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

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    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 »
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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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Aral Sea

Caspian Sea *

The Caspian Sea is not usually associated with the story of Atlantis, but as early as the 19th century Moreau de Jonnès proposed the Sea of Azov as the location of Atlantis and that the Black, Caspian and Aral Seas were just remnants of a large ocean.

In the 1920s, Reginald Fessenden promoted a similar idea [1012], supporting it with some evidence that the Caspian and Aral seas were still connected as late as 200 BC.

While this may sound like a wild idea, one modern researcher, Ronnie Gallagher, has written an important paper(b) supporting the concept (see fig.8).

Gallagher has suggested that, based on whichever data is used this enlarged body of water had been joined with the Black Sea/Mediterranean or spread even further north as far as the Arctic. His conclusions are mainly based on sets of strandlines identified at elevations of 150 and 220 metres above sea level in the region of the Caspian Sea(d). From these he extrapolated an enormous inland lake centred on the Caspian (150m) or if the 220m level is used it was a sea joined to the Arctic Sea in the North. Gallagher published a hypothetical Eurasian flood map based on these figures. However, it should be noted that Professor E. N. Badyukova has offered some critical comments regarding Gallagher’s claims(e).

In the 1950s, Sprague De Camp wrote [0194.88] of compliant scientists in Stalinist Russia claiming that Atlantis had existed on land now covered by the Caspian Sea.

Fessenden cites Strabo (Book 11:7;43), who recounts a tradition that the Caspian had been connected with the Black Sea by way of the Sea of Azov.

Modern proponents of Atlantis in the Sea of Azov have suggested(a)  that at the end of the last Ice Age floods of meltwater poured into the Caspian Sea, which in turn escaped through the Manych-Kerch Gateway(c) into what is now the Sea of Azov, but at that time contained the Plain of Atlantis!

Immediately to the south of the Caspian are the Caucasus Mountains which have also had links with Atlantis proposed.


(b) Wayback Machine ( *

(c) Wayback Machine (


(e) Archive 7221 | ( *



Diffusion is the anthropological term used to describe how similar customs, beliefs and artefact designs are spread between cultures through migration, invasion or trade. Diffusion is not just a ‘one-way street’ as history has shown that ideas have travelled in all directions, while in fact most ancient civilisations can be demonstrated to have absorbed cultural elements from a multiplicity of foreign societies. Today, globalisation has increased exponentially the variety of influences that all societies now experience. Not only is the number of these influences greater but the rate of increase is apparently accelerating. The ubiquity of Coca-Cola, T-shirts, Irish pubs, Japanese cameras, German cars, English language, Guinness, Chinese toys, ABBA, AK-47s etc., etc., etc., are indicative of the global reach of commercial ‘empires’ today. In older civilisations trade was more concerned with commodities such as metals, olive oil, wine, amber, obsidian, or timber, so the technologies involved in their production or exploitation were also exchanged.

The development of agriculture also saw techniques spread, which had to be modified to suit different climates, although recent studies indicate that agriculture started around the same time in a number of centres(I).

In the Fertile Crescent as far north as the Zagros Mountains and further north, on the steppes of Russia, horses were domesticated and apparently there also the use of chariots originated. A book by David W. Anthony also attributes the region as being the source of what is known as the Proto-Indo-European family of languages[1356].

Societal concepts, religious or legal were no different as their geographical spread can also be tracked over time. Consider the different strands of the Abrahamic faiths, beginning with Judaism, which spawned Christianity and later was joined by Islam through Muhammad, who claimed to be a descendant of Abraham. Similarly, democracy has slowly evolved and spread over time and still has a long way to go.

Since early man left Africa, he has had ample time to settle all over our planet and exploit its resources, moving from being a hunter-gatherer to becoming a settled farmer, developing urban centres (city-states), then empires and the inevitable wars. Wars, then like today, led to the development of new technologies, chariots, longbows, and armour, to be copied and if possible improved upon, by each side.

My view is that initially, technology and techniques were freely exchanged between peoples, until gradually the idea of monopoly entered the human psyche, eventually leading to the paranoia and greed associated with the ownership of ‘intellectual property’ today. I would speculate that a freer and possibly gentler diffusion of ideas lasted until, at the earliest, the first millennium BC.

In 2014, the University of Connecticut published the result of studies that demonstrated that human technological innovation occurred intermittently throughout the Old World, rather than spreading from a single point of origin, as previously thought(j).

Egerton Sykes, a leading 20th-century Atlantologist, was a committed diffusionist, describing it as “the lifeblood of civilisation(h). Atlantisforschung has published a 1967 paper by Sykes supporting diffusionism with particular reference to pyramid building on both sides of the Atlantic(ad).

Andrew Cutler published a paper on cultural diffusion in August 2023 that should be studied by anyone interested in the subject. He discusses themes such as the Pleiades, Snakes, Finger Removal and Linguistics among others. He expresses the opinion that while many assume that such common features can be traced back to before the 100,000 BC Out of Africa migration, Cutler suggests a much later time circa 40,000-30,000 BC(ae).

A more extreme view is the concept of ‘hyperdiffusion’, which is the idea that there was a single ‘mother culture’ that led to the development of all major civilisations. Ignatius Donnelly was a hyperdiffusionist, advocating Atlantis as the mother culture. His ‘heretical’ views were highlighted by the range of similarities between structures around the world in apparently unrelated cultures, which seem to greatly exceed what could be expected by mere coincidence alone. This is explored further in a recent illustrated article on the Malagabay website(v).

Similarly, James Churchward proposed his invention, Mu, as an alternative hyperdiffusion centre. Perhaps better known is the work of W. J. Perry who was convinced [1353] that an archaic civilisation had begun in Egypt and gradually spread eastward through Asia and Polynesia, eventually reaching the Americas. Ben Urish published a paper(d) in 1986 that offers a critical overview[969] of hyperdiffusion.

Alice A. Storey and Terry L. Jones commented that Hyperdiffusion, in which diffusion is used to explain all phenomena observed in the archaeological record, implies that independent invention was the property of only a select few in prehistory; it is this extreme view that tarnished early diffusionists and led mainstream archaeologists away from the concept” (ah).

Konrad Kulczyk promotes a hyperdiffusionist theory that places his proto-civilisation, New Atlantis, just south of the Aral Sea(e).

Ivar Zapp proposes the existence of a global seafaring civilisation thousands of years before the Greeks, Egyptians or Sumerians(k) in an as-yet-unpublished book, Babel Deciphered.

Hyperdiffusion is clearly a seductive theory that has attracted the attention of researchers such as Richard Cassaro, who has produced an impressive collection of visual cultural similarities between ancient Egypt and pre-Columbian America(a). While the idea is not new, Cassaro’s images highlight the concept of diffusion very effectively, although he has, in my opinion, overinterpreted the evidence in order to support hyperdiffusion.

Cassaro published The Missing Link[1208] in 2016 in which he expands on the widespread distribution of what he refers to as the ‘godself icon’. Although he clearly demonstrates that the motif has an extensive geographical spread it is equally obvious that the appearance of the icon is spread over a vast period of time apparently coinciding with the emergence of civilisation in different places at very different times, which, in my view, is not fully compatible with the concept of hyperdiffusion, as I would have expected a ‘mother-culture’, if such existed, to have spread its global influence far more rapidly.

A comparable discovery has been made by Ozgür Baris Etli, who has drawn attention(o) to carved hands at Göbekli Tepe that have counterparts in many other parts of the world where hands meet at the navel are similarly depicted. I recently came across an image of(q) a megalithic statue in the Indonesian Bada Valley(u) showing its hands in a similar position. Also in Göbekli Tepe, we encounter what has become known as ‘the handbag of the gods’(y) which has been found depicted in many locations such as Turkey (Göbekli), Iraq (Assyria), Mesoamerica (Olmecs)(w), Egypt and New Zealand(x). These images are not only spread over thousands of miles but thousands of years.

However, Andrew Gough is the only researcher who seems to have come anywhere near to explaining the purpose of the ‘handbag’. In a lengthy article on his website, he explains how a British Museum guide confirmed that the bag was a pollen carrier(ac). This dovetailed with Gough’s belief regarding the importance of the bee in ancient cultures.

Having mentioned Indonesia, I must draw your attention to a recent book by Dhani Irwanto, entitled Sundaland: Tracing the Cradle of Civilizations (1618), in which he makes a strong case for considering his native land as an ancient diffusionist centre, which experienced waves of emigration at the end of the Younger Dryas period that influenced the great civilisations of the Indus Valley, Egypt and Greece. Irwanto also claims that their cultural impact included the transference of the story of Atlantis from its original home in Sundaland.

Equally intriguing is the ‘Three Hares’ motif, found across Europe, the Middle East ad as far as China(p) and now the subject of a book by Greeves, Andrew & Chapman[1210]. Another stylised symbol is that of the rosette found in the Mediterranean and spread as far as India(r)(s).

In a similar vein, Jim Allen has devoted chapter three of his latest book to outlining what he entitled Bolivia and the Sumerian Connection(b). Arguably, even more impressive us the array of images presented by Allen(b) suggesting that the civilisations of America were greatly influenced by ancient cultures  in both the east and the west . Although some artefacts can be developed independently, at some point , the number of similar items produced by two separate cultures can exceed  the number that can be reasonably attributed to coincidence. The number of similarities presented by Allen alone clearly exceeds that threshold suggesting that the Americas were influenced by different sources, ruling out the Americasas the home of a mother culture!

In the August 2019 edition of National Geographic magazine there is an update on the results of the latest genetic studies relating to the origins of European peoples(ag). Their findings suggest that the continent has been a melting pot since the Ice Age. Europeans living today, in whatever country, are a varying mix of ancient bloodlines hailing from Africa, the Middle East, and the Russian steppe.” One item that caught my attention was that about 5,000 years ago “Farther north, from Russia to the Rhine, a new culture sprang up, called Corded Ware after its pottery, which was decorated by pressing string into wet clay.” and “Many Corded Ware people turned out to be more closely related to Native Americans than to Neolithic European farmers. That deepened the mystery of who they were.” Does it imply that prehistoric transatlantic travel took place then and if so, in which direction? As I read it, the NG article offers nothing to endorse hyperdiffusion, if anything, it does the very opposite.

An extensive website managed by Erich Fred Legner offers a wide range of evidence to support the view that the Americas had been visited and settled by people from both Asia & Europe before Columbus(aa).

Similarly, Gary A. David proposed that Votan was a diffusionist deity with counterparts known by other names such as Kukulkan, Quetzalcoatl or Viracocha in the different American civilisations. However, he goes further placing Votan’s origins in the Old World suggesting that he may have been Phoenician or Hebrew, citing Adrian Gilbert and Andrew Collins in support of this(af).

The whole subject of diffusion is wide-ranging and complex and well beyond my competence to do it justice in this short entry. However, for those interested in pursuing the subject further, I would like to recommend a 1997 paper(l) by David H. Kelley (1924-2011), available on Dale Drinnon’s website.

Egypt is frequently mentioned in this regard being seen as the influence behind Neolithic megalith building AND the pyramids of Central America, in spite of the fact that Newgrange was constructed before the Egyptian Pyramids and the New World pyramids were built thousands of years after those in Egypt. Atlantis is regularly suggested as another mother culture but without a single piece of evidence to support this speculative contention. For decades the idea that the pyramids of Egypt and those in the Americas were the consequence of diffusion from a common source, namely Atlantis situated in the Atlantic was heavily promoted. However, we can now more closely identify the pyramids of America with the step pyramids of China!

Consequently, for me, hyperdiffusion is not convincing. History has clearly shown that inventions have frequently been independently developed at the same time in different countries, while even in prehistoric times it has been demonstrated(f) that the evolution of stone tools took place as a result of the innovative abilities of local populations, addressing the same needs.

A word of warning; “recent research published in Nature by a team led by Tomos Proffitt at the University of Oxford shows that capuchin monkeys regularly produce sharp-edged flakes indistinguishable from those made by early hominins.”(t)

Even today technologies are developed independently throughout the world, but not in complete isolation, because of the instant worldwide communications available.

As a result of global marketing, in Ireland now we drive German, British and Japanese cars, use US computer technology and play with Chinese toys. However, being generous by nature, we gave the world the Irish pub, Riverdance and Guinness.

A two-part blog(m)(n) highlighting the many weaknesses in the concept of hyperdiffusion should be required reading for anyone interested in the subject.

Although Donnelly and his contemporaries, focused on the possibility of Old World influences in the New World, today, there is less of a Mediterranean-centred or Eurocentric approach to diffusionism. Instead, there is greater acceptance that the Americas have also had extensive cultural influences from Asia.

In March 2021, Hugh Newman published a paper drawing attention to the similarity of megalithic building techniques, using polygonal stones, in America, Asia, Europe and Africa. He goes further noting that “Peruvian relief carvings match those at Göbekli Tepe.” How much might be the result of coincidence is a matter of opinion.(ab) In January 2022, Marco M. Vigato published a new book, The Empires of Atlantis [1830], in which he offers a hyperdiffusionist view of Atlantis. He “traces the course of Atlantean civilization through its three empires, as well as the colonies and outposts formed by its survivors in EgyptGöbekli TepeIndia, Mesopotamia, the Mediterranean, and North and South America” and “reveals how the first Atlantean civilization lasted from 432,000 to 33,335 BCE, the second one from 21,142 to 10,961 BCE, and the third Atlantis civilization–the one celebrated by Plato–collapsed in 9600 BCE, after the Younger Dryas cataclysm.”(z).












(l) See: Archive 3563









(u) Atlantis Rising No.110 March/April 2015 p.41

(v) Ignatius Donnelly: Trans-Atlantic Architecture | MalagaBay (

(w) What is the mysterious handbag seen in Ancient Carvings across Cultures carried by the Gods | ARCHAEOLOGY WORLD (




(aa) E. F. Legner vita and websites (



(ad) Is Atlantological diffusionism ‘old news’? – ( 



(ag) Genetic testing reveals that Europe is a melting pot, made of immigrants ( *

(ah) (99+) Diffusionism in Archaeological Theory: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly | Alice Storey – *

Moreau de Jonnès, Alexandre-César *

Alexandre-César Moreau de Jonnès (1778-1870) was a French soldier and adventurer. He wrote a number of books including one[614] on prehistory in which he placed the Pillars of Heracles in the east and suggested that in the past there had been a large ocean of which the Black, Caspian and Aral Seas are just remnants. He located Atlantis in the Sea of Azov.

His book, in French, can now be read or downloaded online(a).

His ideas regarding the conjoined Black, Caspian and Aral  Seas has been resurrected in recent year by the more scientific investigations of individuals such as Ronnie Gallagher. The accompanying map highlights the connecting waterways linking these three lakes and the further connection to the West Siberian Glacial Lake during the last Ice Age, which lay on the West Siberian Plain considered to be the world’s largest unbroken lowlands.(b)


(b) A look at the glacial lakes of Siberia · john hawks weblog ( *

Black Sea

The Black Sea was known to the Greeks as the Euxine Sea and according to Strabo (1.2.10), in antiquity was often simply referred to as “the sea” (pontos).  It has also been known as the Scythian Sea after the people who lived on its northern shore. Pindar referred to it as the ‘Inhospitable Sea’.

It received little attention in connection with the Atlantis mystery until the 19th century when two French writers, André de Paniagua and Moreau de Jonnès, independently located Atlantis in the Sea of Azov. Some years later in 1923, R.A. Fessenden, a Canadian professor of BlackSeaMapMathematics and Electrical Engineering wrote about the prehistoric flooding of a civilisation in the Caucasus region, which he linked with Plato’s Atlantis. The text of this extensive work is now available on the Internet(a).

Trevor Palmer has written a useful paper (2009) on the Black Sea and the gradual development of theories relating to its dramatic connection with the Mediterranean and how it may have influenced the mythologies of the Middle East and possibly further afield.

Palmer concluded that The various groups currently investigating the area are agreed that cataclysmic flooding took place during the Late Pleistocene, but remain divided about whether similar floods also occurred during the Holocene. Eye-witness accounts of catastrophic floods in the Black Sea basin at either time could have been passed on to future generations, eventually giving rise to the later Mesopotamian legend of Uta-napishtim and, subsequently, the Biblical story of Noah. However, in the absence of any direct evidence of cultural transmission, that can presently only be regarded as plausible speculation.”(p)

Little was heard of the region again until 1998 when Ryan &  Pitman identified the flooding of the Black Sea with Noah’s Flood[025]. This was followed in 2001 by Ian Wilson‘s Before the Flood [185], which reflected a similar line of thought.

In 2004, the Bulgarian father and son oceanographers, Petko and Dimitar Dimitrov published their book, The Black Sea, the Flood and the Ancient Myths, in English, which supported much of Ryan and Pitman’s work. Unlike them, who based much of their conclusions on a study of molluscs, the Dimitrovs focused on sedimentation evidence. Their book is now available, in English, as a free pdf file(d). They also suggest that this Holocene influx into the Black Sea also triggered the Vedic Aryan migration to India(g).

Hristo Smolenov is another Bulgarian and a recognised expert in counter-terrorism and mathematics and is another advocate of a Black Sea Atlantis, which he identifies with what he calls the Aurolithic Varna Civilisation that existed 3,000 years before the pyramids. Varna today is situated in the Bulgarian province of Stara Zagora on the Black Sea coast. He has publicised his views through a website(r), video(s) and a book [1003], Zagora – Varna: The Hidden Superculture.

Ryan and Pitman’s book unintentionally triggered the imaginations of a number of people into considering the possibility of a possible link between this inundation and the sinking of  Atlantis. While Ryan and Pitman have made no such suggestion, others such as Ian Wilson[185] have seen a distorted memory of the event as a possible inspiration for Plato’s story. In 2009, Liviu Giosan, a geologist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute published a paper(e) which suggested that prior to the intrusion of the Mediterranean, the level of the Black Sea had been just 30 metres below its present level rather than the 80 metres proposed by Ryan and Pitman. This would imply a less extensive degree of flooding than previously thought. Giosan has offered a sceptical Ryan an opportunity to replicate his tests.

Although the scenario pictured by Ryan & Pitman and others is of very rapid flooding of the original smaller Black Sea, more recent studies appear to indicate a more gradual rising of the water levels. “With more data to be analysed, it supports the idea that the waters rose unnoticeably, by metres over centuries, even millennia.”(o)

Nick Thom, a British engineer, wrote The Great Flood [776] which includes a section on the Black Sea in which he suggests that the flow of water was from the Black Sea into the Sea of Marmara rather than the other way around.

Nearly two hundred years ago Josiah Priest in his 1835 book American Antiquities [1143] also offered evidence from Euclid of Megara that the flow of water had been from the Black Sea to the Aegean. Apparently, Euclid heard this from Anacharsis a philosopher from the northern coast of the Black Sea related how the inflow from the rivers of Europe and Asia raised the level of the ‘Sea’ until it breached the landbridge and spilled over into the Sea of Marmara.

Paul Dunbavin has entered the Black Sea flood(s) debate with a 2020 paper entitled Diodorus Siculus and the Black Sea Flood(q). This lengthy essay covers a lot of ground, in particular the comments of Diodorus Siculus who described a Samothracian flood story that appears to contradict the flood described by Ryan & Pitman as it describes a flow of water in the opposite direction. Consequently, the evidence offered by Diodorus is often discounted as ‘unreliable’. Dunbavin, however, offers a possible solution with the suggestion that The Samothracian flood, as described by Diodorus, could only have occurred after the Black Sea Flood.”

>The question of whether the Black Sea Flood was from the east or the west may be answered by consideration of Ronnie Gallagher’s claim of a vast post-glacial Eurasian sea that included the Caspian and Aral Seas. Modern proponents of Atlantis in the Sea of Azov have suggested(t)  that at the end of the last Ice Age floods of meltwater poured into the Caspian Sea, which in turn escaped through the Manych-Kerch Gateway(u) into what is now the Sea of Azov, but at that time contained the Plain of Atlantis and from there to the Black Sea proper! This theory suggests that the flooding came from the Black Sea into the Aegean.<

More recently, Christian & Siegfried Schoppe, two German researchers have also asserted that the Black Sea was the original ‘Atlantis Ocean and that Atlantis was located in that region [186]. They have suggested that Snake Island located east of the mouth of the Danube was the probable site of Plato’s city. Their contention is that around 5500 BC a landbridge at the Bosporus was breached causing extensive flooding that created what we now know as the Black Sea. Until that time there had only been a small freshwater lake in the region. Although their book was published in German, the Schoppes have a website(b) with a useful amount of English content.

flying eagle and whisperingThe somewhat eccentric duo of the late Flying Eagle (1920-2007) and Whispering Wind, who also advocated a Black Sea location for Atlantis(a)(f),  claimed a specific site on the Strait of Kerch between the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov. Their theory was first expounded in their book [138] in 2004. They also followed the Ryan and Pitman date of 5500 BC for the inundation of the Black Sea.

The evidence to date suggests that the flooding of the Black Sea coincided with a storegga event, which would require a catastrophe on a scale not previously considered. In a 2017 paper(i), John M. Jensen offers a range of evidence to support this contention.

A rather different approach is taken by the German researcher Werner E. Friedrich[695], who pushes back the expansion and the raising of the level of the Black Sea to around 10000 BC, at the end of the last Ice Age. He believes that this led to the flooding of Atlantis, which he claims to have been situated on a plain that had lain between ancient extensions of the rivers Donau and Don. Friedrich located the Pillars of Heracles in the Sea of Marmara[p.39].

A.I. Zolotukhin places Atlantis in western Crimea on his multilingual website with the inviting title of Homer and Atlantis(j).

The legendary destroyed city of Ancomah is frequently compared to Plato’s description of the destruction of Atlantis. It was reputed to have existed in the vicinity of the ancient port city of Trabzon, which is located on the southeast coast of the Black Sea.

Michael A. Cahill in his 2012 two-volume[818][819] publication on the development of civilisation locates Atlantis near what is modern Istanbul in the pre-Diluvian Stone Age.

The concept of a Black Sea Atlantis has the support of the rather eccentric Church of Vrilology(h)!

In October 2018, an attempt was made to breathe new life into the idea of Crimea as a remnant of an Atlantis submerged under the Black Sea. Unfortunately, it offers no evidence or references in the badly translated article(k). In the same month, it was reported that the oldest intact shipwreck was discovered in the Black Sea by an Anglo-Bulgarian team. It was identified as a Greek trading vessel dated to 400 BC(l). The oxygen-free waters at the bottom of the Black Sea had preserved it and dozens of others located by the team.

In early 2019, George K. Weller, building on the theories of the Schoppes, also proposed the Black Sea as Atlantis’ home, again nominating Snake Island as the home of Mr. and Mrs. Poseidon, which, before the Black Sea was flooded, would have been the central peak of their island home, as referred to by Plato(n).

One of the most comprehensive internet papers on all aspects of the history of the Black Sea can be found on the Encyclopaedia Iranica website(m).


(b) See:


(e)  See:






(k) (link broken Jan. 2019)



(n) Comparison of Plato’s Critias with George K. Weller’s concept of ancient Atlantis and its actual location. – The Weller Farm (



(q) e5604c_67fd983e0b934a56ac5b31ee9dd1f41e.pdf (



(t)  *

(u) Wayback Machine ( *