Lost Worlds

It's fascinating to think about the advanced civilisations which have existed on earth in the ancient past.

Lost Worlds

Uncovering ancient civilisations


It's fascinating to think about the advanced civilisations which have existed on earth in the ancient past. Some civilisations are preserved only in stories passed down through generations, but others have been unearthed by archaeologists providing solid evidence of their existence. Whether mythological or real, the tales of these lost civilisations have a spiritual lesson to offer the modern world.



The legend of Atlantis is an enduring and tantalising story of a lost world. Written about by the philosopher Plato, Atlantis was an advanced, utopian society populated by wise and spiritual beings whose aim was to bring peace and enlightenment to the wider world. Unfortunately the dream came to a crushing end when some of the inhabitants became corrupted by their own power. The civilisation was destroyed by war among the inhabitants and was lost to history. The remains of Atlantis have not yet been uncovered. So the question is did Plato invent the story of this lost civilisation, or did it really exist? Whatever the truth, the legend of Atlantis continues to fascinate many people with its lesson of a spiritual civilisation broken by its own pride.



A mystical kingdom hidden away in the snowy Himalayan Mountains. According to Tibetan Buddhist tradition, Shambala is a paradise place of tranquillity, spirituality, harmony and happiness. Its inhabitants are strong, healthy and attractive people, living calm, productive lives of spiritual fulfilment. It is a paradise on earth. Only truly spiritually enlightened people can enter Shambala. Legend says that in the distant future the king of Shambala will lead his people out into the world to usher in a Golden Age of enlightenment for all the inhabitants of planet earth. This place is a metaphor for living an enlightened life.



On the Greek island of Crete in the Mediterranean Sea, an ancient and advanced civilisation once flourished. Archaeological excavations have uncovered an astonishing level of technology used by this Bronze Age civilisation, including complicated water systems, sewerage systems, art, pottery, colourful mosaics, elaborate palaces and other ornate buildings, as well as a written language. The civilisation is named after the legendary King Minos who created a labyrinth to imprison the dreaded Minotaur, a creature that was half man and half bull. The Minotaur demanded a blood sacrifice of young men and women, until it was slain by the Greek hero Theseus. The Minoan civilisation was destroyed by an earthquake and tsunami, washing away its achievements and citizens. So this fine and powerful society was obliterated, forever, by nature in a matter of hours. A sobering lesson that no matter how grand or advanced you are, nature is more powerful.



The Mayans

The great civilisation of the Maya lasted for more than 3,000 years before its magnificent monuments and grand cities were swallowed up by the jungle. A widespread and sophisticated society, the Maya used writing, mathematics, a complex calendar, and staggering feats of engineering to build their pyramid temples. The Maya worshiped war-like, frightening gods, who were placated with blood sacrifices. The Maya civilisation declined and collapsed, perhaps, as a result of violent conflicts between tribes, along with a natural disaster, such as a drought. This lesson shows how the glorification of violence and war led to the demise of this advanced civilisation.


Easter Island

The discovery of the huge stone heads, called Moai, have made this lost civilisation known around the world as people ponder over the purpose of these enormous monuments arranged along the island's coastline. The inhabitants of Easter Island were Polynesians who created a great sea-faring civilisation, but then simply vanished. The theory is that the islanders quickly and carelessly used up all the island's natural resources, chopping down forests and contaminating water supplies until they could not sustain life on the island any longer. This careless depletion of natural resources reveals a frightening parallel between the Easter islanders’ attitude towards their environment and our own.




One of the most popular Greek legends tells the tale of the city of Troy, which was conquered by the Greeks. The cunning Greeks waged war on Troy, then seemingly gave up and headed home, leaving a gift of a huge wooden horse for the citizens of Troy. However, the Trojan horse was filled with Greek soldiers who leaped out and took the city of Troy once they were behind its walls. For hundreds of years, Troy was considered by scholars just to have been part of a myth, with no basis in reality. Until, in the mid-19th century an archaeologist uncovered its remains. Troy was a real place and a real civilisation. This fascinating find shows that many myths have a basis in fact.


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