The Bible is silent on most of Jesus’ years before he began his ministry. Many theories, including more than a few strange ones, have been floated about the “missing years.” These include travels to just about everywhere in the world. Some apocryphal accounts claim to have details of his childhood, though they date long after his time (Anne Rice did conjure up an interesting novel that was in part based on these stories). One of the more plausible legends has Jesus visiting Britain with his “uncle” Joseph of Arimathea. Local legends claim Jesus was there, but the debate centers around how old those legends are and if they were created to attract pilgrims. Nevertheless, it is an interesting possibility. See Glyn S. Lewis’ book for more (even he wanders into some strange speculations at times).
Even here in the 21st Century, we are still finding lost or forgotten worlds. It’s amazing that these giant cave systems have survived countless ages of geologic activity. Funny, though, how many lack any significant remains of human activity. On the other hand, there are legends like those in South America that claim there are many hundreds of miles of subterranean tunnels once used by the Incas to hide from their enemies and stockpile gold.
It’s like Y2K all over again. People are making a fortune writing and talking about 2012. The movie 2012 was entertaining, if not largely implausible. Really, are you going to escape an exploding supervolcano? Or you can breeze through Apocalypse 2012 which is an amusing book that looks into all of the cataclysms we are overdue for and those who peddle end time theories. In any case, this whole “the world is going to end in 2012” started with the Mayan calendar.
The ancient Mayan calendar resets itself at the end of 2012. Technically it is known as the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar and once it reaches the end of the latest 144,000 day period on December 20, 2012, it will reset to zero.
Well, nothing. The Mayans didn’t claim the world was going to end.
Sounds like another Y2K bust. On the other hand, humanity hasn’t faced a civilization-wide disaster in some time. Maybe not in 2012, but we have been living scott-free for quite awhile now. The more we study ancient legends and the geology of the planet the more signs of global catastrophe we find. The last Ice Age and the Neolithic era of humanity may have ended because of an impact event (see Cycles of Cosmic Catastrophes). There’s a lot of debate about that one, but many ancient accounts seem to be referring to some major disaster.
In fact, there seems to have been more than one. The end of the Bronze Age may have been hastened by a similar event that ignited volcanoes around the globe and civil unrest. Perhaps not coincidentally, this is about when the events of the Exodus are dated (see The Miracles of Exodus). A global crisis would explain why the mighty Egyptians half-heartedly pursued the Hebrews and let them go to begin with. There’s also a biblical reference to Sea Peoples showing up about this time doing the invasion thing. Displaced from some destroyed land perhaps?
Maybe instead of worrying about 2012, people should be looking to the past to see how mankind made it through such disasters, how they shaped us and what we can learn.
Afterall, when we have localized disasters like hurricanes, floods and oil spills, we have nothing but chaos and confusion. What would we do if something really big happened?
For centuries people have debated the existence of Atlantis mainly due to some writings of Plato. He wrote that his information came from other sources and that the lost island was destroyed outside of the Pillars of Hercules ages past. Most have written this off as a fable, perhaps inspired by the many disasters that befell ancient cities. Others have turned Atlantis studies into a career, often conjuring up many a bizarre and unproven theories. The subject has been so colored by the new-agish-lost-mother-civilization crowd that it is a difficult subject to study without drawing too many strange looks. Even some of the better theorists insist that Atlantis was a super advanced culture that seeded the world either before its destruction or as its people sought refuge. Similarities in ancient cultures around the world are said to be the product of Atlantean travelers. The easier answer would be that ancient peoples got around a little better than we give them credit for. And where is the evidence for lost technologies that match or exceed our own?
There are whole millennias of prehistory lost to us. No documents, only hints in legend and myth. There are mysterious remains and misunderstood sites. So it’s not that there aren’t mysteries to be solved. Atlantis may have more basis in fact than we know. Perhaps we will never know, but examining antiquity is difficult enough without allowing so many bizarre claims going unanswered. It’s true we can be blinded by accepted paradigms, but can we get some more scholarly research into prehistory? If you delve into this subject, be prepared for anything and good luck.