The End of Zep Tepi (the First Time), 12,000 Years Ago: The Solar-Induced Dark Age (SIDA) and Our Inheritance from an Earlier Cycle of Civilization

The Ancient Dynastic Egyptians of 4,000 to 5,000 years ago held sacred the concept of Zep Tepi which was the “first time”, the time of creation, the beginning of civilization, a golden age when the “gods” lived among humans. Around the world similar traditions are found. Interpreting the ancient legends, this early golden age dates to a remote period which, in modern terms, would be before the end of the last ice age (that is, approximately 12,000 years ago). Academic scholars have typically dismissed such traditions as mere myths with no factual basis. However, the latest archaeological and geological evidence, such as the re-dating of the origins of the Great Sphinx in Egypt and the sophisticated megalithic complex of Göbekli Tepe in Turkey, supports the reality of the existence of true civilization at such an early epoch. This early cycle of civilization, which I have termed the Urian, was dealt a mighty setback with the world-wide catastrophe that brought the last ice age to a close. Based on geological, climatic, isotopic, astrophysical, and other data, the ice age came to an end, circa 9700 BCE, due to an immense solar outburst from our unstable Sun (an outburst that may be characterized as a “micronova”). A Solar-Induced Dark Age (SIDA) lasting some six millennia followed and civilization only reemerged circa 4,000 BCE to 3,000 BCE in Egypt, Mesopotamia, and elsewhere. This most recent cycle of civilization, the Neociv, received an inheritance from, and owes a profound debt to, pre-ice age civilization.

Dr. Robert M. Schoch has devoted his life to the study of Earth, its creatures, and, for the past three decades, its most ancient civilizations. A full-time faculty member at Boston University since 1984, Schoch holds a B.A. (in Anthropology) and B.S. (in Geology) from George Washington University, and an M.S., M.Phil., and Ph.D. in Geology and Geophysics from Yale University, among other distinctions. In the early 1990s, Dr. Schoch stunned the world with his revolutionary research that recast the date of the Great Sphinx of Egypt to a period thousands of years earlier than its standard attribution, and in doing so demonstrated that civilization’s history is older and greater than previously believed. He has appeared on numerous radio and television shows (the Emmy-winning The Mystery of the Sphinx, which first aired on NBC, remains a favorite among audiences), Internet podcasts, and is the author, co-author, and/or editor of books both technical and popular, including Voyages of the Pyramid Builders, Pyramid Quest, Origins of the Sphinx, and Forgotten Civilization: New Discoveries on the Solar-Induced Dark Age (2nd edition, 2021). Dr. Schoch’s personal website is: