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’.
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 with 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).<
Diego Marin, Ivan Minella & Erik Schievenin are the three young authors of The Three Ages of Atlantis . The three currently live in Italy and are respectively a physicist, an archaeologist and a geologist. Their basic theory is that the original Atlantis was located in Antarctica and that following a shifting of the Earth’s axis, this prehistoric civilisation was destroyed by the ensuing super-floods around 15,000 years ago. They claim that other super-floods also had global effects 11,600 and 8,700 years ago.
Appendix A is concerned with a claim that the Sumerians may never have existed and that the Sumerian language is artificial, invented by Akkadian priests for liturgical purposes.
These three scientists devoted an extensive Appendix B to a study of Edgar Cayce’s ‘revelations’ and their concurrence with their theories. Their use of Cayce is a clear abandonment of the scientific method and gives every reason to treat everything they have written with very great caution.
Nikolai Fedorov Jirov was a Russian historian who held the view that the Sumerians had migrated to the Balkans and unconvincingly put forward the Tartartia Tablets(a) as evidence of this.
The Fuente Magna Bowl is a remarkable artefact sometimes called ‘the Rosetta Stone of the Americas.’ It was discovered accidentally near Lake Titicaca in Bolivia. The bowl’s claim to fame is that it has been inscribed with cuneiform writing, similar to Sumerian.
It is claimed that thermoluminescence dating has shown the object to be quite ancient and not a forgery. The same site(a) quotes at length a translation of the text by Clyde Winters, but a German website(b) denounces his translation as nonsense, although it accepts that the Bowl as genuine. Another site(c) offers a selection of detailed images of the Bowl.
Carl Feagans’ website(f) is equally critical of Winters’ ‘translation’ and raises a number of questions regarding the authenticity of the artefact.
Jim Allen and his supporters have sought to link the Bowl with the theory of Atlantis in the Andes(d).
The bad archaeology website has reasonably balanced article(e) on the bowl which should be read.
>(a) https://www.world-mysteries.com/sar_8.htm (link broken July 2020)<
Laurence Austine Waddell (1854-1938) was a British surgeon, philologist and amateur archaeologist as well as a Professor of Chemistry and Pathology among other accomplishments. He was fascinated by the Sumerians who had been rediscovered in the 19th century. He identified the Sumerians as Aryan and even went so far as to claim a Sumerian ancestry for the Britons, Welsh, Anglo-Saxons, Irish-Scots, Early Germans and Scandinavians[814.6]!
The Edda is generally accepted as an important source of Norse mythology. However, in 1930 Waddell published British Edda claiming that the text had been originally composed in Britain.
In 1925 Hermann Wieland claimed in the German Atlantis, Edda und Bibel that Atlantis had been an ancient homeland. This sort of literature laid the foundation for some of the twisted political ‘theology’ of the Nazis.
George Michanowsky (1920-1993) was a science writer and linguist, from New York, who produced a ground-breaking book in 1977, The Once and Future Star, which explored the link between a supernova in the Vela constellation and the development of civilisation as a consequence of its radiation. He has been described as a specialist in Mesopotamanian astronomy, who believed that this spectacular event was witnessed and recorded by the Sumerians around 4000 BC(b).
A refutation of Michanowsky’s views by Duane Hamacher of Missouri University is available online(a). Ian Wilson in The Exodus Enigma refers to further controversy that Michanowsky was involved in when he accused the renowned Egyptologist, Dr. Hans Goedicke of falsifying a translation of hieroglyphics that possibly related to the tsunami that followed the eruption of Thera[0979.137].
His book goes much further and claims that the Sumerians had known Atlantis under the name of NI-DUK-KI, known today as Dilmun. The renowned Henry Rawlinson interpreted this name to mean ‘blessed hill’ or ‘blessed isle’. While Michanowsky’s suggestion is highly speculative, if correct, it would be the earliest known reference to Atlantis.
Nearly twenty years later Allan & Delair published When the Earth Nearly Died (later republished as Cataclysm), in which they also nominate the Vela supernova as the source of ejecta which nearly destroyed our Earth. However, they date the event to 9500 BC and that its encounter with Earth was recorded in mythology, for example known as Phaëton by the Greeks and referred to by Plato. Allan & Delair did not mention Michanowsky’s book.
Zecharia Sitchin (1920-2010) was born in Russia and grew up in Palestine where he studied ancient Semitic languages and became one of the few to master the reading of the cuneiform writing of the Sumerians. After studying at the London School of Economics he took up a career in journalism. There are some questions regarding his academic credentials that are briefly explored by Frank Dörnenburg(g).
Then Sitchin began to develop his theory of ancient astronauts visiting earth in the past from the planet Nibiru (Planet X) and their colonisation of territory in what is now part of Iraq and the genetic manipulation of humans there. He based his theories on his interpretation of Sumerian cuneiform tablets. He also claimed that Nibiru had an orbit that took it to the outer reaches of the solar system and would return soon.
The late Alan F. Alford was initially an enthusiastic supporter of Sitchin’s ancient astronaut ideas, but later recanted(k).
Understandably, his ideas provoked a storm of controversy that lasted until his death and after. For my part I cannot understand how a race capable of space travel did not teach the Sumerian ancestors a writing system better than cuneiform and a medium better than clay tablets. Furthermore, the idea that the climate of a planet with such an unusual orbit could support the development of an advanced race capable of surviving the consequent extremes of temperature, is something I also find hard to comprehend.
Ian Lawton, the British researcher, wrote a rebuttal of Sitchin’s theories ten years ago(a). Further refutation came from Dörnenburg as well as on the the PaleoBabble website(b) of Michael S. Heiser(e), a scholar in the fields of biblical studies and the ancient Near East.>Heiser has another website with the blunt title of sitchiniswrong.com, which includes an overview of what he perceives as Sitchin’s errors(l).<
In late 2017 and early 2018 a two-part article(i)(j) by two young researchers, Jason Jarrell and Sarah Farmer added further criticism of Sitchin’s linguistic capabilities. In March 13th 2018, Clyde Winters also published on the same website a further refutation of Sitchin’s ‘ancient astronaut’ interpretation of the Sumerian seals.
Jason Colavito has also drawn attention(c) to the probability that Sitchin drew on the work of the British Assyriologist, George Smith (1840-1876), but distorted Smith’s conclusions in order to bolster his own theories.
Sitchin did not address the question of Atlantis directly until 2004, when he devoted a chapter of The Earth Chronicles Expeditions, where he considered the Minoan Hypothesis and found it wanting. He did not propose any specific location but suggested that there was a possible transatlantic connection. In the same chapter three, he discusses at some length the Phaistos Disk and a possible association with Atlantis! However, his broader views did find favour with a number of fringe Atlantis commentators such as the late Rob Solarion, Andrews and Zeitlmair.
Another follower of Sitchin, Thomas Ashmore, has suggested that some of the Annunaki ‘gods’ were exiled to Scandinavia where their deeds were preserved in Norse mythology(d).
Some of Sitchin’s books are available as pdf files in both English and Spanish(f) and in 2015 Sitchin’s niece, Janet Sitchin included some previously unpublished material of uncle’s in The Annunaki Chronicles. A rather negative review(h) was offered by essayist Noel Rooney.
(d) Nexus, Dec 2013/Jan 2014, (p.41)
(g) See Archive 2909
(h) Fortean Times FT342, July 2016 (p.59)
(k) https://www.eridu.co.uk (link broken July 2018)
Uwe Topper (1940-) was born in Wroclaw, Poland (formerly Breslau, Germany) and currently living in Berlin where he earns a living as an artist. However, he is better known as a researcher and author in the fields of history, ethnography and anthropology. Towards the end of the last century he turned his attention to chronology and produced his own version of New Chronology which incorporates some of the views of Anatoly Fomenko and Heribert Illig.
‘New Chronology’ is also a term applied to the realignment of the chronologies of the Middle East as expounded by David Rohl and others. An interesting review of the New Chronology and its revisionist antecedents is available online(h).
A paper(b) by Topper on the subject is worth a read as is a critical review(g) of Topper’s work by Jason Colavito.
An English translation of some of Topper’s work relating to his revisionist view of ancient chronology is available(i). In it he explores what he describes as “jolts and gaps in historical chronology”, noting that “dates that were detem1ined centuries ago and docurnented in classical and prehistoric monuments collide with those re-calculated by modem techniques for those same objects. They diverge quite noticeably, and the more the dates go back in time the bigger the difference between the two, i.e. between real observation ofthat time and re-calculation based on present observations.”
Topper seems to thrive on controversy, because not content to deconstruct our chronology, he has denounced, Beowulf, the cave paintings of Chauvet, and the Lady of Elche as all fakes(a). He has also written an extensive paper(f) on cart ruts, usually associated with just Malta, which are found around the Mediterranean and further afield.
Topper has also written about Atlantis, placing its capital on the site of modern Cadiz surrounded by nine other cities between Lisbon and Tarragona (see Richard Cassaro) and has identified possible references to Atlantis in the Qur’an and also speculated that by 11,000 BC Atlantean culture had spread as far as the Americas and Asia! He dealt with these matters in his 1977 book, Das Erbe der Giganten. Untergang und Rückkehr der Atlanter (The legacy of the giants, fall and return of the Atlantean)
He has also attempted to revive interest in Hanns Hörbiger’s ‘world-ice theory’(d).
My instincts tell me that Topper’s views should be treated with great caution.
Topper’s son, Ilya, is following in his father’s footsteps with articles on New Chronology as well as papers with provocative titles such as; The Christian Koran and The Sumerians did not exist(c).
(f) http://www.ilya.it/chrono/pages/gleisedt.htm (german)
Ivar Zapp is a former professor of design at the architecture school of Universidad de Costa Rica and co-author, with George Erikson, of Atlantis in America that links Atlantis with the ancient cultures of Central America.
Zapp gave a talk in 2005 in which he identified a location in southwest Costa Rica as the site of Plato’s Atlantis(b). The Amazon customer reviews are worth a look(a).
In 2012 Zapp revealed that he was planning to publish a second book, Babel Deciphered, which will reveal that a maritime civilisation existed globally thousands of years before the Greeks, Egyptians and Sumerians and that this civilisation created the world’s first language(c). It appears that so far he has not found a publisher.
Regarding Atlantis, the same report noted that Zapp commenting on the fall of Atlantis, “said that (it) was not the literal collapse of a continent into the ocean, but the collapse of knowledge that plunged the world into a dark age where people forgot the language and navigation techniques pioneered by a civilization in the Americas.”
(b) See Archive 2537)
Christian O’Brien, (1915-2001) was a geologist and head of the Iranian oil industry until his retirement in 1970. He was convinced that Atlantis had been located in the Azores and has suggested a possible outline of Atlantis*based on the bathymetric data available for the region(c).*
The O’Briens supported hyperdiffusion and proposed that ‘the Shining Ones’ better known as the Elohim in the Bible were responsible for the sudden development of agriculture, city states and monumental building some time before 8000 BC. Eventually, they developed colonies, spreading their knowledge which in due course was responsible for the great civilisations of Egypt, Asia and America.
Included in O’Briens contention was the idea that the biblical Garden of Eden, designated by him as ‘Kharsag’, had been located in what is now southern Lebanon. A paper(b) outlining this idea includes a criticism of Zechariah Sitchin’s translation of Sumerian texts.
O’Brien’s work is now carried on by Edmund Marriage, his nephew, through an extensive website(a).