J. G. Bennett
The Biblical Exodus has been linked by some with the time of the destruction of Atlantis. J. G. Bennett has firmly identified the 2nd millennium BC eruption of Thera with the destruction of Atlantis(f) and in turn the effect of the volcanic fallout on the Egyptian nation generating the Plagues of Egypt recorded in Exodus.
Dr. Hans Goedicke, a leading Austrian Egyptologist, expressed a similar view regarding an Exodus link in a 1981 lecture, leading to quite a media stir(c). Ian Wilson, best known for The Turin Shroud, has calculated that the volcanic plume from the Theran eruption would have been clearly visible from the Nile Delta[979.112].
Riaan Booysen believes(b) that there were two Exodus events that can be linked with three possible Theran eruptions and has identified the Israelites as the Hyksos. Ralph Ellis has also linked the biblical Exodus with the expulsios of the Hyksos and devoted a short book to the idea.
Immanuel Velikovsky and others believed that the controversial Ipuwer Papyrus provides evidence in support of the biblical Exodus as well as the ‘Plagues of Egypt’(d).
Emilio Spedicato links the biblical Exodus with the explosion of Phaëton in 1447 BC, without any reference to the destruction of Atlantis, which, based on his interpretation of Plato’s text, he associates with a much earlier catastrophe(a).
Alfred de Grazia offers a radical interpretation of the Exodus in God’s Fire , in which he saw the Exodus as a highly organised, rather than an opportunistic event. He also attributed some level of electrical knowledge to Moses, whom he credits with the construction of the Ark of the Covenant, if not the ‘invention’ of Yahweh himself!
Perhaps the most extreme Exodus theory has been presented if by Finkelstein & Silberman, who have claimed that “the saga of Israel’s Exodus from Egypt is neither historical truth nor literary fiction” [280.70]. However, the same disbelieving Finkelstein is now going on a search for the Ark of the Covenant(e) !
Flavio Barbiero has now produced an extensive paper(g) in which he precisely dates the Exodus to the night between the 14th and 15th of July of 1208 B.C. (2/3 July of today).
Flood of Deucalion is recorded in Greek mythology in terms that are reminiscent of the biblical Deluge. Prometheus the brother of Atlas the Titan, warned his own son Deucalion to build an ark and fill it with all he needed. Rain fell ceaselessly, flooding valleys, submerging cities, destroying all people and leaving just some mountain peaks to be seen above the sea. After nine days the rain stopped and Deucalion and his wife Pyrrha emerged and produced the ancestors of the Greeks.
Ogyges was the founder and king of Thebes whose reign was ended by a flood that covered the whole world and so devastated Thebes that it remained without a king until the reign of Cecrops. It is an open question whether the Flood of Deucalion and the Flood of Ogyges are identical or not.
J. G. Bennett has pointed out(a) that a fractured marble pillar, discovered on the Greek island of Paros and known as the Parian Marble, records important events in early Greek history including lists of the early kings, including Deucalion who is noted to have reigned at the same time as the Egyptian Pharaoh Thutmose III (1504-1450 BC). It records his reign as having been 700 years before the first Olympiad, which itself is dated to 778 BC, thus giving a date for the flood named after him to around 1478 BC, This period coincides with the biblical Exodus and the eruption of Santorini. Orosius, a 5thcentury AD writer, placed the Flood of Deucalion 810 years before the foundation of Rome giving it a date broadly around 1500 BC. This is suspiciously close to the date accepted by most archaeologists for the great eruption of Thera. James Mavor supported a date between 1529 and 1382 BC.
Giovanni Rinaldo Carli quotes from Clement of Alexandria (150-215 AD) who notes that Stenelas (Sthenelus), father of Cydas (Cycnus) the king of the Ligurians, lived at the same time as the fire of Phaëton and the Flood of Deucalion. This is probably one of the earliest references suggesting a linkage between these two catastrophic 2nd millennium BC events.
Emilio Spedicato has also linked the Flood of Deucalion with the Exodus and dates them to 1447 BC. However, he believes that these events followed the explosion of a comet or asteroid over southern Denmark. He presented three papers to the 2005 Atlantis Conference on the subject of Deucalion’s Flood and Phaeton[629.115].
The work of Finkelstein and Silberman has recently cast doubts over the historical reality of the Exodus, but of course this does not affect the reality of the Flood of Deucalion.*[It is odd that with such a sceptical view of Bible history that it was announced in February 2017(b) that Finkelstein is to start a search for the Ark of the Covenant.]*
David Rohl, a leading advocate for a drastic revision downwards of the dates of many events in ancient Egyptian history by at least three hundred years, has concluded that Deucalion’s Flood occurred during the reign of Thutmose III and most controversially that it was concurrent with the eruption of Thera and its consequent tsunami. According to Rohl’s ‘New Chronology’, this would give the Flood a date of around 1100 BC rather than the conventionally accepted date of around 1450 BC.
Over the last couple of millennia there has been a general consensus that the Flood of Deucalion occurred in the middle of the second millennium BC. This leaves supporters of an early date for Atlantis obliged to produce evidence of a comparable catastrophe around 9600 BC, a task compounded by the probable erosion of any such evidence during the passage of such a considerable time span. We can expect this particular debate to run for some time yet.
Crete was until recently thought to have been first settled around 7000 BC. However, excavations at nine sites in 2008 and 2009 have revealed double-edged hand axes dated to “at least” 130,000 years ago. This discovery has suggested(a) that Stone Age man had developed seafaring abilities.
There is a general consensus Crete was known as Keftiu by the ancient Egyptians.
Sir Arthur Evans, knighted for his archaeological finds on Crete, excavated at Knossos from 1900-1905 leading to the discovery of the famous ‘palace’ there. Evans saw Knossos as an administrative centre although it had no defensive features, which might be expected. In the 1970’s Hans Georg Wunderlich (1928-1974) following the views of Oswald Spengler, proposed in The Secret of Crete , that the ‘palace’ was in fact a mortuary temple. This idea has more recently been considered by the late Philip Coppens(c).
As early as 1910 the Rev. James Baikie suggested Crete as the location of Atlantis. A year earlier K.T. Frost outlined parallels between Atlantis and the Minoan empire. In the 1920’s Joseph McCabe a former Catholic priest was also convinced that Crete was the location of Atlantis. More decades were to pass before Dr Angelos Galanopoulos developed the idea further. There has been doubt that the decline of the Minoan civilisation in the 2nd millennium BC was linked with Theran explosion. Nevertheless, Bacon and Galanopoulos admit that a Minoan explanation for the Atlantis story ‘is correct in all points’ except date, dimensions and location of ‘Pillars’! Many commentators have added reasons to support the Minoan Hypothesis.
*Atlantis was the way to other islands. This is an accurate description of Crete as the gateway to the Cyclades and Greece.
*The palace of the Atlanteans is on a low hill 50 stadia inland and near to a fertile plain is a good description of Knossos.
*The description of the land fits perfectly with the southern coast of Crete.
*There were bulls hunted without weapons, which is characteristic of Minoan Crete.
*The construction of the buildings matches Knossos.
Marjorie Braymer highlights the fact that the Cretan Mesara Plain is oblong in shape and one tenth of the dimensions of the plain mentioned by Plato. A fact that gains in importance if a tenfold exaggeration of the dimensions by Plato is accepted.
J. G. Bennett has gone further and argued strongly for a linkage of the destruction of Minoan civilisation, with the Flood of Deucalion, the Biblical Exodus and the obliteration of Plato’s Atlantis. Bennett quotes Plato’s Laws (705.15), which speaks of a significant migration from Crete, as evidence for a major catastrophe on the island.
In April 2004, a BBC Timewatch programme looked at a possible link between Crete and Atlantis focussing on evidence of ancient tsunami damage on the island that they linked to the eruption of Thera. This idea has been refuted by W. Shepard Baird who offers a pyroclastic surge as a more credible explanation(b). In 2010, the BBC broadcast another documentary supporting the Minoan Hypothesis, although not very convincingly in the opinion of this compiler.
On the other hand, Peter James points out that there is no connection in Greek mythology between Crete and Atlas. Further objections include the fact that no ancient canals have been found on Crete, the island did not sink and the failure of Plato to simply name Crete as the location of his Atlantis.
Recently Gavin Menzies has, unsuccessfully, in my view, attempted to breathe new life into the Minoan Hypothesis in The Lost Empire of Atlantis.
An even less impressive effort to support a Minoan Atlantis is a slender work by Lee R. Kerr entitled Griffin Quest – Investigating Atlantis , who also published an equally useless sequel, Atlantis of the Minoans and Celts.
(c) http://www.philipcoppens.com/crete_dead.html (offline Mar. 2018 see Archive 2133)
The Hyperboreans in Greek mythology lived to the far north of Greece in a land called Hyperborea, which means beyond the North Wind or Boreas, have been linked by a number of writers with the Atlanteans.
Researchers have variously identified this land of Hyperborea with Iceland, the British Isles and the North Sea. Like many classical references and later commentators there is no clear consensus on a precise location.
Diodorus Siculus described Hyperborea as a northern island with a temple to which the god returns every nineteen years. This was initially thought by many to be a reference to England’s Stonehenge, but the renowned Aubrey Burl considered Stonehenge to be 500 miles too far south and instead proposed the Hebridean island of Lewis home to the famous Callanish megalithic site, which includes the ability to record the return of the stars to the same position every nineteen years(c).
*Olof Rudbeck‘s over-enthusiastic nationalism not only brought him to associate Atlantis with Sweden, but also linked the writings of Homer and other classical writers with the prehistory of his homeland. This inevitably led hime to declare ancient Sweden as Hyperborea. David King outlines how Rudbeck came to this conclusion [530.71].*
Jürgen Spanuth based his Atlantis theory on an unambiguous identification of the Atlanteans with the Hyperboreans of the Baltic region, specifically nominating Jutland as the land of the Hyperboreans (p.88).
The renowned Flemish cartographer, Gerardus Mercator (1512-1594), showed a large archipelago near the North Pole on one of his charts. This inclusion by him and other cartographers of the period stemmed from a now lost book by an English Franciscan friar entitled Inventio Fortunatae (The Discovery of the Fortunate Isle).
It also appears that in the 18th century the Russian Empress Catherine II organised an expedition in an attempt to find Hyperborea in the vicinity of the North Pole, in a pathetic attempt to discover ‘the elixir of eternal youth” allegedly invented by the Hyperboreans. She was apparently captivated by the descriptions of the classical writers who related that the Hyperboreans lived in total happiness for a thousand years.
It was reported in 2006(a) that a Russian scientist, Valery Dyemin, inspired by the work of Jean-Sylvain Bailly and William Fairfield Warren was attempting to prove the reality of Hyperborea in the Arctic region. Another Russian, Sergey Teleguin has also attributed a North Pole origin for both the Maya and the Indo-Europeans(b).
*An extensive internet article outlines the mythology associated with Hyperborea and recent efforts to find its location(d).*
The Parian Chronicle or Marmor Parium is inscribed on a stele made of high quality semi-translucent marble found on the Aegean island of Paros, which was greatly prized throughout the Hellenic world during the 1st millennium BC.
Two sections were found on the island in the 17th century by Thomas Arundell (1586-1643), 2nd Baron Arundell of Wardour, an ancestor of the 12th Baron, John Francis Arundell (1831-1906), who wrote a rebuttal of Ignatius Donnelly’s Atlantis theory. A final third section was found on Paros in 1897, silencing claims that the first two were fakes.
As early as 1788, Joseph Robertson (1726-1802) declared the Chronicle to be a modern fake(e)in a lengthy dissertation, a claim disproved by the discovery of the final piece over a century later. Even before the third fragment was found, Franke Parker published an in-depth study of the inscription in 1859(f).
This important register recounts the history of Greece in chronological sequence from 1581 BC until 264 BC and it is reasonably assumed that the latter date was the year it was written.
The first king of Athens is noted on the stele as the mythical Cecrops commencing 1582 BC. This is important as Cecrops is also mentioned by Plato in the Atlantis texts (Critias 110a). This date is far more realistic than the 9,600 BC told to Solon by the Egyptian priests as the time of Athens foundation. The Parian Chronicle seems to have been given little attention regarding the Atlantis mystery. This lack of a direct reference to the Atlantean war may be explained by a comment in Britannica and cited elsewhere(k) which notes(g) that “the author of the Chronicle has given much attention to the festivals, and to poetry and music; thus he has recorded the dates of the establishment of festivals, of the introduction of various kinds of poetry, the births and deaths of the poets, and their victories in contests of poetical skill. On the other hand, important political and military events are often entirely omitted; thus the return of the Heraclidae, Lycurgus, the wars of Messene, Draco, Solon, Cleisthenes, Pericles, the Peloponnesian War and the Thirty Tyrants are not even mentioned.”
Andrea Rotstein in a lengthy series of papers(i) discusses various aspects of the Parian Marble and also comments that “The Parian Marble, as many have noted, may be disappointing as a historical source. People and events that we deem important are missing: Lycurgus, Solon, Cleisthenes, Pericles, the Peloponnesian wars, do not appear in the extant text.” (j)
Furthermore, Wikipedia lists pages(h) of wars, battles and sieges involving the Greeks, few of which are mentioned in Parian Marble, although quite a number of Alexander’s exploits are recorded. Even the critical naval Battle of Salamis with the Persians is encapsulated on the ‘Marble’ in a mere seven words – “in which battle the Hellenes were victorious”.
Another name mentioned on the stele and by Plato is that of Deucalion. While there is some debate regarding the exact date of the deluge named after him, all commentators agree that it occurred in the middle of the 2nd millennium BC. J.G. Bennett(b) has calculated the date this Flood to around 1478 BC, while Britannica(c) offers 1529 BC. Stavros Papamarinopoulos has developed his own king-list based on other ancient sources, which generally parallels the Parian content(d).
A further item of interest is the date ascribed to the Trojan War, on the stele, as 1218 BC, but again some controversy surrounds this precise date. While there are a number of flawed details in the Parian Chronicle, probably due to the use of defective sources or perhaps transcription errors, the very specificity of the recorded dates strongly suggests that it was produced in order to offer a real historical record and not merely to recount Greek mythology.
The chronicle is far from being comprehensive, particularly regarding the earlier years, when understandably information is more sparse.
I believe that the full implication of the inscriptions for the Atlantis debate has yet to be realised.
An English translation of the Parian Marble is available on the internet(a).
(c) http://www.libraryindex.com/encyclopedia/pages/cpxktwkjsf/parian-chronicle-athens-archonship.html (offline May 2016) ^See: https://web.archive.org/web/20160818063347/http://www.libraryindex.com/encyclopedia/pages/cpxktwkjsf/parian-chronicle-athens-archonship.html
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.