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Graham Hancock and the Button

23 November 2022
Ancient history, Archaeology, Catastrophism

William brought up this subject by asking me if I had seen the Nextflix programme. I don’t have Netflix, so no. However, it then cropped up in a post on Phys.Org. It would seem Graham Hancock has got mainstream rattled. Big time. They are repudiating the guy with sanctimonious rebuttals of no substance. In the popular new show, ‘Ancient Apocalypse’ we are told this  is a direct attack on archaeologists. Oh dear, are archaeologists the fountain of wisdom. They make as many howlers as anyone else.  They are far from perfect.

See https://phys.org/news/2022-11-netflix-ancient-apocalypse-graham-hancock.html … it is similar to the mainstream reaction to Velikovky’s ‘Worlds in Collision‘, especially when it was taken up by students in the 1960s. Uniformitarians thought their world was capsizing. Not many take his ideas of planets cascading in different orbits to those of today but if comet is substuted for planet and then there is nothing much different to what some mainstream neo-catastrophists have been saying. Velikovsky was motivated by the idea that the Exodus story preserved a folk memory of an ancient catastrophic event, and set out to research if that might be true. He is one in a long list of catastrophists that have found uniformitarianism unable to explain the obvious. Global events, recorded by peoples all around the world, are preserved in myth and legend – and within religious records. That got him into big trouble – and it  seems Graham Hancock has again raised the ire of the establishment science bods, and has stirred the sinecured professors up once again. What is most obvious in these outbursts is they fail to recognise that most people, lowly and not so lowly, are quite capable of deciding if they are being scammed, by Hancock or anyone else. They appear to think we are all sensitive souls that should not be allowed to read heretical or radical ideas and theories. Only they have the intelligence to filter such ideas, and discard or elevate them. Netflix is about entertainment. If people can sit in a cinema and watch the hero deflect an asteroid heading towards the earth, and take it all in their stride without breaking a step, and then they are also capable of making up their own minds about the validity of Hancocks’ ideas, or not. My son came home, many years ago now, with a copy of Hancock’s ‘Fingerprints of the Gods‘ – but I didn’t tell him to not read it. These kind of books, in a certain genre, can open peoples minds as much as anything else. What is wrong with getting exposed to radical ideas. It is the only way to sort the wheat from the chaff.  I did have a copy of Hancock’s book, ‘Magicians of the Gods‘ but have given it away, so can’t really check the subject out. All I know is that he claims there was a major catastrophic event at the end of the Ice Age, and the Atlantis legend is a muddled record of that. Atlantis has spawned a lot of books over the years and Hancock is just one of a few in recent years. The Russians were at one time very keen to find it off the coast of Cornwall, for example. This was one of the better ideas as we know that a large chunk of the continental shelf system off Britain and Ireland, and France, disappeared at some point in the early Holocene. Drowned, just as the story claims. We also know the pillars of Hercules might originally have been located between Tunisia and Malta, or Sicily, in early Holocene. I suspect most people watching the Netflix programme were quite capable of filtering out the speculative from the facts. Atlantis may never have existed. It may even have been located in the sky – within the constellations. Who knows?

Hancock is not promoting an anti-science or anti-archaeologist agenda. That would be counter productive. He would never get any confirmation at any point in the future without them. He is just saying what we all know. Scientists are as prone to misconceptions as the rest of us. They do not speak in holy writ. Science proceeds by accepting new information and new ideas. It is not static.  Besides, Hancock is intuitively correct to envision a catastrophic event at the end of the Ice Age. Temperatures rose  dramatically in Greenland ice cores in less than 50 years [code for almost immediately]. Look it up. Whether there was an advanced civilisation wiped out in the catastrophe is something else – and viewers of Netflix are quite capable of deciding for or against. Where would you look? Sea levels rose dramatically as well as temperatures, which appears to suggest the earth’s geoid had to adjust to a switch in the equatorial bulge, redistributing the water in the oceans. None of that should not be discussed but unfortunately, scientists of various hue and discipline are not likely to as it could mean career setbacks. It is only people like Hancock that are able to bring it to the public’s attention. It would never happen if we left it to mainstream. In other words, Hancock is providing a public service.

The link seems to claim Hancock is positing a full blown civilisation of the sort that has been evident over the last 5000 years or so, but that is probably not what he means. He claimed the people of Atlantis spread knowledge of farming, and a few other things one might associate with the Neolithic period. It is a fact that Palaeolithic societies also favoured certain plants and had the habit of protecting them from encroachment. Cultivation was practised by a lot of Palaeolithic societies, and even in the Mesolithic the practise continued. You only have to look at the horticulture practised by stone age people in New Guinea. They were not affected by an icy world, to any degree, yet it is claimed they grew food plants on plots going back as far as the Ice Age, and presumably within the Ice Age. The same goes for pottery. This was being made by a stone age people, the Jomon of Japan, all the way back to the Ice Age, and no doubt within the Ice Age as well. They were were far from the centres of civilisation and their pottery  preceded Chinese examples [although they too are early]. Archaeologists thought pottery use part of the Neolithic package. Clearly, it was not. It was even being made in Africa in early Holocene – long before influence from Egypt and the Near East. One might even say they inherited it from pre-Ice Age societies. Hancock is clearly not out of sync with archaeology as he uses stray archaeological finds to make his case, that archaeologists themselves tend to pass over, merely recording without comment. In his book ‘Underworld‘ he strayed into geology and Ice Age dogma. Instead of a vast ice sheet across most of North America he used a radical geologist to say that Ice Age landforms were not necessarily created by an ice sheet but by the manner of the melting of an ice sheet centred over the Canadian Shield. In other words, the ice sheet was much smaller than mainstream insist, in the Late Glacial Maximum. Obviously, this idea was anathema to mainstream as it implied the poles may have moved. Since then of course it has become recognised the ice sheet was limited in Eurasia – especially in Siberia and Alaska. It doesn’t much sound like a northern hemispheric ice sheet that created lots of melting ice that went on to raise sea levels. Indeed, the ice melt may have been much more rapid than envisaged by mainstream scientists. After all, the temperature rise was pretty swift. In that scenario there was a lot of melt water that had to be relocated – rivers like the Danube and Volga redistributing it, as also the Mississippi and Ohio rivers in North America. All that melt water, especially if it involved massive flows, would have destroyed any evidence of Ice Age occupation of the temperate zone, in their path. This applies to the North American scablands as well as the breach of the North Sea into the Channel. Hancock is not out on a limb. He is saying things mainstream keep locked away from public knowledge.

Archaeological sites, even in the Bronze age, display evidence of simultaneous fiery destruction. Mainstream archaeologists have not, historically, excavated those sites with the possibility in mind of natural disaster. Occasionally, earthquakes are cited but that is rare, especially in the period following WWII. Archaeologists would rather claim human armies destroyed them, even though the number of sites can be in hundreds. Do conquerors destroy what they want to conquer or is the idea to take them over culturally and exploit their ressources. When the Arab armies came to Carthage they killed or enslaved the inhabitants and systematically destroyed the city. However, they used the stones to create another city, nearby, Tunis, and repopulated it. These things did happen but the local population is still descended primarily from the Berbers that were there for hundreds if not thousands of years previously. Natural disasters do happen – as well as earthquakes. The recent excavations at Tall el-Hammam, near the Dead Sea, are a game changer.If one reads Kathleen Kenyon’s excavation report from Jericho, cataloging a fiery demise to the MB city, one cannot help but compare it to the fate of Tall el-Hammam, just upwind, or downwind, of the meteor explosion. One can also envisage, hypothetically, that the exploding meteor instigated widespread tectonic activity in the Levant, a veritable earthquake storm. This was suggested in 1947 by French archaeologist Claude Schaeffer who had excavated at various sites, including that of Ugarit. Earthquake storms do not happen was the response from the scientists who think they know best. He was hounded out of his profession. It was a lesson other archaeologists learned very well as explain by Amos Nur in one of his books. Archaeologists were subsequently reluctant to mention earthquakes as a possible cause of site destructions, and for 40 years or so archaeology stood still. It is only in recent years that earthquakes are being cited once again – but definitely not earthquake storms. Hammam has uncovered a vector that could easily have created the Schaeffer earthquake storm. This may actually have been responsible for impelling the Hyksos, people with an origin in the Levant, to migrate in large numbers to Egypt. After all, Manetho is supposed to have claimed they arrived as a result of a ‘blast from God’.

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