HUMANPAST.NET

Environment                  10,000 BC
Africa
Southwest Asia
Egypt
Indus Valley
China
Europe
South America
Mesoamerica
North America
Other

In General

While continental drift theory presumes the extremely slow and uniform movement of landmasses over many hundreds of millions of years, a great deal of evidence exists that Earth's surface changed rapidly and violently in recent prehistory. A great sudden extinction of mammals and plants took place on the planet around the end of the last ice age, perhaps as recently as 12,000 years ago. Hundreds of mammal and plant species disappeared from the face of the earth, many of the carcasses having been driven by flooding into deep caverns and charred piles the world over.

Among the troves of evidence compiled by early geologists and resurrected by Allan and Delair are Asian bone caves filled with diverse species of recent prehistoric animals from around the world. These carcasses could have been driven to their final resting places only by vast amounts of water moving across the globe. In light of Allan and Delair's work, other evidence such as India's Deccan trap, a vast triangular plain of lava several thousand feet thick covering 250,000 square miles, and the Indo-Gangetic trough, a gigantic crack in Earth's surface stretching from Sumatra through India to the Persian Gulf, can be interpreted as evidence of a cataclysm that ruptured Earth's crust, submerged various landmasses, and caused the great extinction. (56)

A masterfully researched book, Cataclysm, by D. S. Allan and J. B. Delair has established better than any other the period during which the [great flood] must have happened. Based on carefully tabulated geologic and archaeological evidence from around the world, dated by many different and independent scientists, Allan and Delair arrived at the date of 11,577 years ago. Since the publication of their book, other research (including some referenced in this book) has corroborated this "new beginning of human civilization." (113)

According to Allan and Delair, the following impacts came from the interactions between the Earth and Phaeton/Nibiru as the latter passed nearby, perhaps between the moon and Earth (leaving them more separated than before). The Earth's and Phaeton/Nibiru's magnetospheres would have served as mutually protective sheaths to prevent an actual collision, but the geomagnetic impact would have been considerable. In fact the passage seems to have caused a temporary weakening of the Earth's dynamo (reversal of polarity) and a disruption of the precession of the equinoxes. (113)

This means a shift in the tilt of Earth's rotational axis (from 30° to 23.5°), with a rearrangement of the equatorial bulge, and a commensurate shift in the positioning of continents and oceans. This torque would have disrupted the normal flow of magma beneath the surface and resulted in the volcanic and seismic activity described in many locations. Subsidence of continents would be offset by upheavals in mountain ranges (like the geologically documented recent lifting of the Andes, Rockies, Alps, and Himalayas). The combined impact of such shifts would result in climatic changes and widespread biological extinctions (like mammoths and other species that disappeared 11,500 years ago). (113)

The close passage of Phaeton/Nibiru ignited parts of the Earth; seriously damaged the atmosphere; whipped up hurricanes; rained fire and brimstone on Earth; and sent every being that could move pell-mell in search of safety. The effects lasted more than the biblical 40 days, with the subsequent equivalent of a nuclear winter lasting for generations. (113)

That global disaster turned sea sediments to stone, rearranged climates, and created new shorelines and mountain ranges. It sank and covered a luxuriant continent; ended an ice age; caused the extinction of the saber-toothed tiger, giant bison, humped-back camel, and the famous woolly mammoths frozen with undigested food in their stomachs. But most important of all it destroyed everything but vestiges of an advanced civilization. (113)

...the Russian scientist Immanuel Velikovsky's investigations of the Beresovka mammmoth found [it] frozen in Siberia around 1901 in a half-standing position with buttercups in its mouth. Obviously, for such flora to have been growing, the climate had changed very suddenly, but how could even an earth crust slippage have caused the temperature to drop so rapidly? We can picture the Arctic Circle as a circular piece of adhesive plaster, with the North Pole as its centre. Before 10,000 BC, that plaster apparently reached further down, so that its centre was in Hudson Bay and its southernmost edge was as far south as Ohio. As Rand had noticed, the western edge of the plaster did not extend to the west coast of Canada. Hapgood concluded: 'Thus we are able to say that warm conditions of the Arctic Archipelago of Canada persisted for the entire duration of the Wisconsin glaciation, from 40,000 years ago to the establishment of modern conditions.' Hapgood presented evidence to demonstrate, in the same way, that the North Pole moved from the Yukon district to the Greenland Sea about 80,000 years ago, then from the Greenland Sea to Hudson Bay about 50,000 years ago, and from Hudson Bay to its present position about 17,000 to 12,000 years ago. In other words, the most recent crustal movement began about 15,000 BC, and ended about 10,000 BC. Rand's new evidence concerned the fact that in Antarctica the ice was thickest where there was least snowfall, which seemed absurd, since snow turns into ice. Equally odd was the fact that the ice was thinnest in areas with the heaviest snowfall. The most obvious explanation was that the areas with the thickest ice had been within the Antarctic Circle thousands of years longer than the areas with the thinnest ice. In other words, Antarctica had slipped lower, and a part that had once been outside the Antarctic Circle was now located inside it. (123)

We believe that the 'great catastrophe' took place about 9,600 BC, and that the North Pole then moved to its present position. Which implies, of course, that Atlantis (or whatever we choose to call this earlier civilization) existed for some time before 9,600 BC. How long before? It must surely have been a long time, since the Atlanteans established more than sixty sacred sites all over the world. The earth's axis is governed by the pull of the sun, moon and other planets and follows a regular 41,000-year cycle. The peak of that cycle was reached at 9,600 BC, at which time the planet's whole axis began to decline after increasing for thousands of years. The classic work on this subject was published in Science in 1976: 'Variations in the Earth's Orbit: Pacemaker of the Ice Ages' by J. D. Hays, J. Imbrie and N. J. Schackleton. They showed that geological/climatic patterns coincide with the periods when the earth's tilt reaches its maximum of 24.4 degrees. The last time this occurred was around 9,600 BC, exactly the time period when Plato's 'legend' of Atlantis places the flood. When we combine this theory with the recent revelations about the inner core having its own axis, we have a much simpler idea than an extraterrestrial impact theory. (123)

And let's not forget that the earth by this time - 8000 years ago - has already suffered the consequences of 7000 years of intense volcanism, 7000 years of rising sea-levels and sudden and unpredictable marine floods, 7000 years of continental shelves, land-bridges and islands vanishing beneath the waves, and 7000 years of spectacular climatic instability. Indeed, the palaeo-climatological record testifies to all of the following - and much more - between 15,000 and 8,000 years ago: cold oceans, high winds, mountains of dust in the atmosphere and wildly unpredictable temperature shifts. (124)

Romuald Schild of the Polish Academy of Sciences cites an abrupt warming that took place in the northern Atlantic at around 12,700 years ago, stopped and equally abruptly went into reverse 10,800 years ago - when there was a sudden 800-year plunge to almost full glacial temperatures - then turned again to another episode of abrupt warming about 10,000 years ago. Robert Schoch reports that the bulk of the first warming- 'approximately 27 degrees Farenheit, a massive increase' - occurred after 11,700 years ago: Remarkably, the ice-core data suggests that half of the temperature change, in the neighbourhood of 14 degrees Farenheit, occurred in less than 15 years centering around 9645 BC. That's a bigger temperature increase, and faster, than the scariest doomsday scenario about global warming in the twenty-first century. It also happens to coincide, almost exactly, with Plato's date of around 11,600 years ago for the sinking of Atlantis, when, the reader will recall, 'There were earthquakes and floods of extraordinary violence, and in a single dreadful day and night ... the island of Atlantis was ... swallowed up by the sea and vanished.' (124)

During the same 10,000-year epoch in which the ice melted and global sea-level rose by 120 metres - roughly from 17,000 down to 7000 years ago - our planet also experienced dramatically increased volcanism, dramatically increased frequency and magnitude of earthquakes, and a dramatically unstable climate that seesawed rapidly and unpredictably between extremes. (124)

J. B. Delair's thoughts about why Earth's axis must have tilted 11,500 years ago from his "Planet in Crisis" article are next. The most immediately striking image of the Earth is that it rotates on an axis inclined at 23 1/2 degrees from the vertical. Its orbit is not a perfect circle and it is not strictly concentric with the Sun. Earth's axis of rotation does not coincide with its magnetic axis. This is also apparently connected with Earth's variable rotation, which fluctuates over a 10-year period. While following its orbit, Earth also oscillates cyclically: the "Chandler Wobble," with a cycle of 14 months. This wobble is also associated with viscosity at the Earth's Core, so it is an intimate part of Earth's present internal mechanism. Because the Earth ought, theoretically, to rotate on a vertical axis and may actually have done so in the geologically recent past, these details suggest a planet which, in not very remote times, has been seriously disturbed. If true, these "ill-fitting ter­ restrial cogs" [i.e., Earth's inner core rotates significantly faster than the rest of the planet], which appear to function only through the presence and action of inner-Earth viscosity, may be regarded as abnormalities. Given these details and the inner Core's higher rotational speed [four or five hundred years for one complete turn by the inner Core], its surface irregularities must be in continuously varying opposition to those of the slower moving Mantle's inner boundary. The plastic material of the intervening outer Core must therefore undergo displacement as the distances between the opposing irregularities alter. Continuous compression and release of this material must occur as the outcome of such differential rotation. Why does the inner Core rotate faster than the rest of the planet and why doesn't the inclination of its axis coincide with that of Earth as a whole (the different locations of the geographic and magnetic poles)? It strains credulity to suppose that any Earth-like planet, undisturbed by external influences for millions of years, could have naturally acquired, unaided, a tilted axis, an offset magnetic field, variable rotation, or a Chandler Wobble. (129)

Most geoscientists who have studied this broadly agree that any event or series of events resulting in characteristics as profound as these would almost certainly have to involve some influential outside agency. In other words Earth would need to be subjected to some powerful extraterrestrial force - a force severe enough to rupture its previous internal mechanism without actually destroying it. Down the centuries precisely such a source has been repeatedly advocated to account for traditionally catastrophic events like Noah's Deluge, the loss of a primaeval Golden Age, the advent and also the demise of the Ice Age, the sudden refrigeration of the Siberian/Alaskan mammoth fauna and even the foundering of legendary realms such as Atlantis, Lyonesse, etc. After apparently adversely affecting many of the Sun's outer planets, the postulated cosmic visitor was seemingly able to temporarily retard the rotation of Earth's Mantle and lithosphere but could not halt the rotation of the inner Core, due to the viscosity of the outer Core. As a consequence of this disruption, Earth's thermal and electromagnetic levels increased enormously, with all kinds of unwelcome effects. Among these appear to have been an axial slewing of the Mantle and crust to an inclination differing from that of the solid inner Core. Indeed, the latter may itself have been wrenched, gravitationally, within the liquid outer Core to an off-centre position, causing the Earth to yaw or tremble (or both), as some traditions recalling the events actually state. Such movements were only possible because of the viscosity of the outer Core. It is also probable that the cosmic assailant pulled the entire Earth over to its present inclination, since any former normal planetary regime must have developed over a more vertical axis. (129)

                                                                                                         MOST RECENT DATE
COMMON NAME                              GENUS                                   BEFORE PRESENT

CHEETAH                                           Acinonyx                                           17,000
PECCARY                                           Platygonus                                         13,000
SHORT-FACED BEAR                       Arctodus                                            12,600
PRONGHORN                                    Stockoceros                                       11,300
WOODLAND MUSK OX                  Symbos                                               11,100
MAMMOTH                                       Mammuthus                                         10,500
MASTODON                                      Mammut                                              10,400
LION                                                   Panthera                                              10,400
HORSE                                                Equus                                                  10,400
CAMEL                                               Camelops                                            10,300
STAG-MOOSE                                   Cervalces                                             10,200
GIANT BEAVER                                 Castoroides                                          10,200
GIANT GROUND SLOTH                  Glossotherium                                        9,800
SABERTOOTH                                    Smilodon                                               9,400
TAPIR                                                   Tapirus                                                  9,400
                                  
In this list, as in more complete ones, the apparent extinction dates cluster between 11,000 and 9,500 years ago. This was the time that the climate, local weather, and ecosystems of North America were undergoing a spectacularly rapid upheaval. It is also the time when other creatures that could also be called charismatic megafauna thrived - the hunters of the Clovis culture and the ensuing Folsom culture. (130)

It appears that, in round figures, the poles remain stationary for periods of about 30,000 years, then move around for 6,000 years, then again stay put for 30,000 years, and so on. Scientists have established that the last four rounds of the poles started 120,000 years ago when the North Pole installed itself in the territory of Yukon in Canada at 63° Nand 135° W; then it went to the Greenland Sea at 72° N and 10° E about 84,000 years ago, moved from 54,000 until 48,000 years ago and settled in the middle of Hudson Bay at 60° N and 83° W; it rested there for 30,000 years; then wandered again from about 18,000 to about 12,000 years ago when it came to its present location. Simultaneously the South Pole went through similar gyrations but in the opposite direction. We have to note that its three previous locations were in their turn in the southern part of the Indian Ocean between Australia and the Antarctic itself. Only the last movement 12,000 years ago brought the South Pole to the middle of the great continent of Antarctica.(141)

One of the great unknowns of any analysis of human social development during the warm conditions after the Younger Dryas is just how much evidence has been swept away by the rise in sea levels. If, as seems likely, some of the most stable and best-fed communities would have quickly developed close to seashores, any evidence of their existence will have long gone. The simple fact of the matter is that this rise in sea levels drowned or washed away evidence of nearly all earlier coastal adaptation everywhere around the world. (145)

It is a curious coincidence of geology and palaeoanthropology that the onset and progress of the last Ice Age, and the emergence and proliferation of modern Man, more or less shadow each other. Curious too is the fact that so little is known about either. The crucial stages of Ice Age chronology thus appear to be: 1 around 60,000 years ago, when the Wurm, the Wisconsin and other glaciations were well under way; 2 around 17,000 years ago, when the ice sheets had reached their maximum extent in both the Old World and the New; 3 the 7000 years of deglaciation that followed. (152)

In the New World...more than seventy genera of large mammals became extinct between 15,000 BC and 8000 BC, including all North American members of seven families, and one complete order, the Proboscidea. These staggering losses, involving the violent obliteration of more than forty million animals, were not spread out evenly over the whole period; on the contrary, the vast majority of the extinctions occurred in just two thousand years, between 11,000 BC and 9000 BC. To put this in perspective, during the previous 300,000 years only about twenty genera had disappeared. (152)

According to reports published in Nature and New Scientist, the last geomagnetic reversal was completed just 12,400 years ago - during the eleventh millennium BC. Scientists expect the next reversal of the earth's magnetic poles to occur around AD 2030. (152)

Studies of palaeomagnetism have confirmed that approximately 12,400 years ago there was a 180-degree reversal of the earth's magnetic poles. Just 800 years later, in 9,600 BC, the earth was in collision - and not for the first time - with several fragments from a disintegrated comet. According to Professor Alexander Tollman of the University of Vienna: 'The consequence of the impact explosions appears to have included a chain of up to a dozen individual catastrophes, including earthquakes, geological deformation, a vapour plume and tidal waves. (161)

Africa

The climatic record is, however, unequivocal: for most of the time between around 14 kya and 5 kya the Sahara experienced a monsoonal climate. The region had considerably greater rainfall than now and much of the land had permanent vegetation. (145)

Southwest Asia

 During the Ice Age, sea levels around the world were almost 400 feet below current levels. Even as recently as 12,000 years ago global sea levels were so low that rising seawaters were only just entering the shallow basin of the Arabian Sea. At that time, the river system of the Tigris and Euphrates flowed through the deepest part of the Persian Gulf, down what geologists call the Ur-Shatt River. (68)

Between 13,000 BC and 4000 BC sea levels rose significantly as ice sheets melted. Meteorologists suggest that there was increased rainfall in the Near East in this era and botanists point to increased plant life. (68)

A protected valley ... a great river ... lakes ... fertile soils ... bountiful rainfall ... The palaeo-climatological literature left me with the distinct impression that the Gulf around 10,000 or 12,000 years ago could have been a very unusual place ... indeed a secret garden blessed with an ideal climate, offering nearly optimum conditions for the emergence of a civilization. (124)

By 14,000 yr BP the Hormuz Strait has opened up as a narrow waterway and the flooding of the lowlands to the west begins, first with the flooding of the Eastern Basin by marine water soon after 13,000 BP. Marine influence is first experienced in the Central Basin before about 12,500 BP ... The Western Basin lake remains free from marine incursion until about 11,500 BP. (124)

The steadily rising sea levels might have had a more profound effect on coastal communities where large areas were inundated in fits and starts. For example, this could have happened in the Persian Gulf. This enclosed sea goes no deeper than 100 m, and much of the seabed is only about 40 m below the present-day surface. When sea levels were 120 m lower the gulf would have been dry land 20 kya, and the ancestral river system of the Tigris and Euphrates flowed through the deepest part of the gulf, a canyon cut by the river waters to the Indian Ocean. The postglacial rise in sea level inundated the floor of the gulf between 15 and 6 kya. The sea advanced more than 1000 km, forcing any people living there to abandon their settlements. (145)

The climatic record is, however, unequivocal: for most of the time between around 14 kya and 5 kya the Sahara experienced a monsoonal climate. The region had considerably greater rainfall than now and much of the land had permanent vegetation. (145)

Egypt

 The Nile Valley and Delta are among the richest agricultural niches in the world, and thus the farming way of life may seem to be the "natural" state of human habitation there, but in fact farming came to Egypt only relatively late. For many millennia before farming appeared in Egypt, people lived there simply by hunting, fishing, and gathering the area’s rich profusion of indigenous plants and animals. Today the Nile Valley looks like a rather poor place to try to make a living as a hunter-forager, because the narrow Nile floodplain runs through one of the driest deserts on earth, the Sahara; but before about 10,000 years ago rainfall made the deserts bloom for many millennia. In this Pleistocene epoch the Nile itself teamed with fish and wildfowl, and areas that are now deserts along the Nile were for long periods rich grasslands that supported wild cows, gazelles, and many other large animals which, in turn supported ancient Egyptian hunter-foragers. This centuries-old way of life began to fade away about 10,000 years ago. As the great ice sheets in temperate latitudes shrank, the African rainfall patterns shifted, and the deserts replaced grasslands across much of North Africa. And as these deserts expanded, almost all human life in Egypt was concentrated in the Nile Valley and Delta. (47)

During the latter part of the last ice age, between 20,000 and 10,000 years ago, the eastern Sahara was uninhabited and extremely arid. (70)

Some records indicate that the onset of rains began at Bir Kiseiba around 10,000 BC, but in many other areas, including Abu Ballas in south-central Egypt, they came a thousand years later. Nonetheless, by 7500 BC, rising water tables were able to support lakes in the Sudan. Archaeologists have discovered sediments from these ancient lakes that include sand, mud, freshwater carbonates, sulfate layers, salts, and plant fossils. (70)

The climatic record is, however, unequivocal: for most of the time between around 14 kya and 5 kya the Sahara experienced a monsoonal climate. The region had considerably greater rainfall than now and much of the land had permanent vegetation. (145)

Indus Valley

 Why were India's seas so salty just before 12,000 years ago? The most likely explanation is that the flow of the great rivers draining the Karakoram-Himalayan region had virtually ceased because of the advance of glaciers into their main valleys during Dryas III - pretty much as the Rig Veda tells us ('Ahi who besieged the waters...the insatiate one, extended, hard to waken, who slumbered in perpetual sleep'). Likewise, the explanation for the low salinity values that suddenly appear soon after 10,000 years ago is a sudden gigantic inrush of freshwater to the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal on a scale that could have been caused by the breaching of ice dams in the Himalayas, the freeing of rivers pent up behind them, and the flushing out of parts of the ice-cap. ('The Dragon stretched against the seven prone rivers, where no joint was, thou rentest with thy thunder.' 'Like lowing kine in rapid flow descending, the waters glided downward to the ocean.') (124)

With its dominant motif of a once much larger Dravidian homeland, the opening of the Kumari Kandam flood myth is set in remote prehistory between 12,000 and 10,000 years ago. The work of Glenn Milne and other inundation specialists confirms that between 12,000 and 10,000 years ago India's Dravidian peninsula and its outlying islands would indeed have been far larger than they are today - but were in the process of being swallowed up by the rising seas at the end of the Ice Age. (124)

An epoch of spectacular geological turmoil occurred at the end of the last Ice Age, with the most dramatic effects registered in a series of cataclysmic floods that took place at intervals between roughly 15,000 and 7000 years ago. Is it an accident that this same 8000-year period has been pinpointed by archaeologists as the very one in which our supposedly primitive forefathers made the transition (in different places at somewhat different times) from their age-old hunter-gatherer lifestyle to settled agriculture? Or could there be more to 'the food-producing revolution' than meets the eye? After all, most scientists already recognize a causative connection between the end of the Ice Age and the supposed beginning of farming - indeed an unproven hypothesis that rapid climate changes forced hunter-gatherers to invent agriculture presently serves as pretty much the sum of conventional wisdom on this subject. But there is another possibility. Nobody seems to have noticed that in the general vicinity of each of the places in the world where the food-producing revolution is supposed to have begun between 15,000 and 7000 years ago there is also a large area of land that was submerged by the post-glacial floods between 15,000 and 7000 years ago: We have seen that this is true for India, one of the world's ancient agricultural 'hearths', which lost more than a million square kilometres in the south and the west and, most conspicuously in the north-west, at the end of the Ice Age. (124)

China

 …for some thousands of years after the end of the Pleistocene at about 12,000 years ago, China's climate was somewhat warmer and moister than it is today, and much of the country was probably heavily forested, from the temperate forests of the north to the jungles in the south. (49)

Europe

 Between about 30,000 and 10,000 years ago, European climates began a long cooling trend with some periods of extreme cold, but for most of the period the summers were cool and the winters relatively mild. The rich European grasslands and mixed forest habitats supported great numbers of herbivores, including reindeer, deer, bison, wild ox, ibex, woolly rhinoceros, and mammoths. France seems to have been densely occupied during this period, particularly near the confluence of the Dordogne and Vezere rivers. This lovely part of the world is a well-watered, heavily forested limestone formation, honeycombed with caves and rock shelters, which offered excellent places to live.

At peak moments of the meltdown any hypothetical civilizations living around the edges of partially enclosed seas that served as drainage areas for the great ice-sheets could have suffered disproportionately large and rapid change in sea-level. In a sophisticated and original argument, LaViolette draws particular attention to the Mediterranean: Glacial meltwater [from the nearby European ice-sheets] would have entered the Mediterranean much more rapidly than it could escape through the Straits of Gibraltar, and, as a result, the temporary rise in Mediterranean sea-level would have been much greater than in the surrounding oceans ... [Such meltwater surges] could have temporarily raised the Mediterranean by some 60 meters, flooding all coast civilizations. (124)

…there is no dispute from any authority that during the extremely cold and arid periods that occurred several times between 17,000 and 10,000 years ago: man and animals could migrate from the Italian peninsula, by land, to the warmer climates of the Siculo-Maltese district. Herds of red deer left northern latitudes and settled in all parts of present-day Sicily, the present-day Egadi islands of Favignana and Levanzo, and the Maltese archipelago, the latter site being the warmest of the Siculo-Maltese district during the Pleistocene. (124)

This period of post-glacial warming was interrupted by a precipitous and brief shift back to near-glacial conditions. Called the Younger Dryas in Europe, it lasted from 10,500 to 9400 BC. The continental ice sheets ceased melting and in some localities (such as Scotland and Norway) began once more to expand, sending long tongues of glacial ice down mountain valleys and back into coastal fjords. The word Dryas comes from the name of an Arctic plant that is a member of the rose family and which appeared across northern Europe at the onset of the abrupt refrigeration. In the Barbados coral sequence, the Younger Dryas's cold and dry climate produced a drastic slowing of the rise of global sea level. (131)

Along the coast of Andros at a depth of 150 ft. the French undersea explorer Jacques Cousteau has found a huge stalactite and stalagmite cave, a type of cave that could only have been formed by drops of lime water falling over long periods of time in free air, not under water. And the sediment in this cave is about 12,000 years old. (141)

In 1931 a trawler working in the southern North Sea dredged up a lump of peat containing an exquisitely crafted spearhead made from a deer's antler. Dated as being nearly 14 kyr old, this artefact was dramatic evidence of how early humans exploited the broad expanses of land that had been exposed during the last ice age, and were only reclaimed by the sea some 7 kya. When this spearhead was buried, dense oak forests had yet to spread into the region, known to archaeologists as 'Doggerland', where now the sea is over 30m deep. This famous find emphasises that the rise in sea level between about 15 and 5 kya covered up large areas of habitable land that had been exploited by humans and made movement around the continental margins easier. (145)

Changes in the sea level during the last 100 kyr. (145)

The rising sea levels were caused by the tumultuous melting of the ice-cap which was rapidly retreating everywhere in the northern hemisphere by around 10,000 BC. It is therefore interesting that at least one ancient map appears to show southern Sweden covered with remnant glaciers of the kind that must indeed have been prevalent then in these latitudes. The remnant glaciers are on Claudius Ptolemy's famous Map of the North. Originally compiled in the second century AD, this remarkable work from the last great geographer of classical antiquity was lost for hundreds of years and rediscovered in the fifteenth century. (152)

The northern regions of Alaska and Siberia appear to have been the worst hit by the murderous upheavals between 13,000 and 11,000 years ago. In a great swathe of death around the edge of the Arctic Circle the remains of uncountable numbers oflarge animals have been found - including many carcases with the flesh still intact, and astonishing quantities of perfectly preserved mammoth tusks. The Alaskan muck in which the remains are embedded is like a fine, dark- grey sand. Frozen solid within this mass, in the words of Professor Hibben of the University of New Mexico: lie the twisted parts of animals and trees intermingled with lenses of ice and layers of peat and mosses...Bison, horses, wolves, bears, lions...Whole herds of animals were apparently killed together, overcome by some common power...Such piles of bodies of animals or men simply do not occur by any ordinary natural means...' At various levels stone artefacts have been found 'frozen in situ at great depths, and in association with Ice Age fauna, which confirms that men were contemporary with extinct animals in Alaska'. (152)

Researchers have confirmed that of the thirty-four animal species living in Siberia prior to the catastrophes of the eleventh millennium BC - including Ossip's mammoth, giant deer, cave hyena and cave lions - no less than twenty-eight were adapted only to temperate conditions.' In this context, one of the most puzzling aspects of the extinctions, which runs quite contrary to what today's geographical and climatic conditions lead us to expect, is that the farther north one goes, the more the mammoth and other remains increase in number. Indeed some of the New Siberian Islands, well within the Arctic Circle, were described by the explorers who first discovered them as being made up almost entirely of mammoth bones and tusks. The only logical conclusion, as the nineteenth-century French zoologist Georges Cuvier put it, is that 'this eternal frost did not previously exist in those parts in which the animals were frozen, for they could not have survived in such a temperature. The same instant that these creatures were bereft of life, the country which they inhabited became frozen. In his survey of the New Siberian Islands, the Arctic explorer Baron Eduard von Toll found the remains 'of a sabretooth tiger, and a fruit tree that had been 90 feet tall when it was standing. The tree was well preserved in the permafrost, with its roots and seeds. Green leaves and ripe fruit still clung to its branches...At the present time the only representative of tree vegetation on the islands is a willow that grows one inch high'. ...at some point between 12-13,000 years ago a destroying frost descended with horrifying speed upon Siberia and has never relaxed its grip. (152)

10,000 BC Scotland ice free, giant fallow deer, elk and reindeer living (160)

South America

The spread of human hunting and gathering societies over the New World after 12,000 years ago, at the end of the last glacial period, coincides with the extinction of many animal species, and by about 10,000 years ago, all or most of the mammoths, mastodons, long-horned bison, tapirs, horses, giant ground sloths, dire wolves, camels, and many other creatures had disappeared. Extinction is, of course, a natural evolutionary development and can be accounted for by known biological processes. But the number of animal species that became extinct in the New World and their apparently rapid rate of extinction has led some to conclude that human hunters forced many New World animals into extinction shortly after the Pleistocene. We might also note that there is no archeological evidence that the hunting practices most likely to lead to animal extinctions, such as drives and jumps, were ever used during the period, some 10,000 to 8,000 years ago, when most of the larger species became extinct.(26)

A wet period followed [at Lake Titicaca] between 13,000 and 11,000 years ago. (69)

We have two areas lying at similar distances from their respective poles. In one, the northern, we have many evidences of heavy glaciation, extending over a period of perhaps 40,000 years, but ending about 14,000 years ago, to give way to the present climate about 10,000 years ago. In Chile and Argentina, on the other hand, in the same relative latitude just as close, presumably, to a pole, we have no glaciation until after the climate has become normal for the present temperate zone in the north. It appears that in Argentina a cool period set in just as the hipsithermal phase with higher temperatures set in all over the northern hemisphere! Clearly, then, there was no similarity in climatic trends, but rather the opposite. (132)

The block contained a human skull, teeth, and other bones, together with fragments of shells, some of which still retained traces of their original colors. Remains of several hundred other human skeletons were dug out of similar calcareous tufa at the same place, where the presence of serpulae in the rock suggested that all the remains were deposited through marine action... It seems unlikely that these remains were formally buried by sorrowing friends. It is unlikely that so solid a stone should have been formed at so great a distance from the sea...No doubt they are co-existent with the emerged land; they are not to be considered as the results of human industry. The shore of the Atlantic must have formerly swept nearly in a line with these remarkable deposits...Within this bed, or nearer than it to the sea, are found fossil bones of elephants, etc.... In a limestone cavern on the borders of the Lagoa do Sumidouro, some three leagues from Santa Lucia, Dr. P. W. Lund excavated the bones of more than thirty individuals (human) of both sexes and various ages. The skeletons lay buried in hard clay overlying the original red soil forming the floor of the cave and were found mixed together in such great confusion - not only with one another but with the remains of the Megatherium and other Pleistocene mammals - as to preclude the idea that they had been entombed by the hand of man. All the bones, whether human or animal, showed evidence of having been contemporary with one another. (132)

In other caves investigated by Lund, bones of ancient men were found alongside those of the formidable Smilodon, a giant feline which became extinct during the last Pleistocene times. Referring to the evidence from these and other Brazilian fossiliferous caves, the Marquis de Nadaillac wrote: ...Doubtless these men and animals lived together and perished together, common victims of catastrophes, the time and cause of which are alike unknown. Two further cases are of particular interest. The first of these concerns the discovery, by Savage-Lander, of the remains of primitive humanoid mammals, associated with the bones of creatures regarded by him as gigantic saurians, in volcanic ash and lava deposits encountered in Matto Grosso State. The second case relates to the occurrence of the remains of mastodons, camels, and an extinct species of horse in beds of volcanic ash high in the Andes near Punin in Ecuador. Associated with these mammalian bones was the fossilized skull of a woman of Australoid type. This cranium, which is dolichocephalous, was scientifically described in 1925 by Drs. Louis R. Sullivan and Milo Hellman and has since become generally known as the "Punin" skull. The critical importance of the Punin and Matto Grosso discoveries in the present context, however, lies in their stark demonstration that in South America human and animal denizens of the late Pleistocene world were exposed to, and perished by, geological upheavals of inconceivable violence and extent. (132)

These extraordinary modes of burial are further exemplified by the groups or caches of animal fossils unearthed at widely separated South American localities, in which incongruous animal types (carnivores and herbivores) are mixed promiscuously with human bones. These are found not only in the Pampas formation but also in Brazilian caves and in volcanic ash at Punin and elsewhere. No less significant is the association - over truly widespread areas - of fossilized land and sea creatures mingled in no order and yet entombed in the same geological horizon, and also the occurrence of mastodon remains in the Cordilleras at altitudes impossibly high for their ordinary existence. Clearly these varied, but apparently contemporaneous, burials all over the South American continent are the results of different and relatively localized effects of a single tremendous upheaval, the numerous ramifications of which operated synchronously. In seeking to explain one of these effects, one must explain them all. It would seem that one cause destroyed the terrestrial animals of South America, and that this cause is to be found in great dislocations of the ground caused by the upheaval of the Cordilleras. If not, it is difficult to conceive on the one hand the sudden and fortuitous destruction of the great animals which inhabited the American continents, and on the other the vast deposit of Pampan mud. (132)

I argue that this destruction was caused by an invasion of the continent by water, a view which is completely en rapport with the facts presented by the great Pampan deposit, which was clearly laid down by water. How otherwise can we account for this complete destruction and the homogeneity of the Pampas deposits containing bones? I find an evident proof of this in the immense number of bones and of entire animals whose numbers are greatest at the outlets of the valleys, as Mr. Darwin shows. This hypothesis necessitates that the Pampas mud was deposited suddenly as the result of violent floods of water, which carried off the soil and other superfluous debris, and mingled them together. My final conclusion from the geological facts I have observed in America is, that there was a perfect coincidence between the upheaval of the Cordilleras, the destruction of the great race of animals, and the great deposit of Pampas mud. (132)

All around the world there is also overwhelming evidence to show that, while the old ice-caps were melting, new ones were taking their place. The continent of Antarctica, for instance, began its gradual glaciation towards the end of the last Ice Age and was still relatively free of ice in certain regions right down until 4000 BC. Other evidence indicates that a short relapse, a kind of mini-ice age, where the ice sheets began advancing once more, occurred in Europe and Asia Minor sometime between 11,000 to 10,000 years ago. More curious is evidence from locations as far apart as northern Armenia and the Andean Altiplano of Bolivia and Peru, not only of the extinction of animals during the eleventh and tenth millennia BC, but also of dramatic elevations in the terrain's altitude above sea level. (149)


12,000 years ago when Lake Titicaca was more than 100 feet deeper than it is today, Tiahuanaco would have been an island, as shown above. (152)

Mesoamerica

The spread of human hunting and gathering societies over the New World after 12,000 years ago, at the end of the last glacial period, coincides with the extinction of many animal species, and by about 10,000 years ago, all or most of the mammoths, mastodons, long-horned bison, tapirs, horses, giant ground sloths, dire wolves, camels, and many other creatures had disappeared. Extinction is, of course, a natural evolutionary development and can be accounted for by known biological processes. But the number of animal species that became extinct in the New World and their apparently rapid rate of extinction has led some to conclude that human hunters forced many New World animals into extinction shortly after the Pleistocene. We might also note that there is no archeological evidence that the hunting practices most likely to lead to animal extinctions, such as drives and jumps, were ever used during the period, some 10,000 to 8,000 years ago, when most of the larger species became extinct.(26)

Coastal plains were submerged, burying--among many others--settlements dating from 12,000 years ago and older in the Gulf of Mexico and along the coastlines of Florida, Cuba, Bimini, Belize, and other areas. (113)

During the same expedition Cousteau explored the Blue Hole, a deep abyss near the coast of Belize, in Central America, where he discovered a labyrinth of stalactite and stalagmite caves, all at an angle, which is contrary to the way these formations can grow. The only explanation is that a strong earthquake tilted these caves and their formations of calcite deposits. Again, the analysis of the stalactites showed their age to be about 12,000 years. This is clear evidence that some 12,000 years ago a large part of the American continent, now under the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico, was submerged during a seismic catastrophe so that only the highest mountain peaks remained above water. These are, of course, the Caribbean Islands of today. (141)

North America

  …about 12,000 years ago the huge glacial ice sheets that once covered much of eastern North America retreated into Canada, and the distribution of plant and animal species in this region became similar to that of the recent past. (53)

...the drumlins and other 'hummocky' landforms strewn across Canada are evidence of continental floods of biblical proportions - floods of water in some cases hundreds of metres high - that roared out from beneath the ice-caps during the last deglaciation, destroying or mangling everything in their path. Shaw explicitly suggests that many elements of the universal myth of the deluge may be explained by such floods pouring down off the land - intimately linked, as they were, to the episodes of sudden and ferocious sea-level rise that took place between 15,000 and 8000 years ago. I think it is worth re-emphasizing Shaw's figures, and their implications. He is talking about turbulent, energetic floods 20 metres deep flowing in vortices at high speed and pressure, under the main ice-sheets, across fronts up to 160 kilometres wide. Only floods on such a scale and of such violence could have sculpted the drumlin-fields and hummocky terrain and tortured pitted scablands of Canada and the United States and carved out other remarkable features such as the extremely large through valleys - including those containing the Finger Lakes - that lie to the south of drumlin-fields in northern New York State. 'Volumes of water required to sustain such floods', observes Shaw, 'would have been of the order of one million cubic kilometres equivalent to a rise of several metres in sea-level over a matter of weeks. (124)

Today, Eskimos using skin boats easily cross the ninety kilometers of open sea separating Siberia and America, and recently an American woman slathered herself with grease and actually swam from Alaska to Siberia. But such a sea crossing would not have been necessary during much of the Pleistocene. During periods of glacial advance within the last million years, enourmous quantities of water were converted to ice, lowering the sea level sufficiently to expose a 1500- to 3000-kilometer-wide expanse of the floor of the Bering Sea. This land bridge--usually referred to as Beringia--was probably available at least four times in the last 60,000 years.(25)

Prior to 10,000 years ago, species of deer, bison,camels, bears, foxes, mammoths, moose, caribou,and even rodents crossed from Siberia into the New World. Going in the other way--from America to Asia--were foxes, woodchucks, and, during the early Pliestocene, the ancestors of modern forms of horses, wolves, and other animals.(25)

One might think that good, solid archaeological data--bones and stones--would be a firmer basis for analyzing New World colonization, given the ambiguities in estimating rates of change in teeth, languages, etc. The truth, however, is that the archaeological record does not resolve these questions and disputes about the date, routes, and adaptations of the first Americans. At this time there is no conclusive evidence that people were in the New World and south of Alaska before about 13,000 BC. That they were there at that time or shortly thereafter is certain (insofar as science can ever be certain), since scores of sites have been dated by many different methods to between 13,000 and 10,000 BC.(26)

The spread of human hunting and gathering societies over the New World after 12,000 years ago, at the end of the last glacial period, coincides with the extinction of many animal species, and by about 10,000 years ago, all or most of the mammoths, mastodons, long-horned bison, tapirs, horses, giant ground sloths, dire wolves, camels, and many other creatures had disappeared. Extinction is, of course, a natural evolutionary development and can be accounted for by known biological processes. But the number of animal species that became extinct in the New World and their apparently rapid rate of extinction has led some to conclude that human hunters forced many New World animals into extinction shortly after the Pleistocene. We might also note that there is no archeological evidence that the hunting practices most likely to lead to animal extinctions, such as drives and jumps, were ever used during the period, some 10,000 to 8,000 years ago, when most of the larger species became extinct.(26)

Coastal plains were submerged, burying--among many others--settlements dating from 12,000 years ago and older in the Gulf of Mexico and along the coastlines of Florida, Cuba, Bimini, Belize, and other areas. …the land routes to North America from Siberia and via the Bering Sea area (it only became a sea again after the Cataclysm) and from Scandinavia via Iceland and Greenland disappeared under the sea as well. That slowed the reintegration of peoples from the upper part of North America with Europe and Asia. (113)

Today we owe a great deal of the agricultural productivity of the American Midwest to this blanket of loess created between 29,000 and 12,000 years ago, when the glaciers were still advancing and the lands beyond were cold, dry, and windy. (130)

Several lines of solid evidence suggest that during the last ice age the North Pole was located in or near Hudson Bay. ...the best guess for the site of the pole seems to be approximately 60 degrees North Latitude and 83 degrees West Longitude. The first line of evidence that the last North American ice cap was a polar ice cap is based on the shape, size, and peculiar geographical location of the ice sheet. (132)

We have two areas lying at similar distances from their respective poles. In one, the northern, we have many evidences of heavy glaciation, extending over a period of perhaps 40,000 years, but ending about 14,000 years ago, to give way to the present climate about 10,000 years ago. In Chile and Argentina, on the other hand, in the same relative latitude just as close, presumably, to a pole, we have no glaciation until after the climate has become normal for the present temperate zone in the north. It appears that in Argentina a cool period set in just as the hipsithermal phase with higher temperatures set in all over the northern hemisphere! Clearly, then, there was no similarity in climatic trends, but rather the opposite. (132)

This indicates that mastodons (not arctic animals) were present, probably in large numbers, in the forests of the United States and Canada as early as 12,000 years ago. Deglaciation was probably at least 2,000 years earlier. (132)

Our fourth date is supposed to record the deglaciation of James Bay, far to the west of the Atlantic Coast region above, and a part of Hudson Bay. The dated shells are supposed to have grown "immediately following the deglaciation of James Bay." The age is 7,875+ 200. It is notable that this is much later than deglaciation on the Atlantic Coast or in New York or New England. This suggests that the last stand of the ice sheet was in Hudson Bay. It appears that the ice cap did not melt from south to north, as might have been expected, but from all sides inward toward the central area, about Hudson Bay. The southern edge of the ice retreated northward, the northern edge southward, the western edge eastward exactly as if, indeed, it had been a polar ice cap. This, of course, leads us back to our assumption that the North Pole was located in Hudson Bay during the last ice age. (132)

The northern regions of Alaska and Siberia appear to have been the worst hit by the murderous upheavals between 13,000 and 11,000 years ago. In a great swathe of death around the edge of the Arctic Circle the remains of uncountable numbers oflarge animals have been found - including many carcases with the flesh still intact, and astonishing quantities of perfectly preserved mammoth tusks. The Alaskan muck in which the remains are embedded is like a fine, dark- grey sand. Frozen solid within this mass, in the words of Professor Hibben of the University of New Mexico: lie the twisted parts of animals and trees intermingled with lenses of ice and layers of peat and mosses...Bison, horses, wolves, bears, lions...Whole herds of animals were apparently killed together, overcome by some common power...Such piles of bodies of animals or men simply do not occur by any ordinary natural means...' At various levels stone artefacts have been found 'frozen in situ at great depths, and in association with Ice Age fauna, which confirms that men were contemporary with extinct animals in Alaska'. (152)

There is a remarkable amount of evidence of excessive volcanism during the decline of the Wisconsin ice cap. Far to the south of the frozen Alaskan mucks, thousands of prehistoric animals and plants were mired, all at once, in the famous La Brea tar pits of Los Angeles. Among the creatures unearthed were bison, horses, camels, sloths, mammoths, mastodons and at least seven hundred sabre-toothed tigers. A disarticulated human skeleton was also found, completely enveloped in bitumen, mingled with the bones of an extinct species of vulture. In general, the La Brea remains ('broken, mashed, contorted, and mixed in a most heterogeneous mass') speak eloquently of a sudden and dreadful volcanic cataclysm. The bulk of the animal extinctions took place between 11,000 BC and 9000 BC when there were violent and unexplained fluctuations of climate. (152)

Other

 …some other changes to existing continents are more easily envisaged. One was the separation of aboriginals living on the Tasmanian Peninsula of Australia from the mainland. They had arrived from the mainland only two or three thousand years before, although their ancestors had already been on the continent for fifty thousand years. When the sea level rose as a result of the melting of glaciers and other ice packs, it made Tasmania an island. (113)

Around modern Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines, and stretching as far north as Japan, lay the endless plains of 'Sunda Land', a fully fledged antediluvian continent. It was submerged very rapidly some time between 14,000 and 11,000 years ago. (124)

All around the world there is also overwhelming evidence to show that, while the old ice-caps were melting, new ones were taking their place. The continent of Antarctica, for instance, began its gradual glaciation towards the end of the last Ice Age and was still relatively free of ice in certain regions right down until 4000 BC. Other evidence indicates that a short relapse, a kind of mini-ice age, where the ice sheets began advancing once more, occurred in Europe and Asia Minor sometime between 11,000 to 10,000 years ago. More curious is evidence from locations as far apart as northern Armenia and the Andean Altiplano of Bolivia and Peru, not only of the extinction of animals during the eleventh and tenth millennia BC, but also of dramatic elevations in the terrain's altitude above sea level. (149)

Some 260 million years ago, during the Permian period, deciduous trees adapted to a warm climate grew in Antarctica. ...Here at the southernmost known mountain in the world, - scarcely two hundred miles from the South Pole, was found conclusive evidence that the climate of Antarctica was once temperate or even sub-tropical. ...sedimentary cores collected from the bottom of the Ross Sea by one of the Byrd Antarctic Expeditions provide conclusive evidence that 'great rivers, carrying down fine well grained sediments' did flow in this part of Antarctica until perhaps as late as 4000 BC. From 6000 to 15,000 years ago the sediment is fine-grained with the exception of one granule at about 12,000 years ago. This suggests an absence of ice from the area during that period, except perhaps for a stray iceberg 12,000 years ago. ...at one time the temperatures of the Arctic Ocean were similar to the contemporary temperatures of the Bay of Bengal or the Caribbean Sea. (152)