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. Nik Speaker To Cats

    Jan 30, 2005
    @F: "Graham Hancock is ummmmm. Not an Archaeologist. And is full of hokum."

    His work is generally well researched, but the extrapolations and conclusions are often wonky unto hilarious. Due care, please !!
    Much potential evidence has been submerged by post-glacial sea-level rise / delta settlement, eroded by storms or buried under river-flood mud, its absence providing ample wriggle-room for his wilder speculations.

    FWIW, there was a ridge of dry land between India and Sri Lanka, which went under per UK's Doggerland. IIRC, a legendary temple's ruins briefly showed off-shore during the Boxing Day Tsunami's draw-down.

    And, within 'historical' times, Helike and several Egyptian Delta ports have sunk due liquefaction, tsunamis etc.

    Must be said, 'Port Royal' (1692 etc) is an example of how fast that can happen...
  2. trurle bored blue collar worker

    Dec 12, 2013
    I think the data in reference are heavily dominated by Mayan ruins, and then author jumps to wild conclusions about root cause. From raw data presented, seems the simplest explanation is what the Mayan architects did use local angle references just having poor alignment with cardinal directions, and corrections were made at least three times to improve direction fit. May be early form of magnetic compass was used?
  3. kholieken Well-Known Member

    Mar 15, 2018
    These is very anti-science thinking. We know fact based on information we receive/dig, Yes it may change in future, Yes it is imperfect, But it is Fact. Its not just theory that everyone "agree" upon, That conspiracionist thinking, Expert continue to debate each other, and not "agreeing on some theory".

    Holocaust Deniers / 911 Truthers / Flat-Earthers / JFK conspirationist ARE conspiracy theory. Their existence didn't make history less factual or less science.
  4. Queen Edward II³-(IV+II²) Trigger-Happy Beerbarian

    May 8, 2013
    Großherzogtum Ruhrgebiet
    Can it? I actually wouldn't be too sure about that.

    It has oftentimes been stated that a highly advanced prehistoric civilisation that was on a similar or higher technological level than we are today cannot possibly have existed, because they would have left traces of their existence. But keep in mind that, if us humans would disappear today, it would take only about 15,000 years for pretty much all signs of our civilisation to disappear as well.

    Steel and other metals rust away, concrete crumbles, glass shatters into smaller and smaller pieces, paper rots, and so on. Nature would eventually swallow everything we have created and reverts the land into its former, pre-human condition.

    Even most plastics degrade over such a long span of time. And yes, some do not, and could continue to exist even after 100,000 years. But with the advent of the global plastic crisis we're currently in, the technological development is shifting more and more to biodegradable plastics, which would have a much lower durability.

    So yes, it is theoretically possible that a highly advanced civilisation existed some 20,000 years or so ago that left no traces (or not any that are interpreted as such), so that we today don't know they even existed.

    I'm not saying such civilisation did exist, since there is no archeological evidence (or not any that is interpreted as such). But I wouldn't generally rule it out either, and I find the idea itself somewhat fascinating.
  5. trurle bored blue collar worker

    Dec 12, 2013
    Actually cutoff of 100,000 years is more about knowledge transfer rather than material traces (which may be actually absent depending on materials used). 100,000 years ago humans do definitely already had an oral tradition and organization complex enough to produce composite (stone+wood) spears. Would more advanced civilization was in contact with them, we would see some jumps and leaps in chronology of tools development. These jumps and leaps seems to be absent, therefore ruling out any long-term contact between ancestors of today`s humans and advanced civilizations.
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  6. Queen Edward II³-(IV+II²) Trigger-Happy Beerbarian

    May 8, 2013
    Großherzogtum Ruhrgebiet
    Ruptures in the transfer of oral traditions can happen more sudden and more severe than one might imagine, especially in the case of cataclysmic events that would be presupposed for such scenario.

    The more advanced a civilisation is, the more specialised it is in terms of knowledge, as the efficiency and complexity of technologies and techniques equally increases. And this accounts for both empirical and theoretical knowledge. To make an extreme oversimplification: I would guess that more than half of humanity knows how to make fire from two sticks of wood or at least would be able to find out how to do it by trying, but only a couple of thousand of people at most would be able to construct or even theorise a working nuclear reactor.

    If a cataclysmic event drastically reduces humanity's numbers, we could fairly assume through the application of frequency distribution that the number of remaining highly qualified specialists would be extremely low, perhaps even going as far as to render many fields extinct.

    Now, let's also assume that a good share of literature has survived the initial cataclysm. Many of it cannot be comprehended by those survivors who did not acquire a training in the particular field, therefore rendering the maintenance of these irrelevant. And over time, the last traces of these applications would vanish into the dust of the papers they were written on.

    Society would be reduced to an extreme state of self-preservation, and only the most rudimentary technologies and techniques would survive.

    In fact, it is quite likely that even writing itself would gradually disappear after a while, as smaller social units simply wouldn't need it anymore. Only larger social units have a need for a written tradition due to an inevitably growing bureaucracy of laws and taxes, while small village-like communities will rely more on oral transfer of knowledge. This process would need only a few generations to eliminate the basic knowledge of scripture and writing itself out of society, leading to all remaining books and papers being essentially and ultimately worthless.

    And it doesn't end here. Oral traditions have the trait of falsifying knowledge by replication; this happens either willingly through mystification, or unwillingly because of a general lack of understanding. Basically, a Chinese whispers on a long-term timescale.

    Many generations will have passed by then, and the descendants of those initial survivors of the former civilisation will not even know that it existed at some point in history.

    And at that point, any knowledge of the past will be forgotten and erased.
  7. Derek Pullem Butterfly Killer

    Jan 26, 2011
    Ancient advanced civilisations are like religion. You can't usually rule out the possibility that someone's beliefs are true if you accept that the "Ancients" / "God" has very advanced abilities. But asserting something could be true is not the same as showing that something is true.
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  8. Hominid The Real Hominid

    Dec 18, 2009
    Lloegr Newydd
    "Before the last ice age" the sea levels were higher than they are today.

    Of course, something could have existed during the last ice age in a now-submerged area.
  9. FriendlyGhost Haunting history for 45+ yrs

    Be that as it may be, it's the absence of certain things which makes it certain that there was no industrial civilisation back then. Even if the human race vanished tomorrow and all our created items/structures vanished with us, that wouldn't replace the tin, the copper, the iron, the coal, the oil, etc, etc which we have extracted from the planet. The same would apply to any similar civilisation thousands of years ago - we would find traces of what they did to the planet, even if we can't find traces of what they created. Millions of years are needed to 'rectify' these kinds of traces.
  10. Mark E. Well-Known Member

    Nov 11, 2007
    Forgottonia, USA
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  11. The Professor Pontifex Collegii Vexillographiariorum

    Feb 22, 2006
    Collegium Vexillarum
    It depends what those traces are that justifies how long is needed to cover them up or make them hard to tell.
    An industrial civilisation 65 million years ago would be really hard to see now.
    One 65 thousand rather easy.
    Non industrial civilisations would be rather impossible to tell prior to events like Toba due to all the genetic bottlenecks, sea level changes, etc.
  12. Vuu Resident Serb expert

    May 11, 2018
    It could be true, it could not

    I do believe there were, but this was one civilization, and would still look rather barbaric to us today (like other ones of antiquity). Geographically rather limited as well. There could have been a multitude of these ones separately.

    The biggest proof is the absolute primitivism of the age, either these civilizations were pathetic and collapsed back to caveman tier (so, not even civilization, such basic knowledge can't just disappear), or there was an absolutely terrible catastrophe that exterminated them and their surroundings clean, and only the most peripheral ones had some knowledge about them (resulting in the megalithic cultures, prehistoric Balkan civilizations like Lepenski Vir and Vinča). It could very well have been something akin to Lepenski Vir - actual civilization (or at least extremely close to being it), but extremely isolated - only one place. I mean, them Lepenski Vir people were really weird in their house building. And demonstrated knowledge of quite some complex maths, despite their small size (the houses weren't square, but made in the form of a cutout of a circle of extremely specific proportions - like a pizza (or donut, don't know if the tip was tapered off as well) cut. Sadly with the constructions of the dams almost all of the place was flooded and destroyed, only a tiny bit relocated (the communists, and by extension the pre-ww2 monarchy had a suspicious tendency to raze and destroy priceless archaeological sites (starting from Žrnovo, a medieval fort on top of the Avala, completely razed and almost all records purged on orders of """""""""""king""""""""""" Alexander, in order to build some nonsensical idiotic masonic monument with some silly statues (that by pure coincidence represent the "nations" of communist Yugoslavia, despite those literally not existing back then). Their rampage probably screwed permanently any serious exploration of the most ancient of pre-Greek European civilizations, almost all of them being in this area
  13. Bucky Decent Chap

    Jun 30, 2009
    My understanding is they're fossilized tree roots. After all, an advanced plumbing system (which the "I'm not saying it was aliens, but-" crowd likes to infer), would hardly bunch up a cluster of hundreds of individual pipes. It's demonstrably a natural phenomenon.
  14. Lenwe Well-Known Member

    Mar 9, 2015
    Could be thw question is why the baigong pipes fossilized in metal with smelted-like charasteristic and some of them are radioactive, the richness of iron rust "stones" inside the caverns, the fact the pipes going from inside the mountain to the salt lake nearby and that the landscape is ltered with strange "pillar-like" rock formations, that said they could be roots remains, but the discovery is at least steange
  15. catalfalque Wandering Historian

    Feb 28, 2006
    To me, this is intrinsically parallel to the Iliad. Linear A passed into Linear B, and Linear B died out when the larger political structures collapsed, however we might argue that came about. The Iliad is maybe 500 years of oral history, but every study I have seen says it has blended together several different stories to make a whole (just as later the Arthurian Legend was to do), and that while the source stories, if they can be disentangled, would provide us with a set of historical data, the combined story cannot be relied upon as "history".
  16. oberdada Präsident des Welt- und Erdenballs

    Jan 5, 2006
    Somebody found something, but than decided to cover the whole thing up:


    ;-) Sorry, just kidding. But it would be a great start for an ASB setting or a conspiracy theory.
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  17. marathag Kicked

    Feb 2, 2013
    Everything goes, except for fired ceramics.

    As long as not smashed into dust, it won't degrade.
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  18. Sphenodon Member

    Jul 15, 2018
    With the present knowledge of paleontology, an industrial level civilization can not have existed at least in the past several hundred million years, more likely ever. There is not enough historic disturbance of known coal deposits for the indication of that (not to mention that the virtually all of Earth's coal to begin with is less than 360 million years old), and a summary lack of anomalous distribution of elemental substances such as metals and carbons in older strata.

    Industrial civilization is on a global scale unbelievably messy, and a lot of that residue is the sort of thing that ends up in the stratigraphic record. And that is still not getting into the ecological disruptions that would have hallmarked the rise of such a civilization - which would not be only that caused during the sedentary and technological eras, but in the vastly longer pre-historic era of your species in question (for the case of sophonts from tens or hundreds of millions of years ago). No cities whatsoever existed for more than 90 percent of humankind's existence, and it was during that timeframe that a lot of the obvious megafaunal extinctions of the Pleistocene occurred.
  19. Kevin Renner Well-Known Member

    Like I said, i don't agree with his conclusions. I just find the case interesting.
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  20. Kevin Renner Well-Known Member

    An archeologist looks at something and says its x number of years old. A geologist looks at something and says based on the weathering and erosion with what we know about the region's climate history that is 2x or 3x years old. If archeologists find a tablet that says king so and so had a certain monument built they need to remember. Propaganda existed then too. Another thing simply because two structures are in close proximity does not mean they were built at the same time. The Temple of Seti and the Osirion is a good example. Completely different building styles. Does that mean the Osirion is 12000 years old. No it doesn't.

    As stated in other posts. The evidence of mining and other resource use would noticeable. But if culture and civilization can be used interchangeably then I personally think civilization goes back farther than we think