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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Christos A. Djonis

Zamarro, Paulino

Paulino Zamarro, born in 1947, in Cantalejo, Segovia, Spain and is now living Paulino zamarroin Madrid. He is an industrial engineer specialising in chemistry and has worked for over twenty years on environmental studies. Among his ecological publications, in Spanish, is a monograph on a wetland near his birthplace – The Lagoons of Catalejo.

He is also the author of  Del Estrecho de Gibraltar a la Atlantida (From the Strait of Gibraltar to Atlantis)[0024], in which he puts forward a number of radical ideas.  He first proposes that an isthmus at the Strait of Gibraltar had been created as a result of silting. He then claims that at the end of the last Ice Age this landbridge was breached leading to the destruction of Atlantis. Both Strato and Seneca refer to the breaking of the Gibraltar dam. Zamarro dates the breach to circa 5500 BC.

He places Atlantis in the Cyclades in the Eastern Mediterranean, which had originally been a single landmass and identifies a tiny island called Pori north of the island of Antikythera as the site of the Pillars of Heracles. Fifteen years later Christos A. Djonis proposed a location in the same region without giving any credit to Zamarro. He highlighted the multiplicity of locations that have been designated as the site of the ‘Pillars’.

To-date the book has only been published in Spanish, although Zamarro is anxious to have it published in English. His ideas are summarised on a website(a) promoting the book, which can be translated by your browser.

Zamarro has recently added a further site(b) where the first 100 pages of his book (in Spanish) can be read online. A revised second edition of his book was published in 2012 with the slightly shortened title of De Gibraltar a la Atlántida and also available in the Kindle format.

*(a) http://atlantida.webatu.com/ (offline July 2016) See: https://web.archive.org/web/20130528153632/http://atlantida.webatu.com/
(b) http://www.atlantidaegeo.com/ (link broken Jan. 2019) See: https://web.archive.org/web/20180806011857/http://www.atlantidaegeo.com*

Cyclades

The Cyclades are a group of twenty-four islands, which encircle the sacred isle of Delos, in the Greek Aegean Sea. Vasilios Kapsimalis from the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research related to the 2005 Atlantis conference how the Cyclades, which originally had a land surface of around 7000 sq kilometres, lost 75% of their area following the raising of sea levels after the last Ice Age. A pre-Greek civilisation flourished there, which had no written language, but is probably best known today for its distinctive marble figurines. The origin of the Cycladic culture is hotly debated with Egyptian and/or Phoenician connections as the leading contenders.

*Kurt L. Lambeck, a Professor of Geophysics at The Australian National University in Canberra, charted the reduction of the Cyclades from a landmass of approximately 160 x 85 km (13,600 km2) to the archipelago we know today as having an area of 2,572 km2. He suggests that a memory of the break-up of this large landmass may have been the source of Plato’s Atlantis. His findings in the Aegean have been published in Antiquity[0430] and maps of sea level changes based on his investigations are also available on the internet.

Lambeck’s sea level data has been harshly criticised by Izabol Apulia(c), who has developed a large series of maps showing the ancient coastlines of most Mediterranean islands at various stages since the Last Glacial Maximum.*

Paulino Zamarro in his book[024] locates Atlantis in the Cyclades, with its capital on Melos. He contends that around 5500 BC, following the breaching of the Gibraltar Dam, the Cyclades were inundated and as the waters of the Mediterranean rose, the plug in the Bosporus broke, enlarging dramatically what was then a much smaller, freshwater, Black Sea.

In connection with Zamarro’s theories it is worth noting that it is conventionally accepted that the Cyclades were first inhabited around 5000 BC. If Zamarro is correct, an earlier occupation date is possible but the rising waters of the Mediterranean would possibly have submerged much of the evidence for it. Consequently, any reconstruction following the inundation would be inland from the original coastline and would only show an approximate date of no earlier than 5000 BC.

Diamantis Pastras has claimed that 3,500 years ago the Cyclades together with the island of Astipalea had formed a single landmass and was the location of Atlantis. He bases his theory on an interpretation of a map in the Egyptian Book of the Dead.

*In 2014, Christos A. Djonis published Uchronia – Atlantis Revealed [935], in which he claims that Atlantis lay in the Aegean Sea, to the north of Thera , which itself contained the capital city of the Atlantean confederation. However, he gives no credit to Paulino Zamarro who proposed a similar location fifteen years ago.*

Jason Colavito had an interesting piece(a) on a geologists’ view when he wrote that “In 2010, geologist Kalliopi Gaki-Papanastassiou (b)  and several colleagues proposed a similar theory identifying the Cycladic

Kalliopi Gaki-Papanastassiou

Kalliopi Gaki-Papanastassiou

island with Atlantis in a chapter of the edited volume Coastal and Marine Geospacial Technology, though they admitted it was speculation based on the unproven assumption of the existence of a city-state and based on throwing out details from Plato that didn’t match. However, they felt confident that the existence of Neolithic cultures in the surrounding area proved that an advanced culture existed between them. They did not propose a method whereby knowledge of this city-state—but no other aspect of Neolithic culture—transmitted from the Cyclades to Egypt to Plato. Gaki-Papanastassiou also claims to have found Homeric Ithaca by studying prehistoric coastlines.”                        

(a) http://www.jasoncolavito.com/1/post/2013/10/new-atlantis-claim-places-lost-continent-in-cyclades.html

*(b)  http://users.uoa.gr/~gaki/

(c)  http://mapmistress.blog.com/timescale/ (Link Broken) See: Archive 2566*

 

Aegean Sea

The Aegean Sea is located in the eastern Mediterranean, bounded by the Greek mainland in the north and west, Turkey in the east and extending to Crete in the south. In 1899, R.F. Scharff claimed that it was commonly accepted that the Aegean had been dry land until after the appearance of man(c). Zhirov wrote of this landmass being referred to as ‘Aegeida’ before it subsided to form the Aegean Sea [0458.96],  but he doubted that it occurred before ‘thinking man’ arrived there.

The importance of the Aegean to the ancient Greeks is highlighted by Plato, when he described their relationship as one where the Greeks “are like frogs around a pond.” (Phaedo 109a-b)

A 280-page overview of the Aegean civilisations from the Neolithic to the Hellenistic period(f) is worth a look.

It can be reasonably argued that initially the Greeks had little knowledge of the world beyond the Aegean, which might explain why Plato did not seem to know the exact identity of the Atlanteans. In this regard a quote from an AtlantisOnline forum seems relevant – “There is evidence, moreover, that the Greeks were restricted by the Phoenicians to the Aegean Sea for a period of many centuries from 1200 BC onwards, and Naval Historians attribute this to the availability exclusively to the Phoenicians of two elements in ship construction, namely long straight cedar timbers (compared to short sinuous olive timbers available to the Greeks) and Bronze for fixings, claddings and battering rams, which were used in battle to perforate hulls, sinking the enemy.”(e)

Many researchers have suggested the Aegean as a possible location for Atlantis with Thera and Crete as the leading contenders. In fact, it is Thera, with its dramatic volcanic eruption, in the middle of the second millennium BC that still aegean_mapmanages to command considerable support after nearly one hundred years since it was first mooted. Its advocates view it as the most likely source of inspiration for Plato’s tale, in spite of the fact that it conflicts with many of the details described by him.

One regular blogger, ‘mapmistress’, has proposed (2010) that the Pillars of Heracles were situated at Rhodes with Atlantis situated north of the island in the Aegean. This suggestion is based on the claim that all English translations of Timaeus 24e are ‘botched’ and that the original does not say “larger than Libya and Asia together” but instead should read “north of Libya and west of Asia”! In fact she goes further with the claim that the very word ‘Atlantis’ was invented by Benjamin Jowett!(d)

Three Italian linguists, Facchetti, Negri and Notti, presented a paper to the Atlantis conference on Melos outlining their reasons for supporting an Aegean backdrop to the Atlantis story. Another paper was presented by four members of the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research which demonstrates how three-quarters of the Cyclades Plateau was submerged between 16000 BC and 6000 BC as the sea levels rose after the last Ice Age. Kurt Lambeck and Anthony Purcell also presented a paper along similar lines.

Paulino Zamarro has offered a very radical theory, outlined in his book[024], which claims that Atlantis was located in the Aegean, with its capital on Melos, at a time when sea levels were lower and the islands more extensive in area, with some of them joined together. He postulates an isthmus or land bridge between Gibraltar and Morocco, which he believes was breached around 5500 BC. An idea supported by Strato and Seneca. He contends that this breach not only flooded the Aegean but also was also responsible for the subsequent inundation of the Black Sea, which until then was a smaller freshwater lake.

Recent studies have revealed(b) the extent of very early seafaring in the Aegean can be pushed back to around 10,000 BC with evidence of obsidian trading at that period. However, the lower sea level at that time would have meant that the Aegean islands would have been much larger with shorter distances, if any, between them, so it may be unwise to read too much into the obsidian evidence.*A 2018 article pushes back Mediterranean seagoing even further(h). Consider how this evidence may relate to Plato’s comment that when Atlantis was established “at that time neither ships nor sailing were as yet in existence”  (Crit.113e)*

In 1998 William Ryan and Walter Pitman published[025] their evidence for the enlargement of the Black Sea with seawater. The book received widespread attention that led to a subsequent expedition to the area by Robert Ballard, the famous discoverer of the Titanic.

However, Zamarro’s ideas have received very little notice, probably because he has only been published in Spanish. His theory regarding the silting and closure of the mouth of the Mediterranean deserves further consideration, as its confirmation would have a profound effect on the course of future studies of the prehistory of the region and in particular Atlantology.

C.C.M. Hardy was a regular contributor to SykesAtlantis journal, in which he suggested that remnants of Atlantis would be found in the seas around Greece.

A recent recruit to the ‘Atlantis in the Aegean’ camp is Christos A, Djonis with his theory[935] that Atlantis lay in the Aegean Sea, to the north of Thera , which itself contained the capital city of the Atlantean confederation. He makes no reference to Zamarro, who proposed a similar location fifteen years ago and consequently, considers Djonis’ work as a form of plagiarism! Apart from that, my gripe is that Djonis wastes over half his book discussing UFOs and ancient astronauts. Another proponent of a Theran Atlantis is Elias Stergakos, who also published his short book[1035] on the Minoan Hypothesis in 2014.

J.P. Rambling on his Redefining Atlantis website(g) has now added his support to the concept of an Aegean Atlantis, situated on a large landmass, now mostly submerged, and which included what is now Santorini.

What I cannot understand is that if Atlantis had existed in the Aegean, why did Plato not simply say so?

(a) http://atlantipedia.ie/samples/document-250811/

(b)http://www.stonepages.com/news/archives/004698.html

(c) http://www.gutenberg.org/files/33236/33236-h/33236-h.htm#Page_61

(d) http://pseudoastro.wordpress.com/2009/02/01/planet-x-and-2012-the-pole-shift-geographic-spin-axis-explained-and-debunked/ (about half way down page)

(e) http://atlantisonline.smfforfree2.com/index.php?topic=3238.1260

(f) http://www.slideshare.net/darkyla/greeks-9775861

(g) http://redefiningatlantis.blogspot.ie/ 

*(h) http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018/04/neandertals-stone-age-people-may-have-voyaged-mediterranean*