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 a 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 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.
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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“Fish hooks and fishbones dating back 42,000 years found in a cave in East Timor suggest that humans were capable of skilled, deep-sea fishing 30,000 years earlier than previously thought, researchers in Australia and Japan said on Friday.
The artefacts — nearly 39,000 fishbones and three fish hooks — were found in a limestone cave in Jerimalai in East Timor, 50 metres (165 feet) above sea level, said Sue O’Connor from the Australian National University’s department of archaeology and natural history.
“There was never any hint of (what) maritime technology people might have had in terms of fishing gear 40,000 years ago,” O’Connor, the study’s lead author, told Reuters by telephone from Canberra.”
“An antique gun found buried on a Northern Territory beach may support theories the Portuguese were the first European power to discover Australia, an historical author says.
Christopher Doukas unearthed the gun buried in mud off Dundee Beach, about two hours’ drive from Darwin, during a low tide in January 2010. The Doukas family did some internet research and found it resembled a 16th Century Portuguese swivel gun.
Canberra-based author Peter Trickett told ninemsn the gun, if authentic, may have been dumped during one of two voyages he claims Portuguese seafarer Cristovao de Mendonca made around the coast of Australia in 1521 and 1522.”
“Archaeologists claim to have solved the century-old riddle why the tombs of Pompeii have so much litter â€” the citizens of the ancient Roman city may just have been messy at least by modern standards.
The tombs of Pompeii, which was buried by a volcanic eruption in 79 AD, have been found with piles of animal bones, charcoal, broken pottery.
Archaeologists in the past have explained the presence of so much garbage by theorising that 15 years before the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, an earthquake left the city in disrepair.
However, the latest study claimed that the citizens of Pompeii may have just been messy at least by modern standards.”
Academic archÃ¦ologists and historians are publicly confident that they understand most
if not all aspects of prehistory: when and where the first settled communities appeared,
when and where the first experiments with agriculture and domestication of animals
began, and they collectively paint a picture of a gradual development from small
hunter-gather groups to larger tribal societies and then the eventual rise of the
first supposedly civilised urban cultures of Mesopotamia, Akkad and Egypt
But numerous discoveries being made all over the world are increasingly questioning
that well-established wisdom, and as the standard paradigm of prehistory begins to fall apart the 11,000-year-old megalithic complex at GÃ¶bekli Tepe is just one of the discoveries that is changing our misunderstanding of the archaic past
a selection of books written by John Michell (1933-2010)
the greatest Platonist of the 20th century