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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Alexandros Angelis

Angelis, Alexandros

Alexandros Angelis (1978- ) is the Greek author of Our Unknown Ancient Past [1903]. He has published a lengthy article on Graham Hancock‘s website(a) in which he reprises elements from his book; ancient technology, Greeks in Polynesia, Hyperboreans and of course, Atlantis.

His book has a lot of material relating to Atlantis as does his website(b). Angelis has opted for the Azores as part of Plato’s Atlantis(c).

There are several matters raised by Angelis that I cannot agree with, particularly his suggestion that the ending of the Younger Dryas and Plato’s date for the inundation of Atlantis is too much of a coincidence not to be connected(d)! I contend that there is no coincidence as Atlantis (or Athens) did not exist until many millennia after the Younger Dryas. I have dealt with this in the Dating Atlantis entry and more fully in Joining the Dots.

(a) https://grahamhancock.com/angelisa1/ 

(b) Our Unknown Ancient Past

(c) https://ourunknownancientpast.blogspot.com/2021/06/the-azores-as-candidate-location-for.html

(d) https://ourunknownancientpast.blogspot.com/2021/08/plato-atlantis-probability-of.html

Easter Island

Easter Island.02Easter Island (Rapa Nui) with its strange statues, known as moai, remains one of the great archaeological mysteries. As with most ancient enigmas, various writers have tried to link Easter Island with either Atlantis, Mu or extraterrestrials.

Herbie Brennan in his early book, Occult Reich [027], touched on the subject of Lemuria with the following two gems, “Atlantis, in earliest times, was actually part of Lemuria” and “the degenerate line of Lemuria is still with us, although only just and obviously dying. It is represented by the primitive aborigine of Australia.” He also claimed that a volcanic upheaval brought a tiny speck of Lemuria to the surface. “It rose complete with a host of giant statues……..now known as Easter Island.”

I cannot subscribe to such silliness and would not normally include Easter Island in this encyclopedia, but in recognition of the level of general interest in the subject, I have included a link(a) to the serious archaeological work that continues on the island. This study is now in its fifth season and is directed by Dr Jo Anne Van Tilburg. One aspect of the work was to demonstrate that many of the Easter Island ‘heads’ have buried bodies, often, until now, with hidden petroglyphs(t). A recent (June 2015) blog(g) has proposed that some of the markings represent tattoos.

Van Tilburg has been working on Rapa Nui for more than three decades. Her Easter Island Statue Project is supported in part by UCLA’s Cotsen Institute of Archaeology. “A 2019 report from her radically alters the idea that all standing statues in the Rano Raraku quarry were simply awaiting transport out of the quarry,” Van Tilburg said. “That is, these and probably other upright Moai in Rano Raraku were retained in place to ensure the sacred nature of the quarry itself. The Moai were central to the idea of fertility, and in Rapanui belief, their presence here stimulated agricultural food production.”(aa)

The other great Easter Island mystery(i) is the rongorongo script found there. All attempts to decipher it have failed(c)(d). An extensive article by Jacob Mikanowski offering insights into the history of the island and its script and the many efforts to decode it is available online(q). David Pratt has also compared rongorongo with ancient Chinese and Indus Valley scripts(r). Pratt has written several papers on various aspects of Easter Island(s).

Jean-Michel Schwartz has noted [1792.93] the views of Dr Heine Geldern who “pointed out strong resemblances between rongo-rongo signs and certain archaic Chinese characters, particularly from the Shang period.”

Similarities between rongorongo and symbols carved on the Ingá Stone in Brazil have also been noted(v).

Some years ago Andis Kaulins wrote An Astrological Zodiac In the Script of Easter Island(x), in which he also links the Easter Island script with the Indus Valley as well as possible calendrical and astronomical associations.

“In 1932, Wilhelm de Hevesy was the first academic to suggest a link between Rongorongo and the Indus script of the Indus Valley Civilization in India, claiming that as many as forty Rongorongo symbols had a correlating symbol in the script from India. For a while, the idea was entertained and debated until radiocarbon dating of the  Indus Valley culture was placed between c. 3,300 – 1,900 BC, a finding which officially separated the two cultures by over 2,000 years. Recent research, however, has opened the debate again as the finding of Indus Valley DNA in Australian Aborigines suggests contact between the two cultures c. 2,000 BC.”(v) There is also an extensive study of the two scripts available on the Academia.edu website.(w)

Although a link between the Indus Valley or even the Chinese cannot be ruled out, the suggestion by Professor Nors Sigurd Josephson that there is a possible Greek connection with Easter Island does appear to be extreme. Nevertheless, he claims that “In parallel with the over one thousand ancient Greek linguistic roots that are met in the language of Easter Island and, the relative to it, Polynesian languages, we also meet a big number of ancient Greek grammatic peculiarities, like noun endings and verbal types” [1904][1905].

More recently (2021), Alexandros Angelis has endorsed Josephson’s idea and for good measure has suggested a linkage between the Greek and Aztec languages(ae).

A new suggestion has recently emerged linking Easter Island and the ongoing discoveries at Göbekli Tepe in Turkey(b). This dates back to early easter island2010 and has now been given greater prominence in Robert Schoch’s recent book, Forgotten Civilization [867]. On a lighter note, when Robert Schoch, suggested a link between Göbekli Tepe and Easter Island(m), despite the eleven millennia time difference, it was no surprise that Jason Colavito scornfully dismissed the idea(n).

Pre-Colonial contacts between Easter Island and South America have recently been supported by DNA evidence(f). This would appear to be contradicted by a 2017 study by a team from the University of California -Santa Cruz, which appears to rule out pre-European contact with South Americans! Details are published in the October 12th edition of Current Biology.(p)

The Milwaukee Journal of June 17th 1923 had a headline that announced the disappearance of Easter Island(e), proving that you really can’t believe everything you read! Coincidentally, 1923 also gave us an early attempt(h) to link Easter Island with Atlantis.

For a long time, it has been thought that warfare had wiped out much of its early population. This has now been debunked by a new study, led by Binghamton University anthropology professor Carl Lipo and published in the Feb. 2016 edition of the journal Antiquity(j). Shortly afterwards, a further study suggested a more complex explanation for the early social collapse on the island has been put forward by Dr Valentí Rull, who is a senior researcher at the Spanish National Research Council in Barcelona(k).

A further report(o)  from Lipo highlighted further the complexity underlying the societal disintegration that took place on the island. Lipo outlined the commonly held explanation as follows; “One of the resources that they supposedly used up was trees that were growing on the island. Those trees provided canoes and, as a result of the lack of canoes, they could no longer fish. So they started to rely more and more on land food. As they relied on land food, productivity went down because of soil erosion, which led to crop failures…Painting the picture of this sort of catastrophe. That’s the traditional narrative.” Lipo’s studies have employed new technologies that have disproved these popular ideas and forced a radical rethink.

There is a brief Smithsonian video clip available(l) that deals with the cutting and transportation of the moai.

The latest moai theory has come from a team of researchers, led by Carl Lipo, from New York’s Binghampton University, who have concluded that the statues were placed at locations where potable water was available(u). To me, it seems an excessively elaborate way of marking locations.

A recent study has added some confusion to conventional assumptions regarding early warfare on the island, claiming that there is evidence now that “Easter Island society did not collapse prior to European contact and its people continued to build its iconic moai statues for much longer than previously believed, according to a team of American researchers” Their conclusions were published in the February 2020 issue of the Journal of Archaeological Science.(y)

Joseph Davidovits who controversially proposed that Giza’s Great Pyramid stones had been cast rather than carved has also claimed that other well-known structures had been created in a similar manner, such as at Tiwanaku and Puma Punku in Peru(ac) and Easter Island(ad). Davidovits also offers a video justifying these claims(ag).

In the April 2020 edition of the Journal of Archaeological Science, Lipo et al offered a new paper(z) further debunking the Rapa Nui societal collapse theory and 2021 saw the collapse theory under further attack(ab).

In 2022 the proposed connection between the Easter Island and the Indus scripts was given a further airing. This time, the author Daniel F. Salas introduces this lengthy paper with ” The Indus Valley script glyphs have a visual relationship with the star constellations along the ecliptic. The Indus script has an established visual relationship with the Polynesian Easter Island script. The Polynesians used the stars to navigate, the use of the same pictorial image of the stars points to a very old navigational system. As for the Polynesian script a seasonal date can be found, using the same navigational system it can be said it happens in the Indus valley script. These dates for the Indus Valley script indicate a season of harvest of a particular plant.”(af)

>Also in 2022, a BBC article by Sarah Brown offered the latest ideas on how the moai were moved from the quarry to their final location. There appears to be some agreement that the method used is described by Brown as the marriage of ingenious design and flawless sculpting, which enabled these humanlike statues to stand upright and rock forward from side-to-side while being guided by ropes, granting the statues the ability to ‘walk’.”(ah)<

(a) https://www.eisp.org/

(b) https://www.unexplained-mysteries.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=176228

(c)  https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0387982418/deniartsystems

(d)  https://www.boloji.com/articles/14555/deciphering-rongorongo

(e) https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1499&dat=19230617&id=9f1EAAAAIBAJ&sjid=XyEEAAAAIBAJ&pg=5420,3683626 (inaccessible Sept. 2016)

(f) https://mysteriousuniverse.org/2014/10/new-dna-evidence-confirms-pre-colonial-contact-between-easter-island-and-south-america/

(g) https://www.ancient-origins.net/news-general/new-photos-reveal-giant-easter-island-moai-statues-are-covered-mysterious-symbols-020389

(h) https://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/139600431?searchTerm=Atlantis discovered&searchLimits=

(i) https://www.damninteresting.com/the-other-mystery-of-easter-island/

(j) https://www.redorbit.com/news/science/1113412616/longstanding-mystery-surrounding-easter-island-has-been-solved-021616/

(k) https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2016-04/f-wrh040716.php

(l) How Were Easter Island’s Gigantic Statues Actually Carved? | Smithsonian Magazine (archive.org)

(m) https://web.archive.org/web/20160911175943/https://www.robertschoch.com/articles/schochgobeklitepenewdawnsept2010.pdf  See: Sept/Oct 2010 edition of New Dawn Magazine (Issue 122)

(n) https://www.jasoncolavito.com/blog/robert-schochs-wacky-easter-island-gobekli-tepe-theory-the-hypocrisy-of-alternative-dating

(o) https://popular-archaeology.com/issue/summer-2017/article/easter-island-not-victim-of-ecocide-analysis-of-remains-shows

(p) https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/12/science/easter-island-dna-south-america.html

(q) https://web.archive.org/web/20200508065544/http://cabinetmagazine.org/issues/64/mikanowski.php

(r) https://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/arqueologia/eastern_island/easter03.htm#7._Rongorongo_

(s) https://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/arqueologia/eastern_island/easter.htm

(t) https://www.ancient-origins.net/news-general/new-photos-reveal-giant-easter-island-moai-statues-are-covered-mysterious-symbols-020389

(t) https://www.news.com.au/travel/world-travel/pacific/easter-island-discovery-experts-unravel-mystery-of-ancient-statues/news-story/00bc37226b08dcecdb088fdb091277ea

(v) https://web.archive.org/web/20200506032241/http://www.ancient-wisdom.com/easterislandindusvalley1.htm

(w) https://www.academia.edu/2384225/Rongorongo_and_the_Indus_Script

(x) https://easterislandscript.blogspot.com/2010/01/astrological-zodiac-in-script-of-easter.html

(y) https://www.heritagedaily.com/2020/02/easter-island-society-did-not-collapse-prior-to-european-contact-new-research-shows/125663

(z) Rethinking Jared Diamond’s “Collapse” of Easter Island – Anthropology.net (archive.org)

(aa) https://www.ancient-origins.net/news-history-archaeology/easter-island-moai-0013007

(ab) https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/07/210713090153.htm 

(ac) https://www.geopolymer.org/archaeology/tiahuanaco-monuments-tiwanaku-pumapunku-bolivia/ 

(ad) https://www.geopolymer.org/library/video/they-came-from-america-to-build-easter-island/  

(ae) https://grahamhancock.com/angelisa1/ 

(af) https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/indus-valley-easter-island-scripts-daniel-salas?trk=articles_directory

(ag) https://www.geopolymer.org/library/video/they-came-from-america-to-build-easter-island/  

(ah) The ‘walking’ statues of Easter Island – BBC Travel *

Dating Atlantis

Dating Atlantis is one of the most contentious difficulties faced by Atlantology. The critical problem is to identify the time of the Atlantean War and that of the later destruction of Atlantis itself; two events possibly separated by a period not recorded by Plato. This entry is primarily concerned with the date of the war. However, it should be pointed out that Plato also reveals that the Atlantis story has a very long history before the war, back to a time when ships and sailing did not yet exist (Crit.113e), so it is understandable when Plato filled that historical gap with mythological characters, namely five sets of twins sired by Poseidon. Of course, Poseidon being a sea god did not require a boat to get to the island of Atlantis! Plato also informs us that the twins and their descendants lived on the island for ‘many generations’ and extended their rule over many other islands in the sea (Crit.114c).

There are roughly three schools of thought regarding this important detail. The first group persist in accepting at face value Plato’s reference to a period of 9,000 solar years having elapsed since the War with  Atlantis up to the time of Solon’s visit around 550 BC. The second group are convinced that the 9,000 refers to periods other than solar years, such as lunar cycles or seasons. The third group seeks to identify the time of Atlantis by linking it to other known historical events.

While these groups offered some level of evidence, however flimsy, to support their claims, some individuals have placed Atlantis up to millions of years in the past based on nothing more than their fertile imaginations or delusions. Arguably the best known was Edgar Cayce, but purveyors of such daft ideas are still lurking among us!(m)

Desmond Lee has commented[0435] that “the Greeks, both philosophers and others…….seem to have been curiously lacking in their sense of time-dimension.”

[1.0] 9550 BC is factually correct

This view has a slowly dwindling number of supporters among serious investigators. Massimo Rapisarda is one such promoter, who has offered his reasons for accepting this early date(p). To support this idea proponents usually cite a wide range of evidence to suggest the existence of advanced cultures in the 10th millennium BC. Matters such as an earlier than conventionally accepted date for the Sphinx, early proto-alphabets a la Glozel or the apparently anomalous structures such as the Lixus foundations or the controversial Baalbek megaliths have all been recruited to support an early date for Atlantis, many, if not all, have their dates hotly disputed. Apart from the contentious dates, there is NOTHING to definitively link any of them with Plato’s Atlantis.

In common with most nations, the Egyptians competitively promoted the great antiquity of their own origins. Herodotus reports that while in Egypt he was told of a succession of kings extending over 17,000 years. The priests of Memphis told him firmly that 341 kings and a similar number of high priests had until then, ruled their country. (Herodotus, Book II, 142). ),>of course, there is not a shred of archaeological evidence to support such a claim.<Even an average reign of 20 years would give a total of nearly 7000 years whereas a more improbable 26-year average would be required to span the necessary 9000 years.

It is therefore obvious that the 17,000 years related to Herodotus is not credible raising a question regarding the trustworthiness of the 9000 years told to Solon.

In The Laws Plato refers to Egyptian art going back 10,000 years, seemingly, indicating consistency in his belief in the great antiquity of civilisation and fully compatible with his date for Atlantis. However, I have discovered that in Plato’s time ‘ten thousand’ was frequently used simply to express a large but indefinite number.

A Bible study site tells us that The use of definite numerical expressions in an indefinite sense, that is, as round numbers, which is met with in many languages, seems to have been very prevalent in Western Asia from early times to the present day.”(h)

The acceptance of Plato’s 9,000 years as literally correct defies both commonsense and archaeological evidence, which demonstrates that neither Athens nor a structured Egypt existed at such an early period. The onus is on those, who accept the prima facie date of 9,600 BC, to explain how Atlantis attacked a non-existent Athens and/or Egypt.

In a 2021 article(h) concerning 10,000 BC, Thorwald C. Franke offered the following opinion; “Many scientists seem to live quite comfortably with Graham Hancock and similar authors speculating about 10,000 BC because these hypotheses are so nonsensical that they do not interfere with real science. Sometimes you have the impression that many scientists even prefer such misleading popular errors over more informed hypotheses because they would make the audience ask more serious questions and then the questions could not be dismissed so easily anymore. But this is only an impression. In truth, scientists shy away from the effort to overcome these popular errors. It is much easier to stay silent and to ignore them.”

Alexandros Angelis wrote(q) of how he is “always suspicious of coincidence. Whenever I hear this word, an alarm sets off in my head. In my book ‘Our Unknown Ancient Past: Thoughts and Reflections on the Unexplained Mysteries of Prehistory’ I state that it cannot be a coincidence that Plato’s date of Atlantis’ destruction (9.600 BC) is spot on, coinciding with the abrupt end of the Younger Dryas (9.600 BC).”

When this compiler first encountered this coincidence I was also suspicious. However, as I investigated further I realised that all of Plato’s numbers seemed to be inflated by what was arguably a common factor – another coincidence? I have devoted an entire chapter in Joining the Dots to this problem.

Angelis considers the ‘rapid’ gradual melting of the ice at the end of the Younger Dryas as the cause of Atlantis’ submergence, which might have been true except that Plato tells us that the catastrophe took place over a day and a night and that the event was triggered by an earthquake. Angelis seems unaware that isostatic rebound is a very slow process of readjustment involving centuries and sometimes thousands of years and even when glaciers melt rapidly, sea levels, because of the vastness of our oceans, rise slowly.

[2.0] 9000 refers to units of time other than solar years

Advocates of this view, understandably point out, that the Atlantis described in such detail by Plato belongs to the Bronze Age and could not have existed at an earlier date. It is worth noting that the technology is coincidental with the most advanced known to Plato and his audience. For those who argue that mankind has been destroyed on one or more occasions and has had to start again from scratch, it is not credible that if this was the case, the culture and technology described by Plato as existing in 9500 BC is precisely what he would have experienced himself. There is nothing in the Atlantis texts to connect it with a pre-Bronze Age society, nor is there anything to suggest any technology or cultural advance beyond that of the 4th century BC. Plato’s tale tells of the existence of at least three major nations before the destruction of Atlantis: Egypt, Athens and Atlantis itself. There is no archaeological evidence to indicate anything other than Neolithic cultures existing in Egypt or Athens around 9500 BC. The currently accepted date for the beginning of Egyptian civilisation is circa 3100 BC and also for the existence of a primitive culture around Athens at about the same time. This would parallel the time of the western European megalithic builders.

It is noteworthy that researchers who support a 9,600 BC date for the war between Atlantis and Athens cannot explain how this took place millennia before there was any structured society in Greece or Egypt.

It may be worth noting the comments of Israel Finkelstein and Neil Silberman who have argued[280] for a 7thcentury BC date for the final draft of the Exodus narrative rather than during the 2nd millennium BC as suggested by the text“In much the same way that European illuminated manuscripts of the Middle Ages depicted Jerusalem as a European city with turrets and battlements to heighten its direct impact on contemporary readers” (p68). Similarly,  it is possible that Plato added architectural and technological details of his day to a more ancient tale of a lost civilisation to make a more powerful impression on his audience.

According to Bury’s translation, Plato mentions (Crit. 119e) that iron was used for utensils and weapons in Atlantis and so forcing us to look to a date later than 2000 BC for its destruction. Olaf Rudbeck drew attention to this reference around 1700.

[2.1]

Diaz-Montexano claims that the ‘9000 years’ in Critias has been mistranslated. He refers to the earliest versions of Critias that are available and insists that the texts permit a translation of either ‘9 times in a 1000 years’ or ‘1009’, the first being the more rational! Frank Joseph has also used this 1009 number, quoting private correspondence from Kenneth Caroli, in his 2015 regurgitation[1074] of Atlantis and 2012. Diaz-Montexano has also drawn attention to the commentary on Timaeus by Proclus, writing in the 5th century AD, where he treats Plato’s use of 9000 as having symbolic rather than literal meaning. It should also be kept in mind that many cultures, ancient and modern use specific numbers to indicate indefinite values(e). In a more recent paper Diaz-Montexano concluded that we can place their military and colonizing expansion towards the end of 3.500 BC, at the earliest, and the end of their civilization (with Atlantis sinking) between 2.700 and 1.700 BC.”(o)

[2.2] In June 2017, a forum on the Historum.com website included the following possible explanation for the Atlantean dates:

The date 8000 is given as a fraction of 8 since the Greeks commonly used fractional notation. Plato wrote in 400 BC and Solon obtained the account in 570 BC.

No Egyptian Annals ever went back 9000 or even 8000 years. The furthest back the Egyptian annals went at the time of Herodotus was to 3050 BC to the reign of Menes the first Pharaoh who Herodotus knew about. Therefore it is obvious that the number of years has been given as a fraction which was extremely common in Greek numerology.

Thus the war between Atlantis and Athens occurred in 9000/8 + 570 = 1695 BC (+/-63 years) which is pretty close to the date of the war between the Titans and the Gods c.1685-1675 BC. The entire story of Atlantis runs concurrent to the time of the Thera Eruption. You even have 10 kings ruling the land equivalent to the 12 Titans.”

The Bible too denotes years as fractions, i.e. seasons, equinoxes/solstices etc. That is why you have biblical patriarchs that lived 800 and 900 years old. The ages to Noah are all counted in Lunar months.”(i)

While I’m aware that the Egyptians also had a different way of dealing with fractions, I really cannot fully understand any of the suggestions made above.

 [2.3] 900, not 9000 years

To address these apparent dating problems, some have suggested that the stated 9000 years, which allegedly elapsed since the catastrophe, are the result of incorrect transcription by someone along what is a very long chain of transmission and that hundreds have somehow been confused with thousands and that the correct figure should be 900 years. Another suggestion is that the Egyptian hieroglyphics for ‘hundred’ and ‘thousand’ are easily confused. This explanation does not hold water, as there is little room for confusion between these hieroglyphics as illustrated below. This idea has been adopted by Don Ingram and incorporated into his Atlantis hypothesis.

Immanuel Velikovsky also endorsed the idea of a tenfold discrepancy in Plato’s date for the time of Atlantis in Worlds in Collision [037.152].

However, 900 years earlier than Solon would place the conflict with the Atlanteans during the XVIIIth Dynasty and would have been well recorded. More recently Diaz-Montexano put forward the idea that the Egyptian words for ‘100’ and ‘1000’ when spoken sounded similar leading to Solon’s error. This idea has now been taken up by James Nienhuis and in greater detail by R. McQuillen(a).

Another explanation offered by James W. Mavor Jnr. is that the original Egyptian story emanated from Crete where it may have been written in either the Linear A or Linear B script where the symbols for 100 and 1000 are quite similar. In both scripts, the symbol for 100 is a circle whereas the symbol for 1000 is a circle with four equally spaced small spikes or excrescences projecting outward.

Nevertheless, the most potent argument against the ‘factor ten’ solution is that if the priests did not intend to suggest that Egypt was founded 8000 years before Solon’s visit but had meant 800 years, it would place the establishment of Egypt at around 1450 BC, which is clearly at variance with undisputed archaeological evidence. However, I contend that they were referring to the establishment of Sais as a centre of importance, not the foundation of the entire nation of Egypt.

>In Joining the Dots, I supported the ‘factor ten’ explanation but did so because all of Plato’s large numbers relating as they do to dimensions, manpower and time invariably appear to be exaggerations, but become far more credible when reduced by a factor of ten. Supporters of Plato’s 9,000 years as factual seem to ignore all the other numbers that also appear to be seriously inflated!<

[2.4] 9000 months not years

The earliest suggestion that I have found which implied that the age of Atlantis noted by Plato referred to months rather than solar years comes from the early fourteenth century.

Thorwald C. Franke has drawn attention to Thomas Bradwardine‘s rejection of Plato’s, or more correctly the Egyptian priest’s, apparent claim of a very early date for Atlantis [1255.242]. It seems that he found such a date conflicted with biblical chronology. In the end, he proposed that Plato’s ‘years’ were lunar cycles.>Similarly, Pierre d’Ailly (1350-1420), a French theologian who became cardinal, arrived at the same conclusion for similar reasons.< 

Around two and a half centuries later in 1572 Pedro Sarmiento de Gamboa suggested the application of lunar ‘years’ rather than solar years to Plato’s figures. Augustin Zárate expressed the same view in 1577, quoting Eudoxus in support of it. 

>In the 18th century, Cornelius De Pauw also believed that Plato’s 9000 ‘years’ was a reference to lunar cycles.<

Then there are others, such as Émile Mir Chaouat and Jürgen Hepke who also subscribe to the view that the 9000 ‘years’ recorded by Plato referred to months rather than solar years, as the early Egyptians extensively used a lunar calendar and continued to use it throughout their long history, particularly for determining the dates of religious festivals and since Solon received the Atlantis story from Egyptian priests it would be understandable if they used lunar ‘years’ in their conversations. Eudoxus of Cnidos (c.400 BC- c. 350 BC), mathematician and astronomer, who spent a year in Egypt, declared, “The Egyptians reckon a month as a year”. Diodorus Siculus (1st cent. BC) echoes this statement. (see Richard A. Parker[682]) and Manetho (3rd cent.BC) (Aegyptiaca[1373.40])

Olof Rudbeck also proposed that Plato misunderstood the Greek priesthood’s use of lunar cycles rather than solar years to calculate time. This in turn led him to date the Atlantean War to 1350 BC.

This use of months rather than years would give us a total of just 750 years before Solon’s visit and so would place the Atlantis catastrophe around 1300 BC, nearly coinciding with the eruption of Thera and the collapse of the Minoan civilisation.

A similar explanation has been offered by J.Q. Jacobs to rationalise the incredible time spans found in ancient Indian literature, who suggested that numbers referred to days rather than years(b).

[2.5] 5,000 not 9,000 years

A claim was made on Graham Hancock’s website in 2008(c) that Plato did not write 9,000 but instead wrote 5,000, but that the characters for both were quite similar leading to the misunderstanding. This claim was originally made by Livezeanu Mihai. However, my reading of Greek numerals makes this improbable as 9,000 requires five characters ( one for 5,000 and one for each of the other four thousand), while 5,000 needs just the one.

Adrian Bucurescu claims that Plato originally said 5,000, not 9,000 years had elapsed between the Atlantean war and Solon’s visit to Egypt. He bases this claim on the fact that the works of the Greek philosophers were preserved in Arabic translations after the fall of Constantinople and that their numbers ‘5’ and ‘9’ were sufficiently similar to have led to a transcription error!(b) This is difficult to accept as the Arabic character for nine is rather like our ‘9’, while the Arabic five is like our zero!

[3.1] Sometime after 9500 BC.

Jonas Bergman correctly points out that according to the story related by the priests of Sais to Solon, the Egyptian civilisation was founded 1000 years after Athens was first established in 9600 BC. Although this probably just refers to the founding of the city of Sais rather than the early Egyptian state.

Plato describes the original division of the earth between the gods of old, Poseidon got Atlantis and Athena got Greece. The implication is that both were founded at the same time, namely in 9600 BC. Realistically, the 9000-year time span is better treated as an introductory literary cliché such as ‘once upon a time’ or the Irish ‘fado, fado’ (long, long ago). Plato’s text describes the building of Atlantis and informs us that no man could get to the island ‘for ships and voyages were not yet’. Since Atlantis had twelve hundred warships at the time of the conflict with Athens, the war could not have taken place in 9600 BC. The development of seafaring and shipbuilding would have taken considerable time. Bergman concludes that the war with Atlantis took place long after 9600 BC.

Another date was proposed by Otto Muck [098] in 1976 when he maintained that Atlantis had been situated in the Atlantic and was destroyed by an asteroidal impact in 8498 BC and proposed that the same event also created the Carolina Bays!

[3.2] Peter James as quoted in Francis Hitching’s The World Atlas of Mysteries[307.138] is reported to have accepted the orthodox date of 3100 BC as the start of Egyptian civilisation and considering the priest’s statement that the events outlined took place one thousand years before the creation of Egypt and so added only 500 years to compensate for nationalistic exaggeration and has concluded that 3600 BC is a more realistic date for the destruction of Atlantis.

[3.3] Early in the 20th century, the German scholar Adolf Schulten and the classicist H. Diller from Kiel, both advocated an even more radical date of around 500 BC, having identified the narrative of Plato as paralleling much of the Persian wars (500-449 BC) with the Greeks. This however would be after Solon’s trip to Egypt and have made little sense of Plato’s reference to him.

[3.4] 4015 BC is the precise date offered by Col. Alexander Braghine who credits the destruction of Atlantis to a close encounter with Halley’s Comet on the 7th June in that year. This is close to the date favoured by de Grazia.

[3.5] 3590-1850 BC has been suggested by the Czech writer Radek Brychta who has developed an ingenious idea based on the fact that the Egyptians who were so dependent on the Nile, divided their year into three seasons related to their river, the flooding, the blossom and the harvest periods. Brychta points out that counting time by seasons rather than solar years was common in the Indus civilisation that occupied part of modern Pakistan. Even today Pakistan has three seasons, cool, hot and wet. Brychta contends that the 9000 ‘years’ related to Solon were in fact seasons and should be read by us as 3000 years which when added to the date of Solon’s Egyptian visit would give an outside date of 3590 BC. If Brychta is correct this 9000 year/season corruption could easily have occurred during the transmission and translation of the story during its journey from the Indus to the Nile valley.

[3.6] 3100 BC as a date for the destruction of Atlantis has been proposed by several investigators including, David Furlong, Timo Niroma, and Duncan Steel. Hossam Aboulfotouh has proposed a similar  3070 BC as the date of Atlantis’ demise(f).

[3.7] 2200 BC is the proposed date put forward by Dr Anton Mifsud for the end of Atlantis, located in the vicinity of his native Malta. He arrived at this conclusion after studying the comments of Eumelos of Cyrene who dated the catastrophe to the reign of King Ninus of Assyria. Around the same time, in Egypt, unusually low Nile floods led to the collapse of centralised government and generations of political turmoil(f). According to some commentators(g), the Los Millares culture in Iberia also ended around the same time.

[3.8]>Circa 1200 BC is a date favoured by investigators such as Eberhard Zangger  [483] and Steven Sora [395] who both identify the Atlantean War with the Trojan War. Frank Joseph is more precise proposing that “it appears, then, that the destruction of Atlantis took place around the first three days of November 1198 BCE. [102.208].< It may be worth noting that this date has also been linked to the suggested close encounter with the Phaëton comet and its destructive effects globally.

[3.9] Stelios Pavlou has taken a different approach, basing his conclusion on a close analysis of the Egyptian King Lists with particular reference to that of Manetho. Pavlou’s paper is well(l) worth studying. In the end, he contends that the time of Atlantis was in or around 4532 BC.

[4.0] More than one Atlantis!

It is not unreasonable to consider Plato’s Atlantis narrative as a literary amalgam of two or more historically based stories or myths. One possibility is that the Egyptian priests related to Solon the tale of the inundation of a powerful and advanced culture in the dim and distant past. Such an event did occur, worldwide, when the Ice Age glaciers melted, resulting, for example, in the eastern Atlantic, the flooding of the North Sea, the Celtic Shelf and dramatically reducing in size the Canaries and the Azores and creating the British Isles. The entire world was affected by this event so there were also major inundations in the West Indies and the South China Sea. However, events off the coasts of Europe and Africa would be more likely to become part of folklore on this side of the Atlantic.

Over 70 years ago, Daniel Duvillé suggested, that there had been two Atlantises, one in the Atlantic and the other in East Africa.

[5.0] My preference is to treat the use of 9000 by Solon/Plato as an expression of a large but indefinite number or an exaggeration by a factor of ten. At the beginning of my research, I strongly favoured the former, but as I proceeded to investigate other aspects of Plato’s Atlantis story, I realised that virtually all other large numbers used by him also appeared to be inflated by a comparable amount. In seeking a solution to this I found myself drawn to Occam’s Razor, which states that where there are competing theories, the simpler is to be preferred.

It is worth noting that the Egyptian hieratic numerals also stopped with the highest value, expressed by a single character, being 9000. However, having studied the matter more closely I am reluctantly drawn to the ‘factor ten’ theory. This I have written about at some length in Joining the Dots.

The 1st millennium BC saw the introduction and gradual development of new writing and numerical systems by the Greeks. Some claim that the Greeks borrowed the Egyptian numbers(k). 

At an early stage, 9000 was the highest number expressed by a single character in Greek, which in time came to be used to denote a large but uncertain value. As the needs of commerce and science demanded ever higher numbers a new character ‘M’ for myriad with a value of 10,000 was introduced. It also was used to indicate a large indefinite number, a practice that continues to this very day. Greek numerical notation was still being developed during Plato’s life.

Today, we use similar expressions such as ‘I have a million things to do’ with no intention of being taken literally, but simply to indicate ‘many’(e).  Unfortunately, this interpretation of 9,000 does little to pinpoint the date of the Atlantean war, but it is not unreasonable to attribute a value to it of something above 1,000 and possibly a multiple of it.

Diaz-Montexano has drawn attention to the writings of Proclus, who in his commentary on Timaeus declared the number 9,000 to have had a symbolic value (Timaeus 45b-f).

However, having said that, I am also attracted to the ’factor ten’ theory after a study of other numbers in the Atlantis narrative which all seem to be consistently exaggerated by a similar amount, which seems to be a factor of ten!

Andrew Collins in his Gateway to Atlantis[072.52] wrote “a gross inconsistency has crept into the account, for although Critias affirms that Athens’ aggressor came from ‘without’ the Pillars of Hercules, the actual war is here said to have taken place ‘nine thousand years’ before the date of the dialogue, c.421 BC. This implies a date in the region of 9421 BC, which is not what was stated in the Timaeus. Here 9000 years is the time that has elapsed between the foundation of Athens and Solon’s visit to Sais c. 570 BC. Since Egypt was said to have been founded a full thousand years later, and the ‘aggressor’ rose against both Athens and Egypt, it provides a date post 8570 BC. These widely differing dates leave us with a glaring anomaly that defies explanation. The only obvious solution is to accuse Plato of a certain amount of sloppiness when compiling the text.”

Collins’ suggestion of ‘sloppiness’ is made somewhat redundant if my suggestion that Plato was using 9,000 as a large but indefinite idiomatic value, could be substantiated.

The late Ulf Richter was quite unwilling to accept Plato’s 9,000 years as reliable after a close study of the relevant texts.

Others have produced evidence to suggest that this period in the Earth’s history saw one or more major catastrophic events that may or may not have been interconnected; (i) a collision or near-miss with an extraterrestrial body, (ii) a pole shift, (iii) the melting of the glaciers of the last Ice Age and the consequent raising of sea levels worldwide. This rise provides a credible mechanism that could account for the ’sinking’ of Atlantis.

Mary Settegast, an archaeological researcher, has defended the early date of Atlantis with a remarkable book[545] that delves extensively into Mediterranean and Middle Eastern prehistory and mythologies.

(a) See: https://web.archive.org/web/20181215223457/https://gizacalc.freehostia.com/Atlantis.html

(b) http://www.jqjacobs.net/astro/aryabhata.html

(c) https://www.grahamhancock.com/phorum/read.php?f=1&i=249446&t=249446

(d) https://www.unexplained-mysteries.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=255909

(e) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indefinite_and_fictitious_numbers

(f) https://www.geog.ucl.ac.uk/about-the-department/people/emeritus/roger-flower/research/qarun

(g) https://www.minoanatlantis.com/Origin_Sea_Peoples.php

(h) https://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionary/number/

(i) https://historum.com/speculative-history/128055-atlantis-truth-myth-3.html

(j) https://web.archive.org/web/20100708140347/www.fotouh.netfirms.com/Aboulfotouh-Atlantis.htm

(k) https://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/3109806.stm

(l) https://www.researchgate.net/project/Extrapolating-from-Manethos-King-List-to-Address-the-Critias-108e-Problem

(m) https://matthewpetti.com/atlantis/  

(n) Do you believe in 10,000 BC? – Atlantis-Scout  

(o) https://www.academia.edu/31339700/Atlantisng_com_Correct_chronology_of_Atlantis_When_did_Atlantis_appear_and_when_did_it_disappear 

(p) http://cab.unime.it/journals/index.php/AAPP/article/view/AAPP.932C1/AAPP932C1 

(q) https://ourunknownancientpast.blogspot.com/2021/08/plato-atlantis-probability-of.html