Friday, May 20, 2005

Lost Civilizations or a Bunch of Bologna?

The rain has stopped! Cross your fingers, knock on wood, whatever...

I went to the library on Tuesday and had to pay a $14 late fee before they would let me check out any more books. They probably have a poster in back with my face on it! I got two art books; one was cowboy art (go figure!) and the other was Mary Cassat. I also got two Graham Hancock books about lost civilizations.

The last time I read anything by this guy I was in highschool and, apparenlty, much more gullible. This time around his arguments seem very convuluted. For example, here is evidence presented on why the Mexican city Teotihuacan could be the result, not of native Mexicans, but a great ancient civilization whose inhabitants were scattered across the globe after a devestating natural disaster more than 10,000 years ago:

"Thus the centres of certain structures are 72 [the number of years in an astrological precession] STU apart, or 36 STU apart (half of 72), or 108 STU (72+36), or 216 STU (108x2), or 54 STU (half of 108), or 540 STU (54x10), etc....Is it a coincidence that the standard unit of measure used in the temples of Angkor in Cambodia yields the same sequence of numbers?"

Um, well, even if it's not a coincidence all it proves is that the Camobodians were also aware of the astronomical phenomenon of precession, which any observant peoples could have been. The fact that many ancient cultures viewed the movement of the stars across the sky as significant is hardly surprising - astronomy, after agriculture and husbandry, is probably one of the earliest acquired enterprises of any civililization.

However, as I mentioned in the sidebar, I'm not a cynic. I will read on, maybe he's got more than the old "how could mexicans, asians and africans been so advanced without help?" argument to go on. We'll see.

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