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John Martin's The End of the World, which depicts the "destruction of Babylon and the material world by natural cataclysm”. (Public Domain)

The Ancient Civilizations that Came Before: Self-Eradication, Or Natural Cataclysm? – Part I

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Humanity has grown so old that it has forgotten its infancy, and the origin of man is shrouded in mystery.

Conventional wisdom states that humanity was primitive in the past and then things started evolving until people emerged from the state of barbarism to become smarter and more capable. New evidence however suggests otherwise; it suggests that maybe the dawn of history was characterized by forgotten high science and technology that far exceeds modern man’s expectations of the distant past.

This view is as old as history. The ancients spoke of their past as being glorious. The account of Atlantis in Plato’s dialogues Timaeus is the most vivid memory we have of this golden age.

Medieval manuscript of Plato’s Timeas, Latin translation.

Medieval manuscript of Plato’s Timeas, Latin translation. (Public Domain)

One of the more modern researchers to immerse himself into a serious study of Plato’s account was the U.S. Congressman Ignatius Loyola Donnelly (1831 – 1901). He believed Atlantis to be historically accurate and gathered all the then-available evidence in favor of an early mighty civilization that was far more advanced than it had any right to be.

A few years later in 1929, a mysterious map from 1513 called the Piri Reis map was found in Istanbul. The map shows the coasts of Antarctica and South America with modern exactitude. This map rekindled the view on advanced ancient civilizations and gave it a solid ground.

More recently the book ‘Worlds Before Our Own’ (1978) by Brad Steiger exposed new facts in favor of early advanced societies. Steiger found that some advanced human artifacts were located in the lowest primordial geologic strata whereas primitive ones are in upper strata. He labeled these anachronistic items that were seemingly out of their proper place in time, “Out-of-Place Artifacts”(OPA). His book fueled a series of later works that characterized the past 30 years with a sort of rebellion towards the current worldview of the ancient past.

If advanced societies did exist, what then brought about their destruction? There are mainly two possible past events. Either these people were so advanced that they destroyed themselves, or a natural force brought about their destruction. The evidence in favor of the second event is more substantial than the first. There are however some indications of ancient warfare.

Map of the world by Ottoman admiral Piri Reis, drawn in 1513.

Map of the world by Ottoman admiral Piri Reis, drawn in 1513. (Public Domain)

 Ancient Creation and Destruction

“When the first atomic bomb exploded in New Mexico, the desert sand turned to fused green glass. This fact, according to the magazine Free World, has given certain archaeologists a turn. They have been digging in the ancient Euphrates Valley and have uncovered a layer of agrarian culture 8,000 years old, and a layer of herdsman culture much older, and a still older caveman culture. Recently, they reached another layer, a layer of fused green glass.” (New York Herald Tribune, 1947)

Uniformitarianists would not agree on the second scenario, that ancient civilizations might have been destroyed by natural forces. They speculate that the current earth features are the result of a process of millions of years. Cataclysmists on the other hand claim that these features are legacies of a worldwide catastrophe.

The uniformitarianist view however suffers some problems and inconsistencies, for example the inaccuracy of carbon dating. This dating method presupposes an already established balance between the forming and decaying of radioactive carbon that has been maintaining its equilibrium for millions of years in earth’s atmosphere. The C14 forming however is actually greater than its decaying. No state of equilibrium has been reached yet. As a result, the C14 ratio in the atmosphere (0.0000765%) cannot scientifically be used as a benchmark in dating fossils. In other words, we cannot know the age of fossils by which we determine the age of earth strata. Therefore, we cannot be certain about the actual age of the earth features.

A second example is the vertical petrification of trees running across multiple earth geological layers that are “supposed” to be belonging to different earth epochs. These penetrated layers could only suggest that they were formed in a short period of time, a result of a rapid cataclysmal sedimentation for example, but not a process of millions of years, otherwise the petrified trees would just be an impossibility.

Another example is the striking similarities found in myths and legends across the globe of a worldwide cataclysm—more specifically a deluge. Many similar myths on this account are found in Africa, China, North America, Australia, Sumeria, and in very remote cultures that had no way to connect with one another. It is estimated that are more than 500 ancient deluge legends similar to those mentioned in the Biblical and Qur’anic accounts. These myths are actually traces of a global collective memory referring to an actual occurrence in the distant past. Add to that the genetic evidence for a past near-extinction event that took place thousands of years ago, also known as population bottleneck event that supports the cataclysm view.

The deluge or great flood myth is found in cultures around the globe.

The deluge or great flood myth is found in cultures around the globe. (Public Domain)

The Golden Age of Skepticism and Scientism

“Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.”—Carl Sagan

The postmodern world is a golden age of skepticism, relativism, materialism, presentism, obscuritarianism, and scientism. Such extraordinary claims would not make it to the public attention; not because the evidence is insufficient or invalid, but because it is prejudged by the current biased philosophical view of the modern age. Consequently the claim is not pursued and remains in the realm of pseudoscience. Believing in such claims presupposes a destructive event that ruined the face of the earth, thus the challenge of finding the evidence to prove it is even greater.

However, how much do we really know about the earth? We so much take the earth for granted; we think we know every inch of it when we do not even know ourselves. Absence of evidence is no evidence of absence. Dr. Melvin Cook, accomplished chemist and Nitro Nobel medalist, concluded that the earth underground oil deposits were formed as a result of a sudden and rapid burial of organic materials just a few thousand years ago. Could it be the case that underground oil deposits are prehistoric cities that turned into oil due to the sudden sedimentation and high pressure?

New Ways of Thinking

Speaking of concrete evidence, how about we start with the prehistoric structure that had been the tallest edifice on earth until the Empire State Building skyscraper was completed in 1931, and still is “the most colossal single building ever erected on the planet.”

The mighty pyramid of Khufu silently speaks louder than the chatter of skeptics. It is aligned to true geodetic North and its location is found to be the center of the earth landmass. This sort of precision entails a comprehensive knowledge of earth geography, e.g. mercator projection, which is something very unexpected of ancient Egypt. As for its structure, engineers and scientists conclude that it is impossible to replicate the great pyramid despite the sophisticated technology we have now, given the structure’s immensity and staggering precision.

 Speaking in numbers, engineer Markus Schulte speculates that the Great Pyramid alone would cost us some $35 billion. Investing such money in a colossal structure—one that is not even habitable, and without any expected profit—is something we certainly would not do today. In that sense, the question ‘ how was it built?’ is less important than ‘ why was it built?’

The Pyramids of Giza.

The Pyramids of Giza. (Bruno Girin, Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0)

Science and technology change our expectations of the future. If one compares the sci-fi movies in the 50s with modern fare one can immediately feel how our attitudes towards the future have changed over time. This is due to our many breakthroughs and the new horizons and goals that seem attainable. Nevertheless, we fail to notice that advancing science and technology changes our attitudes towards the past, given the rise of new techniques and processes of investigating facts.

Read more: Building on the Ruins of the Ancestors – Part II

Featured image:  John Martin's The End of the World, which depicts the "destruction of Babylon and the material world by natural cataclysm”. (Public Domain)

By: Zakari Bziker


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I love the argument, much of which I have made myself, but I cringe every time anyone brings the Qur'an into the mix. The basis of the Qur'an is Syriac Christian texts, written in Syriac, which is why the Qur'an in mostly gobbeldy-gook. The diacritics are misplaced, thus effecting the translation. I understand the author of the article is Moroccan and problem has to credit the Qur'an so as not to get executed, but please stop.

Great article! It’s a new way of thinking all right. But is certainly frees up the mind. You should include the Bosnian pyramid as well.

"Fused green glass" from the quote sounds to me like it might be the same thing as Moldavite, which is supposed to have been caused by something like a meteor strike almost 15,000,000 years ago and is therefore loosely considered a form of tektite, though its chemical composition is basically that of glass with a few unusual mineral levels... I don't know much about the science behind space object collisions, but whatever happened to create the Moldavian tektite, I'd be interested in a study comparing it with the result of the NM atomic test.

Sorry for going a tad off-topic from the main article, but that bit especially jumped out at me because I was just reading up on tektites last week.

Bruce Nowakowski's picture

and it just happens to coincide greatly with the Aztec mythical homeland, Atzlan. ATLANtis ans ATZLAN both shaped the same way and ending in a similar manner is just a coincidence. 

jack work's picture

Okay, we’ll stop.


Zakaria Bziker's picture

Zakaria Bziker

Zakaria Bziker is a Ph.D. student at Ibn-Tofail University (Kenitra, Morocco). He obtained his bachelor degree in general linguistics and his master degree in education (TEFL). He is currently preparing his dissertation on intercultural communication and working for the Center... Read More

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