Moluccas was the name the ancient mariners gave to the
islands of Indonesia, because of the inebriating spices and hallucinogens
produced there. These drugs the Phoenicians, the Etruscans and the Minoans brought to the Occident, along with the metals and other similar exclusivities of the fabulous Indian trade.
It has been recently determined, through
detailed chemical analyses of several Egyptian mummies, that the drug traffic in antiquity was quite widespread. It encompassed the Americas (coca, tobacco),
the Indies (hashish and opium) and the Near East (opium and heroine). These
results were obtained by a German team of experts, and are quite unassailable.
We all know how meticulous and competent the Germans are at this type of
research. these results are so unbelievable that they were questioned. But they could not be refuted at all and, hence, must be accepted as real until someone is able to refute them.
Avienus also identifies the Cassiterides
with the site of Mt. Cassius (or Argentarius). The silvery colour of this mountain derives, according to him, from it being covered with tin, so often confused with silver by the ancients. The poet also makes these islands the site of the Pillars
of Hercules and of the abode of the giant Geryon. Geryon was, as we all know, the three-bodied giant killed by the Hero in
his tenth labor. Now, Geryon inhabited the island of Erytheia, which was located
in the Orient, beyond the ocean (Indian) and the Pillars of Hercules, at the very site of Atlantis (see item 8 above).
As we show elsewhere, these legendary islands, so rich in gold, silver and tin, were the same as the ones the Greek called by names such
Argyre ("Silvery Islands") or
Chryse ("Golden Islands").
These islands were also called
Chryse Chersonesos ("Peninsula of
Cassia Chersonesos ("Peninsula of Tin"). For, in antiquity,
islands and peninsulas ("near islands") were vaguely confused. This golden
peninsula and the nearby islands in question were those of present day Indonesia. Indonesia is, even today, the greatest supplier of tin and related metals, just as it was in remotest antiquity.
The Hindus called these fabled islands
by names such as
Saka-dvipa ("White Islands") or
("Golden Islands") because of the metals (gold and tin, the white metal)
they produced. In fact, Saka-dvipa is described in the
extremely rich in precious metals and gemstones. Its inhabitants were whites
like the Pious Ethiopians of Indonesia-Atlantis, as described by Pliny
and Solinus and several other Classical authors.
Saka-dvipa is also characterized by having
"a golden lofty mountain whence the clouds arise that bring the rains"
and another one "that produces all the herbs and medicinal drugs". Now,
the Golden Mountain is Mt. Meru (or Sumeru) and the other one is the Silvery
Mountain (or Kumeru) which Avienus calls Mt. Argentarius (or Cassius).
In Sanskrit, the word
Saka means both "white" (or "white metal")
and "medicinal drug", just as in the name of the Moluccas. So, we see how the confusion of the two names originally arose.
Plato also relates the fact that Atlantis
was immensely rich in metals and gemstones, which the Atlanteans used lavishly
in the decoration of their temples and walls. In one passage of his
(114 d) the Greek philosopher writes on the Atlanteans that:
"Their island itself produced
most of what was required by them for the uses of life. In the first place
they dug out of the earth whatever [metals and gemstones] that are to be
found there, solid or fusible.
They also produced that which
is now only a name, orichalcum, but which was them a reality that was dug
out of the earth in many parts of the continent, and which was, in those
days, more precious than any other metal other than gold."
In another passage (Critias
tells how the triple walls of Atlantis were clad one with bronze the other
with tin and the inner one, which encompassed the citadel "flashed with
the red light of orichalc". The true nature of orichalc has been endlessly
debated by experts of all sorts since antiquity.