The Scilly Isles are located southwest of Cornwall’s Land’s End in the Atlantic Ocean. The islands were more extensive before the end of the last Ice Age and their inundation following the melting of the glaciers undoubtedly produced numerous legends in the region of sunken cities and lost civilisations. Apparently, there was once a paved causeway joining some of the islands and according to an 18th-century report, it was then under 8 feet of water. Even earlier in the 3rd century AD, Solinus referred to the Scillies in the singular as insulam Siluram.
O.G.S. Crawford, who was the first Archaeology Officer with the British Ordnance Survey, was also the founder in 1927 of Antiquity which continues today. In its first edition(c) he wrote of the earlier Scillies as a single landmass and its relationship to the legend of Lyonesse(b).
Some writers have identified the Scillies as the Cassiterides (Isles of Tin) referred to by Pliny the Elder. However, there are no known tin deposits on the islands, although it is possible that before the ocean levels rose ore deposits were accessible, similar to those in nearby Devon and Cornwall, but this inundation probably occurred before the technology existed to exploit its use.
In more recent times the Russian Scientist Viatcheslav Koudriavtsev was convinced that Atlantis was located on the Celtic Shelf near the Scilly Isles. He specifically identified an underwater feature known as the Little Sole Bank, whose highest point is just 75 metres beneath the ocean’s surface. He had been promoting his theory since 1995 and eventually obtained official government permission to carry out explorations in the area, but he was unable to raise the necessary funds to carry out the operation.
In 2009, excavations on St. Agnes in the Scillies revealed a remarkable Bronze Age pottery sherd which seems to depict the earliest know image of a sailing boat ever found in the United Kingdom(a).
In 1651, the Netherlands declared war on the Scillies, a little detail that was forgotten until 1986, when a peace treaty was finally signed(d) !
(c) https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/antiquity/article/lyonesse/37725F1992B3D4ADF36561E144227F11 (Jan. 2019 access restricted)
R(ich) McQuillen is an American investigator who has cogently argued for an Egyptian location for Atlantis. He has diligently gathered an impressive array of evidence from classical writers including Hellanicus, Solinus and Aeschylus to support his view and arranged the morass that is Greek mythology to construct a credible timeframe for the Atlantis narrative.
However, McQuillen is not the first to locate Atlantis in or near Egypt, in fact, the earliest I have found is in the late 19th century by A.N. Karnozhitsky, while the most recent was published by Diego Ratti in 2021.
McQuillen places the Pillars of Heracles at Canopus, which was formerly in the Western Nile delta but is now submerged about 6.5 km from the coast in the Bay of Aboukir. He is also of the opinion that the Egyptians used lunar ‘years’ rather than solar years bringing the backdrop to the Atlantis story into the 2nd millennium BC. However, he now seems to favour the ‘factor ten’ interpretation of Plato’s date.
McQuillen locates Atlantis at Pharos, which was near modern Alexandria. His website(a) is well worth a visit.
Extensive underwater excavations in the region have been undertaken in recent years by Franck Goddio and his team with remarkable results (b).
It is also worth noting that the late Ulf Richter reasoned that a river delta was the most likely topographical setting for Atlantis (c).
In March 2022 McQuillen added six papers(d-i) expanding on background details employed in his interpretation of the Atlantis story. All six are available on the Academia.edu website.
>In 2020, McQuillen published A Simple Chronology of Greek Mythology(k) adding<a further paper(j) in 2022 that offered a radical reappraisal of Biblical chronology that included the following.
1 People have been questioning Standard Biblical Chronology (the literal times), for 2000 years, and yet this still persists in modern Biblical Archaeology
2 I have thrown out the early dates entirely and introduced a different paradigm to try to find some of these elusive characters. This paper talks about the Pre-Noachian Kings, like Cainan, and links him to the real-world Syrian Hyksos King Khyan, and finds archaeological evidence of the existence of other Hyksos Kings.
3 It links the flood of Noah to the flood of Ahmose and Atrahasis, and shows it to be a real flood caused by Santorini.
4 It finds Jacob at the same time as the Israel stele of Merneptah. It finds Joseph as the Semitic Pharoah Siptah, whose mother has the same name as Jacob’s second wife. It finds Moses around the time of the Smallpox plague in Egypt (ranging from Ramses 4 to 9)(1182?1136BC).
In his paper ‘Perfecting Plato’ McQuillen is critical of some available translations available to us, of passages in Plato’s Atlantis texts. In his summary of the paper
“There are a bunch of controversial passages within the Timaeus. This has led to 50k books on the topic with a bunch of different interpretations of the same passages. These stem from mistranslations, intentional mistakes, wild speculation, etc… The purpose of this paper is to identify and correct the mistakes and add additional insight. The Timaeus is long and in most parts well-translated and irrelevant, so I’m selecting only interesting passages, where I can add insight. I’m using the Bury Translation, with a little bit of Calcidius thrown in.
Plato’s myth has been described as a fable and a description of an idealized society. Instead, it was intended as a story about 18th dynasty Egypt, and its interactions with the Haunebu (Aegaens). The past is often romanticized and idealized in the history books; History is written by the winners.” He then proceeded to comment on a number of specific passages in Timaeus(h).
Erytheia, sometimes known as the ‘Red Isle’, is recorded by Hesiod (8th cent. BC) as one of the three Hesperides, a sunken island beyond the Pillars of Heracles. Pherecydes of Athens (5th cent. BC), is considered to be the first to identify Erytheia with Gádeira (Cadiz) according to Strabo (Geog. Bk. III). Some commentators have found many of its characteristics comparable with that of Plato’s Atlantis. Herodotus (Hist. 4.8) also describes it as an island that was located beyond the ‘Pillars’ near Gades. Avienus also supported this idea while Solinus described it as being on the Lusitanian coast (Portugal).
N. Zhirov agreed with Adolf Schulten in identifying Erytheia with Tartessos. However, while Schulten located Tartessos at the mouth of the Guadalquivir River in South West Spain, Zhirov argued that the story of Hercules taking from Erytheia, the oxen of Geryon, indicated a distance of around 60 miles from the coast. He points out that since Hercules had to get from Helios the ‘golden cup’ in order to show direction by day and night, it would not have required a compass had the island been close to land. Similarly, he reasoned that Erytheia could not have been more than one or two days journey since their small boat could not have carried enough food and water for the animals on a long journey.
Isla de León is a large piece of land between the city of Cádiz and the mainland and is accepted by some as having been the home of the mythical giant Geryon and his cattle.>Rhys Carpenter identified Isla de León as Erytheia. <
Controversially, Gades(a) and Erytheia(b) have both been placed on the Map Mistress website in the Central Mediterranean and since they have both been associated with the ‘Pillars of Heracles’, is she suggesting a location in that region for Atlantis?
>Pamina Fernandez Camacho, a Spanish philologist, offers a detailed study(c) of Erytheia in which she concludes that it is “a mythical name attributed to a real place, Gádeira, modern Cadiz.(c)<
(a) http://www.mapmistress.com/egadi-islands-marettimo-levanzo-favignana.html (link broke Dec 2020) Text only available at Egadi Islands: Marettimo, Levanzo, Favignana of Sicily (archive.org)
(b) http://www.mapmistress.com/pantelleria-erytheia-sicily-tunisia.html (link broke Dec 2020) Text only available at Pantelleria & Erytheia: Southwest Sicily Sunken Coastline to Tunisia (archive.org)
Gaius Julius Solinus (fl. 3rd cent. AD) was a Latin geographer who drew heavily from Pliny’s Natural History. His work is widely available on the Internet(a). R. McQuillen quotes Book XXXI(b) as part of the support he claims from classical writers for his proposed Egyptian location for Atlantis.
For me, Solinus’ most intriguing piece of information was that Ireland was snake-free two centuries before St. Patrick came to this country!