J. Rufus Fears
J. Rufus Fears (1945-2012) was an American historian at Oklahoma University and a contributor to the well-known Atlantis: Fact or Fiction edited by Edwin S. Ramage. Fears is quoted by Andrew Collins[0072.41] for his criticism of the Minoan Hypothesis where he states that: “It is disturbing that, in the last quarter of the 20thcentury, serious scholarship is still called upon to debate the possibility that Plato’s Atlantis is a remembrance of Minoan Crete. Even at a superficial glance, the equation of Atlantis with Minoan Crete is revealed as a tissuework of fabrications, a flimsy house of cards, constructed by piling dubious hypothesis upon pure speculation, cementing them together with false and misleading statements and with specious reasoning.” While I feel that Fears was a little too harsh, I agree that the Minoan Hypothesis require some industrial strength shoe-horning of Plato’s data to give the idea any traction.
Keftiu and biblical Caphtor, which means ‘pillar’ in Hebrew, are usually considered to refer to the same place. It is implied in Jeremiah 47.4 that Caphtor was an island. There is also a number of commentators, including a Bruce Wayne(d) and Alex Hawk(e), who take Keftiu to be another name for Minoan Crete and equate it with Atlantis. Robert Ishoy considers nuragic Sardinia as Keftiu/Atlantis(b).
Some others have been in favour of identifying Keftiu with Cyprus among whom Immanuel Velikovsky argued that if Cyprus was not Keftiu, then it is the only island of any importance in the eastern Mediterranean not mentioned by the Egyptians. However, the corollary of that is that if Crete was not Keftiu, then it is the only large island in the Eastern Mediterranean not mentioned by the Egyptians!
Caphtor/Keftiu: A New Investigation by John Strange also supports this identification with Cyprus.
Walter Baucum claimed that “Keftiu was the coastline from Tyre northwards to Anatolia, and included the islands of Crete and Cyprus[183.107]. Manuel Robbins has concluded[856.336] that the most likely location for Keftiu was either Cyprus, Syria or Eastern Anatolia, but that it is essentially a mystery.
Although Plato was the first to use the term “Atlantis”, there are antecedents to his legend of a drowned civilisation. There is an Egyptian legend, which Solon probably heard while travelling in Egypt, and was passed down to Plato years later. It concerns the island nation of Keftiu, home to one of the four pillars that held up the sky. It was said to be a glorious advanced civilization, which was destroyed and sank beneath the ocean. It has been suggested that Plato embellished Solon’s story from “the land of the four pillars that held up the sky” into “the land of the Titan, Atlas, who held up the sky”. The Egyptian legend refers to an island west of Egypt, but not necessarily west of the Mediterranean. It may be relevant to point here that Crete is more northerly of Egypt whereas some of the suggested Atlantis locations such as the Maltese Islands or Sardinia are in fact located westward.
It seems that the debate(a) regarding the identification of Keftiu is set to continue for some time.
*Muddying the waters further is a serious claim of a Minoan connection with Japan(c) with a particular reference to Linear A!*