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Graham Hancock

Graham Hancock

One of the most successful fringe writers of recent years, Graham Hancock is a leading light of a group of people who like to call themselves the ‘New Egyptologists’ to give a spurious sense of academic credibility. Others include his contemporary David Rohl, who has proposed a radical new chronology of Egyptian history to align it with the chronology of the Old Testament by reducing the dates of Egyptian kings. Hancock also tries to establish an alternative chronology, but it is one that pushes back some of Egypt’s most familiar monuments into a very distant past. Hancock’s body of work does not confine itself to Egypt; we see the usual suspects: Tiahuanaco, Mexican pyramids, early modern maps and so on – and we even see some new ones, such as flooded ‘cities’ in the Bay of Cambay, submerged ‘structures’ off the coast of Japan and even pyramids on Mars!

Among Hancock’s many complaints about orthodox Egyptologists and archaeologists is that they have consistently underestimated the scientific knowledge of ancient societies. Paradoxically, though, this persuades him that this knowledge was developed not by those societies already recognised by the archaeologists, but by an earlier civilisation not accepted by them. He claims to find evidence for his so-called ‘lost civilisation’ all over the world. The very vastness of his approach can make it difficult to deal with simply. A comprehensive analysis of his works would require a massive book, since it would need not only to refute his claims but also to present the comprehensive contextual evidence to show why his ideas cannot stand up. Nevertheless, I am currently working on a detailed analysis of Fingerprints of the Gods and its successors, which will eventually be published here. In the meantime, here is a blog post outlining why Graham Hancock has failed to impress mainstream archaeologists. There is more to follow.

61 Responses to Graham Hancock’s ‘Lost Civilisation’

  • Konrad96 says:

    Hi, genuinely interested in how archeology has dated the great pyramid. Far as I know, reliance is placed on the cartouche discovered in one of the internal chambers in late 1800s. But this article by archeologists seems to rely on flecks of wood and other datable material picked from the exterior of the pyramid. Which makes a huge assumption, that anything dropped there was dropped during the construction and not a thousand years later.

    http://www.archaeology.org/9909/abstracts/pyramids.html

    • Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews says:

      From what I understand of the page to which you’ve linked, the Great Pyramid wasn’t specifically targeted; instead, it looks like a programme of dating all the Old Kingdom pyramids. It was done not by using “flecks of wood and other datable material picked from the exterior” (your words) but on organic materials incorporated into mortars and plasters used within the structures. Contrary to what a lot of ‘alternative’ archaeologists assert, mortar was used in pyramid construction, although not between every block in the way that we use bricks and mortar. Flecks of carbonised wood, straw and so on can be extracted and dated.

      • geeksquad1001 says:

        Please provide your sources that mortar was used for the Pyramids!!!!! Why in gods name would they use mortar for some of the Pyramid and not all of it? That makes no sense.

        • Alex says:

          it is easy to find references to the use of mortar in pyraminds. It just takes a few seconds on google. As for it making sense.. it makes mortar sense to use mortar in in places where it is useful and not where it is not needed, thant to adopt some kind of policy of all or nothing. It takes resources and effort to produce a mortar, so why waste those with no need?

  • T_smokinit says:

    I found the lost civilisations documentary very interresting and he provides some evidence of his own.
    in my opinion he did nothing but state facts about astronomy, he didnt use carbon dating because it would make his story fail. he also states things like aliens and weird stuff like that, but he also says that the story doesnt fit for him.
    i have read into a lot of this lemuria and other weird crap, but Graham does not say anything about the civilisation itself untill the last part, now i found that MU probably wouldnt have existed with help from your website and knowledge about the authors, but he does provide a lot of information about star systems and their position concerning the time they where built and the time that the star system would have been in the same line as the building. that for all of those things was 10.500 BC. i found that interresting, since the only thing he does is push back the dates of construction to 10.500 BC even with things that are created 800 years ago
    i also found something about Göbekli Tepe, which is pretty interresting
    theres no proof for most of these things but i found the Quest For The Lost Civilisation a very good watch and i think people should watch it with a skeptic eye. most things he does not state as facts but as a possibility. i found the information he provides as facts pretty interresting, i think it could be very possible that humans have lived longer on this planet, then previously thought, but i also think it is possible (this is more probable) that the people who sell these stories are merely trying to make money from their fantasy that they hope so badly to be true.
    there is one thing i would like to know:
    Do you Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews, think that there is a possibility for all this? or is it just a spin off from the truth?
    and im not asking for only facts, but for a personal perception of all this.
    Is it possible that all these people just ignore modern day science and geology, or is it actually possible?

    • John says:

      Just a thought on carbon dating. They (whoever they are) are suggesting that carbon dating may be inaccurate because of some flaws with the science itself. So to suggest that Mr.Graham’s theory might fall based on carbon dating is,in itself, an assumption that the tools we have used to rationalize our understanding of world history are without potential flaws of their own. One things is clear that any current historical knowledge that we hold close is only held together by a very thin thread of evidence that is waiting to be snipped by a new line of rational and so called factual reasoning that comes to bear weight on current thought in the scientific and scientific communities.

      In short no one has it totally right when it comes to the past, but with every generation we find out more. These advancements only occur because someone is willing to put themselves out there. It is up to those that are inspired by these new ideas and visions to take up the mantle and find new facts and evidence to support the new and satisfy the skeptics. For as we all know skepticism is a far easier position to protect than that of a visionary.

      • Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews says:

        The problem with asserting without evidence, as Hancock does, that radiocarbon dating is flawed is that it is backed up by other dating techniques (some of which, such as dendrochronology, can be used to refine the approximations that radiocarbon assay gives us). When mutiple lines of evidence converge on a similar, even identical, conclusion (in this case that the decay of 14C is a tool for dating ancient organic remains), then we ought to trust that conclusion.

  • Valentin says:

    Thank you for the video. Hancock´s research like some other authors is intended to accumulate evidence, pose questions and try some hypotheses. It is, as it happens in other branches of knowledge, a legitimate attempt to burst the bubble of official science and its rigid, boring and scholastic methods that pretend to discard anything that is not born from the method designed by Galileo (this pretention of uniqueness and absoluteness as one of its features inherited from its predecessor: the Christian Church).
    It would be long just to quote many breakthroughs in current science that have been incepted from the plain curiosity and audacious open-mindedness (which have also been battled fiercely by the corresponding elites of those times). Western science is -apart from honest scholars- a body of elitism, corruption and participation in mass control, and no wonder that anything uncomfortable for its status and dogmatic foundations should be written off. This pretention to write off any other possibility is even more ridiculous in the case of sciences as Archealogy, Anthropology or Economics in which most of its main methods are mere worthless myths with enormous mass manipulative value and minuscule practical value.

    • CortxVortx says:

      Valentin is wrong from start to finish. Nothing he says is true of science, but it is quite accurate when applied to fringe-believers. A classic case of projecting your own faults onto others. Quite obviously, someone has riddled Valentin’s pet belief with a lethal blast of facts.

  • Ron says:

    Scientists are supposed to be open minded. Note the case with the vast majority. If it doesn’t fit into their neat little world view it can’t be. Heaven forbid it may have also been proposed by somebody in a different field. When Wagner presented his ideas on plate tectonics the scientific community destroyed him; how dare a meteorologist think he knows more than the geologists about geology?!. Guess what – he was right! When I was in high school we were taught that H. sapiens had been around only 30K years. Since it’s been steadily pushed back to at least 250K years. Likewise we keep pushing back the dates for cities and agriculture. Don’t dare stand up to global warming crowd. They don’t have a clue as to what’s really happening! Then there were the facts intentionally left out of their findings; previous mini-cycles like the one we’re experiencing, that fact the the SUN is getting hotter, the fact that average global temperatures have gone down not up! I spent most of my teens preparing to study Astrophysics -then I saw what science was all about – protecting you own little sphere of power from evaporating and kissing butts to get grants. Happily I became an engineer instead. We actually use the scientific theory with open-mindedness combined. You don’t like Hancock of some others theory then prove it wrong according to scientific method. That is what a lot of these “pseudo-insert-branch-of-science-here” are trying to say. There are holes in your science that need filling. You don’t believe it prove them wrong instead of acting like a bunch of whining childish liberals out to bring down the opposition at any cost!

    • Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews says:

      Which is what archaeologists do. Hancock’s ideas avoid any use of the scientific method!

      • CortxVortx says:

        Ron’s accusation is that scientists ignore new evidence that contradicts standing theories – and then proceeds to falsify his own claim. If he was right, scientists would still reject Wegener’s hypothesis (which he apparently misunderstands). If he was right, scientists would still be claiming that modern humans appeared only 30,000 years ago.

        His vehement climate-change denialism and his off-the-wall comment about the Sun getting hotter while Earth is getting cooler, leads me to suspect that his hostility towards academia is a result of his ideas being rejected.

        Good thing he chose engineering. If you claim that you can build a bridge using daisies, you’d better have the blueprints to back it up.

  • Joaqin says:

    I liked Mr. Hancocks website where he just accumulates interesting science and archaeology news articles. Better than my Google news filters can do, actually. I use past tense because science a while he is on this weird mission to legalize illegal drugs. Promoting marijuana leaves in btw archaeological finds and space explorations doesn’t make sense. His SciFi speculations mixed with history is one thing, but when supporting hallucinogenic drugs at the same time it gets really laughable.

    • Chris says:

      So, as someone studying ancient human cultures he should have no interest or opinion on an activity that human cultures have been doing for tens of thousands of years at least? Modern western societies are one of the few cultures in history who do NOT incorporate hallucinogens into their society. You could argue whether that is a good or bad thing but why is it laughable to support the legalisation of the right to explore your own consciousness with psychedelics? That is all he’s supporting, not suggesting everyone rush out and get wasted.

      • Tom says:

        It could be a bad thing when people were going to your site to read general archaeological news & information, and you start preferentially publishing information that pertains to a legalization movement (which would of course displace other unrelated information that users were more interested in).

        Furthermore, advocating for any drug policy on purely archaeological/historical evidence seems suspect to me. There’s also the medical and sociological/psychological impact of drugs to consider, and I’d even go so far as to say that these angles are much more important than historical use of drugs (since older civilizations didn’t have a good understanding of long-term health effects (if any) and even their major urban areas were by our standards small and simple).

        • Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews says:

          I assume that you’re referring to Graham Hancock’s site and not mine: I have never published any views on drug policy, nor do I intend to!

  • Luke says:

    If the purpose of this article is to debunk Hancock, you’ve done terribly. I saw him speak at Origins of Consciousness for 4 hours, and from the small amount of cross referencing i’ve been able to do on the plethora of intruiging anomalies within our knowledge of ancient civilisations I’ve no doubt he is on to something legitimate. He may not be an expert in your opinion nor the opinion of most archaologists if that is what you believe, but you should be ashamed as to discredit him so arrogantly. I have no doubt he has discovered more than either of you two, just because it is based in different conceptual circles and frames of perception does not mean it is wrong. Wake the fuck up guys.

    • Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews says:

      Why do you have to be offensive? If you want a debate, please conduct it without swearing.

      • Luke says:

        Okay buddy, sorry you can’t handle the word fuck. Otherwise, care to add any actual evidence contrary to Hancocks ideas? “A comprehensive analysis of his works would require a massive book, since it would need not only to refute his claims but also to present the comprehensive contextual evidence to show why his ideas cannot stand up.” Have you even begun to write this book? Does your body of work concerning Hancocks invalid claims and ideas even extend beyond the extremely limited (almost non-existent) quantity of evidence posted on this site?

        • Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews says:

          Well, the whole idea for this website came about because I tried writing a short synopsis of Hancock’s claims with rebuttals. I couldn’t even get to the end of the first chapter and restrict myself to just a few thousand words. As a result, I put up some pages on my personal website in 1997. Things grew, despite your assertion that there is only an “extremely limited (almost non-existent) quantity of evidence posted on this site”! You evidently haven’t look at much of the site. I wish I could add more, but this is one of several hobbies and one that has to come after my real work in any case.

  • Luke says:

    Why restrict yourself? You set up a site called “Bad Archaeology” only to refrain from posting any of the actual evidence you’ve accumulated personally? I’ve just been through every article on this site and find no valid contradiction to my earlier comment. Every article is a synopsis of opinion with literally next to no scientific evidence to support it, there is not the slightest hint of ‘comprehensive contextual evidence’ anywhere on this site. It’s 2013 buddy I think you’ve had plenty of time to maintain and update the site. I saw Graham speak last year in October. He continues to research within his field of interest and contribute relevant information regarding the topics he approaches. This page is highly unscientific in what it claims to give accurate information towards. It’s very sloppy. I don’t agree with most conspiracy/alternative theories, but I believe one should accompany any skeptical inquiry with as much factual citation and reasoning as possible and you have not done so. I think Graham would look at this site and laugh. Really think about all he has done (if you’ve actually bothered to look through it), and the quantity (not to mention quality!) of evidence regarding his work on this site. In contrast the huge amount of work he has done, this site is quite pitiful. If you do have a large amount of evidence, it’d help your case to show it. I’m not against evidence, only evidence I cannot see.

  • Mike says:

    So, as I understand it, in the film, Hancock did not propose that these structures were built earlier than is commonly believed. He did state as fact that the layouts of these three structures align precisely with specific stars and constellations. Have any of you all verified the information that he has stated as fact (that the Sphinx, Giza and Angkor Wat all align with the stars that he specified in 10500 bc)?

    If they do line up as he has stated, one surely must contemplate the possibility that this is not a coincidence. Why would that be so?… odd for sure.

    • Tura says:

      Generally weird patterns and alignments are result of making the evidence fit the data: see leylines in this matter, and the medieval churches seemingly built on corners of pentagrams a la Da Vinci Code. If you draw a line between any two features in the landscape, you can then use all landmarks falling on that line as proof this line is significant, then promote these to mystical importance and that enforces the importance of your line. The argument is circular. With star alignments, pick a time, see what star would appear aligned with structure at the time, you can always find one as this could be any of the important points in the calendar, also the stars align differently at midnight to sunrise etc. Then you can look for references that purport to support your theory that a certain star was of specific importance. This is surprisingly effective as a strategy, at least if you keep ignoring contradicting evidence.

  • Philip says:

    I can’t help but think, judging by the comments, that someone linked this page on a Graham Hancock loving website.

    I got into archaeology because as a kid I read Fingerprints of the Gods, and Quest for the lost Civilisation, and saw the TV show, it was exciting, I wanted to be the one to find and prove what he was saying. However, the more I learned the more implausible I realised the claims were. Perhaps instead of aspiring to find the lost civilisation I should instead write the book that educates those of Hancock’s fans who refuse to listen to accepted academic scholarship because it’s some conspiracy. Sort of like how creationists won’t listen to biologists evidence because they think they’re lying about everything to keep the truth suppressed. Of course they won’t buy it, and neither will mainstream historians or archaeologists because it’s all basic stuff they already know. So i’ll have written a book no one will read… I’ve talked myself out of it now.

    It’s easy to see why these things are popular. There are legitimate gaps in knowledge and it’s tempting to fill them with speculation, but as Carl Sagan said, “We wish to pursue the truth no matter where it leads; but to find the truth we need imagination and skepticism both. We will not be afraid to speculate, but we will be careful to distinguish speculation from fact.”

    Anyway, keep up the good work, I only just discovered this site and there’s lots of interesting stuff on here.

  • I think that Graham Hancock does a lot for recovering evidence needed to understand the past. His theories may seem off to some people because they do not want to alter their life’s work to include the new information.

    Also, I can see that Hancock is very misguided as he leaves out a lot of data, like this website does, and goes for his own ideas, like this website does, and comes to conclusions that may not be plausible. He makes great points and the reason he uses the usual suspects is that the usual suspects are all we have to work with.

    I see the owners of this website doing exactly what they claim Hancock does and that undermines their point of view. I think Hancock, and others like him, can be used to uncover the evidence so we get a better picture of the past and that their theories can be ignored without trashing the effort he is making.

    • Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews says:

      The point of this website is not to provide “all the data”: it’s to show why the data that people Hancock misuse does not support the claims they make. If you want “all the data”, get a couple of good undergraduate level text-books.

  • Ron says:

    Keith, kudos for your extraordinary patiences. I wil be up all night reading through this site.

  • Baruch says:

    One thing I’ve noticed is that people who hold to a so-called “alternative” theory are often as bigoted and intolerant of disagreement as the scientists they condemn for the same flaws. In fact, I have quite often been sharply criticized, not for *denying* their tenets, but simply for *questioning* them.

    What this tells me is that we’re not discussing science, but religion. The questions are based on faith (you have to *believe*), and not on evidence. It’s a holy war, not a scientific discussion or debate.

  • Altnetid says:

    Hancock’s “The Sign and The Seal” was an excellent read and almost certainly his best and most believable work.
    “Fingerprints of the Gods” started down a slippery slope but the actual stories are gripping (if cods wallop)

  • Aaron says:

    Keith, please, show me some evidence to refute or to support you claims.

  • paul says:

    I admit i have only read this one article on your site but it is true that you have done nothing to debunk anything he says at all. I am a keen follower of graham hancocks work and recently found myself thinking of nothing else. I decided that maybe to get a bit of perspective I should search for articles that disprove what in my opinion are plausible ideas. Not many results so far and if this is the standard then I cant see myself changing my mind about him. Please do reply with any thoughts you have to debunk his ideas about the age of the Sphinx (due to the water erosion on the bedrock), the correlation between the pyramids and the constellation of Orion etc. I just dont see that hordes of slaves put together a structure of the stature of the pyramids with such precision relating to the astronomical alignments, especially given the sheer weight of some of the materials.

    I’m not having a go at you at all by the way. I am genuinely looking for someone to argue cogently against these ideas as it seems to me that the traditional theories about the construction of all of these, in your words, usual suspects, are just as far fetched as you claim Hancocks theories to be.

    You have the talking cushion…

  • Achim says:

    The ‘problem’ develops when science and escapism meet. Plenty of people are driven to space exploration, archaeology, dolphin research etc for spiritual and psychological reasons. And that is OK as many also develop a keen interest in these areas over time. Who is to judge Darwin of what inner callings guided him to his grandeur discoveries? But this pool of followers is what Mr Hancock attracts by raising questions and often building theories around simple questions.

    The old Egyptians and Romans knew of concrete making. That knowledge was lost thereafter till the 19th century but used to make the top stones of the pyramids. The megalith boulder movement can be achieved with simple leverage exercise and manpower. The tools to build the pyramids are exhibited in the museums. Astronomical observations? There were glass making workshops in the pharaos time. Of course they knew then about the magnification of objects (and they turned simple lenses towards the night sky for observations). Every child does this with a piece of glass automatically

    That some technologies can’t be readily explained today only means one thing: We always underestimate the intelligence of previous generations and compare them to our own ignorance too much. What if they didn’t want to have public records of architecture or astronomy to keep the upper class in power? Temples, castles, office towers are meant to intimidate and awe the public.

    Crediting ‘aliens’ is an insult to any ancient hardworking Egyptian or Inca builder. But of course it sells better to sell hope of salvation by higher powers. Or at least romancing this hope.

  • geeksquad1001 says:

    All I got here was nothing but ad hominem attacks and a poor job of disproving facts and evidence! Ohh wait “real” archaeology is java man and lucy right?!? lol Graham Hancock has done hundreds and hundreds of dives all around the World locating man-made ruins of great depths and HAS DOCUMENTED evidence with other supporting evidence and pictures of these sites. Underworld: The Mysterious Origins of Civilization is over 700 pages. And really you put “structures” off the coast of Japan in quotes making it seem like you dont believe they exist?? I mean its been proven there are massive MAN-MADE monuments of the coast of Japan, really all you have to do is look at the numerous pictures and videos. I mean you have to have your head up your ass to not see that their man made (not directed at you just a figure of speech). It would be like saying if the massive megaliths in Peru were underwater that they were natural formations, Thats just ludicrous and insane. But that is what some so called “experts” are saying they are natural formations (lmfao) because it does not fit this preconceived biased view of how old civilization is and this is real tangible proof of the suppression and ridicule from some of the scientific community of clear evidence of civilization being much older then what is believed and accepted in the mainstream academia. The suppression doesn’t have to do “because its some wild theory and the mainstream scientists only use logic and blah blah blah”. Disagree, how is it not? …………

    • geeksquad1001 says:

      And even if the sites of Japan were the only structures at that depth around the World so they could just be dismissed as anomalous and just ignored like many, many other finds do. Graham Hancock IF YOU ACTUALLY READ HIS METICULOUS, DETAILED AND DOCUMENTED WORK has dived at dozens of sites around the world all documented with pictures for example Underworld:…..is over 700 pages. But you dismiss him off hand and believe shit theories with evidence like Java man and Lucy. lol smh…….

    • Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews says:

      Underworld is a rambling, incoherent mess that has been debunked so many times that there is really no need to respond to your comment.

  • Dustin says:

    Anyone who thinks that scientists and academics secretly collude to preserve the status quo need look no farther than to the world of theoretical physics. Thousands of experiments and billions of dollars go into trying to disprove the standard model of particle physics and the theory of relativity. The physicists are notably disappointed every time the primary theories are upheld and go back to the drawing board to try and think up a new experiment to hopefully tear apart the dominant theories.

    While not as obvious in other scientific fields, this mentality persists in all the fields. If any of Graham Hancocks theories were true, they would need only have a methodology that was testable and repeatable to other scientists for it to cause a gigantic firestorm of researchers jumping on the bandwagon to get a piece of the pie.

    Science is all about the discovery of new things. Every current and aspiring scientist dreams of the day a revolutionary and new discovery is made and hopes to be a part of it. None do what they do to obscure, hide, or prevent this from happening. Sadly, some like Hancock are so desperate to see their dreams come true that they are willing to lie and cheat their way to it. What’s even worse is that people like him force the honest ones to stop their search for legitimate discovery to debunk the lies and nonsense and the ignorantly fooled masses deride the honest scientists for this. Very sad, indeed.

  • Rémi Dallaire says:

    I am all about scientific works. to prove or disprove any theories. But than again I remember Schliman who took the illiad by words and found Troy which was considered to be a Mythical city at the time. There is so many fights out there where people, scientist and researchers arecomparing their brain as if they were comparing the lenght of…ahem….. well you know…

    I say …Let the Iconoclast have their theories however crazy they may sound…Just for the new under water research for lost cities considered pre mesopotamian I say it’s worth a look. And it won’t hurt anything.

  • Corsair says:

    Guys like: Graham Hancock, Robert Bauval, John Anthony West, Robert Shock (sp?) Are on to somthing quite. I havent had the oppertunity to go to any of these sites myself, but after watching many lectures and reading books about the matter and the evidence precented it seams possible that they may be right about the 10,500bc date.

    As for the psychedelic thing, the reason why Hancock talks about it in lectures/books,website is because that hallucingenic plant were being used for thousands of years, as tool to explore consciousness. Theres evidence for the Ancient Egyptian Blue Water lily as being psychoactive, Acacia Nerotica (sp??) Had DMT in it. A psychedelic brew was drunk for over 2000years at the Greek Elusinian Mysteries, the SOMA in India, Amanita Muscaria, in Europe, Ayauaska plant in the amazon etc etc. Check out Terence Mckenna’s Stoned Ape theory….. The point is that the psychedelic/entheogenic aspect to this is very important to this whole thing of trying to figure out where we come from, our history, what the psychedelic plants were used for etc. Its all very important.

    And lastly to the owner of this site. Its nice to apply sceptical thought to new information, but its also good to be open minded, the trick is balance…And to be honest after reviewing what you said about Grahams evidence, the lack of your own evidence, and your logical fallacies deployed here in the comments…its clear that you have nothing intelligent to show in your defence. You haven’t refuted anything. No Gobleiki Tepi, no Sphinx, no Angkor Wat, no Giza, no Osirion etc….With out that you have no case, I think you realize that by now. What you should do is close this site, read some books, listen to some lectures, look at what you can online, go to one of these sites, …..Then decide weather you want to open a site called “bad archaeology”.

    • Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews says:

      As far as I know, Hancock doesn’t even mention Göbekli Tepe; it’s an intriguing site, but hardly evidence for his ridiculous “lost civilisation”. What it does show is that the context of urbanisation in the Near East is rather different from what we used to believe. That’s the nature of real archaeology: new evidence comes along that doesn’t fit existing hypotheses, so we develop new ones. In this case, the dominant idea is that communal gatherings for religious observance by dispersed and mobile hunter gatherer peoples provided an inspiration to create the earliest monumental architecture in the world. So what? It’s fascinating, interesting but not evidence to back up Hancock’s ideas.

      I accept that I haven’t bothered to go into great detail refuting Hancock’s supposed evidence. That’s largely because every time I start, I get bored with his books.

      By the way, I’m not going to close this site. I do research not by reading books, listening to lwectures or looking for stuff online. I go out an do fieldwork. I read learned journals. I go to conferences. That is how proper archaeologists work. We don’t go round the world, gawping at ancient monuments and thinking “Well, if I can’t understand how they were built, it must have been a lost civilisation with amazing technology that did it”. Instead, we look at the contemporary evidence for daily life, beliefs, social structure and so on. Then we formulate hypotheses about how these monuments might have been created by the sort of societies the evidence available suggests existed at that time. If there were anything at all to Hancock’s ideas, then there would be masses of evidence for the society he believes created those monuments. And that is the real problem. He can’t produce a single postherd, house plan, cess pit, whatever, that belongs to his supposed “lost civilisation”. Nothing at all. Remember that.

  • Anthony Prescarlo says:

    You seem to not see the big picture….The Sphinx’s weather erosion is quite clear, Graham talks about Gobleki a lot pick up a book/lecture.

    Lol you said you dont to research like: reading books, listening to lectures, researching online….According to you your “field research” consist of: reading journals, conferences. I look at this and say what is the difference? lol :D

    you don’t seam to educated or even serious about this at all. You don’t look at all the available evidence, from different perspectives your responses are jumbled and filled with logical fallacies. From there you come up with distorted assumptions.

    It seams to me that you ignore Grahams evidence, by not even reading the material he presents. Lets face it when was the last time you have been to the Giza Pyramids,Sphinx,Osirion,Luxor Temple, Napta Plya,Angkor Wat, Yanaguchi, Teotewacon, puma punku, gobleki tepe, balbeck or takin ayauasca with peruvian shamans? etc etc….
    If there was a lost civilizations or mother culture, why would you have house plans left? cess pits ect? You wouldn’t…You would however have monuments, because it was built to last, it would have been built for future generations.

    Truth be told, this entire website is a joke, its very hard to to take you or this site seriously. But your to blind to see it. You as a “bitter Good Archaeologist” arnt contributing to anything really. Its why you have people saying what there saying her in the comments. Your stuck in a paradigm that isnt doing you any favours. I’m embarrassed for you, I’ll leave it at that, because people like you cant change their mind, get them to look at new perspectives, so there no point. So let me leave now before I have to see your predictable moronic laced comment. :)

    • Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews says:

      Yes, weathering on the Sphinx is clear. The question that is by no means as settled as Hancock (drawing on Robert Schoch’s ideas) would like you to believe is what caused it. Schoch is in a minority of geologists who believe that the erosion was caused by rain and even Schoch doesn’t push the date back as far as Hancock: he estimates around 7500 BCE. That said, the majority geological opinion is that all or most of the erosion is caused by the evaporation of groundwater (and we know that this is happening); there is no need to push the date of the monument back beyond the earliest activity at Giza.

      The difference between the way I undertake research and what you consider acceptable is considerable. If you knew anything about real academic research, you’d understand this.

      Believe me, I am serious. I am also educated and experienced in archaeology. I’ve taught it. If you want to accuse me of making logical fallacies, point them out and I’ll deal with them.

      If you read through my responses, you’ll see that one of the reasons why I haven’t dealt with Hancock’s arguments is that I find it quite tedious to go through his books. They are badly written travelogues that are stuffed with arguments from incredulity rather than solid data.

      You have fallen into the Bad Archaeologists’ trap of believing that one merely needs to visit a site. I have actually been to the Giza Pyramids, the Great Sphinx, the Osireion (which is the correct spelling, by the way) and the Temple of Luxor. But just visiting isn’t enough, despite the way Hancock seems to think that merely seeing the sites and marvelling at the achievements of ancient peoples is enough to create serious doubts about the conventional narratives of their construction.

      You ask “If there was a lost civilizations or mother culture, why would you have house plans left? cess pits ect?”. You would have them because people have to live somewhere, dispose of their bodily wast somewhere. These things don’t just vanish into thin air or dissolve into the earth. For every great monument of an ancient civilisation, there are thousands of more mundane remains. You just don’t get to see them. Nor do those who, like Graham Hancock, haven’t done any real research into what is actually known about these cultures. Ancient societies do not leave only monuments behind, not that you’d realise this if all you have ever read about them comes from people like Hancock. They either don’t know that there is a vast amount of data contemporary with these monuments, in which case they ought not to be writing their books, or they do know and want to keep it from their readers or dismiss it as irrelevant, in which case they are deliberately distorting. Hancock is on record as saying that he views his role as that of a legal brief: present only the information that makes your client (i.e. his supposed “lost civilisation”) appear in the best possible light, whilst rubbishing your opponent. This is not how any form of academic research is presented: to make a new hypothesis convince others, you have to show how it fits all the data better than existing models. Hancock fails to do this, which is why real archaeologists regard his “lost civilisation” as a joke.

      You may think that this site is a joke. That’s your right. You may think I’m bitter. Again, that’s your right, but I’m not. I’m not “stuck in a paradigm that isnt doing [me] any favours”: I’m trying to show why people like Hancock will never be taken seriously by real archaeologists.

      Thank you for your embarrassment on my behalf and your insults. I think that you have said more about your attitude than I ever could.

  • Ubutnu says:

    There is archeological evidence all over the globe that contradicts mainstream academia, my personal opinion is quite simple, Graham Hancock’s evidence is not the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth and neither is mainstream academia’s, the truth probably lies somewhere in the middle, a combination of all or quite simply still undiscovered. One thing I’d like to go back to is the Giza plateau and the alignment of the pyramids with orion’s belt, as the epoc of time pushed its pushed back to, not only do you have the Pyramids lining up with orion’s belt, but you also have the Sphinx starting at the Leo and the nile representing the milky way, Coincidence maybe one but not all three at once surely ?. For that reason alone I don’t think that it should be discredited so easily and warrants some serious investigation especially when the erosion of the Sphinx can possibly back up the time frame, far too many coincidences in my opinion.

    What I also find incredulous is the dismissal out of hand of ‘the lost civilisation’ that Hancock refers to using questions of “If there was a lost civilizations or mother culture, why would you have house plans left? cess pits ect?”.That’s pure ignorance of his work, as if you really read his works then you’ll know he’s referring to an antediluvian pre-fllood civiliasation. Now having seen Hancock’s work regarding this, back up with Computer Models from Durham Univeristy of the last global ice age Maximum and how much land mass was exposed due to the polar ice caps, i.e ‘Ten Million Square Miles’, then its not beyond the realms of possibility to think that if there was such a civilisation an awful lot of evidence could be lying at the bottom of the oceans for these civilisation’s considering most ancient cultures set up their settlements near coast lines and expanded their societies from there, I also find it quite interesting Plato’s Atlantis story dates back to the end of the global ice age maximum, evidence to say Atlantis existed /, definitely not but enough to remain open minded in my opinion.

    Were a species with amnesia, we think we have all the answers, but we don’t, maybe there was lost pre-flood civilisation, there’s plenty of evidence to suggest a great flood was a real event following the melting of the ice caps. Me personally I admire people like Hancock for putting themselves in a position to be ridiculed to try and answer questions that main stream archeologists dare not take on in fear of being ridiculed and harming their ‘careers’.

    • Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews says:

      We are not a species with amnesia! That is a silly idea first promoted by Immanuel Velikovsky. And where do you get the idea that “main stream archeologists dare not take on in fear of being ridiculed and harming their ‘careers’”? That’s a frankly ridiculous assertion.

      If you have looked into the work that has gone into understanding Doggerland, the plains exposed in the North Sea basin at the end of the Devensian, you will have seen that there is a quantity of cultural material that has been brought up by dredgers. If Hancock’s much vaunted “lost civilisation” existed on this bit of drowned land, then it looks remarkably similar to the Upper Palaeolithic and Mesolithic cultures that existed on the higher ground that is today Britain and northern Europe. There is no trace of the sort of technologically advanced civilisation that Hancock believes ought to have existed here.

      It is not ignorance of his work to say that things like house plans or cess pits ought to survive from a civilisation of the type he proposes. Instead, it is Hancock’s ignorance of real archaeology that is highlighted by his insistence that the “lost civilisation” is not detectable by its remains but by monuments constructed later as a warning for later civilisations. Just look at how he mangles the most basic archaeological ideas. The bibliography of Fingerprints of the Gods shows a complete unwillingness to engage with mainstream archaeology: he is not interested in understanding the societies documented by excavation and fails to understand the techniques of theories of contemporary archaeology.

      • Ubutnu says:

        Of course we are a species with Amnesia, we have no real idea of our past, we have hypothesis and speculation, none of it is %100 confirmed fact.

        We don’t know if the Egyptians built the Sphinx or the Great Pyramids, we Hypothesise that they did, nothing more, there is nothing that actually %100 dates the Giza Pyramids or the Sphinx, for all we know it could have been built by the Sumerians or Babylonians as they began to make their way up the Tigris/Euphrates and spread out through the middle east.

        I mean isn’t that what the Sumerian/Babylon culture did after all, once their city’s started to get a little full, they set up new city’s and slowly but surely built up that until it was full and so on a so forth.

        Now I’m not saying that is what happened, but just like archeology it can be hypothesised…

        Do you actually understand how much sediment would build up in floods taking up 10 million square miles of land ?

        There could be evidence of civilisations buried miles deep under sea that remain discovered, to blindly dismiss the notion is ignorance of the highest order, its the kind of ignorance that leads to people believing that in the vast Universe full of billions and billions of stars and galaxy with all the amino acids and carbon etc that it takes to create life that we are the only intelligent species.

        I know from experience that some scientists and archeologists will say one thing off the record and then say something totally different on the record because their careers and future employment prospects appeal more to them than the truth and you can try in your camaraderie way to dismiss that notion but it doesn’t make it any less true.

        This is the thing that IRK’s me with Archeologist’s they are educated in Darwinism and the current historical time frame and they tend not to step outside of that time frame/thinking everything has to be put in a little box that fits with in Darwinism and the current time frame of man or its dismissed or overlooked and not given the study it deserves.

        The current historical time frame on Egypt could yet be blown wide open given the infra red satellite images considering there could be as many as 1000 undiscovered tombs and 3000 undiscovered settlements.

        In short Archeology does not provide all the answers, its provides Hypothesis that can be changed at any given time if and when new evidence is dug to corroborate it and that is something we all should accept.

        • Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews says:

          We are not a species with amnesia in the sense that Graham Hancock means. We simply don’t have any need to remember everything about the past. How much of your family history do you know from two hundred years ago? Five hundred years ago? A thousand years ago? Ten thousand years ago? That’s how human tradition works. We pass some information on to our children: some of that, they will pass on to theirs and so on through history. Not to know what happened twelve thousand years ago to our remote ancestors is hardly surprising and does not require a non-existent species-wide amnesia to explain it.

          We can be pretty certain who built the Egyptian pyramids. Do you even know how archaeologists have dated them? The earliest (Djoser’s of the Third Dynasty) through to the last built by an Egyptian king (Ahmose I’s of the Eighteenth Dynasty) are datable by what they are associated with. From the late Fifth Dynasty, they contain extensive texts that make clear that they were built as homes for the dead king. The earliest, Djoser’s at Saqqara, has underground galleries that were inaccessible after the pyramid was built and were not entered until the early twentieth century: they contain thousands of stone jars bearing the names of kings of the First and Second Dynasties and one with Djoser’s name. The Great Pyramid, as I’m sure you’re aware, contains cartouches naming Khufu as its builder. These are found in chambers that could not be entered after construction and were discovered by dynamiting in the nineteenth century. Are you aware that scraps of a papyrus diary belonging to someone called Merrer, who worked as a foreman on the building of the Great Pyramid, have been found at the Old Kingdom port at Wadi el-Jarf on the Red Sea coast? To suggest that anyone other than Egyptians built the pyramids in their country is not only to fly in the face of all the evidence, it is being obtuse.

          Of course I understand how much sediment has formed on top of old land surfaces now submerged beneath the sea. The project mapping Doggerland determined the depth of these deposits. But all the material from this area matches precisely the sorts of material from the land that remains above sea level. No trace of Hancock’s supposedly technologically advanced “lost civilisation” there.

          Then, of course, you drop the word that acts as a signal that you really don’t know what your’re talking about: Darwinism. This is a trigger word that alerts me to someone who has read creationist tracts. Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection is an important theory in biology: no biologist refers to it as “Darwinism”. To claim that “Archeologist’s” are “are educated in Darwinism” tells me that you really don’t have the first idea about archaeology and the concepts that underpin how archaeologists understand the past.

          Yes, there are many thousands of sites still to be discovered in Egypt. It is very unlikely that the “current historical time frame on Egypt could yet be blown wide open” by them: they almost certainly fit into the generally understood pattern (although there will definitely be some surprises that mean that we will have to modify that pattern).

          However, your last paragraph is absolutely correct. No science claims to “provide all the answers”: only religions claim to do so. It is the search for new evidence and the drive to change existing hypotheses that are the impetus for young scholars’ research.

          • Ubutnu says:

            I’m neither a Creationist nor a Darwinist, I don’t believe in an all mighty Sky being and I don’t believe Darwin’s hypothesis has been proven beyond all reasonable doubt either and is still very much open to debate.

            I’m open minded about everything and I don’t take Hancock’s words as goddammit in the same way I won’t take an Archeologist’s because the truth is whether you like hearing it or not, is there are too many anomalies that do not fit with the current time frame of man.

            One thing I will say there is great flood tales on every continent and plenty of evidence to suggest that there was a great flood of water around 10,5000 years ago that swallowed 10 million square miles of landmass.

            Are these flood accounts that are recorded on every continent on the earth or are they true accounts of an actual event, if it is an actual event, then the answer is right there, there was a pre-flood civilisation and it was by and large wiped out due to a cataclysmic event.

          • Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews says:

            If you actually read my reply, you’d have seen that I don’t accuse you of being a Creationist and that the term Darwinist is only every used by Creationists, so you must have encountered it whilst reading Creationist tracts (Forbidden Archeology or the like). The debate around evolution concerns its mechanisms rather than whether or not it has happened: it clearly has, according to both the fossil and the genetic evidence.

            Flood tales are hugely problematical. Most non-European flood tales were first recorded by Christian missionaries and we have no way of knowing how much of their beliefs they mayhave projected onto them. For instance, a mountain people in Central America, whose lives can be devastated by flash floods, may have a folk tale about a particularly bad flood that could only be survived by riding it out in a boat; a Christian missionary might then turn this into a world-wide flood similar to Noah’s. You see, I can invent hypothetical scenarios, too!

            While there are those who see the origins of flood tales in the post-glacial sea-level rise, the slowness of that rise really worries me. It’s measured in centimetres a year. While it’s thought the sudden draining of Lake Agassiz in North America resulted in a sudden sea-level rise in the Northern Hemisphere over a matter of days or weeks, this is still only estimated to have been 0.8 to 2.8 m. Hardly a world-wide castastrophe and not exactly a civilisation destroyer (unless it existed only on the inter-tidal zone, which is not credible, at it would be flooded twice daily and wiped out every spring tide!). Hancock and his like may tell you that the sea-level rise was rapid: it wasn’t.

  • Ubutnu says:

    Hypothetically during the last global ice age maximum, the melting of the ice could have formed massive lakes on top of the ice caps and then when the ice gave way and released that water sea levels could have rose significantly and very quickly and led to tales of the great flood.

    Look back to Sumer for the first great flood tale in the epic of Gilgamesh, Sumer being the first civilisation that we know of who recorded the most trivial of things in great detail, means there could be some truth in a great flood and in my opinion that is where the biblical Noah’s flood has it origins.

    Like I’ve already stated, I remain open minded, because archeology at the moment is far from providing the answers of our ancestry and origins.

    • Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews says:

      I’m unsure about extensive lakes on top of the ice sheets: the principal problem seems to have been the formation of lakes at the melting and receding front of the glacier, which were held in place so long as the glacier dammed off the natural drainage. But bringing in Sumerian tales is a bit of a red herring: these people lived thousands of years after the end of glacial conditions and thousands of kilometres from where such conditions had formerly prevailed. The humans of that part of the world lived through a period of cooler global climate, but they would never have experienced flooding of the type you hypothesise for the melting of the great ice sheets of the north. Their floods would have been riverine floods, similar to the awful floods we see depressingly often in Bangladesh and Pakistan. Now that is the sort of thing that I can imagine becoming ingrained in local folklore: “you think this flood has been bad: you should have been around when your great-great-granfather Ziusudra had to put his entire family and livestock on a raft for weeks!”. You’re right, of course, that the biblical story of Noah had its origins in the Sumerian story of Ziusudra.

  • Ubutnu says:

    At the last global ice age maximum the glaciers covered the majority of Europe, I brought the Sumerian’s into it as they were the first one’s to record a flood story, we can’t go any further back than that as there is no civilisation recording such things before them, but the stories had to come from somewhere and I don’t believe they were localised floods as you insinuate, there is flood myths on every continent, that all tell an eerily similar story, maybe the Sumerians were not around to see it, but maybe the stories were handed down from generation to generation, far too many anomalies that contradict main stream academia’s version of our past, anomalies that in the interest of proper science should be studied and let the science lead to what ever conclusion it comes to rather than making the science fitting the already established conclusion, this where archaeology and science fail in particular in my opinion, too many academics fear to break away from that rigid chronological time frame for varying reasons, which should never be the case, we’ll never get the true answers unless we start answering the questions in the right way, the only good thing is people like Graham Hancock, (Who I’ve already stated version probably won’t be the truth either) gain a following of people who are willing to ask the right kind of question and as every decade passes as new Archeologists and Scientists come to the forefront in their fields, the right kind of questions will eventually be asked and we many just get to the bottom of this mystery.

    • Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews says:

      Glaciers did not cover “the majority of Europe”: I suggest you look at a few maps of the extent of ice sheets. Britain, which is in north-west Europe, was never completely covered and most areas further south were untouched (apart from the spread of glaciers from mountain ranges).

      The problems with the idea of a global flood are too numerous to mention, although the geological effects that would be visible if one had occurred are simply not there, despite the lies promoted by “flood geologists”. If you had followed the link I provided on 30 December 2013, you’d have seen lots of different flood stories from around the world that are simply irreconcilable with each other. They all clearly refer to locally devastating floods. It’s a characteristic of the Hebrew myths that they become universalised as Judaism developed into a universalising as opposed to tribal religion from the fourth century BCE onwards.

      As for claiming that scientists are “making the science fitting the already established conclusion”, how on earth do you think that any scientific advances are made? It’s almost never by outsiders like Graham Hancock; rather, it’s by scientists nibbling away at the poorly understood areas of their specialities.

  • ursa23 says:

    Keith, you have the patience of a saint. Your ability to stay on message and avoid ad hominem attacks on the ridiculous comments on this page is to be commended. For what it’s worth, I love this website, and I respect your dedication. Keep up the good science.

  • Dave says:

    I read “Fingerprints of the Gods” a few years back and found it entertaining, especially how Graham continuously claims “mainstream science” is attempting to silence him because his theories disrupt the current paradigm and put them out of work. His “proof” is conjecture based on radical interpretations of existing sites, texts, and distorting maps to fit with what he’s claiming, as in changing the scale of maps and altering alignments of land masses to fit like he does with the Piri Reis map. Basically what I got from this book, thumbing through some others and watching various “documentaries” featuring him is this; since, according to him, archaeologists cannot definitively explain how and why ancient buildings were constructing and it would be difficult for modern people to recreate these structures they must therefore have been built by some unknown highly advanced civilization that vanished without a trace, other than these monuments.

    He has some seriously rabid fans, though.

  • How can you folks go back and forth about this subject without once citing the Younger Dryas Impact Hypothesis? Many, if not most, of Hancock’s claims are probably wrong in my opinion. But evidence for a world-wide cataclysm ~12,877 years ago continues to build from all quarters, despite the fierce efforts of critics: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/09/130910-comet-impact-mammoths-climate-younger-dryas-quebec-science/ This event is central to the thesis of Fingerprints of the Gods and Hancock deserves credit for popularizing the idea in advance of the mainstream journal publications. He is now incorporating it into Fingerprints 2: http://dailygrail.com/Hidden-History/2013/2/Graham-Hancock-Working-Fingerprints-the-Gods-Part-2

    • Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews says:

      The evidence for the “world-wide cataclysm” is nowhere near as convincing as you have portrayed. Besides, Hancock’s hypothesis in Fingerprints of the Gods was to use the utterly discredited pseudoscience of earth crustal displacement to explain the disappearance of the “Lost Civilisation”, located in Antarctica.

      After Hancock’s petulant statement that he wasn’t going to revisit his “Lost Civilisation” hypothesis because those nasty academics weren’t taking it seriously, it’s amusing to see that he’s now doing so. Perhaps he needs the money…

      If you want to see my detailed take-down of Fingerprints, I’m posting a series on the blog. Be warned, the posts are long and tedious because the original book is long and tedious!

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