Abraham and Angels

Did Ancient People Really Have Lifespans Longer Than 200 Years?

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The Shahnameh or Shahnama (“The Book of Kings”) is a Persian epic poem written by Ferdowsi around the end of the 10th century A.D. It tells of kings reigning 1,000 years, several hundred years, down to 150 years, and so on.

Depiction of Laozi in E.T.C. Werner's Myths and Legends of China

Depiction of Laozi in E.T.C. Werner's Myths and Legends of China (Public Domain). Laozi was said to have gone to live as a hermit at the age of 160.

Modern Claims of Longevity

Even today, people report lifespans of some 150 or more years. These reports often come from rural areas, however, where documentation is scant. Documentation was probably even less valued in rural communities more than a century ago, making it harder to prove such claims.

One example is that of Bir Narayan Chaudhary in Nepal. In 1996, Vijay Jung Thapa visited Chaudhary in Tharu village of Aamjhoki in the Tarai region. Chaudhary told him he was 141 years old,  Thapa wrote in an article for India Today. If this claim was true, Chaudhary trumped the Guinness World Record holder for the longest life ever recorded by almost 20 years.

A photograph of Bir Narayan Chaudhary

A photograph of Bir Narayan Chaudhary. Image source: thedogintheclouds.com

But Chaudhary didn’t have the papers to prove it. He did, however, have collective village memory.

“Almost all the elders around remember their youth when Chaudhary (already an elder) would talk about working in the first Nepal survey of 1888,” Thapa wrote. “Village logic goes that he must have been more than 21 then, since the survey was a responsible job. Chaudhary claims to have been 33 and still a stubborn bachelor.”

Many people in the Caucasus region of Russia similarly claim ages reaching even over 170 years without the documentation to back their claims.

Dr. Hou wrote: “These exceptionally long-lived people have invariably lived humble lives, doing hard physical work or exercise, often outdoors, from youth well into old age. Their diet is simple, as is their social life involving families. One example is Shisali Mislinlow who lived to be 170 years old and gardened in the Azerbaijan region in Russia. Mislinlow’s life was never hurried. He said, ‘I am never in a hurry, so don’t be in a hurry to live, this is the main idea. I have been doing physical labor for 150 years.’”

A photo of Shisali Mislinlow

A photo of Shisali Mislinlow taken in 1970. ( Wikipedia)

A Matter of Faith?

The issue of longevity in ancient times has long been connected to Taoist practices of internal alchemy, or mind-body cultivation, in China. Here, longevity was connected with virtue. Likewise it is intertwined with Western spiritual beliefs as part of the Bible.

Mendez quoted first century Roman-Jewish historian Titus Flavius Josephus: “Now when Noah had lived three hundred and fifty years after the Flood … But let no one, upon comparing the lives of the ancients with our lives, and with the few years which we now live, think that what we have said of them is false; or make the shortness of our lives at present an argument, that neither did they attain to so long a duration of life, for those ancients were beloved of God, and [lately] made by God himself; and because their food was then fitter for the prolongation of life, might well live so great a number of years: and besides, God afforded them a longer time of life on account of their virtue, and the good use they made of it.”

For now, modern scientists are left either to believe what ancient records and village memory have to say about seemingly unbelievable lifespans, or to consider the accounts exaggerations, symbolism, or misunderstandings. For many, it’s simply a matter of faith.

The article ‘ Did Ancient People Really Have Lifespans Longer Than 200 Years ?’ was originally published on The Epoch Times and has been republished with permission.

Featured image: ‘Abraham and the Angels’ by Aert de Gelder ( Wikipedia). Abraham was said to have lived to the age of 175.


AintGottaClue's picture

Modern medical science has pretty well established that our lifespan is encoded in our genes. Crossbreeding with long-lived aliens thousands of years ago, and then the gradual decline in life spans in succeeding, genetically diluted, generations could explain this very easily. I do not at all find it hard to believe in ancient life spans of 800 - 1,000 years, and a gradual decline to modern 100+ year figures. What I do find hard to believe is that so-called "scientists" completely ignore the fact that ALL ancient civilizations left records of interacting with the "gods (aliens)," and that it was these "gods (aliens)," that taught them everything they knew. Such interaction is pretty much the ONLY way to explain the sudden. literally overnight, rise of "advanced civilization" in various locations around the world, with zero "prehistoric" evidence of development. A civilization with everything from "A - Z," bakers, jewelers, schools, construction engineering, sophisticated government, legal systems and courts, religion, advanced agriculture and animal husbandry, knowledge of astronomy,chemistry, etc., etc., does not just suddenly "sprout" from a formerly stone age, primitive existence without assistance from SOMEWHERE, or SOMEBODY. And cross-breeding with "aliens" could well explain the Rh Negative blood factor controversy as well. There are just too many indications of ancient contact with "aliens" to ignore.....yet "conventional science" seems to take great joy in sweeping the whole issue under the rug and out of sight, so avoiding the embarrassment of having to admit they have misread history all along.

History is nowhere near as well known as we think it is.

Tsurugi's picture

Paleocontact is not the only way to explain the sudden appearance of advanced civilizations at the dawn of history. It could also be explained as a dissemination of advanced knowledge to primitive peoples by the surviving members of an ice age civilization that had been destroyed in the upheavals during the Younger Dryas period at the Pleistocene/Holocene boundary.

I'm not dismissing the idea of Paleocontact at all, just pointing out that there is another possibility.

AintGottaClue's picture

You are correct, one alternative theory to "alien contact/intervention," is the theory there have been MANY civilizations over MILLIONS of years, with a few survivors of global disaster handing their knowledge down to future populations. There is a considerable amount of evidence in favor of this view.

It is also possible that BOTH theories are true, as there is much evidence accumulating that supports both theories, and there is no good reason that both could not be true. History is MUCH more complex than we are led to believe.

History is nowhere near as well known as we think it is.

Maybe the Earth orbited the sun much faster until it was hit by a comet that destroyed the original earth and slowed the spin and orbit significantly.... Nahhhh......

I believe there is something in the bones of humans that gives an annual age?  Like fish scales, the human body exhibits its age in the bones with annual growth indicators.  I could be wrong tho.


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