When the scholarly gestalt becomes so entrenched in the official HISTORY that they are no longer willing to entertain well-researched radical hypothesis then they become institutional hypocrites. Read the book, even if you don't agree, at least you can support your opinion with the information that on occasion you are willing to entertain radical notions.
Graham Hancock is a guy that comes across as one of the more measured and if you will "less crazy" purveyors of ancient phenomena. Well all I will say is that if you love finding out a lot about the ruins of Machu Pichu, the mysterious Nazca Lines of Peru, how Antarctica was at one time not covered with ice and mapped out this way by explorers as recently as 600 years ago, the ancient pyramids of Giza, Easter Island, etc.... I'm not naive, I know that Hancock's theories are simply to spark the imagination and most-likely pretty far from the actual truth. This doesn't mean that I didn't get a heck of a lot of enjoyment out of reading Fingerprints of the Gods though.
Yet he is quite fond of using what is essentially a "God of the gaps" approach against orthodox archaeology, focusing on areas or sites of extreme antiquity like Tiwanaku, the Great Sphinx, the Great Pyramids, etc where current archaeological thought obviously can't profess to know all the answers. On the other hand, Hancock suffers from the same problem as the ancient alien folks in that he dances from site to site across the globe, failing to immerse or understand the complex context (culture, geography, thousands of incredibly mundane potsherds and artifacts whose photos wouldn't sell books) which provide us with the world history chronology we have today. He does absolutely zero justice to the orthodox explanations for his case studies such as the Piri Reis map (ignoring explanations as much as he mischaracterizes them), so in order to actually get an accurate view of why archaeologists mysteriously don't believe the seemingly-logical statements Hancock has put forth, you need to go beyond Hancock's constant flippant descriptions of the orthodox archaeological community being some sort of modern-day Spanish Inquisition, and actually know what the context of these case studies is. It is curious how Hancock often combats accusations of pseudoscience by stating that he is not a scientist--and yet he fills his books with tons of footnotes and complains about close-mindedness and conspiracy among orthodox archaeologists, two tools that make him seem like a rebellious alternative to orthodox scientific scrutiny. The warning signs were there when Hancock spent 30 pages of talking about the Piri Reis map using Hapgood as a sole source, and described him as one of those aforementioned tragic Galileo types, rather than presenting the opposing views and explaining to his readers why this concept is not accepted by the mainstream.
It's worth reading the science skeptic reviews on this book. Of course one must take writing style into account, but it is now clear to me that books are ranked by the people who read (and feel like ranking) them. I theorize that people with a greater preference for the default view of history are liklier to read this book than flower of life. Where to read Flower of Life, which bases its story of ancient civilizations on far far far less actual data, and tells the reader how it is rather than inviting the reader along on a voyage of discovery and interpretation.
As a history major now in medical school, I find the spread of misinformation abhorrent, as I believe it to be damaging not only to individual critical thinking skills and the historical corpus, but also a source of prejudice, racial superiority, and scare-mongering.
Love Graham Hancock's books.
Now, what would you say to the claim that the accurate land coastline of Antarctica appears on a map drawn in 1513? Amazingly, several other maps exist showing accurate coastlines that were not discovered until hundreds of years after the maps were drawn. But just focus on the Piri Reis Map. You have to assume it was taken from pre-existing maps or drawings. Who from 6,000 years ago, when the land surface of Antarctica was last visible, would have had the need, the inclination, or the ability to map it? Thats what the Nazca people did in the Peruvian desert at least 1,600 years ago. And if thats not enough for you, consider the stones at Cuzco, some weighing hundreds of tons, and worked in such detail that Spaniards thought demons, not humans, made them. They had to precisely place one block weighing a minimum of 2.5 tons every two minutes working ten hours a day, 365 days a year, to complete it in twenty years as Egyptologists currently estimate, and end up with the apex exactly over the center of the base.
As hard as it may be for an author to leave the door open to multiple possibilities, the fact that science has not caught up to the mysteries of mankind means that we still have some serious soul searching and exploring to do.
I dont think Id ever have bought Fingerprints of the Gods on my own, but it was given to me as a gift by family who know Im interested in history. The reason for my amusement was because Fingerprints is a detailed narrative about a journalists search for evidence of an ancient civilization lost to history, that, in his view, pre-dated the Egyptians by thousands of years and achieved a level of technological and scientific advancement not matched until our contemporary society. Hancock highlights interesting historical anomalies that could have intriguing implications for the current accepted timeline of ancient history. Some of these points include: the hypothesis that Ancient cataclysm mythologies from around the world could be a historical record of mankinds experience during the last Ice Age (which ended around 9000 BC); evidence that the Sphinx in Egypt was subject to a significant amount of water erosion, possible only in a climate that pre-dates the dynasties of Ancient Egypt; detailed maps of what seems to be Antarctica that were created hundreds of years before it was discovered. His fanatic conviction, especially in his concluding chapter, is almost religious, and the entire book is laced with ill-fitting, superstitious themes that are at odds with the evidence-based, scientific treatise he sought, by his own admission, to write. But Fingerprints of the Gods has an unfounded, superstitious conviction in an alternate history that is based on evidence that is no more than mildly intriguing.