Peter James (historian)

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Peter James is a British historian and author specialising in the ancient history and archaeology of the Eastern Mediterranean region, with key related interests being chronology (dating techniques), ancient technology and astronomy, and sub-Roman Britain. He graduated in archaeology and ancient history at the University of Birmingham (England) and pursued postgraduate research in ancient history at University College London. He has published four books (three co-authored) on various aspects of ancient history.

In his best known work, Centuries of Darkness, he and four colleagues challenged the traditional chronology for the Bronze to Iron Ages in the Near East and Eastern Mediterranean. In particular, they advanced the idea that the Greek Dark Ages can be drastically reduced, arising solely from a misreading of key elements of Egyptian history. Ongoing criticism and discussion of the evidence is listed on the authors' own website.[1]

In The Sunken Kingdom: The Atlantis Mystery Solved, James hypothesizes about the location of Atlantis. By first claiming that references to mythological Tartarus by Plato were in fact meant to identify a Lydian king by the name of Tantalus, he goes on to identify Atlantis with a hypothetical lost temple city called Tantalis, corresponding to modern-day Manisa in Turkey.


  • Centuries of Darkness: A Challenge to the Conventional Chronology of Old World Archaeology, in collaboration with I.J. Thorpe [et al.], Rutgers University Press, New Brunswick, NJ., 1993, ISBN 0-8135-1950-0 (hardcover), ISBN 0-8135-1951-9 (paperback); originally published by Jonathan Cape, London, 1991, ISBN 0-224-02647-X[2]
  • The Sunken Kingdom: The Atlantis Mystery Solved, Jonathan Cape, London, 1995, ISBN 0-224-03810-9 (hardcover); Pimlico, London, 1996. ISBN 0-7126-7499-3 (paperback)
  • Ancient Inventions, with I.J. Thorpe, Michael O'Mara, London, 1995, ISBN 1-85479-777-8
  • Ancient Mysteries, with I.J. Thorpe, Ballantine, New York, 1999, ISBN 0-345-40195-6


  1. ^
  2. ^ Snodgrass, Anthony (25 July 1991). "Collapses of Civilisation". London Review of Books 13 (14). 

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