An A-Z Guide To The Search For Plato's Atlantis

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    Joining The Dots

    I have now published my new book, Joining The Dots, which offers a fresh look at the Atlantis mystery. I have addressed the critical questions of when, where and who, using Plato’s own words, tempered with some critical thinking and a modicum of common sense.Read More »
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Rosario Vieni

Fundamentalist Atlantology

Fundamentalist Atlantology is a term that I use to describe the idea that everything written about Atlantis by Plato, must be taken at face value. In other words when he refers to 9,000 years, this along with all the other numbers he uses in relation to the dimensions of the plain of Atlantis, its structures or its military manpower should be accepted literally! Such an acceptance flies in the face of both common sense and science, particularly in the case of Plato’s dating of Atlantis, while the dimensions he has for the ditch surrounding the plain of Atlantis were deemed incredible (his word) by Plato himself (Crit.118c), he felt obliged out of deference to Solon’s reputation he recorded the details as he received them.

Without wishing to offend anyone, I believe that acceptance, for example, of Plato’s/Solon’s numbers is comparable with the belief of religious fundamentalists who hold that creation’took just six days.

Although it is understandable that researchers have accepted Plato’s details without question, there has been extensive research over the past century into seeking more rational explanations for many of those more difficult passages in the Atlantis narrative which has produced alternative explanations that are compatible with both science and common sense.

While Plato’s 9,000 years were initially, rather glibly dismissed as a transcription error and that hundreds and not thousands had been intended, it has been demonstrated that the ancient Egyptian priesthood used a lunar calendar so that the ‘ýears’ were in fact months, which was noted in the 4th century BC by Eudoxus of Cnidos and repeated by Manetho and Diodorus Siculus. This would reduce the timeline by a factor of twelve. Another explanation was put forward by Rosario Vieni who proposed that the ‘years’ actually referred to seasons of which there are three in the Egyptian solar year. These, as far as I am aware, are the principal alternatives suggested in place of a literal reading of 9,000 years. After all, neither Athens or Egypt was home to anything more than primitive societies 9,000 years before Solon’s visit.

A further example concerns the size of Atlantis, which Plato consistently referred to as an island and never a continent and is described by him as greater than Libya and Asia combined. Irrespective of how extensive in size the Libya and Asia in question were, the Greek word for greater – meizon, actually relates to greater in strength, power or influence not extent. A few years ago Thorwald C. Franke pointed out that the traditional enemies of Egypt came from Libya and Asia, so that to describe the threat from Atlantis as greater than Libya and Asia combined indicates how great the threat from Atlantis was.

The more contentious issue of the actual location of the Pillars of Heracles, I will not go into here, suffice it to say that a number of valid competing arguments have been put forward in favour of locations other than the Strait of Gibraltar. In fact all of them could have been correct at different times, changing their position as the Greek colonists and traders gradually moved westward. Eventually, I believe that at some point in time the term simply became a metaphor for the limits of the world as generally known to the Greeks.

My point is that understandable difficulties exist in the Atlantis texts and that a number of sensible alternative explanations have been put forward, which will be individually tried and tested until a consensus emerges, in the same way that the idea of a geocentric universe was gradually replaced by the simple fact that our little planet revolves around the sun.

Egyptian Calendar, The

The Egyptian Calendar is central to the debate regarding the date of the Alantean war. At first sight it appears that Plato dated that event to 9,000 years prior to Solon’s visit to Egypt. However, since such a date conflicts with both archaeology and common sense, commentators have striven to reconcile the differences. Either the number is exaggerated, the unit of measurement is wrong, or both require revision. I’m inclined towards the latter.

The ancient Egyptians had three types of ‘years’, solar, lunar or seasonal(a). The first was based on the heliacal rising(b) of the star Sirius, the second was a count of the annual lunar cycles and the last was the number of seasons of which there were three in the Egyptian year. The lunar cycles or months were the means by which the Egyptian priesthood calculated the passage of time and since Solon received the story of Atlantis from Egyptian priests it is assumed by many that the 9,000 ‘years’ were in fact months. Apart from modern authorities, the use of lunar cycles by the Egyptians for calculating time was noted by Eudoxus of Cnidos (410- 355 BC) and also by Plutarch, Manetho, Herodotus and Diodorus Siculus.

Zhirov noted[458.375] that the lunar calendar was re-introduced into Egypt by the Arabs in 641 AD.

Some others, such as Radek Brychta and Rosario Vieni, have proposed that the number of seasons were used in a similar manner. Even more extreme was the contention of André de Paniagua who claimed that the date of Atlantis was recorded in Sothic cycles of 1,460 solar years each, which would push its time back 13 million years!

Nevertheless, there are many who still maintain that Plato’s 9,000 should be taken literally, even though neither Egypt nor Athens existed as structured societies at such an early date!

*(a) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egyptian_calendar*

(b) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heliacal_rising

Seasons

Seasons are sub-divisions of the year usually based on changes in ecology, weather or hours of daylight. The number of seasons varies between two (Polar) and six (India).  My native Ireland has been described by cynics as now having only three seasons, as recent weather changes seem to have removed summer from our calendar.

The Egyptian year is divided into three seasons as they also did in the Indus civilisation. In an effort to make Plato’s 9,000 years more credible, commentators as early Giovanni Carli in the 18th century and Rafinesque in the 19th have suggested that Plato’s years were in fact ‘seasons’. The idea has gained further traction in more recent years with support from Axel Hausmann and Radek Brychta and most recently Rosario Vieni. Both Hausmann and Vieni presented papers to the 2005 Atlantis Conference, where Hausmann proposed that the ‘years’ be treated as seasons and so concluded that the demise of Atlantis took place in 3522 BC[629.359]. However, at the same conference Vieni presented his paper entitled “11,500 years ago…..” [629.337], obviously at that stage accepting Plato’s 9,000 years at face value. Three years later, he presented a paper to the 2008 Atlantis Conference which he entitled “About 5600 years ago….” [750.347], in which he had changed his understanding of Plato’s ‘years’ to be now seasons. While his intellectual honesty is to be applauded, I must point out that because a person changes their opinion, there is no guarantee that their second choice is any more correct than the first.

I am not convinced by the ‘seasons’ explanation, as it just seems to be a rather feeble attempt to explain away Plato’s 9,000 being a reference to solar years. Supporters of this ‘seasons’ explanation appear to be forced to look for an alternative to a literal 9,000 years as that figure conflicts dramatically with the Bronze Age setting of the Atlantis narrative and runs counter to the archaeological evidence for dating the foundation of both Athens and the Egyptian civilisation.

The more popular alternative suggestion of treating the ‘years’ as lunar cycles makes much more sense, as it brings the Atlantis story into the end of the Greek Bronze Age. It also matches the time of the destruction of the spring on the Acropolis (Crit.112d) and conforms to details on the Parian Marble. But perhaps most important of all is that the use of lunar cycles by the Egyptian priesthood for calculating time was noted by Eudoxus of Cnidos (410-355 BC) and also by Plutarch, Manetho, Herodotus and Diodorus Siculus.

A third proposal, by Galanopoulos & Bacon[263], was that Plato’s large numbers were inflated by a factor of ten, but they never offered a satisfactory explanation for how this happened.

Expanding Earth Hypothesis, The

The Expanding Earth Hypothesis.

For thousands of years it was accepted that the surface of the earth was in a static state. This belief persisted until the discovery of America in 1492 and the cartographic improvements during the following century before Abraham Ortelius in his 1596 Thesaurus Geographicus[1225]  proposed that the Americas had once been joined to Europe and Africa. It is often claimed that in 1620 Francis Bacon commented on the close fit of the eastern South America with the west coast of Africa, however, this, according to G.L. Herries Davies, is an exaggerated interpretation of what he actually said(o).

A number of others concurred with the jig-saw suggestion until 1858 when the French geographer Antonio Snider-Pellegrini offered[0555] a theory of crustal movement that was more fully developed in 1912 by Alfred Wegener, which he came to label ‘continental drift’(e). Snider-Pellegrini also thought that the Earth had been much smaller at the time of the biblical Genesis(ac)! The big objection to the theory was a lack of a convincing mechanism to explain it(f).

Tectonic PlatesA number of writers have attempted to bring the theory of Continental Drift (CD) into the Atlantis debate. They seem to overlook the fact CD was proposed as a very very slow process, while Plato describes the demise of Atlantis as occurring in a single day and a night.

Wegener’s theory was debated until the late 1950’s when it morphed into the theory of Plate Tectonics (PT) following new developments in earth sciences in particular the recognition of seafloor spreading at mid-ocean ridges. However, PT as we know it demands subduction(z), which in itself has created new problems(aa)(ab).

The theory divides the lithosphere into a number of plates which are constantly moving in various directions at rates of a few centimetres a year. Competing with PT in the early years was the theory of Earth Crustal Displacement advocated by Charles Hapgood which claims that the entire crust of the earth moved as a unit. Endorsed by Albert Einstein it is fundamental to the theory of an Antarctic location for Atlantis proposed by Rose & Rand Flem-Ath.

Unfortunately, Plate Tectonics does not explain everything and ever since it gained the pre-eminence it currently enjoys, various writers have questioned what they perceive as its shortcomings(g)(h)(i).

A totally different proposal is that the earth is expanding. Although the concept did not get much attention until the 1980’s there are antecedents stretching back to 1888(a), when the earliest suggestion was made by the Russian, Ivan Yarkovsky (1844-1902). A year later the Italian geologist (and violinist) Roberto Montovani (1854-1933) proposed(I) a similar mechanism. In 1933, Ott Christoph

 Hilgenberg

Hilgenberg

Hilgenberg(t) published  Vom wachsenden Erdbal (The Expanding Earth) [1328].

>In 1963, a Russian lady, Kamilla Abaturova, wrote to Egerton Sykes expressing the view that although her theory of an expanding Earth involved a ‘slow’ process, she proposed that at the time of Atlantis’ the radius of the Earth was 600 km shorter(af). In geological terms this is far from ‘slow’!<

The leading proponent of the theory today is arguably the geologist Dr. James Maxlow(b). A detailed outline of the theory is also offered on his website(c). For laymen like myself a series of YouTube clips(d) are probably more informative. I have stated elsewhere that I am sympathetic towards the idea of earth expansion finding it somewhat more credible than plate tectonics. The truth of the matter is that since Ortelius first suggested that the continents of our planet had moved, all that has emerged since is a refinement of that basic idea leading to CD which became PT and as the latter still does not answer all the questions it raises, it is clear that further modification will be required. The Expanding Earth Hypothesis may, as its proponents claim, supply all those answers. Others do not think so, which brings me to J. Marvin Herndon who has ‘married’ the theory of an expanding earth with the idea of crustal plates(j) , naming his 2005 concept Whole-Earth Decompression Dynamics (WEDD).

The Thunderbolts.info website has a three-part article seeking to offer “an alternative to plate and extension tectonics”. The anonymous author suggests than an electrical element is involved in the development of our planet. An extensive look at mountain building is also included(y).

Keith Wilson, an American researcher, has also developed a website(k) devoted to the EEH and linking it to Pole Shift. However, he goes further and introduces Mayan prophecies into the subject, which in my view is unwise in the light of recent events or rather non-events!

In the meanwhile a number of Atlantis researchers have endorsed the EEH including, Stan DeyoGeorg Lohle and Rosario Vieni. Nicolai Zhirov referred to the growing support both in Russia and elsewhere for the EEH citing a number of its supporters, adding that “the idea of the Earth expanding (within reasonable limits) cannot be ruled out altogether as absurd.[458.126]

A number of websites have dismissed the EEH as pseudoscience, which is confirmed by satellite measurements.(m)(n).

There is also a variation of the standard expansion theory which proposes(q) that expansion may have occurred in fits and starts. There also seems to be evidence that the Earth is not alone with Venus expanding(r) and Mercury contracting(s).

Another matter that may be related to the claim of an expanding Earth is the question of the size of dinosaurs and other creatures and plants millions of years ago, which is claimed to have been impossible if gravity then was the same as today. A book[1218] by Stephen Hurrell has expanded on this idea. There is an interesting website(p) that deals with the enormous size of the dinosaurs as well as other creatures at the same period and the support it may offer the EEH.

Neal Adams, a respected graphic artist(u), is a vocal supporter of the EEH(v), but, he has gone further and has also proposed a growing Moon as well(w). Not content with that, he has extended his expansion investigations to other bodies in our Solar System, such as, Mars, Ganymede & Europa(x). Adams considers the term “Expanding Earth” a misnomer and has named his proposed expansion process ‘pair production’.(ad)

A December 2018 paper by Degezelle Marvin offers some new support for the EEH(ae) . The author includes an interesting comparison of the problems of the currently accepted paradigm of plate tectonics with possible solutions offered by EEH. The author concludes with;

“The problems with plate tectonics were presented in this paper. Earth scientists dogmatically follow the plate tectonics theory that is falsifed by geological data while Earth expansion is clearly a viable candidate to replace plate tectonics. Analysis map of the age of the oceanic lithosphere showed that the isochrons only ft on a smaller Earth with calculated radius. Mountain formation has even been presented as a logic result of the Earth’s expansion. The average rate of the growth of the Earth’s radius is 1.22cm/year, obtained by geological methods.”

Finally, I cannot help thinking about those Victorians who thought that they had reached the pinnacle of scientific understanding. They were wrong and, I believe, that so are we, although we are slowly, very slowly, edging towards the truth,    which may or may not involve the vindication of the Expanding Earth Hypothesis.

(a) https://www.checktheevidence.co.uk/cms/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=394&Itemid=59

(b) https://www.expansiontectonics.com/page2.html

(c) https://www.expansiontectonics.com/page3.html

(d) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OUkEu6YYR3s

(e) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Continental_drift

(f) https://www.scientus.org/Wegener-Continental-Drift.html

(g) https://davidpratt.info/ncgt-jse.htm

(h) https://davidpratt.info/lowman.htm

(i) https://www.newgeology.us/presentation21.html

(j) https://web.archive.org/web/20200926204322/http://nuclearplanet.com/

(k) https://www.eearthk.com/

(l) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roberto_Mantovani

(m) https://web.archive.org/web/20200928171034/https://www.xearththeory.com/expanding-earth-theory-debunked/

(n) https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/history-of-geology/2014/05/12/the-expanding-earth/

(o) https://www.researchgate.net/publication/238388608_Francis_Bacon_and_Continental_Drift

>(p) The Inflating Earth: 4 – Gravity | MalagaBay (archive.org)<

(q) https://web.archive.org/web/20161203151134/http://www.xearththeory.com/expansion/

(r) https://web.archive.org/web/20200808000231/https://www.xearththeory.com/expanding-venus/

(s) https://web.archive.org/web/20200807234839/https://www.xearththeory.com/mercury/

(t) https://web.archive.org/web/20200206154438/http://wachsende-erde.de/web-content/bilder/hilgenb/hilgenberg1933.pdf

(u) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neal_Adams

(v) https://www.naturalphilosophy.org/site/dehilster/2014/09/22/is-the-earth-expanding-and-even-growing/

>(w) Neal Adams: 02 – The Growing Moon | MalagaBay (archive.org)<

(x) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zy3_sWF7tv4

(y) https://www.thunderbolts.info/forum/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=16534 (link broken Oct. 2019)  See: https://atlantipedia.ie/samples/archive-3326/

(z) https://www.thoughtco.com/what-is-subduction-3892831

(aa) https://www.newgeology.us/presentation8.html

(ab) https://web.archive.org/web/20190715191800/http://areopagusletters.com/10-problems-with-plate-tectonics

(ac) https://www.annalsofgeophysics.eu/index.php/annals/article/view/4622

(ad) https://malagabay.wordpress.com/2015/12/17/neal-adams-01-the-growing-earth/

(ae) https://www.gsjournal.net/Science-Journals/Research%20Papers-Astrophysics/Download/7531

(af) Atlantis, Volume 16, No. 1, February 1963.

Novo, Diego Silvio

Diego Silvio Novo is an Italian researcher who has joined the ‘Atlantis in Sardinia ’ club(a)(b). He follows the work of Sergio Frau in placing the ‘Pillars of Heracles’ at Strait of Sicily, which he claims was much narrower at the time of Atlantis.

The first link below tells of Novo’s support for Frau but also ends with an angry response from Rosario Vieni, who claims that he had proposed the Strait of Messina as the location of the Pillars of Heracles before Sergio Frau and that his (Vieni’s) work had been plagiarised!

(a) See Archive 2353) (Italian)

(b) https://web.archive.org/web/20090907222603/https://www.ilportaledelmistero.net/articolo0264.html

 

Atlantis Conference – 2008

Atlantis Conference 2008 – Athens had a wide range of papers presented to it. The proceedings, >edited by Stavros P. Papamarinopoulos<, were eventually made available in early 2011[750]. This 750-page volume is rather expensive but is also a ‘must have’ addition to the library of any serious student of the subject.

This conference saw some interesting theories aired more publicly, particularly those of Thorwald C. Franke, Michael Hübner and Rosario Vieni.

Vieni, Rosario

Rosario Vieni (1941- ) is an Italian Professor of History who was born in Messina, Sicily and currently lives in Pistoia in Northern Italy. He has studied the Phaistos Disk and published a calendrical interpretation of that artefact(e)(f).

Rosario VieniVieni also presented a paper(a) to the 2005 Atlantis Conference on Melos entitled “11,500 years ago….” He proposes that prior to the ending of the last Ice Age; the Mediterranean was 150-200 metres lower than at present. He also suggests that the Strait of Messina was closed and that a landmass extended south to encompass the Maltese Islands.

Consequently, Vieni opted for a then narrower Strait of Sicily as the location for the Pillars of Heracles and provided strong documentary evidence for this view.

He was greatly annoyed that Sergio Frau has claimed to have been the first to make this assertion a couple of years after he did(g). Which explains why, when Vieni subsequently published his theories in book form in 2011, he entitled it Atlantide e le Colonne d’Ercole (Atlantis and the Pillars of Hercules)[1177].

Although Vieni does not opt for any particular location for Atlantis, the focus of his paper is on the matching of Plato’s description with the Central Mediterranean. The title of his 2005 paper clearly indicates his support for the very early date for Plato’s Atlantis.

Not content with the Atlantis controversy, Vieni ventured into even more heretical territory when he indicated support for the Expanding Earth Hypothesis. James Maxlow, a leading proponent of this theory claims that the concept, sometimes referred to as Earth Expansion Tectonics, explains all existing physical geological data better than Plate Tectonics(b).

Obviously Vieni came to realise that Plato’s mention of 9,000 years could not be taken as a reference to solar years and therefore to suggest that Atlantis was destroyed 11,500 years ago was no longer tenable. Consequently, when he addressed the 2008 Atlantis Conference he revised the title of his paper to “about 5,600 years ago….” in which he offered strong arguments in support of the idea that when Plato wrote of 9,000 years he was referring to ‘seasons’ of which there were three in the Egyptian solar year.  This idea is not new having been suggested by the naturalist C. S. Rafinesque in 1836, referring to even earlier  sources[896.231]. These included Giovanni Carli who dated Atlantis at 3890 BC.

He also suggests volcanic activity as the probable cause of Atlantis’ demise, pointing to the ongoing volcanic activity in the Central Mediterranean. A website dealing briefly with this region’s volcanology is worth a visit(c) as well as the Wikipedia article on Italian volcanoes(d).

>(a) See: Archive 3424

(b) http://www.expansiontectonics.com/page3.html

(c) https://www.travelbrain.us/volcano-guide/volcanoes-in-the-mediterranean-region.html

(d) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volcanology_of_Italy

(e) Wayback Machine (archive.org)

(f) http://www.antikitera.net/articoli.asp?ID=85 (Italian)

(g) http://www.antikitera.net/articoli.asp?ID=28 (Italian)<

 

Franklin, Stephen E.

Stephen E. Franklin offers a wide-ranging website(a) which includes a book[1387], as yet unpublished, that ambitiously aims to reconcile the chronologies of the ancient Hebrews, Assyrians and Egyptians. This has been an area of great contention ever since the writings of Immanuel Velikovsky were published in the 1950’s. David Rohl has published a series of books on the subject in recent years with further contributions from Peter James and Emmet J. Sweeney.

Franklin’s book has chapter 8(c) devoted to the Garden of Eden and  Atlantis where he maintains that the 9,000 ‘years’ of Plato refer to the three ‘seasons’ in the Egyptian year, an idea that seems to be gaining acceptance (see Radek Brychta, Rosario Vieni and Axel Hausmann).

*Franklin has claimed that the Phaistos Disk is a king-list of Cretan rulers and also that it has a calendrical function(d) .*

Some years ago Franklin published a book on the origins of the Tarot deck. Its subtitle was A Study of the Astronomical Substructure of Game and Divining Boards[301]. This can be downloaded for free from his website(b).

(a) https://neros.lordbalto.com/

(b) https://neros.lordbalto.com/AppendixC.htm

*(d) https://neros.lordbalto.com/ChapterEight.htm

(d) https://neros.lordbalto.com/ChapterFourteen.htm*

 

Brychta, Radek

Radek Brychta is a Czech writer who has written[203] about the transmission of the Atlantis story from the Indus civilisation city of Dholavira, which he claims was the legendary island of Dilmun recorded by Brycthathe Sumerians and from them, transferred to Egypt and eventually related to Solon.

John Sassoon[0566] has suggested, based on Genesis 11.2 that the Sumerians had in fact migrated from the east with the Indus Valley as a possible point of origin. He suggests further that the Sumerians were in fact the progenitors of the Jews. This theory would also offer a line of transmission from the Indus valley to the Nile delta.

An abbreviated version of Brychta’s book in seven sections(a) with an extensive bibliography(b) is available on the internet and is worth a read.

He includes a rational explanation for the 9,000 year age of Atlantis by noting that the Egyptians, as well as the Indus civilisation, counted time in seasons of which there were three annually. Dividing 9,000 by three and adding the probable date of Solon’s Egyptian sojourn, 590 BC, gives us a more credible date of 3590 BC. This idea has also been proposed by Rosario Vieni and Axel Hausmann.

A further possible link between the Atlantis story and the Indus civilisation is strengthened by such matters as the existence of elephants.

(a) See Archive 2905

(b) https://translate.googleusercontent.com/translate_c?depth=1&hl=en&prev=search&rurl=translate.google.co.uk&sl=cs&u=https://atlantis.brychta.org/prameny.htm&usg=ALkJrhhr23rp5FSDJPDEE1Q_zXFhHcYooA

Phaistos Disk

The Phaistos Disk is the most famous ancient artefact ever found on Crete and as Axel Hausmann says, can be considered the world’s oldest ‘printed’ document, dated to around 1700 BC. This is because the characters were created using incised punches, similar in effect to movable type.

Noting that this ‘document’ was produced using some sort of character ‘punches’, brings to my mind three questions – (1) were these the only set of punches created? And (2) have any other objects been discovered that show a similar use of punches? And (3) if not why not? These questions prompted some to claim that the Disk was a hoax! (See below)

Another artefact with characteristics remarkably similar to the Phaistos Disk, is the inscribed Magliano Disk, made of lead, which was discovered in Magliano, Tuscany in the 1889’s(ac) . However, the two discs were very far apart in time and location and so similarities are just superficial. Like the Phaistos Disc, the one from Magliano has also presented translation problems as the Etruscan script in which it is written is still only partly decipherable.

It was discovered around a hundred years ago by the Italian archaeologist Luigi Pernier (1874-1937) and despite an amazing number of efforts(a) it has defied a definitive decipherment ever since. The interpretations so far have ranged from it being a prayer to a description of the eruption of Thera, while one writer in a light-headed moment went as far as to suggest that it might hold a message from extraterrestrials!

phaistosdiscs Frank Joseph contends[636.42] that it was ‘a sophisticated astrological chart’ and ‘is an example of Atlantean Bronze Age technology’.

One of the most fascinating suggestions is that the disk was in fact a board game based on an ancient Egyptian game called Senet(b)(o), which was proposed by Peter Aleff, an explanation later supported by Philip Coppens(af). However, it seems that this idea was first proposed by Fernand Crombette at least half a century ago(r).

Alan Butler, who has written a book on the subject[504], provides a more conventional offering in which he sees the disk as being primarily an astronomical aid. Rosario Vieni has promoted the idea that the disk had a calendrical use and has published his reasons, in French, on the Internet(c). Paul Dunbavin has also suggested that the disk may have been a spiral calendar[099.181].

Naturally, Atlantis has not been excluded from this wide ranging Phaistos speculation, although the linking of the disk with Atlantis is tenuous at best. Jean Louis Pagé has produced a bilingual offering[501] that combines the Phaistos, Mayan and Aztec disks in an effort to locate Atlantis. Axel Hausmann, writing in German[372], has also done little to provide a clear connection between Atlantis and the disk.

Christian O’Brien and his wife Barbara Joy,in an appendix to their book The Genius of the Few, have identified the writing on the disk as an early form of Sumerian cuneiform writing.

The disk is housed in the Iraklion Archaeological Museum which is also home to the Akralochori Axe also found on Crete in 1934 by Spyridon Marinatos, that was inscribed with 15 characters that have been identified with the Linear A script as well as some of the Phaistos characters(e).

Brent Davis is one of the world’s leading experts on Bronze Age Aegean scripts and languages. In 2018, he published an article “in which, based on a close statistical analysis, shows that the while both the Phaistos Disc and Linear A are undeciphered writing systems, he can demonstrate that the both are, with a high degree of certainty, encode the same language!”(ad)

Two American academic twins, Keith and Kevin Massey, have made available a 72-page pdf file(k) outlining their interpretation of the disk. They concluded that the disk was probably a receipt for goods deposited in a temple.

2008 was a busy year for Phaistos Disk studies. Panagiotes D. Gregoriades delivered three papers to the Atlantis Conference in Athens in which he identified the disk as a calendrical devise used on land and sea. He subsequently published his ideas in book form in 2010 entitled The Creation of Prototypes[1416].  In 2008 a major international Phaistos Disk Conference was held in London(h) to celebrate the 100th anniversary of its discovery.

Unfortunately, in 1999 a professional ‘wet blanket’ in the form of Dr. Jerome Eisenberg declared the disk to be a fake, when he wrote to The Economist declaring that the disk “a joke perpetrated by a clever archaeologist from the Italian mission to Crete upon his fellow excavators.” He expanded on this in a detailed, fully illustrated paper(z) in 2008. Brian E. Colless responded by pointing out(d) that such a hoax would first have required the “making 45 little stamps to imprint on clay, on both sides of the object, and printing 30 clusters of signs (words or phrases ?) on one side and 31 on the other.”

The Greek authorities have refused to allow the disk, which is just 16cm across, to be removed for testing, on the grounds of its extreme fragility. The idea of fraud has been suggested because of the lack of other documents ‘printed’ in the same manner and because none of the punches were ever found. Fortunately that argument has now been refuted(u). My own response would be to point out that uniqueness is not necessarily a sign of a hoax. Otherwise, we would have to reject the Antikythera Mechanism, which is also a singular item with no objects of any intermediate sophistication discovered so far.

Dr. Marco Guido Corsini, who has also written about Atlantis, has widely promoted his interpretation of the Phaistos Disk(o).

Mark Newbrook, who has studied linguistics, gave a good overview of the various attempts to decipher the disk to the 2008 Phaistos Conference. An even more extensive site (currently suspended) was offered by the Georgian mathematician Gia Kvashilavathat includes a very comprehensive bibliography. Kvashilava offers his own interpretation based on the Colchian (Proto-Kartvelian) language printed in the unique Colchian syllabo-logogramic Goldscript. His paper is quite technical and more suited to advanced students of the subject.

Reinoud de Jong has now entered this particular fray with a decipherment that he claims offers a description of the religion of Crete(i). However, this is rather strange as in a 2012 paper(ae), de Jonge claimed that the Disk contains details of the Bronze Age importation of copper and tin from the Americas. In the same paper he also claimed that the Egyptians discovered America around 2500 BC and for good measure he slips in that the Empire of Atlantis existed from 2500 to 1200 BC, without any reference or explanation whatsoever! It is implied that there is a connection between Egypt, Atlantis and the exploitation of the Michigan copper. The level of detailed speculation on offer here is truly spectacular.

 Steven Roger Fischer, who claims to have deciphered the rongorongo script of Easter Island has also offered a translation of the Phaistos Disk in his book, Glyphbreaker[1520].

By way of complete contrast, Gary Vey claims that the disk is merely some sort of inventory  and also gives an overview of the difficulties attached to deciphering the disk as well as some interesting features overlooked by some researchers(j).

The Czech WM magazine has an extensive 2011 article on the decipherment of the Phaistos Disk(p), giving prominence to the work of Petr Kovar, who claims that the language is Proto-Slavic!(y)

Stephen E. Franklin has claimed that the Disk is a king-list of Cretan rulers and also that it had a calendrical function(ab).

Barbara Gagliano raised a few eyebrows with her claim that the Disk contained DNA information(q)!

Late 2014 saw another translation attempt published(s) by Dr. Gareth Owens of the Technological Educational Institute of Crete,  in which he claimed that the disk “contains a prayer to the mother goddess of the Minoan era.” Owens’ contribution provoked further controversy including further suggestions that the Disk might be a fake(t).

Linear B was the basis of Owens’ study, which was the result of a collaboration with John Coleman in Oxford University. They claim to have translated 80% of the text with certainty, along with another possible 15%, leaving just 5% undeciphered.(w)

Robert Bradford Lewis has offered a recent forensic study of the Disk, based on his view that the language used was Ugaritic, an long extinct Semitic tongue.(y) However, while the language may be Ugaritic, the script is not!

The number of theories relating to the Disk seems to rival the range of speculation relating to Atlantis. My selection here can be fruitfully augmented by the Wikipedia entry(x) on the subject.

A list of decipherment claims as well as a useful bibliography up to 2008 is available(y) and Charles River Editors has recently (2018) published two Kindle books [1585][1586] offering more information about the many attempts to solve the mystery of the disk.

Brent Davis is one of the world’s leading experts on Bronze Age Aegean scripts and languages. In 2018, he published an article “in which, based on a close statistical analysis, shows that the while both the Phaistos Disc and Linear A are undeciphered writing systems, he can demonstrate that the both are, with a high degree of certainty, encode the same language!”(a)

(a) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phaistos_Disc_decipherment_claims

(b) https://www.recoveredscience.com/Phaistos1summary.htm

(c) https://web.archive.org/web/20150423071528/https://www.world-mysteries.com/LeDisquedePhaestos.pdf

(d) https://sites.google.com/site/collesseum/phaistosdisc

(e) https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Arkalochori_Axe&printable=yes

(h) https://web.archive.org/web/20120419010351/https://www.csad.ox.ac.uk/bes/phaistos.pdf

(i) https://www.migration-diffusion.info/article.php?year=2012&id=320

(j) https://www.viewzone.com/phaistosx.html

(k) https://web.archive.org/web/20160331171116/https://www.keithmassey.com/files/ThePhaistosDisk-Massey.pdf

(l) https://web.archive.org/web/20141201114928/https://www.we-love-crete.com/phaistos.html

(n) https://www.goldenageproject.org.uk/969.php

(o) https://www.phaistosgame.com/ (3 papers) 

(p) https://web.archive.org/web/20161224065031/https://www.wmmagazin.cz/rservice.php?akce=tisk&cisloclanku=2011010004

(q) https://brazilweirdnews.blogspot.ie/2013/07/the-phaistos-disc-code.html

(r) https://www.ciphermysteries.com/2011/12/16/phaistos-disk-update

(s) https://www.seeker.com/mysterious-4000-year-old-cd-rom-code-cracked-1769209418.html

(t) https://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/archaeology-today/phaistos-disk-deciphered/

(u) https://mysteriouswritings.com/the-unsolved-mystery-of-the-phaistos-disk/

(v) https://www.ancient-origins.net/unexplained-phenomena/curious-phaistos-disc-ancient-mystery-or-clever-hoax-002089

(w) https://cretazine.com/en/heraklion/city-life/city-people/item/1025-gareth-owens-secrets-of-phaistos-disk

(x) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phaistos_Disc#Attempted_decipherments

(y) https://creteinfo.wordpress.com/2017/03/28/translation-of-the-phaistos-disc/

(z) https://sites.utexas.edu/scripts/files/2016/07/eisenberg_2008.pdf

>(aa) https://web.archive.org/web/20160529205341/http://www.stomverbaasd.com/ooparts-phaistos-disc/<

(ab) https://neros.lordbalto.com/ChapterFourteen.htm

(ac) https://www.academia.edu/31038379/Celestial_Magliano_Disc_Deciphered

(ad) https://gath.wordpress.com/2019/01/30/brent-davis-on-the-languages-of-the-phaistos-disc-and-linear-a/

(ae) https://www.academia.edu/3894415/COPPER_AND_TIN_FROM_AMERICA_c.2500-1200_BC_

(af) https://web.archive.org/web/20180621193953/https://www.eyeofthepsychic.com/phaistos/