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Ancient Cities off India

PostPosted: November 17th, 2006, 2:34 am
by Tomyhoi
Has anyone seen any follow-up reports on either of these two cities?

Lost city 'could rewrite history'

The city is believed to predate the Harappan civilisation

By BBC News Online's Tom Housden
The remains of what has been described as a huge lost city may force historians and archaeologists to radically reconsider their view of ancient human history.

Marine scientists say archaeological remains discovered 36 metres (120 feet) underwater in the Gulf of Cambay off the western coast of India could be over 9,000 years old.

The vast city - which is five miles long and two miles wide - is believed to predate the oldest known remains in the subcontinent by more than 5,000 years.

The site was discovered by chance last year by oceanographers from India's National Institute of Ocean Technology conducting a survey of pollution.

Using sidescan sonar - which sends a beam of sound waves down to the bottom of the ocean they identified huge geometrical structures at a depth of 120ft.

Debris recovered from the site - including construction material, pottery, sections of walls, beads, sculpture and human bones and teeth has been carbon dated and found to be nearly 9,500 years old.

Lost civilisation

The city is believed to be even older than the ancient Harappan civilisation, which dates back around 4,000 years.

Marine archaeologists have used a technique known as sub-bottom profiling to show that the buildings remains stand on enormous foundations.

The whole model of the origins of civilisation will have to be remade from scratch

Graham Hancock

Author and film-maker Graham Hancock - who has written extensively on the uncovering of ancient civilisations - told BBC News Online that the evidence was compelling:

"The [oceanographers] found that they were dealing with two large blocks of apparently man made structures.

"Cities on this scale are not known in the archaeological record until roughly 4,500 years ago when the first big cities begin to appear in Mesopotamia.

"Nothing else on the scale of the underwater cities of Cambay is known. The first cities of the historical period are as far away from these cities as we are today from the pyramids of Egypt," he said.

Chronological problem

This, Mr Hancock told BBC News Online, could have massive repercussions for our view of the ancient world.

Harappan remains have been found in India and Pakistan

"There's a huge chronological problem in this discovery. It means that the whole model of the origins of civilisation with which archaeologists have been working will have to be remade from scratch," he said.

However, archaeologist Justin Morris from the British Museum said more work would need to be undertaken before the site could be categorically said to belong to a 9,000 year old civilisation.

"Culturally speaking, in that part of the world there were no civilisations prior to about 2,500 BC. What's happening before then mainly consisted of small, village settlements," he told BBC News Online.

Dr Morris added that artefacts from the site would need to be very carefully analysed, and pointed out that the C14 carbon dating process is not without its error margins.

It is believed that the area was submerged as ice caps melted at the end of the last ice age 9-10,000 years ago

Although the first signs of a significant find came eight months ago, exploring the area has been extremely difficult because the remains lie in highly treacherous waters, with strong currents and rip tides.

The Indian Minister for Human Resources and ocean development said a group had been formed to oversee further studies in the area.

"We have to find out what happened then ... where and how this civilisation vanished," he said

Thursday, 11 April, 2002, 15:54 GMT 16:54 UK
Lost city found off Indian coast

Divers could only explore part of the site

An ancient underwater city has been found off the coast of south-eastern India.

Divers from India and England made the discovery based on the statements of local fishermen and the old Indian legend of the Seven Pagodas.

The ruins, which are off the coast of Mahabalipuram, cover many square kilometres.

A further expedition to the region is now being arranged which will take place at the beginning of 2003.

'International significance'

The discovery was made on 1 April by a joint team of divers from the Indian National Institute of Oceanography and the Scientific Exploration Society based in Dorset, UK.

Expedition leader Monty Halls said: "Our divers were presented with a series of structures that clearly showed man-made attributes.

The expedition team want to return next year

"The scale of the site appears to be extremely extensive, with 50 dives conducted over a three-day period covering only a small area of the overall ruin field.

"This is plainly a discovery of international significance that demands further exploration and detailed investigation."

During the expedition to the site, divers came across structures believed to be man-made. One of the buildings appears to be a place of worship.

Jealous Gods

The myths of Mahabalipuram were first set down in writing by British traveller J Goldingham, who visited the South Indian coastal town in 1798, at which time it was known to sailors as the Seven Pagodas.

The myths speak of six temples submerged beneath the waves with the seventh temple still standing on the seashore.

Structures are clearly visible in the murky waters

The myths also state that a large city which once stood on the site was so beautiful the gods became jealous and sent a flood that swallowed it up entirely in a single day.

One of the expedition team, Graham Hancock, said: "I have argued for many years that the world's flood myths deserve to be taken seriously, a view that most Western academics reject.

"But here in Mahabalipuram, we have proved the myths right and the academics wrong."

Scientists now want to explore the possibility that the city was submerged following the last Ice Age. If this proves correct, it would date the settlement at more than 5,000 years old.


PostPosted: November 17th, 2006, 4:24 am
by Fuqin
Hi Tomyhoi thanks for those articles yes I’ve always been fascinated by the globally found flood myths, and have always suspected they were related more to the 10000 year ago melting of the ice caps than anything else ,’fascinating’ so hers more potential evidence ,in any case we may find in time to come that civilizations were first formed during this ice age , I don’t think it would be unreasonable to speculate that colder conditions may have forced man kind into huddling together in indoor self made structures ,we may yet find more of these submerged civilizations.

PostPosted: November 17th, 2006, 7:27 am
by Forest_Dump
I will try to check up on this since I know a Harappan specialist but that might take a couple of weeks. Indus Valley civilisations are definitely of interest and different from SW Asian (i.e. Middle East) civilisations for many reasons including that they have far less evidence of the presence of an elite. Western notions of the origins of complex societies always revolve around the actions of some kind of "big man" (i.e. individualist agent working the egalitarian system to his own advantage) to explain things. However, the Indus Valley has produced clear evidence of the rise of a complex society/civilisation without strong evidence of the presence of an elite. None-the-less, my rule of thumb is that the accuracy of news reports is inversely correlated with the number of superlatives (oldest, biggest, best, first, least) used. The number of superlatives is more closely related to the amount of money being asked for and drawn away from other, potentially competing, research projects.

PostPosted: November 17th, 2006, 10:08 am
by Fuqin
This is perhaps a different thread but none the less sprang from here, so here it goes’. Forrest may I here ask a question of you, I know that the bible has been used with some minimal successes in archeological discoveries, but I was wondering are there any other mythological documents that have met with some successes, if so id like to have a read of some, I see quite often that you defend philosophy as with its importance to science but how important is mythology to arche/anthro-pology ? just wondering!

PostPosted: November 17th, 2006, 6:01 pm
by Forest_Dump
Well, in terms of Bible-like books, of course things like Homer's "Illiad" have been used (e.g. Schlieman's trips to find Troy) as well as some of the other classical works on Greece and Rome. Most attempts at "historical" archaeology, broadly writ, follow the same vein with both use of these documents to locate sites and identify activities that happened there while at the same time identifying flaws or inaccuracies in these historical documents. This can even include such recent things as Custer's last stand or the excavations at the site of the 1969 Woodstock musical festival. We also use the same kind of thing in dealing with First Nations oral traditions. Sometimes we can identify things through archaeology, sometimes we cannot of actually find inaccuracies/discrepancies. Biases in historical documents are by now well-known but at the same time even known works of fiction will contain elements of historical truth. The novels of Charles Dickens or the plays of Shakespeare will have some elements that can be argued to be correct (e.g. the death of caesar, etc.).

PostPosted: November 18th, 2006, 12:57 am
by Fuqin
The novels of Charles Dickens or the plays of Shakespeare will have some elements that can be argued to be correct (e.g. the death of caesar, etc.).
yes of course I hadn’t considered that’ very interesting, thanks for your reply.

PostPosted: February 19th, 2007, 8:01 am
by Tomyhoi
Forest Dump, Did you find out anything on this subject?

Posted: Fri Nov 17, 2006 4:27 am

I will try to check up on this since I know a Harappan specialist but that might take a couple of weeks.

PostPosted: February 19th, 2007, 9:10 am
by Forest_Dump
No actually I have not checked any further. There is some decrease in research in this region in general because of the politics there as well as the politics here (i.e., decreases in research funding in general except for things have might have some commercial value). This is particularly a problem with Indus valley archaeology in general because so much is so deeply buried by river sediments, making it very expensive to do anything. But, overall, I have heard nothing further on this one.

PostPosted: February 19th, 2007, 9:53 am
by psionic11
If I could ask a couple semi-related questions here.

How much of the world's sub-oceanic depths have been explored? Specifically, have many sonar scans of intercoastal waters been done?

9,000 years ago, not long after an Ice Age.... that's a long time ago. I'll have to go look an archaelogy timeline, but isn't that significantly earlier than our ancient written histories? Exposing my ignorance here, but even beyond Babylonian writings isn't this even before Sanskrit? I certainly hope 9,000 year old written remains will be found. (And aren't the Vedic scriptures the "closest" literary clues we can use for any references to this area and time period?)

And for something totally off the wall --- would this civilization have the right circumstances to possibly fit the Atlantis myths?

PostPosted: February 19th, 2007, 10:31 am
by Tomyhoi
Most of the Oceans have been scanned at a large scale. The US Navy probably has the largest collection of Data. Smaller areas have been scanned by Oil Companies, Submarine Cable companies, etc. Here one example of what is available: ... ject3.html

Atlantis was supposed to have been in the Mediterranean Sea, or just outside it near Gibraltar. The most likely locations are near Santorini( near Crete)(Mioan Civilization) or the submerged Spartel Island near Gibraltar. Others do not believe Atlantis ever existed. The only reference to it is a brief passage by Plato

PostPosted: February 19th, 2007, 10:46 am
by Forest_Dump
One of the problems with the Harappan language is that there has been some debate of late about just what kind of written language it is. Yet another topic I have lost track of.

9000 B.P. is indeed early in the Holocene. But an early date like that would not be unprecedented. Catal Huyuk is about as early.

Definitely in the wrong place for Atlantis. At least according to the written documents that suggest where Atlantis might be. But then, some would place it out in the middle of the Atlantic, etc. So it goes - the Indian Ocean is not that much more far-fetched.

There is certainly lots of under water archaeology and other forms of similar exploration. Lots of this directed towards scavenging from ship wrecks, etc. The problem with near-shore archaeology is the sediment load. Can be even tougher to deal with than flood plains because the sediment tends to move around more under water.

PostPosted: February 19th, 2007, 10:55 am
by Fuqin
And for something totally off the wall --- would this civilization have the right circumstances to possibly fit the Atlantis myths?

if you google up "The Island of Thera" thats Santorini before it became a crater ,you'll get some interesting stuff to do with Atlantis

PostPosted: February 19th, 2007, 3:12 pm
by psionic11
Hehe, after doing some mucking around, I wish I could take back that offhand Atlantis remark. Wrong place, wrong time.

I'm still intrigued what an ancient city/civilization off the Gulf of Cambay would imply. Millenia before the Indus Valley, Sumerian, and Ancient Egypt civilzations? Perhaps the ocean waters sculpted a different coastline then, and that area of the Arabic Ocean was less underwater. A more direct path into the origins of the world flood myths...

Here is an article linked from Wiki with some interesting views, if not entirely scientific. It attempts to link some archaelogy with Vedic written history.

PostPosted: March 24th, 2009, 9:14 am
by line
There is a need for an update here. Again it is a lot of fuss about nothing. There aren't so many great discoveries after all. If it sounds too good to be true, then it is.

It has been argued that the ruins are either natural rock formations and result of faulty remote sensing equipment and the "artifacts" recovered, including pottery sherds, in the area of the ruins are either (Geofacts) or artifacts reworked from shipwrecks and eroded from coastal sites by the very strong tidal currents that characterize the Gulf of Cambay. The side scan sonar equipment used to image the bottom of the Gulf of Cambay was said to be faulty, and that a lot of the supporting evidence is purely circumstantial. Interpretations as to whether the objects and seismic data gathered from the Gulf of Cambay and published over the years supports the existence of submerged Neolithic cities differs sharply between conventional archaeologists and alternative researchers. The consensus among conventional archaeologists is that there is a complete lack of any valid evidence for submerged ruins and any in situ artifacts associated with them. In sharp contrast, alternative researchers, including Graham Hancock, supporters of Vedic science, and Hindu nationalists, argue that the evidence clearly indicates the presence of submerged Neolithic cities at the bottom of the Bay of Cambay (Witzel 2006).


In 2000, India's science and technology minister Murli Manohar Joshi announced that evidence of an ancient civilisation exists in the form of a large complex of man-made structures underwater in the Gulf of Khambhat. India's archaeological community rejected the claims as baseless and politically motivated. (

Re: Ancient Cities off India

PostPosted: April 20th, 2014, 2:53 pm
by art
I remember reading an article about this site and it was confirmed to be a natural geological feature. So much hype and undocumented underwater photos that I don't believe this is a true archeological site.

Re: Ancient Cities off India

PostPosted: April 26th, 2014, 12:27 am
by art
Right. I get upset with a lot of the Pseudoscience crap that is put on the History channel, TLC, and many more. It's disturbing that these primetime programs are on and no disclaimers of its validity. It also shows that the networks are giving them because of the popularity and people that buy products from the advertising. It's getting scary out here today; not from the conspiracy theories put out, BUT THE FACT THAT SO many actually BELIEVE them.. When these adults buy into them, what does that teach their children ?? I personally believe that the programming like this should be boycotted.. Thanks.

Re: Ancient Cities off India

PostPosted: April 26th, 2014, 12:58 am
by Obvious Leo
Well said, art, and welcome to the forums. Only last week yet another load of bollocks was thrust into the minds of an unsuspecting laity here in my very own secular country. (Australia). I refer to the Noah's ark on Mt Ararat crap and all the so-called evidence in support of it. I actually sat right through it as a character-building exercise, just to see if I could see it through to its nonsensical conclusions without chucking my telly out the window.

Regards Leo