Sicily was first inhabited by modern humans during the last Ice Age(h) when lower sea levels exposed a land bridge between it and what is now mainland Italy.
Plato was quite familiar with Sicily having paid a number of visits there(i) and on one occasion was sold as a slave having offended King Dionysius with his criticism of tyrannical rulers. Many think that his time in the capital, Syracuse, inspired elements of his description of the capital of Atlantis!
The island was probably first suggested as having a link with Atlantis by Mário Saa in a 1936 book in which he has Atlantis stretching from and including Sicily and the Maltese archipelago all the way to Tunisia. It was then more than four decades before Phyllis Young Forsyth wrote her book, Atlantis: The Making of Myth , in which she expressed her belief that Plato wrote the Atlantis story as an anti-war allegory partly based on his own experiences with the king of Syracuse.
More recently a number of other writers have also put Sicily forward as a location for Atlantis. In the main, it has been European investigators who have advocated such a Sicilian connection and some have gone further and proposed a land bridge with Tunisia within the memory of man.
Dr. Peter Jakubowski also offers(a) Sicily and the Malta Plateau as the location of Atlantis. He proposes a cosmic impact in the Atlantic which closed the Strait of Gibraltar around 4800 BC. When the dam eventually broke, the Mediterranean to the west of Sicily began to fill. This was then followed by the breaching of the land bridge between Sicily and Africa and finally the dam in the Bosporus broke, flooding what was a much smaller Black Sea than we have today. Jakubowski’s site is apparently a reworking of Axel Hausmann’s book. Patrick Archer has adopted the concept of a Sicilian land bridge and promotes the idea that the breaching of it and its consequences were the inspiration for the biblical Deluge(e).
Zhirov noted that “the Mediterranean is fairly shallow between Sicily and Tunisia. There are vast sandbanks and shoals. It may be considered as beyond all doubt that this region subsided recently and that there was a broad isthmus between Sicily and Tunisia.”
Alberto Arecchi(b) has added his voice in support of this Sicilian land bridge linking Italy with Africa and places Atlantis off the coast of modern Tunisia.
Further support has come from Thomas J. Krupa in his 2014 book, in which proposes that the land bridge was composed of limestone which over time had been partially dissolved by rainwater and was under stress from the rising sea levels on its western side. He considers the land bridge the most likely location for Atlantis, which was destroyed when the isthmus was sundered by an earthquake.
Thorwald C. Franke has a well-balanced website(c), in German and English, supporting the idea of a Bronze Age Sicilian Atlantis. For topographical reasons he places the city on the Plains of Catania on the east coast of the island. He sees that the importance of Atlantis within his hypothesis “is the transfer of culture from the eastern to the Western Mediterranean, e.g. there can be found parallels between the culture of the Etruscans, whose role in bringing eastern culture to the west is widely acknowledged.”
Sicily is also home to a number of step pyramids similar to the Canarian examples(d). Antoine Gigal, the French explorer and writer, offers on her website(f) an extensively illustrated article about 23 previously unrecorded Sicilian pyramids as well as seven pyramids on Mauritius(g).
Quite recently a bronze object with a 13th century BC Sicilian connection was found off the coast of Devon in the UK, suggesting ancient trade between the Central Mediterranean and Britain(j).
(a) http://www.naturics.de (offline 17/08/14)
Also See: Pantelleria
Anton Mifsud and his co-authors offer evidence that Atlantis was actually a large island that joined Malta to Lampedusa and contends that the famous archaeological sites on Malta are just remnants of the Atlantean civilisation. However, as can be seen from the above map, if Malta was joined to Lampedusa it must also have been connected with what is modern Tunisia, completing the Sicilian land bridge. The implications of this claim are that if true, it is quite probable that there was also a Gibraltar Dam and that during the last Ice Age the Mediterranean was reduced to a number of relatively small freshwater lakes.
A new website(a) published by Diego Ratti has now highlighted that tiny Lampedusa has an interesting collection of megalithic remains including a feature that has been dubbed the ‘Lampedusa Stonehenge’.A 39-page booklet, by Ratti, which describes this feature in greater detail can now be downloaded(b). Ratti is a financial consultant by profession and the author of two books, Wall Street Watchman and The Skywatching Trader. However, his love of astronomy, archaeology and Lampedusa came together in the development of his website.
*[In 2015 he published, in Italian, a book on the prehistory of Lampedusa, La preistoria di Lampedusa. In 2016 Ratti also discovered a “prehistoric underwater place of worship” off the eastern coast of the island(c).]*
Alberto Arecchi, born in 1947, is an architect and professor of Design and history of the Art, in Pavia in Italy, where he lives. He is president of the Cultural Association Liutprand. He has spent fifteen years in Africa working on international development projects. He is the author of many books relating to European History.
Arecchi has also written about Atlantis in Atlantide, Un mondo scomparso, in which he builds on investigations originally begun in the 1920’s by F. Butavand and Jean Gattefosse. Arecchi’s book contains a number of radical ideas:
(i) it supports the theory of an extensive Sicilian land bridge between Europe with Africa,
(ii) it locates Atlantis off the coast of modern Tunisia and
(iii) it posits the existence of a large inland sea, the original Atlantic ‘Sea’, in part of what is now the northern Sahara, where the chotts of Algeria and Tunisia now are.
He claims that all this ended around 1225 BC when seismic activity in the region caused the land bridge to disappear and the dam that contained the inland sea to rupture and Atlantis to vanish. His date is based on the interpretation of Plato’s 9,000 ‘years’ as 9,000 lunar cycles. Arecchi further claims that the Gibraltar Dam was breached around 2500 BC. He also envisages the Maltese Islands connected to both Sicily and Tunisia prior to this breach.
An outline of his understanding of the Atlantis story, in Italian and English, can be found on the Internet(e) in a 2004 paper entitled Empire of Atlantis: From the Mediterranean to the New World, in which he reviews the evidence of Mediterranean influences in the Americas and particularly the work of the controversial Barry Fell.
The suggested Sicilian land bridge was more than a possibility if the Gibraltar Dam was a fact. By cutting off the waters of the Atlantic, desiccation in the Mediterranean would have brought the level of its water below that of the Atlantic, creating at least two very large inland lakes and exposing the Sicilian land bridge. Diaz-Montexano supports the idea of this isthmus or land bridge, an idea reinforced by the comments of both Strato and Seneca.
However,in November 2011, I came across an Italian website(b) that included two articles by Arecchi which offer maps of two different locations for Atlantis. Nave di Atlantide? includes the North African site mentioned above. La Vera Atlantide incorrectly attributes Atlantis as a unified and much enlarged Balearic archipelago to Arecchi. I contacted Professor Arecchi who confirmed that he is only advocating a site 100 miles SE of Malta (see map above). The reference to Mallorca in the other article he attributes to a “free-interpretation” of his only thesis.
Arecchi’s book, referred to above, is now available as a free pdf file(c), unfortunately it is in Italian and pdf files are sometimes difficult to translate. I believe this book to be an important contribution to the Atlantis debate so if I can find an efficient means of translating it, I will post it here. In the meanwhile an abstract of his book, in English, is available online(d).
As a supporter of the idea of Atlantis in the Central Mediterranean, I find Arecchi’s concepts quite credible, although I would like to know more about the scientific evidence underlying them. An English translation of his book would help.
(c) http://www.liutprand.it/Atlantis.pdf (Italian)