Caleb Howells is a British teacher of English with a passion for ancient history. He has already published a book about King Arthur  and next year will offer a new look at the story of Brutus the Trojan king of Britain  in The Trojan Kings of Britain.
Among other publications Howells is also a content writer for the Greek Reporter website, where he has recently endeavoured to revive the ailing Minoan Hypothesis (a)(b).
Plato came from Athens, a city frequently damaged by earthquakes, he also spent time in Sicily where he must have been made aware of the continually active volcano, Mount Etna. Consequently, it is reasonable to assume that Plato could distinguish between an earthquake and a volcano, so when he wrote that Thera had been destroyed by an earthquake, that is what he intended to say. Furthermore, his description of the submergence of Atlantis as a result of the ‘quake sound very much like liquefaction frequently associated with such events. The Minoan Hypothesis does not match Plato’s account.
Although I disagree with Howells identification of Atlantis as Minoan, I was pleasantly surprised that in a December 2023 article(c) he tackled the question of the Pillars of Herakles which included many of the points already published in Atlantipedia. He notes the use of the phrase as a metaphor, particularly by Pindar who used it “as an expression denoting the outermost limit of something. His use of the phrase ‘beyond that the wise cannot set foot’ indicates that he was not merely talking about athletic limits, but limits in general.” Howells also points out the multiplicity of locations designated as ‘Pillars’ and that more than one location were so called at the same time. Nevertheless, he cannot let go of a Minoan connection and so proposed the Gulf of Laconia where the Capes Matapan (Tainaron) and Maleas in the Peloponnese are the two most southerly points of mainland Greece. They have been proposed over forty years ago by Galanopoulos & Bacon  as the Pillars of Heracles when the early Greeks were initially confined to the Aegean Sea and the two promontories were the western limits of their maritime knowledge at that time. Overall, Howells’ article is interesting but unoriginal.
A few days later (12/12/23) he cast doubts on the Capes Matapan and Maleas as the location of the Pillars of Herakles(d). Howells is like a dog with a bone where the Minoan Hypothesis is concerned and and by now should be realising the true complexity of the Atlantis story.
Atlantis was destroyed by submergence following an earthquake, not a volcanic eruption. The Minoans were traders not invaders, so if Crete was Atlantis where is there mention of a war between Athens and the Minoans? Atlantis was a confederation of some sort, so who were its constituents? Why did Plato not simply name the not-too-distant Cretans as the attackers of Athens and laud the victory of the Athenians?
>In late January 2024 Howells expanded his efforts to bolster the Minoan Hypothesis. This time, using some rather convoluted reasoning, he identifies ancient Crete as the Caphtor referred to in the Bible.
This is another contentious issue among historians. The matter is discussed more fully in the Caphtor-Keftiu entry here, where you will find a number of locations identified as Caphtor, including Cyprus, Crete, Cilicia and the Nile Delta. Although currently the most popular would appear to be Crete, Wikipedia seems to favour the Egyptian region of Pelusium(e)!
Cyprus had previously been the most favoured location, about whom Immanuel Velikovsky noted(f) “if Caphtor is not Cyprus, then the Old Tesrament completely omits referenceto this large island close to the Syrian coast.” The Cypriot identification has been endorse by a number of commentators such as John Strange, author of Caphtor/Keftiu: A new Investigation. I think that with so much controversy surrounding the indentity of the Caphtorim that its possible value as support for the equally controversial Minoan Hypothesis is substantially weakened.
Furthermore, I note that in 2022, Phil Butler published a paper that also suggested identifying the Keftiu as Atlantean(g).<
A number of commentators have supported the idea of Atlantis in the Aegean region. The most convincing, in my opinion, have come from Peter James , Eberhard Zangger  and more recently Nicholas Costa  , all of whom designated an Anatolian location for Atlantis. They all have their shortcomings but have built stronger cases than Howells for their chosen locations.
(e) Caphtor – Wikipedia *
(f) Ages in Chaos p.210 n.79 *
Sean Welsh is an American physician who has authored Apocalypse  in an attempt to revive the ailing Minoan Hypothesis, but in my opinion, even with Dr Welsh’s professional skills a ‘do not resuscitate’ sign still hangs over the patient.
Simply put, Welsh attributes the eruption of Santorini (Thera), the capital of Atlantis, to its destruction and the creation of a tsunami that generated the story of the biblical Deluge.
He identifies the Sea Peoples as former refugees from Atlantis! He has the tsunami generated by the Theran eruption flooding the plains of Mesopotamia! Also controversially he lands Noah‘s* Ark on a hill called Ararat in Crimea!
While I was not convinced, I can commend the book as a courageous attempt to solve two of history’s great mysteries.
Mumba Chabu is a geologist at the University of Lubumbashi in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He recently published a short paper(a) with the intriguing title of ‘Archaeological Prospects for Atlantis in Southern Africa’. He then proceeded to argue that as there was an atomic war between the Indus civilisation and Atlantis over an economic dispute, “it does not make economic sense for the ancient Indians to do business with a supposed island state in the middle of the Atlantic ocean and ‘fly over’ an entire mineral, agriculturally and resource rich continent the size of Africa.” I presume the inference to be drawn from that, is that Africa would have been a more likely trading partner and also the home of Atlantis! Proof? None.
Chabu also touches on the Minoan Hypothesis, without any firm conclusions
Moses I. Finley, originally Finkelstein (1912–1986) was an American-born British academic. He moved to England in 1955, where he developed as a classical scholar and eventually became Master of Darwin College, Cambridge. He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth in 1979.
In common with a number of archaeologists and historians at the time, Finley maintained that none of the events in Homer’s works are historical, particularly in his book, The World of Odysseus  and was highly critical of Michael Wood’s In Search of the Trojan War  when it first appeared in 1984, four years before modern archaeology was undertaken at the Hissarlik site.(a)
>Finley in chapter two of his Aspects of Antiquity  listed a number of weaknesses in Schliemann’s identification of Hissarlik as Homer’s Troy. Some of his more important points are summarized here(f).
“Schliemann’s “Troy” site had been over the ages razed and rebuilt many times, and the various rebuildings are commonly referred to by numbered names such as “Troy I” or “Troy VIIa”.
Schliemann’s “Troy” site has only one stage of its history that has any resemblance to Greece. That is Troy VIIa, which contains pottery shards and other evidence that it had contact with Greece. All the other “Troy” ruins at Schliemann’s site have no remains that even suggest they ever had contact with the greeks.
Troy VIIa is actually one of the smallest constructions at Schliemann’s “Troy” site. To quote Finley: ‘a shabby, impoverished huddled in one small sector of the ridge, as unlike the Homeric picture of the large and wealthy city of Priam as one could imagine.’
Schliemann’s great treasures which are held to prove his site was a country of vast power and influence, were found at Troy II. Troy II dates to 2500-2200 bc, long predating the greeks.
In fact, Finley contends on pages 37-38 of his book that our historical concept of the greeks of the Homeric age being a continental power capable of staging such a massive expedition is based wholely upon the description of it as such in The Illiad, and not upon archaeological evidence from the greek civilizations of the Homeric era. In other words, rather than the undeniable existence of the Achaean empire serving as proof of the events depicted in Homer, instead, the existence of the Achaean Greek empire is based solely upon its being mentioned in The Illiad
There are no surviving written records of the Achaeans or Trojans from the Homeric era. Both the Egyptians and the Hittites did keep historical records, legal documents, treaties, etc, that have survived for modern archaeologists to translate. Neither the Hittites nor the Pharaohs make any reference to the Achaeans or the Trojans.”<
Finley’s sceptical views went beyond the Trojan War and extended to Plato’s Atlantis. In 1969, a number of books and papers were published giving added impetus to the Minoan Hypothesis. Finley attacked James W. Mavor‘s Voyage to Atlantis  in The New York Review of Books (b). This evoked a response(c) from Mavor not long afterward.
In December 1969, Finley wrote a combined critical review of both Atlantis  by Galanopoulos & Bacon as well as J. V. Luce‘s Lost Atlantis(U.S) (The End of Atlantis, U.K.)  for the same publication(d), to which Galanopoulos also responded(e).
Alex Hawk has supported the Minoan Hypothesis for the past two decades on a rather slim website(a). He claims that Atlantis was known as Keftiu to the Egyptians and he places the Pillars of Heracles in the Cyclades.
The Bee and its place in many cultures from prehistoric times is outlined in three lengthy articles(a)(b)(c) by Andrew Gough. Much of what he has written is news to me as I’m sure it will be to most readers here. They should be read along with an equally fascinating article in National Geographic magazine of March 2020. All three of Gough’s papers are highly informative and worthy of a read.
An article(c) on the BBC website refers to studies that indicate “that humans have been exploiting honeybees for almost 9,000 years” also noting that “traces of beeswax found on ancient pottery from Europe, the Near East and North Africa suggest the first farmers kept bees.”
Its medicinal and nutritional qualities have been identified in ancient societies as far apart as early Aboriginal Australia and Sumeria. The bee also featured “as the symbol of the constellation presently occupied by Libra” in the zodiac of the Dogon of Mali. Gough deals extensively with the place of the bee in ancient Egypt where the bee ideogram represents honey, and “Intriguingly, Northern Egypt – the land stretching from the Delta to Memphis was known as “Ta-Bitty”, or “the land of the bee”. Similarly in the bible, the Lord promises to bring the Israelites out of Egypt and into a land flowing with milk and honey.”
Gough, who had earlier been attracted to the Minoan Hypothesis, noted that the Minoans of Crete, like the Egyptians, also venerated the bee and added that “Although speculative, the notion of Atlantis as a centre of bull and Bee worship is alluring, and based on the evidence, not entirely unfounded.”(a) Throughout his three articles, Gough touches briefly on the subject of Atlantis including the books of Jürgen Spanuth and his North Sea Atlantis. In the same way, I should point out that in the case of another Atlantis candidate, Malta, its name is generally thought to be derived from the Greek word for honey meli and was later known to the Romans as Melita, the Latin equivalent. Malta was renowned in ancient times for the quality of its honey, which may explain why the light-fingered, 1st century BC Roman governor, Verres, stole 400 amphorae of it (about 2800 gallons) over a three-year period.
>Eire Rautenberg has offered a more speculative Malta/Bee connection claiming “The first humans came 11,000 – 6,000 BC. BC, historically very early. ‘Malet’, the Punic name for Malta , means refuge and the Greek interpretation ‘Melita’ of -melas means a honeyed dark goddess. The bee structure of the Megalithic Temples of Malta everyone can study at the temple stones; they sometimes look like huge honeycombs that have been proven to be artificially created. The owl as a symbol of the dark, all-seeing eye goddess can also be found on a stele of the megalithic temple Hagar Qim on the southwest coast.(f)<
Antoine Gigal, the French researcher, has drawn attention to a possible link between Egypt and Malta based on the bee and its honey.(d)
Eva Crane (1912-2007) the renowned British expert on bees and beekeeping has authored many papers and books on the subject among which is the 682-page tome The World History of Beekeeping and Honey Hunting , a must for anyone with a keen apiarian interest.
Andrew Gough is a well-known TV presenter of historical mysteries programs and a contributor to The Heretic Magazine, which explains why he has written a lengthy article about Atlantis on his website(a). In it, he admits to having been initially attracted to the Minoan Hypothesis, but further research brought him to conclude that the Moroccan Atlantis location proposed by the late Michael Hübner was more credible.
Gough has written a series of fascinating papers on the cultural importance of the Bee in very many ancient societies.
>In 2023, Gough published another lengthy paper on the possibility that we might be living inside a hollow Earth(b). He suggests that this has been hidden from us through a conspiracy by ‘the powers that be’. I had always considered Gough to be a rational person, so, to say I was surprised by this article is an understatement.<
The Daily Express is a well-known British tabloid newspaper. Together with its sister publications, The Sunday Express and its online Express.co.uk, it has recently set a new record for the number of ‘might be Atlantis’ articles published, all with the byline of Callum Hoare. During the first three weeks of 2019, he has managed to produce four stories suggesting four different locations for Atlantis – Doggerland(a), Malta(b), Azores(c) and the Bahamas(d). But I did not have to wait long for the next regurgitation from Hoare, with another piece mined from a recent Amazon Prime documentary, where the Atlantis in the Canaries theory is reviewed (21.1.19)(e). I note that Hoare was also the author of similar BS Atlantis stories for another alleged UK newspaper, The Daily Star. The quality of research continues to be abysmal, citations are often years old, facts are mangled and quite misleading. Definitely ‘Fake News’.
Unfortunately, this outpouring of nonsense continued on in 2020. June 30th saw the ‘Express’ publish another article(f) by Hoare with an “Atlantis Located” headline. This gem begins by repeating the view of ‘expert’ Matthew Sibson, who advocates Rockall as the site of Atlantis and then switches to the opinions of Christos Djonis who claims the Aegean Sea as the home of Atlantis. According to Hoare, in this instance, Djonis refers to the research of Mark McMenamin of around 25 years ago who noticed on some Carthaginian gold staters of the fourth century BC that they had tiny engravings that he subjectively interpreted as rough maps showing both Asia and America and centred on Sardinia(g). This, according to Djonis, indicates the possibility that the Greeks may have had knowledge of America!
Djonis and Hoare were obviously unaware that in 2000, McMenamin was obliged to confirm that the coins in question were fakes(k) as revealed in his book, Phoenicians, Fakes and Barry Fell .
Furthermore, Djonis is contradicted by the clear statement of Herodotus that the Greeks only knew three continents, Europe, Asia and Libya (Africa)(h). Finally, if Djonis thinks that Atlantis was located in the Aegean what has America got to do with his theory?
July 2020 saw Hoare pollute the Express with another ‘Atlantis Found’ piece, this time locating it off the coast of Cornwall(j). This story is a quarter of a century old and a few years ago its credibility and even the existence of the institution to which its original author, Viatcheslav Koudriavtsev, was supposed to belong to, was brought into question(i).
Hoare ended the year with another pathetic attempt(l) to revive interest in the Minoan Hypothesis as well as the failed claim that the Spanish Donana Marshes held the remains of Atlantis or Tartessos!
>In January 2021, he continued his recycling of old Atlantis claims, with the 35-year-old story of the submerged rock formation off Yonaguni in Japan(m). Later in the same month we were regaled with yet another “Atlantis Found?” headline(n), which led on to report that the remains of another submerged city had been discovered off the Greek island of Zakynthos. No direct link with Atlantis was claimed!<
(h) Herodotus, Histories 4.42.
Civilisation Collapse has occurred many times over the past millennia in all parts of the world. The American anthropologist, Joseph A. Tainter defines collapse as “a rapid shift to a lower level of complexity(a) .” Societal disintegration immediately brings to mind the Maya, the Indus Valley and in what are relatively more modern times, the Western Roman Empire.
The causes are usually a combination of factors, such as climate change, warfare, disease or excessive expansionism. Global catastrophes such as encounters with comets or asteroids are rare, while more local events such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions or tsunamis can also be thrown into the mix. These have all been encountered from time to time, but have rarely been blamed for the collapse of a society; full recovery from such limited regional events is usually possible.
The Mediterranean has seen its share of all these catastrophic events. A major tsunami on Sardinia, volcanic eruptions in Italy, and earthquakes in North Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean. Close encounters with extraterrestrial bodies have also been proposed in that region.
Perhaps the best-documented civilisation collapse is that which occurred around 1200 BC and affected many societies, particularly in the Middle East(b) . Israel Finkelstein, a leading Israeli archaeologist, has attributed this event to climate change and is of the view that this disruption was global in extent.
Inevitably, Atlantis has been cited as an example of civilisation collapse, particularly among supporters of the Minoan Hypothesis, who link the 2nd millennium BC eruptions of Thera with the demise of the Minoans on Crete. Also popular is the idea that Atlantis had been a large island in the Atlantic Ocean destroyed by a cometary impact or the rising sea levels as the glaciers melted at the end of the last Ice Age.>However these Atlantic suggestions would appear to be ruled out by Plato’s clear statement that Atlantis was destroyed by an earthquake.<
A variety of other theories have associated Atlantis with the collapse of a civilisation. For example, Frank Joseph claims that 40,000 years ago “sudden sea-level rises triggers migration from Mu around. The Pacific motherlanders settle on a large, fertile island about 380 kilometers due west from the Straits of Gibraltar. There, the newcomers merge with the native Cro-Magnon inhabitants, resulting in a new, hybrid culture – Atlantis.”>Unsurprisingly, Joseph fails to explain why refugees from the Pacific would travel all the way from the Pacific to settle in the Atlantic when their previous homeland was surrounded by more accessible alternatives such as the Americas, Australia, Asia and Africa. He also fails to explain how the migrants had the seafaring ability to travel such a distance. Furthermore, since all the oceans are connected this sudden sea level rise would also have had a similar effect in the Atlantic generating mass migrations there also.<