2) Seaports, Navigation,
One of the most fascinating features of
Plato's Atlantis was the vast network of canals used for the double purpose
of irrigating its extensive agricultural plains and for
the fluvial transportation of their produce. The of thecapital of the Atlantean
empire was crossed and surrounded by these canals, forming a figure known
as "Celtic Cross" or "Crossed Circle", thus
. This symbol is often confused with that of the Earth or even of the Sun.
But it indeed originally applied, as in ancient Egypt, to the land of Paradise.
This network of canals also contained dams
and sluice-gates to control the flow of the rivers. It was a marvel of
hydraulic engineering, the likes of which are only attested in the ancient
Far East and, to a lesser scale, in Incan America. Moreover, Plato specifically
states that Atlantis was a great naval power and that its many ships actively
traded with the most distant nations of the overseas. Hence, it is idle
to suppose that powers of limited naval abilities such as the Mayan empire or the Celto-Iberian
nations of that epoch or, even more, the Canaries and Northwest Africa could ever have been the true site of Atlantis.
The Incas of Peru had a great naval ability,
and there is ample evidence confirmed by Thor Heyerdahl and his Kon Tiki
expedition that they made routine contacts with the Far East via the
Pacific Ocean. The Incas of Peru also maintained a regular commercial contact
with the Mexican empires. But their empire was located far up in the mighty
Andes, and did not include good seaports nor did the Incas base their economy
on naval commerce. Water is scarce in their region of the world, in contrast
to what Plato affirms of Atlantis.
On this item, we have qualified nations
such as Troy, Celtiberia, Tartessos, as well as those of the African and
European Northwest, for they are, at least mythically, very much connected
with navigation. However, they all present hardly any traces of the extensive
network of canals described by Plato, or any solid evidence of their early
Incan Peru also affords no concrete evidence
of extensive seaports, though we recognize its maritime skill. Perhaps
these ports and canals were submerged in the cataclysm, though any confirmatory
evidence of this is definitely lacking.
Crete was undoubtedly a maritime power,
and so were the Scandinavian nations with their world roving Vikings. The
two Indies (India and Indonesia) are acknowledged for their intensive trade
with the ancient Middle East and the Far East, and possibly even the Americas.
The African Northwest was settled by the Phoenicians, who had colonies
in Tartessos, Carthage and Cadiz (Gadeira). However, it is difficult to
establish that such colonies indeed date from Atlantean times, as the archaeological
searches point to post-Bronze Age settlements only. Indeed, these
are so small as to suggest that they were mere outposts of the Phoenicians, used for the re-supplying of their ships during their frequent travels to the Indies, with which they maintained a regular commerce from remotest antiquity.
On Antarctica and on some possible sunken
Atlantic island or continent we have any no clearcut, scientifically acceptable evidence,
and the matter awaits confirmation by the experts. Their pronouncements up to now have unanimously affirmed that both notions are scientifically preposterous, a conclusion that should not be taken lightly. The important thing to keep in mind
is that the main feature of Atlantis was its naval prowess and the impressive
network of canals and sluices for both navigational purposes, as well as
for agricultural irrigation. Such wonders of hydraulic engineering
we only find in the Far East and, perhaps, in the Amazonian extensions
of the Incan empire, as some authorities believe.
3) Continental Size
and Sacred Geometry
Plato's text is somewhat confused on the
actual size of Atlantis. Indeed it should be understood that he speaks
of two Atlantises: the true one and the "skeletal" realm he calls by the
name of "Primeval Greece". By such "Greeks" the enemies and vanquishers
of Atlantis Plato indeed means the Aryans and their long lost Aryanavarta
("Country of the Aryans") that is indeed the sunken realm of Lemurian Atlantis.
Actually, the "skeleton" of this primordial
Atlantis now forms the Indonesian archipelago, whose islands are the volcanic peaks that remained above the water when the immense expanse of the Elysian Plains sunk under the sea.
These islands are now reduced to the Realm of the Dead known to the Greeks
as the Islands of the Blest. But they once formed a vast continent, now mostly sunken under
the South China Sea. This huge piece of land was, then, indeed "greater than Asia [Minor] and Libya [North
Africa] put together", precisely as Plato asserted of Atlantis.[See Fig.1]
The second Atlantis of Plato and other mythographers
is that part of India whose remains can now be observed in the Indus
and the Ganges valleys. Both were the sites of magnificent civilizations
such as those of Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro. Plato also speaks of the
Atlantean capital called Atlantis by him and Poseidonis by certain Atlantologists.
This royal capital indeed reserved for the nobility, the priesthood and
the royal guard has often been confused with the whole of Atlantis by
a few researchers. But is was only a small island, the sacred capital of
the whole empire.
We find, to be sure, several capitals that
imitated or attempted to imitate the Atlantean capital. One such was
the royal capital of the Incas, located in an islet of Lake Titicaca, in
the neighborhood of Tiahuanaco (Bolivia). Another one was the island of
Thera (Santorini), perhaps the sacred capital of Minoan Crete, as some
Atlantologists will. Troy too was described by Homer as fitting this sacred
paradigm, and to have been submerged by the Flood after its destruction
by the Bronze Age "Greeks".
Schliemann's "Troy" in Turkey hardly fits
this standard description.