Monday, June 27, 2011

Atlantean Civilization

Atlantean civilization was a Bronze Age civilization that expired in 1159 BC, a victim to subsidence triggered by a massive quake related to two nearby major faults and subduction zones.

It had arisen as much as four thousand years earlier with the beginnings of the use of metal and copper in particular.  Yet its primacy is plausibly only during the last one thousand years of its existence.  This was driven by a combination of seaborne trade and exploitation of the major copper resources in the Americas.  This permitted the emergence of bronze armor in particular and its immediate descendent the Greek hoplite.  Such a system required vast supplies of copper and tin and this was only possible in one locale in South East Asia and in the Atlantic littoral.

Most likely, the society was created in Europe and the Mediterranean. I bring this up because there is little evidence of such metal work in North America and South America as indigenous crafts while smelting shows up early in the Old World. 

The most creditable scenario is that sea going Bronze Age Europeans with a primary culture centered around Spain and Morocco established a colony on the island of Atlantis in order to exploit the metal resources of the Americas.  Mines in the Andes, Mexico, Colorado and Lake Superior supplied copper and tin for the bronze industry.  The Old world supplied the market.

As well this society triggered the creation of a huge gold mining industry that ultimately produced the huge reserves captured by the Spanish that had resulted from almost five thousand years of mining.  In fact it is not unreasonable to suppose this also triggered massive artisanal gold mining in Africa and Rhodesia in particular.  This gold may well have been used to purchase copper and tin in the Andes for resale into the Mediterranean.

All this was in full operation for a millennia.   All methods used were labor intensive.

Other writers have attempted to place Atlantis much further back to around 9500 BC.  This has never been viable and most certainly is a simple error out of antiquity when proper dating was impossible.  It has been possible for cultural memories to pass great time periods but not the type of detail given us by Plato.  Written records are particularly vulnerable.

In any event, Stone Age societies always failed to create far flung trading empires because they had little of sufficient value to justify it.  It was the rise of metal work that spurred the creation of an Atlantis, Egypt and Sumaria.  They all needed a palace based economy that managed society’s wealth which was in the form of copper alloys.

That is why a bronze protected Hoplite begs the question of just were did all this metal come from.  Cyprus is possible, but it is hard to believe it was not controlled by enemies most of the time as was most other sources. Thus an overseas source could anchor a metal clad army without sitting on a mine.

It is reasonable that the palace societies of Greece were Atlantean descended and had substantial bronze reserves on hand when Atlantis disappeared in 1159 BC.  It is also likely that a number of Greek cities were established with Europeans fleeing the collapse that came with a climate collapse.

The fact is that a lot of government issue bronze is available to societies in the West with no other reasonable exsplanation.

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