L. Taylor Hansen
George Sarantitis (1954- ) was born in Athens and is by profession an electronics engineer. He is also a serious student of Ancient Greek history and literature whose research(a) enabled him to present three papers to the 2008 Atlantis Conference. These included a revised translation of many of the keywords and phrases in Plato’s Atlantis texts. He quotes Strabo’s Geographica (18.104.22.168) to demonstrate the multiplicity of locations on offer for the Pillars of Heracles. He places Atlantis in North Africa at the Richat Structure, with the Pillars of Heracles situated in the Gulf of Gabes which formerly led to an inland sea where the chotts of Tunisia and Algeria are today, as well as a number of other lakes and rivers in what is now the Sahara.
He posits a number of large inland seas in Africa including a much larger Lake Chad. The 2014 May/June edition of Saudi Aramco World has an article(c) on the remnants of the ‘Green Sahara’, during what is known technically as the African Humid Period (9000-3000 BC). Sarantitis also claims that at one stage in the distant past Libya had been a peninsula. In a June 2015 report the University of Royal Holloway in London revealed that the size of Lake Chad was dramatically reduced in just a few hundred years(d). A similar map showing enormous inland North African lakes 13,000 years ago are included in Taylor Hansen’s The Ancient Atlantic[0527.36].
Sarantitis offers details of his theories on his extensively illustrated Plato Project website(a), which I wholeheartedly recommend readers to visit. He includes a rather technical forensic analysis of Plato’s use of myth. Sarantitis also suggests that the ‘unfinished’ Critias is in fact continued at the beginning of Homer’s Odyssey (1.32-34).
Some of Sarantitis’ sections on the Methodology of Mythology will be difficult for non-academic readers, such as myself, to fully comprehend. For me, his proposal that there were two Atlantean Wars, which took place in 9600 BC and 8600 BC(e) is extremely difficult to accept, since those wars were with Athens and Egypt that did not even exist at those dates! I find it difficult to accept this apparent abandonment of commonsense and the science of archaeology.
In 2010, Sarantitis published his theories in The Apocalypse of a Myth in Greek. Now (2017) that work has been translated into English and is currently being prepared for publication with a new title of Plato’s Atlantis: Decoding the Most Famous Myth.
There is now an extensive video clip Q & A session available on Sarantitis’ website(b).
(e) Proceedings of the 2008 Atlantis Conference[750.389](editor S.Papamarinopoulos)
Heinrich Schliemann (1822-1890) and Sir Arthur Evans famed as the discoverers of Troy and Knossos respectively are sometimes claimed to have believed in the existence of Atlantis. John Michell quotes [0704.200] the following from Schliemann; “I have come to the conclusion that Atlantis was not only a great territory between America and the west coast of Africa, but the cradle of all our civilisation as well.” This extract is from a letter that was allegedly given to his grandson, Paul Schliemann. However, the letter in question was just part of a larger hoax perpetrated in 1912.
Although Schliemann is credited with the discovery of Troy at Hissarlik in Turkey, he was not the first to suggest the site, in fact nearly a century earlier, ironically, in the year that Schliemann was born, Charles Maclaren (1782-1866), a Scot, also claimed that Hissarlik was the location of Troy in a work entitled, A Dissertation on the Topography of the Plain of Troy. Others have cast doubt on the specific site identified by Schliemann.
L. Taylor Hansen noted that when Heinrich Schliemann declared that he was selling his business and going in search of Troy “archaeologists and others in the colleges burst into laughter.” However, when it was announced that he had found Troy, she tells us that “one of the scientists who had laughed the loudest and longest was so mortified that he committed suicide.” [572.22]
A somewhat harsh assessment of Schliemann’s site work noted that “he recklessly dug deeper and deeper—right through the ruins that were most likely the Troy he was looking for until he found a city that predated the Trojan war by at least 1,000 years. There’s even a big gap in the excavation map where King Priam’s palace was found. Schliemann removed it and threw it away. So we can all thank Schliemann for everything we do and don’t know about these ruins. He discovered the site, then demolished a lot of the important bits with his hamfisted approach.”(b)
The principal objection to Schliemann’s Troy was that the city he had located was too small to match the historical descriptions of Troy. The same might be said of many of the sites proposed as Plato’s Atlantis.
Schliemann also discovered many hundreds of swastikas throughout the Hissarlik site and is credited with bringing that symbol back to Germany, where it was later hijacked by the Nazis and came to represent evil oppression.(a)
Robert Temple notes in The Crystal Sun [928.39] that Schliemann excavated 49 convex crystal lenses that Temple has identified as optical artifacts. Despite earlier denials, these lenses along with the Trojan Gold, also known as Priam’s Treasure, discovered by Schliemann were plundered by the Russians after World War II and are still in their possession(c).
The Titans were the ancient gods during the Golden Age of Greece. They were later challenged by a race of younger gods, the Olympians, led by Zeus, to whom they lost in a conflict recorded dramatically in Hesiod’s Theogony. There were originally twelve Titans of whom one was Iapetus the father of Atlas, after whom Atlantis was named. The offspring of the original twelve were also designated as Titans.
Iapetus has been frequently equated with the biblical Japheth (Genesis 9.25-27), the son of Noah, a subject which is investigated at length on the vast and fascinating website(a) of Walter Reinhold Warttig Mattfeld y de la Torre.
Olaf Rudbeck believed that Japheth settled in Sweden after the Biblical Deluge and fathered Atlas, the first king of Atlantis. In a lecture(b) in 1867, Bishop Patrick Lynch of Charleston, S.C. declared “I shall take it as an established fact that America was peopled by the sons of Japheth.” whom he identified more specifically as the Phoenicians. Lynch also identified America as Plato’s Atlantis.
Ignatius Donnelly thought that the kings of Atlantis became the gods of Greek mythology. John D. Baldwin was quoted by Donnelly and later L. Taylor Hansen as believing that the Titans were Atlanteans. Over half a century ago Paul Hoffmann identified the Greek Gods as the rulers of ancient Athens, while the Titans were Atlanteans(c).
(b) Marysville Daily Appeal, Volume XV, Number 127, 30 May 1867 *
(c) Atlantis Vol.6, No.1, May 1953
Saïs was a city on the Nile delta that, according to archaeology, existed at least from 3000 BC. Diodorus Siculus claimed that Saïs had been built by the Athenians before the flood of Deucalion (Histories 5.57). The present settlement is called Sa el Hagar.>According to Frank Joseph(e), Leo Frobenius made this identification a century ago. However, L. Taylor Hansen mistakenly identified Saïs with Port Said! [572.24]<
The Septuagint version of the Bible identifies Saïs with Pelusium, mentioned in Ezekiel 30:12-15. During the 7th century BC it became the capital of the pharaohs of the 26th Dynasty.>Egerton Sykes suggested different dates(f).<
>R. Reese wrote “The ancient city dates back to 3,000 B.C, however, habitation at the site extends back to the pre-dynastic and Neolithic period, from at least 4,200 B.C. It was the provincial capital of the fifth nome of Lower Egypt, known as Sap-Meh. During the twenty-fourth dynasty of Egypt, spanning from 732–720 BC, Sais was the seat of power. At that time, it was known as Zau(d).”<
Saïs is the Egyptian city where Solon originally learned of the story of Atlantis. It housed the principal shrine of the Egyptian goddess Neith who has been identified with Athene. The Greek writer Charax of Pergamon (c. 200 AD) reflected this connection when he wrote that the citizens of Saïs referred to themselves as Athenai and Diodorus Siculus states that the Athenians claim to have originally come from Saïs. There is an ancient if disputed, tale that Cecrops, the first king of Athens established the city with colonists from Saïs.
This of course conflicts with Plato, who, in Timaeus (23e) informs us that the city of Saïs (not Egypt, as some assume) was founded one thousand years after the city of Athens or 8,000 years before Solon’s visit. This, however, creates a problem, as it suggests that Athens was founded at the same time that it fought and defeated a powerful long-established invader!
No remains of the temples, with their celebrated inscribed pillars, have as yet been discovered. However, excavations are proceeding under the sponsorship of the Egypt Exploration Society and the University of Durham led by Dr Penelope Wilson(b).
>A 2021 article(c) reviewing the history of Saïs noted that “The city enjoyed a high period under the 26th Dynasty Kings (664-525), who made Sais their Capital until the Persian invasion of Cambyses. It continued to exist down into the Ptolemaic and Roman periods BC. In the last two thousand years, however, Sais declined and was largely forgotten, its temples and walls demolished, its remains pilfered. Today nothing much remains except a tiny village called Sa el-Hagar, some garbage heaps and a few scattered ruins.”<
The whole matter of the relevance of Saïs to the Atlantis story has been challenged by a theory on the Internet(a) that Saïs and Tanis were in fact the same location. A starting point is the fact that the current village of Sa el Hagar adjacent to the ruins of Saïs has a counterpart at Tanis where there is a village called San el Hagar. Drawing on the writings of Strabo, Herodotus and the Bible some have concluded that the two cities were one. Immanuel Velikovsky proposed this idea in his Ramses II and His Time [832.209].
(c) https://www.ancientscribbles.com/2021/01/ruins-of-sais-and-temple-where-to-be-found.html (link broken) *
(e) Atlantis Rising Magazine #20 *
(f) Sykes’ Atlantis AT142 p.47 *