Or were people of the past much more advanced than we think?
Unless we happen to be creationists we have been taught that humankind emerged through a series of evolutionary stages until the modern man called Homo sapiens sapiens was born in Africa as the crown of creation approximately 200 000 years ago.
Alternatively, humans emerged in various places from local populations of Homo erectus and Neanderthals.
Homo erectus appeared on the planet approximately 2 million years ago and nothing from the homo family is supposed to have existed until about 2.4 million years ago.
If we assume that some kind of humanity has existed for approximately 2 million years, then for the first 1. 99 million years we were primitive. Hunters/ gatherers who struggled for survival in an inhospitable world. Only between 5 000 and 10 000 years ago did we begin to get somewhat civilized, at least in some parts of the world. Something like proto-science and proto-engineering emerged and for the first time we were able to control our own fate to some extent and cease to be completely helpless to the whims of Mother Nature.
So, 1 990 000 years with very little going on and then BAM?
Well, that is what we know today about our past. Whether it is accurate or not we can only speculate.
There exists however items that seem to defy this view of our history, items such as the Baghdad battery and the Antikythera mechanism for example. Both are said to be at least 2 000 years old, i.e. from before the time of Jesus, back when people were shepherds and humble fishermen. Could it be possible that the people of Mesopotamia back then possessed the ability to create electricity? And if so, what did they use it for? Our modern batteries weren’t invented until the 19th century!
And the Antikythera mechanism? Such an intricate piece of engineering, able to perfectly calculate astronomical positions. Nothing like it was re-invented until the 14th century.
Another interesting question mark is the discovery of springs, screws and other obviously man-made metal objects dug up by gold miners from 1991 and onward in the Ural Mountains. The items are different in size and material, but the peculiar thing about them is that they are said to be found in sediment at least 20 000 years old. The larger screws are made of copper while some of the smaller objects, some as tiny as 0.003 mm are made of metals such as tungsten and molybdenum.
Another anomaly from the Ural Mountains are the ancient pictograms that some claim look like modern structures for chemical compounds.
Civilization, as far as we know, began in Mesopotamia. Although if we by culture mean something a bit more complex than agriculture, pottery and animal husbandry then the dynastic period of Mesopotamia coincided with the one in Egypt.
Around 5500 BC the tribes of Egypt, as far as we know, were farmers and keepers of livestock and small cultures were beginning to form. At around 3000 BC the ancient Egyptian dynastic period was beginning, pretty much at the same time as great civilizations arose in Sumer and Elam.
At about the same time in Japan the Jōmon culture was experiencing an upswing with population explosion and the creation of strange figurines known as Dogū.
The first Chinese dynasty, Xia, began around 2100 BC.
Teotihuacán in modern day Mexico was the place where the world was created according to the Aztec, but they of course came around much later. Teotihuacán, which was the name the Aztec later gave the city, was built between 100 BC and 250 CE and its original name is unknown. Hieroglyphics from the Maya region indicate that it may have been known as Puh, Place of reeds.
According to author Don Miguel Ruiz Teotihuacán was built by Toltec, but Toltec were not necessarily as much a “people”, such as the later Aztec, as they were a mix of different peoples coming together because of their wisdom.
The center of the world for the Mayans was Chichen Itza around 600-1000 CE. The Mayans were the only one of the great Mesoamerican civilizations to fully develop a written language. They also excelled in arts, architecture and mathematical and astronomical systems. The Mayan civilization began during the Pre-classic era (1800 BC- 200 CE), which also saw the rise of such cultures as the Olmec and the Zapotec.
The Pumapunku is an ancient temple complex in Bolivia. For the Incas this is where the world was created, even if it happened long before their time. The glory days of the complex seems to have been between 536 and 600 CE.
The Nazca lines of Peru have fascinated and puzzled mankind since they were discovered in 1927. Lines, back and forth across the high desert, sometimes figures such as a monkey, a condor, a strange humanoid. Some of the largest figures are almost 270 m in length.
The Nazca lines can be viewed from the foothills surrounding the area, but to take it all in you have to fly over them. Now why is that? During the Nazca culture (400- 650 CE) there were very few planes.
That is of course unless the golden figures from Colombia, created by the Quimbaya civilization around 1000 CE, really are depicting flying crafts and not insects.
The ancient astronaut hypothesis is the idea that earth has been visited by alien races in historic times, which has led to sudden development of human culture, science and religion.
The idea of ancient astronauts was first proposed by Charles Fort in 1919 and he pointed to several historical artifacts and ancient texts to support this theory. Fort, who inspired naming anomalous phenomena fortean ones, claimed that certain passages in the Bible as well as the great Hindu epic Ramayana speak of events and objects that might be extraterrestrial in nature.
Petroglyphs in Val Camonica, Italy show images that look surprisingly like modern day astronauts, as do many other historical artifacts such as some of the Nazca lines and the Dogū figurines.
The pyramids of Giza and in other places throughout the world, how exactly were they built? Even today, some 4500 years after the Great pyramid’s construction we are left with different theories and nothing conclusive when it comes to how our ancestors managed to stack 2.3 million rocks weighing around 2500 kg each.
What caused civilization to suddenly develop in Egypt, Asia and South- and Middle America around 2-3000 BC?
Was it just time? Had humanity been beaten long enough to turn from cream to butter so to speak? Will we ever know? Are there those who would keep the truth from us or is that just a conspiracy theory?
All we can do is look at everything and never stop questioning.