By LEONARDO VINTIÑI
There is an ancient culture that flourished in Mesoamerica
around 1100 A.D. still baffling historians—the
mysterious Olmecs. Their religious rituals are far from
completely understood, but so too are their origins. How
did this culture that appeared seemingly overnight go on
to exhibit such an enormous influence on the rest of the
According to several authors, including Mike Xu,
professor of Chinese studies at the University of Central
Oklahoma, the Olmecs are descendants of ancient Chinese.
The evidence? The Olmec culture began around
1100 A.D., some years after the fall of China’s Shang dynasty
(1766 to 1122 B.C.). According to ancient chronicles
of that era, when the Zhou were invading and plundering
the Shang, records state that the son of the emperor
brought 25,000 adepts toward the “eastern ocean.” According
to Mike Xu, these were the first Olmec people.
At that time in history, China’s ocean fleet was the
most advanced of the day. Some historians propose that
these Chinese travelers could have arrived on the American
coast thanks to the “black current.” Known as Kuro
Shiwo or “current of death” in Japanese, this Pacific current
would have been capable of navigating an ancient
Chinese sailor to the Americas. In his article for the sailing
magazine 48 Degrees North, “Are We Living in the
Land of Fusang?” Hewitt R. Jackson writes that there is
evidence of similar pre-Columbian Chinese sea voyages
that have already been confirmed:
“Probably the best documented account that has been
studied is that of Hwui Chan (Hoei Shin). He was a “chamen”
or mendicant priest who had made his way from
Afghanistan among the first of the Buddhist missionaries
to reach China. This was a period of great expansion
for Buddhism and extraordinary journeys by land
and sea were common for the “cha-men.” Hwui Chan
sailed to the Americas some five hundred years before
Leif Erickson and a thousand before Columbus. His description
of the land he visited seems to indicate that he
passed by California and settled in Mexico. After a stay
of forty years he returned to China in 499 A.D. and related
the story of his labors and travels to Wu Ti, the Emperor.
The story of Fusang was at that time well known
in China. This eventually has been recognized and accepted
by western scholars, but for some reason it has
fallen out of fashion in our history and literature within
the past century.”
While the black current explains the journey, ancient
Olmec artifacts give the theory further substance. The
written language found on the Olmecs’ jars, pottery,
and statues reveals what could be the actual influence
of Chinese culture. Professor Xu points out that various
words found on these decorative objects match exactly
with those used in Shang China: Sun, Mountain, Artist,
Water, Rain, Sacrifice, Health, Plants, Wealth, and Earth.
In fact, the majority of the 146 characters used by the Olmecs
are exactly the same as primitive Chinese writing.
When Xu showed the Olmec artifacts to university students
involved in analyzing primitive Chinese culture,
they actually believed it was ancient Chinese script.
While most Mesoamerican scholars do not accept
Xu’s theory—critics have labeled him “the most dangerous
person in Mesoamerican research”—it nevertheless
offers insights about the mysterious Olmecs that more
accepted theories cannot reach.
In her letter to Science Magazine in 2005, Betty J.
Meggers of the National Museum of Natural History at
the Smithsonian Institution criticizes most Mesoamerican
scholars’ failure to acknowledge Xu’s comparisons:
“The invention of writing revolutionized Chinese society
by facilitating communication among speakers of 60 mutually
unintelligible languages and resulted in increased
commercial interaction and social integration. The rapid
diffusion of Olmec iconography and associated cultural
elaboration suggests it had the same impact across multilingual
Mesoamerica. The demise of the Shang Empire
circa 1500 B.C.E. coincides with the emergence of Olmec
civilization. Rather than speculate in a vacuum on the intangible
character of Olmec society, it would seem profitable
to compare the archaeological remains with the detailed
record of the impact of writing on the development
of Chinese civilization. What do we have to lose?”
Gary A. David is an American independent researcher and author dealing with archaeological ruins and rock art of the American Southwest. His focus is on the Hopi tribe of northern Arizona and its archaeo-astronomy. Although he has not written directly about Atlantis, he has contributed a number of interesting papers relating to subjects peripheral to our study here. Most of these are available on the Academia.edu website(a).
David has also written about the Orion Correlation Theory (OCT) of Bauval & Gilbert, which claims that the alignment of the three stars in Orion’s ‘belt’ is reflected in the layout of the three principal pyramids at Giza.
>David has expanded on the OCT of Bauval & Gilbert identifying important sites throughout Egypt that he believes constituted a more extensive reference with other heavenly bodies in what he calls the Egyptian Stellar Template(e).<
He goes further and claims that he “stumbled across an Orion Correlation that the ancestral Hopi Indians constructed in Arizona from about 1050–1300 AD. In this case, every major star in the constellation corresponds to a specific masonry village site. The terrestrial replication of the celestial pattern is simply uncanny.” (b)
David has published an informative paper(c) 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 has laid great emphasis on its place in the inherited culture of the Hopi people.
David has also highlighted the use of the swastika in a more benign way by the Hopi of northern Arizona along with its innocent use in other cultures including the Minoans, as well as in 20th century USA(d).
Xavier Séguin (1949- ) is the French author of the Eden Saga website(a). We have encountered Séguin in Atlantipedia in relation to a number of subjects. Some of his ideas are, in my opinion, simply daft. For example, he suggests that megalithic dolmens and menhirs can generate vril energy, which can be used to expedite the maturing of wine(b)!
The most exotic suggestion regarding the Etruscans comes from Séguin, who has claimed that they share a common ancestry with the Yoruba of West Africa, as both originated in Atlantis(c), a concept ‘borrowed’ from Leo Frobenius. He also offered a most extreme theory regarding the Olmecs with the claim that they were astronauts. This idea was expressed(d) by Séguin, quoting US astronaut Gordon Cooper !
However, I considered Séguin to be totally unreliable when I found that he also quoted a fictional character, Professor Mortimer, from a work by the renowned writer, Edgar P. Jacobs, as supposedly uttered by a real scientist(e), in relation to the Pillars of Heracles.
The Trojan War, at first sight, may appear to have little to do with the story of Atlantis except that some recent commentators have endeavoured to claim that the war with Atlantis was just a retelling of the Trojan War. The leading proponent of the idea is Eberhard Zangger in his 1992 book The Flood from Heaven and later in a paper(l) published in the Oxford Journal of Archaeology. He also argues that survivors of the War became the Sea Peoples, while Frank Joseph contends that conflict between the Egyptians and the Sea Peoples was part of the Trojan War[108.11]. Steven Sora asserts that the Atlantean war recorded by Plato is a distortion of the Trojan War and contentiously claims that Troy was located on the Iberian Peninsula rather than the more generally accepted Hissarlik in Turkey. Another radical claim is that Troy itself had been located in Bosnia-Herzegovina or adjacent Croatia, the former by Roberto Salinas Price in 1985, while more recently the latter is promoted by Vedran Sinožic.
Others have located the War in the North Sea or the Baltic. Of these, Iman Wilkens is arguably the best-known advocate of an English location for Troy since 1990. In 2018, Gerard Janssen has added further support for Wilkens’ theory(k).
However. controversy has surrounded various aspects of the War since the earliest times. Strabo(a) tells us that Aristotle dismissed the matter of the Achaean wall as an invention, a matter that is treated at length by Classics Professor Timothy W. Boyd(b). In fact, the entire account has been the subject of continual criticism. A more nuanced approach to the reality or otherwise of the ‘War’ is offered by Petros Koutoupis(j).
The reality of the Trojan War as related by Homer has been debated for well over a century. There is a view that much of what he wrote was fictional, but that the ancient Greeks accepted this, but at the same time they possessed a historical account of the war that varied considerably from Homer’s account(f).
Over 130 quotations from the Illiad and Odyssey have been identified in Plato’s writings, suggesting the possibility of him having adopted some of Homer’s nautical data, which may account for Plato’s Atlantean fleet having 1200 ships which might have been a rounding up of Homer’s 1186 ships in the Achaean fleet!
Like so many other early historical events, the Trojan War has also generated its fair share of nutty ideas, such as Hans-Peny Hirmenech’s wild suggestion that the rows of standing stones at Carnac marked the tombs of Atlantean soldiers who fought in the Trojan War! Arthur Louis Joquel II proposed that the War was fought between two groups of refugees from the Gobi desert, while Jacques de Mahieu maintained that refugees from Troy fled to America after the War where they are now identified as the Olmecs! In November 2017, an Italian naval archaeologist, Francesco Tiboni, claimed(h). that the Trojan Horse was in reality a ship. This is blamed on the mistranslation of one word in Homer.
In August 2021 it was claimed that remnants of the Trojan Horse had been found. While excavating at the Hisarlik site of Troy, Turkish archaeologists discovered dozens of planks as well as beams up to 15-metre-long.
“The two archaeologists leading the excavation, Boston University professors Christine Morris and Chris Wilson, say that they have a “high level of confidence” that the structure is indeed linked to the legendary horse. They say that all the tests performed up to now have only confirmed their theory.”(o)
“The carbon dating tests and other analyses have all suggested that the wooden pieces and other artefacts date from the 12th or 11th centuries B.C.,” says Professor Morris. “This matches the dates cited for the Trojan War, by many ancient historians like Eratosthenes or Proclus. The assembly of the work also matches the description made by many sources. I don’t want to sound overconfident, but I’m pretty certain that we found the real thing!”
It was not a complete surprise when a few days later Jason Colavito revealed that the story was just a recycled 2014 hoax, which “seven years later, The Greek Reporter picked up the story from a Greek-language website. From there, the Jerusalem Post and International Business Times, both of which have large sections devoted to lightly rewritten clickbait, repeated the story nearly verbatim without checking the facts.”(p)
Various attempts have been made to determine the exact date of the ten-year war, using astronomical dating relating to eclipses noted by Homer. In the 1920s, astronomers Carl Schoch and Paul Neugebauer put the sack of Troy at close to 1190 BC. According to Eratosthenes, the conflict lasted from 1193 to 1184 BC(m).
An interesting side issue was recorded by Isocrates, who noted that “while they with the combined strength of Hellas found it difficult to take Troy after a siege which lasted ten years, he, on the other hand, in less than as many days, and with a small expedition, easily took the city by storm. After this, he put to death to a man all the princes of the tribes who dwelt along the shores of both continents; and these he could never have destroyed had he not first conquered their armies. When he had done these things, he set up the Pillars of Heracles, as they are called, to be a trophy of victory over the barbarians, a monument to his own valor and the perils he had surmounted, and to mark the bounds of the territory of the Hellenes.” (To Philip. 5.112) This reinforced the idea that there had been more than one location for the Pillars of Herakles.
In the 1920s, astronomers Carl Schoch and Paul Neugebauer put the sack of Troy at close to 1190 BC.(q)
In 2008, Constantino Baikouzis and Marcelo O. Magnasco proposed 1178 BC as the date of the eclipse that coincided with the return of Odysseus, ten years after the War(a). Stuart L. Harris published a paper on the Migration & Diffusion website in 2017(g), in which he endorsed the 1190 BC date for the end of the Trojan War.
>Nikos Kokkinos, one of Peter James’ co-authors of Centuries of Darkness, published a paper in 2009 questioning the accepted date for the ending of the Trojan War of 1183 BC,(r) put forward by Eratosthenes.<
New dating of the end of the Trojan War has been presented by Stavros Papamarinopoulos et al. in a paper(c) now available on the Academia.edu website. Working with astronomical data relating to eclipses in the 2nd millennium BC, they have calculated the ending of the War to have taken place in 1218 BC and Odysseus’ return in 1207 BC.
What is noteworthy is that virtually all the recent studies of the eclipse data are in agreement that the Trojan War ended near the end of the 13th century BC, which in turn can be linked to archaeological evidence at the Hissarlik site. Perhaps even more important is the 1218 BC date for the Trojan War recorded on the Parian Marble, reinforcing the Papamarinoupolos date.
>A 2012 paper by Rodger C. Young & Andrew E. Steinmann added further support for the 1218 BC Trojan War date(s).<
Eric Cline has suggested that an earlier date is a possibility, as “scholars are now agreed that even within Homer’s Iliad there are accounts of warriors and events from centuries predating the traditional setting of the Trojan War in 1250 BC” [1005.40].
However, an even more radical redating has been strongly advocated by a number of commentators(d)(e) and not without good reason.
(d) Archive 2401
(n) Atlantis, Volume 10 No. 3, March 1957
(p) Newsletter Vol. 19 • Issue 7 • August 15, 2021
Diffusion is the anthropological term used to describe how similar customs, beliefs and artefact designs are spread between cultures through migration, invasion or trade. Diffusion is not just a ‘one-way street’ as history has shown that ideas have travelled in all directions, while in fact most ancient civilisations can be demonstrated to have absorbed cultural elements from a multiplicity of foreign societies. Today, globalisation has increased exponentially the variety of influences that all societies now experience. Not only is the number of these influences greater but the rate of increase is apparently accelerating. The ubiquity of Coca-Cola, T-shirts, Irish pubs, Japanese cameras, German cars, English language, Guinness, Chinese toys, ABBA, AK-47s etc., etc., etc., are indicative of the global reach of commercial ‘empires’ today. In older civilisations trade was more concerned with commodities such as metals, olive oil, wine, amber, obsidian, or timber, so the technologies involved in their production or exploitation were also exchanged.
The development of agriculture also saw techniques spread, which had to be modified to suit different climates, although recent studies indicate that agriculture started around the same time in a number of centres(I).
In the Fertile Crescent as far north as the Zagros Mountains and further north, on the steppes of Russia, horses were domesticated and apparently there also the use of chariots originated. A book by David W. Anthony also attributes the region as being the source of what is known as the Proto-Indo-European family of languages.
Societal concepts, religious or legal were no different as their geographical spread can also be tracked over time. Consider the different strands of the Abrahamic faiths, beginning with Judaism, which spawned Christianity and later was joined by Islam through Muhammad, who claimed to be a descendant of Abraham. Similarly, democracy has slowly evolved and spread over time and still has a long way to go.
Since early man left Africa, he has had ample time to settle all over our planet and exploit its resources, moving from being a hunter-gatherer to becoming a settled farmer, developing urban centres (city-states), then empires and the inevitable wars. Wars, then like today, led to the development of new technologies, chariots, longbows, and armour, to be copied and if possible improved upon, by each side.
My view is that initially, technology and techniques were freely exchanged between peoples, until gradually the idea of monopoly entered the human psyche, eventually leading to the paranoia and greed associated with the ownership of ‘intellectual property’ today. I would speculate that a freer and possibly gentler diffusion of ideas lasted until, at the earliest, the first millennium BC.
In 2014, the University of Connecticut published the result of studies that demonstrated that human technological innovation occurred intermittently throughout the Old World, rather than spreading from a single point of origin, as previously thought(j).
Egerton Sykes, a leading 20th-century Atlantologist, was a committed diffusionist, describing it as “the lifeblood of civilisation”(h).
A more extreme view is the concept of ‘hyperdiffusion’, which is the idea that there was a single ‘mother culture’ that led to the development of all major civilisations. Ignatius Donnelly was a hyperdiffusionist, advocating Atlantis as the mother culture. His ‘heretical’ views were highlighted by the range of similarities between structures around the world in apparently unrelated cultures, which seem to greatly exceed what could be expected by mere coincidence alone. This is explored further in a recent illustrated article on the Malagabay website(v).
Similarly, James Churchward proposed his invention, Mu, as an alternative hyperdiffusion centre. Perhaps better known is the work of W. J. Perry who was convinced  that an archaic civilisation had begun in Egypt and gradually spread eastward through Asia and Polynesia, eventually reaching the Americas. Ben Urish published a paper(d) in 1986 that offers a critical overview of hyperdiffusion.
Konrad Kulczyk promotes a hyperdiffusionist theory that places his proto-civilisation, New Atlantis, just south of the Aral Sea(e).
Ivar Zapp proposes the existence of a global seafaring civilisation thousands of years before the Greeks, Egyptians or Sumerians(k) in an as-yet-unpublished book, Babel Deciphered.
Hyperdiffusion is clearly a seductive theory that has attracted the attention of researchers such as Richard Cassaro, who has produced an impressive collection of visual cultural similarities between ancient Egypt and pre-Columbian America(a). While the idea is not new, Cassaro’s images highlight the concept of diffusion very effectively, although he has, in my opinion, overinterpreted the evidence in order to support hyperdiffusion.
Cassaro published The Missing Link in 2016 in which he expands on the widespread distribution of what he refers to as the ‘godself icon’. Although he clearly demonstrates that the motif has an extensive geographical spread it is equally obvious that the appearance of the icon is spread over a vast period of time apparently coinciding with the emergence of civilisation in different places at very different times, which, in my view, is not fully compatible with the concept of hyperdiffusion, as I would have expected a ‘mother-culture’, if such existed, to have spread its global influence far more rapidly.
A comparable discovery has been made by Ozgür Baris Etli, who has drawn attention(o) to carved hands at Göbekli Tepe that have counterparts in many other parts of the world where hands meet at the navel are similarly depicted. I recently came across an image of(q) a megalithic statue in the Indonesian Bada Valley(u) showing its hands in a similar position. Also in Göbekli Tepe, we encounter what has become known as ‘the handbag of the gods’(y) which has been found depicted in many locations such as Turkey (Göbekli), Iraq (Assyria), Mesoamerica (Olmecs)(w), Egypt and New Zealand(x). These images are not only spread over thousands of miles but thousands of years.
However, Andrew Gough is the only researcher who seems to have come anywhere near to explaining the purpose of the ‘handbag’. In a lengthy article on his website, he explains how a British Museum guide confirmed that the bag was a pollen carrier(ac). This dovetailed with Gough’s view of his belief regarding the importance of the bee in ancient cultures.
Having mentioned Indonesia, I must draw your attention to a recent book by Dhani Irwanto, entitled Sundaland: Tracing the Cradle of Civilizations (1618), in which he makes a strong case for considering his native land as an ancient diffusionist centre, which experienced waves of emigration at the end of the Younger Dryas period that influenced the great civilisations of the Indus Valley, Egypt and Greece. Irwanto also claims that their cultural impact included the transference of the story of Atlantis from its original home in Sundaland.
Equally intriguing is the ‘Three Hares’ motif, found across Europe, the Middle East and as far as China(p) and now the subject of a book by Greeves, Andrew & Chapman. Another stylised symbol is that of the rosette found in the Mediterranean and spread as far as India(r)(s).
In a similar vein, Jim Allen has devoted chapter three of his latest book to outlining what he entitled Bolivia and the Sumerian Connection(b). Arguably even more impressive is the array of images presented by Allen(c) suggesting that the civilisations of America were greatly influenced by ancient cultures in both the east and the west. It is obvious that a number of artefacts can be developed independently, but at some point, the number of similar items produced by two separate cultures can exceed the number that can be reasonably put down to coincidence. The number of similarities presented by Allen alone clearly exceeds that threshold, demonstrating that the Americas were influenced by different sources, ruling out the Americas as the home of a mother culture.
An extensive website managed by Erich Fred Legner offers a wide range of evidence to support the view that the Americas had been visited and settled by people from both Asia & Europe before Columbus(aa).
The whole subject of diffusion is wide-ranging and complex and well beyond my competence to do it justice in this short entry. However, for those interested in pursuing the subject further, I would like to recommend a 1997 paper(l) by David H. Kelley (1924-2011), available on Dale Drinnon’s website.
Egypt is frequently mentioned in this regard being seen as the influence behind Neolithic megalith building AND the pyramids of Central America, in spite of the fact that Newgrange was constructed before the Egyptian Pyramids and the New World pyramids were built thousands of years after those in Egypt. Atlantis is regularly suggested as another mother culture but without a single piece of evidence to support this speculative contention. For decades the idea that the pyramids of Egypt and those in the Americas were the consequence of diffusion from a common source, namely Atlantis situated in the Atlantic was heavily promoted. However, we can now more closely identify the pyramids of America with the step pyramids of China!
Consequently, for me, hyperdiffusion is not convincing. History has clearly shown that inventions have frequently been independently developed at the same time in different countries, while even in prehistoric times it has been demonstrated(f) that the evolution of stone tools took place as a result of the innovative abilities of local populations, addressing the same needs.
A word of warning; “recent research published in Nature by a team led by Tomos Proffitt at the University of Oxford shows that capuchin monkeys regularly produce sharp-edged flakes indistinguishable from those made by early hominins.”(t)
Even today technologies are developed independently throughout the world, but not in complete isolation, because of the instant worldwide communications available.
As a result of global marketing, in Ireland now we drive German, British and Japanese cars, use US computer technology and play with Chinese toys. However, being generous by nature, we gave the world the Irish pub, Riverdance and Guinness.
A two-part blog(m)(n) highlighting the many weaknesses in the concept of hyperdiffusion should be required reading for anyone interested in the subject.
Although Donnelly and his contemporaries, focused on the possibility of Old World influences in the New World, today, there is less of a Mediterranean-centred or Eurocentric approach to diffusionism. Instead, there is greater acceptance that the Americas have also had extensive cultural influences from Asia.
In March 2021, Hugh Newman published a paper drawing attention to the similarity of megalithic building techniques, using polygonal stones, in America, Asia, Europe and Africa. He goes further noting that “Peruvian relief carvings match those at Göbekli Tepe.” How much might be the result of coincidence is a matter of opinion.(ab) In January 2022, Marco M. Vigato published a new book, The Empires of Atlantis , in which he offers a hyperdiffusionist view of Atlantis. He “traces the course of Atlantean civilization through its three empires, as well as the colonies and outposts formed by its survivors in Egypt, Göbekli Tepe, India, Mesopotamia, the Mediterranean, and North and South America” and “reveals how the first Atlantean civilization lasted from 432,000 to 33,335 BCE, the second one from 21,142 to 10,961 BCE, and the third Atlantis civilization–the one celebrated by Plato–collapsed in 9600 BCE, after the Younger Dryas cataclysm.”(z).
(l) See: Archive 3563
(u) Atlantis Rising No.110 March/April 2015 p.41
Writing in Atlantis. The text of Plato makes it quite clear that writing was a feature of Atlantean culture. This is just another element in the overall picture presented by Plato of Atlantis as a Bronze Age civilisation, although there is always the possibility that the inclusion of writing might be a Platonic addition, designed to enhance the underlying core tale of a very ancient civilisation destroyed by flooding. If this flooding coincided with the melting of the glaciers at the end of the last Ice Age then it could be dated to around 9500 BC, a date that is in agreement with Solon’s apparent date for the demise of Atlantis.
R. Cedric Leonard(a) has developed the idea that an even older writing system in Western Europe, such as that found on the Glozel Tablets may have had a link with Atlantis. These tablets have been dated to as early as 10,000 BC, but I have some reservations regarding the reliability of this date. Similarly, the writing of the Vinca culture of Eastern Europe is believed to date from around 5500 BC.
However, an article in New Scientist (20.02.10) reports that a study of cave markings at 146 sites in France revealed that a total of just 26 signs were used with a varying frequency between 33,000 BC and 8000 BC. The symbols were only found in Southern France as most of the north was glaciated for much of this period. If these findings are substantiated it will raise questions regarding the date of the arrival of modern man into Europe.
Genevieve von Petzinger a Canadian paleoanthropologist and rock art researcher has studied geometric signs found in caves and other sites dating back 40,000 years. In a 2019 paper, her work is discussed including that she has identified “32 recurring symbols in all cultures of 40,000 years ago.” That was the easy part, now they must be interpreted(g).
It is generally thought that there is no evidence of any developed writing system until around 3500 BC in Harappa in the Indus Valley, while a few hundred years later the Sumerians were using a sophisticated cuneiform script and the Egyptians had developed a system of hieroglyphics(d). In turn, the Phoenicians developed their script circa 1000 BC and from them, the Greeks developed their Linear A & B.
>However, the discovery in 1993 of the Dispilio Tablet(j) in Greece has pushed back the use of writing in Greece to around 5200 BC, which is long before the people recognised as Phoenician emerged in the 2nd millennium BC(i)!
This debate regarding the origins of writing, both when and where will continue for some considerable time. An article on the Ancient Origins website in September 2022 ended with the following comment – “Conventional history dictates that these kinds of Neolithic discoveries are merely evidence of proto-writing, a term which refers to a way of communicating limited information, rather than proof of an entire language. But should additional artifacts comparable to the Dispilio tablet emerge, they could completely change the history of writing and with it the story of humanity.”(k)<
Crete had crude writing around 3000 BC, but it would be another 1000 years before the earliest alphabetic inscription discovered so far would be inscribed on a rock, in what is now Southern Egypt. This has been dated to the 1900’s BC, two hundred years earlier than expected. This particular epigraph has prompted speculation that what we know as an alphabet originated in Egypt, but it is not unreasonable to think that this revision will not be the last. However, the March/April 2010 edition of the respected Biblical Archaeology Review has an article that identifies the early alphabet as a development of hieroglyphics(c).
This evolution from hieroglyphs to modern European scripts is now available as a chart by Matt Baker.
Although the Phoenicians have often been credited with the invention of the precursor to modern Western scripts around 1,100 BC, it now appears more likely that they were responsible for the adaptation of an even earlier character system. The earliest known Hebrew writing has now been dated to the 10th century BC(b).
Peter Daughtrey in his book, Atlantis and the Silver City  has devoted chapter seventeen to offering the claim that the earliest alphabet developed in southwest Iberia and by extension in Atlantis. An abbreviated version can be read on his website(h).
In Meso-America, the Olmecs appear to have been the first to develop a writing system around 900 BC, 600 years earlier than the Maya. However, the late emergence of a script there would appear to argue against a common Atlantean source for cultures on both sides of the Atlantic.
In 1905, Flinders Petrie and his wife, also an archaeologist, discovered strange signs on the side of a mine in the Sinai Peninsula, which they identified as alphabetical. After a decade of study, Sir Allan Gardiner published a decipherment of the symbols in 1916(f). They became known as proto-Sinaitic script and dated to between 1850 and 1550 BC. However, there were individual ‘letters’ whose identities were disputed. In 2017, Douglas Petrovich claimed to have solved all outstanding issues . Today, Orly Goldwasser, an Israeli egyptologist, is arguably the leading promoter of the idea that this was the earliest example of an alphabet discovered so far(e).
The insistence by some on the great antiquity of ancient scripts is driven by those Atlantis researchers who blindly accept the 9,600 BC date for the destruction of a literate Atlantis given by Plato. If an early date for writing cannot be more fully substantiated then Plato’s date must be reappraised.
The Last Atlantis Book  by Gene Matlock, claims on its cover that this is the last Atlantis book you will ever have to read. He attempts to prove that Mexico was the location of a Meso-American Atlantis that was essentially a Phoenician colony, established about 4000 BC. Although, a fairly slim volume, he covers a lot of ground, linking Mexico, India and Atlantis. He deals extensively with possible linguistic connections between Mesoamerica and Atlantis and Sanskrit. However, his linguistic abilities, not to mention his conclusions, have been subjected to severe criticism, as was the book generally. I think many more books other than Matlock’s will have to be read before the truth can be finally established.
Matlock identifies a site near San Lorenzo Tenochtitlán as matching Plato’s description of Atlantis. Matlock claims “the archaeological remains in San Lorenzo supposedly belong to the Olmec culture. The Olmecs themselves were either survivors of the Atlantis disaster or latecomers to the area”.
The back cover notes claim that over 25,000 books have been written about Atlantis. This is utter nonsense – at most the figure is in the mid hundreds. This sort of inaccuracy raises doubts about the quality of research and the rest of the book. Two further quibbles are that this book is surprisingly short at 140 pages and unforgivably, it has no index.
Matlock has also ventured into other contentious areas claiming that the story of Abraham and Sara of the Old Testament was based on Brahm and Saraisvati in Hindu mythology(a).
Frank Joseph (1944- ) or more correctly Francis Joseph Collin, was born in Chicago. His father was Max Simon Cohen, who is said to have spent time in Dachau concentration camp. Incredibly, in the late seventies, Frank Joseph was the leader of the American Nazi Party. In 1981, Joseph was arrested and convicted of molesting young boys. He was released after serving three of a seven-year sentence (a)(b).
Since his release, he has established himself as an author, writing a number of books on Atlantis and Diffusionism[102–108]. In them, he has emphasised at length the enormous quantities of copper mined in ancient times in North America that he maintains were brought to Europe to feed the demand there, for bronze making. He maintains that this is clear evidence of trading contacts between the Old and New Worlds in prehistoric times. Among his more unusual claims are that Noah was an Atlantean and that the Trojan War was just part of the conflict with the Sea Peoples.
One of Joseph’s early books, Edgar Cayce’s Atlantis and Lemuria, was heavily criticised in some quarters(e) including an accusation of including in the book a ‘heavily retouched’ photo of the underwater Yonaguni site.
In Joseph’s The Destruction of Atlantis, he dates that event to 1198 BC(o) quoting such sources as the Ipuwer Papyrus and temple inscriptions at Medinet Habu.
He then claims that eight years later the Atlanteans re-emerged as the Meshwesh, one of the Sea Peoples, attacked Egypt and were defeated by Ramses III . The authoritative D’Amato & Salimbeti have identified the Meshwesh as possibly being a tribe related to the Libyans [1152.8].
The author concurs with others that the catastrophe was triggered by an impact from a comet/asteroid in the region of the Mid Atlantic Ridge. Joseph supports an Atlantis located in the Atlantic of which the Canary Islands and Azores(g) are among its remnants. He draws attention to the fact that The Laws by Plato also refers to the ‘Great Deluge’. In the same book, Joseph returns to his hobbyhorse of the huge amounts of copper that were mined in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula in prehistoric times. He is convinced that Atlanteans carried out this massive extraction and transported it to the east to feed the emerging Bronze Age. This book is useful for someone coming to the subject for the first time but it contains little that new and is really just a reworking of existing material.
His next offering, The Atlantis Encyclopedia, was promoted as an encyclopaedia of Atlantis-related references, yet it omits any mention of many of the leading theories and their promoters, which is not what you would expect from such a reference work on the subject.>It also suffers from an overabundance of references to Native American mythologies, which at best have only the shakiest connection with Plato’s Atlantis.<
>Although The Atlantis Encyclopedia was published in 2005, it was only recently (July 2022) that Thorwald C. Franke, in his newsletter #197(r), applied his very sharp scalpel to the contents of the book. Franke points out a number of errors, but reserves his most detailed criticism for Joseph’s entry relating to the ‘Third Reich’. Franke’s conclusion is that Joseph has produced ‘a really bad book’. When Franke’s comments are combined with the many errors that I have listed below, it is obvious that Frank Joseph is a most unreliable source of information regarding Atlantis.<
He followed this with Survivors of Atlantis, a sequel to The Destruction of Atlantis, which focuses on four global catastrophes linked to the cyclical return of a comet, that led to the destruction of Atlantis and the subsequent dispersal of its survivors and their influence on the cultures of their adopted homelands. As usual, he returns to the mystery of the Michigan copper mines but covers a wide range of global prehistory speculating on possible links with Atlantis. Unlike its prequel, ‘Survivors’ does not include an index.
For a number of years, Joseph was editor-in-chief of Ancient American magazine(c), owned by Wayne May, a Mormon, whose church has a vested interest in demonstrating the existence of early, advanced pre-Columbian peoples in America. A one-hour lecture given by Joseph in 1997 is available on YouTube(h), in which he outlines a number of very early pre-Columbian contacts between West Africa, particularly Mali and the Americas that led to the giant stone heads being carved by the Olmecs.
In 2008, Joseph published Unearthing Ancient America in which he revisits the pre-Columbian remains of North America. As usual, he denounces orthodox archaeologists as a means to bolster his own extreme ideas. For example “Louisiana’s Poverty Point, the ‘oldest city in North America’, is a dead-ringer for Plato’s description of Atlantis…[108.178]”
With his book The Opening of the Ark of the Covenant Joseph moved into slightly different territory, linking the Ark with Atlantis and the Templars. Joseph co-authored this book with Laura Beaudoin who claims to be a descendant of the founder of the Knights Templar in Jerusalem.
Not one to miss an opportunity, the prolific Mr Joseph then jumped on the 2012 bandwagon with the publication of Atlantis and 2012. As the world did not end, Joseph revised this book and republished it as Atlantis and the Coming Ice Age in 2015. An excerpt is available online(i).
April 2012 saw Joseph as editor of Lost Worlds of Ancient America which is an anthology of articles describing various pre-Columbian visitors from both east and west. It also includes a suggestion that the Bahamas had the landmass to match Plato’s description of Atlantis. Jason Colavito, a well-known sceptic, has written an extensive and highly critical review(f) of this collection of articles culled from the Ancient American magazine. While the book has little to do with Atlantis, Colavito’s comments cast doubts on Joseph’s credibility as well as that of the other contributors.
Before Atlantis was published by Joseph in 2013, in it he focuses on the ‘aquatic ape theory’(k) and the existence of ‘pre-human cultures’ going back 20 million years. Atlantis plays a minor part in this offering and it is probable that it is only in the title to assist sales! In May 2017, we have a report(l) of pre-human remains dated 7.2 million years ago being discovered in the Balkans. How Joseph can apply the term ‘culture’ to such primitive creatures is hard to understand.
In 2016, Joseph published Our Dolphin Ancestors  in which he reveals that we and dolphins are both descended from the aquatic ape! For good measure, he “explores the ‘connections’ between dolphins and Atlantis and Lemuria.”
Joseph frequently touches on the subject of Lemuria and in 2006 published The Lost Civilisation of Lemuria  which was devoted to it. Leaving aside that Joseph equates Lemuria with Mu and that both names are inventions from Philip Sclater and Brasseur de Bourbourg respectively, the advertising blurb for his book tells us that “Joseph painstakingly re-creates a picture of this civilization in which people lived in rare harmony and possessed a sophisticated technology that allowed them to harness the weather, defy gravity, and conduct genetic investigations far beyond what is possible today.” This is reminiscent of some of the b.s.produced by Blavatsky and Cayce, among others.
Joseph then followed ‘Lost Worlds’ with Lost Colonies of Ancient America in 2014, receiving rave reviews on Amazon, while Bradley T. Lepper(j) cites Larry Zimmermann(n), an archaeologist from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, who offered a different view in the July/Oct 2015 edition of American Antiquity.
In 2014, Joseph republished Atlantis and Other Lost Worlds as a paperback and a Kindle book. which is just a recycling of some of his earlier material and adds nothing of value. His reliance on speculation rather than evidence has not diminished. While his conjecture is bad enough, his misquoting of Plato is unforgivable. One example is his claim that Atlantis had 14,400 naval personnel, for 1,200 ships, which would mean that each ship had only a crew of 12! The only ships mentioned by Plato were triremes, which had a crew of 200(m). What Plato actually said (Critias 119a-b) was that in time of war each of the managers of the 60,000 allotments on the plain of Atlantis, had to supply four men for naval duty, which amounts to a total of 240,000 and matches the number of men required for 1200 triremes. This is just one of a number of similar errors in that passage. However, the same book also sets a record for the number of mistakes that Joseph managed to squeeze into a single sentence. At this point, I decided to look back at all my references to Joseph’s work and was shocked to find that he has been consistently guilty of at least sloppy research, if not dishonesty, and for me, must therefore be considered unreliable.
I was recently perusing the Kindle version of Atlantis and Other Lost Worlds and discovered a number of obvious inaccuracies. For example, Joseph refers to G.R.Corli as a French astronomer, whereas in fact his name was Carli and he was born in Capodistria, formerly Italian, but now part of Slovenia (loc.2511). Joseph claims that Carli believed that a fragment of a comet had hit the Earth, when, in fact, he had only postulated that a close encounter with a comet had occurred.
He added a ‘d’ to Edgerton Sykes name (loc. 2543, 3573) and removed the ‘e’ from that of Arthur C. Clarke (loc.2783). In an article in Atlantis Rising magazine #35(p), he retained the ‘d’ in Sykes’ name and described Hanns Hörbiger as a physicist when he was a mining engineer by profession. He also recycled his errors relating to Giovanni Rinaldo Carli mentioned above. Still on the first page of the article, he claimed that meteorites were not recognised by the scientific establishment when Ignatius Donnelly wrote Ragnarok in 1884, when, according to Smithsonian magazine, meteorites were discussed much earlier, in 1803(q).
His section on the Atlantean Army and population(loc.312) is full of numerical errors. He has the whole population of Atlantis at over one million, whereas Plato tells us that on their own, the Atlantean armed forces totalled around a million, including 480,000 foot -soldiers, 120,000 horsemen, 160,000 manning the 10,000 heavy chariots and 60,000 light chariots, and 240,000 sailors. From this, Otto Muck extrapolated a total population of between 20 and 40 million for Atlantis. Joseph proposes that the 1,200 Atlantean ships were serviced and manned by 14,400 men (just twelve each). However, the triremes referred to by Plato, each required a crew of 140 rowers!
Joseph ends the book with a Bibliography, but heads it Biography!
This book was clearly not proofread and its research was slipshod. Unfortunately, this does not appear to have been an isolated example. I therefore decided to review all Atlantipedia entries that referred to Frank Joseph.
Amber is not exclusive to the Baltic and can be found in the Americas, Lebanon, Siberia, Australia and Japan. A highly prized blue amber is to be found in the Dominican Republic. Frank Joseph in an effort to support his speculations regarding mythical Electra claims[0636.109] that the Atlantic islands of the Azores, Madeira and the Canaries are one of the two major sources of amber. This is blatantly untrue, as revealed in a comprehensive website(a) by Susie Ward Aber, a mineralogist at Emporia State University, Kansas. Amber sources worldwide are listed, but nothing in the Atlantic. Mr Joseph has, once again, some explaining to do.
However, there is also another trend becoming more obvious, which is that there are an increasing number of instances, particularly on the internet, of the Ark of the Covenant being linked to Atlantis. There is, of course, no evidence ever offered to support such speculation. One of the most recent of these is Opening the Ark of the Covenant, co-authored by the inventive Frank Joseph, where he traces the Ark back to Atlantis. There are probably few people that don’t accept that the Ark had been a real artefact, while many doubt the reality of Atlantis. It is possible that by linking the two, the authors hope to achieve credibility transference from one to the other!
In his Atlantis Encyclopedia, Frank Joseph has suggested[104.33] that Atalya or Atalia was, through time, transformed into Italy, adding that Atalia means ‘Land of Atlas’. This entry has been copied on a number of websites. However, the etymology of ‘Italy’ is not clear, but the most common proposal is that “Latin Italia may derive from Oscan víteliú, meaning “[land] of young cattle” (from Latin vitulus “calf”, Umbrian vitlu), via Greek transmission (evidenced in the loss of initial digamma). The bull was a symbol of the southern Italic tribes”. In passing, I should mention that Plato tells us that the Atlanteans who controlled southern Italy as far as Tyrrhenia also had a bull cult.
The following excerpt from a paper entitled Atlantis and the Great Pyramid from the July/August 2006 edition of Atlantis Rising magazine. “They (the Egyptians) somehow foresaw some inevitable celestial catastrophe with a potential for extraordinary destructiveness. As the object’s orbit began to noticeably decay, ground-observers concluded that an impact with our planet was unavoidable, and began to prepare for the event by constructing a device that would bolster earth’s ionosphere, thereby deflecting the course of the falling object. The pyramid builders erected their geo-transducer because they understood that the earth was periodically endangered by recurring cycles of celestial bombardments. The Great Pyramid was built to guard against future collisions from outer space.”
The Balearic Islands of the Western Mediterranean were not occupied until around 2200 BC. Although the two larger islands of Majorca and Minorca have many megalithic monuments, principally taulas and talayots, they have not, so far, been part of any Atlantis location theory. The only mention that I can find is the unsubstantiated claim by Frank Joseph[0104.66] that the early settlers were invaders from Atlantis.
Frank Joseph erroneously claims[0108.117] that the only known ‘Cerne’ was Cerne Abbas in England, the site of the famous naked giant carved into the chalk. There is certainly no suggestion of any Amazon invasion there and the physique of the giant was certainly never matched by even the most butch Amazon. There is also the island of Cerne off the west coast of Africa and mentioned in the voyage of Hanno. Furthermore, Cerne is mentioned by Diodorus Siculus (iii.54) and considered by some to be the Tunisian island of Kerkennah. Clearly, there was more than one Cerne known in our ancient past and so, not for the first time, Joseph is blatantly wrong.
Joseph also proposed that copper was the foundation for the wealth of Atlantis. He is convinced that there is evidence of extensive copper mining activities in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula around 1000 BC. He refers to these miners as Atlanteans and maintains that the extracted copper was brought to the Mediterranean, as he claims that there is no trace of it in North America. Joseph offers no real evidence.
Frank Joseph incorrectly claimed in the July/August 2011 issue of Atlantis Rising magazine that DeCamp “formerly a staunch disbeliever in Atlantis, was later convinced it did indeed exist in south-coastal Iberia.” No evidence was offered for this wild claim.
Frank Joseph echoed others with the idea that “the Etruscans were themselves nothing more than the late Atlanteans who colonised western Italy, so their surviving material culture offers us a glimpse of Atlantis at is cultural height.”[0636.21] This is an odd claim as Plato twice, unambiguously, placed Tuscany (Tyrhennia) beyond Atlantean control (Tim.25b & Crit.114c).
Evaemon (Euaemon) is the name of one of the fourth pair (with Ampheres) of twins who became the first kings of Atlantis. Frank Joseph identifies Euaemon with the ‘pre-Celtic’ king of Ireland, Eremon! This is somewhat incorrect as the Milesians are generally accepted as having been Celtic, with Eremon being one of eight Milesian brothers who invaded Ireland from Spain and defeated the Tuatha dé Danaan.
I found more of Joseph’s entries relating to Ireland that were, for me, particularly annoying. The first was his entry in his Encyclopedia for ‘crannóg’ where he attempts to link it with a sunken city. Crannógs are small artificial islands built in lakes for defensive purposes. When abandoned they usually became covered in small trees. The word is derived from the Irish word crann which means a tree, while óg means young or small. There are many such crannógs to be found among the numerous lakes of County Leitrim where I live. My second gripe is the entry ‘Tir-nan-Og’, which should in fact be ‘Tir na nÓg’ which means Land of Youth, implying land of perpetual youth. There is no connection with Og or Ogygia. I respectfully suggest that Frank Joseph and anyone else should tread more warily when trying to link similar sounding words from different languages.
Frank Joseph has related speculative ideas claiming that “the early date for New Grange, its circular construction, sophisticated solar orientation and mythic tradition all point to Atlantean origins.” [0636.70] A nonsensical conclusion based on nothing but his fertile imagination
Frank Joseph erroneously claims that Plato could not have been influenced by the Helike disaster, because according to Joseph the Atlantis dialogues were written 25 years before the obliteration of Helike[1074.14], when in fact Plato wrote his last dialogues about 25 years after the demise of Helike.
Lemmings are small rodents that primarily live in northern regions. Early zoologists and the more gullible readers assumed that the creatures have been seen committing mass suicide in an attempt to find their ancient homeland, Atlantis. Unfortunately, Frank Joseph[0102.51], among others, has chosen to perpetuate this canard. It should be obvious that if Atlantis had been destroyed 12,000 years ago, as Joseph claims, the lemmings should have all died out millennia ago due to their alleged destructive homing instinct.
Frank Joseph contends[0636.42] that the Phaistos Disk was ‘a sophisticated astrological chart’ and ‘is an example of Atlantean Bronze Age technology’.
Christopher Volpe records that in 1906, Alexander Strath-Gordon founded the Atlantean Research Society, in East Orange, New Jersey. This date conflicts with the foundation date of 1928 proposed by Frank Joseph. A book published by Strath-Gordon in 1934 confirms the 1906 date on its cover and records him as the founder and life president of the Atlantean Research Society.
In view of all of the above, it is more than reasonable to classify Frank Joseph as unreliable.
(i) See: Archive 2627
(p) Atlantis Rising magazine #35 http://pdfarchive.info/index.php?pages/At
Jacques Gossart is a French historian with a particular interest in the origins of civilisations, especially those of China and Egypt. He has also written an article for the French Orbs magazine(b) about the possible Chinese ancestry of the Olmecs.
He also, in collaboration with others, has written about the search for Atlantis. Instead of trying to locate Plato’s submerged island, which they assume to have been in the North Atlantic, they have concentrated their efforts in trying to identify the survivors of the catastrophe. With this in mind they have investigated, the Basques, the Guanches and the North African Berbers as well as the possibility of links between Atlantis and ancient Egypt.
In 2011 he published a further book on the subject of Atlantis, reviewing all the most recent discoveries and theories.
Gossart has also recently written a history of the swastika symbol. He was also a founder of Kadath(a) a Belgian magazine devoted to the study of archaeological mysteries. It celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2013.
(b) https://www.orbs.fr/ Issue #5
The Aztecs of Mexico are believed by many writers to have originated as refugees from Atlantis. Their own traditions claim that they came from Aztlan, a land to the east. Francisco López de Gómara was the first European to suggest this link with Atlantis in 1551. Ignatius Donnelly wrote at length on the subject and had his views frequently reflected in the work of writers at the beginning of the 20th century. Even today, some still associate Atlantis with the Aztecs(b), while others think that the Olmecs, predecessors of the Aztecs and Maya were Atlantean refugees(c).
Tenochtitlan was the capital the Aztec Empire and at the time it was captured by the Spanish it was probably one of the largest cities in the world with an estimated population of 200,000.
It is remarkable that the descendants of Moctezuma, the last Aztec emperor are alive and well and living in Spain today as the noble house of Grau-Moctezuma de Toleriu(a).
The Aztec drawing below is interpreted as representing the migration of the Aztecs from an island in the Atlantic to the mainland of America. The assumption is that the island in question was Atlantis! The case for a clear Aztec-Atlantis connection is far from proven.