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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Sweatman. Martin B.

Martin B. Sweatman is a geochemist at the University of Edinburgh who gained wider recognition with the publication of PreHistory Decoded [1621] in 2019. In it, he discusses many subjects dealt with in this compilation, such as Göbekli Tepe, Younger Dryas, and the Sphinx offering what the book’s subtitle describes as “a science odyssey unifying astronomy, geochemistry and archaeology.”

Building on the work of Clube & Napier he believes that around 10,900 BC an encounter with a fragment of Comet Encke led to catastrophic climate change of the Younger Dryas and kick-started the Neolithic Revolution. After an in-depth study of the carvings at Göbekli Tepe, he believes that they record astronomical events and in a 2017 joint paper with Dimitrios Tsikritsis, published in Mediterranean Archaeology and Archaeometry, (Vol.. 17, No 1) they offer an illustrated outline of this theory(a)

Sweatman had previously used his scientific training to decode an early zodiacal system found across western Eurasia, from European Palaeolithic caves to sites in Turkey, Egypt and Mesopotamia. He has now gone one step further by linking Pictish symbols to this system.(b)

For balance, I offer a link to a critical review of Sweatman’s theories(c).

(a) The_Younger_Dryas_impact_hypothesis_MBS.pdf (ed.ac.uk)

(b) https://www.eng.ed.ac.uk/about/news/20190715/dr-martin-sweatman-decodes-ancient-pictish-symbols

(c) Martin Sweatman’s Decoding of Prehistory: Incoherent Catastrophe • The Lateral Truth (skepticink.com)

Dunbavin, Paul

Paul Dunbavin (1954- ) is a data and business analyst. His interest for over 35 years has been cross-disciplinary research into prehistory, which he has occasionally published in his books and various articles and papers.”

He is the author of controversial but well-researched books relating to the ancient history of Britain. In one of these[100], he identified the Picts of Scotland as being originally from the Baltic. In another[099] he investigated the possible origins of Plato’s story of Atlantis. Using mythological, geological and archaeological sources he concluded that an asteroid or comet collided with the Earth around 3100 BC resulting in the tilting of the Earth’s axis. Dunbavin argued that this impact caused dramatic climate and sea-level changes that led to the submergence of a Neolithic civilisation on a low-lying plain off the coast of Wales. He believed that this destruction was the inspiration for the Atlantis legend. David Furlong claimed to have independently arrived at the same conclusion[285].

In 2005, Dunbavin published another volume[101] on ancient catastrophes and their possible connection with cometary impacts or near-collisions. In this connection, he briefly refers to the work of George F. Dodwell.

In 2019, Dunbavin expanded his website, which also includes a more extensive review of Dodwell’s work(c). 2019 also saw the publication of his latest book, Towers of Atlantis [1627]. There is more information about this and his other books on his website(a), which also includes links to other related sites(b).

>Paul Dunbavin in his Atlantis of the West [0099] proposed that the Coligny Calendar might be considered a lunisolar calendar. Some years later in 2005 he returned to the subject in Under Ancient Skies [0101] and devoted Chapter 5 plus Appendices A & B to a discussion of Critias 119d, which relates how the kings of Atlantis met alternatively every five and six years. Dunbavin suggests that this is reflected in the Coligny Calendar and that it possibly had antecedents that would bring its functions back to the time of Bronze Age Atlantis(d), if not earlier(e). Dunbavin’s reaction to the Calendar is best quoted – Now it is this passage more than any other that convinces the present author (Dunbavin) of the authenticity of the Atlantis myth“. He touches on this matter again in Towers of Atlantis [1627] and Prehistory Papers [1758].<

Once again, Dunbavin has returned to the subject of the British Isles during the Neolithic period and their possible association with Plato’s story of Atlantis. He draws on the ancient Egyptian concept of a paradisaical afterlife comparable with the Greek ‘Elysian Fields’, both believed to be located in the far west. These notions are seen by Dunbavin to have possible parallels in Plato’s description of the Plain of Atlantis.

The author highlights the value of mythology, which he employs in conjunction with classical writers such as Herodotus, Diodorus Siculus as well as others to lead us to his considered belief that the Irish Sea before its eventual inundation after the last Ice Age had been home to the Plain of Atlantis, stretching from the island of Anglesea to the Isle of Man. This book should be read in conjunction with his previous offering, Atlantis of the West. Rather than wild speculation, Dunbavin has again offered evidence, although subjectively interpreted, which offers a coherent hypothesis.

Dunbavin updates his website from time to time, the latest was November 2019. Anyone interested in his theories should check his site regularly.

In 2020, Dunbavin published Prehistory Papers, “which provides a permanent repository for the various articles or papers originally published on the author’s website; together with some older articles; they expand on the cross-disciplinary research in the author’s earlier books.

(a) www.third-millennium.co.uk

(b) https://www.third-millennium.co.uk/links

(c) https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/e5604c_6769a6112622417badfe134954b2874a.pdf

(d) e5604c_465f3f96346041fb94f8e5f960804f1f.pdf (filesusr.com) *

(e) (99+) (PDF) The Neolithic Calendar in Plato’s Critias | Paul Dunbavin – Academia.edu *

 

 

Bull Cult

A Bull Cult is noted by Plato as one of the characteristics of the culture of Atlantis. Unfortunately, it does little to identify the location of Atlantis since the bull featured prominently in the culture of so many ancient peoples and continues today, principally in the bullfights of Spain, Portugal, and Mexico.

In northern Italy, there was a Gaulish tribe called the Taurini during the first and second centuries BC. The bull was also a symbol of the southern Italic tribes, in a region which Plato informs us was occupied by Atlanteans(e). In Sicily, modern Taormina was formerly known as Tauromenium in Roman times, which may suggest an even earlier association with a bull cult!

Mithraism, which originated in Iranian mythology and developed rapidly in Italy in the first century AD, included in its beliefs, the killing of a bull by the deity Mithras(g).

Writing in Egerton Sykes’ Atlantis in 1955 (Vol.8 No.3), Vera Howe outlined the extent of the bull cults which ranged from Assyria, across the Mediterranean and up to the British Isles. In Volume 10, No. 4, Käte Müller Lisowski (1883-1960) also wrote of bull links between Crete and Ireland. In the February 1963 (Vol.16 No.1) edition of the same journal, it is recounted that Ireland had bull feasts and bull-fighting in ancient times. There is also evidence of a bull cult among the Picts of Scotland(h). Let us not forget that the Israelites began to worship a golden bull-calf when they thought that they had been abandoned by Moses(b).

It is generally accepted that the bull was also associated with lunar religions(a) as the horns resembled the crescent-Moon. Even today the crescent is one of the principal icons of the Islamic faith.

At the 2005 Atlantis Conference, Professor Stavros Papamarinopoulos delivered a paper(i) outlining the Bronze Age bull rituals in Egypt and the Aegean and their parallels in Iberia. In the Temple of Seti at Abydos there is a well-known wall carving depicting Seti I and his son Ramses II roping a bull and further along the wall, sacrificing it.

Felice Vinci draws attention to the fact that both Plato and Homer (Iliad 20.403-404 & Odyssey 13.181) refer to the sacrifice of bulls to Poseidon.

Robert Ishoy had pointed out bull carvings in Sardinia. The Minoan bull jumpers on Crete are widely known. The Egyptians had a cult of Apis the Bull, a fact bullmentioned by R. McQuillen in support of his Egyptian Atlantis theory. When the Israelites rebelled they worshipped a golden calf or more correctly a young bull (Exodus 32). Exodus 29.36 also instructs the priests that “Each day you shall offer a bull as a sin offering for atonement.

In the seventeenth century, Olof Rudbeck associated the ancient Swedish custom of sacrificing a bull to Odin with the bull immolation described in Plato’s Atlantis.

Carvings of bulls’ heads decorated the home of ancient Anatolia in modern Turkey. There are bull carvings to be seen at Tarxien in Malta and not far away in Northern Tunisia ancient carvings of bulls are also to be found(c).  The ancient Celts also included bulls in their ceremonies. The Assyrians had a bull-god as their guardian. The oldest church in Toulouse is dedicated to St. Taur, a possible reference to an earlier bull cult. Further afield, in India, there is a bull-taming sport, jallikattu, which is practised annually in the villages of the southern state of Tamil Nadu and is recently the subject of a failed attempt to ban it(f).

Dhani Irwanto, who claims a Sundaland location for Atlantis has proposed that Plato’s mention of bulls was the result a distorted account of the original Atlantis narrative brought by refugees from Indonesia and was a reference to the local water buffalo!

Peter James in a short appendix to his book, The Sunken Kingdom[047] supports a Lydian origin for the Atlantis tale and argued that Plato’s text makes no reference to the bull-leaping game depicted in Minoan art. However, quoted the studies of the British anthropologist Jane Harrison(1850-1928) who discovered[600] that a coin from Troy’s Roman period depicted a bull being sacrificed in exactly the same manner as Plato’s description, namely, suspended from a pillar. The Roman bull sacrifice ritual was known as ‘taurobolium’.

James also provides other instances of possible Atlantean-style bull worship in the same region which also contains his proposed location for Atlantis, ancient Sipylus.

In conclusion, therefore, it must be obvious from the above that Plato’s reference to bull rituals is no definitive guide to finding an exclusive location and so probably has limited value in any quest for Atlantis.

(a) See: https://web.archive.org/web/20170705055429/https://www.touregypt.net:80/egypt-info/magazine-mag04012001-magf5.htm

(b) https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/judaica/ejud_0002_0007_0_07514.html

(c) 22 | Hadrumetum – Hidjaba – Haouanet – G. Camps and M. Longerstay – Éditions Peeters (archive.org) (French) *

(d) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Name_of_Italy

(e) Timaeus 25b & Critias 114c

(f) https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-38705616

(g) https://www.ancient.eu/Mithraic_Mysteries/

(h) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burghead_Fort

(i) https://www.academia.edu/25808101/Ritual_capture_and_sacrifice_of_the_bull_at_Atlantis._Are_there_any_parallels_anywhere