An A-Z Guide To The Search For Plato's Atlantis

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Joining The Dots


Joining The Dots

I have now published my new book, Joining The Dots, which offers a fresh look at the Atlantis mystery. I have addressed the critical questions of when, where and who, using Plato's own words, tempered with some critical thinking and a modicum of common sense.


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Zia Abbas

Enoch

Enoch was the seventh patriarch in the book of Genesis. However there appears to be two Enochs in the Bible(d), one fathered by Cain, the other by Jared! He is also regarded as the inventor of astrology, while Eusebius Enochconsidered Atlas its originator, suggesting that the two were the same person.  Lewis Spence in The Occult Sciences in Atlantis[260] frequently touched on the subject of Enoch, equating him with Atlas and telling us that in Arabic and Welsh, Enoch is known as Edris.

One of the many odd details regarding Enoch is that while the patriarchs that preceded and succeeded him are recorded as having lived eight and nine hundred years, he was only given 365 years before being ‘taken by god’ without dying. He has been cited by many as the inventor of alchemy. Enoch is also identified with Atlas by Pseudo-Eupolemus, attributed to a Samaritan source around 300 BC. This suggestion is comparable with the idea of equating the Egyptian god Shu with Atlas.

In Genesis 4:16-17 it is recorded that Cain was building a city and that he named it after his son Enoch. One commentator suggested that Enoch, the city, was the archetype for Atlantis the city(e).

Rather oddly, Philip Ochieng, an African writer, contends that Cain was in fact Enoch(a).  Equally bizarre is the claim by Zia Abbas in Chapter 8 of his magnum opus[0001]   that Enoch established Atlantis! Of course, he offers no evidence to support this notion.

It is quite clear that the interesting but mysterious Enoch has done little but generate wide-ranging speculation including a completely unsubstantiated link with Plato’s Atlantis(b). Eusebius the 4th century bishop of Caesarea wrote that Enoch was Atlas, king of Atlantis (Praep. Ev., ix, 17).

The Book of Enoch, also known as 1 Enoch, is a 2nd century BC Jewish religious document whose content is traditionally attributed to Enoch, the great grandfather of Noah. It was lost for centuries but rediscovered in the 19th century and brought from Ethiopia, then known as Abyssinia and translated into English by Archbishop Richard Laurence. This can now be read on or downloaded from the Internet(c).

(a) http://archaeologica.boardbot.com/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=2026

(b)  http://www.fbrt.org.uk/pages/essays/essay-enoch.html (offline 26/12/15)

(c) http://reluctant-messenger.com/1enoch01-60.htm

(d) http://www.timelessmyths.com/mirrors/enoch.php (offline)

(e) http://genesisfacts.wordpress.com/2013/01/30/the-city-of-enoch/ (offline, 01/08/14)

 

 

Sundaland

SundalandSundalandis the name of a large biogeographical region of South East Asia, a large portion of which had been above sea level during the last Ice Age and later inundated as the glaciers retreated. The term was apparently first used[1629] in 1949 by R.W. van Bemmelen (1868-1941) and later by other authorities.

It is worth noting that it is now generally accepted that South East Asia was probably the entry point of modern humans from Africa. Human traces have been found in Papua New Guinea that have been dated to around 40,000 BC.

Some authors have specifically claimed a clear link between Sundaland and Plato’s Atlantis. The Sunda Sub-Oceanic Plain is large enough to match Plato’s description of Atlantis. Its topography, climate, flora and fauna together with aspects of local mythologies, all permit a convincing case to be made to support this idea.

C.W. Leadbeater (1854-1934) who was a prominent theosophist was perhaps the first to suggest a link between Atlantis and Indonesia in his book, The Occult History of Java [1094] , which is now available online(f).

Other investigators have written on the prehistory of the region of whom the best known is probably Stephen Oppenheimer who firmly locates the Garden of Eden in this region[004], although he makes little reference to Atlantis. More recently, Robert Schoch, in collaboration with Robert Aquinas McNally, wrote a book[455] in which they suggest that pyramid building may have had its origins in a civilisation that flourished on parts of Sundaland that are now submerged.

The first book to specifically identify Sundaland with Atlantis was written by Zia Abbas[001]. However, prior to its publication the Internet offered at least two sites that discussed in detail the case for Atlantis in South East Asia. William Lauritzen(a) and the late Professor Arysio Nunes dos Santos(b) developed extensive websites. Lauritzen has also written an e-book that is available from his site, while Santos developed his views on an Asian Atlantis in another recent book[320]. Dr Sunil Prasannan has an interesting essay on Graham Hancock’s website(c). A more esoteric site(d) also offers support for the Sundaland theory.

An Indonesian researcher, Panji R. Hadinoto, has published on his website(e) a 32 point checklist purporting to ‘prove’ that Atlantis was located on Sundaland. Unfortunately, this checklist is not original but copied from the work of Professor dos Santos.

April 2015 saw further support for an Indonesian Atlantis with the publication of a book[1093] by hydraulic engineer, Dhani Irwanto, who endeavours to identify features of the lost city with details in Plato’s account with a site in the Java Sea off the coast of the island of Kilmantan. He has now published a YouTube video in support of his theory(h).

*In 2019, Irwanto published two new books, the first, Sundaland: Tracing the Cradle of Civilisations [1618], in which he offers a compelling case for considering emigrants from a submerging Sundaland as bringers of embryonic civilisation to other lands, where it flourished and developed local variants. It crossed my mind that Irwanto’s contention might explain the origins of the likes of the Sumerian civilisation, among others, which have never been satisfactorily settled!

The second book, Land of Punt [1628], is another interesting offering in which the author suggests that Punt and the biblical Ophir can be equated with Atlantis, located in Sundaland.*

A 2016 series of graphics shows the gradual inundation of Sundaland from 18,000 BC onwards(g).

Thorwald C. Franke has drawn attention(j) to a recent controversy in Malaya where historian Zaharah Sulaiman has claimed that the Malay set of mtDNA is 63,000 years old, dating back to a time long before the submergence of Sundaland. It seems that Sulaiman had built her claim on some of Oppenheimer’s writings. This veiled suggestion of some sort of racial superiority, through antiquity, was disputed locally.(i)

(a) http://www.earth360.com/index.shtml

(b) http://www.atlan.org

(c) http://www.grahamhancock.com/underworld/DrSunilAtlantis.php

*(d) http://www.tylwythteg.com/atlantis/southchina.html (offline June 2015) See: https://web.archive.org/web/20060508140324/http://www.tylwythteg.com/atlantis/southchina.html*

(e) http://jakarta45.wordpress.com/2009/10/26/pengkajian-benua-atlantis-tempo-doeloe-di-nusantara/

(f) http://theosophists.org/library/books/occult-history-of-java/

(g) http://i.imgur.com/5l16wXp.gifv

(h) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JT23A12-tDc&feature=youtu.be

(i) https://www.malaymail.com/s/1661519/arguing-against-malays-sundaland-origins

(j) Atlantis-Newsletter 120

 

Dilmun

Dilmun (Tilmun) is a legendary island paradise referred to in the mythology of Sumeria. Today, Bahrain is generally believed to harbour the location of this renowned city.

*However, in 1983, Daniel Potts published a paper(c) which does not challenge the prevailing identification, but instead suggested that it is necessary “to both broaden and restrict the identification of Dilmun, according to the particular time in history to which one is referring.” He traces the use of the name in Mesopotamian texts as early as 3000 BC. He contends that Dilmun was applied to eastern Arabia by Early Dynastic Sumerians and that later power shifted to Bahrain with the name, Dilmun, which possibly applied to the island as well as part of mainland Arabia. Then around 2000 BC the use of the appellation appears to have been extended to include the island of Failaka, off Kuwait. Potts suggests that subsequently Failaka may have replaced Bahrain as the centre of Dilmun.*

Thirty years ago George Michanowsky proposed[282] that the Sumerian inscription NI-DUK-KI was the equivalent of the Akkadian ‘Dilmun’ and that it probably referred to Bahrain. He went further and identified Dilmun as Atlantis, which he contended was inundated when sea levels rose as a consequence of global warming caused by a supernova that was noted by the Sumerians 7,000 years ago.

However, in 2001 Radek Brychta published a book[203] that refutes this. Instead, he identifies Dilmun with the Indus civilisation city of Dholavira and proceeds to argue cogently for its acceptance as the original inspiration behind Plato’s Atlantis tale. He contends that the city declined at the end of the 3rd or beginning of the 2nd millennium BC as a result of natural catastrophes in the region. Brychta notes how flooding created swamps that impeded access to Dholavira reminiscent of Plato’s shoals preventing navigation where Atlantis had subsided. Brychta outlines the contacts between the Indus civilisation and Sumeria and between Sumeria and Egypt and proposes this as the route of the story of Dholavira’s demise, which eventually was related to Solon. Brachta’s book was published in the Czech Republic but extensive excerpts are available on the Internet(a) and well worth a viewing.

Brachta’s theory is supported by Yashwant Koak, who is due to publish a book on his concept of Atlantis in India. Koak claims that investigations at Dholavira have shown a 92% match with Plato’s description of Atlantis.

*The imaginative Zia Abbas also links Dilmun with Atlantis, but places it further east in Indonesia[001.28].*

The Malagaybay website has an interesting illustrated article about Dilmun.(b)

(a) http://www.i-atlantis.com/enindex.htm (Offline)

(b) https://malagabay.wordpress.com/2016/10/26/the-arabian-horizon-the-lost-lands-dilmun/ 

*(c) https://www.academia.edu/5789959/Potts_1983_-_Dilmun_Where_and_when?email_work_card=view-paper*

Atlantology

Atlantology as a distinct field of study is accepted by most to have begun with the works of Ignatius Donnelly, however flawed many of his ideas may have been. Since Donnelly, it has developed into a very complex multidisciplinary subject. Students of the topic are known today as Atlantologists although an earlier designation was Atlantists, a term now used to describe supporters of political and economic co-operation between the USA and western Europe. The inventive Zia Abbas prefers to use the term ‘Atlantisology’!

N. Zhirov, the leading Russian Atlantologist, has offered the following formal definition of the subject: “It may be regarded as a department of the biogeography of the modern, Quaternary period (Anthropogen) of the Earth’s geological history, a department chronologically relating to the period of the emergence of intelligent man, a period directly preceding our historical epoch beginning with the last glaciation.” He believed that Atlantis was primarily a geological problem that could only be resolved through a study of the geological history of the Atlantic Ocean.

A less cumbersome definition might be “the study of all aspects of Plato’s references to Atlantis”

A forum dealing with Atlantology(a) and suggested parameters for its study may be found interesting by readers. I personally disagree with a number of the headings proposed for inclusion, such as ‘Rudolf Steiner’, ‘Ireland & Tara’ and ‘Shangri-la’, as I consider them unrelated to Plato’s Atlantis.

Over the years that I have spent compiling Atlantipedia it became clear that different theories became ‘fashionable’ from time to time, because of new discoveries, the opinions of prominent individuals or as a consequence of heavily publicised books. The 15th century saw Gutenberg develop the printing press in 1436 and the first complete works of Plato, translated by Marsilio Ficino were published in 1484, so when Columbus discovered the New World in 1492, there were many who speculatively identified the Americas as Plato’s Atlantis. This idea persisted until the end of the 19th century*and even today some think it a possibility.*

More specifically, when the monumental structures of the Maya and Incas were gradually revealed to Europeans, once again a link with Atlantis was proposed for South America and still has some support today.

However the most popular and enduring theory is that Atlantis had been situated in the Atlantic Ocean, with the Azores as the prime candidate. It received a boost in support with the discovery of the Mid Atlantic Ridge in the 19th century and was used by Ignatius Donnelly in the formulation of his Atlantis theory.

In 1872, the elements of the Minoan Hypothesis began to appear when Louis Figuier was first to link Atlantis with the 2nd millennium eruption of Thera. Today, this idea is probably the most accepted, apart from the Atlantic location.

There are many other theories regarding Atlantis, some more exotic than others, but, in my opinion, none that match all the criteria that can be gleaned from Plato’s account, although their authors would disagree.

In 1971, John S. Bowman [193] apparently coined the term ‘atlantist’ as an improvement on ‘atlantologist’ to describe those who have a keen interest in the study of Atlantis.

A potted history of Atlantology from Donnelly until Sykes, is available at the Atlantis Online website(b).

(a) http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread412294/pg1

(b) http://atlantisonline.smfforfree2.com/index.php?action=printpage;topic=778.0

Indonesia

Indonesia in recent years have seen an increasing number of supporters for the idea of Atlantis being located in the vicinity of today’s archipelago, prior to the ending of the last Ice Age, on the submerged continental shelf now frequently referred to as Sundaland. The redating of cave paintings on the island of Sulawesi suggests that they are as old as any in Europe(h), possibly stretching back as far as 40,000 years. A 2016 report(j) has now pushed back the earliest human occupation on Sulawesi to 100,000 years ago.

indonesiaAs far as I can ascertain the earliest suggested linkage between Atlantis and Indonesia came from the leading Theosophist, C. W.Leadbeater (1854-1934). In a booklet, The Occult History of Java[1094],  published in 1951 he proposed that Java had been an Atlantean colony.

However, it is reported(g) that Sukarno (1901-1970), the first president of Indonesia, spoke of Atlantis nearly half a century ago when he located it in the Atlantic

William Lauritzen was probably the first to advocate this idea of a Sundaland connection on his website, but it seems that the concept was given a huge boost by the publication of the late professor Arysio Nunes dos Santosbook Atlantis: The Lost Continent Finally Found[320].

The idea was given a boost in February 2012 when it was reported(a) by a somewhat incredulous Jakarta Post that the Indonesian president had given his support to a search for an ancient sunken civilisation in Indonesian waters following meetings with researchers including British author Stephen Oppenheimer.

May 2013 saw The Jakarta Post report(b) the publication of a book by local geologist, Danny Hilman Natawidjaja in which he claims that Atlantis was part of prehistoric Indonesia. In the book, entitled Penemuan Atlantis Nusantara (The Discovery of Atlantis in the Archipelago) he claims to base his theory on Plato’s text. However, commenting on the book the Indonesian archaeologist Daud Aris Tanudirjo said that Natawidjaja’s claim was ‘premature’, pointing out that the author had only an English translation of Plato’s text to work with and suggesting that Natawidjaja had no knowledge of ancient Greek. Further background information was subsequently made available(c).

Natawidjaja also claims that a site at Gunung Padang, 120 km southwest of Jakarta may be more than 9,000 years old! Graham Hancock   has expanded on this idea(e). Nevertheless, a recent assault on Natawidjaja’s theories in an open letter(m) from Rebecca Bradley, has laid bare the weaknesses in his contentions.

In 2015 Dahni Irwanto published Atlantis: The lost city is in Java Sea[1093], in which he located the biblical Garden of Eden and the legendary island of Taprobane on the Indonesian island of Kilimantan (Borneo) and placed Atlantis off its coast.*Irwanto has built on the work of  Santos, expanding Santos’ 32-checklist to 60 headings. In his well illustrated book Irwanto goes further with the suggestion that Atlantean Indonesia was a cultural centre from which post-diluvian refugees spread throughout the world influencing the great civilisations of Asia, the Mediterranean and the Americas.(p.143) He subsequently published Sundaland: Tracing the Cradle of Civilization (1618) in which he develops his idea that ancient Indonesia was a hyperdiffusionist hub. Although I found this book interesting, I thought it over speculative.

While Irwanto’s theories may be hard to accept, at least he presents then in a rational coherent manner, the same cannot be said of Turangga Seta, an Indonesian Atlantis-obsessed group, who place Atlantis in the Java Sea. Their leader, Timmy Hartadi, explains that their beliefs are based on psychic conversations with their ancestors! (n)*

Coincidentally, Delisle de Sales, writing in the 18th century cited an anonymous source who placed Atlantis in Taprobane, considered at the time to be a reference to Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), not Irwanto’s Indonesian Kilmantan.

A short April 2016 blog(k) suggests that Quranic Archaeology may be used to support the idea of an Indonesian Atlantis, a sentiment expressed again a month later(l).

(a) http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2012/02/03/president-s-men-quest-find-atlantis.html (offline Apr.2016) See: Archive 3629

(b) http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2013/05/28/ri-was-home-atlantis-says-geologist.html

(c) http://ksj.mit.edu/tracker/2013/05/indonesian-geologist-says-region-perfect

(d) http://www.dailygrail.com/Sacred-Sites/2013/7/Indonesian-Megalithic-Site-Could-Be-More-9000-Years-Old-And-Part-Ancient-Pyramid

(e) http://www.sott.net/article/271881-Gunung-Padang-The-lost-records-of-Atlantis

(f) http://theosophists.org/library/books/occult-history-of-java/

(g) http://www.berdikarionline.com/bung-karnoisme/20121108/ketika-bung-karno-membicarakan-atlantis.html

(h) http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/rockart-ages-indonesian-cave-paintings-are-40000-years-old-180952970/?no-ist

(i) http://atlantisjavasea.com/tag/plato/

(j) http://media.uow.edu.au/releases/UOW208488.html

(k) http://www.islamsejati.com/2016/03/ahli-arkeologi-fakta-dari-al-quran.html  (offline Jan. 2017)

(l) http://www.kesehatan-media.com/2016/05/subhanallah-al-quran-menguatkan.html (Offline May 2017) See: https://web.archive.org/web/20160714100743/http://www.kesehatan-media.com/2016/05/subhanallah-al-quran-menguatkan.html

(m) http://www.skepticink.com/lateraltruth/2017/05/14/gunung-padang-open-letter-danny/

*(n) https://www.vice.com/en_asia/article/zmpne3/atlantis-location-java-sea-indonesia-proof*

Also See: Zia Abbas, Sunil Prasannan and Panji R. Hadinoto

Abbas, Zia

Zia Abbas, according to his own website(a), is a computer scientist and works as a freelance software engineer and consultant for many companies. He is the author of Atlantis: The Final Solution[001] in which he claims to prove that Plato’s Atlantis is to be found in the South China Sea. The core proposal of this book is that Atlantis was located on the continental shelf in the South China Sea, Zia Abbasknown as Sundaland, which was exposed before the end of the last Ice Age, when it was inundated as the glaciers retreated. According to Abbas, this large landmass contained the original Atlantis and was known as Idress. It is quite probable that early urban settlements did exist along the coast and at the river mouths of Sundaland, and were subsequently flooded. However, it is quite improbable that the flooding of these towns and villages were the inspiration for the Atlantis of Plato. Remember that at the same time, similar inundations were taking place much closer to home in the Mediterranean and the Atlantic and these events are more likely to have been remembered in the legends and myths familiar to Plato. The prehistoric flooding of the Sundaland region is covered extensively in Stephen Oppenheimer’s Eden in the East[004].

Abas is no trailblazer, as the idea of Atlantis in this region has been advocated since 1997 by investigators such as the late Professor Arysio Nunes dos Santos(b) and William Lauritzen(c).  Abbas’ theory is just a poor rehash of their ideas and his particular book has done little to advance their acceptance.

On the first page, Abbas claims that Atlantis was a republic, which seems rather strange for a confederation ruled by ten kings. He states that Athena was a ‘god’ of Atlantis, a claim that would have surprised Plato. Abbas also asserts that Atlantis is to be found in the Old Testament under the name of Enoch!

Further incongruity is encountered when we find that Abbas’ website includes a technical paper on Gravitation and Special Relativity.

This book is high on speculation and low on science. For many, the author’s credibility will completely vanish as soon as they encounter references to reptilian aliens a la David Icke, artificial structures on Mars or a hollow Earth. This is all a far cry from the Dialogues of Plato and probably explains the poor reviews that the book has received. Abbas also provides a website(c) that does very little to add to his cause.

*There has been little heard from Abbas in recent years, when the Atlantis in Sundaland theory has been advocated more strongly by dos Santos and Irwanto.*

(a) http://www.atlan.org

(b) http://www.earth360.com

(c) http://www.geocities.com/zia abbas/index.htm