Mark Adams is an American writer from New York State with the best-selling Turn Right at Machu Picchu to his credit. He has spent recent years researching the subject of Atlantis, travelling extensively in the process. One of his trips took him to Ireland where I had the pleasure of meeting him and having many discussions on the subject.
His book, Meet me in Atlantis, gives readers an up-to-date overview of modern Atlantis theories that is both comprehensive and fair. I am aware of the amount of research that Adams has put into this work, interviewing a wide range of individuals, including myself, on both sides of the Atlantic. He has an easy-to-read style and while I do not agree with all of his views, I sincerely believe that this book should be compulsory reading for anyone with a serious interest in the subject.
Following the initial publication of his book Adams gave a number of promotional media interviews and in May 2016, following the publication of the paperback edition, he wrote an article(a) listing three ‘problems’ that he believes should be kept in mind when embarking on a search for Atlantis;
“1. Every Single Reliable Clue We Have about Atlantis comes from Plato
2.Plato Was a Pythagorean
3. Plato Was a Philosopher, not a Historian”
For my part, I do not see these as problems, just matters for consideration rather than concern.
*In Adam’s book, he refers to Stavros Papamarinopoulos as “the world’s most respected Atlantologist” [p.191] However, it is interesting to compare Adams’ problems with the comments of Papamarinopoulos in a paper delivered to the 2005 Atlantis Conference in which notes that critics of Plato’s Atlantis “carefully neglect to mention that only Plato and not the historians mention the following:
1.The Achaean Athens of the 12th century BC described in detail in Critias,
2.The end of the Achaean world in the 12th century BC,
3. The assault of the Sea Peoples in East Mediterranean in the 12th century BC,
4. The position of the giant westerly continent and
All these have been proved except the fifth. Plato was not aware of the 12th century BC turmoil but he described its events in general terms correctly.” [629.555]
Although I do not subscribe to No. 4, as you can see in the America entry, Adams’ view of Plato as an historian is contradicted by the highly regarded Papamarinopoulos.*
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
Late Bronze Age Collapse of civilisations in the Eastern Mediterranean in the second half of the 2nd millennium BC has been variously attributed to earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and severe climate change. It is extremely unlikely that all these occurred around the same time through coincidence. Unfortunately, it is not clear to what extent these events were interrelated. As I see it, political upheavals do not lead to earthquakes, volcanic eruptions or drought and so can be safely viewed as an effect rather than a cause. Similarly, climate change is just as unlikely to have caused eruptions or seismic activity and so can also be classified as an effect. Consequently, we are left with earthquakes and volcanoes as the prime suspects for the catastrophic turmoil that took place in the Middle East between the 15th and 12th centuries BC. Nevertheless, August 2013 saw further evidence published which blamed climate change for demise of civilisations in the region.
Robert Drews dismisses any suggestion that Greece suffered a critical drought around 1200 BC, citing the absence of any supporting reference by Homer or Hesiod as evidence. He proposes that “the transition from chariot to infantry warfare as the primary cause of the Great Kingdoms’ downfall.”
This extended period of chaos began around 1450 BC when the eruptions on Thera took place. These caused the well-documented devastation in the region including the ending of the Minoan civilisation and probably the Exodus of the Bible and the Plagues of Egypt as well. According to the Parian Marble, the Flood of Deucalion probably took place around the same time.
Professor Stavros Papamarinopoulos has written of the ‘seismic storm’ that beset the Eastern Mediterranean between 1225 and 1175 BC(a). Similar ideas have been expressed by Amos Nur & Eric H.Cline(b)(c). The invasion of the Sea Peoples recorded by the Egyptians, and parts of Plato’s Atlantis story all appear to have taken place around this period. Plato refers to a spring on the Athenian acropolis (Crit.112d) that was destroyed during an earthquake. Rainer Kühne notes that this spring only existed for about 25 years but was rediscovered by the Swedish archaeologist, Oscar Broneer, who excavated there from 1959 to 1967. The destruction of the spring and barracks, by an earthquake, was confirmed as having occurring at the end of the 12th century BC.
(this is a shorter version of (c) below)
Claude Frédérick-Armand Schaeffer (1898-1982) was a French archaeologist who is probably best known for his work at the Ras Shamra site in Syria which he identified as the ancient port city of Ugarit. He worked on and wrote about the site from 1929 until his death.
Schaeffer enter the arena of catastrophism in 1948 when he declared that during the Bronze Age on at least five occasions widespread catastrophic destructions has taken place throughout the Middle East. He attributed these events to seismic activity,which was perhaps related to the ‘seismic storm’ referred to by Stavros Papamarinopoulos in his paper, Plato and the seismic catastrophe in the 12th century BC Athens(b).
Plato recorded how the priests of Sais told Solon of a succession of catastrophes that befell the region, including earthquakes, inundations such as the Flood of Deucalion and the fall of Phaeton adding historical support for the theories of Schaeffer, Velikovsky and Gallant inter alia.
*Schaeffer and Velikovsky exchanged correspondence(a).
Attica is an ancient region of Greece which includes Athens. Its early kings are mentioned by Plato (Critias 110 a-b)
“the Egyptian priests, in describing the war of that period, mentioned most of those names – such as those of Cecrops and Erechtheus and Erichthonius and Erisichthon and most of the other names which are recorded of the various heroes before Theseus.”
Building on that and the writings of Pausanias (Graeciae Descriptio 1,2,6) and Apollodorus (Bibliotheca 3.14.1)(b), Stavros Marinopoulos has constructed an Attica king-list – Actaeus, Cecrops, Erysichthon, Cranaus (3.14.5), Erichthonius, Pandion, Erechtheus, Cecrops II, Pandion II, Aegeus and Theseus(a) . Although some disagree with the details of this list claiming, for example, that Cecrops and Pandion I and II are duplications, that Erysichthon died before Cecrops died and that Amphictyon succeeded Cranaus, his reconstruction is probably largely correct.
From this, Papamarinopoulos concluded that the kings who opposed the Atlanteans lived in the 16th century BC. Other sources(c) put their reign from the 15th to the 13th centuries BC, so although there are relatively minor differences between commentators, there is a consensus that the 2nd millennium BC was the time of these early kings, but very definitely not the 10th millennium BC. As you will see elsewhere, the Parian Marble substantially supports many elements of Papamarinopoulos’ analysis.
Atlantis Conference 2008 – Athens had a wide range of papers presented to it. The proceedings, >edited by Stavros P. Papamarinopoulos<, were eventually made available in early 2011. This 750-page volume is rather expensive but is also a ‘must have’ addition to the library of any serious student of the subject.
Spain has been a favoured as a probable location of Atlantis by a sizeable number of investigators, principally Spanish and other Europeans. For about a century attention has been focused on the region of Andalusia although one writer, Jorge María Ribero-Meneses, has opted for Cantabria in Northern Spain. The most vocal proponent today of a Spanish Atlantis is arguably Georgeos Diaz-Montexano who has just begun the publication of a series of books on the subject.
Richard Freund is a latecomer to the question of Atlantis and recently foisted himself on the excavators in the Doñana Marshes, announcing that the site was related to Atlantis/Tarshish and garnering widespread publicity ahead of the publication of his own book on Atlantis!
One commentator has suggested that the origin of the name of Spain itself was derived from the Semitic language of the Phoenicians who arrived in Spain around 1500 BC. Apparently they referred to the region as ‘span’ or ‘spania’ which means hidden! Cadiz, equated with Plato’s Gades, is frequently cited as the oldest colony of the Phoenicians. The date appears to be based on tradition rather than hard evidence. Archaeology puts the date closer to 800 BC.
The oldest Phoenician remains, found in the vicinity of Malaga, were discovered during the recent building of a second runway. Occupation of the site is dated at around 700-600 BC.
In September 2012 a report(a) revealed that at the La Bastida site in Murcia, Spain, fortifications dated to 2,200 BC had been discovered and heralded as “Continental Europe’s First Bronze Age City” and “is comparable only to the Minoan civilisation of Crete”.
Late November 2018 saw Merlin Burrows, a British surveying company, claim to have found Atlantis in Spain close to the Doñana National Park (b). M.B.’s head of research, Tim Akers, claimed that “laboratory analysis of material recovered from Spain showed evidence of a type of cement not seen before.” This and evidence of ancient metallurgy was enough for him to conclude that it has come from Atlantis! So now it seems that if something previously unknown is found, it must come from Atlantis! That something has been found is not doubted, but it is more likely to have been Phoenician who extensively exploited the rich mineral deposits in the region. Another website offers a more extensive report from Merlin Burrows(g) as well as a review of other failed Atlantis claims.
The report contains wild speculation, particularly when claiming that this new discovery dates back to the end of the Last Ice Age, when Athens or Egypt did not have structured societies and so could not refer to Plato’s Atlantis. There is little doubt that a number of interesting sites over the 100-mile stretch have been located, but they do not include Atlantis. Expect a flurry of media responses (c) for a while as they await the next wild claim. Meanwhile Merlin Burrows have had their publicity.
The Doñana National Park was extensively investigated some years ago and was the subject a National Geographic documentary, Finding Atlantis. In fact nothing remotely Atlantean was found. For my part, I prefer to follow Plato and point to the only territory named by him as Atlantean, namely Southern Italy, N.W. Africa and some of the many islands in the region.
The Doñana story took a new turn yesterday (22.11.18) when Georgeos Diaz-Montexano published a paper on the Academia.edu website, in Spanish and English (d)(e), which completely debunks the foundations of the Merlin Burrows claim. It is interesting to read of the arrogance of the video makers when challenged by Diaz-Montexano. The following day Díaz-Montexano re-posted (f) the paper with additional comments by Professor César Guarde-Paz, a distinguished Spanish academic, who also denounced the Merlin Burrows claims.
>Stavros Papamarinopoulos is also a keen supporter of locating Atlantis in Spain outlining his reasons in a series of papers(h)(i) delivered to the 12th International Congress of the Geological Society of Greece, Patras, 2010.<
(d) ¿LA ATLÁNTIDA FINALMENTE DESCUBIERTA? Leer el artículo en http://atlantisng.com/blog/la-atlantida-finalmente-descubierta-segun-nuevo-documental-britanico-hoax-publicitario-o-el-mayor-de-los-ridiculos/ (link broken Dec. 2018)
(e) http://atlantisng.com/blog/atlantis-finally-discovered-an-analysis-of-the-three-fundamental-cornerstones-of-the-documentary-atlantica-by-ingenio-films/ (link broken Dec. 2018)
(f) http://atlantisng.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Atlantis-finally-discovered-An-analysis-of-the-three-fundamental-cornerstones-of-the-documentary-ATLANTICA-by-Ingenio-Films..pdf (link broken Dec. 2018)
North Africa has received considerable attention as a possible location for Atlantis since the beginning of the 19th century. Gattefosse and Butavand are names associated with early 20th century North African theorists. They, along with Borchardt, Herrmann and others have proposed locations as far west as Lixus on the Atlantic coast of Morocco, on through Tunisia and Libya and even as far east as the Nile delta.
One of the earliest writers was Ali Bey El Abbassi who discussed Atlantis and an ancient inland sea in the Sahara. The concept of such an inland sea, usually linked with Lake Tritonis, has persisted with the Chotts of Tunisia and Algeria as prime suspects. There is acceptance that a seismic/tectonic convulsion in the vicinity of the Gulf of Gabés cut off this inland sea from the Mediterranean. Diodorus Siculus records this event in his third book dating it to around 1250 BC. If such an event did not occur, how do we explain the salt laden chotts? However, proving a connection with Atlantis is another matter.
Whether this particular geological upheaval was related to the episode that destroyed parts of ancient Malta is questionable as the Maltese event was one of massive subsidence.
It should be kept in mind that Plato described the southern part of the Atlantean confederation as occupying North Africa as far eastward as Egypt (Tim.25b & Crit.114c). This of course conflicts with the idea of the Atlanteans invading from beyond ‘Pillars of Heracles’ situated at Gibraltar since they apparently already controlled at least part of the Western Mediterranean as far as Italy and Egypt.
*One of the principal arguments against Atlantis being located in North Africa is that Plato clearly referred to Atlantis as an island. However, as Papamarinopoulos has pointed out that regarding the Greek word for island, ‘nesos’ “a literary differentiation between ‘island’ and ‘peninsula’ did not exist in alphabetic Greek before Herodotus’ in the 5th century BC. Similarly, there was not any distinction between a coast and an island in Egyptian writing systems, up to the 5th century BC.” In conversation with Mark Adams[1070.198] Papamarinopoulos explains that in the sixth century BC, when Solon lived, nesos had five geographic meanings. “One, an island as we know it. Two, a promontory. Three, a peninsula. Four, a coast. Five, a land within a continent, surrounded by lakes, rivers or springs.”
Personally, from the context, I am quite happy to accept that the principal city of the Atlantean alliance existed on an island as we understand the word. This was probably north of Tunisia, where a number of possible candidates exist. However, it may be unwise to rule out a North African city just yet!
Another argument put forward that appears to exclude at least part of North Africa is that Plato, according to many translations, he refers to Atlantis as ‘greater’ than ‘Libya’ and ‘Asia‘ combined, using the Greek word, ‘meizon‘, which had a primary meaning of ‘more powerful’ not greater in size. Atlantis could not have been situated in either Libya or Asia because ‘a part cannot be greater than the whole’. However, if Plato was referring to military might rather than geographical extent, as seems quite likely, North Africa may indeed have been part of the Atlantean alliance, particularly as Plato describes the control of Atlantis in the Mediterranean as far Tyrrhenia and Egypt.*
Mycenaean is the name given to the culture of ancient Greece (excluding Crete) during the Late Bronze Age (1500–1100 BC). They were also called Achaeans. The controversial writer Felice Vinci maintains that a Northern European tribe was referred to as Achaeans by Homer and that they migrated south and founded the Mycenaean civilisation. However, it was Martin Persson Nilsson (1874-1967), a Swedish historian, who was an earlier proponent of a Nordic origin for the Mycenaeans.
*However, recent genetic studies suggest that the mainland Mycenaeans and the Cretan Minoans share a common ancestry with Neolithic populations of what are today Turkey and Greece(c).
Austen Atkinson in his Impact Earth suggested the possibility that the unexplained ending of the Mycenaean civilisation could be explained as a consequence of Earth’s encounter with Phaëton referred to by Plato (Tim.22c-d).
However, there are current studies(a) being made into the possibility that earthquakes were responsible for the demise of the Mycenaeans and the start of the Greek ‘Dark Ages’.
*However, the earthquake theory is also under attack(b), with the proposal that either an uprising or invasion was responsible for the demise of the Mycenaean Greece.*
Catastrophism today is the name given to a school of thought that supports the idea that the history of the Earth has been punctuated by natural events such as floods, fires and asteroid strikes that have caused widespread if not global devastation and that some of these events occurred within the memory of man and are recorded in worldwide mythologies.
Georges Cuvier (1768-1832) is sometimes referred to as ‘the father of paleontology’ and an early exponent of catastrophism.
Worryingly, it is now more generally accepted that further catastrophes will occur as a result of future cometary/asteroidal strikes. One such close encounter, around 2800 BC, was considered by the Christian catastrophist, Donald W. Patten, to have generated the Deluge of Noah(j) and was the source of the flood legends found around the world! Patten nominates Mars as the intruder(l), an idea also advocated by Elsar Orkan, who, however, proposes a date of around 8000 BC for this encounter.
Some readers may think that the subject has no direct connection with Plato’s Atlantis, however, his text refers to a number of catastrophic events that clearly brought devastation to Athens, Atlantis and beyond. The Flood of Deucalion and earlier inundations, Phaeton and other cosmic encounters, plus conflagrations and earthquakes all point to periods of great instability in the early prehistory of the Aegean region and quite probably much further afield.
Jürgen Spanuth devotes chapter 4 of his Atlantis of the North to an examination of “the natural catastrophes of the 13th century BC” that deals with Phaeton and the blizzard of floods, earthquakes and eruptions that beset the Eastern Mediterranean at the end of the 2nd millennium BC. Some of these matters have been recently expanded upon by Nur & Cline(f)(g) and endorsed by Stavros Papamarinopoulos[0750.73].
August 2013 saw studies published(h) which pointed the finger at climate change as the cause of the widespread political instability in that region during the second millennium BC.
Claude Schaeffer, a celebrated French archaeologist, declared in 1948 that on at least five occasions during the Bronze Age the Middle East had been subjected to widespread catastrophic destruction as a result of natural events rather than human activity.
Immanuel Velikovsky is arguably the best know of the 20th century catastrophists, who published two books in the 1950’s that provoked widespread controversy that continues today. There is an interesting albeit a sceptical review of catastrophism in the last century by Patrick Moore & Bob Forrest in Chapter 14 of More Things in Heaven and Earth(k).
Paul Dunbavin, author of Towers of Atlantis , has published a paper(n), highly critical of Velikovsky’s work.>Dunbavin has researched the evidence for a number of pole shifts that are not dependent on what he describes as the “naïve astronomy” of Velikovsky.<
In 1964, the Belgian mathematician René Gallant (1908-1985) published Bombarded Earth which dealt in great detail with the consequences of meteorite impacts with the earth. Gallant, perhaps because of his amateur status as a geologist, never received the attention he deserved.
More recently Allan & Delair produced another book that identified 9500 BC as the date of a global catastrophe following an encounter with a comet. Their conclusions are at variance with Velikovsky’s, particularly regarding dates. Professor Mike Baillie of Queens University, Belfast is a well-known dendrochronologist who has recently entered the debate with his book, Exodus to Arthur that adds evidence from his discipline to support the theory of cometary or asteroidal impacts with the Earth. Unfortunately his work is confined to the last 4,500 years and so casts no further light on the 9,500 BC date apart from offering support for the possibility of extraterrestrial impacts.
However, Richard Firestone and his co-authors have researched an impact ‘Event’ the occurred 13,000 years ago and caused devastation in North America including the creation of the hundreds of thousands of Carolina Bays and some of the outbursts of Lake Missoula. Like Baillie, they claim that a memory of this event has been preserved in the folktales of many of the North American Indians. This book is a must-read for anyone interested in the latest developments in catastrophist research.
The destruction of Atlantis has been linked to a number of possible catastrophic events including earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, floods and asteroid strikes. Plato’s account cites a flood as the immediate cause of the disappearance of Atlantis. In the 18th century Giovanni Carli was probably the first to link a cometary encounter with the Earth as the cause of Atlantis’ demise. This idea has been supported by numerous writers ever since, with Emilio Spedicato being one of its leading exponents today.
There are numerous sites on the Internet relating to catastrophism of which one(a) can be recommended as a good starting point for further study. Andy Blackard has listed(b) events connected with global upheavals around 3200 and 2000 BC. An Australian archaeologist, Peter Jupp, is the creator of the Ancient Destructions website(e) which deals with a number of historical mysteries including, Baalbek and Antarctica.
A more recent book by Robert Argod postulates that many of these historical catastrophes were caused by an irregular series of accelerated tectonic movements, although he does not offer a credible mechanism to explain the triggering of such upheavals. Is it possible that the strikes by or near misses with extraterrestrial objects, proposed by so many, generated the tectonic shifts proposed by Argod?
Professor Trevor Palmer has written a comprehensive history of catastrophes and catastrophism from the earliest times and its relevance today. His Perilous Planet Earth includes a couple of chapters in which he reviews Atlantis theories in the context of catastrophism.
Dr Michel-Alain Combes has a PhD in astronomy from the Université Pierre et Marie Curie (Paris VI). He has an extensive website(i) dealing with catastrophism, which translates quite well.
2012 was been promoted as the date of the next worldwide catastrophe based on a highly questionable interpretation of the Mayan calendar. New Age gurus were promising a change in global consciousness, whatever that means. If interested you can read more of this nonsense online(c) or consider a more balanced view(d).
>A huge catastrophist bibliography (2010) is available online(m) with a 2020 update now available(o).<
(i) http://www.astrosurf.com/macombes/index.html (French)