This weekend, I am devoting my time to working on my new book about the myths and legends of the pyramids, so I have only a short topic to discuss with you today. It concerns a “new” hypothesis about the location of Atlantis that was recently described in the Nevada Appeal, a newspaper in Carson City publishing two weekly editions. The Appeal published a column by local historian and amateur archaeologist Dennis Cassinelli, who has written four books on Great Basin history, including Uncovering Archaeology, in which he attacks the “current system” of science and claims to have found evidence for lost civilizations of an Old World flavor in the Great Basin region, along with Mormon-style evidence of Christ’s visitation.
“Professionals are reluctant to critique their own profession,” Cassinelli said in an interview. “I know where enough of the archaeological skeletons are buried and some of the shennanigans [sic] that have taken place to write a humorous, yet serious, critique of the profession.”
The Appeal column is a summary of his discussion of Atlantis in his self-published Uncovering Archaeology.
Cassinelli discusses the Atlantis myth in a rather standard way before segueing into Mormon apologetics. He writes that years ago he took a trip to Central America to tour Maya ruins and as part of the preparation work, he began to study the Book of Mormon as a historical document. “Being an avid reader, I happened to read a few chapters in the Book of Mormon one day from a historical perspective,” he wrote. He quickly came to believe that Mormonism’s belief in Christ’s arrival in the Americas and ministry to the peoples of the Americas answered historical questions for him. He now believes, for example, that the Maya god Kukulkan was Christ, and he falsely claims that the Maya believed Kukulkan to have been born of a virgin. He also compares the promise of Kukulkan to return someday to Christ’s promise of the Second Coming—despite the odd inconsistency that he believes (wrongly) that the Mormons hold Christ to have faked his own death before escaping to America, thereby rendering the whole Second Coming doctrine essentially moot. If Christ wasn’t resurrected, then the mythology erected atop the resurrection doesn’t stand.
But what does this have to do with Atlantis? Well, glad you asked:
My theory is Central America was actually the lost continent of Atlantis. Even before Christ arrived, a Phoenician ship likely landed on the coast of Central America. The sailors saw the massive pyramids and the wonderful cities of the Mayans, believing they had landed in Atlantis. Upon their return, they reported the wonders of "Atlantis" to the world.
It annoys me when someone claiming to be a historian doesn’t seem to be aware of the work of earlier writers who trod the same ground. The claim that Mexico and the Maya lands were “Atlantis” is as old as the Spanish Conquest. In the nineteenth century both Brasseur de Bourbourg and Augustus Le Plongeon famously pursued the claim, with the latter imagining the Maya lands as the fountainhead of world civilization.
At least Cassinelli has an unusual spin on the idea, asserting that “Atlantis” itself was a myth but that Phoenicians described the Maya cities as Atlantis because of the myth. This is basically what happened with Francisco López de Gómara in 1552 when he applied the Atlantis myth to explain what he saw in Mexico. But you really have to love the way Cassinelli openly makes up stories that can’t be true—the “embarrassed” expedition—without bothering to justify them with evidence.
Factually speaking, for the story to be true, all of this would have had to have occurred before Plato wrote of Atlantis in order for him to have incorporated the “embarrassed” expedition’s claim of a missing continent. That means that the last journeys would have had to take place around 400 BCE, during the Maya Preclassic period, when pyramids were much smaller and cities were only starting to rise. More challenging still is that for the Greek legend to rightly think Atlantis to be vastly old, when Maya buildings of that time were demonstrably new, the Phoenicians would have had to have visited still earlier, when there were no Maya pyramids at all. I suppose the Olmec would need to substitute in here, though we fall into a paradox: If “Atlantis” was a myth applied to America, then why is there no mention of it before Plato? In something of a chicken and egg problem, the creation of the myth and its real-world inspiration seem to take place both simultaneously and not at all.
2/16/2019 12:21:02 pm
Interesting but understandable that a man who has no compunction about digging up pottery, skeletons, arrowheads and other indigenous artifacts and exploiting them for profit - and justifying this desecration by claiming his finds wre all on "private ranch land".- would become a crackpot Mormon apologist.
2/16/2019 12:45:40 pm
The claim is logically clearly impossible, besides the other 1000 reasons, why this is wrong.
2/16/2019 02:50:23 pm
Dorian Greeks (Heracles) and Magdalene arriving in France cannot be compared. Clumping that together is like calling Dan Brown a historian.
2/16/2019 06:21:33 pm
Might not Heracles be based upon a real person just as Atlantis might be based on a real place? Is there evidence that Mary Magdalene did not travel to France?
2/17/2019 01:52:40 am
Dorian Greeks claiming to be descended from Heracles is a hoot.
2/16/2019 01:50:04 pm
Yet more claims of Atlantis - how boring!
2/16/2019 03:36:37 pm
They stole stuff from Freemasonry
2/16/2019 11:01:53 pm
Who reads the Book of Mormon in preparation for a trip to Central America?
2/17/2019 12:29:30 am
Actually I did read the parts about JC in the Americas when I was shovel bumming in the Yucatan - so I could converse with the LDS students in a neighboring excavation.
Dah the Ah
2/17/2019 04:16:19 pm
It would be ok to read the Torah.But I am not aware that there are many Jewish areas in Japan. Of course, you also may just be kidding and if so, reading the Torah would be as good a preparation for a trip as anything else.
2/21/2019 02:38:48 pm
There actually ARE some fringe types who have claimed that various designs on Japanese mirrors are supposed to be some form of ancient Hebrew. Hmmm, I should probably dig up some of that material, might be good for a laugh or two, like that Zuni Enigma book from a few years ago.
2/16/2019 02:40:12 pm
I read the interview in the embedded link above. He comes across as, relatively speaking, halfway rational. I guess he only really twists off in other venues.
2/16/2019 09:46:35 pm
What a load of Kolob.
2/17/2019 01:08:19 am
Actually appears to be true if we take it as written language as it appears you do. "Egyptian hieroglyphs in the tomb of Seth-Peribsen (2nd Dynasty), Umm el-Qa'ab" c. 2690 BCE
2/17/2019 02:25:22 am
Talking cartoon moon - 1
2/17/2019 03:41:02 am
Google still says Sumerian.
Wim Van der Straeten
2/17/2019 04:46:04 am
You would think that after so many theories and books about the location of Atlantis people would get tired of the subject, but apparently that's not the case. Is there a part of this planet where Atlantis hasn't been located yet? Even Antarctica and the Sahara have already been mentioned as potential locations. The 18th century Fleming Charles-Joseph De Grave even located it in the Low Countries, my own region.
2/17/2019 07:55:04 am
Atlantis is never located in Plato's imagination
2/17/2019 10:00:58 am
I'm for Atlantis on the Cydonian plain of Mars submerged in an overnight dust storm. Has anyone claimed that yet?
2/17/2019 10:12:37 am
2/19/2019 03:12:56 am
"Languages are used by royal classes first, and therefore have a history beyond the academic world. Academics date languages using the dates on books used to teach the language to the working classes."
2/19/2019 02:37:52 pm
Kent, I believe you made my point!
2/19/2019 03:37:35 pm
You sound like a fucking idiot.
2/17/2019 02:24:25 pm
After reviewing the 1910 AD preliminary report given on the Kensington Runestone to the historical society, I wish to point out that the academic world is in need of help when the ‘experts’ are predisposed to denial.
2/17/2019 03:09:36 pm
Hey is this "florida' from Historum? What does this have to do with the subject at hand?
2/17/2019 03:20:11 pm
It's the lineage of Atlantis. You can throw Plato in just before Alexander.
2/17/2019 03:37:48 pm
- Phoenicians were the boat people who brought everyone to Atlantis.
2/17/2019 03:45:31 pm
Your imagination fills in the gaps.
2/17/2019 04:00:45 pm
Why does it say 1362?
2/17/2019 07:34:25 pm
The Sinclair Expeditions ended in 1362 when they discovered the northern tribes had blended with the Indian populations. Those that didn't blend were found dead. Back in Europe, the other prominent families isolated the Sinclair's for their failures in America... putting an end to their voyages. In 1402, when Henry Sinclair was on his deathbed, his last request was for his son to return to America and leave evidence of their time here.
2/17/2019 07:51:03 pm
Those found red with blood (hair color):
2/17/2019 08:01:41 pm
The Round Table of Marijuana
2/17/2019 08:12:30 pm
Yes, the peace pipe was integral in separating the braves from the squaws. The chief didn't want to get caught with his pants down. He had several feathers in his cap as evidence.
2/17/2019 08:42:29 pm
I meant marijuana being used by yourself to produce your fantasy histories.
lineage of Atlantis
2/17/2019 03:30:16 pm
Plato's imagination conjuring a peg on which to hang his theories upon. Boring.
2/17/2019 05:35:38 pm
Something more interesting... uhm, what to do?
LINEAGE OF ATLANTIS
2/17/2019 08:00:10 pm
You mean you dream all that stuff up without smoking anything
2/17/2019 08:15:58 pm
LINEAGE OF ATLANTIS
2/17/2019 08:40:45 pm
It's because of the likes of people like you that make most others use the internet strictly for emailing purposes.
2/17/2019 08:43:35 pm
Well......there is a certain comedy element involved....lol
Lineage of Atlantis
2/18/2019 10:28:10 am
People don't know the difference between making things up and objective historical research.
2/18/2019 11:40:21 am
Yeah making stuff up is pretty easy. Since in real research you often don't find what you are looking for.....strangely those who make up stuff always find exactly what they set out to find - Amazingly!
2/18/2019 12:01:14 pm
I think you are forgetting your own research...
2/18/2019 12:37:41 pm
You have an interesting view of history. It might make a good subject for one of Jason's articles.
2/18/2019 12:40:05 pm
""754 BC, Villa Nova was sacked. Half of the library of Alexandria was taken. It laid the foundations for Rome""
2/18/2019 12:56:20 pm
""You have an interesting view of history. It might make a good subject for one of Jason's articles. ""
2/18/2019 01:08:12 pm
2/18/2019 01:16:00 pm
...oh my so they're suppressing you in all manner of ways but then have forgotten to take your books down so your information STILL gets out?
2/18/2019 01:34:40 pm
Name of celebrity? Links to your writings? Thanks!
2/18/2019 01:39:02 pm
I think the point is... I am not allowed to make any money from the information which I have been tutored to understand. The funds are going to those who did the teaching.
2/18/2019 01:43:21 pm
Voyage of the Thundergods book
2/18/2019 01:44:56 pm
I don't wish to cause the celebrity any more trouble. He was kind enough to hear me and get interested in what I said. Think really hard and you probably could figure it out.
2/18/2019 03:05:24 pm
So Wesley Snipes, then? Still hoping you'll provide the websites for your writings!
2/18/2019 03:19:41 pm
Not Wesley Snipes.
2/18/2019 04:40:09 pm
Why didn't you just start another website with your files? Your ideas about history are fascinating!
2/18/2019 04:58:08 pm
Eirik there are less than 50 people who routinely visit this site and comment. Only 3-4 people make most comments and several pretend to be many people so they can support themselves. This is a hate blog and the comments prove it.
2/18/2019 01:45:15 pm
Is Scott W. here or is this Sinclair guy just an elaborate prank? Hi, Scott, remember those Berkeley walls? Maybe you can go work for Trumpy. He needs work getting his walls.
2/18/2019 01:50:59 pm
Sinclair is one of my pen names.
2/18/2019 01:53:04 pm
The Walls of Derry are much more interesting! You will learn a lot of history if you can break through them. Good stuff!
Walls of Derry
2/18/2019 02:11:28 pm
Imagination exists without boundaries or borders
2/18/2019 02:26:14 pm
Boring is going to church.
2/19/2019 04:50:14 pm
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I am an author and researcher focusing on pop culture, science, and history. Bylines: New Republic, Esquire, Slate, etc. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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