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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“Oxford and TÃ¼bingen scientists have identified what they believe are the worldâ€™s oldest known musical instruments.
In their paper in the Journal of Human Evolution, the scientists report new results of radiocarbon dating for animal bones, excavated in the same archaeological layers as the musical instruments and early art, at GeiÃŸenklÃ¶sterle Cave in the Swabian Jura of southern Germany.
The musical instruments take the form of flutes made from the bird bones and mammoth ivory. The animal bones bear cuts and marks from human hunting and eating.
They were excavated at a key site, which is widely believed to have been occupied by some of first modern humans to arrive in Europe.”
“The oldest agricultural settlement ever found on a Mediterranean island has been discovered in Cyprus by a team of French archaeologists involving CNRS, the National Museum of Natural History, INRAP, EHESS and the University of Toulouse.
Previously it was believed that, due to the island’s geographic isolation, the first Neolithic farming societies did not reach Cyprus until a thousand years after the birth of agriculture in the Middle East ca. 9500 to 9400 BCE.
However, the discovery of Klimonas, a village that dates from nearly 9000 years before Christ, proves that early cultivators migrated to Cyprus from the Middle Eastern continent shortly after the emergence of agriculture there, bringing with them wheat as well as dogs and cats.”
“Giant dinosaurs that roamed the Earth millions of years ago may have warmed the planet with the gas they produced from eating leafy plants, say British scientists.
Much like modern cows that emit a significant amount of methane in their digestive process, the 20,000 kilogram sauropods contributed the same way, and likely more, to the warming climate, according to a study published in the journal Current Biology.
The climate during the Mesozoic Era, which spanned 250 million years ago to about 65 million years ago, was believed to be hotter than it is today.
With bulky bodies and long necks that allowed sauropods like the Brontosaurus to graze on grasses or high in the treetops, these creatures were plentiful 150 million years ago, ranging from a few individuals to a few dozen per square kilometre.”
“Satellite images have revealed that a network of ancient rivers once coursed their way through the sand of the Arabian Desert, leading scientists to believe that the region experienced wetter periods in the past.
The images are the starting point for a major potentially ground-breaking research project led by the University of Oxford into human evolutionary heritage.
The research team will look at how long-term climate change affected early humans and animals who settled or passed through and what responses determined whether they were able to survive or died out.
Until now this part of the world has been largely ignored by scholars despite its critical location as a bridge between Africa and Eurasia. ”
Another mysterious ancient megalithic (massive stone) structure can be found underwater
about half a mile off the coast of the southernmost Japanese island of Yonaguni …
Do these Yonaguni undersea relics near Okinawa offer proof of a sophisticated civilization
during the last ice age? You can learn more about this mysterious pyramid-like complex, now underwater, by visiting our “Yonaguni” pages