The Ior Bock Saga: Is Everything We Know about History Wrong?
There are many disagreements among scholars regarding historical events and individuals, however there is a consensus that most historians follow - a mainstream view of world history. At the same time, there are also those who challenge the mainstream view. A rather provocative example of this would be the ideas of the now deceased eccentric Swedish-speaking Finnish tour guide Ior Bock, born as Bror Holger Svedlin, who, among other things, claimed that humans existed on Earth 50 million years ago and originated in what is now Finland. Although it is always possible that the mainstream is mistaken, the Ior Bock saga does not stand up very well to scrutiny.
Ior Bock. ( Youtube Screenshot )
The mainstream view of human history is that anatomically modern humans evolved about 200,000 years ago in eastern Africa. The earliest evidence of art and religious expression occur in the archaeological record maybe 70,000 years ago (also in Africa) and the earliest agricultural communities emerged about 10,000 years ago in the Middle East. The earliest civilizations sprang up in the river valleys of the Tigris and Euphrates, the Indus River Valley, and the Yellow and Yangtze Rivers by 5,000 years ago. Modern humans did not reach Finland, according to the mainstream view, until after the end of the last glacial maximum, about 11,000 years ago, and civilization didn’t reach Finland until late Antiquity or the early Middle Ages.
Homo sapiens skull (Holocene) 3. (James St. John/ CC BY 2.0 )
Bock’s Explanation of Human Origins
Ior Bock, on the other hand, claimed that his family within their traditions preserved the true history of the world which had been suppressed by institutions, such as the Roman Catholic Church, for at least a millennium. According to Ior Bock’s story, humans originated tens of million years ago on a continent situated over the North Pole. It was here that the first human societies emerged, which would become the foundation for all later civilizations.
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According to Ior Bock, the Ice Age began around 50 million years ago - shortly after humans appeared. Ior Bock’s explanation of human evolution is also different. He claimed that humans were the result of some sort of combination of goats and monkeys. The exact location where humans first originated, according to the saga, is a land called Uudenmaa. Uudenmaa, which supposedly inspired the story of the Garden of Eden, is now in Finland.
‘The Garden of Eden’ (1828) by Thomas Cole. ( Public Domain )
The Aser and Vaner
Before the global Ice Age, humanity was divided into two parts, the Aser and the Vaner. The Aser were the first people and they lived in Uudenmaa proper. The Vaner lived outside Uudenmaa and were produced later through breeding programs. When the Ice Age began, the Aser became trapped in Uudenmaa – it was surrounded by ice sheets for millions of years, until 10,000 years ago when the ice retreated.
After the ice retreated, according to Ior Bock, the Aser made contact with the human cultures which had developed across the globe. According to this lore, as the ice sheets melted these cultures became in danger of floods. The Aser, in response, built boats for humans and animals to protect them during the flooding. The story of these floods and the building of these boats is alleged to be the basis for the story of Noah’s flood.
‘The Deluge’ (1508-1509) by Michelangelo. ( Public Domain )
After the catastrophe, the Aser did what they could to help rebuild civilization by sending teachers to every major civilization to teach them the values of Uudenma and Ooden (Eden). This apparently had only moderately successful results. The Aser were also behind the establishment of civilization in Europe and the religious values of the Aser became prevalent in the pagan religions of old (pre-Christian) Europe.
These traditions of the Aser continued in some form or another until the coming of Christianity. According to Ior Bock, the Church suppressed these traditions so that only two families remained who had knowledge of these traditions. One of which was the Bockstroms, from which Ior Bock claimed his family descended.
The Church of Hollola is a medieval stone church built in 1495–1510 during the end of the Catholic era, since the 1520s it is an Evangelic Lutheran church in the parish of Hollola in Finland. (Olli-Jukka Paloneva/ Public Domain )