The Piri Reis Map
Piri Reis was a famous 15th century Turkish naval admiral. His navigational map was discovered by historians in 1929 and it shows the Antarctica landmass the way it is beneath the ice. A copy of his map was given to the U.S. Hydrographic Institute who were amazed at it's accuracy, considering it had been drawn 300 years before Antarctica had been discovered. They even used it to correct some of their own maps. Piri Reis himself stated that his map was created from even earlier maps called portolans. What astounds scientists is how these maps were created in ancient times without the benefit of aerial or satellite survey facilities. See the history of maps. These questions have given rise to a number of theories about life on earth for the past 12,500 years.
The Piri Reis Map Project
The Egyptian Connection
The mysteries that surround the construction of the pyramids of Egypt and South America have caused speculation that an ancient, advanced and civilized race once existed. The construction of artifacts like the Sphinx, and the pyramids of Egypt, was impossible for people to have accomplished in the period 4000-10,500 BC. and even today, the construction of these artifacts is only barely within our technological grasp. The Sphinx that stands in the sands of Egypt and which is believed to be at least 10,000 years old, is said by experts to show inexplicable signs of water erosion. Explorers have searched the mysterious network of chambers that lies beneath the Sphinx and the pyramids of the Giza plateau, hoping to find the legendary Hall of Records which is said to contain ancient knowledge of even older civilizations. Information about this repository of knowledge orginates with one of the most ancient and famous of the Egytptian legends - that of Isis and Osirisis, and clues have been discovered in many other ancient texts. The pyramids themselves have spawned many theories about the astronomical knowledge of the early Egyptians. Certain pyramids are said to be aligned with constellations of stars, and even Newton studied the dimensions of the pyramids, relating them to calculations of the size of the earth. Recent NASA photographs of Mars have revealed a pyramidic-like structure on it's surface which some astronomers believe is not natural. See planetary cartography.
For more information on Egyptian civilization, see
Egyptian Mythology and Egyptian Archeology
From ancient history and the occasional archeological discovery, we gain tantalising glimpses of civilizations that flourished and died, tales of vast wealth, hidden treasure and impossible accomplishments, - from the Phoenicians, Sumerians, Hebrews, Mesopotamians, Egyptians and ancient Greeks - They all talk of at least one civilization with phenomenal wealth and power, special knowledge and extraordinary abilities.
This ancient culture may have undergone a catclysmic event, perhaps an earthquake or a flood, even the 'Great Flood' of Noah, causing the destruction of the civilization, or perhaps, this culture endured a slow decline over the centuries of forgotten time. They certainly have disappeared from our world altogether. One possible explanation suggested is that of continental drift, violent or gradual. Is it possible that Antarctica might have been somewhere else 10,000 years ago, with a different, more temperate, climate? Some scientists believe that the actual position of the South Pole itself may have shifted significantly in time gone by. Antartica was also once part of an ancient supercontinent, Gondwanaland, see Geophysics.
The South American Connection
The ancient Mayan civilization that existed as far back as 1200 BC on the Yucatan peninsula in Central America, had a complex writing system based on hieroglyphs. They were proficient in mathematics and art, their astronomy was astoundingly accurate, and they built massive pyramids throughout Central America.
The Incas are associated with huge drawings known as geoglyphs that exist in the Nazca desert of Peru which can only be viewed from space, or extremely high altitudes (see picture).
Some Mayan ruins such as Chichen Itza and Tikal have a mystical aspect which attracts people for meditation and contemplation. The mysterious ruins seem to raise your consciousness which makes meditation easy, even for the inexperienced. Learn these simple techniques to begin your own practice and reap the numerous benefits a daily meditation session can offer.
These ancient cultures are currently being researched on a massive scale and new discoveries are being made on a regular basis. Writers have speculated that the ancient Mayans were Phoenicians, or the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel, or even survivors from the lost continent of Atlantis.
The legend of Atlantis describes an 'island' in the Atlantic ocean that sank beneath the sea thousands of years ago. The story of Atlantis was recorded by Plato around 360 BC, as related to Plato by Critias, whose great-grandfather had travelled to Egypt and heard the legend there from an Egyptian priest called Solon. The priest, translating from hieroglyphs inscribed on a pillar, told him that Atlantis had existed 9,000 years before the time of Plato and that it was a utopian island inhabited by a supposedly advanced race of beings, the Atlanteans. Plato said that the Atlantean empire was originally founded by the sea-god Poseidon who wedded Cleito, a mortal nymph also known as Asia. They had ten sons and the continent was divided amongst them into ten kingdoms. The eldest son and overall king was Atlas, who gave his name to the island and surrounding sea. Atlantis, in fact, literally means daughter of Atlas.
On the mountain where Poseidon and Cleito had mated, the kings built the capital of Atlantis, digging a channel deep enough for ships to pass through to the harbour. The land around the metropolis was sculpted into defensive concentric rings of different-coloured stone, overlaid with metals, and circular water channels, roofed over so that the sea-way was subterranean. At the very center was the temple of Poseidon surrounded by a wall made of solid gold. The outside of the temple was coated with silver and the roof was made of ivory decorated with shiny metals and precious gems. Inside were statues of the kings and queens of Atlantis made of pure gold, and dwarfed only by a gigantic statue of Poseidon, said to be 300 feet tall, and also made of gold. This was the Royal City and capital of Atlantis, but there were nine other great cities each ruled by it's own king. The army of the Royal City alone had 60,000 captains, a fleet of 1200 triremes and a chariot force 10,000 strong. The empire of the Atlanteans extended across the sea and reached into the Mediterranean, including North Africa as far as Egypt and Europe, as far as Tuscany in Italy.
Recent aerial photographs have shown a clearly circular structure or pyramid formation, that lies beneath the ice of Antarctica.
For more information, see
The Island of Atlantis and The Lost City of Atlantis
The famous author, Jules Verne, wrote a story entitled "The Sphinx of the Ice Fields", also known by the title, An Antarctic Mystery.
Other Myths & Legends
The Book of Enoch
According to the Bible, angels once walked upon the surface of the earth. Speculation also exists that they are the missing 'master' race. In 1773, a British explorer, James Bruce, discovered a scroll in Abyssinia (Ethiopia) that was a full copy of the Book of Enoch, which appeared to be a Book of the Bible, written in the 2nd century BC. This text had existed in fragmentary form, written in Aramaic, in Europe for centuries, but had been rejected by the Catholic Church as heresy. The text itself deals with a group of angels on Earth called 'The Watchers', who dwelt in a high place.
King Arthur & the Holy Grail
King Arthur was a sixth century King of Britain, educated and assisted by Merlin, a scholar, engineer, musician and magician who had many prophetic visions. It has been suggested that Merlin created the megaliths at Stonehenge by transporting the stones from Ireland and creating a replica of their original layout, an impressive engineering feat. At that time, England was ruled by Vortigern, a usurper who had stolen the crown. Merlin showed Vortigern a vision in which a White Dragon slew a Red Dragon, presaging the onslaught of Uther Pendragon, the rightful king. Uther landed with a large army and Vortigern was burned in the castle he had constructed. Arthur was the son of King Uther Pendragon and Ygraine, a Welsh princess. Merlin used magic arts to arrange meetings between Uther and Ygraine, as Ygraine was married to the Duke of Gorlois, one of the kings allies. They were married after the death of the Duke.
Merlin was closely associated with Viviane, the Lady of Lake, a famous mythical figure, possibly part of a Druidistic (Celtic) religion which dominated parts of Britain at that stage. Legend has it that the Lady of the Lake delivered a sword to Merlin, who then implanted it in a rock. The sword, called Excalibur, could only be withdrawn from the rock by the true-born King of England. When many others could not, Arthur drew the sword from the rock with ease and was made king, at a meeting of the nobles. Arthur was, at that time, only 15 years of age.
The young King Arthur united England in a way never before accomplished by espousing noble and chivalrous deeds, and by giving religious freedom to the Celts and Roman Catholics of the time. He successfully defeated the Saxons hordes who threatened England and united all the feudal armies of England and Wales. He married Guinevere, a beautiful princess, and created the Knights of the Round Table at his castle in Camelot. There were 12 knights of the Round Table, including, inter alia, Lancelot, Gawain, Gareth, Kay, Bedivere and Percival.
Another knight, Mordred, was born of an unwitting union between Arthur and his half-sister Morgawse, making Mordred both his son and his nephew. Later in life, consumed by guilt, King Arthur had his knights search for the Holy Grail, reputed to be a silver cup or chalice, which contained the blood of Christ, possibly buried with a great treasure of gold and silver. He foreswore violence and bade Sir Bedivere cast his sword Excalibur back into the lake from whence it came. The sword was caught by the outstretched arm of the Lady of the Lake and sank back into the water.
In a final conflict between Arthur and Mordred at Salisbury Plain, Arthur killed Mordred but received a fatal blow in the process. The wounded Arthur was borne away on a barge to the Island of Avalon, presided over by the enchantress Queen Morgan le Fay, his other half-sister. Legend says that King Arthur, magically healed of his wounds, lies asleep in a cave in Glastonbury and that he will return to defend England, if it is ever invaded.