Netflix new documentary Ancient Apocalypse branded an attack on archaeologists
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An archaeologist has branded the new Netflix documentary series Ancient Apocalypse an 'attack' on his profession.
In the series, journalist Graham Hancock travels to different historical sites around the world in a quest for evidence of mysterious, lost civilizations dating back to the last Ice Age.
And who doesn't love a deep dive into ancient archaeological phenomenons?
This 'advanced' civilization was wiped out by a cataclysmic flood, although some survivors remained who - according to Hancock - introduced agriculture, architecture, astronomy and other practices.
Despite its popularity, Hancock and the series has been met with criticism from archaeologists and scholars, with some labelling his argument a 'conspiracy theory'.
Flint Dibble, an archaeologist from the School of History, Archaeology and Religion at Cardiff University, criticised Hancock's theory presented in the eight-episode series as well as questioning his journalistic credentials.
Dibble states in an article for The Conversation: "He calls himself a journalist who is 'investigating human prehistory.'"
"A canny choice, as the label 'journalist' helps Hancock rebut being characterised as a 'pseudo archaeologist' or 'pseudo scientist', which, as he puts it himself in episode four, would be like calling a dolphin a 'pseudo fish'."
He adds: "From my perspective as an archaeologist, the show is surprisingly (or perhaps unsurprisingly) lacking in evidence to support Hancock’s theory of an advanced, global ice age civilisation. The only site Hancock visits that actually dates to near the end of the ice age is Göbekli Tepe in modern Turkey..."
Dibble said the sites visited by Hancock in North America, Mexico, Malta and Indonesia to prove his theory actually go against it because of the ‘plethora of evidence’ indicating they ‘date thousands of years after the 'Ice Age’.
During the show, Hancock hits back at ‘mainstream archaeologists’ because they ‘practice censorship’ and ignore his theory.
Dibble responds to this by stating that archaeologists ‘frequently admit when we have been wrong’.
He adds: “Despite repeated claims made by Hancock, no archaeologists today see stone age hunter-gatherers or early farmers as ‘simple’ or ‘primitive’. We see them as complex people.
"Priming viewers to distrust archaeologists, also allows Hancock to use circular logic to re-date these sites."
The archaeologist also acknowledges that Hancock’s theories have been ‘addressed’ in ‘academic publications, TV and in mainstream media’ and that the Ancient Apocalypse frontman’s theories are not new.
Dibble points out that Hancock has ‘recycled’ his theory from the ‘since discredited conclusions’ by American Congressman Ignatius Donnelly in his book ‘Atlantis: The Antediluvian World’ published in 1882.
Donnelly also theorised that an advanced civilisation was wiped out by a flood and that the survivors taught Indigenous people how to farm and shared tips about architecture.
But this ’pseudo archaeology’ as Dibble calls it, 'acts to reinforce white supremacist ideas’ and reduces Indigenous people’s achievements, instead ‘giving credit to aliens or white people'.
He finishes his piece with: “Netflix labels Ancient Apocalypse a docu-series. IMDb calls it a documentary. It’s neither. It’s an eight-part conspiracy theory that weaponises dramatic rhetoric against scholars.”
UNILAD has approached Graham Hancock for comment.
Ancient Apocalypse is available to watch on Netflix.