Alan Baker (1964- ) is an English author with a mixed output of both non-fiction as well as some fiction. His chief interest would appear to be historical mysteries, which led to the publication of The Enigmas of History. This book touches on a number of subjects covered on this site; Noah‘s Deluge, Stonhenge, Amazons and, of course, Atlantis. He briefly discusses a few of the more popular theories; Bimini, Thera, and the Atlantic, but arrives at no firm conclusion, although he appears sympathetic to its existence. In his Destination Earth he delves into the disappearance of Percy Fawcett and the mysteries relating to South America.
J. Fitzgerald Lee was the controversial author of The Great Migration, who proposed that the Israelite migration recorded in Exodus was not from Egypt to Palestine, but from Central America westward, via the frozen Bering Strait, through Asia and on to Europe and Egypt! He also speculated that Atlantis had existed in the Atlantic and that its submergence cut off Africa from Central and South America(a).
Hyperdiffusion with Atlantis at its centre was argued at great length by Ignatius Donnelly when he proposed Atlantis as the mother culture, located in the Atlantic. Through colonisation and migration their civilisation was brought to the Americas and the Mediterranean, particularly Egypt. The idea received widespread support at the time and has persisted until today(a). A similar proposal was made by James Churchward in connection with his Pacific island of Mu.
However, even earlier, in the seventeenth century, Olof Rudbeck “purported to prove that Sweden was Atlantis, the cradle of civilization, and Swedish the original language of Adam from which Latin and Hebrew had evolved.”(i)
Since Atlantis in the Atlantic is considered by many to be highly improbable and Mu only existed in Churchward’s imagination, a more likely explanation is that diverse ideas emerged independently in different locations, possibly around the same time. These developments then diffused through trade and migration in various directions, sometimes returning in an improved format. The result is that today we are finding that most ancient civilisations show evidence of cultural influences from more than one source.
Richard Cassaro and Jim Allen have both published online large collections of images(b)(c)(d) that clearly demonstrate widespread diffusion. This is particularly so in the case of South America where influences from both east and west are clearly evident. While it is regularly claimed that Egypt influenced South American civilisations it is obvious that Asian inspiration was equally, if not solely, at work. The existence of pyramids in both Egypt and Mesoamerica is put forward as evidence of contact between them. However, the problem is that the American pyramids were constructed hundreds if not thousands of years later than the Egyptian ones. However, in spite of this separation by time and distance, the Egyptians and the Aztecs also shared feathered-serpent deities(g)! What appears to be overlooked is the fact that the Chinese pyramids are more like Mesoamerican examples and are dated to the second half of the first millennium BC, again closer to the development of pyramids in Mesoamerica.
An even more unusual hyperdiffusionist opinion was expressed by the Argentine paleontologist, Florintino Ameghino (1854-1911), who thought that mankind originated in South America(h).
A 1986 paper(f) by Ben Urish entitled Cultural Diffusion should be read in this connection..
(g) See: Archive 2827
Peter Daughtrey is a British researcher and the author of Atlantis and the Silver City in which he identifies a location in Portugal, where he lived until recently, for Atlantis. The publicity blurb looks promising as it reads as follows: “Over 2000 books have previously attempted to find the answer but invariably stumbled by matching only a handful of Plato´s clues for this fabled lost civilisation. This book matches almost 60 and includes the discovery of the ancient capital with its harbour that Plato described in great detail and the great sunken plain with at least one group of submerged ruins. Everything fits – the precise location, climate, topography, crops and animals, even the incredible wealth. It sits uneasily by one of the world’s most lethal seismic fault lines which in the past has wreaked havoc up to ten times more powerful than the recent quake off Japan with tsunamis 100 feet high. The great Atlantis empire is traced together with their leaders odysseys to civilize South America and Egypt. The unique Atlantean physical characteristics are pinpointed and an ancient alphabet traced from which Phoenicians and Greek developed.” However, a pre-publication critique(a) has been rather less than encouraging.
Now that I have read the book I must declare that Daughtrey has produced a work that offers a spirited argument for considering Portugal’s Algarve as the location of Plato’s Atlantis. In fact he designates not just the Algarve and the submerged area in front of it as Atlantis, but the whole of that south-west Iberian region, starting immediately outside the straits of Gibraltar. The first half of it is the Costa da Luz in Spain. I note that Greg Little has written a positive review of Daughtrey’s book.(f)
Daughtrey recently elaborated that his “position for the great plain that Plato referred to is now the seabed front of southern Portugal and southern Andalucia as far Gibraltar. I think it would also have extended onto the submerged area of northern Morroco and onto the existing mainland .There would only have been a much extended narrow straits from Gibraltar dividing it for a good length.”
More specifically he identifies the town of Silves, just west of Faro, as the Silver City in the title.
In order to compile Atlantipedia I have had to read many books supporting a wide range of theories. I can say that Daughtrey’s offering would be in my top dozen Atlantis titles, along with those of Jim Allen, Andrew Collins, Anton Mifsud, Otto Muck and Jürgen Spanuth. They have all made valuable contributions to Atlantology even though I do not accept all their conclusions.
Neverthe less, without going into a string of nitpicking comments, I would prefer to clearly state where I believe Daughtrey is fundamentally wrong. Which is in accepting Plato’s (or should that be Solon’s) 9,000 years literally. He is not the first to take this approach as the consequence is that either Atlantis attacked an Athens (and Egypt) that did not even exist as organised societies at the time or the science of archaeology as we know it must be abandoned. It is interesting that when it suits him, Daughtrey is prepared to revise Plato’s dimensions for the Plain of Atlantis. I prefer to reinterpret all of Plato’s numbers, which I believe are seriously flawed.
In spite of the above, this book is a valuable addition to any Atlantis library.
September 2014 saw the History Channel preparing to broadcast a documentary on Atlantis in the Algarve that includes extensive interviews with Daughtery(b). However, following airing of the program he seemed rather disappointed(c) that many of what he considered his most important arguments had been omitted from the final cut and that the producers were more interested in extraterrestrials.
Daughtrey’s book is supported by a website(e) that includes updates and additional articles.
Philippe Aziz (1943-2002) was a French writer of Tunisian extraction, an Islamic scholar and a prolific writer. He has written many books on historical mysteries and in that capacity published two works, in French, on Plato’s Atlantis. They would appear to be just reviews of the usual suspects; Santorini, Peru, The Sahara, Helgoland etc., although the author seems to have had a preference for South America(a) as the location of Atlantis.
*a) http://www.mojakritika.com/d1fe173d08e959397adf34b1d77e88d7.htm (Serbian)(link broken Oct. 2018)*
Ice Dams were not uncommon following the ending of the last Ice Age. Glacial Lake Missoula in North West America has been estimated to have burst out every fifty years or so over a two thousand year period between 13,000 and 11,000 BC. These events are dealt with in detail by David Alt in his Glacial Lake Missoula. Lake Agassiz was another enormous lake formed by glacial run-off after the last Ice Age and at its maximum extent was larger than any lake existing in the world today. There is evidence that Lake Agassiz like Missoula also breached ice dams from time to time, discharging into the Atlantic. Other large and frequent breaching of ice dams occurred in the Siberian Altai Mountains(c)(d)(e). A USGS report listing the largest of these events is available online(b).
Recent reports(g)(h)(i) claim that around 6200 BC the bursting of an ice dam in Canada released the melt water contents of Lake Agassiz and Lake Ojibway into the North Atlantic that resulted in Greenland being cooled by an average of 7.4ºC and Europe by about 1ºC and raising the global sea level by between one and three metres (3-10 feet).
Equally dramatic was the extent of the flooding in Eurasia following the collapse of north Asian ice dams. Ronnie Gallagher has an interesting article about this on Graham Hancock’s website(a). Gallagher favours a Eurasian location for Atlantis.
*Professor Neil Glasser from Aberystwyth University is the lead author of a report published in 2016 in Scientific Reports, in which the breaching of an ice dam in South America, between 11,000 and 6,000 BC, was on such a scale that it altered the circulation of the Pacific Ocean. Glasser noted(f) that: “This was a massive lake. When it drained, it released around 1150km3 of fresh water from the melting glaciers into the Atlantic and Pacific oceans – equivalent to around 600 million Olympic-sized swimming pools. This had a considerable impact on the Pacific Ocean circulation and regional climate at the time.”*
(c) http://www.ica.csic.es/dpts/suelos/hidro/images/chapter_27_phefra.pdf (offline 1/6/15)
(g) Science – Dec. 22, 2000
(h) Proceedingsof the National Academyof Sciences – DOI:10.1073/pnas.0510095103]
(i) Quaternary Science Reviews –vol 25, p 63]