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ATLANTIS & the Atlantic Ocean

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Author Topic: ATLANTIS & the Atlantic Ocean  (Read 22106 times)
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« Reply #195 on: December 27, 2008, 09:25:43 pm »


Or was Atlantis situated in America, as some people think? There are many theories about people crossing the Atlantic Ocean long before Columbus. Andrew Collins writes about this in his new book Gateway to Atlantis, with a long Introduction by David Rohl. Collins has studied about a hundred books about Atlantis and thinks that most of them fall into three categories:

Pure fantasy by believers.
Atlantis is only a metaphor or an ideal city according to Plato.
Atlantis is a memory of some high Mediterranean culture that disappeared, usually Minoan Crete. Peter James' book also falls into this category.
All these theories do not tackle the main issues in Plato's text, according to Collins (and me). In his opinion there is persuasive evidence that Phoenician ships from Iberia crossed the Atlantic Ocean around 1000 BC or earlier. That may be true, but in my opinion there is much more evidence for contacts between America and Asia. Collins thinks that Cuba was Atlantis; some other people think it was Hispaniola (Haiti-Dominican Republic). He also thinks that Plato invented the Egyptian connection because he really had the information from the Phoenicians, but in his time Athens had just been at war with the Phoenicians, so he had to use some other story. That is quite possible, also in connection with my own theory. When Solon visited Egypt (if he did so) the Egyptians employed both Greek and Phoenician sailors, so it may be true that Solon heard about Atlantis in Saïs, not from the Egyptians but from the Phoenicians.

It has been suggested that Carthage was built in the shape of Atlantis. That is not true for the whole city, but it makes sense as far as the military harbour is concerned. The harbour of Carthage was more or less laid out in the shape of a keyhole; the straight (outer) part was for commercial ships, the round (inner) part was for warships. In the middle of the military harbour was a round island with docks for warships. It is not impossible that Plato's description of the central island of Atlantis was in fact inspired by Carthage. It seems that the name 'Atlantis' means 'huge, large, extensive, vast, endless' in Phoenician and 'giant, majestic' in Arabic.

The American geologist and fossil hunter Mark McMenamin claims to have found a world map on Carthagian coins from 350-320 BC. (See a page on the website The coin shows a horse; under the feet of the horse is a design that was first interpreted as writing, but which is a map according to McMenamin. In the middle is the Mediterranean Sea with Spain. On the left there is a blob which McMenamin interprets as America, but which looks more like Britain and Ireland in my opinion. Still a very interesting discovery! That Britain is depicted too far south is probably due to the fact that the Phoenicians used maps on rolls of papyrus. There was no space to draw Britain in the right place (compare the Roman Peutinger map). Britain is shown just where Plato said that Atlantis was situated: outside the Pillars of Hercules! The two dots above Spain that McMenamin interprets as Ireland and Britain may represent Normandy and Britanny. Tacitus (Agricola 11) writes that Britain is 'opposite Spain'; some of its inhabitants have dark, curly hair and may have come from Spain.

It is quite certain that the Phoenicians sailed to England. Whether they sailed to Cuba or Hispaniola is another matter. In a very curious passage Plato writes that you could sail from Atlantic via other islands to the opposite continent. Which continent? America? If so, the islands might be Ireland and Iceland. But Norway is more likely. In that case the islands would be Orkney and Shetland.

The pyramids of the Aztecs (who claimed to have come from the land of Azlan!) are often compared with the pyramids of Egypt, but in fact they are not very similar at all. They are much more similar to the ziggurats (stepped pyramids with temples on top) in Mesopotamia and the similarities between Maya temples and temples in Cambodia are simply astounding! Racially the Mayas are clearly Asiatic; they are quite unlike the Egyptians. Some people think that the Olmecs were black people from Africa, but in my opinion they looked rather like some Asian races or Australian aboriginals. Many precolumbian ornaments have obviously been influenced by Asian prototypes.

I find it hard to believe that building pyramids is a kind of universal human trait, like building houses. Ziggurats are found in many countries, but by no means in all countries. One might equally well claim that the obelisk in Washington has nothing to do with Egyptian obelisks, because it dates from a much later period, and that the dome of the Capitol only accidentally looks like European domes, because a dome happens to be a practical way of roofing spaces. It may well be that some people came to Middle America from Asia to teach (or force) the local population to build pyramids and to make gruesome human sacrifices.

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