Ignatius Donnelly

American Evidences of Intercourse with Europe or Atlantis

1. Bearded Men on Monuments

One of the most intriguing pieces of evidence suggesting pre-Columbian trans-oceanic contact is the representation of bearded men on Central American monuments.

Given that the indigenous American populations are generally beardless, the depiction of bearded individuals raises questions about their origin. This imagery might indicate contact with, or memory of, a bearded race from an Eastern origin, possibly from Atlantis or Europe.

2. Eastern Origins in Traditions

Many traditions of Central American civilizations point to an Eastern origin, reinforcing the idea of trans-oceanic contact.

A notable legend is that of Quetzalcoatl, a civilizing figure described as a bearded white man who came from the East. Quetzalcoatl was a high-priest and god of the Toltecs, credited with various cultural advancements such as gem-cutting, metal-casting, and the invention of the Mexican calendar.

After his time in the Americas, he supposedly returned to the East by sea. This legend parallels the idea of cultural diffusion from an advanced Eastern civilization, potentially Atlantis.

Dr. Le Plongeon’s observations at Chichen Itza, where he found columns with carvings of bearded men worshiping sacred trees, further supports the theory of Eastern influence.

These figures closely resemble depictions of similar worship in Assyria, suggesting a shared or influenced religious practice.

Additionally, the Cakchiquel manuscript describes four individuals arriving from the East, reinforcing the notion that the origin of these people was across the ocean.

3. Analogies to Atlantis

The Abbé Brasseur de Bourbourg draws significant parallels between the descriptions of Xibalba in the Popol Vuh and Atlantis. Both are described as fertile lands abundant in precious metals, and both had a similar political structure with a ruling council of ten kings. The name “Atlan,” derived from the Nahuatl word for water, is echoed in place names and myths, suggesting a connection to Atlantis. Traditions in Yucatan also speak of ancestors crossing the sea, which aligns with the idea of an Eastern origin.

4. Representations of the Elephant

The presence of elephant representations in American artifacts is compelling. These images could indicate either that the monuments date back to when mammoths roamed North America or that there was contact with civilizations familiar with elephants. Plato’s account of Atlanteans possessing elephants supports the latter theory.

  • Elephant Mounds in Wisconsin: These mounds accurately depict elephants, suggesting that the creators were familiar with the animal.
  • Elephant Pipe in Iowa: A sandstone pipe found in Louisa County, Iowa, represents an elephant. Its discovery among abundant ancient mounds implies a historical knowledge of elephants.
  • Elephant Imagery in Palenque: A stucco bass-relief from Palenque shows a priest wearing an elephant-head helmet. Additionally, decorations resembling elephant trunks are found in Central American ruins.

In Tylor’s “Researches into the Early History of Mankind,” an ancient Mexican manuscript features a remarkable depiction of an elephant, further reinforcing the hypothesis of knowledge transfer from a civilization where elephants were known.

Elephant mound, wisconsin.
Mexican representation of elephant.

Corroborating Circumstances

1. The Meropes and Merou

Theopompus mentioned that the inhabitants of Atlantis were called the Meropes, connecting them to the Greek term μέροπες ἄνθρωποι, which means “the men sprung from Merou.” This aligns with Lenormant’s assertion that the human race originated from Upa-Merou, suggesting a shared ancient lineage and cultural memory.

2. The Etymology of Atlantic

The term “Atlantic” and the name of the Atlas Mountains are not derived from any known Old World language. Instead, the Nahuatl language offers the word “atl” (water), leading to “atlan” (on the border of or amid the water), which could be the origin of the name Atlantic. The existence of an Atlan city in Darien, Central America, supports this connection, and Plato’s account names Atlas, the son of Poseidon, as the namesake of Atlantis and the Atlantic Ocean.

3. The Atlas Mountains and Atlantes

The Atlas Mountains in Africa and the Atlantes people in the vicinity are likely remnants of Atlantean influence. The use of the name Atlas and the presence of the Atlantes near these mountains suggest a historical connection to Atlantis. This link is reinforced by the use of “Atlas” and “Atlantis” across different locations and cultures, indicating a shared origin or significant influence from the lost civilization.

4. Plato’s Description of the Atlantic Geography

Plato’s description of the Atlantic geography, including the islands beyond Atlantis and the surrounding continent, suggests knowledge of the Americas. The idea of a “real sea” contrasting with the Mediterranean aligns with the vast Atlantic Ocean and the surrounding landmasses of the Americas, knowledge that seems unlikely for Plato to have guessed without some historical basis.

5. The Basques and Polysynthetic Language

The Basques, with their unique language structure resembling American languages, suggest a link to Atlantis. Plato’s account of Gadeirus, ruling a region extending to what is now Spain, implies that the Basques could be descendants of Atlanteans. Their polysynthetic language structure further supports this connection.

6. Red and Black Depictions in Art

The depiction of red men in Egyptian art and black figures in Central American monuments implies ancient trans-oceanic interactions. The presence of negroid features in Central American statues and the tradition of a peaceful, mixed-race origin in the “Popol Vuh” points to a historical blending of populations, likely facilitated by Atlantis as a central hub of ancient civilization.

7. Mediterranean Civilizations and Radiating Influence

Civilizations around the Mediterranean, including the Aryans, Egyptians, and Chinese, trace their origins or significant influences to this region, suggesting a shared connection to Atlantis. This centrality of the Mediterranean as a cultural and civilizational hub is consistent with the idea of an advanced Atlantean civilization spreading its influence through colonization and trade.

8. The Semitic Race in Europe

The Semitic race’s presence in Europe, particularly on coastal regions, suggests a historical colonization or migration that can be explained by the existence of Atlantis. The Semitic influence on European languages and cultures points to an ancient connection facilitated by sea routes and shared heritage.

9. Origins of Essential Food Plants

The mysterious origins of essential food plants like wheat, barley, and maize suggest advanced agricultural practices from an ancient civilization. Atlantis, with its sophisticated society, could have developed these crops and disseminated them through its colonies and trading networks, explaining their widespread and ancient cultivation.

10. Geographic Name Similarities

The similarity of place names in Ptolemy’s Geography of Asia Minor and Central American localities indicates a shared cultural or migratory history. This parallelism suggests a connection through Atlantis, which could have influenced place names on both continents.

11. Similar Artifacts and Customs

Artifacts like the sandals of the Chacmol statue and the Chiriqui axes resemble those found in Europe, pointing to a shared origin. Similarities in rock carvings between Chiriqui and Northumberland, and in symbols between the Canary Islands and Lake Superior, further support the theory of a common Atlantean ancestry.

12. Anthropological Evidence

Anthropological evidence, such as the dolichocephalic skulls found on both sides of the Atlantic, suggests a shared population. The resemblance between the skulls of the Canary Islands, African coast, and Carib Islands supports the idea of a trans-Atlantic population movement.

13. The Carian Connection

The Carians, ancient navigators and pirates of the Mediterranean, share a name and cultural similarities with the Caribs of the West Indies and Central America. This connection points to a shared Atlantean heritage.

14. The Practice of Embalming

The practice of embalming the dead, found among the Guanches, Egyptians, Assyrians, and American civilizations, suggests a common religious belief in bodily resurrection. This unique and complex practice likely originated from a single advanced culture, supporting the existence of Atlantis as a source of shared traditions.

15. Ocean as the Source of Life

Ancient Mediterranean traditions, including those of Homer and Orpheus, refer to the ocean as the source of gods and life. This concept aligns with the idea of Atlantis as a central, life-giving civilization surrounded by water.

16. Flood Legends and Oceanic Catastrophes

Flood legends from various cultures, including the Hindoos and the biblical story of Noah, point to an oceanic catastrophe. These narratives align with the destruction of Atlantis by a great flood, reinforcing the historical basis of such myths.

17. Verbal Similarities in Languages

Verbal similarities between ancient European and American languages, such as Pan and Maya, suggest a shared linguistic heritage. These linguistic connections indicate a common origin, likely Atlantis, which influenced both continents.

In conclusion, the multitude of cultural, linguistic, and anthropological similarities between the Old and New Worlds provides compelling evidence for the existence of Atlantis. This advanced civilization likely served as a central hub, facilitating the exchange of knowledge, traditions, and populations across the Atlantic, leaving a lasting legacy on both sides.

The Question of Complexion

1. The Importance of Physical Traits

Modern ethnology places significant importance on physical traits such as height, hair color, eye color, skin color, and body formation rather than language. Language can result from conquests or migrations, as evidenced by the United States, where diverse ethnic groups speak English despite having different ancestral origins.

2. Misconceptions about European and American Complexions

Contrary to popular belief, Europe is not exclusively populated by white men. There is a range of complexions from the fair Swedes to the darker-skinned inhabitants of the Mediterranean coast, similar to the Berbers and Moors. Tacitus mentioned the “Black Celts,” a term that could apply to some Italians, Spaniards, Portuguese, and Basques. Tylor notes that skin color varies gradually from the fairest to the darkest without strict lines.

In America, the notion that all Indians are “red men” of the same hue is incorrect. Prichard observed a wide variety of complexions among American races, from white to very dark. John T. Short and other sources confirm the presence of various shades among the tribes, such as the white-skinned Menominees, the darker-skinned Kaws, and the light-skinned Zunians.

3. Examples of Varied Complexions among Native Americans

The Menominees, called the “White Indians,” have been noted for their light skin since first contact with Europeans. Zuni Indians of New Mexico include individuals with fair skin, blue eyes, and auburn hair. The ancient California Indians were as black as Africans, while tribes in Mexico were relatively light-skinned. William Penn described Pennsylvania Indians with European-like features and complexions ranging from olive to Roman noses, suggesting Jewish ancestry.

4. Mandans and Other Tribes

The Mandans exhibited a remarkable diversity in complexion and hair color, with individuals ranging from light to dark skin and various hair colors, including silvery-gray. Major James W. Lynd observed similar diversity among the Dakota Indians, whose skin color lightened with age and lifestyle changes.

5. Ancient Peruvian Complexions

The ancient Peruvians displayed a range of complexions, with mummies showing light brown hair and fine texture. Some Peruvian mummies had white skin and auburn hair, similar to European traits. The Aymaras, ancient inhabitants of Peru and Bolivia, had olive-brown complexions and regular features.

6. Misconceptions about American Indian Features

Contrary to the belief that all American Indians share the same features, portraits from the U.S. Pacific Railroad Survey show a variety of European-like faces. For instance, the great Italian reformer Savonarola had features resembling North American Indians.

7. Adam and the Red Men

The name Adam is derived from the red earth, signifying a ruddy complexion. Ancient texts and traditions identify early races as red or sunburnt, including the Cushites, Ethiopians, and Phoenicians. The Egyptians also considered themselves red men and depicted themselves as such on monuments, emphasizing a noble lineage.

8. The Egyptians and Aryans

The ancient Egyptians recognized four races: red, yellow, black, and white. They painted themselves red-brown and depicted other races accordingly. The Aryan writings also categorized humanity into white, red, yellow, and black races, with the red Kshatriyas being a significant group.

9. Modern Implications

The variety of complexions among ancient and modern populations suggests a historical blending of races. In America, the original population included red, white, black, and yellow men. Similarly, Europe and the Mediterranean are populated by a mongrel race resulting from the intermixture of dark and light races over long periods.

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