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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Nile Valley

Bajocco, Alf

Alf Bajocco, an Italian expert on North Africa, published a paper in 1965 entitled The Early Inhabitants of the Canary Islands(a), in which he discussed the possibility that the earliest inhabitants of the archipelago had a Berber origin, who in turn had been descendants of the Atlanteans. Nearly half a century later the Berber connection was confirmed by genetic analysis(b). Bajocco claimed that the following dramatic climate changes in North Africa some of the Berbers migrated westward as far as the Canaries, while others went eastward settling in the Nile Valley.

>In the 1960’s Bajocco speculated(d) on the ‘probability’ of Etruscan voyages to South America, citing the opinions of the Italian, Dr. Mario Gattoni Cellini, who claimed to have identified linguistic and other cultural similarities between the Etruscans and ‘Carib Shamanism’. Cellini’s speculations went so far as to suggest that the Aymara came from Crete and the Maya are akin to Sardinians!<

In 1987, Bajocco published an article(c) in the Belgian journal Kadath comparing the ‘Bimini Wall’ with underwater features discovered off Lanzarote in the Canaries by Pippo Cappellano.

(a) https://atlantisite.com/Canary.htm (4 parts)

(b) https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091021115147.htm

(c) https://www.science-frontiers.com/sf058/sf058a02.htm

>(d) Egerton Sykes’ Atlantis Vol 19.1 Feb/Mar 1966 p.3<

Volcanoes

Volcanoes at their most explosive have played an important part in the mythologies and histories of humans.

A recent Irish Times article (10/2/22) observed Despite the small number of volcanoes here, European culture has been deeply influenced by volcanic activity. In ancient Greek mythology, volcanoes were where the Olympian gods had imprisoned their rivals, the Titans. When the Romans adopted the Greek religion, Mount Etna became the home of Vulcan, the god of fire and blacksmiths, who worked his forges underneath the mountain.”(u)

Volcanism is not part of the Atlantis story as related by Plato. His narrative clearly attributes the destruction of Atlantis and the Athenians to flooding and earthquake. Admittedly, flooding can be the result of some volcanic activity, but in the absence of any evidence to support this view in the case of Atlantis, the idea is only supposition. While most accept that Atlantis was named after its first king, Atlas, Frank Joseph’s fertile imagination suggests[104] that ‘the island of Atlantis was named after its chief mountain, a dormant volcano’. For those that place Atlantis in the Atlantic the idea of volcanic or seismic activity as the cause of the flooding of Atlantis AND Athens is hard pressed to suggest a location for this activity that would explain two catastrophes two thousand miles or more apart.

However, the red, white and black stone that Plato may be related to volcanic eruptions that produce rocks of tufa (red), pumice (white) and lava (black). Pumice has been found at various locations in Egypt(v) and identified as originating not only from Thera but also from eruptions on the Greek islands of Nisyros and Giali as well as the Italian Lipari Islands(o). Pumice has a chemical fingerprint which enables its source to be identified(t).

Jelle Zeilinga de Boer and Donald Sanders are the authors of Volcanoes in Human History[681] which supports the idea that the eruption of Thera was a factor in the development of the Atlantis story and also suggests a link with the Flood of Deucalion.

Nevertheless, a recent book by William Lauritzen, The Invention of God[745], makes a convincing case for accepting volcanic activity as the inspiration behind some of the imagery of ancient mythologies and most major religions. A recent article(i) on the BBC website expanded on this further. Lauritzen also suggests that the pyramids were meant to represent volcanoes.

Stromboli

Stromboli

The most active volcanic region of Europe is to be found in Italy, where Etna and Stromboli have been continuously erupting for thousands of years(b).  There is a report that a 6000 BC extreme eruption of Etna resulted in a tsunami 130 feet in height which swept the Mediterranean(c). However, the most devastating prehistoric volcanic eruption discovered so far seems to have been in Siberia 252 million years, which may have led to the most extensive mass extinction of life on earth(e). This is now rivalled by Tamu Massif in the Pacific mentioned below.

The cataclysmic volcanic eruption of Thera in the second millennium BC has had a strong level of support as the cause of Atlantis’ collapse, a view endorsed by recent television documentaries and an IMAX film. The Greek volcanologist, George Vougioukalakis, whose research is featured in the aforementioned film, is convinced that the eruption of Santorini offers the most rational explanation for the truth behind Plato’s story(a). However, he dissents from the recently expressed view that pumice found on the Northern Sinai Peninsula was transported there by a tsunami generated by the eruption of Thera and prefers to believe their transportation there was by normal sea currents.

Apart from Santorini, Jim Allen had initially proposed the Andean village of Quillacas, which lies on top of a volcano, as the site of Atlantis, but later found that the nearby site of Pampa Aullagas had a greater correspondence with the description of Atlantis. More recently Richard W. Welch has suggested the eruption of a supervolcano in the Atlantic as the cause of Atlantis’ demise. And so the idea of the volcanic destruction of Atlantis still has some support!

Since January 2011, Santorini has shown some signs of a volcanic reawakening(d).

In September 2013 studies revealed(f) what may be the location of the largest volcano ever to have erupted on our planet. It would have been the size of the British Isles and situated underwater in the northwest Pacific and known as Tamu Massif. It would have rivalled the Olympus Mons on Mars, but fortunately, has been dormant for 140 million years.

March 2014 saw a post on Dale Drinnon’s website(g) take the linkage between Atlantis and a volcano rather further with the suggestion that “the capital city of Atlantis in Plato’s description was built in the caldera of an extinct volcano and that many of the features of the description are volcanic in origin. The “Poseidon’ temple is the pyramidal volcanic neck, an erosional feature that stood out like a conical mound some hundreds of feet in diameter and possibly some hundreds of feet high on the outside. there was a tunnel bored through this aligned East and West, to allow the sunlight in at the beginning and the end of the day for certain rituals.”

In December 2014 a report from Princeton University revealed that a massive series of volcanic eruptions 66 million years ago can be aligned with the extinction of the dinosaurs and should be included as part of the cause of that extinction along with the Yucatan meteorite impact(h). However, in February 2021, a report from Harvard proposed that the Yucatan impactor was a comet rather than an asteroid or meteor(s).

In 2009, it was reported(q) that another example of contemporaneous meteorite impact and flood volcanism was identified in Belarus.

The Laki volcano in Iceland erupted in 1783, killing 9,000 local people but more dramatically causing the Nile Valley population to be cut by a sixth, according to a study published by scientists at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. “The study is the first to conclusively establish the linkage between high-latitude eruptions and the water supply in North Africa”(j).

A 2015 report(k) suggests that a series of North American volcanic eruptions in 536 AD had such a detrimental effect on the climate of Europe that contributed to the demise of the Roman Empire.

Furthermore, there is now evidence(m) that the eruption of El Chicon volcano in Southern Mexico around 540 AD led to the disruption of the Maya civilisation. Can there be a connection between these two events? In 2020, it was reported that the massive Tierra Blanca Joven eruption of the Ilopango volcano in El Salvador had been accurately dated to within a year or two of 431 AD, which also devastated Maya communities within an eighty-kilometre radius(r). 

However, David Keys in his book, Catastrophe[1130], has proposed that a massive eruption of Krakatoa around 535 AD caused disruption on a global scale. Matthew Toohey from the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research in Kiel, Germany, has suggested the possibility of a double event involving both El Chicon and Krakatoa!

Recently the longest (1,200 miles) continental volcano chain was identified in Australia(l).

The BBC reported(n) in 2016 that Deep-sea volcanoes are so remote until recently we did not even know they existed” and although “We do not see them erupt, yet more than half of the Earth’s crust can be attributed to their dramatic explosions” and “In fact, the mid-ocean ridges form the largest volcanic systems on Earth. But as they are largely hidden from sight, they have long remained elusive.” 

In July 2017, the BBC offered an interesting article on the potential ongoing threat from supervolcanoes around our globe(p)  and the inevitability of a future eruption.

(a)  https://web.archive.org/web/20190515084403/https://www.santorini.com/santorinivolcano/atlantisaffect-egypt.htm

(b) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volcanology_of_Italy

(c) https://www.livescience.com/1170-towering-ancient-tsunami-devastated-mediterranean.html

(d) https://www.livescience.com/19864-santorini-volcano-awakening.html?utm_content=LiveScience&utm_campaign=seo%2Bblitz&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_medium=social%2Bmedia

(e) https://www.seeker.com/the-deadliest-volcano-ever-1767374752.html

(f)https://www.nature.com/news/underwater-volcano-is-earth-s-biggest-1.13680

(g) https://web.archive.org/web/20170402010945/http://frontiers-of-anthropology.blogspot.com/2014/03/reconstruction-of-platos-temple-of.html

(h) https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/12/141218154544.htm

(i) https://web.archive.org/web/20191202184228/https://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20150318-why-volcano-myths-are-true

(j) https://news.rutgers.edu/news-releases/2006/11/icelandic-volcano-ca-20061120#.Vd2BIMtRFwE

(k) https://www.unexplained-mysteries.com/news/283466/volcanoes-hastened-fall-of-the-roman-empire

(l) https://theextinctionprotocol.wordpress.com/2015/09/16/worlds-longest-continental-volcano-chain-discovered-in-australia/

(m) https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-36086096

(n) https://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20160808-the-volcanoes-hiding-in-the-ocean

(o) https://publik.tuwien.ac.at/files/PubDat_176233.pdf

(p) https://www.bbc.com/future/story/20170724-would-a-supervolcano-eruption-wipe-us-out

(q) https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090107085320.htm

(r) https://www.gizmodo.com.au/2020/09/scientists-reveal-more-about-volcanic-eruption-that-rocked-the-ancient-maya/

(s) https://www.cbsnews.com/boston/news/comet-asteroid-dinosaurs-killed-harvard-theory-chicxulub-impactor/ *

(t) https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080624124308.htm#:~:text=Summary%3A,civilizations%20in%20the%20Eastern%20Mediterranean.

(u) https://www.irishtimes.com/news/science/from-atlantis-to-frankenstein-volcanoes-have-long-shaped-european-culture-1.4791753

(v) https://www.santorini.com/santorinivolcano/atlantisaffect-egypt.htm *

Sahara Desert

The Sahara Desert and in particular its northern regions have attracted its share of attention from Atlantis investigators. However unlikely it may appear as a possible location for Atlantis it must be kept in mind that the Sahara of prehistory was very different from what we see today. Not only was it wetter at various periods in the past, but also there is clear evidence for the existence of a large inland sea extending across the borders of modern Algeria and Tunisia. This evidence is in the form of the chotts or salt flats in both countries. This proposed sea is considered by some to have been the Lake Tritonis referred to by classical writers. It is suggested that some form of tectonic/seismic activity, common in the region, was responsible for isolating this body of seawater from the Mediterranean and eventually turning it into the salt flats we see today.

An even more extensive inland sea, further south, was proposed by Ali Bey el Abbassi and based on his theory a map was published in 1802 which can be viewed online(c).

More recently, Riaan Booysen has published an illustrated paper on the ancient inland Saharan seas as indicated on the 16th century maps of Mercator and Ortelius(i). King’s College London runs The Sahara Megalakes Project which studies the Megalakes and the Saharan Palaeoclimate record(m).

A 2013 report in New Scientist magazine(d) revealed that 100,000 years ago the Sahara had been home to three large rivers that flowed northward, which probably provided migration routes for our ancestors.

Other studies(h) have shown the previous existence of a huge river system in the Western Sahara, which flowed into the Atlantic on the Mauritanian coast.

An article in the Sept. 2008 edition of National Geographic pointed out that the Saharan climate has been similar for the past 70,000 years except for a period beginning 12,000 years ago when a number of factors combined to alter this fact. A northerly shift by seasonal monsoons brought additional rain to an area the size of the contiguous USA. This period of a greener Sahara lasted until around 4,500 years ago.

More recent studies claim that there’s geologic evidence from ocean sediments that these orbitally-paced Green Sahara events occur as far back as the Miocene epoch (23 million to 5 million years ago), including during periods when atmospheric carbon dioxide was similar to, and possibly higher, than today’s levels. So, a future Green Sahara event is still highly likely in the distant future.”

More recent studies claim that there’s geologic evidence from ocean sediments that these orbitally-paced Green Sahara events occur as far back as the Miocene epoch (23 million to 5 million years ago), including during periods when atmospheric carbon dioxide was similar to, and possibly higher, than today’s levels. So, a future Green Sahara event is still highly likely in the distant future.” (p)

Henri Lhote contributed an article to Reader’s Digest‘s, The World’s Last Mysteries [1083], regarding the ‘green’ Sahara that existed prior to 2500 BC.>Two German climatologists Rudolph Kuper and Stefan Kröpelin have estimated that this last greening of the Sahara began around 8500 BC and ended sometime between 3500 BC and 1500 BC(r).

Some have suggested a connection between the latest aridification of the Sahara and the migration of settlers to the Nile Valley, where, coincidentally, the ancient Egypt we know about was founded around 3100 BC.

Others have endeavoured to link the last aridification of the Sahara with the destruction of Atlantis!

More recently, human activity has been blamed as a major contributory factor for the desertification of the Sahara region less than 10,000 years ago.(n)

Related to the above is a recent study of sediments off the west coast of Africa, which resulted in the discovery of what was “primarily a new “beat,” in which the Sahara vacillated between wet and dry climates every 20,000 years, in sync with the region’s monsoon activity and the periodic tilting of the Earth.” (o) 

In Mauritania, a huge natural feature known as the Richat Structure has been claimed as the remnant of Atlantis by George Sarantitis [1470as well as by Alexander & Rosen and others.

In 1868, it was proposed by D.A. Godron, the French botanist, that the Sahara was the location of Atlantis. In 2003, the non-existent archaeologist Dr.Carla Sage announced that she was hoping to lead an international expedition to the Sahara in search of Atlantis. Her contention was that “Atlantis was the capital of a vast North African empire with ports on the Gulf of Sidra”. This report is now confirmed to have been a hoax! I am indebted to Stel Pavlou for uncovering the origin of this story(e).

The idea of an African Atlantis was highlighted in 2021 with the publication of Atletenu [1821], in which the author, Diego Ratti, identified the Hyksos as Atlanteans with their capital at Avaris in the eastern Nile Delta. At the other end of North Africa, the chotts of Tunisia and Algeria were nominated by Holden Zhang as the location of Atlantis in a YouTube clip(q).

Gary Gilligan, the well-known catastrophist, wrote a thought-provoking article(k) on the origin of the Saharan sands, which he claims are extraterrestrial in origin and expands on the idea in his 2016 book Extraterrestrial Sands [1365].

David Mattingly, an archaeologist at Leicester University has found that an ancient people known as the Garamantes had an extensive civilisation in the Sahara(l). He has evidence of at least three cities and twenty other settlements. The Garamantes reached their peak around 100 BC and then gradually diminished in influence as fossil water supplies reduced until in the 7th century AD they were subjected to Islamic domination. Some researchers such as Frank Joseph have identified the Garamantes as being linked with the Sea Peoples. Bob Idjennaden has published short but informative Kindle books about both the Garamantes [1194] and the Sea Peoples [1195], without a suggestion of any connection between the two.

The discovery of megalithic structures discovered at Nabta Playa (Nabta Lake) in the Egyptian Sahara has provided evidence for the existence of a sophisticated society in that area around 5000 BC. In the same region, near the Dakhleh Oasis, archaeologists have produced data that supports the idea that pre-Pharaonic Egypt had Desert Origins rather than being an importation from Mesopotamia or elsewhere(a).

Nabta Playa is not unique, in fact, the largest megalithic ellipse in the world is to be found at Mzorah, 27 km from Lixus in Morocco(b). It appears that the construction methods employed at both Mezorah and Nabta Playa are both similar to that used in the British Isles. An even more impressive site is Adam’s Calendar in South Africa which has been claimed as 75,000-250,000 years old.

West of Cairo near the border with Libya is the Siwa Oasis, where it has now been demonstrated that “it is in fact home to one of Ancient Egypt’s astounding solar-calendar technologies– the solar equinox alignment between the Timasirayn Temple and the Temple of Amun Oracle in Aghurmi.”(j).

I think we can expect further exciting discoveries in the Sahara leading to a clearer picture of the prehistoric cultures of the region and what connections there are, if any, with Plato’s Atlantis. In the meanwhile in the Eastern Egyptian Desert, Douglas Brewer, a professor of archaeology at the University of Illinois, has discovered over 1,000 examples of rock art, including numerous depictions of boats although the sites, so far undisclosed, are remote from water.

Even more remarkable is the report(e) of March 2015 that a survey of the Messak Settafet escarpment in the central Sahara revealed that there were enough discarded stone tools in the region to build more than one Great Pyramid for every square kilometre of land on the continent”! Coincidentally, around the same time, it was reported that over a thousand stone tools had been found in the Northern Utah Desert(g). What the Utah discovery lacked in quantity was made up for in quality with the finding of the largest known Haskett point spearhead, measuring around nine inches in length.

(a) Saudi Aramco World (2006, Vol. 57, No.5 p.2-11)

(b) https://www.ancientpages.com/2015/09/05/was-megalithic-stone-circle-of-mzoura-the-tomb-of-giant-antaeus/

(c) https://web.archive.org/web/20201019061756/http://catalog.afriterra.org/zoomMap.cmd?number=1036

(d) NewScientist.com, 16 September 2013, https://tinyurl.com/mg9vcoz

(e) https://books.google.com/books?id=GvMDAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA46&dq=dr.+carla+sage+archaeologist&hl=en&sa=X&ei=GSENVKiaO9W0yASJgoIY&ved=0CCYQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=dr.%20carla%20sage%20archaeologist&f=false

(f) https://www.cam.ac.uk/research/news/saharan-carpet-of-tools-is-the-earliest-known-man-made-landscape

(g) https://westerndigs.org/over-1000-ancient-stone-tools-left-by-great-basin-hunters-found-in-utah-desert/

(h) https://www.theguardian.com/science/2015/nov/10/ancient-river-network-discoverd-buried-under-saharan-sand

(i) 7. The lakes in the middle of the Sahara desert – Page 8 (archive.org)

(j) https://www.ancient-origins.net/news-history-archaeology/astronomically-aligned-temple-siwa-oasis-ancient-calendar-device-006852?nopaging=1

(k) See: https://web.archive.org/web/20170614023816/https://www.godkingscenario.com/articles/origin-sahara-desert

(l) See: Archive 3268

(m) https://www.google.co.uk/search?sourceid=navclient&aq=&oq=&ie=UTF-8&rlz=1T4GGHP_enIE665IE665&q=the+sahara+megalakes+project&gs_l=hp..0.41l52.0.0.0.2769………..0.&gws_rd=ssl

(n) https://popular-archaeology.com/issue/winter-2017/article/did-humans-create-the-sahara-desert

(o) https://phys.org/news/2019-01-sahara-swung-lush-conditions-years.html#jCp

(p) https://www.livescience.com/will-sahara-desert-turn-green.html

(q) Revive Eden 3 Convincing Atlantis – YouTube *

(r) https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/uncovering-secrets-of-the-sphinx-5053442/ *