An A-Z Guide To The Search For Plato's Atlantis

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Joining The Dots


Joining The Dots

I have now published my new book, Joining The Dots, which offers a fresh look at the Atlantis mystery. I have addressed the critical questions of when, where and who, using Plato's own words, tempered with some critical thinking and a modicum of common sense.


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Mycenaeans

Horned Helmets

Horned Helmets have been worn by various warrior groups from ancient times but , in spite of popular belief, not by the Vikings. Jürgen Spanuth, the leading proponent of a North Sea Atlantis, has identified the Sea Peoples who attacked the Egyptians as North Sea Peoples. The attack was recorded by the Egyptians on the walls of Medinet Habu and where they depicted some of the invaders with horned helmets. Spanuth claimed that “The only known Bronze Age horned helmets come from north Europe”[0015.55]. The illustrations from the Danish National Museum used by Spanuth[0015.31] were more likely to have been for ceremonial use and show no signs of having been used in battle.*A January 2018 article highlights a horned figure on the so-called Oseberg Tapestry, who appears to be leading a religious procession, contributing to the theory that the few horned helmets found so far were probably used for ceremonial purposes(e). Another textile fragment found at the same site also depicts a horned person, which to my mind is more reminiscent of a nordic shaman than a warrior.*

It is noteworthy that the ‘Gjermundbu Helmet’, discovered in 1943 in Nazi-occupied Norway, is the only helmet documented to have existed during the Viking period and is clearly hornless(d).

Furthermore, he was incorrect in claiming that horned helmets were only used in northern Europe during the Bronze Age. Archaeologist Roger Grosjean (1920-1975) has demonstrated(a) that the Torreans of Corsica did use such helmets during that period. The Sherden/Shardana, considered to be one of the Sea Peoples depicted at Medinet Habu are shown as wearing horned helmets and in every instance, except three, they include a round additional piece on the crest. The Shardana are generally accepted to be from Sardinia and are possibly related to the Torreans on neighbouring Corsica. However, the Sardinian examples do not appear to have the accoutrement at the helmets’ crest depicted at Medinet Habu.

Andrea Salimbeti’s website(b) devoted to the Greek Bronze Age has a section on the helmets used in the Aegean during that period, which depicts some horned helmets used by the Mycenaeans(c).

In conclusion, I think Spanuth’s horned helmet evidence is flawed but also that the Sardinian theory is not watertight. Furthermore, his core claim of an invasion from the North Sea into the Eastern Mediterranean is equally untenable. Bronze Age territorial expansion was always into adjacent or nearby territory. A journey of over 4,000 miles from Heligoland to attack Egypt makes no sense.

(a) https://medium.com/the-bronze-age/the-mysterious-horned-warrior-torreans-of-the-isle-of-corsica-853b5e98c677

(b)  http://www.salimbeti.com/micenei/index.htm

(c) http://www.salimbeti.com/micenei/helmets1.htm (Also see helmets2 & helmets3)

(d) https://thornews.com/2014/06/07/why-is-this-the-only-existing-viking-age-helmet/

*(e) https://thornews.com/2018/01/11/the-confusing-horned-helmets-depicted-in-the-oseberg-viking-age-tapestries/*

Aldamiz, Luis

Luis Aldamiz (aka Maju) is an independent Basque researcher who has 666concluded that the Atlantean Empire was at the centre of the VNSP (Vila Nova de São Pedro) culture in ancient Portugal(a)(b).  Its capital Zambujal was situated near the modern city of Torres Vedras, just north of Lisbon. He bases his idea on a number of topographical and historical parallels between the VNSP region and Plato’s description of Atlantis(c).

In order to have Plato’s account of the Atlantean War conform to his location theory, he suggests that the Mycenaean Greeks fought alongside the El Argar people in southeast Spain against VNSP Atlanteans! The evidence for such a military alliance is at best tenuous or more likely, purely speculative.

VNSPHowever, the idea is not as farfetched as it might seem when combined with the views of W.Sheppard Baird who claims that Minoans had been the colonisers of Los Millares  in Andalusia as early as 4000 BC. In due course, the culture of Los Millares was superseded by that of El Argar. This begs the question as whether the Mycenaeans who had succeeded the Minoans on Crete also replaced them in their Andalusian colonies!

Nevertheless, no matter how interesting the theories of Aldamiz and Baird may be, they have still to explain Plato’s claim that the Atlanteans ‘controlled’ Europe as far as Tyrhennia, along with part of North Africa, before their eastward invasion! Furthermore, the part that Egypt played in their alliance with Athens in the war with Atlantis is totally ignored by them.

(a) http://www.allempires.com/Forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=8257&PN=1

(b) http://www.geocities.ws/luis_aldamiz/Atlantis/Atlantis.html

*(c) http://atlantisforschung.de/index.php?title=Atlantis_in_der_portugiesischen_Estremadura_%28Basics%29*

Migration and Diffusion

Migration and Diffusion is the brainchild of Dr. Christine Pellech who wrote that “the basic theme of my website is cultural contacts and migration covering the time range from human origins up to the discovery of America by Columbus in 1492.” For over ten years it has been regularly publishing articles by a range of writers on subjects that frequently touch on aspects of Atlantology. While Pellech does not refer directly to Atlantis, she does claim that the Caribbean had been the centre of an extensive maritime trading culture, millennia before Columbus. I highly recommend the site(a) for anyone interested in our ancient past.

It is relevant to refer you to a paper(b) delivered to the 12th International Congress of the Geological Society of Greece in 2010 by Professor Ilias D. Mariolakos. In it he concluded that the Mycenaeans had extensive knowledge of the Atlantic and its islands as well as the Michigan copper mines which they exploited for their bronze industry. He believes that this lasted from the beginning or middle of the 3rd millennium BC until some time after the Trojan War at the end of the 2nd millennium BC. There then followed the Dark Ages which resulted in this maritime knowledge being lost and the succeeding Greek civilisation began again from scratch.

(a) http://www.migration-diffusion.info/index.php

(b) http://www.geology.upatras.gr/files/diavgeia/geology_congress/XLIII,%20Vol%201.pdf (p.92)

 

 

Linear B (m)

Linear B is the name given to the script used in Mycenaean Greece from 1450 BC until around 1200 BC. It was deciphered in 1952 by the British architect, Michael Ventris, who found it to be based on archaic Greek. What is not generally known is that in America at the same time, classicist Alice Kober was engaged in a parallel quest but unfortunately died of cancer in 1950, before she could complete her work(b).

Edo Nyland in his Linguistic Archaeology controversially claimed that the same texts translated by Ventris using archaic Greek could also be translated using Basque! Examples are given on the University of California, Riverside website(c).

The script is similar to Linear A(a) used in Minoan Crete, which has still to be decoded. Writing disappeared from Greece in the 12th cent. BC and did not reappear until the 9th cent. BC, when an alphabetic script came into use. Those three centuries are known as the ‘Dark Ages’ of Greek history. Plato explained the lack of writing as a consequence of a catastrophic flood which left just a few illiterate ‘mountaineers’ as survivors, who orally transmitted  their history until literacy returned.

The scale of Greek catastrophes during this period is indicated by the work of V.R.Desborough[908][909] who  gathered comparative data on the number of population centres on the Peloponnese in the 12th and 13th centuries that shows an average drop of 80%. Spanuth lists those figures in Atlantis of the North[015.161].

Plato is often denounced by Atlantic sceptics as just a philosopher and therefore unreliable as an historian. However, in Critias he outlines quite accurately a number of features of ancient Greece that were only verified in recent times, such as the layout and earthquake damage to the Acropolis as well as the ‘Dark Ages’ mentioned above.*[This like saying that an historian cannot have valid philosophical views or a philosopher should not discuss historical matters.]*

It has been suggested that the Atlantis story was brought to Egypt written in the Minoan scripts. Both employed numerals where the symbol for ‘hundred’ was very similar to that for ‘thousand’, leading to later transcription errors that eventually gave us Plato’s apparently exaggerated numbers! Both James Mavor and Rodney Castleden have advocated this explanation.

(a) http://jarnaes.wordpress.com/1-minoan-crete-linear-a/

(b) http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-22782620

(c) http://www.faculty.ucr.edu/~legneref/bronze/linerb.htm

Sweden

Sweden was claimed to be the location of Atlantis by Olaus (Olaf) Rudbeck in the 17th century. Before him another Swede, Johannes Bureus, expressed similar views. His friend Carl Lundius supported Rudbeck’s theories, but received none of the acclaim.

In the 18th century Carl Friedrich Baër was happy to follow a fashion, which placed Atlantis in the Holy Land. I am not aware of any major Swedish contribution to Atlantology in the 19th century.*However, the following century saw a number of Swedish researchers make valuable contributions to the subject.*

The discovery of the Mid Atlantic Ridge led René Malaise and Hans Pettersson to suggest the Azores as remnants of Atlantis, an idea still popular today. Around the same time Gunnar Rudberg proposed that Syracuse in Sicily had inspired some of Plato’s description of Atlantis. Arvid Högbom advocated the North Sea as the location of Atlantis in 1915, long before Jürgen Spanuth. In the same region Nils Bergquist opted for the Dogger Bank as has Ulf Erlingsson.

More recently, we seem to have come full circle as Bertil Falk has revived some of Rudbeck’s ideas(a) and a short illustrated 2007 paper (updated 2015)(b) by Robert Fritzius also added some additional modern support. However, for something quite different we have Carl Festin promoting a Mediterranean location.

*Nils-Axel Mörner and Bob Lind, two controversial researchers, have proposed, in a number of papers, that a Bronze Age trading centre existed in southeast Sweden, which had links with the Mycenaeans, Minoans and Phoenicians in the Mediterranean. They suggest that ancient references to Hyperborea may have been generated by this trade. However, although they do not associate Hyperborea with the story of Atlantis, they delivered their theories in papers presented to the Atlantis Conferences of 2008 [750.685] and 2011(c). They also touch on a number of other peripheral subjects including Cygnus, archaeoastronomy and amber. Similar views on early Baltic trade with the Mediterranean have been expressed elsewhere(d).*

(a) http://www.vof.se/folkvett/ar-1993/nr-4/platons-atlantis-diktning-som-tagits-pa-allvar/ (Swedish)

*(b) See: https://web.archive.org/web/20100807201746/http://www.datasync.com/~rsf1/vel/atlantis.htm

(c) http://file.scirp.org/Html/1-1140054_59543.htm

(d) https://www.speroforum.com/a/ROURBRXIJL49/77965-Ancient-trade-from-Mediterranean-to-Scandinavia-revealed#.XUU9QDoU85s*

Castleden, Rodney (L)

CastledenRodney Castleden (1945- ) has been researching prehistory for the past twenty-five years and has written over forty books on such diverse subjects(a)  as Stonehenge, Knossos and the Mycenaeans[226] as well as criminology. He is the author of a well-received volume, Atlantis Destroyed[225] in which he advocates the idea that the destruction of Minoan Crete provided the inspiration for Plato’s Atlantis.

His book is also available on the academia.edu website(b).

(a) http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/475412.Rodney_Castleden

(b) https://www.academia.edu/7662411/Castleden_-_Atlantis_Destroyed 

 

Atalanta (m)

Atalanta was a relatively insignificant island that according to Thucydides (II, 32) was “lying off the coast of Opuntian Locris”. The Athenians built a fort there in 431 BC and following an earthquake it suffered an inundation that caused serious loss of life and destruction of property (III, ChapXI par.89). The island is known today as Talandonisi. In this same area, North West of Athens, we have still the town of Atalanti and the Bay of Atalanti.

KalamianosThis report of the flooding of Atalanta is sometimes taken out of context by some supporters of Plato’s Atlantis and presented as a clear reference to it. This superficial interpretation does not stand up to scrutiny in terms of date, location, size, nor importance.

Others, such as Sprague de Camp, maintain that Plato’s Atlantis is pure fiction inspired by the destruction of Atalanta ‘in a single day’ by a flood following an earthquake. However, it would appear foolish to concoct a story such as that of Atlantis and base it on an inconsequential island, located only 50 miles from Athens, with a similar name, destroyed a few years previously and still expect it to be believed as true.

A similar Mycenaean city with a sunken harbour, tentatively named Korphos-Kalamianos on the Saronic Gulf, 60 miles south-west of Athens, has recently been excavated.

*[In 2014 work began on the exploration of another sunken Bronze Age coastal village at Kilada Bay, also in the Argolic Gulf. The team of Swiss and Greek archaeologists returned to the site in 2015, revealing their discoveries in August of that year(a).

(a) http://www.speroforum.com/a/TJGTRQPMJA31/76356-Bronze-Age-Greek-city-found-underwater%23.VecL_ctRFwH]*

 BTW

Atalanta was also, according to some, the name of the only female among the Argonauts.

Hyksos

The Hyksos is the name applied to two dynasties of foreign kings who ruled Egypt around 1650-1530 BC(a). They are generally accepted to have been a Semitic people, from an unknown land, who invaded Egypt around 1710 BC. They ruled for over a hundred years until defeated by the Egyptian Pharaoh Amasis I.

Their name was originally taken to mean ‘Shepherd Kings, but more recently, it is accepted that the Egyptian term ‘heqa-khase’ which means ‘rulers of foreign lands’ gives us a simple but credible title of ‘Foreign Kings’. It has been suggested by David J. Gibson (1904-1966) that the modern interpretation indicated that the Hyksos ruled a vast empire and has devoted a book[1507] to justifying this view(g).

Walter Baucum summarises his view on the subject as follows, “The Early Hyksos Shepherd Rulers of Egypt were descendants of Shem and identical with Typhon and the Titans, the peoples of Set, and to some degree with the Hebrews. The early Hyksos were to a large degree Israelites but after they left, the Amalekites conquered Egypt and were also referred to as Hyksos”.

Hyksos Pharoah

Hyksos Pharoah

There have also been persistent suggestions that there were strong links between the Hyksos and Crete, as referred to below, but the exact nature of the links is unclear and may not be more than you get between nations trading over an extended period. The relevance of such links, if they were ever shown to be political rather than commercial, would take on new significance for supporters of the Minoan Hypothesis. Time will tell.

E. J. de Meester has suggested links between Crete and the Hyksos, an idea an included in an article by Philip Coppens(b). In a similar vein Diaz-Montexano claims that a study of the names of the Hyksos pharaohs suggests to him that they were proto-Greek or Mycenaeans.

An example of the diversity of opinions regards the origins of the Hyksos is a brief article written by Emilio Spedicato who identifies them with the Scythians. Perhaps even more radical is the suggestion by Riaan Booysen that the Hyksos were the fleeing Israelites in the biblical Exodus story(c). In fact he claims that there were two ‘exoduses’ which coincided with two separate eruptions on Thera. This idea is not as new as it might seems as something similar was proposed by the 1st century AD Jewish historian Josephus(d).

*Nick Austin also identifies the Hyksos as Jews [1661.184], but is more generous than Booysen claiming that there were four separate eruptions of Thera. Like many others he has also associated the biblical Exodus and the Plagues of Egypt with the Theran eruptions.*

Ralph Ellis, among others, has endorsed(e)(f) the idea that the biblical Exodus and the historical Expulsion of the Hyksos describe the same event.

There are theories, many and varied, regarding the origins and post-Egyptian settlement of the Hyksos. Arguably, the most exotic was put forward by a Chinese geochemist, Sun Weidong, who proposed that Hyksos migrants were responsible for the founding of the Chinese civilisation!(h)(i)

(a) https://web.archive.org/web/20180203181622/http://history-world.org/hyksos.htm

(b)  See: Archive 2133

(c) http://riaanbooysen.com/misc/167-book-announcement

(d) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Origins_of_the_Hyksos

(e) http://www.bibleandscience.com/archaeology/exodus.htm

(f) https://lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/b-hebrew/2000-January/006340.html

(g) See: Archive 3468

(h) https://foreignpolicy.com/2016/09/02/did-chinese-civilization-come-from-ancient-egypt-archeological-debate-at-heart-of-china-national-identity/?utm_content=buffer7bb49&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer

(i) http://www.ancientpages.com/2016/09/05/controversial-theory-suggests-ancient-egyptians-were-founders-of-chinese-civilization/

de Grazia, Alfred

Alfred de Grazia (1919-2014 ) was a noted educator, philosopher, political Alfred de Graziascientist and catastrophist. In his latter role he adopted many of Immanuel Velikovsky’s ideas. He met Velikovsky in 1963 and subsequently compiled and published The Velikovsky Affair[1172] which exposed the efforts by members of the academic community to block the publication of Velikovsky’s books.

He clearly supported the reality of Atlantis noting that “if Plato lied in his tale of Atlantis, there would be little truth in him generally: for Plato repeatedly insisted that his story be considered seriously and literally.” He placed Atlantis in the North Atlantic and dated its demise to around 4000 BC. He identified the confederation of Atlantis as the megalithic cultures of the north east Atlantic stretching from Scandinavia to Spain and dated its demise to around 4000 BC. In chap.18 of a more recent book, The Iron Age of  Mars[1513], available on his website, he discussed the theories of both Jürgen Spanuth and Felice Vinci and their belief that the Scandinavians had an influence on the development of the Mycenaean civilisation in Greece.

He had a very extensive website(a), which is still live (May 2019) and covers a wide range of subjects.

(a) http://www.grazian-archive.com/

Kehnscherper, Günther (L)

Günther Kehnscherper  is a German researcher who has written on the Minoans and Mycenaeans and then in 1978 published a work In search of Atlantis[687]. He reviews the most popular theories of the period in the light of discoveries at that time. It may now be considered somewhat dated. He agreed with many of Spanuth’s conclusions, identifying the Atlanteans as the Sea Peoples, originally from the North Sea.