Atlantis Maps

A resource page of maps of Atlantis, the continent opposite the Pillar of Hercules, beginning with.....

Atlantis globe
above, the lost continent of Atlantis
came to be re-named America

Atlantis Pillars of Hercules
above, the continent opposite the Pillars of Hercules.

The continent remained lost from knowledge until 1492 when rediscovered by Christoper Columbus sailing west in an attempt to reach the Indies. Columbus had with him a map and believed he had reached what he called the "Indias" but Americo Vespucci was first to identify the newly discovered lands as a "new" continent, or "New World".

the New World

Atlantis New World opposite Pillars of Hercules
The continent opposite the Pillars of Hercules which Columbus found was considered a "New World" by Amerigo Vespucci.

In 1507 the German cartographer Waldseemuller produced a world map on twelve panels which included the newly found continent. He decided to name the continent "America" in honour of the navigator Amerigo Vespucci who was first to recognise that the continent was a continent in it's own right, instead of being part of Asia as Columbus had thought.

america waldseemuller
Panel 1 has an inscription....

beyond the stars

map america 2

Waldseemuller america globe
Waldseemuller's globe showing "America"


So the newly discovered continent came to be called America, but at the same time many people thought that what Christopher Columbus had in fact discovered was Atlantis. The first book to mention this was "The History of the Indies" by Franciso Lopez de Gomara. Published in 1552, the book was banned the following year and not reprinted until 1727.

The next book to definitively state that South America was Atlantis was "The History of the Incas" written by the great historian and classical scholar Sarmiento de Gamboa following an official inquest into the true history of the Incas with the backing of the Viceroy of Peru. Sarmiento de Gamboa's book clearly states that South America was Atlantis and at the time he was writing was known by the names of "the western Indies of Castile or America also called Atlanticus or the Atlantic Island". So the continent was also known sometimes as "New Castile", "New Spain" or "Atlanticus", then latterly, "America". Sarmiento de Gamboa's book was sent to Philip II, king of Spain in 1572 and never heard of again being LOST for 300 years until it was discovered in a library in Germany in 1893 and republished in 1906.

lennox globe 1510
The Lennox globe of 1510

lennox globe 1510
The Lennox globe of 1510

atlantis island

atlantis atlantic island

The first map to show South America as Atlantis appears to be that of Sebastian Muller as part of his Cosmografia.

sebastian muller map of atlantis insula
above, Map of the New World by Sebastian Muller, 1540, showing the name "Atlantic Island"

detail of sebastian muller map of atlantis insula
above, Detail of the Muller map showing the New World named as the "Atlantic Island", also known as Brasil or America.

Atlantis map by guillermo sanson map of atlantis insula
The "Atlantis Insula" or map of "Atlantis Island" by French cartographer Guillermo Sanson, 1661.

The Atlantis Island remained a popular name and was shown as such on maps made by the French cartographer Guillermo Sanson in Paris in 1661.

But then following the Declaration of Independence by the United States in 1776 the name "America" became universally adopted and the name of Atlantis forgotten until resurrected in modern times.

No attention was given to the fact that the southern continent already had an indigenous name given by the Incas before the Conquest. Their name for the continent was "Tahuantinsuyo" meaning "land of the four quarters".

Location of Atlantis and Antisuyo in the empire of Tahuantinsuyo

antis map
map from the Hakylut Society edition of "The Chronicle of Peru" by Pedro Cieza de Leon, translated by Sir Clements Markham
note the ANTIS region north of Cuzco and lago Aullagas (presently called lake Poopo) south of La Paz.

Location of Antisuyo in the empire of Tahuantinsuyo

atlantis location map of the plain
Atlantis location map

Atlantis orichalcum mine
Location of mines of Atlantis with metals gold, silver, tin, copper and orichalcum.

Bolivia Atlantis 1825 map
Extent of Bolivian territory when founded in 1825 and present boundary shown in red.

Atlantis mountain near sea
"at a distance of about 50 stades, (from the sea) there stood a mountain that was low on all sides."

lake tauca map
"There were earthquakes and floods of extraordinary violence, [25d] and in a single dreadful day and night the island of Atlantis was swallowed up by the sea and vanished;"
Above, the Altiplano was submerged by Lake Tauca.

Atlantis level rectangular plain
"The whole region rose sheer out of the sea to a great height, but the part about the city was all a smooth plain,
enclosing it round about, and being itself encircled by mountains which stretched as far as to the sea"

Atlantis stades
"being 3000 stades long on either side and 2000 stades wide at its centre, reckoning upwards from the sea."

Atlantis plain map
"It was originally a quadrangle, rectilinear for the most part, and elongated;"

Altiplano model Atlantis the plain Altiplano Atlantis the plain location
Above left, the rectangular plain, above right, location of the plain miday along longest side.

Atlantis island plain
Location of the plain.

Atlantis plain and mountains
The plain is on the side where the mountains rose precipitiously out of the sea.

Another equal area projection showing the continent opposite the Pillars of Hercules.

Atlantis opposite continent map
"the island was larger than Libya and Asia put together, and was the way to other islands, and from these you might pass to the whole of the opposite continent which surrounded the true ocean;" (Jowett translation)
above, the lost continent of Atlantis was the way via other islands (in the Pacific Ocean) to the opposite continent (Eurasia) which surrounds the Ocean. It is the only continental landmass which truly surrounds the Ocean.

opposite continent
"but that yonder is a real ocean, and the land surrounding it may most rightly be called, in the fullest and truest sense, a continent."
The Ocean is the vast expanse of water which flows around the entire world,
Atlantis/America is an island in this Ocean and the continent surrounding the Ocean is what we call today Eurasia.

Atlantis equal area map

Above, this interesting projection shows the land masses of the world in equal area so Greenland appears the correct size, about one seventh the size of South America. It is not hard to see the continent which is opposite the Pillars of Hercules and which Plato said was "larger than Libya and Asia combined." "Libya" at that time meant North Africa, and Asia is thought to have meant the Near and Middle East. The vast size of South America is often not fully appreciated on most map projections which show Greenland as about the same size as South America due to stretching of the map in northern latitudes (Mercator projections).

Atlantis island map
The geosphere composed from satellite images gives a sense of Atlantis/South America as an island....

Eratosthenes world map
world map by Eratosthenes.

Herodotus world map
world map by Herodotus.

Herodotus world map
world map by Herodotus.

Strabo world map
world map by Strabo showing Libya and Asia.

Ptolemy Asia map
Ptolemy's map of Asia.
According to Wikipedia, "The first continental use of Asia is attributed to Herodotus (about 440 BC), not because he innovated it, but because his Histories are the earliest surviving prose to describe it in any detail. He defines it carefully, mentioning the previous geographers whom he had read, but whose works are now missing. By it he means Anatolia and the Persian Empire, in contrast to Greece and Egypt."

 the Persian Empire map
Map of the Persian Empire.

world map Atlantis
World map showing Atlantis - the island as large as Libya and Asia together.

sailing to Atlantis
lost continent of Atlantis the lost continent of Atlantis is South America