Laestrygonians, we are told by Homer were mythical giants encountered by Odysseus on his return journey to Ithaca.
Wikipedia tells us that “according to Thucydides (6.2.1.) and Polybius (1.2.9) the Laestrygones inhabited southeast Sicily. The name is akin to that of the Lestriconi, a branch of the Corsi people of the northeast coast of Sardinia (now Gallura). Later Greeks believed that the Laestrygonians, as well as the Cyclopes, had once inhabited Sicily.
“According to historian Angelo Paratico, the Laestrygonians were the result of a legend originated by the sight by Greek sailors of the Giants of Mont’e Prama, recently excavated in Sardinia. Earlier, Victor Bérard had also suggested Sardinia.
Some writers have also sought to attribute a historical reality to the Laestrygonians, often proposing locations very different to that of Thucydides and Polybius. Emmet Sweeney [700.23] has noted that Robert Graves who invariably placed the Greek myths in a Mediterranean setting, suggested that the home of the Laestrygonians was to be found in the far north of Europe, in the Land of the Midnight Sun!
Equally exotic is the suggestion from Gerard W.J. Janssen of Leiden University who places the voyages of Odysseus in the Atlantic(b). However, although he situates most of the places visited in the eastern Atlantic, he does claim(a) that Homer‘s Laestrygonians were to be found in Cuba, an interpretation supported by both Théophile Cailleux and Iman Wilkens.
Doggerland is a term applied to a shallow region (Fig.1) of the North Sea between Denmark and the North of England that covers area of around 10,000 sq. miles. The appellation was coined by Professor Bryony Coles in 1998. However, the name has been applied recently(f) to nearly the totality of the Celtic Shelf (Fig.2). Ulf Erlingsson who had promoted his theory(b) that Atlantis had been located in Ireland (with 98.9% confidence!) has explained that Egyptian story of Atlantis is the result of an account of megalithic Ireland conflated with a report of the inundation of Doggerland in 6200 BC resulting from a Norwegian storegga. In turn, this flooding may have been the inspiration behind the ‘impassable shoals’ described by Plato following the submergence of Atlantis.
However, it was Rachael Carson who was probably the first to suggest the Dogger Bank as the home of Atlantis in her 1951 book, The Sea Around Us. Later a Scandinavian writer, Nils Olof Bergquist, in his 1971 book, Ymdogat-Atlantis. who appeared next to support this idea.
Other writers such as Jean Deruelle(a), Sylvain Tristan(c) and Guy Gervis(d) have also linked the Dogger Bank with Atlantis. Gervis has written two related papers(k)(l) on the subject. The earliest suggestion of such a connection was briefly supported by Robert Graves[342.39-3]. Rob Waugh, a British journalist, has offered an illustrated article(g) with the provocative title of Britain’s Atlantis found at the Bottom of the North Sea, in which he touches on some of the discoveries made on Doggerland.
Some have combined Doggerland with exposed land further north, now known as the Viking-Bergen Banks, as constituting the territory of Atlantis(x).
In 2009 a book was published with the subtitle of The Rediscovery of Doggerland, based on the research of a team led by Professor Vincent Gaffney of the University of Birmingham. In July 2012 the UK’s Daily Mail published(h) an extensive article on Doggerland.
The flooding of the Dogger Bank has been attributed to a 6200 BC event apparently caused by either an outpouring of meltwater from Lake Agassiz in North America or a huge tsunami generated by a Norwegian storegga(e). This event was covered in an extensive article in the November, 2012 edition of the BBC Focus magazine. The same article has a sidebar on Atlantis which suggests that there is “perhaps just one archaeological theory that has any serious claim on the myth.” Then, not for the first time, the BBC offered tacit support for the Minoan Hypothesis in spite of the fact that, at least ostensibly, it does not match Plato’s description of Atlantis in terms of either time, size or location and offers no rationale for its stance.
In December 2020, a degree of revisionism was offered in a New Scientist article, which suggested that storegga tsunami may have been less than previously thought. Furthermore, it proposes that parts of what is now the submerged Dogger Bank was not completely flooded by the tsunami, but that parts continued as dry land, perhaps for centuries!(y)
It has been estimated that over a period of a couple of hundred years the English Channel was also created in a comparable manner(n).
The December 2012 edition of National Geographic magazine has also published an informative article on Doggerland and the ongoing work by archaeologists in the region. It considers the Storegga or the Lake Agassiz meltwater to be the cause of Doggerland’s final inundation. For me it was interesting that a map in the article showed a small area around where I live as the last glaciated region of Ireland.
Alfred de Grazia’s online Q-Mag also published an overview of the Doggerland story in 2012(j) that was originally taken from the German magazine Der Spiegel. The same site has another paper(r) by Jean Deruelle in which he also argues that Doggerland was the location of the Great Plain of Atlantis that stretched from the east of the Dogger Bank and extended as far as what is now Denmark. Plato described the plain as being surrounded by a huge ditch. Then Deruelle, with a flash of ingenuity claims that it was not a ditch but instead was a dyke, designed to hold back the slowing advancing waters of the North Sea that were being fed by deglaciation. He endeavoured to reinforce this claim with the proposal that the Greek word for ditch, ‘taphros’ can also be used for dyke. This interpretation seems possible according to W.K. Pritchett, the distinguished historian [1622.52.5].
Robert John Langdon has proposed that megalith builders from Africa came to Doggerland as the Ice Age ended and when Doggerland submerged they migrated to what is now mainland Britain, eventually constructing Stonehenge(i).
A 2014 ‘Drowned Landscapes’ exhibition(m) organised by Dr Richard Bates of the Department of Earth Sciences at St Andrews University, reveals in greater detail the flora and fauna, as well as the lives of its inhabitants, of this submerged world. Much of the information was gleaned from data provided by oil and gas companies, combined with artifacts recovered from the seafloor.
Comparable discoveries have been made submerged deep under the waters of Hanö Bay near the coast of Havang, Sweden and dated to about 7000 BC(v).
In 2015 it was announced that €2.5 million funding from the European Union has enabled a number archaeologists from Britain’s top universities to team up for what will be the most intensive study of Doggerland so far(o)(q). Joined by experts from the University of Ghent and assisted by the Belgian Navy they located the first identifiable submerged settlements on the floor of the North Sea. Until now (2019) the only evidence of human habitation in the region were occasional artefacts caught up in fishermen’s nets.
In 2016, it was revealed(p) that the ancient footprints of both adults and children had been discovered off the coast of Northumberland, formerly a part of Doggerland. Their feet had apparently been shod.
On Sunday, January 13th 2019. the UK’s Sunday Express delighted its readers with two Atlantis stories(t)(u) . First, the online edition of the paper had a story by one of its reporters, with an ‘Atlantis Discovered’ headline claiming that the remains of an ancient 8,000-year-old city, home to ‘tens of thousands’ of people, had been discovered in the North Sea, in a huge region sometimes referred to as Doggerland. The reporter cites Dr.Richard Bates in support of this account. Unfortunately, the 2012 comments by Dr. Bates never mentioned ‘a city’, but a vast area occupied by ‘tens of thousands’ of people, presumably early farmers(s) . Then the same edition of the same paper by the same ‘reporter’ with another ‘Atlantis Found?’ headline, offered a video clip of the Maltese island of Filfla, while the commentator told us that Plato had said that a devastating earthquake had destroyed Atlantis it was finished off by an eruption. This is factually incorrect as Plato never mentioned an eruption. These two accounts are a sad reflection on the quality of media reporting today.
(k) See: Archive: 2073
(l) See: Archive 2074
The North Sea has been advocated by a variety of writers as the original site of Atlantis. Jürgen Spanuth specified his native Heligoland as its location in his well-researched work, Atlantis of the North. >However, Spanuth was not the first to make this suggestion as Heinrich Pudor, had advocated Helgoland as Atlantis in the 1930’s , but was unreferenced by Spanuth.<
Georg Lohle in his book on world history identifies a location between England and Denmark that was inundated about 2000 BC. He also makes extensive use of the Oera Linda Book. His German language website(a) has a wide range of photos and diagrams. Lohle daringly resurrects the old idea of the Earth being hollow and then combines it with another controversial concept, namely that it is still expanding(b).
In the middle of the 20th century we find Robert Graves and Rachel Carson were probably the first to suggest the Dogger Bank as the location of Atlantis. More recently Jean Deruelle(e), Sylvain Tristan(c) and Guy Gervis(d) have all opted for a location near the Dogger Bank, now more popularly known as Doggerland.
The most recent challenger for the Atlantis title is located in the vicinity of Rockall, an uninhabited islet north west of Ireland.
(d) See: Archive 3606
Robert von Ranke Graves (1895-1985), the renowned poet and mythologist, placed Atlantis in the region of modern Tunisia and Libya. He first did this in a 1953 article(c) that followed the writings of Diodorus Siculus. He firmly believed that the salts marshes of North Africa were the remnants of Lake Tritonis where Atlantis had existed before a destructive catastrophe that led to the dispersal of its survivors in various directions. However, Jean Deruelle claims that Graves was the first, if briefly(b), to suggest the Dogger Bank as the location of Atlantis.*It seems that he quickly abandoned this idea>because the North Sea inundation was too early(d.89).<
Further confusion is added by an entry in Wikipedia that claims(a) that Graves argued that Atlantis was the Island of Pharos off the western coast of the Nile Delta, that is before Alexander the Great connected the island to mainland Egypt by building a causeway.>What he did say was that “perhaps as the result of a submarine earthquake, the enormous harbour works built by the Keftiu (‘sea-people’, meaning the Cretans and their allies) on the island of Pharos and, subsided under seven fathoms of water.”(d.89)<
In The Greek Myths, Graves considered the likelihood that the Atlantis story was comprised of several components from different legends. It may be relevant to include Graves’ definition of myths, which was “whatever religious or heroic legends are so foreign to a student’s experience that he cannot believe them to be true.”
(c) The Atlantic Monthly, October 1953, (pp.71-74)
Rockall is an uninhabited islet in the North Atlantic, north west of Donegal in Ireland. It appears to have been first marked on a map in 1640(c). This ostensibly insignificant piece of stone is around 80ft by 100ft at the base and approximately
70ft in height. Nevertheless, its ownership is disputed by Ireland, Iceland, the Faroe Islands and the United Kingdom.
Rocabarraidh which was a mythic island referred to in the folklore of the Lordship of the Isles, a Scottish title, is generally accepted to be an early allusion to Rockall. The Atlantic rock is considered as part of the Hebridean parish of South Harris.
In June 1997, Greenpeace declared Rockall to be the independent state of Waveland(f).
Recently, a new claim has been made in connection with Rockall, namely, that it is a remnant of the Atlantis highlands, with the plain so vividly described by Plato, now situated under the sea to the south west of the rock. Two extensively illustrated French websites(a)(b) expound this theory. Which, however, are somewhat less than convincing. However, a 1938 newspaper report(d) suggests that a proposed linkage with Atlantis goes back much further!
In December 2016, Jonathan Northcote published 16.484ºW 58.521ºN, Atlantis, Found?, in which he offers spirited support for this location using a mass of geological data and underwater topography. He also suggests that Gades may have been Ireland. In January 2019, Northcote revised his book with additional material and published this second edition with the title of Atlantis, Found? An investigation into ancient accounts, bathymetry and climatology .
Stuart L. Harris, the prolific American researcher, has, in recent private correspondence with me, supported the vicinity of Rockall as the location of Atlantis, dating its demise to around 9577 BC. He later expanded on this in a highly speculative paper published on the Academia.edu website.
At the end of September 2018, the UK’s Daily Star, a well-known comic for adults, tried to revive the idea of Atlantis in Frisland(g) . They based their brief article on the speculations of Matt Sibson, presented as an ‘expert’, who admits that “there are still some questions that need clearing up.” I would like to know why Frislanders in the middle of the last Ice Age would want to attack a non-existent Athens 4,000 km away? If Sibson is considered to be an expert historian, my cat is a brain surgeon. Jason Colavito had a few words to add regarding Sibson’s pathetic claims(h).
Incredibly, a week later the same ‘newspaper’ cited Sibson again, this time claiming that Rockall was the remains of Atlantis(i), an equally silly idea that is not new. The UK’s online Express recycled this nonsense in January 2020(k).
Kevin A. & Patrick J. Casey have published a series of papers on the Academia.edu website outlining a globally catastrophic event that occurred thirteen thousand years ago, which they refer to as the ’13K Event’, but is more popularly known as the onset of the Younger Dryas period. In February 2019, they published Atlantis Revisited (j), in which they claim that Rockall was the location of Atlantis.