The civilizations we know now have been evolving for thousands of years. Archaeologists believe that civilization began with hunter-gatherers and did not become more advanced until later. Also, they say that humans decided to start farming and growing livestock in 4000 BC. This lifestyle was sophisticated for their time because they did not have the same kind of knowledge and resources that we have today. However, journalist Graham Hancock provides another theory that could prove archaeologists wrong. He proposes that humans have long forgotten about the ancient civilizations that existed before the end of the Ice Age. This is the start of the “Ancient Apocalypse.” In Hancock’s theory, the Ancient Apocalypse is an event that caused an intense drop in temperature, fires and flooding worldwide. He theorizes that these freezing to hot temperatures and floods caused humanity to be almost wiped out.
“Ancient Apocalypse” is a documentary series that revolves around Hancock’s theory that there was a lost civilization from before the Ice Age’s end. However, the world of archaeologists dismisses him and criticizes him for being a pseudo-scientist, despite the fact that he is a journalist and has never claimed to be a scientist. Eight episodes total discuss different parts of the events, myths and historical sites. Hancock shows historical sites that were significant to prehistoric events and could hold past secrets from before the Ice Age’s end. Hancock researches possible prehistoric events by considering what archaeologists have said and found. Why have we not found evidence of humans existing and creating a culture of their own with laws earlier? This question presumes that archaeologists do not want to delve further into the investigations of the sites to prove that there were indeed people that were not hunter-gatherers before and after 9000 BC.
In the first episode, Hancock presents Gunung Padang, an ancient site that archaeologists believe was naturally formed, but Hancock thinks differently. He takes in the landscape and the geologists’ view of how rocks are naturally formed. This landscape has signs that humans once lived there because there is evidence, dismissed by general archaeologists, that lies below the grounds. Hancock meets with an archaeologist, Ali Akbar, who made a shocking discovery that could possibly change human history and the timeline of human evolution. In theory, there could have been a lost civilization with knowledge and technology that then taught humanity after the Ice Age about agriculture, farming and other knowledge.
So what happened to Gunung Padang, and why are they finding evidence of human activity in the area? Hancock theorizes it is because of the apocalypse that occurred at the end of the Ice Age, almost wiping out humankind with a huge flood, raising the sea levels. Myths are told about a man on a boat who rose from the disaster and taught the uncivilized people the ways of laws and agriculture. Hancock believes that the myths are stories of the past and explain what happened to Gunung Padang. This is not the only area that is believed to be from the end of the Ice Age. Another example is the Great Pyramid of Cholula.
The history of the Great Pyramid of Cholula has been rewritten by the people who invaded Cholula in Mexico. The ancient cultures that resided in Cholula could not be erased fully because the pyramid was underground, layered on top with more construction and dirt to hide it. It was hidden away from the world until the archaeologists discovered it and dated it back to after the Ice Age. However, Hancock theorizes that it was built and renovated over time by civilization during the Ice Age. He believes it was hidden away by a building on top of a hill, showing the people who came and conquered the area had won. The civilizations that presided there would never go away as they preserved their pyramid underneath the ground. They had chambers and secrets that have yet to be discovered. Yet, according to Hancock it seems the archaeologists do not want to investigate further and find the definitive date of construction as they have stuck with the idea that civilizations still needed to figure out how to grow crops and raise animals before building such structures.
“Ancient Apocalypse” is an interesting series as it holds many potential secrets and theories about what really could have happened long ago. As for Hancock’s theory about the lost civilization, I was intrigued by his findings and explanation. He does explain that archaeologists and other scientists do not want to admit that this could be the case as in their minds Hancock’s theory does not make sense because of the timeline and the improbability that people were able to build something so large and beyond their time. It also takes many generations to build and overlap buildings on top of the previous constructions. The archaeologists also dismiss Hancock’s theory which I feel is because they are close-minded to the idea that science could be changing and that they could be wrong. There are too many findings that correspond and support Hancock’s theory for it to be completely ignored. There are many more places in different locations all over the world that suggest the same idea; lost civilizations have been proven through temples and pyramids in stone or carvings. The stories from these ancient civilizations are lost and turned into myths. Keep in mind that this series has received criticism because the timeline of how humanity began does not fit the same timeline that Graham Hancock has presented. If you’d like to know more about his timeline, watch the documentary to learn some interesting theories.
“Ancient Apocalypse” is available on Netflix.
By Ayla Hooper