The mystery of ancient man

                     Colossal stone monuments. Advanced civil engineering.
                     Lost civilizations … No, it’s not the plot for an adventure
                     movie! But peeking into our ancient past reveals a true
                     story far more interesting …


                     DID visitors from space help build the great pyramids of Egypt and Central America?

                     Is advanced technology from an alien civilization needed to explain how ancient man could move huge
                     stones, build monumental structures, create intricate artwork and organize complex cultures? Some
                     think so, because of their evolutionary belief that ancient man was ‘primitive’.

                     If evolution were true, the further back into history we look, evidence should show a gradual decline
                     in man’s intelligence, moving closer to the ape’s. Biblical creation would indicate otherwise. Man,
                     created in God’s image, has always been intelligent. People make discoveries and invent things, and
                     this knowledge is passed on and built upon. In this way, technology can increase within a society, but
                     this is not because people become more intelligent.

True history

                    A short time after creation, people were already inventing things such as musical instruments, and
                     metal-working (Genesis 4:21–22). By the time of the Flood, mankind would have reached a high level of
                     technical ‘know-how’. We don’t know exactly how high,1 but there are some clues.

                     First, it was sufficient for Noah and his helpers to be able to build a huge ocean-going vessel. The Ark
                     measured approximately 135 metres (450 feet) long, 23 metres (75 feet) wide and 13 metres (45 feet) tall
                     (Genesis 6:15). We know that these proportions were ideal for stability.2 This colossal task would
                     have required advanced knowledge in engineering, not to mention timber-working techniques.

                     Second, we can get some indication from the level of technology in those civilizations which sprang up
                     rapidly after the Flood. Noah and his family would have tried to carry with them as much know-how as
                     they could, to survive, and restart civilization in the ‘new world’ for which they were headed.

                     The Bible records that soon after the Flood, mankind built a huge city. This was in the fertile river
                     valley of Mesopotamia, around present-day Iraq. Even evolutionists can’t ignore the evidence here,
                     and generally refer to this area as the ‘cradle of civilization’. Which it was — but only for the
                     post-Flood world.

                     The tower of Babel (Genesis 11:1–9) was probably a ziggurat, or the first type of pyramid, like
                     others still standing in the area (around present-day Babylon). Similar styles of pyramids are found in
                     ancient civilizations all around the world. Evolutionary historians believe that each culture devised the
                     same style of building independently. But it seems more sensible to suggest that they are similar
                     because they all came from the same origin — Babel.

                     As with any group of people in society today, those that existed at the time of the Tower of Babel
                     would have had a diverse range of skills. Some were builders, some artists, and others farmers.
                     However, when God divided the groups by language, the broad pool of knowledge was divided also.
                     The original groups that became, for example, the civilizations of the Egyptians and Mayans obviously
                     included people skilled in civil engineering, building, and so on, as evidenced by the rapid
                     establishment of their cultures. Other groups would have lacked such knowledge.

                     Imagine if you and your extended family were suddenly forced to migrate rapidly into an unpopulated
                     wilderness. Even though you come from a society with great technology, it is likely that your family
                     group would not carry all of the necessary knowledge with you to, for example, be able to find
                     ore-bodies, and smelt and work metals. So you might choose to use stone tools to survive.

Cave Men

                     After the Flood, some groups chose to shelter in caves. In harsher climates, these would have
                     provided more protection than artificial dwellings. However, this does not make their inhabitants
                     ‘primitive’ or unintelligent. Some people today choose an alternate lifestyle away from cities, in
                     surroundings that could be considered ‘primitive’, without being any less intelligent than others.

                     The typical ‘cave-man’ is portrayed as a hairy, dim-witted, brutish creature. However, many cave
                     paintings reveal a skill equivalent to that of some of the greatest artists of modern times.

                     Recently, surprised scientists have even found ‘stone-age’ musical instruments, revealing a high level
                     of understanding and musical ability.3

                     It is easy to see how many skills would be lost if people were broken into isolated small groups
                     today. For example, one such group may have farmers and architects, but no mechanics, geologists,
                     or blacksmiths. That group would know of the mechanic’s skill but not how to apply it. Similarly
                     after Babel, those groups fortunate enough to carry the broadest range of skills would be able to
                     transplant their previous culture rapidly. It would look as if it had sprung up ‘overnight’.

                     There seems to be no evidence showing how the knowledge to build pyramids was developed. Note
                     the following two quotes by evolutionist researchers:
 
 

                        ‘There is no evidence whatever of any technological breakthrough in the methods of quarrying
                          or cutting stone which might account for the onset of pyramid building. All the tools and
                          techniques used by the pyramid builders were in existence well before their time.’4

                     ‘The archaeological evidence suggested that rather than developing slowly and painfully, as is normal
                     with human societies, the civilization of Ancient Egypt, like that of the Olmecs, emerged all at once
                     and fully formed. Indeed, the period of transition from primitive to advanced society appears to
                     have been so short that it makes no kind of historical sense.

                        ‘Technological skills that should have taken hundreds or even thousands of years to evolve
                          were brought into use almost overnight — and with no apparent antecedents whatever.’5

                     Some of those groups which found themselves forced to use stone technology would have gained
                     other knowledge in time, while we see cultures today which are still quite content to use stone tools.
                     They are, however, fully human and intelligent. There is also evidence that cultures can lose
                     technology. In ancient Egypt, the early pyramids were the best, with the quality declining until they
                     were no longer built. As one secular researcher observed:

                          ‘The pyramid age had come to an end, having lasted for a little more than a century. Pyramids
                          were still being erected for about a thousand years, but they rapidly became smaller and
                          shoddier, and it is quite clear that with the third Giza pyramid the zest had gone out of pyramid
                          building forever.’6

                                        Massive buildings and ingenious solutions

                     On a windswept plateau, 3,900 metres (13,000 feet) high near the Bolivian shore of Lake Titicaca in
                     South America lies the ancient city of Tiahuanaco. It was a majestic ruin even when the ancient Incas
                     arrived there. Sixteenth century Spanish treasure-hunters didn’t believe the local Indian tradition that
                     Tiahuanaco sprang up very rapidly, after a great Flood, built by unknown giants. Today the remains
                     of immense statues and stones lie strewn over the landscape. A Reader’s Digest author commented,
                     ‘… the best engineers of today still ask themselves whether they could cut and move huge masses of
                     rock such as those used to build the city. The giant blocks look almost as though a die were used to
                     cut them — a task achieved with none of the resources of modern technology’7 and ‘… the
                     architects who designed and built them were men of genius.’8


(Courtesy of Survive 2012)

                     Many of the structures from the ancient world have stood for thousands of years in relatively good
                     condition — would our 20th century buildings still be standing in thousands of years?

                     In the ancient city of Sacsahuamán, near the city of Cuzco, Peru, there is a magnificent wall built by
                     the Incas, deliberately using irregularly shaped blocks of stone. Some of the blocks weigh as much as
                     100 tonnes and are so accurately fitted together that still today it is not possible to insert a piece of
                     paper in the joints between the blocks. Even more incredible, however, is a larger stone block in the
                     area. The size of a five-storey house and weighing an estimated 20,000 tonnes, the builders of
                     Sacsahuamán could, and somehow did, move this block! The feat of moving such a staggering weight
                     has never been attempted, let alone duplicated, with modern machinery. Even the largest crane in the
                     world today is capable of lifting only about 3,000 tonnes.9
 
 


One stone block is 28 ft. high and weighs 361 tons (est.), amongst dozens of over 100 tons.
(Courtesy of Wilkin's site)

Not even a playing card can fit in between the blocks, they fit together so tightly.
(Courtesy of Survive 2012)

                     No wonder New Age authors who accept evolution believe that ancient man must have had help
                     from some technologically advanced race!10


(Image courtesy of Survive 2010)

                     Consider two examples of ancient man’s ingenuity in building the pyramids.

                     The pyramids required an absolutely level base for their foundations. This was achieved by using an
                     ingenious spirit level. The Egyptians first cut channels into the underlying rock and filled them with
                     water. Then, they inserted rods into the channels and marked off the water line, thereby establishing a
                     true level. And read what one author says regarding one burial chamber construction:

                        ‘The ceiling consists of nine blocks with a total weight of 400 tonnes. To minimize the danger
                          of the great weight of the masonry above bringing down the ceiling, five superimposed open
                          spaces were provided above the chamber to spread the load; these constitute a masterpiece of
                          engineering.’11


(Photo courtesy of Mark Millmore)

                     Levelling? Loads? Building for stresses? Accounting for these types of things reveals a high level of
                     knowledge beforehand. Architects and civil engineers spend years at university learning these kinds of
                     advanced skills. The ancient world displays numerous other examples of man’s ingenuity.

                     Archaeologists studying ancient civilizations often report being ‘amazed’ or ‘surprised’ at the level of
                     man’s skill in the distant past. Actually they’re surprised only because their evolutionary beliefs lead
                     them to expect to find evidence of ‘primitive’ men, not intelligent ones.

                                                                          Amazing story

                     The truly astonishing feats of the ancient world, requiring a high degree of intelligence, knowledge and
                     skill, were not only in architecture and civil engineering. The ancient Mayans were meticulous time
                     keepers. Without computers or sophisticated measuring equipment they knew the length of the solar
                     year to be 365.2420 days long. Only recently have astronomers calculated it to be 365.2422 days
                     long.

                     The Mayans worked out that 405 full moons occurred in a period of 11,960 days; modern research
                     shows it to be 11,959.888 days. They calculated the synodic period of Venus at 584 days; current
                     science shows it to be 583.92 days [the synodic period is the phase cycle as observed on
                     Earth—the time between successive appearances of a given phase, e.g., crescent. The Mayans of
                     course were not familiar with Galileo’s explanation that the phases of Venus could be explained by its
                     orbit around the Sun (224.7 Earth days—called the siderial period, i.e. relative to the stellar
                     background]. These minute margins of error, confirmed only with the use of modern technology,
                     reveal an amazing degree of accuracy on the part of these ancient cultures.

The temple of the sun - 63 meters high.
(Two images above courtesy of Mayans at Teotihuacan)

                     Interestingly, considering the Mayans’ obsession with accurate timekeeping, the Mayan calendar
                     apparently began from a creation date about 3114 BC. The Mayans also excelled at mathematics,
                     using a positional system, similar to today’s, that was less clumsy than that used by the Romans in
                     Europe.

                                                                     Ancient ingenuity

                     Facing an extremely difficult (even by today’s standards) task, the civilizations that erected the giant
                     statues on Easter Island, and the colossal figures of the Pharaoh Ramesses in Egypt, used
                     human ingenuity in construction. An Incan wall of irregular stone blocks, fitted together so precisely
                     that even after centuries of earthquakes it is not possible to fit a piece of paper between the joints.
                     Many stone blocks weighs well over an estimated 100 tonnes!

                                                                        Did you know?

                          In 1900, off the island of Antikythera, Greek divers discovered the wreck of an ancient ship
                          sunk about 65 BC. Recovered from the wreck was a device with an extremely complex system
                          of precision mechanical metal gears and engraved scale calibrations. Thought to be some kind
                          of navigation computational device, it reveals the inventors to be extremely intelligent.

                          The ancient city of Mohenjo-Daro in the Indus valley, believed to be one of the earliest
                          civilizations known, had a system of sanitation exceeding that of many European cities
                          thousands of years later.

                          The ruins of Roman temple columns at Baalbek in Lebanon stand on a single foundation stone
                          (placed by an earlier civilization) weighing an estimated 2,000 tonnes.

                          Carved from a single block of volcanic rock, the ‘gateway of the sun’ at Tiahuanaco weighs an
                          estimated 100 tonnes. How it was transported and erected is a mystery.

                                                                             Conclusion

                     The known history of mankind does not suggest evolution from a primitive ‘ape-man’ creature
                     through to today’s intelligent human. Rather, the evidence from the past shows that people have
                     always been intelligent, using their ingenuity to make the best out of the various situations in which
                     they found themselves.


Learn more about the puzzle of ancient man by getting the book!
Click here to go to the link (written from a Christian perspective)

                                                                              References

                     1.Technological and scientific progress this millennium has been prominent where the Bible was
                          honoured. The widespread rebelliousness of the pre-Flood world would have likely hindered
                          such blessings. Return to text.

                       2.S.W. Hong et al., Safety investigation of Noah’s Ark in a Seaway, CEN Technical Journal
                          8(1):26–36, 1994. All the co-authors are on the staff of the Korea Research Institute of Ships
                          and Ocean Engineering, Taijon. Return to text.

                       3.New Scientist 151(2048):12, Sep. 21, 1996. Return to text.

                       4.Kurt Mendelssohn, ‘A Scientist Looks at the Pyramids’, American Scientist, p. 210,
                          March–April, 1971. Return to text.

                       5.Graham Hancock, Fingerprints of the Gods, pp. 135–136, New York Crown Trade
                          Paperbacks, 1995. Return to text.

                       6.Ref. 4, p. 212. Return to text.

                       7.Simone Waisbard, in The World’s Last Mysteries, (2nd edition) p. 138, Reader’s Digest,
                          1978. Return to text.

                       8.Ref. 7, p. 135. Return to text.

                       9.Rene Noorbergen, Secrets of the Lost Races: New Discoveries of Advanced Technology
                          in Ancient Civilizations, Norcom Pub. Co, TN 1977, cited in Donald Chittick, The Puzzle
                          of Ancient Man, Creation Compass, 1997. Return to text.

                      10.An alien super-race is not only unnecessary, it is contradicted by evidence. A number of false
                          starts and collapses in pyramid-building show fallible, though intelligent humans. Return to text.

                      11.Christopher Angell, reference 7, p. 192.
 
 

Article by Steve Cardno

                                                                   First published in: Creation Ex Nihilo 20(2):10–13; March–May 1998
 
 

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