As we enter the 21st century technological advances are coming to the aid of ocean 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 or more 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 some 300 feet lower than they are today, and a wide band either side of the equator enjoyed a pleasent 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. The countless oral traditions of every ancient society that has ever 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 academia, we cannot afford to let this ancient knowledge die away simply becasue the supposed “experts” of today cannot understand it.
Neither can we continue to look at the prehistory of human civilisation 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 evidence is emerging which shows that the environmental impact of encounters with comets, asteroids and cometary debris has probably been responsible for the destruction of a number of ancient civilisations on many occasions in the prehistory of the archaic world over the past 15 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. These 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 history.
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,but are only just beginning to get a proper hearing. Such theories, if proven, could help not only to date these monuments, but would also illustrate how well their builders were oriented in time and space. The simple appreciation that the Earth orbited the Sun and periodically encountered streams of cometary debris suggests that ancient peoples may well have been far more aware of the position of the Earth in the solar system, and the dynamics of the solar system itself, than has previously been suspected.
Dr. Duncan Steel, then of Spaceguard Australia, presented a paper to the Society for Inter-Disciplinary Studies conference at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge, in July of 1997, in which he gave details of his research suggesting that the earlier ‘henge circle’ which preceded the stone circles at Stonehenge could have been deliberately constructed to function as a ‘cosmic impact early warning system’.
His paper, “Before the Stones: Stonehenge I as a Cometary Catastrophe Predictor” is must reading for all serious students of ancient astronomy, astro-archÃ¦ology and prehistory. 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 case the total destruction, of various Bronze Age civilisations right across the so-called ‘fertile crescent’ from Greece and Anatolia through Mesopotamia and Afghanistan to Harrapan India.
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“The evidence for a pre-13,000 year old non-Clovis culture in North America includes obsidian and chert artifacts known as Western Stemmed projectile points, and DNA-profiling of dried human excrement â€” more accurately known as coprolites.
Both obsidian projectile points and coprolites were excavated from sediments in the Paisley Caves.
Previous investigations found that human coprolites in the caves predated the Clovis culture by over 1,000 years; however, critics questioned the interpretations by saying that the cave strata had not been sufficiently examined and that no Clovis-age stone tools had been found with the coprolites.
Critics also questioned whether or not younger DNA could have been washed down through the cave’s sediments, thereby contaminating non-human coprolites with more recent human DNA. If true, evidence for pre-Clovis human presence would have been bogus.
The new study refutes every one of the critics’ arguments and uses overwhelming archaeological, stratigraphic, DNA and radiocarbon evidence to conclusively state that humans â€” and ones totally unrelated to Clovis peoples â€” were present at Paisley Caves over a millennium before Clovis.”
“Cataclysms of a global nature have occurred right throughout the geological record. The original geological timetable by Baron Cuvier was based on horizons where entire fossil suites were wiped out and subsequently replaced by completely new suites, but the concept that all geological processes are slow labelled uniformitarianism was popular in the 19th century and it challenged the catastrophist’s view.
Uniformitarianism held that we have a foreshortened view of our distant past, so that abrupt changes in the fossil suites need not have been abrupt after all but separated by millions of years of evolution – a much more comforting view. But when similar extinction events have occurred close to our own time this view loses much of its relevance.
For instance around 14,000 years ago there was a major extinction event that took away 70% to 90% of the large animals in the Americas, while Europe fared little better.
There has also been a periodic, unexplained and often traumatic termination of cultures in pre-history and this sort of thing is unlikely to go away just because homo sapiens has recently taken charge of the world’s disasters. So it would be useful if we could understand the origins of global cataclysms.
When looking at megalithic monuments in Britain and France a few decades ago, it became apparent that major disruptions such as changes in alignment and even the desecration and abandonment of monuments took place in the closing stages of the 3rd millennium BC, roughly about the time of the first Dark Age of Egypt.
Approximately a thousand years later a similar cultural upheaval led to the end of sun worship in north west Europe when megalithic monuments like Stonehenge were abandoned for good. The timing coincided with another calamity in the Mediterranean; notably, the abrupt disappearance of the Minoan and Mycenaean empires
So could one tentatively postulate a cyclicity of cataclysms in our recent past? If so, where does that leave us today on the eve of another gravitational extreme?”
“Many Greek philosophers perceived the world to be in perpetual motion â€” a process of constant evolution. In Charles Darwin’s world, however, creationism set the rules for science.
So, underpinning his theory of evolution is the literal interpretation of the Bible that dominated his era, combined with Aristotle’s vision of nature as definitively fixed.
Darwin, together with J. B. Lamarck, promoted a vision of a changing world, while upholding the idea that organisms evolved from a single root â€” a position held by Adam and Eve in the creationist worldview, and taken over in the modern era by the Last Universal Common Ancestor (LUCA).
And from that remnant of the Biblical story of creation sprung the notion of a tree of life, alongside major concepts such as gradualism (the view that speciation does not occur abruptly) and the idea that minor selection pressures can, over time, have a profound effect on improved fitness.
Darwin’s vision of the world deeply influenced biology in the 20th century, despite persistent questions posed by factors such as lateral gene transfer, neutral evolution, and chaotic bottlenecks in natural selection. But recent genetic research unequivocally refutes this worldview.”
[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]
“The first great discovery in underwater archaeology yielded not only a fine collection of art treasures but also the most enigmatic, most complicated piece of scientific machinery known from antiquity.”
“The complete works of antiquity’s great geometer appear here in a highly accessible English translation by a distinguished scholar.
Remarkable for his range of thought and his mastery of treatment, Archimedes addressed such topics as the famous problems of the ratio of the areas of a cylinder and an inscribed sphere; the measurement of a circle; the properties of conoids, spheroids, and spirals; and the quadrature of the parabola.
This edition offers an informative introduction with many valuable insights into the ancient mathematician’s life and thought as well as the views of his contemporaries. Modern mathematicians, physicists, science historians, and logicians will find this volume a source of timeless fascination. Unabridged reprint of the classic 1897 edition, with supplement of 1912.”
“Forget the myth of Columbus’ daring in imagining a round earth. Nicastro not only traces the conception of a spherical world back more than a millennium before the seafarer set sail but also recounts in fascinating detail how the ancient Greek geometer Eratosthenes measured that sphere with astonishing accuracy.”
Though it would be thousands of years before his feat received appropriate recognition, Eratosthenes conducted his revolutionary science with nothing more complex than a sundial and a compass.
With reader-friendly clarity, Nicastro explains the surprisingly simple calculations behind the earth measurement. But readers learn about much more than geodesy: Nicastro delivers the deeply human story of a multitalented genius whose tenure as the head of Alexandria’s famed library occasioned remarkable achievements in literature, history, linguistics, and philosophy despite the political turmoil that periodically rocked the Ptolemaic world.”