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The Phoenicians, Atlantis, and the Richat Structure


Thanos5150

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Personally I am of the mind Plato's story of Atlantis is allegorical fiction and if there was some kernel of truth it origins would be far far from Plato's account regardless. But if "Atlantis" was a "thing" before Plato-what was it really and where did the story come from? 

Here is perhaps a little fiction of my own, but I throw it our there for fun. 

Quote

Other ancient writers, such as Diodorus Siculus, who mention "Atlantis" or the "Atlanteans" are inevitably referring to the native tribes and Phoenician colonies of north-west Africa in the vicinity of the Atlas mountain range. Some Greek and Roman writers describe this continental region as the largest of the "islands."

Source.

Plato says Atlantis was located "in front of" the Pillars of Herakles, the Strait of Gibraltar, which technically NW Africa is.

main-qimg-70699c284075e1a56f44d341e0f623

It is interesting that later writers equated the "Atlanteans" and "Atlantis" with the Phoenician colonies of the Atlas mountain range which geographically would encompass this region:

22268041_131127_0208_37.jpg

On a map made by Herodotus (before Plato was born) he notes an area called "Atlantes?":

4-herodotus-768x446.gif

Which would have been the area these later writers attribute to the Phoenicians.

A contemporary of Herodotus was a Phoenician explorer Hanno the Navigator. His travels are known from a single source known as a "periplus" titled The Voyage of Hanno, commander of the Carthaginians, round the parts of Libya beyond the Pillars of Heracles, which he deposited in the Temple of Kronos. A map of Hanno's route:

6f66c815a12bb33de6536a89f3903131--maps-h

Though it appears he travelled well farther down the coast of Africa, he supposedly founded a colony in the Bay of Arguin known as Cerne which is thought by some to be near the city of Agadir (see map above of Atlas Mountains as well):

Bancdarguin_map_lg.jpg

lxyXoK3sZCSfdwM5X3Q=&risl=&pid=ImgRaw&r=

Though this has yet to be verified archeologically, according to the Greek writer Strabo the city of Agadir was founded by the Phoenicians in 1104BC.

We are also told by Herodotus the Phoenicians circumnavigated Africa c. 600BC in 3yrs sponsored by the Egyptian pharaoh Necho which curiously would have been during the lifetime of Solon, credited of course by Plato as the source of the Atlantis tale.

A recent theory making the rounds is that the Guelb er-Richât, or "Richat structure", in NW Africa is the fabled Atlantis because of its similarity to Plato's description of Atlantis and its ringed walls:

Atlantis-Hidden-History-Shot-2018-10-31-

The Richat structure is not man made, however, but rather a 90 million year old collapsed geological dome. Interestingly: "The Guelb er-Richât in the Mauritanian Adrar and, more particularly, the depression of its external ring are the sites of rather exceptional accumulations of Acheulean industries...."

Meaning this area was heavily occupied by a previous species of human, Erectus we would assume, somewhere between 1,700,000-130,000 years ago. Not the stuff of an advanced lost civilization but pretty cool nonetheless.

What is curious though, is that when we look at a map (scroll out to see the coast): HERE which is almost exactly due east from Agadir.

Here is some pure speculation-the Phoenicians were equated to some degree with "Atlantis" and "Atlanteans", it would appear even before Plato's time judging from Herodotus's map (which stands to reason there are other sources as well but I don't have the time right now). They travelled around the coast of Africa, perhaps as early as the 12th century BC, supposedly founding multiple sites in the Bay of Arguin which lies some 300 miles due west of the Richat structure.

Is it possible the Phoenicians travelled there and made a report of what they saw which to them the concentric circles looked the ruins of an ancient walled city? Abandoned long ago falling victim to some kind of cataclysm which the clearest suggestion would have been water related? A sunken city whose "walls" we know today were subjected to large amounts of sedimentation and erosion leaving deposits some 10-13ft thick just during the period of 15,000-8,000 years ago alone? Was this one of the fantastic "discoveries" they told the Egyptian king, their patron, upon their return-news of the day which found the waiting ear of Solon (or perhaps a later tale from Hanno which Plato pinned on Solon to give it credibility)? A story which centuries later Plato embellished with non-existent unknowable details and history to serve as the vehicle of his otherwise Noble Lie?

Just a thought.

With that being said, again, we must note that no one mentions any Atlantis as Plato does, but there were "Atlanteans" and an "Atlantis" (Atlantes). They were the Phoenicians and the place was the Atlas mountains stretching to the coast of Africa.    

Edited by Thanos5150
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1 hour ago, Thanos5150 said:

Is it possible the Phoenicians travelled there and made a report of what they saw which to them the concentric circles looked the ruins of an ancient walled city? Abandoned long ago falling victim to some kind of cataclysm which the clearest suggestion would have been water related? A sunken city whose "walls" we know today were subjected to large amounts of sedimentation and erosion leaving deposits some 10-13ft thick just during the period of 15,000-8,000 years ago alone? Was this one of the fantastic "discoveries" they told the Egyptian king, their patron, upon their return-news of the day which found the waiting ear of Solon (or perhaps a later tale from Hanno which Plato pinned on Solon to give it credibility)? 

Egypt at that time was under the Persians.  In order to tell the Egyptian king (their patron?  His patron was Carthage itself, looking to get around Roman blockades and expand trade) they would have had to sail back to Persia itself and find Cambyses or Xerxes or whomever in their palace or in the field to tell him the tale -- and none of the Persian rulers actually ruled from Egypt.  So in the very unlikely event that Hanno went off to tell an Egyptian ruler, and in an even less likely scenario some of the priests... they wouldn't have been Egyptian and there wouldn't have been any tales in the Egyptian temples.

...and Egypt really didn't care about other countries unless they were trading partners or enemies or potential conquests.  They had no interest in the histories of the "wretched Asiatics" (which was what they called everyone who wasn't Egyptian)...

It's a creative idea but rather implausible.

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Diodorus Siculus has plenty to say about the history of Atlantis.  Of course Diodorus is also regarded as a terrible historian by modern standards.  He discusses how Tunisia was occupied by Amazons in antiquity who conquered Atlantis amongst other things.

Edited by Alchopwn
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1 hour ago, Alchopwn said:

Diodorus Siculus has plenty to say about the history of Atlantis.  Of course Diodorus is also regarded as a terrible historian by modern standards.  He discusses how Tunisia was occupied by Amazons in antiquity who conquered Atlantis amongst other things.

I look at him in the same light as I look at Eusebius of Caesaria. A fiction writer looking for a best seller.

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1 hour ago, Piney said:

I look at him in the same light as I look at Eusebius of Caesaria. A fiction writer looking for a best seller.

The thing is, he also places Atlantis in the same area as Mauritania, far west of Libya and its amazons but not in the ocean.  There is the chance, however remote, that Diodorus might have been a better historian than we give him credit for.

Edited by Alchopwn
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On a certain other forum I refuse to engage in further discussion involving the Richat Structure and Attantis ;)    

But as far as the Atlantes goes, aren't they simply the name of a tribe whom Herodotus placed as then living in the region of the Atlas mountains?  (long while since I read his Histories) And absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with Plato's mythical island?   Might as well argue that Atlantis was actually the State capital of Georgia - or possibly a holiday resort on the coast of New Jersey.

 

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3 hours ago, Alchopwn said:

Diodorus Siculus has plenty to say about the history of Atlantis.  Of course Diodorus is also regarded as a terrible historian by modern standards.  He discusses how Tunisia was occupied by Amazons in antiquity who conquered Atlantis amongst other things.

I just remembered something....

There was a Jewish Berber scholar here that discussed with me their pre-Abrahamic goddess sect and the possibility of women warriors. 

I think you might of interacted with her because you can both read and write Hebrew.

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4 hours ago, Noteverythingisaconspiracy said:

The Richat structure is only noticeable from the air, so ancient writers had no way to even know it was there.

From the ground it looks like this: 

YSkuSlBH.jpg

MikuSlBH.jpg

 

 

It was only noticed I believe once we developed wings and was written about  in the 1930s by the French and especially later from space. At 40 or so kilometers its hard to visualize from ground level.

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7 hours ago, Kenemet said:

Egypt at that time was under the Persians.  In order to tell the Egyptian king (their patron?  His patron was Carthage itself, looking to get around Roman blockades and expand trade) they would have had to sail back to Persia itself and find Cambyses or Xerxes or whomever in their palace or in the field to tell him the tale -- and none of the Persian rulers actually ruled from Egypt.  So in the very unlikely event that Hanno went off to tell an Egyptian ruler, and in an even less likely scenario some of the priests... they wouldn't have been Egyptian and there wouldn't have been any tales in the Egyptian temples.

...and Egypt really didn't care about other countries unless they were trading partners or enemies or potential conquests.  They had no interest in the histories of the "wretched Asiatics" (which was what they called everyone who wasn't Egyptian)...

It's a creative idea but rather implausible.

...? 

I said:

"We are also told by Herodotus the Phoenicians circumnavigated Africa c. 600BC in 3yrs sponsored by the Egyptian pharaoh Necho which curiously would have been during the lifetime of Solon, credited of course by Plato as the source of the Atlantis tale."

Followed later by:

Quote

"Was this one of the fantastic "discoveries" they told the Egyptian king, their patron, upon their return-news of the day which found the waiting ear of Solon (or perhaps a later tale from Hanno which Plato pinned on Solon to give it credibility)?"

Necho 610-595BC was the 2nd pharaoh of the 26th Dynasty-the last Dynasty of Egyptian kings. The Persians did not conquer Egypt until 525 BC, 70yrs later. Solon lived from 630-560BC. 

As said Hanno "was a contemporary of Herodotus"  (5th century BC). Given as well he was not sponsored by the Egyptians and not what Herodotus was talking about we can therefore conclude among a host of other reasons if Plato got the idea from Hanno it was not by way of the Egyptians.

We take Herodotus for what he is worth with the idea being to give further context to the idea the Phoenicians were exploring outside the Strait of Gibraltar well before Hanno.  

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5 hours ago, Noteverythingisaconspiracy said:

The Richat structure is only noticeable from the air, so ancient writers had no way to even know it was there.

This is not true. They could have easily known "something" was there. There are many sites known to local populations that can only be seen in full from the air. Regardless, the Richat sits in the Adrar Plateau  which there are many potential elevated vantage points:

Adrar-Mountains-Mauritania.jpg

As an aside, the "White Valley" one of many interesting features of the Adrar Plateau gives a sense of the water that has come(s) though this area:

143107566.F6JSyHrP.jpg

Regardless, as noted in the OP:

"A sunken city whose "walls" we know today were subjected to large amounts of sedimentation and erosion leaving deposits some 10-13ft thick just during the period of 15,000-8,000 years ago alone?"

Which comes from this post a while back:

Quote

I am not sure what the point is that today the walls are "not that tall". This is a heavily eroded geological dome at least 90m years old and has been subjected to large amounts of sedimentation and erosion not the least of which 15,000-8,000 years ago leaving deposits some 10-13ft thick just during this period alone. Going back in time by the century this site becomes much different that it is today which its walls grow increasingly higher. 

Hanno 2400yrs ago. Necho 2600yrs ago. Stabo's founding of Agadir 3100yrs ago. And so on. There are large and numerous wadis that feed right into this area and would be subject to regular often flash flooding.

Edited by Thanos5150
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11 hours ago, Thanos5150 said:

Personally I am of the mind Plato's story of Atlantis is allegorical fiction and if there was some kernel of truth it origins would be far far from Plato's account regardless. But if "Atlantis" was a "thing" before Plato-what was it really and where did the story come from? 

Here is perhaps a little fiction of my own, but I throw it our there for fun. 

Here was the contemporary way of describing Tunisia and Iberia, as understood by Greeks shortly before Solon's time:

 

Hesiod's lines 270-300 of his Theogony, discuss two regions that Hesiod had described as "beyond glorious Ocean" (plus one location that was described as a "ford in the Ocean) at Hesiod's time (ca 700 BCE).  For Theogony text, see:  http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.01.0130%3Acard%3D270

 

1) Perseus had crossed the Ocean (and went "beyond glorious Ocean", according to Theogony line 275), to reach a place near Lake Tritonis, where Perseus killed Medusa.  i.e. Medusa and Lake Tritonis were in a region we now call Tunisia

2) Heracles crossed the Ocean (and went "beyond Glorious Ocean" according to lines 290-300), while visiting a "gloomy meadow" (= dusky sunset) land called Erytheia where mythical Geryon lived, i.e. while Heracles visited a region we now call southwest Iberia

3) Heracles drove his stolen cattle across a "ford in the Ocean", according to lines 290-300, (i.e. across the Rhone River, near modern Marseille France, as an entrance to what we now call the Iberian peninsula) when Heracles headed home from this legendary exploit.

 

These three examples demonstrate that Hesiod had applied the name "Ocean" to the region we now call the western Mediterranean Sea. 

Hesiod's era could have presumed, naively, the "Ocean" was fresh water (i.e. not salty seawater) because previous early Greek explorers had only traveled west, to approximately the mouth of the freshwater Rhone river, while following shorelines on the north side of what we now call the western Mediterranean Sea.

Tunisia (and the region nearby) was considered an island because it was "beyond glorious Ocean"; 

Southwest Spain (and the region nearby) was considered an island because it was "beyond glorious Ocean"). 

Edited by atalante
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17 hours ago, Kenemet said:

...and Egypt really didn't care about other countries unless they were trading partners or enemies or potential conquests.  They had no interest in the histories of the "wretched Asiatics" (which was what they called everyone who wasn't Egyptian)...

This is not true. "Asiatics" were people from north and north east of Egypt i.e. the Levant. Obviously they differentiated between Asiatics (Aamu), Nubians (Nehesu), and Libyans (Themehu) and later others like the Greeks.

Seti I:

main-qimg-0f4ac299b8a185a04c63fdad3331bc 

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13 hours ago, Thanos5150 said:

...? 

I said:

"We are also told by Herodotus the Phoenicians circumnavigated Africa c. 600BC in 3yrs sponsored by the Egyptian pharaoh Necho which curiously would have been during the lifetime of Solon, credited of course by Plato as the source of the Atlantis tale."

Followed later by:

Necho 610-595BC was the 2nd pharaoh of the 26th Dynasty-the last Dynasty of Egyptian kings. The Persians did not conquer Egypt until 525 BC, 70yrs later. Solon lived from 630-560BC. 

As said Hanno "was a contemporary of Herodotus"  (5th century BC). Given as well he was not sponsored by the Egyptians and not what Herodotus was talking about we can therefore conclude among a host of other reasons if Plato got the idea from Hanno it was not by way of the Egyptians.

We take Herodotus for what he is worth with the idea being to give further context to the idea the Phoenicians were exploring outside the Strait of Gibraltar well before Hanno.  

Welp, I stand corrected.  I didn't think Necho would be involved.

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On 12/20/2022 at 5:21 AM, Essan said:

On a certain other forum I refuse to engage in further discussion involving the Richat Structure and Attantis ;)    

But as far as the Atlantes goes, aren't they simply the name of a tribe whom Herodotus placed as then living in the region of the Atlas mountains?  (long while since I read his Histories) And absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with Plato's mythical island?   Might as well argue that Atlantis was actually the State capital of Georgia - or possibly a holiday resort on the coast of New Jersey.

 

That is correct.
The only reason they appear on that map is that Herodotus mentioned this tribe that lived in the shadow of Mt. Atlas.
See, the map was not made by Herodotus. It's just a fanciful map based on what Herodotus wrote.

Herodotus wrote of a tribe that HE named Atlantes (after the mountain.) So the name appears on the map.

Harte

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23 hours ago, atalante said:

Here was the contemporary way of describing Tunisia and Iberia, as understood by Greeks shortly before Solon's time:

Hesiod's lines 270-300 of his Theogony, discuss two regions that Hesiod had described as "beyond glorious Ocean" (plus one location that was described as a "ford in the Ocean) at Hesiod's time (ca 700 BCE).  For Theogony text, see:  http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.01.0130%3Acard%3D270

1) Perseus had crossed the Ocean (and went "beyond glorious Ocean", according to Theogony line 275), to reach a place near Lake Tritonis, where Perseus killed Medusa.  i.e. Medusa and Lake Tritonis were in a region we now call Tunisia

2) Heracles crossed the Ocean (and went "beyond Glorious Ocean" according to lines 290-300), while visiting a "gloomy meadow" (= dusky sunset) land called Erytheia where mythical Geryon lived, i.e. while Heracles visited a region we now call southwest Iberia

3) Heracles drove his stolen cattle across a "ford in the Ocean", according to lines 290-300, (i.e. across the Rhone River, near modern Marseille France, as an entrance to what we now call the Iberian peninsula) when Heracles headed home from this legendary exploit.

These three examples demonstrate that Hesiod had applied the name "Ocean" to the region we now call the western Mediterranean Sea. 

Hesiod's era could have presumed, naively, the "Ocean" was fresh water (i.e. not salty seawater) because previous early Greek explorers had only traveled west, to approximately the mouth of the freshwater Rhone river, while following shorelines on the north side of what we now call the western Mediterranean Sea.

Tunisia (and the region nearby) was considered an island because it was "beyond glorious Ocean"; 

Southwest Spain (and the region nearby) was considered an island because it was "beyond glorious Ocean"). 

phoenician%2Btrade%2Broute.gif&ehk=k8WfA

Cadiz, "in front of the pillars of Herakles", was founded c. 1100BC. No reason they could not have hung a left through all those years. 

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On 12/20/2022 at 3:21 AM, Essan said:

But as far as the Atlantes goes, aren't they simply the name of a tribe whom Herodotus placed as then living in the region of the Atlas mountains?  (long while since I read his Histories) And absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with Plato's mythical island?   

In quotes from the top of the OP:

Quote

Other ancient writers, such as Diodorus Siculus, who mention "Atlantis" or the "Atlanteans" are inevitably referring to the native tribes and Phoenician colonies of north-west Africa in the vicinity of the Atlas mountain range. Some Greek and Roman writers describe this continental region as the largest of the "islands."

Which then describes this originating with Herodotus's map (description). 

Edited by Thanos5150
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On 12/19/2022 at 10:51 PM, Thanos5150 said:

On a map made by Herodotus (before Plato was born) he notes an area called "Atlantes?":

4-herodotus-768x446.gif

 

To be clear, this map was not literally made by Herodotus but is one of many later maps based on his writing. It would be interesting to track down the earliest versions or mentions of such maps. The Roman Pomponius Mela map, however, was copied over the years from an original dated to c. 44AD published in the book Description of the World. In the same area as described by Herodotus (and shown on the map above in question) he gives the location of an "Atlantae" which I think we can rightly assume is one and the same as Herodotus's "Atlantes".

866px-Karte_Pomponius_Mela_rotated.jpg

 

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On 12/20/2022 at 7:51 AM, Thanos5150 said:


Is it possible the Phoenicians travelled there and made a report of what they saw which to them the concentric circles looked the ruins of an ancient walled city?

This is what they would have seen:

800px-RichatStructure.jpg.38b9325916663035049d602057dc7734.jpg

Edited by Abramelin
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2 hours ago, Abramelin said:

This is what they would have seen:

800px-RichatStructure.jpg.38b9325916663035049d602057dc7734.jpg

Unfortunate. 

This poster said the same thing: HERE.

My response: HERE:

This is not true. They could have easily known "something" was there. There are many sites known to local populations that can only be seen in full from the air. Regardless, the Richat sits in the Adrar Plateau  which there are many potential elevated vantage points:

Adrar-Mountains-Mauritania.jpg

As an aside, the "White Valley" one of many interesting features of the Adrar Plateau gives a sense of the water that has come(s) though this area:

143107566.F6JSyHrP.jpg

Regardless, as noted in the OP:

"A sunken city whose "walls" we know today were subjected to large amounts of sedimentation and erosion leaving deposits some 10-13ft thick just during the period of 15,000-8,000 years ago alone?"

Which comes from this post a while back:

Quote

I am not sure what the point is that today the walls are "not that tall". This is a heavily eroded geological dome at least 90m years old and has been subjected to large amounts of sedimentation and erosion not the least of which 15,000-8,000 years ago leaving deposits some 10-13ft thick just during this period alone. Going back in time by the century this site becomes much different that it is today which its walls grow increasingly higher. 

Hanno 2400yrs ago. Necho 2600yrs ago. Stabo's founding of Agadir 3100yrs ago. And so on. There are large and numerous wadis that feed right into this area and would be subject to regular often flash flooding.

Edited by Thanos5150
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1 minute ago, Thanos5150 said:

Unfortunate. 

This poster said the same thing: HERE.

My response: HERE

Ok, I was too quick with my response.

But they could never have seen any circular structures without a drone or satellite.

And that was the point I was trying to make.

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38 minutes ago, Abramelin said:

Ok, I was too quick with my response.

But they could never have seen any circular structures without a drone or satellite.

And that was the point I was trying to make.

I don't know what they would have seen 2,000-3,000yrs ago but it is reasonable to assume "more". Just because you could only see the whole of it from the air, you don't think if you were walking on the ground along the "walls" you wouldn't figure out you were walking in circles? And the notion it could only be seen from the air is bogus anyways as both the close up and satellite images are misleading. A better perspective:

richat2.jpg

Just standing on the edge of the overlooking plateau it would be easy to see this unusual ringed structure. Without an understanding of geology it is easy to understand why ancient peoples who saw this might think these were the walled ruins of some long lost city.  

Again, from the OP:

Quote

Interestingly: "The Guelb er-Richât in the Mauritanian Adrar and, more particularly, the depression of its external ring are the sites of rather exceptional accumulations of Acheulean industries...."
Meaning this area was heavily occupied by a previous species of human, Erectus we would assume, somewhere between 1,700,000-130,000 years ago.

I have a feeling this has been a tourist attraction for quite some time. 

Edited by Thanos5150
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30 minutes ago, Thanos5150 said:

Really? 

Yes, really.

I'll bet you'd be disappointed if you ever visited the site.

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