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?
In my previous post, I discussed some of the coincidences of pyramid structures around the planet and some of the background into concrete. To keep the posts shorter, I didn’t speculate into the construction methods used to construct these massive structures.
The current accepted timeline is that Khufu’s pyramid (the largest of the Giza Pyramids) was constructed in 23 years (2589 – 2566 BC). There is endless debate on the work force and construction methods used to create these majestic wonders. Each debate involves a series of assumptions. What we have learned (recently) is that the pyramids were not built with slave labor. The effort was a massive public works project. Egyptian citizens worked on temple structures during of ‘off-season’ of an agricultural society. During planting and harvesting, the populace worked the fields and farms. The remainder of the year, the masses worked (for pay and subsistence) on these structures. The debates surrounding the workforce look at maximum numbers working maximum hours. Again, countless assumptions.
The field of archeology knows that the ancient Egyptians had forms of concrete and mortar from wall paintings dating well before the construction of Khufu’s pyramid (from wall art and plaster in Djoser’s burial chamber).
An alternative proposal has surfaced over the years and has merit (with a lower number of assumptions). By using a formed rock substitute (a concrete like material), the construction of these large pyramids fits the documented timeline and workforce. This method would still require some blocks to be quarried and placed, but most of the structure would be made from the materials locally available (water, sand, and a reactive material such as lime and natron). The resulting compound would resemble a sandstone or limestone substitute with the properties of being formable and easy to transport in smaller quantities. Such a compound would allow a number of workers to carry baskets of ‘wet concrete’ like materials and deposit them in-place. This would allow that number of workers to cast a block of many tons, one basket load at a time.
Again, using Ockham’s Razor as a test, this now starts to put clarity into the questions of how the pyramids were constructed. It also answers the dilemma concerning the quality of stonework with copper tools and the fineness of fitted joints between the massive stone blocks.
Around the planet there are examples of ancient cultures constructing large monuments. In many cases these take the shape commonly referred to as pyramids. The notation that the structures are ‘commonly referred to’ rises from the fact that we do not know what ancient peoples called those structures. The currently accepted explanation is that of a worldwide coincidence. This explanation is tenuous at best. Such a wide spread practice is not coincidence. This practice indicates cross cultural contact and communication deep into antiquity. With the broad geographical range that these structures are found, the cross cultural communication spans both massive land masses and the largest of oceans.
Pyramids have been found in Europe, Asia, South America, and North America. The ages of the structures span the millennia back to over 15,000 years ago. Beyond the wide spread occurrence of such structures, other details scream of a common design. Beyond the general shape of the structures, details such as size, and compass orientation are among the most common details shared by pyramids throughout the planet.
This might seem like an odd topic for discussion of very ancient history. There is significant documentation to show the Roman’s used this type of material in their construction only 2,000 years ago. The concrete of today is called Portland Cement Concrete. The name is derived from an attempt to mimic rock formations found and quarried on Isle of Portland. With the concrete of today, the construction of massive structures are possible. Portland Cement (the reactive ingredient in concrete) is hydraulic, it reacts with water to change during a chemical reaction. After the initial reaction, the substance resembles a rocklike substance. Concrete (and other Portland Cement products) continue to cure and harden over time. The initial curing time is a month, but the curing can continue for many decades. All the time, the concrete material hardens and becomes stronger. I have personally tested concrete designed to a strength of 3,000 psi (pounds per square inch) of compressive strength. After more than 50 years, the concrete tested at over 6,000 psi. This is an example of the materials used today. The concrete used by ancient Roman construction is similar in the strengthening over time.
There has been some ‘fringe’ speculation that many ancient structures used a similar construction method. Even the Smithsonian Museum has an exhibit discussing the use of a formed rock substitute in the construction of the Egyptian Pyramids. Again, using Ockham’s Razor as a test, this might not be as farfetched as the mainstream academia makes it sound. Too many assumptions have been made in speculation of the exact methods used to move such massive stones during construction of those ancient structures. The timeline and population of the ancient Egyptian society do not support construction of the massive structures built in antiquity.
If such structures were built today, the current methods used would support the documented timeline. Of course to do so would either require massive equipment or a change in materials. The reported 20 year duration to build the great pyramids neither supports the quantity or size of the stone blocks used in the construction.
There are three basic ingredients to modern concrete. Aggregate, water (for reaction), and cement make up concrete. The aggregate is a filler and provides volume. The cement and water are combined, through a chemical reaction, to form a strong and solid rock like compound. Modern concrete was developed to resemble naturally occurring stone. If ancient man were to view a modern monolithic structure such as the Hoover Dam, he might speculate it was built from massive blocks of quarried stone. In a similar view, the pyramids of ancient Egypt might have been made by casting a concrete like rock replacement material. By using sand as a filler, the concrete would resemble sandstone.
As far as a supply for the material, the Nile Valley does contain an ample supply of sand and water. The only missing ingredient is a cement (power) substance. If made from lime (a traditional reactive material), the third ingredient is also abundant in the region.
Ockham’s Razor - is a principle of parsimony, economy, or succinctness used in logic and problem-solving. It states that among competing hypotheses, the hypothesis with the fewest assumptions should be selected. In simple terms, the simplest answer is usually the correct answer. Much of main-stream academia wants absolute proof before rendering an opinion. Often, the simplest answer is the best answer. Of course, these simple answers are often dismissed as fringe theory. Back in history, the main-stream was convinced the earth was the center of the solar system. More recently, the majority accepted that the earth was flat. In each case, additional assumptions were required to prove those theories. As we learn more, we discover that what we took to be an undisputable fact to be wrong.
Recently an article was released stating that the general IQ of humans has been dropping over the vast millennia. Early humans needed a higher IQ to simply survive the danger and harsh conditions of everyday life. When we compare that theory to the view of our recent advancements, one can only wonder why we are not more advanced that we are. Maybe we have been.
I use Ockham’s Razor as a test for a hypothesis. If the answer is simple and lacking in additional assumptions to yield proof, it is worth further investigation. With the exploration to answers of those many unanswered questions throughout history, simple answers are good answers (even without hard evidence). Since we are looking into 200,000 years of human history, the lack of written evidence or large structures does not indicate that something didn’t exist. Even today, most of our knowledge and information would not exist even a few days or weeks after the power keeping the computers humming was shut down. So a lack of hard evidence does not indicate something or someone never existed. We keep looking for logical and simple answers.
Several questions have come to my attention about the ancient crystal skulls. This is a bit out of order and will lack some of the background, but have is my take on these objects.
Like all unanswered questions throughout history, the mainstream archeology community is too quick to dismiss these items, even to the point that the National Geographic Society has said (in a blanket statement) that all ancient crystal skulls are fakes. Again, without solid undeniable proof, the academic world takes the easy way out and dismisses these items.
A little background is necessary at this point. Native American and Mezzo-American legend tells that there are twelve ancient crystal skulls hidden around the planet (it is believed that six have been found to date). At some time, in the future, when humanity is in need, the crystal skulls will make themselves known and provide needed answers and information. The same legends hold held that the ancient crystal skulls contain the collective information and knowledge from a long lost and very advanced ancient civilization. Like most myths and legends, there is some truth at the core of the story. Again, like most myths and legends, the story may have been exaggerated over the many millennia.
The legend speaks of twelve skulls. The idea of twelve skulls may stem from the same basis of the twelve tribes. This is a legend fostered my several cultures including the tribes of Israel. The twelve skulls might have grown from multiple groups of explorers from a central culture with each group leaving a skull as a marker for future generations. This is a similar story with the significant difference that the twelve skulls would not need to be gathered in a single location to access ancient knowledge. To cut through the possible exaggeration, a simple explanation is that the ancient skulls are simply part of a method to gain access to an ancient store of information (knowledge being the use of information). A single skull might only hold the knowledge of a limited few humans, not an entire culture. The volume required (by current technology) to hold the sum of today’s knowledge would several thousand times the volume of a single skull. Most of my conclusions are based on logic. Logic dictates that a single (or even twelve) skull is too small for the amount of knowledge being referred to. Again, the ancient crystal skulls may be simply a device (like a computer terminal) to access a vast store of ancient knowledge.
I believe that the ancient crystal skulls are historical artifacts. They were discovered at a time that their construction cannot be explained (even today, the technology does not exist to replicate the Mitchell-Hedges skull). I feel the legend has changed over time and the skulls provide access (like a computer terminal provides access to the World Wide Web). Though my Crystal Skull Trilogy is a work of fiction, it provides a possible and plausible function of the skulls as a part of the story line.
I welcome comments and/or thoughts on this subject.
Have you ever wondered about some of the unanswered historical questions
How were the great pryamids constructed?
How was electricity used 5,000 years ago?
What was the purpose of the Naska Lines?
Over the next weeks and months, we can discuss these questions and more. All of the discussions will fuel a future publication (non-Fiction) to discribe topics of human history.