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

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  • Joining The Dots

    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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Wyatt, Timothy

Timothy Wyatt delivered a paper to the 2005 Atlantis Conference on Melos entitled Constraints on the Search for Atlantis [629.59]. He notes that “if the myth contains germs of real events, and is neither pure fiction nor political propaganda, then any naturalistic interpretation of them is almost bound to hinge on catastrophic geological or astronomical events, and we can ask questions about when and where.”

Wyatt recognises that Plato’s Atlantis date of 9,000 years is unrealistic and understands why the inundation of Atlantis ‘in a day and a night’ has forced researchers to propose the eruption of Thera (Santorini) in the 2nd millennium BC as a possible cause. This rapid flooding also raises questions of when catastrophic floods capable of sinking Atlantis occurred At least three have been identified and of them, Wyatt sees Ryan & Pitman‘s Black Sea Deluge as the most likely candidate.

In reviewing the where problem he accepts that the flooded Atlantis must lie in relatively shallow waters, which throws up a number of possibilities with many in the east, which he rules out because of remoteness. If the constraint of the Pillars of Hercules located at Gibraltar is accepted, the Mediterranean is also excluded, and Wyatt believes we are then forced to look at the Celtic Shelf.

Wyatt’s idea of identifying constraints and building your theory around them was taken further by the late Michael Hübner and developed into an elegant theory. Unfortunately, I perceived a small flaw in his presentation, which, for me, unravelled his entire theory and led me to write Joining the Dots, in which I think most of the constraints identified by Wyatt and Hübner have been more adequately addressed.

Welsh, Sean

Sean Welsh is an American physician who has authored Apocalypse [1874] in an attempt to revive the ailing Minoan Hypothesis, but in my opinion, even with Dr Welsh’s professional skills a ‘do not resuscitate’ sign still hangs over the patient.

Simply put, Welsh attributes the eruption of Santorini (Thera), the capital of Atlantis, to its destruction and the creation of a tsunami that generated the story of the biblical Deluge.

He identifies the Sea Peoples as former refugees from Atlantis! He has the tsunami generated by the Theran eruption flooding the plains of Mesopotamia! Also controversially he lands Noah‘s* Ark on a hill called Ararat in Crimea!

While I was not convinced, I can commend the book as a courageous attempt to solve two of history’s great mysteries.

Nebra Sky Disk (NSD)

The Nebra Sky Disk (NSD) is a bronze disk about a foot in diameter and inlaid with gold astronomical symbols. “The disk, two bronze swords, two hatchets, a chisel, and fragments of spiral bracelets were discovered in 1999 by Henry Westphal and Mario Renner while they were treasure-hunting with a metal detector. Archaeological artefacts are the property of the state in Saxony-Anhalt. The hunters were operating without a license and knew their activity constituted looting and was illegal. They damaged the disk with their spade and destroyed parts of the site.” The original finders were eventually charged and received short prison sentences.(a)

Initially, the date of the disk was generally accepted as being around 1600 BC, but by the start of the 21st century, this was losing support and was being brought forward by as much as 1000 years.

The reasoning behind this proposed dating revision is explained on The Archaeologist.org website “research published in 2020 by archaeologists from Goethe University Frankfurt and Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich casts doubt on this dating. After re-evaluating prior research and the circumstances of the disc’s discovery, the authors argue that the disc was likely not part of the cache of Bronze Age weapons, and therefore, cannot be dated with these artefacts. Instead, they assert that the disc should be evaluated as an individual find. The authors contend it bears hallmarks of an Iron Age item, and they place its origins instead in the first millennium BC. This younger age, they argue, would significantly change the sometimes far-reaching cultural and historical conclusions that have been attributed to the disc.”(p)

Andis Kaulins has also written an extensive paper(i) on the Nebra Sky Disk. A 2014 update(j) on the Disk was posted by Claudia Bracholdt. 2020 brought further debate with the claim, in a lengthy paper, that the date of the Disk should be brought forward to the 1st millennium BC(c). This was followed by a shorter but vehement rebuttal(k)(l). In 2020, researchers at Goethe University have also advocated reducing the claimed age of the disk(a)(n).

The Danish independent researcher, Ove Von Spaeth, has a wide-ranging article on cultural references to the Pleiades including the Nebra Sky Disk(d). He also touches on the subject of Atlantis.

 A further possible consequence of the Theran eruption(s) was proposed after the discovery of the Nebra Sky Disk(g), which was buried about 3,600 years ago. This is suggested to have resulted from the volcanic ash generated by the eruption blotting out the sun for up to 25 years. It is thought that the NSD had been used to synchronise the lunar and solar calendars(e) and when this was no longer possible the Disk was buried as some form of an offering. A contrary view is offered elsewhere on the Internet(f), as well as further controversy(h) led by Peter Schauer from the University of Regensburg.

A 2015 paper from Mel Copeland offers further background information as well as a review of some NSD theories(m).

“The Nebra Sky Disk will be the centrepiece of the British Museum’s forthcoming exhibition ‘The World of Stonehenge’, which runs from February to July 2022. Its inclusion helps to establish Stonehenge’s links to the greater world and demonstrates how Bronze Age Britain was a bustling, sophisticated society.

The story of the Disk has also made it into literature – Dr Harald Meller and science writer Kai Michel have written two German bestsellers exploring its history and the world it was created in: The Nebra Sky Disk and Reach for the Stars.”(o)

(a) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nebra_sky_disk#Dating

(b) https://phys.org/news/2020-09-dating-nebra-sky-disk.html

(c) Wayback Machine (archive.org) *

(d) Archive 3363 | (atlantipedia.ie)

(e) http://www.meglithic.co.uk/article.php?sid=2146413876  

(f) Nebra Speculation | Society for Interdisciplinary Studies (archive.org) 

(g) http://www.dw.de/bronze-age-sky-disc-deciphered/a-1915398-1

(h) http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/6722953.stm

(i) http://www.megaliths.net/nebraskydisk.pdf

(j) The Amazing Sky Calendar That Ancients Used to Track Seasons – Facts So Romantic – Nautilus (archive.org)  

(k)  http://www.lda-lsa.de/aktuelles/meldung/datum/2020/09/03/himmelsscheibe_von_nebra_eisenzeitlich_eine_richtigstellung/

(l) Archaeologists Are Caught Up in an Intense Fight Over Just How Important the Mysterious Nebra Sky Disk Really Is | Artnet News

(m) (99+) (PDF) The Nebra Sky Disk – The Fall-Winter Sky Circa. 1600 B.C. – the oldest calendar | Mel Copeland – Academia.edu

(n) Archeology: New dating of Nebra sky disk – Aktuelles aus der Goethe-Universität Frankfurt (uni-frankfurt.de)

(o) Hope Soars Eternal: The Nebra Sky Disk – Byline Times

(p) https://www.thearchaeologist.org/blog/the-nebra-sky-disk-real-or-fake 

Koutoupis, Petros

Petros Koutoupis is an independent researcher with a special interest in the Late Bronze and Early Iron Age periods of the Eastern Mediterranean and general Near East(a). He is the author of several books and a number of articles on subjects peripheral to Atlantean studies(b), including the Sea Peoples, the Trojan War, the Bible and Thera. To his credit, Koutoupis is not given to making wild attention-seeking claims.

(a) https://www.ancient-origins.net/opinion-author-profiles/petros-koutoupis-001606

(b) https://petroskoutoupis.com/publications/

Pauwels, Jacques R.

Jacques R. Pauwels, is a Belgian historian and a prolific writer, who touched on the subject of Atlantis in his book, Beneath the Dust of Time [1656]. In it he argued that Plato’s narrative was more than likely to have been inspired by the 2nd millennium BC eruption of Thera.

Rogers, Charles A.

Charles A. Rogers is the author of a fully illustrated paper(a) in which he locates the city of Atlantis on the Tunisian River Triton, which led from Chott el Jerid (formerly Lake Tritonis?) to the Gulf of Gabes. He dates the demise of Atlantis to 1404 BC based on a possible connection with a close encounter with Phäeton, which in turn he identifies as what was later to be known as Halley’s Comet. He also combines all this with the eruption of Thera that generated a tsunami, which ran across the Mediterranean to the Gulf of Gabes and destroyed the city of Atlantis and in Egypt wiped out the Pharoah and his men during the biblical Exodus. There seems to be too many coincidences required here.

With regard to the location of Atlantis, the satellite imagery used by Rogers is, in my view, not very convincing and although I am sympathetic to the existence of Atlantis in that region, I think only investigation on the ground will offer real evidence.

(a) https://www.academia.edu/36855091/Atlantis_Once_Lost_Now_Found

Civilisation Collapse

Civilisation Collapse has occurred many times over the past millennia in all parts of the world. The American anthropologist, Joseph A. Tainter[1539] defines collapse as “a rapid shift to a lower level of complexity(a) .” Societal disintegration immediately brings to mind the Maya, the Indus Valley and in what are relatively more modern times, the Western Roman Empire.

The causes are usually a combination of factors, such as climate change, warfare, disease or excessive expansionism. Global catastrophes such as encounters with comets or asteroids are rare, while more local events such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions or tsunamis can also be thrown into the mix. These have all been encountered from time to time, but have rarely been blamed for the collapse of a society; full recovery from such limited regional events is usually possible.

The Mediterranean has seen its share of all these catastrophic events. A major tsunami on Sardinia, volcanic eruptions in Italy, and earthquakes in North Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean. Close encounters with extraterrestrial bodies have also been proposed in that region.

Perhaps the best-documented civilisation collapse is that which occurred around 1200 BC and affected many societies, particularly in the Middle East(b) . Israel Finkelstein, a leading Israeli archaeologist, has attributed this event to climate change and is of the view that this disruption was global in extent.

Inevitably, Atlantis has been cited as an example of civilisation collapse, particularly among supporters of the Minoan Hypothesis, who link the 2nd millennium BC eruptions of Thera with the demise of the Minoans on Crete. Also popular is the idea that Atlantis had been a large island in the Atlantic Ocean destroyed by a cometary impact or the rising sea levels as the glaciers melted at the end of the last Ice Age.>However these Atlantic suggestions would appear to be ruled out by Plato’s clear statement that Atlantis was destroyed by an earthquake.<

A variety of other theories have associated Atlantis with the collapse of a civilisation. For example, Frank Joseph claims that 40,000 years ago “sudden sea-level rises triggers migration from Mu around. The Pacific motherlanders settle on a large, fertile island about 380 kilometers due west from the Straits of Gibraltar. There, the newcomers merge with the native Cro-Magnon inhabitants, resulting in a new, hybrid culture – Atlantis.”>Unsurprisingly, Joseph fails to explain why refugees from the Pacific would travel all the way from the Pacific to settle in the Atlantic when their previous homeland was surrounded by more accessible alternatives such as the Americas, Australia, Asia and Africa. He also fails to explain how the migrants had the seafaring ability to travel such a distance. Furthermore, since all the oceans are connected this sudden sea level rise would also have had a similar effect in the Atlantic generating mass migrations there also.

(a) Wayback Machine (archive.org)

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

McGuire. Bill

bill-mcguireBill McGuire(a)  is Emeritus Professor of Geophysical & Climate Hazards at University College London and is Britain’s leading volcanologist. In his 1999 book, Apocalypse[0604] McGuire refers to the 2nd millennium eruption of Thera as “probably the source of the Atlantis legend recounted by Plato.”[p.127]

(a)  https://billmcguire.co.uk/

Baker, Alan

alan-bakerAlan Baker (1964- ) is an English author with a mixed output of both non-fiction as well as some fiction. His chief interest would appear to be historical mysteries, which led to the publication of The Enigmas of History[1306]. This book touches on a number of subjects covered on this site; Noah’s Deluge,* Stonhenge, Amazons and, of course, Atlantis. He briefly discusses a few of the more popular theories; Bimini, Thera, and the Atlantic, but arrives at no firm conclusion, although he appears sympathetic to its existence. In his Destination Earth[1030] he delves into the disappearance of Percy Fawcett and the mysteries relating to South America.