Spain has been favoured as a probable location of Atlantis by a sizeable number of investigators, principally Spanish and other Europeans. For about a century attention has been focused on the region of Andalusia although one writer, Jorge María Ribero-Meneses, has opted for Cantabria in Northern Spain. The most vocal proponent today of a Spanish Atlantis is arguably Georgeos Diaz-Montexano who has just begun the publication of a series of books on the subject.
Richard Freund is a latecomer to the question of Atlantis and recently foisted himself on the excavators in the Doñana Marshes, announcing that the site was related to Atlantis/Tarshish and garnering widespread publicity ahead of the publication of his own book on Atlantis!
One commentator has suggested that the origin of the name of Spain itself was derived from the Semitic language of the Phoenicians who arrived in Spain around 1500 BC. They referred to the region as ‘span’ or ‘spania’ which means hidden! Cadiz, equated with Plato’s Gades, is frequently cited as the oldest colony of the Phoenicians. The date appears to be based on tradition rather than hard evidence. Archaeology puts the date closer to 800 BC.
The oldest Phoenician remains, found in the vicinity of Malaga, were discovered during the recent building of a second runway. The occupation of the site is dated to around 700-600 BC.
In September 2012 a report(a) revealed that at the La Bastida site in Murcia, Spain, fortifications dated to 2,200 BC had been discovered and heralded as “Continental Europe’s First Bronze Age City” and “is comparable only to the Minoan civilisation of Crete”.
Late November 2018 saw Merlin Burrows (M.B.), a British surveying company, claim to have found Atlantis in Spain close to the Doñana National Park (b). M.B.’s head of research, Tim Akers, claimed that “laboratory analysis of material recovered from Spain showed evidence of a type of cement not seen before.” This and evidence of ancient metallurgy was enough for him to conclude that it has come from Atlantis! So now it seems that if something previously unknown is found, it must come from Atlantis! That something has been found is not doubted, but it is more likely to have been the Phoenicians who extensively exploited the rich mineral deposits in the region. Another website offers a more extensive report from Merlin Burrows(g) as well as a review of other failed Atlantis claims.
The report contains wild speculation, particularly when claiming that this new discovery dates back to the end of the Last Ice Age when Athens or Egypt did not have structured societies and so could not refer to Plato’s Atlantis. There is little doubt that a number of interesting sites over the 100-mile stretch have been located, but they do not include Atlantis. Expect a flurry of media responses (c) for a while as they await the next wild claim. Meanwhile, Merlin Burrows have had their publicity or so I thought. However, M.B. has now embarked on a publicity campaign promoting a series of new Atlantis films called Atlantica, employing director Michael Donnellan to drum up interest(j). His most recent outing in October 2021 on Spanish TV stirred P.R.Cantos to examine some of Donnellan’s dubious claims(k). Not unexpectedly, further criticism came from sceptic Carl Feagans(l).
The Doñana National Park was extensively investigated some years ago and was the subject of a National Geographic documentary, Finding Atlantis. Nothing remotely Atlantean was found. For my part, I prefer to follow Plato and point to the only territory named by him as Atlantean, namely Southern Italy, N.W. Africa and some of the many islands in the region.
The Doñana story took a new turn yesterday (22.11.18) when Georgeos Diaz-Montexano published a paper on the Academia.edu website, in Spanish and English (d)(e), which completely debunks the foundations of the Merlin Burrows claim. It is interesting to read about the arrogance of the video makers when challenged by Diaz-Montexano. The following day Díaz-Montexano re-posted (f) the paper with additional comments by Professor César Guarde-Paz, a distinguished Spanish academic, who also denounced the Merlin Burrows claims.
Stavros Papamarinopoulos is also a keen supporter of locating Atlantis in Spain outlining his reasons in a series of papers(m-r) delivered to the 12th International Congress of the Geological Society of Greece, Patras, 2010.
(d) ¿LA ATLÁNTIDA FINALMENTE DESCUBIERTA? Leer el artículo en https://atlantisng.com/blog/la-atlantida-finalmente-descubierta-segun-nuevo-documental-britanico-hoax-publicitario-o-el-mayor-de-los-ridiculos/ (link broken Dec. 2018)
(f) https://atlantisng.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Atlantis-finally-discovered-An-analysis-of-the-three-fundamental-cornerstones-of-the-documentary-ATLANTICA-by-Ingenio-Films..pdf *
(j) Historians have finally ‘discovered’ enchanted Lost City of Atlantis in southern Spain – Olive Press News Spain (theolivepress.es)
Cádiz is the modern name for ancient Gades considered the original kingdom of Gadeirus the twin brother of Atlas. However, the certainty normally associated with this accepted identification is weakened by the fact that quite a number of locations with similar-sounding names are to be found in the Central and Western Mediterranean regions.
It has also been suggested that the name Cadiz came from Gadir, which in turn was derived from Kadesh!
In 1973, Maxine Asher led an expedition to search for Atlantis off the coast of Cadiz, which despite claims of having discovered Plato’s Island, nothing verifiable was found(a). These claims received global press attention, enabling Asher to dine out on it for the rest of her fraudulent life.
It is generally accepted that the Phoenicians from Tyre founded Gadir, later to be known as Gades to the Romans. The Roman historian, Velleius Paterculus (c.19 BC – c.31 AD) wrote that Cadiz was founded 80 years after the Trojan War, circa 1100 BC. In the 9th century BC, the Phoenicians, under Princess Dido, founded a new capital at Carthage in North Africa. At Gades, the Phoenicians/Carthaginians built a temple to Melqart that had two columns that many consider to be the original Pillars of Hercules. In 2007, it was announced that excavations in the old town centre produced shards of Phoenician pottery and walls dated to the 8th century BC, probably making it the oldest inhabited city in Europe.
In early January 2022, “Archaeologists from the University of Seville and the Andalusian Institute of Historical Heritage claim to have discovered the lost Temple of Hercules Gaditanus. Using information they obtained from documentaries and aerial photographs, the researchers found a large rectangular structure submerged in the Bay of Cadiz. (b)
The structure, nearly 1,000 feet long, 500 feet wide, and matches the ancient descriptions of the temple, is only visible in low tide.”
>In September 2023, the latest attempt to revive interest in a Spanish Atlantis was unveiled at a press conference in Chipiona, near Cádiz. The theme of the conference was the discovery of long underwater curved walls that some have claimed to match exactly Plato’s description of Atlantis.
Thorwald C. Franke(c) has more on the background to this effort to put the spotlight on the possibility of Atlantis being situated in this region of Spain which lies at the southern end of the Doñana Marshes that had received extensive investigation over the past couple of decades. The press conference was also used to announce the showing of a new documentary series by Michael Donnellan on October 8th in Cádiz.<
Also See: Egadi Islands