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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Egerton Sykes

Murias

Murias according to Egerton Sykes was an Atlantean city near Bimini, which was destroyed when sea levels rose around 10,000 BC(a).

There is an Irish tradition that names Murias as one of the four cities of the Tuatha dé Danaan(b), who came to Ireland a thousand years before the Celts.

The pre-Hellenic Greeks were known as the Danai and were, according to an Egyptian source, the descendants of Danaus. Furthermore, the Danai have been linked with the legendary Tuatha dé Danaan of Ireland as well as the Shardana of Sardinia.

(a)  Atlantis, A New Concept. Pt.1, Atlantis May-June, 1974

(b) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four_Treasures_of_the_Tuatha_D%C3%A9_Danann

Archaeoastronomy

Archaeoastronomy is a relatively new scientific discipline, which as the name implies combines archaeology and astronomy, particularly in the study of ancient megalithic monuments and their possible alignment with various celestial bodies.

Arguably the most famous example is Stonehenge, but our globe is littered with ancient monuments incorporating solar, lunar or astral alignments. Not all are as impressive or accessible as Stonehenge, Callanish or Newgrange but in remote places such as Nabta Playa or Fajada Butte (see Hadingham[1308.152]).

The subject was initially considered by some to be a ‘fringe’ topic, but in 1999 Clive Ruggles was appointed Professor of Archaeoastronomy at the University of Leicester(a) and is the author of the encyclopedic Ancient Astronomy[1310].

The University of Maryland has had a Center for Archaeoastronomy since 1978(c).

The subject has never been central to Atlantis studies, but has hovered in the background, with writers such a Egerton Sykes(b) and Graham Hancock[855][1119 who employed aspects of the discipline in their publications.

*A recent application of the discipline was by Martin Sweatman and Dimitrios Tsikritsis who used it to interpret the carved symbols at Göbekli Tepe. In a 2017 paper(d) they concluded that the pillars there were used to record meteor showers and cometary encounters. They believe that one such encounter involved the explosion or impact of part of Encke’s Comet around 13,000 years ago, which triggered the Younger Dryas Event that kick-started the Neolithic Revolution. Sweatman later expanded the work in his book Prehistory Decoded [1621].*

Archaeoastronomy is one of only a few dozen words with four consecutive vowels.

(a) http://www2.le.ac.uk/departments/archaeology/people/emeritus/ruggles

(b) http://www.seachild.net/http://atlantipedia.ie/samples/main-bibliography/d/atlantology/fields/archaeo.html

(c) http://terpconnect.umd.edu/~tlaloc/archastro/

*(d) http://maajournal.com/Issues/2017/Vol17-1/Sweatman%20and%20Tsikritsis%2017%281%29.pdf*

Morrison, Tony

Tony Morrison is probably best known for his definitive work on the Nazca Lines, Pathways to the Gods[1036]. Tony and Marion Morrison have developed the South American Pictures.com website in order to show their extensive life-work.* Unfortunately, the southamericanpictures website went offline but now, many of the image collections have been reassembled and are again available online(b).  

In 1998 Morrison published a number of papers provocarively entitled The Bolivian Atlantis(b-e). They cover familiar territory – Tiwanaku, Pumapunku, Posnansky, Bellamy, Fawcett, Sykes, Blashford-Snell. This was the same year that Jim Allen published his Atlantis: The Andes Solution[877]. Had Allen not done so, I suspect that Morrison might have produced a more detailed book himself as apparently he and a colleague, Mark Howell, had built up quite a dossier on the subject.

Surprisingly, Morrison did not mention the mysterious puquios of the Nazca region(f), which, with the aid of satellite imagery(g), have been shown to have been part of a sophisticated hydraulic system that supplied water to an extremely arid locality.

*(a) http://www.southamericanpictures.com/index.htm (offline)

(b) http://www.nonesuchexpeditions.com/South-American-Pictures/sap-archaeology-history-index.htm*

(f) http://www.flickriver.com/photos/tags/puquios/interesting/

(g) http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20160408-the-ancient-peruvian-mystery-solved-from-space

Tristan da Cunha

Tristan da Cunha is a tiny volcanic archipelago in the South Atlantic and its small population considered to be the most isolated settlement in the world. While it is clearly obvious that this remote place is improbable as a location for Atlantis, in chapter 5 of Donnelly’s Atlantis: The Antediluvian World he suggests that this distant island was once part of a larger landmass that included Atlantis. A number of researchers such as Egerton Sykes and Walter Parks have merely referred to Tristan da Cunha as a possible outpost of Atlantis but only in a highly speculative manner.

Siriadic Columns (L)

The Siriadic Columns were reported by Manetho, the 3rd century BC Egyptian historian, to have been two columns erected in Egypt, by Thoth before the Deluge, one of brick and the other of stone, in order to survive either flood or fire, on which it was said that the wisdom of the ancients was inscribed. Siriadic has been associated with the star Sirius,
worshipped as Sothis by the Egyptian but have also been linked with Syria and Sarmatia, in western Scythia.

Frank Joseph speculates[104.253] that these columns “may have been the same stele inscribed with the history of Atlantis that were seen by Solon and Krantor” that provided the basis for Plato’s Atlantis narrative.

Egerton Sykes linked these columns with Arab tradition regarding the pyramids(a).

(a) http://www.seachild.net/atlantis/egyptology.html

Ibn Khaldun (t)

Ibn Khaldun (1332-1406) was a renowned Arab polymath from North Africa who had a particular interest in history.*[He also maintained progressive views on taxation.]*

According to Egerton Sykes (Atlantis, July/Aug 1967, p.68) around 1380 he  wrote a history of the Berbers in which he outlined a connection with Atlantis.

 

Diffusion

Diffusion is the anthropological term used to describe how similar customs, beliefs and artefact designs are spread between cultures through migration, invasion or trade. Diffusion is not just a ‘one-way street’ as history has shown that ideas have travelled in all directions, while in fact most ancient civilisations can be demonstrated to have absorbed cultural elements from a multiplicity of foreign societies. Today, globalisation has increased exponentially the variety of influences that all societies now experience. Not only is the number of these influences greater but the rate of increase is apparently accelerating. The ubiquity of Coca-Cola, T-shirts, Irish pubs, Japanese cameras, German cars, English language, Guinness, Chinese toys, ABBA, AK-47s etc., etc., etc., are indicative of the global reach of commercial ‘empires’ today. In older civilisations trade was more concerned with commodities such as metals, olive oil, wine, amber, obsidian, or timber, so the technologies involved in their production or exploitation were also exchanged.

The development of agriculture also saw techniques spread, which had to be modified to suit different climates, although recent studies indicate that agriculture started around the same time in a number of centres(I).

in the Fertile Crescent as far north as the Zagros Mountains. Further north, on the steppes of Russia, horses were domesticated and apparently there also the use of chariots originated. A book by David W. Anthony also attributes the region with being the source of what is known as the Proto-Indo-European family of languages[1356].

Societal concepts, religious or legal were no different as their geographical spread can also be traced over time. Consider the different strands of the Abrahamic faiths, beginning with Judaism, which spawned Christianity and later was joined by Islam through Muhammad, who claimed to be a descendant of Abraham. Similarly, democracy has slowly evolved and spread over time and still has a long way to go.

Since early man left Africa, he has had ample time to settle all over our planet and exploit it resources, moving from being a hunter-gatherer to becoming a settled farmer, developing urban centres (city states), then empires and the inevitable wars. Wars, then like today, led to the develop of new technologies, chariots, longbows, armour, to be copied and if possible improved upon, by each side.

My view is that initially, technology and techniques were freely exchanged between peoples, until gradually the idea of monopoly entered the human psyche, eventually leading to the paranoia and greed associated with the ownership of ‘intellectual property’ today. I would speculate that a freer and possibly gentler diffusion of ideas lasted until, at the earliest, the first millennium BC.

In 2014, the University of Connecticut published the result of studies which demonstrated that human technological innovation occurred intermittently throughout the Old World, rather than spreading from a single point of origin, as previously thought(j).

Egerton Sykes, a leading 20th century Atlantologist, was a committed diffusionist, describing it as “the lifeblood of civilisation(h).

A more extreme view is the concept of ‘hyperdiffusion’, which is the idea that there was a single ‘mother-culture’ which led to the development of all major civilisations. Ignatius Donnelly was a hyperdiffusionist, advocating Atlantis as the mother culture. His ‘heretical’ views were highlighted by the range of similarities between structures around the world in apparently unrelated cultures, which seem to greatly exceed what could be expected by mere coincidence alone. This is explored further in a recent illustrated article on the Malagabay website(v).

Similarly James Churchward proposed his invention, Mu, as an alternative hyperdiffusion centre. Perhaps better known is the work of W. J. Perry who was convinced [1353] that an archaic civilisation had begun in Egypt and gradually spread eastward through Asia and Polynesia, eventually reaching the Americas. Ben Urish published a paper(d) in 1986 that offers a critical overview[969] of hyperdiffusion.

Konrad Kulczyk promotes a hyperdiffusionist theory that places his proto-civilisation, New Atlantis, just south of the Aral Sea(e).

Ivar Zapp proposes a global seafaring civilisation thousands of years before the Greeks, Egyptians or Sumerians(k) in an as yet unpublished book, Babel Deciphered.

Hyperdiffusion is clearly a seductive theory having attracted the attention of researchers such as Richard Cassaro, who has produced an impressive collection of visual cultural similarities between ancient Egypt and pre-Columbian America(a). While the idea is not new, Cassaro’s images highlight the concept of diffusion very effectively, although he has, in my opinion overinterpreted the evidence in order to support hyperdiffusion.

Cassaro published The Missing Link[1208] in 2016 in which he expands on the widespread distribution of what he refers to as the ‘godself icon’. Although he clearly demonstrates that the motif has an extensive geographical spread it is equally obvious that the appearance of the icon is spread over a vast period of time apparently coinciding with the emergence of civilisation in different places at very different times, which, in my view, is not fully compatible with the concept of hyperdiffusion, as I would have expected a ‘mother-culture’, if such existed, to have spread its global influence far more rapidly.

A comparable discovery has been made by Ozgür Baris Etli, who has drawn attention(o) to carved hands at Göbekli Tepe that have counterparts in many other parts of the world where hands meeting at the navel are similarly depicted. I recently came across an image of(q) a megalithic statue in the Indonesian Bada Valley(u) showing its hands in a similar position.

Equally intriguing is the ‘Three Hares’ motif, found across Europe, the Middle East and as far as China(p) and now the subject of a book by Greeves, Andrew & Chapman[1210]. Another stylised symbol is that of the rosette found in the Mediterranean and spread as far as India(r)(s).

In a similar vein Jim Allen has devoted chapter three of his latest book to outlining what he entitled Bolivia and the Sumerian Connection(b). Arguably even more impressive is the array of images presented by Allen(c) suggesting that the civilisations of America were greatly influenced by ancient cultures in both east and west. It is obvious that a number of artifacts can be developed independently, but at some point the number of similar items produced by two separate cultures can exceed the number that can be reasonably put down to coincidence. The number of similarities presented by Allen alone clearly exceeds that threshold, demonstrating that the Americas were influenced by different sources, ruling out Americas as the home of a mother-culture.

The whole subject of diffusion is wide ranging and complex and well beyond my competence to do it justice in this short entry. However, for those interested in pursuing the subject further, I would like to recommend a 1997 paper(l) by David H. Kelley (1924-2011), available on Dale Drinnon’s website.

Egypt is frequently mentioned in this regard being seen as the influence behind Neolithic megalith building AND the pyramids of Central America, in spite of the fact that Newgrange was constructed before the Egyptian Pyramids and the New World pyramids were built thousands of years after those in Egypt. Atlantis is regularly suggested as another mother- culture but without a single piece of evidence to support this speculative contention. For decades the idea that the pyramids of Egypt and those in the Americas were the consequence of diffusion from a common source, namely Atlantis situated in the Atlantic was heavily promoted. However, we can now more closely identify the pyramids of America with the step-pyramids of China!

Consequently, for me, hyperdiffusion is not convincing. History has clearly shown that inventions have frequently been independently developed at the same time in different countries, while even in prehistoric times it has been demonstrated(f) that the evolution of stone tools took place as a result of the innovative abilities of local populations, addressing the same needs.

A word of warning; “recent research published in Nature by a team led by Tomos Proffitt at the University of Oxford shows that capuchin monkeys regularly produce sharp-edged flakes indistinguishable from those made by early hominins.”(t)

Even today technologies are developed independently throughout the world, but not in complete isolation, because of the instant worldwide communications available.

As a result of global marketing, in Ireland now we drive German, British and Japanese cars, use US computer technology and play with Chinese toys. However, being generous by nature, we gave the world the Irish pub, Riverdance and Guinness.

A two-part blog(m)(n) highlighting the many weaknesses in the concept of hyperdiffusion should be required reading for anyone interested in the subject.

Although Donnelly and his contemporaries, focused on the possibility of Old World influences in the New World, today, there is less of a Mediterranean centred or Eurocentric approach to diffusionism. Instead, there is greater acceptance that the Americas have had extensive cultural influences from Asia.

(a) http://www.richardcassaro.com/suppressed-by-scholars-the-mystery-of-twin-cultures%e2%80%95egyptians-incas%e2%80%95on-opposite-sides-of-the-globe

(b) http://www.atlantisbolivia.org/boliviaandthesumerianconnection.htm

(c) http://www.atlantisbolivia.org/artefacts.htm

(d) http://soar.wichita.edu/bitstream/handle/10057/1746/LAJ_v11_no1_p75-87.pdf?sequence=3

(e) http://blog.world-mysteries.com/mystic-places/new-atlantis-the-source-of-civilization-on-earth/

(f) http://popular-archaeology.com/issue/fall-09012014/article/prehistoric-stone-tools-evolved-independently-within-local-populations-say-researchers

(g) http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2014-09/uoc-sas091914.php

(h) http://www.seachild.net/atlantology/fields/socialsci.html

(I) http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130705101629.htm

(j) http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2014-09/uoc-sas091914.php

(k) http://www.prestige-ocean-properties.com/blogs/michael_mills/archive/2012/10/13/unusual-theory-about-stone-spheres-in-costa-rica.aspx

(l) http://frontiers-of-anthropology.blogspot.ie/2011/06/cultural-diffusion-by-david-kelley.html (link broken July 2018)  See: Archive 3563

(m) https://skepticalcubefarm.wordpress.com/2012/02/29/hyperdiffusionism-a-blog-in-two-parts/

(n) https://skepticalcubefarm.wordpress.com/2012/02/29/hyperdiffusionism-part-the-second/

(o) http://www.ancient-origins.net/opinion-guest-authors/statues-and-symbolic-gestures-link-ancient-g-bekli-tepe-easter-island-020384?nopaging=1

(p) http://www.ancient-origins.net/history/three-hares-motif-cross-cultural-symbol-numerous-interpretations-005640?nopaging=1

(q) http://www.ancient-origins.net/ancient-places-asia/exploring-mysterious-megaliths-bada-valley-indonesia-006032

(r) https://aratta.wordpress.com/the-rosette-symbol/

(s) http://www.sophia-project.net/conferences/HeavenAndEarth/presentations/pdfs/CherylHart.pdf

(t) https://cosmosmagazine.com/palaeontology/stone-tools-may-not-have-been-made-by-human-ancestors-research-finds

*(u) Atlantis Rising No.110 March/April 2015 p.41*

(v) https://malagabay.wordpress.com/2016/02/25/ignatius-donnelly-trans-atlantic-architecture/

Gypsies and Atlantis

Gypsies or Roma People and Atlantis are not normally associated, although the idea of a link was expressed in the science fiction novel by Robert Silverberg in his 1986 Star of Gypsies, in which he has gypsies arriving on earth from the stars and establishing Atlantis. The more conventional idea was to consider gypsies originating in India or Lower Egypt. Such speculation has now been overtaken by the science, which confirms that their true home to have been in India 1000 years ago(a).

*An unusual suggestion was recently made that the Roma migrated from India, eventually reaching the Mediterranean, where they became the Sea Peoples(b) .However, this idea fails on two counts, namely, the date is wrong and I am not aware that the Roma had a seafaring culture!*

In the July 1950 edition of Egerton SykesAtlantis newsletter an article by Vera Garner Howe speculated that gypsies may have been refugees from sunken Atlantis. She offers little to support this contention and in fact she ends up doing more to reinforce the Indian origins theory, now proven correct by DNA studies.

*(a)  http://dailysikhupdates.com/europes-roma-gypsies-migrated-punjab-1000-years-ago/    

(b) https://malagabay.wordpress.com/2016/07/07/catastrophic-english-india-in-greece/

Siebert, Karola

Karola Siebert (died 1980’s), was an archaeologist, variously described as British or German, with one site claiming siebertthat she had been expelled from Germany(c). 

In 1958 she claimed to have found evidence of an Atlantis based religious cult in the Mancha Valley of Peru(a). She published her findings in a 24-page booklet, Atlantis in Peru[547]. She placed Atlantis in the Atlantic where it functioned as a stepping-stone between Africa and America(b). I found her work highly speculative and like so many others, offering assertion in place of evidence. In the May 1965  (March/April editions) of SykesAtlantis magazine, she seems to find ‘Atlantean’ temples wherever she looks. The following half century has seen little support for her views.

(a) http://atlantisite.com/tracesperu.htm

(b) http://atlantisforschung.de/index.php?title=Traces_of_Atlantis_in_Peru

(c) http://doradodelantisuyo.blogspot.ie/2011/09/el-dorado-del-antisuyo-que-el-mundo.html

^(offline Jan. 2017) See Archive (Spanish)

Zhirov, Nicolai Feodosyevich (L)

Nicolai Feodosyevich Zhirov (Jirov) (1903 -1970) was by profession a chemist and had approached the subject of Atlantis in a scientific Zhirovmanner. He was convinced that geology would provide evidence to resolve the Atlantis mystery.

Arguably, Zhirov was the leading Russian Atlantologist of the 20th century and certainly he had the greatest exposure outside of the Soviet Union. He is the author of a number of books as well as many articles relating to Atlantis, contributing frequently to SykesAtlantis journal.

Recently one of his books[458] was re-published in English; a scholarly work in which he presents a mass of evidence to support his belief that Atlantis was located in the Atlantic, probably in the vicinity of the Azores. Much of Zhirov’s material had already been published in Russia in the late 1950’s, so it now appears a little dated.