And he does certainly seem to regularly be ‘ahead of the curve’ on controversial theories that gain more and more traction and acceptance afterward, from megalithic culture dating back much further than previously assumed (e.g. There’s, of course, an “island” that fits that description far from the Atlantic coast of Europe and Africa: America. That someone could take the grain of an idea rooted in scientific fact and expound upon it at length to construct an entirely new historical narrative sounds more science fiction than factual … I'm glad I finally got around to finishing this. And as the subtitle also suggests, Hancock frames the book very much as the next logical step in his multi-decade ‘search for a lost civilization’ that started with his bestselling Fingerprints of the Gods back in 1995. The first is the discovery of henges in the Amazon basin that have been woefully unexplored by archaeologists. The deep and explicit details, imagery and beliefs, shared by these two supposedly unconnected religious systems can no longer be dismissed as coincidence. We’d love your help. Months and months of buildup and promotion and you read this book and it's really good, but it isn't earth shattering. And then I would investigate them thoroughly to see if there might be a big picture hidden among the details scattered across thousands of scientific papers in fields varying from archaeology to genetics, astronomy to climatology, agronomy to ethnology, and geology to paleontology. The book takes us a step further towards finding definitive proofs of the existence of one or more advanced civilizations during the Ice Age, civilizations that collapsed with the cataclysm that started the Younger Dryas. Hancock talks about both how … Looking at ruins of structures in Ohio, Louisiana, and Missispi Valley it shows they were built with astrological precision. I never really cared if Hancock is right about a lost civilization or not. His books include Lords of Poverty, The Sign and the Seal, Fingerprints of the Gods, Keeper of Genesis (released in the US as Message of the Sphinx), The Mars Mystery, Heaven's Mirror (with wife Santha Faiia), Underworld: The Mysterious Origins of Civilization, Talisman: Sacred Cities, Secret Faith (with co-author Robert Bauval), Supernatural: Mee. Then, WHAM! It would be interesting to see the result if archaeologists instead embraced him as a champion for the field – with the caveat or framing that he is most often representing the rebels and outliers that challenge orthodoxy – and bring much more interest and goodwill to archaeology, as well as a jumping off point for those interested in more ‘orthodox’ ideas (indeed, I know that a number of skeptical archaeologists were originally inspired by Hancock). He has pushed for the idea that human culture is older than what the history books told us. What all are agreed on, however, is that a global cataclysm did indeed occur. I do NOT endorse his hypotheses (that Earth was once home, MANY thousands of years ago before any Ice Ages, to a technologically advanced human civilization which has left threads and memes behind to be decoded in places like Stonehenge, the Pyramids at Giza, the Mayan cities, great earthworks of the Americas, and so on), because...well, Hancock connects the dots in a lot of ways that are *almost* convincing, but ultimately fall too short of actual evidence and too squarely in the realm of assuming that every coincidence must be de facto evidence. America Before reveals that the epicentre of the cataclysm lay in North America, then still in the grip of the Ice Age with much of the northern half of the continent covered in ice a mile deep. We tend to think of those people as ‘hunter gatherers’ or ‘cave dwellers’ but they were actually quite knowledgeable, enlightened especially about cosmology and astrology. I was really enthused to read this book, given the glowing reviews and how little I know about the Americas before colonization. In the transition, America Before reveals that an advanced civilization, hitherto the stuff of myth and legend, was lost to history. In this case, by looking at influential Smithsonian Institution archaeologist Betty Meggers and her view that no pre-Columbian Amazonian settlement could have been as populated or sophisticated as those stories suggested – an opinion that “for a long while served as the sole acceptable reference frame through which the prehistory of the Amazon would be understood.” He then looks in detail at some exciting new discoveries related to archaeology in South America that we covered here on the Grail, including the discovery of henge-like geoglyphs across the Amazon (perhaps the most fascinating topic in the book for me) and genetic links between indigenous Australians and Amazonians.

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