Ancient Seafaring is a controversial subject owing principally to a dearth of physical evidence. The earliest known boat is the Pesse
Canoe (see right) which was discovered in The Netherlands and thought to be around 10,000 years old. The second oldest boat was also a canoe, found in Malawi and dated to about 8,000 years ago(g). Wikipedia lists all the surviving boats, which shows that until the third millennium BC all that have been found are canoes.
Seafaring and Atlantis are inextricably linked. In Critias 117d Plato anachronistically refers to the shipyards of Atlantis being full of triremes, which were not developed until the 7th century BC, long after the demise of Atlantis. However, the term ‘trireme’ was probably employed by Plato to make his narrative more relevant to his audience. He credits the Atlantean navy with 1200 ships, which for me seems like borrowing and rounding the numbers of either the Achaean fleet of 1186 vessels in Homer’s Iliad or that of the 1207 ships of the later Persian invaders. That ships were used in the war with Athens can be inferred from the fact that Atlantis, or at least its capital, was situated on an island.
Professor Seán McGrail (1928-2021) wrote in his monumental work, Boats of the World “There is no direct evidence for water transport until the Mesolithic even in the most favoured regions, and it is not until the Bronze Age that vessels other than logboats are known” [1949.10]. For those that adhere to a 10th millennium BC date for the Atlantean War with Athens, this lack of naval evidence to support such an early date undermines the idea. An invasion fleet of canoes travelling from beyond the Pillars of Herakles to attack Athens seems rather unlikely!
Apart from the flimsy Solar Boats of the Egyptians, such as the Khufu Boat (see left), the first seagoing vessel listed by Wikipedia does not appear until around 1500 BC.
Seldom referred to, but perhaps even more interesting is to be found earlier in Critias 113e which describes the mythological beginnings of Atlantis and reads “for at that time neither ships nor sailing were as yet in existence”. However, we are given little information to bridge the time up to its development as a major trading entity. It is reasonable to assume a gap of several thousand years.
Recent studies(a) have suggested that primitive seafaring took place in the Mediterranean thousands of years earlier than originally thought and may even have been engaged in by Homo Erectus and Neanderthals in the form of island hopping and coastal-hugging, the latter continuing into historical times.
Plato describes an advanced maritime trading nation with a powerful naval capacity. How much was part of the original story brought from Egypt by Solon or whether it was in any way embellished by Plato is unclear. The earliest known trading empire is that of the Minoans which began in the 3rd millennium BC and has led to many identifying them with the Atlanteans. However, there are very many other details in Plato’s narrative that seriously conflict with this hypothesis.
The limitations of ancient seafaring raise many questions regarding the navigation supports available to these early sailors(b). Initially, sailing, probably for fishing, would have been confined to daytime travel and keeping within the sight of land. With the development of maritime trade, the demand for improved navigation methods also grew.
In time sailors acquired a familiarity with the night sky that enabled them to use the stars as navigational aids, given clear skies. Gradually, as nighttime travel became more common, the use of beacons and later lighthouses also expanded. The lighthouse at Pharos near Alexandria came to be counted as one of the wonders of the Old World. Similarly, it is thought that the Colossus at Rhodes performed a similar function.
Different navigation skills have been identified in different parts of the world. In the Pacific, the navigational capabilities of the Polynesians are legendary(c). The ancient Chinese employed magnetism(e) and in the cloudy North Atlantic, the Vikings used their ‘sunstones’(d).
In their book, Atlantis in America  Ivar Zapp & George Erikson claimed that the stone spheres of Costa Rica had a navigational function [p34] as Zapp discovered that the sightlines of all the stones remaining in their original positions, did point to important ancient sites such as Giza, Stonehenge and Easter Island!
A most imaginative proposal has come from Crichton E.M. Miller who proposed  that the ubiquitous Celtic Cross is an image of an ancient navigational device. He further claims that “This instrument can tell the time, find latitude and longitude, measure the angles of the stars, predict the solstices and equinoxes and measure the precession of the equinoxes. It can also find the ecliptic pole as well as the north and south poles; it can make maps and charts, design pyramids and henges and—used in combination with these sites—can record and predict the cycles of nature and time(f) “. Then for good measure, he proceeded to patent the device.
(f) Atlantis Rising magazine #35 http://pdfarchive.info/index.php?pages/At
The River Nile was considered the longest river in the world, a title now disputed by the Amazon.(a) More important was the part it played in the development of pharoanic Egypt. Understandably, it also played a part in the mythology and religion of ancient Egypt.
In 2019 a paper(d) by Larry Pahl, who looked again at the Orion Correlation Theory and concluded that Robert Bauval should not have confined his theory to Orion’s ‘belt’, but looked at the entire constellation and sought a more extensive reflection on the monuments of ancient Egypt. Prahl then proceeds to do exactly that.
Similarly, Jean-Pierre Lacroix claimed that other Egyptian structures may have been located to reflect the layout of other constellations in the sky. Specifically, he focuses on Aries and Thebes(e) .
Alessandro Berio went further with the claim(f) that the entire Nile was ‘designed’ to be a reflection of the constellations above!
Philip Coppens commenting on how the Incas viewed the valley of Cusco wrote “Modern research suggests that the Sacred Valley of the Vilcamayu and Urubamba rivers symbolised the Milky Way. Identifying rivers with constellations, specifically the Milky Way, is nothing new. Other examples are the Nile, as well as the Po in Italy and the Rhône in France.”(b)
(a) Nile – Wikipedia
Newgrange is a Neolithic monument in Ireland’s Boyne Valley, County Meath. It was constructed around 3,200 BC, which makes it older than Stonehenge and the Pyramids of Giza. Newgrange is a large circular mound 85m (279ft) in diameter and 13m (43ft) high with a 19m (63ft) stone passageway and chambers inside. The mound is ringed by 97 large kerbstones, some of which are engraved with megalithic art.
Newgrange was built by a farming community that prospered on the rich lands of the Boyne Valley. Nearby are Knowth and Dowth which are similar mounds that together with Newgrange have been designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO(a).
Both Robert Hensey(f), who has studied and written about Newgrange [1766.6] and Mike Parker Pearson, Stonehenge’s leading authority, have endorsed the idea of a French origin for megalith building(g).
Newgrange is best known for the illumination of its passage and chamber by the winter solstice sun. Above the entrance to the passage at Newgrange, there is an opening called a roof-box. This baffling orifice held a great surprise for those who unearthed it. Its purpose is to allow sunlight to penetrate the chamber on the shortest days of the year, around December 21st, the winter solstice.
Like all ancient monuments, the Boyne Valley cluster has generated its collection of wild speculation, such as Freddy Silva’s claim that there is a connection between Knowth and Sacsayhuaman near Cuzco in Peru and who also hints at a possible link with Egypt’s Osirion(b)!
The unaccredited Keystone University in Ireland published a video in 2020 in which it claimed that “the neolithic tomb at Newgrange in the Boyne Valley is, in fact, the famed temple of Atlantis and one of the oldest temples on earth as a result(i).” This daft claim is a development of Ulf Erlingsson‘s theories published in 2004.
The winter solstice event is not the only astronomical link proposed for Newgrange. Anthony Murphy and Richard Moore have written(c) about the Cygnus Constellation and a possible link with Newgrange . Paul Dunbavin also touched on the possible connection between swans in Irish mythology and astronomical events(d).
Even more unlikely is the suggestion from E. A. James Swagger in The Newgrange Sirius Mystery  in which the author endeavoured to link Ireland’s most important megalithic site with both an early understanding of precession and the symbology of the Dogon.
Furthermore, the imaginative Frank Joseph has speculated that “the early date for Newgrange, its circular construction, sophisticated solar orientation and mythic tradition all point to Atlantean origins.” [0636.70]
>A common feature of most of the great megalithic monuments, such as Stonehenge, The Maltese Temples or Newgrange is the incorporation of astronomical alignments into their design. Recent years have seen the development of archaeoacoustics and the study of the sound characteristics of various ancient structures. Arguably the most famous site is the Hal Saflieni Hypogeum in Malta, about which Linda Eneix has written an interesting paper(j). She notes that there is a suggestion that sounds there, and possibly elsewhere, might lead to a release of the ‘feel-good’ hormone dopamine. Any inference that this was a deliberate design feature will require evidence. Eneix just touches on Newgrange acoustics that are discussed elsewhere(k).<
Carnac is arguably Europe’s most visually remarkable megalithic site. It is situated near the town of the same name in Brittany. Many will have seen images of the rows of standing stones there, often unaware that there are four main sets of them close to Carnac as well as cromlechs and solitary menhirs, including the largest, Le Grand Menhir Brisé, now broken, but originally 70 ft long and weighing around 300 tons. In their 1978 book [1771.180], Alexander Thom and his son, Archie, in the conclusion to their book, in spite of their extensive studies of the stone rows, agreed that “we do not know what these were for” and although various theories have been proposed since; we still don’t.
>I always thought that the stone rows at Carnac were unique, until I saw an image of a similar arrangement of stones at Vibhuthihalli at Karnataka in India. It may be pure coincidence, but the similar sounds of Carnac and Karnataka is remarkable(f)(g).<
Jean Markale presumed that there was a connection between Atlantis and the megalithic standing stones of Carnac in Brittany. Rather than solve these two mysteries, his book, Carnac et L’enigme de L’atlantide (Carnac and the Enigma of Atlantis)  would seem to deepen them.
Helmut Tributsch suggested that the island of Gavrinis near Carnac in Brittany had been the capital of this Atlantean civilisation(h). He dated the destruction of Atlantis to 2200 BC, a date also favoured by Anton Mifsud.
Hans-Pény Hirmenech expressed the wild idea that the rows of standing stones at Carnac marked the tombs of Atlantean soldiers who fought in the Trojan War! Wikipedia notes that “A Christian myth associated with the stones held that they were pagan soldiers in pursuit of Pope Cornelius when he turned them to stone.”(a)
Hank Harrison supports the idea of a megalithic Atlantis with its centre of power, probably located in the Morbihan area of Brittany.
Based on the picture and the data present, Schulz Paulsson believes that the megaliths were first constructed by dwellers of northwest France during the second half of the fifth millennium BC.”(b) Mike Parker Pearson, Stonehenge’s leading authority, has endorsed this idea of a French origin for megalith building(c).
Neil L. Thomas in a 2021 paper(d) has studied three sites near Carnac that hold long rows of standing stones whose purpose was uncertain. Thomas concluded that they had a calendrical function relating to the sun and moon. I cannot help wondering why such extensive and labour-intensive structures were needed to achieve this relatively simple objective.
R. Cedric Leonard has published an interesting overview of the Carnac mystery, suggesting that the erection of the three rows of standing stones may have been originally connected. He further proposes that the builders of the monuments were possibly a Cro-Magnon people, namely, the Azilians.
The Megalithic Yard is a controversial unit of measurement originally proposed by Alex Thom following a study of hundreds of megalithic sites in Britain and Brittany. Very many attempts have been made to verify his conclusions but to no avail. Wikipedia(d) offers an interesting overview of the wide-ranging theories that the controversy has thrown up.
Humans have used their body parts as measuring tools right up to the present day, e.g. foot, finger or hand, so it was not surprising that the human pace provided a unit of measurement which has been suggested by many as the original megalithic ‘yard’.
>Paul Screeton in his Quicksilver Heritage [1882.48] noted that “the first person to write on prehistoric standard distances was Edward Milles Nelson (1851-1938).” He concluded that the megalith builders used a unit of measurement of 12.96 inches.<
Not unexpectedly, some researchers, such as Ulf Erlingsson(a), Sylvain Tristan(b) and Jim Allen(c) have endeavoured to link the megalithic yard with their interpretation of Plato’s Atlantis, sometimes using convoluted associations with ancient Egyptian and/or Sumerian metrics!
There is also an ancient unit of measurement known as the ‘long foot’ of 12.7 inches (32.2 cm). In early 2019, archaeologists from the University of Manchester and University College London concluded, after a study of three small carved chalk ‘drums’, that they “could be ancient replicas of measuring devices used for laying out prehistoric monuments like Stonehenge.” They found that “a string wound 10 times around the smallest of the drums would give a measure of exactly 10 long feet — a length used to lay out several ancient henge monuments“(e).
Douglas C. Heggie , an astronomer and mathematician as well as the late Aubrey Burl (1926-2020) , arguably the leading authority on British stone circles, have both expressed the view that Thom’s evidence was at best ‘marginal’.(f)
David Hildebrandt is an American researcher, who has published two books, The first, Forbidden Fruit, is a 784-page tome  with the self-explanatory subtitle of The Evolution of Human Intelligence. He has also turned his attention to the subject of Plato’s Island in Atlantis – The Reawakening ,in which he offers a vigorous attempt to convince readers that Britain had been home to Atlantis, with Stonehenge as the Temple of Poseidon.
Many aspects of his hypothesis have already been expressed over past centuries, but his synthesis does offer some new perspectives. For me, his dating, location and identity of the Atlanteans does not ring true, particularly why Stone Age people in Southern Britain would want to launch an attack on Athens, over 2,000 miles away, a city-state which did not even exist at the time. Those early Britons did not have the wheel, yet Plato tells us that the Atlanteans had chariots!
Charles R. Kos is an Australian ancient mysteries researcher whose website(a) deals with a range of subjects – Pyramids, Stonehenge, Anunnaki, Sphinx, etc., etc.
He has also produced a number of videos in support of his theories.
Inevitably, he included Atlantis in his output(b), which he claims was part of what we now know as Britain, but was specifically a sunken part of Britain, more generally called Doggerland today.
>In a 2019 paper, Kos put forward the claim that the ancient city of Old Sarum was the capital of Atlantis. It is near the cathedral city of Salisbury and not far from the megalithic monument of Stonehenge(a). I was not convinced.<
However, a reading of his homepage also offers some comedic entries, such as his belief “that Macchu(sic) Picchu in Peru which is held to be ‘Inca’ is in fact, I am fairly certain, an Irish Monastery from the Dark Ages.”
Much of what he has produced is highly speculative, which I am prepared to attribute to over-enthusiasm.
(b) https://www.charleskos.com/index.php?l1=Articles&l2=%2BAtlantis%2BLocation (link broken)
Thomas J. Krupa (1930- ) is the author of Biblical Flood, Noah’s Ark and the Star of David  , in which he makes a number of startling claims. The book begins with an attack on the theory of plate tectonics. He then moves on to the opening of Drake Passage(a), conventionally considered to have taken place around 40 million years, but dated by Krupa to just 29,000 years ago, eventually leading to the ending of the Ice Age.
He also proposes the existence of an isthmus or landbridge between Sicily and North Africa and that the limestone structure was weakened by the rising Atlantic and rain erosion and finally fractured by an earthquake, which led to the flooding of the Black Sea and further afield. He then contends that a backwash from this flooding created the Strait of Messina.
He believes that this Sicilian isthmus “is a stronger contender for the location of Atlantis than every other place that I am aware of.”
Krupa then moves on to discuss Noah’s* Ark, which he claims had a keel shaped like the Star of David and furthermore that the ‘Star’ was incorporated in the design of Stonehenge! Coincidentally, Robert John Langdon has also linked the hexagram or Star of David with the layout of Stonehenge(b).
Advancing to even more contentious matters he maintains that the Kaaba in Mecca is intended as a replica of the Ark and to crown it all that Alexander the Great is buried within the Kaaba!!!
Emad Kayyam is a medical doctor from Jordan and who is also described as a multidisciplinary researcher. He has touched on the subject of Atlantis, locating it in the Atlantic(a). However, after that, I was lost when I found that he was comparing his proposed layout of Atlantis to human nasal cavities! He also compares the human eye with Stonehenge(b) and the tear duct with the Red Sea (d)! Another gem is his observation that the tilt of the eyeball in its socket is comparable with the tilt of the Earth’s axis(e)!
I cannot understand what he is suggesting or trying to prove, perhaps some of his TV interviews might throw some light on his ideas, but unfortunately the clips are in Arabic(c).
(b) https://www.streamica.com/#v/f4dEEwQySBA (Offline March 2015) see (e)
(c) https://www.streamica.com/#v/wJTu0Tjw8Nk (Offline March 2015) see (e)
Louis Millette is a Canadian commentator who claims to have identified the location of Atlantis in the region of the Guadalquivir River in Spain’s Andalusia, maintaining that Tartessos, Tarshish and Atlantis were all the same. He has posted a set of three satellite images (d) to support his contention, unfortunately, I cannot see anything that might be related to Atlantis. His brief video clip(e) is equally uninformative.
However, Millette is a firm believer in extraterrestrial visitors(a), which for me is sufficient reason to consider him an unreliable researcher. He also claims to have located the ‘Hanging Gardens of Babylon’ in Nineveh, (now on the outskirts of Iraq’s city of Mosul), an idea already proposed by Stephanie Dailey of Oxford University as early as 1992(c) and later (2020) adopted by Anthony Woods. Even more provocative is the suggestion from Constantinos Ragazas that the correct title should be The Hanging Gardens of Göbekli Tepe!(f)
Millette promises startling revelations regarding Stonehenge in June 2015. However, a brief posting(g) on the academia.edu website, consisting of some text and three images reveals nothing!
(d) https://yourshot.nationalgeographic.com/profile/332999/ (link broken)