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 contrary 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.
The Fuente Magna Bowl is a remarkable artefact sometimes called ‘the Rosetta Stone of the Americas.’ It was discovered accidentally near Lake Titicaca in Bolivia. The bowl’s claim to fame is that it has been inscribed with cuneiform writing, similar to Sumerian.
It is claimed that thermoluminescence dating has shown the object to be quite ancient and not a forgery. The same site(a) quotes at length a translation of the text by Clyde Winters, but a German website(b) denounces his translation as nonsense, although it accepts that the Bowl as genuine. Another site(c) offers a selection of detailed images of the Bowl.
*Carl Feagans’ website(f) is equally critical of Winters’ ‘translation’ and raises a number of questions regarding the authenticity of the artefact.*
Jim Allen and his supporters have sought to link the Bowl with the theory of Atlantis in the Andes(d).
The bad archaeology website has reasonably balanced article(e) on the bowl which should be read.
(c) http://www.faculty.ucr.edu/~legneref/biados/fuentmag.htm (Offline May 2017)
Clyde Ahmad Winters was born in Chicago where he graduated from the University of Illinois-Urbana with degrees in Anthropology and History. His interests also extend to neurobiological learning, linguistics and ancient scripts. Dr. Winters claims to have deciphered the writings of the Berber, Meroitic, Olmec and the Indus Valley cultures. He is a prominent advocate of Afrocentricity, but unfortunately he has allowed his support for this controversial concept to induce him to offer unqualified support for Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe.
In 2016, Winters ventured to resurrect interest in the long discredited ‘elephant slabs of Flora Vista’, claiming that they offered evidence of elephants in America, which had been brought there by African visitors(b). Jason Colavito had already refuted the authenticity of the ‘slabs’ in 2012(c) and has again sharpened his pen to deal with Winters’ latest offering(d).
Our interest in Dr. Winters is his contention that the Olmecs ‘were the descendents of the Atlanteans that formerly lived in ancient Libya’, and the book[496.13] he wrote supporting this notion. The book is available both in paperback and as an eBook(a). Unfortunately, while he offers considerable evidence that Mesoamerica had a discernable cultural input from Africa he fails to convincingly link this with Plato’s Atlantis. In fact, he makes only a single cursory reference to Plato’s text.
Winters has now turned his attention to the idea of Sumerian visits to South America in a 2015 book and website articles(e).
Winters published a revised version of his Atlantis in Mexico in 2013.
The Olmecs flourished around 1200 BC on the southern Gulf coast of Mexico and spread their influence in Central America from Belize to Costa Rica until around 300 BC when they just disappeared!
David Childress wrote an interesting article(c) on what little is known about the origin of the Olmecs in the 2007 Sept/Oct. issue of Atlantis Rising magazine. This was one of a number of promotional pieces(e) for his book The Mystery of the Olmecs published earlier that year. In early 2014, Frank Johnson published a lengthy paper(f) debunking Childress’ Olmec book, with fyrther criticism from Jason Colavito following shortly afterwards(g).
Jacques de Mahieu, the French Nazi, claimed that the Olmecs were descended from refugees that fled from Troy after the Trojan War. He goes further claiming that the Trojans had originally come from Scandinavia!
The Olmecs have been linked by a variety of writers with Atlantis. The first Latin writer of Aztec history was Fernando de Alva Cortes Ixitilxochill, of Aztec lineage, who maintained that the Olmecs had come to Eastern Mexico from the Antilles via Florida.
At the end of the 17th century a former Jesuit, Don Carlos de Sigüenza y Gongora who had befriended the son of Ixitilxochill was allegedly in possession of a remarkable collection of native manuscripts that had escaped the insane mass burnings of the 15th century. He believed that the earliest inhabitants of Mexico had come from Atlantis. The Olmecs who preceded the Toltecs were not identified until the 19th century.
*The 1973 discovery of a grooved 3.5 cm hematite bar by Michael D. Coe at the San Lorenzo site led researchers to immediate conjectural comment. In 1979, Robert Temple wrote two articles(o)(p), in the Second Look magazine, on this find and the possibility of Olmec knowledge of magnetism.*However, wild speculation led to the conclusion from this single artefact that the Olmecs had invented the compass. This assumption led to the further suggestion(j)(k) that the Olmecs had advanced navigational skills and with a final leap of imagination decided therefore that they had arrived in America from their homeland, Atlantis!
Ivar Zapp & George Erikson use the stone spheres of Costa Rica as the starting point for their controversial book on Atlantis, insisting on a connection between the stones and the Olmecs. Gene Matlock considers the Olmecs to be possible survivors from Atlantis and Clyde Winters holds similar views and has supported them with his bookon the subject. In the same book[p.13] he offers Libya as the home of Atlantis, while elsewhere Matlock suggested(d) that the Olmecs were Turkish!
However, afrocentrist, Paul Barton, claims(m) that the Olmecs came from the Mende people of West Africa who are now one of the principal ethnic groups of Sierra Leone.
The Negroid features that are clearly to be seen on some of the Olmec carvings are probably evidence of an ancient link with Africa and nothing more. On balance, I do not think that any credible case for identifying the Olmecs with Atlantis has yet been made. However, in my opinion, a far more convincing case has been made for linking the Chinese with the Olmecs(a)(b) and in that regard the book by Dr. H. Mike Xu, Origin of the Olmec Civilisation, is worth a read. In a similar manner Charlotte Harris Rees has compiled a vast collection of data linking the Chinese with America in her Secret Maps of the Ancient World. She devotes chapter 4 to the Olmecs. Jacques Gossart, has also reviewed(l) the evidence for the Chinese ancestry of the Olmecs. R.A. Jairazbhoy proposed in his book Ancient Egyptians and Chinese in America that as well as Chinese, there are also Semitic, Egyptian and African traces to be found among the Olmecs.
Many Mormons believe that the Olmecs were the Jaredites who are only referred to in their Book of Ether. This idea has been developed in a short Kindle book by John Dreha.
In 2006 it was announced(a) that a stone slab was discovered in the Mexican state of Vera Cruz, which appears to be the earliest known writing in the Americas and attributed to the Olmecs and dated to around 900 BC.
The most extreme theory regarding the Olmecs that I have found, is the claim that they were astronauts. This idea was expressed(h) by Xavier Séguin, quoting US astronaut Gordon Cooper! However, I discovered Séguin to be unreliable when I found that he also quoted a fictional character, Professor Mortimer, from a work by the renowned writer, Edgar P. Jacobs, as supposedly uttered by a real scientist(n), in relation to the Pillars of Heracles.
*May 2017 brought an interesting article(q), on the Ancient Origins website, outling the unique features of the Olmecs.*
(a) http://www.academia.edu/867576/Did_Ancient_China_Influence_Olmec_Mexico (offline Mar.2016) see Archive 2532
(e) http://www.transformtheillusion.com/articles/David%20Childress/The%20Mystery%20of%20the%20Origin%20of%20the%20Olmecs%20.html (offline Nov. 2016) see Archive 2294
(j) http://polishgazette.com/?p=1806221 (offline Dec. 2015)
(l) http://www.orbs.fr/ Issue #5
Mexico has not been ignored by Atlantis seekers. As early as the 17th century Carlos de Sigüenza y Góngora suggested that the indigenous people of Mexico had come from Atlantis after an earlier migration from Egypt. Louis de Launay, the French geologist, proposed such a link possible in 1936. More recently Gene Matlock has promoted the idea again with his own twist to the theory involving a link with ancient India. His ideas are available online(d).
An interesting attempt at linking Plato’s Atlantis story with the Valley of Mexico can be found on the Internet(a) in an article by Ed Ziomek that looks at possible links between the Old World and the Americas 5,000 years before Columbus.
Clyde Winters has published his views that the Olmecs were descendants of Atlanteans who came from Libya in North Africa. However, afrocentrist Paul Barton claims(c) that the Olmecs came from the Mende people of West Africa who are now one of the principal ethnic groups of Sierra Leone.
A Mexican engineer, Eduardo Robles y Gutierrez, while working in Vera Cruz, discovered the foundations of an ancient city about 30 miles from the coast, in and near what is now the jungle covered region of San Lorenzo Tenochtitlán. He has identified that ancient city, with its concentric channels lined with high banks, as Plato’s Atlantis. The site had been pillaged by the Spanish who consigned considerable treasure back to Spain. His investigations were also published in Mexico as La Atlántida Está en México.
The fact that many Mexican placenames begin with ‘atl’ has prompted a number of commentators to erroneously assume a connection with ‘atl’antis.
A Mexican website(b) informs us that there is a village called ‘Atlantis’ in the Municipality of Cacahoatán (State of Chiapas). It has 8 people and is on a height of 550 meters.
(a) http://www.world.mysteries.com/gw_edziom2.htm (offline) see http://www.eupedia.com/forum/archive/index.php/t-9206.html
(b) Mexico.pueblosamerica.com/i/la-Atlantean/ (offline)