Comparison of the plain of Atlantis with various proposed locations including the Altiplano, Bolivia.

In his description of Atlantis, one of the key features which Plato mentioned was a rectangular-shaped level plain which was said to measure 3,000 x 2,000 "stades" (about 300 x 200 nautical miles or 555km x 370km if we use Greek stades) and was located in the centre of the island, next to the sea. Atlantis was said to have been of continental proportions - "as large as Libya and Asia combined" and supposedly lay in the Atlantic Ocean opposite the Pillars of Hercules (Strait of Gibraltar).

That in itself tells you exactly where Atlantis was and is still to be found - "in the Atlantic Ocean, opposite the Pillars of Hercules and a land mass the size of Libya and Asia combined" can only mean one place - America

Moll America trade winds


Some people claim the city of Atlantis was on Thera, today called Santorini in the eastern Mediterranean but there is no rectangular plain on Thera, so they say the rectangular plain was on Crete if you divide the dimensions by 10.
The contour map below shows that there is no perfectly level rectangular plain on Crete either, and that even when the dimensions are divided by 10, it would still be too large to fit on Crete.....

Crete plain Atlantis

Santorini Atlantis
Drawing of how Atlantis supposedly was Thera.
It is not located on a plain as Plato describes, but in the middle of the sea.

satellite image thera
Satellite image showing the island of Thera (Santorini) and the island of Crete.

Relief map of Crete shows no rectangular plain

Crete relief map
Enlargement of map shows there is no "smooth and level" plain on Crete.

Crete plain not Atlantis
Even when the dimensions are divided by 10, the plain still does not fit Crete...

Crete plain not Plato's Atlantis

The Plain of Messara is hardly the plain Plato described. Even when divided by 10 it does not form a natural smooth and level rectangle anywhere near the correct dimensions while on the west side it is encroached by the Psiloritis Massif and on the east side it is encroached by the Lassithi Massif.

Mediterranean Atlantis plain
Above, The true size of the plain, in the dimensions Plato gave, compared to Crete and Cyprus.

Dividing Plato's dimensions by 10 would mean the stade was only 60ft in length but even a plain of 3,000 x 2,000 stades of 60ft does not exist on Crete...

Ulf Richter (2005) wrote an excellent paper on Atlantis which he presented to the 2005 Milos conference speculating that the stade used in Atlantis might have been an Egyptian unit called a "khet" of 172 feet (52.4 metres) which was 100 Egyptian Royal cubits. In any event, althought the stade may have been a smaller unit than the Greek stade, at the same time any proposed Atlantis region should have a plain which is readily identifiable as being rectangular in nature, enclosed by mountains and if anyone claims a particular area with particular dimensions then that's pretty easy to check using the mapping available today......

Cyprus Atlantis
Cyprus Atlantis
above, a much publicised theory by Robert Sarmast puts Atlantis in Cyprus, but no evidence has been forthcoming apart from some fuzzy diagrams such as the above - others say this part of the Mediterranean was flooded five million years ago.

Helike Greece map
Above, Relief map of Greece and location of Helike on the southern shore of the Gulf of Corinth

Dr Iain Stewart, a senior lecturer in Geography and Earth Sciences at Brunel University, gives a detailed explanation of the account of Atlantis and why it might be Helike
"The Greek writer Pausanius, visiting the site of the devastation almost 500 years later, recounted how, 'An earthquake struck the country and destroyed every single building, until the very foundations of the city were lost for all time.' The accompanying seismic sea-wave '...flooded in far over the land and overwhelmed the city and its surroundings, and the swell of the sea so covered the sacred grove of Poseidon that nothing could be seen but the tops of the trees. A sudden tremor was sent by the god, and with the earthquake the sea ran back, dragging down Helike into the receding waters with every living person.'
"The modern archaeological search for Helike, and its likely discovery onshore beneath the modern coastal plain, is recounted in BBC Horizon's 'Helike - The Real Atlantis'. However, it is the programme's contention that the real legacy of the disaster was the birth of the Atlantis myth that is likely to have the most resonance with wider audiences."

Helike gulf of corinth map
Above, the location of Helike is not on a rectangular plain enclosed by mountains.

Helike sonar survey
Above, The location of Helike is not on a rectangular plain enclosed by mountains. Although there was a major cult to Poseidon, the site matches none of the actual geographic charecterists described by Plato.


Troy location map

Trojan plain
Above, the location of Troy is not on a rectangular plain enclosed by mountains.

In May, 1928, a professor Borchart of Munich proposed Troy as the site of Atlantis and this was more recently popularised by geologist Eberhard Zangger.
However, whereas the rectangular plain described by Plato was 3,000 x 2,000 "stades" which would be 300 x 200 nautical miles or 345 x 230 statute miles, the plain at Troy only measures some 7.3 x 3.3 statute miles and in case can not be described as being rectangular.

The plain around the Guadalquivir river, Spain.

Georgeos Daz-Montexano Atlantis map

above, graphic published by Georgeos Daz-Montexano claiming that the smooth and level rectangular plain of 3,000 x 2,000 stades enclosed by mountains can be found in the region of the Guadalquivir river, Spain. It shows a length of 3,000 stades running the length of the valley of the Guadalquivir river.

Andalucia relief map

above, it is very hard to find a rectangular plain as described above in the Guadalquivir region. Most people would agree it was triangular if anything, as this map shows...

Sevilla relief map

Above, relief map published by Bartholomews "Atlas of the World", showing the region of the Guadalquivir River, Spain. None of these maps show anything remotely approximating the level, rectangular plain in the proportion of 3,000 x 2,000 stades as claimed by Georgeos Daz-Montexano.

Iberian Peninsula relief map

above, this old map has the advantage of showing very well the relief and contours. On it we can clearly see the triangular nature of the Guadalquivir plain running from Cadiz to the Algarve and passing Seville and Cordoba and I have marked on it the correct size a plain of 3,000 x 2,000 Greek stades would occupy. The actual dimensions quoted by Plato if correct would represent an immense area......

Doana Marshes relief map
above, the size of the plain when reduced to Egyptian stades of 52.4 metres. Some people think the plain was the coastal strip and Doana Marshes

A program "Finding Atlantis" broadcast by the National Geographic Channel in March 2011 featured a prof Richard Freund leading a team of investigators and putting forward the proposal that Atlantis was to be found in the Doana Marsh and also considered the possiblity that the same site may have been Tartessos or Tarshish of the Bible..

finding atlantis
above, a graphic from the film "Finding Atlantis". Although they have shown the correct distance of 50 stades from the sea, the rings are shown about three times larger than they should be and this illustration is purely imaginary, no such rings have been found in fact....

finding atlantis
above, the investigation centred on a rectangular feature first seen on Google earth.

finding atlantis
above, the rectangular feature was thought to be a temple and this imaginery structure has been conceived around it.

finding atlantis
above, the rectangular feature can be seen in this Google Earth photo, but no concentric ring islands can be seen around it.
It was claimed that electrical readings indicated structures beneath the ground, but no realistic evidence was presented and in any case, since the site does not match the geographic description given by Plato, it is more probable that any city actually located there would be more likely to have been an ancient trading centre such as Tartessos rather than Atlantis itself, which Plato also said "was at a distant point in the Atlantic Ocean" and "ruled Europe as far as Tuscany".

According to Reuters anothert theory by Geographer Ulf Erlingsson says the measurements, geography, and landscape of Atlantis as described by Plato match Ireland almost exactly.

"Just like Atlantis, Ireland is 300 miles long, 200 miles wide, and widest across the middle. They both have a central plain surrounded by mountains. I've looked at geographical data from the rest of the world and of the 50 largest islands there is only one that has a plain in the middle -- Ireland."

Ireland not Atlantis map

For a geographer to state that Ireland measures 300 x 200 nautical miles is somewhat off track as the above map shows, the map shows the size of the plain would have been even larger than the entire island of Ireland and the plain itself was supposedly enclosed by mountains so the actual land area must have been considerably larger than just the area of the plain!

Ireland Atlantis map

Erlingsson states that the stade used was a 200 times multiple of the Megalithic Yard of 0.829m and produced the above graphic to show how the length and breadth of the plain fitted Ireland. To his graphic I have added the red rectangle to show how the rectangular plain in itself still exceeds the size of Ireland. Since Erlingsson in his essay "A geographic comparison of Plato's Atlantis and Ireland as a test of the megalithic culture hypothesis" concludes by saying "The paper is dedicated to my father Erling Nilsson, and his father, Knut Nilsson, for proving that anyone can see through propaganda if he only uses his wits and logic." we can conclude his is a spoof essay poking a jest at any Atlantis theorists.


Atlantis plain Sicily
Some claim that this is the plain of Atlantis on Sicily!

sicily relief map
This tiny area on Sicily is only 20 miles long by about 10 miles wide! And even then, it is the wrong way round, measuring upwards from the sea!

Atlantis plain Sicily map
Enlargement showing there is no smooth and level rectangular plain enclosed by mountains on Sicily.


Sardinia Atlantis plain Sardinia relief map

Above left, enlargement showing the Campidano plain on Sardinia and right, its location can be seen in the south-west corner of Sardinia. This has also been claimed as the Plain of Atlantis yet it measures only 55 nautical miles by about 10 nautical miles (100km x 20km) making it 550 stades by 100 stades instead of 3,000 stades by 2,000 stades and whereas Plato's plain was in the ratio of 3:2 this tiny plain is more of a corridor in the ratio of 5:1.

Like Sicily and most other islands in the Mediterranean, it has little correspondence to the actual geographic description that Plato gave apart from being mountainous and having hot and cold springs - even Orichalcum which Plato called "the most precious of the metals then known" in the Sardinian theory has been converted into volcanic glass called Obsidian. The Pillars of Hercules become relocated in the Straits of Messina, this small island is hardly the size of "Libya and Asia combined", neither is it in the Atlantic Ocean, it is not sunken or destroyed by earthquakes and there is no evidence of any sunken island with concentric rings - in short, along with virtually all the Mediterranean islands, it is virtually the opposite of the island described by Plato.

Richat Structure, Mauretania

Richat structure Atlantis

As a large natural circular feature with concentric rings we can look firstly at what Wikipedia has to say about it, particularly taking note of the immense size, way beyond anything a bronze age city could support....

"The Richat Structure is a prominent circular feature in the Sahara desert of Mauritania near Ouadane. It has attracted attention since the earliest space missions because it forms a conspicuous bull's-eye in the otherwise rather featureless expanse of the desert. The structure, which has a diameter of approx 50 kilometres (31 mi) and is located 400450 metres (1,3101,480 ft) above sea level, has become a landmark for space shuttle crews.

Initially interpreted as a meteorite impact structure because of its high degree of circularity, it is now thought to be a symmetrical uplift (circular anticline or dome) that has been laid bare by erosion. Paleozoic quartzites form the resistant beds outlining the structure."

Richat structure diameter 21 miles
The structure measures about 21 nautical miles diameter on Google Earth

Richat structure 10 miles
The ringed complex measure 10 nautical miles in diameter, instead of the 2.7 nautical miles of Plato

Richat structure Atlantis centre
The correct size of the city rings using the stades of Plato is shown inset.

As far as any Atlantis connection or resemblance, the Richat Structure does NOT fit the measurements, the Atlantis central island plus rings of land/water measured 27 stades in diameter, using Greek stades that would be 2.7 nautical miles, then there was a 50 stade radius until one came to an outer sea wall and this is not what is found at the Richat Structure. At around 20 miles in diameter overall it is way too large for any prehistoric or ancient city being for example larger than modern Greater London. If we consider the 24 points of the Atlantis conference held in Greece, the site fails the very first test, i.e. it is not on an island and the second point, it is not outside the Pillars of Hercules, sure you could sail out through the Pillars as a way of getting there, but you could also get there directly overland from Greece. At the site, there is no sea and no sea 50 stades away, it is not in the Atlantic Ocean, not enclosed by mountains and not on a rectangular plain. Also the centre of Atlantis was a mountain whereas the centre of the Richat Structure is a crater almost 4 nautical miles or 40 stades in diameter. By comparison the Atlantis centre island was a mountain 5 stades in diameter. No Silver or Tin deposits. Etc etc.

Video of visit to Richat Structure by Indie Archaeology


According to the theory of Michael Huebner, the circular city and the plain of Atlantis are to be found in Morrocco.

Atlantis Morrocco Atlantis Morrocco plain
The proposed location of the circular city and the corresponding plain.

The site is of archaeological interest but has little correspondence to the Atlantis of Plato, furthermore the Atlas mountains of Morrocco did not aquire their name until a later date.

Atlantis Morrocco
The outer area of the site is about 5 nautical miles or 50 Greek stades from the sea but then the site itself would measure about 4.5 nautical miles or 45 stades from west to east

Atlantis Morrocco plain
The length of the plain shown here is 56 nautical miles which is 560 Greek stades instead of the 3,000 - it could be considered longer if measured up the river valley but would then lose its "rectangular" qualities. The proposed plain has more of a "boomerang" shape, while Plato said it was originally a quadrangle, rectilinear and in the proportion of 3,000 to 2,000 units.

Atlantis Morrocco plain
and the width shown here is 18 nautical miles which is 180 Greek stades instead of the 2,000 of Plato.


Above, There is no rectangular plain in the Azores and there is no sunken continent in the Azores.

Atlantic Ocean.

Atlantic Ocean relief map
Above, There is no rectangular plain or sunken continent in the Atlantic Ocean and according to modern geologists, it would be impossible for a complete continent to sink in the space of a day and night as Plato said.


According to the latest studies, the age of the Antarctic ice is 400,000 years, Click for report.

Antarctica ice free map
Antactica is a popular choice amongst some enthusiasts but at the time Plato spoke of
it was already under ice for thousands of years,
Above, Antarctica free of ice would be only half its present size
and whether with or without the ice, there is no rectangular plain on Antarctica


Greenland map
According to the latest studies, the age of the Greenland ice is 120,000 years, Click for report.
so there is no posibility that Greenland could be Atlantis.

Greenland Atlantis plain      Greenland Atlantis plain
Greenland appears to have an elongated rectangular shaped basin beneath the ice, the figure on the left is about 8,000 stades by 2,000 stades i.e. about two and three quarters longer than the plain should be, but an overlay of 3,000 x 2,000 Greek stades could be fitted into the southern end as shown, the right hand figure shows an overlay of 3,000 x 2,000 Greek stades superimposed onto the northern section. Not quite an exact match but better than many other places. The basin was caused by the weight of the ice itself and if it were habitable before 120,000 years ago, then it is way outside Plato's timescale so not potentially an Atlantis site especially as the Atlantis theory postulated by Mario Dantas says it moved from some place near Azores/Canary islands to its present position, a geological impossibility! Going back to the time of Pangea, Greenland was nearer Norway, but Pangea broke up 250 million years ago.

Pangea map      Pangea Atlantica map
Pangea broke up 250,000,000 years ago
South America on the same time scale became an independent island before it joined up with north America, guess what geologists called it - ATLANTICA -


Above, there is a continent opposite the Pillars of Hercules which is the size of "Asia and Libya combined".

Atlantis Collins Cuba map
Above, It has been put forward by Andrew Collins that Cuba is the island of Atlantis disregarding the statement that the island of Atlantis was as large as Libya and Asia put together. Collins favours the south western end of the island as the location of Atlantis, stating that "Here then was evidence of a vast plain, originally 540 by 160 kilometers in extent, which may well have been drowned, in part at least, during the time frame allotted by Plato. Admittedly, he stated that the plain of Atlantis was the equivalent of six hundred by four hundred kilometers in size, which is slightly larger than Cuba's own great plain. However, drawing comparisons between the Atlantean plain and that of Cuba seemed justified."

We can look at that to see how his plain and Plato's plain would compare in size to the island of Cuba.
Atlantis Collins Cuba map
The above map shows superimposed in blue what a rectangular plain of 3,000 x 2,000 stades would look like and for comparison, in dotted red line, a plain of 540 x 160 km, both too large for Cuba and no resemblance to the Cuban topography. Remember the plain was enclosed by mountains and high above the level of the sea, not merely protected by a mountain range on the northern side.

Atlantis island globe
Above, the continent which has the rectangular plain in the centre of the continent is South America.

Atlantis plain
Above, in the centre of this continent using the description Plato gave "in the centre of the continent, next to the sea and midway along its greatest length", we find the rectangular plain Plato described..

The Altiplano, Bolivia.

Plato: "Now as a result of natural forces, together with the labours of many kings which extended over many ages, the condition of the plain was this. It was originally a quadrangle, rectilinear for the most part, and elongated;"

"In the first place, then, according to the account, 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; and this plain had a level surface and was as a whole rectangular in shape, being 3,000 stades long on either side and 2,000 stades wide at its centre, reckoning upwards from the sea." translation: R.G.Bury, LOEB Classical library.

Atlantis location map

Above, relief map based on Bartholomews "Atlas of the World", showing the rectangular level plain in the Altiplano, Bolivia. It is next to the inland sea called lake Poopo and in the correct proportions of 3,000 x 2,000 stades using a stade of 330 feet (100.58 metres). Since the Altiplano is such a large area, we do not know exactly where they would have measured from, but the physical width of the plain in the area of the sea (Lake Poopo) combined with the size of square plots bounded by water channels in Bolivia and Mexico suggest that the stade used to measure the city was a unit of 165 feet or 100 cubits, and the stade used to measure the plain was a unit of 330 feet which would be half a Sumerian furlong or 200 Sumerian cubits, also sometimes called an "Assyrian" stade. See Atlantis stade and actual plots found in Mexico.

Ulf Richter thought that the stade of Atlantis might have been converted originally to Egyptian "Khet" of 100 "Royal Cubits"
(1 khet = 52.4 meters = 172 feet) giving a size for the plain of 157 x 105 km (85 x 56 nautical miles) instead of 300 x 200 nautical miles. Suppose the ancient Sumerians used a unit of 100 Sumerian cubits (165 feet) what name would they have given to that unit? Suppose they used a unit of 200 cubits, what would that unit be called? If we call all these units "stades" simply because we don't know their original names or values, we are setting the seeds of future confusion, just as with Plato's "stades". One thing is certain, Plato never visited the Altiplano and measured it in Greek stades.

Herodotus Book 1, para 181 tell us that the Tower in Babylon measured "a furlong in length and breadth." That should have made the Tower 660 feet x 660 feet whereas in reality in modern times it has been quoted as being 300 feet on each side, so there is a precedent for a smaller "stade" of 300 feet or more probably 297 feet or 330 feet if the Tower were built in Babylonian units. Similarly in the biblical description of the "Holy City" the perimeter is given as "12,000 furlongs" when it should have read "12,000 cubits" so there are precedents for unknown units to be simply described as "stades" or "furlongs" thus losing the correct dimensions of the original.

A plain of 3,000 x 2,000 Egyptian Khet of 100 cubits would be roughly one quarter the length and breadth compared to Greek Stades and occupy about one sixteenth of the land area. A plain of 3,000 x 2,000 half furlongs of 330 feet or 200 cubits would be roughly one half the length and breadth compared to Greek stades and occupy about one quarter of the land area.

Atlantis plain width stades

Bury's translation of "measuring upwards from the sea", physically might suggest a stade of around 300 feet if we measure from the inland edge of the sea (lake), but the width of the lake fluctuates greatly with the seasons. If we use a translation such as in Jowett's "Across the centre inland it was 2,000 stadia" it would mean that the width was the width at the widest point in the general area of the sea, then measuring as in the above diagram, from the 12,000ft contour on the western side across the width of the actual plain including the sea gives a width of 2,000 "stades" or half furlongs of 330 feet.

Note, the plain measures 2,000 stades wide at its centre, measuring upwards or across from the sea, not 3,000 stades upwards from the sea as shown by Georgeos Daz-Montexano and others who similarly claim to have found the plain, much reduced in size, in various locations.

Considering the plain was divided into allotments, it probably depended on which units best fitted with the units used for the allotments, the stade of 200 cubits might have been convenient because the ancient inhabitants liked to count in twenties. So the stade of 330 feet (200 cubits) is double the stade of 165 feet (100 cubits) which seems to have been used to measure the circular site at Pampa Aullagas and which has also been found in allotments of 10 x 10 stades in Mexico.

ancient stades chart
This chart from "Encyclopedia of Columbus" shows how the 330 foot stade of Atlantis has also been identified
and called an "Assyrian" stade by other authors, being a stade of 200 Assyrian cubits.
The Herodotus-Gossellin stade shown above.

plain of Atlantis 3,000 x 2,000 stades

The shape of the rectangular plain is broadly defined by the 13,000ft contour, here marked in black with level ground shown in light green including the Salars which are absolutely level and shown speckled white. I have marked the 12,000ft contour in blue and a perimeter canal would probably have run somewhere between the 12,000ft contour and the 13,000ft contour although levels are different today due to the sinking in elevation of this region. It is very noticeable how the overall dimensions of the plain can be defined as 3,000 x 2,000 stades using the half furlong of 330ft and measuring to the 12,000ft contours, particularly in defining the length of the plain as the water seems to find a natural boundary today around the 12,000ft contour at the southern edge of the Salar de Uyuni. It is easily seen how feasible it would have been to construct a canal following the 12,000ft contour which would make a circuit of the plain, possibly taking a short cut through Llica or Tres Cruces. An actual section of wide channel remains at Estancia Rosa Pata, between the present 12,000ft contour and the lake.

Atlantis canal
A section of channel "one stade wide" to the west of Oruro which may have been part of the perimeter canal Plato mentioned

Atlantis canal Oruro   Desaguadero canal Oruro
Above left, some people doubt it would have been possible to construct a canal of the dimensions Plato gave, but this section of canal near Oruro measures over 200 feet wide. Above right, a ground view of the preceeding canal 200 feet wide discharging into Lake Poopo. In the wet season, the canal fills with water and the retaining embankments originally prevented flooding of the adjacent cultivations, but now the canal is broken down and being washed away. It has been replaced by a more modern canal only about 35 feet wide to allow the river Desaguadero to discharge into Lake Poopo.

Atlantis canal wide
Above, another section of canal 220 feet wide near Oruro. It proves that a canal of the dimensions Plato gave is typical of the area.

Atlantis canal Oruro
Above, this canal is now broken down and large sections washed away.

Atlantis plain    Atlantis plain winding canal

Above, left, the dimensions of the plain in stades of 330ft (yellow dotted line) make a pretty good fit with dimensions of 3,000 x 2,000 units pretty much defining the Altiplano at its widest point and inset in blue, the route a canal might take to avoid the volcanic outcrops. The reader can easily scale the image since one degree of latitude is 60 x nautical miles. The plain can also be seen as Lee called it "naturally a long regular rectangle".(118c)

In practice, any canal route would either be smaller than the overall dimensions of the plain if a perfect rectangle, or "wind its way around the plain" avoiding the volcanic outcrops and probably following a given contour, so the above left hand drawing illustrates the dimensions of the plain rather than any given route for a canal. In other words, it is the plain itself which measures the 3,000 x 2000 stades or units and the perfectly rectangular canal seen in many illustrations remains a theoretical concept. Above, right, a route a reconstructed canal might take today showing how the streams from the mountains such as the rio Lauca are collected into the perimeter trench.

Atlantis plain illustration Atlantis plain Altiplano

Above left, traditional interpretation of the rectangular plain (published by LOEB Classical library) with location of the ringed island in its centre, next to the sea. Above right, Artists impression for comparison to the LOEB drawing showing location of the ringed island at Pampa Aullagas in the correct position. In practice the perimeter canal would have had to follow the contours around the plain allowing for volcanic outcrops (seen in above maps) as it says in the Jowett translation "winding its way around the plain". See preceeding topographical map for actual topography.

Atlantis allotments
Above, the allotment of 10 x 10 stades of 330ft can be divided into 20 x 20 "setat" of land or it can be divided into 4 quarters each of 10 x 10 stades of 165ft and correspondingly, 10 x 10 setat of land, so each quarter could support 10 landholders or familes and under the decimal Inca system the lowest economic unit was a block of 10 workers controlled by a "straw boss". (see atlantis stade)

Atlantis plots
Above, At last the Altiplano gives up its secrets! These channels on the Bolivian Altiplano north west of La Paz region are in regular plots of 330ft confirming the use of the 330ft stade to describe the rectangular plain next to Lake Poopo.

channels penas
The smallest subdivision of one stade square is divided by smaller channels.
Ground view of the above channels which divide the zone into square plots,
some are still maintained for use today (above) whilst others are abandoned.

atlantis channels penas
Porfirio Limachi points out overgrown channels at this intersection.

channels penas overgrown    channels el choro
Other channels are wider such as the overgrown example (left) and the redug example (right).

Altiplano canals chipaya
Others such as near Chipaya on the level plain are still wider.
Plato: "Canals were dug in straight lines across the plain."

Plato said the island metropolis with the concentric rings of land was "near the plain, over against its centre, at a distance of about fifty stades, there stood a mountain that was low on all sides" (translation R.G. Bury) and also that it was "50 stades from the sea" and that is where we find the ruined island at Pampa Aullagas, destroyed by earthquakes, on the level Altiplano, fifty stades from the inland sea called "Poopo Sea" or Lake Poopo and the only proposed Atlantis site in the world which actually has concentric rings of land and alternating channels.

Satellite photo of the site at Pampa Aullagas. On the western side of the island there are remains of three sandy channels separated by two rings of land with the innermost ring being higher up the mountain while other concentric channels all at the same level exist on the east side of the island. The surrounding plain has dropped in elevation and it is probable that the present day appearance of the volcano is much changed due to the earthquakes.

Altiplano lake levels tauca lake tauca
Above, Lake Tauca

Lake Tauca, (diagram above left), which according to a 1983 report by Albrecht Kessler lasted from 10,500BC to 9,000BC, covered the Altiplano to a depth of 60 metres, note how Lake Poopo has enlarged to become an even bigger inland sea while water covers most of the rectangular (Basin Coipasa + Basin Uyuni) plain. When the lake dried up there would have been an optimum time when the plain was covered in fertile alluvial mud - a 2001 report by Michel Fornari gives a date for Lake Tauca of from 14,000 to 10,000BC and a depth of 20 feet for the initial layer of alluvial mud left behind when the lake dried up and before it became covered in salt deposits, other reports give a date of between 11,400BC and 9,500BC for the radiocarbon-dated shallow paleolake called Coipasa - a subdivision of the "Tauca" phase while the latest figures according to Blard 2012, state that the Lake Tauca cycle lasted from 16,000 to 12,500 BC and was characterized by the highest water level, reaching at least 3770 m (12,368ft) from 14,500 to 13,000 BC, the Lake Coipasa cycle, lasted from 10,500 to 9,900 BC and reached an elevation of 3700 m, (12,139ft) i.e. 42 m (138ft) above the elevation of the Salar de Uyuni (3658 m) (12,001ft).

Today the plain is covered in salt salars due to the repeated flooding and evaporation of the waters over centuries. So the geological date is correct for an Atlantis culture to have began when the lake dried up as Plato gave a date of 9,000 years before Solon (9,600BC) and the object of the perimeter canal would have been to prevent the waters of Lake Poopo from encroaching onto the level plain so the canal could be used both for irrigation and to prevent flooding.

At one time the river Desaguadero originally drained the plain from South to North but later changed direction and today drains from North to South. Posnansky followed the strand lines of the former lakes as far south as the lake Poopo region and thought the original lake level was about 170 feet above the present-day level of lake Poopo. In the region of the village of Huari he noticed that the strand lines (which would have formed in a horizontal level) had become inclined but was not sure whether the sinking of the southern zone was a slow or rapid occurance.

Posnansky strand lines lake tauca
Posnansky's interpretation of the strand lines

path of the pole Bellamy strand lines
Path of the Pole, Bellamy's interpretation of the strand lines

Pampa Aullagas Atlantis water level
Ground view of the mountain at Pampa Aullagas from the south, (with volcanic spring in the foreground), it is surrounded by a band of stones covered in white, fossilised lake deposits which show the original level of the lake at a much higher level than today, the surrounding plain has also dropped in elevation.

Atlantis Pampa Aullagas rio Marquez
view of the site at Pampa Aullagas from the east showing as Plato called it "a mountain low on all sides". This refers to the circular volcanic plateau which surrounds the central cone and which also contains the concentric rings. The fine line marks the ancient water level which would have filled the sandy depessions leaving circular bands of rock forming rings of land. The white sandy band on the central cone shows where this part of the cone has fallen away due to earthquakes and the white sand on the sides of the outer plateau show where the land and level plain has dropped away from the original volcano. It may be that the outer parts of the volcano have also dropped in elevation which might explain why on the west side the inner ring is today higher up the mountain.

There exists in Bolvia a legend in which the gods decide to punish a city on the edge of a lake by submerging it in a day of earthquakes and floods. The principal god, Tunupa, a god of the sea who had tried to persuade the people to amend their degenerate ways is cast by the people adrift on the lake in a reedboat which is then carried southwards to crash against the souhern shores of the lake. A great aperture opens up in the side of the lake, carrying the god southwards in a great flood of water until he reaches Lake Poopo where he disappears into the waters in the region of Pampa Aullagas. Other versions say the waters continued south in a great wave even reaching Chile where a giant petroglyph representing Tunupa can be seen in the Atacama desert.

altiplano flooding   atlantis desaguadero legend
This illustration (right) by Rene Rojas from "Legends of Bolivia" shows the city being overcome by a wall of water.

desaguadero atlantis the inhabitants and city drowned due to the rising waters

Isn't that so like the tale of Atlantis, where the gods decide to punish the city because of their greed and misbehaviour, submerging the city in a single day and night of earthquakes and floods?

And since the tale of Atlantis came from Egypt and presumably originally from the Great Atlantis Continent itself, isn't it possible that in fact what Plato was repeating was this legend of a drowned city which originated in Bolivia?

Since identification and publication of the rectangular plain of Atlantis as the Altiplano in Bolivia, two other proponents of South America have come along putting forward the Beni and Argentina respectively as the plain of Atlantis, but if we look closely these locations again do not fit the description as well as the Altiplano.

The Beni, Bolivia.
No so long ago the theory was put forward by Bolivian engineer David Antelo that a region of the Beni was the plain of Atlantis, and following on from a circular drawing he found in a cave he identified by Google Earth a circular formation on a river near lake Roja Aguado which he claimed was the original city of Atlantis. I believe he has subsequently modified his claims to state that it was not the Atlantis of Plato, but the Atlantis of the Antis Indians and "land of the Musus". This may be because the canals and earthworks in this region are not thought old enough to belong to Plato's Atlantis. It is worthwhile to view the film "Atlantida de las Musus - Beni" which shows some of the many straight line canals found in the region.

Beni Atlantis Antelo
Above, David Antelo's interpretation of the site.

Atlantis Beni
Above, high resolution image of the site. The outer ring measures about one stade on the north-west side and one and a half stades on the north-east side, while the centre area is about 5 stades in diameter forming a lake instead of an island. A channel appears cut through from the outer to the inner ring, but that is not unusual since in the river systems of south America there are thousands of artificially adapted lakes and islands, see rio Parana canals, ponds and islands for examples and see Beni ponds for images of the great number of artificial lagoons in this region. .

Atlantis Beni
Above, the outer ring measures about one stade on the north-west side.

Atlantis Beni
Above, actual dimensions across the centre is about 5 stades using Greek stades..

It should be noted that the centre of the site, instead of being a volcanic island or mountain, is a lake, it is also a feature on an alluvial plain and appears to be what one would call a "double ox bow" formation of the river. This region of the Beni, in common with most flat regions with meandering rivers such as the Amazon, has thousands of oxbow bends on rivers. This one is unusual in that it has one formation inside the other one and also the lake in the centre..

oxbow lake formation   oxbow lakes
Above, typical diagrams showing formation of oxbow lakes.

oxbow lakes
Above, this site near Santa Teresa shows how oxbows can form enclosing one another from the river.. note the artificial ponds on the left

oxbow lakes
Above, this site on the Amazon shows how oxbows can form enclosing one another from the river.
Notice how the two oxbow lakes have been joined by a artificial channel.

Atlantis Beni plain map

Above, map of the Beni area, the relief topography on this particular map does not show a rectangular plain but rather one which extends through into the Llanos de Guarayos at the south-east. As defined by David Antelo it is bounded by natural rivers rather than defined by mountains or man-made canals, in this case the northern boundary is said to be the rio Guapore and the western boundary is said to be the rio Madre de Dios which I have shown by the superimposed rectangle showing a plain of 3,000 x 2000 Greek stades. In Plato's version, the perimeter canal collected the streams from the mountains, made a circuit around the plain and discharged the waters into the sea, while channels 100ft wide were supposedly dug across the plain to discharge into the seaward canal. The Beni plain is crossed by natural rivers of immense size, such as the Madre de Dios, the rio Beni and the rio Mamore and is partly submerged in the wet season due to the ingression of waters from the Amazon.

Amazon basin flooded

Above, in the wet season, vasts tracts of Amazonia and the Beni region of Bolivia become submerged by floodwaters. The peoples of the Beni flood plains, for example, lived on artificial mounds and built long straight causeways and canals for transportation, they also created great numbers of huge artificial ponds probably used for the capture or storage of fish stocks and are noted for an "hydraulic" or "aquatic" culture. There are many archeological sites which have been little explored although dating so far suggests a later period than that of Atlantis. In the above graphic, the attraction of the Beni region can be seen in that it is a flooded plain, but not flooded as deeply as Amazonia and in this view, does show as a large rectangle and is of the correct size of 3,000 x 2000 stades. Some researchers think cultures may have begun here which later moved to the Altiplano whilst others think they began on the Altiplano and later moved to the Beni. Sir Francis Bacon in his "New Atlantis" of 1627 says that after the loss of the island of Atlantis due to a great flood and the original plain being cut off due to persistent water levels, the inhabitants descended to lower levels, thus suggesting that they moved from the higher Altiplano to the Amazonic regions.


A recent theory by Doug Fisher claims that the region known as Entre Rios (between rivers) bordering Argentina and Uruguay was the rectangular plain of Atlantis. Doug's figures are in Statute Miles. A statue mile is 5280 feet while a geographic or nautical mile is 6076.824 feet. If Plato's stades were meant to be Greek stades, then they would be 1/10th of a geographic mile.

Atlantis plain Doug Fisher
Above, Doug Fisher's map showing the claimed area.

Atlantis plain Entre Rios map
Above, map showing the region between the rios Paraguay and the rio Parana with overlayed a rectangle of 3,000 x 2,000 Greek stades. Anyone can check the scale and find the Entre Rios region does not measure the quoted 3,000 stades x 2,000 stades. It is easy to make a scale bar because 5 degrees of latitude are 300 geographic miles or 3,000 Greek stades. We can easily measure the enclosed area and find that between the northern branch of the rio Parana and the entrance to the river system in the south-east corner is more like 4,000 Greek stades, and we also find that the width of the area at its narowest point is 900 stades while at its widest point about 1400 Greek stades. So it comes nowhere close to Plato's statement that it in the centre, it was "2,000 stades measuring upwards from the sea" (Bury), or Jowett's "Across the centre inland it was 2,000 stadia".

Besides, it does not match Plato's description because it was the plain which was "naturally" quadrangular, and what it lacked of this shape they made right by a ditch or canal dug round about it. It does not say that it was enclosed or formed by natural rivers.

rio Parana
The perimeter canal was man made and measured 1 stade (600ft) wide.
The rio Parana here measures 2.5 KILOMETRES wide....

Additionally the whole region "rose sheer out of the sea to a great height" and the plain was "enclosed by mountains" which the land between the rivers is not, - here is what Plato says (Critias 118c) "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; and this plain had a level surface and was as a whole rectangualar in shape, being 3,000 stades long on either side and 2,000 stades wide at its centre, reckoning upwards form the sea".

According to Doug's calculations, "Mesopotamia forms a slightly leaner rectangle with approximate dimensions of 1,550 x 3,700 stadia (180 miles x 425 miles) compared to Atlantis' 2,000 x 3,000 stadia (230 miles x 345 miles). However, this discrepancy can easily be attributed to the measurements having been rounded to the nearest thousand." But Plato clearly states that it is 2,000 stades wide at it centre and 3,000 stades long on either side, while if we "round up" 3,700 stades to the nearest round number it would be 4,000 stades....

There is an even vaster section of open plain to the west in the Chaco. Furthermore the supposed site of the city on Doug's map is a river delta composed of alluvial material while the capital city of Atlantis was a mountain made of rock - it was in a volcanic region because it had natural springs of hot and cold water and it was also composed of alternating rings of rock and water - the rocks being of red, black and white colours and the water channels supposedly dug out of the rock by the god himself to make it impassable to man - none of which can be detected at Doug's city site at the river entrances on satellite imagery ... which is not circular but violin shaped! Again, the site of the city was in the centre of the plain which "enclosed it round about", and an island at the entrance to the rios Parana and Uruguay isn't in the centre of the plain. ....

Atlantis rio Parana
Above, the island at the entrance to the rio Parana.

Atlantis rio Parana
Above, Doug's interpretation of the ringed island in the delta uses only the western portion of the island..

Atlantis rio Parana
Above, the site chosen is not circular and has no indication of any circular channels.

Atlantis rio Parana
Above, it would not be possible to construct the seawall at a distance of 50 stades from the outer ring because it would fall in the river estuary. Also it would be completely pointless digging a channel to the sea when the island is already flanked by rivers on either side.

Atlantis rio Parana
Above, Doug considers the centre of the circular island to be 7.5 miles from the sea.

Atlantis rio Parana
Above, 7.25 miles from the centre of the supposedly circular site measured by Google Earth.

Atlantis rio Parana
Above, the centre of the supposedly circular site is 5 miles from the River Uruguay which gives access to the sea.

Doug Fisher Atlantis
Above, how the central island would look when encircled by the 50 stades distant perimeter wall which supposedly began at the sea and ran round in a circle.

Atlantis rio Parana    Atlantis rio Parana
Above, since Doug's chosen site cannot accomodate a circular wall 50 stades from the outermost ring, he has modified the description of the rings and abandoned the concept of a perimeter wall alltogether, making the sea 50 stades from the centre of the island (instead of 50 stades from the outermost ring) and creating merely a corridor to the sea.

Atlantis rio Parana
Above, the actual sea as opposed to the river is in fact, 25 miles away.

This island is in a fork of the river with natural channels on either side - there would be no need for any original inhabitants to dig a canal to the sea so that ships could reach the city.

Plato'a Atlantis was a mountain - a "mountain low on all sides" (at Pampa Aullagas on the Altiplano, not only is there a volcanic mountain, but it is also surrounded by the remains of a volcanic plateau which is "low on all sides" and which also contain circular concentric rings) and the fact remains that at this river delta site, there is neither volcanic mountain nor even a circular island.

It is however an interesting location and one which I considered a few years ago while looking for the site of Tarshish because it would have made a good base for the Atlanteans or Phoenicians making their first landfall after ocean voyages. So it remains an interesting island all the same.

This region also gives the reader an idea of just how vast this continent is, when it can accommodate not only the Entre Rios plain described by Doug Fisher, but fit another plain of similar size into the Chaco, apart from the Beni plain described by David Antelo, several more again which could be fitted into Amazonia then of course in addition we have the original Atlantis plain enclosed by mountains found on the Altiplano.

Since I pointed out that Doug Fisher's 50 stade distant sea wall for his selected site would put it beyond the Uruguay river, he modified his theory to state that interpretations of Plato were wrong and that what was meant that there was a fourth wall around the Atlantis rings to contain the outermost of the concentric water circles, the one three stades wide.

doug fisher fourth wall  : atlantis city island rings

Above left. To avoid having a perimeter wall running round in a circle at a distance of 50 stades from the outermost circle, Doug Fisher has created instead a "fourth" wall to contain the rings of water and changed the order of the wall coverings. So after his outer wall coated in brass, then there is the wall of tin, but the next ring is not coated at all because he has to save the orichalcum for the inner island which was coated in orichalcum. Above right, the correct order of the rings with their respective coatings as described by Plato "And they covered with brass, (bronze according to Lee) as though with plaster, all the circumference of the wall which surrounded the outermost circle; and that of the inner one they coated with tin; and that which encompassed the acropolis itself [116c] with orichalcum which sparkled like fire." (Bury translation)

Yet he is right in that there was a fourth wall containing the circles and ring islands, because at Pampa Aullagas, there is a wall of stone containing the outermost ring of water. No such wall exists at his Delta site, because there is nothing at all at his Delta site.

outer atlantis wall
The outermost ring at Pampa Aullagas is enclosed by a ring of stone

"And after crossing the three outer harbours, [117e] one found a wall which began at the sea and ran round in a circle, at a uniform distance of fifty stades from the largest circle and harbour, and its ends converged at the seaward mouth of the channel." (Bury translation)

atlantis canal to sea  : atlantis wall 50 stades
At Pampa Aullagas, the distance is correct from the sea (lake) for the construction of a perimeter wall at a distance of 50 stades from the outermost circle.

Susa, Ecbatana, Firuzabad and Persepolis

There is a certain similarity between Plato's description of the city of Atlantis with its circular central island surrounded by concentric ring islands and cities which existed in ancient Persia, in particular with for example Susa and Ecbatana which Herodotus describes as being surrounded by concentric walls, each painted in differing colours and rising in height from the outside towards the centre and also for example with Firuzabad for which we have a record of the dimensions being 2000 metres in diameter (probably to exterior of ditch) according to Wikipedia or 1950 metres in diameter (probably to centre of ditch) according to Prof. Dietrich Huff

Now, 2,000 metres would be pretty close to 4,000 Sumerian cubits of 19.8" and since Prof. Huff tells us that the city was "divided into twenty sectors by a precise geometric system of twenty radial and several concentric streets." It tends to suggest that the interpretation of 4,000 Sumerian cubits in diameter is the correct one, the radius being therefore 2,000 cubits...

Firuzabad aerial view
Firuzabad aerial view

Wikipedias's account of Firuzabad meaning "The Glory of Ardasher" - "is a city in and the capital of Firuzabad County, Fars Province, Iran.... Firuzabad is located south of Shiraz. The town is surrounded by a mud wall and ditch. Alexander of Macedonia destroyed the original city of Gor. Centuries later, Ardashir I, founder of the Sassanid Dynasty, revived the city before it was ransacked during the Arab invasion of the seventh century. Firuzabad is situated in a low-lying area of the region, so Alexander was able to drown the city by directing the flow of a river into the city. The lake he created remained until Ardashir I built a tunnel to drain it. He founded his new capital city on this site. Ardeshir's new city was known as Khor Ardeshir, Ardeshir Khurah and Shahr-i- Gor. It had a circular plan so precise in measurement that the Persian historian Ibn Balkhi wrote it to be "devised using a compass"."

Firuzabad satellite view
Firuzabad satellite view

Plato's city of Atlantis comprised a central island 5 stades in diameter surrounded by a ring of water 1 stade in diameter, ring of land 2 stades, water 2 stades, land 3 stades and water 3 stades making a total of 27 stades in diameter. The problem is, what were the original units used, if not Greek stades of 606 english feet (600 Greek feet) supposing they had been furlongs of 660ft (600 Sumerian feet) then the diameter would have been 27 x 660ft = 17,820ft = 10,800 Sumerian cubits. (5.43km) Had they been they been stades of 330ft such as described the rectanglur plain of the Bolivian altiplano, then the diameter would have been 27 x 330ft = 8,910ft = 5400 cubits of 19.8" (2.71km)which is about the size of the Pampa Aullagas site in Bolivia. And if we try a smaller stade of 100 Sumerian cubits (165ft or half of the 330ft stade) then the size of the circular complex at 27 stades would be 4455ft or 2700 cubits of 19.8" (1.36km) in diameter.

Firuzabad map
Firuzabad - the old city 2km in diameter and modern city of Firuzabad.
Note the radial spokes dividing it into 20 sectors.

The Firuzabad site was surrounded by a ditch 35 metres wide according to Prof Huff, or 50 metres wide according to Wikipedia, and again, 50 metres in Sumerian cubits would be 100 cubits which sounds more appropriate. And wikipedia also tell us "The royal capital's compounds were constructed at the center of a circle 450 m in radius. At the center point of the city was a Zoroastrian fire temple 30 m high and spiral in design" - a 450 metre radius circle would be 900 cubits giving a diameter of 1800 cubits - leaving 100 cubits each side for the surrounding ditch already described and a temple 30 metres high would be 60 cubits high in Sumerian cubits.

Firuzabad palace
Firuzabad palace sometimes incorrectly called the "fire temple"

Prof Huff also adds "This scheme continues the concentric and radiant pattern of the town, at first up to an enclosure wall, forming a twenty-cornered polygon of nearly 8 km in diameter. Beyond this, the radials, consisting of traces of canals, paths, walls, and field borders continue up to 10 km distance from the central tower. The two perpendicular main axes of the scheme, determined by the axes of the tower and the four main gates, which are marked by four wide breaches in the city wall, lead to ruined constructions, which obviously belong to Ardar's building program: a mud-brick ruin with a round moat and Sasanian surface pottery 9.5 km southeast of the city center was probably a fort, guarding the eastern entrance to the plain. Some 4.5 km northwest are traces of a garden designed with a circular pool and a building on a hill, also with Sasanian pottery. An arrangement of walls on a mountain plateau 6 km northeast could indicate a cemetery. About 10 km southwest, at the outlet of the river from the plain, are the remains of water conduits and of a single arched aqueduct. In an arid neighboring valley, beyond a mountain ridge, a wall, most probably of an aqueduct, runs exactly north-south in line with the tower beyond the ridge. The aqueduct was fed from springs in the eastern Frzbd plain by a rock canal, penetrating the ridge by a rock tunnel (Huff, 1974, pp. 159-60)"

So the outer limits of the city were 10km from the centre, which would be 10,000 metres or 20,000 Sumerian cubits, or 100 stades of 330ft such as the stades of the Atlantis plain using the Bolivian Altiplano stade of 200 cubits or 50 stades using the Sumerian furlong of 660ft which is also closest to the Greek stade.

Plato's Atlantis scheme also included a circular "sea wall" at a distance of "50 stades from the outermost circle" which would compare to the outer limit of Firuzabad at 50 furlongs from the city centre, but in Furuzabad those limits describe not so much the city itself as the actual plain which instead of the 300 nautical miles described by Plato, only measures about 13km or 8 miles in length.

Firuzabad satellite view of the plain
Firuzabad and plain, satellite view, the plain measures about 13 km (8 miles) east-west and about 9 or 10km (6 miles) north to south.

location of Susa, Ecbatana and the royal road to Sardis.

There also existed in Persia two capital cities said by Herodotus to be surrounded by concentric ringed walls, one at Ecbatana (although in modern times no evidence of ringed walls have been found there), the other at Susa and these walls were also said to have been painted in decorative colours and rising higher on the interior towards the centre.

According to Herodotus, when the Medes appointed Deioces as king, he ordered them to build a city and palace (around the 8th century BC) and "The Medes were again obedient, and built the city now called Agbatana, the walls of which are of great size and strength, rising in circles one within the other. The plan of the place is that each of the walls should out-top the one beyond it by the battlements. The nature of the ground, which is a gentle hill, favours this arrangement in some degree, but it was mainly effected by art. The number of the circles is seven, the royal palace and the treasuries standing within the last. The circuit of the outer wall is very nearly the same with that of Athens. Of this wall the battlements are white, of the next black, of the third scarlet, of the fourth blue, of the fifth orange; all these are coloured with paint. The two last have their battlements coated respectively with silver and gold."

Polybius, a greek historian writing in a period later than Plato about 200BC (10.27.1-13), describes Ecbatana, "6 It lies on the skirts of Mount Orontes and has no wall, but possesses an artificial citadel the fortifications of which are of wonderful strength. 7 Beneath this stands the palace, .... The palace, however, is about seven stades in circumference, and by the magnificence of the separate structures in it conveys a high idea of the wealth of its original founders. 10 For the woodwork was all of cedar and cypress, but no part of it was left exposed, and the rafters, the compartments of the ceiling, and the columns in the porticoes and colonnades were plated with either silver or gold, and all the tiles were silver. 11 Most of the precious metals were stripped off in the invasion of Alexander and his Macedonians, and the rest during the reigns of Antigonus and Seleucus the son of Nicanor, 12 but still, when Antiochus reached the place, the temple of Aene alone had the columns round it still gilded and a number of silver tiles were piled up in it, while a few gold bricks and a considerable quantity of silver ones remained." (note, it is the palace which is 7 stades in circumferene, not the main citadel).

Izady (1992: 263) states, "The Assyrian bas relieves depicting Kurdish cities besieged by Assyrian forces all show a basic design of the cities, built on hills with many (usually seven) concentric walls sectioning the city all the way to top of the hill, where the palace/temple is located."

Another account says that both Ecbatana and Susa were built by King Memnon around the time of the Trojan war... "Memnon in Greek mythology, son of Tithonus (son of Laomedon, legendary king of Troy) and Eos (Dawn) and king of the Ethiopians. He was a post-Homeric hero, who, after the death of the Trojan warrior Hector, went to assist his uncle Priam, the last king of Troy, against the Greeks. He performed prodigies of valour but was slain by the Greek hero Achilles".
"But Memnon himself was, as Tithonus 1, related to the East, and he is said to have built a palace of many colored and shining white stones bound with gold in the city of Ecbatana. For Memnon, starting from Ethiopia, overrun Egypt and conquered the East as far as the city of Susa, which he surrounded by walls. So Memnon, although being king of the Ethiopians, came to Troy, not from what today is called Africa, but from Susa, not far away from the river Tigris, in the land that later became Persia. And when he made his march to the west, he subdued all the peoples that lived between Susa and Troy."

ecbatana plan
plan of Ecbatana, authenticity unknown as it is said that the circular walls there have never been found, however the drawing does show how walls on a given site may be adapted to the terrain of the site, thus in Pampa Aullagas it may have been feasible to have walls rising in height on the western side, but interconnected harbours at the same level on the eastern side.
See flooding dates page for illustrations of water levels at Pampa Aullagas.

pottery ectabana museum
a pot from Ecbatana shows the Atlantis symbol.

susa aerial photo
Susa aerial photo, the citadel in the foreground shows remarkable similarity to the site
at Pampa Aullagas as it exists today. Unfortunately this citadel appears to have now been demolished
and replaced by modern housing. The fort at the rear of the site was built by French archaeologists
and the "Tomb of Daniel" is marked by the pointed spire on the left of the photo.

Since Plato's account of the army and navy of Atlantis appears to be inspired by the account by Herodotus of the Persian forces arrayed against Athens, could it be that his description of the Atlantis citadel was also influenced by Herodotus' account of Persian cities?

The main differences between cities like Ecbatana and Susa and Plato's Atlantis are that whereas Ecbatana and Susa had concentric walls in differing colours, Plato's Atlantis had concentric walls with water filled harbours between them, a sea nearby as well as a very large rectangular plain and the ringed city and plain were located on a continent "the size of Asia and libya combined which lay opposite the Pillars of Hercules."

World Views - opposite the Pillars of Hercules

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). We can also compare the sizes of Crete, Sicily or Sardinia for example and they become mere dots compared to the size of the continent of Atlantis/America.

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

It is clear that Plato's "Atlantis" is the twin continents of the Americas and that an ancient culture disappeared in a great cataclysm as the additional studies clearly show (see links at foot of page).

Yet whether we talk about the Argentinian plain or the Beni or the Louisiana Seaboard plain, there are certain characteristics of Atlantis which are unique to the Altiplano and the Andes, which these other regions do not have.

We already mentioned that the region should be volcanic, with a volcanic island because the concentric rings were carved out of the rock, which was black, red and white, as at Pampa Aullagas.

Additionally, and here is a unique and interesting point, Plato says the first kings were born in Pairs and Inca legend tells us the first inhabitants were born in pairs. Not only that, but the Aymara of the Altiplano also organised their kingdoms in pairs before the Spanish Conquest.

On the Altiplano, there are no bulls, but the sacrifice of llamas is a tradition going back thousands of years, including throwing a libation onto the fire as Plato described so it is sure that the word "bull" was used instead of "llama" when originally translated, after all, who in Egypt or Greece would know of a llama?

There again, on the Altiplano we actually have a traditional legend of a city punished by the gods and sunk beneath the sea (lake), something we don't have in the Argentinian plain, or the Beni, or Thera, or Cyprus, or the Azores etc etc.

Then we have the deposits of the metals, the vast quantites of gold, silver, copper, tin and orichalcum are all found in mines around the edge of Lake Poopo on the Altiplano which is the centre of the modern mining industry in Bolivia. No one would import tin for example to plate the perimeter of a city wall unless there were vast deposits nearby, and all these metals can easily be carried by land or sea to Pampa Aullagas which is on the lake which is the centre of these mining industries.

Additionally, the Altiplano has periodically been sunk beneath the sea when it was submerged by giant pre-historic lakes, and on top of that, the southern region was sunk by earthquakes so that the water now drains from north to south when originally it drained from south to north. And Pampa Aullagas itself has been devasted by earthquakes which have torn parts from the volcano and twisted them around, giving it the appearance it has today and with its concentric ringed channels now filled with sand.

I should mention also that Plato's date for the end of Atlantis is somewhat ambiguous since he gives the same date for its founding, 9,600BC as he does for its destruction, but in that respect he also refers to the date as being the date when the war began which, since there was no Athens or Egyptian state in 9,600BC probably refers to the invasion of the eastern Mediterranean by the Sea Peoples and subsequent Persian invasion of Greece, dating from the time of the Trojan War around 1260BC down to 480BC when the Persian navy was defeated in the Battle of Salamis marking the turning point of the war in favour of the Greeks. Plato's description of the 10,000 chariots and 1200 triremes of Atlantis is probably also based upon Herodotus' description of the army and navy of the Persians recorded in his Histories since the Persian fleet also had 1200 ships - incidentally again the same number Homer gives for the Greek fleet attacking Troy in the Illiad.

So Plato's story of Atlantis would appear to be a compound story, using geographic data such as a description of South America and the Altiplano along with a description of elements based upon the Persian Wars and a few embellishments provided by Plato himself, thus making it difficult to work out which aspects are true and which aspects may be invention. Susa for example is older than the circular city of Firuzabad, but was Plato's Atlantis inspired by the design of Susa or was the design of Susa inspired by the theoretically older site of Atlantis or the mountain at Pampa Aullagas?

For further analysis of Plato's statements please see

orichalcum Atlantis twins
Plato's statements 50 points relative to Altiplano CLICK HERE

   See also additional studies,
   Atlantis in the Andes, Discovery documentary    Atlantis text illustrated
   images of Atlantis     lost city of Atlantis    lost continent of Atlantis    Atlas    Atlantis Bolivia versus Crete

   Plato     comparison of translations     Atlantis Jowett translation     Atlantis R.G. Bury translation     what Plato said
   Histories who's who Greeks    Greeks in Mexico     Sarmiento de Gamboa     Sir Francis Bacon on Atlantis
   Sir Isaac Newton on Atlantis    Fuente Magna, cuneifrom dish     Bolivia and the Sumerian connection     pre-Columbian wheels
   Thaipykkhala - the ceramica negra of Tiwanaku

   artefacts, Atlantis and the route to the sea     headgear of the Sea Peoples    Atlantis army and navy
   atlantis origins in Bolivian legends     twins of Atlantis     Orichalcum    Wealth of Atlantis     Bulls or llamas sacrifice

    Louisiana canals gallery    Tabasco, Mexico canals gallery     rio Paraguay levees canals     rio Parana canals, ponds and islands
    rio Parana delta canals    Corrientes     rio Amazon to Manaus    rio Amazon west from Manaus    rio Orinocco to Amazon canal
    Beni, Moxos gallery    Pantanal    atlantis canals on the Altiplano     canals gallery    Chipaya canals gallery    canals in Peru
    Caral, Peru containment canal     Paria, Oruro containment canals    canal to sea (lago UruUru
    America's lost civilisation     flooding dates on the Altiplano    Atlantis stones gallery

   Atlantis stade     cubits between altiplano canals     Nazca measurements and underground channels     Cholula Pyramid
   Tiwanaku cubits     Teotihuacan measuring unit     Teotihuacan citadel measuring units     Decoding the quipu mathematics
   Chichen Itza and El Castillo measuring units     Monte Alban, measuring units     Peru cubits and calendar

   Tiwanaku    the Tiwanaku calendar    the Muisca calendar     Lost Calendar of the Andes        Posnansky    Squier    Cieza de Leon

   agricultural variations on the Altiplano    geoforms = landforms oblique views    geoglyph fossilised agriculture
   hillforts    ringed hilltops    contour forms/irrigation Peru    contourforms/irigation Bolivia
   earthquakes     Bombo earthquake route     Bombo route oblique views

   Luis Gutierrez, tour guide     Porfirio Limachi, reed boat builder     building abora III history     reed boat construction history
   Pampa Aullagas     Pampa Aullagas oblique views     Santuario de Quillacas     Pumiri     Sajama     Oruro
   tsunami     fossilised footprint discovery Bolivia     the Atlantis Trail     tunupa photo gallery     building the model

   Full Paper part I submitted to Atlantis Conference Athens 2008 PDF
   Full Paper part II submitted to Atlantis Conference Athens 2008 PDF
   Full Paper part III submitted to Atlantis Conference Athens 2008 PDF

   Milos conference 24 points    beyond the Milos 24 points    statements comparison 50 points     Plain Comparison

J.M. Allen, updated 23 April 2012

sailing to atlantis