A research by Dhani Irwanto, 22 August 2015
The following list shows a summary of the converging evidence of the existence of Atlantis in Sundaland made by the author. Some other less important evidence are not included. The quoted terms, wherever possible, are the English translation of the terms taken from the Plato’s account, either in Greek or terms not found in Greek. Phrases in parenthesis are interpretations by the author.
These evidence are the “potsherds” in the verification of a theory using a Potsherd Model, where, the more “sherds” collected, reassembling them can give clearer representation of the “pot”. In this case, the reassembled “pot” from the “sherds” (evidence) is then compared to the descriptions by Plato (the “reference pot”) to prove the theory. It now appears from the list that the “pot” is almost fully reassembled and representative to the “reference pot”.
1. At a distant point in the “Atlantic Ocean” (ancient Greek understanding)
What we call now by the name of “Atlantic Ocean” is not the same as that of the ancients. Herodotus, Aristotle, Plato, Strabo and several other ancient authors are very specific on the fact that the “Atlantic Ocean” was the whole of the coterminous “earth-encircling ocean”, which we now arbitrarily divide into Pacific, Indian and Atlantic oceans.
The phrase “at a distant point in the Atlantic Ocean” implies that Atlantis was far away in the ocean in what we know today the eastern Indian Ocean or the Pacific Ocean.
Plato is alleged to have embodied the “Athens” as part of the story of Atlantis. The allegation of embodiment is supported by the expressions as follows.
The state of Atlantis is located at a distant point in the Atlantic Ocean, by itself put the city of the Athens at a distant location as well since both regions were close together as told in the story.
The Atlantis and the “Athens” were bordered by Monuments of Heracles which among others were placed in a strait called the Strait of Heracles. The city of Atlantis was within the strait, meaning that the city of the “Athens” was outside of the strait and the sea. These geographic descriptions are not compatible to the existence of Atlantis around the Mediterranean Sea.
The statements that “the ‘Athens’ which formerly had a vast and fertile land, at the time of Solon had sunk all around and all that remains were small rocky parts, and only a few trees growing and consists almost entirely of bare land so that rain water flows only just on it and then lost to the sea”, do not describe the conditions of the city of Athen at the time of Solon.
The statement that “the city of the Athens’ had been established a thousand years before Egypt” is also incompatible.
2. The way to other islands
3. Might pass to opposite continent encompasses true ocean
4. Larger than “Libya” and “Asia” (Asia Minor) combined (ancient Greek understanding)
(Timaeus: 24e – Critias: 108e)
5. The landscape of the whole country, at the region on the side of the ocean, was very lofty and precipitous.
The sea level at the time of Atlantis, about 11,600 years ago, was approximately 60 meters below the present-day sea level.
The Plato’s expression that “Atlantis was the way to other islands, and from there might pass to the opposite continent which encompasses the true ocean” precisely points to Sundaland. Traveling further from there, one may reach some islands like Nusatenggara, Sulawesi, Maluku, Mindanao and Luzon, and may pass the opposite continent, ie the large “Sahul Continent” combining Australia, Papua and the land connecting them.
“The land of Atlantis is larger than Libya and Asia Minor” also precisely affirms its size. The expression that “the region on the side of the ocean was said to be very lofty and precipitous” further confirms the Sundaland location of Atlantis. The expression “inside a strait and in a sea encircled by a boundless continent” confirms its capital location.
6. Two-season climate – “summer” (dry) and “winter” (wet)
(Critias: 112d, 118e)
7. Abundant of water benefit of the annual rainfall
8. Excellently attempered climate
(Critias: 111e, 112d)
It is said that Atlantis had “sun in the above”, “benefit of the annual rainfall”, “abundance of water”, “excellently attempered climate” and “summer and winter seasons”. These are strongly characterize a tropical climate. “Summer” and “winter” refer to the “dry” and “wet” seasons, which were non existence words in the ancient Greece.
9. Fertile, best soil for carpenter, agriculture and farming
(Critias: 111e, 113c)
10. Abundant of food supply for every animal, wild or tame, to sustain a civilization and to create an army (about 20 million people)
(Critias: 111e, 118b, 118e, 119a)
11. Vast diversity of flora and fauna
(Critias: 114e, 115a, 115b)
Atlantis had “full of rich earth”, “abundance of wood”, “cultivation by true farmers”, “noble nature”, “best soil in the world”, “abundance of animals”, “coconuts”, “spice products” and “two harvests each year”. These are the true natural characteristics of the region in Sundaland. The abundance of food and wood was needed to sustain more than twenty million population, to create more than a million soldiers and to build more than two hundred ships, which was not possible in the other parts of the world during the era.
Plato also mentions that “there was provision for all other sorts of animals, both for those which live in lakes and marshes and rivers, and also for those which live in mountains and on plains, so there was for the animal which is the largest and most voracious of all.” Large species such as tiger, rhinoceros, orangutan, elephant and leopard exist in the region, which are among almost a thousand mammal species inhabiting this region. Besides those, there are almost a thousand of bird species and more than a thousand of fish species.
12. Elephant, horse, “bull” and dolphin
(Critias: 114e, 116e, 117c to 117e, 119b, 119d to 120a)
Two of the four sub species of Asian elephants are found in Indonesia and Malaysia. The Sumatran elephant is found on the island of Sumatra, and the Kalimantan elephant on the island of Kalimantan. The now extinct Javan elephant those once inhabited Java are identical to the Kalimantan elephant.
The different breeds of native Indonesian horses are slender, but still strong and sturdy, so they deserve to be called ponies than horses. The ponies have continually been infused with additional bloods, mostly Arabian to improve their quality, so that it can be expected that the indigenous breeds were slenderer and shorter than what we can see now.
Indigenous Southeast Asian bulls are known as “banteng”. They have been domesticated in several places, used as working animals and for their meat.
What is meant by Plato for “bulls” could probably the water buffaloes, native to Southeast Asia and the Indian Subcontinent. Common people generally could not distinguish between “bull” and “water buffalo”. Plato does not recognize “water buffalo” but beast resembling the “bull” because the animals were not found in the ancient Greece and its surroundings.
Most species of dolphins live in shallow areas of tropical and warmer waters, thus constitute the ideal conditions for the seas after the drowning of Sundaland, such as the Java and South China Seas.
13. “Fruits” having a hard rind, affording drinks and meats and ointments
14. “Fruits” which spoil with keeping, consoled after dinner
15. Roots, herbage, woods and essences distilled from “fruit” and flower
16. Cultivated “fruit”, dried, for nourishment and any other, used for food – common name ‘pulse’ (grain)
17. “Chestnuts and the like, which furnish pleasure and amusement
18. All of them were wondrous and in infinite abundance.
Plato mentions that there were “fruits having a hard rind, affording drinks, meats and ointments” in Atlantis. Those fruits are no other than coconuts.
Coconut has a long and respected history among cultures in the regions of Southeast Asia, South Asia and the Pacific. DNA analysis reveals that coconuts were first cultivated in island Southeast Asia, meaning the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia, and perhaps the continent as well.
Coconuts were introduced to the Indian Ocean a couple of thousand years ago by ancient Austronesians establishing trade routes connecting Southeast Asia to Madagascar and coastal east Africa. Coconut genetics also preserve a record of prehistoric trade routes and of the colonization of the Americas.
Plato mentions that there were “fruits which spoil with keeping, with which we console ourselves after dinner” in Atlantis. This could be a traditional fermented food eaten as a dessert, locally known as “tapai”.
“Tapai” is indigenous and popular throughout Southeast Asia. It is a sweet or sour alcoholic paste and can be used directly as a food or in traditional recipes.
“Tapai” can be made from a variety of carbohydrate sources, but typically from cassava, white rice or glutinous rice. Fermentation is performed by a variety of moulds by inoculating a carbohydrate source with the required microorganisms in a starter culture, locally known as “ragi”, and yeasts, along with bacteria. “Tapai” is also used to make alcoholic beverages locally known as “arak” or “brem”.
Plato mentions that “there were roots, or herbage, or woods, or essences which distil from fruit and flower.” This could be the herbal medicine made from natural materials, locally known as “jamu”, or mixtures of spices or seasoning, known as “bumbu”.
“There was ‘fruit’ which admits of cultivation, both the dry sort, which is given us for nourishment and any other which we use for food – we call them all by the common name ‘pulse’.” This could be the paddy or rice, which is the staple food of the region.
“There were chestnuts and the like, which furnish pleasure and amusement.” This could be coffee, which grows well in this region.
(Critias: 114e, 116c, 116d)
(Critias: 114e, 116c, 116d, 116e)
(Critias: 116b, 116c)
22. “Brass”/“bronze” (copper, tin and zinc)
(Critias: 116b, 116c)
23. “Orichalcum”, more precious mineral than anything except gold, flashing, red color
(Critias: 114e, 116c, 116d)
24. “Orichalcum” was dug out of the earth in many parts of the land.
Atlantis had abundance of minerals: gold, silver, copper, tin and “orichalcum”. These are also true natural characteristics of the region.
What is “orichalcum”? “Orichalcum” was unknown to Greek, being more precious in those days than anything except gold and “flashed” with the “red light”, or like fire.
The author identified “orichalcum” as the zircon as they have the same characteristics as the descriptions. The zircon products are really valuable second to gold; they have gemstone quality and are popular as diamond simulant. Zircon can be processed to bring out different colors, the red one is known as the “hyacinth”. When finished, its nature is sparkling like diamond that metals do not possess, which why Plato describes it with the words “flashed” and “light”, in particular. No known metal shines and flashed with the red color, or like fire, thus “orichalcum” is not a metal.
The expression that it was “dug out of the earth in many parts of the land” is true as it is abundant in the region of Kalimantan.
25. Immediately about and surrounding the city was a level plain.
26. The plain was smooth and even.
27. The plain was surrounded by mountains which descended towards the sea.
28. The plain looked towards the south, sheltered from the north.
29. The mountains surrounding the plain celebrated their number, size and beauty, with many wealthy villages of country folk, rivers, lakes and meadows.
30. Plenty of wood of various sorts on the plain – abundant for each and every kind of work.
Plato describes that there was “a level plain, smooth and even, descended towards the sea”, “surrounded by mountains celebrated for their number, size and beauty”, “looked towards the south and sheltered from the north” and “with wealthy villages of country folk, rivers, lakes, and meadows”.
There was a plain near the capital city of Atlantis matching the characteristics of the region in southern Kalimantan in which a part is now submerged under the Java Sea. The plain has slopes mostly less than 1% declining southward to the Java Sea and no visible mound on the whole plain. It is open on the south and sheltered by the Muller-Schwaner and Meratus Mountains at the north, mostly covered by primary forest, inhabited by enormous kinds of animals and as the home of tens of native Dayak tribes. It has high rainfall and warm temperature over the year, many large rivers and tributaries so that it is very fertile and rich of food and daily necessity resources.
31. The general shape of the plain was rectangular and oblong.
(Critias: 118a, 118c)
32. The plain was extending in one direction 3,000 stadia (± 555 km), across the center inland 2,000 stadia (± 370 km).
Plato explains that the plain was “rectangular and oblong in shape, 3,000 stadia or about 555 kilometers long and 2,000 stadia or about 370 kilometers wide”. The shape of the plain in the region of southern Kalimantan and the adjacent Java Sea is rectangular at the south and oblong at the north, almost exactly 555 kilometers long and 370 kilometers wide.
33. The perimeter ditch was incredible in size, unexpected that they were artificial.
34. The perimeter ditch was 100 ft (± 30 m) deep, 1 stadium (± 185 m) wide, 10,000 stadia (± 1,850 km) long.
35. The perimeter ditch received streams from the mountains.
36. The inland canals were straight, about 100 ft (± 30 m) wide, 100 stadia (± 18.5 km) intervals and let off into the perimeter ditch.
Concerning the waterways on the plain, Plato describes that “the perimeter canal was 100 feet or about 30 meters deep, 1 stadium or about 185 meters wide, 10,000 stadia or about 1,850 kilometers long, carried round the whole plain, received streams from the mountains, winding around the plain, meeting at the city and let off into the sea.” and “the inland canals were straight, 100 feet or about 30 meters wide, 100 stadia or about 18.5 kilometers intervals and let off into the perimeter canal.”
There were waterways on the plain matching the characteristics of the region. The rivers of Barito, Kapuas-Murung, Kahayan and Sebangau found in the region are identified as those canals. They are originated from the Muller-Schwaner and Meratus mountains. These rivers are about 600 to 800 meters wide and 8 meters deep in average.
Flooding and sedimentation of the rivers on a very flat plain over the past 11,600 years have changed their regimes. Interchanges of flows and orders among them might also occur. However, in general view their straightness and elongation are preserved until today, that are parallel to each other and in the north-south direction.
Calculating the conveying capacity, that is the area × the velocity, and assuming the same flow velocity because of the same gravitational energy slope, the cross section area of the flow, that is the width × the depth, as described by Plato is about 185 × 30 = 5,550 square meters. While the area today is amazingly almost precise, 700 in average × 8 = 5,600 square meters.
The average distance of these rivers is approximately 20 kilometers, also considered in close agreement to the figure of 18.5 kilometers by Plato.
37. Transverse passages were cut from one inland canal into another.
Looking at the maps we can see numerous existing transverse passages in the region, some of them were built or rehabilitated in recent times. The passage is known locally as “anjir”, a canal linking two rivers as part of the transportation network.
38. The inland canals and transverse passages were means for transporting wood and products in ships.
Most of the rivers in southern Kalimantan are navigable. These rivers and all their tributaries are a network of transportation system, become very important means for the people and has been the economic lifeblood because most of their economic activities are carried out through and in the rivers since the ancient time. Various types of forest, mining and agricultural products are transported to collection points or ports through the river network.
39. Irrigation streams were tapping from the canals.
40. The irrigation streams supplied water to the land in “summer” (dry) but rainfall in the “winter” (rainy) yielding two crops in a year.
Today’s practices of tidal swamp irrigation system in southern Kalimantan is traditionally known as the “anjir system” where primary canals called “anjir” or “antasan” were constructed connecting two tidal rivers, also used as navigation purposes. Inland canals were built to irrigate and drain the fields from and to the anjir: secondary canals called “handil” or “tatah” and tertiary canals called “saka”. During low tides, the canals drain the toxic water while during high tides fresh water enters the canals and conveyed to the fields. The system yields two rice crops in a year.
41. The island city was in a sea surrounded by a boundless continent, the other is a real ocean.
42. The city was in front of a strait.
(Timaeus: 24e, 25a)
43. There were some islands in the sea.
(Timaeus: 24e – Critias: 114c)
Plato says that “the capital island where there was a city with a citadel and rings of water was in a real sea inside a strait surrounded by a boundless continent.” The boundless continent is the Sundaland attached to the Asian Continent, and the only sea surrounded by it in those days was the ancient Java Sea, suggesting that the capital island and city are located in the Java Sea.
44. Immediately about and surrounding the city was a level plain and all the canals met at the city and drained into the sea.
(Critias: 118a, 118d)
45. A small hill (the central island) and a vast level plain near the sea were accessible by ships, vessels and boats from the sea.
(Critias: 113c, 113e)
The statement that “the island was located near the plain and all the canals met at the city and drained into the sea”, suggesting that the island is located south of the plain, in a place now under the Java Sea.
The site is identified by the sailors as Gosong Gia or Annie Florence Reef, a coral reef described as small in extent and dries at low water.
The city of Atlantis was an island with a small hill near its center. The city and the island existed long enough for many kings to develop it. It had rings of water and a passage from the sea to the inner ring. They bridged over the zones of sea which surrounded the ancient metropolis. A stone wall began at the sea and went all round. They used orichalcum, tin and brass or bronze to cover the outer walls of their cities.
There was a hill, not too high, near the middle of the center island. At the top of the central hill, a temple was built to honor Poseidon, which housed a giant gold statue of him. They built the palace in the habitation of the god and of their ancestors, which they continued to ornament in successive generations.
The later docks had triremes and many naval supplies.
46. The sea at the Atlantis city “is now” (Solon’s time) impassable and impenetrable because of a “reef of clay/mud” (coral reef), caused by “subsidence” of the island (sea level rise).
47. The ruin of the city is now under the sea.
The phrase “for which reason the sea in those parts is impassable and impenetrable, because there is a reef of mud, or clay, in the way” confirms the location. Coral reef is scarce in the Mediterranean so that the Greeks and the Egyptians did not own the term, then Plato wrote it as “a reef of mud, or clay”.
Coral reefs grow best in warm, shallow, clear, sunny and agitated waters, and on hard, underwater surfaces, thus constitute the ideal conditions for the Java Sea. It is confirmed further by the phrase “caused by the subsidence of the island”, as the growth of the coral reef was caused by the sea level rise during the last glacial period.
The sea level kept rising until about 6,000 years ago. Corals grew on the solid structures. Along with sedimentation and other processes.
Today, there is an existing coral reef named Gosong Gia or Annie Florence Reef in the Java Sea. The top of the reef is about 10 meters below the average sea level, and the surrounding sea bed is about 55 meters below the average sea level. The city structures are still apparent from the patterns of the reefs. The depth of the sea here exactly coincides the land level about 11,600 years ago. However, further investigations are required to find out what are inside the coral reef.
48. The city was beyond bordering monuments, the (ancient) Greek called them “the Monuments of Heracles”.
(Timaeus: 24e, 25c – Critias: 108e, 114b)
Plato mentions that “the war was said to have taken place between those who dwelt outside the Monuments of Heracles and all who dwelt within them.” Heracles is a name borrowed from the Greek mythology.
What does the “Monuments of Heracles” really mean? The Egyptian priest told Solon about the territorial boundary between Atlantis and its opponent as “which are by you called the Monuments of Heracles” to describe a state entrance or boundary markers which were situated in a strait. The words “by you” could mean that the markers were commonly known by the Athenian but not necessarily what they referred to, or in other words “like the Monuments of Heracles”. As mentioned before, the Atlantean boundary is not compatible with the Mediterranean region. Moreover, Solon borrows Greek mythological terms in the story.
Classical Greek writers frequently refer to the monuments without being in anyway specific regarding their location. The poet Pindar would appear to have treated the monuments as a metaphor for the limit of established Greek geographical knowledge, a boundary that was never static. The monuments were, in earlier times, identified with the Strait of Sicily, but from the time of Erastosthenes, circa 250 BC, the metaphor was moved to refer to the Strait of Gibraltar, reflecting the expansion of the Greek maritime knowledge.
The author hypothesizes that the monuments are monuments built at places on state entrances or boundary line and could be anywhere at certain places along the boundary. The monument is locally known as “tugu”, which has been the tradition in Indonesia until now to mark the boundary or entrances of a region. The monuments are often decorated with gargoyle-like faces of the god Kala, which are ubiquitous in Java and Bali.
It will be discussed later that the god Kala is analogous with the Greek Heracles.
49. Hot and cold springs
(Critias: 113e, 117a)
50. White, black and red stones
(Critias: 116a, 116b)
51. Hollowed out rock for roofs of double docks
(Critias: 116a, 116b)
Bawean Island off in the Java Sea is a prototype of the island of Atlantis as it has the same environment, geological formation and tectonic processes, as well as they are closely situated. Bawean and Atlantis islands are both located on a geological arc identified by the geologists as Bawean Arc.
It is described that “they had springs, one of cold and another of hot water”. There are several hot and cold springs in the Bawean Island resulted from the tectonic activities in the region.
The descriptions “the stones were quarried from the center island and the zones, with white, black and red colors” and “they hollowed out double docks, having roofs formed out of the native rock” are also noticeable. The stones are apparently similar to the igneous rock deposited in the Bawean Island having the acidic white, alkaline black-grey and ferro-oxide red rocks. This igneous rock is hard and strong having enough natural strength to stand as roofs of the hollowed out double docks.
52. “Poseidon” (sea or water god, law founder, driving sea creatures, supreme god in earlier time)
(Critias: 113c to 113e, 116c, 116d, 117b, 119c, 119d)
The kingdom of Atlantis was founded by a god named Poseidon, borrowed from the Greek myth. The land was divided into ten portions given to his children. There was a holy temple dedicated to Poseidon and his wife, Cleito in the center of the citadel.
Poseidon is one of the twelve Olympian deities of the pantheon in the Greek mythology. His main domain is the ocean, so that he is called the “God of the Sea”, who rides on sea creatures that resemble horses. In the earliest works of the ancient Greek literature, Poseidon is more widely known than Zeus and was regarded as the supreme god, as mentioned in Linear B tablets from the pre-Olympians Greek Bronze Age. Homer in the Iliad calls him as the protector of the Hellenic cities.
Poseidon is analogous to Nethune in the Etruscan civilization, around the 1st century BC, which is also called the “God of the Sea”. In Latin language, the name was transformed into Neptune in the Roman mythology. Neptune is depicted as a god who drive sea creatures resembling dragon-tailed horses and armed with a trident, like Poseidon. This shows the strong influence of Greek mythology.
Plato explains that the ten kings were said to have the absolute control of the citizens, by the enforcement of the law regulated by the command of Poseidon which had handed it down.
The Greek Poseidon is analogous to god Baruna or Waruna in the Nusantara archipelago which given the title of the “Water God”, the ruler of the seas and oceans. In pre-dharmic mythology, Baruna was considered as the supreme god against the others and the first law founder of the world.
Baruna is depicted as riding a sea monster called Makara, in which on the front resembling a beast, with large teeth and tusks, and on the back in the form of a giant dragon’s tail, occasionally legged. In Indian mythology, the Makara is described as an inland creature in the front half, such as deer, crocodile or elephant, and an aquatic creature in the back half, such as fish or seal, or occasionally peacock’s tail or flower.
Of these things, the author concludes that Poseidon and Baruna are analogous, evidenced that both of them are the gods of the seas or oceans, became the first law founders, constituted the supreme gods in the early time, and drive mythological sea creatures.
Besides some other names, Kalimantan bore the name of Warunapura, means the land of the god Baruna. The old Javanese chronicle Nagarakretagama mentions an ancient state that was within the Majapahit spheres of influence called Baruné, later identified as Barunai, a kingdom of the modern Brunei. European sources further in the 16th century showed the name of the island as Burné by Antonio Pigafetta or Bornei by Duarte Barbosa. Chinese chronicles in the Song and Ming dynasties showed the name Boni. The Dutch and British colonials named the island as Borneo.
This is another conclusion that Kalimantan, or Borneo, which was once the island of the god Baruna, is analogous to the island of Poseidon, and related to the existence of Atlantis in the region.
53. “Heracles” (son of the supreme god, outrageous birth, has insatiable appetites and being very rude, brutal and violent)
(Timaeus: 24e, 25c – Critias: 108e, 114b)
Heracles, or Romanized as Hercules, is the son of the affair Zeus had with the mortal woman Alcmene. Zeus seduced and made love to Alcmene after disguising himself as her husband, Amphitryon, the king of Thebes. Zeus swore that the next son born of the Perseid house should become ruler of Greece, but by a trick of Zeus’s jealous wife, Hera, another child, the sickly Eurystheus, was born first and became king. When Heracles grew up, he had to serve him and also suffer the vengeful persecution of Hera. Besides these Hera induced frenzies, Heracles was a very brutal character.
The Greek Heracles is analogous to god Kala in the Nusantara archipelago. Kala is a god of the underworld in the ancient Javanese and Balinese mythology.
According to the Javanese legend, Kala is the son of Guru. Guru has a very beautiful wife named Uma. One day Guru, in a fit of uncontrolled lust, forced himself on Uma. They had sexual intercourse on top of his Andini, a divine cow. This behavior was ashamed Uma who then cursed Guru but Guru cursed back Uma so she appeared as a fearsome and ugly ogre. This fierce form of Uma is also known in Javanese mythology as Durgha. From this relationship, Kala was born with the appearance of an ogre.
Kala is described as having an insatiable appetite and being very rude. He was sent by the deva to Earth to punish humans for their evil habits. However, Kala was interested only in devouring humans to satisfy his appetite. Alarmed, the deva then recalled Kala from the Earth. He later became ruler of the underworld.
The analogy of Kala and Heracles is that each of them is the son of a supreme god, either Guru or Zeus. Their births were outrageous; Kala was born from an uncontrolled lust of Guru on Uma while Heracles was from a seduction of Zeus on Alcmene. They are having insatiable appetites and being very rude, brutal, and violent in their whole lives.
From the ancient until present day, gargoyle-like faces of Kala are often found at temple entrances, boundary monuments, welcome monuments, gates, doorway, niches, furniture, wall hangings and traditional musical instruments; ubiquitous in Java and Bali. Similar figures are also found at the Dayak houses.
As previously discussed, the boundary monuments decorated with the Kala faces are analogous to the Monuments of Heracles.
Apart from those, Zeus, the father or Heracles, and Guru, the father of Kala, are also analogous. Both of them were then appointed to the supreme gods replacing either Poseidon or Baruna.
Note also the analogy and phonetic similarities between the names, Kala and Kleos, Guru and Zeu, Uma with Alkmene, and Durgha with Hera.
54. “Bull” sacrifices
(Critias: 119d to 120c)
Plato describes that in every five or six years alternately, the kings of Atlantis gathered to discuss and make arrangements, topped off with plenty of “bulls” sacrifice.
Common people generally could not distinguish between “bull” and “water buffalo”. Plato does not recognize “water buffalo” but beast resembling the “bull” because the animals were not found in the ancient Greece and its surroundings.
Water buffalo, also called Asian buffalo or Asiatic buffalo, is a large bovine native to Southeast Asia and the Indian Subcontinent. Water buffalo is one of the animals of greatest economic and religious value used as a sacrificial victim in Southeast Asia, Indian sub-continent and southern China. In these monsoon regions of Asia, buffalos are offered in sacrifice to divinities or divine spirits, as the carrier of dead souls to the world beyond or of zoomorphic symbol of the ancestors.
A characteristic of Southeast Asian houses is the forked horn on the roof, which is considered to be a symbol of the buffalo, regarded throughout the region as a link between heaven and this world.
55. Temple or pyramid
(Critias: 116c, 116d, 116e, 117c, 119c)
The construction of stone pyramids was based on native belief that mountains and other high places are the abode of the spirits of the ancestors, or the most ideal pilgrimage places to worship them.
The simplest form of pyramid is the earth-and-stone step pyramids in which it is normally built on natural or manmade mounds, hills or hillsides. Usually there is a shrine and/or an altar at the top.
Austronesian megalithic culture in Nusantara features an earth and stone step pyramid structure, referred to as “punden berundak”. “Punden berundak” is regarded as one of the characteristics of the original culture of the archipelago. Pyramid structures have been found and spread throughout Southeast Asia, most of them are found in the island of Java.
The huge Borobudur temple is the largest Buddhist temple in the world, which allegedly built on the previous step pyramid. The Sukuh and Cetho temples in Central Java, where the dates are still debated, show the Austronesian indigenous earth-and-stone step pyramids that somewhat resemble Mesoamerican pyramids. Gunung Padang is the biggest and the oldest megalithic site in Southeast Asia dated circa 23,000 BC or older.
As the civilizations were developing, they built larger pyramids so that more stones were required. The majority of the weight are closer to the ground and material higher up on the pyramid will be pushing down from above. The stones could pose problems on the strength of the earth to hold the weight. Therefore, pyramids with heavier stone weight pushing on the earth fill are observed to have less earth fill or even without it.
Pyramids have been built by civilizations in many parts of the world. For thousands of years, the largest structures on Earth were pyramids. They spread from Egypt to America, that emerged separately from one another by oceans who supposedly never discovered each other’s existence. There are no firmly established connections between the different civilizations that built them, but their similarities show that they sprang from a common origin.
As said by Plato, the temple of Poseidon was built in the center island which was a hill, encircled by rings of waters. To reach the temple from the innermost ring of water, steps on the hill slope were definitely required. This could mean that the temple is featuring an earth-and-stone step pyramid structure, characterizes the original culture of Nusantara that is referred to as “punden berundak”. The temple was also the place to worship their ancestors.
56. Maritime activities
(Critias: 114d, 115c to 116a, 117d, 117e, 119b)
Plato describes that the canals were means for transporting wood and products in ships. They brought down the wood from the mountains to the city, and conveyed the products of the earth in ships. The canal and the largest of the harbors were full of vessels and merchants coming from all parts. The docks were full of triremes and naval stores. They had a fleet of as many as 1200 ships.
Maritime activity is a typical Austronesian culture since the ancient time. The earliest known evidences are found as cave paintings dated back to 10,000 years or older, those are fully decorated by sailboat paintings. Long distance sailing technology in the region must have appeared much earlier, with the peopling of Australia through Southeast Asia some 40,000 years ago. Archaeologists have revealed ample evidence of the active maritime networks in the Southeast Asia region, that spread throughout all of insular Southeast Asia and most of the Pacific.
57. Advanced civilization in the era
(Timaeus: 24e, 25a)
Plato describes that Atlantis was a great and magnificent kingdom that had vast powers. Atlantis can be said to be an advanced civilization of its time, and had a variety of superior technologies compared to other countries.
Gunungpadang pyramid in Java is the oldest known structure of any kind on Earth. Dated to as early as 25,000 years ago, the pyramid would be proof of an advanced ancient civilization. The majority of the stepped site is man-made, built by generations over a matter of millennia.
The so many rock paintings depicting sailboats in Southeast Asia, dated to as early as 40,000 years ago, would also proof that such technology has been mastered from the early time. This technology had been inherited by the Austronesian people and the thalassocracies, or maritime kingdoms, such as Srivijaya and Majapahit. The Bugis and Makassar people from the island of Sulawesi are renowned for making a wooden sailing vessel called the “pinisi”.
The kingdoms in Southeast Asia developed an advanced stone mason architectural technology in building of temples. This includes the magnificent Borobudur, Prambanan, Angkor Wat and many other couple hundreds of temples.
In agriculture, the people in Southeast Asia are famous for paddy cultivation and techniques such as terracing. Local systems of complex irrigation and water management have been developed in the archipelago. An exceptional example is Subak, the irrigation system of Bali.
In food technology, due in part to the tropical climate teeming with various microbes, the people in Southeast Asia have developed traditional knowledge in fermentation techniques, which resulted in the development of fermented foods such as “tapai”, “tempeh”, “oncom”, and also beverages like “brem” and “tuak”.
58. Destructed 9,000 years before Solon (about 11,600 years ago)
(Timaeus: 23e – Critias: 108e, 111a)
Plato describes that Atlantis was a powerful and advanced kingdom that destructed, in a night and a day, 9,000 years before Solon, or about 11,600 years ago. This accurately coincided with the cataclysm at the end of the Younger Dryas period.
At the end of the Younger Dryas period, around 11,600 years ago, the weight of the ice shifted to the seas triggered cracks in the earth’s crust to move, that set off cataclysm. Earthquakes, volcano eruptions, super waves and floods engulfed the coastal cultures and all the flat continental shelves of Sundaland, and wiped out many populations. As the sea rolled in, there was a mass migration of the survivors from the sinking continent.
59. Earthquakes and “floods” from the sea (tsunami)
(Timaeus: 25c, 25d – Critias: 108e, 111a, 112a)
Plato mentioned that the island of Atlantis was beset, in a night and a day, by an earthquake and a flood. In some other his explanations, it is implied that the flood was coming from the sea, so the possibility is a tsunami. Plato did not recognize “tsunami” so he equated it to “flood”. Earthquakes and tsunamis are very often correlated.
Frequent and significant earthquakes, tsunamis and volcano eruptions took place in one of this most complex tectonic region on Earth. Tsunami are known for their dramatic run-up heights, can also be excited or amplified in height considerably in shallow waters and on flat plains, and can oscillate back and forth within harbors and bays.
We could speculate that the destruction of Atlantis was among others caused by a tsunami in this region. It was due to the tsunami waves traveling in shallow water, that was the ancient Java Sea, and penetrated inland on a very flat plain. The ancient Java Sea was forming a gulf, which could cause the wave became much higher and prolonged, and destructive.
60. Sunken ceaselessly (post-glacial sea level rise)
(Timaeus: 25d – Critias: 111b, 111c)
Plato describes that the lands of Atlantis and the Athens were sunken ceaselessly afterwards. This is in line with the recent knowledge of post-glacial sea level rise. The sea level kept on rising until about 6,000 years ago, sinking the low lands as well as low plains in Sundaland.
The ruin of the Atlantis city and its story were buried forever under the sea. Then, it was remembered by the Egyptians who migrated from there, and wrote them on their sacred registers.
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