R.K. & Martini Fisher are the authors of Time Maps, in which they outline the chronology of human development. They touch briefly on the subject of Atlantis and concluded that if Plato’s date of 9600 BC for its demise is correct, then Spartel Island would be the best candidate for its location.
Alain Moreau is a French writer who has written a series of articles debunking a number of the suggested locations for Atlantis including, the North Sea(a), Antarctica & Spartel Island(b), Socotra(c) and Santorini(d). Throughout his criticisms he loses no opportunity to promote his own preferred Atlantis location. in the Atlantic Ocean.
A Tsunami was probably first described in the 5th century BC by Thucydides when he wrote “in my opinion, the cause of the phenomenon was this: where the earthquake was most violent, the sea receded and was then pushed back with even greater violence, thus bringing about a flood. Such a thing would not have happened without an earthquake” (Peloponnesian War, Book III.89)(b). However, there are also conditions that can produce tsunamis inland, such as occurred around 500 AD inundating Geneva in the Alps(k)(m).
The word ‘tsunami’ first appeared in an English language publication in the September 1896 edition of National Geographic Magazine in which the devastation caused by an earthquake wave in Japan was graphically described.
Recent studies(g) indicate that a similar tsunami saved the Greek town of Nea Poteidaia from a Persian attack in 479 BC. Herodotus in reporting the event attributed the Persian defeat to divine intervention by Poseidon, god of the sea.
A similar event on an even greater scale has been one of the suggestions as the possible cause of the flooding of Atlantis. A 2002 paper(a), by Louisiana State University geologist, Gary Byerly and his team, identified an ancient asteroid impact that generated a tsunami that “swept around the earth several times, inundating everything except the mountains”. The study of ancient tsunamis is at a very early stage of development.
A 2019 report was published online in 2022 in which it was revealed that the Yucatan asteroid impact credited with wiping out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago generated mile-high tsunamis that travelled halfway around the world. One wave was estimated to have been 1.8 miles high(ae).
Ivan T. Sanderson in one of his books, Investigating the Unexplained , recounts an 1863 report of a 200-foot high tsunami that sped up the Ganges and Houghli Rivers in India killing tens of thousands of people without ‘snapping-off’ trees. He contrasts this with the tree stumps covering acres around East Creek, New Jersey that have all been broken off at the same height and where he suggested that only a tsunami could have caused such widespread and uniform destruction. In view of the fact that some of these cedar trees had six-foot diameter trunks, he speculates on the possible size of a tsunami that could bring about such extreme damage.
Perhaps even more relevant to the study of Atlantis is the evidence gathered by Jürgen Spanuth in his chapter on the ‘Natural Catastrophes of the 13th Century’ including an interesting section on tsunamis [015.167].
Marc-André Gutscher of the University of Western Brittany in Plouzané, France, has discovered evidence of an ancient tsunami on Spartel Island, an Atlantis candidate, in the Gulf of Cadiz. Georgeos Diaz-Montexano has pointed out that Josephus, the 1st-century Jewish historian, seems to describe the devastation caused by its assault on the Atlantic coast of Spain and Portugal at the time of the Lusitanians and Cantabrians in the 1st millennium BC.
Professor Stefano Tinti of Bologna University visited Sardinia and explained(r) “that until the 1980s no one was aware that tidal waves had occurred in the Mediterranean. But since 2004 scientists have identified 350 events of this type over a 2,500-year period,” and regarding the Sardinian tsunami “So what would have been required in our case?” he then asked. “We’re talking about a huge volume of water, some 500 metres high [the elevation up to which the nuraghi were affected]. Only a comet could do that if the impact occurred very close to the coast and in a very specific direction,” he asserted. An event of this sort may have occurred near Cagliari, with the resulting wave devastating the plain of Campidano.”
Tinti has also noted(w) that generally speaking, the majority of tsunamis are generated by seismic rather than volcanic activity. Globally, volcanic tsunamis account for only 2% of the total, however, the profusion of volcanoes in Southern Italy has considerably increased this percentage. Furthermore, according to a recent article on the BBC website “The scale of the tsunami hazard from volcanoes that collapse into the sea has been underestimated.”(x)
A 2022 report of a recent study(ac) revealed some new interesting information.
“Archaeologists have found evidence of the largest known earthquake in human history — a terrifying magnitude-9.5 megaquake that caused a 5,000-mile-long (8,000 kilometres) tsunami and prompted human populations to abandon nearby coastlines for 1,000 years.
The earthquake struck about 3,800 years ago in what is now northern Chile when a tectonic plate rupture lifted the region’s coastline. The subsequent tsunami was so powerful, it created waves as high as 66 feet (20 meters) and travelled all the way to New Zealand, where it hurled car-size boulders hundreds of miles inland, the researchers found.”
More recently, Dhani Irwanto has written about the probable effect of tsunamis on his Indonesian Atlantis(y). Studies of the sedimentary record in a sea cave in Sumatra have revealed the frequency and strength of tsunamis in the region over a five-thousand-year span from 5900 BC until 900 BC(u).
Tsunamis are also associated with the destruction on Crete following the eruption of Thera in the 2nd millennium BC. A TV documentary entitled Sinking Atlantis(i), provided graphic evidence of tsunami damage on Minoan Crete(h).
J.V.Luce cited[120.119] a number of local legends from around the Aegean that may have originated with the tsunami that followed the eruption on Thera.
However, the extent of this damage is strongly contested by W. Sheppard Baird(j) and he proposes instead that it was in fact more likely to have been a pyroclastic surge from the Theran eruption that caused the most damage.
A recent report(d) concludes that a large tsunami generated by the volcanic activity of Mt. Etna around 6000 BC produced waves up to 43 feet high that struck the coasts of Greece and Libya. This event would have caused devastation on nearby Malta, where evidence of past tsunamis was published in the journal Zeitschrift für Geomorphologie. The research was carried out over three years by scientists from the University of Portsmouth, led by Dr Malcolm Bray with assistance from colleagues at the Department of Geography at the University of Malta(n). A 1693 earthquake generated the earliest recorded tsunami on Malta and as recent as 1908 Malta was hit by a tsunami that resulted from a catastrophic earthquake in the vicinity of the Strait of Messina(p).
On the Atlantic west coast of Ireland, we have a 250 km2 region, in County Clare, known as the Burren, which consists of limestone denuded of soil cover. Recently, strong evidence was discovered suggesting a 4000 BC tsunami in the region(o). For me, the karst landscape of the Burren is reminiscent of parts of Malta.
Plato’s description does not support the idea of a tsunami as the primary cause of Atlantis’ inundation since tsunamis will eventually subside and return to the ocean, whereas Atlantis was still underwater centuries after the event, causing a permanent navigation hazard. John Michael Greer makes a similar point [345.126] in relation to the megatsunami which struck Madagascar in 2800 BC. Evidence of other ancient megatsunamis in Hawaii was presented at the 2012 meeting of the American Geophysical Union(l). The power of megatsunamis is highlighted in an article on the UK’s MailOnline website(t). Atlantisforschung also offers a lengthy article about megatsunamis(af).
Recent excavations at Olympia on the Peloponnese peninsula, the location of the original Olympic Games, have pointed to the site having been repeatedly hit by devastating tsunamis during the past 7,000 years(c).
The Bunurong tribe in Australia has a ‘myth’ that explains the creation of Melbourne’s Port Philip Bay. A recent article(e) has linked this to a tsunami that resulted from the impact of Comet Manhuika southwest of New Zealand in the 15th century. A more cautious view of this event is expressed elsewhere(f).
The excellent livescience.com website has an interesting list of ten history-making tsunamis(q), while Wikipedia offers an extensive list of European tsunamis from prehistoric times until the present(s).
A 100-metre-high tsunami, caused by a landslide, one of the highest ever recorded was experienced in a remote area of Greenland in June 2017. Four lives were lost and eleven houses were destroyed in the fishing village of Nuugaatsiaq, located on an island about 20 kilometres away(v).
The Greenland event would have been greatly overshadowed, literally, by the tsunami generated by the asteroid that struck Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula around 66 million years ago that killed off the dinosaurs. According to a 2021 report(z) it has been estimated that the impact produced a tsunami nearly a mile high!
In 2020, David Keys, author of Catastrophe  wrote an article for the UK’s Independent newspaper outlining the most recent research into the 6200 BC tsunami that destroyed Doggerland. “It is estimated that multiple giant waves inundated some 2,700 square miles of land – from Scotland in the north to Norfolk in the south.
New underwater research carried out by the universities of Bradford, Warwick, St Andrews and Wales has for the first time discovered that the tsunami devastated parts of East Anglia and adjacent land which is now submerged beneath the southern part of the North Sea.” (ab)
Stuart L. Harris published a paper in 2020 entitled 5760 BC: tsunami at Rhine Valley caused by Planet X(ad). This was based on a translation of a long inscription written on a cliff face in Germany. Harris explains that in 5760 BC “satellites from a mysterious Planet X struck the continental shelf of Texas “that pushed a piece of the shelf the size of Massachusets into the Gulf. Above the displaced shelf, the sea towered 1.9 km high. The resulting tsunami dispersed in all directions and obliterated coastal communities around the North Atlantic.
In Germany, it surged over the Ruur Mountains west of the Rhine Valley, flooded the middle Rhine between Mainz and Karlsruhe, and continued over the eastern escarpment toward Heilbronn. It left extensive ripple marks in the Rhine Valley and the eastern plateau.” Harris offers some interesting data to support this claim.”
On August 12, 2021, within minutes of each other, two earthquakes struck the South Sandwich Islands of the South Atlantic. National Geographic reported “These rumblings, which occurred on August 12, 2021, were not unusual on their own, since the islands sit atop a combative meeting of tectonic plates. The odd part is that they were followed by a tsunami powerful enough to show up on distant shores along the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans. Although the swell wasn’t destructive, it was the first since the catastrophic tsunami of 2004 to be recorded in three different oceans(aa).“
>The Live Science website reported(ag) “On Jan. 15, 2022, the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai submarine volcano — a large, cone-shaped mountain located near the islands of the Kingdom of Tonga in the South Pacific — erupted with a violent explosion. The eruption generated the highest-ever recorded volcanic plume, which reached 35 miles (57 kilometers) tall. The outburst triggered tsunamis as far away as the Caribbean, as well as atmospheric waves that traveled around the globe several times.” and “The Tonga underwater volcanic eruption rivaled the strength of the largest U.S. nuclear bomb and produced a “mega-tsunami” nearly the height of a 30-story skyscraper.”<
(a) See: Archive 2931
Spartel Island also known as the Majuan Bank, was situated just west of the Strait of Gibraltar and according to Jacques Collina-Girard was the site of Atlantis. There is little doubt that before the last deglaciation, Spartel was dry land.
Marc-Andre Gutscher from the University of Brest subsequently added some support to Collina-Girard’s theory based on his interpretation of new bathymetric data and was prepared to debate the viability of human habitation on Spartel around 9600 BC. According to Gutscher, a large earthquake hit the island 12,000 years ago. Furthermore, there is also evidence of at least eight subsequent earthquakes, each of which could have resulted in a drop of the seafloor by several metres.
Accordingly, Gustcher speculated that Spartel circa 9600 BC could have been 40 metres higher than expected. However, at this early date, he would not expect the Bronze Age civilisation described by Plato to have existed on the island but his sonar investigation did not reveal any suggestion of an extinct civilisation.
“He calculated that between 20,000 and 12,000 years ago Spartel shrank from 6.5 x 4 km to less than a km across. A high-resolution map he made with sonar indicated that the island was even smaller than Collina-Girard had speculated, meaning it would have been uninhabitable as long as 14,000 years ago. But the sediment gathered by Gutscher tells a different story. A magnitude 9 earthquake appears to have rocked the region around the believed time of Atlantis’ doom, Gutscher reports in the August 2005 issue of Geology. At that time, the island would have been big enough to be inhabited. He also found evidence of subsequent earthquakes and tsunamis–apparently every 2000 years–that may have whittled the rest of the island away.” (c)
Gutscher found no evidence to support an ancient culture. “I will admit I was hoping to find concentric structures or walls of some kind,” he says, “but we didn’t”
Gustcher later withdrew his support for a Spartel Atlantis(a). However, Collina-Girard continues to advocate the idea, expanding on his views in a 2009 book, L’Atlantide retrouvée? Enquête scientifique autour d’un mythe.
Further criticism of Collina-Girard’s theory has been voiced by Alain Moreau(b).
(b) https://www.mondenouveau.fr/continents-disparus-les-fausses-atlantides-antarctique-ile-du-cap-spartel-partie-4/ (link broken Oct. 2017)
(c) https://www.science.org/content/article/atlantis-rises-again (pay wall)*
Marc-André Gustier is an American-born geophysicist at the University of Western Brittany. He addressed the 2005 Atlantis Conference on the subject of Spartel Island, now submerged just beyond the Strait of Gibraltar, but above sea level during the last Ice Age. Prof. Jacques Collina-Girard had proposed Spartel as a possible location for Atlantis four years earlier. Gutscher subsequently(a) withdrew his support for a Spartel Atlantis.
Gutscher’s theory was attacked on the grounds that no advanced civilisation existed 12,000 years ago. Although Gutscher retracted his earlier position, Collina-Girard has stubbornly continued to espouse his views, expanding his argument in a 2009 book.
The Bronze Age is the second of the generalised three part division of prehistory into Stone, Bronze and Iron Ages. I say generalised because different parts of the world developed bronze technology at different times(g), while some moved straight from Stone to Iron, others had a Copper Age before their Bronze Age. There is now clear evidence that tin-bronze was used at a Vinca site in Serbia as early as 4650 BC(d).
>There is now evidence that Bronze itself was used as an early form of currency, according to a recent study(r). by Maikel H. G. Kuijpers and Catalin N. Popa of Leiden University, Netherlands, who concluded that “The euros of Prehistory came in the form of bronze rings, ribs and axes. These Early Bronze Age artefacts were standardized in shape and weight and used as an early form of money.”<
However, the Bronze Age was clearly the literary if not the historical backdrop to Plato’s Atlantis narrative. In Greece this is generally accepted as the 2nd millennium BC. Plato refers to Triremes (developed around 600 BC), Chariots (Mesopotamia around 3000 BC), Horse-racing (first domesticated in Asia around 4500 BC), writing, metallurgy etc., etc. Recently, the date of the end of the Greek Bronze Age has been pushed back by approximately a century to around 1125 BC(f).
The Bronze Age in the Mediterranean region saw two periods of great political turbulence, the first around 2200 BC and the second a millennium later(h) and generally known as the Bronze Age Collapse(q).
However, when Plato twice states that Atlantis was destroyed 9,000 years before Solon’s visit to Egypt, he presents us with a serious problem, as the Bronze Age is incompatible with a 9600 BC date. Which is right or are they both wrong and consequently is the entire story a complete fiction? Alternatively, it is possible that Plato’s story is a combination of more than one story or is Plato’s narrative a combination of fact and fiction.?
In general terms, although there was copper in North America and tin in South America, it seems that they were not brought together in any meaningful way to give America a Bronze Age comparable with Europe or Asia(n).
Frank Joseph, among others, has suggested that the enormous quantities of copper mined in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan were destined for the bronze manufacturers of Europe(I). He considers this extraction and exportation to have been the work of the Atlanteans. Gavin Menzies attributes the exploitation of the Michigan mines to the Minoans.
In 2018, it was claimed in a new paper(m) that Plutarch may have referred to Greek visits to Canada in the first century AD. The authors who included Greek archaeologist Ioannis Liritzis, do admit that the claim is speculative.
The America Unearthed TV series, presented by Scott Wolter, also examined the idea of Minoans mining in Michigan (S1 E3). Jason Colavito wrote a highly critical review of the episode(j), while an even more extensive critique can be found on the archyfantasies.com website(k).
It is interesting that this mining appears to have ceased around 1200 BC or approximately at the same time that the Bronze Age came to an end in Europe. This idea of the Michigan copper mining being the work of Old World traders is hotly disputed by local archaeologists such as Susan R. Martin(b).
Recent years have seen the discovery of numerous Bronze Age mines in the British Isles and across Europe, including the vast Great Orme Mines in Wales accepted by the Guinness Book of Records as the largest Bronze Age copper mine in the world that were rediscovered again in 1987(a), a view reinforced, more recently, with research, by scientists from the University of Liverpool(o)(p). When you consider the output of these copper mines and the huge amount of tin produced in Cornwall, it is clear that Britain made a major contribution to the development of the European Bronze Age. These Welsh mines are estimated to have been abandoned around 600 BC.
Such European mines together with those found in the Near East have naturally led to a questioning of Joseph’s thesis. If copper was so widely available to the Europeans at home, what was the incentive for Atlanteans to mine copper in Michigan and ship it to Europe with the relatively primitive vessels and navigation available at that time?
It is interesting to note that the geophysicist Marc-André Gutscher who had supported Collina-Girard’s contention that Spartel Island near the Strait of Gibraltar had been the possible location of Atlantis, withdrew his support(c) for the idea following the evidence presented at the 2005 Atlantis Conference, which convincingly demonstrated the Bronze Age setting of Plato’s story. Gutscher found this incompatible with the fact that Spartel Island had been submerged about 12,000 years ago.
In spite of Gutscher’s withdrawal of support Collina-Girard continues to promote his theory, having published a book, L’Atlantide retrouvée, in support of it, in 2009.
The other half of bronze production requirements is a supply of tin. In this connection, recent research has show that the eastern Mediterranean is virtually devoid of any sources of tin(e), contrasting sharply with the western basin which had Cassiterite in Sardinia, Spain and Morocco.
(b) See Archive 2547
(e) See: Archive 2100
(i) See Archive 3645
Also See: Factor Ten
An earthquake, not a volcanic eruption resulted in the inundation of Atlantis according to Plato’s account. Although, for those who believe that the destruction of ancient Santorini was the inspiration behind Plato’s Atlantis story, it is not difficult to imagine an earthquake accompanying an eruption such as that which occurred on Thera in the 2nd millennium BC, particularly in an area that had been prone to frequent earthquakes over thousands of years.
My reading of Plato’s description of the demise of Atlantis is that there is no suggestion whatsoever of a volcanic eruption causing its destruction, which rules out the Minoan Hypothesis. Instead, Plato describes it as sinking into a shallow watery grave following an earthquake. Many commentators have suggested that this was the result of a tsunami generated by the earthquake, which can be a common occurrence. Usually, flood waters created by tsunamis eventually return to the sea, exposing the land again. So I have concluded that the most likely explanation is that Atlantis sank as a result of liquefaction, which can accompany earthquakes, depending on the type of soil upon which structures have been built.
Stavros Papamarinopoulos at the 2005 Atlantis Conference highlighted(h) the part played by earthquakes in the description of the ancient Athenian Acropolis in the Atlantis narrative, which he saw as a part of a 50-year ‘seismic storm’ which ravaged the Eastern Mediterranean around the 12th century BC [629.499]. Amos Nur & Eric H. Cline have written about this period of intense seismic activity in a paper on the Academia.edu website(l).
Later, in 365 AD, a massive earthquake near Crete, killed thousands, caused damage in Alexandria and submerged the Roman city of Neapolis on the east coast of Tunisia, which has only recently been rediscovered(j). On Crete, some land was uplifted by as much as 30 feet.
However, earthquakes in the region have continued ever since. Dr. Iain Stewart recounts how an earthquake in Greece in the 5th century BC led to the death of 20,000 Spartans(i).
Earthquakes were once thought to be a form of divine retribution, so when an earthquake in 1570, caused death, damage, and the alteration of the River Po’s course, ‘infallible’ Pope Pius V declared it to be the consequence of god’s wrath against the Jews!(b)
A Ph.D. Dissertation by Jamie Rae Bluestone investigates early understanding of earthquakes, which inevitably touches on the Atlantis story(a).
A recent paper by Marc-Andre Gutscher discussed the Cadiz subduction zone, which appears to be ‘locked’ and consequently liable to generate very strong earthquakes over long return periods. Gutscher offered evidence of deposits dated to 12000 BC which ‘may correspond to the destructive earthquake and tsunami described by Plato’. However, he recognised that Plato describes a Bronze Age society, while Spartel Island in the Strait of Gibraltar would only have been inhabited by ‘simple fishermen’ unlikely to have merited a mention in the records of the Egyptian priests.
In the Mediterranean, the Aegean and Turkey are the most seismically active, followed by Italy (including Sicily)(f) and North Africa from Morocco to Tunisia. There is a European Earthquake Catalogue that graphically illustrates earthquake activity over the past 1,000 years(e). Italy is also home to most of the active volcanoes in the Med.
Ben Davidson, promotes the idea that earthquakes are caused by solar activity (c) and offers what he considers compelling evidence on a YouTube clip(d).
Up-to-date earthquake information is available on the Geofon website(g).
A recent (April 2022) report(k) offered evidence “For the biggest earthquake in human history”……. “a terrifying magnitude-9.5 megaquake that caused a 5,000-mile-long (8,000 kilometers) tsunami and prompted human populations to abandon nearby coastlines for 1,000 years.
The earthquake struck about 3,800 years ago in what is now northern Chile when a tectonic plate rupture lifted the region’s coastline. The subsequent tsunami was so powerful, it created waves as high as 66 feet (20 meters) and traveled all the way to New Zealand, where it hurled car-size boulders hundreds of miles inland, the researchers found.”
[The words ‘seismology’ and ‘epicentre’ were coined in 1858 by an Irishman, Robert Mallet (1810-1881)]
Acropolis is the name given to the central highest position in ancient Greek cities, occupied by the principal religious and civic buildings. The Athenian acropolis was crowned by the magnificent Parthenon, constructed between 447-432 BC. An interesting claim is that the Parthenon was once ‘a riot of colour’(d). Another remarkable feature of the building is that its breadth has been carefully measured at 101.34 feet, which is exactly a second of latitude at the equator(b). The acropolis of Athens is the best known and often erroneously referred to as ‘The’ Acropolis. It is worth noting that the general description of an acropolis is mirrored in Plato’s description of the central buildings of Atlantis that were also located on elevated ground. Writers such as Jürgen Spanuth, Rainer W. Kühne(a) as well as Papamarinopoulos(c) have concluded that the acropolis of Athens provides convincing evidence that the war between Atlantis and Athens took place around 1200 BC. Papamarinopoulos comments further that the “Athens of Critias, is proved a reality of the 12th century B.C., described only by Plato and not by historians, such as Herodotus, Thucydides and others. Analysts of the past have mixed Plato’s fabricated Athens presented in his dialogue Republic with the non-fabricated Athens of his dialogue Critias. This serious error has deflected researchers from their target to interpret Plato’s text efficiently.” (e)
Plato referred to dwellings for warriors (Crit. 112b) situated to the north of the Acropolis that were built in the 15th century BC and were not located again until the earlier part of our 20th century. He also refers to a spring (Critias 112d) that was destroyed during an earthquake. Kühne notes that this spring only existed for about 25 years but was found by the Swedish archaeologist, Oscar Broneer (1894-1992), who excavated there from 1959 to 1967. The destruction of the spring and barracks, by an earthquake, was confirmed as having occurring at the end of the 12th century BC. Plato describes how these catastrophes, of inundation and earthquake, that caused the destruction on the Acropolis, were only survived by those living inland, who were uneducated illiterate people, resulting in the knowledge of writing being lost.
>Papamarinopoulos claims [750.73] that the Athens described by Plato in the Critias is an accurate description of Mycenaean Athens and then leaps to the conclusion that because the details of ancient Athens provided by Plato are correct then it must follow that his depiction of Atlantis is equally reliable! For me this is an unacceptable non sequitur, as Plato lived ln Athens and would have been fully aware of the city’s landmarks and tradition. On the other hand, he had not been to Atlantis, and in fact, he was somewhat vague regarding its actual location. Jason Colavito also took issue with Papamarinopoulos’ contention(f).<
J. Chadwick & Michael Ventris have shown that Linear B was written in an early Greek language and that in Greece it remained in use until around 1200 BC. Subsequently, the Greeks were without a script until the 8th century BC. This date of 1200 BC would appear to match the end of the war between Athens and Atlantis except for Plato’s reference to the earthquake being accompanied by a flood that was the third before the flood of Deucalion, usually dated to at least some centuries before 1200 BC, which implies an earlier date for the Atlantean war.
Collina-Girard in common with many others seems convinced that Atlantis was destroyed around 9500 BC but that Plato’s description of Atlantis is fictional. Collina-Girard’s theory of an Atlantis in the Gibraltar Strait inundated at the end of the Ice Age many thousands of years before the Acropolis existed, forced him to denounce Plato’s Bronze Age descriptions as fiction otherwise he could not justify the exploration of Spartel Island.