Amateur Researchers, so often denounced by professionals, have frequently succeeded where experts failed. However, it is unfortunate that so many amateurs, when given a modicum of publicity, have assumed that their new status gives them a right to adopt the other side of the coin of arrogance. It must always be kept in mind that should an amateur manage to undermine some particular established belief, it does not automatically mean that their replacement theory is correct. There is always the possibility that both the old AND the new ideas are wrong.
- The most frequently quoted example of successful amateur persistence is the case of Heinrich Schliemann who discovered what was accepted as Troy, at the time believed by the establishment to be mythical. In fact, the site he uncovered at Hissarlik appeared to be too small to match the city described by Homer. Nevertheless, recent excavations have discovered evidence, adjacent to the original site of a much larger urban complex, reviving interest in Schliemann’s original identification of the locality as Troy.
- In 1839 an American diplomat, John Lloyd Stephens and Frederick Catherwood, an English artist, joined forces and eventually rediscovered many of the great Mayan cities of Central America. They are considered to have laid the groundwork for American archaeology.
- In the early 19th century it was Georg Friedrich Grotefend, a German schoolmaster, who made the first breakthrough in the decipherment of the ancient Persian cuneiform script.
- Peter Dobson from Connecticut & theory of glacial movement.
- More recently, Nicholas Clapp, an amateur archaeologist, using satellite photography, discovered the remains of the ancient city of Ubar, referred to by Lawrence of Arabia as the ‘Atlantis of the sands’
- At a more local level, there was the case of John Pull, a self-taught amateur archaeologist who discovered an important Neolithic settlement in Blackpatch, Sussex in the 1920’s and was vilified by the class-conscious establishment who could not accept that a person from a modest working-class background had any right to to involve themselves in such matters. It should be noted that in other disciplines, amateurs(a)(b) have been equally active and successful over the centuries exemplified by people such as Thomas Edison (inventor), Robert Evans (astronomy), Michael Faraday (electromagnetics), Henrietta Swan Leavitt (astronomy) and Gregor Mendel (genetics).
- (a) https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/orchid/amateurs.html(b) https://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/jupiter-struck-by-comet/story-e6freo8c-1225752873675
Adlantis was imagined by Ignatius Donnelly to be another form of Atlantis. He notes that the first inhabitants of Arabia were known as Adites (Pt. IV Chap1). They were apparently named after Ad who was fourth in line from Noah. Without any convincing reason, Donnelly states that “these Adites were probably the people of Atlantis or Adlantis”. He also quotes an Arabic tradition that they are descended from Ad, son of Ham although this is not confirmed by the Qur’an. However, the Qur’an does claim that Noah was allowed by God to warn the people of Ad of the impending Deluge.
A short discussion paper in Atlantisforschung mentions that the Ad people are referred to 14 times in the Qur’an and attributes the first identification of the Ad people as Atlanteans to Uwe Topper in 1977, nearly a century after Donnelly(a)!
The lost city of Ubar, also known as ‘Iram of the Pillars’, was discovered using satellite imagery in 1992 in southern Oman. The city had been sought after by Lawrence of Arabia and referred to by him as the ‘Atlantis of the Sands’, a name that has stuck. Its discovery prompted speculation that this was the city of the people of Ad mentioned in the Qur’an. An article by Harun Yahya discusses this idea from an Islamic viewpoint(b).
The location of Ubar has centred on the ancient Bedouin site of Shisr in the Dhofar province of Oman, but, as usual, there is controversy about this identification(c).