Author: – Adithya Rajnarayanan.
Editorial Note: The representation of Ancient cultures and ancient artifacts in popular culture and media is generally ridiculous. The deep Biblical idea of “God creating the Universe on 4000 bce” is the driving narrative. Anything that pop western (biblical) universalism cannot understand is attributed to Aliens.
That humans and their artifacts can be Sanatana (timeless and old) far beyond the conception of the Western mind is not acknowledged.
Archaeology is a subject of interest for me since childhood. Even though my major is in Engineering I still spend most of my free time researching about ancient cultures. I was once watching a video on YouTube about the Kailasa temple of Ellora caves on the History Channel. The program was called “Ancient Aliens”. The narrator explained that the temple was made by scooping rocks from a mountain, with a total amount of 400000 tons of rocks being removed in the process and that the project was completed in 18 years. He then said that such a feat is impossible even today with the help of modern technology and hence this would have been possible only with the help of extra terrestrials. This video disturbed me a lot. The truth is that ancient architects created such great structures with hard work, sweat and blood hoping that the upcoming generation will appreciate them and learn something useful from them but the reality is we are being misguided by a lot of forces.
I then decided to check what these people claim for the structures that were built by people of other ancient civilizations like the Egyptian, Mayan, African etc. I was shocked to find that they tend to give the same explanation everywhere. I then decided to find out what exactly made them arrive at this conclusion.
It appears that all of the great ancient civilizations suffered from 2 fundamental issues. They did not write their own history on how they achieved their greatest accomplishments. Beyond a certain level, they ignored the security of their sovereignity paving the way for invasion by Europeans, Persians, Mongols and others. This led to the destruction of whatever little history they had, a rewrite of the same history to suit the tastes of the ruling class, and the obliteration of the sense of identity of the ruled. One such vehicle of alternate history is the “Extra Terrestrial influence”.
This concept of “Extra Terrestrial influence” finds its roots in the western side of the world where there is the biblical assumption that this world came into existence around 4000 BC. When British invaded India, they found works such as the Ramayana where gods were described to use powerful weapons that were equivalent to modern day nuclear weapons in terms of its power and destruction. They were unable to digest the fact that ancient India was very much advanced than today’s world. To make sure that such valuable resources are not respected in the future, these were interpreted as alien invasion. Today, the credit that must be given to ancient Indians is given to some unknown aliens whose existence lies in the realm of speculation.
All the ancient cultures were purposely destroyed just because their beliefs were incomprehensible and controversial to followers of the Bible.
Ancient Egypt and India were especially targeted since the Sphinx of Egypt was scientifically dated to 10000 BC and some stone structures of India were scientifically dated to the same time period. This was not palatable to followers of the Bible where it says that the Earth was formed just 6000 years ago. However, despite all attempts to annihilate it, luckily the only culture that has survived, albeit in part, is the Indian one. Several attempts were made to destroy it, but were not successful. Now theories such as the “Alternative History Theory“ are purposely developed in order to weaken this culture and ultimately destroy it.
The “Extra Terrestrial Influence” theory seems to be largely driven by Biblical universalism, a set of chosen people and other religious constructs of the ruling classes much to detriment of the ruled class. It is clothed in logical arguments though. I found that there were four main reasons that made them arrive at this conclusion .
- The first one is “The ancients used only primitive tools like chisels and hammers and such a task with these tools are impossible, thus, there must have been some kind of extra terrestrial influence”. For example, people even today, do not know how such a masterpiece like the Kailasa temple was created. People just conclude the answers to such mysteries as “Extra terrestrial influence” since the actual answer is unknown.
- The second main reason which is often used is “pre-discovery”. Ruling class often has difficulty acknowledging that a modern discovery was already known to the ancients of their colonies. The example that I would like to give is the Vittala temple complex in Hampi that is known for its musical pillars. Recent analysis shows that it was made of granite Geo-polymer. Since the Geo-polymer technology was discovered only in the 1950s, the conclusion is that the temple must have been constructed by alien technologies.
- The third main reason is the cultures that have such master pieces also have mythologies in which their gods live on earth with supernatural, inhuman powers and described things known to humans only much later like flying objects, missiles and explosives. These gods are inferred as aliens.
- The fourth and final reason is that some of the cave paintings seem to show a kind of UFO. This leads to the conclusion that aliens must have been visiting earth during the period.
I consider this a complete insult to human enterprise, ingenuity and intelligence. Let us look at some of the reasons why:
- Are we sure that the ancient humans only had primitive tools? No. We may have recovered only primitive tools in excavations, but “absence of evidence is not evidence of absence” . The amount of knowledge lost to this world is huge after the early invasions and inquisitions. The universities of Nalanda and Alexandria were destroyed by invading armies for no reason. While there is evidence to show that primitive tools were used, there is no proof that they did not use anything better.
- It is quite possible that knowledge such as the Geo-polymer technology of the Vittala temple has gone missing. Therefore what was done in 1950s was not the discovery of Geo-polymer but rather a rediscovery of the same technology. There is no clear evidence of what the ancients knew and what they did not know.
- Even today with global travel, it is difficult for a person to adapt to a culture on a different continent. A culture is largely moulded by the living conditions and belief system of the people living in a geography. Besides, a culture evolves over time due to changes in such living conditions and belief systems. We cannot even pretend to understand the culture of ancient Babylonians or Mayans. While universalism, be it religious, cultural or ideological, can be an attractive concept, it stands against natural diversity.
- One more famous example is the book named “The narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket” by Edgar Allen Poe. In this book, the author describes how four sailors escaped their sinking ship and due to starvation were forced to eat the cabin boy named Richard Parker. After 46 years , a boat sunk and four people who survived were forced to eat a cabin boy named Richard Parker. After this event. people claimed that Mr Poe owned a time machine, a concept that has no scientific realization , like the aliens.
- Let us examine a hypothetical situation: 5000 years from now, while excavating an abandoned city, our future generation will come across a picture of Superman with ability to fly. Would Superman appear as an alien to them even though it is no more than a figment of imagination of our generation?
- Do the paintings by early cavemen represent an UFO? Looking at the early pictures of the bicycle models, many kids are unable to recognize it for what it is. Same would apply for the first airplane, submarine or even the motor car. If this is true for conveniences invented in this century, are we sure we can identify a UFO from a cave painting?
There is no proof that supports alien influence in the great achievements of the ancients. The loss of knowledge seems a more plausible explanation that preserves and honors human creativity through the centuries.
Adithya Rajnarayanan is currently pursuing his B Tech degree in Electronics and Communication Engineering from Indian Institute of Information Technology, Kancheepuram. His hobbies include researching ancient cultures that once existed and the Hindu scriptures such as the Vedas, puranas etc. (View More)