In 1994, when Klaus Schmidt discovered the buildings of Göbekli Tépé on the Turkish-Syrian border and dated them to 11,000 BC, the academic picture of human prehistory and early history began to wobble.
«Our history begins much earlier,» says filmmaker Graham Hancock. In the charged Netflix series ‹Ancient Apocalypse,› he goes in search of highly developed civilizations from the last Ice Age. While today’s classical and ancient studies separate myth from science, Hancock digs into stories and myths for clues to lost civilizations. In fact, there are traditions from around the world with references to prehistoric catastrophes, comparable to the biblical flood, and creation myths about higher beings. The mythical search for traces and treasures seem to be an alternative to Yuval Noah Harari’s rational historiography. In a mixture of detective work and adventure travel, Hancock develops conjectures to relate the increasingly rich archaeological findings of the last 30 years to myths. Thus, at the beginning, the series takes us to Java, where 50,000 basalt columns have been piled up to enormous elevations, and where there are buildings estimated to be up to 7,200 years old.
The public discussion shows a familiar picture with ‹archaeologists› and classical scholars competing against mythically inspired trackers. The Guardian newspaper put Hancock in the category of ‹conspiracy theorist›: «Believing that ultra-intelligent creatures helped build the pyramids is one thing, but where does it end?»1
Bestselling author Hancock is doing more serious work than the authors Charles Berlitz or Erich von Däniken were doing in the 80s. Therefore, it is hoped that through Hancock’s storytelling lessons, which have been broadcast worldwide, historical scholarship will open itself to recognizing spiritual inspiration and revelation as part of human history.
Translation Monika Werner
Photo Hulki Okan Tabak