David Edward is the author of Atlantis Solved: The Final Definitive Proof , a slender 99-page volume published in 2022 that endeavours to prove that the Richat Structure was the location of Atlantis. The author claims to have been inspired by videos by Jimmy Corsetti, on the Bright Insight YouTube channel, who has been promoting the Structure as Atlantis for the past four years.
This identification has no archaeological or geological evidence to support it and more importantly, it conflicts with Plato’s account. These shortcomings are dealt with in greater detail in the Richat Structure entry here. However, Ulf Richter has succinctly pointed out that the feature is too wide (35km), too elevated (400 metres) and too far from the sea (500km) to be seriously considered as the location of Atlantis. To which I would add that with well over 3,000km between them, to launch an attack on Athens from Richat would have been totally impractical.
It is now being trailed that Edward’s second book, Fingerprints of the Atlanteans, will be published in late 2023. We can expect this to be a reprise of his first book. The pre-publication blurb ends with the claim that “this book changes everything!” I have heard that so many times before(a)>and have always been disappointed. We can only hope that Edward does better this time rather than piggyback on Corsetti’s flawed ideas.<
The Richat Structure or Guelb er Richat in Mauritania” is regarded by geologists as a highly symmetrical and deeply eroded geologic dome. It was first described in the 1930s to 1940s, as Richât Crater or Richât buttonhole. Richard-Molard (1948) considered it to be the result of a laccolithic thrust. A geological expedition to Mauritania led by Théodore Monod in 1952 recorded four ‘crateriform or circular irregularities” in the area.”(q)
The feature was thought by many to be an impact crater until it was identified as the remains of a possible ‘salt dome’(a). Some of the more enthusiastic supporters of the ‘Electric Universe’ school of thought have sought to identify the feature as the consequence of an electrical discharge.(e)
This is outlined in an April 2022 paper by Andrew Hall, explaining what he calls the ‘Keystone Pattern’.(r)
Even creationists have claimed that the original surface of the ‘Structure’ had been eroded by Noah’s Flood(t).
The concentric circles of which the structure is composed is clearly revealed by satellite imagery. However, these characteristics are not visible when walking across the structure(u). The scientific consensus today is that the structure is a natural geological feature. In more technical terms a geological ‘dome’ is “A structure that plunges in all directions to form a circular or elongate structure is a dome. Domes are generally formed from one main deformation event, or via diapirism from underlying magmatic intrusions or movements of upwardly mobile, mechanically ductile material such as rock salt (salt dome) and shale (shale diapir). The Richat Structure of the Sahara is considered a dome that has been laid bare by erosion.”(k) Further geological data was available on a German website(v).
It did not take long before it was compared to Plato’s description of Atlantis. However, Ulf Richter has pointed out that it is too wide (35 km), too elevated (400 metres) and too far from the sea (500 km) to be seriously considered the location of Atlantis. Nevertheless, researchers such as Robert deMelo are still prepared to consider it a possible location candidate(b).
50 km west-southwest of Richat is a similar though smaller feature, the Semsiyat Dome, having a diameter of just 5 km(o).
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(g). His theory has been published in Greek, with an English translation now (2017) imminent.
In 2006 George S. Alexander and Natalis Rosen 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(c).
In 2008, Charles Giuliani self-published Alternative View of The Distant Past . In this wide-ranging book, the author tackles the story of Atlantis and endeavours to identify the Richat Structure as the location of Plato’s city of Atlantis. His speculations lack scientific evidence and contradict reason. The main weaknesses are his dating of Atlantis (9600 BC) and the logistical problems of launching an attack on Athens 4,000km away from Richat at a time when archaeology indicates that seafaring was carried out with little more than dugout canoes or rafts.
In 2013 further support for linking Atlantis with Richat came from Jose D.C. Hernandez with a rather convoluted theory in a paper entitled A Celestial Impact and Atlantis(f).
Even more bizarre is the claim by Anthony Woods that although Ireland was the island of Atlantis, the city of Atlantis (Cerne) was in Mauritania and is known today as the Richat Structure!
Towards the end of the 2018 media ‘silly season’, the YouTube channel Bright Insight made a pathetic attempt to breathe new life into the Atlantis in Sahara theory. However, it fails on one simple fact; it is not submerged, but for good measure, when Alexander and Rosen investigated the Richat Structure they could not produce a single piece of physical evidence from the 35 km wide site. Where was the bustling port described by Plato? I could go on, but remember, it’s not called the silly season without reason.
Early November 2018 saw the British tabloid press give further coverage to Jimmy Corsetti’s ideas(i)(j) (The Sun gave his name as Jimmy Bright!). His theories are totally dependent on the destruction of Atlantis having occurred around twelve thousand years ago. He does not explain how an attack was launched from Mauritania on Athens which did not even exist at that time. Corsetti, like many others, needs this very early date to explain why the Richat Structure is not underwater today but was gradually uplifted as a result of tectonic forces in the region. However, Plato clearly states that the submerged Atlantis was still a hazard to shipping in his day, a period when the Structure would have been at its present elevation. As no geologic event has occurred during the two and a half millennia since Plato, which could have raised the Structure from the seabed to an elevation of 400 metres 500 km from the Atlantic, we are obliged to give greater credence to the scientific conclusion that the Richat Structure is a natural feature. Corsetti does have at least one fan(n).
It was in 2018 that Corsetti published a video promoting the Richat Structure as Atlantis, which received extensive coverage. Steven Novella, a well-known Atlantis sceptic, published an article debunking Corsetti’s ‘evidence’ in some considerable detail(s). However, while I would endorse Novella’s arguments(l) regarding the Richat Structure, I strongly disagree with Novella’s closed-minded attitude towards the existence of Atlantis as well as Corsetti’s attention-seeking location choice for Plato’s island. I would add that Corsetti has his date wrong and that to launch an attack on Athens nearly 4000 km away by land (3000 km by sea) from the ‘Structure’ is logistical nonsense.
In a recent conversation with Joe Rogan, Corsetti claimed that since the Structure contains salt, it MUST have been submerged and no other explanation is possible. However, as I have pointed out above the Richat feature is an eroded ‘salt dome’ and quite naturally has salt in it without the need for submersion.
>The natural geological origins of the Richat Structure are discussed in some detail in a 2005 paper by three Canadian scientists in the journal Geology, produced by the Geological Society of America. It would be interesting to hear the response of Corsetti to facts compared with his daft speculations(w).<
However, in 2018, Martin K. Ettington published a booklet entitled The Real Atlantis  in which he also insisted that the Richat Structure is the remains of Atlantis but with no real evidence to support his contention.
In Joining the Dots  and in Atlantipedia.ie I have consistently argued that in ancient times, proximity is an essential logistical requirement in order to achieve a successful invasion. This was particularly true in ancient times when all empires expanded through the invasion of neighbouring territories. The Richat Structure is many thousands of kilometres from Athens, so to suggest that an attack was launched from Mauretania on Greece is simply ludicrous.
There is a relatively recent website(m) dedicated to promoting the ‘Structure’ as the location of Atlantis. It is well presented by its author Gergely (Gregory) Dzsida with plenty of content. Unfortunately, I cannot accept its basic claim, To my mind, it fails to answer Richter’s arguments regarding, size, elevation and location as well as my point regarding proximity.
Although the Richat Structure as the location of Atlantis conflicts with details in Plato’s account as well as reason, it still gathers supporters based simply on its circular shape. A recent example of this came from a Danish commentator, Palle A. Anderson(p).
An even more ridiculous suggestion was offered in 2021 by Carlos Bisceglia in Atlantis 2021- Lost Continent Rediscovered in which he proposed that Atlantis was known to the Egyptians as the ‘Land of Ma’ and that its capital was the Richat Structure together with the Semsiat Dome, mentioned above, which is 50km away. In order to explain how his Atlantis is not submerged, Bisceglia has proposed that the Land of Ma became confused with the submerged Land of Mu (Sundaland) in the Pacific and that “it is possible that Solon or Plato confused ‘the Land of Ma’ with the ‘Land of Mu’, and thus two completely independent accounts were merged into one.” He adds “how the Egyptian priests knew this is a mystery. Evidently, some survivors from Sundaland arrived in some way in Egypt”
In April 2022, David Edward published Atlantis Solved: The Final Definitive Proof , which also endorsed the Richat Structure as the location of Atlantis. The author of this slender 99-page book admits to being greatly influenced by the earlier claims of Jimmy Corsetti.
(o) http://www.b14643.de/Mauritania-Craters/index.htm (see the end of page)
The Plethrum (Plethron) is a Greek measurement of 100 Greek feet in length (101 English feet or about 30 metres) as well as 10,000 sq.ft. in area. It and its plural, plethra, is used in four instances in Critias (115d, 116a, 116d and 118c).
It is interesting to note that in one case (118c) Plato found the dimensions of the 10,000 stade ditch surrounding the plain of Atlantis as very hard to believe but felt obliged to record it out of deference to the reputation of his source, Solon. The text states that this ditch was dug by hand to a depth of a plethrum and a stade in width.
He was forced to make this suggestion because he recognised that the dimensions for the plain of Atlantis as recorded by Plato must have been exaggerated. However, when it came to the ditch which surrounded the plain he was also contented to accept that the stade width of the ditch was excessive but that the plethrum depth was acceptable because the clay banks would have been continually subject to slippage! Feasible, but for me, not totally convincing.
>The most recent entrant into this particular debate is M.P. Courville [1960.10] who has proposed that Plato intended to use the plethrum, which is around 30 metres long or very roughly one-fifth the length of a stade. The problem arising from that idea is that Plato also uses the plethrum together with the stade in contexts where they both seem too large (Crit.116a & 118c)!<
The Stade was an ancient Greek measurement of distance. The origins of the stade are not clear. One opinion claims that at first, it was the distance covered by a plough before turning. Later it was the length of a foot race in a Greek Stadion (Roman Stadium) or 157 meters. Different ‘standard’ stadia existed in various city-states of ancient Greece ranging from 157 to 211 meters.
Some commentators have treated the stade as a synonym for the British ‘furlong’ (one eight a mile or 220 yards – approximately 201 metres), which was an old Anglo-Saxon measure for a ‘long furrow’.
Nick Kollerstrom has published a paper on Graham Hancock’s website arguing that “Mother Earth was clearly the source of the Greek stade, though the ancient Greek philosophers do not seem to have been aware of this fact.”(e)
Most commentators on Plato’s Atlantis seem to accept a value of 185 metres (607 feet) to the stade. Thorwald C.Franke argues for a value of 176 metres – ” It is confusing: The building called “stadion” had been 185 meters, but the measure “stadion” not. We can conclude that the Athenians once had a shorter building, but decided to build a bigger building in later times. It is the same story for the “stadion” of other cities.” (private correspondence)
>The problem that has arisen is that irrespective of whichever stade was used by Plato, the resulting dimensions suggested by him are unacceptably large. This has led quite a number of commentators to suggest that Plato’s use of the stade was possibly due to some misunderstanding or transcription error and have striven to find a more credible unit of measurement.<
Jim Allen who is the leading advocate for a Bolivian location for Atlantis has used a value for the stade that is half the conventionally accepted 185 metres. He bases this on the fact that the ancient South Americans used a base of 20 rather than 10 for counting. He offers an interesting article with impressive images on his website(a) in support of his contention.
Dr Rainer Kühne, who recently publicised that a site in Andalusia, identified by Werner Wickboldt from satellite photos, suggested that Plato used a stade that was probably 20% longer than what is normally accepted since the dimensions of the Spanish site are greater than those given in Plato’s text. This idea is not satisfactory as so many other dimensions of the city’s features already suggest over-engineering on a colossal scale. To add a further 20% would be even more ridiculous.
If the dimensions of Atlantis did originate on the pillars in the temple at Sais, the unit of measurement used was probably Egyptian (or Atlantean) and so their exact value must be open to question. The values given by Plato relating to Atlantis have long been ammunition for sceptics. They argue that Plato’s topographical data suggests either a degree of over-engineering that was improbable in the Bronze Age or impossible in the Stone Age and must, therefore, be a fantasy.
In the 1930s and 1940s, there was a degree of confusion among those reluctant to accept that the Greek ‘stade’ was a reliable unit of measurement for the architectural features described by Plato in Atlantis. Alexander Braghine in 1940, seems to have the matter entirely confused when he wrote [156.58] about Albert Hermann‘s proposal of 1934 that the unit of measurement used by the Egyptians to describe Atlantis was the ‘shoinos’, which Braghine noted is 604 times shorter than a stade, which is completely wrong or just a misprint that should read 60! Earlier in 1937 James Bramwell also commented on Hermann’s suggestion that it was the Egyptian ‘schoinos’, which is equivalent to 30 stadia [195.117].
William Smith’s Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, noted that “SCHOENUS (?, ?, ???????), literally, a rope of rushes, an Egyptian and Persian itinerary and land measure (Herod. i. 66). Its length is stated by Herodotus (ii. 6, 9) at 60 stadia, or 2 parasangs; by Eratosthenes at 40 stadia, and by others at 112 or 30. (Plin. H. N. v. 9. s. 10, xii. 14. s. 30.) Strabo and Pliny both state that the schoenus varied in different parts of Egypt and Persia. (Strabo, p. 803; Plin. H. N. vi. 26. s 30; comp Athen. iii. p. 122, a.) [–Phillip Smith]”
>An award-winning paper by Newly Walkup discusses in detail Eratosthenes attempt to measure the circumference of the Earth(f).<
Today, Wikipedia proposes a conversion rate of 40 schoeni to the stade(c).
The late Ulf Richter proposed a simple solution to this problem(b), namely that the unit of measurement originally recorded was the Egyptian Khet. This was equivalent to 52.4 metres or approximately 3.5 times less than the value of the stade. The acceptance of this rational explanation removes one of the great objections to the veracity of the Atlantis narrative.
>The most recent entrant into this particular debate is M.P. Courville [1960.10] who has proposed that Plato intended to use the plethrum, which is around 30 metres long or very roughly one-fifth the length of a stade. The problem arising from that idea is that Plato also uses the plethrum together with the stade in contexts where they both seem too large (Crit.116a & 118c)!<
Jean-Pierre Pätznick commented in a paper on the Academia.edu website that “the 10,000-stadia ditch that would have surrounded the great plain on three sides would in fact have measured 1850 km long, 30.80 m deep and 185 m wide. A colossal structure that would have been 23 times larger than the Panama Canal and nearly 10 times larger than that of the Suez Canal!”(d)
It seems that all of Plato’s numbers, or at least all the larger ones, appear to be exaggerations and in my opinion, should be reduced by a common factor to bring them in line with credibility. I have elaborated more fully on this in Joining the Dots.
(d) (99+) (PDF) Atlantis: ‘Lost in Translations’ – In Search of the Egyptian Version | Jean-Pierre PÄTZNICK – Academia.edu (French with English translation available)
Salt Domes are the result of large deposits of salts laid down millions of years ago and subsequently covered by layers of sediment that in time became stratified rock. Over time the deposits push upwards, as they are usually less dense than the overlying rock, creating domes. Erosion of these domes can produce a feature that has the appearance of a series of concentric circles. These domes can be many kilometres in diameter and in Kazakhstan have been numbered at 1,200.
Salt domes have been recently put forward as an explanation for the circular waterways of Atlantis, as described by Plato. Ulf Richter has proposed(a) that if one such dome had originally been overlaid with strata of varying hardness the effects of erosion could have produced a number of concentric depressions that could have been adapted as canals. Richter provides a diagram demonstrating the process and gave the Richat Structure in Mauretania as a good example of the process.
R(ich) McQuillen is an American investigator who has cogently argued for an Egyptian location for Atlantis. He has diligently gathered an impressive array of evidence from classical writers including Hellanicus, Solinus and Aeschylus to support his view and arranged the morass that is Greek mythology to construct a credible timeframe for the Atlantis narrative.
However, McQuillen is not the first to locate Atlantis in or near Egypt, in fact, the earliest I have found is in the late 19th century by A.N. Karnozhitsky, while the most recent was published by Diego Ratti in 2021.
McQuillen places the Pillars of Heracles at Canopus, which was formerly in the Western Nile delta but is now submerged about 6.5 km from the coast in the Bay of Aboukir. He is also of the opinion that the Egyptians used lunar ‘years’ rather than solar years bringing the backdrop to the Atlantis story into the 2nd millennium BC. However, he now seems to favour the ‘factor ten’ interpretation of Plato’s date.
McQuillen locates Atlantis at Pharos, which was near modern Alexandria. His website(a) is well worth a visit.
Extensive underwater excavations in the region have been undertaken in recent years by Franck Goddio and his team with remarkable results (b).
It is also worth noting that the late Ulf Richter reasoned that a river delta was the most likely topographical setting for Atlantis (c).
In March 2022 McQuillen added six papers(d-i) expanding on background details employed in his interpretation of the Atlantis story. All six are available on the Academia.edu website.
In 2020, McQuillen published A Simple Chronology of Greek Mythology(k) adding a further paper(j) in 2022 that offered a radical reappraisal of Biblical chronology that included the following.
1 People have been questioning Standard Biblical Chronology (the literal times), for 2000 years, and yet this still persists in modern Biblical Archaeology
2 I have thrown out the early dates entirely and introduced a different paradigm to try to find some of these elusive characters. This paper talks about the Pre-Noachian Kings, like Cainan, and links him to the real-world Syrian Hyksos King Khyan, and finds archaeological evidence of the existence of other Hyksos Kings.
3 It links the flood of Noah to the flood of Ahmose and Atrahasis, and shows it to be a real flood caused by Santorini.
4 It finds Jacob at the same time as the Israel stele of Merneptah. It finds Joseph as the Semitic Pharoah Siptah, whose mother has the same name as Jacob’s second wife. It finds Moses around the time of the Smallpox plague in Egypt (ranging from Ramses 4 to 9)(1182?1136BC).
In his paper ‘Perfecting Plato’ McQuillen is critical of some available translations available to us, of passages in Plato’s Atlantis texts. In his summary of the paper
“There are a bunch of controversial passages within the Timaeus. This has led to 50k books on the topic with a bunch of different interpretations of the same passages. These stem from mistranslations, intentional mistakes, wild speculation, etc… The purpose of this paper is to identify and correct the mistakes and add additional insight. The Timaeus is long and in most parts well-translated and irrelevant, so I’m selecting only interesting passages, where I can add insight. I’m using the Bury Translation, with a little bit of Calcidius thrown in.
Plato’s myth has been described as a fable and a description of an idealized society. Instead, it was intended as a story about 18th dynasty Egypt, and its interactions with the Haunebu (Aegaens). The past is often romanticized and idealized in the history books; History is written by the winners.” He then proceeded to comment on a number of specific passages in Timaeus(h).
Location Theories regarding Atlantis have identified sites all over the globe as can be seen below. In very general terms the 15th century saw three developments that were to lead to a renewed interest in Atlantis – the discovery of America, the first translation of the complete works of Plato by Ficino and the invention of the printing press. These saw a number of commentators offering their views on the location of Atlantis during the 16th century of which the majority favoured the Americas. Gradually the Americas gave way to an Atlantic location reaching a peak with the publication of Ignatius Donnelly’s famous work. Both the Americas and the Atlantic still have their proponents, although today reasoning rather than speculation is more evident.
Around 1900 Sir Arthur Evans was beginning to uncover the remains of the Minoan civilisation on Crete. Subsequently, in the same manner that the discovery of America led to the identification of the New World with Atlantis when Evans revealed the glory of the civilisation that had existed on Crete, the early part of the 20th century saw the formulation of the Minoan Hypothesis, which linked Crete with Atlantis. This concept got a dramatic boost with the discovery of the 2nd millennium BC eruption of Thera and the possibility that it inspired aspects of Plato’s Atlantis narrative. This idea is still the most popular after nearly a century of both study and speculation.
Atlantis theories have proliferated but in general, are more carefully and scientifically argued today. However, the work and reputation of serious atlantologists is frequently undermined by the ravings of occultists and mystics and their channelled gibberish. It should be obvious that if there was any communication with another plane of existence that by now we would have been told the location of Atlantis, but none has been forthcoming.
Non-specific clues to the location of Atlantis are the fact that most major cities are sited at the mouths of rivers and as the 2010 BBC documentary series How the Earth Made Us demonstrated, so many ancient civilisations developed close to tectonic fault lines because of the range of mineral wealth frequently found adjacent to them. However, fault lines are prone to earthquakes, a feature compatible with Plato’s description of Atlantis’ demise. In addition, the late Ulf Richter reasoned that the plain described by Plato was in fact a river delta. So it is probable that the capital of Atlantis was built on a river delta near a tectonic fault line.
A chronological list of theories and their authors is available here. I recently (2014) counted that a full 40% of those listedsupported an Atlantic location. However, as I demonstrate elsewhere ((5105)) the Atlantic ‘Sea’ referred to by Plato (Timaeus 24e, 25a & Critias 109a, 114a) could not have been the Atlantic Ocean that we know today.
While it may appear that recent years have seen a considerable increase in the number of people publicly expressing their views regarding the location of Atlantis, we must allow for two developments; the expansion of self-publishing and the use of the Internet. Unfortunately, this has led to a greater proliferation of nonsensical ideas about Atlantis alongside the more thoughtful and valuable contributions to the subject.
>A novel approach to determining the location of Atlantis was published in 2022 by Neo Khala. Using the Chronology of Locations published here he placed them all in a spreadsheet. “The spreadsheet contains 690 entries, which include almost a hundred different locations. For each location, I looked up the corresponding coordinates on the globe. From these values, I calculated the average of the latitude and the longitude. The result: 31°5’3.012″N 14°21’15.084″W. So Atlantis was found in the North Atlantic Ocean, north of the Canary Islands, off the coast of Morocco, at the same level as Essaouria. As you can see, finding Atlantis was child’s play. You can also see that my approach encompasses all other localizations that have ever existed. I must add, it also includes all the locations that could ever exist. The search is over. For once and for all, Atlantis is found.”(a)
Whatever happened to the Scientific Method?<
Axel Hausmann (1939-2014) was a German physics professor at the Technical University of Aachen. He had identified a circular underwater feature 20 miles due south of Syracuse in Sicily (36°45’N & 15°18’E) as the possible location of Plato’s city of Atlantis and south of that again existed the plain of Atlantis extending as far as Malta. He contended that Atlantis had an area of influence that stretched from Tunisia to Italy including Malta and Sicily. He erroneously claimed in a paper presented to the 2005 Atlantis Conference [629.351] to be the first to suggest the Central Mediterranean region as a runner in the Atlantis Stakes(c). However, he does appear to be the first scientist to promote the idea of a late breaching of a Gibraltar Dam leading to the inundation of Atlantis.
Hausmann placed the Pillars of Heracles at what was formerly a narrow strait between northeast Tunisia near what is now Cape Bon and an enlarged Sicilian landmass, which incorporated Malta.
He dated the submergence of Atlantis to around 3500 BC, based on the assumption that Plato’s ‘years’ were Egyptian seasons (three per solar year). He perceived the remarkable megalithic temples on Malta & Gozo as the remnants of Atlantis and anticipated similar discoveries on Sicily.>Hausmann’s dating of Atlantis is the only major detail in his theory with which I disagree.<
In a paper delivered to the 2005 Atlantis Conference on Milos, Hausmann speculated that the famous cart-ruts of Malta were irrigation channels[629.356], ignoring the fact that they follow the natural undulations of the landscape, unless he thought that these Maltese Atlanteans found a way to make water flow uphill.
Hausmann has also followed the suggestion of the late Ulf Richter who argued that the linear measurements of Atlantis used the Egyptian khet (52m)as the unit of measurement rather than the Greek stade (175m).
Hausmann proposed that the survivors of the catastrophe migrated to Crete, Egypt and Syria where they provided the stimulus for the subsequent civilisations of Egypt, Minoan Crete and Sumer. He specifically identified the Phaistos Disk as possibly having been brought to Crete by Atlantean refugees and also presented a paper on this idea to the 2005 Atlantis Conference(c). He has written a number of books including a second volume more directly related to Atlantis, Atlantis – Die Versunkene Wiege der Kulturen (Atlantis-The Sunken Cradle of Culture).
*Hausmann has written a two-part paper entitled Atlantis war Sizilien (Atlantis is Sicily) available on the Atlantisforschung.de website(a)(b) . In it, he echoes my own view that it seems incredible that commentators place Atlantis in locations on every continent and ignore the only region that Plato unambiguously identified as Atlantean territory, namely the Central Mediterranean, from Southern Italy to North Africa (Crit. 114c & Tim. 25a/b).
The Geographical Dimensions of Atlantis were not fully recorded by Plato, except for a comment that its influence extended as far as Libya and Tyrrhenia. Initially the island of Atlantis was divided among the ten sons of mythical Poseidon and then over time it seems that they acquired other islands as well as* other continental territory in the region.*
Plato’s descriptions and dimensions relate only to the capital of Atlantis that would appear to have been located on a large island, although this is not absolutely clear. Plato notes that a plain adjacent to the city was 2,000 x 3,000 stadia, (385 x 580 km or 240 x 360 miles). Ulf Richter argued that the unit of measurement employed was in fact the Egyptian khet, which would reduce Plato’s figures by a factor of 3.5, giving us more credible dimensions.
Although these measurements have been disputed as exaggerations resulting from a misinterpretation of the original Egyptian unit of measurement it must be pointed out that Plato also discusses the size of the Atlantean army which indicates a total of around a million men. Such a military force would have to be supported by a civilian population numbering many more millions. Such a figure could not be accommodated on a small island but would require a larger landmass with at least the dimensions recorded by Plato.
To confuse matters further Plato describes Atlantis as being greater (meizon) than Libya and Asia together. This led many Atlantis seekers to search for the remains of a very large island and were forced to assume that it could only have existed in the Atlantic, an idea refuted by modern geology. However, another more credible interpretation is that this refers to the power of Atlantis being greater than Libya and Asia combined.
Thorwald Franke points out that “For Egyptians the world of their “traditional” enemies divided in two: To the west there were the Libyans, to the east there were the Asians. If an Egyptian scribe wanted to say, that an enemy was more dangerous than the “usual” enemies of Egypt, which was the case with the Sea Peoples‘ invasion, then he would have most probably said, that this enemy was “more powerful than Libya and Asia put together”. If, what is likely, the statement “more powerful” in the Egyptian original had been expressed by the common word “wr”, then the mistake is explained: “wr” is “big” in its basic meaning, but it is widely used in a metaphorical way.
I note that in a short article in early 2016 and in The Destruction of Atlantis[102.82], Frank Joseph has now adopted Franke’s explanation. Unsurprisingly, Joseph does not credit Franke as the author of this elegant clarification.
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)