Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Atlantis Found

Many of the books that have been written on Atlantis speculate that it was situated in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. More recently, compelling evidence that Atlantis was located in South America has been put forward by J.M. Allen. Allen's research was shown in a documentary on the Discovery Channel. He has also published a book entitled "Atlantis, the Andes Solution".

In Plato’s writings, the city of Atlantis was said to have been built on a rectangular-shaped plane that was located at a distance of fifty stades (five miles) from the sea, and midway along the longest side of the continent. The plain was described as being high above sea level, surrounded by mountains and fed by hot and cold underground springs. Just such a plain exists in Bolivia. The plain is called the Bolivian Altiplano. It has a rectangular configuration, is enclosed by mountains and is close to the sea. The Altiplano also has hot and cold springs.

The surrounding mountains contain ores of copper, tin, silver, gold and orichalcum (an alloy of copper and gold which occurs exclusively in the Andes mountain range). Indeed Plato stated that orichalcum was used to plate the walls of the circular city of Atlantis. The name Atlantis itself is of ancient South American origin and means the city of water and copper. Plato also said that the city of Atlantis was built on a small volcanic island that was surrounded by circular belts of land and sea, some greater, some smaller; two being of land and three being of sea. Although the city has gone, remnants of the volcanic island still exist on the plain at place now called Pampa Aullagas. The island, or small mountain as it is today, is surrounded by circular depressions (belts) filled with sand, that once contained water.”

Plato wrote that Atlantis sank under the ocean in a single day and night of rainfall. Modern geologists have indicated that it is impossible for a continent to sink beneath the ocean in a single day. Indeed, there is no convincing geological evidence that a continent ever existed in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, let alone sank beneath it. But it is certainly possible for a city to disappear under the waves due to earthquakes and floods. The Bolivian Altiplano has been subjected to earthquakes and floods in the past. In ancient times Lake Poopo, which is situated close to Pampa Aullagas, was a large inland sea. This could have been the sea which inundated the city of Atlantis.

Plato mentioned a large canal which was one stade wide and ran around the plain. The canal was fed by an underground spring. There is very clear evidence of such a canal on the Altiplano. It is also fed by an underground spring.

Recent archaeological studies indicate that there was once a city on and around the volcanic mountain, but the scattered remnants indicate that it was comprehensively destroyed. The area has yet to be subjected to detailed excavation.

One of the reasons that South America has not been recognised as Atlantis is that in the early 16th century the German cartographer Waldseemuller named it America in honour of Amerigo Vespucci who sailed along its coastline as far south as the River Plate estuary. Another proposed name for the continent, when newly rediscovered, was Atlantis, put forward by the Spanish historian Francisco Lopez de Gomara in 1533. He recognised that the great continent could have been in fact the "lost" continent described by Plato. This view was supported by Sir Francis Bacon in his work New Atlantis published in 1627. Bacon stated that not only was South America Atlantis, but that Plato got one key detail wrong; the legendary city did not sink beneath the sea but was overwhelmed by a sudden rising of its waters forcing the inhabitants to abandon their city.

Does South America correspond to the description of Atlantis given by Plato? It certainly ticks a lot of the boxes:

1. The land mass is of continental size.
2. It is more or less opposite the Pillars of Hercules.
3. The plain is close to the sea.
4. The plain is an elongated rectangle.
5. The plain is enclosed by mountains.
6. The plain has a level surface.
7. The plain is high above the level of the Ocean.
8. The plain contains a volcanic island of similar size to the original volcanic island city.
9. The plain is midway along the longest side of the continent.
10. The plain has a system of canals.
11. Hot and cold springs exist on the plain.
12. The plain is prone to earthquakes.
13. The plain is prone to floods.
14. The region rises sheer out of the sea to a great height.
15. The surrounding mountains contain lakes and streams.
16. The mountains contain gold, silver, tin and copper.
17. The mountains contain a natural alloy of copper and gold (orichalcum).
18. "Atl" and "Antis" are South American words meaning "water" and "copper".
19. A flood legend of a city punished by the Gods exists among the people who live on the plain.


At 19 August 2009 at 14:10 , Blogger Thomas Beckham said...

A very interesting post, I have often favored an idea that Atlantis was overtaken by a rising of the ocean, versus a whole continent sinking below the surface. As with ancient writings/descriptions that are often misconstued or altered through the ages, one could imagine how people of the time might think that the city had actually sank beneath the waves. All in all, like you said, "it sure does tick a lot of boxes." Great post, thank you.


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