The Mzora Stone Circle is a huge megalithic monument in Morocco and is in fact the largest stone ellipse in the world. Mzora and the Egyptian Nabta Playa site are claimed to have used the same construction methods that Alexander Thom has shown to have been used by the British megalith builders.*A recent article by Sarah P. Young claims that “The circle is constructed using a Pythagorean right angled triangle with the ratios 12, 35, 37 and this is the same method used by 30 megalithic stone circles in Britain alone. Other similarities in construction and proportions exist such as the use of the so called ‘megalithic yard – a unit of measurement which seems to have been universally employed across Europe – and evidently even further afield” (g)*
Although no formal claim has been made for any connection with Atlantis, the supporters of the idea that the megalith builders were Atlanteans see the complexity of the Mzora site as further justification for their opinion. A July 2018 paper(f) links the ancient Berbers with Mzora and as the Berbers occupied territory described by Plato as Atlantean (Timaeus 25a-b & Critias 114c), Mzora may also be legitimately described as Atlantean.
James Mavor, better known for his research at Santorini, surveyed the Mzora site in the 1970’s. Bob Quinn visited the site in 1982 and was struck by its similarity with Newgrange. Robert Temple discusses the site at length in his Egyptian Dawn. Dale Drinnon has an illustrated blog on the subject(c).
John E. Palmer visited and surveyed the site in 1978 and subsequently wrote an article for Kadath magazine, unfortunately in French only. He reported that extensive damage was done to the site by ‘archaeologist’ César Luis de Montalban with excavations in 1935-6(d) and that many of the stones have been broken by ignorant Islamic extremists.
In 2011, Graham Salisbury gave coordinates for the site(b) and offers a history of Mzora in a longer article(e).
There is also a French site, which has a number of images of the Mzora site(a).
(a) http://fr.cyclopaedia.net/wiki/Cromlech-de-M,-soura (Offline Oct. 2017)
(c) http://frontiers-of-anthropology.blogspot.ie/2013/03/the-mysterious-moroccan-megalithic.html (link broken August 2018)
*(g) https://www.ancient-origins.net/ancient-places-africa/mzora-stone-circle-0011778 *
Manuel Vega (1967- ) was born in Spain and studied Chemistry there and later worked as a research scientist in America and Japan. He travelled widely in the Far East before returning to the United States where he spent five years training a Buddhist monk before resuming a more secular life.
In 2012 he published Sailors of Stonehenge in which he reviews the principal megalithic sites of Western Europe, including some interesting speculation. For example he describes the English Avebury complex as a site of ‘monarchical renewal’ and proposes related ceremonies at Stonehenge. Another of what I consider his more fanciful ideas is his suggestion that Ireland’s Boyne Valley, which includes Newgrange, was used as a ‘royal funerary complex’ for dead English kings! He maintains that the location of many of these sites was determined by the position of astronomical features in the night sky.
Vega ends the book with a chapter on Atlantis, which he locates in the Atlantic and identifies the Atlanteans as the Megalith Builders. “By the end of the 4th millennium BC they designed a huge celestial mirror over the Atlantic territories, which served to regulate themselves politically and religiously (implementing Heavens on Earth). The largest and most unique constructions, such as those at Carnac, Avebury, Stonehenge and Newgrange, were royal monuments erected at key sites of this celestial mirror according to a megalithic technology designed to attain the rebirth of the sacrificed kings again as princes, keeping an unbroken royal lineage.”
* Vega returned to the subject of the megalith builders in 2015 with the publication of Voyage Zero. However, in 2017 he became even more contentious in Madrid is Atlantis, which as the title implies, claims that Atlantis was located in the vicinity of the author’s native city.*
I found it very hard to accept most of his claims.
Those interested in reading more of Vega’s ideas can read his blogs(a).
Armorica was the Latin name given by the Romans to what we know today as the Brittany peninsula. The region contains some of the most remarkable monuments created by the megalith builders, such as those found at Carnac and Morbihan,
Plato described the influence of Atlantis reaching as far as Italy and Libya (Tim. 25b). In Europe megalithic structures have been found extending all along the Atlantic seaboard and into the Mediterranean as far east as Italy(a) and all across North Africa including modern Libya and Egypt, it was understandable when some commentators concluded that these megalithic monuments were a cultural expression of the Atlanteans. The evidence available indicates that the spread of megalithic building was effected by a maritime based society. How much of this spread was brought about through military or trade expansion or just migration is not known.
A number of French and German researchers have identified Brittany as the power centre of the Atlantean ‘confederation’, while the American writer Hank Harrison is working on a book in which he will nominate Morbihan as a possible capital of Atlantis. R. Cedric Leonard has also written an interesting article(b) on the megalithic monuments of Brittany.
While megaliths are also found in the Middle East and across Asia as far as Japan, their greatest concentration is in Western Europe with a suggested focal point in Armorica. The legendary sunken city of Ys, often associated with Atlantis, is reputedly located off the coast of Armorica.
*(b) http://www.atlantisquest.com/Carnac.html (offline March 2018)*
Robert K. G. Temple (1945- ) is the American bestselling author of The Sirius Mystery. In it he supports the idea of extraterrestrial influence on human cultural development, citing as evidence, the ‘knowledge’ of the Dogon people regarding the Sirius star system before verification by modern astronomy. This idea has now come under serious attack with the claim that Sirius C does not even exist(c). The controversy is still raging as the Bad Archaeology website demonstrates(d) as well as an article from the Armagh Planetarium website(e).
He contends that this interaction took place between 5000 and 3000 BC and refers to that era as the ‘Contact Period’. He goes further and claims that these ‘visitors’ were responsible for the building of the Sphinx and the pyramids and that later efforts by the Egyptians to build other pyramids on the same scale failed. However, some of the Mayan pyramids are equally impressive although built later than the magnificent Giza monuments, but Temple does not explain the source of the Mesoamerican structures. In 2000 Temple published The Crystal Sun in which he outlined the evidence for early optical science, including its possible use in the lighthouse at Pharos(f). 2013 saw the publication of Ancient Glass by Prof. Julian Henderson in which he pushes back the earliest production of crude glass to the middle of the third millennium BC. Temple has a degree in Oriental Studies and Sanskrit from the University of Pennsylvania. He has written a number of sometimes controversial books on various historical subjects(a). Jason Colavito has cast doubt on Temple’s academic credentials in a September 2012 blog(b). However, it was not until his 2010 book, Egyptian Dawn, that he touched on the subject of Atlantis. In it declared that the “true ‘Atlantis’ was the Atlantic Coastal civilisation of the megalith builders.” He further proposes that the story of Atlantis was concocted by those megalith builders “for consumption by the people of the Mediterranean, as a kind of disinformation campaign.” Temple has hinted that he may devote an entire book to the subject of Atlantis sometime in the future!
Doggerland is a term applied to a shallow region (Fig.1) of the North Sea between Denmark and the North of England and has an area of around 10,000 sq. miles. The appellation was coined by Professor Bryony Coles in 1998. However, the name has been applied recently(f) to nearly the totality of the Celtic Shelf (Fig.2). Ulf Erlingsson who had promoted his theory(b) that Atlantis had been located in Ireland (with 98.9% confidence!) has now shifted his position and has opted for the North Sea, suggesting that the Dogger Bank may have been the inspiration behind the ‘impassable shoals’ described by Plato following the submergence of Atlantis.
However, it was Rachael Carson who was probably the first to suggest the Dogger Bank as the home of Atlantis in her 1951 book, The Sea Around Us. Later a Scandinavian writer, Nils Olof Bergquist, in his 1971 book, Ymdogat-Atlantis. who appeared next to support this idea.
Other writers such as Jean Deruelle(a), Sylvain Tristan(c) and Guy Gervis(d) have also linked the Dogger Bank with Atlantis. Gervis has written two related papers(k)(l) on the subject. The earliest suggestion of such a connection was briefly supported by Robert Graves[342.39-3]. Rob Waugh, a British journalist, has offered an illustrated article(g) with the provocative title of Britain’s Atlantis found at the Bottom of the North Sea, in which he touches on some of the discoveries made on Doggerland.
*Some have combined Doggerland with exposed land further north, now known as the Viking-Bergen Banks, as constituting the territory of Atlantis(x).*
In 2009 a book was published with the subtitle of The Rediscovery of Doggerland, based on the research of a team led by Professor Vincent Gaffney of the University of Birmingham. In July 2012 the UK’s Daily Mail published(h) an extensive article on Doggerland. The flooding of the Dogger Bank has been attributed to a 6200 BC event apparently caused by either an outpouring of meltwater from Lake Agassiz in North America ora huge tsunami generated by a Norwegian storegga(e). This event was covered in an extensive article in the November, 2012 edition of the BBC Focus magazine. The same article has a sidebar on Atlantis which suggests that there is “perhaps just one archaeological theory that has any serious claim on the myth.” Then, not for the first time, the BBC offered tacit support for the Minoan Hypothesis in spite of the fact that, at least ostensibly, it does not match Plato’s description of Atlantis in terms of either time, size or location and offers no rationale for its stance.
It has been estimated that over a period of a couple of hundred years the English Channel was also created in a comparable manner(n).
The December 2012 edition of National Geographic magazine has also published an informative article on Doggerland and the ongoing work by archaeologists in the region. It considers the Storegga or the Lake Agassiz meltwater to be the cause of Doggerland’s final inundation. For me it was interesting that a map in the article showed a small area around where I live as the last glaciated region of Ireland.
Alfred de Grazia’s online Q-Mag also published an overview of the Doggerland story in 2012(j) that was originally taken from the German magazine Der Spiegel. The same site has another paper(r) by Jean Deruelle in which he also argues that Doggerland was the location of the Great Plain of Atlantis that stretched from the east of the Dogger Bank and extended as far as what is now Denmark. Plato described the plain as being surrounded by a huge ditch. Then Deruelle, with a flash of ingenuity claims that it was not a ditch but instead was a dyke, designed to hold back the slowing advancing waters of the North Sea that were being fed by deglaciation. He endeavoured to reinforce this claim with the proposal that the Greek word for ditch, ‘taphros’ can also be used for dyke. This interpretation seems possible according to W.K. Pritchett, the distinguished historian [1622.52.5].
Robert John Langdon has proposed that megalith builders from Africa came to Doggerland as the Ice Age ended and when Doggerland submerged they migrated to what is now mainland Britain, eventually constructing Stonehenge(i).
A 2014 ‘Drowned Landscapes’ exhibition(m) organised byDr Richard Bates of the Department of Earth Sciences at St Andrews University, reveals in greater detail the flora and fauna, as well as the lives of its inhabitants, of this submerged world. Much of the information was gleaned from data provided by oil and gas companies, combined with artifacts recovered from the seafloor.
Comparable discoveries have been made submerged deep under the waters of Hanö Bay near the coast of Havang, Sweden and dated to about 7000 BC(v).
In 2015 it wasa announced that €2.5 million funding from the European Union has enabled a number archaeologists from Britain’s top universities to team up for what will be the most intensive study of Doggerland so far(o)(q). Joined by experts from the University of Ghent and assisted by the Belgian Navy they located the first identifiable submerged settlements on the floor of the North Sea. Until now (2019) the only evidence of human habitation in the region were occasional artefacts caught up in fishermen’s nets.
In 2016, it was announced(p) that the ancient footprints of both adults and children had been discovered off the coast of Northumberland, formerly a part of Doggerland. Their feet had apparently been shod.
On Sunday, January 13th 2019. the UK’s Sunday Express delighted its readers with two Atlantis stories(t)(u) . First, the online edition of the paper had a story by one of its reporters, with an ‘Atlantis Discovered’ headline claiming that the remains of an ancient 8,000-year-old city, home to ‘tens of thousands’ of people, had been discovered in the North Sea, in a huge region sometimes referred to as Doggerland. The reporter cites Dr.Richard Bates in support of this account. Unfortunately, the 2012 comments by Dr. Bates never mentioned ‘a city’, but a vast area occupied by ‘tens of thousands’ of people, presumably early farmers(s) . Then the same edition of the same paper by the same ‘reporter’ with another ‘Atlantis Found?’ headline, offered a video clip of the Maltese island of Filfla, while the commentator told us that Plato had said that a devastating earthquake had destroyed Atlantis it was finished off by an eruption. This is factually incorrect as Plato never mentioned an eruption. These two accounts are a sad reflection on the quality of media reporting today.
(i) http://www.the-stonehenge-enigma.info/#!/2013/06/stonehenge-atlantis-momentous-discovery.html See:http://atlantipedia.ie/samples/archive-2071/(both links are live Jan.19)
(k) http://www.nwepexplore.com (link broken Sept. 2018) See: Archive: 2073
(l) http://www.nwepexplore.com (link broken Sept. 2018) See: Archive 2074
Vittorio Castellani (1937-2006) was born in Palermo, the capital of the
Italian island of Sicily. He received his degree in Physics at the University of Rome in 1962 and was a renowned Astrophysicist and earned wide praise as a teacher.
He has written a work that places Atlantis in the North Atlantic on the continental shelf that today is home to the British Isles. He suggests that prior to the melting of the glaciers at the end of the last Ice Age, Britain, Ireland, Denmark and France were all connected making it relatively easy to launch invasions of the Mediterranean. He dates the submersion of large areas of this continental shelf and the Baltic to around 6000 BC. He believes that the megalithic remains spread across northern Europe are the remnants of Atlantis, a view shared by others.
However, in 2004, Castellani retracted his earlier belief(a) and following the publication of Sergio Frau’s book two years earlier, he added his support to the idea of a Sardinian Atlantis.
André de Paniagua (1848-1925?) was a French writer who flourished at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries. At one time he was vice-president of the French Prehistoric Society. He produced a number of books on neolithic cultures including the megalith builders.
Paniagua located Atlantis in the Sea of Azov. However, he had the rather extreme idea that the years recorded by Solon/Plato were in fact Sothic cycles of 1,460 years which would date the demise of Atlantis at around 13 million years ago!
Hans–Wilhelm Rathjen (1928- ) is a retired German high school teacher. In 2004 he published a book which claimed that Atlantis had been a federation of the megalithic peoples of Western Europe. Following the lead of Jürgen Spanuth he locates a capital of this ‘empire’ in the vicinity of Helgoland with a second power centre in North Africa. My principal argument against this is that there is no evidence of writing being used by the megalithic cultures, an ability clearly attributed to the Atlanteans by Plato.
Rathjen’s 526-page book has had enthusiastic reviews, but unfortunately, it is only available in German at present.
His views are also available in an 2005 article on the EFODON website(a).
Lucien Gérardin (1923- ) is a French electronics engineer with a fascination for ancient cultures, in particular the megalith builders. He has published a book that firmly relates the disappearance of Atlantis to the consequence of the melting of the glaciers at the end of the last Ice Age and that the universality of Flood myths can be attributed to the fact that raising of sea levels affected the entire globe. He considers the North Sea and the Atlantic coast of Europe as being the most likely location of Plato’s Atlantis.
*[Gérardin is also the author of Le mystère des nombres : arithmétique et géométrie sacrées (The mystery of numbers: sacred arithmetic and geometry) in which he indulges his fascination with numerical harmonies.]*
The Megalith Builders, who date mainly from the Neolithic Period, are frequently identified with Plato’s Atlanteans. Their remarkable structures were built between the middles of the fifth and second millennia B.C., a period that is compatible with final days of Atlantis according to Plato. Proponents of the idea of a megalithic building Atlantis see the location and extent of the megalithic structures as being in agreement with Plato’s description, particularly his reference to Atlantean influence extending as far as Tyrrhenia and Egypt.
However, there are many features in Plato’s narrative that do not conform to our current knowledge of the megalith builders. There is no evidence that they had writing, irrigation technology or the navigational skills to mount an attack on Egypt/Athens or any other characteristics ascribed to the Atlanteans by him.
On the other hand, if these attributes are just literary flesh applied to a skeleton of historical truth the possibility of a link between the Atlanteans and the megalith builders still remains.
Atlantis enthusiasts are quite happy to associate the megalith builders with Atlantis, as it provides something tangible to enhance the credibility of Plato’s narrative pointing to sites such as Stonehenge or the Maltese Temples. British researcher Robert John Langdon has gone further and proposed that the megalith builders originally came from Africa and settled in Doggerland at the end of the Ice Age, where they established Atlantis. When Doggerland was submerged they migrated to what is now mainland Britain, where they built Stonehenge as a memorial to Atlantis.
While not a new idea, a megalithic connection with Atlantis has recently been given further attention by the French writer Sylvain Tristan who was inspired by Jean Deruelle and Alan Butler. Alfred deGrazia also joined this club as well as the German author Helmut Tributsch who has added his support to the idea of a megalithic Atlantis, specifically locating its capital on the island of Gavrinis in Brittany. A similar claim has been made by Hank Harrison who also believes that the Morbihan region was an important Atlantean centre if not the location of its capital. Further support for a megalithic Atlantis has been given by Walter Schilling who places Plato’s city in the Bay of Cadiz. Robert Temple has recently offered grudging support for the concept of Atlantean megalith builders.
As far as I am aware classical writers make no obvious reference to the megalith builders, nor has this omission been commented on by modern writers. However, the numerous indirect references to Atlantis by the same ancient writers are deemed inadequate. This seems rather inconsistent to me.
It appears to me that other questions that have not been definitively answered relate to the identity of the megalith builders, why they stopped building and what happened to them. Another thought is that if the megalith builders lived at the same time as the Atlanteans, is it not strange that both disappeared around the same time, or did they?
Parallel with the megaliths of the eastern Atlantic seaboard are the megaliths of North America. Who built them and when? Are they evidence of very early pre-Columbian voyagers from Europe?(b)
An interesting article combining all the strange aspects of megalith building can be read online(c) which certainly offers food for thought. A paper(d) published in September 2013 gives a good overview of megalithic studies during the past few decades. Walter Haug’s well illustrated website(k) offers a range of previously ignored megalithic sites in Germany.
Much nonsense has been written about the megalith builders, particularly on the Internet, where you find daft ideas such as attributing their construction to aliens(a). The suggestion that extraterrestrials had the technology to travel in space but when they land on earth they have to build observatories with stone is just silly.
A valuable website dealing with the global spread of megalithic monuments, is The Megalithic Portal established by Andy Burnham(g), which has regular updates. Other useful sites are Stone Pages(h) and Megalithic Ireland(i). Another site worth a look is from Sjur C. Papazian(l). There is also a site(j) dealing specifically with the dolmens of Corsica and Sardinia.
In the Middle East dolmens stretch in a line from the Caucasus(s)(p) to the Yemen with a concentration in Jordan(m), a fact which prompted a former Dutch ambassador to Jordan, Gajus Scheltema, to write Megalithic Jordan. Jordan is also home to an ancient mysterious 150 km wall, which was 1-1.5 metres high.(u)
Dolmens are also found in more distant lands such as India(r), Korea(n)(v) and Japan(o). It is difficult to look at the worldwide distribution of dolmens and not consider the possibility of some form of global cultural diffusion! Rarely discussed are the widely dispersed megalithic remains found throughout the Pacific islands(q).
There is a well-illustrated website offering an overview of the megalithic culture of Western Europe and the Mediterranean(t).
In February 2019 the Smithsonian Magazine had a report telling us that “Bettina Schulz Paulsson, an archaeologist at the University of Gothenburg, reexamined some 2,410 radiocarbon dating results that have been assigned to Europe’s megaliths and put them through a Bayesian statistical analysis. Based on the picture the data present, Schulz Paulsson believes that the megaliths were first constructed by dwellers of northwest France during the second half of the fifth millennium BC.” (w)
Mike Parker Pearson, a leading Stonehenge expert, has endorsed this idea of a French origin for megalith building(x).
*The interesting claims of Schulz Paulsson, who place the origins of megalithic construction to Brittany in the fifth millennium BC, may be challenged by a little-known counterclaim that tombs in the Ox Mountains in the west of Ireland have been dated to the seventh millennium BC(y). However, my personal view is that it would be more likely that the practice of megalith building would have spread from the east rather than from Ireland westward!*
The interesting claims of Schulz Paulsson, who place the origins of megalithic construction to Brittany in the fifth millennium BC, may be challenged by a little-known counterclaim that tombs in the Ox Mountains in the west of Ireland have been dated to the seventh millennium BC(y). However, my personal view is that it would be more likely that the practice of megalith building would have spread from the east rather than from Ireland westward!
A rational explanation for the construction of cyclopean masonry has been offered by Professor of Architecture Jean-Pierre Protzen and demonstrated on a YouTube clip(f).
(b) http://planetvermont.com/pvq/v9n2/megaliths.html (Offline Dec. 2018) See: https://web.archive.org/web/20171105055925/http://planetvermont.com/pvq/v9n2/megaliths.html
(c) http://www.bibleufo.com/ancconstmono.htm (offline June 2017) See: https://web.archive.org/web/20140625091115/http://www.bibleufo.com/ancconstmono.htm*
(n) http://www.dolmen.or.kr/eng/sub.php?PID=0205 (offline April 2017) See: http://english.cha.go.kr/cop/bbs/selectBoardArticle.do?ctgryLrcls=CTGRY166&nttId=57997&bbsId=BBSMSTR_1205&mn=EN_03_01
(q) http://davidpratt.info/easter1.htm (section 10)