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Nikon Owner Issue 19

The Earth Mysteries - Part I by Graham Hancock and Santha Faiia

Graham Hancock and Santha Faiia begin their three-part series The Earth Mysteries, written exclusively for Nikon Owner magazine. Graham and Santha take us on a fascinating journey back in time in the their article, Ethiopia - Window on Archaic Christianity.

The Earth Mysteries

GRAHAM HANCOCK ... is the author of the major international bestsellers The Sign and The Seal, Fingerprints of the Gods and Heaven's Mirror. His books have sold more than five million copies worldwide and have been translated into 27 languages. His public lectures and TV appearances, including the three-part series Quest For The Lost Civilisation, have put his ideas before audiences of tens of millions. He has become recognised as an unconventional thinker who raises legitimate questions about humanity's history and prehistory and offers an increasingly popular challenge to the entrenched views of orthodox scholars.

Born in Edinburgh, Scotland, Hancock's early years were spent in India, where his father worked as a surgeon. He graduated from Durham University in1973 with First Class Honours in Sociology. He went on to pursue a career in journalism, writing for many of Britain's leading newspapers including The Times, The Sunday Times, The Independent, and The Guardian. He was co-editor of New Internationalist magazine from 1976-1979 and East Africa correspondent of The Economist from 1981-1983.

Hancock's first book (Journey Through Pakistan, with photographers Mohamed Amin and Duncan Willetts) was published in 1981. It was followed by Under Ethiopian Skies (1983), Ethiopia: The Challenge of Hunger (1984), and AIDS: The Deadly Epidemic (1986). In 1987 Hancock began work on his widely-acclaimed critique of foreign aid, Lords of Poverty, which was published in 1989. African Ark (with photographers Angela Fisher and Carol Beckwith) was published in 1990.

The Earth Mysteries

Hancock's breakthrough to bestseller status came in 1992 with the publication of The Sign and The Seal, his epic investigation into the mystique and whereabouts today of the lost Ark of the Covenant. `Hancock has invented a new genre,' commented The Guardian, `an intellectual whodunit by a do-it-yourself sleuth.' Fingerprints of the Gods, published in 1995 confirmed Hancock's growing reputation. Described as `one of the intellectual landmarks of the decade' by the Literary Review, this book has now sold more than three million copies and continues to be in demand all around the world. Subsequent works such as Keeper Of Genesis (The Message of the Sphinx in the US) with co-author Robert Bauval, and Heaven's Mirror, with photographer Santha Faiia, have also been Number 1 bestsellers, the latter accompanied by Hancock's three-part television series Quest For the Lost Civilisation.

Most recently, in 2002 Hancock published Underworld: Flooded Kingdoms of the Ice Age to great critical acclaim, and hosted the accompanying major TV series. This was the culmination of years of research and on-hand dives at ancient underwater ruins. Arguing that many of the clues to the origin of civilization lay underwater, on coastal regions once above water but flooded at the end of the last Ice age, Underworld offered tangible archaeological evidence that myths and legends of ancient floods were not to be dismissed out of hand.

Graham's next venture was Talisman - The Sacred Cities and The Secret Faith, co-authored by Robert Bauval. This work, a decade in preparation, returned to the themes last dealt with in Keeper Of Genesis, seeking further evidence for the continuation of a secret astronomical cult into modern times.

The Earth Mysteries

Hancock's latest book Supernatural was published in the U.K. in October 2005. It charts a quest that takes him on a journey of adventure and detection from the depths of the Amazon rainforest, to the stunningly beautiful painted caves of prehistoric Europe, and to ancient painted rock-shelters in the remote mountains of South Africa. Here, he investigates the extraordinary possibilities about human origins, and about the nature of consciousness and of reality.

SANTHA FAIIA ... born in Penang, Malaysia, is a professional photographer specialising in ancient cultures and monuments. Her work has been published around the world in major newspapers and magazines and in 1990 her photographic exhibition Ethiopian Trilogy was opened at the Royal Geographical Society London by Her Royal Highness Princess Anne.

In 1998 Faiia's major book of photographs was published - the international bestseller Heaven's Mirror with text by Graham Hancock. Faiia's images from sacred sites as far afield as the temples of Angkor in Cambodia and the great pyramids of Giza in Egypt bring to life a lost world and "achieve the rare feat of making you feel you are there" - Western Mail.

Faiia worked closely with Hancock on Underworld, her photographs of the many ancient underwater ruins off the coast of Japan, all around the Pacific, off Indonesia and Malaysia, off India, and in the Mediterranean, the Atlantic and the Caribbean adding a whole new dimension to the text.