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Robert Schoch

Pillars of Herakles

Pillars of Heracles, when googled, will offer nearly 100,000 results, with Wikipedia and Britannica usually heading the list.

Wikipedia says “The Pillars of Hercules was the phrase that was applied in Antiquity to the promontories that flank the entrance to the Strait of Gibraltar. The northern Pillar, Calpe Mons, is the Rock of Gibraltar. A corresponding North African peak not being predominant, the identity of the southern Pillar, Abila Mons, has been disputed throughout history, with the two most likely candidates being Monte Hacho in Ceuta and Jebel Musa in Morocco.”

Britannica says “Pillars of Heracles, also called Pillars of Hercules, two promontories at the eastern end of the Strait of Gibraltar. The northern pillar is the Rock of Gibraltar at Gibraltar, and the southern pillar has been identified as one of two peaks: Jebel Moussa (Musa), in Morocco, or Mount Hacho (held by Spain), near the city of Ceuta (the Spanish exclave on the Moroccan coast).”

Although these two popular sources substantially agree with each other, the concurrence is misleading. In fact, various aspects of the Pillars have been the subject of controversy for a very, very long time.

CONFUSION

The Pillars of Heracles (PoH) according to conventional wisdom were always situated somewhere in the vicinity of the Strait of Gibraltar. However, the truth is rather different. The question of the location of the Pillars has led to confusion and controversy for millennia. A flavour of this was contained in William Smith’s still highly-regarded Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography [1719] of 1854, where it lists many of the locations proposed by ancient authors. One short paragraph in it encapsulates the confusion that has existed in the past and still does, although seldom highlighted, today – ” But when the ancient writers began to investigate the matter more closely, they were greatly divided in opinion as to where the Pillars were to be sought, what they were, and why they were called by the name of Hercules.”(w)

When I began my study of the Pillars, it became obvious very early on that the subject was more complicated than usually presented. Frankly, I never expected to end up as bewildered as I did. First of all, I find that some of the ancient writers have not only referred to two pillars but even three(x) and four of them.

HERAKLES

That was bad enough, but when I was then confronted with a multiplicity of mythical heroes named Herakles, numbering three (Diodorus), four (Servius), six Cicero, seven (Herodotus)(ap(z), and a prize-winning forty-four by Varro, I was even more perplexed.

Ariadna Arriaza published a paper about the multiplicity of Herakles’ in ancient texts, particularly Herodotus(z), who offered at least seven! William Smith’s Dictionary noted that “Herodotus tells us that the original Heracles hailed from Egypt and says that according to the Egyptian tradition, Heracles was one of twelve deities descended from the original eight gods who created the universe (2.43-5). Diodorus claimed that when Osiris went to accomplish his labors he left the government of Egypt in the hands of this primordial Heracles. Remarkably, Pausanias, Tacitus, and Macrobius all confirm that Heracles hailed from Egypt [1729.401]

>John K. Lundwall noted the profusion of Herakles’ [1747] and<also refers to the Phoenician Herakles – Melqart and its possible influence on the development of the Greek myth. He concluded that ” Heracles was not invented by the Greeks. He was inherited by the Greeks. Half of his labors descend from Mycenaean or Minoan times, implicating a Heracles-like figure with a series of labors in the days before Greece was founded. Gilgamesh is a Near Eastern Heracles.”

Apart from the Canaanite Melqart(ak) and the biblical Samson, Herakles was also associated with Briareus or Cronos. Aelian, in his Varia Historia 5.3, noted that “Aristotle affirms that those Pillars which are now called of Hercules, were first called the Pillars of Briareus.”

Herodotus visited a temple of Heracles in Tyre with two pillars, one of gold and the other emerald. According to the priests there, it had stood for two thousand three hundred years or from approximately 2700 BC. Another suggestion has been that the ‘Pillars Heracles’ was a Greek rendering of the Egyptian ‘Pillars of Osiris’.(t)

So not only do we have a number of Heracles but also a variety of names for them.

THE NATURE OF THE PILLARS

My confusion was further compounded by the term stelai used by Plato to describe the Pillars, which is the Greek word for stone or wooden slabs used as a boundary or commemorative markers, not a reference to supportive columns. Rhys Carpenter favours the idea that the term when applied to the Strait of Gibraltar was used with the sense of boundary markers, indicating ”the limits of the Inner Sea that, for the Greeks, was the navigable world” [221.156]. It is reasonable to suggest that as the Greeks became more expansionist with their trade and colonisation, new limits were set as they moved incrementally westward along with the appellation of the ‘Pillars of Hercules’.

One advocate of this idea, Thorwald C. Franke maintains that the westward shift of the ‘Pillars’ from the Strait of Messina towards Gibraltar occurred a century before Solon. He expanded on this at the 2008 Atlantis Conference [0750.170] and in his 2006 book on Herodotus [0300].

Further difficulties were provided by early authors describing the Pillars as mountains, statues, islands or promontories! Egerton Sykes was convinced that the Pillars had been two menhirs, 30ft tall that had stood on top of the Rock of Gibraltar(u)! In this regard, it is interesting that Jürgen Spanuth dismissed those who have identified the red and white cliffs of Heligoland as the Pillars of Heracles, decrying the idea as a fallacy [015.100]. He explained that “Natural rock formations were not what was originally meant by the Pillars of Heracles. Those at the Straits of Gibraltar were not, as one so often reads, the rocks to the north and south of the Straits, but two man-made pillars which stood before the temple of Heracles at Gades (present-day Cádiz) about 100 km north of the Straits.” Spanuth also denied that the Straits of Gibraltar were ever closed [p248].

Some of the earliest references to the Pillars of Heracles come from Pindar, who seems to have used the term as a metaphor for the limits of human capabilities,

be it in sport or more usually, geographical boundaries. So as the Greeks gradually extended the range of their maritime capabilities, new boundaries were established and designated as the new Pillars of Heracles.

PHOENICIAN PILLARS

Gades was originally named Gadir (walled city) and is thought to have been founded by the Phoenicians around 1100 BC and Carthage circa 814 BC, although there are question marks around both dates.(ao)

Strabo wrote; “Concerning the foundation of Gades, the Gaditanians report that a certain oracle commanded the Tyrians to found a colony by the Pillars of Hercules. Those who were sent out for the purpose of exploring, when they had arrived at the strait by Calpe, imagined that the capes which form the strait were the boundaries of the habitable earth, as well as of the expedition of Hercules, and consequently they were what the oracle termed the Pillars. They landed on the inside of the straits, at a place where the city of the Exitani now stands. Here they offered sacrifices, which however not being favourable, they returned. After a time others were sent, who advanced about 1500 stadia beyond the strait, to an island consecrated to Hercules, and lying opposite to Onoba, a city of Iberia: considering that here were the Pillars, they sacrificed to the god, but the sacrifices being again unfavourable, they returned home. In the third voyage, they reached Gades and founded the temple in the eastern part of the island, and the city in the west. (3.5.5.) If this story has any historical basis, the first Phoenician visits to the vicinity of Gibraltar must have taken place before 1100 BC.

Heracles is the Greek counterpart of the Phoenician god Melqart, who was the principal god of the Phoenician city of Tyre. Melqart was brought to the most successful Tyrian colony, Carthage and subsequently further west, where at least three temples dedicated to Melqart have been identified in ancient Spain, Gades, Ebusus, and Carthago Nova. Across the Strait in Morocco, the ancient Phoenician city of Lixus also had a temple to Melqart.

Pairs of free-standing columns were important in Phoenician temples and are also to be found in Egyptian temples, as well as being part of Solomon’s temple (built by Phoenician craftsmen). Consequently, the pillars of Melqart temple in Gades are considered by some to be the origin of the reference to the Pillars of Melqart and later of Heracles (by the Greeks) and Hercules (by the Romans) as applied to the Strait of Gibraltar.

Greek colonisation by individual city-states got underway early in the first millennium BC. This expansion of trade and territory took place gradually during the eighth, seventh and sixth centuries BC. The online Ancient History Encyclopedia website noted that “One of the most important consequences of this process, in broad terms, was that the movement of goods, people, art, and ideas in this period spread the Greek way of life far and wide to Spain, France, Italy, the Adriatic, the Black Sea, and North Africa. In total then, the Greeks established some 500 colonies which involved up to 60,000 Greek citizen colonists, so that by 500 BCE these new territories would eventually account for 40% of all Greeks in the Hellenic World.”(aq)

While the AHE offers an excellent overview of Greek colonisation, a valuable and more detailed study is also available online(ar), namely, The Expansion of the Greek World, Eighth to Sixth Centuries B.C. [1752], edited by Boardman & Hammond.

LOCATION

Classical writers frequently refer to the ‘Pillars’ without being in any way specific regarding their location. It always seemed to me that when the Greeks began their Mediterranean trade expansion and colonisation outside the Aegean, apart from the Pentapolis of Cyrenaica in the far south and some possible trading posts in the Levant, they did so exploiting the northern shores of the Mediterranean. Understandably, they would have taken the shortest route from the Greek mainland to the heel of Italy and later on to Sicily. As this development progressed, new limits were set, and in time, exceeded. I suggest that these limits were each in turn designated the ‘Pillars of Heracles’ as they expanded further. I speculate that Capo Colonna (Cape of the Column) in Calabria(as), in South Italy, may have been one of those early boundaries. Interestingly, 18th-century maps display up to five islands near the cape, which are no longer shown on charts(at). This appeared on respected atlases as late as 1860. According to Armin Wolf, these were originally added to maps by Ortelius, inspired by some earlier cartographers and the comments of Pseudo-Skylax and Pliny(au)!

Homer did not use the term Pillars of Heracles, although he does refer to the Pillars of Atlas (Odysseus 1.51-4).

Hecataeus (550-476 BC), according to Oliver D. Smith in a 2019 paper(y), placed the PoH at Mastia, which is thought to be Cartagena in southeastern Spain. This identification is principally based on the early 20th century studies of Adolf Schulten.

Scylax of Caryanda (late 6th & early 5th cent. BC) describes in his Periplus(a), a guide to the Mediterranean, that the Maltese Islands as lying to the east of the Pillars of Heracles. This would place the archipelago east of the Gulf of Gabes, which is compatible with the opinions of Hofmann and Sarantitis.  Anton Mifsud argues that had the Pillars been located at Gibraltar, the islands to the east would have been the Balearics, which was certainly true for the ancient Greeks shore-hugging mariners.

Pindar (518-438 BC) would appear to have considered that the PoH was a metaphor for the limits of physical prowess as well established Greek geographical knowledge (Olympian 3.43-45), a boundary that was never static for long. In 1778, Jean-Silvain Bailly was certain that the Pillars of Hercules  were just “a name that denotes limits or boundaries.” [0926.2.293] More recently Professor Dag Øistein Endsjø, at Norway’s University of Oslo, has endorsed the idea that the ancient Greeks used the ‘Pillars of Heracles’ as a metaphor to express the limits of human endeavour(d) and quotes the classicist, James S. Romm in support(e).> In a sentence, the Pillars advanced along with extended geographical certainty.<

Aristotle (385-322 BC) Aristotle wrote(g) that “outside the pillars of Heracles the sea is shallow owing to the mud, but calm, for it lies in a hollow.” This is not a description of the Atlantic that we know, which is not shallow, calm or lying in a hollow and which he refers to as a ‘sea’ not an ‘ocean’.

Eratosthenes (276-194 BC) was thought by many to have been responsible for the fixing of the PoH at Gibraltar. In fact, in the early days of the compilation of Atlantipedia, I wrote that “no writer prior to Eratosthenes had referred to the Pillars of Heracles being located at Gibraltar.” This was wrong and was the result of a combination of hastily quoting Sergio Frau(al) and badly paraphrasing a passage from George Sarantitis’ book – “How, from the times of Ephorus (405 BC), Plato and Aristotle and until Eratosthenes (276 BC) and Strabo (63 BC), did the Pillars ‘migrate’ to Gibraltar?”(m)

Pseudo-Scymnus (c.140 BC) placed the Pillars at Mainake(y) thought to be modern Malaga. However, Spanuth cites from the same source a reference to a ‘Northern Pillar’ in the land of the Frisians, as support for his North Sea Atlantis!

Also in the Atlantic, there have been some speculative attempts to link the basaltic pillars at the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland and its counterpart across the sea in Scotland’s Isle of Staffa with the PoH.

Strabo (64 BC-23 AD), a Greek historian and geographer, noted that “close to the Pillars there are two isles, one of which they call Hera’s Island; moreover, there are some who call also these isles the Pillars.” (Bk.3, Chap.5) The two isles referred to as near the Pillars have never been identified; as there are no islands in or near the Strait at Gibraltar, but there are in the Sea of Marmara near the Bosporus, another location candidate!

He also records that Alexander the Great built an altar and ‘Pillars of Heracles’ at the eastern limit of his Empire.

Pliny the Elder (23/24-79 AD) noted that in Sogdiana in modern Uzbekistan there was reputed to be an altar and ‘Pillars of Heracles’.

Reginald Fessenden opted for the Caucasus noting “The fact that Nebuchadnezzar, after reaching them in his northern expedition, next went to the north shore of the Black Sea and to Thrace; and that Hercules, coming back from the pillars with the cattle of Geryon, traversed the north shore of the Black Sea (see Megasthenes, quoted by Strabo and Herodotus, 4.8), puzzled the ancient geographers because they thought that the Pillars were at the straits of Gibraltar. And because they had overlooked the fact that the Phoenicians of Sidon had known that the Pillars had been lost and that the Phoenicians had sent out four expeditions to look for them but had reached no conclusion from these expeditions except that the straits of Gibraltar were not the true Pillars of Hercules. See Strabo, 2.5. 

Of course, the fact that the true Pillars of Hercules were in the north Caucasus isthmus explains why both Nebuchadnezzar and Hercules, after leaving the Pillars, came next to the shores of the Black Sea.” (w)

Tacitus (55-120 AD), the renowned Latin historian, in his Germania (chap.34), clearly states that it was believed that the Pillars of Hercules were located near the Rhine in the territory of the Frisians. So the Romans either thought that the ‘Pillars’ were not situated at Gibraltar or could exist at more than one location at the same time.

I content that although there is no doubt that the term ‘Pillars of Herakles’ was eventually applied to the Gibraltar region, it was also applied to a few stops as the Greeks stuttered their way there from the Aegean along the Mediterranean. Ronald H. Fritze, an ardent Atlantis sceptic, noted in his Invented Knowledge [709.23] ” While at various times the geography of the ancient Greeks applied the name of Pillars of Hercules to other locations in the Aegean region, in this case, Plato is quite explicit that he means the Pillars of Hercules that are now known as the Straits of Gibraltar.” So if it can be accepted that the PoH was applied to several locations in the Aegean by the Greeks, why not also to other places as they gradually expanded westward?

MODERN  LOCATION THEORIES

From the 19th century onwards, locations for the Pillars were proposed which stretched the length of the Mediterranean and beyond.

Perhaps the first ‘modern’ writer to propose the Eastern Mediterranean as the location for the ‘Pillars’ was a Russian, Avraam Norov (1795-1869). He considered them to have been shrines, drawing on both Greek and Arabic sources that could be investigated further.

Some also believed that other ‘Pillars of Heracles’ existed in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea region. This is possible because, until the 1st millennium BC, the Greeks were, generally speaking, restricted to those areas. It would appear that for the ancient Greeks, the Pillars of Heracles marked straits or promontories at the limits of their known world. These boundaries were extended further and further as their maritime capabilities improved. and probably led to the decline in the usage of the title at former boundaries, eventually leaving us with only the Strait of Gibraltar to carry the name.

In the Late Bronze Age, the Bosporus in the east and probably the Strait of Sicily in the west confined the Greeks. It was only shortly before Solon’s trip to Egypt that the Greek colony of Massalia (modern Marseilles) was founded and so, at last, the western limit of the Mediterranean was brought within easier regular reach of Greek ships, but Massalia was still nearly 2,000 km, by sea, from Gades (Cadiz). Later their furthest trading post was probably at Mainake (Malaga), beyond which was Phoenician territory and it was 100 km from Gibraltar and 200km from Cadiz.

The idea that geographical designations can radically change their location over time is illustrated by the name (H)esperia, which means ‘evening land’ or as we might say ‘land of the setting sun’, was originally used by Greeks to indicate Italy and later employed by Roman writers as a designation for Spain. It could be argued that the Greek use of this appellation could be an indication that when introduced, they were not too sure what lay beyond Italy! 

Fundamentalist Atlantology, as proclaimed by the ‘prophet’ Ignatius Donnelly in the 19th century, will accept no explanation other than that Plato was referring to ‘Pillars’ near Gibraltar‘. Certainly, it is reasonable to conclude that Plato may have been referring to the Strait of Gibraltar, but it is also evident that this was not the only location with that designation in ancient times. Consequently, if any of the alternatives mentioned above enable the construction of a new credible Atlantis location hypothesis, then it deserves careful rational consideration.

Even today, the debate continues, highlighted by modern classical scholars, such as Duane W. Roller (1946- ) in Through the Pillars of Herakles [1483.203], in which he states that “The exact location of the Pillars of Herakles was long a matter of dispute. Although they may seem obvious today as the two large mountains at the western end of the Mediterranean, Gibraltar and Jebel Mousa, such was not the case in antiquity, and understanding of the region changed as topographical knowledge increased. At some early date, Homer’s mythical and unlocated Pillars of Atlas (Od. 1.51-4) became associated with the wanderer Herakles, but as the western end of the Mediterranean became better understood in the latter seventh century BC, uncertainty increased rather than decreased. Herodotus, who mentioned the Pillars several times, placed them east of Gadeira and Tartessos (4.8, 152), which could mean anywhere in the 50-kilometer-long strait (the modern Strait of Gibraltar) that runs east to the opening of the Mediterranean, through rugged topography with several promontories that could be identified as the Pillars, although especially prominent are Gibraltar and Jebel Mousa (the Kalpe and Abilyx of Strabo) at the eastern end. The early prominence of Gadeira caused some (such as Pindar) to place them in that area, or at points east thereof, such as Tarifa or Cape Trafalgar: the sources seem uncertain as to whether height or prominence was the defining criterion.”

Several alternative locations have been identified as being referred to in ancient times as the Pillars of Heracles. Robert Schoch [0454.87] writes “This distinctive name, taken from the most powerful hero of Greek mythology, was given to a number of ancient sites known in modern times by quite different appellations. The Greeks, however, used the name Pillars of Heracles to mark other sites besides Gibraltar, some outside the Mediterranean – namely, the Canary Islands in the Atlantic and the Strait of Kerch dividing the Black Sea from the Sea of Azov – and even more inside – specifically, the Strait of Bonafacio between Corsica and Sardinia, the Strait of Messina between mainland Italy and Sicily, the Greek Peleponnese, the mountainous coast of Tunisia, and the Nile Delta.” >Unfortunately, Schoch offers no references.<

Even Nikolai Zhirov, a proponent of an Atlantic Atlantis, accepted that they were other locations considered to have been designated Pillars of Herakles, both within and beyond Gibraltar, as shown on a map of half a century ago in his well-regarded book [458.86]. He lists, Gibraltar, Gulf of Gabes, Kerch Strait, the Moroccan coast, the Nile Delta and the Peleponnese, but like Schoch, fails to provide references.

We also find that Arthur C. Clarke suggested that there was evidence that the early Greeks did not originally refer to the Strait of Gibraltar as the Pillars of Heracles. Clarke also failed to cite his sources but expressed a personal preference for the Strait of Messina.  

WITHIN THE MEDITERRANEAN

I shall begin my review of PoH locations at the eastern end of the Mediterranean in Lebanon

?TYRE

J. P. Rambling has placed the ‘Pillars’ on Insula Herculis, now a small sunken island immediately south of Phoenician Tyre(k).

BOSPORUS

Eberhard Zangger [0483] cited the work of Servius(aa) in which he wrote (“Columnas Herculis legimus et in Ponto et in Hispania”) translated by Zangger as “through the Columns of Herakles we go within the Black Sea as well as in Spain”.

A German site(ab) by Willy Dorn offers a comparable translation – “Durch die Säulen des Herakles fahren wir im Schwarzen Meer wie auch in Spanien”) “We drive through the pillars of Heracles in the Black Sea as well as in Spain”

Similarly, a Spanish author, Paulino Zamarro, wrote(ac)(“pues sabemos de Columnas de Hércules tanto en el Ponto como en Hispania”) which translates as “for we know of Columns of Hercules both in the Ponto and hispania”.

Nicolae Densusianu offered “according to what we read, the Pillars of Hercules exist both in the Pontos region, and also in Hispania.”(ad)

The Stockton University website(ae), which similarly offers “We read of pillars of Hercules both in the Black Sea and in Spain”

Whichever translation is used, it confirms that at least two locations were concurrently referred to as the ‘Pillars of Heracles’.

Werner E. Friedrich has also argued [695] in favour of Pillars at the Bosporus, citing Euctemon of Athens (c.440 BC) who described the Pillars as two islands near the entrance to the strait having characteristics comparable to Prince’s Islands in the Sea of Marmara. Friedrich quotes Ephorus identifying two islands as the Pillars, just as Strabo did (see above), although there are no islands in the Strait of Gibraltar apart from the uninhabitable islet of Perejil off the coast of Morocco. Edwin Bjorkman noted [181.62] that “the insignificant little islet of Perijil” was the chosen location of Calypso’s home by Victor Berard.

Christian & Siegfried Schoppe, in support of their Black Sea location for Atlantis, maintain that the Pillars were situated at the Bosporus and not Gibraltar. They contend “the maintained misinterpretation results from the fact that Herakles went to Iberia. At late Hellenistic and at Roman times Iberia was Spain. However, this leads to inconsistencies: After putting up the Pillars (supposed at Gibraltar) Herakles put together a fleet to go to Iberia – he was still there!”  This makes no sense, however as the Schoppes pointed out that in the distant past ‘Iberia’ related to the land of an ethnic group to the east of the Black Sea.

DANUBE

Moving eastward and inland from the Black Sea, we have a strong case presented for the Danube as the home of its own Pillars. The Danube was known to the ancient Greeks as the Istros as well as Okeanos Potamos. The lower reaches of the river have ancient and deep-rooted cultural links with Hercules that are still very obvious today.

In Romania,  just north of Orsova on a tributary of the Daube lies Baile Herculane, sometimes called Hercules’ City, which has seen human habitation since the Paleolithic era. There is a legend that a weary Hercules stopped in the valley to bathe and rest. During the Roman occupation,  the local Herculaneum Spa was known all over the Empire.

Pindar confirms the visit of Hercules to the Danube (Estrus)(ag).

Even as early as the 1st century BC, local coinage displayed images of Hercules(af).

Just over a century ago, Nicolae Densusianu finished his monumental work Ancient Dacia(ah), which included fifteen pages(j) of the most comprehensive and fully referenced defence of any PoH location proposed, namely, the Iron Gates gorge on the Danube in ancient Dacia – modern Romania.

>Alexandra Furdui, is a Romanian architect, who now lives in Australia. In her book entitled Island: Myth…Reality …or Both? [1598], she posits Atlantis as a large island in the antediluvian freshwater Black Sea ruled by the Titans of Greek mythology, some of whom later started another civilisation in the lower Danube, where she claims the Pillars of Herakles were situated, probably the result of being influenced by the earlier work of Nicolae Densusianu.<

Densusianu’s offering has been reinforced recently by Antonije Shkokljev & Slave Nikolovski–Katin who have recorded [1742]  a version of the ‘Labours of Hercules’ that took place in the land of the Hyperboreans and its Danube River(ai). Other more recent writers have also specified the Iron Gates as the location of the PoH.

A paper presented to the 2008 Atlantis Conference by Ticleanu, Constantin & Nicolescu [0750.375] has the ‘Pillars’ at the Iron Gates but place Atlantis a little further west on what is now the Pannonian Plain. Similarly, an anonymous commentator, ‘Sherlock’, referencing Pindar (Olympian 3) also places the Pillars at the confluence of the Seva and Danube rivers near today’s Belgrade(s)

AEGEAN

Back in the Mediterranean, Capes Maleas and Matapan (Tainaron) in the Peloponnese are the two most southerly points of mainland Greece. They have been proposed by Galanopoulos & Bacon [0263] as the Pillars of Heracles when the early Greeks were initially confined to the Aegean Sea and the two promontories were the western limits of their maritime knowledge at that time. They argue that it is possible that the ‘Pillars of Hercules’ are not the Straits of Gibraltar?

“This has been the subject of some interesting conjectures. Nearly all the labours of Hercules were performed in the Peloponnese. The last and hardest of those which Eurytheus imposed on the hero was to descend to Hades and bring back its three-headed dog guardian, Cerberus. According to the most general version Hercules entered Hades through the abyss at Cape Taenarun (the modern Cape Matapan), the western cape of the Gulf of Laconia. The eastern cape of this gulf is Cape Maleas, a dangerous promontory, notorious for its rough seas.

Pausanias records that on either side of this windswept promontory were temples, that on the west dedicated to Poseidon, that on the east to Apollo. It is perhaps therefore not extravagant to suggest that the Pillars of Hercules referred to are the promontories of Taenarum and Maleas; and it is perhaps significant that the twin brother of Atlas was allotted the extremity of Atlantis closest to the Pillars of Hercules. The relevant passage in the Critias (114A-B) states:

And the name of his younger twin-brother, who had for his portion the extremity of the island near the pillars of Hercules up to the part of the country now called Gadeira after the name of that region, was Eumelus in Greek, but in the native tongue Gadeirus — which fact may have given its title to the country.’

Since the region had been named after the second son of Poseidon, whose Greek name was Eumelus, its Greek title must likewise have been Eumelus, a name which brings to mind the most westerly of the Cyclades, Melos, which is in fact not far from the notorious Cape Maleas. The name Eumelus was in use in the Cyclades; and the ancient inscription (‘Eumelus an excellent danger’) was found on a rock on the island of Thera.

In general, it can be argued from a number of points in Plato’s narrative that placing ‘the Pillars of Hercules’ at the south of the Peloponnese makes sense, while identifying them with the Straits of Gibraltar does not [p.97].”

Both James Mavor and Rodney Castleden defend this view, which continues to have some support(p).

Paulino Zamarro has mapped 13 locations(f) identified as Pillars by classical authors and expands on this further in his book [0024]. He identified Pori, a rocky islet north of the Greek island of Antikythera, as the location of the Pillars.

EGYPT

Despite all this, two writers, R. McQuillen and Hossam Aboulfotouh have independently suggested the vicinity of Canopus situated in the west of the Nile Delta as the location of the ‘Pillars’. Luana Monte, a supporter of the Minoan Hypothesis has also proposed [0485] a location at the mouth of the Nile Delta where the recently rediscovered sunken city of Herakleoin was situated. This identification appears to have been made in order to keep the Minoan Empire west of the ‘Pillars’.

STRAIT of OTRANTO

Moving on, we find that Alessio Toscano has suggested that the Pillars were situated at the Strait of Otranto and that Plato’s ‘Atlantic’ was in fact the Adriatic Sea!

The STRAIT of MESSINA is a strong contender as a location of the PoH in the Central Mediterranean. For years I have struggled with the idea that the Atlanteans had attacked from beyond Pillars located at Gibraltar since Plato tells us that they already had control of northern Africa and southern Italy along with a number of islands. To me, this could only make sense if the Pillars were situated some distance east of Gibraltar.

I recently recalled that Thorwald C. Franke had arrived at the same conclusion in a paper delivered to the 2008 Atlantis Conference held in Athens [750], where he noted that “On the one hand Atlantis is said to have ruled in Italy and Northern Africa before it invaded the region ‘within the straits’. On the other hand, Atlantis wanted to subdue ‘at a blow…..the whole region within the straits.’ How could Atlantis subdue ‘at a blow’ the ‘whole’ region ‘within the straits’ after Atlantis already had conquered the whole western Mediterranean sea”

“This is easily explained if we localise the Atlantis straits at the straits of Messina and consider the sea ‘within the straits’ to be the eastern Mediterranean sea only.”

I have discovered that in the Strait of Messina there had been a pillar erected north of the ancient city of Rhegium (Reggio Calabria), apparently marking what had been, at that time, the closest point to Sicily. Little is known about the early history of the pillar or even its precise location(av).

Some commentators had suggested the Strait of Sicily, but I find it strange that what we call today the Strait of Sicily is 90 miles wide. Now the definition of ‘strait’ is a narrow passage of water connecting two large bodies of water. How 90 miles can be described as ‘narrow’ eludes me. Is it possible that we are dealing with a case of mistaken identity and that the ‘Strait of Sicily’, when referred to in ancient times, was in fact the Strait of Messina, which is narrow? Keeping in mind that Philo of Alexandria (20 BC-50 AD)  in his On the Eternity of the World(aj) wrote “Are you ignorant of the celebrated account which is given of that most sacred Sicilian strait, which in old times joined Sicily to the continent of Italy?” So. understandably, the Strait of Messina is a ‘prime suspect’.

On the other hand, the Strait of Messina was one of the locations known as the site of the ‘Pillars’ and considering that mariners at that time preferred to stay close to the coast, I would opt for the Strait of Messina rather than the more frequently proposed Strait of Sicily. In a 1959 article(r) entitled Atlantis – A New Theory, Arthur R. Weir investigates the story of Scylla & Charybdis and is happy to accept that it refers to features in the Strait of Messina. In commenting on the Pillars he notes it is “quite clear that while to a Roman of the time of Julius Caesar the ‘Pillars of Heracles’ meant the Straits of Gibraltar, to a Greek of six centuries or more earlier they meant the Straits of Messina, and this immediately suggests a very different location for Atlantis.” Weir goes on to suggest a location, south of Sardinia and east of the Balearics.?SICILY

Federico Bardanzellu locates the Pillars on the island of Motya off the west coast of Sicily(h), a view that is hotly disputed. This would suggest that Atlantis was located west of there, which would bring you to Sardinia – 200 miles away. However, the Pillars were described as being close to Atlantis, which makes this suggestion improbable.

Sergio Frau in his book, Le Colonne d’Ercole: Un’inchiesta [0302], insists that the Pillars were in fact located in the Strait of Sicily. He sees this location as according with the writings of Homer and Hesiod. He discusses in detail the reference by Herodotus to an island to the west of the Pillars, suggesting that the word ocean had a different meaning than today and pointing out that elsewhere Herodotus refers to Sardinia as the largest island in the world. Following this lead, Frau concluded that Atlantis was located in Sardinia.

MALTA

As Felice Vinci mentioned earlier, according to Aristotle, the Pillars of Heracles were also known by the earlier name of ‘Pillars of Briareus’ (Aelian Var. Hist.5.3). Plutarch places Briareus near Ogygia, from which we can assume that the Pillars of Heracles are close to Ogygia [019.270]. Since Malta is identified by some as Ogygia, it is not unreasonable, to conclude that the Pillars were probably in the region of the Maltese Islands.

Anton Mifsud has now revised his opinion regarding the Pillars and in a December 2017 illustrated article(o) he identified the Maltese promontory of Ras ir-Raheb near Rabat, with its two enormous limestone columns as the Pillars of Herakles. This headland had originally been topped by a Temple of Herakles, confirmed by archaeologist, Professor Nicholas Vella. A 2020 article about the Minoans offered additional support for this location(v).

STRAIT OF SICILY

Robert J. Tuttle, is the author of The Fourth Source [1148], in which he touched on the subject of Atlantis, takes issue with the translations of Plato’s text by Bury and Lee, who refer to the ‘Atlantic Ocean’, which he claims should read as the ‘Sea of Atlantis’ and locates the ‘Pillars of Herakles’ somewhere between Tunisia, Sicily and the ‘toe of Italy’.

Rosario Vieni has suggested that the Symplegades, at the Bosporus, encountered by Homer’s Argonauts were precursors of the Pillars of Heracles, although Vieni settled on the Strait of Sicily as their location [1177], before Sergio Frau adopted the same location. However, there is little doubt that during the last two centuries BC ‘the Pillars’ referred almost exclusively to the Strait of Gibraltar.

Delisle de Sales placed the ‘Pillars’ not too far away at the Gulf of Tunis, the gateway to Carthage.

GULF OF GABES

As mentioned above Scylax of Caryanda described in his Periplus(a) that the Maltese Islands lay to the east of the Pillars of Heracles, which would place the archipelago east of the Gulf of Gabes. Antonio Usai, in a critique of Frau’s book Usai opted for the Pillars having been between the east coast of Tunisia and the islands of Kerkennah in the Gulf of Gabes  [0980]. George Sarantitis presented a paper to the 2008 Atlantis Conference in which he also argued that the Pillars had been situated in the Gulf of Gabes [750.403]. He cites Strabo among others to highlight the multiplicity of locations that have been attributed to Pillars in ancient times.

Ulrich Hofmann combines the Periplus of Scylax with the writings of Herodotus to build a credible argument for placing Atlantis in North Africa in Lake Tritonis, now occupied by the chotts of modern Algeria and Tunisia. Consequently, Hofmann places the Pillars at the Gulf of Gabés. Hofmann also argues that the Pillars were part of Atlantis rather than separate from it.

>STRAIT of BONIFACIO is the name of the 11km stretch of water that lies between Sardinia and Corsica. As mentioned above, Robert Schoch included this strait in a list of locations that he believes were formerly designated by the Greeks as ‘Pillars of Heracles’, alas, all without references. Paolo Valente Poddighe who nominated Sardinia and Corsica as Atlantis 40 years ago and also situated the ‘Pillars’ at Bonifacio.

GIBRALTAR

There is no doubt that the region of Gibraltar was considered, at least by the Greeks, to be home to the Pillars from the middle of the first millennium BC. However, although sought by Phoenicians, Greeks and Romans, they were never found. I contend that they were metaphorical, not physical.

>There is one interesting comment by the late Steven Sora [395.6] that may have a bearing on the location of the Pillars of Heracles, where, citing Ernle Bradford [1011], he claimed that at the time when Homer wrote, around 775 BC, the Greeks had barely ventured as far as Italy. To me, this would appear to suggest that at that time it is improbable that the ‘Pillars’ were identified by the Greeks with Gibraltar, but more likely to have been somewhere in the Central Mediterranean. Nevertheless, Sora opted for the Gibraltar location [p217]!<

BEYOND GIBRALTAR

 A more distant location was proposed by Chechelnitsky who placed the ‘Pillars’ at the Bering Strait between the Chukchi and Seward peninsulas in Russia and the USA respectively.

Arguably the most unusual suggestion this year has come from Marco Goti in his book, The Island of Plato [1430] in which he identified the ‘Pillars’ in the Atlantic, being the basalt columns of the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland in the west and their counterpart in Scotland’s Isle of Staffa in the east! However, this idea is not original, having been first mooted nearly seventy years ago by W.C. Beaumont(n).

Olof Rudbeck‘s chosen location was further east in the Baltic at the Øresund Strait between Sweden and Denmark.

Ogygia has also been identified with one of the Faroe Islands in the North Atlantic by Felice Vinci [019.3], who then proposed that the Pillars of Heracles had also been located in that archipelago. John Larsen has made similar suggestions.

Exotic locations such as Chott-el-Jerid in Tunisia, Bab-el-Mandeb(b) at the mouth of the Red Sea, the Strait of Hormuz(i) at the entrance to the Persian Gulf and even the Palk Strait between Sri Lanka and India have all been suggested at some stage as the ‘Pillars’.

George H. Cooper offered [0236] an even more outrageous solution when he wrote that the megaliths of Stonehenge in England were the original Pillars of Heracles.

In 2018, David L. Hildebrandt published Atlantis–The Awakening [1602], in which he has endeavoured to do just that with a mass of material that he claims supports the idea of Atlantis in Britain and Stonehenge as the remnants of the Temple of Poseidon. He suggests that the five trilithons represent the five sets of male twins, an idea voiced by Jürgen Spanuth and more recently by Dieter Braasch.

The late Arysio dos Santos [0320] claimed that “there was only one real pair of pillars: the ones that flank Sunda Strait in Indonesia”, in keeping with his Indonesian location for Atlantis. However, he does offer a map showing [p.130] nine sites designated by ancient authorities (but without references) as having been locations of ‘Pillars’, reinforcing the idea that the term was not exclusively applied to just one site. Santos’ map was based on the work of José Imbelloni.

ATLANTIS AND THE PILLARS OF HERACLES

The assumed location of the Pillars of Heracles, at the time of Solon, often plays a critical part in the formulation of the many  Atlantis theories on offer today. Even the authors of theories that have placed Plato’s island civilisation in such diverse locations as Antarctica, the North Sea or the South China Sea, have felt obliged to include an explanation for the nature and location of the ’Pillars’ within the framework of their particular hypothesis.   

There is one location clue in Plato’s text (Tim.24e) that is often overlooked, namely, that the island of Atlantis was situated close to the Pillars of Heracles. Although it can be argued that Plato’s island was immediately before or beyond the Pillars, the text seems to clearly imply proximity. This was pointed out by W.K.C. Guthrie in volume V of A History of Greek Philosophy [0946.245] and independently endorsed by Joseph Warren Wells in The Book on Atlantis [0783].

Sometimes, in ancient Greek literature, this phrase PoH refers to the strait between Sicily and the southern tip of Italy (a place which the Greeks did know well, having established colonies in Sicily and Southern Italy). An indication of the level of confusion that existed in early geography and cartography is the fact that some ancient maps & texts mark the Mediterranean region west of the Strait of Sicily as ‘the Atlantic Ocean’ and even state that Tyrrhenia is in the ‘Atlantic’!

Finally, my own conclusion regarding the location of the ‘Pillars’ is that a careful reading of Plato’s text shows clearly that they were located in the Central Region of the Mediterranean. I base this view on Critias 108 which states that the Atlantean war was between those that lived outside the Pillars of Heracles and those that lived within them and (ii) Critias 114 which declares that Atlantis held sway over the Western Mediterranean as far as Tyrrhenia in the north and up to the borders of Egypt in the south. Consequently, we can assume that west of Tyrrhenia and Egypt was beyond the Pillars of Heracles. Depending on the exact location of the ancient borders of Tyrrhenia and Egypt, the Pillars were probably situated somewhere in the vicinity of the Strait of Sicily.

This interpretation opens up the possibility of Malta, Sicily or even Sardinia as prime candidates for the location of Atlantis, with the ‘Pillars’ probably being at the Strait of Messina between Sicily and mainland Italy. My principal reason is that a strait is defined as “a naturally formed, narrow, typically navigable waterway that connects two larger bodies of water.” The Strait of Sicily is 145 km wide and cannot be realistically considered a strait. Similarly, it can be argued that at 13 km in width, the Strait of Gibraltar cannot be described as ‘narrow’! On the other hand, the Strait of Messina, which at its narrowest is 3.1 km wide, fits the bill perfectly. Andis Kaulins is similarly inclined to favour the Central Mediterranean, also with the Strait of Messina as his prime candidate(q).

What is clear from all of the above is that the term Pillars of Heracles was, without doubt, applied to a variety of locations but Plato’s reference might relate to Gibraltar although equally strong if not stronger cases can be made for other sites at earlier dates. It is also plausible that at some point it also became a metaphor for any geographical limit.

CONCLUSION

Leaving aside the multiplicity of Herakles’ noted above, it is clear that the Herakles associated with Pillars was a mythological figure and when taken together with the fact that the ancient writers could not agree on the exact location or the nature of the Pillars and combined with the failure of both the Phoenicians and later the Romans to find them, it is reasonable to conclude that there were no physical Pillars of Herakles at Gibraltar.

It should be obvious that if the ancient mariners, Greeks, Phoenicians and Romans, despite centuries of searching, were unable to definitively identify the location of the Pillars, making my suggestion, that they were not physical but metaphorical, more credible.

Furthermore, the Gibraltar region together with all the other locations proposed for the Pillars of Herakles, none are known to have possessed the stelai described by Plato.

The PoH are described by Plato in terms implying proximity to Atlantis. He also described Atlantis as being beyond the Pillars of Herakles or westward of them. Furthermore, without any ambiguity, Plato identified central Mediterranean territory in southern Italy and northern Africa together with a number of the many islands there, as the Atlantean domain. Consequently, we must look to somewhere not too far east of those lands for the location of the Pillars. My personal choice is the Strait of Messina, one of the proposed locations named the Pillars on their journey westward in step with the expansion of Greek trade and colonisation.

As explained elsewhere,  ancient empires or alliances only expanded by invading contiguous territory or attacking by sea, land that is within ‘easy reach’. From Gibraltar to Athens is over 2,500 km, which would make an attack over that distance totally irrational, whereas an invasion launched from southern Italy across the Strait of Otranto to mainland Greece is quite credible.

TRIVIA

Apart from any connection with Atlantis, it has been suggested that the vertical lines in the US dollar $ign (and by extension on the Bitcoin logo) represent the Pillars of Heracles!(l)

A more ‘out of this world’ suggestion(c) is that the ‘Pillars’ were actually two bright stars in the western sky at the end of the last Age of Libra around 12,500 BC.

(a) http://www2.le.ac.uk/departments/archaeology/people/shipley/pseudo-skylax

(b) http://www.grahamhancock.com/underworld/DrSunilAtlantis.php

(c) http://dailygrail.com/blogs/Charles-Pope/2011/8/Atlantis-Above-and-Below-Part-3

(d) https://web.archive.org/web/20020603011136/http://www.gunnzone.org:80/constructs/endsjo.htm

(e) http://books.google.ie/books/about/The_Edges_of_the_Earth_in_Ancient_Though.html?id=UOTxOcI_YJgCHYPERLINK “http://books.google.ie/books/about/The_Edges_of_the_Earth_in_Ancient_Though.html?id=UOTxOcI_YJgC&redir_esc=y”&HYPERLINK “http://books.google.ie/books/about/The_Edges_of_the_Earth_in_Ancient_Though.html?id=UOTxOcI_YJgC&redir_esc=y”redir_esc=y

(f) http://www.atlantidaegeo.com/c_hercules.html

(g) .ii.html”http://classics.mit.edu?Aristotle/meteorology.2.ii.html

(h) https://web.archive.org/web/20200403114225/http://www.museodeidolmen.it/popomare.html

(i) https://web.archive.org/web/20200220020342/http://www.middle-east.mavericsa.co.za/history.html  (over halfway down the page)

(j) https://shebtiw.wordpress.com/the-sea/the-pillars-of-hercules/

(k) http://redefiningatlantis.blogspot.ie/search/label/Heracles

(l) http://www.pravda-tv.com/2016/07/atlantis-die-dollar-note-und-die-saeulen-des-herakles/

(m) http://gibraltar-intro.blogspot.ie/2015/10/bc-pillars-of-hercules-if-ordinary.html

(n) https://www.theflatearthsociety.org/library/pamphlets/Is%20Britain%20the%20Lost%20Atlantis.pdf

(o) https://www.academia.edu/35505631/THE_PILLARS_OF_HERCULES_MYTH_OR_REALITY?auto=download&campaign=weekly_digest

(p) https://stillcurrent.wordpress.com/2016/04/05/atlantis-maybe-not-so-lost/

(q) https://web.archive.org/web/20200130221548/http://www.lexiline.com/lexiline/lexi60.htm 

(r) https://drive.google.com/file/d/10JTH401O_ew1fs8uhXR9C5IjNDvqnmft/view  Science Fantasy #35 1969

(s) https://sherlockfindsatlantis.wordpress.com/

(t) (Atlantean) Research, Vol 1 No.2, July/August , 1948

(u) Atlantis, Vol.29, No.2, March 76.

(v) https://www.argophilia.com/news/was-the-end-of-the-minoans-the-will-of-the-gods/227053/ (near the end of page)

(w) http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus:text:1999.04.0064:entry=herculis-columnae-geo 

(x) http://dlib.nyu.edu/awdl/isaw/isaw-papers/5/

(y) https://www.researchgate.net/publication/334683935_In_Search_of_the_Pillars_of_Heracles

(z) (Microsoft Word – Numéro complet.docx) (univ-lille.fr) 

(aa) Servius on Vergil’s Aeneid 11.262.1

(ab) Atlantis – a lost paradise? – On the coasts of light (archive.org)  (German) *

(ac) http://atlantidaegeo.com/c_hercules.html

(ad) PREHISTORIC DACIA by Nicolae Densu?ianu (Full English Translation) : Nicolae Densu?ianu : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive 3.16 – 10

(ae) https://www.stockton.edu/hellenic-studies/documents/chs-summaries/culley94.pdf

(af) http://www.wildwinds.com/coins/celtic/danube/i.html

(ag) Pindar, Olympian 3.25

(ah) PREHISTORIC DACIA by Nicolae Densu?ianu (Full English Translation) : Nicolae Densu?ianu : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive 3.16 – 01

(ai) https://www.academia.edu/30587794/_Cradle_of_the_Aegean_Culture_by_Antonije_Shkokljev_and_Slave_Nikolovski_Katin?email_work_card=view-paper (Chap. 16)

(aj) https://web.archive.org/web/20200726123301/http:/www.earlychristianwritings.com/yonge/book35.html, v139

(ak) https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Anabasis_of_Alexander/Book_II/Chapter_XVI

(al) https://www.chasingtheunexpected.com/sardinia-land-of-mystery-part-2-atlantis-lost-civilization/

(am) Plato’s Atlantis (Decoding the most famous myth) English translation of ‘The Apocalypse of a Myth’, 2017

(an) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claudius_Aelianus#Varia_Historia

(ao) https://archive.aramcoworld.com/issue/199203/pillars.of.hercules.sea.of.darkness.htm  

(ap) II, 42.44 {4747}

(aq) https://www.ancient.eu/Greek_Colonization/

(ar) https://www.academia.edu/28508777/The_Cambridge_Ancient_History_3rd_Edition_volume_03_part_3_The_Expansion_of_the_Greek_World

(as) https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/capo-colonna

(at) https://nl.pinterest.com/pin/734438651719489108/

(au) See: Note 5 Armin Wolf’s Wayback Machine (archive.org)

(av) https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colonna_Reggina

(aw) http://www.radiocom.net/Deluge/Deluge7-10.htm

 

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Gunung Padang

Gunung Padang is a megalithic site on the Indonesian island of Java, which was first surveyed in 1914 by the Dutch colonial authorities and published as Rapporten van de Oudheidkundige Dienst (Report of the Department of Antiquities). A post-war Australian investigation concluded that the site was much older than previously believed. Now, with presidential support, local archaeologists are carrying out an extensive investigation of the site.

The site has recently been claimed as part of gunung padangAtlantis. Evidence that the site contains hidden chambers prompted Graham Hancock to speculate whether it “Could it be the fabled “Hall of Records” of Atlantis?”(k).

A few years ago the late Arysio dos Santos was the leading proponent of Sundaland, which included Indonesia, being Atlantis. Then Danny Hilman Natawidjaja (DHN) an Indonesian geologist has made a similar claim in his Kindle ebook, Plato Never Lied: Atlantis Is in Indonesia[961]. In it, Gunung Padang plays an important role. Mount Padang has also been claimed as the world’s oldest pyramid!>Although I do not support the idea of an Indonesian Atlantis, I am forced to admit that a far more interesting case for it has been made by Dhani Irwanto.

In his review of Hancock’s Magicians of the Gods, Jason Colavito refers to  Danny Hilman Natawidjaja, the Indonesian geologist who declared the site of Gunung Padang on Sumatra to be ten or twenty thousand years old, and thus making Indonesia the cradle of civilization. Natawidjaja is a true believer in fringe history and suspects that Plato was speaking of Gunung Padang when writing of Atlantis. His opinions are noteworthy only because the previous government of Indonesia gave him the money and resources to excavate the site in search of proof of Indonesian primacy in history before the current government shut down the investigation for becoming an international laughingstock. Like Semir Osmanogich in Bosnia, Natawidjaja sees artificial layers of construction in the deepest layers of what his colleagues in Indonesia and archaeologists around the world believe to be a natural hill crowned with later ruins.” (n).<

Nevertheless, a recent (May 2017) assault on Natawidjaja’s theories in an open letter(i) from Rebecca Bradley has laid bare the weaknesses in his claims.

DHN in an address to the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union in 2018, said that radiocarbon dating suggests the top layer of the site could be up to 3,500 old years old, the second layer somewhere around 8,000 years old, and the third layer anywhere in the vicinity of 9,500 to 28,000 years old(j).

Graham Hancock has written a review(b) of the excavations at Gunung Padang and in October 2014 added further comments(d)(m)Robert Schoch has also offered a geologist’s view of the site(f).

One report that I thought rather interesting was that “aside from its age, is that during coring it was found that much of the buried structure was reinforced with a type of cement.  This bonding agent, which has been used as a mortar and sort of glue in certain parts of the site, consists of 45% iron ore, 41% silica and 14% clay.  It’s said that this mixture provides for a very strong and durable mortar base, and is surprising evidence of the level of sophistication of the building technique.”(l)

Andrew Collins has now added an article(h). to his website that examines the preliminary claim that the lower levels at the site could be 12,000 years older than Gobekli Tepe. If confirmed, it will undoubtedly require some rewriting of history books. Do not lose sight of the fact that radiocarbon dating has limitations, being accurate for up to around 6,000 years with increasing unreliability up to perhaps 50,000 BC after which it is generally useless.

We now (Nov. ’14) have a report(e) that some type of ‘electrical device’ has been discovered at the sitemade out of gold and copper and seems to resemble a primitive electrical capacitor.’ Until further information is available this claim must be treated with caution.

There are, however, dissenting voices as reported by journalist, Michael Bachelard(g), such as vulcanologist Sutikno Bronto, who says “Gunung Padang is simply the neck of a nearby volcano, not an ancient pyramid. Danny Hilman is not a vulcanologist. I am.” As for the carbon-dated cement between the stones, on which Hilman relies for his claims about the age of the site, Sutikno believes it is simply the byproduct of a natural weathering process, ”not man-made”. Other sceptics are even tougher. One archaeologist, who does not wish to be named since the President took such an interest, says the presidential taskforce is deluding itself. ”In the Pawon cave in Padalarang [about 45 kilometres from Gunung Padang], we found some human bones and tools made of bones about 9500 years ago, or about 7000 BCE. So, if at 7000 BCE our technology was only producing tools of bones, how can people from 20,000 BCE obtain the technology to build a pyramid?” the archaeologist asks.

(a) https://projectavalon.net/forum4/showthread.php?62108-Is-Gunung-Padang-the-oldest-pyramid-on-the-planet

(b)https://wakeup-world.com/2014/07/03/new-archaeological-discoveries-uncover-the-mysteries-of-a-lost-civilisation/

(c) https://www.andrewcollins.com/page/articles/gp.htm

(d) https://www.grahamhancock.com/forum/HancockG10-Gunung-Padang-Latest.php

(e) https://web.archive.org/web/20170811003647/https://mysteriousearth.net/2016/05/11/amazing-2500-year-old-electrical-device-found-at-gunung-padang/

(f) https://web.archive.org/web/20140716174346/https://atlantisrisingmagazine.com/2014/03/01/journey-to-gunung-padang/

(g) https://www.smh.com.au/world/digging-for-the-truth-at-controversial-megalithic-site-20130726-2qphb.html

(h) https://www.facebook.com/notes/1076395952375272/

(i) https://www.skepticink.com/lateraltruth/2017/05/14/gunung-padang-open-letter-danny/

(j) Long-Hidden ‘Pyramid’ Found in Indonesia Was Likely an Ancient Temple | Live Science

(k) Gunung Padang: The lost records of Atlantis? — Secret History — Sott.net

(l) Gunung Padang and The Lost City of Atlantis | Mysterious Universe

(m) https://www.academia.edu/8776410/From_Indonesia_To_Turkey_New_Archaeological_Discoveries_Uncover_The_Mysteries_Of_A_Lost_Civilisation_By_Graham_Hancock

(n) Magicians of the Gods Review – JASON COLAVITO *

Natawidjaja, Danny Hilman

Danny Hilman Natawidjaja is an Indonesian geologist who is no stranger danny-hilman-natawidjajato media interest, as he is regularly wheeled out for comment after the all-too-frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions in his country.

In 2013 he garnered further attention with two dramatic claims. The first was a declaration that the huge megalithic site at Gunung Padang on Java was also home to the oldest pyramid in the world(a). Not content with that, he has also stated that the same site is evidence for Atlantis in Indonesia(b). Apart from the media attention he also received support from the Indonesian president. Graham Hancock and Robert Schoch have both visited the site along with Danny Hilman(c).

>National pride would appear to drive the current claims for the great antiquity of Gunung Padang, where Göbekli Tepe, in Turkey, is seen to have garnered the lion’s share of attention as the world’s oldest verified megalithic site(g).<

Natawidjaja published his Atlantis theory in a Kindle ebook, Plato Never Lied: Atlantis Is in Indonesia[961].>To be candid, I found the Atlantis in Indonesia theory[1093] by Dhani Irwanto to be far superior.<

>In his review of Hancock’s Magicians of the Gods, Jason Colavito refers to  Danny Hilman Natawidjaja, the Indonesian geologist who declared the site of Gunung Padang on Sumatra to be ten or twenty thousand years old, and thus making Indonesia the cradle of civilization. Natawidjaja is a true believer in fringe history and suspects that Plato was speaking of Gunung Padang when writing of Atlantis. His opinions are noteworthy only because the previous government of Indonesia gave him the money and resources to excavate the site in search of proof of Indonesian primacy in history before the current government shut down the investigation for becoming an international laughingstock. Like Semir Osmanogich in Bosnia, Natawidjaja sees artificial layers of construction in the deepest layers of what his colleagues in Indonesia and archaeologists around the world believe to be a natural hill crowned with later ruins.”(f)<

November 2016 saw a further incredible claim coming from Natawidjaja, namely that a 2500-year-old ‘electrical device’ had been found on Gunung Padang, which is claimed to be some form of a capacitor and has been compared with the design of the biblical Ark of the Covenant. The report(d) that I’ve seen does not include any images, but until more concrete information is available, my scepticism is on ‘red alert’.

In May 2017, Rebecca Bradley, in an open letter, wrote(e) an extensive attack on Natawidjaja’s Gunung Padang claims.

>Wikipedia has also noted criticism coming from local scientists(i)  “Thirty-four Indonesian scientists signed a petition questioning the motives and methods of the Hilman-Arif team. Vulcanologist Sutikno Bronto states that the site is the neck of an ancient volcano and not a man-made pyramid. An archaeologist who did not wish to be named due to the involvement of the country’s president who had set up a task force said that: ‘In archaeology, we usually find the ‘culture’ first … Then, after we find out the artefact’s age we’ll seek out historical references to any civilisation which existed around that period. Only then will we be able to explain the artefact historically. In this case, they ‘found’ something, carbon-dated it, then it looks like they created a civilisation around the period to explain their finding.'” (h)<

(a) https://beforeitsnews.com/beyond-science/2013/08/indonesian-pyramid-is-20000-years-old-claims-archaeologist-discovery-may-rewrite-history-2442948.html

(b) See: https://web.archive.org/web/20140306231657/https://ksj.mit.edu/tracker/2013/05/indonesian-geologist-says-region-perfect

(c) https://www.shiftfrequency.com/graham-hancock-gunung-padang-the-mountain-of-light-west-java-indonesia/

(d) https://web.archive.org/web/20170811003647/https://mysteriousearth.net/2016/05/11/amazing-2500-year-old-electrical-device-found-at-gunung-padang/

(e) https://www.skepticink.com/lateraltruth/2017/05/14/gunung-padang-open-letter-danny/

(f) Magicians of the Gods Review – JASON COLAVITO *

(g) The Pyramid of Gunung Padang – Asian Geographic Magazines *

(h) Digging for the truth at controversial megalithic site (smh.com.au) *

(i) Gunung Padang Megalithic Site – Wikipedia *

Easter Island

Easter Island.02Easter Island (Rapa Nui) with its strange statues, known as moai, remains one of the great archaeological mysteries. As with most ancient enigmas, various writers have tried to link Easter Island with either Atlantis, Mu or extraterrestrials.

Herbie Brennan in his early book, Occult Reich [027], touched on the subject of Lemuria with the following two gems, “Atlantis, in earliest times, was actually part of Lemuria” and “the degenerate line of Lemuria is still with us, although only just and obviously dying. It is represented by the primitive aborigine of Australia.” He also claimed that a volcanic upheaval brought a tiny speck of Lemuria to the surface. “It rose complete with a host of giant statues……..now known as Easter Island.”

I cannot subscribe to such silliness and would not normally include Easter Island in this encyclopedia, but in recognition of the level of general interest in the subject, I have included a link(a) to the serious archaeological work that continues on the island. This study is now in its fifth season and is directed by Dr Jo Anne Van Tilburg. One aspect of the work was to demonstrate that many of the Easter Island ‘heads’ have buried bodies, often, until now, with hidden petroglyphs(t). A recent (June 2015) blog(g) has proposed that some of the markings represent tattoos.

Van Tilburg has been working on Rapa Nui for more than three decades. Her Easter Island Statue Project is supported in part by UCLA’s Cotsen Institute of Archaeology. “A 2019 report from her radically alters the idea that all standing statues in the Rano Raraku quarry were simply awaiting transport out of the quarry,” Van Tilburg said. “That is, these and probably other upright Moai in Rano Raraku were retained in place to ensure the sacred nature of the quarry itself. The Moai were central to the idea of fertility, and in Rapanui belief, their presence here stimulated agricultural food production.”(aa)

The other great Easter Island mystery(i) is the rongorongo script found there. All attempts to decipher it have failed(c)(d). An extensive article by Jacob Mikanowski offering insights into the history of the island and its script and the many efforts to decode it is available online(q). David Pratt has also compared rongorongo with ancient Chinese and Indus Valley scripts(r). Pratt has written several papers on various aspects of Easter Island(s).

Jean-Michel Schwartz has noted [1792.93] the views of Dr Heine Geldern who “pointed out strong resemblances between rongo-rongo signs and certain archaic Chinese characters, particularly from the Shang period.”

Similarities between rongorongo and symbols carved on the Ingá Stone in Brazil have also been noted(v).

Some years ago Andis Kaulins wrote An Astrological Zodiac In the Script of Easter Island(x), in which he also links the Easter Island script with the Indus Valley as well as possible calendrical and astronomical associations.

“In 1932, Wilhelm de Hevesy was the first academic to suggest a link between Rongorongo and the Indus script of the Indus Valley Civilization in India, claiming that as many as forty Rongorongo symbols had a correlating symbol in the script from India. For a while, the idea was entertained and debated until radiocarbon dating of the  Indus Valley culture was placed between c. 3,300 – 1,900 BC, a finding which officially separated the two cultures by over 2,000 years. Recent research, however, has opened the debate again as the finding of Indus Valley DNA in Australian Aborigines suggest contact between the two cultures c. 2,000 BC.”(v) There is also an extensive study of the two scripts available on the Academia.edu website.(w)

Although a link between the Indus Valley or even the Chinese cannot be ruled out, the suggestion by Professor Nors Sigurd Josephson that there is a possible Greek connection with Easter Island does appear to be extreme. Nevertheless, he claims that “In parallel with the over one thousand ancient Greek linguistic roots that are met in the language of Easter Island and, the relative to it, Polynesian languages, we also meet a big number of ancient Greek grammatic peculiarities, like noun endings and verbal types” [1904][1905].

More recently (2021), Alexandros Angelis has endorsed Josephson’s idea and for good measure has suggested a linkage between the Greek and Aztec languages(ae).

A new suggestion has recently emerged linking Easter Island and the ongoing discoveries at Göbekli Tepe in Turkey(b). This dates back to early easter island2010 and has now been given greater prominence in Robert Schoch’s recent book, Forgotten Civilization [867]. On a lighter note, when Robert Schoch, suggested a link between Göbekli Tepe and Easter Island(m), despite the eleven millennia time difference, it was no surprise that Jason Colavito scornfully dismissed the idea(n).

Pre-Colonial contacts between Easter Island and South America have recently been supported by DNA evidence(f). This would appear to be contradicted by a 2017 study by a team from the University of California -Santa Cruz, which appears to rule out pre-European contact with South Americans! Details are published in the October 12th edition of Current Biology.(p)

The Milwaukee Journal of June 17th 1923 had a headline that announced the disappearance of Easter Island(e), proving that you really can’t believe everything you read! Coincidentally, 1923 also gave us an early attempt(h) to link Easter Island with Atlantis.

For a long time, it has been thought that warfare had wiped out much of its early population. This has now been debunked by a new study, led by Binghamton University anthropology professor Carl Lipo and published in the Feb. 2016 edition of the journal Antiquity(j). Shortly afterwards, a further study suggested a more complex explanation for the early social collapse on the island has been put forward by Dr Valentí Rull, who is a senior researcher at the Spanish National Research Council in Barcelona(k).

A further report(o)  from Lipo highlighted further the complexity underlying the societal disintegration that took place on the island. Lipo outlined the commonly held explanation as follows; “One of the resources that they supposedly used up was trees that were growing on the island. Those trees provided canoes and, as a result of the lack of canoes, they could no longer fish. So they started to rely more and more on land food. As they relied on land food, productivity went down because of soil erosion, which led to crop failures…Painting the picture of this sort of catastrophe. That’s the traditional narrative.” Lipo’s studies have employed new technologies that have disproved these popular ideas and forced a radical rethink.

There is a brief Smithsonian video clip available(l) that deals with the cutting and transportation of the moai.

The latest moai theory has come from a team of researchers, led by Carl Lipo, from New York’s Binghampton University, who have concluded that the statues were placed at locations where potable water was available(u). To me, it seems an excessively elaborate way of marking locations.

A recent study has added some confusion to conventional assumptions regarding early warfare on the island, claiming that there is now evidence that “Easter Island society did not collapse prior to European contact and its people continued to build its iconic moai statues for much longer than previously believed, according to a team of American researchers” Their conclusions were published in the February 2020 issue of the Journal of Archaeological Science.(y)

Joseph Davidovits who controversially proposed that Giza’s Great Pyramid stones had been cast rather than carved has also claimed that other well-known structures had been created in a similar manner, such as at Tiwanaku and Puma Punku in Peru(ad) and Easter Island(ad). 

In the April 2020 edition of the Journal of Archaeological Science, Lipo et al offered a new paper(z) further debunking the Rapa Nui societal collapse theory and 2021 saw the collapse theory under further attack(ab).

>In 2022 the proposed connection between the Easter Island and the Indus scripts was given a further airing. This time, the author Daniel F. Salas introduces this lengthy paper with ” The Indus Valley script glyphs have a visual relationship with the star constellations along the ecliptic. The Indus script has an established visual relationship with the Polynesian Easter Island script. The Polynesians used the stars to navigate, the use of the same pictorial image of the stars points to a very old navigational system. As for the Polynesian script a seasonal date can be found, using the same navigational system it can be said it happens in the Indus valley script. These dates for the Indus Valley script indicate a season of harvest of a particular plant.”(af)<

(a) https://www.eisp.org/

(b) https://www.unexplained-mysteries.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=176228

(c)  https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0387982418/deniartsystems

(d)  https://www.boloji.com/articles/14555/deciphering-rongorongo

(e) https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1499&dat=19230617&id=9f1EAAAAIBAJ&sjid=XyEEAAAAIBAJ&pg=5420,3683626 (inaccessible Sept. 2016)

(f) https://mysteriousuniverse.org/2014/10/new-dna-evidence-confirms-pre-colonial-contact-between-easter-island-and-south-america/

(g) https://www.ancient-origins.net/news-general/new-photos-reveal-giant-easter-island-moai-statues-are-covered-mysterious-symbols-020389

(h) https://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/139600431?searchTerm=Atlantis discovered&searchLimits=

(i) https://www.damninteresting.com/the-other-mystery-of-easter-island/

(j) https://www.redorbit.com/news/science/1113412616/longstanding-mystery-surrounding-easter-island-has-been-solved-021616/

(k) https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2016-04/f-wrh040716.php

(l) How Were Easter Island’s Gigantic Statues Actually Carved? | Smithsonian Magazine (archive.org)

(m) https://web.archive.org/web/20160911175943/https://www.robertschoch.com/articles/schochgobeklitepenewdawnsept2010.pdf  See: Sept/Oct 2010 edition of New Dawn Magazine (Issue 122)

(n) https://www.jasoncolavito.com/blog/robert-schochs-wacky-easter-island-gobekli-tepe-theory-the-hypocrisy-of-alternative-dating

(o) https://popular-archaeology.com/issue/summer-2017/article/easter-island-not-victim-of-ecocide-analysis-of-remains-shows

(p) https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/12/science/easter-island-dna-south-america.html

(q) https://web.archive.org/web/20200508065544/http://cabinetmagazine.org/issues/64/mikanowski.php

(r) https://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/arqueologia/eastern_island/easter03.htm#7._Rongorongo_

(s) https://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/arqueologia/eastern_island/easter.htm

(t) https://www.ancient-origins.net/news-general/new-photos-reveal-giant-easter-island-moai-statues-are-covered-mysterious-symbols-020389

(t) https://www.news.com.au/travel/world-travel/pacific/easter-island-discovery-experts-unravel-mystery-of-ancient-statues/news-story/00bc37226b08dcecdb088fdb091277ea

(v) https://web.archive.org/web/20200506032241/http://www.ancient-wisdom.com/easterislandindusvalley1.htm

(w) https://www.academia.edu/2384225/Rongorongo_and_the_Indus_Script

(x) https://easterislandscript.blogspot.com/2010/01/astrological-zodiac-in-script-of-easter.html

(y) https://www.heritagedaily.com/2020/02/easter-island-society-did-not-collapse-prior-to-european-contact-new-research-shows/125663

(z) Rethinking Jared Diamond’s “Collapse” of Easter Island – Anthropology.net (archive.org)

(aa) https://www.ancient-origins.net/news-history-archaeology/easter-island-moai-0013007

(ab) https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/07/210713090153.htm 

(ac) https://www.geopolymer.org/archaeology/tiahuanaco-monuments-tiwanaku-pumapunku-bolivia/ 

(ad) https://www.geopolymer.org/library/video/they-came-from-america-to-build-easter-island/  

(ae) https://grahamhancock.com/angelisa1/ 

(af) The Indus Valley and Easter Island Scripts – Panchakarma a decipherment of the Indus Valley Script (indoeurohome.com) *

Kenyon, J. Douglas

J. Douglas Kenyon is the editor and publisher of the well-known douglas kenyonAtlantis Rising magazine, now closed down. He is also the editor of the ‘Forbidden’ series of books. One of these  Forbidden History[802] is an anthology of over forty articles previously published in Atlantis Rising. The book covers a range of fascinating subjects including Darwinism, catastrophism, ancient technologies and ancient civilisations including Atlantis. Contributors include Will Hart, David Lewis(b), Frank Joseph, Robert Schoch and Christopher Dunn. Kenyon has written a number of introductory articles to the various sections of the book. Elsewhere(a), he has written a sympathetic review of the Flem-Aths’ Antarctic theory.

Although I cannot subscribe to many of  the ideas presented in his book I can certainly recommend it as a good overview of ‘alternative’ history.

>(a) https://web.archive.org/web/20190831203830/https://www.briantaylor.com/Atlantis.htm<

(b) https://cdn.preterhuman.net/texts/religion.occult.new_age/occult_library/Atlantis%20Rising%20Magazine/12contents.pdf

Younger Dryas

Younger Dryas is also known as Dryas III was a mini Ice Age that lasted from around 10,700 BC until around 9600 BC. It is named after a wildflower called Dryas octopetala that flourished during this relatively short period. In Ireland, the period is known as the Nahanagan Stadial and in Britain as the Loch Lomond Stadial. For about thirteen hundred years the glaciers had been slowly retreating until within a short timespan temperature dropped and they began to advance again. The cause of this cooling is not entirely clear. One view is that a sudden release into the North Atlantic of vast quantities of freshwater that had been contained by huge ice dams is assumed to have closed down the Gulf Stream, resulting in a twelve hundred year lowering of global temperatures. There is evidence that the change only took one or two decades. The same threat is said to exist today with the possibility of the melting of the Greenland ice cap. It also seems that this YD cooling ended with the same rapidity.

A recent application of archaeoastronomy by Martin Sweatman and Dimitrios Tsikritsis led them to conclude that the carved symbols at Göbekli Tepe recorded an encounter involving the explosion or impact of part of Encke’s Comet around 13,000 years ago, which triggered the Younger Dryas Event that provided the impetus for the Neolithic Revolution. Sweatman later expanded their work in his book Prehistory Decoded [1621] and an article on the Ancient Origins website(k). In June 2021, Sweatman had a paper entitled The Younger Dryas impact hypothesis: review of the impact evidence’ published in the journal ‘Earth Science Review’ of the University of Edinburgh(u).

Kevin A. & Patrick J. Casey maintain that a globally catastrophic event occurred 13,000 years ago(j). The kernel of their theory is that originally the Earth had two moons that at some later point collided, producing our current Moon, while the remnant of the second one eventually exploded over North America kick-starting what we refer to as the cooler Younger Dryas period. They are adamant that it was not a comet or asteroid that caused the devastation, and so clash with the conclusions of Richard Firestone and his colleagues.

A completely different view is expressed in Rod (Carl) Martin’s latest book [1623], where he proposes that the Younger Dryas ended as a result of a catastrophic event. Is it possible that there were two cataclysmic episodes? John Ackerman, a keen follower of Immanuel Velikovsky claims that there were two such events related to “the capture of the Moon into its current orbit,” marking the beginning and the end of the Younger Dryas period(q).

A somewhat technical paper, published in July 2020, challenges the comet impact theory because of geochemical anomalies, Instead, they argue that the YD event was a consequence of volcanic activity(s), rather than an impact! Martin Sweatman refutes this in a paper on Graham Hancock’s website(i).

In 2015, a paper constraining the impact date to within 100 years using Bayesian statistical analyses, now proposed as 12,835 -12,735 years ago(h).

Coincidentally, Emilio Spedicato independently concluded that it was a cometary impact in the North Atlantic that was responsible for the Younger Dryas. Subsequently, when temperatures rose again it resulted in the flooding of vast areas of low-lying landmasses that in Spedicato’s opinion included Atlantis, which he locates in Hispaniola.

Conflicting evidence regarding the possibility of the Younger Dryas being caused by such an impact is impartially outlined on the internet(a).

The November 2013 issue of the BBC Focus magazine (p.30) had a brief article on the impact theory, noting that the northern hemisphere saw a drop of as much as 15°C around 11,000BC. In the absence of a suitable impact crater of the right age, there is still much scientific scepticism(b).

However, in early 2017, further possible evidence of an impact at the start of the Younger Dryas was offered by a team led by Christopher Moore of the University of South Carolina, when they identified a distinct layer of platinum in the soil that coincided with the start of YD. Commenting on this anomaly Moore noted that “Platinum is very rare in the Earth’s crust, but it is common in asteroids and comets.”(e) In 2019, Moore published further data(m) supporting the extraterrestrial impact theory, based on studies carried out on sediments, which date back 20,000 years, from White Pond Lake, situated in southern Kershaw County, South Carolina. “Other examples of excessive platinum grains have been found across Europe, western Asia, Chile, South Africa(r) and North America.” (n)

In early 2018, two papers were published online(i), reinforcing the YD impact theory and adding evidence that the event resulted in a conflagration that may have consumed ~10 million km2, or ~9% of Earth’s terrestrial biomass.” Related to this is a paper by Andrew Collins that draws attention to the ‘Usselo horizon’, a charcoal-rich layer of between 1 and 8 inches, found on all continents, indicating widespread fires, now dated to 12,900 years ago(l).

Ice cores from Greenland indicate a further cooling period circa 6200 BC that may be related to the abandonment of many Neolithic settlements during this period. Other periods of abrupt climate change have been identified from 3800 BC to 3500 BC and 2800 BC to 2000 BC.

The fact that Plato’s apparent date for the demise of Atlantis, circa 9600 BC, roughly corresponds with the current, best estimate for the date of the Younger Dryas is interesting but unfortunately not conclusive proof of any direct connection. In the absence of any supportive archaeological evidence, a linkage between Atlantis and the Younger Dryas will have to remain a matter of faith rather than fact. Interesting but inconclusive.

In 2017, Graham Hancock reviewed the Younger Dryas debate over the previous decade in a lengthy essay(v). This was prior to the publication of America Before. He finished with the following comment. Perhaps the lost civilization that I have spent the last quarter of a century trying to track down had its most significant outpost, possibly even its heartland, in North America in the period BEFORE the Younger Dryas cataclysms of 12,800 to 11,600 years ago?”  Hancock is inferring here that there was a single global civilisation, a hyperdiffusionist stance that I consider indefensible.

A short paper by John Patrick Hill offers a theory that requires more than faith to accept it; he wrote “Just over 12 thousand years ago, the world was struck by an immense meteor group. It destroyed all of North America and much of Europe and went weIl beyond……… I found proof to support that the creators of the Giza Three and Stonehenge used the Barringer Crater in Arizona as part of the geometry for their massive structures.”  Later he reveals that at “Giza, when one takes the distance between the outside corners of the three large pyramids there, that distance is equal to 0.72 miles, the exact distance (diameter) at Barringer.” An expanded version of his paper is available online.(t)

Recent discoveries in northern Sudan of dozens of skeletons, the majority of whom were killed by flint-tipped arrows, have led to the suggestion(c) they were the result of food shortages resulting from the Younger Dryas that in turn led to warfare over diminished food availability.

I note that Robert Schoch claims that there is no evidence to support the Younger Dryas impact theory, instead, he believes that “it was most likely due to reduced solar activity at that time, a solar shut-down.”(o) Schoch’s wide-ranging critique has been refuted by the Comet Research Group.(p)

In 2020, James Lawrence Powell (1936- ), a noted geologist, author, former college president and museum director entered the Younger Dryas debate with the publication of Deadly Voyager [1911]. In it, Powell offers wholehearted support to the Younger Dryas Impact Hypothesis (YDIH), understandably generating a favourable review from Graham Hancock(w).

>Even more important, is that Powell’s book induced a number of heavy-duty critics of YDIH, including Michael Shermer to change their opinion(x).<

(a) See: https://web.archive.org/web/20130310032309/https://blogs.nicholas.duke.edu/thegreengrok/climatedebate/

(b) https://www.livescience.com/39362-younger-dryas-meteor-quebec.html

(c) https://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/archaeology/saharan-remains-may-be-evidence-of-first-race-war-13000-years-ago-9603632.html

(d) https://www.researchgate.net/publication/268390328_Nanodiamond-Rich_Layer_Across_Three_Continents_Consistent_with_Major_Cosmic_Impact_at_12800_Cal_BP

(f) https://www.space.com/17676-comet-crash-ice-age.html

(g) https://popular-archaeology.com/issue/winter-2017/article/discovery-of-widespread-platinum-may-help-solve-clovis-people-mystery

(h) https://cosmictusk.com/new-paper-younger-dryas-boundary-impact-date-constrained-within-100-years/

(i) https://www.dailygrail.com/2018/02/a-comet-impact-13000-years-ago-set-fire-to-10-of-the-planet/

(j) https://www.academia.edu/38380799/13k_Theory_Atlantis_Revisited.pdf

(k) https://www.ancient-origins.net/history-important-events/younger-dryas-0012216

(l) https://www.andrewcollins.com/page/articles/Lommel.htm

(m) https://theconversation.com/new-evidence-that-an-extraterrestrial-collision-12-800-years-ago-triggered-an-abrupt-climate-change-for-earth-118244

(n) https://edition.cnn.com/2019/10/29/world/ice-age-extraterrestrial-impact-scn/index.html

(o) https://www.robertschoch.com/plasma_iceage.html

(p) https://cosmictusk.com/comet-research-group-responds-to-robert-schoch/

(q) https://www.firmament-chaos.com/va_scenario.html

(r) https://www.q-mag.org/the-impact-that-set-the-earth-on-fire-12800y-ago-geological-evidence-now-found-also-in-the-southern-hemisphere.html

(s) https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/6/31/eaax8587

(t) https://www.academia.edu/45436215/Barringer_Crater_and_the_Younger_Dryas

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

(v) The Younger Dryas Impact research since 2007 – The Cosmic Tusk 

(w) https://grahamhancock.com/deadly-voyager/ 

(x) In praise of intellectual honesty – The Cosmic Tusk *

 

Sundaland

SundalandSundaland is the name of a large biogeographical region of South East Asia, a large portion of which had been above sea level during the last Ice Age and later inundated as the glaciers retreated. The term was apparently first used[1629] in 1949 by R.W. van Bemmelen (1868-1941) and later by other authorities.

It is worth noting that it is now generally accepted that South East Asia was probably the entry point of modern humans from Africa. Human traces have been found in Papua New Guinea that have been dated to around 40,000 BC.

Some authors have specifically claimed a clear link between Sundaland and Plato’s Atlantis. The Sunda Sub-Oceanic Plain is large enough to match Plato’s description of Atlantis. Its topography, climate, flora and fauna together with aspects of local mythologies, all permit a convincing case to be made to support this idea.

C.W. Leadbeater (1854-1934) who was a prominent theosophist was perhaps the first to suggest a link between Atlantis and Indonesia in his book, The Occult History of Java [1094], which is now available online(f).

Other investigators have written on the prehistory of the region of whom the best known is probably Stephen Oppenheimer who firmly locates the Garden of Eden in this region[004], although he makes little reference to Atlantis. More recently, Robert Schoch, in collaboration with Robert Aquinas McNally, wrote a book[455] in which they suggest that pyramid building may have had its origins in a civilisation that flourished on parts of Sundaland that are now submerged.

The first book to specifically identify Sundaland with Atlantis was written by Zia Abbas[001]. However, prior to its publication, the Internet offered at least two sites that discussed in detail the case for Atlantis in South East Asia. William Lauritzen(a) and the late Professor Arysio Nunes dos Santos(b) developed extensive websites. Lauritzen has also written an e-book that is available from his site, while Santos developed his views on an Asian Atlantis in another recent book[320]. Dr Sunil Prasannan has an interesting essay on Graham Hancock’s website(c). A more esoteric site(d) also offers support for the Sundaland theory.

An Indonesian researcher, Panji R. Hadinoto, has published on his website(e) a 32 point checklist purporting to ‘prove’ that Atlantis was located on Sundaland. Unfortunately, this checklist is not original but copied from the work of Professor dos Santos.

April 2015 saw further support for an Indonesian Atlantis with the publication of a book[1093] by a hydraulic engineer, Dhani Irwanto, who endeavours to identify features of the lost city with details in Plato’s account with a site in the Java Sea off the coast of the island of Kilmantan. He has now published a YouTube video in support of his theory(h).

In 2019, Irwanto published two new books, the first, Sundaland: Tracing the Cradle of Civilisations [1618], in which he offers a compelling case for considering emigrants from a submerging Sundaland as bringers of embryonic civilisation to other lands, where it flourished and developed local variants. It crossed my mind that Irwanto’s contention might explain the origins of the likes of the Sumerian civilisation, among others, which have never been satisfactorily settled!

The second book, Land of Punt [1628], is another interesting offering in which the author suggests that Punt and the biblical Ophir can be equated with Atlantis, located in Sundaland. However, this idea conflicts with a growing consensus(k) that places Punt in the region of the Horn of Africa or across the Red Sea in Arabia.

A 2016 series of graphics shows the gradual inundation of Sundaland from 18,000 BC onwards(g).

Thorwald C. Franke has drawn attention(j) to a recent controversy in Malaya where historian Zaharah Sulaiman has claimed that the Malay set of mtDNA is 63,000 years old, dating back to a time long before the submergence of Sundaland. It seems that Sulaiman had built her claim on some of Oppenheimer’s writings. This veiled suggestion of some sort of racial superiority, through antiquity, was disputed locally.(i)

Ahmad Yanuana Samantho published Atlantis Nusantara [1869] in 2015, which purports to build on the work of Arysio dos Santos with additional data that the author (or publisher) describes as ‘spectacular’. Unfortunately, the 538-page book is only available in Indonesian. Nusantara is generally used to describe the Indonesian archipelago.

(a) Welcome to Earth360.com (archive.org)

(b) https://www.atlan.org

(c) https://www.grahamhancock.com/underworld/DrSunilAtlantis.php

(d) See: https://web.archive.org/web/20060508140324/https://www.tylwythteg.com/atlantis/southchina.html

(e) https://jakarta45.wordpress.com/2009/10/26/pengkajian-benua-atlantis-tempo-doeloe-di-nusantara/

(f) https://theosophists.org/library/books/occult-history-of-java/

(g) https://i.imgur.com/5l16wXp.gifv

(h) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JT23A12-tDc&feature=youtu.be

(i)  Arguing against Malays’ ‘Sundaland origins’ | Opinion | Malay Mail (archive.org) *

(j) Atlantis Newsletter Archive – Atlantis-Scout (atlantis-scout.de) (No.120)

(k) The Arabian Horizon – The Lost Lands: Punt | MalagaBay (archive.org)

Sphinx

The Sphinx (at Giza) is considered by many to be considerably older than the usually accepted 3rd millennium BC. Its construction has been generally attributed to the Fourth Dynasty ruler Khafre, circa 2500 BC, whose head is believed to be currently represented on the Sphinx.

The controversial French scholar Rene Schwaller de Lubicz investigated several of Egypt’s ancient monuments. sphinxHe was probably the first to remark on the apparent water erosion, on the Sphinx, as evidence of an earlier date for its construction than was previously accepted. He first voiced his views in 1949[449] and expanded his theories in 1957 [450]. His work has now been translated into English(a).

Jason Colavito has added that Schwaller de Lubicz got it from Gaston Maspero, who adopted it from Auguste Mariette, who came up with it because he mistook a Ptolemaic stela for an Old Kingdom one and therefore mistook a myth on the Inventory Stela(t) for a historical account.”(s)

However, in an extensive 2018 paper by Manu Seyfzadeh and Robert Schoch, they argue for the historical value of the Stele noting in the paper’s abstract that; “The Inventory Stele tells a story about Khufu and the Great Sphinx which contradicts the current mainstream narrative of when the Sphinx was carved. The story’s historical relevance has long been challenged based on its mention of names and certain details which are believed to be anachronistic to the time of Khufu. Here, we address the elements commonly cited by the critics one by one and find that they are largely based on misconceptions in part due to errors and oversights contained in the two commonly referenced translations and based on a missing context which relates to the economics and symbolism of supplying provisions to the royal house.”(z)

A recent article(h) on the Giza for Humanity website reveals the work of Shérif El Morsi, an Egyptian researcher, who has documented evidence of a ‘relatively recent’ incursion by seawater onto the Giza Plateau.

Michael Baigent has pointed out[141.167] that Dr Zahi Hawass in 1992 ‘reported that analysis of the rear leg of the Sphinx proved the earliest level of masonry around the body dated instead from the Old Kingdom period, that is from about 2700 BC to 2160 BC. The pyramids were constructed in the middle part of this period…….. For if Khafre had built the Sphinx along with his pyramid around 2500 BC, and if repairs to its heavily eroded body were made before 2160 BC, then this severe erosion covered up by the facing stones must have occurred in only 340 years – perhaps less: an extremely unlikely event. In practical terms, given the extent and depth of the erosion, it seems impossible.’

John Anthony West was inspired by the writings of de Lubicz and enticed the American geologist Robert Schoch to inspect the Sphinx and give his professional assessment of the age of the monument. Schoch concluded that the Sphinx had suffered extensive water erosion and should be dated no later than 7000 to 5000 BC. On a second trip to the Sphinx Schoch and West brought Thomas Dobecki, a geophysicist, to carry out additional tests. The results reinforced Schoch’s initial conclusions.

In 1996 Graham Hancock and Robert Bauval published The Message of the Sphinx [1542] in which they endorse Schoch’s water erosion theory. but considered his date to be too conservative. Instead, they proposed that around 10,500 BC was more appropriate! However, Colin Reader, an English geologist, disputes Schoch’s conclusion(I) and explains why in an extensive 1997/9 paper(j).

When Schoch announced his findings they were greeted with hostile criticism from conventional Egyptologists. A. Harrell, a Professor of Geology at Ohio’s University of Toledo, was probably the first geologist to challenge Schoch’s geological arguments in 1994(v).

However, experts in Schoch’s discipline have agreed in growing numbers with his published views, but the debate is far from over. For an overview of the case for an early date follow this link(b).

Sphinx1853

Sphinx 1853

One Egyptologist who postulated an early date for the Sphinx was Cairo-born Moustafa Gadalla, who concluded that “there is no other rational answer except that the water erosion occurred at the end of the last Ice Age c.15,000-10,000 BCE”(e). Concerning the traditional attribution of the building of the Sphinx to Khafre, Gadalla refers to the ‘Inventory Stela’ and notes that “This stela describes events during the reign of Khufu, Khafra’s predecessor and indicates that Khufu ordered the building of a monument alongside the Sphinx. This means that the Sphinx was already there before Khufu and therefore could not have been built by his successor, Khafra. The stela was dismissed by some because its stylistic features appeared to be from the New Kingdom. This is not a sufficient cause to dismiss it, since there are numerous stelae and texts from the Old Kingdom that were later copied in the New Kingdom and no one dismissed their authenticity.”(y)

The German researcher Klaus Aschenbrenner has added his support for an early date for the Sphinx. He claims that the water erosion was caused by acid rain resulting from a 7600BC asteroid impact postulated by Alexander Tollman.

These proposed early dates pale into insignificance when contrasted with the claims made by two Ukrainian researchers at a conference in Sofia in 2008 when they proposed a date of 800,000 years ago(n), an approximate date which their paper(u) explains is also based on a study of water erosion, but unlike Schoch, who investigated the effects of rainwater on the Sphinx, Manichev & Parkhomenko focussed their attention on horizontal wave-cut hollows that correspond to a time of higher sea-levels and greater intrusion into the Nile Valley.  

There is by now little doubt that the head of the Sphinx that we see today is quite different from its original size and shape. West had a New York City police artist,>Lieutenant Frank Domingo,<compare the head of the Sphinx with a known head of Khafre and demonstrated that they had distinctly different facial structures(ac). Comparative photographs are to be found in one of West’s books[453]. A further anomaly is the fact that the head of the Sphinx is disproportionately smaller than the rest of the body suggesting a radical recarving of a larger head in antiquity. Robert Schoch has an interesting article(c) on his website, written by his colleague, Dr Colette Dowell, regarding the shape of the Sphinx’s head. Colin Reader, who disagrees with Schoch’s dating of the Sphinx does, however, share his view regarding the size of the Sphinx’s head(l), an opinion that is also held by architectural historian, Dr Jonathan Foyle(k).>Not only is the identity of the Sphinx disputed, but even its race and gender are questioned(ad).<

The late Alan Alford argued that the commonly accepted idea that the Sphinx represents a lion may be incorrect and that it is a model of a dog, possibly intended as an image of Anubis the divine guardian of the Earth and the Underworld. This idea was recently endorsed and investigated extensively in a fascinating book[622] by Robert Temple, who has also pointed out(m) other anomalies with the shape of the Sphinx apart from the size of the head.

Assyrian Sphinx

Assyrian Sphinx

Bassam el Shamma, an Egyptian Egyptologist, has recently promoted the idea of the previous existence of a second sphinx on the Giza Plateau. His theory, based on a range of evidence, is outlined on the Atlantis Online website(d). The idea of a second Sphink is also supported by Gerry Cannon and Joseph P. J. Westlake in a paper also available online(f). Cannon has co-authored a book(r) with Malcolm Hutton, entitled The Giza Plateau Secrets and a Second Sphinx Location Revealed, in which they expand on this idea.

Antoine Gigal, the French researcher, has posted a two-part paper offering the evidence that originally there had been two sphinxes(w)(x).

Robert Bauval whose book, Secret Chamber[859], delves deeply into the subject of hidden chambers on the Giza Plateau and has excerpts available on the internet(p).

Paul Jordan the well-known Atlantis sceptic is also the author of a book[0415] on the Sphinx.

It should also be kept in mind that sphinxes were found in several other cultures particularly Mesopotamia (see image right). Further east in India we have the Purushamriga(q), while in Burma the sphinx is known as a Manussiha. Back in the Mediterranean, many images of sphinxes have been discovered in Greece, where lately (2014) two sphinxes were recently found in a 300 BC tomb(g), each weighing about 1.5 tons. However, in my opinion, the claim(o) of a huge sphinx in Romania’s Carpathian Mountains is nothing more than a case of mistaken identity, a good example of pareidolia.

Closer to home the Welsh Griffon (Gryphon) is a local form of a sphinx. Lee R. Kerr is the author of Griffin Quest – Investigating Atlantis[807], in which he sought support for the Minoan Hypothesis based on his pre-supposed link between griffons and Atlantis or as he puts it “whatever the Griffins mythological meaning, the Griffin also appears to tie Santorini to Crete, to Avaris, to Plato, and thus to Atlantis, more than any other single symbol.” I don’t see it.

The Atlantic magazine published an interesting collection of photos of the Sphinx dating from 1849 until the present.(aa)

(a) https://web.archive.org/web/20191030091005/https://www.sacredscience.com/store/commerce.cgi?page=Schwaller2.htm
(b) https://www.davidpbillington.net/sphinx2.html

(c) https://web.archive.org/web/20200225045705/http://www.robertschoch.net/Egyptian%20Mummy%20Women%20Schoch%20Dowell%20CT.htm

(d) https://atlantisonline.smfforfree2.com/index.php?topic=9747.0

(e)   See: Archive 2937

(f) https://web.archive.org/web/20170612144423/https://www.spectrumradionetwork.com/News/more-than-one-sphinx-on-the-giza-plateau.html

(g) https://www.seeker.com/sphinxes-emerge-from-huge-ancient-greek-tomb-1768972697.html

(h)  See: Archive 2635

(i) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GAykfUMCw54

(j) See: Archive 2646

(k) https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1092827/The-Great-Sphinx-Giza-reborn-lion-desert.html

(l) https://dailygrail.com/Hidden-History/2014/6/Did-the-Great-Sphinx-Egypt-Originally-Have-Different-Head

(m) https://globalwarming-arclein.blogspot.ie/2015/10/what-was-sphinx.html

(n) Scientists: Geological evidence shows the Great Sphinx is 800,000 years old (archive.org)

(o) See: Archive 3003

(p) See: Archive 3598

(q) https://www.ancient-origins.net/artifacts-other-artifacts/sphinx-creature-0010658

(r) https://www.ancient-origins.net/unexplained-phenomena/big-egyptian-sphinx-cover-hidden-chambers-unexcavated-mound-and-endless-denial-021647

(s) Geologist Robert Schoch Claims to Be Able to “Translate” Alleged “Writing” at Göbekli Tepe – Jason Colavito

(t) http://www.jasoncolavito.com/inventory-stela.html

(u) Wayback Machine (archive.org) 

(v) The Geological Evidence for the Sphinx’s Age’ by James Harrell (archive.org)

(w) An Undiscovered Sphinx of Giza, Part I (gigalresearch.com)

(x) An Undiscovered Sphinx of Giza, Part I (gigalresearch.com) (Despite the URL this is Pt.2)

(y) 1996 – Historical Deception (archive.org) (Chapter 19)

(z) (99+) (PDF) The Inventory Stele: More Fact than Fiction | Manu Seyfzadeh – Academia.edu

(aa) https://www.theatlantic.com/photo/2020/02/photos-great-sphinx-giza/606874/ 

(ab) https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/uncovering-secrets-of-the-sphinx-5053442/ *

(ac) The Great Sphinx: Enigma in the Sands | The Unredacted *

(ad) THE GREAT SPHINX OF GIZA IS THE SCULPTED HEAD OF AN AFRIKAN WOMAN??? | pnoritz (wordpress.com) *

 

Schoch, Robert M.

Robert M. Schoch is a Yale scholar, geologist and palaeontologist. At the invitation of John Anthony West, he agreed to inspect robert schochthe Sphinx and offer an opinion of the nature of the erosion to be seen on it. He found that the cause of this erosion was due to precipitation rather than windblown sand. As Egypt has had an arid climate for many thousands of years, Dr Schoch reached the conclusion that at least the front of the Sphinx had been carved between 7000 and 5000 BC, when the climate had been considerably wetter.

In the same book, Voices of the Rocks[454], he endorsed (p.123) the conclusions of Mary Settegast[545] who claimed that Plato’s Atlantis story was a reference to the Magdalenian culture that inhabited the coastal regions of the Western Mediterranean during the 9th millennium BC. Schoch devotes a chapter to the subject of Atlantis and interestingly lists a number of sites to which the Greeks applied the appellation ‘Pillars of Heracles‘ apart from the Strait of Gibraltar.

>The Greeks, however, used the name Pillars of Herakles to mark other sites besides Gibraltar, some outside the Mediterranean – namely, the Canary Islands in the Atlantic and the Strait of Kerch dividing the Black Sea from the Sea of Azov – and even more inside – specifically, the Strait of Bonafacio between Corsica and Sardinia, the Strait of Messina between mainland Italy and Sicily, the Greek Peloponnese, the mountainous coast of Tunisia, and the Nile Delta.” [p.87] A highly critical review of Schoch’s ‘Voices’ can be read online(n).

In his Voyages of the Pyramid Builders [455], he reiterates his conviction “that Plato’s story is, at least in part, a fictionalized account of a great Mediterranean war at a time of intense climatic change between the tenth and eighth millennia BC.”  A critique by William P Eigles tackles ‘Voyages’ in Atlantis Rising magazine # 37, where Schoch endeavours to link the global presence of pyramids as a possible expression of hyperdiffusion. Eigles comments that Schoch “may simply be trying to prove too much here. Many of the motivations, reasons and interpretations he offers for the various activities and actions on the part of the ancients are clearly speculative in nature.(ad)<

This 1990 declaration regarding the Sphinx generated an international reputation for Schoch. Such a controversial conclusion was obviously greeted warmly by the supporters of the 9,000-year-old date for Atlantis allegedly given by the Egyptian priests to Solon. This accidental intervention by Schoch in the debate regarding the dating of Atlantis has unfortunately done nothing to resolve the issue. Fierce debate continues regarding the date of the Sphinx. However, there appears to be a gradual acceptance of Schoch’s views by other professional geologists such as David Coxhill. Another geologist, Colin Reader, while not accepting all of Schoch’s conclusions, believes that the Sphinx predates King Khufu, the father of Khafre, who has been traditionally accepted as the builder of the Sphinx, with the monument bearing his image(v)(w)(x).

It appears that Schoch’s experiences regarding the Sphinx have whetted Schoch’s appetite for prehistory as he has now written a further book[455], again with R.A. McNally about the origins of the pyramid builders. Unfortunately, he includes a reference to Ireland’s Newgrange as a form of ‘pyramid building’, an idea I reject, since it shares neither form nor function with the Egyptian pyramids. Dr Greg Little has written a very critical review of this book.

Schoch and McNally have recently dared to enter into the highly charged debate regarding the dating of the Great Pyramid at Giza[456][457].

Schoch seems to be venturing further and further from his natural comfort zone of geology. In 2007, he wrote an article on Telepathy(d) and was later due to address the Electric Universe Conference in Las Vegas in 2012(c) and deliver a paper entitled The Catastrophic Termination of the Last Ice Age. In it, he will claim that that around 10,000 BC the Earth underwent ‘dramatic catastrophic changes’ as a result of ‘our unstable Sun erupting at the end of the last Ice Age, melting the extensive glaciers and triggering climate warming. The full paper should be an interesting read. He continues to argue against the Younger Dryas Impact Hypothesis(r).

His retreat from conventional science may be now complete as he delves into the strange world of lycanthropy (the study of werewolves)(o).

Schoch’s work is now promoted through his own website(b), which includes a wide range of articles. On it, both he and his associate, Colette Dowell, have been very critical of the Bosnian pyramid claims of Semir Osmanagic following a visit there in 2006. However, in what appears to be an article(l) written in 2011 or 2012, Osmanagic responds with scathing criticism of Schoch’s work. His attack on Schoch was later added to by an assault from Jock Doubleday in a very lengthy article(y) in which, among other matters, he accuses Schoch of a series of thirteen lies! I should perhaps mention that Doubleday has featured for some years now in the burgeoning Encyclopedia of American Loons(z). As well as that, elsewhere, a very personal attack has also been made on Collette Dowell(aa). Support for Schoch’s claim of a Bosnian pyramid hoax is also available(ab).

Schoch has now turned his attention to the emergence and demise of very early civilisations, before that of dynastic Egypt or Sumeria. When he combined his early date for the Sphinx with other discoveries such as that of Nabta Playa and Göbekli Tepe and Gunung Padang(m), he concluded that the origins of civilisation go back much further than generally accepted. He then looked at the bigger and perhaps more important question of the cause of their collapse. In a 2009 special edition (N0.8) of New Dawn magazine, he speculated on the possibility that the ending of such early civilisations was caused by the earth’s encounter with one or more asteroids or comets.

In his book(f), Forgotten Civilization[867],  Schoch claims that coronal mass ejections from the sun around 9700 BC devastated our planet with electrical discharges, the triggering of seismic and volcanic activity as well as ending the Ice Age with its consequent floods. All this ‘eradicated the civilisation of the time and set humanity back thousands of years, only to re-emerge around 3500 BC with scattered memories and nascent abilities.’ In an article written(g) in March 2012, Schoch wrote about the ‘Carrington Event’ of 1859 which resulted from a massive solar event that year.

Schoch’s paper had the somewhat disturbing title of ‘Death Star’ and perhaps even more unsettling was the revelation in March 2019 that evidence of at least three major solar ‘proton attacks’ over the past 3,000 years. The suggestion being that these episodes are to be expected with some degree of regularity, which may create ever-increasing disruption as our dependency on electricity expands. The recent report(q) indicates that the most powerful event identified so far took place around 610 BC. Without power grids to damage at the time, we are unaware of what effect it had on the peoples of that time and I would hope that a review of the literature of that era might reveal some corroboration.

A video clip is from his recent Las Vegas lecture is now available on YouTube(h). His talk is based on an article(i) in the July-August edition of New Dawn magazine, which is now available online and will play a large part in his Forgotten Civilization. He highlights some fascinating similarities between the Rongorongo script of Easter Island, the Nasca petroglyphs and the plasma figures of Dr Anthony L. Peratt together with their possible association with the ending of the last Ice Age.

For me, the most disturbing aspect of Schoch’s book is his apocalyptic vision of global catastrophes that he anticipates may turn the few survivors back into troglodytes!

However, Jason Colavito has reviewed Schoch’s claims relating to both the Rongorongo script(j) and Göbekli Tepe(k) and has found his ideas wanting. Colavito found further ammunition in the forthcoming book, Origins of the Sphinx[1374] which Schoch co-authored with Robert Bauval, describing it as ‘a virtual rewriting of’ Keeper of Genesis(p). In 2019, Schoch expanded further on his opinions regarding the importance of Göbekli Tepe with a claim that its builders possessed some level of literacy(s), provoking further criticism from Colavito(r). He expanded on this claim in a subsequent post(ac), but for me, I find this proposed literacy at Göbekli Tepe a push too far.

(b) https://robertschoch.com/

(c)  https://www.thunderbolts.info/wp/

(d) https://web.archive.org/web/20160805112624/https://atlantisrisingmagazine.com/article/telepathy-a-sympathy-of-souls/

(e) https://web.archive.org/web/20160121150912/https://www.robertschoch.com/articles/schochnewdawnjune2009.pdf

(f) https://www.amazon.co.uk/Forgotten-Civilization-Solar-Outbursts-Future/dp/1594774978

(g) https://dailygrail.com/Guest-Articles/2012/3/Death-Star

(h) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PUqdYBxbbck

(i)  https://web.archive.org/web/20160305085118/https://robertschoch.com/articles/schochancientwarningnewdawnjuly2010.pdf

(j) https://robertschoch.com/plasma_iceage.html

(k) https://www.jasoncolavito.com/1/post/2012/08/robert-schochs-wacky-easter-island-gobekli-tepe-theory-the-hypocrisy-of-alternative-dating.html

(l) http://piramidasunca.ba/bs/component/k2/item/3120-how-many-times-has-dr-robert-schoch-been-wrong

(m) https://web.archive.org/web/20140716174346/https://atlantisrisingmagazine.com/2014/03/01/journey-to-gunung-padang/

(n) https://anamericaninbosnia.blogspot.ie/2013/03/witchcraft-cartography-and-clairvoyant.html

(o) https://www.dailygrail.com/Guest-Articles/2016/10/The-Werewolf

(p) https://www.jasoncolavito.com/blog/review-of-the-origin-of-the-sphinx-by-robert-schoch-and-robert-bauval

(q) https://www.livescience.com/64964-huge-ancient-solar-storm-hit-earth.html

(r) https://www.jasoncolavito.com/blog/geologist-robert-schoch-claims-to-be-able-to-translate-alleged-writing-at-gobekli-tepe

(s) https://www.researchgate.net/publication/330759548_World’s_First_Known_Written_Word_at_Gobekli_Tepe_on_T-Shaped_Pillar_18_Means_God

(t) New Dawn Magazine -July August 2010

(u) New Dawn Magazine- Special Issue No.8 2009)

(v) https://www.academia.edu/21651229/Giza_Before_The_Fourth_Dynasty

(w) (99+) (PDF) Khufu Knew the Sphinx | Colin Reader – Academia.edu

(x) (99+) (PDF) Further considerations on development at Giza before the 4th Dynasty | Colin Reader – Academia.edu

(y) An American in Bosnia: The Mysterious Anti-Scientific Agenda of Robert Schoch 

(z) https://americanloons.blogspot.com/2015/12/1555-jock-doubleday.html 

(aa) Aliens to Science – Welcome to the official web page of the ‘Archaeological Park: Bosnian Pyramid of the Sun’ Foundation / Dobrodošli na službenu web stranicu Fondacije ‘Arheološki park: Bosanska piramida Sunca’al Park: Bosnian Pyramid of the Sun Foundation 

(ab) Heavy Futz: Don’t bother making a pligrimage to the “Bosnian Pyramids” 

(ac) https://www.robertschoch.com/gobekli_tepe_writing.html 

(ad)  Atlantis Rising magazine  #37   http://pdfarchive.info/index.php?pages/At * 

 

le Plongeon, Augustus

Augustus le Plongeon (1826-1909) was born on Jersey in the Channel leplongeonIslands. He was a professional photographer and amateur archaeologist, who was an enthusiastic follower of Ignatius Donnelly’s idea that the alphabets of the Old and New Worlds were derived from a common Phoenician root via Atlantis. He also attempted to build on the efforts of Diego deLanda and Brasseur de Bourbourg to decipher the Mayan hieroglyphics. Both Donnelly’s efforts to link Latin with Mayan glyphs and deLanda’s attempt to identify the Mayan alphabet bore little fruit, reminiscent of Kircher’s equally futile struggle with Egyptian hieroglyphics.

Le Plongeon with comparable wasted dedication, attempted to convince the world that the Mayan language was in fact Greek. It would have been easier to prove that chalk is cheese. His attachment to the Mayan civilisation also inspired him to claim that they were the founders of the culture of Ancient Egypt via a trip westward through Asia and on to the Mediterranean. When it was eventually demonstrated that the Mayan culture was considerably younger than that of ancient Egypt, le Plongeon refused to relinquish his absurd ideas and continued to claim that the Maya were the oldest people on the planet(e).

Le Plongeon was alone in suggesting that Atlantis was a colony of the Maya.

He was also the creator of numerous other bizarre notions regarding such matters as Mu[439] and the last words of Christ. Incidentally, like Abbe Charles Etienne Brasseur de Bourbourg, Le Plongeon equated Mu with Plato’s Atlantis(e).  He was convinced that the Mayan inscriptions on the pyramid of Xochicalco told the story of the destruction of Atlantis. It is remarkable that the author of such outlandish notions is quoted so frequently today, since few accept that he has contributed much to the advancement of knowledge. Jörg Dendl offers an extensive critique, in German, of Le Plongeon’s views(c) and worth a read.

Robert Schoch has suggested(a) that Le Plongeon, himself a freemason, had another agenda, namely, to establish links between freemasonry and the ancient Maya. A potted biography of Le Plongeon on the Internet(b) is also to be recommended.

Le Plongeon’s Vestiges of the Maya is available online(d).

(a)  https://web.archive.org/web/20050530100238/https://www.robertschoch.net/articles/westernsphinx.pdf

(b) See: https://web.archive.org/web/20180801075410/https://maya.csueastbay.edu/archaeoplanet/LgdPage/LepKehoe.htm*

(c) https://www.dendlon.de/Atlantis.html

(d)  https://www.gutenberg.org/files/30752/30752-h/30752-h.htm

(e) https://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/153629196?searchTerm=Atlantis discovered&searchLimits=sortby=dateAsc