Keftiu and biblical Caphtor, which means ‘pillar’ in Hebrew, are usually considered to refer to the same place. It is implied in Jeremiah 47.4 that Caphtor was an island. There is also a number of commentators, including a Bruce Wayne(d) and Alex Hawk(e), who take Keftiu to be another name for Minoan Crete and equate it with Atlantis. Robert Ishoy considers nuragic Sardinia as Keftiu/Atlantis(b).
Some others have been in favour of identifying Keftiu with Cyprus among whom Immanuel Velikovsky argued that if Cyprus was not Keftiu, then it is the only island of any importance in the eastern Mediterranean not mentioned by the Egyptians. However, the corollary of that is that if Crete was not Keftiu, then it is the only large island in the Eastern Mediterranean not mentioned by the Egyptians!
Caphtor/Keftiu: A New Investigation by John Strange also supports this identification with Cyprus.
Walter Baucum claimed that “Keftiu was the coastline from Tyre northwards to Anatolia, and included the islands of Crete and Cyprus[183.107]. Manuel Robbins has concluded[856.336] that the most likely location for Keftiu was either Cyprus, Syria or Eastern Anatolia, but that it is essentially a mystery.
Although Plato was the first to use the term “Atlantis”, there are antecedents to his legend of a drowned civilisation. There is an Egyptian legend, which Solon probably heard while travelling in Egypt, and was passed down to Plato years later. It concerns the island nation of Keftiu, home to one of the four pillars that held up the sky. It was said to be a glorious advanced civilization, which was destroyed and sank beneath the ocean. It has been suggested that Plato embellished Solon’s story from “the land of the four pillars that held up the sky” into “the land of the Titan, Atlas, who held up the sky”. The Egyptian legend refers to an island west of Egypt, but not necessarily west of the Mediterranean. It may be relevant to point here that Crete is more northerly of Egypt whereas some of the suggested Atlantis locations such as the Maltese Islands or Sardinia are in fact located westward.
It seems that the debate(a)(c) regarding the identification of Keftiu is set to continue for some time.
(c) http://www.oocities.org/sunkenciv/keftiu.html (offline May 2017)
(d) http://mysteria3000.de/diskussion/thema/keftiu-atlantis/ (offline Mar. 2016)
Caphtor (Kaphtor) is a place referred to in the Bible (Jer. 47.4, Amos 9.7) and located by traditional Hebrew sources to have been near Pelusium in the eastern Nile Delta. The late Walter Baucum also identified Caphtor with the Egyptian Kaft-ur in the Delta occupied by the Philistines[183.309]. A. H. Sayce, a respected 19th century Assyriologist, among others, also placed Caphtor in the Delta.
Immanuel Velikovsky pointed out(a), that if Caphtor is not another name for Cyprus, then it is the only large island in the region that has no biblical name. This possible Cyprus connection is discussed on the Internet. John Strange shares this view in a recent book.
While most commentators today equate Caphtor with Crete, the evidence is far from clear. As Manuel Robbins points out[856.316], the identification of Caphtor with Crete “is based on not one but a string of assumptions. If any of these assumptions are wrong, the conclusion fails, and these assumptions are shaky.”
Robbins also disputes the identification of the Egyptian Keftiu with Caphtor. He offers pictorial evidence from tombs on the west bank of the Nile opposite Thebes that might equally suggest Syria as the home of Caphtor, but it is also far from conclusive.
Baucum offers evidence that the Egyptians also used Keftiu when referring to north of the Orontes River (Syria), Cyprus, Cilicia (S.W. Turkey) as well as Crete. He also attributes the exclusive association of Caphtor with Crete to Champollion’s guessed at identification of the Philistines as one of the Sea Peoples!
A chapter in a book by Nissim Raphael Ganor bluntly states that “THE PHILISTINES AND THE ‘SEA PEOPLES’ NOT THE SAME ENTITY” is worth reading for anyone studying this controversy(c).
Another writer, Yair Davidy in his Lost Israelite Identity[1375.208] claims that there was another Keftiu in Northern Europe. Jürgen Spanuth claimed that caphtor and the Norse ‘holmr Asgard’ mean the same[015.94], namely, “the island of the heaven-pillar”. More recent support for a Northern Europe Caphtor is offered by Eckart Kahlhofer who, like Spanuth, also claims it as the location of Atlantis and adds that it was also the home of the Philistines!
Frankly, I find all the competing opinions(b) extremely confusing and unsatisfactory and believe that a solution to these conflicting ideas is far from a resolution.