|The Atlantis We Look For|
|The Circle of Evolution|
|Old Maps and Writings|
|Can Lands Sink and Rise?|
|Old Texts - Just Stories?|
|The Underwater Search|
|Mysteries on Shore|
|The Current Search|
|Location Theories I|
|Location Theories II|
|Location Theories III|
|Is it Mesopotamia?|
|Mysteries of Ancient Civilizations: Solved|
Last Update: February 26,
©1997 - 2007Andreea Haktanir
I have decided upon writing this chapter so I don't have to repeat the same statements on and on when presenting the theories in the following chapters. I do recommend this chapter's reading, so you can follow the theories and their claims more easily.
"Let me begin by observing first of all, that nine thousand was the sum of years which had elapsed since the war which was said to have taken place between those who dwelt outside the Pillars of Heracles and all who dwelt within them; this war I am going to describe." The Santorini enthusiasts claim nowadays that Plato's location of Atlantis was a misunderstood, that maybe Solon got it wrong from the Egyptians. Then how come such wars are mentioned? Is it such a wrong misunderstanding that Plato invented wars between the ones living in the Mediterranean Sea and the ones livings outside it? Wouldn't it have been clear to Solon, or, for that matter, to Plato, that the wars the possible Mediterranean Atlanteans had were 'only' with the people living around them? Why would you need to mention two sides, if it were only one side of the Gibraltar, in the Med Sea? Why would you actually ever mention Gibraltar, such a remote location from areas such as Santorini, when you could give it a precise location?
According to Herodotus ("History", Vol. 2), "the father of history", Hercules of actually an Egyptian God that belonged to the Egyptians and the Phoenicians, from where the Greeks took him. "But the Egyptian Hercules is one of their ancient gods. Seventeen thousand years before the reign of Amasis, the twelve gods were, they affirm, produced from the eight: and of these twelve, Hercules is one.
In the wish to get the best information that I could on these matters, I made a voyage to Tyre in Phoenicia, hearing there was a temple of Hercules at that place, very highly venerated. I visited the temple, and found it richly adorned with a number of offerings, among which were two pillars, one of pure gold, the other of emerald, shining with great brilliancy at night. In a conversation which I held with the priests, I inquired how long their temple had been built, and found by their answer that they, too, differed from the Greeks. They said that the temple was built at the same time that the city was founded, and that the foundation of the city took place two thousand three hundred years ago."
We know Egyptians were great keepers of history, yet the story of a sunken island was never written. The Santorini supporters say that this Thera-Atlantis island sank and its people fled to the nearby countries, like Syria and northern Egypt. Wouldn't the Egyptians then have noted down the event, especially at Sais, which is found in the north of the country? Were the destruction so close to them in history and in location, wouldn't they tell more about it?
"Of the combatants on the one side, the city of Athens was reported to have been the leader and to have fought out the war; the combatants on the other side were commanded by the kings of Atlantis [...]" The first traces of any kind of Greek civilization go back to 3000 BC. The first inhabited and developed area was Crete, and the most ancient ruins belonging to the Greek world are the Palaces of Knossos and Phaestos, from around 2000 BC. Athens was inhabited since Neolithic times and was fortified in 1400 BC. If Plato is right about this, then we need to bring the existence from Atlantis towards more recent times. 9000 BC won't do. So is it 1500 BC then? Or is it a completely different date?
Let's start with Plato's dialogues and the description of Atlantis. We are looking for a medium sized island (I'm using the meson-mezon translation error, that would make Atlantis the size of 'between Asia and Libya'), behind the pillars of Hercules (Gibraltar), that has the ocean behind and is a bridge leading to the real continent. One of its shores was facing Gades (Cadiz) which is on the south-west of Spain, close to the Gibraltar Strait. That immediately places Atlantis outside the Mediterranean Sea.
Plato also says: "All these and their descendants for many generations were the inhabitants and rulers of divers islands in the open sea; and also, as has been already said, they held sway in our direction over the country within the Pillars as far as Egypt and Tyrrhenia". Tyrrhenia was the western coast of Italy, opening to the Tyrrhenian Sea. If the island was situated indeed in the Mediterranean Sea, in a place like Santorini (which is in the eastern part of the Mediterranean), when talking about areas that the Atlantean power covered, you would tend to mention the side of the country that is opened towards it, so you'd talk about the eastern part of Italy, not the western part.
Plato talks about the mount Atlas, which is in Morocco, part of "Libya" in Plato's time. So if Atlantis is a part of Libya, why would you compare it to itself? In other words, it has to be out of the continent.
"Many great deluges have taken place during the nine thousand years, for that is the number of years which have elapsed since the time of which I am speaking." We need an area prone to floods and volcanic eruptions.
"The consequence is, that in comparison of what then was, there are remaining only the bones of the wasted body, as they may be called, as in the case of small islands, all the richer and softer parts of the soil having fallen away, and the mere skeleton of the land being left. But in the primitive state of the country, its mountains were high hills." So the mountains didn't sink. They remained, but who knows if they are still there or, being volcanoes, they submerged again. If you remember, a volcano can create a whole new island or a whole new mountain, or it can collapse into its own crater.
"Atlantis, [...] when afterwards sunk by an earthquake, became an impassable barrier of mud to voyagers sailing from hence to any part of the ocean." So, no point in searching for Atlantis close to Cyprus or Turkey, in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. According to Plato, again, it should be around the Gibraltar, opening to the Ocean.
"Concerning the country the Egyptian priests said what is not only probable but manifestly true, that the boundaries [of Athens] were in those days fixed by the Isthmus [of Corinth], and that in the direction of the continent they extended as far as the heights of Cithaeron [Elatea, highest peak 4626 ft, South of Boetia, SE of Greece] and Parnes; the boundary line came down in the direction of the sea, having the district of Oropus [seaport, on Euripus, between Boetia and Attica, reason for disputes between the two] on the right, and with the river Asopus as the limit on the left." We are looking for a time when Athens was this large.
"There were a great number of elephants in the island; for as there was provision for all other sorts of animals, both for those which live in lakes and marshes and rivers, and also for those which live in mountains and on plains, so there was for the animal which is the largest and most voracious of all." Elephants - I don't think you would find them in any other part but in Africa and its shores. Marshes, rivers, plains, lakes, and desert (pleasant fruits of the dessert) - sounds a bit the way Herodotus described Egypt.
"Moreover, they divided at the bridges the zones of land which parted the zones of sea, leaving room for a single trireme to pass out of one zone into another, and they covered over the channels so as to leave a way underneath for the ships; for the banks were raised considerably above the water." I think this is impossible to do if Atlantis was a city found on a small island in open sea or ocean. Sounds more likely like a marshy area, a redirected river, or a maybe lake. Venice is a collection of small islands, linked by bridges, with enough space in between some to let more than one ship pass. I honestly don't believe that the channels were completely man-made. They were purely a natural feature, an accumulation of alluviums, and they simply made them deeper and rose the banks too.
Herodotus also says in "History", when talking about Egyptians: "When the Nile comes over the land, the cities alone are seen rising above the water, resembling more nearly than anything else the islands in the Aegean Sea; for the rest of Egypt becomes a sea and the cities alone rise above water. [...] Of Min, who first became king of Egypt, the priests said that on the one hand he banked off the site of Memphis from the river: for the whole stream of the river used to flow along by the sandy mountain-range on the side of Libya, but Min formed by embankments that bend of the river which lies to the South about a hundred furlongs above Memphis, and thus he dried up the old stream and conducted the river so that it flowed in the middle between the mountains: and even now this bend of the Nile is by the Persians kept under very careful watch, that it may flow in the channel to which it is confined, and the bank is repaired every year; for if the river should break through and overflow in this direction, Memphis would be in danger of being overwhelmed by flood."
"The entire circuit of the wall, which went round the outermost zone, they covered with a coating of brass, and the circuit of the next wall they coated with tin, and the third, which encompassed the citadel, flashed with the red light of orichalcum." Yellow, silver, red. So the orichalcum is red. Good for our quest for such a metal, or maybe gem. If you remember, Herodotus mentions the Phoenician temple of Hercules having one column or gold and the other of emerald, so some precious stone is not out of the question.
I used the website of University of Nevada to find out more about copper. Copper is a red metal. What we know about copper is that it's malleable, found in its native state on the surface of the ground, used intently together with gold during Stone Age. Deposits of copper are found in Cyprus and all Mediterranean. It was used by Chaldeans in Middle East in 4500 BC. Copper items were also found in the ancient location of Susa, Iran. Sumeria was among the first worlds to use copper and gold. However, we have to know that exposure to weather changes copper's reddish color to blue-green. So how did the orichalcum remain red if it was copper indeed?
"The stone which was used in the work they quarried from underneath the centre island, and from underneath the zones, on the outer as well as the inner side. One kind was white, another black, and a third red." Volcanic place, like we already know. Also, it's good to mention that Egyptians searched for gold mines and reached Nubia in their search. The slaves would work in these mines, whose ceilings were supported by pillars of unmined rock or by stone walls.
Copper reached Crete from Egypt though. A copper axe from about 3000 B.C. was found on the floor of the ruins of a house. A copper-using civilization existed at least 2000 years ago in southern Africa where the modern nation of Zimbabwe stands
"The whole country was said by him to be very lofty and precipitous on the side of the sea, but the country immediately about and surrounding the city was a level plain, itself surrounded by mountains which descended towards the sea; it was smooth and even, and of an oblong shape, extending in one direction three thousand stadia, but across the centre inland it was two thousand stadia. This part of the island looked towards the south, and was sheltered from the north." No need for explanations here.
"[...] The bull which they caught they led up to the pillar and cut its
throat over the top of it so that the blood fell upon the sacred inscription."
Bull sacrificing was common among the Minoans on Santorini and Crete. Also,
Herodotus describes in his "An Account on Egypt" the ox sacrifices the Egyptians
made: " [...] Their appointed manner of sacrifice is as follows:--they lead the
sealed beast to the altar where they happen to be sacrificing, and then kindle a
fire: after that, having poured libations of wine over the altar so that it runs
down upon the victim and having called upon the god, they cut its throat, and
having cut its throat they sever the head from the body. The body then of the
beast they flay, but upon the head they make many imprecations first, and then
they who have a market and Hellenes sojourning among them for trade, these carry
it to the market-place and sell it, while they who have no Hellenes among them
cast it away into the river."
If Atlantis is not near Gibraltar or in the Atlantic Ocean, then where can it be?
Could have Solon understood the location wrong? Well, the first thing that would cross my mind in this regard is the Heracles (Hercules) part referring to, according to Greeks, Gibraltar. But is it possible that, since the Egyptians had Hercules first, to be referring to something closer, within their bounds?
Could the island be the north-east extremity of Egypt? During the flood, given the fact that it is bordered by the Nile, the Red Sea, and the Med, it could have been submerged. It does open to an inland sea that opens to the big Ocean. From the Greek point of view, Europe, Asia, and Africa were continents linked together, having in between the big Med Sea, and surrounded by the Ocean. It's a big change from the Atlantic theory, or even the Mediterranean one, but I will take my time and study it.
(Maps on this page belong to www.henry-davis.com.)
Above you have a reconstructed map after Herodotus, ca. 450 BC.
Below you have another reconstruction.
You can see the Mount Atlas in Morocco, and two cities, one called Atlantes and one called Alarantes. Could the meson-mezon confusion have meant instead of "Atlantis, which, as was saying, was an island greater in extent than Libya and Asia, and when afterwards sunk by an earthquake, became an impassable barrier of mud to voyagers sailing from hence to any part of the ocean", Atlantis, a great island (peninsula, coastline), between Libya and Asia, that sank and became a barrier of mud for the travelers to the Atlantic Ocean?
Well, if you want to read about Herodotus' Atlantis in case you have skipped the page or if you don't remember what he said, go back to Chapter III.
My next step is examining the old temples found in Mesopotamia and also investigating the 'Atlantes' area.