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

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Joining The Dots


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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Athens

Fundamentalist Atlantology

Fundamentalist Atlantology is a term that I use to describe the idea that everything written about Atlantis by Plato, must be taken at face value. In other words when he refers to 9,000 years, this along with all the other numbers he uses in relation to the dimensions of the plain of Atlantis, its structures or its military manpower should be accepted literally! Such an acceptance flies in the face of both common sense and science, particularly in the case of Plato’s dating of Atlantis, while the dimensions he has for the ditch surrounding the plain of Atlantis were deemed incredible (his word) by Plato himself (Crit.118c), he felt obliged out of deference to Solon’s reputation he recorded the details as he received them.

Without wishing to offend anyone, I believe that acceptance, for example, of Plato’s/Solon’s numbers is comparable with the belief of religious fundamentalists who hold that creation’took just six days.

Although it is understandable that researchers have accepted Plato’s details without question, there has been extensive research over the past century into seeking more rational explanations for many of those more difficult passages in the Atlantis narrative which has produced alternative explanations that are compatible with both science and common sense.

While Plato’s 9,000 years were initially, rather glibly dismissed as a transcription error and that hundreds and not thousands had been intended, it has been demonstrated that the ancient Egyptian priesthood used a lunar calendar so that the ‘ýears’ were in fact months, which was noted in the 4th century BC by Eudoxus of Cnidos and repeated by Manetho and Diodorus Siculus. This would reduce the timeline by a factor of twelve. Another explanation was put forward by Rosario Vieni who proposed that the ‘years’ actually referred to seasons of which there are three in the Egyptian solar year. These, as far as I am aware, are the principal alternatives suggested in place of a literal reading of 9,000 years. After all, neither Athens or Egypt was home to anything more than primitive societies 9,000 years before Solon’s visit.

A further example concerns the size of Atlantis, which Plato consistently referred to as an island and never a continent and is described by him as greater than Libya and Asia combined. Irrespective of how extensive in size the Libya and Asia in question were, the Greek word for greater – meizon, actually relates to greater in strength, power or influence not extent. A few years ago Thorwald C. Franke pointed out that the traditional enemies of Egypt came from Libya and Asia, so that to describe the threat from Atlantis as greater than Libya and Asia combined indicates how great the threat from Atlantis was.

The more contentious issue of the actual location of the Pillars of Heracles, I will not go into here, suffice it to say that a number of valid competing arguments have been put forward in favour of locations other than the Strait of Gibraltar. In fact all of them could have been correct*at different times, changing their position as the Greek colonists and traders gradually moved westward.*Eventually, I believe that at some point in time the term simply became a metaphor for the limits of the world as generally known to the Greeks.

My point is that understandable difficulties exist in the Atlantis texts and that a number of sensible alternative explanations have been put forward, which will be individually tried and tested until a consensus emerges, in the same way that the the idea of a geocentric universe was gradually replaced by the simple fact that our little planet revolves around the sun.

Goti, Marco

 

Marco Goti is the Italian author of The Island of Plato[1430 in which he attempts to demonstrate that Atlantis was situated in Greenland. I say attempts, because in my opinion he fails dismally. He starts by locating the Pillars of Heracles in the Atlantic, with one side being the basaltic columns at the Giants Causeway in Northern Ireland and their counterparts across the sea in Scotland’s Isle of Staffa.*This idea was touted by W. C. Beaumont over sixty years earlier(a).*

Goti then moves on to Iceland, which he identifies as Thule and spends too much time describing a variety of unpronounceable locations there. He eventually heads for Greenland, which he contends must be Atlantis as it is greater than Libya and Asia combined, ignoring that Plato was referring to might rather than size. Goti posits the huge plain apparently described by Plato to have been situated in the centre of Greenland, ignoring the fact that ice cores dated to over 100,000 years have been identified there, and apart from which the huge island is not submerged.

Felice Vinci, who clearly offered some inspiration to Goti, wrote the Foreword to the book and also provided Goti with an archaic Athens in Sweden!

Goti decries other promoters of Atlantis theories for ignoring details in Plato’s account that don’t fit their particular ideas and then he moves Athens to Sweden, has Atlantis above water for hundreds of thousands of years, no elephants, no two annual crops and does not explain how Greenland Atlanteans controlled southern Italy as far as Tyrrhenia, all of which demands a thumbs down from me.

*(a) https://www.theflatearthsociety.org/library/pamphlets/Is%20Britain%20the%20Lost%20Atlantis.pdf*

Origin of the Atlantis Narrative

The Origin of the Atlantis Narrative is declared by Plato to have been Egyptian as it was brought to Athens from Egypt by Solon. This is the almost universally accepted provenance of the story. However, other suggestions have emerged from time to time.

Felice Vinci, who is probably best known for his Homer in the Baltic believes that the origins of most of Greek mythology are to be found in northern Europe.

Another even more exotic claim(a) is that Plato’s Atlantis story was a reworking of the destruction of Lankapura as recorded in the Ramayana(b) , one of the two great Hindu epic poems.

Dhani Irwanto claims that its origins lie in Indonesia and were later carried by refugees to Egypt, presumably via the Indus Valley and Sumeria!

Ashok Malhotra believes that the Atlantis tale originated in the Indus Valley(c) , inspired by the submergence of Dwarka and then moved westward via Sumeria.

*(a) http://archives.sundayobserver.lk/2001/pix/PrintPage.asp?REF=/2013/03/17/mon06.asp (Offline Sept.2017 – See Archive 2058)*

(b) http://www.valmikiramayan.net/

(c) http://ezinearticles.com/?In-Search-of-Atlantis—-Getting-CloserHYPERLINK “http://ezinearticles.com/?In-Search-of-Atlantis—-Getting-Closer&id=313482″&HYPERLINK “http://ezinearticles.com/?In-Search-of-Atlantis—-Getting-Closer&id=313482″id=313482

Flambas, P.P.

P.P. Flambas is the author of Plato’s Caribbean Atlantis[1368]. The self-explanatory title makes Dr. Flambas’ objective clear. The book was published in Australia and is a hefty 932 pages and is also available as a Kindle ebook. The book is so enormous that a full critique would require another book.

In my opinion, the book has many flaws and is just a case of quantity masquerading as quality. One of my first gripes is that the author places Atlantis in the 10th millennium BC, a period during which there is NO archaeological evidence for any structured societies in either Egypt or Athens.

Even more ridiculous is his suggestion that the Atlantean Empire was centred in the Caribbean and included what are now the U.S. states around the Gulf of Mexico, all of MesoAmerica and all the countries along the northern coast of South America. Then realising that Plato had also described Atlantean territory that included parts of Europe and North Africa, Flanbas added them as well for good measure. Flambas accepts that the Atlantean territory included parts of Europe and North Africa but that, apparently unknown to Plato, the capital of this empire was in the Caribbean! I don’t find that credible, but readers will have to decide for themselves.

Eleven millennia later Europe could not keep control of its American colonies even with improved navigation, vessels and weaponry, so how did his Caribbean Atlantis manage the control its European territory?

Furthermore, Flambas is incorrect in saying that Plato noted that part of Atlantean territory extended as far as the Tyrrhenian Sea, in fact, he said that they controlled as far as Tyrrhenia (Timaeus 25b & Critias 114c), in other words they held part of southern Italy. Even without that, if parts of the Western Mediterranean had been occupied by Atlanteans from the Caribbean, it is hard to believe that some knowledge of the existence of the Americas was not well known throughout the whole Mediterranean region, sailors not being known as the most tight-lipped people. But Flambas claims that this knowledge was not available to Europeans until Columbus, eleven thousands years.

Flambas has a large section on empires and their development through the occupation of contiguous territory, which I fully agree with, yet he proposes that these ancient Atlanteans preferred to expand across the wild Atlantic to colonise the Mediterranean rather than the easier option of pushing either north into North America or south into the equally valuable South America with shorter supply lines. Expansion across the Atlantic makes no sense.

On a more positive note, as a layman, I think that Dr. Flambas has done creditable original work with his “Hydraulic Hypothesis” which relates to a modification of our view of Plate Tectonics. The extensive geological research carried out by him is admirable, but for me, his attempt to link it with Plato’s story of Atlantis is just a speculation too far.

Finally, his book is well illustrated, but to produce a volume of this size without an index is unforgivable. I was also disappointed to find that much of Flambas’ Chronology of Atlantis Theories was copied from this site, including errors, without any attribution!

 

Lake Titicaca

Lake Titicaca is the largest lake in South America and at over three kilometres is arguably the highest navigable lake in the world, shared by Peru and Bolivia. In spite of claims to the lake_titicaca_mapcontrary it is a fresh water lake, but is slowly reducing in size due reduced inflow from the retreating Andean glaciers. Lake Poopó to the south has now dried out completely(a) .

To the south of the lake are remarkable archaeological remains of Tiwanaku and the equally exciting Puma Punku. Both sites have produced some extreme theories regarding the builders of these monuments, their technology level and the date of their construction. Arthur Posnansky, followed by Kurt Bilau have proposed a date of circa 9500 BC as the date of fall of Tiwanaku. There are also reports of pre-Incan structures submerged in Titicaca(d) .

South of Lake Titicaca, near Lake Poopó is Pampa Aullagus, a site identified by Jim Allen as the location of Plato’s Atlantis. While there is little doubt that advanced cultures existed around Titicaca, linking the region to Plato’s story is stretching credibility to its limits. I have already argued in respect of Jim Allen’s Andean theory, that 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, that this mighty army from ten regions of South America were defeated by the small city-state of Athens is just as laughable.

Equally questionable is the idea that there was a Sumerian presence around Titicaca, in relation to which Clyde Winters quotes(b) James Bailey as well as Ruth and A. Hyatt Verrill in supporting the idea that Lake Manu in Sumerian tradition was in fact Titicaca. The controversial(c) Fuente Magna bowl is also offered as evidence of this idea.

*(a) https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jan/04/the-ecological-catastrophe-that-turned-a-vast-bolivian-lake-to-a-salt-desert*

(b) http://www.ancient-origins.net/opinion-guest-authors/was-bolivia-peru-sunset-land-sumerians-006708?nopaging=1

(c) http://www.jasoncolavito.com/blog/the-fuente-magna-bowl-still-fake

(d) http://www.ancient-origins.net/news-ancient-places-americas/ancient-ruins-and-beneath-sacred-lake-titicaca-004012?nopaging=1

Djonis, Christos A.

CHRISTOS A. DJONIS ATLANTIS VICINITYChristos A. Djonis is a Greek Cypriot now living in the United States. His first book Cyprus-The Island of Aphrodite, is a travel guide to that island. He has now ventured into much deeper waters with his latest book Uchronia-Atlantis Revealed[0935]. The central core of his theory is that Atlantis lay in the Aegean Sea, to the north of Thera, which itself contained the capital city of the Atlantean confederation. He gives no credit to Paulino Zamarro who proposed a similar location fifteen years ago[0024].

Djonis accepts 9600 BC as the time of its existence as the lower sea level then would have created a single landmass with a large central plain. Among his other Djonis2claims is the idea that during the Bronze Age the Minoans “were not only heavily mining copper from the area around Lake Superior, but they were regularly carrying tobacco and other spices from the Americas back to Santorini.”(d)

He supports this link with North America with the geographical spread of the human mitochondrial DNA designated Haplogroup X. In his own words(e),

“While most geneticists today maintain that haplogroup X walked to America via the Bering Strait, genetic maps show that the furthest region east of the Mediterranean with small traces of haplogroup X, is the Altai Republic in Southern Russia. No traces of haplogroup X exist between Altai Republic and the greater region of the Great Lakes. If haplogroup X infiltrated North America via the Bering Strait, why then does the greatest concentration of haplogroup X (away from the Mediterranean) exist around the Great Lakes and not in Alaska or alongside the west coast? Most importantly, how do we otherwise explain that heavy traces of haplogroup X incidentally also exist in Scotland, Orkney Islands, Faroe islands and Iceland, essentially all the island stops to North America from Europe.”

Not unexpectedly, Jason Colavito, who denies the existence of Atlantis, wrote a highly ctitical review of Djonis’ claims and had further exchanges with Djonis in the comments section of his blog(i).

Djonis does not explain why Plato unambiguously stated that the Atlanteans came from the west (Tim.25b & Crit.114c) and yet Djonis’ Atlantis is situated to the southeast of Athens and north of Egypt?*In fact, what Plato said was that the invasion came from the Atlantic Sea (pelagos). Although there is some disagreement about the location of this Atlantic Sea, all candidates proposed so far are far west of both Athens and Egypt.*

Instead, he prefers to parrot the discredited ancient astronaut theories of Zechariah Sitchin, based on his flawed interpretation of Sumerian texts. These include claims that humans were ‘created’ by these extraterrestrial visitors. In fact, he wastes over half his book discussing UFOs and ETs.

*In April 2016 Djonis had an article published on the Ancient Origins website(j), in which he discussed Sitchin’s theory of Planet X without arriving at any conclusions. Why?*

I did not find Djonis convincing regarding either the Annunaki or Atlantis.

January 2016 had Djonis plunge into the muddy waters relating to the early discovery of America with a three-part article on the Ancient Origins website(f). Not unexpectedly, Jason Colavito had few caustic comments to offer on this latest offering from Djonis(g).

Recently, Djonis and I exchanged emails in which I offered some of my reasons for rejecting his ideas. Clearly unhappy with my comments, he has now used Ancient Origins to rehash(h) his flawed ideas. Included in his offering is a sarcastic reference to me as an ‘expert’, a title I have never used or claimed. Apart from his support for the idea of ancient astronauts, which he carefully avoided in this recent article, my main gripe is that Djonis’ is content to discard elements in Plato’s account without any justifiable reason. Djonis presumptuously wrote of me that there is “no doubt in his mind that Atlantis was a myth.” On the contrary, I believe that it is highly probable that Atlantis existed, but, it is also quite clear that Plato’s narrative contains mythical elements that may have impeded researchers seeking to identify the historical Atlantis. I am currently working on finishing my own Atlantis book, which I hope will withstand critical analysis, unlike Djonis’ offering.

A YouTube clip(b) and PowerPoint presentation(c) are also available.

(a) http://www.atlantisislandrevealed.com/

(b) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ok7PphlD9mw&feature=youtu.be

(c) http://vimeo.com/79041220

(d) http://www.atlantisislandrevealed.com/#!the-minoans/cr2t

(e) http://www.ancient-origins.net/opinion-guest-authors/atlantis-revealed-platos-cautionary-tale-was-based-real-setting-003224

(f) http://www.ancient-origins.net/ancient-places-americas/legendary-hyperborea-and-ancient-greeks-who-really-discovered-america-005258

(g) http://www.jasoncolavito.com/blog/hyperborean-hyperbole-atlantis-theorist-alleges-that-greeks-reached-america-via-the-arctic

(h) http://www.ancient-origins.net/opinion-guest-authors/atlantis-examining-legendary-tale-plato-005750?nopaging=1

(i) http://www.jasoncolavito.com/blog/new-atlantis-claim-places-lost-continent-in-Cyclades

*(j)http://www.ancient-origins.net/news-science-space/planet-x-there-scientific-evidence-005768?utm_source=sendy&utm_medium=email&utm_content=top5_lastyear&utm_campaign=email_regular&page=0%2C2*

Athens (L)

Athens, according to tradition, was founded by the goddess Athene. It has been inhabited from around 5000 BC but it was not until the 2ndmillennium that it became an important Mycenaean centre. This conflicts with the idea that Athens engaged in a war with Atlantis around 9600 BC. It simply did not exist then.

A map Athens at the time of Plato is available online(a).

(a) http://plato-dialogues.org/tools/athensim.htm

Attica (L)

Attica is an ancient region of Greece which includes Athens. Its early kings are mentioned by Plato (Critias 110 a-b)

“the Egyptian priests, in describing the war of that period, mentioned most of those names – such as those of Cecrops and Erechtheus and Erichthonius and Erisichthon and most of the other names which are recorded of the various heroes before Theseus.”

Attica_mapBuilding on that and the writings of Pausanias (Graeciae Descriptio 1,2,6) and Apollodorus (Bibliotheca 3.14.1)(b), Stavros Marinopoulos has constructed an Attica king-list – Actaeus, Cecrops, Erysichthon, Cranaus (3.14.5), Erichthonius, Pandion, Erechtheus, Cecrops II, Pandion II, Aegeus and Theseus(a) . Although some disagree with the details of this list claiming, for example, that Cecrops and  Pandion I and II are duplications, that Erysichthon died before Cecrops died and that Amphictyon succeeded Cranaus, his reconstruction is probably largely correct.

From this, Papamarinopoulos concluded that the kings who opposed the Atlanteans lived in the 16th century BC. Other sources(c) put their reign from the 15th to the 13th centuries BC, so although there are relatively minor  differences between commentators, there is a consensus that the 2nd millennium BC was the time of these early kings, but very definitely not the 10th millennium BC. As you will see elsewhere the Parian Marble substantially supports Papamarinopoulos’ analysis.

(a) http://geolib.geo.auth.gr/digeo/index.php/bgsg/article/viewFile/6631/6393

(b) http://www.theoi.com/Text/Apollodorus3.html

(c) http://www.argyrou.eclipse.co.uk/myths/KingLists.htm


Sarantitis, George

George Sarantitis (1954- ) was born in Athens and is by profession an electronics Sarantitisengineer. He is also a serious student of Ancient Greek history and literature whose research(a) enabled him to present three papers to the 2008 Atlantis Conference. These included a revised translation of many of the key words and phrases in Plato’s Atlantis texts. He quotes Strabo’s Geographica (3.5.5.20) to demonstrate the multiplicity of locations on offer for the Pillars of Heracles. He places Atlantis in North Africa at the Richat Structure, with the Pillars of Heracles situated in the Gulf of Gabes which formerly led to an inland sea where the chotts of Tunisia and Algeria are today,  as well as a number of other lakes and rivers in what is now the Sahara.

He posits a number of large inland seas in Africa including a much larger Lake Chad. The 2014 May/June edition of Saudi Aramco World has an article(c) on the remnants of the ‘Green Sahara’, during what is known technically as the African Humid Period (9000-3000 BC). Sarantitis also claims that at one stage in the distant past Libya had been a peninsula. In a June 2015 report the University of Royal Holloway in London revealed that the size of Lake Chad was dramatically reduced in just a few hundred years(d). A similar map showing enormous inland Norh African lakes 13,000 years ago are included in Taylor Hansen’s The Ancient Atlantic[0527.36].

Sarantitis offers details of his theories on his extensively illustrated Plato Project website(a), which I wholeheartedly recommend readers to visit. He includes a rather technical forensic analysis of Plato’s use of myth. Sarantitis also suggests that the ‘unfinished’ Critias is in fact continued at the beginning of Homer’s Odyssey (1.32-34).

Some of Sarantitis’ section on Methodology of Mythology will be difficult for non-academic readers, such as myself, to fully comprehend. For me his proposal that there were two Atlantean Wars, which took place in 9600 BC and 8600 BC(e) is extremely difficult to accept, since those wars were with an Athens and Egypt that did not even exist at those dates! I find it difficult to accept this apparent abandonment of commonsense and the science of archaeology.

*In 2010, Sarantitis published his theories in The Apocalypse of a Myth in Greek. Now (2017) that work has been translated into English and is currently being prepared for publication with a new title of Plato’s Atlantis: Decoding the Most Famous Myth.*

There is now an extensive video clip Q & A session available on Sarantitis’ website(b).

(a) http://platoproject.gr/

(b) http://platoproject.gr/faqs/

(c) http://archive.aramcoworld.com/issue/201403/last.lakes.of.the.green.sahara.htm

(d) http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/06/150629162542.htm

(e) Proceedings of the 2008 Atlantis Conference[750.389](editor S.Papamarinopoulos)

Meizon

Meizon is given the sole meaning of  ‘greater’  in the respected Greek Lexicon of Liddell & Scott . Furthermore, in Bury’s translation of sections 20e -26a of Timaeus there are eleven instances of Plato using megas (great) meizon (greater) or megistos (greatest). In all cases great or greatest is employed except just one, 24e, which uses the comparative meizon, which Bury translated as ‘larger’! J.Warren Wells concluded that Bury’s translation in this single instance is inconsistent with his other treatments of the word and it does not fit comfortably with the context[787.85].

This inconsistency is difficult to accept, so although meizon can have a secondary meaning of ‘larger’ it is quite reasonable to assume that the primary meaning of ‘greater’ was intended. I note that the 1856 German translation of the well regarded Hieronymus Müller clearly accepted ‘meizon’ to refer to power rather than size.

It is also worth considering that Alexander the Great, (Aléxandros ho Mégas) was so called, not because of his physical size, apparently he was short of stature, but because he was a powerful leader. 

The word has entered Atlantis debates in relation to its use in Timaeus 24e ’, where Plato describes Atlantis as ‘greater’ than Libya and Asia together and until recently has been most frequently interpreted to mean greater ‘in size’, an idea that I previously endorsed. However, some researchers have suggested that he intended to mean greater ‘in power’.

Other commentators do not seem to be fully aware that ‘Libya’ and ‘Asia’ had completely different meanings at the time of Plato. ‘Libya’ referred to part or all of North Africa, west of Egypt, while ‘Asia’ was sometimes applied to Lydia, a small kingdom in what is today Turkey. Incidentally, Plato’s  statement also demonstrates that Atlantis could not have existed in either of these territories as ‘a part cannot be greater than the whole.’

A more radical, but less credible, interpretation of Plato’s use of ‘meizon’ came from the historian P.B.S. Andrews, who suggested that the quotation has been the result of a misreading of Solon’s notes. He maintained that the text should be read as ’midway between Libya and Asia’ since in the original Greek there is only a difference on one letter between the words for midway (meson) and larger than (meizon). This suggestion was supported by the classical scholar J.V. Luce and more recently on Marilyn Luongo’s website(a). This interpretation is quite interesting, particularly if the Lydian explanation of ‘Asia’ mentioned above is correct. Viewed from either Athens or Egypt we find that Crete is located ‘midway’ between Lydia and Libya.

In relation to all this , Felice Vinci has explained that ancient mariners measured territory by the length of its coastal perimeter, a method that was in use up to the time of Columbus. This would imply that the island of Atlantis was relatively modest in extent – I would speculate somewhere between the size of Cyprus and Sardinia. An area of such an extent has never been known to have been destroyed by an earthquake.

Until the 21st century, it was thought by many that meizon must have referred to the physical size of Atlantis rather than its military power. However, having read a paper[750.173] delivered by Thorwald C. Franke to the 2008 Atlantis Conference, I was persuaded otherwise.  His explanation is  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”.

This is a far more elegant and credible explanation than any reference to physical size, which forced researchers to seek lost continental sized land masses and apparently justified the negativity of sceptics. Furthermore, it reinforces the Egyptian origin of the Atlantis story, demolishing any claim that Plato concocted the whole tale. If it had been invented by Plato he would probably have compared Atlantis to enemy territories nearer to home, such as the Persians.

*This interpretation of meizon has now been ‘adopted’ by Frank Joseph in The Destruction of Atlantis[102.82], but without giving any due credit to Franke(b).*

(a) http://middle-east.mavericsa.co.za/history.html

*(b) http://lost-origins.com/atlantis-no-lost-continent/ (offline Jan. 2018)*