This is another one of those books that wasn’t what I thought it was. I’ve had it on my shelf for a while. I thought it was an archaeology book about early humans. It sort of is, but mostly Ancient Traces by Michael Baigent is a conspiracy theory book.
The central premise is that evidence exists that suggests that humans evolved much earlier than is generally believed and didn’t evolve from apes. The academic establishment has systematically suppressed any evidence that doesn’t support the current dominant paradigm.
Baigent presents a number of related ideas: humans evolved much earlier than thought; we co-existed with dinosaurs; dinosaurs still exist in remote areas of the world; humans evolved from a sea creature rather than from apes.
I’m not sure how much I believe but I hadn’t heard many of these stories/theories before and it is all very entertaining. Baigent style does verge on the hysterical when talking about how evidence has been suppressed but otherwise it’s pretty readable. The ideas in the book are thought-provoking if not well-supported. It was fun.