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Takes the New out of New World
on 28 November 2002
The Lost Realms is one of the most speculative and interesting books in Sitchin's Earth Chronicles series. The ruins and structures of Egypt and the Near East have been wondered at and studied for centuries, and there is a veritable wealth of information from Near Eastern papyri, stelae, monuments, and similar artifacts. The ruins of Mesoamerica have largely been rediscovered only in the past couple of hundred years; indeed, unknown wonders surely remain hidden by South America's dense jungles. The immensely important records and artifacts of New World societies such as the Mayan, Inca, and Aztec civilizations were for the most part lost and destroyed at the hands of greedy Spanish conquistadors, and further site degradation has resulted from the pilfering of ancient stones by recent natives of the area for use in the construction of their own buildings. Thus, the earliest history of the lower Americas remains frustratingly impossible to understand. We are left with giant edifices with significant similarities to Near Eastern constructions in size, orientation, and purpose, many of them seemingly containing very advanced structures built for unknown purposes. Even the age of the artifacts is hotly debated, with many scientists refusing to believe scientific findings point back to as early as 2000 B.C.
Sitchin's arguments fit very nicely with the history of Sumeria, Egypt, and the Near East that he laid out in his earlier books. Basically, he argues that the Americas were exploited by the gods for the production of gold and other metals such as tin, which the Andean mountains in particular hold in abundance. Metals were refined here and shipped back to the Near Eastern lands long before Columbus ever sailed the ocean blue. Sitchin believes that the Olmecs, of which very little is known besides what has been gleaned from the artifacts they left behind, particularly in the form of large stone blocks representing men of obvious African descent, did indeed come from Africa very early on--in fact, it was the Egyptian god Thoth who brought his followers here when he was displaced by Marduk. While the Olmecs mysteriously disappeared, other societies were formed by white gods and giants from across the sea. The traditions of the diverse Indian groups all shared a common mythology, including the story of a Great Flood; they also possessed amazing arts, technologies, and sciences (particularly astronomy) very similar to those of Sumeria and Egypt. The inadequacy of artifacts in the Americas necessarily hinder any scientist studying their earliest histories, but Sitchin constructs a remarkably compelling timeline in which the story of Mesoamerica fits very neatly into the history he has gleaned of the Annunaki and their relationships with mankind in its earliest days.
Even if Sitchin were dead wrong on everything he suggests, this book would still be worth reading just for the information about the amazing ancient cities and monuments built in the lower Americas that are only now emerging from their jungle tombs. The Olmecs, Toltecs, Mayans, Incas, and Aztecs are more mysterious than the Near Eastern cultures, and the suggestion that men traveled from the Old World and Africa centuries before Columbus is as compelling as it is fascinating. The illustrations in this book are sometimes rather grainy and hard to examine closely, but the images they convey, such as that of the giant stone heads left by the Olmecs, do much to enhance Sitchin's theories. This is thought-provoking, educational, stimulating material.