Masters of Engineering

According to legend, Atlantis was renowned for its buildings and unusual formation of the island. In his dialogue Critias, Plato goes to extreme lengths to describe features of the island and important buildings. Many of these mirror the island of Santorini and the palaces found on Crete. The skill of engineering and architecture of Atlantis and that on the two islands was superior. The palace at Knossos is an impressive site. Much bigger than I expected when I visited 11 years ago and walking along the old Royal roads that connected the many palaces on the island was an experience I’ll never forget.

Here are a few connections worth mentioning, quotes taken from Plato’s Critias.

‘They bridged over the zones of sea which surrounded the ancient metropolis, making a road to and from the royal palace.’

Atlantis_city

In this image you can see the blue zone of the sea, the bridge where the figures are on the left and the road where in the centre two people are standing watching the flotilla head south for Crete.

‘…from the sea they bored a canal… making a passage… which became a harbour… leaving an opening sufficient to enable the largest vessel to find ingress.’
The same image above, at the top there is a canal connecting to the sea which forks around the main island.

‘…stone quarried from underneath the centre island… was white, another black and a third red.’

 

Part of the same wall frieze

Part of the same wall frieze

Here you can see the three distinct colours just above the buildings.

‘…the walls and pillars and floor, they coated with orichalcum.’ Orichalcum is a red metal similar to iron ore. Check out this article “Divers retrieve Atlantis metal orichalcum from ancient shipwreck

Colours used in the Throne Room at Knossos

Colours used in the Throne Room at Knossos

 

Reconstruction of the Throne Room

Reconstruction of the Throne Room

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The red colour of orichalcum was used throughout the palace at Knossos

‘…they had fountains, one of cold and another of hot water.’

Aqueduct leading into Tylissos from the Spring of Agios Mamas photo by Larry W. Mays

Aqueduct leading into Tylissos from the Spring of Agios Mamas photo by Larry W. Mays

There’s a great website with photos taken of the aqueducts and storage of water from Knossos and Phaistos

‘…they made cisterns, some open to the heavens, others roofed over, to be used in winter as warm baths.’

Reconstruction of the Queens bath room

Reconstruction of the Queens bath room

 

 

 

 

‘…the country immediately about and surrounding the city was a level plain, itself surrounded by mountains which descended to the sea.’

Aerial view of Knossos Wikipedia

Aerial view of Knossos
Wikipedia

As you can see from the aerial view the outlying region surrounding Knossos is arable and a plain.

‘…the whole country was…very lofty and precipitous on the side of the sea.’

This image is composed of seven individual images stitched together by hand in Photoshop.  The images were taken over a period of about 11 seconds.  The EXIF data contained in this file is from one of those images although they were all roughly the same.

This image is composed of seven individual images stitched together by hand in Photoshop. The images were taken over a period of about 11 seconds. The EXIF data contained in this file is from one of those images although they were all roughly the same. Wikipedia

Santorini cliffs

Many of the ancient empires took advantage of the physical geography and built the most important buildings on the highest vantage point or the most central location. Be it a royal palace, a temple, pyramid or tomb, they were very good at using psychology (even if they didn’t know what it was called at the time) to create awe and induce supplication from their constituents.

Thank you for visiting and reading.

As always, your comments are valued and welcomed.

Historical fiction fantasist Luciana Cavallaro, a secondary teacher, meanders from contemporary life to delve into the realms of mythology. Subscribe to her FREE short story http://eepurl.com/bhESs1

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16 thoughts on “Masters of Engineering

    • I am so glad you enjoyed the post. Visiting Knossos certainly made the mythology of Atlantis more real for me. I’ve yet to visit Akrotiri. It is on my bucket list 😀
      Thank you so much for you wonderful comment.

      Like

  1. One can only marvel at the planning and engineering skills that existed in by-gone civilizations of several thousand years ago. Thanks for the informative post, Luc; it reminds me of similar capabilities that existed during the Indus Valley Civilization circa 3000 BCE…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Raj,
      I am certain the Ancient people of the Indus were extraordinary. Of the little I know, they were just as sophisticated. More accolade needs to be attributed to the ancient cultures for the amazing legacy they’ve left us.
      thank you x

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Luciana,

    I have been absolutely fascinated with your series on the lost civilization of Atlantis. The ancient civilizations during the time of the Minoan Civilization amaze me with their advanced technology and urban cities. One of the aspects that I enjoyed about your book, In Search of the Golden Serpent, is how you brought this amazing architecture to life through the eyes of your modern architect time traveler. The colors that the Minoans used in their structures are so vivid and full of life. I definitely would like to visit the ruins of Knosses.

    Thank you for sharing your background on these amazing ancient civilizations. Have a great weekend!

    Best wishes,
    Linnea

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Linnea

      Thank you for the lovely compliment. I’ve been fascinated with the Minoans for a long time now and of their sophistication. You would love Knossos, it is a wonderful site and you’d love the museum at Heraklion which house the artefacts. Those pithois are massive. I can fit in one! Not that I’m tall but still, they are big.
      Thank you for stopping by.
      Cheers
      Luciana

      Liked by 1 person

    • I think so too. The fact they had hot and cold running water and toilets is astonishing. Even now, that information still dazzles me.
      Thanks JM 😀

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  3. You have done a great job by showing how Plato´s certain excerpts related to the Atlantis might have had a empirical corollary.

    Particularly when it came to distinct colours used in the Throne Room at Knossos and the outlying region surrounding Knossos, which was, as you said ¨arable and a plain¨.

    Such an interesting comparative reading!. Thanks for sharing…
    A presto, cara Luciana! Aquileana 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mille grazie, cara Aquileana.
      Your comment is greatly appreciated 😀 There were other segments from Plato’s dialogue which could be attributed to both Santorini and Knossos. Again, it’s all speculative but very compelling.
      Buon fine settimana, Aquileana! Luciana 😀

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  4. Reblogged this on Apollo's Raven and commented:
    Fascinating post From ETERNAL ATLANTIS that is based on the legend of the lost civilization of Atlantis that was renowned for its buildings and unusual formation of the island. In his dialogue Critias, Plato goes to extreme lengths to describe features of the island and important buildings. Many of these mirror the island of Santorini and the palaces found on Crete. The skill of engineering and architecture of Atlantis and that on the two islands was superior. Enjoy reading.

    Liked by 1 person

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