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

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  • NEWS DECEMBER 2022

    NEWS DECEMBER 2022

    Atlantipedia will be wound down in 2023. After nearly twenty years compiling Atlantipedia on my own, and as I am now approaching my 80th birthday, I have decided to cut back on the time I dedicate to developing this website. An orderly conclusion rather than an enforced one is always preferable before the Grim Reaper […]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 »
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Dennis Brooks

Brooks, Dennis

Dennis Brooks is a U.S. Army retiree now living in Hawaii, who has produced a number of works[201][202] on the Atlantis mystery. The first is more a booklet, which designates Tampa, Florida as the locationDennis_Brooks of Plato’s sunken civilisation. The second offering claims the entire continents of both North and South America as the extent of the Atlantis Empire.>He later expanded on this, explaining that North America was the continent of Atlantis, while South America was the continent of Lemuria(e)!<

Brooks attempts to spice up his more recent ‘pot-boiler’ with the suggestion that the treasure of Atlantis is to be found on Oak Island(a), off Nova Scotia, a hunting ground of treasure hunters for the past two hundred years. The Oak Island mystery and the suggested link with treasure from Atlantis is dealt with in greater detail in Atlantis and the Oak Island Treasure[0964],  an ebook by  Benson, Howard and Tyson.

2012 saw the publication of Atlantis:Ten Tribes of the Americas[953] in which Brooks expanded further on his theory. While there is no doubt that pre-Columbian America was home to many sophisticated societies, Brooks fails to demonstrate that any of them were Plato’s Atlantis.

His latest offering is Atlantis, Pyramids Floods[0996] in which endeavours to link Noah’s Flood with water damage to the Giza pyramids and the destruction of Atlantis. Jason Colavito has also published a useful critique of Brook’s book(c). One of Brook’s many incorrect claims in this slim volume is that Plato told us that Egypt was the oldest colony of Atlantis! This Kindle book is also relatively short, being equivalent to just over 90 pages. More recently, Brooks returned to the question of the Deluge in a short paper on the Ancient Origins website(d), which contains his usual quota of misinformation.

Brooks sent me a copy of his book, but when I subsequently challenged him on just two errors in his offering, he did not address my specific objections, but offered the following ‘excuses’ – “There are no credible sources when it comes to Atlantis. Therefore, all we have are speculation, dubious sources and assumptions. I see that you take this subject seriously, to me it is only a hobby”.

I would advise Mr Brooks to take up a new hobby.

(a) https://web.archive.org/web/20071211211047/https://www.atlantiskingdom.com/index.html

(c) https://www.jasoncolavito.com/blog/ancient-origins-author-claims-a-comet-caused-noahs-flood-which-ripped-the-casing-stones-from-the-giza-pyramids

(d) https://www.ancient-origins.net/history-important-events/comet-sparked-worldwide-flood-myth-009168?nopaging=1

>(e) Atlantis has been found and explained! | Ancient Origins (ancient-origins.net)<

America

America as the home of Atlantis took off as an idea shortly after its discovery (or perhaps more correctly, rediscovery) by Columbus. Initially, reports sent back to Europe designated America as ‘Paradise’ Waldseemuller-America

until its identification as Atlantis quickly took hold. John Dee in the time of Elizabeth I was convinced that the newly discovered Americas were in fact Atlantis, an idea endorsed by Francis Bacon. The first time that America was so named on a map was on the 1507(c) Waldseemüller map, sometimes referred to as “America’s birth certificate.” A rare copy of this map was recently found in Germany(e).

Nevertheless, from the early 1600’s dissenting voices were raised, such as those of José de Acosta, and Michel de Montaigne.

As late as 1700, a map of the world by Edward Wells was published in Oxford that highlights the paucity of information regarding the Americas at that time. However in this instance the accompanying text notes that “this continent with the adjoining islands is generally supposed to have been anciently unknown though there are not wanting some, who will have even the continent itself to be no other than the Insula Atlantis of the ancients.”

For over five centuries a variety of commentators have associated Atlantis with America and many of its ancient cultures together with a range of location theories that stretch from Maine through the Caribbean and Central America to Argentina.

Although most proponents of an American Atlantis, particularly following the continent’s discovery, did not specify a location but were happy to consider the Americas in their entirety as Plato’s lost land. In 2019, Reinoud de Jonge published a paper declaring that from 2500-1200 BC America had been an Egyptian colony. He expanded on this in 2912(l) , when he claimed that the American colonies, North and South had supplied the copper and tin for the Bronze Age of the Mediterranean. For good measure, he threw in a wildly speculative translation of the Phaistos Disk to support these contentions.

Over time attention was more focused on Mesoamerica and the northern region of South America, where the impressive remains of the Maya and Incas led many to consider them to be Atlantean.

North America received minimal attention until the 19th century, when an 1873 newspaper report(i) claimed that there was support from unnamed scientists for locating remnants of Atlantis in the Adirondacks and some of the mountains of Maine! More recently Dennis Brooks has advocated Tampa Bay, Florida, while John Saxer supports Tarpon Springs, also in Florida as Atlantean. To confuse matters further, Mary Sutherland locates Atlantis in the Appalachian Mountains of Kentucky and for good measure suggests that King Solomon’s mines are to be found in the same region!

For example, the discovery of the remains of the remarkable cultures of Mesoamerica generated speculation on the possibility of an Atlantean connection there. This view gained further support with the publication of Ignatius Donnelly’s groundbreaking work on Atlantis.

Some have seen an Atlantic location for Atlantis as a conduit between the culture of ancient Egypt and that of Meso-America(d).

Half a century ago Nicolai Zhirov claimed that Plato had knowledge of America [458.22] indicated by his statement that Atlantis was in a sea with a continent encompassing it. He thought that this was the earliest record of a continent beyond the Atlantic.

However, Plato also said that Atlantis was surrounded ‘on all sides’ by this continent, which is not compatible with the Azores, advocated by Zhirov as the location of Plato’s sunken island. In an effort to strengthen this claim Zhirov also claims that there is evidence that King Sargon of Akkad travelled to America in the middle of the third millennium BC, an idea that has gained little traction.

The idea of Sumerians in America was promoted by A.H. Verrill and his wife Ruth, who claimed [838] that King Sargon travelled to Peru, where he was known as Viracocha. The Verrills support their contention with a range of cultural, linguistic and architectural similarities between the Sumerians and the Peruvians.

More recently, Andrew Collins has promoted the idea of Atlantis in the Caribbean, specifically Cuba. Followers of Edgar Cayce are still expecting the Bahamas to yield evidence of Plato’s island. Gene Matlock supports the idea of a Mexican location with an Indian connection, while Duane McCullough opts for Guatemala. Ivar Zapp and George Erikson have also chosen Central America for investigation. Further south Jim Allen has argued strongly for Atlantis having been located on the Altiplano of Bolivia. A website entitled American Atlantis Research from Edward Alexander , now offline, was rather weak on content and irritatingly referred to the ‘Andies’.

Although much of what has been written about an American location for Atlantis is the result of serious research, it all falls far short of convincing me that the Atlantis of which Plato wrote is to be found there. No evidence has been produced to even hint that any American culture had control of the Mediterranean as far Tyrrhenia in the north and Libya in the south. No remains or carvings of triremes or chariots have been found in the Americas. How could an ancient civilisation from America launch an attack across the Atlantic and at the furthest end of the Mediterranean 9,000 or even 900 years before Solon? An even more important question is, why would they bother? There is no evidence of either motive, means or opportunity for an attack from that direction.

A number of Plato’s descriptions of Atlantis would seem to rule out America as its location.

(a) As mentioned above, the ‘opposite continent’ referred to by Plato (Timaeus 25a) is described as encompassing the sea in which Atlantis lay. America cannot be described as enclosing the Atlantic. Around 550 AD, Procopius noted that when viewed from the southern side of the Strait of Gibraltar “the whole continent opposite this was named Europe”(m) (not America)!

(b) The Greeks only knew of three continents, Europe, Asia and Libya. Armin Wolf, the German historian, when writing about Scheria relates(f) that “Even today, when people from Sicily go to Calabria (southern Italy) they say they are going to the “continente.” I suggest that Plato used the term in a similar fashion and was quite possibly referring to that same part of Italy which later became known as ‘Magna Graecia’. Robert Fox in The Inner Sea[1168.141] confirms that this long-standing usage of ‘continent’ refers to Italy.

(c) Herodotus described Sardinia as “the biggest island in the world” (Hist.6.2). In fact Sicily is marginally larger but as islands were measured in those days (Felice Vinci) [019] by the length of their coastal perimeter Herodotus was correct. Consequently, it can be argued that since Cuba and Hispaniola are much more extensive than Sardinia, the Greeks had no knowledge of the Caribbean.

(d) Plato makes frequent reference to horses in Atlantis. The city itself had a track for horseracing (Critias 117c). The Atlanteans had thousands of chariots (Critias 119a). The Atlanteans even had horse baths (Critias 117b). All these references make no sense if Plato was describing an American Atlantis as there were no horses there for over 12,000 years, when they died out, until brought back by the Spaniards millennia later. Furthermore, it makes even less sense if you subscribe to the early date (9600 BC) for Atlantis as it is thousands of years before we have any evidence for the domestication of the horse, anywhere.

A recent study of worldwide DNA patterns suggests that “no more than 70 people inhabited North America 14,000 years ago.”(b) But a more important claim has been offered by Professors Jennifer Raff and Deborah Bolnick who have co-authored a paper offering evidence(j) that the genetic data only supports a migration from Siberia to America. This certainly runs counter to any suggestion of transatlantic migration from Europe.In 1900,

>Peter de Roo put forward the idea that the ancient Greeks had knowledge of America, despite the fact that Herodotus clearly said that only three continents were known to them [Histories 4.42].<A 2013 book, L’America dimenticata [1060], by Italian physicist and philologist Lucio Russo, also claims that the ancient Greeks had knowledge of America and it was gradually forgotten because of mistakes made by Ptolemy including a 15-degree error for the latitude of the Canaries(g).

>However, the idea that the Greeks had an awareness of America persists, with some claiming that they had colonies in Canada. Among these are Lucio Russo, Ioannis Liritzis(n) and Minas Tsikritsis(p). Manolis Koutlis has gone one further and claims that not only were there Greek Colonies in Canada but that Atlantis had been situated in the Gulf of St. Lawrence(o).<

While there is extensive debate regarding the Americas being visited by ancient Greeks (Minoans), Phoenicians and even Sumerians, there seems little doubt that America had been visited by various other peoples prior to Columbus such as Welsh, Vikings or Irish. The case for the latter is strengthened by a 500-year-old report(h) of a long-established Irish colony in North America called Duhare.

America as Atlantis and the source of freemasonry knowledge was recently repackaged in a brief article on the Odyssey website(k) quoting Manly P. Hall who in turn cited Plato and Sir Francis Bacon. It then proceeds to speculate on what lessons the story of this original American Atlantis offers the America of today!

(b) https://www.sott.net/articles/show/228315-North-America-Was-Populated-by-no-More-Than-70-People-14-000-Years-Ago-Claims-Stunning-New-DNA-Research

(c) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waldseem%C3%BCller_map

(d) https://www.africaspeaks.com/reasoning/index.php?topic=5106.0

(e) https://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/germany/120704/lost-copy-waldseemuller-map-america-birth-certificate

(f) Wayback Machine (archive.org)

(g) https://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/293933-reconsidering-history-the-discovery-of-america-thousands-of-years-ago/

(h) https://web.archive.org/web/20161203182356/https://frontiers-of-anthropology.blogspot.ie/2014/03/490-year-old-spanish-documents-describe.html

(i) https://cdnc.ucr.edu/cgi-bin/cdnc?a=d&d=PRP18730215.2.8.2&srpos=11&e=——-en–20–1-byDA-txt-txIN-Plato+Atlantis——-1

(j) https://phys.org/news/2016-01-genetic-ancient-trans-atlantic-migration-professor.html

(k) https://www.theodysseyonline.com/america-as-atlantis

(l) https://www.academia.edu/3894415/COPPER_AND_TIN_FROM_AMERICA_c.2500-1200_BC_

(m) Vandal Wars 1.1.7

(n)  https://www.hakaimagazine.com/news/did-ancient-greeks-sail-to-canada/ *

(o) ENSKIA (archive.org) *

(p) http://canada.greekreporter.com/2012/04/21/researcher-claims-ancient-greeks-made-it-to-america-before-columbus/ *

Plain of Atlantis

The Plain of Atlantis is one of the principal features recorded by Plato in great detail. He describes it being “3000 stades in length and at its midpoint 2000 stades in breath from the coast” (Critias 118a, trans. Lee). The shape of the plain is frequently given as ‘rectangular’ or ‘oblong’ and contained an efficient irrigation system that was fed by mountain streams. The fertility of the plain gave the inhabitants two crops annually.

The dimensions given by Plato would translate into 370 x 555 km (230 x 345 miles). However, the late Ulf Richter has recently proposed(a) that the dimensions originally given to Solon by the priests of Sais used the Egyptian khet(52.4 meters) as the unit of measurement. Possibly Solon recorded the figures without mentioning the units employed. In Ireland, we changed over to the metric system some years ago, but builders still speak and write of using ‘2×4’ lengths of timber without specifying that they are referring to inches. Such unqualified notations made at present could be interpreted in the future as 2×4 centimetres. This illustrates how reasonable Richter’s suggestion is. The acceptance of it would give us a more credible 105 x 157 km (65 x 97 miles) as the dimensions of this plain. Richter also maintains that the plain was in fact a river delta, which explains the remarkable fertility of the land.

Jim Allen, who supports an Andean location for Atlantis, offers a strong argument against other principal Atlantis candidates by critically examining the plains included in alternative location theories(c). However, it must be pointed out that Allen had to divide Plato’s dimensions for the plain by two in order to shoehorn it into his chosen location.

While I accept that there is evidence that there was flooding on the Altiplano, it took place some thousands of years before the Bronze Age Atlantis described by Plato and certainly long before he wrote “this is why the sea in that area is to this day impassible to navigation, which is hindered by mud just below the surface, the remains of the sunken island.” (Timaeus 25d – Desmond Lee) This is not a description that can be applied to anywhere on the Altiplano during the 1st millennium BC. Apart from that, Plato’s account clearly states that Atlantis was submerged and was still so in his own day, making Allen’s critique somewhat redundant.

An interesting suggestion, although badly flawed, was made by Jean Deruelle who proposed ‘Doggerland‘ in the North Sea as the location of Atlantis, adding an interesting twist to Plato’s description of the Plain. Deruelle, an engineer and a geologist by profession, offers a hypothesis that is rational, highly precise, and based on his areas of expertise. No other hypothesis than Deruelle’s tackles so credibly the most outlandish elements in Plato’s description of Atlantis: the description of a vast plain, surrounded by a man-made ditch, 180 meters broad and thirty meters deep, large enough to circulate supertankers: it was not a ditch, but a dyke, build over centuries to protect a large part of Doggerland against the slowly rising waters of the North Sea.”(d)

Diaz-Montexano maintains that Plato never said that the plain was shaped like a rectangle.

The Mediterranean, between Sicily and North Africa, has been offered by a number of commentators, such as Alberto Arecchi and Alex Hausmann, as the location of the Plain of Atlantis. There is evidence of large areas of land having been submerged within the region between Malta and the Pelagie Islands. I include here a passing reference from Ernle Bradford who sailed the region which may be of interest to supporters of a Central Mediterranean Atlantis. When discussing the Egadi Islands off the west coast of Sicily he describes Levanzo, the smallest of the group as being “once joined to Sicily, and the island was surrounded by a large fertile plain. Levanzo, in fact, was joined to more than Sicily. Between this western corner of the Sicilian coast and the Cape Bon peninsula in Tunisia there once lay rich and fertile valleys-perhaps, who knows, long lost Atlantis?” [1011.57]

The number of different locations that have been proposed for the plain is obviously a reflection of the number of sites suggested for the city of Atlantis. I list the most popular below with the added comment that, at best, only one can be correct while all may be wrong.

Plain of Atlantis

Cuba (Norman Frey)

Mauritania (David Edward) *

Mesara Plain on Crete (Braymer)

Central Plain of Ireland (Erlingsson)

Sea of Azov (Flying Eagle & Whispering Wind)

Altiplano of Bolivia (Jim Allen)

Andalusian Plain (Diaz-Montexano)

North Sea (Doggerland) (Jean Deruelle)

Plain of Catania, Sicily

Plain of Campidano, Sardinia (Giuseppe Mura) *

Souss-Massa Plain, Morocco (Michael Hübner) (Mario Vivarez) *

Greenland (Mario Dantas)

Beni, Bolivia (David Antelo)

Mesopotamia in Argentina (Doug Fisher)

Black Sea (Werner E. Friedrich) (George K. Weller) *

Plain of Troy (J.D.Brady)

South of England (E.J. deMeester)

Carthage (Pallatino & Corbato)

Celtic Shelf (Dan Crisp)

Western Plain, Cuba (Andrew Collins)

Portugal (Peter Daughtrey)

Wales (Paul Dunbavin)

Florida (Dennis Brooks)

Atlantic Floor (Michael Jaye)

Baffin Bay, Greenland (Ian Fox)

Between Sicily and Malta (Axel Hausmann)

Pannonian Plain, Hungary+(Ticleanu, Constantin & Nicolescu)

Guadalete River Plain (Karl Jürgen Hepke)

South China Sea Indonesia (Dhani Irwanto) (Bill Lauritzen) *

Saudi Arabia (Stan Deyo)

Venezuelan Basin (Caribbean) Brad Yoon (P.P. Flambas)  

Yucatan Peninsula (Mark Carlotto)(b)

 

(a) https://web.archive.org/web/20160326200714/https://www.atlantis-schoppe.de/richter.pdf

(b) A Commentary on Plato’s “Myth” of Atlantis – Before Atlantis 

(c) https://web.archive.org/web/20200707234820/http://www.atlantisbolivia.org/plaincomparison.htm

(d) https://www.q-mag.org/the-great-plain-of-atlantis-was-it-in-doggerland.html

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