Atlantis

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Atlantis

Postby Oroblanco » Tue Apr 12, 2011 11:48 am

Atlantis - perhaps the greatest of all lost civilizations; it has been the subject of numerous books, articles and movies, and has been proposed to have been located in almost every conceivable spot on Earth, as well as nearby planets. Plato is pointed to as our main source on all things Atlantian, and the story he gave has been debated since his time.

I would like to hear your own ideas and theories on this topic, and I will not laugh or ridicule any theory presented. As far as I can determine, no theory on Atlantis has yet been proven, so one is as good as another as far as that issue goes. So please feel free to fire away, and thank you in advance.
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Athanasius Kircher's map of Atlantis, from Wiki
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Re: Atlantis

Postby Joe Ribaudo » Tue Apr 12, 2011 9:29 pm

Roy,

Athanasius Kircher's map of Atlantis can be found, along with three pages (221-223) of the authors comments, in: "Athanasius Kircher's Theatre of the World" by Joscelyn Godwin. In truth, Kircher drew many maps of the world and a number of them are reproduced in this book.

The man was one of the greatest minds of his time.....and out of his time as well. It only seems appropriate that he was also a Jesuit.

Although you were correct about Jericho and the timing of its habitation, there is nothing that compares with the advanced civilization that was said to have built and lived in Atlantis. It would have been thousands of years before the building of such a city was possible.

While early Jericho did not have pottery, they did have battles with....others. There were a number of other towns nearby with the same level of living conditions. Jericho also engaged in infant sacrifice. All in all, it was a primitive existence despite living in a walled town with individual living quarters, defensive walls and central gathering areas.....Some kind of group worship?

In truth, the earliest signs of life in Jericho date very close to the Pleistocene, or around 10,000 B.C. Kathleen Kenyon excavated down to bedrock in the tell, so they had a pretty good handle on the successive generations of habitation. Very important dig for the historical records of civilization. 8O

Take care,

Joe

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Re: Atlantis

Postby Oroblanco » Tue Apr 12, 2011 10:08 pm

Joe R wrote
Although you were correct about Jericho and the timing of its habitation, there is nothing that compares with the advanced civilization that was said to have built and lived in Atlantis. It would have been thousands of years before the building of such a city was possible.


How would you describe the advanced civilization of Atlantis? Thank you in advance,

I only included Kircher's map for a visual aid, not as something to prove a case. His depiction appears to be South America simply turned upside down and moved a bit. This has led to some theorists claiming that S. America IS Atlantis, but that is reaching IMHO.

I do not own Godwin's book so cannot offer comment on that.

Joe R also wrote
While early Jericho did not have pottery, they did have battles with....others. There were a number of other towns nearby with the same level of living conditions. Jericho also engaged in infant sacrifice. All in all, it was a primitive existence despite living in a walled town with individual living quarters, defensive walls and central gathering areas.....Some kind of group worship?

In truth, the earliest signs of life in Jericho date very close to the Pleistocene, or around 10,000 B.C. Kathleen Kenyon excavated down to bedrock in the tell, so they had a pretty good handle on the successive generations of habitation. Very important dig for the historical records of civilization


While it is tempting to focus on one site (as with Jericho) as a way to dismiss the Atlantis story, it is well to consider the state of the whole region at the time. The Sahara desert was not a desert but mostly rolling grasslands and lakes, with large and prosperous cultures of cattle herding peoples. Remember bull-worship is a key feature of Atlantis, while there is no mention of any child sacrifice; child sacrifice is common to many ancient cultures as is bull worship so this factor can't be given too much weight on the practice. Human civilizations tend to be located close to lakes, rivers and seas; this common practice also means the sites are subject to destruction should flooding occur.

The sea levels worldwide were noticeably lower circa 10,000 BC as you know, I don't have a map handy that depicts this but many areas that were dry land then, and which would have had much milder climates than the areas close to the massive glaciers, are today under the sea. For example most of the Red Sea was dry land, the Black Sea was just a large freshwater lake, Britain was not an island but connected to the mainland and so on. In recent years some intriguing discoveries have been made in those same areas. One of the strange bits of evidence that (personal opinion) may be proof of Atlantis are the odd "wheel ruts" found on the island of Malta and elsewhere. Some are traced to below the current sea levels, indicating that they were in use when the sea was at the lower levels and a greater age than historians currently assign them.

I am getting carried away here but trying to lay the ground work for a wider set of landscape for use in arguing the reality/fantasy of Atlantis. Thank you again and I look forward to your replies,
Roy

Roy
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Re: Atlantis

Postby Joe Ribaudo » Tue Apr 12, 2011 11:20 pm

Roy,

"How would you describe the advanced civilization of Atlantis? Thank you in advance"

For starters, I would describe it as a civilization that was capable of mining, refining and creating plated walls of gold, silver, bronze, tin and "orichalcum". They were also able to do "gilding." They had the ability to create a "greater than life size statue of Poseidon in his chariot, the whole thing made of gold."

They had the knowledge and ability to create a fleet of triremes. I believe the first mention of these ships was in 525 B.C. They had "10,000 chariots" and "some 1,200 warships".

I could go on, but these are things that you are already aware of. The chariot was not invented until 2,500 B.C. It came about from the invention of the spoked wheel.

Do you believe all of the above was possible in the era of Atlantis?

Take care,

Joe

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Re: Atlantis

Postby Oroblanco » Wed Apr 13, 2011 12:21 am

Hola amigo Joe and anyone reading this,

This is another one of my million-word posts, as I get carried away on some subjects far too easily. So I must beg your indulgence again, and thank you in advance.

Thank you Joe for being specific, and in reply to your question as to whether these things are POSSIBLE for Atlantis, I would have to say yes, whether they DID is another issue altogether.

Plato was accused of having exaggerated the accomplishments of Atlantis by Plutarch, as is mentioned in his "Life of Solon"; without being specific, Plutarch hints that Plato aggrandized Atlantis in ways which were embellishments more in line with his own time. To try to sort out what Plato embellished would raise many issues of arbitrary choices, so in each case the facts have to be examined in order to justify whether to class it as a possible embellishment or more likely something he was passing along authentically.

As for the specifics:

Mining has been traced well back into the Paleolithic, beyond any large settlements which we might call "cities". These metals are all among the first metals utilized by man, and the exact dates when each was "discovered" and put to use by man are not well proven. Bronze is the most questionable metal mentioned, yet the experts remain divided on its discovery and first utilization by man. Tin being a major requirement for real bronze, if no trace of ancient tin mining can be found that dates to near Plato's time for Atlantis, then we have to really question whether this is not an embellishment.

Gilding is questionable too - for quite primitive Amerindians were doing something akin to "gilding" by simple use of gold dust, with no more complex technology than it adhering to the oils of skin. This method was used in fairly recent times for making gilded sign lettering too, so as to what method Plato was referring to may well be a question.

Chariots are questionable - as you pointed out, these demand good wheels, and are traced to the innovation of the spoked wheel as a general requirement. It is hard to imagine a chariot with wood-slab or log-end rude wheels, but not impossible either. It is not even proven that horses were domesticated at such an early date, though there are some few bits of evidence that horses or asses (meaning the Asiatic ass here not the insult, not sure this will get past an automated expletive deleter) had been domesticated even before 10,000 BC so while it may be a long shot, it could be possible that Atlantians may have had something akin to "chariots" in their time as assigned by Plato.


Not sure on the issue of triremes; as I do not have my Greek version of Plato handy (Loeb Classic, with the corresponding English translation on opposing pages, very useful IMHO and I highly recommend for anyone researching the topic) the only version I have are those online and are in English only; these do not have that term "trireme" only "ships" or "warships". A penteconter or even smaller (like the "thirty") would also qualify as a "warship" so may be what those 1200 "warships" were. Not to say that Atlantians could not have independently invented the three-banked oar warship, just that I am not certain this was attributed by Plato. Ships with a single bank of oarsmen date pretty far back, one of the earliest type of seagoing craft IMHO so that may not be such a stretch.

The description of the city itself as having been greatly altered by man (forming concentric rings of land/water) would have been a point I expected you would raise, and this is one I find most puzzling. With no iron tools, at best animal power and little technology how this might have been accomplished puzzles me. I strongly suspect that whatever major modifications were done by man, were more on the order of simply modifying what nature had already supplied, which is then allegorized as having been 'the work of the Titans'. Not far different from our own stories of Paul Bunyan plowing the Grand Canyon, only perhaps with at least a trace of truth in it rather than pure fantasy. Plato included a curious statement concerning the city, that "ships and voyages had not yet been invented" when the city was first built, suggesting that the water rings served mainly as defensive "moats" than for transport and that their use as canals came later. Anyway I was a little surprised that you did not raise this issue, as it is one of the most difficult.

I was expecting you might propose far more advanced technologies such as some others have posted here, and which are very popular in today's Atlantis-philes. <Just invented a word there, hope no one minds! If so, I welcome any suggested term that would appropriately fulfill the obvious intended meaning?> As fascinating as some of these ideas are, such as proposed by Edgar Cayce among others, I can find no ancient source to support Atlantis having flying machines, magic-power crystals, submarines etc. It may be the result of what is suggested by Plato about the Atlantians having degenerated into warlike and greedy oppressors, having fallen from their altruistic and virtuous state, which in our minds with the reference of the horrors of two world wars it is easy to picture Atlantian war-machines literally blowing the world up in the name of conquest. If we were to search for an Atlantis that will fit the modern re-imagination of what it was, then I have no confidence that anything can be found which will even approximate that depiction.

I do wish that Plutarch had been more specific when he made his slight mention of Atlantis and insinuated that Plato had embellished the story, as it would likely make these technology questions far easier to sort out.

Thank you for your interesting reply and for your patience, and I look forward to those to come. For the record - I won't be offended in the least, should the discussion fail to sway your opinion(s) in the slightest, nor will it have any effect on our friendship. I view such differences of opinion as just that - differences of opinion, not far different from differences on any other topic and of no importance concerning friendship. We all have widely varying standards of what sorts of information affect our conclusions and views, and I appreciate such an intelligent person to discuss things with.
Roy
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Re: Atlantis

Postby Joe Ribaudo » Wed Apr 13, 2011 9:55 am

Roy,

The kind of mining required in 9,600 B.C. to conform to Plato's description of Atlantis, simply did not exist in that era. The technology needed to work metals to the degree that is was said to be used in Atlantis was well into the future.

Egypt, who was said to be at war with Atlantis, by their own recording of history, would not exist for another 1,000 years.

I mentioned that there were more things that could be brought to the debate but, like now, I would rather not lay everything on the table in one post. That gives more time for my failing mind to pry the information out of arguments I have read and forgotten.

It also provides for a more thoughtful dialog. I have no desire to address the more recent fictional revelations of Atlantis-philes and would prefer to stick to Plato's account. On the other hand, I would enjoy discussing the modern-day physical discoveries that are attributed to Atlantis and its location. Thus my comment about the coast of Spain.

My position on the legend will be.......Plato created the story of Atlantis out of whole cloth, sprinkled with legend and historical truthsfrom his own time and near history. In his previous work, "The Republic" he describes the perfect society. The story of Atlantis, which followed, was the embodiment of that idea in a fictional setting.

I am always open to having my mind changed, but it will take a strong, logical, argument. Using Paleolithic mining to explain the description of the metal works at Atlantis will require some huge earth-moving equipment to remove the debris that is covering that evidence.

History does not change easily, but it has been done.

Take care,

Joe

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Re: Atlantis

Postby Oroblanco » Thu Apr 14, 2011 8:22 am

Joe R wrote
The kind of mining required in 9,600 B.C. to conform to Plato's description of Atlantis, simply did not exist in that era. The technology needed to work metals to the degree that is was said to be used in Atlantis was well into the future.


How are you defining what kind of mining would be required to fulfill Plato's description? I have to respectfully disagree with this rather absolute statement and position you have taken, for we simply do not know what amount of mining would have been required, nor how large the operation(s) might be, where they might be etc. This level of information is not available for many KNOWN ancient civilizations; for instance one study I know of, calculated the amount of bronze used in the bronze age for the Mediterranean, and the amount actually used could not be accounted for in any of the "known" mining regions that existed in their 'world'. Conversely, here in America we have a mystery culture which was mining copper on a fairly large scale, which resulted in a large amount of missing copper that cannot be accounted for in the Americas. I don't see how this mining can be quantified, much less located.

A side issue is that some metal-working civilizations used comparatively little metals; the Aztecs being one example. They had copper for some items but mostly didn't use it for their weapons or tools. Also we might note that recycling was a common practice in the 'classical age' of the mediterranean; people didn't hesitate to melt down and re-use bronze even from such things as the colossus of Rhodes, which was one of the 'wonders' of the world. Hence a quantity of old, corroded weapons found during that time might well have ended up melted into new items or coins. I am just very hesitant to assign a definite figure for the quantity of metals used by a culture that far back, much less how their mining can be defined.

Joe R also wrote
Egypt, who was said to be at war with Atlantis, by their own recording of history, would not exist for another 1,000 years.


You are using a modern Egyptologist dating for Egyptian records, according to Herodotus, their records extended back forty millenia. A somewhat similar argument is often used to state that Earth is less than 6000 years old, by adding up the ages of the biblical patriarchs. For that matter, again in recent years, great issue has been taken on the true age of the famous Sphinx; by the geologic evidence, it dates back into the correct time period for Atlantis or even a bit more. At Gobekli Tepe in Turkey, recent carbon dating tests have come up with an age of 11,000 years, which is older than all previous estimates. The water damage done to the Sphinx had to have happened when the region had a wetter climate, meaning at least 7000 BC for the region changed to dry around that time.

<see also http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history-archaeology/gobekli-tepe.html>

"The oldest known human presence in Athens is the Cave of Schist which has been dated to between the 11th and 7th millennium BC.[14] Athens has been continuously inhabited for at least 7000 years.[15][16]" Wiki, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Athens#History citing
S. Immerwahr, The Athenian Agora XII: the Neolithic and Bronze Ages, Princeton 1971 &
Tung, Anthony (2001). "The City the Gods Besieged". Preserving the World's Great Cities: The Destruction and Renewal of the Historic Metropolis. New York: Three Rivers Press. p. 266


Egypt had settlements with some sort of religious worship, as at Nabta Playa, <megalithic stone circle reminiscent of Stonehenge somewhat> between 11000 and 9300 years ago; so there was a civilization present there at the time - not one of the typical Pharaonic style, with the customary headdress etc but definitely more than simple hunter-gatherers.

Joe R also wrote
My position on the legend will be.......Plato created the story of Atlantis out of whole cloth, sprinkled with legend and historical truthsfrom his own time and near history. In his previous work, "The Republic" he describes the perfect society. The story of Atlantis, which followed, was the embodiment of that idea in a fictional setting.

I am always open to having my mind changed, but it will take a strong, logical, argument. Using Paleolithic mining to explain the description of the metal works at Atlantis will require some huge earth-moving equipment to remove the debris that is covering that evidence.

History does not change easily, but it has been done.


Well it sounds like your bar may be just too high for what the evidence will provide? I see that you stop short of demanding to see the actual ruins of the city, which has not been discovered (officially recognized anyway) but as with the mining, how can we arrive at any kind of realistic figure for how much bronze was used, whether mines were of native copper or an ore that required refining etc. The sea levels are quite different so it is quite possible their main mines are today beneath the seas for that matter. New discoveries are made every day - who would have imagined that there would be stone-age settlements on the bottom of the Black Sea around the fossil lake shore, just a few years ago? To propose it would have led to ridicule. So I have to disagree even on what sort of equipment will be required for finding that evidence, it is more likely to be diving equipment and dredges than dozers and shovels.

Signs of ancient mines dot the Egyptian desert, the Sinai peninsula and most of the hinterlands of Saudi Arabia; these areas are mostly closed to western archaeologists so we cannot rule them out as possible locations for mines that date to Atlantis too.
I have doubts that our discussion is going to change history - folks with far greater resources available have had little success on far less controversial subjects. As for the whole of Atlantis being made up by Plato as a moral lesson, why then would he bother to state in his story that it is true? How do we explain Plutarch's story of Solon, saying that he did intend to write the history of Atlantis, but did not get round to it? Was Plutarch simply fabricating Solon's story so as to support Plato? What about Aelian? We would have to either make all other sources accomplices, or admit that it was not pure fiction from the start.

Not so sure that Plato's Republic would be the 'ideal' society either, some ideas might not be so popular - like sharing wives in common and only allowing breeding with the most outstanding physical specimens, similarly to the way livestock are bred.
Let me close with another question; do you take the position that a culture cannot be considered a civilization, unless they are metalworkers? Thank you in advance,
Roy
"We must find a way, or we will make one." --Hannibal Barca

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Re: Atlantis

Postby Joe Ribaudo » Thu Apr 14, 2011 2:48 pm

Roy,

_______________________

"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.

The palaces in the interior of the citadel were constructed on this wise:-in the centre was a holy temple dedicated to Cleito and Poseidon, which remained inaccessible, and was surrounded by an enclosure of gold; this was the spot where the family of the ten princes first saw the light, and thither the people annually brought the fruits of the earth in their season from all the ten portions, to be an offering to each of the ten.

Here was Poseidon's own temple which was a stadium in length, and half a stadium in width, and of a proportionate height, having a strange barbaric appearance. All the outside of the temple, with the exception of the pinnacles, they covered with silver, and the pinnacles with gold. In the interior of the temple the roof was of ivory, curiously wrought everywhere with gold and silver and orichalcum; and all the other parts, the walls and pillars and floor, they coated with orichalcum.

In the temple they placed statues of gold: there was the god himself standing in a chariot-the charioteer of six winged horses-and of such a size that he touched the roof of the building with his head; around him there were a hundred Nereids riding on dolphins, for such was thought to be the number of them by the men of those days. There were also in the interior of the temple other images which had been dedicated by private persons.

And around the temple on the outside were placed statues of gold of all the descendants of the ten kings and of their wives, and there were many other great offerings of kings and of private persons, coming both from the city itself and from the foreign cities over which they held sway. There was an altar too, which in size and workmanship corresponded to this magnificence, and the palaces, in like manner, answered to the greatness of the kingdom and the glory of the temple."

______________________________________________

All of this required technology and sufficient mining and refining to accomplish the works listed. It needed to be done prior to 11,611 years ago.

When Atlantis was destroyed, the original inhabitants had a lineage that had gone on for many generations. At the time of their destruction they had accomplished the above, as well as:

[First of all they bridged over the zones of sea which surrounded the ancient metropolis, making a road to and from the royal palace. And at the very beginning they built the palace in the habitation of the god and of their ancestors, which they continued to ornament in successive generations, every king surpassing the one who went before him to the utmost of his power, until they made the building a marvel to behold for size and for beauty.

And beginning from the sea they bored a canal of three hundred feet in width and one hundred feet in depth and fifty stadia in length, which they carried through to the outermost zone, making a passage from the sea up to this, which became a Harbour, and leaving an opening sufficient to enable the largest vessels to find ingress.

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.]

Keeping in mind the time I posted above, do you believe all of the accomplishment listed are possible? I would agree that anything is possible, but I would need, at least, the island found and some kind of history recorded, perhaps in stone.

Short of that, I believe the modern-day Atlantis science fiction is just as possible.

Take care,

Joe

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Re: Atlantis

Postby Oroblanco » Thu Apr 14, 2011 3:54 pm

Greetings Joe, <and Hola amigos to anyone else reading>

<you wrote>
"The entire circuit of the wall, which went round the outermost zone, they covered with a coating of brass <snip>
All of this required technology and sufficient mining and refining to accomplish the works listed. It needed to be done prior to 11,611 years ago. <snip>
Keeping in mind the time I posted above, do you believe all of the accomplishment listed are possible? I would agree that anything is possible, but I would need, at least, the island found and some kind of history recorded, perhaps in stone.

Short of that, I believe the modern-day Atlantis science fiction is just as possible.


In my own estimation, this is a great part of the embellishments added by Plato; hence

Now Solon, having begun the great work in verse, the history or fable of the Atlantic Island, which he had learned from the wise men in Sais, and thought convenient for the Athenians to know, abandoned it; not, as Plato says, by reason of want of time, but because of his age, and being discouraged at the greatness of the task; for that he had leisure enough, such verses testify, as-

"Each day grow older, and learn something new;" and again-

"But now the Powers, of Beauty, Song, and Wine,
Which are most men's delights, are also mine." Plato, willing to improve the story of the Atlantic Island, as if it were a fair estate that wanted an heir and came with some title to him, formed, indeed, stately entrances, noble enclosures, large courts, such as never yet introduced any story, fable, or poetic fiction; but, beginning it late, ended his life before his work; and the reader's regret for the unfinished part is the greater, as the satisfaction he takes in that which is complete is extraordinary. For as the city of Athens left only the temple of Jupiter Olympius unfinished, so Plato, amongst all his excellent works, left this only piece about the Atlantic Island imperfect.
<Plutarch, Life of Solon>


The other ancient sources make no mention of any of these remarkable passages we find in Plato, which also raises a red flag (for me) not only as a fair evidence that others had sources quite separate and distinct from Plato's (a remembrance from his childhood encounter with Solon, which raises issues of how much is memory vs how much was invention) but also in that while they agree on some points, they all lack these rather spectacular descriptions. For instance; Aelian, in "The nature of animals" has a description of the headgear worn by Atlantian royalty, which is peculiar and different from any other source:

“The inhabitants of the shores of the Ocean tell that in former
times the kings of Atlantis, descendants of Poseidon, wore on their heads, as a mark
of power, the fillet of the male sea-ram [a dolphin], and that their wives, the queens,
wore, as a sign of their power, fillets of the female sea-rams [perhaps narwhals].”


He does not make these head gear of metal and may be saying they were made of the actual animal parts, which is more in keeping with late Paleolithic human cultures; as much as others would wear a bear skin or lion skin etc.

I have Diodorus' relevant books but not handy, and when I just checked online what I find are very unreliable versions - using a Latin original which is not what the original is, which was Greek - which results in a garbling effect, one easy example being that Atlantis is contiguous with Libya" <Africa> which is not what the Greek says at all but the Latin translation does. Anyway my argument is that we have an ancient accusation of Plato having embellished the story, which had an original that did not include such elements but still was a real history.

In fact that is where I stand on the whole "legend" of Atlantis after much vacillation and reading, that like many myths it is based on a real place and real events, just that it has become almost changed to the level of the stories of the "gods". Had Plato written the story of Atlantis perhaps a few centuries earlier, it would be on the same level as the adventures of Zeus or Dionysus today, without much recognizable truth left. A real late Paleolithic civilization is what I think Plato's Atlantis is telling us of, that was destroyed in some kind of cataclysm that appears worldwide in the many various flood myths. Ignatius Donnely (American congressman who started the modern Atlantis craze with his book 'Atlantis the Antediluvian land') identified the destruction of Atlantis with the flood of Noah; citing such parallels as the ten Atlantian "kings" and ten biblical pre-flood patriarchs for example. I doubt that a real Atlantis had such vast quantities of metals or technology as you have pointed out, but not that they may have been metalworkers to some extent. There are tidbits of evidence that iron working was discovered far back in time (perhaps 12000 years ago) but that it was lost for thousands of years, for instance, and the famous "Ice Man" of the Alps set the timeline for copper working on its ear when he was found not only to have a copper axe but he had worked with smelting copper so much it was easily detectable in his hair.

Anyway I will have to say that while the detailed description you have highlighted is likely an embellishment, without knowing the true location of the actual island and ruins it is not possible to say that it could not exist. A problem (in my opinion only) may be that a real Atlantis, that is a late Paleolithic civilization which was advanced for its time but not quite like Plato describes, would likely not be recognized by any modern Atlantis researcher - it would more likely resemble ancient Jericho or Gobekli Tepe than classical Athens or Thebes in Egypt.

As for the sci-fi version ala Cayce, I suppose it is also possible but I can't grant it the same level of likelihood as a "stone age empire" that suffered embellishment in the recording of its history.

One more point here before I test your patience to the uttermost; walls plated with a coating of brass, orichalcum etc is a rather loose description of how that "coating" was done or really was. It could have been something of very low tech, that is simple hammered sheets, tacked to the surfaces and would still fit the description of "coating". The statue of Poseidon is the most curious piece described, yet it is possible this could have been a carved wooden statue covered with gold dust or thin hammered leaf, attached by nothing more technologically advanced than tree resin. It is easy to make assumptions as to how things are done when all we have are a limited description and no artifact to examine, and it would require a tremendous amount of gold and smelting capacity to cast a solid gold statue of the size Plato describes.

Thank you for taking the time to be specific, sorry for digressing so far and getting carried away.
Roy
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Re: Atlantis

Postby Oroblanco » Thu Apr 14, 2011 5:03 pm

Postscript - earlier Joe R had posted;

Egypt, who was said to be at war with Atlantis, by their own recording of history, would not exist for another 1,000 years.


Here is a relevant passage from Herodotus, on Egypt (part 2) but gives a figure far longer than what current Egyptologists arrive at:

So far in the story the Egyptians and the priests were they who made the report, declaring that from the first king down to this priest of Hephaistos who reigned last, there had been three hundred and forty- one generations of men, and that in them there had been the same number of chief-priests and of kings: but three hundred generations of men are equal to ten thousand years, for a hundred years is three generations of men; and in the one-and-forty generations which remain, those I mean which were added to the three hundred, there are one thousand three hundred and forty years. Thus in the period of eleven thousand three hundred and forty [11,340] years they said that there had arisen no god in human form; nor even before that time or afterwards among the remaining kings who arise in Egypt, did they report that anything of that kind had come to pass. In this time they said that the sun had moved four times from his accustomed place of rising, and where he now sets he had thence twice had his rising, and in the place from whence he now rises he had twice had his setting; and in the meantime nothing in Egypt had been changed from its usual state, neither that which comes from the earth nor that which comes to them from the river nor that which concerns diseases or deaths.


There is within this passage a possible key clue to a global event, which I will probably return to in future. Here is a photo of a megalithic stone circle from Nabta Playa in Egypt, which corresponds to a civilization which was existing in Egypt at the right time for Atlantis to be at war with them;
Image

"Archaeological discoveries reveal that these prehistoric peoples led livelihoods seemingly at a higher level of organization than their contemporaries who lived closer to the Nile Valley. The people of Nabta Playa had above-ground and below-ground stone construction, villages designed in pre-planned arrangements, and deep wells that held water throughout the year. "

Interesting that these late Paleolithic people were more advanced than their neighbors, suggesting that there was some decline in the overall level of civilization between their period and the "start" of pharaonic Egypt so familiar to all. Their herding of physically wild cattle and sheep, and use of wild grains in the same way later agricultural societies use the domestic varieties is also interesting IMHO.

Just wanted to provide some backing to the refutation earlier, and show that we do have some record that points to a considerably longer period for "recorded history" than is generally acknowledged, however most of that record is lost today.
Roy
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Re: Atlantis

Postby Joe Ribaudo » Thu Apr 14, 2011 10:00 pm

Roy,

"Anyway I will have to say that while the detailed description you have highlighted is likely an embellishment, without knowing the true location of the actual island and ruins it is not possible to say that it could not exist. A problem (in my opinion only) may be that a real Atlantis, that is a late Paleolithic civilization which was advanced for its time but not quite like Plato describes, would likely not be recognized by any modern Atlantis researcher - it would more likely resemble ancient Jericho or Gobekli Tepe than classical Athens or Thebes in Egypt."

When you write "ancient Jericho", what period are you referring to? The pre-pottery phase at Jericho ended around 5,000 B.C. Normally, any pre-pottery era would be considered primitive. In fact that era lasted for a very long time at Jericho, actually beginning quite close to the end of the Ice Ages, around 10,000 B.C.

It was a bone and stone primitive tool culture. Placed as a counter point to Atlantis, I would say it would have been a stretch to call it simply an embellishment.....as Plato described it.

Interestingly, pre-pottery Jericho was a Neolithic civilisation that did not have a written language.

Thank you for your replies and questions.

Take care,

Joe

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Re: Atlantis

Postby Oroblanco » Fri Apr 15, 2011 1:32 pm

Greetings,
<Joe R wrote>
When you write "ancient Jericho", what period are you referring to? The pre-pottery phase at Jericho ended around 5,000 B.C. Normally, any pre-pottery era would be considered primitive. In fact that era lasted for a very long time at Jericho, actually beginning quite close to the end of the Ice Ages, around 10,000 B.C.

It was a bone and stone primitive tool culture. Placed as a counter point to Atlantis, I would say it would have been a stretch to call it simply an embellishment.....as Plato described it.

Interestingly, pre-pottery Jericho was a Neolithic civilisation that did not have a written language.


I am a bit confused Joe, as I was under the impression that you would enjoy a discussion of Atlantis, as posted earlier;

<Joe R wrote earlier>
Jericho may prove that people were living in small communities close to the era we were discussing, but they were a long, long way from the society and city that Plato described in his writings. That's really the discussion I would love to continue with you.

We could do that here, or if there is some objection from the management, we could start a thread on TreasureNet. I would like to stay here, but we could probably entice others to join in over there.


Yet the arguments you have posted in this thread have been of a nature as to cut off all further debate; as in there is no evidence of widespread and large scale mining, or that Paleolithic settlements having no pottery proves Atlantis did not exist. Your position seems to rest on a literal interpretation of Plato. I have taken issue with such an interpretation, as I would with a literal interpretation of the bible; as cited above, Plutarch states that Plato added embellishments which had never been seen before in any fable, while not saying that Atlantis itself was pure fiction. The other ancient sources which mostly post-date Plato, likewise lack these detailed descriptions of the city, its decoration, military forces etc. To my mind that is a red flag that much (if not all) of these detailed descriptions are Plato's additions. We might note that there are marked differences between the Atlantis described (briefly) in Timaeus, and the Atlantis described in Critias. Even Plato himself says that he has not been 100% faithful to Solon's story, quote

"I have described the city and the environs of the ancient palace nearly in the words of Solon, and now I must endeavour to represent the nature and arrangement of the rest of the land. " <Critias>

How "nearly" was Plato following the version of Solon? The fact that we can not find such descriptions of metal plated walls, giant golden statues, vast fleets etc in any other ancient source suggests that he has not been faithful to what was more of a bare-bones story; this Ice Age civilization which could be at the root of Atlantis may not have even had pottery or any kind of metal use other than minimal use of native metals as jewelry or even less. Aelian for instance has a description that hints at stone tools being misinterpreted later as some sort of "metal" the "black metal" which was exceedingly sharp yet terribly brittle as he describes would fit obsidian blades very accurately, yet would never be called "metal" today.

As for just how advanced those Ice Age cultures were, without any written record and little evidence to work with, very much is left to conjecture. We might however note that they had apparently complex religious belief systems; they were not purely hunter-gatherer peoples, there was some organization of society and specialized assignment of work; they appear to have been keeping track of the calender which suggests they were in the early phases of agriculture as it is important to track the seasons for planting and harvest. We don't know what sort of clothing they wore, it may have been rude skins or they may have had woven cloth.

I am not proposing Jericho AS Atlantis, far from it, rather it would have been more likely a culture which existed at the same time; which does not mean that they must be on an equal footing concerning technology or overall advancement. The implication from Plato's description of Atlantis as an aggressive military power able to emerge victorious most of the time would hint that they had some kind of greater military technology or advancement. For a simile, the Aztecs with greater organization in their military, were generally able to defeat "wild" Indians who possessed virtually equal weapons technology simply due to their superior organization and discipline.

If we are to stick to Plato's description literally, then I will concede right here that it is most probable that the Atlantis as described in Critias never existed, unless we warp the time period to ~900 years before Solon, shrink the dimensions and relocate it to Crete and the Aegean, which would leave us with no explanation for the origin of the name of the Atlantic ocean but this society of the MInoans and their neighboring Mycenaeans would more closely approximate the detailed [Critias] Atlantis. That the Minoan civilization may well have been destroyed as a result of a violent volcanic eruption would mean further distortions or re-interpretations of Plato is but one of the problems with this approach. If a "primitive" civilization does not fulfill the basic Atlantis as found in Timaeus, there is not much further we can go.
Roy
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Re: Atlantis

Postby Joe Ribaudo » Fri Apr 15, 2011 3:26 pm

Roy,

Sorry for the confusion. When you brought Jericho into the discussion as support for the kind of early city buildings that were close to the Atlantis era, I responded with this:

"Jericho may prove that people were living in small communities close to the era we were discussing, but they were a long, long way from the society and city that Plato described in his writings. That's really the discussion I would love to continue with you."

If we are going to say that some/most of Plato's account is a product of his imagination, where does "some" start and end? As you have stated, prior to Plato, there was no story of Atlantis. Since there is no prior written history and no known artifacts, we are left with debating.....maybe's, based on Plato's imagination.

When you opened the door to Jericho, it was an attractive path into a topic with plenty of archaeological substance over fictional/fable form. Once we agree, and I do, that Atlantis in some form, name and era was possible, where do we go from there?

On the other hand, my quote above was what I had hoped our discussion would morph into. It seemed to want to go there, and I was more than willing to help it along. That is why I suggested it might be a better TNet topic. It really has nothing to do with the LDM, unless Ben jumps back in and makes some kind of connection.

Personally, I think it would be a wonderful chapter for his book. What could be better than mixing historical archaeology and real artifacts with......OZ? After all, he has already linked OZ to Atlantis. Is it that great of a leap to throw in Jericho?

Take care,

Joe

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Re: Atlantis

Postby Oroblanco » Sat Apr 16, 2011 7:50 pm

Joe R wrote
If we are going to say that some/most of Plato's account is a product of his imagination, where does "some" start and end? As you have stated, prior to Plato, there was no story of Atlantis. Since there is no prior written history and no known artifacts, we are left with debating.....maybe's, based on Plato's imagination.


There seems to be a misunderstanding on that statement in bold above; I don't say that prior to Plato there is no story of Atlantis. Plutarch's story of the life of Solon seems to indicate that the story would have been written down by him, a full generation before Plato did, but that he simply didn't get round to it. The destruction of what was the major civilization by a catastrophic day and night of floods and earthquakes, is recorded elsewhere well before Plato; as in the flood of Noah, Deukalion, Gilgamesh etc the main difference being the name of the civilization and the names of the heroes. Atlas, the founder of Atlantis was a Titan and they are attested to as well; there is a reference of an expedition sent by king Hiram (friend and ally of Solomon) to punish the Tityans, which dates to ~900 BC or so. The names issue is mentioned by Plato as well, that Solon (or he) changed the names to reflect what they would be in Greek, rather than the originals.

On Jericho, can we rule out that they had any pottery? Recent discoveries of pottery in China dates to 16000 BC, and according to historians, pottery was likely in use before this time just that it was not fired to the same degree as on good pottery. Firing clay pots in a cooking fire does not harden them enough for them to survive the ages. Also there are clay figurines in this part of the world which date to before 20,000 BC. If we were to point at a particular site as an example of what Atlantis was really like, I would think Gobekli Tepe makes a better candidate. The circular structures and layout of the city itself are far more similar to what Plato says even in his more detailed Critias version. The fact that the people were living in a permanent settlement points to their economy being dependent on agriculture rather than simple hunter-gatherer too, as all hunter-gatherer cultures must follow the game and produce of the wild as it comes into season so cannot remain in one place easily. <Excepting those that were dependent on fishing, shellfish or sea mammals of course in which the sea provided the needs>
Roy
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Re: Atlantis

Postby Joe Ribaudo » Tue Apr 19, 2011 10:15 am

Roy,

"There seems to be a misunderstanding on that statement in bold above; I don't say that prior to Plato there is no story of Atlantis. Plutarch's story of the life of Solon seems to indicate that the story would have been written down by him, a full generation before Plato did, but that he simply didn't get round to it."

I see........

"The destruction of what was the major civilization by a catastrophic day and night of floods and earthquakes, is recorded elsewhere well before Plato; as in the flood of Noah, Deukalion, Gilgamesh etc the main difference being the name of the civilization and the names of the heroes."

The events you speak of were all important enough to be recorded by others, at the time, and have been confirmed by archaeologists. Neither is true of Atlantis. I am not saying it did not happen, only saying I would need more than a single, obviously embellished, story to sway me.

"On Jericho, can we rule out that they had any pottery? Recent discoveries of pottery in China dates to 16000 BC, and according to historians, pottery was likely in use before this time just that it was not fired to the same degree as on good pottery."

Yes that can be ruled out. Kathleen Kenyon, wrote extensively about the excavations at Jericho and took some of her excavations down to bedrock. She documented each and every phase of pottery at the site. The reason that could be done with such a degree of accuracy, was that for many generations and phases, the people who inhabited the town used tombs to bury their dead.

As with most ancient people who had formal burials, they included artifacts like pots. Some of the poorly fired pots survived in the tombs that were excavated. Carbon 14 dating was used on materials that were found in association with those grave goods.

Ms. Kenyon has written a number of fine books on the subject. "Digging Up Jericho" gives a good account of her work at that site. I believe she passed away many years ago, but she left quite a legacy.

Skulls were a big part of the burial ritual for the people of Jericho and they were remove from the rest of the body. The Skulls were often arranged in a specific manner. Child sacrifice was confirmed by/from their careful burial rituals. In one case, the brain was found inside the skull.

Pottery was not "invented" by the people living in Jericho, but was brought in by outsiders. From its beginning Jericho was a place that was at war with "others". Those wars or battles probably had nothing to do with ideas, but were more likely brought about by location. Each phase of pottery was brought into the town by invaders (others).

I am at the store, so I am working from a poor memory here. Keep that in mind if I have made some questionable statements.

Take care,

Joe

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Re: Atlantis

Postby Joe Ribaudo » Tue Apr 19, 2011 4:14 pm

Roy,

I may be wrong, but I believe the Pre-Pottery Neolithic A people arrived in Jericho around 8,000 B.C. I believe most of the building at the site was done after they arrived. Prior to that, the inhabitants were called Natufians. They left around 10,000 B.C.

All in all, nothing approaching the level of sophistication attributed to Atlantis existed.

Although Solon may have thought about writing the story of Atlantis, the words of another historian trying to explain why he never wrote a single word about the island, seem a bit of a stretch.

With so many what if's and maybe's to the Atlantis story, it's pretty hard to get into a serious debate on the subject. The only known, is Plato's story and we know he was prone to stretch the facts. On the other hand, it's one hell of a story.

Take care,

Joe