Theories, locations and ideas about Plato's lost Atlantis

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Plato, the man and his story
Plato Plato

Atlantis definition: Atlantis - An earthly paradise described by Plato in his Timaeus and Critias, that has tantalized and exasperated explorers and romantics ever since. Perhaps drawing on earlier sources, but probably based largely on folk myth, Plato describes Atlantis as an island in the Atlantic west of Gibraltar that was destroyed because of the wickedness of its inhabitants. Many guesses have been made as to its location, and numerous attempts have been made to find traces of its existence. Atlantis definition

Plato's Timaeus source of the legend
Plato's Critias source of the legend
Plato's statements and a commentary
note: alternative translations are published by Penguin (translation by Sir Desmond Lee) and Heinemann (translation by R.G.Bury)

Atlantis comparison of translations

complete table of Atlantis proposed locations


Atlantis location map

Historic Atlantis in Bolivia

david antela Beni atlantis
David Antelos Atlantis/Beni page

atlantis entre rios
Entre Rios theory by Doug Fisher

Spirit of Atlantis
Spirit of Atlantis, was America Atlantis?

atlantis in mexico
Atlantis in Mexico

atlantis in mexico
Atlantis in Cuba

Mediterranean and others

Atlantis as Thera
Atlantis Thira? Atlantis Thira?

Atlantis as Cyprus
Atlantis Cyprus Atlantis Cyprus

Atlantis as Sicily
Atlantis Sicily Atlantis Sicily

Atlantis as Sardinia
Atlantis Sardinia Atlantis Sardinia

Atlantis in Spain
Atlantis Spain Atlantis in Spain

Atlantis Spain Atlantis was an Ibero-Mauretanean empire

Spartel as Atlantis
Atlantis Spartel Spartel

Atlantis in China Sea
China Sea Theory

Atlantis as Antarctica
Antarctica Theory

General Reviews
where was atlantis Where was Atlantis?

the lost continent: Atlantis the lost continent: Atlantis

atlantis rising Mysterious World Atlantis Rising

Mystery of Atlantis Legend Legend

theories, general

Atlantis Revealed Atlantis Revealed

Occultopedia Occultopedia links and books

Atlantis, Pyramids and the Bermuda Triangle Atlantis, pyramids & the Bermuda Triangle

general review by active mind general review by active mind

atlantis unexplained atlantis unexplained

new age
Atlantis channeling Atlantis channelling

Edgar Cayce Edgar Cayce

Atlantis - fantasy story tellings

Atlantis Story RetoldAtlantis Story Retold

Atlantis poem Atlantis poem

Images of Atlantis
Images of Atlantis Images of Atlantis

Dom Atlantis Graphik Dom Graphik Atlantis Story

atlantis submarine Atlantis submarine adventures

Such unlikely propositions such as South China Sea and Antarctica have been included for comparison.
They fail immediately on the principal question of being "opposite" or "in front of" the Pillars of Hercules and Plato actally mentions Atlantis was at a distant point "in the Atlantic Ocean".

Similarly, sites in the Mediterranean such as Thera, Crete, Cyprus, Malta etc fail on account of not being in the Atlantic Ocean, not being the size of Libya and Asia combined etc.

Sites such as off Cornwall, Heligoland etc again are not in the Atlantic Ocean opposite the Pillars of Hecules and are not the size of Libya and Asia combined etc.

Antarctica never has had a "crustal displacement" and it has been under ice for hundreds of thousands of years so there is no remote possibility it could have been Atlantis.

Cuba is in the centre of the overall continents of the Americas, could import the metals from the nearby mainland, but no sunken rectangular plain exists near the island and no actual evidence of Atlantis exists there.

Mexico, again in the centre of the overall continents of the Americas, but no rectangular plain exists there.

In fact, no rectangular plain, which is a key feature of Plato's story, exists at any of the locations, except Bolivia.

It may sound strange at first glance to think that Atlantis may have been in Bolivia, but the fact is that it is the only location which matches all the geographical description given by Plato, and it is not so strange when we find that all the precious metals described by Plato are found just there, around the edges of lake Poopo which is the inland sea that the city or volcanic ringed metropolis sank into.

Atlantis comparison of locations

I agree with the words of a professor from Newcastle speaking on a radio interview where he said, “if a site is to be considered as the site of Atlantis, then it must reasonably conform to the description of Atlantis as given by Plato.”

At the present time, not only do the majority of sites put forward as the site of Atlantis not conform to the geographic description given by Plato, they are virtually the opposite of the description given by Plato.

The previous Atlantis Milos conference put forward a list of 24 attributes it considered appropriate for the location of Atlantis.

Of these attributes, it can be readily established that the Bolivian Altiplano conforms to at least 20 and has many more not listed by the conference.

Returning to the points put forward at the previous conference, I will simply add the answers to the definitions of the conference, omitting four paragraphs considered irrelevant and adding additional relevant attributes within the constraints of the size of the essay.

1.”The Metropolis of Atlantis should have been located where an island used to be and where parts of it may still exist.” Yes, at Pampa Aullagas on the Bolivian Altiplano, a volcanic island today on dry land due to climate change and drying up of the nearby lake or inland sea.

2. “The Metropolis of Atlantis should have had a most distinct geomorphology composed of alternating concentric rings of land and water.” Yes, at Pampa Aullagas there still exist remains of concentric rings of land and channels which previously held water.

3. “The Atlantis should have been located outside the Pillars of Hercules.” Yes, it is outside or “opposite” (Lee’s translation) the Pillars of Hercules.

4. “The Metropolis of Atlantis was greater than Libya and Anatolia and Middle East and Sinai (combined).” Yes, the continent of Atlantis is South America which is a vast continent.

5. “Atlantis must have sheltered a literate population with metallurgical and navigational skills.” Yes, the pre-Columbian peoples possessed metallurgical skills with gold and gold alloys such as Plato’s “orichalcum” known in the Andes as “tumbaga” an alloy of gold and copper. They also used rafts navigated with retractable daggerboards and a recording device made of knotted cords. Ceramics covered in “proto-sumerian” writing have also been found.

6. “The Metropolis of Atlantis should have been routinely reachable from Athens by sea.” Traces of coca and tobacco have been found in Egyptian mummies and coca only comes from the Andes. 

7. “The Metropolis of Atlantis should have sunk entirely or partly below the water.” Yes, at Pampa Aullagas the volcano has been sunk by earthquakes and large parts are still covered in fossilised lake sediments from the times it was beneath the nearby inland sea.

8. “The Metropolis of Atlantis was destroyed 9000 Egyptian years before the 6th century B.C.” at that time the area was covered by the inland sea “lake Tauca”.

9. “The part of Atlantis was 50 stadia (7,5 km) from the city.” yes, Pampa Aullagas is 50 stadia from the inland sea.

10. “Atlantis had a high population density” Yes, it had a population density of millions before the conquest.

11. “The region of Atlantis involved the sacrifice of bulls.” Yes, the animals were actually llamas and the ritual of sacrifice continues to this day. Plato tells us he substituted Greek names for the originals “to make it more agreeable for his readers”.

12. “The destruction of Atlantis was accompanied by an earthquake.” Yes, the volcano has been sunk by earthquakes.

13. “After the destruction of Atlantis, the passage of ships was blocked.” Yes, the nearby lake is now too shallow for modern navigation

14. “Elephants were present in Atlantis.” Yes, skeletons of mastodons have been found nearby.

15. “No physically or geologically impossible processes were involved in the destruction of Atlantis.” The area is periodically subject to alternating drought and flooding and destruction by earthquakes.

16. “Hot and cold springs, with mineral deposits, were present in Atlantis.” Yes, at Pampa Aullagas.

17. “Atlantis lay on a coastal plain 2000 X 3000 stadia surrounded by mountains falling into the sea.” Yes, Pampa Aullagas is in the centre of the level rectangular plain which measures 3,000 x 2,000 Atlantean stades of 300ft (93metres) and it is surrounded by mountains which Plato said “rose sheer out of the sea to a great height.” On the western side they fall into the sea, namely the Pacific Ocean.

18. “The rocks in Atlantis were of various colors: black, white, and red.” Yes, at Pampa Aullagas, easy to verify.

19. “There were canals for irrigation in Atlantis.”
Yes, as can be seen on high resolution satellite images.

20. “Every 5th and 6th year, they sacrificed bulls.” llama sacrifice is traditional on the Altiplano.


Additionally other unique features include:


21. “the continent was the way to other islands and the continent beyond” which means Asia


22. “the plain was in the centre of the island mid-way along it’s longest side” (Lee’s translaton)


23. “the plain was high above the level of the sea” meaning the Pacific ocean


24. “the plain was a “long elongated rectangle”. Describes the  Altiplano perfectly


25.  “the plain had a smooth and level surface”


26.  “they raised two crops per year” due to a system of raised fields with water channels


27. “there were mines of orichalcum” one of these is at Urukilla just south of Pampa Aullagas


28. “gold” at La Joya at the northern end of the lake


29. “silver” at Potosi to the east


30. “tin also at Potosi


31. “the wealth they possessed was so great that the like will never easily be seen again” it ultimately provided the motivation for the Spanish conquest and destruction of the native cultures.


32. “five pairs of twin sons” also occurs in Inca legend


33.  A Bolivian legend tells of the destruction of a city submerged in the sea (lake) 


34. “Atl” and “Antis” are words of South American origin meaning “water” and “copper” respectively.


Submitted by J.M.Allen to Atlantis Conference Athens on 12th January 2008

plain comparison
click for comparison of the size of the plain

links to Atlantis related people and places Links to Atlantis related places and associated links