed to have been a great center of learning with magnificent academies which may have left a legacy of cartographic and astronomical knowledge which exists today in the ancient Indian texts. Interestingly, the author spoke to local fishermen who described often diving to free their nets caught on underwater temples with columns, pyramidal pagodas, and buildings with doorways.
In the Postscript are details of the remarkable find in May 2001 of what looks like two underwater cities, one extending for 9 km underneath the Gulf of Cambay in North West India at depths of between 25 and 40 meters and at distances of up to 40 km from shore. Detected using side-scan sonar, the images produced reveal clear foundations to geometrical structures and walls rising 3 meters above the sea bed. Both cities lie along the courses of ancient rivers, and remains of a suspected 600 meter long dam have been discovered. Man-made artifacts have been retrieved by dredging, including what may be jewelry, stone tools, pottery, and figurines which carbon dating indicate are 9,500 years old. Inundation maps give the date of submergence as between 7,700 and 6,900 years ago, but the cities and culture that built them are likely to be considerably older.
Another flooded kingdom Underworld explores is Malta. Among the many ruined monuments are the underground Hypogeum and the Gigantija, Hagar Qim, and Mnajdra temples. Conventional wisdom puts their construction somewhere between 5,600 and 4,500 years ago. All the temples contain massive stone blocks, weighing some 15 tons or more, and are thought to be the earliest free-standing stone monuments in the world. Mnajdra is a solar temple with accurate solar alignments incorporated into its design. The size and sophistication of these temples would imply that their architects and builders had long experience with such structures. It is generally accepted that man appeared on Malta somewhere between 5,200 and 7,200 years ago (when it was an island) and developed its culture gradually. The problem with these chronologies is that there is no archeological evidence on the relatively small island of Malta of "civilization history" documenting ever more sophisticated construction techniques.
Anomalies surrounding many Maltese land and underwater temples, and a series of man-made grooves called "cart-ruts" cut into limestone bedrock on land and under water, all point to a mystery: who built these features and when? Malta is too isolated and small as it is now to have supported and sustained their development and construction. A solution lies in the inundation maps, which show islands of the Maltese archipelago connected to Sicily by a land bridge until 16,400 years ago, allowing settlers to arrive at Malta. The land bridge narrowed and eventually became submerged, leaving one large island which was finally inundated 10,600 years ago to leave the present group of Maltese islands. The inundation is undisputed by scholars; however, the chronology of settlement and its circumstances are. Hancock offers an alternative hypothesis: that there was a very long process of cultural development going on before and during the inundation on what is now Malta and the lands now submerged around the Maltese coast, with the rising sea covering up a large amount of evidence of a much larger civilization than current academic thinking allows.
Curiously, the large island that formed as the Maltese land bridge drowned is featured on some maps drawn in the 1400s, and referred to as Gaulometin or Galonia leta, but it is the wrong shape and geographically misplaced, which is at odds with the usually accurately-represented Mediterranean region. Hancock suggests that what have previously been deemed by cartographic scholars as coastline and island-group inaccuracies around the world may actually be accurate accounts of coastlines belonging to epochs before and during the Ice Age meltdown period. It is well known that most medieval mapmakers were copyists reproducing older maps. Some older maps — for example, those of Ptolemy — were originally researched and drawn at the Library of Alexandria in Egypt. The author asks, "is it possible that he . . . was drawing on antediluvian sources," as it is known that Ptolemy based his maps on those of the Phoenician Marinus of Tyre, who in turn drew on even earlier mapmakers for inspiration.
Continuing an investigation of ancient maps from Fingerprints of the Gods, Hancock argues that mapmaking was a tradition in the ancient world which over the millennia up to Ptolemy's time, rather than undergoing refinement, may have been in a state of "decline, degradation and accumulated errors introduced by many different hands into a far older and once superior map-making tradition" (p. 469). Certainly the new science of inundation mapping has opened up research possibilities. For example, the Reinal map of 1510 appears to show the west coast of India as it looked more than 15,000 years ago as well as islands which existed 11,500 years ago that are under water today. Hancock demonstrates Marco Polo's belief that Ceylon was once connected to India, was one third larger in the past, and was submerged. He examines the relationship between the Irish folk legend of Hy-Brasil off the west coast of Ireland, said to have been submerged thousands of years ago, its position on medieval maps, and an area called Porcupine Bank which was exposed land 21,000 years ago. Using inundation and medieval map comparisons, he suggests that the fabled islands of Antilia and Satanaze are really Taiwan and Japan as they looked 12,500 years ago. In summary he writes:
I propose that the consistent patterns of map anomalies that we have documented — from Hy-Brasil to India to Japan — bear mute witness to an ancient science of cartography and navigation that explored the world and charted it accurately over a period of several thousand years during the post-glacial meltdown. — p. 669
Hancock's complementary land investigation led him to encounter the Japanese Jomon people in an attempt to unravel the mysteries of four Japanese underwater sites: Yonaguni, Kerama, Aguni, and Chatan. It is unclear whether any of these sites are man made, although a case for human intervention is well presented in Underworld. The Jomon seem to have emerged suddenly in Japan around 16,500 years ago, as dating of their pottery attests. Archeology shows they had good architectural and building knowledge (incorporating astronomical alignment designs) as well as developed spiritual ideas and religious practices. The Jomon were not wiped out by invading peoples but merged seamlessly, it appears, with another migrating culture known only as the "Yagoi." Today's Japanese culture is the descendent of this ancient cultural merging, which implies that the Jomon culture and its ideas still live on. The underwater ruins exemplify a hitherto unknown and perhaps extraordinary phase in their history.
Iseki Point, Yonaguni
Japan was not covered by an ice cap, had naturally precipitous coastlines and few low-lying plains, meaning that it largely escaped the ravages of the Ice Age cataclysms. If Japanese mythology is grounded in the myth-memories of the Jomon, it is not surprising that Japan has no indigenous flood myth. Underworld presents the idea that the Jomon lost their "beachfront" properties only, including coastal temples and other sacred and functional sites that now lie 30 meters under water. The recurring Japanese myth of the Kingdom of the Sea King connects closely with Japan's undersea ruins in two ways: that of the kingdom remembered as an island, and as an underwater sanctuary of walls, palaces, and mansions. In Hancock's words, "could it be a memory that great structures with 'turrets and tall towers of exceeding beauty' once stood above water but are now beneath waves?" (p. 594).
The travelogue style of Underworld allows Graham Hancock to connect on a human level with the reader and to expose the many barriers to his work, such as bureaucracy and the lack of marine archeological reference material pertaining to underwater monuments. There are many examples cited of mainstream science skimming over important demonstrable facts and misrepresenting evidence relating to and synergizing mythology, religious and spiritual philosophy, astronomy, archeology, geology, and physics, for the purpose of keeping the established textbook theories of human and planetary evolution alive. Underworld challenges orthodoxy with well-thought-out arguments, in a warm, down-to-earth, and ever-optimistic although sometimes healthily skeptical mood, and the reader is often reminded that it is written not by an expert but by an investigative journalist who is not putting forth new dogmas but simply presenting the growing body of evidence that human history on this planet is much more complex than, and vastly different from, what was previously understood. Important, eclectic, and vast in scope, Underworld represents what the author appeals for in its closing pages: "research, research and more research," for the purpose of getting closer to finding our true origins.
(From Sunrise magazine, April/May 2003)
Online edition of India's National Newspaper
Tuesday, Jun 18, 2002
Vedic literature and the Gulf of Cambay discovery
It is sad to note how intellectuals in India are quick to denigrate the extent and antiquity of their history, even when geological evidence like the Sarasvati River or archaeological evidence like the Harappan and Cambay sites are so clear.
THE RECENT find of a submerged city in the Gulf of Cambay, perhaps as old as 7500 BC, serves to highlight the existence of southern sources for the civilisation of ancient India. The Gulf of Cambay find is only the latest in a series that includes Lothal (S.R. Rao), Dholavira (R.S. Bisht) and others in Gujarat. These discoveries have been pushing the seats of ancient Indian civilisation deeper into the southern peninsula. We should not be surprised if more such sites are discovered in South India, especially the coastal regions, for the south has always played a significant if neglected role in ancient India going back to Vedic times.
I have argued for such a coastal origin for Vedic civilisation in my recent book Rig Veda and the History of India. This is largely because of the oceanic character of Vedic symbolism in which all the main Rig Vedic Gods as well as many of the Vedic rishis have close connections with samudra or the sea. In fact, the image of the ocean pervades the whole of the Rig Veda. Unfortunately many scholars who put forth opinions on ancient India seldom bother to study the Vedas in the original Sanskrit and few know the language well enough to do so. The result is that their interpretation of Vedic literature is often erroneous, trusting out of date and inaccurate interpretations from the Nineteenth century like the idea that the Vedic people never new the sea!
The Rig Veda states that "All the hymns praise Indra who is as expansive as the sea" (RV I.11.1) Agni wears the ocean as his vesture (RV VIII 102.4-6). The Sun is called the ocean (RV V.47.3). Soma is called the first ocean (RV IX.86.29). Varuna specifically is a God of the sea (RV I.161.14). These are just a few examples of out of well over a hundred references to samudra in the Rig Veda alone, including references to oceans as two, four or many (RV VI.50.13). This is obviously the poetry of a people intimately associated with the sea and not of any nomads from land-locked Central Asia or Eurasia.
Vedic seer families like the Bhrigus are descendants of Varuna, the God of the sea as the first Bhrigu is called Bhrigu Varuni — Bhrigu, the son of Varuna. The teachings of Varuna to Bhrigu are found in the Taittiriya Upanishad and Taittiriya tradition of the Yajur Veda, which has long been most popular in South India. The recent find at sea in the Gulf of Cambay is near Baroach or Bhrigu-kachchha, the famous ancient city of the very same Bhrigus.
These oceanic connections extend to other important Vedic rishis as well. In the Rig Veda, Agastya, who became the main rishi of South India, has twenty-five hymns in the first book of the Rig Veda and is mentioned in the other books as well. He is the elder brother of Vasishta who himself has the largest number of hymns in the text (about a hundred), those of the seventh book. Both rishis are said to have been born in a pot or kumbha, which may be a vessel or ship (RV VII.33.10-13). Vasishta is specifically connected to Varuna who was said to travel on a ship in the sea (RV VII.88.4-5). Both Vasishta and Agastya are descendants of Mitra and Varuna, the God of the sea.
Vishvamitra in the Rig Veda (IIII.53.16) mentions the sage Pulasti, who was regarded as the progenitor of Ravana and Kubera and whose city, Pulasti-Pura was located in ancient Sri Lanka. He is mentioned along with Jamadagni, another common Rig Vedic sage and the father of Parshurama, the sixth incarnation of Lord Vishnu, before Rama and Krishna, whose main sphere of activity was in the south of India.
Manu himself, the Vedic primal sage and king, is a flood figure and the Angirasas, the other main seer family apart from the Bhrigus, join him in his ship according to Puranic mythology. Southern peoples like the Yadus and Turvashas were said to have been glorified by Indra (RV X.49.8) and are mentioned a number of times in the Rig Veda as great Vedic peoples. So we have ample ancient literary evidence for the Vedic seer and royal families as connected with the ocean and southern regions.
The Cambay site is in the ancient delta of the now dry Sarasvati River, one branch of which flowed into the Gulf of Cambay, showing that this site was part of the greater Sarasvati region and culture, which was the main location for Harappan cities in the 3300-1900 BCE period. Such an ocean front was important for maritime trade for the inland regions to the north. In this regard, important Vedic kings like Sudas were said to receive tribute from the sea (RV I.47.6).
When the Greeks under Alexander came to India in the Fourth century BCE, the Greek writer Megasthenes in his Indika, fragments of which are recorded in several Greek writings, mentioned that the Indians (Hindus) had a record of 153 kings going back over 6400 years (showing that the Hindus were conscious of the great antiquity of their culture even then). This would yield a date that now amounts to 6700 BCE, a date that might be reflected in the Gulf of Cambay site which has been tentatively dated to 7500 BCE. So the old Vedic-Puranic king lists may not be that far off after all!
A few scholars, like Witzel in the United States — in spite of such massive evidence as the Sarasvati River and its intimate connection to Vedic literature — still try to separate Vedic culture from India and attribute it to a largely illiterate and nomadic culture that migrated into India from the northwest of the country in the post-Harappan period (after 1500 BCE). Ignoring all other evidence that connects the Vedic and Harappan, they point out the importance of the horse in the Rig Veda and argue that not enough evidence of horses has been found in Harappan sites to prove a Vedic connection. They fall back upon this one shot argument to ignore any other evidence to the contrary.
However, one should note that these invasionists or migrationists are even more deficient in horse evidence to prove their own theory. There is no trail of horse bones or horse encampments into ancient India from Afghanistan during the 1500-1000 BCE period that is required for their theory of Aryan intrusion. In fact, there is no solid evidence for such a movement of peoples at all in the form of camps, skeletal remains or anything else.
Those who claim that Vedic culture must have originated outside India because of its lauding of the horse are even more lacking in horse evidence. The real problem is not `no horse at Harappa' but `no horse evidence, in fact no real evidence of any kind, to prove any Aryan migration/invasion'. It has been convincingly shown that what the Rig Veda with its seventeen-ribbed horse (RV I.162.18) describes is a native Indian breed and not any Central Asian or Eurasian horse that has eighteen ribs.
The Rig Veda mentions many Indian animals like the water buffalo (Mahisha), which is said to be the main animal sacred to Soma (RV IX.96.6), which does occur commonly on Harappan seals. The humped Brahma bull (Vrisha, Vrishabha), another common Harappan depiction, is the main animal of Indra, the foremost of the Vedic Gods. Elephants are also mentioned.
Most of the animals depicted on Harappan seals are mythical, not zoological specimens anyway. Most common is a one-horned animal that is reflected in the one-horned boar or Varaha of the Mahabharata and the boar incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Many other Harappan depictions are of animals with multiple heads or half-animal/half-human figures. This is similar to the depictions in Vedic imagery which largely consist of mythical animals of this type. For example, Harappan seals portray a three-headed bull-like animal. Such an animal is described in the Rig Veda (III.56.6).
The horse issue is meant as a smokescreen to avoid facing the facts of the Sarasvati River and the many new archaeological sites in India. These show no such break in the continuity of civilisation in the region as an Aryan invasion/migration requires, including the existence of fire altars and fire worship from the early Harappan period. Vedic and Puranic literature itself records the shift of the centre of culture from the Sarasvati to the Ganga at the end of the Vedic period, referring to the drying up of the river. Scholars like Witzel would have the Vedic people coming into India after the Sarasvati was already gone and yet making the river their ancestral homeland and most sacred region!
Vedic literature is the largest preserved from the ancient world, dwarfing in size anything left by other cultures like Egypt, Greece or Babylonia. The Harappan-Sarasvati urban civilisation of India was by far the largest of its time (3100-1900 BCE) in the ancient world spreading from Punjab to Kachchh. We can no longer separate this great literature and this great civilisation, particularly given that both were based on the Sarasvati River, whose authenticity as a historical river before 1900 BCE has been confirmed by numerous geological studies. This great Vedic literature requires a great urban culture to explain it, just as the great Harappan urban culture requires a literature to explain it. Both come from the same region and cannot be separated.
Finally it is sad to note how intellectuals in India are quick to denigrate the extent and antiquity of their history, even when geological evidence like the Sarasvati River or archaeological evidence like the Harappan and Cambay sites are so clear. However one may interpret these, the truth that civilisation in India was quite ancient and profound cannot be ignored. I don't think there is any other nation on earth that would be so negative if such ancient glories were found in their lands.
Sunken Structure Discovered off Poomuhur, as described in Graham Hancock's Book UNDERWORLD.
Figures from a website discussing global superfloods among other things. For the most part, the process and the dates are the same as described by Graham Hancock. I may decide to post the pertinent passages from this site at a future time for a lengthier discussion: for now, it is enough to say that the account Hancock gives on these matters is Scientifically sound and verifiable in standard reference sources.
Global Superflood Chronology Chart
[One thing of note shown on this chart is the well-documented fact that Carbon-14 precentage in the environment is equivalent to modern levels and dates are theoretically near-exact then. There was a drastic change in level about that time, as shown on this chart, and the earlier levels were much different. In part this is because the cataclysms of those days changed the level of Carbon-14 itself. Some experts misjudge on this feature and add to all dates in this period by much too large of an assumed fudge factor, an additional 2000 years or more.]
Four-part independant article about Ice-age civilisations at Graham Hancock's site.
Discussion about the location of Atlantis
Atlantis was a Real Place
A Discussion by Dan Crisp
My aim with this essay has been to see whether Critias, in the words of Plato (or Plato in the words of Critias) painted a consistent picture and, if so, of what. Prior to its writing, for all I knew, several hypotheses, including Koudriavtsev's, were readily compatible with the account. I have found that, on the contrary, the account is unequivocal (based on Jowett's translation at least):
Critias (or Plato) says the kingdoms of Atlantis stretched from southern Spain, at the Pillars of Heracles, northwards along the continental shelf, skirting around the British Isles, as far as Scandinavia; with the great plain and capital city on the Celtic Shelf.
[And to this should be added, 'Islands of the open sea and parts of the Opposite Continent'-DD]
Now, we should like to prove whether what he says is true! Of course, this is easier said than done, because the English Channel must be one of the worst places to conduct marine archaeology; and that is where definitive evidence of the truth of Critias' account, if indeed there is any, is to be found. If the Celtic Shelf yields a city on a hill, with concentric harbours, on a rectangular plain enclosed by an enormous ditch and criss-crossed by canals, I don't think anyone could deny that Atlantis had been found.
In the meantime, those who have a mind to might like to...
Find out what happened to Koudriavtsev's planned expedition of 1998 to the Little Sole Bank on the edge of the Celtic Shelf;
Study the geology of the Celtic Shelf and determine what the white and black building stones might have been and whether any red minerals matching the description of orichalcum are found there;
Re-examine the evidence of Atlantis in Spain, France and Sweden;
Investigate the connections between the "Celtic Shelf Hypothesis" and other legends of lost civilisations, King Arthur's Lyonnesse, Thule, the Titans and so on;
Work out the relationship between Atlantis and the Cro-Magnon people, who settled in western Europe and were perhaps distinct from the people ranging across the rest of Europe; and determine whether they (or their ancestors) got there by crossing the straits;
Compare and contrast the spread of agriculture in Europe immediately after the era of Atlantis with the situation in India and the Middle East in the same period;
This conclusion actually has very little implication for the many researchers who thought they had identified - or found - Atlantis in other locations around the world. If there are reasons to think advanced civilisations once thrived in South America, the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, India, Indonesia, etc., they are unaffected by the realisation that none of them was the land known to us as Atlantis. All we have done here is identify which of the fascinating and important researches into ancient mysteries refer to Atlantis and which refer to other, no less important cultures.
I have no qualms about the territories inhabited by the Atlanteans assumedly between 12000-13000 and 8000-7500 years ago (the superfloods 2 and 3) as stated in his conclusions above: I merely maintain that there is no need to remove the capital city off a mid-Atlantic island when the book UNDERWORLD does indeed give good evidence that such an island did indeed exist and even gives an adequate theory for its sinking to the bottom of the sea. It is essentially of no consequence that Hancock himself does not pursue the matter, because he is obviously trying to avoid the attacks of the more rabid kinds of critics. That there was a settlement on the Celtic Shelf is likely, but it would no more be "The Real Atlantis" than Tartessos or Tunisia-both of which areas possibly containing concentric-circle cities but then at one time such settlements were the rule rather than the exception. Many megalithic sites are built upon the "Henge" plan, and this often carries foreward into the Celtic hill forts (and the idea of "Castles" generally in Europe), but there are other settlements made upon the plan in the New World as well, and they can be of ancient date. So "The Real Atlantis" turnds out to be the "Empire", or rather, all of those areas inhabited by the Atlanteans. And it is easy to see how the Atlanteans of the European continental shelf might easily retreat inland as the sea levels rose and then their newly-colonised lands would become Megalithic Europe. There is a good chance that a parallel process was going on from Cuba )Antillia) to Mesoamerica at the same time.
D. Crisp's Atlantean Kingdoms, including also comparable territories of the Westen Mediterranean (also specified in Plato's Atlantis dialogues and presumably also the original Egyptian Myths. This seems likely because these areas are later listed as the homes of the "Peples of the Sea" as listed by the Egyptians, and the "Peoples of the Sea" seem to be basically Megalith-builder remnants uprooted from their homes by some catastrophe (said to be connected to the myth of Phaethon, but that's a different story)
Habitable North Sea Bottom 10000 years ago, compared to a chart for deeper water currents around Britain at present=the latter probably makes a pretty accurate predictor as to what was lans area then (White area). There is an independant theory that Atlantis was at the bottom of the North Sea that can be neatly cannibalized here.
Map of Megalithic culture following the Global Superflood 3, and concentric circles from Megalithic Ireland.
Physical type of the Megalith Builders as recognised in their modern descendants, and (below) megalithic remains from the Netherlands.
Megalith-Builders and Rock Artists of the Sahara, Ancestors of the Ancient Egyptians
This is a short statement on the Graham Hancock site concerning the theory that prehistoric Sundaland was Plato's Atlantis. Sundaland was the large exposed-land area in the place where we have Indonesia in more modern times, and because it is in the wrong hemisphere, it is not a suitable location for Atlantis. On the other hand it makes a most satisfactory location for Lemuria and it seems to be the center of a very old farming culture that was established at least bu Global Superflood 1 and persisted until Global Superflood 3: ancestor of all the Agricultural cultures of South and East Asia with some very early partially-ground stone tools and thought to have had pottery by 15000-16000 years ago by some estimates published in the Scientific American. There are indications that large areas now under the sea were cultivating rice before 10000 years ago. The book Eden in the East has an exellent summary of evidence uin this area.
An illustration of the Tamil legend of KumariKandem, the equivalent to Lemuria and Churchward's Mu. The Yonaguni structure off of Taiwan is more likely "Lemurian" in origin and there are probably thousands of other sites like it at the bottom of the sea in the general area. Taiwan is important as a dispersal point for the modern populations of Pacific Islanders. The Pacific Island peoples are interesting because they have all gone through a bottleneck: they are genetically distinct for tens of thousands of years and yet their dispersal is much more recent, in postglacial times. Most of them all speak related languages of the Malayo=Polynesian group, also postglacial and thought to have dispersed from about the area of modern Taiwan (See Wikipedia under Malayo-Polynesian Languages)
Amended Chart for the Time Of Man (Alterations by DD incl. adding the dates of the three Global Superfloods. The last of the Superfloods also includes the Black Sea Flood.)