What Came Before
I love it when I learn something new while seeking material to offer to you all, dear readers. Being a fantasist at heart, and a dreamer, and having cut my teeth on the works of Edgar Rice Burroughs, and hero-worshipping Sir Richard F. Burton, I have a passion for lost cities and lost civilizations. I’m as read-up on Atlantis as anyone you’re likely to meet, and I do believe the myth has some kernels of truth to it, but overall I am sadly resigned to the fact that it is a myth. Otherwise we would have found pieces of it by now. (All the purported pieces, like the “Bimini Road” of Bermuda, have been scientifically discredited.) But what about, instead of tens or even hundreds of thousands of years, we’re talking about a civilization that was hundreds of MILLIONS of years old? Would there be anything of it left to find? As I learned, no, there wouldn’t. Nothing like what we’d look for had Atlantis really existed.
As it turns out, well, I’ll just let Adam Frank from THE ATLANTIC tell you: “When it comes to direct evidence of an industrial civilization–things like cities, factories, and roads–the geologic record doesn’t go back past what’s called the Quaternary period 2.6 million years ago. For example, the oldest large-scale stretch of ancient surface lies in the Negev Desert. It’s “just” 1.8 million years old–older surfaces are mostly visible in cross section via something like a cliff face or rock cuts. Go back much farther than the Quaternary and everything has been turned over and crushed to dust.”
Is there ANYthing that could tell us, then, if there’d been a civilization on Earth in the dim, really dim, past? Yes. I learned there ARE such markers. Does Earth display any of those markers? Intriguingly, it does.