Location

The only real clues we have as to where, or how big Atlantis was, comes from Plato. It is easy to critique the Atlantis story, there are so many inconsistencies and impossibilities. I approve of scepticism, but the tendency is to find something that couldn't be, and then dismiss the concept as a whole. There is much conjecture over the minutest detail and we have already looked at one or two open to debate. Atlantis is probably one of the most argued about myths - not including the obvious - yet I feel nobody has yet fathomed it and many still deny its existence.


I'm not about to join in with the arguments of those stumbling around in the dark, it has always seemed obvious to me. For a long time I have identified Atlantis as being in the Aegean Sea, there has been nothing to date to make me change my mind.


Atlantis IS on the southern tip of Aegeara, a sunken landmass on the Aegean Shelf.

Sea levels rose considerably after the end of the last ice age (10,000 BC), and much of the now submerged Aegean Sea area was previously above sea-level. The satellite photo below shows quite clearly the Aegean Shelf (circled) and if we cross-reference this information with Plato's account things become clear.


Pillar(s) of Hercules (Heracles)


So what does Plato tells us about location? First off he doesn't say Atlantis is 'beyond the Pillars of Hercules' as is popularly thought, and even if he did it could still apply to pretty much anywhere. Pillars of Hercules could refer to the pillars of the temples of Hercules, of which there were many but Plato actually referred to the stele of Hercules. A stele can just be a flat slab of rock, the ancient Greeks used them as boundary markers. In addition was it stele (singular) or stela (plural)?


To the south and part of ancient Tyre (in modern day Lebanon) was the Island of Hercules, was the legendary stele of Hercules situated there? Tyre and the adjoining Island of Hercules were detached from the mainland until it silted up after Alexander the Great built a causeway to attack the city of Tyre.


To further confuse things, Plato's pupil Aristotle states it was called the stele of Briareus in earlier times. Briareus was regarded as one of three Hecatoncheires, and was also known as Aegaeon. Briareus is associated with Ogygia where he guarded Cronus. Then there are several Homeric references, including Calypso and Odysseus in Odyssey Book V that gives Malta - or more specifically Gozo - as being Ogygia.

The diagram shows Tyre (Tyrus) with the Phoenician mainland (Lebanon) to the east, and the now submerged Island of Hercules to the south.


Tyre certainly has ties to the Hellenes with Agenor being the grandson of Epaphus and the grandfather of Minos. It could quite easily mark the eastern boundary of Ancient Greece. To the west was Aegeara with Atlantis on the southernmost promontory...... just as Plato described!


Atlantic Ocean


There are references to the Atlantic Sea or Ocean, but this could be written as Atlantis or Atlas and is most likely the Mediterranean. Furthermore the 'ocean' is said to be surrounded by a vast continent (Europe & Africa). If the stel of Hercules was on the Island of Hercules, the 'straits' would be the channel between Crete and Aegeara (the Aegean). There are mentions of smaller seas which could be to the north of the hypothesised Aegean landmass, then there is the Sea of Marmara, the Black Sea, Red Sea, and Persian Gulf, all bodies of water that could be attributed with Homeric origins.


There are many who hypothesise the Pillars of Hercules were situated in the Straits of Gibraltar and Atlantis was a huge continent beyond situated in the Atlantic Ocean. They base their theory simply due to the size proposed by Solon / Plato. In addition they dismiss the numeric anomaly between Greek and Egyptian systems as this had been rectified by the time of Plato. Yet they fail to recognise the story was told by an old man whose grandfather's grandfather had been told the story by another old man. Going back to this time the anomaly would be an issue.


If this was indeed an error it makes so many other things feasible and so it has to be a real possibility, whatever the critics say. With this numeric anomaly applied to the date of Atlantis given by Plato it would be 900 years (as opposed to 9000) before Solon's time. This would tie in nicely with the eruption / cone collapse of Thera. There is archaeological evidence of an earthquake and flooding (tsunami) on Crete in 1450 BC.


Perhaps there was no actual eruption on Thera in 1450 BC, other explanations are possible and equally devastating. After the 1650 BC eruption, the magma chamber may have ebbed back into the mantle leaving Atlantis situated above a potential sinkhole. An earthquake would be enough to trigger the collapse.


In 1665 AD German polymath Athanasius Kircher in his work Mundus Subterraneus includes several pages about the legendary island of Atlantis. He created a map he called "Site of the island of Atlantis" which he drew from Egyptian sources and Plato's description. Although the map is orientated upside down, when super-imposed over a map of the Aegean with the revised scale it fits almost perfectly.

Given all the clues so far the case for 'Aegeara' grows stronger yet whilst the sudden disappearance of the city of Atlantis can be explained, how could the disappearance of such a vast island have occurred? Unlike Atlantis, the demise of Aegeara took much longer.

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