HUMANPAST.NET

Environment                  15,000 BC
Africa
Southwest Asia
Egypt
Indus Valley
China
Europe
South America
Mesoamerica
North America
Other

In General

...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)

Imagine the world before the flood. Seventeen thousand years ago, at the end of the Last Glacial Maximum, most of northern Europe and North America were buried under ice several kilometres thick. So much water was tied up in these continental ice-caps that global sea-level was between 115 and 120 metres lower than it is today. The antediluvian world, therefore, looked very different from the world we are familiar with.
• A land-bridge joined Alaska and Siberia across what is now the Bering Strait.
• It was possible to walk from southern England to northern France across the dry valley that would later become the English Channel.
• Many more islands were exposed in the Mediterranean than are visible today and existing islands were much larger. Malta, for example, was certainly joined on to Sicily. Corsica and Sardinia formed a single huge island.
• Further east, we've already seen that the whole of the Persian Gulf as far as the Strait of Hormuz was dry 17,000 years ago but for its great alluvium-rich river and its life-giving lakes ...
• Further east still, India's coastlines were much more extensive at the end of the last Ice Age than they are today and the shape of the subcontinent was strikingly different. Sri Lanka was joined to the mainland and south of Sri Lanka, sprawling across the equator, the Maldive islands were far larger than they are today.
• 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.
• Up until about 12,000 years ago, the three main islands of Japan formed a continuous landmass.
• In the southern seas lay the gigantic Ice Age continent of Sahul, formed out of the united landmasses of Australia, Tasmania and New Guinea.
• Across the Pacific the thousands of small, remote islands of today were integrated into much larger archipelagos 17,000 years ago.
• In the western Atlantic, in the same epoch, the Grand Bahama Banks, now shallowly submerged, formed a huge plateau 120 metres above sea-level, and all of the Florida, Yucatan and Nicaragua shelves were exposed. (124)

Geologists calculate that nearly 5 per cent of the earth's surface - an area of around 25 million square kilometres or 10 million square miles - has been swallowed by rising sea-levels since the end of the Ice Age. That is roughly equivalent to the combined areas of the United States (9.6 million square kilometres) and the whole of South America (17 million square kilometres). It is an area almost three times as large as Canada and much larger than China and Europe combined. (124)

The clear implication of Arvidsson's and Johnston's research, therefore, is that crustal rebound and isostatic rebalancing did at times take place very rapidly as the ice-caps melted down into cascading floods - rapidly enough to trigger extremely violent earthquakes and sudden massive faulting (penetrating to hitherto unheard-of depths of 40 kilometres and radiating laterally for up to 160 kilometres). (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)

                                                                                                         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 is clear that if a shift of the earth's crust stopped the advance of the ice, the shift must have had its first climatic effect between 17,000 and 16,000 years ago. (132)

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)

An ice-cap that may have taken 40,000 years to develop disappeared for the most part, in 2000. It must be obvious that this could not have been the result of gradually acting climatic factors usually called upon to explain ice ages... The rapidity of the deglaciation suggests that some extraordinary factor was affecting the climate. The dates suggest that this factor first made itself felt about 16,500 years ago, that it had destroyed most, perhaps three-quarters of the glaciers by 2000 years later, and that [the vast bulk of these dramatic developments took place] in a millennium or less. (152)

Africa

 

Southwest Asia

 Between about 20,000 and 12,500 BC, glaciers expanded over many areas of American and Eurasia, altering climates around the world. Within this span there were shorter cycles of climate change, periods of several thousand years in which the climates became relatively warmer or cooler, drier or wetter. For most of this period, the sea coasts expanded as ocean levels fell. Forests covered coastal areas around the northern and eastern Mediterranean but many higher areas of southwest Asia were dry steppe or grasslands.(26)

...the whole of the Persian Gulf – in fact to a point well beyond the Strait of Hormuz in what is now the Gulf of Oman – was dry land between 18,000 and 14,000 years ago. Only then did the sea begin to transgress into the Gulf itself, first as a narrow waterway, later as a recurrent cycle of powerful short-lived floods, each followed by a partial recession of the floodwaters, then a standstill, then renewed flooding at irregular intervals. (124)

Egypt

 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)

Further evidence of human habitation of the Nile Valley at the end of the LGM has come from the Kom Ombo Plain, which is a rich alluvial plain 50 km north of Aswan. Between 17 an 12 kya this area offered an attractive habitat for humans. Rainfall having increased at the end of the LGM, was more abundant than now. So not only were the Nile floods more substantial, but also the rainfall in the Red Sea Hills to the east of the river was sufficient to feed the now dried-up tributaries that ran into the Nile across the Kom Ombo Plain. (145)

Indus Valley

  India's coastlines were much more extensive at the end of the last Ice Age than they are today and the shape of the subcontinent was strikingly different. Sri Lanka was joined to the mainland and south of Sri Lanka, sprawling across the equator, the Maldive islands were far larger than they are today. (124)

China

 In caves near Peking, bones of mammoths and buffaloes have been found in association with human skeletal remains. A number of authorities attribute the violent intermingling of mammoth carcases with splintered and broken trees in Siberia 'to a great tidal wave that uprooted forests and buried the tangled carnage in a flood of mud. In the polar region this froze solid and has preserved the evidence in permafrost to the present. (152)

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.(24)

One of the most amply documented Upper Paleolithic cultures in eastern Europe is the Kostenski-Bershevo culture centered in the Don River Valley, about 470 kilometers southeast of Moscow. About 25,000 to 11,000 years ago, the Kostenski-Bershevo area was an open grassland environment, with no rock shelters, caves, or other natural habitations, and with very little wood available for fires. People here left a variety of archeological sites.(24)

It was possible to walk from southern England to northern France across the dry valley that would later become the English Channel. Many more islands were exposed in the Mediterranean than are visible today and existing islands were much larger. Malta, for example, was certainly joined on to Sicily. Corsica and Sardinia formed a single huge island. (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)

Until 16,400 years ago Malta was still joined to Sicily by a land-bridge. The land-bridge was severed by rising sea-levels between 16,400 years ago and 14,600 years ago. However, the new straits created were at first extremely narrow and most of the mass of the former isthmus remained above water. (124)

Central Europe, England, and the Mediterranean islands of Corsica, Sardinia and Sicily were all completely submerged on several occasions during the rapid melting of the ice sheets: The animals naturally retreated, as the waters advanced, deeper into the hills until they found themselves embayed...They thronged together in vast multitudes, crushing into the more accessible caves, until overtaken by the waters and destroyed...Rocky debris and large blocks from the sides of the hills were hurled down by the currents of water, crushing and smashing the bones...Certain communities of early man must have suffered in this general catastrophe. (152)

South America

 Ironically, the site with perhaps the best claim to a pre-12,000 BP date date in the Americas is among the farthest south, Monte Verde, in south central Chile. Here Tom Dillehay and his crew have excavated a camp site that has been radiocarbon-dated to about 13,000 years ago, and below the levels of that age are layers of tools and debris that may be much older, perhaps up to 33,000 years old.(26)

The Monte Verde dates have recieved some support in the form of radiocarbon dates of hearths from sites near Pedra Furada, in eastern Brazil, where numerous stone tools and animal bones were found with charcoal in stratified layers that yielded a consistent series of twelve dates from about 32,000 to 17,000 years ago.(26)

Posnansky estimated that Tiahuanaco served as a port 17,000 I years ago, basing this figure on the celestial alignment of the site. We can correlate it with the results of a geologically based climate study of Lake Titicaca that were presented in a January 25, 2001, press release from Stanford University and in the January 26,2001, issue' of Science. According to the study--which was the first to take deep core samples from the bottom of the lake-tropical South America has experienced alternating cycles of heavy rainfall and drought over the past 25,000 years, which have caused the level of Lake Titicaca alternately to overflow and to recede. The report said, "Lake Titicaca was a deep, fresh and continuously overflowing lake during the last glacial state, signifying that the Altiplano of Bolivia and Peru were much wetter than today." (69)

In the western Atlantic, in the same epoch, the Grand Bahama Banks, now shallowly submerged, formed a huge plateau 120 metres above sea-level, and all of the Florida, Yucatan and Nicaragua shelves were exposed. (124)

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)

All over South America, too, Ice-Age fossils have been unearthed, 'in which incongruous animal types (carnivores and herbivores) are mixed promiscuously with human bones. 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. (152)

Mesoamerica

 In the western Atlantic, in the same epoch, the Grand Bahama Banks, now shallowly submerged, formed a huge plateau 120 metres above sea-level, and all of the Florida, Yucatan and Nicaragua shelves were exposed. (124)

North America

 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)

Interior Alaska and Canada were relatively rich environments in the mid-Wisconsin interglacial, and at times humans may have had a narrow but clear ice-free run all the way to South America during this period. Pollen cores from easternmost Beringia suggest that from 30,000 to 14,000 years ago, the time when most archeologists think the first Americans arrived, the "landscape of Beringia consisted of relatively bare polar desert or fell-field tundra, a rocky terrain sparsely vegetated by herbs and dwarf shrubs. This suggests that the late Wisconsin environment in this part of Beringia was as harsh as the modern high Arctic.(25)

In the western Atlantic, in the same epoch, the Grand Bahama Banks, now shallowly submerged, formed a huge plateau 120 metres above sea-level, and all of the Florida, Yucatan and Nicaragua shelves were exposed. (124)

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)

Let us summarize the situation. The maximum extension of the ice was not earlier than 17,000 years ago and may have been considerably later. Deglaciation was completed in some places by 16,000 years ago and in many places by 15,000 years ago, while vegetable and animal life had been re-established by 14,000 years ago even in areas close to central parts of the former ice sheet. This suggests, indeed, a rapid transit of the pole from its (assumed) position in the Greenland Sea. It was fast enough so that the ice cap did not start growing at the coast and move inland; it started in the Hudson Bay region, and after it had grown thick enough to move, it spread outward in all directions. (132)

Other

 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. Up until about 12,000 years ago, the three main islands of Japan formed a continuous landmass. In the southern seas lay the gigantic Ice Age continent of Sahul, formed out of the united landmasses of Australia, Tasmania and New Guinea. Across the Pacific the thousands of small, remote islands of today were integrated into much larger archipelagos 17,000 years ago. (124)