Civilisation Collapse has occurred many times over the past millennia in all parts of the world. The American anthropologist, Joseph A. Tainter defines collapse as “a rapid shift to a lower level of complexity(a) .” Societal disintegration immediately brings to mind the Maya, the Indus Valley and in what are relatively more modern times, the Western Roman Empire.
The causes are usually a combination of factors, such as climate change, warfare, disease or excessive expansionism. Global catastrophes such as encounters with comets or asteroids are rare, while more local events such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions or tsunamis can also be thrown into the mix. These have all been encountered from time to time, but have rarely been blamed for the collapse of a society; full recovery from such limited regional events is usually possible.
The Mediterranean has seen its share of all these catastrophic events. A major tsunami on Sardinia, volcanic eruptions in Italy, and earthquakes in North Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean. Close encounters with extraterrestrial bodies have also been proposed in that region.
Perhaps the best-documented civilisation collapse is that which occurred around 1200 BC and affected many societies, particularly in the Middle East(b) . Israel Finkelstein, a leading Israeli archaeologist, has attributed this event to climate change and is of the view that this disruption was global in extent.
Inevitably, Atlantis has been cited as an example of civilisation collapse, particularly among supporters of the Minoan Hypothesis, who link the 2nd millennium BC eruptions of Thera with the demise of the Minoans on Crete. Also popular is the idea that Atlantis had been a large island in the Atlantic Ocean destroyed by a cometary impact or the rising sea levels as the glaciers melted at the end of the last Ice Age.>However these Atlantic suggestions would appear to be ruled out by Plato’s clear statement that Atlantis was destroyed by an earthquake.<
A variety of other theories have associated Atlantis with the collapse of a civilisation. For example, Frank Joseph claims that 40,000 years ago “sudden sea-level rises triggers migration from Mu around. The Pacific motherlanders settle on a large, fertile island about 380 kilometers due west from the Straits of Gibraltar. There, the newcomers merge with the native Cro-Magnon inhabitants, resulting in a new, hybrid culture – Atlantis.”>Unsurprisingly, Joseph fails to explain why refugees from the Pacific would travel all the way from the Pacific to settle in the Atlantic when their previous homeland was surrounded by more accessible alternatives such as the Americas, Australia, Asia and Africa. He also fails to explain how the migrants had the seafaring ability to travel such a distance. Furthermore, since all the oceans are connected this sudden sea level rise would also have had a similar effect in the Atlantic generating mass migrations there also.<
William Matthew Flinders Petrie (1853-1942) was a renowned English Egyptologist, who developed improved archaeological methods, some of which are still employed today. One of his first publications was in 1883, entitled The Pyramids and Temples 0f Gizeh.>This is now available online, while a 1990 edition has additional material supplied by Zahi Hawass(c).<
Jason Colavito has drawn attention(a) to a short article written by Flinders Petrie in Ancient Egypt, September 1924, in which he finds value in the work of Reginald Fessenden, who was an advocate of Atlantis in the Caucasus. However, I note that he makes no explicit comment on Fessenden’s Atlantis theory. Petrie was interested in the evidence that strongly suggested that people from the Caucasus region had an influence on the development of the ancient Egyptian culture, noting again a couple of year s later “It appears, then, 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 civilization of the Egyptians”. (Ancient Egypt, June 1926) (b) .
Dr. Margaret Murray (1863-1963), who worked with Petrie, was also sympathetic to this view. More recently, Ronnie Gallagher has taken up this cause and has gone further by suggesting the possibility that not only were migrants from the Caucasus responsible for kick-starting the development of Egyptian culture, but that people from the same region had a similar influence on the early inhabitants of Sumeria and the Indus Valley.
Aryan is a term used to denote “peoples speaking Indo-European (or specifically Indo-Iranian) languages, or ancient peoples thought to have spoken Proto-Indo-European, the hypothetical language from which Indo-European languages are believed to derive.”
An Aryan Atlantis was proposed by Ignatius Donnelly in his famous 1882 book(a), selectively employing biblical texts and a variety of mythologies to support his view.>However, he did not use the term in the racist manner it came to be employed just four decades later.<
Donnelly also promoted the popular 19th-century idea that India was subjected to an invasion by Aryans from the northwest. This idea is still debated today with opponents of the idea, such as the American-born Vedic scholar, David Frawley, who see the Aryans, not as invaders but indigenous Indians. Graham Hancock quotes Frawley extensively in support of his ancient civilisation views.
The term ‘Aryan’ was also used to describe one of Blavatsky’s imaginary ‘root races’, however, some argue that it was used in a ‘spiritual’ sense, but this is debated.
>The World History Encyclopedia offers an excellent overview of the origins of the Aryans(b) as well as the etymology of the name itself. It explains how “it was first applied as a self-identifying term by a migratory group of people from Central Asia (Kazakhstan) later known as Indo-Iranians (who settled on the Iranian Plateau) and, later, applied to Indo-Aryans (who traveled south to settle northern India).” It seems that this group integrated with the people of the Indus Valley. When, in the 2nd millennium BC, the Indus Valley civilisation declined, supposedly due to climate change, its people moved south. This may also have been exacerbated by a decline in trade, due to internal strife in two of their principal trading partners, Mesopotamia and Egypt.<
Today the term is primarily used to describe the family of languages known as Indo-European. Unfortunately, the word has also a dark side to its history, with its arrogation by the Nazis to describe their ‘master race’.
The Origin of the Atlantis Narrative is declared by Plato to have been Egyptian as it was brought to Athens from Egypt by Solon. This is the almost universally accepted provenance of the story. However, other suggestions have emerged from time to time.
Another even more exotic claim(a) is that Plato’s Atlantis story was a reworking of the destruction of Lankapura as recorded in the Ramayana(b), one of the two great Hindu epic poems.
(a) https://archives.sundayobserver.lk/2001/pix/PrintPage.asp?REF=/2013/03/17/mon06.asp (Offline Sept.2017 – See Archive 2058)
(b) http://www.valmikiramayan.net/ (link broken)
Normally I would ignore such drivel but as M. Dolciani has also ventured into the area of Atlantology, I feel free to comment on his views. He has decided that when Plato referred to ‘island’ he actually meant ‘centre of civilisation’, which he identifies as Egypt, the Indus Valley and Mesopotamia! His explanation for Plato’s 9000 ‘years’ is that they were in fact periods of 73 days because it agrees with both the synodical revolution of Venus and our solar year!! With reasoning like that, we have little to fear from 2027.
However, in my opinion, Dolciani is religiously deluded, claiming to have had a number of dialogues with Jesus. His website wanders all over the place referencing UFOs, Baalbek, Pyramids and the Mayan Calendar among so many others(b).
(b) My homepage – www.dolciani.fr (archive.org) (French) *
José Angel Hernández is an Independent Spanish researcher with an interesting website(a), which, although in Spanish, translates quite well with Google into English. Although his subject matter is wide-ranging he has produced a number of papers relevant to the subject matter of this site.
He first(b) compares the bull cult of Atlantis with the status of the bull in the Indus Valley civilisation. He then takes a sceptical view of the Atlantis story arguing strongly against the idea that the 9,000 years recorded by Plato should be treated as ‘months’ or ‘seasons’. In another section(c) he outlines parallels between Tartessos and ancient India and goes so far as to suggest the Indus Valley city of Lothal established colonies north and south of the Strait of Gibraltar and known as Tartessos. Unexpectedly, he then proceeds to identify the Tarshish of the Bible with the coast of the Indus Valley!
Ronnie Gallagher is a retired environmental manager and an amateur archaeologist with a great interest in the Caucasus region, where he has carried out extensive research. He has written an interesting paper on the effects of the post-glacial flooding of the Caspian Sea and its former physical connection with the Black Sea as well as with the Arctic Ocean(a).
Gallagher has also drawn attention to cart ruts in Azerbaijan(b) similar to, but not as numerous as, those on Malta. He is also an admirer of the work of Reginald Fessenden who placed Atlantis in the Caucasus(c) and proposed that migrants from that region were responsible for kick-starting what we know as the Egyptian civilisation. The renowned Flinders Petrie and Margaret Murray were sympathetic to this view, as is Gallagher(d).
>Gallagher expanded on his view that migrants from the Caucasus had settled in Egypt, suggesting that they brought with them memories of their homeland and one of its best-known landmarks – Mount Barmak in modern Azerbaijan and used its outline to inspire the Great Sphinx at Giza(g)!!! In another paper, he expands on anthropomorphic images in Azerbaijan(l).<
His own conclusion regarding the location of Atlantis in the Caucasus region was that it was inundated as a consequence of the creation of a vast ‘flooded Eurasia’ that resulted from the collapse of glacial ice-dams(d)(h)(m), comparable with the Lake Missoula Floods in America.
Gallagher’s paper should be read in conjunction with a 2004 paper(e) from a team of Russian and US scientists that relates to a ‘Giant Siberian Lake’.
>Related to this is a recent study that has shown that 12 million years ago the same vast region was home to the Earth’s largest-ever lake, which the authors have called Paratethys(i). In fact, it is claimed that its history begins even further back at 34 million years ago and at its greatest extent stretched from Germany to China!(j)<
Gallagher’s studies in Azerbaijan continue, where he has identified an extensive number of strandlines in the region resulting from ancient catastrophic flooding.
>His presentation to the Second International Conference on the Aral Sea Problems in 2019 in St. Petersburg is available online in a lengthy and extensively illustrated pdf file(k).<
He has now published a number of extended abstracts of recent papers on the academia.edu website(g). He concluded one(f) with the following: “However, the thorny problem of what might have caused the Gilazi strandlines and the inferred worldwide flood can only be speculated on and will be controversial.
Perhaps open-minded discussion on the theories, such as the reality of the diverted Russian Rivers, an enlarged Ponto Caspian and the ingress of marine waters into the Eurasian continental interior might begin to reveal a different pre-history and provide support for a world-wide flood.”
(e) See Archive 2372)
(k) Strandlines on Azerbaijan’s Mud Volcanoes and coastal interior: New evidence of a catastrophic marine flood impacting the Ponto Caspian and Aral Sea regions with its implications to natural sciences and humankind (zin.ru)
Jim Alison has written an extensive paper(a) on the highly controversial subject of a global aligment of ancient sites such as the Great Pyramid, Easter Island and Machu Picchu(b). At the end of the first page he concludes that the Cape Verde islands are possibly the remnants of Plato’s Atlantis, based on the geodetic fact that “Machu Picchu and the Great Pyramid are equally distant from the Cape Verde Islands. Easter Island and the Indus Valley are also equally distant from Cape Verde.” For similar reasons he thinks that the Bay of Bengal as well as near Ilha Martin Vaz, a location off the coast of Brazil, should also be considered as possible candidates.
Easter Island (Rapa Nui) with its strange statues, known as moai, remains one of the great archaeological mysteries. As with most ancient enigmas, various writers have tried to link Easter Island with either Atlantis, Mu or extraterrestrials.
Herbie Brennan in his early book, Occult Reich , touched on the subject of Lemuria with the following two gems, “Atlantis, in earliest times, was actually part of Lemuria” and “the degenerate line of Lemuria is still with us, although only just and obviously dying. It is represented by the primitive aborigine of Australia.” He also claimed that a volcanic upheaval brought a tiny speck of Lemuria to the surface. “It rose complete with a host of giant statues……..now known as Easter Island.”
I cannot subscribe to such silliness and would not normally include Easter Island in this encyclopedia, but in recognition of the level of general interest in the subject, I have included a link(a) to the serious archaeological work that continues on the island. This study is now in its fifth season and is directed by Dr Jo Anne Van Tilburg. One aspect of the work was to demonstrate that many of the Easter Island ‘heads’ have buried bodies, often, until now, with hidden petroglyphs(t). A recent (June 2015) blog(g) has proposed that some of the markings represent tattoos.
Van Tilburg has been working on Rapa Nui for more than three decades. Her Easter Island Statue Project is supported in part by UCLA’s Cotsen Institute of Archaeology. “A 2019 report from her radically alters the idea that all standing statues in the Rano Raraku quarry were simply awaiting transport out of the quarry,” Van Tilburg said. “That is, these and probably other upright Moai in Rano Raraku were retained in place to ensure the sacred nature of the quarry itself. The Moai were central to the idea of fertility, and in Rapanui belief, their presence here stimulated agricultural food production.”(aa)
>The moai story is not quite finished yet. A previously unknown statue was discovered in a dried-up lake on the island in 2023(aj).<
The other great Easter Island mystery(i) is the rongorongo script found there. All attempts to decipher it have failed(c)(d). An extensive article by Jacob Mikanowski offering insights into the history of the island and its script and the many efforts to decode it is available online(q). David Pratt has also compared rongorongo with ancient Chinese and Indus Valley scripts(r). Pratt has written several papers on various aspects of Easter Island(s).
Jean-Michel Schwartz has noted [1792.93] the views of Dr Heine Geldern who “pointed out strong resemblances between rongo-rongo signs and certain archaic Chinese characters, particularly from the Shang period.”
Similarities between rongorongo and symbols carved on the Ingá Stone in Brazil have also been noted(v).
Some years ago Andis Kaulins wrote An Astrological Zodiac In the Script of Easter Island(x), in which he also links the Easter Island script with the Indus Valley as well as possible calendrical and astronomical associations.
“In 1932, Wilhelm de Hevesy was the first academic to suggest a link between Rongorongo and the Indus script of the Indus Valley Civilization in India, claiming that as many as forty Rongorongo symbols had a correlating symbol in the script from India. For a while, the idea was entertained and debated until radiocarbon dating of the Indus Valley culture was placed between c. 3,300 – 1,900 BC, a finding which officially separated the two cultures by over 2,000 years. Recent research, however, has opened the debate again as the finding of Indus Valley DNA in Australian Aborigines suggests contact between the two cultures c. 2,000 BC.”(v) There is also an extensive study of the two scripts available on the Academia.edu website.(w)
Although a link between the Indus Valley or even the Chinese cannot be ruled out, the suggestion by Professor Nors Sigurd Josephson that there is a possible Greek connection with Easter Island does appear to be extreme. Nevertheless, he claims that “In parallel with the over one thousand ancient Greek linguistic roots that are met in the language of Easter Island and, the relative to it, Polynesian languages, we also meet a big number of ancient Greek grammatic peculiarities, like noun endings and verbal types” .
More recently (2021), Alexandros Angelis has endorsed Josephson’s idea and for good measure has suggested a linkage between the Greek and Aztec languages(ae).
A new suggestion has recently emerged linking Easter Island and the ongoing discoveries at Göbekli Tepe in Turkey(b). This dates back to early 2010 and has now been given greater prominence in Robert Schoch’s recent book, Forgotten Civilization . On a lighter note, when Robert Schoch, suggested a link between Göbekli Tepe and Easter Island(m), despite the eleven millennia time difference, it was no surprise that Jason Colavito scornfully dismissed the idea(n) >as well as Schoch’s wild suggestion that the rongorongo writing dates back 12,000 years(ai).<
Pre-Colonial contacts between Easter Island and South America have recently been supported by DNA evidence(f). This would appear to be contradicted by a 2017 study by a team from the University of California -Santa Cruz, which appears to rule out pre-European contact with South Americans! Details are published in the October 12th edition of Current Biology.(p)
The Milwaukee Journal of June 17th, 1923 had a headline that announced the disappearance of Easter Island(e), proving that you really can’t believe everything you read! Coincidentally, 1923 also gave us an early attempt(h) to link Easter Island with Atlantis.
For a long time, it has been thought that warfare had wiped out much of its early population. This has now been debunked by a new study, led by Binghamton University anthropology professor Carl Lipo and published in the Feb. 2016 edition of the journal Antiquity(j). Shortly afterward, a further study suggested a more complex explanation for the early social collapse on the island has been put forward by Dr Valentí Rull, who is a senior researcher at the Spanish National Research Council in Barcelona(k).
A further report(o) from Lipo highlighted further the complexity underlying the societal disintegration that took place on the island. Lipo outlined the commonly held explanation as follows; “One of the resources that they supposedly used up was trees that were growing on the island. Those trees provided canoes and, as a result of the lack of canoes, they could no longer fish. So they started to rely more and more on land food. As they relied on land food, productivity went down because of soil erosion, which led to crop failures…Painting the picture of this sort of catastrophe. That’s the traditional narrative.” Lipo’s studies have employed new technologies that have disproved these popular ideas and forced a radical rethink.
There is a brief Smithsonian video clip available(l) that deals with the cutting and transportation of the moai.
The latest moai theory has come from a team of researchers, led by Carl Lipo, from New York’s Binghampton University, who have concluded that the statues were placed at locations where potable water was available(u). To me, it seems an excessively elaborate way of marking locations.
A recent study has added some confusion to conventional assumptions regarding early warfare on the island, claiming that there is evidence now that “Easter Island society did not collapse prior to European contact and its people continued to build its iconic moai statues for much longer than previously believed, according to a team of American researchers” Their conclusions were published in the February 2020 issue of the Journal of Archaeological Science.(y)
Joseph Davidovits who controversially proposed that Giza’s Great Pyramid stones had been cast rather than carved has also claimed that other well-known structures had been created in a similar manner, such as at Tiwanaku and Puma Punku in Peru(ac) and Easter Island(ad). Davidovits also offers a video justifying these claims(ag).
In the April 2020 edition of the Journal of Archaeological Science, Lipo et al offered a new paper(z) further debunking the Rapa Nui societal collapse theory and 2021 saw the collapse theory under further attack(ab).
In 2022 the proposed connection between the Easter Island and the Indus scripts was given a further airing. This time, the author Daniel F. Salas introduces this lengthy paper with ” The Indus Valley script glyphs have a visual relationship with the star constellations along the ecliptic. The Indus script has an established visual relationship with the Polynesian Easter Island script. The Polynesians used the stars to navigate, the use of the same pictorial image of the stars points to a very old navigational system. As for the Polynesian script a seasonal date can be found, using the same navigational system it can be said it happens in the Indus valley script. These dates for the Indus Valley script indicate a season of harvest of a particular plant.”(af)
Also in 2022, a BBC article by Sarah Brown offered the latest ideas on how the moai were moved from the quarry to their final location. There appears to be some agreement that the method used is described by Brown as “the marriage of ingenious design and flawless sculpting, which enabled these humanlike statues to stand upright and rock forward from side-to-side while being guided by ropes, granting the statues the ability to ‘walk’.”(ah)
(e) https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1499&dat=19230617&id=9f1EAAAAIBAJ&sjid=XyEEAAAAIBAJ&pg=5420,3683626 (inaccessible Sept. 2016)
(m) https://web.archive.org/web/20160911175943/https://www.robertschoch.com/articles/schochgobeklitepenewdawnsept2010.pdf See: Sept/Oct 2010 edition of New Dawn Magazine (Issue 122)
The Swastika is a symbol that is said to have a 12,000-year-old history(I) and is occasionally suggested as having an Atlantean link. This is highly improbable as modern research has suggested that it was more likely to have originally represented an ancient cometary display in the sky(c), explaining the ubiquity of the symbol around the world. Fernando Coimbra wrote a paper(h)on this subject in 2011.
In 1896, the Smithsonian Institution published an extensive paper by Thomas Wilson (1832-1902), a curator at the U.S. National Museum, demonstrating the global spread of the swastika symbol.
Another site demonstrates the widespread use of the swastika and its variants in commercial iconography(d). In April 2014, a well-illustrated report(k) revealed that a 7,000-year-old piece of pottery with a swastika on it was discovered in Bulgaria.
I recall that my native Dublin had a firm, founded in 1912 by a Mr. Brittain, called the Swastika Laundry, which had their vans liveried in bright red with a white swastika on a black background. The business lasted into the 1960s. However, the use of the swastika in Ireland goes back much further, perhaps to pre-Christian times. St. Brigid, one of Ireland’s patron saints, is generally thought to be a Christianised version of the Celtic goddess Brighid. St.Brigid’s Cross, a popular symbol of the saint found all over Ireland, is considered to be a variant of the swastika. One Indian gentleman was amazed when he encountered a swastika inside the Catholic church at Ballintubber Abbey in Co. Mayo(s).
James Churchward claimed that the swastika was a symbol of his invented civilisation, Mu, while Robert Stacy-Judd speculated[607.243] that it had originated in Atlantis. Others have attempted(e) to link the swastika and its presentation in red, white and black to be in some way connected with Plato’s reference to the colours of the rocks found in Atlantis. In a 1959 article in Sykes’ Atlantis magazine by Arthur Louis Joquel II declared(o) that the swastika had been the symbol of Atlantis! No evidence was offered.
Leaving conjecture aside it can be demonstrated that the swastika was an ancient Hindu symbol and also used in the Indus Valley civilisation(b). In fact, the use of the swastika has now been traced back to circa 10,000 BC. This image is included in the incredibly well-illustrated lecture by Robert M. Chapple, which also includes a large section with many images of swastikas used from early Christian times in Ireland until the present(r).
While Heinrich Schliemann was excavating Troy at Hissarlik, he discovered many hundreds of swastikas throughout the site and was responsible for bringing what had been, until then, a benign symbol back to Germany, where it was later hijacked by the Nazis and came to represent oppression(n).
The long honourable history of the swastika should not be erased because of its abuse at the hands of the Nazis. The residents of Swastika in Ontario, have for decades steadfastly refused to change the name of their community, which has been in use since 1907.
In 1925, the people of Panama’s indigenous province of Guna Yala adopted a flag having a black left-facing swastika, said to represent the four directions and the creation of the world(p). Also in the Americas, Gary A. David has highlighted the use of the swastika in a more benign way by the Hopi of northern Arizona along with its innocent use in other cultures including the Minoans, as well as in 20th century USA(q).
Jacques Gossart wrote a book on the history of the swastika and in Denys Eissart’s now inactive website, L’épopée atlante (The Atlantis Epic) he devoted a page to a discussion on the subject(a). More recently Richard Cassaro has published two articles(f)(g) highlighting the extensive use of the swastika. The articles are well illustrated including some fascinating images. He also attempts, unsuccessfully in my view, to suggest a link between the swastika and Atlantis. A Reclaim the Swastika website(j) is campaigning for the promotion of the swastika as a spiritual symbol as it had been in the past.
A number of large swastika-shaped features have been spotted from the air(m). In 2007 it was announced(t) that “The Navy plans to spend $600,000 for ‘camouflage’ landscaping and rooftop adjustments so that 1960s-era barracks at the Naval Base Coronado near San Diego will no longer look like a Nazi swastika from the air.”
(o) Atlantis, Vol.12, No.3, March/April 1959.
(t) The New York Times, Sept. 27 2007