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1. P L A T O and S O L O N
Plato wrote his dialogues Timaeus and unfinished Critias some time after 362 B.C. after the bloodiest clash of the Greek history, the battle of Mantinea between the coalition of Sparta and Athens and the Theban army. In the years following the battle of Mantinea, changes in the constitution start to be discussed in Athens, possibly also under the pressure of outer threat from Macedonia. The constitution of Athens, derived from the Solon’s first constitution of 593 B.C. and reformed by the Alcmenian Cleisthenes in 509-507 B.C., was considered one of the reasons for the loss of hegemony of Athens in Greece. For example Isocrates, the most popular Athenian orator, proposed for the Athens to revert to the constitution of the ancestors and idealized the original constitutions of Solon and Cleisthenes in his speech Areopaggitikos of 554 B.C. According to his belief, “we may avert the perils of the future and prevent the disasters of the present only if we are willing to restore that democracy which was instated by Solon, the biggest popular benefactor (démotikótatos), and later re-installed by Cleisthenes after he ousted the tyrants and brought the demos back.”20) He was opposed by Plato who was trying his whole life to describe and establish an ideal state with an ideal constitution run by the philosophers, protected by the guards, where only the class of producers could have their private possession. Nevertheless, he never succeeded in bringing his vision of an ideal state to life in Athens and Syracuse. In his dialogues Timaeus and Critias, Plato therefore resolved to oppose two nations with different constitutions to each other in a war conflict. One side was represented by the Atlanteans, who were gifted a constitution and the establishment based on some principles of the constitution of Solon and Cleisthenes by Plato. The Atlantean society was divided into ten tribes – the same division was introduced by Cleisthenes in his reforms. Ten tribe representatives, Atlantean kings, were regularly meeting – according to the model of the constitution of Solon and Cleisthenes – in the aristocratic council (areopag) in the Poseidon temple on the island of Atlantis. Cleisthenes further subdivided the tribes into demes represented by the individual Attic communities and Athenian districts. The tribes and the demes were established on purely geographical basis and grouped population of the same area.22) Very similar to the above cited Cleisthenes’ subdivision of tribes into demes is the subdivision of the island of Atlantis into lots and attribution of the individuals to the lots according to their address and village on geographical basis. The model of the military duty and the internal structure of the Atlantean army mentioned in the Critias dialogue also follow the constitution of Solon and Cleisthenes. The immense military power of the Atlanteans, faced by the nations of the Mediterranean, was finally opposed only by Ancient Athens with its professional soldiers-guards and its constitution elaborated according to the best Plato’s principles expressed in his Republic and Laws. And what was the foregone conclusion of this confrontation between two states with different constitutions in a war conflict as given by Plato? The Athenians, righteously defending themselves and relying on their professional army of guards, could not but win their big fight. They beat the Atlanteans thus proving the viability of the idealistic constitution of Plato at war. In the end, the island of Atlantis – after it served its purpose well – got sunken under the sea and the Athenian guards got fallen through to the earth at the very same moment. The Greek-written legend of Atlantis has its roots in Egypt, where it was learned by Solon, Plato’s forerunner, from priests in the town of Sais. Solon was traditionally considered one of the seven Greek wise men. He was elected an archon with a privilege of a judge by the Athenians in 594 B.C. During his one-year’s office at the position of an archon, Solon elaborated the first constitution of Athens, replacing the hitherto effective Dracon’s code, he redeemed the citizens of Athens from slavery, established a unified system of measures and weights and possibly also introduced the first mintage. In Egypt, Solon visited Sais, the seat town of the monarchs of the 26th dynasty, after 593 B.C., in the time of the so-called Sais renaissance under the rule of the monarch Psametik II., the son of Necho II. Cultural life in the Nile delta was becoming to follow old Egyptian traditions. Copies of old papyrus scrolls were being made. This was also when a more simple Egyptian demotic script originated. Solon used his poetry to support his political and statesman ambitions, no matter what the tools were: provoking the attack of Salamis, warning against the tyrany of Peisistratos, or giving moralizing lessons to the Athenian people. It is possible that he was really looking for inspiration for a new epic poem during his visit to Egypt, in which he would explain and justify his first constitution of Athens. Immediately after Solon left Athens in 593 B.C., riots appeared in Athens and most of the Athenian citizens were rather disappointed about the new constitution. So, there was a subject for Solon to defend. He could not find a more convenient theme for his plans than an old Egyptian narration about a mysterious island with advanced civilisation and its destruction distant in space as well as in time. In this respect, Solon could really put down notes which finally got to the hands of Plato. As a result, the narration combines Greek and Egyptian motifs, but also motifs of another culture called Atlantis by Plato. The dialogue of Plato is with all certainty of Greek origin. Also the large part of the Timaeus dialogue dealing with the origin of man, written according to the best ideas of Plato and Pythagoreans, is definitely of Greek origin. Descriptions of the social establishment of the island of Atlantis including the composition of the Atlantean troops, of the social establishment of the Ancient Athens and Attic landscape are derived from Greek models. Neither the motif of the pre-Athenian soldiers falling through to the earth due to the earthquake was too distant for Plato: in 464-463 B.C., a huge earthquake occurred in Sparta, during which more than one-half of Spartan troops fell through to the earth, according to the sources of that time. Greek philosopher and historian Plutarchos bore the following testimony to this earthquake: “In the fourth year of the rule of Spartan king Archidamus, the Spartan land collapsed at many places owing to the biggest earthquake ever recorded. Tremor tore down some of the peaks of the Tayphet mountain range, the town itself was destroyed and all houses with the exception of five were ruined…”25) Other motifs may really be of Egyptian origin or possibly adopted from the mythology of another civilisation. The motifs of dividing the rule over the world among gods with no wars and violence and of attribution by drawing lots of the island of Atlantis to Poseidon and of Athens to Athene and Hephaestus indisputably, as given in the dialogues by Plato, is in complete contradiction to the Egyptian and Greek myths on gods’ rule over the world and their bloody conflicts about the power. On the other hand, the world was righteously divided by drawing lots among the gods in Sumerian myths, for example. Also some earlier translations of the Plato’s Critias from Greek into English state more correctly that gods divided their rule over the world by drawing lots, not by quarrelling (see the Oxford edition by Burnet or the translation by Dr. František Novotný of 1919, Prague). If the obvious Greek elements are removed from the Plato’s narration, his dialogues can be used for assembling a text based on Egyptian or other sources, as it could be heard from Egyptian priests and noted by Solon in the town of Sais (see Table 1, p. 26A)). An adapted text about Atlantis is provided in Annex 2. Each passage is marked by the name of the dialogue from which it was taken. The text is arranged in chronological order.
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2. Dating the existence of A T L A N T I S
In the Timaeus dialogue, Plato did not mention any precise date when Atlantis was supposed to exist. Dating of the events in the Critias dialogue is in line with the data given in the Timaeus dialogue, with the exception of the precise dating of the war between Atlantis and Athens. Only the paragraph inserted within the introduction to the text on Atlantis in the Critias dialogue contains a precise numerical datum on when did the war between Athens and Atlantis take place (9000 years before the Socrates’ dialogue with Critias), related to a fictional talk between Critias and Socrates and not to the Solon’s talk with the Egyptian priests. This is, however, in contradiction with the general genesis of the story. The fictional dialogue between Socrates and his guests in the Athenian port of Piraeus took place before 411 B.C. (for details see p. 131-132 A)). Solon obtained the information on Atlantis in the town of Sais around 590 B.C. This would date the war to around 8820 years before the Solon’s talk with the Egyptian priests. Nevertheless, Egypt did not exist yet at that time according to Plato, so it could not get liberated from the Atlantean yoke by the Athenians. The paragraph emphasizing the hegemony of Athens among other population within the Pillars of Heracles was probably implemented to the Solon’s text by Plato or some of his disciples. After summarizing time information contained in the two dialogues, omitting the dubious information on the was between Atlantis and Athens 9000 years before the Socrates’ talk with Critias, the following chronology of events can be presented, as given by Plato in his dialogues:
Chronology of events
According to Plato, the war between Atlantis and Athens burst out in the times before Theseus. Theseus, mythological Athenian king, representant of Ionians, son of the Athenian king Aigeus or the god of the sea Poseidon, became known especially by uniting possibly twelve rural city-states within a single Athenian state. This act was then commemorated with the feast of synoikismos (merge). In one story, Theseus and his friend Peirithoos decided to marry the daughters of Zeus. The two of them then abducted beautiful Helen from Sparta, the Helen for the sake of whose the famous Trojan War was later started and Troy defeated. At this time, Helen was only twelve years old or even younger, no matter whether she was delivered to Zeus by Leda in Laconia or the goddess Nemesis in Attica.31) On the other hand, it has been later calculated that Theseus was at least fifty years old when he became the first kidnapper and the husband of the beautiful daughter of Zeus. 32) Only later did Helen marry Meneláos, goddesses Hera, Athena and Afrodite commenced their dispute on which of the goddesses was the most beautiful one, Helen got abducted for the second time by Paris son of the Trojan king, and the Trojan War started. The story of the first abduction of beautiful Helen from Sparta clearly indicates that Theseus was living at least sixty years before the Trojan War burst out. Although I got enthusiastic over the book by Eberhard Zangger “Ein neuer Kampf um Troia”, I cannot but disagree with his later deductions presented in the book “The Flood from Heaven: Deciphering the Atlantis Legend”. In the opinion of Zangger, the reflection of the destruction of Troy is the original essence of the Plato’s story about Atlantis. According to Plato, however, the war between Atlantis and Athens occurred in the times before Theseus, which is safely before the Trojan War burst out. Plato also specifies the time of the war conflict between Atlantis and the population within the Pillars of Heracles by giving other names of those who took part in the conflict: Cecrops, Erechtheus, Erichthonius, Erysichthon. According to the legends, Cecrops united the former population of Attica into one nation when he ordered them to come to the Acropolis for a large assembly. Each of the pre-Athenians was supposed to bring a stone to the assembly for Cecrops. This was how he counted the former inhabitants of Attica, reaching the number of twenty thousand.34) This myth is remarkable especially by the fact that Cecrops considered himself a “son of the land”, i.e., an original inhabitant of Attica who did not come from anywhere, “for that matter he had no legs”, which is explained by the scholars in general consent by the pre-Greek origin of Cecrops.35) The same number of living pre-Athenians as counted by Cecrops was mentioned also in the Critias dialogue by Plato: “And they took care to preserve the same number of men and women through all time, being so many as were required for warlike purposes, then as now-that is to say, about twenty thousand.”C) Aglauros, the mother of the three daughters of Cecrops, delivered him also a son named Erysichthon, “Protector of land”.36) The further fate of Erysichthon is only poorly known but he died without having children. Erichthonius, a contemporary to Cecrops and another Athenian king, a son of god Hephaestus and the goddess of land Geia, was sponsored by goddess Athene. According to the legends, Erichthonius was the first to plough the field (see farming culture of Pelasgians below) and founded the tradition of the Panathenaia festival in honour of goddess Athene. Erechtheus, the son and successor of king Erichthonius, perished by the strike of the trident of Poseidon after concluding his victorious fight with the Poseidon’s sons Thracians in defence of Athens. Cecrops II, the son of Erechtheus, was traditionally believed to be the great-grandfather of Theseus. Plato placed the war conflict between Atlantis and Athens to the time when the area of the later Athens was inhabited by the original Pelasgians. He even adopted the number of the then living pre-Athenians, as once counted by Cecrops according to the legends, from the Greek mythology. Cecrops and other heroes named by Plato lived at the same time within the range of one or two generations, according to Geek myths. These heroes were considered the original inhabitants of Attica by Ancient Greeks. They were believed to have lived in this area yet before the first Indo-European tribes of Ionians and Achaeans came to Greece in the Middle Helladic times (1850-1600 B.C.) and assimilated with the pre-Greek population of Pelasgians. Based on the narration of Plato, the war between Atlantis and Athens could not take place earlier than the Ionians and Achaeans came to Greece. The latest date of the war between Atlantis and the population within the Pillars of Heracles must be therefore shifted before the year 1850 B.C. In ancient Egypt, time was counted by different methods than today. “The oldest Egyptian calendar was probably based, besides observations of lunar phases, on changing seasons of the year and the related agricultural works. Beginning of this calendar can be traced back to the times when, by coincidence of factors, a conjunction of the Sun and Sirius occurred at dawn at the onset of the annual flooding of the River Nile. Partly taking advantage of this coincidence, a year amounting 12 months of 30 days each was established probably in the early 3rd millennium B.C. Five more days, so-called epagomenal days, were added to this year later. Designation of three seasons of the year comprising four months each were adopted from the original agricultural calendar (flooding period, blossom period, crop period).” 43) The oldest calendar for the Egyptians was represented by the River Nile with its annual floodings. The regular cycles of flooding also controlled all economic and cultural activities in ancient Egypt. The oldest agriculture-based calendar did not count time in years (one year = 360 days) but distinguished three cycles: the period of flooding (achet), the period of blossom (peret) and the crop period (shemu). According to Plato, Atlantis was located in the monsoon region of the world (see Location of Atlantis, p. 9 herein). In monsoon regions, years are not divided into four seasons as is common in the temperate climatic zone. In practical use, years are divided into three seasons: summer season, rain season and winter season.45) As obvious from different remarks in Indian Vedas, counting time by three seasons of the year instead of counting by years was common in India also in the times of the Indus Valley Civilisation. If any of the high priests of the Egyptian temples ever tried to take a record of the events in Atlantis, the simplest thing for him to do about time measuring was to refer to the same periods of three cycles of the year, which existed not only in the monsoon Atlantis but also in Egypt. At the same time, it was very easy for Solon or Plato to make a mistake in taking notes of an old Egyptian legend: numerical data told to Solon in cycles (three seasons of the year) by the priests could have been confused with years. Solon’s meeting with the priests in Egypt dates to the period of 593-584 B.C. For an easier calculation, the date of 590 B.C. will be used here. Consequently, the values given in the table above must be divided by three. This provides time data given not in seasons of the year but in calendar years. Such recalculation results in the following numerical data (Table 6, p. 43 A) ):
Chronology after recalculation, in years.
Complete unification of the lands of Upper and Lower Egypt is usually dated to around 3100 B.C. Nevertheless, even this latest explanation of the unification of Egypt by conquering Lower Egypt by the Upper Egyptian monarch Narmer is disputed at present. New written sources from the archaic kings’ burial site at Abydos, for example, indicate that at least dozen other kings were buried here, older than those who were known to belong to the first dynasty yet. A tentative “zero dynasty” was formulated, now attributed the length of rule of two to two and a half centuries.47) If we consider the monarchs of the zero dynasty real founders of the Egyptian state, which we probably should based on the latest archaeological investigations, the origin of the Egyptian establishment must be shifted to the period between 3350 and 3200 B.C. The same period was mentioned by Plato on condition that his intention was to date the origin of the Egyptian state not by calendar years but by three Egyptian seasons of the year (cycles). Plato reported precise dimensions of the capital of Atlantis, encircled by a network of water ditches, as well as of the whole surrounding landscape in Greek stadia and feet. Greek measures were, however, not unified (see p. 44-45 A)). The difference in metres between the smallest Delphic stadium and the largest Ionic stadium was 45 m (27 %). Moreover, Solon or Plato also had to make a recalculation of Egyptian length measures for Greek ones. It need not be stressed that the Egyptian length and surface measures were considerably different (see Table 7 Comparison of Egyptian and Greek measures A)). Figures in Egyptian units of measure were also probably recalculated from units used by the unknown Atlantean civilisation. Hence, it is highly probable that the figures given by Plato were highly imprecise.
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3. Localization of A T L A N T I S
The island of Atlantis was reported to lie in the Atlantic Sea in front of the narrows called Pillars of Heracles by the Greeks. In the Greek mythology, Pillars of Heracles were erected by Heracles after he had to perform twelve difficult tasks for Eurystheus, the king of Mycenae. During his work on the tenth task, Heracles got from Egypt across northern Africa as far as to Mauretania, and crossed the Strait of Gibraltar to reach the Spanish coast near the present town of Cadiz. At its foundation around 1100 B.C., Cadiz was named Gaddir by the Phoenicians. It was called Gadeira by the Greeks and Gades by the Romans.53) Here, on the other side, Heracles erected pillars with a sign to announce that it was impossible to sail to the west from Gadeira.54) In the original sense of the word, the Pillars of Heracles marked the westernmost point of then known Greek world on the Iberian (Spanish) coast, from which no sailing to the west was possible on the mythological Ocean. Greek poet Pindaros (518-434 B.C.) wrote that the Pillars of Heracles were considered …the most distant end [of the Greek world]… What lies beyond cannot be entered by neither the wise nor the unwise. 55) Only a later tradition reported the Pillars of Heracles to be erected in the Strait of Gibraltar. The term “Atlantic Ocean” was understood by ancient Greeks as the outer Ocean surrounding the whole then known world. It was defined by Aristotle as the whole sum of water completely surrounding the island world: “The sea, which lies outside our inhabited land and washes our land all around, is called “the Atlantic” as well as “the Ocean”.57) The same definition was used for the relation between the Atlantic Sea and the World Ocean also by the Greek mathematician, geographer and philosopher Eratosthenes of Cyrene who lived in the 3rd century B.C. Eratosthenes was a follower of Dikaiarchos living in the 4th century B.C. (for the map of Eratosthenes see p. 49 A)). The Aristotle’s and Eratosthenes’ idea of the Atlantic Ocean washing the land on all sides was also shared by the vision of the world presented on the map of Strabo. The whole then known world was described as an island surrounded by sea, called Atlantic, Great or the Ocean, still by M. Tullius Cicero in his philosophic article “The dream of Scipio”. According to the Egyptian priest, the island of Atlantis was located beyond the limits of Heracles, at some place in the Atlantic or World Ocean surrounding the whole world known at that time. As suggested by the remarks in the Timaeus dialogue, but also by other historical sources, Egyptians were of the opinion that Egypt was also located within the limits of Heracles. The term “Pillars of Heracles” was probably used by the Egyptian priest as a parable to emphasize to the Greek Solon that he meant the westerly-most located point known to the Egyptians, from which you may sail onto the mythological Ocean identical with the Atlantic Sea. This point can be identified only with the strait of Bab al Mandab, through which one may sail from the Red Sea to the Indian Ocean or, as believed by the Greeks, to the Atlantic Ocean. Starting from the 5th dynasty, under the rule of Sahure, Egyptians were making expeditions to the mysterious land of Punt. Under the rule of Necho II, monarch of the 26th dynasty, Phoenicians in his services sailed around Africa, according to the report of Herodotus. This journey allegedly lasted three years, leading from the Red Sea to the west 15) through Bab al Mandab to the Arabian Sea. In their philosophic and religious concepts, Egyptians understood the world as their valley, as a land developing vertically from south to north. 65) The essential N-S orientation was identified with the flow of the River Nile in the views of the Egyptians. The south was understood as the beginning or the direction forward, while the north was understood as the end or the direction backward.66) In a view from the Nile delta to the headwaters of the River Nile, the west was considered the right side (right bank of the River Nile) and the east was considered the left side (left bank of the River Nile). Sailing towards the west across the Red Sea, the ancient Egyptians were actually heading southeast, towards the present Indian Ocean. Entering the Indian Sea from the Gulf of Aden factually opened to the east, they pointed to the right, i.e., to Madagascar first and only then could they sail further west. At the point where the Red Sea is connected with the Gulf of Aden, a narrow constriction of the sea occurs in the strait of Bab al Mandab, exactly as described by Plato: “for this sea which is within the Straits of Heracles is only a harbour, having a narrow entrance”.T) The mountain range on the eastern side of the strait near the town of Ta´izz reaches the elevation of 3006 m a.s.l. The other mountain range, lying on the western side of the strait of Bab al Mandab near Musa Ali, reaches the elevation of 2063 m a.s.l. According to the geographical ideas of the Greeks and Egyptians of that time, a giant island was lying in the Indian Ocean opposite to the mouth of the Red Sea, as also figured in the Pomponius Mela’s World Map of ca. 40 B.C. (see Pomponius Mela’s Map No. 3 on p. 53 A)). Based on different Ancient sources, the large island drawn in maps opposite to the mouth of the Red Sea was the fictional continent “Antichtrones” (see the Pomponius Mela’s map) or a part of the present India and Sri Lanka (Taprobane) (see the map of Ptolemy No. 4 on p. 54 A) and maps of the world derived from the Ptolemy’s map). In his dialogues, Plato mentioned the Atlantic Sea and an another, closely unspecified sea, which was called “This Sea” by the Egyptian priests. Greek originals, which were used for translations into English, refer to the term “This Our Sea”. According to the Egyptian priest, “This Our Sea” was lying within the narrows with the Atlantic Sea or Okeános, and had the character of a bay with a rather narrow entrance. In the times of the Solon’s visit to Egypt, the “This Our Sea” was considered to be identical with the Red Sea by the Egyptians. The Red Sea was bearing no unified name, unlike the Mediterranean Sea governed by the Phoenicians, Greeks and Carthage. It was only the Egyptians who founded the port Wadi Gasus in the Red Sea and dug the canal connecting the Pelusiac arm of the Nile with the Red Sea via Wadi Tumilat and the Bitter Lakes, restored in times of the Sais renaissance under Necho II. The strait of Bab al Mandab and the Red Sea fit all the characteristics implying from the Plato’s text for the Egyptian designation “This Our Sea”. In such case, Atlantis would have been located opposite to the mouth of the Gulf of Aden into the Arabian Sea at some place in the Pacific or Indian oceans. In the Critias dialogue, Plato described elephants living in Atlantis. Indian elephant (Elephas maximus) still lives in India, Burma, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, on the island of Sri Lanka, Sumatra and in Malaysia. Other subspecies, still living in Mesopotamia, Persia, China and on Java in Ancient and Medieval times, were driven to extinction.71) African elephant (Loxodonta africana) is distributed from the Atlas Mountains to the southern Africa. Elephants also lived in northern Africa in Ancient times, being represented by the so-called “Atlas elephant” known from antique reports only. In Critias, Plato also described the plants in Atlantis.: “the fruits having a hard rind, affording drinks and meats and ointments”. C) This suggests coconut palm (Cocos nucifera) from the family of palms (Palmae). Plato further stated that the island was giving “the fruit which admits of cultivation, both the dry sort, which is given us for nourishment”. C) In connection with the description “and are fruits which spoil with keeping” C), it may be speculated that this plant was banana (Musa). The presently grafted bananas cannot exist without man who grows them. The island was also considerably fertile.: “Twice in the year they gathered the fruits of the earth – in winter having the benefit of the rains of heaven, and in summer the water which the land supplied by introducing streams from the canals.” C) Plato very successfully described typical farming in monsoon regions, permitting to reach two crops of agricultural plants by inundation from rivers or canals and by using regular monsoon precipitations. Monsoons are a typical feature of tropical regions of equatorial Africa and America, northern Indian Ocean, India, southern Asia, Far East and China. Summing up the information provided above, Atlantis could have been located only in the Ocean (the present Pacific, Atlantic, Indian and Arctic oceans) in monsoon regions with living elephants and growing palms, as shown in Map No. 5. Localization of Atlantis on p. 59 A). To avoid possible errors, the map also indicates the presumed maximum world distribution of individual attributes around 3000 B.C. The limits suggested for the distribution of palms and bananas denote the distribution of palms in general, not only the distribution of coconut palms and bananas. Still, the range of possible locations of the island of Atlantis was considerably constrained based on the indices provided by Plato. The areas of the presumed existence of Atlantis suggested by the data of Plato given in Table 9 (see p. 57 A)) and shown in the Map No. 5 (see p. 59 A)) were definitely reduced by North and South America, Antarctica, Australia, Europe including the Mediterranean, major portion of the Atlantic Ocean and, of course, also by the Pacific region.
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4. Atlantis and the Sumerian mythology
Based on the table on p. 7 of this study, the existence of Atlantis can be dated to the period between 3300 B.C. and 1800 B.C. This was the period when the Sumerian and the Indus Valley civilisations existed. Egyptian narration about Atlantis developed from Mesopotamian sources. The model used by Plato for the island of Atlantis was the Sumerian island of Dilmun portrayed in the Sumerian myth Enki and Ninhursanga, written in old Sumerian in 278 lines on a large, six-column tablet from the Old Babylonian period. The tablet is kept in the Pennsylvanian Museum in Philadelphia. Its first detailed translation was published by S.N. Kramer in 1945 under the title Supplementary Study No. 1 of the Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research. It was translated by many others later. In spite of this, the full wording of the tablet has not been successfully deciphered yet, with some lines being completely not understandable. Sumerians, called sag-gi6 “black heads” in Sumerian and Shumeru in Akkadian, is a traditional name for people of unknown origin who were coming to southern Mesopotamia from the 4th millennium B.C., settling mostly along the Euphrates River, approximately from Kish across the area of the present Bagdad as far as to the marshes at the Persian Gulf (Ki -en – gi, ma – da in Sumerian).77) Sumerian myths and legends recorded on Sumerian tablets later appeared in written documents of other civilisations including Egypt, and also in the Bible. Although a wealth of information on the Sumerians is available now, science is still facing the essential “Sumerian problem” in an attempt to disclose the origin, race and language pertinence of the Sumerians. From anthropological point of view, Sumerian people combine the long-skulled and short-skulled types.90) At present, it is speculated that the Sumerians language was possibly related with the Dravidian languages in India. The only safely known fact is that Sumerian did not belong to the Semitic family of languages, though it was strongly influenced by these languages, particularly by Akkadian. Sumerian gods were anthropomorphic, men and women. As early as in the 3rd millennium B.C., the names of Akkadian and Sumerian gods started to merge, regardless of the former rules about gods. This means that the pantheon of gods, the beginnings of which reach to the 3rd millennium B.C., was full of paradoxes and repetitions.92) Some of the Sumerian gods, and later also Babylonian gods, were mortal. These included, for example, Damuzi, Gugalana, Geshtinnana and the primary Babylonian gods Tiamat a Apsu and their advisor Mummu. Two principal theological systems were formed in Sumer, intermingling and sometimes opposing each other. Religion of settled farmers whose crop depended on soil inundation, was chthonic in its essence and developed into a system guided by the theological school of the priests from Eridu. It was based on a cult of the master god Enki, “Lord of the Land”, identified with the Babylonian god of nature and fresh waters Ea.94) The Eridu-based chthonic cosmology was later extended by the theological ideas of the Akkadians and Babylonians, which was markedly demonstrated in the Old Babylonian epos on creation “Enuma elish”. The second theology, based in Nippur, developed from religious traditions of herdsmen and showed a more prominent cosmic inflence. The master god for the herdsmen was Enlil, “Lord of the Air” and the god of Nippur. 95) Enlil, Enki and the god of the heaven An represented the foremost trinity of gods. Goddess Ninhursanga – the “Lady of the Mountains” – was placed the fourth, sometimes even the third – before Enki, in the lists of the principal divine beings. 96) Sumerian god Enki (Lord of the Land), Ea in Akkadian and Aos in Greek, governed the subterranean freshwater ocean of Abzu, the waters, the wisdom and the magic. In the Eridu-based tradition, Enki was also considered the creator of man, the protector of the civilisation, craftsmen and farmers. Enki also administered divine forces “me”. His father’s name was An and his mother was Namu, the divine mother of the sky and the land, a personification of the original ocean. The principal cultural centre for Enki was Eridu, where he was said to dwell in the temple of E – Abzu (house Abzu). As for his position in the Sumerian pantheon of gods, Enki can be obviously paralleled with the Greek god Poseidon. Both of them were ranked among the triads of supreme gods in their pantheons. Both of them were considered the monarchs of the ocean, the rulers of fresh waters and moisture in rivers, springs and wells, and the providers of crops derived from these sources. The name Enki means “Lord of the Land” in Sumerian. Poseidon has the basic syllable “da” in his name, which suggests a connection with Demeter, the goddess of fertile land, thus also his once close links with the land. Even if the syllable “da” in the Poseidon’s name was not the shortest form of Demeter in the sense of the land, his attribute Gaiaochos or “Husband of the Land” would give the same judgement on him.97) Besides the trident, the symbols of Poseidon also included a bull, a ram and later a horse. The ram was closely associated with the Poseidon’s birth itself: he was hidden by his mother Rhea in front of Kron in a herd of sheep near the spring called Arné (Sheep spring). Before the coming of horse to the Mediterranean region, Poseidon was first dedicated a bull as the sacrificial beast by the Greeks. The symbols of Enki included a mythological beast of goat-fish and a horned hat, sometimes bearing as many as seven pairs of bull’s horns. The horned hat may be derived from the horns of wild cattle (Bos primigenius), which remained a special species in the Middle East even after the domestication of cattle.100) Enki was sometimes called “wild bull from Eridu” by the black heads themselves, as stated in the Sumerian composition “The lament for Uruk”. His other symbols included a curved stick terminated with a stylized head of a ram.101) Some parallels can be traced also between the acts of Enki and Poseidon. Poseidon provided the land with moisture thus permitting the land to produce plants. He saved Thessaly from flooding as he made way to the Peneius River to the sea with his trident.102) In parallel, Enki provided the floodings of the Euphrates and Tigris rivers and appointed the god of agriculture in the Sumerian myth “Enki and the Order of the World” and saved the mankind from a flood in the Akkadian myth on Atrahasis. Ninhursanga (dnin-hur-sag “Lady of the Mountains”) was the empress of the northeastern and eastern highlands where the “Holy Hillock” (du6-ku) was located. Ninhursanga was considered not only the “mother of gods” but also the “mother of all children” divine or human by the Sumerian monarchs who derived their origin from her.103) In the Sumerian tradition, she was called Ninmah (distinguished lady) before she was renamed for Ninhursanga by her son Nintura. She is also identical with goddess Damgalnunna (great wife of the distinguished one) and goddess Nintu (Lady of the Delivery). Distinction between the individual goddesses is made only later but in the myth Enki and Ninhursanga, for example, the goddess is also referred to as Nintu and Ninsikila. Ninhursanga, or Damgalnunna, the wife of Enki/Ea and the mother of Marduk in the Sumerian-Akkadian mythology, also called “Queen Apsu”104), was most probably the descendant of the killed gods Apsu and she-dragon Tiamat according to the Old Babylonian tradition. It can be well speculated that her original name was Ki (“Land”) and that she was considered the wife of An. Hence, the two of them became the parents to all gods.105) An and Ki themselves were considered the offsprings of goddess Nammu (representing groundwaters). 106) With no evidence in hand, J. van Dijk (1970, 450) boldly suggested that she-dragon Tiamat could be identical with mother Nammu in the Sumerian cosmology because Nammu also gave birth (illegally?) to a number of gods.107) Based on older Sumerian-Akkadian tradition, Nammu gave birth to An (heaven) and Ki (land). Similarly, the Old Babylonian epos “Enuma elish”, stemming from older traditions of Eridu-based cosmology, says that Marduk the son of Ea victoriously defeated she-dragon Tiamat and tore it apart, creating the heaven from one half and the land (Ki) from the other part. Tiamat, much like Sumerian Nammu, gave birth to the heaven and land and, of course, to a number of other divine creatures including – with reference to older Sumerian theology – goddess Ninhursanga, originally worshipped as Ki.
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5. Atlantis, Enki and Ninhursanga, Sargon of Akkad
Plato’s narration about Atlantis possesses all significant features typical for the composition of Sumerian myths. Plato, much like Sumerian myths, started his narration with an introduction describing the division of the spheres of power among gods by drawing lots. The same principle of the division of the world is also given in the Sumerian myth Enki and Ninhursanga. The Sumerian and Akkadian theological idea of the division of the world among gods by drawing lots is also confirmed by the introductory lines of another Akkadian myth “Inúma ilú awílum”, “when gods (were still) humans”. The narration of Plato as well as the myth Enki and Ninhursanga describe the behaviour of gods as if they were real humans. The Plato’s narration about Atlantis and the Sumerian composition Enki and Ninhursanga have the same contents: gods divide the land by drawing lots. The god of the waters obtains an island. He shares this island with a goddess (Lady of the Mountain) whose parents are already dead. The god of the waters commands that there was sufficient amount of drinking water on the island, which was originally free of water. He becomes the founder of the city and the port on the island. The island is highly fertile and lies in monsoon region. Two crops of agricultural plants exist on both islands. The god of waters has intercourse with a goddess, giving birth to a number of gods – Gemini. Of these, in only two of them the myth lists the lands they will govern. One of the Gemini becomes a monarch of the island and the other one becomes a monarch of the area near to the island. If the Greek names occurring in the narration of Plato are attributed names of Sumerian gods featuring the composition Enki and Ninhursanga (see Table 10, p. 72 A)), we may compare the two narrations: (Enki = Poseidon, Ninhursanga = Cleito, Apsu = Evenor, Tiamat = Leucippe, Ensag = Atlas, Ninsikila (some of the translations, even those by S.N. Kramer, list god Nintula = Gadeirus (Eumelus). Similar attributes contained in the Platonian legend of Atlantis and the Sumerian myth Enki and Ninhursaga include: :
Diag. 3. A freshwater ocean; “abzu”, was located above the Underworld
Diag.4. A land (ki), or the Earth as we know it, inhabited by people was found on the next layer above this freshwater ocean. According to various Mesopotamian sources; the Sumerians believed this land to be a flat circular disk 128) or a round loaf-shaped entity floating in a saltwater ocean that lay at what we would sea -level. There was a wall around the ocean that protected the land from the ocean waves. 129)
Diag.5. The Earth is encompassed by a saltwater ocean (a) upon which it floats.
Diag.6. Heaven (an) was situated above the Earth. The Sumerians believed that Heaven was: ” a hollow area enclosed from top to bottom by a solid entity resembling arches in appearance”. The Sumerians referred to tin as “the metal of Heaven” or “Heaven’s metal”, we can , therefore, assume that they considered this solid entity to be made of tin. They believed that there was another element that lay between Heaven and Earth which they called Lil 130)
Diag.7. The blue canopy of the sky was interpreted as Heaven’s ocean and, above this entity, was the seat of the Gods.
Diag.8. The Sun rose in the East from behind two mountains and then set in the West behind two more identical peaks. The way to the Underworld led from between these western peaks.131)
A closer look at diag.8 shows the Sumerian interpretation of the universe in diagram form; starting at the bottom level of the universe (The Underworld viz diag.1) all the way upto the highest level of the universe (Heaven). The resulting Figure 8 (see Fig. 9 on p. 86 A))showing the Sumerian cosmology in plan view is practically identical with the plan of the inner part of the capital of Atlantis elaborated by Poseidon and the first Atlantean kings, reconstructed on the basis of the Plato’s narration (see Fig. 9 on p. 87 )A) Diag.9. The layout of Atlantis.
Regardless of the obvious cosmological undertone of the description of the plan view of the seat town of Atlantean kings, Plato further wrote about the inhabitants of Atlantis in the Critias dialogue:“The stone which was used in the work they quarried from underneath the centre island, and from underneath the zones, on the outer as well as the inner side. One kind was white, another black, and a third red, and as they quarried, they at the same time hollowed out double docks, having roofs formed out of the native rock. 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.” C) A typical feature of the Sumerian temple architecture from the Late Uruk period and the subsequent early Jemdet Nasr period were columns and walls of loam bricks covered by a thick layer of loam plaster, to which thousands of small pegs of baked loam were later embedded. Heads of the 10 cm long pegs, usually black, red, white and yellow in colour, made up a mosaic with geometrical patterns similar to the weave of reed mats. Some of the mosaics were also composed of varicoloured stones embedded in the gypsum plaster. A typical example of such mosaic-like temple is the Eana temple complex in Uruk (layer IVb, IVa; see Plate 3, p. 130 A)). Pegs of baked loam, which were used for mosaic decorations of walls in the Late Uruk period were discovered by archaeologists at Tell Fara in the Nile delta recently.140) The pegs of baked loam or stones precisely fit the description provided in the Critias dialogue for houses put together from stones of different colours. The mosaics in the facings of the temples looked like stone, or were really made of stone. Their manufacturing mostly employed the loam exploited from water canals, as stated by Plato. Egypt was maintaining very close links with the Ancient Mesopotamia during the whole existence of the Sumerian culture as well as later. The latest investigations of the Egyptologists confirmed the strong influence of the Uruk culture in pre-dynastic Egypt in the Naqada II. period (archaeological site in southern Egypt, on the W bank of the River Nile). The development of the younger Naqada II, phase is usually believed to be associated with migration from western Asia either on dry land across Palestina, or across the Red Sea and then Wadi Hammamat at, crossing the Eastern Desert to the River Nile valley.137) Rock paintings in wadis stretching across the mountains from the River Nile to the Red Sea, show boats of Mesopotamian shapes 138) corresponding to the Sumerian vessels illustrated on seals from the Late Uruk period and the subsequent Jemdet Nasr period (ca. 3300-3000 B.C.) Moreover, finds of original seals from the Jemdet Nasr period have been reported from Naqada II139) From the Old Kingdom times already, a rare mineral of blue colour – lapis lazuri was imported to Egypt from sites as remote as northern Afghanistan, either across the Middle East or the Red Sea. Long-distance trade must have functioned in a very effective way between Egypt and Mesopotamia. A single-column tablet found in the Egyptian Tell el-Amarna in 1913 bears some 64 lines of Akkadian text and a colophon saying: “The first tablet of the ‘King of the Battle’. The end”.142) Yet another small fragment of a school tablet found at Tell el Amarna contained possibly also a part of the so-called historical novel “King of the Battle” (shar tamchäri in Akkadian). The single-column tablet from Tell el-Amarna, dating to the 14th century B.C. to the Mid Babylonian period, describes Sargon of Akkad as the King of the Battle with menacing weapons. The find of the two tablets on Sargon confirms the popularity of i dealized Babylonian narrations on heroic acts of Sargon of Akkad in ancient Egyptian culture. Using loam tablets bearing Akkadian cuneiform writing, Egyptian monarchs also communicated diplomatically with the neighbouring state units, especially in the Middle East. From the beginnings of the Middle Kingdom (1994-1797 B.C.) and most probably even earlier, Egyptians disposed of all information on the Sumerian civilisation given in the dialogues of Plato. Besides the legends about Sargon of Akkad, Egyptians were also familiar with the Sumerian mythology and Eridu-based cosmology. This is evidenced by the Narmer Palette of Narmer údajného sjednotitele Egypta the alleged unifier of Egypt, identified by some scientists with Menesthe legendary founder of united Egypt. .The Narmer Palette found by archaeologist J.E. Quibell in Hierakonpolis in Upper Egypt in 1897 comes from the times before 3100 B.C. Two giant mythological animals are engraved in the central part of the palette, having long interwoven necks, tied by their necks and watched, or also captured, by two guards (see Fig. 10 on p. 92 A)). The motif of mythological animals is basically identical with the relief engraved on a cylindrical, four centimetres high seal from Late Uruk times found in level IV in Uruk (see Fig. 11 on p. 92 A)).
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6. Search for Dilmun
For the Sumerians, Dilmun was not only a mysterious island described in old myths, which was settled by the religious Sumerian king Ziusudra after the disastrous flood, or the island from which their ancestors sailed across the present Persian Gulf once long ago after the flood, inhabiting southern Mesopatamia. Dilmunreally existed according to the administrative and economic data of that time and actively traded with Mesopotamia. Yet other countries in the overseas trading with Sumer have been reported in connection with Dilmun – Magan a Meluha Dilmun (sometimes also called Tilmun) was functioning as a major hub of overseas trade from the late 4th millennium B.C. to the 7th century B.C., as suggested by Sumerian, Akkadian, Babylonian and Assyrian records in cuneiform writing. None of the hitherto studied Mesopotamian cuneiform records was found to contain a precise position of this mysterious island.
Dilmun is usually identified with the island of Bahrain591 km2 in area, located in the Persian Gulf.. The island is of very low relief, with the highest elevation point Jebel Dukhan (smoke mount) lying 137 m above the sea. There are no rivers on the island. Drinking water is obtained from artesian wells on the northern end of the island or by desalination. A large part of the island is covered by a desert on limestone bedrock. The climate on the island is dry, tropical, with only 50-100 mm of annual precipitations. If the latest knowledge of Dilmun is summoned, the following conclusion can be made. Bahrain is not the island of Dilmun described by the Sumerians because:
In their search for Dilmun, some scientists refer to the inscriptions of Sargon II, the king of Assyria, of 721-705 B.C. In one of his inscriptions, Sargon II proclaimed that he was paid taxes, among others, also by Uperi, the king of Dilmun, whose dwelling lies in the middle of the sea, where the sun rises, at a distance of thirty double-hours. According to other inscriptions, Sargon II controlled the area as far as to the coast of the “Salty Sea”, the boundary of Dilmun. Based on the inscriptions of Sargon, the existence of Dilmus is sometimes placed to Bahrain, because Bahrain lies approximately thirty double-hours from the Persian Gulf coast (double hour = 10,8 km). This opinion is probably erroneous. Sargon II. Sargon II, much like Sargon of Akkad, wanted to conquer the whole world including Dilmun. Most probably, Sargon II did not know about the location of Dilmun already. Therefore, he based his description of Dilmun on the Epic of Gilgamesh: according to 11th tablet of this epos, Gilgamesh sailed from Dilmun to Uruk after he got eaten the plant of life by a snake; the second part of this journey lasted precisely thirty double-hours. This conclusion is confirmed by another inscription in which Sargon II mentioned the salty sea as the boundary of Dilmun. On his way to Utnapishtim, who lived on Dilmun, Gilgamesh had to get across the so-called “death waters”. Although Sargon II used the term “Salty Sea” for the “Death Waters” (probably from a different version of the Epic of Gilgamesh than the one found in the library of the Late Assyrian king Ashurbanipal), the name “Salty Sea” also applies to the “Dead Sea” in Hebrew, for example. An explanation can be accepted that the term “Death Waters” used in the Sumerian myth on Gilgamesh for a part of a sea, refers to the high-salinity part of the sea around the island of Dilmun. In addition, another part of the Epic of Gilgamesh, the Late Babylonian version from Uruk (Table 4, line 10 to 14), states that Gilgamesh and Enkidu made the distance of 150 double-hours within three days. This corresponded (probably for an ordinary mortal) to a journey one month and fifteen days long, i.e., lasting some 45 days. An ordinary mortal would be then able to make a journey only slightly longer than 3.3 double-hours within one day. The distance of thirty double-hours would imply a journey at least 9 days long. In the Epic of Gilgamesh, however, the journey from Dilmun to Uruk lasted 60 double-hours, which would correspond to at least 18 days on the sea. Using a Sumerian reed boat, 18 days of sailing should be sufficient – at favourable weather conditions – for passing from the mouth of Euphrates and Tigris rivers as far as to the mouth of the Indus River.
All the above given facts contradict the localization of Dilmun to Bahrain. Instead, they suggest that the original homeland of the Sumerians was lying farther east in India. In the area of the former The Indus Valley Civilisation (see Map No. 7 on p. 103 A)).
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7. The Indus Valley Civilisation
The Indus Valley Civilisation did not represent a unified, centralized state. It rather consisted of individual city-states interconnected by common culture, language, ceramics and effective trade network. The largest communities of The Indus Valley Civilisation could accommodate as many as 40,000 inhabitants. These cities included Harappa, Mohenjodaro, Dholavira, Lhotal and others. All the identified communities share significant common features. The cities were located in the proximity of rivers. In the times of their peak boom, they were divided into three parts – the upper town, the lower town and the free area between the upper and lower towns. The upper town was usually lying in the west, where an artificial hillock (Acropolis) was built of loam and bricks. This hillock was topped with a citadel, so-called granary and sometimes also a water reservoir probably used for ritual baths (Mohenjodaro). The whole of the Acropolis was surrounded by a fortified wall. The lower town, with houses arranged into a regular lattice pattern, was lying adjacent to the upper town with the biggest buildings. One- and two-storey buildings from baked bricks were grouped into blocks around the central courtyard. The houses could be entered only from the side streets, which were crossing the main streets in a regular, rectangular pattern. Most of the houses possessed their own wells. Crafts production in the lower town was generally concentrated to certain areas only. Cemetery was always lying next to the city; the graves were elongate and the dead were buried along with grave vessels, their heads pointing towards the north. Most of the houses had their own bathrooms and flushing toilets. The bathrooms probably served not only hygienic purposes but also ritual purposes (washing).158) Drainage of water was designed on gravity basis with water flowing across inclined floor to the outlet. Household sewage pipes were made from bricks and connected with a sewage system following the main streets and covered with large stone slabs or bricks.159) A characteristic feature of the Indus Valley Civilisation was the employment of baked bricks with a standard size of 1:2:4.
The Indus Valley Civilisation or Indus Sarasvati civilization developed independently of the Sumerian civilisation. Its origins continued older traditions of the local Neolithic and first Chalcolithic groups of population. The first traces of rural-municipal settlements on the Indian subcontinent were found by French and Pakistani archaeologists on the Bolan river in the Baluchistan area (see Plate 4, p. 130 A)). The Mehrgarh archaeological site, lying in this area, was inhabited from the 7th to the 3rd millennium B.C. The earliest settlement at Mehrgarh is represented by finds of marine shells from the Indian Ocean and pendants of central Asian turquoise, later also carnelian and lazurite. At around 3000 B.C., the community of Mehrgarh grew to reach the area of approximately 75 hectares (185 acres). Samples of its typical ceramics, decorated with black colour on red colour, were found as far as in Baluchistan, Sindh and Afghanistan.157) Other cultures preceding, or synchronous with, the spread of the Indus Valley Civilisation appeared in the Kveta valley, communities of Amri, Harappa and Kot Diji in the Indus River valley, Kalibangan in the northern Rajasthan and early agricultural communities from the Sarasvati River valley from the 4th millennium. The Indus Valley Civilisation existed between 3300 (3500) B.C. and 1300 B.C. The oldest phases of the Indus Valley Civilisation were newly defined on the basis of the investigations at Harappa supervised by Dr. Jonathan Mark Kenoyera and Dr. Richard H. Meadowav in 1996-1998 (see Table 16 Chronology of the. Indus Valley Civilisation, p. 104 A) 154)) The Ravi phase, named after the near river of Ravi, is now considered the oldest period of Harappa. Now, a more precise specification of the beginning of this phase to ca. 3500 B.C. is considered: at this time, a small village existed at the site of the later Harappa with a population of several tens of thousands. Finds from this earliest period also include fragments of ceramic vessels (ca. 3300 B.C.) with the first inscriptions. Some inscriptions were made on the bottom of the pottery before firing. Other inscriptions were made after firing.W155)
The Indus Valley Civilisation evolved under somewhat different climatic conditions than the present conditions in the area. Monsoons, carrying precipitations from the Arabian Sea, reach the southernmost part of the former Indus Valley Civilisation (Gulf of Khambhat and penisula Kathiawar) some time after June 10. Farther northwest, monsoons come to the Indus River valley at about July 15. Average monsoonal precipitations decrease from 800 mm to 50 mm from the Gulf of Khambhat to the coast of Makran. The now completely deforested Indus River valley including its peripheral parts and the coast of Makran towards Baluchistan is formed by deserts and semi-deserts and subordinate high-salinity pasturelands. The area between the Pakistani boundary and the Kathiawar Peninsula, 45,652 km2 in area, where Dholavira is located, is called Kutch (Kachchh). A large part of Kutch is formed by Rann of Kutch and Little rann of Kutch covering the area of ca. 23,300 km2. The area ofRann of Kutch is formed for most of the year by arid salty plains covered by omnipresent gypsum-salt silt, with no vegetation and water, with relics of the last surviving Indian wild asses, separated from one another by islets of Quaternary rocks. Summer temperatures in this area reach 46 oC. During monsoonal rains, the area of Rann of Kutch is flooded by ephemeral streams from the surrounding highlands and by high marine waters. Flooding then covers the area of over 30,000 km2. Predominantly arid Kathiawar Peninsula extends further south (see Plate 5 on p. 132 A)). The boundary of the penisula Kathiawar. (viz. obrazová and the rest of the Indian subcontinent, ca. 20 km from the mouth of the Sabarmati River to the Gulf of Khambhat, is the site of the city of Lothal with the southernmost port for marine ships of the Bronze Age.
Such climate was not, however, governing the developing Indus Valley Civilisation. The unparalleled abundance or carefully built brick drains in the Indus towns has been ascribed in part to the need to canalize and disperse freguent and heavy rainfall. 161) Na nalezených pe?etítkách je oblíbeným zobrazovaným motivem buvol, slon, nosorožec, tygr a krokodýl, which were obviously familiar to the artists and are regarded as marsh – or jungle – animals. 162) It can be, therefore, stated that the first cities of the Indus Valley Civilisation developed in a monsoon region in forested valleys of the Indus and Sarasvati rivers, with forests retaining sufficient moisture supplied by the two major rivers – Indus and Sarasvati – and many other tributaries flowing from the Himalayas to the area of the present Rann of Kutch.
The Indus Valley Civilisation started to devastate the formerly forested valleys of the Indus and Sarasvati rivers by unrestrained timber exploitation. Wood was used for baking millions of tons of bricks for the construction of cities. No other material was probably able to resist the high humidity in lowlands for a longer time. This is, after all, confirmed by the fact that baked bricks were almost never used in the mountains surrounding the cities. According to Mesopotamian sources, timber for constructions was welcomed merchandise also for Bahrain and Mesopotamia. Obviously, timber was used for constructions in India, too. At the same time, pasturing was on its rise. Pastures on the sites of former forests were devastated by domestic animals (cattle, goats, sheep). Irrigation-aided agriculture resulted in salting of soil. The same process occurred in Mesopotamia. These human-induced civilisation-related landscape alterations necessarily led to the formation of deserts and semi-deserts. In addition, rising of the northern coast of the Arabian Sea occurred starting from the 4th millennium B.C. This fact has been already pointed out by the hydrologist R.L.Raikes. His conclusions confirmed the investigations of G. F. Dalese, who proved that the Indus Valley communities on the coast of Makran factually functioned as ports, although lying far from the sea now: Sotoka -Koh 13 km, Sutkagen -Dor 56 km and Bala -Kot 19 km. Dales noted that three natural forces co-acted here: constant rise of the sea coast, rapid deposition of sediments in the mouths of the Dasht and Shadi Kaur, where two of the communities were located, and permanent aggradation of beaches due to the deposition of wave-transported sand.163) A similar situation also occurred in the mouth of the Indus River and other rivers. Northwesterly monsoons were bringing sand to river mouths. The rise of the coast resulted in stream relocation several times, as evidenced by archaeological finds in Lothal and Mohenjodar. The existence of the disappeared Vedaic mythological Sarasvati River in India, also confirmed by Rgveda. was eventually proved by French satellite-imagery investigations – SPOT remote-sensing technique. Based on extensive geological research connected with the discovery of the abandoned channel of the Vedaic Sarasvati River supported by studies in seismology, gemorphology, geoarchaeology, apleoclimatology and many other scientific disciplines, the chronology of drying of the Sarasvati River hydrological system can be described in more detail. 164) According to Dr. Radhakrishna the drying of the Sarasvati River started at around 3000 B.C. As a result of tectonic movements and other natural processes, the Sarasvati River stopped flowing to the Arabian Sea in the Rann of Kutch area not later than at around 2000 B.C. .165) The shallow gulf of that time continued to rise much like the coast of Makran. The absence of inflow of the Sarasvati waters to the gulf resulted in its drying and the formation of Rann of Kutch. The Sarasvati River deviated to the east and its waters probably started to become captured by the Yamuna River. The channel of the Sarasvati River finally completely dried out at around 1500 B.C. to 1300 B.C. Intensive irrigation-aided agriculture, pasturing, deforestation, timber exploitation and baking of bricks in the valleys and natural processes such as the Sarasvati River drying and Rann of Kutch formation, rise of the northern coast of the Arabian Sea, frequent tectonic movements causing – together with monsoons – extensive floodings, much like the relocations of the Indus River channel and the rise of its waters, accelerated the gradual decline of the Indus Valley Civilisation and the turn of the blooming green valleys of the Indus and Sarasvati rivers into the present miserable land.
The Indus Valley Civilisation meets all the requirements implied from the Sumerian mythological and administrative documents from Egyptian, Assyrian and Greek sources listed in Tables 11, 12, 13 and 15 on pages 93-98 A) describing Dilmun and Atlantis. The region of the Indus Valley Civilisation is identical with the description of Atlantis in the Critias and Timaeus dialogues (see Table 12 on p. 94 A)) and lies in the region where Atlantis was supposed to lie according to Plato (see Map No. 5 Location of Atlantis, p. 59 A)). This civilisation was lying on the coast of the outer world sea (Atlantic Sea of the Greeks). The region of the Indus Valley Civilisation was delimited by the lowland of the Indus River valley in the west and by the valley of the Sarasvati River, now already dry, in the east.. The valley was inclined to the south, as stated by Plato, and the rivers flowed into the Arabian Sea. (The Sarasvati River flowed to the Arabian Sea at the site of the present Rann of Kutch near the Khadir Island .) The region of the Indus Valley Civilisation continued across the Kathiawar Peninsula , where the city of Lothal was located at its boundary with the rest of the Indian subcontinent near the Sabarmati River. Several islands were lying between the mouth of the Sarasvati River and the Kathiawar Peninsula. On one of them, another Indus Valley city was discovered – Dholavira.
The Indus Valley Civilisation was bounded by mountain ranges and protected by the Himalayas in the north – the biggest and most beautiful mountain range in the world according to Plato. In the west, the territory of the Indus Valley Civilisation was bounded by the mountains in Baluchistan and by the Central Makaran Range as far as to the sea.. In the east, the valleys of the Indus and Sarasvati rivers were adjacent to the mountainousRajasthan. The range of Western Ghats steeply falling to the sea, lies on the western coast south of Lothal (see Plate 17, p. 145 A)), as also stated by Plato in the Critias dialogue. Unlike Bahrain, the Indus Valley Civilisation was located in a monsoon region, as was Atlantis according to Plato, and Dilmun according to the Sumerian myth Enki and Ninhursanga It was a region with a plenty of trees used for the production of timber and ship construction, coconut palms (see Plate 15, p. 144 A)) and bananas (see Plate 16, p. 144 A)). Elephants also lived here. The Indus Valley Civilisation was familiar with irrigation-aided agriculture, was building canals and dykes. Indus Valley cities were lying in India east of Mesopotamia, “where the sun rises” according to the Sumerian mythological text “The Flood story” In Sumerian mythology, it is said “Pure is Dilmun land.” E1-4). Of all civilisations existing in the 3rd millennium B.C., only the inhabitants of the Indus Valley cities were paying consistent attention to their personal hygiene. They were using bathrooms, flushing toilets and ingenious sewage systems. Their religion was probably also connected with a cleansing bath. The Indus Valley Civilisation can be rightly characterized by words “Pure is Dilmun land”. Sumerian text dated approximately to 1900 B.C. mentioned a mina of Dilmun, which had the same weight as the standard weight unit used by the Indus Valley Civilisation.166)
The Indus Valley Civilisation was trading with Mesopotamia, Oman and Africa as early as in the 3rd millennium B.C., exporting especially semi-precious stones, different corals, ivory, products of ivory, copper, silver, gold, dust gold, timber, wooden products, carnelian, lazurite and cloths of cotton, i.e., products generally referred to as the goods from Dilmun. Copper was obtained by the Indus Valley (Dilmun) merchants not only from Rajasthan, but was also imported from Oman. According to Weisgerberg, the copper from Oman contained arsenic. Only in Lothal, arsenic-containing copper was purified by refining and other chemical processes. Out of more than 3000 copper/bronze objects chemically examined and analysed by Dr. B.B. Lal, Chief Archaeological Chemist in India, not a single object contained arsenic. 170)Pure copper processed by such methods was exported by the Indus Valley merchants to Mesopotamia in the form of ingots. Trading with Africa is unequivocally documented by archaeological finds in Lothal, booming at 2400-1900 B.C. Lothal of its time (see Plate 8 on p. 140 A)) was a significant port trading with the whole world. Lothal also boasted of a dock from baked bricks for marine vessels, 216 m long and 37 m wide, encircled by a brick mound 3 m high (see Plate 9 on p. 141 A)). In Lothal, a terracotta figure reminiscent of an Egyptian pottery and a terracotta figure of African gorilla were found.168). A similar figure of African gorilla of fine alabaster was found in the temple of goddess Isthar Kititum at site Nerebtum (Tell Ichcali) east of the Diyala River in Sumer from the period of Isin and Larsa..169) Segmented faience corals, coming in large numbers from the finds in the Indus River valley, also occurred in northern Syria, on Crete and in Egypt between 3000 B.C. and 1500 B.C. 171) Other evidence suggesting contacts between the Indus Valley culture and Sumer, the Mediterranean and Africa includes a local decoration having the shape of a trefoil, which was most probably of astral significance. It was found on a sculpture and a stone pedestal in Mohenjodar as well as on a stone and pottery and wooden products in Mesopotamia, on Crete and in Egypt, dated to the period between 2300 B.C. and 1300 B.C. 173) Connections also existed between Mesopotamia and Africa from the 3rd millennium B.C. already: material of the amber pendant found in the early dynastic layer at Tell Asmar comes from the island of Zanzibar, according to a geological analysis.174)
Blending of mythological motifs occurred among the cultures in Africa, Mesopotamia and the Indus and Sarasvati river valleys. This is evidenced by the find of a pre-dynastic flint knife with a handle of hippopotamus tusk, excavated in the Gabal el Arak area in central Egypt: one side of the handle shows a hero killing two lions, holding them in his arms. The same motif is also recorded on a contemporaneous stele from Uruk. The stele is supposed to possibly depict Gilgamesh: the Epic of Gilgamesh describes Gilgamesh dressed in a lion’s fur, killing two lions in a mountain pass on his way to Dilmun. A basically identical motif is shown on a convex terra-cotta tablet coming from Harappa: a hero killing two tigers (instead of lions), holding them in his arms (see Fig. 20, p. 147 A)). In the same epos, Gilgamesh also claimed that he had killed tigers, among others. Myths describing Gilgamesh dressed in a lion’s fur and wandering around the whole then known world in the 3rd millennium B.C. could have been known to the Indus Valley Civilisation much like the Heracles’ adventures, having many similar parallels with the adventures of Gilgamesh, were later known to the whole Mediterranean region.
The possibility of navigation between Mesopotamia, Oman, India and Africa in the 4th to 3rd millennium B.C. was tested by Thor Hayerdalin his experiment. In late 1977, he built a reed boat Tigris, which was a precise copy of the original vessels of old Sumerians, as recorded on Sumerian seals but also on rock paintings in Egyptian wadis between the River Nile and the Red Sea. During his sorrowful expedition, he started from Iraq to Bahrain, across the Persian Gulf to Oman and from Oman to Pakistan to the mouth of the Indus River. From there, he headed across the Indian Ocean and finished his expedition in Eritrea in March 1978.
Contacts between the Indus Valley Civilisation and Africa are also confirmed by the collections of Vedas, the beginnings of which reach – according to the present estimations of experts – at least to the 3rd millennium B.C. For example, Rigveda gives a description of yet not dried Sarasvati river with green land and developed civilisation. Rigveda also provides reference to different voyages overseas and sections describing greedy merchants sending ships to foreign countries. Rámájana also provides a description of overseas trade between India and other countries. One of them refers to the Yavana Dvips and Suvarna Dvipa, which are usually identified with the islands of Java and Sumatra of the Malaya Archipelago, there is also a reference to Lohita Sagara or the Red Sea. 175)
Based on the above given knowledge, it can be concluded that the Sumerians speaking of “Pure and virginal and pristine is Dilmun land” were most probably meaning the Indus Valley Civilisation or, more exactly, its nearshore cities of Dholavira and Lothal. On the contrary, this civilisation could be never called Meluha. at the same time. Several passages in the Mahbharata refer to the sea and sea-voyages. The Sabha Parva states how Sahadeva, the youngest brother of the five Pandavas went to several islands in the sea and conquered the Mlechcha inhabitants thereof..176) The term Mlechcha probably refers to Meluha. Based on the old Hindu epos, Mlechcha must have been located somewhere in the sea but it was not India.
Only three areas existed at the break of the 4th and 3rd millennia which could trade with Mesopotamia: 1. the Indus Valley Civilisation (Dilmun), Oman and the inner part of the Persian Gulf (Magan), and 3. African countries on the northeastern coast, called Punt by the Egyptians. So, Africa remains as the only candidate for Meluha. This is confirmed by many indications in the Sumerian literature.
The myth “Enki and the world order” emphasizes the tall reed growing in Meluha. It is quite clear that the description applies to papyrus. Papyrus is a plant reaching 6 m in height, having a thick, three-edged stalk ended by a large cone, formerly growing in large quantities along the whole course of the Nile. Meluha is described as a foreign black land in the Akkadian texts. The designation “Black Land” could have referred to the black population inhabiting the northeastern coast of Africa. Also a second explanation is possible: the term black Meluha applies to Egypt, named Takemet (Kemet) or Black Land by the Egyptians themselves. According to Sumerian sources, Mesopatamia also hosted interpreters mediating the communication with the merchants of Meluha. Moreover, Meluha was referred to as a foreign country, unlike Dilmun and Magan. This can be explained by only one fact. The inhabitants of Meluha spoke a foreign language not understandable for the Sumerians and their complexion was black. On the other hand, the inhabitants of Dilmun and Magan were not considered foreigners in Sumer. Therefore, they must have spoken a similar, related language, and they must have looked similar in their physical appearance as well. The founders of the Indus Valley Civilisation, based on the latest research in many scientific disciplines, were Dravidians. Most of the scientists become inclined to the opinion that the Sumerian language could have also stemmed from the Dravidian. The analyses of skeletal fragments in India, Mesopotamia, Oman and Bahrain dating to the 3rd and 2nd millennium B.C. yield basically the same results. Inhabitants of these countries were of two anthropological types – short-skulled type and long-skulled type. Sumerians called themselves “black-headed” owing to the colour of their hair. Dravidians, still living mostly in southern India, also possess exclusively black hair. As shown by the genetic research led by Dr. Hussain, studying genetic changes responsible for Thalassaemia and Fathalassaemia, a clear genetic similarity can be traced among the population from Kuwait across eastern Saudi Arabia to Bahrain and India.
According to Mesopotamian records, Magan functioned as a transfer site for goods for Meluha. This implies that Meluha must have been located farther from Mesopotamia than Magan. It was only Magan to which Sumerians exported a large variety of food products. Therefore, Magan must have been the closest to the Sumerian cities. In most of the Mesopotamian sources, Magan is put into relation with Dilmun, and its proximity to Dilmun is emphasized. The westernmost communities of the Indus Valley Civilisation along the Makran coast towards Iran lie less than 300 km from the coast of Oman – Magan – across the sea. In contrast, Meluha was lying considerably far not only from Magan, which functioned as a mere transfer site for the goods for Meluha, but also from Dilmun. According to Hindu eposes, Meluha, or Mlechcha, was located in the sea far from India. Meluha could have therefore lied only west of the coast of Oman, somewhere on the African coast. Including of the African coast under the name Meluha is perceptible in the 14th century B.C. already, as suggested by its use in the el-Amar correspondence.177) The designation “black land” for Meluha, referring to the complexion of the rulers of Meluha, is also indicated by the inscription of the Assyrian king Sargon II and his successor Sennacherib. They situated Meluha to Upper Egypt, ruled by the 25th dynasty of black monarchs of Nubian origin in years 745-664 B.C. (the present southern Egypt and northern Sudan), who progressively gained power over the whole of Egypt.
A synthesis of the above information shows that the most probable site where Meluha was located in the 3rd millennium B.C. is the northeastern coast of Africa, i.e., the region of eastern Sudan and Eritrea. This is also where the land of Punt is expected, from which similar types of goods were imported by the Egyptian monarchs as early as in the 3rd millennium B.C. as the goods imported from Meluha by the Sumerians and Akkadians. Later, after the geographical knowledge of the Babylonians and Assyrians reached a higher level, Meluha was identified directly with Egypt. Probable locations of Dilmun, Magan and Meluha in the 3rd millennium B.C. are shown on Map No. 8 on p. 115 A). (on Map No. 8 is Indus Valley Civilisation =Protoindická civilizace) A change in the traditional terminology in the designation of Dilmun could have really occurred some time after 2000 B.C. This was followed by the decline of the city of Dholavira with a population of 20,000, probably in connection with the drying of the Sarasvati River and failure of the whole Sarasvati hydrological system. The merchants from Dilmun probably moved to Bahrain in the same period, which could later result in the transfer of the name of Dilmun to Bahrain.
In 1967, Jagat Pati Joshi, the former director of ASI, discovered the Indus Valley city of Dholavira. Dholavira (see Plate 10 on p. 141, Plate 11 on p. 142 A)), with its coloured and loam houses and gigantic water-supply system bringing water through the ramparts to the city, not only fits all data given by Plato for Atlantis and its seat city including the dating, but also corresponds to the description of Dilmun provided by the Mesopotamian sources. Dholavira (23° 53’ N, 70° 13’ E) is situated in an island called Khadir, situated in the Great Rann, Taluka Bhachau, district Kachchh, Gujarat State, India.178) Sea gulf was located in the area of the present Rann of Kutch, surrounding the island of Khadir, in the 3rd millennium B.C. This is evidenced by the concluded geological investigations in the Kutch area related to the find of the lost river of Sarasvati, finds of sea shells and anklets made of oyster shells in Dholavira, and by Sanskrit textsof India. Three major rivers were entering the sea gulf here (from west to east): Indus, Sarasvati a Lavanavat. The island of Khadir was located, as also stated about Dilmun in the Epic of Gilgamesh, at the mouth of these rivers. The desiccating sea around Khadir was of elevated salinity. It can be, therefore, literally called “Salty Sea” as in the inscription of Sargon II or “Death Waters” as in the 11th tablet of the Epic of Gilgamesh, which was the name for the sea surrounding Dilmun.
In the opinion of Bisht, Dholavira poses one of the three most important and largest centres of the Indus Valley Civilisation, and can be compared to Mohenjodar and Harappa in its significance. In the period of its boom, Dholavira had at least 20,000 inhabitants. It was built on a gently inclined surface between two rivers – Mansar in the north and Manhar in the south. The city, surrounded by massive stone and loam wall 5 m thick, was rectangular in plan view and consisted of three independently fortified segments: citadel or Acropolis, central town and lower town (see Plate 12 on p. 142, Plate 13 on p. 143 and Plate 14 on p. 143 A)). According to Bisht, the monarch was living in a strongly fortified inner Acropolis 16 m high, the walls of which were up to 18 m wide. The central town with roomy houses was probably inhabited by merchants. The lower town with densely spaced smaller houses was inhabited by the rest of the population. The city delimited by ramparts with four gates covered an area of approx. 48 hectares (119 acres) but the overall area of the city including the buildings outside the ramparts was reaching 100 hectares (247 acres). (For a plan of Dholavira in its boom period in 3rd millennium B.C. see Map No. 9 on p. 119 A).) Similarly as in Mohenjodar, Dholavira possessed an ingenious sewage system and inner baths. Two stadiums were present in the city, one of which, 300 by 50 m in size being probably the oldest and the largest multifunctional stadium in the world. It may have also served as occasional bazaar. Dholavira was a coloured city, as also mentioned by Plato about the seat town of Atlantis. The buildings and maybe also the roofs were plastered with pink or white clay by the Dholavirans. The urban structure was defined by main streets and secondary streets of standard widths, regularly intersecting at right angles. Reservoirs collecting and distributing water within the limits given by the ramparts covered almost one-third of the city area. Dholavira was lying in monsoon region and was supplied by water from the rivers of Mansar and Manhar. during monsoon periods. Water was brought to the city through the ramparts by two canals with dykes and stored in giant reservoirs carved in rock. This fits the description of two water-supply canals Plato used in the Critias dialogue for the seat town of Atlantis. Giant reservoirs (the largest measuring 263 feet by 39 feet and 24 feet in depth) together held more than 325,000 cubic yards of water. 179) The reservoirs were built along the eastern and western walls of the outer fortification inside the city beyond ramparts. Water was also drained to a reservoir in the Acropolis itself through a canal. Archaeological investigations revealed traces of extensive building repairs after a devastating earthquake, also mentioned in the Timaeus dialogue by Plato.
Dholavira existed for almost the whole duration of the Indus Valley Civilisation from 3000 B.C. (newly 3300 B.C.) to 1900 B.C. In the first phase around 3000 B.C. (year 3300 is suggested on the basis of the latest research), settlers came to Dholavira from outside. According to Gregory Possehl, curator of the University of Pennsylvania Museum, these settlers were already experienced in the planned construction of the city, and built a fortified city from massive stone and bricks. According to Bisht, Dholavira in the times of its biggest fame resembled a lake city surrounded by freshwater reservoirs. It also contained very diligently carved columns of polished stone, which is supposed to have been exploited during the carving of canals and reservoirs into rock, as also reported by Plato. Slow stagnation and deterioration of the urban establishment occurred during the 5th phase at around 2100 B.C., probably related to the gradual filling of the sea gulf at the site of the present Rann of Kutch. After the Sarasvati River stopped flowing to the sea in the present Kachchh area near Dholavira around 2000 B.C., the city became deserted. Dholavira was the city of merchants, as emphasized by Plato. Archaeological investigations in Dholavira revealed 22,000 different artefacts, especially including beautiful ceramics, terra-cotta and clay figures, imported lapis lazuli, gold (no chemical analysis has been made yet), silver, copper, golden microcorals, copper products, corals, ivory, shells, Indus Valley weight and many seals with traditional Indus Valley motifs.
Natural processes causing the uplift of the Arabian Sea coast and drying of the Sarasvati River flowing to the Arabian Sea near Dholavira were accompanied by extensive local floodings in the Kutch area. Shallow marine gulf was progressively turned into swamps, which became inaccessible for the Indus Valley ships exactly as described in the Timaeus dialogue by Plato: But afterwards there occurred violent earthquakes and floods; …. and the island of Atlantis in like manner disappeared in the depths of the sea. For which reason the sea in those parts is impassable and impenetrable, because there is a shoal of mud in the way; and this was caused by the subsidence of the island. T28)
In the Critias dialogue, Plato described regular ritual sacrifice of bulls in Atlantis:There were bulls who had the range of the temple of Poseidon; and the ten kings, being left alone in the temple, after they had offered prayers to the god that they might capture the victim which was acceptable to him, hunted the bulls, without weapons but with staves and nooses; and the bull which they caught they led up to the pillar and cut its throat over the top of it so that the blood fell upon the sacred inscription. Now on the pillar, besides the laws, there was inscribed an oath invoking mighty curses on the disobedient. When therefore, after slaying the bull in the accustomed manner, they had burnt its limbs, they filled a bowl of wine and cast in a clot of blood for each of them; the rest of the victim they put in the fire, after having purified the column all round. Then they drew from the bowl in golden cups and pouring a libation on the fire, they swore that they would judge according to the laws on the pillar,… C) A typical feature of the Indus Valley culture were its steatite seals. The seals were square-shaped, 1.9 to 3.5 cm in size. Their rear sides were usually bearing a round, perforated extension (boss) used for hanging. Some of the seals show elephants, also described in the Critias dialogue by Plato (see Plate 18 on p. 145, Plate 20 on p. 147 A)). The most characteristic motif figured on the seals from the 3rd millennium B.C. found in Dholavira are bulls standing with their heads upright above a hitherto unidentified object (see Plate 21 on p. 148, Plate 22 on p. 148, Plate 23 on p. 149, Plate 24 on p. 150 A)). When performing the image of the bull on the seal, the engravers followed a certain essential canon, which can be summarized in several points:
Some scientists believe that the single-horned beast shown on the seals is the mythological unicorn. This fabrication can be readily disproved. A basically identical method of depicting bulls in side view was used in Sumer in the 3rd millennium B.C.: on the Standard of Ur (see Plate 2, p. 137 A)). The bull shows only one horn but four legs and the cover on shoulders. Also the Indus Valley seals undoubtedly illustrate a bull during a sacrificial ceremony, as figured in the same canonized form for centuries. The bull is standing with an incised throat above a plate maybe bearing an inscription and, as Plato wrote, with its “throat over the top of it so that the blood fell upon the sacred inscription.”.C) The grooved plate is fit with a thin pole into a huge container, to which the blood of the sacrificed bull was pouring during the ritual. As suggested by the size and the width of the container, blood must have been probably taken out of the container using ladles – exactly as described by Plato.
The seals could not have served as mere signs of merchants. Basic rules of trading in Ancient times entailed the need to accentuate the exclusiveness and identity of the seller and the buyer to avoid possible controversies in the future on the possession of the goods sold or the identity of either of the two parties. This requirement is not met by these more or less identical seals with figured bulls. Much more probable is the explanation motivated by the narration of Plato. The seals show a ritual scene of sacrificing bull’s blood, as described in the literature of Vedas. Ritual sacrifice was used regularly and frequently, as indicated by the high number of seals and seal imprints found. Many seals were found in the neighbourhood of the so-called granaries standing in the Indus Valley cities. The granaries stand on grillage foundations made from loam, with alleged air vents at the foot of the building. If these buildings were really granaries, they would not possess air holes near the ground because of the rodents. Rodents would otherwise surely attack the granary and consume the crops. A by far more probable explanation is that the so-called granaries were used as sheds for the bulls appointed for the sacrificial ritual. The buildings then functioned like the today’s cowhouses with grillage stalls and no litter. Bulls’ faeces could be taken out from the shed through the grills and the openings in the walls. This would also correspond with the effective sewage system in the proximity of the granaries/cowhouses. The seals or seal impressions found in the so-called granaries could be then used for marking feed bales chosen for sacrificial bulls only.
As stated by Plato, an unknown metal of oreichalcumwas mined in Atlantis. It was the second most precious metal after gold. The Indus Valley Civilisation really had such metal at their disposal. Finds from all Indus Valley cities include artefacts (microcorals, a disc, a hollow conical ornament with a loop ring, ornamented pins, rings) made from an alloy of gold and silver containing no copper. This alloy is called elektron. Elektron occurs as a natural element but may be created also artificially by melting and mixing gold with silver. Natural elektron, obtained exclusively by mining, contains approximately 25 to 40 % silver but does not contain any other metals (lead, nickel, copper). Artificially prepared elektron in primitive conditions always contains, besides gold and silver, a very small amount of lead. Two elektron pendants found in Lothal were subjected to a chemical analysis. As a result of this work, it has been found that the two gold pendants Nos. 15180 contain only gold and silver; copper, nickel, lead and zinc have been found to be absent.181)
The above mentioned chemical analysis of elektron products suggest that the Indus Valley goldsmiths probably produced elektron jewellery using elektron obtained from mining, as mentioned by Plato. A mixture of silver and gold was really a precious metal, with the only more valued metal being only gold. Mining for elektron in India has been documented by finds of about 50 elektron deposits exploited as early as in the Neolithic. The products imported from Dilmun mentioned in the Sumerian sources thus included not only golden dust obtained from gold-panning but also golden (elektron) products manufactured by melting of the exploited elektron. Gold mining in India has been mentioned in the Artha?astra and in ancient Greek sources already.
Describing the war conflict between Athens and Atlantis according to the old Egyptian-Mesopotamian narration, Plato got into an unsolvable situation. The supreme god in the Sumerian, Akkadian, Babylonian as well as Biblical narrations, whether this was An, the Lord, or – as in the case of Plato – Zeus, always had a really fierce punishment for the human race failing to be as religious and obedient as he wished. The humans were always punished by a flood, which was survived by only a single man. It was king Ziusudra, in Sumer, Atrahasis, in the Akkadian version, Utnapishtim in Babylon, and Noe. in the Biblical narration. This saved man with his family became the forefather of a new human race. When Plato wrote the last lines of the unfinished Critias dialogue: Zeus, the god of gods, who rules according to law, and is able to see into such things, perceiving that an honourable race was in a woeful plight, and wanting to inflict punishment on them, that they might be chastened and improve, collected all the gods into their most holy habitation, which, being placed in the centre of the world, beholds all created things. And when he had called them together, he spake as follows:… C), he probably intended Zeus to say these words: “I am bringing the flood of water upon the mankind, lasting for seven days and seven nights, and nobody will survive it”..
Unfortunately, in the first dialogue of Timaeus, Plato described the island of Atlantis being subjected to floods and earthquakes and sinking to the sea only after having been defeated in the war with Athens. And this was the stumbling block. If Plato had followed the Mesopotamian model, the flood of the island would have occurred prior to the war. Then, the population within the limits of Heracles would have fought with the descendants of the Atlanteans who survived the flood. If, however, Plato had insisted on the narration in the preceding dialogue of Timaeus, he would have had the flood come only after the lost war. Plato found himself unable to solve this dilemma. This was probably the reason why he put the text aside and never returned to it to finish it.
And what ending should be given to the study about Atlantis or Dilmun or, more precisely, Dholavira? Only by providing an another legend on sinking of a golden city related to the same sites once occupied by Dholavira and Lothal. An important Hindu sanctuary of Dwarka, one of the seven sacred Hindu cities (sapta-purí) and one of the four sacred sites (dhám), lies in the Gulf of Kutch, on the northwestern end of the coast of the Kathiawar Peninsula. It is the original site of one of the Indus Valley cities. Island of Bet Dwarka is located in the Gulf of Kutch thirty kilometres north of Dwarka, in the direction to Kutch. According to a legend, it is a remnent of an original city and the seat of Sri Krishna, which were flooded by the ocean after his leave. The 11th book of the Hindu epos of Bhágavatapurána describes sinking of the golden city of Dwarka, the seat of Sri Krishna the eighth incarnation of god Vishnu, who adopted human appearance and gained victory of the Pandus over evil, demonic Kurus. According to the Hindu myths, Sri Krishna built the city of Dwarka as a stronghold surrounded by a thick wall in the middle of the sea to protect his relatives. As mentioned in Srimad Bhagavatam this newly built city in the sea possessed usual roads, streets and ailes.182) The city contained a number of palaces with containers full of gold, silver and grains, many green parks and orchards, reservoirs and lakes with varicoloured water lilies. All legends on the flood and paradise including the Biblical narration, Greek or Sumerian myths, place the paradise and the sunken cities somewhere to the east. Only in India, on the coast of the Gulf of Kutch in Gujarat in the area between Dholavira and Lothal, millions of Hindus believe that the golden city of Dwarka, got once sunken to the northwest of here after a major war, exactly as described by Plato.
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