The Species With Amnesia

Barrett Clark, Staff Writer

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Conspiracy theorists are often called weirdos and idiots, people who live with each other at the fringe of society in an echo chamber of paranoia. Often, the people who call them these names are right. It is ridiculous to believe that Barack Obama is a lizard; it is stupid to believe that the Revolutionary War was started by aliens, and the moon landing most definitely DID happen. However, that doesn’t mean that everything you hear from these sorts of people is false, either.

One theory that you might know, which is the accepted theory by most historians, is that the human race started to organize itself into large civilizations only in the past 6,000-5,000 years ago, starting with Sumeria in the Middle East. Some of the most reliable evidence we have for this is the evolution of both the types of tools, and the burial practices of ancient peoples. This is widely believed and accepted as the truth, and most historians will have you believe it. However, this may not be the case.Numerous discoveries of older human ruins are sprouting up across the world, and they’ve started to challenge the accepted worldview. 

Gobekli Tepe Ruins

The most prominent of these is a temple complex in Turkey that has been named Gobekli Tepe, which is so far the largest megalithic structure we’ve ever discovered, and is potentially the oldest, at around 9,000BC. This would mean that, not only was this massive temple built before the first known civilization ever arose, but that it was built over 1000 years before the last ice age ended. The majority of the stones used in the center of the complex are larger than those of Stonehenge, and the center ring displays a similar construction to Stonehenge as well, suggesting that whatever culture built it had basic knowledge of astronomy and mathematics.

While this is probably the most recent example we’ve uncovered, there may be one that many fail to even consider. The Sphinx. This gargantuan statue is one of the most heavily debated and well-known pieces of megalithic architecture known to the world, second only to the Egyptian pyramids themselves. For more than a century, “Egyptologists” have worked to piece together a framework narrative for what they, as a community, want to be true about the history of the Egyptian civilization, and place the creation of the Sphinx at around 2,500 BC, making it just about 4,500 years old. This assertion, however, is based on technicality. Technically, the Sphinx was created 4,500 years ago, however, before that, it was a statue of a lion.

The earliest known document referencing the statue of the Sphinx mentions the replacement of a damaged head with that of the ruling pharaoh, named Khafre. This implies that the statue of the lion is much older, and was actually based on a precursor to Sekhmet, the lion goddess of war and knowledge, named Mehit. According to Robert Schoch, who has an MS and a PhD in both Geology and Geophysics, the water damage present on the body of the structure as well as the rain-based erosion on the surrounding walls of the pit the Sphinx is located in provide more than enough evidence that the statue must have been originally built when the climate of the area was wet enough to create the erosion present.

The last time the Sahara was cool enough to create that kind of property damage was over 9,000 years ago, before the end of the last ice age, however, Schoch claims that the intensity of the erosion would place the creation of the Sphinx at over 12,000 years old, around the same time as the creation of Gobekli Tepe.

The stunning examples of ancient, megalithic structures across the Old World seem to be part of the trend of humanity, as a whole, rediscovering our roots and uncovering the history that ignorance has worked to destroy for millenia. From the burning of “heretical documents” in the Library of Alexandria by Christian radicals around 391 AD, to the utter destruction of Baghdad by the Mongol horde during the Golden Age of Islam in 1258 AD, science and art and history have been stomped out repeatedly by people who did not know better, and so much progress has been lost to us over and over again. Finally, during this age of relative peace and cooperation between nations and people, we are starting to realize what we as a species have been missing, and that both the taming of our environment and human ingenuity are far older ideas than has been thought. For the longest time, we’ve been a species with amnesia, and finally, we’re starting to remember.