Bronze Age Collapse (sometimes Late Bronze Age Collapse) is a term used to describe events in the Eastern Mediterranean, “between c.1250 – c.1150 BCE, when major cities were destroyed, whole civilizations fell, diplomatic and trade relations were severed, writing systems vanished, and there was widespread devastation and death on a scale never experienced before.”(a)
The cause or causes are a matter of continuing debate, ranging from attacks by the Sea Peoples to climate change to a cometary impact(b). Another site(c) offers a number of possible causes — “Over Complexity, Environmental Problems, Mass Migrations, & Disruptive Technologies.”
Robert Drews ascribes the ‘collapse’ to the actions of the Sea Peoples in The End of the Bronze Age.
Fred Woudhuizen (1959- ) is an independent researcher who studies ancient Mediterranean languages and scripts, particularly Luwian and Cretan. He has collaborated with Eberhard Zangger in identifying the Sea Peoples as originating in Western Turkey although Woudhuizen also includes some Central Mediterranean inhabitants among its membership(a) .
He has published many papers on the academia.edu website(b) including one entitled Atlantis in Space and Time(c), in which he claims to have found a reference to Atlantis (ta-ru-nu) in some Cretan hieroglyphics. Jason Colavito was not impressed by Woudhuizen’s convoluted argument(d) .
The Luwians according to the excellent Luwian Studies website(a) were “the people who lived in western Asia Minor during the 2nd millennium BCE between the Mycenaeans in Greece and the Hittites in Central Anatolia.” The Luwian city of Troy have been controversially linked with Atlantis by Eberhard Zangger, who has gone further and proposed that some of the petty kingdoms in the Luwian territory were part of the ‘Sea Peoples’.
Zangger’s claimed that a Luwian linkage with the Sea Peoples had been strongly supported by the work of British archaeologist, James Mellaart (1925-2012). However, after Mellaart’s death it was found that he had supported much of what he wrote with forged documents. Zangger has offered the sequence of events that led to this discovery and points out that his Sea Peoples theory predates his involvement with Mellart(b).
Peter Paulsen (1902-1985) was a German professor of archaeology, who belonged to the Ahnenerbe-SS and was heavily involved in the plundering of museums and libraries in Poland after the German invasion. Heather Pringle records his wartime activities in great detail in The Master Plan[0032.196].
He had a keen interest in Norse mythology, which led to the publication of Axt und Kreutz in 1939. So it is not surprising that after the war when Jürgen Spanuth published his theory of a North Sea Atlantis and identified the Sea Peoples as the ‘North Sea Peoples’, Paulsen was quick to describe Spanuth’s work as “very significant and valuable research which should in every way be supported.” Another former member of Ahnenerbe, Professor Otto Huth is also recorded[1339.217] by Felix R. Paturi as supporting Spanuth’s work.
Elsewhere(a) we are told “After the war Peter Paulsen did his best to bury his past and in 1981 landed a prestigious job as a medieval expert in Würtemberg”.
Felix R. Paturi is the pseudonym of German author Heinz Mindt (1940- ), whose work includes Prehistoric Heritage, in which he touches on the subject of Atlantis[p215], in particular the theories of Jürgen Spanuth. Although he does not expressly endorse the idea of the reality of Atlantis he is very critical of the manner in which Spanuth was treated by some members of the scientific community, which resulted in ten professors being forced, in a law court, to admit that their arguments against Spanuth were untenable. Paturi also includes references to some scientists who did support Spanuth. He concludes with the following comment – “But independent of whether the mysterious sea peoples were or were not the inhabitants of Plato’s Atlantis, there is one thing which in the long run can scarcely be denied: that they came from the far north.”
Andreas Vergottis (1961- ) was born in Greece, schooled in Athens, followed by further education in the UK at the LSE and City University Business School, London. He is currently head of research with a fund management company.
As an amateur archaeologist and student of Homer, he has now written a book with the intriguing objective of demonstrating that:
“Lost Atlantis = Homeric Ithaca = Sea Peoples centre = Kefalonia”.
The book will be available in English and Greek and any publication developments will be posted here. In the meantime there is more information on his Facebook page.
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.
>Baruch Halpern in a footnote in his paper(f) on the Sea Peoples informed us that “Sherden-like horned helmets have also been found along the northern shore of the Black Sea and on statuettes in Sardinia, but that these lack the central disks, and may reflect coincidence, appropriation, trade or migration rather than indicate a place of origin. The iconographic connections of the horns and disk would suggest devotion to a lunar god; see Bernett and Keel (1998).”<
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.
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.
(c) http://www.salimbeti.com/micenei/helmets1.htm (Also see helmets2 & helmets3)
Bob Idjennaden is a Belgian author now living in Ireland, working in the field of business organisation. His private interests include the study of North African prehistory and history. This has led to the writing of a series of short books, sometimes with co-authors, which deal with specific aspects of North African history and culture.
*[An article on the tribes of the Roman province of Africa Proconsularis, centred around modern Tunisia should be read(b) in conjunction with Idjennaden’s work.]*
I am not aware of Idjennaden touching on the subject of Atlantis, in spite of the fact that Plato clearly states that the Atlanteans controlled Libya as far as Egypt. Nevertheless, many of the books deal with specific matters related to different Atlantis theories, such as the Sea Peoples , the Canary Islands and Berbers.
Robert Stieglitz is Professor Emeritus of Ancient Mediterranean Civilisations at Rutgers University. He is a specialist in ancient seafaring. He contends that the Sea Peoples included the Philistines(a).
He appeared on the BBC documentary, Helike – The Real Atlantis and while he is obviously an Atlantis sceptic, when pressed he responded that since “Helike was the only city to disappear without a trace in one night, so if there’s a grain of truth at all to the story of Atlantis it’s the disappearance of Helike which inspired in Plato to write the myth of Atlantis.”(b) He subsequently developed this idea into a lecture(c).
The Trojan War, at first sight, may appear to have little to do with the story of Atlantis except that some recent commentators have endeavoured to claim that the war with Atlantis was just a retelling of the Trojan War. The leading proponent of the idea is Eberhard Zangger in his 1992 book The Flood from Heaven and later in a paper(l) published in Oxford Journal of Archaeology. He also argues that survivors of the War became the Sea Peoples, while Frank Joseph contends that conflict between the Egyptians and the Sea Peoples was part of the Trojan War[108.11]. Steven Sora asserts that the Atlantean war recorded by Plato is a distortion of the Trojan War and he contentiously claims that Troy was located on the Iberian Peninsula rather than the more generally accepted Hissarlik in Turkey. Others have located the War in the North Sea or the Baltic. Of these, Iman Wilkens is arguably the best known advocate of an English location for Troy since 1990. In 2018, Gerard Janssen has added further support for Wilkens theory(k).
However. controversy has surrounded various aspects of the War since earliest times. Strabo(a) tells us that Aristotle dismissed the matter of the Achaean wall as an invention, a matter that is treated at length by Classics Professor Timothy W. Boyd(b). In fact the entire account has been the subject of continual criticism. A more nuanced approach to the reality or otherwise of the ‘War’ is offered by Petros Koutoupis(j).
The reality of the Trojan War as related by Homer has been debated for well over a century. There is a view that much of what he wrote was fictional, but that the ancient Greeks accepted this, but at the same time they possessed an historical account of the war that varied considerably from Homer’s account(f).
Over 130 quotations from the Illiad and Odyssey have been identified in Plato’s writings, suggesting the possibility of him having adopted some of Homer’s nautical data, which may account for Plato’s Atlantean fleet having 1200 ships which might have been a rounding up of Homer’s 1186 ships in the Achaean fleet!
Like so many other early historical events, the Trojan War has also generated its fair share of nutty ideas, such as Hans-Peny Hirmenech’s wild suggestion that the rows of standing stones at Carnac marked the tombs of Atlantean soldiers who fought in the Trojan War! Arthur Louis Joquel II, proposed that the War was fought between two groups of refugees from the Gobi desert, while Jacques de Mahieu maintained that refugees from Troy fled to America after the War where they are now identified as the Olmecs! In November 2017, an Italian naval archaeologist, Francesco Tiboni, claimed(h). that the Trojan Horse was in fact a ship. This is blamed on the mistranslation of one word in Homer.
Various attempts have been made to determine the exact date of the ten-year War, using astronomical dating relating to eclipses noted by Homer. In the 1920’s, astronomers Carl Schoch and Paul Neugebauer put the sack of Troy at close to 1190 BC.*According to Eratosthenes the conflict lasted from 1193 to 1184 BC(m).*
In 2008, Constantino Baikouzis and Marcelo O. Magnasco proposed 1178 BC as the date of the eclipse that coincided with the return Odysseus, ten years after the War(a). Stuart L. Harris published a paper on the Migration & Diffusion website in 2017(g), in which he endorsed the 1190 BC date for the end of the Trojan War.
A new dating of the end of the Trojan War has been presented by Stavros Papamarinopoulos et al. in a paper(c) now available on the Academia.edu website. Working with astronomical data relating to eclipses in the 2nd millennium BC, they have calculated the ending of the War to have taken place in 1218 BC and Odysseus’ return as 1207 BC.
What is noteworthy is that virtually all the recent studies of the eclipse data are in agreement that the Trojan War ended near the end of the 13th century BC, which in turn can be linked to archaeological evidence at the Hissarlik site. Perhaps even more important is the 1218 BC date for the Trojan War recorded on the Parian Marble, reinforcing the Papamarinoupolos date.
Eric Cline has suggested that an earlier date is a possibility, as “scholars are now agreed that even within Homer’s Iliad there are accounts of warriors and events from centuries predating the traditional setting of the Trojan War in 1250 BC” [1005.40].
However, even more radical redating has been strongly advocated by a number of commentators(d)(e) and not without good reason.
(d) http://www.mikamar.biz/rainbow11/mikamar/articles/troy.htm (offline) see Archive 2401