Scientific Methods

Thursday, March 30, 2006


The Lost Civilisation of Peru - the rise and fall of the 'Greeks of the Andes'.

The UWC students have reviewed this material, but if you need to re-watch please ask me for the video material and I will supply it.

For the Pretoria Learners - please review the DVD provided to you. For the next few days I will be putting more Video material up to watch with links to where to get summaries and transcripts relating to the material.

Here is the Summary of the film

Here is the link to a full transcript of the video

And finally please do a little bit of researching on the the web using "Goggle Images" and the search words "Moche" and "Ceramics" ... some of their stuff is really beautiful and but other stuff is well eh ... a little surprising... find out for yourself!!!!!!!!!!!

So why did I give you this video to watch...? Simply science has re-created the demise of this civilization and it shows just how vulnerable we really are. It was a fantastic civilization, with huge technology - it literally got a "desert to blossom" but in only 60 years this civilization collapsed into civil war and extinction! ALL it took was a mega El Nino that caused tremendous floods followed by a mega drought (30 years of no rain!!!!). Find out how we know this.

So please comment on your interpretations of the video and also your research into their culture..... (remember your contributions to the Weblog are included as part of the course assessement! .... see my original Course Description posted on 6th March 2006).




  • Dr. Knight

    I enjoyed the video, which sparks still, many questions, and I feel the whole pictire is yet unresolved. Although archeologists discovered what they believe was a culture centred around their beliefs of having the ability to control weather and therefore climate, why did they not simply migrate to more prosperous areas in Perus. The research done in the glaciers of the Andes suggests that the ancient civilisation lived in the rain-shadow of the mountain range, hence the large extremes in weather. If their beliefs were centred around weather, why was this philosophy not expanded on? Surely the quest for knowledge goes hand in hand with the identity of belief? It just does not make sense that a civilisation could remain isolated in a relatively arid environment, even during periods of extreme change without considering changing their own fate, instead of falling into civil war. Their must have been other factors, possibly factors which had them entrapped in their isolated environment. I suggest this after having viewed the material on the failure of civilisations which you provided. The Easter Island culture decended into chaos and collapsed due to one of two main factors, its isolation from other cultures and resources, and the destruction of their own resources. They had nowhere to go...Surely the civilisation in the desert of Peru had means to relocate and even trade with other civilisations?

    The video material also suggests the fall of their society through the realisation of a falsified belief system, however, would this realisation not then lead to a split in their society, which was not then as reliant on this belief? Was this the reason for civil war in the first place?

    Later evidence suggested that civil was took place after the floods and drought, but still that the building of a new "city," was a symbol of the continuous obsession with wanting to control the weather and environment.

    If they realised after the mega El-nino that they could not manipulate the weather, I don't underatnd the logic for remaining isolated and still trying again...

    Your thoughts?



    By Blogger davidvaughan, at Saturday, April 01, 2006 9:33:00 PM  

  • Hi David

    You raise some important issues was it weather or their gods they wished to control or make peace with? If you analyse all of the various gods around the world they mostly have connections to weather. I have also asked how green are our GODS are? I have put up some views on this issue?

    You need to contrast this video with the interview of Jared Diamond where he discusses why some societies choose to fail. One of the most spectacular failures was the Norsemen's colonization of Greenland, yet the Inuit’s survived. The colonisers stuck to their religion and life style, condemning the indigenous people as savage and barbarian and yet who survived?

    The real question now is … are we adapting or still seeking to control nature yet again? Once the plant's resources are finished where do we go? Will we have secured enough technology to find another place to establish ourselves? Are we so very different to the Moche and their plight 600 years ago?

    The German author Erich von Däniken’s suggests that we are in fact refugees/ descendents of past space travellers or at least interacted with such extraterrestrial communities which supplied us with the technology/science to build the pyramids. See

    If this is the case are we running out of time to perpetuate our own life forms? Did this extraterrestrial folk do irrevocable damage to their planet and hence need to explore other planets to re-establish themselves?

    Please everyone try and pick up on this thread that David has started.

    By Blogger Rich Knight, at Sunday, April 02, 2006 3:09:00 PM  

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