Ancient Seafaring is a controversial subject owing principally to a dearth of physical evidence. The earliest known boat is the Pesse
Canoe (see right) which was discovered in The Netherlands and thought to be around 10,000 years old. The second oldest boat was also a canoe, found in Malawi and dated to about 8,000 years ago(g). Wikipedia lists all the surviving boats, which shows that until the third millennium BC all that have been found are canoes.
Seafaring and Atlantis are inextricably linked. In Critias 117d Plato anachronistically refers to the shipyards of Atlantis being full of triremes, which were not developed until the 7th century BC, long after the demise of Atlantis. However, the term ‘trireme’ was probably employed by Plato to make his narrative more relevant to his audience. He credits the Atlantean navy with 1200 ships, which for me seems like borrowing and rounding the numbers of either the Achaean fleet of 1186 vessels in Homer’s Iliad or that of the 1207 ships of the later Persian invaders. That ships were used in the war with Athens can be inferred from the fact that Atlantis, or at least its capital, was situated on an island.
Professor Seán McGrail (1928-2021) wrote in his monumental work, Boats of the World “There is no direct evidence for water transport until the Mesolithic even in the most favoured regions, and it is not until the Bronze Age that vessels other than logboats are known” [1949.10]. For those that adhere to a 10th millennium BC date for the Atlantean War with Athens, this lack of naval evidence to support such an early date undermines the idea. An invasion fleet of canoes travelling from beyond the Pillars of Herakles to attack Athens seems rather unlikely!
Apart from the flimsy Solar Boats of the Egyptians, such as the Khufu Boat (see left), the first seagoing vessel listed by Wikipedia does not appear until around 1500 BC.
Seldom referred to, but perhaps even more interesting is to be found earlier in Critias 113e which describes the mythological beginnings of Atlantis and reads “for at that time neither ships nor sailing were as yet in existence”. However, we are given little information to bridge the time up to its development as a major trading entity. It is reasonable to assume a gap of several thousand years.
Recent studies(a) have suggested that primitive seafaring took place in the Mediterranean thousands of years earlier than originally thought and may even have been engaged in by Homo Erectus and Neanderthals in the form of island hopping and coastal-hugging, the latter continuing into historical times.
Plato describes an advanced maritime trading nation with a powerful naval capacity. How much was part of the original story brought from Egypt by Solon or whether it was in any way embellished by Plato is unclear. The earliest known trading empire is that of the Minoans which began in the 3rd millennium BC and has led to many identifying them with the Atlanteans. However, there are very many other details in Plato’s narrative that seriously conflict with this hypothesis.
The limitations of ancient seafaring raise many questions regarding the navigation supports available to these early sailors(b). Initially, sailing, probably for fishing, would have been confined to daytime travel and keeping within the sight of land. With the development of maritime trade, the demand for improved navigation methods also grew.
In time sailors acquired a familiarity with the night sky that enabled them to use the stars as navigational aids, given clear skies. Gradually, as nighttime travel became more common, the use of beacons and later lighthouses also expanded. The lighthouse at Pharos near Alexandria came to be counted as one of the wonders of the Old World. Similarly, it is thought that the Colossus at Rhodes performed a similar function.
Different navigation skills have been identified in different parts of the world. In the Pacific, the navigational capabilities of the Polynesians are legendary(c). The ancient Chinese employed magnetism(e) and in the cloudy North Atlantic, the Vikings used their ‘sunstones’(d).
In their book, Atlantis in America  Ivar Zapp & George Erikson claimed that the stone spheres of Costa Rica had a navigational function [p34] as Zapp discovered that the sightlines of all the stones remaining in their original positions, did point to important ancient sites such as Giza, Stonehenge and Easter Island!
A most imaginative proposal has come from Crichton E.M. Miller who proposed  that the ubiquitous Celtic Cross is an image of an ancient navigational device. He further claims that “This instrument can tell the time, find latitude and longitude, measure the angles of the stars, predict the solstices and equinoxes and measure the precession of the equinoxes. It can also find the ecliptic pole as well as the north and south poles; it can make maps and charts, design pyramids and henges and—used in combination with these sites—can record and predict the cycles of nature and time(f) “. Then for good measure, he proceeded to patent the device.
(f) Atlantis Rising magazine #35 http://pdfarchive.info/index.php?pages/At
Denisovan is the name given to an extinct sub-species of hominid(a). Their name is derived from the Denisova cave in the Altai mountains of Siberia. Only fragments of four individuals have been identified so far. While the first Denisovan remains were found in Siberia, there is now evidence that they were the earliest hominins on the Tibetan Plateau (b).
It has also been determined that they interbred with Neanderthals, while a recent DNA study(d) indicates that the Denisovans and modern humans were possibly ‘makin whoopee’ as recently as 15,000 years ago!
It did not take long for the speculative history brigade to jump on this new bandwagon. Andrew Collins has now prepared for publication The Cygnus Key in which he claims to present “compelling evidence showing that the earliest origins of human culture, religion, and technology derive from the Denisovans, the true creators of the lost civilization long known to exist but never before proved.”
In 2019, Collins co-authored a new book together with Greg Little in which they combine their speculative abilities to produced a full book on the physical and intellectual attributes of the Denisovans, based on a few bone fragments! >The full title of the book is rather revealing – Denisovan Origins : Hybrid Humans, Göbekli Tepe, and the Genesis of the Giants of Ancient America . Collins discusses the book in an interview in New Dawn magazine(e).<
The book received the imprimatur of Graham Hancock, so the collective name recognition value of Collins, Hancock and Little should boost sales. Jason Colavito has critiqued this volume(c), highlighting the amount of dubious material that the authors have previously published is included in this offering.
This comment is nearly identical to that expressed by the late Colin Wilson relating to the Neanderthals whom he claimed had possessed highly sophisticated mathematical and astronomical knowledge and were precursors of the Atlantis civilisation. This extremely speculative assertion is made in Wilson’s Atlantis and the Kingdom of the Neanderthals.
Elephants are specifically mentioned by Plato as being indigenous to Atlantis. This must have significance for anyone trying to arrive at a credible location for Atlantis. For example, supporters of the Theran Atlantis School cannot show where such large animals could have lived on the small volcanic island. There are no physical remains, no frescos and no historical references. Rodney Castleden who supports the Minoan Hypothesis admits that “no raw elephant ivory has been found (on Thera) and very little in the way of worked ivory”[225.70]. He later speaks of the importation of ivory into Crete[p.172] having bravely denounced Plato’s description (Critias 115a) of herds of elephants on Atlantis as “false”[p.136].
Similarly, Spanuth’s Heligoland location would have been climatically unsuited to elephants. Spanuth himself admits that the elephant reference “is hard to explain“. Nevertheless, Felice Vinci who champions a Northern European origin for Greek mythology believes that Plato’s elephant reference may be a lingering memory of the woolly mammoths that inhabited Arctic regions as recently as 2500-2000 BC(t)(u). In the late 17th century Olof Rudbeck, recognising the problem that Plato’s reference to elephants presented for his Swedish Atlantis, argued that Plato had been speaking figuratively when describing the large voracious animals and had actually been referring to wolves, the Swedish word for wolf being ‘ulf’, which sounds like the beginning of ‘elephant’!!
Elephants in Western Europe were undoubtedly represented by mammoths, remains of which have been recovered from the North Sea – Doggerland and dated to around 40,000 years ago. Coincidentally, a tool made of mammoth bone, used for making rope, has also been dated to 40,000 years ago(i)(n). This discovery(s) by Nicholas Conard from the University of Tubingen was made shortly before Ashley Cowie published his interesting book on the history of rope-making. Further information on string, ropes and knots was published in March 2017(o). This ingenuity of our very distant ancestors, so often underestimated, is slowly being revealed by modern archaeology. In 2000, in the Czech Republic, it was discovered that woven cloth was being produced on looms 27,000 years ago(v). A few years later a team from Harvard’s Peabody Museum reported the discovery of fibres that ‘were spun, twisted or knotted’ and dated to at least 34,000 years ago(x). 2020 saw evidence emerge which suggested that even as far back as 41,000 – 52,000 years ago the Neanderthals had mastered the making of cords(w). Later the same year, further evidence was offered that string-making may have begun even earlier(y).
Allied to the demise of the Siberian mammoths is the often-repeated fib that when the remains were first discovered, their flesh was still fresh enough to eat, which has recently been debunked by Jason Colavito(j). He has also unearthed the truth behind that other canard relating to a Siberian mammoth, namely that fresh buttercups were found in its mouth(j). He has now(q) traced back the earliest reference to the frozen mammoths to George Cuvier in 1822 [1586.11].
Eckart Kahlhofer, in a forthcoming book advocates a North-West European location for Atlantis, and suggests that where Plato referred to elephants he actually meant deer! Kahlhofer offers, as a simple explanation for this seemingly daft contention, the fact that the Greek for elephant, elephas, is very similar to the Greek elaphos which means deer. He claims that a simple transcription error by a scribe could have caused the mix-up.
The elk was the largest species of deer to be found in the northern hemisphere and is still to be found in Scandinavia. The Great Irish Deer which died out around 5500 BC had an antler span of 11ft and a maximum height of 10ft, though usually less. The tallest African elephant ever recorded was 13 feet at the shoulder, which would appear to give the elephant the edge over the deer heightwise. Furthermore, It is worth pointing out, again, that Plato described his elephants as the ‘largest and most voracious’ animal, so when we realise that an adult elephant eats 250-300 lbs a day, while a moose manages on 40-60 lbs, there seems to be no contest.
Gene Matlock in an attempt to bolster his Mexican location for Atlantis has suggested that Plato’s elephants were in reality the long-snouted tapirs of Meso-America!(c), an idea ‘borrowed’ from Hyde Clarke
While the elephant issue should not be dealt with in isolation it does serve to illustrate the difficulties involved in analysing Plato’s text. Consider the possibility that the early date of 9600 BC for Atlantis is accepted, then the islands that are too small today to accommodate elephants may have been considerably larger and sometimes connected to each other or a mainland during the Ice Age, when sea levels were lower, and consequently capable of supporting pachyderms. In this regard, Sundaland would have been the most suitable candidate. Not only would today’s South China Sea archipelagos have been a single landmass, but there would have been access to the region from the Asian mainland, home today to large numbers of elephants.
Strangely enough, even the Andes, considered by some as the home of Atlantis, reveal the fact that during the last Ice Age, a species of elephant called Cuvieronius lived there but became extinct around 8000 BC. These animals are to be found carved on the great Gateway of the Sun in Tiahuanaco suggesting that they were common in the region. Supporters of an Atlantis link with Tiahuanaco have highlighted this fact.
James Bailey who supports the idea of Atlantis in America believes that Plato’s mention of elephants could be a reference to the American mammoth, generally believed to have died out circa 10,000 BC, although Victor von Hagen, the American explorer, contentiously maintained that they survived as late 2000 BC. A similar idea was presented at the 2005 Atlantis Conference by the American researcher, Monique Petersen.
The Schoppes, in support of their theory of Atlantis in the Black Sea region, contend(l) that Indian elephants existed there until 800 BC and support this with a reference to the Egyptian pharaoh Thutmosis III who killed 120 elephants ‘there’ around 1200 BC, which is a strange claim as Thutmosis did not venture beyond Syria and he died circa 1426 BC!
Elephas Antiquus (Palaeoloxodon), is a dwarf species whose remains have been found throughout the islands of the Mediterranean from Sardinia to Cyprus. All those found were dated 200,000 BC or earlier! In sharp contrast, Simon Davis, in an article in New Scientist (3 Jan.1985), dated Mediterranean dwarf elephants to as recent as 6000 BC(p). Some writers, such as Roger Coghill, have tried to use the pygmy elephant as an explanation for Plato’s text (Crit. 114e & 115a) where we find that he describes the elephants as being ‘of its nature the largest and most voracious’. This is not a description of pygmy elephants.
Victoria Louise Herridge is a palaeontologist at the Natural History Museum in London. She has published a lengthy paper in two parts(z)(aa) offering an in-depth technical study of dwarf elephant species found on Mediterranean islands.
However, Ghar Hasan or Hasan’s Cave in southeast Malta has palaeolithic cave paintings that depict elephants, indicating more recent contact with the animals. Whether these represented full-sized or the pygmy variety is unclear. A small booklet by Dr. Anton Mifsud and Dr. Charles Savona-Ventura describes this cave system.
In Dossier Malta – Neanderthal  Mifsud has drawn attention to another cavern, not far away, formerly known as Ghar Dulam, now Ghar Dalam, where thousands of dwarf elephant bones were discovered. Dulam means ‘small elephant’ in Arabic. This is one of the mainstays of his ‘Atlantis in Malta’ theory. Whether these diminutive creatures justify Plato’s description that they were the “largest and most voracious” of animals (Crit.115a) is clearly debatable. For me, this is not a description of pygmy elephants and so in all probability is an indication of a North African location or, as some claim, an Asian one!
The Atlanteans had control in Europe as far as Tyrrhenia and Egypt, which would have included what is now modern Tunisia, the home of the last recorded wild elephants in that region!
The exact extent of Egyptian-controlled territory in Libya at the time of Atlantis is unclear. We do know that “In the mid-13th century, Marmarica was dominated by an Egyptian fortress chain stretching along the coast as far west as the area around Marsa Matruh; by the early 12th century, Egypt claimed overlordship of Cyrenaican tribes as well. At one point a ruler chosen by Egypt was set up (briefly!) over the combined tribes of Meshwesh, Libu, and Soped.”(ac)
A Wikipedia(ab) map suggests that the Egyptian New Kingdom control stretched at least halfway towards Syrtis Major, which has been proposed by some as the location of Atlantis.
Readers should be aware that there is general acceptance that the North African Elephant inhabited the Atlas Mountains until they became extinct in Roman times(e)(h). The New Scientist magazine of 7th February 1985(d) outlined the evidence that Tunisia had native elephants until at least the end of the Roman Empire.
H.R. Stahel in Atlantis Illustrated  is the only commentator that I have encountered who suggested that elephants were used in the construction of the magnificent buildings described by Plato. This would make sense as Stahel calculated that surrounding the city of Atlantis “the aggregate length of the walls was almost 50 miles; they were 50 feet broad and twice as high. To build them, and their gates and towers, was a feat as impressive as the construction of the canals. The quantity of stone required was roughly 27 times that used in an Egyptian pyramid.” [p94]
In Elephant Destiny Martin Meredith records that one of the earliest references to the African elephant came from Hanno, the 5th century BC Carthaginian explorer, who related how he came across marshes at the foot of the Atlas Mountains, which “were haunted by elephants and multitudes of other grazing beasts.” Meredith also mentions that stables for as many as 300 elephants were to be found within the city of Carthage itself.
Nevertheless, the species of elephant used by Hannibal has been a source of debate for years(f). The Numidians of North Africa (202 BC–46 BC) also used local elephants in warfare(g). It would seem to me that the North African Elephant, rather than the Asian or African species, would have been more suited to the trek across the Alps. Needless to say, the Atlas Mountains were part of the Atlantean sphere of control (Timaeus 25a-b) and so may be the reason that Plato mentioned them. It is also reported that during the reign of the Ptolemies in Egypt (323 BC-30 BC), they imported war elephants from Eritrea in East Africa(r).
Dustin Kolb, is a German researcher, who also advocates a Mexican location for Atlantis and endeavoured, unconvincingly, to explain away Plato’s mention of elephants as a reference to bulls and bison!
The latter half of 2010 saw a new piece of nonsense hit the blogosophere when a claim that the Atlanteans had flying machines made of elephant skins suddenly appeared and before you could say “cut and paste” it was ‘adopted’ by a variety of websites(a)(b). So Dumbo was not the first flying elephant! In fact, this daft idea was just a recycling of one of Edgar Cayce’s ‘revelations’ (Reading 364-6)(m).
(a) https://www.articledashboard.com/Article/Speaking-of-Atlantis/1872335 (Offline October 2017)
(d) New Scientist, 7 February 1985
(p) New Scientist (3 Jan.1985) *
Peter Jakubowski (1947- ) was born in Poland and after attaining a doctoral degree in physics he moved to Germany in 1985. His principal area of interest ‘is a complete refoundation of physics and its practical applications in modern industry’. His ideas are explained in his book, Naturics  and his website(a).
Jakubowski had devoted space on his website to air his thoughts regarding Atlantis but later removed them during a 2011 revamp of the site. He appears to closely follow the views of Axel Hausmann(c). He located Atlantis on Sicily and the Malta Plateau and explained that the circular features of the capital city were in fact the remnants of an asteroid impact crater.
Stelios Pavlou has noted that “In 2001, Jakubowski published Atlantis of the Neanderthals, in which he argues that Atlantis was a Neanderthal civilization that was destroyed in 4804 BC. After that, civilizations of [modern] man ruled. He also argues that all of humanity descended from Atlantis. It is unclear whether he means this in a spiritual, scientific, or physical sense. Jakubowski further claims that the people of Atlantis were [up to] about five or six meters tall.
The most recent revised edition of his book is dated February 2014 and draws extensively on the work of Colin Wilson. Jakubowski formerly supported the notion of Atlantis in Sicily and Malta. It is unclear if this is still the case as all mentions of Sicily and Malta were removed in the book’s recent revision.”(d)
>In 2014, coincidentally shortly after Wilson died, Jakubowski revised and expanded the 2001 paper into an ebook, Atlantis of the Neanderthals  with the subtitle of Colin Wilson Corrected. The book, available online(e), offers a review of Wilson’s Atlantis and the Kingdom of the Neanderthals . However, the purpose of the book seems to be to promote Jakubowski’s theories of ‘unified physics’ (naturics) rather than to criticise Wilson’s ideas.<
In 2016, Jakubowski sent an open letter(b) to Graham Hancock following the publication of Magicians of the Gods. In this somewhat rambling missive, he touches on the Younger Dryas, ancient giants and the evolution of human civilisation.
The Neanderthals were claimed by the late Colin Wilson to have possessed highly sophisticated mathematical and astronomical knowledge and were precursors of the Atlantis civilisation. This extremely speculative assertion is made in Wilson’s Atlantis and the Kingdom of the Neanderthals , a book that wanders all over the place with references to an extensive range of ancient mysteries from the Maya to Mary Magdalene without offering anything tangible to substantiate his central thesis.
Stelios Pavlou has noted that in 2001, Peter Jakubowski published ‘Atlantis of the Neanderthals‘, in which he argues that Atlantis was a Neanderthal civilization that was destroyed in 4804 BC’.”(ah) In 2014, Jakubowski revised and expanded the paper into an ebook  with the subtitle Colin Wilson Corrected. Pavlou also noted that “Jakubowski formerly supported the notion of Atlantis in Sicily and Malta. It is unclear if this is still the case as all mentions of Sicily and Malta were removed in the book’s recent revision.”
The idea of a Neanderthal connection with Atlantis is totally at variance with Plato’s description of a literate Bronze Age civilisation. While many atlantologists have chosen to reinterpret, modify or ignore aspects of Plato’s narrative, they have usually made some effort to justify their stance. Wilson, however, simply disregards the consistent Bronze Age references by Plato without any attempt at an explanation for this omission. Although it is generally accepted that the Neanderthals had died out by 20,000 BC and Wilson seems to believe that the cataclysmic flooding of Atlantis took place around 9500 BC, it leaves an insurmountable gap of over 10,000 years unexplained by him.
Neanderthals are accepted to have been indigenous to Europe, although the are sites in Israel attributed to them. As far as I’m aware, the most southerly evidence in Europe of Neanderthal activity has been in Malta(l), which is outlined in Dr. Anton Mifsud’s beautifully illustrated book, Dossier Malta – Neanderthal +, which can now be read online.
In a 2008 article, NatGeo reported on a study of skulls that suggested that the Human-Neanderthal divergence took place around 300,000 to 400,000 years ago.
A January 2010 report(a) dated the demise of the last Neanderthal at around 35,000 BC, which conflicts with the last paragraph. An even more eyebrow-raising claim was made two years later in February 2012, when New Scientist magazine published an article(b) that suggested that the Neanderthals had a maritime history in the Aegean 130,000 years ago! However, to make such a claim does not seem to take adequate account of the fact that at the time sea levels were much lower and as a consequence, some islands were considerably larger and in many cases, individual islands that we know today were joined to each other or generally required shorter sea journeys between them.
Nevertheless, ongoing excavations at a site on the coast of Jersey, one of the British Channel Islands off the coast of France are indicating that “Jersey may have been one of the last outposts of the Neanderthals in north-west Europe.”(u)
Now the suggestion has been made that the Neanderthals were possibly the first cave artists. This claim was put forward in the journal Nature (15/6/12). The El Castillo cave in northern Spain has some of this art dated to at least 40,800 years ago.
A 2021 study has suggested that a reversal of the magnetic poles around 42,000 years may have been a cause of the demise of the Neanderthals!(ac)
It was also proposed by Peter Fotis Kapnistos, who worked with Spyridon Marinatos, that Neanderthal Man may also have mastered sea travel and possibly played a part in the development of the Atlantis story(c). The idea of Neanderthal sailors has gained further support in a paper(s) by Professor George Ferentinos of the University of Patras.
Paola Villa, a curator at the University of Colorado’s Museum of Natural History has recently (April 2004) expressed the view that the intellectual abilities of the Neanderthals have been seriously underestimated(d). Similar views are expressed in an article(e) which traces the early characterisation of Neanderthals as ‘primitive’ and contrasts that with the current revised opinions that attribute much greater intellectual capabilities to them.
In 2018, an article by Joanna Gillen on the Ancient Origins website offers more evidence that the Neanderthals had a more sophisticated lifestyle than previously thought(n). This is based on the finds from the cave at Abric Romani in Spain’s Catalonia. For obvious reasons, the technological capabilities of Neanderthals are only hinted at from the scanty evidence available so far. One such clue was the discovery(r) that they seemed to have used birch tar to haft projectile points.
A December 2022 article offers evidence for possible technology transfer from Neanderthals to modern humans(aj).
Neanderthal cave discoveries continue to surprise. In 2016, Nature published(t) details of investigations carried out in the Bruniquel Cave in southwest France. The occupation was dated to around 175,000 years ago. Furthermore, apart from evidence of the use of fire, broken stalagmites are carefully arranged in circles.
An extensive two-part article describing the Neanderthals as ‘human’ is available online(g). This view is currently championed by Portuguese archaeologist João Zilhão, whose views are featured in an interesting article(m) in the May 2019 edition of the Smithsonian Magazine.
There appears to be an acceptance that many of us have some Neanderthal DNA within us. While this is usually in the form of small snippets, an article in New Scientist magazine has reported that longer strings have been identified in Melanesian populations(o) in the Pacific!
In 2015 the results of the mapping of the entire genome of a 50,000-year-old Neanderthal were published, which concluded that “There is now conclusive evidence that Neanderthals bred with Homo sapiens.”(f)
Further support has come in an article by Ashley Cowie with the eye-catching title of “Neanderthal Interbreeding with Humans Rampant on Jersey?” He relates that “Now, re-analysis of thirteen ‘48,000-year-old Neanderthal teeth’ originally discovered in Jersey between 1910 and 1911 has revealed that while they have always been assumed to have come from a single Neanderthal, they actually came from at least two individuals. Furthermore, the thirteen Neanderthal teeth from both individuals ‘share traits that are distinctive of modern humans.’ In short, this means Neanderthals and Homo sapiens had a “shared ancestry.”(ab)
Also in 2015, genetic studies pushed back the origins of Neanderthals to a startling 765,000 years ago(i), twice as old as previously thought.
A 2020 report(v) claims that “African populations have been revealed to share Neanderthal ancestry for the first time, in findings that add a new twist to the tale of ancient humans and our closest known relatives.” and that “The latest findings suggest human and Neanderthal lineages are more closely intertwined than once thought and point to far earlier interbreeding events, about 200,000 years ago.”
Geneticist David Reich had been sceptical of the idea that humans and Neanderthals had interbred until he engaged in a study of the DNA extracted from 40,000-year-old Neanderthal bones found in a Croatian cave. The result was that he was forced to conclude “that humans and Neanderthals did interbreed in their time together in Europe. Possibly even more than once.”(p)
>“Until now (October 2023), Neanderthals and anatomically modern humans (Homo sapiens) were believed to have first interbred earlier than 75,000 years ago, according to a 2016 genetic analysis in the journal Nature. However, a new analysis, published Oct. 13, in the journal Current Biology, has revealed that one group of Homo sapiens from Africa interbred with Neanderthals in Eurasia around 250,000 years ago.”(ak)<
By way of contrast, another 2020 report highlighted the conflict between Neanderthals and humans, suggesting that “The best evidence that Neanderthals not only fought but excelled at war, is that they met us and weren’t immediately overrun. Instead, for around 100,000 years, Neanderthals resisted modern human expansion.” (z)
In April 2016, the results of a study(j) of their ‘Y’ chromosome suggested that Neanderthals had diverged “almost 590,000 years ago from humans.”
Earlier studies based on skull size and shape suggested that the split took place between 300,000 and 400,000 years ago(af). This research is ongoing as one commentator(ag) in 2013 expressed it – “Researchers have suggested a range of dates for when the last common ancestor of our lineage and Neanderthals could have lived.
The dates range from more than 800,000 years ago to less than 300,000, with many estimates in the neighborhood of 400,000 years ago. According to some studies, this time frame would seem to match that of the extinct species Homo heidelbergensis, which has been found in Africa, Europe, and possibly Asia.
But this may not be so. A new study theorizes that the last common ancestor of H. sapiens and Neanderthals lived longer ago than previously expected, with fossil evidence yet to be uncovered.”
A study(x), published on 3 June 2020 in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B concluded that “Ancient humans, Neanderthals and Denisovans were genetically closer than polar bears and brown bears, and so, like the bears, were able to easily produce healthy, fertile hybrids according to a study, led by the University of Oxford’s School of Archaeology.”
The apparent relatively rapid extinction of the Neanderthals has, understandably, led to a great amount of speculation. One suggestion is that the massive eruption of Campi Flegrei, a supervolcano west of Naples, 39,000 years ago led to consequent cooling that may even have helped bring about the end of the Neanderthals(aa).
One of the most recent(h) suggests that the lack of control of fire by the Neanderthals, in contrast with their human neighbours, was probably a factor that led to their demise! However, the use of fire by Neanderthals in Tuscany now appears settled with the discovery of tools shaped with fire(q).
2020 saw evidence emerge which suggested that even as far back as 41,000 – 52,000 years ago the Neanderthals had mastered the making of cords(w).
Even more important is the long-running debate on whether Neanderthals had the physical equipment that enabled them to speak. For a long time, it was thought that they were missing a pharynx and a larynx and so lacked speech. A 2021 paper brings the discussion up to date with evidence that Neanderthal speech was a possibility although not of the same quality as modern humans(ai).
It has now been reliably demonstrated that Neanderthals also played music using a flutelike instrument made of bear bone around 50,000 years ago(y).
Although we see above, various claims about the various technologies employed by Neanderthals, there is still debate regarding a fundamental capability, namely whether they had the ability to communicate with speech. The evidence seems to favour that they had.
More relevant to life today is a report(k) that the average 3% that modern Europeans share with Neanderthals has left us with a greater risk of nicotine addiction and depression.
A number of interesting articles relating to Neanderthals are also available on the q-mag website(ae).
Cro–Magnon Man, who emerged around 37,000 years ago and disappeared at the end of the Last Ice Age. He is often described as having a dome-shaped cranium and broad forehead and a brain capacity of 1,600 cc, which is greater than modern man. His skull has thick eyebrow projections and a bony protrusion at the back that is characteristic of both Neanderthal man and Homo erectus. Blavatsky(c), Sepehr(d) along with a number of investigators(e) have suggested that they may have been the original Atlanteans. They have pointed to the physical traits listed above together with blood grouping and linguistic similarities to be found in the same regions of Western Europe and North Africa.
Robert John Langdon also claims that “Cro-Magnon/Atlanteans colonised America” based on a study of blood group distribution(b). R. Cedric Leonard is another supporter of the idea of Cro-Magnons in America(h), citing the work of Dennis Stanford & Bruce Bradley . Leonard offered a more complex view of Cro-Magnons on his now-closed website, but excerpts are available elsewhere(j).
Physical anthropology has identified the modern remnants of Cro-Magnon Man in the Berbers and Tuaregs of North Africa, the Basques of Northern Spain together with small population pockets in the Dordogne Valley and Brittany in France. The highest incidence of Rhesus-negative blood in the world is to be found among the Basques. Similar high levels of Rhesus-negative blood are to be found among the inhabitants of the Canaries and the Atlas Mountains of Morocco; areas where Cro-Magnons lived. This fact is seen as evidence for claiming that the Basques are directly descended from Cro-Magnon Man.
On the basis of skull shape, William Howells and Bertil Lundman have supported this view. The regions that were home to Cro-Magnon Man, in Upper Paleolithic times, were comparable with those occupied by their latter-day successors such as the now-extinct Guanches of the Canaries and the Basques.
R. Cedric Leonard is probably the best-known modern proponent of the Atlantean Cro-Magnon idea(f), he refers to the work of Oliviera Martins, who in the 1930s, pointed out that many of the Cro-Magnon people have given themselves distinguishing names with the suffix ’tani’ from the Mauritani of North Africa to the Bretani of Brittany and Britain. Leonard also insists that an analysis of the languages of these groups of people points to a relationship with each other while being quite different from the other languages of Europe or the Near East. He thinks that it is quite possible that these ancient languages date back to the cultures of the Ice Age. Leonard also refers to what he calls “an anomalous Cro-Magnon/Atlantis outpost” in northern Palestine(a).
Alexander Marshack (1918-2004) was an American journalist turned archaeologist, who, in the 1970s, offered evidence that markings on a number of bones from the Upper Paleolithic were used as lunar calendars to mark the passage of time. Similar markings have been identified on the painted walls of the famous Cro-Magnon Lascaux caves in France(g).
At the Paleolithic site at Little Salt Spring in Florida an antler incised with 28 notches was reported in 2011(i). Commenting on this, Caleb Everett has proposed [1776.30] that “In fact, the marks suggest that this piece of antler is the oldest known New World artifact used for calendrical purposes.” If confirmed, it will go some way towards vindicating the much-criticised theories of Marshack!
This combination of date, geographical spread, language and physical similarities offers a reasonable basis for postulating the idea of a coherent civilisation along the European and North African Atlantic seaboards and in the Atlantic itself, at the end of the last Ice Age that could be accommodated by one interpretation of Plato’s Atlantis. Lewis Spence was a supporter of this possibility.
>Johan Nygren believes that Cro-Magnon man lived in Atlantis(c), which he claims had existed in the vicinity of Iceland(l), he also drew attention to the similarities between Greenland and the 17th-century map of Atlantis offered by Athanasius Kircher(m).<
The possibility of a Cro-Magnon connection with Atlantis has inspired an American writer, Ernest Warner, to produce a number of novels based on this concept starting with The Cro-Magnon Archipelago: Atlantis Reborn, in 2021.
(a) https://www.atlantisquest.com/Outpost.html (offline March 2018) See Archive 2260
Over the past twenty years, he has been investigating the possible existence of ancient advanced civilisations. He has written three books on the subject of pre-history. His volume on Atlantis has been well received as an example of how the subject should be researched. Although Collins initially thought that Antarctica had been home to Atlantis, he eventually concluded that Cuba was its location and provided a wealth of evidence to support this view in his book, Gateway to Atlantis. David Rohl wrote a sympathetic Introduction for the book and repeated and expanded on his expressed views at a subsequent lecture(h).
What did surprise Collins, was that following the publication of his carefully-argued ‘Gateway’ was that most responses to his book indicated that the dominant theory regarding the location of Atlantis favoured Antarctica!(ac)
Collins also wrote of why his chosen Cuba is a better candidate for the location of Atlantis than the Bahamas(r). He seems to have been reluctant to exclude the Bahamas completely from the Atlantis story. In an article in Atlantis Rising magazine(z), he commented “There is no question that if the Bahamian landmass did once support a prehistoric culture, then it was also present on Cuba as well”.
Collins has recently written another controversial book, on the place of the constellation Cygnus in prehistoric consciousness. Arising from this study, it appears that the position of the Cygnus stars correlates more accurately with the Giza pyramids than those of Orion, which was proposed some years ago by Robert Bauval. Incredibly, a fifteen-year-old Canadian boy has produced a comparable theory(e) involving Mayan cities and a star map. The site proposed by him has now been identified, by people who personally know the location, as either an abandoned cornfield or a marijuana crop(f). In 2018, Gustavo Muniz posted a number of videos on YouTube suggesting an Orion connection with a site in the Amazon Basin(i)!
However, Collins has not been completely seduced by Bauval’s discovery and prudently remarks that the correlation may just be a coincidence. Jason Colavito has written a brief critique(b) of this book.
In 2002 Collins teamed up with Chris Ogilvie-Herald to write Tutankhamun . It is a great read involving as it does, unexplained deaths, political intrigue and possible blackmail. Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon are also accused of looting some of the treasures from Tutankhamun’s tomb. However, for me, the core weakness in this book is that it is dependent on a claim that the plunder taken by Carter and Carnavon had included papyrus documents, the contents of which allegedly contained material that was still deemed politically sensitive even three thousand years later! Without the papyrus, there is no book.
In 2007, he wrote an article(q) for Alternate Perceptions Magazine reviewing the comet impact theory of Richard Firestone et al and its possible implication for his Atlantis theory.
In 2005, Collins published The Cygnus Mysteryin which he explored the significance of the Cygnus constellation in the ancient cultures of America, Egypt and Britain. (a condensed version of the book is available online(s)). Furthermore, in August 2013 he published a paper(c) with Rodney Hale suggesting that the Göbekli Tepe site is probably aligned with the star Deneb in the Cygnus constellation. This idea has now been expanded on in Collins’ 2014 book, Göbekli Tepe: Genesis of the Gods, although his treatment has been heavily criticised as pseudoscience(g).
In a recent paper(t), Andrew Collins disputed Bauval‘s Orion Correlation Theory and instead offered evidence that the alignment of the three principal Giza pyramids matches more closely the ‘wing’ stars of the Cygnus constellation than the ‘belt’ of Orion! Greg Little offered some rather lukewarm support for Collins’ alternative to the OCT(u).
Nevertheless, Little & Collins teamed up as co-authors of Denisovan Origins  in 2019, a literary bromance that has led to another joint offering, Origins of the Gods due for publication in 2022, in which the authors explore “how our ancestors used shamanic rituals at sacred sites to create portals for communication with non-human intelligences”. If that does not sufficiently whet your appetite, the news that the well-known convicted fraudster Erich von Däniken has written the Foreword should clinch it for you.
Collins has made some dramatic claims regarding the significance of Cygnus including the proposal that “The veneration of Cygnus as a bird associated with cosmic life and death goes back 17,000 years to when the constellation occupied pole position in the northern night sky” and perhaps even more extreme, the idea that “Cygnus is at the root of all the world’s religions.”
Collins continues with the Cygnus-Giza connection in a subsequent offering Beneath the Pyramids. This book reveals the tunnels and chambers beneath the Giza pyramids and their possible connection with the “Hall of Records” predicted by Edgar Cayce to be located there and due for discovery.
In a paper(d), co-authored with Rodney Hale, published in April 2016, Collins returned to the theory of a Cygnus-Giza correlation based on a master plan that they claim can now be demonstrated mathematically.
Collins has now moved on to new ground with his Lightquest, in which he attempts to offer a new explanation for the UFO phenomena. He claims that what has been described as UFOs are “the product of sentient light forms and light intelligences that co-exist with humanity, and have done so since time immemorial.”
Nevertheless, Collins returns to the subject of Atlantis with a new book, Atlantis in the Caribbean, which is a revised version of Gateway to Atlantis. In it, he follows some of Otto Muck’s ideas and “Explains how Atlantis was destroyed by a comet, the same comet that formed the mysterious Carolina Bays“.
Collins, who proposes Cuba as one of the legendary Hesperides and also the location of Atlantis, has offered a critical response to Emilio Spedicato‘s Hispaniola theory in both Gateway to Atlantis and its revised version Atlantis in the Caribbean, which can be read online(ad).
When the Denisovans were recently identified as an extinct species of hominid, related to the Neanderthals It did not take long for speculative history enthusiasts to jump on board this new bandwagon. Andrew Collins has now published The Cygnus Key, in which he claims to present “compelling evidence showing that the earliest origins of human culture, religion, and technology derive from the Denisovans, the true creators of the lost civilization long known to exist but never before proved.” Jason Colavito also presents a critique of this latest ‘Cygnus’ book in a two-part(m)(n) offering.
While the first Denisovan remains were found in Siberia, now there is evidence that they were also the earliest hominins on the Tibetan Plateau(j).
Before the identification of the Denisovans, Colin Wilson had claimed that the Neanderthals “were the civilising force behind Atlantis”! One cannot help wondering if another early hominid species is discovered, which is quite possible, will they also be claimed as the progenitors of Plato’s lost civilisation?
In this new book Collins also “explains how the stars of Cygnus coincided with the turning point of the heavens at the moment the Denisovan legacy was handed to the first human societies in southern Siberia some 45,000 years ago, catalyzing beliefs in swan ancestry and an understanding of Cygnus as the source of cosmic creation.” Hmm.
Collins and chartered engineer, Rodney Hale have studied the Gunung Padang site in Indonesia, which has generated claims of antiquity greater than that of Göbekli Tepe in Turkey. While their investigation raised a number of minor matters, they were unable to endorse the rather extreme dates suggested until more convincing data is available(x).
>Collins and Hale have also co-authored a paper on the possible astronomical significance of images on what is known as Pillar 43 or sometimes the ‘Vulture Stone’ at Göbekli Tepe(af). This is not the first such suggestion, but their new interpretation should be considered.<
In June 2019, Collins published a two-part article(l) on the Ancient Origins website, in which he explores the possibility of Giza’s Great Pyramid having sound technology incorporated into its construction and that “its Dead-end passage function as an infrasound generator?”
Later in 2019, Collins had his 1996 book, From the Ashes of Angels, banned in Turkey(p), it is not clear yet if he is personally banned as well. Apparently, it all stems from some perceived support that Collins gave to the Kurdish cause in ‘Ashes’! I hope he refrains from mentioning the Armenians. A YouTube video from Collins offers his account of the episode(y).
Collins has seemingly made peace with the Turkish authorities as he is now planning a tour of Karahan Tepe later in 2022(ab). This link has some interesting images.
Andrew Collins maintains a useful website(a) that has plenty of information on his books and lectures. He also offers an extended section relating to his Atlantis theories(o). Nevertheless, he does seem to have retained his interest in metaphysical subjects, which is where he started.
>An article on Graham Hancock’s website offers a rebuttal of a series of Collins’ claims(ae).<
Collins is now a regular contributor to Ancient Origins. His website lists the articles published there so far(aa).
(z) Atlantis Rising magazine #37 http://pdfarchive.info/index.php?pages/At
Malta is a small densely populated archipelago, strategically situated in the Central Mediterranean between Sicily and Tunisia. There is a claim that early Maltese were Phoenicians who came from Lebanon around 3000 BC(i). However, they do not appear to have been the first, as temple building on the islands began centuries earlier and before that, there is evidence to show a Neanderthal presence there (See below).
At a 2003 Conference in Malta Anton Mifsud concluded his paper(at) entitled Ancient Maltese Skulls – Disease, Genetics and Population Migrations with the following,
“In conclusion, it would seem that this earliest evidence of the genetically determined and transmitted disease known as Thalassaemia in Malta five thousand years ago contradicts the present view that the earliest immigration into Malta derived from Sicily in 5200 BC. The study of genetic distances and ancient population migrations rather points to much earlier immigration of humans from North Africa into Malta and onto Europe around 43,000 BC. Archaeologically documented human remains and artefacts dated to this period of time lend further support to this view.”
Nowadays, Malta has a highly recognisable national flag adorned with an eight-pointed cross, now universally accepted as Maltese. However, this symbol has a long history and greater geographical spread than generally realised. Gary A. David has written an informative paper(af) on the Maltese Cross and its variants as found around the world. He pointed out its use in the Americas by the ancient Olmecs and laid great emphasis on its place in the inherited culture of the Hopi Indians.
An unexpected reference to this national symbol can be found in the writings [1848.71] of Maurice Chatelain, an ancient astronaut theorist, who claimed that within a 450-mile radius of the Aegean island of Delos there were 13 mystical sites, which when connected by straight lines formed a perfect Maltese Cross(ah)!
It is claimed by some that the name ‘Malta’ is derived from the Phoenician word ‘Maleth’, meaning refuge. However, the name is more generally accepted to be taken 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 three years.
Eire Rautenberg offers a more speculative Malta/Bee association 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(av).
Malta, for most Christians, is where St. Paul was shipwrecked on his way to Rome, but even this is disputed by the inhabitants of Mljet in the Adriatic, who make an identical claim. This is not the only serious controversy concerning St. Paul that has arisen. His actual existence has been called into question or at the very least, the age in which he lived, in an article by a chronology revisionist, Gunnar Heinsohn, entitled Saint Paul: Did he Live Once, Thrice or Not at All(ar)?
Today, Malta is a stepping-stone between North Africa and Europe. At the time of the last Ice Age it was probably joined to Sicily but whether it was also joined to North Africa is a matter for debate. This possibility depends on the extent to which the level of the Mediterranean was lowered by the growth of the Ice Age glaciers and whether that lowering was exacerbated by the existence of a land bridge between Southern Spain and Morocco. Vittorio Castellani offers a possible map of the enlarged Sicily extending to include the Maltese Islands, leaving a narrow strait between an expanded Malta and the coast of Tunisia. Dr Anton Mifsud has researched ancient maps of the Central Mediterranean region and demonstrated that the early cartographers knew the Maltese archipelago as having a much larger area than at present. G.N. Godwin expressed similar views regarding an earlier enlarged Maltese landmass in his Guide to the Maltese Islands .
The Greek text describes Atlantis as being ‘pro’ in front of or before the Pillars of Heracles rather than ‘meta’ beyond them, which would fit a description of Malta being in front of (east of) Pillars if as suggested, they were located at the Strait of Sicily.
Commenting on this preposition, J. Warren Wells points out that “Plato uses ‘pro’ seven times in Timaeus and twice in Critias. In eight of these cases, it is used in relation to ‘time before’ rather than ‘place before.’It is used only one time in relation to place or position. That single occurrence is where he refers to the island of Atlantis being before (pro) the straits at the Pillars of Heracles.” He concluded that at the very least, close proximity is implied.
W.K.C. Guthrie in A History of Greek Philosophy (Vol.5, p245) comments similarly – “’ before the entrance’ I take to mean that it was at no great distance, but the volcanic Azores have a better geographical claim to be the remains of Atlantis than any spot within the Mediterranean.”
Guthrie recognised that Plato was describing the island of Atlantis as being near the Pillars of Heracles, but based on the assumption that the Pillars were situated at Gibraltar, he was forced to opt for the Azores as the location of Atlantis, even though at a distance of 1,100 miles they cannot in any way be described as being “at no great distance” from the ‘Pillars’. Consideration of other known locations, particularly in the Central Mediterranean, that was also, at different times, designated as the Pillars of Heracles, show several islands, including Malta, close to each nominated site.
Malta is home to some of the earliest and most spectacular megalithic monuments in Europe, with some finely carved art, particularly spirals as can be seen in Michael Ridley’s book. Unfortunately, many more have been lost, Lenie Reedijk in her recent book, Sirius – the Star of the Maltese Temples , lists 100 megalithic sites on Malta & Gozo, of which two-thirds have been lost [p.14/15]. She also contends that the temple building in Malta was spread over a much longer period than generally accepted, beginning as early as 9150 BC and lasting until 4250 BC.
>A 2022 paper(ax) by Huw S. Groucutt et al. explores the apparent abrupt ending of the Temple Building Period in Malta and its coincidence with what is known as the 4.2 ka Event, when many societies collapsed in the Mediterranean region. The paper discusses the possible causes, including climate change, which seems to be the most advocated explanation. However, conflicting opinions combined with a shortage of data have prevented the authors from arriving at a firm conclusion. Nevertheless, this paper is a useful addition to the literature on the subject.
2200 BC is also the date for the destruction of Atlantis ln Malta proposed by Anton Mifsud.<
Many attempts have been made to link the orientation of the temples with various astronomical bodies. A limited study by John Cox proposed a connection with moonrise (t). Mario Vassallo favours an association with the winter solstice sunrise(u). Klaus Albrecht also identifies  the winter solstice sunrise as his preferred orientation(v). Reedijk offers a far more radical explanation for the alignment of all the temples, namely that they were directed at Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky at that time. However, precession slowly broke that alignment. Reedijk noted that “a star whose rising and setting point was aligned with a temple axis of a given monument at a given time will have moved out of its line of sight in the course of several centuries. When this happened the need would have been felt to build another monument with a slightly different orientation of its main axis, in order to be in line with the star again.”
What I do not understand is why, according to Reedjik, the Maltese temple builders continued to build their re-aligned monuments for over five millennia without simply modifying existing temples rather than engaging in the immense work involved in starting from scratch after every failure of orientation.
Tore Lomsdalen has an MA in Cultural Astronomy and Astrology from the University of Wales Trinity Saint David. He is now studying for his PhD in archaeology at the University of Malta. He has published several papers on the orientation of the Maltese temples some with a particular focus on Mnajdra(am)(an). He has now added a paper on the Academia.edu website on the possible use of archaeoastronomy to assist with the development of a building chronology for the temples at Mnajdra(aq).
In September 2021 a Canadian researcher, Irene Friesen Wolfstone published a paper(ao) in which she “hypothesizes an Afrocentric origin for the astronomical knowledge that informed the megalithic temple builders of Malta.” and explains that “using a cosmological epistemology, I hypothesize the cosmological principles that were expressed in the astronomical and matricentric design of Mnajdra.”
Carmelo Raymond Sant is a retired engineer and the author of two books [1701/2] concerning the Maltese temples and their function as calendars, which are supported by a fully illustrated website(y). His intense study of the temples and the evidence that over time their orientation changed, led him to conclude that within human experience some form of tectonic rotation south of Sicily has taken place. To quote Sant “two main anomalies became evident in the megalithic calendar. The first obvious one was related to alignment. Unknown geological events had taken place, which contradict the established view on plate tectonics (see micro-plate rotations). The second concerns Earth dynamics. The evidence in the design hints strongly to abrupt changes in the Earth’s axial tilt, in contradiction to established thinking.“(z)
Another Maltese writer who is sympathetic to the idea of Atlantis in the region of Malta is Joseph Serracino as revealed in a brief article(as).
Malta is home to some of the earliest and most spectacular megalithic monuments in Europe. Dr Mifsud has pointed out that the size and number of these ancient monuments are greater than an island of Malta’s present extent could be expected to produce. This view when combined with the mysterious ‘cart-ruts’ that run straight off cliffs, and then reappear on the opposite side of a bay or across open sea, all point to Malta having been a much larger landmass within the experience of man, namely, not earlier than 5000 BC. The cartruts.com website shows(d) the possible shoreline of Malta at 5000 BC and 8000 BC. The same site has a page on ‘torba’ an alleged prehistoric Maltese cement. The tiny island of Filfla three miles off the south coast of Malta had cart ruts visible on it before it was used for target practice by the British military(g). The clear implication was that it had been connected to the main island while it was inhabited. Furthermore, three miles offshore from Sliema on the north side of Malta submerged ruins of what is thought to be a temple (now named ‘Gebel Gol-Bahar’)(h) were discovered in 1999.
I expect that further discoveries will be made, but as it is, there is sufficient evidence to prove that when it was initially settled and certainly as late as some of the Temple Period, the archipelago had been considerably greater in extent than today. A short history of Filfla is worth a read(o).
An underwater study (2013) of the seafloor between Malta and Sicily revealed that the archipelago had been connected to Sicily by a 40 km wide land bridge, now submerged by rising sea levels following the last Ice Age(w).
In 2010, a former co-author of Mifsud’s, Charles Savona-Ventura, rather strangely, independently published a fourteen-page booklet, In Search of Atlantis, in which he reiterated his support for Malta as Atlantis!
In 2014, it was reported(k) in the Times of Malta that a huge underwater canyon, previously unknown, with an extent eight times the size of the Maltese Islands, had been discovered in an area known as the Malta Escarpment. It was also found that the canyon had been active recently, highlighting the geological instability in the region. (The link below includes a short video clip).
In 1923, R. M. Gattefossé commented  that many of Malta’s ancient monuments were “Atlantean” in character, although he believed that Atlantis had been located in the Atlantic. Dr Mifsud attributes the earliest linking of Malta with Atlantis to the 16th-century writer, Bibischok. However, it was over three hundred years before the suggestion was made again, when an anonymous German writer using the nom-de-plume of ‘Anacharsis’ published (in German only) a Handbook for Educated Travelers through Southern France, Switzerland, Italy and Greece to Corfu, Volume 2 ” published in 1839 (p. 109-112). The author, who is still unidentified, suggested that the Maltese archipelago was the tip of a great sunken land, probably Atlantis(au).
Shortly afterwards, in 1854, Giorgio Grongnet de Vasse, the renowned Maltese architect, proposed that the Maltese Islands were remnants of Atlantis. In 1910 the celebrated Maltese botanist, John Borg offered the opinion that Atlantis had been situated on the submerged land between Malta and North Africa .
D. H. Childress reports that in 1922, the archaeologist, Joseph Bosco also supported this idea. Three-quarters of a century passed before the idea of a Maltese connection with Atlantis was again revived, in particular by the publication of two books, one by Anton Mifsud and the other by Francis Galea, in English and Maltese respectively. Both of these books are the result of extensive investigation and have inspired others to continue their study. Graham Hancock was prompted to visit the island and gained material there for his popular book on ancient flooded cities.
Mifsud is widely accepted as Malta’s leading atlantologist and was the principal author of Malta, Echoes of Plato’s Island, in which a very strong case was made for considering Malta as Atlantis. In 2017, he published Island of the Gods (available on the academia.edu website), which strengthened his Atlantis theories with complementary material. As can be seen from the bibliography here, Mifsud has written several books and papers concerning the history and prehistory of this strategically situated island and the endless procession of traders and occupiers – Neanderthals, Megalith Builders, Egyptians, Phoenicians, Carthaginians and Romans.
Another contributor to the study and literature of the island’s prehistoric origins that should be mentioned is the late Joseph S. Ellul. He was a Maltese teacher and the author of a paper, Malta’s Prediluvian Culture…, that links the submergence of some of Malta’s monuments with Noah’s Flood, which he identified with the controversial idea of the breaching of a land bridge between Spain and Morocco.
While most researchers have focused on the extraordinary number of ancient monuments on the small archipelago, it might be worth considering what is not found on the islands, namely, anything to do with military action. There are no obvious defensive structures and no depiction of warriors or their weaponry. Everything seems to indicate a peaceful society, perhaps, as I and others have already speculated, it was originally a place of pilgrimage(m)(n) or some form of sanctuary!
Hubert Zeitlmair, a retired German real estate investor, is fascinated by the Megalithic remains on Malta, but unfortunately, he ascribes their existence to the intervention of alien visitors a la Zechariah Sitchin. He has outlined his views in a book, written in German with an English version promised in the future. Zeitlmair expands on a number of his outlandish claims on his website(f), UFOs, Nibiru as well as “the Atlantean ‘Cold Fire Fusion’ Power house in Malta that still generates Non-lethal High-Frequency Active Auroral Energy.” Similar waffle has been published in the first two books of a trilogy by Francis Xavier Aloisio, who claims that the Maltese temples “are a Reservoir of Consciousness, so we need to start to look at the structures in a very different way. They were ‘charge compressors’, ‘energy generators’ and ‘power houses.’ In a word, they were ‘energy centres’ for planet Earth.”
Quite recently, Aloisio’s wife, Christine, also joined the ‘lunatic fringe’ and published The Crystal City of Atlantis , which she claims is under Malta. The promotional blurb tells us how “The reader is taken through a remarkable chronicle of how they found Ashua.ra.ta.ra, the Crystal City of Atlantis and met the High Priest who shares with the author his wisdom and describes their Inner Earth Kingdom. The High Priest also reveals how he and his fellow Atlanteans fled there, after the last devastating flood of Atlantis.” For good measure, the author reveals that Lemuria had been situated in California in ancient times!
Anton Mifsud has noted that “Without the use of metal, the ancient Maltese were erecting the first domed structures of the world; these sanctuaries were also being built in accordance with an anti-seismic blueprint, and, amongst other designs, most if not all of these temples incorporated highly advanced acoustics that is still retained in the ‘closed’ surviving framework at the Hal Saflieni Hypogeum”(ab) Glenn Kreisberg, is an American researcher, who has investigated archaeoacoustics and has visited the Hypogeum and carried out experiments there(ac).
Linda Eneix has some interesting additional comments about the acoustics of the 5000-year-old Hypogeum and for good measure touches on the archaeoacoustics of Newgrange and Göbekli Tepe. Considering acoustics in general and music in particular she adds “Harvard Medical School neurologist and psychiatrist David Silbersweig says that music activates many different parts of the brain. The revelations are stunning but none so exciting as one from Johns Hopkins University, where researchers have identified a relationship between music and dopamine release.” (aw).
In 2020, it was announced that acoustic engineers from the University of Salford had demonstrated that Stonehenge had acoustic qualities that allowed “any sounds produced inside the temple would have been much less audible to anybody outside the circle, despite the monument almost certainly not having a roof.
The findings, therefore, suggest that any sounds generated by activities carried out inside the circle were not intended to be shared with the wider community. This reinforces theories suggesting that the potential religious activities conducted inside Stonehenge were reserved for an elite of practitioners, rather than for a wider communal congregation.”(ad)(ae)
Casey Terry notes [1542.36] that Pavel Smutny, a Czech researcher, who is an ardent promoter of the idea of ancient advanced technology, has gone further and proposed that the Maltese temple complexes “were used probably as generators of high-frequency acoustic waves. The purpose was (maybe) to arrange a communication channel between various islands”!(ag) A similar claim regarding the Maltese temples as acoustic communication centres is to be found in a paper written by Glenn Kreisberg (ab).
Another site(aj) noted that “There is no denying that a sophisticated school of architectural knowledge was already in place a thousand years before the Egyptians started building pyramids. (The same people who created Hal Saflieni also engineered a complete solar calendar in one of their above-ground megalithic structures, with solstice and equinox sunrise alignments that still function today.)”
The Hal Saflieni Hypogeum, mentioned above, has produced a mystery, a controversy and an accusation of conspiracy. When it was excavated several longheaded skulls were found. However, since the middle of the 20th century, most of these skulls have quietly vanished. Fortunately, Dr Anton Mifsud has not let the matter rest and tracked down some of these and in a detailed publication(ak) has explained: “that they have been intentionally hidden from the general public for various reasons, political, national and cultural for over a century.” Mifsud has now published the fourth(ap) in a series of books on these long-headed skulls and, no doubt to the disappointment of some, he concluded that “the Hal Saflieni Hypogeum skulls are alien, alien to the norm, but not alien as in extra-terrestrial.” Part three has already been published(ak) and parts one and two are in preparation.
The most recent and more rational support for a Maltese location has come from Albert Nikas, a computer engineer, who submitted a paper(b) to the 2008 Atlantis Conference. Sunday, November 19th, 2017 saw the publication of an article(l) by Nikas in Malta’s Sunday Independent, in which he describes his recent visit to many temples in the archipelago. He goes on to claim that he has located the ruins of an ancient city, just offshore, which he believes to have been the capital of Atlantis, not far from Valletta, the modern capital.
Massimo Rapisarda submitted another paper to the same conference suggesting that Atlantis had been located in Sicily in the vicinity of the seaport of Marsala. That conference also heard Axel Hausmann identify a region that included part of North Africa and the area between Libya and Sicily as the home of Atlantis.
Alberto Arecchi, who also advocates a Central Mediterranean Atlantis noted that “We can identify in this system the “Heracles’ columns” of the ancient mythology (one of the two “columns” appears identifiable with the island of Malta).” (s)
I do not know what future investigations will reveal, but I am certain that they will demonstrate that Malta had a more important part to play in the Atlantis story than is generally accepted today. The megalithic heritage of Malta predates that of Egypt by a millennium, considerably enhancing its candidacy as the location of Atlantis or at least part of that confederation. A wonderful panoramic view of some of the temples can be seen on the Internet(c).
The second largest of the Maltese archipelago, Gozo, is claimed by some to have been Ogygia the home of the mythical Calypso. Today, there is a cave overlooking Gozo’s Ramla Bay which, by tradition, is thought to be “the one where the beautiful nymph Calypso keeps Odysseus as a “prisoner of love” for seven years.” (x)
Gozo also claims to have the oldest free-standing temples in the world known as Ggantija. In the early 19th century a Danish-German artist painted a number of watercolours of the Ggantija area that “show stones and reliefs that have since been destroyed” (ai).
Many websites discuss the prehistory of Malta(a). One well-illustrated site(e) concentrates on the evidence of catastrophic events affecting the landscape of the archipelago in the distant past. A newspaper report of June 2016(j) pushes back the prehistory of Malta by 30,000 years with the claim that Neanderthals may have lived on the island, assuming that it was an island then! In 2016, Mifsud published Dossier Malta – Neanderthal  in which he outlines the evidence for the existence of Neanderthal Man on Malta.
Malta also produces a Cabernet Sauvignon wine in the town of Marsaxlokk appropriately, but not uniquely, called Atlantis.
On Sunday, January 13th, 2019. the UK’s Sunday Express delighted its readers with TWO Atlantis stories(q)(r). The online edition of the paper offered a video clip of the Maltese island of Filfla, while the commentator told us that Plato had said that a devastating earthquake had destroyed Atlantis it was finished off by an eruption. This is factually incorrect as Plato never mentioned an eruption. Then, as if that was not enough, the same edition of the same newspaper has another story by the same ‘reporter’, with an ‘Atlantis Discovered’ headline claiming that the remains of an ancient 8,000-year-old city, home to ‘tens of thousands’ of people, had been discovered in the North Sea, in a huge region sometimes referred to as Doggerland. The reporter cites Dr Richard Bates in support of this account. Unfortunately, the 2012 comments by Dr Bates never mentioned ‘a city’, only a vast area occupied by ‘tens of thousands’ of people, presumably early farmers(p). These two accounts are a sad reflection of the quality of media reporting today.
I cannot leave this subject without mentioning Julian Cope’s The Megalithic European , described as “the most extensive study of European megalithic sites to date.” This beautifully illustrated book offers information on 300 sites, including Malta, visited by the author, some of which were new to me.
(c) https://www.maltain360.com/#110012638 (link broken)
(u) ‘The Location of the Maltese Neolithic Temple Sites’, Sunday Times, 26 August 2007, pp. 44–46.
Colin Wilson (1931-2013) was born in Leicester, England. He has been a most prolific author with around a hundred titles to his credit. The range of subjects that he has covered is breathtaking; from Jack the Ripper to Sex to Atlantis. A 2004 article in The Observer described him as a self-declared genius and knicker fetishist!
Initially, he was a supporter of the Minoan Hypothesis, then in 1996 he linked the controversial redating of the Sphinx by Robert Schoch, with the influence of earlier sophisticated Atlanteans. It is revealing to note that the original title of Wilson’s book was Before the Sphinx but this was altered at the insistence of his publishers(d) in order to include ‘Atlantis’ on the cover!
A few years later he was co-author with Rand Flem-Ath, the promoter of the Atlantis in Antarctica theory, of The Atlantis Blueprint again promoting the idea of the Atlantean civilisation having spread to other parts of the world that is now visible in the remains of so many megalithic cultures around our planet. Wilson revealed later, in a 2007 edition of From Atlantis to the Sphinx +, that he was unhappy with the final content of The Atlantis Blueprint stating that “it did not represent his views”[p381] and wrote an account in the Fortean Times(b), of how that book evolved.
Wilson joined the Sarmast expedition in October 2004, as he had then shifted his preference(d) to the Cyprus region as the location of Atlantis. He eventually found the idea of Atlantis in the Antarctic waging war against Athens, a distance of many thousands of miles, untenable. Unfortunately, this brief display of critical thinking was short-lived as he shifted his support to Cyprus as Atlantis’ location. I believe that he might have revised his position again if he had just given some consideration to Plato’s report of how the flooded Atlantis was still a hazard to shipping centuries later. Sarmast’s Cyprus site is in water over a mile deep and could never have been a shipping hazard!
In 2006 Wilson continued his support for Sarmast but added a new dimension with the claim on the cover notes that ‘the Neanderthals had been the civilising force behind Atlantis’. However, in his earlier book [335.390], he stated clearly that he was “not suggesting there was some connection between Atlantis and Neanderthal man”. Perhaps the cover notes were just a concoction of Wilson’s publisher.
At best, Wilson’s book, Atlantis and the Kingdom of the Neanderthals can be described as disappointing. Laura Knight-Jadczyk goes further, classifying it as ’embarrassing’(c).
>Stelios Pavlou has noted(e) that in 2001, Peter Jakubowski published a paper ‘Atlantis of the Neanderthals‘, in which he argues that Atlantis was a Neanderthal civilization that was destroyed in 4804 BC’.” In 2014, Jakubowski revised and expanded the paper into an ebook titled Atlantis of the Neanderthals  with the subtitle of Colin Wilson Corrected, which is offered as a review of Wilson’s book but is more of a promo for Jakubowski’s own ideas of unified physics (naturics)
Pavlou also noted that “Jakubowski formerly supported the notion of Atlantis in Sicily and Malta. It is unclear if this is still the case as all mentions of Sicily and Malta were removed in the book’s recent revision.”<
+ Available online: https://archive.org/details/FromAtlantisToTheSphinx.ColinWilson
(b) https://www.forteantimes.com/features/articles/5167/a_100000yearold_civilisation.html (offline November 2015)
(d) See Archive 2719