GRAHAM HANCOCK is the author the forthcoming Magicians of the Gods, and of the major international bestsellers The Sign and The Seal, Fingerprints of the Gods, and Heaven’s Mirror. His books have sold more than five million copies worldwide and have been translated into 27 languages. His public lectures, radio and TV appearances, including two major TV series for Channel 4 in the UK and The Learning Channel in the US – Quest For The Lost Civilisation and Flooded Kingdoms of the Ice Age – have put his ideas before audiences of tens of millions. He has become recognised as an unconventional thinker who raises controversial questions about humanity’s past.
Born in Edinburgh, Scotland, Hancock’s early years were spent in India, where his father worked as a surgeon. Later he went to school and university in the northern English city of Durham and graduated from Durham University in 1973 with First Class Honours in Sociology. He went on to pursue a career in quality journalism, writing for many of Britain’s leading newspapers including The Times, The Sunday Times, The Independent, and The Guardian. He was co-editor of New Internationalist magazine from 1976-1979 and East Africa correspondent of The Economist from 1981-1983.
In the early 1980’s Hancock’s writing began to move consistently in the direction of books. His first book (Journey Through Pakistan, with photographers Mohamed Amin and Duncan Willetts) was published in 1981. It was followed by Under Ethiopian Skies (1983), co-authored with Richard Pankhurst and photographed by Duncan Willets, Ethiopia: The Challenge of Hunger (1984), and AIDS: The Deadly Epidemic (1986) co-authored with Enver Carim. In 1987 Hancock began work on his widely-acclaimed critique of foreign aid, Lords of Poverty, which was published in 1989. African Ark (with photographers Angela Fisher and Carol Beckwith) was published in 1990.
Hancock’s breakthrough to bestseller status came in 1992 with the publication of The Sign and The Seal, his epic investigation into the mystique and whereabouts today of the lost Ark of the Covenant. ‘Hancock has invented a new genre,’ commented The Guardian, ‘an intellectual whodunit by a do-it-yourself sleuth.’ Fingerprints of the Gods, published in 1995 confirmed Hancock’s growing reputation. Described as ‘one of the intellectual landmarks of the decade’ by the Literary Review, this book has now sold more than three million copies and continues to be in demand all around the world. Subsequent works such as Keeper Of Genesis (The Message of the Sphinx in the US) with co-author Robert Bauval, and Heaven’s Mirror, with photographer Santha Faiia, have also been Number 1 bestsellers, the latter accompanied by Hancock’s three-part television series Quest For the Lost Civilisation.
In 2002 Hancock published Underworld: Flooded Kingdoms of the Ice Age to great critical acclaim, and hosted the accompanying major TV series. This was the culmination of years of research and on-hand dives at ancient underwater ruins. Arguing that many of the clues to the origin of civilization lay underwater, on coastal regions once above water but flooded at the end of the last Ice age, Underworld offered tangible archaeological evidence that myths and legends of ancient floods were not to be dismissed out of hand.
Graham’s next venture Talisman: Sacred Cities, Secret Faith, co-authored by Robert Bauval, was published in 2004. This work, a decade in preparation, returns to the themes last dealt with in Keeper Of Genesis, seeking further evidence for the continuation of a secret astronomical cult into modern times. It is a roller-coaster intellectual journey through the back streets and rat runs of history to uncover the traces in architecture and monuments of a secret religion that has shaped the world.
In 2005 Graham published Supernatural: Meetings with The Ancient Teachers of Mankind, an investigation of shamanism and the origins of religion. This controversial book suggests that experiences in altered states of consciousness have played a fundamental role in the evolution of human culture, and that other realities – indeed parallel worlds – surround us all the time but are not normally accessible to our senses.
While researching Supernatural, Hancock travelled to the Amazon to drink visionary brew Ayahuasca – the Vine of Souls – used by shamans for more than 4000 years. It was his experiences with the vine lead to his his first work of fiction, Entangled. Written with the same page-turning appeal that has made his non-fiction so popular Entangled tells the story of a supernatural battle of good against evil fought out across the dimension of time on the human plane. It was followed by two other novels, War God: Nights of the Witch and War God: Return of the Plumed Serpent — the first two volumes of his three volume supernatural adventure series on the Spanish conquest of Mexico. Returning to non-fiction Hancock has now completed Magicians of the Gods, the sequel to Fingerprints of the Gods. Published on 10 September 2015 in the UK and on 10 November 2015 in the US, Magicians is not an update of Fingerprints, but a completely new book presenting compelling new evidence for a lost civilisation and for the global cataclysm that swept it from the earth.
Born in Penang, Malaysia, SANTHA FAIIA is a professional photographer specialising in ancient cultures and monuments. Her work has been published around the world in major newspapers and magazines and in 1990 her photographic exhibition Ethiopian Trilogy was opened at the Royal Geographical Society London by Her Royal Highness Princess Anne.
Faiia’s work illustrated The Sign and the Seal (1992) and Fingerprints of the Gods (1995), and in 1998 her major book of photographs was published – the international bestseller Heaven’s Mirror. Faiia’s images from sacred sites as far afield as the temples of Angkor in Cambodia and the great pyramids of Giza in Egypt bring to life a lost world and ‘achieve the rare feat of making you feel you are there’ (Western Mail).
Faiia worked closely with Hancock on Underworld (published in 2002), her photographs of the many ancient underwater ruins off the coast of Japan, all around the Pacific, off Indonesia and Malaysia, off India, and in the Mediterranean, the Atlantic and the Caribbean adding a whole new dimension to her work. She also photographed Supernatural (published 2005), putting unique images of the ancient rock art of South Africa before a global public.
More recently, in 2013, Faiia’s photographs of Easter Island were presented at the Vatican Ethnological Museum contextualising a special exhibition of Easter Island artefacts. In 2014 a second exhibition at the Vatican Ethnological Museum, this time on Indonesia, was again contextualised with a collection of Faiia’s photographs.
Faiia’s latest work is to be seen in the 32 pages of colour photographs she has contributed to the forthcoming Magicians of the Gods.