I return back to one of my favorite genres of fictional history though in this case it is more of history and more of non-fiction based on archeology, astronomy and study of various myths, monuments and cultures around the world. “Fingerprints of the Gods”, questions the established history of the world and tries to prove that some highly advanced civilization existed more than 10000 years ago that perished due to natural calamities but they have left part of their knowledge in various myths, monuments and cultures throughout the world.
The style of author Graham Hancock is really thought-provoking and very similar to Jared Diamond who had written “Guns, Germs and Steel”, but the subject matter is quite different. He has done extensive research on the archeological evidence found in Mexico, Peru and Egypt and asks several questions about unexplained mysteries if we were to believe in the currently established history. There are several references to Indian mythology as well and his thoughts are that these are not really myths and such civilization was in existence at that time and we may find the proof of such civilization if we dig deep in the ice sheets of Antarctica.
He has dealt with the Pyramids of Egypt in great detail and the main question is that none of these Pyramids were built to protect the dead bodies of Pharaohs, but their purpose was entirely different. The scientific precision and alignment to stars that is used in making of these Pyramids points to a different purpose and probably they were built to preserve the scientific knowledge of the past. I was also thinking that maybe these Pyramids were the Noah’s Ark and were meant to indicate when the next catastrophe will take place and then to protect the civilization at that time.
The problems with these theories is that you can never tell for sure whether they are just stories or have facts in them. But it is definitely worth considering them since they might affect our future.
My earliest memories of book reading are related to stories. Books were meant for those short simple stories either related to mythology, animals or cartoons. They were meant for entertainment and passing your time. After some years a different category of books got added to this. I remember reading some Russian books translated in Hindi about space exploration, planets and other science subjects. There were books about greatest and best adventures, mysteries, treasures and such information. That was the time when books changed from being entertainment to source of information as well.
As I grew older, the kind of stories I was reading also changed. I was reading thrillers, complex stories, science fiction and humor. I still enjoyed reading the stories but now I was also learning from these stories. I was able to create my own version of Harry Potter’s Hogwarts in my mind. I had my own image of Ayn Rand’s Howard Roark or Eric Segal’s Barney. I was creating my own Universe while reading these stories. Many of these stories were also rich source of cultural nuances of different societies and people. I also started reading history and books related to historical research. That opened my eyes to not only today’s civilization but of our ancestors as well. Now the books were becoming more than a source of information. They were my friend and guide as well.
More recently, I got interested in books which are described as Self-Help books. Many of these books have complex philosophical and psychological concepts. They are about behavioral economics of individuals, groups and societies. I have started learning about the nature of our own thoughts and actions. Today the books are my companion, friend, my shrink and my guide as well. Not only the nature of books that I read have evolved but what I extract from a simple story book has also changed over the years. I can enjoy a non-fiction “Guns Germs and Steel” as easily as a story book and I also enjoy discovering deep psychological concepts from Harry Potter books.
When I speak to people, it is the books that I have read throughout my life that are speaking on my behalf. This attempt at writing blog on the books that I have read is the next phase of my book reading where I am not only benefitting from the books that I read but I am also sharing them with the unseen world. Books have played a great role in shaping my life and I wish it will play the same role to all the other readers out there.
An amazing book suggestion that came to me and I have really enjoyed reading it. When I heard about the book itself, I was curious to read it but I had thought that this will be a documentary type book with lot of good information but I will need to spend some quality time reading it, meaning that it will give information but may not be fun. But the book turned out to be fun reading due to the style of writing by Jared Diamond.
“Guns, Germs and Steel”, is a book that is trying to bust the myth that Eurasians had better genes that enabled them to conquer the world in last few centuries. Through various logical reasons extending throughout the history after Ice-age, the author is trying to prove that it is the geography and environment of some regions that resulted in bigger and stronger civilizations in Europe, Asia and North Africa. These were the same reasons that resulted in slower development of agriculture, weaponry, science in other continents.
His logic about spread of science and agriculture throughout Europe and Asia due to the width of continent and almost similar weather conditions due to same latitude is very convincing. America and Australia did not have that advantage. I also liked his logic where he tells about why Australia did not have large mammals. His logic is that when human beings reached Australia, they had rudimentary weapons to kill large animals but animals living there were not used to humans and did not save themselves by running away. In Africa, animals had learnt better as human beings learnt slowly through generations to kill them.
His logic about spreading of diseases, rise of agriculture based economy resulting in large empires are really very convincing. He starts from the basics of types of grains popular in certain regions of the world that became major crops and how humans were able to domesticate only few animals and use them for power.
It is an amazing book if you really want to understand the history of civilization through environmental and geographical factors devoid of any bias towards religion, politics or race. This is the book that tells you whey history and geography should be studied together.