Mammoths existed as a number species in many parts of Eurasia and the Americas and were the ancestors of today’s elephants, part of the fauna of Plato’s Atlantis. Mammoths existed for around 5 million years until their extinction over 10,000 years ago, apart, apparently, from a small population on Wrangel Island in Siberia(d), which appears to have lasted until possibly as late as 1700 BC.>An intensive study of mammoth remains on Alaska’s St. Paul Island, which was once part of the Beringia landbridge has revealed that they finally died out there 5,600 years ago(e). “The St. Paul mammoth demise is now one of the best-dated prehistoric extinctions,” the researchers report today (August 1, 2016) in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.<
The remains of mammoths were probably not studied scientifically until early in the 19th century, with individual specimens such as the ‘Adams’ and the ‘Berezovka’ receiving great attention(c).
However, it was not until the 20th century that mammoths began to slowly enter the pages of the Atlantis story. Both John Cogan and Wolter Smit have used the mammoth evidence to support their belief that Atlantis was destroyed by an asteroid strike which caused a sudden Pole Shift and consequent freezing of the mammoths.
Ludwik Zajdler believed that there was evidence of a collision between the Earth and Halley’s Comet in 9570 BC and that this caused a 30° alteration to the axis of the earth resulting in the sudden freezing of the Siberian mammoths.
Then Antarctica was also nominated by the Flem-Aths as the home of Atlantis, also caused by a Pole Shift, but in their case by a wholesale movement of the Earth’s crust as a result of an excessive build-up of ice at the poles!
Theosophists have seized on the sudden demise of the very many mammoth remains discovered in Siberia and Alaska as vindication of Blavatsky’s Atlantis claims.(a)
R. Cedric Leonard has also reviewed the matter of the apparently instant death of many mammoths bodies discovered and the date of their end and posed the rhetorical question “Can it be merely coincidence that this is the very date (circa 10.000 BC) indicated by Plato for the floods and seismic disturbances which led to the sinking of Atlantis and the destruction of its empire?” (b)
The Central Mediterranean is a very geologically unstable region containing as it does all of Europe’s land-based active volcanoes(a), regular seismic(b) activity with the attendant risk of tsunamis. It is now estimated that a devastating tsunami will hit the Mediterranean every 100 years(c). While the Aegean region experiences the greatest number of earthquakes, the Central Mediterranean, particularly around Sicily is also prone to regular tremors.
The idea that Atlantis was situated in this region is advocated by a number of researchers, including Alberto Arecchi, Férréol Butavand, Anton Mifsud, Axel Hausmann, as well as this compiler. Plato unambiguously referred to only two places as Atlantean territory (Crit.114c & Tim 25b) North Africa and Southern Italy as far as Tyrrhenia (Tuscany) plus a number of unspecified islands.
The area between Southern Italy and Tunisia has had a great number of sites proposed for the Pillars of Herakles, while possible locations for Gades are on offer with a number places still known today by cognates of that name.
Plato clearly includes continental territory as part of the Atlantean domain as well as a number of important islands. Within a relatively small geographical area, you have two continents, Africa and Europe represented by Tunisia and Italy respectively, as well as the islands of Sicily, Sardinia, Corsica and Malta together with a number of smaller archipelagos, matching Plato’s description exactly. The later Carthaginian Empire also occupied much of the same territory apart from eastern Sicily and southern Italy which by then was controlled by the Greeks and known as Magna Graecia.
For me, the clincher is that within that region we have the only place in the entire Mediterranean to have been home to elephants up to Roman times – Northwest Africa.
*(b) The Europeam Mediterranean Seismic Centre – EMSC, records all activity in the region.*
(c) https://www.tsunami-alarm-system.com/en/content/vorkommen-mittelmeer (German & English)
Marco Goti is the Italian author of The Island of Plato in which he attempts to demonstrate that Atlantis was situated in Greenland. I say attempts, because in my opinion he fails dismally. He starts by locating the Pillars of Heracles in the Atlantic, with one side being the basaltic columns at the Giants Causeway in Northern Ireland and their counterparts across the sea in Scotland’s Isle of Staffa.*This idea was touted by W. C. Beaumont over sixty years earlier(a).*
Goti then moves on to Iceland, which he identifies as Thule and spends too much time describing a variety of unpronounceable locations there. He eventually heads for Greenland, which he contends must be Atlantis as it is greater than Libya and Asia combined, ignoring that Plato was referring to might rather than size. Goti posits the huge plain apparently described by Plato to have been situated in the centre of Greenland, ignoring the fact that ice cores dated to over 100,000 years have been identified there, and apart from which the huge island is not submerged.
Goti decries other promoters of Atlantis theories for ignoring details in Plato’s account that don’t fit their particular ideas and then he moves Athens to Sweden, has Atlantis above water for hundreds of thousands of years, no elephants, no two annual crops and does not explain how Greenland Atlanteans controlled southern Italy as far as Tyrrhenia, all of which demands a thumbs down from me.
Jonathan Northcote is a South African legal practitioner and the author of 16.484ºW 58.521ºN Atlantis, Found? in which he applies his professional forensic skills to the question of Atlantis. Although initially brought to the subject by Otto Muck’s book, he found aspects of Muck’s ideas unacceptable and began an investigation of his own that led him to conclude that the region of Rockall in the North Atlantic is the most likely candidate as the location of Atlantis,
There is no doubting the quality of Northcote’s research, particularly relating to the geology and underwater topography of the Rockall region, which is fully referenced. However I cannot agree with his treatment of a number of critical items in Plato’s text. These relate to words and phrases such as, continent, Pillars of Heracles, Atlantic, greater than Libya and Asia combined and elephants.
*In 2018, Stuart L. Harris, citing Northcote’s work, published four papers (a-d) on the academia.edu website endorsing the Rockall Plateau as the location of Atlantis. Harris adopts some of Emilio Spedicato’s theories and attributes the destruction of Atlantis to a catastrophic encounter with Nibiru in 9577 BC.*
In January 2019, Northcote revised his book with additional material and published this second edition with the title of Atlantis, Found? An investigation into ancient accounts, bathymetry and climatology . I am currently working my way through this latest offering and hope to review it in the near future.
Morven Robertson (1954- ) is a British scientist and author of About Atlantis: Finding the Lost City of Atlantis in which be proposes that Atlantis had been situated in the Po Valley of Northern Italy, specifically between Padua and Ferrara. He points out that the plain of the Po valley is surrounded on three sides by mountains. He speculates that the Atlantean confederation consisted of kingdoms both within and without the Mediterranean, which is my main bone of contention, namely too much speculation. While his theory, in common with many others, matches many of the details provided by Plato, it does not conform to enough of them. I find his idea of such a widely separated Atlantean alliance, not credible as Plato clearly describes a culturally coherent grouping, sharing language, script and religion. The Po Valley is not to the west of either Athens or Egypt and in addition Robertson glosses over the matter of the elephants, which has caused so much difficulty for other researchers.
Martin Pepper is an American geologist who is intent on demonstrating that Santorini was the site of Atlantis, claiming to have new supportive evidence. He had his ideas revealed in a History Channel programme, Atlantis Found, first aired on October 19th 2015(a) as part of their How the Earth Works series.
I found it interesting that the advertising blurb for the show never once mentions Plato!
Unsurprising, Jason Colavito, an Atlantis sceptic, offers a scathing critique of the two-hour show (b). However, the German website, Atlantisforschung, criticises(c) the selective manner in which Pepper chose excerpts from Plato, carefully ignoring details that might conflict with Santorini being Atlantis.
>For my part, I cannot accept the Santorini/Thera theory without a convincing explanation for where, in the 2nd millennium BC, the Atlantean military of over a million men, plus an even larger civilian population actually lived, not to mention the elephants. Then there is also a small matter of the Plain of Atlantis 370x550km (230×345 miles); where was that? Finally, for good measure we are missing “the mountains which surrounded it (that) were at that time celebrated as surpassing all that now exist in number, magnitude and beauty.” (Critias.118b). I think Pepper should try again or better still, forget Atlantis altogether!<
Bettany Hughes (1968- ) is a well-known historian with a high media profile. She has presented one major TV documentary on the subject of Atlantis, specifically supporting aspects of the Minoan Hypothesis. This was Atlantis: The Evidence (Timewatch BBC TWO, 2010)(a) and more recently she has been trotted out to promote a new drama series Atlantis (BBC 2013).
She wrote a preview of this BBC series, for The Telegraph(b), which together with her earlier documentary still raises questions for me about her competence to deal with this subject at all. In her article she refers to the Atlantis story as a moral fable, ignoring the fact that not only were the ‘wicked’ Atlanteans destroyed, but so also were the ‘good’ Athenians.
She then alludes to Plato’s mention of the use of red, black and white stone in Atlantis. It is well known that this combination is common in volcanic regions and has been noted at a number of proposed Atlantis sites; The Canaries, Bolivia, Morocco, Azores, Sardinia and southern Spain.
Next, Hughes tries to explain away the navigation hazard described by Plato, identifying it as pumice. Plato clearly describes mud shoals as the barrier. This would be fine, except that Plato also tells us that the hazard still existed in his day, a thousand years after the eruption. It is improbable, to say the least that pumice would have lingered for a millennium!
These miserable attempts to link Thera and Atlantis are bad enough, Hughes does not explain how Plato repeatedly refers to the Atlantean invasion coming from their base in the the west (Tim.25b & Crit 114c), while Thera/Crete is north of Egypt and south of Athens. Where were the Pillars of Heracles and where were the Minoan elephants?
I would expect a professional like Hughes to offer a more comprehensive review of ALL the information provided by Plato and not dismiss whatever conflicts with her opinion as “sheer fantasy”. This picking and choosing from Plato’s text is not good enough without any justification for her selectivity.
Dustin Kolb is a German researcher who has opted for a Mexican location for Atlantis(a)(b). Somehow or other he arrived at the conclusion that Plato’s description of Atlantis could only have been a reference to America. His then ‘reasoned’ that since the capital of Atlantis was in the middle of Plato’s island, this must have been a reference to Central America! Moving steadily along, he next decided that the concentric rings of the Atlantean capital could only have been an impact crater. He finally settled on the region of Lake Texcoco in the Valley of Mexico as the original home of Atlantis.
His idea of Atlantis in Mexico is not original, having been first proposed over a century earlier by Louis de Launay and has Gene Matlock as arguably its best known modern proponent. I was not convinced by Kolb as he failed to explain either why or how an attack could be launched from Mexico across the Atlantic to the eastern Mediterranean. He also fails to explain how a Mexican Atlantis had control of the western Mediterranean without leaving any archaeological evidence to support such a contention. Finally, his explanation that the ‘elephants’ recorded by Plato were probably “bulls and bison” is, in my opinion, pathetic.
André Kramer is a researcher who is a regular contributor to the German website Mysteria 3000. He has written a booklet on the megalithic monuments of Schleswig-Holstein(a) . In an article(b) on Mysteria 3000 he identifies the Sea Peoples as Atlanteans and in a further article(c) he discusses rock carvings of elephants and giraffes in Scandinavia and their relationship to the theories of Jürgen Spanuth. (The Google translation is not very good)
The Fauna of Atlantis as described by Plato has done little to pinpoint its location and is clearly a subject for further investigation. However, pinpointing is the wrong word since Atlantis stretched from North Africa as far north as central Italy, so there is probably a wide geographical spread to the fauna noted by Plato.
In Critias he refers to ‘flocks’ (111c) implying sheep and/or goats; bees (111c), elephants (114e); horses (117b); bulls (119d). He also mentions sable clothing (120b) but these were possibly imported.
The most problematic of these is the reference to elephants, a term that could be loosely applied to a number of related species including mastodons, mammoths, the Indian, the African and dwarf elephants. The habitat of the latter diminutive creatures stretched from Siberia as far south as the equator. The remains of dwarf elephants have been found on the islands of the Mediterranean from Sardinia to Cyprus.
Pygmy elephant is the term applied to some species found today in parts of Asia and Africa. However ‘pygmy’ or ‘dwarf’ elephants could hardly be described as “largest and most voracious” of animals (Critias 115a).
However, there is general acceptance that the North African Elephant inhabited the Atlas Mountains until they became extinct in Roman times(b)(e). Atlantis sceptic, Ronald H. Fritze, an Atlantis sceptic, acknowledges[709.25] the existence of elephants in North Africa until the Romans.
The species of elephant used by Hannibal has been a source of debate for years(c). The Numidians of North Africa (202 BC–46 BC) also used local elephants in warfare (d). It would seem to me that the North African Elephant, rather than the Asian or African species, would have been more suited to the trek across the Alps. Needless to say the Atlas Mountains were part of the Atlantean sphere of influence (Timaeus 25a-b).
Eckart Kahlhofer believes that the elephants referred to by Plato were in fact deer, claiming that a scribal error resulted in the Greek word elaphos (deer) being transcribed as elephas (elephant).
R. Cedric Leonard has written an interesting paper(a) on the early domestication of animals and its possible connection with Atlantis.