William Matthew Flinders Petrie (1853-1942) was a renowned English Egyptologist, who developed improved archaeological methods, some of which are still employed today.*One of his first publications was in 1883, entitled The Pyramids and Temples 0f Gizeh.*
Jason Colavito has drawn attention(a) to a short article written by Flinders Petrie in Ancient Egypt, September 1924, in which he finds value in the work of Reginald Fessenden, who was an advocate of Atlantis in the Caucasus. However, I note that he makes no explicit comment on Fessenden’s Atlantis theory. Petrie was interested in the evidence that strongly suggested that people from the Caucasus region had an influence on the development of the ancient Egyptian culture, noting again a couple of year s later “It appears, then, that the cultural connections of the earliest Egyptians, as well as the physical descriptions in their mythology, point to the Caucasus region. When, further, we find there the names of the principal places of the mythology in their relative positions, it gives strong grounds for regarding that region as the homeland of the earliest civilization of the Egyptians”. (Ancient Egypt, June 1926) (b) .
Dr. Margaret Murray (1863-1963), who worked with Petrie, was also sympathetic to this view. More recently, Ronnie Gallagher has taken up this cause and has gone further by suggesting the possibility that not only were migrants from the Caucasus responsible for kick-starting the development of Egyptian culture, but that people from the same region had a similar influence on the early inhabitants of Sumeria and the Indus Valley.
Ronnie Gallagher is an amateur archaeologist with a great interest in the Caucasus region, where he has carried out extensive research. He has written an interesting paper on the effects of the post-glacial flooding of the Caspian Sea and its former physical connection with the Black Sea as well as with the Arctic Ocean(a).
Gallagher has also drawn attention to cart ruts in Azerbaijan(b) similar to, but not as numerous as, those on Malta. He is also an admirer of the work of Reginald Fessenden who placed Atlantis in the Caucasus(c) and proposed that migrants from that region were responsible for kick-starting what we know as the Egyptian civilisation. The renowned Flinders Petrie and Margaret Murray were sympathetic to this view, as is Gallagher(d) .
His own conclusion regarding the location of Atlantis in the Caucasus region was that it was inundated as a consequence of the creation of a vast ‘flooded Eurasia’ that resulted from the collapse of glacial ice-dams(d), comparable with the Lake Missoula Floods in America.
Gallagher’s paper should be read in conjunction with a 2004 paper(e) from a team of Russian and US scientists that relates to a ‘Giant Siberian Lake’.
His studies in Ajerbaijan continue, where he has identified an extensive number of strandlines in the region resulting from ancient catastrophic flooding.
He has now published two extended abstracts of recent papers on the academia.edu website(g).>He concluded one(f) with the following : “However, the thorny problem of what might have caused the Gilazi strandlines and the inferred worldwide flood can only be speculated on and will be controversial.
Perhaps open-minded discussion on the theories, such as the reality of the diverted Russian Rivers, an enlarged Ponto Caspian and the ingress of marine waters into the Eurasian continental interior might begin to reveal a different pre-history and provide support for a world-wide flood.”<
(e) See: Archive 2372)
Writing in Atlantis. The text of Plato makes it quite clear that writing was a feature of Atlantean culture. This is just another element in the overall picture presented by Plato of Atlantis as a Bronze Age civilisation, although there is always the possibility that the inclusion of writing might be a Platonic addition, designed to enhance the underlying core tale of a very ancient civilisation destroyed by flooding. If this flooding coincided with the melting of the glaciers at the end of the last Ice Age then it could be dated to around 9500 BC, a date that is in agreement with Solon’s apparent date for the demise of Atlantis.
R. Cedric Leonard(a) has developed the idea that an even older writing system in Western Europe, such as that found on the Glozel Tablets may have had a link with Atlantis. These tablets have been dated to as early as 10,000 BC, but I have some reservations regarding the reliability of this date. Similarly, the writing of the Vinca culture of Eastern Europe is believed to date from around 5500 BC.
However, an article in New Scientist (20.02.10) reports that a study of cave markings at 146 sites in France revealed that a total of just 26 signs were used with varying frequency between 33,000 BC and 8000 BC. The symbols were only found in Southern France as much of the north was glaciated for much of this period. If these findings are substantiated it will raise questions regarding the date of the arrival of modern man into Europe.
There is no evidence of any developed writing system until around 3500 BC in Harappa in the Indus Valley, while a few hundred years later the Sumerians were using a sophisticated cuneiform script and the Egyptians had developed a system of hieroglyphics(d).
Crete had crude writing around 3000 BC, but it would be another 1000 years before the earliest alphabetic inscription discovered so far would be inscribed on a rock, in what is now Southern Egypt. This has been dated to the 1900’s BC, two hundred years earlier than expected. This particular epigraph has prompted speculation that what we know as an alphabet originated in Egypt, but it is not unreasonable to think that this revision will not be the last. However, in the March/April 2010 edition of the respected Biblical Archaeology Review has an article that identifies the early alphabet as a development of hieroglyphics(c).
This evolution from hieroglyphs to modern European scripts is now available as a chart by Matt Baker.
Although the Phoenicians have often been credited with the invention of the precursor to modern Western scripts around 1,100 BC, it now appears more likely that they were responsible for the adaptation of an even earlier character system. The earliest known Hebrew writing has now been dated to the 10th century BC(b).
In Meso-America, the Olmecs appear to have been the first to develop a writing system around 900 BC, 600 years earlier than the Maya. However, the late emergence of a script there would appear to argue against a common Atlantean source for cultures on both sides of the Atlantic.
>In 1905, Flinders Petrie and his wife, also an archaeologist, discovered strange signs on the side of a mine in the Sinai Peninsula, which they identified as alphabetical. After a decade of study, Sir Allan Gardiner published a decipherment of the symbols in 1916(f). They became known as proto-Sinaitic script and dated to between 1850 and 1550 BC. However, there were individual ‘letters’ whose identity were disputed. In 2017, Douglas Petrovich claimed to have solved all outstanding issues . Today, Orly Goldwasser, an Israeli egyptologist, is arguably the leading promoter of the idea that this was earliest example of an alphabet discovered so far(e).<
The insistence by some on the great antiquity of ancient scripts is driven by those Atlantis researchers who blindly accept the 9,600 BC date for the destruction of a literate Atlantis given by Plato. If an early date for writing cannot be more fully substantiated then Plato’s date must be reappraised.
Reginald Aubrey Fessenden, (1866-1932), was a remarkable Canadian who, at the age of 24, had been head chemist to Thomas Edison. He was Professor of post-graduate Mathematics and Electrical Engineering, Western University of Pittsburgh and Engineering Commissioner, Ontario Power Commission. While there he took on the challenge of wireless communication and he made his first radio voice ‘broadcast’ on Christmas Eve, 1906, at a time when Marconi was still signalling in Morse code. In fact his first voice transmission was on December 23rd 1900 which was heard one mile away.
Fessenden investigated an ancient civilisation in the Causasus and identified it as Atlantis. The famous Egyptologist Flinders Petrie was interested in his work, which revealed evidence that people from the Caucasus had an influence on the development of ancient Egyptian culture(b)(c).*Dr. Margaret Murray (1863-1963), who worked with Petrie, was also sympathetic to this view. More recently, Ronnie Gallagher has taken up this cause and has gone further by suggesting the possibility that not only were migrants from the Caucasus responsible for kick-starting the development of Egyptian culture, but that people from the same region had a similar influence on the early inhabitants of Sumeria and the Indus Valley.*
Fessenden was also author of The Deluged Civilisation of the Caucasus Isthmus published in three parts between 1923 and 1933 and now available on the Internet(a). In this he discusses an alternative interpretation to the geography of early Greek myths and its consequences for Plato’s story of Atlantis.
*In 1940, Fessenden’s widow, Helen, just a year before her own death, completed Reginald’s unfinished autobiography. In Chapter 28 his support for Atlantis being situated in the Caucasus is reiterated.*
Jason Colavito has written a short critique of Fessenden’s work(d).
Mark James Foster runs a small London design agency(a) and is also an historical researcher who had an interesting website that is principally concerned with ancient Egypt. His first book was as co-author with Simon Cox on an A–Z of Atlantis. This small volume offers nothing new and is just a re-working of well-known material. Foster has also worked with Ralph Ellis on a number of articles(c).
*W.M. Flinders Petrie (1853-1942) investigated what he described as ‘trial passages’ near Giza’s Great Pyramid. Foster has written an extensive article on them and in November 2017 he updated this article(d) in the light of the claimed discovery of previously unknown voids in the GP.*