An A-Z Guide To The Search For Plato's Atlantis

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Joining The Dots

I have now published my new book, Joining The Dots, which offers a fresh look at the Atlantis mystery. I have addressed the critical questions of when, where and who, using Plato's own words, tempered with some critical thinking and a modicum of common sense.


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Today: January 27, 2015

More Terrible than Atlantis?
by Peter Fotis Kapnistos

 

Neanderthal was the dominant Ice Age man in Europe and western Asia who apparently learned how to sail and float across the open sea before the emergence of the anatomically modern human. In his 2005 book “The Singing Neanderthal: The Origins of Music, Language, Mind and Body,” British archaeologist Steven Mithen liberally credited linguist Alison Wray, who first suggested that a “holistic prehistoric utterance” could have a meaning. By 2008, Dr. Robert McCarthy, an assistant professor of anthropology in the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters at Florida Atlantic University, reconstructed vocal tracts that simulate the sound of the Neanderthal voice. The vocal tracts show that Neanderthal could speak (although in a different way than modern man) and even sing — as he presumably sailed across Ice Age seas.

Neanderthals were not as stupid as they have been portrayed, according to a recent study showing their stone tools were just as good as those made by the early ancestors of modern humans, Homo sapiens. “Our research disputes a major pillar holding up the long-held assumption that Homo sapiens were more advanced than Neanderthals. It is time for archaeologists to start searching for other reasons why Neanderthals became extinct,” said Metin Eren, a graduate student at Exeter University. Neanderthal tools found in England show that our early human relatives hunted with blades and spear tips that were pretty sophisticated, rivaling those made by modern humans.

A new analysis of Ice Age sailors suggests Neanderthal may have mastered techniques for crossing the sea into Europe. Prehistoric remains of hunter-gatherer communities found at a site in north Africa are remarkably similar to those found in southern Spain, and imply a Neanderthal ability to travel across stretches of sea.

According to some researchers, certain Homo sapien bones have anatomical features that could only have arisen if the adult female in question had Neanderthal interbreeding as part of her ancestral lineage. However scientists who sequenced the mitochondrial DNA of a 38,000-year-old Neanderthal returned no evidence of ancestral interbreeding with our long-lost cousins.

Collina-Girard’s Spartel Island data around Gibraltar approximately 20,000 years ago overlaps with new facts from the last known Neanderthal refuge in southern Iberia that indicates the final population was probably beaten by a cold spell at that time. Experts reported the research from the Gibraltar Museum and Spain. They said a climate downturn might have caused a drought, placing pressure on the last surviving Neanderthals by reducing their supplies of fresh water and killing off the animals they hunted. However in another recent study, a multidisciplinary French-American research team with expertise in archaeology, past climates, and ecology reported that Neanderthal extinction was principally a result of competition with Cro-Magnon populations, rather than the consequences of climate change.

If Neanderthal was a wily sailor capable of song and speech, modern man had to prevail by floating a better vessel. In this sense, perhaps the story of Noah’s voyage announced the emergence of Cro-Magnon at the end of the Ice Age as falling atmospheric moisture (or torrential rainwater), rising sea levels, and seismic activity contributed to the doom of Neanderthal man. But even from the prehistoric Spartel Island position, Thera still sparks off the most violent volcanic eruption in the western hemisphere. Only the volcano of Mount Tambora in Indonesia can match it on Earth. Thera has erupted numerous times over the last 400,000 years and has disturbed various sea kingdoms that sought to control the Pillars of Hercules, including perhaps even the Neanderthal. In the same way that early churches were often constructed over the ruins of pre-Christian temples, perhaps ancient mythologies and allegories of Atlantis were essentially pieced together from the memories of Ice Age lore.

Ignatius Donnelly remarked: “There are in Plato’s narrative no marvels; no myths; no tales of gods, gorgons, hobgoblins, or giants. It is a plain and reasonable history of a people who built temples, ships, and canals; who lived by agriculture and commerce: who, in pursuit of trade, reached out to all the countries around them.” In other words, it is just as normal to accept the likelihood of an Atlantis history, as it is to suppose that a great network of English-speaking governments should grow up around the small British Isles — without gods and demons. Plato was perhaps not reporting a departed sea myth, but an overlooked geopolitical domain example.

When looking at the British Isles on our maps, their slight size makes some of us sigh and wonder: Thousands of years from today, will people still suppose that a small group of islands might connect the cultures of the emancipated world? Will the world’s prized Anglosphere be finally set aside as just another old-fashioned myth?

In February 2009, Google Earth users who observed a sea map with a grid of lines or “roads of Atlantis” submerged west of the Canary Islands were told they were artifacts of the data collection process. Bathymetric (or sea floor terrain) data is collected from boats using sonar to take measurements of the sea floor. The lines reflect the path of the boat as it gathers the data.

Bruce Duensing (“The Roaring Silence: An Alien view of The Singularity and Atlantis,” Feb 2009) freshly commented on Atlantis self-indulgence: “Knowledge exceeding being is the myth of Atlantis, which unlike others who take it as an historical fact, I see this legendary civilization as the one we live in referred to in metaphorical terms in the psychology of this state of affairs as first proposed by Plato.”

Nevertheless, James Lovelock, famous for his Gaia theory of the Earth as a kind of living organism, recently said that climate change will wipe out most life on Earth by the end of this century and mankind is too late to avert catastrophe. Without a doubt, if the present sea levels change, an island-sustained network habitat might suffer a fate more terrible than the fall of Atlantis. A thin hope left is the possibility of one day being able to remove carbon from the atmosphere.

(MARCH 2009) PETER FOT K KAPNISTOS, ICARIAN SEA, GR, 83300.

 

 

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