The Ancient Americas: migrations, contacts, and Atlantis
May 2009, Aug 2011
Part 2 of 2
6. ‘Clovis first’ collapses
7. Genetic trails
8. Poseidonis and Cro-Magnon
9. Atlantis and American antiquity [08/11]
6. ‘Clovis first’ collapses
According to the ‘Clovis first’ paradigm, which gained ascendancy in the mid-20th century, the first inhabitants of the Americas were people associated with the Clovis culture. Beginning around 12,000 BC, they crossed from Siberia to Alaska over the Beringia land bridge created by the lower sea levels during the ice age, and advanced southwards via an ice-free corridor east of the Rocky Mountains as the glaciers retreated. They then quickly spread to all parts of the Americas.
Fig. 6.1 The Bering land bridge during the last ice age.
Before the second world war, mainstream anthropologists insisted that humans first entered America only 4000 years ago, and anyone arguing otherwise was treated with hostility. Once the evidence for habitation by the Clovis culture as early as 12,000 BC became widely accepted, the ‘Clovis police’ proceeded to treat any professionals claiming to have found evidence of an even earlier human presence in the Americas with the same prejudice that they themselves had previously suffered. Nevertheless, the Clovis-first paradigm became increasingly untenable as reliable evidence mounted of earlier human habitation.
It was the finds at Monte Verde in Chile that dealt the deathblow to the Clovis-first model in the academic world. In 1997, after nearly two decades of debate, a panel of 12 American archaeologists concluded that the site had been occupied in 12,700 BC, over 1000 years before Clovis. Monte Verde lies 9000 miles south of Beringia, and many anthropologists think it would take 7000 years for settlers to travel that far. Ironically, on the day the panel made their announcement about Monte Verde, an even deeper layer of artefacts was uncovered there, dated to 31,000 BP – but this evidence has not yet been generally accepted. So while the demolition of the Clovis-first barrier encouraged many archaeologists to return to previously explored sites and dig deeper than the Clovis artefacts, often resulting in the discovery of evidence of earlier human occupation, orthodox archaeologists are still using their ideological preconceptions to determine which dates are ‘acceptable’.
Many researchers doubt that Native Americans had a single cultural origin, as they spoke an incredible variety of languages, held a multitude of religious beliefs and customs, and practised a host of different and often contrasting lifestyles. It has been estimated that it would take at least 20,000 to 30,000 years to develop the more than 140 languages spoken by the native peoples of the Americas.
The resemblance of some modern Native Americans to the Mongoloid peoples of Asia was recognized long ago, and migrations from that region have certainly taken place. However, only at specific times did Beringia form an ice-free land bridge and was there an ice-free corridor into the heart of North America; this is one of the reasons why the possibility of coastal/maritime migration is also widely recognized. But the fixation on migrations via the Bering Strait is unjustified. The earliest archaeological sites are not found in eastern Beringia, nor do sites get progressively younger as one travels south through the Americas. Moreover, only a small percentage of all Indians of North, Central and South America posses Mongoloid features. H.P. Blavatsky quoted a scientist who wrote back in 1878: ‘Must we fall in the old rut and suppose no other means of populating the Western Hemisphere except “by way of Behring’s Strait”?’1 G. de Purucker held that there had been a certain trickling of migrants back and forth across the Bering Strait for many ages, but that other settlers had arrived from many other parts of the world, across both the Atlantic and the Pacific.2
Fig. 6.2 Some North and South American archaeological sites and possible migration routes.3
It is by no means certain that Asian migrants were responsible for the Clovis culture. The Clovis people hunted large game and left behind distinct spearpoints that were found over much of North and Central America in the early 20th century, mainly in the southwestern USA. Nothing similar has been found in Eastern Asia, Siberia, or Beringia. But Clovis points do resemble spearpoints of the Cro-Magnon Solutrean culture, which was dominant in present-day France and Spain from about 21,000 to 17,000 years ago. It is significant that the oldest Clovis tools are being found in the eastern and southeastern regions of North America, rather than in the northwest, where one would expect them if the Clovis people came from Siberia and Alaska.
Some archaeologists have proposed that people associated with the Solutrean culture migrated from Europe to North America around 20,000 to 15,000 BP, possibly along the edge of the pack ice that extended from the Atlantic coast of France to North America. Their stone-tool technology later influenced the development of the Clovis toolmaking culture in the Americas. Stone tools found at Cactus Hill in Virginia – dated to 17,000-15,000 BP – seem to represent a transitional style between the Solutrean and Clovis cultures. Similar sites include Page-Ladson in Florida, with animal bones and human artefacts reaching back to about 14,500-12,500 BP, and the Meadowcroft rockshelter in southwestern Pennsylvania, with evidence of occupancy dating to 19,000-16,000 BP.1
Fig. 6.3 Clovis points (left) and Solutrean points (right), often made of flint, share certain characteristics: they are thin, fluted and bifacial, and their wide, flat blades were produced by the ‘overshot’ (outre passé) flaking technique – a complicated procedure that removes a flake across the entire face of the tool.2
Several skeletons dating to around 9000 BP or earlier show traits that set them apart from the Mongoloids who migrated from Asia. For instance, the skull of Kennewick Man, dated to about 9300 BP, which was found near the Columbia River in Washington state in 1996, has characteristics similar to those of Cro-Magnon Europeans.1 Other researchers say that skull measurements suggest a Polynesian (64%) or Ainu (24%) ancestry.2 The Ainu are the indigenous people of northern Japan and Sakhalin Island; they are much taller than most Japanese, with Caucasoid facial features and beard growth in the males. The Polynesians, too, are Caucasian. Bones recovered at the Kennewick site formed a skeleton much taller and thinner than ancient Indians; his chest had been crushed and a projectile point was embedded in his hip. The Menomonee Indians of Wisconsin have traditions of a fierce tribe that in the distant past hunted down and killed off a fair-skinned people.3
Fig. 6.4 Kennewick Man’s skull and a reconstruction of his face.
Penyon Woman III is the skull of a female Caucasian who died in Mexico between 12,700 and 13,000 BP. Browns Valley Man, several thousand years younger than the Mexican find, is the oldest Caucasian so far recovered in the US.4 The oldest known mummy in North America is the Spirit Cave mummy found in Nevada and dated to 9400 BP. It exhibits Caucasoid characteristics that set it apart from any existing American tribe, and is most similar to the Norse or perhaps the Ainu of Japan. The mummy was dressed in a skin robe and moccasins, and lying on a fur blanket with twined mats sewn around the head and feet of the body – the mats were remarkable for their highly sophisticated diamond-plait weaving.5 The Paiute Indians have taken legal action to try to prevent any DNA tests on the remains. Interestingly, the Paiutes have a legend about the ‘Si-Te-Cah’, a race of giants with red and golden hair and beards who were eventually wiped out after their own ancestors arrived in the area.
Fig. 6.5 The skull of Spirit Cave Man and a reconstruction (the actual colour of his eyes is unknown).6
Gordon Creek Woman was a female Caucasian whose 9700-year-old remains were excavated from a waterway in Colorado in 1965; she had a smaller, narrower face than the indigenous people. Her bones and nearby tools had been sprinkled with haematite at the time of burial. Blood-red pigment (red ochre) was also used for funerary purposes by the Maritime Archaic culture (also known as the Red Paint People), who were travelling up and down the eastern seaboard of North America (Northern New England, Nova Scotia and Labrador) perhaps as early as 9000 years ago.7 Traces of this culture are also found in western Scandinavia and northwest Europe. On both sides of the North Atlantic these peoples operated seagoing wooden vessels and used similar fishing devices for hunting swordfish and marine mammals. They made intricately crafted bifacial tools that may represent a natural progression between the Solutrean and Clovis technology of North America. Many European Solutrean sites are also related to red ochre grave caches, largely indistinguishable from those of the Maritime Archaic people. It is impossible to say for certain whether or not these maritime people were Caucasoid, but some evidence points in that direction. This culture experienced a period of florescence about 4000 years ago, when a major advance in tool technology occurred nearly simultaneously in Scandinavia and the American Northeast.8
Lucia is the name given to the skull of a 20-year-old, 1.5-m-tall woman found in the 1970s in a cave in the Lagoa Santa region of eastern Brazil. It has been dated to between 10,500 and 9500 BC. Its measurements are very different to those of the later peoples descended from Siberian migrants and more similar to those of Australian Aborigines, Melanesians, and Negritos. This finding has been confirmed by the remains of over 70 individuals with similar characteristics discovered in the same region. One anthropologist has proposed that these long-faced people may have been the first Americans, who travelled from Australia or Southeast Asia via Japan and then by boat to the US Pacific coastline, perhaps more than 20,000 years ago.9
While many archaeologists still oppose any dates older than about 15,000 BP for archaeological sites in the Americas, a growing number (especially in South America) are prepared to accept evidence pointing to migrations as early as 20,000 to 30,000 BP or even earlier. Examples of very old South American sites include the following:
- Pendejo Cave, just south of Orogrande, New Mexico: it has more than 10 stratified zones below the level where Clovis artefacts were found. The oldest stone tools are thought to be at least 40,000 years old.1
- Toca do Boqueirão da Pedra Furada in northeastern Brazil: rock paintings and stone tools have been found, and carbon-dating and stratigraphic dating indicate that the site was occupied from 5000 to 50,000 BP.2
Sites yielding far older dates than these have also been found. But archaeologists who argue for their authenticity risk seriously damaging their professional careers and losing access to sources of funding. Any finds of crude stone tools are usually dismissed as geofacts, i.e. products of nature, if their ages are ‘unacceptably’ old.
- At Hueyatlaco near Valsequillo, Mexico, the layer containing sophisticated stone tools – including well-crafted projectile points, hide-scrapers, and leather-making tools – was dated to 250,000 BC using four different methods. The date was rejected because humans capable of making such tools supposedly did not evolve until about 100,000 years ago in Africa. Geologist Virginia Steen-McIntyre suffered personal abuse and loss of funds, job, and reputation as a result of her work at Hueyatlaco.3
Fig. 6.6 Stone tools found at Hueyatlaco.
- At Sandia Cave, New Mexico, USA, stone tools were found beneath a layer of stalagmite considered to be 250,000 years old. Archaeologists blamed the presence of tools in that layer on rodent activity.4
- At Toca da Esperança (Cave of Hope) in central Brazil crude stone tools were found in association with Pleistocene mammals. The bones gave uranium-thorium dates ranging from 204,000 to 295,000 BP.5
- At the Calico Hills site in the Mojave Desert of California, primitive artefacts yielded an age of 135,000 BP by sediment thermoluminescence and 200,000 BP by the uranium-thorium method. Archaeologists dismiss them as products of nature, whereas similar artefacts found at Olduvai Gorge in Africa are accepted.6
- At a site near Frederick in southwestern Oklahoma well-made, modern-looking stone tools were extracted from a depth of 10-25 feet in Pleistocene gravels, where the bones of extinct animals 750,000 years old are also found.7
In 1870 a copper, coin-like object was recovered from a well boring near Lawn Ridge, Illinois, at a depth of about 35 metres, in Pleistocene strata 200,000 to 400,000 years old. It had crudely portrayed figures and inscriptions (in an unknown language) on both sides. Researchers concluded that the coin, given its uniform thickness, must have passed through a rolling mill, and that it must have been cut with shears or a chisel and the sharp edges filed down. Humans capable of making and using coins are generally not thought to have lived much earlier than 100,000 years ago, and metal coins were allegedly first used in Asia Minor in the 8th century BC.8
Fig. 6.7 Coin found near Lawn Ridge, Illinois.
H.P. Blavatsky mentions the discovery of stone idols, water pots, and golden vases beneath up to 62 feet of guano (bird manure) on the Chincha, Guanape, and Macabi islands off Peru. Depending on the assumed rate of guano deposition, the oldest of these artefacts could be anything from 864,000 years old to a very conservative 72,000 years old.9
Artefacts dated to between 200,000 and 300,000 BP have been found at sites on the Lena and Yenisei rivers in Siberia. One Siberian site may even be 3 million years old – a time when even primitive, tool-making hominids were not supposed to have existed.10 Evidence that humans were also present in the Americas millions of years ago is presented in section 9.
1. H.P. Blavatsky Collected Writings, Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1950-91, 2:313.
2. G. de Purucker, Studies in Occult Philosophy, Pasadena, CA: Theosophical University Press (TUP), 1973, pp. 443-4.
Solutreans1. George Weber, Clovis people (New Mexico, USA) and Minnesota Woman (Minnesota, USA), 2008, www.andaman.org; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solutrean_hypothesis; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clovis_culture.
1. R. Cedric Leonard, Atlanteans in America: Paleolithic Cro-Magnons in America, 2008, www.atlantisquest.com.
2. George Weber, Kennewick Man (Washington State, USA), 2006, www.andaman.org.
3. Frank Joseph, ‘Who were the first Americans?’, in Frank Joseph (ed.), Unearthing Ancient America: The lost sagas of conquerors, castaways, and scoundrels, Franklin Lakes, NJ: New Page Books, 2008, pp. 265-70.
4. ‘Who were the first Americans?’, pp. 265-6.
5. P. Barker et al., Determination of cultural affiliation of ancient human remains from Spirit Cave, Nevada, 2000, www.nv.blm.gov.
7. ‘Who were the first Americans?’, p. 266; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maritime_Archaic.
8. Patrick Huyghe, Columbus Was Last: From 200,000 B.C. to 1492; a heretical history of who was first, San Antonio, TX: Anomalist Books, 1992, pp. 46-56.
9. Deborah Smith, Wandering the world, 2004, www.smh.com.au; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pre-Siberian_American_Aborigines.
1. Columbus Was Last, pp. 20-1.
2. W.R. Corliss (comp.), Archeological Anomalies: Small artifacts, Glen Arm, MD: Sourcebook Project, 2003, pp. 170-4.
3. Michael A. Cremo & Richard L. Thompson, Forbidden Archeology, San Diego: CA: Bhaktivedanta Institute, 1993, pp. 354-66; Michael A. Cremo and Richard L. Thompson, The Hidden History of the Human Race, Badger, CA: Govardhan Hill Publishing, 1994, pp. 91-3; Archeological Anomalies: Small artifacts, pp. 163-7.
4. Forbidden Archeology, pp. 366-7; The Hidden History of the Human Race, pp. 93-4.
5. Forbidden Archeology, pp. 206-7; The Hidden History of the Human Race, pp. 47-8; Archeological Anomalies: Small artifacts, p. 174.
6. Forbidden Archeology, pp. 203-6; The Hidden History of the Human Race, pp. 46-7; Archeological Anomalies: Small artifacts, pp. 144-7.
7. Archeological Anomalies: Small artifacts, pp. 158-9.
8. Forbidden Archeology, pp. 801-2; The Hidden History of the Human Race, pp. 109-10.
9. Blavatsky Collected Writings, 2:310.
10. Columbus Was Last, pp. 25-6.
7. Genetic trails
Studies of DNA are now widely used to shed light on ancestry and migration patterns. However, the conclusions drawn from such studies are often inconsistent and contradictory. One reason is that studies frequently focus on just a few genetic markers – from mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), Y-chromosomes (Y-DNA), or autosomal (nonsex) chromosomes – that may not be representative of the genome as a whole. Other problems complicating the interpretation of DNA data are:
- Genetic mutations do not take place at a fixed rate; this means that the ‘molecular clock’ does not run at a constant rate.
- Natural selection and genetic drift can eliminate mutations.
- It is generally assumed that the greater the genetic diversity in a population group, the older it must be. But diversity is affected by many other factors, including increases or decreases in population, the development of particularly favourable genes, and gene flow with other populations.1
Genetic evidence is cited in support of the reigning theory that modern humans (Homo sapiens) evolved in Africa some 200,000 years ago. However, different studies have come up with dates ranging from about 33,000 to 1.9 million years ago, and some mtDNA studies suggest that modern humans have Asian or African-Asian roots rather than purely African roots. The conventional view is that humans left Africa by about 70,000 years ago, and had spread across Europe, Asia, and Australia by 40,000 years ago. Migration to the Americas took place about 30,000 to 14,000 years ago, and most of the Pacific islands were colonized by 2000 years ago. This ridiculously compressed version of human history is contradicted by abundant archaeological evidence.
Genetic studies have given rise to widely conflicting scenarios for the peopling of the Americas. Some favour one wave of migration, some two, and some three or more. And the date for the earliest migration ranges from 14,000 to well over 30,000 years BP.2 The evidence presented in the previous section shows that however many migratory waves there may have been in the past 30,000 years, and whatever their timing, far earlier migrations must also have taken place.
MtDNA – which we are said to inherit solely from our mothers (though this is disputed) – is divided into different haplogroups, which are used to trace the ancestral origins of present populations. The main haplogroups in the Americas are labelled A, B, C, D, and X. Haplogroups A to D are frequent in Asia, which is cited in support of a Northeast Asian origin of these lineages. Some researchers believe haplogroup B came later than A, C, and D, and possibly via a Pacific route. Haplogroup X, too, is sometimes said to represent a separate migration, possibly from Europe, as it is virtually absent in Siberia.
Based on a study of two rare mtDNA haplogroups (D4h3 and X2a), A. Torroni et al. (2009) concluded that two groups had trekked from northeast Siberia across Beringia into North America some 15,000 to 17,000 years ago; one of them then followed the ice-free Pacific coastline, while another traversed an open land corridor between two ice sheets to arrive directly into the region east of the Rocky Mountains.3 The Na-Dene and Eskimos-Aleuts are generally believed to represent a later migration into northern North America.
Figures 7.1 and 7.2 show two more mtDNA-based scenarios for the peopling of the Americas. The first shows three different migrations, while the second shows four main migrations.
Fig. 7.1 Map of human migrations based on mtDNA. Three migrations into North America are recognized: a migration 34-26,000 years ago that brought haplogroups A, C, and D; a migration 15-12,000 years ago that brought haplogroup B; and another migration 15,000 years ago bringing haplogroup X.4
Fig 7.2 Another mtDNA-based reconstruction of migration patterns. Dates are in thousands of years BP.5
Haplogroups A, B, C, and D are found in ancient human remains tested throughout South America, which is interpreted to mean that the inhabitants of North and South America were related. But studies have also found evidence of rare mtDNA haplogroups in certain areas. For example, the Yanomami tribe of the Brazilian Amazon is characterized primarily by haplogroups A, B, C, and D, but three as yet unidentified haplogroups were also found.6
Some researchers have reported genetic evidence for pre-Columbian transoceanic contacts over the past few thousand years. James Guthrie writes:
Studies have shown that the number of human lymphocyte antigen (HLA) alleles* characteristic of indigenous American populations is relatively small, and that some isolated South American tribes possess only a few types that are common throughout the Americas. But other groups, especially those near sites of former Mesoamerican and Andean urban societies, exhibit HLA alleles that are rare in America but common in certain Afro-Asiatic, South Asian, and European populations. These unexpected genes account, on the average, for 6-7% of the American HLA total, but range as high as 24%. The atypical genes are postulated to have been acquired by assimilation of foreign populations at various times after initial colonization of the hemisphere but prior to the sixteenth-century influx of Europeans and Africans, because they suggest gene-flow from places some scholars claim to have been in ancient contact with the Americas, such as North Africa and Southeast Asia. ...
Southern Asian HLAs seem to have come in several episodes: B*22 to western Eskimos and the other four (A*10, A*11, A*33, B*13) to the west coasts of Mexico and South America at various times, supporting claims of early Oceanic or Indonesian inputs to Ecuador and Peru, and later Oceanic, Indian, and Chinese influences on Nahua, Mayan, and Araucanian societies. Genes from systems other than HLA also indicate influence from India, Indonesia, or Arabia on the Aymaran, Quechuan, and Mayan populations as well as on various Mexican and South Andean groups for which we lack HLA data.1
*HLAs are proteins found on the surface of white blood cells and other cells that play an important part in the body’s immune response to foreign substances; they vary from person to person. Alleles are different forms of a gene.
A puzzle for those who believe that all Native Americans descended from northeastern Asians is the presence in a small percentage of Native Americans of mtDNA haplogroup X, as it is virtually nonexistent in Northeast Asia. It is far more prevalent in Europe and the Near East, where some believe it originated.1 It is thought to have entered the Americas between about 36,000 and 12,000 years ago.2
Haplogroup X is primarily composed of two distinct subgroups, X1 and X2. X1 is largely restricted to North and East Africa, while X2 is widespread in western Eurasia. X2 makes up around 2% of the European mtDNA lineages and is more strongly present in the Near East, the Caucasus, and Mediterranean Europe. Particular concentrations occur in Georgia (8%), the Scottish Orkney Islands (7%), and among the Israeli Druze community (26%). This is attributed to a ‘founder effect’, i.e. the establishment of a new population by a few original founders who carry only a small fraction of the total genetic variation of the parent population.
Haplogroup X occurs at an overall frequency of about 3% among the current indigenous population of the Americas. However, in the Algonquian Indians the frequency is around 25%, in the Sioux 15%, in the Nuu-chah-nulth 11-13%, in the Navajo 7%, and among the Yanomami people of Brazil 12%. The branch of haplogroup X found in these Native American groups is X2, which is almost entirely absent in East Asia. X2 has only been identified in the Altai Republic but is thought to have originated there less than 7000 years ago, whereas in the New World it is of far more ancient origin. However, this has not stopped many researchers from theorizing that it was brought to the Americas by migrants from Siberia.3 Some argue that people with haplogroup X migrated eastward from Europe to Asia and then across the Beringia land bridge, and that their descendants in Asia subsequently died out – anything seems to be preferable to a migration across the Atlantic!
According to the ‘Solutrean hypothesis’, haplogroup X reached North America with a wave of European migration about 20,000 BP by the Solutreans. Some writers suggest haplogroup X may have originated in Poseidonis (Plato’s Atlantis), which is said to have sunk in a great cataclysm about 9600 years ago.4
1. See Human origins: the ape-ancestry myth, section 2, http://davidpratt.info.
2. B. Bower, ‘Migrants settled New World in tandem’, Science News, 31 Jan 2009, www.sciencenews.org; N.J. Fagundes et al., ‘Mitochondrial population genomics supports a single pre-Clovis origin with a coastal route for the peopling of the Americas’, American Journal of Human Genetics, v. 82, 2008, pp. 583-92; M.C. Bortolini et al., ‘Y-chromosome evidence for differing ancient demographic histories in the Americas’, American Journal of Human Genetics, v. 73, 2003, pp. 524-39.
3. A. Torroni et al., ‘Distinctive Paleo-Indian migration routes from Beringia marked by two rare mtDNA haplogroups’, Current Biology, v. 19, 2009, pp. 1-8, www.cell.com.
6. Gregory L. Little, John Van Auken & Lora Little, Ancient South America: Recent evidence supporting Edgar Cayce’s story of Atlantis and Mu, Memphis, TN: Eagle Wing Books, 2002, p. 54.
1. James L. Guthrie, ‘Human lymphocyte antigens: apparent Afro-Asiatic, Southern Asian, & European HLAs in indigenous American populations’, Pre-Columbiana, v. 2, Dec 2000 & Jun 2001, www.neara.org.
1. https://genographic.nationalgeographic.com/genographic/atlas.html; http://genealogy.wikia.com/wiki/Haplogroup_X_(mtDNA).
2. M.D. Brown et al., ‘mtDNA haplogroup X: an ancient link between Europe/Western Asia and North America?’, American Journal of Human Genetics, v. 63, 1998, pp. 1852-61, www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov.
3. E.g. Fagundes et al., ibid.; www.explore-qatar.com/imglib/spencer_4.jpg; www.cambridgedna.com/genealogy-dna-ancient-migrations-slideshow.php.
4. Leonard, Atlanteans in America: Paleolithic Cro-Magnons in America; Gregory L. Little, John Van Auken & Lora Little, Mound Builders: Edgar Cayce’s forgotten record of ancient America, Memphis, TN: Eagle Wing Books, 2001, pp. 60-8, 148-9.
8. Poseidonis and Cro-Magnon
According to Plato, the information he provided about Atlantis in the Timaeus and Critias (written around 360 BC) was originally given by Egyptian priests in Sais to the Athenean statesman Solon in the 6th century BC, who then passed it on to Plato’s grandfather, Critias. The island lay ‘beyond the Pillars of Hercules’ (the Straits of Gibraltar), had a high culture, and conquered many parts of Western Europe and Africa. After a period of great earthquakes and floods, it was swallowed up by the sea in ‘a single day and night of misfortune’, on account of its inhabitants’ growing wickedness. H.P. Blavatsky says that, as an initiate, Plato was unable to divulge all he knew, and had presented a mixture of truth, allegory and myth, in order to keep knowledge of Atlantis alive. For instance, some of what he says refers to the vast ancient continent of Atlantis, while at other times he is referring to its final remnant, the island of Poseidonis, which was about the size of Ireland.1 According to modern theosophy, Poseidonis was destroyed in 9565 BC.2
Although Plato said that the story of Atlantis was ‘strange, yet perfectly true’, mainstream historians dismiss it as fiction. But Atlantis is also referred to, directly or indirectly, by other classical authors. Writing about 450 BC, some 100 years before Plato, Herodotus named what is now called the Atlantic Ocean the ‘Atlantis Sea’, and described a tribe of ‘Atlanteans’ (Atlantes) living near Mt. Atlas in Northwest Africa. Around 100 BC, Aelian reported that, according to inhabitants of the ocean shores, the ancient kings of Atlantis traced their descent back to the god Poseidon, and Marcellus wrote that the Canary Islanders preserved traditions of Atlantis, which had once governed all the islands in the Atlantic. Around 8 BC, Diodorus Siculus spoke of ‘Atlantean’ tribes (Atlantoi) living in North Africa close to the ocean, whose deities originated in the Atlantic. In the mid-5th century AD, Proclus reported that around 300 BC the priests of Sais had shown Crantor, a pupil of Plato, the temple columns on which the tradition of Atlantis was recorded.3
Blavatsky says that the world would know far more about Atlantis if it weren’t for the fact that so many ancient works had been deliberately destroyed; for instance, countless priceless works in the Alexandrian library were destroyed at the hands of the Romans, Christians, and finally Muslims. It is estimated that only 5 to 10% of written works from the pre-Christian Mediterranean civilizations have survived to this day.
Numerous legends referring to Atlantis or other sunken lands are found on both sides of the Atlantic. The Indians of North America have legends about their ancestors coming from a land ‘toward the rising sun’. When America was first discovered some native tribes were found to bear the name of Atlanta.4 According to the Popol Vuh the Quiché Maya were migrants from the east who lived there in darkness, and travelled west in ships in search of the sun. In Britain, Arthurian legend places the Isle of Avalon in the Atlantic, and refers to the sunken land of Lyonesse lying off the Isles of Scilly, southwest of Cornwall. In Ireland there is a legend of Hy-Brasil, a land in the western ocean, and of people with dark magical powers coming out of the sea. The Celts of Brittany have a legend about the sunken Isle of Ys lying off the coast.
Many ancient peoples give remarkably similar names to an island-continent formerly situated in the Atlantic Ocean:5 e.g. the Berber tribes of North Africa call it Attala, the Basques Atlaintika, the Vikings Atli, the Babylonians Arallu, and the Aztecs Aztlán or Tulan. The Hindus referred to Atlantis or different portions of it, in various stages of its evolution, as Atala, Saka-dvipa (early Atlantis), Sveta-dvipa (‘white island’), Ruta and Daitya (large islands remaining after most of Atlantis had sunk), and Sankha- (or Sancha-) dvipa (Poseidonis).6
Fig. 8.1 Mayan relief at Tikal in Guatemala, discovered by Teobert Maler. It was taken to Berlin, but disappeared during the second world war. It may portray the events that caused the Maya’s ancestors to flee their legendary homeland of Aztlán or Tulan (both mean ‘place of reeds’). It shows an erupting volcano sinking into the ocean, a crumbling temple-pyramid, the creation of tidal waves, someone fleeing in a boat, and a person drowning.
The Hindus located Atala in the seventh climate zone, i.e. 24-28°N – the same latitude as the Canary Islands.7 Blavatsky describes the Canary Islands as ‘the remnants of a gigantic but submerged continent which had once united Africa with America’.8 Former exploration geologist Christian O’Brien believes that Poseidonis was located further north, around the Azores on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge.9 By contouring the seabed, he found that the Azores were separated and surrounded by a network of submarine valleys that had all the hallmarks of having once been river valleys on the surface. He concluded that Poseidonis had measured 720 km across from east to west, and 480 km from north to south, with high mountain ranges rising over 3660 metres above sea level. Only its mountain peaks now remain above the waters, forming the nine volcanic islands of the Azores.
Fig. 8.2 Christian O’Brien’s reconstruction of Poseidonis.
There is evidence that several other areas on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge may have sunk within the last 12,000 or so years.10 In addition, during the last ice age many of the present islands in the Atlantic and Caribbean were much larger due to sea levels often being 130 metres lower than today. Large areas of the present continental shelves were also dry land; the eastern coastline of the US, for example, was about 100 miles farther out in the Atlantic Ocean. In the Caribbean, the entire area of the Bahama Banks was above sea level during the last glaciation. Stone structures, often of megalithic proportions, have been discovered off the coast of the US, Mexico, Venezuela, Cuba, the Bahamas, the Azores, the Canary Islands, Spain, Portugal, Morocco, Egypt, and many Mediterranean islands, including Malta, Sardinia, Corsica, Sicily, Crete, and the Balearics.11 Three well-preserved skeletons, dated to over 13,000 BP, have been discovered in underwater caves off the coast of the Yucatán peninsula.12
There are numerous underwater archaeological sites in the Caribbean. For instance, the ‘Bimini road’ is a stone structure with a reverse-J shape, over 400 m long, lying 5 to 7 m beneath the ocean surface off the Bahamian island of Bimini.13 The official view is that it is just a natural arrangement of beach rock, but other researchers report evidence that it might have been a breakwater, similar to several found in the Mediterranean. Several parts of it have two or three courses of stone, and several stones are mortised and tenoned, and show tool marks. In 2001 sonar images revealed what appeared to be a whole complex of pyramidal and other structures in over 700 metres of water off the west coast of Cuba. If this is confirmed, the submergence cannot be due to rising sea levels alone as the sea has never been that low.14
Fig. 8.3 The Bimini breakwater.
Poseidonis is said to have controlled a vast empire that included parts of Europe and North Africa. Blavatsky says that Greece, Crete, Sicily, Sardinia, and many other islands of the Mediterranean were colonies of Atlantis, but Egypt was not.15 The Atlantean empire may well have included the Caribbean and parts of the Americas too.
One of the first known modern forms of our own subspecies (Homo sapiens sapiens) was Cro-Magnon. The Cro-Magnons differed from their modern-day descendants in Europe only in their more robust physiology and slightly larger brain capacity. Cro-Magnons started to arrive in Europe about 40,000 years ago, in the Upper Palaeolithic, at a time when Europe was mainly inhabited by the Neanderthals. The origins of Cro-Magnon have been called ‘a complete mystery’. They represented a high state of civilization, and bore no resemblance to the popular picture of scruffy, shaggy-haired, cave-dwelling savages. They hunted and fished in organized groups, lived in man-made shelters, wore sewn clothes and even jewellery, and buried their dead. There are signs that they practised agriculture as long ago as 16,000 BC, whereas agriculture is usually said to have originated in the Neolithic revolution around 10,000 BC.1
Fig. 8.4 Reconstruction of a male Cro-Magnon.
Fig. 8.5 This cave painting at Minateda, Spain, shows a Cro-Magnon woman wearing a
knee-length dress and holding the hand of a child whose hair is pulled up in a bow.2
Cro-Magnons were responsible for the amazing cave art found in southern Europe; it is so highly sophisticated that the paintings were initially dismissed as ‘forgeries’. (No comparable art has yet been discovered in the Americas.) Occasionally there are depictions of Cro-Magnons themselves – portraying men with cut hair and shaved faces, and playing musical instruments, and women of quite modern appearance. But most of the art is of the animals they hunted, usually depicted very realistically, often making skilful use of cave contours to produce a vivid, three-dimensional effect. The chambers in question tend to be fairly small and difficult to reach, and show no signs of having been used for domestic purposes. Consequently, it is now widely accepted that they were used as sanctuaries for religious and initiatory rites.3 Markings in caves and on bones indicate that Cro-Magnons also made astronomical observations and calendrical computations.4
Fig. 8.6 A dappled, brown horse and a lunar calendar in the Chamber of
the Bulls, Lascaux, France. The dots denote the moon’s 29-day cycle.5
Nowadays, there is a tendency to avoid the term ‘Cro-Magnon’, and to refer to these Upper Palaeolithic people as anatomically modern humans or early modern humans. Whatever we choose to call them, the Cro-Magnons appear to have arrived in four main waves or ‘invasions’. In Europe these are called: Aurignacian (c. 34,000 BP), Solutrean (c. 21,000 BP), Magdalenian (c. 18,000 BP), and Azilian (c. 12,000 BP). These tool industries appeared suddenly, and no formative stages have ever been found. Cro-Magnon settled mainly in the western portions of Europe and North Africa and certain nearby islands. Cro-Magnoid remains have also been found in parts of North and South America.6 The Azilian ‘invasion’ occurred around the time Plato gave for the submergence of Poseidonis. The Azilian culture was inferior to the Aurignacian in various ways.
Some researchers have proposed that Cro-Magnon originated on Poseidonis and perhaps other islands in the Atlantic, and migrated to Europe and the Americas in several waves as the islands showed increasingly signs of geological instability, culminating in the submergence of Poseidonis.7 Blavatsky says that earthquake activity led to a number of small islands scattered around Poseidonis being vacated long before the final catastrophe.8 The mainstream view, based on the dating of Cro-Magnon sites, is that these migrants entered Europe from the east.
Fig. 8.7 Magdalenian cave art, Lascaux.9 The Cro-Magnons practised bull-worship and bull-sacrifice. Plato reports that the inhabitants of Poseidonis also had a bull-cult.10
According to Plato, Poseidonis was once a ‘glorious nation’. Blavatsky says that its inhabitants were ‘assuredly no race of Palaeolithic savages’. She points out that, although there was virtually no progress during the late Palaeolithic, the European Cro-Magnons represented a higher cultural state than the later peoples of the Neolithic.11 She describes their artistic skill as ‘a gleam of Atlantean culture atavistically re-appearing’.12
Fig. 8.8 Reindeer engraved on an antler by a Palaeolithic artist. Blavatsky comments: ‘This engraved antler proves as eloquently as any fact can that the evolution of the races has ever proceeded in a series of rises and falls ...’13
As mentioned in section 6, the Solutrean tool industry seems to have been a precursor of the Clovis tool industry, and there may be a link between the Solutreans and the Red Paint People. While Solutreans and perhaps Magdalenians may have sailed directly from Europe to America 18,000-12,000 years ago, they could also have sailed there from Poseidonis using the southern equatorial current and entered the Caribbean area, before dispersing into North and South America. This could explain the archaeological sites that have been discovered in Pennsylvania, Virginia, and South Carolina, dating back 15,000-18,000 years.
Anthropologists agree that Cro-Magnon is represented in modern times by the Berber and Tuareg peoples of North Africa, the recently extinct Guanches of the Canary Isles, the Basques of northern Spain, the Aquitanians living in the Dordogne Valley and Brittany in France and, until lately, those living on the Isle d’Oleron. Cedric Leonard argues that the Iberians, Mauritanians, Lusitanians, and Brittani (ancient Britons) are also descended from ice age refugees from Atlantis. He contends that the various dialects of the original language of the Atlanteans accompanied the Cro-Magnon people as they swept into the western portions of Europe and Africa, and that the remains of this phenomenon exist to this day in what he calls the Berber-Ibero-Basque language complex, which stretched from Morocco into the Iberian peninsula, on up into the Dordogne Valley of France and Brittany, continuing northward to the British Isles.14 Some researchers have pointed to resemblances between the Basque language and aboriginal American languages.15
Blavatsky, too, says that the Cro-Magnons, Guanches, and Basques are descendants of the Atlanteans, and mentions that stones have been found in the Canary Islands bearing sculptured symbols similar to those found on the shore of Lake Superior.16 Many later peoples of Europe are more or less closely related to the Atlanteans, including the Hyperboreans, Cimmerians, Arimaspi, Scythians, and the ancestors of the earliest Greeks and Romans (e.g. Aeolians, Dorians, Ionians), and their predecessors (e.g. Pelasgians, Iapygians, Etruscans), and also the Egyptians, Phoenicians, Carthaginians, and Minoans.17 There was likewise a strong Atlantean influence on the Amerindians of the Americas, and also on the later Maya and Incas.18
The ancient broad-faced, round-headed (brachycephalic) skulls found in the Americas may well be the remains of Mongoloids who entered the Americas from Asia via the Bering land bridge. But as mentioned in section 6, several very ancient skulls found in the Americas are long-headed (dolichocephalic) and short-faced, and show Caucasoid, Cro-Magnoid traits.
MtDNA retrieved from two Cro-Magnon specimens was identified as haplogroup N, which is believed to have originated 65,000 years ago and to be ancestral to almost all European and Oceanian haplogroups in addition to many Asian and Amerindian ones. Its average frequency among Amerindians is 3.2%. Its suspected descendant haplogroups include haplogroups A and X.19 As already noted, X is present in Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, and the Americas, but is almost nonexistent in East Asia. The Araucanians of Chile, who commonly have curly reddish brown hair and green eyes, have significant Paleolithic Caucasian genes in them, and might have arrived from Spain 18,000-12,000 years ago. They may be of Cro-Magnon descent, since several Cro-Magnoid skulls have been found in that area. The Maya, Incas, and Araucanians are all virtually 100% blood group O, with 5-20% of the population being rhesus negative. Leonard writes: ‘This was the blood of the original Europeans and stems from Cro-Magnon man. The races that possess this blood are races of the Americas, the Canary Islands, the Berbers, the Basques, and Gaelic Kelts.’20
1. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine, 2:211, 266, 394-5, 743fn, 760-8.
2. A.T. Barker (comp.), The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett, TUP, 2nd ed., 1975, pp. 151, 155 / Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, chron. ed., 1993, pp. 309, 313.
3. R. Cedric Leonard, Echoes of Atlantis: Myths and traditions of ancient lands, 2005, www.atlantisquest.com; R. Cedric Leonard, Ancient writings: Pre-Platonic writings pertinent to Atlantis, 2009, www.atlantisquest.com; R. Cedric Leonard, Timeline of ancient sources, 2007, www.atlantisquest.com; The Secret Doctrine, 2:408-9, 760-8.
4. H.P. Blavatsky Collected Writings, 2:313fn.
5. Charles Berlitz, Atlantis: The lost continent revealed, London: Fontana/Collins, 1985, pp. 19-20.
6. The Secret Doctrine, 1:650-1, 2:141, 147, 322-3, 402-8, 433, 436, 740; H.P. Blavatsky Collected Writings, 8:80; De Purucker, Studies in Occult Philosophy, p. 24.
7. The Secret Doctrine, 2:402-3, 407.
8. Ibid., 2:791.
9. Christian & Barbara Joy O’Brien, The Shining Ones, Kemble, Cirencester: Dianthus Publishing, 2001, pp. 435-42; Survey of Atlantis, www.goldenageproject.org.uk.
10. Sunken continents versus continental drift, http://davidpratt.info.
11. David Hatcher Childress, Lost Cities of Atlantis, Ancient Europe & the Mediterranean, Stelle, IL: Adventures Unlimited Press, 1996, pp. 30, 36; Berlitz, Atlantis, pp. 16, 91-2, 162; Graham Hancock, Underworld: The mysterious origins of civilization, New York: Three Rivers Press, 2002, p. 514.
12. Leonard, Atlanteans in America: Paleolithic Cro-Magnons in America.
13. Underworld, pp. 516-27; William Donato, ‘Bimini: the “road” to discovery’, in Joseph, Unearthing Ancient America, pp. 148-57.
14. Underworld, pp. 527-9.
15. H.P. Blavatsky Collected Writings, 4:447, 5:218.
1. R. Cedric Leonard, Anthropological insights: Atlantis and Cro-Magnon Man, 2009, www.atlantisquest.com.
3. E.C. Krupp, Skywatchers, Shamans & Kings: Astronomy and the archaeology of power, New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1997, pp. 116-25.
4. ‘Oldest lunar calendar identified’, 2000, http://news.bbc.co.uk; Astrotheology of the ancients, 2009, http://forum.prisonplanet.com; W.R. Corliss (comp.), Archeological Anomalies: Graphic artifacts I, Glen Arm, MD: Sourcebook Project, 2005, pp. 74-5.
6. Anthropological insights: Atlantis and Cro-Magnon Man; Lewis Spence, The History of Atlantis, New York: Gramercy Books, 1996 (1926), p. 84.
7. Anthropological insights: Atlantis and Cro-Magnon Man; Atlanteans in America: Paleolithic Cro-Magnons in America; Peter Lemesurier, The Great Pyramid Decoded, Shaftesbury, Dorset: Element Books, 1990, pp. 277-80; Blair A. Moffett, ‘A world had passed’, parts 1 and 2, Sunrise, April 1980, pp. 230-7, and May 1980, pp. 277-84; Spence, The History of Atlantis, pp. 75-100.
8. H.P. Blavatsky Collected Writings, 5:216-7.
10. The History of Atlantis, pp. 22-3, 48, 180-5.
11. The Secret Doctrine, 2:740-1, 743, 749.
12. Ibid., 2:741fn.
13. Ibid., 2:720-1.
14. R. Cedric Leonard, Linguistic connections: a Paleolithic language, 2009, www.atlantisquest.com.
15. W.R. Corliss, Science Frontiers, no. 175, 2008, p. 1; The Secret Doctrine, 2:790.
16. The Secret Doctrine, 2:678, 790-1; A.L. Conger (ed.), The Dialogues of G. de Purucker, TUP, 1948, 2:91.
17. The Secret Doctrine, 2:436, 743, 749, 774; H.P. Blavatsky Collected Writings, 5:201, 215-9, 226.
18. The Secret Doctrine, 2:792; The Dialogues of G. de Purucker, 2:90-1; G. de Purucker, Fountain-Source of Occultism, TUP, 1974, p. 546; De Purucker, Studies in Occult Philosophy, pp. 443-4.
19. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haplogroup_N_(mtDNA); C. Lalueza et al., ‘Lack of founding Amerindian mitochondrial DNA lineages in extinct Aborigines from Tierra del Fuego-Patagonia’, Human Molecular Genetics, v. 6, 1996, pp. 41-6, http://hmg.oxfordjournals.org.
20. Linguistic connections.
9. Atlantis and American antiquity
Continental and oceanic crust is constantly rising or falling. Large parts of the present continents have been periodically under water over the course of geologic time; some 90% of all the sedimentary rocks composing them were laid down under the sea. There is also extensive and mounting evidence that large areas of the oceans were dry land at different times in the past. The Pacific Ocean appears to have formed mainly from the late Jurassic to the Miocene, the Atlantic Ocean from the Late Cretaceous to the end of the Eocene, and the Indian Ocean during the Paleocene and Eocene (see Geological timescale for the corresponding ‘scientific’ and theosophical dates). This corresponds closely to the theosophical teachings on the submergence of Lemuria in the Late Mesozoic and early Cenozoic, and the submergence of Atlantis in the first half of the Cenozoic.1
Fig. 9.1 This plate-tectonic map shows how the world supposedly looked in the Late Cretaceous (90 million years ago). It gives a rough indication of the areas of the present continents that were then covered by shallow seas. A fatal flaw is that it shows the Atlantic continents closer together, as it is based on the obsolete notions of moving ‘plates’ and continental drift.2 Click here to see a similar map for 80 million years ago, when even larger areas of the Americas were under water.
In its broadest sense, ‘Atlantis’ refers in theosophy to all the landmasses that existed during the era of the fourth, Atlantean humanity (or root-race) – which was at its height in the early Tertiary. In a narrower sense, ‘Atlantis’ refers to the continental system centred in what is now the Atlantic Ocean during the Atlantean period. Atlantis was already beginning to sink in the early Tertiary, and most of it had sunk by the end of the Miocene.
Origin of the Atlantic
Plate tectonics claims that the Atlantic Ocean formed by the North and South American ‘plates’ rifting apart from the Eurasian and African ‘plates’. The North Atlantic Ocean allegedly started to open in the early Jurassic, but South America didn’t fully separate from Africa until the early Cretaceous, some 50 million years later; since then the once united continents have supposedly moved further and further apart while simultaneously rotating to different extents. As well as being contradicted by a host of geological evidence, this scenario fails to account for the palaeontological evidence: faunal affinities tend to alternately increase and decrease, requiring repeated land connections between Africa and South America and between Europe and North America.
Fig. 9.2 This animation shows the breakup of Pangaea and the opening
of the Atlantic according to plate-tectonic mythology.
There is growing evidence to support the alternative theory that much of the present Atlantic has been land at different times in the past and that the present Atlantic basin (essentially a relatively narrow S-shaped trough) formed by the progressive foundering of former continental areas. The Russian geologist Vladimir Beloussov called this process the basification or oceanization of continental crust.1
Fig. 9.3 Very ancient rocks (i.e. older than the supposed ‘opening’ of the Atlantic) and continental rocks so far discovered in the Atlantic Ocean.2 All these finds are ‘anomalous’ in the context of plate tectonics. In reality, it is not the finds that are anomalous, but the theory of plate tectonics!
Modern data are therefore vindicating the view held by many geologists in the 19th and early 20th centuries. On the basis of data from stratigraphic geology and palaeontology, J.W. Gregory and H. von Ihering, for example, held that the Atlantic Ocean formed by successive subsidences of former landmasses.3 They argued that the main subsidence began in the upper Cretaceous and was completed after the Miocene.
Fig. 9.4 J.W. Gregory’s view of the Atlantic in the early to mid-Tertiary (white = land; hatched = sea). It is likely to be much closer to the truth than the fanciful plate-tectonic picture of a steadily expanding Atlantic devoid of any major landmasses.
Regarding the similarities in structure and earth movements of opposite coasts of the Atlantic, on which continental-drifters from Wegener onwards have placed so much emphasis, Gregory writes:
The resemblances are most conspicuous between Newfoundland and the southern parts of the British Isles, between the chains of the Antilles and of the Mediterranean, and between Southern Africa and the opposite parts of South America. These resemblances are no greater than are to be found along the mountain-chains of Eurasia at similar distances apart. The differences in detail between Newfoundland and Ireland, between South America and South Africa, [and] between Venezuela and the Atlas, are so marked that the countries, although they underwent the same general geographical vicissitudes, must have been far apart. The resemblances are due to the areas having belonged to the same tectonic belt; but the differences are sufficient to show that the areas were situated in distant portions of the belt.4
H.P. Blavatsky likewise says that the similarities in the geological structure, fossils, and marine life of the opposite coasts of the Atlantic in certain periods are due to the fact that ‘there has been, in distant prehistoric ages, a continent which extended from the coast of Venezuela, across the Atlantic Ocean, to the Canarese Islands and North Africa, and from Newfoundland nearly to the coast of France’.5
When the main part of Atlantis began to sink, Atlantean settlers migrated to the new lands which were rising to the east, west, and south. These new lands became the Americas, Africa, parts of Asia, and the present European countries, stretching from the Ural mountains of Russia to the British Isles and even further west in former times.1 Europe is the latest continent to emerge, portions of the two Americas being far older.2 Poseidonis was a remnant of the eastern portion of Atlantis, most of which perished soon after the upheaval of the Americas.3
Millions of years ago, some migrants made their way to Central Asia, which was to become the cradleland of the present (fifth) Indo-European (or Aryan) root-race; a series of migratory waves have radiated out from that region over the past million years.4 The inhabitants of Europe in the later Tertiary and the Quaternary are said to have been offshoots of pure Atlantean and Africo-Atlantean stocks.5 Blavatsky says that the flint implements found in Miocene strata at Thenay, France, and the whale bones bearing cut marks found in Italy, which point to the existence of humans in the Pliocene, are the work of these colonists, who were portions of a once glorious race whose cycle had been running downward since the early Tertiary.6 Official science rejects archaeological finds such as these because tool-making hominids had not evolved by then according to the darwinian theory (see below).
Egypt was settled by Atlantean immigrants for long ages preceding the submergence of Poseidonis. Some Atlanteans travelled to the newly formed lands of Abyssinia (Ethiopia) and lands just to the north. About 400,000 years ago some of these settlers travelled northwards to Egypt. 80,000 to 100,000 years ago there was another migration of Atlanteans (or rather Atlanto-Aryans) from Poseidonis to Egypt, and it was this wave that built the Great Pyramid some 70,000 to 80,000 years ago.7
As for North, Central, and South America, G. de Purucker says that they ‘were populated by different migrations from different parts of Atlantis, both from the Atlantic and the Pacific. The Pacific immigrations into the Americas were perhaps somewhat higher in type.’8 This process continued for millions of years, so it would not be surprising to find ‘impossibly’ ancient human remains in parts of the Americas.
Human skeletons and artefacts
According to the conventional, darwinian theory of human evolution, modern humans evolved from protohuman hominids, who in turn evolved from apelike predecessors in Africa during the Late Pliocene and Early Pleistocene. The evidence presented in support of this theory is actually a carefully edited selection of the total evidence available. For there is abundant evidence – in the form of stone tools, incised bones, and skeletal remains – suggesting that humans of the modern type existed in the Pliocene, the Miocene, and even in early Tertiary times, millions of years before our supposed apelike ancestors are thought to have appeared.1 This evidence is ignored or dismissed by orthodox anthropologists, who require evidence contradicting their pet theories to meet much higher standards of proof than evidence supporting them.
According to theosophy, the first human civilizations were the work of the later Lemurians towards the end of the Mesozoic. And far from being our ancestors, the anthropoid apes are the product of interbreeding between certain Atlantean stocks and simians; the simians, in turn, originated from much earlier interbreeding between Lemurians and an animal stock.2
Some of the evidence supporting an ancient human presence in the Americas is briefly surveyed below. The Smithsonian Institution’s Ales Hrdlicka (who died in 1943) was a key player in efforts to discredit some of these finds, as he was convinced that humans had arrived in the Americas only a few thousand years ago.
In 1896 workers excavating a dry dock in Buenos Aires found a human skull in an Early Pleistocene formation thought to be at least 1.0-1.5 million years old. Since it was similar to modern human skulls, most scientists assumed that it must be of recent date and must have somehow found its way into the formation. A fossil skullcap with very thick walls and exceptionally heavy brow ridges, reminiscent of Homo erectus, was found by an archaeologist in a Brazilian museum in 1970. It came from a cave in the Lagoa Santa region of Brazil. The presence of hominids with Homo erectus features in Brazil at any time in the past is highly anomalous; erectus is supposed to have originated about 2 million years ago and died out about 300,000 years ago or maybe later. The skullcap mysteriously disappeared from the Brazilian museum after it had been examined.3
In 1887 Florentino Ameghino discovered apparently man-made hearths, primitive flint tools, carved bones, and a modern-looking human spinal bone in Pliocene strata 3 to 5 million years old at Monte Hermosa, Argentina. He also made similar finds in Miocene strata in Argentina, 5 to 25 million years old.4
From 1912 to 1914 Carlos Ameghino found a series of stone implements, including bolas (throwing balls), and signs of fireplaces in Late Pliocene strata 2 to 3 million years old at Miramar, on the Argentine coast. He also found a stone arrowhead firmly embedded in the thighbone (femur) of a Pliocene species of Toxodon, an extinct mammal. In 1913 his coworker Lorenzo Parodi found a bola stone in a Pliocene cliff at Miramar. He left it in place and invited several scientists, including ethnographer Eric Boman, an ardent critic of the finds, to witness the implement’s extraction. A second stone ball was then found at the same location, followed by another implement 200 metres away. Confounded, Boman could only hint in his report that Parodi had planted the implements himself! In 1921 Parodi discovered a fully human fossil jaw fragment in the same formation at Miramar.5
Fig. 9.5 A stone arrowhead firmly embedded in the femur of a Pliocene species of Toxodon.
In 1889 a clay female figure, about an inch and a half long, was found in a well boring at the level of a buried land surface, 300 foot deep, at Nampa, Idaho, USA. The parts of the figurine that were finished were skilfully crafted. The layer in which the object was found is of Plio-Pleistocene age, or about 2 million years old. Claims that the find is a hoax and that the object is a toy made by local Indians have never been substantiated.6
Fig. 9.6 Figurine found in at Nampa, Idaho.
During the days of the California Gold Rush, starting in the 1850s, miners discovered many anatomically modern human bones and advanced stone implements in mine shafts sunk deeply into deposits of gold-bearing gravels capped by thick lava flows. The gravels beneath the lava are from 9 to 55 million years old. In 1880 J.D. Whitney, the state geologist of California, published a lengthy review of advanced stone tools found in California gold mines. All the evidence gathered by Whitney indicated that the objects could not have entered from other levels; the implements, including spear points, stone mortars, and pestles, were found deep in mine shafts, beneath thick, undisturbed layers of lava. Whitney concluded that humans like those of the present had existed in very ancient times in North America. W.H. Homes of the Smithsonian Institution reacted as follows: ‘Perhaps if Professor Whitney had fully appreciated the story of human evolution as it is understood today, he would have hesitated to announce the conclusions formulated, notwithstanding the imposing array of testimony with which he was confronted.’ In other words, if the facts do not agree with the favoured theory, then such facts, even an ‘imposing array’ of them, must be thrown out of the window.7
Fig. 9.7 Pestle and mortar found in a mine tunnel penetrating Tertiary deposits (33-55 million years old) under Table Mountain, Tuolumne County, California.
In 1866, in Calaveras County, in the same Sierra Nevada mountains of California, a mine owner found a highly fossilized human skull in a pre-Pliocene layer of gravel 40 m below the surface.8 Opinions on its authenticity varied, but some scientists said that careful examination showed it was incrusted with sand and gravel from the site and its cavities were filled with the same material. As mentioned above, large numbers of stone implements were found in nearby deposits of similar age. And additional human skeletal remains were uncovered in the same region, dating from 9 to 55 million years old. Sir Arthur Keith stated that the Calaveras skull ‘cannot be passed over. It is the “bogey” which haunts the student of early man ... taxing the powers of belief of every expert almost to breaking point.’
Fig. 9.8 The Calaveras skull.
In 2003 tracks of humans, birds and animals were found in the dried-up bed of Lake Valsequillo near Puebla, Mexico. They were originally said to be 41,500 years old, based on the radiocarbon age of pieces of shell from a layer above the footprints. In 2005 the layer of volcanic ash containing the footprints was assigned an age of 1.3 million years based on radiometric (Ar-Ar) and palaeomagnetic dating. This led many scientists to conclude that none of the footprints could possibly belong to modern humans, though some thought they could belong to an ancient apeman, such as Homo erectus.9
Fig. 9.9 Valsequillo footprints, Mexico.
Footprints were recently found in a Miocene formation near Lake Titicaca in Bolivia. One of them is 29.5 cm long and could have belonged to a human 1.7 m tall.10
Mainstream scientists firmly reject the idea that there have ever been races of giants, and insist that our distant ancestors were primitive apelike creatures much smaller than ourselves. Worldwide legends and traditions, on the other hand, assert that there were races of giants in days of old. Theosophy agrees, and says that just as many modern animal and plant species had giant ancestors, so did modern humans. The Atlanteans in their heyday, several million years ago, are said to have been of gigantic stature, up to 27 feet (8.2 m) tall, though it is said that relative ‘giants’ and ‘dwarfs’ probably existed in every age. Since then, humans have gradually declined in height. By about half a million years ago, most humans were no more than 10 to 12 feet tall.1
H.P. Blavatsky says that megalithic ruins all over the world, including Stonehenge in England, Carnac in Brittany, and ruins across the Americas were the work of giants. She mentions a local American tradition that giants had overrun America as soon as it had arisen from the waters. There are also legends about the enormous pyramid of Cholula in Mexico and the earliest structures at Tiwanaku in Bolivia, for instance, being built by a race of giants.2
A surprising number of giant human skeletons have in fact been discovered, some of them reaching heights of 4.6 m (15 ft) or more. In many cases, the present whereabouts of the remains is unknown, and many details about the skeletons and the circumstances of their discovery are lacking, including indications as to their possible age. Several examples of such finds in the Americas are given below.
During the exploration of North American mounds in the 19th and early 20th centuries, hundreds of bones were recovered, including remains of human giants, mostly 2.1 to 2.4 m (7 to 8 ft) tall, but sometimes as tall as 3.1 m (10 ft).3 The official view is that they were just isolated cases of giantism among the Indians, but some of the skeletons seem to have belonged to an extinct, non-Indian race, and many Indian tribes have traditions of giants once occupying the land. In the case of some burials, the skeletal remains appeared to be uncommonly old and crumbled to dust when exposed to the atmosphere. Scientists from the Smithsonian Institution were involved in some of these finds; many of the bones were shipped off to its huge museum and have never been seen again!
A stone mound over 21 m in diameter was excavated near Brewersville, Indiana, in 1879; it contained several skeletons, at least one of which was over 2.9 m (9 ft 8 in) tall.4 In 1925 a group of amateur investigators dug into an Indian mound at Walkerton, Indiana, and unearthed the skeletons of 8 prehistoric humans, ranging from 2.4 to almost 2.7 m tall, all wearing substantial copper armour. Unfortunately the evidence was scattered and lost.5
In 1833 soldiers digging a pit for a powder magazine at Lompock Rancho, California, hacked their way through a layer of cemented gravel and found the skeleton of a man about 3.7 m (12 ft) tall, surrounded by carved shells, huge stone axes, and blocks of porphyry covered with unintelligible symbols. The giant had double rows of upper and lower teeth – a commonly reported feature that is also mentioned in ancient traditions. When local Indians began to attach religious significance to the skeleton and artefacts, the authorities ordered them to be secretly reburied. The remains of a giant man with double rows of teeth were also dug up on Santa Rosa Island, off the California coast.6 A decayed human skeleton, said by eyewitnesses to measure around 3.3 m (10 ft 9 in), was unearthed by labourers while ploughing a vineyard in East Wheeling, West Virginia, in November 1856.7
Giant bones and artefacts have been discovered in the Lovelock-Winnemucca area of Nevada. In February and June 1931, skeletons were found in the Humboldt lake bed near Lovelock Cave. The first was 2.6 m long, wrapped in gum-covered fabric. The second was almost 3.1 m long, according to the Lovelock Review-Miner’s article of 19 June 1931. On 29 September 1939 the Review-Miner reported the discovery of a 2.3 m skeleton on a ranch near the town. The local Paiute Indians speak of a race of red-haired giants who had come to the area by boat, apparently when it was an inland sea.8
According to a 1926 press clipping dated Nayarit, Mexico, Capts. D.W. Page and F.W. Devalda discovered the bones of a race of giants averaging over 3.1 m (10 ft) in height.9 Local legends state that they came from Ecuador. In 1929, Dean Byron Cummings of Arizona University and a Mexican government scientist found 3 giant skeletons of 2 men and a woman at least 2.4 m tall and children 1.8 m tall. Their work was halted by local Yaquis, who battered some of the remains to pieces. Reports from Casas Grandes, Mexico, in 1923, announced the discovery of several skeletons of Indians 4.6 m (15 ft) tall, buried side by side with vases of precious stones. A report in the New York Herald-Tribune of 21 June 1925 stated that a mining party had found skeletons 3.1 to 3.7 m (10 to 12 ft) tall, with feet 46 to 51 cm (18 to 20 in) long, near Sisoguiche, Mexico. A series of very ancient grave mounds were found near Tepic in Mexico in 1938. They contained 7 skeletons of men and women 2.4 to 2.7 m (8 to 9 ft) tall beneath thin stone slabs. The graves contained pottery with a Grecian type of meander pattern, but no metal. Bones of humans over 2.4 m tall were found in a cave at Manta in Ecuador in 1928. Immense stalagmites testified to the remote age of the bones. Further remains of giant men and women at least 2.4 m tall were found in the same country in 1938.10
Zoologist Ivan T. Sanderson once received a letter from an engineer stationed on the island of Shemya in the isolated Aleutian chain south of the Bering Strait during the second world war. While bulldozing a group of hills for a future airstrip, the workmen unearthed the skeletal remains of what appeared to be extremely large humans. Most of the giant skulls measured about 56 to 61 cm (22 to 24 inches) from base to crown, whereas an adult skull normally measures about 8 inches. The story was later confirmed by another person in the unit. The Smithsonian Institution apparently took possession of the remains, but they were never heard of again. ‘Is it that these people cannot face rewriting all the textbooks?’ Sanderson wondered.11
* * *
With a handful of exceptions,12 possible human artefacts found in Tertiary and older strata have tended to be made of stone. Artefacts providing conclusive evidence of advanced technological civilizations in past geological ages have not as yet been found. Given the destructive power of the elements, and the many severe climatic shifts and cataclysmic events that have taken place, this is not surprising. It is very likely, however, that many more artefacts made by lost civilizations await discovery – hopefully by those able and willing to recognize them for what they are.
The Himalayan Brotherhood of adepts is said to have vast underground libraries and depositories in which they preserve not only historical records and literary works of ancient civilizations, but also examples of their inventions and handiwork, and the skeletons of their inhabitants, including Atlantean giants.13 We are told that these records will be brought forward at the appropriate time – presumably in a more receptive and open-minded age.
1. See Sunken continents versus continental drift and Theosophy and the seven continents, http://davidpratt.info.
Origin of the Atlantic
1. V.V. Beloussov, ‘Endogenic regimes and the evolution of the tectonosphere’, in: S. Chatterjee & N. Hotton III, eds., New Concepts in Global Tectonics, Lubbock, TX: Texas Tech University Press, pp. 411-20; N.I. Pavlenkova, ‘Endogenous regimes and plate tectonics in northern Eurasia’, Physics and Chemistry of the Earth, v. 23, 1998, pp. 799-810.
2. B.I. Vasiliev & T. Yano, ‘Ancient and continental rocks discovered in the ocean floors’, New Concepts in Global Tectonics Newsletter, no. 43, 2007, pp. 3-17.
3. J.W. Gregory, ‘The geological history of the Atlantic Ocean’, Quarterly Journal of Geological Society, v. 85, 1929, pp. 68-122; Hermann von Ihering, Die Geschichte des Atlantischen Ozeans, Jena: Verlag von Gustav Fischer, 1927.
4. ‘The geological history of the Atlantic Ocean’, p. 116.
5. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine, 2:791.
1. The Dialogues of G. de Purucker, 2:90-1.
2. The Secret Doctrine, 2:606fn.
3. Ibid., 2:406-7.
4. De Purucker, Studies in Occult Philosophy, pp. 16-25.
5. The Secret Doctrine, 2:739-40.
6. Ibid., 2:740fn, 748; Forbidden Archeology, pp. 54-70, 227-42.
7. The Secret Doctrine, 2:746, 750; Studies in Occult Philosophy, pp. 540-1; The Great Pyramid, http://davidpratt.info.
8. Studies in Occult Philosophy, p. 443.
Human skeletons and artefacts
1. Cremo & Thompson, Forbidden Archeology; abridged version: The Hidden History of the Human Race. See also The Secret Doctrine, 2:10, 675, 678, 723, 740fn, 746, 748, 751.
2. See Human origins: the ape-ancestry myth, http://davidpratt.info.
3. Forbidden Archeology, pp. 413-19; The Hidden History of the Human Race, pp. 132-3.
4. Forbidden Archeology, pp. 291-307, 435-8; The Hidden History of the Human Race, pp. 75-6, 141-2.
5. Forbidden Archeology, pp. 313-34, 438-9; The Hidden History of the Human Race, pp. 77-84, 142-3.
6. Forbidden Archeology, pp. 802-5; The Hidden History of the Human Race, pp. 110-13; Michael A. Cremo, The Forbidden Archeologist, Badger, CA: Torchlight Publishing, 2010, pp. 175-9; Robert E. Gentet & Edward C. Lain, The Nampa image – an ancient artifact?, www.creationhistory.com.
7. Forbidden Archeology, pp. 368-93; The Hidden History of the Human Race, pp. 94-101.
8. Forbidden Archeology, pp. 439-52; The Hidden History of the Human Race, pp. 143-9; G. de Purucker, The Esoteric Tradition, TUP, 2nd ed., 1973, p. 398.
9. Rex Dalton, ‘Footprint claims get stamped on’, 30 Nov 2005, nature.com; Austin Whittall, ‘Toluquilla footprint; is it erectus?’, 4 Jan 2011, patagoniamonsters.blogspot.com; The Forbidden Archeologist, pp. 135-9.
10. The Forbidden Archeologist, pp. 225-9.
1. The Secret Doctrine, 2:276-80, 293, 336-40, 753-6; H.P. Blavatsky Collected Writings, 13:111-13; Human origins: the ape-ancestry myth, section 4, and Secret cycles, section 2, http://davidpratt.info.
2. The Secret Doctrine, 2:276fn, 337-8, 341.
3. Ross Hamilton, Holocaust of the giants: the great Smithsonian cover-up, 2001, www.xpeditionsmagazine.com; H.P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled, TUP, 1972 (1877), 1:303-5; The Secret Doctrine, 2:293; William R. Corliss (comp.), Biological Anomalies: Humans III, Glen Arm, MD: Sourcebook Project, 1994, pp. 44-5.
4. Tédd St. Rain, Mystery of Ancient America: Book 1. Enigmatic mysteries and anomalous artifacts of North America: a connection to the ancient past, Long Beach, CA: Lost Arts Media, 2003, p. 10; Ooparts & ancient high technology, www.s8int.com/giants6.html.
5. David Hatcher Childress, Lost Cities & Ancient Mysteries of South America, Stelle, IL: Adventures Unlimited Press, 1986, p. 199.
6. Frank Edwards, Stranger than Science, New York: Lyle Stuart, 1959, pp. 113-14.
7. Historical North American giants, www.bibleufo.com/humanphenom7.htm.
8. David Hatcher Childress, Lost Cities of North & Central America, Stelle, IL: Adventures Unlimited Press, 1992, pp. 496-7; Mystery of Ancient America, pp. 14-15.
9. Giant human remains, www.stangrist.com/giants.htm.
10. Harold T. Wilkins, Secret Cities of Old South America, Kempton, IL: Adventures Unlimited, 1998 (1952), pp. 44-7; Harold T. Wilkins, Mysteries of Ancient South America, Kempton, IL: Adventures Unlimited Press, 2005 (1947), p. 192; ‘The return of the giants’, Theosophy, v. 32, no. 11, Sept 1944, www.wisdomworld.org.
11. Lost Cities of North & Central America, pp. 223-4.
12. Forbidden Archeology, pp. 795-814.
13. G. de Purucker, Esoteric Teachings, San Diego, CA: Point Loma Publications, 1987, 2:113-14; The Secret Doctrine, 1:xxiii, xxxiv, 2:530; The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett, 2nd ed., p. 2 / chron. ed., p. 3. See The mahatmas, http://davidpratt.info.
The Ancient Americas: Contents
Lost civilizations of the Andes
2012 and the Mayan calendar
Sunken continents versus continental drift
Theosophy and the seven continents
The Great Pyramid
Easter Island: land of mystery