“Everything we’ve been taught about the origins of civilization may be wrong.”
At least, that’s what Danny Natawidjaja, Ph.D., a senior geologist with the Research Center for Geotechnology at the Indonesian Institute of Sciences told Graham Hancock.
“Old stories about Atlantis and other great lost civilizations of prehistory, long dismissed as myths by archaeologists, look set to be proved true,” he added. And he’s not wrong. New archaeological and geological discoveries are revealing that sophisticated civilizations have likely existed in prehistoric times.
Until recently, the archeological community has held the popular view that the beginning of human civilization started after the last Ice Age, which ended around 9,600 BC. Prior to this time, all human ancestors were considered primitive and uncivilized, incapable of communal organization and structural innovation. According to the established chronology being taught in schools, our human ancestors started developing and perfecting agriculture after the ice melted, and started the first cities around 3500 BC in Mesopotamia.
But that’s all changing. New research now reveals that civilized humans were settled on Earth during the prehistoric era. For the past six years, Dr. Natawidjaja and his team have worked on a geological survey site in Indonesia about 100 miles from Bandung. The significance of the site was first recognized in the early 1990s when megalithic structures made from blocks of basalt were discovered. They were believed to be used for meditation and retreat and were aged at between 1,500 BC to 2,500 BC.
What Natawidjaja and his team discovered was that the hill was not a natural hill but a 300-ft high step-period—and the structure was much older than anticipated. At depths of 90 feet and more, the material used to build the structure was found to be 20,000 BC to 22,000 BC years old. Essentially, the man-made structures existed well into the Ice Age.
“Gunung Padang is not a natural hill but a man-made pyramid and the origins of construction here go back long before the end of the last Ice Age. Since the work is massive even at the deepest levels and bears witness to the kinds of sophisticated construction skills that were deployed to build the pyramids of Egypt or the largest megalithic sites of Europe, I can only conclude that we’re looking at the work of a lost civilization and a fairly advanced one,” Dr. Natawidjaja wrote.
The question that’s on the table now is what happened to these prehistoric civilizations? Why did they not survive? New research conducted by geologists around the world have linked the Younger Dryas period to a cosmic impact event, possibility a comet collision with the Earth. This set the world into global instability, with a steep decline in temperature followed by a sudden melting of ice caps and rapidly rising ocean levels.
“It is difficult,” Natawidjaja says, “for us to imagine what life on earth must have been like during the Younger Dryas. It was a truly cataclysmic period of immense climate instability and terrible, indeed terrifying, global conditions. It’s not surprising that many large animal species, such as the mammoths, went extinct during this precise time and of course it had huge effects on our ancestors, not just those ‘primitive’ hunter-gatherers the archaeologists speak of but also, I believe, a high civilization that was wiped from the historical record by the upheavals of the Younger Dryas.”
Source: Graham Hancock, The Mind Unleashed