Ancient astronauts  

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"There had been aeons when other Things ruled on the earth, and They had had great cities. Remains of Them . . . were still be found as Cyclopean stones on islands in the Pacific. They all died vast epochs of time before men came, but there were arts which could revive Them when the stars had come round again to the right positions in the cycle of eternity. They had, indeed, come themselves from the stars, and brought Their images with Them. --"The Call of Cthulhu", H. P. Lovecraft

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Ancient astronauts (or ancient aliens) is a pseudoscientific concept based on the belief that intelligent extraterrestrial beings visited Earth and made contact with humans in antiquity and prehistoric times. Proponents suggest that this contact influenced the development of modern cultures, technologies, and religions. A common claim is that deities from most, if not all, religions are actually extraterrestrial in origin, and that advanced technologies brought to Earth by ancient astronauts were interpreted as evidence of divine status by early humans.

The idea that ancient astronauts actually existed is not taken seriously by academics, and has received no credible attention in peer reviewed studies. Ancient astronauts have been widely used as a plot device in science fiction.

Well-known proponents in the latter half of the 20th century who have written numerous books or appear regularly in mass media include Erich von Däniken, Zecharia Sitchin, Robert K. G. Temple, Giorgio Tsoukalos, David Hatcher Childress, and others.

Megalithic sites

Evidence for ancient astronauts is claimed to include the existence of ancient monuments and megalithic ruins such as the Giza pyramids of Egypt, Machu Picchu in Peru, or Baalbek in Lebanon, the Moai of Easter Island and Stonehenge of England. Supporters contend these stone structures could not have been built with the technical abilities and tools of the people of the time and further argue that many could not be duplicated even today. They suggest that the large size of the building stones, the precision with which they were laid, and the distances many were transported leaves the question open as to who constructed these sites.

These contentions are categorically rejected by mainstream archeology. Some mainstream archeologists have participated in experiments to move large megaliths. These experiments have succeeded in moving megaliths up to at least 40 tons, and they have speculated that with a larger workforce larger megaliths could be towed with the use of known ancient technology. Such allegations are not unique in history, however, as similar reasoning lay behind the wonder of the Cyclopean masonry walling at Mycenaean cities in the eyes of Greeks of the following "Greek Dark Ages", who believed that the giant Cyclops had built the walls.

Proponents

Many publications have argued for the ancient astronauts hypotheses. Notable examples include these: Template:Div col

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Ancient astronauts" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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