Poverty Point is an ancient site in north-eastern Louisiana with remarkable concentric ridges reminiscent of Plato’s description of Atlantis. Frank Joseph suggests a definite link with the Atlanteans. Poverty Point is claimed as the remains of the oldest city in North America having been dated to around 1600 BC. Estimates have put the population of the city at 5-15,000 people at its greatest with two major influxes around 1600 and 1000 BC. It appears to have been suddenly abandoned and eventually covered with debris until it was discovered in 1950, when it was spotted from the air.
The purpose of the site is unknown, although various theories are put forward on a regular basis, one of which is that it was used as the world’s largest soltice marker(b)!
The late Antonis Kontaratos presented three papers to the 2008 Atlantis Conference in Athens in which he expressed strong support for the American Hypothesis and that Poverty Point had been the capital of Plato’s Atlantis.
Gavin Menzies claimed[780.290] that Poverty Point was actually where the Minoans processed copper brought down the Mississippi from Michigan before transporting it back to the Mediterranean to feed the Bronze industries there!*J.S. Wakefield expressed similar ideas in a 2015 article(d).
It has been suggested that the mounds of prehistoric Louisiana, including those at Poverty Point, were constructed as a protection against seasonal flooding! Poverty Point has now been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site of which there are less than 1,000 worldwide.
The results of a study of Mound A, published in the January 2013 edition of Geoarchaeology, has revealed that the structure was built in 90 days or less(a).
An extensive paper from 1996 by Jon L. Gibson is available online(c).
The Minoan Hypothesis proposes an eastern Mediterranean origin for Plato’s Atlantis centred on the island of Thera and/or Crete. The term ‘Minoan’ was coined by the renowned archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans after the mythic king Minos. (Sir Arthur was the son of another well-known British archaeologist, Sir John Evans). Evans thought that the Minoans had originated in Northern Egypt and came to Crete as refugees. However, recent genetic studies seem to indicate a European ancestry!
It is claimed(a) that Minoan influence extendedas far as the Iberian Peninsula as early as 3000 BC and is reflected there by what is now known as the Los Millares Culture. Minoan artifacts have also been found in the North Sea, but it is not certain if they were brought there by Minoans themselves or by middlemen. The German ethnologist, Hans Peter Duerr, has a paper on these discoveries on the Academia.edu website(e). He claims that the Minoans reached the British Isles as well as the Frisian Islands where he found artifacts with some Linear A inscriptions near the site of the old trading town of Rungholt, destroyed by a flood in 1362(f).
The advanced shipbuilding techniques of the Minoans are claimed are claimed to have been unmatched for around 3,500 years until the 1950’s(l).
The Hypothesis had it origin in 1872 when Louis Guillaume Figuier was the first to suggest a link between the Theran explosion and Plato’s Atlantis. The 1883 devastating eruption of Krakatoa inspired Auguste Nicaise, in an 1885 lecture(c) in Paris, to cite the destruction of Thera as an example of a civilisation being destroyed by a natural catastrophe, but without reference to Atlantis.
The Minoan Hypothesis proposes that the 2nd millennium BC eruption(s) of Thera brought about the destruction of Atlantis. K.T. Frost and James Baikie, in 1909 and 1910 respectively, outlined a case for identifying the Minoans with the Atlanteans, decades before the extent of the Theran eruption was fully appreciated by modern science.*In 1917, Edwin Balch added further support to the Hypothesis.*
As early as April 1909 media speculation was already linking the discoveries on Crete with Atlantis(h), in spite of Jowett’s highly sceptical opinion.
Supporters of a Minoan Atlantis suggest that when Plato wrote of Atlantis being greater than Libya and Asia he had mistranscribed meson(between)as meizon (greater), which arguably would make sense from an Egyptian perspective as Crete is between Libya and Asia, although it is more difficult to apply this interpretation to Thera which is further north and would be more correctly described as being between Athens and Asia. Thorwald C. Franke has now offered a more rational explanation for this disputed phrase when he pointed out[750.173] that “for Egyptians the world of their ‘traditional’ enemies was divided in two: To the west there were the Libyans, to the east there were the Asians. If an Egyptian scribe wanted to say, that an enemy was more dangerous than the ‘usual’ enemies, which was the case with the Sea Peoples’ invasion, then he would have most probably said, that this enemy was “more powerful than Libya and Asia put together”.
It has been ‘received wisdom’ that the Minoans were a peace-loving people, in fact Dr. Barry Molloy of Sheffield University has now shown that the exact opposite was true(d) and that “building on recent developments in the study of warfare in prehistoric societies, Molloy’s research reveals that war was in fact a defining characteristic of the Minoan society, and that warrior identity was one of the dominant expressions of male identity.”
In 1939 Spyridon Marinatos published, in Antiquity, his opinion that the eruption on Thera had led to the demise of the Minoan civilisation. However the editors forbade him to make any reference to Atlantis. In 1951, Wilhelm Brandenstein published a Minoan Atlantis theory, echoing many of Frost’s and Marinatos’ ideas, but giving little credit to either.
*However, Colin MacDonald, an archaeologist at the British School in Athens, is of the opinion that “Thira’s eruption did not directly affect Knossos. No volcanic-induced earthquake or tsunami struck the palace which, in any case, is 100 meters above sea level.” The Sept. 2019 report(n) in Haaretz suggests it’s very possible the Minoans were taken over by another civilization and may have been attacked by the Mycenaeans, the first people to speak the Greek language and they flourished between 1650 B.C. and 1200 B.C. Archaeologists believe that the Minoan and Mycenaean civilisations gradually merged, with the Mycenaeans becoming dominant, leading to the shift in the language and writing system used in ancient Crete.*
The greatest proponents of the Minoan Hypothesis were arguably A.G. Galanopoulos and Edward Bacon. Others, such as J.V. Luce and James Mavor were impressed by their arguments and even Jacques Cousteau explored the seas around Santorini, while Richard Mooney, the ‘ancient aliens’ writer, thought that the Minoan theory offered a credible solution to the Atlantis mystery. More recently Elias Stergakos has proposed in an overpriced 68-page book, that Atlantis was an alliance of Aegean islands that included the Minoans.
Alain Moreau has expressed strong opposition to the Minoan Hypothesis in a rather caustic article(i), probably because it conflicts with his own support for an Atlantic location for Atlantis.
The hypothesis remains one of the most popular ideas with the general public although it conflicts with many elements in Plato’s story. A few examples of which are: where were the Pillars of Heracles? How could Crete/Thera support an army of one million men? Where were the Elephants? There is no evidence that Crete had walled cities such as Plato described. The Minoan ships were relatively light and did not require the huge harbours described in the Atlantis story.
Gavin Menzies has now become the standard bearer for the Minoan Hypothesis. In The Lost Empire of Atlantis he argues for a vast Minoan Empire that spread throughout the Mediterranean and even discovered America (p.245). He goes further and claims that they were the exploiters of the vast Michigan copper reserves, which they floated down the Mississippi for processing before exporting it to feed the needs of the Mediterranean Bronze industry.
Tassos Kafantaris has also linked the Minoans with the exploitation of the Michigan copper, in his paper, Minoan Colonies in America?(k) He claims to expand on the work of Menzies, Mariolakos and Kontaratos. Another Greek Professor, Minas Tsikritsis, also supports the idea of ancient Greek contact with America. However, I think it more likely that the Minoans obtained their copper from Cyprus, whose name, after all, comes from the Greek word for copper.
Frank Joseph has criticised[802.144] the promotion of the Minoan Hypothesis by Greek archaeologists as motivated by nationalism rather than genuine scientific enquiry. This seems to ignore the fact that Nicaise and Figuier were French, Frost, Baikie and Bacon were British, Luce was Irish and Mavor was American.
Furthermore, Crete has quite clearly not sunk beneath the waves. Henry Eichner commented, most tellingly, that if Plato’s Atlantis was a reference to Crete, why did he not just say so? The late Philip Coppens was also strongly opposed to the Minoan Hypothesis.(g)
Excavations on Thera have revealed very few bodies resulting from the 2nd millennium BC eruptions there.The understandable conclusion was that pre-eruption rumblings gave most of the inhabitants time to escape. Later, Therans founded a colony in Cyrene in North Africa, where you would expect that tales of the devastation would have been included in their folklore. However, Eumelos of Cyrene, originally a Theran, opted for the region of Malta as the remnants of Atlantis. How could he have been unaware of the fame of his homeland?
A 2008 documentary, Sinking Atlantis, looked at the demise of the Minoan civilisation(b). There is also an interesting article from James Thomas, who has published an extensive study of the Bronze Age, with particular reference to the Sea Peoples and the Minoans(j).
More extreme is the theory of L. M. Dumizulu, who offers an afrocentric view of the Atlantis. He claims Thera was part of Atlantis and that the Minoans were black!(m)
(e) https://www.academia.edu/7256326/r_r_r_KOM_M_E_NTA_R_Eine_unendliche_Geschichte (offline 1/7/14)
*(g) https://web.archive.org/web/20180128190713/http://philipcoppens.com/lectures.php (June 3, 2011)*
Ivan Linforth (1879-1976) was a renowned American Hellenist scholar, who was Professor of Greek Studies at the University of California. In his Solon the Athenian he controversially expressed the view that Plato himself brought the Atlantis story back to Athens and that the introduction of Solon into the provenance of the tale was “a literary device”.
To me, this seems highly improbable, as it would require Plato to lie and then implicate the highly regarded Solon in the same untruth. Then, for good measure, claim that his own family was complicit in transmitting this account from Solon to him. If this is the best that a scholar could come up with, I despair. Plato wrote Timaeus and Critias in his old age, not a time when a highly respected person normally resorts to lying.
Compounding this is the fact that the late Antonis Kontaratos identified an unprecedented twenty-two instances in the Atlantis narrative where Plato, directly or indirectly, claims the story to be true.
The Atlantis Conference – 2005 was addressed by a wide range of speakers who hold many conflicting theories regarding the truth behind Plato’s story. It was held on the Aegean island of Melos, which Dr. Galanopoulos suggested had been named after Eumelos, the brother of Atlas, king of Atlantis.
The conference concluded with agreement on a list of 24 criteria, which any proposed site must meet to qualify as a site where Atlantis could have existed:
1. The Metropolis of Atlantis should have been located where an island used to be and where parts of it may still exist.
2. The Metropolis of Atlantis should have had a most distinct geomorphology composed of alternating concentric rings of land and water.
3. The Atlantis should have been located outside the Pillars of Hercules.
4. The Metropolis of Atlantis was greater than Libya and Anatolia and Middle East and Sinai (combined).
5. Atlantis must have sheltered a literate population with metallurgical and navigational skills.
6. The Metropolis of Atlantis should have been routinely reachable from Athens by sea.
7. At the time, Atlantis should have been at war with Athens.
8. The Metropolis of Athens must have suffered a devastating physical destruction of unprecedented proportions.
9. The Metropolis of Atlantis should have sunk entirely or partly below the water.
10. The Metropolis of Atlantis was destroyed 9000 Egyptian years before the 6th century B.C.
11. The part of Atlantis was 50 stadia (7.5 km) from the city.
12. Atlantis had a high population density, enough to support a large army (10,000 chariots, 1,200 ships, 1,200,000 hoplites)
13. The region of Atlantis involved the sacrifice of bulls.
14. The destruction of Atlantis was accompanied by an earthquake.
15. After the destruction of Atlantis, the passage of ships was blocked.
16. Elephants were present in Atlantis.
17. No physically or geologically impossible processes were involved in the destruction of Atlantis.
18. Hot and cold springs, with mineral deposits, were present in Atlantis.
19. Atlantis lay on a coastal plain 2000 x 3000 stadia surrounded by mountains falling into the sea.
20. Atlantis controlled other states of the period.
21. Winds in Atlantis came from the north (only in Northern hemisphere)
22. The rocks in Atlantis were of various colours: black, white, and red.
23. There were canals for irrigation in Atlantis.
24. Every 5th and 6th year, they sacrificed bulls.
While it is interesting that a majority of the gathering supported a list of this nature, many of the individual points will be considered highly contentious by a number of investigators. For my part I see the principal flaw with the list is that it is built on the assumption that all of what Plato wrote is factual and not mythological and does not contain any errors or embellishments.
Jim Allen is also unhappy with aspects of this list and has expanded it by a further 26 criteria giving us a round 50 identification elements(a). Allen then applies this list to 24 Atlantis theories and surprise, surprise, all theories fail except his Andean theory. This expanded list includes all the original flaws plus new ones introduced to bolster Allen’s Bolivian theory.
*This 2005 Conference is also notable for the contribution of Antonis Kontaratos, who used the occasion to list the twenty-two instances, both directly and indirectly, where Plato points to the Atlantis story as true.*
The proceedings of the conference were subsequently published, in English, in a substantial and valuable volume, edited by Stavros Papamarinopoulos, entitled The Atlantis Hypothesis: Searching for a Lost Land.
The Oera Linda Book, sometimes referred as the Ura-Linda Chronicle, is a highly controversial book from Holland that occasionally is referred to in books and articles relating to Atlantis. It is claimed to be one of the oldest books ever discovered. While a Dutch translation appeared in 1871, it was not until 1876 that the first English translation of the Oera Linda Book by William R. Sandbach was published by Trubner & Co(k). This was allegedly a translation of a 13th century Frisian manuscript based on much earlier traditions.
The book tells the story of the destruction of a large landmass in the North Sea known as ‘Atland’ following earthquakes and tidal waves. Atland mean Old Land in Frisian. It dates this catastrophe to 2193 BC. However, the current consensus is that the landbridge between the Shetlands Isles and Norway was submerged around 5500 BC and not the date given in the Oera Linda Book.
Nearly seventy years were to pass before the book came under scrutiny again in Britain, when Harold T. Wilkins wrote an article in Egerton Sykes’ first issue of Atlantis magazine, supporting its authenticity. Thirty years later another English writer, Robert Scrutton, wrote two books on the Oera Linda Book. These again opened up the controversy regarding the authenticity of the book.
Andrew Collins has written a short paper(g) casting doubt on the authenticity of the book.
Now Anthony Radford presents a new review of the Book and offers the first edition of his book free on line(f).
Andi Zeneli, the Albanian researcher, has used the text of the Oera Linda Book in an attempt to support his claim for an Albanian connection with Atlantis. Georg Lohle also follows the Oera Linda Book in suggesting a North Sea location for Atlantis.
The English text of the book is available on the internet(b)(c) with the original 212 Frisian language pages, which is accessible on a Dutch site(d). A recent (2012) vindication of the OLB is now available online(h).
It is reported(p) that when Heinrich Himmler was given a translation of the OLB by his friend Hermann Wirth he was totally besotted with its contents and it became known as ‘Himmler’s Bible’. However, even within the Nazi party there were many sceptical voices, which led to much dispute. Finally, “The two opposing camps officially “squared off” during a panel discussion centered on The Oera Linda Book that took place on May 4th 1934 at the aforementioned University of Berlin. The discussion turned into a heated debate, but in the end, The Oera Linda Book was officially declared “a hoax” by the NSDAP, and “Himmler’s Bible” receded once again into obscurity.”
I must mention that the American neo-Nazi National Socialist Movement has taken an interest in the Oera Linda Book(e), promoting it as ‘positive’ reading material!
*The late Antonis Kontaratos was favourably disposed to quote the OLB in support of Atlantis, in a paper delivered to the 2005 Atlantis Conference [629.435], although he also noted that “the authenticity of the Oera Linda Book still awaits official approval or disapproval”.*
Alewyn J. Raubenheimer has theorised that an asteroid impact created the Burckle Crater in the Indian Ocean which in turn generated a megatsunami recorded in the bible as Noah’s Flood and in the Oera Linda Book as the flooding of Atland in 2193 BC. With regard to Atlantis he states categorically (p.49)“that no attempt is made here to equate Atland with Atlantis although there may be a connection.” His defence of the Oera Linda Book has been hailed by some as an important scholarly contribution(i) while others have endeavoured to discredit the book’s authenticity(j).
James Nienhuis also accepts the historicity of the OLB(n), but today’s leading proponent of its authenticity is arguably Jan Ott, a Dutch researcher, born in West Friesland, who has released video and audio interviews on YouTube(l)(m) in support of his views. A list of all translations of the OLB can be accessed on his website(o) as well many other aspects of Oera Linda studies. Ott has been interviewed on Red Ice Radio, a Swedish right-wing broadcaster.