Bruce Jeffries-Fox is an American musician, who recently completed a musical based on the content of Sumerian cunieform tablets. influenced by the writings of Zechariah Sitchin!
His Enduring Mysteries website contains a number of interesting essays on ancient history subjects, which includes two(a)(b) devoted to the possibility of Atlantis in France, based on the ideas of Marcel Mestdagh and Philip Coppens’ book, The Lost Civilization Enigma .
Jean Emile Mourey retired from the French Army with the rank of lieutenant-colonel. After that he developed as an author publishing a number of books on the ancient history of France. He stirred controversy when he declared that the capital of Plato’s Atlantis was in fact what is now the French village of Gergovie(a) in the départment of Puy-de-Dôme. He claims that after 509 BC ‘Atlantis became known as Gaul! He further contended that the Atlantean Empire included most of western Europe as well as north Africa as far east as Egypt. Mourey’s work is only available in French(b)(c) and does not always machine translate too well.
Although links to his work on the bibracte.com website are now broken, the agoravox.fr site still offers some of his material, all in French.
Sens is an ancient town in the Champagne region of central France. Before Roman domination it had been the capital of the Gallic Senones tribe, which gave the town its name.
Marcel Mestdagh firmly believed that Sens was the capital of an ancient culture that he equated with Atlantis. Filip Coppens, a keen student of Mestdagh’s research, has promoted his work, providing a brief overview of Mestdagh’s discoveries in one of his last books[1275.188]. Mestdagh identified a form of road system, laid out in giant ovals with radials centred on the ancient city of Sens where the greatest concentration of megalithic monuments in France existed. Coppens also notes the remarkable fact that Mestdagh also discovered a similar road system in England centred on Nottingham!
Guillaume Postel (1510-1581) was French linguist and astronomer, who was something of a child prodigy becoming a professor of Arabic at 29, but in later life fell foul of the Inquisition spending most of his last 20 years in prison. He considered France to be the kingdom of the ‘chosen people’!
Postel, along with many of his contemporaries, considered that America had been the home of Atlantis., which he noted on his 1578 world map, Polo aptata Nova Charta Universi. In fact he had already suggested naming the newly discovered American continent ‘Atlantis’ as early as 1561 in his Cosmographicae disciplinae compendium .
Marcel Mestdagh, (1926-1990) was a Belgian historian whose curiosity was sparked by a discovery of unusual street patterns in the Belgian city of Ghent. This led to a lifelong interest in the Viking culture that had settled on both sides of the English Channel. It was this study of the Vikings that led him to realise that they had knowledge, now forgotten, of the purpose of many of the megalithic monuments which Mestdagh identified as a form of road system, laid out in giant ovals with radials. At the centre of these ovals was the ancient city of Sens where the greatest concentration of megalithic monuments in France existed.
Philip Coppens informs us[1275.184] that a further strange discovery by Mestdagh was that the ancient road network he identified, centred on Sens, was mirrored by a similar network of roads in England centred on Nottingham!
In the course of his investigations Mestdagh discovered an aspect of the Stonehenge-Avebury complex that had been overlooked, namely that the two sites were situated on the circumference of a huge oval. He further discovered that this oval was on a scale 1/10th of the ovals that he had discovered in France.
The late Filip Coppens, following Mestdagh’s work, has persuasively argued that Atlantis was the centre of a far-flung megalithic civilisation with its centre located where the ancient city of Sens now stands. Coppens returned to Mestdagh’s theories in his 2012 book,The Lost Civilisation Enigma, which in turn led to two supportive essays from Bruce Jeffries-Fox in 2015*(c)(d), who includes the observation that while Coppens was initially happy to follow Mestdagh and identify Sens as Atlantis he executed a volte-face and declared that “from c. 4500 to 1200BC, a major civilization existed in Europe about which we know very little.”*
A YouTube clip(b) also gives some idea of Mestdagh’s theory.
(a) http://www.kunstgeografie.nl/mestdagh1.htm (Dutch) (offline Dec. 2015)
The Megalith Builders, who date mainly from the Neolithic Period, are frequently identified with Plato’s Atlanteans. Their remarkable structures were built between the middles of the fifth and second millennia B.C., a period that is compatible with final days of Atlantis according to Plato. The building of megalithic structures in Western Europe appears to have ended just before the beginning of the Bronze Age – coincidence?
Proponents of the idea of a megalithic building Atlantis see the location and extent of the megalithic structures as being in agreement with Plato’s description, particularly his reference to Atlantis being ‘beyond the Pillars of Heracles’. However the location of the ‘Pillars’ at the time of Solon’s visit to Egypt, is strongly disputed. In fact the only territory unambiguously named by Plato as Atlantean was in southern Italy and North Africa along with a number of islands of which there are many in that region.
However, there are many features in Plato’s narrative that do not conform to our current knowledge of the megalith builders. There is no evidence that they had writing, irrigation technology or the navigational skills to mount an attack on Egypt/Athens or any other characteristics ascribed to the Atlanteans by him.
On the other hand, if these attributes are just literary flesh applied to a skeleton of historical truth there is the the possibility of a link between the Atlanteans and the megalith builders that still remains.
Atlantis enthusiasts are quite happy to associate the megalith builders with Atlantis, as it provides something tangible to enhance the credibility of Plato’s narrative pointing to sites such as Stonehenge or the Maltese Temples. British researcher Robert John Langdon has gone further and proposed that the megalith builders originally came from Africa and settled in Doggerland at the end of the Ice Age, where they established Atlantis. When Doggerland was submerged they migrated to what is now mainland Britain, where they built Stonehenge as a memorial to Atlantis.
While not a new idea, a megalithic connection with Atlantis has recently been given further attention by the French writer Sylvain Tristan who was inspired by Jean Deruelle and Alan Butler. Alfred deGrazia also joined this club as well as the German author Helmut Tributsch who has added his support to the idea of a megalithic Atlantis, specifically locating its capital on the island of Gavrinis in Brittany. A similar claim has been made by Hank Harrison who also believes that the Morbihan region was an important Atlantean centre if not the location of its capital. Further support for a megalithic Atlantis has been given by Walter Schilling who places Plato’s city in the Bay of Cadiz. Robert Temple has recently offered grudging support for the concept of Atlantean megalith builders.
Iberia is also home to very many megalithic strucures of varying types. Recently, lower waters in a Spanish reservoir revealed once more the impressive 144-stone Dolmen-de-Guadalperal, situated roughly halfway between Madrid and the Portuguese border(z) . Efforts are being made to ensure its preservation before the water levels rise again.
As far as I am aware classical writers make no obvious reference to the megalith builders, nor has this omission been commented on by modern writers. However, the numerous indirect references to Atlantis by the same ancient writers are deemed inadequate, which seems consistent with a dearth of information regarding early history.
It appears to me that other questions that have not been definitively answered relate to the identity of the megalith builders, why they stopped building and what happened to them. Another thought is that if the megalith builders lived at the same time as the Atlanteans, is it not strange that both disappeared around the same time, or did they? My opinion is that we are probably confronted with two unrelated mysteries – the disappearance of the megalith builders and the demise of Atlantis.
Parallel with the megaliths of the eastern Atlantic seaboard are the megaliths of North America. Who built them and when? Are they evidence of very early pre-Columbian voyagers from Europe?(b)
An interesting article combining all the strange aspects of megalith building can be read online(c) which certainly offers food for thought. A paper(d) published in September 2013 gives a good overview of megalithic studies during the past few decades. Walter Haug’s well illustrated website(k) offers a range of previously ignored megalithic sites in Germany.
Much nonsense has been written about the megalith builders, particularly on the Internet, where you find daft ideas such as attributing their construction to aliens(a). The suggestion that extraterrestrials had the technology to travel in space but when they land on earth they have to build observatories with stone is just silly. Why would they even need observatories?
A valuable website dealing with the global spread of megalithic monuments, is The Megalithic Portal established by Andy Burnham(g), which has regular updates. Other useful sites are Stone Pages(h) and Megalithic Ireland(i). Another site worth a look is from Sjur C. Papazian(l). There is also a site(j) dealing specifically with the dolmens of Corsica and Sardinia.
In the Middle East dolmens stretch in a line from the Caucasus(s)(p) to the Yemen with a remarkable concentration of them in modern Jordan(m), a fact which prompted a former Dutch ambassador to Jordan, Gajus Scheltema, to write Megalithic Jordan. Jordan is also home to an ancient mysterious 150 km wall, which was 1-1.5 metres high.(u)
Dolmens are also found in more distant lands such as India(r), Korea(n)(v) and Japan(o). It is difficult to look at the worldwide distribution of dolmens and not consider the possibility of some form of global cultural diffusion! Rarely discussed are the widely dispersed megalithic remains found throughout the Pacific islands(q).
There is a well-illustrated website offering an overview of the megalithic culture of Western Europe and the Mediterranean(t).
In February 2019 the Smithsonian Magazine had a report telling us that “Bettina Schulz Paulsson, an archaeologist at the University of Gothenburg, reexamined some 2,410 radiocarbon dating results that have been assigned to Europe’s megaliths and put them through a Bayesian statistical analysis. Based on the picture the data present, Schulz Paulsson believes that the megaliths were first constructed by dwellers of northwest France during the second half of the fifth millennium BC.” (w)
Some years ago, the renowned English archaeologist, Aubrey Burl, concluded after twenty years of study that French immigrants had built Stonehenge(aa). More recently, Mike Parker Pearson, a leading Stonehenge expert, has also endorsed this idea of a French origin for megalith building(x).
The interesting claims of Schulz Paulsson, who places the origins of megalithic construction in Brittany in the fifth millennium BC, may be challenged by a little-known counterclaim that tombs in the Ox Mountains in the west of Ireland have been dated to the seventh millennium BC(y). However, my personal view is that it would be more likely that the practice of megalith building would have spread from the east rather than from Ireland westward!
A rational explanation for the construction of cyclopean masonry has been offered by Professor of Architecture Jean-Pierre Protzen and demonstrated on a YouTube clip(f).
(a) http://www.world-mysteries.com/mpl_10ramm.htm (link broken July 2020)
(q) http://davidpratt.info/easter1.htm (section 10)