Alexander Moffat is a teacher, an artist and a writer.
He publishes articles on everything from art history to
archeology. He currently lives in South Korea.
Moffat originally wrote this piece as a handout he gave
out during an university seminar he gave on the topic of
Atlantis during the winter of 2002 at York University in
Toronto, Canada. The seminar focused on ideas of "Memory
and Place" and how memory is dependent upon a place.
a place no longer exists (or can't be found) the memory
of it fades.
Moffat had written previous articles about Atlantis
before this one, but restarted thinking and writing
about this piece shortly after September 11th, 2001
because it proved that even our largest buildings of
steel and glass don't last. With time even our memory of
the old World Trade Center in New York will fade.
Legend becomes Myth
Myth becomes a Disney Movie
Atlantis was destroyed around 9650 BC, according to Plato via
via the Priests of Sais. Plato is the key source, who recorded the
tale in two of his books (Timaeus and Critias) told to him by his
Solon had travelled to Egypt circa 560 BC and learned the tale from
a group of Egyptian Priests at Sais, which they obtained from
ancient tablets and writings on columns within Egypt.
"In those far-away days that Ocean
could be navigated, as there was an island outside the channel
which your countrymen tell me you call the 'pillars of
Heracles'. This island was larger than Libya and Asia together,
and from it seafarers, in those times, could make their way to
the others, and thence to the whole opposite continent, which
encircles the true outer Ocean.
(The waters within the channel
just mentioned are manifestly a basin with a narrow entrance;
what lies beyond it is the real Ocean, and it is land enclosing
that Ocean which should rightly be called a Continent.)"
Plato described Atlantis as being ruled
by ten kings before its demise.
In Egyptian mythology states there was originally 10 god-kings, who
ruled in a foreign country. They were called Auriteans, but the
actual pronunciation is unsure because hieroglyphs only approximate
The Phoenician historian Sanchuniathon (1193 BC) calls the same
kings "Aleteans". Note this is 600 years before Plato was even born.
These same god-kings could be compared to various gods in Greek
Ancient texts (there are numerous versions of them in Egypt, Greece
and Mesopotamia) refer to the 10 god-kings, and also list their
replacements, which occurred at approximately 9850 BC. Some of the
Egyptian texts also had maps of Atlantis, including its round
Athanasius Kircher (Jesuit priest, 1601-1680)’s 1665 map is based
upon an older Egyptian version of the map, but also includes parts
of North America in order to provide a better idea of the location.
Various other reproductions of the map also exist.
The Greek Manetho translated the
Egyptian king lists in 250 BC. Other direct sources are:
king-list in the temple of Osiris at Abydos
the Palermo Stone (a
5th Dynasty document)
the Turin Papyrus (a 19th Dynasty
After telling us that the total number of years covered by all the
king-lists equals 36,525 (which, incidentally, agrees precisely with
the period of Cro-Magnon Man), he continues:
"the first series of
princes was that of the Auritae (or the Aletae according to
He calls this the rule of demi-gods. He follows
this with a list of the Reigns of the Gods, starting with Ptah and
Ra, and ending with Horus.
The list gives the comparable Greek gods/titans, Hephaestus and
Helius, and ending again with Horus (a minor Greek deity.
apparently ruled both Egypt and Greece at one point).
Manetho is very careful to point out that the first kings did not
rule Egypt, but a foreign country.
King Thoth is credited with inventing
writing, wrote numerous books, and supposedly ruled on an “Island of
Flame to the west”. The
Book of the Dead contains some of his
writing. The old Egyptian word for Cronos is “Seb”, which later
became called Repha.
This name appears in the Old Testament (Amos
5:26 and also Acts 7:43) as Rephan or Raiphan.
The Hebrew word for giants/titans is Repha-im. In Greek myths, the Titans are the sons
In Greek myths, Zeus fought against Cronos and defeated the titans
by throwing a ball of fire out of the sky. It burnt the land and
boiled the sea. Upon Cronos defeat, Zeus imprisoned him at the
bottom of the Ocean in Tartaros. According to Homer in 850 BC,
Tartaros was located west of Gibraltar, under the Atlantic.
Plato describes the Atlanteans as being noble in the beginning, but
becoming greedy, materialistic and warlike. Cronos had introduced
law, cities and agriculture to the land. Zeus was Cronos’ son and
was hidden on the Island of Crete, and eventually grew up to defeat
him. He fought his father for ten years before being given “large
bolts of lightning” that could shake the land itself and destroy
According to Plato, the Atlanteans had their god-like appearances
from Poseidon, who fell in love with Cleito, and built her a palace
in Atlantis on a hill.
They had 5 sets of twins, for which the
eldest was called Atlas, and thus the name of the island/continent.
And it came to pass, when men began
to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born
unto them, that the
sons of God saw the daughters of men that
they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they
There were giants in the earth in those days; and
also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughter
of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty
men (heroes) which were of old, men of renown.
After which man grows extremely wicked
and is eventually destroyed by a flood.
The account in the
Enoch mentions the earth tilting on its axis during which the earth
"labours and is violently shaken." (I Enoch LXIV. 1-3) Two of the
most surprising (and mistranslated) verses in the Old Testament
probably concerns Atlantis.
The passage is found in the Book of Job,
and in the respected King James version reads like this:
Dead things are formed from under
the waters, and the inhabitants thereof. Hell is naked before
him, and destruction hath no covering. (Job 26:5-6)
The very first word in the above passage
is the Hebrew word Rephaim, a reference to the descendants of Repha.
In other words, this is a direct reference to the
sons of King Cronos - the famed
Titans of Greek mythology. And the Hebrew verb
translated "formed" should have been translated "tremble" or
What a change this makes! In our modern terms it would now
The Titans tremble beneath the
waters and the inhabitants thereof. Hell is naked before him,
and destruction hath no covering. (Job 26:5-6)
Dr. James Moffett (1922) of Oxford
University is almost poetic in his translation:
Before him the primaeval giants
writhe, under the ocean in their prison; the underworld lies
open to his eyes, the nether regions are unveiled. (Job 26:5-6)
Albert Einstein also studied Atlantis during the early 1950s, but
died in 1955. He was interested in finding solid "geological and paleontological facts” that supported if and where Atlantis had
been. His research was done as collaboration with Charles Hapgood.
Einstein wrote the forward for Hapgood’s
book “EARTH'S SHIFTING CRUST: A KEY TO SOME BASIC PROBLEMS OF EARTH
SCIENCE” (published in 1958 by Pantheon Books, New York).
In Hindu legends an island of gods was destroyed during a war
between the gods and the Asuras (giant people). Which is very
similar to the Greek myth of the gods Vs the Titans.
Vishnu Purana (2000 B.C.), a Sanskrit text, speaks of Atala, the
"White Island," which speaks of its geographically location, which
when translated is roughly 24-28 degrees North latitude. There is no
Mahabharata tells of a horrendous war that sunk Atala. It is also
called the White Island in this text. It describes it as an "island
of great splendour" in the western ocean.
It is also describes Tripura, a circular shaped capital city, which was destroyed by
being “burnt until it sank into the ocean”.
CRO-MAGNON MAN’S ATLANTIS
35000 BC was the appearance of the first Cro-Magnon man (larger
brained, uses tools) in western Africa and western Europe.
4 stages of increasingly more intelligent Cro-Magnon peoples
appearing in western/northern Africa, and fanning out from that
location. Anthropologists also find 4 stages of remains/tools in the
Azores and other Atlantic islands. One of the ways of determining
intelligence is by measuring the brain size in c.c. The largest
Cro-Magnon skull contained 1743 c.c. These first stages of
Cro-Magnon are sometimes called “Paleo-Atlantic”.
The cave art in the Pyrenees and Cantabrian Mountains in
France/Spain are Cro-Magnon. When the art was first discovered many
believed it was a hoax. Some of the art depicts them wearing
tailored clothes and even hats and that they were clean-shaven in
many cases. Bone needles and obsidian razors were found, suggesting
an advanced culture. Notations scratched on bones record lunar
cycles and astrology.
Cro-Magnon was also the first to farm, have
advanced musical instruments and build houses. (approx. 15,000 BC.)
The last stage was the largest, occurring around 10,000 BC, and
introduced the most modern cro-magnon’s which would later become the
basis of modern mankind.
The stages and their locations suggest that they may have been
people migrating from Atlantis. 10,000 BC is also the end of the
last Ice Age, which had a record number of earthquakes according to
geologists, various extinctions and geomagnetic disturbances which
caused the poles to move.
The melting of the glaciers caused massive flooding.
MONOLITHS LEFT BEHIND
Baalbek Acropolis in Beirut Lebanon contains three huge stone
that are 70 x 14 x 12 feet in size.
They weigh approximately 1000
tons each. The quarry was in a distant valley and were moved uphill
to their position. A fourth stone, weighing 1400 tons is still in
the quarry. The building was never finished and the Romans later
built a temple on top of it.
It was built around 10,000 to 12,000
The Sphinx is suggested by geologists to have been built around
10,500 BC, by non-Egyptians.
The reasoning is that the Sphinx/Lion
is not an important part of Egyptian mythology (but is commonly
found in Greek mythology). It has been covered by sand for most of
its history until it was excavated in the early 1900s. Horizontal
lines on the Sphinx are the result of water erosion, possibly a
flood. Egyptologists disagree, despite geological evidence to the
The head of the Sphinx is also dated differently, has no
horizontal erosion, and is disproportionate to the body, suggesting
that since its lower torso was under sand, that a Pharaoh had the
original lion’s head carved down so that it would look like him.
Great Pyramid of Gizeh, the largest, oldest and most perfect one
(it is astrologically aligned like a compass) does not actually
contain any human remains. Neither do any of the other ‘less
perfect’ pyramids, which were poorly constructed in contrast.
the human remains that have been found are in the Valley of the
Kings. There is a debate going on currently about whether the
pyramids were really temples and palaces (much like the pyramids of
the Mayans). Gizeh is also interesting because it is the only one
without any inscriptions (with the exceptions of later writings that
was written long after it was built). A variation in the mythology,
says that the Age of the Gods which ended around 10,000 BC. It was
ended because of a flood.
There is a 14-foot deep layer of silt sediment around the period,
the result of a major flood.
Before the Arabs stole the outer casing stones of the pyramid,
legends and records tell that there were water erosion marks halfway
up the pyramid (about 400 feet above the Nile). This would
definitely go over the top of the entire Sphinx.
When the Great Pyramid was first opened, they found halfway down
inside a crustation of salt/minerals over an inch thick. The
salt/minerals is consistent with that found in seawater. The other
two pyramids also had salt. The smallest of the three was completely
submerged under the water and likewise was filled with salt.
The three pyramids are supposedly astronomically aligned with the
constellation of Orion’s belt (or Osiris).
Osiris is the Egyptian
equivalent of Christ.
Tiahuanacu, a city in Bolivia, is 12,500 feet above sea level.
explorer/engineer Arthur Posnansky was the first European to explore
it and dated its building approximately 15,000 BC. The city is a
port city, complete with stone piers and wharfs. The surrounding
area is covered with millions of sea-shells and fossilized sea
An inland sea, Lake Titicaca, 15 miles from the city (and
12,400 feet above sea level), contains oceanic creatures such as
sharks, telling that the ocean had not only once reached this
height, but sharks and other ocean creatures have continued to live
The port itself has numerous large carved stones, weighing between
100 and 200 tons. The largest is 440 tons. The rocks
been knocked off their foundations, suggesting a huge earthquake.
Some of the rocks are held together by huge rivets of copper and
silver which were poured into place. (A similar technique was used
in Egypt’s Elephantine Island in the middle of the Nile.)
interesting note, geologists have determined that many of the blocks
came from quarries 200 miles away.
The docks themselves are large enough to comfortably hold hundreds
of large ships. Excavations of the city show that it once held a
population of 30,000 to 40,000+. The Acapana Pyramid in the city is
a step pyramid, aligned like a perfect compass, and had in-door
A 10-ton gateway to the temple nearby was carved from a single rock
and has elephants and toxodons carved into it. The toxodon is a
large grazing creature that resembles a hippo with a longer neck.
Both it and the south american elephant (Cuverionius) have been
extinct since 11,000 to 12,000 BC. The images of the elephant and
toxodon are commonly found in the city, ranging from pottery to
The large statues of ‘deities’ found in the temple have similar
themes to India, Egypt and Greece.
(Two of them very strongly
resemble Zeus and Poseidon. The ‘Zeus’ has a beard, a straight nose
and rays of lightning around his forehead. The ‘Poseidon’ more
closely resembles the Mesopotamian deity called Oannes
-image left - who is
depicted with carved fish scales/heads covering his legs.)
All of the ruins are covered with a layer of lime deposits, showing
that it had once been underwater. Much of the ruins is also buried
beneath a layer of silt sediments, showing it was under the sea for
a fair amount of time. Professor Posnansky immediately thought of
the Biblical flood, and thus searched for ways to date it (carbon
dating was not around before 1945 when he finally published his book
about the city).
He determined the date by using the compass in the
temple, which was slightly off, and determining what the
constellations would have been like thousands of years ago (archeo-astronomy)
finally came up with an approximate date of 15,000 BC. Other
professors and astronomers have verified the accuracy of his
Carbon dating indicates that the city was later re-inhabited around
200 A.D., and that the figures already present in the city became to
be revered as gods. Carbon dating for the older rocks have numbers
that vastly differs due to volcanic activity in the area during the
10,000 to 15,000 BC period.
The Inca capital of Cusco, Peru is the home of the Sacsahuaman
ruins. Most of the stones are 2 to 3 tons, but the bulk of the area
is stones weighing about 100 tons.
The largest is 300 tons. The
walls are earthquake-proof due to their polygonal (they have 32
sides) style of construction.
Despite the complex cutting, the
stones are cut so perfectly and fit together so perfectly that not
even a razor blade can be slid between their cracks. The rocks would
have to be rolled and carved on every side to perfection before
being laid, and if there was a single imperfection it would not fit.
Placing a 100 ton rock and then having to take it back out to fix is
near impossible. Modern engineering and laser technology would still
have headaches and inaccuracy. The ruins pre-date the Inca city
which was built around it.
Lixus (Morocco, North Africa) also has
32-sided rocks inside its earthquake proof walls and incorporates
stones that are 100+ tons.
menhirs in Brittany running into the Atlantic Ocean
Stone Henge, England
Due to the carbon dating of ocean sediments we can conclude that the
continents were originally attached.
Most of the continental plates are made from silicon-aluminum, but
the area where Atlantis was (according to samples from the sea
floor) is also made of silicon-magnesium, which is both highly
unstable and heavy. Magnesium is also highly combustible and one of
the few metals that can burn underwater.
Geologists have suggested that Atlantis has frequently rose and sunk
numerous times in the last 3 million years (the Pleistocene Epoch,
which ended circa 10,000 BC).
The Mid-Atlantic Ridge is one of the most active underwater volcanic
areas in the world.
Dr. Ewing, a professor, headed an oceanography expedition in 1948.
He was actually an opponent of Atlantis, but in spite of himself
ended up mapping much of the sea floor around where Atlantis
supposedly was and found that the ocean floor had mountainous areas
and ‘beaches’ in the areas, and the same shape, as the 1665 map by
Subsequent expeditions only add more details to this.
cautiously, and trying not to be hypocritical of his previous
stances, suggested that Atlantis may well have existed as a
The 1949 expedition determined the ages of the sandy beaches. One
group of older sand dates 225,000-325,000 years ago, while a 2nd
newer batch of sand dates 20,000 to 100,000 years ago. This suggests
that Atlantis has rose and sunk at least twice before. The time
frames are the same as the last two ice ages.
The pear shaped area of Atlantis would be roughly the size of
when fully uncovered.
Samples taken from the Mid-Atlantic ridge have found fossils of
small lake animals (diatoms), fresh water creatures, in addition to
fossils of land plants.
There are six terrace levels of beaches, suggesting that Atlantis changed its shape and size at least six times, becoming smaller and
smaller until it disappeared quite suddenly. The shrinking island
could have resulted in an exodus of people to land that was more
Even the United States Navy once searched for Atlantis, believing
the oceanography could be useful for nuclear submarines operating
near the Mid-Atlantic Ridge.
It has been suggested by linguistics that a nomadic Cro-Magnon
society existed all the way from Morocco to the British Isles (which
explains Stone Henge, similar sites in France, the caves near
Basque, and Lixus).
Both anthropologists and linguists agree that
Basque is descended from a
Interesting notes: The Basque word for knife means “stone that cuts”
and the word for ceiling means “top of cavern”. Basque is also a
mystery in terms of its alien styles of vocabulary, syntax and
grammatical structure. While the meanings and definitions of words
are considered to be primitive, the actual syntax is extremely
complex and orderly.
Both the Romans and Carthaginians recorded that Basque was
originally very widespread.
Berber left behind
the Guanches of the Canary Islands, and Basque
their unique European language.
Prof. Johannes Friedrich, the
leading linguist and expert on Berber claims the language has not
changed in almost 2000 years. Its complexity assures that.
The extinct Iberian language (found only on tablets) is related to
modern Basque, and is suggested to be either an earlier version of
Basque, or a language spoken by one of the earlier stages of
Welsh, Erse and Gaelic use the same complicated syntax that
does. The people living in the British Isles used that language long
before the Kelts arrived in 1800 BC. Welsh is peculiar in that it
adopted Keltic words into its vocabulary, but maintained the syntax.
It is suggested that Pre-Keltic Welsh was identical to Basque.
The Mayas continue to this day to speak their language, and to the
surprise of a Basque missionary during the 1500s come to convert
them, found that they spoke almost exactly the same language, with a
slight difference in pronunciation.
Over 200 species of animals became extinct between 10,000 and 20,000
BC. The period is known as the Pleistocene Extinction.
Catastrophism vs uniformitarianism, or gradualism (three theories
that get various people arguing)... while all three are actually
active in nature. It is possible that evolution could not cope with
the vast changes over a period of several thousand years, or they
could have been wiped out all at once.
One of the indicators of a catastrophe at the end of the Pleistocene
12,000 years ago is the huge numbers of frozen carcasses in both
eastern and western hemispheres, North America and Russia/Siberia.
Back in middle 1940s Dr. Frank C. Hibben, Prof. of Archeology at the
University of New Mexico mounted an expedition to Alaska to look for
Instead he found gold, and massive amounts of mammoth, mastodon,
several kinds of bison, horses, wolves, bears and lions. All trapped
in ice and he ended up with their rotting carcasses.
The ice sheet
they were trapped in stretched for miles, with very little rock
except below the thick layer of ice. He had concluded that an
enormous tidal wave (a tsunami) had wiped out the creatures, along
with trees and peat moss, and that they had floated in the ice dead
until the ice itself had frozen completely. The ice had frozen
Other non-arctic creatures were affected: giant tortoises living in
the Caribbean Sea, the giant sloth, the sabre-toothed tiger, the
glyptodont and toxodon. These were all tropical animals. With the
exception of the tortoise, they all live on the ground however and
need to breath air.
Others: Woolly rhinoceros, giant armadillos, giant beavers, giant
jaguars, ground sloths, antelopes, American camels, Asian elephants
(Indian elephants came from the sub-continent of India).
All died at roughly the same time, 10,000 BC. They were not slowly
killed off. They were quickly killed off. It is also important to
note that people should not confuse this with the extinction of the
dinosaurs, which happened millions of years ago in contrast.
Pleistocene geologist William R. Farrand of the Lamont-Doherty
Geological Observatory, who is opposed to catastrophism in any form,
"Sudden death is indicated by the robust condition of the
animals and their full stomachs... the animals were robust and
healthy when they died".
It has been estimated that some ten million animals lay buried along
the rivers of northern Siberia.
Thousands of tusks formed a massive
ivory trade for the master carvers of China, all from the remains of
the frozen mammoths and mastodons of Siberia. The famous Beresovka
mammoth first drew attention to the preserving properties of being
quick-frozen when buttercups were found in its mouth.
This was no
gradual event--it had to be sudden!
Disneyification is one of the ways that has destroyed/created
the mythology around Atlantis.
Due to this mythification most people
assume that Atlantis does not exist. Its just another myth like
everything else the Greeks had.
(Unless you count the theory of the atom, that the world is a
sphere, and other items of Greek philosophy which has been later
Except that the Greeks are not the only ones with such a “myth”.
Indeed every single religion on Earth has some form of Great Flood
story, which suggests that there really was some form of major
disaster around the time that the glaciers melted.
And if this semi-gradual flooding of Atlantis was what caused the
four major exoduses of Cro-Magnon man, then we can assume that
Atlantis was the birthplace of much of modern mankind.
The origin of humans and much of pre-historical culture is something
that plagues every person at some point in our lifetime: Where did
we come from? It is as fundamental as our search for religion and
meaning in life.
Dr Ewing who was opposed to Atlantis searched for it despite the
fact that he believed it did not exist. His oceanography and fossil
finds however conclude that it not only existed, but also has
actually sunk at least twice (due to the previous two ice ages).
If we take for granted that Atlantis did exist, and that humanity
originated from there, what does that mean to us?
It throws a wrench into the mechanics of various religions for
starters by questioning their myths but at the same time supporting
the Great Flood myth.
It changes how we look at other ancient societies, knowing that they
had possibly originated from Atlantis and then somehow lost or
forgot their technology. There was a loss of cultural and
It suggests that we may have had a higher state of technology 14,000
years ago and that we started over roughly 12,000 years ago. And
judging by the timeline of Cro-Magnon man (36,000 years), it may
take us another 20,000 years to reach the level of technology that
was used to build the pyramids.
It questions what around is actually permanent. Metals melt and rust
away and can be salvaged and turned into other things. Glass breaks
easily. Plastics slowly degrade. Bones, if not fossilized, also
disappear. Wood rots. Stone is one of the few things that last,
especially if they are too big to be moved by less technological
What have we built in the last 2000 years that is actually
permanent? The Great Wall of China is brick and will erode and fall
apart. Steel buildings will rust away into nothing. The Hoover Dam
(one of the few things that can be seen from space) is perhaps one
of the few buildings that will actually still be here in 10,000
Fossils stay on the basis of becoming covered by sedimentary rock.
The fossilized fresh water fish and land plants found in the
Mid-Atlantis ridge for example. Actual bones are a rare find.
The Greek and Indian myths suggesting a Great War which burned the
land and boiled the sea seems almost Apocalyptic,
like a nuclear
war. Zeus’s lightning bolts sounds almost like nuclear missiles. We
already know that a nuclear blast can destroy the memory of what was
a city, leaving behind only a shell.
It makes us wonder if we might do it again and again.
destroying our places and the memories that are attached to those
places, only to start over.