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The Destruction of Human History....

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posted on Jun, 9 2011 @ 06:04 PM
I was just tooling around the Interwebs trying as usual to find something interesting to post and I kept coming up blank on some topics due to the lack of evidence. Now I know for a fact that Museums, Private collectors, Religious organizations and or Governments have certain Relics/Ancient documents locked away from the General public for various reasons known only but to them.

This isn't about them however. [We all know how unfortunate that story is] I'm talking about the loss of great works of art, Historical records and simply put mans collective greed which has robbed modern mans rightful knowledge of historical events and context. Let me begin by saying I'm not trying to single out any one group. This is a travesty which has been perpetrated on humankind by all comers. Either due to Religious, Political and or Cultural bias.

I'm sure many of you have your own favorite historical pet peeves. I'll take aim at a few main ones on my proverbial fecal matter list.

Let's begin with the sacking and destruction of the Library of Alexandria...

Library of Alexandria

The Alexandrian library and museum were founded and maintained by the long succession of Ptolemies in Egypt from the beginning of the 3rd century bc. The library’s initial organization was the work of Demetrius of Phaleron, who was familiar with the achievements of the library at Athens. Both the museum and the library were organized in faculties, with a president-priest at the head and the salaries of the staff paid by the Egyptian king. A subsidiary “daughter library” was established about 235 bc by Ptolemy III (Euergetes) in the Temple of Serapis

There is just no telling the amount of ancient historic documents and art that were lost by the time the whole destructive process ended. We can sit around and discuss the main culprits but that wont solve a thing. The fact remains history and mankind lost some of the greatest sources on ancient knowledge and wisdom IMO. The total sum lost will never be recovered. The other day I was sitting with an older friend of mine. Enjoying a cup of coffee. He is a Doctor of internal medicine soon to be retired. We both enjoy the topic of ancient and early man. He has scheduled a world tour to see many of the places I've only read about. Yes, I am envious.

He and I rarely see eye to eye on many topics but on this occasion he relented and said...

"I was thinking about what you said the other day about the loss of ancient knowledge due to wars, natural disaster and sheer ignorance. You are right when you said that the modern world has a hard enough time trying to gain an accurate understanding of the last 2,000 years not to mention the preceding 4 to 6 thousand years before that."

What the Doctor and I were debating/discussing was the question of just how accurate our historical records are? Sure, they are perceived as being closely accurate but as many of us know. The victor often writes the history of events. But what happens when all we are left with are tattered remnants? The Library of Alexander was built to warehouse the knowledge and works [Among other things] of what they perceived as being "Ancient" in the 3rd century BC. Now, stop and think about that for a second.

We have Maps and other ancient artifacts that have survived through mostly blind luck to the present day. However, what isn't widely known is that when a ship or travelers pulled into port. Oftentimes their maps and documents were confiscated and copied. Most of the originals taken from them were kept as Library property and the [Lower Quality and less accurate] copies were then returned to the ships/rightful owners. Which brings us to the modern era. Sure, Our two thousand year old documents are old I wonder how many of those are simply inaccurate copies of copies etc. AND how much older and more accurate were those lost documents from the Library which are no longer with us were?


The next Item on my hit list are the destroyed Pre-Colombian Codex/Codecs of Central America...

Colonia l and Aztec Codex

Aztec codices were less pictorially complex than Mixtec manuscripts, even though the Aztecs had learned bookmaking from the Mixtecs. No original Aztec manuscript has survived that does not show European influence. The Codex Borbonicus is thought to be the only one whose style matches the pre-Conquest Náhuatl style, nevertheless it is considered to be a colonial copy.

Aztec codices were burned by the Spaniards for their pagan religious content, and by Aztec kings in an effort to rewrite their history. The codices dealt with divination, ceremonies, the ritual calendar, and speculations about the gods and the universe. The sacred books were painted on deerskin or agave-fiber paper using a combination of pictography, ideograms, and phonetic symbols. Later colonial codices influenced by the Spanish depict chronicles of native Mexicans with Latin script either in Náhuatl or in Spanish.

Here again we have a destruction of irreplaceable knowledge and wisdom but this time IMO it is worse. This was done to a people and their history who were supposedly not influenced by the old world. [Some would debate that] they had their own unique language, view of the world and of history. Lost forever. We only have a precious few survive to this day. I wish I could have understood the writing and had access to what their perception of the world, History and of sciences were etc.

One wonders what stories they told and what if any prehistoric tales that were originally passed down via word of mouth through their ancient oral traditions which later may have made it into Codex as a form of what they then perceived as a permanent record. Which was later tossed so carelessly into a fire. Lost for all eternity. We do have some idea of how they lived, who or what they worshiped etc. But again. How accurate are we?

The point here is that we will never know with 100% accuracy what exactly was lost! If we are to learn from our mistakes we should keep accurate records so as not to repeat those mistakes. Yes, it is as simple as that.


Another one that gets under my skin is the lost treasure of the New world...

Pre-Columbian (Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, Mexico)

Pre-Columbian gold is the broad description for gold ornaments made in Central and South America prior to Columbus' discovery of the New World in 1492. Actually, it embraces the work of many cultures in the region over a period of almost three thousand years from 1500 BC to 1500 AD. Thus, the Chavin, Nasca, Sican, Chimú and Inca cultures in Peru, the Canar in Ecuador, the Calima, Tolima, Muisca and Zenu in Colombia, the Cocle in Panama and the Diquis in Costa Rica, all produced gold treasures at different or overlapping dates. Even the Mixtec people in Mexico, although not always listed with Pre-Columbian, made wonderful ornaments. Everywhere they were made with reverence for the metal; gold was 'the sweat of the sun', while silver was 'the tears of the moon'. The craftsmanship of working gold was highly valued.

What unites Pre-Columbian ornaments is the distinctive verve and style with which they were made by the ancient goldsmiths of the Americas. They fashioned birds (delightful owls with hooded eyes), fish, frogs, turtles, alligators, shells, lizards, armadillos, monkeys, deer, jaguars, mosquitoes, and flowers. Their human figures were of musicians or women with children in their arms or a man with a drum in one hand and what might be the tail of a snake clenched between his teeth. Head-dresses had golden feathers to which real birds' plumage was attached. Gold masks of great expressiveness were sculpted. The goldsmiths' understanding of a sophisticated metal-working embraced the technologies of alloys, filigree, granulation, lost-wax casting and gold plating, all developed independently in almost parallel timescale with the Mediterranean world and Asia. Indeed, what Pre-Columbian gold demonstrates is how goldsmiths on different continents, with no knowledge of each other, evolved the same techniques for working gold.

The tragedy is that much of the gold went into the melting pot once the Spanish conquered the region after 1500, for they had little concern for ornaments of what they saw as pagan people. But enough treasures have survived, and are still excavated from ancient graves even today, to give us a glimpse of the way it was.

In this case it's in the form of Gold. We have all heard and read stories of Spanish galleons going down in a storm forever losing their booty of Gold and Silver to the sea etc...

But here again. I stop and think about where a large percentage of that Gold and Silver came from. Sure, there were gold and silver mines that were later mined when more was demanded. It's important to note that the earliest shipments of Gold and Silver however came from the melting down of ancient artifacts that were presented as both Gifts and Bribes from the indigenous peoples of the new world to the invading Spaniards and those who followed in their search for wealth.

If what is left to us now in museums are only a small sampling of their talents/knowledge one cant help but think about all the great craftsmanship that may have gone into others that were simply melted down and poured into Gold coins and or Bars for easy transportation and later commerce. Theoretically speaking anyone of you who are reading this and wearing a wedding band or Gold/Silver jewelry etc are possibly wearing a tiny remnant of pre-columbian Inca/Mayan/Aztec Gold.

So how about you? Have anything in our collective history you wish you knew more about but doubt we'll ever find out? I wish I could travel back in time and watch how the Great pyramids were built and ask why?

Keep in mind that this isn't just a "New World vs Old World" issue. Need I remind the reader of how the Taliban blew up the Ancient Buddha statue fairly recently because it simply didn't fit with their current version of Islam? I wonder how many "Rosetta-stone" types of archeological finds have been destroyed through ignorance that we may never know of? How about when we do decipher some ancient writings how many of those are scoffed at as simply being fanciful "Stories and or ancient fiction" instead of a possibly accurate historical record of ancient knowledge and or events?

Modern man should IMHO be a bit more humble, modest and open minded about a possible unknown and or lost history.

It was possibly all there at one time in those now lost/destroyed historical records and or artifacts.

Having read this, You don't suppose that man could have once upon a time

once upon a time

once upon a time...
edit on 9-6-2011 by SLAYER69 because: (no reason given)

+16 more 
posted on Jun, 9 2011 @ 06:33 PM
I think modern man isn't that modern at all...

disturbing actually...

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posted on Jun, 9 2011 @ 06:34 PM
Just like when the Iraq war started and they looted and destroyed so many ancient artifacts and works of art that can never be replaced. It just made me sick. They call it the "cradle of civilization" for a reason.....and some of that stuff is gone for good.

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posted on Jun, 9 2011 @ 06:34 PM
the seven cities of gold is one of my favorites and the libray of alexandria would have been great to see what was really there

however much like modern day history those tales passed on to us from the older generations i am sure liked to "sex" them up so i do have to call into question the actually reality of them.

atlantis i would love to know more about atlantis to see if it was real or just hyped up.

there is so much that has been lost to us and i am sure that we will never know what life and what their knowledge of past days were truly like.

i guess too much scifi and sort of a pessimistic take on archaelogy one of my favorite shows as a youth was a show on sliders and an episode that i think about every now and then is about archaeologists who dug up a parking meter and said it was a religious artifact.

the loss of the seven ancient wonders of the world i think has been the greatest travisty to us all.

hanging gardens of artemis,the statue of zeus, the masuleoum of halicarnassus, the colussus of rhodes and the light house of alexandria.

would have loved to see with my own eyes.

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posted on Jun, 9 2011 @ 06:41 PM
reply to post by SLAYER69

The ones you mentioned are definitely on top of the list...

A little closer to our day and age would be the Pillaging of Egypt via Dr. Hawass - the criminal...

In addition, the disappearance of The Book of Threads seems like a monumental loss to many as well...

posted on Jun, 9 2011 @ 06:42 PM
It's depressing to think of what knowledge has been lost through the agencies of greed and intolerance. Some of it is gone for good, nevermore to return, and with any luck some of it is hidden away, awaiting rediscovery at some future point.

I am heartened by some of the (relatively) recent discoveries that are occasionally made, and by the way they tend to force reconsideration of flawed theories. an example would be the discovery of the 400,000 year old wooden spears at Schoeningen, Germany (mid-90's), and the restructuring of our concept of ancient men that was involved - from mere scavengers to active hunters, based upon wooden (!) implements that are nearly half a million years old, that lay buried in the Earth for that whole time.

I wonder what else waits beneath the surface for future discovery, and can only hope that some of those things waiting in the wings will be things thought long lost, that will promote new understanding.

edit on 2011/6/9 by nenothtu because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 9 2011 @ 06:45 PM
Good post,but you left out the very few(I wonder why.)gold artifacts found in Florida.My favorites are the ones found in the St. Marks.I know certain people who know stuff they ain't tellin'...yeah ,Wakulla too.Just google it.As far as travesties I wonder what the hell their teaching these kids nowadays and don't even get me started on Malta and her 3 sisters.

posted on Jun, 9 2011 @ 06:53 PM
Only takes a mention about WHAT might have been in the Library of Alexandria to get me depressed but I had a Ancient Alien theory I had to posit;
If aliens where aware of our destroyed/lost knowledge would that have caused them to grace us with technology sooner than "planned?"

that sounded crazy when I reread it but oh well...

Thoughts Slay?
edit on 6/9/2011 by howmuch4another because: to say sorry for off topic...

posted on Jun, 9 2011 @ 06:56 PM
reply to post by SLAYER69


Reminds of the end of the movie "The Name of the Rose" where the library tower burns with thousands of one-of-a-kind documents trapped inside. Sean Connery's character stumbles out at the last moment with just an armful of irreplaceable manuscripts.

Like nenothtu I wonder, and hope, what might yet be discovered.

A truly tragic loss to humankind. What could we have learned? How could it have helped us in our current situation?

Guess we'll most likely never know.

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posted on Jun, 9 2011 @ 06:57 PM
I'd like to add the stones covering the Great Pyramid at Giza being stripped off and used for Cairo building projects is a HUGE travesty HUGE...

Not to mention where is the capstone (if it existed)?

posted on Jun, 9 2011 @ 07:04 PM
reply to post by Hessling

its all happened before it will all happen agian

as history has shown we dont really learn anything new from our history

maybe it would be different if it was actually taught

posted on Jun, 9 2011 @ 07:20 PM
reply to post by howmuch4another

I purposely left that angle out of this discussion. Don't get me wrong I enjoy the topic. But I think in this thread a real solid history of known events trumps that possibility.

Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction and in this case our real history SUCKS!

posted on Jun, 9 2011 @ 07:25 PM
reply to post by SLAYER69

Great Thread!

I've had the same thoughts. What a travesty to have lost all of that knowledge and craftsmanship through plundering and ignorance. And as you say, we are still not immune to it! We still destroy things without much forethought. Look at the rainforests and Religious Temples that we are currently destroying.

Mankind is anything but "kind."

posted on Jun, 9 2011 @ 07:28 PM
how about the earthquake that did in the colossus of rhodes ?

posted on Jun, 9 2011 @ 07:34 PM

Originally posted by neo96
the loss of the seven ancient wonders of the world i think has been the greatest travisty to us all.

hanging gardens of artemis.

Can't have been that great if the details won't stick in the mind - only six were destroyed, and it was the Hanging Gardens of Babylon and the Temple of Artemis (although funnily some say the Gardens were maybe not literal and so didn't exist either)

posted on Jun, 9 2011 @ 07:40 PM
reply to post by nenothtu

Thanks for the reply Neno....

What would people think if all of a sudden the Chinese opened that pyramid and some how all the artifacts just simply disappeared? Because basically this is exactly what happened with the "Great pyramid" of Egypt. For those who believe it to be a Pharaohs tomb. If one could possibly imagine the great amount of artifacts/treasure from that period that has been lost/destroyed.

When one considers how amazing an historically obscure child pharaohs tomb was "King Tut" one could only imagine all that has been lost from the Great Pyramid Builder Khufus tomb.

edit on 9-6-2011 by SLAYER69 because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 9 2011 @ 07:40 PM
reply to post by Kolya

they would if they had internet,tv,blogs,24/7 news stations and youtube and above topsecret

and travel shows and expedia "book your travel plans to see the colssus and zeus's statue"

back in the day tourism wasnt a billion dollar industry.

maybe they were great and maybe they werent fact remains we will never know.

posted on Jun, 9 2011 @ 07:41 PM
reply to post by SLAYER69

ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh genghis khans tomb!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

can only imagine.

posted on Jun, 9 2011 @ 07:50 PM

Originally posted by syrinx high priest
how about the earthquake that did in the colossus of rhodes ?

Not just Earthquakes but fires and floods etc.

I focused mainly on Human self inflected destruction of our history. This can also include a lost history during and preceding the Ice age melt off and or the flooding of ancient habitable coastlines etc.

posted on Jun, 9 2011 @ 07:51 PM
I agree with you Slayer, and there are quite a few historical travesties? It is too bad that mankind can be so selfish at times. Over wars and petty disputes much has been lost. Now, all we have is fragments to that big puzzle. Our origins and our history. I would love to take a stroll in the hanging gardens of Babylon, or see some of the American Indian metropolis of Cahokia in its prime, or look down upon the sea from the lighthouse in Alexandria. The ancient world has so much to offer the present, and we can learn a lot from our ancestors.

Instead, some would go out of their way to point out that those that went before us were backwards, heathens, and other stereotypes. Furthermore, some have burned books and tried to rewrite history to serve their own selfish purposes. When ancient artifacts, and structures are destroyed by man or by natural means; humanity as a whole loses. It's good to know that some appreciate the accomplishments of those that have gone before us. For me personally, I find topics like this fascinating.

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