The Daily Express is a well-known British tabloid newspaper. Together with its sister publications, The Sunday Express and its online Express.co.uk, it has recently set a new record for the number of ‘might be Atlantis’ articles published, all with the byline of Callum Hoare. During the first three weeks of 2019, he has managed to produce four stories suggesting four different locations for Atlantis – Doggerland(a), Malta(b), Azores(c) and the Bahamas(d). But I did not have to wait long for the next regurgitation from Hoare, with another piece mined from a recent Amazon Prime documentary, where the Atlantis in the Canaries theory is reviewed (21.1.19)(e). I note that Hoare was also the author of similar BS Atlantis stories for another alleged UK newspaper, The Daily Star. The quality of research continues to be abysmal, citations are often years old, facts are mangled and quite misleading. Definitely ‘Fake News’.
Unfortunately, this outpouring of nonsense continued on in 2020. June 30th saw the ‘Express’ publish another article(f) by Hoare with an “Atlantis Located” headline. This gem begins by repeating the view of ‘expert’ Matthew Sibson, who advocates Rockall as the site of Atlantis and then switches to the opinions of Christos Djonis who claims the Aegean Sea as the home of Atlantis. According to Hoare, in this instance, Djonis refers to the research of Mark McMenamin of around 25 years ago who noticed on some Carthaginian gold staters of the fourth century BC that they had tiny engravings that he subjectively interpreted as rough maps showing both Asia and America and centred on Sardinia(g). This, according to Djonis, indicates the possibility that the Greeks may have had knowledge of America!
Djonis and Hoare were obviously unaware that in 2000, McMenamin was obliged to confirm that the coins in question were fakes(k) as revealed in his book, Phoenicians, Fakes and Barry Fell .
Furthermore, Djonis is contradicted by the clear statement of Herodotus that the Greeks only knew three continents, Europe, Asia and Libya (Africa)(h). Finally, if Djonis thinks that Atlantis was located in the Aegean what has America got to do with his theory?
July 2020 saw Hoare pollute the Express with another ‘Atlantis Found’ piece, this time locating it off the coast of Cornwall(j). This story is a quarter of a century old and a few years ago its credibility and even the existence of the institution to which its original author, Viatcheslav Koudriavtsev, was supposed to belong to, was brought into question(i).
(h) Herodotus, Histories 4.42.
J. P. Rambling (a pseudonym?) is the author of the Redefining Atlantis website(a), which started in January 2016 and offers a serious investigation of matters relating to Atlantis. He favours an Aegean location for Atlantis with the city situated in the south of an enlarged landmass, where Santorini lies today.
Greece as the home of Atlantis was unknown until the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries when the Minoan Hypothesis began to evolve and is still one of the more popular theories today. Other locations in the Aegean have been proposed by researchers such as Paulino Zamarro and C. A. Djonis as well as three Italian linguists, Facchetti, Negri and Notti, who presented a paper(a) to the 2005 Atlantis Conference outlining their reasons for supporting an Aegean backdrop to the Atlantis story.
Mainland Greece has also been proposed as home to Atlantis. In the middle of the 20th century R. L. Scranton suggested Lake Copaïs in Boeotia, an idea later modified by Oliver D. Smith, who subsequently completely abandoned the idea of Atlantis as a reality. More recently, it has been proposed that Atlantis was just an allegory of Athens and that its port, ancient Piraeus, was partly the inspiration behind Plato’s description of Atlantis(b). >On the other hand, the Dutch linguist, Joannes Richter, also views the Plato’s story as fiction and suggested that “probably Plato used the model of the draining and irrigation system at Lake Copais as a model for the ancient metropolis at the ‘island Atlantis’ in an imaginary war between Athens and Atlantis.”(c)<
(b) https://erenow.com/ancient/lordsoftheseaatheniannavy/20.html (see last paragraphs)
Izabol Apulia (1977- ) is a young dedicated hobbyist cartographer, who lives in Mesa, Arizona. She has developed a huge collection of maps(a), principally of Mediterranean islands, that depicts them at various stages between the Last Glacial Maximum and the present, showing how the rising sea levels gradually reduced them in size. She is highly critical of the sea level data developed and published by Kurt Lambeck and his team, preferring to use her own figures .
Apulia is also an inveterate blogger, using the name of ‘mapmistress’. She frequently published text to accompany individual maps that are often quite interesting. However, when she commented on Atlantis, in my opinion, she was seriously in error. Her big claim is that English translations of Plato’s text have been ‘botched’, in particular the work of Benjamin Jowett, whom she claims ‘invented’ the word Atlantis, which she further claims reads as ‘Atlas’ in the original text!
(b) https://pseudoastro.wordpress.com/2009/02/01/planet-x-and-2012-the-pole-shift-geographic-spin-axis-explained-and-debunked/ (about half way down page)
Christos A. Djonis is a Greek Cypriot now living in the United States. His first book Cyprus-The Island of Aphrodite, is a travel guide to that island. He has now ventured into much deeper waters with his latest book Uchronia-Atlantis Revealed. The central core of his theory is that Atlantis lay in the Aegean Sea, to the north of Thera, which itself contained the capital city of the Atlantean confederation. He gives no credit to Paulino Zamarro who proposed a similar location fifteen years ago.
Djonis accepts 9600 BC as the time of its existence as the lower sea level then would have created a single landmass with a large central plain. Among his other claims is the idea that during the Bronze Age the Minoans “were not only heavily mining copper from the area around Lake Superior, but they were regularly carrying tobacco and other spices from the Americas back to Santorini.”(d)
He supports this link with North America with the geographical spread of the human mitochondrial DNA designated Haplogroup X. In his own words(e),
“While most geneticists today maintain that haplogroup X walked to America via the Bering Strait, genetic maps show that the furthest region east of the Mediterranean with small traces of haplogroup X, is the Altai Republic in Southern Russia. No traces of haplogroup X exist between Altai Republic and the greater region of the Great Lakes. If haplogroup X infiltrated North America via the Bering Strait, why then does the greatest concentration of haplogroup X (away from the Mediterranean) exist around the Great Lakes and not in Alaska or alongside the west coast? Most importantly, how do we otherwise explain that heavy traces of haplogroup X incidentally also exist in Scotland, Orkney Islands, Faroe islands and Iceland, essentially all the island stops to North America from Europe.”
Not unexpectedly, Jason Colavito, who denies the existence of Atlantis, wrote a highly critical review of Djonis’ claims and had further exchanges with Djonis in the comments section of his blog(i).
>But even more damning is that Djonis cites the 1996 claim of Mark McMenamin that ancient Carthaginian coins depicted America. Unfortunately, Djonis was apparently unaware that in 2000, McMenamin was obliged to confirm that the coins in question were fakes(k) as revealed in his book, Phoenicians, Fakes and Barry Fell .<
Djonis does not explain why Plato unambiguously stated that the Atlanteans came from the west (Tim.25b & Crit.114c) and yet Djonis’ Atlantis is situated to the southeast of Athens and north of Egypt? In fact, what Plato said was that the invasion came from the Atlantic Sea (pelagos). Although there is some disagreement about the location of this Atlantic Sea, all candidates proposed so far are far west of both Athens and Egypt.
Instead, he prefers to parrot the discredited ancient astronaut theories of Zechariah Sitchin, based on his flawed interpretation of Sumerian texts. These include claims that humans were ‘created’ by these extraterrestrial visitors. In fact, he wastes over half his book discussing UFOs and ETs.
In April 2016 Djonis had an article published on the Ancient Origins website(j), in which he discussed Sitchin’s theory of Planet X without arriving at any conclusions. Why?
I did not find Djonis convincing regarding either the Annunaki or Atlantis.
January 2016 had Djonis plunge into the muddy waters relating to the early discovery of America with a three-part article on the Ancient Origins website(f). Not unexpectedly, Jason Colavito had few caustic comments to offer on this latest offering from Djonis(g).
Recently, Djonis and I exchanged emails in which I offered some of my reasons for rejecting his ideas. Clearly unhappy with my comments, he has now used Ancient Origins to rehash(h) his flawed ideas. Included in his offering is a sarcastic reference to me as an ‘expert’, a title I have never used or claimed. Apart from his support for the idea of ancient astronauts, which he carefully avoided in this recent article, my main gripe is that Djonis’ is content to discard elements in Plato’s account without any justifiable reason. Djonis presumptuously wrote of me that there is “no doubt in his mind that Atlantis was a myth.” On the contrary, I believe that it is highly probable that Atlantis existed, but, it is also quite clear that Plato’s narrative contains mythical elements that may have impeded researchers seeking to identify the historical Atlantis. I am currently working on finishing my own Atlantis book, which I hope will withstand critical analysis, unlike Djonis’ offering.
A YouTube clip(b) and PowerPoint presentation(c) are also available.
Pindar (522-443 BC) was one of the nine ancient Greek lyric poets. He refers to the ‘Pillars of Heracles’ in three of his victory odes, Olympian 3.43-45, Nemean 3.19-23 and Isthmian 4.11-13, in a manner which indicates that the term was used as a metaphor for the limit of human (Greek) experience. As such, the location of the Pillars would have changed as the colonial and commercial expansion of the Greeks developed beyond the Aegean.
Oliver D.Smith has drawn attention to the Nemean Ode 4, 65-70 as having echoes of Plato’s description in it(a).
(a) https://atlantisresearch.wordpress.com/ (now offline)
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 language 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 removed.
+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
The above figures suggest that in the latter half of the first millennium BC, the Strait of Gibraltar was gradually widened. Nevertheless, until the methods used and all the data on offer have been verified, the idea must be treated with great caution.
My list had orignally included Euctemon, the 5th century BC Athenian astronomer, however, Werner E. Friedrich notes that Euctemon was referring to the Sea of Marmara near the entrance to the Black Sea [0695.38].<
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.
The Neanderthals were claimed by the late Colin Wilson to have possessed highly sophisticated mathematical and astronomical knowledge and were precursors of the Atlantis civilisation. This extremely speculative assertion is made in Wilson’s Atlantis and the Kingdom of the Neanderthals, a book that wanders all over the place with references to an extensive range of ancient mysteries from the Maya to Mary Magdalene without offering anything tangible to substantiate his central thesis.
The idea of a Neanderthal connection with Atlantis is totally at variance with Plato’s description of a literate Bronze Age civilisation. While many atlantologists have chosen to reinterpret, modify or ignore aspects of Plato’s narrative, they have usually made some effort to justify their stance. Wilson, however, simply disregards the consistent Bronze Age references by Plato without any attempt at an explanation for this omission. Although, it is generally accepted that the Neanderthals had died out by 20,000 BC and Wilson seems to believe that the cataclysmic flooding of Atlantis took place around 9500 BC, it leaves an insurmountable gap of over 10,000 years unexplained by him.
Neanderthals are accepted to have been indigenous to Europe, although the are sites in Israel attributed to them. As far as I’m aware, the most southerly evidence in Europe of Neanderthal activity has been in Malta(l), which is outlined in Dr. Anton Mifsud’s beautifully illustrated book, Dossier Malta – Neanderthal , which can now be read online.
A January 2010 report(a) dated the demise of the last Neanderthal at around 35,000 BC, which conflicts with the last paragraph. An even more eyebrow raising claim was made two years later in February 2012, when New Scientist magazine published an article(b) which suggested that the Neanderthals had a maritime history in the Aegean 130,000 years ago! However, to make such a claim does not seem to take adequate account of the fact that at the time sea levels were much lower and as a consequence some islands were considerably larger and in many cases, individual islands that we know today were joined to each other or generally required shorter sea journeys between them.
Nevertheless, ongoing excavations at a site on the coast of Jersey, one of the British Channel Islands off the coast of France are indicating that “Jersey may have been one of the last outposts of the Neanderthals in north-west Europe.”(u)
Now the suggestion has been made that the Neanderthals were possibility the first cave artists. This claim was put forward in the journal Nature (15/6/12). The El Castillo cave in northern Spain has some of this art dated to at least 40,800 years ago.
It was also proposed by Peter Fotis Kapnistos, who worked with Spyridon Marinatos, that Neanderthal Man may also have mastered sea travel and possibly played a part in the development of the Atlantis story(c). The idea of Neanderthal sailors has gained further support in a paper(s) by Professor George Ferentinos of the University of Patras.
Paola Villa a curator at the University of Colorado’s Museum of Natural History has recently (April, 2004) expressed the view that the intellectual abilities of the Neanderthals have been seriously underestimated(d). Similar views are expressed in an article(e) which traces the early characterisation of Neanderthals as ‘primitive’ and contrasting that with the current revised opinions that attribute much greater intellectual capabilities to them.
In 2018, an article by Joanna Gillen on the Ancient Origins website offers more evidence that the Neanderthals had a more sophisticated lifestyle than previously thought(n). This based on the finds from the cave at Abric Romani in Spain’s Catalonia. For obvious reasons the technological capabilities of Neanderthals are only hinted at from the scanty evidence available so far. One such clue was the discovery(r) that they seemed to have used birch tar to haft projectile points.
Neanderthal cave discoveries continue to surprise. In 2016, Nature published(t) details of investigations carried out in the Bruniquel Cave in southwest France. Occupation was dated to around 175,000 years ago. Furthemore, apart from evidence of the use of fire, broken stalagmites carefully arranged in circles.
An extensive two-part article describing the Neanderthals as ‘human’ is available online(g). This view is currently championed by Portuguese archaeologist João Zilhão, who’s views are featured in an interesting article(m) in the May 2019 edition of the Smithsonian Magazine.
There appears to be an acceptance that many of us have some Neanderthal DNA within us. While this is usually in the form of small snippets, an article in New Scientist magazine has reported that longer strings have been identified in Melanesian populations(o) in Pacific!
In 2015 the results of the mapping of the entire geonome of a 50,000-year-old Neanderthal were published, which concluded that “There is now conclusive evidence that Neanderthals bred with Homo sapiens.”(f)Also in 2015, genetic studies pushed back the origins of Neanderthals to a startling 765,000 years ago(i), twice as old as previously thought.
A 2020 report(v) claims that “African populations have been revealed to share Neanderthal ancestry for the first time, in findings that add a new twist to the tale of ancient humans and our closest known relatives.” and that “The latest findings suggest human and Neanderthal lineages are more closely intertwined than once thought and point to far earlier interbreeding events, about 200,000 years ago.”
Geneticist David Reich had been sceptical of the idea that humans and Neanderthals had interbred until he engaged in a study of the DNA extracted from 40,000-year-old Neanderthal bones found in a Croatian cave. The result was that he was forced to conclude that “that humans and Neanderthals did interbreed in their time together in Europe. Possibly even more than once.”(p)
A year later the results of a study(j) of their ‘Y’ chromosome suggested that Neanderthals had diverged “almost 590,000 years ago from humans.”
A study(x), published 3 June, 2020 in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B concluded that “Ancient humans, Neanderthals and Denisovans were genetically closer than polar bears and brown bears, and so, like the bears, were able to easily produce healthy, fertile hybrids according to a study, led by the University of Oxford’s School of Archaeology.”
The apparent relatively rapid extinction of the Neanderthals has, understandably, led to a great amount of speculation. One of the most recent(h) suggests that the lack of the control of fire by the Neanderthals, in contrast with their human neighbours, was probably a factor that led to their demise! However, the use of fire by Neanderthals in Tuscany now appears settled with the discovery of tools shaped with fire(q).
2020 saw evidence emerge which suggested that even as far back as 41,000 – 52,000 years ago the Neanderthals had mastered the making of cords(w).
>It has now been reliably demonstrated that Neanderthals also played music using a flutelike instrument made of bear bone around 50,000 years ago(y).<
More relevant to life today is a report(k) that the average 3% which modern Europeans share with Neanderthals have left us with a greater risk of nicotine addiction and depression.
The Sea of Azov, formerly known as Palus Maeotis, is a northern extension of the Black Sea bound by the Russian Federation and Ukraine.*It is claimed as the world’s shallowest sea and in ancient times was known as the Moetic Swamp/Sea/Lake.*It is the shallowest sea in the world having an average depth of 13 metres. Egerton Sykes noted that Moreau de Jonnès in 1876 and André de Paniagua in 1911, both placed Atlantis in the Sea of Azov. Palus Maeotis or Maeotian Marshes was the ancient name for where the River Don entered the Sea of Azov, then known as the Maeotian Lake.
For some comic relief, a recent book by the late ‘Flying Eagle’ and ‘Whispering Wind’ introduced benign alien astronauts to the subject and claimed to have identified the Sea of Azov as the resting place of Atlantis. Included in their theory is the idea that the waters of the Black Sea burst through the Bosporus into the Aegean Sea rather than the other direction as proposed by Ryan & Pitman. They also tell us(a) that a scientist named Xoah from the planet Xylanthia decided to create a new species that eventually evolved to rule the Empire of Atlantis.
‘they hunted after the bulls with staves and nooses but with no weapon of iron; and whatsoever bull they captured they led up to the pillar and cut its throat over the top of the pillar, raining down blood on the inscription’.
If this reference was part of the original story told to Solon it adds further evidence that Plato’s description of Atlantis is that of a Late Bronze Age/Iron Age society. The context of this reference would appear to infer that the use of iron weapons was either normal at the time of Atlantis or just an anachronistic addition by Plato, which would have been well within the boundaries of literary licence of that period. Although the use of meteoric iron can be traced back to 3200 BC(b) in Egypt, elsewhere, the first mention of smelted iron in the Aegean and the Middle East is dated to around 1200 BC.*Alternatively, the passage might indicate that by tradition the use of iron for the killing of the bull was inappropriate.
Bauval & Hancock in their Keeper of Genesis[1050.104] recount the strange tale of an iron plate removed from the Great Pyramid at Giza in1837 and believed at the time that it had been included in the structure of the Pyramid when it was built. It took over a century before it was subjected to rigorous scientific testing by Dr. M.P. Jones and Dr. Sayed El Gayer, who concluded that the item “is very ancient” and that “the metallurgical evidence supports the archaeological evidence which suggests that the plate was incorporated within the Pyramid at the time that structure was being built”, generally thought to be around 2550 BC. Their conclusions were rejected by the British Museum, presumably because their acceptance conflicted with the conventional date for the start of the Iron Age in Egypt around a millennium later. However, I note that pieces of iron were found in the Black Pyramid of Abusir, which probably dates before 2000 BC(a).