An A-Z Guide To The Search For Plato's Atlantis

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    Joining The Dots

    I have now published my new book, Joining The Dots, which offers a fresh look at the Atlantis mystery. I have addressed the critical questions of when, where and who, using Plato’s own words, tempered with some critical thinking and a modicum of common sense.Read More »
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Nikolai Zhirov

Frandsen, Marius

Marius Frandsen, was a Danish engineer who proposed during the middle of the last century that the Azores region held the location of Atlantis and that its plain lay on an underwater plateau to the south of the current archipelago(a)(b).

N. Zhirov noted [458.363] how Frandsen’s study found the dimensions of the plateau closely matched Plato’s dimensions for the plain.

(a)  “Atlantis – en realitet eller en utopi”, 1969, p.31, Strubes, København

(b) Pyramide Viskom (Pyramid Wisdom) Copenhagen, 1945

de Camp, Lyon Sprague

L. Sprague deCamp (1907-2000) is probably better known as a science fiction writer with over 120 books to his credit, including two non-fiction titles, Citadels of Mystery (First ed.: Ancient Ruins and Archaeology) [0820] and Lost Continents [0194], in which he was extremely sceptical of the reality of the Atlantis described by Plato. He offers the blunt declaration that Plato concocted the whole story, basing the tale on a mixture of the wealth of Tartessos in Spain, the destruction of the Greek island of Atalanta all intermingled with the mythology of Atlas. Although his criticism is harsh, it should be said that deCamp does display a reasonable degree of objectivity. It is probably because of his perceived integrity that other Atlantis sceptics continually trot out his views in support of their own position.

>A few years after Lost Continents was published, Nikolai Zhirov wrote a critique of the book(c), rejecting both its style and content. He notes that “the work shows a bad one-sided knowledge of geology and oceanography which is not counterbalanced by a critical examination of the published geological and oceanographical facts, although it is only by a study of these last that the Atlantis problem can be fully resolved.” Personally, I think that Zhirov’s comments are a reflection of his own bias towards an Atlantic location for Atlantis and ignore many other aspects of the Atlantis question, such as the date when Atlantis existed, as well as the identity of the Atlanteans.<

One of deCamp’s most quoted extracts is that “you cannot change all the details of Plato’s story and still claim to have Plato’s story.” While I fully endorse this comment, I must point out that there is a difference between changing and interpreting. For example when Plato refers to Asia or Libya, even deCamp accepted that in Plato’s day ‘Asia’ was not the landmass we know, stretching from the Urals to Japan, but a much smaller territory [0194.27]. In fact the term ‘Asia’ at one point was just applied to a small region of modern Turkey. Similarly, ‘Libya’ was not the country we know by that name today, but the term was often employed to designate all of North Africa west of Egypt. There are a number of other details in Plato’s narrative that require explanation or interpretation and so as long as any such elucidation is based on evidence and reason they cannot be glibly dismissed as substantive ‘changes’.

He scathingly refutes the more outlandish Atlantis theories that have deviated dramatically from Plato’s narrative, commenting that without matching the “date, location, size and island character” with the text we do not have Atlantis.

DeCamp also considered Alfred Wegner’s theory of continental drift as “very doubtful”, but corrected this statement in a 1970 edition of his book. Immanuel Velikovsky also received the sharp end of deCamp’s pen, describing his catastrophic theories as ‘mad’. Further information on deCamp can be found on the internet(a) where excerpts from his Lost Continents are also available(b).

Henry Eichner drew attention [0287] to the fact that in three books relating to Atlantis authored by deCamp he describes a ring found by Adolf Schulten at the site of Tartessos, but slightly differently in all three! In Lost Continents it is plain, in Lands Beyond it is copper, while in Ancient Ruins and Archaeology it became gold!

Frank Joseph incorrectly claimed in the July/August 2011 issue of AtlantisRising magazine that DeCamp “formerly a staunch disbeliever in Atlantis, was later convinced it did indeed exist in south-coastal Iberia.”

(a) https://www.lspraguedecamp.com/ (offline August 2016)

(b) https://books.google.com/books/about/Lost_continents.html?id=3YHwFivT-ykC

>(c) Atlantis, Volume 11, No.5, July/August 1958<

Knorosov, Yuri (L)

knorosovYuri Knorosov (1922-1999) was a Russian linguist and epigrapher, who is best known for his work on the decipherment of the Mayan script. In the 1960’s he ventured outside his comfort zone when he offered his views on Atlantis in a review of Zhirov’s book, Atlantida. Knorosov concluded that Atlantis was located it in Spain(a). He repeated his comments in another article a few years later, while Zhirov responded by accusing Knorosov of lacking scientific objectivity[458.11].

(a) Sovetskya etnografia No4, 1961,  pp 213-218.

Yefremov, I. A.

YefremovI. A. Yefremov (1908-1972) was a well-known Russian scientist and science-fiction writer.  Nikolai Zhirov quotes[458.83] Yefremov, who saw the Mediterranean as the “cradle of all the great civilisations of antiquity such as those of Egypt and Atlantis” and believed that “it is not at all necessary to consider that the existence of an island in the Atlantic explains the continuity between the Mediterranean and American cultures.”

Bryusov, Valery

Valery Bryusov (1873-1924) was a Russian poet, dramatist and historian. In

ibryuso001p1

1917 he wrote a paper on Atlantis in which he reviewed all the theories of the day. He believed that Atlantis had flourished at the end of the last Ice Age. Bryusov speculated that Plato’s orichalcum was in fact aluminium-bronze, an unlikely possibility considering the high temperatures needed to produce such an alloy. He also expressed a very sceptical view of the occult theories relating to Atlantis.

Bryusov was of the opinion that “Underlying all ancient cultures there must be a single influence”, which he believed to be Atlantis.

Nikolai Zhirov relates[0458.9]  how on the recommendation of Maxim Gorky, Bryusov wrote a review of the historical and ethnical aspects of the Atlantis problem.

Theopompus of Chios

Theopompus of Chios (c. 4th Cent. BC.) is quoted by Aelian (i) where he seems to describe a continent on the far side of the Atlantic in terms similar to Plato’s account of Atlantis. This excerpt is reputed to be from a play of Thespis, a contemporary of Solon, who is believed to have parodied Solon’s Atlantis poem, which, if true, adds credence to the view that Atlantis was not just an invention of Plato’s.

However, N. Zhirov[458] urges caution as ‘Theopompus was considered a writer of fables even in antiquity’.  *Stephen P. Kershaw notes that Aelian “exposes how Theopompus quite flagrantly ripped off the Timaeus and the Critias.” [1585.109]*

Ignatius Donnelly points out[021] that Theopompus referred to Atlanteans as Meropes. In spite of any misgivings about reliability of Theopompus it would appear that he personally accepted the existence of Atlantis.

(i) Variae Historiae (III, 18)

Sicily

Sicily was first inhabited by modern humans during the last Ice Age(h) when lower sea levels exposed a land bridge between it and what is now mainland Italy.

Plato was quite familiar with Sicily having paid a number of visits there(i) and on one occasion was sold as a slave having offended King Dionysius with his criticism of tyrannical rulers. Many think that his time in the capital, Syracuse, inspired elements of his description of the capital of Atlantis!

The island was probably first suggested as having a link with Atlantis by Mário Saa in a 1936 book in which he has Atlantis stretching from and including Sicily and the Maltese archipelago all the way to Tunisia. It was then more than four decades before Phyllis Young Forsyth wrote her book, Atlantis: The Making of Myth [266], in which she expressed her belief that Plato wrote the Atlantis story as an anti-war allegory partly based on his own experiences with the king of Syracuse.

More recently a number of other sicilywriters have also put Sicily forward as a location for Atlantis. In the main, it has been European investigators who have advocated such a Sicilian connection and some have gone further and proposed a land bridge with Tunisia within the memory of man.

Dr. Peter Jakubowski also offers(a) Sicily and the Malta Plateau as the location of Atlantis. He proposes a cosmic impact in the Atlantic which closed the Strait of Gibraltar around 4800 BC. When the dam eventually broke, the Mediterranean to the west of Sicily began to fill. This was then followed by the breaching of the land bridge between Sicily and Africa and finally the dam in the Bosporus broke, flooding what was a much smaller Black Sea than we have today. Jakubowski’s site is apparently a reworking of Axel Hausmann’s book.*A few years ago he revamped his website, but removed all the Atlantis material.*

Patrick Archer has also adopted the concept of a Sicilian land bridge and promotes the idea that the breaching of it and its consequences were the inspiration for the biblical Deluge(e).

Zhirov noted that “the Mediterranean is fairly shallow between Sicily and Tunisia. There are vast sandbanks and shoals. It may be considered as beyond all doubt that this region subsided recently and that there was a broad isthmus between Sicily and Tunisia.”

Alberto Arecchi(b) has added his voice in support of this Sicilian land bridge linking Italy with Africa and places Atlantis off the coast of modern Tunisia.

Further support has come from Thomas J. Krupa in his 2014 book[1010], in which proposes that the land bridge was composed of limestone which over time had been partially dissolved by rainwater and was under stress from the rising sea levels on its western side. He considers the land bridge the most likely location for Atlantis, which was destroyed when the isthmus was sundered by an earthquake.

Another exponent of a relatively recent collapse of the Gibraltar Dam is the previously mentioned Axel Hausmann[371] who locates Atlantis between Sicily and Malta.

Alfred E. Schmeck has written[542], in German, a detailed look at Sicily as the inspiration for Plato’s narrative.

Thorwald C. Franke has a well-balanced website(c), in German and English, supporting the idea of a Bronze Age Sicilian Atlantis. For topographical reasons he places the city on the Plains of Catania on the east coast of the island. He sees that the importance of Atlantis within his hypothesis “is the transfer of culture from the eastern to the Western Mediterranean, e.g. there can be found parallels between the culture of the Etruscans, whose role in bringing eastern culture to the west is widely acknowledged.”

Sicily is also home to a number of step pyramids similar to the Canarian examples(d). Antoine Gigal, the French explorer and writer, offers on her website(f) an extensively illustrated article about 23 previously unrecorded Sicilian pyramids as well as seven pyramids on Mauritius(g).

*A 2020 article on the Ancient Origins website by Daniela Giordano reviews the subject of Italian pyramids and more particularly the Sicilian pyramids and their possible connection with the Shekelesh one of the Sea Peoples, an idea also advocated by Nancy K. Sanders, the British archaeologist. The article goes on to suggest some linkage with the more than controversial Bosnian pyramids, which I find overly speculative(k).*

Quite recently a bronze object with a 13th century BC Sicilian connection was found off the coast of Devon in the UK, suggesting ancient trade between the Central Mediterranean and Britain(j).

*(a) https://naturics.info/*

(b) https://www.antikitera.net/news.asp?ID=9728

(c) https://www.thorwalds-internetseiten.de

(d) See: Archive 2006

(e) https://patrickofatlantis.com/

(f)  https://www.gigalresearch.com/uk/pyramides-sicile.php
(g) https://www.gigalresearch.com/uk/pyramides-maurice.php
(h) https://www.sci-news.com/archaeology/article00749.html

(i) https://www.bestofsicily.com/mag/art407.htm

(j) https://atlantisonline.smfforfree2.com/index.php?topic=5703.0;wap2

*(k) https://www.ancient-origins.net/ancient-places-europe/sicily-pyramids-0013233*

Also See: Pantelleria

Russian Atlantology

Russian Atlantology was quite unknown to the general reader in the West until the fall of communism. This was mainly due to a combination of the strictures of the communist regime and the language barrier. A recent submission to Wikipedia on the subject of Russian Atlantology was rejected but can be read here(i).

It is accepted that Russian Atlantology began in the 18th century with brief references in a number of technical and poetic works. However it was not until the 19th century that Avraam Norov attempted the first serious scientific attempt to locate Atlantis. Following a study of Greek and Arabic sources, Norov was convinced that Plato’s lost civilisation had been situated in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Later in the same century a new element was introduced to the subject with the ‘revelations’ of Elena Blavatsky and the creation of Theosophy. To this day her esoteric waffle is quoted and accepted unthinkingly by many otherwise rational beings. The renowned Russian novelist Alexei Tolstoy devoted an episode in his novel Aelita to the subject of Atlantis.

In 1912, Vladimir Bogachev, a noted geologist published a short work on the geology of Atlantis entitled Atlantida. Bogachev lectured at the University of Dorpat in Estonia and is often labelled ‘the father of Russian Atlantology’. A few years later,  the poet and historian, Valery Bryusov, wrote of Atlantis flourishing at the  end of the last Ice Age. In 1923 the geographer, Boris Bobrynin, identified the  Guanches of the Canaries as the descendants of the Atlanteans.

The doyen of Russian atlantologists in the latter half of the 20th century was undoubtedly Nikolai Zhirov whose studies over many years were published in English in 1970 and again in 2001[458]. It is a work of great erudition although it is a little dated as most of the material was originally published in Russian in the 1950’s. Zhirov uncompromisingly determined to promote the Atlantic as the original location of Atlantis.>He wrote a short overview of Russian Atlantology for Egerton SykesAtlantis journal in 1959(j).<

More recently Viatcheslav Koudriavtsev published his thesis regarding the location of Atlantis on the Internet(a). He is convinced that it was located on the Celtic Shelf near the Scilly Isles. Vladimir Pakhomov is another supporter of the ‘Atlantis in the Atlantic’ school of thought and also promotes his views on the Internet(b).

In 1994 Vlaceslav Jurikov proposed that Atlantis had been located near the Lipari Islands and its refugees fled to the Ukraine resulting in the modern symbol of the Ukraine being the trident of Poseidon. Coincidentally, the Ukrainian connection has also received support from non-Russians, the exotic sounding Flying Eagle and Whispering Wind[138](c) and the Schoppes(d).

The late Alexander Voronin was the president of the Russian Society ror Studying the Problem of Atlantis  [ROIPA], which has held three congresses on the subject. At the last congress, Alexander Gorodnitsky, a member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, spoke controversially of the existence of highly advanced civilisations in the distant past. Voronin was also the chief editor of Atlantis: Problems, Searches, Hypotheses.

Konstantin Dukarev has written a review of scientific Atlantology with particular reference to Russian studies(e).  Although the paper is in Russian it translates well, but without paragraphs, making it more difficult to read.

A hyperdiffusionist view of Russia as the world’s mother culture, employing a level of hyperbole not endured since the days of Stalin, can be now read(f) online for your added enjoyment. 

There are aspects of modern Russian nationalism that seem to employ some of the rhetoric of the Nazi regime as well as their ideas of an Arctic homeland and even more worryingly, anti-Semitism(g). The linkage of Atlantis with this Arctic homeland was highlighted a few years ago on the Pravda website(h).

(a) https://www.subtleenergies.com/ormus/wg/atlan4_e.htm

(b) https://dominorus.majestic64.com/atlantis.html

(c) https://www.atlantis-motherland.com/home.html

>(d) https://web.archive.org/web/20190819053842/https://www.black-sea-atlantis.com/schoppe.pdf<

(e)  https://www.proza.ru/2012/12/20/355

(f) https://www.facebook.com/notes/739187389451526/ 

(g) See: Archive 2415

(h) https://www.google.co.uk/search?sourceid=navclient&ie=UTF-8&rlz=1T4GUEA_enIE624IE624&q=Mankind+descended+from+civilization+of+Atlanteans+in+the+Arctic

(i) See: Archive 3918

>(j) Atlantis Vol.13 No.1 Dec 1959<