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.
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.
William Ryan & Walter Pitman published evidence, in 1997, that extensive flooding of the Black Sea occurred through the Bosphorus around 5600 BC. Controversy still surrounds various aspects of their
theory, some even claiming that the Black Sea broke into the Aegean, an idea that may be partially true(d)(e).
Nevertheless, their conclusions were challenged in a paper(c) by Yanko-hombach, Gilbert and Dolukhanov, who offered evidence that the flooding of the Black Sea was not the rapid event claimed, but was spread over millennia, initially in the form of freshwater from the Caspian Sea via the Manych Spillway(d) as the glaciers retreated and later with seawater from the Mediterranean. The same paper concludes with the following; “The public perception that ‘Noah’s Flood’ happened there is not supported by any scientific evidence.”
Ryan & Pitman later published their theories in book form as Noah’s Flood and was understandably seized upon by many as proof of the veracity of the Bible. In fact a year before Ryan & Pitman launched their book, René & Denise Capart published l homme et les déluges, in which they linked the Black Sea with the Deluge of Noah. A Bulgarian father and son team, Petko & Dimitar Dimitrov, refer to the pre-flood Varna civilisation existing on the Black Sea plain, but not calling it Atlantis by name. Their book is available online(a).
Inevitably, I suppose, Atlantis has been more firmly linked with this event by some commentators, particularly, Christian & Siegfried Schoppe(b). However, Hristo Smolenov also claimed that swathes of the Varna civilisation were inundated by the rising waters of the Black Sea but had no hesitation identifying it with Atlantis.
>The gold found at Varna amounted to 7kg, a record for a site 7,000 years old. Further background information about the site is available on an Italian website(f).<
>The work of Ryan & Pitman has also inspired the Black Sea Atlantis theories of George K.Weller.<
So, 25 years after Ryan & Pitman’s book the matter is still unresolved. Did the Black Sea flow into the Aegean or was it the other way round? Was it a fast (R&P) or slow (Y-h) process? Did the event lead to the story of Noah’s Flood?
>Professor Maria Kuman has published a paper that throws further light on the flooding of the Black Sea and any link with the biblical Flood of Noah. She concluded with “This article claims that the Black Sea experienced two sets of two floods – each consisting of one fresh-water flood and one salty-water flood. This can be seen on the Dr. Ballard’s side-scan sonar image of the ancient shoreline of the Black Sea (Fig 2). The first two floods were Big Floods, and they took place when the huge Ice caps of the Big Ice Age were melting. Based on a study of the glaciers we dated the Big Floods as 9,500 years ago, which agrees with Prof. Petko Dimitrov’s dating published in 1982 and Dr. Ballard’s dating of the first layer of shells in Fig 2.
The second pair of floods were local floods, which took place when the ice caps were melting of the First Mini Ice Age after the Big Ice Age. Based on a study of the glaciers we dated them as 7,000 years ago (5000 B.C.), which is in perfect agreement with Dr. Ballard’s dating with C14 of a piece of wood retrieved from a flooded house on the bottom of the Black Sea. This second pair of floods displaced many of the descendants of Noah mixed with Aryans, who lived around the Black Sea at that time.(g)<
The Caucasus Mountains lie between the Black and Caspian Seas and contain the highest mountain in Europe, Mount Elbrus (Russia). In ancient times it was the location of several kingdoms of whom two were known as Albania and Iberia
Delisle de Sales was probably the first to suggest the Caucasus as the home of the original Atlantis, with refugees from there establishing Plato’s Atlantis in the Central Mediterranean. However, the greatest proponent of the Caucasus location for Atlantis was R.A. Fessenden who wrote an extensive multi-volume work  on the subject early in the 20th century.
More recently, Ronnie Gallagher, an admirer of Fessenden, has studied the Caucasus region, in particular, the hydrology of the Caspian Sea(a), where he identified strandlines up to 225 metres above sea level, which he considers to be evidence of a vast inland Eurasian sea at the end of the last Ice Age. In Azerbaijan, he also found cart ruts similar to those on Malta as well as stone circles on the Absheron Peninsula(b). Professor E. N. Badyukova has offered some critical comments regarding Gallagher’s claims(k).
Flinders Petrie also referenced Fessenden in his (1926) paper The Origins of the Book of the Dead(f), in which he concluded “that the cultural connections of the earliest Egyptians, as well as the physical descriptions in their mythology, point to the Caucasus region. When, further, we find there the names of the principal places of the mythology in their relative positions, it gives strong grounds for regarding that region as the homeland of the earliest civilisation of the Egyptians.”
A few years later, an article by M. A. Murray in Antiquity (Volume 15 – Issue 60 – Dec. 1941) noted that Petrie’s “opinion was based entirely on literary and philological evidence” resulting in archaeologists being slow to accept it. To partially counter this Murray offered two pieces of evidence in support of Petrie’s proposed Egyptian-Caucasus connection.(i)
However, I must point out that in 1874 Hyde Clarke delivered a paper to the Royal Anthropological Institute in which he claimed that the Colchians in the Caucasus had been an Egyptian colony(h). Clarke also employed language similarities to support his contention. So we can reasonably ask, who was right or were both Clarke and Flinders Petrie wrong?
A forum on Graham Hancock’s website offered some more discussion about an Egyptian link with the Caucasus(j).
The Amazons of Greek mythology are thought by some to have originated in the Caucasus and as late as 1671, Sir John Chardin reported that a tribe of Amazons existed in Georgia. Interestingly, a 19th-century photo shows two armed ladies from Armenia captioned as ‘Amazons of Armenia 1895’.
An added mystery was offered by Alexander Braghine, who recounted that “I was present when a former Russian officer of Georgian origin found himself able to talk with the natives of Vizcaya immediately upon his arrival in Northern Spain: he spoke Georgian, but the Basques understood this language.” [156.187]
Currently, Bruce Fenton has claimed the Caucasus as the home of giants. However, Jason Colavito has demonstrated the unreliability of his claims(c).
In the Krasnodar region of southern Russia hundreds (3,000 and counting) of dolmens are to be found on both sides of the Caucasus. Interestingly, they show a distinctive form of megalithic architecture(g).
I feel that the Caucasus will have a lot more to tell us.
(i) Antiquity, Vol. 15, Issue 60, Dec. 1941 p.384-386
Alexandre-César Moreau de Jonnès (1778-1870) was a French soldier and adventurer. He wrote a number of books including one 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)
Russia went through a phase, during the Stalinist years when they claimed that every major invention had been the result of Russian ingenuity and a clear demonstration of the superiority of the Soviet system. Included on the list was the radio (did you not know that Marconi was Russian?), the telephone, television and the lightbulb!(c) However, their outlandish claims went beyond science and technology when they also claimed to have possessed Atlantis, which is now covered by the Caspian Sea!
Today, Russia has just a short coastline on the Black Sea another proposed location for Atlantis. Flying Eagle and Whispering Wind, who are proponents of this theory(a), claim a specific site on the Strait of Kerch between the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov. They claim(b) that there is evidence that the Kopet-Dagh fault line, which runs just above the strait, experienced a devastating (8.9) earthquake around 9600 BC destroying Atlantis in the Strait. At this time what we now call the Sea of Azov was the well-irrigated plain adjacent to the city of Atlantis described by Plato. They claim that the earthquake caused a massive influx of water from the Caspian Sea, which had been rising due to the melting ice caps in the north. This combination caused the creation of the Sea of Azov and the flooding of Atlantis.
The more conventionally named Christian & Siegfried Schoppe have also opted for the Black Sea as the home of Atlantis, but have identified a different mechanism for its destruction, namely the breaching of the Bosporus around 5500 BC.
Marco Bulloni has also opted for a Russian Atlantis but has identified it further north, just a hundred miles south of the Arctic Circle on the Solovetsky archipelago in the White Sea.