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

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9,000 is arguably the most important number in Plato’s Atlantis narrative. It is found in Critias 108e describing the number of years between the war with Atlantis and the time of Solon’s visit to Egypt. However, in Timaeus 23e it is also given as the number of years since the foundation of Athens.

Taken at face value, it implies that around 9600 BC Atlantis launched an attack on Athens and Egypt. However, archaeologically this makes no sense as the is no evidence of structured societies at either location until many thousands of years later.

Nevertheless, it should be noted that when Greek numerical notation was developing, 9,000 was the largest value that could be expressed by a single character. Later, it was sometimes used to describe a large but indefinite amount. A Bible study site tells us that The use of definite numerical expressions in an indefinite sense, that is, as round numbers, which is met with in many languages, seems to have been very prevalent in Western Asia from early times to the present day.”(a)

This apparent contradiction has baffled commentators for centuries. The ancient Egyptians had three calendars, solar, lunar and seasonal. As the solar years made little sense, attention turned to the lunar calendar used for religious purposes, keeping in mind that Solon received the Atlantis story from priests. Dividing 9,000 lunar cycles by 13 gives us around 692 solar years or circa 1300 BC for the war with Atlantis, which in isolation is more credible.

However, there are many other large numbers used by Plato in the Atlantis narrative relating to the military strength and dimensions of architectural features, which also seem to be exaggerations and, in my opinion, are all seeingly inflated to a similar degree!  As I see it, there are two possible solutions. Either the numbers are the result of a variety of unrelated translations and/or transcription errors or we must consider the possibility that there is a single explanation for all the apparent anomalies. Reluctantly, I have suggested ‘factor ten as the most likely solution.

>However, there are other details in the Atlantis narrative that conflict with this early date for the war with Atlantis. Plato clearly states that following the submergence of Atlantis its remains lay in shallow waters creating a maritime hazard and continuing to remain a danger to shipping until at least Plato’s time (Tim 25d). Since 9600 BC saw the ending of the last ice age, sea levels have risen 400 feet since then with minimal increases during the last couple of millennia. Shallows created in 9600 BC could not have lasted until Plato’s day.<

>Additionally, the earliest known solid wheels were not in use until the 5th millennium BC and were not developed as the lighter spoked wheels, suitable for chariots, until a millennium or more later. So when Plato refers to the Atlanteans having 10,000 chariots (Crit.119a), he could not have been referring to an army in 9600 BC. Furthermore, the greatest chariot battle in history took place in what is now Syria at the Battle of Kadesh in 1275 BC, between the Egyptians and the Hittites. The total number of chariots involved was between 5,000 and 6,000. In other words, a literal acceptance of what Plato wrote suggests that the Atlanteans had twice the number of chariots as that of the opponents at Kadesh combined. On top of that, those that accept the Atlantis story try to tell us that the Atlanteans had 10,000 chariots, eight thousand years earlier than Kadesh, millennia before chariots were invented!<

>Add to that, the clear evidence that horse domestication doesn’t appear in the archaeological record until about 5,500 years ago(b). Plato records that Atlantis had horse racing (117C) and horse baths (117b)! Not in 9600 BC.<


(b) *


Mosenkis, Yurii

Yurii Mosenkis is a Ukranian linguistics professor who has touched on several matters relating to Atlantis in a variety of papers. Many of his papers are concerned with the Minoan Linear A, which he considers to be proto-Greek(a).

Commenting on Plato’s report of the major floods that occurred in the early history of Greece, Mosenkis noted that “the interval between the Ogyges and Deucalion floods was 250 years (Eusebius) or 260 years (my calculations from 1775 BCE to 1515 BCE).”(b)

Mosenkis proposed in his Hellenic Origin of Europe(c) that the Phaistos Disk was an astronomical navigational aid for sailors!

Of more interest to this site is that Mosenkis has published a short paper(d) in which he directly associates the Hittites with Atlantis and the Sea Peoples.

(a) (DOC) Researchers of Greek Linear A | iurii mosenkis –


(c) (99+) (PDF) HELkENIC ORIGIN OF EUROPE: Formation of the Greeks 4600–2600 BC and the first Greek states 2600–1450 BC in Cretan Hieroglyphs and Linear A Script | iurii mosenkis –


Late Bronze Age Collapse

Late Bronze Age Collapse of civilisations in the Eastern Mediterranean in the second half of the 2nd millennium BC has been variously attributed to earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and severe climate change. It is extremely unlikely that all these occurred around the same time through coincidence. Unfortunately, it is not clear to what extent these events were interrelated. As I see it, political upheavals do not lead to earthquakes, volcanic eruptions or drought and so can be safely viewed as an effect rather than a cause. Similarly, climate change is just as unlikely to have caused eruptions or seismic activity and so can also be classified as an effect. Consequently, we are left with earthquakes and volcanoes as the prime suspects for the catastrophic turmoil that took place in the Middle East between the 15th and 12th centuries BC. Nevertheless, August 2013 saw further evidence published that also blamed climate change for the demise of Bronze Age civilisations in the region.

In 2022, a fourth possible cause emerged from a genetic research project -disease. The two disease carriers in question were the bacteria  Salmonella enterica, which causes typhoid fever, and the infamous Yersinia pestis, the bacteria responsible for the Black Death plague that decimated the population of medieval Europe. These are two of the deadliest microbes human beings have ever encountered, and their presence could have easily triggered significant heavy population loss and rampant social upheaval in ancient societies(d).

Robert Drews[865] dismisses any suggestion that Greece suffered a critical drought around 1200 BC, citing the absence of any supporting reference by Homer or Hesiod as evidence. He proposes that “the transition from chariot to infantry warfare as the primary cause of the Great Kingdoms’ downfall.”

Diodorus Siculus describes a great seismic upheaval in 1250 BC which caused radical topographical changes from the Gulf of Gabes to the Atlantic. (181.16)

This extended period of chaos began around 1450 BC when the eruptions on Thera took place. These caused the well-documented devastation in the region including the ending of the Minoan civilisation and probably the Exodus of the Bible and the Plagues of Egypt as well. According to the Parian Marble, the Flood of Deucalion probably took place around the same time.

Professor Stavros Papamarinopoulos has written of the ‘seismic storm’ that beset the Eastern Mediterranean between 1225 and 1175 BC(a). Similar ideas have been expressed by Amos Nur & Eric H.Cline(b)(c). The invasion of the Sea Peoples recorded by the Egyptians, and parts of Plato’s Atlantis story all appear to have taken place around this same period. Plato refers to a spring on the Athenian acropolis (Crit.112d) that was destroyed during an earthquake. Rainer Kühne notes that this spring only existed for about 25 years but was rediscovered by the Swedish archaeologist, Oscar Broneer, who excavated there from 1959 to 1967. The destruction of the spring and barracks, by an earthquake, was confirmed as having occurring at the end of the 12th century BC. Tony Petrangelo published two interesting, if overlapping, articles in 2020 in which he discussed Broneer’s work on the Acropolis(e)(f).

>A recent review of two books on subject in the journal Antiquity begins with the following preamble;

“The collapse c.1200 BC’ in the Aegean and eastern Mediterranean—which saw the end of the Mycenaean kingdoms, the Hittite state and its empire and the kingdom of Ugarit—has intrigued archaeologists for decades. As Jesse Millek points out in (his book) Destruction and its impact, the idea of a swathe of near-synchronous destructions across the eastern Mediterranean is central to the narrative of the Late Bronze Age collapse: “destruction stands as the physical manifestation of the end of the Bronze Age” (p.6). Yet whether there was a single collapse marked by a widespread destruction horizon is up for debate.” (g)<


(b)  (this is a shorter version of (c) below)


(d) Mediterranean Bronze Age Collapse Linked to Deadly Typhoid and Plague | Ancient Origins (


(f) A General Program of Defense | Atlantis FYI

(g) Getting closer to the Late Bronze Age collapse in the Aegean and eastern Mediterranean, c. 1200 BC | Antiquity | Cambridge Core*

Baraldi, Gabriele d’Annunzio

Gabriele d’Annunzio Baraldi (1938-2002) was Italian by birth but moved to Brazil’s São Paulo until his death. He did much to publicise the incredible range of artifacts left by the many ancient civilisations that existed in Brazil. Among those remains is the remarkable Ingá Stone, which is covered with petroglyphs for its entire 24-metre length. Baraldi claims that the locality was a Hittite colony and that a Hittite empire had existed in Brazil(c). Huari Roman links the Ingá Stone with Atlantean refugees from sunken Atlantis in the Atlantic. He also associates Ingá with Inca! [1127.222]

In 1983 Baraldi gave a newspaper interview in which he claimed that there was evidence for Atlantis to be found “Under the rocks of the National Park of Seven Cities, which is 26 miles from Piripiri Piauí” in northeast Brazil(a)(b).

>In August 2023, Kristen Callihan published an article about the Ingá Stone on the Ancient Origins website outlining the theories currently offered to explain its purpose and origin. It notes that Baraldi identified 497 symbols on the Stone and the surrounding area. An 18th-century proposal that the symbols were similar to early Phoenician carvings came from Fr. Ignatius Rolim. Similarly, Ludwig Schwennhagen also perceived similarities with the Phoenician as well as ancient Egyptian demotic writing. The lunatic fringe has not missed an opportunity to suggest a possible extraterrestrial involvement(f).<

The Ingá Stone

There is now a website dedicated to Baraldi’s work(d), as well as an e-book, in Italian, Un archeologo sulle tracce di Atlantide, which can be downloaded.(e)






(f) *

Homet, Marcel F.

Marcel F. Homet (1897-1982) was a famous French Algerian scientist who published over twenty books Marcel_Hometon anthropology, ethnology and ancient history generally. His most famous book is Sons of the Sun[813] in which he discussed his work in South America where he found evidence of Old World connections, in particular, on the famous Pedra Pintada (Painted Rock)(a) in Brazil, in a region that provides evidence of human activity there as early as 40,000 years ago, although, because of the acidic soil the earliest human bones are dated to 12,000 years ago(b). Some of the Pedra Pintada images have been claimed to represent UFOs!

>Just as mysterious is the Brazilian Ingá Stone with its astonlshing collection of carved symbols. One researcher Gabriele Baraldi has interpreted the carvings as evidence of a Hittite presence in Brazil(f).

A 2023 article draws attention to another site in Brazil’s Mato Grosso state known as the Santa Elina rock shelter, where evidence of human activity has been dated to 25,000 years ago(e).<

The title of Homet’s book is his name for Atlanteans. Homet believed that Atlantis had been located in the Atlantic and was part of a landbridge linking Europe and the Americas, an idea that was still popular when he was a child but abandoned long since. Homet contended that refugees fleeing its destruction had escaped to both of those continents. He linked “tools, inscriptions, cults and monuments in both Crete and Egypt on the one hand with the Amazon regions on the other.”

A review of his book is available on the Atlantisforschung website(d).

The final chapter in Homet’s book is devoted to the Phaistos Disk, which he claims to be Atlantean. He continually points out aspects of the ideograms stamped on it that have counterparts in various pre-Columbian cultures. “The totality of the ideograms or symbols on the disc – they are all as familiar in the prehistoric Mediterranean countries as in Ancient America (although of older date there) – leads us inevitably to search for a common origin, which can only be found in the northern part of the space which lies between the two continents (Eurasia and America), in other words: Atlantis!” [p193]

Atlantisforschung lamented the fact that following his death and after a life gathering research material, most was lost or disappeared(c).

(a) Archive 2218


(c) Marcel F. Homet – (

(d) Marcel F. Homet, Atlantis and the Sons of the Sun – (

(e) Historical Timeline Shook: Human Arrival in South America Pushed Back to 25,000 Years Ago | Ancient Origins (  *

(f) *

Lunisolar Calendar

A Lunisolar Calendar is regulated by the positions of both the moon and the sun and has been in use since ancient times in many cultures(b), indicating the phases of the Moon as well as the passage of time through the solar year. The Jewish calendar is an example of an ancient lunisolar calendar still in use.

It is claimed that a lunisolar calendar is hidden within the Atlantis story according to a paper presented at the 2008 Atlantis Conference by Alexios Pliakos.

Pliakos believes[750.631] that Critias 119 d2-d4, which refers to the convening of the Atlantean kings every five and six years, contains a previously unknown lunisolar calendar of 11 years duration with an accuracy of 0.09 days per year. As he also claims that it could have been applied in both 9600 BC and 12th century BC, it cannot be used to date the time of Atlantis. However, he points out that this 11-year lunisolar calendar conforms with the development of calendars generally adding to the improbability of the Atlantis story being an invention.

>Jim Allen has written a paper about the identification of a Lunisolar calendar at Tiwanaku(e).<

In a recent paper by Ashley Cowie, he explains how the Hittite shrine of Yazilikaya, at least in part, could have been used as a lunisolar calendar. Eberhard Zangger, an expert on the ancient history of the region, has also identified astronomically related features at the site (d).

Paul Dunbavin, in his Atlantis of the West[0099.319],  has offered a speculative explanation for the fifth and sixth-year meetings of the Atlantean kings based on the fragments that make up the French ‘Coligny Calendar’(a).

David Ohrenstein has a short blog on the significance of ‘five and six’ from megalithic times to that of the Egyptians and later the Maya(c).

(a) The Gaulish (Coligny) Calendar (


(c) Clues in the Search for Atlantis Come With # 5 and #6. – DSO Works (


(e) See Part 2 *


Chariots numbering ten thousand are mentioned as an important part of Atlantis’ armed forces. However, it is generally accepted that chariots first appeared in Mesopotamia around 3000 BC and became fairly commonplace by the middle of the second millennium BC. There is no evidence of any of the major Late Bronze Age nations having any more than a few hundred chariots. It would also appear that these chariots were normally reserved for nobles, wearing full bronze armour. War chariots were only effective over open and relatively flat ground.

Etruscan_chariot_4We should also keep in mind that the invention of the wheel itself is currently dated to not much earlier than 3500 BC(c) indicating that Plato’s reference to Atlantean chariots is anachronistic if we accept his apparent claim that the war with Atlantis took place around 9600 BC.

Regarding the Atlantis story, we must comment that 10,000 chariots controlled by one army, would only be required if a battleground had large tracts of flat land and if the enemy also possessed a similar force of chariots. Since no such enemy had been identified, we are forced to consider the clear possibility that the chariot numbers, as with so many other of the figures in Plato’s story, are suspect.

The greatest chariot battle in history took place in what is now Syria at the Battle of Kadesh in 1275 BC, between the Egyptians and the Hittites. The total number of chariots involved was between 5,000 and 6,000. In other words, a literal acceptance of what Plato wrote suggests that the Atlanteans had twice the number of chariots as that of the opponents at Kadesh combined, eight thousand years earlier! On top of that, those that accept the Atlantis story literally,  try to tell us that the Atlanteans had 10,000 chariots, eight thousand years earlier than Kadesh, millennia before chariots were invented! As an aside, I should mention that the Battle of Kadesh was not the great victory by Ramses II that is often claimed(f).

The date given by Plato for the destruction of Atlantis is 9600 BC. This would make the existence of chariots at that time, not to mention in such numbers, a complete anachronism. It is not likely that Atlantis would have needed 10,000 chariots at any time without their enemies being similarly equipped, which is equally improbable at that early date and, of course, it required a battlefield suitable for such a clash.  Plato’s date would appear to be out by about 8,000 years.

Since chariots were only introduced into Britain in the 5th century BC, in other words after Solon. This would seem to rule out Britain as the home or even a colony of the original empire of Atlantis. Similarly, with no evidence of chariots in the ancient Americas or the Caribbean, it would not be unreasonable to rule them out as the Atlantis of Plato. If the reference to chariots is to be taken as a real attribute of the Atlantean military machine, we are forced to look, in very general terms, to the Mediterranean region, both inside and outside the Strait of Gibraltar as far as the Black Sea and Egypt.

I must also add that from a functional point of view the most efficient chariots required spoked wheels and that the oldest examples of which have been dated no earlier than 2000 BC(a). This alone is a reason to question Plato’s Atlantis date.

Arthur Cottrell, in his Chariot[866], discusses how the chariot lost its dominance in battle but developed as a form of entertainment with the introduction of chariot racing and was frequently used in funerary rituals of several cultures. Chariot racing as a spectator sport in Rome dates back to around the 6th century BC. It was also quite popular among the Etruscans and the Lucanians of Sicily in the 5th century BC. It was recently revealed that Roman racing chariots had an additional iron tyre fitted to the right wheel greatly enhancing the charioteer’s chance of winning(e).

The close of the Bronze Age saw an end to the supremacy of the war chariot with the introduction of new weaponry and military tactics. Robert Drews is Professor of Classics and History at Vanderbilt University has claimed in his book, The End of the Bronze Age[865], that these changes were responsible for the collapse of so many eastern Mediterranean cities around 1200 BC. A review(b) of Drews’ book should also be read.

In conclusion, Plato’s reference to 10,000 chariots being employed in 9600 BC is either a colourful embellishment or a mangled account of the military power of an unnamed Bronze Age society. If the former, supporters of this early date for Atlantis must explain the total lack of archaeological evidence of chariots as early as 9600 BC as well as its continued absence during the succeeding six or seven thousand years.

>Plato’s numbers are obviously flawed and are matters that I deal with more comprehensively in Joining the Dots and the Dating Atlantis entry here.<

(a)  Ron Wyatt and Those Egyptian Chariot Wheels – Dr. Michael Heiser ( *







Atlas was the first king of Atlantis and was the son of Poseidon according to the story of Atlantis from Plato. However, in traditionalatlas, Atlas was the son of the Titan, Iapetus, often identified with the biblical Japheth, and the nymph Clymene. This apparent contradiction can be explained by the fact that the name Atlas is applied to more than one figure in Greek legends.

Atlas is usually portrayed kneeling with the world on his shoulders. However, the earliest known statue of Atlas, the 2nd century Farnese Atlas(c), which is a Roman copy of an older Greek statue, has the sky is represented as a sphere with a map of the stars and constellations known to the Ancient Greeks, which they represented as objects, animals and mythological creatures and characters. 16th century cartographers assumed that the globe represented the Earth, not the sky and since then it has been depicted accordingly.

Edwin Björkman noted the opinion that the name Atlas does not have a Greek root but is generally thought to have a Semitic origin. He also suggested the possibility that the name may have been derived from one of the Greek words for sea, thalassa.

However, Peter James points out[047.190] the name has a clear etymology in the Greek root ‘tlaô’ which can mean ‘to bear’, ‘to endure’ or ‘to dare’.>Tantalis, the capital of ancient Lydia, was apparently named after the legendary King Tantalus, its first king, who shared remarkable similarities with Atlas, the first king of Atlantis; they were both Titans, supported the heavens and had mountains named after them(f).<

Atlas has also been identified with both the Egyptian god Shu and the biblical Enoch, the latter being a more controversial concept. Lewis Spence went further and identified the Meso-American deity, Quetzalcoatl, with Atlas!

A somewhat more conventional view was offered by Thorwald Franke who has written a convincing paper(a) identifying Atlas with king Italos of the Sicels, who gave their name to Sicily and were one of the earliest groups to inhabit the island.

A more radical view has been put forward by Brit-Am writer John R.Salverda, who claims that the biblical Adam is the Atlas of Plato’s Atlantis narrative. A similar theory was proposed by Roger M. Pearlman in a 2018 booklet [1596]. In this small, difficult to read, book the author suggests, a linkage between the destruction of Sodom & Gomorrah and Atlantis, places Atlantis in the Jordan Valley and equates Abraham with Atlas – If Atlas as described in Plato’s work was based on a historic figure, Abraham alone meets key criteria.”In a more recent paper(d), Pearlman also suggested that Göbekli Tepe was founded by Noah (Noach) and his sons!

Moving further east, the Hittites had an equivalent if not an original version of Atlas in the form of Tantalus. The Hittites in turn may have developed the identity from the Hurrian god Ubelleris. It was this Anatolian figure that led Peter James to his conclusion that Atlantis had been located in Turkey. Tantalus had a son Pelops, whom some consider Phrygian and according to Herodotus the Phrygians were the oldest race on earth.

Diego Ratti claims “that Atlantis was Avaris, capital of the Hyksos Kingdom and that king Atlas was Shamshi-Shu I: the Amorite Prince of Ugarit who in 1646 BC led a coalition of Foreign Kings to conquer Egypt starting the XV Dynasty of the ‘Hyksos’.”(e)

An even more extreme idea has been proposed by Sean Griffin that the yogic concept of ‘Kundalini’ is contained within part of Plato’s Atlantis story(b). Griffin begins his explanation by pointing out that Atlas is the medical term for the 33rd vertebra of the human spine!





(e) Atletenu | Atletenu ( 

(f) *


Amazons is the name used by classical writers(k) to identify two matriarchal nations living near the Black Sea and in ancient Libya, but at apparently different periods. An extensive website on the subject associates the Amazons with three locations; Lake Tritonis(j) , the Greek island of Lemnos(i) and the River Thermodon, now known as Terme Çay, in northern Turkey(h).

Accounts relating to these remote times are understandably vague but one tale describes the Libyan Amazons as waging war against the Atlanteans, a race who lived in a prosperous country with great cities.

Attention has been drawn to the fact that the Berbers, also known as Amazigh in North-West Africa have a matriarchal culture. The possibility of an etymological connection between Amazon and Amazigh was suggested by Guy C. Rothery (1863-1940) in his 1910 book, The Amazons[1393]  , and recently endorsed by Emmet Sweeney in his Atlantis: The Evidence of Science[700]. In 1912, Florence Mary Bennett published Religious Cults Associated with the Amazons[1548], which has been republished in recent years.

Another matriarchal society in the same region has also been suggested for the Maltese Islands(h).

Sir John Chardin (1643-1713) a French-born traveller and merchant reported that a tribe of Amazons still existed in the Caucasus in the 17th century(d).

Although the idea may be seen as fanciful, recent archaeological discoveries have provided evidence of female warriors in ancient times in parts of the former Soviet Union. The archaeologist Jeannine Davis-Kimball has written of her investigations[045] into the subject. Peter James offers[046] a solution to the existence of two locations for the Amazons. He believes that the original Black Sea location is correct and that the transference of the story to North Africa was the result of the ‘libyanising’ intent of Dionysus of Miletus, who was later quoted by Diodorus Siculus in his account(f) of the Amazons.

. James offers this explanation as part of a larger relocation of mythologies to more westerly locations. Other interesting views of the Amazon mystery can be found on a number of websites(a)(b).

Lewis Spence advanced the imaginative view [259.49] that the Amazons were not women at all, but men whose appearance was considered effeminate by some commentators. A more rational explanation on offer is that the males of some peoples had little facial hair or shaved (such as the Hittites) and were possibly described by their more hirsute enemies as ‘women’.

The popular idea that the Amazons were single-breasted, man-hating warriors has recently been comprehensively debunked by Adrienne Mayor in her latest book, The Amazons[1043] .

>Even more eyebrow-raising is the suggestion that Amazon warriors existed in South America based on 16th century reports and modern research(c). Columbus, in a 1493 letter to Luis de Sant’angel, refers to an island named Matininó, which was inhabited only by women(m), armed with bows and arrows. Hernán Cortés also filed a similar report.<

The Smithsonian magazine published a useful overview(e) of the history of the Amazon story in the April 2004 edition and in September 2011 revealed the story of the little-known female warriors of Benin (formerly Dahomey), numbered in their thousands, who were active during the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. The BBC published an article in August 2018 on their history and their modern day descendants(l) .















Copper *

Copper was obviously a vital commodity for the Bronze Age Atlantis described by Plato. The source of this copper has led to frequent speculation among Atlantologists. Frank Joseph proposed that copper was the foundation for the wealth of Atlantis. He is convinced that there is evidence of enormous copper mining activities in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula around 1000 BC. He refers to these miners as Atlanteans [0102] and maintains that the extracted copper was brought to the Mediterranean, claiming that there is no trace of it in North America!

Joseph’s wild claim runs counter to the evidence offered by one of the leading mining engineers of his day, T.A. Rickard (1864-1953)(m). In 1934, Rickard published an extensive paper in The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland entitled The Use of Native Copper by the Indigenes of North America(n). Rickard notes how early European colonists observed the native Americans using copper for tools and ornaments. A more recent entry(o) in Wikipedia offers further details reinforcing Rickard’s contention. Similarly, a March 2021 article in Archaeology offers evidence that native Americans were producing artefacts from copper as early as the 7th millennium BC and were probably the world’s first coppersmiths(r)(s).

In another article in Atlantis Rising magazine, Joseph proposed that the exploitation of the Michigan copper began in the sixth millennium BC with the arrival of the Red Paint People from Europe!(i)

Frank Joseph and Gavin Menzies are late with their claims regarding the exploitation of the Michigan copper by Atlanteans. In 1928, it was Giacinto Perrone in his book L’Atlantide [809] who was an early promoter of the idea of Atlantean involvement in the ancient Michigan copper mining(t).

J.S. Wakefield has written an extensive article(j) linking the Michigan mines with Poverty Point in Louisiana, where, he contends that the copper was cast into oxhide ingots. In the same article, he identified the Sea Peoples as the Atlanteans and their allies. In another paper(q) he presents a case for identifying the copper oxhide ingots discovered in the Late Bronze Age Uluburun shipwreck found off Turkey as originating in Michigan. He bases his claim on the unusual 99.5% purity of these copper ingots, which he claims is only to be found in the Great Lakes mines. Wakefield is a co-author with Reinoud de Jonge of Rocks & Rows: Sailing Routes Across the Atlantic and the Copper Trade [0760].

Roger Jewell has written an important book [0243] on this same historical mystery but dates the early mining to 2500 BC and estimates the quantity of copper mined at 20 million pounds. Jewell offers a range of evidence that points to Minoan traders, an idea taken up recently by Gavin Menzies, who quotes estimates of between three and five hundred million pounds, while others have suggested as much as 1.5 billion pounds have been extracted. These wild speculations have been derided by commentators such as Jason Colavito(b).

Dale Drinnon has an extensive entry on the Michigan copper mines on his wide-ranging website(c).

Philip Coppens also wrote a speculative article on the possible part that Michigan’s copper plated in global trade around 3000 BC(g). Commenting on the possible market for the Michigan copper, he wrote that it is remarkable, “that Bronze Age Europe ended in 1200 BC, which coincides with the end of the mining activities in America. Coincidence? The mining technique in America is also identical to those used on the British Isles, where the other component, tin, originated from.”

The America Unearthed TV series, presented by Scott Wolter, also examined the idea of Minoans mining in Michigan (S1 E3). Jason Colavito wrote a highly critical review of the episode(k), while an even more extensive critique can be found on the website(l).

Ilias D. Mariolakos is a Professor Emeritus of Geology and Paleontology at the University of Athens. In 2010 he presented a paper to the 12th International Congress of the Geological Society of Greece stating that the prehistoric Greeks were familiar with the Atlantic Ocean and its Gulf Stream. He also claims that they exploited the Michigan copper mines to meet the needs of their bronze industry.

David Hatcher Childress, who is consistently generous with his speculations has proposed that the Hittites were responsible for the Michigan copper mining [620.65].

Peter Marsh has suggested(u) that the Michigan copper mining was the work of Berbers and Phoenicians!

Additionally, the late Bernhard Beier published two articles(v)(w) on the debate surrounding the astounding quantity of copper apparently mined in Michigan. It is clear that he, like Peter Marsh and others, was sympathetic to the idea that Old World miners were involved, who were possibly Phoenicians, Berbers or Egyptians.

Bronze Age Cypriot Copper Ingot

John Jensen has noted(x) that “curiously, North American Indian mounds have been found to contain copper sheets made in the shape of animal hides. Called “reels,” their function, if any, is unknown. The reels do, however, resemble oddly shaped copper ingots common in European Bronze Age commerce. Their peculiar shape earned these ingots the name “oxhides” and has been found in Bronze Age shipwrecks, and are even said to be portrayed on wall paintings in Egyptian tombs. The standardized hide-like shape, with its four convenient handles, was useful in carrying and stacking heavy ingots. Could the reels from the North American mounds have been copied from the oxhides? It is tempting to speculate that the Copper Culture miners were actually an Atlantic rim colony.

A further word of caution regarding North American copper oxhide ingots is offered by a report from Andy White outlining his attempts to verify their existence(y).

So far, we have on offer, Native Americans, Red Paint People, Sea Peoples, Greeks, Minoans, Hittites, Atlanteans, Berbers and Phoenicians all allegedly involved in the ancient exploitation of the Michigan copper. Take your pick, but base your choice on evidence, if any, rather than speculation.

It is claimed that the local Indians have folk memories of the mines being worked by ‘light-skinned’ men, suggesting a possible European or Mediterranean connection. Frank Joseph implies that these natives had little interest in copper although one of the cultures in the Great Lakes region was known as the Old Copper Indian because of their extensive use of copper for weapons, tools and ornaments(h). Furthermore as early as 1585 British settlers on Roanoke Island noted that the indigenous people there put a high value on copper.

A more conventional analysis of the Michigan copper mining mystery is presented by local archaeologists. They point out that the views of commentators such as Frank Joseph are very generous with speculation but somewhat mean with evidence. Dr Susan R. Martin of Michigan Technological University has published a point-by-point refutation(a) of the many wild claims that have been made about the Michigan mines in The Michigan Archaeologist [41 (2-3) p119-138. June-September 1995].

Even more extreme was the suggestion made by Reinoud M. de Jonge in a 2009 paper(e) where he boldly claimed “that during the whole period of the (Michigan) copper trade, America was part of the Egyptian Empire” and during the Old Kingdom “this huge empire was known as Atlantis”! De Jonge expanded on this in a 2012 paper, justifying his claims with an incredibly detailed interpretation of the Phaistos Disk, which appears to be highly speculative(p).

In the eastern Mediterranean, Cyprus, taking its name from copper, provided much of that metal, which enabled the development of the Bronze Age there. In the central and Western Mediterranean ancient copper mines have been identified in Iberia, Morocco and Sardinia as well as sources of tin. However, a 1982 paper(f) claimed that Laurion in Attica, Greece was equally as important as Cyprus as a source of Bronze Age copper.

The earliest known metal mine in the British Isles was on Ross Island, near Killarney in Ireland. Copper was mined there from 2400 BC until 1900 BC(d) and the site is thought to have been the principal source of the metal for the two islands at that time.

Supporters of an earlier date for Atlantis can point to evidence of worked metal around 9000 BC discovered in Anatolia, Turkey. More recently there were metal beads discovered in Bulgaria tentatively dated to 6000 BC.

(a) See Archive 2547


(c)  See: Archive 3597




(g)  See Archive 2724


(i)  See Archive 3389









(r) *



(u) (chapter 10)

(v) Prähistorischer Kupferbergbau in Nordamerika und eine frühe Transatlantik-Connection (I) – ( 

(w) Prähistorischer Kupferbergbau in Nordamerika und eine frühe Transatlantik-Connection (II) – (  

(x) (99+) Ancient Canal Builders – Overview | John Jensen – (p.32)