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Dear Premalatha,

It seems that we are destined forever to misunderstand oneanother. You
started out meaning me well, but wanting to correct what you felt were
elementary mistakes on my part about Tamil culture and history. I got all
defensive (because actually I had done fairly thorough research about Tamil culture and history) and was abrupt and rude to you. This rudeness of mine then scrambled up any possibility of a reasonable discourse between us.

I'm genuinely sorry for being rude and recognise that I was unfair to you.
My mouth frequently gets ahead of my brain! And I usually regret it.

At any rate in the interests of clarity

(1) I want to be clear, and it should be clear if you read my book, that I
have no doubt whatsoever that the temples ON LAND at Mahabalipuram were built circa 1500 to 1200 years ago by known historical figures. I ACCEPT THAT ABSOLUTELY.

(2) I do not have equal confidence that the temples underwater at
Mahabalipuram were built between 1500 and 1200 years ago. Before I could accept that I need to know why they are underwater. That means I must find some geological event within the past 1500 years that could have caused one group of temples at Mahabalipuram to submerge while another group of temples of the same period stayed above water.

(3) There has been no appreciable sea-level rise in the past 1500 years.
Therefore the submergence of the structures at Mahabalipuram must be
explained by some other means. Up till now, however, no adequate means other than sea-level rise has been proposed that could account for the submergence of structures to a depth of 20 feet on this particular bit of the coast of Tamil Nadu. I am not at all convinced that shoreline erosion alone could have done the job, especially since there are extensive areas of granite bedrock offshore of Mahabalipuram and visible to the diver underwater.

(4) In contradiction to the hypothesis of submergence within the past 1500
years, I have obtained the opinion of a leading expert on sea-level rise (Dr
Glenn Milne) and this, as you know, is that the structures offshore of
Mahabalipuram were submerged 6000 years ago.

(5) There are extensive Tamil myths, including the myth of Kumari Kandam and the Sangam tradition, which speak of great lands south of Tamil Nadu that were submerged many thousands of years ago. You will find that these myths are described in some detail in Underworld and that I give both sides of the argument -- the argument of those Tamil scholars who dismiss the myths and the argument of those Tamil scholars who accept them as accounts of real events.

(6) Mahabalipuram itself has several different myths/traditions that speak
of submerged structures off the coast. Again these are fully recounted in
Underworld. One of these traditions even has Krishna paying a visit to
Mahabalipuram from Dwarka (in Gujerat) before the ancient legendary city at Mahabalipuram was flooded. Note that Dwarka itself is said to have been flooded following the ascension of Krishna and that this marked the
beginning of the Kali Yuga. Most traditional computations date the beginning of the Kali Yuga to approximately 5100 years ago. If Krishna came to Mahabalipuram from Dwarka before the beginning of the Kali Yuga that means he came before 5100 years ago. Of course we need not take the myths entirely at face value! All I am saying is there is a hint of much greater antiquity for culture in the Mahabalipuram area than history allows.

(7) In the thread you started on Ma'at, Subbul argues that if fishermen
today are aware of structures underwater then fishermen in the past --
during Pallava times -- should also have been aware of such structures, and therefore there should be records from Pallava times of such sightings if the structures underwater are older than Pallava times. Subbul says there are no such records and takes this as proof that I must be wrong to suggest the structures may have been underwater for more than 6000 years. HOWEVER THERE ARE SUCH RECORDS --although they have come down to us in the form of myths not "history". They are precisely the myths of unknown age and provenance, but clearly very old, of flooded structures lying off shore.

(8) By contrast there are NO HISTORICAL RECORDS of the flooding of an
immense area of structures at Mahabalipuram during Pallava times. Don't you find that surprising? I mean if this disaster had occurred as recently as
1500 to 1200 years ago, don't you think there would be quite explicit and
detailed historical accounts of it? But there are no historical accounts --
only the myths. And those myths could be 6000 years old --since there is no serious doubt about the ability of oral traditions to carry information for
a very long time. (Interestingly many of the fishermen at Mahabalipuram
recount a story that when the flood occurred that submerged the structures offshore the sea rose a metre or two higher than it is today. Then afterwards it subsided to its present level. This is pretty much exactly in accord with geological data for the so-called Flandrian transgression --the post-glacial high-stand of the sea --which occurred about 6000 years ago.)

(9) For the record, I DO NOT REGARD THE DATE OF THE SUBMERGED STRUCTURES AT MAHABALIPURAM AS SETTLED. I regard it as a matter that hopefully will be settled, one way or another, by further research. At present I feel that the two proposed dates -- 1500 years old and 6000 years old -- are equally valid. But either could be confirmed or refuted by the next season's marine archaeology at Mahabalipuram.

I won't be able to comment further as I am going to Egypt later today
(Saturday 27 April) and then on to a book tour in South Africa, returning to
UK on 17 March. I will be offline and out of contact until then.

All the best,


Options: ReplyQuote

Subject Views Written By Posted
Apologies to Prema 94 Graham Hancock 27-Apr-02 00:34
Re: Apologies to Prema 17 Sparky 27-Apr-02 00:49
Woops, I meant 17 May of course! 19 Graham Hancock 27-Apr-02 00:54
Re: Apologies to Prema 19 prema 27-Apr-02 15:09

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