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

Survivors of the Ancient Cataclysms

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There has been much speculation over the past 150 years about the origins of civilisation. Human beings, we have been told, built the first civilisations in the Mesopotamia region just a few thousand years ago, and we have been assured that the 'archæological record' shows traces only of nomadic hunter-gatherers who 'appear' to have started experimenting with agriculture only around 10, 000 years ago. But recent discoveries in many parts of the world challenge this view, and the dates for the emergence of the first civilisations are being pushed right back - to the end of the last Ice Age and beyond.

Of one thing we can be very sure, during the last Ice Age (Pleistocene) there were many millions of square miles more land above sea-level than there is today (Holocene), and by all accounts when the the last Ice Age ended at the boundary of the Pleistocene/Holocene periods there were a series of rapid sea-level rises that inundated the coastal plains all over the globe. Were these coastal plains inhabited during the Ice Age? And, if so, what happened to those who survived the many catastrophic events in antiquity?


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The survivors of such awful events would have suffered acute, and sustained, periods of disorientation; an overwhelming sense of disbelief that their world had so suddenly fallen apart and the settled life they had become used to was no more. Many would simply not have coped at all, as whole societies would have arguably suffered from post-traumatic stress to a degree that most would have given up all hope after a very short period indeed. Many would have experienced great difficulty in adapting, but some would have managed, and they were the real survivors.

Could the remains of the crude attempts at 'day-to-day survival' that archæologists are finding, and which has virtually all been made on dry land above sea-level, be just evidence of the pityful efforts by a few refugee survivors of the series of cataclysms that we now know marked the end of the last Ice Age? Have our archæologists and prehistorians made a huge mistake by considering only the remains of those lucky enough to have been able to flee to higher ground? And, more importantly, have they based the whole history of human civilisation on this small portion of the land mass, the high ground and mountain tops of the archaic world that was left above sea-level after the end of the last Ice Age?

The raging seas have eroded much more land since that time, and there are many well-recorded instances within the period of recent history, and in living memory, when violent storms, and surging tides, have washed away whole towns and coastal villages in many areas around the world. Did the final inundation of the legandary land of Lyonesse - between the ancient celtic land of Kernow (now Cornwall) and the Isles of Scilly (some 30 miles to the south west of Land's End?) - happen in the mid-sixth century AD? And were the inundations off the western coast of Wales that occurred around the same time just a small part of a much larger catastrophe that affected not just the coastal lands on the so-called Celtic Shelf of northwest Europe, but other areas of the world as well?

The tree-ring record shows that the mid-sixth century 'narrowest-ring event' is found in wood, and dead trees, all over the world. These narrow tree-rings were caused when the trees then growing found those particular years not very much to their liking, and this is probably due to an abrupt climate change that lasted for just over a decade. The environmental downturn that coincided with the start of the European Dark Ages has, in turn, been found to coincide with a period when astronomers have determined our planet was passing through a particularly dense part of the Taurid/Arietid meteor complex. Did cometary debris, or an asteroid, impact the Atlantic and other oceans, causing tsunamis that were responsible for these, and other, inundations around the world at that time?

Geologists, now using sophisticated computer programs, can re-create the ancient sea-levels graphically, and so are able to pinpoint the areas of land that were above sea-level before, during, and after the end of the last Ice Age. They have identified two specific periods of glacial out-pourings, the meltwater from which was responsible for rapid sea-level risings at around 14,000 years ago and, most importantly, at around 11,600 years ago - at exactly the time period that Plato gave in his Critias and Timaeus dialogues for the inundation of the ancient civilisation he referred to as Atlantis.

a map of global sea levels showing coastlines circa 17,000 B.P.
with submerged lands shown in green

an image/link to another Morien Institute page about sea-level changes
-- Copyright © 2002 Dale R. Bennett --

More recently, oceanographers conducting sea pollution studies in the Gulf of Khambhat (Cambay) off the coast of Gujarat, northwestern India, have found evidence of two large underwater urban settlements that are each about the size of Manhattan (NYC). While underwater exploration in the past year or so has shown what appears to be urban remains similar in size some 2,200 feet underwater off the coast of Cuba that stretch towards the Yucatan peninsular of Mexico. For urban remains to be discovered at such a depth beneath current sea-levels it is obvious that huge tracts of land have been abruptly submerged at some stage in past millennia - sunken cities that will remind observers of Plato's tales of ancient catastrophe.

The discoveries in the East China Sea, specifically at Yonaguni-jima over the past 10 to 15 years, have shown there to be a large number of anomalous megalithic structures not too deep underwater in what is now looking like a once-busy sea-port complex. Maps of coastlines during the Ice Age show there to have been many thousands of square miles of coastal plains above sea-level between what is now mainland China, and Okinawa, with land bridges joining the northern Japanese islands with what is now the Korean Peninsula.

How many more ancient cities are waiting to be discovered underwater on the continental shelves, and in the shallow seas around the world is really anyone's guess? And what happened to the refugee survivors of those inundated cultures of antiquity is purely a matter for speculation in the absence of written records? The 'flood myths' of many ancient cultures around the world tell a much different tale to that which we are presented with in the 'archæological record', and this is simply because that 'record' deals almost exclusively with ancient remains discovered on the dry land of today.

The children of the refugee survivors would know nothing more than what they experienced on a day-to-day level as they joined their parents in trying desperately to rebuild some form of security amongst the remains of previous cultures and societies decimated by natural catastrophes. After securing a regular supply of drinkable water and firewood in an area with edible flora and fauna, it would have been around the makeshift campfires that the children would have first heard stories about the 'lost civilisations' of their ancestors. By the time those children themselves became grandparents, those stories would have taken on near similar forms to the various tales of 'golden ages' of peace and plenty that we are familiar with today from all corners of the world.

Barringer's Crater, Arizona, USA
an image/link to the Morien Institute page about terrestrial impact craters


During the last 150 years or more, the whole concept of 'catastrophism' was targetted and attacked by the new science/religion of 'gradualism' that emerged in the wake of the ideas put forward by the likes of Charles Darwin and Charles Lyall, whose works are still considered by many to be 'more scientific' than what has been dismissed as the 'folklore' which preceded it. Yet the events of July 16 to 22, 1994, when the remains of a fragmenting comet, P/Shoemaker-Levy 9, bombarded the surface of the planet, Jupiter, are well-recorded by scientists, and the past 8 years has seen an urgent re-assessment of our own planet's vulnerability to such events.

As the number of terrestrial impact craters discovered around the world slowly rises, what were once dismissed by most scientists as being just the 'myths and legends' of pre-modern peoples, are being looked at again with a sense of urgency. Credit is finally being given to the achievements of ancient poets whose works are now taken much more seriously, and in which some scientists now acknowledge can be found the accurate observations of ancient skywatchers. Yes! Comets can and do bring death and destruction in their wake, not because of some ancient astrological mumbo-jumbo, as such concepts have been regarded in the recent past, but because they often fragment due to the gravitational forces of the larger planets and the Sun. If those fragments bombard any of the planets then 'extinction-level events' are inevitable.

"Preventing collisions with the Earth by hypervelocity asteroids, meteoroids, and comets is the most important immediate space challenge facing human civilization. This is the Impact Imperative. We recommend that space objectives be immediately reprioritized to start us moving quickly towards an infrastructure that will support a multiple option defense capability. While lasers should be the primary approach initially, all mitigation options depend on robust early warning, detection, and tracking resources to find objects sufficiently prior to Earth orbit passage in time to allow mitigation."
- Jonathan Campbell, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, 5 November 2002 -

How did the refugee survivors manage in the first few weeks and months after their civilisations fell apart so abruptly? Did they already possess sufficient knowledge about the wild food plants in their various areas that they could have survived easily by 'living off the land'? Or are the early attempts at agriculture that have been found by archæologists over the past 150 years or so, simply evidence of desperate efforts by refugees from the various areas affected by the cataclysms to grow their own food in one or more newly-settled locations? Such settlement would most probably only have come about after many generations had wandered amongst the high ground of the archaic world, seeking shelter, and hunting and gathering for daily survival in the immediate post-catastrophe years?

How would we manage today if a similar event to that which happened on Jupiter in 1994 happened on our own planet Earth? The following pages contain information about how to 'live off the land', where to find edible 'wild foods', how to locate and purify life-giving drinking water, and many books on 'ancient survival skills' detailing step-by-step methods that have changed little in the last 50,000 years or more ...


Books About Stone-Age
Foods & Diets

"Orthomolecular Diet: The Paleolithic Paradigm"
Richard L. Heinrich

an image/link direct to this product at
EU English Edition

"The Paleo Diet: the Food You Were Designed to Eat"
Loren Cordain

EU English Edition

"The Origin Diet: How Eating Like Our Stone Age Ancestors Will Maximize Your Health"
Elizabeth Somer

EU English Edition

"How to Enjoy Your Weeds"
Audrey Wynne Hatfield

EU English Edition

"Health Secrets of the Stone Age"
Philip J. Goscienski

EU English Edition

"Earth Knack: Stone Age Skills for the 21st Century"
Bart Blankenship & Robin Blankenship

EU English Edition

"The Paleolithic Prescription: A Program of Diet & Exercise and a Design for Living"
S. Boyd, M.D. Eaton, Marjorie Shostak, Melvin, M.D. Konner


Ancient Survival Skills | Practical Self Sufficiency


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