Atlas, and lay between Java and Sumatra.
When the Greeks moved from their primeval
homeland in the Indies into their new one in the Mediterranean, they brought
along their myths, which they transplanted to the local geographical features.
Hence, they created a new pair of Pillars of Hercules in Gibraltar, a new
Atlantic Ocean, a new Garden of the Hesperides, a new set of Islands of
the Blest, and so on.
But, as we just said, the archetypal Pillars
of Hercules really lay in Indonesia, the true site of Atlantis and of Eden.
There is where the whole story indeed started. But, whether one accepts
this seminal discovery or not, this matters little, for Plato is
very specific on his disclosure that Atlantis in fact lay in the Outer Ocean
and "beyond the Pillars of Hercules".
Actually, the famous philosopher uses the
hyper which is a Greek adverb meaning "beyond", with a sense
of "transposing", "crossing", "passing beyond", "going further", "yonder",
"past", "over", etc.. So, the proposals that place Atlantis inside the
Mediterranean Basin, though attractive and scientifically convincing, must be discarded
as specious. Such is the case of Thera (Santorini, near Crete), of the
Schott-el-Djerid (Libya), of the Bosphoros (Black Sea), of the Kertch Strait
(idem), of Troy (Hissarlik, in Turkey) and so on.
The specifications of Plato further embody
certain puns so liked of the ancients when treating matters related to
the secret of the Mysteries which we now explain. To start with, the
hyper discussed above also has the sense of "placed above as
a substitute". This is probably what Plato had in mind when he wrote that "the
Atlanteans lived beyond the Pillars of Hercules" (hyper ten Heraklei
We have precisely the same kind of pun in the Egyptian name of the country of Hau-nebut, the mysterious people of the shady "Islands of the Middle of the Great Green (Sea)". These islands, which have been confused with Crete by many Egyptologists of merit, are indeed those of Indonesia, the primordial Paradise of the Egyptians (Punt). The name of Hau-nebut derives from a wordplay, in Sanskrit and Dravida, the primordial languages of the place, and means something like "the Islands (or Marshes) beyond the Pillars (of Hercules)". In other words, these distant isles are precisely those of Atlantis, left behind when the great continent foundered long ago.
This exegesis might be considered farfetched,
were it not for the fact that Plato makes another similar wordplay when
he makes the priest of Sais affirm that Atlantis lay "in front of the straits
which are by you called Pillars of Hercules". What Plato is indeed hinting
at is that the Pillars of Hercules in question are truly those of Indonesia.
For, there are no lands or islands, sunken or not, "before Gibraltar" except
the distant continent of North America. No one so far, in modern times,
has dared to identify America to Atlantis.
This fact is in contrast to the geography
of Sunda Strait, indeed the ancient gateway to Atlantis. Before it, an
enormous continent, now sunken, then lay as an enormous expanse just in
front, precisely as Plato affirms. What the great philosopher affirms of
Atlantis was perfectly true of Indonesia during the Pleistocene Ice Age:
"There was an island [or
continent] beyond the Pillars of Hercules... larger than Libya and Asia
Minor put together. This continent [of Atlantis] was the way to other
islands [Oceania]; and from these you might pass to the opposite continent
[the Americas], which encompasses the true Ocean".
Look at a good map of the world, and you will
immediately realize that Plato spoke truly, and that this region is the
only one in the world that fits his words adequately at the epoch in question,
the Pleistocene Ice Age.