James Cameron the renowned director of Titanic has now worked as executive producer on a documentary about Atlantis for National Geographic(a). Simcha Jacobovici, who previously teamed with Cameron on the 2006 TV movie The Exodus Decoded also joined the production team.
This was NG’s second film on the subject and it was hoped, better than the first. Although Spain and Santorini will feature in the two-hour show, the focus seemed has moved from Spain to the Central Mediterranean, where filming is taking place on Malta, Sardinia and Sicily. In my view this region provided part of the Atlantean domain together with part of northwest Africa.
Cameron and Jacobovici joined forces again as co-producers for this new NG documentary, which was expected by Robert Ishoy to explore his belief that Atlantis was situated on Sardinia(b). I think it reasonable to question why NG did not approach Sergio Frau who has done more than Ishoy in terms of publicising the possible relevance of Sardinia to the Atlantis mystery. It has now emerged that Georgeos Diaz-Montexano has also been interviewed, which suggests that Sardinia may not be the sole focus of the documentary as Ishoy was apparently led to believe.
This new NG offering aired early in 2017. However, in subsequent interviews Cameron expressed continuing scepticism(c), which begs the question; if Cameron was not fully convinced by the documentary, why should the viewers be?
Readers might find Jason Colavito’s critique of the NG documentary enlightening(d).
(b) See: https://web.archive.org/web/20190331144818/https://www.myheraldreview.com/free_access/national-geographic-calls-on-sierra-vista-researcher-about-atlantis/article_c3685cf8-7229-11e6-9512-b390b32f6ba7.html
Mario Cabriolu is a Sardinian, who actively supports the theory of Sergio Frau, which places Atlantis on Sardinia. He has published an illustrated paper on the sardolog.com website in support of that contention(a) with the bold title of Sardinia is Atlantis? He also wrote papers on Cerne(b) and Tartessos(c) on the same site.
(a) http://www.sardolog.com/perso/atlantid/index.htm (Italian)
(b) http://www.sardolog.com/perso/cerne/index.htm (Italian)
(c) http://www.sardolog.com/perso/tartesso/index.htm (Italian)
Paolo Macoratti is an Italian architect who is quoted by Sergio Frau, in his highly publicised book, as identifying sites in southern Sardinia as the locations of the plain and city of Atlantis.
Mario Cabriolu, another Frau supporter, has endeavoured(a) to improve on Macoratti’s interpretation.
The link below has maps displaying both views.
Federico Bardanzellu (1954- ) is a Roman researcher(a) with a special interest in Mediterranean prehistory. His ‘Dolmen Museum’ website(b) has particular relevance for Atlantology, as in it he discusses, in some detail, the Sea Peoples(c) and their connection with Sardinia, Corsica and Sicily as well as the Italian mainland. He claims that Homer’s Odysseus did not sail in the Okeanos beyond Gibraltar but instead had voyaged in the Tyrrhenian Sea. He identifies Tarshish with the Sardinian Tharros and places the Pillars of Hercules in the Strait of Sicily on the island of Motya off the west coast of Sicily. Although he refers to Sergio Frau’s location for the ‘Pillars’ he does not specifically mention Atlantis.
Bardanzellu has also published a book on the earliest inhabitants of Italy entitled Gli Antenati Che Vennero dal Mare.
Emanuela Katia Pilloni, an archaeologist, has written an article(a) , in Italian, supporting the idea that the identification of Sardinia with Atlantis should be reviewed. Dr. Pilloni supports Sergio Frau in locating the Pillars of Heracles at the Strait of Sicily. A copy of the original together with a poor English machine translation is available here in Archive 3925.
Italian Atlantology can be traced back to the 16th century when Fracastoro, Garimberto and Ramusio, identified the Americas as Atlantis. In fact we should look to the 15th century when Ficino was the first to translate Plato’s entire works into Latin giving medieval Europe its first access to the complete Atlantis texts. Not much happened until 1788 when Carli attributed the destruction of Atlantis to a close encounter with a comet. In 1840, Angelo Mazzoldi proposed Italy as the location of Atlantis and as the hyper-diffusionist mother culture of the great civilisations of the Eastern Mediterranean region. He was followed by others such as Giuseppe Brex(b).
Not much developed in pre-war Italy apart from Russo’s journal which ran from 1930 until 1932. After the war other Atlantis journals was established by Gianni Belli in 1956 and Bettini in 1963. After that there was a wide range of theories advanced by Italian researchers. Spedicato located Atlantis in Hispaniola, Stecchini opted for São Tomé, Barbiero, who although Croatian by birth was an admiral in the Italian Navy nominated the Antarctic as the home of Atlantis before the Flem-Aths published their Antarctic ideas. Bulloni chose the Arctic, Pincherle identified the Mandaeans as the last of the Atlanteans and Monte links Thera with Tarshish.
In recent years the most widely reported Atlantis theory to emanate from Italy came from Sergio Frau who advocates Sardinia as the original Atlantis. However, this idea is not new having been promoted by Poddighe in 1982. Frau has subsequently been supported by other commentators such as Tozzi and Novo. I cannot help feeling that there might be a trace of nationalism underlying this theory, a suspicion that I have held regarding writers of other nationalities.
The latter end of the 20th century saw the development of the Internet which enabled the instant promotion of Atlantis theories, both silly and serious, to a global audience. Italy was no exception, where websites, such as Edicolaweb that are sympathetic to the exploration of historical mysteries emerged(a).
More recently, Marin, Minella & Schievenin had The Three Ages of Atlantis published in 2014. This is an English translation of their original 2010 work. In it they suggest that Atlantis had originally existed in Antarctica and after its destruction survivors established two other Atlantises in South America and the Mediterranean. Perhaps more credible was the theory of Capuchin friar, Antonio Moro, who suggested in 2013 that Atlantis included Iberia, the south coast of France and the west coast of Italy!
Diego Silvio Novo is an Italian researcher who has joined the ‘Atlantis in Sardinia ’ club(a)(b). He follows the work of Sergio Frau in placing the ‘Pillars of Heracles’ at Strait of Sicily, which he claims was much narrower at the time of Atlantis.
The first link below tells of Novo’s support for Frau but also ends with an angry response from Rosario Vieni, who claims that he had proposed the Strait of Messina as the location of the Pillars of Heracles before Sergio Frau and that his (Vieni’s) work had been plagiarised!
(a) See Archive 2353) (Italian)
Paolo Valente Poddighe is an Italian researcher who claims to have been the first to have identified Sardinia (along with Corsica) as the location of Atlantis as early as 1982. This was long before Robert Ishoy proposed the same on his website(a) and two decades before Sergio Frau published his 2002 book with an identical claim. This led to accusations of plagiarism by Poddighe, who only then published his own book, Atlantide Sardegna:Isola dei Faraoni (Atlantis Sardinia: Island of the Pharaohs).
Where Frau locates the Pillars of Heracles at the Strait of Sicily, Poddighe opted for the Strait of Bonifacio between Sardinia and Corsica,*[which would imply that the islands of Atlantis ‘beyond the Pillars’ would have to be the Balearic Islands, which offer few features to match Plato’s description of Atlantis.]*Consequently, I am personally inclined towards siting them further east at the Strait of Messina.