Where does the story come from? – The Account
From the writings of Plato, the Timaeus and Critias.
Critias states the names used in the Tale of Atlantis were recorded in Egyptian, then translated to Greek. It was possible the character’s names didn’t coincide with known characters of Greek mythology.
Solon of Athens was the greatest of the 7 Sages. When young, he visited a city in Egypt called Sais. There he met with a priest named Thereupon. The priest told Solon that the Greek’s knowledge of old times was laughable. That there were many catastrophic floods, that the world has ended multiple times before. Sometimes in fire and sometimes in water. The priest also told Solon the story of Atlantis. When Solon was 90, he told this story to a 10 year old Critias’ Grandfather. The 10 year old boy recorded the tale and conveyed it through text to his son. Then eventually to his son, Critias. Critias then shares the story with Hermocrates and Socrates while claiming to still possess the texts at the time of this telling. Then recorded by Plato.
Where is Atlantis?
According to Plato’s writings, Atlantis was beyond the Mediterranean Sea, in the Atlantic Ocean. Depending on which text, either “before” or “in front of” the Straights of Gibraltar.
The Sea of Atlantis was “navigable” until the cataclysmic event that destroyed it. After this, the sea became impassable due to “a shoal of mud caused by the subsiding island.” Or in another translation, due to “the gradually impeding mud.” This indicates Atlantis WAS once an island in the Atlantic Ocean. However after this event, landmass surrounded the island, filling the ocean around it. Thus, “no longer passable.”
The island was oblong and rectangular in shape, 3000 stadia long (East to West). “According to its middle from the sea upwards, it was 2000 stadia” (North to South). “Elevated near the sea” with mountains on 1 side along the coast. Its surface described as smooth aside from these coastal mountains. In the center of the island there is a plain with a short hill. This location was home to some primeval men and women and was the center of the unformed city.
In the texts, Poseidon broke the ground around the hill to create rings of land and water. The lands were very fertile with vegetation and trees. Exotic animals such as elephants and game roamed the land. The island was abundant with fruits and herbs which sustain its population. A ring of mountains encircled the city, all the way to the southern coast line, about 5.5 miles away.
Poseidon fell in love with a woman on the island. He broke the ground around her home on the central hill “Making alternate zones of sea and land. Encircling one another. Two of land and three of water. Each having circumference equidistant every way from the center.”
“The banks were raised considerably above the water. Now the largest of the zones into which a passage was cut from the sea was three stadia in breadth, and the zone of land which came next of equal breadth; but the next two zones, the one of water, the other of land, were two stadia, and the one which surrounded the central island was a stadium only in width. The island in which the palace was situated had a diameter of five stadia. All this including the zones and the bridge, which was the sixth part of a stadium in width, they surrounded by a stone wall on every side, placing towers and gates on the bridges where the sea passed in.”
Poseidon created 2 Fresh water springs from the central hill. This supplied the Baths, Gardens , Palace, and Temple. Bridges, roads, and gates connected each ring. Orichalcum layered the central island’s wall. Tin layered the 1st ring’s wall. Lastly, brass layered the outer ring’s wall.
The center island was home to the rulers and their staff. The inner ring of land housed the military. The middle ring of water harbored the Navy. The outer ring of land was a combination of a race track and the metropolitan area. The outer ring of water was for civilian and merchant trading vessels.
A trench from the outer ring of water connected the sea. It was 50 stadia in length and about 300 feet wide. (About 5.5 Miles away from the coastline).
“Leaving the palace and passing out across the three you came to a wall which began at the sea and went all round: this was everywhere distant fifty stadia from the largest zone or harbour, and enclosed the whole, the ends meeting at the mouth of the channel which led to the sea.”
The inner part with rings of water and land total 27 stadia (around 3 miles). However the total size of the city itself is 127 stadia in diameter (around 15 miles).
“For this sea which is within the Straits of Heracles is only a harbour, having a narrow entrance, but that other is a real sea, and the surrounding land may be most truly called a boundless continent. Now in this island of Atlantis there was a great and wonderful empire which had rule over the whole island and several others, and over parts of the continent, and, furthermore, the men of Atlantis had subjected the parts of Libya within the columns of Heracles as far as Egypt”
Passed the Pillars of Hercules is what Solon called “the real sea.” This passage confirms Atlantis controlled many territories beyond the known world. It also seems to give reference to an enormous body of land that surrounds the Sea. . What land mass beyond the Atlantic could this be referring to? (North and South America?)
Hierarchy and Military
Poseidon divided Atlantis among his 10 children. Atlas, the oldest received the main palace and title of King. The others considered princes and each ruled their own domain as they desired. The King governed military and expansion. However each of the 10 kingdoms contributed to the military in their own way. In the capital, there were 60,000 lots. Each lot was responsible for contributing the following.
1/6 of a chariot
3 stone shooters
2 heavy soldiers
The total amounts would be…
10k Chariots w/ 2 Riders Each (20k Riders)
120K Heavy Soldiers
180k Stone Shooters
1200 Naval Ships (200 Sailors per ship)
The Destruction of Atlantis
The story describes an earthquake which caused a great flood. According to some translations, Athens and Atlantis both washed away. In one translation Atlantis “subsides.” In another translation it was “absorbed into the sea.” The destruction described is rapid, taking place in a single day. A tsunami from an earthquake would be a logical explanation. There is evidence of volcanic activity nearby, this could have been the cause of such a sudden event. Of course there are many other possibilities, but this does account for the “shoal of mud” or “impeding mud.” As well as the surrounding areas yielding oceanic evidence despite being far above sea level.
The tale of Atlantis does offer some reason to believe it existed. Using a flood simulator (floodmaps.net) we can view how the Richat Structure could be Atlantis. If we set the elevation to 335 meters, it reveals a landmass around the Richat that just so happens to fit the exact size and shape described in Plato’s works. 3000×2000 stadia, rectangular and oblong, longer east to west, plain in the middle, high elevation on 1 side. Satellite imagery also shows visual evidence. What appears to be a foundation is visible right from Google Maps.
There also appears to be signs of rapid water movement. Moving through Northern Africa (Libya) in a south western direction by abound 80 degrees all the way through Mauritania. It almost looks like a fine toothed comb brushed over the desert in this direction. Also sands washed onto other surfaces with the same directional pattern.
Aside from geographical evidence, locals uncovered many artifacts and out of place objects in the area. Sea shells and whale bones are regularly found near the Richat Structure. Heavy salt content in the sand shows that this region was once under water. Evidence from the surrounding area confirms saltwater life dating back to within the last 10,000 years. Furthermore, a spring in the center of the Richat and signs of fresh water life are visible too.
Signs of apologetic writings are a biased or elevated importance, usually of 1 particular culture over all others. A culture or people portrayed as righteous and on the side of good and not evil. Its likely intention to bring pride to the roots of the writer’s origins or the writer’s target. Here are some possible instances of apologetic writings in this text. A Greek tale that claims the Greeks were the finest and noblest race of men. The patron city of Athena, the founding of Athens was a thousand years before other mentioned cities. Athens was a small peaceful state. Atlantis, a mighty force that was taking over the world attacked Athens. The Athenians were the only ones who stood up to and defeated Atlantis. They liberated all those oppressed by the Atlanteans.
Atlas is known as the 1st mythological King of Ancient Mauritania. Some sources place his reign to be around 600 BCE. The account of Atlas’ reign precedes the passing of the tale from Therupon to Solon. This brings some validity to Critia’s account. We have another source from thousands of miles away. Most importantly, from where most suspect to be the location makes this theory plausible.
In conclusion, the Richat Structure must be investigated. It is the most probable location of Atlantis. It fits almost all specifications and yields visual, physical, geological, and historical evidence. With this said, we must consider a size discrepancy. The city’s dimensions compared to the size of the Richat Structure do not coincide. The size of the city itself would have to multiplied by almost 10x to fit correctly inside the Richat Structure. Regardless, the evidence mentioned still presents a strong foundation as a reasonable theory.