Having absolutely loved 1421, I had to see what author Gavin Menzies would make of the mystery surrounding Plato’s Atlantis. For some reason, I was not expecting a compelling argument, nor was I expecting his compelling conclusion that Atlantis was actually the island of Crete and its sister island Thera, and the “noble race” that Plato describes was actually the Minoans.

It is no secret that the Minoans were great seafarers. After all, they didn’t guard their palaces at Knossos or Akrotiri, because their fleets dominated the trade in the Mediterranean, keeping anyone thinking of a little piracy firmly in check.

A Minoan Ship with Dolphins. Vector Drawing done in the style of a Minoan Fresco by GregSm. Source: iStock.

Statue on Crete showing Europa sitting on a bull. The bull was the focus of Minoan religious practices. Photo 89775893 / Minoans © Andrei Stancu |

But what was a surprise was how far they may have sailed. Nowadays it is commonplace to say that Columbus didn’t discover America. It is obvious to many of us that America has been visited by many people including Vikings, Cornish, Irish, Breton, Welsh, Portuguese, or even Scottish fishermen (who may not always have realized exactly where they were), and not least by the Chinese who may have sent enormous fleets of Chinese junks on successive scientific explorations of the world between 1407 and 1434, as described in author Gavin Menzies’ books 1421 and 1434.

Now author Gavin Menzies posits the rather startling claim that the Minoans may have traveled as far as Lake Superior to mine the incredibly pure copper ore there, which together with Cornish tin was fashioned into bronze.

Dolphin fresco, symbol of Minoan culture, Knossos, Crete. Copyright:

Along the way, we learn a good deal, about Bronze Age copper mines, the Gulf Sea Drift, the scatter of stone circles, and the haplogroup X2 which testifies (according to Mr. Menzies’ way of thinking) that the Minoans were trading and living in these far-flung places BEFORE one of the largest volcanic explosions in earth’s history put a sudden stop to all this activity. The date of this explosion is still not known for certain, but recent research (done in the last 10 years) puts it between 1657 and 1546 BCE with a 68.2% probability.

As everyone knows, while an eruption of that size is bad enough, with all the debris ejected into the atmosphere causing the sun to disappear for months on end, provoking crop failure and famine, what really destroyed this civilization so completely was the enormous tsunami that struck Crete, Thera and the surrounding areas of the Mediterranean so forcefully that most to the island of Thera disappeared below the waves, just as Plato describes in his CRITIAS. Five stars.

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