Moreau de Jonnès
Caspian Sea *
The Caspian Sea is not usually associated with the story of Atlantis, but as early as the 19th century Moreau de Jonnès proposed the Sea of Azov as the location of Atlantis and that the Black, Caspian and Aral Seas were just remnants of a large ocean.
In the 1920s, Reginald Fessenden promoted a similar idea , supporting it with some evidence that the Caspian and Aral seas were still connected as late as 200 BC.
While this may sound like a wild idea, one modern researcher, Ronnie Gallagher, has written an important paper(b) supporting the concept (see fig.8).
Gallagher has suggested that, based on whichever data is used this enlarged body of water had been joined with the Black Sea/Mediterranean or spread even further north as far as the Arctic. His conclusions are mainly based on sets of strandlines identified at elevations of 150 and 220 metres above sea level in the region of the Caspian Sea(d). From these he extrapolated an enormous inland lake centred on the Caspian (150m) or if the 220m level is used it was a sea joined to the Arctic Sea in the North. Gallagher published a hypothetical Eurasian flood map based on these figures. However, it should be noted that Professor E. N. Badyukova has offered some critical comments regarding Gallagher’s claims(e).
In the 1950s, Sprague De Camp wrote [0194.88] of compliant scientists in Stalinist Russia claiming that Atlantis had existed on land now covered by the Caspian Sea.
Fessenden cites Strabo (Book 11:7;43), who recounts a tradition that the Caspian had been connected with the Black Sea by way of the Sea of Azov.
Modern proponents of Atlantis in the Sea of Azov have suggested(a) that at the end of the last Ice Age floods of meltwater poured into the Caspian Sea, which in turn escaped through the Manych-Kerch Gateway(c) into what is now the Sea of Azov, but at that time contained the Plain of Atlantis!
Immediately to the south of the Caspian are the Caucasus Mountains which have also had links with Atlantis proposed.
(b) Wayback Machine (archive.org) *
(c) Wayback Machine (archive.org)
Sea of Azov
The Sea of Azov, formerly known as Palus Maeotis, is a northern extension of the Black Sea bound by the Russian Federation and Ukraine.*It is claimed as the world’s shallowest sea and in ancient times was known as the Moetic Swamp/Sea/Lake.*It is the shallowest sea in the world having an average depth of 13 metres. Egerton Sykes noted that Moreau de Jonnès in 1876 and André de Paniagua in 1911, both placed Atlantis in the Sea of Azov. Palus Maeotis or Maeotian Marshes was the ancient name for where the River Don entered the Sea of Azov, then known as the Maeotian Lake.
For some comic relief, a recent book by the late ‘Flying Eagle’ and ‘Whispering Wind’ introduced benign alien astronauts to the subject and claimed to have identified the Sea of Azov as the resting place of Atlantis. Included in their theory is the idea that the waters of the Black Sea burst through the Bosporus into the Aegean Sea rather than the other direction as proposed by Ryan & Pitman. They also tell us(a) that a scientist named Xoah from the planet Xylanthia decided to create a new species that eventually evolved to rule the Empire of Atlantis.
Moreau de Jonnès, Alexandre-César *
Alexandre-César Moreau de Jonnès (1778-1870) was a French soldier and adventurer. He wrote a number of books including one on prehistory in which he placed the Pillars of Heracles in the east and suggested that in the past there had been a large ocean of which the Black, Caspian and Aral Seas are just remnants. He located Atlantis in the Sea of Azov.
His book, in French, can now be read or downloaded online(a).
His ideas regarding the conjoined Black, Caspian and Aral Seas has been resurrected in recent year by the more scientific investigations of individuals such as Ronnie Gallagher. The accompanying map highlights the connecting waterways linking these three lakes and the further connection to the West Siberian Glacial Lake during the last Ice Age, which lay on the West Siberian Plain considered to be the world’s largest unbroken lowlands.(b)
(b) A look at the glacial lakes of Siberia · john hawks weblog (archive.org) *
The Black Sea was known to the Greeks as the Euxine Sea and according to Strabo (1.2.10), in antiquity was often simply referred to as “the sea” (pontos). It has also been known as the Scythian Sea after the people who lived on its northern shore. Pindar referred to it as the ‘Inhospitable Sea’.
It received little attention in connection with the Atlantis mystery until the 19th century when two French writers, André de Paniagua and Moreau de Jonnès, independently located Atlantis in the Sea of Azov. Some years later in 1923, R.A. Fessenden, a Canadian professor of Mathematics and Electrical Engineering wrote about the prehistoric flooding of a civilisation in the Caucasus region, which he linked with Plato’s Atlantis. The text of this extensive work is now available on the Internet(a).
Trevor Palmer has written a useful paper (2009) on the Black Sea and the gradual development of theories relating to its dramatic connection with the Mediterranean and how it may have influenced the mythologies of the Middle East and possibly further afield.
Palmer concluded that “The various groups currently investigating the area are agreed that cataclysmic flooding took place during the Late Pleistocene, but remain divided about whether similar floods also occurred during the Holocene. Eye-witness accounts of catastrophic floods in the Black Sea basin at either time could have been passed on to future generations, eventually giving rise to the later Mesopotamian legend of Uta-napishtim and, subsequently, the Biblical story of Noah. However, in the absence of any direct evidence of cultural transmission, that can presently only be regarded as plausible speculation.”(p)
Little was heard of the region again until 1998 when Ryan & Pitman identified the flooding of the Black Sea with Noah’s Flood. This was followed in 2001 by Ian Wilson‘s Before the Flood , which reflected a similar line of thought.
In 2004, the Bulgarian father and son oceanographers, Petko and Dimitar Dimitrov published their book, The Black Sea, the Flood and the Ancient Myths, in English, which supported much of Ryan and Pitman’s work. Unlike them, who based much of their conclusions on a study of molluscs, the Dimitrovs focused on sedimentation evidence. Their book is now available, in English, as a free pdf file(d). They also suggest that this Holocene influx into the Black Sea also triggered the Vedic Aryan migration to India(g).
Ryan and Pitman’s book unintentionally triggered the imaginations of a number of people into considering the possibility of a possible link between this inundation and the sinking of Atlantis. While Ryan and Pitman have made no such suggestion, others such as Ian Wilson have seen a distorted memory of the event as a possible inspiration for Plato’s story. In 2009, Liviu Giosan, a geologist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute published a paper(e) which suggested that prior to the intrusion of the Mediterranean, the level of the Black Sea had been just 30 metres below its present level rather than the 80 metres proposed by Ryan and Pitman. This would imply a less extensive degree of flooding than previously thought. Giosan has offered a sceptical Ryan an opportunity to replicate his tests.
Although the scenario pictured by Ryan & Pitman and others is of very rapid flooding of the original smaller Black Sea, more recent studies appear to indicate a more gradual rising of the water levels. “With more data to be analysed, it supports the idea that the waters rose unnoticeably, by metres over centuries, even millennia.”(o)
Nick Thom, a British engineer, wrote The Great Flood  which includes a section on the Black Sea in which he suggests that the flow of water was from the Black Sea into the Sea of Marmara rather than the other way around.
Nearly two hundred years ago Josiah Priest in his 1835 book American Antiquities  also offered evidence from Euclid of Megara that the flow of water had been from the Black Sea to the Aegean. Apparently, Euclid heard this from Anacharsis a philosopher from the northern coast of the Black Sea related how the inflow from the rivers of Europe and Asia raised the level of the ‘Sea’ until it breached the landbridge and spilled over into the Sea of Marmara.
>Paul Dunbavin has entered the Black Sea flood(s) debate with a 2020 paper entitled Diodorus Siculus and the Black Sea Flood(q). This lengthy essay covers a lot of ground, in particular the comments of Diodorus Siculus who described a Samothracian flood story that appears to contradict the flood described by Ryan & Pitman as it describes a flow of water in the opposite direction. Consequently, the evidence offered by Diodorus is often discounted as ‘unreliable’. Dunbavin, however, offers a possible solution with the suggestion that “The Samothracian flood, as described by Diodorus, could only have occurred after the Black Sea Flood.”<
More recently, Christian & Siegfried Schoppe, two German researchers have also asserted that the Black Sea was the original ‘Atlantis Ocean and that Atlantis was located in that region . They have suggested that Snake Island located east of the mouth of the Danube was the probable site of Plato’s city. Their contention is that around 5500 BC a landbridge at the Bosporus was breached causing extensive flooding that created what we now know as the Black Sea. Until that time there had only been a small freshwater lake in the region. Although their book was published in German, the Schoppes have a website(b) with a useful amount of English content.
The somewhat eccentric duo of the late Flying Eagle (1920-2007) and Whispering Wind, who also advocated a Black Sea location for Atlantis(a)(f), claimed a specific site on the Strait of Kerch between the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov. Their theory was first expounded in their book  in 2004. They also followed the Ryan and Pitman date of 5500 BC for the inundation of the Black Sea.
The evidence to date suggests that the flooding of the Black Sea coincided with a storegga event, which would require a catastrophe on a scale not previously considered. In a 2017 paper(i), John M. Jensen offers a range of evidence to support this contention.
A rather different approach is taken by the German researcher Werner E. Friedrich, who pushes back the expansion and the raising of the level of the Black Sea to around 10000 BC, at the end of the last Ice Age. He believes that this led to the flooding of Atlantis, which he claims to have been situated on a plain that had lain between ancient extensions of the rivers Donau and Don. Friedrich located the Pillars of Heracles in the Sea of Marmara[p.39].
A.I. Zolotukhin places Atlantis in western Crimea on his multilingual website with the inviting title of Homer and Atlantis(j).
The legendary destroyed city of Ancomah is frequently compared to Plato’s description of the destruction of Atlantis. It was reputed to have existed in the vicinity of the ancient port city of Trabzon, which is located on the southeast coast of the Black Sea.
Michael A. Cahill in his 2012 two-volume publication on the development of civilisation locates Atlantis near what is modern Istanbul in the pre-Diluvian Stone Age.
The concept of a Black Sea Atlantis has the support of the rather eccentric Church of Vrilology(h)!
In October 2018, an attempt was made to breathe new life into the idea of Crimea as a remnant of an Atlantis submerged under the Black Sea. Unfortunately, it offers no evidence or references in the badly translated article(k). In the same month, it was reported that the oldest intact shipwreck was discovered in the Black Sea by an Anglo-Bulgarian team. It was identified as a Greek trading vessel dated to 400 BC(l). The oxygen-free waters at the bottom of the Black Sea had preserved it and dozens of others located by the team.
In early 2019, George K. Weller, building on the theories of the Schoppes, also proposed the Black Sea as Atlantis’ home, again nominating Snake Island as the home of Mr. and Mrs. Poseidon, which, before the Black Sea was flooded, would have been the central peak of their island home, as referred to by Plato(n).
One of the most comprehensive internet papers on all aspects of the history of the Black Sea can be found on the Encyclopaedia Iranica website(m).
(b) See: https://atlantipedia.ie/samples/archive-3914/
(e) See: https://web.archive.org/web/20150922224701/https://www.whoi.edu/main/news-releases/2009?tid=3622&cid=54863
(k) https://ktelegram.com/scientists-crimea-may-be-a-fragment-of-the-lost-city-of-atlantis/43728/ (link broken Jan. 2019)
(n) Comparison of Plato’s Critias with George K. Weller’s concept of ancient Atlantis and its actual location. – The Weller Farm (archive.org)
(q) e5604c_67fd983e0b934a56ac5b31ee9dd1f41e.pdf (third-millennium.co.uk) *