Tunisia has now offered evidence of human activity dated to nearly 100,000 years ago(d) at a site near Tozeur, in the southwest of the country, where the Chotts are today.
Alfred Merlin (1876-1965) was head of the Tunisian Antiquities Administration from 1905 to 1920. In 1907 the discovery of ancient artefacts of the old Tunisian port of Mahdia was initially thought by Merlin to be relics from Atlantis. However, following some investigation, the matter seemed to fade from Merlin’s field of interest and apparently never wrote anything on the subject(n).
Tunisia was proposed in the 1920s, by Albert Herrmann, as holding the location of Plato’s Atlantis, at a dried-up saltwater lake known today as Chott el Djerid and was, according to Herrmann, previously called Lake Tritonis. Around this same period Dr. Paul Borchardt, a German geologist, also favoured a site near the Gulf of Gabés, off Tunisia, as the location of Atlantis. He informed us that Shott el Jerid had also been known locally as Bahr Atala or Sea of Atlas.
Hong-Quan Zhang has a Ph.D. in Fluid Mechanics and lectures at Tulsa University. He is a recent supporter of Atlantis being located in the chotts of Tunisia and Algeria(l). He offers his interpretation of excerpts from the ancient Pyramid Texts in support of his contention(m).
More recently, Alberto Arecchi developed a theory that places Atlantis off the present Tunisian coast with a large inland sea, today’s Chotts, which he identifies as the original ‘Atlantic Sea’, straddling what is now the Tunisian-Algerian border. Arecchi claims that this was nearly entirely emptied into the Mediterranean as a result of seismic or tectonic activity in the distant past.
In 2018, Charles A. Rogers published a paper(f) on the academia.edu website in which he identified Tunisia as Atlantis with its capital located at the mouth of the Triton River on the Gulf of Gabes. He favours Plato’s 9.000 ‘years’ to have been lunar cycles, bringing the destruction of Atlantis into the middle of the second millennium BC and coinciding with the eruption of Thera which created a tsunami that ran across the Mediterranean destroying the city with the run-up and its subsequent backwash. This partly agrees with my conclusions in Joining the Dots!
There is clear evidence(b) that Tunisia had been home to the last wild elephants in the Mediterranean region until the demise of the Roman Empire. Furthermore, North Africa and Tunisia in particular have been considered the breadbasket of imperial Rome supplying much of its wheat and olive oil. In particular the Majardah (Medjerda) River valley has remained to this day the richest grain-producing region of Tunisia(i). Roman Carthage became the second city of the Western Empire. Although the climate has deteriorated somewhat since then, it is still possible to produce two crops a year in the low-lying irrigated plains of Tunisia. Furthermore, around the mountains of northwest Africa, there is an abundance of trees including Aleppo pine forests that cover over 10,000 km2 (h). All these details echo Plato’s description of Atlantis and justify the consideration of Tunisia as being at least part of the Atlantean confederation.
It is worth noting that Mago, was the Carthaginian author of a 28-volume work on the agricultural practices of North Africa. After the destruction of Carthage in 146 BC, his books were brought to Rome, where they were translated from Punic into Latin and Greek and were widely quoted thereafter. Unfortunately, the original texts did not survive, so today we only have a few fragments quoted by later writers. Clearly, Mago’s work was a reflection of a highly developed agricultural society in that region, a description that could also be applied to Plato’s Atlantis!
In 2017, the sunken city of Neapolis was located off the coast of Nabeul, southeast of Tunis. This city was reportedly submerged by a tsunami ”on July 21 in 365 AD that badly damaged Alexandria in Egypt and the Greek island of Crete, as recorded by historian Ammianus Marcellinus.(e)(g)” However, water from a tsunami eventually drains back into the sea, but the demise of Neapolis might be better explained by liquefaction, in the same way, that Herakleion(j), near Alexandria, was destroyed, possibly by the same event. Neapolis and Herakleion are around 1,900 km apart, which suggests an astounding seismic event if both were destroyed at the same time!(e)
In addition to all that, in winter the northern coast of Tunisia is assailed with cold winds from the north bringing snow to the Kroumirie Mountains in the northwest(c).
Interestingly, in summer 2014, a completely new lake was discovered at Gafsa, just north of Shott el Jerid and quickly became a tourist attraction(a), but its existence was rather short-lived.
In November 2021, Aleksa Vu?kovi? published an article on the Ancient Origins website reviewing the current evidence for a Tunisian location for Plato’s Atlantis. Unfortunately, nothing new is offered that you cannot find here(k)!
To be clear, I consider parts of Tunisia to have been an important element in the Atlantean alliance, which according to Plato, also included southern Italy along with some of the Mediterranean islands (Tim.25a-b).
(b) New Scientist. 7 February, 1985 *