Andrew Collins Teases New Book Tracing Göbekli Tepe and Giza Pyramids to Denisovan Culture 45,000 Years Ago
After two days of writing long blog posts that required a great deal of energy, I need to step back and take a little bit of a rest. What better way than to take a look at the newly released promotional materials for fringe historian and sometime Ancient Aliens pundit Andrew Collins’s newest book, The Cygnus Key: The Denisovan Legacy, Göbekli Tepe, and the Birth of Egypt, due out next May from Bear & Company. As you can guess from the title, Collins has a bizarre and highly speculative revisionist history of civilization, tracing it back to the as yet poorly understood subspecies or species represented by bones from Denisova Cave in Siberia. The Denisovans, at present, are known only from a few bones from four individuals, and they lived around 100,000 to 45,000 years ago.
“The Cygnus Key presents compelling evidence showing that the earliest origins of human culture, religion, and technology derive from the Denisovans, the true creators of the lost civilization long known to exist but never before proved,” the publisher writes. Consider that astonishing leap! A carefully carved bracelet attributed to the Denisovans was found a few years ago, suggesting that they had a level of culture of unexpected sophistication, with manufacturing techniques roughly equivalent to Homo sapiens of the Neolithic era. Collins leaps from this to the idea that this could represent a complete lost civilization in the manner of Atlantis, something that the handful of Denisovan bones and broken bracelets cannot support—not least because it leaves a gap of tens of thousands of years until such skills appear in Neolithic cultures. Worse, Collins imagines this “civilization” diffusing from Siberia to Turkey and from there to Egypt!
The author explains how the stars of Cygnus coincided with the turning point of the heavens at the moment the Denisovan legacy was handed to the first human societies in southern Siberia some 45,000 years ago, catalyzing beliefs in swan ancestry and an understanding of Cygnus as the source of cosmic creation. It also led to powerful ideas involving the Milky Way’s Dark Rift, viewed as the Path of Souls and the sky-road shamans travel to reach the sky-world. He explores how their sound technology and ancient cosmologies were carried into the West, flowering first at Gobekli Tepe and later in Egypt’s Nile Valley. Collins shows how the ancient belief in Cygnus as the source of creation can also be found in many other cultures around the world, further confirming the role played by the Denisovan legacy in the genesis of human civilization.
Need we point out that (a) Collins developed this obsession with Cygnus before the Denisovans had even been discovered and has endeavored impose it on everything he studies, or (b) that there is no way to know whether people 70,000 years ago saw any patterns in the sky, let alone the constellation Cygnus. (Collins’s hypothesis in previous books was that a supernova pointed it out to Paleolithic people.) This is a recurring problem with Collins’s work, mostly because he started with a conclusion and had diligently worked to cherry pick evidence to find his favorite constellation everyone. Now he even claims that the Giza pyramids were built to align with Cygnus, a constellation not found in any of the oldest records of Egyptian astronomy.
Showing that Cygnus was once seen as a portal to the sky-world, Andrew Collins reveals how, at both [Göbekli Tepe and Giza], the attention toward this star group is linked with sound acoustics and the use of musical intervals “discovered” thousands of years later by the Greek mathematician Pythagoras. Collins traces these ideas as well as early advances in human technology and cosmology back to the Altai-Sayan region of Russian Siberia, where the Denisovans gifted humanity with the rudiments of civilization as much as 45,000 years ago.
You’ll recognize a good chunk of this if you’re a true ancient astronaut fan, because a big chunk of the above can be found in Robert Temple’s The Sirius Mystery from 1976. Temple, for example, suggested that space aliens gave ancient cultures knowledge of musical intervals, which they encoded in the position of ancient cult sites in Egypt and Greece. Collins has merely substituted Denisovans for amphibious space frogs from Sirius, and refined the scale from continental to merely monumental.
In previous books, Collins has proposed that Egyptian civilization derived from the Near East, where it has been provided by the Nephilim, whom he had identified as a wandering tribe of shamans possessed of the knowledge of a lost civilization.
If we strip away the Atlantis-style lost civilization, what we are left with is a rather simple thesis, dressed in silly clothes: that the Denisovans invented Siberian shamanism, which was the wellspring of religion and thus of culture. This calls for a continuity of practice and belief that would be unprecedented in world history, especially across the species barrier, and which would be impossible to prove. Genetic evidence argues against it as well, if only because the genetic contribution of Denisovans to human DNA occurs in southeast Asia, not the Levant and Egypt. In Melanesia, genetic studies suggest that about 2.4% of DNA has Denisovan roots, and to a lesser extent this Asian/Denisovan factor occurs in Native Americans, who, despite protestations from fringe types, have genetic origins in Asia.
Now, you might remember that a couple of years ago Andrew Collins and Graham Hancock got into a spat over the Nephilim at Göbekli Tepe when Hancock adapted Collins’s ideas about the site as a waystation for wandering Atlanteans that encoded stellar alignments for his book Magicians of the Gods. Collins seemed upset with Hancock for appropriating his ideas without sufficient credit, and Hancock accused Collins of misunderstanding the “true” cosmic message of Göbekli Tepe, which he believes refers to a star map warning of a coming comet strike. Collins returned fire by re-releasing an old book to piggyback onto Magicians and remind readers that he had all the same ideas first, or at least was the first to copy from Ignatius Donnelly. Anyway, now that Collins is releasing a new book, Hancock is busy writing his next book, about the “hidden” history of North America. Guess where Hancock went to look for his “evidence”? That’s right: Denisova Cave. He’s following the same line of argument: Denisovans = Atlanteans = Nephilim = the “lost” civilization, largely for the same reason, because Denisovan culture “demonstrates a level of technology, symbolism and skill far in advance of anything archaeologists believe our ancestors in that period were capable of.” However, unlike Collins, who wants to send the Denisovan culture down to Egypt, Hancock is working the opposite side of the street and suggested that he thinks the Denisovans’ civilization traveled with Native Americans to North America, where he places his lost Ice Age Atlantis.
I am an author and researcher focusing on pop culture, science, and history. Bylines: New Republic, Slate, etc. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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