One interesting thing about conspiracy theories is that they are often an attempt by the concoctor or the believer to cover up their own gaps in understanding and ignorance. For instance, a Flat Earther who might not understand gravity, horizons, or the Earth’s rotation might come up with bizarre, convoluted alternative theories to justify their own beliefs. Those who are inclined through bigotry, racism, or ignorance to believe that non-European people could not have been masters of math, astronomy, and architecture for thousands of years might attribute ancient pyramids in Asia, Africa, or Central America to alien visitors.
And some folks believe there was an Empire that was wiped off the map.
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In this video, a man debunks the entire “Tartarian” conspiracy theory. The theory goes that many of the municipal and other ornate, Beaux Arts and Gilded Age buildings of America were not built in the 1800s tot he turn of the century at all, but rather are artifacts of an ancient empire that was wiped out in a Noah’s Ark style “mud flood, and erased from the history books by our own government.
As “proof,” believers point at old maps that mark sections of Central Asia as belonging to Tartary, Grand Tartary, or Tartaria. But in fact, these markings were also made in ignorance, by mapmakers who weren’t quite clear what the borders of various lands were in the former Mongol Empire, or what the various people who lived there called their land or themselves, beyond some Turkish ethnic groups who did indeed refer to themselves as “Tartars.”
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Like most conspiracy theories, the answer to this one is not that there is secret knowledge that powerful forces are keeping from you. Rather, it’s that there is easily accessible knowledge that just takes some digging up.