See HERE for the provisional contents page of the study,

which gives you a proper chronology of sections.

Note: the content below is all in first draft format. It will change considerably during the time it takes for the study to be completed (especially by way of more academic support, generally). I post now ‘for interest’s sake’.

Note 2: This section was written before the publication of the sequel to Fingerprints of the Gods called Magicians of the Gods. Whether or not this section will be updated according to new information in Magicians remains to be seen!

Graham-Hancock-2015-by-Travis-Simpkins-Fingerprints-of-the-Gods

In 1995, Graham Hancock’s Fingerprints of the Gods was published, a compilation of research that spans over 500 pages, with over 50 pages of references. Hancock argues convincingly that an advanced civilisation must have existed on Earth considerably prior to approximately ten thousand BCE, referring to this time as a forgotten period in human history. The theory holds that the civilisation was struck by a cataclysm and some of its people dispersed via the oceans across the globe, taking with them an advanced knowledge system that includes the building techniques used to construct megalithic structures at ancient sites all over the world, sites that are often at least as old as twelve and a half thousand years and have such strong similarities design-wise that their designers and builders must have been influenced by common sources with an advanced understanding of cosmic cycles. Furthermore, evidence of the catastrophe can be found in the details of numerous cultural myths: “More than 500 deluge legends”, for example, “are known around the world and, in a survey of 86 of these…, the specialist Dr Richard Andree concluded that 62 were entirely independent of the Mesopotamian and Hebrew accounts” (Hancock 1995: 193). The deluge myths, according to Hancock’s hypothesis, point to the same event in vast antiquity, the cataclysm that destroyed the ancient advanced civilisation and displaced its survivors.

Fingerprints of the Gods is a book of considerable length and contains thousands of references used by Hancock to make his case, so careful consideration of Hancock’s argument in the book cannot occur here where strict limitations are here placed on word-count. Conveniently, three recent discoveries assist immensely in conveying the kinds of focal areas of Hancock’s work and some implications thereof. The first is the acknowledgement by members of the scientific community – see here[1], here[2], here[3], here[4], and here[5] for examples – based on “new data from Greenland ice cores”, that “North America may have suffered a large cosmic impact about 12,900 years ago”. Hancock[6] has referred to this event as the “smoking gun” that wiped out an advanced civilization: the comet

is, I believe, the ‘smoking gun’ that made us a species with amnesia and wiped out almost all traces of a former high civilisation of prehistoric antiquity. But there were survivors, who preserved at least some of the knowledge of the civilisation that had been destroyed with the intention of transmitting it to future generations, so it is not an accident that the first traces of the re-emergence of civilisation, in the form of the earliest known megalithic architecture and the re-promulgation of agricultural skills, occur at Gobekli Tepe in Turkey 11,500 years ago – a date that coincides exactly with the end of the Younger Dryas and the return to a more congenial global environment.

Gobekli Tepe is the second important discovery, the first of two that will be considered here, that has particular relevance to Hancock’s hypothesis. This is what National Geographic magazine[7], usually a ‘mouthpiece’ for orthodox archaeological views, has recorded about Gobekli Tepe:

Known as Göbekli Tepe (pronounced Guh-behk-LEE TEH-peh), the site is vaguely reminiscent of Stonehenge, except that Göbekli Tepe was built much earlier and is made not from roughly hewn blocks but from cleanly carved limestone pillars splashed with bas-reliefs of animals—a cavalcade of gazelles, snakes, foxes, scorpions, and ferocious wild boars. The assemblage was built some 11,600 years ago, seven millennia before the Great Pyramid of Giza[8]. It contains the oldest known temple. Indeed, Göbekli Tepe is the oldest known example of monumental architecture … When these pillars were erected, so far as we know, nothing of comparable scale existed in the world.

The calm tone in which the paragraph is written is misleading; the discovery of Gobekeli Tepe ‘changes everything’[9] for the contemporary Promethean view of the chronology and capability of humankind on this planet, because, as John Anthony West[10] (quoted in Hancock 1995: 358) points out, no human beings advanced enough to build intricately carved megalithic stone structure complexes yet existed – or were supposed to have existed according to ‘orthodox’ archaeological timelines:

We are told that the evolution of human civilization is a linear process — that it goes from stupid cavemen to smart old us with our hydrogen bombs and striped toothpaste. But the proof that the Sphinx [and other megalithic structures that are indisputably older than the orthodox view of the chronology of humankind’s development] is many, many thousands of years older than the archaeologists think it is, that it preceded by many thousands of years even dynastic Egypt, means that there must have been, at some distant point in history, a high and sophisticated civilization — just as all the legends affirm.

The reason for acknowledging Gobekeli Tepe as so old is because carbon-14 dating techniques are the accepted means by which the age of a site is ascertained in orthodox archaeology, and this technique was indeed used to confirm that the site is at least as old as stated in the article in the National Geographic magazine[11]. Similarly, eight to ten meters below the surface of Ganung Padang in Indonesia, the second megalithic archaeological site to be considered here, carbon-14 dating has uncovered organic material linked to the site and the age of the organic material is 12,500 years[12]. As West points out above, one of the implications of these discoveries of the past (approximately) seven years is exactly what Hancock had proposed a decade before their discoveries – the implication that an advanced civilisation must have existed in order to build these geometrically intricate[13] complexes – Gobeleki Tepe, for example, consists of several stone calendars; one commentator, Ian Hodder of Stanford University said, “Göbekli Tepe changes everything”[14] – the reason for this will be discussed further below. The discoveries of the ages of these sites further give credence to Hancock’s long-standing dubiousness[15] about carbon-14 dating as the orthodox method to decide on the date of megalithic sites in general, a method that is the basis for almost all claims made in orthodox history books:

There’s been a lot of carbon-14 dating carried out at [for example, the ancient South American megalithic site] Tiahuanaco. And carbon-14 dating, for me, says that this site was used and occupied at the date that that carbon-14 material comes from. It doesn’t mean that the site was necessarily built at that time, or was originally laid out and planned at that time. This could have happened earlier. It would be possible, for example to go to Westminster Abbey and carbon-14 date a recent burial in the graveyard at Westminster Abbey, and say that Westminster Abbey was built in 1950 as a result of that dating, but that would not be correct. The site is much older and it was used through different periods of history – so I think we have to be a bit careful about carbon-14, particularly where megalithic sites are concerned, where we’re dealing with stone monuments, carved and cut stone.

The above was taken from the transcript of the interview footage of Hancock’s responses to an interviewer’s questions for a BBC programme called Atlantis Reborn[16], which aired in 1999. In the same interview transcript, Hancock responds to the following question – “What convinces you that the date of the Tiahuanaco site [another ancient megalithic site] is much, much older than conventional archaeology, as they call it, would accept. What do you think is the convergence of evidence about the Tiahuanaco date?” – and Hancock’s response is important:

I need to answer your question more broadly at first. I think that in the case of many ancient sites around the world the picture of the history of the site is confused by the fact that the site is constantly built on and rebuilt and rebuilt again over long periods of time. The ancient Egyptians had a habit of building temples on the sites of earlier temples. And I think the same thing happened in the Andes as well. A place that had a name or a reputation as a sacred place might be the site for a succession of monuments built by different cultures over long periods of time.

What slowly emerges during an investigation into Hancock’s work is that orthodox archaeological views, which have formed the basis of ‘history book’ knowledge, have relied on the aforementioned limited carbon-14 dating methods that Hancock finds fault with. The orthodox archaeological views that have shaped history books and ‘scholarly’ knowledge in general[17] hold that there were no advanced civilisations on earth prior to the ancient Egyptians around 3500 years BCE; that around 10000 BCE, human beings were simple hunter gatherers; that there has been a steady upward ‘development’ of humankind from less advanced to increasingly more advanced, culminating in ‘advanced’ industrial society. Such an orthodox view of history is one that comes across generally as Promethean, because humankind in its current format is elevated to the apex of technological development. Hancock’s work challenged such an orthodox view, and it is unsurprising that he is so often marginalised by proponents of mainstream orthodoxy as a member of ‘the fringe’, as is clearly evident at the website badarcheology.com[18]. Certainly there must be issues with some of the thousands of resources that Hancock uses to explore aspects of his hypothesis – the nature of true science is that it is an on-going process of adopting (and adapting to) new information and discarding that which leads to insurmountable problems. However, in the cases of Gobekli Tepe and Ganung Padang, complex structures built from intricately carved rock monoliths, the very tool used by orthodox archaeologists, i.e. carbon-14 dating, establishes Hancock’s hypothesis of a lost civilization as more than simply a hypothesis – it becomes the only down-to-earth[19] explanation for the structures. The mounting evidence for the comet impact approximately 12900 years ago[20] furthermore explains what happened to the advanced civilization in question.

There are incredibly important consequences for the view that an advanced civilization was displaced by a global cataclysm and thereafter played important roles in the construction of various megalithic structures all over the world. To begin, the carbon-14 dating method that has historically been used to ‘confirm’ the story of ‘civilization’ that generally starts with the invention of agriculture 10,000 years ago and culminates in the contemporary ‘advanced industrial’ period needs to be brought into serious question as the authority on how old ancient sites really are. Gobekli Tepe and Ganung Padang may have revealed vastly old carbon-14 dates, but the true age of megalithic sites may never be known in such a technique is used as the sole means of dating such sites, because one cannot date rock, but rather only carbon uncovered at a relevant site. Hancock and many of his peers propose alternative methods of dating such sites, and these should be considered as necessary dating-tools to accompany the cabon-14 technique (more about this below). The alternative dating techniques have already been used at various sites and proponents suggest far older ages of various megalithic structures. With Gobekli Tepe and Ganang Padang as precedents that push the original dates of the structures into the distant past by many thousands of years, there will certainly be more such discoveries made in the near future. Even if this does not happen, which is logically unlikely, the entire established view of human history has to be rewritten: the old ‘story’ of humankind ‘progressing’ from hunter-gatherers to agriculturalists to industrialists is simply wrong. With new stories come new ways of thinking, and thus can the Promethean paradigm be challenged, giving way to an Orphic attitude (more below on why it would be Orphic).

The fact that ‘the civilization of the history-books’ is not the first also suggests that it may not be the last. The cataclysmic upheaval of a previous advanced civilization raises questions about the future of what is contemporaneously widely heralded as an advanced civilisation. As was shown in Chapters 1 and 2, humankind has indeed put in place the mechanisms necessary for its own demise, so another form of global cataclysm around the proverbial corner is not out of the realm of possibility for humankind – indeed, some commentators state that human extinction in the next few hundred years is quite likely[21]. Serious widespread consideration of Hancock’s work, and serious genuine scientific inquiry into the knowledge systems that ‘the ancients’ left traces of in their megalithic structures, could unveil information that could prove to be very useful to a civilization on the brink of collapse – albeit due to their own devices this time. Even if such investigation reveals little ‘helpful’ information for the current civilization to learn from, it is surely useful to acknowledge broadly that a previous advanced civilization met its demise, acting as a warning to society at large that it is not invincible, possibly pushing the arrogance of the Promethean towards the ecological sensitivity of the Orphic.

With an advanced civilization of vast antiquity – one capable of remarkable feats of building megalithic stone buildings that inspire awe and wonder in all who visit such sites – widely acknowledged, contemporary civilisation can no longer be the considered the ‘apex of evolution’, but rather one phase of a cycle. Cycles are Orphic and do not fit well into the linearity of Prometheanism. With reference to Hancock’s work, Orthodox archaeology and its linear timeline can be shown to be blatantly wrong about some very important areas of investigation into the human past; further claims by proponents of orthodox views need to be called into question, destabilising aspects of institutionalised knowledge. Institutionalised knowledge has been standardized by the religious, scientific, technological, and capitalist ‘democratic’ powers that be – all Promethean (see Chapter 3). Hancock’s work is one important example of how the historical base of such Promethean paradigms can be challenged, and indeed ‘rewritten’.

Furthermore – and with regard to something so detailed as to be impossibly beyond the scope of this study but so important that it cannot be omitted – Hancock’s research in Fingerprints  paints a detailed picture of advanced knowledge systems in which acute awareness of cosmic cyclical processes is prominent (Chapters 28-32 ; pp. 227-272.), and an awareness of cycles is a characteristic of the Orphic.  He explains what these cycles are (pp. 258-259):

12 = the number of constellations in the zodiac; 30 = the number of degrees allocated along the ecliptic to each zodiacal constellation; 72 = the number of years required for the equinoctial sun to complete a precessional shift of one degree along the ecliptic; 360 = the total number of degrees in the ecliptic;

72 x 30 = 2160 (the number of years required for the sun to complete a passage of 30 degrees along the ecliptic, i.e., to pass entirely through any one of the 12 zodiacal constellations); 2160 x 12 (or 360 x 72) = 25,920 (the number of years in one complete precessional cycle or ‘Great Year’, and thus the total number of years required to bring about the ‘Great Return’). … 36  [=] the number of years required for the equinoctial sun to complete a precessional shift of half a degree along the ecliptic; 4320 [=] the number of years required for the equinoctial sun to completea precessional shift of 60 degrees (i.e., two zodiacal constellations).

Hancock turns to the work of three prominent figures – Archeo-astronomer Jane B. Sellers[22], and professors Santillana and von Dechend – in the ‘alternative’ approach to humanity’s distant past, and offers his case based upon their findings. Hancock (1995: 246) says of Santillana and von Dechend that they “present a formidable array of mythical and iconographic evidence to demonstrate” that “at some unknown date, it seems that certain archaic myths from all over the world were ‘co-opted’ (no other word will really do) to serve as vehicles for a body of complex technical data [i.e. the numbers quoted above] concerning the precession of the equinoxes.”[23] He says of Sellers that she believes the relevant astronomical cycles numbered above

constitute the basic ingredients of a precessional code which appears again and again, with eerie persistence, in ancient myths and sacred architecture. In common with much esoteric numerology, it is a code in which it is permissible to shift decimal points to left or right at will and to make use of almost any conceivable combinations, permutations, multiplications, divisions and fractions of the essential numbers (all of which relate precisely to the rate of precession of the equinoxes).[24]

These are not empty claims – Hancock supports his argument by way of Sellers, Santillana and von Dechend with great detail (1995: 246-272)[25]. Thereafter, initially in 153 pages (1995: 275-428), Hancock explores[26] the intricate edifices of the Giza plateau from various perspectives, for example, from the perspective of Prof. Robert Schoch[27], who showed in 1992, after being approached by John Anthony West (quoted above) that the erosion marks on the Sphinx are caused by water (Hancock 1995: 420-422). Schoch states conservatively at robertschoch.com[28] that the water erosion finding means that the Sphinx must date back to “at least 5000 B.C., and maybe as early as 7000 or 9000 B.C.”, well predating the general 2500 B.C. period believed by orthodox archaeologists (Ibid and here[29]) to be the time of its making. John Anthony West states unequivocally that one has to “go back to before 10,000 BC to find a wet enough climate in Egypt to account for weathering of this type and on this scale. It therefore follows that the Sphinx must have been built before 10,000 BC and since it’s a massive, sophisticated work of art it also follows that it must have been built by a high civilization.” (Hancock 1995: 419) The pyramids are further, awe-inspiring megalithic-sized proof of the existence of a high civilisation that clearly did not build the structures in order to entomb pharaohs[30], which is what the orthodox archaeologists say the pyramids were built to do[31] – Hancock compiles overwhelming evidence to show that the Great Pyramid is far more than merely a tomb: it is geodetic marker (1995: 431), aligned to true north (and of course the other cardinal points as well); the meridian of the Great pyramid “sliced the Nile Delta region into two equal halves” (Ibid), and even more intriguing, “the Great Pyramid appears to have been carefully sited as a geodetic marker for the apex of the Delta” (1665: 431-432), requiring an eagle-eye view of the territory, as well as the understanding and technology to encode massive geographical proportions into megalithic buildings. This latter point is again evident when one considers that the number pi[32] is built into the Great Pyramid[33] (Hancock 1995: 177-178), as well as into the Pyramid of the Sun at Teotihuacan in Mesoamerica[34]; this is almost inconceivably difficult to do accurately in any construction, never mind when the building materials are weigh between two to fifteen tons a piece in the case of the Great Pyramid, with many of the heavier monoliths counter-intuitively constituting some of the higher courses – “really big monoliths that had been carved out of solid limestone and raised more than 100 feet into the air before being placed faultlessly in position.” (Hancock 1995:283). Furthermore, the Great Pyramid, almost unbelievably “seemed to have been designed to serve as a map-projection—on a scale of 1:43,200 – of the northern hemisphere of our planet” (Hancock 1995 434-435):

consider the earth’s polar radius of 3949.921 miles. If we scale it down 43,200 times we get 0.0914 of a mile: 482.59 feet. The earth’s polar radius scaled down 43,200 times is therefore 482.59 feet. By comparison the Great Pyramid’s height is 481.3949 feet—just a foot less than the ideal figure, an error of barely one-fifth of one per cent. As near as makes no difference, therefore, the perimeter of the Great Pyramid’s base is indeed 1:43,200 of the equatorial circumference of the earth. And as near as makes no difference, the height of the Great Pyramid above that base is indeed 1:43,200 of the polar radius of the earth.

43,200 is not a random number: as was shown above, 4,320 features in the list of ‘astronomical numbers’ that feature in various ancient myths, numbers that are frequently multiplied (or divided) by ten (or 100 or 1000, etc.) in numerous myths encoding precessional information. As Hancock says (Ibid),

What absolutely excludes the possibility that this could be a coincidence is the fact that the scale involved is keyed in numerically to the rate of precession of the equinoxes — one of earth’s most characteristic planetary mechanisms. It is therefore clear that we are confronted here by the manifestation of a deliberate planning decision: one intended to be recognizable as such by any culture which had acquired (a) an accurate knowledge of the dimensions of the earth and (b) an accurate knowledge of the rate of precessional motion.

As if the above information is not enough to cause re-evaluation of orthodox archaeological views, the floor plan of the structures in the broad Giza pyramid complex has been shown by Robert Bauval to correspond to a “picture of the skies [i.e. star layout]… not as they had looked in the Fourth Dynasty around 2500 BC, but as they had looked – and only as they had looked – around the year 10,450 BC” (Hancock 1995: 356). Bauval is a mathematician who analysed the Giza site layout using a computer program that shows the positions of the stars (as viewed from Earth) anytime in the past and future. Hancock (1995: 444) quotes Bauval:

At 10,450 BC  — and at that date only — we find that the pattern of the pyramids on the ground provides a perfect reflection of the pattern of the stars in the sky. I mean it’s a perfect match — faultless — and it cannot be an accident because the entire arrangement correctly depicts two very unusual celestial events that occurred only at that time.[35]

It is possible to keep compiling remarkable aspects such as the ones mentioned above about the Giza plateau for many pages; and then one could turn to the another megalithic site and start all over again, and then another site, and so on. In the early years after the publication of Fingerprints, it was common to encounter heated archaeological dismissals of views (regarding the ages of various structures on the Giza plateau) such as those of Hancock[36], Schock, West, and Bauval (despite the extensive evidence they offer in support of their work), but it is at least clear that there was not consensus about the age of the Giza structures at the time of the writing of Fingerprints in 1995. Indeed, Hancock’s research (which rests upon the work of hundreds of other researchers) was instrumental in the revolution that has been occurring in the way that human beings view the roles of their predecessors of vast antiquity since the publication. What has certainly changed in recent years is that news of the official ages of Gobekeli Tepe and Padang Gadang has spread, confirming the ‘theories’ – now turning out to be ‘good science’ – endorsed by human beings who dared not to accept orthodox views in light of information that could not be dismissed.

This sub-section will conclude with an educated guess – a very inspiring and relevant thought-provoking extract considering the present focus on ‘the Orphic’ – by Robert Bauval, who was asked by Graham Hancock during the writing of Fingerprints, ‘What do you think the purpose of the pyramid builders really might have been?” (1995: 453): [underlined sections highlight relevant Orphic qualities].

They didn’t do it because they wanted an eternal tomb… In my view, they had no doubts at all that they would eternally live. They did it — whoever did it — they have transmitted the power of their ideas through something that is to all intents and purposes eternal. They succeeded in creating a force that is functional in itself, provided you understand it, and that force is the questions it challenges you to ask. My guess is that they knew the human mind to perfection. They knew the game of ritual … Right? I’m serious. They knew what they were doing. They knew that they could initiate people far ahead in the future into their way of thinking even though they couldn’t be there themselves. They knew that they could do this by creating an eternal machine, the function of which was to generate questions. …The machine is the pyramids!… ‘the whole of the Giza necropolis really. And look at us. What are we doing? We’re asking questions… lots and lots of questions just as we’ve been programmed to do. We’re in the hands of real magicians here, and real magicians know that with symbols—with the right symbols, with the right questions — they can lead you into initiating yourself. Provided, that is, you are a person who asks questions. And, if you are, then the minute you start asking questions about the pyramids you begin to stumble into a whole series of answers which lead you to other questions, and then more answers until finally you initiate yourself.

Indeed, in the Introduction to this chapter Hadot is quoted with the following:  the “occultation of nature will be perceived not as a resistance that must be conquered but as a mystery into which human beings can be gradually initiated”; initiation into a mystery, into the mystery that shrouds the human past and the human condition in general despite the concerted Promethean efforts to control human consciousness. As far as this initiation is concerned, one would arguably be initiated into an Orphic paradigm: the realisation that contemporary ACID is not the apex of civilisation, that human society is subject to the same rise-and-collapse cycles as ‘nature’, that “melody, rhythm, and harmony” (see Introduction to this chapter) have been realised and prioritised by the predecessors of ACID, that “respect in the face of mystery” overcomes the limitations of reductionist, orthodox paradigms.

 

[1] http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-23536567 accessed 18 June 2015

[2] http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2383733/A-comet-DID-wipe-North-American-prehistoric-humans-Ice-core-data-suggests-cosmic-impact-killed-Clovis-people.html?ito=feeds-newsxml accessed 18 June 2015

[3] http://www.upi.com/Science_News/2013/08/01/Cosmic-impact-may-have-led-to-demise-of-early-North-American-peoples/UPI-85221375400939/ accessed 18 June 2015

[4] http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/evidence-found-for-planet-cooling-asteroid-12900-years-ago/ accessed 18 June 2015

[5] http://www.space.com/14793-comet-earth-impact-younger-dryas.html accessed 18 June 2015

[6] http://www.grahamhancock.com/forum/HancockG12.php accessed 18 June 2015

[7] http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2011/06/gobekli-tepe/mann-text accessed 28 April 2015

[8] Issues with the orthodox archaeological claims about the age of the pyramids will soon be called into question.

[9] See Ian Hodder’s comment below.

[10] “John Anthony West… is an American author, lecturer, guide and a proponent of Sphinx water erosion hypothesis in geology”. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Anthony_West accessed 11 August 2015

[11] See http://skepdic.com/gobeklitepe.html accessed 13 August 2015

[12] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gunung_Padang_Megalithic_Site#cite_note-9 accessed 28 April 2015 and http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3021547/Is-hillside-hiding-world-s-oldest-pyramid-Ancient-structure-Indonesia-20-000-years-old.html accessed 28 April 2015

[13] As will be seen below in this sub-section, these are eerily intricate structures.

[14] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G%C3%B6bekli_Tepe#cite_ref-:0_3-0 accessed 28 April 2015

[15] https://grahamhancock.com/carbon-dating-hancock/ accessed 12 August 2015

[16] There was much controversy after this programme because the BBC quoted Hancock completely out of context, and omitted important information pertaining to his position, creating an air of scepticism about the reputability of Hancock. I have personally been told by a seemingly intelligent acquaintance that ‘Hancock was debunked’, a mistaken belief for which there is no evidence. Instead, the BBC had to make a public apology to Hancock and another researcher, Robert Bauval, who will be mentioned again in this sub-section. See for details, https://grahamhancock.com/category/bbc-horizon/page/3/ accessed 12 August 2015, where one finds comments from the investigative commission into the programme along these lines: “Whilst mindful of the difficulties of including lengthy arguments on what was only one of many important matters in the programme, the Commission considers that the omission of Mr Hancock’s arguments was not justified. It therefore finds that this was unfair to Mr Hancock”. Then consider the intricacy of Hancock’s original complaint: https://grahamhancock.com/horizon-bsc-complaint/ accessed 12 August 2075

[17] See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_human_prehistory and http://humanhistorytimeline.com/ as examples; both sites accessed 13 August 2015.

[18] http://www.badarchaeology.com/lost-civilisations/graham-hancocks-lost-civilisation/ accessed 18 June 2015

[19] One may wish to be, literally, less ‘down-to-earth’ and propose extra-terrestrial explanations, but Hancock’s hypothesis circumvents the temptation to do so.

[20] This article – http://www.space.com/14793-comet-earth-impact-younger-dryas.html – does very well to contextualise the differing scientific views associated with the comet evidence, and indeed leaves the reader with little doubt that the comet does in fact play the role that Hancock claims it does.

[21] See http://www.globalresearch.ca/doomsday-scenarios-climate-change-and-world-war-iii/5458764 and http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/2959092/the_world_is_already_committed_to_a_six_meter_sea_level_rise.html both accessed 12 August 2015

[22] Jane B. Sellers is, according to Hancock (1995: 256), one of the “few serious scholars to have tested the theory advanced by Santillana and von Dechend in Hamlet’s Mill”. A helpful description of the latter two figures is offered at Wikipedia.com: Santillana was “Professor of the History of Science in the School of Humanities in 1954. In 1969, he published a book entitled: Hamlet’s Mill, An Essay on Myth and the Frame of Time with Dr. Hertha von Dechend. This book focussed upon the understanding of the connection between the mythological stories of Pharaonic Egypt, Babylon, Greece, Christianity, etc. and the ancient observations pertaining to the stars, planets and, most notably, the 26,000 year precession of the equinoxes.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giorgio_de_Santillana accessed 11 August 2015

[23] See Hancock 1995: 227-272 for extensive information about precession.

[24] See Chapter 28 of Fingerprints for more on the 25,920 year cycle known as precession of the equinoxes.

[25] Space limitations do not permit examples to be listed here – see the referenced pages for ample examples.

[26] ‘Explore’ in the literal and metaphorical sense – he spent time at Giza when writing this part of the book.

[27] Schock is “a Boston University geologist and specialist in rock erosion” (1995: 420)

[28] http://www.robertschoch.com/sphinxcontent.html accessed 11 August 2015

[29] “For years, Egyptologists and archaeologists have thought the Great Sphinx of Giza to be about 4,500 years old, dating to around 2500 B.C.” – http://www.nbcnews.com/id/3077390/ns/technology_and_science-science/t/how-old-sphinx/#.VcygFR9uTVM accessed 13 August 2015.

[30] It may be the case that pharaohs used the pyramids as tombs, but the construction of the megaliths dates back into vast antiquity.

[31] “Most were built as tombs for the country’s pharaohs and their consorts during the Old and Middle Kingdom periods”. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egyptian_pyramids#cite_ref-2 accessed 12 August 2015. The fact that this is from Wikipedia is testament to the fact that the faulty tomb conclusion is the dominant one, considering that Wikipedia is unarguably the source that most people turn to contemporarily for information.

[32] Interestingly, orthodox scholars do not contest the pi relationship, but they do attribute it to coincidence (Hancock 1995: 434).

[33] Some details (Hancock 1995: 177-178): “Where the Great Pyramid is concerned, the ratio between the original height (481.3949 feet 9 ) and the perimeter (3023.16 feet 10 ) turns out to be the same as the ratio between the radius and the circumference of a circle, i.e. 2pi. 11 Thus, if we take the pyramid’s height and multiply it by 2pi (as we would with a circle’s radius to calculate its circumference) we get an accurate read-out of the monument’s perimeter (481.3949 feet 2 x 3.14 = 3023.16 feet). Alternatively, if we turn the equation around and start with the

circumference at ground level, we get an equally accurate read-out of the height of the summit (3023.16 feet divided by 2 divided by 3.14 = 481.3949 feet).”

[34] The latter pyramids have a 4pi ratio in the same way as the former have 2pi. Hancock’s comment (Ibid) on this similarity is telling: both pyramids incorporate pi “in much the same way, and in a manner which leaves no doubt that the ancient builders on both sides of the Atlantic were thoroughly conversant with this transcendental number.”

[35] See Hancock 1995:443-445 for the detailed description and explanation of the ‘two events’ mentioned by Bauval.

[36] For example, see https://badarchaeology.wordpress.com/2014/01/02/hancocks-fingerprints-of-the-gods-part-i-misunderstanding-early-modern-cartography/ accessed 11 August 2015. It is a blog posy trying to ‘debunk’ Hancock’s work by taking up (in this case) six  points of issue with one (out of literally thousands) of Hancock’s areas of focus in Fingerprints, throwing the entire theory of an advanced ancient civilisation out with the bathwater of discrepancies about a map. A lengthy comment in reply to the post provides some important context, in response to which one commentator notes that the blog author’s “points seem to be firing shots over the Graham Hancock ship and not actually hitting anything. [The] evidence does not appear to be any more conclusive than the claims [the blogger is] attempting to shoot down.”