Labyrinths, are one of the many mysteries of the ancient world, with the earliest examples apparently dating back around 4,000 years(t). In Egypt, around 1800 BC Pharaoh Amenemhet III was responsible for building what is reputed to have been the largest labyrinth at Hawara containing three thousand rooms according to Herodotus, who visited it in the 5th century BC. Herodotus’ description inspired Athanasius Kircher to draw a plan of the underground complex(u).
The Labyrinth along with the double-headed axe, the labyris, are usually associated with Minoan culture. However, the labyrinth is an ancient symbol found around the world in locations such as Italy(s), India(g), Egypt(h), England(q), Finland(r)and even in the New World as Evan Hadingham has shown an example [1309.261] at Pacatnamú in Peru. In Scandinavia, they are known as Troy Towns – Trojeborgar. Sweden has the greatest number with 200(e).
The largest example in Sweden was discovered at the Mesolithic site on Blå Jungfrun Island(j).
Tracy Boyd, in a lengthy paper(m) about Chartres Cathedral, mentions in footnote 27 that “Many of the labyrinths originally installed in cathedrals in France were later destroyed by the Church itself”!
Eberhard Zangger claimed that “most labyrinths are found around the Mediterranean” and “that at the end of the Bronze Age, the labyrinth was a recognised pattern around the eastern Mediterranean.” [484.136] He proceeds to link the labyrinth with Troy, which, in an earlier book  he had identified as Atlantis.
India’s second-largest example, measuring 56 feet by 56 feet, was partly uncovered in Gedimedu near Pollachi(i) in 2015. It is estimated to be 2,000 years old and has a design similar to those found on clay tablets found at Pylos, Greece, from 1200 BC.
It has been suggested by a number of writers that the labyrinth had some connection with Atlantis(a)(b). Such suggestions are interesting but highly speculative. Lewis Spence does so in The History of Atlantis. J. D. Brady touches on this in his book, Atlantis where he announced that Atlantean gold treasure was to be found within a labyrinth on the Greek island of Lemnos.
What I find interesting is that so many widespread examples of the labyrinth retain the irregular elements of the symbol even when depicted in a rectangular rather than a rounded style. An extensive website covering all aspects of labyrinths and mazes is worth a visit(c). There is also The Labyrinth Society(f) to further whet your appetite.
In 2014 an article(o) by April Holloway described a collection of labyrinths that I consider the most mysterious of all. They are situated on Russia’s Solovetsky Islands (or Solovki), which “are an archipelago located in the Onega Bay of the White Sea, Russia. It is here where there can be found thirty-five Neolithic labyrinths, known as ‘vavilons’ (‘Babylons’) in the local dialect, which date back to around 3,000 BC. The most remarkable are the stone labyrinths of Bolshoi Zayatsky Island, a group of fourteen labyrinths in a 0.4km 2 area.” The Atlas Obscura website offers a number of images(p).
In 2017, an extensive article by John Reppion offers further information on the history and geographical spread of labyrinths(k). Similarly, Gary Vey offers an article with additional information and more images(l).
Some researchers have attempted to link the outline of the labyrinth with the concentric design of the harbour of Plato’s capital city. The harbour was described as a series of perfectly concentric circular features ‘as if created on a lathe’ (Critias 113d), whereas the labyrinth is more spiral with a slightly offset entrance. My conclusion regarding the labyrinth is; fascinating– yes, Atlantis – probably not.
The persistent use of this ancient symbol was highlighted by an aerial image, sent to me by Hank Harrison, of a Catholic school in California.
The Minoan Hypothesis proposes an Eastern Mediterranean origin for Plato’s Atlantis centred on the island of Thera and/or Crete. The term ‘Minoan’ was coined by the renowned archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans after the mythic King Minos. (Sir Arthur was the son of another well-known British archaeologist, Sir John Evans). Evans thought that the Minoans had originated in Northern Egypt and came to Crete as refugees. However, recent genetic studies seem to indicate a European ancestry!
It is claimed(a) that Minoan influence extended as far as the Iberian Peninsula as early as 3000 BC and is reflected thereby what is now known as the Los Millares Culture. Minoan artefacts have also been found in the North Sea, but it is not certain if they were brought there by Minoans themselves or by middlemen. The German ethnologist, Hans Peter Duerr, has a paper on these discoveries on the Academia.edu website(e). He claims that the Minoans reached the British Isles as well as the Frisian Islands where he found artefacts with some Linear A inscriptions near the site of the old German trading town of Rungholt, destroyed by a flood in 1362(f).
The advanced shipbuilding techniques of the Minoans are claimed to have been unmatched for around 3,500 years until the 1950s (l).
The Hypothesis had its origin in 1872 when Louis Guillaume Figuier was the first to suggest  a link between the Theran explosion and Plato’s Atlantis. The 1883 devastating eruption of Krakatoa inspired Auguste Nicaise, in an 1885 lecture(c) in Paris, to cite the destruction of Thera as an example of a civilisation being destroyed by a natural catastrophe, but without reference to Atlantis.
The Minoan Hypothesis proposes that the 2nd millennium BC eruption(s) of Thera brought about the destruction of Atlantis. K.T. Frost and James Baikie, in 1909 and 1910 respectively, outlined a case for identifying the Minoans with the Atlanteans, decades before the extent of the massive 2nd millennium BC Theran eruption was fully appreciated by modern science. In 1917, Edwin Balch added further support to the Hypothesis .
As early as April 1909, media speculation was already linking the discoveries on Crete with Atlantis(h), despite Jowett’s highly sceptical opinion.
Supporters of a Minoan Atlantis suggest that when Plato wrote of Atlantis being greater than Libya and Asia he had mistranscribed meison (between) as meizon (greater), which arguably would make sense from an Egyptian perspective as Crete is between Libya and Asia, although it is more difficult to apply this interpretation to Thera which is further north and would be more correctly described as being between Athens and Asia. Thorwald C. Franke has now offered a more rational explanation for this disputed phrase when he pointed out [0750.173] that “for Egyptians, the world of their ‘traditional’ enemies was divided in two: To the west, there were the Libyans, to the east there were the Asians. If an Egyptian scribe wanted to say, that an enemy was more dangerous than the ‘usual’ enemies, which was the case with the Sea Peoples’ invasion, then he would have most probably said, that this enemy was “more powerful than Libya and Asia put together”.
It has been ‘received wisdom’ that the Minoans were a peace-loving people, however, Dr Barry Molloy of Sheffield University has now shown that the exact opposite was true(d) and that “building on recent developments in the study of warfare in prehistoric societies, Molloy’s research reveals that war was, in fact, a defining characteristic of the Minoan society, and that warrior identity was one of the dominant expressions of male identity.”
In 1939, Spyridon Marinatos published, in Antiquity, his opinion that the eruption of Thera had led to the demise of the Minoan civilisation. However, the editors forbade him to make any reference to Atlantis. In 1951, Wilhelm Brandenstein published a Minoan Atlantis theory, echoing many of Frost’s and Marinatos’ ideas, but giving little credit to either.
However, Colin MacDonald, an archaeologist at the British School in Athens, believes that “Thira’s eruption did not directly affect Knossos. No volcanic-induced earthquake or tsunami struck the palace which, in any case, is 100 meters above sea level.” The Sept. 2019 report in Haaretz suggests it’s very possible the Minoans were taken over by another civilization and may have been attacked by the Mycenaeans, the first people to speak the Greek language and they flourished between 1650 B.C. and 1200 B.C. Archaeologists believe that the Minoan and Mycenaean civilisations gradually merged, with the Mycenaeans becoming dominant, leading to the shift in the language and writing system used in ancient Crete.
The greatest proponents of the Minoan Hypothesis were arguably A.G. Galanopoulos and Edward Bacon. Others, such as J.V. Luce and James Mavor were impressed by their arguments and even Jacques Cousteau, who unsuccessfully explored the seas around Santorini, while Richard Mooney, the ‘ancient aliens’ writer, thought  that the Minoan theory offered a credible solution to the Atlantis mystery. More recently Elias Stergakos has proposed in an overpriced 68-page book , that Atlantis was an alliance of Aegean islands that included the Minoans.
Moses Finley, the respected classical scholar, wrote a number of critical reviews of books published by prominent supporters of the Minoan Hypothesis, namely Luce(aa), Mavor(y)(z) as well as Galanopoulos & Bacon(aa)(ab). Some responded on the same forum, The New York Review of Books.
Andrew Collins is also opposed to the Minoan Hypothesis, principally because “we also know today that while the Thera eruption devastated the Aegean and caused tsunami waves that destroyed cities as far south as the eastern Mediterranean, it did not wipe out the Minoan civilization of Crete. This continued to exist for several generations after the catastrophe and was succeeded by the later Mycenaean peoples of mainland Greece. For these reasons alone, Plato’s Atlantic island could not be Crete, Thera, or any other place in the Aegean. Nor can it be found on the Turkish mainland at the time of Thera’s eruption as suggested by at least two authors (James and Zangger) in recent years(ad).“
Alain Moreau has expressed strong opposition to the Minoan Hypothesis in a rather caustic article(i), probably because it conflicts with his support for an Atlantic location for Atlantis. In more measured tones, Ronnie Watt has also dismissed a Minoan Atlantis, concluding that “Plato’s Atlantis happened to become like the Minoan civilisation on Theros rather than to be the Minoan civilisation on Theros.” In 2001, Frank Joseph wrote a dismissive critique of the Minoan Hypothesis referring to Thera as an “insignificant Greek island”.(x)
Further opposition to the Minoan Hypothesis came from R. Cedric Leonard, who has listed 18 objections(q) to the identification of the Minoans with Atlantis, keeping in mind that Leonard is an advocate of the Atlantic location for Plato’s Island.
Atlantisforschung has highlighted Spanuth’s opposition to the Minoan Hypothesis in a discussion paper on its website. I have published here a translation of a short excerpt from Die Atlanter that shows his disdain for the idea of an Aegean Atlantis.
“Neither Thera nor Crete lay in the ‘Atlantic Sea’, but in the Aegean Sea, which is expressly mentioned in Crit. 111a and contrasted with the Atlantic Sea. Neither of the islands lay at the mouth of great rivers, nor did they “sink into the sea and disappear from sight.” ( Tim. 25d) The Aegean Sea never became “impassable and unsearchable because of the very shallow mud”. Neither Solon nor Plato could have said of the Aegean Sea that it was ‘still impassable and unsearchable’ or that ‘even today……….an impenetrable and muddy shoal’ ‘blocks the way to the opposite sea (Crit.108e). Both had often sailed the Aegean Sea and their contemporaries would have laughed at them for telling such follies.” (ac)
>Lee R. Kerr is the author of Griffin Quest – Investigating Atlantis , in which he sought support for the Minoan Hypothesis. Griffins (Griffons, Gryphons) were mythical beasts in a class of creatures that included sphinxes. Kerr produced two further equally unconvincing books , all based on his pre-supposed link between Griffins and Atlantis or as he puts it “whatever the Griffins mythological meaning, the Griffin also appears to tie Santorini to Crete, to Avaris, to Plato, and thus to Atlantis, more than any other single symbol.” All of which ignores the fact that Plato never referred to a Sphinx or a Griffin!<
The hypothesis remains one of the most popular ideas with the general public, although it conflicts with many elements in Plato’s story. A few examples of these are, where were the Pillars of Heracles? How could Crete/Thera support an army of one million men? Where were the elephants? There is no evidence that Crete had walled cities such as Plato described. The Minoan ships were relatively light and did not require the huge harbours described in the Atlantis story. Plato describes the Atlanteans as invading from their western base (Tim.25b & Crit.114c); Crete/Santorini is not west of either Egypt or Athens
Gavin Menzies attempted to become the standard-bearer for the Minoan Hypothesis. In The Lost Empire of Atlantis , he argues for a vast Minoan Empire that spread throughout the Mediterranean and even discovered America [p.245]. He goes further and claims that they were the exploiters of the vast Michigan copper reserves, which they floated down the Mississippi for processing before exporting it to feed the needs of the Mediterranean Bronze industry. He also accepts Hans Peter Duerr’s evidence that the Minoans visited Germany, regularly [p.207].
Tassos Kafantaris has also linked the Minoans with the exploitation of the Michigan copper, in his paper, Minoan Colonies in America?(k) He claims to expand on the work of Menzies, Mariolakos and Kontaratos. Another Greek Professor, Minas Tsikritsis, also supports the idea of ancient Greek contact with America. However, I think it is more likely that the Minoans obtained their copper from Cyprus, whose name, after all, comes from the Greek word for copper.
Oliver D. Smith has charted the rise and decline in support for the Minoan Hypothesis in a 2020 paper entitled Atlantis and the Minoans(u).
Frank Joseph has criticised [0802.144] the promotion of the Minoan Hypothesis by Greek archaeologists as an expression of nationalism rather than genuine scientific enquiry. This seems to ignore the fact that Figuier was French, Frost, Baikie and Bacon were British, Luce was Irish and Mavor was American. Furthermore, as a former leading American Nazi, I find it ironic that Joseph, a former American Nazi leader, is preaching about the shortcomings of nationalism.
While the suggestion of an American connection may seem far-fetched, it would seem mundane when compared with a serious attempt to link the Minoans with the Japanese, based on a study(o) of the possible language expressed by the Linear A script. Gretchen Leonhardt(r) also sought a solution in the East, offering a proto-Japanese origin for the script, a theory refuted by Yurii Mosenkis(s), who promotes Minoan Linear A as proto-Greek. Mosenkis has published several papers on the Academia.edu website relating to Linear A(t). However, writing was not the only cultural similarity claimed to link the Minoans and the Japanese offered by Leonhardt.
Furthermore, Crete has quite clearly not sunk beneath the waves. Henry Eichner commented, most tellingly, that if Plato’s Atlantis was a reference to Crete, why did he not just say so? After all, in regional terms, ‘it was just down the road’. The late Philip Coppens was also strongly opposed to the Minoan Hypothesis.(g)
Excavations on Thera have revealed very few bodies resulting from the 2nd millennium BC eruptions there. The understandable conclusion was that pre-eruption rumblings gave most of the inhabitants time to escape. Later, Therans founded a colony in Cyrene in North Africa, where you would expect that tales of the devastation would have been included in their folklore. However, Eumelos of Cyrene, originally a Theran, opted for the region of Malta as the remnants of Atlantis. How could he have been unaware of the famous history of his family’s homeland?
A 2008 documentary, Sinking Atlantis, looked at the demise of the Minoan civilisation(b). James Thomas has published an extensive study of the Bronze Age, with particular reference to the Sea Peoples and the Minoans(j).
In the 1990s, art historian and museum educator, Roger Dell, presented an illustrated lecture on the art and religion of the Minoans titled Art and Religion of the Minoans: Europe’s first civilization”, which offered a new dimension to our understanding of their culture(p). In this hour-long video, he also touches on the subject of Atlantis and the Minoans.
More extreme is the theory of L. M. Dumizulu, who offers an Afrocentric view of Atlantis. He claims that Thera was part of Atlantis and that the Minoans were black!(m)
In 2019, Nick Austin attempted  to add further support to the idea of Atlantis on Crete, but, in my opinion, he failed. The following year, Sean Welsh also tried to revive the Minoan Hypothesis in his book Apocalypse , placing the Atlantean capital on Santorini, which was destroyed when the island erupted around 1600 BC. He further claims that the ensuing tsunami led to the biblical story of the Deluge.
Evan Hadingham published a paper(v) in 2008 in which he discussed the possibility that the Minoan civilisation was wiped out by the tsunami generated by the eruption(s) of Thera. Then, seven years later he produced a second paper(w) exonerating the tsunami based on new evidence or lack of it.
In April 2023, an attempt was made to breathe some new life into the Minoan Hypothesis in an article(ae) on the Greek Reporter website. This unconvincing piece claims “Plato describes in detail the Temple of Poseidon on Atlantis, which appears to be identical to the Palace of Knossos on the island of Crete.” The writer, Caleb Howells, has conveniently overlooked that Atlantis was submerged creating dangerous shoals and remained a maritime hazard even up to Plato’s day (Timaeus 25d). The Knossos Palace is on a hill and offers no evidence of ever having been submerged. Try again.
(e) See: Archive 3928
(p) https://vimeo.com/205582944 Video
(s) Gretchen Leonhardt is up against some stiff competition from Urii Mosenkis concerning her so-called proto-Japanese origins of Minoan Linear A | Minoan Linear A, Linear B, Knossos & Mycenae (archive.org)
(x) Atlantis Rising magazine #27 http://pdfarchive.info/index.php?pages/At
Mark Lehner is the author of what is considered by some to be the definitive book on the Egyptian Pyramids, although his earlier work has drawn a share of harsh criticism from the likes of Margaret Morris(b). However, his road to ‘conventional’ Egyptology began with a fascination with Edgar Cayce and his Atlantis psychic readings. In 1974 Lehner wrote of his support for Cayce’s ‘revelation’ of a connection between Atlantis and a pre-dynastic Egypt. He includes an attempt to explain away such wonders as humans with ‘animal appendages’ including legs with feathers and ‘electrical surgical knives’.
It may be pertinent that in 1973 Lehner was enrolled at the American University in Cairo, thanks to a grant from the Edgar Cayce Foundation. Nevertheless, it appears that by 1977 he had begun his journey towards orthodoxy by renouncing his support for Cayce’s views on ancient Egypt. His recent book on the Pyramids studiously avoids any reference to either Cayce or Atlantis.
An outline of his work, as an Egyptologist, by Evan Hadingham was published in the February 2010 edition of the Smithsonian Magazine(a).
(b) https://www.margaretmorrisbooks.com/xcerpt08.html (offline May 2018) See Archive 2948
The Altiplano of BoliviaBolivia has most of its western half situated in the central Andes which includes the Altiplano (High Plateau). Jim Allen, a Scot, has promoted this region(a) as the true home of Plato’s Atlantis. Allen claims that ‘Andes’ is a corruption of Antis, a local word that means copper and that the same language uses Atl to denote water. He has identified a site known as Pampa Aullagas as the most likely location of Atlantis. The radical nature of this idea has ensured it widespread attention and sometimes scathing criticism.
Although I cannot subscribe to Jim Allen’s Bolivian location for Atlantis, there is little doubt that Bolivia has yet to reveal all its secrets. For example, there are the little known Sajama lines in western Bolivia near the border with Chile and Peru. These straight Sajama Lines ”average between one and three meters wide, and run from a few meters to several kilometers. The longest of them are about twenty kilometers in length.”(m) Unlike the Nazca lines those at Sajama do not represent any creatures.
Very little research has been carried out on these lines, but I note that Evan Hadingham touched on the subject in Lines to the Mountain Gods noting that Tony Morrison, who had previously filmed the lines at Nazca, stumbled on those at Sajama, and was told by locals that the lines joined sacred shrines. This was similar to what was told to the noted French anthropologist, Alfred Métraux in the 1930’s.
Returning to the subject of Atlantis, I continue to ask both why or how a mountainous kingdom on the west of South America would attack Athens on the eastern extremity of the Mediterranean is not clear! Allen’s theory concentrates on comparing the topography on the Altiplano with Plato’s description. He compared the physical features described by Plato with the site on the Altiplano and found that there was a very close match except that all the dimensions were out by a factor of two. This he explains by pointing out that unlike the Greeks, the pre-Columbian South Americans used a base 20 for counting. Allen also points to a naturally occurring alloy of copper and gold that is to be found in the Andes as the origin of the Orichalcum mentioned by Plato.
In an effort to strengthen his theory Allen suggests that the bull sacrifice on Atlantis, recorded by Plato, was in fact a reference to llama sacrifices(b)practiced in the Andes for thousands of years right up to the present! He argues that since the Egyptians would have had no word for llama they substituted ‘bull’ for it instead. Although llamas are camelids, I would have thought that they were closer in appearance to goats than bulls. Goat sacrifice is commonplace in the Southern Mediterranean and across much of Asia and has been for millennia. I consider Allen’s suggestion overly speculative and highly improbable.
Atlantisrevealed.com is a website(d), in English and Italian, which supports Jim Allens’s theory of Atlantis on the Altiplano of Bolivia. Unfortunately, it adds little new to the debate. Contrasting that is a lengthy and balanced critique of Allen’s ideas on Timothy Stephany’s website(e). He concludes that there is currently insufficient evidence to justify Allen’s claims.
Advocates of a South American Atlantis have pointed to the discovery of cocaine traces, derived exclusively from the South American coca plant, found in Egyptian mummies as evidence of ancient trans-Atlantic links and a possible channel for the spread of story of the destruction of Atlantis.
David Antelo, a Bolivian engineer, has also proposed a plain, in the Beni region just north of Allen’s site, as the location of Atlantis. In January 2011, Allen’s website included an extensive selection of aerial photos(c) of topographical features in Beni which suggest the pre-existence of an advanced civilisation in the region.
The oldest settlements so far found in Bolivia’s Amazon region are dated at 10,400 years old(f). A recent report(g) has shown numerous large circular earthworks throughout the Bolivian and Brazilian Amazon region. It also reported that the same territory, until recently forest, was savannah as recently as 2,000 or 3,000 thousand years ago.
Near the end of the 19th century, Emeterio Villamil de Rada (1804-1880) created quite a stir when he was the first to suggest that the Garden of Eden had been situated in the Andes and for good measure that the Aymara language was the language of Adam. Comparable ideas were expressed by Ramiro Gonzales Yaksic (1966- ) is the Bolivian author of Earthly Paradise: The Garden of the Andes in which he claims to have identified the biblical Garden of Eden in his native Bolivia(h). Dieter Groban has written in support of Yaksic(n).
In 2003 Jay Weidner & Vincent Bridges published a book supporting an Andean location for Atlantis in neighbouring Peru. Weidner & Bridges subsequently fell out(i) and Bridges has been accused of organising a scam by Laura Knight-Jadczyk(j).
(e) See: Archive 2237
(h) See: Archive 2331
The Parthenon atop the Acropolis of Athens is one of the best-known monuments in the world. In its glory days, it must have been even more impressive as it is now known that the edifice was painted in ‘dazzling’ colours(e).
It has been long claimed that the Parthenon incorporated the Golden Ratio (1:1.618) in its design(b). This is now strongly refuted by Chris Budd OBE, Professor of Applied Mathematics at the University of Bath(c) and Samuel Arbesman a senior scholar at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation(d).
The Parthenon was claimed by David Pinnegar(a) to have been constructed to commemorate the victory of the Athenians over the Atlanteans. He further contends that the frieze that adorned the Parthenon holds a representation of the debate to which Plato referred at the end of the Critias text. If this interpretation is true, is it not likely that Plato or any other classical writer would have referred to it? The frieze also appears to depict the Athenian war with the Amazons.
>In 2008, Evan Hadingham wrote an article for Smithsonian Magazine reporting on behind-the-scenes discoveries at the Parthenon encountered during the current extensive restoration work there(g). A 2021 article in the same magazine has drawn attention to controversies that have arisen over details of the renovation work(h).<
A full-scale copy of the Parthenon was constructed in 1897 in Nashville, Tennessee to celebrate the state’s centennial(f). Inside is the tallest (over 41ft) indoor sculpture in the Western world, depicting a stunning gold-covered image of Athena.