1. A Challenge to Darwinism

  2. Forbidden Archeology

  3. Reviews of Forbidden Archeology

  4. The Museum of Forbidden Archeology

  5. All in a Day of Brahma


Related Reports








Challenge to Darwinism


Charles Darwin
Just a dozen years after Charles Darwin published The Origin of Species in 1859, growing numbers of scientists and other educated persons considered it impossible, indeed laughable, to suppose that humans were anything other than the modified descendants of an ancestral line of apelike creatures.

According to Darwinists, the first undisputed fossil evidence for life on earth goes back about 2 billion years. They say the first apes and monkeys appeared about 40-50 million years ago. The first ape-men (called Australopithecus) appeared about 4 million years ago.


These were followed by other ape-men called Homo habilis, Homo erectus, and Neanderthal man. The first human beings of modern type (Homo sapiens sapiens) appeared only 100,000 or 200,000 years ago. Civilization, according to modern scientists, is less than 10,000 years old.

Those who blindly follow Darwin's ideas on human evolution do not see the pattern of suppression inherent in scientific investigation.


However, Michael A. Cremo and Richard L. Thompson of the Bhaktivedanta Institute investigated hundreds of scientific reports showing that humans or near humans were living millions of years ago in the Pliocene, Miocene, or earlier periods.

This evidence was not regarded as anomalous by the scientists who introduced it in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, since they were contemplating theories of human origins that were compatible with this evidence.


Then, with the development of the modern theory that humans like ourselves evolved within the past 200,000 years in the Late Pleistocene, this evidence became highly unacceptable, and it vanished from sight.



Depiction of Australopithecus afarensis


Forbidden Archeology: The Hidden History of the Human Race presents a representative sample of this anomalous evidence suggesting that humans have been on the earth for millions of years, ,just as the ancient Sanskrit writings of the Vedic literatures describe. The Vedic histories inform us that humans have existed since the beginning of the day of Brahma, about 2 billion years ago.

Cremo and Thompson conclude that even the conventionally accepted evidence does not offer a cohesive picture of the missing link; instead, the multiplicity of proposed evolutionary linkages among the hominids in Africa creates a very confusing scheme of human evolution.


They call for a drastic revision of the now-dominant assumptions about human origins.


Back to Contents





Forbidden Archeology


Since its initial release in 1993, Forbidden Archeology has consistently ranked as an international bestseller in the archeology category of

The original complete edition and its abridged popular version, The Hidden History of the Human Race, have caused shockwaves around the world, both in scientific circles and among the general public.

Forbidden Archeology and its abridged counterpart have been published in the US, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Russia, South America, Poland, Czech Republic, Korea, and Lithuania. Distributed exclusively by TORCHLIGHT PUBLISHING

"Michael Cremo and Richard Thompson are to be congratulated on spending eight years producing the only definitive, precise, exhaustive, and complete record of practically all the fossil finds of man, regardless of whether they fit the established scientific theories or not...


It should be compulsory reading for every first year biology, archaeology, and anthropology student - and many others too."

-John Davidson

in International Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine

August 1994



The knowledge filter and scientific suppression
One of the prominent themes introduced in Forbidden Archeology is the phenomena of "knowledge filtration."


This is the process by which scientists and others routinely accept evidence that supports their preconceptions and theories while rejecting, either consciously or unconsciously, other evidence that does not uphold their views. This process of suppression of evidence is illustrated by many of the anomalous paleoanthropological findings discussed in the book.


This evidence now tends to be extremely obscure, and it also tends to be clouded by a series of negative reports, themselves obscure and dating from the time when the evidence was being actively rejected.


Thus, evolutionary prejudices held by powerful groups of scientists act as a "knowledge filter" which has eliminated evidence challenging accepted views and left us with a radically altered understanding of human origins and antiquity.


Scientific outrage in response to Forbidden Archeology
Why has Forbidden Archeology generated such intense reactions from the scientific community?


One reason is that the book quickly became an underground classic, not only in alternative science circles, but amongst inquisitive seekers in mainstream academia. Its unprecedented comparison of both accepted and anomalous evidence for human evolution stunned scientists by showing that extensive anomalous evidence stands up equally well, if not better, than accepted evidence.


After shocking the scientific world, Forbidden Archeology caught the general public’s attention with the 1996 broadcast of an NBC-TV special called The Mysterious Origins of Man that featured the book.


Establishment scientists felt so threatened by this program that they lobbied the Federal Communications Commission to censure and fine NBC for airing it.


Thus by exposing this scientific coverup and knowledge filtration network Cremo and Thompson revealed some painful truths about human evolution to the prevailing regime and subsequently threatened their exclusive monopoly of funding, intellectual authority, and social prestige.


Sample Chapter
Forbidden Archeology - The Hidden History of the Human Race
by Michael A. Cremo and Richard L. Thompson


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 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.

Knowledgeable persons will warn against positing the existence of anatomically modern humans millions of years ago on the slim basis of the Laetoli footprints. But there is further evidence. Over the past few decades, scientists in Africa have uncovered fossil bones that look remarkably human. In 1965, Bryan Patterson and W. W. Howells found a surprisingly modern humerus (upper arm bone) at Kanapoi, Kenya. Scientists judged the humerus to be over 4 million years old.


Henry M. McHenry and Robert S. Corruccini of the University of California said the Kanapoi humerus was "barely distinguishable from modern Homo."


Similarly, Richard Leakey said the ER 1481 femur (thighbone) from Lake Turkana, Kenya, found in 1972, was indistinguishable from that of modern humans. Scientists normally assign the ER 1481 femur, which is about 2 million years old, to prehuman Homo habilis. But since the ER 1481 femur was found by itself, one cannot rule out the possibility that the rest of the skeleton was also anatomically modern. Interestingly enough, in 1913 the German scientist Hans Reck found at Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania, a complete anatomically modern human skeleton in strata over 1 million years old, inspiring decades of controversy.

Here again, some will caution us not to set a few isolated and controversial examples against the overwhelming amount of non-controversial evidence showing that anatomically modern humans evolved from more apelike creatures fairly recently--about 100,000 years ago, in Africa, and, in the view of some, in other parts of the world as well.

But it turns out we have not exhausted our resources with the Laetoli footprints, the Kanapoi humerus, and the ER 1481 femur. Over he past eight years, Richard Thompson and I, with the assistance of our researcher have 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. And as you can see, our discussion of this evidence fills up quite a large book.

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.

But Forbidden Archeology is more than a well-documented catalog of unusual facts. It is also a sociological, philosophical, and historical critique of the scientific method, as applied to the question of human origins and antiquity.

We are not sociologists, but our approach in some ways resembles that taken by practitioners of the sociology of scientific knowledge (SSK), such as Steve Woolgar, Trevor Pinch, Michael Mulkay, Harry Collins, Bruno Latour, and Michael Lynch.

Each of these scholars has a unique perspective on SSK, but they would all probably agree with the following programmatic statement. Scientists’ conclusions do not identically correspond to states and processes of an objective natural reality. Instead, such conclusions reflect the real social processes of scientists as much as, more than, or even rather than what goes on in nature.

The critical approach we take in Forbidden Archeology also resembles that taken by philosophers of science such as Paul Feyerabend, who holds that science has attained too privileged a position in the intellectual field, and by historians of science such as J. S. Rudwick, who has explored in detail the nature of scientific controversy. As does Rudwick in The Great Devonian Controversy, we use narrative to present our material, which encompasses not one controversy but many controversies--controversies long resolved, controversies as yet unresolved, and controversies now in the making. This has necessitated extensive quoting from primary and secondary sources, and giving rather detailed accounts of the twists and turns of complex paleoanthropological debates.

For those working in disciplines connected with human origins and antiquity, Forbidden Archeology provides a well- documented compendium of reports absent from many current references and not otherwise easily obtainable.

One of the last authors to discuss the kind of reports found in Forbidden Archeology was Marcellin Boule. In his book Fossil Men (1957), Boule gave a decidedly negative review. But upon examining the original reports, we found Boule’s total skepticism unjustified. In Forbidden Archeology, we provide primary source material that will allow modern readers to form their own opinions about the evidence Boule dismissed. We also introduce a great many cases that Boule neglected to mention.

From the evidence we have gathered, we conclude, sometimes in language devoid of ritual tentativeness, that the now-dominant assumptions about human origins are in need of drastic revision. We also find that a process of knowledge filtration has left current workers with a radically incomplete collection of facts.

We anticipate that many workers will take Forbidden Archeology as an invitation to productive discourse on

(1) the nature and treatment of evidence in the field of human origins and

(2) the conclusions that can most reasonably drawn from this evidence.

In the first chapter of Part I of Forbidden Archeology, we survey the history and current state of scientific ideas about human evolution. We also discuss some of the epistemological principles we employ in our study of this field. Principally, we are concerned with a double standard in the treatment of evidence.

We identify two main bodies of evidence. The first is a body of controversial evidence (A), which shows the existence of anatomically modern humans in the uncomfortably distant past. The second is a body of evidence (B), which can be interpreted as supporting the currently dominant views that anatomically modern humans evolved fairly recently, about 100,000 years ago in Africa, and perhaps elsewhere.

We also identify standards employed in the evaluation of paleoanthropological evidence. After detailed study, we found that if these standards are applied equally to A and B, then we must accept both A and B or reject both A and B. If we accept both A and B, then we have evidence placing anatomically modern humans millions of years ago, coexisting with more apelike hominids. If we reject both A and B, then we deprive ourselves of the evidential foundation for making any pronouncements whatsoever about human origins and antiquity.

Historically, a significant number of professional scientists once accepted the evidence in category A. But a more influential group of scientists, who applied standards of evidence more strictly to A than to B, later caused A to be rejected and B to be preserved. This differential application of standards for the acceptance and rejection of evidence constitutes a knowledge filter that obscures the real picture of human origins and antiquity.

In the main body of Part I (Chapters 2-6), 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 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.

Chapter 2 deals with anomalously old bones and shells showing cut marks and signs of intentional breakage. To this day, scientists regard such bones and shells as an important category of evidence, and many archeological sites have been established on this kind of evidence alone.

In the decades after Darwin introduced his theory, numerous scientists discovered incised and broken animal bones and shells suggesting that tool-using humans or human precursors existed in the Pliocene (2-5 million years ago), the Miocene (5-25 million years ago), and even earlier. In analyzing cut and broken bones and shells, the discoverers carefully considered and ruled out alternative explanations--such as the action of animals or geological pressure--before concluding that humans were responsible. In some cases, stone tools were found along with the cut and broken bones or shells.

A particularly striking example in this category is a shell displaying a crude yet recognizably human face carved on its outer surface. Reported by geologist H. Stopes to the British Association for the Advancement of Science in 1881, this shell, from the Pliocene Red Crag formation in England, is over 2 million years old. According to standard views, humans capable of this level of artistry did not arrive in Europe until about 30,000 or 40,000 years ago. Furthermore, they supposedly did not arise in their African homeland until about 100,000 years ago.

Concerning evidence of the kind reported by Stopes, Armand de Quatrefages wrote in his book Hommes Fossiles et Hommes Sauvages (1884):

"The objections made to the existence of man in the Pliocene and Miocene seem to habitually be more related to theoretical considerations than direct observation."

The most rudimentary stone tools, the eoliths ("dawn stones") are the subject of Chapter 3. These implements, found in unexpectedly old geological contexts, inspired protracted debate in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

For some, eoliths were not always easily recognizable as tools. Eoliths were not shaped into symmetrical implemental forms. Instead, an edge of a natural stone flake was chipped to make it suitable for a particular task, such as scraping, cutting, or chopping. Often, the working edge bore signs of use.

Critics said eoliths resulted from natural forces, like tumbling in stream beds. But defenders of eoliths offered convincing counterarguments that natural forces could not have made unidirectional chipping on just one side of a working edge.

In the late nineteenth century, Benjamin Harrison, an amateur archeologist, found eoliths on the Kent Plateau in southeastern England. Geological evidence suggests that the eoliths were manufactured in the Middle or Late Pliocene, about 2-4 million ago. Among the supporters of Harrison’s eoliths were Alfred Russell Wallace, cofounder with Darwin of the theory of evolution by natural selection; Sir John Prestwich, one of England’s most eminent geologists; and Ray E. Lankester, a director of the British Museum (Natural History).

Although Harrision found most of his eoliths in surface deposits of Pliocene gravel, he also found many below ground level during an excavation financed and directed by the British Association for the Advancement of Science. In addition to eoliths, Harrison found at various places on the Kent Plateau more advanced stone tools (paleoliths) of similar Pliocene antiquity.

In the early part of the twentieth century, J. Reid Moir, a fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute and president of the Prehistoric Society of East Anglia, found eoliths (and more advanced stone tools) in England’s Red Crag formation. The tools were about 2.0-2.5 million years old. Some of Moir’s tools were discovered in the detritus beds beneath the Red Crag and could be anywhere from 2.5 to 55 million years old.

Moir’s finds won support from one of the most vocal critics of eoliths, Henri Breuil, then regarded as one of the world’s preeminent authorities on stone tools. Another supporter was paleontologist Henry Fairfield Osborn, of the American Museum of Natural History in New York. And in 1923, an international commission of scientists journeyed to England to investigate Moir’s principal discoveries and pronounced them genuine.

But in 1939, A. S. Barnes published an influential paper, in which he analyzed the eoliths found by Moir and others in terms of the angle of flaking observed on them. Barnes claimed his method could distinguish human flaking from flaking by natural causes. On this basis, he dismissed all the eoliths he studied, including Moir’s, as the product of natural forces. Since then, scientists have used Barnes’s method to deny the human manufacture of other stone tool industries. But in recent years, authorities on stone tools such as George F. Carter, Leland W. Patterson, and A. L. Bryan have disputed Barnes’s methodology and its blanket application. This suggests the need for a reexamination of the European eoliths.

Significantly, early stone tools from Africa, such as those from the lower levels of Olduvai Gorge, appear identical to the rejected European eoliths. Yet they are accepted by the scientific community without question. This is probably because they fall within, and help support, the conventional spatio-temporal framework of human evolution.

But other Eolithic industries of unexpected antiquity continue to encounter strong opposition. For example, in the 1950s, Louis Leakey found stone tools over 200,000 years old at Calico in southern California. According to standard views, humans did not enter the sub-arctic regions of the New World until about 12,000 years ago. Mainstream scientists responded to Calico with predictable claims that the objects found there were natural products or that they were not really 200,000 years old. But there is sufficient reason to conclude that the Calico finds are genuinely old human artifacts. Although most of the Calico implements are crude, some, including a beaked graver, are more advanced.

In Chapter 4, we discuss a category of implements that we call crude paleoliths. In the case of eoliths, chipping is confined to the working edge of a naturally broken piece of stone. But the makers of the crude paleoliths deliberately struck flakes from stone cores and then shaped them into more recognizable types of tools. In some cases, the cores themselves were shaped into tools. As we have seen, crude paleoliths also turn up along with eoliths. But at the sites discussed in Chapter 4, the paleoliths are more dominant in the assemblages.

In the category of crude paleoliths, we include Miocene tools (5-25 million years old) found in the late nineteenth century by Carlos Ribeiro, head of the Geological Survey of Portugal. At an international conference of archeologists and anthropologists held in Lisbon, a committee of scientists investigated one of the sites where Ribeiro had found implements. One of the scientists found a stone tool even more advanced than the better of Ribeiro’s specimens. Comparable to accepted Late Pleistocene tools of the Mousterian type, it was firmly embedded in a Miocene conglomerate, in circumstances confirming its Miocene antiquity.

Crude paleoliths were also found in Miocene formations at Thenay, France. S. Laing, an English science writer, noted:

"On the whole, the evidence for these Miocene implements seems to be very conclusive, and the objections to have hardly any other ground than the reluctance to admit the great antiquity of man."

Scientists also found crude paleoliths of Miocene age at Aurillac, France. And at Boncelles, Belgium, A. Rutot uncovered an extensive collection of paleoliths of Oligocene age (25 to 38 million years old).

In Chapter 5, we examine very advanced stone implements found in unexpectedly old geological contexts. Whereas the implements discussed in Chapters 3 and 4 could conceivably be the work of human precursors such as Homo erectus or Homo habilis, given current estimates of their capabilities, the implements of Chapter 5 are unquestionably the work of anatomically modern humans.

Florentino Ameghino, a respected Argentine paleontologist, found stone tools, signs of fire, broken mammal bones, and a human vertebra in a Pliocene formation at Monte Hermoso, Argentina. Ameghino made numerous similar discoveries in Argentina, attracting the attention of scientists around the world. Despite Ameghino’s unique theories about a South American origin for the hominids, his actual discoveries are still worth considering.

In 1912, Ales Hrdlicka, of the Smithsonian Institution, published a lengthy, but not very reasonable, attack on Ameghino’s work. Hrdlicka asserted that all of Ameghino’s finds were from recent Indian settlements.

In response, Carlos Ameghino, brother of Florentino Ameghino, carried out new investigations at Miramar, on the Argentine coast south of Buenos Aires. There he found a series of stone implements, including bolas, and signs of fire. A commission of geologists confirmed the implements’ position in the Chapadmalalan formation, which modern geologists say is 3-5 million years old. Carlos Ameghino also found at Miramar a stone arrowhead firmly embedded in the femur of a Pliocene species of Toxodon, an extinct South American mammal.

Ethnographer Eric Boman disputed Carlos Ameghino’s discoveries but also unintentionally helped confirm them. In 1920, Carlos Ameghino’s collector, Lorenzo Parodi, found a stone implement in the Pliocene seaside barranca (cliff) at Miramar and left it in place. Boman was one of several scientists invited by Ameghino to witness the implement’s extraction.


After the implement (a bola stone) was photographed and removed, another discovery was made.

"At my direction," wrote Boman, "Parodi continued to attack the barranca with a pick at the same point where the bola stone was discovered, when suddenly and unexpectedly, there appeared a second stone ball. . . . It is more like grinding stone than a bola."

Boman found yet another implement 200 yards away. Confounded, Boman could only hint in his written report that the implements had been planted by Parodi. While this might conceivably have been true of the first implement, it is hard to explain the other two in this way. In any case, Boman produced no evidence whatsoever that Parodi, a longtime employee of the Buenos Aires Museum of Natural History, had ever behaved fraudulently.

The kinds of implements found by Carlos Ameghino at Miramar (arrowheads and bolas) are usually considered the work of Homo sapiens sapiens. Taken at face value, the Miramar finds therefore demonstrate the presence of anatomically modern humans in South America over 3 million years ago. Interestingly enough, in 1921 M. A. Vignati discovered in the Late Pliocene Chapadmalalan formation at Miramar a fully human fossil jaw fragment.

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.

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."

The treatment received by Lee is not an isolated case.


In the 1960s, anthropologists uncovered advanced stone tools at Hueyatlaco, Mexico. Geologist Virginia Steen-McIntyre and other members of a U.S. Geological Survey team obtained an age of about 250,000 years for the sites implement-bearing layers. This challenged not only standard views of New World anthropology but also the whole standard picture of human origins. Humans capable of making the kind of tools found at Hueyatlaco are not thought to have come into existence until around 100,000 years ago in Africa.

Virginia Steen-McIntyre experienced difficulty in getting her dating study on Hueyatlaco published.

"The problem as I see it is much bigger than Hueyatlaco," she wrote to Estella Leopold, associate editor of Quaternary Research.


"It concerns the manipulation of scientific thought through the suppression of ’Enigmatic Data,’ data that challenges the prevailing mode of thinking. Hueyatlaco certainly does that! Not being an anthropologist, I didn’t realize the full significance of our dates back in 1973, nor how deeply woven into our thought the current theory of human evolution has become.


Our work at Hueyatlaco has been rejected by most archaeologists because it contradicts that theory, period."

This pattern of data suppression has a long history. 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 that geologists now say are from 9 million to over 55 million years old. W. H. Holmes of the Smithsonian Institution, one of the most vocal nineteenth-century 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.

In Chapter 6, we review discoveries of anomalously old skeletal remains of the anatomically modern human type. Perhaps the most interesting case is that of Castenedolo, Italy, where in the 1880s, G. Ragazzoni, a geologist, found fossil bones of several Homo sapiens sapiens individuals in layers of Pliocene sediment 3 to 4 million years old. Critics typically respond that the bones must have been placed into these Pliocene layers fairly recently by human burial. But Ragazzoni was alert to this possibility and carefully inspected the overlying layers. He found them undisturbed, with absolutely no sign of burial.

Modern scientists have used radiometric and chemical tests to attach recent ages to the Castenedolo bones and other anomalously old human skeletal remains. But, as we show in Appendix 1, these tests can be quite unreliable. The carbon 14 test is especially unreliable when applied to bones (such as the Castenedolo bones) that have lain in museums for decades. Under these circumstances, bones are exposed to contamination that could cause the carbon 14 test to yield abnormally young dates. Rigorous purification techniques are required to remove such contamination. Scientists did not employ these techniques in the 1969 carbon 14 testing of some of the Castenedolo bones, which yielded an age of less than a thousand years.

Although the carbon 14 date for the Castenedolo material is suspect, it must still be considered as relevant evidence. But it should be weighed along with the other evidence, including the original stratigraphic observations of Ragazzoni, a professional geologist. In this case, the stratigraphic evidence appears to be more conclusive.

Opposition, on theoretical grounds, to a human presence in the Pliocene is not a new phenomenon. Speaking of the Castenedolo finds and others of similar antiquity, the Italian scientist G. Sergi wrote in 1884:

"By means of a despotic scientific prejudice, call it what you will, every discovery of human remains in the Pliocene has been discredited."

A good example of such prejudice is provided by R. A. S. Macalister, who in 1921 wrote about the Castenedolo finds in a textbook on archeology: "There must be something wrong somewhere." Noting that the Castenedolo bones were anatomically modern, Macalister concluded:

"If they really belonged to the stratum in which they were found, this would imply an extraordinarily long standstill for evolution. It is much more likely that there is something amiss with the observations."

He further stated:

"The acceptance of a Pliocene date for the Castenedolo skeletons would create so many insoluble problems that we can hardly hesitate in choosing between the alternatives of adopting or rejecting their authenticity."

This supports the primary point we are trying to make in Forbidden Archeology, 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 right up to the present day.

Our discussion of anomalously old human skeletal remains brings us to the end of Part I, our catalog of controversial evidence. In Part II of Forbidden Archeology, we survey the body of accepted evidence that is generally used to support the now-dominant ideas about human evolution.

Chapter 7 focuses on the discovery of Pithecanthropus erectus by Eugene Dubois in Java during the last decade of the nineteenth century. Historically, the Java man discovery marks a turning point. Until then, there was no clear picture of human evolution to be upheld and defended. Therefore, a good number of scientists, most of them evolutionists, were actively considering a substantial body of evidence (cataloged in Part I) indicating that anatomically modern humans existed in the Pliocene and earlier. With the discovery of Java man, now classified as Homo erectus, the long-awaited missing link turned up in the Middle Pleistocene. As the Java man find won acceptance among evolutionists, the body of evidence for a human presence in more ancient times gradually slid into disrepute.

This evidence was not conclusively invalidated. Instead, at a certain point, scientists stopped talking and writing about it. It was incompatible with the idea that apelike Java man was a genuine human ancestor.

As an example of how the Java man discovery was used to suppress evidence for a human presence in the Pliocene and earlier, the following statement made by W. H. Holmes about the California finds reported by J. D. Whitney is instructive. After asserting that Whitney’s evidence "stands absolutely alone," Holmes complained that,

"it implies a human race older by at least one-half than Pithecanthropus erectus, which may be regarded as an incipient form of human creature only."

Therefore, despite the good quality of Whitney’s evidence, it had to be dismissed.

Interestingly enough, modern researchers have reinterpreted the original Java Homo erectus fossils. The famous bones reported by Dubois were a skullcap and femur. Although the two bones were found over 45 feet apart, in a deposit filled with bones of many other species, Dubois said they belonged to the same individual. But in 1973, M. H. Day and T. I. Molleson determined that the femur found by Dubois is different from other Homo erectus femurs and is in fact indistinguishable from anatomically modern human femurs. This caused Day and Molleson to propose that the femur was not connected with the Java man skull.

As far as we can see, this means that we now have an anatomically modern human femur and a Homo erectus skull in a Middle Pleistocene stratum that is considered to be 800,000 years old. This provides further evidence that anatomically modern humans coexisted with more apelike creatures in unexpectedly remote times. According to standard views, anatomically modern humans arose just 100,000 years ago in Africa. Of course, one can always propose that the anatomically modern human femur somehow got buried quite recently into the Middle Pleistocene beds at Trinil. But the same could also be said of the skull.

In Chapter 7, we also consider the many Java Homo erectus discoveries reported by G. H. R. von Koenigswald and other researchers. Almost all of these bones were surface finds, the true age of which is doubtful.


Nevertheless, scientists have assigned them Middle and Early Pleistocene dates obtained by the potassium-argon method. The potassium-argon method is used to date layers of volcanic material, not bones. Because the Java Homo erectus fossils were found on the surface and not below the intact volcanic layers, it is misleading to assign them potassium-argon dates obtained from the volcanic layers.

The infamous Piltdown hoax is the subject of Chapter 8. Early in this century, Charles Dawson, an amateur collector, found pieces of a human skull near Piltdown. Subsequently, scientists such as Sir Arthur Smith Woodward of the British Museum and Pierre Teilhard de Chardin participated with Dawson in excavations that uncovered an apelike jaw, along with several mammalian fossils of appropriate antiquity. Dawson and Woodward, believing the combination of humanlike skull and apelike jaw represented a human ancestor from the Early Pleistocene or Late Pliocene, announced their discovery to the scientific world. For the next four decades, Piltdown man was accepted as a genuine discovery and was integrated into the human evolutionary lineage.

In the 1950s, J. S. Weiner, K. P. Oakley, and other British scientists exposed Piltdown man as an exceedingly clever hoax, carried out by someone with great scientific expertise. Some blamed Dawson or Teilhard de Chardin, but others have accused Sir Arthur Smith Woodward of the British Museum, Sir Arthur Keith of the Hunterian Museum of the Royal Collee of Surgeons, William Sollas of the geology department at Cambridge, and Sir Grafton Eliot Smith, a famous anatomist.

J. S. Weiner himself noted:

"Behind it all we sense, therefore, a strong and impelling motive... There could have been a mad desire to assist the doctrine of human evolution by furnishing the ’requisite’ ’missing link’... Piltdown might have offered irresistible attraction to some fanatical biologist."

Piltdown is significant in that it shows that there are instances of deliberate fraud in paleoanthropology, in addition to the general process of knowledge filtration.

Finally, there is substantial, though not incontrovertible, evidence that the Piltdown skull, at least, was a genuine fossil. The Piltdown gravels in which it was found are now thought to be 75,000 to 125,000 years old. An anatomically modern human skull of this age in England would be considered anomalous.

Chapter 9 takes us to China, where in 1929 Davidson Black reported the discovery of Peking man fossils at Zhoukoudian (formerly Choukoutien). Now classified as Homo erectus, the Peking man specimens were lost to science during the Second World War. Traditionally, Peking man has been depicted as a cave dweller who had mastered the arts of stone tool manufacturing, hunting, and building fires. But a certain number of influential researchers regarded this view as mistaken. They saw Peking man as the prey of a more advanced hominid, whose skeletal remains have not yet been discovered.

In 1983, Wu Rukang and Lin Shenglong published an article in Scientific American purporting to show an evolutionary increase in brain size during the 230,000 years of the Homo erectus occupation of the Zhoukoudian cave. But we show that this proposal was based on a misleading statistical presentation of the cranial evidence.

In addition to the famous Peking man discoveries, many more hominid finds have been made in China. These include, say Chinese workers, australopithecines, various grades of Homo erectus, Neanderthaloids, early Homo sapiens, and anatomically modern Homo sapiens. The dating of these hominids is problematic. They occur at sites along with fossils of mammals broadly characteristic of the Pleistocene. In reading various reports, we noticed that scientists routinely used the morphology of the hominid remains to date these sites more precisely.

For example, at Tongzi, South China, Homo sapiens fossils were found along with mammalian fossils. Qiu Zhonglang said:

"The fauna suggests a Middle-Upper Pleistocene range, but the archeological [i.e., human] evidence is consistent with an Upper Pleistocene age."

Qiu, using what we call morphological dating, therefore assigned the site, and hence the human fossils, to the Upper Pleistocene. A more reasonable conclusion would be that the Homo sapiens fossils could be as old as the Middle Pleistocene. Indeed, our examination of the Tongzi faunal evidence shows mammalian species that became extinct at the end of the Middle Pleistocene. This indicates that the Tongzi site, and the Homo sapiens fossils, are at least 100,000 years old. Additional faunal evidence suggests a maximum age of about 600,000 years.

The practice of morphological dating substantially distorts the hominid fossil record. In effect, scientists simply arrange the hominid fossils according to a favored evolutionary sequence, although the accompanying faunal evidence does not dictate this. If one considers the true probable date ranges for the Chinese hominids, one finds that various grades of Homo erectus and various grades of early Homo sapiens (including Neanderthaloids) may have coexisted with anatomically modern Homo sapiens in the middle Middle Pleistocene, during the time of the Zhoukoudian Homo erectus occupation.

In Chapter 10, we 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.

Myra Shackley, a British anthropologist, wrote to us:

"Opinions vary, but I guess the commonest would be that there is indeed sufficient evidence to suggest at least the possibility of the existence of various unclassified manlike creatures, but that in the present state of our knowledge it is impossible to comment on their significance in any more detail. The position is further complicated by misquotes, hoaxing, and lunatic fringe activities, but a surprising number of hard core anthropologists seem to be of the opinion that the matter is very worthwhile investigating."

Chapter 11 takes us to Africa. We describe in detail the cases mentioned in the first part of this introduction (Reck’s skeleton, the Laetoli footprints, etc.). These provide evidence for anatomically modern humans in the Early Pleistocene and Late Pliocene.

We also 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. Physical anthropologist C. E. Oxnard wrote in his book Uniqueness and Diversity in Human Evolution (1975):

"Pending further evidence we are left with the vision of intermediately sized animals, at home in the trees, capable of climbing, performing degrees of acrobatics, and perhaps of arm suspension."

In a 1975 article in Nature, Oxnard found the australopithecines to be anatomically similar to orangutans and said,

"it is rather unlikely that any of the Australopithecines . . . can have any direct phylogenetic link with the genus Homo."

Oxnard’s view is not new. Earlier in this century, when the first australopithecines were discovered, many anthropologists, such as Sir Arthur Keith, declined to characterize them as human ancestors. But they were later overruled. In his book The Order of Man (1984), Oxnard noted:

"In the uproar, at the time, as to whether or not these creatures were near ape or human, the opinion that they were human won the day. This may well have resulted not only in the defeat of the contrary opinion but also the burying of that part of the evidence upon which the contrary opinion was based. If this is so, it should be possible to unearth this other part of the evidence."

And that, in a more general way, is what we have done in Forbidden Archeology. We have unearthed buried evidence, evidence which supports a view of human origins and antiquity quite different from that currently held.

In Appendix 1, we review chemical and radiometric dating techniques and their application to human fossil remains, including some of those discussed in Chapter 6. In Appendix 2, we provide a limited selection of evidence for ancient humans displaying a level of culture beyond that indicated by the stone tools discussed in Chapters 3-5. And in Appendix 3, we provide a table listing almost all of the discoveries contained in Forbidden Archeology.

Some might question why we would put together a book like Forbidden Archeology, unless we had some underlying purpose. Indeed, there is some underlying purpose.

Richard Thompson and I are members of the Bhaktivedanta 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. This institute was founded by our spiritual master, His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, who encouraged us to critically examine the prevailing account of human origins and the methods by which it was established. From the Vedic literature, we derive the idea that the human race is of great antiquity. To conduct 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 a long 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.

Our research program led to results we did not anticipate, and hence a book much larger than originally envisioned. Because of this, we have not been 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.

Given their underlying purpose, Forbidden Archeology and its forthcoming companion volume may therefore be of interest to cultural and cognitive anthropologists, scholars of religion, and others concerned with the interactions of cultures in time and space.

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 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 the assistant, 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 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. My researcher and I obtained rare conference volumes and journals from around the world, and together we translated the material into English. The results of this labor provided the basis for Chapters 2-6 in Forbidden Archeology.

After I reviewed the material Stephen gave me about the Peking man discoveries, I decided we should also look at recent hominid finds in China. While going through dozens of technical books and papers, I noticed the phenomenon of morphological dating. And when I reviewed our African material, I encountered hints of the dissenting view regarding Australopithecus. My curiosity about these two areas also led to a fruitful extension of our original research program.

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. Richard himself contributed most of Appendix 1, the discussion of the uranium series dating of the Hueyatlac tools in Chapter 5, and the discussion of epistemological considerations in Chapter 1. The remainder of the book was written by me, although I relied heavily on research reports supplied by my researcher for Chapter 7 and the first part of Chapter 9, as well as Appendix 2. He obtained much of the material in Appendix 2 from Ron Calais, who kindly sent us many Xeroxes of original reports from his archives.

In this second printing of the first edition of Forbidden Archeology, we have corrected several small errors in the original text, mostly typographical. The account of a wildman sighting by Anthony B. Wooldridge, originally included in Chapter 10, has been deleted because we have since learned that the author has retracted his statements.

Richard and I are grateful to our Bhaktivedanta Institute colleagues and the other reviewers who read all or part of the manuscript of Forbidden Archeology. We have incorporated many, but not all, of their suggestions. Full responsibility for the content and manner of presentation lies with us.

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.

I am indebted to my friend Pierce Julius Flynn for the continuing interest he has displayed in the writing and publication of Forbidden Archeology. It is through him that I have learned much of what I know about current developments in the social sciences, particularly semiotics, the sociology of knowledge, and postmodern anthropology.

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. He typeset almost all of the book, going through several revisions. He also made most of the tables, processed most of the illustrations, and served as a proofreader. He made many helpful suggestions on the text and illustrations, and he also helped arranged the printing.

For overseeing the design and layout, Richard and I thank Robert Wintermute. The illustrations opposite the first page of the introduction and in Figure 11.11 are the much-appreciated work of Miles Triplett. The cover painting is by Hans Olson. David Smith, Sigalit Binyaminy, Susan Fritz, Barbara Cantatore, 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. Michael Crabtree also contributed toward the printing cost of this book.

Finally, we encourage readers to bring to our attention any additional evidence that may be of interest, especially for inclusion in future editions of this book. We are also available for interviews and speaking engagements.

Michael A. Cremo
Alachua, Florida
April 24, 1995

Back to Contents






Reviews of Forbidden Archeology


What follows are selected reviews of Forbidden Archeology: The Hidden History of the Human Race by various scholars. All reviews can be found in Forbidden Archeology's Impact.


Marylène Patou-Mathis (1995)

Review of Forbidden Archeology. L'Anthropologie, vol. 99(1), p. 159. Translated from the original French. Reprinted by permission of Masson Editeur.

This enormous volume, 914 pages, dedicated to the hidden history of humanity, is surprising. What is, then, this forbidden archaeology? Moving past the first moment of surprise, one quickly open this book and flips through it with interest.


The first part presents the abnormal evidence (not accepted)--for example, cut and fractured bones, supposedly from man, discovered in tertiary caves; or the eoliths that have made such a lot of ink flow; or human remains found in California in the Pliocene or Eocene periods, and the footprints of humans observed in the Pennsylvanian (Upper Carboniferous) of Rockcastle in Kentucky.


The authors tell us about the historical records of these discoveries and the polemics they gave rise to but don’t give final judgments. The book's second part discusses conventional evidence: hominids from Java and China (Choukoutien among others) but also the fossil of Piltdown. Africa, with the most ancient discoveries of remains of Australopithecus, isn’t forgotten. There again, for about a hundred pages, the authors describe the historical records and discussions relative to these fossils: the pros and cons of their relationship with the true hominids.


Three appendices end the book. One concerns the chemical and radiometric analyses of human bones, the ages of which are disputed. A second concerns evidence for the existence of cultures in very ancient periods (Terriary, Secondary). The third appendix summarizes the abnormal evidence for human antiquity: from the Precambrian (metallic spheres from the site of Ottosdalin in the Republic of South Africa) to the end of the Pleistocene.

M. Cremo and R. Thompson have willfully written a provocative work that raises the problem of the influence of the dominant ideas of a time period on scientific research. These ideas can compel the researchers to publish their analyses according to the conceptions that are permitted by the scientific community. If the evidence given isn’t always convincing (far from it) regarding a very ancient origin of humanity, the documentary richness of this work, more historical and sociological than scientific, isn’t to be overlooked.


Wiktor Stoczkowski (1995)

Review of Forbidden Archeology. L’Homme, vol. 35, pp. 173-174.

The book by Michael Cremo and Richard Thompson (1) promises to lift the veil of silence that conceals disturbing ideas on the earliest antiquity of mankind. According to the authors, Darwinian orthodoxy tendentiously eliminates archaeological indications showing that Homo Sapiens is not a recent product of evolution and that for a long time he shared the Earth with numerous races of simian hominids from which he cannot be descended. The profession of belief is clear and laconic.


There are 800 laborious pages of proofs, the academic appearance of which will, without a doubt, mislead more than one reader. In order to remove the possibility of the simian ancestry of man, the authors are occupied with demonstrating that man is older than the other kinds of hominids. After having given a new interpretation of classical fossils, they reveal to us the existence of human bones that were discovered in Illinois in rock from the Carboniferous period as well as human footprints from the same period in Kentucky and from the Jurassic period in Turkmenistan.


Man was not only living in these remote periods, but also he had already an advanced civilization. As evidence they cite fossil anchors found in the depths of quarries, a mysterious inscription on a piece of marble extracted from its natural rock, a piece of money from the middle Pleistocene, a fossilized shoe sole from the Triassic, and even a metal vase from the Precambrian (600 million years ago). Official science, charge Cremo and Thompson, refuses to take into account these vestiges because they threaten the established conception of the origin of man.

"Our attitude regarding life and its future is influenced by our views on life's origin," declare Jehovah’s Witnesses in another book, published by Watchtower Bible and Tract Society and dedicated to enlightening its readers about the weakness of the theory of evolution, on the grounds of, and in support of, the Book of Genesis. (2) This formula sums up very well what is at stake when the problem of origins is considered in our Western culture, no less than elsewhere. And since we have the habit of thinking that the Western vision of the world is equivalent to that of science, it is not useless to remind ourselves that there are now 11 million copies in print of the book published by Watchtower (translated into 16 languages).


We are mercifully silent about the sizes of prints of scholarly works that we are proud of. Historians of science repeat tirelessly that the Biblical version of origins was replaced in the nineteenth century by the evolution theory. This simple story is substituted, in our imaginations, for the more complex reality that we are today confronted with a remarkable variety of origins accounts. Those of official science are far from being uniform. Prehistory told by scientists committed to Marxist theory is not the same as that presented by feminist scholars.


Furthermore, the version of prehistory found in children's school books is different from that found in professional scientific publications. And this in turn is very different from that of the Jehovah's witnesses, the American Creationist, the Catholic Church, or those who seek to explain our origin by extraterrestrial intervention. I have skipped over many other versions. And *Forbidden Archeology* gives us one more, dedicated to "His Divine Grace" Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada and inspired by the Vedic philosophy that disciples study at Bhaktivedanta Institute in the U.S.A., a branch of I.S.K.C.O.N., the International Society for Krishna Consciousness.

Forbidden Archeology isn’t to be recommended to those who are trying to inform themselves about prehistory, but it would be useful for readers interested in modern beliefs. The man on the street "believes" in the theory of evolution like he believed (and continues to believe) in the Mosaic genesis, the Vedic genesis, and others. However, the peculiarity of modern religious belief doesn’t lie in the act of believing, but in the manner in which it justifies itself. The 800 pages of meticulous archaeological descriptions that accompany the Vedic creed in Forbidden Archeology tell us much about the role that faith attributes to empirical confirmation in our days.


Modern irrationality is distinguished by unbridled research for scientific evidence to support every belief. And Western beliefs attempt today to not only be scientific and empirical but also systematic: hence, the complicity claimed by Cremo and Thompson with postmodern anthropology, which lifts relativity of interpretation to the level of an epistemological principle; hence the pretentious ramblings on the "human construction" of scientific facts, supported with names such as Paul Feyerabend, Thomas Kuhn, Steven Schapin, Steve Woolgar and Bruno Latour.


We, the Westerners, want to be so learned that we cannot even abandon understanding for naivete without covering our attempt with science. The same ambiguity is found moreoever on the side of official science. Have we not seen recently an illustrious French paleoanthropologist support the perusal of Yeti? And what of the prehistories that certain scholars delight in telling in front of cameras, before the altar of Audimat? It is significant that works like Forbidden Archeology are nourished not only by sacred texts, but equally by scientific publications, parts of which seem to evolve in an imaginary universe.


This book gives us a curious collection of ideas, each of which has already had, at one time or another, a place in acknowledged scientific work. All of this indicates that science itself also contributes to the store of traditional ideas, from which dilettantes, learned or simple, can nourish their thinking and model on old mythical structures. What is new is our cult of the empirical method, which we worship without often understanding its true principles. "To believe is to believe in not believing." (3) Indeed, the modern act of believing consists of posing as an act of scientific knowledge. [try another translator]


1. Michael Cremo is an editor at the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust. Richard Thompson introduces himself as a researcher working in several areas (math, biology, geology, physics).
2. Anonymous, Life: How did it appear? New York: Watchtower, 1985.
3. J. Pouillon, The Believed and the Known. Paris: Le Seuil, 1993.


Tim Murray (1995)

Review of Forbidden Archeology

British Journal for the History of Science, vol. 28, pp. 377-379. Reprinted by permission of the Council of the British Society for the History of Science and Tim Murray.

Since the last eighteenth century discussions of human antiquity and of the physical and cultural evolution of humanity have been marked by severe disputation and accusations of fraud. Histories of palaeoanthropology and of quaternary geology (such as Grayson’s The Establishment of Human Antiquity, New York, 1983, and more recently Van Riper’s Men among the Mammoths, Chicago, 1993) have all canvassed the reasons for disputation and some (such as Spencer’s Piltdown: A Scientific Forgery, Oxford, 1990) have delved deep into disciplinary psychology to establish the motivation for fraud.


No one could deny that mainstream quaternary archaeology is unaware of its capacity to generate controversy. Furthermore a knowledge of the discipline (and of its practitioners) clearly demonstrates that there is no single point of view about the meaning of the palaeoanthropological fossil record. Indeed it should be emphasized that practitioners have had altogether too much fun fighting amongst themselves to be much concerned with other possible combatants. Cremo and Thompson’s massive work clearly demonstrates that others now want to play the game.

Whatever else Forbidden Archeology might be, it is a book with a point of view. Despite more than 900 pages of discussion this can be fairly simply summarized.

  • First, there is a contention that quaternary archaeologists have ignored what is described as being clear and unambiguous evidence (fossils and artifacts) of a much higher human antiquity than that accepted by ‘the scientific community’.


    Note that Cremo and Thompson are not claiming that the scientists have rejected evidence of there being ancestral forms of fully modern human beings other than those currently recognized (i.e. members of the genus Australopithecus and earlier forms of the genus Homo). Instead, they are claiming that evidence of fully modern human beings has been found in the Tertiary geological record, and that knowledge of these radical data has been suppressed by practitioners for the last century or so.


  • Secondly, the explanation for this ‘Major Scientific Cover-Up’ (their words, not mine) is to be found in the ‘evolutionary prejudices’ of ‘powerful groups of scientists’ who are members of the ‘scientific establishment’ who together act as a ‘knowledge filter’ reinforcing the dominance of ‘evolutionary prejudices’ by dispensing with anomalous and potentially destabilizing data.


  • Thirdly, that Cremo and Thompson are not clear whether this filtration process is conscious (in the sense of cover-up or fraud) or simply the unconscious recommitment to normal science by research drones who have all power for original thought squashed out of them by the system.

Cremo and Thompson rest their case on two general assumptions.

  • First, that the plausibility of conventional quaternary archaeology and paleoanthropology depends not on the actual evidence adduced by practitioners, but on the cognitive plausibility of evolutionary theory.

  • Secondly, that scientists will move hell and high water to ‘preserve the paradigm’ and thus dispose of inconvenient evidence or ‘freeze out’ inconvenient practitioners.

It is worth noting that in this, as in any good conspiracy theory, there are goodies and baddies, seekers after truth and representatives of the ‘dominant paradigm’.


At stake is the potential liberation of the human mind through deeper understanding of the meaning of human history. For Cremo and Thompson if you do not accept the plausibility of evolutionary theory then the flimsy edifice of quaternary archaeology that it supports crashes to the ground, leaving the way free to pursue another pathway towards enlightenment. For them the vast store of anomalies (the documentation of which takes up the bulk of the volume) when taken together, provides compelling support for an attack on the paradigm of human evolution and on the data which have, up to this point, been seen to support it.

It should be noted that theirs is far from being a disinterested analysis, as Forbidden Archeology is designed to demolish the case for biological and cultural evolution and to advance the cause of a Vedic alternative. This is a piece of ‘Creation Science’ which, while not based on the need to promote a Christian alternative, manifests many of the same types of argument: first, an attempt to characterize the opposition as motivated by the need to preserve their view of the world rather than a desire to practice unfettered inquiry; secondly, to explain the currently marginal position of your alternative as being the result of prejudice, conspiracy and manipulation rather than of any fault of the theory itself; thirdly, to present the opposition (in this case mainstream palaeoanthropology and quaternary archaeology) as being united as a ‘secret college’ to manipulate the public mind and to exclude non-professionals from being able to control science for the benefit of all.

I have no doubt that there will be some who will read this book and profit from it. Certainly it provides the historian of archaeology with a useful compendium of case studies in the history and sociology of scientific knowledge, which can be used to foster debate within archaeology about how to describe the epistemology of one’s discipline. On another level the book joins others from creation science and New Age philosophy as a body of works which seek to address members of a public alienated from science, either because it has become so arcane or because it has ceased to suit some in search of meaning in their lives.

Above all this is a book about belief. Cremo and Thompson believe the Vedas provide a more accurate and internally consistent explanation for life of earth, but for all the talk about logic and consistency their system on the whole simply would not function without the existence of a ‘supreme conscious being’. In an interesting example of projection Cremo and Thompson distinguish between their true and justified belief and the views of their evolutionary opponents, which are characterized by them as being ‘unscientific’. For them followers of evolutionary theory do so out of ignorance, fear, or blind faith, with the need to believe overcoming dispassionate assessment and objective argument.

What to do with this book and its claims? One path is to take each case raised by Cremo and Thompson and by a steady process of attrition to demolish their account. This can be (and is being) done. But this does not go to the heart of the volume or explain why the authors believe so strongly in the existence of Tertiary humanity. For that we have to go the the Vedas and in my view this can only be a personal journey. For the practicing quaternary archaeologist current accounts of human evolution are, at root, simply that.


The ‘dominant paradigm’ has changed and is changing, and practitioners openly debate issues which go right to the conceptual core of the discipline. Whether the Vedas have a role to play in this is up to the individual scientists concerned. Although Cremo and Thompson might characterize archaeologists and palaeoanthropologists as being at the wrong end of a knowledge filter, it is fair comment that nothing in the 900 or so pages of Forbidden Archeology seems to undermine Cremo and Thompson’s belief that Vedic literature got it right long before the advent of archaeological inquiry.


John Davidson (1994)

"Fascination Over Fossil Finds." International Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine August, p. 28.

When a scientific theory gathers the status of a dogma, the possibilities of new research being conducted in that area and the room for new theories on the matter become severely restricted.

Those who try to break through such barriers run the risk of castigation and prejudice. They find few champions in academia. The going is all uphill. Mentally they are pushing against the habits and collective unconscious of many powerful minds and help even of the simplest kind from the ‘establishment’ is rarely forthcoming.

Their task is not an easy one and many do not have the character, the time, the funds or the other necessary resources to do justice to their thesis. It then becomes easy for others to criticize their work, dismissing it from the viewpoint of ‘established opinion’ as the work of a misguided enthusiast without giving the real consideration it deserves.

Michael Cremo and Richard Thompson are therefore to be congratulated on spending eight years producing the only definitive, precise, exhaustive and complete record of practically all the fossil finds of man, regardless of whether they fit the established scientific theories or not. To say that research is painstaking is a wild understatement. No other book of this magnitude and caliber exists. It should be compulsory reading for every first year biology, archaeology and anthropology student--and many others too!

The 914 excellently produced pages of Forbidden Archeology take us through so many anomalies of fossil man--anomalies only according to modern theories that unless every single one of these finds is incorrectly dated, documented and observed, man’s present scientific theories of his own origins must now be radically re-assessed. If only one human fossil or artifact of the 50 or so meticulously documented and discussed from the Miocene or early Pliocene is correctly dated then everything concerning the theories of human origins must return to the melting pot. And the evidence is that a large proportion of them are entirely credible.

Why then have they not been previously considered? Because the roller-coaster of habituated mind patterns and dogma has simply brushed them aside as do creationists who--faced with all the evidence of ancient times--still insist that the world was created in 4004 BC, according to a preconceived opinion. The psychological processes are in both instances the same.

We are treated to Pliocene bones, including a skull from middle Pliocene strata near Castendolo in Italy, maybe five million years old.


Bones found in Carboniferious coal in Pennsylvania, at least 286 million years old and capped by two feet of slate rock, 90 feet below the surface. Footprints of human-like, bipedal creatures who lived in Carboniferous Kentucky and Pennsylvania and Missouri, too. Flint tools from the Miocene, 10 to 12 million years old, found in Burma and the same from even older Late Oligocene sands in Belgium. Hundreds of metallic spheres with three parallel grooves running around their equator, found in recent decades by South African miners in Precambrian mineral deposits 2.8 billion years old. And a great deal more.

The book is both entertaining and scholarly--a rare combination. It rolls along presenting its information in a logical and coherent fashion, making honest comment and assessment as it goes. There is nothing long-winded about it--only thoroughness. Data is not pressed into the service of any particular doctrine but presented and left to tell its own story. Words like ‘possible’ and ‘not sure’ are used quite commonly, a practice that demonstrates an intellectual honesty and integrity that would with profit benefit many proponents of the more conventional points of view.

Cremo and Thompson also describe the processes by which data gets suppressed consciously and unconsciously--and discuss all the evidence upon which modern theories are founded.

Forbidden Archeology deserves to provoke discussion and controversy. It should not be swept aside or ignored. If the general scientific community once again put their heads in the sand until the furor passes by, they will be guilty of negligence in their duty to the world at large as self-professed seekers of the truth of things.



Researchers Shake the Theory of Evolution

Politiken, January 1. SECTION AND PAGE. Reprinted by permission of Politiken and Mikael Rothstein.

Human beings like us have lived on the Earth for millions of years. In order to substantiate the theory of evolution scientists who study the origin of man have deliberately suppressed or even destroyed evidence, claim two researchers in a remarkable book.

When Charles Darwin published his pioneering work The Origin of Species in 1859, he suspected his theory of evolution would cause a stir. According to his theory of evolution man was reduced to a creature on par with all other living beings.

The theory of evolution also disputed the religious thesis of the simultaneous creation of the species, appearing at the time of Darwin as they had done since the time of creation.

The theory of evolution challenged the unique qualities of man and the divine nature of the creation; Darwin himself became a victim of the vicious teasing and humiliation of his times. He was pictured as a monkey in the newspapers and his relation to worms and maggots was made clear because he said the species evolved from each.

However, the theory of evolution was not that easy to subdue, and with persistent support the new view survived and became within the next decades a real alternative to the theory of creation of the church.

Later on, especially when paleontology and paleoanthropology (the study of the evolution of man) set sail, great parts of theology yielded and formulated an adjusted creation theory. Now it was said that the species probably had evolved somehow or other, but God was behind.


The Roles Are Changed
So now today it is 1994, and the scientific worldview has cemented its influence in all ways. While previously science had to justify itself through religion, religion today has to prove that its dogmas and conceptions are scientifically valid, if it wants to be taken seriously. The roles have been changed. Therefore, the provocations of today come from religion.

By the way, regarding the discussion of the origin of man, there is a new book, Forbidden Archeology, which was published last year, which is exciting reading material. The book, which takes up more than 900 compact pages, is a tour de force through innumerable archeological and paleoanthropological facts. The authors aim to prove that it is not possible to maintain the theory of evolution when the facts are examined in their totality.

The two authors, Richard Thompson and Michael Cremo, have spent around eight years researching the book before sitting down at the typewriter. The result is in principle just as provoking as The Origin of Species.


Hard to Turn Down
The conclusion is hard as stone: the authors claim that the established group of scientists, who deal with the descent of man, has, in order to make the theory of evolution fit, consciously suppressed or even destroyed evidence.

Now, dishonesty in that field is not an unknown phenomena. In the dawn of archeology and paleoanthropology, there were quite a few examples of fraud. On the other hand, it is not unusual that those who are up against the dominating views see conspiracies everywhere.

Objectively speaking, however, it is difficult to turn down great parts of the evidence that the authors present: Why has a long list of problematic findings not been treated scientifically? Why are there purges in the scientific collections? Why do they ignore imbalances between chronological and geological assumptions?
Thompson and Cremo take the reader through several hundred years of research, mention hundreds of cases, end up in all continents, and on the basis of an impressive file, unearth documents which were forgotten, but which conclusively affect the present position of science.

Among other things, they claim that men like us have been on the Earth for millions of years--generally man (homo sapiens) is considered to be around 200,000 years old.


Forbidden Finds
The proof for the significantly older age should be--among other things--the so-called out-of-place-artifacts, that is, objects made by men, which appear at places where they should not--e.g. a shoeheel from the Triassic (i.e. 200 million years old), a nicely-made gold thread in sediments more than 320 million years old, a metallic jar more than 600 million years old in rocks from the Precambrian.

Most solid is, however, the analysis of the fossil finds and the archeological procured objects, which are analyzed by the same method that paleoanthropology and archeology normally employ. What is new, Thompson and Cremo say, is not the method, but the material that is under study. If the established group of scientists delved into the suppressed material with an open mind, they would reach the same results.

Since the arguments rest on a long list of examples, the authors expect that the serious critic will systematically refute them all; because that is what Thompson and Cremo have done, to systematically question the time-honored conceptions bit by bit.


Read Critically
On the one hand, the authors have written an interesting history of science. On the other hand, a genuine thriller.

Part of the story is, however, that both the authors belong to the Bhaktivedanta Institute in San Diego, which is the academic center for ISKCON (The International Society for Krishna Consciousness), a part of the Vaisnava religion from India (a branch of Hinduism).

The authors--who are trained not only as scientists and mathematicians, but as monks--thus also have a missionary and theological perspective. Their otherwise thorough academic argumentation can thus find support in the Vaisnava mythology, which actually describes the history of man and the geological development of the Earth in a way that is compatible with the conclusions Thompson and Cremo provide.

One therefore has to read critically, but that one has to do always, anyway.

A number of reviewers abroad have praised the book to the skies. Others have condemned it as nonsense. It seems, however, difficult to refute the concrete documentation as wrong quotations, manipulation with facts, etc. More difficult is it--for me, also--to accept that the evolutionistic faith of our childhood is not so safe and sure anyway, even though it can be proved.

Some, however, delight in the provocation. Also, in Denmark there are religious scientists, who argue creationistic views (Christian thought). More people would have a hard time to change horses midstream and ride along the creationistic path.

By reading Thompson and Cremo’s book one can thus get a glimpse of the feeling the people of the church experienced when Darwin’s theory was presented. The discussion is not only about facts. It is about our self-perception as human beings and about our ideas of the world we live in.

Back to Contents





The Museum of Forbidden Archeology

"If we imagine the history of humanity as giant museum, containing all knowledge on this topic, then we shall find that several of the rooms of this museum have been locked.


Scientists have locked away the facts that contradict the generally accepted picture of history. Michael A. Cremo and Richard L. Thompson have, however, opened many of the locked doors and allowed laymen as well as scientists to see inside. Even scientists have been influenced, and rightly so.


The Hidden History of the Human Race compels the world of science to enter new territories and calls into question many revered theories about humanity and human history."
-Walter J. Langbein

PARA Magazine, Austria




Anomalous Discoveries From The California Gold Mines





In 1849, gold was discovered in the gravels of ancient riverbeds on the slopes of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in central California, drawing hordes of rowdy adventurers to places like Brandy City, Last Chance, Lost Campe, You Bet, and Poker Flat. Occasionally, the miners would find stone artifacts, and more rarely, human fossils.


Altogether, miners found hundreds of stone implements - mortars, pestles, platters, grinders, and so forth.


Many of the specimens found their way into the collection of Mr. C.D. Voy, a part-time employee of the California Geological Survey. Voy’s collection eventually came into the possession of the University of California, and the most significant artifacts were reported to the scientific community by J.D. Whitney, then the state geologist of California.





J.D. Whitney thought the geological evidence indicated the auriferous--or gold-bearing-- gravels, and the sophisticated stone tools found in them, were at least Pliocene in age.


But modern geologists think some of the gravel deposits, which lie beneath volcanic formations, are much older.



The Age of the Auriferous Gravels


The majority of gold-bearing gravels were laid down in stream channels during the Eocene and Early Oligocene. During the Oligocene, Miocene, and Pliocene, volcanic activity in the same region covered some of the auriferous gravels with deposits of rhyolite, andesite, and latite.


In particular, widespread andesitic mudflows and conglomerates were deposited during the Miocene. These attained a considerable thickness, varying from more than 3,000 feet along the crest of the Sierras to 500 feet in the foothills.


The volcanic flows were so extensive that they almost completely buried the bedrock landscape of the northern Sierra Nevada mountain region.


Over the course of time, rivers carved deep channels up to a couple of thousand feet below the level of the prevolcanic gravels. This allowed Gold Rush miners to reach the auriferous gravels by digging horizontal tunnels into the sides of the channels.


The advanced stone tools found in these tunnels could be from Eocene to Pliocene in age.


California State Geologist J. D. Whitney (above) concluded that modern man existed in California previous to the cessation of volcanic activity in the Sierra Nevada.




Anomalous Finds at Tuolumne Table Mountain

Finds from mine shafts can be dated more securely than those from hydraulic mines and surface deposits of gravel.


Many shafts were sunk at Table Mountain in Tuolumne County.


Whitney and others reported that miners found stone tools and human bones there, in the gold-bearing gravels sealed beneath thick layers of a volcanic material called latite.





Discoveries from the auriferous gravels just above the bedrock are probably 33.2 to 55 million years old. The more important discoveries from Table Mountain add up to a considerable weight of evidence.


J.D. Whitney personally examined a collection belonging to Dr. Snell, consisting of stone spoons, handles, spearheads, and a human jaw - all found in the auriferous gravels beneath the latite cap of Tuolumne Table Mountain. Whitney remarked that all the human fossils uncovered in the gold-mining region, including this one, were of the anatomically modern type.

Writing 11 years before the discovery of the Java ape-man, Pithecanthropus erectus, Whitney concluded that,

"Man, thus far, is nothing but man, whether found in Pliocene, Post-Pliocene, or recent formations."




Mortar and Pestle from Table Mountain

This mortar and pestle were found by J.H. Neale in tertiary deposits dating 33-55 million years old.





On August 2, 1890, J.H. Neale signed the following statement about his discoveries:

"In 1877 Mr. J.H. Neale was superintendent of the Montezuma tunnel Company, and ran the Montezuma tunnel into the gravel underlying the lava of Table Mountain, Tuolumne County.... At a distance of between 1400 and 1500 feet from the mouth of the tunnel, or of between 200 and 300 feet beyond the edge of the solid lava, Mr. Neale saw several spear-heads, of some dark rock and nearly one foot in length.


On exploring further, he himself found a small mortar three or four inches in diameter and of irregular shape. This was discovered within a foot or two of the spear-heads. He then found a large well-formed pestle....


"...Mr. Neale declares that it is utterly impossible that these relics can have reached the position in which they were found excepting at the time the gravel was deposited, and before the lava cap formed.


There was not the slightest trace of any disturbance of the mass or of any natural fissure into it by which access could have been obtained either there or in the neighborhood."




The Calaveras Skull

The most notorious fossil discovered in the Gold Rush mines of California was the Calaveras skull.


In February 1866, Mr. Mattison, the principal owner of the mine on Bald Hill, near Angels Creek, removed this fossilized skull from a layer of gravel 130 feet below the surface.


The gravel was near the bedrock, underneath several distinct layers of volcanic material.





It was examined by J.D. Whitney, State Geologist of California, who presented a report on the Calaveras skull to the California Academy of Sciences on July 16, 1866, affirming that it was found in Pliocene strata.


This discovery caused a huge sensation in America and many believed it was a hoax.





Broken stone pestle from Table Mountain

In 1891, George F. Becker told the American Geological Society that in the spring of 1869, Clarence King, director of the Survey of the Fortieth Parallel, and a respected geologist, was conducting research at Tuolumne Table Mountain.


Becker stated:

"At one point, close to the high bluff of basalt capping, a recent wash had swept away all talus and exposed the underlying compact, hard, auriferous gravel beds, which were beyond all question in place.


In examining the exposure for fossils, he [King] observed the fractured end of what appeared to be a cylindrical mass of stone.


The mass he forced out of its place with considerable difficulty on account of the hardness of the gravel in which it was tightly wedged. It left behind a perfect cast of itself in the matrix and proved to be part of a polished stone implement, no doubt a pestle."

Becker added:

"Mr. King is perfectly sure this implement was in place and that it formed an original part of the gravels in which he found it. It is difficult to imagine a more satisfactory evidence than this of the occurrence of implements in the auriferous, pre-glacial, sub-basaltic gravels."

From this description and the modern geological dating of the Table Mountain strata, it is apparent that the object was over 9 million years old.




William H. Holmes Challenges J.D. Whitney

Some of the Calaveras skull hoax stories were propagated by scientists such as William H. Holmes, anthropologist at the Smithsonian Institution. Upon examining the actual Calaveras skull at the Peabody Museum in Cambridge, Massachusetts, he concluded that,

"the skull was never carried and broken in a Tertiary torrent, that it never came from the old gravels in the Mattison mine, and that it does not in any way represent a Tertiary race of men."




Holmes also discredited Whitney’s dating of anomalous stone tools discovered at the California gold mines, asserting they were from the local Digger Indians. One might ask why Holmes and others were so determined to discredit Whitney’s evidence for the existence of Tertiary humans.


The following statement by Holmes provides an essential clue:

"If these forms are really of Tertiary origin, we have here one of the greatest marvels yet encountered by science; and perhaps if Professor Whitney had fully appreciated the story of human evolution as it is understood to-day, he would have hesitated to announce the conclusions formulated, notwithstanding the imposing array of testimony with which he was confronted."

In other words, if the facts do not fit the favored theory, the facts, even an imposing array of them, must go.






Anomalous Artifacts


Figure A2.9

Grooved Sphere from South Africa



A metallic sphere from South Africa with three parallel grooves around its equator (photo courtesy of Roelf Marx). The sphere was found in a Precambrian mineral deposit, said to be 2.8 billion years old.

[p. 813, Forbidden Archeology]



Fig. A2.3

Ancient Coin from Illinois



This coinlike object, from a well boring near Lawn Ridge, Illinois, was reportedly found at a depth of about 114 feet below the surface (Winchell 1881, p. 170). According to information supplied by the Illinois State Geological Survey, the deposits containing the coin are between 200,000 and 400,000 years old.

[p. 801, Forbidden Archeology]



Figure A2.1

Mysterious Letters from a Quarry


Raised letterlike shapes found inside a block of marble from a quarry near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (Corliss 1978, p. 657; American Journal of Science 1831, vol. 19, p. 361). The block of marble came from a depth of 60-70 feet in strata dated 500-600 million years old.

[p. 797, Forbidden Archeology]



Ancient Skulls and Bones

Reck’s Skeleton


The first significant African discovery related to human origins occurred in 1913 when Professor Hans Reck, of Berlin University, found a human skeleton in the upper part of Bed II at Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania. Modern dating methods give a late Early Pleistocene date of around 1.15 million years for this site.


Reck said,

"The bed in which the human remains were found....showed no sign of disturbance."

The skeleton was distorted by compression from the weight of substantial accumulation of sediment in the overlying strata.


W. O. Dietrich, writing in 1933, stated that this feature of the skeleton argued against its being a recent, shallow burial. George Grant MacCurdy, a leading anthropologist from Yale University, considered Reck’s discovery to be genuine.

[pp. 630-631, Forbidden Archeology]



Fig. 6.4 Castenedolo Skull


This anatomically modern human skull (Sergi 1884, plate 1) was found in 1880 at Castenedolo, Italy.


The stratum from which it was taken is assigned to the Astian stage of the Pliocene (Oakley 1980, p. 46). According to modern authorities (Harland et al, 1982, p. 110), the Astian belongs to the Middle Pliocene, which would give the skull an age of 3-4 million years.

[p. 424, Forbidden Archeology]



Javaman Thighbone


In August 1892, Eugene Dubois discovered a fossilized humanlike femur on the bank of the Solo River in central Java, near the village of Trinil.


45 feet from this location he found a skullcap and molars. Dubois believed the molars, skull, and femur all came from the same being. However, the fact that these bones were found 45 feet from the place where the skull was unearthed, in a stratum containing hundreds of other animal bones makes doubtful the claim that both the thighbone and the skull actually belonged to the same creature or even the same species.


In 1895 Dubois presented his findings to the Berlin Society for Anthropology, Ethnology, and Prehistory. The president of the society, Dr. Virchow declared that the femur was human and the skull belonged to an ape. Late in his life, Dubois concluded that the skullcap belonged to a large gibbon, an ape not considered by evolutionists to be closely related to humans.


But this concept of the "missing link" is still widely promoted today!

[pp. 464-465, Forbidden Archeology]


Back to Contents





All in A Day of Brahma

What does Krishna mean by the beginning of creation?


According to the Puranas (Vedic histories), there have been innumerable creations in the course of cyclical time. The basic unit of Vedic cyclical time is the day of Brahma, which lasts 4.32 billion years. The day of Brahma (also called a kalpa) is followed by a night of Brahma, also lasting 4.32 billion years.


The cycle of days and nights of Brahma toes on for Brahma's lifetime of one hundred years (36,000 nights), equivalent to 311.04 trillion of our human years. During the day of Brahma, life, including human life, is manifest.


During the night of Brahma, life is not manifest.



A Vedic Conception of Time

"Outside of the three planetary systems, the four Yugas multiplied by one
thousand comprise one day on the planet of Brahma. A similar period
comprises a night of Brahma, in which the creator of the universe goes to sleep."
(Srimad Bhagavatam, Canto 3, Chapter 11, Text 22)



From: Cremo, Michael A. (1999) "Puranic Time and the Archeological Record." Chapter 3 in Time and Archaeology: Vol. 37,

One World Archaeology Series

edited by Tim Murray, Routledge, London

"The time concept of modern archeology, and modern anthropology in general, resembles the general cosmological-historical time concept of Europe's Judeo-Christian culture. Differing from the cyclical cosmological-historical time concepts of the early Greeks in Europe, and the Indians and others in Asia, the Judeo-Christian cosmological-historical time concept is linear and progressive.

"Hindu historical literatures, particularly the Puranas and Itihasas, place human existence in the context of repeating time cycles called yugas and kalpas, lasting hundreds of millions of years. During this entire time, according to the Puranic accounts, humans coexisted with creatures in some ways resembling the earlier toolmaking hominids of modern evolutionary accounts."


The Yuga Cycles *

"Each yuga cycle is composed of 4 yugas. The first, the Satya-yuga, lasts 4800 years of the demigods. The second, the Treta-yuga, lasts 3600 years of the demigods. The third, the Dvapara-yuga, lasts 2400 years of the demigods. And the fourth, Kali-yuga, lasts 1200 years of the demigods.


Since the demigod year is equivalent to 360 earth years, the lengths of the yugas in earth years are, acording to standard Vaishnava commentaries, 432,000 years for the Kali-yuga, 864,000 years for the Dvapara-yuga, 1,296,000 years for the Treta-yuga, and 1,728,000 years for the Satya-yuga.

"This gives a total of 4,320,000 years for the entire yuga cycle. One thousand of such cycles, lasting 4,320,000 years, comprises one day of Brahma, the demigod who governs this universe. A day of Brahma is also called a kalpa. Each of Brahma's nights lasts a similar period of time. Life is only manifest on earth during the day of Brahma.


With the onset of Brahma's night, the entire universe is devastated and plunged into darkness. When another day of Brahma begins, life again becomes manifest.





"Each day of Brahma is divided into 14 manvantara periods, each one lasting 71 yuga cycles. Preceding the first and following each manvantara period is a juncture (sandhya) the length of a Satya-yuga (1,728,000 years).


Typically, each manvantara period ends with a partial devastation. According to Puranic accounts, we are now in the twenty-eighth yuga cycle of the seventh manvantara period of the present day of Brahma."

"This would give the inhabited earth an age of about 2 billion years. Interestingly enough, the oldest undisputed organisms recognized by paleontologists - algae fossils like those from the Gunflint formation in Canada - are just about that old.


Altogether, 453 yuga cycles have elapsed since this day of Brahma began. Each yuga cycle involves a progression from a golden age of peace and spiritual progress to a final age of violence and spiritual degradation."


* This material is from the Srimad Bhagavatam, Canto 3, Chapter 11, with translation and commentary by A.C. Bhaktivedanta

Swami Prabhupada (1973), Los Angeles: Bhaktivedanta Book Trust.

** Stewart, Wilson N
. (1983) Paleobotany and the Evolution of Plants. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.

Back to Contents