on 2 July 2007
This book does a good job of cataloguing the vast amount of correlations between various ancient cultures on both sides of the Atlantic, historically, politically, mythologically and linguistically. The growing hard evidence of repeated global cataclysms is used as a springboard to define the many traditions of four world ages, each one causing a wave of migrations and progressive collapse of Atlantis itself, both culturally and geographically, beginning in 3113 B.C. and finally succumbing in 1141 B.C.
However to condense four world ages into 2000 years, contemporaneous only with the Bronze age is I feel overstating the case. It ignores the previous extensive oral history of mankind, for example the Hopi themselves relate that they only came to America in the current fourth world. Whilst there is presented compelling evidence of the emergence of many major historical civilisations, arising simultaneously and fully-formed in Egypt, Mesopotamia, India and Mesoamerica, with no previous archaeological evidence of their development around 3000 B. C., all with traditions of having being founded by flood survivors, there is no mention of even older developments such as the city of Çatalhöyük in Turkey dated to 7000 B.C. or the otherwise widely-held significance of the end of the last Ice-Age in 9500 B.C. with its consequent massively rising sea-levels, or the sub-oceanic evidence of pre 9500 B.C. cities etc. which is only now beginning to emerge. I feel this gives undeserved emphasis to Atlantis as the progenitor of ALL civilisation, 'their impact on world culture' being the familiar Atlantocentric myopia where the 'world' is white. Perhaps not surprising coming from an author known for his White Supremacist dalliances.
However that said this is an easy read, a great non-sensational introduction to less-speculative evidence for Atlantis especially suitable for sceptics. The illustrations are often interesting, indeed I bought the book on the strength of them, but poorly related to the text. My only real gripe is with the complete lack of an index, or in text references to follow up on. Each chapter only has its own bibliography listed at the end of the book, but tracking down a fact by reading thirty or more books to find the one page referred to is at best laziness on the part of the author and/or penny-pinching by the publisher, and at worst leads one to speculate that the author doesn't want his sources examined too closely. Not a good advert for someone trying to establish credibility in a field seething with unfounded speculation.
on 27 October 2008
Throughout history, the course of human evolution has been driven by climate change in one form or another. Ancient civilizations have come and gone. Whole populations have been wiped out by famine, flood and other natural disasters.
But others have managed to survive, and have taken remnants of their culture with them. However, their forced migration has sometimes brought them into conflict with other humans (& other species) for food, shelter and other resources.
There are stories from all around the world, remembered as myths & legends, many of which were written down in Greek & Roman times, and deposited in the great libraries of the world. Some of these manuscripts have survived the subsequent destruction of the libraries, but many have been lost forever (particularly from Central & South America).
However, oral histories have survived in many areas, along with copies of some of the old manuscripts, so all is not lost.
However, very few people have actually gone to the trouble of comparing the various myths & legends from around the world, and seeing how similar many of them are. The names might be different, but the symbolism is the same, and they are essentially telling the same story. Frank Joseph has done an excellent job in this respect (combining it with archaeological and other scientific evidence).
In particular, there are flood legends from all around the world... some people are destroyed (by the gods) for their wickedness... while others are saved in "arks" and other watertight vessels (ships, canoes, etc) and go on to settle elsewhere. Some individuals arriving on distant shores are regarded as gods by the "natives"... and some are even reported to have brought knowledge and civilization to the area.
The strange thing is that the "sea people" are reported to have come to the Americas from the direction of the RISING SUN, and to the Mediterranean and the Middle East from the direction of the SETTING SUN... so who were they, and where did they come from?
From the mass of information presented in this excellent little book, it would appear that the Atlanteans were still trading between 5000 and 3000 years ago, and had quite an influence on the development of civilizations on both sides of the Atlantic, ie in both the Old and New Worlds.
It would also appear that such developments could well be linked to a number of global "cataclysms" which have been dated to (approx) 3113, 2193, 1628 and 1198 BCE. It all seems to fit... so I guess some of it could well be true.
Did "Atlantis" finally disappear under the waves some 13000 years ago, as many people would have us believe? Or was it just over 3200 years ago (approx 1200 BCE) that the last of the Atlanteans were forced to flee their island home? Where did they go? And where might their descendants be now? I don't think that we need to look very far... they are probably all around us (in many "hybrid" forms).