Ophir is referred to in the Bible as a source of gold, silver, precious stones and exotic animals. King Solomon was reputed to have received a cargo of such goodies every three years, a detail which points to Ophir being a considerable distance from Israel.
The exact location of Ophir is the subject of continuing controversy. In broad terms the most popular regions suggested are, or have been, India(g) , Africa(f) and the Americas(a) , but they were not the only proposed locations, even Australia and the Solomon Islands were considered. Emilio Spedicato has opted for Tibet, where an ancient goldmine fits the bill, which he outlines in his paper entitled Ophir, It’s Location Unveiled.
There is also a claim that the Batanes Islands off the Northern Philippines held the site of Ophir(b) . Further west, Dhani Irwanto has claimed that Punt was also known as Ophir(d) and was situated on Sumatera (Sumatra) in Indonesia(c) . However, he went further and also located Atlantis in Indonesia in his book, Atlantis: The lost city is in Java Sea . His chosen site is just north of Bawean Island in the Java Sea.
However, Irwanto was not the first to link Atlantis with Ophir, Theodore L. Urban was the author of a paper delivered to the Lancaster County Historical Society of Pennsylvania in 1897. In it, he denied that Atlantis had been completely destroyed and argued that the biblical Ophir was in fact Atlantis, suggesting that it had been located in the Americas, which explained the three years that the round trip took(e).
Eugenio Bagni Ralbadisole is an Italian researcher and writer, who has studied in a Buddhist temple in Japan and is currently living in Indonesia. However, it was during visits to India that he began to consider the question of Atlantis.
“Please consider that it took me 10 years to come to the conclusion that a very ancient civilization can only be found in India………..Now it appear logic and conclusive that Atlantis was real and it did exists in the East of the known world of the ancient past.”
He speculatively locates Atlantis in the Girinagar Mountains of the Junagadh District of Gujarat in western India. The story of Its destruction there migrated to the Mediterranean where it was given a more local flavour.
He has expressed his Atlantis in India ideas on the Ancient Origins website(a), as well as his well illustrated website(b) which has both English and Italian content.
Petko & Dimitar Dimitrov are a Bulgarian father and son team, who have written about the pre-flood Varna civilisation which they claim existed on the then exposed Black Sea plain, however, they do not call it Atlantis by name. Their book is available, in English, online(a) as a pdf file.
Their book, The Black Sea, the Flood and the Ancient Myths, which supported much of Ryan & Pitman’s work. Unlike them, who based many of their conclusions on a study of molluscs, the Dimitrovs focused on sedimentation evidence. They also suggest that the Holocene influx into the Black Sea also triggered the Vedic Aryan migration to India(b).
Parthasarathi Karthigayan (1956- ) is an Indian historical researcher who prepared a paper for the 2005 Atlantis Conference on Melos entitled ‘The Origin of the Atlantis Civilisation through Tamil literary evidences’, but circumstances prevented his attendance and delivery of the paper.
Karthigayan begins with the proposal that intelligent humans existed ‘several million years ago’! He claims this technologically advanced civilisation were the ancestors of the Atlanteans and that “it is strongly believed that the land of the Tamils, in and around India, could be the remains of the origin of the ancient glorious Atlantis.”
Karthigayan has now self-published History of Medical and Spiritual Sciences of Siddhas of Tamil Nadu in which he expands on his ideas.
Bal Gangadar Tilak (1856-1920) was India’s first Independence Movement leader. He was greatly impressed by William Fairfield Warren’s 1885 book, Paradise Found , which placed the cradle of humanity in the Arctic. So much so, that when Tilak wrote Arctic Home in the Vedas , he chose the Arctic as the location of the Aryan homeland of ‘Airyana Vaêjo’.
Rand & Rose Flem-Ath have suggested that Tilak’s Airyana Vaêjo might have been a garbled version of the lost paradise of Kumari Kandam, which is traditionally located south of India. They then propose that since Antarctica is also south of India and covered with ice like Airyana Vaêjo, perhaps Tilak had chosen the wrong polar region and that the Aryan homeland had been Antarctica, which just happens to be the location of Atlantis according to the Flem-Aths!(a) ?
The Coligny Calendar is the name given to a fragmented bronze plaque discovered in 1897 near Coligny in France. It is a calendar that has been attributed to the Celtic Sequani tribe. It is dated to the 2nd century AD, written in Roman script in Gallic and is the longest known document in that language.
Paul Dunbavin in his Atlantis of the West proposed that the Coligny Calendar might be considered a lunisolar calendar. Some years later in 2005 he returned to the subject in Under Ancient Skies and devoted Chapter 5 plus Appendices A & B to a discussion of Critias 119d, which relates how the kings of Atlantis met alternatively every five and six years. Dunbavin suggests that this is reflected in the Coligny Calendar and that it possibly had antecedants that would bring its functions back to the time of Bronze Age Atlantis. Dunbavin’s reaction to the Calendar is best quoted – Now it is this passage more than any other that convinces the present author (Dunbavin) of the authenticity of the Atlantis myth“.*He touches on the subject again in his latest offeing, Towers of Atlantis .*
Alexios Pliakos, a Greek student of ancient calendars, presented a paper to the 2008 Atlantis Conference entitled A hidden Calendar in the Atlantis Story. He focused on the same Critias 119d text and like Dunbavin has independently concluded that the reference to the five and six years is strong evidence “that Atlantis did not lie in Plato’s imagination.”
There has been attempts to link the Coligny Calendar with the much earlier stone engraving found at Knowth near Newgrange in Ireland(a). A extensive and more speculative discussion of the Calendar is to be found on a New Zealand website(b).*Perhaps the most exotic explanation for the source of the Calendar, questions the presumed Celtic origins and offers reasons to consider a claim that it can be traced back to ancient India(c).*
(a) http://www.sequanicalendar.com/egg.html (Link broken Nov. 2018)
Philippe Potel-Belner is a French historian, archaeologist and philologist(c), who is convinced that India was home to Atlantis. He specifies the long western coastal plain of India(a), which is beyond the Pillars of Heracles, identified by him as Bal-el-Mandeb(b).
He also suggests(c) that the events recorded in the Atlantis texts probably took place in the 4th millennium BC and are an account of the history of the Dravidian civilisation.
(a) http://www.academia.edu/3480936/Atlantis_myth_legend_History (French)(offline Nov. 2015)
(b) http://www.academia.edu/3339364/PLATO_revisited_what_he_precisely_said_about_Atlantis (French)(Offline Nov.2015)
(c) http://www.langue-et-histoire.com/ (French)
Asgård, according to Norse mythology contained in the Eddur (Eddas), was a city or country which was the home of the gods (Aesir). A number of researchers, such as the controversial Joachim Rittstieg have sought to link Asgard with Atlantis(a)(d). Daniel Fleck also hints at a possible connection between the two(b). Ignatius Donnelly in the first page of his book mentioned Asgard among a list of legendary places which included the Garden of Eden, Olympus and the Elysian Fields, as “representing a universal memory of a great land, where early mankind dwelt for ages in peace and happiness” in an Antediluvian world. Other writers, such as the late Walter Baucum, Jürgen Spanuth and Felice Vinci, who all locate Atlantis in northwest Europe, understandably associate Asgard with Atlantis.
Paul A. LaViolette has proposed “that Asgård, like Atlantis, represents the North American ice sheet” and “that the Bifrost bridge most likely signifies the ice sheet bridge that spanned Baffin Bay and the North Sea to connect the North American and Greenland ice sheets with the European ice sheet.” [432.250]
Since the end of the 19th century there have been regular claims of a link between the Indian Vedas and the Norse Edda(c).*In fact, it is also claimed that India has a cultural influence on ancient Egypt as far back as the 2nd millennium BC.*
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.
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  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 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 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.
Having mentioned Indonesia, I must draw your attention to a recent book by Dhani Irwanto, entitled Sundaland: Tracing the Cradle of Civilizations (1618), in which he makes a strong case for considering his native land as an ancient diffusionist centre, which experienced waves of emigration at the end of the Younger Dry as period that influenced the great civilisations of the Indus Valley, Egypt and Greece. Irwanto also claims that their cultural impact included the transference of the story of Atlantis from its original home in Sundaland.
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. 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 also had extensive cultural influences from Asia.
(l) See: Archive 3563
*(u) Atlantis Rising No.110 March/April 2015 p.41*
The Labyrinth and the double-headed axe, the labyris, are usually associated with Minoan culture. However, the labyrinth is an ancient symbol found around the world in locations such as Italy, India(g), Egypt(h), England, Finland and even in the New World as Evan Hadingham has shown[1309.261] at Pacatnamú in Peru. In Scandinavia they are known as Troy Towns – Trojeborgar. Sweden has the greatest number with 200(e).
The largest example in Sweden was discovered at the Mesolithic site on Blå Jungfrun Island(j).
India’s second largest example, measuring 56 feet by 56 feet, was partly uncovered in Gedimedu near Pollachi(i) in 2015. It is estimated to be 2,000 years old and has a design similar to those found on clay tablets found at Pylos, Greece, from 1200 BC.
It has been suggested by a number of writers that the labyrinth had some connection with Atlantis(a)(b). This suggestion is interesting but highly speculative. J. D. Brady touches on this in his book, Atlantis as well as Lewis Spence in The History of Atlantis. What I find interesting is that so many widespread examples of the labyrinth retain the irregular elements of the symbol even when depicted in a rectangular rather than a rounded style. An extensive website covering all aspects of labyrinths and mazes is worth a visit(c). There is also The Labyrinth Society(f) to further whet your appetite.
*In 2017, an extensive article by John Reppion offers further information on the history and geographical spread of labyrinths(k).*
Some researchers have attempted to link the outline of the labyrinth with the concentric design of the harbour of Plato’s capital city. The harbour was described as a series of perfectly concentric circular features ‘as if created on a lathe’ (Critias 113d), whereas the labyrinth is more spiral with a slightly offset entrance. My conclusion regarding the labyrinth is; fascinating– yes, Atlantis – probably not.
The persistent use of this ancient symbol was highlighted by an aerial image, sent to me by Hank Harrison, of a Catholic school in California.