Shop now Learn more Shop now Up to 50% off Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Learn More Shop now Halloween Pets Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Voyage Listen in Prime Learn more Shop now
Buy Used
+ £2.80 UK delivery
Used: Very Good | Details
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Very Good condition with no significant faults. Clearly used but very few minor defects. Will look good on your bookcase after reading but may not be suitable as a present unless hard to find elsewhere DAILY POSTING FROM UK. 30 DAY MONEY BACK GUARANTEE
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Underworld: The Mysterious Origins of Civilization Hardcover – Oct 2002

48 customer reviews

See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Hardcover, Oct 2002
"Please retry"

Special Offers and Product Promotions

  • Save £20 on with the aqua Classic card. Get an initial credit line of £250-£1,200 and build your credit rating. Representative 32.9% APR (variable). Subject to term and conditions. Learn more.

No Kindle device required. Download one of the Free Kindle apps to start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet and computer.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone

To get the free app, enter your e-mail address or mobile phone number.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 784 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Publishers (Oct. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400046122
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400046126
  • Product Dimensions: 16.4 x 5 x 24.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,244,190 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I am the author of the forthcoming Magicians of the Gods, published on 10 September 2015, and of the major international bestsellers The Sign and the Seal, Fingerprints of the Gods, Heaven's Mirror, Underworld, and Supernatural.

I share below the story of the journey that led me to these books

In the early 1980's, when I was East Africa correspondent of The Economist, writing about wars, politics, economics and aid programmes, I had no idea where fate was going to lead me or what strange seas of thought I would find myself sailing on. But in 1983 I made my first visit to Axum in northern Ethiopia, then in the midst of a war zone, and found myself in the presence of an ancient monk outside a little chapel in the grounds of the cathedral of Saint Mary of Zion. The monk told me that the chapel was the sanctuary of the Ark of the Covenant and that he was the guardian of the Ark, the most sacred relic of the Bible, supposedly lost since Old Testament times. What he said seemed ludicrous but for some reason it intrigued me. I began to look into the Ethiopian claim and found much surprising and neglected evidence that supported it, not least the faint traces of a mission to Ethiopia undertaken by the Knights Templar in the twelfth century. I kept adding to that dossier of evidence while also continuing to pursue my current affairs interests (including Lords of Poverty, my controversial book about foreign aid, published in 1989), and finally, in 1992, I published The Sign and the Seal: A Quest for the Lost Ark of the Covenant, my first full-fledged investigation of a historical mystery.

As well as to Ethiopia and to Israel, my research for The Sign and the Seal had taken me to Egypt and opened my eyes to the incredible enigma of the Great Pyramid of Giza, while the "technological" aspects of the Ark (shooting out bolts of fire, striking people dead, etc) had alerted me to the existence of out of place technologies in antiquity. The stage was now set for my next project - a worldwide investigation into the possibility of a lost, prehistoric civilisation that resulted, in 1995, in the publication of Fingerprints of the Gods, undoubtedly my best known book. Keeper of Genesis (co-authored with Robert Bauval) followed in 1996, looking specifically into the mysteries of the Great Sphinx of Giza, and then in 1998 Heaven's Mirror, photographed by my wife Santha Faiia, which shows why many ancient sites in all parts of the globe replicate the patterns of constellations on the ground and are aligned to important celestial events such as the rising points of the sun on the equinoxes and the solstices. In 2002, I published Underworld, the result of five years of scuba diving across all the world's oceans to find ancient ruins submerged by rising sea levels at the end of the Ice Age.

After Underworld, I decided to step away from lost civilisation mysteries for a while and my next non-fiction book, Supernatural: Meetings with the Ancient Teachers of Mankind, published in 2005, focussed on shamanism, altered states of consciousness and the astonishing universal themes that appear in rock and cave art from deepest antiquity right through to the paintings done by shamans in the Amazon rainforest today.

From my years as a journalist I've always distrusted armchair theorising and believed I have a responsibility to seek out direct personal, "boots on the ground" experience of what I'm writing about. That was why I did five years of often difficult and dangerous scuba diving for Underworld. And it's also why, as part of my research for Supernatural I travelled to the Amazon to drink the visionary brew Ayahuasca with shamans there. As well as better equipping me to write Supernatural, my experiences in the Amazon changed my life and brought out a new side of my own creativity. I've continued working with Ayahuasca ever since and in 2006, during a series of sessions in Brazil, in a ceremonial space overlooked by images of a blue goddess, my visions gave me the basic characters, dilemmas and plot of the book that would become my first novel, Entangled, published in 2010. Entangled tells the story of two young women, one living 24,000 years ago in the Stone Age, and the other in modern Los Angeles, who are brought together by a supernatural being to do battle with a demon who travels through time.

Since the publication of Entangled I have also written the first two volumes of a series of three epic novels about the Spanish conquest of Mexico - the War God trilogy. The first volume, War God: Nights of the Witch, was published in 2013, and the second volume, War God: Return of the Plumed Serpent, was published in 2014. The third volume, War God: Apocalypse, is already more than half written and will be published in 2016 but in the meantime my new non-fiction book, Magicians of the Gods, is published on 10 September 2015. Magicians is the sequel to Fingerprints of the Gods, and presents all the new evidence that has emerged since 1995 for a great lost civilisation of prehistoric antiquity and for the global cataclysm that destroyed that civilisation almost 13,000 years ago - a cataclysm on such a scale that it forced mankind, as Plato put it, "to begin again like children with no memory of what went before."

My ideas on prehistory and on the mysterious nature of reality have made me something of a controversial figure. In 1999, for example BBC Horizon made a documentary ("Atlantis Reborn") attacking my position on the lost civilisation. But part of that documentary was found by the UK's Broadcasting Standards Commission to be unfair - the first time ever that the flagship Horizon series had been judged guilty of unfairness. The BBC took the problem seriously enough to put out a revised re-edited version of the programme a year later. More recently, in 2013, my TED talk "The War on Consciousness" was deleted from the TED Youtube channel on grounds that TED itself later admitted to be spurious by striking out every one of the objections it had originally raised to my talk. TED, however, refused to restore the talk to its Youtube channel resulting in dozens of pirate uploads all over the internet that have now registered well over a million views.

I make mistakes like everyone else, but ever since my time with The Economist I've felt it is important to strive for rigour and accuracy, to check facts, to set out my sources clearly and openly for all to see and to admit my mistakes when I make them. As I continue to explore extraordinary ideas in my works of non-fiction, and in my novels, I'll also continue to do that.

Product Description

Amazon Review

Graham Hancock's latest foray into the murky uncharted waters of the past is, in this case, exactly that--Underworld is an exploration of what lies beneath the sea, mainly off the coasts of India, Malta and Japan. Hancock, well known for his disputes with orthodox archaeologists, argues that they ought to be looking underwater for submerged ruins, and that by not doing so they are stubbornly holding on to out-dated and incorrect theories. Hancock doesn't have a lot of time for academics. Most of them, he seems to suggest, having spent their careers safely in their ivory towers, are unwilling even to consider new paradigms which could overturn everything they have learnt and taught. And Hancock's thesis would do just that.

In Underworld--the book of his Channel 4 TV series--he argues that far from springing out of nowhere some 6,000 or 7,000 years ago in Mesopotamia, civilisation has been with mankind for many millennia longer. With the aid of a geologist at Durham University, Hancock examines which coastal areas vanished beneath the sea as the ice melted at the end of the last Ice Age, a catastrophic inundation he finds in the Flood myths of most of the world's traditional religions. And then he goes diving and finds, in some cases, incontrovertible ruins; in other cases the piles of stone might well be natural rock formations, but Hancock argues for their human origins.

Hancock accepts that he is neither a historian, an archaeologist nor a geologist. Some of his arguments tend to be rather speculative, and some of his conclusions may well be wrong--it's not always a good thing to ignore the experts! But in this massive book--well over 700 pages--he does provide sufficient evidence for flooded ruins that ought to be studied by real scholars. And if a few cherished paradigms are overturned in the process, surely this is what science is all about. --David V Barrett --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Hancock has virtually cornered the market in this kind of speculative writing, and his reputation as the New Age answer to David Attenborough is well earned. Much of the ancient world inherited by our ancestors now lies under water after melting ice caps flooded vast areas at the end of the last Ice Age. New advances in geology and marine technology mean that the great archaeological finds of this coming century will more than likely be found under the oceans. It now looks likely that large populations of early humans were obliterated from the historical record by this catastrophe over 10,000 years ago. But who were these populations: hunter-gatherers or more sophisticated peoples? Hancock applies his customary imaginative speculation on a quest to find some of the answers. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

See all Product Description

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Stephen A. Haines HALL OF FAME on 10 Feb. 2004
Format: Hardcover
Archaeologists have been pushing back the date of humanity's first attempts at agriculture and the civilization that follows it. An inexplicable commonality is seen in agriculture emerging in distant places at nearly the same time. Self-confessed - sorry, self-adulatory - Graham Hancock thinks there's an answer for that chronological similarity. He contends agriculture, and civilization reach even further back in time than evidence found in places like Iran or Turkey suggests. He thinks the legends and mythologies of India, Malta and South America point to a multitude of "Atlantis-like" urbanised cultures that have disappeared from view - under water.
"Underworld" is a collation of ancient legends, old maps, submerged evidence and innovative thinking that gives humanity much deeper roots than previously thought. Hancock dives into the world's offshore depths, trolls through a wealth of mythologies, views unusual and unexplained artefacts and comes up with a challenge to consensus archaeology. Was there a global sprinking of advanced civilizations at the end of the last Ice Age? Did the melting ice caps drown more than the various land bridges that connected the British Isles with Europe, Sri Lanka with India and Alaska with Siberia? If Hancock is correct, and he is not to be dismissed lightly, humanity achieved far greater social complexity during the glacial advances than just living in caves wrapped in bear skins. What appears to be a near simultaneous emergence of agriculture, he argues, is in reality what we see left over from much older societies.
Hancock has made dives in many of the sites revealed by fishermen, archaeologists and others, recording finds on video and still camera and maps. The images are impressive, as are the numbers of potential sites.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Erika Borsos on 19 Nov. 2005
Format: Hardcover
Graham Hancock got my undivided attention with "Fingerprints of the Gods". He has won my continued interest by writing and researching ancient and mysterious civilizations. The "new" location of his research is underwater, off shore in the Meditarranean, India, and Asia, i.e., Taiwan and Japan. He *does* includes some references to fascinating "finds" in the Caribbean, the Bahamas and a recent site discovered near Cuba. His writing style is most engaging and so is the subject matter.
I enjoy his ability to include 1) solid scientific evidence to back up his theories, 2) diaries he kept while exploring underwater sites, 3) a photo journal of monuments and structures (whether natural or man-made is yet to be determined) by his wife, 4) descriptions of what he actually sees, 5) ancient maps of the "old world", and 6) "inundation" computerized maps (scientific but limited) of what the world would have been like *before* the flood which occured after the Ice Age. Graham Hancock does a phenomenal job of describing how he got started in this research and he does a superior investigative report supporting his main theory, that many civilizations/ancient cities were wiped out worldwide due to the floods that occurred approximately 11,000 years ago. He and his wife learned to dive just so they could view first hand, the objects of their theories and research.
I was impressed that this was a 700+ page book but found by part 4, I was tired and slowing down. The book picks up speed and moment after discussing monuments discovered near Japan that are either natural, man-made or a combination, as of yet, the "experts" are uncertain.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By dirktherabbit on 4 Aug. 2002
Format: Hardcover
The back of Underworld has various press quotes about Graham Hancock, one of which describes him as the "Indiana Jones of alternative archeology." I think the Copernicus is more accurate.
Graham Hancock is often tarred with what you might call the "Jesus is an Alien" brush. In bookshops you'll find his books grouped alongside authors who claim that aliens built the pyamids, that the descendants of Jesus are alive today in a secret society, that the "templars" had esoteric knowledge that they can trace back to ancient Egypt etc.
In fact you will usually see him in the same section as authors writing about alien abductions, or someone like former BBC sports presenter David Icke who claims that the people who run the world are all giant lizards!
Hancock doesn't believe that aliens created civilization and whatever his views on Jesus, it's not a period of history that he writes about.
What he tries to prove in all his books is something that's both more conventional and potentially more exciting: Civilization is much older than we think it is and didn't just evolve out of thin air around 3000 BCE.
Hardly a theory that's in the same bracket as alien abductions or giant lizards when you consider that the Noah story of a great flood that destroyed civilization thousands of years ago isn't exclusive to the Judaeo-Christian tradition. It's shared by societies as far apart as native americans and aboriginal australians.
And as Hancock goes to show in Underworld, ice age earth had a fifth more land than it does today. The Persian Gulf and large areas of the Indian coast were not only land, but were temperate, warm and completely fit for human habitation.
Read more ›
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews