Russian Atlantology was quite unknown to the general reader in the West until the fall of communism. This was mainly due to a combination of the strictures of the communist regime and the language barrier. A recent submission to Wikipedia on the subject of Russian Atlantology was rejected but can be read here(i).
It is accepted that Russian Atlantology began in the 18th century with brief references in a number of technical and poetic works. However, it was not until the 19th century that Avraam Norov attempted the first serious scientific attempt to locate Atlantis. Following a study of Greek and Arabic sources, Norov was convinced that Plato’s lost civilisation had been situated in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Later in the same century, a new element was introduced to the subject with the ‘revelations’ of Elena Blavatsky and the creation of Theosophy. To this day her esoteric waffle is quoted and accepted unthinkingly by many otherwise rational beings. The renowned Russian novelist Alexei Tolstoy devoted an episode in his novel Aelita to the subject of Atlantis.
In 1912, Vladimir Bogachev, a noted geologist published a short work on the geology of Atlantis entitled Atlantida. Bogachev lectured at the University of Dorpat in Estonia and is often labelled ‘the father of Russian Atlantology’. A few years later, the poet and historian, Valery Bryusov, wrote of Atlantis flourishing at the end of the last Ice Age. In 1923 the geographer, Boris Bobrynin, identified the Guanches of the Canaries as the descendants of the Atlanteans.
The doyen of Russian atlantologists in the latter half of the 20th century was undoubtedly Nikolai Zhirov whose studies over many years were published in English in 1970 and again in 2001. It is a work of great erudition although it is a little dated as most of the material was originally published in Russian in the 1950s. Zhirov uncompromisingly determined to promote the Atlantic as the original location of Atlantis. He wrote a short overview of Russian Atlantology for Egerton Sykes‘ Atlantis journal in 1959(j).
More recently Viatcheslav Koudriavtsev published his thesis regarding the location of Atlantis on the Internet(a). He is convinced that it was located on the Celtic Shelf near the Scilly Isles. Vladimir Pakhomov is another supporter of the ‘Atlantis in the Atlantic’ school of thought and also promotes his views on the Internet(b).
In 1994 Vlaceslav Jurikov proposed that Atlantis had been located near the Lipari Islands and its refugees fled to Ukraine resulting in the modern symbol of Ukraine being the trident of Poseidon. Coincidentally, the Ukrainian connection has also received support from non-Russians, the exotic-sounding Flying Eagle and Whispering Wind(c) and the Schoppes(d).
The late Alexander Voronin was the president of the Russian Society for Studying the Problem of Atlantis [ROIPA], which has held three congresses on the subject. At the last congress, Alexander Gorodnitsky, a member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, spoke controversially of the existence of highly advanced civilisations in the distant past. Voronin was also the chief editor of Atlantis: Problems, Searches, Hypotheses.
Konstantin Dukarev has written a review of scientific Atlantology with particular reference to Russian studies(e). Although the paper is in Russian it translates well, but without paragraphs, making it more difficult to read.
A hyperdiffusionist view of Russia as the world’s mother culture, employing a level of hyperbole not endured since the days of Stalin, can be now read(f) online for your added enjoyment.
There are aspects of modern Russian nationalism that seem to employ some of the rhetoric of the Nazi regime as well as their ideas of an Arctic homeland and even more worryingly, anti-Semitism(g). The linkage of Atlantis with this Arctic homeland was highlighted a few years ago on the Pravda website(h).
(a) Viatcheslav Koudriavtsev’s Hypothesis on Plato’s Atlantis (archive.org)
(b) Atlantis. Map of Atlantis (archive.org) *
(g) See: Archive 2415
(i) See: Archive 3918
(j) Atlantis Vol.13 No.1 Dec 1959
The Crespi Collection is a remarkable assortment of many thousands of artefacts gathered together by the late Father Carlos Crespi Croci (1891-1982), an Italian Salesian monk who did missionary work among the natives of Cuenca, Ecuador. The collection of objects includes gold, silver and a variety of alloys together with ceramics and tablets with unusual writing. The local Indians who allegedly found them in subterranean caves brought these goods to him. There is no doubt that Fr. Crespi knew that some of the artefacts offered to him were modern, made by locals who were able to get a little bit of charitable assistance while preserving their dignity. Father Crespi never properly catalogued them and over time a number of items were apparently stolen. At present some of these artefacts are stored in the church of Maria Auxiliadora in Cuenca. The caves referred to were apparently located by the late Juan Moricz in 1965. Erich von Däniken wrote about the caves and Moricz in one of his fantasy books, Gold of the Gods.
Further details about Fr. Crespi and his collection can be read in a paper by Marina Ivanova(g).
A somewhat eccentric website(a) from Stanley Hall expands on the story but without any real supportive proof. Among the collection is what appears to be a parapegma or calendar of a type developed in Greece in the 5th century BC.
Many wild claims have been made about this strange assortment, including a link with Atlantis. Richard Wingate devoted a large section of his book, The Lost Outpost of Atlantis, to the Crespi Collection.
It was over twenty years later that Wingate again wrote at length about Crespi in his 2011 book, Atlantis in the Amazon. He describes how Crespi had much of his collection taken from him and recounts his last meeting with Fr. Crespi shortly afterward, leading me to wonder why it took nearly thirty years to record this story.
Nevertheless, a 2015 blog from Jason Colavito(b) offers evidence that the objects in question were fakes and that the elderly Father Crespi was unable to distinguish between tin and silver or brass and gold. He also recounts how Erich von Däniken exploited Crespi’s ‘collection’ and fraudulently claimed to have visited the caves mentioned by Juan Moricz in Gold of the Gods.
In 2016, April Holloway on the Ancient Origins website(c) offers further evidence that most of the objects purporting to be of trans-oceanic origin or influence are fakes. However, while I fully accept that most of the objects are fakes, there are a few that are more difficult to explain.
One of these(d) is so remarkably like Roman parapegmata, that I find it difficult to casually dismiss it! Parapegmata are a type of calendar originally developed in Greece during the 5th century BC(i). A full dissertation on the subject>was published by Daryn Lehoux with the first chapter available online(h) as well as a Bryn Mawr review(j). <
In a follow-up to Holloway’s article, Ancient Origins co-founder, Dr Ioannis Syrigos, decided to investigate further the matter of gold artefacts missing from the collection shown to Holloway. He reports that he was met with obfuscation and threats(e).
>Vladimir Pakhomov also commented on the parapegma of Fr. Crespi and concluded, rather hastily in my opinion, that people “in ancient Rome, Greece, Egypt and South America all were using the same calendar – parapegma.”<
Commenting on Syrigos’ report, Jason Colavito has suggested that the missing gold pieces were a consequence of corruption or greed rather than conspiracy(f).
(a) See: https://web.archive.org/web/20060221130241/https://www.goldlibrary.com/index.htm
(d) https://dominorus.majestic64.com/parapegma.html (link broken)
(h) 0521851815 crop.pdf (cambridge.org) *
(j) Astronomy, Weather, and Calendars in the Ancient World: Parapegmata and Related Texts in Classical and Near Eastern Societies – Bryn Mawr Classical Review *
(k) South American Calendar Parapegma (archive.org) *
Vladimir Pakhomov was born in 1943 in Central Russia. He is a professional mathematician and a researcher into ancient structures, calendars, mythology and astronomy.
He has a website(a) in English that, among other subjects, offers a fairly standard outline of the ‘Atlantis in the Atlantic’ school of thought(d). His only claim to ‘originality’ is his over-imaginative identification of the trident of Poseidon as a representation of the outline of the islands of Atlantis as viewed from the sea! This, like the stopped clock being correct twice a day, could only be true from one specific direction.
Pakhomov has also written(b)(c) about the Giza pyramids and Sphinx including a pathetic attempt to relate contour outlines on the plateau with a map of the North American continent. These two Web Pages are intended to be teasers to encourage readers to purchase his e-book, an intention that failed to prompt me to buy.
(a) Atlantis. Map of Atlantis (archive.org) *
(c) See: https://web.archive.org/web/20130721180646/https://www.pakhomov.com/giza.html
(d) See Archive 2362