As we enter the 21st century technological advances are coming to the aid of scientists of all descriptions. But it will likely be the Marine ArchÃ¦ologists, whose discoveries on the continental shelves that were once the coastal plains of the archaic world that will most significantly change our picture of the past. We cannot go on thinking of the past from the scant knowledge available to us from excavations of the remains of ancient peoples discovered solely on the dry land we now live on.
This dry land comprises just 29% of the total surface area of our planet and the remaining 71% is currently ocean. Over the last 15 years The Morien Institute has been carefully documenting as much information about new discoveries underwater as we can find, and The Morien Institute Marine ArchÃ¦ology Archive gives just a glimpse of the many recent discoveries showing evidence of sometimes vast coastal settlements that were inundated by the seas in ancient times.
During the last Ice Age the sea-levels were more than 300 feet lower than they are today, and a wide band either side of the equator enjoyed a pleasant enough climate for human civilisation to have flourished in many parts of the world. When the sea levels rose as the ice sheets melted many coastal settlements disappeared under the waves – forgotten except in the oral traditions of peoples in every land. These oral traditions represent an invaluable archive of knowledge from the archaic world, but they are almost always dismissed by academic archÃ¦ologists and prehistorians who have traditionally regarded them simply as ‘quaint myths’ which they claimed have no bearing on reality.
But that is a very foolish perspective. What remains of the oral traditions of the many ancient societies that once developed on our planet must be preserved at all costs so that future peoples can study the wisdom of ancient peoples with an open mind that was sadly absent from 20th century academic thinking. These oral traditions are now acknowledged as being the invaluable “Indigenous Knowledge” of ancient peoples, and represent a collective understanding of the natural world that had developed through careful observation over countless millennia. Despite the scepticism expressed in some academic disciplines, we cannot afford to let this ancient knowledge die out simply because the supposed “experts” of today cannot understand it.
Neither can we continue to look at the prehistory of human societies and civilisations as if our planet somehow stands alone in empty space. Nothing could be further from reality. Our immediate solar system environment is more of a cosmic shooting gallery’ than a vast expanse of emptiness, and a great body of evidence is building which shows that the environmental impact of encounters with comets, asteroids and cometary debris has been responsible for the destruction of numerous ancient civilisations on many occasions in the archaic world over the past 10 to 20 millennia.
Throughout the last few hundred years, and quite probably before that, individual researchers ranging from the eccentric ‘Gentleman Antiquarians’ of the 17 & 1800s to the so-called ‘dissident professors’ of the 20th century have pursued lines of enquiry which has horrified general academia. Those individuals were ridiculed and vociferously opposed by academic archÃ¦ologists and prehistorians who had often invested a lifetime’s work in what the more honest amongst them might reluctantly admit in private company to have been a totally inaccurate view of human prehistory.
Theories that many megalithic sites began life as some form of observatories acting as ‘early-warning systems’ for imminent impacts of cosmic debris from the break up of a giant comet have been emerging over the last 30 years or so. Evidence supporting these theories is helping not only to date some of these monuments, but also illustrates how well their builders were oriented in time and space. A new appreciation that our ancestors were acutely aware that the Earth orbited the Sun, and that it periodically encountered streams of cometary debris, suggests that ancient peoples understood the dynamics of the solar system to a far greater degree than has previously been acknowledged.
The Cambridge Conference focussed primarily on the effects of natural catastrophes resulting from the impacts of cometary debris. These impacts were presented as being the likely causes of the sudden collapse and in many cases the total destruction of various Bronze Age civilisations, giving rise to radical cultural changes, and to a number of new religions with accompanying astro-mythologies that had hitherto been impossible for academia to understand.
The simultaneous collapse of these civilizations has long puzzled archÃ¦ologists and prehistorians as the vast areas affected ran right across the ‘fertile crescent’ destroying the most advanced societies of the time, ranging in distance from Greece and Anatolia through to Mesopotamia and Afghanistan and continuing eastwards to encompass India and Central Asia.
The cause of this most perplexing ‘Bronze Age Event’ around 2350 – 2300 BC has only recently become clear as a wide variety of assorted ‘ologists from various disciplines have begun reviewing the mythologies of the time. What they have found throughout numerous inter-disciplinary studies are the accurate observations of ancient skywatchers describing cosmic bombardment and flooding which in every case, and in every region, came directly from the ancient skies.
These natural cosmic catastrophes were recorded by all ancient societies and passed down through many generations to become the oral traditions that are held sacred by the peoples whose ancestors directly experienced them, but which are often dismissed as being ‘quaint myths that have no bearing on reality’ by so-called scholars who have never even tried to understand them. Bombardment of our planet by cosmic debris is, like all things in the natural world, a cyclical phenomenon. It has happened many times in the past, and if we dismiss the records kept by ancient peoples simply because they were recorded in a language that our modern scientists cannot understand, then we will not be prepared when it happens again.
The sophistication and unprecedented accuracy of the astronomical phenomena that was an integral part of almost all of the megalithic structures that have been discovered on most continents suggests a long period of development, yet academic archÃ¦ologists and prehistorians have been at a loss to expain them. Most have simply ignored the astronomy, or made idiotic statements about ancient peoples not being capable of that level of understanding, but there they are for all the world to see.
In October 1900, Captain Dimitrious Kondos was leading a team of sponge divers near the island of Antikythera off the coast of Greece. They noticed a shipwreck about 180 feet below the surface and began to investigate. Amongst the artifacts that they brought up was a coral-encrusted piece of metal that later archÃ¦ologists found was some sort of gear wheel. The rest of the artifacts, along with the shape of the boat, suggested a date around 2000 years ago, which made the find one of the most anomalous that had ever been recovered from the Greek seas. It became known as “The Antikythera Mechanism”.
In 2006 the journal “Nature” published a letter, and a full paper about the mechanism was published in 2008, detailing the findings of Prof. Mike G. Edmunds of Cardiff University. Using high-resolution computed tomography to study the fragments of the anomalous Antikythera Mechanism, they found that it was in fact a bronze mechanical analog computer that could be used to calculate the astronomical positions and various cycles of the Moon – as seen from the Earth.
This incredible discovery is indisputable evidence that ancient peoples were far more capable of understanding the cyclical nature of heavenly bodies than they had previously been given credit for, and
“The Antikythera Mechanism Research Project” showed they could also construct devices which could predict them. There was much discussion about its supposed anomalous nature, but it is only anomalous if viewed in isolation or in the context of a completely inaccurate view of prehistory. In the context of the astronomical knowledge embedded into megalithic structures a long period of development becomes evident, and is deserving of radical review in light of the discovery of The Antikythera Mechanism.
Over the past 15 years The Morien Institute has archived new archÃ¦ological discoveries as well as new interpretations of old archÃ¦ological discoveries. In our news pages we list many items that may not seem directly related to a better understanding of what our ancestors saw and experienced in ancient skies. But astromythology and its interpretation, and constant review of our poor appreciation of the scientific achievements of our ancestors remains the common theme that we feel ties most of them together. It is only an open-minded approach to prehistory, and a willingness to accept what is found rather then attempting to make new discoveries fit into some pre-conceived paradigm, that will help us gain a better understanding of our ancient past than is currently taught in our schools, colleges and universities.
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“European hunter-gatherers acquired domesticated pigs from nearby farmers as early as 4600BC, according to new evidence.
The international team of scientists, including researchers at Durham and Aberdeen universities, showed there was interaction between the hunter-gatherer and farming communities and a ‘sharing’ of animals and knowledge.
The interaction between the two groups eventually led to the hunter-gatherers incorporating farming and breeding of livestock into their culture, say the scientists.
The research, published in Nature Communications today (27 August), gives new insights into the movements of pre-historic humans and the transition of technologies and knowledge.”
“The heart of the Atacama Desert is the driest place on Earth. But that didn’t prevent the first settlers of South America from setting up home there more than 12,000 years ago.
Aside from Antarctica, South America was the last continent that modern humans colonised, says Claudio Latorre of the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile in Santiago.
The first settlers arrived from North America at least 14,000 years ago, but their route south is a mystery. Most researchers assume they travelled through fertile corridors, perhaps down the west coast where seafood was plentiful, at least until you hit the desert.
‘Extreme environments, such as the Atacama, were naturally assumed to be barriers’, says Latorre. ‘This was not the case.'”
“At least 160 fragments of sculptures, possibly of jaguars, were discovered by specialists in the archaeological park of Cihuatan, located in central El Salvador, the Culture Secretariat said.
The remains come from ‘five or six feline sculptures’, found along with pieces of two censers, the secretariat said in a statement.
Archaeologists of the secretariat and of El Salvadorâ€™s private National Archaeology Foundation, or FUNDAR, made the discoveries during excavations carried out between February and May but not announced until now, officials said.
The fragments were found in a structure built against the perimetric wall of the Cihuatan ceremonial center, a site of Mayan origin located some 36 kilometers (22 miles) from Aguilares, a town north of San Salvador.”
“Archaeologists have debated for decades over what caused the once-flourishing civilizations along the eastern Mediterranean coast to collapse about 1200 BC.
Many scholars have cited warfare, political unrest and natural disaster as factors. But a new study supports the theory that climate change was largely responsible.
Analyzing ancient pollen grains from Cyprus, researchers concluded that a massive drought hit the region about 3,200 years ago.
Ancient writings have described crop failures, famines and invasions about the same time, suggesting that the drying trend triggered a chain of events that led to widespread societal collapse of these Late Bronze Age civilizations.
Before their downfall, the Aegeans, Hittites, Egyptians and Syro-Palestinians had formed a complex, economically linked network in the eastern Mediterranean.
But about 1200 BC, they ‘disappeared completely from history’, said Lee Drake, an archaeologist at the University of New Mexico who was not involved in the study.”
“The day before the child’s death was not a pleasant one, because it was not a sudden injury that killed the 10-13 year old child who was buried in the medieval town of Ribe in Denmark 800 years ago.
The day before death was full of suffering because the child had been given a large dose of mercury in an attempt to cure a severe illness.
This is now known to chemist Kaare Lund Rasmussen from University of Southern Denmark – because he and his colleagues have developed a new methodology that can reveal an unheard amount of details from very shortly before a person’s death.
Mercury is of particular interest for the archaeologists as many cultures in different part of the world have been in contact with this rare element.”
“Archaeologists and researchers are trying to figure out why a recently found treasure of 1,500-year-old coins and other artifacts was buried in Byzantine era refuse pits.
The excavations, on behalf of the Tel Aviv University and the Israel Antiquities Authority, are being carried out prior to expanding the city of Herzliya, immediately north of Tel Aviv.
Numerous finds dating to the Late Byzantine period of the 5th-7th centuries were among the antiquities discovered in excavations conducted in the agricultural hinterland of the ancient city of Apollonia-Arsuf, located east of the site.
Among the finds uncovered are installations for processing the agricultural produce such as wine presses, and what also might be the remains of an olive press, as well as remains of walls that were apparently part of the ancillary buildings that were meant to serve local farmers.”
“Scientists have uncovered new evidence of Neanderthal occupation at the Kalamakia cave site on the western coast of the Mani peninsula in Greece, adding to previously recovered finds at other sites in the area.
The finds lend additional support to the theory that Greece and the Southern Balkans served as a dispersal corridor and refugium for Pleistocene era human populations.
The cave yielded lithic (stone tool) remains, an abundance of fauna (animal remains), and human remains of at least 8 and possibly 14 individuals consisting of 10 isolated teeth, a cranial (skull) fragment and three postcranial (other skeletal) elements, as well as several hearths.”
[In October 1900, Captain Dimitrious Kondos was leading a team of sponge divers near the the island of Antikythera off the coast of Greece. They noticed a shipwreck about 180 feet below the surface and began to investigate. Amongst the artifacts that they brought up was a coral-encrusted piece of metal that later archaeologists found was some sort of gear wheel.
The rest of the artifacts, along with the shape of the boat, suggested a date around 2000 years ago, which made the find one of the most anomalous that had ever been recovered from the Greek seas. It became known as The Antikythera Mechanism.
In 2006 the journal “Nature” published a letter, and another paper about the mechanism was published in 2008, detailing the findings of Prof. Mike G. Edmunds of Cardiff University. Using high-resolution X-ray tomography to study the fragments of the anomalous Antikythera Mechanism, they found that it was in fact a bronze mechanical analog computer that could be used to calculate the astronomical positions and various cycles of the Moon – as seen from the Earth: – Ed]
“Recent studies of Stonehenge and other megalithic monuments have given rise to the science of astro-archaology, the study of early astronominical knowledge through the interpretation of ancient monuments and other archaeological data. A noted British astronomer’s fascinating study of early megalithic period astronomical knowledge through the interpretation of such monuments as Stonehenge, Carnac, and many other megalithic sites.
Stone Age sculpture, astronomical computations, radiocarbon dating and many other topics explored. Over 140 maps, photographs and illustrations. An essential summary of astronomy in the Stone Age.”
“What was the meaning of Stonehenge? What was the Mayan Code? Why was the elaborate Incan city of Cuzco built? Groundbreaking archaeoastronomer Anthony Aveni offers a host of startling new insights and conclusions in this acclaimed study of three of life’s most mesmerizing mysteries.”