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Mario Dantas

The Sahara Desert and Plato's Atlantis

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The Puzzler

This map has Lake Tritonis on it... (where it should be anyway)

ancient+Libya+map.jpg

http://egyptday1.blo...-libya-map.html

My own opinion, however, based on Herodotus' description, seems to place the river and lake around modern Gabes. This is because he is talking about the coastal people and they go up to the great River Triton, so why would this lake/river be inland...?

The peninsula of Djerba is said to be the home of the lotus-eaters (also in Odyssey) and one could see how you could even sail into the lagoon, a lake? and get lost inside it with a channel to the sea the way out - but it seems that the River Triton is further along that this - the keeping tot he coast and having the Machlyans go from there to the River Triton, keeping on the coast - seems to get you to Gabes, where there appears to be an old river system and also the Gulf looks like it could have once been more of a hard to negotiate lake.

https://ebooks.adela...s/h4/book4.html

The sea-coast beyond the Lotophagi is occupied by the Machlyans, who use the lotus to some extent, though not so much as the people of whom we last spoke. The Machlyans reach as far as the great river called the Triton, which empties itself into the great lake Tritonis.

Edited by The Puzzler
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atalante

This map has Lake Tritonis on it... (where it should be anyway)

ancient+Libya+map.jpg

http://egyptday1.blo...-libya-map.html

My own opinion, however, based on Herodotus' description, seems to place the river and lake around modern Gabes. This is because he is talking about the coastal people and they go up to the great River Triton, so why would this lake/river be inland...?

The peninsula of Djerba is said to be the home of the lotus-eaters (also in Odyssey) and one could see how you could even sail into the lagoon, a lake? and get lost inside it with a channel to the sea the way out - but it seems that the River Triton is further along that this - the keeping tot he coast and having the Machlyans go from there to the River Triton, keeping on the coast - seems to get you to Gabes, where there appears to be an old river system and also the Gulf looks like it could have once been more of a hard to negotiate lake.

https://ebooks.adela...s/h4/book4.html

The sea-coast beyond the Lotophagi is occupied by the Machlyans, who use the lotus to some extent, though not so much as the people of whom we last spoke. The Machlyans reach as far as the great river called the Triton, which empties itself into the great lake Tritonis.

Puzzler,

By comparing some maps, I expect the Chott el Fejej is what classical authors called the river Triton.

The Argonauts would have "portaged" their boat to the Chott el Fejej during a wet episode. And then after exploring the Chott el Djerid, Triton had to show them the narrow finger of deep water that is Chott el Fejej, so they could return to the point where they had "portaged in".

(For comparison to the map you posted, we can see that the Chott el Djerid is "south" of the Chott el Fejej. But ancient geography and mapmaking was less accurate than modern mapmaking.)

chotts5.jpg

http://www.kcl.ac.uk...ake/chotts5.jpg

Edited by atalante
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The Puzzler

Puzzler,

By comparing some maps, I expect the Chott el Fejej is what classical authors called the river Triton.

The Argonauts would have "portaged" their boat to the Chott el Fejej during a wet episode. And then after exploring the Chott el Djerid, Triton had to show them the narrow finger of deep water that is Chott el Fejej, so they could return to the point where they had "portaged in".

(For comparison to the map you posted, we can see that the Chott el Djerid is "south" of the Chott el Fejej. But ancient geography and mapmaking was less accurate than modern mapmaking.)

chotts5.jpg

http://www.kcl.ac.uk...ake/chotts5.jpg

That does seem to be the general concensus. The chott was probably bigger in Herodotus day too. I did originally think this was where was meant but felt it needed a bit of questioning. The outlet, Chott el Fejej imo would have reached the sea or close to it, with a somewhat hard to get into and out of channel.

During winter, when the lake is full, it can be crossed by boat.

https://en.wikipedia...Chott_el_Djerid

The 'megalake' may have existed tens of thousands of years ago but certainly a lake of some size still exists there today.

On Google Earth the old river system looks to have had it's outflow, as it still does, at a place called Matwiya Plage and at Gabes.

Edited by The Puzzler
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atalante

That does seem to be the general concensus. The chott was probably bigger in Herodotus day too. I did originally think this was where was meant but felt it needed a bit of questioning. The outlet, Chott el Fejej imo would have reached the sea or close to it, with a somewhat hard to get into and out of channel.

During winter, when the lake is full, it can be crossed by boat.

https://en.wikipedia...Chott_el_Djerid

The 'megalake' may have existed tens of thousands of years ago but certainly a lake of some size still exists there today.

On Google Earth the old river system looks to have had it's outflow, as it still does, at a place called Matwiya Plage and at Gabes.

My previous link about the Chotts megalake quotes researchers who say that Chott el Rharsa (the chott "west" of Chott el Djerid) was a lake at four times in the Holocene era: around 7500 BC, 4500 BC, 3500 BC, and 2500 BC.

http://www.kcl.ac.uk...s-Megalake.aspx

Swezey et al, (1999) have investigated aeolian and lacustrine strata of late Pleistocene and Holocene age on the southern margin of Chott el Rharsa. They recognise a more recent phase of lacustrine activity that produced smaller lakes restricted to the lowest point in the Great Chotts depression. Four humid periods are recognised during the Holocene, at about 13, 9.5, 6.5 and 4.5 ka. Successive humid periods yield progressively smaller lakes, suggesting a general drying trend through the Holocene.

endquote

Interestingly enough, the Chotts wet eras near 4500 BC, 3500 BC, and 2500 BC correlate generally with Malta's ancient temple building eras.

http://web.infinito....s/linetime.html

It seems that after the last "permanent lake" era at the Chotts, temple building at Malta ceased.

Edited by atalante

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atalante

Capsian culture originated around the Tunisian chotts, ca 8000-4000 BC. The people were hunter gatherers. They occupied the chotts during the wet phase which is known to have occurred around 7500 BC.

Capsian%20culture.png

http://atlantipedia.ie/images/Capsian%20culture.png

quote from: http://www.prehistoire.org/shop_515-31289-4085-474/24-2013-tome-110-n-4-p.-703-718-ismail-saafi-et-al.-l-economie-de-subsistance-dans-la-cuvette-de-meknassy-sidi-bouzid-tunisie-centrale-durant-l-holocene-d-apres-l-etude-malacologique.html

The Capsian culture is one of the Epipalaeolithic cultures found in the Maghreb and is inherent to Tunisia and eastern Algeria. Capsian open-air sites are huge oval accumulations of ashes, a lot of land-snail shells and burned stones, flint material and faunal remains. The Capsian culture is divided into two subdivisions: Typical Capsian and Upper Capsian. The prehistoric sites examined in this research belong to Upper Capsian subdivisions. Different facies or ‘regional varieties’ are known from Capsian sites. Chronologically, Capsian sites with their different facies, dated by 14C, give an age of between 10000 and 6000 BP. The Capsian groups are considered to have been the last hunter-gatherers in the Maghreb. Their way of life depended on gathering land snails, hunting wild animals and picking fruit. Standard malacological studies on rammadiyet vestiges are however still insufficient to detect the impact of land snails on the subsistence economy of Capsian communities.

endquote

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SSilhouette

Does anyone know when the Straits of Gibralter were opened to the Atlantic? Seems to me looking at the map from way back that the entire Mediterranean Sea could have been Atlantis and when the Atlantic broke in, that was the end of that.

The Sahara has always fascinated me. I've long had this fantasy of innundating it with ocean water in strategic spots to see if it will create microclimates where vegetation could begin to be reintroduced to stablize the shifing sands and perhaps bring more rain to the other regions surrounding these "green islands". Evaporating sea water would condense as it rose and cooled so that rain clouds might form. Also, these shallow saline inundations could be used to create energy as saline-gradient heat ponds to run lower-temperature refrigerant turbines like the ones they use in low-temp geothermal energy applications today.

It could expand agriculture and eventually if enough drought tree species were planted, the area could return in part to a savannah like it used to be a few ten thousand years ago. It's a huge region just sitting there fallow. Instead of dumping money into wars, maybe develop that area?

Wait...here we go...

The Mediterranean Sea was formed by the most spectacular flood in Earth's history when water from the Atlantic Ocean breached the mountain range joining Europe and Africa with the force of a thousand Amazon rivers, scientists say.

The devastating surge lasted as long as two years and at its peak caused the level of the Mediterranean to rise by more than 10 metres a day. The floodwaters moved at more than 100 kilometres per hour and created scars on the seabed that are still visible today.

The deluge was triggered 5.3m years ago by subsidence in the seabed that caused a land ridge between the Atlantic and the Mediterranean basin to collapse. The ridge linked the Betic and Rif mountain ranges that hug the coasts of modern Spain and Morocco.

As water began to pour across the strait , it eroded the ridge until the flow became a catastrophic deluge. At the time, the Mediterranean basin was an almost entirely dry expanse of low lying land, between 1.5km and 2.7km beneath today's sea level. http://www.theguardi...ormation-deluge

Edited by SSilhouette

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Galahad

Intresting thought, cloud seeding the Sahara and microclimates.

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Kenemet

Does anyone know when the Straits of Gibralter were opened to the Atlantic?

According to the article you linked, it was around 5.5 million years ago.

That's before Homo Sapiens. In fact, it's before Australopithecus.

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Galahad

The idea floats around from time to time...

http://io9.com/the-great-sahara-sea-that-almost-was-837206551

--Jaylemurph

Its a intresting thought, and I agree, the world spends so much money on finding new and improved ways of killing eachother and making money, at some point if we all put the guns down we could make this earth the most wonderful home, even in a remote place.

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atalante

That does seem to be the general concensus. The chott was probably bigger in Herodotus day too. I did originally think this was where was meant but felt it needed a bit of questioning. The outlet, Chott el Fejej imo would have reached the sea or close to it, with a somewhat hard to get into and out of channel.

.....

At 10,000 BC, sea level was 70 meters lower than today. That ancient water level is about level with the bottom of the chotts (which is below today's sea level). So it is likely that there was no blockage between the chotts and the Mediterranean sea at 10,000 BC. But the region has silted up, with the passage of time.

Indeed a land bridge extended far out into the Mediterranean Sea at 10,000 BC.

quoting from: http://www.megalithi...-lampedusa.html

While it is well known that [the island] Lampedusa geologically is part of the Pelagian shelf, less known is that Lampedusa was linked to the North African cosat not too long ago (at the beginning of the Holocene period). Recent studies of paleoclimatology and paleohydrography seem to indicate that most likely the sea level in the Channel of Sicily up to the Late Glacial Maximum was so low that Lampedusa was part of Africa with no sea standing between the two respective current shorelines.

Approximately 10,000 years BC the sea level between Lampedusa and the Tunisian shores was 70 meters lower than today making it possible to walk from Lampedusa to the Tunisian coast.

endquote

http://www.seaturtle.../mtn131p10a.gif

mtn131p10a.gif

Edited by atalante
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DeCamp

Can you show some modern scholars who think Atlantis was a real place?

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Kenemet

Can you show some modern scholars who think Atlantis was a real place?

There might be one or two, but at the present time scholars of the classics, historians, and archaeologists are convinced that it's not real.

(there are scholars of other disciplines who might think it is real... I can't answer for everyone. There also is the occasional nationalist scholar who is firmly convinced of such things, and last century there were several archaeologists who made it their life work to find Atlantis.)

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Hanslune

Atlantis has been 'found' all over the world. I see most 'research' as an attempt to not to find it but to make the idea that it might have existed somewhat more believable.

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Shouldthisexist

Atlantis has been 'found' all over the world. I see most 'research' as an attempt to not to find it but to make the idea that it might have existed somewhat more believable.

I agree they are trying to make a more plausible case for atlantis than prove it out right. I would like to go off topic for one sec. In their defense can you imagine how mysterious and vast the world was for the ancients? The possibilities and scenarios seemed endless.

Also I'm not saying this to insult their intelligence. I feel they where incredibly smart and did very well with what they had to work with.

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Hanslune

I agree they are trying to make a more plausible case for atlantis than prove it out right. I would like to go off topic for one sec. In their defense can you imagine how mysterious and vast the world was for the ancients? The possibilities and scenarios seemed endless.

Also I'm not saying this to insult their intelligence. I feel they where incredibly smart and did very well with what they had to work with.

Yes it was vast and filled with untrustworthy barbarians. The Greeks did a very good job of making some sense of the physical world around them. They started us on the path (with some help from other earlier civs too) to science.

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atalante

Critias says that "Atlantis" is a Greek name, and Solon created it by eponyms. Two specific regions are discussed by Critias, using words that were familiar to Greek people in the time of Critias and Solon: "Gadeira", and "sea of Atlas". Critias proposes that those two geographic names are echos in time, arising from famous ancient men.

According to Critias, Atlas was a warlord, supervising 10 princes who were sons of Poseidon. Atlas ruled one territory of his own, which could be described as a "land of Atlantis/Atlas". But as a warlord, Atlas also supervised all ten princely territories in an "empire of Atlantis/Atlas".

This usage of Greek eponyms is said to be carried out by Solon, to help explain a story that began as an Egyptian story.

In the dialogue Laws, Book 3, Plato gives a cue for identifying the original Egyptian source material. Plato states that "Egyptian art" has survived unchanged for 10,000 years. This is Plato's explanation for the date "9000 years before Solon" -- which appears in the Critias dialogue. 9000 years is less than 10,000 years -- and in this way Egypt had preserved its source material about Atlantis, since a date "9000 years before Solon".

In other words, "art appreciation" was involved in the Egyptian source material about Atlantis. The Egyptian sources included artistic depictions. And that is why there is no perfect copy of the Atlantis story in ancient Egyptian literature.

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Hanslune
And that is why there is no perfect copy of the Atlantis story in ancient Egyptian literature

..or far easier - Plato made it up.

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cormac mac airt
Plato states that "Egyptian art" has survived unchanged for 10,000 years.

Which is made moot by the fact that Ancient Egyptian art is not in evidence any earlier than Late Predynastic/Early Dynastic times, or circa 3100 BC. 'Ancient Egyptian' in this case would be any art that can be definitively tied to the later Dynastic Egyptian civilization. Which means that if one were to take Plato literally then he is incorrect by some 6900 +/- years.

cormac

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Kenemet

In the dialogue Laws, Book 3, Plato gives a cue for identifying the original Egyptian source material. Plato states that "Egyptian art" has survived unchanged for 10,000 years. This is Plato's explanation for the date "9000 years before Solon" -- which appears in the Critias dialogue. 9000 years is less than 10,000 years -- and in this way Egypt had preserved its source material about Atlantis, since a date "9000 years before Solon".

Which is indeed wrong. There's rock art that dates back 12,000 years in Egypt but it's nothing like the dynastic art that develops around 3000 BC in Dynasty 1 and is standardized for the next 3,000 years.

In addition, there is just no evidence - linguistically, technologically, etc - of large empires before Egypt and Sumeria and no evidence that Athens during its 7,000 year span defeated a large empire of that era.

What *HAD* happened was that Athens had defeated the Persian empire about 100 years before Plato's birth. At the time Plato was telling these stores, Athens' splendor after the reign of Pericles had faded with his death and the death of a large number of the people of Athens in a plague. Athens ended its conflict with Sparta by surrendering to Sparta - and then Philip of Macedon (Alexander the Great's father) showed up with plans for world conquest.

In other words, "art appreciation" was involved in the Egyptian source material about Atlantis. The Egyptian sources included artistic depictions. And that is why there is no perfect copy of the Atlantis story in ancient Egyptian literature.

...and that's a mistaken impression on your part. When the Egyptians developed writing, it was just as sophisticated as what you're typing and what you're reading. It wasn't grunt-point-draw pictures.

The reason there's no story in Egyptian sources is that there was no Atlantis. Plato was trying to get his people to respond and throw off the yoke of Sparta.

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DeCamp

Critias says that "Atlantis" is a Greek name, and Solon created it by eponyms. Two specific regions are discussed by Critias, using words that were familiar to Greek people in the time of Critias and Solon: "Gadeira", and "sea of Atlas". Critias proposes that those two geographic names are echos in time, arising from famous ancient men.

According to Critias, Atlas was a warlord, supervising 10 princes who were sons of Poseidon. Atlas ruled one territory of his own, which could be described as a "land of Atlantis/Atlas". But as a warlord, Atlas also supervised all ten princely territories in an "empire of Atlantis/Atlas".

This usage of Greek eponyms is said to be carried out by Solon, to help explain a story that began as an Egyptian story.

In the dialogue Laws, Book 3, Plato gives a cue for identifying the original Egyptian source material. Plato states that "Egyptian art" has survived unchanged for 10,000 years. This is Plato's explanation for the date "9000 years before Solon" -- which appears in the Critias dialogue. 9000 years is less than 10,000 years -- and in this way Egypt had preserved its source material about Atlantis, since a date "9000 years before Solon".

In other words, "art appreciation" was involved in the Egyptian source material about Atlantis. The Egyptian sources included artistic depictions. And that is why there is no perfect copy of the Atlantis story in ancient Egyptian literature.

The Atlantis story doesn't appear in Egyptian literature at all. I've come across theories that try to link the Sea Peoples with the Atlanteans, but the similarities are generic and can apply to almost anyone e.g. the Atlanteans having millions of soldiers and Ramses III claiming the Sea Peoples were in their millions like locusts. Hardly convincing when you can find pretty much any ancient army exaggerated like this in warfare.

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DeCamp

Once again there is the issue of scholarship. I cannot find one modern scholar that claims Atlantis was real, or takes serious an Egyptian source for the story. Certainly no contemporary Egyptologist does. Yet, people online forums continue to make all these claims.

Edited by DeCamp

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Harte

And that is why there is no perfect copy of the Atlantis story in ancient Egyptian literature.

To my knowledge, nobody has asked for a "perfect" copy of the Atlantis tale in Egyptian myth.

How about just a copy?

How about even just a crappy copy?

None of those either.

Harte

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DeCamp

To my knowledge, nobody has asked for a "perfect" copy of the Atlantis tale in Egyptian myth.

How about just a copy?

How about even just a crappy copy?

None of those either.

Harte

They quote about the Sea Peoples in Egyptian records. The following is from Kuhne (2004):

  1. The Atlanteans fought against Europe and Asia (Tim. 24e) and ‚every country within the mouth‘, i. e. against the Eastern Mediterranean countries (Tim. 25b). The Sea Peoples destroyed Hatti in Anatolia, Qode and Qarkemish in northern Syria, Arzawa in southwest Anatolia, and Alasia on Cyprus (Plate 46.16 – 17) and fought against Egypt.
  2. The Atlanteans lived on an isle (Tim. 24e, 25a, 25d, Crit. 113c) and reigned over several other islands (Tim. 25a). Also the Sea Peoples came from islands (Pl. 37.8 – 9, 42.3, 46.16).
  3. The Atlanteans reigned in Africa from the pillars of Heracles (Gibraltar) to the frontiers of Egypt (Tim. 25a – B). The war of the Sea Peoples against Egypt occurred simultaneously with the war of the Libyan Meshwesh. According to Ramses‘ report they appeared to be allied.
  4. Atlantis consisted of ten countries (Crit. 113e – 114a, 119b). According to the Karnak inscription written under pharaoh Merenptah around 1200 BC, the Sea Peoples consisted of the Ekwesh, Teresh, Lukka, Sherden, and Shekelesh. According to Ramses III their confederation consisted of the union of the countries of the Peleset, Theker, Shekelesh, Denen, and Weshesh (Pl. 46).
  5. In the case of war the Atlanteans had more than one million soldiers (Crit. 119a – B). Ramses III claimed to have beaten hundreds of thousands of enemies (Pl. 18.16, 19.4 – 5, 27.63, 32.10, 79.7, 80.36, 80.44, 101.21, 121c.7). Occasionally, he spoke of millions (Pl. 27.64, 46.4, 46.6, 79.7, 101.21) and myriads (Pl. 27.64) of enemies who were numerous like locusts (Pl. 18.16, 80.36) or grasshoppers (Pl. 27.63).
  6. The Atlanteans had 1200 war ships (Crit. 119b). The ships of the Sea Peoples entered deep into the delta of the Nile (Pl. 42.5) and destroyed the Asian Arzawa, the Cypric Alasia, and the near-eastern Ugarit and Amurru.
  7. The Atlanteans had chariots pulled by horses (Crit. 119a). The Meshwesh had horses (Pl. 75.37) and carts (Pl. 18.16, 75.27) which, however, were pulled by oxen (figures to Pl. 32 – 34).
  8. The Atlantean kings reigned for several generations (Crit. 120d – e) and after this they lost their good attitudes (Crit. 121a – B). Ramses III wrote about the Sea Peoples that they had spent a long time, a short moment was before them, then they entered the evil period (Pl. 80.16 – 17).
  9. During a day and a night Atlantis sank by an earthquake into the sea (Tim. 25c – d). Ramses III wrote that he let the Sea Peoples see the majesty and force of (the God of water) Nun when he breaks out and lays their towns and villages under a surge of water (Pl. 102.21), moreover the mountains were in travail (Pl. 19.11).

I don't though find any of these to be in the slightest convincing. I mean Atlantis = an Island, and the Sea Peoples came from islands(s), yet this can apply to any insular Mediterranean peoples. The similarities are too generic, and not specific enough to make the Sea Peoples-Atlanteans a serious identification.

Kuhne is also not a classicist or archaeologist but an astrophysicist. Its always people in non-relevant academic fields publishing these fringe theories on Atlantis.

Edited by DeCamp

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Noteverythingisaconspiracy

..or far easier - Plato made it up.

Thats crazy.

There is much proof of Atlantis. Just look at the evidence from people like Edgar Cayce and Helena Blavatsky. :whistle:

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