Since the coastlines of the world at the end of the last Ice Age, 20,000 years ago, are now 400 feet below sea level, where do you think we might look for coastal civilizations that were submerged in the past 20,000 years? Here’s a graph of sea level over the past 20,000 years from my 2nd blog post more than 3 years ago: Glaciers melt, rains come, seas rise, people move:
Before we say there were no comparable civilizations predating those in Mesopotamia, we must demonstrate that we have examined continental shelves and sea floors down to a depth of 120 meters. This has not even been seriously considered. I built nuclear submarines 50 years ago which routinely travelled below that depth. We’ve long ago scrapped those subs, but here’s an idea: instead of scrapping the next one, why not turn it over to an NGO or NOAA or the Smithsonian with a crew and budget to sonar survey the world’s continental shelves, starting with the most likely coasts, like off the Indus Delta and in the Gulf of Oman, or all of the Mediterranean?
You know what? I think it’s already been done, or we should fire our top admirals for dereliction of duty. In fact, I’m sure there are troves of such bottom data which are kept classified because so many countries claim sovereignty out 200 miles (and China as far as they think they can get away with), and the more technologically advanced may have discovered legitimate active underwater threats, which we’d like our potential enemies to think we don’t know about. But, really, must this science lapse into stasis?
I’ve previously suggested that the bottom of the Persian Gulf would give us great data regarding the progression of ancestors of the Ubaid and other Neolithic denizens of the region. Just enter “beneath the Persian Gulf” in this post’s search bar for a sample.
But, enough of my grousing about inactivity. Some civilians are looking beneath the waves for traces of prior civilizations. I give one example today in Graham Hancock’s 1st video about the submerged evidence of cities predating the Indus Valley Civilization that have been discovered 120 feet below sea level off the west coast of India. He also mentions that there are severe governmental restrictions on searching the Indus Fan off India and Pakistan, between Karachi and Mumbai (Gee, I wonder why?), but the cat’s out of the bag in this video and it looks like the IVC moved upriver with the rising sea level into the Indus Valley and that’s why the Harappan civilization blossomed so quickly in the 3rd millennium BC.
Here’s Graham Hancock’s 2nd video, which shows his underwater efforts further east around Japan and the Ryukyu Islands chain. Here, he’s dealing with much more primitive civilizations, where the pace of the Neolithic was slower.
My interest in underwater archaeology is primarily in the continuity of cultures rising to higher ground since the Last Glacial Maximum, those that produced the amazing advances seen in South Asia and the Fertile Crescent (which certainly extended through the Persian Gulf, perhaps even including the IVC).
Unfortunately, to even access these sites requires either unlikely breakthroughs in diplomacy (i.e. South Asia and Persian Gulf) and/or prohibitively expensive technology funded for cultural rather than military purposes (although far less costly underwater drones could be just around the corner).
Thanks for visiting,
R. E. J. Burke