09 August 2012
Searching for the lost civilisation of Sundaland
As a result of the climate change we are experiencing, the sea levels are rising putting some coastal areas and a number of island communities under threat. The last time there was a significant rise in sea levels was at the end of the last ice age, some 12,000 years ago. During the ice age, the lower levels of the South China and Java Seas exposed large areas of the Sunda Self incorporating the islands of Borneo, Sumatra and Java into the Southeast Asian peninsula. Since this is a time before recorded history, there is much speculation as to how advance mankind was at this stage of development. The possibility of some lost civilization having developed in this region is what motivated Australian couple, Hans and Roze Berekoven to sell their successful merino wool business to purchase a 19 meter ketch, Southern Sun, to explore the region for evidence of this ice-aged civilization http://www.southernsun.info/index.htm. However, this is not the source of their recent fame, operating out of Sarawak, Malaysia surveying the Laconia Shoals, they have spent much of their time searching for sunken World War II wreaks when they came upon the prize discovery of the region. Operating on information found in James Brooke's journal, they were able to uncover the location of a 170 year old vessel, the Viscount Melbourne. It was the story of the Viscount Melbourne that first peaked my interest and led to my contact with Eric Madeja at Treasure Images, http://www.treasure-images.com/index.html. We soon realized that the real story was actually the Berekoven's and their quest. As luck would have it, they were very interested in telling their story. In the coming weeks we will be filming them to put together a sizzle reel and trailer to generate interest in four-part series about the quest for lost civilisations and where the Berekoven's fit in with the other theories that abound on this subject. For me I find myself returning to the search for the Ancient Nagas that I started over 15 years ago. More to come.