Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come
We get up every day to help push the human race forward. We are not concerned with what the academic mainstream says today - we care what our descendants say 1000 years from now
The Search is Over
Atlantis was an island in the Atlantic ocean of advanced seafaring people during the stone age.
Our team have undertaken the largest ever investigation into the legend and have compiled overwhelming proof that Ireland is the legendary lost island of Atlantis.
Our findings revolutionise human history. We aim to have our work independently verified by impartial experts & turned into a documentary or movie.
Atlantis - The Emerald Enigma
Could the answer to one of the world’s greatest mysteries have been under our noses all this time?
The legendary lost island of Atlantis. Everyone’s heard of it and everyone’s got an opinion.
Was it just an elaborate fiction given to us by the Greek philosopher Plato in 360 B.C.? Or was it a ‘mother culture’, a real place with an advanced Stone Age civilisation?
The answer is both.
Plato’s legend is clearly exaggerated. It contains many historical errors and combines two places into one tale, yet at its core there is a grain of truth. After all, the legend of Atlantis had already been passed down by word of mouth for thousands of years before Plato himself first heard it, so it’s hardly surprising that some details got distorted over time.
Truth became history, history became legend and legend became myth. But almost 12,000 years later the grain of truth survives.
When you strip back the Atlantis legend to its very core, there are three key factors
Name a place on Earth from Antarctica to Africa, Sweden to South America, and someone will have claimed it was Atlantis.
Scientists roll their eyes whenever a new Atlantis theory emerges because the three key factors—the Egyptian connection, the Atlantic location and the advanced Stone Age civilization—are the first casualties of the next fanciful claim. It seems that every time someone finds so much as a brick underwater, they claim they have found Atlantis.
Scientists rightly demand proof. Surely if such a mother culture existed, a civilisation which predated the Greeks and the Egyptians, then there must be some physical evidence.
Some claim that Atlantis sunk to the bottom of the ocean, eliminating all evidence. However, geologists who have mapped the entire Atlantic seabed are adamant that there is simply no room for a lost sunken island. They insist that it’s not scientifically possible and that any claims of a large, sunken island lack credibility.
Therefore, if the Atlantis mother culture ever did exist, there must still be evidence above ground, not just wild speculation.
So how do we solve this riddle?
By bypassing Plato’s tale altogether and going right to the source: Ancient Egypt.
The Egyptian Connection
Ancient Egyptian texts describe how Egypt’s ancestors came from a sacred island in the Atlantic Ocean that was devastated in a great flood.
Sound familiar? That’s what the team from Keystone University thought.
In the largest investigation ever conducted into the legend of Atlantis, Keystone’s research team used cutting-edge techniques from multiple disciplines and reviewed thousands of ancient texts, including rare manuscripts from Egypt, Greece and Ireland.
As a result, they have compiled over 1,000 pieces of evidence to support a surprising, yet oh-so-obvious location for the lost island of Atlantis.
This is not the first time that Ireland has been cited as Atlantis. In 2004, Dr. Ulf Erlingsson, a renowned, prizewinning Swedish scientist, published the book Atlantis from a Geographer’s Perspective and a scientific paper which both claimed that Ireland was the legendary lost island. Furthermore, he claimed that the physical description and measurements of Plato’s Atlantis perfectly matched Ireland.
His claims exposed him to the scorn and ridicule of his peers, who informed him that writing seriously about Atlantis was tantamount to professional suicide for an academic. Yet he went ahead anyway. When interviewed he said, ‘Sometimes a scientist has to do what a scientist has to do’.
The Keystone team agree with Erlingsson’s findings. In addition, their research includes many additional pieces of evidence that simply weren’t available to Erlingsson when he wrote his book 16 years ago.
It’s a well-known historical fact that the Egyptian civilisation predated the Greeks by thousands of years.
It’s also well known that Ireland’s Stone Age constructions were built long before the Egyptian pyramids and temples.
A virtually unknown yet historically proven fact is that the builders of Newgrange, Ireland’s spectacular Stone Age temple, used boats to transport dozens of huge boulders to the site from Clogherhead, which is over 30 km away. Some of these boulders weighed as much as 10 ton. Imagine the quality of boat and level of skill required to load and unload such huge weights, let alone transport them. Newgrange is also perfectly aligned to the rising sun at the winter solstice, as are hundreds of Irish megaliths, which demonstrates a stunning level of astronomical, mathematical and construction knowledge obtained by the early Irish.
We know for sure that the Stone Age Irish were master astronomers. We know for sure they were master builders who built Newgrange long before the Egyptians built their pyramids. We know for sure that the Irish had boats. It’s not much of a stretch to imagine the wandering Irish sailing from their Atlantic island home to explore the wider world.
The Atlantic Location
The most telling characteristic of Atlantis is that it was an island located in the Atlantic Ocean. Obviously, Ireland is an island in the Atlantic with an ancient people, language and culture. There are an estimated 100,000 Stone Age constructions remaining in Ireland including the most spectacular megaliths on Earth as you would expect if they really were an advanced early civilisation. Similar constructions (mounds, cairns, stone circles, dolmens, passage tombs, etc.) are found all over the world, proving that the entire world, not just Ireland, has a stunning and forgotten ancient history.
Some claim that Atlantis lies at the bottom of the ocean. However, science has eliminated this possibility. An island in the Atlantic that does exist is a much more viable explanation than an island that doesn’t.
There are many descriptions of Plato’s Atlantis that perfectly fit Ireland, while there are also many that don’t. It’s clear that Plato’s legend is useful but unreliable, that it combined two separate related places, a lot of exaggeration and several historical errors.
Plato’s Atlantis was an island in the Atlantic with a fertile, circular plain which was surrounded by mountains that descended towards the sea. Ireland is the only island on Earth with these features.
Plato’s Atlantis had a temperate climate capable of producing two crops per year. Ireland has one of the most temperate climates on Earth and to this day is capable of producing two crops a year: winter and spring barley. Meanwhile, Ireland’s Ceide fields are the oldest agricultural fields on Earth.
Plato’s Atlantis had many hot and cold springs. Ireland has 27 warm springs and thousands of cold ones, known locally as holy wells.
Plato’s tale also described the city of Atlantis, a huge circular city with an abundance of elephants, gold and ivory. This is actually a reference to the ancient city of Cerne, an early Irish settlement in Mauritania, Africa. Cerne is derived from the Irish word cairn, which means stacked or piled rocks. Cairns are also heavily associated with the Greek messenger god Hermes and his Egyptian equivalent Thoth. The site of the City of Cerne, Plato’s lost city of Atlantis, is also known as the Eye of the Sahara or the Richat structure.
Interestingly, in Greek history the name Cerne actually referred to two separate places: an African city near the Atlas mountains and an island in the Atlantic Ocean that was 12 days’ sail from the Strait of Gibraltar. Similarly, Plato’s Atlantis was a combination of the same two separate places: the island of Atlantis (Ireland) and the City of Atlantis (City of Cerne/the Eye of the Sahara, Mauritania). In Greek mythology Atlas was the first king of two separate places: the Island of Atlantis and the kingdom of Mauritania, Africa. The Atlas Mountains, which encircle the Eye of the Sahara, still bear his name.
The Greek Diodorus, in his ‘Library of History’, describes how the Atlantians were a civilised people who had a settlement called Cerne near the Atlas mountains and that it was here that the warlike Amazons, a ferocious army of female warriors from Libya, slaughtered the Atlantians before attacking Greece and waging war in the region. Greek history is very consistent in supporting the account of Diodorus, but not that of Plato, that it was actually the Amazons who attacked Greece, not the Atlantians.
The old Irish annals contain many records of voyages to Greece, Mauritania and Egypt. The female Amazon warriors are also mentioned, as is an attempted invasion of Ireland by the Greeks and Romans who were defeated at the Battle of Ventry in County Kerry. Perhaps it’s here, on Ireland’s wild Atlantic shore, that Rome’s famous missing Ninth Legion met their demise.
Plato described how Atlantis was ‘swallowed by the sea’. This is reference to a huge tsunami which decimated Stone Age Ireland. Virtually every culture on Earth has an origin story involving a great deluge. What is unique about the Irish is they have several records of life before, during and after this great flood. The ancient Irish annals even contain the names of the flood survivors who managed to escape by boat or survived by reaching higher ground. On Ireland’s western coast there are folk tales of a giant tsunami around 12,000 years ago. Similar tales are found in Iona, Scotland.
So what could have caused this global apocalyptic event?
While a localised tsunami affecting Ireland could easily have been caused by an ocean earthquake, there is only one thing could cause a huge global event: a cosmic impact.
The Keystone team speculate that a comet struck the Atlantic Ocean at the Puerto Rico Trench, triggering a huge tsunami, epic global rainfalls, flooding, ocean volcanoes and earthquakes. Gravitational anomalies often signal a cosmic impact, and the most negative gravitational anomaly on Earth is situated deep in the Puerto Rico Trench. NASA scientists report that beneath the trench is a mass so dense, its gravitational pull causes the ocean to dip and it affects navigational instruments.
The Puerto Rico Trench is located in the infamous Bermuda Triangle and is the deepest point in the entire Atlantic Ocean. The Keystone team suggest that this anomaly is the result of a comet strike around 11,600 years ago. This date perfectly matches the end of the Younger Dryas period, a time of extreme flooding and rising sea levels which oceanographers and geologists call Meltwater Pulse 1B.
In short, there is scientific evidence for a cataclysmic event at a time in history when many independent cultures around the world speak of a global flood.
It is also the exact same time Atlantis is said to have drowned.
Scientists used to work on the assumption that Ireland was completely frozen over during the Ice Age, and therefore uninhabitable, until around 10,000 years ago. This assumption has been well and truly shattered by recent evidence.
The Pleistocene Ice Age lasted for two and a half million years and ended around 11,600 years ago. The latest research shows that even at the peak of the Ice Age, ice sheets did not completely cover Ireland. This would explain the lack of drumlins (egg-shaped ridges formed by glacial activity) across the centre of Ireland.
Another study from Norway proves conclusively that the warm, Atlantic Gulf Stream did not stop during the Ice Age as previously thought. This indicates that Ireland’s Ice Age wasn’t as severe as previous estimates, and evidence has been stacking up to support the claim that Ireland was inhabited by humans much earlier than currently acknowledged.
A 12,500-year-old bear bone that was cut with a human tool and found in a County Clare cave proves there were humans living in Ireland during the old Stone Age period.
In three separate places in Ireland flint stone tools have been found dating back 200,000 to 400,000 years. One find was in Mell, County Louth ( 10 km from Newgrange ), one in Ballyculle, County Down, and one on the remote Aran Islands off the County Galway coast in the Atlantic Ocean.
The mainstream opinion remains that these human flint tools were carried to Ireland by ice sheets. This truly bizarre explanation was championed when archaeologists still believed that Ireland was completely frozen over until around 10,000 years ago, a view that has been discredited by modern science. The recent evidence suggests that Ireland has been habitable for hundreds of thousands of years. This would explain its many unique species of freshwater fish, flora and fauna, which differ significantly from those of neighbouring Britain and continental Europe.
The Egyptian Connection: Mythology
Several ancient Egyptian texts, including the Book of the Dead, The Pyramid Texts and the Hymn of Rameses IV, tell of ten kings who ruled during the reign of the gods. One of these was Thoth, the founder of the Egyptian civilisation, who was born in a distant country to the west—a country which was across a body of water.
Other texts refer to this ancestral territory as the sunset land or the island of the setting sun. To this day Ireland is referred to as the land of the setting sun. Another name for this land in Egyptian texts was Urani, which is etymologically very close to Erin, the ancient name for Ireland.
According to Egyptian texts, this island in the Atlantic was overwhelmed by water The ten kings, including Thoth, travelled east to safety by boat. Stories tell of the founders of Egypt arriving from an island in the Atlantic around 11,870 years ago.
If Atlantis and Ireland are one and the same, and some of the survivors of the tsunami escaped by boat to Egypt, then you would expect there to be clear links between the two places. There are many such links. One of the most interesting of these is genetic.
The stereotypical Irish combination of red hair, blue eyes and milky-white skin is the rarest genetic combination on Earth. Fewer than one million people (0.0001 percent of the global human population) possess this genetic combination.
Ireland has the highest concentration of red-haired genes in the world. Throughout history, pockets of redheads have been found scattered across the globe. These are the descendants of the ancient Irish and include the Phoenicians, Hebrews, Berbers and Indo-European Aryans (Aryan is derived from Erin.) Red-haired mummies have been found all over the world, including in New Zealand, China, Peru and Alaska.
Thousands of fair and red-haired mummies have been found across Egypt. The Egyptian Pharaoh Ramesses II had red hair, as did at least six other pharaohs. Despite claims to the contrary, it has been conclusively proven that Ramesses’ hair was naturally red and was not coloured red as the result of a dye pigment or the embalming process. The legendary Cleopatra is also said to have had red hair.
Further evidence backs up the Ireland/Egypt connection. In genetics, a haplogroup is a group from the human family tree that traces back to one individual ancestor. The Irish are part of the same genetic haplogroup as the lineage of the pharaohs. The highest concentration of Pharaoh Tutankhamun’s Haplogroup R-M269 is found in Ireland.
A hieroglyphic text found at Abydos by Sir Flinders Petrie in 1901 in the cenotaph of Pharaoh King Menes says:
“King Menes, the Ruler of Mizraim [Egypt] made the complete course to the end of the Sunset Land. Sailing in ships, he completed the inspection of the Western Land. He built there a holding in Urani Land. At the Lake of the Peak, fate pierced him by a Hornet (Bee Sting) . . . This drilled tablet set up of hanging wood is dedicated to his memory.”
As already mentioned, Urani is another name for Ireland. Intriguingly, when Pharaoh Menes’ tomb was open, it was found to be empty. His body was elsewhere.
Explorer Laurence Waddell discovered the final resting place of Menes in Knockmany, County Tyrone, Ireland. He described how Sumerian linear writing on a boulder stone at the site was almost identical with that found in the pharaoh’s empty Egyptian tomb.
It seems that Menes died from a bee sting in Ireland and was buried in Knockmany, County Tyrone, although the site has never been excavated to confirm this find. Nor, indeed, has Scotia’s grave in County Kerry, which is widely accepted as being the resting place of an Egyptian pharaoh’s daughter who arrived in Ireland around 1700 B.C.
In fact, very few of Ireland’s ancient sites have been excavated. However, some startling evidence has been found at the handful of sites that have been examined.
A royal Egyptian bead necklace was found at the Hill of Tara in County Meath during an excavation in 1955, as were the remains of a Barbary ape. These small monkeys are native to North Africa, in the region around the Atlas Mountains near the early Irish settlement of Cerne (The Eye of the Sahara /Plato’s City of Atlantis).
A 2,500-year-old Barbary ape skull was also found during excavations at Navan Fort in County Armagh. What makes these particular finds so fascinating is that Thoth, the god-king founder of Egypt mentioned earlier, is often represented as a baboon or North African ape.
Perhaps most telling of all is the Nabta Playa stone circle, which is located 500 miles south of Cairo, deep in the Nubian desert—an area that once enjoyed seasonal rainfall and fertile soil. Nabta Playa is one of the oldest stone circles in the world and is considered the birthplace of Egyptian civilisation. Stone circles are also known as druid circles. The builders of this stone circle predated the spectacular Egyptian civilisation that followed.
Stone circles are found all across the world in virtually every country, proving the entire world has a spectacular ancient history that most people are completely ignorant of.
The builders of these megalithic circles originated where the most spectacular stone age constructions on Earth are found: Ireland.
In Joseph Gwilt’s timeless masterpiece ‘The Encyclopaedia of Architecture’, he informs us that the druid stone circles predated all other forms of architecture, that the druids were the world’s first race of civilised people, and that at one time the language and alphabet of the entire ancient world from Ireland to India was the same—that of the Irish druids.
The Greek Connection
Greek history contains a detailed record of how Pythagoras, who predated Plato by almost a century, learned from an Irish druid called Abaris, who could speak fluent Greek as if he had spoken it all his life. The ancient Irish annals confirm that an Irish druid called Abhras visited Greece, amongst other places, on his travels. The Greeks described how Abaris was from the mystical island of Hyperborea, which, just like Atlantis, was another name for Ireland.
Hercules and Perseus, two of the most important characters in Greek mythology, were both said to have visited Hyperborea, which was described as being a fertile island to the north of Gaul (France) with oak trees, a circular temple (Newgrange) and priests with harps. According to the Greeks, Hyperborea was governed by the boreades. In Irish, boreadach means noble chieftain. Clearly, Ireland is the Greek Hyperborea.
The later Greeks, such as Aristotle, called Ireland Ierne, which means ‘sacred island’. Over time Hyperborea became Hybernia or Hibernia, the Roman name for Ireland.
That the Roman church undertook a campaign of vicious persecution and destruction against the druids is a well-known historical fact. In A.D. 389 a druid college in Gaul (Bibracte, France) was destroyed by a Christian mob. This sacred druid college had an incredible 40,000 students and offered courses in numerous disciplines, including philosophy, literature, grammar, law, medicine, astronomy and architecture. The opinion of Aristotle that philosophy came to the Greeks from the Gauls (druids) is very striking.
Ireland was the source of Druidism, a philosophy that predated Rome, Greece and Egypt by millennia. Every attempt was made to delete the druids from history, in particular by the Romans as they furiously destroyed the libraries, schools and temples of the ancient world, including the great library of Alexandra. One of the greatest secrets of human history is that all of the world’s religions and civilisations have their roots in one mother soil—Irish Druidism—a master philosophy which predated and influenced all the others.
As hard as it may be for those ignorant of Irish history to accept, the Irish were an old civilisation when the Greeks were still young. For example, the Irish Tailtean games predate the Greek Olympics by over 1,000 years, while the Irish Brehon laws are the oldest laws on Earth.
The ancient Irish Gaelic language is the missing mother tongue that scholars have sought for centuries. To account for this missing root language, academics have invented a hypothetical mother tongue called the ‘Proto-Indo-European’ language. Old Irish is this language, a forgotten ancient tongue with remarkable similarities to the world’s oldest languages. An ancient language that does exist is a much more practical explanation for a missing mother tongue than a language that doesn’t.
The Egyptians were old when the Greeks were young, but the Irish druids were older still. Irelands Stone Age constructions are the most spectacular on Earth.
Newgrange, the world’s oldest scientific instrument, is still working perfectly and will continue to work long after today’s modern scientific instruments are obsolete.
No other place on Earth has the ancient history, mythology or culture of Ireland.
We know that the Stone Age Irish had boats capable of carrying 10-ton boulders.
It’s ignorant to think the wandering Irish didn’t use these boats to explore the wider world.
Globally, Stone Age man was a lot more mobile than they have been given credit for, and the ancient Irish were certainly a lot more advanced than most realise.
The current mainstream version of history is a house of cards that’s about to come crashing down. Earlier this year it was proven that people sailed to Australia on rafts 65,000 years ago, shattering the previous illusion that Australia has only been occupied for a few centuries. Many more illusions are about to be shattered.
The brutal truth is that Ireland’s ancient history has been written by her enemies.
For the best part of 1,000 years, Ireland’s culture has been desecrated, her books burned and her ancient language driven to the point of extinction. Some of the most deplorable acts of brutality and genocide ever committed on Earth were committed on the Emerald Isle by the very people who wrote Ireland’s history. It’s time to set the record straight.
The groundbreaking Atlantis Ireland theory has been put forward by Keystone University, a new and highly ambitious organisation based in Dublin. Keystone’s mission is to build the world’s best university, a centre of excellence that pushes the human race forward. A keystone is an ancient symbol for wisdom.
A spokesperson for Keystone University said, “To put forward any theory on Atlantis is to open yourself up to a lot of ridicule. People can attack our findings, our organisation or the very legend of Atlantis itself, but in the end we have over 1,000 pieces of evidence to prove beyond all reasonable doubt that ancient Ireland is the legendary lost island and the mother culture of human civilisation. We don’t ask anyone to believe a word we say, only to examine the evidence and think for themselves. Sixteen years ago a brave Swedish scientist claimed that Ireland was Atlantis. Hopefully we don’t have to wait this long for the mainstream to catch up, but if we do, so be it. The Irish have waited over a thousand years to clear their name. Another decade won’t make any difference”.
For more information please visit www.keystone.ie
A geographic comparison of Plato's Atlantis and Ireland as a test of the megalithic culture hypothesis
Erlingsson Sub-Aquatic Surveys, Sweden
Based on geographic similarities, Erlingsson (2004) presented the scientific hypothesis that the Atlantean Empire was modelled on the megalithic culture of Europe and Northern Africa. It follows from the hypothesis that the island of Atlantis must have been Ireland.
This is tested scientifically using two geographical tests, one regarding length and width, the other regarding the plain surrounded by mountains. Each of the tests passes at the 2 percent confidence level. In view of these statistically significant matches, the hypothesis is retained.
Similarities are also found with Irish archaeology. Newgrange matches the temple of Poseidon in several aspects, while Knowth matches a second temple on Atlantis. In Irish folklore Newgrange is the mansion of a river divinity, just like Atlantis’ main temple is.
The sinking of Atlantis is found to have parallels with how Dogger Bank sank. The time of the disaster given by Plato corresponds to an earlier dramatic flooding of a North Sea plain, which has been pointed out as a promising area for underwater archaeology.
The conclusion is that Plato rearranged factual information to create a fictional tale of Atlantis. The traditions can have been passed on directly from the megalithic culture to the Old Kingdom of Egypt, as they were contemporary.
Even though the facts are rearranged, they are unique in providing information from the earliest known advanced culture in Europe, many thousands of years before the start of recorded history.
The only original source on Atlantis is Plato, in the dialogues Timaios and Kritias (Timaeus and Critias in Latin). If the tale is true to some extent, it may represent our oldest extant traditions, at least outside Mesopotamia. If it can be deciphered, it may thus add invaluable clues to the interpretation of the more silent discoveries made in archaeology.
We can safely assume that not everything in Plato’s tale matches reality, if not for other reasons so for errors in the transmission and translation. The name Atlantis in a strict sense refers to Plato’s exact description. However, in a lax sense it may be used to refer to a real world model for only a part of Plato’s tale, just like a modern city can function as a backdrop to a novel (and be modified in the novel compared to reality).
The literature on how to interpret Plato’s Atlantis tale is huge, but often of little scientific substance. The signal to noise ratio is very poor, which makes it challenging to discern a research frontier. Having said that, it is my understanding that there does not exist any hypothesis regarding the interpretation of the tale that has stood up to scientific scrutiny. I therefore ask for your indulgence when I now start a scientific study from scratch, building on nothing but the translated dialogues of Plato.
1.1 The scientific method
To suggest that a certain place may be a model for Atlantis in some aspect is to suggest an hypothesis. As a test of the hypothesis, the student compares detail after detail. Any
similarity that the student made use of to come up with the hypothesis, is banned for use in a test.
If a test nevertheless can be devised using independent data, and the result is negative, the scientific method dictates that the hypothesis should be dismissed. However, since we are dealing with a potentially ancient tradition we must allow for some errors to have entered the tale, and can therefore not be that strict.
Unfortunately, the possibility of such errors in the tradition largely defeats the purpose of the hypothetic-deductive method. Clearly some other rejection criterion is needed, lest we be stuck with the present deluge of untested hypotheses.
The solution is to apply the statistical significance test on the null hypothesis. What it amounts to is to raise the bar for a test to pass, by requiring that it be statistically improbable that it passes by chance.
Another benefit of using the null hypothesis is that segments of the tale can be evaluated independently from each other. It is not necessary to assume that all or nothing must be true.
This study is based on the classic scientific hypothetic-deductive method and statistical significance-tests on the null hypothesis. A significance level of 0.02 (2%) was chosen as rejection criterion. The null hypothesis is that Plato made it all up, and that any similarity with reality is purely coincidental.
1.2 Why the case is open
The mainstream opinion is that the Atlantis tale is entirely fictional. However, this has not and can not be proven.
One flawed line of argument is this: “If it is fictional it exists to serve the story. It serves the story. Thus it is fictional.” The logical operator (if A so B) is false only when A is true and B is false. When, as in this case, B is true, A can be either false or true. Thus, the argument is logically false (illogical). An argument has to be both logically true and relevant to be valid, why this one is invalid.
Christopher (2001) is another example of a flawed argument. Plato advocated the use of lies in the service of propaganda to maintain a militaristic, hierarchically structured society,
and to prevent real democracy. We can therefore not rule out that Plato may have intended to create a political myth, but even if that is the case, it does not imply that everything is fiction.
However, Christopher, a linguist, considers any partial resemblance meaningless. Given that, as he states, all legitimate scholars have jettisoned the conclusion that the account is entirely factual and inerrant, it of course becomes somewhat of a truism that Atlantis does not exist.
Old tales like the Icelandic Sagas were notorious for mixing fact and fiction. If we reject all old tales as potential sources of factual information, we loose a large part of our history. It is by choice, not necessity, that Christopher closes the door to the past.
Any student of prehistory is forced to lay puzzle with incomplete data, and any piece of information may turn out to be crucial. Even if the only thing that can be proven from this line of inquiry is that Plato had access to knowledge from a specific time and place, it is still a potentially invaluable result.
Therefore I elect to use a paradigm in which the goal is to search for pieces of facts in the Atlantis tale, and to use these pieces to deduce how the traditions were transmitted and the tale assembled by Plato.
All quotes of Plato’s dialogues are from Benjamin Jowett’s translation unless otherwise stated.
2.1 The empire in Kritias
The hypothesis was formulated by Erlingsson (2004) based on information in Timaios only (not Kritias), notably this passage: “This power came forth out of the Atlantic Ocean, for in those days the Atlantic was navigable; and there was an island situated in front of the straits which are by you called the Pillars of Heracles; the island was larger than Libya and Asia put together, and was the way to other islands, and from these you might pass to the whole of the opposite continent which surrounded the true ocean; for this sea which is within the Straits of Heracles is only a harbour, having a narrow entrance, but that other is a real sea, and the
Figure 1. The cairn at Haväng in southern Sweden. It is a typical megalithic tomb of the type without passage.
surrounding land may be most truly called a boundless continent.”
The text seems to be referring to the North Atlantic islands, which can be used to divide the crossing to America into many short legs, like the Vikings did. In my experience, it is by far the best route to take across the ocean for a boat without proper sleeping quarters. During the climatic optimum in the Atlantic Period, it will have been even easier to make a crossing at this latitude.
The text in Timaios continues: “Now in this island of Atlantis there was a great and wonderful empire which had rule over the whole island and several others, and over parts of the continent, and, furthermore, the men of Atlantis had subjected the parts of Libya within the columns of Heracles as far as Egypt, and of Europe as far as Tyrrhenia.”
Megalithic tombs (Fig. 1) are found on several islands in the Atlantic Ocean, on parts of the European continent, and, furthermore, the parts of Africa inside the Straits of Gibraltar almost as far as Libya, and in Europe as far as the Tyrrhenian Sea and southernmost Italy (Fig. 2). Considering that “the pillars of Heracles” was understood in Plato’s time to mean ‘the Straits of Gibraltar’, and that “Libya” meant ‘Africa’, the extent of the empire of Atlantis in Plato’s account matches that of the megalithic tombs quite well.
I therefore hypothesize that the empire of Atlantis refers to the entity responsible for the erection of the so-called megalithic tombs in Europe and northern Africa, an entity that I for short call the megalithic culture. I avoid the word tomb since they also erected standing
stones (menhirs, stone circles), and since it is far from obvious that the primary function of all so- called tombs were as burial places.
The construction of the megalithic tombs ended suddenly around 2,800 BC, in connection with a climatic deterioration. Note that the term megalithic culture in this sense does not imply any connection with megaliths on other continents.
In the hypothetic-deductive method a prediction is made from the hypothesis, and tested using independent data.
Plato let us understand that the empire Atlantis was based on a large island (after which the empire was named) along the path from the Mediterranean to the opposite continent (America), and that they completely controlled that island. A quick look at Figure 2 shows that there are only two large islands off Europe, and that of those, only Ireland is completely within the distribution area of megalithic tombs.
I therefore deduce that for the hypothesis to be correct, Ireland should correspond to the description of the island Atlantis.
2.3 Independence criterion
The test must be made using independent data. This is satisfied since the hypothesis and the deduction were formulated without knowledge of relevant Irish geography, geology, archaeology, or mythology, and furthermore without knowing the content of Kritias. By using only information from that dialogue, the data are even doubly independent.
Among the geographical information in Kritias is the following: “The whole country was said by him to be very lofty and precipitous on the side of the sea, but the country immediately about and surrounding the city was a level plain, itself surrounded by mountains which descended towards the sea; it was smooth and even, and of an oblong shape, extending in one direction three thousand stadia, but across the centre inland it was two thousand stadia.”
This information about Atlantis is compared with modern geographic data on Ireland, derived from encyclopedias, and from digital geographic information system (GIS) databases in vector and raster format.
Figure 2. The extent of megalithic tombs and the location of Newgrange (star). From Erlingsson (2004), which is largely based on Burenhult (1999, Fig. 77).
3. DIMENSION TEST
require is the length of a stadion at the time and place we are interested in: Megalithic Ireland.
Based on the investigation of many megalithic sites on the British Isles, Thom (1967) found a common denominator of 0.829 m. He called it a megalithic yard. Since there are 200 yards on a stadion, a megalithic stadion equals 166 m. The dimensions of Ireland in this unit are 2,950 times 2,060 stadia—within 3% of Plato’s values. Ireland also matches Atlantis by having the greatest width “across the centre inland”.
The real test is, though, if the correspondence is statistically significant. The null hypothesis is that Plato invented Atlantis, and happened to give the dimensions of Ireland by chance.
The question thus becomes, what is the probability that Plato would have stated the dimensions as 3,000 times 2,000 stadia by pure chance?
Based on the size of territories in the Antique world, Erlingsson (2004) estimated that a reasonable length could have been in the range of 700 to 10,000 stadia. Assuming a width of at least 600 stadia, the number of possible values becomes 91. The probability that the null hypothesis is correct is thus 0.011, well under 0.02, which means that the correspondence is statistically significant and the null hypothesis is rejected.
An alternative scale-independent calculation can be made as follows. As the reasonable size of the island varies by more than one order of magnitude, it would be conservative to disregard the order of magnitude in the dimensions, and only consider the significant digit. For each of the length and width, the digit can be any one in the range one through nine. This creates 81 possible combinations and a significance level of 0.012, why the null hypothesis still is rejected.
An assumption in both cases is that each size or digit has the same chance of being picked. A poll (www.macpolls.com/?poll_id=332) online asked “Pick a number between 1 and 10”. Removing the 10, the number 2 had a frequency of 4.95%, and 3 had 11.21%, among the 4252 respondents. The probability that someone would pick 2 and 3 can therefore be estimated to
The first test compares the length and width of Atlantis and Ireland.
On a digital chart of the world in scale 1:250,000, the longest dimension of Ireland was measured to 490.0 km and the greatest width to 341.8 km (Fig. 3). This has to be converted to stadia for comparison with Atlantis.
In Greece a stadion was 600 feet, while in Egypt it was 400 Royal cubits. A cubit being 1.5 foot, it is the same thing. The Greek and Egyptian stadion had different lengths, though. Since Plato gave all measures with only one significant digit, he evidently simply exchanged the Egyptian units for the corresponding Greek units.
If Plato’s account is correct, the Egyptians got the measures from another country (his alleged Atlantis). We may assume that also the Egyptians took over the measurement values, regardless of small differences in the measurement units. Hence it is irrelevant how long a stadion was in Egypt or Greece. What we
Figure 3. The elevation of Ireland with the location of Newgrange (star). The lines show where length and width measurements were taken. Based on ETOPO2, adopted from Erlingsson (2004).
0.0055, which means that the null hypothesis is rejected. (The number that most pick is 7, with almost one third of the votes.)
The megalithic yard is still not generally accepted. However, the existence of a statistically significant smallest common denominator in many stone monuments requires an explanation. The megalithic yard seems to be the best explanation offered. At any event, it is not crucial for the statistical significance test, as any value of the stadion between 137 m and 196 m would result in the rejection of the null hypothesis.
Using virtually any other stadion, from the Sumerian of 148.5 m to the Olympic of 192.3 m, the conclusion holds true. Only the Egyptian stadion is too long with its 209.2 m.
However, as was argued earlier, even if we do not accept the existence of a megalithic stadion there is still no logical reason to infer that the Egyptian one was used to measure Atlantis (unless the hypothesis being tested is that the Old Kingdom of Egypt was a direct continuation of the Atlantean civilization, which, however, would contradict what Plato
wrote about the war). Furthermore, the Egyptian stadion seems to be an outlier, being about one seventh longer than the average stadion—the same relationship as between a common cubit and a Royal cubit in Egypt. There is thus strong reason to suspect that the unit being used, megalithic stadion or otherwise, was less than 196 m long.
In evaluating the conclusion, another relevant question is if the translation that was used correctly interpreted Plato’s words.
The size and landscape of Atlantis is primarily described in Kritias 118a. Some translations describe the plain as rectangular, but there does not seem to be any tangible support for that in Plato’s text. There are also some translations that interpret the dimensions, 3,000 x 2,000 stadia, as referring to the plain and not the whole island. Due to the way of writing in Plato’s time—without punctuation marks or even spaces between words—and since Plato lined up these descriptions without repeating the subject of the sentence (and since the measurements are in genitive, which is identical in every genus), it is not completely clear what he was referring to.
There is a detail that seems to have been missed in translations, all of which give the width as two thousand stadia. However, after mentioning the length, Plato writes “κατα δε μεσον απο θαλαττης ανω δισχιλιων”, which I translate as ‘in the middle from the sea more than two thousand’. Recall that the width of Ireland is 2,060 megalithic stadia—hence more than two thousand from sea to sea.
4. LANDSCAPE TEST
The second test compares Atlantis’ central mountain-surrounded plain with Ireland.
This is what The World Factbook (2004) has to say about the geomorphology of Ireland: “Mostly level to rolling interior plain surrounded by rugged hills and low mountains; sea cliffs on west coast”. Compare it with this quote from Kritias: “The whole island was high and steep on the side of the sea, but at and around the city the surrounding was a plain,
Figure 4. Cliffs of Mohrer on the west coast of Ireland. Composite of two photos ©Mike Goldsman 1997.
which in turn was surrounded by mountains that sloped down to the sea.”
Plato’s text first stresses the sheer cliffs with a plain on top, which also exists on Ireland (Fig. 4). Just like The World Factbook, he comple- ments that with mentioning the plain surrounded by mountains.
The Irish “central plain” is clearly visible in Figure 3, which is based on a digital elevation model (DEM) of the world, with 2 minutes resolution. The plain is roughly rectangular, extending from the east coast to the mountains on the west coast, between N53o and N54o.
Ireland clearly matches the description as regards the landscape, but the question is again if this similarity is statistically significant, or if it could have been caused by chance.
Coastal cliffs are very common on oceanic islands, especially those with a volcanic origin. Mountains and plains are equally common. But how frequently is a plain, obviously of substantial dimensions, surrounded by mountains?
Using the ETOPO2 DEM, the landscape of the 50 largest islands in the world was evaluated as regards one specific parameter: If they have a plain surrounded by mountains. All remaining islands were too small to evaluate in a 2 minute DEM.
A careful scrutiny of the GIS came up with only one island that had a plain surrounded by mountains, and that is Ireland. As expected, the typical situation is a central mountain with a low coastland, or a low island without mountains.
With only 2% of the islands having a plain surrounded by mountains the result is significant, and the null hypothesis is rejected.
The test assumes that Plato would have described Atlantis in a normal and typical way for islands if he had been making it up. That is, it assumes that the likelihood for him to describe a certain feature is directly proportional to the frequency of that feature on real islands. In the view of this, it is perhaps more relevant to look at insular geography in Plato’s part of the world, than on the entire planet.
Such a comparison was made using a DEM with 1 km resolution. Ireland plus the five largest islands in the Mediterranean Sea were analyzed as follows: The distance from the coastline was calculated for each cell, and the cells divided in 1-km distance classes. The average elevation for each distance was calculated. Both the average elevation and the distance were normalized.
The 6 resulting curves (Fig. 5) show how clear the distinction is between Ireland on the one hand, and all the major Mediterranean islands on the other. Ireland alone is lower in the inland than near the coast.
A large plain surrounded by mountains violates the normal geomorphology of islands, and especially the situation in Plato’s part of the world. The description of Atlantis closely resembles that of Ireland.
Based on the geographical tests, the hypothesis that Plato was describing Ireland and the megalithic culture is retained. Before reflecting on how Plato could have access to this information, some other aspects than the geography will be compared.
If Ireland is the island Atlantis in Plato’s tale, and the megalithic culture is the empire, then the finest megalithic monuments ought to be found on Ireland. A university textbook in archaeology provides the answer.
Burenhult (1999) writes, “Ireland possesses the without comparison largest number of
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Crete Cyprus Sicily
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Figure 5. Normalized average elevation plotted against normalized cumulative distance from the coastline for Ireland and the five biggest Mediterranean islands.
megalithic tombs in relation to the surface area of the island” (p. 284), and “...the choicest megalithic constructions created in Europe. To these belong principally Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth in the Boyne valley, richly ornamented [...] The monuments bear witness to deep astronomical knowledge...” (p. 287; my translation). Some of the oldest megalithic monuments are also found on Ireland, in Carrowmore in County Sligo, dating back to the mid sixth millennium BC (Burenhult 1999, p. 286; Bergh 1995). Ireland is thus a likely central region for the megalithic culture, and the hypothesis holds up.
Newgrange is shown in Figure 6, in a frontal view and a close-up of the entrance. Compare it with the rather typical megalithic cairn in Figure 1, where a rectangular chain of standing stones mark the sacred area, in the middle of which is a tomb created by a few megaliths, with one of them serving as roof. It is of similar age as Newgrange.
Plato mentioned that the Atlanteans quarried white, black and red rock, and wrote in Kritias 116b, “Some of their buildings were simple, but in others they put together different stones,
varying the colour to please the eye, and to be a natural source of delight.”
The end of it reads in Greek, “μειγνυντες τους λιθους ποικιλα υφαινον παιδιας χαριν”. According to the online dictionary of the Perseus project, μειγνυντες means ‘mixing’ (properly used of liquids), and τους λιθους is ‘the stones’. The last three words mean that they were ‘weaved together to a childish grace’, literally. The remaining word, ποικιλα, means ‘many-coloured, spotted, mottled, pied, dappled’, suggesting that in a façade of stones in one colour, there were spots made of stones in a different colour (the form of the word is dualis).
Compare this with the façade of Newgrange (Fig. 6), made up of quartz (white) with spots of granite stones (dark). The wall is a restoration, since the original one collapsed over 4,000 years ago (the monument was built around 3,200 BC; O’Kelly 1982). The decoration is another match between Atlantis and Ireland. It may prove statistically significant since it is rather unusual.
Plato mentioned two temples, one being for both their ancestors: “in the centre was a holy temple dedicated to Cleito and Poseidon, which remained inaccessible”, while the other was for their divine ancestor alone: “Here was Poseidon's own temple which was a stadium in length, and half a stadium in width, and of a proportionate height, having a strange barbaric appearance.”
As was argued in Erlingsson (2004), the passage tomb of Knowth (Eogan 1987) with its two chambers may correspond to the temple for both Cleito and Poseidon, while Newgrange may correspond to that of Poseidon alone (the Irish monuments are about half a megalithic stadion across). Note that while there are hundreds of burials in Knowth, there may not be a single one in Newgrange. This would seem to agree with the latter being a temple for a god, rather than for a mortal ancestor.
The single chamber in Newgrange has a corbelled vault, whereas in Knowth there is one chamber with a corbelled vault and one with a flat stone slab for roof like in the majority of megalithic tombs. When caliph Abdullah Al- Mamun of Baghdad in AD 820 broke into the Great Pyramid in Egypt, he first found a chamber with gabled roof and named it the Queen’s Chamber, since they buried their