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Pre-History of the World's Favorite Mystery Island
Dr. Orville Boyd Jenkins
A review of the book by Suzanne Frank
Shadows on the Aegean (NY:  Penguin Putnam, 2002, 132p.)

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Frank develops a story around the history and legends of Atlantis. She ties together various threads of pre-history and early history, including Egypt, pre-classical Greek civilization and proto-Hebrew culture.

She sets the book in the time of the Great Famine, when the biblical story places Joseph the son of Jacob in Egypt as the Prime Minister. She reckons the pharaoh of that period as Senwosret III, the last king before the Hyksos dynasty established by invaders from the East. Frank weaves a story of cultural and language history that is exciting and stimulating, as well as vivid in bringing out the strange, erotic, profligate and idolatrous character of the early Hellenic peoples.

Her motif is the real society from which the later Olympian myths of the Greek gods developed. This is a fascinating aspect of the story as she portrays how the pagan, superstitious culture of a real, understandable people trying to deal with a precarous natural setting became legendary due to the destruction of their culture by a cataclysmic earthquake and volcanic explosion that destroyed the whole character of the Aegean.

She provides great detail of the technology and social structure to account for the information in Plato's account form ancient times, supplemented by later Roman writers. She provides insights into the character of the ancient Mediterranean world, and its links with the Semitic cultures.

One novel aspect she includes in her tale is the inclusion of Egypt as a vassal of the Empire of Aztlan, which ruled the northern Mediterranean areas associated with Greek culture. Other writers reckon Joseph and the story of the migration of Jacob's family into Egypt occurred during the Hyksos dynasty, and present evidence that this was facilitated by the Hyksos being Semitic. See my article on this matter.

She places Atlantis [Aztlan] in the Aegean as the isle known today as Santorini. It appears she is following an earlier very popular view among scholars. A related book, by an archaeological historian, Andrew Collins, purposes an alternative that Atlantis was indeed, as earlier thought, a western island continent on the American side of the Atlantic.

Oh, and for added excitement, in this book she accounts for the ancient tales of Vampirism (porphyria) shared by the ancient Greeks and Egyptians, as well as forms of spongiform encephalitis, a true epidemic of the time.

A seredipitous bit of information about this book is that the author is from Dallas, Texas, the area where I stay and call home when I am not in Africa.

See related article on this site:
Hyksos and Hebrews

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First written and posted on Amazon.com 19 June 2006
Posted on Thoughts and Resources 07 December 2006

Copyright © 2006 Orville Boyd Jenkins
Permission granted for free download and transmission for personal or educational use.  Other rights reserved.

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