Ice Age Civilizations, by James I. Nienhuis
Age Civilizations takes a rigorously independent look at the world
of the ancients, abandoning the sacred cows of seemingly
Granted the subject is somewhat dry - for example, Nienhuis goes to
extensive pains to debunk current orthodoxy on when the Ice Age
occurred, and certainly will convince you the present dates should
be changed. (His proof is tangible - known ancient cities that were
buried by the sea at known points in time.)
This is a study of ancient civilizations from the viewpoint of
physical anthropology, so the remains of civilizations are of
paramount importance. And further, the most important skill seems to
have been the ability to measure the earth's circumference and chart
the precession of celestial orbs. Nienhuis frequently compares
civilizations by letting us know which ones understood the
precession of stars and planets..
But the interesting sections do not end there, thank God. In fact,
speaking of God, Nienhuis is unafraid to acknowledge the cataclysmic
Great Deluge and explain beliefs regarding Noah.
We learn that Europe was once covered by ice, and that Stonehenge,
in England, was the concern of Hamites and Canaanites (Phoenicians)
Even more enjoyable, we learn about games that have survived from
these early civilizations, and find out the role of the celestial
mapping skills in their creation: e.g. backgammon, and even - would
you believe? - hat sizes!
Perhaps most interesting of all, we learn that the Phoenicians
protected their knowledge of star-based navigation by popularizing
the view that anyone who ventured too far from home would fall off
the edge of the earth. Thus, the Greeks and Romans didn't venture as
accurately or as far.
thinking of navigation, we learn new meanings for the Celtic Cross,
Nienhuis tells us was an important tool of navigation.
So curl up with this book, pretend you are a physical
anthropologist, willing to differ with your peers, and enjoy a
refreshing quest for the truth about something we will never fully
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