North Sea Peoples
Peter Paulsen (1902-1985) was a German professor of archaeology, who belonged to the Ahnenerbe-SS and was heavily involved in the plundering of museums and libraries in Poland after the German invasion. Heather Pringle records his wartime activities in great detail in The Master Plan[0032.196].
He had a keen interest in Norse mythology, which led to the publication of Axt und Kreutz in 1939. So it is not surprising that after the war when Jürgen Spanuth published his theory of a North Sea Atlantis and identified the Sea Peoples as the ‘North Sea Peoples’, Paulsen was quick to describe Spanuth’s work as “very significant and valuable research which should in every way be supported.” Another former member of Ahnenerbe, Professor Otto Huth is also recorded[1339.217] by Felix R. Paturi as supporting Spanuth’s work.
Elsewhere(a) we are told “After the war Peter Paulsen did his best to bury his past and in 1981 landed a prestigious job as a medieval expert in Würtemberg”.
Horned Helmets have been worn by various warrior groups from ancient times but , in spite of popular belief, not by the Vikings. Jürgen Spanuth, the leading proponent of a North Sea Atlantis, has identified the Sea Peoples who attacked the Egyptians as North Sea Peoples. The attack was recorded by the Egyptians on the walls of Medinet Habu and where they depicted some of the invaders with horned helmets. Spanuth claimed that “The only known Bronze Age horned helmets come from north Europe”[0015.55]. The illustrations from the Danish National Museum used by Spanuth[0015.31] were more likely to have been for ceremonial use and show no signs of having been used in battle. A January 2018 article highlights a horned figure on the so-called Oseberg Tapestry, who appears to be leading a religious procession, contributing to the theory that the few horned helmets found so far were probably used for ceremonial purposes(e). Another textile fragment found at the same site also depicts a horned person, which to my mind is more reminiscent of a nordic shaman than a warrior.
>Baruch Halpern in a footnote in his paper(f) on the Sea Peoples informed us that “Sherden-like horned helmets have also been found along the northern shore of the Black Sea and on statuettes in Sardinia, but that these lack the central disks, and may reflect coincidence, appropriation, trade or migration rather than indicate a place of origin. The iconographic connections of the horns and disk would suggest devotion to a lunar god; see Bernett and Keel (1998).”<
Furthermore, he was incorrect in claiming that horned helmets were only used in northern Europe during the Bronze Age. Archaeologist Roger Grosjean (1920-1975) has demonstrated(a) that the Torreans of Corsica did use such helmets during that period. The Sherden/Shardana, considered to be one of the Sea Peoples depicted at Medinet Habu are shown as wearing horned helmets and in every instance, except three, they include a round additional piece on the crest. The Shardana are generally accepted to be from Sardinia and are possibly related to the Torreans on neighbouring Corsica. However, the Sardinian examples do not appear to have the accoutrement at the helmets’ crest depicted at Medinet Habu.
In conclusion, I think Spanuth’s horned helmet evidence is flawed but also that the Sardinian theory is not watertight. Furthermore, his core claim of an invasion from the North Sea into the Eastern Mediterranean is equally untenable. Bronze Age territorial expansion was always into adjacent or nearby territory. A journey of over 4,000 miles from Heligoland to attack Egypt makes no sense.
(c) https://www.salimbeti.com/micenei/helmets1.htm (Also see helmets2 & helmets3)
Günter Bischoff (1950- ) has written (in German) a number of papers(a)(b) that strongly support Spanuth’s theory, which places Atlantis in the North Sea with the royal capital on a Helgoland larger than what we have today. He believes that its megalithic influence extended from Scandinavia and the British Isles on to North West France and southern Spain and the Western Mediterranean. He also includes central Europe and the Atlantic island groups in this loose confederation.
Bischoff also blames the Phaeton encounter for the destruction of the capital of Atlantis. Dale Drinnon has given us a translation(c) of Bischoff’s extensive paper on this matter. Further information is available on the Atlantisforschung.de website(d).
In 2016, Bischoff published his ideas in book form with a volume entitled Atlantis und sein Zentrum Althelgoland (Atlantis and its center Althelgoland).
Bischoff is due to give a lecture (in German) on his search for Atlantis, entitled Plato, Phaeton and Atlantis, on Saturday, July 8th, 2019, in Dresden(e).
(b) SYNESIS-Magazin Nr. 83 (5/2007) https://www.efodon.de/
*(c) See: Archive 3588*
Dr Jürgen Spanuth (1907-1998) was born in Austria and studied theology and archaeology at university. He became pastor of Bordelum in Northern Germany. His first book Das Entraselte Atlantis was published in 1953, following excavations near Heligoland. It was later published in English and is now available to read on the Internet(a). His basic thesis was that following a major catastrophe in the North Sea around 1250 BC, the Mediterranean experienced an invasion of Scandinavians, whom he referred to as the ‘North Sea Peoples’. Part of the physical evidence he produced was the horn-helmeted Sea Peoples depicted at Medinet Habu. Since we are all used to seeing Vikings depicted with horned helmets, many are surprised to find that it is a late 19th-century invention(e)(f).
Spanuth’s theory implies that such helmets had been a standard army issue in the region for over a millennium. In fact the Vikings used rather plain helmets which they did not manufacture themselves but traded for them from other Germanic peoples on mainland Europe(d). On the other hand, one of the Sea Peoples, the Shardana, generally believed to have come from Sardinia, did use horn-helmets. However, there are aspects of this claim that are the subject of continuing debate, but the suggestion of a North Sea connection has weakened considerably.
Spanuth considered Basileia, the royal island of Atlantis, to have been located near Heligoland. He produced a mass of evidence to support his views but found his book under severe attack by many academics, which, in general, had the support of the public. After being publicly labelled, among other things, a liar, Spanuth was forced to challenge his detractors in the courts. After some six years, he was vindicated when ten professors withdrew their plea, admitting that their arguments against the pastor were untenable. Felix R. Paturi has more information[1339.215] on this disgraceful episode, as well as a note of scientists who supported Spanuth.
A study of Spanuth’s references would suggest that he had access to the prehistoric research archives of the Ahnenerbe and has successfully collated and analysed a lot of this extensive material in his books. Vidal-Naquet bluntly labels him a Nazi[580.124], although his publisher, Wolfram Zeller, denied it. It may be relevant to mention that in the 1930s, Heinrich Pudor an avowed German anti-Semite also proposed Helgoland as Atlantis, but I have been unable to find any reference to Pudor by Spanuth!
The German Wikipedia claims that Spanuth was a member of the NSDAP (Nazi Party) from 1933 until 1945. Similar claims that he had been in the SS have also been refuted(c). In 2002, Frank Doenenburg, on his website(b)discussed Spanuth’s politics at length. In my view, all these matters, however unsavoury, risk distracting us today from discussing dispassionately the merits or otherwise of Spanuth’s Atlantis theories.
Spanuth’s second book had a much better reception. His final offering was Die Atlanter(1976), which was also published in English, however, this is really just a revised and expanded version of his 1965 book.
Spanuth has still a lot of supporters and is constantly referred to, particularly by German investigators such as Arn Strohmeyer and Gerhard Herm. Felice Vinci, who strongly favours a Northern European origin for Homer’s epic tales, also places Atlantis in a northern context. The Danish writer, Kirsten Bang, published a short book in which she also placed Atlantis in the Wadden Sea where Helgoland is located. She also supports a date of 1300 BC for its destruction.
Another recent supporter of Spanuth’s Atlantis theory is Holger Kalweit who has written a trilogy, the first of which is Irrstern über Atlantis. This initial volume is concerned with the destruction of Atlantis by a comet (Phaeton) in 1222 BC, leaving Helgoland as a remnant. Refugees fled south to the Eastern Mediterranean leaving their cultural imprint on the region. Unfortunately. this huge 700-page book is to be followed by two more in which the author moves on to expand on the subject of ‘lizard people’, which for me has him as a fully paid-up member of the lunatic fringe.
(b) https://www.fdoernenburg.de/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=28&t=1213 (page closed, July 2017)