Pumapunku is a terraced earthen mound, faced with blocks and an important part of the Tiwanaku archaeological site on the Bolivian Altiplano. It has unique architectural features including the use of building blocks with up to 80 faces on them. The Tiwanaku site is pre-Inca and has given its earliest radiocarbon date as 536-600 AD and was in use until circa 1000 AD(a), which is a far cry from the flawed 12,000-15,000 BC date claimed by Posnansky(e)(f). Details of how these late dates were arrived at are available in a paper by Jason Yaeger and Alexei Vranich on the Academia.edu website(j).
As with so many other enigmatic ancient sites, various members of the ‘lunatic fringe’ have attributed the construction at this location to either ancient astronauts or Atlanteans or an exotic combination of both, based on either over-fertilised imaginations or flawed data or again, both. Jason Colavito has written a critique of some of the more silly suggestions(b).
Ancient astronaut advocate Von Däniken[1147.221] and Brien Foerster(d) among others have claimed that the stones of Pumapunku were composed of diorite, an exceptionally hard stone, which would have required a modern diamond-tipped drill to work it. The implication is that only Atlanteans with their advanced technology or extraterrestrials could have worked the stone with such precision.
>Brien Foerster also published a paper on the Academia.edu website in Feb. 2023 in which he decries “The extraction, wanton destruction, and recycling of much of the Puma Punku site that can be easily seen in the small nearby town also called Tiwanaku, where many of the buildings, including the church, contain the telltale grey andesite blocks, with smooth flat surfaces, which clearly came from Puma Punku.” He also points out that while Tiwanaku has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, Puma Punku has received little attention(k).”<
However, Colavito and Michael Heiser(c) have pointed out that this identification is untrue and that they were composed of the softer andesite and red sandstone. Apart from this, the Code of Hammurabi was incised on diorite, without Atlantean or extraterrestrial assistance, 2,000 years before the development of Pumapunku!
Joseph Davidovits who controversially proposed that Giza’s Great Pyramid stones had been cast rather than carved has also claimed that other well-known structures had been created in a similar manner, such as at Tiwanaku and Puma Punku in Peru(g) and Easter Island(h).
Javier Escalante Moscoso is an architect with a degree in archaeology who has extensively excavated and surveyed the Tiwanaku monuments. (see map above).
A fully illustrated guide to the monuments of Tiwanaku/Puma Punku is an excellent introduction to the site including a map by Moscoso(i).
Pampa Aullagas is the ancient site of Atlantis on the Altiplano of Bolivia according to Jim Allen(a). Compared with the acres of megalithic remains on view at Tiwanaku and Puma Punku(c), the Pampa Aullagas location would appear(b) to offer nothing more than a huge collection of builders’ rubble.
An extensive series of images of the site with interpretations of its features by Allen is available onlined).
Atlantis Revealed is a well presented website(a) that offers an overview of Atlantis theories. It can be read in English or Italian which taken with some minor spelling mistakes suggests an Italian author. Although it gives an objective airing to many theories it clearly endorses Jim Allen’s contention that Atlantis was located on the Altiplano of Bolivia (see FAQs).
The site is attractive but navigation can be difficult for newcomers.
(a) https://www.atlantisrevealed.com/main.asp?language_=en (offline 17.07.14)
Héctor Gonzalez Cortez who was born in the Canary Islands has a degree in archaeology and is currently head of the anthropology department of the University of Tarapaca in Arica, Chile.>He has written several papers about the peoples of the Altiplano that are now available, in Spanish, on the Researchgate website(c).<
It is reported(a) that after a study of ancient Canarian and Chilean funeral practices he concluded their similarity could be explained by a common link with Atlantis. His further studies led him to suggest that Atlantis was located in the unexplored Guyana Highlands of South America.
>As of November 2022, no further information has been received(b).<
or Archive 2472
Tiwanaku (Tiahuanaco) is an ancient city whose remains are located over two miles above sea level near the southern end of Lake Titicaca on the Altiplano of Bolivia. It was first encountered by Spanish conquistadors in 1549. Tiwanaku has all the features of a harbour, which has led some to describe it as the seaport of nearby Puma Punku another remarkable ancient site(o).
The ruins are scattered over a number of square miles through which the Guayqui-La Paz railway was constructed, which was responsible for the breaking up of many monuments to provide ballast. Before that, stone from the site was used in the construction of nearby homes and a church.
Belisario Díaz Romero believed that Tiwanaku had been built by a race of people he calls Homo atlanticus, who had come to America from Atlantis over a landbridge from the east, outlined in his 1906 book Tiahuanacu. Heather Pringle notes(t) that before Romero, “Francis de Castelnau (1810-1880), for example, proposed in the mid-19th century that Tiwanaku was the work of wandering Egyptian pharaohs, as opposed to the ‘imbecilic race that inhabits the country today’.”
The controversial Arthur Posnansky, who linked Tiahuanaco with Aztlan, the mythical “white” island homeland of the Aztecs investigated them in the early 20th century. The similarity of Aztlan with the name of Plato’s city has excited some straw-clutching Atlantis seekers into claiming a definite connection between the two.
Posnansky also noted that the expected alignments of structures at Tiwanaku were offset by an amount that suggested their construction at a time when they would have been correctly aligned to the cardinal points. He, after many years of study, was convinced that Tiahuanaco was the oldest civilisation on Earth  dating it to around 15,000 BC, which he later reduced to 10,000 BC.
In the 1920s, Edmund Kiss studied the ruins of Tiwanaku and concluded that it had been constructed by Nordic refugees from Atlantis which had been destroyed by a falling moon! His ideas were enthusiastically received back in Nazi Germany. A further expedition was planned but never materialised because of the start of World War II.(u)
Dr Graham Holton, an Australian commentator has written about the pseudo-science practised in the early 20th century at Tiwanaku by the likes of Posnansky and Kiss and endorsed by Hörbiger and Hans Bellamy(al)(am).
Although, as you can see below, Posnansky’s work and particularly his dating of Tiwanaku has been rejected by many, he still has supporters. In Graham Hancock‘s 1995 book Fingerprints of the Gods , he supported Posnansky’s date, referring to his work throughout the book. Ian Alex Blease, a devout sceptic took issue with this endorsement (aa). For my part, I note that Hancock was happy to support Posnansky in ‘Fingerprints’, but in America Before , despite its title, he gives Posnansky’s date no mention, perhaps because it clashed with his new date for the destruction of his ‘Lost Civilisation’!
Marin, Minella & Schievenin [972.97] “Between 1927 and 1930 several scientists, including Hans Ludendorf, at the time director of the Astronomical Observatory of Potsdam; astronomer Arnold Kohlshutter, University of Bonn; Dr Rolf Muller, University of Potsdam and Dr Friedrich Becker, Specula Vatican, meticulously checked the archaeological-astronomical research of Posnansky for accuracy. After three years of work these scientists corroborated his thesis.”
>Before retirement, R. Cedric Leonard supported Posnansky’s early date for Tiwanaku citing a number of atronomers who endorsed his chronology. “Between 1927 and 1930 Prof. Posnansky’s conclusions were studied intensively by a number of authorities. Dr. Hans Ludendorff (Director of the Astronomical Observatory of Potsdam), Friedrich Becker of the Specula Vaticana, Prof. Arnold Kohlschutter (astronomer at Bonn University), and Rolf Müller (astronomer of the Institute of Astrophysics at Potsdam) verified the accuracy of Posnansky’s calculations and vouched for the reliability of his conclusions.
The conventional practice of dating Tiahuanacu as beginning c. 200 A.D. and collapsing c. 1000 A.D. started with Wendell Bennett’s excavations, which turned up numerous examples of pottery, small statues and other artifacts. Since it is common for later arrivals to be awed by massive ruins (sometimes attributing their origin to supernatural beings, thus replicating the “sacred” images on their own pottery and textiles), I think it is a mistake to fuse the two cultures into one, implying that the later arrivals were the same people who built the original ruins. I believe Bennett and his successors are all guilty of such an error.” (ap)<
R. Cedric Leonard believed that Posnansky’s date addressed all of the mysteries associated with the site and “Thus I think it likely that Tiahuanaco was built at sea level c.15,000 B.C. as an Atlantean port.”(z)
The American archaeologist, Neil Steede, while reviewing Posnansky’s date, thought that a date of 7000-5000 BC was more appropriate(aj).
At the other end of the spectrum, Emmet Sweeney, an ardent chronology revisionist claimed that “most probably, Tiahuanaco was built around the same time as pharaoh Djoser’s Step Pyramid at Sakkara in Egypt. It can thus claim to be among the oldest of human monuments [700.208].” Tiwanaku is conventionally dated between 200 BC and 100 AD, while the Step Pyramid is thought to have been constructed around 2650 BC.
Some researchers, including Jim Allen, have studied Tiwanaku’s remarkable Gate of the Sun and identified the figures carved on it as a sophisticated calendar(v).
A paper from Marco Antonio Cabero regarding the ‘Gate’ throws a modicum of doubt on its possible use as a calendar. Instead, he focused on the other side of the monument where he claims there is evidence that the ancient people of Tiwanaku knew the ‘golden number’, phi.
“The composition of the front face of the Gate of the Sun in Tiwanaku presents, anthropometric, and bilateral symmetry. On the back side, there are also harmonic proportions but with less significance. These proportions were not found before because the study of the content of its engraving frieze was believed to be a calendar, an idea that has been so widely extended, that any other interpretations were ignored (however, the presence of these proportions does not exclude the possible existence of some type of calendar). The Gate of the Sun may not be part of a temple, but its content could also be considered as the expression of a monument in itself; a work that testifies to the importance of knowledge, art, and science “(ac).
Ashley Cowie has recently proposed that Tiwanaku was located on an ancient Prime Meridian(w).
Also eye-catching is the claim(l) by Roger Elefant that later construction at Tiwanaku was carried out by the Vikings!
However, a more recent, but catastrophic, explanation is offered by Stephen Smith(d) on the Thunderbolts.info website. Perhaps Smith’s ideas might be combined with the studies of George Dodwell to produce a more comprehensive hypothesis. Posnansky’s date is greatly at variance with conventional dating that puts the flourishing of Tiwanaku from 1200 BC until 1200 AD. The latter part of that period roughly coincides with the existence of the Wari Empire, a possible rival of Tiwanaku(e).
In 2013, Jason Yaeger and Alexei Vranich published a detailed study of the chronological development of Tiwanaku and Puma Punku. This is now available on the Academia.edu website(ao). Anyone seeking support for ancient astronauts, giants or Atlantis will be greatly disappointed. The authors confirmed a starting date for monumental construction at the site of no earlier than 200 BC, which continued intermittently until the arrival of the Spanish invaders. Their report is the result of the ‘hard slog’ required by real archaeology.
Several claims attempting to link Tiahuanaco with Atlantis have been made, with one anonymous blog(y) insisting that it was the capital of Atlantis. James Bailey was an early advocate  of a Peruvian Atlantis with its capital at Tiwanaku or Chan Chan, which was probably the largest pre-Colombian city in South America.
The claim of a direct connection between Tiahuanaco and Atlantis is hard to accept on a number of grounds; for example, the idea of an army travelling from the west coast of South America to attack Greece in the east of the Mediterranean is not tenable. That there was an advanced culture in the Andes is undeniable but to link it to Plato’s story is stretching credibility to extremes. Lake Titicaca and Tiahuanaco have plenty of mysteries still to be explained. In 1980 the Bolivian scholar, Hugo Boero Rojo, aided by one of the local natives, Elias Mamani, located underwater ruins off the coast of Puerta Acosta. His discoveries included megalithic temples, flights of stairs and stone roads.
More recently, Dave Truman has written about an alignment known as ‘The Way of Viracocha’ that runs from Cajamarca in the north, through Cuzco and Tiwanaku and finishing at Pukara Grande(p), oriented exactly 45° west of true north. Truman has built on the work of Maria Sholten d’Ebneth (1926-2007), who wrote of the La Ruta de Wiracocha in the 1970s(q). Others have expanded on her work, but usually in Spanish. Truman has speculated on whether “Viracocha, the great teacher and restorer of civilisation in the Andes, in some way embodied the scientific knowledge of a sophisticated, but long-forgotten high culture?” Truman
also discusses the ‘chakana’ or Andean stepped cross (see right) and its possible meaning.
It was reported in October 2013(g) (that a team of Belgian and Bolivian archaeologists had found an assortment of ceramics, gems and gold objects at an apparent ceremonial site beneath the waters of Lake Titicaca, which was sacred to the Incas and Tiwanakus. It was not until 2019 that images of some of the artefacts recovered from the lake were widely published(x).
We cannot leave the matter of mysterious Tiahuanaco without referring to the fact that some miles further south is Lake Poopó beside which Jim Allen is convinced that the city of Atlantis was located. Allen claims that the large plain to the west of the lake is the plain mentioned by Plato as being adjacent to the city of Atlantis. In a recent documentary “Atlantis in the Andes” broadcast by ‘Discovery Civilization’, Allen identified Tiahuanaco as one of the ten kingdoms of Atlantis. However, I cannot help noticing that while Tiwanaku, claimed to be 17,000 years old, provides us with an astonishing wealth of structures and finely dressed stone, Allen’s chosen Atlantis site, Pampa Aullagas, offers little more than rubble!
Another supporter of an Andean Atlantis is Sean Bambrough, who has been developing a theory since 1999 that identifies Tiwanaku as the city of Atlantis(h). He has now published his magnum opus on the academia.edu website(ae).
In February 2015, Marcelo Ozorio also suggested a link with Plato’s Atlantis and most interesting is the huge number of images included on his site(i). There is also a large collection of related images on a YouTube clip(m).
In 2008, David E. Flynn brought to public attention an astonishing series of satellite photos(a) that show a vast network of the remains apparently of man-made structures that extend for many miles around Lake Titicaca. These ‘geoglyphs’ encompass Tiahuanaco.
The most remarkable collection of early photos of the Tiwanaku site can be found on the Above Top Secret website(b). The accompanying text makes a strong case for treating the location as archaeologically contaminated and as a consequence that many of the dates proposed for the site should be considered suspect. Other mysteries are the fact that saltwater Lake Titicaca contains known sea life and that old waterlines are slanted(c).
In late March 2015, the Bolivian government announced(j) that ground-penetrating radar had identified what appeared to be a buried pyramid in the Tiwanaku complex as well as other ‘anomalies’ and that excavations may start in May or June.
A mixed Spanish and English website(f) offers a number of interesting papers including a chapter from Posnansky’s book Tiahuanaco: The Cradle of American Man.
Archaeology magazine has an interesting Q & A paper relating to the history and current state of preservation at the Tiwanaku site(s).
A May 2017 report(r) confirmed that the entire Tiwanaku complex is much more extensive than previously thought, covering an area of at least 650 hectares (1,675 acres).
Joseph Davidovits who controversially proposed that Giza’s Great Pyramid stones had been cast rather than carved has also claimed that other well-known structures had been created in a similar manner, such as at Tiwanaku and Puma Punku in Bolivia(ah) and Easter Island(ai). He offers scientific evidence to support this claim in a very interesting video(ak). My objection to his ‘cast rather than carved’ hypothesis, particularly in relation to Easter Island, is that partially finished statues are visible today in a quarry still attached at the back to the rock from which they were carved as well as some of the tools used for the job. Images of these can be seen in Thor Heyerdahl’s Aku-Aku .
Brien Foerster is an American writer who now lives in Cuzco, the former Inca capital in Peru. He has studied the ancient cultures of the Andes and believes that many predated the Incas and had advanced technologies that permitted the precise drilling of stone(af), the quality of which he has compared with examples found in Egypt and like Chris Dunn concluded that their level of accuracy could not have been achieved without possession of a high technology, now lost(ag). He has expanded on this in his 2014 book, Lost Ancient Technology of Egypt .
A fully illustrated guide to the intriguing monuments of Tiwanaku/Puma Punku is now available which is an excellent introduction to the site including a map by Javier Escalante Moscoso(an).
(aa) https://www.oocities.org/debunkinglc/tiwanaku.html (link broken)
Doug Fisher is the author of a long-awaited book with the intended title of The Atlantis Maps: The Rise of Atlantis and the Fall of a Paradigm in which he identifies Atlantis as North and South America with the Plain described by Plato being the region of Mesopotamia, in northeast Argentina. The book was eventually published in 2018 as Maps, Myths and Paradigms  with details of its contents listed on his website.(c) Four chapters had been available online(a) together with a few additional articles.
Fisher has published an illustrated paper on Graham Hancock’s website with the self-explanatory title of The Walls of Atlantis(b). His suggestion of a huge outer wall encircling the city of Atlantis has been disputed by Jim Allen, provoking further comments(c) from Fisher.
He has also criticised the methodology, which Allen used to place Atlantis on the Altiplano(d), while I question the credibility of both their theories.
When Fisher’s book was finished and due for publication with its new title, he closed his old website and prepared a new site(e) to coincide with the publication of the book.
Fisher has published two other papers(f) on Hancock’s website relating to the maps of Johannes Schöner and Oronteus Finaeus.>In October 2022 he published another paper on the same site challenging the currently accepted theory of plate tectonics highlighting weaknesses in the concept and proposing a fresh look at the expanding earth hypothesis.<
(a) See: Archive 2865 (no images)
(c) http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread646457/pg2 (halfway down the page)
The Concentric Rings or other architectural features extracted by artists from Plato’s description of the capital of Atlantis have continually fascinated students of the story and many have attempted to link them with similar ancient features found elsewhere in the world as evidence of a widespread culture. Stonehenge, Old Owstrey, Carthage and Syracuse have all been suggested, but such comparisons have never been convincing. Diaz-Montexano has recently published(a) an image of a fragment of pottery found near Seville in Spain that shows concentric circles and insists that it is a symbol of Atlantis. Ulf Erlingsson has made a similar claim regarding some concentric circles carved on a stone basin found at Newgrange in Ireland.
In 1969 two commercial pilots, Robert Brush and Trigg Adams photographed a series of large concentric circles in about three feet of water off the coast of Andros in the Bahamas. Estimates of the diameter of the circles range from 100 to 1,000 feet. Apparently, these rings are now covered by sand. It is hard to understand how such a feature in such very shallow water cannot be physically located and inspected. Richard Wingate in his book  estimated the diameter at 1,000 yards. However, the rings described by Wingate were apparently on land, among Andros’ many swamps.
>A recent (2023) report has drawn attention to the ancient rock art found on Kenya’s Mfangano Island where a number of concentric circles estimated as 4,000 years old can be seen(q).<
Two papers presented to the 2005 Atlantis Conference on Melos describe how an asteroid impact could produce similar concentric rings, which, if located close to a coast, could be converted easily to a series of canals for seagoing vessels. The authors, Filippos Tsikalas, V.V. Shuvavlov and Stavros Papamarinopoulos gave examples of such multi-ringed concentric morphology resulting from asteroid impacts. Not only does their suggestion provide a rational explanation for the shape of the canals but would also explain the apparent over-engineering of those waterways.
At the same conference, the late Ulf Richter presented his idea [629.451], which included the suggestion that the concentric rings around the centre of the Atlantis capital had a natural origin. Richter has proposed that the Atlantis rings were the result of the erosion of an elevated salt dome that had exposed alternating rings of hard and soft rock that could be adapted to provide the waterways described by Plato.
Georgeos Diaz-Montexano has suggested that the ancient city under modern Jaen in Andalusia, Spain had a concentric layout similar to Plato’s description of Atlantis. In August 2016 archaeologists from the University of Tübingen revealed the discovery(i) of a Copper Age, Bell Beaker People site 50km east of Valencina near Seville, where the complex included a series of concentric earthwork circles.
A very impressive example of man-made concentric stone circles, known in Arabic as Rujm el-Hiri and in Hebrew as Gilgal Refaim(a), is to be found on the Golan Heights, now part of Israeli-occupied Syria. It consists of four concentric walls with an outer diameter of 160metres. It has been dated to 3000-2700 BC and is reputed to have been built by giants! Mercifully, nobody has claimed any connection with Atlantis. That is until 2018 when Ryan Pitterson made just such a claim in his book, Judgement of the Nephilim.
Jim Allen in his latest book, Atlantis and the Persian Empire, devotes a well-illustrated chapter to a discussion of a number of ‘circular cities’ that existed in ancient Persia and which some commentators claim were the inspiration for Plato’s description of the city of Atlantis. These include the old city of Firuzabad which was divided into 20 sectors by radial spokes as well as Ecbatana and Susa, both noted by Herodotus to have had concentric walls. Understandably, Allen, who promotes the idea of Atlantis in the Andes, has pointed out that many sites on the Altiplano have hilltops surrounded by concentric walls. However, as he seems to realise that to definitively link any of these locations with Plato’s Atlantis a large dollop of speculation was required.
Rodney Castleden compared the layout of Syracuse in Sicily with Plato’s Atlantis noting that the main city “had seen a revolution in its defensive works, with the building of unparalleled lengths of circuit walls punctuated by numerous bastions and towers, displaying the city-state’s power and wealth. The three major districts of the city, Ortygia, Achradina and Tycha, were surrounded by three separate circuit walls; Ortygia itself had three concentric walls, a double wall around the edge and an inner citadel”.[225.179]
Dale Drinnon has an interesting article(d) on the ‘rondels’ of the central Danubian region, which number about 200. Some of these Neolithic features have a lot in common with Plato’s description of the port city of Atlantis. The ubiquity of circular archaeological structures at that time is now quite clear, but they do not demonstrate any relationship with Atlantis.
The late Marcello Cosci based his Atlantis location on his interpretation of aerial images of circular features on Sherbro Island, but as far as I can ascertain this idea has gained little traction.
One of the most remarkable natural examples of concentric features is to be found in modern Mauritania and is known as the Richat Structure or Guelb er Richat. It is such a striking example that it is not surprising that some researchers have tried to link it with Atlantis. Robert deMelo and Jose D.C. Hernandez(o) are two advocates along with George S. Alexander & Natalis Rosen who were struck by the similarity of the Richat feature with Plato’s description and decided to investigate on the ground. Instability in the region prevented this until late 2008 when they visited the site, gathering material for a movie. The film was then finalised and published on their then newly established website in 2010(l), where the one hour video in support of their thesis can be freely downloaded(m).
In 2008, George Sarantitis put forward the idea that the Richat Structure was the location of Atlantis, supporting his contention with an intensive reappraisal of the translation of Plato’s text(n). He developed this further in his Greek language 2010 book, The Apocalypse of a Myth with an English translation currently in preparation.
However, Ulf Richter has pointed out that Richat is too wide (35 km), too elevated (400metres) and too far from the sea (500 km) to be seriously considered as the location of Atlantis.
A dissertation by Oliver D.Smith has suggested(e) the ancient site of Sesklo in Greece as the location of Atlantis, citing its circularity as an important reason for the identification. However, there are no concentric walls, the site is too small and most importantly, it’s not submerged. Smith later decided that the Atlantis story was a fabrication!(p)
In March 2015, the UK’s MailOnline published a generously illustrated article(g) concerning a number of sites with unexplained concentric circles in China’s Gobi Desert. The article also notes some superficial similarities with Stonehenge. I will not be surprised if a member of the lunatic fringe concocts an Atlantis theory based on these images. (see right)
Paolo Marini has written Atlantide:Nel cerchio di Stonehenge la chiave dell’enigma (Atlantis: The Circle is the Key to the enigma of Stonehenge) . The subtitle refers to his contention that the concentric circles of Atlantis are reflected in the layout of Stonehenge!
In 2011 Shoji Yoshinori offered the suggestion that Stonehenge was a 1/24th scale model of Atlantis(f). He includes a fascinating image in the pdf.
This obsession with concentricity has now extended to the interpretation of ancient Scandinavian armoury in particular items such as the Herzsprung Shield(c).
For my part, I wish to question Plato’s description of the layout of Atlantis’ capital city with its vast and perfectly engineered concentric alternating bands of land and sea. This is highly improbable as the layout of cities is invariably determined by the natural topography of the land available to it(h). Plato is describing a city designed by and for a god and his wife and as such his audience would expect it to be perfect and Plato did not let them down. I am therefore suggesting that those passages have been concocted within the parameters of ‘artistic licence’ and should be treated as part of the mythological strand in the narrative, in the same way, that we view the ‘reality’ of Clieto’s five sets of male twins or even the physical existence of Poseidon himself.
Furthermore, Plato was a follower of Pythagoras, who taught that nothing exists without a centre, around which it revolves(k). A concept which may have inspired him to include it in his description of Poseidon’s Atlantis.
(d) See: Archive 3595
(n) https://platoproject.gr/system-wheels/ https://platoproject.gr/page13.html (offline Nov.2015)
The Altiplano of BoliviaBolivia has most of its western half situated in the central Andes which includes the Altiplano (High Plateau). Jim Allen, a Scot, has promoted this region(a) as the true home of Plato’s Atlantis. Allen claims that ‘Andes’ is a corruption of Antis, a local word that means copper and that the same language uses Atl to denote water. He has identified a site known as Pampa Aullagas as the most likely location of Atlantis. The radical nature of this idea has ensured it widespread attention and sometimes scathing criticism.
Although I cannot subscribe to Jim Allen’s Bolivian location for Atlantis, there is little doubt that Bolivia has yet to reveal all its secrets. For example, there are the little known Sajama lines in western Bolivia near the border with Chile and Peru. These straight Sajama Lines ”average between one and three meters wide, and run from a few meters to several kilometers. The longest of them are about twenty kilometers in length.”(m) Unlike the Nazca lines those at Sajama do not represent any creatures.
Very little research has been carried out on these lines, but I note that Evan Hadingham touched on the subject in Lines to the Mountain Gods noting that Tony Morrison, who had previously filmed the lines at Nazca, stumbled on those at Sajama, and was told by locals that the lines joined sacred shrines. This was similar to what was told to the noted French anthropologist, Alfred Métraux in the 1930’s.
Returning to the subject of Atlantis, I continue to ask both why or how a mountainous kingdom on the west of South America would attack Athens on the eastern extremity of the Mediterranean is not clear! Allen’s theory concentrates on comparing the topography on the Altiplano with Plato’s description. He compared the physical features described by Plato with the site on the Altiplano and found that there was a very close match except that all the dimensions were out by a factor of two. This he explains by pointing out that unlike the Greeks, the pre-Columbian South Americans used a base 20 for counting. Allen also points to a naturally occurring alloy of copper and gold that is to be found in the Andes as the origin of the Orichalcum mentioned by Plato.
In an effort to strengthen his theory Allen suggests that the bull sacrifice on Atlantis, recorded by Plato, was in fact a reference to llama sacrifices(b)practiced in the Andes for thousands of years right up to the present! He argues that since the Egyptians would have had no word for llama they substituted ‘bull’ for it instead. Although llamas are camelids, I would have thought that they were closer in appearance to goats than bulls. Goat sacrifice is commonplace in the Southern Mediterranean and across much of Asia and has been for millennia. I consider Allen’s suggestion overly speculative and highly improbable.
Atlantisrevealed.com is a website(d), in English and Italian, which supports Jim Allens’s theory of Atlantis on the Altiplano of Bolivia. Unfortunately, it adds little new to the debate. Contrasting that is a lengthy and balanced critique of Allen’s ideas on Timothy Stephany’s website(e). He concludes that there is currently insufficient evidence to justify Allen’s claims.
Advocates of a South American Atlantis have pointed to the discovery of cocaine traces, derived exclusively from the South American coca plant, found in Egyptian mummies as evidence of ancient trans-Atlantic links and a possible channel for the spread of story of the destruction of Atlantis.
David Antelo, a Bolivian engineer, has also proposed a plain, in the Beni region just north of Allen’s site, as the location of Atlantis. In January 2011, Allen’s website included an extensive selection of aerial photos(c) of topographical features in Beni which suggest the pre-existence of an advanced civilisation in the region.
The oldest settlements so far found in Bolivia’s Amazon region are dated at 10,400 years old(f). A recent report(g) has shown numerous large circular earthworks throughout the Bolivian and Brazilian Amazon region. It also reported that the same territory, until recently forest, was savannah as recently as 2,000 or 3,000 thousand years ago.
Near the end of the 19th century, Emeterio Villamil de Rada (1804-1880) created quite a stir when he was the first to suggest that the Garden of Eden had been situated in the Andes and for good measure that the Aymara language was the language of Adam. Comparable ideas were expressed by Ramiro Gonzales Yaksic (1966- ) is the Bolivian author of Earthly Paradise: The Garden of the Andes in which he claims to have identified the biblical Garden of Eden in his native Bolivia(h). Dieter Groban has written in support of Yaksic(n).
In 2003 Jay Weidner & Vincent Bridges published a book supporting an Andean location for Atlantis in neighbouring Peru. Weidner & Bridges subsequently fell out(i) and Bridges has been accused of organising a scam by Laura Knight-Jadczyk(j).
(e) See: Archive 2237
(h) See: Archive 2331
J.M. Allen, a Scotsman, worked in the 1970’s as an expert in satellite mapping with the British Royal Air Force. He was also a researcher of ancient measuring systems. The combination of these two interests led to a conviction that Plato’s Atlantis could be matched with a site in the Altiplano of Bolivia,which he outlined in his book Atlantis: The Andes Solution. Coincidentally, in the same year, Tony Morrison published an article entitled The Bolivian Atlantis(k-n).
Allen’s case is primarily based on the discovery of a vast canal network in the region together with aerial photography indicating concentric rings on the ground. His chosen site of Pampa Aullagus contains red, white and black rock reminiscent of the Atlantean masonry described by Plato.
In a TV documentary that focused on his theory it was suggested that the other nine kingdoms that comprised the Atlantean domain were probably to be found in South America.
Allen has also written Decoding Ezekiel’s Temple(a), which discusses ancient measuring methods.
2009 saw the publication of a second book, Atlantis: Lost Kingdom of the Andes designed to reinforce his original thesis of Atlantis on the Altiplano of Bolivia. A trilogy was completed in 2010 with the publication of The Atlantis Trail (Kindle)which records his travels in the Andes in search of Atlantis(b). A small hotel is now being built in Pampa Aullagus to cater for increased number of tourists, no doubt in response to the work of Jim Allen.
In 2012, Allen published Atlantis and the Persian Empire, which is available to download as a free pdf file(c). This work is really just a reprise of his earlier writings. In this somewhat provocatively titled book he claims that Plato took the geography of the Atlantis story from the Andes, a theme he has been promoting since 1998.
However, he also maintains that the military history in Plato’s narrative was based on the war between Athens and the Persian Empire in the 5th century BC. Another of his more exotic claims is that the Sea Peoples were from South America. Allen devotes a considerable part of the book to ancient South American metrology and ends with a comparison of relative merits of the Altiplano versus Santorini as the inspiration behind Plato’s Atlantis story.
An extensive critique of Allen’s theories is offered by Timothy J.Stephany on his website(e). Nevertheless, although I consider Allen’s basic theory regarding Atlantis unacceptable, I find that part of his website showing images(f) of an extensive range of artefacts demonstrate most eloquently that South American civilisation was heavily influenced by distant cultures, both east and west.
Support for Allen’s views has continued into 2013(d), despite those elements of his theory that still conflict with Plato’s narrative: dating, dimensions and the improbability of an invasion of the eastern Mediterranean by a force from the west coast South America! However, I have found that in 1900, Peter de Roo devoted chapter seven of his History of America before Columbus[890.v1] to a review of the idea that at various times native Americans travelled eastward and among other things were responsible for the settling of Egypt!
Allen’s site offers an extensive article on the life and research of Posnansky, including excerpts from his work(j).
(e) See: Archive 2237
The Plain of Atlantis is one of the principal features recorded by Plato in great detail. He describes it being “3000 stades in length and at its midpoint 2000 stades in breath from the coast” (Critias 118a, trans. Lee). The shape of the plain is frequently given as ‘rectangular’ or ‘oblong’ and contained an efficient irrigation system that was fed by mountain streams. The fertility of the plain gave the inhabitants two crops annually.
The dimensions given by Plato would translate into 370 x 555 km (230 x 345 miles). However, the late Ulf Richter has recently proposed(a) that the dimensions originally given to Solon by the priests of Sais used the Egyptian ‘khet’ (52.4 meters) as the unit of measurement. Possibly Solon recorded the figures without mentioning the units employed. In Ireland, we changed over to the metric system some years ago, but builders still speak and write of using ‘2×4’ lengths of timber without specifying that they are referring to inches. Such unqualified notations made at present could be interpreted in the future as 2×4 centimetres. This illustrates how reasonable Richter’s suggestion is. The acceptance of it would give us a more credible 105 x 157 km (65 x 97 miles) as the dimensions of this plain. Richter also maintains that the plain was in fact a river delta, which explains the remarkable fertility of the land.
Jim Allen, who supports an Andean location for Atlantis, offers a strong argument against other principal Atlantis candidates by critically examining the plains included in alternative location theories(c). However, it must be pointed out that Allen had to divide Plato’s dimensions for the plain by two in order to shoehorn it into his chosen location.
While I accept that there is evidence that there was flooding on the Altiplano, it took place some thousands of years before the Bronze Age Atlantis described by Plato and certainly long before he wrote “this is why the sea in that area is to this day impassible to navigation, which is hindered by mud just below the surface, the remains of the sunken island.” (Timaeus 25d – Desmond Lee) This is not a description that can be applied to anywhere on the Altiplano during the 1st millennium BC. Apart from that, Plato’s account clearly states that Atlantis was submerged and was still so in his own day, making Allen’s critique somewhat redundant.
An interesting suggestion, although badly flawed, was made by Jean Deruelle who proposed ‘Doggerland‘ in the North Sea as the location of Atlantis, adding an interesting twist to Plato’s description of the Plain. “Deruelle, an engineer and a geologist by profession, offers a hypothesis that is rational, highly precise, and based on his areas of expertise. No other hypothesis than Deruelle’s tackles so credibly the most outlandish elements in Plato’s description of Atlantis: the description of a vast plain, surrounded by a man-made ditch, 180 meters broad and thirty meters deep, large enough to circulate supertankers: it was not a ditch, but a dyke, build over centuries to protect a large part of Doggerland against the slowly rising waters of the North Sea.”(d)
Diaz-Montexano maintains that Plato never said that the plain was shaped like a rectangle.
The Mediterranean, between Sicily and North Africa, has been offered by a number of commentators, such as Alberto Arecchi and Alex Hausmann, as the location of the Plain of Atlantis. There is evidence of large areas of land having been submerged within the region between Malta and the Pelagie Islands. I include here a passing reference from Ernle Bradford who sailed the region which may be of interest to supporters of a Central Mediterranean Atlantis. When discussing the Egadi Islands off the west coast of Sicily he describes Levanzo, the smallest of the group as being “once joined to Sicily, and the island was surrounded by a large fertile plain. Levanzo, in fact, was joined to more than Sicily. Between this western corner of the Sicilian coast and the Cape Bon peninsula in Tunisia there once lay rich and fertile valleys-perhaps, who knows, long lost Atlantis?” [1011.57]
The number of different locations that have been proposed for the plain is obviously a reflection of the number of sites suggested for the city of Atlantis. I list the most popular below with the added comment that, at best, only one can be correct while all may be wrong.
Plain of Atlantis
Mauritania (David Edward) *
Mesara Plain on Crete (Braymer)
Central Plain of Ireland (Erlingsson)
Sea of Azov (Flying Eagle & Whispering Wind)
Altiplano of Bolivia (Jim Allen)
Andalusian Plain (Diaz-Montexano)
North Sea (Doggerland) (Jean Deruelle)
Plain of Catania, Sicily
Greenland (Mario Dantas)
Beni, Bolivia (David Antelo)
Mesopotamia in Argentina (Doug Fisher)
Plain of Troy (J.D.Brady)
South of England (E.J. deMeester)
Celtic Shelf (Dan Crisp)
Western Plain, Cuba (Andrew Collins)
Portugal (Peter Daughtrey)
Wales (Paul Dunbavin)
Florida (Dennis Brooks)
Atlantic Floor (Michael Jaye)
Baffin Bay, Greenland (Ian Fox)
Pannonian Plain, Hungary+(Ticleanu, Constantin & Nicolescu)
Guadalete River Plain (Karl Jürgen Hepke)
Saudi Arabia (Stan Deyo)
Yucatan Peninsula (Mark Carlotto)(b)