The Bell Beaker People identified by their distinctive pottery existed from around 2800 BC until 1800 BC. They occupied large areas of Iberia, Central Europe and the British Isles as well as some of the western Mediterranean islands. Associated with them are the Wessex people divided into Wessex I and Wessex II, who are found in western Europe and southern Britain, the latter, dated to 1650-1400, were involved with the construction of the later stages of Stonehenge.
Uwe Topper associates the beginning of metallurgy with the Bell-Beaker People(e).
Melville Nicholls and others(b) have linked Atlantis with the Bell Beaker culture, identifying a location near Gibraltar as the site of Atlantis. He published his views in Children of the Sea God, a 2013 Kindle ebook(a)and a second ebook, The Real and Imaginary Atlantis generally reprising the first, later the same year!*Further comment from Nicholls can be found on an internet forum(f).*
The Beaker People are also claimed to have crossed the Atlantic, where they have been linked to the Adena culture of North America. A leading exponent of this theory is undoubtedly Jay S. Wakefield, co-author of How the SunGod reached America . He has reprised his views in a 2018 paper on the Diffusion & Migration website(c) . Others have expanded on his concepts(d).
(b) http://widespreadblyss.blogspot.ie/2013/02/platos-atlantis-and-bell-beaker-culture.html (link broken Sept. 2018)
Melville Nicholls is a senior research scientist at the University of Colorado where he studies atmospheric science, mainly relating to hurricanes. In May 2013 he published Children of the Sea God as a Kindle ebook. One of his main contentions is that Atlantis existed during the early Bronze Age at the time of the Bell Beaker culture. He also contends that Britain was the large island of Atlantis described by Plato. However he also proposes that the main port city of Atlantis, with the concentric rings of land and water was situated in southwest Spain near Gibraltar. He proposes that this port was destroyed by an event such as a tsunami.
While all these features have been proposed individually as characteristics of Atlantis, Nicholls brings them together in a comprehensive theory, but not without indulging in a liberal amount of speculation.
He devotes a considerable amount of space attempting to link Stonehenge with the Atlanteans. While I was not won over by Nicholl’s book, it is worth a read and might best be studied along with Donald Ingram’s book, The Unlost Island.
In November 2013, Nicholls published a second ebook, The Real and Imaginary Atlantis, in which he revisits his theory of a British/Spanish Atlantis and its relationship to the Bell Beaker People. In conclusion, he seems to reluctantly write that “I still come down in favor of the theory that Plato invented the story as the one most likely to be correct.”
Britain as the home of Atlantis has been claimed by many writers and not without undertones of nationalism by some of the British authors. Nevertheless, support for the idea has been offered by a number of the more disinterested researchers. Probably the first to advance this idea was John Wallis in 1700, who proposed that the Atlantis story had been corrupted over time and was a reference to the destruction of the landbridge that had existed between France and England, leaving a British Atlantis more isolated (The original Brexit!). It was nearly a century later that the idea was taken up by Thomas Pennant. More than another century passed before Cooper, Spence, Beaumont and Calestani produced related theories. Fast forward to the 21st century, when Donald Ingram identifies the Wessex II culture as Atlantean and Melville Nicholls considers Britain to be one of the Atlantean islands referred to by Plato.
The precise location, the exact date and the probable cause of the destruction of Atlantis are the basis for a range of theories. There is general acceptance that following the deglaciation at the end of the last Ice Age vast regions of low-lying land that had linked Ireland and Britain to mainland Europe were gradually flooded.
One school of thought is that these flooded regions contained Atlantis, of which the most extensive was in the North Sea and is now known as Doggerland. Other offshore locations proposed for Atlantis are the Celtic Shelf (Gidon, Steuerwald & Koudroiavtsev) and the Irish Sea (Dunbavin). These lands had been settled and following the inundations its inhabitants forced to retreat to the higher ground of what is modern Europe and the British Isles.
E. J. de Meester on his now defunct website postulated a link between Stonehenge and Atlantis. After arbitrarily dividing Plato’s dimensions by ten, he suggested that the plain described by Plato lay in a rectangle between Salisbury and Chichester.
The Identity of the Atlanteans has produced a range of speculative suggestions nearly as extensive as that of the proposed locations for Plato’s lost island. However, it is highly probable that we already know who the Atlanteans were, but under a different name.
The list below includes some of the more popular suggestions and as such is not necessarily exhaustive. While researchers have proposed particular locations for Atlantis, not all have identified an archaeologically identified culture to go with their chosen location. The problem being that most of the places suggested have endured successive invasions over the millennia by different peoples.
It would seem therefore that the most fruitful approach to solving the problem of identifying the Atlanteans would be to first focus on trying to determine the date of the demise of Atlantis. This should reduce the number of possible candidates, making it easier to identify the Atlanteans.
A final point to consider, is that the historical Atlanteans were a military alliance, and as such may have included more than one or none of those listed here. The mythological Atlanteans, who included the five sets of male twins and their successors would be expected to share a common culture, wheras military coalitions are frequently more disparate.
Basques: William Lewy d’Abartiague, Edward Taylor Fletcher
Maltese: Anton Mifsud, Francis Xavier Aloisio, Kevin Falzon, Bibischok, Joseph Bosco, David Calvert-Orange, Giorgio Grongnet de Vasse, Albert Nikas, Joseph S. Ellul, Francis Galea, Tammam Kisrawi, Charles Savona-Ventura, Hubert Zeitlmair.
Maya: Robert B. Stacy-Judd, Charles Gates Dawes, Colin Wilson, Adrian Gilbert, L. M. Hosea, Augustus le Plongeon, Teobert Maler, Joachim Rittstieg, Lewis Spence, Edward Herbert Thompson, Jean-Frédérick de Waldeck,
Minoans: K.T. Frost, James Baikie, Walter Leaf, Edwin Balch, Donald A. Mackenzie, Ralph Magoffin, Spyridon Marinatos, Georges Poisson, Wilhelm Brandenstein, A. Galanopoulos, J. G. Bennett, Rhys Carpenter, P.B.S. Andrews, Edward Bacon, Willy Ley, J.V. Luce, James W. Mavor, Henry M. Eichner, Prince Michael of Greece, Nicholas Platon, N.W. Tschoegl, Richard Mooney, Rupert Furneaux, Martin Ebon, Francis Hitching, Charles Pellegrino, Rodney Castleden, Graham Phillips, Jacques Lebeau, Luana Monte, Fredrik Bruins, Gavin Menzies, Lee R. Kerr, Daniel P. Buckley.
Donald Ingram (1944- ) is Australian who has worked in journalism as a newspaper artist for 34 years. He initially took a sceptical interest in the Atlantis story but as his researches continued he began to realise that there were historical realities behind Plato’s narrative, after identifying interpretive errors made by later commentators. In 2002 he took early retirement in order to develop his hypothesis, which was eventually published in 2009.
Ingram reviews the development of Atlantis theories over the centuries, dismissing, Donnelly, the esoteric Blavatsky, the inventive Cayce as well as today’s New Agers. He has used new technologies, such as DNA combined with a correction of mistranslations of specific Platonic texts to conclude that the “Atlanteans can almost certainly be equated with the Wessex II culture of Britain”.
In support of this contention he draws heavily on the similarities between the weaponry of western Europe and the eastern Mediterranean. This is reminiscent of the work of Jürgen Spanuth over thirty years earlier, when he identified the Atlanteans as originating in northern Europe and supported his contention with a comparison of the weapons and helmets of the Sea Peoples depicted at Medinet Habu with those of Denmark and northern Germany during the 12th century BC.
Much of this book deals with ancient mythologies, their possible underlying historical realities and parallels with the story of Atlantis. In that respect, Ingram has quite clearly invested a lot of time into research. However, I found it somewhat disappointing that the author devoted just a few pages, towards the end of the book, to the actual text of Plato.
In May 2013, Melville Nicholls published his ebook, Children of the Sea God, in which he also saw Britain of the early Bronze Age as the large island of Atlantis described by Plato. Nicholls has opted for the Bell Beaker people as Atlantean rather than the Wessex II culture proposed by Ingram, which succeeded them.