When Andean hammered gold objects were recently examined more closely by an archaeologist, the museum artefacts were found to be gilded with an incredibly thin layer of gold using a chemical technique that achieved the quality of modern electroplating. The distinctive forked-bow design of the open-ocean kayak used by Aleut Indians synthesizes extraordinary elements into a boat which defies the apparent speed and strength limits of such a craft. It is now influencing the shape of modern sport kayaks and racing yachts. It is still baffling how many ancient architectural monuments, such as the pyramids, were constructed; or how ancient peoples navigated across oceans using their knowledge of the currents and the feel of intermittent waves that bounce off distant islands.
Modern knowledge and technology are not the products of an inevitable progression of human intellectual and societal development. Many important discoveries claimed during the last few centuries are really only rediscoveries of forgotten human knowledge.