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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James Mavor

Finley, Moses I.

Moses I. Finley, originally Finkelstein (1912–1986) was an American-born British academic. He moved to England in 1955, where he developed as a classical scholar and eventually became Master of Darwin College, Cambridge. He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth in 1979.

In common with a number of archaeologists and historians at the time, Finley maintained that none of the events in Homer’s works are historical, particularly in his book, The World of Odysseus [1139] and was highly critical of Michael Wood’s In Search of the Trojan War  [1141] when it first appeared in 1984, four years before modern archaeology was undertaken at the Hissarlik site.(a) 

>Finley in chapter two of his Aspects of Antiquity [1953] listed a number of weaknesses in Schliemann’s identification of Hissarlik as Homer’s Troy. Some of his more important points are summarized here(f).

“Schliemann’s “Troy” site had been over the ages razed and rebuilt many times, and the various rebuildings are commonly referred to by numbered names such as “Troy I” or “Troy VIIa”.

Schliemann’s “Troy” site has only one stage of its history that has any resemblance to Greece. That is Troy VIIa, which contains pottery shards and other evidence that it had contact with Greece. All the other “Troy” ruins at Schliemann’s site have no remains that even suggest they ever had contact with the greeks.

Troy VIIa is actually one of the smallest constructions at Schliemann’s “Troy” site. To quote Finley: ‘a shabby, impoverished huddled in one small sector of the ridge, as unlike the Homeric picture of the large and wealthy city of Priam as one could imagine.’

Schliemann’s great treasures which are held to prove his site was a country of vast power and influence, were found at Troy II. Troy II dates to 2500-2200 bc, long predating the greeks.

In fact, Finley contends on pages 37-38 of his book that our historical concept of the greeks of the Homeric age being a continental power capable of staging such a massive expedition is based wholely upon the description of it as such in The Illiad, and not upon archaeological evidence from the greek civilizations of the Homeric era. In other words, rather than the undeniable existence of the Achaean empire serving as proof of the events depicted in Homer, instead, the existence of the Achaean Greek empire is based solely upon its being mentioned in The Illiad

There are no surviving written records of the Achaeans or Trojans from the Homeric era. Both the Egyptians and the Hittites did keep historical records, legal documents, treaties, etc, that have survived for modern archaeologists to translate. Neither the Hittites nor the Pharaohs make any reference to the Achaeans or the Trojans.”<

Finley’s sceptical views went beyond the Trojan War and extended to Plato’s Atlantis. In 1969, a number of books and papers were published giving added impetus to the Minoan Hypothesis. Finley attacked James W. Mavor‘s Voyage to Atlantis [265] in The New York Review of Books (b). This evoked a response(c) from Mavor not long afterward.

In December 1969, Finley wrote a combined critical review of both Atlantis [263] by Galanopoulos & Bacon as well as J. V. Luce‘s Lost Atlantis(U.S) (The End of Atlantis, U.K.) [120] for the same publication(d), to which Galanopoulos also responded(e).

(a) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historicity_of_the_Homeric_epics

(b) Wayback Machine (archive.org)

(c) https://www.nybooks.com/articles/1969/12/04/back-to-atlantis-again/

(d) Back to Atlantis | by M.I. Finley | The New York Review of Books (archive.org)

(e) The End of Atlantis | by A.G. Galanopoulos | The New York Review of Books (archive.org)

(f) http://www.rbsp.info/rbs/CLONE/VGS/wilkens.html *

Mzora Stone Circle

The Mzora Stone Circle is a huge megalithic monument in Morocco and is in fact the largest stone ellipse in the world. Mzora and the Egyptian Nabta Playa site are claimed to have used the same construction methods that Alexander Thom has shown to have been used by the British megalith builders. A recent article by Sarah P. Young claims that “The circle is constructed using a Pythagorean right angled triangle with the ratios 12, 35, 37 and this is the same method used by 30 megalithic stone circles in Britain alone. Other similarities in construction and proportions exist such as the use of the so called ‘megalithic yard – a unit of measurement which seems to have been universally employed across Europe – and evidently even further afield” (g).

Mzora3

Although no formal claim has been made for any connection with Atlantis, the supporters of the idea that the megalith builders were Atlanteans see the complexity of the Mzora site as further justification for their opinion. A July 2018 paper(f) links the ancient Berbers with Mzora and as the Berbers occupied territory described by Plato as Atlantean (Timaeus 25a-b & Critias 114c), Mzora may also be legitimately described as Atlantean.

James Mavor, better known for his research at Santorini, surveyed the Mzora site in the 1970s. Bob Quinn visited the site in 1982 and was struck by its similarity with Newgrange! Robert Temple discusses the site at length in his Egyptian Dawn[736].>According to Hugh Newman in a paper on the global ubiquity of stone circles(h), he refers to Mavor’s work and notes that Mzora “appears to have been constructed either by the same culture that erected the megalithic sites in France, Britain and Ireland or by one that was intimately connected with them.”<

John E. Palmer visited and surveyed the site in 1978 and subsequently wrote an article for Kadath magazine, unfortunately in French only. He reported that extensive damage was done to the site by ‘archaeologist’ César Luis de Montalban with excavations in 1935-6(d) and that many of the stones have been broken by ignorant Islamic extremists.

In 2011, Graham Salisbury gave coordinates for the site and offers a history of Mzora in a longer article(b).

(b)  See: https://heritageaction.wordpress.com/2011/01/27/the-mysterious-moroccan-megalithic-menhirs-of-mzora/

(d) https://www.stonepages.com/news/archives/004222.html

(f) https://www.ancient-origins.net/ancient-places-africa/rich-mythology-and-megalithic-culture-ancient-berbers-lords-desert-003216

(g) https://www.ancient-origins.net/ancient-places-africa/mzora-stone-circle-0011778

>(h) https://grahamhancock.com/newmanh3/<

Linear B

Linear B is the name given to the script used in Mycenaean Greece from 1450 BC until around 1200 BC. It was deciphered in 1952 by the British architect, Michael Ventris, who found it to be based on archaic Greek. What is not generally known is that in America at the same time, classicist Alice Kober was engaged in a parallel quest but unfortunately died of cancer in 1950, before she could complete her work(b).

Edo Nyland in his Linguistic Archaeology controversially claimed that the same texts translated by Ventris using archaic Greek could also be translated using Basque! Examples are given on the University of California, Riverside website(c).

The script is similar to Linear A(a) used in Minoan Crete, which has still to be decoded. Writing disappeared from Greece in the 12th cent. BC and did not reappear until the 9th cent. BC, when an alphabetic script came into use. Those three centuries are known as the ‘Dark Ages’ of Greek history. Plato explained the lack of writing as a consequence of a catastrophic flood which left just a few illiterate ‘mountaineers’ as survivors, who orally transmitted their history until literacy returned.

The scale of Greek catastrophes during this period is indicated by the work of V.R.Desborough[908][909] who gathered comparative data on the number of population centres on the Peloponnese in the 12th and 13th centuries that shows an average drop of 80%. Spanuth lists those figures in Atlantis of the North[015.161].

Plato is often denounced by Atlantic sceptics as just a philosopher and therefore unreliable as a historian. However, in Critias, he outlines quite accurately a number of features of ancient Greece that were only verified in recent times, such as the layout and earthquake damage to the Acropolis as well as the ‘Dark Ages’ mentioned above. This is like saying that a historian cannot have valid philosophical views or a philosopher should not discuss historical matters.

It has been suggested that the Atlantis story was brought to Egypt and written in the Minoan scripts. Both employed numerals where the symbol for ‘hundred’ was very similar to that for ‘thousand’, leading to later transcription errors that eventually gave us Plato’s apparently exaggerated numbers! Both James Mavor and Rodney Castleden have advocated this explanation.

>The relevant entry in the World History Encyclopedia offers an informative overview of what we know about Linear B(d).<

(a) https://jarnaes.wordpress.com/1-minoan-crete-linear-a/

(b) https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-22782620

(c) https://web.archive.org/web/20190605060214/https://faculty.ucr.edu/~legneref/bronze/linerb.htm

(d) Linear B Script – World History Encyclopedia *

Minoan Hypothesis

The Minoan Hypothesis proposes an Eastern Mediterranean origin for Plato’s Atlantis centred on the island of Thera and/or Crete. The term ‘Minoan’ was coined by the renowned archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans after the mythic King Minos. (Sir Arthur was the son of another well-known British archaeologist, Sir John Evans). Evans thought that the Minoans had originated in Northern Egypt and came to Crete as refugees. However, recent genetic studies seem to indicate a European ancestry!

It is claimed(a) that Minoan influence extended as far as the Iberian Peninsula as early as 3000 BC and is reflected thereby what is now known as the Los Millares Culture. Minoan artefacts have also been found in the North Sea, but it is not certain if they were brought there by Minoans themselves or by middlemen. The German ethnologist, Hans Peter Duerr, has a paper on these discoveries on the Academia.edu website(e). He claims that the Minoans reached the British Isles as well as the Frisian Islands where he found artefacts with some Linear A inscriptions near the site of the old German trading town of Rungholt, destroyed by a flood in 1362(f).

The advanced shipbuilding techniques of the Minoans are claimed to have been unmatched for around 3,500 years until the 1950s (l).

The Hypothesis had its origin in 1872 when Louis Guillaume Figuier was the first to suggest [0296] a link between the Theran explosion and Plato’s Atlantis. The 1883 devastating eruption of Krakatoa inspired Auguste Nicaise, in an 1885 lecture(c) in Paris, to cite the destruction of Thera as an example of a civilisation being destroyed by a natural catastrophe, but without reference to Atlantis.

The Minoan Hypothesis proposes that the 2nd millennium BC eruption(s) of Thera brought about the destruction of Atlantis. K.T. Frost and James Baikie, in 1909 and 1910 respectively, outlined a case for identifying the Minoans with the Atlanteans, decades before the extent of the massive 2nd millennium BC Theran eruption was fully appreciated by modern science. In 1917, Edwin Balch added further support to the Hypothesis [151].

As early as April 1909, media speculation was already linking the discoveries on Crete with Atlantis(h), despite Jowett’s highly sceptical opinion.

Supporters of a Minoan Atlantis suggest that when Plato wrote of Atlantis being greater than Libya and Asia he had mistranscribed meison (between) as meizon (greater), which arguably would make sense from an Egyptian perspective as Crete is between Libya and Asia, although it is more difficult to apply this interpretation to Thera which is further north and would be more correctly described as being between Athens and Asia. Thorwald C. Franke has now offered a more rational explanation for this disputed phrase when he pointed out [0750.173] that “for Egyptians, the world of their ‘traditional’ enemies was divided in two: To the west, there were the Libyans, to the east there were the Asians. If an Egyptian scribe wanted to say, that an enemy was more dangerous than the ‘usual’ enemies, which was the case with the Sea Peoples’ invasion, then he would have most probably said, that this enemy was “more powerful than Libya and Asia put together”.

It has been ‘received wisdom’ that the Minoans were a peace-loving people, however, Dr Barry Molloy of Sheffield University has now shown that the exact opposite was true(d) and that “building on recent developments in the study of warfare in prehistoric societies, Molloy’s research reveals that war was, in fact, a defining characteristic of the Minoan society, and that warrior identity was one of the dominant expressions of male identity.”

In 1939, Spyridon Marinatos published, in Antiquity, his opinion that the eruption of Thera had led to the demise of the Minoan civilisation. However, the editors forbade him to make any reference to Atlantis. In 1951, Wilhelm Brandenstein published a Minoan Atlantis theory, echoing many of Frost’s and Marinatos’ ideas, but giving little credit to either.

However, Colin MacDonald, an archaeologist at the British School in Athens, believes that “Thira’s eruption did not directly affect Knossos. No volcanic-induced earthquake or tsunami struck the palace which, in any case, is 100 meters above sea level.” The Sept. 2019 report in Haaretz suggests it’s very possible the Minoans were taken over by another civilization and may have been attacked by the Mycenaeans, the first people to speak the Greek language and they flourished between 1650 B.C. and 1200 B.C. Archaeologists believe that the Minoan and Mycenaean civilisations gradually merged, with the Mycenaeans becoming dominant, leading to the shift in the language and writing system used in ancient Crete.

The greatest proponents of the Minoan Hypothesis were arguably A.G. Galanopoulos and Edward Bacon. Others, such as J.V. Luce and James Mavor were impressed by their arguments and even Jacques Cousteau explored the seas around Santorini, while Richard Mooney, the ‘ancient aliens’ writer, thought [0842] that the Minoan theory offered a credible solution to the Atlantis mystery. More recently Elias Stergakos has proposed in an overpriced 68-page book [1035], that Atlantis was an alliance of Aegean islands that included the Minoans.

>Moses Finley, the respected classical scholar, wrote a number of critical reviews of books published by prominent supporters of the Minoan Hypothesis, namely Luce(aa), Mavor(y)(z) as well as Galanopoulos & Bacon(aa)(ab). Some responded on the same forum, The New York Review of Books.<

Alain Moreau has expressed strong opposition to the Minoan Hypothesis in a rather caustic article(i), probably because it conflicts with his support for an Atlantic location for Atlantis. In more measured tones, Ronnie Watt has also dismissed a Minoan Atlantis, concluding that “Plato’s Atlantis happened to become like the Minoan civilisation on Theros rather than to be the Minoan civilisation on Theros.”>In 2001, Frank Joseph wrote a dismissive critique of the Minoan Hypothesis referring to Thera as an “insignificant Greek island”.(x) <

Further opposition to the Minoan Hypothesis came from R. Cedric Leonard, who has listed 18 objections(q) to the identification of the Minoans with Atlantis, keeping in mind that Leonard is an advocate of the Atlantic location for Plato’s Island.

The hypothesis remains one of the most popular ideas with the general public, although it conflicts with many elements in Plato’s story. A few examples of which are, where were the Pillars of Heracles? How could Crete/Thera support an army of one million men? Where were the elephants? There is no evidence that Crete had walled cities such as Plato described. The Minoan ships were relatively light and did not require the huge harbours described in the Atlantis story. Plato describes the Atlanteans as invading from their western base (Tim.25b & Crit.114c); Crete/Santorini are not west of either Egypt or Athens

Gavin Menzies has now attempted to become the standard-bearer for the Minoan Hypothesis. In The Lost Empire of Atlantis [0780], he argues for a vast Minoan Empire that spread throughout the Mediterranean and even discovered America [p.245]. He goes further and claims that they were the exploiters of the vast Michigan copper reserves, which they floated down the Mississippi for processing before exporting it to feed the needs of the Mediterranean Bronze industry. He also accepts Hans Peter Duerr’s evidence that the Minoans visited Germany, regularly [p.207].

Tassos Kafantaris has also linked the Minoans with the exploitation of the Michigan copper, in his paper, Minoan Colonies in America?(k) He claims to expand on the work of Menzies, Mariolakos and Kontaratos. Another Greek Professor, Minas Tsikritsis, also supports the idea of ancient Greek contact with America. However, I think it is more likely that the Minoans obtained their copper from Cyprus, whose name, after all, comes from the Greek word for copper.

Oliver D. Smith has charted the rise and decline in support for the Minoan Hypothesis in a 2020 paper entitled Atlantis and the Minoans(u).

Frank Joseph has criticised [0802.144] the promotion of the Minoan Hypothesis by Greek archaeologists as an expression of nationalism rather than genuine scientific enquiry. This seems to ignore the fact that Figuier was French, Frost, Baikie and Bacon were British, Luce was Irish and Mavor was American. Furthermore, as a former leading American Nazi, I find it ironic that Joseph,>a former American Nazi leader,<is preaching about the shortcomings of nationalism.

While the suggestion of an American connection may seem far-fetched, it would seem mundane when compared with a serious attempt to link the Minoans with the Japanese, based on a study(o) of the possible language expressed by the Linear A script. Gretchen Leonhardt(r) also sought a solution in the East, offering a proto-Japanese origin for the script, a theory refuted by Yurii Mosenkis(s), who promotes Minoan Linear A as proto-Greek. Mosenkis has published several papers on the Academia.edu website relating to Linear A(t). However, writing was not the only cultural similarity claimed to link the Minoans and the Japanese offered by Leonhardt.

Furthermore, Crete has quite clearly not sunk beneath the waves. Henry Eichner commented, most tellingly, that if Plato’s Atlantis was a reference to Crete, why did he not just say so? After all, in regional terms, ‘it was just down the road’. The late Philip Coppens was also strongly opposed to the Minoan Hypothesis.(g)

Eberhard Zangger, who favours Troy as Atlantis, disagrees strongly [0484] with the idea that the Theran explosion was responsible for the 1500 BC collapse of the ‘New Palace’ civilisation.

Excavations on Thera have revealed very few bodies resulting from the 2nd millennium BC eruptions there. The understandable conclusion was that pre-eruption rumblings gave most of the inhabitants time to escape. Later, Therans founded a colony in Cyrene in North Africa, where you would expect that tales of the devastation would have been included in their folklore. However, Eumelos of Cyrene, originally a Theran, opted for the region of Malta as the remnants of Atlantis. How could he have been unaware of the famous history of his family’s homeland?

A 2008 documentary, Sinking Atlantis, looked at the demise of the Minoan civilisation(b). James Thomas has published an extensive study of the Bronze Age, with particular reference to the Sea Peoples and the Minoans(j).

In February 2020, art historian and museum educator, Roger Dell, presented an illustrated lecture on the art and religion of the Minoans titled “How the Matriarchal Minoans Began Western Civilization; And Why They Disappeared,” which offered a new dimension to our understanding of their culture(p).

More extreme is the theory of L. M. Dumizulu, who offers an Afrocentric view of Atlantis. He claims that Thera was part of Atlantis and that the Minoans were black!(m)

In 2019, Nick Austin attempted [1661] to add further support to the idea of Atlantis on Crete, but, in my opinion, he failed. The following year, Sean Welsh also tried to revive the Minoan Hypothesis in his book Apocalypse [1874], placing the Atlantean capital on Santorini, which was destroyed when the island erupted around 1600 BC. He further claims that the ensuing tsunami led to the biblical story of the Deluge.

Evan Hadingham published a paper(v) in 2008 in which he discussed the possibility that the Minoan civilisation was wiped out by the tsunami generated by the eruption(s) of Thera. Then, seven years later he produced a second paper(w) exonerating the tsunami based on new evidence or lack of it.

(a) http://www.minoanatlantis.com/Minoan_Spain.php

(b) http://video.pbs.org/video/1204753806/

(c) http://fr.wikisource.org/wiki/Les_Terres_disparues

(d) http://www.sci-news.com/archaeology/article00826.html

(e) See: Archive 3928

(f) http://dienekes.blogspot.ie/2008/08/minoans-in-germany.html

(g) https://web.archive.org/web/20180128190713/http://philipcoppens.com/lectures.php (June 3, 2011) 

(h) http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/97440192?searchTerm=Atlantis discovered&searchLimits=sortby=dateAsc

(i) https://web.archive.org/web/20200211184140/http://www.mondenouveau.fr/continents-disparus-les-fausses-atlantides-de-santorin-partie-2/

(j) https://medium.com/the-bronze-age

(k) https://www.scribd.com/document/161156089/Minoan-Colonies-in-America

(l) http://www.ancient-origins.net/history/3500-year-old-advanced-minoan-technology-lost-art-not-seen-again-until-1950s-009899 

(m) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QqTQeF2gLpg

(n) https://www.haaretz.com/world-news/.premium.MAGAZINE-ancient-tablets-may-reveal-what-destroyed-minoan-civilization-1.7809371

(o) Archive 3930 | (atlantipedia.ie)

(p) https://knox.villagesoup.com/p/dell-lectures-on-ancient-greek-matriarchal-culture/1850079

(q) https://web.archive.org/web/20170113234434/http://www.atlantisquest.com/Minoan.html

(r) https://konosos.net/2011/12/12/similarities-between-the-minoan-and-the-japanese-cultures/

(s) Gretchen Leonhardt is up against some stiff competition from Urii Mosenkis concerning her so-called proto-Japanese origins of Minoan Linear A | Minoan Linear A, Linear B, Knossos & Mycenae (archive.org)

(t) https://www.academia.edu/31443689/Researchers_of_Greek_Linear_A

(u) https://www.academia.edu/43892310/Atlantis_and_the_Minoans

(v) Did a Tsunami Wipe Out a Cradle of Western Civilization? | Discover Magazine 

(w) https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/article/megatsunami-may-wiped-europes-first-great-civilization/ 

(x) Atlantis Rising magazine #27  http://pdfarchive.info/index.php?pages/At  

(y) Wayback Machine (archive.org)

(z) https://www.nybooks.com/articles/1969/12/04/back-to-atlantis-again/

(aa) Back to Atlantis | by M.I. Finley | The New York Review of Books (archive.org)

(ab) The End of Atlantis | by A.G. Galanopoulos | The New York Review of Books (archive.org)

Factor Ten

Factor Ten is a term I have employed to describe the fact that so many of the numbers in Plato’s Atlantis story, referring to time, physical dimensions and population all appear to be exaggerations, but would be more credible if reduced by a factor of ten. The date of 9600 BC for a war between Atlantis and Athens is not compatible with the Bronze Age description given by Plato, the dimensions of the canals in the city of Atlantis suggest a profligate degree of over-engineering and the size of the Atlantean army, as recorded, is comparable to the numerical strength of today’s USA’s military. On top of that, there is no archaeological evidence to support the idea of Athens having anything more than a Stone Age culture in the 10th millennium BC.

Dr A. G. Galanopoulos, who spent years excavating on Santorini, alsosuggested that all numbers in the thousands in Plato’s text were exaggerated, during translation, by a factor of ten. One can be forgiven for thinking that he was prompted to do this in order to match Atlantis to the timeframe of the Theran eruption, which occurred about 900 years before Solon’s Egyptian trip. However, J. V. Luce and Dorothy Vitaliano have refuted this idea.

A more frequently suggested explanation for the conflict between the 9,000 years given by Plato and the Bronze Age backdrop is that a lunar rather than a solar calendar was utilised by the Egyptian priests which would bring the two elements more into phase. So perhaps ‘Factor Twelve’ might be a more appropriate appellation.

Eudoxus of Cnidos (c.408-355 BC) who also studied astronomy with the priests of Heliopolis in Greece was one of the first to suggest that the Ancient Egyptians used lunar cycles to measure time. The idea was later endorsed by the Egyptian priest Manetho, Plutarch and Diodorus Siculus. Centuries later, Francisco Cervantes de Salazar (1514-1575) in his Crónica de la Nueva España[1517] he was a firm supporter of the idea of interpreting Plato’s 9,000 ‘years’ as lunar cycles, echoing the earlier statement of Eudoxus. A year later Olof Rudbeck proposed the same explanation.

However, while the substitution of solar years with lunar cycles would give a date for the Atlantean war that is more compatible with conventional archaeology, it still leaves the apparently inflated dimensions and military numbers recorded by Plato, unexplained. Since all of Plato’s numbers, in the Atlantis narrative appear to be overstated by a similar amount  it would seem appropriate to invoke the application of Occam’s Razor(c), which leads to an exaggeration by a factor of ten as the most likely explanation!

The use of lunar rather than solar units might explain the unrealistic ages ascribed to biblical characters such as Adam, Methuselah, or Noah although close study does not address all the difficulties. Similar problems exist with the length of the reign of individual  Sumerian kings. My belief is that a common explanation will eventually be found to rationalise both sets of anomalies. The answer will probably include the application of the Sumerian use of a numeric base of 60, coupled with lunar, solar and the Egyptian use of three seasonal ‘years’ per solar year. Zoltán Simon has claimed that the ages of the patriarchs were calculated using 90-day ‘years’[0549.7].

A number of suggestions have been put forward to explain how Plato’s exaggerated numbers came to be. Georgeos Diaz-Montexanocontends that it was not any confusion over hieroglyphics that led to the a tenfold exaggeration of numbers but the fact that in the spoken language of the Egyptians 100 and 1000 can be easily confused.

What may be of relevance is the fact that the Cretan scripts known as Linear A and Linear B use similar numbering signs. The number 100 is designated by a circle whereas 1000 is a circle with four nipples known as excrescences at the cardinal points. Both James Mavor and Rodney Castleden have advocated the idea that it was a misreading of these Minoan numerals that led to Plato recording hundreds as ‘thousands’.

Another reason for considering a factor ten error in Plato’s numbers may be drawn from the Chicago Demotic Dictionary, which has been developed over the past three decades at the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago. It is edited by Professor Janet H. Johnson and is concerned with the ancient Egyptian cursive script in use from circa 650 BC, which is around the time of Solon, until the 5th century AD. Their website reveals that the cursive numerals for hundreds only differ from thousands by having longer tails(b) . I note that Johnson also records “that thousands sometimes had longer tails than expected”(p.23). This offers another credible explanation for how a transcription error could increase numbers by a factor of ten, which would bring Plato’s dates into conformity with other details in his Atlantis story, namely the Bronze Age milieu so clearly described there.

I also note that the Greeks had no zero or decimal point in their number system, making this kind of tenfold mistake quite a credible one(a).

(a)  Maverick Email Report: 31-May-2002 (archive.org) *

(b) https://oi.uchicago.edu/pdf/09_10_CDD.pdf

(c) https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Occam%27s%20razor

Deucalion, Flood of

The Flood of Deucalion is recorded in Greek mythology in terms that are reminiscent of the biblical Deluge. Prometheus the brother of Atlas the Titan, warned his son Deucalion to build an ark and fill it with all he needed. Rain fell ceaselessly, flooding valleys, submerging cities, destroying all people and leaving just some mountain peaks to be seen above the sea. After nine days the rain stopped and Deucalion and his wife Pyrrha emerged and produced the ancestors of the Greeks.

Ogyges was the founder and king of Thebes whose reign was ended by a flood that covered ‘the whole world’ and so devastated Thebes that it remained without a king until the reign of Cecrops. It is still something of an open question whether the Flood of Deucalion and the Flood of Ogyges are identical or not, although it seems more likely that they were separate events (see Mosenkis below).

The Arcus-Atlantis website notes “that Aristotle, while agreeing in many respects with the Platonic notion of survivors of catastrophes, envisaged the flood of Deucalion as a relatively small-scale affair limited to one part of the Greek world:The deluge in the time of Deucalion, for instance, took place chiefly in the Greek world and in it, especially about ancient Hellas, the country about Dodona and the Achelous, a river which has often changed its course. Here the Selli dwelt and those who were formerly called Graeci and now Hellenes.
– Aristotle, Meteorology [1.14].”
(i)

J. G. Bennett has pointed out(a) that a fractured marble pillar, discovered on the Greek island of Paros and known as the Parian Marble, records important events in early Greek history including lists of the early kings, including Deucalion who is noted to have reigned at the same time as the Egyptian Pharaoh Thutmose III (1504-1450 BC). It records his reign as having been 700 years before the first Olympiad, which itself is dated to 778 BC, thus giving a date for the flood named after him to around 1478 BC, This period coincides with the biblical Exodus and the eruption of Santorini. Orosius, a 5thcentury AD writer, placed the Flood of Deucalion 810 years before the foundation of Rome giving it a date broadly around 1500 BC. This is suspiciously close to the date accepted by most archaeologists for the great eruption of Thera.

James Mavor also commented that “the flood of Deucalion, a natural event, was certainly caused by some massive tectonic commotion. This earth- and sea-shaking catastrophe has been at least roughly dated. From several sources, the Deucalion flood can be set approximately between 1519 and 1382 BC. That these dates straddle those of the cataclysmic activity of Thera, as based on archaeological evidence, lends credence to the relation of the Deucalion flood to Thera.” [265.66]

Ukrainian professor Iurii 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).” (h)

Giovanni Rinaldo Carli quotes Clement of Alexandria (150-215 AD) who notes that Stenelas (Sthenelus), father of Cydas (Cycnus) the king of the Ligurians, lived at the same time as the fire of Phaëton and the Flood of Deucalion. This is probably one of the earliest references suggesting a linkage between these two catastrophic 2nd millennium BC events.

Siegfried and Christian Schoppe have assumed that ” the Flood of Deukalion is identical with the Flood of Atlantis – although the Egyptian priest denies this.” (c)

Emilio Spedicato has also linked the Flood of Deucalion with the Exodus and dates them to 1447 BC(f)(g). However, he believes that these events followed the explosion of a comet or asteroid over southern Denmark. He presented three papers to the 2005 Atlantis Conference on the subject of Deucalion’s Flood and Phaeton[629.115].

The work[280] of Finkelstein and Silberman has recently cast doubts over the historical reality of the Exodus, but of course, this does not affect the reality of the Flood of Deucalion. It is odd that with such a sceptical view of Bible history that it was announced in February 2017(b) that Finkelstein is to start a search for the Ark of the Covenant.

David Rohl, a leading advocate for a drastic revision downwards of the dates of many events in ancient Egyptian history by at least three hundred years, has concluded that Deucalion’s Flood occurred during the reign of Thutmose III[232] and most controversially that it was concurrent with the eruption of Thera and its consequent tsunami. According to Rohl’s ‘New Chronology’, this would place the Flood at around 1100 BC rather than the conventionally accepted date of circa 1450 BC.

Over the last couple of millennia, something of a consensus has emerged that the Flood of Deucalion occurred in the middle of the second millennium BC. This leaves supporters of an early date for Atlantis obliged to produce evidence of a comparable catastrophe around 9600 BC, a task compounded by the probable erosion of any such evidence during the passage of such a considerable period.

Nevertheless, it is worth noting that a short paper by Roula Papageoriou-Haska proposed that geological evidence together with Herodotus’ (Bk 7.129) description of the emptying of the lake of Thessaly supports a possible date of about 10,000 BC!(d)(e)

We can expect this particular debate to run for some time yet.

(ahttps://www.systematics.org/journal/vol1-2/geophysics/systematics-vol1-no2-127-156.htm#9

(b) https://mysteriousuniverse.org/2017/02/new-search-begins-for-the-ark-of-the-covenant/

(c) https://web.archive.org/web/20190819053842/http:/www.black-sea-atlantis.com/schoppe.pdf *

(d) http://www.greece.org/poseidon/work/argonautika/cosmo1_1.html

(e) http://www.greece.org/poseidon/work/argonautika/cosmo1.html

(f) The-Deucalion-catastrophe.pdf (atlantis.fyi) 

(g) LA CATASTROFE DI DEUCALIONE E IL PASSAGGIO DEL MAR ROSSO (2008-paris-conference.org)

(h)  https://www.academia.edu/28737349/HIGH_PRECISION_ASTRONOMICAL_CHRONOLOGY_OF_ENEOLITHIC_BRONZEGREECE

(i) The Phaethon myth and ancient catastrophism (arcus-atlantis.org.uk)

Crete

Crete was until recently thought to have been first settled around 7000 BC. However, excavations at nine sites in 2008 and 2009 have revealed double-edged hand axes dated to “at least” 130,000 years ago. This discovery has suggested(a) that Stone Age man had developed seafaring abilities.

There is a general consensus Crete was known as Keftiu by the ancient Egyptians.

Sir Arthur Evans, knighted for his archaeological finds on Crete, excavated at Knossos from 1900-1905 leading to the discovery of the famous ‘palace’ there. Evans saw Knossos as an administrative centre although it had no defensive features, which might be expected. In the 1970’s Hans Georg Wunderlich (1928-1974) following the views of Oswald Spengler, proposed in The Secret of Crete[826] , that the ‘palace’ was in fact a mortuary temple. This idea has more recently been considered by the late Philip Coppens(c).

As early as 1910 the Rev. James Baikie suggested Crete as the location of Atlantis. A year earlier K.T. Frost outlined parallels between Atlantis and the Minoan empire. In the 1920’s Joseph McCabe a former Catholic priest was also convinced that Crete was the location of Atlantis. More decades were to pass before Dr Angelos Galanopoulos developed the idea further[0263][0264]. There has been doubt that the decline of the Minoan civilisation in the 2nd millennium BC was linked with Theran explosion. Nevertheless, Bacon and Galanopoulos admit that a Minoan explanation for the Atlantis story ‘is correct in all points’ except date, dimensions and location of ‘Pillars’! Many commentators have added reasons to support the Minoan Hypothesis.

 

Crete3James Mavor records[265] how a stone was discovered on Thera with the name Eumelos inscribed on it in archaic Greek. However, it would be unwise to read too much into a single isolated object.

J. V. Luce lists a number of interesting similarities between Crete and Plato’s description of Atlantis[120].

*Atlantis was the way to other islands. This is an accurate description of Crete as the gateway to the Cyclades and Greece.

*The palace of the Atlanteans is on a low hill 50 stadia inland and near to a fertile plain is a good description of Knossos.

*The description of the land fits perfectly with the southern coast of Crete.

*There were bulls hunted without weapons, which is characteristic of Minoan Crete.

*The construction of the buildings matches Knossos.

Rodney Castleden[0225] uses statistics to demonstrate that Minoan Crete was closer to Plato’s description of Atlantis than previously thought.

Marjorie Braymer[198] highlights the fact that the Cretan Mesara Plain is oblong in shape and one tenth of the dimensions of the plain mentioned by Plato. A fact that gains in importance if a tenfold exaggeration of the dimensions by Plato is accepted.

J. G. Bennett has gone further and argued strongly for a linkage of the destruction of Minoan civilisation, with the Flood of Deucalion, the Biblical Exodus and the obliteration of Plato’s Atlantis. Bennett quotes Plato’s Laws (705.15), which speaks of a significant migration from Crete, as evidence for a major catastrophe on the island.

In April 2004, a BBC Timewatch programme looked at a possible link between Crete and Atlantis focussing on evidence of ancient tsunami damage on the island that they linked to the eruption of Thera. This idea has been refuted by W. Shepard Baird who offers a pyroclastic surge as a more credible explanation(b). In 2010, the BBC broadcast another documentary supporting the Minoan Hypothesis, although not very convincingly in the opinion of this compiler.

On the other hand, Peter James points out that there is no connection in Greek mythology between Crete and Atlas. Further objections include the fact that no ancient canals have been found on Crete, the island did not sink and the failure of Plato to simply name Crete as the location of his Atlantis,*even though it was well-known to the mainland Greeks.*

Recently Gavin Menzies has, unsuccessfully, in my view, attempted to breathe new life into the Minoan Hypothesis in The Lost Empire of Atlantis.

An even less impressive effort to support a Minoan Atlantis is a slender work  by Lee R. Kerr entitled Griffin Quest – Investigating Atlantis [807], who also published an equally useless sequel, Atlantis of the Minoans and Celts[1104].

(a)  https://www.stonepages.com/news/archives/003678.html

(b) https://www.minoanatlantis.com/Sinking_Atlantis_Myth.php

(c) https://www.philipcoppens.com/crete_dead.html (offline Mar. 2018 see Archive 2133)

(d) https://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/204059231?searchTerm=Atlantis discovered&searchLimits=

Mavor, James Watt

James Watt Mavor Jnr. (1923-2006) was an American who worked for the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI). He helped build Alvin, the mini-sub that recovered the lost H-bomb off Spain some years ago. He spent several years cruising Santorini’s central bay in the research ship Chain, using sonar to map the bottom of the bay and bringing up evidence of the civilisation destroyed by the volcanic explosion in the second millennium BC. Unfortunately, following his second expedition to Thera, Mavor was asked to not return because he was stealing attention from the Greek archaeologist working on the project, Spyridon Marinatos.

James MavorMavor keenly supported Thera as the site of Atlantis and outlined his research and conclusions in his 1969 book, Voyage to Atlantis[265]. A critical review(b) by Sir Moses Finley (1912-1986) evoked a response(c) from Mavor not long afterwards.

After retiring from WHOI in 1980, he devoted himself to researching and writing about ancient history, anthropology, and archaeoastronomy.

Mavor has also surveyed the huge megalithic site of Mezorah (Mzora, Msoura), situated about 27 km from Lixus in Morocco. It is claimed to be the largest megalithic ellipse in the world.

>According to Hugh Newman in a paper on the global ubiquity of stone circles(d), he refers to Mavor’s work and notes that Mzora “appears to have been constructed either by the same culture that erected the megalithic sites in France, Britain and Ireland or by one that was intimately connected with them.”<

Robert Temple has commented extensively on Mezorah in his Egyptian Dawn[736]. A recent website supports the view that both Mezorah and Nabta Playa were constructed in conformity with the geometry employed in the construction of some British stone circles(a).

(a) https://www.stonepages.com/news/archives/004222.html

(b) https://www.nybooks.com/articles/1969/05/22/atlantis-or-bust/

(c) https://www.nybooks.com/articles/1969/12/04/back-to-atlantis-again/

>(d) https://grahamhancock.com/newmanh3/<

 

Ellis, Richard

Richard Ellis is the author of a number of books on the oceans as well as being a distinguished marine artist. In his dissertationrichard llis[288]on Atlantis he consigns Plato’s story to the realms of fantasy and he discusses the efforts of both serious investigators such as James Mavor and Jacques Cousteau and also the ramblings of spiritualists like Rudolf Steiner. He concludes that one group is simply misled while the other is misleading.

The greater part of the book is devoted to a discussion of the possible link between the eruption of Santorini in the second millennium BC and Atlantis. This, presumably, is due to the prominence that this particular theory had achieved in the popular media at that time..

Understandably, while sceptics have given the book an enthusiastic welcome, others have taken a more critical stance.

*Some years later, Ellis published Encyclopedia of the Sea, a comprehensive, but concise review of all things maritime, generously illustrated by the author.*

 

Cousteau, Jacques-Yves

cousteauJacques-Yves Cousteau (1910-1997) the famous oceanographer, was also drawn to the Atlantis mystery. In 1967 he was due to join Spyridon Marinatos and James Mavor in an expedition to Santorini but the onset of the Arab-Israeli war prevented him from bringing his famous ship Calypso through the Suez Canal. He later did explore the eastern Mediterranean and subsequently, in collaboration with Yves Paccalet, wrote his contribution[246] to the Atlantis issue, in which he relates his investigation of the sea around Santorini.

In late 1975 and all through 1976 Cousteau crisscrossed the Eastern Mediterranean in preparation in preparation for a television program ‘In Search of Atlantis – Lost Civilization’. His search for Atlantis also revealed unexpected underwater stone formations off Crete.

A 1976 newspaper report(c) described Cousteau as having ‘debunked’ the reality of Atlantis, after his thirteen months of exploration in the Aegean.

This may be overstating it somewhat, but Martin Ebon is quite clear that Cousteau did not conclude that Atlantis, as such, actually existed [286.36]. While Cousteau may not have believed in the reality of Atlantis, it seems to me that he did believe in the reality of the funding that Atlantis interest provided!>He was also happy to publish A la recherche de L’Atlantide[246] a book about his unsuccessful search for Atlantis.<

A 1978 TV documentary, Calypso’s Search for Atlantis, is widely available, and most of it can be seen on YouTube(a)(b).

(a) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZkDjbWuNzA

(b) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gC7EoS0GIpk

(c) https://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/131797727?searchTerm=Atlantis&searchLimits=