This book is fantastic. Not for those with closed minds, to be sure, but for anyone with an interest in the pyramids, Atlantis, the Incas or the Aztecs or who finds the idea that Western science knows the answers depressing this is essential reading. I have read and re-read this book a dozen times and still have no idea how much of Hancock's theory I believe. But at the end of the day, it's intriguing and, dare I say it, entertaining.
The book opens with mediaeval maps which accurately depict the coastline of Antartica, despite the fact that it's been under miles of ice since the dawn of history. Rattling through flood myths which are pretty much identical all over the world, the mysteries of the lines on the Nazca plain, harbours built miles from the coast, pyramids that we could not build today, the precession of the equinoxes and much more Hancock reaches his conclusion in breathless style. (I would say that the conclusion is startling, but you do pretty much see where he's headed from the off.)
Some people will dismiss the whole book as bunkum, saying that you can twist the facts and suppositions to fit whatever theories you like. And they may well be right. But unlike other books which put the pyramids down to little green men from mars or magic, Hancock offers us a more convincing explanation. Even if you accept the 'conventional' ages of the pyramids, then I just cannot understand why the later ones are falling down while the oldest are still in pretty much perfect nick. The story of civilisations all over the world is that we get better at things as time goes on, not worse.
A fascinating and thought provoking read, with a sobering conclusion. Anyone for an end of the world party round at mine in 2012?