Lost Civilization of the Sun

Article by Justin Norris, based on the research and ideas put forth in the book The Path of the Spiritual Sun.

Stonehenge on the summer Solstice.

Stonehenge, one of many advanced ancient sites built with solar alignments, shown on the summer solstice.1

There is a large body of evidence pointing to the existence of an ancient civilization that spread across the globe in times before recorded history. It had sophisticated capabilities in engineering, architecture, agriculture, and navigation, and also possessed a profound spiritual knowledge, expressed in their religion, which revered the sun as the source of all life and spirituality.

Researchers believe it was initiated by the survivors of a prior civilization that was destroyed in a cataclysm, who then expanded around the world on a benevolent and peaceful mission, bringing their technology, culture, and religion with them to places including Africa, Europe, North and South America, Asia, and the South Pacific.

This civilization left behind many traces that we can still find today. Although our understanding of who these people were continues to evolve as new information comes to light, the clues we have reveal an advanced culture with a legacy that has survived for more than 12,000 years.

Unearthed in 1994, Göbekli Tepe is a mysterious site in modern Turkey containing 50-ton megaliths and sophisticated relief carvings. It has been dated to at least 12,000 years ago — 6,000 years prior to the oldest civilizations known to mainstream history.2

Evidence for the Lost Civilization of the Sun

This legacy survives in the form of megalithic architecture, archaeological and linguistic evidence, myths, oral histories, artworks, symbols, and spiritual traditions. The evidence to support the existence of this ancient civilization is significant and growing, with the examples below providing a very small selection.

The Indo-Europeans and Linguistic Evidence

Indo-European Migration

A diagram showing one scientific theory for routes of Indo-European migration in pre-history.3

Scholars believe there was a pre-historic civilization called the Proto-Indo-Europeans, based primarily on the fact that many languages (including Greek, Russian, French, English, German, Italian, Sanskrit, Celtic, and hundreds more) have similarities that point to a common ancestor language.

Linguists call this hypothetical parent language Proto-Indo-European and speculate about a wave of pre-historic migrations that brought the Indo-European civilization across much of the world, evolving into many of the famous historic civilizations we know today, such as the Vedic civilization in India, the Celts in Europe, the Persians, the Mycenaeans, and so on.

Over 46% of the world today speaks an Indo-European language as their first tongue, which gives a sense of how enduring an impact this civilization had.

Oral Histories and Myths

Many of the ancient civilizations known to us have myths and legends about an even more ancient civilization that preceded them. For example, Lucy Thompson, a member of the Yurok tribe of California, wrote down many of her people’s oral histories, and stated:

“When The Indians first made their appearance on the Klamath river it was already inhabited by a white race of people known among us as the Wa-gas. These white people were found to inhabit the whole continent, and were a highly moral and civilized race… For a vast period of time the two races dwelt together in peace and honored homes, wars and quarrels were unknown in this golden age of happiness… After we had lived together with these ancient people so long, they suddenly called their hosts together and mysteriously disappeared for a distant land, we know not where…”4

Lucy Thompson

Lucy Thompson5

The description of Lucy Thompson has remarkable similarities to myths found among other cultures, such as the Incas, who spoke of a fair-skinned people called the Viracocha-Runa that arrived in some distant past to South America.6 Similarly, the Maori tribes of New Zealand speak of the Turehu, a people who they describe as being fair-skinned with predominantly red or blond hair and who preceded the arrival of the Maori in New Zealand.7

The different myths and cultural narratives consistently describe the people of that particular civilization as having the same physical characteristics (caucasoid features, and in particular red and blonde hair), and speak of their widespread travels to regions like the Americas and the south Pacific long before these places were visited by modern Europeans. These similar descriptions make it possible to track the presence of this lost civilization across the different continents that they visited and inhabited.

Human Remains

Tairim Mummy

This fair-skinned and red-haired mummy was found in the Tarim Basin of China. Scientists believe she was part of an Indo-European civilization that preceded the Chinese in the area.8

The possibility of this lost civilization having visited and inhabited these various continents, taking the Religion of the Sun with them wherever they went, is supported by archaeological finds.

Human remains matching the physical characteristics attributed to these people in local cultural narratives have been found in unexpected places around the world. Unearthed burials also revealed burial styles, clothing, traditional tools and artwork, matching what is known about these people from folklore and oral histories.

Researcher Martin Doutré describes how numerous human remains with the Indo-European appearance have been found throughout New Zealand.9 Peoples and human remains with similar physical characteristics have also been discovered at numerous other sites from Asia to the Americas, all far pre-dating the arrival of modern European explorers.

For example, the Guanche people of the Canary Islands appear to be a remote outpost of the ancient Indo-European civilization that survived undisturbed right up to the 15th century. The Spanish Conquistadores that discovered and eventually wiped them out described the natives as fair-skinned and practitioners of a solar religion.10

Like the Egyptians, the Guanche practiced mummification. Incredibly, mummified remains of people with the features of this lost civilization of the sun have also been found in such disparate places as Peru and the Tarim Basin in China.

Scientists believe the mummies in China are associated with the Indo-European speaking people the Tocharians, who lived there prior to inhabitation by the Chinese. Textile found at one of the Tocharian sites is remarkably similar to plaid fabric discovered at an ancient Celtic site at Hallstatt, Switzerland.11 Today, plaid is still intimately associated with the Celtic peoples of Britain, who also appear to be a strand of modern descendants of this lost civilization of the sun.

“Tartan” textile found near burial sites in China associated with caucasoid mummies.12


Tocharian Princes

Wall painting of the “Tocharian Princes,” from a site in the Tarim Basin, China, showing peoples that resemble the description of the people who took the Religion of the Sun around the world.13

Megalithic Architecture

Wherever this lost civilization appeared, they left behind pyramids, stone circles, cairns, mounds, statues, and other monuments, often on a massive scale. These monuments are consistently aligned to solar phenomena such as the solstices and equinoxes, as well as to key constellations, such as Orion.

These sites likely served as sacred gathering places to celebrate the Religion of the Sun as well as repositories of knowledge, which was encoded in the dimensions, angles, and alignments. Many sacred sites reveal a sophisticated understanding of mathematics, physics, and complex astronomical phenomena, such as the precession of the equinoxes.

Ancient sites aligned around the world.

This image graphs numerous ancient sites around the world, revealing how they form a nearly perfect circle.14

A large number of these sites are even aligned with each other across vast distances, such as the Great Pyramids in Egypt, the Nazca lines and Machu Picchu in Peru, Angkor Wat in Cambodia, Persepolis in Persia, and Easter Island in the South Pacific, suggesting a master building plan on a massive scale.15

Many sites are also linked by a common set of building practices and techniques. For example, standing stone circles are common across Britain and Ireland but have also been found as far away as New Zealand and Egypt.16

Many other megalithic sites are built with a distinctive style of massive, carefully dressed, and precisely fitted stone blocks. The blocks are fit together in a deliberately irregular pattern, which enhances the strength of the structures and makes them highly earthquake-resistant and able to endure over millennia. Some of these blocks weigh dozens or hundreds of tons and would have required enormous resources, sophisticated engineering, and great skill to produce. The images below show extremely similar styles of masonry found at ancient sites in Egypt, Peru, and Easter Island.


Stone blocks of the Osireion, part of the temple complex of Abydos in Egypt.17

Machu Picchu Stonework

Stonework from Machu Picchu in Peru.18


A stone wall at the site of Ahuvinapu, on Easter Island.19

Where did this lost civilization come from?


A map by the 17th century scholar Athanasius Kircher depicting one suggested location of Atlantis, based on the “Egyptian sources and Plato’s description”.20

These traces, which suggest the widespread presence of an advanced civilization, beg a question: where did these people come from?

It appears that the Proto-Indo-Europeans were the inheritors of the legacy of an even older civilization. Evidence for this exists in the mythology and literature of the oldest civilizations known to the historical record.

For example, the Egyptians refer to the time of the “Sheshu Hor” or “divine pharaohs who came from elsewhere,” whose reign preceded the earliest known historical pharaohs. These divine kings reportedly migrated from the west, the location of the Atlantic ocean relative to Egypt.21

The Greek philosopher Plato also reports of an Egyptian record of a lost, ancient civilization that he calls Atlantis, which also existed somewhere in the Atlantic, beyond the pillars of Hercules.

Hindu texts contain references to “Atala” or “Sveta Dwipa” (‘White Island’), reportedly inhabited by a race of fair-skinned people. And in the ancient Mesopotamian civilization of Sumer, there was also a myth of an ancient period before a flood when “divine kings ruled.”22

Taken together, these and many other clues suggest the existence of a very ancient civilization that preceded the Indo-Europeans and which was the source for the sophisticated knowledge of engineering, architecture, mathematics, agriculture, and many other disciplines that suddenly burst onto the historical record as if from nowhere.

Did a great flood destroy Atlantis?

Significantly, many references to Atlantis or to a prior time of “divine kings” also mention a great flood or cataclysm. Although often disregarded by mainstream history, the stories, myths, legends, and oral traditions of a great and devastating flood are simply too numerous too ignore. There are literally thousands of highly similar flood stories that point to a time when humanity was devastated by a great cataclysm.23

Showing the dramatic change in temperature during the Younger Dryas period.24

These oral histories are increasingly supported by physical evidence. Researchers have discovered extensive geological traces of massive and destructive flooding, and many scientists now believe that a comet impact 13,000 years ago (during the end of the last ice age) could have caused these conditions.25

A comet impact would have instantly melted huge parts of the ice cap, initiating catastrophic flooding, raising the sea level dramatically, and leaving tell-tale geological indicators around the world. The accompanying impact on the atmosphere could have caused a dramatic cold period to follow. We see this in the geological record as a sudden and mysterious drop in temperature, known as the Younger Dryas period.


Depicting the Hindu story of Manu, who was saved from a great flood by the god Vishnu in the form of a fish. He brought the Vedas (spiritual knowledge) and seven sages in his boat.

This sort of cataclysmic event, supported by myth and increasingly by geology, provides a compelling explanation of how a civilization like Atlantis could disappear from the historical record. And as it did, it is entirely possible that small groups could have survived and continued to spread the technological, cultural, and spiritual legacy of the Atlantean civilization.

Establishing a Global Sea-Faring Network

Solar Barge

The “Solar Barge” found near one of the Great Pyramids at Giza. It is 143 feet long and shows signs of having been used in water.

Based on the distribution of their symbols, architecture, and the presence of local myths, it appears that the survivors of the cataclysm re-established their civilization gradually, eventually spreading across huge parts of the globe. It seems likely they initially developed a presence in Egypt, Mesopotamia, and India, and then expanded to Europe, the Americas, and onwards to create a global network of colonies with outposts throughout the world. Archaeological evidence suggests these people were expert sea-farers, with advanced ships and navigational skills.

For example, numerous buried ships have been found in Egypt, which researchers describe as being “of an advanced design capable of riding out the most powerful waves and the worst weather of the open seas.”26 Archaeologists have also found an ancient sea-side port used by the Egyptians, and remains of ships found there show clear signs of having been used to traverse salt-water oceans.27

The Wisdom Bringers

Tocharian Buddhist Monk

A 9th century AD painting depicts a fair-skinned, red-haired and blue-eyed Buddhist monk teaching an east-asian monk. Note the elongated earlobes, which are common in Buddhism as well as Peru and are also depicted on the statues of Easter Island.

The local myths and histories of the destinations these sea-farers reached indicate that the peoples of the lost civilization of the sun voyaged on a benevolent mission, with the goal of sharing their technology, knowledge, culture and religion with local inhabitants, and initiating the dawning of a new Golden Age of spirituality across the planet. Their mission was to bring the Religion of the Sun to all peoples and cultures of the world for the great benefit of humankind, so that all peoples had the opportunity and knowledge to awaken spiritually and fulfil the greater purpose of human life.

Many areas where we find evidence for the presence of the civilization of the sun also mention a pre-historic “wisdom bringer,” who appears as a saviour of the people and brings knowledge of agriculture, laws, religion, and other sciences of civilization. These include Viracocha of the Incas, Quetzalcoatl of the Aztecs, Thoth and Osiris of the Egyptians, A’a in Mesopotamia, Votan of the Tzendhal, Wotan/Odin of the Germanic/Norse peoples, and many other similar figures.

For example, Votan was said to have “collected [the Tzendals] into villages, taught them how to cultivate the maize and cotton, and invented the hieroglyphic signs […].”28 Viracocha taught the Incas that “he and his followers were god-men, connected with the sun” and gave them the knowledge of agriculture, edible plans, irrigation, and stone sculpting.29 Of Osiris, it is said that:


Depiction of a fair-skinned Osiris from the Temple of Set I at Abydos.30

“…he devoted himself to improving the condition of his subjects […] he taught them how to till the earth and how to sow and reap crops, he formulated a code of laws for them, and made them to worship the gods and perform service to them. He then left Egypt and travelled over the rest of the world teaching the various nations to do what his own subjects were doing. He forced no one to carry out his instructions, but by means of a gentle persuasion and an appeal to their reason, he succeeded in inducing them to practise what he preached.”31

The remarkable consistency among these figures suggests that a small group of individuals led these missions to different parts of the world. Their contributions became enshrined in the myths, legends, and spiritual traditions of the cultures they visited. Today these characters are viewed as purely mythical, but the similarities among them point to a historical group of real people, who worked to benefit humanity in times when it had been devastated by natural disasters and whose impact has survived for many thousands of years.

The Religion of the Sun


The Trundholm Sun Chariot, found in Denmark and an example of an artifact revering the sun. The sun chariot is a common symbol found in Indo-European mythology.32

It is significant that many of these figures were eventually deified by their local cultures, because spirituality was at the heart of what they shared with the world. All the evidence we have indicates that religion was the foundation of the civilization of the sun. They brought it with them around the world—teaching it, building sacred sites to celebrate it, and encoding its principles in symbols, stories, artworks, and sacred texts.

The Religion of the Sun was not just a simple form of solar worship but was based on profound and universal cosmic principles. These ancient peoples understood that reality has both physical and spiritual dimensions. They revered the sun as the source of all life, both on a physical level—as all matter is created from the fiery furnace of the stars—and on a spiritual level—as the inner divine being of each person also comes from the stars in the spiritual planes.

Solar Yin and Yang

The Taoist religious symbol of Yin and Yang also depicts the progress of the sun through the solar year and the cycles of darkness and light. ((“Image created for The Path of the Spiritual Sun based on web article by Allen Tsai, <http://www.chinesefortunecalendar.com/YinYang.htm>.”))

This religion also recognized that the yearly movements of the sun through the solstices and equinoxes represented something far greater than the change of the seasons. They saw in these movements a representation of a path to spiritual transformation, or enlightenment. On this path, a person descends to face their inner darkness as symbolized by the autumn equinox, experiences the creation of the spiritual sun/son within themselves as symbolized at the winter solstice, overcomes their inner darkness and unites with the female part of their inner being as symbolized at the spring equinox, and ascends and returns to the light of the spiritual father as symbolized at the summer solstice.

This path of inner transformation was the heart of their religion and civilization, and explains why they went to such enormous lengths to build enduring monuments aligned to the solstices and equinoxes, which would safely encode and transmit these teachings over thousands of years. The influence of the Religion of the Sun can still be found within many of the spiritual traditions we know today, which are practiced by hundreds of millions of people.

More about the Religion of the Sun

What happened to the civilization of the sun?

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu in Peru. Built in an extremely remote and inaccessible location, it’s possible it was used as a easily defensible retreat by the peoples of the civilization of the sun as they faced threats from other peoples in the area.33

Myths and oral histories suggest there was a period of peaceful co-existence and collaboration between the civilization of the sun and other local populations in many places. However, over time the people of the civilization of the sun gradually disappeared from many of the regions where they had established a presence.

In some cases, the population may have remained in place while the local culture evolved into one of the historical cultures we know today. In other cases, myths record the people of this civilization as leaving the area and migrating elsewhere.

It is also likely that the people of the sun may have intermixed with other local groups in certain areas or become overrun by other peoples migrating in, eventually becoming a minority and then disappearing as a distinct population. The Chachapoyas in Peru, the Turehu in New Zealand, or the Guanche in the Canary Islands seem to represent small remnant populations of this past civilization that survived until a much more recent period.

In still other cases, local oral histories and archaeological evidence suggest that the people of the civilization of the sun were eventually violently wiped out.

Cultures Descended from the Civilization of the Sun


The spiral pattern is a symbol found in many places where the civilization of the sun had a presence—in Britain, New Zealand, Ukraine, and Mexico, among others. This picture shows the entrance stone at Newgrange, an ancient mound in Ireland aligned to the winter solstice.34

While the civilization of the sun disappeared as a unified culture, its legacy has survived in the form of megalithic structures, standards of measurement, astronomical, mathematical, and agricultural knowledge, symbols, and cultural practices. Much of this legacy lives on in various forms through the cultures that descended from or were influenced by the civilization of the sun.

These cultural descendants include many of the major civilizations known to history, such as the ancient Egyptians, the Vedic civilization in India, the ancient Celts, the Inca of Peru, the Cretan and Mycenaean civilizations of Greece, and many others.

More about Cultures Descended from the Civilization of the Sun

Traditional Revivals

Romuva Ceremony

A priestess makes offerings to the fire during a ceremony held by the Romuva, who celebrate the ancient traditional spirituality of Lithuania.

There is a growing movement in many places today to rediscover and revive the practice of traditional forms of sun worship. Groups in these places are reestablishing traditional or “pagan” religious practices and in some cases traditional ways of living as well. These practices have culturally distinctive styles, but all share common elements of sun worship and spiritual celebrations at the solstices and equinoxes.

These traditional revivals are a testament to the universality of the Religion of the Sun—a shared legacy of humanity expressed in a diversity of cultural forms.

Visit the page below for a list of revival groups around the world. This page is an ongoing work in progress, and we are continuing to add to it as new groups are identified.

More about Revivals of Traditional Sun Worship

Further Resources on the Lost Civilization of the Sun

There are many researchers today who are studying the traces of the lost civilization of the sun and helping to expand our understanding about it.

We are curating relevant resources of various kinds with additional information. This is an ongoing work in progress, and we are continuing to add new resources as we become aware of them.


This page has a collection of videos with additional background and research.

Videos about the Lost Civilization of the Sun


This page contains recommended books (look for the section on the Lost Civilization of the Sun).

Books about the Lost Civilization of the Sun

Web Resources

This page contains a list of recommended web resources, some of which focus on archeological and historical research. Please review the descriptions provided for each resource to learn more.

Web Resources about the Lost Civilization of the Sun

Author Credits

This article was written by Justin Norris based on the research and ideas put forth in the book The Path of the Spiritual Sun.


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