In the previous post, The Elusive Location of Atlantis Part 1, I wrote about the possible locations of Atlantis, and the strongest theory to emerge was it was in the Atlantic Ocean. The Piri Reis Map of 1513 is perhaps where we should start. Piri Reis was an Admiral with the Turkish Navy and collected maps of the day as well as much older charts. His world map was a compilation based on one Columbus used for his journeys as well as “antique” versions he had in his collection. According to sources, his collections were those that survived the burning of the Great Library of Alexandria. It was alleged these maps were based on ancient charts and may have dated back to the time of Atlantis. The only portion that has survived is of North and South America, Greenland and Antarctica, which hadn’t been discovered by the then explorers at the time or when Piri Reis drew the map.
Why I mentioned the Piri Reis Map is to give context as to why many believe the continent is now under the Atlantic Ocean. From descriptions given of the landmass and geography, the size had to be substantial and surrounded by a significant body of water. A map dating 1482 used by Columbus showed an island not far from Greenland and the coastline of North America.
If we look back to when the planet was evolving and the time of Pangea, when the continents as we know them today were one land mass, it is then probable to assume Atlantis was a part of the supercontinent. The early Triassic period was the start of the continent drift, which over millions of years transformed the planet. There is a brilliant BBC four part series called Rise of the Continents which discusses Pangea, what it looked like, the migration of animals and people and the future geography of our planet. The changes are dramatic and to be honest, I’m glad I won’t be around to see it!
In light of the shifting tectonic plates, the flood stories which many ancient cultures remembered and told, its plausible Atlantis was in the Atlantic. It was Herodotus who first reported the Phoenicians sailed along the eastern African coast, into the Indian Ocean and rounded the southern tip and returned to the Mediterranean via the western coastline of Africa. (Herodotus Book 4) There are sources that suggest the Minoans also ventured beyond the Pillars of Herakles thousands of years before the Phoenicians, went the British Isles and even further afield to North America. (Menzies, 2011)
Aristotle, a student of Plato, mentions a large island in the Atlantic Ocean and known to the Carthaginians as Antilia. Though, Aristotle did later denounce Plato’s Atlantis story. Plutarch, another reputed historian wrote of an island called Ogygia, Britain today and went on to state, further west of Britain there were three islands of Kronos, where “warlike men” came. The only misgivings I have are lines from Plato’s Timaeus. He mentions the word “sea” a number of times not ocean. Plato would have known the difference between a sea and an ocean. So did he place Atlantis in the Atlantic to detract the audience of the truth as to real story? It was alleged Plato was an initiate of the Eleusinian Mysteries and his dialogues disguised their teachings. You can read about my posts on the mysteries here and here.
I believe he used ancient stories of the flooding and the destruction of Thira/Santorini to create Atlantis. It is a way to teach the ethics of hubris by basing his dialogues on events that happened, not to mention the grand Athenian lawmaker Solon which adds credence to his legend. What do you think?
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Historical fiction fantasist Luciana Cavallaro, a secondary teacher, meanders from contemporary life to the realms of mythology. Subscribe to her FREE short story.
Ancient Voyages Beyond the Mediterranean, Watchtower Online Library.
Earth History: At the end of the Triassic, Pangea began to rift apart.
Menzies, Gavin. 2011 The lost empire of Atlantis, Swordfish, Orion Publishing House, London.
Physical Evidence of Atlantis – 1, Possible Evidence of Atlantis