Fred Woudhuizen (1959- ) is an independent researcher who studies ancient Mediterranean languages and scripts, particularly Luwian and Cretan. He has collaborated with Eberhard Zangger in identifying the Sea Peoples as originating in Western Turkey although Woudhuizen also includes some Central Mediterranean inhabitants among its membership(a) .
He has published many papers on the academia.edu website(b) including one entitled Atlantis in Space and Time(c), in which he claims to have found a reference to Atlantis (ta-ru-nu) in some Cretan hieroglyphics. Jason Colavito was not impressed by Woudhuizen’s convoluted argument(d) .
The Luwians according to the excellent Luwian Studies website(a) were “the people who lived in western Asia Minor during the 2nd millennium BCE between the Mycenaeans in Greece and the Hittites in Central Anatolia.” The Luwian city of Troy have been controversially linked with Atlantis by Eberhard Zangger, who has gone further and proposed that some of the petty kingdoms in the Luwian territory were part of the ‘Sea Peoples’.
Zangger’s claimed that a Luwian linkage with the Sea Peoples had been strongly supported by the work of British archaeologist, James Mellaart (1925-2012). However, after Mellaart’s death it was found that he had supported much of what he wrote with forged documents. Zangger has offered the sequence of events that led to this discovery and points out that his Sea Peoples theory predates his involvement with Mellart(b).
Eberhard Zangger was born in Switzerland in 1958. He is a geoarchaeologist who has written a number of books and articles on ancient civilisation. He is the leading proponent of the controversial idea that Troy and Atlantis are the same. In 1989, he initially advanced the idea while working for Cambridge University. Shortly afterwards his views were published in English as The Flood From Heaven.
It seems rather odd to me that Zangger ended this book with eight counter-arguments and shortcomings relating to his thesis. Whether this was an expression of open-mindedness or doubt, I shall leave others to decide.
He followed that a decade later with a second book that in part returns to the subject. In The Future of the Past Zangger matches a range of features in the Atlantis narrative with the available description of Troy. He then describes how he applied an objective statistical analysis system known as a ‘Monte-Carlo Method’, to these matching details, as well as those of other popular theories, and found that his theory, which situates Atlantis at Troy, scored the highest probability rating as its location. While I do not doubt the neutrality of the system’s results, I would have some misgivings regarding the objectivity of the data entered, a view supported by Zangger himself. For example, if Zangger has entered the location of the Pillars of Heracles as the Dardanelles and ignores the Straits of Messina and Gibraltar, then the results must be considered biased. Consequently, I would suggest that the exercise be repeated by a number of disinterested mathematicians and then collate their results.
*Zangger claims that Plato’s Atlantis narrative is a distorted recollection of the Trojan War, including the earthquake and sudden flooding of Mycenaean Tiryns around 1200 BC morphing into the demise of Atlantis(k). However, the Tiryns inundation is just one of a number of other flooded Greek cities, such as Helike or Atalanta that are also claimed as the inspiration for Plato’s flooded Atlantis.*
Zangger points out that the library of books and articles relating to Atlantis all stem from two excerpts from Plato’s Dialogues that amount to no more than 6,000 words, many of which he claims to be mistranslated.
There is a scholarly critique of Zangger’s work by Edmund F. Bloedow to be found on the Internet(a).
Zangger has also entered the debates surrounding the Sea Peoples. He contends that their movements were unrelated to climate change as suggested by some. His views on the subject have been contested(d).
Zangger together with archaeologist Serdal Mutlu have investigated the little known ancient Luwian civilisation of Anatolia. They believe “that Trojans and many of the people who sided with the Trojans in the Trojan War were Luwians.” They also claim that remains of Troy has even lower levels still unexcavated(b). A website devoted to the subject is available(c).
Zangger has now expanded further on the subject with the publication The Luwian Civilisation, which bears the subtitle of The Missing Link in the Aegean Bronze Age. In the book [p.20] he makes the interesting point that “Sea Peoples with feather crowns bear the name Tekker, which is reminiscent of ‘Teucer’, a term commonly used for the Trojans after 1200 BCE.”
In May 2016, Zangger, President of Luwian Studies, introduced the results of recent investigation of the Luwian speaking peoples, who now appear to have been an alliance of small independent states in Turkey, west of the Hittite Empire.
Zangger also adds a video clip(e) in which he compares a history of the Trojan War by the 13th century Italian writer, Guido de Columnis, with Homer’s account. Some aspects of Guido’s description of the city of Troy are evocative of Plato’s description of Atlantis (f).
Zangger’s proposed ancient conflict in the Eastern Mediterranean was reported in New Scientist (i) and dubbed ‘World War Zero’, a soundbite that attracted wider media attention(j).
(d) See: Archive 2681