The story of Atlantis comes to us from Timaeus and Critias, Socratic dialogues, written about 360 BC by Plato. There were four people in a meeting in which Socrates wants Timaeus, Hermocrates and Critias to tell him stories about an ideal state. The firt is Critias, who talks about his great grandfather’s meeting with Solon, one of the seven sages, an Atlantian poet, and famous lawgiver. Solon had been to Egypt where priests talked about the story of Atlantis which was inscribed on a pillar in their temple.
Plato describes that Atlantis, told as a real story was a powerful and advanced kingdom that sank in a night and a day into the ocean around 9,600 BC or about 11,600 years ago. Atlantis was a land larger than Libya and Asia Minor put together. Although it was located at a distant point in their Atlantic Ocean it was the way to other islands, and from there might pass to an opposite continent which encompassed a true ocean. The region on the side of the ocean was very lofty and precipitous. Its capital was situated just beyond bordering monuments that resembled the Greek monuments a strait and in a sea encircled by a boundless continent, it was protected by the god Poseidon, who made his son Atlas a great king and namesake of the land Atlantis. As the Atlateans grew powerful, their ethics declined. At the end, by way of divine punishment, its capital city and island were beset by an earthquake and a flood, and sank into a sea.
Solon, while writing his poem, inquired into the meaning and knowledge of the names which had been translated into Egyptian; when copying them out again translated them into Greek. Thus, the names in Solon’s story were borrowed from the Greek myth for the Athenian people to understand.
The existence of Atlantis is supported by the fact that it is described in great detail, from point of views of geography, climate, plain layout, city layout, river and channel hydraulics, produces, social structure, customs, mythology and its destruction including their dimensions and orientations. In addition, features unknown to Plato are also described in detailed and lengthy words.
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 with the fact that the Atlantic Ocean was the whole of the coterminous “earth-encircling ocean”, which we now arbitrarily divide into Pacific, Indian andAtlantic Ocean” implies that Atlantis was far away in the ocean in what we know today as the eastern Indian Ocean or the Pacific Ocean.
Referring to the recent knowledge of the last glacial period, popularly known as the Ice age, the sea level 11,600 years ago was approximately sixty meters below the present day sea level. A vast southeastern part of the Asian continental shelf was exposed during that time, geologically named as the Sundaland. Geographically, the phrase 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, Banda, Mindanau and Luzon and may pass the opposite continent, ie the large “Sahul Continent’ combining Australia, Papua and the land connecting them. “The region on the side of the ocean was said to be very lofty and precipitous” further confirms the Sundaland location of Atlantis. “Inside a strait and in a sea encircled by a boundless continent” confirms its capital location.
The capital city of Atlantis was situated just beyond bordering monuments resembling the Greek “Monuments of Heracles”. The Greek monuments, assumed by some to refer the “pillars” but “monuments” (Greek Stelas) – would appear as a metaphor for the limit of established Greek maritime geographical knowledge, a boundary that was never static. The pillars were, in earlier times, identified with the strait of Sicily, but from the time of Eratosthenes (C 250 BC) the term was moved to refer to the strait of Gibraltar, reflecting the expansion of the Greek maritime knowledge.
It is said that Atlantis had “sun in the above”, “benefit of the annual rainfall”, “abundance of water”. Excellently at tempered climate” and “summer and winter seasons” These strongly characterize a tropical climate. “Summer” and “Winter” refer to the “dry” and “wet” seasons, which were nonexistence in the ancient Greece.
Atlantis had “full of rich earth”, “abundance of wood”, “cultivation by true husbandmen”, “noble nature”, animals, “coconuts”, “spice products” and “two harvests each year”. These are true natural charscteristics of the region. The abundance of food and wood was needed to sustain a large population (more than twenty million), to create an army (more than a million) and to build ships (more than two hundred), which was not possible in other parts of the world during the era.
Atlantis had an abundance of minerals: gold, silver, copper, tin and “orichalcum”. These are also true natural characteristics of the region. “Orichalcum” was unknown to Greek, being more precious in those days than anything except gold and “flashed” with the “red light”. The author identified “orichalcum” as zircon as they have the same characteristics and abundance in the region. Atlantis was a maritime country. This is also a true characteristics of the region.
There was a plain near the capital city of Atlantis matching the characteristics of the region in southern Kalimantan (Borneo) and a part submerged under the Java sea, describes as follows. “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”. The region had slopes mostly less than 1% declining southward to the Java Sea and no visible mound on the whole plain. The plain was open on the south and sheltered by Muller-Schwaner and Meratus Mountains at the North, mostly covered by primary forest, was inhabited by enormous kinds of animals and as the home of tens of native Dayak tribes. It had high rainfall and warm temperature over the year, many large rivers and tributaries so that it was highly fertile and rich of food and daily necessity resources.
The plain was “rectangular and oblong in shape, 3,000 stadia (about 555 kilometers) long and 2,000 stadia (about 370 kilometers) wide”. The shape of the plain in the region was rectangular at the south and oblong at the north, almost exactly 555 kilometers long and and 370 kilometers wide.
There were waterways on the plain matching the characteristics of the region, described as follows. “The perimetercanal was 100 feet (about 30 meters) deep, 1 stadium (about 185 meters) wide, 10,000 stadia (about 1,850 kilomteres) long, carried around the whole plain, recieved 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 (about 30 meters) wide, 100 stadia (about 18.5 kilometers) intervals, let off into the perimeter canal and as means for transporting wood and products in ships”. The rivers of Barito, Kapuas-Murung, Kahayan and Sebangau found in the region are identified as those canals, and originated from the Muller-Schwaner and Meratus mountains. These rivers were about 600 to 800 meters wide and 8 meters deep on avarage. 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 have also occured. However, in general view their straightness and elongation are still preserved until today, i.e. parallel to each other and in the north-south direction.
Calculating the conveying capacity (area x velocity and assuming the same flow velocity because of the same gravitational energy slope), the cross section area of the flow (width x depth) as described by Plato is about 185 x 30 = 5,550 square meters while the area today is amazingly almost precise, 700 (avarage) x 8 = 5,600 square meters. The avarage distance of these rivers is approximately 20 kilometers, also considered in close agreement to the figure of 18.5 kilometers. Considering the windiness of the rivers surrounding the plain, the resulted length is almost precisely the same, i.e. 1,850 kilometers.
Most of the rivers in southern Kalimantan are navigable. These rivers and all their tributaries are a network of transportation systems, have become a 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 and transported to collection points or ports through the river network.
There were “transverse passages cut from one inland canal into another” and “”the irrigation streams tapping from the canals supplied water to the land in summer (dry season) but rainfall in the winter (rainy season) yielded two crops in a year.” Looking at the maps we can see numerous existing transverse passages in the region, some of them were built or rebuilt in recent times. The passage is known locally as anjir, a canal linking two rivers as part of the transportation network. Today’s practices of tidal swamp irrigation system in southern Kalimantan is traditionally known as anjir or antasan were constructed connecting two tidal rivers, also used as navigation purpose. 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 conveys the fields. The system yields two rice crops in a year.
The Capital And City
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 was, in those days, the ancient Java sea, suggesting that the capital island and city are located in the Java sea. The island was located near the plain and all the canals met at the city and drained into the sea, suggesting that the island was located south of the plain, in a place now undedr the Java sea. The site is identified by the sailors as Gosong Gia or Annie Florance Reef, a coral reef described as small in extent and dries at low water.
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 Mediteranean 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, and on hard, underwater surfaces, thus the ideal conditions for the Java Sea. It is confirmed further by “caused by the subsidence of the island”, as growth of the coral reef was caused by the sea level rise during the last glacial period.
It is described that “they had springs, one of cold and another of hot water”. Bawean island 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. There are several hot and cold springs in the island resulting 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 white (acidic), black-grey (alkaline) and red (ferrooxide) rocks. This igneous rock is hard and strong having enough natural strength to stand as roofs of the hollowed out double docks.
Apart from the above, the author found a lot more detailed convincing evidence, summarized in a 60-bullet checklist of agreement between Plato’s Atlantis and the Sundaland/Java Sea localization, as can be read further on his website atlantisjavasea.com.
Video Interview with Mr. Dhani Irwanto
This article was published in the June 2016 issues of Ancient Mysteries International.
It is Printed here with Permission. Permission is granted to quote brief passages by journalists and reviewers.
It is printed here in cooperation with Ancient Mysteries International.