The Illyrians were an ancient people who occupied the northwestern region of the Balkans, which included a large portion of the eastern Adriatic Sea coast. As usual there is controversy regarding their origins, although there is some agreement that they came from the east, with the region of Troy (Illium) a possibility. It being noteworthy that there is one other ancient city called Illium on the Adriatic coast, today called Epirus(b).
There is a minority view that the some of the Illyrians had connections with the Sea Peoples, or more particularly the Sherden and Shekelesh.
In 1982 the Austrian historian Fritz Schachermeyr promoted this idea, noting that the similarly sounding Sardiotae and Siculotae occupied part of the later Roman province of Dalmatia(a). The same link adds additional information on other possible Balkan links with the Sherden.
Albania has not been excluded from the quest for links with Atlantis. Andi Zeneli had a website that delved into the ancient history of Albania which from the 10th century BC was part of Illyria. He makes great use of the controversial Oera Linda Book and linguistics in order to produce a convoluted association between Albania and Atlantis.
Zeneli had a separate website, also defunct, that dealt more specifically with the history of the ancient Illyrians.
There was also an ancient kingdom of Albania in the Caucasus between Iberia and and the Caspian Sea, approximately where Azerbaijan is now situated. It was once thought that the Adriatic Albanians had originated there but this was disproved on linguistic grounds in the 19th century.
A more recent claim is that satellite imagery has revealed a network of lines near Durrés, west of Tirana, which are the remnants of Plato’s Atlantean canals, with co-ordinates of 41.08-41.02 N and 19.23 E. A blogsite(c) is also home to a number of articles adding further support to the Durrés theory.
The Albanian hypothesis, however interesting has so far failed to answer many of the critical questions raised by Plato’s dialogues. Where were the Pillars of Heracles? What evidence is there for Albanian (Illyrian) influence extending to Tyrrhenia and Libya? Why did Plato not simply say that Atlantis had been located next door in the western Balkans? Without an answer to these and other questions we are forced to consider the Durres location is, at best, speculative.
However, in a desperate attempt to bolster this theory it has been pointed out(e) that the Illyrian tribe in the region was called Taulanti and the region itself Taulantis, inferring that it was modified to ‘Atlantis’!
A YouTube clip(d) offers a more graphic presentation of the theory while another link(f) offers a number of satellite images of Durres.