"Fingerprints of the Gods" by Graham Hancock

Hey all, long-time lurker here, who’s been debating for years about getting a registering. As part of a New Year’s resolution (albeit a bit early), I finally decided to get off my butt and do it.

My question is rather simple, though it could go in a few different fora, as far as I’m concerned. In “Fingerprints of the Gods,” Graham Hancock attempts to make the case for a highly-advanced civilization that was able to influence various Central/South American civilizations (e.g. the Maya, Olmec, Aztec, and Inca), as well as the Ancient Egyptians. According to him, this influential group of ancients introduced advanced mathematical, astronomical, and engineering concepts to those civilizations, and also left clues behind in the form of the respective civilizations’ architecture. Examples include Egyptian and Mayan pyramids supposedly representing Earth’s hemispheres, and the pyramid complex at Giza corresponding to the positions of the 3 stars in Orion’s belt, as seen from the site.

Hancock ties this up with Charles Hapgood’s theory of “Earth Crustal Displacement” which, as an ‘alternative’ to plate tectonics, states that the outer crust of the Earth (the lithosphere) ‘may be displaced at times, moving over the soft inner body, much as the skin of an orange, if it were loose, might shift over the inner part of the orange all in one piece.’ Apparently, this is the cause of both Earth’s ice ages and the final destruction of that highly advanced civilization, which formerly made its home in Antarctica (before the crust shift, when Antarctica was supposedly outside of the Antarctic Circle).

Now, I don’t believe very much of this book - it is an interesting read, but to my (non-expert) eyes, it smacks largely of psuedoscience. Does anybody know of any debunking of this book? I’m aware of the fact that his assertions aren’t taken seriously (which he mentions in his book), and I’m not looking for evidence supporting plate tectonics or anything like that. Has anybody done a critical review of his specific claims? Also, what are Hancock’s credentials, assuming he has some? I’ve not been able to find anything about them - is he only an amateur archeologist?

Hancock is pseudoscience. But mixed therein are some interesting facts. If you want to sink your teeth into some real meat on this subject try Ancient Structures: Remarkable Pyramids, Forts, Towers, Stone Chambers, Cities, Complexes . http://www.science-frontiers.com/sourcebk.htm Corliss presents facts drawn almost wholly from the professional publications, with commentary only to justify why something is to be considered “anomalous”. No grandiose theorizing.

On the other hand it’s not as fun as Hancock.

You should be able to get it through interlibrary loan.

If you want a quick overview, Wikipedia offers a pretty good job. Check out some of the links of skeptics at the bottom of that page.

Unless he has some actual evidence supporting the hypothesis that this “advanced civilization” existed, then what is there to debunk? And by evidence, I mean actual physical evidence, not some extrapolation based on indirect evidence.

Hmph. You’da thunk that me of all people would have remembered to check Wikipedia; I use it for absolutely everything. I checked out their small article about “Fingerprints,” but didn’t even think to check on Hancock himself. And TGWATY, thank you for the title. I’ve called and placed the loan request already!

And John Mace, I guess I was using ‘debunk’ in a wider sense than intended. Really, I was looking for instances of ‘evidence’ he uses being taken out of context, mis-interpreted, or just plain wrong.