Sunday, December 14, 2008

Discoveries like this make me want to start studying

archaeology:
Now, it was announced in January, a civilization has been uncovered that would have appeared just as ancient to the people who built the pyramids as the pyramids seem to us.

According to marine scientists in India, archaeological remains of this lost city have been discovered 36 metres (120 feet) underwater in the Gulf of Cambay off the western coast of India. And carbon dating says that they are 9,500 years old.

This news completely contradicts the position of most Western historians and archaeologists, who (because it did not fit their theories) have always rejected, ignored, or suppressed evidence of an older view of mankind's existence on planet Earth. Human civilization is now provably much more ancient than many have believed.
...
The vast city — which is five miles long and two miles wide — is believed to predate the oldest known remains in the subcontinent by more than 5,000 years.

The site was discovered by chance last year by oceanographers from India's National Institute of Ocean Technology, who were conducting a survey of pollution.Using sidescan sonar, which sends a beam of sound waves down to the bottom of the ocean, they identified huge geometrical structures at a depth of 120 feet.

Debris recovered from the site — including construction material, pottery, sections of walls, beads, sculpture, and human bones and teeth — has been carbon dated and found to be nearly 9,500 years old.

I'll admit to two feelings about this. The first is delight; a discovery like this is just frikkin' wonderful, a new window into the past. No telling what all might turn up.
The second is a certain amount of evil laughter at the "This is THE EARLIEST DATE for civilization and anyone who says otherwise is a fraud!" historians and archaeologists reading about this and trying desperately to figure a way to prove their numbers are right and this new discovery doesn't actually mean anything. I know there's probably not many, but they're the kind of 'scientist' who'd rather screw with facts to fit their theory and beliefs than change the theory to fit the facts, the way science is supposed to work.

In any case, this is a marvelous discovery.

2 comments:

Chad said...

Problem is that discovery was several years ago (2001) and has been pretty well debunked as a way for Indian Nationalists to put down the west.
Here's what Wikipedia has to say:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruins_in_the_Gulf_of_Cambay

According to archaeologists, the "ruins" are either natural rock formations and result of faulty remote sensing equipment and the "artifacts" recovered are either geofacts or foreign objects introduced to the site by the very strong tidal currents in the Gulf of Cambay. The side scan sonar equipment used to image the bottom of the Gulf may have been faulty, and the claimed supporting evidence is purely circumstantial.

Dave said...

Chad covered it. Still, the basic lesson may prove correct, if in a much more modest way than finding large-block construction cities. Sea levels rose recently enough that sites occupied by anatomically modern humans must now be underwater, and this is a field that we're just starting to see the technology to exploit. Separately, I've read that the old Nile bed has never been excavated; we don't know if there's anything there or not. The sphinx shows water weathering that shouldn't be there if its only as old as the pyramids.

Also, contra my old textbooks, the most recent evidence from sites in Europe and the middle east is that stationary settlements preceeded the first agriculture, rather than agriculture driving the first stationary settlements.

All told, I agree with Firehand that assuming civilization started with the first known civilization likely fails Occam's razor, even if its how historians and archaeologists have to draw up the timelines.