Literary Analysis Essay on Fingerprints of the Gods by Graham Hancock

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Carnegie Mellon University
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The book by Graham Hancock is a representation of alternative theories which involve timeworn civilizations, megaliths or stone monuments, altered states of consciousness, astrological/astronomical findings from the past, and altered states of consciousness. This is a sure way of telling that little research was done. Data present in the book revolves around an old cliche of alternative archaeologists; for instance, he uses the Pri Rei's map of 1513 and Maps of the Ancient Sea Kings. In addition to that, he is a believer in the opinion of Harold Z Ohlmeyer; a U.S. Air Force Colonel in the eighth Reconnaissance Technical Squadron that the maps mentioned above were a representation of West Africa, the Coast of Queen Maud Land in Antarctica, and South America. The claims representing the data presently are flawed; evidence is misrepresented since the book is full of contentious assertions, as all the readers witness on reading the book (Feder & Somerville, 2011). All the same, it is Ohlmeyer's proposition that the Antarctic coast is shown as it would come into view free from ice that represents the starting point of Graham Hancock's analysis.

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For instance, to Graham, the visible representation of Queen Maud Land raised some moral and ethical questions. He concentrated on what he considered the six primary facts of the case. First and foremost, there is no doubt that the Piri Rei's map is anything short of a legit manuscript map of the year 1513. Secondly, that the map is a depiction of precisely the land masses Colonel Ohlmeyer claimed it did. Thirdly that Piri Rei could not have been aware of Queen Maud Land from his contemporaries because the Antarctica was not known to man at the time. Fourthly there is the puzzle that Queen Maud Land is free from ice, fifthly is that there is only an estimation of when the coast could have been mapped. And finally, Graham claims that there is no known civilization that would have mapped the coastline at the time he deemed it to be free of ice (Hancock, 2011).

Why Books like Fingerprints of the Gods Are Not Taken Seriously by Archaeologists

One of the most obvious observations regarding the first part of Fingerprints of the Gods is that the writer Graham Hancock is entirely dependent on Charles Hapgood's untenable views regarding early modern maps. Graham and the group of researchers have either not made consultation of any academic works that have to do with the history of cartography, of which there are many, or have made a choice not to voice their conclusions regarding these maps (Feder & Somerville, 2011). Archaeologists and any readers alike interested in the book fail to take it seriously after they find out they are faced with an inexcusable ignorance regarding methods of carrying out enough research into the distant past (Hancock, 2011). What Graham's work represents is a naive belief that it is not possible to depend on only a single interpretation of a particular piece of evidence, a failure to make an establishment of a hypothesis through showcasing how are personal schools of thought explains the information better as opposed to existing beliefs. In addition to that, such books do not use known facts because their aim is to deliberately suppress any evidence that would undermine the hypotheses represented in the book.

In a nutshell, Part 1 of Graham Hancocks book is never a scholarly examination of early modern maps, but a publication that is tendentious and one that attempts to present an impression of scholarship to unsuspecting readers; ones the author hopes will perceive the work as well researched due to all the footnotes included.


Feder, K. L., & Somerville, K. (2011). Frauds, myths, and mysteries. Science and pseudoscience in archaeology. CHRONIKA I CHRONIKA I, 43.

Hancock, G. (2011). Fingerprints of the Gods. Random House.

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