Archeological Studies Division
Subject Species: Rakata
In the field of galactic archeology, the Rakata species presents researchers with an anomaly. The Republic has been in existence since the arrival of hyperspace travel 20,000 years ago. Before that time, all known races could barely escape their own solar systems, and little information was shared between worlds. The Rakatas, however, appear to have been exempt from that rule. Hints of their one-time presence seem to be buried on myriad worlds, though this evidence is often contested due to the difficulty in recognizing such remnants. This is an understandable impediment given the length of time that has elapsed since their passing.
It is estimated that the Rakata civilization ceased to exist nearly 30,000 years ago, the height of its power predating the Republic by ten millennia. The scarcity of remains suggests that they were either very careful with access to their resources, or that attempts were made to intentionally remove any trace of their passing once they had gone. Both hypotheses tend to suggest that the Rakatas did not arrive on these worlds as ambassadors or merchants. No other species appears to have been so widespread, and yet so thoroughly purged from the galactic record.
While defining the Rakata culture is confined to guesswork, researchers have had better luck reconstructing the anatomy of the species. This has involved studying many ancient records, including the scrawled drawings of various peoples just developing sentience at the time. Artifacts, when they could be found, have also been analyzed to determine the shape of hand they were designed for, and the musculature that would have found them comfortable to use. This has resulted in a fairly clear physical portrait of these early galactic pioneers, though what became of their empire remains unknown.