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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the copernicus of alternative archeology
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...
Published on 4 Aug 2002 by millie1512

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too much waffle for me.
My main criticism of the book is waffle. It's filled up with a lot religious theorising from India, and ice-age flood theories from a lot of other people, the information is grafted over into his book and used as fact, or if it's a myth from India, that takes him in a certain direction, where from my perspective, it is obvious, and he just doesn't get it. That's to be...
Published on 21 Jun 2009 by Amazon Customer


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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the copernicus of alternative archeology, 4 Aug 2002
By 
This review is from: Underworld: Flooded Kingdoms of the Ice Age (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. (And so was the Sahara incidentally)
Using geological evidence he shows that a number of apparently man-made structures below the oceans could only have been built thousands of years before when civilization is first thought to have started.
And though he doesn't believe that the ancients drove cars or flew planes he does believe that they knew a great deal about astrology, mathematics and linked to that, sophisticated building techniques.
This is a serious, 700 page tome where Hancock takes you through the evidence and all of his thought processes in so much detail that you wonder whether some of his critics have actually bothered to wade their way through it.
Those of us in the UK who saw the Channel4 series that accompanied the book could see for ourselves that Hancock isn't some lunatic but a perfectly sane individual who has studied the alternative points of view as well as the evidence.
Just like it took a while for the flat-earthers of middle ages Europe to come around to the fact that the World was actually round, I'm convinced that Graham Hancock has kick-started a process that will cause us to reevaluate some of our assumptions about history.
And to paraphrase a famous saying, the key to understanding our present and our future is to understand our past.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Challenging the consensus, 10 Feb 2004
By 
Stephen A. Haines (Ottawa, Ontario Canada) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
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. Utilising computer generated maps of the sea's rise after the Great Meltdown of the glaciers, he shows the logic of his thesis with compelling evidence. He's careful to note where the data seems firm as well as lacking. Where lacking, he urges more scientific attention to these places.
Although he justifiably spends most of the account on locations in India, where in some places the sea has invaded over 700 kilometres since the last Last Glacial Maximum, his relation of Japanese sites makes the most compelling reading. There, some of the longest-lived legends indicate Japan's oldest settlers, the Jomon, preceded the West in the establishment of agriculture and settled communities. Where scholars once held these people were "simple hunter-gatherers", Hancock sees evidence of rice growing nearly twelve thousand years old. Temple styles found today are duplicated in undersea sites, in some places nearby as if the sea simply pushed the people and their culture inland. These people may have followed the "Black Current" across the Pacific to establish settlements along the western coast of South America.
Hancock is careful to separate the known from the speculative, and not all of the speculations are his. Scholars in the places he visits are contributers to this innovative idea. So many sites and such commonality of legend add up to a highly plausible notion. Regrettably, even while crediting these researchers with empirical methods, Hancock is a bit too full of himself. Long passages of his problems, illness, fright from daring pilots cruising mountain passes permeate the book. By restricting himself to the scholars, their evidence coupled with his own and other researchers’ ideas, he could have made this account less tedious while recounting adventures and exploration. Even the computer-generated maps are often repeated unnecessarily. He raises serious questions which deserve serious study. Hancock makes a compelling introduction, but we await a less self-indulgent approach. [stephen a. haines - Ottawa, Canada]
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Discover "Lost Cities", Monuments, Possibly Natural Wonders, 19 Nov 2005
By 
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. The book is astonishing for its
use of "inundation maps" which aremaps developed by computers, from scientific data fed into them, such as, how high the water levels rose after the ice melted, etc. Graham Hancock compared
modern maps to existing ancient maps, such as "the 1424 Pizzagano chart", the results are quite similar. For this alone, Graham Hancock deserves recognition by the scientific community and serious consideration for his theories. This is a highly recommended book, although it becomes tedious about half
half-way through but its well worth finishing to the end. Erika Borsos (bakonyvilla)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too much waffle for me., 21 Jun 2009
This review is from: Underworld: Flooded Kingdoms of the Ice Age (Hardcover)
My main criticism of the book is waffle. It's filled up with a lot religious theorising from India, and ice-age flood theories from a lot of other people, the information is grafted over into his book and used as fact, or if it's a myth from India, that takes him in a certain direction, where from my perspective, it is obvious, and he just doesn't get it. That's to be expected I suppose. At least he's open minded enough about the subject to write a book that lots of people find fascinating to read, going against the `academic' and establishment, where if it isn't in the books they were schooled in at college, it doesn't exist.. literally, even though the author dives to the sites under the sea and photographs the evidence. I didn't pay a lot for the book, I got a good second hand copy, so for me, I sift through to the bits that interest me most.. the sections on Malta and Japan, I found very interesting., but off the coast of India, the water was very murky, and the ruins not impressive at all. But there is a lot of information contained therein. And it probably takes a guy like this to write about this subject, but like I said, too much waffle and not enough meat and potatoes.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At last a scientific basis for ante-diluvian civilisations, 24 Feb 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Underworld: Flooded Kingdoms of the Ice Age (Hardcover)
Graham Hancock started his Channel 4 program by freely admitting that as a journalist he had made mistakes and wrong turns in his quest for ancient civilisations.
In this book he has visited the open-minded experts. Geophysics has had some amazing discoveries in recent years. It has always been assumed that ice sheets melted slowly and evenly away at the end of an ice age. Recent work published in peer reviewed scientific journals show conclusively that the last ice age came in three giant floods between 18,000 and 8,000 years ago.
The outflow from the Laurentian shield over Canada, Alaska and Greenland, discharged with the freeing of ice jams. The resulting flood was a wall of water 2,000ft high, 1000miles long and moving at 300mbp. The resulting debris of glacial outwash are evident in the Caribbean and off the Labrador coast.
Sea levels rose in giant leaps of 100s of feet. It is therefore not surprising that today's sea-levels are roughly similar to those up to 8,000 years ago. It has always been assumed that civilisation started then because that is the age of the very oldest archaelolgical remains found on land.
Cave paintings are known to be at least 20,000 years old. Moreover some have been shown to contain detailed star positions between the horns of a bull. The positions of the stars are accurate for 12,000 years ago and in the constellation of the Bull.
We know from the work of Brian Sykes on mitochrondial DNA that half the european women derive from an individual present in Europe 20,000 years ago. That was during the last ice age.
The evidence therefore is all pointing to civilised man being in Europe, well advanced and capable before the end of the ice age.
Today the majority of the world's population lives within about 50 miles of the sea. If the sea level was 300ft lower and 1 million square miles now underwater was above sea level, then it is clear there must be remains of the majority population below present day sea level.
This book details Graham Hancock's journey of discovery through all the data to back his previous hunches. This time he has consulted the experts. Note however that in any discipline including science and archaeology it is always difficult to get any radically new idea accepted.
Only 40 years ago geologists insisted rock was rock solid. It took someone from another discipline, ocean science, to prove that the sediments either side of the mid Atlantic ridge increased in age with distance from the ridge. It took years for plate tectonics and continental drift to be accepted. Alfred Wegener first suggest it in 1924.
I think we all need to read and consider Graham Hancock's ideas in this beautifully illustrated and well-written book. The idea that knowledge is best transmitted by rote learning without writing as the origin of the Vedas is fascinating. It was held that if a disaster occurred and the next generation could not read all knowledge would be lost. But an oral tradition would continue if there were only a few surviving knowledge carriers. His suggestion that the Vedas carry information from an age of people largely lost under the floods 10,000 years ago fits well. The recent discoveries underwater off India, Malta and Japan also attest to great skills in masonry within civilisations last above water 10,000 years or more ago.
Egyptian Heirogphys were lost knowledge until the Rosetta stone. Even today though Linear B is known to be ancient Greek we know nothing of Linear A. There are many inscriptions from all over the ancient world which could tell us much if we could only translate them. This may come with computer assistance. But this strengthens the arguments made in Hancock's book of the importance of passing knowledge by oral tradition. This is where all the world's flood myths originate.
I think this is the book that will change our views of civilisation. There is lots of research to be done. I am encouraging my children to pursue it. I encourage everyone to read this book.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Breath-taking discoveries that support ancient Flood Myths, 18 Feb 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Underworld: Flooded Kingdoms of the Ice Age (Hardcover)
Graham Hancock has done it again! In another of his fantastically well researched books he reveals new underwater discoveries from various parts of the earth that strongly suggest the existence of sophisticated civilisations that pre-date 7500 BC, and thus, could mean a total rewriting of ancient history.
Interestingly also, he is unwittingly uncovering archeological evidence that reinforces the statements of the Bible and other sacred texts which for many people are more than writings to be accepted by faith, but rather, are being proven by scientific investigation such as Graham Hancock is still undertaking.
This book is a must-see, must-buy for all those who are either curious or studious about ancient history.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just when you thought it was safe to go into the water..., 27 Feb 2003
For the uninitiated, Mr. Hancock's own perculiar brand of archaelogical journalism has for some time now been the object of both adoration and derision. Some have him in the new age camp, some have him at the vanguard of a challenge the archaelogical hegemony, others think he's a crackpot.
Upon reading Underworld however, you - whichever camp you decide he's in - will be fascinated by his analysis of how the end of the ice age reshaped our world and how the evidence of a lost civilisation (indeed many) remains mostly undiscovered beneath our seas and oceans.
Much as in his other books, Hancock takes us on a journey around the globe tying state-of-the-art techniques to interpretations of myth and hypothesising about some of the most enigmatic and mysterious sites on earth.
From the Hypogeum in Malta to the stone circles of the Jomon in Japan, Hancock once again reveals what others in his field are often too conservative to speculate, namely that the excepted beliefs of our histories are on shaky ground - in fact are pretty much sunk.
Not quite as well written as Fingerprints of the Gods, but far more convincing in it's substance, Hancock has again made a valuable contribution to a new understanding of our cultural past.
Highly recommended
A.Brandt
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What we do not know?, 18 July 2005
This review is from: Underworld: Flooded Kingdoms of the Ice Age (Hardcover)
Amazing book and when you get it, you think, woow this is hugh. But the reading takes you on a totaly new journey underwater and explores places we haven't been before. The theories he discribes and explores are very interesting and plausible. Some of this material has been on Chanel 4 or Discovery Channel. If you are interested in exploring lost civilizations than this book is a must. It will take you some time to finish, but it will keep you thinking.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too credulous for my taste..., 12 Sep 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Underworld: Flooded Kingdoms of the Ice Age (Hardcover)
I bought it for the vast amount of real data on Pleistocene low-stand coastlines, had to suffer through a lot of daft speculation on prior civilisations. But, I knew what to expect, and the shoreline maps are sound. So, 3x rather than 1x. Still, due care, please.
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, 19 Feb 2002
By 
This review is from: Underworld: Flooded Kingdoms of the Ice Age (Hardcover)
Graham Hancock is one of those people who are going to change the way the history books have been written. His book 'Underworld' kept me hooked for days on end - bearing in mind there is over 650 pages to read. For the true Vedic Scholar, who rubbishes such profanities as the 'Aryan invasion theory,' and a non Indian origin for Sanskrit and the Vedas (these ideas mainly being purported by European scholars) this has been a long time coming. Hancock proposes a lost civilization that vanished at the end of the last ice age. It may sound ridiculous - but minds should open...
A definite must for those in search of the truth behind world history.
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Underworld: Flooded Kingdoms of the Ice Age
Underworld: Flooded Kingdoms of the Ice Age by Graham Hancock (Hardcover - 8 Feb 2002)
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