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

Latest News

  • 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.Read More »
Search

Recent Updates

Aegean

Matapan & Maleas, Capes

Capes Matapan (Tainaron) and Maleas in the Peloponnese are the two most southerly points of mainland Greece. They have been proposed by Galanopoulos & Bacon [0263] as the Pillars of Heracles, when the early Greeks were initially confined to the Aegean Sea and the two promontories were the western limits of their maritime knowledge.>They note that

“This has been the subject of some interesting conjectures. Nearly all the labours of Hercules were performed in the Peloponnese. The last and hardest of those which Eurytheus imposed on the hero was to descend to Hades and bring back its three-headed dog guardian, Cerberus. According to the most general version Hercules entered Hades through the abyss at Cape Taenarun (the modern Cape Matapan), the Western cape of the Gulf of Laconia. The Eastern cape of this gulf is Cape Maleas, a dangerous promontory, notorious for its rough seas.

Pausanias records that on either side of this windswept promontory were temples, that on the west dedicated to Poseidon, that on the east to Apollo. It is perhaps therefore not extravagant to suggest that the Pillars of Hercules referred to are the promontories of Taenarum and Maleas; and it is perhaps significant that the twin brother of Atlas was allotted the extremity of Atlantis closest to the Pillars of Hercules. The relevant passage in the Critias (114A-B) states:

And the name of his younger twin-brother, who had for his portion the extremity of the island near the pillars of Hercules up to the part of the country now called Gadeira after the name of that region, was Eumelus in Greek, but in the native tongue Gadeirus — which fact may have given its title to the country.’

Since the region had been named after the second son of Poseidon, whose Greek name was Eumelus, its Greek title must likewise have been Eumelus, a name which brings to mind the most westerly of the Cyclades, Melos, which is in fact not far from the notorious Cape Maleas. The name Eumelus was in use in the Cyclades; and the ancient inscription (‘Eumelus an excellent danger’) was found on a rock on the island of Thera.

In general, it can be argued from a number of points in Plato’s narrative that placing ‘the Pillars of Hercules’ at the south of the Peloponnese makes sense, while identifying them with the Straits of Gilbraltar does not[p.97].”<

Gaki-Papanastassiou, Kalliopi

Kalliopi Gaki-Papanastassiou, a geologist at the University of Athens, was the lead author of a 2010 paper entitled Palaeogeographic Evolution of the Cyclades Islands (Greece) During the Holocene(a). In it she suggests that the Cycladic Islands in the Aegean Sea was the location of the lost Atlantis, probably situated between Naxos, Paros and Antiparos.

(a) https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-1-4020-9720-1_28

Warshofsky, Fred (L)

Fred Warshofsky is an American science writer and film director. In 1977, he Fred-warshofskypublished Doomsday: The Science of Catastrophe in which he reviews the catastrophist literature of his day, particularly the work of Velikovsky. He also fleetingly touches on the subject of Atlantis[1146.87] noting “the increasing evidence that Atlantis was an island city in the Aegean”, namely Santorini, which matches Atlantis “in startling detail.”

Invasion

Invasion today, as in the past, is usually the consequence of a shortage of resources (food, metals, oil, water), climate change (affecting food supply), overpopulation (also affecting food supply) or political upheaval. Although I do not speak as a military strategist, it would seem obvious that if, for any of these reasons, a state is forced into an expansionism, it will first look at their nearest neighbours and assess the chances of military success. It is obvious that before the introduction of airborne attacks, propinquity in the form of contiguous territory or short sea journeys have always been critical for a successful invasion(a) and the continued control of occupied territories. This is borne out by the simple historical fact that all the earliest empires, which were located in what we now call the Middle East, expanded through the invasion of its neighbours.

However, over-expansion can be costly and potentially dangerous. With particular reference to the fall of the Roman Empire, Rachel Nuwer noted in a recent BBC article(c) that. “By the end of the 100 BC the Romans had spread across the Mediterranean, to the places most easily accessed by sea. They should have stopped there, but things were going well and they felt empowered to expand to new frontiers by land. While transportation by sea was economical, however, transportation across land was slow and expensive. All the while, they were overextending themselves and running up costs.

Many people think that military intelligence gathering is a relatively modern development. However, ancient documents, including the Bible, have accounts of spying thousands of years ago. Mary Rose Sheldon has produced an invaluable sourcebook[1445] on the subject, as well as a volume on Spies in the Bible[1446], while Peter Dubovsky, in his Hezekiah and the Assyrian Spies[1568], focuses on espionage described in 2 Kgs 18-19. It is reasonable therefore to assume that Atlantis also exercised due diligence and endeavoured to assess their opponents strengths and weaknesses before invading.

Boris Rankov has noted(b) in The Encyclopedia of Ancient History that military intelligence in ancient times had its value limited by the “slowness of communications, which meant that it was often out of date before any response could be brought to bear.” This, of course, ties in with the then established practice of invading those within your immediate proximity; supply lines are shorter and information more up-to-date. In turn, it implies that Atlantis was within relatively easy striking distance of Athens!

Even in modern times the same constraints determined the actions of invaders. Hitler could not have invaded Russia without first controlling Poland and Romania. Even expansionist Japan, although an island nation, expanded into Korea and Manchuria (China) and following the attack on Pearl Harbour spread even further within the same region.

The ancient land-based empires were dependent on military might, whereas others, such as the Phoenicians, expanded their influence through trade, supported by extensive merchant fleets. However, over time, Phoenician or more correctly Carthaginian rivalry with Rome led to disastrous wars.

One of the primary military concerns today, as in ancient times, will be to ensure that its men are fed and watered and consequently there will be a need to keep its supply lines as short as possible.

The nearest possible belligerent to the west of Athens was across the Adriatic in Italy. I argue elsewhere that according to Plato, southern Italy constituted part of the Atlantean domain (see Etruscans). I suggest that the Atlantean invasion of Greece was probably launched from there. The motivation is unclear, but we can speculate that success in Greece would have been followed by the control of the entire Aegean, including Crete, offering a huge expansion in trade.

The alternative is that the nearest part of Atlantis was elsewhere, necessitating the bypassing of other territories on the way and stretching supply and communication lines more than desirable. Italy looks the best bet, with forces added from the Atlantean HQ in Sicily or Sardinia, possibly travelling through the Strait of Messina, sometimes identified as the location of the Pillars of Heracles.

In the south, the Atlantean forces in North Africa (Ancient Libya), if not augmenting the attack on Greece, were probably planning their invasion of Egypt (Timaeus 25b & Critias 114c). Success there would have been followed by a two-pronged attack by both northern and southern Atlantean forces on the eastern Mediterranean coast, later known as the Levant, giving them total control of the eastern Mediterranean Basin.

Invasion requirements are the strongest argument against any of the fanciful Atlantis theories that place Plato’s Atlantis in Antarctica, the Andes, or North America. It is ludicrous to claim that any invasion force came across the Atlantic to attack Greeks and Egyptians. That there were remarkable early cultures in both North and South America is absolutely undeniable, however, it is foolishness to claim that they had any connection with Plato’s story.

(a) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_invasions

(b) https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/9781444338386.wbeah26323/abstract

(c) https://www.bbc.com/future/story/20170418-how-western-civilisation-could-collapse

Treuil, René (L)

 René Treuil  (1940- ) is a French professor of prehistory with a special interest in the ancient Aegean Treuiland since 2003 he has been professor emeritus at the University of Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne.

Although Treuil is an Atlantis sceptic, he published Le mythe de l’Atlantide[1088] in which he reviews a number of the locations theories on offer, as well as the cultural and political uses that Plato’s narrative has been put to over the centuries, particularly its misuse by the Nazis.

Troy

Troy is believed to have been founded by Ilus, son of Troas, giving it the names of both Troy and Ilios (Ilium) with some slight variants.

“According to new evidence obtained from excavations, archaeologists say that the ancient city of Troy in northwestern Turkey may have been more than six centuries older than previously thought. Rüstem Aslan, who is from the Archaeology Department of Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University (ÇOMU), said that because of fires, earthquakes, and wars, the ancient city of Troy had been destroyed and re-established numerous times throughout the years.” This report pushes the origins of this famous city back to around 3500 BC.(s)

The city is generally accepted by modern scholarship to have been situated at Hissarlik in what is now northwest Turkey. Confusion over the site being Troy can be traced back to the 1st century AD geographer Strabo, who claimed that Ilion and Troy were two different cities!(t) In the 18th century many scholars consider the village of Pinarbasi, 10 km south of Hissarlik, as a more likely location for Troy.

The Hisarlik “theory had first been put forward in 1821 by Charles Maclaren, a Scottish newspaper publisher and amateur geologist. Maclaren identified Hisarlik as the Homeric Troy without having visited the region. His theory was based to an extent on observations by the Cambridge professor of mineralogy Edward Daniel Clarke and his assistant John Martin Cripps. In 1801, those gentlemen were the first to have linked the archaeological site at Hisarlik with historic Troy.”(m)

The earliest excavations at Hissarlik began in 1856 by a British naval officer, John Burton. His work was continued in 1863 until 1865 by an amateur researcher, Frank Calvert. It was Calvert who directed Schliemann to Hissarlik and the rest is history(j).

However, some high profile authorities such as Sir Moses Finley (1912-1986) have denounced the whole idea of a Trojan War as a fiction in his book, The World of Odysseus [1139]. In 1909, Albert Gruhn argued against Hissarlik as Troy’s location(i).

The Swedish scholar, Martin P. Nilsson (1874-1967) who argued for a Scandinavian origin for the Mycenaeans [1140], also considered the identification of Hissarlik with Homer’s Troy as unproven.

Troy as Atlantis is not a commonly held idea, although Strabo, suggested such a link. So it was quite understandable that when Swiss geo-archaeologist, Eberhard Zangger, expressed this view [483] it caused quite a stir. In essence, Zangger proposed(g) that Plato’s story of Atlantis Troywas a retelling of the Trojan War.

For me the Trojan Atlantis theory makes little sense as Troy was to the north east of Athens and Plato clearly states that the Atlantean invasion came from the west. 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 west of both Athens and Egypt.(Tim.24e & Crit. 114c)

Troy would have been well known to Plato, so why did he not simply name them? Furthermore, Plato tells us that the Atlanteans had control of the Mediterranean as far as Libya and Tyrrhenia, which is not a claim that can be made for the Trojans. What about the elephants, the two crops a year or in this scenario, where were the Pillars of Heracles?

A very unusual theory explaining the fall of Troy as a consequence of a plasma discharge is offered by Peter Mungo Jupp on The Thunderbolts Project website(d) together with a video(e).

Zangger proceeded to re-interpret Plato’s text to accommodate a location in North-West Turkey. He contends that the original Atlantis story contains many words that have been critically mistranslated. The Bronze Age Atlantis of Plato matches the Bronze Age Troy. He points out that Plato’s reference to Atlantis as an island is misleading, since at that time in Egypt where the story originated, they frequently referred to any foreign land as an island. He also compares the position of the bull in the culture of Ancient Anatolia with that of Plato’s Atlantis. He also identifies the plain mentioned in the Atlantis narrative, which is more distant from the sea now, due to silting. Zangger considers these Atlantean/Trojans to have been one of the Sea Peoples who he believes were the Greek speaking city-states of the Aegean.

Rather strangely, Zangger admits (p.220) that “Troy does not match the description of Atlantis in terms of date, location, size and island character…..”, so the reader can be forgiven for wondering why he wrote his book in the first place. Elsewhere(f), another interesting comment from Zangger was that “One thing is clear, however: the site of Hisarlik has more similarities with Atlantis than with Troy.”

There was considerable academic opposition to Zangger’s theory(a). Arn Strohmeyer wrote a refutation of the idea of a Trojan Atlantis in a German language book [559].

An American researcher, J. D. Brady, in a somewhat complicated theory places Atlantis in the Bay of Troy.

To confuse matters further Prof. Arysio Nunes dos Santos, a leading proponent of Atlantis in the South China Sea, places Troy in that same region of Asia(b).

Furthermore, the late Philip Coppens reviewed(h) the question marks that still hang over our traditional view of Troy.

Felice Vinci has placed Troy in the Baltic and his views have been endorsed by the American researcher Stuart L. Harris in a number of articles on the excellent Migration and Diffusion website(c). Harris specifically identifies Finland as the location of Troy, which he claims fell in 1283 BC although he subsequently revised this to 1190 BC, which is more in line with conventional thinking. The dating of the Trojan War has spawned its own collection of controversies.

However, the idea of a northern source for Homeric material is not new. In 1918, an English translation of a paper by Carus Sterne (Dr. Ernst Ludwig Krause)(1839-1903) was published with the title of The Northern Origin of the Story of Troy.(n)

>Iman Wilkens is arguably the best known proponent of a North Atlantic Troy, which he places in Britain. Another scholar, who argues strongly for Homer’s geographical being identifiable in the Atlantic, is Gerard Janssen of the University of Leiden, who has published a number of papers on the subject(u).<

Most recently (May, 2019) historian Bernard Jones(q) has joined the ranks of those advocating a Northern European location for Troy in his book, The Discovery of Troy and Its Lost History [1638]. He has also written an article supporting his ideas in the Ancient Origins website(o). For some balance, I suggest that you also read Jason Colavito’s comments(p).

Steven Sora in an article(k) in Atlantis Rising Magazine suggested a site near Lisbon called ‘Troia’ as just possibly the original Troy, as part of his theory that Homer’s epics were based on events that took place in the Atlantic. Two years later, in the same publication, Sora investigates the claim of an Italian Odyssey(l).

Roberto Salinas Price (1938-2012) was a Mexican Homeric scholar who caused quite a stir in 1985 in Yugoslavia, as it was then, when he claimed that the village of Gabela 15 miles from the Adriatic’s Dalmatian coast in what is now Bosnia-Herzegovina, was the ‘real’ location of Troy in his Homeric Whispers[1544].

More recently another Adriatic location theory has come from the Croatian historian, Vedran Sinožic in hisbook Naša Troja (Our Troy)[1543].After many years of research and exhaustive work on collecting all available information and knowledge, Sinožic provides numerous arguments that prove that the legendary Homer Troy is not located in Hisarlik in Turkey, but is located in the Republic of Croatia – today’s town of Motovun in Istria.” Sinožic who has been developing his theory over the past 30 years has also identified a connection between his Troy and the Celtic world.

Similarly, Zlatko Mandzuka has placed the travels of Odysseus in the Adriatic in his 2014 book, Demystifying the Odyssey[1396].

Like most high-profile ancient sites, Troy has developed its own mystique, inviting the more imaginative among us to speculate on its associations, including a possible link with Atlantis. Recently, a British genealogist, Anthony Adolph, has proposed that the ancestry of the British can be traced back to Troy in his book Brutus of Troy[1505].

It is thought that Schliemann has some doubts about the size of the Troy that he unearthed, as it seemed to fall short of the powerful and prestigious city described by Homer. His misgivings were justified when many decades later the German archaeologist, Manfred Korfmann (1942-2005), resumed excavations at Hissarlik and eventually exposed a Troy that was perhaps ten times greater in extent than Schliemann’s Troy(r).

(a) https://web.archive.org/web/20150912081113/https://bmcr.brynmawr.edu/1995/95.02.18.html

(b) https://www.atlan.org/articles/atlantis/

(c) https://www.migration-diffusion.info/article.php?authorid=113

(d) https://www.thunderbolts.info/wp/2013/09/16/troy-homers-plasma-holocaust/

(e) https://www.mungoflix.com/mungoflix/free-video-troy-iliad-ep1-d17/

(f) https://www.moneymuseum.com/pdf/yesterday/03_Antiquity/Atlantis%20en.pdf

(g) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mo-lb2AAGfY

(h) https://www.philipcoppens.com/troy.html or  See: Archive 2482

(i) https://www.jstor.org/stable/496830?seq=14#page_scan_tab_contents

(j) https://turkisharchaeonews.net/site/troy

(k) Atlantis Rising Magazine #64 July/Aug 2007  See: Archive 3275

(l) Atlantis Rising Magazine #74 March/April 2009  See: Archive 3276

(m) https://luwianstudies.org/the-investigation-of-troy/

(n) The Open Court magazine. Vol.XXXII (No.8) August 1918. No. 747   See: https://archive.org/stream/opencourt_aug1918caru/opencourt_aug1918caru_djvu.txt

(o) https://www.ancient-origins.net/ancient-places-europe/location-troy-0011933

(p) https://www.jasoncolavito.com/blog/new-book-claims-homers-iliad-proves-troy-was-a-celtic-city-in-northern-europe

(q) https://www.trojanhistory.com/

(r) https://www.nytimes.com/2005/08/19/obituaries/manfred-korfmann-63-is-dead-expanded-excavation-at-troy.html?_r=0

(s) https://mysteriousuniverse.org/2019/08/ancient-city-of-troy-is-centuries-older-than-originally-thought/

>(t) https://web.archive.org/web/20121130173504/http://www.6millionandcounting.com/articles/article5.php

(u) https://leidenuniv.academia.edu/GerardJanssen<

 

Santorini

SantoriniSantorini, earlier known as Thera, is claimed by tradition to have received its name from Theras, a 9th century BC invader. It is the most southerly member of the Cyclades group of islands in the Aegean Sea. It is named after St. Irene of Thessaloniki. In ancient times it was known as Calliste (Most Beautiful) and Stronghyle. One source states that for a short period in the 16th century a Jew named Nazi (sic) owned Thera.  A potted history of the island was compiled by Professor Christos Doumas(c).

Many writers over the past century have supported the idea that Atlantis was a Minoan society that was destroyed when Thera erupted violently in the second millennium BC. This is discussed more fully under Thera.

The archaeological site near the village of Akrotiri on the south of the island was closed nearly seven years ago after a ceiling collapsed killing one tourist and injuring six others. Now the site is due to open again in April 2012(a) ironically just as evidence is mounting of increased volcanic activity in the Santorini caldera(b).

Rather unexpectedly, I came across an article about a link between Santorini and vampires by Paul Devereux, not surprisingly in the Fortean Times of April 2013.

May 1st 2019 saw the opening of a new museum on Santorini, called The Lost Atlantis Experience.(d)

*Santorini is also the home of Atlantis Books, which has been described as “one of Europe’s most enchanting bookstores” and has now become a tourist attraction in its own right.(e)*

(a) https://greece.greekreporter.com/2012/04/10/the-archaeological-site-of-akrotiri-in-santorini-to-reopen/

(b) https://greece.greekreporter.com/2012/03/13/volcanic-island-of-santorini-shows-activity/

(c) https://www.noteaccess.com/APPROACHES/AGW/SanHistory.htm

(d) https://www.atlantis-scout.de/atlantis_newsl_archive.htm

*(e) https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/27/books/atlantis-books-bookstore-santorini.html*

Pelasgians

Pelasgians or Pelasgi is the term applied to early populations of the Aegean, prior to the Flood of Deucalion and subsequent arrival of the Hellenic peoples to the region. Pelasgian Greeks are recognised as having occupied Crete at the end of the 2nd millennium BC. It is unclear from classical sources(b) exactly what regions the Pelasgians occupied, not to mention when or where they originated.

Some writers such as Densusianu have postulated a Pelasgian Empire extending over a large stretch of central Europe.

Euripides stated that the Pelasgians were later called Danaans.

Spiro N. Konda believes that today’s Albanians are descendants of the Pelasgians and has written The Albanians and the Pelasgian Problem in support of this idea, unfortunately, it is in Albanian, but some of his arguments can be read, in English, online(a).

Oliver D. Smith in his book Atlantis in Greece identified “the Pelasgians with both the Atlanteans and prehistoric Athenians – as two regional tribes at war with each other”.

A more radical, highly speculative and quite incredible, alternative definition is offered by Marin, Minella and Schievenin[0972.471],  which is that Pelasgians were refugees from their homeland in Antarctica after its catastrophic destruction. They claim that these refugees were also known as Titans, Tyrrhenians and Atlanteans, among other names! They further claim that anthropology calls them Cro-Magnon!

(a) https://at001.wordpress.com/2011/04/09/the-etymology-of-the-names-of-pelasgian-gods-2/ {2911}

(b) https://stoa.wordpress.com/2008/08/05/the-pelasgians-in-the-ancient-historians-texts/

 

Melos or Milos

Milos mapMelos or Milos is the most westerly of the Cyclades in the Aegean Sea. Dr. Galanopoulos was of the opinion that Melos was named after Eumelos the brother of Atlas, the King of Atlantis.

This view led Galanopoulos to conclude that the Pillars of Heracles were therefore located at the western entrance to the Aegean.

Obsidian, a volcanic glass, principally native to Melos, has been found all over the Aegean as well as mainland Greece and has been dated to 13,000 BC implying that that extensive seafaring was possible at that time(a). However, during that period, sea levels were much lower than at present, as the Ice Age glaciations were still in place. This would have led to greater land exposure in the Aegean with shorter distances between islands, which were easily crossed with relatively primitive boats.

A major conference on Atlantis was held on the island in July 2005, entitled The Atlantis Hypothesis: Searching for a Lost Land. At the conclusion of the conference a majority of the attendees supported a 24-point list of criteria that any candidate for the location of Atlantis must satisfy. These are listed under The Atlantis Conference 2005 entry.

(a) https://www.sott.net/articles/show/234192-New-Evidence-Hints-at-Ice-Age-Mariners-in-Ancient-Greece

Lambeck, Kurt L.

LambeckKurtKurt L. Lambeck (1941- ) is Professor of Geophysics at The Australian National University in Canberra. He has carried out a study in many parts of the world of sea level changes and together with A. Purcell presented a paper to the 2005 Melos Atlantis Conference with the tantalising sub-title of “Was Atlantis on the doorstep of Athens”.

Lambeck particularly charts the reduction of the Cyclades from a landmass of approximately 160 x 85 km (13,600 km2)  to the archipelago we know today, which has an area of 2,572 km2.

He suggests that a memory of the break-up of this large landmass may have been the source of Plato’s Atlantis. His findings in the Aegean have been published in Antiquity[430] and maps of sea level changes, based on his investigations, are also available on the Internet. It is interesting to compare Lambeck’s findings with the theory of Paulino Zamarro who firmly places Atlantis in the Aegean.

Lambeck’s sea level data has been harshly criticised by Izabol Apulia(d), who has developed a large series of maps showing the ancient coastlines of most Mediterranean islands at various stages since the Last Glacial Maximum.  

Lambeck has also studied the Persian Gulf and concluded that it had been a fertile valley that was inundated after the last Ice Age forcing the inhabitants to move inland and leading to the establishment of the intriguing Mesopotamian civilisations such as the Sumerians. This flooding of the Persian Gulf(b) may have inspired the Epic of Gilgamesh which contains a Deluge story, accepted by many, to be an earlier version of the Biblical flood of Noah. The December 2010 issue of Current Anthropology discusses this subject and suggests that the flooding of both the Persian Gulf and the Black Sea took place around the same time(c).

(b) http://people.rses.anu.edu.au/lambeck_k/pdf/171.pdf

>(c) https://news.discovery.com/earth/ancient-desert-oasis-echoes-of-eden.html  (Link Broken Sept. 2020)<

(d) See: Archive 2566