Reader’s Digest published The World’s Last Mysteries in 1977. The very first article, written by May Veber, was about Atlantis. She reviews the leading Atlantis theories of nearly four decades ago; Azores, Bimini and in greater detail, Minoan Thera. One of her final comments was that “even the impressive body of scientific evidence which supports the Santorini explanation has been challenged. There is a volume of scholarship building up in favour of Heligoland as the site of Atlantis.” This was two years before Spanuth‘s Atlantis of the North was published in English!
Lake Tritonis is frequently referred to by the classical writers.* Ian Wilson refers to Scylax of Caryanda as having “specifically described Lake Tritonis extending in his time over an area of 2,300 km2.“ He also cites Herodotus as confirming it as still partly extant in his time, a century later, describing it as a ‘great lagoon’, with a ‘large river’ (the Triton) flowing into it.[185.185]*
Lake Tritonis was considered the birthplace of Athene, the Greek Goddess of Wisdom, after whom Athens is named. The exact location of the lake is disputed but there is some consensus that the salty marshes or chotts of central Tunisia and North-East Algeria are the most likely candidates. It appears that these marshes were originally formed a large inland sea connected to the Mediterranean but due to seismic activity in the area were cut off from the sea. Diodorus Siculus records this event in his third book.
*I should also mention that Lake Tritonis along with the Greek island of Lemnos and the river Thermodon in northern Turkey, now known as Terme Çay, have all been associated with the Amazons(d).*
Edward Herbert Bunbury, a former British MP, included a chapter(a) on Lake Tritonis in his 1879 book on the history of ancient geography[1531.v1.316].
In 1883, Edward Dumergue, published a brief study of the Tunisian chotts, which he concluded were the remnants of an ancient inland sea that had been connected to the Mediterranean Sea at the Gulf of Gabes.
Lucile Taylor Hansen in The Ancient Atlantic, has included a speculative map taken from the Reader’s Digest showing Lake Tritonis, around 11.000 BC, as a megalake covering much of today’s Sahara, with the Ahaggar Mountains turned into an island. Atlantis is shown to the west in the Atlantic.
In modern times, Alberto Arecchi has taken the idea further and suggested that the inland sea, where the chotts are now, was the original ‘Atlantic Sea’ and that the city of Atlantis was situated on an extended landmass to the east of Tunisia and connected to Sicily due to a lower sea level. Arecchi’s identification of the chotts with Lake Tritonis has now been adopted by Lu Paradise in a May 2015 blog(c). The Qattara Depression of Northern Egypt also contains a series of salt lakes and marshes and is believed by others to have been Lake Tritonis.
Cindy Clendenon is the author of a book on hydromythology in which she concludes that “the now-extinct Lake Tritonis once was a Cyrenaican lagoon-sabkha complex near today’s Sabkha Ghuzayyil and Marsa Brega, Libya.”(b).
Henri Lhote (1903-1991) was a French explorer and ethnologist who is best known for his study of the remarkable cave paintings in the Sahara at Tassili-n’Ajjer. Lhote built on the discoveries of a French Lieutenant Brenans, who began exploring the region in the 1930s.
Some of these depicted masked humanoid figures leading Lhote to suggest that they were evidence of prehistoric extraterrestrial visitors. One of these was dubbed the ‘Great Martian God’ and a decade later exploited by Erich von Däniken in the promotion of his ‘ancient astronauts’ ideas.
Jürgen Spanuth notes[017.22] that in 1950, Lhote organised an expedition to Tanzerouft in the Sahara with the hope of finding Atlantis although there was no subsequent claim by Lhote of any such discovery. However, Phyllis Young Forsyth quoted Lhote as giving a somewhat contradictory view when he wrote in The Search for the Tassili Frescoes “The fact is that there is no possibility whatsoever of the Sahara having been the site of Plato’s mysterious island.”[442.184] Zhirov noted[0458.18] that Lhote expressed the view that “it must be admitted that there is much in Plato’s idea that is positive.”
Lhote also contributed an article to Reader’s Digest’s, The World’s Last Mysteries, regarding the ‘green’ Sahara that existed prior to 2500 BC.
A blog(a) by Dale Drinnon of a decade ago expanded on some of the numerous examples of Saharan rock art that we know of and their possible connection with Dynastic Egypt. Philip Coppens has also written an article(d) in which he speculated on the possibility that Tassili n’Ajjer may offer the origins of ancient Egypt’s culture. The Bradshaw Foundation has an extensive archive(b) of African rock art as well as a section on rock art along the Nile(c). Similarly, Jose Manuel Delgado’s website also offers an overview of the rock art of the region and its creators, before they spread to the Nile Valley(e).
(a) https://frontiers-of-anthropology.blogspot.ie/2011/08/possible-prehistoric-prototype-of.html (Link broken August 2018)