Underworld: The Mysterious Origins of Civilization Paperback – Oct 28 2003
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From Publishers Weekly
Already a huge success in England, this lengthy and at times quite academic study extends the basic argument of Hancock's 1994 Fingerprints of the Gods, a wild combination of astronomy, archeology, geology and folk myth whose worldwide success made Hancock perhaps the most popular proponent of "alternative history" as well as a publishing phenomenon. Hancock's basic thesis is simple: although mainstream scholars refuse to believe it, there once was "a lost civilization destroyed in the cataclysmic global floods that brought the last Ice Age to an end," and the survivors passed on their knowledge to the newer ancient civilizations with which we are more familiar. The search for an "Indian Atlantis" is the basis for this book, which is structured around Hancock's exploration of underwater sites near India, Japan, Taiwan and China, and in the Arabian and Mediterranean Seas. As usual, Hancock wonderfully introduces the general reader to Indian and Japanese subcultures; however, his reliance primarily on works by local alternative historians many of whose views have been clearly refuted by other scientists while ignoring almost anything that refutes his own thesis undercuts his credibility. In his effort to present his step-by-step discoveries in the style of a "whodunit," Hancock remains an entertaining writer and an interesting cultural journalist. But while the exploration of undersea prehistoric sites is a fascinating and ongoing research area, and Hancock's main contribution to the subject his theories continues to make him a successful writer, his works have been relegated to marginalia.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Hancock has reportedly sold several million copies of his books touting earlier origins to civilization than is the general consensus. He believes that civilization rose about 17,000 years ago (rather than about 6,000) and vanished beneath a rising sea level, leaving its traces in flood myths in Sumerian and Vedic texts, in early maps of the Age of Discovery, and more plausibly, in submerged ruins. Hancock throws up a fantastic amount of data on these points in this work, ranging from his personal textual interpretations to his dives at coastal sites in Malta, India, Japan, and the Bahamas. Perhaps Hancock's what-if, adventuring style will again prove commercially successful, if not intellectually persuasive to archaeologists, but the poor organization of this work may daunt the otherwise enthusiastic. Discursive and speculative, it expands the meaning of open-minded and could have been pruned without harm (Hancock prints scads of his correspondence and interviews verbatim). However, rebels always attract attention--and Hancock has already proven that he can. Gilbert Taylor
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
I'm pleased to note that the government of India has recently authenticated two of his discoveries off the coast of India. In both cases, these structures are dated between 9000 and 11 000 years before the current era, which supports the hypothesis of a great flood that submerged vast areas of up-to-then habitable land.
What I really like about Hancock as author is that he also provides the orthodox view at the same time as his own theories. I cannot but agree with his statement, "There's something wrong with the underpinning of history." Hancock has indicated the most likely places for pre-flood civilizations with the help of Dr. Glen Milne of Durham University who is an expert on glaciation-induced changes in the sea level, and taking into account the plethora of flood-myths found amongst all cultures on all continents.
Underworld is lavishly illustrated and well served by a thorough index and extensive bibliography. This interesting if overly detailed text will amply reward the reader who enjoyed Hancock's earlier titles like Keepers of Genesis and Fingerprints of the Gods.
'Fingerprints of the Gods' was better reading because it moved to different subjects and places.
The book arrived in only 3 days which surprised me, and in excellent condition for a used book.
Overall I am very happy with my purchase.
Most recent customer reviews
At the last glacial maximum (c. 25,000 years ago) the oceans were 120m lower. Science has discovered at least three major surges of ocean levels between 17,000 and 7,000 years... Read morePublished on July 5 2011 by Gaios Gignomai