Ancient astronaut theorists and alternative historians of all stripes--from Atlantis theorists to Afrocentrists--favor some form or another of hyperdiffusionism, the theory that ancient cultures traveled widely and influenced the development of other ancient cultures. Though there is little to no evidence for widespread communication between the New World and the Old, or direct contact between Europe and Asia or Asia and America, these theories refuse to die.
Here is an interesting set of images from a nineteenth century book about the history of England that attempted an early diffusionist theory, that there was a widespread ancient Druid priesthood stretching from Iran to Ireland responsible for megalithic construction. The book in question, Charles Knight's Old England: A Pictorial Museum (1845) claimed that the rather romantic scenes below, from Darius-gerd in Persia, now Darabgird, Iran, were indistinguishable from the culture that created Stonehenge. (Later research showed Darabgird dates from the third century CE.)
From Old England:
The circle of stones at Darab is surrounded by a wide and deep ditch and a high bank of earth; there is a central stone, and a single upright stone at some distance from the main group. The resemblance of the circle at Darab to the general arrangement of Stonehenge, and other similar monuments of Europe, led Sir William Ouseley to the natural conclusion that a “British antiquary might be almost authorized to pronounce it Druidical, according to the general application of the word among us.” (p. 6)
Images courtesy Liam's Pictures from Old Books
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.
Enter your email below to subscribe to my newsletter, The Skeptical Xenoarchaeologist, for updates on my latest projects, blog posts, and activities, and subscribe to Culture & Curiosities, my Substack newsletter.
Terms & Conditions
Please read all applicable terms and conditions before posting a comment on this blog. Posting a comment constitutes your agreement to abide by the terms and conditions linked herein.