We are a species with Amnesia

Part 3— Comet Encke the Harbinger of the Flood.

This is Part Three of the Hidden History of Man. See for 70K BC to 20K BC.

Deep time is an impenetrable mist.
We have lost everything.
We Sapiens Sapiens, the Elioud, are the lone survivors.
Only tantalizing fragments of myths remain of those who came before.
We are a species with amnesia.
Our imaginations must fill the blanks…

The following is fiction — probably.

The World, one Great Year before today, 20K BC

Sapiens lives in huts of grass and mud.
Homo neanderthalensis, scarce, clinging onto existence, hunted and haunted, lives scattered in a handful of isolated caves.
Mythical Anunnalis has left back to the ice of the North, only a handful of the giant Watchers remain, singing their wisdom into the night.

North Africa and the Levant are warm and wet. Glaciers extended close to the northern shores of the Mediterranean. The sea level is 150 meters lower than today. Many thousands of miles of coast—now long-vanished—are still above the surface of the world's waters. Great cities line the shores of the Indian ocean and flank fertile valleys—still dry—which will one day be inundated with waters and become the Persian Gulf.
Babylon and Uruk will not be founded for another ten millennia.

Into this world, a visitor disturbs the dance of the heavens. It grows, until soon, whether day or night, its train stretches from horizon to horizon. It grows to dominate the sky.

In the great cities of the Elioud, the Magician-Kings watch with dread. None consider the visitor as inconsequential, but none yet know how it will interrupt the march of Ages and erase all that has come before.

In the far North, only the dwindling eternal klans of Annunali understand.

The visitor fills the night. Tucked close to its body, many heads writhe. It will pass — this time — but it has come too close. Our planet’s invisible embrace has disturbed it; woken it. A hundred years later when it visits again, rising from the black ocean of heaven, it is no longer a single bright point, but a train of glowing pearls on a string.

Forty thousand years ago, the progenitor of comet Encke passes close enough to the Earth that our planet’s tidal forces tear it into chunks.
The comet is named after the man who first calculated its orbit: Jke. Any resemblance to —the Summerian God of the deluge—must surely be coincidental.

Every hundred years, the Elioud priests look up at their night filled with rains of fiery snakes. Sometimes the searing fires are bright enough to singe the skin of upturned faces. Fragments punch through the column of air protecting our planet and strike the earth so it shakes in fear. Crops are destroyed, floods erase lands and destroy populations.

Tugged at by the influence of the sky lords — Irukulpinja, Jove, Maṅgala—over thousands of years the dragon raider is stretched apart, broken into a train of mountain-sized chunks interspersed with a rubble of pebbles, dust, and boulders. The ancient watchers see seven-heads of a serpent accompanied by its pale horde.

Earth crosses the orbit of comet Encke once per year. The entire orbit is now a congested kinetic minefield. Even today, 40K years after its initial break-up, we still brace for our passage through Encke’s debris-strewn orbit twice each year. These are the Taurid meteor showers. The was likely a Taurid remnant of comet Encke. 20K years ago there would have been many more massive mountain-sized fragments ready to be encountered. The annual gauntlet would have been far more precarious…

Sapiens, cowed and hysterical, can do little more than fling sticks at the lights in the sky. Only the Elioud and remote Annunali are equipped to process the enormity of the slowly unfolding cataclysm. Watching the space opera playing out in the skies, they know they must learn to predict the rains of fire.

They rise to the challenge. They study the movement of the stars and record the wandering points of light which may be mountain-sized shards of destruction lining up to strike our world.

—but the earth wobbles, its rotation precessing like a spinning top, its pole of rotation drawing a circle every twenty thousand years—the same cycle which gives the Astrological Ages and the Great Year. The wobble must be accounted for. New knowledge is needed, but the changes in the sky are infinitesimal and measurements must be repeated over thousands of years. New megalithic instruments are built and distributed around the ball of the Earth to guarantee observation in all directions. They are made solid so they can start accurate enough to mark positions in the night sky over thousands of years.

Magician-prophets work to understand the celestial ballet. The seven heads — which were once bright and clothed in cold fires — are fading. Though they have vanished from plain sight, the magicians know the dragons are not gone. Each year, as Earth sweeps through their belt of destruction, we may be set upon by the hidden nemesis. Once in a Millenium, destruction comes close enough to feel, smell, and hear.

Civilization adapts. Elioud knowledge of stone is unsurpassed. Pushed by necessity they have risen further than any who came before. To the cowering Sapiens, they are Gods capable of wonders—

Catacombs are built, filled with stone vessels, arcs, for preserving seeds and wisdom.

The Serapeum of Saqqara, Preservation Ark

A planetary alarm system is created to detect the impact of meteors thousands of miles beyond the horizon; the few hours of warning are enough for terrified citizens to stash seeds and flee underground before they are inundated by deluges of water and cataracts of fire.

Cyclopean, over-the-horizon, early warning.
Seismically pumped piezoelectric alarm.

The buildings are functional; massive; unadorned; there is no time for frivolity or decoration. The universe is trying to scour these people from the face of a planet. For ten thousand years they survive, heeding the warnings of their machines of stone, retreating below the ground and waiting for the sky’s fury to pass.

The Elioud Kings have a single goal. They build with cyclopean stone. They build to withstand firestorms and earthquakes. Their aesthetics mirrors their stoic resolve: brute strength, geometric perfection and endurance.

Perhaps Sapiens looks to the Elioud magician-priests in their astronomical ziggurats and confuses cause with effect. Can an ignorant observer discern the difference between prediction and provocation?

They Elioud Kings guide the peoples of the world through night’s dark forest helping their children to avoid the celestial predators which prowl there. Many times the dragon sends its firey snakes to burn and wreak havoc. For ten thousand years they live under the threat of annihilation. Too many times they emerge from deep shelters and survey scenes of utter devestation. Only the seeds of plants and knowledge stored deep in granite vaults enables the survivors to replant crops and re-start civilization.

But none of it is enough.

Despite all precautions, we know that 10,000BCE several fragments of a comet struck the ice sheet of North America, which then was still under kilometers of ice. The impact would have vaporized billions of tons of water and initiated a ‘nuclear winter’. This cataclysm can be seen in ice cores, tree rings, and sediments. The meltwater explains the surge in sea level archeologists observe—possibly as much as 30 meters in a single decade. A mountain-sized—tsunami surge. The colossal amounts of water-vapor would have taken decades to precipitate out; it would have rained for years. Fireballs streaking across the skies would have ignited global fires.

The dragon comes from the night. Raising walls of water, breathing fire, burning forests, destroying cities and flesh. In a few short days, its plagues of flood and flame erase the planet’s first golden civilization — a global culture that has prospered for twenty thousand years.

We notice they are gone now, the cyclopean kings, big brothers, giants of stature and intellect; but we have always needed less to survive.

To the south and the North we subsist, becoming little more than animals.

For thousands of years, we look upon the ruins of their great works, staring uncomprehendingly at megalithic technologies of stone, sound, and crackling lightning.

We spin elaborate tales of the builders — of the giants who came before. Stories of great crimes and the punishments of vengeful gods.


These essays gather recent ideas and research I have been putting together while worldbuilding for an upcoming speculative, science-based, novel of antediluvian adventure. . More from

Author, Artist, and Technologist. I write to entertain, educate, and to make this deranged reality fit inside my head!

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