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

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    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.Read More »
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A.N. Karnozhitsky

McQuillen, R(ich)

R(ich) McQuillen is an American investigator who has cogently argued for an Egyptian location for Atlantis. He has diligently gathered an impressive array of evidence from classical writers including Hellanicus, Solinus and Aeschylus to support his view and arranged the morass that is Greek mythology to construct a credible timeframe for the Atlantis narrative.

However, McQuillen is not the first to locate Atlantis in or near Egypt, in fact, the earliest I have found is in the late 19th century by A.N. Karnozhitsky, while the most recent was published by Diego Ratti in 2021.

McQuillen places the Pillars of Heracles at Canopus, which was formerly in the Western Nile delta but is now submerged about 6.5 km from the coast in the Bay of Aboukir. He is also of the opinion that the Egyptians used lunar ‘years’ rather than solar years bringing the backdrop to the Atlantis story into the 2nd millennium BC. However, he now seems to favour the ‘factor ten’ interpretation of Plato’s date.

McQuillen locates Atlantis at Pharos, which was near modern Alexandria. His website(a) is well worth a visit.

Extensive underwater excavations in the region have been undertaken in recent years by Franck Goddio and his team with remarkable results (b).

It is also worth noting that the late Ulf Richter reasoned that a river delta was the most likely topographical setting for Atlantis (c).

In March 2022 McQuillen added six papers(d-i) expanding on background details employed in his interpretation of the Atlantis story. All six are available on the Academia.edu website. A further paper(j) offering a radical reappraisal of Biblical chronology was added in September 2022 that includes in its conclusions the following comments.

1 People have been questioning Standard Biblical Chronology (the literal times), for 2000 years, and yet this still persists in modern Biblical Archaeology

2 I have thrown out the early dates entirely and introduced a different paradigm to try to find some of these elusive characters. This paper talks about the Pre-Noachian Kings, like Cainan, and links him to the real-world Syrian Hyksos King Khyan, and finds archaeological evidence of the existence of other Hyksos Kings.

3 It links the flood of Noah to the flood of Ahmose and Atrahasis, and shows it to be a real flood caused by Santorini.

4 It finds Jacob at the same time as the Israel stele of Merneptah. It finds Joseph as the Semitic Pharoah Siptah, whose mother has the same name as Jacob’s second wife. It finds Moses around the time of the Smallpox plague in Egypt (ranging from Ramses 4 to 9)(1182?1136BC).

>In his paper ‘Perfecting Plato’ McQuillen is critical of some available translations available to us, of passages in Plato’s Atlantis texts. In his summary of the paper

“There are a bunch of controversial passages within the Timaeus. This has led to 50k books on the topic with a bunch of different interpretations of the same passages. These stem from mistranslations, intentional mistakes, wild speculation, etc… The purpose of this paper is to identify and correct the mistakes and add additional insight. The Timaeus is long and in most parts well-translated and irrelevant, so I’m selecting only interesting passages, where I can add insight.  I’m using the Bury Translation, with a little bit of Calcidius thrown in.

Plato’s myth has been described as a fable and a description of an idealized society.  Instead, it was intended as a story about 18th dynasty Egypt, and its interactions with the Haunebu (Aegaens). The past is often romanticized and idealized in the history books; History is written by the winners.” He then proceeded to comment on a number of specific passages in Timaeus(h).<

(a) http://gizacalc.freehostia.com/Atlantis.html

(b) https://franckgoddio.org/

(c) Archive 6142 | (atlantipedia.ie) 

(d) https://www.academia.edu/43493561/A_Simple_Chronology_of_Greek_Mythology_First_Draft 

(e) https://www.academia.edu/69049558/Dissecting_Diodorus_The_Legend_of_Myrina_and_Orus 

(f) https://www.academia.edu/76436465/Finding_a_God_Phaethon_King_Tut_and_the_Amarna_Period 

(g) https://www.academia.edu/76548637/Defining_Danaus_and_Egyptus 

(h) https://www.academia.edu/76880053/Perfecting_Plato_A_colorful_commentary_on_the_Timaeus 

(i) https://www.academia.edu/77235625/Perfecting_Plato_A_colorful_commentary_on_the_Critias_Part_1

(j) (99+) A Simple Chronology for Biblical Archaeology | Rich McQuillen – Academia.edu *

 

Egypt

Egypt occupies the northeastern corner of Africa. However, the ancient Egyptians considered themselves Asian (Tim. 24b). Over its long history, Egypt itself was overrun by a variety of invaders – Hyksos, Kushites, Assyrians, Persians, Greeks and Romans.

In practical terms, its territory consisted of a few miles on either side of the Nile together with its large Delta. In an expansionist period in the 2nd millennium BC, Egypt controlled parts of what are now Israel, Lebanon, Syria and Libya.

The exact extent of Egyptian-controlled territory in Libya at the time of Atlantis is unclear. We do know that  “In the mid-13th century, Marmarica was dominated by an Egyptian fortress chain stretching along the coast as far west as the area around Marsa Matruh; by the early 12th century, Egypt claimed overlordship of Cyrenaican tribes as well. At one point a ruler chosen by Egypt was set up (briefly!) over the combined tribes of Meshwesh, Libu, and Soped.”(r) 

A Wikipedia map(q) suggests that Egyptian New Kingdom control stretched at least halfway towards Syrtis Major, which has been proposed by some as the location of Atlantis.

As most are aware the history of Egypt is inextricably linked with that of the Old Testament, leading to the suggestion by some, such as Ahmed Osman(k), that individuals in the Egyptian 18th Dynasty can be identified with some of the Hebrew Patriarchs, most notably Moses and the heretic king Akhenaten. Interestingly, this linkage had been put forward previously by Sigmund Freud!

Osman goes further and contends that the main tenets of Christianity developed on the banks of the Nile [1852] and additionally “provides a convincing argument that Jesus himself came out of Egypt.”  This is in sharp contrast to those that claim that both Moses and Jesus are completely fictitious characters(l).

Egypt was viewed by the Greeks of Plato’s time as guardians of ancient history and wisdom and consequently was a place of pilgrimage for many of its greatest philosophers, who travelled there to be initiated into the cults of Isis and Osiris. Gustav Parthey (1798-1872), the German antiquarian, researched the education of 40 leading philosophers, writers and politicians of ancient Greece and found that all had studied under Egyptian priests. Clement of Alexandria (150-215 AD) suggested that Plato travelled to Heliopolis and was a disciple of the Egyptian priest Sechnuphis. Other classical writers such as Strabo and Plutarch have confirmed this(i).

>Zsofia Frei has published a paper defending the idea that Greek philosophy came from Egypt(s).<

Despite this, the Greeks arrogantly referred to all non-Greeks, including the Atlanteans (Crit. 113a) as ‘barbarians’. It is of interest that Athene after whom the Greek capital is named originated in Egypt where she was worshipped as Neith.

The late Philip Coppens went as far as to suggest(a) that Greece was an Egyptian colony!

Plato’s text seems to infer that the destruction of Atlantis in 9600 BC was contemporary with Egyptian civilisation, raising archaeological questions regarding the earliest date for the establishment of an organised society in Egypt. Unfortunately, there is not a lot to support this contention. The oldest known art in Egypt was discovered in 2007 when petroglyphs were estimated to be 15,000 years old. The earliest culture along the Nile, identified by archaeologists is that of what is known as the Badarian dating to around 4500 BC. They produced basic pottery, and jewellery and used stone tools although they had some knowledge of metals. The Badarians were followed by the Naqada who led on to what we identify as the spectacular ancient Egyptian civilisation. However, in 2007, rock carvings, similar in style to the Lascaux paintings were discovered near the village of Qurta, 650km south of Cairo. The 160 carvings, spread over 1.5km of the rock face, discovered so far, mainly depict wild bulls and have been dated to 13000 BC(h)

September 2013 saw the publication(c)(d) of a more definitive date for the start of the state of Egypt, beginning with the reign of king Aha circa 3100 BC. The evidence indicated that the process of moving from the pre-Dynastic groupings to a form of statehood was more rapid than previously thought. This undermines even more firmly the claims of the Egyptians that their country was founded around 8,600 BC as reported by Plato.

It is not surprising that ancient Egypt has presented us with very many unanswered questions, some of which have been compiled, posted on Wikipedia but subsequently removed(g).

Many writers have remarked how all aspects of ancient Egyptian culture seem to have arrived fully developed, while later dynasties did not surpass some of the achievements of the earlier ones! The conclusion of some is that the fully matured civilisation of the early Egyptians was a legacy from elsewhere.

Sanchuniathon refers to the original kings of Egypt calling them ‘Aleteans’. Albert Slosman claims[551] that survivors from Atlantis had migrated to Egypt. The archaeologist, Marcelle Weissen-Szumianska, in a 1965 book, Origines Atlantiques des Anciens Egyptiens [837], maintained that the pre-pharaonic Egyptians originated in Atlantis, which had been situated in Morocco! Others suggest that Egypt was an Atlantean colony. The idea was brought to a ridiculous level by Augustus Le Plongeon who claimed that Egypt was a Mayan colony!

A more grounded study by Alapan Roy Chowdhury investigates the claim put forward by some researchers that there are remarkable similarities between the cultures of ancient India and Egypt. “Was there a real connection or are these similarities only coincidences?”(j) The tributetohinduism.com website(n) develops this idea further.

Robert Schoch has controversially dated the construction of the Sphinx to between 7000-5000 BC, while the megalithic structures at Nabta Playa suggest a sophisticated culture in that region around 5000 BC. Even if both these early dates are correct they are still over four and a half millennia short of Plato’s date. This most likely explanation is that Plato’s number of 9,000 years before Solon is incorrect as 9000 is too neat and may have been a siglum used to express a large but uncertain number or is an exaggeration just as today we speak of having ‘a million and one things to do’.

In 1897, a Russian scientist, A.N. Karnozhitsky was probably the earliest commentator to propose a close link between Egypt and Atlantis, placing the Pillars of Heracles near Sais and locating Atlantis itself not far from the western mouth of the Nile.

Some years ago, Egypt was again been proposed as the original Atlantis, in a still (June 2021) unpublished book, The Joshua Crossing, by N. R. James. However, 2006 saw a paper presented by Professor Hossam Aboulfotouh of Minia University, Egypt, placed Atlantis in the Nile Delta. The following year R. McQuillen also offered an Egyptian location for Atlantis, placing it at Pharos near Alexandria.

In 2020 Jean-Pierre Pätznick, a French Egyptologist published an article in Pharaon magazine (No 41) about Atlantis and Egypt(o). Thorwald C. Franke has written a critical review of the paper(p).

More recently (March 2021), Diego Ratti, published Atletenu [1821], in which he placed Atlantis in Egypt, with its capital located at Avaris, better known before now as the capital of the Hyksos. He questions a number of the English translations of the Greek text, offering his own where ‘appropriate’. The book is carefully constructed and well-illustrated, but, although he appears to match some of Plato’s Atlantis details with the Nile Delta, there was not enough to convince me.

A novel idea has been put forward by Mary Whispering Wind(b), who bravely offers the idea that the Atlantean province of Egypt was, Colchis, situated on the east coast of the Black Sea! She bases her claim on an interpretation of Herodotus (Book II.104/5) who was commenting on circumcision being only practised by Egyptians, Ethiopians and Colchians, in my mind, stretching what Herodotus said beyond the acceptable.

An even more radical suggestion was made by Reinoud M. de Jong in a 2009 paper(f) where he boldly claimed “that during the whole period of the (Michigan) copper trade, America was part of the Egyptian Empire” and during the Old Kingdom “this huge empire was known as Atlantis”!

One blogger, from California, has gone so far as to suggest that the ‘Egypt’ that Solon visited was on the shores of the Sea of Marmara!(e) 

Margaret Bunson’s Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt [1872]+ is now available online.

[1872]+(99+) Bunson – Encyclopedia of ancient Egypt | Iffa Hamzah – Academia.edu 

(a)  See Archive 2136

(b) https://atlantis-today.com/Atlantis_Atlantis_Code.htm

(c) https://web.archive.org/web/20190116235414/https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/full/10.1098/rspa.2013.0395

(d)  https://ancientfoods.wordpress.com/2013/09/13/egypt-wasnt-built-in-a-day-but-it-did-rise-quickly/

(e) https://www.unexplained-mysteries.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=253407&st=45#entry4895373

(f) https://megalithicresearch.blogspot.com/2009/12/copper-trade-with-old-world-poverty.html

(g) https://www.historyandheadlines.com/list-of-unsolved-problems-in-egyptology/

(h) https://news.softpedia.com/news/The-Egyptian-Civilization-10-000-Years-Older-than-Thought-59648.shtml

(i) https://www.vision.org/history-of-ancient-egyptian-city-of-heliopolis-influence-on-modern-culture-41

(j) https://pathoflight15.wordpress.com/author/alapan88/

(k) http://www.domainofman.com/ankhemmaat/contents.html  

(l) Jesus Moses were Invented – Bible Dates (archive.org)

(n) https://www.yumpu.com/en/document/view/17857895/a-tribute-to-hinduism-india-and-egypt-mandhata-global 

(o) (99+) (PDF) Atlantis: ‘Lost in Translations’ – In Search of the Egyptian Version | Jean-Pierre PÄTZNICK – Academia.edu  (French with English translation available) 

(p) https://www.atlantis-scout.de/atlantis-paetznick.htm 

(q) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Kingdom_of_Egypt 

(r) https://www.penn.museum/sites/expedition/egyptians-and-libyans-in-the-new-kingdom/ 

(s) (99+) Egypt and the origins of greek philosophy | Zsofia Frei – Academia.edu *