Sergio Frau was born in 1949 and is a journalist with Italy’s leading daily newspaper La Repubblica. He is also the author of a hefty 672-page volume, Le Collone d’Ercole: Un’inchiesta that firmly places Atlantis in Sardinia and the Pillars of Hercules in the Strait of Sicily between Tunisia and Sicily. He supports this contention with references to ancient writers such as Herodotus and Dicaearchus.
So far, Frau’s book is only available in Italian and from 2008 in German(c).
Frau contends that a catastrophic inundation of some sort destroyed the mysterious ancient civilisation on Sardinia known as the Nuraghi, after whom the numerous ancient towers on the islands are named. A megatsunami around 1200 BC is accepted to have struck from the south. A more specific date on offer is 1175 BC. However, Carthaginian and Roman remains have been found underneath the sediment deposited by this tsunami conflicting with the date and greatly weakening the suggestion that Atlantis was destroyed by this event (i).
Frau believes that some of the survivors migrated to the Italian mainland and founded the Etruscan civilisation, while others formed part of the Sea Peoples who attacked Egypt.
His book sold over 30,000 copies in Italy, his theory received favourable attention from UNESCO and an exhibition based on his work has been shown in Paris and Rome. This is in sharp contrast to the 250 historians who reportedly denounced his theory. Then there are many others, such as Hannah Fielding, the novelist, who is very attracted to Frau’s ideas(b).
A collection of reviews of Frau’s book, in English, is available(k).
Robert Ishoy proposed a similar theory(a) on the Internet at least two years before Frau had his book published. However, the earliest claim that Atlantis had existed on Sardinia was made in 1982 by Paolo Valente Poddighe, who now accuses Frau of plagiarism.
The Atlantisforschung.de website has also offered a review of Frau’s book on the tenth anniversary of its publication including a number of criticisms and particularly its inability to generate any great support in either academic or Atlantis circles.(n)
Although the media have generally given a positive response to Frau’s book, Thorwald C. Franke has panned it, denouncing it as pseudo-science(d), but reluctantly conceded that Frau “could nevertheless be partially right! For the record, I agree with Franke’s limited support.
In addition, at the instigation of Alessandro Usai, 71 Sardinian archaeologists, geologists and historians have signed a 21-point refutation of Frau’s theory(e). Antonio Usai (relation?) has also endorsed the criticism in this document(j). An English/Italian version of the document is available as Archive 2704.
Nevertheless, the Atlantika has published over twenty short papers, generally supportive of Frau from what has been called a ‘Jury of Experts’(m). However, the general focus of that support was not related to Atlantis but to endorse the credibility of Frau’s location of the Pillars of Herakles before the term was applied to the Strait of Gibraltar. Frau maintains that it was used to describe a location at the Strait of Sicily. This brings us to another question, which Strait of Sicily? In ancient times, that term was also a reference to the Strait of Messina, which, for me, makes more sense as today’s Strait of Sicily does not conform to any definition of a ‘strait’, while the Strait of Messina is a perfect example.
In August 2016, Frau received another round of publicity following an interview with Sputnik news media(f). The interview added nothing of consequence, although the text was copied by other media outlets. Nevertheless, this did not hold back Jason Colavito from his standard atlantiphobic attack(g).
So far, Frau’s book is only available in Italian and German(c). In 2017, Frau published a sequel to his Le Collone d’Ercole, entitled Omphalos in which he expands on aspects of his Sardinian location for Atlantis in a hefty 1154-page volume, which once again is currently only available in Italian. He highlights the fact that lying on the 40th parallel, Sardinia is virtually halfway between the west coast of America ((11,359 km distant) and the Pacific coast of Japan (11,350) and so can be truly considered the navel (or omphalos) of the world! It should be obvious that Sardinia is also midway between any number of other paired locations, so what?
An extensive collection of snippets from Omphalos is also available(l).
2018 saw Frau win a defamation case against Fabrizio Frongia and damages of 22,500 Euro(h), as a result of comments in Frongia’s book Le torri di Atlantide (The Towers of Atlantis).
(e) https://www.colonnedercole.it/spip/spip.php?article67 (Italian)
(o) http://www.colonnedercole.it/spip/spip.php?article15 (Italian) *