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by Mark Newbrook

Firstly: Thomas O. Mills (note 1) has argued that the traditional creation story of the Hopi people in Arizona not only provides a sound explanation of why Hopi ancestors chose to settle there but also furnishes an aid to interpreting the murals and most relevantly the hieroglyphic symbols of Ancient Egypt. In a second book (note 2) he claims to have used his knowledge of the Hopi Ceremonial Cycles to find 'ancient east' at a number of unexplained ancient sites around the world, in particular linking Hopi ideas with the zodiacal bas-relief found at Dendera in Egypt (important but not now generally regarded as mysterious [note 3] ) and with other Egyptian sites, and also with Stonehenge and other important sites. His interpretations are transparently speculative. (note 4)

As has become common in such works, Mills interprets tribal myths and legends in literal historical terms, treating them as veridical; and he also embraces Charles Hapgood's (debunked) notions about a polar shift in historic times (note 5), arguing that another such shift may be imminent and that major technological developments will be required in order to prevent or survive this event. He further suggests that the Moon was placed in its 'perfect' orbit in order to protect humanity.

A second, arguably less dramatic but still highly suspect group of claims, summarised by the indefatigable Jason Colavito (note 6), involves the maverick Dutch scholar Fred Woudhuizen, who claims to have deciphered various hitherto mysterious texts, revealing surprising confirmation of (mainly Greek) mythological narratives (note 7). He reads the Phaistos Disk (which I have repeatedly discussed in this forum and in Strange Linguistics) as a letter in Luwian (which as I have remarked in this forum may be the same language as the uninstantiated Trojan, or a close relative), and holds that the still mysterious Etruscan language is related to Luwian and reflects Luwian colonisation extending as far as Italy. Colavito is not alone in finding Woudhuizen's arguments unconvincing.

Most relevantly in this present context, Woudhuizen also makes claims about 'Cretan hieroglyphics'. These hieroglyphs represent a pre-linear phase of writing in pre-classical Crete; the scholarly consensus is that they remain undeciphered. However, Woudhuizen believes that he himself can read the script. The characters, he holds, are a mix of (surprise?!) Egyptian hieroglyphs, locally-developed hieroglyphs and symbols shared with the slightly later Linear A (apparently syllabic) script (itself undeciphered); and the language represented is (surprise, surprise!) Luwian!

Like many such proposals, Woudhuizen's reading of the characters involves huge amounts of arbitrariness and assumes unreasonable amounts of variability; his proposal is effectively untestable and cannot be taken seriously.

In amongst all this conjecture, Woudhuizen identifies the word Atlunu in one text which he believes refers to the central Aegean, and proclaims (giving no specific evidence) that this word refers to Plato's Atlantis. This relates to the oft-encountered theory that the destruction of Atlantis as described was in fact the volcanic destruction of the central Aegean island of Thera/Santorini in C16 BCE and the ensuing tsunami. Of course, many other theories have been proposed, locating Atlantis all around the world. But in any case it appears most likely that the entire Atlantis story was very largely invented by Plato.

Luwian is something of a favoured language on the fringe and amongst the mavericks; Woudhuizen is in the company here of such as Eberhard Zangger (who, as I have mentioned in this forum, also holds that Troy was Atlantis) and James Mellaart.


  1. Thomas O. Mills, The Book Of Truth A New Perspective on the Hopi Creation Story (Morrisville, NC, 2009).
  2. Thomas O. Mills, Stonehenge - If This Was East (Scotts Valley, NC, 2014.
  3. Readers might start at
  4. On both books, see
  5. Charles Hapgood, Earth's Shifting Crust: A Key to Some Basic Problems of Earth Science (1958) (re-published Scotts Valley, NC, 2015), and other works.
  7. Jan Best and Fred Woudhuizen, eds, Ancient Scripts from Crete and Cyprus (Leiden, New York, Copenhagen and Cologne, 1988); Jan Best and Fred Woudhuizen, Lost Languages from the Mediterranean (Leiden, 1989).

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