An A-Z Guide To The Search For Plato's Atlantis

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    NEWS DECEMBER 2022

    Atlantipedia will be wound down in 2023. After nearly twenty years compiling Atlantipedia on my own, and as I am now approaching my 80th birthday, I have decided to cut back on the time I dedicate to compiling this website. An orderly conclusion rather than an enforced one is always preferable, before the Grim Reaper […]Read More »
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    Joining The Dots

    I have now published my new book, Joining The Dots, which offers a fresh look at the Atlantis mystery. I have addressed the critical questions of when, where and who, using Plato’s own words, tempered with some critical thinking and a modicum of common sense.Read More »
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Canals

Canals are recognised as having been critical for the development of many ancient civilisations and are also evidence of the engineering capabilities of these early societies. Recent discoveries(a) in the Peruvian Andes revealed canals over 5,400 years old.

Canals in the capital city of Atlantis are described by Plato in great detail but with dimensions that are quite unrealistic. One possible explanation for this; the whole story is fiction and the dimensions were just pulled out of thin air. However, if Plato or anyone had been writing fiction you would expect such details to be closer to reality. In fact, Plato expresses incredulity at these dimensions but notes them as a record of Solon’s report. This adds weight to the theory that the numbers had been transcribed erroneously from the original Egyptian sources or that the units of measurements were misunderstood.

To my mind, the extent of the irrigation canals recorded by Plato would seem to suggest that the Plain of Atlantis was subject to a dry climate.

The dimensions might be that of a natural feature adapted to suit the needs of a fortified harbour. The latter idea was proposed and expanded on by Ulf Richter(e).>He also took issue with the dimensions of the canals as given by Solon/Plato and voiced his analysis on the now-defunct Atlantis Rising Forums – “In my opinion, it is absolutely incredible, even if the Atlanteans had our technology instead of the technology of their age (the time of horse-driven war chariots, of stone-shooters and slingers!) that they could have built such a deep canal! Plato was right when he doubted this information (Crit.118c), but he knew nothing about the construction of canals and therefore did not know, that they were not only incredible, but impossible from the technical point of view, and moreover absolutely unnecessary for the flow of water and for the draught of the ships.”(f)<

Extensive ancient canal systems have been identified in both North and South America. John Jensen has discovered one such network in the Louisiana region(a) but has had the good sense not to try to associate it with Atlantis. Jensen’s site also deals with canals in Mexico and Africa. His claim regarding the Louisiana canals has been challenged online(c) and as of March 2016, his own website is offline. However, in early 2017 Jensen published another paper on the Migration-Diffusion website(d) about ancient canals, which includes a reference to the ancient canals on the US Atlantic and Gulf coasts, also dated to the 6th millennium BC.

Further information regarding the Mexican pre-Colombian irrigation systems is available on the Ancient Origins website(b).

Peter James in opposing the idea of a Minoan explanation points out that no canal systems have been discovered on Crete or Thera.

(a) https://news.vanderbilt.edu/2005/11/ancient-canals-reveal-underpinnings-of-early-andean-civilization-59158/

(b) https://www.ancient-origins.net/ancient-places-americas/chinampas-floating-gardens-mexico-001537?nopaging=1

(c) https://www.unexplained-mysteries.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=246958&st=0

(d) https://www.migration-diffusion.info/article.php?year=2017&id=505

(e) Wayback Machine (archive.org) *

(f) https://web.archive.org/web/2/http://forums.atlantisrising.com/ubb/Forum1/HTML/000972-3.html  (link broken 10 Sept 2004) *