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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Isostatic Rebound

Jaye, Michael

Michael Jaye is Associate professor at the Naval Postgraduate School, in Monterey, California. He is a Michael Jayeconfirmed catastrophist focused on cometary impacts. In a lecture to the Geological Society of America in 2011(a) he describes two major events in the Earths history that had profound effects on the earth and the life one. The first was a double impact 65 million years ago and generally accepted to have led to the demise of the dinosaurs and the second 460,000 years ago.

In an April 2015 lecture entitled Resolving the Problem of Atlantis he expands on his original ideas(b) introducing a third event 13,000 years ago when another cometary impact brought an enormous amount of water to earth, which linked together previously disconnected seas and oceans.

At this point he introduces Atlantis or more correctly the alleged Google image of Atlantis in the Atlantic Ocean that Jaye now claims was the Plain of Atlantis. As I have previously stated, the image in questionGoogle-Earth-disappears-Atlantis-Map shows lines that would have been kilometers in width and could not have been streets and so are also too wide to have been the irrigation ditches described by Plato. The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has also debunked the silly Atlantis claims generated by these images(e). However the problem remains, that some people believe what they want to believe not what can be demonstrated.

Jaye does not accept the explanation for these anomalous lines given by Google, joining conspiracy theorists in the process. I personally think that he should stick to geology and leave the subject of Atlantis to others.

Jaye has also given me a link(c) to a video of one of his lectures. In it, one of his claims is that most of the Earth’s water is the result of a collision with an icy comet around 12,800 years ago. However, the widespread distribution of fossil fish far exceeds the areas occupied by original unconnected bodies of water suggested by Jaye. This is just one of many inaccuracies offered by him. His ideas can be read on Graham Hancock’s website(d) and his 2017 book, The Worldwide Flood [1549].

Jaye has failed to explain how his claim of a relatively recent acquisition by the Earth of most of its water, can account for the recurring Ice Ages that our planet has endured over many millions of years. Ice Age theory is well established, but according to him, the Earth would not have had enough water over that timespan to produce the glaciers that enveloped large areas of the globe, sometimes to a depth of 3 or 4 km, leading to the measurable isostatic rebound we still experience today.


(b) The Explorers Club – Events – NYC – Public Lecture Series feat. Michael Jaye ( *




Buache, Philippe

Philippe Buache (1700-1773) was a French royal geographer who produced a map of Antarctica, Baucheapparently ice free, showing the landmass being composed of two separate islands. In 1958 a seismic survey of Antarctica seemed to confirm that configuration. This begged a number of questions. How could Buache have known this, without having earlier maps available to him? How could man have drawn maps of territory covered by ice for hundreds of thousands of years? Some felt that this complemented the evidence for an ice-free Antarctica provided by the Piri Reis Map. In turn, this gave some further support to those that advocate an Antarctic location for Atlantis. However, the two maps contradict each other, which should not be the case if they were based on surveys carried out by an advanced prehistoric civilisation.

However, the weight of the present ice cap has depressed the land to such an extent that if removed, Ice Free antarcticait has been calculated that the isostatic rebound would be as much as 500 metres, which would give us a single landmass. This casts doubt on the possibility that a two-island ice-free Antarctica ever existed and consequently that the Buache Map is only speculative.

This is reinforced by the fact that “the French legends that cover the Buache Map also provide a clue as to the way the map may be read and understood. For example, the words conjecturée (conjectured) and  soupçonnée (suspected) can be found on parts of the southern continent, indicating that this landmass was not copied from some ancient map, but was a hypothesis by Buache.”(b)


Another critical review of the Buache Antarctic map is to be found on the bad archaeology website(a).



Sea-Level Changes

Sea-Level Changes. Recent years have seen the production of ever more detailed data relating to sea-level changes following the last Ice Age. In 2006 researchers discovered that the Bering Strait between Siberia and Alaska was created around 9000 BC, a thousand years earlier than previously thought.

Such changes could have had a direct bearing on the Atlantis mystery, particularly if Plato’s assertion that its inundation took place 9600 BC is true, as this would place the event at the end of the last Ice Age and the melting of the glaciers with the consequent raising of the level of the oceans. Although we are usually given the impression that this deglaciation progressed steadily it would appear that in reality the process continued at different rates and was at times temporarily reversed.

Recent studies(f) have clearly indicated that aboriginal Australians have preserved memories of the rising sea level at the end of the last Ice Age.

A 2000 report(c) from Dr Robert Baker and Professor Peter G.Flood from the University of New England in New South Wales, suggests that 4,000 years ago sea levels “may have been up to two metres higher than at present and that sea levels have risen and fallen like a roller coaster over the last 6,000 years.” I would expect that sea levels two metres higher around 2000 BC would have left archaeological evidence on a global scale. Until that is forthcoming, I would treat this claim with caution.

>Dr Robert Haworth who worked with Dr Baker endorsed the conclusions of Baker and Flood(k). A few years later Haworth found further evidence of higher temperatures and sea levels in the Sydney area 6,000 years ago(l).<

Holocene_Sea_LevelEstimates of the total change in sea levels vary between 300 and 500 ft. The most recent studies have estimated the rate of sea-level rise at an average of one metre per century punctuated by occasionally increased rates of 2.5 metres per century(a). To complicate the picture further, many areas in northern latitudes that had been depressed by the weight of the enormous ice sheets of the last Ice Age, rose considerably as a result of isostatic rebound when the glaciers melted.

There is general agreement that the raising of the sea levels had dramatic consequences worldwide. Vast landmasses, such as Sundaland, the Celtic Shelf, and in the Caribbean were totally or partially submerged, leaving many of today’s islands as remnants. Communities that had flourished in these regions during the last Ice Age must have been devastated and naturally led to the generation of myths recalling their former glory. Atlantis is assumed to be one such legend with a firm basis in reality.

Other, more controversial effects have also been proposed, such as the breaching of a landbridge that had existed between Spain and North Africa at Gibraltar and/or a similar isthmus between Sicily and Tunisia. James Bramwell reports that in the 1930s geologists spoke freely of the breaching of a Gibraltar dam around 15,000 years ago. More recently, writers such as Joseph S. Ellul, Sergio Frau and Paulino Zamarro have convincingly based their Atlantis theories on this concept. The Mediterranean sea level is discussed elsewhere.

Other writers have proposed an asteroidal or cometary impact as the cause of catastrophic flooding, but such inundations would have receded fairly rapidly. In the end, we are left with the ending of the last Ice Age as the primary cause of profound changes in the topography of our planet that probably included the submergence of one civilisation that we now refer to as Atlantis.

However, Plato introduces another detail into his Atlantis narrative, namely that following the submergence of Atlantis, it created a maritime hazard in the form of shoals. Plato wrote that “wherefore also the ocean at that spot has now become impassable and unsearchable, being blocked up by the shoal of mud which the island created as it settled down.” (Timaeus 25d). The implication of this is that the shoals still existed in either Solon’s or Plato’s lifetime. We must also keep in mind that the draft of ships, such as triremes, at that time was about a metre. The attached chart shows how between 5000 BC and the present, the rate of sea level has been relatively slow. Even allowing for any local seismic, tectonic or isostatic activity I would interpret the data to suggest two important facts; first, the flooding of Atlantis could not have taken place before 5000 BC and still be a hazard in the first millennium BC and secondly if it occurred after 5000 BC Atlantis must be still in shallow water.

Kurt Lambeck has demonstrated from a study of Roman fish pens that the sea level along the Italian coast, 2000 years ago, was 1.35 metres below today’s levels. His investigations also included a study of land elevations along the coast that may have been affected by seismic or tectonic processes and found that they had raised the land by 1.22 metres, indicating that global sea levels had risen by just 13cm over the past two millennia, most of which has occurred over the past century(d)! Lambeck’s conclusions have been severely criticised by Izabol Apulia(e).

Professor Nicholas Flemming of the University of Southampton has written extensively on the subject of sea-level changes [1682], particularly in the Mediterranean(h). A more localised study of sea-level changes around Malta during the Holocene has been produced by an Italian team led by Stefan Furlani(i).

Furthermore, if the destruction took place before 5000 BC then either Solon or Plato concocted the description of the shoals, which would have no purpose whatsoever!

Sea level changes in the Gulf of Mexico are discussed in an online pdf file(b). In the same region, there is now claimed to be evidence(g) confirming that sea levels were lower during the last Ice Age and that the Yucatan Peninsula was very much larger.

A June 2021 report(j) concluded that  Israeli sea levels rose at a relatively fast rate of 2 – 2.5 metres within 200 years between the Hellenistic and Roman periods. I am not aware of any corroboration from other sites in the region, so, lacking any such evidence, I am forced to conclude that this is more likely to have been the consequence of localised seismic activity rather than a more general rise in sea levels. On the other hand, seismic events are usually instant and not spread over centuries! Further investigation is required.





(e) See: Archive 2566



(h) (PDF) Humanity and a Million Years of Sea Level Change – Go to (



(k) Atlantis Rising magazine  # 22 p11 *

(l) *


Piri Reis Map

The Piri Reis Map (1513)(c)  was a world map drawn on a gazelle skin of which only the left-hand side still exists. It was a composite of detail gleaned from a large collection of maps, including one>allegedly captured<from Christopher Columbus(i), that were collected by Piri Ibn Haji Mehmed (1465/70–1553), an admiral or ‘reis’ in the Ottoman navy and>noted by Rand Flem-Ath as a former pirate. Flem-Ath wrote a lengthy article for Atlantis Rising magazine #38, which I have used here(k) and which contains a lot of interesting background information<

>It was discovered in 1929 in the Topkapi Palace Library in Istanbul by Gustav Deissmann (sometimes attributed to Library director Halil Edhem).

Apart from a Conference in 1931, the general public was not made aware of the map until the following year.

Piri Reis wrote on the map “It is the only chart of its kind existing now. I, personally, drew and prepared it. In preparing the map I used about twenty old charts and eight ‘Mappa Monde’ (i.e., the charts called ‘Jaferiye’ by the Arabs, and prepared at the time of Alexander the Great, in which the whole inhabited world is shown); the charts of the West Indies; and the new maps made by four Portuguese, showing the Sind, Indian, and Chinese Seas geometrically represented. I also studied the chart that Christopher Columbus drew for the West. By reducing all these charts to a single scale, I compiled the present map.”<

In 1956 a Turkish naval officer presented the map to the U.S. Navy Hydrographic Office. From there, it was first fully investigated by Captain Arlington H. Mallery, who had spent years studying ancient maps. He is now better remembered as a controversial amateur archaeologist[666]. Mallery concluded that the map accurately depicted an ice-free Antarctica.

piri reisThis map has become one of the controversial elements in the theory of an Antarctic Atlantis so strongly promoted by Rose and Rand Flem-Ath[062]. They followed the views of Charles Hapgood[369], who, having studied a range of ancient maps, were convinced that they showed parts of Antarctica as ice-free. However, the principal argument against this idea is that the removal of the massive Antarctic ice cap would have had two effects:

(i)  The consequent isostatic rebound would have altered the coastline dramatically and unpredictably.

(ii)  The melting of the icecap would have raised sea levels, producing further changes to the coastline of the exposed continent.

However, Jason Colavito has pointed out(h) that as scholars have known for decades, the segment of the map identified by Hapgood as “Antarctica” was in fact the southern part of South America, bent to fit the shape of the skin on which it was drawn.”!

Nevertheless, the late Robert Argod[065] supported the antiquity of the original maps upon which the Piri Reis Maps and other medieval charts were based and he also supported the idea of an inhabited ice-free Antarctica.

A view contrary to the Flem-Aths can be found in a recent book by Gregory McIntosh[510].  Professor Steve Dutch of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay offers a paper(b) debunking the value of the Piri Reis map, which should be read  to get a more balanced view of the controversy. Paul V.Heinrich has also added a highly critical paper with many references(a).

Professor Steven Earle uses an assignment entitled ‘Project Atlantis(g) for his geology students in order to hone their critical thinking, which focuses on the Flem-Ath’s preferred variant of Pole Shift Theory known as Crustal Displacement.

What the Piri Reis Map has done for Antarctica, the Nicolo Zeno Map of 1380 has done for Greenland which appears to show a deglaciated landmass. Features, hidden by ice but confirmed by modern seismic soundings, are shown. However, controversy has dogged the Nicolo Zeno Map as much as the Piri Reis chart.

Phillipe Buache the renowned French geographer also published a map of ice-free Antarctica in 1737, long before its recorded discovery and centuries before seismic surveys revealed the topography of the sub-glacial landmass. The source of the data for this map is so far unexplained.

In 2004, Jean-Pierre Lacroix & Robert Bywater presented a paper(d) to the International Piri Reis Symposium in which they made the radical claim that the western part of the Piri Reis map was a depiction of the outline of east and southeast Asia, rather than the Caribbean.

The ancient-origins website(e) has several papers relating to the Piri Reis Map.

The most recent studies(f) include a map showing the effects of just a partial retreat of the ice sheet, showing exposed coastlines, during the Pliocene era, which again indicates an outline of the landmass at variance with the Piri Reis Map.

>A 2021 study(j) of the Map urges caution when interpreting its details.









(i) Saudi Aramco World : Piri Reis and the Columbus Map ( 

(j) Pîrî Reis Map of 1513 · Dubious History 

(k) Atlantis Rising magazine  #38 *

Isostatic Rebound

Isostatic Rebound (Post-Glacial Rebound) is the term used to describe the ‘springing back’ of the Earth’s crust following deglaciation. Even today, many thousands of years after the last Ice Age we can detect this ‘rebound’ continuing. In parts of North America this has been measured at up to half an inch per year although this must be seen as somewhat exceptional. After the last Ice Age, parts of what is now southern and western Finland were under water but as the crust began to rise land rose above sea level and is still doing so today. Since the rate of rebound is known, archaeologists have been able to use the process to date prehistoric sites in the region. There are a number of useful website that explain the process(a)(b).



Dating Atlantis

Dating Atlantis is one of the most contentious difficulties faced by Atlantology. The critical problem is to identify the time of the Atlantean War and that of the later destruction of Atlantis itself; two events possibly separated by a period not recorded by Plato. This entry is primarily concerned with the date of the war. However, it should be pointed out that Plato also reveals that the Atlantis story has a very long history before the war, back to a time when ships and sailing did not yet exist (Crit.113e), so it is understandable when Plato filled the historical gap with mythological characters, namely five sets of twins sired by Poseidon. Of course, Poseidon being a sea god did not require a boat to get to the island of Atlantis! Plato also informs us that the twins and their descendants lived on the island for ‘many generations’ and extended their rule over many other islands in the sea (Crit.114c).

There are roughly three schools of thought regarding this important detail. The first group persist in accepting at face value Plato’s reference to a period of 9,000 solar years having elapsed since the War with  Atlantis up to the time of Solon’s visit around 550 BC. The second group are convinced that the 9,000 refers to periods other than solar years, such as lunar cycles or seasons. The third group seeks to identify the time of Atlantis by linking it to other known historical events.

While these groups offered some level of evidence, however flimsy, to support their claims, some individuals have placed Atlantis up to millions of years in the past based on nothing more than their fertile imaginations or delusions. Arguably the best known was Edgar Cayce, but purveyors of such daft ideas are still lurking among us!(m)

Desmond Lee has commented[0435] that “the Greeks, both philosophers and others…….seem to have been curiously lacking in their sense of time-dimension.”

[1.0] 9550 BC is factually correct

This view has a slowly dwindling number of supporters among serious investigators. Massimo Rapisarda is one such promoter, who has offered his reasons for accepting this early date(p). To support this early date proponents usually cite a wide range of evidence to suggest the existence of advanced cultures in the 10th millennium BC. Matters such as an earlier than conventionally accepted date for the Sphinx, early proto-alphabets a la Glozel or the apparently anomalous structures such as the Lixus foundations or the controversial Baalbek megaliths have all been recruited to support an early date for Atlantis, many, if not all, have their dates hotly disputed. Apart from the contentious dates, there is NOTHING to definitively link any of them with Plato’s Atlantis.

In common with most nations, the Egyptians competitively promoted the great antiquity of their own origins. Herodotus reports that while in Egypt he was told of a succession of kings extending over 17,000 years. The priests of Memphis told him firmly that 341 kings and a similar number of high priests had until then, ruled their country. (Herodotus, Book II, 142). Even an average reign of 20 years would give a total of nearly 7000 years whereas a more improbable 26-year average would be required to span the necessary 9000 years.

It is therefore obvious that the 17,000 years related to Herodotus is not credible raising a question regarding the trustworthiness of the 9000 years told to Solon.

In The Laws Plato refers to Egyptian art going back 10,000 years, seemingly, indicating consistency in his belief in the great antiquity of civilisation and fully compatible with his date for Atlantis. However, I have discovered that in Plato’s time ‘ten thousand’ was frequently used simply to express a large but indefinite number.

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.”(h)

The acceptance of Plato’s 9,000 years as literally correct defies both commonsense and the archaeological evidence, which demonstrates that neither Athens nor a structured Egypt existed at such an early period. The onus is on those, who accept the prima facie date of 9,600 BC, to explain how Atlantis attacked a non-existent Athens or Egypt.

In a 2021 article(h) about 10,000 BC Thorwald C. Franke offered the following opinion; “Many scientists seem to live quite comfortably with Graham Hancock and similar authors speculating about 10,000 BC because these hypotheses are so nonsensical that they do not interfere with real science. Sometimes you have the impression that many scientists even prefer such misleading popular errors over more informed hypotheses because they would make the audience ask more serious questions and then the questions could not be dismissed so easily anymore. But this is only an impression. In truth, scientists shy away from the effort to overcome these popular errors. It is much easier to stay silent and to ignore them.”

Alexandros Angelis wrote(q) of how he is “always suspicious of coincidence. Whenever I hear this word, an alarm sets off in my head. In my book ‘Our Unknown Ancient Past: Thoughts and Reflections on the Unexplained Mysteries of Prehistory’ I state that it cannot be a coincidence that Plato’s date of Atlantis’ destruction (9.600 BC) is spot on, coinciding with the abrupt end of the Younger Dryas (9.600 BC).”

When this compiler first encountered this coincidence I was also suspicious. However, as I investigated further I realised that all of Plato’s numbers seemed to be inflated by what was arguably a common factor – another coincidence? I have devoted an entire chapter in Joining the Dots to this problem.

Angelis considers the ‘rapid’ gradual melting of the ice at the end of the Younger Dryas as the cause of Atlantis’ submergence, which might have been true except that Plato tells us that the catastrophe took place over a day and a night and that the event was triggered by an earthquake. He seems unaware that isostatic rebound is a very slow process of readjustment involving centuries and sometimes thousands of years and even when glaciers melt rapidly, sea levels, because of their vastness, rise slowly.

[2.0] 9000 refers to units of time other than solar years

Advocates of this view, understandably point out, that the Atlantis described in such detail by Plato belongs to the Bronze Age and could not have existed at an earlier date. It is worth noting that the technology is coincidental with the most advanced known to Plato and his audience. For those who argue that mankind has been destroyed on one or more occasions and has had to start again from scratch, it is not credible that if this was the case, that the culture and technology described by Plato as existing in 9500 BC is precisely what he would have experienced himself. There is nothing in the Atlantis texts to connect it with a pre-Bronze Age society, nor is there anything to suggest any technology or cultural advance beyond that of the 4th century BC. Plato’s tale tells of the existence of at least three major nations before the destruction of Atlantis: Egypt, Athens and Atlantis itself. There is no archaeological evidence to indicate anything other than Neolithic cultures existing in Egypt or Athens around 9500 BC. The currently accepted date for the beginning of Egyptian civilisation is circa 3100 BC and also for the existence of a primitive culture around Athens at about the same time. This would parallel the time of the western European megalithic builders.

It is noteworthy that researchers who support a 9,600 BC date for the war between Atlantis and Athens cannot explain how this took place millennia before there was any structured society in Greece.

It may be worth noting the comments of Israel Finkelstein and Neil Silberman who have argued[280] for a 7thcentury BC date for the final draft of the Exodus narrative rather than during the 2nd millennium BC as suggested by the text“In much the same way that European illuminated manuscripts of the Middle Ages depicted Jerusalem as a European city with turrets and battlements to heighten its direct impact on contemporary readers” (p68). Similarly,  it is possible that Plato added architectural and technological details of his day to a more ancient tale of a lost civilisation to make a more powerful impression on his audience.

According to Bury’s translation, Plato mentions (Crit. 119e) that iron was used for utensils and weapons in Atlantis and so forcing us to look to a date later than 2000 BC for its destruction. Olaf Rudbeck drew attention to this reference around 1700.


Diaz-Montexano claims that the ‘9000 years’ in Critias has been mistranslated. He refers to the earliest versions of Critias that are available and insists that the texts permit a translation of either ‘9 times in a 1000 years’ or ‘1009’, the first being the more rational! Frank Joseph has also used this 1009 number, quoting private correspondence from Kenneth Caroli, in his 2015 regurgitation[1074] of Atlantis and 2012. Diaz-Montexano has also drawn attention to the commentary on Timaeus by Proclus, writing in the 5th century AD, where he treats Plato’s use of 9000 as having symbolic rather than literal meaning. It should also be kept in mind that many cultures, ancient and modern use specific numbers to indicate indefinite values(e). In a more recent paper Diaz-Montexano concluded that we can place their military and colonizing expansion towards the end of 3.500 BC, at the earliest, and the end of their civilization (with Atlantis sinking) between 2.700 and 1.700 BC.”(o)

[2.2] In June 2017, a forum on the website included the following possible explanation for the Atlantean dates:

The date 8000 is given as a fraction of 8 since the Greeks commonly used fractional notation. Plato wrote in 400 BC and Solon obtained the account in 570 BC.

No Egyptian Annals ever went back 9000 or even 8000 years. The furthest back the Egyptian annals went at the time of Herodotus was to 3050 BC to the reign of Menes the first Pharaoh who Herodotus knew about. Therefore it is obvious that the number of years has been given as a fraction which was extremely common in Greek numerology.

Thus the war between Atlantis and Athens occurred in 9000/8 + 570 = 1695 BC (+/-63 years) which is pretty close to the date of the war between the Titans and the Gods c.1685-1675 BC. The entire story of Atlantis runs concurrent to the time of the Thera Eruption. You even have 10 kings ruling the land equivalent to the 12 Titans.”

The bible too denotes years as fractions, i.e. seasons, equinoxes/solstices etc. That is why you have biblical patriarchs that lived 800 and 900 years old. The ages to Noah are all counted in Lunar months.”(i)

While I’m aware that the Egyptians also had a different way of dealing with fractions, I really cannot fully understand the suggestion made above.

 [2.3] 900, not 9000 years

To address these apparent conflicts, some have suggested that the stated 9000 years, which allegedly elapsed since the catastrophe, are the result of incorrect transcription by someone along what is a very long chain of transmission and that hundreds have somehow been confused with thousands and that the correct figure should be 900 years. Another suggestion is that the Egyptian hieroglyphics for ‘hundred’ and ‘thousand’ are easily confused. This explanation does not hold water, as there is little room for confusion between these hieroglyphics as illustrated below. This idea has been adopted by Don Ingram and incorporated into his own hypothesis.

Immanuel Velikovsky also endorsed the idea of a tenfold discrepancy in Plato’s date for the time of Atlantis in Worlds in Collision [037.152].

However, 900 years earlier than Solon would place the conflict with the Atlanteans during the XVIIIth Dynasty and would have been well recorded. More recently Diaz-Montexano put forward the idea that the Egyptian words for ‘100’ and ‘1000’ when spoken sounded similar leading to Solon’s error. This idea has now been taken up by James Nienhuis and in greater detail by R. McQuillen(a).

Another explanation offered by James W. Mavor Jnr. is that the original Egyptian story emanated from Crete where it may have been written in either the Linear A or Linear B script where the symbols for 100 and 1000 are quite similar. In both scripts, the symbol for 100 is a circle whereas the symbol for 1000 is a circle with four equally spaced small spikes or excrescences projecting outward.

Nevertheless, the most potent argument against the ‘factor ten’ solution is that if the priests did not intend to suggest that Egypt was founded 8000 years before Solon’s visit but had meant 800 years, it would place the establishment of Egypt at around 1450 BC, which is clearly at variance with undisputed archaeological evidence. However, I contend that they were referring to the establishment of Sais as a centre of importance, not the foundation of the entire nation of Egypt.

[2.4] 9000 months not years

>The earliest suggestion that I have found which implied that the age of Atlantis noted by Plato referred to months rather than solar years comes from the early fourteenth century.

Thorwald C. Franke has drawn attention to Thomas Bradwardine‘s rejection of Plato’s, or more correctly the Egyptian priest’s, apparent claim of a very early date for Atlantis [1255.242]. It seems that he found such a date conflicted with biblical chronology. In the end, he proposed that Plato’s ‘years’ were lunar cycles.<

Around two and a half centuries later in 1572 Pedro Sarmiento de Gamboa suggested the application of lunar ‘years’ rather than solar years to Plato’s figures. Augustin Zárate expressed the same view in 1577, quoting Eudoxus in support of it. 

Then there are others, such as Émile Mir Chaouat and Jürgen Hepke who subscribe to the view that the 9000 ‘years’ recorded by Plato referred to months rather than solar years, as the early Egyptians extensively used a lunar calendar and continued to use it throughout their long history, particularly for determining the dates of religious festivals and since Solon received the Atlantis story from Egyptian priests it would be understandable if they used lunar ‘years’ in their conversations. Eudoxus of Cnidos (c.400 BC- c. 350 BC), mathematician and astronomer, who spent a year in Egypt, declared, “The Egyptians reckon a month as a year”. Diodorus Siculus (1st cent. BC) echoes this statement. (see Richard A. Parker[682]) and Manetho (3rd cent.BC) (Aegyptiaca[1373.40])

Olof Rudbeck also proposed that Plato misunderstood the Greek priesthood’s use of lunar cycles rather than solar years to calculate time. This in turn led him to date the Atlantean War to 1350 BC.

This use of months rather than years would give us a total of just 750 years before Solon’s visit and so would place the Atlantis catastrophe around 1300 BC, nearly coinciding with the eruption of Thera and the collapse of the Minoan civilisation.

A similar explanation has been offered by J.Q. Jacobs to rationalise the incredible time spans found in ancient Indian literature, who suggested that numbers referred to days rather than years(b).

[2.5] 5,000 not 9,000 years

A claim was made on Graham Hancock’s website in 2008(c) that Plato did not write 9,000 but instead wrote 5,000, but that the characters for both were quite similar leading to the misunderstanding. This claim was originally made by Livezeanu Mihai. However, my reading of Greek numerals makes this improbable as 9,000 requires five characters ( one for 5,000 and one for each of the other four thousand), while 5,000 needs just the one.

Adrian Bucurescu claims that Plato originally said 5,000, not 9,000 years had elapsed between the Atlantean war and Solon’s visit to Egypt. He bases this claim on the fact that the works of the Greek philosophers were preserved in Arabic translations after the fall of Constantinople and that their numbers ‘5’ and ‘9’ were sufficiently similar to have led to a transcription error!(b) This is difficult to accept as the Arabic character for nine is rather like our ‘9’, while the Arabic five is like our zero!

[3.1] Sometime after 9500 BC.

Jonas Bergman correctly points out that according to the story related by the priests of Sais to Solon, the Egyptian civilisation was founded 1000 years after Athens was first established in 9600 BC. Although this probably just refers to the founding of the city of Sais rather than the early Egyptian state.

Plato describes the original division of the earth between the gods of old, Poseidon got Atlantis and Athena got Greece. The implication is that both were founded at the same time, namely in 9600 BC. Realistically, the 9000-year time span is better treated as an introductory literary cliché such as ‘once upon a time’ or the Irish ‘fado, fado’ (long, long ago). Plato’s text describes the building of Atlantis and informs us that no man could get to the island ‘for ships and voyages were not yet’. Since Atlantis had twelve hundred warships at the time of the conflict with Athens, the war could not have taken place in 9600 BC. The development of seafaring and shipbuilding would have taken considerable time. Bergman concludes that the war with Atlantis took place long after 9600 BC.

Another date was proposed by Otto Muck [098] in 1976 when he maintained that Atlantis had been situated in the Atlantic and was destroyed by an asteroidal impact in 8498 BC and proposed that the same event also created the Carolina Bays!

[3.2] Peter James as quoted in Francis Hitching’s The World Atlas of Mysteries[307.138] is reported to have accepted the orthodox date of 3100 BC as the start of Egyptian civilisation and considering the priest’s statement that the events outlined took place one thousand years before the creation of Egypt and so added only 500 years to compensate for nationalistic exaggeration and has concluded that 3600 BC is a more realistic date for the destruction of Atlantis.

[3.3] Early in the 20th century, the German scholar Adolf Schulten and the classicist H. Diller from Kiel, both advocated an even more radical date of around 500 BC, having identified the narrative of Plato as paralleling much of the Persian wars (500-449 BC) with the Greeks. This however would be after Solon’s trip to Egypt and have made little sense of Plato’s reference to him.

[3.4] 4015 BC is the precise date offered by Col. Alexander Braghine who credits the destruction of Atlantis to a close encounter with Halley’s Comet on the 7th June in that year. This is close to the date favoured by de Grazia.

[3.5] 3590-1850 BC has been suggested by the Czech writer Radek Brychta who has developed an ingenious idea based on the fact that the Egyptians who were so dependent on the Nile, divided their year into three seasons related to their river, the flooding, the blossom and the harvest periods. Brychta points out that counting time by seasons rather than solar years was common in the Indus civilisation that occupied part of modern Pakistan. Even today Pakistan has three seasons, cool, hot and wet. Brychta contends that the 9000 ‘years’ related to Solon were in fact seasons and should be read by us as 3000 years which when added to the date of Solon’s Egyptian visit would give an outside date of 3590 BC. If Brychta is correct this 9000 year/season corruption could easily have occurred during the transmission and translation of the story during its journey from the Indus to the Nile valley.

[3.6] 3100 BC as a date for the destruction of Atlantis has been proposed by several investigators including, David Furlong, Timo Niroma, and Duncan Steel. Hossam Aboulfotouh has proposed a similar  3070 BC as the date of Atlantis’ demise(f).

[3.7] 2200 BC is the proposed date put forward by Dr Anton Mifsud for the end of Atlantis, located in the vicinity of his native Malta. He arrived at this conclusion after studying the comments of Eumelos of Cyrene who dated the catastrophe to the reign of King Ninus of Assyria. Around the same time, in Egypt, unusually low Nile floods led to the collapse of centralised government and generations of political turmoil(f). According to some commentators(g), the Los Millares culture in Iberia also ended around the same time.

[3.8] 1200 BC is a date favoured by investigators such as Frank Joseph, Eberhard Zangger and Steven Sora. It is dependent on the acceptance of Plato’s 9000 ‘years’ being lunar rather than solar. It is worth noting that this date has also been linked to the suggested close encounter with the Phaëton comet and its destructive effects globally.

[3.9] Stelios Pavlou has taken a different approach, basing his conclusion on a close analysis of the Egyptian King Lists with particular reference to that of Manetho. Pavlou’s paper is well(l) worth studying. In the end, he contends that the time of Atlantis was in or around 4532 BC.

[4.0] More than one Atlantis!

It is not unreasonable to consider Plato’s Atlantis narrative as a literary amalgam of two or more historically based stories or myths. One possibility is that the Egyptian priests related to Solon the tale of the inundation of a powerful and advanced culture in the dim and distant past. Such an event did occur, worldwide, when the Ice Age glaciers melted, resulting, for example, in the eastern Atlantic, the flooding of the North Sea, the Celtic Shelf and dramatically reducing in size the Canaries and the Azores and creating the British Isles. The entire world was affected by this event so there were also major inundations in the West Indies and the South China Sea. However, events off the coasts of Europe and Africa would be more likely to become part of folklore on this side of the Atlantic.

Over 70 years ago, Daniel Duvillé suggested, that there had been two Atlantises, one in the Atlantic and the other in East Africa.

[5.0] My preference is to treat the use of 9000 by Solon/Plato as an expression of a large but indefinite number or an exaggeration by a factor of ten. At the beginning of my research, I strongly favoured the former, but as I proceeded to investigate other aspects of Plato’s Atlantis story, I realised that virtually all other large numbers used by him also appeared to be inflated by a comparable amount. In seeking a solution to this I found myself drawn to Occam’s Razor, which states that where there are competing theories, the simpler is to be preferred.

It is worth noting that the Egyptian hieratic numerals also stopped with the highest value, expressed by a single character, being 9000. However, having studied the matter more closely I am reluctantly drawn to the ‘factor ten’ theory. This I have written about at some length in Joining the Dots.

The 1st millennium BC saw the introduction and gradual development of new writing and numerical systems by the Greeks. Some claim that the Greeks borrowed the Egyptian numbers(k). 

At an early stage, 9000 was the highest number expressed by a single character in Greek, which in time came to be used to denote a large but uncertain value. As the needs of commerce and science demanded ever higher numbers a new character ‘M’ for myriad with a value of 10,000 was introduced. It also was used to indicate a large indefinite number, a practice that continues to this very day. Greek numerical notation was still being developed during Plato’s life.

Today, we use similar expressions such as ‘I have a million things to do’ with no intention of being taken literally, but simply to indicate ‘many’(e).  Unfortunately, this interpretation of 9,000 does little to pinpoint the date of the Atlantean war, but it is not unreasonable to attribute a value to it of something above 1,000 and possibly a multiple of it.

Diaz-Montexano has drawn attention to the writings of Proclus, who in his commentary on Timaeus declared the number 9,000 to have had a symbolic value (Timaeus 45b-f).

However, having said that, I am also attracted to the ’factor ten’ theory after a study of other numbers in the Atlantis narrative which all seem to be consistently exaggerated by a similar amount, which seems to be a factor of ten!

Andrew Collins in his Gateway to Atlantis[072.52] wrote “a gross inconsistency has crept into the account, for although Critias affirms that Athens’ aggressor came from ‘without’ the Pillars of Hercules, the actual war is here said to have taken place ‘nine thousand years’ before the date of the dialogue, c.421 BC. This implies a date in the region of 9421 BC, which is not what was stated in the Timaeus. Here 9000 years is the time that has elapsed between the foundation of Athens and Solon’s visit to Sais c. 570 BC. Since Egypt was said to have been founded a full thousand years later, and the ‘aggressor’ rose against both Athens and Egypt, it provides a date post 8570 BC. These widely differing dates leave us with a glaring anomaly that defies explanation. The only obvious solution is to accuse Plato of a certain amount of sloppiness when compiling the text.”

Collins’ suggestion of ‘sloppiness’ is made somewhat redundant if my suggestion that Plato was using 9,000 as a large but indefinite idiomatic value, could be substantiated.

The late Ulf Richter was quite unwilling to accept Plato’s 9,000 years as reliable after a close study of the relevant texts.

Others have produced evidence to suggest that this period in the Earth’s history saw one or more major catastrophic events that may or may not have been interconnected; (i) a collision or near-miss with an extraterrestrial body, (ii) a pole shift, (iii) the melting of the glaciers of the last Ice Age and the consequent raising of sea levels worldwide. This rise provides a credible mechanism that could account for the ’sinking’ of Atlantis.

Mary Settegast, an archaeological researcher, has defended the early date for Atlantis with a remarkable book[545] that delves extensively into Mediterranean and Middle Eastern prehistory and mythologies.

(a) See:













(n) Do you believe in 10,000 BC? – Atlantis-Scout