I enjoy history, in fact I often make mention of the proverb "those who don't know their history are doomed to repeat it". Faced with certain revelations of late, and a certain amount of introspection, I am loathe to add "that depends on your history". This of course, is not simply because history is written by the victors, but because of the increasingly apparent detail that while we might know some of what has passed before, we don't know it all. There is clearly a significant amount of earlier history that is unknown, lost.
Fortunately it seems that we can still find fragments of it in the deep, dark places of the world. The only question is whether or not we will be open to accepting what our digging into the past brings to light?
As some of you may know I am something of an archeology fan. Recently I became aware of the number of finds in the past decade which are nothing less than earth-shattering in terms of their relevance. In particular I am referring to the number of submerged cities discovered in the oceans off the coastlines of various continents around the world just over the past decade. Surely I must be talking a load of bollocks here, because like you, I am sure I have heard only the bare minimum of these finds? Are they real? Decide for yourself.
Let me list a few for you:
On December 7, 2001 the following finds were reported in the sea off the coast of Cuba - an array of building-like structures on a plateau that forms the bottom of what is thought to be a mud volcano, 650 to 700 metres beneath the surface of the ocean and along what is clearly a geological fault line.
The unusual shapes first appeared on sophisticated side-scan sonar equipment in the summer of 2000, during shipwreck surveys off Cuba's western coast, where hundreds of vessels are believed to have sunk over the centuries. The company that made the discovery is among five foreign firms working with Cuba's government to explore the island's coast for shipwrecks of historical and commercial interest. But the mysterious shapes have become the focus of this crew's exploratory efforts.
The precise age of the underwater site is also unknown, although Cuban archaeologists in 1966 excavated a land-based megalithic structure on the western coast, close to the new underwater discovery, said to date from 4000 BCE. Based on that and other geological information, scientists are speculating that these structures are 6,000 years old. It's not exact, but they're very ancient. The area appears to have been submerged in an earthquake.
If that dating estimate proves accurate, it would mean that an undetermined ancient civilization designed and erected these vast stone structures in the Americas only 500 years after human settlements first became organized in cities and states in Mesopotamia. by comparison, the three oldest pyramids on Egypt's Giza plateau are thought to have been constructed between 2900 and 2200 BCE.
The stones so far recovered from the ocean bottom near Cuba are very polished granite. All of the peninsula of northwest part of Cuba is limestone, and very fractured limestone. So, geologically, these megalithic granite structures are totally foreign to Cuba. It doesn't take much IQ to figure out they didn't get there by themselves, or cut and polish themselves either.
Then there is possibly the biggest find so far - a possible megacity 180 meters under the sea off the coast of India, which so far has delivered artifacts and Human remains dating back to 9500 years old. Some scientists are becoming notorious in archeology circles because the emotions of other scientists are getting the better of them. Why do I say this? Because when facts present themselves, they tend to override or ignore them because "it couldn't possibly be". Because some of these scientists are speculating that the origins of this site may date back as far as 50,000 years or more. But that is just impossible, isn't it - it could never be?
Ok, let's go out on a limb here for a minute. Let's examine the data to see why these claims are being entertained. We have what appears to be an ancient city, covered by silt and mud at the mouth of what could have been a river in some distant epoch. The river no longer exists, but is referred to in ancient Vedic texts predating 3 millennia. Taking their investigation further, the archaeologists used a satellite to locate what is clearly a dry river course, which runs from the ruin to the Himalayan peaks. It has been determined that this river has been dry since the end of the last ice age, 50,000 years ago. Added to that is the the detail in the same reference which relates how this river had several cities on its banks - and to add credence to this tale, several habitation sites were identified using the same satellite imaging techniques. Apparently these are now also under investigation.
At the end of the last ice age, around 50,000 years ago, the ice covering much of the land melted and sea levels rose dramatically, submerging lower coastal areas everywhere. There are other similar sites around the world, Japan, China, Thailand... You can check them all out here
Let's put this into perspective by referring to our current sum of Human knowledge. The earliest known Human civilization on this planet that we have a name and records for is that of Sumer in Mesopotamia, known as the middle East today. 6000 years ago the Sumerians developed culture, writing, mathematics, astronomy, astrology, religion, laws and justice, architecture, science and virtually everything we would associate with the hallmarks of civilization. entire libraries of their records on clay tablets have been found. They are even credited with inventing the wheel, although this might only be because they are the earliest confirmed known civilization we know of, and they were using wheels. But what if there were older civilizations, before the Sumerians? It would seem that some folks believe that is impossible? Why is that? Are we so closed-minded? Are we afraid that if something new comes along, revealing distant history we never considered before, that it will rip the foundations of our world out from under us?
Well it frightens me, just a bit. How about you? I mean really? Today we know about evolution, previous species of Human and proto-Human that walked and crawled the Earth before us, and even with us. Today we know of early Humans who lived in caves and buried their dead. And we know that our modern species homo sapiens sapiens has been around for at least a million years. Do you seriously believe that a million years was needed before we could develop a basic civilization only 6000 years ago? Not likely.
Humans are intelligent and resourceful. If we've been around a million or more years, why are we so disinclined to believe that we could have built cities 10,000, 20,000 50,000 or even more years ago?
I find it ironic that some people still refuse to believe that global warming is a serious threat to our modern society. Some, particularly the religious right in the USA, including people like James Dobson, believe it or not, still claim it is all some kind of "liberal plot". Really?
When Darwin postulated his original theory of evolution nearly 200 years ago, he was reviled and ridiculed for even thinking that Humans could have evolved from earlier species of hominid. Today, despite having reasonable genetic evidence to support this theory, we still have nice folks determined to believe that the Devil put those bones in the rocks to trick us, and all those scientists are lost souls who have fallen for it. Surprisingly these nice folks are the same people who want to run the world and force others to believe what they believe. On second thought, perhaps I shouldn't find that surprising at all. How about all those home schools then? *wink*
Do we as the Human race really think this planet has always looked the way it does now? Why can we believe so easily in tectonic shift, earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes, evolution - but not in rising sea levels? Why can we believe in the evolution of species, but not the evolution of the planet? Why can we believe in quantum physics, but not in people that were smart enough to build cities in what is geologically speaking, the blink of an eye ago? Humans have even played golf on Earth's moon, for cripe's sake.
Perhaps it's because of what we were brought up to believe in? That the world fits into this finite, restrictive little box - limited by the sum of our modern knowledge? That we really don't know as much as we thought we do, that there is so much more out there waiting to be discovered in our distant past, reaching so far back it could drive us mad with trying to cope with it all? Perhaps it's because this sort of find challenges the foundations of what we are taught by people who claim to know everything - the teachers, the pastors and ministers who are suddenly faced with conundrums of legitimacy. Perhaps it's frightening because we see there really is no beginning and no end - we are just used to thinking there is. Time just goes on and on and on and on, and aside from the very beginning of our world and the very last moments of it, things between just are.
Nothing changes, but yet everything changes. I am reminded by all these things of the quote from the bible, Ecclesiastes I believe, that says "There is nothing new in the world, everything that is, has been before."
So, the next time somebody mutters something stupid about "the end of the world", I will probably respond "again??" because this is not new either - clearly, it has happened before - and will happen again, and again. Civilizations are born, cultures grow, histories are written and forgotten. In the end, everything dies and is replaced by something else. And the world will always be here, different, the same, until the very last day when the Sun swallows all ten planets of our solar system.
If we refuse to accept knowledge because it frightens us, we will never grow. If we give in to fear, we will never outgrow hatred.
The unknown is something most people fear after all, even when we are just talking about our flapping gay neighbors or that funny auntie at the church who smells like cheese - let alone finding ruins of ancient cities left by nameless, faceless people that predate our expectations and our most ancient knowledge. To them, the unknown is something that should be covered up, denied, ignored and if possible, persecuted out of existence.
Ask any slightly Pink person, and they can tell you this.