Alberto Arecchi, born in 1947, is an architect and professor of Design and history of the Art, in Pavia in Italy, where he lives. He is president of the Cultural Association Liutprand. He has spent fifteen years in Africa working on international development projects. He is the author of many books relating to European History.
Arecchi has also written about Atlantis in Atlantide, Un mondo scomparso, in which he builds on investigations originally begun in the 1920’s by F. Butavand and Jean Gattefosse. Arecchi’s book contains a number of radical ideas:
(i) it supports the theory of an extensive Sicilian land bridge between Europe with Africa,
(ii) it locates Atlantis off the coast of modern Tunisia and
(iii) it posits the existence of a large inland sea, the original Atlantic ‘Sea’, in part of what is now the northern Sahara, where the chotts of Algeria and Tunisia now are.
He claims that all this ended around 1225 BC when seismic activity in the region caused the land bridge to disappear and the dam that contained the inland sea to rupture and Atlantis to vanish. His date is based on the interpretation of Plato’s 9,000 ‘years’ as 9,000 lunar cycles. Arecchi further claims that the Gibraltar Dam was breached around 2500 BC. He also envisages the Maltese Islands connected to both Sicily and Tunisia prior to this breach.
An outline of his understanding of the Atlantis story, in Italian and English, can be found on the Internet(e) in a 2004 paper entitled Empire of Atlantis: From the Mediterranean to the New World, in which he reviews the evidence for early Mediterranean influences in the Americas and particularly the work of the controversial Barry Fell,*who identified North African scripts on markers at a number of locations in North Amrica. Arecchi sees this as support for his Atlantis location off the coast of today’s Tunisia and that there was trans-Atlantic Atlantean influence!
In fairness, the contentious opinions of Fell deserve a look, so a vindication of his epigraphic work(h) should also be read, as well as further corroboration by more recent DNA studies(i).*
The suggested Sicilian land bridge was more than a possibility if the Gibraltar Dam was a fact. By cutting off the waters of the Atlantic, desiccation in the Mediterranean would have brought the level of its water below that of the Atlantic, creating at least two very large inland lakes and exposing the Sicilian land bridge. Diaz-Montexano supports the idea of this isthmus or land bridge, an idea reinforced by the comments of both Strato and Seneca.
However, in November 2011, I came across an Italian website(b) that included two articles by Arecchi which offer maps of two different locations for Atlantis. Nave di Atlantide? includes the North African site mentioned above. La Vera Atlantide incorrectly attributes Atlantis as a unified and much enlarged Balearic archipelago to Arecchi. I contacted Professor Arecchi who confirmed that he is only advocating a site 100 miles SE of Malta (see map above). The reference to Mallorca in the other article he attributes to a “free-interpretation” of his only thesis.
Arecchi’s book, referred to above, is now available as a free pdf file(c), unfortunately it is in Italian and pdf files are sometimes difficult to translate. I believe this book to be an important contribution to the Atlantis debate so if I can find an efficient means of translating it, I will post it here. In the meanwhile an abstract of his book, in English, is available online(d).
As a supporter of the idea of Atlantis in the Central Mediterranean, I find Arecchi’s concepts quite credible, although I would like to know more about the scientific evidence underlying them. An English translation of his book would help.
(c) http://www.liutprand.it/Atlantis.pdf (Italian)
Lydia was a small but powerful kingdom in the west of modern Turkey. It flourished in the 6th and 7th centuries BC. The inhabitants were famous as merchants and credited with having invented gold and silver coinage and the concept of permanent retail shops.
It must be pointed out that apart from his famous visit to Egypt, Solon travelled extensively throughout the eastern Mediterranean including Lydia where he encountered Croesus the fabulously wealthy monarch. It is possible that during these trips further information regarding the history of the region was gathered and included in his notes that were to pass down through Plato’s family. It must be mentioned that Peter James has placed Atlantis in the region of Lydia near ancient Smyrna now the modern port of Izmir.
Herodotus claimed that the Etruscans migrated from Lydia to Tyrrhenia, a claim that is supported by recent studies of DNA carried out at Pavia University in Italy. Dr. Barry Fell, the renowned, and controversial, expert in ancient scripts, translated Etruscan inscriptions using the language of the ancient Hittites who ruled Anatolia, including Lydia, in the 2nd millennium BC.
Angelo Paratico recently proposed a connection between the Lydian capital Sardis and Sardinia during a lecture delivered in Hong Kong in 2004(a) . This idea was put forward earlier by archaeologist David Rohl  . Wikipedia includes the following information “According to Timaeus, one of Plato’s dialogues, Sardinia and its people as well, the “Sardonioi” or “Sardianoi”, might have been named after “Sardò”, a legendary woman from Sardis, capital of the ancient Kingdom of Lydia in Anatolia.”(b)
The Hittites together with the ancient Egyptians are claied by ‘rogue archaeologist’ David Hatcher Childress to have been the successors of Atlanteans. He quotes their appearance, dress and construction techniques to support this contention. However, Childress’ views are very much at odds with the opinion of the professional archaeologist, Eberhard Zangger, who has identified some of the petty states to the west of the Hittite Empire as part of the alliance of Sea Peoples(d) and in that same region Zangger equates Troy with Atlantis. rather than the enemies to the east.
The idea of Hittites in America is in no way new, as John Campbell (1840-1904) published a paper(b) with that very title in 1881, which is now available online.
The renowned, if controversial, epigrapher, Professor Barry Fell identified the writing on the Newberry Stone, found in 1896 in Michigan, as Hittite-Minoan. As there is no such language as Hittite-Minoan and the ancient exploitation of the Michigan copper mines by Old World traders is unproven(a), Childress’ claims are based on speculation and flimsy circumstantial evidence, which for me are far from convincing.
Even more exotic was the claim by Gabriele Baraldi that the Hittites had developed an empire in Brazil, offering as evidence the petroglyphs on the Ingá Rock(c). Baraldi also located Atlantis in north east Brazil.
(a) See Archive 2547