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Architecture                  30,000 BC
Africa
Southwest Asia
Egypt
Indus Valley
China
Europe
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Africa

 

Southwest Asia

 

Egypt

 "The opposition is always saying," complains West, "how can the Sphinx be the only evidence of this earlier civilization? Well, it isn't. But then they go selectively deaf when I start pointing out the other pieces of evidence." Before the discovery in the Red Pyramid, he looked at the Mastaba Fields, southwest of the Sphinx, where a structure once served as the tomb of Khentkaus, the queen of Menkaure--the builder, it is said, of the third and smallest Giza pyramid. The ruined southwest corner of the structure reveals that the 4,500-year-old repair covers blocks that are obviously much older and which bear the same telltale signs of water weathering that caused all the furor at the nearby Sphinx.

And there are other anomalies, "The two-stage construction of the Khafre pyramid (the Greek historian Herodotus is our only source for the attribution--the giant blocks on the bottom and on the paving, the slabs around the base--are absolutely out of sync with other Old Kingdom masonry that constitutes that pyramid. And there's the deeply weathered shaft east of the midpoint of the Saqqara pyramid."

He also sees strange inconsistencies between the valley temple near the Sphinx and other constructions supposedly by Chephren. Moreover, West believes that the so-called Osirion at Abydos, with its massive undecorated granite blocks, is certainly much older and of a style completely alien to the neighboring temple of Osiris built by Seti I in the New Kingdom: "To attribute these two temples to the same builder is like saying the builders of the Chartres cathedral also built the Empire State Building." West is hopeful that the many feet of Nile silt strata that once covered the Oseirion, and which still surround it, will eventually be carbon-dated and that this will put the matter to rest. (57)

Indus Valley

 

China

 

Europe

 

...two similar sites at Mal'ta and Buret, both in the Irkutz district of Siberia, have been found to date from around 28-25 kya. These sites are famous for the dwellings constructed of large animal bones, and the presence of a number of human figurines. The use of mammoth bones to build huts is a feature of the steppes. The best-known example is at a later site, dating from 15 kya, in the Ukraine at Mezhirich, where the remains of four huts consisted of complex arrangements of tons of mammoth bones. The layout of these bones has been defined as the 'earliest architecture'. One hut, some four to five metres across, had a careful herringbone pattern of mammoth lower jaws; another a palisade-like ring of long bones placed on end (above). It has been estimated that the total number of bones incorporated in the structure belonged to a minimum of 95 mammoths. This need not be a measure of the inhabitants' hunting prowess. Gnawing marks of carnivores on the bones suggest that many of them were scavenged. Nevertheless, dragging the enormous skulls across country was no mean feat, as even a small one weighed about 100 kg. Here, as at other Siberian sites, there is evidence that the inhabitants dug pits in the permafrost to store meat and bones: just like present-day point Barrow, they could then stay put, living off their reserves of meat, even when the migratory herds on which they depended were far away. (145)

South America

 

Mesoamerica

 

North America

 

Other