To look at the validity of the Legend of Atlantis, two different lines of discussion must first be opened. The first is the idea that Myths and Legends are based on actual historical events. Often these facts are exaggerated during the assembly through oral history. On this accepted norm alone, the existence of Atlantis must be considered credible. The second discussion to consider is the Legend of the Library at Alexandria. The Library at Alexandria (constructed around the fourth century BC and destroyed by the Romans in the first century BC) was reported to hold all the history and secrets of the ancient world. The advancements by the Greeks substantiate the rumors of ancient knowledge contain in the scrolls in that place.
The Legend of Atlantis is based on the writings of Plato after he visited the Library at Alexandria. Plato recited the information that a great civilization existed about 9,000 years prior to his publication. The 9,000 year mark actually points to the final days of that advanced culture. With the evidence known throughout the world, that ancient culture would have existed many thousands of years before.
It seems evident that referring to Atlantis and a single culture is in error. The peoples of the time colonized the Mississippi Valley of North America, the Amazon Basin of South America, The mountain range backbone of both North and South America, and Central America. They also colonized the Mediterranean region, the Middle East and Asia, and Europe as far north as Scandinavia. Based on the only remaining map section from the Ottoman-Turkish Admiral Piri-Reis, they may have also lived on a generally ‘ice-free’ Antarctica. Today it might be hard to imagine such a climatic condition, but the ice ages only covered the northern half of the planet. The southern hemisphere was not covered in ice like the north was. It is also noteworthy to point out that the Piri-Reis map was drawn from information that included maps from the Library at Alexandria.
Logical progression and the evidence points to a highly advanced culture existed many thousands of years before current recorded history. This is likely the same culture written of by Plato. With no other discoveries, the home or main seat of power for this culture could well have been Antarctica.
Since main stream archeology doesn’t have all the evidence, they bow to the communities that support their research. If all of the ‘great cultures’ of history simply took credit for long past accomplishments, who gets the credit? They don’t admit to the existence of Atlantis. Without the official recognition, the efforts to uncover the proof of history before written history go unheard. The main stream academic’s seem to think that for the first 200,000 years man only lived in caves. It wasn’t until 3,500 BC that any kind of advanced culture emerged. It just doesn’t follow logic to think man never wanted to advance until 5,500 years ago. With all the evidence around the world, it is unrealistic to think that all this is simply coincidence.
By definition, a Myth is a usually traditional story of ostensibly historical events that serves to unfold part of the worldview of a people or explain a practice, belief, or natural phenomenon. Again, by definition, a Legend is a story coming down from the past, popularly regarded as historical although not verifiable. Both of these help to define our view of history. What is the historical basis of myths and legends?
Man has always craved entertainment. In our current technology, radio, television, movies, and even the internet provide entertainment. Before the advent of electronic media, there were books and printed materials. Before print media was available to the masses, entertainment took the form of stories told ‘around the campfire’. If some interesting and entertaining event happened, sharing the story with others is a form of entertainment. To keep the story entertaining, some literary license is taken. The story was embellished over time and as it was retold. Again, as a form of entertainment, the story had to remain interesting. Even in today’s world, the audience would rather than a new experience rather than ‘watching the same reruns’.
Before written documentation was commonplace with the general population, history was passed verbally. To keep important history and events alive, it was important that they be remembered. Adding the desire for entertainment, the historical facts were embellished (for the entertainment factor). It is simple. An entertaining story is easier to remember over a dull and boring story. The need to remember was accomplished along with the desire for entertainment.
From simple to important events of daily life, history and knowledge was preserved through the evening stories. Imagine sitting in a cave or simple dwelling. Your group is relaxing around the evening fire partaking of a meal to end the day. You had a good day of hunting and desire both the approval and admiration of those around you. To entertain the group and for some level of self-fulfillment, you recall the events of the day. As you tell your story, the prey might grow size. The setting might grow in either danger or difficulty. Soon you weave a story that legends spring from. In time (and the retelling of the events, you might become nearly superhuman in stature. At the basis of the legend is still the truth of a good day of hunting.
In time, a man of above average stature becomes a giant. Strength becomes super-natural and the deeds morph to verging on the unbelievable. A skilled or lucky individual might be seen as something more. They might be seen as someone that is almost immortal. At the base of the story, there is the truth of the original event. In time, that single event becomes bigger, better, and more interesting. The story becomes almost legendary. As the story or deed grows, it becomes a myth or legend.
There is a common belief that most (if not all) myths and legends have some basis in fact. Whether creation myths, flood myths, or legends of the mighty becoming elevated to immortal or even god-like status, there is proof or speculation of a true story at the base of the myth or legend. Using the example of the flood myth, common in many cultures, new discoveries show the facts behind the myth. At the end of the last major ice age massive ice dams blocked nearly ocean size lakes. As the climate warmed, more ice melted adding to the size of the huge bodies of trapped water. The water helped to insulate the ice below causing the ice dams to restrain the water. When the ice dams finally melted, millions of square miles of land were flooded. To anyone surviving the flood would have witnessed an event of global proportion. As the event was saved and repeated to preserve the history, it is quite conceivable to describe flooding of the entire planet (even if there was some exaggeration). From the story, history is preserved and a myth is born, a myth with basis in an actual event.
Whether an event of nature or an action of a person, legends and myths offer a glimpse to our history and may have truth at their core. Even without the ‘hard’ evidence, myths and legend cannot simply be ignored as only entertainment without a factual basis, even the legend of Atlantis.
Did the Maya invent their famous long-count calendar? What are some of the key points or dates on the calendar? What about the predictions of the ‘end of days’? These and other questions surround the Mayan long-count calendar. With the loss of information over time, there is little left except speculation of the true meanings. To make educated speculations, some of the little information that remains needs discussion.
To start, the calendars should more correctly referred to as the Mesoamerican Long-Count Calendar. The long-count calendar starts on August 11, 3114 BC and ends on December 21, 2012 AD. The Early Classic Mayan culture started around 250 AD and ran until around 1540 AD when the Spanish conquest of the region put an end to the Mayan resistance. The calendar spans a period of roughly 5,126 years while the Maya only influenced the region for 1,300 years in the middle of the calendar cycle. That is the reason for referring to the calendar as the Mesoamerican Long-Count Calendar.
The common name of the ‘Mayan Calendar’ and the span of the Mayan culture raises the obvious question, who developed the calendar and why?
When looking at who developed the calendar, the first place to look is the predecessors of the Maya, the Olmec. Their timeline only goes back to about 1200 BC. That is still almost 2,000 years after the calendar starts. Without a good indication as to the society that developed the calendar, the reasons behind the calendar fall on speculation.
As an agricultural society, the speculation (with some resulting proof) is that the calendar was seasonally based. The points on the calendar follow lunar and astronomical cycles. Both cycles support an agricultural base. Both are important for crop planting and harvest planning.
To look at the specific starting point, there is some limited documentation that remains to define the start and end dates of the long-count calendar. Of the written history of the Maya, only a few documents remain. During the Spanish conquest of the New World, most of the written documents were destroyed. From the remaining documents, the language of the Mayan culture was translated. The translation included the counting system. From there, some insights to the calendar were gained. A single inscription hidden within one of the Mayan pyramids tied a specific date to a known event. From that date, the beginning and end of the Long-Count Calendar could be calculated. Knowing the start date of the calendar should have answered questions to the origin of the calendar. Rather than answers, only more questions arose from the information.
As previously noted, the beginning date of the Long-Count Calendar greatly pre-dates both the Mayan and the Olmec cultures. If the beginning and end dates were in some way arbitrary dates, the endless questions might end. A few key facts about the start and end dates drive even more questions to the origin of the Long-Count Calendar.
As expected, the Mesoamerican calendar ends at the winter solstice. This is something that is noticed throughout various cultures and is rightfully explained as an agricultural feature (and the solar end of the year). The unique feature to 12/21/2012 (the end of the calendar) is that it also falls on the day when our solar system is aligned at the galactic equator and in alignment with a region of the sky historically called the ‘Dark Rift’.
The ‘Dark Rift’ is a visible feature of the night’s sky that appears devoid of stars. Our current science recently discovered that this is the center of our galaxy, a center that contains a super massive black hole. As a point of interest, the beginning of the calendar also marks a point in history of the same alignment.
From this bit of information springs various questions. Unless this is one of the luckiest coincidences in history, whoever developed this calendar knew of the alignment and was able to calculate (or predict) the future alignment with the center of the galaxy. Since this calendar starts nearly 2,000 years before the Olmec, what culture could have observed the initial alignment to start this calendar? If it was not the Maya or the Olmec, what culture pre-dated these cultures and where is the proof of their existence (something I will address in later posts)? What level of science and technology was in existence to both calculate and predict these stellar alignments?
At this point, we can leave the world of assumptions. What I am about to present is accepted by today’s scientific community. Let’s open the discussion on how humanity learns and progresses.
About 200,000 years ago, a minor evolutionary event changed our future. Humans gained the ability of speech. Speech started our rise to technological advancements. In order to understand how this works, we need to look at just how we, as a species, gain advanced technologies.
First, let’s define this strange phase, advanced technologies. The meaning used in this context is any advancement; it includes the advent of harnessing fire or simple machines such as the lever or wheel. In addition to the discovery, sharing of the new found knowledge is important to continued use.
Now we explore an area without assumptions. This is an area of study that is generally accepted as fact (I am part of those that believe the following). This area to look at is; how we advance as a society.
Throughout the history of humanity, the rare advancement is a new discovery. The bulk majority of technological advancements are improvements or refinements on previous work and knowledge. The advent of fire was a chance discovery. The use (and replication) of fire was learned and later passed on through teaching and communication. Human flight was perfected though observation and experimentation. Even the first powered flight was a refinement of ideas proposed hundreds of years earlier (the Wright Brothers took works by Galileo and refined his concepts). Even today with our rapid advancements, the new discoveries are refinements of past ideas and concepts. All of this is made possible by our ability to communicate.
When humans gained the ability to form words, they were able to perpetuate ideas and prior knowledge. The ideas were improved until we have the technology of today. Looking at the advancements of only the past 100 to 200 years raises the obvious question, why now and why so much so fast?
The answer to ‘why so much’ is based on our increased communication. With the internet to share ideas and information, we have made great and rapid advancements. Little more than 50 years ago, most new work was written down and exchanged by sharing actual paper documents. In today’s intellectual environment, work and ideas can be shared instantly over the electronic information grid. With the open source of the internet, more people can share ideas and comments than ever before. All of this leads to greater and faster advancements.
The question of ‘why now’ is not as easy to answer. With all of the unanswered questions of historical monuments throughout world, was there some great technological knowledge in the very distant past? Are we reinventing lost technologies? With 200,000 years of history, how much could have been lost to time?