Atl as a constituent part of the name ‘Atlantis’ is frequently associated with the Mexican Nahuatl word for water. However, Antoine Gigal, the Egyptologist, in a 2011 interview(a), has pointed out that ‘atl’ is also the Egyptian word for canal! Her intention was to get off the subject of Atlantis, but she may have inadvertently given additional ammunition to those that claim some cultural links between ancient Egypt and Mesoamerica.
*In the seventeenth century, Olof Rudbeck proposed that ‘Atle’ the name of an ancient Swedish king was in fact a variant of Atlas.This tenuous link combined with some other coincidences encouraged Rudbeck to claim Sweden as Atlantis.*
All this highlights the need for caution when using single words to bolster any theory; similarity should not be confused with identity.
Mesoamerica is the term used to describe a region which includes Mexico and Central America that was home to a number of important pre-Columbian cultures including that of the Mixtec, Toltec and Maya peoples. When news of Columbus’ rediscovery of America got back to Europe it did not take long for theories linking the ‘New World’ with Plato’s Atlantis to develop. While most initial speculation focused on the idea that America was Atlantis. As time went by, this concept was downgraded to just identifying America as the home of refugees from Atlantis, usually located in the Atlantic.
By the 19th century the similarity between the pyramids of Mesoamerica and those of Egypt began prompting the thought that Egypt may also have been home to Atlantean refugees. However, further comparisons of ancient Indian architecture with that of ancient Central America has led to a set of new theories(a) that generally excludes Atlantis. While Jim Allen has illustrated(c) a number of interesting cultural links between Mesopotamia and Bolivia, Richard Cassaro has published(b) an extensive series of images linking Egypt and Mesoamerica.
Kukulcan was the ‘feathered serpent’ god of the Mayan religion. He also had a human form that closely matches a description of a tall Caucasian, white-skinned, blue-eyed with blonde or silver hair. This similarity led to the European invaders being initially greeted as ‘gods’. There have been frequent suggestions that the original Kukulcan was a survivor of the demise of Atlantis, who managed to escape to Mesoamerica bringing the knowledge of the lost city to the Americas. However, it must be stressed that this only conjecture. The Aztecs and Toltecs had a similar god, Quetzalcoatl, who had a matching description.
Pierre Honoré claimed that these ‘deities’ had arrived from Crete bringing with them their script. As the use of the Cretan Linear A & B had ceased by 1400 BC Honoré surmised that these transatlantic trips took place before that date!
Cuchulainn, an Achilles type hero in Irish mythology, has also been speculatively linked with Kukulcan because of the name similarity, an idea that has never had any scholarly support.
Ogygia is the home of Calypso, referred to by Homer in Book V of his Odyssey. It is accepted by some as an island in the Mediterranean that was destroyed by an earthquake before the Bronze Age. The Greek writers Euhemerus in the 4th century BC and Callimachus who flourished in the 3rd century BC, identified the Maltese archipelago as Ogygia. Others have more specifically named the Maltese island of Gozo as Ogygia. Anton Mifsud has pointed out that Herodotus, Hesiod and Diodorus Siculus have all identified the Maltese Islands with Ogygia.
John Vella has added his support to the idea of a Maltese Ogygia in a paper published in the Athens Journal of History (Vol.3 Issue 1) in which he noted that “The conclusions that have emerged from this study are that Homer’s Ogygia is not an imaginary but a reference to and a record of ancient Gozo-Malta.”
Adding to the confusion, Aeschylus, the tragedian (523-456 BC) calls the Nile, Ogygian, and Eustathius, a Byzantine grammarian (1115-1195), claimed that Ogygia was the earliest name for Egypt(j).
Isaac Newton wrote a number of important works including The Chronology of Ancient Kingdoms Amended , in which he discussed a range of mythological links to Atlantis, including a possible connection with Homer’s Ogygia. There is now evidence that he concurred(c) with the idea of a Maltese Ogygia in The Original of Monarchies(d).
Strabo referred to “Eleusis and Athens on the Triton River [in Boiotia]. These cities, it is said, were founded by Kekrops (Cecrops), when he ruled over Boiotia (Boeotia), then called Ogygia, but were later wiped out by inundations.”(i) However, Strabo also declared that Ogygia was to be found in the ‘World Ocean’ or Atlantic (j). To say the least, these two conflicting statements require explanation.
Richard Hennig opted for Madeira following the opinion of von Humboldt. Spanuth argued strongly against either Madeira or the Canaries[0017.149] and gave his support to the Azores as the most likely location of Calypso’s Island.. Not unexpectedly the Azores, in the mid-Atlantic, have also been nominated as Ogygia by other 20th century researchers such as Sykes(e) and Mertz. In a 2019 paper(f), Gerard Janssen also placed Ogygia in the Azores, specifically naming the island of Saõ Miguel, which Spanuth also did.
Homer in his Odyssey identifies Ogygia as the home of Calypso. The Roman poet Catullus writing in the 1st century BC linked Ogygia with Calypso in Malta(g). However, Gozo’s claim is challenged by those supporting Gavdos in Crete(k). This opinion has been expounded more fully by Katerina Kopaka in a paper published in the journal Cretica Chronica(l), where her starting point is the claim that Gavdos had been previously known as Gozo!
Mifsud quotes another Roman of the same period, Albius Tibullus, who also identified Atlantis with Calypso. Other Maltese writers have seen all this as strong evidence for the existence of Atlantis in their region. Delisle de Sales considered Ogygia to be between Italy and Carthage, but opted for Sardinia as the remains of Calypso’s island.
Other researchers such as Geoffrey Ashe and Andrew Collins have opted for the Caribbean as the home of Ogygia. Another site supports Mesoamerica as the location of Ogygia, which the author believes can be equated with Atlantis(h). An even more extreme suggestion by Ed Ziomek places Ogygia in the Pacific(b)!
In the Calabria region of southern Italy lies Capo Collone (Cape of Columns). 18th century maps(m) show two or more islands off the cape with one named Ogygia offering echoes of Homer’s tale. Respected atlases as late as 1860 continued to show a non-existent island there. It seems that these were added originally by Ortelius, inspired by Pseudo-Skylax and Pliny(n) . Additionally, there is a temple to Hera Lacinia at Capo Colonne, which is reputed to have been founded by Hercules!
By way of complete contrast both Felice Vinci and John Esse Larsen have proposed that the Faeroe Islands included Ogygia. In the same region, Iceland was nominated by Gilbert Pillot as the location of Ogygia and Calypso’s home. Ilias D. Mariolakos, a Greek professor of Geology also makes a strong case(a) for identifying Iceland with Ogygia based primarily on the writings of Plutarch. He also supports the idea of Minoans in North America.
A more recent suggestion has come from Manolis Koutlis , who, after a forensic examination of various versions of Plutarch’s work, in both Latin and Greek, also placed Ogygia in North America, specifically on what is now the tiny island of St. Paul at the entrance to the Gulf of St. Lawrence in Canada, a gulf that has also been proposed as the location of Atlantis.
Jean-Silvain Bailly also used the writings of Plutarch to sustain his theory of Ogygia, which he equated with Atlantis having an Arctic location[0926.2.299], specifically identifying Iceland as Ogygia/Atlantis with the islands of Greenland, Nova Zembla and Spitzbergen as the three islands equally distant from it and each other.
However, Ireland has been linked with Ogygia by mainly Irish writers. In the 17th century historian, Roderick O’Flaherty(1629-1718), wrote a history of Ireland entitled Ogygia, while in the 19th century, Margaret Anne Cusack (1832-1899) also wrote a history in which she claimed a more explicit connection. This was followed in 1911 by a book by Marion McMurrough Mulhall in which she also quotes Plutarch to support the linking of Ireland and Ogygia. More recently, in The Origin of Culture Thomas Dietrich promotes the same view, but offers little hard evidence to support it.
This matter would appear to be far from a resolution.
Other suggested locations are:
Lipsi (Greece) https://www.wiw.gr/english/lipsi_niriedes/
Mljet (Croatia) https://www.adriagate.com/en/croatia/national_parks.aspx?ID=4
Gavdos (Greece) https://gavdosgreece.page.tl/
(c) See: Archive 3439
(e) ‘Where Calypso may have Lived’ (Atlantis, 5, 1953, pp 136-137)
(g) Lib. iv, Eleg. 1
(i) Strabo, Geography 9. 2. 18
(n) See: Note 5 in Armin Wolf’s Wayback Machine (archive.org)
Clyde Ahmad Winters was born in Chicago where he graduated from the University of Illinois-Urbana with degrees in Anthropology and History. His interests also extend to neurobiological learning, linguistics and ancient scripts. Dr. Winters claims to have deciphered the writings of the Berber, Meroitic, Olmec and the Indus Valley cultures. He is a prominent advocate of Afrocentricity, but unfortunately he has allowed his support for this controversial concept to induce him to offer unqualified support for Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe.
In 2016, Winters ventured to resurrect interest in the long discredited ‘elephant slabs of Flora Vista’, claiming that they offered evidence of elephants in America, which had been brought there by African visitors(b). Jason Colavito had already refuted the authenticity of the ‘slabs’ in 2012(c) and has again sharpened his pen to deal with Winters’ latest offering(d).
Our interest in Dr. Winters is his contention that the Olmecs ‘were the descendents of the Atlanteans that formerly lived in ancient Libya’, and the book[496.13] he wrote supporting this notion. The book is available both in paperback and as an eBook(a). Unfortunately, while he offers considerable evidence that Mesoamerica had a discernable cultural input from Africa he fails to convincingly link this with Plato’s Atlantis. In fact, he makes only a single cursory reference to Plato’s text.
Winters has now turned his attention to the idea of Sumerian visits to South America in a 2015 book and website articles(e).*In March 13th 2018, he wrote a paper(f) for the Ancient Origins website refuting Zecharia Sitchin’s ‘ancient astronaut’ interpretation of some of the Sumerian seals.*
Winters published a revised version of his Atlantis in Mexico in 2013.