Lost tribes of Israel
Yair Davidiy is an Orthodox Jewish researcher currently living in Israel. He is a leading proponent of the Brit-Am movement(a) which promotes the idea that the descendants of the Lost Tribes of Israel are to be found in Europe but more particularly in Britain and America.
The Late Walter Baucum was also a Brit-Am supporter and the author of Bronze Age Atlantis in which he identified the Sea Peoples as Atlanteans. Davidiy wrote the Introduction(b), generally supporting Baucum’s ideas, although he dissents somewhat with elements of Baucum’s dating.
Charles Etienne Brasseur de Bourbourg (1814-1874) was born in Bourbourg, near Dunkirk, France. He entered the priesthood and in 1845 he left for Canada and was for a short time professor of ecclesiastical history at Quebec. He worked as a missionary in Mexico and Central America where he developed an intense interest in the native South Americans and their origins. In 1859 he published a history of the Aztecs.
Hubert H. Bancroft (1832-1918), the American historian, noted[1319.125-132] that initially Brasseur was highly sceptical of the reality of Atlantis, but as his studies deepened he became an enthusiastic believer.
Brasseur de Bourbourg’s ability to track down rare manuscripts was legendary. He studied the thoroughly flawed interpretation of Mayan hieroglyphics by Bishop Diego de Landa, produced in the 16th century. He concluded that the Maya were originally from Atlantis, based on Plato’s description of Atlantean culture. This view was expressed in his 1868 book, Quatre Lettres sur le Méxique.
Brasseur also translated local languages into Roman script and perhaps his most important contribution was a French translation of the Popul Vuh, sacred book of the Quiché branch of the Maya, which was published in 1861. An English translation is now available on the Internet(a).
Nigel Davies has revealed that Brasseur, as well as Lord Kingsborough (1795-1829), concluded that the native Americans were in fact the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel. This idea had been suggested by centuries earlier by Diego de Landa (1524- 1579), the Franciscan bishop of Yucatán.
Iin the mid-19th century, Brasseur proposed that Atlantis had existed on a large landmass in the Atlantic of which Hispaniola is a remnant. He believed that this vast peninsula extended to the vicinity of the Canaries. This idea was based on his own, largely incorrect, interpretation of Mayan glyphs. The American Hyde Clarke and the Guatemalan doctor Paul Felix Cabrera shared similar location theories.
Jason Colavito has pointed out that Brasseur was probably the first to suggest the possibility that some form of Pole Shift led to the destruction of Atlantis(b). This idea was published in 1873 and is available in an English translation by Colavito(c).
After what he thought was reference to a flooded land called Mu, one of his last conclusions was that Mu and Atlantis were the same and that Mu was the correct name for the flooded land. This fantasy led Augustus le Plongeon to revise this theory, suggesting that refugees from both Mu and Atlantis were the founders of the Mayan civilisation.
Walter Winston Baucum (1938-2012) was a retired American teacher with a passion for ancient history. He is probably best known for his book The History and Future of Israelite America, which promotes the idea of America having been settled in pre-Columbian times by some of the lost tribes of Israel. He also wrote a number of articles on the same subject(a)(b).
He believed that Britain and the other nations of Europe are also descendants of these ‘lost tribes’. These ideas have been around for a couple of centuries and are usually supported by Christian groups. Baucum however was a member of the United Hebrew Congregation.
More recently he has ventured into the realms of Atlantology publishing his Bronze Age Atlantis in which he follows some of the ideas of Jürgen Spanuth who placed Atlantis in the North Sea and identified the Sea Peoples who invaded Egypt as the ‘North Sea Peoples’. Baucum introduced a number of hard-to-accept ideas such as the Picts of Scotland and the Irish leprechauns (little people) were Minoan!
He concluded that Atlantis was basically “a seafaring, metal-gathering empire”, while with regard to the location of Atlantis, the capital city, he echoed Spanuth and opted for the vicinity of Heligoland, where sandbanks existed to the east as late as the 17th century (p.297).
Johannes Jacobi Eurenius (1688-1751) was a Swedish pastor who wrote Atlantica Orientalis, published in 1751, in which he located Atlantis in the Holy Land and argued forcefully against Rudbeck’s Swedish location. In the same book he devoted 140 pages arguing that the Norsemen were descendants of the 10 Lost Tribes of Israel!
Claude-Mathieu Olivier (1701-1736) was a French theologian and lawyer from Marseilles, who published his Dissertation sur le Critias (Essay on the Critias) in 1726. In it he developed the rather daring theory that the ten kingdoms of Atlantis should be equated with the ten lost tribes of Israel and placed Atlantis in the Holy Land. His idea was a development of the suggestions of other writers of the period, such as Baër and Eurenius who also sought to link biblical history with that of Plato’s Atlantis.