Get the key ideas from

America Before

The Key to Earth’s Lost Civilization

By Graham Hancock
18-minute read
Audio available
America Before: The Key to Earth’s Lost Civilization by Graham Hancock

America Before (2019) is a mind-expanding quest for an ancient and lost way of life. Drawing on lesser-known DNA and archeological evidence, it proposes the existence of a great, early civilization based in North America. Lost to history in the aftermath of a cataclysmic comet strike, this civilization is visible today only in the traces it left in Egyptian, Native American and other great ancient cultures.

  • Anyone looking for an imaginative adventure into the past
  • Historians and archeologists willing to challenge the established view

Graham Hancock has devoted his life to discovering an ancient lost civilization. A best-selling author who has been scoffed at by establishment archeologists and scholars around the world, Hancock has set out his theories in best-selling titles including Magicians of the Gods: The Forgotten Wisdom of Earth’s Lost Civilization, and Fingerprints of the Gods: The Quest Continues.

Go Premium and get the best of Blinkist

Upgrade to Premium now and get unlimited access to the Blinkist library. Read or listen to key insights from the world’s best nonfiction.

Upgrade to Premium

What is Blinkist?

The Blinkist app gives you the key ideas from a bestselling nonfiction book in just 15 minutes. Available in bitesize text and audio, the app makes it easier than ever to find time to read.

Discover
3,000+ top
nonfiction titles

Get unlimited access to the most important ideas in business, investing, marketing, psychology, politics, and more. Stay ahead of the curve with recommended reading lists curated by experts.

Join Blinkist to get the key ideas from
Get the key ideas from
Get the key ideas from

America Before

The Key to Earth’s Lost Civilization

By Graham Hancock
  • Read in 18 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 11 key ideas
Upgrade to Premium Read or listen now
America Before: The Key to Earth’s Lost Civilization by Graham Hancock
Synopsis

America Before (2019) is a mind-expanding quest for an ancient and lost way of life. Drawing on lesser-known DNA and archeological evidence, it proposes the existence of a great, early civilization based in North America. Lost to history in the aftermath of a cataclysmic comet strike, this civilization is visible today only in the traces it left in Egyptian, Native American and other great ancient cultures.

Key idea 1 of 11

The archeological establishment has often been wrong on when humans first reached North America.

The exact point when humanity first set foot in North America has long been a battleground in archeology. And the official academic position has not always been in line with the evidence. Let’s explain.

A hundred and twenty years ago, most scholars believed that there had been no human presence on the North American landmass until 4,000 years ago – the view of an influential scholar, Aleš Hrdlička. The head of anthropology at the Smithsonian Institute’s National Museum of Natural History, Hrdlička made life miserable for any scholar who disagreed with him. A colleague, Frank H. H. Roberts, later admitted that discussing early humanity in North America became so taboo that no academic serious about his career would go near it.

However, in the 1920s and 1930s, evidence emerged which showed that there has been human life in America since at least 12,000 years ago. And it was so compelling that even the most conservative academics had to pay attention.

At a site near a town called Clovis in New Mexico, researchers found beautiful and distinctive projectiles, clearly human-made. They were found next to and in creatures like sabre-toothed cats that had been extinct for over 12,000 years. Here, excitingly, was proof that humans had been present in North America for at least that length of time. Further research led to the discovery of as many as 1,500 Clovis sites, as they came to be known, all across North America.

But instead of seeing Clovis as a starting point, the academic community treated it as an immutable truth. Soon a consensus known as Clovis First emerged – the idea that no older human cultures in America would ever be found.

Dissenters faced ridicule. By 2012, the behavior of the Clovis First brigade was so nasty that the editor of the journal Nature stated that the debate about the earliest Americans had become among the most acrimonious and least productive in all science. When a Canadian archeologist presented fascinating evidence of human activity in caves in the Yukon, 24,000 years ago, he was laughed at.

So, when the archeological community pours scorn on an idea when they reject new theories about earlier humans in the Americas, you shouldn’t just bow to their expertise. They’ve been proved wrong time and time again. And with that healthy commitment to open inquiry in mind, let’s take a look at the evidence for much, much earlier life in America.

Upgrade to continue Read or listen now

Key ideas in this title

Upgrade to continue Read or listen now

No time to
read?

Pssst. Sign up to your secret to success: key ideas from top nonfiction in just 15 minutes.
Created with Sketch.