The development of agriculture was arguably one of the most important things that happened in recent prehistory. The ability to feed large populations in a compact area allowed the global human population to explode from the thousands to the billions in a relatively short period of time. For this reason, modern science knows a good bit about the emergence of agriculture: archaeological data show that the establishment of larger, more complex civilizations was associated with evidence of intentional food production and manipulation. It is relatively straightforward science and easy to recognize once you know what you’re looking for.
The majority of mainstream academics and archaeologists agrees that small-scale farming first arose between 10,000 and 15,000 years ago. Agriculture arose independently in several different areas of the world at different times.
Robert Sepehr however, disagrees. In his book Species With Amnesia, Sepehr details his belief that the myth of Atlantis was a factual historical account of an ancient advanced civilization. Throughout the book he presents evidence that he claims has been suppressed. One pillar of his argument for an advanced civilization during the Ice Age is that Cro-Magnon peoples practiced agriculture. Sepehr (page 49) states that
“a number of sites, dating back as far as 16,000 B.C, evidence the practice of agriculture. . . . Professional anthropologists realize that without agriculture, Atlantis, or any other antediluvian civilization, is no more than a myth.”
We know that Plato provided the first written account of Atlantis around 360 BCE. At the time that he wrote, he claimed Atlantis was at least 9,000 years old. This would imply then that because agriculture is vital to the support of a large sedentary civilization, full-scale agricultural techniques would have to have been in practice a minimum of 11,400 years ago.
Sepehr’s phrasing of his assertion for agriclture at 16,000 BC is key as it is tactfully non-specific. “A number of sites” implies a number substantial enough to support a claim. But Sepeher gives the reader no clue as to precisely how many. “Dating back as far as…” is not definitively wrong, as there are sites with evidence of domestication dating back millennia. He does, however, seem to be stretching the truth: the origins of agriculture are well studied and documented and there is no reason to believe that it was a common practice 6,000 years before the generally accepted timeline. Sepehr doesn’t provide information to reference his claim of multiple significant sites so the reader is left to trust his personal opinion.
If Sepehr's claim were true, it would be exciting news for the archaeological community, so it is also unclear why he then implies archaeologists are rejecting evidence that supports this dating. It is the opposite of the scientific attitude to reject viable evidence simply because it does not fit within the parameters of your current hypothesis. Yet this is the implication embedded within Sepehr’s book, in this section and in many others. Species With Amnesia seems to be written with the intent of seeding mainstream doubt for the academic community.
As Sepehr notes, without agriculture there is no Atlantis. So if his story about the Cro-Magnon is true, there should be evidence of agriculture associated with those populations all during the Ice Age. But there's not. It is apparent that what Robert Sepehr wishes to find and what he has actually confirmed are two different things, but that is perhaps why he does not go into detail.
Robert Sepehr is a vocal supporter of hyperdiffusionism and this book is an integral part of the career he is trying to build around this theory. His belief that all advanced civilizations come from a single traceable ancestral line of Atlanteans simply does not have any proven scientific evidence. He does however attempt to prop up his theories using his speculation about Cro-Magnon invasions along the British Isles and Europe. Sepehr’s narrative outlines a story of refugees from an unstable land off the coast of northern Europe. These refugees he believes, evacuated regularly on a cycle of environmental destruction every few thousand years until one final natural disaster caused total collapse. Sepehr then connects his tale to the more ancient one of the 9,000 BCE demise of Atlantis. Supporting evidence here is lacking but this is where Sepehr’s assertions of a more ancient agriculture trend come into play.
Robert Sepehr’s claims are problematic, and the underlying implications of those claims are worth examining. His “alternative diffusionist arguments” tend to focus on his concepts of race and add a tone of reverence for the glorious past he believes only some humans share. When reading Sepehr’s claims within his book it becomes apparent that he is willing to stretch legitimate scientific claims in order to fit it to his greater framework of an Ice Age advanced civilization. His claims that agriculture was widely practiced before the commonly accepted Holocene dating is nonsense. There is no accepted evidence to date that supports widespread agriculture during the Ice Age.