Sunken Cities, Harbours and Islands are to be found all over the world. Sometimes these were caused by local seismic, tectonic or volcanic events. A greater number were undoubtedly caused by the rising sea levels that followed the deglaciation at the end of the last Ice Age. This deglaciation continues today as the greenhouse gases produced by human activity threaten to raise sea levels further which could inundate a number of our major cities and could lead to dramatic social and economic consequences.
The flooding of Atlantis, as recorded by Plato, continues to prompt opportunistic writers to try to link any new discovery of submerged structures with this prehistoric catastrophe. Cuba, The Baltic Sea, Malta, and Southern Spain, among others, have all been touted as Atlantis on this basis. Many more are yet to be discovered that will attract this same spurious identification. There is also the possibility that a sunken structure from Atlantis will be discovered that will not be identified as such.
Even more depressing is the possibility that mankind may have to wait until the inevitable next ice age when the sea levels again drop before we will have our best opportunity to identify the true location of Plato’s city. That is assuming that we are still around and in a position to scientifically search for the site of this enduring mystery.
The most spectacular sunken city recently discovered is undoubtedly that of Thonis-Heracleion off the coast of modern Alexandria(c). A close second might be the city found in the Gulf of Cambay in India, for which claims of extreme antiquity have been made, in a paper(f) by Badrinaryan Badrinaryan.
However, archaeologist Justin Morris from the British Museum said more work would need to be undertaken before the site could be categorically said to belong to a 9,000-year-old civilisation.
The sunken town of Dunwich was once the 10th largest settlement in England and is frequently referred to as ‘Britain’s Atlantis’. However it was inundated relatively recently, in 1286 AD, and obviously has no connection with Plato’s Atlantis. Modern technology has now enabled accurate mapping of this old town(b).>Less than a century later, in 1362, Ravenser Odd ( Ravensr Aude) situated near the entrance to Britain’s Humber Estuary, disappeared beneath the waves.<
Similarly, the German city of Rungholt was flooded by the Wadden Sea less than a century later(d).
In 2009, the lost city of Bathonea was rediscovered just 20 km from Istanbul. Evidence of human habitation in an area dating to earlier than 10,000 BC has been found. Millennia later a Greek settlement was established on the site and later expanded by the Romans. Excavation of the partially submerged city may take up to a century. The discovery of cities such as Bathonea understandably raises hopes that someday the remains of Atlantis may also be found.
In 2017, also in Turkey, a sunken city has been found in the waters of Lake Van in the far east of the country(e).
A Swedish website dedicated to underwater archaeology lists a number of known sunken cities(a).
India, which at first sight to Europeans might appear an improbable candidate, has not escaped the attention of Atlantis seekers. For the sake of simplicity, I use the term ‘India’ as employed before independence so as to include Pakistan, in order to accommodate most of the Indus Valley area of influence, which straddled both those modern states. Awareness of the region was boosted by the investigations of Graham Hancock and recorded in his book Underworld, which prompted a flurry of speculation(a)(c).
More recently a wall was discovered just 3 metres below the surface of the sea off the coast of Konkan on the west coast of India. The structure stretches over many kilometres (possibly as much as 25 km) and has been dated to 8000 BC(j). At the northern end of the Konkan Coast lies the Bay of Cambay, where the discovery of a large sunken city has also generated claims of great antiquity. A paper(r) by Badrinaryan Badrinaryan proposed that this ‘great metropolis’ had lasted from 13,000 BP until 3000 BP!
It may be informative to read a more sceptical commentary on discoveries in the Bay of Cambay. In a lengthy article, Paul V. Heinrich wrote – “Given the significance of the claims being made for artefacts recovered from the Gulf of Cambay, remarkably little, if anything has been published. As of the time that this article was written, nothing has been published in any scientific literature about these artefacts. At this time, the only known source of pictures had been newspaper articles, popular books (Hancock 2002a), and web pages (Hancock 2002b). Being an experienced archaeological geologist familiar with lithic materials used to prepare artefacts and concretions created by both pedogenic and marine processes, these artefacts naturally attracted my attention. However, an examination of the artefacts illustrated by Hancock (2002b) generated considerable scepticism on my part as to whether many of these so-called “artefacts” illustrated by Hancock (2002b) are really artefacts.”(u)
Further interest was generated by suggestions that the Indus Valley civilisation could also have had an Atlantis connection.
In Search of the Cradle of Civilization: New Light on Ancient India is a ground-breaking book wherein its three authors, Feuerstein, Kak & Frawley, argue that there was no “Aryan invasion” and that India, not Sumer, was the cradle of civilized humanity.
P. N. Oak (1917-2007) the Indian history revisionist has gone as far as to claim that the British Isles had once been ruled by India(l)(t)!
An Indian researcher, P. Karthigayan, had prepared a paper for the 2005 Atlantis Conference on Melos entitled ‘The Origin of the Atlantis Civilisation through Tamil literary evidence’, however, circumstances prevented his attendance. Another Indian anthropologist, Amlan Roychowdhury, an anthropologist, also proposes(b) that the Vedic culture of India is a remnant of the Atlantean civilisation. March 17th 2013 saw an article(i) published in the Sunday Observer of Sri Lanka by Neil Kiriella, in which he proposed that Plato’s Atlantis story was a reworking of the destruction of Lankapura as recorded in the Ramayana.
In an October 2015 article by blogger Abo Rashad, he outlined in some detail similarities between Vedic civilisation and that of ancient Egypt. He concluded with the following comment, “ There are evidences galore that Vedic civilization was the precursor of all major civilization in the world. Similarities between the Egyptian civilization and the Vedic civilization and the evidence of the latter being the progenitor of the earlier is but one example. There are plenty of similarities between Vedic and Celtic civilization, between Vedic and Anatolian civilization, between Vedic and Mayan civilization etc. The question is the similarities between one and many.”
Sergey Teleguin is a Russian professor of Philology and a leading advocate of the idea that the city of Tripura (Triple City) in Vedic tradition was the original inspiration behind Plato’s city of Atlantis. In support of his contention, he has outlined a number of parallels between Plato’s account and the sacred texts of India, the Puranas and Mahabharata in an extensive English excerpt(n) from his 2005 Russian book, Anatomy of a Myth.
The Malagabay website published a lengthy article(l) in July 2016, offering evidence along with some conjecture, supporting the radical idea that the Sea Peoples had originated in India and having migrated westward, some of them reached the Aegean and became known as Dorians! The author of the article appears to have followed the ideas of Edward Pococke published in his India in Greece.
Martin Freksa has a totally different view of where India fits into the Atlantis saga by maintaining that Atlantis while pursuing world domination, was destroyed by atomic weapons aboard missiles launched by India around 3000 BC.
David Hatcher Childress has written Vimana Aircraft of Ancient India and Atlantis in which he discusses the vimanas, the ancient Indian flying machines(s) and for good measure includes the vailxi aircraft of the Atlanteans, the latter being first mentioned in 1894 by the author of A Dweller on Two Planets.
James Hartman, quoting from the Agastya Samhita offers(m) intriguing evidence that the ancient Indians had the ability to make batteries, the design of which is rather reminiscent of the Baghdad Battery!
Cedric R. Leonard in an article on pre-Platonic references to Atlantis(e) identifies what he believes are relevant in the ancient writings of India.
Qusai Ayman Naser writing in 2013 from Syria also suggested India as holding the location of Atlantis, specifically in the Bay of Bengal(h).
The French historian Philippe Potel-Belner also identifies Bab-el-Mandeb as the location of the Pillars of Heracles(g) beyond which lay Atlantis on a long plain on the west coast of India(f). He has recently drawn attention to the Farasan Islands, near Bab-el-Mandeb, where a Latin inscription could be interpreted as supporting the locality as the site of the ‘Pillars’ (n).
In March 2019, Eugenio B. Ralbadisole offered the highly speculative theory that Atlantis had been situated in India, in an article(o) on the Ancient Origins website. He specifies its location as the Girinagar Mountains of the Junagadh District of Gujarat in western India as its location. His ideas are more fully outlined in a paper on the Academia.edu website.(p)
Apart from any association with Atlantis, Gene Matlock has made the unexpected claim that there is “100% Non-Contestable Proof!” that ancient India had conquered the Americas(q)!
(a) See: Archive 2051
(e) See: Archive 2055
(f) See: Archive 2056
(g) See: Archive 2057
(h) See: Archive 5135
(i) See: Archive 2058
(j) See: Archive 2059
(k) See: Archive 2723.