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

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  • NEWS September 2023

    NEWS September 2023

    September 2023. Hi Atlantipedes, At present I am in Sardinia for a short visit. Later we move to Sicily and Malta. The trip is purely vacational. Unfortunately, I am writing this in a dreadful apartment, sitting on a bed, with access to just one useable socket and a small Notebook. Consequently, I possibly will not […]Read More »
  • Joining The Dots

    Joining The Dots

    I have now published my new book, Joining The Dots, which offers a fresh look at the Atlantis mystery. I have addressed the critical questions of when, where and who, using Plato’s own words, tempered with some critical thinking and a modicum of common sense.Read More »

Recent Updates

Andis Kaulins


Eclipses were often considered to be portents of disaster, however, we are not concerned with such superstitious ideas. However, some records of ancient eclipses have been sufficiently detailed to enable them to be used as chronological anchors. Stavros Papamarinopoulos has used such records to date the Trojan War(d). A 2012 paper by Göran Henriksson also used eclipse data to date that war(e).

>Andis Kaulins has also written an extensive 2004 paper(f) on the Nebra Sky Disk in which he concluded “that the Nebra Sky Disk records the solar eclipse of April 16, 1699, BC for posterity. This interpretation allows not only for a partial explanation of the Nebra Sky Disk but in fact, explains all of the elements found on the disk in an integrated astronomical context which abides by the rules of the burden of proof.”

The biblical story of Joshua and the sun ‘standing still’ has been identified as a description of an eclipse that has now been dated to October 30, 1207 BC(g) in a paper by David Sedley, who notes that the event “also helps pinpoint reigns of Pharaohs Ramesses and Merneptah<

Encyclopedia Britannica notes(b)  that “well over 1,000 individual eclipse records are extant from various parts of the ancient and medieval world. Most known ancient observations of these phenomena originate from only three countries: China, Babylonia, and Greece. No eclipse records appear to have survived from ancient Egypt or India, for example. Whereas virtually all Babylonian accounts are confined to astronomical treatises, those from China and Greece are found in historical and literary works as well. However, the earliest reliable observation is from Ugarit of a total solar eclipse that happened on March 3, 1223, BCE. The first Assyrian record dates from much later, June 15, 763 BCE. From then on, numerous Babylonian and Chinese observations are preserved.” 

On the other hand evidence of eclipse prediction does not go back as far, although in the 1960s when the 56 Aubrey Holes at Stonehenge were interpreted as functioning as an eclipse predictor by astronomers Gerald Hawkins and Sir Fred Hoyle, and by amateur enthusiast C.A. `Peter’ Newham, it brought an outcry from the archaeological community.

In 2015, William S. Downey published a paper with the intriguing title of The Cretan middle bronze age ‘Minoan Kernos’ was designed to predict a total solar eclipse and to facilitate a magnetic compass’(a).

The Phaistos Disk, also from Crete has been described as an eclipse predictor as well(c), but this is just one of the many and widely varied theories.

In my opinion, the object we have with the greatest potential as a predictor is the Antikythera Mechanism, dating to around 200 BC. However, nothing so far can be definitively proven as an eclipse predictor.

(a) (PDF) The Cretan middle bronze age ‘Minoan Kernos’ was designed to predict a total solar eclipse and to facilitate a magnetic compass (


(c) (99+) Counting lunar eclipses using the Phaistos Disk | Richard Heath –



(f) Wayback Machine ( *

(g) ‘Joshua stopped the sun’ 3,224 years ago today, scientists say | The Times of Israel *

Nebra Sky Disk (NSD)

The Nebra Sky Disk (NSD) is a bronze disk about a foot in diameter and inlaid with gold astronomical symbols. “The disk, two bronze swords, two hatchets, a chisel, and fragments of spiral bracelets were discovered in 1999 by Henry Westphal and Mario Renner while they were treasure-hunting with a metal detector. Archaeological artefacts are the property of the state in Saxony-Anhalt. The hunters were operating without a license and knew their activity constituted looting and was illegal. They damaged the disk with their spade and destroyed parts of the site.” The original finders were eventually charged and received short prison sentences.(a)

Initially, the date of the disk was generally accepted as being around 1600 BC, but by the start of the 21st century, this was losing support and was being brought forward by as much as 1000 years.

The reasoning behind this proposed dating revision is explained on The website “research published in 2020 by archaeologists from Goethe University Frankfurt and Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich casts doubt on this dating. After re-evaluating prior research and the circumstances of the disc’s discovery, the authors argue that the disc was likely not part of the cache of Bronze Age weapons, and therefore, cannot be dated with these artefacts. Instead, they assert that the disc should be evaluated as an individual find. The authors contend it bears hallmarks of an Iron Age item, and they place its origins instead in the first millennium BC. This younger age, they argue, would significantly change the sometimes far-reaching cultural and historical conclusions that have been attributed to the disc.”(p)

Andis Kaulins has also written an extensive 2004 paper(i) on the Nebra Sky Disk in which he concluded “that the Nebra Sky Disk records the solar eclipse of April 16, 1699, BC for posterity. This interpretation allows not only for a partial explanation of the Nebra Sky Disk but in fact, explains all of the elements found on the disk in an integrated astronomical context which abides by the rules of the burden of proof. This interpretation fulfills the requirements of the preponderance of the evidence. The prevailing balance of probabilities is clearly in favor of our interpretation as opposed to the partial interpretation which has thus far been advanced.” Kaulins returned to the subject two years later with strong criticism of other intrepretations on offer, particularly a decipherment proposed by the State Museum for Prehistory at Halle(q).

A 2014 update(j) on the Disk was posted by Claudia Bracholdt. 2020 brought further debate with the claim, in a lengthy paper, that the date of the Disk should be brought forward to the 1st millennium BC(c). This was followed by a shorter but vehement rebuttal(k)(l). In 2020, researchers at Goethe University have also advocated reducing the claimed age of the disk(a)(n).

The Danish independent researcher, Ove Von Spaeth, has a wide-ranging article on cultural references to the Pleiades including the Nebra Sky Disk(d). He also touches on the subject of Atlantis.

 A further possible consequence of the Theran eruption(s) was proposed after the discovery of the Nebra Sky Disk(g), which was buried about 3,600 years ago. This is suggested to have resulted from the volcanic ash generated by the eruption blotting out the sun for up to 25 years. It is thought that the NSD had been used to synchronise the lunar and solar calendars(e) and when this was no longer possible the Disk was buried as some form of an offering. A contrary view is offered elsewhere on the Internet(f), as well as further controversy(h) led by Peter Schauer from the University of Regensburg.

A 2015 paper from Mel Copeland offers further background information as well as a review of some NSD theories(m).

“The Nebra Sky Disk was the centrepiece of the British Museum’s exhibition ‘The World of Stonehenge’, which runs from February to July 2022. Its inclusion helps to establish Stonehenge’s links to the greater world and demonstrates how Bronze Age Britain was a bustling, sophisticated society.

Nevertheless, the Disk continues to generate scholarly debate, particularly with regard to its date. A paper published in 2020 by Dr. Pernicka and Dr. Meller offered a strong rebuttal to the case for the Iron Age made by Dr. Gebhard and Rüdiger Krause, a professor of prehistory and early European history at Goethe University Frankfurt. While some believe this should settle the argument, other archaeologists think the debate will, and should, continue.” (r)

The story of the Disk has also made it into literature – Dr Harald Meller and science writer Kai Michel have written two German bestsellers exploring its history and the world it was created in: The Nebra Sky Disk and Reach for the Stars.”(o)



(c) Wayback Machine ( 

(d) Archive 3363 | (


(f) Nebra Speculation | Society for Interdisciplinary Studies ( 



(i)  Wayback Machine ( *

(j) The Amazing Sky Calendar That Ancients Used to Track Seasons – Facts So Romantic – Nautilus (  


(l) Archaeologists Are Caught Up in an Intense Fight Over Just How Important the Mysterious Nebra Sky Disk Really Is | Artnet News

(m) (99+) (PDF) The Nebra Sky Disk – The Fall-Winter Sky Circa. 1600 B.C. – the oldest calendar | Mel Copeland –

(n) Archeology: New dating of Nebra sky disk – Aktuelles aus der Goethe-Universität Frankfurt (

(o) Hope Soars Eternal: The Nebra Sky Disk – Byline Times



(r) A Bitter Archaeological Feud Over an Ancient Vision of the Cosmos – The New York Times (  

Sodom & Gomorrah

Sodom & Gomorrah along with Zoar, Admah and Zeboim constituted the Cities of the Plain referred to in the Bible and believed to have been situated in the Jordan Valley before their obliteration (apart from Zoar) in a catastrophic episode during the 2nd millennium BC. Explanations, religious and rational have been offered to explain the event. My preferred explanation is that an encounter with an extraterrestrial body such as a comet or asteroid caused the devastation(d).

In 2008, a Sumerian clay tablet, known as the ‘Planisphere’ in the British Museum, was, after 150 years, translated and claimed to record an encounter with an asteroid ‘suspected of being behind the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah(e). The late Bernhard Beier has written an interesting article on the Atlantisforschung website about this asteroid.

“Interdisciplinary findings by scientists at the University of Bristol in 2008 suggest that the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah described in the Old Testament may have been the result of a serious impact event.

The British researchers had studied an Assyrian clay planisphere that has puzzled science for some 150 years and has now been identified as the transcript of an eyewitness account of an asteroid impact that is believed to have also destroyed the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. This clay tablet had already been discovered by Austen Henry Layard in the ruins of the library of the royal palace at Nineveh in the mid-19th century. It is generally assumed that this specimen dates to around 700 B.C. It is a copy of a much older tablet on which a Sumerian astronomer wrote down his extraordinary observations of the sky. An ‘approaching, white stone ball’ is described there, which is said to have ‘rushed past violently.'”(l)

For most Christians, Sodom in the Bible has been associated with homosexuality, however, this idea does not stand up to any careful scrutiny as explained in a detailed paper by Roger Farnworth, a retired Church of England minister(q).

In October 2015, there were reports that the sites of Sodom and Gomorrah had been finally located(a). November 2018 saw a further claim(b) that Sodom and possibly other the ‘cities of the plain’ had been destroyed by a meteoric airburst, similar to the Tunguska or the more recent Chelyabinsk events. This catastrophe took place north of the Red Sea in what is now Jordan, according to archaeologist Phillip Silvia of Trinity Southwest University in Albuquerque(g).

Silvia’s conclusions have been confirmed by Dr Steven Collins, dean of the College of Archaeology at Trinity Southwest University, who has excavated at the Tell el-Hammam site over sixteen seasons(n). He describes his findings in his book co-authored with Dr Latayne C. Scott, Discovering the City of Sodom [1625]. Collins offered the following interesting observation(c), “the Tall el-Hammam site has twenty-five geographical indicators that align it with the description in Genesis.  Compare this with something well-known—like Jerusalem—that has only sixteen.  Most other sites have only five or six, or less.  So, the site has many more geographical ‘signs’ than any other Old Testament city. That’s truly amazing.”

A September 2021 paper(h)(r)* outlines interesting new evidence that the destruction of the Tell el-Hammam site was probably caused by a Tunguska-type airburst and further suggests that “about a minute later, 14 miles (22 km) to the west of Tall el-Hammam, winds from the blast hit the biblical city of Jericho. Jericho’s walls came tumbling down and the city burned to the ground.”

Jason Colavito added some further comments on the authors and background to this paper and concluded that “In short: The claim Tell El-Hammam was destroyed by an airburst is disputable. Its identification with Sodom is unproved and dubious, and no one has provided any evidence that an event supposedly transpiring in 1600 BCE was preserved accurately down to the composition of the first written account of Sodom in the surviving Genesis narrative, typically ascribed to the period around 500 BCE or later. If we can’t agree whether the Greeks preserved any real history from the Mycenaeans after only five centuries, we should be very careful in imagining the preservation of stories for two or three times that long with no evidence of intermediary versions.”(j)

The original report appeared on the Nature website and so far over a quarter of a million people have accessed it. This lengthy document can also be read on the website(k).

Andis Kaulins has suggested that the destruction of the cities of the plain was a consequence of the eruption of Thera(p). David Rohl in The Lost Testament [231.180] has dated the destruction of Sodom to circa 1830 BC following a period of unheeded seismic warnings that eventually led to the rupturing of the earth and the violent ejection of deadly sulphur.>Rohl also proposed that Sodom is located “a little over 100 metres beneath the surface of the Dead Sea,” a few kilometers south-by-southeast from En-Gedi.<

More imaginative commentators, such as Dan Sewell Ward (1940-2019) have proposed(f) that the destruction of S & G was the result of atomic warfare!

In Atlantis and Other Lost Worlds [1535]Frank Joseph claims that Comet Encke in 1198 BC “scores a number of meteoric hits along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and possibly on Atlantis itself, which perishes ‘in a single day and night’, according to Plato. The catastrophe is global, encompassing the destruction of the biblical Sodom and Gomorrah” Joseph bases this on the studies of two Swedish geologists, Thomas B. Larsson and Lars Franzén.

This linkage of Sodom with Atlantis is not new. In the 18th century, Carl Friedrich Baër (1719-1797) who was pastor at the Lutheran chapel in the Swedish Embassy in Paris, was possibly the first to propose a connection between the demise of Atlantis and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.

A similar theory was proposed by Roger M. Pearlman in a 2018 booklet [1596]. In this small, difficult-to-read, book the author also suggests, a linkage between the destruction of Sodom & Gomorrah and Atlantis, placing Atlantis in the Jordan Valley and equating Abraham with Atlas – “If Atlas, as described in Plato’s work, was based on a historic figure, Abraham alone meets key criteria.”

 On a lighter note, in 1948, William Comyns Beaumont published an extraordinary book, Britain – The Key to World History [0088], in which he claimed among other things, that Edinburgh was the original Jerusalem, London was Damascus and rather worryingly, that Bristol was Sodom.

However, more recently, some demented soul has suggested that Atlantis comprised three centers of civilization. The main center of civilization was a very large island stretching through what is now the area of the Azores near the mid-Atlantic, down almost to off-shore Brazil in South America. The present-day Islands of the Azores are mountain tops of the original. The second was along the foot of the Himalayans, now occupied by Nepal and Northern Punjab. The third was the plains, now called North America.” Then for good measure, they claimed that Sodom had been located in Washington State in the United States and Gomorrah could be found offshore Miami!(i)

In 2021, Mauro Biglino & Cinzia Mele published two books [1907][1908] that link a number of biblical episodes with locations in the Baltic region. One was the identification of two places in Finland as Sodom and Gomorrah, which was followed by dozens of similar geographical ‘coincidences’(m)!

It was recently (April 2022) written(o) that What everyone agrees on is that something unusual happened at Tall el-Hammam, an ancient settlement near the Dead Sea.” Unfortunately, that is as far as any agreement has gone. Even the date for the disaster is hotly disputed.

“What was unlike destruction caused by earthquakes or warfare were pottery shards with their outer surfaces melted into glass, some bubbled as if boiled, “bubbled” and melted building brick and plaster, suggesting some unknown high-temperature event. Objects of daily life, carbonized pieces of wooden beams, charred grain, bones and limestone cobbles were burned to a chalklike consistency.”

 “But last month Steven Jaret, a postdoctoral fellow at the American Museum of Natural History, and R. Scott Harris, a space scientist at Atlanta’s Fernbank Science Center, challenged these conclusions of the 21 scholars, also in Nature, basically hinting that Collins’ group confused run-of-the-mill smelting and pottery processes with heat from an airburst.”

 I think the mystery of S & G will have a longer run than The Mousetrap in London!

See: Köfels Impact



(c) More Evidence Confirms Tall el-Hammam as Sodom – Assist News ( *




(g) <Sodom annihilated by meteoritic blast> (

(h) A giant space rock demolished an ancient Middle Eastern city and everyone in it – possibly inspiring the Biblical story of Sodom (

(i) Atlantis | Island of Atlantis | Sodom and Gomorrah | Black Masters of Altlantis (

(j) Researchers Offer New Evidence in Ongoing Effort to Prove Bible’s Sodom Story Real – JASON COLAVITO

(k) Tall el-Hammam paper gains intense global attention – The Cosmic Tusk 

(l) Did an Asteroid Destroy Sodom and Gomorrah? – (

(m) The Baltic Gods of the Bible – The Israel You Don’t Expect – The Tapestry of Time ( 





(r) A Tunguska sized airburst destroyed Tall el-Hammam a Middle Bronze Age city in the Jordan Valley near the Dead Sea ( *

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…… 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 moai story is not quite finished yet. A previously unknown statue was discovered in a dried-up lake on the island in 2023(aj).<

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 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) >as well as Schoch’s wild suggestion that the rongorongo writing dates back 12,000 years(ai).<

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 afterward, 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)





(e),3683626 (inaccessible Sept. 2016)



(h) discovered&searchLimits=




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

(m)  See: Sept/Oct 2010 edition of New Dawn Magazine (Issue 122)













(z) Rethinking Jared Diamond’s “Collapse” of Easter Island – (








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

(ai) *

(aj) New Moai statue that ‘deified ancestors’ found on Easter Island | Live Science *

Thera *

Thera is an ancient name for today’s Aegean archipelago of Santorini, which are the remains of a volcanic island.

Only two of the islands are inhabited, the main island, Santorini and Therasia, which had been joined before the 16th century BC eruption. Recent excavations have revealed a pre-eruption settlement on Therasia(x).

Pre-eruption Thera

Pre-eruption Thera

Although it exhibited low-level activity in 1939-41 and 1950-51, it was in 1926 when it last erupted violently, destroying many hundreds of buildings in less than a minute. Eruptions of similarity intensity occurred in 1650, 1707 and 1866. Although Thera is thought to have violently erupted around 54,000 & 18,500 BC, it was not until the middle of the sixteenth century BC that it provided what was probably the most powerful and destructive volcanic explosion in the Mediterranean during the Bronze Age. Although the exact date of this event is still the subject of some controversy, the most recent evidence(a) indicates a date around 1613 BC ±13years, while archaeologists are more supportive of a date circa 1500 BC.

Professor Floyd McCoy of the University of Hawaii has written and broadcast extensively on the matter of the Late Bronze Age eruption of Thera, including a paper delivered to the 2005 Atlantis Conference. In it, he noted that “New finds of tephra – ash and pumice – both on land and on the seafloor indicate a far larger eruption than previously assumed, suggesting a volume of at least 100 km3 of tephra (bulk volume) ejected, perhaps more. Such a volume ranks the eruption on the Volcanic Explosivity Index (VEI) at 7.0, equivalent or larger than the 1815 eruption of Tambora (‘the year without a summer’), ten times larger than the eruption of Krakatau in 1883, and approximately 100 times that of Mt. St. Helens in 1980.”[629.311]

The 1500 BC date was supported by David A. Warburton who edited the Acts of the Minoan Eruption Chronology Workshop in 2007(af). The workshop provided a good overview of the Theran eruption dating debates, Warburton’s comments are to be found in the Epilogue.

While the eruption of the 2nd millennium BC undoubtedly caused extensive damage and disruption in the Eastern Mediterranean, its effect may have been felt much further afield. Some scientists correlate a volcanic winter from the Minoan eruption with Chinese records documenting the collapse of the Xia dynasty in China. According to the Bamboo Annals, the collapse of the dynasty and the rise of the Shang dynasty (independently approximated to 1618 BC) was accompanied by ‘yellow fog, a dim sun, then three suns, frost in July, famine, and the withering of all five cereals’.”(at)

There was a series of eruptions that ended with a final enormous explosion that has been linked to the ending of the Minoan civilisation on Crete, the Plagues of Egypt and agricultural failures throughout the Eastern Mediterranean. For a geologist’s view of the island’s dramatic history, Walter Friedrich’s book[428] is hard to beat. His book supports a 1640 BC date for the eruption although he has subsequently revised this to 1613 BC. Sturt W. Manning supported[957] a 1628 BC date and Mike Baillie offered dendrochronological evidence for the same eruption date at the 2011 Quantavolution conference in Athens(j). This converges with McCoy’s date above. However, the dating of the eruption continues to be controversial as this December 2012 link(i)demonstrates.  At the heart of the problem is that acceptance of an early 17th century BC date for the event conflicts with established Egyptian chronology. While the exact year of the eruption continues to be debated, there is now scientific evidence that it occurred in early summer(s).

A 2014 paper published in Antiquity by Paolo Cherubini would appear to confirm the 16th century BC as the date of the catastrophic eruption ruling out an earlier date as untenable(o). In the same year, the University of Birmingham published a report(u) that supported the 1625 BC date. The earlier Antiquity paper prompted a response by a group, led by Sturt Manning later in 2014(y).

In August 2018, an interdisciplinary group led by dendrochronologist Charlotte L. Pearson published a paper(ab)(ad), which concluded that the eruption of Thera took place in the 16th century BC. This conclusion was the result of using a combination of ‘dendro’ along with high-resolution radiocarbon dating methods. In April 2020, a new report in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences explained how a new study of the wood of an ancient grove of juniper trees, which suggested that the volcano blew its top around the year 1560 B.C.”(ae)

October 2018 saw further evidence for an early 16th century BC date for the eruption emerge after the radiocarbon dating of some olive wood found on Therasia, one of the Santorini island groups (z). The same month saw the publication of a paper on the ResearchGate(aa)  website dating the event to 1727-1600 BC!

Pearson published another paper in 2023(ar) in which she highlighted the difficulties attached to using dendrochronology and olive wood, with particular reference to the dating of the olive shrub found on Therasia.  However, this sample has proved highly controversial because olive trees do not necessarily produce annual growth rings in the way that pine or oak trees might. While some studies have shown that annual growth rings in olives are possible, others have shown that the nature of olive growth may mean that a stem or branch with bark may have actually ceased to accumulate growth bands several decades before the death of the tree.” 

William Austin, an American researcher, offers, with great insistence, the precise date of 1612 BC for the eruption of Thera, in a lengthy 2016 paper (updated 2022) paper that begins with an open letter to Manfred Bietak and Sturt Manning. “The conclusion is that the radiocarbon date c.1613 BC was spot on. The Minoan eruption was in the spring of 1612 BC, via astronomy, via ice cores, via tree rings, via a stalagmite, via Babylonian chronology; all arrows point to the same exact year.” This is a carefully thought-out argument and useful addition to the literature on the subject(ap).

Nevertheless, in 2022, another report(aq) from Pearson, of the University of Arizona and her team claim that they have narrowed the eruption date to three possible dates – 1611 BC, 1562-1555 BC and 1538 BC!

After the eruption, we learn from Herodotus that Thera was resettled in the thirteenth century  BC by the Phoenicians and around a century later by the Dorians(am).

The doctoral thesis of Dr David Sewell explores the cultural effects of the Theran eruption and can be read online(h).

Many centuries later the volcanic ash deposited by the Theran eruption was used in huge quantities to manufacture cement for the construction of the Suez Canal. It was during the mining of this material that workmen encountered large stone blocks under the layers of pumice, indicating buildings of great age.

Luana Monte has written a rather ‘forced’ argument in which she claims that Thera can be identified as biblical Tarshish(ac).

It is claimed by many that a garbled Egyptian description of this devastating event was the basis for the story of the destruction of Atlantis. Louis Figuier was the first, in 1872, to publicly link the demise of Atlantis with the explosion on Thera. Opponents of this theory counter it by pointing out that Plato describes the inundation of an island much larger than Santorini or Crete, located in the Atlantic following an earthquake, not a volcanic eruption many thousands of years earlier. Various attempts have been made to reconcile this Minoan Hypothesis and its obvious inconsistencies with Plato’s text. They are discussed separately under

Date of Atlantis’ Collapse

Pillars of Heracles

Size of Atlantis

It was announced at the end of February 2010 that the BBC was about to air a dramatisation of the Theran disaster as well as a documentary on the eruption and its influence on the development of Plato’s story of Atlantis. June 2010 saw the historian, Bettany Hughes, front a disappointing BBC Timewatch Special, which also promoted the idea of the eruption on Thera as the inspiration for Plato’s story of Atlantis. The material introduced as evidence was highly selective and, for me, unconvincing. A few parallels between Thera and Plato’s description were trotted out, while the more numerous differences were ignored!

Alain Moreau has written a highly critical review(v) of the idea that the island of Thera/Santorini had been home to Atlantis.

Dr Dora Constantinidis who studied under Prof. Christos Doumas delivered a lecture in Melbourne on May 29th 2014 with the inviting title of Unravelling the Atlantis Myth at Akrotiri. However, the primary purpose of the talk was not to advance our knowledge of Atlantis but to encourage the sale of Bronze Age-inspired merchandise(p). Nevertheless, in late 2020, one commentator did speculate that Akrotiri may originally have been Atlantis!(aj)

It is noteworthy that Unlike Pompeii, no human remains have been found at Akrotiri, and only one gold object was found on the site, suggesting that the Minoans performed an orderly evacuation before the eruption, and they had time to take their valuables before they fled.”(ak)

Another twist on the Thera explosion is offered by Andis Kaulins who suggests that there is a connection Theran eruptionsbetween that event and the Biblical story of Sodom and Gomorrah(g), while Riaan Booysen has linked two separate Theran eruptions with two Exodus events in the Bible(k), offering as evidence, the existence of two distinct Theran ash fallout areas, caused by different wind directions at the time of the events.

Vulcanologist Haraldur Sigurdsson of the University of Rhode Island following a 2006 study of Santorini estimated that the eruption of Thera was 120 times more powerful than the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens. Sigurdsson expressed his personal view that “the mythology born out of this largest eruption must be responsible for the Atlantis legend.”(au)

Initially, it was thought that the collapse of the Theran caldera generated very destructive tsunamis, but new studies have concluded(w) that instead of that it was the violent entry of pyroclastic flows into the sea that triggered the tsunamis. Dale Dominey-Howes has published a paper suggesting that some claims relating to tsunamis generated by the Theran eruption(s) are exaggerations. However, a 2022 report indicates that a series of four tsunamis resulting from the eruption hit the Turkish coast at  Çesme-Baglararasi, with one known fatality.(ao)

>In July 2023, National Geographic published an article on its website offering further information regarding the tsunamis generated by the eruptions of Thera and the evidence for it being investigated at a site in the resort town of Çesme on the coast of Turkey 100 miles north-northeast of Santorini. Archaeologist Vas?f ?aho?lu of Turkey’s Ankara University has worked there since 2009(aw).<

A further possible consequence of the Theran eruption(s)  was proposed after the discovery of the Nebra Sky Disk(n), which was buried about 3,600 years ago. This is suggested Nebra Sky Diskto have resulted from the volcanic ash generated by the eruption blotting out the sun for up to 25 years. It is thought that the Disk had been used to synchronise the lunar and solar calendars(l) and when this was no longer possible the Disk was buried as some form of offering. A contrary view is offered elsewhere on the Internet(m), as well as further controversy(t) led by Peter Schauer from the University of Regensburg.

Andis Kaulins has also written an extensive paper on the Nebra Sky Disk. A 2014 update(r) on the Disk was posted by Claudia Bracholdt.

2020 brought further debate with the claim, in a lengthy paper, that the date of the Disk should be brought forward to the 1st millennium BC(ag). This was followed by a shorter but vehement rebuttal(ah)(al).

In December 2020, the Discovery Channel aired a new documentary, which attempted to revive the Minoan Hypothesis, placing Atlantis on today’s Santorini. This recycled claim adds little that is new and has been taken up by several media outlets(ai), repeating an old error that claims that Plato said that Atlantis was destroyed by a volcanic eruption, when in fact he clearly states that it was the result of an earthquake.

Paul Dunbavin in Prehistory Papers [1758] discusses the Minoan Hypothesis and the extent to which it is inconsistent with the details provided by Plato. Despite the support from some academics for the idea that the story of Atlantis is linked to the Theran eruption, Dunbavin reiterates that “whenever you find a conflict between the opinion of a modern expert and that given in an ancient text then you should always prefer the source closest to the events.” [p160]  The relevant chapter 15 is available as a separate paper online(av).

Before he retired, R. Cedric Leonard published a paper listing 18 reasons why he does not support the Minoan Hypothesis(as).

An extensive bibliography of books and articles on the subject of Thera can be found on the Internet(b).


(b) Archive 2196 | (


(g) Sodom & Gomorrah & The Age of Thera and the Volcano Santorini (

(h) See: Archive 2199

(i) See: Archive 2200




(m) Nebra Speculation | Society for Interdisciplinary Studies ( 




(q) Wayback Machine (

(r) The Amazing Sky Calendar That Ancients Used to Track Seasons – Nautilus *

(s) Fossil Insects Tweak Date of Deadly “Atlantis” Eruption ( 









(ab) Annual radiocarbon record indicates 16th century BCE date for the Thera eruption | Science Advances (

(ac) Archive 3919



(af) (99+) (PDF) Manning, S.W. 2009. Beyond the Santorini eruption: some notes on dating the Late Minoan IB period on Crete, and implications for Cretan-Egyptian relations in the 15th century BC (and especially LMII). In D.A. Warburton (ed.), Time’s Up! Dating the Minoan eruption of Santorini. Acts of the Minoan Eruption Chronology Workshop, Sandbjerg November 2007 initiated by Jan Heinemeier & Walter L. Friedrich: 207-226. Monographs of the Danish Institute at Athens Volume 10. Athens: The Danish Institute at Athens. | Sturt Manning –

(ag) (link broken)


(ai) New Findings on Santorini Point to “Lost Island of Atlantis” Origins |

(aj) The Prehistoric Buried City of Akrotiri – Discovered in 1860 (


(al) Archaeologists Are Caught Up in an Intense Fight Over Just How Important the Mysterious Nebra Sky Disk Really Is | Artnet News



(ao) First victim of the tsunami that trashed the Eastern Mediterranean found | Ars Technica 




(as) Could the island of Santorini be Atlantis? (  




(aw) 3,600-year-old tsunami ‘time capsule’ sheds light on one of humanity’s greatest disasters ( 


Kaulins, Andis

andis kaulinsAndis Kaulins (1946-2022) was born in Latvia. He studied law in the United States and lectured on the subject at a number of universities there. He later taught law at the universities of Kiel and Trier. His real love would seem to be golf as well as the study and interpretation of ancient megaliths(a) together with their inscriptions and carvings. He has authored a book[423] on the subject of ancient megaliths and their astronomical significance. He was also the webmaster of, which is extensive but incomplete!

>Kaulins was greatly interested in the development of writing and published a paper on the subject(d). Additionally, in 1980 Kaulins also published at least two papers on the decipherment of the Phaistos Disk(e). Kaulins had an interest in a wide range of historical subjects including Egyptology, regarding which he offered some unexpected identifications(f);

“The identity of Tutankhamun can be explained as follows:
In my opinion, the evidence is incontrovertible that King Saul = Echnaton (Akhenaten), King David = Sethos and King Solomon = Ramses II with Shishak = Ramses III.

Accordingly, Tutankhamun can only be ATON, i.e. JON-ATHON (“young Aton, young Adonis, “Jaun-(IE)donis”), one of the sons of Saul in the Bible. Saul was Echn-ATON viz. Akhen-ATEN (“old Aton”, old Adonis, “Vec-(IE)Donis”). The other brother was Semenchkare, Biblical Ish-Boshet, who served a short time as Pharaoh before being executed.”<

Dr Kaulins believed that Atlantis did exist and considered two possible regions for its location; the Minoan island of Thera or some part of the North Sea that was submerged at the end of the last Ice Age when the sea levels rose dramatically. Kaulins noted that part of the North Sea is known locally as ‘Wattenmeer’ or Sea of Mud’ reminiscent of Plato’s description of the region where Atlantis was submerged, after that event. He suggested(b) that the Pillars of Heracles were located on either side of a narrow channel that had once existed between Tunisia and an extended Sicily that had included the Maltese Islands. He also believes that in the Central Mediterranean region, Carthage was possibly built on the remains of Tartessos!

(a) http:/// (link broken)

(b) Pillars of Heracles – Alternative Location (

(c) Megaliths Megalithic Sites Standing Stones Megaliths.Net ( 

(d) (PDF) Ancient Signs: The Alphabet & the Origins of Writing ( *

(e) (PDF) The Phaistos Disc: An Ancient Enigma Solved : Two Corroborative Old Elamite Scripts are Ancient Greek ( *

(f) LEXILINE JOURNAL: Who was Tutankhamun – Jonathon Aton – The Me’il – LexiLine Journal 347 *


Carthage is today a suburb of the North African city of Tunis.

Al Barone wrote(k) that it “was founded by Phoenician settlers from the city of Tyre, who brought with them the city-god Melqart. Philistos of Syracuse dates the founding of Carthage to c. 1215 BC, while the Roman historian Appian dates the founding 50 years prior to the Trojan War (i.e. between 1244 and 1234 BC, according to the chronology of Eratosthenes). The Roman poet Virgil imagines that the city’s founding coincides with the end of the Trojan War. However, it is most likely that the city was founded sometime between 846 and 813 BC.

Gerard Gertoux argues(h) that recent discoveries push this date back to at least 870 BC, if not further. Prior to that, the Roman poet, Silius Italicus (100-200 AD), tells us that according to legend the land there had been occupied by Pelasgians(e).

South of Carthage, in modern Tunisia, there are fertile plains that were the breadbasket of Rome and even today can produce two crops a year, despite a much-disimproved climate.

In 500 BC Hanno, the Navigator was dispatched from Carthage with the intention of establishing new African colonies. Around a century later another Carthaginian voyager, Himilco, is also thought to have travelled northward(f) in the Atlantic and possibly reached Ireland, referred to as ‘isola sacra’. Christopher Jones has claimed on his website(d) that Himilco reached Britain and Ireland in the 5th century BC.

Cecil Torr (1857-1928) the British antiquarian and author published a paper in 1891 entitled The Harbours of Carthage(j) in which he suggested that the layout of Carthage may have inspired some of Plato’s descriptions of Atlantis. However, we are now aware that some of these features did not exist until after Plato’s time.

>Sometime later Victor Bérard,  pointed out[0160] the similarity of Carthage with Plato’s description of Atlantis. The prominent Atlantis sceptic Sprague de Camp at least complimented Bérard that his theory was ” more difficult to eliminate ” than those of other researchers and authors. After all, de Camp concedes that Carthage was ” in the right direction from the point of view of Greece “, which cannot be said of Crete, for example. Atlantisforschung discusses at some length de Camp’s view of Bérard’s Atlantean Carthage theory(I).<

Frank Joseph followed Lewis Spence in suggesting that Carthage may have been built on the remains of an earlier city that had been Atlantis or one of her colonies. In like manner, when the Romans destroyed Carthage after the Punic Wars, they built a new Carthage on the ruins, which became the second-largest city in the Western Empire.

The circular laycarthagenorthafrica200bcout of the city with a central Acropolis on Byrsa hill, surrounded by a plain with an extensive irrigation system, has prompted a number of other authors, including Massimo Pallotino[222] and C. Corbato[223] to suggest that it had been the model for Plato’s description of Atlantis. This idea has now been adopted by Luana Monte(c).

Andis Kaulins has suggested that “ancient Tartessus (which was written in Phoenician as Kart-hadasht) could have been the predecessor city to Carthage on the other side of the Strait of Sicily. Plato reported that Tartessus was at the Pillars of Herakles.”(a)  Kaulins places the ‘Pillars’ somewhere between the ‘toe of Italy’ and Tunisia.

Richard Miles has written a well-received history[1540] of Carthage, a task hampered by the fact that the Carthaginian libraries were destroyed or dispersed after the fall of the city, perhaps with the exception of Mago’s agricultural treatise, which was translated into Latin and Greek and widely quoted.

Delisle de Sales placed the Pillars of Heracles in the Gulf of Tunis.

A book-length PhD thesis by Sean Rainey on Carthaginian imperialism and trade is available online(b).

(aPillars of Heracles – Alternative Location (


(c) ARTICOLO: Cartagine come Atlantide? (





(i) Atlantis Rising magazine  #39 p69

(j)  The Classical Review5 (6): 280–284. June 1891


(l) Atlantis in Karthago – Die Lokalisierung des Victor Bérard – (German) *

Atlantis in Carthage – The localization of Victor Bérard – ( (English) *

Phaistos Disk

The Phaistos Disk is the most famous ancient artefact ever found on Crete and as Axel Hausmann says, can be considered the world’s oldest ‘printed’ document, dated to around 1700 BC. This is because the characters were created using incised punches, similar in effect to movable type.

Noting that this ‘document’ was produced using some sort of character ‘punches’, brings to my mind three questions

(1) were these the only set of punches created? And

(2) have any other objects been discovered that show a similar use of punches? And

(3) if not, why not? These questions prompted some to claim that the Disk was a hoax! (See below)

Another artefact with characteristics remarkably similar to the Phaistos Disk is the inscribed Magliano Disk, made of lead, which was discovered in Magliano, Tuscany in the 188os(ac). However, the two discs were very far apart in time and location and so similarities are just superficial. Like the Phaistos Disk, the one from Magliano has also presented translation problems as the Etruscan script in which it is written is still only partly decipherable.

In 2017 the website published an illustrated paper by Lance Carlyle Carter comparing the Magliano Disc with the Phaistos

Magliano Disc

Disc. In it, he claims “to show how the Magliano Disc inscriptions appear to be based ancient asterisms, signs, or constellations and are compared to the Phaistos inscriptions. The Magliano Disc inscriptions appear to depict a way of drawing celestial signs that portray the northern sky. This paper shows that the Phaistos Disc may not be an isolated document.(am)

The Phaistos Disk was discovered around a hundred years ago by the Italian archaeologist Luigi Pernier (1874-1937) and despite an amazing number of efforts(a), it has defied a definitive decipherment ever since. The interpretations so far have ranged from it being a prayer to a description of the eruption of Thera, while one writer in a light-headed moment went as far as to suggest that it might hold a message from extraterrestrials!

phaistosdiscs Frank Joseph contends[636.42] that it was ‘a sophisticated astrological chart’ and ‘is an example of Atlantean Bronze Age technology’.

One of the most fascinating suggestions is that the disk was a board game based on an ancient Egyptian game called Senet(b)(o), which was proposed by Peter Aleff, an explanation later supported by Philip Coppens(af). However, it seems that this idea was first proposed by Fernand Crombette at least half a century earlier(r).

Over sixty years ago Marcel Homet discussed the Phaistos Disk in the last chapter of his Sons of the Sun [813] noting that “The totality of the ideograms or symbols on the disc – they are all as familiar in the prehistoric Mediterranean countries as in Ancient America (although of older date there) – leads us inevitably to search for a common origin, which can only be found in the northern part of the space which lies between the two continents (Eurasia and America), in other words: Atlantis!” [p193]

Alan Butler, who has written a book on the subject[504], provides a more conventional offering in which he sees the disk as being primarily an astronomical aid. Rosario Vieni has promoted the idea that the disk had a calendrical use and has published his reasons, in French, on the Internet(c). Paul Dunbavin has also suggested(aj) that the disk may have been a spiral calendar[099.181].

Naturally, Atlantis has not been excluded from this wide-ranging Phaistos speculation, although the linking of the disk with Atlantis is tenuous at best. Jean Louis Pagé has produced a bilingual offering[501] that combines the Phaistos, Mayan and Aztec disks to locate Atlantis. Axel Hausmann, writing in German[372], has also done little to provide a clear connection between Atlantis and the disk.

Christian O’Brien and his wife Barbara Joy, in an appendix to their book The Genius of the Few, have identified the writing on the disk as an early form of Sumerian cuneiform writing. Based on this, O’Brien produced a complete translation of the Disk(ag)!

>The late Andis Kaulins published at least two papers on the decipherment of the Disk(aq).<

The disk is housed in the Iraklion Archaeological Museum which is home to the Akralochori Axe also found on Crete in 1934 by Spyridon Marinatos, that was inscribed with 15 characters that have been identified with the Linear A script as well as some of the Phaistos characters(e). The Museum also holds (#2646) a lesser-known disk called ‘The Disk of Chronos’ by Richard Heath, who has identified it as a Bronze Age calendar(ah), which, according to him, among its other functions shows an early use of the seven-day-week. Heath has also written a paper on the Phaistos Disk, which he has interpreted as an eclipse predictor(ai).

Dutch linguists Jan Best and the late Fred Woudhuizen co-authored a paper(ao)  on the Phaistos Disc and concluded that Not only the script but the language, too, is very similar to Luwian.” If their reading is correct,” the text on the disc intends to settle an ownership dispute in a place called Rhytion near Pyrgos in the southwest of the plain of Messara: The Greek king Nestor has a principality in Crete that includes Knossos and parts of the plain of Lasithi and of the Messara.”

Two American academic twins, Keith and Kevin Massey have made available a 72-page pdf file(k) outlining their interpretation of the disk. They concluded that the disk was probably a receipt for goods deposited in a temple!

2008 was a busy year for Phaistos Disk studies. Panagiotes D. Gregoriades delivered three papers to the Atlantis Conference in Athens in which he identified the disk as a calendrical device used on land and sea. He subsequently published his ideas in book form in 2010 entitled The Creation of Prototypes[1416].  In 2008 a major international Phaistos Disk Conference was held in London(h) to celebrate the 100th anniversary of its discovery.

Unfortunately, in 1999 a professional ‘wet blanket’ in the form of Dr Jerome Eisenberg declared the disk to be a fake when he wrote to The Economist declaring that the disk was “a joke perpetrated by a clever archaeologist from the Italian mission to Crete upon his fellow excavators.” He expanded on this in a detailed, fully illustrated paper(z) in 2008. Brian E. Colless responded by pointing out(d) that such a hoax would first have required the “making 45 little stamps to imprint on clay, on both sides of the object, and printing 30 clusters of signs (words or phrases ?) on one side and 31 on the other.”

The Greek authorities have refused to allow the disk, which is just 16cm across, to be removed for testing, on the grounds of its extreme fragility. The idea of fraud has been suggested because of the lack of other documents ‘printed’ in the same manner and because none of the punches was ever found. Fortunately, that argument has now been refuted(u). My response would be to point out that singularity is not necessarily a sign of a hoax. Otherwise, we would have to reject other artefacts such as the Antikythera Mechanism or Nebra Sky Disk, which are also unique items with no objects of any intermediate sophistication discovered so far.

Dr Marco Guido Corsini, who has also written about Atlantis, has widely promoted his interpretation of the Phaistos Disk(o).

Ukrainian professor Iurii Mosenkis, a linguistics expert, has proposed in his Hellenic Origin of Europe(ak) that the Phaistos Disk was an astronomical instrument for sailors!

Mark Newbrook, who has studied linguistics, gave a good overview of the various attempts to decipher the disk at the 2008 Phaistos Conference. An even more extensive site (currently suspended) was offered by the Georgian mathematician Gia Kvashilavathat includes a very comprehensive bibliography. Kvashilava offers his interpretation based on the Colchian (Proto-Kartvelian) language printed in the unique Colchian syllabo-logogramic Goldscript. His paper is quite technical and more suited to advanced students of the subject.

Reinoud de Jong has now entered this particular fray with a decipherment that he claims offers a description of the religion of Crete(i). However, this is rather strange as in a 2012 paper(ae), de Jonge claimed that the Disk contains details of the Bronze Age importation of copper and tin from the Americas. In the same paper, he also claimed that the Egyptians discovered America around 2500 BC and for good measure he slips in that the Empire of Atlantis existed from 2500 to 1200 BC, without any reference or explanation whatsoever! It is implied that there is a connection between Egypt, Atlantis and the exploitation of the Michigan copper. The level of detailed speculation on offer here is truly spectacular.

 Steven Roger Fischer, who claims to have deciphered the rongorongo script of Easter Island has also offered a translation of the Phaistos Disk in his book, Glyphbreaker[1520].

By way of complete contrast, Gary Vey claims that the disk is merely some sort of inventory and also gives an overview of the difficulties attached to deciphering the disk as well as some interesting features overlooked by some researchers(j).

The Czech WM magazine has an extensive 2011 article on the decipherment of the Phaistos Disk(p), giving prominence to the work of Petr Kovar, who claims that the language is Proto-Slavic!(y)

Stephen E. Franklin has claimed that the Disk is a king-list of Cretan rulers and also that it had a calendrical function(ab).

Barbara Gagliano raised a few eyebrows with her claim that the Disk contained DNA information(q)!

Late 2014 saw another translation attempt published(s) by Dr Gareth Owens of the Technological Educational Institute of Crete,  in which he claimed that the disk “contains a prayer to the mother goddess of the Minoan era.” Owens’ contribution provoked further controversy including further suggestions that the Disk might be a fake(t).In a 2021 recycling of his claim, Owens said he believes, moreover, that one side of the Phaistos Disc is dedicated to a pregnant mother goddess and the other to the Minoan goddess Astarte.” (al)

Linear B was the basis of Owens’ study, which was the result of a collaboration with John Coleman at Oxford University. They claim to have translated 80% of the text with certainty, along with another possible 15%, leaving just 5% undeciphered(w). >In 2018, Owens claimed that(ar) the percentage of the text that was now deciphered had risen to 99%!<

Robert Bradford Lewis (RBL), an American commentator, has offered a detailed illustrated forensic study of the Disk, based on his view that the language used was Ugaritic, a long-extinct Semitic tongue. However, while the language may be Ugaritic, the script is not! Uniquely RBL has proposed a connection between the content of the Disk and the Genesis Flood story.(an)

The number of theories relating to the Disk seems to rival the range of speculation relating to Atlantis. My selection here can be fruitfully augmented by the Wikipedia entry(x) on the subject.

>Silvia Ferrara, a Professor of Aegean Philology, is the author of a 2019 book, The Greatest Invention: A History of the World in Nine Mysterious Scripts [2083]. This well-received work, not unexpectedly, includes an overview of the Phaistos Disk- an excerpt from which is available online(as).<

A list of decipherment claims as well as a useful bibliography up to 2008 is available(y) and Charles River Editors has recently (2018) published two Kindle books [1585][1586] offering more information about the many attempts to solve the mystery of the disk.

Brent Davis is one of the world’s leading experts on Bronze Age Aegean scripts and languages. In 2018, he published an article “in which, based on a close statistical analysis, shows that while both the Phaistos Disc and Linear A are undeciphered writing systems, he can demonstrate that both are, with a high degree of certainty, encode the same language!”(ad)

Robin Ashdown in a 2021 article offered a new interpretation that suggested that the Disk had a calendrical function, possibly overseen by priests. This complicated theory, apart from being difficult to understand comes with a very candid warning: the ideas presented are based on nothing more than guesswork and speculation. I have no evidence to either support or refute these explanatory ideas. Nevertheless, by logically piecing together harmonious ideas, we can build a compelling picture of what might lie behind the pictograms in the Phaistos Disc.”(ap)


(b)  (link broken) See link (o)










(o) Index ( (3 papers) 


















(ag) The enigma of the Phaistos Disc – a question of language (

(ah) (99+) (PDF) A Minoan Calendar of Bronze Age Time | Richard Heath –

(ai) (99+) (PDF) Counting lunar eclipses using the Phaistos Disk | Richard Heath –

(aj) The Phaistos Disc: Minoans, Trojans and Etruscans | Paul Dunbavin ( 

(ak) (99+) (PDF) HELkENIC ORIGIN OF EUROPE: Formation of the Greeks 4600–2600 BC and the first Greek states 2600–1450 BC in Cretan Hieroglyphs and Linear A Script | iurii mosenkis –


(am) (99+) Celestial Magliano Disc Deciphered | Lance Carlyle Carter –



(ap) The Phaistos Disc: Spiral Secrets Suggest It’s a Festival Calendar | Ancient Origins (

(aq) (PDF) The Phaistos Disc: An Ancient Enigma Solved : Two Corroborative Old Elamite Scripts are Ancient Greek ( *

(ar) “Phaistos Disc” mystery finally unravelled – ( *

(as) Exploring the Enduring Mystery of Crete’s Phaistos Disc – Atlas Obscura *



antelleria was formed by ancient volcanic action, but even as recently as 1891 there was a submarine eruption off its NW coast. This ancient vulcanism created large deposits of highly-prized obsidian on the island. Because of its importance for tool making, it was traded extensively in the Central Mediterranean from the Neolithic period onwards(g).

The island, formerly known as Cossyra, is an Italian-controlled island between Sicily and Tunisia. One suggestion, from Andis Kaulins has been that it was the original Gaderia(a).

This conclusion is probably based on the existence of a location on the northeast coast of the island called Gadir. However, it must be kept in mind that Gadira or variants of it are frequently found in the Mediterranean region, usually at the site of former Phoenician settlements. However, north of Pantelleria is the Egadi Islands(c), another name evocative of Plato’s Gades.

Gades has been associated with Erytheia in the story of the Trials of Hercules, so if the Map Mistress website is correct in locating Erytheia(d) between Pantelleria and the Egadi Islands, it would confine all the ‘Trials’ in the Central and Eastern Mediterranean, consequently, locating the Pillars of Heracles somewhere in the latter region.

More recently, some authors have identified the Straits of Sicily as being the location of the Pillars of Heracles referred to by Plato in his tale of Atlantis. A land bridge between Sicily and Tunisia, including Pantelleria, has also been suggested, but this is unlikely according to bathymetric data.

>Novelist Samuel Butler (1835-1902) identified Pantelleria as Calypso’s Island, but the idea received little support(i).<

A fortified Neolithic village has been unearthed on its west coast and ancient structures, known as ‘sesi’, similar to the nuraghi of Sardinia, are to be seen in the southeast. One in particular, known as the Grande Sese, is a 5,000-year-old six-metre high mausoleum, containing twelve ‘cells’. The civilization who built this and another sese nearby are believed to have settled on the island after arriving from Northern Africa.”(h)

In 2005, jewellery in the style of the Egyptian Second Intermediate Period  (1700-1550 BC) was discovered on the island. This would add to the opinion that Pantelleria was a major trading and cultural crossroads in ancient times.

Massimo Rapisarda has commented that a good candidate to host a primordial civilization might have been the archipelago then existing in the Strait of Sicily, a natural maritime link between Tunisia and Italy, prized by the presence of an obsidian source at Pantelleria.”(f)

In August 2015, it was claimed(b) that a manufactured stone column was found on the Pantelleria Vecchia Bank, just north of the island of Pantelleria, in 40 metres of water. It is claimed that the area was an archipelago, if not actually connected to Sicily before the last Ice Age ended around 7350 BC. The monolith was dated using shells extracted from it. It took no time before the discovery was linked by a number of sites with Plato’s Atlantis. While I believe that the area was part of the Atlantean domain, I am more inclined to date its expansionist intentions to a much later period, such as the 2nd millennium BC.



(c)  (text only)

(d) (text only) 





(i) *


Gades is the Roman name of what is generally accepted as having been located at or near modern Cadiz in southern Spain. In his Critias, Plato relates that the twin brother of Atlas, the first ruler of Atlantis, was named Gadeiros although known in Greek as Eumelos. It is assumed that he had his realm in the vicinity of Cadiz and had his capital named, Gadeira, after him.

However, it has been pointed out that the Phoenicians who, before the time of Plato, possessed a port city in southwest Spain named Gadir meaning ‘enclosure’ or ‘fortress’ and was, over time, corrupted to Cadiz.

Until recently it was generally accepted, based on classical writers including the historian Livy, that the Phoenicians founded Gades around 1100 BC. Writers today such as Mark Woolmer have pointed out [1053.46] that the archaeological evidence suggests a more recent date, perhaps the middle of the 8th century BC.

However, a number of locations with similar-sounding names are to be found in the Central and Western Mediterranean region, weakening the certainty normally associated with the more generally accepted identification of Gadeirus’ city with South-West Spain.

Another solution has recently been proposed by the late Michael Hübner, in which he offers the Souss-Massa plain of Southern Morocco as the location of Atlantis. On the Atlantic coast of the plain is the large town of Agadir, whose name is also probably derived from the word ‘gadir’ which means fort or enclosure in the local Tamazight language. It can also mean ‘sheep fold’, which may tie in with Plato’s use of ‘Eumelos’ as the Greek translation of Gadeiros means ‘rich in sheep’.

Alternative suggestions have been proposed, including one by Andis Kaulins(a), who is inclined to identify the islands of Egadi (Aegadian), off the west coast of Sicily, which is opposite today’s Tunis. Should this Egadi be the original Gades it would make sense for two of the suggested alternatives for the location of the Pillars of Heracles, either the Strait of Messina or the Strait of Sicily, where there is a Gadir on the island of Pantelleria(b). It would mean that Egadi would have been outside the Pillars of Heracles from either an Athenian or Egyptian perspective. Albert Nikas has pointed out the existence of a place in Malta called Il Ghadira, which has the largest sandy beach on the island!

A number of investigators have also identified Gades with Tartessos, presumed to be the Tarshish of the Bible.

More recently Jonathan Northcote has suggested that Gadeira may have been Ireland, citing Strabo, who quoted Eratosthenes, who had noted that Gades is five days sailing from the ‘Sacred Promontory’. Wikipedia lists(d) eleven promontories stretching from Crimea to Wales that have been so named, but notes that these were only some of the locations given that designation. So he arbitrarily chose either of the two Portuguese Capes listed as the most likely starting point for a five-day journey to Ireland (Gadeira)!

Stuart L. Harris has echoed this, employing linguistic gymnastics(c). He uses Felice Vinci‘s idea that Homeric Greek was in fact a form of Finnish and so Gadeira was Käde Eiran, meaning ‘Hand of Eira’, supposedly a variant of Éire (Ireland) and consequently Atlantis lay to the west of Ireland. Convoluted, is an understatement.

(a) Pillars of Heracles – Alternative Location (

(b) Wayback Machine (