The expression ” rewriting history” couldn’t be more accurate if it tried. History is a chameleon, changing colour as it reflects the perspective of individual orators. Inoffensive landmarks faithfully, universally noted – controversial or distasteful facts, omitted or presented in more favourable light. History is a subject open to interpretation; often a best guess or comfortable middle ground. The last few thousand years are easy. Reasonable written records piece together an accurate portrait of humanity’s sordid parade.
Ancient history is another story; a far different story than I learned in school. I was taught that “civilization ” began in Mesopotamia. I learned of Egypt, Greece, and Rome. Taught that civilization began with the advent of written language, I happily absorbed my lessons, textbook timeline and all.
Now I’m wishing they would find Atlantis. The only written record comes from Greek philosopher Plato in 360 B.C. He described the city in great detail, dating it to 9,600 B.C. That would put it thousands of years before Mesopotamia. Many scholars believe Plato wrote of Atlantis, not as fact, rather as a tool to express his ideas on society. At the heart of the debate are the extreme details Plato used to describe the physical lay out of the city. If simply a metaphor, why would he painstakingly scribe such details?
Archaeologists and historians have placed it under Antarctic ice, off the coast of the Bahamas, under Spanish marshland, and in the Aegean Sea. It tickles our imagination; fuelling tales of Poseidon and Captain Nemo. Finding this mythical city would re-write history.
We need to find Atlantis because we’ve all heard of it. Atlantis would be the spark needed to ignite the accepted timeline of civilization – blowing it to smithereens. I can think of no other course of action; Atlantis would tip the cart. My dismay stems from the realization my textbook history was shot full of holes years ago. Watching my children; dutifully hand in the same reports I did; colouring the same tired historical march, not once presented with possibilities of civilization lost.
Mention civilization lost and most people would think of Atlantis or Shangra-La. Not a shred of evidence has ever been found to support either. Meanwhile, irrefutable scientific evidence dates Gobekli Tepe at 7000 years before the pyramids. Puma Punku is older than that, perhaps the oldest structure on earth. These aren’t stone huts, I’m talking mind boggling monolithic stone structures.Places that defy explanation Documents such as the Piri Reis map, showing the outline of Antarctica under miles of ice;.as it would have been before the last ice age.
Ancient history has more questions than answers.One thing for certain; the cradle of civilization is no more Mesopotamia than the world is flat. We can’t discount facts simply because we don’t have all the answers. A closed mind is a sorry excuse, it’s time to re-write history.