Since Fingerprints of the Gods (published in 1995) I have maintained that embedded in certain ancient maps – notably the so-called Portolan Charts of the 13th to 15th centuries AD – are accurate representations of geographical features that no longer existed when the maps were made but that were present thousands of years earlier. The mystery deepens when we realise that these maps are in every case based on and copied from much older source maps that are now lost.
Now a 2015 radar survey of Mauritania, with imaging from a Japanese Earth observation satellite, has revealed the existence of a vast ancient river network beneath the shallow, dusty surface of the Western Sahara, winding its way from deep inland towards the coast. The network, which may also extend much further to the east than the area covered by the survey, dried up and vanished from view more than 5,000 years ago but was in existence and kept the Sahara fertile for many thousands of years before that. For full details see these reports:
It is surely significant (see attached illustration) that an identical river system is shown in the Western Sahara in ancient Portolan Charts such as the Canepa Map (1489) based on older, lost source maps. It continues to be my position that those source maps were the work of an advanced civilization that flourished more than 13,000 years ago but that was destroyed in the global cataclysmic episode known as the Younger Dryas between 12,800 and 11,600 years ago.
My new investigation of the lost civilization mystery, the sequel to Fingerprints of the Gods, is Magicians of the Gods (published on 10 September 2015 in the UK and on 10 November 2015 in the US). For more on Magicians of the Gods, see here: http://grahamhancock.com/magicians/.