Is humanity a “species with amnesia” and, if so, what have we forgotten? in 1995, in his multi-million bestseller Fingerprints of the Gods, Graham Hancock first presented his case that we have lost an entire episode of an advanced civilization from the historical record and argued that a global cataclysm around 12,500 years ago was the cause. In the 22 years since Fingerprints was published, a mass of new evidence has emerged that supports this extraordinary possibility — archaeological evidence of advanced predecessors, geological evidence as to the nature of the cataclysm, and genetic evidence which casts doubt on many hitherto accepted “truths” about the evolution of anatomically modern humans. All eyes are now focused on the mysterious epoch that geologists call the Younger Dryas, between 12,800 and 11,600 years ago – an epoch that began and ended with cataclysmic floods, catastrophic climate change and megafaunal extinctions across the globe. Were these calamities caused by fluctuations in the sun’s radiation, or by a comet striking the earth, or by something else entirely?
There is a rapidly expanding and often acrimonious scholarly debate, which includes profound disagreements amongst “alternative” as well as “mainstream” researchers, adding to a growing state of confusion and uncertainty. In this talk Graham Hancock reviews the evidence and the arguments, the new archaeology and the intriguing genetic clues, to bring us closer to the truth of what really happened during this – astonishingly recent! – global, extinction-level event.
Disturbingly the survivors of earth’s lost civilization, who foresaw the fall into barbarism that would follow, left us unmistakable clues suggesting that what happened to them could also happen to us, that what goes around comes around, and that there is an ongoing threat to the very survival of humanity. Scattered around the world in myths, maps and monuments and in deliberately buried time-capsules, such as mysterious 12,000-year-old sites like Gunung Padang in Indonesia and Gobekli Tepe in Turkey, these clues appear to have been designed to reawaken humanity at a time when an advanced global civilization had once again emerged.
That time, Hancock suggests, is now, and never has it been more urgent that we recover our memory and learn the lessons our ancestors strove to teach us. Armed with nuclear weapons, puffed up with arrogance and pride in our achievements, spiritually bankrupt, indifferent to the harm we are doing to our sacred mother earth, deeply out of harmony with the universe, and blind to the portents in the skies, we stand in real danger of becoming the next Atlantis, forced ͞to begin again like children͟, as Plato put it, ͞with no memory of what went before͟. Yet we are confronted by tremendous opportunities as well as dangers and hope is more appropriate than fear.
Hancock concludes his lecture with evidence that a planetary awakening is underway, the birth of a new – or perhaps very old and long-lost – form of human consciousness that has the power to save us from ourselves and take us forward through a difficult transition not to doom and disaster but to a bright new epoch.