Invasion today, as in the past, is usually the consequence of a shortage of resources (food, metals, oil, water), climate change (affecting food supply), overpopulation (also affecting food supply) or political upheaval. Although I do not speak as a military strategist, it would seem obvious that if, for any of these reasons, a state is forced into an expansionism, it will first look at their nearest neighbours and assess the chances of military success. It is obvious that before the introduction of airborne attacks, propinquity in the form of contiguous territory or short sea journeys have always been critical for a successful invasion(a) and the continued control of occupied territories. This is borne out by the simple historical fact that all the earliest empires, which were located in what we now call the Middle East, expanded through the invasion of its neighbours.
*Many people think that military intelligence gathering is a relatively modern development. However, ancient documents, including the Bible, have accounts of spying thousands of years ago. Mary Rose Sheldon has produced an invaluable sourcebook on the subject, as well a volume on Spies in the Bible. It is reasonable therefore to assume that Atlantis also exercised due diligence and endeavoured to assess their opponents strengths and weaknesses before invading.
Boris Rankov has noted(b) in The Encyclopedia of Ancient History that military intelligence in ancient times had its value limited by the “slowness of communications, which meant that it was often out of date before any response could be brought to bear.” This, of course, ties in with the then established practice of invading those within your immediate proximity; supply lines are shorter and information more up-to-date. In turn, it implies that Atlantis was within relatively easy striking distance of Athens!*
Even in modern times the same constraints determined the actions of invaders. Hitler could not have invaded Russia without first controlling Poland and Romania. Even expansionist Japan, although an island nation, expanded into Korea and Manchuria (China) and following the attack on Pearl Harbour spread even further within the same region.
The ancient land-based empires were dependent on military might, whereas others, such as the Phoenicians, expanded their influence through trade, supported by extensive merchant fleets. However, over time, Phoenician or more correctly Carthaginian rivalry with Rome led to disastrous wars.
One of the primary military concerns today, as in ancient times, will be to ensure that its men are fed and watered and consequently there will be a need to keep its supply lines as short as possible.
The nearest possible belligerent to the west of Athens was across the Adriatic in Italy. I argue elsewhere that according to Plato, southern Italy constituted part of the Atlantean domain (see Etruscans). I suggest that the Atlantean invasion of Greece was probably launched from there. The motivation is unclear, but we can speculate that success in Greece would have been followed by the control of the entire Aegean, including Crete, offering a huge expansion in trade.
The alternative is that the nearest part of Atlantis was elsewhere, necessitating the bypassing of other territories on the way and stretching supply and communication lines more than desirable. Italy looks the best bet, with forces added from the Atlantean HQ in Sicily or Sardinia, possibly travelling through the Strait of Messina, sometimes identified as the location of the Pillars of Heracles.
In the south, the Atlantean forces in North Africa (Ancient Libya), if not augmenting the attack on Greece, were probably planning their invasion of Egypt (Timaeus 25b & Critias 114c). Success there would have been followed by a two-pronged attack by both northern and southern Atlantean forces on the eastern Mediterranean coast, later known as the Levant, giving them total control of the eastern Mediterranean Basin.
Invasion requirements are the strongest argument against any of the fanciful Atlantis theories that place Plato’s Atlantis in Antarctica, the Andes, or North America. It is ludicrous to claim that any invasion force came across the Atlantic to attack Greeks and Egyptians. That there were remarkable early cultures in both North and South America is absolutely undeniable, however, it is foolishness to claim that they had any connection with Plato’s story.
Christian C. Karam is a Brazilian archaeology student who has written a paper with the controversial, if not provocative, title of Phoenicians in Brazil(a). In it he proposes that an encounter with an extraterrestrial body caused a global catastrophe, which caused a large part of the Andes to be uplifted, the Sahara to be dried out and Atlantis in the Atlantic to be submerged. He dates this event to around 9500 BC and believes that the Atlantean survivors fled to Africa.
Perhaps the first to suggest that the Phoenicians visited Brazil was Georgius Hornius in the 17th century. The matter was dealt with in greater detail(d) by the Austrian professor of history, Ludwig Schwennhagen, who flourished at the beginning of the 20th century. A Hungarian website(c) offers more on the development of this claim.
Karam names the Phoenicians as the thalassocratic successors to the Atlanteans. The main portion of his paper concerns the possibility or as he sees it, the probability, of Phoenician visits to and even colonisation of Brazil.
Ross T. Christensen (1918–1990) an American archaeologist supported the idea of Phoenicians in America. However, in my view, his early work as a Mormon missionary must bring into question his objectivity. Further evidence in support of Phoenicians in Brazil is presented elsewhere(b).
(d) http://www.academia.edu/7848641/Fen%C3%ADcios_no_Brasil_parte_1_Ludwig_Schwennhagen (Portuguese) (offline Feb. 2016)
Sean Bambrough is a New Zealand researcher of ancient mysteries. Since 1999 he has been developing a theory which places Plato’s Atlantis in the Andes and identifies its city as Tiwanaku. He has published 37 pages of notes in support of this contention(a)(c). A reader will find them tough going and at times repetitious, but it is clear that he has put a lot of study into the subject even if he has, in my opinion, produced a very flawed theory.
A number of researchers have assumed that when Plato referred to an ‘opposite continent’ he was referring to the Americas, however Herodotus, who flourished after Solon and before Plato, was quite clear that there were only three continents known to the Greeks, Europe, Asia and Libya [4.42].
Bambrough’s first major error is to equate the sinking of Atlantis with the uplifting of the Andes! The Andes are rising at a rate of some millimetres per year. and the geological evidence is that in the past the uplift rate was somewhat more rapid, which “in geologic terms, rapid means rising one kilometer or more over several millions of years.”(b)(e)
There is no evidence that the cataclysmic upheaval described by him could have occurred around 1400BC. He does not explain how these newly elevated mountains created muddy shoals that made the Atlantic impassable.
As I have already argued in respect of Jim Allen’s Andean theory, the idea of an invasion of the eastern Mediterranean by an army from the west side of South America is untenable. That they would try it in reed boats like those of Titicaca is equally daft. Then, this mighty army from ten regions of South America were defeated by the small city-state of Athens is equally laughable.
I could go on, but just a final couple of points; Plato never described Atlantis as a continent and Kircher’s speculative map depicts Atlantis quite clearly in our Atlantic Ocean between Spain and America.
Bambrough has recently updated his website(d), however, his writing style is as irritating as ever, in particular his excessive use of retronyms (forward slashes).
*In 2017, he published(f) an extended ‘check-list’ which he feels supports his location theory. This offering is far too long and repetitious. It is clearly a triumph of quantity over quality.*
Brien Foerster is an American writer who now lives in Cuzco, the former Inca capital in Peru. He has studied the ancient cultures of the Andes and believes that many predated the Incas and had advanced technologies that permitted the precise drilling of stone(a). His fully illustrated Kindle book, Lost Ancient Technology of Peru and Bolivia, provides many examples. The book is worth purchasing for the images alone. There is now a video(d) that complements Foerster’s book.
*Foerster has now studied the stonework of the ancient Egyptians and like Chris Dunn concluded that their level of accuracy could not have been achieved without possession of a high technology, now lost.* He has expanded on this in his 2014 book, Lost Ancient Technology of Egypt. *
However, Foerester has recently stepped out of line when he apparently chipped fragments from stones at the Bolivian Puma Punku site with a view to having them tested for age. The laboratory refused to test the fragments as Foerester did not have the appropriate export document from Bolivia(e). It would appear that Foerster is either stupid or criminally irresponsible or both. This episode is reminiscent of the two German idiots who recently removed part of the ‘Vyse cartouche’ in the Great Pyramid and illegally smuggled it out of Egypt. Apparently, Foerester now claims that details of this report are inaccurate and may be libellous(f).
Elsewhere with regard to Atlantis he claims “the most plausible idea is that Atlantis was not a single land mass that sank, but was a series of smaller states in the Atlantic area 12,000 years ago.”
In recent interviews Foerster has proposed that the story of Atlantis is based on an Ice Age civilisation(g). His latest attention-seeking claim is that the Maya visited ancient Egypt, a trip that had some form of Atlantis connection(h).
He has also co-authored with David Hatcher Childress a book on South American cranial deformation and elongated skulls. These are reminiscent of similar skulls found in Malta(c) and Egypt as well as elsewhere around the world over many thousands of years(b).
James Bailey referred to her 1970 offering, Gate of the Sun: A prospect of Bolivia, in which she claimed the Andes got their name from the word ‘antis’ meaning copper. Bailey claimed that Anstee believed America to be Atlantis!
The Fuente Magna Bowl is a remarkable artefact sometimes called ‘the Rosetta Stone of the Americas.’ It was discovered accidentally near Lake Titicaca in Bolivia. The bowl’s claim to fame is that it has been inscribed with cuneiform writing, similar to Sumerian.
It is claimed that thermoluminescence dating has shown the object to be quite ancient and not a forgery. The same site(a) quotes at length a translation of the text by Clyde Winters, but a German website(b) denounces his translation as nonsense, although it accepts that the Bowl as genuine. Another site(c) offers a selection of detailed images of the Bowl.
Jim Allen and his supporters have sought to link the Bowl with the theory of Atlantis in the Andes(d).
The bad archaeology website has reasonably balanced article(e) on the bowl which should be read.
(c) http://www.faculty.ucr.edu/~legneref/biados/fuentmag.htm (Offline May 2017)
Pino Turolla (1922-1984) was an Italian Count and a recognised expert in underwater exploration and photography. He also held a US patent for an improved parachute(a).
He carried out an investigation of sunken ‘pillars’ at Bimini in the late 1960’s. Turolla identified forty-four such pillars and suspected that more were still to be discovered. He was of the opinion that these pillars were not composed of stone native to the Bahamas, but had been brought from the Andes. Photos taken by Turolla were used by Robert Ferro and Michael Grumley in their book Atlantis: The Autobiography of a Search.
Turolla later published his own book, Beyond the Andes; My Search for the Origins of Pre-Inca Civilization.
Geodesy is usually defined as the measurement and mapping of the Earth. As a science it is traced back to Pythagoras (6th cent. BC), who was thought to be the first to propose the sphericity of the Earth. Later, Eratosthenes (276 BC– 195 BC) was one of the earliest to attempt to determine the dimensions of our Earth and succeeded with remarkable accuracy.
A controversial aspect of modern geodesy is the claim that many ancient sites were deliberately established at locations that had specific geodetic relationship to each other and/or the dimensions of the Earth. For example(a) in ancient Egypt, from Giza to the Equator is 1/12th the circumference of the Earth, Amarna to the Equator is 1/13th, Luxor 1/14th and Philae 1/15th! Graham Hancock in his Heaven’s Mirror pointed to similar relationships around the globe suggesting a possible world grid. This idea of a world grid has a number of supporters, but is often classified as a ‘fringe’ interest due to the attempt by some to link gridlines with UFOs and their use of the grid as a power source(w).
Possibly related features may be the ley lines identified by Alfred Watkins in Britain(c)(g) or the Alesia alignments in France discovered by Xavier Guichard(b). Heinz Kaminski had claimed to have discovered a megalithic grid system that stretched from Stonehenge across Europe with an east-west and north-south orientation and referred to as the Stonehenge/Wormbach System(h).
‘The Way of Virachoca’ in the Andes which runs through Tiwanaku and is oriented exactly 45° west of true north and runs for over 1000 miles, has been studied by Maria Scholten d’Ebneth in the 1970’s and expanded on by a number of Spanish speaking commentators and is now the subject of an article by Dave Truman(x).
In 1973, three Russians, engineers Valery Makarov and Vyacheslav Morozov along with Nikolay Goncharov, an artist, published in Russian an article with the eye-catching title of Is the Earth a Giant Crystal? (y) This was probably the earliest presentation of an earth grid based on ancient historical sites. A brief history of the earth grid theories that emerged around this time is available online(z).
David Hatcher Childress published his Anti-Gravity and the World Grid in 1993, with the modest claim that he “proves that the earth is surrounded by an intricate electronic grid network offering free energy.” Obviously, Childress’ understanding of ‘proof’ is different to mine, as the only proof required is the production of some of this free energy, which he has not done.
Tom Brooks has entered the fray with a study of 1500 prehistoric sites and his conclusion that the inhabitants of ancient Britain had a designed a navigation system based on a grid of isosceles triangles(i). Brooks has gone a step further and speculatively claimed that the accuracy of this geometry-based system could only have been designed through “extraterrestrial intervention”(r). This concept is explored more fully in his latest book, Seeing Around Corners: Geometry in Stone Age Britain and in a series of video clips(s). A more critical view of Brooks’ ideas is also available on the Internet(j).
Some years ago a former employee of a NASA sub-contractor, Maurice Chatelain claimed that within a 450-mile radius of the Aegean island of Delos that 13 mystical sites, when connected by straight lines formed a perfect Maltese Cross(u)!
Others such as Livio Stecchini(d) and Jim Alison(e) using geodetic calculations have identified São Tomé and Cape Verde respectively as the location of Atlantis. I must also include Hugo Kennes, a Belgian researcher with a passionate interest in global grids and sacred geometry(l)(p). Kennes has also informed me of a new Facebook group(q) deal with all aspects of the subject, as well as another(v) that includes submerged cities and other features.
Anyone interested in pursuing a study of this subject might like to look over James Q. Jacobs’ archaeogeodesy website(f) as well as the BioGeometry website (m).
If you have pursued all the links so far, you can pamper yourself further with a paper(k) by William Becker and Beth Hagens(n). Another researcher in this field is Dan Shaw whose website(o) give a good overview of the subject.
Jean-Pierre Lacroix added his weight to the debate with his 1998 paper entitled The Mapmakers from the Ice Age(t).
(i) http://www.prehistoric-geometry.co.uk/ (offline)
(m) http://www.biogeometry.org/page34.html (offline May 2017)
Elephants are specifically mentioned by Plato as being indigenous to Atlantis. This must have significance for anyone trying to arrive at a credible location for Atlantis. For example, supporters of the Theran Atlantis School cannot show where such large animals could have lived on the small volcanic island. There are no physical remains, no frescos and no historical references. Rodney Castleden who supports the Minoan Hypothesis admits that “no raw elephant ivory has been found (on Thera) and very little in the way of worked ivory”[225.70]. He later speaks of the importation of ivory into Crete[p.172] having bravely denounced Plato’s description (Critias 115a) of herds of elephants on Atlantis as “false”[p.136].
Similarly, Spanuth’s Heligoland location would have been climatically unsuited to elephants. Spanuth himself admits that the elephant reference “is hard to explain“. Nevertheless, Felice Vinci who champions a Northern European origin for Greek mythology is of the opinion that Plato’s elephant reference may be a lingering memory of the woolly mammoths that inhabited Arctic regions as recently as 1700 BC.
Elephants in Western Europe were undoubtedly represented by mammoths, remains of which have been recovered from the North Sea – Doggerland and dated to around 40,000 years ago. Coincidentally, a tool made of mammoth bone, used for making rope, has also been dated to 40,000 years ago(i).*Ashley Cowie recently published an interesting book on the history of rope-making.*
Allied to the demise of the Siberian mammoths is the often repeated fib that when the remains were first discovered, their flesh was still fresh enough to eat, has recently been debunked by Jason Colavito(j). He has also unearthed the truth behind that other canard relating to a Siberian mammoth, namely that fresh buttercups were found in its mouth(j).
Eckart Kahlhofer, in a forthcoming book advocates a North-West European location for Atlantis, suggests that where Plato referred to elephants he really meant deer! Kahlhofer offers, as a simple explanation for this seemingly daft contention, the fact that the Greek for elephant, elephas, is very similar to the Greek elaphos which means deer. A simple transcription error by a scribe could have caused the mix-up. The elk was the largest species of deer to be found in the northern hemisphere and are still to be found in Scandinavia. The Great Irish Deer which died out around 5500 BC had an antler span of 11ft and a maximum height of 10ft.
Gene Matlock in an attempt to bolster his Mexican location for Atlantis has suggested that Plato’s elephants were in fact the long-snouted tapirs of Meso-America!(c), an idea ‘borrowed’ from Hyde Clarke
While the elephant issue should not be dealt with in isolation it does serve to illustrate the difficulties involved in analysing Plato’s text. Consider the possibility that the early date of 9600 BC for Atlantis is accepted, then the islands that are too small today to accommodate elephants may have been considerably larger and sometimes connected to each other or a mainland during the Ice Age, when sea levels were lower, and consequently capable of supporting pachyderms. In this regard, Sundaland would have been a most suitable candidate. Not only would to-day’s South China Sea’s archipelagos been a single landmass, but there would have been access to the area from the Asian mainland, home today to large numbers of elephants.
Strangely enough even the Andes, considered by some as the home of Atlantis, reveal the fact that during the last Ice Age a species of elephant called Cuvieronius lived there but became extinct around 8000 BC. These animals are to be found carved on the great Gateway of the Sun in Tiahuanaco suggesting that they were common in the region. Supporters of an Atlantis link with Tiahuanaco have highlighted this fact. James Bailey who supports the idea of Atlantis in America believes that Plato’s mention of elephants could be a reference to the American mammoth, generally believed to have died out circa 10,000 BC, although Victor von Hagen, the American explorer, contentiously maintained that they survived as late 2000 BC. A similar idea was presented to the 2005 Atlantis Conference by American researcher, Monique Petersen.
The Schoppes, in support of their theory of Atlantis in the Black Sea region, contend(l) that Indian elephants existed there until 800 BC and support this with a reference to the Egyptian pharoah Thutmosis III who killed 120 elephants ‘there’ around 1200 BC, which is a strange claim as Thutmosis did not venture beyond Syria and he died circa 1426 BC!
Elephas Antiquus (Palaeoloxodon), is a dwarf species whose remains have been found throughout the islands of the Mediterranean from Sardinia to Cyprus. All those found were dated 200,000 BC or earlier! However, Ghar Hasan or Hasan’s Cave on Malta has paleolithic cave paintings that depict elephants, indicating more recent contact with the animals. A small booklet by Dr. Anton Mifsud and Dr. Charles Savona-Ventura describes this cave system. Nevertheless, if we look again at Plato’s text (Crit.114e & 115a) we find that he describes the elephants as being ‘of its nature the largest and most voracious.’ This is not a description of pygmy elephants and so in all probability is an indication of a North African location or, as some claim, an Asian one! However, there is general acceptance that the North African Elephant inhabited the Atlas Mountains until they became extinct in Roman times(e)(h). In fact the New Scientist magazine of 7th February 1985(d) outlined the evidence that Tunisia had native elephants until at least the end of the Roman Empire.
In Elephant Destiny Martin Meredith records that one of the earliest references to the African elephant came from Hanno, the 5th century BC Carthaginian explorer, who related how he came across marshes at the foot of the Atlas Mountains, which “were haunted by elephants and multitudes of other grazing beasts.” Meredith also mentions that stables for as many as 300 elephants were to be found within the city of Carthage itself.
Nevertheless, the species of elephant used by Hannibal has been a source of debate for years(f). The Numidians of North Africa (202 BC–46 BC) also used local elephants in warfare(g). It would seem to me that the North African Elephant, rather than the Asian or African species, would have been more suited to the trek across the Alps. Needless to say, the Atlas Mountains were part of the Atlantean sphere of control (Timaeus 25a-b) and so may be the reason that Plato mentioned them.
The latter half of 2010 saw a new piece of nonsense hit the blogosophere when a claim that the Atlanteans had flying machines made of elephant skins suddenly appeared and before you could say “cut and paste” it was ‘adopted’ by a variety of websites(a)(b). So Dumbo was not the first flying elephant! In fact this daft idea was just a recycling of one of Edgar Cayce’s ‘revelations’*(Reading 364-6(m)).*
Two Atlantises have been proposed by some commentators in order to explain some of the difficulties in Plato’s text. While the concept has been adopted in principle, the locations chosen vary.
Lewis Spence was probably the first to suggest the idea, followed by D. Duvillé, while more recentlyJürgen Hepkehas followed suit. The Russian Atlantologist Vladimir Scherbakov has promoted the idea of one Atlantis in the Atlantic and a second one incorporating major cities in the Eastern Mediterranean. He believed that migrants from the Atlantic original had peopled the second one.
It is clear that Plato describes two Atlantises separated by both time and geography. One was the Stone Age culture, briefly referred to by Plato and the other was the Bronze Age society that he describes in much greater detail. This apparent contradiction is easily explained if we accept that the original Atlantis was preliterate and in common with all very ancient peoples their achievements would have been clouded by the mists of time before committed to writing. Not unreasonably, to make up for a lack of detail, Plato would have overlaid the oral tradition with the attributes of an advanced civilisation of his own era, something that his audience could identify with. Such a literary device would have been within the bounds of artistic licence at that period.
Pauwels & Bergier in their book, The Morning of the Magicians, also proposed two Atlantises, an earlier one at Tiwanaku in the Andes and a later one in the Atlantic destroyed by “waters from the north”, recorded as Noah’s Flood in the Bible!