Science around 20,000 BC

The Globe

Antarctica wasn't discovered until 1820, yet there are several very old maps that show Antarctica without a trace of Ice, with rivers and mountains where today one finds nothing but glaciers. The two Piri Reis maps, dated 1513 and 1528, are copies of much older ones going back thousands of years; and as studies sponsored by the US Navy Hydrographic Office have shown, these maps are utterly precise and in true scale. Even more interesting, they show many details that could only be found by aerial survey, and yet these cartographic achievements must have been made at least 20,000 years ago, when Antarctica was ice free. (Our Cosmic Ancestors)

Piri Reis himself explains, in one of the marginal notes on his map, how he prepared it: This section explains the way the map was prepared. It is the only chart of its kind existing now. I, personally, drew and prepared it. In preparing the map I used about twenty old charts and eight “Mappa Monde” (i.e., the charts called “Jaferiye” by the Arabs, and prepared at the time of Alexander the Great, in which the whole inhabited world is shown); the charts of the West Indies; and the new maps made by four Portuguese, showing the Sind, Indian, and Chinese Seas geometrically represented. I also studied the chart that Christopher Columbus drew for the West. By reducing all these charts to a single scale, I compiled the present map. My map is as correct and reliable for the seven seas as are the charts that represent the seas of our countries. (Atlantis Beneath the Ice)

...salient remarks of U.S. Air Force Capt. Lorenzo W. Burroughs (chief of the Cartographic Section that worked on the Piri Reis map). He wrote, “The agreement of the Piri Reis Map with the seismic profile of this area made by the Norwegian-British-Swedish Expedition of 1949, supported by your solution of the grid, places beyond a reasonable doubt the conclusion that the original source maps must have been made before the present Antarctic ice cap covered the Queen Maud Land coasts.” (Atlantis Beneath the Ice)

Hapgood and his students found to their surprise that this ancient map, which should have been full of errors, was remarkably accurate. It possessed a standard of technical excellence beyond what Europeans could have achieved in 1513. One of the oddities about the Piri Reis map was that it had been drawn using an extremely sophisticated projection. An “equidistant projection” depicts the features of the earth from a single point on its surface. This projection can be calculated from any spot on the globe. Perhaps the most familiar equidistant projection is the blue and white flag of the United Nations, centered on the North Pole. To draft a map using this method requires advanced mathematics, instrumentation, and knowledge unrealized by the Europeans of 1513. (Atlantis Beneath the Ice)

Lunar calendars existed from as early as 20000 BC, carved on bone or antler... (Civilization One: the World is Not as You Thought it Was)


Just recently the discovery was made that ancient iron ore mines in South Africa are 43,000 years old. (Our Cosmic Ancestors)

At the base of a cliff face on the precipitous western slopes of Lion Peak, a five-ton slab of hematite stone blocked access to a cavern. Charcoal remains dated the mining operations within the cavern at 20,000 to 26,000 BC. (The 12th Planet)

Southwest Asia




Indus Valley





A shaped and engraved bone plaque found in a rock shelter in south-west France has been identified as an accurate lunar calculator, and carbon dating has established that it is between 32,000 and 34,000 years old. One 30,000-year-old bone Marshack found to show a tally of the moon's phases over a period of just over two months. In the same archaeological collection he found a number of sceptre-like rods which came to be called batons de commandement; these had been found at a place called Le Placard, in southern France, and were dated to about 20,000 BC. Marshack was able to show, by studying the period from 30,000 BC to 17,000 BC that a conventional tally system had developed along the western seaboard of Europe before the end of the last Ice Age. (Uriel's Machine)

South America




North America