by Frank Joseph
New Dawn 175
were in America
we've been told,
Australian Aborigines have
connection to the Amazon
which once had
As the former editor-in-chief (1993 to 2007) and ongoing writer for
Ancient American - a US magazine examining Old World impact
on the New World before 1492 - recently released materials regarding
pre-Columbian possibilities often come my way.
I was surprised, however,
to find that Graham Hancock's latest tome, American
Continent Before (America
Before - The Key to Earth's Lost Civilization), compares
Before Atlantis - 20 Million Years of Human
and Pre-Human Cultures (2013), published six years
earlier, in more than title.
Both works go into the,
Other topics tackled in
American Continent Before,
described at length in my earlier releases...
Independent research that arrives at common conclusions tends to
validate disparate investigators at work in the same field.
Of them all, Graham
Hancock is certainly the best known, thanks to his early
association with such prestigious periodicals as,
The Times, The
Independent, The Economist, and The Guardian,
which granted him access
to major book publishers with international distribution, such as
St. Martin's Press, publisher of his latest work.
Fingerprints of the Gods was a
At the time of its
release in 1995, critics - even those sympathetic to the author's
belief in ancient catastrophism - faulted him for merely
reworking long-known if not well-publicized information.
But they were forced to
admit that Hancock acquainted millions of readers with otherwise
neglected information about the deep past.
American Continent Before is not unlike Fingerprints of
the Gods in that it introduces an international audience to a
version of antiquity not otherwise available in schools or
Before also joins Before Atlantis in highlighting,
"a global cataclysm
that occurred near the end of the Ice Age around twelve thousand
eight hundred years ago. A disintegrating comet crossed the
orbit of the Earth and bombarded our planet with a 'swarm' of
Familiar language to
readers already familiar with The Destruction of Atlantis
(2002) and its sequel.
Survivors of Atlantis
(2004) similarly tells how an abundance of physical proof for
worldwide destruction left by comets during the Bronze Age was
offered by scientists meeting at Fitzwilliam College in Cambridge,
In 1997 they presented undeniable evidence in the form of,
rings at Irish bogs and oak forests
from Greenland ice-cores
impact lines made
by colossal waves along the shores of Morocco
abrupt lake level
changes from Western Europe to South America
spherules that result specifically from cometary collisions
subjecting rock to intense heat...
Earth's periodic brushes
with celestial upheaval belong to a pattern of astronomical
interface with our planet that abruptly terminated the Ice Age, as
described in America Before and earlier in Before Atlantis.
Buried in the floor of
Lake Cuitzeo was a thin, dark layer
containing unequivocal evidence for a large, cosmic body that struck
central Mexico just when the Younger Dryas period opened with such
sediment strata dated to the same period have been previously
located at numerous locations throughout North America, Greenland,
and Western Europe.
According to Science
"The data suggest
that a comet or asteroid - likely a large, previously fragmented
body, greater than several hundred meters in diameter - entered
the atmosphere at a relatively shallow angle.
The heat at impact
burned biomass, melted surface rocks, and caused major
The resulting crater
became Lake Cuitzeo, measuring twelve and one-half miles across,
with an average depth of ninety feet.
Dr. James Kennett, professor of earth science at the
University of California (Santa Barbara), told the Proceedings of
the National Academy of Sciences:
"These results are
consistent with earlier reported discoveries throughout North
America of abrupt ecosystem change, megafaunal extinction, and
human cultural change and population reduction.
These changes were
large, abrupt and unprecedented, and had been recorded and
identified by earlier investigators at a 'time of crisis'.
The timing of the
impact coincided with the most extraordinary biotic and
environmental changes over Mexico and Central America during the
last approximately twenty thousand years, as recorded by others
in several regional lake deposits."
Professor of earth
science Kennett and other researchers postulate from the evidence
that a fragmented
comet slammed into the Earth (above
to 12,800 years ago, causing,
They studied the impact
spherules in 18 sites in nine countries on four continents for their
study. (Graphic credit: YDB Research Group)
The floor of Lake Cuitzeo is rich in spherules formed when they
collided with each other at high velocities during the whirling
chaos of an extraterrestrial impact.
They are joined by
numerous specimens of
lonsdaleite - an identifiable
configuration nano-diamonds assume when they are pressured by large
meteorite collisions - and aciniform soot, the acne-like appearance
of dust residue resulting from the same cause.
"These materials form
only through cosmic impact," Kennett explained, not through
volcanic or other natural terrestrial processes.
In the entire geologic
record, the only other known continental layer with abundant peaks
in lonsdaleite, impact spherules and aciniform soot is in the
sixty-five-million-year-old Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary layer that
coincided with the extinction of the dinosaurs.
Early Human Settlement
show that North America was first peopled at least one hundred
thirty thousand years ago," according to Hancock, "many tens of
thousands of years before human settlements were established in
Europe and Asia."
Yes, but the European
continent was actually settled one hundred seventy thousand
years earlier by Neanderthals.
In fact, the oldest
evidence for proto-humans in Europe goes back 1.3 million years.
"At least" is a bit of an
understatement for human settlement in the New World, because
Before Atlantis describes how prehistorian Juan Armena
Camacho discovered lithic implements at
Hueyatlaco, seventy miles
south-east of Mexico City.
According to US geologist
Dr Virginia Steen-McIntyre,
using methods identical to those used in Africa to date the
early sites there place Hueyatlaco's stone tools to slightly
over a quarter of a million years ago."
Some thirty years prior
to Camacho's find, a still older site came to light one mile north
from the Oklahoma town of Frederick, at a ten-mile-long,
Ten to twenty-five feet
beneath the surface of this gravel deposit occur dozens of
well-crafted stone implements cemented in place in common strata
with the bones of extinct animals firmly dated to seven hundred
fifty thousand years ago.
Director of the Oklahoma Geological Survey, reported:
"There can be no
doubt that the artifacts occur in the pit near the basal
portion, on the same level as the fossil remains.
An examination of the
undisturbed face of the pit, immediately above the position of
the finds, showed unbroken, nearly horizontal strata above it.
As the case stands,
it looks very much as though the artifacts are of the same
antiquity as the fossil animals.
At the same time, it
would be well to reserve final judgment until we are certain
that the artifacts are not secondary inclusions."
Since Gould released his
report in 1929, subsequent investigations of the Holoman Pit, as it
is locally known, repeatedly confirmed that the stone tools are not
later inclusions but were indeed laid down at the same time the
animal bones were stratified, three quarters of a million years ago.
As recently as 2005,
archaeologist Silvia Gonzalez of Liverpool's John Moore's
University in England discovered a line of human footprints
dating back forty thousand years ago near Puebla, in Mexico.
convinced no human set foot in Middle America before twelve thousand
years ago, sought to debunk the heretical period she assigned the
evidence by dispatching a team of leading geologists led by Paul
R. Renne, director of California's Berkeley Geochronology
Center, to the site.
Once there, they took repeated argon testing to investigate the
magnetic imprint of the foot-printed, magmatic rock, together with
other state-of-the-art procedures.
Renne announced their
results in the scientific journal Nature, stating that the
rock featuring the footprints was not forty thousand years old
It was, instead, 1.3
million years old...
During the early 20th
century, archaeologist Carlos Ameghino (1865 to 1936) led
teams of excavators along the Argentine coast south of Buenos Aires
after detecting clues to an early habitation site at Miramar.
By 1914, he discovered
numerous stone tools cemented within Pliocene Era strata. As Silvia
Gonzalez experienced in the following century, Ameghino's critics
commissioned a group of professional geologists to debunk his
Instead, they verified
it, stating that the artifacts had been laid down between two
million and three million years ago.
Although their analysis
was released by the prestigious Anales del Museo de Historica
Natural de Buenos Aires, it has since been ignored by
archaeologists in the outside world.
Australia-Amazon - An Unexpected Discovery
"Certain tribes of
the Amazon jungle," states America Before's back cover blurb,
"are closely related to Australian Aborigines.
How did this
extraordinary, unexpected, and extremely ancient DNA signal get
to the Amazon?"
This question elevates
Hancock's new book with fresh discoveries that threaten to shake the
scientific establishment to its core by opening an entirely new and
revolutionary archaeological theatre of operations.
The vast Amazon region has long been dismissed by mainstream
scholars as anciently under-populated and barren of all but the most
backward, native cultures, hermetically sealed off by nature from
the outside world.
"in September 2015,
Pontus Skoglund, his senior colleague Professor David Reich of
the Department of Genetics at Harvard Medical School, and other
leading experts in the field, announced in the pages of
Nature that they had found new evidence in South America,
and specifically in the Amazon rainforest, that called for a
Researchers mapped similarities in
genes, mutations and random pieces of DNA
of Central and South American tribes
with groups in other parts of the world including Australia.
Warmer colors indicate the strongest affinities.
Researcher Skoglund said,
"a statistically clear signal linking Native Americans
in the Amazonian region of Brazil to present-day
Australo-Melanesians and Andaman Islanders" was confirmed.
(Graphic credit: Pontus Skoglund, Harvard Medical School)
He quotes Pontus
"genome-wide data to
show that some Amazonian Native Americans descend partly from a
Native American founding population that carried ancestry more
closely related to indigenous Australians, New Guineans and
Andaman Islanders than to present-day Eurasians or Native
Americans," and are, in Hancock's words, "more closely related
to Melanesian Papuans and Australian Aborigines than to any
other Native American population."
"We spent a really
long time trying to make this result go away," Skoglund
explained, "but it just got stronger."
In the end,
clear signal linking Native Americans in the Amazonian region of
Brazil to present-day Australo-Melanesians and Andaman
Islanders" was confirmed.
"We also know it has to be pre-Columbian," added Professor Eske
Willerslev of Denmark's Center for GeoGenetics at the
University of Copenhagen.
Further studies by
Eske Willerslev and his colleagues,
"found Australian DNA
already present in skeletal remains from Lagoa Santa, Brazil,
dated to 10,400 years ago, and confirmed the suspicion of the
researchers that the anomalous genetic signal must have reached
South America in the Late Pleistocene - that is, near the end of
the last Ice Age, [when] a group of people carrying Australo-Melanesian
genes settled in what is now the Amazon jungle."
The oldest human skull
unearthed in the Americas has cranial features similar to those of
Another piece of
anomalous evidence pointing to an early human story, but largely
ignored because it contradicts official scientific theory.
This is undoubtedly one of the most striking revelations ever made
in the entire history of archaeology, as inexplicable as it is
It does not mean that a
few Australoid castaways accidentally washed ashore on Peruvian
shores, then somehow traversed the formidable Andes Mountains and
descended into Brazil's totally different, but no less forbidding
jungle, where they cohabited with a few, indigenous individuals.
Rather, DNA evidence signifies a mass-migration of
Australo-Melanesians to Amazonia, where they interbred with
native peoples on such a broad scale some ten and a half centuries
ago, the genetic imprint is still discernible.
12,940-kilometer, trans-Pacific voyage to coastal Peru and
subsequent 1,890-kilometer trek to Brazilian rain forest were
successfully achieved at a time when Western European Man was
struggling to survive the challenging
Upper Paleolithic, or Late Stone
contemporaneous material culture was itself far too underdeveloped
for undertaking anything even approaching an oceanic crossing of
such magnitude, not only in terms of the extreme distances
concerned, but especially regarding the large number of persons
participating in the expedition, or expeditions.
The maritime technological requirements necessary for conducting an
operation of transpacific scope alone rule out all possibilities for
motivation could have possessed them to attempt such a huge
Hancock wonders if a
third party was involved - a different, unrelated, unknown,
though far higher culture that, for reasons even more obscure,
transported Australo-Melanesians to Amazonia.
Speculation like this begins to conjure 'legendary'
Lemuria, the pre-Polynesian civilization that rose to
ancient heights of technological greatness and imperialist
domination of the Pacific realm, before succumbing to a natural
catastrophe sufficiently powerful enough to shake the very
foundations of the Earth itself.
Hancock, however, shies
away from any Lemurian connotations.
Amazonia Rises Out of the Cleared Forests
Even so, American Continent Before's most valuable and
original contribution to our deepening grasp of antiquity is its
investigation of Amazonia, an area of the world hitherto neglected
by conventional and alternative researchers alike.
labored under the assumption that Brazil's rain forest was always
far too environmentally hostile for civilization to have taken root
Hancock cites the
"that the Amazon
could only have been inhabited for about 1,000 years, and then
only by very small groups of hunter-gatherers, since the jungle
was 'resource poor'."
Among the very few
archaeologists who personally challenged this dominant paradigm was
Percy Harrison Fawcett.
His disappearance in
search of the
lost city of Z during 1925 seemed
to confirm consensus opinion that no such place could possibly exist
in the Brazilian jungle, and American Continent Before is
remiss in failing to properly credit or even mention in passing the
British Colonel, whose self-sacrificial, if percipient effort
foreshadowed the very discoveries Hancock describes in Chapters 11
Together with the two previous chapters detailing Amazonia's genetic
connection with Ice Age Australia, they combine to represent the
book's highest worth.
Nowhere else may readers
learn more about the Amazon Basin's otherwise unknown archaeological
An artist's conception shows a
of the Brazilian
Amazon as it might have appeared before 1492.
An example of how the
Amazon was once likely inhabited
by hundreds of thousands of people
well-managed cities, towns and villages.
Archaeologists have found traces of
wide, curbed roads and managed parklands.
He tells how the first modern Europeans travelling the Amazon River
from Ecuador to its estuary on the Atlantic coast of Brazil saw
"great cities" that "glistened in white" (suggesting limestone
construction, like that favored by Maya construction engineers)
during their 7,000-kilometre, seventeen-month journey.
Some of these urban
"more than twenty
kilometers from end to end, roughly the length of Manhattan…
enormous expanses were given over to productive agriculture, and
there were signs everywhere of large and well-organized
political and economic systems linked to centralized states that
were capable of fielding disciplined armies thousands strong."
Hancock quotes the mid-16th
century expedition's Spanish chronicler, Dominican friar
Gaspar de Carvajal, concerning an abandoned, native,
"villa, in which were
a great deal of porcelain ware of various makes, both jars and
pitchers, very large, with a capacity of more than twenty-five
arrobas [one hundred gallons] and other small pieces such as
plates and bowls and candelabra of this porcelain of the best
that has ever been seen in the world, for that of Malaga
[Spain's centre for pottery production] is not its equal,
because this porcelain which we found is all glazed and
embellished with all colors, and so bright, that these colors
astonish, and, more than this, the drawings and paintings which
they make on them are so accurately worked out that one wonders
how with only natural skill they manufacture and decorate all
these things making them look just like Roman articles."
Native porcelain of such
high quality does not appear in Brazilian archaeology.
In the largest native city, what Carvajal and his companions saw was
greater than twenty kilometers in extent, with a population of
twenty thousand or more residents.
Machiparo, also ruled over,
"many settlements and
very large ones, which together contribute for fighting purposes
fifty thousand men…"
expeditions, twenty years later and 1637-38, respectively, supported
Hancock quotes UCLA
Professor David Wilkinson,
"an authority on
long-term and large-scale phenomena in world politics [who] has
made a special study of the level of civilization in the Amazon
prior to European contact."
Based on a late 17th-century
report that one of Brazil's native cities could field 60,000
warriors, Wilkinson found,
standards have implied an urban population of 300,000 to
He goes on to describe,
"more than 30
epidemics - smallpox, measles,
and other outbreaks - some on a massive scale - in 16th-18th
century South America."
With fatal consequences
in the upper ninety percentile, the Amazonian metropolitan areas
literally died out though depopulation.
"Once left deserted,"
Hancock explains, "the great cities and monuments and other
public works of any hypothetical Amazonian civilization would
quickly have been encroached upon and soon completely hidden by
They only began
re-emerging in 1977,
geometrical earthworks were discovered in the Rio Branco area of
the Brazilian state of Acre, in the southwestern Amazon."
It was the first of many
related sites that have since come to light, including a pair of
perfect squares - 200 meters and 100 meters wide - connected by a
20-metre-wide, 100-metre-long causeway.
"that as many as
1,500 geoglyphs might ultimately be found."
Severino Calazans, the
largest Amazonian structure of its kind so far surveyed,
"defined by an
enclosure ditch twelve meters wide, measures 920 meters."
This particular location
and other, outsized designs,
"have since been
revealed by mass clearing of the forest for the cattle industry,
thus becoming visible, especially from the sky, over the past 30
Indeed, the enormous
size of the geoglyphs makes it easier to distinguish their shape
and configuration from an aerial perspective, than at ground
Groups are composed
chiefly of circles, ellipses and rectangles, suggesting possible
Hancock writes that,
"because they offer
an unobstructed view of the horizon, such locations are also
very often what ancient astronomers looked for when they set out
monuments on the ground - aligned, say, to the June solstice
sunset or to the March equinox sunrise.
Without a full-scale
archeo-astronomical survey of the Amazonian geoglyphs," however,
their suspected celestial significance remains unproven.
Their resemblance to Old
World Stone Age sites nevertheless inspires provocative comparisons.
Hancock tells how,
"the square enclosure
ditch at Severino Calazans shares the ground plan, base diameter
and cardinality [orientation to the Four Cardinal Directions] of
the Great Pyramid of Egypt.
That epoch, moreover,
around 2500 BC, coincides and overlaps with the megalithic epoch
in Europe, so another curiosity is the way that the circular
geoglyphs of Amazonia resemble
henges - the circular
embankments with deep, internal ditches that surround the great,
stone circles of the British Isles.
The scale is very
similar and the resemblance is so obvious that even the most
sober archaeologists, usually wary of cross-cultural
comparisons, are willing to remark upon it."
The Severino Calazans site,
formed by a single square-shaped ditch,
is cut and partially destroyed by Highway BR-317.
A farm has been built inside the area enclosed by the ditch.
Indigenous people consider the earthworks sites
as sacred and do not use them for housing.
(Photograph by Sanna Saunaluoma)
Whatever critics may make of American Continent Before, they
cannot deny that its unique discussion of the lost civilization of
the Amazon, plus revelations concerning the mind-boggling heritage
of its present-day descendants from 9th millennium BCE
Australia, opens new vistas of antiquity, as trailblazing, as they