There are plenty of ‘myths’ from around the world. And there are plenty of myths that seem to be world-wide. Every culture seems to have ‘myths’ that tell of their gods and heroes, their creation and the major events in their history. Some of the ‘myths’ have survived for thousands of years. Below we will highlight some of the ones that have out-lasted the civilizations that are credited with ‘creating’ the stories originally and briefly introduce them
The most common myths that won’t die:
Destruction of Atlantis/Mu/Lemuria – – we can find many stories of very ancient and very advanced civilizations that existed before the memory or time of ‘modern man’. The first accepted written account of Atlantis comes to us from Plato. Plato tells that his sources are priests from Egypt, which are probably based on even older sources. It is unknown if these sources were believed to be original or copied. His version of the story puts the destruction of Atlantis at approximately 9000 BCE. With an open mind one can place this time well in the end of the last Ice Age, which would have caused huge natural disasters as glaciers melted and sea levels rose quickly to reclaim thousands of meters of land all over the world. In addition to the rapid rise of sea level there would have been upheavals like earthquakes and landslides.
Creation and a Great Flood– – every culture has at least one story about the beginning of or at least ‘this beginning’ of time. Some myths tell of just the current time of man. Most creations tell that man was made from some ‘god’ or ‘gods’ that made man from dirt or clay or mud. In some myths ‘modern man’ is not the first man. Most common of these are the Greek beliefs that the world was occupied by titans and then the gods came and the golden man was made, then the iron man and now the bronze man. Another commonly know variation are the beliefs of the Hopi nation which marks ‘this time’ as the 5th time/world, meaning that ‘man’ has lived and been destroyed 4 previous times. Meanwhile, others in telling of their myths tell of how there was a ‘great flood’ that wiped out mankind; in many versions there was usually one couple that survived, but not all. Most survived in some wood construction, either a boat or ark or tree-trunk, while others climbed highest peaks of the world and a few even say they retreated to underground caverns. It also seems that there was some warning that these survivors heeded that allowed them to survive.
Giver of Civilization — many cultures also have stories that after ‘creation’ and some time of man living in ‘darkness/dark ages’ there is then the arrival of some ‘god’ or ‘hero’ that gives them the knowledge to farm, to write, the gift of fire, in some cases laws and arts, as well, are given. In Greece, the gifts come from several ‘gods’, where as, in South America it is one ‘god’ with some helpers, in some of the ‘myths’ those helpers are giants. After these gifts are given and the people have the knowledge to live as civilized peoples, the ‘god’ or ‘hero’ then leaves the people and either returns to where they came from or move on to help other peoples. Except in Greece where the ‘gods’ seemed to stay in some contact with their peoples long after ‘civilization’.
Apocalypse/End of Days — many cultures that have the above myths also have a myth that tells of the next end of time. There are several cultures that believe that life is a cycle, that ‘man’ (some intelligent species similar to us) rises until he is too high and then some major disaster happens that cause him to be exterminated; yet, life goes on and again ‘man’ rises from the rubble and starts his pursuit of ‘god’ status, until he falls again, as the myths tell us. Most of these cultures, as well as others, though do seem to have the final disaster in their collection as well, the difference seems to be, will there be anything after that final disaster.
Most anthropologists seem to believe that any given group of people will all on their own develop and design certain aspects of their advancement without any contact with any other group of people. Examples of this, anthropologists will give you, are Cinderella stories or farming or developing writing and all the other things that go along with that. But we have evidence that all cultures do not develop the same. The Maya were major builders but did not have the wheel. The Inca were amazing builders, as well, and thus, were great mathematicians, but, did not have writing. The Egyptians seem to have sprung forth fully developed, with all the components of advanced technology; yet, the Pygmies and many Amazonian tribes have never ‘advanced’ past small hunter gather tribal groups. So maybe there is more to the myths than anthropologists believe and we will explore some of the numerous exceptions to this textbook step by step guide of anthropological development that is the measure by which peoples are considered advanced and or civilized.