Alternate Perceptions Magazine, March 2023
What Does Graham Hancock Mean By An Advanced Civilization? What Is Mainstream Archaeology?
by: Dr. Greg Little
Mainstream archaeologists have attacked author Graham Hancock's assertion that an "advanced civilization" existed prior to the end of the last Ice Age (essentially before 10,000 BC), which was proposed in Hancock's 2022 book, "America Before." It isn't a new proposal, but Hancock's high profile and his 2023 Netflix series on the idea was more than mainstream archaeology could bear. Some archaeologists, mainly those in academic positions and a few working in government-funded positions, mounted an all-out attack on Hancock, mainly fueled by a concerted organizing effort on Twitter. They began by calling it the "Atlantis Hypothesis" and related that it was a racist idea fueled by white supremacy. There are some who claim the lost civilization of Atlantis was "White" but there are many who believe that, for lack of a better term, the "Atlanteans" were the indigenous tribes of the Americas and elsewhere.
To many, the word "Atlantis" conjures up images of space ships, computers, laser death rays, genetic experimentation, complex electronics, and a host of other modern images. That is due to media depictions in a few completely fictional movies and by writers creating fanciful images of that "civilization" to capture the imaginations of readers. But even Edgar Cayce's readings about Atlantis, attacked by many mainstream archaeologists, really don't make those assertions. Cayce, for example, related that the Atlantis empire was a group of islands across the Atlantic that was essentially a maritime culture that traded around the world. According to Cayce, that civilization reached its peak around 28,000 BC, just prior to a cataclysm that broke up some of the islands and made them essentially start over. At that point in their history, Cayce related that they used what are essentially hot air floating aircraft, essentially dirigible-like contraptions that were made from the skins of pachyderms (elephants) that were sewn together. In addition, Cayce related that their civilization began around 210,000 years-ago and that another, even earlier disaster occurred in 50,000 BC. According to Cayce, the final destruction of their civilization occurred around 10,000 BC and that the survivors fled to various areas including Egypt, the Pyrennees Mountains, the Gobi, Peru, and most significantly to eastern North America. Cayce specifically related that they were the "Red Race" and that they merged with the tribes already inhabiting the Americas. He stated that the Iroquois Tribes were the remnants of them.
There are many definitions of "civilization" and the simplest is that a civilization is a state of a society where social and cultural development is somewhat organized. In essence, there are different groups of society organized or ruled in such a way that the tasks needed for survival are managed somewhat efficiently. For example, a maritime culture that involves trading would mean that there are people who construct ships, those who would captain and sail the ships, people who move whatever goods were being traded, and people who create the goods, be it food or other materials like clothing or raw materials. All of these tasks require "technology," and that word has also become a hot-word attacked by the mainstream. The reason is simple. The term "technology" today implies things like computers, electronics, motors, and such. But technology also means stone points, simple agriculture methods, the ability to make rope, sails, barrels, block & tackle, and anything you might find on a ship made in the 1300s-1600s. I have heard Hancock on his many interviews saying that the advanced culture of the pre-Ice Age people was just that: a maritime culture that perhaps reached the technology of 1500s ships. However, the mainstream attacks on Hancock often simply ignore that assertion preferring use their definition of "advanced technology" asserting "where is the evidence"? In brief, what Hancock and others like Andrew Collins and me assert, is that the pre-Ice Age culture simply had the ability to sail from island to island and engage in trading. There is proof in the ancient world, such as in the Australia region, Central and South Americas, and even in the Mediterranean, that it existed. From my many years of exploring in the Bahamas, I know that even modern planes and ships quickly erode away and are buried and sink under the years of silt accumulating on the seafloor.
Many academic archaeologists have asserted that there is no such thing as mainstream archaeology. That simply isn't true. The "mainstream" of nearly all sciences comes from the textbooks and academics who essentially teach the field and cite its truth, whatever it is. In archaeology, most textbooks are written by a relatively small group of academics and museum heads, not by those who routinely work in the field writing their reports on small excavations and surveys. The reasons are simple. Those in the field are too busy trying to make a living, while the academics have the time to write the textbooks, which are written usually on government-funded time, and from which the academics can make a significant amount of money. (If you want to prove this assertion, go to Amazon and search "archaeology textbook.") In essence, the academics write these incredibly expensive textbooks and then force their students to buy them. They choose the textbooks and assert their "facts" in these books to fit their beliefs. (Note: I'm not saying that all of their "facts" are wrong, often it is just a fundamental truth they insist is correct.) In their educational classes, their students have to parrot these beliefs or they don't pass. It's generally just that simple. There are some pretty profound psychological processes at play in this, and I've addressed some of the more important ones in many previous books and articles. I have also written that this process in archaeology has many of the aspects that defines a cult. For examples, cults are known to center around a set of beliefs that are defined and controlled by a select, or elite group of people. When their beliefs are challenged, they then mount an organized attack on the individuals questioning their belief system. That is exactly what has happened in the Hancock situation.