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According to the conventional picture that has prevailed for at least a century, civilization -- that is, cities with large populations, hierarchical social structures, private property, and specialization of labor -- appeared in the southern end of Mesopotamia, in modern day Iraq near the Persian Gulf, around 5,000 years ago. Over the succeeding centuries, the civilized arts then spread up the Tigris and Euphrates rivers northward to Syria and southern Turkey.
Discoveries in northern Syria and southern Turkey made in 1999 and 2000 have overturned that picture completely. Here sites have come to light that display many "civilized" features, but at a date of 5,500 years ago -- centuries BEFORE their documented connections with southern Mesopotamia. The revision is still underway and crucial issues now raise their heads -- did civilization appear even earlier in the south and spread north? or did civilization arise in the north and spread south? or did it appear independently in both places? -- but far more data are required to sort those issues out. What is clear, however, even from the preliminary finds, is that the received view about the rise of civilization in Iraq, Syria, and Turkey (what "alternatives" would call the "orthodoxy") has to be massively revised, if not abandoned altogether.
Now one of the most prominent proposers of the "south-to-north" view, a man who has published numerous books and articles propounding it, is Prof. Guillermo Algaze at the University of California at San Diego. He is a scholar of the highest standards and is internationally recognized for his work.
When faced with this new evidence that devastated his published theories, Prof. Algaze had two options open to him.
Option One: He could follow the lead of Mr. Hancock and deride his critics personally as "trainspotters and anoraks" (as Hancock recently described the contributors to this site). He could accuse the excavators in Syria and Turkey of "harassing" him or conducting "smear campaigns" to ruin his good name. He could ignore the new evidence entirely and say it was his right to cite whatever evidence he wanted and whatever writers he saw fit to cite. He could say that he has his opinion and they have theirs. He could then aggressively assert his right to his opinions and mount the moral highground to defend that right. He could say he was like an attorney out to defend his client, the "south-to-north" view, and therefore saw no need to consider material so damaging to his client.
Prof. Algaze could have done all of these things, which Mr. Hancock is on record doing, when presented with evidence that shattered his hypothesis. But he did not. He took the second option.
Option Two: Since Prof. Algaze is a genuine scholar interested in finding out what actually happened in the past, he found the new evidence intriguing. That it demolished his published position on the spread of civilization was no doubt embarrassing to him, perhaps even irritating, but since Prof. Algaze respects the evidence he could not ignore it or bury it or by-pass it. It had to be dealt with. So when asked for a comment by the New York Times in a story that was sent around the world in the International Herald Tribune, Prof. Algaze said this: "I've been eating a lot of crow lately" (International Herald Tribune, 5 May 2000. "Health/Science" section). Think about that statement for a moment. When asked for a comment by an international news agency, Prof. Algaze effectively said "I was wrong all along."
Prof. Algaze behaved this way because he is a professional and knows archaeological hypotheses have to respect the evidence, that there is no reward for promoting hypotheses not supported by the evidence, and because he knows that his own published position had been founded in the best evidence available at the time and was formulated in good faith to explain that evidence. But now the evidence had shown his position to be incorrect. So he will change it.
This incident illustrates all of the basic principles outlined above: that archaeology works with evidence (the shift in position was the result of hard finds, not star-alignments or appeals to local myths); that the nature of the evidence is clear (settlements with pottery and artifacts of all sorts, not appeals to hidden evidence under the sea or number games); and that archaeologists have to respect evidence, not make every effort to dodge it (Prof. Algaze had to back down).
A second example of this sort of behavior among true archaeologists was offered in a Horizon programme, aired in the UK on 31 January 2002 (full transcript available here). This programme surveyed the lost city of Caral in Peru which, at ca. 2500 BC, is the oldest urbanized site in the Americas. One expert, Dr. Jonathan Haas, has been working on a theory for the past twenty years that postulates warfare as a formative influence in the appearance of complex, urban cultures. Yet Caral showed no overt signs of militarism. When interviewed for this prestigious science programme, Dr. Haas commented:
"You seemed to really have the beginnings of that complex society and I'm able to look at it right at the start and I look for the conflict and I look for the warfare, I look for the armies and the fortifications and they're not there. They should be here and they're not and you have to change your whole mind-set about the role of warfare in these societies and so it's demolishing our warfare hypothesis. The warfare hypothesis just doesn't work."
Remember, this was from a man who had worked on this hypothesis for twenty years. Yet he was quite prepared to admit, on camera, when the evidence did not support his ideas.
There can be no clearer illustration of the huge gap that separates Mr. Hancock from the professional archaeologist. The reader, of course, can make up his or her mind what mode of analysis is most likely to get to the truth of our collective past: rational analysis and discussion of readily recognizable, testable evidence; or extreme possibilities that run contrary to that evidence, have no supporting evidence of their own, and have to be defended with expressly legal modes of argument and whatever tactics prove expedient.
Graham Hancock"Cracks in some of the joints reveal hieroglyphs set far back into the masonry. No 'forger' could possibly have reached in there after the blocks had been set in place - blocks, I should add, that weigh tens of tons each and that are immovably interlinked with one another. The only reasonable conclusion is the one which orthodox Egyptologists have already long held - namely that the hieroglyphs are genuine Old Kingdom graffiti and that they were daubed on the blocks before construction began."
"Although I was still open to the erroneous forgery theory while Keeper/Message was being written, I was also very much open to the orthodox theory that the Giza pyramids were Fourth Dynasty work - irrespective of the provenance of the quarry marks."
"For the record I believe that Khufu did build the Great Pyramid - or anyway most of it (perhaps the subterranean chamber and some other rock-hewn parts of the structure may be earlier)."
fingerprints of the gods
I know of one plausible case made to suggest he was exactly that
On April 5, 1909 a Phoenix newspaper called the Arizona Gazette published an article in its evening edition which claimed the an Egypto-Tibetan culture lived in the Grand Canyon. Running on the front page under the headline "Explorations in the Grand Canyon," the anonymous story claimed that the find was "not only the oldest archaeological discovery in the United States, but one of the most valuable in the world." Furthermore, the article claimed the project was "under the direction of Prof. S. A. Jordan" with Smithsonian-backed adventurer G. E. Kinkaid. The duration of the article is an account of the find by G. E. Kinkaid.
In his narrative Kinkaid described a series of tunnels and passages with a cross chamber near the entrance in which stood a statue: "The idol almost resembles Buddha, though the scientists are not certain as to what religious worship it represents. Taking into consideration everything found thus far, it is possible that this worship most resembles the ancient people of Tibet."
Kinkaid allegedly says that he found an unknown gray metal resembling platinum in the cave, and tiny carved heads were scattered on the floor. Urns bore "mysterious hieroglyphics, the key to which the Smithsonian Institute hopes yet to discover." In another room he said he found mummies: "Some of the mummies are covered with clay, and all are wrapped in a bark fabric."
Then we take leave of Kinkaid, and the anoynmous reporter offers an epilogue: "The discoveries in the Grand Canyon may throw further light on human evolution and prehistoric ages."
From this strange story written at the dawn of the twentieth century came a web of intrigue and deception that alternative historians say they have uncovered. This is but one aspect of a growing paranoia among alternative authors that sees conspiracies threatening to destroy the "true" history of man's past. We shall examine several aspects of this alleged coverup..
Originally posted by Jim_Kraken
reply to post by kerkinana walsky
I think Hancock is caving in too easily. How do we know that hieroglyphics *must* be circa Khufu? Furthermore, how do we explain the radiocarbon dating anomalies?
Originally posted by Hanslune
(Conspiracy mode on)
The Egyptians - who weren't smart enough to build the pyramids were smart enough to take them apart and put gypsum mortar everywhere it is conceivable to put it....or as one cherished individual stated....it's all faked, all the testing that was done was faked....
(Conspiracy mode off)