news & new discoveries 2002

The Morien Institute - skywatching through the ages

an image of a meteor flashing through the sky

Image of a revolving globe showing current sea levels since the last ice age, before which many ancient societies like Atlantis flourished all over planet Earth on what are now sunken lands.

text translation service for 25 worldwide languages


dry land discoveries news archive |
underwater discoveries news archive

2004 archive |
2003 archive |
2001 archive |
2000 archive


The abilities of ancient peoples to communicate sophisticated practical knowledge between themselves, and hand down to future generations the accumulated knowledge of their predecessors, has been vastly underestimated by those who think of themselves as ‘experts’ within the historical sciences. Over the past decade or so there have been numerous discoveries about the ancient world, many of which cannot be explained by traditional views of prehistory. It would be impossible to keep abreast of them all, but many have implications for our greater understanding of the cataclysmic events that are symbolised by the stories of Atlantis, Lyonesse, and ‘the flood’ of Noah, that have been passed down over the millennia

Of course, there are so many ancient tales of flooded kingdoms, inundations and sunken lands from more or less every corner of the world, that it is difficult to avoid the basic question of whether or not they all refer to the same cataclysm or a series of cataclysms that happened over several millennia from around 15,000 BC to around 1,500 BC? Either way, we now know for certain that there were a series of rapid sea-level changes that marked the abrupt end of the last Ice Age, especially at the time of Plato’s original date of 9,600 BC, that the question must be asked:

“What more evidence of ancient civilisations, and of the sea-faring peoples of world-wide mythology, remains to be discovered beneath the waves on the continental shelves?”


December 11 2002 – UN Wire – United Nations Foundation

“ANTIQUITIES: Top World Museums Assert Right To Keep Artifacts”

“A group of the world’s top museums issued a statement over the weekend asserting that “illegal traffic in archaeological, artistic and ethnic objects must be firmly discouraged” but opposing in principle the return of artifacts to countries of origin that are demanding them back.

The “statement on the value of the universal museum,” first released Sunday to the London Times, was signed by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Louvre, the Prado, the Rijksmuseum and the Hermitage, among others. The institutions meet informally to discuss matters of common concern.

“We should acknowledge the essentially destructive nature of the repatriation of objects … Museums are agents in the development of culture, whose mission is to foster knowledge by a continuous process of reinterpretation. They serve not just the citizens of one nation, but the people of every nation … “ the statement reads (Nick Fielding, London Times, Dec. 8).”


December 6 2002 – National Geographic News

“Was Maya Pyramid Designed to Chirp Like a Bird?”

“Clap your hands in front of the 1,100-year-old Temple of Kukulcan, in the ancient Mayan city of Chichen Itza, and, to some researchers’ ears, the pyramid answers in the voice of the sacred quetzal bird. ‘Now I have heard echoes in my life, but this was really strange,’ says David Lubman, an acoustical engineer who runs his own firm in Westminster, California. The Maya, he believes, may have built their pyramids to create specific sound effects.

A handclap at the base of Kukulcan’s staircase generates what Lubman calls a ‘chirped echo’ — a ‘chir-roop’ sound that first ascends and then falls, like the cry of the native quetzal.

To Lubman, the dimensions of Kukulcan’s steps suggest that the builders intended just such an acoustical mimicry. The lower steps have a short tread length and high riser—tough to climb but perfect for producing a high-pitched ‘chir’ sound. The steps higher up make a lower-pitched ‘roop’


December 6 2002 –

“Star sheds light on African ‘Stonehenge'”

“Mysterious ruins in Zimbabwe, nearly brushed this week by the shadow of a total solar eclipse, once served as an astronomical observatory to track eclipses, solstices and an elusive exploding star, a South African scientist said. The Great Enclosure in the archaeological site of Great Zimbabwe, a crumbling ring of stone walls and platforms about 250 meters in circumference, was thought to have been a palace complex for regional rulers some 800 years ago.

But Richard Wade of the Nkwe Ridge Observatory thinks that the enclosure was used in a similar capacity as the much older Stonehenge in Great Britain. The arrangement of the walls, the complicated symbols on stone monoliths and the position of a tall tower suggest that medieval Zimbabweans used the complex to track the moon, sun, planets and stars for centuries.”


December 4 2002 – The New Scientist

“Eclipse brings claim of medieval African observatory”

“Viewers of the total solar eclipse in Southern Africa early on Wednesday have also had their eyes opened by second startling event – newly released evidence that a medieval African site was an astronomical observatory.

Starting just before 0600 GMT, the shadow of the Moon took 30 minutes to cross Africa from west to east, before heading over the Indian Ocean to make landfall in western Australia around 0900 GMT. In Africa, between 0610 and 0620, the shadow crossed the southern tip of Zimbabwe, not far from the mysterious stone ruins of Great Zimbabwe, from which the country took its name.

Great Zimbabwe, built in about 1200 AD is a perplexing UN world heritage site. At its heart is the Great Enclosure – a wall comprised of over 5000 cubic metres of stone and marking a perimeter 240 metres in length. Archaeologists had assumed it was once a royal residence. But on Wednesday, archaeologist-astronomer Richard Wade, of the Nkwe Ridge Observatory, South Africa, presented his new evidence. He claims Great Zimbabwe was similar in function to Stonehenge in England, though much younger.”


November 26 2002 – The China Post

“Archaeologists announce discovery of underwater man-made wall – in Taiwan”

“Underwater archaeologists yesterday announced the discovery of a man-made wall submerged under the waters of the Pescadores Islands that could be at least six and seven thousand years old. Steve Shieh, the head of the planning committee for the Taiwan Underwater Archaeology Institute, said the wall was discovered to the northwest of Tong-chi Island in the Pescadores towards the end of September. The stone wall, with an average height of one meter and a width of 50 centimeters, covers a distance of over 100 meters, Hsieh said.

The wall ran along the ocean floor at depths of between 25 and 30 meters, he added. Despite difficult diving conditions, Shieh said that a team of more than ten specialists was able to ascertain the positions of at least three of the wall sections. The proximity of the wall to a similar structure found in 1976 suggests that it may be further evidence of a pre-historical civilization. A three meter high underwater wall was discovered
by amateur divers in waters off the nearby Hu-ching (Tiger Well) Island. British archaeologists examined the find and proclaimed that the wall was probably made between 7,000 and 12,000 years


November 12 2002 – The Irish Examiner

“Huge temple found under Hill of Tara “

“A HUGE temple, once surrounded by about 300 huge posts made from an entire oak forest, has been discovered directly beneath the Hill of Tara in Co Meath. Conor Newman, an archaeology lecturer at NUI Galway, said the discovery at the ancient site made sense of the positioning of other graves and monuments in the area. Mr Newman, who has been working on the Hill of Tara under the State-funded Discovery Programme since 1992, was delighted by the find. “It fills a very important place in the jigsaw because it allows us to make sense of the distribution of other monuments all around it.”


November 11 2002 – Northern Light/EFE

“Archaeologists report discovery of “lost city” in Nicaragua”

“Managua, Nov 11, 2002 (EFE via COMTEX) — Spanish and Nicaraguan archaeologists have found what they believe is ‘a lost city’ in the jungles of southern Nicaragua, the local press reported. Remnants of what appear to have been ‘a settlement dating back more than 2,000 years’ are located near the town of Kukra Hill, 650 kilometers (405 miles) southeast of Managua, El Nuevo Diario reported Sunday. Kukra Hill is a town in Nicaragua’s Caribbean region that is surrounded by jungle and only accessible by boat or airplane”


October 8 2002 – National Geographic News

“Over 1000 new ‘geoglyphs’ discovered on Peruvian Nasca desert”

“Human and animal likenesses, a knife, and a sundial are among the “geoglyphs”, or giant figures etched into the earth and discernible from the sky, most recently discovered in the Peruvian desert. Peruvian archaeologist Johny Islas and German colleague Markus Reindel have identified new etchings made by the ancient Nasca people in the desert valleys of Palpa, about 460 kilometers (290 miles) south of Lima. After five years of work, the scientists were able to identify more than 1,000 new geoglyphs”


“Clues to ‘missing pagodas’ found at Mahabalipuram”

On July 06 2002 the Times of India reported that the archæological Survey of India’s Underwater Archæology Wing, (UAW), has discovered three walls and a number of carved architectural pillars of ancient temples, running north to south and east to west, in the Bay of Bengal off the coast of Mahabalipuram. The report said that they also found seven big submerged rocks about 500 metres off shore. The discoverers believe that the ruins could well solve the mystery of seven pagodas dating back to the Pallava Period in the 7th Century AD.

The dives were carried out by the man in charge of the UAW project, Alok Tripathi, who went about 500 metres east and north of the remaining onshore temple in November 2001, and again in March this year. He told the Times of India:

” … the walls are made of thick slabs of granite. Two long stone slabs, each with two vertical slits to receive two other stone slabs, were kept upright. Several such blocks arranged in a row formed a wall. The remnants are well carved and look like mouldings and pillars of temple. They are similar to the carvings in the existing temples of Mahabalipuram.”

The ASI are planning further dives to the south of the shore temple, where Tripathi said he was hopeful of discovering more underwater structures in the coming months. The whole area was once above sea-level. In fact, during the last Ice Age there was a great deal of land linking India to Sri Lanka, and stretching out into the Bay of Bengal on the continental shelf. Tripathi told the Times of India:

“We are planning to dive during the Tamil month of Tai which falls between December and January. We will trace the extension of submerged structures and clean them to reconfirm our conclusion about their nature and purpose.”

an image/link direct to the BBC story

BBC Online

The story of submerged offshore temples was first recorded by early British travellers, one of whom had been told by older inhabitants of the area that they could remember seeing the tops of the pagodas out to sea during their youth.

The story appeared on Thursday, April 11th, 2002, on the BBC News Online website, which reported that divers from an Anglo-Indian exploration team had discovered, a ‘lost city’ only 15 to 21 feet underwater about half a mile or so offshore near Mammalapuram (Mahabalipuram) in Tamil Nadu, southeast India.

The map to the left is a link direct to the April 2002 story that appeared on the BBC website. Click on it to go directly there.

This confirmation by the Archæological Survey of India, of the existence of the structures first referred to by Graham Hancock in his February/March 2002 UK TV documentary programmes “Flooded Kingdoms of the Ice Age”, which accompanied the release of his latest book “Underworld”, is heartening to all who believe that there is much more down there to find. Perhaps now marine archæologists will begin o re-focus away from old wrecks, and look more closely at the multitude of strange shapes covered in undersea plantlife on the coastal plains all over the world


“New finds worldwide support ‘Flood Myths’

On May 28 2002 the
National Geographic News reported on the many recent discoveries underwater on the coastal shelves around the world. We could not improve on their ntroduction, which led with:

“Ancient stories of massive floods pass from generation to generation and in many places in the world are integral to a people’s spoken history. The tales differ by locale, but commonly feature either torrential rains or a hugely destructive wall of water bursting into a valley, destroying in its path. In many cases, the flooding is an act of retribution by displeased gods.

Scientists, historians, and archaeologists view many of these enduring tales as myth, legend, or allegoric tales meant to illustrate moral principles. Recent findings indicate that at least a few of them could be based on real floods that caused destruction on an enormous scale.”

Firstly they looked at the recent discovery of megalithic ruins some 2,200 ft below sea level, off the coast of Cuba. Interviewing geologist, Manuel turralde, the director of research at Cuba’s Natural History Museum, who stressed the need for an open mind while investigations of the site continue, National Geographic reported that the Canadian exploration company that discovered the formations, Advanced Digital Communications (ADC), has suggested that they could be the buildings and monuments of an early, unknown American civilization. Iturralde told them:

an image/link direct to the

Copyright 2001 Advanced Digital Communications

“These are extremely peculiar structures, and they have captured our imagination,”
and added that, “If I had to explain this geologically, I would have a hard time.”

turralde went on to note that conclusive proof of man-made structures on the site would reinforce some oral traditions of the Maya and native Yucatecos. These people still retell ancient stories of an island inhabited by their ancestors that vanished beneath the waves. And this, of course, is a familiar story in many cultures worldwide.

Paulina Zelitsky, the Polish-Canadian projects director of ADC, and her crew are believed to be currently aboard their research vessel, “Ulises”, on another expedition in the deep waters of Cabo de San Antonio, off the coast of Cuba’s Guanahacabibes Peninsula, where they reported late last year that they had found unusual formations of smooth blocks, crests, and geometric shapes. Her husband and partner in ADC, Dr Paul Weinzweig, told the
Canadian Globe & Mail last December that some of the structures within the complex may be as long as 400 metres wide and as high as 40 metres.

Some of the stills taken from the first video footage gathered by their R.O.V. (Remotely-Operated-Vehicle) had clearly shown “symbols and inscriptions”, though at that time they could not say for certain which language they were written in. Perhaps this summer’s expedition might shed some more light on this exciting aspect of their discovery. Data thus far has been collected using sidescan sonar and video, and collecting samples from the granite blocks and the sediment in which they are imbedded is the next step, reported National Geographic. Some researchers say that the discovery could completely alter the currently held views about the origins of ancient North American civilisation.

Next National Geographic News took a look at the recent underwater temples discovered offshore at Mahabulipuram, Tamil Nadu, in southeast India. Local legends tell that the area once had seven magnificent temples, but that six of these were swallowed by the sea. The seventh, and only remaining temple, still stands on the shore. Passed from generation to generation, the local folklore tells of a beautiful city that was destroyed by the gods because they were jealous of its beauty, so sent a flood to submerge it beneath the sea.


dry land discoveries news archive |
underwater discoveries news archive


“Underwater Japanese Pyramid ‘Manmade’ say Scientists”

On May 9 2002 a report on Whitley Strieber’s Unknown Country brought news that Frank Joseph, editor of “Ancient American Magazine”, would speak that night on “Dreamland” about a conference he recently attended in Japan at which Japanese geologists and archæologists argued that the sunken pyramid off the island of Yonaguni near Okinawa has been found to be manmade. It reported that:

“The structure was found by dive tour operator Kihachiro Aratake in 1985 and has been a source of controversy ever since. It appears to be a construction made of wide terraces, ramps and large steps. However, American geologists have contended that the structure is not manmade, but a natural formation.

According to the report, Japanese scientists have documented marks on the stones that indicate that they were hewn. Not only that, the tools used in this process have been found in the area, and carvings have been discovered. A small stairway carved into the rocks appears to render the theory that this is a natural formation implausible.”

an image/link to what Dr Robert M. Schoch actually did say about Yonaguni

Copyright 1999 Dr. Robert M. Schoch.

The story went on to report that the enigmatic underwater structure that was discovered by dive tour operator, Kihachiro Aratake, in 1985, has shown more evidence of being man-made.

“It appears to be a construction made of wide terraces, ramps and large steps. However, American geologists have contented that the structure is not manmade, but a natural formation.”

Presumably, they were referring to Dr. Robert M. Schoch, a geologist and tenured professor at Boston University, who has dived on the structure for inspection a number of times since 1997.

Dr Schoch has made it clear that he feels the structure was (like the Great Sphinx of Egypt?) primarily a natural structure that people in ancient times carved or enhanced to suit their purposes. His comments in 1999 were:

“We should also consider the possibility that the Yonaguni Monument is fundamentally a natural structure that was utilized, enhanced, and modified by humans in ancient times.”

This type of activity seems to have been widely used in ancient times all over the archaic world, and has become known as ‘terra-forming’. Nature suggests a shape, and human hands go to work it to modify it as they want or need it to look. This could have been done for ritual purposes, or for purely practical ones. No-one is yet sure.

According to the report of the conference in Japan, there have been a number of discoveries recently that add a great deal of weight to the theory that the structure was certainly ‘terra-formed’ at least by ancient people:

“Japanese scientists have documented marks on the stones that indicate that they were hewn. Not only that, the tools used in this process have been found in the area, and carvings have been discovered. A small stairway carved into the rocks appears to render the theory that this is a natural formation implausible.

The problem with all of this for western scientists is that it implies that an unknown eastern culture had developed a high degree of organization thousands of years before the earliest western civilizations. Geologically, the Yonaguni pyramid sank into the ocean at the end of the last ice age, around ten thousand years ago. Some western geologists have theorized that, if it is manmade, it must have risen from the sea in more recent times, and been carved then.

However, the discovery of other, similar structures beneath the sea of Japan was also announced at the conference. If these prove to be similar to the Yonaguni pyramid they may rewrite the history of early man.”

Studies of the structure, such as that by Masaaki Kimura, a professor in the Department of Physics and Earth Sciences at the University of the Ryukyus, were responsible for initiating the debate that currently rages about Yonaguni. In September 1997 Dr Schoch dived on the structure for the first time. He had been invited there by Graham Hancock, who was then researching
“Heaven’s Mirror”, filming for a series of TV programmes, and laying the groundwork for his most recent book “Underworld”.

a photo of Dr. Masaaki Kimura, and Dr. Robert M. Schoch

Dr Schoch and Prof. Kimura on Yonaguni Island 1999

Whilst there Dr Schoch debated the structure, and the local geology of nearby Yonaguni Island, with Prof. Masaaki Kimura, whose work on the eight assorted structures underwater in that area had come to the attention of Graham Hancock some time earlier.

The controversy that erupted was covered in The Japan Times on July 19 2000, which also reported on the ancient myths and legends of the Okinawa region:

“In Okinawan folklore, there are tales of traditional gods and a land of the gods called Nirai-Kanai, an unknown faraway land from where happiness is brought. Kimura said the Yonaguni Monument may have been built to serve a similar deity.”

No doubt we will be hearing a lot more from the Yonaguni area in the near future, as structures have been recently discovered underwater of other Japanese islands such as Aguni and Kerama, and we are reliably informed that walls, and possible ancient roads have been discovered in the Straits of Taiwan, about 20ft to 30ft underwater between the island of Taiwan and mainland China. Watch this space …


dry land discoveries news archive |
underwater discoveries news archive


Another ‘Lost Underwater City’ found off the coast of India

Another ‘lost city’ has been discovered by divers off the coast of India.
BBC News Online on Thursday, April 11th, 2002
, reported a story that divers from an Anglo-Indian exploration team had discovered, a ‘lost city’ only 15 to 21 feet underwater about half a mile offshore near Mammalapuram (Mahabalipuram) in Tamil Nadu, southeast India. It was found by a joint team from the Dorset, England, based organisation, the Scientific Exploration Society, and marine archæologists from the Indian National Institute of Oceanography. The story was covered by the BBC News,

The Guardian
, and the UK Daily Telegraph, which reported that the expedition team discovered huge granite blocks and walls 20 feet below the surface. The expedition leaders referred to the ‘myth of Mahabalipuram’, which spoke of an ancient city that was ‘so beautiful that the gods became jealous and sent a flood that swallowed it up entirely in a single day’.

an image/link direct to the BBC story

Copyright 2002 BBC Online

On their website, BBC Online reported that the myths were first set down in writing by an eighteenth century British traveller, J. Goldingham, who visited the coastal Indian town in 1798 when it was known to sailors as the Seven Pagodas.

“The myths speak of six temples submerged beneath the waves with the seventh temple still
standing on the seashore.”

The discovery could well date back over 5,000 years, although initial reactions to the discovery by archæologists is typically cold.

The ruins cover many square miles, and the BBC TV News showed images of a reconstruction of the mass of submerged buildings that the Anglo-Indian team have discovered. BBC Television News showed some interesting underwater footage of a strange ‘U-shaped’ structure that was reminiscent of the ‘horseshoe-shaped’ stones at Stonehenge. They were found during dives on April 1st 2002, though no-one yet is suggesting the date has any significance, and announced that another expedition is planned for 2003. The expedition leader, Monty Halls, told the BBC News Online:

“Our divers were presented with a series of structures that clearly showed man-made attributes. The scale of the site appears to be extremely extensive, with 50 dives conducted over a three-day period covering only a small area of the overall ruin field. This is plainly a discovery of international significance that demands further exploration and detailed investigation.”

an image/link direct to the BBC story

Copyright 2002 BBC Online

The joint expedition team also included author and explorer, Graham Hancock, who had approached SES after diving off the coast of India in 2001, and gathering the myths and legends of the area regarding the ‘sunken city’. The expedition team has put up a new website just dealing with this discovery at, and Hancock told the BBC:

“I have argued for many years that the world’s flood myths deserve to be taken seriously, a view that most western academics reject.”

Scientists now want to explore the possibility that the city was submerged following the abrupt end of the last Ice Age.

This discovery featured in the recent (February/March 2002) UK Channel 4 television programmes, “Flooded Kingdoms of the Ice Age”, which accompanied the publication of Graham Hancock’s recent (February 2002) book “Underworld”, both of which contained new underwater footage of the enigmatic Yonaguni monument that was found almost 15 years ago off the coast of Yonaguni-Jima, Japan. They also contain unique underwater photographs of the structures found last year off the northwestern and southeastern coasts of India, at Khambhat (Cambay), and the new Indian discovery announced in April 2002 off the coast of Mammalapuram (Mahabalipuram) in Tamil Nadu, southeast India.

As the interest in ‘sunken cities’ and ‘submerged civilisations’ around the world continues to grow, the ‘History Channel’ has released VHS copies of its February 2002 television programme, “Japan’s Mysterious Pyramids”, which has some very interesting, and unique, underwater footage of this structure that is puzzling archæologists and geologists alike.

It seems that the Indian National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) has released information about the discovery at Mammalapuram (Mahabalipuram) and not mentioned the part Graham Hancock played in putting them together with S.E.S. The Indian Audarya Fellowship Forum has some interesting comments about the discovery and the NIO, including comments from Hancock about his disappointment with the ‘snub’. Hancock’s own reactions to the news story are here

There is an interesting report of the discovery on the
website, with an interesting underwater picture we’ve not seen before. While there was coverage of this story in The Independent, which highlights the ‘1500 year’ date proposed by some archæologists, and also an interesting article in The Times of London.


dry land discoveries news archive |
underwater discoveries news archive


“Lost Underwater City ‘could rewrite

That was headline at BBC News Online on Saturday, January 19, 2002. Written by Tom Housden, it told of a ‘lost city’ discovered 120 feet underwater in the Gulf of Khambhat (Cambay) off the western coast of Gujarat, in India. It was found completely by chance by marine scientists from the Indian National Institute of Ocean Technology, (NIOT), who were conducting a water pollution survey of the area. Oceanographers from NIOT told the BBC that they had discovered archæological remains 120 feet underwater in the Gulf of Khambhat (Cambay) which could be over 9,000 years old.

an image/link direct to the BBC story

Copyright 2002 BBC Online

On their website BBC Online reported that, “Using sidescan sonar which sends a beam of sound waves down to the bottom of the ocean they identified huge geometrical structures at a depth of 120 feet.”

An assortment of debris was recovered from the site area, including pottery, sections of walls, beads, sculptures and also human bones and teeth, some of which have been carbon 14 dated and found to be nearly 9,500 years old.

This amazing discovery is bound to radically change accepted ideas of Indian prehistory as: “The city is believed to be even older than the ancient Harappan civilisation, which dates back around 4,000 years”

Indian marine archæologists used a technique called “sub-bottom profiling” to show that the remains of the many buildings of this vast city, which is five miles long and two miles wide, and said to predate the oldest known archæological remains on the Indian subcontinent by more than 5,000 years, stand on enormous foundations. Naturally, the BBC went to interview Graham Hancock, who, despite the obvious dangers involved, has regularly dived on ancient structures in many parts of the world in pursuit of his belief that there is “a big missing chapter in man’s early history”.

This is a belief which is increasingly being shared by many, including some archæologists, who are reluctantly having to come to terms with the fact that there is quite likely to be much more evidence of ancient civilisation waiting to be discovered at the bottom of the oceans, on continental shelves, and in areas of shallow seas, all over the world. In fact, lying underwater in the Gulf of Khambhat (Cambay), there are not one, but two massive cities, both around the size of Manhattan, one approximately 8 km long and the other some 9km in length.

As we enter the 21st century, advances in computer technology are allowing Oceanographers everywhere to use sophisticated computer programs in order to simulate the ancient sea-levels before the end of the last Ice Age. As a result, they are discovering huge tracts of land all around the world that were above water some 10 to 15,000 years ago. While this would have been obvious to marine scientists for a many, many years, marine archæologists have tended to restrict their underwater activities to the recovery of ‘sunken treasure’ and have barely, if ever, considered the possibility that ‘any’ evidence of ancient civilisation from before the end of the last Ice Age could be found in exactly the locations they have been discovered over the past decade or so.

Hancock told

BBC Online

“The [oceanographers] found that they were dealing with two large blocks of apparently man-made structures. Cities on this scale are not known in the archæological record until roughly 4,500 years ago when the first big cities began to appear in Mesopotamia. Nothing else on the scale of the underwater cities of Cambay is known. The first cities of the historical period are as far away from these cities as we are today from the pyramids of Egypt.”

Recent discoveries such as that of the Yonaguni monument in the East China sea between Japan and Taiwan, and more recently of a ‘Lost
in the Caribbean Sea, between the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico and the western coast of the Guanahacabibes Peninsula of Cuba, are adding to the sense of awe that many of those involved in the historical sciences generally are beginning to feel as their long-cherished prehistory paradigms are being completely trashed again and again. Hancock told BBC Online:

“There’s a huge chronological problem in this discovery. It means that the whole model of the origins of civilisation with which archæologists have been working will have to be remade from scratch.”

an image/link direct to the Harappa webpage

But, not everyone agrees at all with Hancock’s argument, preferring to link the discoveries with the Harappan period. BBC Online also interviewed an archæologist from the British Museum, Dr Justin Morris, who told them that a lot more work would need to be undertaken before the site could be categorically said to belong to a 9,000 year old civilisation. Justin Morris told BBC Online:

“Culturally speaking, in that part of the world there were no civilisations prior to about 2,500 BC. What’s happening before then mainly consists of small, village settlements,”

Dr Morris further told BBC Online that artifacts recovered from the sites of these two massive prehistoric urban settlements would need to be very carefully analysed, and, as the BBC reported, Dr Morris: ” … pointed out that the C14 carbon dating process is not without its error margins.”

True, but this sounds very much like the usual ‘sour grapes’ with which the archæological community has responded to the work which Graham Hancock, and his wife, the photographer Santha Faiia, have painstakingly conducted over the last 5 to 10 years. Unable to accept that they are simply wrong in many respects about prehistory, many academics have stooped to the sort of tactics that were highlighted in the now infamous BBC Horizon-Atlantis affair, concerning two programmes about Atlantis which were broadcast in October and November 1999.

The tactics used there were (a) to examine the not so well-known fact that elements of the German Nazi Party under Adolf Hitler were facinated by the idea of Atlantis, and then (b) to attempt to portray Hancock, and all others interested in Atlantis and the possibility that there may be thousands of ancient cities at the bottom of our oceans, as somehow heading for “a slippery slope” down into the sewer of Nazi ideology. Entitled “Atlantis Uncovered”, and “Atlantis Reborn”, the programmes should have been more correctly called “Get Hancock”.

But these are far from the tactics adopted by the BBC Online team, who have treated Hancock with similar respect to that which they treat their own underwater camera operaters, seeming to appreciate the very real dangers of embarking on underwater discovery expeditions of any sort. Acknowledging both Hancock’s logic, and the constant dangers he has faced in his quest for “a big missing chapter in man’s early history”, they reported that:

“It is believed that the area was submerged as ice caps melted at the end of the last ice age 9 – 10,000 years ago.”

BBC Online went on to report that although the first signs of a significant archæological find came eight months ago, exploring the area has been extremely difficult because of the “highly treacherous waters, with strong currents and rip tides”. It seems now that with the recent recovery from the sea floor in the Gulf of Khambhat (Cambay) of carbon datable artifacts, including pieces of ancient timber, the Indian government has set up a special team to oversee further studies in this area. The Indian Minister for Human Resources and ocean development, Murli Manohar Joshi, who seems convinced by the discoveries of marine scientists from his own National Institute of Ocean Technology, told them:

“We have to find out what happenned then … where and how this civilisation vanished.”

That there will inevitably be much evidence of Ice Age civilisation discovered on the vast tracts of land submerged after the end of the last Ice Age is something that Morien Institute researchers have been saying for many years, and it hadn’t gone unnoticed that their January 2002 story was not first time that BBC Online has referred to the discovery of these incredible archæological remains in this eastern part of the Arabian Sea.

an image/link direct to the BBC story

Copyright 2002 BBC Online

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2001, BBC Online reported the initial discovery of what was then only thought to be structures that ” … resemble archæological sites belonging to the Harappan civilisation, dating back more than 4,000 years.” It is now suspected that they are much earlier still, and BBC Online reported:

“A leading marine archæologist says that far more detailed investigations need to be done to confirm the exact date of the structures. S R Rao, who has spent years researching the nearby Gulf of Kutch, said the only conclusive way of establishing the antiquity of the site was by studying pieces of submerged pottery from the same area.”

Since May 2001, those in charge of the Indian marine archæological research project in the Gulf of Khambhat (Cambay) have come increasingly to believe that the remains are very definitely pre-Harappan, and Graham Hancock has dived in the company of some of their leading marine archaeologists in many areas around the coasts of India. Sceptics, both academic and otherwise, and especially those who missed the recent (February/March 2002) programmes on UK Channel 4, “Flooded Kingdoms of the Ice Age”, should read Hancock’s recent (February 2002) book “Underworld”, before they go pronouncing any further about the ‘impossibility’ of any remains of Ice Age civilisations being discovered offshore. They already have been – in Japan and in India in depths of up to 300 feet underwater, and also in Cuba, where the remains of a vast city have, amazingly, been found some 2,200 feet underwater.

There’s no glory in stiffling debate about prehistory, and there’s equally no shame in being wrong about the chronology of human civilisation. Perhaps the time has come for our academics to admit their errors, as Hancock
has done recently on UK Channel 4, and to an audience the size of which most of them can only dream about. Both are looking for clues about the origin of civilisation, and to his credit, Graham Hancock, for his part at least, is prepared to admit:

“In doing so I’ve occasionally followed highly speculative leads, some of which I now realize have led me wide of the mark. This has attracted a lot of criticism, some of it richly deserved. But none of it’s convinced me that there couldn’t be a big missing chapter in man’s early history.”


dry land discoveries news archive |
underwater discoveries news archive

2004 archive |
2003 archive |
2001 archive |
2000 archive


see ‘unique underwater footage’ of the Yonaguni monument

Japan’s Mysterious Pyramids

the VHS video of the ‘History Channel’ November 2002 television programme



The Morien Institute

please take a look at our Ancient Mysteries Bookshoppe for a wide selection of books
that challenge orthodox views of prehistory on every continent

home |
research projects |
skywatching |
news & new discoveries |
marketspace |
contact us

all material on this page
morien institute 1996-2004