Terra Australis Incognita – Atlantis
Verbatim in the Words of Plato
© Riaan Booysen – August 2020
Read, Remember, Ruminate
The Key to Understanding
In this presentation I argue that Terra Australis Incognita, the ‘imaginary’ southern continent which appears on virtually all medieval maps of the world, was a real continent that matches Plato’s mythical Atlantis in many respects. Plato introduced Atlantis to the world around 360 BCE in his dialogues Timaeus and Critias, quoting Solon of Athens who had visited Egypt between 590 and 580 BCE. According to Solon, the mighty civilization of Atlantis existed and perished about 9000 years before his time, in other words about 11,600 years ago. Many visitors to my website may already be familiar with this theory which I had originally proposed several years ago (first in January 2009, followed by a major update in June 2009, which had remained unchanged until now), but I quite recently (end of 2019) read Plato's account of Atlantis once again and noticed some key bits of information that I had missed initially. I have, therefore, decided to change the content below accordingly and expanded it substantially.
As will be discussed later, my first thoughts, when I noticed Terra Australis on the medieval maps, were whether this massive continent, which no longer exists, would not almost by definition be the most likely candidate for Atlantis. In this respect there is a general misconception that I first have to rectify. According to Plato, Atlantis was larger than the size of ancient Libya and Asia combined. Most of those who have studied Plato’s Atlantis are of the opinion that Plato’s ‘Asia’ was, in fact, Asia Minor, or modern Turkey. However, the name ‘Asia Minor’ was first used by the Christian historian Orosius (ca. 400 CE), while the world map drawn by Herodotus ca. 450 BCE clearly indicates just how big the people of his time, and therefore Plato as well, believed Asia to have been. Plato’s Asia is, therefore, most definitely not Turkey, and the size of Herodotus’s Libya together with his Asia is similar to the size of Terra Australis, a truly massive continent.
What’s new … ↓
This absolutely key information that I had missed from Plato, along with additional information from elsewhere, is
- "the whole region of the (is)land lies toward the south, and is sheltered from the north." This directly contradicts Plato’s assertion that Atlantis lay just outside the Strait of Gibraltar (which will be proven to be incorrect below), and essentially states that Atlantis was located in the South, i.e. Atlantis was indeed Terra Australis. Terra Australis lies south of the equator everywhere.
- Poseidon, the god of the sea, had fallen in love with a maiden who lived on a low mountain which ran through Atlantis’s fabled plain, and had intercourse with her. "Breaking the ground”, …he enclosed the hill in which she dwelt all round, making alternate zones of sea and land. As discussed below, the flooding of the plain is clearly depicted by the Vatican map, and a very likely explanation of how this had happened is now suggested, based on the comments of a modern scientists about the mass of Antarctica and Greenland with its ice caps.
- The sinking of Atlantis and the Great Flood occurred simultaneously. Although I did refer to this initially, I did not fully grasp its significance at the time. This event could only have happened if a massive comet had struck the earth, effectively making a dent in the crust of the earth and as a result causing worldwide earthquakes and a massive tsunami which flooded the entire world except the very highest regions. I have added numerous examples of legends from all over the world which relate that the earth was first set alight by fire before the Flood arrived, i.e. it was struck by a comet.
- "Only the bones of the wasted body (remained) ... the mere skeleton of the country being left." This statement is of utmost importance as it implies that we should today be able to get into an aircraft and fly over and identify dry land which must once have formed part of Atlantis. It will be shown that this is indeed the case.
- Herodotus’s map of the world shows which areas around the Mediterranean were defined as ancient Libya and Asia, the size of Atlantis, being larger than those two combined, was so huge that it could never fitted in between the Strait of Gibraltar and North America. However, Terra Australis Incognita as shown on the medieval maps is indeed larger than ancient Libya and Asia combined, matching Plato’s description.
- Apart from Plato's information, I have come across a little-known 1500 English map which clearly states that ‘Antarctica’ was once inhabited by men who worshipped “devvilles”, or serpents. This matches the Piri Reis map which indicates that “large snakes” could be found in that region.
- The sudden rise in temperature at end of the Younger Dryas period (ca. 11,600 years ago, matching Plato’s date for the sinking of Atlantis) is explained in terms of proposed impact of a comet, when the earth “cracked like a pot”, resulting in volcanic eruptions and lava flow all over the world.
- I have developed a scientific method for determining just how far a person can still distinguish objects like another person, or a lookout on the crow’s nest of a medieval sailing ship, the tip of an island. The observations (pardon the pun) are quite interesting.
- I no longer view the ice core dating (800,000 years) of Antarctica’s ice cap as problematic to my theory and I show that the biblical Creation story actually relates how the earth recovered after the Great Flood, and not the other way around.
- Finally, there is only scant evidence available about who the Atlanteans actually were, which I admittedly can only speculate about. However, a chance remark by Diodorus about the what the Serpents wore in battle, confirmed by the teachings of Azâzêl, left me stunned, as it 100% confirmed my long-held view about why they had been called ‘serpents.’
The reader is free to use any of the material in this Internet presentation for any non-commercial discussions or brief mentions in web-based publications (the use of Terra Australis images created by me is not permitted), but the concept of Terra Australis Incognita being Atlantis strictly remains my intellectual property and may not be discussed in any formal publications. Sometime in future I plan to have this published in book format.
Clicking on the headings in the Table of Contents will take you to that particular chapter or section, and clicking on the up-arrow (^) next to the heading will return you to the same heading in the Table of Contents. The same applies to clicking on reference numbers, which will take you there. Click on the up-arrow (^) preceding a particular reference to return to its position in the text.
What’s new … ↑
- Description of Atlantis, the sunken continent
- What one would be looking for ...
- Ancient maps showing a vast continent that no longer exists
- Turbidity currents – sometimes absurdity currents?
- The size of Atlantis
- How myths reveal the way in which Atlantis “sank”
- Ice core dating of Antarctica
- The Re-Creation of the World
- The Atlanteans and the Jews in Egypt
- Adam, Eve and the Serpent in the Garden of Eden
1. Description of Atlantis, the sunken continent ↑
Plato, in his dialogues Timaeus and Critias1, relates the legend of a powerful and respected nation that around 9600 BCE inhabited a continent in size larger than ancient Libya and Asia combined. The kings of Atlantis were, according to Plato, originally the sons of Poseidon and Cleito. They were ten in number and consisted of five sets of male twins (no doubt an embellishment of the legend). The firstborn was Atlas who was given authority over the others, each of whom controlled their own territory. They were the leading race on the planet and many nations conducted maritime trade with them. The oceans were navigable at that time, which implies that even back then maps of the ancient world must have existed. However, this once peaceful and admirable nation, for some reason, later attacked and conquered Europe and Asia, with only the Greeks being able to prevail against them. Sometime after the invasion, the Greeks and the Atlanteans (and presumably the rest of the world) were ‘swallowed up’ by the sea in "a single grievous day and night".
The continent, which lay beyond the Pillars of Hercules (the Strait of Gibraltar), is described as having had a magnificent central, ‘rectangular and oblong’ shaped plain, surrounded by lofty mountains, but with an opening to the sea. The royal city of Atlantis alone had a standing army of what based on calculations must have comprised close to one million soldiers and a fleet of 1200 warships2. The capital cities of the other states had armies of varying sizes, with a total estimated population of between 64 and 100 million people3.
Much of the early work, including a translation of Plato’s dialogues, was done by Ignatius Donnelly in his Atlantis: The Antediluvian (pre-Flood) World 4. The map below presents his view of the location of Atlantis and the sphere of influence of its people.
Figure 1. The Empire of Atlantis (in white) according to Donnelly
2. What one would be looking for ... ↑
As Plato appears to be the only source of information on Atlantis, many scholars doubt the authenticity of his reports, or in other words, Atlantis is nothing more than a myth. If, however, Plato’s account is based on a real continent that once existed, but sank below the ocean in a single day, there simply has to be other evidence confirming its existence. During the 1500’s a host of maps of the world suddenly appeared, complete with the earth’s geographic coordinate system of latitudes and longitudes we know today. Curiously, the marine chronometer used to measure longitude was invented by John Harrison only in 17615, followed shortly thereafter in 1763 by the so-called lunar distance method6, so how were the ancient cartographers able to map the world so accurately? Practically all of these early world maps have one oddity in common, namely a vast southern continent generally called Terra Australis Incognita (The Unknown Land in the South). As a matter of interest, drawings of Harrison’s chronometer bear a remarkable resemblance to the schematic diagram of the known parts of the Antikythera mechanism7 (Figure 2). This mechanism was retrieved from a shipwreck off the coast of the Greek island Antikythera in 1901, and is believed to have been constructed between 205-60 BCE.
Figure 2. Harrison’s H4 chronometer schematic compared to the Antikythera device
During the middle ages there appears to have been a widespread belief that this continent not only existed, but that it used to be home to a people who must have dominated the world. This belief gradually diminished and was discarded altogether following James Cook’s second voyage from 1772-1775 CE8. So, we have on these medieval maps a massive continent that no longer exists. Does that not make Terra Australis a prime candidate for Atlantis?
- whether Terra Australis Incognita was as big as Plato described Atlantis to have been,
- whether any of these maps, by chance, depict an oblong-shaped plain surrounded by mountains (that would really be the cherry on the cake),
- whether we can identify specific features of Terra Australis with NASA’s bathymetry map, including the skeletal remains mentioned earlier,
- what could have caused an entire continent to sink between 6,000 and 8,000 m (we’ll use 7,000 m as an average) under sea level, in an instant, and
- what we can learn from ancient myths about the catastrophe.
Also, and definitely even more contentious, is whether there is any evidence that might suggest the existence of a mighty and technologically advanced civilization 12,000 years ago.
3. Ancient maps showing a vast continent that no longer exists ↑
It is interesting to see how cartography had developed from the earliest times (for a complete overview, the reader is encouraged to read Wikipedia’s Early World Maps 9 ).
The earliest maps ↑
The Ptolemy world map10 is a map of the world known to the Hellenistic society in the 2nd century and was drawn based on the description contained in Ptolemy's book Geography, written ca. 150, but depicts only Europe and Libya in the west to the South China (“Sinae”) Sea in the east (Figure 3).
Figure 3. Ptolemy’s 150 CE world map as drawn monks in the late 13th century
One of the earliest maps of great significance, the Fra Mauro map of ca. 1450 CE, is “considered to be the greatest memorial of medieval cartography”11,12, and is shown in Figure 4, where NASA engineers compared the map to a corresponding image based on their Blue Marble data. The original Blue Marble was a composite of four months of MODIS observations with a spatial resolution (level of detail) of 1 square kilometre per pixel. "Blue Marble: Next Generation" offers a year’s worth of monthly composites at a spatial resolution of 500 metres.
In Figure 5, I used an orthographic projection of NASA’s Land Shallow Topography map13, which is less cluttered than the bathymetry map14 used in the original satellite comparison image by NASA. The Google Earth image on the left presents the satellite view from an eye altitude of 17,524 km. Note that the orthographic projection on the right reflects the true projection as would be observed from infinity (disregarding the fact that the earth would then be an invisible microscopic dot). The view from a satellite does not extend all the way down to the edge of the visible hemisphere, as shown in Figure 5. In Figure 4 the NASA image was shown at an eye altitude of 10,888.9 miles, or 17,524 km. For their comparison, NASA’s scientists used an orthographic projection of their Blue Marble data “slightly tilted and cropped to mimic the Fra Mauro map”15, as would be seen from a modern satellite (as stated in the caption of their image).
Figure 4. Fra Mauro map of ca. 1450 CE, compared to a similar view of NASA data
Figure 5. Difference between a satellite and a true orthogonal view of the earth
A much more controversial map is the one drawn by Henricus Martellus Germanus around 1490 CE (Figure 6). An inscription in the lower left corner states: "Although Strabo (64 or 63 BCE – ca. 24 CE) and Ptolemy (150 CE) and the majority of the ancients were most assiduous in describing the world we, however, bring together in this picture and carefully show in their true places the new knowledge that escaped their diligence and remained unknown to them". The controversy lies in the fact that the map preceded the supposed discovery of the route to India by Vasco da Gama sometime between 1495 and 1499 CE, and even shows Malaysia, the Indonesia islands and Japan, which all lie east far beyond India. Where did he get this information from?
Figure 6. World map by Henricus Martellus Germanus in 1490 CE
According to Chet Van Duzer, a well-known map scholar,
"It's extremely likely, just about unquestionable that Christopher Columbus saw this map or a very similar one made by the same cartographer, and that the map influenced his thinking about the world's geography. Columbus sailed west from the Canary Islands hoping to find a new trade route to Asia. Writings by Columbus and his son suggest that he began searching for Japan in the region where it appears on the Martellus map, and that he expected to find the island running north to south, as it does on the Martellus map, but not on any other surviving map made before his voyage. Of course, what Columbus found instead was something Martellus hadn't known about—the New World."16.
This map does not show the yet-to-be-discovered Americas, but most likely served as inspiration for the Waldseemüller map of 150717 (Figure 7), which is the first map to mention “America” (South America, in fact, see insert in bottom left corner).
Figure 7. The Waldseemüller world map ca. 1507 CE
An intriguing, little-known, early (1500) map with China in the west and Atlantis (supposedly just before the strait of Gibraltar) in the east, is shown in Figure 818. During his first visit to the New World in 1492, Columbus had encountered a peaceful and friendly people called the Arawak on the Caribbean islands he had visited. Noting their gold ear ornaments, he demanded to be taken to the source of the gold and on his return, he took six of the locals, and the news about the gold, to his king (as mentioned on the map). Another, much more aggressive people, called the Carib (hence the Caribbean?), had long before encroached on the territory of the Arawaks in what is modern Guyana (which Columbus had only sighted during his third voyage to the New World in 1498 – enough to make him its discoverer and earn him yet another royal reward), forcing them to settle on the islands. The Carib were skilled boatbuilders and sailors who owed their dominance in the Caribbean basin to their military skills. The Carib war rituals included cannibalism (matching the ‘trib(e)s that eat men’ on the map); they had a practice of taking home the limbs of victims as trophies19.
Figure 8. English map of America, 1500 CE
It is obvious that at that time the English did not have as much information about geography of the world as the Spanish and the Portuguese did. By 1500 Columbus had only just completed his third voyage to the Caribbean islands (1498) during which he explored the Gulf of Paria which separates Trinidad from mainland Venezuela. He then explored a very small part of the mainland of South America, including the Orinoco River. A year earlier John Cabot had discovered and mapped part of the North American coast. From the 1500 map above one gets the impression that the cartographer was not even aware of the existence of South America, as only the islands discovered by Columbus in 1492 are shown. It was two decades later, in 1520, that the southern-most tip of South America would be circumnavigated by Magellan. The way in which mainland China and Japan are depicted on the 1500 map and Ortelius’s Typus Orbis Terrarum map of 1570 has essentially remained unchanged, for some reason (Figure 9). Note that the what-must-have-been-prominent cities Quinsay (Quinzai) and Canton (Cantan) appear on both maps. Also important is the mention of a strait (two are implied) that leads from England to China between North America and Antarctica. This seem to imply that knowledge of such a strait did exist long before Magellan discovered it in 1520.
Figure 9. Mainland China and Japan on the English map (1500) and by Ortelius (1570)
Most importantly, though, is that the map shows “Antarctica” not only as being inhabited by people, but also that those living there were worshipping ‘Devvilles’ (a horned Devil in a fire), which can only imply ‘serpents.’ The map by Admiral Piri Reis20 (Figure 10) and the 1500 map independently attest to the presence of ‘serpents’ on Terra Australis. The Circle of Antarctica (Circulus Antarcticus) appears on many medieval maps, so the use of the name Antarctica instead of Terra Australis is not surprising. As will be briefly discussed below, the surviving people of Atlantis, mostly men, had settled in Egypt following the global catastrophe caused by the comet impact. There they took women from the native population as wives, hence the Garden of Eden story.
Figure 10. The Piri Reis map of 1513 BCE
Admiral Piri Reis notes on his 1513 map that he had made use of about twenty charts and maps of the world, which included eight Ptolemaic maps, an Arabic map of India, four newly drawn Portuguese maps from Sindh, Pakistan and a map by Christopher Columbus of the western lands. Incidentally, on this map Terra Australis (most likely) is shown as contiguous with the South American continent, and is described as “This land is uninhabited. Everything is in ruin (barren?) and it is said that large (man-sized?) snakes (a possible reference to the ‘Serpents’?) are found here. For this reason the Portuguese infidels did not land on these shores and these are also said to be very hot (as it would have been after the impact of the comet?)”. As mentioned previously, this matches the ‘devvilles’ of the 1500 map, or in other words, likewise confirms that Terra Australis had been inhabited by people. Why they were called ‘serpents’ will be discussed in Chapter 12. It seems that the Admiral was unaware of a passage between South America and Terra Australis.
One must ask oneself how it was possible for maps of the world to be disseminated to all and sundry so quickly after the discovery and mapping of new lands, particularly when such information would have been closely guarded by the specific explorers. Does this not suggest that more ancient maps must have been around at the beginning of the 16th century?
Apart from the above examples, there is some anecdotal evidence also suggesting that the early explorers had maps they used as guidance before they departed on their journeys. For instance, Ferdinand Magellan's name has been immortalized through his 1520 (November 1) discovery of the strait that bears his name (Figure 11). Magellan was accompanied by an Italian writer Antonio Pigafetta, who recorded that Magellan had seen this strait on a map in the treasury of the king of Portugal before his voyage21,
“Herrera, a celebrated Spanish historian of the sixteenth century, narrates that when Magellan made application to the Spaniards for means to carry out his plan of reaching India by sailing westward, he asserted that he felt confident of finding a strait which would conduct him through the newly discovered continent of America … The alleged ground of his confidence was that he had seen such a strait depicted upon a chart made by the distinguished navigator Martin Behaim. Herrera wrote in 1596, only seventy-five years after the return of the surviving companions of Magellan, so that it is not at all unlikely that he may have derived his information directly from someone who took part in the expedition. What, however, so augments the probability of Martin Behaim's having discovered the strait as to render it a moral certainty, is the statement of Pigafetta. Pigafetta, it will be remembered, was a nobleman of Vicenza, who accompanied Magellan and kept a diary of the adventures of the expedition. This composition is unfortunately, as the sailors would say, gone to Davy Jones's locker. In response, however, to a request from Pope Clement VII, Pigafetta prepared a brief narrative of the expedition, and this still tells its tale. It is preserved in MS. in the Ambrosian Library at Milan. Now, what light does Pigafetta throw upon the question under discussion? Under date October 21st, 1520, he writes: 'We discovered a strait to which we gave the name of the Eleven Thousand Virgins, to whom that day was sacred. This strait is 110 miles long; and sometimes more, sometimes less, than half a mile wide. It opens into another sea which we named the Still. But for the knowledge of our leader we certainly should have found no outlet to this strait, for we all believed that at the other end it was closed. Our commander, however, knew that he could steer through by following a channel of considerable intricacy, which channel he had seen represented upon a chart that is reserved in the royal treasury of Portugal, and constructed by the celebrated Martin Behaim.'
Additional confirmation is given to the idea that our hero was the discoverer of the strait in question, by the fact that for a considerable period it actually bore his name. In 1561, just forty years after the return of the relics of Magellan's expedition, William Postel, a writer of so much character as to have been expelled from the order of the Jesuits, and to have been persecuted by the Inquisition, wrote a compendium of geographical instruction. Therein he informs his readers that the New World is continuous from pole to pole, save where it is severed at the fifty-fifth degree beyond the equator by the strait of Martin Behaim.
Taking all the evidence into consideration, it would seem that the facts in the case not simply allow, but compel, us to regard Martin as the original discoverer of the strait.”
Figure 11. The Strait of Magellan shown on the 1570 world map of Ortelius, and his actual 1520 discovery route22
This claim had, of course, been hotly disputed as a falsification from the day it became public, whenever that might have been, as for example discussed by Pinkerton in 181223. None of Behaim’s surviving maps even show the Americas, but Schöner’s 1515 map of Terra Australis certainly does and like practically all the other maps of Terra Australis, it clearly depicts a passage between the southern tip of South America and Terra Australis.
Other accounts before Magellan seem to confirm Pigafetta’s account. For example, in 1563 António Galvãno reported that the position of the strait was previously mentioned in old charts as Dragon's Tail (Draco Cola)24,25,26
"[Peter, Duke of Coimbra] brought a map which had all the circuit of the world described. The Strait of Magellan was called the Dragon's Tail; and there were also the Cape of Good Hope and the coast of Africa. ... Francisco de Sousa Tavares told me that in the year 1528, the Infant D. Fernando showed him a map which had been found in the Cartorio of Alcobaça, which had been made more than 120 years before, the which contained all the navigation of India with the Cape of Good Hope."
This, however, would suggest that the strait was mentioned in maps before the Americas were reportedly first ‘discovered’ by Europeans. Consequently, the claim has been considered dubious. It has been disputed by modern researchers, as late as by Richardson in 200327. But what if it’s true?
The introduction of Terra Australis Incognita on medieval maps ↑
Apart from the English map of 1500 and potentially the Piri Reis map of 1513, the maps shown thus far do not show Terra Australis Incognita, which will be the focus of this presentation. The idea of a southern continent was first mentioned by Aristotle, a student of Plato, no less, in his Meteorology 28,
“But it is the sea which divides as it seems the parts beyond India from those beyond the Pillars of Heracles and prevents the earth from being inhabited all round. Now since there must be a region bearing the same relation to the southern pole as the place we live in bears to our pole, it will clearly correspond in the ordering of its winds as well as in other things.”
His theory of balancing land has been documented as early as the 5th century on maps by Macrobius, whom scholars are yet to identify with a specific individual from that era (the belief in the existence of this continent was finally dispelled by James Cook during his second voyage from 1772-1775 CE).
Schöner 1515 globe gores30
Figure 12. Azimuthal projection of Schöner southern hemisphere maps
Figure 13. Oval Vatican world map 153031
Figure 14. Finaeus 1531 World Map32
Figure 15. Ortelius 1570 Typus Orbis Terrarum33
Note the area called Terra del Fuego (Tierra del Fuego in Spanish, Land of Fire), which will be referred to again later.
Figure 16 shows Mercator’s 1569 World Map and Figure 17 the azimuthal map projections by Schöner (his 1533 globe), the so-called Vatican Map (1530) and Schöner’s 1515 gores globe, here transformed into a continuous map. The creator of the Vatican map is unknown and despite its name (Terra Incognita – “unknown land”), it contains numerous place-names. Are all of these fictional?
Figure 16. Mercator 1569 World Map34
(a) Schöner’s 1533 Globe
(b) Vatican Map 1530
(c) Schöner’s 1515 Globe
Figure 17. Azimuthal projection of early maps showing Terra Australis as a continent of which the central plain is being flooded
Possibly the most important aspect of the maps in Figure 17, actually of the first two, is that they both depict an oblong-shaped plain surrounded by mountains! Does this not already link Terra Australis directly to Plato’s Atlantis? Seen in sequence, these three maps clearly show a continent with a central plain which had become flooded. There is simply no other interpretation. It is almost impossible that these three correlated shapes could otherwise have been ‘imagined’ independently of the others. The steady flooding of the plain matches Plato’s description of Poseidon ‘breaking the ground’ in order to encircle the place in which Cleito lived. As her dwelling or castle was located on the ‘low mountain’ which ran through the centre of the plain, the lower areas (i.e. below this ‘low mountain’) would have become flooded first, before the higher areas could be reached. On a televised program, which I had regrettably neglected to take the details of, a scientist speculated that the mass of bedrock Antarctica together with its massive ice cap must have been so immense that it gradually subducted the tectonic plate on which it was resting. This process could have taken several centuries and is in my opinion the only possible mechanism through which this flooding could have occurred. Note that this would not have been the sinking of Atlantis which occurred in a single day.
This theory is also supported by Bill McGuire during an interview with him about his book Waking the Giant: How a changing climate triggers earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanoes35. During the interview he stated that even Greenland has become a concern, as the weight of its 2-3 km of ice on top of its lithosphere, which is much less than that of Antarctica, is pushing down the crust of the earth36. When the flooding of the plain of Terra Australis had become so severe that even Regio Patalis, shown in Figures 17(a) and 17(b), had become flooded - it is almost entirely absent in Figure 17(c), most of the Atlanteans would already have left their motherland to invade Europe and other Mediterranean countries, but the others would probably have remained in cities with highly elevated water-tight walls, or on the mountainous areas, most notably present-day Australia and New Zealand. Note that on Schöner’s 1515 map an opening to the sea has now appeared, which implies that that area of the mountains surrounding the plain must have been significantly lower than the rest and eventually got flooded as well,
Plato: “a level plain, itself surrounded by mountains which descended toward the sea; it was smooth and even, but of an oblong shape, extending in one direction three thousand stadia, and going up the country from the sea through the centre of the island two thousand stadia;”
The opening on the map corresponds exactly with Plato’s description – the shorter distance is measured from the opening to the opposite side of the plain and runs more or less through the centre of the plain (Figure 18).
Figure 18. Overlay of Schöner’s 1515 and 1533 maps, suggesting a flooding of the central plain as well as the ‘Patalis’ region
According to Plato, the capital city was about 5 km in diameter, comprising alternating concentric circular zones of sea and land, an outer ring of sea water 3 stadia in width, encircling a ring of land also 3 stadia in width, then a ring of sea water 2 stadia in width which encircled a ring of land also 2 stadia in width. This in turn encircled a 1 stadion wide ring of sea, which surrounded the capital island of diameter 5 stadia. The diameter of the outer zone (sea) in stadia was, therefore, 2x(3s+3l+2s+2l+1s)+5=27 stadia, s=sea, l=land, and one stade (Ptolemaic) = 607 feet or 185 metres. The banks of the zones of land were raised considerably above the sea level and were protected by watertight circular walls with interconnecting bridges and aqueducts to bring fresh water from the mountains (see Figure 19 for a stunning portrayal of the city). “The entire circuit of the wall which went round the outermost one they covered with a coating of brass, and the circuit of the next wall they coated with tin, and the third, which encompassed the citadel flashed with the red light of orichalcum.”
The outer zone of the city was just over 9 km (50 stadia) from the sea. There can be no doubt, however, that such cities were built all over the plain and that many Atlanteans managed to hold out until Regio Patalis was flooded as well.
Figure 19. The capital city of Atlantis37
Regio Patalis (Figure 20, from Schöner’s 1533 globe) is almost invariably translated as the Region of Patala, Patala being the name of an ancient city at the mouth of the Indus river in Pakistan. However, the language used on most of the ancient maps appears to be Latin, and the Latin word ‘patalis’ means ‘broad-horned’, typically used in conjunction with the word ‘bos’, meaning ox or bull38. Regio Patalis was therefore the region of the broad-horn bulls, certainly referring to cattle in general. Atlantis was known for its bull-worship, a form of religion that had also manifested itself in ancient Egypt.
Figure 20. Regio Patalis – Region of the Broad-horned Bulls
Regio Patalis was by itself a small continent and one can imagine herds of cattle numbering tens of millions grazing its lush pastures, similar to the North American bison, enough to feed millions of people. Regio Patalis therefore provides another probable link between Terra Australis Incognita and Atlantis. When Regio Patalis became flooded, cattle, the principal source of food of the Atlanteans, also disappeared. The flooding of the plain and Regio Patalis would explain why the otherwise peaceful Atlanteans resolved to attack Europe and Asia – their homeland was steadily being swallowed up by the sea. They simply had to find an alternative place to live, as they had run out of living space as well as their source of food.
Taking a closer look at the central plain, the shape of the plain is indeed oblong with a length-to-width ratio of 3:2 as described by Plato (Figure 21). One can also visualize that the ‘circles’ of sea mentioned by Plato most likely refers to the encroaching sea meandering across the plain and systematically encircling all the high lying areas.
Figure 21. A 3:2 rectangle superimposed upon the plains of Schöner’s 1515 map of Terra Australis and the Vatican map (note again the mountains surrounding the plain)
4. Terra Australis on the ocean floor ↑
Terra Australis as a continuous landmass is located around the South Pole and it is almost invariably shown to be close to the Indonesian island group (cf. Figure 15). NASA’s shallow topography map of the southern hemisphere in azimuthal projection was offset with respect to the South Pole (placed at latitude -70° instead of 90°, along longitude 120°), in order to best match the continents and islands of Schöner’s 1515 map. This is shown in Figure 22, from which we can see that the end points of Schöner’s map must represent Australia and New Zealand, respectively, and that Antarctica must also have formed part of Terra Australis (part of its mountain range).
Looking at NASA’s Shallow Topography map of Australia and New Zealand (Figure 23), one can indeed see a possible correlation with Australia at one end, but not necessarily so with New Zealand.
Figure 22. Schöner’s 1515 map compared to NASA’s offset shallow topography map
Figure 23. NASA Shallow Topography map of Australia and New Zealand
However, if we look at NASA’s bathymetry map of the same region (Figure 24), one is immediately struck by the close correlation between the end points of the C-shaped Terra Australis of Schöner’s map and not only Australia (discovered in 160639 by the Dutch), with Tasmania, but also New Zealand (discovered by Europeans in 164240) when its submarine part is included. Note that Tasmania appears as part of Australia on Schöner’s map, again suggesting that Australia must have been significantly higher above sea level than it is at present. It would be nearly impossible for anyone to guess what the submarine topography of New Zealand looks like by merely looking at its above-sea level topography. Yet, the ancient cartographers, or at least some of them, had an incredibly accurate idea of what it looked like (a bit like a horse’s head)! The ‘’plateau’ on which New Zealand rests (the white part in Figure 25) appears to be on average about 130 m below sea level, and very rapidly plunges to 7,000 m below sea level and deeper. It will be shown next how the lake in the middle of Australia was created. It closely matches the size and position of the lake on Schöner’s map.
Figure 24. End points of C-shaped Terra Australis compared to Australia and New Zealand on NASA’s bathymetry (submarine topography) map
(a) NASA bathymetry map / (b) New Zealand Regional Bathymetry41
Figure 25. Submarine topography of New Zealand
Also visible on the NASA bathymetry map is the high-lying submarine region called Regio Patalis on some maps of Terra Australis (e.g. Schöner’s 1533 globe) which connects Australia and New Zealand (cf. Figure 24) . If the entire region had once been above sea level, it would match the ring-shaped continent (Vatican map) shown in Figures 13 and 17.
Figure 26. The Lake Eyre Basin in Australia
In order to establish whether a massive lake might have existed there had Australia received sufficient rainfall, I digitally filled up the Lake Eyre Basin area on the NASA topography map of Australia in Figure 26 (right) until it overflowed, as shown in as shown in Figure 27. This resulted in a huge lake corresponding in size and location of the Terra Australis lake (Figure 28), which I then overlaid onto a Geoscience bathymetry map of Australia44 as this map had the best bathymetry data of Australia that I could find. The Geoscience map was only available in Lambert conical conformal projection, which had to be converted to Mercator projection to match that of the NASA topography map. The dark blue areas in the corners of Figure 28 are not covered in the original Geoscience map and hence cannot be converted to the Mercator projection map. The lake on Schöner’s 1515 map is incidentally inscribed as “the lake in the mountains”, which could either mean that the lake was literally formed by a circle of mountains (which is not really the case), or more likely that the entire region surrounding the lake was considered to be part of a mountain range. This would have been the case if the inhabited central plain on the medieval maps had been 7,000 m above its present level. In other words, before Atlantis ‘sank beneath the ocean’, Australia would have been more than 7,000 m higher than it is today. Note that on Schöner’s 1515 map (insert) Tasmania still forms part of Australia.
The digitally created lake overflows in Australia’s Spencer Gulf and the submarine canyons on the edge of the continental shelf plunge to the ocean floor 7,000 m below sea level. As stated, the reason for choosing this particular seabed profile (the Geoscience map) is the high resolution in which it is presented, as shown in Figure 28. The most prominent feature of the graded slope between the Australian continent and the ocean floor ±7,000 m below is the presence of numerous submarine canyons. As shown in Figure 29, the canyons at the mouth of the Spencer Gulf canyon (region A) are more concentrated and significantly deeper than those further away to the sides (regions B and C), suggesting the presence of a sloped waterfall of incredible proportions, the overflow of the lake. Other areas of the continental shelf display similar canyons as can be seen on the insert in Figure 29 - this represents the top left corner of Figure 28.
Figure 27. ‘Lake’ being filled up until flow-over occurs
Figure 28. Digitally filled lake which would exist should Australia receive continuous, pouring rain
Figure 29. Canyons formed by water rushing downward from the central lake to the plain below
Figure 3045 depicts a 3D bathymetric view of western Australia, emphasizing the steep, sometimes near vertical, continental slopes. Plato described Atlantis as having numerous lakes and rivers in the mountains and that a ditch or canal had to be dug around (parts of) the plain to receive the streams coming down the mountain, to channel the water to the sea. One can visualise the streams that would have been rushing down these steep slopes, especially from ‘the lake in the mountains’, if the region had been exposed to intense and continuous rainfall for hundreds or thousands of years. Note that the Indonesian islands, as depicted in Figure 30, also have extremely steep edges, which means that Mercator’s map most likely shows these islands as they would have looked like raised 7,000 m higher than they are today. The ridge between eastern Australia and New Zealand, raised by 7,000 m, would have formed part of the initial mountain range which surrounded the plain.
Figure 30. 3D bathymetric view of western Australia
Given the lack of accurate measurement instruments at the time, we can, with a little bit of imagination, see a surprising correlation between NASA’s bathymetry map, Schöner’s 1515 map and Mercator’s somewhat distorted 1569 map, in azimuthal projection (Figure 31). For example, with A representing Australia, the Indonesian Island Group, including New Guinea, is spread out too far in longitude and New Guinea is also being disproportionately large on Mercator’s map. Yet, B on all three maps must certainly represent Regio Patalis as shown on Schöner’s 1533 map and the Vatican map, C New Zealand, D the channel between Antarctica and South America and E the area between Africa and Australia, of which some submarine islands are visible on NASA’s bathymetry map. The islands and high-lying submarine areas in region E, together with the mid-ocean ridge that runs through that area, may very well have formed the western part of the ‘ring of mountains’ that surrounded the plain (Schöner’s 1533 map and the Vatican map).
Figure 31. Comparison between the azimuthal projection maps of NASA’s southern hemisphere bathymetry map, Schöner’s 1515 and Mercator’s 1569 maps
That the southern region of the earth was indeed more than 7,000 m higher sometime in the recent past, and by implication that maps of this region must have existed, is suggested by the 1570 world maps of Ortelius and Mercator (1569), which both show a curious bulge of the western coast of South America. This bulge is usually merely regarded as part of the ingenuity of the early cartographers, but as shown in Figure 32, there is a matching ‘bulge’ or mountain range on the ocean floor. What on earth would have possessed Mercator to draw this curious shape, unless he had access to ancient maps depicting the region before it ‘sank’? This mountain range may have represented the border of a specific nation or people, which may be the reason why the mountains to the west have been ignored.
Figure 32. Mercator’s 1569 World Map with South America’s west coast bulge on the ocean floor
Another anomaly on Mercator’s map (Figure 33) is that on his map all the seamounts in the Vitória-Trindade Chain off the eastern coast of Brazil are shown as above-sea level islands, whereas presently only the Trindade and Martin Vaz archipelago appears above sea level. The depth of the below-sea level seamounts varies from about 10 – 110 m and they would probably have been at least a couple of hundred metres above sea level before the impact. From Mercator’s map it is clear that the Abrolhos Bank was dotted with numerous above-sea level islets. It should also be noted that one would probably not be able to distinguish the top of a seamount deeper than 20 m, and even if you could, why would they have been depicted as above-sea level islands on the map? Only if they actually existed sometime in our not-too-distant past.
Figure 33. Vitória‐Trindade Chain (Ridge) as presented by Mercator (top), NASA shallow topography (centre) and AGU46(bottom): A=Abrolhos Bank, B= Vitória, Montague & Jaseur seamounts, C=Davis & Dogaressa seamounts, D=Columbia Seamount, E=Trindade & Martin Vaz islands
Figure 34. Tilting of South American continent
To conclude this chapter, we can now see that skeletal remains of Atlantis have indeed remained, as shown in Figure 35. As will be discussed below, the shape of Antarctica where it faces South America would have changed when the earth was hit by a massive comet right in the middle of the strait between Terra Australis and South America as shown on practically all of the medieval maps, and it would have been 7,000 metres higher than at present.
Figure 35. The ‘skeletal remains’ of Atlantis, shown in red
5. Evidence of maps pre-dating the Age of Discovery ↑
In this chapter I will present additional proof that quite detailed maps of the world must have existed prior to the age of discovery, which began in the early 15th century when Europeans began exploring the world by sea in search of new trading routes, wealth, and knowledge. It may be an opportune time to first take a look at some of the oldest maps of the world that we know of.
The lakes in the middle of the Sahara Desert ↑
Perhaps the best argument for the existence of an “Atlantis” is the fact that a civilization once existed which knew a world that in some areas is completely different from ours. The Sahara Desert experienced high levels of rainfall 5,000 to 10,000 years ago, and
“a vast lake covered the region, and a whole network of lakes and Neolithic fishermen occupied the Sahara.”47
These conclusions are based on eroding fragments of lake sediments found in the heart of the Sahara that contain the skeletons of fish and crocodile bones. Figure 36 (top, Mercator’s 1569 map) shows two huge lakes and numerous rivers in the middle of the Sahara Desert. On NASA’s satellite image of the Sahara Desert (bottom) is shown what appears to be a lake corresponding to Mercator’s eastern lakes (encircled, with water). There is, in fact, a permanent group of lakes in that area, called the lakes of Ounianga in Chad. They are sustained by underground aquifers and not rainfall. These lakes formed part of a much larger lake that existed during the “Green Sahara” period, estimated to have existed from 7500 – 3000 BCE.
The other lake on Mercator’s map is shown enlarged in Figure 37 (top). This lake would have disappeared probably around 3000 BCE at the latest (5,000 years ago), if not millennia earlier. Mercator’s map is quite accurate not only in terms of the location and relative size of the lake (calculated to be about 140 km wide on Mercator’s map, based on the distance between the Strait of Gibraltar in the west and the Gulf of Tunis in the east on his map and the actual distance) and perhaps an optimistic 260 km on my NASA guesstimate), but also the location of the rivers that fed it (centre, coloured blue by me). The speculative map (partial)48 at the bottom depicts Mercator’s lake in more or less the same position as mine. All that remains today are dry riverbeds. Where did Mercator get his information from? He most certainly must have had access to ancient maps on which these lakes had been recorded. Who were these mapmakers? Neolithic humans who had only just mastered stone tools? These mapmakers would have possessed a method to record latitude and longitude, otherwise it would have been nearly impossible to map an entire continent, let alone the whole world.
Figure 36. Sahara Desert lakes on Mercator’s 1569 map and NASA satellite images
Figure 37. Rivers and lake in the middle of the Sahara Desert on Mercator’s 1569 map
It should be noted that Ortelius also shows lakes in the Sahara Desert on his maps, at more or less the same locations. On his world map of 1570 CE there are only two main lakes (Figure 38, top), while his more detailed map of Africa (Figure 38, bottom) shows many more lakes and rivers in the Sahara Desert, as may be expected for the Green Sahara period. Where did he obtain this information from? Pure guesswork?
Figure 38. Sahara Desert on Ortelius’s world map (1570, top) and his map of Africa (1571, bottom)
It will next be demonstrated that many of the discoveries by explorers from the late 15th century onwards, were not discoveries in the sense that these explorers had no idea of what they may find, but rather that they must have had existing maps, though probably ancient and relatively inaccurate, to guide them there.
Possibly the clearest indication that 'all is not well' is for example the completely-by-chance discovery of the island Trinstan du Cunha. Before delving into the history of this discovery, we must first take a look at the practicalities of the early exploration of the oceans, particularly during the early 1500s.
A scientific approach to how far the human eye can distinguish objects ↑
First of all, I will attempt to give the reader a scientific understanding of just how far away a person with perfect vision can still see another person (let’s say his twin) under perfectly clear conditions, on a perfectly flat surface (the curvature of the earth ignored for the moment), as depicted in Figure 39. The same mathematics can then be used to determine at what distance a person can reliably distinguish for instance a building or a mountain.
Figure 39. An observer looking at his twin on opposite side of a projection screen
Let us assume that the observer is 6 feet or 182.88 cm tall (his height is defined as H cm above the ground) and his eyes are a distance E above ground, approximately 170.55 cm in this example. The distance between his eyes and the top of his head is denoted by T, where T=H-E. Since they are twins, their eye level will be parallel to the ground. To the observer the top of his twin’s head will be α ° above eye level and his toes β ° below eye level. His eyes and toes are strictly speaking not 100% vertically aligned, but the difference is so small that it will cause a negligible error in the calculations. The full vertical field-of-view required to see his twin accordingly is α ° + β °. The observer is a distance D1 left of the projection screen and his twin a distance D2 to the right of the screen. The difference between the points A and B represents the height of the projection his twin would make on the screen, or in other words, the size of the hole that would have to be cut in the screen to see his twin from head to toe. The problem can be simplified somewhat by taking a photograph of his twin and sticking a life-sized copy of it onto a piece of hardboard (the orange line in Figure 39). The twin’s exact profile is then cut out and what remains is a life-sized hardboard copy of himself. For best optical contrast, we will use a white screen and paint that hardboard copy black.
The mathematics required to determine the height of the twin’s projection is straightforward.
α = atan( T/(D1+D2) ) A = E+D1*tan(α )
β = atan( E/(D1+D2) ) B = E-D1*tan(β )
Projection Height PH = A – B
Table 1 demonstrates how the height of the projection changes with distance D2. Note that when D2=0, the hardboard copy is right against the screen and the projection height will therefore also be 182.88 cm. In this example D1 will remain constant at D1=1m.
Table 1. Projection height as a function of distance D2
From Table 1 we can see that we can easily spot our twin at a distance of D1+D2=101 m (an 18 mm high figure on a white screen 1m from us), and also fairly easily at 1 km (like a 2 mm black ant against a white wall 1m from us). However, at 10 km the projection is only about 0.2 mm high, which is roughly four times the average width of a human hair (50 μm). Keeping in mind that this represents the height of the person and that his width is much less, he may now be difficult to spot. Figure 40 portrays what the actual projection will look like for the distances shown in Figure 39. Note that the eyes are always aligned. Keep in mind that this example assumes optimum contrast (black on white) and perfect visibility (no dust, mist, smoke or the like in the air). If the screen (background) is not white, but let’s say a photograph of the countryside with trees and bushes, and the person is not wearing pitch black clothing, his detectability will be significantly reduced. Note that we can apply the equations above to buildings and mountains as well, by simply assigning their height above ground level to H. The peak of the island Tristan du Cunha is 2062 m above sea level, but if we for the moment again ignore the curvature of the earth and paint the island black, its projection on our white screen for D2=100 km will be 2.1 cm high, which will be clearly visible.
Figure 40. Human projection49 at eye level decreasing in size with increase in distance
As a matter of interest, a telescope with 10x optical magnification would effectively make the projection on the screen 10x bigger. However, the concepts of the telescope and binoculars were first introduced in the early 1600s50, still long (centuries?) before their designs had been refined enough to become generally available. None of the medieval maritime explorers would have had an optical magnification instrument of any kind at their disposal.
The purely by-chance discovery of Tristan da Cunha ↑
The Tristan da Cunha archipelago comprises the islands of Tristan da Cunha51 (diameter of about 11 km, 98 km2 and a peak in its centre of 2062 m above sea level, Figure 41), Inaccessible Island52 (about 40 km SW of it – Google Earth, highest peak 449 m and area 12.65 km2) and Nightingale Island53 (40 km SSW of it – Google Earth, highest peak 370 m, area 3.2 km2) .
Figure 41. Tristan da Cunha, Google Earth (top) and aerial view (bottom)54
It was an island really in the middle of nowhere (Figure 42) discovered in 1506 CE by the Portuguese explorer Tristao da Cunha55. He could, however, not land on the island due to rough seas. Da Cunha was appointed commander of a fleet of 15 ships sent to the east coast of Africa, on a mission to conquer Socotra, an island just off the tip of the horn of Africa, and build a fortress there, hoping to control trade in the Red Sea. As quoted by MacKay from The Commentaries of the Great Alfonso Dalboquerque 56, his fleet was fitted out at Belem, the ancient port of the capital on the river Tagus, from where they eventually departed to the Cape of Augustine on the Brazilian coast. Da Cunha was allowed to sail in his personal trading vessel, which was not as stable as his fleet of caravels and could, due to adverse conditions, not round the cape. Consequently, the admiral opted to cross the ocean back to Guinea in Africa. However, to regain the time they had lost, when they were near Ascension Island (why there - Guinea is almost 2000 km to the north of this Island, and why did they not land at the island to restock provisions?) they decided to sail south on the 'usual route' toward the Westerlies (the prevailing winds from the west toward the east in the middle latitudes between 30 and 60 degrees latitude in the Southern hemisphere, discovered by the Dutch explorer Hendrick Bouwer a hundred years later in 1610!).
Figure 42. The island in the middle of nowhere
Along the way,
“when they were all in their course for doubling the Cape of Good Hope, as the morning broke they came in sight of land very extensive and very beautiful. When Alfonso Dalborquerque saw it, he went and spoke with the Admiral, and told him that since it had not yet been discovered, they ought to make for it and know what land it was. … and when the evening came … This land proved to be some islands, to which they gave the name of ‘Tristao da Cunha,’ as he was the first to discover them.”
The journey described above is depicted Figure 43, but it will be shown that it would have been extremely fortuitous, if not nearly impossible, for his fleet to simply have stumbled upon the island. Da Cunha’s private trading ship would probably have been somewhat smaller than his fleet of caravels, which in turn would have been smaller than the carracks also in use at the time. In lieu of the lack of a more detailed description of Da Cunha’s fleet, I will assume it to have been the same as Columbus’s famous flagship, a carrack known as the Santa Maria (Figure 44).
Figure 43. Da Cunha’s route to his island, according to Dalboquerque
Figure 44. Christopher Columbus’s flagship the Santa Maria
The typical carrack of that time would have had masts with a crow’s nest at a height of about 12 to 20 (?) m above sea level. The blueprints of the Santa Maria had not survived and most drawings were based on descriptions of the ship. Comparing various depictions of the Santa Maria, I calculated a height of roughly 14 m from the waterline to the top rail of the crow’s nest. I allowed a further 40 cm to the eyes of the lookout, who would have been resting his elbows on the rail for stability. One now needs to determine how far a person with good eyesight would have been able to spot an island beyond the horizon, a problem similar to the modern concept of a ‘radar horizon’57, or line-of-sight visual detection.
The geometry of the problem is shown in Figure 45. Here we have a sailing ship with an observer height of Ho metres above sea level, trying to spot a target (island) of height Ht metres above sea level. In the top figure the island is just about to appear in sight, and in the bottom figure, h metres of the total height above sea level has now become visible. The lookout will, however, only see a projection of T metres of h.
As the distance to the horizon will remain constant for the ship, even though it is approaching the island, the simplest way for analysing the problem is to keep the ship in its original position and move the island closer to the horizon.
Figure 45. Line-of-sight horizon for detecting a target (island) from a sailing ship
The mathematics of this problem is again relatively simple. The radius R of the earth is approximately 6,378,137 m, and assuming that the earth is a perfectly round ball, we find from Pythagoras’s equation
Do2 + R2 = (R + Ho)2, or Do = (2*Ho*R+Ho2)0.5
As discussed above, for a sailing ship like the Santa Maria the eyes of the lookout in the crow’s nest would probably have been about 14.4 m above sea level (Ho). For Ho=14.4 m and R=6,378,137 m (the earth’s equatorial radius), we have Do=13.553 km and likewise for Tristan da Cunha’s height Ht=2,062 m, we find Dt=162.196 km. The total distance from the lookout to the tip of the island will therefore be Dtot = Do + Dt = 175.749 km. At this distance the lookout will only just not be able to see the tip of the island.
As the ship gets closer to the island, the tip will gradually become more visible by an ever-increasing height of h metres, and the effective above-sea-level height of the island (i.e. to the horizon) will become Ht’ = Ht-h. With the angle θ’° as defined in Figure 45, the relevant equations become
θ’ = acos( R/(R+Ht’) )
Dt’ = R * tan(θ’)
T = h * cos(θ’)
Dt’ = (2*Ht’*R+Ht’2)0.5
Dtot’ = Do + Dt’ .
Table 2. Projection height as a function of over-the-horizon distance
A few observations from Table 2. As calculated above, when the tip of the island is just below the horizon, the distance between the lookout and the tip of the island just before it appears is 175,749.7 m. Since the radius of the earth is vastly greater than the distances between the ship and the island, the projected height T is always nearly the same as h. When approximately half of the tip of the mountain is visible (1000 m), the projection on the white screen 1 m in front of the lookout will be 7.69 mm. Taking the real world into account, namely a greyish mountain against a blue sea and a possibly clouded sky, it may practically be invisible to the lookout. When the tip of the mountain is precisely on the horizon, the distance to it will be Do, or 13,553 m. By that time the shoreline of the circular island will already be about 13,553 – 11,000/2 = 8,053 m from the ship, within full view of the lookout.
Furthermore, how easily would the island have been spotted, given that it could only be observed during 12 hours of a 24-hour day (actually less, as visibility is reduced during dusk and dawn), and that rain or mist or any haziness on the horizon would drastically reduce the line of sight? And the lookout would have had to be fully alert all the time, constantly scanning at least the forward 180° sector, with the ship constantly rolling and pitching as well.
Finally, if we assume that the flotilla passed the island when only 1,000 m of the tip was visible, they would under ideal circumstances have been able to spot it at a distance of about 130 km. The distance from Ascension Island is 3,200 km, so they would have had to stay on course within 2.3° over 3,200 km, assuming that they knew where they were heading to. If they had just taken an arbitrary southern course, turning south at an arbitrary point en route to Ascension Island, and they still managed to sail directly into the da Cunha archipelago, it would almost be like winning the lotto with the very first ticket you ever bought. However, if Atlantis had indeed existed and had conducted maritime trade with countries all over the world, they would most certainly have crisscrossed the oceans and mapped them in the finest detail. In other words, I have no doubt that da Cunha knew about the existence of this island and also had good information about where to locate it.
6. Turbidity currents – sometimes absurdity currents? ↑
Digressing for a moment, when I first introduced my theory on the web, I was quickly and very sarcastically asked whether all submarine canyons around the world had then also been 7,000 m above its present level 11,600 years ago, which is of course absurd. The submarine canyons along the continental shelf of Australia could in my opinion only have been carved out over millions of years by free-flowing water running from the continental shelf down to the fabled plain 7,000 m below, meaning that the entire Terra Australis had once been above water. The modern theory is that the submarine canyons were formed through the turbidity currents58,
“A submarine canyon is a steep-sided valley cut into the seabed of the continental slope, sometimes extending well onto the continental shelf, having nearly vertical walls, and occasionally having canyon wall heights of up to 5 km, from canyon floor to canyon rim, as with the Great Bahama Canyon. Just as above-sea-level canyons serve as channels for the flow of water across land, submarine canyons serve as channels for the flow of turbidity currents across the seafloor. Turbidity currents are flows of dense, sediment laden waters that are supplied by rivers, or generated on the seabed by storms, submarine landslides, earthquakes, and other soil disturbances. Turbidity currents travel down slope at great speed (as much as 70 km/h), eroding the continental slope and finally depositing sediment onto the abyssal plain, where the particles settle out.”
Figure 46. Formation of submarine canyons by turbidity currents61
There is no question that turbidity currents do appear in nature, but it is unlikely that these currents would have been able to carve the immense submarine canyons on the Australian continental shelf. As an example, a submarine canyon runs down New Zealand’s Bounty Trough (Figure 47) and this canyon was supposedly also carved by turbidity currents. The canyon is about 900 km long and ends at a depth of about 7 km. This gives an average slope of only 0.4°, and we are expected to accept that the turbidite deposits kept on rolling and carving into the ocean floor for 900 km, amidst ocean cross-currents and over an almost level surface! The turbidity currents will lose speed as the depth increases and the heavier, abrasive particles will be deposited near the continental shelf. Other forms of sedimentary erosion do exist62, but that they can form such long and slightly sloped canyons must be equally unlikely. The only logical explanation is that this canyon must have been formed by a river cutting through the rock of the Bounty Trough, like for instance the Grand Canyon, which was cut by the Colorado River in Arizona, United States. In other words, it must have been formed by free-flowing water when that specific area was above sea level.
Figure 47. Submarine canyon of 900 km running down New Zealand’s Bounty Trough
An even better example disproving the theory that turbidity currents formed the submarine canyons all around the world is given by the Agadir canyon on the west coast of Africa, as shown in Figure 48. Here it is assumed that turbidity currents not only formed this majestic canyon, but that it also continued to 'flow' across hundreds of kilometres of ocean floor of which the gradient is a fraction of a degree, at a depth of more than 4000 m, most notably the Agadir basin and the Madeira abyssal plain.
Figure 48. Topography of the Agadir submarine canyon63
Only free-flowing water carrying minute particles could have deposited the finest of sand particles over such a wide and flat area that far from the continental shelf.
Initially I had no explanation as to how the submarine canyons around the world could have been formed by free-flowing water, rather than turbidity currents. In my Atlantis theory I propose that the crust of the earth, only in the region of Antarctica, Australia and the southern and western parts of South America, must have been at least 7,000 m (as a rounded number) higher before the impact of a comet forced it downward underneath the sea. Apart from the associated flood, the rest of the world would not have suffered similar consequences. So, if I reject the turbidity current theory (in my opinion it is absurd in the case of the Bounty Trough and even more so in the case of the Agadir Canyon, where turbidity currents are supposed to have carried landslide debris underwater over the ocean floor for close to 1,200 km at an average slope of less than 0.1°), but cannot explain how submarine canyons elsewhere were formed, does it automatically dismiss my Terra Australis theory?
I simply had no answer until it eventually dawned upon me that the answer may indeed be that all submarine canyons around the world were once above sea level, or at least, sea level as we understand it today. That time would have been when the surface of the earth was still too hot for any water to accumulate on its lower surfaces. All the water of the ocean would effectively have existed in the atmosphere, with a cycle of a billion or billions of years during which water vapour condensed in the upper atmosphere, fell down to the earth in the form of rain, which then formed sand particles when it came into contact with the red hot lava everywhere. Water which did not evaporate ran down the edges of the continental shelves while cutting deep canyons in it, and being evaporated again when it reached the terrifically hot ocean floor (see Figure 49). This would have continued until the crust of the earth had cooled down sufficiently for the oceans to begin forming. In the end most of the water in the atmosphere condensed and the oceans were flooded, covering the canyons cut into the continental shelves hundreds of millions of years earlier, and leaving on the ocean floor billions upon billions of tons of sand. Sand in the ocean would of course also have been created when rain initially poured down directly in those areas.
This mechanism would most likely also have led to the formation of the sand that form the earth’s deserts like the Great Basin Desert (492,000 km2, USA), the Syrian Desert (520,000 km2, Syria), the Patagonian Desert (620,000 km2, Argentina), the Great Victoria Desert (647,000 km2, Australia), the Kalahari Desert (900,000 km2, Southern Africa), the Gobi Desert (1,295,000 km2, northwestern and northern China, as well as southern Mongolia), the Arabian Desert (2,330,000 km2, the Arabian Peninsula), the Sahara Desert (9,000,000 km2, North Africa, and the two ‘cold’ deserts of the Arctic (13,985,000 km2) and Antarctica (14,000,000 km2). Are we expected to believe that all the sand in these deserts was formed by rivers or simply temperature variation between night and day? In my opinion it could only have been formed by rain falling on the large patches of red-hot lava that had already begun congealing to form the continents and rocks.
Figure 49. Suggested formation of submarine canyons in continental shelves all around the world, billions of years ago
As I am not a geologist, I would much appreciate the opinion of experts in the field of submarine geology on this new hypothesis. Has it ever been considered or proposed elsewhere as the forming agent of submarine canyons around the world? If not, how would they explain the formation of the Bounty Trough and Agadir submarine canyons, where turbidity currents very clearly could not have formed them, but only free-running water?
7. The size of Atlantis ↑
A key question that needs to be answered is whether the size of Terra Australis matches Plato’s description of Atlantis,
“… and there was an island situated in front of the straits which you call the Columns of Heracles (the Strait of Gibraltar, known as the Pillars of Hercules): the island was larger than Libya and Asia put together”.
We have already identified Australia and New Zealand as the end-points of the C-shaped Terra Australis and because of its location, Antarctica would also be included. According to Herodotus64, ancient Libya and Asia were defined as shown in Figure 50. The corresponding area on Earth is shown in Figure 51, and the distance between the Strait of Gibraltar and North America in Figure 52.
Figure 50. The size of Libya and Asia together as defined by Herodotus
Figure 51. The size of Libya and Asia together – Google Earth
Figure 52. Distance between the Strait of Gibraltar and North America
It is clear that in the first instance Atlantis, being approximately 8,200 km wide, is too big for the 6,100 km gap between Europe and North America, and furthermore there are no signs of an Atlantis anywhere on the ocean floor in this gap, not to mention any ‘skeletal remains’. In other words, Plato’s location of Atlantis must be incorrect. It should be noted again that some scholars interpret Plato’s Asia as present-day Turkey, or Asia Minor, a name coined by the Christian historian Orosius (ca. 375-418 CE) in his work Seven Books of History Against the Pagans in 400 CE65, more than 800 years after Herodotus had defined ‘Asia’ (Figure 50). Even so, the width from Libya in the west to the eastern border of Turkey is about 3,000 km, which in the first instance may be difficult to fit into the 6,100 km gap as a distinct continent, and as stated, there are no identifiable geographical markers on the ocean floor and definitely no above-water ‘skeletal remains’ to be seen. So, Turkey was most definitely not Plato’s Asia. Plato's remark that "the whole region of the (is)land lies toward the south, and is sheltered from the north" does, in fact, suggest that Atlantis must have been south of the equator, i.e. Terra Australis Incognita on the medieval maps.
Assuming that Atlantis was indeed as large as defined by Herodotus, and that Australia, Antarctica and New Zealand formed part of Atlantis’s mountain range, a Google Earth look at both confirms that Atlantis was significantly larger than ancient Libya and Asia combined (Figure 53). The scale of the earth (its diameter) is the same in both images.
Finally, according to Plato, Atlantis’s plain measured roughly 2,000 x 3,000 stadia, a stade being about 185 m. The size of the plain would, therefore, have been roughly 370 x 555 km. This seems almost minute when compared to the plains shown by Schöner’s maps and the Vatican map. Figure 54 compares Schöner’s 1515 map with the corresponding NASA bathymetry view of that area and the correlation between the two is quite remarkable.
Figure 53. The size of Herodotus’s Atlantis (left) compared to the proposed Terra Australis being Atlantis (right)
Figure 54. Schöner’s 1515 map compared to NASA bathymetry
The distance “2000” on NASA’s map represents about 3250 km (according to Google Earth, see Figure 55), but only 370 km according to Plato. However, if, for some reason, Plato (ca. 400 BCE) or the initial copiers of his work (cf. Cicero or Calcidius’s medieval Latin Timaeus translation), had confused ‘stadia’ with Roman miles (assuming one Roman mile to be 1.481 km, Rome was founded ca. 753 BCE – when was the Roman mile introduced?), 2,000 Roman miles would represent 2962 km (9% shorter than NASA’s). The distance “3000” on the NASA map represents 4,698 km (Google Earth), but only 555 km according to Plato. In Roman miles, 3,000 represents 4443 km, which is 5% shorter than the NASA distance. These differences can be easily explained.
First of all, we do not know when the Roman mile was first introduced and what its length at that time was. Furthermore, although the rectangles in Figure 54 indeed have 3:2 length-to-width ratios, I have drawn these perfect rectangles on azimuthal projections of the maps, thereby already introducing some error. I first drew the rectangle on Schöner’s map as a best fit to its ‘plain’, and then drew the best correlation to it on the NASA map. We do not know where exactly the plain would have been located on the continent, and neither did Plato. It was also certainly not perfectly rectangular. However, the magnitude of the error if Roman miles instead of stadia are used, is small enough to suggest that this was indeed a case.
Figure 55. Google Earth distances for the plain on NASA’s map
8. How myths reveal the way in which Atlantis “sank” ↑
According to Plato, Atlantis, along with the Greeks and therefore practically all forms of life except for those at really high altitudes, disappeared under the waters of the ocean within a single day. Is it possible for a continent of the size indicated in Figure 53 to sink 7 km below sea level in one day? Whereas tectonic plate movement, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions can cause tsunamis, these are invariably localized occurrences which most definitely could not ‘sink’ an entire continent, not to mention by 7 km! Some have even suggested “earth crust displacement”, originally proposed by Charles Hapgood in his The Earth's Shifting Crust (1958)66, as a possible cause of the Great Flood, but it had never been accepted by mainstream scientists. However, this theory was further propagated by the Flem-Aths in their book When The Sky Fell – In Search of Atlantis 67. They perhaps unwittingly refer to a legend which suggests the real cause of the ‘falling sky’. According to this legend, Ta-Wats, the hare-god, was scorched by the wayward sun-god Ta-vi. After several attempts the furious Ta-Wats managed to shoot the sun-god in the face with an arrow. The sun was “shivered” into a thousand fragments which fell to the earth, causing a general conflagration. Ta-Wats, while fleeing the burning earth, was consumed almost completely by the fire, with only his head surviving. His eyes, swollen with heat, burst and the tears gushed forth in a flood which spread over the earth and extinguished the fire. Surely, the thousand burning fragments which fell to Earth must have been the ‘falling sky’ they refer to, and as will discussed next, but the authors have a different opinion,
“The myth of the wayward sun can also be seen as a distant echo of the last earth crust displacement. As the ground shuddered beneath them it would have seemed to its shocked inhabitants that the sky, the sun and the stars were tumbling from their place in the heavens. The violent earthquakes caused by the displacement generated tidal waves that rolled across the ocean, smashing vulnerable coastlines.”
The sky, the sun and the stars would not have moved relative to each other, but only relative to the crust of the earth, assuming that it had indeed moved. So, the sky did not ‘fall’ anywhere on Earth in this manner, as suggested by the authors.
The above legend ends with a flood which extinguished the fire all over the world. There are numerous other legends which also relate the story of a burning earth, followed by a global flood, which must most certainly be the biblical Deluge68. Freund gives an excellent summary of some of these legends in his book Myths of Creation, Chapter 2, which is aptly named “FIRE AND DELUGE”69. I will quote a few and from the worldwide origins of the same legend the reader should quickly grasp what the magnitude, and probable cause, of this event must have been.
To begin with, the vast majority of scholars appears to regard myths in just about every facet of ancient history as pure fabrications, much like the novels we find on our bookshelves today. However, there are some, although few, who have a different view about myths in general, considering them to represent literal history. For example, Hans Belamy, who in Moons, Myths, and Man states (see Freund, p.25):
“Myths are not the work of imagination, but the result of interpreted observation. In them a great store of ancient and direct experience is laid up. They are fossil history: actual happenings which lie far beyond the reach of history proper. Generally, of course, they are clumsily and quaintly described, but always with simplicity and candor; and the reports are almost without exception literally true." In Bellamy's opinion, myths go much further back in man's past than any known human fossils. "Before man could write, his memory must have been very remarkable. Myths have been carried untold centuries - perhaps 'thousands of centuries.' The static character of early historical, and therefore also of prehistoric culture, would be very instrumental in this. It is the introduction of artificial memories, of books, that has given us a wrong idea of the storing and recording power of the human brain; it is the use of writing that has destroyed much of this most primitive and important capacity of man.”
At the very least, every myth should be investigated as possibly containing elements of truth, like every potential piece of evidence at a crime scene, and can only then be dismissed as either false or not relevant to a specific topic. This was exactly the approach I used and which turned out to be absolutely critical when I determined who the biblical Moses was and how the Exodus had unfolded in my book Thera and the Exodus70, and also who the person was who had become known as Jesus Christ, and what he had done to the Jews, in my book Barbelo - The Story of Jesus Christ 71.
In the case of the fire-and-flood myths, there are so many from all over the world, all telling more or less the same story, that it is impossible for those legends not to be based on an actual event, a global catastrophe.
To begin, herewith only a couple of examples, some briefly summarised, from Freund,
- According to some Australian aboriginals, Old Man Pundyil opened the door of the Sun; thereupon a stream of fire poured down upon mankind.
- The Eskimos tell a similar story. At the time of the great blaze, the waters of the Arctic Ocean became so hot that they finally evaporated.
- The Ipurinas, a tribe in northwestern Brazil, relate that long ago the Earth was overwhelmed by a hot flood. This took place when the Sun, a caldron of boiling water, tipped over.
- The Yurucaré, of Bolivia, say that Aymasuñe, the demon, was responsible for the fall of fire from heaven. Everything below died: bushes, creatures, the human race. Only one man, who had foreseen what might happen, had provided food and shelter for himself in a cave. When the fire hail began, he hid himself there. Now and then, to learn if the fire still raged, he held a long stick out of the mouth of his cave. … but the third time it was cool. … And then, the sole survivor, he beheld a dreadful sight. The whole forest was ashes, the rivers and springs had boiled away, the very mountains were blackened.
- In Hindu mythology, creation is destroyed at the end of each Kalpa, or day of Brahma, by flames belched forth from the fangs of Sesha, the serpent. Some savants have interpreted this as referring to the appearance of a blazing comet. In the ancient Babylonian epic, which describes the adventures of Gilgamesh of Erech, we learn of a fire rain spread by the Anunnaki, who rush across the heavens with their torches aloft. The Anunnaki are underworld spirits and might have escaped from spouting volcanoes.
- The Greeks have the famous fable of Phaëthon, Apollo's son, who extracted from his father a promise to let him drive the Chariot of the Sun. The youth could not hold the reins tightly enough and, zigzagging through the sky, scorching the constellations, almost destroyed our planet. Clouds vanished; Libya became a desert. The Nile, in terror, hid below the earth, where its head still is; the Ethiopians were blackened for all time. The molten landscape was changed; mountains were heated and burst into flame. Only the intervention of Zeus, toppling the unhappy Phaethon by a well-aimed thunderbolt, saved the world from a crisped end.
- The Washo Indians, in California, have a legend about a terrible volcanic upheaval. So great was the heat of the blazing mountains that the very stars melted and fell.
- In the Northern Urals, the nomadic Voguls recount the story of a holy fire flood which swept over the earth for seven years and consumed almost everything; it even charred the raft of the few men who survived. …
- In many of the stories, the world-wide blaze is caused by man's theft of fire from the gods. Maui, of the Maoris in New Zealand, was in need of it. His old blind grandmother advised him how he could steal it from Mahu-ika, the giant who guarded the flame. … Maui quickly cut off Mahu-ika's head and seized the precious flame, but it was new to him and got away and the world began to burn. … The Fire Thief jumped into the ocean, but even the salt water was boiling. He raised his voice to Ua, the Rain God, but in vain, … pleaded with Nganga the Sleet God; with the Storm Gods Apu-hau and Apu-matangi; he sought the help of the God of Hailstorms Whatu … Only when all the gods, joining together, let all their deluges pour down at the same time, was the world fire quenched.
- The Tuleyome Indians, of California, tell of Wekwek, the falcon, who stole fire but lost it from beneath his wings in flight. It set the world aflame.
- The Yana Indians, nearby, also have a fire-stealing myth; five men were sent to obtain the treasure, but on their way back the Coyote, who had offered to carry the fire, dropped it, and instantly it blazed around them. The rocks glowed with heat, the waters evaporated, a dense pall hung over everything, and the very existence of Earth was threatened.
Graham Hancock, in his famous (whether you agree with him or not) Fingerprints of the Gods72, also mentions more than 500 deluge legends being known around the world and, in a survey of 86 of these (20 Asiatic, 3 European, 7 African, 46 American and 10 from Australia and the Pacific), the specialist researcher Dr Richard Andree concluded that 62 were entirely independent of the Mesopotamian and Hebrew accounts. Of all the flood myths found around the world73, the most famous must certainly be Noah’s as described in Genesis 6-8, and it is worth quoting in part, from the New International Version translation:
More on the Nephilim and the ‘heroes of old, the men of renown’ later. It can certainly be no coincidence that we find an almost verbatim similar reason for the deluge in an unexpected source, Plato’s dialogues, about the fate of the Atlanteans. The appellation 'heroes of old, men of renown' certainly matches the description of the Atlanteans before they were forced to leave their homeland.
Final text of the excerpt from Plato’s dialogue with Critias:
Final text of the excerpt from Plato’s dialogue with Timaeus:
“They despised everything but virtue, not caring for their present state of life … (but later) they were filled with unrighteous avarice and power. Zeus, the god of gods, who rules with law, and is able to see into such things, perceiving that an honorable race was in a most wretched state, and wanting to inflict punishment on them, that they might be chastened and improved, collected all the gods into his most holy habitation, … And when he had called them together he spake as follows: …” [Unfortunately, the remaining text of the excerpt has been lost].
So, in both instances, the Bible and Plato’s dialogues, we have a god who becomes infuriated by the wickedness of mankind and punishes them by means of (worldwide) flood. This also gives us an approximate date of the biblical flood, the date when Atlantis sank, ca. 9600 BCE.
Since the earth is billions of years old, the biblical and other creation myths must most certainly be based on the aftermath of the comet impact and the Great Flood, which respectively caused darkness over the entire planet and left mud everywhere after the flood waters had receded. This flood would have wiped out almost all forms of life on earth, including the Greeks in their low-lying country. According to the Bible, God warned Noah about the impending flood and Noah obediently built an Ark as instructed (as also recorded in various other flood myths from around the world). Torrential rain that lasted for 40 days supposedly brought the flood (there probably isn’t enough moisture in the atmosphere to raise the level of the ocean by 1 cm, should it all rain down on earth at the same instant) and only Noah and his family survived. The fact that Noah and the heroes in other flood myths were ‘warned’ precludes a flood caused by tectonic movement, as there is no way of knowing when a slip between two continental plates will occur. On the other hand, one can clearly see a comet approaching if it is close enough. It may also have been observed long before (for decades, centuries?) and depending on how long the Atlantean civilization had existed, it is possible that they may have been able to calculate the most likely time (and place?) of impact, like we can do today.
The composition of a typical comet is shown in Figure 5674. Comet nuclei are loose collections of ice, dust and small rocky particles, ranging from 100s of metres to tens of kilometres across. As a comet approaches the inner solar system, solar radiation causes the volatile materials within the comet to vaporize and stream out of the nucleus, carrying dust away with them. The streams of dust and gas form a huge, extremely tenuous atmosphere around the comet called the coma, and the force exerted on the coma by the radiation pressure of the Sun and solar wind cause a tail to form. The tail always points away from the sun75.
Figure 56. Composition of a comet
As an example, before it collided with Jupiter on July 16, 1994, Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 is believed to have orbited Jupiter with a period of about 2 years since the mid-1960s. It had an estimated initial diameter of about 5 km, but that it became fragmented on July 7, 1992, when it passed extremely close to Jupiter. Astronomers estimate that the visible fragments of SL9 ranged in size from a few hundred metres to two kilometres across. The largest fragment left a crater (a dark spot) on Jupiter over 12,000 km across. The collisions generated enormous waves that swept across Jupiter at speeds of 450 m/s and were observed for over two hours after the largest impacts76.
A flood myth from Scandinavia gives a description of the origin of the flood that supports the theory that the flood was caused by the impact of a comet77:
The stories of the Teutonic tribes of Scandinavia are vivid and describe terrifying events. The imagery of these legends emphasizes the size of the cataclysm. One such tale portrays the chaos of the world when the mighty wolf Fenrir shook himself loose from his bonds and "made the whole world tremble. The aged ash tree Yggdrasil [envisaged as the axis of the earth] was shaken from its roots to its topmost branches. Mountains crumbled or split from top to bottom …". Men "were driven from their hearths and the human race was swept from the surface of the earth. The earth itself was beginning to lose its shape. Already the stars were coming adrift from the sky and falling into the gaping void. Flames spurted from fissures in the rocks everywhere there was the hissing of steam. All living things, all plant life, were blotted out. … And now all the rivers, all the seas rose and overflowed. From every side waves lashed against waves. They swelled and boiled and slowly covered all things. The earth sank beneath the sea". Then slowly the earth emerged from the waves. Mountains rose anew … . Men also reappeared. … Enclosed in the wood itself of the ash tree Yggdrasil … the ancestors of a future race of men had escaped death."
Likewise, in the Epic of Gilgamesh flood myth78 we read,
His (Utnapishtim’s) relatives and craftsmen, and "all the beasts and animals of the field" boarded the boat. … The Annunnaki gods lit up the land with their lightning. The thunder god Adad rumbled in the cloud and storm gods Shullar and Hanish went over mountains and land. … Early in the morning at dawn a black cloud arose from the horizon. … There was stunned shock at Adad's deeds which turned everything to blackness. The land was shattered like a pot. … The flood and wind lasted six days and six nights, flattening the land. The sea calmed and the whirlwind and flood stopped. All day long there was quiet. All humans had turned to clay [i.e. drowned in the muddy flood waters]. … On the seventh day he released a dove that flew away, but came back to him [just like Noah’s]. He released a swallow, but it also came back to him. He released a raven which was able to eat and scratch, and did not circle back to the boat. He then sent his livestock out in various directions.
The impact of a comet with Earth would indeed have sent shock waves all over the planet, resulting in cracks in the crust of the earth and boiling water when these cracks became flooded. The mention of a black cloud having risen from the horizon suggests that the source of the blackness was a specific point on earth, like the eruption cloud of a volcano. Other legends also relate that the sky had moved, and the Scandinavian Flood Myth unequivocally states that the axis of the earth had moved (for all we know the precession of the earth may have been caused by the impact, although I would rahter suspect the culprit to be the comet or asteroid that caused the extinction of the dinosaurs). The falling stars match the South American legends in this respect, confirming that the earth had been hit by a celestial object. Above all, the Scandinavian legend confirms that the earth and (mud-covered) men emerged from the waters after the impact and that they had existed long before it had occurred. In other words, the Creation occurred after Noah’s Flood, and not the other way around.
The tail of a comet can be a million km long and always points away from the sun. It is possible that the Atlanteans had long observed the meteor shower which occurred every time the comet ever closer passed the earth and its tail passed through its atmosphere. They must have realized that the comet would eventually strike the earth and that they would then be forced to leave their motherland, hence the numerous ‘Noah and the Ark’ legends. Only in boats and ships in the middle of the vast oceans would they be safe, as the tsunami would form a giant wave in the middle of the ocean which their ships should be able to ride out. When a tsunami of that magnitude reached land, it would have caused total destruction almost everywhere.
If the earth had been struck by a comet big enough to knock a 7,000 m deep dent in its crust, which extinguished nearly all forms of life on earth, there must certainly be a crater or other evidence of such an impact. Furthermore, with Terra Australis having been identified as Atlantis, one would expect this impact to have occurred either on or near this continent. Figure 57 shows the passage between South America and Terra Australis as depicted on the world maps by Ortelius (1570, bottom insert), Mercator (1569, centre insert), Munster (1552, top left insert) and Finaeus (1532, top right insert). Note that all depict a bay called P. gra(n)de (encircled on the Mercator insert), which may have been an important landmark. Figure 58 shows a comparison of this passage between the one on Mercator’s 1569 map and the passage between present-day South America and Antarctica, the most likely comet impact zone (encircled).
Figure 57. Ortelius map showing a passage between South America and Terra Australis
Figure 58. Comet impact zone as suggested by medieval maps
Figure 59 depicts how such an impact may have occurred, when a comet hit the earth at a low angle, say 6°, right at the passage shown by Mercator and Ortelius, and then reflected off the surface of the earth and so forming the South Sandwich Islands. Immediately obvious is the fact that the narrow strait separating South America and Terra Australis on the medieval maps has been replaced by a huge gap approximately 800 km wide, the Drake Passage79.
Figure 59. Comet impact point – Google Earth
The yellow arrow in Figure 59 indicates the direction in which the momentum of the impact must have forced the tectonic plates on which the continents were resting, to keep on rotating.
Figure 60 shows a bathymetry image of South America and Antarctica. The red lines represent a probably 50 million-year-old mid-ocean ridge between the tectonic plates, which had been shattered like a crack in a vehicle’s windscreen. The yellow arrow indicates the direction into which the shattered sections were pulled, which is the direction from which the comet had struck the earth. The total lateral displacement between points A and B is about 1,700 km.
Figure 60. Fractures in the mid-ocean ridge and an 800 km wide comet impact point
Underneath the waters of the Drake Passage lies the Scotia Plate, more detailed images of which are shown in Figure 61. The Scotia Plate appears to represent the crater formed by an 800 km-wide comet striking the earth at a low angle from the west (one can distinguish the shattered ocean floor quite clearly), as also suggested by the southern tip of South America and the northern tip of Antarctica directly opposite, both having been dragged along in an eastern direction. This would then explain how an entire continent could ‘sink’ below the waters of the ocean in an instant. As noted before, the momentum created by the impact must have forced the tectonic plates to keep rotating as suggested by the shape of mountainous edges created by the impact, surrounding the plate. It is possible, but highly unlikely, that the comet had actually penetrated the crust of the earth. All forms of life on Earth would then most likely have been extinguished.
Figure 61. WorldSat and Google Earth images of the Scotia Plate
9. Ice core dating of Antarctica ↑
Probably the most important objection to my theory that Terra Australis was Atlantis must certainly be the results of ice core dating, specifically of the Antarctic ice sheet. The ice sheet has an average depth of about 2,160 m and a maximum depth of about 4,776 m80, as shown in Figure 62. Note the extremely steep slope of the Antarctic shelf on the eastern side, which would have been the side of the plain81.
Figure 62. Cross section of bedrock Antarctica and Greenland with its ice caps
Ice core data from Dome C in Antarctica suggest that the ice sheet may be up to 800,000 years old, but more a more recent drill core suggests an age of 2.7 million years82. Antarctica would have formed part of Terra Australis mountains and both drill cores should contain some evidence of a nearby comet impact 11,600 years ago. However, as it is today, Antarctica already is the continent with the highest mean average of 2,500 m above sea level83,84, and a highest peak (Mount Vinson) of 4,892 m above sea level85(cf. Figure 62). If we add 7,000 m to this, its altitude above sea level would be 11,892 m, just over 3,000 m higher than the highest mountain on Earth, Mount Everest (8,848 m above sea level)86. Its average height would have been 9,500 m above sea level, also higher than Mount Everest. At that altitude it is unlikely that the tsunami caused by the impact would have reached the part of the ice cap that is visible today, and it would also have been launched away from Antarctica, meaning it was formed just beyond Antarctica as the comet bounced off the face of the earth.
Regardless of whether sea water had washed over the ice pack or not, one might still expect to see some evidence of the dust in the atmosphere, which caused the ‘darkness’ during the creation legend, eventually descending back to Earth. This would have occurred round about the same time as the abrupt ending of the so-called Younger Dryas Period87 around 11,600 years ago, as shown in Figure 6388, “Measurements of oxygen isotopes from the GISP2 ice core suggest the ending of the Younger Dryas took place over just 40 to 50 years in three discrete steps, each lasting five years. Other proxy data, such as dust concentration and snow accumulation, suggest an even more rapid transition, which would require about 7 °C (13 °F) of warming in just a few years. Total warming in Greenland was 10 ± 4 °C (18 ± 7 °F)”.
It is probably too much of a coincidence that this rapid warming occurred practically at the identical time of Plato’s sinking of Atlantis, and the cause of the rise in temperature has been preserved for us in the quoted legends about the Great Flood,
“The land was shattered like a pot.”
In several of the legends quoted earlier from Freund, the earth was literally on fire and the sea boiled, all indications that a comet had struck the earth. Its initial diameter may, in fact, have been substantially greater than 800 km, but it could have started breaking up into fragments when it entered the atmosphere of the earth. These fragments, along with its tail which could have entered the atmosphere first, would have been red hot themselves (the 'falling sky'), not to mention the fires they would have caused wherever they landed. On top of that, the lava from the fissures that appeared in the crust of the earth all around the globe would not only have set fire to plants and trees in its vicinity, but would by itself have released an immense amount of heat into the earth's atmosphere.
Figure 63. Younger Dryas period roughly 12,900 to 11,600 years ago
So, despite the atmosphere of the earth soon being filled with dust particles, blocking out the sun (the “pall” recorded in the Yana Indian myth, and the “darkness that covered the earth” in the biblical creation story), the heat from below was so immense that it very rapidly (within a couple of years or decades) brought an end to the Younger Dryas ice age. It may also explain why the ice cores do not show any significant traces of the dust in the atmosphere which I assume must have descended back to earth (if indeed they do not) – the top of the ice caps may simply have melted away during those ‘hot’ years.
10. The Re-Creation of the World ↑
The Bible (Genesis 1:1-31,2:1-3), along with numerous other texts from around the world, describes the creation of the world by God in specific phases. It will here be shown that this ‘creation’ of the world was merely the after-effect of, or the return-to-normal following the Great Flood which had wiped out millions of people and animals all around the world. Today we know that the earth is several billions of years old, and as will become clear, the ‘days’ of the Creation probably meant weeks, months or even years.
On day 1 after the impact: The raging ocean that covered everything was engulfed in total darkness (the atmosphere filled with dust from the worldwide seismic activity, and the flood waters having engulfed all land except the highest areas). Eventually the dust in the atmosphere began to diminish, allowing sunlight to break through.
On day 2 after the impact: The sky eventually appeared and probably because of it being blue during daytime, was considered to be the water above the dome which enclosed the earth. It was separated from the water below, which was the sea.
On day 3 after the impact: The flood waters began to recede back to the ocean and everywhere land became visible again, along with the plants and vegetation that were not swept away by the flood.
On day 4 after the impact: The atmosphere had now become clear enough for all celestial objects to become visible again, the sun, the moon and the stars.
On day 5 after the impact: Of all the land-based living creatures, birds, in their hundreds of millions, were the most likely to have survived the flood, as they were able to fly up into the air when the thundering waters approached. They could then settle on higher ground or drifting debris and uprooted trees, and were the first to return once the flood waters had receded. Most of the sea creatures would have survived the impact anyway, in the sea and also in the receding waters.
On day 6 after the impact: The majority of humans and land animals living near the coastlines and lower regions of the earth would have been drowned by the flood. The survivors of the flood in high-lying areas, including those on the Noah-boats, eventually began to migrate towards these areas again, animals and humans alike.
On day 7 after the impact: God “rested”, implying that from then onwards, life on earth slowly returned to the state it was in before the flood.
11. The Atlanteans and the Jews in Egypt ↑
If Atlantis had indeed existed as argued above, the question that remains is who exactly they were, and if any trace of the Plato’s surviving Atlanteans can be found. Since Atlantis itself has reportedly been swallowed up by the ocean, the next place to look for evidence of “Atlanteans” would be ancient Egypt, one of the places where, according to Plato’s legend, the Atlanteans had settled. Egyptian mythology dates back to the gods who ruled Egypt at the beginning of time – Ra89, who ruled all parts of the created world, the gods Osiris90 with his wife Isis91, his son Set (Seth)92 and several other deities. According to Tacitus93, during the reign of Isis, the superfluous population of Jews in Egypt ‘discharged themselves’ from Egypt under the leadership of Hierosolymus and Iuda (Greek renderings of the Hebrew words for Jerusalem and Jew, respectively) on the neighbouring lands. He is, therefore, stating that both Egypt and those particular neighbouring countries were under Jewish control. If this is true (why else would such a ridiculous legend have come into existence?), then chances are good that these “gods” would have been the Atlanteans who had settled in Egypt – those who perceived them as gods would have been the native Egyptian population.
In the last chapter of my book Thera and the Exodus I present a link between Abraham, the father of the Israelites, and the race referred to as the Giants, the Watchers and also the Nehphilim. It can be shown that Abraham, as ab-Ra-‘am, can be translated as father-Ra-of-the-people, or in other words, Abraham is synonymous with the Egyptian god Ra. Ra or Re in Hebrew means ‘to see’, so this Abraham must have been father-of-the-seeing-people, or the Watchers. This hypothesis is strengthened by a curious inscription on the 1593 De Jode map of Terra Australis Incognita94 (Figure 64), which appears to read “Chasdia (called) by others Land of Fire”. The area corresponds more or less to the same area, Terra del Fuega, on Ortelius’s 1570 world map (Figure 15). Thanks to the miracle of the Internet, it was not hard to find a connection to Chasdia. According to Genesis 11:27-31, Abraham came from the city Ur of Chaldea (Chasdim in Hebrew). The land of the Chasdim was also called Chasdia or Chusdia and significantly, according to Berosus, the land was governed by ten kings before the Flood95,96.
Bryant goes to great lengths to dispute this claim, but it matches the ten kings who ruled Atlantis according to Plato, and the De Jode map places Chasdia in Terra Australis Incognita. The ten kings of Atlantis also ruled Egypt and certain parts of Europe according to Plato, and their rule must have included the land of the Chaldeans. In other words, Abraham is linked unequivocally to the Atlanteans, and through the De Jode map to Terra Australis Incognita. It should be noted that this particular naming of Terra Australis (which includes Chasdia) appears to have originated from the French Arabic scholar Guillaume Postel, who named the continents of after the sons of Noah. Terra Australis was named Chasdia after the son of Cham (Africa), “For in that part of the coastline that has been discovered, men were seen of great blackness.”97 However, the fact both Chasdia and Atlantis were ruled by ten kings cannot be pure coincidence – there must be some ancient link between the two accounts.
Figure 64. De Jode Map of Terra Australis 1593
12. Adam, Eve and the Serpent in the Garden of Eden ↑
I used to be a very devout Christian up to my early 30s, but during the later years I had begun questioning many aspects of my faith (see the Preface to my book Barbelo – The Story of Jesus Christ ). The turning point came when I read the so-called prophecy in Isaiah 7:14, that the Messiah would be born from a virgin. However, the word translated as ‘virgin’ could also simply mean ‘young woman’, and from the rest of the text it is clear that Isaiah had a specific young woman in mind and that he later married her. She did bear him the son he predicted (see comments on Is. 7:16, The NIV Study Bible, 1985). There is not a single other ‘prophecy’ in the Old Testament about Christ being born from a virgin. It took me a couple of years of internal strife about my faith until I finally decided to turn my back on the Christian faith altogether. God, the Creator, was supposedly a spiritual being and I had therefore always assumed that Satan must also have been spiritual in nature, not a reddish, horned guy with a pointy tail.
My afterhours extracurricular career (my research into the origins of religion) was kick-started when a colleague and I were visiting a client abroad and while waiting to board our flight, I strolled into a bookshop as I often do. In there I came across and bought a copy of The New Complete Works of Josephus98, and out of curiosity (I knew nothing about him or his work at that stage), I started reading his Antiquities during the flight, right from the beginning (The Creation, of course). What really caught my attention was the following passage (Ant. 1.4 (50)),
… and (God) made him (the Serpent) an enemy to men; and suggested to them, that they should direct their strokes against his head, that being the place wherein lay his mischievous designs towards men, and it being easiest to take vengeance on him, that way.
This immediately suggested to me that as snakes do not have any intelligence capable of ‘mischievous designs towards men,’ the Serpent most likely was all human flesh and blood, with its head (brain) being the source of its intelligence. If so, I could perhaps contribute something new and controversial to the creation legend, and that’s where it all started. Somewhere in mid-air. I also realized shortly afterwards that since the Serpent was able to talk to Eve and was only afterwards changed into a reptile (an obvious conclusion by priests who recorded vague events that occurred thousands of years before), he must originally have been human too. The text also seems to imply a plural form of the Serpent, meaning “whenever you encounter a Serpent, kill him in this manner”, otherwise that particular individual Serpent could have been killed on the spot, end of story. So, who were the Serpents, and what did they do to antagonize the locals?
In this chapter I will present my interpretation of how “Adam and Eve” were created and just who the Serpents were. This aspect of biblical mythology, together with its link to the Egyptian gods, is not only a vast field of study but also a veritable minefield to step into. It is not crucial to my theory about Terra Australis being Atlantis, but a logical question that will always remain is what had become of the surviving Atlanteans, if any, and this is what I will attempt to answer.
Humans made from mud, clay and dust ↑
Following the creation of the earth, according to Genesis (1:26,27, NIV translation) “God created man in his own image, male and female he created them.” Genesis 2:7-23 relates how God created the man from the dust of the ground, breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. God then created the Garden of Eden and instructed the man to take care of it. Realizing that it was not good for man to be alone, he took a rib from the man, from which he created a woman as his companion. She is first named ‘Eve’ in Genesis 3:20, shortly before God expelled them from the Garden of Eden. The Hebrew word for ‘Adam’, according to The New Strong’s Expanded Dictionary of Bible Words99, ‘Adam (H#121), has the nearly identical spelling and pronunciation as H#119 (blush or turn rosy, be red) and H#120 (ruddy, i.e. human being). It is also similar to ‘adamah (H#127), which means soil, earth, ground or land. ‘Adam’ may then actually have meant ‘a human made of clay’. ‘Eve’ is spelled Chavvah in Hebrew (H#2332) and means 'life-giver'. According to Josephus her name "in the Hebrew tongue" was Issa (most likely from Strong’s H#802 – ‘ishshâh, which is the feminine form of H#376 – ‘iysh, meaning ‘a man as an individual or a male person’), i.e. ‘a woman’, but he then refers to her as Eve, “which signifies the mother of all living.”
This woman was looking for food one day when she was tempted by a 'snakeman' who told her a half-truth and caused her to betray her husband. The Creator '… knew what was going on … but, as always, he is so forgiving to all his creations'.
There are, of course, those who deny that this could be an original story and that it was probably derived from the Old Testament version. Yet, the mention of the Feathered Serpent coming from the sea (to be discussed later on) and the snakes (Serpents) who rebelled and were punished, are reminiscent of the biblical people and the Atlanteans who had become sinful and were punished by their god by means of a Flood, as discussed in Chapter 8. That Eve was created from Adam’s rib could also mean ‘from his side’, or perhaps (my interpretation), she-who-is-by-his-side (his companion), the two representing what was left of mankind in that area.
In line with my hypothesis that the Creation myth is actually a description of how the earth recovered after the flood (Chapter 9), the flood waters would have turned the ground into mud just about everywhere, and when it eventually retreated back to the ocean, the mud would have dried, turning into clay and then dust. That God created man from the dust of the ground simply means that the survivors of Atlantis who had taken refuge in ships on the open ocean before the flood, afterwards helped the surviving natives to ‘become human’ again, by almost literally washing the mud from them. The locals revered them as 'gods', who taught them how to survive where there was no food left, and so forth. More on this in The Seduction of Eve later.
As a matter of interest, Coleman, in his voluminous The Dictionary of Mythology – An A-Z of Themes, Legends, Myths and Heroes102, under ‘creation’ lists and briefly discusses numerous creation legends, 14 from Africa, 9 from Australia, 1 Basque, 1 Buddhist, 2 Cambodian, 6 from Central America, , 5 Chinese, 4 East Indian, 6 Egyptian, 1 Finnish, 4 Greek, 5 Hindu, 1 lengthy Japanese version, Jain and Korean versions, 4 Mesopotamian, 2 from New Zealand, 1 Norse, 25 North American, 5 Pacific Island myths, 2 Persian, 1 Phoenician, 4 Siberian, 8 South American and 1 from West India. Curiously, however, he never mentions any Jewish or Christian myths, and neither does he mention any biblical characters like Noah, Adam and Eve. Is this because he believes the biblical accounts to be true, or did he simply not want to offend present mainstream religions by including their accounts as ‘myths’?
Likewise, under ‘first humans’, Coleman lists and discusses 24 myths from Africa, 1 from Australia, 1 Balkan, 3 Burmese, 2 from Central America, 1 Chinese, 14 East Indian, 1 Egyptian, 4 Greek, 1 Hindi, 1 Indian, 3 Mesopotamian, 1 Mongolian, 3 from New Zealand, 1 Norse, 19 North American, 12 from the Pacific Islands, 3 Persian, 4 Siberian, 16 South American, 1 Taiwanese and 1 from the West Indies. Some mention only the name of the first man, while others mention the names of the first man and woman.
The Garden of Eden ↑
According to Genesis 2, God planted a garden in the east, in Eden, and he put Adam in it. A river watering the garden flowed from Eden; from there it was separated into four headwaters. The name of the first was the Pishon; it wound through the entire land of Havilah, where there was gold. … The name of the second river was the Gihon; it wound through the entire land of Cush. The name of the third river was the Tigris; it ran along the east side of Ashur, and the fourth river was the Euphrates (cf. Figure 65).
The location of the rivers Pishon and Gihon are not known, but Josephus does actually offer an explanation (Antiquities 1.1.3),
If the Garden of Eden stretched all the way from the so-called Fertile Crescent103 to the Ganges in India, it could only have been before or during the Green Sahara period, since the western zone around the Jordan and upper Euphrates rivers gave rise to the first known Neolithic farming settlements which date to around 9,000 BCE and prehistoric seedless figs were discovered at Gilgal I in the Jordan Valley, suggesting that fig trees were being planted some 11,400 years ago. ‘Adam and Eve’ must, therefore, have represented people and not two individuals, as it would have been impossible for the two of them to take care of such a vast area.
God planted trees in the Garden that were pleasing to the eye and trees good for fruit (obviously including seedless fig trees! and according to Genesis 3:7, once Adam and Eve realised that they were naked, “they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves”!). In the centre of the Garden he planted the Tree of Life (eating from which would make you live forever – Gen 3:22) and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, and forbade Adam and Eve from eating the fruit of either tree. The Serpent, however, “was craftier than any of the wild animals the Lord had made” and convinced Eve to eat fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. She seduced Adam to do the same and by doing so, God would acknowledge that "they became like one of us (implying that there were many 'gods'?), knowing good and evil" (Genesis 3:22). God soon found out and condemned the serpent to sail on his belly, with the promise that although he will strike at the heels of men, they would crush his head. He also banished Adam (and Eve) from the Garden.
Figure 65. Rivers of the Garden of Eden, excluding the Ganges in India
The Nephilim, Watchers, Shining Ones, Fallen Ones, Giants and the Serpents ↑
The number of books written on the ancient gods are countless and most, except compendiums of their names and background, have different views of their origins, roles and period of veneration. As an example, in her book Egypt – Gods, Myths and Religion104, Gahlin states regarding the gods of Egypt (she names and discusses about 94 of them) that “The gods and goddesses they conjured up were divine personifications of all that was important to them … The stories or myths that developed around the various gods and goddesses were a means of explaining the unknown, …”.
As mentioned briefly in Chapter 8, a particularly interesting group of ‘gods’ were the Nephilim (Genesis 6:1-4), who were the offspring of the "sons of God" and the "daughters of men" before the Deluge, but whose name is also translated as the "fallen ones" by others (the identical word appears in Ezekiel 32:27), or ‘giants’ in the majority of ancient biblical versions105.
In stark contrast to her opinion about these deities, they seem to possess many human qualities, like for instance the creator-god Ra who drooled as an old man (Gahlin, p. 74), an all-too-human sign of old age. Why would ‘gods’ grow old? The ‘gods’ also interacted very much like humans do, so perhaps they were indeed human. Which humans? In my opinion, the survivors of Atlantis. They were regarded as ‘gods’ by the local survivors of the Flood because of their seemingly divine powers, most notably their ability to build massive structures from stone, many of which we cannot replicate today with even the most advanced equipment (see Chapter 15). They also possessed intimate knowledge of science and medicine, which they taught the local population (see Chapter 13, The Seduction of Eve).
When the Noahs (the Atlanteans and other civilized peoples at that time) realised that a comet impact with Earth was imminent, they took to the ocean in ‘arks’ or boats, taking with them mostly men and fewer women. If they were able to survive the flood, the men would be required to fight for and build a safe haven for them in whatever remained of the old world. They also took domesticated animals, like cattle, sheep and goats with them, which they would need as a source of food for their new life.
Some traditions relate that Eve was Adam’s second wife after Lilith106, who was created from the same dirt as Adam, but had returned to dust (Talmud). Lilith may have represented the women left behind on the motherland (and drowned together with most of mankind). Lilith was linked to darkness, which makes sense in terms of her staying behind or disappearing in the darkness that followed the impact of the comet and was most dense around the South Pole.
Digressing momentarily, we first have to distinguish between the Nephilim, the Watchers, the Shining Ones, the Fallen Ones, the Giants and the Serpents, if they were not, in fact, the same group of people after all. The quoted passage above equates the Nephilim with the Watchers of Heaven as well as the fallen ones (who had left the high heavens).
The Nephilim and the Giants … ↑
Genesis 6:1-4 relates,
When people began to multiply on the face of the ground, and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that they were fair; and they took wives for themselves of all that they chose. Then the Lord said, "My spirit shall not abide in mortals forever, for they are flesh; their days shall be one hundred twenty years." The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went in to the daughters of humans, who bore children to them. These were the heroes that were of old, warriors of renown.
The text implies that the ‘sons of God’ were actually called the Nephilim. Why were they called ‘Nephilim’, and what does it mean? The word used in Genesis 6:4 is the Hebrew noun nephîyl or nephîl (the ‘im’ at the end merely indicates the plural form of the male noun), which is pronounced nef-eel’ (Strong’s H#5303), from H#5307, “prop. a feller (as of trees, logging), i.e. a bully or tyrant :- giant.” The word nâphal (H#5307) means to fall in a great variety of applications. This is the word which is used in Ezekiel 32:27, where it is simply translated as ‘the fallen ones’. In The Interlinear Bible107, nephîlim of Genesis 6:4 is translated as ‘giants’, whereas it seems that other translators simply stuck to the pronunciation of the word, Nephilim.
Why would the sons of God have been called ‘giants’? There is only one possible explanation – the ancients observed the massive blocks with which the Great Pyramid of Giza108 (Figure 66) and other monolithic structures around the world had been built (it is estimated that the Great Pyramid weighs approximately 6 million tons and consists of 2.3 million blocks of limestone and granite, some weighing as much as 80 tons). More on the other structures in Chapter 15.
Figure 66. The Great Pyramid of Giza (photograph by Nina Aldin Thune)
In Numbers 13:33 Moses’s spies reported that,
We saw the Nephilim (H#5303) there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.
There were never, of course, any giants on Earth, especially of the size described in Numbers. A typical grasshopper would be 2 inches in length (50.8 mm) and about 18 mm in height. A human being of say 5’8” (173 cm) would be 96 (173/1.8) times taller than a grasshopper and the giants would, therefore, have been 96 x 173 cm = 166 m tall (according to the Book of Enoch, discussed below, they were 3000 ells tall, or 3000 x 0.45m = 1350 m). Many gymnasts and bodybuilders do bench presses with dumbbells weighing from 20 kg to 40 kg (in each hand) with relative ease, so theoretically a ‘giant’ should be able to with one hand lift a single block weighing between 96 x 20 kg = 1.9 metric tons and 96 x 40 = 3.8 metric tons, or with both hands together carry a block weighing roughly between 4 and 8 metric tons. In their minds, only ‘giants’, working as a team, would have been able to carry or somehow position blocks of that size.
Did the spies Moses sent to explore Canaan really see ‘giants’? Of course not. It would have been a simple ploy to dissuade him from attacking the people of Canaan. And who were ‘the daughters of men’? Most certainly the women of the local population who had survived the flood, those who were created from (literally washed clean of) mud.
The Watchers and the Fallen Angels … ↑
Other ancient narratives also mention the gods taking wives from humans, as for example in the Book of Enoch109, which begins with Enoch declaring himself to be chosen by God to warn the earth’s inhabitants, including the watchers, of their forthcoming fate (Section I.1):
“The words of the blessing of Enoch where-with he blessed the chosen and just, who will exist on the day of tribulation when all the wicked and impious shall be removed. And then answered and spoke Enoch, a just man, whose eyes were opened by God so that he saw a holy vision in the heavens, which the angels showed to me, and from them I heard everything, and I knew what I saw, but not for this generation, but for the far-off generations which are to come. Concerning the chosen I spoke and conversed concerning them with the Holy and Great One, who will come from his abode, the God of the world. And from there he will step on to Mount Sinai, and appear with his hosts, and appear in the strength of his power from heaven. And all will fear, and the Watchers will tremble, and great fear and terror will seize them to the ends of the earth. And the exalted mountains will be shaken, and the high hills will be lowered, and will melt like wax before the flame. And the earth will be submerged, and everything that is on the earth will be destroyed, and there will be a judgment upon everything, and upon all the just. But to the just he will give peace, and will protect the chosen, and mercy will abide over them, and they will all be God’s, and will be prosperous and blessed, and the light of God will shine for them.”
The description of the impending disaster that will befall Earth almost verbatim repeats the ‘fire and deluge’ myths discussed in Chapter 8. That only ‘the just’ will remain implies that some of mankind would have remained, as was indeed the case. The Nephilim story, by some translators labelled “the Fall of the Angels”, is also retold (Section II.6.1 -7.1, 9),
Enoch is the instructed to take a message to the watchers (i.e. the same as the angels, the sons of heaven, who had sinned (Section III,12, 15):
(XV11.116-117, p. 57) Deliver thou Osiris Ani, victorious, from the Watchers who give judgment, who have been appointed by the god Neb-er-tcher to protect him and to fasten the fetters on his foes, and who slaughter in the shambles; there is no escape from their grasp. … (XV11.123-124, p. 58) As concerning the Watchers who give judgment, they are the apes (?) Isis and Nephthys.”
‘Watchers’ are also mentioned as guards (along with a doorkeeper and a herald) at the entrances of the seven Arits or mansions (CXLIV, pp. 240-241), but they were probably at best ‘lesser gods.’
From The Book of the Dead – Introduction and Chapters I-XV 112, we have a similar statement (Introduction, p. xcix):
“Deliver thou the Osiris from the Watchers who give judgment ... The Watchers are Isis and Nephthys.”
Likewise, in The Book of the Dead – The Ancient Papyrus of Ani 113, we find in a chapter called The Chamber of Torture (pp. 392-393),
It is not clear why the followers of Osiris would have to be protected from Isis (possibly those commanded by Nephthys, the wife of Set who ended up murdering Osiris with knives), but now even Horus is included as a Watcher. These ‘Watcher’-gods and goddesses appear to have acted as judges of some kind, who meted out severe punishment to offenders.
From the Book of Coming Forth by Day, Section IV. The Gods of the Eleventh Qereret [of the Tuat], Paragraph 9 (p. 306), we have the wish,
“May the Nine Watchers grant that Osiris may wake up and that he may never be destroyed.”
The Nine Watchers most likely were the group of nine Egyptian gods called the Ennead or Great Ennead114, which comprised the sun god Atum, his children Shu and Tefnut, their children Geb and Nut and their children Osiris, Isis, Seth, and Nephthys.
Whichever way the information quoted above may be interpreted, it is clear that the Nephilim, the Giants, the Fallen Angels and the Watchers were the same group of people, all of them ‘gods’ of Egypt.
The Shining Ones … ↑
The Shining Ones are often mentioned in books about the gods of the Ancient Near East, but in the Egyptian context The Book of the Dead once again makes it clear who they were (The Chapters of Coming Forth by Day, pp. 12, 28-29, 38),
The Book of the Dead therefore seems to imply that the Shining Ones were Gods who had passed away, into the underworld, like the belief in many modern religions that one’s soul has an eternal destination. However, as will be discussed below, the 'serpents' wore protective armour made of brightly polished metal scales in battle, so the terrifying sight of an advancing army of 'shining' soldiers most likely earned them that very name, The Shining Ones . Perhaps all fallen soldiers were honoured as Shining Ones in the underworld, to distinguish them from other people.
The Serpents … ↑
Of all the non-human creatures mentioned in the Bible, the most enigmatic must certainly be the Serpent in the Garden of Eden. After all, it was he who (supposedly) caused all the misery we have had to endure since the creation of mankind. As I mentioned in the beginning of this chapter, after reading Josephus’s account of the God’s cursing of the Serpent, I was convinced that the Serpent must have presented a group of people.
According to Plato, Egypt was one of the countries occupied by the invaders from Atlantis. Apart from a multitude of other animals that represented their gods, Serpents were, in a manner of speaking, all over Egypt. In fact, as shown in Figure 67 (left), even Osiris and Isis (the one with the breasts) have been depicted as serpents, both crowned with lotus flowers115, along with unknown serpentine king and queen couple in the centre116 (probably also Osiris and Isis) and a limestone carving of Dionysus (Osiris) and Isis on the right117.
Figure 67. Osiris and Isis shown as serpents
According to the Wikipedia comparison between Dionysus118 and Osiris, several ancient historians equated the two with each other,
Egyptian myths about Priapus said that the Titans conspired against Osiris, killed him, divided his body into equal parts, and ‘slipped them secretly out of the house’. All but Osiris' penis, which since none of them ‘was willing to take it with him’, they threw into the river. Isis, Osiris' wife, hunted down and killed the Titans, reassembled Osiris' body parts ‘into the shape of a human figure’, and gave them ‘to the priests with orders that they pay Osiris the honours of a god’. But since she was unable to recover the penis she ordered the priests ‘to pay to it the honours of a god and to set it up in their temples in an erect position.’ ”
As another example, Herodotus states119,
“For no gods are worshipped by all Egyptians in common except Isis and Osiris, who they say is Dionysus; these are worshipped by all alike,”
and in Plutarch’s Moralia, Isis and Osiris120, we read
“ … Osiris … Hence the Greeks came to identify him with Dionysus (13) … In fact, men assert that … Persephonê is Isis, … (27) It is better to identify Osiris with Dionysus … (28) That Osiris is identical with Dionysus who could more fittingly know than yourself, Clea? (35) … Zeus adopted Osiris as his son and gave him the name of Dionysus” (36)
In Early Egypt, long hair and thick beards were hugely favoured by men as it represented levels of ‘manliness’ and long hair was often seen as a representation of maturity, fertility, and capability121. Osiris was known to have worn a thick, long pointed beard, and the image in the centre, therefore, also seems to depict Osiris and Isis as Serpents. The kings in the reliefs shown in Figure 67 certainly have thick beards, and the one on the right a rather long and pointed one, at that.
The main symbol of the Egyptian creator-god Ra was the sun disk, but as the creator of everything, he was also depicted as a serpent, heron, bull, lion, cat, ram, hawk, beetle, phoenix and others122. Figure 68 shows an image of a winged serpent with a sun-disk above its head, possibly Ra123.
A more infamous member of the royal family, the evil Set (Seth, or Typhon in Greek), is often depicted as a winged, double-tailed serpent in his combat with Zeus (who must be the Greek equivalent of Ra), as shown in Figure 69124. Why Ra would have fought his own son will be explained in Chapter 14.
Figure 68. Winged serpent with sun (or the Eye of Ra) above its head – Ra?
Figure 69. Zeus (Ra) fighting the feathered serpent Typhon (Seth), leader of the Giants
One of the best-known and probably most infamous of the Serpents was Apep125, a coiled serpent who ceaselessly attacked Ra on his barque when he travelled through the underworld called the Amduat126. Figure 70 shows one of the numerous images of Apep (also called Apophis). Curiously, though, it was Seth who acted as Ra’s guard and repeatedly slew Apophis during every attack (Figure 71127).
Figure 70. Apep, the arch-rival of Ra
Figure 71. Seth protecting Ra against Apophis whilst travelling through the underworldThat Apep may not have been all bad, at least initially, is suggested by the Book of the Dead 128,
"[Concerning the invisible god] some say that he is Aapep when he riseth up with a head bearing upon it [the feather of] Maāt (i.e. Truth). But others say that he is Horus when he riseth up with two heads, whereon one beareth [the feather of] Maāt, and the other [the symbol of] wickedness. He bestoweth wickedness on him that worketh wickedness, and right and truth upon him that followeth righteousness and truth."
So, perhaps at some time, at least before the clash between Re and Seth (Zeus and Typhon), Apep was one of the good guys.
In Napoleon’s Description de l’Egypte, we find numerous illustrations of Egyptians together with human-like serpents, as shown for example in Figure 72, some possibly here in service of conventional kings of Egypt. It is quite likely that when the main body of ‘Serpents’ were eventually driven out of Egypt, some had opted to remain there, or were captured as slaves, as servants to the new rulers of Egypt.
Examples of serpents with human legs, serpent-headed humans and even serpents with human heads and legs are numerous, as for example shown in Figures 73 and 74.
Figure 74. Serpent with human head and four legs, more on the right (@Heidi Kontkanen, Text from Amduat)133
In the Book of the Dead 134 we read
"May the gods who dwell in the folds of the serpent goddess Mehen grant a sight of the Disk to Osiris . . ."
Figure 75. Serpent goddess Mehen protecting Ra in the Underworld
The Serpent played a major role in the fall of mankind (see Chapter 13, The Seduction of Eve below) and they were present in myths about the gods just about everywhere around the world, although mostly so in Egypt.
That the ‘daughters of men’ married ‘serpents’ and bore them children (‘serpents’) must have been known (or visited) all over the ancient world, as attested by Indian and Pyrenees reliefs depicting women giving birth to and suckling a serpent (Figure 76137).
Figure 76. Pyrenees reliefs of woman (goddess) giving birth to and suckling a serpent (left) and a dancing Yogini giving birth to a Kundalini serpent (right)
The Serpent gods were even revered in China (see Figure 77, flying serpent deities138, Fuxi and Nuwa139), and over much of Mesoamerica as the feathered serpent Quetzalcoatl (Aztec)140 and Kukulkan (Maya)141 (Figure 78).
Figure 77. Flying Chinese serpent deities (left) and the couple Fuxi and Nuwa (right)
Figure 78. Feathered serpent heads that decorate the Temple of the Feathered Serpent (Quetzalcoatl) in Teotihuacan
If Terra Australis were indeed inhabited by people known as ‘Serpents’, yet they were ordinary human beings as I believe, whence then ‘Serpents’? There is only one possibility that I can think of. They must have been able to weave together polished, overlapping scale-like pieces of metal, in such a manner that it looked like and also acted like the scaly skin of a serpent. This would have been their battle armour, which would have given them a high degree of mobility and also protection. The remark quoted earlier about the Shining Ones in the Book of the Dead, “Thy body is of bright and shining metal”, may confirm this hypothesis. The ancients would initially have seen an advancing army with soldiers wearing serpent-like, shining body armour (hence also The Shining Ones), but over time they were just remembered as ‘serpents.’ [I had just written this passage on the evening of August 5, 2020, when I searched the Internet for something else and probably about 15 minutes later stumbled upon a reference made by Wilkins in his book Mysteries of Ancient South America, to remarks Diodorus had made about Atlantis142],
Diodorus, speaking of Atlantis, says:
“… it is an island of considerable size … a dwelling-place of a race of gods, not men. In ancient times this island remained undiscovered, because of its distance from other inhabitants of the world…”
Searching for Diodorus’s actual narrative about Atlantis (as always, I wanted to read everything he had to say about Atlantis), I was absolutely and completely stunned to read, in total disbelief, the following143,
“For protective devices they used the skins of large snakes, since Libya contains such animals of incredible size, and for offensive weapons, swords and lances; they also used bows and arrows, with which they struck not only when facing the enemy but also when in flight, by shooting backwards at their pursuers with good effect.”
As you will notice from the preceding text, I have thus far only speculated that their armour must have looked like the skin of a snake, as that was the only possibility I could visualize! Snakes of “incredible size” can only be interpreted as the actual ‘scales’ used in the armour being much larger than that of a real snake, perhaps the size of a rather big leaf of a tree or plant, or a grown man’s flat hand pressed flat, with fingers held together. A note again, on August 6, 2020, as I continued with The Seduction of Eve – I had no idea what a ‘coat of mail’ might be, so I Googled it – incredible further confirmation of this type of armour! The Serpents were actually teaching the natives how to … become Serpents (i.e. Gods) !]
As an aside, Diodorus's remark that the island had remained undiscovered because of its distance from what was then the civilized world, inadvertently confirms that it could only have been Terra Australis. Anything just beyond the Pillars of Hercules (Plato) would most certainly have been well-known to 'other inhabitants of the world'.
One very strange aspect of several of the ‘serpent’ images shown above, is that they are depicted with wings. What other implication could it have, other than (dare I suggest) that the ancients believed that they somehow had the ability to fly? If they could master the construction of the Great Pyramid, what else might they have been able to do? Perhaps some kind of hot air balloon, or a glider?
In an Assyrian stone relief from the temple of Ninurta at Kalhu, the god is shown pursuing Anzû, the ‘eagle’ who had stolen the Tablets of Destiny from Enlil's sanctuary, with his thunderbolts (Figure 79144). An eagle would not have arms and both he and Ninurta are depicted with wings – why?
And finally, on the Nephilim and the beautiful daughters of men – may this not have been the ancient origin of the Islamic practice of women having to cover themselves with the burqa145? That nobody will ever again see how beautiful they are and lust after them? I likewise have no doubt that the Jewish practice of circumcision can be traced back in time as a commemoration of the emasculation of Osiris.
Figure 79. Ninurta pursuing the ‘eagle’ Anzû
13. The Seduction of Eve ↑
It is of course absurd to think that one could gain understanding of anything by physically eating a fruit. The must, therefore, have been a psychological meaning associated with the expression in Genesis. The answer is probably to be found in the words of Christ (Matthew 10:16), “be as wise serpents.” As stated before, snakes have no intelligence and thus also no ‘wisdom,’ so this again merely underlines the fact that the Serpent in question is of human nature and not a reptile.
So, what then could this wisdom, this knowledge of good and evil, have been?
The Knowledge of Good and Evil which the Serpent taught the Adams and Eves ↑
We can glean some information about this knowledge (the wisdom, for which the serpents were known) from The Fall of the Angels and their Demoralization of Mankind, described as follows by Enoch147,
Figure 80. Illustration of an ancient Israeli serpentine ‘coat of mail’
The name of the first Jeqûn; he is the one who has led astray all the children of the holy angels, and has led them down on the earth, and has led them astray through the daughters of men.
And the second is called Asbeêl; he is the one who has taught the children of the holy angels the wicked device (evil council), and has led them astray to destroy their bodies with the daughters of men.
And the third is called Gâdreêl; he is the one who has taught the children of men all the blows of death, and led astray Eve, and showed to the children of men the instruments of death, the coat-of-mail and the shield and the sword for battle, and all the instruments of death to the sons of men. And from his hand they have come over those who dwell on the earth, from that time to eternity.
And the fourth is called Pênêmû; he has taught the sons of men the bitter and the sweet, and taught them all the secrets of their wisdom. He taught men writing with ink and paper, and thereby many sinned from eternity and to eternity and up to this day. For men were not born to the purpose that they should thus strengthen their fidelity with a pen and with ink. For man was not created otherwise than the angels, that they should remain just and pure, and death, which destroys all things, would not have touched them, but through this their knowledge they are destroyed, and through this power it devours me.
And the fifth is named Kasdejâ; he has taught the sons of men all the wicked beatings of the spirits and the demons, the beatings of the birth (fetus) in the womb, that it [i.e. the birth] fall (i.e. abortion), and the beatings of the soul, the bites of the serpent, [and the power of swearing by an oath before God ].
It would appear that the natives viewed hunting and fishing as a sin, and that writing was viewed as an evil in the most ancient times is echoed in a telling passage in Plato’s Phaedrus, in which a ‘King of Thebes’ called Thamus expresses his deep concern to Hermes-Thoth. Thamus fears that by introducing ‘writing’, i.e. a means of recording things and events, men will no longer use their great and natural capacity of memory, and this will foster ‘forgetfulness and sloth’ and alienate men from the inner world which links them to God and to nature.151.
The concept ‘to see what was behind them ’ could have at least two possible meanings. First, that they had invented something polished so well that it could be used as a mirror with which they could look back over their shoulder (unlikely). Secondly, however, it may refer to the statement by Diodorus that they were able to shoot backwards while they were fleeing from the enemy. This may have involved a sequence of well-trained quick cross-over steps to, in a single 360° move, turn the body backward, shoot your arrow and then turn to continue forward again . The highly flexible ‘coats of mail’ would have most likely have allowed them to perform such a maneuver. With their newly acquired martial arts, the Serpents, their sons and the ‘Adams’ (local men) who joined them, were able to overcome neighbouring peoples (the ‘great amount of blood which had been spilt on the earth’), much to the chagrin of everyone else. Neither were the majority of the other ‘gods’ impressed with the fact that some of them had passed on many of the secrets which had made them the most powerful nation on earth, to ordinary men (the local population who survived the Flood).
It is possible, but unlikely (“Gâdreêl led astray Eve ”, who was 'created' after the Flood), that these events describe the initial invasion of the Mediterranean countries as described by Plato. Despite Plato’s claim that the Greeks were able to defeat the invaders from Atlantis and set free the nations they had already conquered, it would seem that at least Egypt and Sumeria had become permanent settlements of the Atlanteans.
It should be noted that the myth or story of the first couple created being seduced by an opposing evil force can be found in other religions as well. For example, the creator and highest deity of Zoroastrianism, the benevolent Ahura Mazda152, had an evil brother called Angra Mainyu (Ahiram)153, the powerful god of evil, destruction, and darkness. The sacred Persian text known as the Bundahism tells the story of the creation of a pure couple, called Masya and Masyanag, the father and mother of the mortal race. They were seduced by Angra Mainyu (called the daevas in another source), described as an ‘old serpent having two feet ’ in some accounts, and the couple ended up worshipping their seducer. The Zoroastrians believe that since the first couple committed the carnal sin in thought, word and deed, both they and their descendants became tainted forever.
It is believed that the Bundahism text migrated from Iran to India and is thought to be based on a now lost Zend original of great antiquity. The obvious similarities between the Persian and Hebrew accounts of the Fall of Man has long been known, as for instance alluded to in 1888 by C. Staniland Wake in his Serpent-Worship and Other Essays, in which he concludes that ‘we cannot doubt that they refer to the same legend.’154
Their expulsion from the Garden of Eden ↑
According to Genesis, once God discovered that both Adam and Eve had disobeyed him, he kicked them out of the Garden of Eden and condemned the serpent to sail on the ground (a later interpretation by scribes who had no idea just who and what the actual Serpents were). All of these events took place during a time when the Sahara was still green and most of the now-arid countries in the Middle East as well, it would seem that at some stage the descendants of the Serpents and the locals who had ‘mated’ with them, had eventually left or had been driven out of those areas, Egypt in particular.
The early rulers of Egypt … ↑
That the earth had been inhabited by people for probably hundreds of thousands of years before the Flood wiped out most of humanity is not only a logical assumption, but is also attested by various king lists preserved by ancient historians. As argued above, when the fabled plain of Atlantis (Terra Australis) had become submerged due to the weight of Antarctica with its ice cap forcing the crust of the earth downward (as confirmed by the Vatican map), the majority of Atlanteans were forced to seek a new motherland. They did so by invading numerous countries around the Mediterranean Sea, specifically Egypt. For how long did they hold sway over Egypt, before and after the Flood?
The following information is presented by Hancock in his Fingerprints of the Gods155,
In Keeper of Genesis156, Bauval and Hancock quote other references which confirm the same notions, for example Selim Hassan, The Sphinx, Cairo, 1949:
“The Egyptians believed that in the beginning their land was ruled by a dynasty of great gods, of whom Horus, the son of Isis and Osiris, was the last. He was succeeded by a dynasty of semi-divine beings known as the ‘followers of Horus’, who, in turn, gave place to the historical kings of Egypt.”
They also refer to the Abydos King List at the Temple of Seti I, which contains the names of all the kings who preceded Seti I and his son Ramesses II. On the opposite wall is a list of the Gods who ruled in Egypt, going back to the remote ‘First Time.’ Like the Pyramid Texts, the Shabaka Texts and the Edfy Building Texts, this list indicates that the civilization of ancient Egypt was seen as a legacy handed down by the ‘gods’ thousands of years before the beginning of the recognised historical period 157.
The Sumerian King List158 likewise refers to kings who ruled predynastic Sumer. The years assigned to these rulers, both before and after the Flood, are impossibly long, but nevertheless indicate that there were numerous rulers in ancient Sumer before the Flood.
In Chapter 14 it will be shown that it was indeed Ra, Osiris, Seth, Isis, Horus and the other ‘gods’ who accompanied them, who ruled Egypt after the flood. From they were followed by the ‘sons of Horus’, who were finally driven out of (expelled from) Egypt, most likely by Menes ca. 3100-3000 BCE. This expulsion would be synonymous with the expulsion of the Serpent, along with Adam and Eve (the locals who had acquired ‘wisdom’ from the ‘gods’ as discussed above), from the Garden of Eden (the northern part of Egypt).
The slaying of the Serpent in Egypt … ↑
To repeat the statement made by Tacitus, the superfluous population of Jews in Egypt ‘discharged themselves’ from Egypt on the neighbouring lands. This not only implies that Egypt itself had remained under the control of the Hebrews (the Gods, Isis, Horus, and then the sons of Horus known as the demigods), but that they had grown to such large numbers that they had begun invading neighbouring areas. This would match the accusation brought against Azâzêl and Gâdreêl, that by teaching the locals the art of warfare, they had caused their followers to ‘come over those who dwell on the earth,’ and hence ‘a great amount of blood had been spilled on the earth.’
However, it would seem that eventually the local Egyptians managed to expel the Serpents and their descendants permanently from Egypt. This most likely happened under the rule of Menes159, who had united Upper and Lower Egypt (also known as The Two Lands), ca. 3100 BCE. To the north was Lower Egypt, where the Nile stretched out with its several branches to form the Nile Delta. To the south was Upper Egypt, stretching to Aswan. The terminology "Upper" and "Lower" derives from the flow of the Nile from the highlands of East Africa northwards to the Mediterranean Sea.160
Numerous Egyptian papyri and reliefs depict the slaying of the Serpent Apophis (Apep) by Bastet, “The Great Cat of Heliopolis”, as for example shown in Figures 81 – 83, several of them in fact showing the Serpent coiled around or next to the Tree of Life161,162,163,164 (it must certainly represent the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil mentioned in the Bible).
Figure 81. Bastet slaying of Serpent Apophis coiled around the Tree of Life
Figure 82. Bastet slaying Serpent Apophis next to the Tree of Life
Figure 83. A Serpent being cut into pieces (left), and the sea-serpent Apophis being killed (repeatedly) by Seth (right)
Although Genesis 3:15 suggests a future event, “he (mankind) will crush his (the Serpent’s) head,” numerous other texts in the Bible actually suggest the opposite, namely that the slaying of the Serpent had already taken place. An excellent summary of Old Testament texts referring to the killing of the Serpent, here referred to as Rahab and Leviathan, can be found in Alan Alford’s When The Gods Came Down165,
In Psalm 89 of the Old Testament, we read something very interesting:
Who was Rahab? We receive a further explanation in the book of Isaiah [Isaiah 51:9]:
Who, or what, was this ‘monster’ that lived in the sea? Biblical scholars have until now maintained that this monster Rahab (also known as Leviathan) was a real creature which lived in the seas of the Earth. We, however, have just invested considerable time in discovering that the ancient Egyptians and Mesopotamians described the abyss of space as a ‘sea’ or an ‘ocean’.
Which interpretation fits the Hebrew legend? Consider the following quotation from the book of Job, which places Rahab in the context of the creation of the underworld, Heaven and Earth [ Job 26:6-13]:
The fact that the monster Rahab appears here in the midst of a creation story is significant, as is the vivid description of the dismemberment of Rahab - a motif which was, of course, central to the legends of the celestial battle in ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia.
Note, too, the description of Rahab as a ‘fleeing serpent’, which was somehow causing an obstruction in the Heavens. The idea that Rahab was a mundane creature like a crocodile is therefore absurd. Scholars indeed admit that Rahab was somehow responsible for a blockage in the Sky, which needed to be cleared by the breath of Yahweh, but they have not been able to embrace the uncomfortable thought that Rahab might actually have been a Sky-god. And yet this is what the book of Job says, quite unambiguously.
Further evidence concerning Rahab is found in Psalm 74, where he appears as a sea-monster called Leviathan:
Note that this monster Leviathan had multiple ‘heads’, like a Greek Titan, and could thus not have been a mundane creature such as a crocodile. As for ‘the people inhabiting the wilderness’, could they have been the mythical dwellers in the underworld? Such would certainly have been the destination of Leviathan's broken-up body-parts according to the pagan way of thinking.
Consider also another passage from the book of Job [Job 41:14-21], where Leviathan appears with only one head, but is nevertheless described in awesome terms:
Surely this Leviathan is identical to the serpent-like god Satan, who ‘fell like lightning from Heaven’ according to the New Testament gospel of Luke [Luke 10:18]. Hence the book of Job [Job 41:34] describes Leviathan as ‘king over all the children of pride’. The book of Revelations [Revelation 12:7-9] indeed seems to allude to Rahab when it identifies Satan as ‘that ancient serpent’:
Where is this casting down of Satan from Heaven in the books of the Old Testament? The answer must surely be in the various accounts of the battle between Yahweh and Rahab (alias Leviathan). Why, then, was this battle not included in the cosmogony of Genesis l? The obvious answer is that the violent and physical nature of this battle would have totally upset the Hebrew vision of a supernatural creation. In view of the pagan legends which linked the battle of the gods to the creation, it seems very likely that Yahweh’s battle has indeed been occulted from the cosmogony in Genesis 1.1.
I have inserted the New King James Version (NKJV) translation of Job 41:15-17 into Alford’s quotation from the Bible. It would be a perfect match to the armour worn by the Serpents, described earlier by Diodorus as skins of large snakes and as coats-of-mail (armour constructed of metal scales), mentioned in the Book of Enoch. Alford did not mention another biblical reference to the Leviathan, which like Job links it directly to the serpent [Isaiah 27:1]:
“In that day the Lord will punish with his sword ... Leviathan, the gliding serpent, Leviathan the coiling serpent; he will slay the monster of the sea.”
The Hebrew word for Leviathan is lîvyâthân (H#3882, ‘a wreathed animal, i.e. a serpent, crocodile or some other large sea-monster’). It is a combination of the words lîvyâh (H#3880, liv-yaw’, something attached, i.e. a wreath or ornament) and tan (H#8565, tan, a monster, i.e. a sea-serpent, or whale). It is important to note that ‘sea monster’ is often equated with a ‘serpent’, specifically as in Isaiah 27:1. Here, as translated in The Interlinear Bible, Leviathan is again described as a serpent, and, in fact, as a gliding (actually H#1281, fleeing) and coiled (H#6129, tortuous, twisting) serpent (H#5175, a snake or serpent).
We find an interesting description of Leviathan and Behemoth in the Book of Enoch (Schodde), sometimes described as The Book of Noah – a Fragment,166
“And on that day two monsters will be distributed, a female monster, named Leviathan, to dwell in the depth of the sea, over the fountains of the waters. But the masculine is named Behemoth, who occupies, with his breast, a void desert called Dêndâin, in the east of the garden where the chosen and holy will dwell, …”.
The Hebrew word Behemoth properly means a water-ox, i.e. a hippopotamus (SH#930) and is pronounced bè-hay-môhth’. However, if we take into account that these events probably unfolded several thousands of years ago and that the ancient myths had been carried forth through oral traditions or very ancient forms of the Hebrew language, it is possible to construct alternative but phonetically equivalent forms of the word. Behemoth may then literally be translated as Oh-the-death-of-the-wealthy, from bîy (SH#994, pronounced bee, meaning ‘Oh, alas), hêm (SH#1991, pronounced haym, meaning ‘abundance, i.e. wealth’) and môwth (SH#4193, pronounced moth and meaning ‘death’). This would be similar to the well-known expression ‘How the Mighty Have Fallen’, which is even found in the Old Testament (2 Samuel 1:25). As ‘the male monster’, it may more freely be translated as Oh-the-death-of-the-wealthy-monster (serpent).
This translation would match the reputed wealth of the Atlanteans, of whom the vast majority died in the catastrophe. Alternatively, the description ‘in the east of the garden’ may actually refer to what was known as the Garden of Eden, which was created ‘in the east’.
Schodde’s “void desert called Dêndâin” is translated as “a waste wilderness named Dûidâin” by R.H. Charles and “the invisible wilderness. His name was Dendayen …” by R. Laurence (see 1 Enoch (Ethiopic) Parallel Translations167).
Several interpretations of the name of the wilderness are possible. Dêndâin and Dendayen are essentially the same and possibly represent a combination of the words dên (SH#1836, pronounced dane and meaning ‘this, these, such, wherefore, or which’) and diyn (SH#1777, pronounced deen and meaning ‘to rule, to judge, to strive’), or diyn (SH#1779, also pronounced deen, meaning ‘judgement, strife’). It would then render something like “Those (who) Rule”, “Those (who) Judge”, “Those Judged”, or for the latter case, by extrapolation, “The Doomed.” As “The Rulers” it may refer to the Atlanteans who once ruled the world, but whose country has become an uninhabitable wilderness, i.e. it has disappeared into the ocean.
The word Dûidâin may have its origins in the words dûwd (SH#1731, pronounced dood and meaning ‘a pot (for boiling), … cauldron, kettle, (seething) pot’ and ’ayin (H#369, pronounced ah-yin, meaning ‘not to exist, be nothing, not,’ rendering The-boiling-place-that-no-longer-exists. As this is referred to a wasteland, it would match the description of Tierra del Fuego as the ‘land of fire’, i.e. it was destroyed by fire or became a ‘fire pot’ when it was struck by the comet.
Finally, can ‘Rahab’ through translation or transliteration be linked to ‘Leviathan’ (as both had been cut into pieces)? It could be considered as a combination of either râ’âh (HH#7200, to see, i.e. to watch), ra‘ (H#7451, bad, evil) or râ‘âh (H#7462, feed, shepherd), together with ’âb (H#1 or H#2, father). Possible combinations then render either Father of the Watchers, The Evil Father or Father of the Evil (ones), (Rahab was regarded as evil) or ‘Father (of the) Shepherds’. That it was most likely the last is proposed in the next section.
It should be noted that the Tree of Life was not unique to the Jews and Egyptians. An Internet search for ‘Tree of Life’ images will present depictions thereof in numerous other ancient cultures.
Osiris, Azâzêl, Rahab, Leviathan, Rama, Viracocha and Quetzalcoatl… ↑
Having basically completed ‘The Slaying of the Serpent’ part, it occurred to me that the serpent always seems to be shown as being beheaded by a fellow god(dess), Bastet. However, Figure 83 shows a serpent being dismembered by a man, god or a pharaoh instead. In a number of passages from the Bible Rahab is likewise cut into pieces. There is only one ‘god’ in Egyptian history who is known to have been dismembered, and he is Osiris, often depicted as a Serpent.
It is well-known that once he had once Osiris had settled his kingdom in Egypt, he went on a journey of many years around the world to teach other nations the better way to live. Quoting from Budge’s Osiris and the Egyptian Resurrection168,
(Osiris) Having become king, he devoted himself to improving the condition of his subjects. He weaned them from their miserable and barbarous manners, he taught them how to till the earth and how to sow and reap crops, he formulated a code of laws for them, and made them to worship the gods and perform service to them. He then left Egypt and travelled over the rest of the world teaching the various nations to do what his own subjects were doing. He forced no man to carry out his instructions, but by means of gentle persuasion and an appeal to their reason, he succeeded in inducing them to practise what he preached. … During the absence of Osiris his own kingdom was administered by his wife Isis, who performed the duties committed to her charge with great wisdom and prudence. Her task was not easy, for she found it necessary to use all vigilance and to be ever ready to counteract the changes which Typhon, her brother-in-law, was continually endeavouring to introduce. After Osiris returned from his travels Typhon appears to have made up his mind to get rid of him, and to seize the kingdom, and to take possession of his wife, Isis, with whom he was violently in love.
The narrative continues with Osiris returning and Typhon (Seth) tricking him into lying down in a coffin, which he and his accomplices quickly sealed and caused him to suffocate. To make a long story short, Seth eventually hacked his brother’s body into fourteen pieces and scattered them throughout the country. Isis found all the pieces except his penis, which had been thrown in a river and eaten by a fish. However, she produced a replica of it and put all his body parts together, and hence Osiris was resurrected from the underworld. Legends record that it was after his return (and resurrection) that their son Horus was conceived, but as will be related later, Horus had already been old enough to fight Typhon almost immediately afterward his murder of Osiris, so Isis must have discovered that she was pregnant after Osiris’s departure. It is also physically impossible to return from the dead.
Osiris’s travel is summarised as follows by Hancock169,
of visiting all the inhabited earth and teaching the race of men how to cultivate the vine and sow wheat and barley; for he supposed that if he made men give up their savagery and adopt a gentle manner of life he would receive immortal honours because of the magnitude of his benefactions ...
Osiris travelled first to Ethiopia, where he taught tillage and husbandry to the primitive hunter-gatherers he encountered. He also undertook a number of large-scale engineering and hydraulics works: ‘He built canals, with flood gates and regulators ... he raised the river banks and took precautions to prevent the Nile from overflowing ...’ Later he made his way to Arabia and thence to India, where he established many cities. Moving on to Thrace he killed a barbarian king for refusing to adopt his system of government. This was out of character; in general, Osiris was remembered by the Egyptians for having
‘forced no man to carry out his instructions, but by means of gentle persuasion and an appeal to their reason he succeeded in inducing them to practise what he preached. Many of his wise counsels were imparted to his listeners in hymns and songs, which were sung to the accompaniment of instruments of music.’
Once again the parallels with Quetzalcoatl and Viracocha are hard to avoid [Hancock herewith seems to imply that Osiris had visited Mesoamerica as well, where he had become known as Quetzalcoatl (Kukulkan), the Feathered Serpent, and Viracocha]. During a time of darkness and chaos—quite possibly linked to a flood—a bearded god, or man, materializes in Egypt (or Bolivia, or Mexico). He is equipped with a wealth of practical and scientific skills, of the kind associated with mature and highly developed civilizations, which he uses unselfishly for the benefit of humanity. He is instinctively gentle but capable of great firmness when necessary. He is motivated by a strong sense of purpose and, after establishing his headquarters at Heliopolis (or Tiahuanaco, or Teotihuacan), he sets forth with a select band of companions to impose order and to reinstate the lost balance of the world.
Despite his promise to do so, Quetzalcoatl, who was known as ‘the Feathered or Plumed Serpent’ (cf. Figure 78), and Viracocha never returned to those countries, unlike Osiris, who was also bearded (cf. Figure 67) and specifically wore a feathered white crown called the Atef171, who did return to Egypt. The ‘abode of Osiris’, whence Osiris originally came, was most likely this ‘abode of the blessed,’ which according to several Pyramid Texts ‘was situated away beyond a large expanse of water, and at one time the Egyptians believed that it could only be reached by means of a boat, or by the personal help of the gods who were thought to transport their favourites thither.’172 This would be an accurate description of Terra Australis, which was indeed separated from Egypt by a large expanse of water.
That Osiris and his company of Serpents had visited amongst others India is in all probability attested by the women with serpent infants shown earlier in Figure 76. Obviously, Osiris’s ‘gods’ had again ‘defiled’ themselves by taking wives from mankind, or at least having intercourse with them. There is an interesting Buddhist (originally ancient Indian) myth173 which tells the story of Indra, a supreme deity known also as Lord of Gods and the Destroyer of Their Enemies, and also labelled ‘a swaggering war god,’ who had a twin brother called Agni (Lord of Fire) and a consort called Indrani. For some reason, Indra was ripped to pieces and reassembled by the gods. They were however unable to find his penis and had to attach the member of a ram to Indra. He overcame the serpent Vritra with the advice and aid of Vishnu and fought against other demons. Vishnu was known as the Primeval Being, Lord of the Universe, Lord Creator and Generator of All, Lord of Sacred Wisdom, and so forth. If Indra and Osiris were the same person, it would seem that news about the fate of Osiris (and the myth about his resurrection) had eventually reached India as well (it’s just too much of a coincidence for the two events not to be related ). Agni would then have represented Seth, Indrani Isis, and the all-wise Vishnu, the Egyptian creator-god Ra.
Figure 84 depicts two images of Vishnu reclining on a raft of Serpent(s) 174, 175. Ra is known to have travelled the underworld on his solar boat, and these images may represent Vishnu in a similar fashion. However, it is more likely that they represent Osiris as Indra, who would have arrived in boats crewed by his ‘Serpents’. There is no such thing as a ‘raft of serpents’ as shown in the images.
Figure 84. Vishnu reclining on a raft of Serpents (left) and on a Plumed Serpent (Quetzalcoatl?, right)
There can be no doubt that Osiris’s journey had another very important objective as well, namely to travel to his original homeland, Terra Australis, to see what had remained of it after it had been struck by the comet.
As a young man Osiris was tutored by a man of great wisdom, Agathodaimon, also called Trismegistus176. Osiris would typically ask him,
“How, then, O thou Thrice-greatest, [thou] Good Daimon, did Earth in its entirety appear?”
From Strong’s Dictionary (Greek), Agathodaimon can be viewed as a concatenation of the words agathōs (G#18, meaning ‘good, that which is good’) and daimōn (G#1142, meaning ‘demon, devil’), i.e. ‘the Good Devil (or the Good Serpent?’). Likewise, Trismegistus is the combination of tris (G#5151, meaning ‘three times’) and mēgistōs (G#3176, meaning ‘the greatest’), i.e. ‘The Thrice Greatest’ or ‘Thrice the Greatest’. This should remind the reader of the English map of Antarctica (Terra Australis) shown in Figure 8, where ‘men worshipped devvilles’. Did Osiris go there hoping that, among others, his beloved old tutor might have survived the catastrophe? Furthermore, the abode of Osiris having had ‘a covering of fire’ may be indirectly referred to on the Piri Reis map (Figure 10), on which the admiral wrote “and it is said that large snakes are found here. For this reason the Portuguese infidels did not land on these shores and these are also said to be very hot ,” and Ortelius’s 1570 World Map (Figure 15), on which the same area is denoted Terra del Fuego, or Land of Fire (Tierra del Fuego in Spanish). Also keep in mind the 'Deville in the fire' as shown on the English School map of 1500 (Figure 8), which may be suggesting the same interpretation. The ‘fire’ mentioned here most likely is how the ancients remembered the comet entering the earth’s atmosphere and the subsequent impact of the comet at the land of the Serpents (see the ‘fire and deluge’ myths discussed in Chapter 8).
From there Osiris and his companions would have proceeded north along the eastern coast of South America to Mesoamerica, where they stayed for ten years, before being forced to leave, on a raft of serpents, by locals who resisted the changes he had advocated177.
It was shown above that Leviathan can be translated as the Wreathed Serpent, which would be an apt description of the Feathered Serpent shown earlier in Figure 78. It will be shown that Osiris was also known as ‘The Shepherd,’ and that he had undertaken a journey around the world to teach the survivors of the Flood to do what he taught his own subjects to do. The Book of Enoch, which is an ancient Hebrew text, describes the arrival of the (fallen) Gods on Earth, and as should be apparent from the above discussions, they must have been the Hebrew counterparts of the Egyptian gods Ra, Osiris, Seth, Isis, Thoth and others.
The Egyptian gods (the Serpents) were known to have come from the sea (called Nu or Nun by the Egyptians)178, very much in accordance with Noah and his ark. The Hebrew word nûwn (SH#5125) means to re-sprout (propagating by shoots), or figuratively to be perpetual. Nun represented the primordial watery chaos and everything began (‘re-sprouted’) out of Nun. By contrast, the Watchers and other deities mentioned in the Book of Enoch were Fallen Angels, who had, by their own choice, left Heaven for Earth. Of all these gods, there appears to be a unique link between Osiris and Azâzêl – they both went to great lengths to teach the locals the secrets of the gods. According to the Hebrew Bible, Leviticus 16,
“Aaron shall cast lots on the two goats, one lot for the Lord and the other lot for Azazel. Aaron shall present the goat on which the lot fell for the Lord, and offer it as a sin offering; but the goat on which the lot fell for Azazel shall be presented alive before the Lord to make atonement over it, that it may be sent away into the wilderness to Azazel.”
The ‘wilderness’ mentioned here most likely filtered through to the Bible from the Behemoth’s wilderness as described in the Book of Enoch, or ‘the abode of Osiris’, or the ‘abode of the blessed’.
Osiris was the god of fertility, agriculture, the afterlife, the dead, resurrection, life, and vegetation in ancient Egyptian religion, while Thoth 179 was the god of wisdom, writing, hieroglyphs, science, magic, art, judgment, and the dead. Specifically, the Egyptians credited him as the author of all works of science, religion, philosophy, and magic. The Greeks further declared him the inventor of astronomy, astrology, the science of numbers, mathematics, geometry, surveying, medicine, botany, theology, civilized government, the alphabet, reading, writing, and oratory. They further claimed he was the true author of every work of every branch of knowledge, human and divine.
What is not mentioned, is that someone must have acted as the military commander of the new settlers, as their first and foremost priority would have been self-preservation (i.e. military defence), to protect themselves against potentially hostile locals. That they were, in fact, always prepared for battle is evident from the fact that they had been known as serpents, being dressed mostly in their serpentine armour. It may have been Seth, but Osiris, as the leader of the settlers, would more than likely also have been the commander of their soldier corps. He did, after all, kill a king who had opposed his proposed transformations.
The Fallen Angels likewise taught the locals the art of warfare, including how to manufacture the serpent’s armour, charms and enchantments, the cutting of roots, made them acquainted with plants; bracelets and ornaments, and the use of rouge, the beautifying of the eye-brows, the dearest and choicest stones and all colouring substances and the metals of the earth, astrology, the signs (constellations) and the course of the moon. They also taught men writing with ink and paper and also how to perform abortion.
No reference is made of the ultimate fate of Azâzêl, except that he had been banished to a desolate wilderness. Osiris, in turn, ended up in the ‘underworld’. The name Azâzêl may loosely be translated as ‘The-god-in (or from ) -the-hot-place’, from the Hebrew words ’âz (SH#227, pronounced awz, meaning ‘at the time or place’), ’âzâ (SH#228, pronounced az-aw, meaning ‘to heat, heated, hot’) and ’êl (SH#410, pronounced ale, meaning ‘god’). This would match the Piri Reis description of the ‘very hot land’ where large snakes (Serpents) were to be found, and Osiris’s abode which had a ‘covering of fire’. The God who taught the locals how to read and write was named Pênêmû, who would be the equivalent of Thoth. There are numerous ways in which this name can be transliterated from Hebrew, one of which may be How-great-(thy)-presence, a title of respect derived from pâneh (SH#6440, pronounced paw-neh, meaning ‘face, presence’) and mâh (SH#4101, pronounced maw, meaning ‘how great, how mighty’).
The two main culprits who in the eyes of the gods caused bloodshed everywhere, were Azâzêl and Gâdreêl, who taught the locals the art of (and the secrets of the gods relating to) warfare. His name could be transliterated as ‘Companion-of-the-wealthy-god’, from gâd (SH#1409, pronounced gawd, meaning ‘fortune (wealth)’, re‘êh (SH#7463, pronounced ray-eh’ , meaning ‘companion, friend’) and ’êl meaning ‘god’ (cf. the interpretation of Behemoth earlier). He may have been a close friend of Azâzêl / Osiris, who would as ruler of the Gods have been extremely wealthy.
I will hazard an extremely wild guess, namely that the Egyptian names Osiris, Set(h) and Isis might have been derived from phonetically Hebrew equivalents paraphrases. As such, ‘Osiris’ may then have been derived from the Hebrew words ‘āsar (SH6236, pronounced as-rwa’, meaning ‘ten’) and either 'îsh (SH#786, pronounced eesh, meaning ‘there is or are’) or ’îysh (SH#376, pronounced eesh, meaning among numerous other interpretations, ‘(good, great, might) man’), of which the more obvious combination would be “There are Ten”, matching the ten kings of Atlantis. Set has a rather accurate Hebrew connotation through the word sêt (SH#7846, pronounced sayt, meaning ‘a departure from right, i.e. sin, revolter, that turn aside’). This would match Seth, who ‘sinned’ and revolted against the other gods with his war against Horus. Isis may be derived from ’îysh (man) and sîys (SH#7797, pronounced sece and meaning ‘cheerful, rejoice, joy’), rendering Isis, the Joy of Man. That would be a perfect epithet of a joyful, beautiful woman. But as I stated, this is all a very wild guess.
To conclude, is it possible to tell, or at least hazard a guess, as to whom the Serpents who had been expelled from Egypt might have been, and if their descendants still exist? In my opinion, most definitely ‘yes, we can’.
According to Josephus, quoting Manetho (Against Apion 1.14(74-92), Egypt had been invaded by ‘men of ignoble birth’ during the reign of an Egyptian king called Timaus. They conquered the (north)-eastern part of Egypt and appointed a man called Salamis as their first king (a later king was called Apophis). Salamis rebuilt Avaris, which is known to have been the capital of the Hyksos during the Second Intermediate Period 180 in Egyptian history. Josephus then states
As will be shown in the next chapter, Osiris (Dumuzi/Tammuz) was actually known as a shepherd-god. Josephus (Manetho) furthermore recorded the story of a ‘fictional’ king (Amenhotep III), under whose reign Moses (as a priest called Osarsiph, from Osyris, but actually Crown Prince Tuthmosis, firstborn son of Amenhotep III) led a rebellion against the king (his father) and sent ambassadors to the shepherd rulers of Jerusalem, summoning them to come to his aid in his rebellion against the king. They complied and Amenhotep retreated into Nubia together with his court and those members of the population and army who had remained loyal to him.
As ridiculous an event as it might seem, that this actually happened is confirmed independently by the so-called El Arish Shrine Text and the apocryphal Story of Joseph and Asenath (see my book Thera and the Exodus, but more importantly the Addendum to the book, Ref. 70).
Scholars sing together in perfect harmony that Josephus (and Manheto) mistakenly translated the word Hycsos as Shepherd Kings or Captive Kings, and that the name actually means “rulers [of] foreign lands”181. However, they seem to either deliberately ignore or to be blissfully unaware of the promise Moses as Osarsiph had made to the rulers of Jerusalem, namely that “he would, in the first place, bring them back to their ancient city and country Avaris.”
Irrespective of the semantics of the name, this statement unequivocally identifies the Israelites of that time (during Amenhotep’s reign, see also my Addendum) with the Hyksos who had been expelled from Egypt (under Ahmose I). The statement that Salamis had rebuilt Avaris after their invasion of Egypt, may suggest that it had once been their capital before the invasion, i.e. it had been their (the Hyksos’s) capital city when they ruled Egypt as the Sons of Horus. It would also support my arguments presented in Chapter 11 above.
14. The greatest love triangle in human history ↑
When I started reading up on ancient history, specifically the myth of Osiris having been emasculated and then cut to pieces by his twin brother, my first thoughts were that there could have been only one reason for such an act of utter hatred and brutality – a woman. I knew that Osiris had been married to Isis, but that he had taken a journey of probably around 15 years to teach nations around the world how to become civilized. I had no doubt whatsoever that Isis originally had to choose between the two brothers and selected Osiris, the eldest of the two. Sometime during his absence, though, Seth must have convinced her that Osiris would never be coming back, and she agreed to marry him. However, on one fateful day Osiris did sail back into harbour and an overjoyed Isis rushed back into his arms and, of course, into his bed. Having lost her to his brother a second time, there was only ever going to be one outcome, he savagely murdered his brother, probably the very next day. His murder then led to war between those who loved Osiris (Isis, Horus their son, and also Ra, his father) and Seth with his followers, who were called Giants (more on this war at the end of this chapter).
That, in a nutshell, was (and still is) how I interpreted the unfolding of the murder of Osiris. Some versions of the myth attempt to provide (an alternative for) Set's motive for killing Osiris. According to a spell in the Pyramid Texts, Set was taking revenge for a kick Osiris had given him (laughable), whereas in a Late Period text, Set's grievance is that Osiris had sex with Nephthys, who was Set's consort182 (highly unlikely). It seems, however, that Budge must have come to more or less the same conclusion as I had, from his earlier unsubstantiated remark that Seth had killed Osiris because had been ‘violently in love with her’. The Seth and Isis may indeed have been married at one stage is quoted by Budge in his Osiris and the Egyptian Resurrection183,
Julius Firmicus Maternus, who had practised the law, and who flourished in the first half of the fourth century A.D., treats the history of Osiris in a somewhat different manner. In his short treatise De Errore Profanarum Religionum, which appears to have been written with a view of exposing the futility of idolatry, and the absurdity of raising men to the rank of gods and then worshipping them, rather than to show the excellence of the Christian religion, he writes of Osiris thus
Osiris and Isis were brother and sister, and Typhon was the husband of Isis. Finding that Isis was overtaken by illicit love for her brother, Typhon slew Osiris in a crafty manner, and having torn the body in pieces, he scattered the quivering limbs along the banks of the Nile. Isis thrust her husband Typhon from her in disgust, and joining to herself her sister Nephthys and the dog-headed Anubis, she determined to search for the limbs of Osiris and bury them.
Oster184, in his translation of Firmicus’s account (Chapter 2), claims that it (Typhon being Isis’s husband) is “for the most, the standard account found in antiquity,” but that is disputed by Ziegler, who claimed that it was “An error of Firmicus. In all the rest, according to reports, Osiris is the (brother and) husband of Isis,” which indeed seems to be the case.
Proof that Seth harboured bitter resentment towards Osiris because of her choosing him as her husband, is to be found in a surprising source, the now seemingly accepted identification of Osiris as the Sumerian god Dumuzi.
Osiris and Dumuzi, Isis and Inanna, Seth and Enkimdu ↑
Dumuzi, also known as Dumuzid185 and later as Tammuz186, is an ancient Mesopotamian god associated with shepherds, who was also the primary consort of the goddess Inanna (later known as Ishtar). In the run-up to his marriage to Inanna, Dumuzi begins to court her, competing against a farmer named Enkimdu187. Their rivalry for the hand in marriage of Inanna is described in a Sumerian text called Inanna Prefers the Farmer, of which several incomplete translations exist (at least in terms of what is accessible on the Internet) and in which Dumuzi claims his father to be Enki. Tammuz’s father was also the ‘rarely mentioned’ Enki, who, lo and behold, was also the father of Enkimdu. In other words, the shepherd and the farmer were brothers.
According to Inanna Prefers the Farmer, despite her brother Utu’s protestations, Inanna was initially adamant that she would marry the farmer. For example, we read188,
“The farmer! He is the man of my heart! … The shepherd! I will not marry the shepherd! … I will marry the farmer.”
Dumuzi also attempted to convince her that he could better anything the farmer could offer her,
"Inanna, do not start a quarrel. My father, Enki, is as good as your father, Nanna. My mother, Sirtur, is as good as your mother, Ningal.”
“The word they had spoken was a word of desire. From the starting of the quarrel came the lovers' desire.”
Still in doubt,
"Inanna ran to Ningal, the mother who bore her, Ningal counseled her daughter, saying: 'My child, the young man will be your father. My daughter, the young man will be your mother. He will treat you like a father. He will care for you like a mother. Open the house, My Lady, open the house!'
However, in another translation we read about a prior quarrel between the shepherd and the farmer about Inanna189,
The farmer approached the shepherd there, the shepherd pasturing the sheep on the riverbank; the farmer Enkimdu approached him there. Dumuzid ...... the farmer, the king of dyke and canal. From the plain where he was, the shepherd from the plain where he was provoked a quarrel with him; the shepherd Dumuzid from the plain where he was provoked a quarrel with him.
Enkimdu (reluctantly) admitted defeat,
“Why should I compete against you, shepherd, I against you, shepherd, I against you? Let your sheep eat the grass of the riverbank, let your sheep graze on my stubble. Let them eat grain in the jewelled fields of Unug, let your kids and lambs drink water from my Surungal canal,”
to which the shepherd replied,
"As for me who am a shepherd: when I am married, farmer, you are going to be counted as my friend. Farmer Enkimdu, you are going to be counted as my friend, farmer, as my friend."
The ‘quarrel’ is described as amicable, but one can imagine that very harsh words would have been spoken instead, quite possibly having spilled over into a physical altercation. The fact that Inanna at first wanted to marry the farmer certainly implies that they had both discussed (read ‘had been dating’) and then agreed to marry, or in other words, they had already fallen deeply in love. The shepherd, who must have been an arrogant and overly self-confident man (cf. the swaggering war-god Indra), however managed to steal her away from the farmer. This would surely have caused Enkimdu to bitterly resent his brother Dumuzi.
An important aspect of the shepherd is presented in yet another translation, where her brother Utu attempts to persuade her to marry the shepherd190,
"O my sister, the much possessing shepherd, O maid Inanna, why dost thou not favor? His oil is good, his date-wine is good, The shepherd, everything his hand touches is bright, O Inanna, the much-possessing Dumuzi . . ., Full of jewels and precious stones, why dost thou not favor? His good oil he will eat with thee. The protector of the king, why dost thou not favor?"
The end of this translation seems to contradict the amicable ‘quarrel’ quoted above, with the shepherd (at least initially) denying the farmer permission to attend his wedding,
"I, the shepherd, at my marriage do not enter, O farmer, as my friend, O farmer, Enkimdu, as my friend, O farmer, as my friend, do not enter."
The farmer thereupon offers to bring him all kinds of gifts, pleading, almost groveling before him,
"Wheat I shall bring thee, beans I shall bring thee, beans of . . . I shall bring thee, the maid Inanna (and) whatever is pleasing to thee, the maid Inanna . . . I shall bring thee."
Whether or not he attended the wedding we do not know, but it is also irrelevant.
This description of the wealthy shepherd should remind the reader of my earlier interpretation of the name of the fallen angel Gâdreêl as ‘Companion-of-the-wealthy-god’, who would have been Azâzêl (the wealthy Dumuzi). Dumuzi had what is known today as the Midas Touch (everything he touches turns to gold), 'everything his hand touches is bright'!
Can the myth about Dumuzi, Inanna and Enkimdu be linked to that of Osiris, Isis and Seth? A link between Osiris and Azâzêl has already been suggested, both being eager to and taking the lead in teaching ‘earthlings’ the secrets of the Gods. Although Osiris actually was the king of Egypt and not his protector, when they first arrived in Egypt as ‘gods’, the father-figure Ra would most likely have been seen as the king of Egypt, i.e. Enki would have been the equivalent of Ra.
So far, we have one key correlation between the two myths – in both a woman had to choose between two brothers, and the loser would have been left embittered towards his victorious brother. Many academics have noticed similarities between Osiris and Dumuzi as Tammuz, who had both died and been resurrected (actually, there seems to be a continuing debate as to whether or not Dumuzi as Tammuz had been resurrected after his death, like Osiris (see Ref. 185 - Dumizid). An attempt to match Osiris to Tammuz linguistically was made as early as 1915 by Barton191,
“The parallel between the Semitic god Tammuz and the Egyptian Osiris is most complete.' Both were gods of life, and of vegetation; both cults were of wide popularity in different sections; with both there were connected myths of death and resurrection …,”
ultimately coming to the typical academic conclusion, that among others
“The linguistic phenomena already considered indicate that there is a real kinship between the Hamitic and the Semitic peoples, and suggest that Osiris may be as original a product of the Egyptian religious genius as Tammuz was of the Semitic religious genius.”
Furthermore, Osiris must also have been known as a shepherd, as the shepherd’s crook and flail, originally the attributes of Osiris, stood for kingship and fertility of the land, respectively192. Note that in numerous ancient Egyptian texts Osiris is nevertheless described as the shepherd of cattle, and not sheep. However, the distinction between a herder of cattle and one of sheep was probably introduced long after the time of the Egyptian gods.
None of the above arguments are absolutely conclusive. A much more significant link between Osiris and Dumuzi does, however, exist, and it appears to have been completely overlooked by scholars. If you really want to link Osiris to Dumuzi as the same person, you need to do the same with … Isis and Inanna ! And how difficult could that be? Quite simple, it turns out.
Of Isis, we learn that she attempted to take a senior place among the gods by discovering the secret name of Ra, which was the source of his life and sovereignty 193, and which she knew would give her power over him so that she could persuade him to help her194,
Despite initially being unwilling to do so, Ra finally did reveal his secret name to her, provided that she reveals it only to Horus and nobody else.
There is an almost identical story about Inanna195, who wanted to obtain the benefits of civilization to be conferred on the people of her city of Erech. It would prosper her community, but also enhance her image politically. To accomplish this goal, she had to acquire the “Me,” or decrees of civilization, which were in the custody of Enki in the Sumerian Eridu. She travelled to his domain in her ship, the Boat of Heaven, and when she arrived, she invited Enki to join her at a banquet.
“Smitten by her, and later inebriated, he gave her the precious Me. She loaded over one hundred tablets on her Boat of Heaven and set sail for her voyage home.”
When sober again, Enki was informed that Inanna had tricked him into giving her his precious tablets, upon which he made numerous desperate attempts to retrieve them from her, to no avail.
The parallels between these two accounts are too similar to be mere coincidence. In both cases a king had been tricked by his daughter-in-law into giving her something very secret and precious, in order to enhance her political status among the rest of the group.
How should we interpret the above narratives, together with the fact that in both cases the king’s (Ra and Enki) daughter-in-law (Isis and Inanna) had to choose one of his sons (Osiris and Seth, Dumuzi and Enkimdu), as her husband?
There is only one possible conclusion, namely that Osiris was indeed Dumuzi, Isis was indeed Inanna and Seth was indeed Enkimdu, just different names in different countries, for the same persons.
Further confirmation is possibly presented by the Babylonian erotic depiction of Dumuzi having sex with Inanna196 (Figure 85). Note specifically that Dumuzi is depicted as having a thick, pointed beard, exactly like Osiris is known to have had.
As a matter of interest, I am not alone in believing that all these ‘gods’ were actually flesh-and-blood human beings. Plutarch and Diodorus197 did so as well,
“Both Plutarch and Diodorus agree in assigning a divine origin to Osiris, and both state that he reigned in the form of a man upon the earth.”
I have always considered it implausible that Osiris would have married his ‘sister’ Isis. The Sumerian text makes it very clear that Dumuzi and Inanna were not brother and sister.
Figure 85. Erotic terracotta votive plaque depicting the thick-bearded Dumuzi having intercourse with Inanna
Finally, it has already been related how, and why, Seth had killed Osiris upon his return, but how was Dumuzi killed? According to one legend (Ref. 181), Inanna had actually died before Dumuzi, but was allowed to return to the world of the living provided that she found someone else to take her place. Dumuzi was ultimately selected as her replacement and dragged into the Underworld (i.e. was killed), before later being brought back to life by Inanna198. The resurrection of the dead is of course utter rubbish, so this version of his death can be ignored.
A completely contradictory account of his death is presented in the Sumerian poem called Inanna and Bilulu, in which a weeping Inanna swears to avenge her husband’s death at the hands of a ‘bandit’ woman called Bilulu and her son Ĝirĝire. The text is quite moving and informative and I felt it well worth quoting199,
She can make the lament for you, my Dumuzid, the lament for you, the lament, the lamentation, reach the desert … she can make it reach the shepherding country, the sheepfold of Dumuzid …… she broods on it: "O Dumuzid of the fair-spoken mouth, of the ever kind eyes," she sobs tearfully, "O you of the fair-spoken mouth, of the ever kind eyes," she sobs tearfully. "Lad, husband, lord, sweet as the date, …… O Dumuzid!" she sobs, she sobs tearfully.
The goddess ……. The maiden Inana ……. She was pacing to and fro in the chamber of her mother who bore her, in prayer and supplication, while they stood in attendance on her respectfully: "O my mother …… with your permission let me go to the sheepfold! O my mother Ningal …… with your permission let me go to the sheepfold! Like a child sent on an errand by its own mother, she went out from the chamber; like one sent on an errand by Mother Ningal, she went out from the chamber. Full knowledgeable my lady was, and also she was full apt, full knowledgeable holy Inana was, and also she was full apt.
…… from the sheepfold. …… to the house of old woman Bilulu. There the shepherd, head beaten in, ……, Dumuzid, head beaten in, ……; Ama-ušumgal-ana, head beaten in, …….
The lady created a song for her young husband, fashioned a song for him, holy Inana created a song for Dumuzid, fashioned a song for him:
"O you who lie at rest, shepherd, who lie at rest, you stood guard over them! Dumuzid, you who lie at rest, you stood guard over them! Ama-ušumgal-ana, you who lie at rest, you stood guard over them!”
Then the son of old woman Bilulu, matriarch and her own mistress, Ĝirĝire, a man on his own, fit for prospering and a knowledgeable man -- was filling pen and fold with his captured cattle, and was stacking his stacks and piles of grain. He quickly left scattered his victims struck down with the mace. Širru of the haunted desert, no one's child and no one's friend, sat before him and held converse with him.
That day what was in the lady's heart? What was in holy Inana's heart? To kill old woman Bilulu was in her heart! To make good the resting place for her beloved young husband, for Dumuzid-ama-ušumgal-ana -- that was in her heart! My lady went to Bilulu in the haunted desert. Her son Ĝirĝire like the wind there did …… Širru of the haunted desert, no one's child and no one's friend, …….
Holy Inana entered the alehouse, stepped into a seat, began to determine fate: "Begone! I have killed you; so it is indeed, and with you I destroy also your name: May you become the waterskin for cold water that is used in the desert! May her son Ĝirĝire together with her become the protective god of the desert and the protective goddess of the desert! May Širru of the haunted desert, no one's child and no one's friend, walk in the desert and keep count of the flour, …
And immediately, under the sun of that day, it truly became so. She became the waterskin for cold water that is used in the desert. Her son Ĝirĝire together with her became the protective god of the desert and the protective goddess of the desert. Širru of the haunted desert, no one's child and no one's friend, walks in the desert and keeps count of the flour, … Inana put out her hand to the lad on the ground, put out her hand to Dumuzid on the ground, his death-bound hands ……
How truly the goddess proved the equal of her betrothed, how truly holy Inana proved the equal of the shepherd Dumuzid! It was granted to Inana to make good his resting place, it was granted to the goddess to avenge him!
Ĝeštin-ana ……. The sacred one, Inana …… in her hand. …… together. …… replied:
" Let me utter the lament for you, the lament for you, the lament! Brother, let me utter the lament for you, the lament! …… let me utter the lament for you, the lament! Let me utter the lament for you, the lament in the house Arali! Let me utter the lament for you, the lament in Du-šuba! Let me utter the lament for you, the lament in Bad-tibira! Let me utter the lament for you, the lament in the shepherding country!"
How truly she proved the equal of Dumuzid, avenging him; by killing Bilulu, Inana proved equal to him!\
Let me utter the lament for you, the lament for you, the lament! Let me utter the lament for you, the lament for you, the lament! In the birthplace let me utter the lament for you, the lament! In the desert, O Dumuzid, let me utter the lament for you, the lament! In the house Arali let me utter the lament for you, the lament! In Du-šuba let me utter the lament for you, the lament! In Bad-tibira let me utter the lament for you, the lament! In the shepherding country let me utter the lament for you, the lament!"
How truly she proved the equal of Dumuzid, avenging him; by killing Bilulu, Inana proved equal to him!
This text claims that Dumuzi’s head had been ‘beaten in’ and does not mention anything about dismemberment. However, Bilulu and her son Ĝirĝire may merely have been part of Seth’s group when Osiris was killed. Seth most likely emasculated Osiris while he was alive, whereupon Ĝirĝire killed him with a blow to his head. His body was then hacked to pieces either by Seth himself or by his followers upon his command to do so. They may very well initially have tricked Osiris to get inside the coffin as related earlier, which they then took to an isolated spot where his horrific murder took place. The mention of Ĝirĝire stealing cattle and grain from Dumuzi may suggest that he worked for Seth (Enkindu, the farmer). Following the battle for the rule of Egypt between Horus and Seth, which was ultimately won by Horus, Seth and his followers were banished to the desert200.
It should be kept in mind that during the time of Osiris’s absence from Egypt, Isis would at first have ruled Egypt in his place, but Seth, after marrying her, would automatically have become the king of Egypt. This is alluded to by Manetho’s remark that Ra, Osiris, Isis, Horus, Set and others were the first to hold sway in Egypt. At the time of Osiris’s return, Seth would no longer have been the subservient little brother Osiris had managed to bully out of his relationship with Isis. As king of Egypt he would likewise have grown in confidence and would have had the support of his army and court officials. In other words, he was no longer the push-over that Osiris remembered him to be.
The unbearable anguish suffered by all ↑
Why do I deem the relationship between Osiris, Isis and Seth to be the greatest love triangle of all time? It is because of the mental anguish each of them had to suffer and endure.
First was Osiris, when he sailed around the world to teach civilization to other nations, but also, and perhaps first and foremost, to go see what had remained of the motherland, Atlantis. When sailed around landmark tip of New Zealand, Cape Reinga (the ear of the horse’s head on Schöner’s 1515 map), he must finally have realised that his beloved homeland had completely disappeared under the sea, much like Heston realising in the 1968 film Planet of the Apes, when he saw the remains of the Statue of Liberty in New York, that the world he had known had been destroyed by its own inhabitants (Figure 86).
Figure 86. The landmark of Cape Reinga in the northern New Zealand, and the Statue of Liberty from Planet of the Apes
Osiris’s anguish must have been similar to the emotions felt by someone who has just learnt that their child had died, just a million times worse. It would be like the USA having been hit dead centre by a comet, completely destroying the continent and leaving no people alive or anything technological intact, all the scientific know-how and institutions having been lost. One can imagine him crying Oh no, oh no, oh no no no no no no …. However, he still had something to live for – his return to Egypt and Isis. After his prolonged stay in Mesoamerica, he finally set off on his journey back to Egypt. His joy at embracing her again was, however, short-lived, and it turned into sheer terror when he was being dragged off by his brother and his accomplices, knowing with absolute certainty that he was about to be killed.
Seth’s anguish was very different – he had lost the love of his life to his brother for a second time. One can imagine him standing somewhere on a lonely hill, crying, screaming his lungs out in despair, seething with hatred and rage. In effect, his life was over. He would not be able to bear seeing them together as a loving couple, again. However, he must have felt that his murder of Osiris was somehow justifiable as he afterwards, seemingly without showing any remorse, attempted to be appointed as king of Egypt once more. Not only did he not succeed, but he and his followers were rejected by the people he used to love (including Ra and Isis) and he was banished from civilized Egypt to go live in the desert.
Finally, two sets of events would have wreaked havoc with Isis’s emotions. Her joy at seeing Osiris approaching her as if returning from the dead, must have been overwhelming and she rushed into his stretched-out arms. She would have been in his arms all night long as well, but somewhere in the back of her mind she must most certainly have been thinking of Seth, who was practically standing outside her bedroom door. He was, after all, her first love and then her husband up to a few hours earlier that same day. It would have been inhuman for her not to have experienced an intense and very painful sense of guilt. How could she ever look Seth in the eyes again? What would she say to him?
All of that changed probably the very next day, when Seth had Osiris kidnapped and savagely first emasculated and then murdered him. One cannot imagine how Isis must have felt when she received the news of Osiris’s death and then learned who was responsible for it. She had lost the only two men she had ever loved, even though neither continuously. Her screams of agony and her uncontrollable sobbing have been echoing all over the ancient Near East for thousands of years and we can still hear them today, preserved in numerous ancient traditions and myths. With her sorrow would have come the realisation that she herself was indirectly responsible for this terrible tragedy through the choices she had made, even though it was largely to be blamed on circumstances beyond her control. Although she apparently shunned Seth afterwards, she must still have cared for him as she helped him escape from Horus, which enraged her son and cost her any chance of ruling Egypt again. She was not prepared to see Seth die a horrible death as well, as no doubt would eventually have happened to him at the hands of Horus.
Even if my interpretation of the love triangle between Osiris, Isis and Seth is not 100% correct, you will have to agree that it is almost impossible to conceive a more complex scenario than the one I have painted above.
The Aftermath – The War of the Gods ↑
From several texts, particularly the one that had become known as The Contendings of Horus and Seth 201, 202, 203, 204, we learn that following the murder of Osiris, both Seth and Horus petitioned their right to be the next king of Egypt to the Ennead. Although their petitions were at first submitted either orally or in writing, several contests between the two were held as well, Horus every time emerging as the victor. Physical confrontations also followed, during which Horus lost his left eye and Seth lost his testicles (if the legends are to be believed). In a very peculiar event, Seth attempted to sodomise Horus, but Horus put his hand between his loins and caught the seed of Seth. Horus rushed to his mother and showed her his hand ‘polluted’ with Seth’s seed, whereupon she summarily cut his hand off, throwing it into the water205. It is absurd to think that Horus’s hand would have been amputated simply because someone else’s semen had ended up upon it. It could merely have been washed off. If this had happened at all, the more likely reason would have been that Horus’s hand had been so badly injured during a battle with Seth that it had to be amputated.
The tribunal itself supposedly lasted eighty years206, but this is just not possible.
Plutarch described the battle as follows207,
It is unlikely that Horus had actually killed his mother. By tearing the diadem from her head, he merely usurped the reign of Egypt from her.
That Horus was supposedly encouraged to use arms in his battle with Seth, suggests that the armies loyal to both had gone to war, and not just the two individuals. This conflict more than likely inspired the legends of the 10-year-long (much more believable) Titan War, also known among others as the Battle of the Gods208.
As related earlier, from Plutarch’s Moralia we know that Zeus (who must have been Ra) had adopted Osiris as his son and gave him the name of Dionysus, so why would he have turned against Typhon (Seth)? After all, for a long time Seth had always accompanied Ra on his travels through the underworld, protecting him against the sea-monster called Apophis (probably another group of Serpents hostile towards the Osirian family). Why now this sudden turnaround in their relationship?
A description of the battle between Horus and Seth in the Book of the Dead may offer an explanation210,
“I, Osiris … whose word is truth, have filled for the utchat (I.e. the Eye of Ra or of Horus), when it had suffered extinction on the day of the combat of the Two Fighters (Horus and Set).”
What was this combat?
“It was the combat which took place on the day when Horus fought with Set, during which Set threw filth in the face of Horus and Horus crushed the genitals of Set. The filling (restoration) of the uchat Thoth performed with his own fingers. I remove the thundercloud from the sky when there is a storm with thunder and lightning therein.”
What is this?
“The storm was the raging of Ra at the thunder-cloud which Set sent forth against the Right Eye of Ra (i.e. the sun). Thoth removed the thunder-cloud from the Eye of Ra, and brought back the Eye living, healthy, sound, and with no defect to its owner.
“I am the Divine Soul which dwelleth in the Divine Twin-gods”.
Who is the Divine Soul?
“It is Osiris [When] he goeth into Tetu (Busiris), and findeth the soul of Ra, the one god embraceth the other, and two Divine Souls spring into begin within the Divine Twin-Gods.
“As concerning the fight which took place near the Persea Tree in Anu, [these words have reference to the slaughter] of the children of rebellion, when the righteous retribution was meted out to them for [the evil] which they had done. As concerning the ‘night of the battle,’ [these words refer to] the invasion of the eastern portion of the heaven by children of the rebellion, whereupon a great battle arose in heaven and in all the earth.”
From the above description of the battle, it is clear that Seth attacked (fought with) Ra as well, having sent a thunder-cloud against the Right Eye of Ra. Ra would have had ample reason for dealing with Seth as well. From the text it is clear that Ra and Osiris were incredibly close, to the point where they were labelled the Divine Twin-Gods, and Seth had murdered Ra’s most beloved child. Furthermore, it confirms that the battle was not merely between Horus and Seth as individuals, but between them and their followers (armies) - the children of the rebellion.
An interesting slant on this war is presented by Zecheria Sitchin in his much-maligned The Wars of Gods and Men 211, where he describes it as ‘The Pyramid Wars’, in fact, two separate wars, which were controlled by whoever controlled the three pyramids of Giza (p. 155). According to Sitchin (pp. 149-150), the Great Pyramid was designed by Enki, the master engineer, also known as the Egyptian god Ra, who was likewise described as an engineer. Enki (Ra) had passed to his son Marduk (Seth) the scientific knowledge he had possessed, and the secret plans of the Great Pyramid were in the custody of the Egyptian God Thoth, the god of astronomy, mathematics, geometry and land surveying. These Tablets of Destiny had once been stolen by a god named Zu, who ‘conceived in his heart’ (p. 97),
Zu was pursued by Ninurta, the legal heir of Enlil, “the father of the gods,” (p.96-7), captured, court-martialed and sentenced to death (p.99). As far as I could establish by browsing through the book, there is no mention of Inanna (Ishtar) stealing the “Me”, tables containing the “decrees of civilization,” from Enlil (she did just that to Enki, who was part of a triad of deities, which also included An and Enlil). However, there seems to be a definite correlation between the two sets of ‘decrees of the gods’. As a matter of interest, the Tablet of Destiny is described as follows in the Book of the Dead 212,
This discourse is followed by speculation about what might be meant by the things that have been made, but who knows, Sitchin may be very well be right that these tablets contained the blueprints of the Great Pyramid!
The wars, according to Sitchin, also included the manufacture of airships, that could “soar into the skies during battle” to “destroy princely abodes” (p. 160). However, it seemed to end when Marduk (Seth) took refuge inside the Great Pyramid in which, as punishment for the murder of Osiris, he was entombed forever. Yet, he managed to escape, and so the story goes on (pp. 221 onwards).
What is more important, however, is the Sumerian seal depicted in Figure 87 (Figure 73, p. 222), which, if authentic, shows Isis with her son Horus (severed hand, left) confronting Seth atop of what appears to be the three pyramids (of Giza).
Figure 87. Sumerian image showing Isis with her son Horus (severed hand, left) confronting Seth (atop the three pyramids)
If this interpretation is correct, it would have a massive implication for modern Egyptology. The pyramids would then have been built thousands of years before the reign of Khufu, its supposed builder. As for Sitchin’s twelfth planet, Nibiru, whence the ‘Gods’ supposedly came, might it linguistically or otherwise be possible to link it to Atlantis, or Terra Australis?
15. Ancient advanced Egyptian technology ↑
The aim of this chapter is rather simple – it is to demonstrate that the ancients possessed certain technologies that we simply do not have today, and in many cases cannot even guess how they achieved what they had.
The Tower of Babel (in Babylon, Egypt) ↑
In this section I will show that in ancient times, ‘Babylon’ was actually located in Egypt, because that is where the Tower of Babel would be found. According to Genesis 10:8, 11:1-8,
According to Eusebius213,
The Tower of Babel214, wherever it might have been, must have been built after the flood, i.e. after the impact by the comet. The worldwide shock waves in the curst of the earth would not have left two stones or blocks on top of each other. The actual Tower of Babel had never been found and it is commonly believed to have been a Mesopotamian ziggurat, a building which was square at the bottom with stepped sides leading upwards. There is, however, one building that literally towered over anything built by man for thousands of years – the Great Pyramid, but it is located in Egypt and not where we today believe Babylon to have been.
The Great Pyramid is assumed to have been built and completed by the Egyptian pharaoh Khufu ca. 2560 BCE, which would have made it the tallest man-made structure in the world for more than 3,800 years. Had the pyramid been built thousands of years earlier, during the time of the ‘giants’, or Ra, Osiris, Seth and Isis, it may have been the tallest man-made structure ever, until the Lincoln Cathedral was finished in 1311 CE215.
Babylon is assumed to have been a city located near the centre of present-day Iraq, but curiously, there are numerous indications that ‘Babylon’ was initially located in Egypt. For example, the maps shown in Figure 88 drawn by Frederick Lewis Norden in his Travels in Egypt and Nubia 216 (“Course of the Nile with Places situated upon its Borders, from Derri in Nubia to Delta, according to Observation made from Nov 1737 to the end of Feb 1738, which is the Time when the Waters of the Nile are at the lowest.”, partial left) and Munster’s 1552 map of northern Africa (Aphricae Tabula III 217, partial, right), clearly show that Cairo was formerly called Babylon, and Figure 89 shows a map which again states that Cairo was once called Babylon218.
Figure 88. Maps showing Cairo formerly known as Babylon
Figure 89. Cairus Quae Olim Babylon (Cairo formerly called Babylon) Aegypti Maxima Urbs - Braun and Hogenberg – 1580
Figure 90. Maps of Ortelius showing Babylon in Egypt (top, 1595, note the pyramids top left-hand corner) and bottom, ‘Bagdet (Baghdad) previously Babilon’, 1570)
The Koran has a story with similarities to the Biblical story of the Tower of Babel, though set in the Egypt of Moses. In Suras 28:38 and 40:36-37 Pharaoh asks Haman to build him a clay tower so that he can mount up to heaven and confront the God of Moses,
Josephus asserted that the construction of the Tower of Babel was begun by Nimrod219, a view also found in the Talmud (Chullin 89a, Pesahim 94b, Erubin 53a, Avodah Zarah 53b), and later midrash such as Genesis Rabba 220. It is perhaps more than coincidence that ‘the righteous Abraham’ is linked to ‘the evil Nimrod’ in a ‘cataclysmic confrontation’ in the above reference (Ref. 220). As I have concluded earlier, the name Abraham could possibly be translated as father-Ra-of the people, i.e. Abraham was synonymous with the Egyptian god Ra. Furthermore, Nimrod has been identified by some as the Babylonian Marduk221, who was the son of Enki222, 223. As argued earlier, Osiris and Seth, the sons of Ra, were the same persons as Dumuzi and Enkimdu, the sons of Enki. The only god who went into battle with his father was Typhon (Seth) against Zeus (Ra and Zeus both being the father of the gods). That would equate Nimrod with Marduk and Marduk with Seth. Proving what, exactly? That Seth (as Marduk) had built the Great Pyramid (i.e. The Tower of Babylon, in Egypt ) under the guidance of Ra (Enki), as argued by Sitchin in his Wars of Gods and Men. The war between Ra (along with Isis) and Seth erupted much later after Seth had slain Osiris, Ra’s most beloved son, in brutal fashion.
There are further titbits of information that seem to suggest that Babylon, and hence its Tower, existed in Egypt. Josephus, for example, recorded that the Jews went past a place called Babylon on their way out of Egypt224:
“Now they took their journey by Letopolis, a place at that time deserted, but where Babylon was built afterwards, when Cambyses laid Egypt waste.”
Letopolis was the Greek name for the ancient Egyptian town called Khem, today known as Ausim, about 13 km northwest of Cairo. Josephus claimed that it was built around 525 BCE, but apart from his statement no evidence could be traced that it had been called Babylon that late in its history. Cambyses II was indeed the king of Babylon and it is more likely that Josephus attempted to rationalize the fact that it had been called Babylon earlier in its history.
Proof that a place called Babylon was once located in ancient Egypt is to be found in statements made by Diodorus and Strabo225,
Whether or not the Tower of Babel was, in fact, the Great Pyramid, the latter is the only structure of that description that has survived throughout antiquity.
The Great Pyramid ↑
The age of the Great Pyramid has for a long time been the centre of a fierce debate, some ‘fringe lunatics’ arguing that it had been built thousands of years before the reign of Khufu226.
When asked whether it was possible for an ancient civilization dating back to 10500 years BCE [actually 9600 years BCE], having sculptured the Sphinx and built the pyramids, Hawass replied,
"Of course it is not possible for one reason. Until now there is no evidence at all that has been found in any place, not only at Giza, but also in Egypt. People have been excavating in Egypt for the last 200 years. No single artifact, no single inscription, or pottery, or anything has been found until now, in any place to predate the Egyptian civilization more than 5,000 years ago."
However, the same argument can be used to prove that the Egyptians had not built at least the Great Pyramid and the Sphinx. There is no evidence in Egypt of a gradual development of the technology which would have been required to build the Great Pyramid. There are no drawings, no calculations, not the vaguest reference as to how thy managed to construct the pyramid itself, not to mention the oblique, perfectly square tunnels (the air shafts) through hundreds if not thousands of blocks of limestone, with incredible accuracy. The design of the Great Pyramid would even today, with the aid of the most advanced mechanical design software available, just about be an impossible task, and would probably result in at least a thousand drawings, for the individual blocks but also for an elaborate set of construction documents. Nothing similar, not even one hieroglyphic description, has ever been found. However, the Great Pyramid just happened, out of the blue.
One thing is for sure and that is that only a complete idiot, an absolute moron, someone who knows nothing about engineering, could ever believe that the Great Pyramid was built as a tomb for a pharaoh, let alone that the so-called ‘air shafts’ had been built as a passage for the soul of the king (see AncientEgyptOnline 227 for a broad discussion on the ‘Air Shafts’). Why are they blocked by doors? Did the king’s soul have to knock a secret code for them to open?
The Great Pyramid probably still remains literally the greatest engineering feat ever, and looking at all the astonishing facets of the pyramid itself, the grand gallery, the chambers, the granite sarcophagus which shows quite unbelievable and inexplicable saw and tubular drill marks, and perhaps not least of all, the fact that the pyramid is actually eight-sided (see Figure 91, a photograph taken from the book by André Pochan, The enigma of the great pyramid, Robert Laffont, 1971, which was rather fortuitously taken from a Royal Air Force plane and which perfectly shows the concavity of its sides). All of the above point to the Great Pyramid having been built for some other, unknown purpose. The pyramid has been identified with Khufu’s reign because of quarry mark hieroglyphs in the relieving chambers above the King's Chamber in the Great Pyramid which read ‘Friends of Khufu’228, and has, therefore, been assumed to have been built during his reign (admittedly, Egyptologists like Zahi Hawass and Mark Lehner do, in fact, present some good arguments for Egyptians having built the Great Pyramid, but they may merely have been the workers who built the pyramid under supervision by its designers).
However, the mere fact that evidence may have been recovered of workers who worked on the Pyramid, does not necessarily mean that they had constructed it originally. Egypt is known to have suffered quite powerful earthquakes during the ages and those teams may merely have been tasked to either restore or maintain the Pyramid.
Figure 91. Eight-sided Great Pyramid
As a matter of interest, additional writings, recorded by a bendy “micro snake” camera mounted on a robot explorer, were first reported in June 2011229 and comprise three red ochre figures painted on the floor of a hidden chamber at the end of a tunnel deep inside the pyramid. The camera was able to explore the walls and floors in detail, as well as the two copper pins embedded in the door to the chamber at the end of the tunnel. They end in “small, beautifully made loops”, and the back of the door was discovered to be polished. Why? It seems that the more we discover about the Pyramid, the greater its mystery becomes.
Now here’s an idea. What if the local Arab population which survived the Flood 11,600 years ago, did not have a written language and were taught by the ‘gods’ how to write in pictures, i.e. hieroglyphs (see Chapter 13, The Seduction of Eve). One of the workers of that time was called Khufu and he dared writing his name in an obscure part of the pyramid. His name, along with others, was used for thousands of years afterwards, like the name John, which has existed since the time of Christ and probably will be forever. Some key questions – why was the know-how of the technology used to build the pyramid lost, why have no detailed plans of the pyramid ever been found, where are Osiris’s Tablets of Destiny? Perhaps almost as important, why had Egyptians completely forgotten how to interpret their own, ancient language? It was up to the western world to do so through Napoleon’s 1799 discovery of the Rosetta Stone230 and its first decipherment by the Frenchman Jean-François Champollion in 1822.
The age of the Great Sphinx ↑
Another key argument for the existence of an advanced civilization in Egypt predating any Egyptian rulers, is the equally controversial weathering of the Great Sphinx of Giza231. It is labelled a ‘fringe claim’ contending that the main type of weathering evident on the enclosure walls of the Great Sphinx was caused by prolonged and extensive rainfall, as should be evident from Figure 92232. A number of ridiculous alternative theories for the weathering mechanism have been proposed to counter the otherwise inevitable conclusion that the Sphinx was not created by the Egyptians ca. 2500 BCE.
The body of the Sphinx had been covered by sand for thousands of years (i.e. when the Sahara had already become dry and sandy), with only its head remaining visible above the sand. That the Sphinx is many thousands of years older than what orthodox Egyptologists believe is suggested by the fact that the head of the Sphinx had been recarved from the shapeless lump of rock that must have remained visible above the sand, following thousands of years of wind erosion. Figure 93 clearly demonstrates how small the size of the head of the Sphinx had become, especially when it is compared to the general shape of a Sphinx as indicated on the so-called Dream Stela between its legs (i.e. that was the Sphinx’s original shape), not to mention an actual lion.
Figure 92. Rain erosion of the walls of the Sphinx enclosure
Figure 93. Sphinx photograph (top)233, Sphinx on Dream Stela (centre) and overlay (bottom), compared to actual resting male lion
When Napoleon invaded Egypt on July 1, 1798, he landed in Egypt with 400 ships and 54,000 men, which included soldiers and sailors, as well as soldiers and sailors, 150 savants — scientists, engineers and scholars whose responsibility was to capture, not Egyptian soil, but Egyptian culture and history234. They mapped and sketched Egypt in astonishing detail, which they later published as a collection of 23 volumes, called Description de l'Égypte …235. Of particular interest is their sketches of the Sphinx, the head of which, already without its nose, is shown in Figure 94 (Description, pp. 472-473), from different perspectives. Figure 95 (Description, p. 469) shows the Sphinx with its body partially uncovered. What is very interesting is the clear signs of erosion on the nearest edge of the Sphinx plateau, which again looks much like rain erosion. It is curious that the sketch of the Sphinx produced by Napoleon’s artists does not show the deep fissures in the back of the Sphinx as photographed by Francis Frith236 (ca. 1856), Figure 96. It is quite possible that the French had begun to remove the sand covering the body of the Sphinx, but did not bother to clear out the fissures as well.
Figure 94. The head of the Sphinx from different perspectives (1798)
Figure 95. Head and body of Sphinx, with severely eroded edge of Sphinx plateau
Figure 96. Photograph of Sphinx by Francis Frith, showing deep fissures in its body
The Göbekli Tepe monoliths ↑
That the technology of working and handling limestone blocks weighing tons existed long before Menes united Upper and Lower Egypt in 3100 BCE, is evidenced by the fairly recent discovery (1995) of the Göbekli Tepe archaeological site in the Southeastern Anatolia Region of Turkey237. It was first excavated by Klaus Schmidt and is dated back to the 10th–8th millennium BCE. More than 200 pillars in about 20 circles are known (as of May 2020) through geophysical surveys. Each pillar has a height of up to 6 m (20 ft) and weighs up to 10 tons (see Figure 97238).
This proves that people who knew how to create these stunning megaliths, which are reminiscent of similar and even bigger megaliths around the world, had already existed up to 12,000 years ago – more or less the time when Atlantis sank. The site is located within the borders of the areas controlled by the resettled Atlanteans, as proposed by Donnelley in Figure 1. The actual radio-carbon dates vary from 9990 – 8880 BCE239, while Plato’s date for the sinking of Atlantis is 9600 BCE, suggesting that the site actually predates and survived the biblical Deluge. In a lecture by Graham Hancock240, he relates a conversation he had had with the late professor Schmidt, according to whom the site was “deliberately and meticulously buried beneath an artificial hill of earth and rubble.” The site is located at a relatively low altitude of 760 m above sea level. May that have been the reason why at first the lower (older) levels were buried (as protection against the flood they expected to come), and again when the site was finally abandoned, possibly to protect it against robbers and vandalism?
Figure 97. Göbekli Tepe archaeological site, Turkey
Other ancient enigmas and anomalies ↑
If we for a moment concede that the Great Pyramid and others were indeed constructed by Khufu, there is a multitude of questions that remains about the technologies used not only to construct the pyramids, but various other objects as well. I have compiled a collection of these on my website under Ancient Enigmas and Anomalies 241, but a much more detailed exposition and discussion of the inexplicable technological capabilities used by a highly advanced civilization in Egypt is presented on the Global Education Website Spirit & Stone website, with contributions by W.M. Flinders Petrie, Chris Dunn and Robert Francis242.
I will repeat just a few examples of technologies we will find difficult to replicate with modern machinery, let alone the tools we can only guess the ancient Egyptians would have had access to.
Figure 98. Tri-lobed schist bowl, fragile, with hardness 4-5 on Mohs scale243
Figure 99. Tube-drilled piece of granite (Mohs scale hardness 6-7) displaying spiral grooves characteristic of tube-drilling – how?
Figure 100. Examples of extreme masonry, from Giza and South America (circular saw radius 7.2 m, right bottom – how??)
Figure 101. Baalbek 800-ton foundation blocks (left) and 1650-ton monolith (right)
How did they manage to move, lift and position these blocks (three 800-ton blocks placed lengthwise next to each other, several metres above ground level)? They no doubt planned to use the 1650-ton monolith somewhere – it is simply mindboggling.
Figure 102. A 12-angled stone at Sacsayhuaman, Cuzco – how, and why?244
A Figure 103. 120-ton stone in a wall at Sacsayhuaman, Cuzco, Peru245
The best we can probably do today is with the Manitowoc 31000 Crawler Crane246 (Figure 104), which has a maximum lifting capacity of 2300 tons. The photograph below shows it performing its largest lift up to that date (650 tons, November 4, 2013), lifting a 55 m tall cold box, which measured 9 m by 9 m, off a flat-bed trailer in tandem with a 600-ton capacity Manitowoc 18000. Once airborne and upright, the 31000 took over and carried the load to its final location. Two lifts of 1000 tons were planned for a couple of months later. The biggest mobile crane, however, appears to be the German-manufactured Liebherr Mobile Crane LTM 11200-9.1247 (Figure 105), which has the longest telescopic boom in the world, capable of extending fully to 100 metres. It is set on a double cab truck and can lift 1200 metric tons.
However, the ancients didn’t have anything like these ...
Figure 104. The Manitowoc 31000 Crawler Crane
Figure 105. Liebherr Mobile Crane LTM 11200-9.1
The only hint that I am aware of, of how the ancients perceived the gods manufacturing and placing these megaliths, is quoted by Hancock248,
This gentle, civilizing, ‘superhuman’, Samaritan had another side to his nature, however. If his life were threatened, as it seems to have been on several occasions, he had the weapon of heavenly fire at his disposal:
Working great miracles by his words, he came to the district of the Canas and there, near a village called Cacha ... the people rose up against him and threatened to stone him. They saw him sink to his knees and raise his hands to heaven as if beseeching aid in the peril which beset him. The Indians declare that thereupon they saw fire in the sky which seemed all around them. Full of fear, they approached him whom they had intended to kill and besought him to forgive them ... Presently they saw that the fire was extinguished at his command, though stones were consumed by fire in such wise that large blocks could be lifted by hand as if they were cork. They narrate further that, leaving the place where this occurred, he came to the coast and there, holding his mantle, he went forth amidst the waves and was seen no more. And as he went they gave him the name Viracocha, which means ‘Foam of the Sea’.
If true, the ‘fire in the sky’ must have come from something man-made which could fly, hence the Serpents being depicted with wings? A similar airborne weapon is mentioned in Indian mythology249 (see Celestial weapons), for example,
Brahmashirsha astra: A weapon capable of greater destruction than the Brahmastra. It can burn all creation to ashes once discharged, Arjuna and Ashwathama both used it against each other after the Mahabharata war. Capable of killing even heavens. Was used by Ashwatthama on Parikshit. It is thought that the Brahmashirsha is the evolution of the Brahmastra, 4 times stronger than Brahmastra. "It blazes up with terrible flames within a huge sphere of fire. Numerous peals of thunder were heard, thousands of meteors fell and all living creatures became terrified with great dread. The entire sky seemed to be filled with noise and assumed a terrible aspect with flames of fire. The whole earth with her mountains and waters and trees trembled." When it strikes an area it will cause complete destruction and nothing will ever grow, not even a blade of grass for the next 12 years. It will not rain for 12 years in that area and everything including metal and earth becomes poisoned.
India just happened to be one of the stop-overs of Osiris, also known as Indra, Quetzalcoatl and Viracocha. What shall we make of these legends?
A challenge … ↑
A modern construction management study, in association with Mark Lehner and other Egyptologists, estimated that the total project of constructing the Great Pyramid required an average workforce of about 14,500 people and a peak workforce of roughly 40,000. Without the use of pulleys, wheels, or iron tools, they (supposedly) used critical path analysis methods, which suggest that the Great Pyramid was completed from start to finish in approximately 10 years (see Ref. 108, Great Pyramid of Giza).
With reference to the limestone ceiling stones and the granite sarcophagus in the kings chamber as shown in Figure 106, as a challenge, let a funded Egyptian team cut let’s say six ceiling blocks right from the beginning, at the quarry on the opposite side of the river, and granite block of roughly 1.0 x 1.1 x 2.3 m (the approximate size of the sarcophagus) from the granite quarry at Aswan250. Transport these to somewhere near the Pyramid site and finish them to the same standard observed in the pyramid. Then lay the ceiling stones side by side lengthwise, three at the bottom, two on top of them and the sixth on top of these two, in the middle, to form a triangle. Then replicate the sarcophagus with ancient tools leaving the same marks as can be observed in the existing one, and let it be filmed by a team from National Geographic, The History Channel or The Discovery Channel. They say seeing is believing.
Figure 106. The sarcophagus in the king’s chamber
16. Conclusion ↑
With this very brief summary and a few perhaps haphazard references to a couple of ancient myths about the Jews, Serpents and Egyptian gods, I merely wish to pique the reader's interest into this fascinating aspect of ancient history, the world of mythology. Were all these ancient legends nothing more than fantasies dreamt up by whomever? Are they not perhaps based on real events that occurred thousands of years ago? If so, what would that story be, if not what I had presented above?
I suspect that the only way to convince my critics would be to find concrete evidence, at best in the form of the remains of man-made structures like monoliths or stone blocks on the ocean floor between Australia, Antarctica and New Zealand. However, if the dent the comet had made in the crust of the earth is even deeper than say 8,000 m, then it could all now be covered by sand. One might also look for the skeletal remains of cattle in the area called Regio Patalis, but (I guess) being of organic origin, bones and horns would not have survived on the open ocean floor for thousands of years. Everything may also simply have become covered by sand. Another possibility is signs of ancient aquatic life high up on the slopes of the Eyre Basin, as I have depicted it in Figure 28, but if it had truly been thousands of meters higher in altitude 11,600 years ago, I would not know if aquatic life could have existed in a lake that high above sea level.
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