Persia Dig Older Than Mesopotamia

It looks like folks have found some older sites than the ones in Mesopotamia. By a few hundred years, if I understood the video correctly.

Interesting to note that, toward the end, a brick is found that is claimed to have some sort of writing on it. At about 3000 BC in the dig, and with 12 meters more to go… though it looks a bit ‘staged for the camera’ to me, so I suspect it is a ‘reenactment’…

Also, I think some of their claims are a bit overdone, but it will take some time to sort out for sure. For example, the Mesopotamian area has artifacts back to 6000 BC

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ubaid_period

Ubaid culture is characterized by large village settlements, characterized by multi-roomed rectangular mud-brick houses and the appearance of the first temples of public architecture in Mesopotamia, with a growth of a two tier settlement hierarchy of centralized large sites of more than 10 hectares surrounded by smaller village sites of less than 1 hectare. Domestic equipment included a distinctive fine quality buff or greenish colored pottery decorated with geometric designs in brown or black paint; tools such as sickles were often made of hard fired clay in the south. But in the north, stone and sometimes metal were used.

During the Ubaid Period [5000 B.C.– 4000 B.C.], the movement towards urbanization began. “Agriculture and animal husbandry [domestication] were widely practiced in sedentary communities.” There were also tribes that practiced domesticating animals as far north as Turkey, and as far south as the Zagros Mountains.

So IMHO there may be a bit of ‘sellers puff’ in the Iranian video. But it does put a “Mesopotamian like” set of images and culture (including a large Ziggurat) in Persia somewhat larger and earlier than the stuff in Mesopotamia. I’d speculate that the Mesopotamian culture may have had a city over toward Persia and then later spread into Mesopotamia. Perhaps as one of those cyclical climate changes that pushes folks back and forth in the Turkey to Iraq to Iran area. At any rate, it is an interesting site, with interesting stuff, that will be changing some of the history of the region (even if only to put the Mesopotamian type culture over into Persia).

The wiki implies some doubt about the “intercultural” thesis:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jiroft_culture

The looted artifacts and some vessels recovered by the excavators were of the so-called “intercultural style” type of pottery known from Mesopotamia and the Iranian Plateau, and since the 1960s from nearby Tepe Yahya in Baft. The “Jiroft civilization” hypothesis proposes that this “intercultural style” is in fact the distinctive style of a previously unknown, long-lived civilization.

This is not universally accepted. Archaeologist Oscar Muscarella of the Metropolitan Museum of Art criticizes that the excavators resorted to sensationalist announcements while being more slow in publishing scholarly reports, and their claims that the site’s stratigraphy shows continuity into the 4th millennium as overly optimistic. Muscarella does nevertheless acknowledge the importance of the site.

Earlier excavations in Kerman were conducted by Sir Aurel Stein around 1930.

One of the most notable archaeological excavations done in Kerman Province was one done by a group led by Professor Joseph Caldwell from Illinois State Museum in 1966 (Tal-i-Iblis) and Lamberg-Karlovsky from Harvard University in 1967 (Tepe Yahya Sogan Valley, Dolatabad).

What they say about the claim of a writing system discovery is even more brusque:

Madjidzadeh claims to have discovered inscriptions in a previously unknown script, allegedly comparable to linear Elamite, dated to ca. the 22nd century BC.[2] The announcement of this discovery was received with skepticism. Lawler (2007) quotes Jacob Dahl, specialist in ancient texts at Berlin’s Free University, as saying “No specialist in the world would consider these to be anything but absolute fakes.”

Piotr Steinkeller, professor of Assyriology in Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations of Harvard University, said that “the discovered inscription in Jiroft does not have any relations with Elamite scripts and belongs to the eastern civilization”

Whatever… it’s still an interesting site and discovery. As long as the dig is done well and material preserved and documented properly things can be sorted out later. Though I do have to say that the claim to earliest culture is off, IMHO.

The claim to being the earliest {whatever} seems to rest on the idea that the site in Turkey from 12,000 years back, Göbekli Tepe, is just a ‘monument’ and does not include evidence of “a culture” (writing, farming, tools, cities). However, IMHO as the monuments there are rather well carved, it implies that there were tools, and good ones. As the site is large, it implies an urban area to support it which also implies agriculture or one heck of a lot of organized hunter / gatherer activity.

This video is a pretty good one and shows you the monuments and carvings rather well along with just how big the site is:

In Conclusion

The Persian find is interesting, not just as a potential pushing back of horizons, but as it has some distinct parallels with the Mesopotamian culture; so may illuminate things more fully. It also acts as a bit of a bridge between the Turkish, Mesopotamian, and Indus Valley areas. IMHO that serves to show that ancients civilizations were far more wide spread and potentially in contact with each other…

It would be very interesting to look a few hundred feet under water just off shore, too… If there were folks building “monuments” in 12,000 BP, then they ought to have had some cities during the end of the last ice age down by the sea… I could easily see a collapse of society about the time the ice melted and the climate went haywire that then lead to a “dark age” and a restart of civilization a couple of thousand years later… then spending a couple of more thousand getting back to the “building cities” state in just about 8,000 BP / 6,000 BC.

Holocene Temperature History

Holocene Temperature History

Yeah, all speculative, but based on the ‘facts in the ground’ and the known (rough) timing of the end of the ice age glacial. Besides, it had to take a couple of thousand years to develop the tools and skill to carve the monuments in Turkey. That moves the start time of civilization back to about 14,000 BP for the start of the cultural development at a minimum. That puts a human cultural base at the time of the end of the glacial… Something to ponder.

Look at the sea level spike just before that 12,000 BP time. Any civilization prior ought to be rather further down slope. 80 to 140 meters. As diving below 60 meters takes some preparation and special gear (if you want to stay down very long at all and have a clear head) that’s not somewhere we can ‘dig’ without some hard work and big equipment budget…

To my eye, it looks like as the glaciers were melting and The Great Flood was happening, the Turkish site was being abandoned. Then as the sea level rise was finishing the worst of it, civilization resettled ‘up slope’ from the advancing waters and “human history” began… again.

Sea Level History Post Glacial

Sea Level History Post Glacial

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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21 Responses to Persia Dig Older Than Mesopotamia

  1. kuhnkat says:

    ““No specialist in the world would consider these to be anything but absolute fakes.””

    While there may be reasons for believing this based on close examination of the actual artifact(s), this man’s dogmatic statement is the type of attitude we see in the fossilized BELIEFS in many areas of science.

  2. George says:

    I believe there is probably a lot to be found at the bottom of the Persian Gulf. That area would have been an extremely rich river valley where the river would have flowed South from about where Basra is now along wide, flat marshes for hundreds of miles to what is now the Straits of Hormuz where there would have been a waterfall just through the Straits as the river tumbled into the ocean.

    I believe the land that is referred to as “the garden of Eden” would now be covered under the Persian Gulf. That is all covered with sediment now. About 5000 years ago there was a Holocene Humidity Optimum in that part of the world. The Intertropical Convergence Zone was likely 500KM North of where it is now and would have come very close to Southern Iraq and across much of the Gulf. While the Gulf would have long been inundated by that time, the large amount of rainfall would have made for absolutely torrential flooding down the Euphrates and the Tigress which would have brought huge amount of sediments down from the North which probably has long buried whatever was left in the Gulf.

    I believe the Mesopotamians were migrants forced out of what is now the Persian Gulf region. Maybe these people in Iran were, too.

    There was much more rainfall in the past in that area. The ITCZ had been steadily migrating Southward as summer insolation has been in decline. Precipitation these days in that area is much less than it was 5000-9000 years ago as the ITCZ has now migrated some 500km South of where it was at that time. The monsoons were longer then, too. So monsoons are getting shorter, and the rainfall is moving South as summer insolation declines due to orbital mechanics:

    See: http://www.manfredmudelsee.com/publ/pdf/Holocene_ITCZ_and_Indian_monsoon_dynamics_recorded_in_stalagmites_from_Oman_and_Yemen_%28Socotra%29.pdf

  3. E.M.Smith says:

    Hmmm…. sats find whole cities and some more pyramids under the sand in Egypt. Wonder if they are from when that area had more rain and it was lush… you know, before the Egypt we know about started…

    Then we have some “Bosnia Pyramids” where the backers have done deceptive things like name drop folks as being involved who state they have nothing to do with the guys and call them fraudulent… Yet, it looks like they are finding SOMETHING in the dig images. (Either that or a VERY elaborate hoax …

    I find it suspicious that the size is 365 meters… ought to be multiples of cubits…

    Wiki calls them frauds:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bosnian_pyramids

    but they have a cool website:

    http://www.bosnianpyramids.org/

    or two:

    http://www.bosnian-pyramid.org/

    I think this one is going to take a lot more digging to figure out if it really is a large pyramid or if it’s an old road on a hillside…

    And TV news hyping it:

    Back in Egypt… 3500 years ago volcanic activity bury some cities, but confirms written records:

    This is a bit over the top with dark music et. al. but if the Sumerian tablet is correctly translated, ti has an odd similarity to the ‘Seven Seals’ stuff… and it does sound like 7 nuclear bombs:

    I sure do hope those ancient Sumerians were good at writing SciFi, because if this just a history book, things got mighty messy back then. I find the references to sky vehicles oddly reminiscent of the Vedas, too.

    Consistent stories across several mythologies? Maybe “they’ve met” ;-)

  4. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    http://youtu.be/i1b7C7PJTzw Interesting, I didn’t know there were pyramids in the main Canary island…

  5. dearieme says:

    “Earlier excavations in Kerman were conducted by Sir Aurel Stein around 1930.” When Middle Eastern digs were done by Brits, Krauts or Frogs, at least nationalism didn’t intrude. Persians saying “my ancestors were first” is a bit like ditto from the Chinese: my instinct is to be sceptical.

  6. Ing. Albert Ellul B.Sc. Hons says:

    A very interesting find. In Malta, where I live, we have several similar prehistoric stone buildings that are dated at least 5500 years old. These were excavarted during the last 200 years:

    http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/132/gallery/
    http://www.sacred-destinations.com/malta/hagar-qim-temple
    http://www.megalithics.com/europe/malta/mnajdra/mnajdra2/mnj2main.htm

    http://www.360cities.net/image/ggantija-megalithic-temple-gozo-malta#-207.93,-2.39,70.0

    No human remains were ever found except for a baby skull which disappeared from the records except for a sketch made by an an artist, previous to photography coming of age. These maltese ‘temples’ are astronomicslly aligned to the sun and one, Hagar Qim temple, is aligned to the Metonic 19 year lunar cycle, as proven by my father Joseph S. Ellul, whose father and grand father took part in the excavations during the 19th and 20th century, under the direction of world-renowned archeologists. The island is also interspersed with what we call ‘cart ruts’ which to this day are still a mystery as to their use and how these were cut in stone:

    http://www.cartrutsmalta.com/introdis-san-gwann-junction.html

    We have also evidence of underwater structures that are similar in shape to the prehistoric buildings, giving one the temptation to think that these buildings existed during the younger Dryas period or even during the end of the last glaciation (the great ice age), with Atlantis thrown in as an attraction to this reality

    http://www.carnaval.com/malta/atlantis/

  7. Ing. Albert Ellul B.Sc. Hons says:

    To continue on my previous post, it is my personal opinion that the Maltese prehistoric ‘temples’ were not temples at all, but a succession of astronomical observatories, that an inquiring and intelligent civilisaion that got lost in the mist of time, had built, over aperiod of hundreds, perhaps thousands of years

  8. AMG says:

    Looks like the video for Göbekli Tepe is a bit dodgy; I checked the National Geographic site who say it was not found by a farmer and there were indeed lots of stone tools.

    Great blog, love reading the broad range of topics!

  9. E.M.Smith says:

    @Dearieme:

    Exactly so… For me it’s an ‘interesting – but wait for the review publications’ kind of thing.

    @S.P.:

    Interesting stuff… I ought to have expected slides from the Hawaiian islands, but didn’t think of it.

    Those Canary Island pyramids are also rather interesting. Hadn’t known they had them… Now we’ve got a nearly global pattern of pyramids and sun worship? Including the 1/2 way point islands? Hmmm….. Add in the Egyptians saying “Many were the destructions of mankind” and some 12,000 year old carved stone monuments…

    Perhaps Atlantis wasn’t A place, perhaps it was every place. A metaphorical sinking of the old nearly global civilization when the ice age ended and the seas rose. The end of the Sun God and the start of the reset… with only Ra as memory. Just as the Egyptians said, due to their special place near a major river. Above the floods and below the rock falls from space…

    So if we place Atlantis back at about 14,000 BP, and then have the ‘sinking of Atlantis’ leading to folks bailing to South America (a few as reported by the Maya and Inca there), surviving on The Canaries (as their ‘legends’ say), and having a bunch move to Egypt to restart civilization in the one place not turning to desert nor ‘sinking’ under the ocean… That would explain the “sudden” onset of Egyptian civilization with full fledged writing, deep religion and rituals, records of the ages (now lost) as they said… Only thing left is wondering where that 100 m below sea level location would be…

    Wonder if anyone has done an underwater survey for 4 sided pyramidal ‘sea mounts’ about 100 m down…

  10. dearieme says:

    When the Canaries Islands video said that the aboriginal inhabitants had no contact with the outside world, they could have added (i) except with the Carthaginians, and (ii) the Romans. Whether they retained contacts of their own with whichever part of North Africa they came from I don’t know. But they sailed there, so why not?

  11. P.G. Sharrow says:

    Hurrah! Some one else that may believe that the civilization of Atlantis was a sea based mercantile society. The first world wide civilization was at first a loose confederation of sea traders that that went from port to port that they had created to trade with the “natives” just like Hudson Bay Company created fort towns for trading purposes. Those ports became colonies of this “empire” of Atlantis. As long as these were fort ports they could be moved as sea levels rose. Large colonies require real sea ports. Harder to move but even at a meter per decade still doable. Large colonies require bureaucracies. A great sea port/city grew up in a semi submerged caldera on a central volcano island. Perfect place for a sea based empire’s center of government and principal families center of power. (see Homer’s description) When that caldera destroyed it’s self it wiped out that empire’s center as well as most of the sea ports in the Mediterranean. The remnants of the colonies became city states of the next era. There is a 800 year hole in the mediterranean records.
    The great flood is part of the oral records of all the earth’s people as they were driven from the great continental plains and into the wild upper country by the quickly rising seas.

  12. E.M.Smith says:

    @P.G. Sharrow:

    It’s not hard to reach that conclusion. Just assume:

    1) Few in the ancient world could write, and not much got written down.
    2) Given #1, what was written down was highly prized and not ‘fluff’ fiction.
    3) Caveat to #2: It can still be wrong or self delusional.
    4) Given #1 and #2, the benefit of the doubt goes to “They really believed it” and “They were careful to get it right as much as they could”. .
    5) Given #3 and #4: Watch out for self aggrandizement and religious bull.
    6) What passes #5 needs a bit of an ‘error check’ if possible, but is likely to be true to the extent of their technology and knowledge.

    At that point you just read the written record…

    It’s pretty straight forward. (Maybe I’ll do an Atlantis posting… but there are so many of them and they are such trash generally… not sure I’d want to be associated with that crowd…)

    Plato records what Solon said. Solon relates what the Egyptians said. All three of these are “folks of merit and trustworthy”. The record says (in my reading anyway) pretty clearly that they were outside the Straights of Gibraltar in the true ocean and were a sea faring people. They had destruction when the seas rose wiping out their bases of empire (and look at the rate of rise of water early on. We don’t really know how fast it was, but a big lake draining from North America after a comet impact (that Clovis Event) would happen in days, not years… ) That ‘meltwater pulse 1a’ looks a lot more vertical in the data points than that black line of ‘connect the dots’ implies..

    When we look at geological facts on the ground we have a clear flood event of massively catastrophic proportions. We have remnant populations on the Canary Islands with an ancient script related to Linear A. We have a probably secondary remnant population in the Minoans that ALMOST got the empire back together when a volcano blows them up. We have a history from the Americas of some stragglers headed that way and promising to return (then not making it). And we have a strange reference in the Egyptian writings of an attack of The Sea People.

    I’d put it together as a plausible pattern that Atlantis was, as described from both sides of the Atlantic and by the Canary Islanders, a sea faring people with a large trade empire based around the Atlantic. The main city likely up near Ireland / England during the glacial. (So that circular port city would be about 120 M down on the continental shelf near the edge of the glaciers then – as described in Plato where there were mountains and ice near) I could also see it being near Nova Scotia, but that’s a bit out of the way…

    North America has the Clovis Event meteor impact and truly massive glacial melt raises the ocean level 100 feet or so in a few weeks. End of the port cities (and likely destruction of many of the ships at sea if some fragments hit the oceans as is almost certain to have happened). The ongoing melt over the next centuries assures they can not restabilize. The remnant groups try to refound civilization and some of them become the Minoans, some the Egyptians (taking records with them – but failing as the Sahara also is collapsing into a desert again and things are just too disrupted). Some minor number end up ‘stuck’ in places like the Canaries and visiting the Maya to get provisions for their ship and plan how to get back to a home that no longer exists… but leaving a legacy in the record and the myths…

    Time passes and the Egyptians and Minoans are doing OK at making new civilizations, when Santorini blows up taking out the Minoans and clearing the way for the young history blind Greeks to take over the Mediterranean and giving us the Solon story of “You Greeks are such children” and “you have no history nor science that is truly ancient and hoary with age”.

    Then the burning of the library in the various Greek and Roman and Arab wars… and that, as they say, is history…

    So, IMHO, want to find Atlantis? Look wherever large rivers met the sea in about 14000 BP in the Atlantic. Look along the edge of the glacial margin in particular (as Plato tells of tall mountains of ice cover around the sea port) but as far south as Brazil and as for north as the ice. Under about 14,000 years of mud… That, IMHO, is where you will find the answers.

    Do I think Atlantis was real? Yup. But not in some fantastical way. Just about the level of the Greeks or Egyptians of the time of Plato… or maybe just a bit better. Might even have had simple batteries and primitive electric lights… Radios? Not so much ;-)

  13. Wayne Job says:

    E.M. Perhaps they had much more than us but different, we fail to understand how huge stone constructions with a precision better than our best diamond tipped saws and stone weights greater than anything we can handle were done thousands of years ago.

    This is a technology way beyond ours. Harmonics anyone.

  14. H.R. says:

    E.M. sez in comments:
    “I sure do hope those ancient Sumerians were good at writing SciFi, because if this just a history book, things got mighty messy back then. I find the references to sky vehicles oddly reminiscent of the Vedas, too.

    Consistent stories across several mythologies? Maybe “they’ve met” ;-)”
    ========================================================

    So perhaps some other world’s version of The Enterprise made a visit long ago and they found us “not very interesting.” Off they go, never to return, leaving behind some incredible tales to be passed down for millenia.

    Ezekiel saw a wheel within a wheel up in the air, don’t ya know.

  15. P.G. Sharrow says:

    The Vedas may well be visions of the future rather then the past. Visions are often hard to place in time. Today Pakistan, India and China are very old enemies and are now armed with atomic bombs, missiles and jet aircraft. The Pak’s Muslims are crazy enough to start a real war with India with encouragement from China as a sort of ally that wants to pick up the pieces. Visions can be a real thing, but interpretation and time placement is difficult. Every event casts a shadow in place and in time. The vision reporter has to explain what was seen. It is most times a very difficult thing to communicate accurately to others. pg

  16. Jason Calley says:

    Forgive this brief interjection of a “thank you!” and a quick preamble.

    Preamble: When I have just performed a particularly good acapella rendition of “Hush Little Baby” my grandkids will clap, stomp feet and yell “again! again!”

    I am constantly amused and amazed at the wonderful round of ideas, prose and insight that you, E.M., and the usual various suspects continue to bring to this blog. Where else can I read myth, history, science, and sometimes just the most intriguing speculation? Where else could I find a crowd that thinks this well both inside and outside the box?

    I am most grateful, and even when my schedule (or lack of comprehension sometimes!) does not let me throw my own thoughts out there, I always try to make time to at least read this site.

    Consider me clapping, stomping my feet and yelling, “again! again!”

    :)

  17. E.M.Smith says:

    @Jason Calley:

    You’re welcome! (But really all I do is gather data, ask what it has to say, and go where it leads… with the occasional enforcement of dampening carpers and negative ‘energies’… the rest ‘just happens’.)

    Oh, and I don’t bother making a posting when the data leads to a really dull nothing… but that’s kind of understood. So I edit out the “Gee, birds Do fly and have for a while” kinds of ‘discovery’ from the data… It’s following the interesting bits that matter, not the truncated dull bits, anyway.

    @P.G. Sharrow:

    That is a disturbing ‘possible’… Not only does Quantum Mechanics say it’s possible (note gratuitous appeal to random authority… or the authority of randomness ;-) but we’ve had some occasional odd ‘seers’ who just seem to get too much right… But I’m going to ignore it as it’s just TOO disturbing to my carefully constructed fantasy about reality… I’m only human after all ;-)

    @Wayne Job:

    Frankly, that’s one of the more annoying bits I worry about. There are several things that argue for it (not the least of which is the irregular way WE have discovered various technologies… Not until the 1800s did we figure out how to reverse engineer Roman Cement… and if we’d not had some folks dedicated to it and with the example of their ancient ruins, how long before we would have ‘discovered’ it otherwise?). Then there are bits that argue against it.

    I forget if it was Solon or Plato directly who saw it, but we have recorded an eye witness account of Egyptian pyramid building that says they used “machines” to move the stones (and of a sort that were not out of place or spectacular to the Greeks or they would have had more than a word or two about them…) so most likely it was just clever use of levers, pullies and slides.

    There was also the demonstration in England of “rowing” stones for Stonehenge. They made a model cast cement stone and moved it with rough wood poles via a rowing motion of a dozen or two guys. Got something like 1/2 mile / hour or some such. Can lift to any height with cribbing and the same leverage. Takes nothing but rough cut tree poles and a dozen or two hairy guys… Suddenly no need for Merlin and levitation…

    We also found a little toe groove in the base of the obelisks in Egypt that would catch the edge when tipping it in…and some guys showed that with some piled sand and a sledge you could stand one up that way…

    So while I still look at some of the American stone works and have no clue how to cut so perfectly and move such large stones with only primitive tools, I also recognize it just may be a failure of imagination on my part… Yet more to discover and learn remains…

    @H.R:

    Well…. If you believe the oldest written records…

    This, too, touches on one of those areas that is really interesting and would make a fun posting but has so many flaky things attached to it as to make it a moral hazard to “go there”… but… Going there:

    Sumerian records say we had folks from the sky come to help and in some ways ‘improve’ us. The Egyptian records say a similar thing, but with more religious hocus pocus blended in. Native American history says the same thing. All around the planet there are references to various forms of Sky People or “Sky Father” or “Heavenly Father” (including religions from the center of Asia unrelated to Judeo Christian groupings; such as Tengriism http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tengriism ).

    There is a common theme. People with powers greater than our own (then – though not distinguishable from our technology now in most ways) who descend from outer space and help us along. Sometimes telling us what foods not to eat as they have infective agents in them or not to pierce our skin with the risk of infections… Sometimes telling us to hide in caves and come out when the comets are done (native American legends of Ant People and Snake People and being brought up from underground to live on the surface). Sometimes ‘enhancing’ our genetics (per the Sumerian text).

    The accepted interpretations of these things are either that they ARE Gods and Angels (if you are a believer in any particular one of them as a God) or that they are MYTH (if you don’t believe in the particular Gods… So to an ancient Roman Zeus was a God, now he’s a myth and YHWH is a God..)

    IMHO, there is a simpler explanation. They were very advanced biological life from somewhere else. An interstellar “peace corps” with some folks working on some Ph.D’s in “primitive culture” and / or “exobiology” (from their point of view). But like all expeditions to the middle of nowhere on the fringes of an empire, they didn’t have a lot of resources and funding… so only got to do the occasional ‘intervention’ via some of the more spectacular things like landing the chopper and saying “Stop Cutting Yourselves, you could get an infection and die. And don’t do that tatoo thing with the dirty needle either… and lamb is OK to eat, but skip the pigs.”

    So “visits from God and the Angels” are a bit rare and spectacular.

    Then some kind of collapse happened. (The Vedic ‘war in the sky’). The pluralistic nice academic type that lead to religions like Hinduism didn’t stay and we got the Vengeful One God for a while. Rather like a military provincial authority. (When Amun Ra and the Jews all got a new word of God… “Just One, Just Me, and when I say Damn It, someone is going to die!”) That stage didn’t last long, and we suddenly started getting “not much from God lately”…

    I think we entered a later stage when “their” culture reestablished a non-military control of the area and the pluralists came back. Took a look at how ‘polluted’ our culture had become from what they probably thought were trivial interventions from a few thousand years ago, and settled on their own version of the Prime Directive (and / or just wanted to study this really odd culture that had developed from the crumbs of influence they had had…) So we get observed at a distance, but without interaction.

    The result being the odd UFO sighting and not much else.

    One could speculate on all sorts of more “indirect” interventions. Only talking with a few leaders of superpowers. Or assisting a “power elite” to run things (that would make a great Sci-Fi story, IMHO, the Bilderbergers as sole selected contacts for a Benevolent Alien Superpower … with a “do things our way or get sacked” attitude ;-)

    I could easily see a report sent back to “central” about this place that HAD been mostly folks with reed boats and goats that we showed a few things to, like wheels and metals and maybe some medicine or a bit of math and science … like how to build a zigurat… and now we find them with explosives, battle ships, telegraphs and surgical medicine… and a very integrated mythology based on our last few visits… and Central deciding we ought not to stir this pot again until we’d looked it over a whole lot more carefully… and watched as we built a nuclear bomb and then all hell broke loose in their management food chain ;-)

    Oh, and if the laws of physics mostly hold as we know them, it might well be that it takes a couple of thousand years to get in touch with anyone not near the “outpost” and / or maybe they take the ‘mothership’ on a forward one way journey in time by using gravity assist to get close enough to the speed of light to end up with a “20 year 2000 year journey” and are just a bit worried that with our present rate of progress if they ‘run to the future’ again they may find we’ve caught up and then some… So having ‘returned’ this time, for them 20 years later, but 2000 after that little thing with the whole Christ guy they talked to once… and seeing the impact… Getting back a message from “central” saying “OK, you told them how to live clean lives, I guess that’s OK, but no major technical help…check in in 2000 years…” One might be just a bit worried about phoning home with the next report ;-)

    At any rate, I think it makes good Science Fiction (as it is based on what science has found in the ground and the historical records, but it is a fictional imagining of possibles) and isn’t nearly as much a violation of Occam’s Razor as postulating a Supreme Being or having this bag ‘o bizarre beliefs just happen with no stimulus …

    But until the E.T.s hold the Ph.D. in Earth Studies ceremony on global TV and / or have a joint presentation with The Vatican where they all agree that Christ was a nice guy to have known, but got a few bits wrong… It’s only a nice consistent fantasy…

    Though I do sometimes wonder what the “Earth Studies” budget is now ;-) Two guys in a space jeep? A small Community College? One embassy and a squad or two of ‘protection’ hiding in the rough? Just how unimportant are we? And how close is the ‘home civilization’? 4 light years (and maybe 200 travel years?) or have they got Speed Of Light drive working? (That still makes the middle of the galaxy too far away for anything other than one-way generational trips). I’ve got to figure it’s slower than light only and with only some relativistic time dilation ‘forward in time’ only. That would put them ‘not far’ away. At most a few light years, and even then perhaps only as a multi-generational ship based culture not tied to living on planets any more. Like space gypsies….

    Just wish it were possible to talk about history with them and find out what REALLY happened when… their records have got to be a lot better than ours… if they exist…

  18. H.R. says:

    @E.M. I like the visiting “Community College students” theory.

    Let’s play “Assume Aliens Kicked Off Human Civilization” for a moment. What’s their motivation?
    1) Pity these poor savages. Let’s push them in a forward direction.
    2) I know! Let’s give these chimps machine guns and see what happens, ‘k?
    3) We will bring enlightenment to these creatures but we must be discreet.

    Did they ever leave or are they hanging around to see how it plays out?
    “I saw a UFO!”
    “Did not.”
    “Did so.”
    “Did not.”
    “Did SO!”
    “Did NOT!”
    “DID SO!”

    If they left, why did they leave?
    1) Mom just called and said we better get butts home for dinner.
    2) OUR Great Spirit said we must not interfere with other species.
    3) Let’s play hide & seek. We’ll go over a couple of galaxies and I bet you they won’t find us in a million years.
    4) Boooriiing. Lets blow this joint.

    If they left, did they come back or are they ever coming back?
    Oh man, have I got the MOA hangovers! You remember that planet we were at a few thousand years ago? No? You must have been even more blotto than I was. Do you think we oughta go back and apologize or should we just wait 10 or 20 thousand more years and hope it all blows over?

    Anyhow, until there’s a definitive meet and greet with aliens, it’s fun to speculate.

  19. E.M.Smith says:

    @H.R.:

    I’m still chuckling…. “Hey, Dude, what was that last planet? The one with the hot blond chicks? Did we REALLY tell them were were Gods? Oh, Dude!…”

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