Iraq has been given little attention by Atlantis hunters. However, in the 16th century the Spanish historian Gonzalo Fernandez Oviedo y Valdes (1478-1557) suggested Iraq as the location of Atlantis, whose inhabitants fled to the Americas when their country was inundated.
Mario Pincherle considers the Mandaeans of southern Iraq to be descendants of the original Atlanteans.
>Leon Elshout associates the story of Atlantis with Iraq in a brief blog(a).
Tarshish is a city referred to about a dozen times in the Bible and has been widely accepted as another version of Tartessos. Josephus, the Jewish historian who wrote during the 1st century AD, was confident that it referred to Tarsus in Cilicia, Turkey, the birthplace of St. Paul. The Septuagint Bible uses Karkendonos where it refers to Tarshish in Isaiah 23:1, which was the Greek form of the name for North African Carthage. This could imply that the founders of Carthage and Tarsus were the same. We know that Carthage was founded by Tyrians and we also know that Cilix, a Tyrian, gave his name to Cilicia when he settled it. Andis Kaulins has claimed that Carthage was possibly built on the remains of Tartessos (i)!
Utica was a Phoenician port city on the northern coast of what is now Tunisia. It no longer exists and its site is now some miles inland because of silting. It is also one of a number of suggested locations for Tarshish(f).
Tarshish/Tartessos is thought by many others to be alternative names for Atlantis. There is a consensus that it was a coastal city in Southern Spain, near modern Cadiz. Despite the efforts of many, its location is still unknown, which can probably be explained by the fact that the coastline has altered considerably over time. Adolf Schulten, who was convinced that Tartessos was Atlantis, spent many years searching, unsuccessfully, for Tarshish in Andalusia.
Other locations have been suggested, such as Tharros in Sardinia, Troy and even Malta where Tarxien may be considered an echo of Tarshish. Tharros, sometimes referred to as a ‘second Carthage’ had its port located as recently as 2008(d). The suggestion that Tharros was Tarshish was based on their similar sounding names and the reference to Tarshish in the Phoenician inscription on the ‘Nora Stone’ discovered at Nora on the south coast of Sardinia in 1773.
Quite a variety of locations have been offered as the site of Tarshish(f)(k).
>Aaron Arrowsmith (1750-1832), a British cartographer and geographer was of the view that “Tartessus was a territory established by adventurous traders who settled in the Iberian peninsula after moving from the ancient city of Tarsus in Asia Minor (modern Turkey).” <
It is accepted that biblical silver was sourced from ‘Tarshish’, initially assumed to be Tartessos in Spain. Recent studies employing lead isotope tests, when applied to Phoenician silver hoards(g) revealed that both Spain and Sardinia were possible sources. However, it might be argued that the Nora Stone may give Sardinia a somewhat stronger claim.
A more radical idea was put forward in 2012 by the Spanish researcher, José Angel Hernández, who proposed that the Tarshish of the Bible was to be found on the coastal region of the Indus Valley and that Tartessos was a colony of the Indus city of Lhotal and had been situated on both sides of the Strait of Gibraltar!(a)(b) This view is apparently supported by biblical references (1 Kings 9:26, 22:48; 2 Chr. 9:21) that note that the ‘ships of Tarshish’ sailed from Ezion-geber on the Red Sea’s Gulf of Aqaba!
However, if Tarshish was another name for Atlantis and according to the bible it existed at the time of Solomon, circa 1000 BC, we are confronted with a contradiction of Plato’s 9,000 years elapsing since the destruction of Atlantis and the visit of Solon to Sais. King Jehoshaphat reigned around 860 BC and planned to send a fleet to Tarshish, just 200 years before Solon, so the likelihood of Tarshish being Atlantis is a rather remote possibility.
A recent suggestion by a Dutch commentator, Leon Elshout, places the biblical Tarshish in Britain(h) and supported by a Christadelphian website(j).
The Bible offers no direct reference to Atlantis, but this is not to be seen as proof of its non-existence, when you consider that in spite of the fact that the Hebrews were in Egypt for hundreds of years, the Bible does not mention the pyramids either and they most certainly did then and still do, exist.
The Bible has been invoked as justification for everything from war to slavery. It has been one of the most divisive books ever, having been instrumental in the creation of hundreds, if not thousands, of competing Christian sects over the last two millennia. It is assumed that any theory, religious or secular that can be shown to have a biblical foundation will automatically have enhanced credibility.
Jean De Serres, the 16th century historian, was probably the first to link Atlantis with the Bible when he wrote that Atlantis had been located in the Holy Land. Lewis Spence[259.33] accused Huet, Borchart and Vossius, in the 16th and 17th centuries of using ‘ingenious misreading of the Pentateuch’ to claim that the Platonic story of Atlantis was in reality a version of patriarchal history. In a similar vein, in 1726 a French lawyer, Claude Olivier, wrote of his conviction that the ten tribes of Israel were to be equated with the ten kingdoms of Atlantis.
The Book of Genesis in particular has inspired speculation regarding a possible link between the Bible and the Atlantis narrative.
Therefore, I advise that any new scriptural interpretation must be treated with extreme caution. With that in mind, I mention that an American researcher, J. D. Brady, who claims to be a scriptural scholar and as such has identified Atlantis, drawing on chapters 26-28 of Ezekiel. He refers to the Atlanteans as Tyrrhenians and names their leader as Satan! He claims that the Tyre referred to in these chapters was in fact an island named Tyrus that Plato knew as Atlantis. He offers a range of data to suggest that this Tyrus was not the Tyre we know today located in Lebanon. Brady claims with great certainty that the remains of Atlantis are to be found in the Bay of Troy! A 2014 book by David Hershiser, Beyond the Pillars of Hercules, has taken up this idea that the reference in Ezekiel was concerned with Atlantis.
Not content with identifying Atlantis, Brady also claims to know the location of the Ark of the Covenant, saying that “It is currently secreted in an underground treasure crypt on Lemnos Island.”(b)
H.S. Bellamy, the Austrian researcher, also produced a volume, The Book of Revelation is History, devoted to demonstrating that the last book of the New Testament is in fact a coded description of the catastrophes that accompanied the capture of our Moon. He claimed that the reference to the ten horns is an allusion to the ten Atlantean kings. He also interpreted the Book of Jeremiah I & II as well as Ezekiel as containing references to aspects of the Atlantis story.
However, R Cedric Leonard does offer(a) an interesting comparison of a passage in the Old Testament with the classical writers:
“And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose…
There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same mighty men (heroes) which were of old, men of renown.” (Genesis 6:1-2,4)
Leonard points out that this coincides with Plato’s history of the Atlanteans and highlights that Hesiod referred to the Titans, of which Atlas was one, as the ‘sons of heaven’.
Leonard also offers a more rational translation of Job 26:5-6 that strengthens this view that the Atlanteans and Titans are identical:
“The Titans tremble beneath the waters and the inhabitants thereof. Hell is naked before him, and destruction hath no covering”.
2011 saw the publication of Atlantis: The Eyewitnessesby Walter Parks in which he also quoted extensively from the Book of Job, having claimed that it was written in 9619 BC and contained an eyewitness account of the catastrophe that destroyed Atlantis!
Thorwald C. Franke has reviewed a range of theories that have sought to associated various aspects of Bible history with elements of the Atlantis story. Most are rather speculative, but Franke concludes(d) that “the Bible should not be underestimated: There could indeed be indirect hints to Plato’s Atlantis in the Bible!”
The biblical references to Tarshish is also used by those who equate it with Tartessos and in turn identify it as Atlantis. The location of Tarshish is a highly contentious issue with scholars unable to arrive at any clear consensus. However, there is some agreement that Tartessos had been located in Southern Spain. Some proponents of that idea not only consider Tarshish identical with Tartessos, but with Atlantis as well. Richard Freund is a proponent of a Spanish Tartessos, which he also identifies with Atlantis and of course with the biblical Tarshish. This Bible connection was taken further in the 2017 James Cameron’s 2017 (a documentary, Atlantis Rising, shows Simcha Jacobovici also linking Tarshish with Atlantis(h) and offering as ‘evidence’ for a linkage between Atlantis and the Jewish Temple, the design of the Hebrew menorah(g), which he claims is a representation of one half the concentric rings of Plato’s city of Atlantis. This foolish idea is not new, as it has already been suggested by Prof. Yahya Ababni(f).
Turning the tables on the idea of the Bible supporting the story of Atlantis, Marjorie Braymer[198.30]wrote that Cosmas Indicopleustes (6th cent. AD) was the first to use Plato’s Atlantis to support the veracity of the Bible.
Another line of investigation might be the suggested parallels between Greek mythology and Genesis(c).
A paper on the Academia.edu website(e) by M. De Rosa argues that Atlantis was the ‘Beast’ in the Book Of Revelation!
More recently, a Dutch commentator, Leon Elshout, has also written extensively, in Dutch and English, linking Atlantis and Babylon(i) with details in the Book of Revelation.>He claims “that there is a dualistic principle behind Atlantis, expressed by the twin pillars of hercules and the twin kings, so that Atlantis was mirrored in time and space from Babylon AND Jerusalem.“<Among a number of odd ideas expressed by him is the suggestion that Tarshish was Britain(j).