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Lost Civilisations

Discussion in 'World History' started by Knight-Dragon, Oct 20, 2001.

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Do you think Atlantis had once really existed as a human civilisation?

  1. Yes.

    25 vote(s)
    41.0%
  2. No.

    23 vote(s)
    37.7%
  3. Unsure.....

    11 vote(s)
    18.0%
  4. What's Atlantis????

    2 vote(s)
    3.3%
  1. Knight-Dragon

    Knight-Dragon Unhidden Dragon Retired Moderator

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    Another weird thought came to me last night. Let's have a thread on lost civilisations! But no "aliens from other space helping a human tribe grew and were worshipped as gods" stuff pls. Only serious discussion on lost human civilisations.

    Over the last century, a lot of lost civilisations had been discovered and became a part and parcel of our history books. Civilisations like the Maya and the Sumerians were virtually unknown till their discovery by archaeologists and explorers. Also lately Russian scientists had found remains of an early unknown civilisation in Central Asia, purportedly with its own system of writing even!

    Of course, then there's the greatest lost civilisation mystery of all times, Atlantis. It was supposedly the primal civilisation of mankind and was destroyed around 9600 BC due to "human wickedness". I think it was more like a natural disaster. There had been many books written on it and it had been located in virtually every corner of the world (usually dependant upon the nationality of the writer). :)

    My personal favorite was pre-Ice Age Antartica. Charles Hapgood in his book "The Maps of the Ancient Sea-kings" makes a compelling case based on an scientific analysis of all the incredibly detailed and accurate portolan (?) maps in the past few centuries and used by navigators of the Age of Exploration. E.g. the Piris Reis map of the 16th century even showed the shoreline of Antartica reasonably accurately (incl rivers and lakes) centuries before those locales could be verified by sonar sounding of the Antartic ice-shell.

    What do you think? Any further inputs/opinions, not just on Atlantis but also incl other lost civilisations?
     
  2. joespaniel

    joespaniel Unescorted Settler

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    I've seen several shows about this on Discovery, TLC etc.

    One theory was that it was the Aztecs. Another guy found a dig in Central America that he thinks was Atlantis.

    Ask Huitz if he can translate Atlantis in Aztec. It actualy can mean something, I forgot what it was though.
     
  3. Knight-Dragon

    Knight-Dragon Unhidden Dragon Retired Moderator

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    The Aztec believed they came from the "White Continent" which they called Aztlan or something. Sounds a lot like Atlantis. But they actually came fr northern Mexico and I think, they took over that belief from locals e.g. Toltecs who had a more advanced civilisation.
    I think that that White Continent could actually be the Antartican ice-shelf. After the Ice Age began and ice began to bury the Atlantean homeland (over a few decades), the people began fleeing to the nearest landmass i.e. South America. They were already advanced navigators. So they settled there all the way to the Mexico valley and became ancestors of some of the present day Indians in that region.
    Also explained why Mayas had some astounding scientific, mathematically and astronomical knowledge considering they were in the middle of a tropical jungle.
     
  4. Magnus

    Magnus Diplocat

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    I did a thesis on this very subject - my research placed 'Atlantis' as the ancient Minoan civilization on Crete, and the volcano on the Island of Thera. I do believe that Plato's story was meant to be allegorical anyway, but if he truly did have a historical reference, I think it was Crete.
     
  5. Graeme the mad

    Graeme the mad Certified Maniac

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    I believe Atlantis was crete hjowever the Peris Rese maps, the similarities between all languages (not just in structure but in phonetics) and the Common occurence of a fllod myth which is practiacally the same in every culture in the world are things which we need answers to
     
  6. Magnus

    Magnus Diplocat

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    I recently watched a documentary that the 'great flood' could have been the flooding of the Black Sea with sea water around 5,000 BC or so. Apparently, what we now know as the Black Sea was like the Caspian, but fresh water, and only like half the size it is now, neolithic people had settled along its fertile shores, then the land that contained the sea at the Bosporus, broke, and a huge tidal wave of salt water rushed in and filled the area to the dimensions it is now. Oral tradition carried the story of the flood to Sumer as part of the tale of Gilgamesh, and then became Noah's story when word traveled to Palestine.
     
  7. Sodak

    Sodak Paha Sapa Papa

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    Ahem... the Maya were never a lost civilization. In fact, they are still there today, I bought some mangos from them not too long ago. ;) The Maya resisted the Spanish conquistadors longer than any other amerindian people, even remaining autonomous until 1901 in the Yucatan! Their glory days ended at the hands of the spanish in about 1670. Their mathematical and calendrical accomplishments were truly phenomenal, tho I don't see what living in a tropical forest has to do with it. :confused:

    The Hittites are a good example of a civ lost to the realm of legend. Only a century ago was their existence confirmed. It turns out they were a powerful people that had a huge influence in their world, but that traces of them were just not found.

    I think the idea of advanced peoples originating in Antarctica is a bunch of hooey. Antarctica has been completely inhospitable to humans for almost eternity. Anybody who goes there does so temporarily. The Piris Reis map, considering the date and source, would have been made up. any resemblance to what the coastline was like 15000 years ago is pure coincidence. Many maps of the ancient world filled in the blank parts with imagination, not observation.

    Magnus hits the nail on the head regarding Atlantis. It's the Cretans, particulary the city on Thira that got blown up around 1700bc. The evidence for this is overwhelming - both archaeological and linguistic. Other theories may point to real accomplishments by other peoples, but the Atlantean story is almost surely about the Cretans.

    Regarding the commonality of flood stories: Magnus again hits upon the lead idea behind a historical flood, new as this idea is. Other good ideas have come up, particularly a real flooding of mesopotamia. Parts are so flat that a few feet of rainfall could leave standing water from horizon to horizon - something easily molded into a world cleansing flood in story.

    Aside from the reality of these possibilities is the allegorical flood. Most civilizations of old had/have stories regarding the changes in society. These are depicted as the world ending figuratively, told as a tangible event. For example, most amerindian tribes share a concept of there being 4 or 5 worlds, each overturned cataclysmically to begin the next. One ends in fire, the next in flood. What this means is not that the world actually ended, but it symbolizes a turning point in how society worked. The old ways were 'destroyed', as it were, to make way for the new.
     
  8. Sodak

    Sodak Paha Sapa Papa

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    When dealing with ancient civilizations or even simple tribes, there are a number of things that are almost universal. Everybody everywhere (with few exceptions) had knowledge of astronomy. Calendars require astronomy, and almost everybody had one. Astronomy is how people could keep accurate track of when certain plants produced fruit, when the grasses somewhere were ripe for the grazing, when the deer could be hunted in a certain place, when crops could be planted or harvested, how to navigate, etc. It was a very practical knowledge. What is cool about it all is the similarities make it seem like the first "shared tech" of reality. Did everybody discover it independently, or is it so old that everybody had time to learn it before the historical period?

    There is an almost universal attributing the god of knowledge or intelligence (greek "fire") to the planet saturn. This is because saturn is the base element in the heavens upon which time can be kept for long periods. When people noticed that saturn and jupiter meet in the sky every 20 years, each time a bit farther around the horizon, they discovered the procession of time. After the 41st meeting, they are at the same place in the sky as at the first meeting of the cycle. Obviously this was first discovered by people observing, recording, and passing on the knowledge of how the heavens change as the year goes by, generation after generation. Upon this base, other cyclical patterns are built, which leads to the identification of constellations, planets, dark clouds, etc. These were universally given identities in the realm of the gods - either as gods or other characters or the backdrops against which the gods performed their deeds. Myth was used to record major events, using these characters to record the time of whatever occurence the people found important. Instead of going on for another 20 posts, I'll end it here and hope I've conveyed something of interest! :o

    Constellations keep track of where the sun rises and sets at the solstices. Ever heard the term "age of aquarius?" This winter solstice, go look in which constellation the sun rises that morning.

    To make a long story short, common themes to stories - in particular myth - can actually be expected. The flood story does not defy this.
     
  9. Alcibiaties of Athenae

    Alcibiaties of Athenae Imperator

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    This is the correct answer, as far as is known.

    Atlantis is mentioned in Plato's work, and there were several translation errors from the anciet Greek, that get the size wrong and the location wrong, as well as the date of it's demise, which should have been roughly 1200 BC.
    He says they fell 900 years earlier (not the mis-translated 9,000 years), which fits the time frame, and give the size as 800,000 sqaure miles, when it's size should be 80,000 square miles, which fits Thera exactly.
    Solon was mistranslated again (Plato was quoting Solon's work) when he said Atlantis was "greater than" Libya and asia in size, which should read "In between" (in Greek, these are very similar).
    It was also siad Atlantis was beyound the pillars of Hercules (assumed to be straits of Gibralter), but there is also a place on Crete called the "pillars of Hurcules" near Iraklion.
    His (Plato's) discription of Atlantis matches EXACTLY the island of Thera (modern day Santorini, which has extensive ruins burried under vocanic ash) in shape.

    It is postulated that the "sea people" who invaded Eygpt and the levant after the eruption of Thera were the atlantians trying for a new home.

    Since we STILL can't read Linear "A" (there more advanced langauge, found on both Thera and Crete), this is still all theroy.

    It is Geologically impossible for Atlantis to have been a continent in the Atlantic, and nearly impossible to have been beneath the ice of Anartica.

    Of course, none of this can be proven.
     
  10. Cunobelin Of Hippo

    Cunobelin Of Hippo Site Pachyderm

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    My French teacher is completely convinced that Atlantis was located off the coast of Spain and France, because the people there speak a different language then what everyone around them does. :crazyeyes: This was the subject of a 45 minute impromputu history lesson today.

    But she's nuts ;)
     
  11. Huitzilopochtli

    Huitzilopochtli Chieftain

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    There is no known translation for atlantis in nahuatl (the aztec language) yet many thoeries,although unbased theories, point to Aztlan as atlantis this mythical place where the aztecs began thier epic migration towards the signal that their god Huitzilopochtli was to give them to found their city-state namely Tenochtitlan . Aztlan means the "white land" not to be translated as the "white continent" and it's origin is almost certinally mythical.

    I agree that if some regard to atlantis is to be found it probably is the Minoan civilization, there is really no basis to even suspect that Plato had any news of the "new world" or it's inhabitants.
     
  12. joespaniel

    joespaniel Unescorted Settler

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    Thanks for clearing that up, bub.

    From Plato's own description, Atlantis was supposed to lie beyond the Straits of Gibraltar, thus somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean, I presume.

    However, I dont place much faith in any theory, except its interesting to speculate. I dont think it existed at all. It probably is a moral 'tale'.
     
  13. Sodak

    Sodak Paha Sapa Papa

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    As AofA points out, the actual pillars of H are on Crete. Gibraltar got the name only much later. Also, the mistranslations are a key - not to mention the proximity to the historian in question. The archaeological evidence on Thira, Crete, and the turkish coast of the Aegean makes it very clear that these people were very advanced for their time.

    CofH, your french teacher is en peu feu, methinks. She was probably talking about Basque (Euskara). That it is unrelated to anything is fairly clear, altho it has been linked to some Caucasus languages and Chinese by some unique grammatical structures. In other words, it's not related to anything known. However, the real explanation is just that the Basque were there before even the Celtic occupations of europe, and have kept their own language thru an incredible amount of exposure to other, usually more powerful civs. :crazyeyes indeed...

    Huitzilopochtli, I don't know Nahuatl, but am familiar with basic Mayan language. "White" is often a tag attributed to the supernatural or spiritual. If similar, a white land would very likely be the otherworld, the land of the spirits or a real world equivalent. Is this what the Nahuatl implies? Leave it to the europeans to interpret it as skin color or snow.
     
  14. Yoda Power

    Yoda Power ✫✫✫✫✫✫✫

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    I am pretty sure it is Thera, though i sow a program once on discovery with some guy that think it´s one of these pre-incan civs(i dont remmeber the name right now) but i think thats :crazyeye: . To Alcibiaties of Athenae mistranslation is a big problem, just take that with the red sea and moses in the bible.
     
  15. Ribannah

    Ribannah Fighter Druid

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    Unfortunately this beautiful thought has been disproven by drilling results. :mad:
    Which is quite correct since they came from NE Siberia.
    "Aztlan" sounds a lot like "Asia", too.
     
  16. Sultan Bhargash

    Sultan Bhargash Trickster Reincarnated

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    Here is a lost Civilization few people realize: the Sahara desert was a fertile grassland up till about 8000 years ago or so, and people lived there in great concentration. THis is probably the birthplace of Egyptian/Semitic language family as well as of a mythos that became Egyptian gods at one end of the sahara and the proto-Yoruba pantheon that inspired western hemisphere voodoo syncretisms. I also believe this was the actual "Garden Of Eden" which became a desert in legends of "the fall".
     
  17. Knight-Dragon

    Knight-Dragon Unhidden Dragon Retired Moderator

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    IIRC, the name Asia came fr the Romans (or maybe the Greeks) who named Anatolia, Asia Minor. Later the name was applied to the rest of the landmass. Nobody in the eastern 2/3s of Asia refers to themselves as Asians. ;)
     
  18. Richard III

    Richard III Duke of Gloucester

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    Wow! That expands considerably on what we know about Magnus in the present-day world.

    Anyway, until I read this, I was about to say I voted "yes" but that Atlantis wasn't a big deal: that it was something modest in the Aegean or nearby. So, :goodjob: ditto.

    R.III
     
  19. joespaniel

    joespaniel Unescorted Settler

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    Wow, I forgot all about this thread! I'm glad it was dug back up.

    I never read AoA's post the first time. Sounds plausible.

    As for universal great flood lore, could that have come from melting glaciers at the end of the ice age? I would imagine there was far reaching effects.
     
  20. joespaniel

    joespaniel Unescorted Settler

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    What are some other "true" lost civilizations?
     

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