Easter Island (Rapa Nui) with its strange statues, known as moai, remains one of the great archaeological mysteries. As with most ancient enigmas, various writers have tried to link Easter Island with either Atlantis, Mu or extraterrestrials.
Herbie Brennan in his early book, Occult Reich , touched on the subject of Lemuria with the following two gems, “Atlantis, in earliest times, was actually part of Lemuria” and “the degenerate line of Lemuria is still with us, although only just and obviously dying. It is represented by the primitive aborigine of Australia.” He also claimed that a volcanic upheaval brought a tiny speck of Lemuria to the surface. “It rose complete with a host of giant statues……..now known as Easter Island.”
I cannot subscribe to such silliness and would not normally include Easter Island in this encyclopedia, but in recognition of the level of general interest in the subject, I have included a link(a) to the serious archaeological work that continues on the island. This study is now in its fifth season and is directed by Dr Jo Anne Van Tilburg. One aspect of the work was to demonstrate that many of the Easter Island ‘heads’ have buried bodies, often, until now, with hidden petroglyphs(t). A recent (June 2015) blog(g) has proposed that some of the markings represent tattoos.
Van Tilburg has been working on Rapa Nui for more than three decades. Her Easter Island Statue Project is supported in part by UCLA’s Cotsen Institute of Archaeology. “A 2019 report from her radically alters the idea that all standing statues in the Rano Raraku quarry were simply awaiting transport out of the quarry,” Van Tilburg said. “That is, these and probably other upright Moai in Rano Raraku were retained in place to ensure the sacred nature of the quarry itself. The Moai were central to the idea of fertility, and in Rapanui belief, their presence here stimulated agricultural food production.”(aa)
>The moai story is not quite finished yet. A previously unknown statue was discovered in a dried-up lake on the island in 2023(aj).<
The other great Easter Island mystery(i) is the rongorongo script found there. All attempts to decipher it have failed(c)(d). An extensive article by Jacob Mikanowski offering insights into the history of the island and its script and the many efforts to decode it is available online(q). David Pratt has also compared rongorongo with ancient Chinese and Indus Valley scripts(r). Pratt has written several papers on various aspects of Easter Island(s).
Jean-Michel Schwartz has noted [1792.93] the views of Dr Heine Geldern who “pointed out strong resemblances between rongo-rongo signs and certain archaic Chinese characters, particularly from the Shang period.”
Similarities between rongorongo and symbols carved on the Ingá Stone in Brazil have also been noted(v).
Some years ago Andis Kaulins wrote An Astrological Zodiac In the Script of Easter Island(x), in which he also links the Easter Island script with the Indus Valley as well as possible calendrical and astronomical associations.
“In 1932, Wilhelm de Hevesy was the first academic to suggest a link between Rongorongo and the Indus script of the Indus Valley Civilization in India, claiming that as many as forty Rongorongo symbols had a correlating symbol in the script from India. For a while, the idea was entertained and debated until radiocarbon dating of the Indus Valley culture was placed between c. 3,300 – 1,900 BC, a finding which officially separated the two cultures by over 2,000 years. Recent research, however, has opened the debate again as the finding of Indus Valley DNA in Australian Aborigines suggests contact between the two cultures c. 2,000 BC.”(v) There is also an extensive study of the two scripts available on the Academia.edu website.(w)
Although a link between the Indus Valley or even the Chinese cannot be ruled out, the suggestion by Professor Nors Sigurd Josephson that there is a possible Greek connection with Easter Island does appear to be extreme. Nevertheless, he claims that “In parallel with the over one thousand ancient Greek linguistic roots that are met in the language of Easter Island and, the relative to it, Polynesian languages, we also meet a big number of ancient Greek grammatic peculiarities, like noun endings and verbal types” .
More recently (2021), Alexandros Angelis has endorsed Josephson’s idea and for good measure has suggested a linkage between the Greek and Aztec languages(ae).
A new suggestion has recently emerged linking Easter Island and the ongoing discoveries at Göbekli Tepe in Turkey(b). This dates back to early 2010 and has now been given greater prominence in Robert Schoch’s recent book, Forgotten Civilization . On a lighter note, when Robert Schoch, suggested a link between Göbekli Tepe and Easter Island(m), despite the eleven millennia time difference, it was no surprise that Jason Colavito scornfully dismissed the idea(n) >as well as Schoch’s wild suggestion that the rongorongo writing dates back 12,000 years(ai).<
Pre-Colonial contacts between Easter Island and South America have recently been supported by DNA evidence(f). This would appear to be contradicted by a 2017 study by a team from the University of California -Santa Cruz, which appears to rule out pre-European contact with South Americans! Details are published in the October 12th edition of Current Biology.(p)
The Milwaukee Journal of June 17th, 1923 had a headline that announced the disappearance of Easter Island(e), proving that you really can’t believe everything you read! Coincidentally, 1923 also gave us an early attempt(h) to link Easter Island with Atlantis.
For a long time, it has been thought that warfare had wiped out much of its early population. This has now been debunked by a new study, led by Binghamton University anthropology professor Carl Lipo and published in the Feb. 2016 edition of the journal Antiquity(j). Shortly afterward, a further study suggested a more complex explanation for the early social collapse on the island has been put forward by Dr Valentí Rull, who is a senior researcher at the Spanish National Research Council in Barcelona(k).
A further report(o) from Lipo highlighted further the complexity underlying the societal disintegration that took place on the island. Lipo outlined the commonly held explanation as follows; “One of the resources that they supposedly used up was trees that were growing on the island. Those trees provided canoes and, as a result of the lack of canoes, they could no longer fish. So they started to rely more and more on land food. As they relied on land food, productivity went down because of soil erosion, which led to crop failures…Painting the picture of this sort of catastrophe. That’s the traditional narrative.” Lipo’s studies have employed new technologies that have disproved these popular ideas and forced a radical rethink.
There is a brief Smithsonian video clip available(l) that deals with the cutting and transportation of the moai.
The latest moai theory has come from a team of researchers, led by Carl Lipo, from New York’s Binghampton University, who have concluded that the statues were placed at locations where potable water was available(u). To me, it seems an excessively elaborate way of marking locations.
A recent study has added some confusion to conventional assumptions regarding early warfare on the island, claiming that there is evidence now that “Easter Island society did not collapse prior to European contact and its people continued to build its iconic moai statues for much longer than previously believed, according to a team of American researchers” Their conclusions were published in the February 2020 issue of the Journal of Archaeological Science.(y)
Joseph Davidovits who controversially proposed that Giza’s Great Pyramid stones had been cast rather than carved has also claimed that other well-known structures had been created in a similar manner, such as at Tiwanaku and Puma Punku in Peru(ac) and Easter Island(ad). Davidovits also offers a video justifying these claims(ag).
In the April 2020 edition of the Journal of Archaeological Science, Lipo et al offered a new paper(z) further debunking the Rapa Nui societal collapse theory and 2021 saw the collapse theory under further attack(ab).
In 2022 the proposed connection between the Easter Island and the Indus scripts was given a further airing. This time, the author Daniel F. Salas introduces this lengthy paper with ” The Indus Valley script glyphs have a visual relationship with the star constellations along the ecliptic. The Indus script has an established visual relationship with the Polynesian Easter Island script. The Polynesians used the stars to navigate, the use of the same pictorial image of the stars points to a very old navigational system. As for the Polynesian script a seasonal date can be found, using the same navigational system it can be said it happens in the Indus valley script. These dates for the Indus Valley script indicate a season of harvest of a particular plant.”(af)
Also in 2022, a BBC article by Sarah Brown offered the latest ideas on how the moai were moved from the quarry to their final location. There appears to be some agreement that the method used is described by Brown as “the marriage of ingenious design and flawless sculpting, which enabled these humanlike statues to stand upright and rock forward from side-to-side while being guided by ropes, granting the statues the ability to ‘walk’.”(ah)
(e) https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1499&dat=19230617&id=9f1EAAAAIBAJ&sjid=XyEEAAAAIBAJ&pg=5420,3683626 (inaccessible Sept. 2016)
(h) https://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/139600431?searchTerm=Atlantis discovered&searchLimits=
(l) How Were Easter Island’s Gigantic Statues Actually Carved? | Smithsonian Magazine (archive.org)
(m) https://web.archive.org/web/20160911175943/https://www.robertschoch.com/articles/schochgobeklitepenewdawnsept2010.pdf See: Sept/Oct 2010 edition of New Dawn Magazine (Issue 122)
(z) Rethinking Jared Diamond’s “Collapse” of Easter Island – Anthropology.net (archive.org)
(ah) The ‘walking’ statues of Easter Island – BBC Travel
(ai) https://www.jasoncolavito.com/blog/rongorongo-a-go-go-robert-schochs-12000-year-easter-island-delusion *
(aj) New Moai statue that ‘deified ancestors’ found on Easter Island | Live Science *
Guanches and Canarios were the names given to the natives of the Canary Islands when conquered by the Spanish in the 15th century following a hundred-year campaign. They are generally considered to be of Cro-Magnon origin having fair or red hair and blue/grey eyes, characteristics that are still to be seen today. Many writers have been convinced that the Guanches were the remnants of the Atlantean civilisation,> a belief noted by W.G. Wood-Martin over a century ago [388.1.212]+.< Recent DNA studies(j) reveal a diversity of origins for the descendants of Guanches, comparable with the general Canarian population today.
However, a number of recent genetic studies(l)(m) have established a clear relationship with the Berbers of North Africa. Furthermore, it is claimed that the aboriginal language of the Guanches is related to one of the Berber dialects(n). Further evidence favouring a Berber connection was provided in 2017(o). A 2018 paper develops this further with particular reference to the Lybico-Berber script(p).
Prior to the arrival of the Europeans, it is claimed that the population numbered over 20,000. It is not commonly known that in the 15th century many of the Guanches were abducted and brought to the Madeiras to work as slaves(g).
The Guanches were reported to have had no boats or maritime heritage. If they were all that was left following a catastrophic event, the Guanches were probably the descendants of mountain people who had no seagoing heritage. This view was queried by Henry Eichner who claims that this idea was generated by the faulty assumptions of one of the first Spaniards to visit the island, Nicoloso de Recceo. In 2013, Sergio Navio decided to disprove this notion with a practical demonstration. The plan is to use a basic raft-like boat, named ‘Ursa Minor’ to sail from Lanzarote to La Palma, a distance of 250 miles(f).
The Spanish conquerors of the Canary Islands may have been able to shed more light on the subject, had they been more interested in history than in territory. According to these early explorers, the natives were surprised to learn that other people had survived the disaster that had flooded their world and submerged much of their homeland. They excitedly asked the conquistadors for help translating ancient inscriptions left by their ancestors that they could no longer read, but unfortunately – for the natives and for history – the Spanish exterminated their tribe before any more information was learned about their history and legends. Their inscriptions remain undeciphered.
The Guanches have been linked with both ancient Egypt and America on a number of grounds including similar methods of mummification(i) and the step pyramids found at both locations(d). Perhaps the most radical idea to emerge in recent times from Jonah G. Lissner was the suggestion that the Guanches or more correctly their ancestors were the founders of predynastic Egypt(q). In a similar vein, Helene E. Hagan wrote The Shining Ones, in which she identified the Tamazigh, related to the Guanches, as the founders of Egyptian civilisation.
Reinhard Prahl has published a paper(k) on the Migration & Diffusion website in which he also highlights cultural similarities of the Guanches and ancient Egyptians.
In The Atlantis Encyclopedia [104.130], Frank Joseph wrote, “In 45 A.D., he (Marcellus) recorded that “the inhabitants of the Atlantic island of Poseidon preserve a tradition handed down to them by their ancestors of the existence of an Atlantic island of immense size, of not less than a thousand stadia [about 115 miles], which had really existed in those seas, and which, during a long period of time, governed all the islands of the Atlantic Ocean.” Pliny the Elder seconded Marcellus, writing that the Guanches were in fact the direct descendants of the disaster that sank Atlantis. Proclus reported that they still told the story of Atlantis in his day, circa 410 A.D.” Joseph expanded on some of this in an article in issue #34 of Atlantis Rising(u).
José Luis Concepción (1948- ), a Canarian, has written a number of books with a local theme including The Guanches, Survivors and their Descendant , a booklet providing a brief history of the islands. He concurs with the view that the Guanches have an African Cro-Magnon ancestry and are related to modern Berbers. The author also claims that the Guanches are still the dominant race on the Canaries. The booklet has been translated into a number of languages and includes an extensive Spanish bibliography.
A website(a) discussing the Guanches has some interesting if controversial suggestions regarding their origins. Another site highlights a possible connection with the Dravidians of Southern India(c). This Dravidian connection is supported by the late Edo Nyland(e) in his Linguistic Archaeology. Some time ago, Arysio dos Santos wrote a paper, claiming that “we provide linguistic evidence that the Guanche language is very likely of Dravidian derivation, and not indeed Hamito-Semitic, as usually stated(v). The present article is intended to be read in connection with the one entitled: TheMysterious Origin of the Guanches(w).”
Two Russian writers, B.F. Dobrynin and B. L. Bogaevsky in the first quarter of the 20th century wrote articles that supported the idea that there were links between the Guanches and the original Atlanteans.
A 2020 article(t) on the BBC website reiterates the Guanche – Berber connection but adds that “They adapted caves and grottoes to be used as silos and temples. Some of those structures have been preserved to this day and indicate the Guanches’ sophisticated astronomical knowledge: holes on the caves’ walls allowed sunlight in at certain positions during different times of the year, marking solstices and equinoxes.”
[388.1.212]+ https://archive.org/details/traceselderfait00martgoog *
(g) https://menceymacro.blogspot.ie/2013/08/la-punta-del-sol-la-historia-de-los.html (Spanish)
(i) See Archive 2617
(q) https://joe3998.tripod.com/guanches/ (link broken)
(r) The Mysterious Origin of the Guanches | Atlantis (archive.org)
(s) http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/abstract/39792/Abstract (Link Broken)
(u) Atlantis Rising magazine #34 http://pdfarchive.info/index.php?pages/At
(v) Guanche language derived from Dravida? | (archive.org)
(w) The Mysterious Origin of the Guanches | (archive.org)
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’
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  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)  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 , 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!
(f) Wayback Machine (archive.org)
(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/ *
Phaistos Disk *
The Phaistos Disk is the most famous ancient artefact ever found on Crete and as Axel Hausmann says, can be considered the world’s oldest ‘printed’ document, dated to around 1700 BC. This is because the characters were created using incised punches, similar in effect to movable type.
Noting that this ‘document’ was produced using some sort of character ‘punches’, brings to my mind three questions
(1) were these the only set of punches created? And
(2) have any other objects been discovered that show a similar use of punches? And
(3) if not, why not? These questions prompted some to claim that the Disk was a hoax! (See below)
Another artefact with characteristics remarkably similar to the Phaistos Disk is the inscribed Magliano Disk, made of lead, which was discovered in Magliano, Tuscany in the 188os(ac). However, the two discs were very far apart in time and location and so similarities are just superficial. Like the Phaistos Disk, the one from Magliano has also presented translation problems as the Etruscan script in which it is written is still only partly decipherable.
In 2017 the academia.edu website published an illustrated paper by Lance Carlyle Carter comparing the Magliano Disc with the Phaistos
Disc. In it, he claims “to show how the Magliano Disc inscriptions appear to be based ancient asterisms, signs, or constellations and are compared to the Phaistos inscriptions. The Magliano Disc inscriptions appear to depict a way of drawing celestial signs that portray the northern sky. This paper shows that the Phaistos Disc may not be an isolated document.“(am)
The Phaistos Disk was discovered around a hundred years ago by the Italian archaeologist Luigi Pernier (1874-1937) and despite an amazing number of efforts(a), it has defied a definitive decipherment ever since. The interpretations so far have ranged from it being a prayer to a description of the eruption of Thera, while one writer in a light-headed moment went as far as to suggest that it might hold a message from extraterrestrials!
Frank Joseph contends[636.42] that it was ‘a sophisticated astrological chart’ and ‘is an example of Atlantean Bronze Age technology’.
One of the most fascinating suggestions is that the disk was a board game based on an ancient Egyptian game called Senet(b)(o), which was proposed by Peter Aleff, an explanation later supported by Philip Coppens(af). However, it seems that this idea was first proposed by Fernand Crombette at least half a century earlier(r).
Over sixty years ago Marcel Homet discussed the Phaistos Disk in the last chapter of his Sons of the Sun  noting that “The totality of the ideograms or symbols on the disc – they are all as familiar in the prehistoric Mediterranean countries as in Ancient America (although of older date there) – leads us inevitably to search for a common origin, which can only be found in the northern part of the space which lies between the two continents (Eurasia and America), in other words: Atlantis!” [p193]
Alan Butler, who has written a book on the subject, provides a more conventional offering in which he sees the disk as being primarily an astronomical aid. Rosario Vieni has promoted the idea that the disk had a calendrical use and has published his reasons, in French, on the Internet(c). Paul Dunbavin has also suggested(aj) that the disk may have been a spiral calendar[099.181].
Naturally, Atlantis has not been excluded from this wide-ranging Phaistos speculation, although the linking of the disk with Atlantis is tenuous at best. Jean Louis Pagé has produced a bilingual offering that combines the Phaistos, Mayan and Aztec disks to locate Atlantis. Axel Hausmann, writing in German, has also done little to provide a clear connection between Atlantis and the disk.
Christian O’Brien and his wife Barbara Joy, in an appendix to their book The Genius of the Few, have identified the writing on the disk as an early form of Sumerian cuneiform writing. Based on this, O’Brien produced a complete translation of the Disk(ag)!
The disk is housed in the Iraklion Archaeological Museum which is home to the Akralochori Axe also found on Crete in 1934 by Spyridon Marinatos, that was inscribed with 15 characters that have been identified with the Linear A script as well as some of the Phaistos characters(e). The Museum also holds (#2646) a lesser-known disk called ‘The Disk of Chronos’ by Richard Heath, who has identified it as a Bronze Age calendar(ah), which, according to him, among its other functions shows an early use of the seven-day-week. Heath has also written a paper on the Phaistos Disk, which he has interpreted as an eclipse predictor(ai).
Dutch linguists Jan Best and the late Fred Woudhuizen co-authored a paper(ao) on the Phaistos Disc and concluded that “Not only the script but the language, too, is very similar to Luwian.” If their reading is correct,” the text on the disc intends to settle an ownership dispute in a place called Rhytion near Pyrgos in the southwest of the plain of Messara: The Greek king Nestor has a principality in Crete that includes Knossos and parts of the plain of Lasithi and of the Messara.”
Two American academic twins, Keith and Kevin Massey have made available a 72-page pdf file(k) outlining their interpretation of the disk. They concluded that the disk was probably a receipt for goods deposited in a temple!
2008 was a busy year for Phaistos Disk studies. Panagiotes D. Gregoriades delivered three papers to the Atlantis Conference in Athens in which he identified the disk as a calendrical device used on land and sea. He subsequently published his ideas in book form in 2010 entitled The Creation of Prototypes. In 2008 a major international Phaistos Disk Conference was held in London(h) to celebrate the 100th anniversary of its discovery.
Unfortunately, in 1999 a professional ‘wet blanket’ in the form of Dr Jerome Eisenberg declared the disk to be a fake when he wrote to The Economist declaring that the disk was “a joke perpetrated by a clever archaeologist from the Italian mission to Crete upon his fellow excavators.” He expanded on this in a detailed, fully illustrated paper(z) in 2008. Brian E. Colless responded by pointing out(d) that such a hoax would first have required the “making 45 little stamps to imprint on clay, on both sides of the object, and printing 30 clusters of signs (words or phrases ?) on one side and 31 on the other.”
The Greek authorities have refused to allow the disk, which is just 16cm across, to be removed for testing, on the grounds of its extreme fragility. The idea of fraud has been suggested because of the lack of other documents ‘printed’ in the same manner and because none of the punches was ever found. Fortunately, that argument has now been refuted(u). My response would be to point out that singularity is not necessarily a sign of a hoax. Otherwise, we would have to reject other artefacts such as the Antikythera Mechanism or Nebra Sky Disk, which are also unique items with no objects of any intermediate sophistication discovered so far.
Dr Marco Guido Corsini, who has also written about Atlantis, has widely promoted his interpretation of the Phaistos Disk(o).
Ukrainian professor Iurii Mosenkis, a linguistics expert, has proposed in his Hellenic Origin of Europe(ak) that the Phaistos Disk was an astronomical instrument for sailors!
Mark Newbrook, who has studied linguistics, gave a good overview of the various attempts to decipher the disk at the 2008 Phaistos Conference. An even more extensive site (currently suspended) was offered by the Georgian mathematician Gia Kvashilavathat includes a very comprehensive bibliography. Kvashilava offers his interpretation based on the Colchian (Proto-Kartvelian) language printed in the unique Colchian syllabo-logogramic Goldscript. His paper is quite technical and more suited to advanced students of the subject.
Reinoud de Jong has now entered this particular fray with a decipherment that he claims offers a description of the religion of Crete(i). However, this is rather strange as in a 2012 paper(ae), de Jonge claimed that the Disk contains details of the Bronze Age importation of copper and tin from the Americas. In the same paper, he also claimed that the Egyptians discovered America around 2500 BC and for good measure he slips in that the Empire of Atlantis existed from 2500 to 1200 BC, without any reference or explanation whatsoever! It is implied that there is a connection between Egypt, Atlantis and the exploitation of the Michigan copper. The level of detailed speculation on offer here is truly spectacular.
Steven Roger Fischer, who claims to have deciphered the rongorongo script of Easter Island has also offered a translation of the Phaistos Disk in his book, Glyphbreaker.
By way of complete contrast, Gary Vey claims that the disk is merely some sort of inventory and also gives an overview of the difficulties attached to deciphering the disk as well as some interesting features overlooked by some researchers(j).
The Czech WM magazine has an extensive 2011 article on the decipherment of the Phaistos Disk(p), giving prominence to the work of Petr Kovar, who claims that the language is Proto-Slavic!(y)
Stephen E. Franklin has claimed that the Disk is a king-list of Cretan rulers and also that it had a calendrical function(ab).
Barbara Gagliano raised a few eyebrows with her claim that the Disk contained DNA information(q)!
Late 2014 saw another translation attempt published(s) by Dr Gareth Owens of the Technological Educational Institute of Crete, in which he claimed that the disk “contains a prayer to the mother goddess of the Minoan era.” Owens’ contribution provoked further controversy including further suggestions that the Disk might be a fake(t).In a 2021 recycling of his claim, Owens “said he believes, moreover, that one side of the Phaistos Disc is dedicated to a pregnant mother goddess and the other to the Minoan goddess Astarte.” (al)
Linear B was the basis of Owens’ study, which was the result of a collaboration with John Coleman at Oxford University. They claim to have translated 80% of the text with certainty, along with another possible 15%, leaving just 5% undeciphered.(w)
Robert Bradford Lewis (RBL), an American commentator, has offered a detailed illustrated forensic study of the Disk, based on his view that the language used was Ugaritic, a long-extinct Semitic tongue. However, while the language may be Ugaritic, the script is not! Uniquely RBL has proposed a connection between the content of the Disk and the Genesis Flood story.(an)
The number of theories relating to the Disk seems to rival the range of speculation relating to Atlantis. My selection here can be fruitfully augmented by the Wikipedia entry(x) on the subject.
A list of decipherment claims as well as a useful bibliography up to 2008 is available(y) and Charles River Editors has recently (2018) published two Kindle books  offering more information about the many attempts to solve the mystery of the disk.
Brent Davis is one of the world’s leading experts on Bronze Age Aegean scripts and languages. In 2018, he published an article “in which, based on a close statistical analysis, shows that while both the Phaistos Disc and Linear A are undeciphered writing systems, he can demonstrate that both are, with a high degree of certainty, encode the same language!”(a)
(b) https://www.recoveredscience.com/Phaistos1summary.htm (link broken) See link (o) *
(o) Index (archive.org) (3 papers) *
(ag) The enigma of the Phaistos Disc – a question of language (goldenageproject.org.uk)
(ah) (99+) (PDF) A Minoan Calendar of Bronze Age Time | Richard Heath – Academia.edu
(ai) (99+) (PDF) Counting lunar eclipses using the Phaistos Disk | Richard Heath – Academia.edu
(aj) The Phaistos Disc: Minoans, Trojans and Etruscans | Paul Dunbavin (third-millennium.co.uk)
(ak) (99+) (PDF) HELkENIC ORIGIN OF EUROPE: Formation of the Greeks 4600–2600 BC and the first Greek states 2600–1450 BC in Cretan Hieroglyphs and Linear A Script | iurii mosenkis – Academia.edu
(am) (99+) Celestial Magliano Disc Deciphered | Lance Carlyle Carter – Academia.edu
Gavin Menzies (1937-2020) is a former submarine officer with the British Navy. He retired in 1970, a year after an incident in the Philipines in which the boat under his command collided with the USS Endurance. He followed this with a brief dalliance with British politics.
However, Menzies is best known as a controversial author beginning with 1421: The Year China Discovered the Worldand six years later 1434: The Year a Magnificent Chinese Fleet Sailed to Italy and Ignited the Renaissance. His theories have been shown to be heavily flawed(a) and Menzies himself was accused of being either “a charlatan or a cretin” (b).
The badarchaeology website has, understandably, also given a thumbs-down to Menzies’s work(l).
In his book, 1421, Menzies speculated that the Chinese fleet suffered damage during a storm and landed at Bimini where they used their large square ballast stones to build an emergency dry dock, the remains of which are now the Bimini Road!
>In the 19th century, a number of commentators proposed that the Chinese had made contact with the Americas in ancient times. One proponent of this idea was Charles G. Leland wrote Fusang in 1875(o), in which he proposed that Chinese Buddhist priests reached America in the 5th century.
Later in 1913, a newspaper report of discoveries(k), including the image of a Chinaman just 19 miles from Mexico City, speculatively dated to around 3000 BC, revived interest in the idea. Similar claims have been made throughout the ensuing century, with John A. Ruskamp Jnr., one of the most recent(l). So, in fact, Menzies was just recycling a rather old idea!<
Another, well-illustrated site(d), accuses Menzies of altering maps to suit his theory.
April 16th 2010 saw the inventive Mr Menzies present his latest offering, The Lost Treasures of Atlantis, at the Royal Geographical Society in London before its formal publication in August. The title was later changed to The Lost Empire of Atlantis .
He argued that the Minoans discovered America 4,000 years ago and that an ancient trading empire had stretched from the North American Great Lakes to Kerala in India.
I should point out that Roger Jewell had previously identified a Minoan connection with the Michigan copper mines in a 2000 book.
Menzies bases his thesis on metallurgy, ancient shipbuilding and navigation techniques as well as DNA evidence. He focuses on the cargo found on the Uluburun shipwreck(c) found off the coast of Turkey and which is dated to the 14th century BC.
In 2008, Bill Poser, found weaknesses as well as downright errors in the linguistic evidence offered by Menzies to support his thesis, commenting – “The linguistic ‘evidence’ in 1421 is a joke. It’s sad that a major publisher obviously didn’t do even the most elementary fact-checking or have the manuscript read by people competent to evaluate it, but it is worse than such nonsense has become a best-seller and is soon to be made into a documentary. What I want to know is, are the purveyors of this tripe incompetent? Or do they simply not care about the truth of their ‘non-fiction’?”(n)
My principal reaction to his book was that he seemed to studiously avoid Plato’s text as a source of information. Perhaps, because much of what Plato said does not conform to Menzies’ imaginative theories. He identifies Thera as the location of the capital of Atlantis but he does not attempt to explain why Plato did not simply say so, since Thera was less than 150 miles from Athens and well known to the Athenians. Furthermore, Menzies places the ‘Pillars of Heracles’ at Gibraltar but then fails to explain how the Atlanteans could have attacked them from BEYOND the ‘Pillars’ if Atlantis was virtually on their doorstep on Crete.
He contends that the Minoans (Atlanteans) discovered America, exported vast quantities of copper from Michigan(g) via the Mississippi and after processing it at Poverty Point sent it to the Mediterranean to feed the needs of the Bronze industries there. He attributes the building of astronomical stone circles in the Mediterranean as well as Spain, Brittany and the British Isles to the Minoan influence. However, none are found on Crete! It is understandable therefore that his book has received some very bad reviews(e)(f).
This is a speculative book about the Minoan civilisation and has little to do with Atlantis apart from the cynical use of its name on the cover. However, Menzies does have many followers(g), but Jason Colavito’s seven-part critique(h) of his book that should be compulsory reading for those fans.
In October 2013 Menzies returned to the subject of ancient sea voyages and in particular the very early visitors to the Americas in Who Discovered America?  Judging by the first customer reviews(i) this offering promises to be as controversial as his previous books. Two of his specific claims are that transoceanic travel began 100,000 years ago and that the Chinese regularly began visiting America from 2200 BC!
Recently, in 2015, new evidence of early Chinese in America was found by John A. Ruskamp Jnr. in Albuquerque’s Petroglyph National Monument(j). Ruskamp has already identified 82 archaic Chinese petroglyphs, many dated to the Shang dynasty circa 1042 BC.
Despite his death in 2020, Menzies’ studies have been continued by the 1421 Foundation(m).
(h) https://www.jasoncolavito.com/1/post/2012/08/reviewing-gavin-menzies-atlantis-pt-1.html (just change part number)
(k) https://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/127695892?searchTerm=Atlantis discovered&searchLimits=sortby=dateAsc
(o) https://archive.org/details/cu31924023242054 *