Mzora Stone Circle
The Mzora Stone Circle is a huge megalithic monument in Morocco and is in fact the largest stone ellipse in the world. Mzora and the Egyptian Nabta Playa site are claimed to have used the same construction methods that Alexander Thom has shown to have been used by the British megalith builders. A recent article by Sarah P. Young claims that “The circle is constructed using a Pythagorean right angled triangle with the ratios 12, 35, 37 and this is the same method used by 30 megalithic stone circles in Britain alone. Other similarities in construction and proportions exist such as the use of the so called ‘megalithic yard – a unit of measurement which seems to have been universally employed across Europe – and evidently even further afield” (g).
Although no formal claim has been made for any connection with Atlantis, the supporters of the idea that the megalith builders were Atlanteans see the complexity of the Mzora site as further justification for their opinion. A July 2018 paper(f) links the ancient Berbers with Mzora and as the Berbers occupied territory described by Plato as Atlantean (Timaeus 25a-b & Critias 114c), Mzora may also be legitimately described as Atlantean.
James Mavor, better known for his research at Santorini, surveyed the Mzora site in the 1970s. Bob Quinn visited the site in 1982 and was struck by its similarity with Newgrange! Robert Temple discusses the site at length in his Egyptian Dawn.>According to Hugh Newman in a paper on the global ubiquity of stone circles(h), he refers to Mavor’s work and notes that Mzora “appears to have been constructed either by the same culture that erected the megalithic sites in France, Britain and Ireland or by one that was intimately connected with them.”<
John E. Palmer visited and surveyed the site in 1978 and subsequently wrote an article for Kadath magazine, unfortunately in French only. He reported that extensive damage was done to the site by ‘archaeologist’ César Luis de Montalban with excavations in 1935-6(d) and that many of the stones have been broken by ignorant Islamic extremists.
In 2011, Graham Salisbury gave coordinates for the site and offers a history of Mzora in a longer article(b).
The Sahara Desert and in particular its northern regions have attracted its share of attention from Atlantis investigators. However unlikely it may appear as a possible location for Atlantis it must be kept in mind that the Sahara of prehistory was very different from what we see today. Not only was it wetter at various periods in the past, but also there is clear evidence for the existence of a large inland sea extending across the borders of modern Algeria and Tunisia. This evidence is in the form of the chotts or salt flats in both countries. This proposed sea is considered by some to have been the Lake Tritonis referred to by classical writers. It is suggested that some form of tectonic/seismic activity, common in the region, was responsible for isolating this body of seawater from the Mediterranean and eventually turning it into the salt flats we see today.
An even more extensive inland sea, further south, was proposed by Ali Bey el Abbassi and based on his theory a map was published in 1802 which can be viewed online(c).
More recently, Riaan Booysen has published an illustrated paper on the ancient inland Saharan seas as indicated on the 16th century maps of Mercator and Ortelius(i). King’s College London runs The Sahara Megalakes Project which studies the Megalakes and the Saharan Palaeoclimate record(m).
A 2013 report in New Scientist magazine(d) revealed that 100,000 years ago the Sahara had been home to three large rivers that flowed northward, which probably provided migration routes for our ancestors.
Other studies(h) have shown the previous existence of a huge river system in the Western Sahara, which flowed into the Atlantic on the Mauritanian coast.
An article in the Sept. 2008 edition of National Geographic pointed out that the Saharan climate has been similar for the past 70,000 years except for a period beginning 12,000 years ago when a number of factors combined to alter this fact. A northerly shift by seasonal monsoons brought additional rain to an area the size of contiguous USA. This period of a greener Sahara lasted until around 4,500 years ago.
More recent studies claim that “there’s geologic evidence from ocean sediments that these orbitally-paced Green Sahara events occur as far back as the Miocene epoch (23 million to 5 million years ago), including during periods when atmospheric carbon dioxide was similar to, and possibly higher, than today’s levels. So, a future Green Sahara event is still highly likely in the distant future.”
More recent studies claim that “there’s geologic evidence from ocean sediments that these orbitally-paced Green Sahara events occur as far back as the Miocene epoch (23 million to 5 million years ago), including during periods when atmospheric carbon dioxide was similar to, and possibly higher, than today’s levels. So, a future Green Sahara event is still highly likely in the distant future.” (p)
Henri Lhote contributed an article to the Reader’s Digest’s, The World’s Last Mysteries , regarding the ‘green’ Sahara that existed prior to 2500 BC. An interesting question might be; what happened circa 2500 BC to cause this reversal? Some have suggested a connection between the aridification of the Sahara and the destruction of Atlantis!
More recently, human activity has been blamed as a major contributory factor for the desertification of the Sahara region less than 10,000 years ago.(n)
Related to the above is a recent study of sediments off the west coast of Africa, which resulted in the discovery of what was “primarily a new “beat,” in which the Sahara vacillated between wet and dry climates every 20,000 years, in sync with the region’s monsoon activity and the periodic tilting of the Earth.” (o)
In 1868, it was proposed by D.A. Godron, the French botanist, that the Sahara was the location of Atlantis. In 2003, the non-existent archaeologist Dr.Carla Sage announced that she was hoping to lead an international expedition to the Sahara in search of Atlantis. Her contention was that “Atlantis was the capital of a vast North African empire with ports on the Gulf of Sidra”. This report is now confirmed to have been a hoax! I am indebted to Stel Pavlou for uncovering the origin of this story(e).
The idea of an African Atlantis was highlighted in 2021 with the publication of Atletenu , in which the author, Diego Ratti, identified the Hyksos as Atlanteans with their capital at Avaris in the eastern Nile Delta. At the other end of North Africa, the chotts of Tunisia and Algeria were nominated by Holden Zhang as the location of Atlantis in a YouTube clip(q).
Gary Gilligan, the well-known catastrophist, wrote a thought-provoking article(k) on the origin of the Saharan sands, which he claims are extraterrestrial in origin and expands on the idea in his 2016 book Extraterrestrial Sands .
David Mattingly, an archaeologist at Leicester University has found that an ancient people known as the Garamantes had an extensive civilisation in the Sahara(l). He has evidence of at least three cities and twenty other settlements. The Garamantes reached their peak around 100 BC and then gradually diminished in influence as fossil water supplies reduced until in the 7th century AD they were subjected to Islamic domination. Some researchers such as Frank Joseph have identified the Garamantes as being linked with the Sea Peoples. Bob Idjennaden has published short but informative Kindle books about both the Garamantes  and the Sea Peoples , without a suggestion of any connection between the two.
The discovery of the megalithic structures discovered at Nabta Playa (Nabta Lake) in the Egyptian Sahara has provided evidence for the existence of a sophisticated society in that area around 5000 BC. In the same region, near the Dakhleh Oasis, archaeologists have produced data that supports the idea that pre-Pharaonic Egypt had Desert Origins rather than being an importation from Mesopotamia or elsewhere(a).
Nabta Playa is not unique, in fact the largest megalithic ellipse in the world is to be found at Mzorah, 27 km from Lixus in Morocco(b). It appears that the construction methods employed at both Mezorah and Nabta Playa are both similar to that used in the British Isles. An even more impressive site is Adam’s Calendar in South Africa which has been claimed as 75,000-250,000 years old.
West of Cairo near the border with Libya is the Siwa Oasis, where it has now been demonstrated that “it is in fact home to one of Ancient Egypt’s astounding solar-calendar technologies– the solar equinox alignment between the Timasirayn Temple and the Temple of Amun Oracle in Aghurmi.”(j).
I think we can expect further exciting discoveries in the Sahara leading to a clearer picture of the prehistoric cultures of the region and what connections there are, if any, with Plato’s Atlantis. In the meanwhile in the Eastern Egyptian Desert, Douglas Brewer, a professor of archaeology at the University of Illinois, has discovered over 1,000 examples of rock art, including numerous depictions of boats although the sites, so far undisclosed, are remote from water.
Even more remarkable is the report(e) of March 2015 that a survey of the Messak Settafet escarpment in the central Sahara revealed that there were enough discarded stone tools in the region “to build more than one Great Pyramid for every square kilometre of land on the continent”! Coincidentally, around the same time it was reported that over a thousand stone tools had been found in the Northern Utah Desert(g). What the Utah discovery lacked in quantity was made up for in quality with the finding of the largest known Haskett point spear head, measuring around nine inches in length.
(a) Saudi Aramco World (2006, Vol. 57, No.5 p.2-11)
(d) NewScientist.com, 16 September 2013, https://tinyurl.com/mg9vcoz
(l) See: Archive 3268
Bob Quinn (1935 – ) is an Irish filmmaker who was born in Dublin but now lives in Connemara in the west of Ireland. Although he does not concern himself with demonstrating the reality of Plato’s Atlantis, he published a book based on his four TV documentaries(a), which outline a wide range of ancient cultural connections between Ireland and North Africa, as well as other regions. The book and DVDs are a valuable source for those that see Atlantis as an echo of a prehistoric cultural ‘empire’ stretching along the North African coast and up the western seaboard of Europe. This would broadly coincide with those regions that are richest in megalithic remains.
The possibility of a North African link with Ireland would appear to be reinforced by a number of 19th century reports of the Irish language being understood by visitors from North Africa(d). Additionally, there have also been wild claims of black Africans coming to Ireland in very ancient times(e).
Quinn visited the enormous stone circle at Mzora in Morocco and was struck by its similarity to Newgrange in Ireland(b).
Edo Nyland credits Quinn’s book as having provided some of the inspiration for his own Odysseus and the Sea Peoples.
Commencing Sept 27th 2011, the Irish TV channel TG4 broadcast a series of his documentaries every Tuesday, each one introduced by Quinn himself.
Quinn’s Atlantean documentary is available on YouTube(c).
Morocco was known in ancient times as Maurusia and Mauretania and mentioned by both Herodotus and Strabo. Herodotus referred to the inhabitants as Atalantes. It is the only African country with a coast on both the Atlantic and the Mediterranean. Its capital is Rabat and the largest city is Casablanca.
The very early human occupation of Morocco was confirmed in 2007 when beads were discovered in a cave in Eastern Morocco dated to around 80000 BC. A few years earlier a prehistoric city, dated to 13000 BC, was discovered in Western Sahara controlled by Morocco.
This has now been overshadowed by a 2017 report(c) that the remains of early relatives of homo sapiens had been discovered in Morocco and dated to between 300,000 and 350,000 years ago.
>The Mzora Stone Circle is a huge megalithic monument in Morocco and is reputed to be the largest stone ellipse in the world. However, there are many other megalithic monuments in the country and across the Maghreb generally. Over twenty years ago Natalya Marquand published a study of ‘Megaliths and Stone Circles of Morocco and Their Relation to Those of the Mediterranean and Europe’. In conclusion, she noted that “The relations between the megaliths of Morocco may not be directly related to those in the rest of North Africa, and may be related to those in Spain. We can never really be sure, but in some way, all the megaliths of the Euro-Mediterranean region are connected (and they even extend further, into sub-Saharan Africa) connecting people, beliefs and culture the whole region over,” (Marquand’s paper is no longer available online).<
Morocco was suggested as the possible location of Atlantis as early as 1868 by D.A. Godron. A few years later E.F Berlioux and Gustave Lagneau, a French anthropologist adopted the same idea. They were followed by a number of other commentators such as A.F.R. Knötel and Eduardo Saavedra, but the theory seems to have had little support beyond the 1920s.
However, the speculations of these researchers were replaced at the end of the 20th century with a more scientific approach by writers such as Jonas Bergman. He is considered by many to be today’s leading exponent of the ‘Atlantis in Morocco’ school of thought. His ideas can be read on an Atlantis Rising forum(a). Bergman bases his theory on a topographical comparison of Morocco with Plato’s text.
Originally, Bergman had opted for the ancient city of Lixus as the site of Atlantis but later changed his opinion and now favours a location near Rabat that had been an ancient Phoenician colony on the river Bou Regreg, called Salé, Sala or Chellah. Bergman presented three papers to the 2005 Atlantis Conference outlining his theories[629 .473-506].
Erick Wright, another regular contributor to Atlantis Rising forums, had supported Bergman’s idea of Atlantis in Morocco. However, he now finds that his investigations have forced him to review his position and has opted for a location in southern Turkey.
Georgeos Diaz-Montexano favours the region on both sides of the Strait of Gibraltar as the original realm of Atlantis with the location of the capital city now submerged. In a similar manner, Thomas Dietrich in The Origin of Culture considers Morocco an Atlantean colony.
More recent support for a Moroccan Atlantis was presented in a paper presented to the 2008 Atlantis Conference in Athens, by the late M. Hübner an independent German researcher, which offered circumstantial evidence for the existence of Atlantis in the southern Moroccan region of Souss-Massa-Draâ. His theory is supported with a website(b) that includes a number of video clips and a 32-page synopsis of his book, Atlantis? Ein Indiezienbeweis, which has yet to be published in English.
In 2019, Stefan Bittner joined the ‘Atlantis in Morocco Club’ with the publication of Atlantis – wissenschaftlich analysiert . Thorwald C. Franke has now written an interesting review(d) (in English) of Bittner’s 500-page book. Translating from the original German, Franke reveals that Bittner places Atlantis around 1650 BC and locates it “in the valley of the river Oued Laou, the Wadi Laou in northeast Morocco, which flows into the Mediterranean Sea at a small town of the same name.”