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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Anatolia

Bosporus, The

?The Bosporus or Bosphorus is described by Wikipedia as “a narrow, natural strait and an internationally significant waterway located in northwestern Turkey. It forms part of the continental boundary between Asia and Europe, and divides Turkey by separating Anatolia from Thrace. It is the world’s narrowest strait used for international navigation. The Bosporus connects the Black Sea with the Sea of Marmara, and, by extension via the Dardanelles, the Aegean and Mediterranean seas, and by the Kerch Strait, the Sea of Azov.”

A number of modern commentators have promoted the Bosporus as the location of the Pillars of Herakles; Eberhard Zangger, Christian and Siegfried Schoppe and Werner E. Friedrich.

Arysio dos Santos in his book Atlantis [320.186] noted that “The Bosphorus was considered to be the site of the ‘Pillars of Hercules’ even before the name of these famous features was transplanted to the region of Gibraltar, where it remains stuck down to the present time. In reality, bosporus or bosphorus (or bosporos or bosphoros, rather, the Greek words from which the Latin name derives) means ‘cattle passage, oxford’ precisely because Hercules was said to have crossed there with the cattle he rustled from Geryon, in Erytheia.”

Sea Peoples

The Sea Peoples is the name given by modern scholarship to a group of allies who caused havoc among the nations of the Eastern Mediterranean including Egypt, which they invaded at least twice, in the 2nd millennium BC. The phrase ‘Sea Peoples’ was never used in ancient records, in fact, the coining of the term in 1855 is now generally attributed to French Egyptologist, Emmanuel de Rougé who used the term peuples de la mer (literally “peoples of the sea”) in a description of reliefs at Medinet Habu. The phrase was later popularized by another French Egyptologist, Gaston Maspero (1846-1916). Eckart Kahlhofer has recently suggested that even earlier, J. F. Champollion (1790–1832) employed an equivalent term gens navales to describe the occupants of the invading swan-necked boats.

Also related to the carvings at Medinet Habu is an interesting study of the Sea Peoples’ ships depicted there, by the nautical archaeologist Professor Andrea Salimbetti’s website has a lengthy paper on Aegean Bronze Age ships(al) as well as the Sea Peoples(am).

Cyprian Broodbank in The Making of the Middle Sea [1127] argues that the Sea People “never actually existed as a single people. Instead, small roving bands were a symptom of the collapse, not the cause, and they were blown out of proportion by Egyptian propagandists working for Ramasses III.” (ai)

Broodbank is a co-author with Giulio Lucarini of a paper(av) about Mediterranean Africa that “draws on a new surge in data to present the first up-to-date interpretative synthesis of this region’s archaeology from the start of the Holocene until the threshold of the Iron Age (9600–1000 bc).”

Motivation

One website(h) describes the Sea People as groups of dispossessed raiders driven by hunger following crop failures resulting from climate change. The same idea is expanded on by Lu Paradise in an extensive article(v).

A different view was expressed by the Egyptologist Robert Anderson who commented “It would seem that, rather than bands of plunderers, the Sea People were probably part of a great migration of displaced people. The migration was most likely the result of widespread crop failures and famine.”(d)

Evidence is mounting that climate change played a significant part in the Late Bronze Age collapse of civilisations in the Eastern Mediterranean region. There is a school of thought that believes that the widespread societal disintegration was more the result of environmental factors rather than the depredations of the Sea Peoples(ag).

Origins

The Sea Peoples’ exact origin continues to be a matter of intense speculation(ad). The debate regarding their true identity has been ongoing for a long time and will probably continue as long as the chronologies of the Middle East are not fully harmonized to the satisfaction of most. There is, however, some agreement that the Sea Peoples mounted two separate invasion attempts on Egypt around 1208 & 1176 BC (Facchetti & Negri).

Sea Peoples from the Adriatic

“While most of the Sea Peoples came from either the Aegean or the wider Mediterranean, many historians argue that groups from the Adriatic Sea also joined the migration. Specifically, Austrian historian Fritz Schachermeyr asserted in 1982 that the Sherden and Shekelesh were originally from the Adriatic and had connections to the ancient Illyrians.

Although Schachermeyr’s theory is not commonly held among students of the Sea Peoples, there are those who continue to believe that a famine in the Balkans drove several tribes, including the Illyrians, to migrate over land and over water(ba).”

Mycenaean Sea Peoples

The Oxford Companion to the Bible [0605] is certain that the Sea Peoples were originally Mycenaean, who moved south, following the collapse of their civilisation at the end of the Late Bronze Age. They were repelled by the Egyptians and then moved on to the Levant where they later became known as the Philistines. A paper(ab) that also links the Philistines with the Sea Peoples from a biblical perspective is available.

Shelley Wachsmann(aj), also offers evidence that at least some Mycenaeans were involved with the Sea Peoples(ak).

There is a claim that the Sea Peoples also attacked Mycenaean Greece on two occasions and that Athens survived both(ae). Contrast that with the contention that there was a Mycenaean group within the Sea Peoples. The confusion surrounding the Sea Peoples is exemplified by the response to a question on the quora.com website(af).

Sea Peoples from Anatolia (Northern Levant)

Erick Wright, formerly a regular contributor to the now-defunct Atlantis Rising forums has concluded(b) that Atlantis was located in what today is Southern Turkey and that Atlanteans were among the Sea Peoples who attacked Egypt in 1200 BC. Another Atlantis Rising forum(e) on the subject is also worth a look as is another illustrated site(f) which includes a map of the homelands of the Sea Peoples.

The historian, Sanford Hoist, published a paper in which he argued(j) for an Anatolian origin for the Sea Peoples together with other groups such as the Phoenicians.

David Rohl, a high profile archaeologist, has proposed an Anatolian homeland for most of the Sea Peoples listed by the Egyptians in his book, The Lords of Avaris [0232].

The most recent addition to our knowledge of the Sea Peoples appears to be imminent with the publication of a paper in the December 2017 issue of the journal Proceedings of the Dutch Archaeological and Historical Society. Written by Frederik Woudhuizen and Eberhard Zangger, the authors offer a translation of a 3200-year-old inscription That may refer to the Sea Peoples and link them with western Turkey. You can read more, now, on the Livescience website(z). In a 2006 paper(ac), The Ethnicity of the Sea Peoples, Woudhuizen included some groups from the Central Mediterranean as part of the Sea Peoples.

Erich Fred Legner offers an extensive paper(au) on the diversity of the Sea Peoples. Brian Janeway explored the idea that the Sea Peoples originated in the Northern Levant(aw).

Sea Peoples from Southern Levant (Modern Syria, Lebanon, Israel & Palestine)

Joseph Morris in his thesis(m) presented to the Classics Department of Florida State University in 2006 defined the Sea Peoples as “a coalition consisting of the indigenous populations of Syria-Palestine led by the neo-Hittite states.”

Eric Cline has noted in 1117 BC: The Year Civilization Collapsed [1005] that the only member of the Sea Peoples alliance whose identity has been ‘firmly established’ is that of the Peleset who are accepted as Philistines. He also comments that identifying the Shekelesh with Sicily and the Shardana with Sardinia is based in part on the ‘consonantal similarities’ [p.4]. In a 2016 article, Cline wrote, “As for what role the Sea Peoples actually played in the destruction of civilizations around 1200 BCE and shortly thereafter, I personally think that they have been set up as a scapegoat, because of the Egyptian inscriptions, and that they were as much victims as oppressors. I doubt that they were responsible for all of the destructions that we blame on them and I think that they are only one of the many factors that together contributed to a “perfect storm” that ended the Bronze Age. These stressors, as they are sometimes called, probably also included drought, famine, earthquakes, and possible internal rebellions in addition to external invaders, all of which combined to cause a systems collapse.” (az)

Sea Peoples or North Sea Peoples?

Until the middle of the 20th century, there was a consensus that the Sea Peoples originated in the Mediterranean region. That is until Jürgen Spanuth published his claim that Atlantis had been located in the North Sea and equated the Atlanteans with the Sea Peoples. This radical idea, with some variations, was adopted by several commentators and unsurprisingly, many were from Northern Europe. Spanuth referred to them as the North Sea Peoples [0015] and offered a range of evidence from the Egyptian inscriptions at Medinet Habu to support this idea. This evidence includes a variety of features that Egyptians used to portray the Sea Peoples such as types of swords, the shape of ships, shields and helmets as well as hair, clothing and shaving fashions. He then identified these Scandinavians as Atlanteans who later attacked Egypt. His opinion in this regard was strongly supported by Felix R. Paturi [1339.218]. More recently, Spanuth’s ideas have also been echoed by Walter Baucum in his Bronze Age Atlantis [0183].

Similarly, Ellis Peterson endorses Spanuth’s Scandinavian location for Atlantis(ax).

Before the emergence of these Bronze Age seafarers, there was a history of Northern Boat-Peoples who gradually expanded globally after the last Ice Age. A paper by Andres Pääbo charts their story(k). Zach Zorich is a freelance journalist and contributing editor at Archaeology magazine. In January 2016 he wrote an article(r) that would seem to contradict the idea of Northern European ‘Sea People’ invading Egypt, for the simple reason that sailing boats were not developed in Scandinavia until around the time of the Vikings! – “The plank boats and log boats being built in northern Europe were not the most advanced watercraft of their time. The Greeks, Egyptians, and other cultures around the Mediterranean Sea used sailing ships to conduct trade, and sails wouldn’t be used in Northern Europe until the Iron Age, during the seventh or eighth century CE.”

Another site(an) also describes the various ships of the period used by the Egyptians, Greeks and the Sea Peoples. One unusual suggestion on the same site is that some of the Sea Peoples, although allied with groups from across the Mediterranean, came from Britain and Northern Europe(ao)!

The Sea Peoples’ Alliances

I have used the plural because the evidence suggests that over the extended period of the Sea Peoples activities the alliances did experience some change of members.

Federico Bardanzellu offers several papers on his Museo dei Dolmen website(n) in which he suggests specific homelands for many of the members of the alliance(o).

Bob Idjennaden along with co-author, Mebarek S. Taklit, have produced The Mysterious Sea Peoples attack Egypt [1195], which provides an overview of the various incursions against Egypt during the 2nd millennium BC. The prominent part played by the Berbers or their ancestors in varying alliances that constituted the Sea Peoples is highlighted.

According to Raffaele D’Amato & Andrea Salimbeti [1152.20], the Denyen were one of the major groups of the Sea Peoples and have been known in ancient sources by different names; Danai, Danaoi, Danaus, Danaids, Dene, Danaids, Danuna. Others have linked them with the Danaan of Irish mythology. The Tuatha de Danaan invaded Ireland in prehistoric times. Having noted that Dan/Don/Danu were ancient words for water, it is not such a wild supposition that the Tuatha de Danaan were at least a constituent part of the Sea Peoples, an idea promoted by Leonardo Melis.

On the other hand, Egerton Sykes thought that the Tuatha de Danaan were refugees from Atlantis, an idea he expressed in his 1949 edition of Ignatius Donnelly’s Atlantis. He was convinced that Murias one of the four legendary cities of the de Danann had been located in Bimini. This highly speculative idea failed to bear fruit as have all efforts to identify the location of the other three cities, Falias, Finias and Gorias.

Speculation regarding the identity of individual tribes in the federation can be found on various websites(i)(f). One of the most comprehensive is provided by two Italian military historians, D’Amato & Salimbeti in their 2015 booklet and on the internet(l) and both are to be highly recommended. They highlight the complexities involved in definitively identifying the members of the varying alliances that were loosely described as the ‘Sea Peoples’ over a three hundred year period.

Atlantis and the Sea Peoples

The German classical scholar, Wilhelm Christ, was probably the first to identify the invading Sea Peoples with the Atlanteans(p), predating Jürgen Spanuth’s theory by the better part of a century. Christ’s idea was also supported to varying degrees by Theodor Gomperz, Spyridon Marinatos, John V. Luce, and Herwig Görgemanns.

Quite a number of other writers have identified the Atlanteans as the Sea Peoples whose invasion of the Eastern Mediterranean has been recorded in some detail by the Egyptians. One such high profile identification in the 20th century was by Spyridon Marinatos. One of the latest to join this school is Dr Rainer W. Kühne who not only makes the same identification but, using satellite images, believes that he has pinpointed the capital of Atlantis in Southern Spain. His website has a list of comparisons of Atlanteans to the Sea Peoples(a), which is worth consideration.

‘Rider’, the anonymous author of an article(ae)  concerning ‘the campaigns of the Sea Peoples’ on the allempires.com website also suggests that Plato’s Atlanteans can be identified with the Sea Peoples.

Frank Joseph contends that conflict between the Egyptians and the Sea Peoples was part of the Trojan War [0108.11] and has identified the Meshwesh, one of the Sea Peoples, as Atlantean [1535]. His speculation extended to describing ‘the Atlantean Sea Peoples’ as culture bearers who were responsible for, among other matters, the famous Serpent Mound of Ohio(ay).

Eberhard Zangger argues that the Sea Peoples were survivors of the Trojan War that fled to various parts of both the central and eastern Mediterranean(g). He has written further on this identification and more on the Luwian Studies website(s). Zangger claims that the Sea Peoples were an alliance of Libyans and Western Anatolian (Luwian) states(w)(y), which seems odd since Plato describes the Atlanteans as mightier than Libya and Asia combined. If Zangger is correct in identifying Troy as Atlantis [0483], he is also implying that according to Plato, a part (Troy) is greater than the whole (Libya and Asia combined), Troy being part of Asia! Something is wrong with his theory.

In 2020, Sean Welsh maintained that survivors of the eruption of Thera, which held the capital of Atlantis ‘morphed’ into the Sea Peoples [1874].

Other Theories

A more recent (2017) paper(aa) on a conservative website suggests that the Sea Peoples were ‘early Western Europeans’.

The most radical suggestion regarding the Sea Peoples has come from Jim Allen, who promotes a South American location for Atlantis. He also seemingly equates at least some of the Sea Peoples with his South American Atlanteans [077.123], has drawn attention to the similarity of some of the Sea Peoples’ headgear with that of Amazonian ‘Indians’(c)!

The Malagabay website published a lengthy article(t) in July 2016, offering evidence along with some conjecture, supporting the equally extreme idea that the Sea Peoples had originated in India and having migrated westward, some of them reached the Aegean and became known as Dorians! The author of the article appears to have followed the ideas of Edward Pococke (1604-1691) published in his India in Greece [1231].

Another unexpected twist is the claim by the discoverer of the Phaistos Disk, Luigi Pernier, that the characters used on the Disk are similar to the representations of the Sea Peoples at Medinet Habu.

W. Sheppard Baird in a lengthy paper (ap) concluded that “The Minoan Diaspora from Spain gave birth to the Sea Peoples”

Two contributors to the Sea Peoples debate in the 1970s were Alessandra Nibbi (1923-2007) [1670] and Nancy K. Sandars (1914-2015) [1671] who, although they had their differences, appear to have agreed on: “(a) the ‘Sea Peoples’ were not one particular people, (b) their label as being ‘of the sea’ is misleading, and (c) earlier attempts to blame the cataclysmic collapse throughout the East Mediterranean in the Late Bronze Age on the Sea Peoples is untenable.”

Sources

The earliest book devoted to the Sea Peoples that I am aware of was Immanuel Velikovsky’s Peoples of the Sea. However, Velikovsky was more concerned with revising the chronologies of the Middle East and so focused on dating the invasion of the Sea Peoples rather than identifying their origins. Velikovsky has an interesting footnote in his Peoples of the Sea [758.4], which reads; “When Ramses III speaks of ‘Peoples of the Sea’ he specifies the Tkeker, the Shekelesh, the Teresh, the Weshesh and the Sherden (or Sardan); he specifies the Denyen as ‘Peoples of the Isles.'”  It would be interesting to know the reason for the distinction.

Trude & Moshe Dothan have added another valuable book to the Sea Peoples literature with their People of the Sea which has the interesting sub-title of The Search for the Philistines [1524]. Related to their work, is the result of recent excavations at Ashkelon, an important Philistine city, which suggests that the city had received migrants from southern Europe during the Bronze Age, who may have constituted a component of the Sea Peoples(ah). Clearly, further investigation will be required to confirm these indications.

An extensive review of all the available material relating to the Sea Peoples was also published online in October 2015(q). The MalagaBay website (now closed) had also a wide-ranging illustrated article(u) about the Sea Peoples, although without reaching any firm conclusions.

(a) Location and Dating of Atlantis (archive.org)

(b) https://web.archive.org/web/20130718184625/http://forums.atlantisrising.com:80/ubb/Forum1/HTML/000855.html

(c) http://www.atlantisbolivia.org/headgear.htm (link broken) see part atlantis bolivia part 4 conclusion, mummies,uente magna and links 

(d)  https://web.archive.org/web/20181014190855/http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/seapeople.htm

(e) https://web.archive.org/web/20080820154251/http://forums.atlantisrising.com/ubb/Forum1/HTML/000911.html

(f) http://www.artsales.com/ARTistory/Ancient_Ships/17_sea_peoples.html

(g) http://archive.aramcoworld.com/issue/199503/who.were.the.sea.people.htm

(h) http://www.historyfiles.co.uk/KingListsMiddEast/AnatoliaSeaPeoples.htm

(i) Archive 2813

(j) http://www.phoenician.org/sea_peoples.htm

(k) Archive 2337 (all three parts)

(l) http://www.salimbeti.com/micenei/index.htm

(m) http://web.archive.org/web/20060903164435/http:/dscholarship.lib.fsu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1199HYPERLINK *

(n) http://www.museodeidolmen.it/englishdefault.html

(o) http://www.museodeidolmen.it/englishpopomare.html

(p) Abhandlungen der bayerischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Vol.. XVII, 2nd part, Munich 1886, pp. 451-512. (German)

(q) http://www.salimbeti.com/micenei/sea.htm 

(s) https://luwianstudies.org/the-sea-peoples-inscriptions-and-excavation-results/

(t) https://malagabay.wordpress.com/2016/07/07/catastrophic-english-india-in-greece/

(u) https://malagabay.wordpress.com/2016/02/18/deja-vu-vikings/

(v) https://ancientpatriarchs.wordpress.com/2016/05/23/were-sea-peoples-invading-egypt-from-atlantis-due-to-global-climate-change/

(w) https://luwianstudies.org/the-sea-peoples-inscriptions-and-excavation-results/ 

(x) http://rlebling.blogspot.ie/2012/03/where-was-ogygia-isle-of-calypso.html

(y) 3,000 years ago, the mysterious ‘Sea Peoples’ civilization was wiped out by ‘World War Zero’ | Ancient Code (archive.org) 

(z) https://www.livescience.com/60629-ancient-inscription-trojan-prince-sea-people.html

(aa) Archive 3429

(ab) https://img.4plebs.org/boards/tg/image/1498/88/1498880873171.pdf

(ac) https://www.academia.edu/7287651/The_Ethnicity_of_the_Sea_Peoples_dissertation_

(ad) https://listverse.com/2016/06/06/10-theories-regarding-the-sea-peoples/

(ae) The Campaigns of the Sea Peoples – All Empires (archive.org) 

(af)  https://www.quora.com/Where-did-the-Sea-Peoples-the-people-who-invaded-Greece-Egypt-and-the-Hittite-Empire-in-the-Late-Bronze-Age-come-from

(ag) http://www.q-mag.org/cyprus-salt-lakes-exonerate-peoples-of-the-sea-from-causing-the-destruction-of-bronze-age-civilizations.html 

(ah) https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/5/7/eaax0061

(ai) https://www.reddit.com/r/history/comments/c3fm5j/who_were_the_mysterious_sea_people_during_the/  (halfway down page)

(aj) https://www.academia.edu/4594906/The_Ships_of_the_Sea_Peoples

(ak) https://www.academia.edu/4635111/Were_the_Sea_Peoples_Mycenaeans_The_Evidence_of_Ship_Iconography  

(al) http://www.salimbeti.com/micenei/ships.htm

(am) http://www.salimbeti.com/micenei/sea.htm

(an) http://www.artsales.com/Ancient%20Ships/aTableofContents.htm

(ao) http://www.artsales.com/ARTistory/Ancient_Ships/17_sea_peoples.html

(ap) https://minoanatlantis.com/Origin_Sea_Peoples.php

(aq) https://www.nationalgeographic.com/history/magazine/2020/03-04/pirates-once-swashbuckled-across-ancient-mediterranean/

(ar) https://www.academia.edu/173946/M_J_Adams_and_M_E_Cohen_The_Sea_Peoples_in_Primary_Sources

(as) Cambridge Ancient History Ist edition, Vol.II, p.8

(at) https://www.academia.edu/34555497/The_Sea_Peoples_Superior_on_Land_and_at_Sea      

(au) File: <seapeopl (archive.org) 

(av) (99+) (PDF) The Dynamics of Mediterranean Africa, ca. 9600-1000 bc: An Interpretative Synthesis of Knowns and Unknowns | Giulio Lucarini – Academia.edu     

(aw) https://www.academia.edu/38648258/Sea_Peoples_of_the_Northern_Levant 

(ax) https://hiddenhistorysecrets.blogspot.com/2008/01/hidden-history-scandinavia-atlantis.html

(ay) Atlantis Rising magazine #36  http://pdfarchive.info/index.php?pages/At  

(az) https://www.asor.org/anetoday/2016/09/who-sea-peoples/ 

(ba) https://listverse.com/2016/06/06/10-theories-regarding-the-sea-peoples/ 

Ballaster, Xaverio

Xaverio Ballester is a Spanish linguist and a professor at the University of Valencia. He is a leading proponent of Paleolithic Continuity Paradigm or PCP), which suggests that the Proto-Indo-European language (PIE) can be traced back to the Upper Paleolithic, several millennia earlier than the Chalcolithic or at the most Neolithic estimates in other scenarios of Proto-Indo-European origins.(a)

He has written on the subject of Atlantis in a paper on the Academia.edu website(b). He discusses the Pillars of Heracles at some length noting that “it is also hardly credible that for the distant Greek world the expression arose precisely from the reference to a strait, that of Gibraltar, which the Greeks must not have known more or less directly, at the earliest, until the end of the 2nd millennium BC, a time that must also be well after the emergence of traditions about Heracles. The corollary of all this is the inevitable suspicion that other older Heracles columns, perhaps the original ones, must have stood much closer to Athens, much closer to Greece.”

He suggests the Dardanelles as the possible location of the Pillars, with Atlantis in Anatolia along with the perimeter of the Black Sea.

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

(b) https://www.academia.edu/5921500/Las_Atl%C3%A1ntidas_de_Plat%C3%B3n (Span)

Luwians

The Luwians according to the excellent Luwian Studies website(a) were the people who lived in western Asia Minor during the 2nd millennium BCE between the Mycenaeans in Greece and the Hittites in Central Anatolia.” The Luwian city of Troy have been controversially linked with Atlantis by Eberhard Zangger[483][484], who has gone further and proposed that some of the petty kingdoms in the Luwian territory were part of the ‘Sea Peoples’.

Zangger’s claimed that a Luwian linkage with the Sea Peoples had been strongly supported by the work of British archaeologist, James Mellaart (1925-2012). However, after Mellaart’s death it was found that he had supported much of what he wrote with forged documents. Zangger has offered the sequence of events that led to this discovery and points out that his Sea Peoples theory predates his involvement with Mellart(b).

(a) https://luwianstudies.org/the-luwians/who-are-the-luwians/

(b) https://luwianstudies.org/theory-luwians-sea-peoples-invasions-sequence-events/

Onffroy de Thoron, Enrique

Enrique Onffroy de Thoron was a French aristocrat whose family fled their homeland following the French Revolution(a). He was not Brazilian as claimed by Alexander Braghine. He travelled the world eventually settling in South America where he studied the language of the indigenous people of Peru. He later returned to France where he published the results of his research.

He believed that Atlantis was Phoenician and situated in America[0901].  According to Braghine, Onffroy de Thoron claimed that the Atlanteans along with the Andean Quichua tribe invaded Europe! Among his other strange conclusions (or should that be delusions?) was that the Carians of western Anatolia (Turkey) had populated the south-western shores of South America and that a Carian dynasty had once ruled in Quito (Ecuador)[156]!

*(a) https://web.archive.org/web/20160317092445/https://onffroy.com/2_7_Jamaica.html*

Zangger, Eberhard

Eberhard Zangger was born in Switzerland in 1958. He is a geoarchaeologist who has written a number of books and articles on ancient civilisation. He is the leading proponent of the controversial idea that Troy and Atlantis are the same. In 1989, he initially Zanggeradvanced the idea while working at Cambridge University.

>The late Steven Sora also proposed that Atlantis and Troy were one and the same and that the reports of their wars were confused accounts of the same event. However, Sora located his Atlantis/Troy around 4,000 km from Zangger’s in Iberia.<

His views were published in English as The Flood From Heaven[483], however, It seems rather odd to me that Zangger ended this book with eight counter-arguments and shortcomings relating to his thesis.>He repeats some of this in a separate paper(l) where he notes that this theory has some obvious weaknesses: Troy is not an island, it does not lie in the Atlantic Ocean, is nowhere near the size of a subcontinent, did not flower 11,000 years ago and was not washed into the sea by a natural catastrophe. All those things are characteristics of Atlantis.” Whether all this is an expression of open-mindedness or doubt, I shall leave others to decide.<

He followed that a decade later with a second book[484] that in part returns to the subject. In The Future of the Past Zangger matches a range of features in the Atlantis narrative with the available description of Troy. He then describes how he applied an objective statistical analysis system known as a ‘Monte-Carlo Method’, to these matching details, as well as those of other popular theories, and found that his theory, which situates Atlantis at Troy, scored the highest probability rating as its location. While I do not doubt the neutrality of the system’s results, I would have some misgivings regarding the objectivity of the data entered, a view supported by Zangger himself. For example, if Zangger has entered the location of the Pillars of Heracles as the Dardanelles and ignores the Straits of Messina and Gibraltar, then the results must be considered biased. Consequently, I would suggest that the exercise be repeated by some disinterested mathematicians and then collate their results.

Zangger claims that Plato’s Atlantis narrative is a distorted recollection of the Trojan War, including the earthquake and sudden flooding of Mycenaean Tiryns around 1200 BC morphing into the demise of Atlantis(k). However, the Tiryns inundation is just one of several other flooded Greek cities, such as Helike or Atalanta that are also claimed as the inspiration for Plato’s flooding of Atlantis.

Zangger points out that the library of books and articles relating to Atlantis all stem from two excerpts from Plato’s Dialogues that amount to no more than 6,000 words, many of which he claims to be mistranslated.

There is a scholarly critique of Zangger’s work by Edmund F. Bloedow to be found on the Internet(a).

Zangger has also entered the debates surrounding the Sea Peoples. He contends that their movements were unrelated to climate change as suggested by some. His views on the subject have been contested(d).

Zangger together with archaeologist Serdal Mutlu investigated the little known ancient Luwian civilisation of Anatolia. They believe “that Trojans and many of the people who sided with the Trojans in the Trojan War were Luwians.” They also claim that remains of Troy has even lower levels still unexcavated(b). A website devoted to the subject is available(c).

Zangger has now expanded further on the subject with the publication The Luwian Civilisation[1217], which bears the subtitle of The Missing Link in the Aegean Bronze Age. In the book [p.20] he makes the interesting point that “Sea Peoples with feather crowns bear the name Tekker, which is reminiscent of ‘Teucer’, a term commonly used for the Trojans after 1200 BCE.”

In May 2016, Zangger, President of Luwian Studies, introduced the results of a recent investigation of the Luwian speaking peoples, who now appear to have been an alliance of small independent states in Turkey, west of the Hittite Empire.

Zangger also adds a video clip(e) in which he compares a history of the Trojan War by the 13th-century Italian writer, Guido de Columnis, with Homer’s account. Some aspects of Guido’s description of the city of Troy are evocative of Plato’s description of Atlantis (f).

Jason Colavito has written a highly critical article(g) on Zangger’s Luwian theory. By contrast, a more positive overview of Zangger’s work is presented by Thorwald C. Franke(h).

Zangger’s proposed ancient conflict in the Eastern Mediterranean was reported in New Scientist (i) and dubbed ‘World War Zero’, a soundbite that attracted wider media attention(j).

(a) https://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/bmcr/1995/95.02.18.html

(b) https://www.dailysabah.com/history/2015/05/21/another-long-forgotten-anatolian-civilization-rising-from-shadows

(c) luwianstudies.org.

(d) See: Archive 2681

(e) https://popular-archaeology.com/issue/spring-2016/article/scientists-proclaim-a-new-civilization-in-the-aegean-bronze-age

(f) https://luwianstudies.org/sources/guido-de-columnis/

(g) https://www.jasoncolavito.com/blog/swiss-geoarchaeologist-claims-lost-luwian-civilization-caused-the-bronze-age-collapse-and-the-trojan-war

(h) https://www.atlantis-scout.de/atlantis-zangger.htm

(i) https://www.newscientist.com/article/2087924-world-war-zero-brought-down-mystery-civilisation-of-sea-people/

(j) https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3587701/Mysterious-civilisation-Sea-Peoples-wiped-world-war-zero-according-new-study.html

(k) https://www.academia.edu/25590584/Plato_s_Atlantis_Account_A_Distorted_Recollection_of_the_Trojan_War

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

Keftiu – Caphtor

Caphtor is a place referred to in the Bible (Jeremiah 47.4, Amos 9.7) and located by traditional Hebrew sources to have been near Pelusium in the eastern Nile Delta. Some think that Jeremiah’s reference to “the coasts of Caphtor” implied that Caphtor was an island. The late Walter Baucum also identified Caphtor with the Egyptian Kaft-ur in the Delta, once occupied by the Philistines [183.309]. A. H. Sayce, a respected 19th century Assyriologist, among others, also placed Caphtor in the Delta.

Keftiu was an Egyptian placename and since the 18th century has been frequently associated with Crete. Half a century ago James E. Jennings of Akron University wrote a paper in which he concluded that it appears that there is sufficient evidence to support the contention that Caphtor was Crete”(f).

While many commentators today equate Caphtor with Crete, the evidence is far from clear. As Manuel Robbins points out [856.316], the identification of Caphtor with Crete “is based on not one but a string of assumptions. If any of these assumptions are wrong, the conclusion fails, and these assumptions are shaky.”

Baucum offers evidence that the Egyptians also used Keftiu when referring to north of the Orontes River (Syria), Cyprus, Cilicia (S.W. Turkey) as well as Crete. He also attributes the exclusive association of Caphtor with Crete to Champollion’s guessed at identification of the Philistines as the Sea Peoples! A chapter in a book [1057] by Nissim Raphael Ganor that bluntly states that “The Philistines and the ‘Sea Peoples’, not the same entity” is worth reading for anyone studying this particular controversy(i).

Manuel Robbins has concluded [p336] that the most likely location for Keftiu was either Cyprus, Syria or Eastern Anatolia, but that it is essentially a mystery.

In Ramage’s Atlantis: Fact or Fiction? [0522.105] J. Rufus Fears points out that the land called Keftiu was in a tributary relationship with the Egyptian pharaoh.

Matters become confused when we find that there is also a popular theory that Caphtor and Keftiu referred to the same place. Robbins disputed such an identification. He offers pictorial evidence from tombs on the west bank of the Nile opposite Thebes that might equally suggest Syria as the home of Caphtor [p334], but this is also far from conclusive.

Frankly, I find all the competing opinions(h) extremely confusing and unsatisfactory and believe that a solution to these conflicting ideas is far from a resolution.

Some others have been in favour of identifying Keftiu with Cyprus, among whom, Immanuel Velikovsky argued(g) that if Cyprus was not Caphtor, then it is the only island of any importance in the Eastern Mediterranean not mentioned in the Bible [039.210]. Caphtor/Keftiu: A New Investigation [1052] by John Strange also supports this identification with Cyprus. Walter Baucum claims that “Keftiu was the coastline from Tyre northwards to Anatolia, and included the islands of Crete and Cyprus” [p107].

Yair Davidy in his Introduction to Baucum’s book[183.x]  and his own Lost Israelite Identity [1375.208] claims that there was another Keftiu in Northern Europe. Jürgen Spanuth claimed that Caphtor and the Norse ‘holmr Asgard’ mean the same [015.94], namely, “the island of the heaven-pillar”. More recent support for a Northern Europe Caphtor is offered by Eckart Kahlhofer who, like Spanuth, also claims it as the location of Atlantis and adds that it was also the home of the Philistines!

Making matters worse was the introduction of Atlantis into the discussion, bringing with it its own range of conflicting ideas. There is also a number of commentators, including Bruce Wayne(d) and Alex Hawk(e), who take Keftiu to be another name for Minoan Crete and equate it with Atlantis. Robert Ishoy considers Nuragic Sardinia as Keftiu/Atlantis(b).

Although Plato was the first to use the term ‘Atlantis’, there are antecedents to his account of a drowned civilisation. There is an Egyptian legend, which Solon probably heard while travelling in Egypt, and was passed down to Plato years later. It concerns the island nation of Keftiu, home to one of the four pillars that held up the sky. It was said to be a glorious advanced civilization, which was destroyed and sank beneath the ocean. It has been suggested that Plato embellished Solon’s story from “the land of the four pillars that held up the sky” into “the land of the Titan, Atlas, who held up the sky.” The Egyptian legend refers to an island west of Egypt, but not necessarily west of the Mediterranean. It may be relevant to point here that Crete is more northerly of Egypt whereas some of the suggested Atlantis locations such as the Maltese Islands or Sardinia are in fact located westward.

It seems that the debate(a) regarding the identification of Keftiu is set to continue for some time. Muddying the waters further is a serious claim of a Minoan connection with Japan(c) with a particular reference to the Linear A script!

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

(b) http://www.atlantisdiscovered.org/thesis.htm

(c) http://atlantipedia.ie/samples/archive-3930-2/

(d) http://atlantipedia.ie/samples/archive-2868/

(e) http://www.angelfire.com/hi/alhawk/atlanthira.html

(f) https://biblicalstudies.org.uk/pdf/grace-journal/12-2_23.pdf

(g) https://www.varchive.org/ce/baalbek/caphtor.htm

(h)Archive 2403l

(i) http://www.whowerethephoenicians.com/wp-content/uploads/book/09-THE%20PHILISTINES%20AND%20THE%20SEA%20PEOPLES%20NOT%20THE%20SAME%20ENTITY.pdf

Etruscans

The Etruscans were an ancient people of Etruria (now Tuscany) in Italy. They occupied an area somewhere between Rome and Florence Etruscan mapfrom the 8th century BC until incorporated in the Roman Empire in the 2nd century BC. They do not appear to have been particularly expansionist as the only Etruscan settlement on Sardinia, which was not discovered until our 21st century, on the Tavolara isle off the coast near Olbia(o).

It is thought that they originally came from Asia Minor before 800 BC, a suggestion that originated with Herodotus. This view has been given recent (2007) support by the results of DNA studies carried out at Pavia University. Another study of Etruscan mtDNA estimated “that the genetic links between Tuscany and Anatolia date back to at least 5,000 years ago, strongly suggesting that the Etruscan culture developed locally, and not as an immediate consequence of immigration from the Eastern Mediterranean shores.” (e).

Stefan Anitei who supports an Anatolian, or more specifically a Lydian, origin for the Etruscans, cited A recent (2007) DNA analysis showed that (the Bos Taurus) cattle in central Italy seem indeed to have originated in modern Turkey and the Middle East. As there is no link between these cattle and others from other European regions, they must have entered the peninsula by sea.” (n).

Some decades ago Professor Licinio Glori also supported an eastern Mediterranean origin for the Etruscans(i). However, he has also claimed a common origin for the peoples of the Americas and Europe, including Etruscans, without identifying this shared ancestry(j).

It has also been suggested that the Etruscan culture has shown distinctive Indian influences.(l)

Until their written language can be translated there will remain an air of mystery about them. Even then because of the paucity of material available in their language, it is probable that little will be gleaned from it. Mark Cartwright’s excellent site has further information on the Etruscan script(k) and many articles on different aspects of Etruscan culture. A 2016 report(h) revealed the discovery of a stele that has at least 70 legible Etruscan letters and punctuation marks on it. Hopefully, this find will help to advance the translation of this language.

The site of the ancient city of Chiusi has been assumed by some to be the location of Clusium, the capital of the Etruscan king, Lars Porsena. This suggestion is based on the fact that the two names mean the same, namely ‘closed’. However, Giuseppe Centauro believes that he has found the real Clusium near Florence where he identified two concentric walls about 10 miles in circumference. The extensive walls have resonance with Plato’s description of Atlantis. If he is correct, Clusium may at one time have been the biggest city in Italy(f). Centauro is currently seeking permission to excavate there.

At Orvieto nearly 100km north of Rome, Professor Simonetta Stopponi is investigating the possible location of the Fanum Voltumnae, where the leaders of the Etruscan city-states met every year to discuss policy. This meeting has also got echoes of the regular meeting of the kings of the Atlantean federation.

It is worth highlighting that Tyrrhenia, the Greek name for Etruria, is one of the few places whose location is not disputed and is mentioned by Plato as bordering (Critias 114c & Timaeus 25b) Atlantean territory. It is, therefore, reasonable to expect that south of Etruria on mainland Italy some remnants of Atlantis may yet be identified.

In his recent book[630] Richard W. Welch is quite happy to designate the Etruscans as “the last Atlanteans of which we have much knowledge”. Frank Joseph echoed the same idea, writing that “the Etruscans were themselves nothing more than the late Atlanteans who colonised western Italy, so their surviving material culture offers us a glimpse of Atlantis at its cultural height.”[636.21]

In 1962, the French linguist, Maurice Guignard, claimed[1109] to have deciphered the Etruscan language and also suggested that the Etruscans might have come from Atlantis. Such comments conflict with Plato’s account, which locates the territory of the Atlanteans separate from and further south than that of the Etruscans. 

Confusing matters is a 2006 report from researchers at Stanford University, using “novel statistical computer modelling to simulate demographic processes affecting the population of Tuscany over a 2,500-year time span. Rigorous tests used by the researchers have ruled out a genetic link between ancient Etruscans, the early inhabitants of central Italy, and the region’s modern-day residents.(s)

Recently, a study(t) by a team of scholars from Germany, Italy, the USA, Denmark and the UK, published in 2021 shows that the Etruscans, “were closely related to their italic neighbors, and reveal major genetic transformations associated with historical events.”   However, they also note that “the persistence of a non-Indo-European Etruscan language is an intriguing and still unexplained phenomenon that will require further archaeological, historical, linguistic and genetic investigation.”

The late Steven Sora suggested [0395] that the Etruscans were refugees from their original homeland in Iberia, where he also located Troy/Atlantis. He specified Lisbon, Setubal and Troia, all in modern Portugal, as Trojan/Atlantean territory, conflating the Trojan and Atlantean wars!

The internet offers a valuable site(a) giving a good overview of the Etruscans including a valuable bibliography and collection of related web links.

Another mystery relating to the Etruscans concerns an Egyptian mummy, which was bought in Alexandria and brought to Europe in the mid-19th century. When it was eventually unwrapped Etruscan writing was discovered on the linen!(q)(r)

>Professor Natalia Rosi de Tariffi (1907-?), Italian by birth, but lived in Venezuela, has highlighted the many similarities between the Etruscan language and that of Quechua and Aymara spoken in the Andes of South America. In her well-regarded 1969 book, America cuarta dimension [1927] she proposed the migration of the Etruscans FROM America TO Europe.<

The controversial Italian researcher, Dr Mario Gattoni Celli, writing in the 1960s proposed that the Etruscans had voyaged to South America, basing his opinion on linguistic and other cultural similarities. This view is apparently supported by Diodorus Siculus (History, Book V, 19+) who refers to the ‘Tyrrhenians’ setting up a colony on an island, with navigable rivers, at a great distance from the inhabited world(c). Adding some confusion to this is the claim that Old World languages had migrated FROM the Americas!!(d) Alf Bajocco wrote a piece in Sykes’ Atlantis magazine on Celli’s ideas(c).

The most exotic suggestion regarding the Etruscans comes from Xavier Séguin who has claimed that they share a common ancestry with the Yoruba of West Africa, as both originated in Atlantis(m)! Séguin quotes the work of Leo Frobenius in support of this contention, highlighting the significance of the number sixteen in both cultures.

(a) https://web.archive.org/web/20190831235749/https://www.mysteriousetruscans.com/

(c) Atlantis, Vol 19. No.1, Feb/Mar 1966

(d) https://web.archive.org/web/20181218003239/http://www.ancient-mysteries-explained.com/language-mysteries.htmlOr See Archive 2607

(e) Origins and Evolution of the Etruscans’ mtDNA (archive.org)

(f) http://archives.dailynews.lk/2004/11/23/fea05.html

(g) https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn11174-on-the-origin-of-the-etruscan-civilisation/

(h) https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/03/160329112847.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+sciencedaily%2Ffossils_ruins%2Fancient_civilizations+%28Ancient+Civilizations+News+–+ScienceDaily%29

(i) St. Petersburg Times. Nov. 25 1957

(j) https://www.inmysteriam.fr/anciennes-civilisations-du-nord/similitudes-entre-les-peuples-precolombiens-et-le-peuple-etrusque.html  (French)

(k) https://www.ancient.eu/Etruscan_Language/

(l) https://vediccafe.blogspot.ie/2014/05/the-ramayana-in-roots-of-pre-christian.html

(m) https://eden-saga.com/en/survivors-from-atlantis-frobenius-sixteen-gods-oracle-of-fa.html

(n) https://news.softpedia.com/news/Where-Did-the-Etruscans-Originated-54317.shtml

(o) https://www.ansamed.info/ansamed/en/news/sections/culture/2018/01/08/etruscan-settlement-found-in-sardinia-for-first-time_288c45c9-9ae3-4b5e-ab8d-cb9bf654b775.html

(p) Atlantis, Vol.19, No.3, May/June 1966

(q) https://web.archive.org/web/20160329142153/http://www.dacia.org/history/gara_e.html

(r) http://www.maravot.com/Translation_Zagreb_Mummy.html

(s) https://news.stanford.edu/news/2006/may17/mountain-051706.html

(t) The origin and legacy of the Etruscans: A new study reports genome-wide data of ancient Italian individuals to trace the origins of the Etruscans and their contribution to later populations — ScienceDaily 

 

Copper

Copper was obviously a vital commodity for the Bronze Age Atlantis described by Plato. The source of this copper has led to frequent speculation among Atlantologists. Frank Joseph proposed that copper was the foundation for the wealth of Atlantis. He is convinced that there is evidence of enormous copper mining activities in the Michigan’s Upper Peninsula around 1000 BC. He refers to these miners as Atlanteans[0102] and maintains that the extracted copper was brought to the Mediterranean, claiming that there is no trace of it in North America!

Joseph’s wild claim runs counter to the evidence offered by one of the leading mining engineers of his day, T.A. Rickard (1864-1953)(m). In 1934, Rickard published an extensive paper in The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland entitled The Use of Native Copper by the Indigenes of North America (n). Rickard notes how early European colonists observed the native Americans using copper for tools and ornaments. A more recent entry(o) in Wikipedia offers further details reinforcing Rickard’s contention.>Similarly, a March 2021 article in Archaeology offers evidence that native Americans were producing artefacts from copper as early as the 7th millennium BC and were probably the world’s first coppersmiths(r).

In another article in Atlantis Rising magazine Joseph proposed that the exploitation of the Michigan copper began in the sixth millennium BC with the arrival of the Red Paint People from Europe!(i)

J.S. Wakefield has written an extensive article(j) linking the Michigan mines with Poverty Point in Louisiana, where, he contends that, the copper was cast into oxhide ingots. In the same article he identified the Sea Peoples as the Atlanteans and their allies. In another paper(q) he presents a case for identifying the copper oxhide ingots discovered in the Late Bronze Age Uluburun shipwreck found of Turkey as originating in Michigan. He bases his claim on the unusual 99.5% purity of these copper ingots, which he claims is only to be found in the Great Lakes mines. Wakefield is co-author with Reinoud de Jonge of Rocks & Rows: Sailing Routes Across the Atlantic and the Copper Trade [0760].

Roger Jewell has written an important book[0243] on this same historical mystery but dates the early mining to 2500 BC and estimates the quantity of copper mined at 20 million pounds. Jewell offers a range of evidence that point to Minoan traders, an idea taken up recently by Gavin Menzies, who quotes estimates of between three and five hundred million pounds, while others have suggested as much as 1.5 billion pounds have been extracted. These wild speculations have been derided by commentators such as Jason Colavito(b).

Dale Drinnon has an extensive entry on the Michigan copper mines on his wide-ranging website(c). Philip Coppens also wrote a speculative article on the possible part that Michigan’s copper plated in global trade around 3000 BC(g).

The America Unearthed TV series, presented by Scott Wolter, also examined the idea of Minoans mining in Michigan (S1 E3). Jason Colavito wrote a highly critical review of the episode(k), while an even more extensive critique can be found on the Archyfantasies.com website(l).

It is claimed that the local Indians have folk-memories of the mines being worked by ‘light-skinned’ men, suggesting a possible European or Mediterranean connection. Frank Joseph implies that these natives had little interest in copper although one of the cultures in the Great Lakes region were known as the Old Copper Indian because of their extensive use of copper for weapons, tools and ornaments(h). Furthermore as early as 1585 British settlers on Roanoke Island noted that the indigenous people there put a high value on copper.

A more conventional analysis of the Michigan copper mining mystery is presented by local archaeologists. They point out that the views of commentators such as Frank Joseph are very generous with speculation but somewhat mean with evidence. Dr. Susan R. Martin of Michigan Technological University has published a point by point refutation(a) of the many wild claims that have been made about the Michigan mines in The Michigan Archaeologist [41 (2-3) p119-138. June-September 1995].

Even more extreme was the suggestion made by Reinoud M. de Jonge in a 2009 paper(e) where he boldly claimed “that during the whole period of the (Michigan) copper trade, America was part of the Egyptian Empire” and during the Old Kingdom “this huge empire was known as Atlantis”! De Jonge expanded on this in a 2012 paper, justifying his claims with an incredibly detailed interpretation of the Phaistos Disk, which appears to be highly speculative(p).

In the eastern Mediterranean, Cyprus, taking its name from copper, provided much of that metal, which enabled the development of the Bronze Age there. In the central and Western Mediterranean ancient copper mines have been identified in Iberia, Morocco and Sardinia as well as sources of tin. However, an 1982 paper(f) claimed that Laurion in Attica, Greece was equally as important as Cyprus as a source of Bronze Age copper.

The earliest known metal mine in the British Isles was on Ross Island , near Killarney in Ireland. Copper was mined there from 2400 BC until 1900 BC(d) and the site is thought to have been the principal source of the metal for the two islands at that time.

Supporters of an earlier date for Atlantis can point to evidence of worked metal around 9000 BC discovered in Anatolia, Turkey. More recently there were metal beads discovered in Bulgaria tentatively dated to 6000 BC.

(a) See Archive 2547

(b) https://www.jasoncolavito.com/1/post/2013/01/review-of-america-unearthed-s01e03-great-lakes-copper-heist.html

(c)  See: Archive 3597

(d) https://web.archive.org/web/20181007004331/https://www.culturalheritageireland.ie/index.php/irelands-top-100-heritage-discoveries/81-irelands-top-100-heritage-discoveries/151-heritage-discoveries-the-copper-mines-at-ross-island-co-Kerry

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

(f) https://www.academia.edu/954316/Bronze_Age_copper_sources_in_the_Mediterranean_a_new_approach

(g)  See Archive 2724

(h) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Copper_Complex

(i)  See Archive 3389

(j) https://web.archive.org/web/20200528040507/https://ancientamerica.com/poverty-point-the-manufacturing-of-copper-oxhides-for-the-atlantic-copper-trade/

(k) https://www.jasoncolavito.com/blog/review-of-America-unearthed-s01e03-great-lakes-copper-heist

(l) https://archyfantasies.com/mysterious-minoan-miners-and-the-missing-michigan-minerals-america-unearthed-s-1-ep-3/

(m) https://aimehq.org/programs/award/bio/t-rickard-deceased-1953

(n) https://www.jstor.org/stable/pdf/2843810.pdf

(o) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Copper_Complex

(p) https://www.academia.edu/3894415/COPPER_AND_TIN_FROM_AMERICA_c.2500-1200_BC_

(q) https://grahamhancock.com/wakefieldjs1/

>(r) Ancient Native Americans were among the world’s first coppersmiths | Science | AAAS (sciencemag.org)<

Obsidian

Obsidian is a glassy rock produced as a consequence of rhyolitic volcanic eruptions and is usually dark blue. It was highly prized during the Stone Age when it was found to produce good sharp edges, suitable for tools and weapons when fractured. Michael Grant remarked[661] ”it is the first traded substance of which there are material remains”.

Recent excavations in Northern Israel have revealed the use of obsidian tools over six thousand years ago(e).  The nearest source of obsidian was Anatolia, so these pre-Canaanite people must have had trade links that extended at least that far.

It is interesting to read that obsidian was also considered valuable in North America around 7000 BC, when obsidian artifacts were discovered at an underwater site in Lake Huron, using material that had been brought from central Oregon 2,000 miles away(h).

Obsidian tools

In 2011 it was reported(b) that a new technique, which permitted the dating of obsidian, revealed that the Greek island of Melos saw the mining of obsidian as early as 15,000 years ago and its exportation throughout the Aegean and beyond, which also is evidence of extensive marine travel at that early date.  However, 13,000 BC saw sea levels much lower than at present, as the Ice Age glaciation was 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.

Massimo Rapisarda has noted that the only obsidian west of the Aegean in the Mediterranean, is to be found in the Central region on the islands of Lipari, Palmarola, Pantelleria and Sardinia(g) . A graduate thesis(f) by Barbara A. Vargo, explores in great detail the characteristics, history and distribution of Pantellerian obsidian.

Robert Ishoy who advocates a Sardinian location for Atlantis suggested(a) that obsidian, “commonly used on ancient Sardinia” was the mysterious orichalcum referred to by Plato. On the other hand. Pantelleria_Christian and Siegfried Schoppe, who support a Black Sea location also identify obsidian as orichalcum. This is quite improbable, as obsidian would not easily lend itself to being used as a wall cladding.  This idea is even more impractical than Jürgen Spanuth’s proposal that orichalcum was a reference to amber. Apart from that orichalcum was described by Plato (Critias 116b-d) as a metal not rock.

Dr Ellery Frahm at the University of Sheffield has now developed a method whereby a piece of obsidian can be traced, not only to a particular volcano but to a specific quarry at the volcano(c).

In September 2013 Frahm revealed(d) that a new technique had been developed that permits the sourcing of obsidian artefacts in just 10 seconds.

>In 2017 Robert H. Tykot published a very detailed paper on the sourcing and distribution of obsidian in the Central Mediterranean.(i)<

(a) http://www.atlantisdiscovered.org/thesis.htm

(b) https://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/ancient-cultures/ancient-near-eastern-world/evidence-for-earliest-obsidian-trade-found-in-Aegean/

(c) https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/news/nr/syria-obsidian-magnetic-sourcing-frahm-renfrew-1.275211

(d) https://www.shef.ac.uk/news/nr/10-second-sourcing-obsidian-archaeological-artefacts-1.307461

(e) https://popular-archaeology.com/issue/03012014/article/new-excavations-explore-6-000-year-old-settlement-in-israel 

(f) https://scholarcommons.usf.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2500&context=etd

(g) https://www.maxrap.it/atlantide/atlantisobsidian.htm

(h) https://phys.org/news/2021-06-underwater-site-team-year-old-stone.html

>(i) 162 PR Tykot 2017 Open Archaeology.pdf (usf.edu)<