The Bee and its place in many cultures from prehistoric times is outlined in three lengthy articles(a)(b)(c) by Andrew Gough. Much of what he has written is news to me as I’m sure it will be to most readers here.
Its medicinal and nutritional qualities have been identified in ancient societies as far apart as early Aboriginal Australia and Sumeria. The bee also featured “as the symbol of the constellation presently occupied by Libra” in the zodiac of the Dogon of Mali. Gough deals extensively with the place of the bee in ancient Egypt where the bee ideogram represents honey, and “Intriguingly, Northern Egypt – the land stretching form the Delta to Memphis was known as “Ta-Bitty”, or “the land of the bee”. Similarly in the bible, the Lord promises to bring the Israelites out of Egypt and into a land flowing with milk and honey.”
Gough, who had earlier been attracted to the Minoan Hypothesis, noted that the Minoans of Crete also, like the Egyptians, also venerated the bee and added that “Although speculative, the notion of Atlantis as a centre of bull and Bee worship is alluring, and based on the evidence, not entirely unfounded.”(a) Throughout his three articles, Gough touches briefly on the subject of Atlantis including the books of Jürgen Spanuth and his North Sea Atlantis. In the same way, I should point out that in the case of another Atlantis candidate, Malta, its name is generally thought to be derived from the Greek word for honey meli and was later known to the Romans as Melita, the Latin equivalent. Malta was renowned in ancient times for the quality of its honey, which may explain why the light-fingered, 1st century BC Roman governor, Verres, stole 400 amphorae of it (about 2800 gallons) over a three-year period.
All three of Gough’s papers are highly informative and worthy of a read.
Andrew Gough is a well-known TV presenter of historical mysteries programs and a contributor to The Heretic Magazine, which explains why he has written a lengthy article about Atlantis on his website(a). In it, he admits to have been initially attracted to the Minoan Hypothesis, but further research brought him to conclude that the Moroccan Atlantis location proposed by the late Michael Hübner was more credible.
*Gough has written a series of fascinating papers on the cultural importance of the Bee in very many ancient societies.*
Civilisation Collapse has occurred many times over past millennia in all parts of the world. The American anthropologist, Joseph A. Tainter defines collapse as “a rapid shift to a lower level of complexity(a) .” Societal disintegration immediately brings to mind the Maya, the Indus Valley and in what are relatively more modern times, the Western Roman Empire.
The causes are usually a combination of factors, such as, climate change, warfare, disease or excessive expansionism. Global catastrophes such as encounters with comets or asteroids are rare, while more local events such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions or tsunamis can also be thrown into the mix. These have all been encountered from time to time, but have rarely been blamed for the collapse of a society; recovery from such limited regional events is usually possible.
The Mediterranean has seen its share of all these catastrophic events. A major tsunami on Sardinia, volcanic eruptions in Italy, earthquakes in North Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean. Close encounters with extraterrestrial bodies have also been proposed in that region.
Perhaps the best documented civilisation collapse is that which occurred around 1200 BC and affected many societies, particularly in the Middle East(b) . Israel Finkelstein, a leading Israeli archaeologist, has attributed this event to climate change and is of the view that this disruption was global in extent.
Inevitably, Atlantis has been cited as an example of civilisation collapse, particularly supporters of the Minoan Hypothesis, who link the 2nd millennium BC eruptions of Thera with the demise of the Minoans on Crete. Also popular is the idea that Atlantis had been a large island in the Atlantic Ocean destroyed by a cometary impact or the rising sea levels as the glaciers melted at the end of the last Ice Age.
A variety of other theories have associated Atlantis with the collapse of a civilisation. For example, Frank Joseph claims that 40,000 years ago “sudden sea-level rises triggers migration from Mu around. The Pacific motherlanders settle on a large, fertile island about 380 kilometers due west from the Straits of Gibraltar. There, the newcomers merge with the native Cro-Magnon inhabitants, resulting in a new, hybrid culture – Atlantis.”
Alex Pellejero is a Spanish commentator on ancient mysteries, so it is no surprise that he offered his views on Atlantis. Nearly three years ago, he published a spirited defence of the Minoan Hypothesis, although admitting that not every detail of Plato’s account can be explained by the hypothesis.(a)
Bernhard Mackowiak*(1951- ) is a German journalist, specialising in scientific subjects, particularly astronomy. He is also the author of a number of books, among which is* Atlantis: Nachrichten aus versunkenen Welten (Atlantis: News from a sunken world) in which he reviews the most popular theories but in the end opts for the Minoan Hypothesis.
Tom Pfeiffer is a German volcanologist and the author of a number of volcano related websites, volcanophotography.com(b), volcanodiscovery.com(c) and the ‘decadevolcano.net’ website in which he has expressed qualified support for the Minoan Hypothesis(a).
Fabio Truppi (1974- ) is the Italian author of Atlantide tra mito e archeologia (Atlantis: Between Myth and Archaeology) in which he reviews a few of the principal theories with particular attention to the Minoan Hypothesis. However, in conclusion he contends, perhaps wisely, that the solution to the mystery remains open(a).
(a) http://www.antikitera.net/articoli.asp?ID=57 (Italian)
Richard E. Mooney was one of a number of authors who followed in the footsteps of Erich von Däniken with a couple ‘ancient astronaut’ books. His first, Colony: Earth, has a chapter devoted to Atlantis in which he gives qualified support to the Minoan Hypothesis.
In his sequel, Gods of Air and Darkness, he again touches on the subject of Atlantis, although in a slightly more muted fashion. Nevertheless, he refers to the Greek legends of Atlantis and Hyperborea as being “both obviously based on fact.” (p.183)
Krystek is not convinced by Donnelly’s Atlantic location and seems to think that the Minoan Hypothesis is the best theory current available, noting that “Not everyone accepts the Minoan Crete theory of the story of Atlantis, but until a convincing case can be made for some other place, it, perhaps, remains science’s best guess.”
Don Nardo (1947- ) is an American writer and musician(a). He has produced nearly four hundred books aimed principally at younger people. His 2003 book, Atlantis , also intended for young adults gives an overview of current theories, although he has devoted two of the book’s six chapters to aspects of the Minoan Hypothesis.