The Caucasus Mountains lie between the Black and Caspian Seas and contain the highest mountain in Europe, Mount Elbrus (Russia). In ancient times it was the location of a number of kingdoms of whom two were known as Albania and Iberia(d) .
Delisle De Sales was probably the first to suggest the Caucasus as the home of the original Atlantis, with refugees from there establishing Plato’s Atlantis in the Central Mediterranean. However, the greatest proponent of the Caucasus location for Atlantis was R.A. Fessenden who wrote an extensive multi-volume work on the subject early in the 20th century.
More recently, Ronnie Gallagher, an admirer of Fessenden, has studied the Caucasus region, in particular the hydrology of the Caspian Sea(a), where he identified strandlines up to 225 metres above sealevel. In Ajerbaijan, he also found cartruts similar to those on Malta as well as stone circles on the Absheron Peninsula(b).
The Amazons of Greek mythology are thought by some to have originated in the Caucasus and as late as 1671, Sir John Chardin reported that a tribe of Amazons existed in Georgia. Interestingly, a 19th century photo shows two armed ladies from Armenia captioned as ‘Amazons of Armenia 1895’.
An added mystery was offered by Alexander Braghine, who recounted that “I was present when a former Russian officer of Georgian origin found himself able to talk with the natives of Vizcaya immediately upon his arrival in Northern Spain: he spoke Georgian, but the Basques understood this language.”[156.187]
Currently, Bruce Fenton has claimed the Caucasus as the home of giants. However, Jason Colavito has demonstrated the unreliability of his claims(c).
I feel that the Caucasus will have a lot more to tell us?
The Maya of ancient Mexico and Guatemala have generated much controversy regarding their origins. Recent studies indicate that the story of the development of this remarkable civilisation may be more complex than previously thought(k). The demise of the Mayan cultural (800-950 AD) has now been definitively shown to be the result of persistent drought, particularly in the southern lowlands(o).
Inevitably the Maya have been linked with Atlantis by a number of writers such as Lewis Spence and E.H. Thompson who claimed that the Maya were descendants of Atlanteans. The maverick, Augustus Le Plongeon was alone in identifying Atlantis as a colony of the Maya and that their language was in fact Greek! Others, such as Jean-Frédérick Waldeck, included an Egyptian linkage as well. However, trumping all that is a recent claim that the Maya had contact with extraterrestrials and that a documentary providing evidence is planned(b). In a similar vein is the latest English language publication from Erich von Däniken entitled: Astronaut Gods of the Maya. Semir Osmanagic, of Bosnian pyramid fame, added a twist to this proposed linkage, when he claimed that the Maya had come from Atlantis, which in turn had been founded by visitors from the Pleiades!
For some comic relief, I can suggest a 1976 book by brothers Eric & Craig Umland which ‘reveals’ that the Maya ‘are remnants of space explorers whose attempts to colonise our solar system went awry more than 40,000 years ago.’ Nearly every page is full of hilarious nonsense and nearly worth the £0.01 currently quoted on Amazon.uk. A website(i) dealing with ‘unreason’ uses extracts from the Umlands as good examples! If you wish to read about the Maya in Antarctica, the Canaries as well as the Moon, this is the book for you.
July 2012 saw a report(j) on the discovery of the largest Mayan manmade dam at Tikal in Guatemala, which was 33ft high and 260ft long and included sand filters.
The Maya had a sophisticated writing system that occupied the attention of a number of 19th century writers including Abbe Brasseur de Bourbourg and Le Plongeon. Unfortunately, de Bourbourg followed the work of the 16th century bishop of Yucatán, Diego de Landa whose interpretation was seriously erroneous. *It was Constantine Rafinesque who partially deciphered some of the Mayan numerals in 1832.*
A report in 2013(l) indicated that substantial progress has been made in the decipherment of any outstanding difficulties in the translation of the Mayan script through internet co-operation.
July 2012 saw a report(j) on the discovery of the largest Mayan man-made dam at Tikal in Guatemala, which was 33ft high and 260ft long and included sand filters.
James O’Kon, an engineer, has investigated Mayan technology for decades, including the discovery of a suspension bridge at the ancient Mayan city of Yaxchilan in Mexico in 1995, which is believed to be the longest bridge of the ancient world(r). This and other aspects of Mayan technology he explores in his book, The Lost Secrets of Maya Technology. More recently, Lorraine Stobbart has written Utopia: Fact or Fiction, which suggests that the ‘Utopia’ of Sir Thomas More was inspired by the Mayan culture although his text was written before Mexico was ‘officially’ discovered. Stobbart recently revealed that she is now revising her views.
However, a more serious claim relates to the idea that Mayan inscriptions revealed that a global catastrophe was to occur in 2012. This nonsense(g) turned into a minor publishing industry. Some even tried to link this daft idea to Atlantis. Fortunately, May 2012 saw evidence from excavations in Guatemala that shows the Mayan calendar extending well beyond 2012(h).
The late David H. Kelley, a Harvard-educated archaeologist and epigrapher at Canada’s University of Calgary, had been investigating ancient links between Asia and pre-Columbian America. In that regard he published a paper outlining similarities between the Mayan and ancient Chinese calendars that were apparently too numerous to be explained by independent development(p). A more sceptical view is offered(q) by Jason Colavito, who traces the idea back to Alexander von Humboldt.
The work of Teobert Maler at the end of the 19thcentury was invaluable in the advancement of Mayan studies. Subsequent researchers have seized upon his discovery of a frieze at Tikal, which he interpreted as a depiction of the destruction of Atlantis, as evidence of the existence of Atlantis in the Atlantic. Apart from Maler’s conjectural ideas, no tangible link has been found between the Maya and Atlantis apart from the use in their glyphs of elephants, an animal that features in Plato’s narrative.
The authenticity of photo of the frieze has been called into question by Jason Colavito and his related blog(n) is worthy of consideration.
In late 2011 controversy erupted when it was claimed that the Itza Maya had migrated to North America, more specifically Georgia(c)(d). It was also suggested that earthen pyramids in Georgia and Florida can be attributed to the Maya(e). Among their other accomplishments is the claim that the Maya were capable of predicting meteor showers(s).
Gene Matlock, the well-known advocate of Atlantis in Mexico, is certain that the Maya were originally Tamils from Sri Lanka(a)!
A recent article(f) gives an interesting firsthand account of encountering the important Mayan city of Calakmul deep in the Yucatan jungle. Potentially even more important are recent LiDAR surveys carried out in Guatemala that have revealed an astounding number of previously unknown Mayan structures. The number of additional Mayan sites identified through the use of LiDAR continues to grow at an incredible rate(u).
Muddying the waters further is an Islamic site that claims that the Maya were Atlantean(m).
(c) http://www.examiner.com/architecture-design-in-national/massive-1-100-year-old-maya-site-discovered-georgia-s-mountains?render=print#print (link broken)
(g) http://www.2012hoax.org/ (offline Oct. ’14)
(m) http://mashiyah.blogspot.ie/ (offline 1/8/14)
The Basques of south-western France and northern Spain have an extremely ancient and distinctive culture that includes a language, Euskara, with no undisputed link with any other language. The late Larry Trask (1944-2004) provided a sober view(a) of the language while Edo Nyland (1941-2009) perceived extensive links between Basque and other languages.
Professor John Campbell in a 15-page paper entitled The Hittites in America(e) began his dissertation with a claim that the language of the Iroquois and the Basques were closely related. In Peter de Roo’s History of America Before Columbus, he recounts the then (1900) commonly held idea that there was a linguistic link between the Basques and various native American tribes, and puts forward the view that the Basques were originally American[890.1.164].
However fanciful this idea may seem, there appears to be little doubt that the Basques, master whalers of the 16th and 17th centuries(i), had regular contact with the coast of Labrador(j) .
An 18th century abbot, Dominique Lahetjuzan (1766-1818?), announced that his studies indicated that Euskara had been spoken in the Garden of Eden! In the 19th century S.H. Blanc offered examples from the language that implied great antiquity. One was that the Basque word for knife means literally “stone that cuts,” and that the word for ceiling means “top of the cavern”.
One website(c) is devoted to establishing a link between the Basques, Atlantis and the Algonquins of North America. Bizarrely, at the end of the 19th century, a study of land snails in the Pyrenees led Léopold de Folin to suggest that the ancestors of the Basques came from Atlantis!
Alexander Braghine in his own search for Atlantis relates how a Basque missionary when speaking in his own language was understood by the Indians of the Peten district in Guatemala. Dr. James Rendel Harris (1852-1941), the English biblical scholar, claimed that the Mexican province of Tabasco derived its name from an ancient Egyptian word meaning land of the Basques.
A further tale from Braghine records how a person from Georgia in the Caucasus was similarly understood by Basques. This would normally be considered some sort of an urban myth but it should be noted that the linguist Arthur Holmer who is studying(b) the connections between the languages of the Caucasus and Basque believes that the number of similarities are too great to be explained by coincidence alone.*A recent (2019) BBC article has highlighted claims of possible linguistic, toponymic, mythological and even DNA links between Armenians and Basques(k). It is interesting that Armenia and Georgia are neighbours.*
I have been unable to find any corroboration of the claimed Guatemalan connection with the Basque language.
*It is frequently noted that the Basques have a legend that they originally came from Atlantis, which they call Atlaintika. Since names, such as ‘Atlantis’, recorded by Solon were Hellenised versions of the words found in the temple ‘registers’ in Sais, it seems more likely that the Basques would have had a different word to describe any former homeland. It is probable that ‘Atlaintika’ is a modification of a loanword adopted from their neighbours.*
Apart from the suggestion of language similarities some have pointed out facial resemblances between Central American Indians (old Maya or modern Lancadon Indians) and Basques. The Basques believe in a mythical seven-headed serpent (disintegrating comet?), Erensuge while the Aztecs worshipped snakes. The Basques used to count in twenties rather than tens, a practice also found in Central America. The Basque ballgame of jai alai played with a wicker basket tied to the players arm is vaguely similar to pok-ta-pok played by the Maya. Fortunately the Basques did not adopt the Mayan custom of beheading the captain of the losing team. It is reported that both the Basques and the Indians of Mexico and Peru practiced artificial head flattening.
The Basques are genetically distinct, having a uniquely high incidence of blood group O, a lower than usual frequency of group A and the lowest record of group B in Europe. They have the highest frequency of Rh-negative blood in the world apart from some Berber tribes.
The Cro-Magnons were tall with larger brain capacity than modern humans. They occupied areas of France and Spain at the end of the last Ice Age. They were similar to the Guanches of the Canary Islands. It is thought that the Basques are related to them. The Cro-Magnons were also artistically talented although limited to primitive tools.
Recent studies have strongly indicated that following a study of the genomes of human skeletons from El Portalón, Atapuerca, the results point to prehistoric Iberian farmers as the closest match to the modern Basques(h).
Overall the evidence for the Basques being remnants of the survivors of Atlantis is weak.
That the Basques are an ancient people is undisputed, but a very early connection with Central America is at best, just remotely possible. That they are the Atlanteans of Plato’s tale is, in my opinion, even more unlikely.
The latest (2015) genetic studies(f) indicate that the Basques are descended from “early farmers who mixed with local hunters before becoming isolated for millennia.” It was claimed later in 2015 that the origins of the Basques had been discovered in Northern Spain after studying the DNA of eight skeletons found in the El Portolan Cave(g).
A website with a number of English and Spanish papers on the subject of the Basques is also worth a visit(d).
(c) See: Archive 2935
(j) National Geographic (08.2018)
Iberia is also the name of an early kingdom on the eastern coast of the Black Sea, known as Kartli in Georgian. This fact is used by the Schoppes to support their Atlantis in the Black Sea theory. This ancient Iberia in the Caucasus is sometimes claimed as the original home of wine(a), now dated to around 6000 BC(d)!*However, the most recent studies place the earliest evidence for wine production in Italy in the 4th millennium BC.(c)
A short history of this Georgian Iberia is available online(b).
*(a) http://www.argophilia.com/news/georgia-origin-of-wine/24367/ (Link broken)*