Arkaim is a 2nd millennium BC archaeological site in Russia, although some date it to 7000 BC(c). The site was rediscovered in 1987 just as the locality was at risk of submersion due to a proposed nearby dam-building project. This was later put on hold.
The suggested Atlantis link is just fanciful and does not stand up to the most cursory examination. For example, there is no evidence that Arkaim was ever submerged as Atlantis was recorded to have been by Plato.
A 2014 article that compared Arkaim with Stonehenge commented that “It would seem that Arkaim is an even better astronomical observatory than its namesake.”(g)
Victoria Lepage, a purveyor of mystical twaddle has endeavoured to incorporate Arkaim into her pathetic view of world history(h).
Dale Drinnon’s website included an extensive entry on Arkaim in Feb. 2012(f).
August 2015 produced a report(i) that a 2,000-year-old skeleton of a female, with an elongated skull, had been unearthed in the vicinity of Arkaim. Apparently, this was the result of a local tradition of head-binding.
Claude Frédérick-Armand Schaeffer (1898-1982) was a French archaeologist who is probably best known for his work at the Ras Shamra site in Syria which he identified as the ancient port city of Ugarit. He worked on and wrote about the site from 1929 until his death.
Schaeffer enter the arena of catastrophism in 1948 when he declared that during the Bronze Age on at least five occasions, widespread catastrophic destructions has taken place throughout the Middle East.
Some chapters from his book, Stratigraphie Comparée et Chronologie de l’Asie Occidentale (III et II. Millénaires), have now been translated and available online(c).
He attributed these events to seismic activity, which was perhaps related to the ‘seismic storm’ referred to by Stavros Papamarinopoulos in his paper, Plato and the seismic catastrophe in the 12th century BC Athens(b).
Plato recorded how the priests of Sais told Solon of a succession of catastrophes that befell the region, including earthquakes, inundations such as the Flood of Deucalion and the fall of Phaeton adding historical support for the theories of Schaeffer, Velikovsky and Gallant inter alia.
Schaeffer and Velikovsky exchanged correspondence(a).
Adam’s Calendar, also called the Blaauboschkraal stone ruins, is claimed to be the oldest known arrangement of standing stones in the world. It was discovered by Johan Heine, a pilot and firefighter. While the amazing discoveries at Gobekli Tepe have received widespread publicity, Adam’s Calendar is virtually unknown.
Heine together with astronomer Bill Hollenbach have identified a number of astronomical alignments at the site and have controversially dated the monument to between 75,000 and 250,000 years ago(a). Adam’s Calendar is one of many thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands, of man-made stone features across southern Africa. A blog on Dale Drinnon’s website elaborates with images on these enigmatic structures(d).
One of their interesting claims is that the alignments with the cardinal points were all out by 3°17’43’’ suggesting a crustal displacement.
To my eye Adam’s Calendar is very similar to the megalithic astronomical circle at Nabta Playa in the northern Sahara.
Johan Heine teamed up with writer Michael Tellinger to produce two books, Adam’s Calendar (2008)and Temples of the African Gods (2010). These books are heavily illustrated but light on text. However, in my view, what really detracts from them is the pathetic attempt to link Adam’s Calendar with the ancient astronaut theories of the late Zechariah Sitchin and his Sumerian Annunaki gods. For good measure in a lengthy paper on Graham Hancock’s website(e). Tellinger has thrown in the claim that the circular stone ruins are “energy generating devices“! I suspect that all this nonsense was introduced as padding by Tellinger(c) who had written previously about extraterrestrial interference with mankind in his Slave Species of God .
For good measure Tellinger, when referring to Sitchin’s Annunaki, also claims “that Great Zimbabwe was Enki’s ‘Headquarters’, simultaneously dating it to c. 260,000 years old.”(h)
A highly critical commentary of Heine’s claims should be read for balance(g).
In 2011 Andrew Collins visited the site(b) and was impressed by what he saw. However, he was, as I am, quite sceptical about the dating of the monument in the absence of stronger evidence. He was dubious about the 3°17’43’’ misalignment due to the ‘jumbled’ positioning of some of the stones on the southern side. He concludes with a call for further investigation and research.
Tellinger has a website with links to his books and videos(f).
(d) See: Archive 3590
Cartography is defined by The International Cartographic Association “as the discipline dealing with the conception, production, dissemination and study of maps.” The earliest land maps can be traced back to Babylonia around 1400 BC. In 2017, Evangelos Livieratos, Professor Emeritus of the Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki Cartography Department, offered evidence that the ancient Greeks were the first to develop a primitive GPS system, using the stars and their relationship with the earth’s surface(g).
O.A.W. Dilkie (1915-1993) was an English classical scholar and the author of a well-regarded paper Greek and Roman Maps . The BBC offered an overview of the development of cartography since the 15th century(k).
The subject entered the Atlantis arena in 1665 with the publication of a speculative map(a) of Atlantis, situated in the Atlantic, by Athanasius Kircher. It was allegedly based on earlier Egyptian maps, but unfortunately, there has been no corroborative evidence to support this contention. Kircher’s map had been used to bolster a variety of location theories – Azores, Russia, Baffin Bay and Greenland, Kircher himself favoured the Azores.
Hy-Brasil was reputed to be an island to the west of Ireland and frequently associated with the story of Atlantis. The Genoese cartographer, Angellino de Dalorto (fl.1339), placed Hy-Brasil on a map as early as 1325. It is further claimed that Dalorto, sometimes known as Angelino Dulcert, also depicted Australia on his 1339 portolan chart(l).
However, on some 15th-century maps, the islands of the Azores appear as Isola de Brazil, or Insulla de Brazil. Apparently, it was not until as late as 1865 that Hy-Brasil was finally removed from official naval charts.
Another feature on ancient that can confuse is the placing of the south at the top of old charts, two examples of which are Kircher’s map of Atlantis and Al-Idrisi’s Tabula Rogeriana. Caroline Williams has an interesting article(e) on the BBC website relating to the history of map orientation.
The unreliability of early maps is highlighted by the manner in which California has been depicted. In the 16th century, the maps of both Mercator and Ortelius correctly show Baja California as a peninsula, but in the following 17th and 18th centuries, it became an island on many charts despite written evidence to the contrary. There is a website dedicated to a study of the ‘island of California’(I), which incongruously ends with a brief reference to Atlantis, placing it in the Atlantic in the Region of Bermuda.
Donald S. Johnson in his well-illustrated Phantom Islands of the Atlantic discusses in detail the history of seven legendary islands. This fascinating book offers every reason to treat the details of early cartography with extreme caution.
Further difficulties with old cartography are the result of early mapmakers having a dread of blank spaces, a view outlined in a recent (Nov. 2017) National Geographic online article(h).
The most widely referred to map in relation to Atlantis as well as advanced ancient civilisations is the Piri Reis chart. This arguably depicts an ice-free Antarctica and has been used to develop the idea that Atlantis had been located there and was destroyed when a sudden pole shift caused the southern icecap to move to its present position. Rose and Rand Flem-Ath are the leading proponents of this idea based on the findings of Charles Hapgood. Other maps such as that of Phillipe Buache, the renowned French geographer, published in 1737, are claimed to show an ice-free Antarctica.
It is claimed by Ivan Petricevic that The Ben Zara Map of 1487 “displays remnants of glaciers in Britain, but also extremely detailed depictions of islands in the Mediterranean and Aegean seas. Today, these islands still exist, but due to rising water levels, these are now underwater.”(j)
Dale Drinnon had an interesting if speculative, article on ancient maps and their possible relevance to the story of Atlantis(b). Another article in Atlantis Rising magazine (July/August 2014) argues that the quality of medieval navigational charts (portolans) of the Mediterranean exceeded the capabilities of the instruments and knowledge in the region at that time and must have originated elsewhere. However, Roel Nicolai at Holland’s Utrecht University, who expressed these sentiments, was unwilling to nominate Atlantis as the source of the maps(c).
When asked in a recent interview what he meant by ‘advanced civilisation Graham Hancock revealed(u) that “I think we’re talking about a civilization – more than 12,000 years ago – which was as advanced as our civilization was, say in the late 18th century or early 19th century. In other words, they could navigate the world, they could explore the world, they could measure the world accurately, they had precise astronomy, they could create beautiful maps that were accurate in terms of latitude and longitude. That kind of level of civilization.”
Enrique García Barthe is an Argentinian cartographer who has an interesting Spanish/English website(d) dealing with pre-Columbian maps. Although many people have heard of the Piri Reis Map and the controversy surrounding it, García Barthe introduces a lot of new maps that appear to complement Piri Reis.
In 2015, Melissa Brooks used the data in the Atlantipedia chronology of location theories to develop a map(f) showing the distribution and level of support for the various theories on offer.
(b) See: Archive 3591
Jack E. Churchward is the great-grandson of James Churchward, the creator of Mu. In 2011 Jack republished what he describes as the definitive edition of James’ 1926 The Lost Continent of Mu which includes a new index and added appendices. It is still just the concoction of a fertile mind. My scepticism and that of many others is reflected in a recent blog from Dale Drinnon(a).
>For the record, Jack is quite sceptical of his great-grandfather’s theories and has republished some of the earlier material in order “for the reader to evaluate the basis of his argument,”<
Jack has also a promotional website(b), where he candidly wrote(c) that “the Troano Manuscript, as a reference for the sinking of Mu, must be removed from the list, if there is to be any legitimacy accorded to an evaluation of Churchward’s theories on Mu.” Jack was highlighting the unreliability of James’ translation of the Troano Manuscript, influenced as it was by the earlier seriously flawed attempts by Bishop Diego De Landa (1524-1579), Brasseur de Bourbourg and LePlongeon. Jason Colavito has added further comments(d) regarding Jack’s blog.
Jack continued to explore his great-grandfather’s misguided ideas with the publication of The Stone Tablets of Mu  in August 2018.
>In 2019, Jack published Crossing the Sands of Time: An Examination of the History and Legends of the Great Uighur Empire . We are told that “This book was motivated by the author’s interaction with Uyghur scholars and the marked difference between the real history and that espoused by his great-grandfather, James Churchward. During the research, other theories surfaced and are addressed as well. Included are appendices containing all the elder Churchward’s mentions of the Uighurs allowing the reader to judge for themselves the veracity of his pronouncements.”<
Dale Drinnon (1956- ) is from Kokomo, Indiana, made famous by the Beach Boys. He studied anthropology at IUPUI, but has a wide range of interests including geology, zoology and mythology which are reflected in his inveterate blogging. Inevitably he was attracted to the Atlantis story and wrote a book on the subject, but never had it published. Undaunted, he began Dale’s Atlantis Files(a) which includes most of the material in his book. He echoes the work of Otto Muck and places Plato’s island in the vicinity of the Azores.
Drinnon also has a passion for cryptozoology which he deals with regularly in a fully illustrated blog(b). Another of his blogs relating to anthropology which has a number of posts related to the Atlantis mystery and well worth studying.
Drinnon has recently added additional material to his website supporting his Atlantic location for Atlantis(d-g).
As of August 26th 2018 Dale’s extensive website seemed to be permanently offline.
(a) https://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/dalesatlantisfiles/messages/1?l=1 (No access August 2017)
(c) https://frontiers-of-anthropology.blogspot.com/search?q=atlantipedia (Link broken July 2018)
(d) https://frontiers-of-anthropology.blogspot.com/ (Link broken July 2018)
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.
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  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 of hyperdiffusion.
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 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 view of his 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 and as far as China(p) and now the subject of a book by Greeves, Andrew & Chapman. 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 is the array of images presented by Allen(c) suggesting that the civilisations of America were greatly influenced by ancient cultures in both the East and the West. It is obvious that a number of artefacts can be developed independently, but at some point, the number of similar items produced by two separate cultures can exceed the number that can be reasonably put down to coincidence. The number of similarities presented by Allen alone clearly exceeds that threshold, demonstrating that the Americas were influenced by different sources, ruling out the Americas as the home of a mother culture.
>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).<
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).
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 , 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 Egypt, Göbekli Tepe, India, 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
Günter Bischoff (1950- ) has written (in German) a number of papers(a)(b) that strongly support Spanuth’s theory, which places Atlantis in the North Sea with the royal capital on a Helgoland larger than what we have today. He believes that its megalithic influence extended from Scandinavia and the British Isles on to North West France and southern Spain and the Western Mediterranean. He also includes central Europe and the Atlantic island groups in this loose confederation.
Bischoff also blames the Phaeton encounter for the destruction of the capital of Atlantis. Dale Drinnon has given us a translation(c) of Bischoff’s extensive paper on this matter. Further information is available on the Atlantisforschung.de website(d).
Bischoff has published two additional articles(g)(h) on the Atlantisforschung website which includes a comment that might account for the diversity of locations where apparent sightings of the comet were reported. “Now it is easy to explain why Phaethon should have been sighted over Greece, Egypt, Syria, India and other countries. During its orbits lasting several days, it will have flown over many inhabited areas on its elliptical orbit. Some observers may even have seen it several times and from different directions.”
In 1995, Bischoff published another paper once again supporting the theories of Jürgen Spanuth. However, what stands out for me is a closing paragraph about the work of Barry Fell where Bischoff ends with “Thus, the first Europeans reached the New World almost three millennia before the bold voyages of discovery of the Viking Leif Erikson.”(f)
In 2016, Bischoff published his ideas in book form with a volume entitled Atlantis und sein Zentrum Althelgoland (Atlantis and its center Althelgoland).
Bischoff is due to give a lecture (in German) on his search for Atlantis, entitled Plato, Phaeton and Atlantis, on Saturday, July 8th, 2019, in Dresden(e).
(b) SYNESIS-Magazin Nr. 83 (5/2007) https://www.efodon.de/
(c) See: Archive 3588
Volcanoes at their most explosive have played an important part in the mythologies and histories of humans.
A recent Irish Times article (10/2/22) observed “Despite the small number of volcanoes here, European culture has been deeply influenced by volcanic activity. In ancient Greek mythology, volcanoes were where the Olympian gods had imprisoned their rivals, the Titans. When the Romans adopted the Greek religion, Mount Etna became the home of Vulcan, the god of fire and blacksmiths, who worked his forges underneath the mountain.”(u)
Volcanism is not part of the Atlantis story as related by Plato. His narrative clearly attributes the destruction of Atlantis and the Athenians to flooding and earthquake. Admittedly, flooding can be the result of some volcanic activity, but in the absence of any evidence to support this view in the case of Atlantis, the idea is only supposition. While most accept that Atlantis was named after its first king, Atlas, Frank Joseph’s fertile imagination suggests that ‘the island of Atlantis was named after its chief mountain, a dormant volcano’. For those that place Atlantis in the Atlantic the idea of volcanic or seismic activity as the cause of the flooding of Atlantis AND Athens is hard pressed to suggest a location for this activity that would explain two catastrophes two thousand miles or more apart.
However, the red, white and black stone that Plato may be related to volcanic eruptions that produce rocks of tufa (red), pumice (white) and lava (black). Pumice has been found at various locations in Egypt(v) and identified as originating not only from Thera but also from eruptions on the Greek islands of Nisyros and Giali as well as the Italian Lipari Islands(o). Pumice has a chemical fingerprint which enables its source to be identified(t).
Jelle Zeilinga de Boer and Donald Sanders are the authors of Volcanoes in Human History which supports the idea that the eruption of Thera was a factor in the development of the Atlantis story and also suggests a link with the Flood of Deucalion.
Nevertheless, a recent book by William Lauritzen, The Invention of God, makes a convincing case for accepting volcanic activity as the inspiration behind some of the imagery of ancient mythologies and most major religions. A recent article(i) on the BBC website expanded on this further. Lauritzen also suggests that the pyramids were meant to represent volcanoes.
The most active volcanic region of Europe is to be found in Italy, where Etna and Stromboli have been continuously erupting for thousands of years(b). There is a report that a 6000 BC extreme eruption of Etna resulted in a tsunami 130 feet in height which swept the Mediterranean(c). However, the most devastating prehistoric volcanic eruption discovered so far seems to have been in Siberia 252 million years, which may have led to the most extensive mass extinction of life on earth(e). This is now rivalled by Tamu Massif in the Pacific mentioned below.
The cataclysmic volcanic eruption of Thera in the second millennium BC has had a strong level of support as the cause of Atlantis’ collapse, a view endorsed by recent television documentaries and an IMAX film. The Greek volcanologist, George Vougioukalakis, whose research is featured in the aforementioned film, is convinced that the eruption of Santorini offers the most rational explanation for the truth behind Plato’s story(a). However, he dissents from the recently expressed view that pumice found on the Northern Sinai Peninsula was transported there by a tsunami generated by the eruption of Thera and prefers to believe their transportation there was by normal sea currents.
Apart from Santorini, Jim Allen had initially proposed the Andean village of Quillacas, which lies on top of a volcano, as the site of Atlantis, but later found that the nearby site of Pampa Aullagas had a greater correspondence with the description of Atlantis. More recently Richard W. Welch has suggested the eruption of a supervolcano in the Atlantic as the cause of Atlantis’ demise. And so the idea of the volcanic destruction of Atlantis still has some support!
Since January 2011, Santorini has shown some signs of a volcanic reawakening(d).
In September 2013 studies revealed(f) what may be the location of the largest volcano ever to have erupted on our planet. It would have been the size of the British Isles and situated underwater in the northwest Pacific and known as Tamu Massif. It would have rivalled the Olympus Mons on Mars, but fortunately, has been dormant for 140 million years.
March 2014 saw a post on Dale Drinnon’s website(g) take the linkage between Atlantis and a volcano rather further with the suggestion that “the capital city of Atlantis in Plato’s description was built in the caldera of an extinct volcano and that many of the features of the description are volcanic in origin. The “Poseidon’ temple is the pyramidal volcanic neck, an erosional feature that stood out like a conical mound some hundreds of feet in diameter and possibly some hundreds of feet high on the outside. there was a tunnel bored through this aligned East and West, to allow the sunlight in at the beginning and the end of the day for certain rituals.”
In December 2014 a report from Princeton University revealed that a massive series of volcanic eruptions 66 million years ago can be aligned with the extinction of the dinosaurs and should be included as part of the cause of that extinction along with the Yucatan meteorite impact(h). However, in February 2021, a report from Harvard proposed that the Yucatan impactor was a comet rather than an asteroid or meteor(s).
In 2009, it was reported(q) that another example of contemporaneous meteorite impact and flood volcanism was identified in Belarus.
The Laki volcano in Iceland erupted in 1783, killing 9,000 local people but more dramatically causing the Nile Valley population to be cut by a sixth, according to a study published by scientists at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. “The study is the first to conclusively establish the linkage between high-latitude eruptions and the water supply in North Africa”(j).
A 2015 report(k) suggests that a series of North American volcanic eruptions in 536 AD had such a detrimental effect on the climate of Europe that contributed to the demise of the Roman Empire.
Furthermore, there is now evidence(m) that the eruption of El Chicon volcano in Southern Mexico around 540 AD led to the disruption of the Maya civilisation. Can there be a connection between these two events? In 2020, it was reported that the massive Tierra Blanca Joven eruption of the Ilopango volcano in El Salvador had been accurately dated to within a year or two of 431 AD, which also devastated Maya communities within an eighty-kilometre radius(r).
However, David Keys in his book, Catastrophe, has proposed that a massive eruption of Krakatoa around 535 AD caused disruption on a global scale. Matthew Toohey from the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research in Kiel, Germany, has suggested the possibility of a double event involving both El Chicon and Krakatoa!
Recently the longest (1,200 miles) continental volcano chain was identified in Australia(l).
The BBC reported(n) in 2016 that “Deep-sea volcanoes are so remote until recently we did not even know they existed” and although “We do not see them erupt, yet more than half of the Earth’s crust can be attributed to their dramatic explosions” and “In fact, the mid-ocean ridges form the largest volcanic systems on Earth. But as they are largely hidden from sight, they have long remained elusive.”
In July 2017, the BBC offered an interesting article on the potential ongoing threat from supervolcanoes around our globe(p) and the inevitability of a future eruption.
Henri Lhote (1903-1991) was a French explorer and ethnologist who is best known for his study of the remarkable cave paintings in the Sahara at Tassili-n’Ajjer. Lhote built on the discoveries of a French Lieutenant Brenans, who began exploring the region in the 1930s.
Some of these depicted masked humanoid figures leading Lhote to suggest that they were evidence of prehistoric extraterrestrial visitors. One of these was dubbed the ‘Great Martian God’ and a decade later exploited by Erich von Däniken in the promotion of his ‘ancient astronauts’ ideas.
Jürgen Spanuth notes[017.22] that in 1950, Lhote organised an expedition to Tanzerouft in the Sahara with the hope of finding Atlantis although there was no subsequent claim by Lhote of any such discovery. However, Phyllis Young Forsyth quoted Lhote as giving a somewhat contradictory view when he wrote in The Search for the Tassili Frescoes “The fact is that there is no possibility whatsoever of the Sahara having been the site of Plato’s mysterious island.”[442.184] Zhirov noted[0458.18] that Lhote expressed the view that “it must be admitted that there is much in Plato’s idea that is positive.”
Lhote also contributed an article to Reader’s Digest’s, The World’s Last Mysteries, regarding the ‘green’ Sahara that existed prior to 2500 BC.
A blog(a) by Dale Drinnon of a decade ago expanded on some of the numerous examples of Saharan rock art that we know of and their possible connection with Dynastic Egypt. Philip Coppens has also written an article(d) in which he speculated on the possibility that Tassili n’Ajjer may offer the origins of ancient Egypt’s culture. The Bradshaw Foundation has an extensive archive(b) of African rock art as well as a section on rock art along the Nile(c). Similarly, Jose Manuel Delgado’s website also offers an overview of the rock art of the region and its creators, before they spread to the Nile Valley(e).