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Early Civilizations

Megalith Builders

In the September 1975 issue of Atlantis, Sykes published The Megalithic Culture. In the article, he described the fact that in 10,000 BC, the cultures of Egypt, Assyria-Sumeria, Vedic India, China, the Maya, the Megalith Builders, and the predecessors of the Incas (we do not know exactly how many pre-Incan cultures existed), started on much the same scientific level, and then took widely different paths. In 10,000 BC, a cultural group spread the foundations of mathematics and astronomy.

Three customs still widespread throughout the Atlantic cultural areas of the Americas, southwest Europe, and Africa include artificial cranial deformation, the couvade, and mummification. Were these, perhaps, survivors of originally Atlantean customs?

Ritual cranial deformation was found throughout Meso America, Europe, and Africa. The skull of a newly born infant is soft and pliable, so it is possible to alter the shape without causing any exceptionally serious damage. Wooden frames or bandages were used.

Couvade is when the male parent of a child goes into ritual taboo for a month or six weeks after the birth of a child. The custom was mainly restricted to important families. The reason for it may have been sympathetic magic, in that if the father of the child has any injury before the baby is weaned, it may reflect itself in the child.

Mummification linked the Egyptians, the Guanches (the people of the Canary Islands), and the Peruvians halfway across the globe. There is no evidence of mummification having been practiced by any other peoples on the Earth. The associate cult of preserving the entrails in jars dedicated to the Gods of the four points of the compass was found in both Egypt and Mexico.

Le Plongeon, the Franco-American explorer of Central America, was one of the first scholars to detect a resemblance between ancient Egypt and ancient Central America, and to consider Atlantis as a possible link between them.

The Megalith Builders (4500- 1500 BC) were a race of people having astronomical and mathematical knowledge on a level akin to our own. They were a worldwide culture of Serpent Worshippers who built eight hundred stone circles in the British Isles, including Avebury, Karnac, and Stonehenge. These surveyors also left traces of two-hundred stone structures all along the coasts of Western Europe and the Americas during the Bronze Age. Sykes speculated that the vanished Megalith Builders may be the Tuatha of Ireland (who originally came from Sumeria), and believed they had a loose relationship with the North American Mound Builders.

The Basques

In the November 1948 issue of Atlantis, P.L. Collignon published an article titled Basques. The obscure origins of the Basque people and the fact that they live on the seaboard nearest to the lost continent, founded Dr. P.L. Collignon’s hypothesis that the Rhesus negative Basques were one of many groups of refugees from Atlantis. Dr. Rendel Harris noted that Tabasco, northwest of Guatemala, is an ancient Egyptian word meaning The Land of the Basques, and on the same note, Colonel A. Braghine recorded a Basque-like language among a tribe living in Petan in Northern Guatemala. A. Hyatt Verrill, who discovered the Cocle culture in Panama in 1924, observed that the Mayans constructed great ball courts for a game similar to the distinctively Basque game of Pelota. In 1971, Sykes visited some museums in the Basque lands of Spain and France, which didn’t even attempt to explain how the Basques arrived in Spain; where they came from; and when they arrived.

The Gaunches

The Guanches, practically extinct due to slave traders on the African coast, were an early culture that originated in the fertile Sahara before the rise of the Egyptian civilization. The geological formation of the Canaries occurred between the end of the Tertiary and the beginning of the Quaternary Period. The Canary or Fortunate Islands were first discovered by the Carthaginians, and rediscovered in 1405 by the Spaniards. At the time of discovery, there were people of olive complexion on the islands; however, their language, manners, and customs did not resemble their neighbors on the continents of Africa or Europe. Which was their mother country? In the February 1965 issue of Atlantis, Alf Bajocco (an Italian expert on North Africa) published The Early Inhabitants of the Canary Islands in which he considered that the original inhabitants of the Canary Islands might have been of Berber origin. Note that it has also been suggested that the Berbers, the original inhabitants of Northwest Africa, were descendants of the Atlanteans.

The African Connection

In the September 1950 issue of Atlantis, Ernest J. Sawyer published The African Bushmen and Atlantis. It is generally admitted that thousands of years ago, Africa and South America were joined by land now submerged. Numerous raised river terraces in Africa, in some places miles inland and at a high altitude, give evidence of a receding ocean. Geologic phenomena in Southwest Africa point to destruction by volcanoes, floods, and ice floes — as described in legends of most African primitive peoples. Unique throughout the world is the huge rockery of meteorites in Windhoek, the capital of Southwest Africa. A native tribe, the Ovambus, worship these fragments from the skies, and the Bushmen, the oldest inhabitants of South Africa, pay them special reverence. Early cave paintings indicate that the earliest Bushmen had culture and intelligence. These people have no written history but oral legends teach that the Moon is responsible for everything that has taken place — good and bad. The Bushmen are a people who fear the Moon and whose folklore tells of a tremendous disaster to the Earth in which the Moon played a part.

The Bering Strait Theory

It was originally thought that all Indians came to America across the Bering Strait. Folsom Man was first, or if not first, was hard upon the heels of Clovis and Sandia. Waves of immigrants followed and pushed preceding waves before it to the farthest reaches of the Americas, migrating again northward into glaciated areas as the ice retreated. In the July 1961 issue of New World Antiquity, Thomas E. Lee published The Question of Indian Origins. Archaeologist Thomas E. Lee went along with the old theory until his 1951 discovery of the Sheguiandah site on Manitoulin Island, Ontario, Canada, where the lower levels of artifacts were embedded in glacial till. A minimum date of 30,000 years was assigned to the artifacts. Sykes argued that land passage over the Bering Strait was not possible at any time during the last Ice Age; only before it or since the end of the Ice Age.

In the February 1961 issue of New World Antiquity, Carl B. Compton’s article, America’s First People from the Ohio Archaeologist of July 1960, was quoted as stating that “the relatively new and amazingly fast-developing radiocarbon dating method” pushed back the date for early man in America to 40,000 years or more.

In the early 1900’s, the picture was quite clear in that all Indians came to America, fairly recently, across the Bering Strait.

Sykes thought that the popular Bering Strait Theory was unrealistic as migrations across the Strait were feasible and probable, but northwest America and northeast Siberia together form one of the most formidable barriers to human communication in the world. Sykes supported a combination of migration and Diffusion, and believed that most arrivals to the Americas between 8000 BC and Columbus were by boat.

In 1954, in New World Antiquity, in an article titled More Evidence For Interglacial Man In America, George F. Carter of the Isaiah Bowman School of Geography at John Hopkins University, Baltimore, commented on the popular Bering Strait Theory, “... truly primitive man could not survive even the modern Bering Straits climate. Life expectancy for a man exposed there in a robe is about half an hour.”

Peoples of the Americas

Sykes believed that in the folklore of the American Indians is the early history of a large section of North America uncontaminated by religious and other influences from the Old World. Everything is there: stories of meteor falls; of strange intruders from both East and West; famines and natural disasters; of the gradual shift towards the north as ice fields withdrew and unrelenting pressure from Meso America mounted in intensity. Sykes did not pretend to have uncovered more than a small portion of the material available, and knew that future generations would gradually fill in the blank spaces in patterns of migratory movements.

In the November 1963 issue of New World Antiquity, Sykes published Pre Columbian Origins in North America which described those who arrived before the last Ice Age (which began in 25,000 BC), and those who arrived during it and subsequently.

In the March 1978 issue of New World Antiquity, in his article titled The Maya And Their Antecedents, Sykes commented that the most important stages of the development of the Maya took place before we hear of them. Their religion and writing were fully developed, which must have taken between 1500 and 2500 years to do. Their architectural system with its step pyramids has obvious resemblances to that of North East Africa and the Pacific Island groups, but the break in the relationship between these cultures must have occurred long before we meet them. Their knowledge on astronomy was on a basis comparable with that of Babylonia or Egypt, and had diverged far from the original concept i.e. the interest in the planet Venus was on a scale unknown in the Old World. The Mayan calendrical system is unique in all of North America. There was little kinship of ideas between the peoples of the west of South America and Mexico. The Mayans practiced artificial cranial deformation.

In the May 1971 issue of New World Antiquity, Sykes published Background to Culture. The article stated that with respect to the Red Indians, it might be taken that the Indians moved up from the South and did not come from the North. Were they driven out by the spread of the Maya peoples? That they had links with the South is shown by the astronomical use of the planet Venus in certain of their ceremonies.

The West Coast Tribes can be admitted to be of Asiatic origin. The fact that they penetrated only a relatively short distance up rivers is conclusive evidence, to Sykes, that they came by sea. The mountains formed a barrier that kept them apart from the Red Indians.

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