In my review of travel adventure books, we have searched for Sheba and explorers of the New World. We have also disappeared into the jungles of Latin America on the trail of lost cities. Now we will return to uncovering the ancient world.
Mark Adams set a benchmark for travel adventure lit with his Turn Right at Machu Picchu. This fish-out-of-water follows the trail of legendary explorer Hiram Bingham who brought Machu Picchu, the hidden Inca mountain refuge, to the world’s attention. A perfect combination of Adams’ travails and history — every bit a page turner as a novel.
Adams followed this adventure up with Meet Me in Atlantis. Here he tries to hunt down the true experts of the legendary lost city, among a field known for, how should I put it, fringe thinkers. His hunt leads to many possibilities, and even though not as much adventuring as his first book, it is a refreshing change to the libraries full of bizarre Atlantis speculations.
Now we turn to David Roberts‘ The Lost World of the Old Ones where he continues his many years of hiking off-trail into the Southwest. Readers will be amazed at how much lies undiscovered and unknown about the civilizations that once populated these states. Roberts chronicles the politics, history and conflicting visions that have attempted to preserve the past — not always successfully. A fascinating and entertaining account that will remind people that United States has its own lost civilization still waiting for discovery
Categories: Ancient America, Ancient Sites, artifacts, History, Native Americans, Prehistory
Tags: Atlantis, David Roberts, Hiram Bingham, Incas, Machu Picchu, Mark Adams, Meet Me in Atlantis, Peru, Southwest, The Lost World of the Old Ones, Turn Right at Machu Picchu
Scientists have found evidence of a lost land off South America. Sunken part of that continent? Or a completely unknown land from deep history?
It’s the kind of thing that fiction is made of.
Early this year, we learned of a possible location of Atlantis in Spain. For centuries, the elusive legend told to us by Plato has been studied, researched and ridiculed by countless people. Does Atlantis have any roots in history? It has become almost a taboo subject because so many people have incorporated it into their wild theories — everything from aliens to some super-advanced civilization flying planes and spaceships.
Gavin Menzies has now entered the fray with his new book, The Lost Empire of Atlantis. His main theory – Atlantis was based on the destroyed Minoan civilization – is not new. What is new is his detailed effort of showing the scope of this lost empire and why its destruction could very well be the basis for Atlantis.
It’s an intriguing idea. The destruction of the Minoans was part of a series of catastrophes that ended the bronze age. To some extent the turmoil of the times erased much of the past into myth. We know the ancients weren’t primitives and disasters did change the course of history more than once. And was it the Minoans that mined the “missing” copper in Michigan? Another age-old mystery.
We may never know the answers for sure, but history may surprise us yet and teach us a thing or two (like nature can reach out and nuke us anytime it wants).
Not as interesting as the scrolls themselves, but the identity of the Dead Sea Scroll authors is “possibly solved.”
Then there are supposedly Yeti nests in Siberia. Of course, these are the same people who claimed to have found “‘indisputable proof’ of the Yeti” last month which some have suggested was hoaxed.
Lost islands off Australia. Nice to see there is still “lost” stuff out there to be found. There’s a lot of mystery out there in the Pacific, home of the legandary Lemuria (the Pacific version of Atlantis). Maybe we’ll look into this a little more later.
Researchers announced today a possible location for the fabled Atlantis in Spain. This region, either off the coast or on land, has long been a frontrunner in Atlantis locations. Among others, E.M. Whishaw’s Atlantis in Spain argued for it in 1928. I haven’t read it, but I bet it will be selling out soon. As with any ancient legend, there’s probably bits of truth in it. Since so many fringe and mystical folks have co-opted Atlantis, many scholars won’t touch it with a ten foot pole. Perhaps in Spain the truth will finally be uncovered.
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.