Since World War II, the swastika symbol has been strongly associated with the Nazi party and their ideals, at least on the western side of the world. But the Nazis were not the creators of the swastika, nor original in their adaptation of it.
The swastika has been around for at least 11,000 years . Historically, it has most commonly been used as a sacred religious symbol for many eastern traditions, such as Hinduism and Buddhism. The first account of this symbol appearing in Asia dates back to 3000 BCE, yet much older artifacts have been discovered that appear to depict swastikas. Outside of Asia, old swastikas can be found commonly throughout Europe in Greco-Roman and Celtic art.
One of the oldest known swastika-like designs was found engraved on mammoth ivory tusk found at a Paleolithic settlement of Mezine in the Ukraine. The artifact, engraved with a bird and swastika-like pattern, dates to around 10,000-15,000 years ago.
In Species with Amnesia, Robert Sepehr uses the artifact from Mezine along with examples of swastikas that have been found “out of place” (i.e, outside of areas influenced by eastern traditions) in an attempt to strengthen his argument that Aryans colonized the planet from Atlantis.
His claim that the "swastikas" from around the world are connected far back in time is incorrect. Some of his examples are not actual swastikas, and some are not even real artifacts.
First, the Mezine artifact. Looking at the engravings, two, maybe three, clusters of lines bending at right angles can be discerned. This is definitely swastika-like, but unlike the swastika, these symbols appear to have two legs spiraling in right angles, while the traditional swastika has four distinct legs. Symbols and images can change over time, but the swastika has always been a symbol with four equal legs that bend at right angles, or into ninety degrees for many swastikas found outside of Asia, in a spiral. A symbol so rooted in history and tradition would not make as drastic of a change as being converted from the two-legged spiral seen here, into what it is and has been. Changing the direction of the spiral and the angle of the bend is seen in some of the swastikas found, but never a loss of legs. Despite the significant time gap between this mammoth ivory and the swastikas found in ancient Asia, I do not believe the symbols on this ivory are true swastikas. Simply, symbols that have been incorrectly interpreted to be swastikas.
Another concern I have in Sepehr’s examples is his image of a "Hopewell" swastika (page 95):
I tried to find more information regarding this item, and in doing so I questioned whether it is a real artifact. This website has the same image used by Sepehr with more-or-less the same caption. Unfortunately, there's no additional information provided. I did a Google image search for the swastika and it turned up just seven results: two from people’s personal Twitter accounts, two that link back to the exact same page and are merely collections of pictures of swastikas, one link that leads to another collection of pictures of ancient artifacts that contains no links or sources for the pictures, and one link to a foreign blog and a forum that discusses ancient artifacts. None of these provided any additional information about this item. These results suggest that, whatever this image is of, it is probably not a real artifact.
Changing tactics, I searched for any references to “Hopewell swastika.” That turned up some interesting results, including an 1896 book by Thomas Wilson called The Swastika: The Earliest Known Symbol and Its Migrations. This book is a massive collection of virtually all of the information gathered over the years regarding swastikas discovered across the globe. On page 888, Wilson writes;
“Hopewell Mound, Chillicothe, Ross County, Ohio – A later discovery of the Swastika belonging to the same period and same general locality – that is, to the Ohio Valley – was that of Prof. Warren K. Moorehead, in the fall and winter of 1891-92, in his excavations of the Hopewell mound, seven miles northwest of Chillicothe, Ross County, Ohio.”
Wilson goes on to reference an altar also discovered at the Hopewell Mound that was “Found near the copper swastika”. Wilson’s Hopewell swastika is much different from the previous one. He says it was found in Ohio (not the Mississippi Valley) and that it is made of copper, not green slate.
Wilson thus provides evidence for a real “Hopewell swastika” and following up on the man who uncovered it, Warren K. Moorehead, shows that he was a reputable archaeologist and he really did find a copper swastika, along many other artifacts over his lifetime.
What does this mean? Well, there really is a “Hopewell swastika” that was discovered by Warren K. Moorehead. The image used by Sepehr in his book, however, isn't of that artifact and is most likely not of a real artifact.
To be fair, Sepehr does not actually talk much about the Hopewell swastika or the image he uses for it, but it's fair to question how much effort he put into his research. He makes the claims that these symbols are real artifacts and indeed real swastikas, yet if he had done the research, he would have just used the image of the copper swastika found in Ohio. It would serve the same purpose that his green slate swastika does: provide evidence of ancient swastikas that he could use to support his claim of a global connectedness of the symbol. Except the copper swastika has the added bonus of being a real and credible artifact, instead of the questionable green slate swastika he relies on.
Anyone trying to make a claim should use the best evidence they have to support their claim. Robert Sepehr uses as "evidence" swastikas that are not supported by other reputable sources, even when there are good, actual examples just a Google search away. The validity of his examples of ancient swastikas falls apart when examined, which damages his idea that they are all connected. And because he cannot even validate his own supporting evidence, his credibility on other issues can be questioned.