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

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    Joining The Dots

    I have now published my new book, Joining The Dots, which offers a fresh look at the Atlantis mystery. I have addressed the critical questions of when, where and who, using Plato’s own words, tempered with some critical thinking and a modicum of common sense.Read More »
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H.G.Wells

Doggerland

Doggerland is a term applied to a shallow region (Fig.1) of the North Sea between Denmark and the North of England that covers an area of around 10,000 sq. miles.>The existence of Doggerland was first suggested in a late 19th century novel by H.G.Wells entitled A Story of the Stone Age.<The appellation was coined by Professor Bryony Coles in 1998. However, the name has been applied recently(f) to nearly the totality of the Celtic Shelf (Fig.2). Ulf Erlingsson who had promoted his theory(b) that Atlantis hDoggerland2ad been located in Ireland (with 98.9% confidence!) has explained that the Egyptian story of Atlantis is the result of an account of megalithic Ireland conflated with a report of the inundation of Doggerland in 6200 BC resulting from a Norwegian storegga. In turn, this flooding may have been the inspiration behind the ‘impassable shoals’ described by Plato following the submergence of Atlantis.

However, it was Rachael Carson who was probably the first to suggest the Dogger Bank as the home of Atlantis in her 1951 book, The Sea Around Us[1267].  Later a Scandinavian writer, Nils Olof Bergquist, in his 1971 book, Ymdogat-Atlantis[785]. who appeared next to support this idea.   

Other writers such as Jean Deruelle(a), Sylvain Tristan(c) and Guy Gervis(d) have also linked the Dogger Bank with Atlantis. Gervis has written two related papers(k)(l) on the subject. The earliest suggestion of such a  connection was briefly supported by Robert Graves[342.39-3]. Rob Waugh, a British journalist, has offered an illustrated article(g) with the provocative title of Britain’s Atlantis found at the Bottom of the North Sea, in which he touches on some of the discoveries made on Doggerland.

Some have combined Doggerland with exposed land further north, now known as the Viking-Bergen Banks, as constituting the territory of Atlantis(x).

Fig. 2

In 2009 a book[662] was published with the subtitle of The Rediscovery of Doggerland, based on the research of a team led by Professor Vincent Gaffney of the University of Birmingham. In July 2012 the UK’s Daily Mail published(h) an extensive article on Doggerland.

The flooding of the Dogger Bank has been attributed to a 6200 BC event apparently caused by either an outpouring of meltwater from Lake Agassiz in North America or a huge tsunami generated by a Norwegian storegga(e). This event was covered in an extensive article in the November 2012 edition of the BBC Focus magazine. The same article has a sidebar on Atlantis which suggests that there is “perhaps just one archaeological theory that has any serious claim on the myth.” Then, not for the first time, the BBC offered tacit support for the Minoan Hypothesis in spite of the fact that, at least ostensibly, it does not match Plato’s description of Atlantis in terms of either time, size or location and offers no rationale for its stance.

In December 2020, a degree of revisionism was offered in a New Scientist article, which suggested that storegga tsunami may have been less than previously thought. Furthermore, it proposes that parts of what is now the submerged Dogger Bank was not completely flooded by the tsunami, but that parts continued as dry land, perhaps for centuries!(y)

>“For a long time, scientists assumed that a tsunami of this kind also caused the Dogger Bank, which was still protruding from the sea, to sink completely. According to a study by researchers at the University of Bradford, however, there was no single, all-destroying tsunami.

Rather, by examining sediments, the researchers were able to prove that only the northern part of Doggerland was submerged after the tsunami and that the destructive force of its floods was probably slowed down by hills or forests on the island.

However, after the water receded, the flooded area recovered over the years, as is demonstrated by the fact that evidence of plants and animals can be found again in the sediment layers above the disrupted tsunami layer.”  There is a suggestion that Heligoland may be the last remnant of Doggerland.(ab)<

It has been estimated that over a period of a couple of hundred years the English Channel was also created in a comparable manner(n).

The December 2012 edition of National Geographic magazine also published an informative article on Doggerland and the ongoing work by archaeologists in the region. It considers the Storegga or the Lake Agassiz meltwater to be the cause of Doggerland’s final inundation. For me, it was interesting that a map in the article showed a small area around where I live as the last glaciated region of Ireland.

Alfred de Grazia’s online Q-Mag also published an overview of the Doggerland story in 2012(j) that was originally taken from the German magazine Der Spiegel. The same site has another paper(r) by Jean Deruelle in which he also argues that Doggerland was the location of the Great Plain of Atlantis that stretched from the east of the Dogger Bank and extended as far as what is now Denmark. Plato described the plain as being surrounded by a huge ditch. Then Deruelle, with a flash of ingenuity claims that it was not a ditch but instead was a dyke, designed to hold back the slowing advancing waters of the North Sea that were being fed by deglaciation. He endeavoured to reinforce this claim with the proposal that the Greek word for a ditch, ‘taphros’ can also be used for dyke. This interpretation seems possible according to W.K. Pritchett, a distinguished historian [1622.52.5].

Robert John Langdon has proposed that megalith builders from Africa came to Doggerland as the Ice Age ended and when Doggerland submerged they migrated to what is now mainland Britain, eventually constructing Stonehenge(i). But Langdon has gone further and also claims that Doggerland was actually Atlantis(aa).

A 2014 ‘Drowned Landscapes’ exhibition(m) organised by Dr Richard Bates of the Department of Earth Sciences at St Andrew’s University, reveals in greater detail the flora and fauna, as well as the lives of its inhabitants, of this submerged world. Much of the information was gleaned from data provided by oil and gas companies, combined with artefacts recovered from the seafloor.

Comparable discoveries have been made submerged deep under the waters of Hanö Bay near the coast of Havang, Sweden and dated to about 7000 BC(v).

In 2015 it was announced that €2.5 million in funding from the European Union has enabled a number of archaeologists from Britain’s top universities to team up for what will be the most intensive study of Doggerland so far(o)(q). Joined by experts from the University of Ghent and assisted by the Belgian Navy they located the first identifiable submerged settlements on the floor of the North Sea. Until now (2019) the only evidence of human habitation in the region were occasional artefacts caught up in fishermen’s nets.

In 2016, it was revealed(p) that the ancient footprints of both adults and children had been discovered off the coast of Northumberland, formerly a part of Doggerland. Their feet had apparently been shod.

On Sunday, January 13th 2019. the UK’s Sunday Express delighted its readers with two Atlantis stories(t)(u). First, the online edition of the paper had a story by one of its reporters, with an ‘Atlantis Discovered’ headline claiming that the remains of an ancient 8,000-year-old city, home to ‘tens of thousands’ of people, had been discovered in the North Sea, in a huge region sometimes referred to as Doggerland. The reporter cites Dr Richard Bates in support of this account. Unfortunately, the 2012 comments by Dr Bates never mentioned ‘a city’, but a vast area occupied by ‘tens of thousands’ of people, presumably early farmers(s). Then the same edition of the same paper by the same ‘reporter’ with another ‘Atlantis Found?’ headline, offered a video clip of the Maltese island of Filfla, while the commentator told us that Plato had said that a devastating earthquake had destroyed Atlantis it was finished off by an eruption. This is factually incorrect as Plato never mentioned an eruption. These two accounts are a sad reflection of the quality of media reporting today.

In 2020, David Keys, author of Catastrophe [1330] wrote an article for the UK’s Independent newspaper outlining the most recent research into the 6200 BC tsunami that destroyed Doggerland. It is estimated that multiple giant waves inundated some 2,700 square miles of land – from Scotland in the north to Norfolk in the south.

New underwater research carried out by the universities of Bradford, Warwick, St Andrews and Wales has for the first time discovered that the tsunami devastated parts of East Anglia and adjacent land which is now submerged beneath the southern part of the North Sea.” (z)

(a) atlantide (archive.org)

(b) http://atlantisinireland.com/

(c) http://spcov.free.fr/site_nicoulaud/en/empire.php

(d) See:  https://web.archive.org/web/20180320072706/https://nwepexplore.com/

(e) See: https://web.archive.org/web/20160303180752/https://arheologija.ff.uni-lj.si/documenta/pdf35/weninger35.pdf

(f)https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-edinburgh-east-fife-18687504?goback=.gde_157795_member_130235946

(g) https://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/atlantida_mu/esp_atlantida_38.htm

(h) https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2167731/Britains-Atlantis-North-sea–huge-undersea-kingdom-swamped-tsunami-5-500-years-ago.html

(i) http://www.the-stonehenge-enigma.info/#!/2013/06/stonehenge-atlantis-momentous-discovery.html
Also See:https://atlantipedia.ie/samples/archive-2071/

(j) https://www.q-mag.org/doggerland-lost.html

(k) See: Archive: 2073

(l)  See: Archive 2074

(m) https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2167731/Britains-Atlantis-North-sea–huge-undersea-kingdom-swamped-tsunami-5-500-years-ago.html#ixzz374DGxUiM

(n) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doggerland

(o) https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/technology-science/science/secrets-britains-atlantis-revealed-archaeologists-6361422

(p) https://www.ancient-origins.net/news-history-archaeology/7000-year-old-forest-and-footprints-uncovered-atlantis-britain-005913?nopaging=1

(q) https://www.q-mag.org/doggerland-to-be-digitally-repopulated.html

(r) https://web.archive.org/web/20150706130417/https://www.q-mag.org/the-great-plain-of-atlantis-was-it-in-doggerland.html

(s) https://www.guidememalta.com/en/all-you-need-to-know-about-the-mysterious-islet-of-filfla

(t) https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-edinburgh-east-fife-18687504

(u) https://www.express.co.uk/news/weird/1071594/atlantis-found-malta-island-matches-plato-description-spt

(v) https://www.thevintagenews.com/2017/01/17/the-discovery-of-the-submerged-stone-age-atlantis/

(w) https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/atlantis-britain-stone-age-north-sea-archaeology-artefacts-discovery-a8952721.html?fbclid=IwAR2JPs3s5OvPxHyVHpOYeiSmTJiWoqSOu7_72ZOZzHhK2DaKIQCyiXoVURg

(x) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tbenuEzWgQk 

(y) Tiny island survived tsunami that helped separate Britain and Europe | New Scientist

(z) https://news.knowledia.com/GB/en/articles/how-a-giant-tsunami-devastated-britain-s-atlantis-3d966568f069ce0cc79d391c7f4a28ee51e59cfa

(aa) http://dawn-of-the-lost-civilisation.info/dlc_atlantis

(ab) https://www.dw.com/en/doggerland-how-did-the-atlantis-of-the-north-sea-sink/a-55960379 *

Gibraltar Landbridge or Dam

A Gibraltar Landbridge or Dam is generally accepted to have existed on several occasions during the earth’s history. There is a broad consensus among geologists that the last time an enclosed and desiccated Mediterranean had its barrier to the Atlantic breached was around 5.3 million years ago. One well-illustrated website(h) attributes this rupture to a meteor impact!

Today, we generally think of the Strait of Gibraltar as the only gateway between the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, while in fact there is evidence that millions of years ago the Strait was closed but that there were earlier access routes between the two bodies of water(n). The Betic Corridor in the north, which later became part of the Spanish Guadalquivir Basin and the Rifian Corridor in the south, in what is now Morocco.

However, a number of experts in different fields (noted by Van Sertima) have opted to suggest a more recent landbridge, perhaps 120,000 years ago, in order to explain some of the faunal migrations from Africa to the Iberian Peninsula[322].

When the last opening of the Mediterranean was demonstrated by Kenneth Hsu to have taken place 5.5 million years ago, the idea of a landbridge at Gibraltar being destroyed within the memory of man seemed rather unlikely. However, when I saw the bathymetric maps of the Mediterranean produced by Brosolo, Mascle & Loubrie, relating to the Younger Dryas Period, it raised new questions for me.

However, Hsu’s date for the last flooding of the Mediterranean has, understandably, found little support from young-Earth creationists, such as Lambert Dolphin(o). and Barry Setterfield, who have striven to reconcile the irreconcilable with obscure ideas, such as changes in the speed of light!

The 18th-century writer Georges-Louis Buffon speculated as early as 1749 on the existence of a Gibraltar Dam. Alexander Braghine refers[156.21] to Bishop Tollerat, a contemporary of Bory de Saint Vincent, claiming that a Gibraltar landbridge was breached by an earthquake and led to the submergence of Atlantis. Unfortunately, I have been unable to track down Tollerat.

Even popular fiction featured the idea of a Gibraltar landbridge. In 1869, Mark Twain in chapter 7 of Innocents Abroad[1123] voiced a then current theory that there had been dry land between Gibraltar and North Africa allowing the passage northward of the so-called ‘Barbary apes’ that live on the ‘Rock’ today.

In 1921, H.G.Wells, in The Outline of History, offered a graphic, although speculative, description of the breaching of the Gibraltar Dam(g).  He wrote that “This refilling of the Mediterranean, which by the rough chronology we are employing in this book may have happened somewhen between 30,000 and 10,000 B.C., must have been one of the greatest single events in the pre-history of our race.” 

Manuel Sánchez de Ocaña was the Spanish Lieuenant General during the 1909 war in Africa. In a rare 1935 book, Accion de España en Africa(a)  (Spanish Action in Africa) he refers to the ancient isthmus that linked Spain and North Africa as well as landbridges linking Europe and America on which he believed Atlantis had been situated.

François de Sarre (1947- ) a noted French evolutionary zoologist who has proposed that a landbridge had existed at Gibraltar, which was only destroyed in relatively recent times, possibly in the second millennium BC. In support of his view, he quotes Pomponius Mela, Diodorus Siculus and Pliny. He has also published a paper, in English, supporting his opinion with a spectrum of faunal evidence(k). 

Others have ventured further and proposed that a dam existed within the experience of man and that its last destruction led to the sinking of Atlantis which many claim was located in the Mediterranean. H. S. Bellamy refers to Strato quoted by Strabo, declaring that originally the strait did not exist but that the barrier was broken through in a cataclysm. Bellamy also quotes Seneca describing how Spain was separated from Africa by earthquakes. Neither of these references could have originated without human witnesses.

Alexander Braghine also added to the idea of a relatively recent landbridge when he wrote[156.139]  We possess a whole series of records of the width of these Straits, left by ancient and medieval writers of various centuries. At the beginning of the fifth century B.C. the width was only half a mile, but the writer Euton in 400 B.C., estimated it at 4 miles; Turiano Greslio, in 300 B.C., at 5 miles; and Titus Livius, at the beginning of the Christian Era, at 7 miles. Victor Vitensa, in A.D. 400, gives the width of the Straits as equal to 12 miles, and at present it is 15 miles wide.” 

C. M. Hardy subscribed to the view that there had been a dam at Gibraltar that was breached around 4500 BC with such a force that it also led to the destruction of a landbridge between Tunisia and Italy. He believed that remnants of Atlantis will be found in the seas around Greece.

C. S. Rafinesque, the famous naturalist, claimed that there was a Gibraltar landbridge that was destroyed 654 years after Noah’s Flood. These claims are to be found in chapter 14 of Vol II of The American Nations published in 1836. This volume can now be downloaded for free(e). A creationist website(i) links the breaching of the landbridge with Noah’s Deluge, which the author claims not only flooded the Mediterranean but also spilled into the Black Sea, the Red Sea and also the Persian Gulf. (see below)

floodmapfinalThe standard argument against the landbridge theory is that although the Atlantic was dramatically lower during the last Ice Age it was not sufficient to expose a land bridge between Spain and Africa at Gibraltar. However, it should be noted that the underwater sill between the Atlantic and the Mediterranean would have been much higher than now. When we consider that the breaching of a landbridge at Gibraltar would have caused an incredible flow of water through the breach (hundreds of times the flow of Niagara Falls), scouring its bottom, so that by the time the levels in the Atlantic and the Mediterranean had equalised, the erosion of the sill between them would have been considerable and when viewed today would misleadingly suggest that the Mediterranean had not have been completely cut off from the Atlantic during the last Ice Age. In the future, the consequence of this is that when (not if) the next Ice Age begins the ocean levels will have to drop even lower if the Mediterranean is to be isolated from the Atlantic once again. An example of what a sudden release of large bodies of water can do is visible in the scablands of North America, created by the breaching of the glacial dam retaining Lake Missoula.

The Spanish researcher Paulino Zamarro contends, in his 2000 book, Del Estrecho de Gibraltar a la Atlantida that a Gibraltar dam was created by silting when the Atlantic was very much lower during the last Ice Age and that it lasted until 7,500 years ago when it was breached and destroyed Atlantis, which he locates in the Cyclades, with the island of Melos containing its capital city. Details of his theory can be found on the Internet(d). A larger version of Zamarro’s map is shown below.

Other researchers such as Constantin Benetatos maintain that this idea is supported by comments of ancient writers who suggest that at one time the Mediterranean had no existence. The philosopher Strato supported by Seneca refers to the sundering of such a dam linking Europe and Africa. The same idea was expressed by Diodorus Siculus, who said that Africa and Europe were joined and separated by Heracles. Such ideas could only have arisen if there had been a Gibraltar Dam far more recently than the conventionally accepted 5.3 million years ago. The lowering of the ocean levels at the beginning of the last Ice Age and the exposure of a landbridge or dam between Spain and Morocco would have had the effect of drying out the Mediterranean due to the fact that loss of water through evaporation in the region is greater than the amount of water from rivers that feed into it.

It is worth considering that although the catastrophic breaching of the Bosporus and consequent expansion of the Black Sea is generally accepted as fact, there are no specific legends to support it apart from a reappraisal of the Flood of Noah. Therefore, it is not unreasonable to point out that a lack of local myth or legend relating to a breaching of a Gibraltar Dam is not proof that such an event did not occur. Furthermore, the area around the mouth of the Mediterranean is geologically unstable and could have been subjected to seismic activity that could have breached or even blocked the strait.

Alberto Arecchi agrees(a) with the concept of an historical land bridge at Gibraltar, but places its breach to around 2300 BC. As already intimated, Constantin Benetatos also believes(b) in the existence of the Gibraltar Dam. Joseph S. Ellul the Maltese writer was probably the first modern author to link the breaching of a Gibraltar landbridge with the destruction of Atlantis, which he claims to have been located adjacent to Malta. He identifies this submergence of Atlantis by the waters of the Atlantic with Noah’s Flood. Ellul interprets Genesis 7:11, 8:2, which refers to the “fountains of the great deep” bursting forth, as a reference to the collapse of the Gibraltar Dam. David Hatcher Childress also supports the idea of such a landbridge and has ventured a date of around 9000 BC for its collapse[620.261] and the consequent flooding of a desiccated Mediterranean.

Georgeos Diaz-Montexano, who has been searching for Atlantis off the coast of Spain and Gibraltar, has favourably referred to Zamarro’s silting theory and included the illustration, shown above, from Zamarro’s book on his websites. A further reference to silting can be read on another website(f).

When the Mediterranean eventually filled up, it is highly probable that it was then that the pressure of its waters led to the flooding of the Black Sea. It is reported that there are scouring marks at the entrance to the Black Sea that are very similar to those at Gibraltar. The date of the putative collapse of the Gibraltar Dam would therefore be marginally earlier, while the Mediterranean basins filled, than the accepted date for the breaching of the Bosporus currently calculated to have been around 5600 BC.

Robert Sarmast’s apparently dormant theory of Atlantis submerged off the coast of Cyprus under what is now a mile of water is totally dependent on the existence of a Gibraltar Dam during the last Ice Age and it being subsequently breached when the level of the Atlantic rose or the even more improbable lowering of the seafloor by a mile, as a consequence of seismic/tectonic activity in the region.

On the basis of evidence(c) offered by the quoted classical writers, the fact that sea levels rose hundreds of feet after the last Ice Age and examples of water damage to temples on elevated ground in Malta and nuraghi in Sardinia it is not unreasonable to conclude that a rupturing of a landbridge at Gibraltar within the last ten thousand year was possible if not probable.

The most dramatic suggestion regarding the creation of the Strait of Gibraltar has been offered by Terry Westerman(l), who has proposed that the rupturing of the landbridge was caused by two meteor impacts.

Finally, it is worth considering the comments of a number of respected Arabic scholars such as Al-Biruni, Al-Idrisi and Al-Mas’udi who lent support to the idea of a Gibraltar landbridge.

However, all that must be reconciled with the scientific findings of Kenneth Hsu who dated the last opening of the Gibraltar Strait to 5.5 million years ago(m). This date has been unchallenged as far as I’m aware.

,

Gibraltar Landbridge

(a) https://www.liutprand.it/articoliMondo.asp?id=111

(b) See: Archive 2365

(c) https://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/601935/posts

(d) See: https://web.archive.org/web/20180820052424/https://www.atlantidaegeo.com/autor.html

(e) https://books.google.com.mt/books?id=8GMFAAAAQAAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false

(f) https://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_was_the_depth_of_the_Mediterranean_Sea_during_the_last_Ice_Age

(g)  https://archive.org/details/OutlineOfHistory

(h)  https://www.geoledgers.com/Europe/Gibraltar/Gibraltar.html

(i) https://www.makesyouthinkblog.com/?m=201204 (link broken) See Archive 2536 *

(k) https://www.migration-diffusion.info/article.php?year=2015&id=477

(l) https://www.geoledgers.com/Europe/Gibraltar/Gibraltar.html

(m) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Messinian_salinity_crisis

(n) https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2014PA002719/full

(o) http://www.ldolphin.org/meddead.html