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

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Galicia

Pharos

pharosPharos in the Nile Delta has been suggested by R. McQuillen as the location of Atlantis. It should be noted that the cities of Canopus and Herakleion in the same area were submerged, apparently due to liquefaction(h), following an earthquake between 731 and 743 BC. If something similar occurred to Atlantis situated at Pharos it might explain the shoals of mud reported by Plato and may even have been the reason for the erection of the famous lighthouse there, completed around 280 BC.

This lighthouse at Pharos took 20 years to build and is reported to have been as much as 450 feet in height, topped with a statue of Poseidon (or Zeus). It is claimed that there was also a furnace on top which, according to Robert Temple [928], suggested that some form of mirror reflected light out to sea. There is evidence from writers as early as Homer that nocturnal sea travel was commonplace in ancient times(d), so some system of beacons to assist this, would have been a natural development.

>Themistocles (524-459 BC) is traditionally credited with having established the first Greek lighthouse at Athens’ port, Piraeus, in the 5th century BC, which was a column with a beacon on top.<

>The coining of ‘pharology’ as a term to describe the study of lighthouses is generally credited to the British hydrographer John Purdy (1773-1843).<

In a study of ancient lighthouses (pharology) by Ken Trethewey(a),>now a retired marine engineer,<he indicates that there were probably precursors to the Alexandrian edifice, but that there is no archaeological evidence to support this contention.>Just as New York’s Empire State Building could not have been built without the preceding decades of evolution of building methods, similarly, the magnificent Pharos lighthouse must have had forerunners.<

Another suggestion is that altars, temples and latterly Christian churches frequently situated at the end of promontories may have functioned initially as navigational aids, keeping in mind that early Mediterranean seafarers preferred coastal hugging to open sea travel. I would think it strange if such locations were not used for beacons.

A book review by Terrance M.P. Duggan draws attention to the use of the word ‘pharos’ as far back as Homer’s time, centuries before the Alexandrine structure was built(c). Duggan has also noted in an extensive study of ancient beacons(d) how “sailing at night was practiced in antiquity, first by the Phoenicians” and that “later, sailing at night is mentioned repeatedly by Homer in the Odyssey.” It must be obvious that such regular nocturnal travel could not have been achieved without the availability of some system of warning beacons.

Duggan also notes the use of false beacons such as in the story of “Palamedes’s father, the King of Naupilus or Euboea, then lit a series of false beacons leading to the shipwreck off Euboea of much of the Achaean fleet returning from the Trojan War, using false maritime navigational beacons to serve as a wrecker’s device, and with the use of these false navigational beacons quite clearly indicating the presence at this date of considerable numbers of genuine navigational beacons along coastlines to provide an expected navigational guide for ships sailing through the night.

What I also found interesting was another quote by Duggan of a passage from Al-Mas’udi, circa 947 AD – “At the point where the Mediterranean Sea joins the Atlantic Ocean, there is a lighthouse of stone and copper (bronze), built by the giant Hercules (probably to be associated with the location of the Phoenician Temple of Melkart-Herakles on the North African side). It is covered with inscriptions and statues whose hand gestures proclaim to those coming from the Mediterranean who wish to enter the Atlantic Ocean, ‘There is no way beyond me’” This is a clear association of Heracles with a lighthouse and raises the question of whether this was a more widespread occurrence, which seems possible.

At the other end of the Mediterranean, the Colossus of Rhodes is also thought by some(g) to have functioned as a lighthouse, but at the very least was a daytime navigational marker, Heracles was also worshipped on the island as the founder of its first settlement.

The Tower of Hercules is an ancient Roman lighthouse on a peninsula about 2.4 km (1.5 mi) from the centre of the town of A Coruña, Galicia, in north-western Spain. There is also a claim that a Roman lighthouse existed at Akko (Acre), now in northern Israel, is discussed elsewhere and supported by numismatic and archaeological evidence(i). 

Massimo Rapisarda & Marcello Ranieri have now published a paper(f) pointing to possible land-based navigational aids, most likely, Phoenician, at the Sicilian promontory of Capo Gallo. They also refer to “the  renowned  Phoenician ability  to  navigate  at  night.”

Trethewey, a leading pharologist, published Ancient Lighthouses [1667] in 2018. Furthermore, he has also published a series of eight lengthy papers on pharology on the academia.edu website(e).

Other papers by Marco Vigano also investigate the subject of proto-lighthouses(b)(j), furthermore, a book review by Terrance M.P. Duggan draws attention to the use of the word ‘pharos’ as far back as Homer’s time, centuries before the Alexandrine structure was built(c). Duggan has also written a paper on The Missing Navigational Markers(d).

A recent book, The Electric Mirror on the Pharos Lighthouse[948], edited by Larry Brian Radka, argues spiritedly for the use of electricity at Pharos!

(a) https://www.academia.edu/Documents/in/Ancient_lighthouses

(b) https://www.academia.edu/30325978/Boulders_and_Lights_Guides_to_an_insidious_World._Four_thousand_years_of_navigation_aids_in_the_Mediterranean?auto=download

(c) https://www.academia.edu/13182366/Baldassarre_Giardina_Navigare_necesse_est._Lighthouses_from_Antiquity_into_the_Middle_Ages_History_architecture_iconography_and_archaeological_remains_Oxford_2010_Archaeopress_BAR_Int._Series_2096?email_work_card=view-paper

(d) https://www.academia.edu/7665901/On_the_Missing_Navigational_Markers?auto=download

(e) https://www.academia.edu/Documents/in/Lighthouses

(f) https://www.academia.edu/31132814/A_PHOENICIAN_LIGHTHOUSE_AT_CAPO_GALLO_PALERMO?email_work_card=view-paper

(g) https://www.athensjournals.gr/mediterranean/2019-5-1-2-Kebric.pdf

(h) Science Notes 2001: The Sunken Cities of Egypt (ucsc.edu)

(i) https://www.researchgate.net/publication/236849769_The_Roman_Lighthouse_in_Akko_Israel

(j) http://www.arigenova.it/wail/Articoli/Pharology.pdf  

 

Formorians

The Formorians are reputed to have been the earliest occupiers of Ireland after the last Ice Age, according to the Book of Invasions(e). Although the etymology of their name is uncertain a commonly accepted theory is that the term Formorian is supposed to be derived from ‘Firmorrichi’ meaning ‘men of Morocco’ conforming to a tradition that they came from North Africa. Thomas Dietrich is happy to accept[0217] the Moroccan connection as he considers early Morocco to have been a colony of Atlantis and so by extension to have brought Atlantean culture to Ireland.

Ignatius Donnelly in Part V, chapter 7(f) of his now rather dated 1882 book, Atlantis: The Antediluvian World also designates Ireland as a former colony of Atlantis. He also disputes the generally accepted etymology for the name ‘Formorian’, preferring to adopt the views of Col. Francis Wilford[0114] to support his contention that it means ‘from the west’, which according to Donnelly could only be a reference to Atlantis in the Atlantic.

However, the Irish Annals of Clonmacnoise(g) claim that the Formorians were descended from Noah’s youngest son Cham who according to the Bible was born 100 years before the Flood (Genesis 7).

The Ancient Pages.com website had an article in July 2017 with the misleading headline of “Formorians: Supernatural Race Of Giants Who Came From Atlantis”, without a single mention of Atlantis in the body of the text(h). Readers can draw their own conclusions about the reliability of A. Sutherland, the author.

Ronan Coghlan has suggested that “the CHAM referred to in the Annals of Clonmacnoise is not SHEM but HAM, noting that in the Vulgate translation of the Bible, Ham is CHAM”!

Robert Stacy-Judd[0607.237] followed Donnelly and accepted that the ancient Irish annals(b) describe the Formorians coming to Ireland ‘before the Deluge’ and having a fleet of sixty ships and a strong army. He also quotes the Annals of Clonmacnois which records that the Formorians ‘were descended from Cham, the son of Noeh and lived by piracy and spoil of other nations and were in those days very troublesome to the whole world.’ Stacy-Judd also speculates that Noah and his sons were Atlanteans!

The reliability of the Irish annals as historical documents is highly questionable, particularly when dealing with very early events.

James I. Nienhuis seems to have adapted some of Dietrich’s ideas for his Dancing from Genesis blog (Nov. 2007)(a) , although he does not seem to be clear on the difference between Ireland and Britain, as he places Newgrange in the United Kingdom and has the Formorians settling in Britain rather than Ireland!

The excellent Migration and Diffusion website(c) has a paper by Stuart L. Harris who puts more flesh on the bones of the idea of the Formorian invasion of Ireland from Galicia in Spain, which he dates at 2186 BC. However, Harris’ claims that “the Formorians spoke and wrote in Finnish” and that “until about 1200 BC, Ireland spoke Finnish, not Gaelic”, reflecting his obsession with the ancient Finns. Such a claim would be guaranteed the raise the eyebrows, if not the hackles, of many Irish academics.

Dale Drinnon has an extensive article on the Formorians in his Frontiers of Anthropology website(d).

(a) https://dancingfromgenesis.wordpress.com/

(b) https://www.scss.tcd.ie/misc/kronos/chronology/synchronisms/Edition_4/K_trad/K_synch.htm

(c) https://www.migration-diffusion.info/article.php?year=2012&id=333

(d)  See: Archive 3570

(e)  See: Archive 3628

(f) https://www.sacred-texts.com/atl/ataw/ataw507.htm

(g) https://archive.org/stream/annalsofclonmacn00mage/annalsofclonmacn00mage_djvu.txt

(h) https://www.ancientpages.com/2017/07/18/fomorians-supernatural-race-giants-came-atlantis/