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Magicians of the Gods: The Forgotten Wisdom of Earth's Lost Civilization

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Graham Hancock's multi-million bestseller Fingerprints of the Gods remains an astonishing, deeply controversial, wide-ranging investigation of the mysteries of our past and the evidence for Earth's lost civilization. Twenty years on, Hancock returns with the sequel to his seminal work filled with completely new, scientific and archaeological evidence, which has only recently come to light...

Near the end of the last Ice Age 12,800 years ago, a giant comet that had entered the solar system from deep space thousands of years earlier, broke into multiple fragments. Some of these struck the Earth causing a global cataclysm on a scale unseen since the extinction of the dinosaurs. At least eight of the fragments hit the North American ice cap, while further fragments hit the northern European ice cap. The impacts, from comet fragments a mile wide approaching at more than 60,000 miles an hour, generated huge amounts of heat which instantly liquidized millions of square kilometers of ice, destabilizing the Earth's crust and causing the global Deluge that is remembered in myths all around the world. A second series of impacts, equally devastating, causing further cataclysmic flooding, occurred 11,600 years ago, the exact date that Plato gives for the destruction and submergence of Atlantis.

The evidence revealed in this book shows beyond reasonable doubt that an advanced civilization that flourished during the Ice Age was destroyed in the global cataclysms between 12,800 and 11,600 years ago. But there were survivors - known to later cultures by names such as 'the Sages', 'the Magicians', 'the Shining Ones', and 'the Mystery Teachers of Heaven'. They travelled the world in their great ships doing all in their power to keep the spark of civilization burning. They settled at key locations - Gobekli Tepe in Turkey, Baalbek in the Lebanon, Giza in Egypt, ancient Sumer, Mexico, Peru and across the Pacific where a huge pyramid has recently been discovered in Indonesia. Everywhere they went these 'Magicians of the Gods' brought with them the memory of a time when mankind had fallen out of harmony with the universe and paid a heavy price. A memory and a warning to the future...

For the comet that wrought such destruction between 12,800 and 11,600 years may not be done with us yet. Astronomers believe that a 20-mile wide 'dark' fragment of the original giant comet remains hidden within its debris stream and threatens the Earth. An astronomical message encoded at Gobekli Tepe, and in the Sphinx and the pyramids of Egypt,warns that the 'Great Return' will occur in our time...

528 pages, Hardcover

First published September 10, 2015

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About the author

Graham Hancock

151 books3,461 followers
Graham Hancock is a British writer and journalist. His books include Lords of Poverty, The Sign and the Seal, Fingerprints of the Gods, Keeper of Genesis (released in the US as Message of the Sphinx), The Mars Mystery, Heaven's Mirror (with wife Santha Faiia), Underworld: The Mysterious Origins of Civilization, Talisman: Sacred Cities, Secret Faith (with co-author Robert Bauval), Supernatural: Meeting with the Ancient Teachers of Mankind and Magicians of the Gods. He also wrote and presented the Channel 4 documentaries Underworld: Flooded Kingdoms of the Ice Age and Quest for the Lost Civilisation. His first novel, Entangled, was published in 2010.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 460 reviews
Profile Image for Babak Fakhamzadeh.
447 reviews34 followers
February 15, 2016
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. Hancock, in the opening address puts forward his central premise: The arrival of two comets, some 12800 and 11600 years ago, destroyed an advanced civilisation where the survivors told of a time when 'mankind had fallen out of harmony with the universe'.
Hancock then continues, "Did they bring the comets on themselves?", which sounds ominous.
In the end, Hancock's claim is reasonable, if not proven directly, but his suggestion this advanced civilisation brought on the comets on themselves, and, as he also claims, this comet is set to return within our lifetime, is spurious.

Up until less then 10 years ago, no evidence existed for the source of two cataclysmic events in the distant past, triggering and ending a mini ice age between roughly 12800 and 11600 years ago. However, in 2007, initial discoveries, which have since been built on extensively, are now very convincing; a crashing meteorite kicked off this mini ice age (the 'Younger Dryas') while some other cataclysmic event ended it some 1200 years later (though for that event, no evidence exists as yet).

Hancock's first stop is at Göbekli Tepe, in southern Turkey, which archeologists pretty much agree on that it is at least 10600 years old, coinciding with the end of the last ice age.
Then, Hancock makes an interesting, if fleeting, connection with glyphs at Göbekli Tepe, images of Quetzalcoatl and Oannes, an 'ancient sage' from Mesopotamia, said to have lived before the great flood and who basically brought civilization.
The visual similarities, combined with the similar legends of a fish/bird (Middle East) and snake (Central America), personified as a white-skinned bearded strong man at the head of a small group of sages, bringing advanced knowledge of agriculture and architecture, make for an intriguing implication.
The time frame, though seems off. Göbekli Tepe being active way before both the Assyrians or early Central American civilizations saw their primary years, or so we believe.

Hancock goes on to describe the megalithic site of Gunung Pradang. In Indonesia, recent archeological tests suggest that the oldest layers, here, date back to perhaps as much as 22000 years ago. Excavations were started to dig deep and confirm these preliminary findings, but the work has since been halted, hopefully temporarily.
The lead archeologist at this site believes Gunung Pradang is actually Atlantis.

This is followed by geological proof of major flooding, possibly around 12000 years ago, specifically in north America, presaging the Younger Dryas, which in turn sees Hancock continue to make a credible argument for the impact of a fragmented comet triggering the 1200 year cold spell that was the Younger Dryas, ended by, Hancock suggests, another encounter with debris from perhaps the same comet, this now not hitting the ice caps, but the oceans, resulting in global warming, as opposed to global cooling, within a very short time frame.

Hancock follows this up with a review of ancient myths, beginning with Zoroaster. Hancock claims that 'Zoroaster borrows from much earlier traditions', but that feels somewhat like conjecture.
In the Zoroastrian creation myth, the flood is countered by a Noah-like figure who is to build an underground bunker, containing seeds, mostly. Hancock suggests that the underground cities of cappadocia could be those very cities.
Of course, possible, as the age of these cities is unknown, but pure speculation.

Then follows a description of the Sumerian creation myths that include the primary bringer of knowledge, Oannes, and his Seven Sages, or wise men. Interesting, but this part of the book is closest to Sitchin's many pretty much fictional stories, even if Hancock is less speculative. One point he emphasizes is that Oannes and his Seven Sages enlightened mankind *before* the flood. After the flood, only surrogates of the sages were left to help mankind along, even if, admitted by much later assyrian and Mesopotamian kings, original, antediluvian, knowledge supposedly still existed.

Hancock then shifts to Edfu, an old temple complex between Luxor and Aswan, containing inscriptions that more than echo Plato's story of Atlantis, going deeper and mirroring the Sumerian creation myth, complete with Seven Sages, serving a master. Though here, the sages are described to have come to Egypt after the destruction of Atlantis, that is, after the flood, as opposed to the Sumerian sages doing their thing before the flood.

Hancock spends a lot of time trying to convince the reader that Egyptian history goes as far back as the flood, through choice pickings of ancient Egyptian texts. But, his wordy treatise takes away from his credibility, as his only objective needs to be making the connection to an antediluvian world plausible, not definite.
One connection, which he does makes plausible, is between Gizeh, and Baalbek, in Lebanon. Baalbek, like the sanctuary just north of Gizeh, was called Heliopolos, city of the sun, while there are indications that the Egyptian God Horus actually had come from modern day Lebanon, possibly through a Canaanite connection, the god being represented by a Phoenix, in turn possibly representing a cyclical comet, in turn physically represented by a meteorite, which might have resembled the capstone of the great pyramids.

Next, Hancock returns to Göbekli Tepe, making the claim that a particular depiction on one of the site's pillars represents a stellar configuration that uniquely identifies our time within a range of less than a century (or, to be precise, any similar region in time spaced a good 25000 or multiples thereof, on either side). This seems possible, but the supporting evidence does not seem overly strong to me.

Hancock continues with suggesting that the keepers of ancient wisdom were the Sabians, from the Egyptian for 'star', based in Harran, now in Turkey, while the story of the book of Enoch, a non-canonical bible book only rediscovered some 300 years ago, reinforces stories still available in Genesis, on the Nephilim.
The Sabians, worshippers of Hermes, sometimes equated wit Enoch, an antediluvian prophet, survived Islamic prosecution as they managed to claim being people of he book, well, until the 13th century or so, after their last pilgrimage to Gizeh and Islamic golden age.
Yet, a copy of the Hermetica, the works of Hermes, showed up with the Italian de Medicis in around 1479, just in time for the discovery of the new world.

Of course, in Hancock's eyes, the Nephilim, or perhaps their angelic parents, are the sages.

In the final chapters, Hancock unnecessarily covers some aspects of both Easter Island and megalithic constructions in Peru.

In short, my take aways:
+ A meteorite hit earth around 10800BC, resulting in cataclysmic change and a 1200 year long ice age.
+ Another cataclysmic event happened around 9600BC.
+ Göbekli Tepe is about 12000 years old, saw its inhabitants create megalithic structures and 'invent' agriculture.
+ The pyramids probably refer to both the period around 12000 years ago and 2500BC and, perhaps, in part, were constructed much earlier than the generally accepted date of 2500BC.
+ Baalbek might have been constructed much earlier than currently thought.
+ Gunung Pradang might date back to around 12000 years ago.
+ Egyptian creation myths parallel Plato's story of Atlantis and imply referring back to a time that could be as early as 12000 years ago.
+ Plenty of parallels exist between the Egyptian creation myth and similar myths from other middle eastern peoples.
+ The Sabians, amongst other ancient cultures, were competent, if not very good, astrologers.
+ North American Indians have creation myths that seem to talk about a cataclysmic event resembling a major meteor impact.

Hancock's biggest drawback is that he is overly verbose and at times reverts to writing a travelogue. Sticking to the facts, speculating as little as possible, would have done the book, and his credibility, good.
Yet, in the end, a plausible theory emerges suggesting that an advanced civilization could have existed before the cataclysmic events of roughly 12000 years ago. Hancock reaches, at times, but his central premise is credible, if still speculative.
Profile Image for Adrian.
251 reviews25 followers
September 19, 2015
Graham Hancock's long awaited sequel is more an expansion of previously explored themes in Fingerprints of the Gods, rather than, as the title suggests, an exploration of lost knowledge.
For this reader, this was something of a disappointment, as I have long held the position that the ancients were far wiser than we currently understand, however, Hancock at least illustrates the astronomical and astrological knowledge contained in the lost civilizations, and how this could have been transferred to the present.
The Magicians of the title refer to the people who may have transmitted lost knowledge and the arts of civilization to people in a post cataclysmic age at the end of the younger dryas period following a global cataclysm, most likely a flood, around 10,000 BC or earlier.
Gone is Hancock's previous polar shift hypothesis, and instead we have a far simpler scenario of a comet collision with Earth, and a possible further collision in the near future.
To myself, the prophecies of doom do not represent the finest attributes of this book, and serve as something of a sensationalist discourse that distracts somewhat from the books true strengths.
The true strengths of the book are the insights into archaeological sites such as Gobekli Tepe in Turkey, Pudang in Indonesia, and various New World sites that are almost certainly older than the age traditionally attributed to them by mainstream archaeology.
This revision of history does not simply adjust dates, but completely destroys the orthodox position that human life was a hunter gatherer society before 3,000 B.C.
This may be familiar to those who have read Fingerprints, but where this differs is that Hancock illustrates that civilization has a very strong demarcation in the form of an a pre and post flood era.
The big question is should one who has read Fingerprints bother with Magicians? My answer is an unreserved Yes. While both books have a similar feel and explore similar themes, Magicians provides a much-needed update of the work began in Fingerprints, and takes us further in piecing together the ancient knowledge contained in star map megalithic structures and the overall rewrite of ancient history.
Magicians is far from conclusive, there is still much work to be done, but it is yet another step towards the necessary overhaul of our understanding of the past.
Profile Image for Jim.
61 reviews
November 19, 2015
New discoveries like Gobekli Tepi and Gunung Padong have added to Hancock's contention that there could have been a high civilization in the past. I like the fact that he is on more solid footing knowing that we have good evidence for a cometary impact that kicked off the Younger Dryas. While this subject will necessarily be speculative, Hancock has dug up a lot to bolster his argument. This was an interesting read.
Profile Image for Andrew.
Author 9 books34 followers
November 17, 2015
I read Fingerprints of the Gods twenty years ago, when mainstream science thought that Graham Hancock was mad! His latest book is full of new details as the science community is starting to admit that his ideas might just be correct. Its a bit long at almost 500 pages, but well worth the read.
Profile Image for Jon Ureña.
Author 3 books95 followers
October 24, 2017
Something smelled for me regarding the history of humanity as it's been agreed upon by the establishment. Every piece of evidence against that status quo, and there are many that by themselves would destroy the entire picture, was discarded, if considered at all, as an exception. How could the Sphinx have been made by dynastic Egyptians, if the bedrock its blocks belonged to shows signs of water erosion that put the construction at at least 10,000 years old? How (and when) were the Giza pyramids built if, by the timeframe given by the establishment, a block weighing a couple dozen tons would have to have been put in place every couple of minutes? How were the insides built in terms of logistics (not to mention the actual physical construction), when there's no sign of any of the soot that would have resulted from the only supposed methods of illumination that they would have? Does the relief at the temple of Hathor actually depict a lightbulb as it does seem, with all that it implies about their level of technology? Why are the interiors of the great pyramids lacking in any hieroglyphs, given that the dynastic Egyptians graffitied everything? Why are they considered tombs when no mummies have ever found inside? How does it make sense that all the civilizations of the era (Sumeria and Egypt as the biggest ones, but also the South American cultures) started out, out of thin air, building extremely complex structures, but as the years passed they weren't even able to imitate properly what they used to do? Why does the establishment maintain that many of those early cultures worked granite, basalt and even corundum to those levels of sophistication and with copper tools, which would be impossible given the hardness of those minerals? Why did the Egyptians, who were obsessed with keeping records of everything, say that their civilization had rulers up to 30,000 years ago, and that their origin comes from a land that sank suddenly? What are the odds that all the complex societies of those times said that their civilizations were legacies, and the forefathers practically identical across all those cultures separated by oceans? Why are the Easter Island Moais supposed to have been carved and put in place just about 700 years ago, when some are buried in sedimentation that would have taken at least ten thousand years to build up? Who were the people that were able to build the lower levels of Gunung Padang, in modern Indonesia, around 20,000 years ago? How and why were underground cities like Derinkuyu built, when according to established history those people were supposed to be able to live aboveground without specific complications? And the sunken structures and cities in places that were only aboveground before the last Ice Age ended, such as the couple of hundred towns in the Mediterranean, or Dwarka near the coast of India, or the Yonagumi monument? And how can there be an actual complex with clearly man made structures off the coast of Cuba at depths between 2,000 feet and 2,460 feet, which is even more than the levels raised after the last Ice Age?

Not to mention the out of place artifacts. How does the Antikythera mechanism, an analog computer found in a sunken Greek ship, fit in the picture, when Greeks weren't supposed to be able to build something remotely as complex? Why were batteries found in modern Iraq two thousand years ago, if they weren't supposed to know about electricity? How could walls have been found buried under soil that would date them as far back as 200,000 to 400,000 years? Who made the Baigong pipes, actual pipes found in Chinese caves that go down to a nearby lake, about 150,000 years ago, when metallurgy shouldn't have existed for more than 140,000 years? How does the Piri Reis map, done by a Turkish mariner in the 16th century, show lands that have been sunken for about 11,000 years, and even the correct outline of Antarctica as it is under the ice caps, which have been in place likely for millions of years? Why and how are artifacts like drill bits, hammers and even statues found encapsulated in minerals that would have taken millions of years to form? Who made the artificially shaped spheres found in mines in South Africa, spheres that are supposed to be around 2,8 billion years old?

Any of those "exceptions" would throw out the current established history, that says that Sumeria (from 6,000 BC) was the first civilization, and that it somehow invented agriculture, animal husbandry, metallurgy, complex masonry, writing, etc., even when they themselves said that their culture was a legacy from people that came before. To a certain degree, along with a tremendous dose of self-deception, archeologists built this narrative using carbon dating. The issue is that you can't carbon date stone, and people tend to flock to places that are built, where they leave remains that can be carbon dated, which throws off the actual dating of the building. But suddenly comes Göbekli Tepe, a complex found in the nineties under an artificial hill in what is now Southern Turkey. About ten thousand years ago, some people, for an unknown reason, decided to bury an extremely sophisticated megalithic complex that dwarfs Stonehenge (probably wrongly dated as well). That it was buried allowed the scientists to date it without doubts to so far back in time, and with the additional knowledge that it must have been in operation for at least a thousand years. That means it was built when humanity was coming out of the Ice Age. The pillars are carved with an absurd proficiency, showing even animals in three dimensions (meaning that the blocks were carved around them). One of the statues linked to Göbekli Tepe, the so called Urfa man, an eerie guy that for some reason is holding his dick and balls, is officially recognized as the first carved depiction of a human being (although there are likely many earlier ones). Another problem with Göbekli Tepe, apart from the sophistication of the masonry, is that it's astronomically aligned. Nobody was supposed to have this knowledge for thousands of years after that. There are additional controversial issues with it; some of the animals depicted were supposed to have gone extinct during the last Ice Age, and some people suggest that the pillars even show constellations as they would be in the future, as if warning of something. Are we supposed to believe now that like the Sumerians, these people just decided one day to stop hunter-gathering and with no prior knowledge produced such a site?

When one looks even closer at Göbekli Tepe, that place throws a wrench into the entire history of humanity. How is the masonry there almost identical to that found in South America, Egypt and even as far East as Indonesia and China? How is it possible that the Urfa man, the pillars of the complex, the Moais and a lot of statues found in South America and Indonesia are making the same gestures? Why are the same strange bags depicted, often held in the same way? Then you have to consider the obvious: that the myths of those peoples, myths that talk about "civilizing heroes", called by different names in the different cultures (Osiris and Thoth in Egypt, Viracocha and Quetzalcoatl in the Americas, Enki and Oannes in Mesopotamia, Vishnu in India) reference the same band of people that brought their knowledge to the hunter-gatherers of those areas, intending to restart the world they had lost. They were described as tall, pale, bearded and in some cases redheaded (particularly important in places like South America, where the natives were dark skinned and couldn't grow beards; also, they weren't supposed to have met other races).

Along with the revelation of Göbekli Tepe comes the solid science, studying the soil from 12,800 years ago from as far West as North America and as far East as Syria, that shows impact proxies that only happen when a cosmic object hits the planet. This goes along with the fossil evidence of megafauna like mastodons found killed suddenly, some even as they were eating, with their legs and hips crushed as by a tremendous force that in some cases dismembered them, leaving the feet lodged in the ground. The impact has been traced back to the North American ice caps, which during the Ice Age covered the entirety of Canada and some of the United States. This means a catastrophic melting of two miles thick sheets of ice, causing floods that reached heights of 700-1000 feet; for some reason geologists disputed which seems like rather evident evidence in the geology of northern states, like Washington. That water also poured into the oceans, stopping the currents that heat this planet, plunging it into a deep freeze that took around a thousand years to rebound from. The oceans raised about 400 feet, sinking as much exposed landmass as Europe and China put together. Look at a map of how the Earth was during the Ice Age and see how the continents have changed. So we have the planet as cold as it had been for a long, long time, showers of black rain, wildfires that spanned entire continents, the sky covered for years, and when things start heating up, out of nowhere appears Göbekli Tepe, a place requiring knowledge that would have taken hundreds, thousands of years for a civilization to produce. By the way, the comet or whatever it was seemingly belonged to the Taurid meteor stream we pass every year, a source of annual shooting stars; it was likely an object from that stream that caused the devastation in Tunguska back in 1908. There are still there miles wide stones that could destroy the world any year.

The rather obvious conclusion from all this is that there were complex civilizations that lived as ours have done during the current era, until a comet strike fucked them up, basically destroying the entire world. A brave band of survivors, or several of them, approached isolated hunter-gatherer tribes that had been in the business of surviving and not of building cities on the coast (with as much foresight as Romans lining their aqueducts with lead). The survivors tried to show those hunter-gatherers their knowledge, and some of it stuck, but as they didn't earn the knowledge themselves, over the generations they just got worse and worse, resorting to imitating the works of people that were far more successful (and likely more attractive) than they were. And in a predictable fashion, the relationship between those different groups of people, with an abyss of scientific progress between them, sparked prototypical cargo cults. The less advanced peoples ended considering those forefathers as gods, and the places they built for other purposes they used as temples for veneration. Those survivors were consistently depicted as therianthropes (meaning half person, half animal). More often than not, half flying creature or half fish. The myths say that they were able to come out of the sea as if they lived there, or traveled on it "walking", or in ships that didn't require rowing and didn't have sails. They are also said to have been able to fly in machines. They had to be expert navigators if their travels led them across the oceans, but is it possible also that they were as sophisticated as having invented engines and airplanes? There are ancient models in South America that clearly depict planes (the models were even built in the present and were found to be aerodynamic), but it's not like much or any evidence of that machinery would have survived; in places like Ollantaytambo and Tiahuanaco, with sophisticated megaliths now supposed to be from the post-Ice Age era, the molded metals keeping some blocks together were scavenged except in blocks that they couldn't lift at the time. Inside the older pyramids there are also strange grooves that suggest complex machinery to lift stuff, but none of it has survived after thousands of years of looting. Metal has always been far too valuable to just leave lying around as you would blocks of stone (but still, in sites like Baalbek's temple of Jupiter, the site ended as a hodgepodge of scavenged blocks from previous cultures).

If you go even deeper down the rabbit hole, consider that the Abrahamic religions use myths that were copied, fanfiction style, from earlier civilizations; the story of Noah is a "semitization" of identical stories found in the Babylonian and Sumerian civilizations, although the flood "myth" is one of the most common ones, found in about two hundred cultures. The story of Moses, a baby put on a river who then did great things, is the story of Sargon of Akkad. And then we have Jesus, a tall, bearded guy associated with fishes who went around telling people how to behave and who walked on water and flew to the heavens.

I like the author, Graham Hancock. He's a likable guy, even if he can get quite heated during confrontations. I'm not entirely on board with how he involves psychodelic drugs into this whole deal, but I agree that they likely allow you to access a different kind of knowledge that could further humanity. It did make me want to try DMT. Too bad it doesn't seem to be legal in my country.

There is a sinister issue here regarding the establishment: the idea of "gradualism" won out, even if it really doesn't make sense. They seem to argue that civilizations just progress and nothing really breaks that thread in a catastrophic way. When you hear the academicians still defending the established timeline of human history, it's like children grasping at straws. It contradicts the fact that ancient civilizations just got progressively worse, and also that they clearly had knowledge that we have had to rediscover even as recently as the 20th century. The comet impact evidence apparently received a pushback from NASA, not on the grounds of faulty evidence, but because they don't want to scare people (a similar argument is made regarding the alien presence on this planet; keeping shit hidden from us because we might get scared is something you do with children, and I hope one day everyone involved pays for it). Gradualism seems more of an ideology than anything; the evidence that a cosmic impact could, and did, restart humanity doesn't fit, and also hurts the current pseudo-religion of progressivism that grips Western Civilization: no matter how insane the changes (like never before seen mass migrations or the deliberate dissolution of cultures and states), they will always result in a better world, because so goes the arrow of history. But the history of humanity shows that it is tremendously fragile, that all that was gained through insanely hard work could be lost in a couple of generations and maybe never rediscovered again. Entire civilizations could fall to the sands of time as if those millions of intelligent beings had never existed. That is something to keep in mind.
Profile Image for Helio.
452 reviews67 followers
August 25, 2018
The book is mostly about the huge, recently discovered, archaeology site in Turkey, dating back to 9,600 B.C.
Quote from page 311
"What's important here is for some unknown reason the builders of Gobekli Tepe constructed a temple apparently highlighting a time 11,600 years into future. Yet this scene is intentional. The symbolism is clear and in keeping with many mythologies describing this very same event ocurring at the very time we live in today."
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Stevie Kincade.
153 reviews103 followers
July 16, 2018
Civilisation is much older than it appears, or as Hancock loves to point out "stuff just keeps on getting older". If you are familiar with the research of Hancock, John Anthony West and geologist Robert Schoch this will come as no surprise. If you are not, watch the documentary "The Mystery of the sphinx" on Youtube. Other than a highly unfortunate detour into "the face on Mars" it remains an excellent documentary, narrated by Charlton Heston. Also worth watching are the "Magical Egypt" series from JA West and "The Pyramid Code" on Netflix that features Hancock.

The premise of West and Schoch's research is that the body of the Sphinx and the Sphinx enclosure bare the unmistakable marks of rain erosion not sand erosion and thus that the Sphinx could not have been built in 2500BC as conventional Egyptology tells us but dates to a much older time when Egypt was rain forest, to at least 9700BC. There is also plenty of evidence showing the sphinx was being restored in 2500BC when it was supposedly brand new. The continued excavation of the greatest modern archaeological discovery, the temple Gobekli Tepi in Turkey (built around 12000 years ago), at a time when humans were supposed to be primitive hunter gatherers only supports this theory further.

Hancock's previous book "Fingerprints of the Gods" expounds on the research of John Anthony West, that Egypt is much older than previously believed. If you've ever watched an episode of "Ancient Aliens" you know that the further back we go in Egypt's history, the more advanced the architecture and craftsmanship were, while in dynastic Egypt the buildings and art were much cruder. Cue Georgio - "IT WAS ALIENS BRO".

A much more logical interpretation is that civilisation did not evolve linearly. That humanity had achieved a certain level of technology before the end of the last ice age and that rising sea levels and climate change decimated this society and forced it to slowly rebuild. We might as well use "the A word" and say Atlantis. The keepers of this ancient knowledge are Hancock's titular "Magicians".

Hancock is a skilled writer and endeavours to take the reader along with him as he visits these ancient sites, Gobekli Tepi as well as sites I had not heard of such as Baalbek in Lebanon and Gunung Padang in Indonesia. He writes a sort of first person travelogue as he investigates, drawing the reader in to the discovery. Hancock is a passionate writer and reader of his writing in the audiobook. He practically sneers every time he says the words "mainstream archaeology" or "mainstream Egyptology". He is certainly right in questioning Egyptology, a branch of Science so closed off and unaccountable it barely deserves to be called as such. While Hancock's fervour is understandable it comes of as somewhat unprofessional when he uses favourable adjectives for scholars he agrees with and stops just short of name calling for the mainstream. Hancock never misses an opportunity to trumpet all the occasions in which he has been proven right since "Fingerprints of the Gods"

I enjoyed Hancock's accounts of the various sites in south America, Baalbek and Gobekli Tepi. I thought one of the most interesting things I learned was that the Egyptian God of wisdom and writing Thoth was given his teachings by 7 men, the Magicians. The book does get a bit tedious and overlong at times, particularly in the sections on comets and geology.

I did note that Hancock has replaced his "Polar shift" hypothesis for the mass extinction event of 12000 years ago to "comets". While no doubt comets did hit the earth and have an effect in this time period I found it surprising that the geologist Hancock frequently sites the "esteemed" Robert Schoch of Boston University recently said on a podcast that he does not support the "comet hypothesis". Schoch instead believes it was a series of "solar events" that both effected the climate and left a series of "stick figure like" streaks across the sky. Schoch believes these patterns displayed in the sky account for their representations appearing on cave art around the world.

My strongest disagreement with Hancock comes with his conjecture that Gobekli Tepi was buried by its builders as a "time capsule" for modern man to discover. What about the simplest explanation, that after Gobekli Tepi was built, the religion it was based on fell out of favour? Surely a massive change in climate, animal behaviours and possibly even a series of "solar events" might cause early man to conclude that the gods were displeased and that the previous religious system should be abandoned.

Not without it's flaws but an enjoyable read for anyone interested in hearing the latest critiques against the accursed "mainstream archaeology".
16 reviews
October 14, 2015
Graham Hancock has toppled the existing timeline in our history books and raises a lot of questions. Old ways of thinking and academics clinging on to their precious theories need to rethink a lot and let go of their egos for the betterment of humanity as a whole. This book serves as a waking and a warning at the same time. I have been following Mr. Hancock's work for the last ten years and this is the pinnacle of it for me.

I applaud this groundbreaking book. Everyone remotely interested in the history of humanity needs to read this, especially if they are skeptical about so called "alternative" history.

48 reviews5 followers
July 20, 2016
I have seen Hancock in interviews and he is a great raconteur - perhaps what led me to read this book. I had to struggle through the last 5 chapters just so I could say I finished it; it is that dull. It is not so much that Hancock refers to burial sites/excavations in far-flung regions of the world as if you have read all of his previous work where these were mentioned, but the book does not offer really anything so interesting in the way of theories. Ok, so there was a comet in the Younger Dryas period that most likely wiped out a more advanced civilization and we have been in a state of devolution since then. Interesting premise, but by chapter 8 it is one boring chapter after another, and I say this as someone who used to read literary theory for fun. If you choose to read one of Hancock's books, don't start with this one - perhaps Fingerprints of the Gods - but why not go the whole hog and enjoy yourself and read some Zachariah Stitchin?
Profile Image for Howard.
1,288 reviews80 followers
December 16, 2020
5 Stars for Magicians of the Gods: The Forgotten Wisdom of Earth’s Lost Civilization. By Graham Hancock read by the author. I just love this subject. Graham does a wonderful job researching all these details. He is really bringing this ancient past into focus.
Profile Image for Gregory.
Author 2 books39 followers
February 8, 2017
An outstanding, thought-provoking look at new archaeological finds and their potential impact on how the rise of civilization is taught. Could also be called "A Tale of Two Comets."
Profile Image for Andres.
Author 3 books17 followers
July 6, 2016
Hancock, as usual, has researched the topic thoroughly and professionally, and he succeeds in supporting his thesis that ours is not the first advanced civilization this planet has had, and more importantly, makes a great case for the prior civilization having fallen during a planetary cataclysm of proportions only seen in extreme Hollywood blockbusters. Furthermore, his book paints a convincing picture of what this cataclysm was, showing the proof still to be seen in the geological and archeological record, as well as in our racial memory (in the form of legends and even common motifs in monuments and other artifacts).

Some of what he has unearthed can actually be seen as a warning that this cataclysm was not a one time event, but is likely to recur, and even more unfortunately, if his premise is correct, very soon. Mainstream archeology ignores findings that do not neatly align with the party line, and careers have been ruined for archeologists that insist on going against the grain. Findings that are inconvenient are hidden away in museum basements or otherwise kept out of sight. But given our information society, it's no longer quite so easy to discredit and silence researchers, nor to hide artifacts away before someone takes a video or a picture of them and posts it all over the internet.

This book vindicates at least one prominent scientist whose views were ridiculed last century and his career truncated for daring to go against the establishment. Hancock is a very engaging writer and does not bore. A good number of photographs and drawing accompany his writing in this book, and his theories are not only sound and plausible, but supported by evidence. This book will interest the historian, the archeologist, the geologist and the the general public not afraid to look behind the curtain. Highly recommended!
Profile Image for Terry.
366 reviews78 followers
June 3, 2018
I enjoyed this book just as much as the first book of Mr. Hancock's that I listened to last month. I enjoy listening to all of the history and mysteries that are explored, and I have no problem believing in the theories and ideas that are presented. The idea of a comet impact ending the Younger Dryas period, as well as devastating a possible ancient civilization are very compelling. I will certainly continue in the quest to learn more.
Profile Image for Bettie.
9,989 reviews17 followers
August 29, 2018

Description: Near the end of the last Ice Age 12,800 years ago, a giant comet that had entered the solar system from deep space thousands of years earlier, broke into multiple fragments. Some of these struck the Earth causing a global cataclysm on a scale unseen since the extinction of the dinosaurs. At least eight of the fragments hit the North American ice cap, while further fragments hit the northern European ice cap. The impacts, from comet fragments a mile wide approaching at more than 60,000 miles an hour, generated huge amounts of heat which instantly liquidized millions of square kilometers of ice, destabilizing the Earth's crust and causing the global Deluge that is remembered in myths all around the world. A second series of impacts, equally devastating, causing further cataclysmic flooding, occurred 11,600 years ago, the exact date that Plato gives for the destruction and submergence of Atlantis.

The evidence revealed in this book shows beyond reasonable doubt that an advanced civilization that flourished during the Ice Age was destroyed in the global cataclysms between 12,800 and 11,600 years ago. But there were survivors - known to later cultures by names such as 'the Sages', 'the Magicians', 'the Shining Ones', and 'the Mystery Teachers of Heaven'. They travelled the world in their great ships doing all in their power to keep the spark of civilization burning. They settled at key locations - Gobekli Tepe in Turkey, Baalbek in the Lebanon, Giza in Egypt, ancient Sumer, Mexico, Peru and across the Pacific where a huge pyramid has recently been discovered in Indonesia. Everywhere they went these 'Magicians of the Gods' brought with them the memory of a time when mankind had fallen out of harmony with the universe and paid a heavy price. A memory and a warning to the future...

For the comet that wrought such destruction between 12,800 and 11,600 years may not be done with us yet. Astronomers believe that a 20-mile wide 'dark' fragment of the original giant comet remains hidden within its debris stream and threatens the Earth. An astronomical message encoded at Gobekli Tepe, and in the Sphinx and the pyramids of Egypt,warns that the 'Great Return' will occur in our time.

Every once in a while I love to dip into some historical masturbation...

200 New Stone Pillars Discovered at Gobekli Tepe | Ancient Architects

THE MYSTERY OF GÖBEKLI TEPE - Graham Hancock on London Real
Profile Image for Hilary "Fox".
2,069 reviews60 followers
January 20, 2016
Oh, Graham Hancock, how I enjoy you.

I received this book, happily, as an ARC from the GoodReads First Reads program in exchange for an honest review.

The focus of Magicians of the Gods is Hancock's belief that the end of the Younger Dryas period was caused by a celestial impact. This asteroid strike, or multiple strikes as he believes that it split in the atmosphere, was primarily focused upon the ice shelf at the Canadian/US border and created the scablands that we see there today. So, what does that mean?

In Hancock's mind this impact, some 10,600 years ago, was what triggered the floods we see in old myths, the apocalypses of a myriad of ancient cultures, and what caused the collapse of a now-lost civilization (possibly Atlantis) that caused the survivors to spread out and gift their advanced technological prowess to the other cultures.

Now, where is the proof of this? Hancock finds it in monuments he believes to be older than they seem. Baalbek, Gobekli Tepe, the Easter Island Moai, Indonesian megaliths, etc. The book is a survey of ancient sites as much as it is trumpeting his hypothesis. Whether or not you believed in the YD impact theory, it is worth a glimpse or two for the gorgeous photographs taken by his wife at the various sites. More than simply ancient Egypt, this book surveys commonly overlooked sites and makes a good case for a re-examination of some of them.

I enjoyed this book. While I don't subscribe to the ideas of genetic manipulation existing that far back, I do believe there are many cases where archaeologists could reexamine some evidence. I do believe, also, that it would be worth it to do deeper surveys of un-studied places such as Indonesia. I don't find the idea of lost civilizations that unusual, and I think for the most part, Hancock is good about what he postulates.

Even if you don't agree with Hancock, at least read the bits where he references Sitchin and crushes the hopes of Ancient Astronaut Theorists everywhere by revealing faulty translations.

God, I love that.
December 8, 2015
Hancock is an enthralling speaker and when I was introduced to him on the JRE podcast, I found him infectious and riveting. However, the same really can't be said about his books. I have had a love hate relationship with this book and given this, its unsurprising it ended around three quarters in.

I enjoy the idea and the ramifications that Hancock appears to be unearthing and I can even, plainly follow the reasoning with which he argues them. However, the book is simply too dense with aspects that I really couldn't care about.

For a lay reader like myself, who has a passing interesting in archeology and history, I found there was too much emphasis on proving the other side (main stream archeology) wrong. He even suggests that perhaps there is a conspiracy within the dominate gradualist theory to suppress all other theories, which I can buy, but ultimately doesn't really add anything to the book other than to make you angry. This is hilarious because why do I gave a toss at how people choose to connect tenuous evidence? I have no horse in this race whatsoever.

Whilst I'm open minded to the ideas he presents, I was instantly turned off when he was suggesting that this lost civilisation was trying to send us a message. So a very advanced civilisation prior to being wiped off the face of the earth, was more concerned with sending us messages in the future then worrying about their own demise? For a civilisation apparently that intelligent, it doesn't add up.

There are some really solid bits in here, sections where you are sucked in and really can't put the book down. But these were oasis's in the dryness of the academic debate and lengthy explanations for simplistic concepts.

PS I understand he had to include the evidence as a way to poke at any academics, who would read his book, but for the average person who has mild interest in this subject, I would recommend you don't really bother with this one and stick to his podcast appearances.
Profile Image for Shruti.
91 reviews19 followers
August 13, 2019
Interesting conceit, however, some of the leaps of imagination required you to suspend a lot of belief.

For example, his point on 540 being a precessional number can be summed up as - "take the heartbeat of precession, 72, halve it and add it to itself to get 108. Halve 108 - you get 54; multiply it by 10 to get 540." That's the number of pillars in Angkor Wat! And in Edfu! Coincidence, I think so...

Yes, I get it - we might be underestimating the high civilisations of yore, both in terms of achievements as well as timelines, but let's not get carried away and ascribe stories where they don't exist.

He writes really well in any case.
Profile Image for Michael.
25 reviews
December 3, 2015
Disclaimer: I am a big fan of Graham Hancock and just finished meeting him while on signing tour of this exact book. Therefore, this review will certainly be biasly written in the positive.

Mr. Hancock has a remarkable ability to connect dots of antiquity. The lines he connects illuminate a cataclysmic event that caused unfathomable and practically instantaneous changes to the earth which resulted in mass extinctions and nearly wiped out humanity as well. The mounting peer-reviewed scientific evidence from various fields of study make a solid case that humanity is in fact much older than we have been led to believe. Advanced civilizations of antiquity displayed remarkable feats of engineering and astronomy to a degree of mastery that we hardly have today, that knowledge was nearly lost forever. Hancock even goes as far as to point out many uncanny parallels from the ancient dynasties of egypt to Plato to the Mayans and many more cultural tales. Normally dismissed as myth, these stories that have stood the test of time and show up from around the world may actually be another form of the same message written on magnificent astrologically aligned megaliths. If this theory is correct, the message that screams from the ancient past speaks to an 80 year window 11,600 years in the future its conception. That window is in our time - from 1960-2040. Observe the stars, for extinction events come in the from deep space like a bullet from a sniper rifle. Fortunately we are advanced enough to protect ourselves... but are we smart enough as a collective species to concentrate our efforts to protect all of humanity and the earth we live on? So far, it seems not.
Profile Image for Fi's Journey.
532 reviews20 followers
April 2, 2019
"It upsets our carefully structured ideas of how civilizations should behave, how they should mature and develop, when we are confronted by a case like Göbekli Tepe that starts out perfect at the beginning and then slowly devolves until it is just a pale shadow of its former self."

"My thoughts about this immense book and the topics Mr Graham talks about?" It's fantastic!
He's done a lot of research, which you can tell, and writes in such a way that it makes you want to keep reading it. Why did it took me so long to read it?
Well, because books like these, I like to savour them and then think about what I just read.
It's just one of these books that stay in your mind and makes you look different at the 'world'.

Another thing I like about the author and the book as well, is that he travels from place to place: from south-east Turkey to Lebanon, Egypt, North & South America to Indonesia. He's visiting megalithic and ancient sites that spark of mysterious and mystical times...

He is well traveled and had some of his own 'out of body' experience, which makes him as an author way more believable than any other author about all these subjects he's touched on in this book.

Pictures will be included soon into this Review.
Profile Image for Ard.
125 reviews9 followers
March 28, 2016
Hancock is always an interesting read and this is definitely no exception. I'm intrigued by the idea of a lost civilisation and its survivors seeding our first great civilisations. There are some very interesting theories, sometimes well-argumented, but there's also a lot of speculation and quite a bit of it couldn't really convince me. Meanwhile, it's a worthy sequel to Fingerprints of the Gods and everyone who liked that book will probably like this one.
Profile Image for Glen Krisch.
Author 28 books460 followers
March 15, 2016
Thoroughly enjoyable and thought-provoking. A great combination.
September 30, 2016
This my friends, is an amazing journey through time and places all around the world and beyond ! I have learned so much and been captivated by the evolution of the author quest of sense through the reading of the most ancient myths, archeologic sites and clues about the very untold origins of human civilisation! This is what i would love to read in scholar books instead of the boring rational and fake story of humanity.
Even if I know why they won't ever change the established version... I want to think that one day we will learn stuff at school that will increase children curiosity and fascination for subjects with open questions... and no "this is how it is and there is nothing to question about it".
Books like this one...
Thank you Graham Hancock for all the energy, time and passion you put in this huge piece of work that is "the magicians of gods" allowing everyone interested to access and understand a bit more about the subject.
I could truely feel what a life mission it has been and I am now proud to be one of the messenger of your discoveries.
knowledge like this is meant to be shared
* So much worth the 500 pages! ;)

Ca mes amis, est un incroyable voyage à travers le temps le monde et au-delà! J'ai tellement appris et été captivé par l'évolution de la quête de sens de l'auteur à travers la lecture des mythes les plus anciens, des sites archéologiques et des indices sur les origines oubliées de la civilisation humaine! Voilà ce que j'aimerais lire dans les livres scolaire au lieu de l'histoire rationnelle fausse et ennuyeuse qu'on en a fait.
Même si je sais pourquoi ils ne changeront jamais la version établie ... J'aime à penser qu'un jour, nous apprendrons des choses à l'école qui augmentera la curiosité et fascination des enfants pour les sujets avec des questions ouvertes ... et non "c'est comme ça et pas autrement " genre de leçons.
Des livres comme celui-ci.
Merci à Graham Hancock pour toute l'énergie, le temps et la passion que vous mettez dans «les magiciens des dieux"! je pouvais vraiment sentir quelle mission ça a été et je suis maintenant fiere d'être l'un des messagers de vos découvertes.
Un savoir de ce type est destiné à être partagé
* ça vaut tellement la lecture des 500 pages! ;)

12 reviews
January 4, 2016
I'm a fan of alternate historical theories in general. I think it's important to continue asking questions, even after a "standard" has been set because there is always new evidence and research. My expectation for this book was that it would be a continuation of Fingerprints of the Gods, and to some extent I found that to be true. I never expected to find some great secret knowledge revealed in this book because I find those claims to give alternative history a bad name. What I appreciate about Graham is that he is very good at presenting evidence, even if it is sometimes a small amount, that causes the reader to ask additional questions, if not at least consider the possibility that his theories are correct. I find this type of writing very important, particularly in our "modern" world because it requires some participation from the reader. It demands the expansion of a "standard framework" from which we have learned history and view our world today. We are taught that our modern world is far more superior than the cave men we apparently evolved from. I think Graham's work is important in that it encourages critical thinking. It's unfortunate he receives so much criticism because I have never seen one of his lectures or listened to a radio program where he presented his ideas in an aggressive manner. If only more scholars took this approach, we'd be on a faster track to discovering more about our history as a species.
Profile Image for Beattie.
93 reviews4 followers
May 25, 2018
I can't stop talking about this book, seriously! If you are a history buff and one who has an open mind on things, then this is a book for you. I thoroughly enjoyed Graham Hancock's case on lost civilizations in ancient times, and found some of it pretty convincing. He doesn't force you to believe his findings, but rather presents his evidence and why counter arguments do not seem valid. After reading Magicians of the Gods, I have so many questions and quite an open outlook of our past. Pick up this book and you won't be disappointed - I could barely put it down!
Profile Image for Martin Belcher.
408 reviews36 followers
March 28, 2016
I can remember reading Hancock's first book Fingerprints of the Gods quite a few years ago now and feeling like my mind had been opened to a new world history that is repeatedly denied us by successive governments and the 'powers that be'. Magicians of the Gods revisits some of Hancock's earlier research and revises it with up to date scientific thinking drawing to a startling conclusion.
First of all, it's important to point out this book is not one of those crackpot alien books that pretends to tell you that we are descended from aliens - forget that silliness, Magicians of the Gods takes you on a historic tour of important sites of antiquity in Turkey, the Middle East, Indonesia, Egypt and South America, using science to explain the strange links and similar glyphs and stonework that appear in all sites around the world and point to an intelligent civilisation that flourished thousands of years ago, a point of fact which throws our current historic timeline of man completely out of sync. If this is true, we have all been mislead and forgotten our planets past.
The book then delves into the period approximately 12,000 years ago when our Earth suffered major comet/ asteroid bombardments - the Younger Dryas when according to Hancock's research previous advanced civilisations were destroyed in a global apocalypse that threw the planet into an ice age.
What is more frightening is the messages in pictograms left in all the sites of antiquity which lead to a message for the future, a message which tells us that the Younger Dryas comet stream will cross Earth's orbit again in the future, latest scientific research shows this to be the Taurid meteor stream and that in approximately 2030 Earth is due to cross the part of the Taurid stream which contains extremely large fragments of comet including comet Encke. We could be looking at global extinction if any one of these large comet fragments hits the Earth. NASA and world governments refuse to accept this hypothesis while the scientific community know it to be true.
A frightening and mind opening book of startling facts and history, while its not everyone's cup of tea and I'm not saying that Hancock is completely right, the research and scientific fact in this book is clearly true and shocking, are we simply underplaying the fact that our civilisation could be destroyed by a comet in the very near future? Read this and make up your own mind. Highly compelling and a recommended read.
Profile Image for A. L..
159 reviews3 followers
April 21, 2023
I really enjoyed this book, and the realm of possibilities Hancock’s interpretation of prehistoric events brings. I feel he did an excellent job explaining his hypotheses and evidence, although I didn’t fully understand some of the mathematical equations. However, I don’t know enough about those areas either to argue, so I’ll just leave it as question marks in my head, for now. The full color picture plates included were astonishing. I only wish there had been a few more for some of the maps used to show modern lands and lands submerged, or maps of locations, as the grayscale was quite difficult to read properly.

I’ve not read any of Mr. Hancock’s other works, but I’m certainly intrigued enough to seek them out now. I’m also flabbergasted by how many of these unbelievable archaeological sites are not being researched. If they think they’ve found a sister site to Gobekli Tepe, why would you not start teams working? And Gunung Padang! I don’t know how the people in power can even rest, not knowing what’s in there!
Profile Image for Elentarri.
1,598 reviews20 followers
December 6, 2015
Graham Hancock discusses new evidence for an ancient lost civilization and the disaster that led to its end. Better than I thought it would be. This new book does not re-hash information discussed in detail in previous books, but includes mostly new information with references to his old books if you need more detail. So even if you have read all his other book, read this one too. There is more information, especially of the reputed scientific variety, and almost no irrelevant personal travelogue stories. Not as "way out there" as most hypotheses. Large variety of illustrations, photo plates and references.

NOTE: Another book that would go well together with this one is:
Gobekli Tepe: Genesis of the Gods: The Temple of the Watchers and the Discovery of Eden
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