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Niharika Rawat


History, Contested: Famous Historical Assumptions That Have No Physical Proof

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5 months ago
5 months ago
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Wise ones say that what is written down is just one version of the truth, even if the book in question happens to be history. There are several assumptions, opinions and facts today that we take for granted, but all of which lack a little something called evidence. Indeed, all we have of some people and places and things are not archaeological evidences but only contradicting written records. Here are some such examples-

1. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon

Source - (Ancient History Encyclopedia)

You’d assume that the Wonders of the World would have some archaeological proof, but no traces of Hanging Gardens have ever been discovered to date. Written down as feats of architecture, the gardens contained tiered gardens full of lush greenery, said to have been made for the Median Queen Amytis, who missed her homeland. It is today assumed that either the gardens were completely mythical, were destroyed before being recorded by Babylonian texts, or refer instead to an Assyrian garden in the city of Mosul.

2. The Nine Unknown

Source - (Point of Rocks)

Legends state that after the war of Kalinga, not only did the King Ashoka adopt Buddhism, but also decided to try and ensure lasting, world peace. To this end he selected nine men from his realm, tasked with collecting and persevering all knowledge. To protect them and their treasure their identities were never revealed, but their influence is said to permeate even today. While the latter portion borders more on the fantastical, it might not be a big stretch to imagine and emperor creating a knowledge-gathering team. But like a lot of the Mauryan history, this remains widely unresolved.

3. The Great Flood

Source - (Ancient Code)

While the entity of Bible and many other religious texts are heavily debated upon as being historical, the Great Flood as described in the book of Genesis has gained particular interest. The story goes that God decided to wipe the Earth clean with a giant flood, commanding Noah to build an arc to preserve some life. While the geological and paleontological evidence is inconsistent with a world-wide flood, the story actually shares strong similarities to the Mesopotamian story ‘Epic of Gilgamesh’. Whether the Genesis simply took the story, or that both allude to an actual flood of massive proportions remains under debate.

4. Subhas Chandra Bose

Source - (India TV)

The nationalist, who increasingly supported the Axis powers towards the end of the Second World War, apparently died in August 1945 when his overloaded Japanese plane crashed in present day Taiwan. The word is apparently because nobody saw a body, no photographs were taken of the crash, and a death certificate was never issued. While the doubts quickly mixed with emotional disbelief and legends, the fact that the master tactician was used to disappearing and those who knew him best refused to accept so quickly his death made the idea of his survival ever the more strong.

5. Ancient Aliens

Source - (Weird Things)

Yes, this one tends to go straight into the conspiracy ring, and lacks the least supportive evidence of all the things listed here. Yet, one doesn’t have to be kooky, just a little open minded to give the idea some consideration. Not to say that the idea that aliens came here and then just went away and never came back (though you know, considering us humans that might very well be possible), it’s just that the circumstantial evidence actually makes for an interesting and sometimes compelling argument, even if physical reality denies it. But a lot of our assumptions about physical reality have been proven wrong in the past, so who knows?    


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