Friday, July 25, 2008

Ancient Knowledge in the New World

Back to this side of the world, one can see the remains of magnificent pyramids whose builders, the old Mayas, developed so accurate a calendar that it established the year of 365.2422 days – a lot more precise than the Julian of 365.2500 and even the Gregorian of 365.2425 days, in use until now. The Mayas also developed a numbering system based on the position of values, whose use would only become general in Europe from the Fifteenth Century onwards, and which implied the conception and use of zero.

In this connection, it has become widely known that the Mayan calendar was based on the so-called Long Count, whose starting point was established in about 3114 BC and was supposed to end about 5,125 years later, i.e. in 2012 AD approximately. Further elaborations about this striking feature can be seen in “About Year 2012”.

As to the Toltecs and Aztecs, great builders of pyramids, and the mysterious, much older Teotihuacans and Olmecs, I have already mentioned that they apparently were the first to develop a sophisticated astronomy and an accurate calendar; probably as accurate as that of the Incas, which was altogether astronomical and agricultural and so sophisticated, that it included the biological cycles of some plants and animals. Also, I need not say that all these cultures determined with utmost precision the dates of the equinoxes and solstices; this was made, for example, in the South of Peru, by the Pre-Inca compound which features the mysterious “lines of Nazca”, regarded as the world’s largest astronomical calendar, and the Inca monolith known as Intihuatana (“the stone that ties up the Sun”), a clock or astronomical instrument that stands out at the highest point of the citadel of Machu Picchu, near Cusco.

Other witnesses of the great advances made all over the world from remote times can be seen, even today, in the ruins of ancient cities whose existence was legendary or unknown, like Mohenho–Daro and Harappa, in India, so advanced that their streets had canalizations and their houses bathrooms, and a meaningful fact: their inhabitants apparently did not wear any offensive weapons. Here too, mysterious engraved inscriptions were found that even now can be seen in Mesopotamia where, by the way, from a deep Sumerian layer pertaining to 3000 BC or before, a statuette of Shiva meditating in Yogic stance – identical to another found in the ruins of the Mohenho–daro citadel, obviously indicating that it was made before that date – was unearthed. These findings not only suggest that already in remote times there were relationships among civilizations, but also – as further claimed by some people – that the Sumerian civilization originated in that city–state, which in fact would be a lot older than is officially accepted.

There even are traces of a vast civilization that would have encompassed the whole North of Europe, from Ireland and Britain to the Scandinavian countries, and which would date back from as early as 9000 BC. It is very possible that the builders of the great stone observatories of Stonehenge in England and Carnac in France, as well as the gigantic zodiacal circle of Glastonbury, in England, of 30 miles in circumference, which would date back from 3000 BC, came from it. Modern analysis has shown that such builders, on top of possessing a most advanced astronomical knowledge, were great geometers who, for example, knew that a triangle whose sides are proportional to 3, 4 and 5 will always contain a right angle, a property whose discovery is attributed to Pythagoras (the author of the famous theorem) but which, in all justice, should be attributed to them; in like manner, it is known that by means of an approach that not for being simple was less advanced, they could draw huge, almost perfect circles.

From these and other enigmatic vestiges, some authors have concluded that some of the posterior cultures, like the Sumerian and Egyptian in the Old World, and the Mayan and Aztec in the New, were in their respective prosperous times, and after the disappearance of some technological culture about which nothing is known at present, climbing down, and not up, the world’s civilization ladder. This notion has been reinforced by the discovery of certain documents, including the famous map of Piri–Reis, with characteristics of 12,000 – 13,000 years ago: the Antarctic coast free of ice, rivers and mountains on the Queen Maud Land, and an ocean level lower than it is currently; the map of Zenon, which shows Greenland free of ice such as it was 14,000 years ago; that of Hadji Hamed, with the land bridge of the Ice Age between Alaska and Siberia visible; that of Finaens, showing the Sea of Ross as it was 6,000 years ago, etc – and also by references to remote cataclysms which, upon extinguishing whole cities, even civilizations, would have caused a cultural reversal to various degrees of barbarianism. Such would be the case, for example, of the biblical Flood, which would have to be placed between 8000 and 10000 BC, and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorra, which is supposed to have occurred around 3000 BC, to mention but two of the better-known examples, capable to create conditions like the ones depicted. After that there would have come a slow, painful material progress of mankind toward present-day civilization, which does not remember a thing about the primordial civilization, and whose decline and imminent disappearance are predicted in turn by many scholars. (To be continued.)

(First published on Qassia 24 Jul 2008)

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