Atlantis in the Far East January 15, 2011Author: Beach Combing | in : Ancient, Contemporary , trackback
Naive Beachcombing set out in an earlier post his ambition to create a list of all the locations in the world that have been claimed over the years as the ‘true’ Atlantis. However, while writing this piece over Christmas he ran into a problem that he had not frankly anticipated. There are just so many places that the exercise would demand a short book or a very long post. He has satisfied himself instead then with splitting, at least for now, the world into different Atlantis seas: the Atlantic, the Mediterranean and the Pacific. And today comes the most incredible and most enjoyable: the Pacific.
‘The Pacific’ you might ask? Didn’t Plato say Atlantis stood in the ocean outside the Pillars of Hercules, the modern Straits of Gibraltar in absolutely the opposite direction? Well, he did. But this has never stopped the fans of a Mediterranean Atlantis from attempting to keep Atlantis in mare nostrum: though to be fair many do so by pointing to a possible textual problem in Plato’s dialogue.
However, who would have the audacity to put Atlantis in the Far East? Beachcombing, as regular readers will know, is a hardened Atlantis sceptic and one, what is more, who is used to most forms of self-indulgent bizarrism. But his mouth fell wide open when he first read some of the theories in circulation.
A correspondent Wilson Sheldon – thanks Wilson! – put Beachcombing onto an interesting short story that places Atlantis in the Red Sea and that doesn’t stretch credibility to breaking point: it is, in any case, surely more convincing than Bolivia, Antarctica and some other ‘Atlantic’ candidates to the west. But Beachcombing prefers Bolivia and the cold continent to the most popular of all Pacific choices: Indonesia.
The Indonesian Atlanteans were led by Arysio Nunes dos Santos (obit 2005) author of Atlantis: the Lost Continent Finally Found (2005) and a Brazilian nuclear physicist. ANdS’s theory might be sketched out as follows. Back in the day, Sundaland was a vast island that included Sri Lanka, Java and parts of Indonesia. This was the site of Atlantis before a volcanic disaster ten millennia ago plus rising sea levels caused by melting glaciers, sank the greatest of all ancient civilisations. There is a much visited Indonesian-Atlantis website offering more detailed explanations.
Needless to say Indonesian geologists beg to differ. But Beachcombing is not going to indulge in any predictable cheap cracks about geologists knowing more about geology than nuclear physicists. Beachcombing would prefer the opinion of a well-grounded nuclear physicist on the economy to the opinion of most economists and he would certainly prefer that nuclear physicist’s views on society to those of a sociologist. What worries Beachcombing is the complete lack of archaeological proof for this vanished civilisation: and he also confesses that he is bothered by the lack of any convincing evidence for contacts between the Mediterranean and the archipelago in antiquity.
As to legends about a sunken continent somewhere out in the China Sea Beachcombing has to ask whether there is any coastal region in the world with an indigenous culture of long-standing that does not have legends about a land under the waves just beyond the horizon: Lemuria to Ys. It seems to be a natural result of humanity’s living next to salt water.
Beachcombing is still on the prowl looking for the most unlikely of all Atlantis candidates: drbeachcombing AT yahoo DOT com
31 Jan 2010: The unusual locations for Atlantis keep rolling in. Beachcombing, for example got this email from Tina over at yufology: ‘Location number one, the Cape Verde Islands. I came across an account by a Greek mariner who said that the Islands of Cape Verde, at the time referred to as the house of the Seven Gorgons, was hard to navigate because of the sludge or muddied waters, which I do believe is one of Plato’s descriptions of the waters after the sinking of Atlantis. The second location I believe may be a place called Gilgal (Golan heights), located in Israel. Currently the area is off limits to the public, but there is a Stonehenge like structure there which is said to have been built by Og of Bashan. Gilgal Refaim or as it is known in Biblical references, Circle of the giants is a series of concentric circles that closely fit the description of Plato’s Atlantis. Perhaps the design (concentric circles) of most sites from antiquity may have all modelled themselves on the myth of Atlantis. But it makes one wonder, none the less…’ Beachcombing’s absolute favourite though was some references to Mars as Atlantis! He’ll try and get to this and the other locations in the next month. Thanks Tina and all those other who have written in over Atlantis: Beachcombing promises that he is keeping notes.