by Graham Hancock
(Author of Fingerprints of the Gods)

It is my great pleasure and honor to introduce this abridged edition of Forbidden Archeology.


Let me say at the outset that I believe this book to be one of the landmark intellectual achievements of the late twentieth century. It will take more conservative scholars a long while, probably many years, to come to terms with the revelations it contains. Nevertheless, Michael Cremo and Richard Thompson have put the revelations out there and the clock cannot now be turned back. Sooner or later, whether we like it or not, our species is going to have to come to terms with the facts that are so impressively documented in the pages that follow, and these facts are stunning.

Cremo and Thompson's central proposition is that the model of human prehistory, carefully built-up by scholars over the past two centuries, is sadly and completely wrong. Moreover, the authors are not proposing that it can be put right with minor tinkering and adjustments. What is needed is for the existing model to be thrown out the window and for us to start again with open minds and with absolutely no preconceptions at all.

This is a position that is close to my own heart; indeed it forms the basis of my book Fingerprints of the Gods. There, however, my focus was exclusively on the last 20,000 years and on the possibility that an advanced global civilization may have flourished more than 12,000 years ago only to be wiped out and forgotten in the great cataclysm that brought the last Ice Age to an end.

In The Hidden History of the Human Race Cremo and Thompson go much further, pushing back the horizons of our amnesia not just 12,000 or 20,000 years, but millions of years into the past, and showing that almost everything we have been taught to believe about the origins and evolution of our species rests on the shaky foundation of academic opinion, and on a highly selective sampling of research results. The two authors then set about putting the record straight by showing all the other research results that have been edited out of the record during the past two centuries, not because there was anything wrong or bogus about the results themselves, but simply because they did not fit with prevailing academic opinion.

Anomalous and out-of-place discoveries reported by Cremo and Thompson in The Hidden History of the Human Race include convincing evidence that anatomically modern humans may have been present on the Earth not just for 100,000 years or less (the orthodox view), but for millions of years, and that metal objects of advanced design may have been in use at equally early periods. Moreover, although sensational claims have been made before about out-of-place artifacts, they have never been supported by such overwhelming and utterly convincing documentation as Cremo and Thompson provide.

In the final analysis, it is the meticulous scholarship of the authors, and the cumulative weight of the facts presented in The Hidden History of the Human Race, that really convince. The book is, I believe, in harmony with the mood of the public at large in the world today, a mood which no longer unquestioningly accepts the pronouncements of established authorities, and is willing to listen with an open mind to heretics who make their case reasonably and rationally.

Never before has the case for a complete re-evaluation of the human story been made more reasonably and rationally than it is in these pages.

Graham Hancock,

Devon, England, January 1998

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The unabridged edition of Forbidden Archeology is 952 pages long. It thus presents quite a challenge to many readers. Richard L. Thompson and I therefore decided to bring out The Hidden History of the Human Race—a shorter, more readable, and more affordable version of Forbidden Archeology.

The Hidden History of the Human Race does, however, contain almost all of the cases discussed in Forbidden Archeology. Missing are the bibliographic citations in the text and detailed discussions of the geological and anatomical aspects of many of the cases. For example, in The Hidden History of the Human Race we might simply state that a site is considered to be Late Pliocene in age.


In Forbidden Archeology, we would have given a detailed discussion of why this is so, providing many references to past and present technical geological reports. Readers who desire such detail can acquire Forbidden Archeology.

Michael A. Cremo,

Pacific Beach, California, March 26, 1994

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Introduction and Acknowledgements

In 1979, researchers at the Laetoli, Tanzania, site in East Africa discovered footprints in volcanic ash deposits over 3.6 million years old. Mary Leakey and others said the prints were indistinguishable from those of modern humans. To these scientists, this meant only that the human ancestors of 3.6 million years ago had remarkably modern feet.


But according to other scientists, such as physical anthropologist R. H. Tuttle of the University of Chicago, fossil foot bones of the known australopithecines of 3.6 million years ago show they had feet that were distinctly apelike. Hence they were incompatible with the Laetoli prints.


In an article in the March 1990 issue of Natural History, Tuttle confessed that "we are left with somewhat of a mystery." It seems permissible, therefore, to consider a possibility neither Tuttle nor Leakey mentioned—that creatures with anatomically modern human bodies to match their anatomically modern human feet existed some 3.6 million years ago in East Africa. Perhaps, as suggested in the illustration on the opposite page, they coexisted with more apelike creatures. As intriguing as this archeological possibility may be, current ideas about human evolution forbid it.

But from 1984 to 1992, Richard Thompson and I, with the assistance of our researcher Stephen Bernath, amassed an extensive body of evidence that calls into question current theories of human evolution. Some of this evidence, like the Laetoli footprints, is fairly recent. But much of it was reported by scientists in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Without even looking at this older body of evidence, some will assume that there must be something wrong with it—that it was properly disposed of by scientists long ago, for very good reasons. Richard and I have looked rather deeply into that possibility. We have concluded, however, that the quality of this controversial evidence is no better or worse than the supposedly non-controversial evidence usually cited in favor of current views about human evolution.

In Part I of The Hidden History of the Human Race, we look closely at the vast amount of controversial evidence that contradicts current ideas about human evolution. We recount in detail how this evidence has been systematically suppressed, ignored, or forgotten, even though it is qualitatively (and quantitatively) equivalent to the evidence favoring currently accepted views on human origins.


When we speak of suppression of evidence, we are not referring to scientific conspirators carrying out a satanic plot to deceive the public. Instead, we are talking about an ongoing social process of knowledge filtration that appears quite innocuous but has a substantial cumulative effect. Certain categories of evidence simply disappear from view, in our opinion unjustifiably.

This pattern of data suppression has been going on for a long time. In 1880, J. D. Whitney, the state geologist of California, published a lengthy review of advanced stone tools found in California gold mines. The implements, including spear points and stone mortars and pestles, were found deep in mine shafts, underneath thick, undisturbed layers of lava, in formations ranging from 9 million to over 55 million years old. W. H. Holmes of the Smithsonian Institution, one of the most vocal critics of the California finds, wrote:

"Perhaps if Professor Whitney had fully appreciated the story of human evolution as it is understood today, he would have hesitated to announce the conclusions formulated [that humans existed in very ancient times in North America], notwithstanding the imposing array of testimony with which he was confronted."

In other words, if the facts do not agree with the favored theory, then such facts, even an imposing array of them, must be discarded.

This supports the primary point we are trying to make in The Hidden History of the Human Race, namely, that there exists in the scientific community a knowledge filter that screens out unwelcome evidence. This process of knowledge filtration has been going on for well over a century and continues to the present day.

In addition to the general process of knowledge filtration, there also appear to be cases of more direct suppression.
In the early 1950s, Thomas E. Lee of the National Museum of Canada found advanced stone tools in glacial deposits at Sheguiandah, on Manitoulin Island in northern Lake Huron. Geologist John Sanford of Wayne State University argued that the oldest Sheguiandah tools were at least 65,000 years old and might be as much as 125,000 years old.


For those adhering to standard views on North American prehistory, such ages were unacceptable. Humans supposedly first entered North America from Siberia about 12,000 years ago.

Thomas E. Lee complained:

"The site's discoverer [Lee] was hounded from his Civil Service position into prolonged unemployment; publication outlets were cut off; the evidence was misrepresented by several prominent authors . . .; the tons of artifacts vanished into storage bins of the National Museum of Canada; for refusing to fire the discoverer, the Director of the National Museum, who had proposed having a monograph on the site published, was himself fired and driven into exile; official positions of prestige and power were exercised in an effort to gain control over just six Sheguiandah specimens that had not gone under cover; and the site has been turned into a tourist resort. . . . Sheguiandah would have forced embarrassing admissions that the Brahmins did not know everything. It would have forced the rewriting of almost every book in the business. It had to be killed. It was killed."

In Part II of The Hidden History of the Human Race, we survey the body of accepted evidence that is generally used to support the now-dominant ideas about human evolution. We especially examine the status of Australopithecus. Most anthropologists say Australopithecus was a human ancestor with an apelike head, a humanlike body, and a humanlike bipedal stance and gait. But other researchers make a convincing case for a radically different view of Australopithecus. According to these researchers, the australopithecines were very apelike, partly tree-dwelling creatures with no direct connection to the human evolutionary lineage.

In Part II we also consider the possible coexistence of primitive hominids and anatomically modern humans not only in the distant past but in the present. Over the past century, scientists have accumulated evidence suggesting that humanlike creatures resembling Gigantopithecus, Australopithecus, Homo erectus, and the Neanderthals are living in various wilderness areas of the world. In North America, these creatures are known as Sasquatch. In Central Asia, they are called Almas.


In Africa, China, Southeast Asia, Central America, and South America, they are known by other names. Some researchers use the general term "wildmen" to include them all. Scientists and physicians have reported seeing live wildmen, dead wildmen, and footprints. They have also catalogued thousands of reports from ordinary people who have seen wildmen, as well as similar reports from historical records.

Some might question why we would put together a book like The Hidden History of the Human Race, unless we had some underlying purpose. Indeed, there is some underlying purpose.

Richard Thompson and I are members of the Bhakti vedanta Institute, a branch of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness that studies the relationship between modern science and the world view expressed in the Vedic literature of India. From the Vedic literature, we derive the idea that the human race is of great antiquity. For the purpose of conducting systematic research into the existing scientific literature on human antiquity, we expressed the Vedic idea in the form of a theory that various humanlike and apelike beings have coexisted for long periods of time.

That our theoretical outlook is derived from the Vedic literature should not disqualify it. Theory selection can come from many sources—a private inspiration, previous theories, a suggestion from a friend, a movie, and so on. What really matters is not a theory's source but its ability to account for observations.

Because of space considerations, we were not able to develop in this volume our ideas about an alternative to current theories of human origins. We are therefore planning a second volume relating our extensive research results in this area to our Vedic source material.

At this point, I would like to say something about my collaboration with Richard Thompson. Richard is a scientist by training, a mathematician who has published refereed articles and books in the fields of mathematical biology, remote sensing from satellites, geology, and physics. I am not a scientist by training. Since 1977, I have been a writer and editor for books and magazines published by the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust.

In 1984, Richard asked his assistant Stephen Bernath to begin collecting material on human origins and antiquity. In 1986, Richard asked me to take that material and organize it into a book.

As I reviewed the material provided to me by Stephen, I was struck by the very small number of reports from 1859, when Darwin published The Origin of Species, until 1894, when Dubois published his report on Java man. Curious about this, I asked Stephen to obtain some anthropology books from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In these books, including an early edition of Marcellin Boule's Fossil Men, I found highly negative reviews of numerous reports from the period in question.


By tracing out footnotes, we dug up a few samples of these reports. Most of them, by nineteenth-century scientists, described incised bones, stone tools, and anatomically modern skeletal remains encountered in unexpectedly old geological contexts. The reports were of high quality, answering many possible objections. This encouraged me to make a more systematic search.

Digging up this buried literary evidence required another three years. Stephen Bernath and I obtained rare conference volumes and journals from around the world, and together we translated the material into English. Writing the manuscript from the assembled material took another couple of years. Throughout the entire period of research and writing, I had almost daily discussions with Richard about the significance of the material and how best to present it.

Stephen obtained much of the material in Chapter 6 from Ron Calais, who kindly sent us many Xeroxes of original reports from his archives. Virginia Steen-McIntyre was kind enough to supply us with her correspondence on the dating of the Hueyatlaco, Mexico, site.


We also had useful discussions about stone tools with Ruth D. Simpson of the San Bernardino County Museum and about shark teeth marks on bone with Thomas A. Demere of the San Diego Natural History Museum.

This book could not have been completed without the varied services of Christopher Beetle, a computer science graduate of Brown University, who came to the Bhaktivedanta Institute in San Diego in 1988.

For overseeing the design and layout of this abridged edition, Richard and I thank Alister Taylor. The jacket design is the work of Yamaraja Dasa. The illustrations opposite the first page of the introduction and are the much-appreciated work of Miles Triplett, Beverly Symes, David Smith, Sigalit Binyaminy, Susan Fritz, Barbara Cantatore, Joseph Franklin, and Michael Best also helped in the production of this book.

Richard and I would especially like to thank the international trustees of the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, past and present, for their generous support for the research, writing, and publication of this book.

Finally, we encourage readers to bring to our attention any additional evidence that may be of interest to us, especially for inclusion in future editions of this book.

Correspondence may be addressed to us at Govardhan Hill Publishing P. O. Box 52, Badger, CA 93603.

Michael A. Cremo

Pacific Beach, California,

March 26, 1994


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