Christian & Siegfried Schoppe
William Ryan & Walter Pitman published evidence, in 1997, that extensive flooding of the Black Sea occurred through the Bosphorus around 5600 BC. Controversy still surrounds various aspects of their
theory, some even claiming that the Black Sea broke into the Aegean, an idea that may be partially true(d).
Nevertheless, their conclusions were challenged in a paper(c) by Yanko, Gilbert and Dolukhanov, who offered evidence that the flooding of the Black Sea was not the rapid event claimed, but was spread over millennia, initially in the form of freshwater from the Caspian Sea via the Manych Spillway(d) as the glaciers retreated and later with seawater from the Mediterranean. The same paper concludes with the following; “The public perception that ‘Noah’s Flood’ happened there is not supported by any scientific evidence.”
Ryan & Pitman later published their theories in book form as Noah’s Flood and was understandably seized upon by many as proof of the veracity of the Bible. In fact a year before Ryan & Pitman launched their book, René & Denise Capart published l homme et les déluges, in which they linked the Black Sea with the the Deluge of Noah. A Bulgarian father and son team, Petko & Dimitar Dimitrov, refer to the pre-flood Varna civilisation existing on the Black Sea plain, but not calling it Atlantis by name. Their book is available online(a).
Inevitably, I suppose, Atlantis has been more firmly linked with this event by a number of commentators, particularly, Christian & Siegfried Schoppe(b). However, Hristo Smolenov also claimed that swathes of the Varna civilisation were inundated by the rising waters of the Black Sea but had no hesitation identifying it with Atlantis.
Bulgaria has not been totally excluded from the search for Atlantis. In 2012 it was announced that the oldest European town had been discovered in Bulgaria(a), near the town of Provadia and dated to about 4500 BC. Recently there were metal beads discovered in Bulgaria tentatively dated to 6000 BC. Along with recent discoveries of hoards of Thracian gold it is obvious that Bulgaria was no backwater, although identifying it with Atlantis is not a runner.*[Nevertheless, some have attempted(e) to link Atlantis with the ancient region of Thrace, which today would occupy a section of Bulgaria along with parts of Greece and Turkey.]*
In the mid-20th century the noted Bulgarian astronomer Nikola Bonev placed Atlantis in the Atlantic. However, the flooding of the Black Sea as revealed by Ryan & Pitman triggered the imagination of a number of people. The Schoppe father and son team who favour a Black Sea location for Atlantis have broken with the generally held view that Gadeiros, the twin brother of Atlas, gave his name to the city of Gades, now Cadiz in southwest Spain and proposed the more radical view that he gave his name to the Getae who occupied parts of today’s Bulgaria and Romania(b).
In 2012, Hristo Smolenov went further and suggested a closer connection between Bulgaria and Atlantis on his website(c), a video(c) and a book, Zagora – Varna: The Hidden Superculture.
Michael A. Cahill (1961- ) is an Australian Lecturer in Biochemistry & Cell Biology, author of multiple patents, and scientific cofounder of the biotechnology company ProteoSys AG. He is also the author of an extensively researched two-volume work(b)(c), published in 2012, entitled Paradise Rediscovered: The Roots of Civilisation[818/9]. This offering of over 1100 pages is, by the author’s own admission, controversial. In it he puts forward the radical idea that “the long forgotten high society of Atlantis existed in the pre-Diluvian Stone Age at the mouth of the Black Sea [the location of present day Istanbul] and that its legends have come down to us in Indo-European and Middle Eastern mythologies (including the biblical Genesis account)”(d).
However Atlantis is only a tangent to main theme of this book, which opens with Solon in the Temple of Neith at Sais from Plato. Cahill recognised that the myth of Phaeton related by the old Egyptian priest actually referred to a supernova in the constellation of Cygnus. This was confirmation that the Atlantis account referred to the transmission of actual historical information by Plato, rather than fictional imagination, inspired further investigation.
For Cahill the inundation of Atlantis would have corresponded to the biblical Deluge, which Ryan and Pitman’s Noah’s Flood equated with the Black Sea Flood, dated at 6400 BC(e) after the breaching of the Bosporus. This date is around 1,200 years earlier than that suggested by Christian & Siegfried Schoppe, while Cahill’s proposed location for Atlantis, namely in the vicinity of modern Istanbul, is south of the Schoppe’s proposed Snake Island in the Black Sea. This location has, understandably, some local support from Adrian Bucurescu(g) and more recently from George K. Weller (h).
Linguistics analysis had suggested the origin of the Indo-European languages in Anatolia (i.e. next to the Black Sea) around 6400 BC. Cahill looked for and found otherwise unlikely traces of Indo-European words in flood accounts, such as Genesis, The Book of Enoch, and The Epic of Gilgamesh. He has published a summary of the arguments in a poster presented at the 2011 Atlantis Conference in Santorini, Greece. Based upon the society reconstructed from the written flood accounts, from Indo-European comparative mythology, and from a host of other sources, the book concludes that this society was dominated by god-kings who commanded secret scientific Neolithic knowledge, possibly including an elixir which extended the life-span of the elite(f).From the Stonehenge-like circular Atlantis complex at the Bosporus the “gods” exerted a monopoly on power until 200 of them defected, revealing secret knowledge to “the daughters of man” to start a new farming culture that spread across Europe with its Indo-European languages. Paradise Rediscovered certainly poses challenging questions for many established social and archaeological paradigms. Whether or not this shadowy reconstruction is correct, and even Cahill does not insist that it is(d), it is well researched and its elaborate arguments are surprisingly plausible. (The above synopsis was written by Cahill at my request. TO’C)
Cahill has had problems with selling his books through Amazon and offers an alternative source for purchasers(h).
*(g) https://sfinxredivivus.wordpress.com/tag/etnograful-adrian0-bucurescu/ (Link broken)*
Christian & Siegfried Schoppe are a father and son team of German researchers who firmly assert that Atlantis was located in the Black Sea. More specifically they suggest that Snake Island(b) situated 35 km east of the Danube Delta, was the location of the Atlantean capital. Snake Island has also been referred to in a Russian website(c) that discusses a Black Sea Atlantis. It includes a number of videoclips with Russian dialogue.
Snake Island has also been adopted by George K. Weller as the location of Atlantis(h).
Their contention is that before 5500 BC there was a great plain in the north-west of the area, now occupied by the Black Sea, which was then a much smaller freshwater-lake. Atlantis in their view was situated on what was formerly the shore of this lake. The Schoppe’s echo the
view of Ryan and Pitman who were probably the first in 1998, to advance the idea that around 5500 BC the barrier at today’s Bosporus broke open due to the rising world sea levels and raised the level of the Black Sea, flooding a huge area of cultivated land, an event that lay behind the story of Noah’s Flood.
The Schoppes, on the other hand, identify this flooding of the Black Sea with the flooding of Atlantis and maintain that the Pillars of Heracles are located at the Strait of Bosporus. They further suggest that the Orichalcum mentioned by Plato was in fact obsidian that used to be a cash-equivalent at that time and was replaced by the spondylus shell around 5500 BC. This geocatastrophic event, according to the Schoppes, led to the Neolithic diaspora in Europe that also began around 5500 BC.
They also claim to have identified the location of the ten kingdoms of the Atlantean empire through an investigation of placenames for both meaning and sound. The theories of the Schoppe’s are contained in their book, Atlantis und die Sintflut  and outlined on their website(a).
In 2005 the Schoppes offered their theory to the Atlantis Conference on Milos and have published their presentation online(g).
In June 2015 Siegfried Schoppe offered the latest paper in support of their Black Sea location for Atlantis(d) for publication on the Atlantipedia.ie website, as well as a shorter note, also in support of their theory(e).
In a short paper(f), the Schoppes also compared the effects of the fall of Rome with the consequences of the demise of Atlantis.
The Atlantis theory of the Schoppes, along with many others matches many of the clues offered by Plato, but for me, I find it difficult to understand how an Atlantis situated east of Athens and north of Egypt in the Black Sea could attack them from the west! 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 west of both Athens and Egypt (Tim.24e & Crit.114c).
(d) See: Archive 5098 (German)
(e) See: Archive 5099 (English)
(f) See: Archive 2873 (German/English)
The Atlantis Research Charter followed on from the 2005 Atlantis Conference in Melos. Some of the German participants including the late Ulf Richter, Christian & Siegfried Schoppe and Ulrich Hofmann decided to develop some basis for mutual cooperation. Thorwald C. Franke subsequently joined this group and provided the first draft of the Atlantis Research Charter. Unfortunately, the promoters of the Charter never developed beyond an informal association, due to a change in the research interests of some members and the untimely death of Ulf Richter.
The text of this charter is available on the Internet(a). Briefly, the charter aims to have the subject of Atlantis discussed from a scientific perspective as an open issue. The charter firmly rejects pseudoscience, dogmatism and abuse for political or religious ends.
German Atlantologists have made a considerable contribution to their subject over the past century. In fact, outside the English speaking world the Germans can arguably claim to have contributed most to scientific Atlantology. I think that there is sufficient material to justify a book on German Atlantology on its own. The extent of their influence can be gauged by entering ‘German’ in the Atlantipedia search box.
A recent newsletter from Thorwald C. Franke highlighted the work of German researchers, particularly in the early part of the 20th century. Surprisingly, he did not mention more recent German publications including his own(a) valuable contributions. In 2016 Franke published Kritische Geschichte der Meinungen und Hypothesen zu Platons Atlantis (Critical history of opinions and hypotheses about Plato’s Atlantis), which contains a review of virtually every Atlantis theorist from antiquity until the 20th century. Unfortunately, this 593-page tome is not available in English leaving German readers to be envied for having such a valuable research tool available to them. A summary of his book is available in English(b).
*So it is not without good reason that Franke recently urged serious Atlantis researchers to learn German as it provides access to a lot of valuable research.*
Iberia is also the name of an early kingdom on the eastern coast of the Black Sea, known as Kartli in Georgian. This fact is used by the Schoppes to support their Atlantis in the Black Sea theory. This ancient Iberia in the Caucasus is sometimes claimed as the original home of wine(a), now dated to around 6000 BC(d)!*However, the most recent studies place the earliest evidence for wine production in Italy in the 4th millennium BC.(c)
A short history of this Georgian Iberia is available online(b).
*(a) http://www.argophilia.com/news/georgia-origin-of-wine/24367/ (Link broken)*
Elasippos is the name of the elder of the fourth pair of twins who became kings of the Atlantean empire. This name is claimed to have been modified by time and usage to what we know as Lisbon today, where his kingdom is assumed to have existed. However, Plato tells us that the names of the original ten kings of Atlantis recorded by him have been Hellenised so that the putative connection between Elasippos and Lisbon is somewhat suspect.
The Greeks knew Lisbon as Olissipo and believed that this was derived from Ulysses whom is supposed to have founded the city, although it is more conventionally accepted as having been established by the Phoenicians and known by them as Alis-Ubbo.
However, Frank Joseph claims that they knew it as Elasippos (b) and in Douglas Kenyon’s Forgotten Origins [1191.67] he translates the name as ‘Kingly horse-rider’. However, in The Lost Civilisation of Lemuria  Joseph suggested that Elasippos was possibly a reference to Olisihpa a king of Nan Madol in the Pacific! (d)
It is interesting that this suggested Ulysses connection supports the view that the adventures of Homer’s hero took place outside the Mediterranean.
C.&S.Schoppe translate ‘Elasippos’ as ‘horse of war’ referring to its domestication and also claim that he gave his name to a region around the River Don(a) that flows into the Black Sea, their preferred location for Atlantis.
Other translations of the different variants of the name are ‘calm roadstead’ or ‘walled town’ (c).
(b) See: Archive 3646
The Black Sea was known to the Greeks as the Euxine Sea and according to Strabo (1.2.10), in antiquity was often simply referred to as “the sea” (pontos). It has also been known as the Scythian Sea after the people who lived on its northern shore.
It received little attention in connection with the Atlantis mystery until the 19th century when two French writers, André de Paniagua and Moreau de Jonnès, independently located Atlantis in the Sea of Azov. Some years later in 1923, R.A. Fessenden, a Canadian professor of Mathematics and Electrical Engineering wrote about the prehistoric flooding of a civilisation in the Caucasus’ region, which he linked with Plato’s Atlantis. The text of this extensive work is now available on the Internet(a).
Little was heard of the region again until 1998, when Ryan & Pitman identified the flooding of the Black Sea with Noah’s Flood. This was followed in 2001 by Ian Wilson‘s Before the Flood , which reflected a similar line of thought.
In 2004, the Bulgarian father and son oceanographers, Petko and Dimitar Dimitrov, published their book, The Black Sea, the Flood and the Ancient Myths, in English, which supported much of Ryan and Pitman’s work. Unlike them, who based much of their conclusions on a study of molluscs, the Dimitrovs focused on sedimentation evidence. Their book is now available, in English, as a free pdf file(d). They also suggest that this Holocene influx into the Black Sea also triggered the Vedic Aryan migration to India(g).
Ryan and Pitman’s book unintentionally triggered the imaginations of a number of people into considering the possibility of a possible link between this inundation and the sinking of Atlantis. While Ryan and Pitman have made no such suggestion, others such as Ian Wilson have seen a distorted memory of the event as a possible inspiration for Plato’s story. In 2009, Liviu Giosan, a geologist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute published a paper(e) which suggested that prior to the intrusion of the Mediterranean the level of the Black Sea had been just 30 metres below its present level rather than the 80 metres proposed by Ryan and Pitman. This would imply a less extensive degree of flooding than previously thought. Giosan has offered a sceptical Ryan an opportunity to replicate his tests.
Although the scenario pictured by Ryan & Pitman and others is of a very rapid flooding of the original smaller Black Sea, more recent studies appear to indicate a more gradual raising of the water levels. “With more data to be analysed, it supports the idea that the waters rose unnoticeably, by metres over centuries, even millennia.”(o)
Nick Thom, a British engineer, wrote The Great Flood which includes a section on the Black Sea in which he suggests that the flow of water was from the Black Sea into the Sea of Marmara rather than the other way around.
More recently Christian & Siegfried Schoppe, two German researchers have also asserted that the Black Sea was the original ‘Atlantis Ocean and that Atlantis was located in that region. They have suggested that Snake Island located east of the mouth of the Danube was the probable site of Plato’s city. Their contention is that around 5500 BC a landbridge at the Bosporus was breached causing extensive flooding that created what we now know as the Black Sea. Until that time there had only been a small freshwater lake in the region. Although their book was published in German, the Schoppes have a website(b) with a useful amount of English content.
The somewhat eccentric duo of the late Flying Eagle (1920-2007) and Whispering Wind, who also advocated a Black Sea location for Atlantis(a)(f), claimed a specific site on the Strait of Kerch between the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov. Their theory was first expounded in their book in 2004. They also followed the Ryan and Pitman date of 5500 BC for the inundation of the Black Sea.
The evidence to-date suggests that the flooding of the Black Sea coincided with a storegga event, which would require a catastrophe on a scale not previously considered. In a 2017 paper(i), John M. Jensen offers a range of evidence to support this contention.
A rather different approach is taken by the German researcher Werner E. Friedrich, who pushes back the expansion and the raising of the level of the Black Sea to around 10000 BC, at the end of the last Ice Age. He believes that this led to the flooding of Atlantis, which he claims to have been situated on a plain that had lain between ancient extensions of the rivers Donau and Don. Friedrich located the Pillars of Heracles in the Sea of Marmara[p.39].
A.I. Zolotukhin places Atlantis in the western Crimea on his multilingual website with the inviting title of Homer and Atlantis(j).
The legendary destroyed city of Ancomah, is frequently compared to Plato’s description of the destruction of Atlantis. It was reputed to have existed in the vicinity of the ancient port city of Trabzon, which is located on the south-east coast of the Black Sea.
The concept of a Black Sea Atlantis has the support of the rather eccentric Church of Vrilology(h)!
In October 2018, an attempt was made to breathe new life into the idea of Crimea as a remnant of an Atlantis submerged under the Black Sea. Unfortunately, it offers no evidence or references in the badly translated article(k). In the same month it was reported that the oldest intact shipwreck was discovered in the Black Sea by an Anglo-Bulgarian team. It was identified as a Greek trading vessel dated to 400 BC(l). The oxygen-free waters at the bottom of the Black Sea had preserved it and dozens of others located by the team.
In early 2019, George K. Weller, building on the theories of the Schoppes, also proposed the Black Sea as Atlantis’ home, again nominating Snake Island as the home of Mr. and Mrs. Poseidon, which, before the Black Sea was flooded, would have been the central peak of their island home, as referred to by Plato(n).
One of the most comprehensive internet papers on all aspects of the history of the Black Sea can be found on the Encyclopaedia Iranica website(m).
*(b) See: http://atlantipedia.ie/samples/archive-3914/*
(k) https://ktelegram.com/scientists-crimea-may-be-a-fragment-of-the-lost-city-of-atlantis/43728/ (link broken Jan. 2019)
Obsidian is a glassy rock produced as a consequence of rhyolitic volcanic eruptions. It was highly prized during the Stone Age when it was found to produce good sharp edges, suitable for tools and weapons, when fractured. Michael Grant remarked ”it is the first traded substance of which there are material remains”.
Recent excavations in Northern Israel have revealed the use of obsidian tools over six thousand years ago(e). The nearest source of obsidian was Anatolia, so these pre-Canaanite people must have had trade links that extended at least that far.
In 2011 it was reported(b) that a new technique, which permitted the dating of obsidian, revealed that the Greek island of Melos saw the mining of obsidian as early as 15,000 years ago and its exportation throughout the Aegean and beyond, which also is evidence of extensive marine travel at that early date. However, 13,000 BC saw sea levels much lower than at present, as the Ice Age glaciation was still in place. This would have led to greater land exposure in the Aegean with shorter distances between islands, which were easily crossed with relatively primitive boats.
*Massimo Rapisarda has noted that the only obsidian west of the Aegean in the Mediterranean, is to be found in the Central region on the islands of Lipari, Palmarola, Pantelleria and Sardinia(g) . A graduate thesis(f) by Barbara A. Vargo, explores in detail the characteristics, history and distribution of Pantellerian obsidian.*
Robert Ishoy who advocates a Sardinian location for Atlantis suggested(a) that obsidian, “commonly used on ancient Sardinia” was in fact the mysterious orichalcum referred to by Plato. On the other hand. Christian and Siegfried Schoppe, who support a Black Sea location also identify obsidian as orichalcum. This is quite improbable, as obsidian would not easily lend itself to being used as a wall cladding. This idea is even more impractical than Jürgen Spanuth’s proposal that orichalcum was a reference to amber. Apart from that orichalcum was described by Plato (Critias 116b-d) as a metal not rock.
Dr. Ellery Frahm at the University of Sheffield has now developed a method whereby a piece of obsidian can be traced, not only to a particular volcano, but to a specific quarry at the volcano(c).
In September 2013 Frahm revealed(d) that a new technique had been developed that permits the sourcing of obsidian artefacts in just 10 seconds.