(Published in GralsWelt 25/2002)
Atlantis was suspected to be in various places, on continents and in oceans. Although the focus is on the Atlantic, it has also been localized in the Mediterranean, Africa, America, the Pacific, the Indian Ocean and even Antarctica. (See e.g. 2, p.164). Some researchers have even struck gold in their search for the ruins of Atlantis; but there is no convincing evidence for the discovery of the fabulous empire. We may not withhold some of the presumed sites from the reader.
In the mouth of the Guadalquivir, probably near today's Cadiz (Spain), there was the rich trading city of Tartessos, the Tharsis of the Bible (Isa. 23, 1, 6 and 10; Ezek. 27, 12 and 25). Around 800 BC Tartessus is conquered by the Phoenicians, but regained its independence a century later when Tire falls under the control of the Assyrians. Now Tartessos began to bloom, which was to last for a century and a half. Trade relations reach as far as Greece, and the flourishing Tartessian land with its fabulous wealth in silver found its way into mythology. But then the Phoenicians advance again. 537 BC The rising Carthaginians beat the Phocaeans (Greeks) in the sea battle near Alalia (Sardinia). Subsequently, Carthaginian troops occupy southern Spain and conquer 530 BC. BC Tartessus.
509 BC Then even the Strait of Gibraltar is closed to every non-Carthaginian ship, so that no one can disturb the ruthless exploitation of the conquered areas by the Carthaginians. Tartessos, the rich city with abundant silver mines and immense herds of cattle, is disappearing from history, and to this day we do not even know its exact location.
For Greek seafarers, the "Pillars of Hercules" (Gibraltar) are the end of the world that can be reached from now on. The sea routes on the Atlantic are kept secret by the Phoenicians, and many horror stories, probably deliberately spread by them, describe the Atlantic as a sea full of terrible dangers, which seems impassable to a Mediterranean captain. The secrecy was so perfect that one puzzles to this day how far the Phoenicians advanced in the Atlantic: Did they get to England, Ireland, Heligoland, the Canary Islands or America?
The German archaeologist Prof. Dr. Adolf Schulten (9) wanted to identify Tartessos as Atlantis, but could neither find the old Tartessos nor prove its identity with Atlantis.
An impressive testimony to Tartessian culture is the "Lady of Elche" (2, p. 104), a high-quality female sculpture found near Elche on the Spanish east coast in 1897. Headdress, hairstyle, necklaces and earrings complete the strange expressiveness of the bust with its peculiar grace. Some Atlantis researchers do not believe the Tartessians have such skill and consider the "Lady of Elche" to be a work from Atlantis.
In extensive work, the German pastor Jürgen Spanuth developed the idea that the legendary Atlantis is to be found near Heligoland. According to his research, there were island cities in the North Sea, including the royal seat of the Atlanteans, which was built around 1220 BC. Sank into the sea by storm surges. (10).
Recent studies seem to confirm that during the period in question volcanic eruptions and storm surges actually hit the North Sea coasts and displaced the population. (8, p. 264).
Warlike sea peoples
Spanuth's thesis, laughed at for a long time, has recently been used again.
There is some evidence that around 1200 BC Inhabitants of southern Scandinavia and Denmark, driven from their homeland by natural disasters, moved in large numbers to the Mediterranean as conquerors. One automatically thinks of the Vikings who haunted the coasts of Central Europe two millennia later.
In the temple at Medinat-Habu, an inscription announces the victory of Ramses II (1200-1256 BC) over the "Northern and Sea Peoples" who devastated the Mediterranean region and advanced to the borders of Egypt:
"No country could withstand them, Hatti (the Hittite Empire), Kode (in Asia Minor), Karkemish (on the Euphrates), Yereth (Crete?) And Yeres (Cyprus) were destroyed in one go ..."(8, p. 263).
If one follows Spanuth, then these “North and Sea Peoples” were refugees from the now uninhabitable, partially submerged Atlantis in the North Sea, who presumably also appear in the Bible as “Philistines”. However, despite all their military prowess, these Bronze Age invaders were by no means as technologically superior to the Mediterranean peoples as one might expect from the Atlanteans of the legend.
Santorini (ancient Thera)
The southernmost archipelago of the Cyclades in the Aegean Sea with the main island of Santorini consists of the remains of a volcanic crater that exploded in the 15th century BC. Most of the then much larger island was blown up, the sea penetrated the burst volcanic cone, earthquakes shook the Mediterranean area, huge clouds of steam and dust were thrown into the atmosphere, and a tidal wave estimated at 230 m height had to pass neighboring islands to be swept against the coasts of Crete, Greece, Asia Minor, the Levant and North Africa.
Since 1967 the remains of a Minoan settlement have been excavated from rubble and volcanic ash on Santorini, high quality fresco paintings have been discovered and a Minoan trading post has been uncovered. This archaeological research came about through the hypothesis of the Greek archaeologist Angelos Galanopoulos, who suspects Atlantis there. James Mavor, the leader of the first Thera expedition, concluded from his discoveries:
"In my opinion we had already contributed significantly to confirming the theory of Galanopoulos, according to which Thera was a densely populated cultural center, whose prosperity and civilization correspond to that of Crete, in short that it was the metropolis of Atlantis." (6, p.241).
The volcanic eruption not only destroyed these settlements, but all of the Thera-facing coasts of the Aegean Sea. The sudden fall of the Minoan civilization, the disappearance of the Cretan naval power, were probably a direct result. Perhaps Thera even intervened in the biblical story: The flood, which destroyed the army of Pharaoh pursuing Moses, could have been an offshoot of the tidal wave emanating from the exploding Thera volcano. *)
It is likely that the explosion on Thera did not come without warning; Earthquakes and small volcanic eruptions frightened the residents. If they fled to Greece before the catastrophe to be feared, they may have acted as a culture-bringer there, promoting a rapid rise in Greek culture.
So the Thera Island explosion was an event of historic significance. It brought about a turning point in the development of the Mediterranean region, causing upheavals that are only partially understandable. But these facts should not suffice to equate Thera with Atlantis, since neither the camps of the island, nor their dimensions, nor the time of their fall match Plato's Atlantis.
Some researchers see Thera as an outpost of the Minoan culture and settle the center of a larger empire, which could be identical to Atlantis, on Crete, where the impressive ruins of Knossos suggest the sunken size of the Minoan empire.
In the Gulf of Cadiz
After extensive research, Uwe Topper (10) believes he can localize the legendary Atlantic Empire in the Gulf of Cadiz. He attributes the sinking of Atlantis - similar to Otto Muck, who, however, suspects this island to be in the Atlantic (7) - to the impact of a planetoid **). Ancient legends tell that Phaeton, the son of the sun, lost control of the sun chariot, raced wildly across the sky and finally crashed. Does it perhaps contain the memory of a collision of our earth with another celestial body, whose fall into the Anas River (Eridanus = Guadina) destroyed the flourishing empire of the Atlanteans? In any case, Topper believes he can see an impact crater in the Gulf of Cadiz and thus the location of Atlantis. He was able to support his Atlantis theory with a lot of evidence; one of the most interesting of them is:
“When describing the world circle, Ptolemy used a graduation similar to the coordinate system, so that each place was provided with two numerical values. But I believe that Ptolemy used a system that a people who lived long before his time had created without his being aware of the context. If you draw your degrees for Spain on a modern map, you get a picture that could very well have come from the Atlanteans, but the Greeks would have been inconceivable:
The latitudes were inclined at an angle to today's, deviating to the north when you look to the east. The equator therefore roughly corresponded to the current course of the Amazon and thus had the same incline as the rivers and roads on the Iberian Peninsula. One degree of latitude ran through Setubal - Montamor - Belmonte - Jerica - Castellon de la Plana. Our current, modified graduation is based on a renaissance, which was necessary because the earth's axis - and with it the equator - shifted abruptly thousands of years ago. Ptolemy was probably not aware of this fact.
The second coordinate, corresponding to our longitudes, is even stranger: Individual locations were assumed to be the centers of a radiation, the angle between the 'north direction' and the latitude was divided into 90 degrees, and the rays formed the second coordinate. The system was marked on nautical charts until the 16th century, but looked more like map decorations, similar to the sea monsters and caravels next to the compass roses.
If we put Ptolemy's lines on a modern map, then the starting point of all Spanish degrees of longitude lies on the line that connects Ceuta with Cape Sagres, i.e. in the Gulf of Cadiz. This is where, I conclude, the original capital must have been ... " (10, p. 66).
Maps and nautical charts have always been of great value. They were carefully preserved, passed on to the descendants, guarded like treasure, and signed off again and again when they were used up or could be copied. Such copies of old copies testify to the knowledge of ancient cartographers, which far exceeds the knowledge that the Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans had. Rather, there must have been a civilization that was able to attain a level that modern times could only surpass.
For Uwe Topper, the image of a primordial civilization off today's coasts of Spain (where Adolf Schulten looked in vain for Tartessos) that was destroyed by a cosmic catastrophe unfolds. The associated tremors changed the position of the earth's poles, tidal waves raced over the coasts, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions destroyed human work. Ancient legends speak of a deluge that destroyed the most developed civilization, claimed victims on all continents, and gave the few who survived in the ruins the difficult task of a new beginning.
The megalithic structures of Bimini
A modern Atlantis researcher who does not shy away from unconventional working methods is David Zink. He was inspired by a statement by Edgar Cayce (1877-1945) from 1933 that the remains of an Atlantic temple could be found on the seabed off Bimini in the group of the Bahamas. These statements were supported by puzzling aerial photographs that appeared to show geometric structures on the sea floor. So the suspicion grew that something extraordinary could be found at Bimini, and Zink decided to investigate this question.
However, his project turned out to be more difficult than expected. Underwater archeology is still at the beginning of its development, and it is generally underestimated how complicated it is to orient oneself underwater, to gain an overview of the underwater landscape or larger structures, to find smaller sites, supposed or real found objects to clear and salvage sand and mud. The result of several expeditions was poor overall.
Zink and his co-workers discovered the remains of old artificial structures in the sea off Bimini, but could not classify them more precisely or assign them to a specific cultural area. After all, the archaeologist involved in the work, John Steele, came to the conclusion:
“I have come to the conclusion that it is indeed an archaeological site of megalithic structures. There are also good reasons to assume that they had a cultic function. " (12, p. 79).
The expedition leader himself understandably wanted to find out more and switched on two clairvoyants whose statements complemented each other. They spoke of a cultic system that was older than Stonehenge ***), the age of which was given by one of the seers to be 18,000 years.
The buildings in front of Bimini could therefore have been a temple of the Atlanteans. It is said that natural healing springs once bubbled there, perhaps as part of cultic healing treatment; In ancient cultures cult and healing can hardly be separated from one another.
Whatever one might think of the assumptions about the origin and age of the archaic plants found by zinc, the conclusion of the researcher himself is interesting:
"My research into the problems raised here has slowly but surely led me to recognize Plato as an authoritative source of information on a historical fact: that Atlantis really exists." (12, p. 198).
Was Troy Atlantis?
A few years ago the thesis of the geoarchaeologist Eberhard Zangger received some attention that Atlantis was identical with Troy (11). He bases his views on literary sources (Plato, Homer) and on-site research. The rich trading city of Troy at the entrance to the Hellespont (Dardanelles) was completely destroyed in a war at the end of the Bronze Age.
There seem to be similarities between historical Troy and the capital of Atlantis, described by Plato, and Zangger believes that tradition has turned a trading city on the Mediterranean into a great empire in the Atlantic.
An inherited memory?
Looking back on an island in the middle of the Atlantic that was sunk “during a single bad day and a single bad night” is not only found in Plato or in myths and legends. The very strange way of life of European eels also seems to show that they have not yet adapted to the new conditions after the sinking of Atlantis, because they behave as if this island "Atlantis" still existed. Our eels are born in the Zaragoza Sea. The fry hatching as glass eels soon leave the protective seaweed forest of their first childhood and entrust themselves to the warm waters of the Gulf Stream, which finally drives them to the European Atlantic shore. This unusually long journey across the widest part of the Atlantic Ocean takes three years and kills numerous young eels because they cannot find cover from predatory fish in the open sea. The sexes then separate on the coasts of Europe: the males stay behind in salt water, while the females have to swim further upstream, as they only become sexually mature in fresh water due to a mysterious metabolism (biological metabolism). They penetrate as far as the sources of the brooks and do not even shy away from excursions on marshy land. At the age of five the females are grown up and turn back to the sea, where they meet the males again after two years of separation of the sexes. Then the common way back to the Zaragoza Sea begins, but now against the current. Dangers lurk again on this path. After hungry seabirds have attacked the flocks of eels heading for their home in the coastal waters, predatory fish and dolphins follow the eels down to the great depths, which they choose for their return journey. But the adult eels quickly strive “home” to the kelp forests of the Saragossa Sea, which they reach after about 240 days. Here they care for the offspring to die soon after.
The migration of European eels is a peculiarity in the animal kingdom, at least in terms of the distances traveled. One wonders why evolution has sent them on the long and dangerous round trip across the Atlantic, since the American coast is much closer to their place of birth. Has evolution got it wrong? Are the eels the victim of an existence-threatening undesirable development, the cause of which is a coincidental mutation?
If chance were involved, there would have to be both eels that swim to Europe from the Zaragoza Sea and those of the same species that choose America's coasts and rivers to reach sexual maturity. The latter should be able to book a huge selection advantage, and over the course of millennia they should have overtaken their disadvantaged competitors long ago. ****)
There is probably only one plausible explanation for the peculiar way of life of the European eels: They do not want to go to Europe, but strive to spawn there, to an island in the Atlantic to which the Gulf Stream carried them thousands of years ago. Now this island has sunk without the eels' instincts being able to change at the same time. So they still strive for Atlantis, over whose ruins the ocean currents carry them today to Europe. This is where they can develop, but after the long and dangerous journey there, they also have to survive the threatening return journey. Would their chances of survival be better if they could change their itinerary to head for nearby America as young eels? Or do they have to surrender to the currents of the Gulf Stream, no matter how far it drifts?
Whatever the answers to this question, the idea arises that reminiscences of Atlantis are to be found in the behavior of the eels; a memory stored in the genome of the island in the sea, the sinking of which was not so far ago that the behavior of the eels was able to adapt naturally to the new conditions. (7).
Where can we assume the lost empire of the Atlanteans?
Most likely, a large island, perhaps even a small continent in the Atlantic Ocean, which, like the Atlas Mountains or the Aztecs, still reminds in its name of the lost civilization, seems to be localized.
Murry Hope comes to the following conclusion:
“The evidence from the seabed suggests that the Azores, Canary Islands, Madeira and Cape Verde Islands were part of the Atlantis continent long ago. In addition, some experts believe that the Rocks of St. Peter and Paul and the Bermuda Islands were also part of Atlantis. There is also evidence that several smaller islands previously existed east and west of the Atlantic Ridge, which may have been used by ancient seafarers as stepping stones to the larger continent beyond. They would correspond to the islands of which Plato wrote that one could get from theirs to 'the whole of the opposite mainland, which encloses that sea which actually deserves the name sea alone.' " (5, p. 106).
*) The most frequently mentioned historical dates do not fit this assumption: The Exodus will be around 1250 BC. It is believed that the explosion on Thera took place in 1628 BC. Dated.
**) Planetoids or asteroids are minor planets that orbit the sun mainly in the space between Mars and Jupiter. Quite a few of them can get dangerously close to Earth.
***) Stonehenge near Salisbury (England) is a megalithic place of worship that is said to have been built between 2800 and 1400 BC. BC originated. Megalithic buildings are made of large blocks of stone without a mortar bond and are ascribed to the Neolithic or Bronze Age.
****) The American eels, born a little further west, actually entrust themselves to the Florida Current, which will carry them to the American east coast in a year. The two populations of the European and American eels seem to consist of different species that do not mix: Anguilla anguilla (European river eel) and Anguilla rostrata (American river eel).
(1) Aschenbrenner, Klaus "Die Antiliden", Universitas, Munich 1993.
(2) Berlitz, Charles “Das Atlantis Rätsel”, Droemer Knaur, Munich 1978.
(3) Freksa, Martin “The lost Atlantis”, Klöpfer & Meyer, 1997.
(4) Gadow, Gerhard "The Atlantis Dispute", Fischer, Franktfurt 1973.
(5) Hope, Murry "Atlantis", Zweiausendeins, Frankfurt 1994.
(6) Mavor, James W. Jr. "Journey to Atlantis", DTV, Munich 1973.
(7) Muck, Otto “Everything about Atlantis”, Droemer-Knaur, Munich 1976.
(8) Paturi, Felix R. "The great riddles of our world", ADAC Verlag, Munich 1999.
(9) Schulten, Adolf "Tartessos", Cram, de Gruyter & Co. Hamburg 1970.
(10) Topper, Uwe “The Legacy of the Giants”, Walter, Oltern 1977.
(11) Zangger, Eberhard "Atlantis", Bechtermünz, Augsburg 1996.
(12) Zink, David "From Atlantis to the Stars", Bertelsmann, Munich 1978.