Did a Comet Impact Jumpstart Civilization 13,000 Years Ago?

Göbekli_Tepe

There have been numerous theories about the nature of human civilization in late pre-history. It’s been a major focus for countless archaeologists and anthropologists striving to come to terms with how civilized cultures – complete with complex socio-economic structures, religions, mathematics, architectural mastery, etc. – seem to have sprung up almost overnight more than 100,000 years after modern homo sapiens first appear in the fossil record. What were these intelligent, creative beings doing for all of this time before they finally wised up, settled into cities, and started keeping the records of their lives that would become our history?

Many people have been attracted to the work of researchers like Zechariah Sitchin, whose writings suggest that translated ancient Sumerian cuneiform tablets reveal that an intelligent humanoid species (the Annunaki) from another planet came to earth in antiquity and genetically modified the primitive hominids they found living here to use as slaves in their mining operations.

For those turned off by this “ancient aliens” approach to explaining the sudden dramatic transformation of human civilization in our ancient past, many take comfort in theories of pre-dilluvian (i.e. before the flood or “deluge”) civilizations like Atlantis or Lemuria. These civilizations may have naturally evolved to have advanced technologies and scientific understanding of nature before being suddenly destroyed in some sort of cataclysm (think Noah). These theories suggest that what appears to us to have been advanced civilization springing up out of nowhere was actually a re-awakening of an earlier civilization that was destroyed, leaving only scattered pieces of its legacy to be either remember by survivors or discovered by later researchers.

Now, a new discovery in the ancient site of Gobekli Tepe in southern Turkey, provides an alternative explanation that may be better received by mainstream academia. A recently translated stone tablet discovered at the site details the story of a comet striking the earth around 11,000 BCE, leading to planet-wide destruction, species extinction, and the rise of new human civilizations.

It’s an interesting discovery, and some readers may recognize the significance of this time period and it’s relationship to geological history and climate change (the Younger Dryas, anyone?). Also, those familiar with the work done by scientists like Graham Hancock and Robert Bauval on the Giza Plateau may also see some significance in this date, not to mention those familiar with the Gobekli Tepe site itself.

So, does this mean we can toss out the old alien intervention and Atlantis stories? Probably not. Even if this comet story can account for a sudden transformation in human civilization, there are still many unanswered questions, and many of our own historical records insist that humans did not make this progress on our own.

It’s just another piece in the puzzle.

 

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