How do we know there wasn't an advanced civilization on earth 12,000 years ago?

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Malone, May 6, 2019.

  1. Malone Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2013
    Archeologists like Graham Hancock posit that prior to the last Ice Age there is the likelyhood that a relatively advanced civilization existed.

    Now while it is hard to prove something like that existed, is there anything to say it couldn't?

    Is it not possible out of isolation we could have seen a relatively advanced culture prior to 8,000 years ago?
     
  2. Lenwe Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2015
    Location:
    Santiago
    We don't know for sure the chinese Baigong pipes have to come from somewhere but we aren't sure and after one geological age almost any remains of a civilization will be wiped
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baigong_pipes
     
  3. TheLordProtector The Sage of Stupidity, The Master of Morons

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2011
    Location:
    Coweta, OK
    Quite frankly, no. We can't necessarily know that there weren't ancient, advanced civilizations, not for certain. History is based off of piecing together what we can from records and archaeology, and filling in the blanks with hopefully reasonable conjecture. It often isn't so much about a purely scientific examination of the past--given that it's difficult to apply the scientific method to the past--but more about creating a narrative that is both coherent and reasonable.

    So, no. We don't know that there weren't incredibly ancient, advanced civilizations. But we can't say that there were, or include such in our overall 'picture' of history at the moment beyond vague conjecture; such civilizations won't fit into the narrative until there is at least some evidence that they existed.
     
  4. trurle bored blue collar worker

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2013
    Location:
    Kyoto
    I would add what existence of global highly developed civilization in past 100,000 years can be ruled out, but freedom for speculation remains for local ones. Actually, very likely is what in future some quite advanced yet extinct city-state level civilisations will be found - on islands in particular.

    Santorini civilization of 4000-5000 years ago may be one of such development level outliers. Surely existed other ones, some of them likely exceeding Santorini development level.
     
  5. Lamb Aelod

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2013
    Location:
    Berlin
    This always interested me. It’s very interesting to consider what impacts we may leave locally, regionally and globally in the earths geological record.

    While the record of domestication and technological advancement appears to preclude any noteworthy major civilizations c. 12kya why not further back? Much further back... millions of years back

    What’s to say we are even the first intelligent species on the planet? The fossil record is so incomplete as to be practically worthless in such regards and an intelligent species, perhaps using tools and farming at a ‘stone age’ level of technology would leave little terrestrial trace - mass deforestation from slash and burn agriculture might be a sign with climate disruption following. I doubt we’d find any evidence of structures, tools, midden etc however. It might be worthwhile to try to correlate declining biodiversity levels, particularly of large terrestrial animals who might be hunted - assuming of course that another species’ development of civilization follows our path.

    Food for thought!
     
  6. rfmcdonald Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2012
    Location:
    Toronto
    Define "advanced".

    if you are talking about an industrial civilization, the likelihood is low. The pollution would be preserved in ice caps, for instance.

    if we are talking about a sedentary culture, more is possible. I wonder if there may have been settlements obscured by sea level rise.
     
  7. HBsennah94 He Who Likes History - But Wonders What If

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2017
    Location:
    Norway
    There is certainly evidence of comparatively advanced cultures in what is now the Black Sea.
     
  8. trurle bored blue collar worker

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2013
    Location:
    Kyoto
    S. Baxter had a SF novel attributing decline of sauropods in Mesozoic to the over-hunting by some intelligent dinosaurs (who were not intelligent enough to develop animal husbandry though).

    Although entertaining, such line of though would generally violate Occam`s razor principle and therefore not considered a viable research direction.
     
  9. metalinvader665 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2011
    Location:
    Tennessee, North American Union
    Graham Hancock is an archaeologist in the same way Ancient Aliens is a factual documentary.

    Sedentary hunter gatherers in rich lands, sure, but otherwise we'd be able to tell from genetics (human, plant, and animal), pollen data, etc. and their impact on later cultures.
     
  10. Jürgen Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2016
    It depend on what are meant with advanced civilization, it’s very possible that we had sedentary agricultural cultures between 25-10.000 BC, which lived along the coastline or in deep valleys, which are now flooded, in the Middle East. This could be a major reason that agriculture sprang up so fast and so relative complex after the Ice Age, simply because it was just people who migrated in to newly fertile land from now flooded areas with a already developed agricultural packet. We can also imagine some loss of technology and cultural complexity as these people had to leave their old homeland. But there’s also limits, this purely theoretical “advanced” civilization would still just be a Stone Age civilization, if they had literacy this would have been limited to a very small group of people.
     
  11. Umbral Member Monthly Donor

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2005
    What is your definition of "relatively advanced civilization" ? The footprint we are currently stomping down on earth will certainly be visible for geologic ages. Deposits of pollution, mass extinctions, targeted extractions of metal, coal, oil etc, monocultures, pollen deposits, concrete, etc, etc.

    However, evidence of some kind of proto-agricultural experiment with some monuments in the last interglacial, or some kind of Göbekli Tepe-like structures in the Ur-Schatt valley... that would be surprising but not unbelievable.
     
  12. A Most Sovereign Lady Princess of the Kingdom of Maryland

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2014
    Location:
    Baltimore, MD, USA
    The simple answer is that we don't know because it's a matter of finding the bones.
     
  13. The Professor Pontifex Collegii Vexillographiariorum

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2006
    Location:
    Collegium Vexillarum
    It's very unlikely that anything like our own current civilisation existed in the last 15000 years. Simply due to its basis in agriculture and the required longterm stable climate agriculture needs.
    However Gatherer-Hunter civilisations would be possible. We've just not found any evidence for them yet. Probably because any signs are either under water or plowed over by existing settlement.
     
    alex costa, Rath, kholieken and 4 others like this.
  14. Jürgen Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2016
    The Ohalo dig show a indication that agriculture are older than we think

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ohalo

    Of course the earliest “pre-agricultural” plant cultivating sedentary people likely demanded a perfect storm. Enough wild food for the settlement becoming sedentary in the first place, local plants which are easy to cultivate, a stable and robust climate etc. this made it next to impossible for them to spread from there.
     
    alex costa, Krishna123, Rath and 7 others like this.
  15. kasumigenx Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2009
    Because the former possible civilizations are under water nowadays.
     
    alex costa and kclcmdr like this.
  16. Jürgen Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2016
    Another aspect we also ignore are that advanced are often the eye of the beholder, we see the pre-contact Inuit as just another Stone Age people, but they was in reality a highly advanced culture, which expanded and replace its neighbors thanks to a superior tool kit, which made them more mobile (allowing to hunt further away) and expanded their sources of food (greater exploitation of fish).
     
  17. James Ricker Own your mistakes

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2016
    Location:
    Boston Massachusetts
    It's entirely feasible I don't know a great kingdoms but sizable city-states is a real possibility. There wouldn't have used stone work but they would have used wood and mud bricks which wouldn't have left that much of a Trace after 12000 years and an ice age.
     
    Dante, Gukpard, alex costa and 2 others like this.
  18. EnvarKadri Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2018
    Classifications like "stone age" or the "metal ages" are kinda misleading because it overemphasizes one specific branch of technology over everything else to the point that the Aztecs, with their roman like great empire with a capital greater then most european capitals of the era, appear in the same category as pre neolitic hunter gatherers.
     
  19. Dathi THorfinnsson Daði Þorfinnsson

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2007
    Location:
    Syracuse, Haudenosaunee, Vinland
    If any such civilization existed, it didn't leave stone buildings or monumental structures anywhere we could find them.
    So, either they didn't have them or they existed in what's now ocean floor or thick jungle.
    They didn't leave behind exhausted mineworks.
    They didn't domesticate any crops or animals which have survived.

    About the only thing that really works is a magic based society which magically enhanced their dwellings and food sources, and which crashed when they used up all the mana.

    And when the most likely scenario involves working magic.....
     
  20. The Gunslinger NQLA agent

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2004
    Location:
    Saskatoon, SK
    I honest to God remember reading a short story about this. It was alluded that magic was basically the oil of their society and the protagonist implied they were running out.
     
    alex costa, Deltax10 and Lenwe like this.