Migration and Diffusion is the brainchild of Dr. Christine Pellech who wrote that “the basic theme of my website is cultural contacts and migration covering the time range from human origins up to the discovery of America by Columbus in 1492.” For over ten years it has been regularly publishing articles by a range of writers on subjects that frequently touch on aspects of Atlantology. While Pellech does not refer directly to Atlantis, she does claim that the Caribbean had been the centre of an extensive maritime trading culture, millennia before Columbus. I highly recommend the site(a) for anyone interested in our ancient past.
It is relevant to refer you to a paper(b) delivered to the 12th International Congress of the Geological Society of Greece in 2010 by Professor Ilias D. Mariolakos. In it he concluded that the Mycenaeans had extensive knowledge of the Atlantic and its islands as well as the Michigan copper mines which they exploited for their bronze industry. He believes that this lasted from the beginning or middle of the 3rd millennium BC until some time after the Trojan War at the end of the 2nd millennium BC. There then followed the Dark Ages which resulted in this maritime knowledge being lost and the succeeding Greek civilisation began again from scratch.
Felice Vinci (1946- ) is an Italian nuclear engineer with a background in Latin and Greek studies and is a member of MENSA, Italy. It is his belief that Greek mythology had its origins in Northern Europe.
His first book on the subject in 1993, Homericus Nuncius, was subsequently expanded into Omero nel Baltico and published in 1995. It has now been translated into most of the languages of the Baltic as well as an English version with the title of The Baltic Origins of Homer’s Epic Tales. The foreword was written by Joscelyn Godwin.
However, the idea of a northern source for Homeric material is not new.*In the seventeenth century Olof Rudbeck insisted that the Hyperboreans were early Swedes and by extension, were also Atlanteans.*In 1918, an English translation of a paper by Carus Sterne (Dr. Ernst Ludwig Krause)(1839-1903) was published with the title of The Northern Origin of the Story of Troy.(m)
Vinci offers a compelling argument for re-reading Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey with the geography of the Baltic rather than the Mediterranean as a guide.A synopsis of his research is available on the Internet(a).
His book has had positive reviews from a variety of commentators(j). Understandably, Vinci’s theory is not without its critics whose views can also be found on the internet(d)(b).and in particular I wish to draw attention to one extensive review which is quite critical(k).
Stuart L. Harris has written a number of articles for the Migration and Diffusion website(c) including a number specifying a Finnish location for Troy following a meeting with Vinci in Rome. M.A. Joramo was also influenced by Vinci’s work and has placed the backdrop to Homer’s epic works to northern European regions, specifically identifying the island of Trenyken, in Norway’s Outer Lofoten Islands, with Homer’s legendary Thrinacia.
Jürgen Spanuth based his Atlantis theory on an unambiguous identification of the Atlanteans with the Hyperboreans of the Baltic region.*More specifically, he was convinced [p88] that the Cimbrian peninsula or Jutland, comprised today of continental Denmark and part of northern Germany had been the land of the Hyperboreans.*
As a corollary to his own theory, Vinci feels that the Atlantis story should also be reconsidered with a northern European origin at its core. He suggests that an island existed in the North Sea between Britain and Denmark during the megalithic period that may have been Plato’s island. He also makes an interesting observation regarding the size of Atlantis when he points out that ‘for ancient seafaring peoples, the ‘size’ of an island was the length of its coastal perimeter, which is roughly assessable by circumnavigating it’. Consequently, Vinci contends that when Plato wrote of Atlantis being ‘greater’ than Libya and Asia together he was comparing the perimeter of Atlantis with the ‘coastal length’ of Libya and Asia.
A 116 bullet-pointed support for Vinci from a 2007 seminar, “Toija and the roots of European civilization” has been published online(h). In 2012 John Esse Larsen published a book expressing similar views.
An extensive 2014 audio recording of an interview with Vinci on Red Ice Radio is available online(f). It is important to note that Vinci is not the first to situate Homer’s epics in the Atlantic, northern Europe and even further afield. Henriette Mertz has Odysseus wandering across the Atlantic, while Iman Wilkens also gives Odysseus a trans-Atlantic voyage and just as controversially locates Homer’s Troy in England. Edo Nyland has linked the story of Odysseus with Bronze Age Scotland.
Christine Pellech has daring proposed in a 2011 book, that the core narrative in Homer’s Odyssey is a description of the circumnavigation of the globe in a westerly direction(i). These are just a few of the theories promoting a non-Mediterranean backdrop to the Illiad and Odyssey. Obviously they cannot all be correct and probably all are wrong. Many have been seduced by their novelty rather than their provability. For my part I will, for now, stick with the more mundane and majority view that Homer wrote of events that took place mainly in the central and eastern Mediterranean. Armin Wolf offers a valuable overview of this notion(g).
(m) The Open Court magazine. Vol.XXXII (No.8) August 1918. No. 747
Enrico Clemente Mattievich Kucich is of Italian descent and lectures at Lima University, in Peru. Professor Kucich follows the work of Henriette Mertz and is convinced that the ancient Greeks discovered America and that a local Peruvian language, Chuetsua, is based on classical Greek. In his book, Journey to the Mythological Inferno he locates Troy in America and then equates Atlantis with Troy. In 1986 he wrote a paper(a) that focused on orichalcum, which he claimed were mined in the Atlas Mountain that was located in the Peruvian Andes. In 2015, two further articles were published on the Epoch Times website(b)(c) that related to other aspects of Mattievich’s theories.
*While Mattievich identifies the entrance to Hades of Greek mythology as El Pongo de Manseriche in the Amazon Basin(d), Christine Pellech locates it much further north where the Ottawa and St. Lawrence Rivers join in Ontario, Canada.*
Originally published in Portuguese his book has been translated into Greek as well as English.
Cuba is a Caribbean island favoured by some as a serious contender for the location of Atlantis.
” A two-page article appeared in the February 1952 edition of the magazine ECOS entitled ’Formó Cuba Parte de la Atlándida?’. Written by Francisco Garcia-Juarez, the press secretary of the Instituto Cubano de Arqueologia (Institute of Cuban Archaeology, or ICA) it posed the question: did Cuba once form part of Atlantis? He explained how members of the Institute were investigating the idea that traces of an Atlantean culture might be found in Cuba and Hispaniola.” This study had been prompted by a suggestion from Egerton Sykes(e).
Some years ago, Leicester Hemingway, the brother of Ernest, claimed to have spotted off the northern coast of Cuba “an expanse of stone ruins, several acres in area”.
In more recent years, it was reported that Paulina Zelitsky and her team of underwater explorers found formations, in 2000 feet of water off the western tip of Cuba that resembled submerged cities. Although further explorations were planned it is reported that U.S. government applied pressure to have any further funding denied. May 2013 had Zelitsky trying to revive interest in her theories in an interview with Luis Mariano Fernandez(d).*However, in 2012, Andrew Collins offered a different account of the Zelitsky funding difficulties(g).*
Andrew Collins is probably the best-known supporter of a Cuban Atlantis. His book and website(a) list eleven points in favour of this theory. He contends that Cuba’s western plain, which stretches from Havana westwards to Pinar del Rio was the great Plain of Atlantis described by Plato. He believes that the main city was located near the present Isle of Youth (Isla de la Juventud) situated in the south of the island. In 2009 Norman Frey wrote a paper(b) supporting the Gulf of Batabanó which lies north of the Isle of Youth as Atlantis’ location at the end of the last Ice Age. He supports his contention with satellite images and the work of Dr. Christine Pellech.
A.R.E. is also a supporter of Cuba as a possible location for the capital of Atlantis. They have suggested an underwater ‘island’ at Zapata, located on the southern side of Cuba, north of the Isle of Youth and just to the west of the infamous Bay of Pigs. This ‘island’ is surrounded by a small ring of water and is about 7 miles in diameter, consistent with Plato’s description of the outer ring of Atlantis. A.R.E.’s Greg Little obtained old depth and bottom contour charts of the site and found that the island was comprised of a series of rings. Little also identified other features in the locality that match Plato’s story; ancient manmade canals north of the underwater island. These canals have been attributed to the Taino Culture, a mound builder culture present in Cuba about 3,000 years ago that became extinct shortly after the Spanish conquest. Further north there is a mountain range enclosing the area with a wide river running at its base — a further match with Plato. Little also found that the centre of the underwater island is not only the tallest portion, but also has several springs on it.
One completely off-the-wall suggestion has been that the Cuban Missile Crisis was instigated to prevent the soviets from finding Atlantis(f)!!
A project to compile an archaeological Atlas of Cuba has so far identified over 3,000 pre-Columbian sites. Cuba’s westernmost province, Pinar del Rio and the central region of Villa Clara have the highest density of sites, with 500 each(c).
(f) http://www.geekation.com/atlantis-found-aka-the-cuban-atlantis-crisis/ (link broken May 2018) See: Archive 2462
Christine Pellech (1947- ) attained her Ph.D. at the University of Vienna in 1974. She is a trained ethnologist and an ardent diffusionist. She was inspired by the work of Henriette Mertz, who bravely suggested in Dark Wine Sea that Homer’s Odyssey was a description of a very early voyage from the Mediterranean to America. Pellech expanded on Mertz’s theory in a book of her own, in which she claims that the core narrative in Homer’s Odyssey is a description of the circumnavigation of the globe in a westerly direction.
Unfortunately, the book was only published in German, as are her other books on the subject. She has written a synopsis of her theory on the Atlantisforschung.de website, which can be easily translated(c).
Pellech has published Die Entdeckung von Amerika(The Discovery of America) in which she “deals with the discovery of the Americas starting from Egypt via Asia across land and sea.”(d)
However, Pellech has established an English language journal, Migration & Diffusion, together with an associated website(a).
Pellech’s starting point are prehistoric maps drawn on cave walls in Spain and France(b) that have been dated to 12,000 BC, which she interprets as an indication of early sea links between Europe and America. I am unaware that Pellech refers directly to Atlantis, but she does claim that the Caribbean had been the centre of an extensive maritime trading culture, millennia before Columbus. This idea has been used by Norman Frey to underpin his theory of Atlantis having been located off the coast of Cuba at the end of the Ice Age.*In a joint paper(b) by Pellech and Frey they offer support for America as the location of Plato’s Atlantis.*
Norman Frey, a German researcher, published a paper in 2009 entitled Atlantis Rediscovered in which he identified the Gulf of Batabanó off the southwest coast of Cuba as the location of Atlantis. He bases his claim on his interpretation of Plato’s text, the topography of the area as revealed by satellite imagery, all reinforced by the views of the Austrian ethnologist, Dr.Christine Pellech who identified Central America as the centre of a maritime economic power at the end of the last Ice Age.
Unfortunately, Frey’s chosen locality has already been claimed by the Greg Little as the home of Atlantis on behalf of A.R.E. Additionally, Andrew Collins in his acclaimed book also situated Plato’s lost city, north of the Isle of Youth (Isla de la Juventud) where the Gulf of Batabanó lies.
Frey’s views are expressed in a joint paper with Pellech(a).
Henriette Mertz (1898-1985) During World War II she worked as a code-breaker in the U.S. government’s cryptography department, while later she became an American patent lawyer in Chicago. Her interest in archaeology led her to be the first to propose that Odysseus, after wandering about the Atlantic, was the earliest European to set foot in America: an idea now taken up by others including Enrico Mattievich.
Mertz recognised that ancient America was host to guests if not residents from both east and west and has written in Pale Ink on the evidence for the existence of persistent pre-Columbian Chinese contacts.*This book was later re-published as a paperback and retitled as Gods from the Far East.*
Her book The Mystic Symbol argues that some early Christians fled to America to escape persecution in the Roman Empire. Wayne N. May, the Mormon publisher of Ancient American, has also published a paper on the Mystic Symbol(b).
*In a paper reprinted in the Ancient America website, Mertz decried the fact that thousands of inscribed artifacts recovered from mounds in the State of Michigan, between 1890 and 1920, were destroyed, in particular the controversial Newberry Tablet(c).*
Her reputation as a serial heretic also forced her to privately publish a volume on Atlantis following rejection by twenty publishers. She gave a lecture on her views in London in 1964 and enjoyed extensive coverage in the Greek press including the serialisation of her book.
Her contention is that Atlantis was located in the southeast of the United States. She begins with the legend of the Seven Cities of Antillia and its depiction on the 1436 map of Andrea Bianco. A comparison of this map with a modern map of Florida convinced her that they referred to the same region. She discusses many aspects of Plato’s story and their compatibility with the archaeology, geography and legends of her chosen location. She also offers a map of Atlantis that encompasses the land bound by the Mississippi, Ohio and Potomac rivers as well as the Atlantic giving us the ‘island’ of Atlantis. To support this possibility she ingeniously suggests that Plato used the word ‘sea’ in the sense of being navigable and so was also applicable to rivers.
Mertz’s book, Wine Dark Sea, which claims that Homer’s Odyssey describes a very ancient trip to America, inspired the Austrian ethnologist, Christine Pellech, to expand on her work with a number of books on diffusionism together with a website on the subject. Unfortunately, Pellech’s books are only available in German but she has also established an English language magazine and website(a).