Paulino Zamarro, born in 1947, in Cantalejo, Segovia, Spain and is now living in Madrid. He is an industrial engineer specialising in chemistry and has worked for over twenty years on environmental studies. Among his ecological publications, in Spanish, is a monograph on a wetland near his birthplace – The Lagoons of Catalejo.
He is also the author of Del Estrecho de Gibraltar a la Atlantida (From the Strait of Gibraltar to Atlantis), in which he puts forward a number of radical ideas. He first proposes that an isthmus at the Strait of Gibraltar had been created as a result of silting. He then claims that at the end of the last Ice Age this landbridge was breached leading to the destruction of Atlantis. Both Strato and Seneca refer to the breaking of the Gibraltar dam. Zamarro dates the breach to circa 5500 BC.
He places Atlantis in the Cyclades in the Eastern Mediterranean, which had originally been a single landmass and identifies a tiny island called Pori north of the island of Antikythera as the site of the Pillars of Heracles. Fifteen years later Christos A. Djonis proposed a location in the same region without giving any credit to Zamarro. He highlighted the multiplicity of locations that have been designated as the site of the ‘Pillars’.
To-date the book has only been published in Spanish, although Zamarro is anxious to have it published in English. His ideas are summarised on a website(a) promoting the book, which can be translated by your browser.
Zamarro has recently added a further site(b) where the first 100 pages of his book (in Spanish) can be read online. A revised second edition of his book was published in 2012 with the slightly shortened title of De Gibraltar a la Atlántida and also available in the Kindle format.
*(a) http://atlantida.webatu.com/ (offline July 2016) See: https://web.archive.org/web/20130528153632/http://atlantida.webatu.com/
(b) http://www.atlantidaegeo.com/ (link broken Jan. 2019) See: https://web.archive.org/web/20180806011857/http://www.atlantidaegeo.com*
Joseph Pitton de Tournefort (1656-1708) sometimes referred to as “the Father of Botany”, strayed from his chosen field when he suggested that Atlantis had been located in the Atlantic and that following an earthquake in the Mediterranean, the level of that sea rose causing an outflow into the Atlantic that swamped Atlantis. Sprague de Camp states that Tournefort got his idea from the Greek writer Strato of Lampsacus (c. 250 BC), who declared that the Black Sea had joined the Mediterranean when it overflowed into it and in a similar fashion the Mediterranean had joined the Atlantic.
Stel Pavlou (Atlantipedia.com) has traced Tournefort’s comments to the posthumously published Relation d’un voyage du Levant published in sets of two and three volumes. Kessinger has published a facsimile copy of volume 3 and the original French can also be read or downloaded from the Internet(a). An English translation was reportedly published in 1718.
J. Egerton ‘Bill’ Sykes (1894-1983) was born in London and served as a lieutenant during the First World War. He spoke several languages and as a Foreign Office official was able to travel widely and indulge his passion for studying ancient history. He was arguably the leading British Atlantologist of the 20th century and was ever the gentleman, but, in my opinion, somewhat gullible.
Just before the war Sykes was secretary to the British Legation in Warsaw. While there he had built up a collection of some hundreds of books relating to Atlantis. However, when the Germans invaded his library was seized by them(c).
Sykes founded the Atlantis Research Centre during World War II and was editor of Atlantis, a bi-monthly magazine that ran from 1948 until 1975. He also revised and edited a 1950 re-publication of Ignatius Donnelly’s Atlantis.
Sykes postulated that Atlantis had begun around 18000 BC and had been a large island in the centre of the Atlantic with the Mid-Atlantic Ridge as a spine, of which the Azores are today its remnants(b). From there he believed that its cultural influence spread both east and west, with Atlantis providing a convenient ‘stepping-stone’ between the two. In 1950, Sykes organised a highly publicised expedition(d), with diving equipment and underwater cameras, seeking artefacts from Atlantis in the vicinity of the Azores.
He also believed that the Mediterranean had been divided into two large freshwater lakes created by two landbridges at Gibraltar and Sicily, although he does not seem to back up this idea with any evidence, even though Strato and Seneca refer to the breaching of a dam at Gibraltar.
He was of the opinion that Atlantis had been destroyed by some kind of extraterrestrial impact. This idea led him to embrace some elements of Hans Hoerbiger’s controversial cosmological theories but was also open to consider variations on the impact theme such as that of Kamienski and others. Sykes also gathered worldwide myths and concluded that the biblical Deluge was concurrent with the flooding of Atlantis, around 11000 BC.
Sykes’ extensive library and papers, consisting of over 6,000 items, were purchased in 1979 by A.R.E., founded by Edgar Cayce. There is an official Egerton Sykes website that is worth studying(a) and where back issues of Sykes’ Atlantis magazine may be purchased.
The Strait of Gibraltar according to Greek mythology was created by Herakles. Neville Chipulina explains that “it seems that the person responsible for the myths about Hercules was Peisander of Rhodes, a 7th century BC Greek epic poet who apparently got the story from an unknown Pisinus of Lindus who almost certainly plagiarised it from somebody else. In other words it’s a pretty old story.”(c)
The Strait is very much a part of many current Atlantis theories. Primarily, it is contended that the region itself held the location of Atlantis. This is based on Plato’s statement that Eumelos, also known as Gadeirus, the twin brother of Atlas the first king of Atlantis gave his name to Gades, known today as Cadiz. Andalusia in Southern Spain has been the focus of attention for over a hundred years. In recent years Georgeos Diaz-Montexano and his rival Jacques Colina- Girard have been investigating the waters of the Strait itself while south of the Strait Jonas Bergman has advanced his theory that Atlantis was located just across the Strait in Morocco.
Although there is general acceptance that the Pillars of Heracles had their final resting place in the vicinity of the Strait of Gibraltar, it must be noted that there have been others candidates at different times with equally valid claims. The location of the ‘Pillars’ referred to by Plato at the time of Atlantis is the subject of continuing debate.
Strato, the philosopher, quoted by Strabo, spoke of a dam separating the Atlantic and the Mediterranean being breached by a cataclysm. This idea was reinforced by comment of Seneca. Furthermore, a number of Arabic writers, including Al-Mas’udi, Al-Biruni and Al-Idrisi, have all concurred with this idea of a Gibraltar land bridge in late prehistory.
A more radical theory is that of Paulino Zamarro who contends that the Strait was in fact closed by a landbridge during the last Ice Age because of the lower sea levels together with silting. When the waters rose and breached the landbridge, he believes that, the flood submerged Atlantis, which he situates in the Aegean. Others support Zamarro’s idea of a Gibraltar Dam amongst whom are Constantin Benetatos and Joseph S. Ellul.
Terry Westerman on his heavily illustrated website surveys impact craters globally. He suggests that “The Strait of Gibraltar was formed by two meteor impacts. The first blasted the round area in the western Mediterranean Sea to form a land bridge between Spain and Morocco.” He maintains that a second impact broke the landbridge around 5.33 million years ago, creating what is called the Zanclean Flood which refilled the then desiccated Mediterranean(d).
A German website(a) presented some of the following data+, apparently recording the dramatic widening of the Strait of Gibraltar between 400 BC and 400 AD. The same list was included in the ‘Strait of Gibraltar’ entry of the German Wikipedia(b) until a few years ago. It has since been dropped.
*Braghine start of 5th century BC – 0.8 km
*Euton 400 BC? – 6.4 km
+Damastes of Sigeum, circa 400 BC. – about 1.3 km
+Pseudo-Skylax, probably fourth Century BC – about 1.3 km
*Turiano Greslio? 300BC – 8.0 km
*+Titus Livius (Livy) 59 BC- 17 AD – 10.5 km
+Strabo 63 BC- 24 AD – from 9.5 to 13.0 km
+Pomponius Mela, 50 AD – about the 15.0 km
+Pliny the Elder, 50 AD – about 15.0 km
+Victor Vicensa (*Vitensa?), 400 AD – about 18 km
I have been unable to verify the earliest dates provided by Braghine and furthermore the German links have removed the relevant data, so I must advise that what is listed above be treated as suspect.
However, more recently, John Jensen Jnr. has offered a comparable, if shorter, numbers of dates showing the reducing width of the strait the further back you go until 3450 YBP, when he believes that a landbridge there was breached(e).
Georgeos Diaz-Montexano has also referred to the descriptions by ancient writers of the Strait of Gibraltar indicating a width of around two kilometres. Unfortunately, he does not cite references(f). He also is sympathetic to the existence an earlier landbridge at Gibraltar.
Hans Schindler Bellamy (1888-1970), appears to be one of the pseudonyms of Rudolf Elmayer von Vestenbrugg, a.k.a. Elmar Brugg. H. S. Bellamy, with one exception, was the pen name used on English language books. He was probably Austrian, or Anglo-Austrian as Trevor Palmer designates him[0888.127]. Furthermore, there is no clear agreement regarding the exact year or place of either his birth (sometimes 1901)(b) or death (sometimes 1982). Atlantisforschung.de records(c) his life as (1901-1982) and refers to a lecture that Bellamy gave in 1975 to the World Congress of the Ancient Astronaut Society in Zurich, which presumably he delivered while still alive. Until now, I have also been unable to locate any photos of Bellamy.
During the Nazi reign he wrote a number of regime friendly works under the name of Elmar Vinibert von Rudolf with the SA rank of Obersturmführer including a volume of SA stories covering the war years 1939/40. After the war he was usually published in the German language as Elmar Brugg.
Bellamy is probably best known for his adoption of some of the strange cosmological ideas of Hanns Hoerbiger, with whom he developed a friendship and has written about these theories in both English and German. He gathered an extensive collection of worldwide myths to support the view that the Earth had lost a previous moon and captured our present satellite within the last 50,000 years. He developed his views in his first book, Moons, Myths and Man which was published shortly before the Second World War. After the war Bellamy was instrumental in establishing the British Hoerbiger Institute which contributed to Egerton Sykes’ bi-monthly Atlantis magazine.
Bellamy wrote a short monograph for the Hoerbiger Institute’s newsletter in March 1948, in which he reiterated his belief that the capture of our Moon caused the destruction of Atlantis(d).
In 1949 Bellamy was invited by Sykes to visit Britain, presumably from Austria, and give lectures on Hörbiger’s theories. In Vol.1 No.6 of Atlantean Research there is an article(a) written by Bellamy, he seems to be ingratiating himself with the British with glowing references to the Pound Sterling. This could be interpreted as part of a process of rehabilitation following his wartime activities.
He directly dissects the Atlantis story in his book, The Atlantis Myth, in which he never misses an opportunity to link the details of the Plato’s narrative with the ‘captured Moon’ theory of Hoerbiger. He also refers (p.78) to classical writers such as Strato and Seneca who wrote, “that originally the Straits of the Pillars (Straits of Gibraltar) did not exist, but the rock was eventually broken through in a cataclysm.” Bellamy logically comments that such an event could only be known if there were witnesses to it.
He also produced a volume, The Book of Revelation is History, devoted to demonstrating that the last book of the New Testament is in fact a coded description of the catastrophes that accompanied the capture of our moon. He claimed that the reference to the ten horns is an allusion to the ten Atlantean kings. He also interpreted the Book of Jeremiah I & II as well as Ezekiel as containing references to aspects of the Atlantis story.
Bellamy devoted a lot of his energies to the study of Tiahuanaco and co-authored two books with Peter Allan (1898-1974) on the subject. Both Bellamy and Allan were awarded honorary professorships in the University of La Paz in recognition of their work at Tiahuanaco.
He believed that he had found evidence of a shorter year of 290 days in ancient times but within the memory of man. Bellamy studied the calendar on the Sun Gate of Tiahuanaco and believed that he had found evidence of a shorter year of 290 days in ancient times but within the memory of man. He subscribed to the theory that a pre-lunar satellite orbited our planet 100,000 years ago and that it rotated so close to the Earth, eventually crashing into it, that it caused a more rapid rotation of our planet!
What appears to have been his last book was published in German shortly after his death and once again he wrote of the possibility and consequences of cosmic collisions. Unusually, this book was published with the authorship credited jointly to both Rudolf Elmayer von Vestenbrugg and H.S. Bellamy.
(d) http://www.theflatearthsociety.org/home/index.php/flat-earth-library/pamphlets-and-journals (Hoerbiger Monograph No. 1. 2nd Edition. March, 1948)
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 for early Mediterranean influences in the Americas and particularly the work of the controversial Barry Fell,*who identified North African scripts on markers at a number of locations in North Amrica. Arecchi sees this as support for his Atlantis location off the coast of today’s Tunisia and that there was trans-Atlantic Atlantean influence!
In fairness, the contentious opinions of Fell deserve a look, so a vindication of his epigraphic work(h) should also be read, as well as further corroboration by more recent DNA studies(i).*
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)
A Gibraltar Landbridge or Dam is generally accepted to have existed on a number of occasions during the earth’s history. There is a broad consensus among geologists that the last time a totally enclosed and desiccated Mediterranean had its barrier to the Atlantic breached was around 5.3 million years ago. One well-illustrated website(h) attributes this rupture to a meteor impact!
Today, we generally think of the Strait of Gibraltar as the only gateway between the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, while in fact there is evidence that millions of years ago the Strait was closed but that there were other access routes between the two bodies of water(n). The Betic Corridor in the north, which later became part of the Spanish Guadalquivir Basin and the Rifian Corridor in the south, in what is now Morocco.
However, a number of experts in different fields (noted by Van Sertima) have opted to suggest a more recent landbridge, perhaps 120,000 years ago, in order to explain some of the faunal migrations from Africa to the Iberian Peninsula. The 18th century writer Georges-Louis Buffon speculated as early as 1749 on the existence of a Gibraltar Dam. Alexander Braghine refers[156.21] to a Bishop Tollerat, a contemporary of Bory de Saint Vincent, claiming that a Gibraltar landbridgen was breached by an earthquake and led to the submergence of Atlantis. Unfortunately, I have been unable to track down Tollerat.
Even popular fiction featured the idea of a Gibraltar landbridge. In 1869, Mark Twain in chapter 7 of Innocents Abroad voiced a then current theory that there had been dry land between Gibraltar and North Africa allowing the passage northward of the so-called ‘Barbary apes’ that live on the ‘Rock’ today.
In 1921, H.G.Wells, in The Outline of History, offered a graphic, although speculative, description of the breaching of the Gibraltar Dam(g). He wrote that “This refilling of the Mediterranean, which by the rough chronology we are employing in this book may have happened somewhen between 30,000 and 10,000 B.C., must have been one of the greatest single events in the pre-history our race.”
Manuel Sánchez de Ocaña was the Spanish Lieuenant General during the 1909 war in Africa. In a rare 1935 book, Accion de España en Africa(a) (Spanish Action in Africa) he refers to the ancient isthmus that linked Spain and North Africa as well as landbridges linking Europe and America on which he believed Atlantis had been situated.
François de Sarre (1947- ) a noted French evolutionary zoologist who has proposed that a landbridge had existed at Gibraltar, which was only destroyed in relatively recent times, possibly in the second millennium BC. In support of his view he quotes Pomponius Mela, Diodorus Siculus and Pliny.*He has also published a paper, in English, supporting his opinion with a spectrum of faunal evidence(k).*
Others have ventured further and proposed that a dam existed within the experience of man and that its last destruction led to the sinking of Atlantis that many claim was located in the Mediterranean. H. S. Bellamy refers to Strato quoted by Strabo, declaring that originally the strait did not exist but that the barrier was broken through in a cataclysm. Bellamy also quotes Seneca describing how Spain was separated from Africa by earthquakes. Neither of these references could have originated without human witnesses.
Alexander Braghine also added to the idea of a relatively recent landbridge when he wrote[156.139] “We possess a whole series of records of the width of these Straits, left by ancient and medieval writers of various centuries. At the beginning of the fifth century B.C. the width was only half a mile, but the writer Euton in 400 B.C., estimated it at 4 miles; Turiano Greslio, in 300 B.C., at 5 miles; and Titus Livius, at the beginning of the Christian Era, at 7 miles. Victor Vitensa, in A.D. 400, gives the width of the Straits as equal to 12 miles, and at present it is 15 miles wide.”
C. M. Hardy subscribed to the view that there had been a dam at Gibraltar that was breached around 4500 BC with such a force that it also led to the destruction of a landbridge between Tunisia and Italy. He believed that remnants of Atlantis will be found in the seas around Greece.
C. S. Rafinesque, the famous naturalist, claimed that there was a Gibraltar landbridge that was destroyed 654 years after Noah’s Flood. These claims are to be found in chapter 14 of Vol II of The American Nations published in 1836. This volume can now be downloaded for free(e). A creationist website(i) links the breaching of the landbridge with Noah’s Deluge, which the author claims not only flooded the Mediterranean but also spilled into the Black Sea, the Red Sea and also the Persian Gulf. (see below)
The standard argument against the landbridge theory is that although the Atlantic was dramatically lower during the last Ice Age it was not sufficient to expose a land bridge between Spain and Africa at Gibraltar. However, it should be noted that the underwater sill between the Atlantic and the Mediterranean would have been much higher than now. When we consider that the breaching of a landbridge at Gibraltar would have caused an incredible flow of water through the breach (hundreds of times the flow of Niagara Falls), scouring its bottom, so that by the time the levels in the Atlantic and the Mediterranean had equalised, the erosion of the sill between them would have been considerable and when viewed today would misleadingly suggest that the Mediterranean had not have been completely cut off from the Atlantic during the last Ice Age. For the future, the consequence of this is that when (not if) the next Ice Age begins the ocean levels will have to drop even lower if the Mediterranean is to be isolated from the Atlantic once again. An example of what a sudden release of large bodies of water can do is visible in the scablands of North America, created by the breaching of the glacial dam retaining Lake Missoula.
The Spanish researcher Paulino Zamarro contends, in his 2000 book, Del Estrecho de Gibraltar a la Atlantida that a Gibraltar dam was created by silting when the Atlantic was very much lower during the last Ice Age and that it lasted until 7,500 years ago when it was breached and destroyed Atlantis, which he locates in the Cyclades, with the island of Melos containing its capital city. Details of his theory can be found on the Internet(d). A larger version of Zamarro’s map is shown below.
Other researchers such as Constantin Benetatos maintain that this idea is supported by comments of ancient writers who suggest that at one time the Mediterranean had no existence. The philosopher Strato supported by Seneca refer to the sundering of such a dam linking Europe and Africa. The same idea was expressed by Diodorus Siculus, who said that Africa and Europe were joined and separated by Heracles. Such ideas could only have arisen if there had been a Gibraltar Dam far more recently than the conventionally accepted 5.3 million years ago. The lowering of the ocean levels at the beginning of the last Ice Age and the exposure of a landbridge or dam between Spain and Morocco would have had the effect of drying out the Mediterranean due to the fact that loss of water through evaporation in the region is greater than the amount of water from rivers that feed into it.
It is worth considering that although the catastrophic breaching of the Bosporus and consequent expansion of the Black Sea is generally accepted as fact, there are no specific legends to support it apart from a reappraisal of the Flood of Noah. Therefore, it is not unreasonable to point out that a lack of local myth or legend relating to a breaching of a Gibraltar Dam is not proof that such an event did not occur. Furthermore, the area around the mouth of the Mediterranean is geologically unstable and could have been subjected to seismic activity that could have breached or even blocked the strait.
Alberto Arecchi agrees(a) with the concept of an historical land bridge at Gibraltar, but places its breach to around 2300 BC. As already intimated, Constantin Benetatos also believes(b) in the existence of the Gibraltar Dam. Joseph S. Ellul the Maltese writer was probable the first modern author to link the breaching of a Gibraltar landbridge with the destruction of Atlantis, which he claims to have been located adjacent to Malta. He identifies this submergence of Atlantis by the waters of the Atlantic with Noah’s Flood. Ellul interprets Genesis 7:11, 8:2, which refers to the “fountains of the great deep” bursting forth, as a reference to the collapse of the Gibraltar Dam. David Hatcher Childress also supports the idea of such a landbridge and has ventured a date of around 9000 BC for its collapse[620.261] and the consequent flooding of a desiccated Mediterranean.
Georgeos Diaz-Montexano, who has been searching for Atlantis off the coast of Spain and Gibraltar, has favourably referred to Zamarro’s silting theory and included the illustration, shown above, from Zamarro’s book on his websites. A further reference to silting can be read on another website(f).
When the Mediterranean eventually filled up, it is highly probable that it was then that the pressure of its waters led to the flooding of the Black Sea. It is reported that there are scouring marks at the entrance to the Black Sea that are very similar to those at Gibraltar. The date of the putative collapse of the Gibraltar Dam would therefore be marginally earlier, while the Mediterranean basins filled, than the accepted date for the breaching of the Bosporus currently calculated to have been around 5600 BC.
Robert Sarmast’s apparently dormant theory of Atlantis submerged off the coast of Cyprus under what is now a mile of water is totally dependent on the existence of a Gibraltar Dam during the last Ice Age and it being subsequently breached when the level of the Atlantic rose or the even more improbable lowering of the seafloor by a mile, as a consequence of seismic/tectonic activity in the region.
On the basis of evidence(c) offered by the quoted classical writers, the fact that sea levels rose hundreds of feet after the last Ice Age and examples of water damage to temples on elevated ground in Malta and nuraghi in Sardinia it is not unreasonable to conclude that a rupturing of a landbridge at Gibraltar within the last ten thousand year was possible if not probable.
The most dramatic suggestion regarding the creation of the Strait of Gibraltar has been offered by Terry Westerman(l), who has proposed that the rupturing of the landbridge was caused by two meteor impacts.
However, all that must be reconciled with the scientific findings of Kenneth Hsu who dated the last opening of the Gibraltar Strait to 5.5 million years ago(m).
(b) See: Archive 2365
The Aegean Sea is located in the eastern Mediterranean, bounded by the Greek mainland in the north and west, Turkey in the east and extending to Crete in the south. In 1899, R.F. Scharff claimed that it was commonly accepted that the Aegean had been dry land until after the appearance of man(c). Zhirov wrote of this landmass being referred to as ‘Aegeida’ before it subsided to form the Aegean Sea [0458.96], but he doubted that it occurred before ‘thinking man’ arrived there.
The importance of the Aegean to the ancient Greeks is highlighted by Plato, when he described their relationship as one where the Greeks “are like frogs around a pond.” (Phaedo 109a-b)
A 280-page overview of the Aegean civilisations from the Neolithic to the Hellenistic period(f) is worth a look.
It can be reasonably argued that initially the Greeks had little knowledge of the world beyond the Aegean, which might explain why Plato did not seem to know the exact identity of the Atlanteans. In this regard a quote from an AtlantisOnline forum seems relevant – “There is evidence, moreover, that the Greeks were restricted by the Phoenicians to the Aegean Sea for a period of many centuries from 1200 BC onwards, and Naval Historians attribute this to the availability exclusively to the Phoenicians of two elements in ship construction, namely long straight cedar timbers (compared to short sinuous olive timbers available to the Greeks) and Bronze for fixings, claddings and battering rams, which were used in battle to perforate hulls, sinking the enemy.”(e)
Many researchers have suggested the Aegean as a possible location for Atlantis with Thera and Crete as the leading contenders. In fact, it is Thera, with its dramatic volcanic eruption, in the middle of the second millennium BC that still manages to command considerable support after nearly one hundred years since it was first mooted. Its advocates view it as the most likely source of inspiration for Plato’s tale, in spite of the fact that it conflicts with many of the details described by him.
One regular blogger, ‘mapmistress’, has proposed (2010) that the Pillars of Heracles were situated at Rhodes with Atlantis situated north of the island in the Aegean. This suggestion is based on the claim that all English translations of Timaeus 24e are ‘botched’ and that the original does not say “larger than Libya and Asia together” but instead should read “north of Libya and west of Asia”! In fact she goes further with the claim that the very word ‘Atlantis’ was invented by Benjamin Jowett!(d)
Three Italian linguists, Facchetti, Negri and Notti, presented a paper to the Atlantis conference on Melos outlining their reasons for supporting an Aegean backdrop to the Atlantis story. Another paper was presented by four members of the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research which demonstrates how three-quarters of the Cyclades Plateau was submerged between 16000 BC and 6000 BC as the sea levels rose after the last Ice Age. Kurt Lambeck and Anthony Purcell also presented a paper along similar lines.
Paulino Zamarro has offered a very radical theory, outlined in his book, which claims that Atlantis was located in the Aegean, with its capital on Melos, at a time when sea levels were lower and the islands more extensive in area, with some of them joined together. He postulates an isthmus or land bridge between Gibraltar and Morocco, which he believes was breached around 5500 BC. An idea supported by Strato and Seneca. He contends that this breach not only flooded the Aegean but also was also responsible for the subsequent inundation of the Black Sea, which until then was a smaller freshwater lake.
Recent studies have revealed(b) the extent of very early seafaring in the Aegean can be pushed back to around 10,000 BC with evidence of obsidian trading at that period. However, the lower sea level at that time would have meant that the Aegean islands would have been much larger with shorter distances, if any, between them, so it may be unwise to read too much into the obsidian evidence.*A 2018 article pushes back Mediterranean seagoing even further(h). Consider how this evidence may relate to Plato’s comment that when Atlantis was established “at that time neither ships nor sailing were as yet in existence” (Crit.113e)*
In 1998 William Ryan and Walter Pitman published their evidence for the enlargement of the Black Sea with seawater. The book received widespread attention that led to a subsequent expedition to the area by Robert Ballard, the famous discoverer of the Titanic.
However, Zamarro’s ideas have received very little notice, probably because he has only been published in Spanish. His theory regarding the silting and closure of the mouth of the Mediterranean deserves further consideration, as its confirmation would have a profound effect on the course of future studies of the prehistory of the region and in particular Atlantology.
A recent recruit to the ‘Atlantis in the Aegean’ camp is Christos A, Djonis with his theory that Atlantis lay in the Aegean Sea, to the north of Thera , which itself contained the capital city of the Atlantean confederation. He makes no reference to Zamarro, who proposed a similar location fifteen years ago and consequently, considers Djonis’ work as a form of plagiarism! Apart from that, my gripe is that Djonis wastes over half his book discussing UFOs and ancient astronauts. Another proponent of a Theran Atlantis is Elias Stergakos, who also published his short book on the Minoan Hypothesis in 2014.
J.P. Rambling on his Redefining Atlantis website(g) has now added his support to the concept of an Aegean Atlantis, situated on a large landmass, now mostly submerged, and which included what is now Santorini.
What I cannot understand is that if Atlantis had existed in the Aegean, why did Plato not simply say so?
(d) http://pseudoastro.wordpress.com/2009/02/01/planet-x-and-2012-the-pole-shift-geographic-spin-axis-explained-and-debunked/ (about half way down page)