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27.7.2022

Atlas and Herakles

The migration of Indo-African genes, words, names, stories, and tech­no­lo­gies to Western Europe 3000 - 150 BCE

According to Philostratus, Indians had founded sixty cities in sub-Saharan Africa already before the ancient times, and according to Juba of Numidia, there was an Indian colony in West Africa before 50 BCE. According to Cornelius Nepos, an Indian tribe had sailed to Germania to do commerce, and according to Scymnus , the land of the Indians was located west from Sardinia, which would locate Indian colonies into Iberia. All these pieces of evidence have been traditionally considered invented and unreliable. The book Atlas and Herakles presents genetic, archaeological, historical, and linguistic evidence which indicates that the Indus Valley civilization founded a colony in Uganda 4000 – 3300 BCE and spread to West Africa and Europe 3000 – 650 BCE in the form of the Bell Beaker and the Sea People cultures. The genetic evidence of this intriguing new theory has been peer reviewed.


This "India-Africa-Europe" theory was then tested empirically against data that was obtained from Mapcarta.com and Forebears.io. This onomastical research data, which consisted 24 name sets and 888 names, provided additional evidence concerning the migrations from India to Western Europe around Africa. 

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Out of the studied name sets, the Ancient West African, Iberian, Berber and Libu, and Sea People name sets seem to have originated from the Indian Peninsula. This supports the India-Africa-Europe theory, according to which the migrations occurred around Africa by maritime routes.

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The remaining parts of the study focused at the Atla* theme, which contains stories that relate to Atlas, Atlantia, Atlantis, et cetera. Some of these stories were proto-historiographic and they located Atlantia, Mount Atlas, Atlanteans and an island called Atlantis to the coasts of the sub-Saharan Africa, whereas others were more mythical, locating King Atlas to Africa, and Atlantis to India. Plato, for example, located his version of Atlantis  implicitly to India by telling that the Atlanteans cultivated a fruit, which had a woody rind and which could be used as food, drink, and ointment. The only fruit that matches this description is coconut, and the only places where coconuts grew at prehistoric times were the eastern shores of the Indian Ocean. 


Based on the analysis of Plato's version of the Atla theme and based on its intertextual connections to proto-historiographic texts, it is unlikely that Plato's story would have been invented fiction. Instead, it is more likely that the story either contained a patchwork of motifs and narratives that Plato had borrowed from other sources, or was a somewhat realistic description of the Indo-African civilization which populated sub-Saharan Africa 3000 - 1000 BCE and which then threatened Greece and Egypt in the form of the Sea People attacks. 

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Pasi Malmi, Risto Isomäki, Tommaso Iorco, Muhammad Afzal Brohi & Ranajit Pal

A multicultural research group from Finland, Italy, India and Pakistan, led by Phd Pasi Malmi

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