Port Arthur, is a small town and a former convict settlement in Australia’s Tasmania. It is now nominated as the location of Plato’s Atlantis(a). The promoter of the idea writes in the Above Top Secret website under the pseudonym of ‘bookofthoth’, * including a radical re-interpretation of Kircher‘s map of Atlantis. The article also includes a rant about British imperialism and Australia’s gun laws!*
It would be better that the author remains anonymous after the production of such a pathetic, facile explanation of what is a complex document from ancient Greece by one of the pillars of western philosophical thought. Perhaps it was written tongue-in-cheek!
Cartography is defined by The International Cartographic Association “as the discipline dealing with the conception, production, dissemination and study of maps.” The earliest land maps can be traced back to Babylonia around 1400 BC. In 2017, Evangelos Livieratos, Professor Emeritus of the Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki Cartography Department, offered evidence that the ancient Greeks were the first to develop a primitive GPS system, using the stars and their relationship with the earth’s surface(g).
The BBC offered an overview on the development of cartography since the 15th century(k).
The subject entered the Atlantis arena in 1665 with the publication of a speculative map(a) of Atlantis, situated in the Atlantic, by Athanasius Kircher. It was allegedly based on earlier Egyptian maps, but unfortunately there has been no corroborative evidence to support this contention. Kircher’s map had been used to bolster a variety of location theories – Azores, Russia, Baffin Bay and Greenland, Kircher himself favoured the Azores.
Hy-Brasil was reputed to be an island to the west of Ireland and frequently associated with the story of Atlantis. The Genoese cartographer, Angellino de Dalorto (fl.1339), placed Hy-Brasil on a map as early as 1325. It is further claimed that Dalorto, sometimes known as Angelino Dulcert, also depicted Australia on his 1339 portolan chart(l).
However, on some 15th century maps, the islands of the Azores appear as Isola de Brazil, or Insulla de Brazil. Apparently, it was not until as late as 1865 that Hy-Brasil was finally removed from official naval charts.
Another feature on ancient that can confuse is the placing of south at the top of old charts, two examples of which are Kircher’s map of Atlantis and Al-Idrisi’s Tabula Rogeriana. Caroline Williams has an interesting article(e) on the BBC website relating to the history of map orientation.
The unreliability of early maps is highlighted by the manner in which California has been depicted. In the 16th century the maps of both Mercator and Ortelius correctly show Baja California as a peninsula, but in the following 17th and 18th centuries it became an island on many charts despite written evidence to the contrary. There is a website dedicated to a study of the ‘island of California’(I), which incongruously ends with a brief reference to Atlantis, placing it in the Atlantic in the Region of Bermuda.
Donald S. Johnson in his well illustrated Phantom Islands of the Atlantic discusses in detail the history of seven legendary islands. This fascinating book offers every reason to treat the details of early cartography with extreme caution.
Further difficulties with old cartography are the result of early mapmakers having a dread of blank spaces, a view outlined in a recent (Nov. 2017) National Geographic online article(h).
The most widely referred to map in relation to Atlantis as well as advanced ancient civilisations is the Piri Reis chart. This arguably depicts an ice-free Antarctica and has been used to develop the idea that Atlantis had been located there and was destroyed when a sudden pole shift caused the southern icecap to move to its present position. Rose and Rand Flem-Ath are the leading proponents of this idea based on the findings of Charles Hapgood. Other maps such as that of Phillipe Buache, the renowned French geographer, published in 1737, are claimed to show an ice-free Antarctica.
It is claimed by Ivan Petricevic that The Ben Zara Map of 1487 “displays remnants of glaciers in Britain, but also extremely detailed depictions of islands in the Mediterranean and Aegean seas. Today, these islands still exist, but due to rising water levels, these are now underwater.”(j)
Dale Drinnon had an interesting, if speculative, article on ancient maps and their possible relevance to the story of Atlantis(b). Another article in Atlantis Rising magazine (July/August 2014) argues that the quality of medieval navigational charts (portolans) of the Mediterranean exceeded the capabilities of the instruments and knowledge in the region at that time and must have originated elsewhere. However, Roel Nicolai at Holland’s Utrecht University, who expressed these sentiments, was unwilling to nominate Atlantis as the source of the maps(c).
*When asked in a recent interview what he meant by ‘advanced civilisationGraham Hancock revealed(u) that “I think we’re talking about a civilization – more than 12,000 years ago – which was as advanced as our civilization was, say in the late 18th century or early 19th century. In other words, they could navigate the world, they could explore the world, they could measure the world accurately, they had precise astronomy, they could create beautiful maps that were accurate in terms of latitude and longitude. That kind of level of civilization.”*
Enrique García Barthe is an Argentinian cartographer who has an interesting Spanish/English website(d) dealing with pre-Columbian maps. Although many people have heard of the Piri Reis Map and the controversy surrounding it, García Barthe introduces a lot of new maps that appear to complement Piri Reis.
In 2015, Melissa Brooks used the data in the Atlantipedia chronology of location theories to develop a map(f) showing the distribution and level of support for the various theories on offer.
(b) See: Archive 3591
Joscelyn Godwin (1945- ) was born in England and is currently professor of musicology at Colgate University in Hamilton, New York. Although he has written on his chosen subject he has also ventured into the realms of Theosophy, the Mystery Traditions and the esoteric generally. Included in his output is a life of Athanius Kircher.*In 2009, this book was revamped as Athanasius Kircher’s Theatre Of The World, which has been described as “essentially a big-budget version of the previous book.” *
In his 1996 book Arktos he traces the history of polar wandering theories together with the polar connection with some Nazi ideology. His latest offering, Atlantis and the Cycles of Time is a very comprehensive history of occult view of the Atlantis mystery.
A brief biography of Godwin together with his impressive bibliography is available on the Colgate University website(a).
Augustus le Plongeon (1826-1909) was born on Jersey in the Channel Islands. He was a professional photographer and amateur archaeologist, who was an enthusiastic follower of Ignatius Donnelly’s idea that the alphabets of the Old and New Worlds were derived from a common Phoenician root via Atlantis. He also attempted to build on the efforts of Diego deLanda and Brasseur de Bourbourg to decipher the Mayan hieroglyphics. Both Donnelly’s efforts to link Latin with Mayan glyphs and deLanda’s attempt to identify the Mayan alphabet bore little fruit, reminiscent of Kircher’s equally futile struggle with Egyptian hieroglyphics.
Le Plongeon with comparable wasted dedication, attempted to convince the world that the Mayan language was in fact Greek. It would have been easier to prove that chalk is cheese. His attachment to the Mayan civilisation also inspired him to claim that they were the founders of the culture of Ancient Egypt via a trip westward through Asia and on to the Mediterranean. When it was eventually demonstrated that the Mayan culture was considerably younger than that of ancient Egypt, le Plongeon refused to relinquish his absurd ideas and continued to claim that the Maya were the oldest people on the planet(e).
Le Plongeon was alone in suggesting that Atlantis was a colony of the Maya.
He was also the creator of numerous other bizarre notions regarding such matters as Mu and the last words of Christ. Incidentally, like Abbe Charles Etienne Brasseur de Bourbourg, Le Plongeon equated Mu with Plato’s Atlantis(e). He was convinced that the Mayan inscriptions on the pyramid of Xochicalco told the story of the destruction of Atlantis. It is remarkable that the author of such outlandish notions is quoted so frequently today, since few accept that he has contributed much to the advancement of knowledge. Jörg Dendl offers an extensive critique, in German, of Le Plongeon’s views(c) and worth a read.
Robert Schoch has suggested(a) that Le Plongeon, himself a freemason, had another agenda, namely, to establish links between freemasonry and the ancient Maya. A potted biography of Le Plongeon on the Internet(b) is also to be recommended.
Le Plongeon’s Vestiges of the Maya is available online(d).
Fr. Athanasius Kircher (1602-1680) was a German Jesuit scholar and a professor of ethics and mathematics at the University of Würzburg. In his day he was considered one of the greatest authorities in Europe on Chinese and Egyptian cultures, archaeology, ancient languages and astronomy. However, he was not without his detractors, one of whom was Decartes who robustly attacked Kircher’s scientific abilities. Kircher’s writings filled 44 folio volumes.
Kircher claimed to have deciphered the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics, but this was later shown to be totally unfounded and drew highly critical comment such as that of the Egyptologist Sir E. A. Wallis Budge who wrote in 1910: Many writers pretended to have found the key to the hieroglyphics, and many more professed, with a shameless impudence which is hard to understand in these days, to translate the contents of the texts into a modern tongue. Foremost among such pretenders must be mentioned Athanasius Kircher, who, in the 17th century, declared that he had found the key to the hieroglyphic inscriptions; the translations which he prints in his Oedipus Aegyptiacus are utter nonsense, but as they were put forth in a learned tongue many people at the time believed they were correct. A more recent critique is available online(b).
When it is realised that more than a century was to pass after Kircher’s death before the Rosetta Stone was discovered and the work of Champollion finally gave us a reliable decipherment of Egyptian hieroglyphics, it is quite reasonable to treat Kircher’s translation as purely speculative. His efforts in this regard were recently described as ‘illusory’.
In recent times Kircher has regained widespread fame because of the map, published in his Mundus Subterraneus , which among a range of subjects(c), outlines Atlantis (Insula Atlantis) between Africa and America. This Latin text can now be read or downloaded online(a). In this book he was the first to propose that the Canaries and the Azores were the mountain peaks of sunken Atlantis. His famous map has north shown at the bottom with Africa and Spain on the left and America on the right. There is no particular significance in this fact as the convention of having North at the top of maps is a relatively recent and generally attributed to the controversial 8th century Irish cleric, Virgil of Salzburg, who was eventually appointed bishop of that city and later canonised as St. Virgilius. A Latin label on the map reads: “site of Atlantis, now beneath the sea, according to the beliefs of the Egyptians and the description of Plato. A chart based on beliefs and descriptios clearly shows that his offering is speculative and not a real map, although some claim that it is an ‘authentic’ depiction of Atlantis, such as can be seen on an hour-long YouTube video from a 1997 conference(g).
It is claimed that it was Kircher’s map that prompted Rand and Rose Flem-Ath to begin their extensive investigation of ancient maps, which led to the publication of When the Sky Fell, outlining their evidence for Atlantis being located in Antarctica.
Recently, Doug Fisher has drawn attention to the similarities between a 1592 map of South America by Abraham Ortelius and Kircher’s Atlantis map when inverted(e). Some further background information on Kircher’s map is to be found online(f).
Dale Drinnon has offered an example of Saharan rock art (see right) as a possible ‘prehistoric prototype’ of Kircher’s map(d)!* I can only describe the idea as highly speculative, at best.*
In 2004 a book with the enticing title of Athanasius Kircher: The Last Man Who Knew Everything was published. It was edited by Paula Findlen and includes essays by leading historians of our day.
(d) http://frontiers-of-anthropology.blogspot.ie/2011/08/possible-prehistoric-prototype-of.html (link broken Sept. 2018)
*(e) http://atlantismaps.com/chapter_7.html (Link broken Nov. 2018) New replacement site is now being developed – http://www.copheetheory.com/*
The Azores (Açores) is a group of Portuguese islands in the Atlantic, situated 740 miles from the mainland. The first recorded instance of their discovery is in 1427 by the Portuguese, although there is some evidence to suggest a much earlier date. In 2012, the president of the Portuguese Association of Archeological Research (APIA), Nuno Ribeiro, revealed(c) that rock art had been found on the island of Terceira, supporting his belief that human occupation of the Azores predates the arrival of the Portuguese by many thousands of years. A further article(a) in October 2016 expanded on this matter. Ribeiro’s research was trotted out in a more recent documentary from Amazon Prime with the tabloid title of New Atlantis Documentary – Proof that Left Historians Speechless(u), which explores the claim that the Azores are the mountain tops of sunken Atlantis!
However, the Portuguese authorities set up a commission to look into Ribeiro’s contentions and concluded(q) that any perceived remnants of an ancient civilization were either natural rock formations or structures of more modern origin. Nevertheless, as the Epoch Times reports(r) that “Antonieta Costa, a post-doctoral student at the University of Porto in Portugal, remained unconvinced and continued research into the hypothesis that the Azores were inhabited in antiquity and even in prehistory.”
It is thought that the Phoenicians and Etruscans competed for control of the Azores in later years. In 2011 APIA archaeologists reported that they had discovered on Terceira island, a significant number of fourth century BC Carthaginian temples. They believe the temples were dedicated to the ancient Phoenician/Carthaginian goddess Tanit(c). The Jesuit, Athanasius Kircher, in his 1665 book Mundus Subterraneus, was first to propose that these islands were the mountain peaks of sunken Atlantis. This view was adopted by Ignatius Donnelly and developed by successive writers and still supported by many today. The latest recruit is Carl Martin, who is current working on a book locating Atlantis in the Azores and destroyed around 9620 BC. The late Christian O’Brien was a long-time proponent of the Atlantis in Azores theory. A bathymetric study of the area suggested to O’Brien that the archipelago had been a mid-Atlantic island 480 x 720 km before the end of the last Ice Age. Apart from the inundation caused by the melting of the glaciers he found evidence that seismic activity caused the southern part of this island to sink to a greater degree than the north. O’Brien pointed out that six areas of hot spring fields (associated with volcanic disturbances) are known in the mid-Atlantic ridge area, and four of them lie in the Kane-Atlantis area close to the Azores. In 1982 Peter Warlow suggestedthat a sea level drop of 200 metres would have created an island as large as England and Wales with the present islands of the Azores as its mountains. However, Rodney Castleden contradicts that idea[225.187] saying that if the sea level was lowered by 200m “the Azores would remain separate islands.” Bathymetric mapsof the archipelago, above and on the Internet(g), verify Castleden’s contention. This together with an 1982 paper from P.J.C. Ryall et.al, which demonstrates more clearly that the Azores are just the summits of volcanic seamounts that rise from an underwater plateau that is 1000 metres below sea level. Professor Ryall and his associates were dealing objectively with the geology of the area and were not promoting any view regarding Atlantis. The geological evidence supporting an Azorean Atlantis is therefore very weak, verging on the non-existent.
Andrew Collins, the leading proponent of a Cuban Atlantis, has written a short review of the Azorean Hypothesis(h).
Frank Joseph has offered his views on Atlantis in the Azores in a YouTube video(l).
Nikolai Zhirov recounts in his book[458.363] how Réne Malaise wrote to him regarding a Danish engineer named Frandsen who identified a plateau, 2/3rds the size of Finland, south of the Azores, whose summits were 4,000-5,000m metres higher than it. Adding canals gave Frandsen a configuration that closely matched Plato’s description of Atlantis. Zhirov also noted[p403] that in 1957 a journal entitled Atlantida was published in the Azores.
In 1976, Jürgen Spanuth pointed out[015.249] that the Azores are not the mountain peaks of a sunken continent but instead are volcanic rock created through eruption. He quotes similar sentiments expressed by Hans Pettersson. A 2003 paper(b) by four French scientists demonstrated that the Azores had been greatly enlarged during the last Ice Age. However, showing that the Azores were more extensive is not disputed, but it in no way demonstrates that it was the location of Atlantis. In fact Plato’s description of the magnificent mountains to the north and the mud shoals that were still a hazard in Plato’s day do not match the Azores. The geologist, Darby South, strongly denied that the Azores could have been the location of Atlantis according to a couple of articles posted on the internet some years ago(a). However, natives of the archipelago are quite happy to assert a link with Atlantis, as travel writer David Yeadon found on a visit there(d). Nevertheless, advocates of Atlantis in the Azores must accept that there is very little evidence of human occupation in prehistoric times, apart from the rock art mentioned above. When the Portuguese arrived on the island in the 15thcentury they were found to be uninhabited and without any evidence of an earlier civilisation there. Initially, the only hint of earlier visitors was some 3rd century BC coins from Carthage discovered on the island of Corvo. However, in recent years Bronze Age rock art(f) and what is described as a Carthaginian temple(e) have both been discovered on the island of Terceira.
Otto Muck among others, was certain that the enlarged Azores had deflected the Gulf Stream during the Ice Age, contributing to the extent of the western European glaciation. However, a 2016 report(m) from Center for Arctic Gas Hydrate, Climate and Environment (CAGE) offered evidence that the Gulf Stream was not interrupted during the last Ice Age, which would seem to undermine one of Muck’s principal claims.
Nevertheless, it is still far from clear what caused the ending of the last Ice Age. A number of writers including Muck speculated that an asteroidal impact in the Atlantic was responsible. When the Azores were discovered in the 15th century they were uninhabited and without any evidence of an earlier civilisation. It can be reasonably argued that since the Azores today are just the mountain peaks of a larger mainly submerged island, any remains would be more likely to be found on the plains and estuaries that are now under water. One undeveloped theory is that the name ‘Azores’ might be linked to the ninth king of Atlantis, Azaes, listed by Plato. This idea is supported by the linguist Dr. Vamos-Toth Bator. However, a Portuguese correspondent has pointed out that the Azores is named after a goshawk (Accipiter gentilis) commonly found on the islands and portrayed on the regional flag. The renowned writer, Dennis Wheatley, used the possibility of Atlantis being located in the Azores as a backdrop to his 1936 thriller, They Found Atlantis.
In August 2013 Portuguese American Journal reported that the many pyramidal structures on Pico are clear evidence of extensive human activity in the archipelago long before the arrival of the Portuguese(o). A YouTube video(p) offers some interesting views of the pyramids.
The following month the same journal announced the discovery of a pyramidal structure 60 metres high at a depth of 40 metres off the coast of the Azorean island of Terceira(i). Shortly afterwards the Portuguese Navy denied the existence of any such structure(j). Not exactly a surprise! Nevertheless, an Italian website has attempted to breathe new life into the story by linking this underwater pyramid report with pyramidal structures found on the island of Pico(k).
The Wikiversity website has an extensive article(s) on the location of Atlantis, which is focused on the Azores and the bathymetric evidence for that archipelago having being a large single landmass at the end of the last Ice Age, when sea levels were much lower. However, it is based on the literal acceptance of Plato’s 9,000 years before Solon for the date of the Atlantean War.
April 2018, saw British tabloid interest in Atlantis revived with further speculation on the Azores as the location of Plato’s submerged island(t). However, the details of the claim were rejected by Dr. Richard Waller a lecturer at Keele University. Not content with recycling the old Azores theory, The Star also throws in the even more nonsensical idea of an Antarctican Atlantis.
(q) https://www.scribd.com/document/327357287/Relatorio-Comissao (Portuguese)
Australia has not been totally ignored in the search for Atlantis. As early as 1852, an Australian newspaper claimed(b), obviously tongue-in-cheek, that Australia was Atlantis, as they were both spelt with a capital ‘A’ and had gold!
Rex Gilroy is a maverick researcher from ‘Down Under’ who has published a book that bravely claims an antipodean location for Atlantis.
Gilroy has been working on the ‘unexplained’ in his home country for over fifty years and has written a number of books on ‘mysterious’ Australia. He has claimed evidence for Egyptian and Phoenician connections with Australia(e). He has also named the ancient megalith-building civilisation of Australia, ‘Uru’(d).
His most recent exploit is to mount a search in the Urewera Ranges of New Zealand for the ‘extinct’ Moa.
A completely different link between Australia and Atlantis was suggested by a Russian writer, S. Bashinsky, in 1914, when he claimed that Australia had created as a result of an impact with an asteroid that split a pre-existing landmass, part of which moved eastward to become Atlantis/America. The idea was so totally at variance with geological realities that it got no support.
An anonymous writer on an Internet message board also supports an Australian Atlantis concept referring to a book, Ayer’s Rock: Its People, Their Beliefs and Their Art; allegedly banned by the Australian government, by Charles P. Mountford that provides evidence of very early white visitors to the vast southern island continent.
*Over the past few years the father and son team of Steven & Evan Strong have been offering an alternative view of Australia’s prehistory(h), including a claim that Atlantis had existed in Australia(f)(g)!*
K.L. Margiani of the Georgian Technical University, Tbilisi, Georgia has an extensive website(a) promoting his new ‘science’ of cosmogeology! The first two sections are devoted to Atlantis, which Margiani claims to have been located on the Azores archipelago. He is convinced that the widely published map of Atlantis by Athanasius Kircher is an ancient map of the Azores. He specifies a location between the eastern islands of São Miguel and Santa Maria as the site of Plato’s lost city.
In a 90-page pdf file(h) that wanders all over the place, Margiani claims that Atlantis was a pre-diluvian empire and “the source of all civilization”.
I found his website somewhat disjointed and not very convincing. Margiani has been seeking a publisher for his work(b) which he modestly describes as “the most sensational book in the world”!
If you have the time, it might be worth reading a 2009 Atlantis thread(c) on the Naked Science Forum website where Margiani reveals a dramatic lack of logic leading to the total exasperation of other contributors.
Margiani’s modesty obviously knows no bounds, because in a recent communication he describes himself as “The first Expert on Atlantis in the world”!
He now offers three pdf files(d)(e)(f) outlining his ‘cosmogeological’ theories regarding Atlantis. In December 2012, Margiani sent me further links(g) to his unique output.
(h) http://vixra.org/pdf/1102.0053v1.pdf (slow loading)
Harry Dale Huffman is an independent American researcher with an interest in ancient mysteries. He has written a book, The End of the Mystery, in which he offers his views on a wide range of subjects including the Holy Grail, the Sphinx and Atlantis. He controversially claims that Atlantis was located on a landmass that included parts of Greenland, Iceland and the British Isles, before being moved by some form of tectonic movement, that brought it from the Indian Ocean to its present position over a vast time span(a)(b). He tenaciously clings to the idea that the speculative map of Atlantis, published by Athanasius Kircher is a true representation of the outline of Plato’s island. I cannot see how Huffman’s claims can stand up to even the most cursory investigation.
Huffman’s radical thinking also extends to the ‘hot’ subject of global warming, regarding which, he disputes the extent of the effect that CO2 has on the global climate(c).
Abraham Ortelius (1527-1598) was a Flemish cartographer who produced the first modern atlas, Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, which at the time was reputed to have been the most expensive book ever printed.
It is interesting that he included the mythical island of Hi-Brasil (Brasil) off the coast of Ireland as well as the equally mysterious Frisland (Frieslant). Both can be clearly seen on his map using the link below(a).
In 1596 Ortelius was struck by the possibility that America, Europe and Africa had at one time been joined together but had over time become separated, an idea expressed in his Thesaurus Geographicus. Ortelius also included a speculative southern landmass, Terra Australis, which he designated as a “land of parrots”.
In 1597, Ortelius was the first to map(d) the travels of Homer’s Odysseus, notably locating all his adventures in the Central and Eastern Mediterranean, which was probably just a reflection of the limits of Greek maritime knowledge at the time that the narrative originated!
Ortelius suggested that Atlantis had been located in North America but that they had separated in the very distant past! Before modern theories of Continental Drift and its successor, Plate Tectonics, the idea of landbridges between continents was popular as an explanation for the spread of animals and people around the world. Some suggested as an alternative, the existence of lost continents such as Atlantis in the Atlantic, which acted as a stepping-stone between the continents(c).
A purpose-built polar exploration ship, m.v. Ortelius, was named after the geographer.
(b) http://atlantismaps.com/chapter_7.html (link broken Oct. 2018) New website in development. (http://www.copheetheory.com/)