Star Clock BC: Antikythera Mechanism

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Star Clock BC: Antikythera MechanismOver a century ago, sponge divers recovered an extremely complex mechanical device from a shipwreck. Hidden among a rich cache of bronze and marble statues, glassware and amphorae was a mechanism the size of a shoe box. Inside the mechanism were mathematical gears and pointers.

The Ancient Greeks were known to be philosophers, poets, and mathematicians but there was nothing in the archaeological record to suggest that they were also technicians capable of creating something so complex. It has taken researchers 100 years to understand what the mechanism does.

Dubbed the Antikythera mechanism (for the location of the shipwreck from which it came), the device is considered the world's first computer, developed by the Greeks around the 1st century B.C. Scientists continue to marvel at its intricate system of gears which rival that of the most complex Swiss watch.

Watch the full documentary now

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Ratings: 7.16/10 from 19 users.
  • brianrose87

    This doc sent me off on a wikipedia tangent from archimedes to aristotle and Alexander the Great, Plutarch and Polybius. You forget how diverse and rich the knowledge of the Mediterranean was over 2300 years ago.

    Had Alexander the Great lived longer, or had a cogent plan for his successor, we may have lived in a globally integrated, highly scientifically oriented world thousands of years sooner.

    The constant fall of empires, from the Hellenistic to Rome and the Islamic Empire, has consistently turned the gears of technological innovation and scientific knowledge backward.

    One day, lifetimes from this moment in time, people will discuss industrial civilization and be baffled by the lack of foresight that led to its decline.

  • marcosanthonytoledo

    This shows we should not underestimate our ancestors

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LK6B2HGMK4EHZ6YJ3I6WFKY77U DigiWongaDude

    - 'Antikythera wreck' on Wikipedia:

    "The ship was carrying part of the loot of the Roman General Sulla from Athens in 86 BC, and might have been on its way to Italy. A reference by the Greek writer, Lucian, to one of Sulla's ships sinking in the Antikythera region gave rise to this theory."

    Some of the 'loot' was already 250 years old at the time...

    ...I guess it's safe to say somebody had a very, Very, VERY bad day.

  • http://twitter.com/AbsolutLight Unity

    Most of the fallen empires failed because of similar reasons, as you mentioned, a lack of foresight led each one of them to its decline... I believe the people were blinded of this foresight because of excessive arrogance, greed, and general superiority complex, arising from the mere magnificence of their civilization, non could imagine anything was being done incorrect, or needed improvement.
    I see the same happening now-a-days. Most city people are so sure about their life-styles, society's habits, our chemical medicines and modified food, that they believe we are as best as could be, and don't see the massive iceberg that lies ahead

  • dmxi

    it's obvious that they're culture declined after their clock broke...no one bothered gettin' up early...here's another one....instead of winding up the clock they wound up their angry neighbours.....& lastbut not least...they saved this clock for the' antikythera road show'.blimey,one worse than the other,typical hangover verbal diarrhoea....but couldn't resist.

  • wald0

    I always thought this was probably a unique device in it's time, something built by some craftsman/inventor/mathematician/scientist type like Davincci for himself or his patron. But they said there were probably several of these in existence, judging by the fact that the builder seemed to have known all his demensions and ratios before hand and gotten them exactly correct- like he had built many before. Maybe these were on offer to whomever could afford such novelty during such hard times. It always amazes me just how skilled and knowledgable our ancestors really were- the rise of religion during the dark ages and all the senseless murder and mayhem it caused paints an incorrect picture of the past really.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kees.deboer.14 Kees de Boer

    nice doc!

  • Giacomo della Svezia

    Wonderful machine. I also like the necktie mr Krupp is wearing. : )

  • http://www.facebook.com/glen.hale2 Glen Hale

    Some where in here there is a story/Doc about all sorts of equipment we use today being found as artifacts, the theory is the civilization at the time was as modern as today but the Earth shifted throwing every thing back in time and we had to do it all over again which could be feasible if you think about the World turning say 1/4 or what ever of a turn that is the North pole could end up in the middle of Hawaii and all the Oceans would rush in and flood all know at the time.
    It was work out many years ago the World was round but the info was lost or forgotten.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LK6B2HGMK4EHZ6YJ3I6WFKY77U DigiWongaDude

    @ Glen Hale: I think if you look at the systematic destruction of things like the Library of Alexandria [Cosmos: A Personal Voyage: Episode1], the way the Spanish tried to wipe the Mayan written language from the face of the earth [Cracking the Mayan Code] and the affects of the last mini ice age, ["Little ICE Age - Big CHILL" on YouTube is enlightening!), it's all far easier to explain:

    We did this to ourselves, and we are very sensitive to the weather. No need for drastic, theoretical phenomena. As for our past 'modernity' being as today...a pretty romantic notion that often sells well as science fiction.

  • ShadowMan

    ....Maybe the Greeks had copied this devise from either Egyptians or the Mayans somehow. I think the Mayans had arrived in the Mediterranean and settled in Egypt, as some people have suggested. Could be made by Egyptians and the Greeks got their hands on it somehow. Or Greeks themselves did make it, copied from a scroll they found in some cave or underground tunnel like those 'dead sea scrolls' were found.

  • sknb

    It was nice to see the Antikythera machine taken on by real science, and not just ancient alien theorists, as it has been so exploited in the past.

  • Bad_Conduct

    We haven't found a lot of evidence of modern tech though. I guess, realistically, most things just don't last that long. You would think if this was common, we would find more of these and more guns, and less swords and status.

  • http://www.facebook.com/AaronKKalat Aaron K' Kalat

    I agree sknb. Seeing the Aliens guys talking about this destroys the credibility of this device. Many people's introduction to this machine is due to those guys. It's a shame really. It kind of makes you wonder if back in those days they had a quasi-steampunk civ going on haha... minus the spider robot and Will Smith.

  • Kateye70

    Oddly, I think the people hanging around the Mediterranean basin--Greek, Egyptian, or whatever ethnicity they happened to be--were smart enough to figure it out all by themselves, same as the Mayans.

    I bet even people in India or China could have figured it out too...they were all certainly clever and resourceful people, all certainly doing things we seem reluctant to give them full credit for today...

    I don't believe there's any genetic evidence that Mayans were Egyptians or vice-versa. I could be wrong, but I haven't come across anything so far that suggests it, no matter how romantic the notion is.

  • Giacomo della Svezia

    Why do you think the Mayans are involved even though there is no link between them and this device?
    And why couldn't the Greeks have figured it out for themselves?

  • Kateye70

    They certainly had good plumbing, in some areas. Even the oldest cities excavated seems to have figured out effective waste disposal systems. Sanitation is the foundation of civilization!

    I liked the one fellow's explanation as to why more of these devices didn't survive the centuries. It makes much common sense. Certainly more sense than 'aliens dun it.'

  • Kateye70

    I think the problem with 'civilizations' in general is that they're formed by creatures who evolved living in small groups where everyone knew everyone else.

    No matter how clever we are, we're still just human, and still just living one life at a time. It's kind of hard to keep focused on the bigger picture when the small one is so compelling.

  • ShadowMan

    .....Just a notion in my saying, yes, the Greeks were certainly clever enough in those days to construct this kind of device, I’m not saying 100% they copied, just a thought, but the Mayans were the best in their heyday in astronomy though, that's why I put this notion in that the Greeks may have got their hands on this device that could well of been made by the Mayans.

    In those days, Egyptians had 'reed made boats', (this is a new discovery) and there's evidence that they had sailed to the America's long before Columbus, thousands of years! So maybe the Egyptians got their hands on this device from the Mayans and brought back, just like the English explorers bringing back their booty to the queen of England etc. I would like it to be the Greeks who made this, I’m half Greek-Cypriot myself!
    One more thing that everyone seems to have missed out, could be made by the people of Atlantis!!!!! I watched a documentary suggesting that the lost island/city of Atlantis was in the Mediterranean. It sank there, and was near Greece too, so this is food for thought...yes?

  • ShadowMan

    ...Please check my reply to "Kateye70" below for your answer from me. I'm more inclined to think that this mechanism was made by the Atlantians, (Perhaps the Greeks originally were Atlantians after all!)

  • Giacomo della Svezia

    What's the evidence for the existence of Atlantis? The fact that Plato mentioned it is no proof.

  • ShadowMan

    ....We are getting closer to finding out, read this...."Scientists are convinced that Atlantis is submerged just north of Cadiz
    They used a satellite photo of a suspected submerged city to find the site. The team then surveyed it with a combination of deep-ground radar, digital mapping, and underwater technology
    It has remained a tantalising mystery for thousands of years, but now a U.S. led research team believes it has found the legendary lost city of Atlantis.

    Scientists claim to have pinpointed the exact location of the metropolis under mud flats in southern Spain.
    The team of archaeologists and geologists are convinced that Atlantis -swamped by a tsunami - is submerged just north of Cadiz.
    Professor Richard Freund of the University of Hartford, Connecticut, who led the international team, said: 'This is the power of tsunamis.

    'It is just so hard to understand that it can wipe out 60 miles inland, and that's pretty much what we're talking about.'
    The team used a satellite photo of a suspected submerged city to find the site then surveyed it with a combination of deep-ground radar, digital mapping, and underwater technology.
    Buried in the vast marshlands of the Dona Ana Park they found a strange series of 'memorial cities,' built in Atlantis' image by the refugees who fled the destructive tsunami.
    Atlantis residents who did not die built new cities inland, claimed Freund.

    The team's findings were unveiled yesterday in Finding Atlantis, a new National Geographic Channel special.
    Freund said the 'twist' of finding the memorial cities makes him confident Atlantis was buried in the mud flats.
    He said: 'We found something that no one else has ever seen before, which gives it a layer of credibility, especially for archaeology, that makes a lot more sense.'
    Greek philosopher Plato wrote about Atlantis some 2,600 years ago, describing it as 'an island situated in front of the straits called the Pillars of Hercules.'

    These pillars were known as the Straits of Gibraltar in bygone times.Using Plato's detailed account of Atlantis as a map, searches have focused on the Mediterranean and Atlantic as the best possible sites for the city.
    Freund says tsunamis in the region have been documented for centuries with one of the largest reported in November 1755 hitting Lisbon with a 10-story tidal wave.
    Debate about whether Atlantis truly existed has lasted for thousands of years. Plato's 'dialogues' from around 360 B.C. are the only known historical sources of information about the iconic city.

    Plato said the island he called Atlantis 'in a single day and night... disappeared into the depths of the sea.'
    Experts plan further excavations at the site where they believe Atlantis is and at the mysterious 'cities' in central Spain 150 miles away to more closely study geological formations and to date artifacts.
    Atlantis has been 'discovered' many times in the past.
    In 1997, Russian scientists claimed to have found it 100 miles off Land's End.
    Three years later, a ruined town was found less than 300ft of water off the north coast of Turkey in the Black Sea.
    So it could be after all!

  • ShadowMan

    Part 2…He said: 'We found something that no one else has ever seen before, which gives it a layer of credibility, especially for archaeology, that makes a lot more sense.'
    Greek philosopher Plato wrote about Atlantis some 2,600 years ago, describing it as 'an island situated in front of the straits called the Pillars of Hercules.'
    These pillars were known as the Straits of Gibraltar in bygone times.Using Plato's detailed account of Atlantis as a map, searches have focused on the Mediterranean and Atlantic as the best possible sites for the city.
    Freund says tsunamis in the region have been documented for centuries with one of the largest reported in November 1755 hitting Lisbon with a 10-story tidal wave.
    Debate about whether Atlantis truly existed has lasted for thousands of years. Plato's 'dialogues' from around 360 B.C. are the only known historical sources of information about the iconic city.
    Plato said the island he called Atlantis 'in a single day and night... disappeared into the depths of the sea.'
    Experts plan further excavations at the site where they believe Atlantis is and at the mysterious 'cities' in central Spain 150 miles away to more closely study geological formations and to date artifacts.
    Atlantis has been 'discovered' many times in the past.
    In 1997, Russian scientists claimed to have found it 100 miles off Land's End.
    Three years later, a ruined town was found less than 300ft of water off the north coast of Turkey in the Black Sea.

  • ShadowMan

    Scientists are convinced that Atlantis is submerged just north of Cadiz
    They used a satellite photo of a suspected submerged city to find the site
    The team then surveyed it with a combination of deep-ground radar, digital mapping, and underwater technology
    It has remained a tantalising mystery for thousands of years, but now a U.S. led research team believes it has found the legendary lost city of Atlantis.
    Scientists claim to have pinpointed the exact location of the metropolis under mud flats in southern Spain.
    The team of archaeologists and geologists are convinced that Atlantis -swamped by a tsunami - is submerged just north of Cadiz.
    Professor Richard Freund of the University of Hartford, Connecticut, who led the international team, said: 'This is the power of tsunamis.
    'It is just so hard to understand that it can wipe out 60 miles inland, and that's pretty much what we're talking about.'
    The team used a satellite photo of a suspected submerged city to find the site then surveyed it with a combination of deep-ground radar, digital mapping, and underwater technology.
    Buried in the vast marshlands of the Dona Ana Park they found a strange series of 'memorial cities,' built in Atlantis' image by the refugees who fled the destructive tsunami.
    Atlantis residents who did not die built new cities inland, claimed Freund.
    The team's findings were unveiled yesterday in Finding Atlantis, a new National Geographic Channel special.
    Freund said the 'twist' of finding the memorial cities makes him confident Atlantis was buried in the mud flats. Part 2 below…

  • ShadowMan

    Part 2…He said: 'We found something that no one else has ever seen before, which gives it a layer of credibility, especially for archaeology, that makes a lot more sense.'
    Greek philosopher Plato wrote about Atlantis some 2,600 years ago, describing it as 'an island situated in front of the straits called the Pillars of Hercules.'
    These pillars were known as the Straits of Gibraltar in bygone times.Using Plato's detailed account of Atlantis as a map, searches have focused on the Mediterranean and Atlantic as the best possible sites for the city.
    Freund says tsunamis in the region have been documented for centuries with one of the largest reported in November 1755 hitting Lisbon with a 10-story tidal wave.
    Debate about whether Atlantis truly existed has lasted for thousands of years. Plato's 'dialogues' from around 360 B.C. are the only known historical sources of information about the iconic city.
    Plato said the island he called Atlantis 'in a single day and night... disappeared into the depths of the sea.'
    Experts plan further excavations at the site where they believe Atlantis is and at the mysterious 'cities' in central Spain 150 miles away to more closely study geological formations and to date artifacts.
    Atlantis has been 'discovered' many times in the past.
    In 1997, Russian scientists claimed to have found it 100 miles off Land's End.
    Three years later, a ruined town was found less than 300ft of water off the north coast of Turkey in the Black Sea. This article was in Dailymail.co.uk

  • ShadowMan

    Part 2…He said: 'We found something that no one else has ever seen before, which gives it a layer of credibility, especially for archaeology, that makes a lot more sense.'
    Greek philosopher Plato wrote about Atlantis some 2,600 years ago, describing it as 'an island situated in front of the straits called the Pillars of Hercules.'
    These pillars were known as the Straits of Gibraltar in bygone times.Using Plato's detailed account of Atlantis as a map, searches have focused on the Mediterranean and Atlantic as the best possible sites for the city.
    Freund says tsunamis in the region have been documented for centuries with one of the largest reported in November 1755 hitting Lisbon with a 10-story tidal wave.
    Debate about whether Atlantis truly existed has lasted for thousands of years. Plato's 'dialogues' from around 360 B.C. are the only known historical sources of information about the iconic city.
    Plato said the island he called Atlantis 'in a single day and night... disappeared into the depths of the sea.'
    Experts plan further excavations at the site where they believe Atlantis is and at the mysterious 'cities' in central Spain 150 miles away to more closely study geological formations and to date artifacts.
    Atlantis has been 'discovered' many times in the past.
    In 1997, Russian scientists claimed to have found it 100 miles off Land's End. Three years later, a ruined town was found less than 300ft of water off the north coast of Turkey in the Black Sea. This article was in Dailymail.co.uk

  • Giacomo della Svezia

    Finding the ruins of a submerged city does in itself not prove that they are the remains of Atlantis, but even when it turns out they are it is quite a step to connect the Antikythera mechanism to that civilisation. It is the only mechanism in existence and it's not 4000 years old.

  • Kateye70

    There's a documentary on this site, "Ancient Apocalypse: the Minoans," about the destruction of the island of Thera 3500 years ago which posits that event as the destruction of Atlantis. That might be the one you're thinking about.

    But you know, Atlantis as such is just a story; there's no real evidence for it although I would guess there are any number of civilizations that have come and gone that we have not found evidence for--people have been stumbling around on the planet for so many years it would strange if there weren't.

    I think it would be awesome if we found a Neanderthal or Denisovan city, myself!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LK6B2HGMK4EHZ6YJ3I6WFKY77U DigiWongaDude

    @ Bad_Conduct & Glen Hale
    The Chinese were digging and came across ancient strands of copper wire, and proudly proclaimed their ancestors had invented the first electrical telecommunications.

    The Americans, not to be outdone, dug much deeper and found ancient strands of fibre optic cable...declaring THEIR ancestors had invented the internet.

    The Irish, wanting to make a play, dug for 10 years and found absolutely nothing, declaring their ancestors invented wi-fi.

  • ShadowMan

    ....But it could be Atlantis though! And the mechanism could be more than 4000 years old; carbon dating has now been proven not too reliable too!!

  • Giacomo della Svezia

    Of course it could be. But to make that statement some solid clues are necessary. The clues given by Plato were too vague to give certainty, I don't know if any other exist.
    Modern dating methods are too accurate for making an error of more than 1000 years: The shroud of Turin was dated to have been made between 1260 and 1390, with 95 % certainty. The period in which it must have been made according to a dating method could be longer, depending on how much older the artifact is.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jeremy.a.gross Jeremy Gross

    Oh c'mon,,,everybody knows Atlantis is in the Pegasus galaxy!!!

  • Confit

    I believe this tool is to be used with the Mayan calendar and the alignment of the Pyramids and the constellations. I also believe this was not manmade, and just like the pyramids, was left on earth from a former civilization as a gift. A gift that should lead us to a better understanding of the earth's long-pulsed cycle.

  • texastea2

    I believe there is a reasonasble chance that sometime in the future we will find that Atlantis is actually what we call Antarctica and the evidence is buried under miles of ice.I do not know but from maps that apparently existed way before the 15th century showing antartica as it looks without all the ice is quite interesting.

  • huskamute

    IT cant be Aliens or they would have got the solar system right with the sun at the centre and Uranus and Neptune! Although i think the Alien theory more likely than Gods and prophets!

  • http://www.facebook.com/carter.dixon.94 Carter Dixon

    Those aren't maps of antarctica. They are actually of South America and Australia You can google Pir riis map on line. Or something of the sort.

  • http://www.facebook.com/carter.dixon.94 Carter Dixon

    If they were aliens I'm sure that they would have understood the workings of the planets better, or that there were more than 5.

  • texastea2

    Carter the maps I am referring to are CLEARLY not south America and Australia for they are on the map as well and pretty accurately at that.

  • texastea2

    The question would become then.If what very accurately depicts the shape of Antarctica ,(if one melted all of the ice) is actually South America and Australia ,then what the heck are you calling the land mass drawn on the map that so accurately depicts South America and Australia ? I do not understand what you are saying actually because the map I am referring to was drawn way before Columbus or Magellen and it clearly and very accuratey depicts North & South America Africa Australia AND very accurately depicts Antarctica as it would look without miles of ice on top. I will try and find ya some links.I haven't delved into this subject for awhile might be fun.If you have any more info for me please share .Thanks

  • texastea2

    Yeah the pir riis maps (or how ever you say his nickname) are actually a map put together from previous maps some drawn as early as 900 ad some perhaps much much earlier still.They however still depicted North America (which columbus missed and found the carribean islands instead) Africa Asia and North America joined in the bering straights and YES Antarctica. as well as many very accurately placed Islands that I as well as millions of others have been taught that humans thought the world was flat.HARDLY.

  • docoman

    One thing with the map of Antarctica. The coast lines we see today, our familiar earth map, is at the current sea levels.
    If they were able to map Antarctica, and it has pretty much the same coast line as now, then it would follow that the sea levels were more or less the same now as when it was mapped.
    Which would mean they somehow saw through the ice, like we have with radar. The ice was still there, otherwise the sea level and coastlines would be different.

  • jaberwokky

    Fascinating. This certainly makes you wonder what else has been lost along the way. Also a little sad for the long dark lull we've had in technological advancement until relatively recently.

  • Pysmythe

    Something Carl Sagan said a few decades ago makes me a little depressed every time I remember it. You've probably heard it, but, to paraphrase, "If the library at Alexandria had not burned down, how much farther along we would be. Perhaps the Industrial Revolution would've happened centuries earlier, and already we would've started the colonization of space in earnest."

  • jaberwokky

    The possibility that because of some dipstick pyromaniac we're still stuck on this planet ... :(

  • docoman

    I really like this doco. A very interesting find I think.

    Don't underestimate the role religion/politics had to play in the outrage of the burning of the Library of Alexandria.
    (woke up in Alexandria on my 18th B'day I did, lucky me ;)

    A crime against all humanity, past, present and future. :(

    (I feel very similar about how so much of the knowledge of the Australian Aboriginal peoples has been lost over the last couple hundred years here in Aus. So many thousands of years to learn what they did, to just be wiped out and forgotten so quickly because of what is really a lack of ability to understand, largely through arrogance, ignorance and racism.)

  • docoman

    Have you heard of, or looked into the water erosion in the Great Sphinx in Cairo? And the implications on the time it was built?
    Personally, I find it hard to believe that homo sapiens have been around something like 200k years, (same intelligence as now), and for 180k or so years did not much comparatively. Then in about 20k or less have gone from caves to the moon?
    I think there is evidence (this 'star clock' being one example) that probably we have gained a level of knowledge that we lost/hid/forgot.
    I've often thought how far further we'd be now if we didn't 'screw ourselves over' like we have, skipped the 'Dark Ages' etc, and worked together as a species a bit better.

  • jackmax

    Mate, "the same intelligence as now" I don't think I would say that, evolution has play a large roll in the way the human body/brain have developed into now. I agree that early man had intelligence, however they may have been that busy gather/hunting, ensuring the shelter and protection is provided. If that is reasonable to assume, would it also be that they would only have limited opportunities to exchange ideas with other out side he's "tribe" so to speak?

    The realisation of the importance of education and the opportunities to explore our intelligence through education. With saying that intelligence can be shown in many different way, what some may think primative other see the intelligence behind it if you no what i mean?

  • docoman

    Yeah mate, I agree and understand what you're saying. Intelligence in the class room is one thing, intelligence in the bush/life is another, equally as 'smart' and arguably a more useful form.
    And I guess one answer to what I'm going on about must be the industrial revolution, connected to what you're saying.
    That's when we as a species had the time to start to specalise in a particular area. (one could 'study' something without the worry of getting food etc.)
    You may be correct, and it took us a long time to 'get going' in terms of gaining knowledge. Writing is one prerequisite to keep in mind, so we can more accurately pass on knowledge between generations.
    There's just some things that make me question the accepted timeline of the advance of our knowledge. This 'star clock' for one example. Clearly 'someone' had some clever mechanical and mathematical knowledge, combined with a knowledge of orbit movements ect to make this machine, that was in advance of what is currently accepted as the knowledge of that time. I think we tend to underrate our ancestors, and overrate ourselves a fair bit, out of arrogance pretty much.

  • Pysmythe

    That it could be thousands of years older than is generally thought? I heard a little bit about it, but I wasn't really sure what to make of it. I have a huge distrust of radical theories, but, then again, water erosion does seem like pretty good evidence. I wonder, though, if the type of stone it is and the desert climate over all these centuries may have skewered the results in such a way as to make it seem possible it could be so much older? Or is it possible that even some kind of vandalism could have played a part, with people in the past chipping off parts of it for some use or other before it was protected? Whatever the truth may be about all that, and for sure we could be just as well known for our mistakes as our successes, it's a fact that in the Alexandria Library were the rudimentary outlines of a steam engine, the idle pondering of which ought to check anyone's arrogance about our assumed superiority over our ancestors, all things considered. As you said, how long has it been since our native capacity was any different from what it is now? For sure, education is better and more widespread, but imagination can trump that, or augment it, given the right environment. How bitterly ironic that it was left to the monks to preserve so much of what was lost, and yet I suppose we ought to be grateful, even if the whole apparatus that came along with it is a "monkey" on our backs now. That we've lost progress seems certain, but part of the tragedy is that we can never know exactly how much, which, oddly enough, strikes me as having its own little kernel of optimism in it, as does the idea that the past may have been more advanced than we've ever given it credit for.

    Happy Holidays, Docoman!

  • jaberwokky

    Oh trust me mate, I'm painfully aware of the litany of atrocities carried out under the guise of one or another moral crusade over our long and often inglorious history. Which is why when I hear and see those same gears turning in our current Zeitgeist I feel sick for all of us, history has already shown us where the story goes. How ironic that the people who profess belief in and allegiance to a divinity are often evil's best weapons. Sometimes it's just so disheartening that all you can do is laugh.

    But I shan't dwell there, here's hoping your Xmas in sunny Australia is a relaxing one. If you're looking for Jesus I'd check behind the couch. If you find him then hide your beers :)

  • docoman

    Lol, Merry Xmas to you and yours too mate. I remember hearing Jesus was more into the wine I think ;)

  • docoman

    Same good wishes to you and yours too mate :)

    This 'star clock' if it is in fact what it seems, is a problem for the generally accepted time lines of what we knew and when.

    I find the Great Sphinx very similar. It's a big pity that the person that in recent times noticed it (he read remarks about it and checked it out) is John A. West, a 'self taught' Egyptologist. (meaning no official degree) He has many ideas about a number of different things I am very dubious or outright disagree with, but the Sphinx erosion is different. (He might be a bit of a 'nutter', but there is interesting evidence for this one I think)

    The sphinx is cut out of the limestone bedrock, blocks from around it were cut out and used to build a temple near it apparently, the Sphinx originally was all one stone. (still is, with 'repair stones added to it now though) There are water erosion marks in the walls of its inclosure, and in the body of the sphinx itself, (if you want you can prob google a pic and see up close, look at the walls around it and the body, the vertical lines in it) pretty deep in places.

    John West found a geologist willing to have a look and comment, 'on the record'. The geologist's conclusion (and many of his peers have agreed with him since) was the grooved erosion (the little vertical 'rivers' in the rock) were caused by water erosion not wind erosion, which looks much different, and also, the erosion was caused by precipitation, not flood water run-off. He compared it to the same layers in the limestone bedrock, there are other tombs around the plateau at the same levels, with known build times to compare layers, and erosion with.

    So it looks and seems the erosion was made by rain, a lot rain. It must have been built, then rained on for awhile. Paleoclimatologists apparently say the last time it rained there significantly was at the end of the last ice-age I believe, something around 14k years or so ago. (I could be a tad out, I'm going by memory) Which would imply it was built somewhere back around then at least, in order to be there to be rained on.

    One thing that struck me when I first saw it, was from side on how out of proportion the head is to it's body, its way too small. Nowhere else in Egypt are there any Sphinx statues that 'wrong' I believe, none I saw or have seen in any picture or doco.

    We also know the Great Sphinx had repairs done, at least 2 or 3 different times in ancient times. (the first one starting more or less when it was still new, according to the Egyptologists accepted build time)

    The main reason it's thought the Great Sphinx was built around 2500 BCE by Khafra, is most of his name, (Khaf) was mentioned by a later pharaoh on a damaged Stele, and something like 'builder of the statue' later. There is also it's position near Kharfa's Pyramid complex (the middle of the 3 big ones at Giza). Fairly weak evidence, even many Egyptologist will admit.

    I think it's likely Khafra did some of the repairs to the Sphinx around 2500 BCE. Probably the head has been re-carved at least once, making it smaller then it would be if it was proportional to the body, as it is now, and also explains why the same water erosion marks are not seen on the head.

    I'm not talking aliens, atlantis or anything like that, just that I think there seems to be good evidence that the Sphinx is much older then officially thought. Which if correct, makes a couple of other problems for the Egyptologists/historians current timelines.

    Sorry if you've fallen asleep by now...much longer then I intended :)

  • Pysmythe

    I really appreciate your taking the time and effort to put all this information together for me, Docoman. I intend to curl up with my tablet in the wee hours and see what else I might can find out about it. I think the only thing I ever actually did hear about this theory was in an abridged version on one of those sensationalized "history" programs some time ago, which are impossible to take seriously, even if more plausible information is wedged in between a lot of nonsensical segments along the lines of Atlantis, or mystical, blow-your-hair-back suppositions about the simple prevalence of pyramids worldwide, those legos of the Ancient World. That kind of thing will just rub off on the whole lot and make your eyes glaze over, which is a shame, because what's standard now was often enough once considered outlandish. Seems like a number of academic reputations might also be at stake here, too, who knows? Heaven forbid that an amateur Egyptologist or a patent clerk upset a few well-regulated applecarts.

  • docoman

    You're welcome mate, I was bored and felt like typing something I find interesting to someone I consider sensible. Thank you for taking the time to read it :)

    I completely agree with your comments about 'those' types of 'documentaries', that's why I dislike the fact it's John A. West that brought it up. The 'doco' I first saw this on was one like you mentioned. You've got to pick out the facts from the faeces, unfortunately.

    I find the erosion around the Sphinx very interesting, I think because it's evidence that's there that we know isn't fake or tampered with, and the geologists and paleoclimatologists don't really care, if they even consider it, what implications come from their conclusions with regards to the academic reputations of others in different fields, as you mentioned.

    I'll just add for anyone else reading this, a Star Clock such as in this doco, and the Sphinx erosion, in my opinion doesn't automatically indicate and isn't evidence of aliens, Atlantis, time travel, 'God' or some 'creators' etc etc. All they show is that maybe our timelines of what we (homo sapiens) were doing when, and who knew what, when exactly, might need some revision. As far as I can see it's mostly academic, knowledge for 'history's sake'. (Analogous to finding out your grandfather first walked aged 12 months, not 18 months as you'd heard earlier)
    If you ever get the time to look into it, I'd be very interested to hear your thoughts mate.

  • Pysmythe

    The night before last I spent about an hour on Dr. Schoch's website (robertschoch dot com), the geologist West got to work with him, and was a bit surprised to find he also has a serious interest in parapsychology that was apparently prompted, in part, by his studies of Ancient Egypt. This sort of thing doesn't necessarily discredit him for me, but, to be honest, it does throw up both a red flag and an interest in downloading one or two of his books on my kindle to see how far, and in what specific detail, he thinks the evidence leads for an affirmation of "forgotten civilizations" (his words), since I'm more willing to give him the benefit of the doubt due to his academic background. Beyond that, I really couldn't say right now, other than to agree with you that it IS a highly interesting subject. I would hate, however, to find a bunch of von Daniken, or Madame Blavatsky, type notions suddenly cropping up in his recent work... Have you read any books of his that you could recommend?

    edit- I just went to Amazon and read some of the reviews for his book "Forgotten Civilizations: The Role of Solar Outbursts in Our Past and Future". I think this is probably the one I'll get, based on those reviews.

    edit 2- The more of these reviews I'm reading, the more certain I am it's the right choice. Just about everyone is very impressed with it, and evidently the science is foremost and quite sound, as much as one can judge about those things from an amazon review.

  • docoman

    G'day mate, no, I haven't read any of Dr. Schoch's books. (I couldn't remember his name off the top of my head, Boston Uni isn't he if I recall correctly?)
    It worries me when an academic starts wandering into areas other then their field of study, they're no more qualified then most 'laypeople' when they start doing that. I've seen Dr. Schoch mention a little on a 'doco type show' about possible older civilisations, my reaction was 'stick to what you know mate, the geology. Let the historians deal with and explain any implications from that, its their job'.

    On the flip-side, he is educated and thus I'd expect he'd have a fairly logical way of thinking, and any ideas he has might be worth at least a look. Especially if the reviews are correct and he does it in a logically sound way. But I agree with you, any 'von Daniken' type rubbish and he'll lose me. I've got a couple of books for reading already lined up, I think I'd like to add Dr. Schoch's Forgotten Civ's to that list by the sounds. Thanks mate.
    The biggest problem I see that ancient civilisation theories have is a lack of reliable physical, datable evidence.

    The Sphinx erosion could have some silly, easy answer like it was a custom for a time to bring your watering can up and 'give it a drink', causing the water erosion we now see.

  • jackmax

    I agree that we do underrate our ancestors, and overrate ourselves more than a fair bit.
    Many things have made me question the accepted timeline of our knowledge, and I'm sure that we have missed many important lessons from our forefathers because of our arrogance. We only have to look at our own countries history, the black fellas could have taught us white fellas many vital lessons of survival and other useful skills if only the first settlers actually treated them with more respect and consideration rather than the savages which clearly they weren't.

  • docoman

    Yes, that's a good example of arrogance and ignorance being valued more then actual real knowledge. Literally thousands of years of practical acquired knowledge that's being lost in just a couple hundred.
    We're a weird species, our biggest threat is probably ourselves.

  • Pysmythe

    His website says he teaches at Boston but received his PhD from Yale, and that he also has a B.A. in Anthropology. I believe his wife assists him in his work to some degree, but I'm not sure what her academic qualifications might be. I downloaded a free sample (maybe 30 pages, I'd say) of 'Forgotten Civs' last night, to help make up my mind before buying the whole thing, but didn't get far enough in it yet to have a definite impression, other than to say his style is easy to understand, which is always a huge plus. We'll see, I guess... I'll let you know whether those opening pages seemed substantial enough to warrant the $10 price tag.

  • docoman

    G'day mate, I've spent the last couple of hours mostly on his (Dr.Schoch's) website you mentioned, and on youtube watching and listening to him.
    Dang, he has branched out since I first saw him! I have to agree, my instincts cringed when I saw parapsychology (drew my eye almost instantly :). Was a tad more interesting read then I was expecting though, I've seen a little piece done about that random number generator somewhere else. I wonder if there is any link between the observer effect and those results. We may yet find there is some type of quantum entanglement influence going on. I'm far from convinced, but it's interesting I think.

    I'm more interested in his work in his field though.
    His book 'Forgotten Civ' does look interesting, I listened to him talking about it on youtube. I might see if I can get hold of a copy myself. I'm interested to hear what you think of the start of it.
    I find him easy to listen to, similar in ways to Dawkins. Softly spoken, but thoughtful and precise. Lets what he's saying speak for itself, not 'selling' what he's saying like most do.
    It doesn't mean he's correct, but he strikes me as an honest thinker, not a salesman.

    I also came across on youtube some 'debate' kind off, about the Sphinx erosion. Another geologist thinks it's mostly from water run off from rain on the plateau, not so much precipitation directly on the Sphinx itself. (the west wall of the enclosure is the most eroded) He's got problems though with that. As Schoch responded, there are mud-brick structures at Saqqara (not far from Giza) built supposedly around the same time, that don't show enough rain erosion for the time-frame proposed. And I also noticed, that 'run-off' hypothesis wouldn't explain the erosion on the Sphinx body, just some of the enclosure erosion. The body and enclosure have been covered at different times we know as well, protecting most but the head.

  • Pysmythe

    Well, I finished the preview, finally. Most of it turned out to be background on his prior work on the Sphinx, but he has also modified his views somewhat and now thinks it could be a couple of thousand years older than he first thought. He also thinks the original head may have been a lion, but that appears to be pure speculation based solely on the body of the Sphinx. To my mind, that's not so convincing, in and of itself, since so much known Egyptian artwork and statuary is of human/animal hybrids, anyway. But that the head was, in fact, recarved, he makes a good case, it seems to me. There are no other examples found in their antiquities in which the proportions are so skewered, for example. All in all, I'm a little bit hesitant about it, but I think I probably will take a chance on it. The rongorongo scripts from Easter Island, the temple at Goblecki Tepe, and coronal mass ejections (I love that phrase), all threaded together, somehow, as evidence of very ancient high culture, well, that's worth risking ten bucks to find out, isn't it? We'll see how well Dr. Schoch measures up against Sherlock Holmes, since I suspect he'll be restricted to using the same kind of inductive reasoning quite a bit, and maybe a lot more than he would like, and yet, if he's a good enough storyteller, he just may leave one with the impression it couldn't really have been any other way, until more evidence comes in to support him.

  • docoman

    Interesting, thanks for sharing your thoughts mate. I downloaded a documentary done by National Geo. about Goblecki Tepe, have only seen about 1/2 of it so far. That site alone (like Easter Island) is interesting just by itself. If they're correct, it puts a lot of dates and thoughts on early civilisation 'out' a bit, pushes them back at least a couple thousand years. Seems (at the moment anyway) there was also little or no agriculture going on there at the time, yet they built quite impressive structures. (Then buried them later on for some reason, which probably took as much effort as it did to build them) Agriculture was/is thought to be a prerequisite to that sort of organised effort, which may have to be reviewed now.
    I agree with your thoughts on Dr. Schoch and his ideas, I'm also hesitant to outright agree with what I've seen now from him, but am open to looking at it. You're right too, if he thinks there was originally a lions head on the Sphinx, he'd need to show some decent evidence, otherwise it is just speculation. (which isn't good for his credibility)
    I've got a couple other books to read first, but I think I'll have a look for 'Forgotten Civ' as well. (I can't read too much on the screen, and hate reading books from it, much prefer a hard copy. Showing my age ;)

    I'd also need to see all of his ideas and evidence about the CME's (hehe, is a good term isn't it) I don't recall hearing anything about the 'glass' type material I read about from the electrical problems, anywhere but lightning strikes before. I've scratched around in the dirt here in Aus a bit metal detecting, I don't recall seeing anything like that either. But that wouldn't be a first for me, missing something interesting. I'm pretty sure I threw away a small meteorite years ago, mistaking it for just another bit of ironstone. :(
    Thanks very much for spending the time and effort to read and relay your thoughts on this Pysmythe. Taught me more about it, and seem to feel the same as I do. Interesting, but more, decent evidence is required, they're still hypothesis at best at this point in time.