Tanit was a Carthaginian and Phoenician goddess. Immanuel Velikovsky claimed that the name of modern Tunis, near the site of Carthage, is a cognate of Tanit. She was also adopted by the Berbers and claims have been made that Tanit was also a Hyksos goddess.
The Egyptian city of Sais where Solon first learned of Atlantis had it principal temple dedicated to the goddess Neith, whom the Egyptian priests identified with Athene. In turn, Neith is also associated with the Libyan goddess Tanit.
The whole matter of the relevance of Saïs to the Atlantis story has been challenged by the theory(a) that Saïs and Tanis, named after Tanit, were in fact the same location. A starting point is the fact that the current village of Sa el Hagar adjacent to the ruins of Saïs has a counterpart at Tanis where there is a village called San el Hagar. Drawing on the writings of Strabo, Herodotus and the Bible some have concluded that the two cities were one. Velikovsky also proposed this idea in his Ramses II and His Time[0832.209], noting that “Tanis is mentioned in Scriptures as the capital of Egypt when. according to both the conventional plan and this reconstruction, Saïs was the capital.”
The island of Es Vedra off the west coast of Ibiza, the third largest of the Balearics, has had a number of imaginative myths, old and new, associated with it, including one that it is supposed to be the birthplace of Tanit!
Neith was an ancient Egyptian goddess and patron god of Sais, where Solon is said to have learned about Atlantis. Neith is often identified with the Greek goddess Athena as well as the Berber and Punic goddess Tanith (Tanit, Tanut), although this has been disputed (a). Tanith is said to be derived from the Phoenician lunar goddess and claims have been made that Tanit was also a Hyksos goddess.
The association of Greek with Egyptian deities was originally told to us by Herodotus(b). A similar connection between Greek and Hindu gods has also been identified(c).
(b) See: Archive 2574
Dr. Émile Mir Chaouat follows the views of Butavand and agrees that Plato’s 9,000 years should be taken as months and consequently dates the destruction of Atlantis to 1400 BC. He agrees, in common with many other writers, that the Sahara once had a large inland sea which contained Atlantis. He believes that its Mediterranean port was located at Cerne. He points out that Athena and Neith the goddess of Sais were identical and suggests that the name of the legendary North African queen Tin Hanan may be a corruption of Athena [(A)tin-ha(nan)]. In 1925 Byron Khun de Prorok claimed to have found the tomb of Tin Hanan, renowned queen of the Tauregs, in the Hoggar Mountains. Chaouat’s published his views in a 1953 booklet, Lumiére sur l’Atlantide.
Athene is the goddess that gave her name to the Greek capital. Interestingly the pre-Hellenic people of Greece, the Pelasgians, believed that the goddess Athene or Athena was born beside Lake Tritonis in Libya. The North Africans had a legendary queen called Tin Hanan that Dr. Chaouat identified with Athene [(A)tin-ha(nan)]. De Prorok claimed to have found her tomb.
Both are similarly represented, Neith with a bow and arrow, Athene with a shield and spear. Neith is also associated with the Libyan goddess Tanit.
Some commentators have sought to link Athene with the Egyptian god Aten, while one website(a)(b) has claimed that Athene was the biblical Eve. The latter idea is also expressed on the Answers in Genesis website(c).
(c) See Archive 2500)
Asty is another name that Athenians had for their city. According to Diodorus Siculus (Book 1) it is claimed that the Athenians were colonists from Sais in Egypt and that they brought the name Asty from the city of the same name there, which is thought to be Alexandria. Sais was the centre of the cult of the Egyptian goddess Neith and accepted by Plato (Tim. 21E) as identical to Athena after whom the Greek city was named. Tim. 21E uses the term Asty in the Latin translation of Chalcidius only, a fact highlighted by R. McQuillen who also claims(a) that Atlantis was in fact located in the Nile Delta and uses Asty as a starting point for his thesis.
Egypt occupies the northeastern corner of Africa. However, the ancient Egyptians considered themselves as Asian (Tim. 24b). In practical terms its territory consisted of a few miles either side of the Nile and its large Delta. In an expansionist period in the 2nd millennium BC, Egypt controlled parts of what are now Israel, Lebanon and Syria. Over its long history, Egypt itself was overrun by a variety of invaders – Hyksos, Kushites, Assyrians, Persians, Greeks and Romans.
Egypt was viewed by the Greeks of Plato’s time as guardians of ancient history and wisdom and consequently was a place of pilgrimage for many of its greatest philosophers, who travelled there to be initiated into the cults of Isis and Osiris. Gustav Parthey (1798-1872), the German antiquarian, researched the education of 40 leading philosophers, writers and politicians of ancient Greece and found that all had studied under Egyptian priests. Clement of Alexandria (150-215 AD) suggested that Plato travelled to Heliopolis and was a disciple of the Egyptian priest Sechnuphis. Other classical writers such as Strabo and Plutarch have confirmed this(i).
In spite of this the Greeks arrogantly referred to all non-Greeks, including the Atlanteans (Crit. 113a) as ‘barbarians’. It is of interest that Athene after whom the Greek capital is named, originated in Egypt where she was worshipped as Neith.
The late Philip Coppens went as far as to suggest(a) that Greece was in fact an Egyptian colony!
Plato’s text seems to infer that the destruction of Atlantis in 9600 BC was contemporary with Egyptian civilisation, raising archaeological questions regarding the earliest date for the establishment of an organised society in Egypt. Unfortunately, there is not a lot to support this contention. The oldest known art in Egypt was discovered in 2007 when petroglyphs estimated to be 15,000 years old. The earliest culture along the Nile, identified by archaeologists is that of what is known as the Badarian dated to around 4500 BC. They produced basic pottery, jewellery and used stone tools although they had some knowledge of metals. The Badarians were followed by the Naqada who led on to what we identify as the spectacular ancient Egyptian civilisation. However, in 2007, rock carvings, similar in style to the Lascaux paintings were discovered near the village of Qurta, 650km south of Cairo. The 160 carvings, spread over 1.5km of rock face, discovered so far, mainly depict wild bulls and have been dated to 13000 BC(h)
September 2013 saw the publication(c)(d) of a more definitive date for the start of the state of Egypt, beginning with the reign of king Aha circa 3100 BC. The evidence indicated that the process of moving from the pre-Dynastic groupings to a form of statehood was more rapid than previous thought. This undermines even more firmly the claims of the Egyptians that their country was founded around 8,600 BC as reported by Plato.
It is not surprising that ancient Egypt has presented us with very many unanswered questions, some of which have been compiled, posted on Wikipedia but subsequently removed(g).
Many writers have remarked how all aspects of ancient Egyptian culture seem to have arrived fully developed, in fact later dynasties did not surpass some of the achievements of the earlier ones. The conclusion of some is that the fully matured civilisation of the early Egyptians was in fact a legacy from elsewhere.
Sanchuniathon refers to the original kings of Egypt calling them ‘Aleteans’. Albert Slosman claims that survivors from Atlantis had migrated to Egypt. The archaeologist, Marcelle Weissen-Szumianska, in a 1965 book, Origines Atlantiques des Anciens Egyptiens , maintained that the pre-pharaonic Egyptians originated in Atlantis, which had been situated in Morocco! Others suggest that Egypt was an Atlantean colony. The idea was brought to a ridiculous level by Augustus Le Plongeon who claimed that Egypt was a Mayan colony!
Robert Schoch has controversially dated the construction of the Sphinx to between 7000-5000 BC, while the megalithic structures at Nabta Playa suggest a sophisticated culture in that area around 5000 BC. Even if both these early dates are correct they are still over four and a half millennia short of Plato’s date. These most likely explanation is that Plato’s number of 9,000 years before Solon is incorrect as 9000 is too neat and may have been a siglum used to express a large but uncertain number or is an exaggeration just as today we speak of having ‘a million and one things to do’.
In 1897, a Russian scientist, A.N. Karnozhitsky was probably the earliest commentator to propose a close link between Egypt and Atlantis, placing the Pillars of Heracles near Sais and located Atlantis itself not far from the western mouth of the Nile.
Some years ago, Egypt was again been proposed as the original Atlantis, in a still (Mar. 2017) unpublished book, The Joshua Crossing, by N. R. James. However, 2006 did see a paper presented by Professor Hossam Aboulfotouh of Minia University, Egypt, placed Atlantis in the Nile Delta. The following year R. McQuillen also offered an Egyptian location for Atlantis, placing it at Pharos near Alexandria.
A novel idea has been put forward by Mary Whispering Wind(b), who bravely offers the idea that the Atlantean province of Egypt was in fact, Colchis, situated on the east coast of the Black Sea! She bases her claim on an interpretation of Herodotus (Book II.104/5) who was commenting on circumcision being only practiced by Egyptians, Ethiopians and Colchians, in my mind, stretching what Herodotus said beyond the acceptable.
An even more radical suggestion was made by Reinoud M. de Jong in a 2009 paper(f) where he boldly claimed “that during the whole period of the (Michigan) copper trade, America was part of the Egyptian Empire” and during the Old Kingdom “this huge empire was known as Atlantis”!
One blogger, from California, has gone so far as to suggest that the ‘Egypt’ which Solon visited was on the shores of the Sea of Marmara!(e)
(a) See Archive 2136
Crantor (c. 340-275 BC) was born in, Soli, Cilicia, in Asia Minor. He is recognised as the first commentator on Plato’s work and a firm believer in the reality of Plato’s Atlantis story. His original text is lost but fortunately much is preserved in the writings of Proclus Lycaeus. It is widely accepted that Crantor either travelled to Egypt in person or used an agent to confirm that the Egyptian record of Atlantis was still in existence there.
However, a more critical view has been expressed(a) on the Wikipedia website and widely copied elsewhere. For the sake of balance I have included it here.
Some ancient writers viewed Atlantis as fiction while others believed it was real. The philosopher Crantor, a student of Plato’s student Xenocrates, is often cited as an example of a writer who thought the story to be historical fact. His work, a commentary on Plato’s Timaeus, is lost, but Proclus, a Neoplatonist of the fifth century AD, reports on it. The passage in question has been represented in the modern literature either as claiming that Crantor actually visited Egypt, had conversations with priests, and saw hieroglyphs confirming the story or as claiming that he learned about them from other visitors to Egypt. Proclus wrote
As for the whole of this account of the Atlanteans, some say that it is unadorned history, such as Crantor, the first commentator on Plato. Crantor also says that Plato’s contemporaries used to criticize him jokingly for not being the inventor of his Republic but copying the institutions of the Egyptians. Plato took these critics seriously enough to assign to the Egyptians this story about the Athenians and Atlanteans, so as to make them say that the Athenians really once lived according to that system.
The next sentence is often translated “Crantor adds, that this is testified by the prophets of the Egyptians, who assert that these particulars [which are narrated by Plato] are written on pillars which are still preserved.” But in the original, the sentence starts not with the name Crantor but with the non-specific ‘He’, and whether this referred to Crantor or to Plato is the subject of considerable debate. Proponents of both Atlantis as a myth and Atlantis as history have argued that the word refers to Crantor. Alan Cameron(b), however, argues that it should be interpreted as referring to Plato, and that when Proclus writes that “we must bear in mind concerning this whole feat of the Athenians, that it is neither a mere myth nor unadorned history, although some take it as history and others as myth”, he is treating “Crantor’s view as mere personal opinion, nothing more; in fact, he first quotes and then dismisses it as representing one of the two unacceptable extremes”. Cameron also points out that whether he refers to Plato or to Crantor, the statement does not support conclusions such as Otto Muck’s which reads – “Crantor came to Sais and saw there in the temple of Neith the column, completely covered with hieroglyphs, on which the history of Atlantis was recorded. Scholars translated it for him, and he testified that their account fully agreed with Plato’s account of Atlantis” or J. V. Luce’s suggestion that Crantor sent “a special enquiry to Egypt” and that he may simply be referring to Plato’s own claims.
Etelenty, according to Frank Joseph(c), was the name used by the ancient Egyptians to describe a “land that has been divided and submerged by water” [104.110]. He further claims that the history of Etelenty was inscribed on the pillars of the temple of Neith at Sais [104.254] and that Solon hellenised Etelenty into Atlantis!
Joseph based his claim on the work of Dr. Ramses Seleem, who offered a new translation of The Egyptian Book of the Dead . Seleem also claims that the Egyptian Gods came from Atlantis in 50,509 BC when they began building the pyramids. A scathing review(b) of Saleem’s book casts doubts on the credibility of both Seleem and Joseph.
(c) http://disinfo.com/2015/03/historical-atlantis/ (link broken Sept. 2018) See: Archive 2504
Saïs was a city on the Nile delta which, according to archaeology, existed at least from 3000 BC. Diodorus Siculus claimed that Saïs had been built by the Athenians before the flood of Deucalion (Histories 5.57). The present settlement is called Sa el Hagar. The Septuagint version of the Bible identifies Saïs with Pelusium, mentioned in Ezekiel 30:12-15. During the 7th century BC it became the capital of the pharaohs of the 26th Dynasty.
Saïs is the Egyptian city where Solon originally learned of the story of Atlantis. It housed the principal shrine of the Egyptian goddess Neith who has been identified with Athene. The Greek writer Charax of Pergamon (c. 200 AD) reflected this connection when he wrote that the citizens of Saïs referred to themselves as Athenai and Diodorus Siculus states that the Athenians claim to have originally come from Saïs.*There is an ancient, if disputed, tale that Cecrops, the first king of Athens established the city with colonists from Saïs.
This of course conflicts with Plato, who, in Timaeus (23e)* informs us that the city of Saïs (not Egypt, as some assume) was founded one thousand years after the city of Athens or 8,000 years before Solon’s visit. This, however, creates a problem, as it suggests that Athens was established at the same time that it fought and defeated a powerful invader!
No remains of the temples, with their celebrated inscribed pillars, have as yet been discovered. However, excavations are proceeding under the sponsorship of the Egypt Exploration Society and the University of Durham led by Dr. Penelope Wilson(b).
The whole matter of the relevance of Saïs to the Atlantis story has been challenged by a theory on the Internet(a) that Saïs and Tanis were in fact the same location. A starting point is the fact that the current village of Sa el Hagar adjacent to the ruins of Saïs has a counterpart at Tanis where there is a village called San el Hagar. Drawing on the writings of Strabo, Herodotus and the Bible some have concluded that the two cities were one. Immanuel Velikovsky proposed this idea in his Ramses II and His Time[832.209].