1. Amihud GILEAD, University of Haifa, Israel
"The Topos of Atlantis: Some Philosophical Insights"
At the beginning of "Critias", Timaeus mentions a feeling of “the relief of the traveler who can rest after a long journey” (St. 106a). Yet the dialectical journey in the "Republic" and other Platonic dialogues does not come to its end. To end such a journey means to become wise, which is beyond any human capability; it is rather the capability of the gods. As lovers of wisdom, all the interlocutors at Plato’s dialogue are doomed to travel in an endless journey, which no rest can terminate. "Critias" is a dialogue with no end; it is endless even more than any aporetic dialogue, whose end is not the termination of its journey.
What is the deep connection between this sort of end and the myth of Atlantis? It has to do with the main insight that I’ll discuss at my presentation, namely, that Atlantis is atopos, not only as a utopia, but in the strict Platonic sense of it. The Ideas are supposed to be at a topos-a-topos, whereas anything below them in the ontic scale has a topos. At the lowest step of the scale one meets the eikasia, to which all images belong, one of which is any myth, especially that of Atlantis. Yet, in the place of Atlantis one cannot find it but only an open sea. This makes one of the Platonic strongest symbol for the dialectical-philosophical journey that has no end and does not terminate in rest. In a way Atlantis myth represents Plato’s dramatic writing (which I discuss in a book of mine*): anything at the scale below the Ideas is an image, a representation of something higher. The philosopher’s endless journey toward the Ideas consists of eikasia, for each grade of the ontic scale is an image of the higher grade. The topos of the Atlantis myth is, therefore, its distance from the aspired end of the journey. Any Platonic achievement, especially in writing, has such a topos, which is an indispensable part of reality, although never the really real itself.
2. Kurt LAMBECK & Anthony Purcell, The Australian National University, Australia
"Palaeogeographic reconstructions of the Aegean. Was Atlantis on the doorstep of Athens?"
Sea level has oscillated significantly during glacial cycles but because of the earth’s deformational and gravitational response to the changing ice sheets this change exhibits a complex spatial and temporal pattern. The major changes occurred from the onset of the last deglaciation until about 6000 years ago when globally sea levels first approached their present levels. Changes in the eastern Mediterranean, for example, differed from changes in the Baltic Sea as well as from changes in south-east Asia (1). Even within each region the rates and magnitudes of change vary by significant amounts because of the Earth’s response to the changing ice and water load as ice sheets melt and ocean volumes increase. In the Aegean, for example, the sea level rise varied from Thrace to Crete and from Milos to Rhodes (2). In many tectonically stable parts of the world’s coastlines these changes have been documented in the geological and archaeological records and when this is combined with geophysical theory of the Earth’s response, accurate predictive models of sea level change and shoreline evolution can be developed. Such models have been developed for many parts of the world, including the Aegean (2) and the straits from the Aegean to the Black Sea. At the time of the Last Glacial Maximum much of the area of now-shallow waters were exposed. In particular, the Cycladean group of islands formed an extensive land area extending north-south from Andros to Ios over a distance of ~ 160 km and with a maximum east-west extent of ~ 85 km. Milos remained separated from this ‘Super Cycladea’ but the separation was much reduced and could be crossed without loosing sight of land, both where one came from and where one was going to. The separation from the Greek mainland, between Andros and Evvoia, was also small. Initially this geography changed only slowly as the ice sheets began to melt and the earth began to respond to the changing surface loads. By 14,000 years ago the coastal geometry had changed only little but after this the rise in sea level was more rapid and the single island began to break up into two parts separated by a shallow sea. By about 10,000 years ago, the break-up became more substantial and the geography began to resemble its present configuration: the originally extensive, relatively flat and low-lying plain progressively reduced to a few rocky islands over a period of about 6000 years. This evolution continued into more recent time, albeit at a much reduced rate, and in Early Bronze age sea levels here were as much as 5m lower than today. Can a collective long-term memory of this break up of Super Cycladea be the source of Plato’s Atlantis? The timing of the break-up and the description of the island is not at variance with Plato’s account but its veracity requires long preservation of mythologies.
Flood myths from other parts of the world come from areas that were subject to similar rapid shoreline migrations where coastal communities were continually disrupted by the rising sea. Does the Sumerian Flood legend have its origins in the flooding of the Persian Gulf that occurred until about 6000 years ago (3,4). Does the remarkable similarity of the Irish Sea between the description in the Mabinogion and model reconstructions also reflect a distant memory?
3. Siegfried G. SCHOPPE & Christian Schoppe, University of Hamburg, Germany
"Atlantis in the Black Sea"
Until around 5500 BC the Black Sea was a (smaller) freshwater-lake. The breaking Bosporus sill led to a flood commonly referred to as Noah’s Flood (Pitman/Ryan). Although heavily attacked, just recently this theory has gained support from new studies. We propose that Atlantis was an early neolithic settlement at the former shoreline of that lake.
With regard to the interactions between the Atlanteans and the ancestor peoples of Athens and Egypt we propose that the saga refers to a war between Europe and Small Asia (Anatolia) where the peoples of Athens and Egypt with their equivalent gods Athene and Neith were located. The war was initiated over the Obsidian stone (Oreichalcos) which was the equivalent of money at that time and which was found in the Carpathian Mountains (Atlantis), on Milos (Tyrrhenia) and in Anatolia.
As far as archaeology is concerned, the year 5500 BC marks the rise of the Vinca culture on the Balkans with their Old European Writing (sic!) and the Neolithic Diaspora in Europe. The first settlers reached Egypt at 5500 BC, and we follow the theory of Robert Schoch that the Sphinx dates back as far as 5000 BC. Finally, we were able to exactly locate the former ten kingdoms of Atlantis due to the meaning of the words accompanied by a stunning similarity in sound.
We suppose that the Pillars of Herakles are equal to the Bosporus for several reasons. Further, in our opinion the Marmara Sea equals the haven with a narrow entrance.
4. Ulf RICHTER, Independent, Germany
"Plato´s Atlantis was in a River Delta. New insights taken from studying the Timaeus and Critias"
Reading Plato´s two books about Atlantis and comparing the described facts with modern knowledge about geology, tectonics, archaeology and technology gives us new insights about how Atlantis had looked. This is necessary before we can look for its proper location.
We know that around the Royal City of Atlantis was an absolutely flat and even plain, irrigated by a widely branched system of canals which drain into the sea. This plain was mainly formed by alluvial land in a large river delta. To feed such a delta, the area of the whole country must have been at least 10 times as large as the plain. There must have been a chain of high sand dunes along the shore.
The hill with the central temple was formed by tectonic forces during the uplifting of a salt dome. The 3 circular ditches were formed by natural erosion, and the two fountains on the central islands brought water from the distant mountains.
For the irrigation of the fertile alluvial plain a central organisation was necessary which led to the formation of the high culture of Atlantis, as it was the case in most other early cultures in the world.
The canals in the alluvial plain were V-shaped. The excavated silt was used to build dams on both sides to protect the fields against flooding by the tides and from the mountains. The reported depth of the canals shows that Plato´s “stades” must be translated as Egyptian length units “Khet” (1 khet = 52,4 m), and so we get realistic dimensions for the plain (length 157 km, width 105 km) and the Royal City (diameter 6,6 km). Tables show the dimensions of Atlantis in comparison with buildings and canals in antique and modern times.
5. Filippos TSIKALAS, University of Oslo, Norway
Stavros PAPAMARINOPOULOS, University of Patras, Greece
V. V. SHUVALOV, Russian Academy of Sciences, Russia
"A new geophysical interpretation of the Platonic multi-ringed concentric morphology of Atlantis capitol based on numerical simulations"
The most characteristic geomorphologic feature of the capitol of Atlantis, as described by Plato in the 4th century B.C. based on information given by the Egyptian priesthood in the 6th century B.C. to the Athenian Solon, was the existence of concentric multi-rings surrounding an elevated central region. The multi-ring morphology included three elevated rings of land segregated by equivalent number of troughs filled with water (e.g. Kabanakis, 1996). The origin of the Atlantis characteristic geomorphology has been until now vied as related to volcanic concentric crater (e.g. Fouque, 1869, 1879; Marinatos, 1939; Galanopoulos, 1960), and may alternatively considered as possibly related to processes of salt/evaporate-deposits withdrawal and diapirism and to mud-volcano or clay-diapirism. We now propose, based on an idea of one of us (Papamarinopoulos, 2001) who refuted the equation Santorini=Atlantis by proposing an alternative non-volcanic mechanism for the origin of the multi-ringed feature described by Plato, that there is a more profound connection of Atlantis multi-ring morphology to meteorite impact-related processes. We have used the SOVA multi-material hydrocode (Shuvalov, 1999; Shuvalov, 2002; Shuvalov et al., 2002) to model numerically the cratering and early modification stages of a possible meteorite impact. The best results were obtained using a three-layer target with a composite strength structure composed, from top to bottom, of: 1) a few hundred meters in thickness of material properties approximating a siliciclastic sedimentary layer (dry friction of 0.7 and cohesion of 1MPa), 2) a few hundred meters in thickness of a low strength layer resembling salt/evapotite or clay deposits (zero friction and cohesion of 1MPa), and 3) an increased strength layer of either greatly compacted sediments or basement (dry friction of 0.7 and cohesion of 1MPa). The impact was simulated by a 400-m-diameter stony meteorite projectile impacting vertically at a typical velocity of 17 km/s. The ANEOS equation of state has been employed to model the thermo-dynamical properties of the materials. Simulations were performed both for onshore/coastal target environment and for targets with a shallow water cover, ~10-50 m, on top. The numerical simulations clearly show that multi-ring features are possible at this scale for specific layered targets. In particular, a central peak feature with a diameter of 0.9-1 km is simulated, surrounded by multiple rings and troughs that indicate an intense central deformation within a 6-8 km diameter. Depending on the properties of the upper 1-2-km-thickness target and the presence of water, the simulations have shown that subdued outer deformation may reach a diameter of 22-24 km. The developed shock compression pressure reached during impact has exceeded the melting shock pressure for the target materials and therefore melts were produced. Furthermore, modelling has shown that the impact-induced temperature increase within the upper 1-km-thickeness target has reached >250 degrees (C) and concentrated within the central peak of the structure. The increase in temperature is capable to initiate a hydrothermal system lasting for a maximum duration of approximately 10,000 yrs; thermal exhaustion may actually be much faster due to water circulation at the hydrothermal system itself. The simulations for the capitol of Atlantis produce a structure that is comparable (keeping in mind the differences in absolute dimensions and impact-energy release) with well preserved central-peak and peak-ring craters (e.g. Mjølnir Crater, Tsikalas et al. 1998a-c, 1999, 2002a-b; and Silverpit Structure, Stewart and Allen, 2002). An additional final feature that might be included in the simulations is the occurrence of concentric erosive/resurge gullies similar to those observed at several impact craters (e.g. Tsikalas and Faleide, 2004; von Dalwigk and Ormö, 2001) that may possibly result due to a shallow-water cover on top of the target and/or facilitated by pre-existing fracture systems.
6. Jonas BERGMAN, Independent, Sweden
"The Phoenician Connection"
Atlantis was, according to Plato, located outside the Pillars of Heracles ( the straits of Gibraltar ) ( Tim. 24e ). The first born child of the Atlantean god Poseidon was named Atlas and received the island of Atlantis as his lot. The second born child was named Gadeirus, and received as his lot the country facing Gadeira ( Crit. 114b ), an ancient Phoenician town and region in southern Spain. According to Plato, this fact may have given the region its title “Gadeira or Gadir”. The question now remains: Was Atlantis an ancient Phoenician colony? I will show that Plato’s descriptions of the Atlantean civilization strongly reminds you of the early Phoenician/Tyrian colonies in the west, and that the Tyrian god Melqart is identical to the Atlantean Poseidon, both of them founders of Gadeira.
List of common traits:
- Sacred fire
- Sacred springs
- Copper/bronze/brass pillars with inscriptions in the temple
- A god representing the power of the monarchy
- A god associated with fertility and the sea
- Foundation of cities attributed to the god
- Bull sacrifice to the god
- Security offered by the god in his temple
- Mutual relations regulated by the god in his temple
- Strong oaths binding cities/colonies to each other
- Location of cities in the Atlantic
- Position of cities on hills in river deltas
- The temple of the god preceding the actual city
- The god was the founder of Gadeira/Gadir
7. Werner WICKBOLDT, Independant, Germany
"Locating the capital of Atlantis by strict observation of the text by Plato."
The examination of the term „nesos/ island“ in Egyptian and Greek language indicates that „nesos Atlantis“ must not be an island but it even may be a coastal area.
Iit is looked along the western coast of Europe and Africa for a landscape that fulfils the report of Plato. The only landscape that is satisfying is found inside the mouth of the river Guadalquivir. The area that is considered is destinated by maps created in search of the settlement of Tartessos by Prof. Schulten in the 1920th. Schulten refers to ancient writers using the term „nesos“ in connection to the Nile, Indus, Tiber and Tartessos. Will „nesos Tartessos“ be equal to „nesos Atlantis“?
The possible territory is a part of the valley flat of the Marisma de Hinojos inside the Parque National Coto de Donana. To go there is not permitted. Therefore a satellit view is ordered. Two circular arcs crossing the banks of a river are detected. Near to the center of them two rectangle are to be seen. One of them seems to be the temple of Atlantis with the proportions length/width = 2/ 1. Encouraged by this further parts of circular arcs are detected concentrically to the same center. Completed out to a system of circles it corresponds to the description of Plato´s center of Atlantis. Further on the canal of Atlantis running to the sea may be identified by a line of lakes. It´s length even corresponds to the desription of Plato´s canal from the center to the sea.
The outlined structures correspond in their positions and dimensions to the description of the capital of Atlantis. This has been worked out theoretically but has to be testified by archaeological excavation before you may say: Atlantis is discovered.
8. Ronnie ALONZO, Keystone Research, Philippines
Joel Quines, Keystone Research, Italy
"A Stone Code From Zambales Mountain Range: A Link To The Atlantean Myth"
A stone code found in Zambales Mountains in 1985 shows the location of the lost island of Atlantis. The lines on the artifact when plotted in a world stress map being developed by USGS falls along the compression and spreading centers around the globe thereby giving impression that these represents the "force" that reshapes the surface of the earth and creating geological stress around the entire planet.
The attributed location of Atlantis discovered on the overlying surface of the stone map when projected in a dynamic earth map using Coreldraw process falls along the geographical locations of Iceland, the British Isles, Madeira, Azores and the Canary Islands. These islands have stories recounting their ancestors descending from a mighty race that inhabited an island in the Atlantic believed to be the legendary Atlantis.
Recent discoveries on both sides of the Atlantic revealing submerged structures like walls, buildings, pyramids, roads and sometimes outline of a complex urban development is a clear proof of Atlantis-an island that was destroyed by natural forces and finally resting at the bottom of the oceanfloor 11,000 years ago after a world-wide catastrophe.
This paper analyzes data from seismology, oceanography, underwater and satellite photography during the 17-year study period and comparing them with information from the stone map resulting to a hypothesis presented herein.
The analysis shows that the Atlantis figure in the stone map is in the same geographical location as described by Plato in Critias and Timaeus thereby also giving credence to the cartographic sketch of Atlantis drawn by Athanasius Kircher in 1665.
9. Yair SCHLEIN, Open University, Israel
"The Novelty of the Atlantis Myth in the Light of Freudian Interpretation"
A corner stone in Platonic political philosophy is a mythical perception of the Polis as an organic being that has an inevitable natural course of deterioration. Plato illustrated this process in the comparison between the contemporary and the utopic Athens as portrayed in the myth of Atlantis. The Atlantis myth illustrates the Ideal regime and serves as a starting point to the description of the state "pathology", that is to say, the degeneration process of the state that differs from the "physiology" of state that depicts the political structure in a given time. In other words, the myth expresses the inherent causes for the deterioration of the polis.
Freud too, in his book "Civilization and its Discontents", described society as a self-destructive. The analogous perceptions of the life of an individual to the structure of the state, and the similar characteristics Plato and Freud attributed to the state are surprising. In order to discuss these similarities it is necessary to point out the outstanding and unique characteristics that particularly at his time distinguished the Platonic myth. For example, although the nostalgic attitude to the Ideal Past is common to the myth of Atlantis and the Hesiodic Myth of races and other political myths of his time, the Platonic political thought culminates in the unique idea of the state's structure. This structure is an expresses of the ideal relations that ought to exist between the state and the individual.
10. Dallas ABBOTT and L. BURCKLE, Columbia University, USA
W. B. MASSE, Los Alamos National Observatory, USA
D. BREGER, Drexel University, USA
"Burckle Abyssal Impact Crater: Did this Impact Produce a Global Deluge?"
We have found an impact crater that is likely < 6000 years old. Burckle crater is in the central Indian Ocean at 30.87° S 61.36°E. The crater is 31±1 km wide. The crater is deepest SE of its center. There is a deep gouge in the surface topography to the SE and a topographically smooth area NW of the crater rim. These topographic features suggest that the impactor came from the SE and that the tektite field lies NW of the crater rim. We are looking for tektites in young abyssal sediments from NW of the crater. Because the impactor hit a fracture zone wall, the rim of Burckle crater is unusually well defined. The crater rim shows evenly spaced notches that we interpret as resurge gullies. Near Burckle crater, we found a 26 cm thick layer with high magnetic susceptibility that extends to the top of core DODO132P. DODO132P has a basal age of Pleistocene. The high susceptibility layer contains numerous Mn oxide coated rock fragments, as expected for an ejecta layer from an impact that fragmented a fracture zone wall. These fragments do not resemble typical Mn nodules. We also found clear fragments of mid-ocean ridge type plagioclase and a 200 micron wide grain of native Ni. The Ni is clearly a fragment of the impactor as it has an ablation rind of NiO that forms drops on the surface of the grain. The Ni contains no significant Fe and we interpret it as a piece of a comet. Burckle crater impact event is in the right location to be the source of devastating rains, tsunamis, winds, and associated social upheaval around 2807 B.C.
11. Erick WRIGHT, Independent Researcher, USA
Intermediary Embedded Synonymy, Integrated Ambiguous Homonymy, and the Egyptian Hieroglyphic Inspiration for the Atlantis Story
Critias asserted that Solon brought the Atlantis story back from Egypt and that he derived the Greek character names by translating the meanings of the names inscribed in the Egyptian hieroglyphic records.
No academic scholar has ever attempted to determine if Critias’ assertion would actually yield any information regarding the origins of the story.
My research examined:
a. Meanings of character names
b. Synonymous words in Egyptian hieroglyphic language
c. Whether synonymous words yielded clues as to story’s origin
1. Examined etymological roots of character names and found true sense of names in Greek.
2. Translated senses of names by finding synonymous words in
Egyptian hieroglyphic language.
Synonymous words yielded no clues themselves; however, I observed that homonyms of synonymous words yielded very interesting results.
Example 1: Cleito means “renowned,” which translates as ab. Meanings of ab homonyms include:
To face some enemy
Example 2: Leucippe means “white horse,” which translates as hetch ses. Meanings of hetch ses homonyms include:
Chapel (of) Rameses III
To filch from Rameses III
To block (of a road)
Further experimentation determined that all fourteen names exhibited correlations to Mortuary Chapel of Rameses III and yielded details of Atlantis story.
Research is on-going and no conclusions have yet been reached; observations have been submitted to make academic community aware of research, prompt discussion, and possibly solicit assistance.
For now, the phenomenon remains merely an interesting coincidence, however, future studies include:
• Possibility of surreptitious appropriation and allegorical utilization of “Sea Peoples” story
• Examination of hieroglyphic inscriptions at Medinet Habu
• Determination as to reversibility of process
• Viability of previously undiscovered literary device
• Philosophical implications
12. Axel HAUSMANN, Technical University of Aachen, Germany
"The Disc of Phaistos - An object relating Sicily, Crete and the Island of Santorini"
A hypothesis will be presented making it probable that the Disc of Phaistos is the oldest document of a pictographic writing. It could have come to Crete together with Atlantian refugees after the catastrophy which destroied Atlantis. Evidently there exist close relations to the frescos excavated at Acrotiri on the island of Santorin. An interpretation of the contents will be given.
13. P KARTHIGAYAN, Tuberculosis Research Centre, India
"The Origin of the Atlantis Civilization through Tamil literary evidences"
Introduction: Discovering the origin of a civilization that was devastated and buried deeply by numerous deluges, is quite difficult since the depth prevents their identification and excavation. Under such circumstances, reliance on literary evidence comes to our rescue.
Epistemology: Intelligent human race existed several million years ago. They spread their wisdom to their fellow men. Their decedents discovered controlling nature and utilized power of air, gas, magnetism, etc., to enable mode of travel across earth, oceans and sky. They discovered that humans die leaving their body while the world renovates its body after natural calamities like great floods, earthquakes, etc. Their cultural literature were stored in an iron chest, preserved under deep water reservoir, so that the water bed will reduce the impact of great floods and save the literature for future generation that spread across the deformed lands of the tilted globe on all directions. Their logical penetration towards knowledge, could pave way towards stable science, which is not possible otherwise through the mundane approach. It is believed that, even the glorified races like the Greeks and Egyptians possessed lesser knowledge than this race. Their great scientific secrets were inscribed upon palm leaves and made indestructible by transforming them into stone, preserved in stony caves and thus immortalized their wisdom (This idea is supported by Chinese mythology also). Their knowledge is still evidenced on the structure of temples, scientific beliefs, nature-dependent health care traditions, and mythological faith on immortality, found in India.
Conclusion: Analyzing the above literary evidences resemble similar to that of Atlantis civilization. Since, all these literary evidences are available in Tamil, the language perfected by the immortals in ancient times, it is strongly believed that the land of the Tamils, in and around India, could be the remains of the origin of the ancient glorious Atlantis.
14. Ulf ERLINGSSON, Independent, USA
"A Geographic Comparison of Plato's Atlantis and Ireland as a Test of the Megalithic Culture Hypothesis"
In "Atlantis from a Geographer's Perspective: Mapping the Fairy Land" (Lindorm Publishing, 2004) I hypothesized that the Atlantean Empire was modeled on the Megalithic Culture of Europe and Northern Africa. It then followed that Ireland must have been the island of Atlantis. This was tested using two geographical tests, each of which surpassed the 95% confidence level: One regarding length and width, the other regarding the plain surrounded by mountains.
In addition to these statistically significant matches, the overall geomorphology also agrees well. Compare this quote from "The World Factbook" (2003) about Ireland: 'Mostly level to rolling interior plain surrounded by rugged hills and low mountains; sea cliffs on west coast', with these from "Critias": 'The whole island was high and steep on the side of the sea, but at and around the city the surrounding was a plain, which in turn was surrounded by mountains that sloped down to the sea.' ... 'The hills on the island were gently rolling, and the island had an elongate shape, three thousand stadia long and two thousand across in the centre of the island.'
In fact, Ireland is about 2,960 stadia long and 2,060 across in the centre—if using the megalithic yard of 0.829 m proposed by Alexander Thom. Although Ireland's dimensions are within 3% of those of Atlantis, only one significant digit was used in the dimension test.
The second statistical test concerned the fact that mountains surrounded central lowlands. Only one of the fifty largest islands on earth has that landscape: Ireland. The combined probability that Plato described Atlantis as so similar to Ireland by chance was calculated to less than 0.02%.
Considering also the similarity with Irish archaeology and mythology, the earlier sinking of Dogger Bank, and the simultaneous disappearance of the Kongemose Culture, the hypothesis is retained.
15. Jaime MANUSCHEVICH, University of Chile, Chile
"Atlantis was Israel"
In a meticulous investigation, published in my book "Atlantis: the deciphered myth" and supported by the most recent advances in different disciplines, I maintain that the mythical civilization existed in the Near East, its centre being located in the areas comprised by Samaria, Judea, Neguev - today Israel- and Sinai- today part of Egypt.
Until about 7,600 years ago, this territory was an island, surrounded by a sea that then included the present valley of Leesrael and the Sea of Galilee in the North; the Dead Sea in the East and the Strait of, or present Suez Canal on the West, which made it a huge island located in the Mediterranean Sea.
In that region, more than 11,500 years ago - according to Plato- the Natufian culture was born and prospered. The Natufians were the first food producers in history, which expanded in the following millennium from East to West, from the Mediterranean to the Zagros Mountains (Jarmö), and from North to South from Syria (Ugarit) to the 5th cataract of the Nile river (Badarian) including the Red Sea and Arabia, with an extension of thousands of kilometers, as the legend indicates. Towards 8,000 B.C., they founded the first cities and ports (such as Jericho, Ugarit and Jarmö). Their beginning and end are related to a global climatic change, which took place due to defrosting in the northern region of the Earth, definitively decaying c. 5,600 B.C. due to a natural catastrophe of enormous proportions in the Eastern Mediterranean (Ryan and Pitman).
Its existence generated the myth of the Atlantis, which is the origin of the Afro-Asian nations. It was also the base for the expansion of the cattle raising and crop growing civilization in the four cardinal points. And it is from them that towards the beginning of the fifth millennium B.C., the best known classic civilizations emerged: Lower Egypt (Gerzean) and Upper Egypt (Amratian), Crete (Minoan), South-East Europe (Hamangiar, Vincas, Danilo Hvar), Mesopotamia (Tell-Halaf-Uruk), India (Harappa), Yemen (Saba) and Spain (Tarsis).
16. Walter FRIEDRICH, University of Aarhus, Denmark
"The Santorini Volcano: Geology and Atlantis Mythos"
The Santorini Volcano in Greece is famous for its unique, water-filled caldera, the white pumice layers covering a big part of the island complex, and for the Bronze Age findings buried underneath the ashes. The Minoan eruption that took place 1645 BC destroyed a flourishing Bronze Age settlement, and – according to some scholars - Plato’s account of the legendary island Atlantis is most probably linked to this volcanic catastrophe.
Since 1975 the author has performed geological research on Santorini which has resulted in a reconstruction of the pre-Minoan island. The discovery of datable limestone blocks (stromatolites) and other geological investigations showed that a substantial part of the Santorini caldera already existed prior to the Minoan eruption. The pre-Minoan island had a shape similar to the present, with a water-filled caldera and an island in the middle. This reconstruction is now commonly accepted and has successively resulted in geological and archaeological reconsiderations.
17. Ulrich HOFMANN, Independent Researcher, Germany
"Was Atlantis a Bronze Age Metropolis in Northafrica?"
No doubt about Plato's intension: The Atlantis tale was placed to illustrate the 'Ideal State' developed in his earlier work 'Politea'. Repeatedly that fact was used to claim the Atlantis tale was pure fiction. But neither Prehistoric Athens nor the description of Atlantis show sufficient correspondence with the Ideal State. Plato admits the Atlantis tale is unperfect but emphasizes the tale's merit: its authenticity. When Plato wrote down 'Critias' almost any greek might have visited egypt to proof the story to be right or wrong. None of the critics seems to have taken that into account.
An often neglected detail is Plato describes Atlantis to have ruled over Libya to egypt. That means Atlantis must have been located west of Libya and Libya itself must already have been part of the Atlantean territory. That coincides with a statement of Herodotus who tells about a libyan people called 'Atlantioi' living far in the west of North Africa. Also greek mythology places Atlas near lake Tritonis in western North Africa. Plato describes Atlantis as a huge island with a large central plain everywhere surrounded by high mountains. That description fits very well with the Maghreb. The high plain of Algeria is everywhere surrounded by the chains of the Atlas mountains. The shallow Atlantean sea that should have finally vanished resembles the description of lake Tritonis which today is identified with Chott el-Djerrid. Further details like the elefants of Atlantis fit very well with the west of North Africa. Infrared satellite images show a huge sunken geological structure consisting of several concentric circles recently discovered in the eastern part of the Algerian high plain. For 100 years already egyptology has knowledge of a mighty power that ruled from west up to egypt: TEHENU.
18. Theopi PARISAKI, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece
"The Atlantis Story and Platonic Mimesis"
The events evoked by the story of Atlantis are located in a distant place and time and, therefore, do not permit verification. The vast majority of classical scholars take the story to be an invented myth. Scientists, on the other hand, have been trying to give their hypotheses a scientific basis. Since Plato is the first who wrote about Atlantis, we have to pay serious attention to his own descriptions of the story contained in the Timaeus and Critias, in order to decide whether it is a true story, a myth, a likely myth or something else.
After summarizing the ideal state of the Republic (Timaeus, 17c), Socrates asks his interlocutors to give a representation of this state in action engaged in war with other cities, and he remarks that it is very difficult for someone to imitate well in words things which he has not experienced. In the Critias (106c), Critias calls for imitation again and parallels his discourse with painting, as being both imitations or copies of reality. Given that imitation is thrice removed from reality according to the Republic, which is taken as a starting point in the Timaeus (17c, 19a, 27d ff.), one could assume that the Atlantis story is far from truth, because it is an imitation unlikely to provide all the details of reality. However, in the Timaeus the story is characterized as true both by Critias (21a) and Socrates (26e), and the same characterization is implied in the Critias (108d). In order to explain these inconsistencies, we shall have recourse to Plato’s meanings of mimesis and related ideas in previous dialogues.
19. Timothy WYATT, Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas, Spain
"Constraints on the search for Atlantis"
The essentials of Plato’s Atlantis are that a Bronze Age civilization was rapidly overwhelmed by water and fire. The Athenians were simultaneously swallowed by the earth. If the myth contains germs of real events, is neither 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. Many attempts to determine a location for Atlantis have ignored the temporal and spatial considerations which must constrain a search for these details. Since the Last Glacial Maximum, there have been three major periods of rapid rise in worldwide sealevel, table I;
Time, yr BP Rise in sealevel, m
I Collapse of Laurentide and Antarctic ice sheets ~ 14000 ~ -110 à - 60
II End of Younger Dryas ~ 11500 ~ - 60 à - 25
III Release of meltwater ~ 7500 ~ -25 à +5
These estimates ignore tectonic instabilities and isostatic compensation. The first is too early to expect the kind of social organization Plato described. The second accords with Plato’s figure of 9000 years before his time, but still predates the Bronze Age. The third period, but a different mechanism, is invoked to account for a version of Noah’s flood. Regionally, there may have been other events less apparent in the geological record. The depths flooded tell us how deep the archaeological remains of lost cities might lie for different time horizons according to orthodox views of the magnitude of post-Pleistocene marine transgressions; putative remains of Atlantis at depths greater than say 150 m require special pleading. Classical scholars place the destruction much later than the periods listed in table I, in the second millenium. Spatial constraints are less severe than the temporal ones.
20. Vivi VASSILOPOULOU, Ministry of Culture, Greece
"Atlantis in the eyes of a Greek"
It is a known fact that to deal with Atlantis, no matter the topic, one needs the shoulders of Atlas, and this is no play on words. This is why when I was asked to participate in the conference, I was confident in my reply that I had no paper to present on the topic.
However, it seems that the greater the temptation, the more the number of ways one finds to succumb. I therefore found it quite easy to then recall an aspect of Atlantis that experts are possibly unfamiliar with, that is out of the ordinary: the artistic aspect. Atlantis in the Eyes of a Greek is the title of an exhibition that was held at the Titanium Gallery in May 2004 and which featured works by Christos Antonaropoulos. In his own special manner, the artist hauls the lost Atlantis from the bottom of the sea and reforms the sunken island, each pencil line rebuilding its “bones”, each brush stroke binding its “flesh”.
With boundaries, yet without borders, employing prose and also verse, he draws from legend and images and presents the island’s ‘history’ as it is, challenging the legendary island to emerge from the canvas. His work draws out images redolent with the oldness of the modern and the modernism of the past, like palimpsests formed over the centuries, where each layer opens a window to time. It is a voyeur and voyageur’s glance at a lost paradise, a utopia.
21. Jacques COLLINA-GIRARD, University Aix-Marseille I, France
"The Geology of Gibraltar Strait and the Myth of Atlantis"
At the end of the Last Glacial Maximum, when the sea level was at -135 m, the Gibraltar Strait was narrower and longer than presently. It opened on a half-enclosed sea (70km x 20 km), between the Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean. The largest Island (14 km) and its archipelago faced the Strait in this protected marine area, preceding the real Atlantic Ocean. The paleogeography changed at around 9400 years BC (11400 B.P.), due to the rapid sea level rise (4m/century during Meltwater Pulse 1A). More speculative is the possible contribution of tsunamis, historically and geologically attested in this very seismic area (cf. the Lisbon earthquake and the Holocene turbidites). In the same period, prehistoric hunter-gatherers had to adapt quickly to a major environmental crisis: global warming, general flooding, and reduction of coastal territories, redistribution of hunted animal species and cultural adaptations.
This geological history curiously evokes the Egyptian tradition, starting point of the history of Atlantis in the text of Plato (400 years BC), “ Timaeus ” : an island and its archipelago drowned around 9000 years before Plato, immediately off the ""Pillars of Herakles"". Therefore, one hypothesis is that the Plato myth of “ Atlantis ” is built on a local prehistoric tradition of flooding transmitted during 5000 years to the first Egyptian scribes around 3000-4000 BC. Ethnographical examples, observations of long time conservatism in Prehistory and testimonies of the first classical texts prove that verbal traditions could record catastrophical events over a long period. The discrepancy between the size of the island and the degree of civilisation could be interpreted in the point of view of the philosopher, illustrating his own principles, just like a novelist writes his fiction from a core of real events.
Obviously, there is a geographical and chronological correlation between the history of the real geological 'Atlantis"" of the Gibraltar Strait and the mythical story of Plato's Atlantis. Accepting the scientific value of this relationship is certainly a speculative attitude … but the coincidence seems too close to be immediately rejected.
22. Emilio SPEDICATO, University of Bergamo, Italy
"The Deucalion Catastrophe"
The Atlantis story and catastrophe is introduced in Plato as a much older event than the oldest catastrophe that Solon remembered, namely the Deucalion flood, which he was trying to date by counting generations, a count not given in Plato. There is a neglected statement in Orosius's STORIES AGAINST THE PAGANS that dates the Deucalion Flood, the Exodus and the invasion of India by a violent people at about the same time and attributes these events to Phaeton. In this communication we show the following:
- that the dating of Exodus at 1447 BC from internal biblical chronology is in agreement with the dating of the invasion of India by the Arians and the dating of Deucalion event by a statement in Pausanias - that Phaeton may be interpreted as a super Tunguska body that after complex and catastrophic interaction with our planet finally explodes in the sky over the river Eider in southern Denmark
- that the Exodus events and several migrations from northern Europe/northwest Siberia can be naturally explained within this context
- that the survival of Deucalion and the ""crossing"" of the Red Sea by Moses are easy consequences of the explosion of Phaeton.
Finally we observe that a mathematical modelling of the event is within reach of present numerical techniques and should be the core of an international project to be named PHAETON, of the greatest interest for the understanding of past catastrophes and possible future ones.
23. Dora KATSONOPOULOU, The Helike Project, Greece
"Helike and mythical Atlantis. An illuminating comparison"
A strong earthquake and huge seismic sea wave (tsunami) destroyed and submerged the city of Helike in Achaea in the winter of 373 BC.The city with its surrounding land and all inhabitants disappeared in one night during an unprecedented natural disaster, according to ancient sources. In a similar way, the land of mythical Atlantis was lost from the face of the earth, according to the descriptions of philosopher Plato.
In the present paper, the author based on literary evidence as well as on recent archaeological evidence from the site of Helike, makes an attempt to illuminate the story of legendary Atlantis. To this end, the connection with Poseidon, the god of earthquakes and the sea, and patron god of both lands is examined. Also, the possible effect of Helike's natural catastrophe on Plato, a contemporary of the event, regarding the impressive description of Atlantis' disappearance is discussed.
24. G.M.Facchetti, Mario NEGRI & E.Notti, IULM-Istituto di Linguistica Generale e Applicata, Italy
"Atlantis: Plato's Memories of the Aegean Culture"
The focus of this study is to trace Plato’s myth back to its origins in order to attribute Atlantis to only one possible realistic location in time and space, that is to say the historical and cultural context of the Aegean. A comparative analysis of linguistic, archaeological and iconographic evidence is therefore conducted so as to recognize some distinctive features of the Minoan world which Plato seems to recall. Further clues to the Aegean ideology are also derived from an investigation of the Atlantean spatial configurations.
In the light of our current archaeological and linguistic data, the references to Atlantis given by Plato in Critias and Timaeus seem to regard the historical, political and cultural events which characterized the Aegean world. The description of an Atlantean golden age followed by a period of decline, concomitant with violent earthquakes and floods, seems therefore to constitute the memory transfigured into a myth of the terrible eruption which took place in Thera (Santorini) around 1530 B.C. Similarly, Plato’s mention of a war between Atlantis and Athens could be related to the political and cultural clash between Minoa and Mycene.
Furthermore, Plato’s description of the island’s scenery also reflects characteristic features of the Aegean world. Atlantis is surrounded by concentric circular enclosures. Nevertheless, archaeological and architectural evidence of planned circular urban centres is scarce and mostly related to cosmological beliefs. On the other hand, the arrangement of space in Atlantis follows an archetypal pattern based on a circle-and-square dichotomy, which is widely attested in linguistic, archaeological and literary sources. More precisely, the spatial configuration described by Plato perfectly matches a geometric dualism which can be observed in the iconography and in the shape of dwellings, sacred architecture and burial techniques of the Aegean world.
25. Floyd W. McCOY, University of Hawaii, USA
"Reconstructing a lost island - A preliminary depiction of Thera (Santorini) before the Late Bronze Age Eruption"
In the devastating eruption of Thera (Santorini) in the Late Bronze Age (LBA), an island that hosted a Cycladic culture was destroyed. Archaeological information suggests the island was a center of trade and religion for a prosperous society; the Cycladians also left a record of their pre-eruption landscape in paintings and frescoes at the archaeological site of Akrotiri. Additional information on that ancient landscape is preserved in the geology of the Santorini archipelago today: relic alluvial fans, buried topographic features, paleosols, and residues of that destroyed landscape incorporated into the LBA eruption deposits. Combining archaeological and geological criteria with an understanding of the eruption dynamics and the progression of eruptive events during the explosion, a preliminary reconstruction of the LBA island just prior to its devastation is presented.
26. Jonas BERGMAN, Independent, Sweden
"Continental sized sunken island or not?"
Atlantis was, according to the modern translations of Timaeus and Critias, larger than Libya (northern Africa) and Asia-minor ( Tim. 24e, Crit 108e ) and disappeared in one day and night of extensive earthquakes and floods ( Tim. 25d ). This is one of the main reasons the story is believed to have been invented by either Plato or Solon.
Plato never used the word continent ( Greek Epeiros ), but he stated that the island was larger than Libya and Asia, which makes it continental sized. Some authors argues that Plato was refering to “greater” in the sense of a Great and Powerful Civilization, mightier than Libya and Asia combined, and not larger. They claim that it was the island of the capital city, also named Atlantis, that collapsed and disappared in the catastrophe, and not the whole island. This makes the story much more credible, but was this really what Plato had in mind when he wrote the Timaeus and the Critias?
I will now show that Plato must have been refering to the whole island, not only the capital city, and that authors already 200 years after the time of Plato believed the sunken island to be continental sized.
In the end, this has other important implications.
27. Stavros PAPAMARINOPOULOS, University of Patras, Greece
"Dating the catastrophe of pre-historic Athens. Evidence from Plato's Critias."
Plato wrote in the 4th century BC, when he was 52 years old, the Timaeus and Critias dialogues. In that, he describes a double catastrophe from excessive rains and an earthquake of prehistoric Athens. He also describes with many details the Acropolis of Athens and the settlements of its warriors. Archaeological excavations proved fully all these details and also illustrated the causes of the catastrophe (Bronner, 1949). The latter seems to be an earthquake which occurred in Eastern Mediterranean in the end of the Bronze Age producing an earthquake storm which lasted between 1225-1175 yr BC. The storm damaged Tiryns, Athens, Troy and a big number of other cities along major seismogenous fault lines. There is another passage again in Critias in which the consequences of the catastrophe are discussed. In that Plato discusses the survival of the Greek names up to his own period. The identification of Greek names and the Greek language in general in the Linear B tablets proved Plato's statement as well (Carpenter, 1966). Zangger's (1991) study at Tiryns illustrated fully the catastrophe as well. This passage fully proves Plato's information in connection with prehistoric Greece during the beginning of the turbulent century. It is one positive step, in understanding the enigma of Atlantis, since the latter vanished fully later together with the victorious Greeks at some unknown yet for science time interval but not away from the 12th century BC in connection with the catastrophe of Athens. Joseph (2002) reached the same conclusion for the catastrophe of Atlantis using different arguments. Foliot (1984) reaches the same conclusion too using alternative arguments. Both place Atlantis outside Hercules's pillars in West Mediterranean.
28. Marc-Andre GUTSCHER, IUEM - University of Brest, France
"The Destruction of Atlantis by a great earthquake and tsunami? A geological analysis of the Spartel Bank hypothesis."
Numerous geographical similarities exist between Plato’s descriptions of Atlantis and a paleo-island (Spartel) in the Western Straits of Gibraltar. The dialogues recount a catastrophic event, which submerged the island around 11.6 ka in a single day and night, due to violent earthquakes and floods. This sudden destruction is consistent with a great earthquake (M>8.5) and tsunami, as experienced in the Gulf of Cadiz region in 1755, where tsunami run-up heights reached 10 m. Great earthquakes (M8-9) and tsunami occur in the Gulf of Cadiz, with a repeat time of 1500-2000 years, according to the sedimentary record. An unusually thick turbidite dated around 12 ka may coincide with the destructive event in Plato’s account. The detailed morphology of Spartel paleo-island, as determined from recently acquired high-resolution bathymetric data, is reported here. The viability of human habitation on this paleo-island at 11.6 ka is discussed on the basis of this new bathymetric map.
29. Diamantis PANAGIOTOPOULOS, University of Heidelberg, Germany
"The riddle of the Sea Peoples. A synopsis of the hard facts."
The Sea Peoples made their sudden appearance on the historical scene of the Eastern Mediterranean in the ‘crisis years’, towards the end of the 13th century BC. Egyptian inscriptions and reliefs record with an unusual wealth of detail their battles against pharaonic armies, yet they offer no evidence about the ‘before’ and ‘after’ of these dramatic events. The provenance and fate of these peoples mostly remain a matter of speculation. The present contribution attempts to summarize what we known and what we think we know about the Sea Peoples focusing on the few hard facts of this archaeological/historical riddle. The thin iconographic and textual evidence has to be supplemented by possible traces of these peoples in the archaeological record. The most crucial questions relevant to the problem are the following: Where did the Sea Peoples come from and why? How reliable is the Egyptian ‘official view’ of the recorded events? What happened to them after their final defeat by the Egyptian army? There can be no doubt that the Sea Peoples phenomenon is closely linked to the collapse of several political systems in the Eastern Mediterranean around the end of the 13th century BC. Yet, prior to any attempt of a historical synthesis, it is essential to know whether their appearance was the cause or rather the effect of these widespread destructions.
30. Spyros B. PAVLIDES, Alexandros CHATZIPETROS & Eirini Galli, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece
"Interpreting Myths: Catastrophism and New Catastrophism"
Atlantis rises in a new context provided by the construction of scientific knowledge. A major step towards this direction is an interdisciplinary approach in order to highlight the various aspects related to Atlantis speculation. The first problem however that a co
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