The Caucasus Mountains lie between the Black and Caspian Seas and contain the highest mountain in Europe, Mount Elbrus (Russia). In ancient times it was the location of several kingdoms of whom two were known as Albania and Iberia.(d)>Today, they contain a small part of the Russia Federation along with the former Soviet republics of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia.<
>Delisle de Sales was probably the first to suggest the Caucasus as the home of the original Atlantis, with refugees from there establishing Plato’s Atlantis in the Central Mediterranean. However, the greatest proponent of the Caucasus location for Atlantis was R.A. Fessenden who wrote, The Deluged Civilisation of the Caucasus Isthmus, an extensive multi-volume work  on the subject published early in the 20th century.<
>Regarding the Pillars of Herakles being in the Caucasus Fessenden noted “The fact that Nebuchadnezzar, after reaching them in his northern expedition, next went to the north shore of the Black Sea and to Thrace; and that Hercules, coming back from the pillars with the cattle of Geryon, traversed the north shore of the Black Sea (see Megasthenes, quoted by Strabo and Herodotus, 4.8), puzzled the ancient geographers because they thought that the Pillars were at the straits of Gibraltar. And because they had overlooked the fact that the Phoenicians of Sidon had known that the Pillars had been lost and that the Phoenicians had sent out four expeditions to look for them but had reached no conclusion from these expeditions except that the straits of Gibraltar were not the true Pillars of Hercules.” See Strabo, 2.5 (m)<
More recently, Ronnie Gallagher, an admirer of Fessenden, has studied the Caucasus region, in particular, the hydrology of the Caspian Sea(a), where he identified strandlines up to 225 metres above sea level (ASL), which he considers to be evidence of a vast inland Eurasian sea at the end of the last Ice Age. In Azerbaijan, he also found cart ruts similar to those on Malta as well as stone circles on the Absheron Peninsula(b). Professor E. N. Badyukova has offered some critical comments regarding Gallagher’s claims(k).
Flinders Petrie also referenced Fessenden in his (1926) paper The Origins of the Book of the Dead(f), in which he concluded “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 civilisation of the Egyptians.”
A few years later, an article by Margaret A. Murray in Antiquity (Volume 15 – Issue 60 – Dec. 1941) noted that Petrie’s “opinion was based entirely on literary and philological evidence” resulting in archaeologists being slow to accept it. To partially counter this Murray offered two pieces of evidence in support of Petrie’s proposed Egyptian-Caucasus connection.(i)
However, I must point out that in 1874 Hyde Clarke delivered a paper to the Royal Anthropological Institute in which he claimed that the Colchians in the Caucasus had been an Egyptian colony(h). Clarke also employed language similarities>and Herodotus’ Histories (Bk2.102-106)< to support his contention. So we can reasonably ask, who was right or were both Clarke and Flinders Petrie wrong?
A forum on Graham Hancock’s website offered some more discussion about an Egyptian link with the Caucasus(j).
Jean-Michel Hermans has claimed that the megalith builders of Brittany originally came from the Caucasus, and arrived there after a stop in what is now Bulgaria around 5000 BC(l),>and while there, they discovered mathematical relationships such as ‘pi’ and the ‘golden ratio’ !<
The Amazons of Greek mythology are thought by some to have originated in the Caucasus and as late as 1671, Sir John Chardin reported that a tribe of Amazons existed in Georgia. Interestingly, a 19th-century photo shows two armed ladies from Armenia captioned as ‘Amazons of Armenia 1895’.
An added mystery was offered by Alexander Braghine, who recounted that “I was present when a former Russian officer of Georgian origin found himself able to talk with the natives of Vizcaya immediately upon his arrival in Northern Spain: he spoke Georgian, but the Basques understood this language.” [156.187]
Currently, Bruce Fenton has claimed the Caucasus as the home of giants. However, Jason Colavito has demonstrated the unreliability of his claims(c).
In the Krasnodar region of southern Russia hundreds (actually 3,000 and counting) of dolmens are to be found on both sides of the Caucasus. Interestingly, they show a distinctive form of megalithic architecture(g).
I feel that the Caucasus will have a lot more to tell us.
(i) Antiquity, Vol. 15, Issue 60, Dec. 1941 p.384-386
The Maya of ancient Mexico and Guatemala have generated much controversy regarding their origins(w). Recent studies indicate that the story of the development of this remarkable civilisation may be more complex than previously thought(k). The demise of the Mayan culture (800-950 AD) has now been definitively shown to be the result of persistent drought, particularly in the southern lowlands(o).
Nevertheless, a recent (Sept.2021) article(ac) with contributions from several authorities, highlights the complexity referred to above, while one area might be collapsing another could be flourishing – “A number of Maya cities rose and fell at different times, some within that 800 to 1000 time period, and some afterwards, according to scholars. For example, while areas in southern Mesoamerica, such as Tikal in what is now Guatemala, declined in the eighth and ninth centuries due to environmental problems and political turmoil, populations rose in other areas, such as Chichén Itzá, in what is now the Mexican Yucatán Peninsula,” and “When Chichén Itzá declined, largely because of a lengthy drought during the 11th century, another Yucatán Peninsula city, called Mayapán, started to thrive.”
“We should always remember, the last Maya state, Nojpetén, fell only in 1697 — pretty recent,” said Guy Middleton, a visiting fellow at the School of History, Classics and Archaeology at Newcastle University in the U.K. “It is really important to get the message out there that though classic Maya cities and states did collapse, and culture did transform, the Maya in no way disappeared,” said Middleton, adding that “we should pay attention to the story, the state and status of the Maya descendent population in Mesoamerica now.”
The commonly held idea, that the Maya were destroyed by drought is now disputed(ah).
The Maya of Central America today are estimated to number seven million.
Inevitably the Maya have been linked with Atlantis by some writers such as Lewis Spence and E.H. Thompson who claimed that the Maya were descendants of Atlanteans. The maverick, Augustus Le Plongeon, was alone in identifying Atlantis as a colony of the Maya and that their language was in fact Greek! Others, such as Jean-Frédérick Waldeck, included an Egyptian linkage as well.
Richard Cassaro has published a fascinating collection of parallels between the Mayan and Egyptian cultures on Graham Hancock’s website (ag).
The controversial American politician Charles Gates Dawes was convinced that there had been a connection between Atlantis and the Maya.
Joachim Rittstieg claimed that the Maya and the Vikings had contact for nearly 500 years (754-1224 AD)(ae).
However, trumping all that is a recent claim that the Maya had contact with extraterrestrials and that a documentary providing evidence is planned(b). In a similar vein is the latest English language publication from Erich von Däniken entitled: Astronaut Gods of the Maya. Semir Osmanagic, of Bosnian pyramid fame, added a twist to this proposed linkage when he claimed that the Maya had come from Atlantis, which in turn had been founded by visitors from the Pleiades!
For some comic relief, I can suggest a 1976 book by brothers Eric & Craig Umland which ‘reveals’ that the Maya ‘are remnants of space explorers whose attempts to colonise our solar system went awry more than 40,000 years ago.’ Nearly every page is full of hilarious nonsense and nearly worth the £0.01 currently quoted on Amazon.co.uk. A website(i) dealing with ‘unreason’ uses extracts from the Umlands as good examples! If you wish to read about the Maya in Antarctica, the Canaries as well as the Moon, this is the book for you.
July 2012 saw a report(j) on the discovery of the largest Mayan manmade dam at Tikal in Guatemala, which was 33ft high and 260ft long and included sand filters.
The Maya had a sophisticated writing system that occupied the attention of some 19th-century writers including Abbe Brasseur de Bourbourg and Le Plongeon. Unfortunately, de Bourbourg followed the work of the 16th-century bishop of Yucatán, Diego de Landa whose interpretation was seriously erroneous. It was Constantine Rafinesque who partially deciphered some of the Mayan numerals in 1832.
A report in 2013(l) indicated that substantial progress has been made in the decipherment of any outstanding difficulties in the translation of the Mayan script through Internet cooperation.
July 2012 saw a report(j) on the discovery of the largest Mayan man-made dam at Tikal in Guatemala, which was 33ft high and 260ft long and included sand filters. Ten years later, it was discovered that the Maya had also the ability to engineer a water fountain in their city of Palenque(v) and had advanced water management systems(z). A recent BBC article(ab) took an in-depth look at the remarkable hydrological capabilities of the Maya.
In 2020, the largest and oldest Mayan monument in Mexico was identified. It is in the form of a ceremonial platform that is between 33 and 50 feet tall and is nearly a mile long(x). The structure, dated to around 3,000 years ago and was discovered with the help of LIDAR in the state of Tabasco.
James O’Kon, an engineer, has investigated Mayan technology for decades, including the discovery of a suspension bridge at the ancient Mayan city of Yaxchilan in Mexico in 1995, which is believed to be the longest bridge of the ancient world(r). This and other aspects of Mayan technology he explores in his book, The Lost Secrets of Maya Technology.
One of those technological secrets was the unusual acoustics found at Mayan sites, particularly Chichen Itza(ad). In 1931 Leopold Stokowski, the renowned conductor, spent four days at the site to determine the acoustic principles that could be applied to an open-air concert theatre he was designing. He failed to learn the secret.
More recently, Lorraine Stobbart has written Utopia: Fact or Fiction, which suggests that the ‘Utopia’ of Sir Thomas More was inspired by the Mayan culture although his text was written before Mexico was ‘officially’ discovered. Stobbart recently revealed that she is now revising her views.
However, a more serious claim relates to the idea that Mayan inscriptions revealed that a global catastrophe was to occur in 2012. This nonsense(g) turned into a minor publishing industry. Some even tried to link this daft idea to Atlantis. Fortunately, May 2012 saw evidence from excavations in Guatemala that shows the Mayan calendar extending well beyond 2012(h).
The Mayan calendar has provoked speculation and controversy ever since its discovery. Its origins are obscure, but one interpretation is that the world we live in was created on this day in 3114 B.C. A quite different view was proposed over seventy years ago by Georg Hinzpeter of the German Hoerbiger Society who claimed that our Moon was captured by the Earth in June of 8498 BC and that it became the zero date for the Maya.(y)
Aloys Eiling, the German researcher, commented on the accuracy of the Mayan calendar “The Mayan calendar even surpasses the precision of the Gregorian calendar in use today. Not only did the Mayan calendar measure the duration of the Earth’s orbit around the sun more accurately than our current calendar, but the Maya gave an even more precise value for the average duration of the Moon’s orbit around Earth. The precision achieved is all the more remarkable as the Moon in deserts or regions with clear skies may have played an important role in everyday life as a nightly source of light. But of what use is its dull light in the rainforest or cloudy regions of the world?”(af)
The late David H. Kelley, a Harvard-educated archaeologist and epigrapher at Canada’s University of Calgary, had been investigating ancient links between Asia and pre-Columbian America. In that regard, he published a paper outlining similarities between the Mayan and ancient Chinese calendars that were too numerous to be explained by independent development(p). A more sceptical view is offered(q) by Jason Colavito, who traces the idea back to Alexander von Humboldt.
In a paper entitled On the Mayan Chronology, Emilio Spedicato offers several ideas regarding ancient Meso-American chronologies. For example, he proposes that the large numbers used by the Maya and Toltecs record days rather than years. Many of his ideas stem from the work of Immanuel Velikovsky, John Ackerman and the Tollmans.
The work of Teobert Maler at the end of the 19th century was invaluable in the advancement of Mayan studies. Subsequent researchers have seized upon his discovery of a frieze at Tikal, which he interpreted as a depiction of the destruction of Atlantis, as evidence of the existence of Atlantis in the Atlantic. Apart from Maler’s conjectural ideas, no tangible link has been found between the Maya and Atlantis apart from the use in their glyphs of elephants, an animal that features in Plato’s narrative.
The authenticity of the photo of the frieze has been called into question by Jason Colavito and his related blog(n) is worthy of consideration.
In late 2011 controversy erupted when it was claimed that the Itza Maya had migrated to North America, more specifically Georgia(c). It was also suggested that earthen pyramids in Georgia and Florida can be attributed to the Maya(e). Richard Thornton led the charge with this claim, which understandably generated considerable controversy. This led to a frosty exchange between Thornton and Jason Colavito(ai).
Among their other accomplishments is the claim that the Maya were capable of predicting meteor showers(s).
Gene Matlock, the well-known advocate of Atlantis in Mexico, is certain that the Maya were originally Tamils from Sri Lanka(a) and Sumerians!
Kurt Schildmann’s 2003 book , was reviewed by Dr Horst Friedrich who commented that “One of the provisional results of Schildmann’s decipherment of the Maya script, and study of the Maya language, is the rather sensational discovery that words from several Old World languages (Sumerian, Accadian, Indo-Iranian, Phoenician, Hebrew and Basque) have somehow found their way into the Maya language.”(aa) I’m sure this will be disputed!
A recent article(f) gives an interesting firsthand account of encountering the important Mayan city of Calakmul deep in the Yucatan jungle. Potentially even more important are recent LiDAR surveys carried out in Guatemala that have revealed an astounding number of previously unidentified Mayan structures. The number of additional Mayan sites identified through the use of LiDAR continues to grow at an incredible rate(u). It was estimated in 2022 that “researchers using laser technology have located nearly 1,000 previously unknown Maya settlements in Guatemala – the sites include ceremonial centers, sporting facilities, roads, and reservoirs”(ak).
In June 2023, it was announced that once again that LiDAR had enabled another forgotten Mayan city to be located in the Yucatan(aj).
Muddying the waters further is an Islamic site that claims that the Maya were Atlantean(m).
(m) https://mashiyah.blogspot.ie/ (offline 1/8/14)
(v) https://content.usatoday.com/communities/sciencefair/post/2010/03/maya-pyramid-plumbing-unearthed-by-archaeologists/1#.Xm-Nb2BFBVc (link broken)
(y) Atlantean Research, Vol 3, No.1, May, 1950
The Basques of southwestern France and northern Spain have an extremely ancient and distinctive culture that includes a language, Euskara, with no undisputed link with any other language. The late Larry Trask (1944-2004) provided a sober view(a) of the language while Edo Nyland (1941-2009) perceived extensive links between Basque and other languages, including that of the Ainu people of northern Japan!(l)
Professor John Campbell in a 15-page paper entitled The Hittites in America(e) began his dissertation with a claim that the language of the Iroquois and the Basques were closely related. In Peter de Roo’s History of America Before Columbus, he recounts the then (1900) commonly held idea that there was a linguistic link between the Basques and various native American tribes, and puts forward the view that the Basques were originally American[890.1.164].
However fanciful this idea may seem, there appears to be little doubt that the Basques, master whalers of the 16th and 17th centuries(i), had regular contact with the coast of Labrador(j).
An 18th-century abbot, Dominique Lahetjuzan (1766-1818?), announced that his studies indicated that Euskara had been spoken in the Garden of Eden! In the 19th century, S.H. Blanc offered examples from the language that implied great antiquity. One was that the Basque word for knife means literally “stone that cuts,” and that the word for ceiling means “top of the cavern”.
One website(c) is devoted to establishing a link between the Basques, Atlantis and the Algonquins of North America. Bizarrely, at the end of the 19th century, a study of land snails in the Pyrenees led Léopold de Folin to suggest that the ancestors of the Basques came from Atlantis! William Corliss supported the idea of the Basques preceding Columbus and suggested that inscriptions identified as Basque were found in the Susquehanna Valley of Pennsylvania(n).
Alexander Braghine in his own search for Atlantis relates how a Basque missionary when speaking in his own language was understood by the Indians of the Peten district in Guatemala. Dr. James Rendel Harris (1852-1941), the English biblical scholar, claimed that the Mexican province of Tabasco derived its name from an ancient Egyptian word meaning land of the Basques.
A further tale from Braghine records how a person from Georgia in the Caucasus was similarly understood by Basques. This would normally be considered some sort of an urban myth but it should be noted that the linguist Arthur Holmer who is studying(b) the connections between the languages of the Caucasus and Basque believes that the number of similarities is too great to be explained by coincidence alone. A recent (2019) BBC article has highlighted claims of possible linguistic, toponymic, mythological and even DNA links between Armenians and Basques(k). It is interesting that Armenia and Georgia are neighbours.
I have been unable to find any corroboration of the claimed Guatemalan connection with the Basque language.
It is frequently noted that the Basques have a legend that they originally came from Atlantis, which they call Atlaintika. Since names, such as ‘Atlantis’, recorded by Solon were Hellenised versions of the words found in the temple ‘registers’ in Sais, it seems more likely that the Basques would have had a different word to describe any former homeland. It is probable that ‘Atlaintika’ is a modification of a loanword adopted from their neighbours.
In the 19th century, Edward Taylor Fletcher discussed possible links between the Basques and Atlantis in an 1863 paper(m).
Apart from the suggestion of language similarities, some have pointed out facial resemblances between Central American Indians (old Maya or modern Lancadon Indians) and Basques. The Basques believe in a mythical seven-headed serpent (disintegrating comet?), Erensuge while the Aztecs worshipped snakes. The Basques used to count in twenties rather than tens, a practice also found in Central America. The Basque ballgame of jai alai played with a wicker basket tied to the players’ arm is vaguely similar to pok-ta-pok played by the Maya. Fortunately, the Basques did not adopt the Mayan custom of beheading the captain of the losing team. It is reported that both the Basques and the Indians of Mexico and Peru practised artificial head flattening.
The Basques are genetically distinct, having a uniquely high incidence of blood group O, a lower than usual frequency of group A and the lowest record of group B in Europe. They have the highest frequency of Rh-negative blood in the world apart from some Berber tribes.
The Cro-Magnons were tall with larger brain capacities than modern humans. They occupied areas of France and Spain at the end of the last Ice Age. They were similar to the Guanches of the Canary Islands. It is thought that the Basques are related to them. The Cro-Magnons were also artistically talented although limited to primitive tools.
Recent studies have strongly indicated that following a study of the genomes of human skeletons from El Portalón, Atapuerca, the results point to prehistoric Iberian farmers as the closest match to the modern Basques(h).
Overall the evidence for the Basques being remnants of the survivors of Atlantis is weak.
That the Basques are an ancient people is undisputed, but a very early connection with Central America is at best, just remotely possible. That they are the Atlanteans of Plato’s tale is, in my opinion, even more unlikely.
Nevertheless, Dominique Görlitz has written a two-part article for Atlantisforschung in which he offers the suggestion that the Toltecs had been influenced by Basque visitors(o). “In addition to the well-known cultural parallels between the peoples of the Old and New Worlds , many Native American cultures have old myths about foreign culture bringers that relate to the beginnings of their culture and agriculture.”
The latest (2015) genetic studies(f) indicate that the Basques are descended from “early farmers who mixed with local hunters before becoming isolated for millennia.” It was claimed later in 2015 that the origins of the Basques had been discovered in Northern Spain after studying the DNA of eight skeletons found in the El Portolan Cave(g).
A website with a number of English and Spanish papers on the subject of the Basques is also worth a visit(d).
(c) See: Archive 2935
(j) National Geographic (08.2018)
Iberia is also the name of an early kingdom on the eastern coast of the Black Sea, known as Kartli in Georgian. This fact is used by the Schoppes to support their Atlantis in the Black Sea theory. This ancient Iberia in the Caucasus is sometimes claimed as the original home of wine(a), now dated to around 6000 BC(d)!*However, the most recent studies place the earliest evidence for wine production in Italy in the 4th millennium BC.(c)
A short history of this Georgian Iberia is available online(b).
*(a) https://www.argophilia.com/news/georgia-origin-of-wine/24367/ (Link broken)*