BBC Horizon’s ‘Atlantis Uncovered’ – Full Transcript

Yesterday I posted about the lack of credibility concerning the claims of aliens building/guiding construction of the pyramids.  Thanks to Gilgamesh, I decided to look around for the BBC Horizon episode and I found the videos online in 5 Parts and a transcript of the show.

Here are the videos in order:

The transcript can be found online.  Here’s a snippet:

NARRATOR: Archaeology has revealed the startling fact that in one small corner of the world the long road to a similar monument building society was taken by at least two different groups of people independently, proof that it could have happened all over the world again and again. There’s a simple reason why so many ancient peoples built pyramids. Before engineers had invented the dome, the spire or structural steel a sloping pile was the only high structure you could build. If you wanted a high showy monument when all there was to build with was heavy stone it had to be a pyramid. It didn’t take a master race from Atlantis to work it out.

KEN FEDER: So let’s cross off pyramids. Pyramids don’t make a very good argument for Ignatius Donnelly’s claim that there’s a common source in the middle of the Atlantic. Well what about writing? I mean that’s a very sophisticated technology. Well we do have writing on both sides of the Atlantic, so does that mean there’s a common source for the writing? Well again one would think that if there’s a common source for the writing then the writing on either side of the Atlantic would be the same, even identical. It’s coming from the same place – Atlantis.

NARRATOR: Writing is one of the greatest steps along the road to civilisation. Could it have come from Atlantis? Had Atlantian scribes brought writing to Egypt it should appear suddenly, a perfectly formed, complex system handed out to people who had no writing of their own. In Donnelly’s day this was a convincing idea. In every tomb and every temple the hieroglyphs seemed equally elaborate. But at Abydos, Gunter Dreyer made an extraordinary discovery. In the first early tomb he found here, centuries older than the first known hieroglyphs, was scores of little labels with symbols. They were baffling.

GUNTER DREYER: We found about 160 of these little labels, most of them in one chamber on the floor. At the beginning we didn’t understand what might be the meaning of these little labels. They have holes so they must have been fixed to something. Some show numbers so probably they indicated sizes or amounts, but those were the animal signs made no sense in the beginning, but when we tried to read them like hieroglyphs suddenly they made sense. Not all of them at the very beginning, but step by step we understood more and more of it.

NARRATOR: To Dreyer the symbols made no sense just as pictures. But when he read them according to the rules of later hieroglyphs their meaning fell into place. They were a simple system of record keeping: how much oil was in a jar or where a gift had come from. Dreyer had found the earliest known writing in Egypt. In later tombs he found more and more complex inscriptions. Over 500 years they led all the way to a full written language. The Egyptians didn’t get their 3 R’s from Atlantis.

GUNTER DREYER: Finding such objects is a great pleasure for an archaeologist. It’s the best discovery you can make and it’s the greatest thing to change the border between pre-history and history.

Read on here.  Not only does it expose the flaws of this sort of pseudoscience, but it discredits the arguments of a lot of the people who propose this thinking make, including a few who I discussed in yesterday’s blog.

Edit: Here are the 9 videos of Atlantis Reborn Again which covers refutations by leading academics, archaeologists, and others against the claims made by conspiracy theories as discussed in earlier blogs.  Hat-tip once more to Gilgamesh for the initial link:

2 Responses

  1. Thanks for doing the leg-work in posting this (and for the link to me).

    But I wanted to let you know that this is actually only one of two shows Horizon did on Atlantis in the same year. In the above, there is a brief mention of Hancock. In the episode “Atlantis Reborn”, they rip apart Hancock and company.

    Here is a link to the first part (of 9) you Youtube:

    Basically, the first episode on Atlantis showed why archaeologists went against the diffusion theory, and the second was particularly about the newest “theories” to support an Atlantis-like civilization.

    There was some controversy over “Atlantis Reborn”; complaints we made by Hancock et. al. and the BBC re-aired the episode as “Atlantis Reborn Again” with a little more of an interview with Hancock which probably made him look more desperate (it dealt with his excuses about why the belt of Orion didn’t match the Giza pyramids as he claimed). Details can be found in Fagan, “Archaeological Fantasies”.

  2. Thanks bud! Don’t worry, here in biblioblog-land, bloggers look out for each other. ;-) You deserved the hat-tip. It looks like I will edit the main post with the full 9 parts of the other documentary.

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