In the salt plane, Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia, with surprising clarity, the mountains are still reflected in the shallow waters. The mystique of this region goes beyond this natural phenomenon, however author Jim Allen says that this area may have been the home of the legendary Atlantis.
Bolivia's Salar de Uyuni, well known for its mirror-like salt flats, and neighboring mountain Pampa Auallagas could be home to the legendary lost city of Atlantida, according to author Jim Allen.
Allen is a former aerial photography interpreter for the British Army. He has explored images of the Salar de Uyuni and the features of its surroundings, noting key similarities between this region and ancient Greek descriptions of Atlantis.
The philosopher Plato referred a lot to a continent called Atlantis and an island city also called Atlantis, Allen explained, and he mentioned that it was only the city that was submerged in one day and one night.
His theory is that South America is the continent of Atlantis, and that the sunken island city was located on the Pampa Auallagas mountain.
Local legends of a city flood where they drowned also match some of Plato's descriptions, Allen said. He looked at a selection of the characteristics of Atlantis as mentioned by Plato and the corresponding characteristics of South America and the Pampa Auallagas:
1 - Size
The continent of Atlantis was as large as North Africa and Asia combined, according to Plato. South America is this size. Allen pointed out that it is easier to imagine a city on the island submerged by water, than a land mass as large as the continent described.
2 - A rectangular plane
A rectangular plane worked halfway to the longest side of the continent, according to Plato. This corresponds to the floors of the Salar de Uyuni, Allen said. The Salar de Uyuni coincides with the dimensions that Plato gave for the plan: "3,000 stadia long on each side and 2,000 stadia wide in the center." A stadium is a unit of measurement that in ancient Greece was equal to about 600 feet or 180 meters.
3 - Stripes of land divided by water
The city of Atlantis is described as circular strips of land divided by circular strips of sea. The strips of land were connected by bridges. The upper part of the Pampa Auallagas shows signs of rings partially eroded by land and water. That is, if the water level in the vicinity of Lake Poopó was higher, the rings in the upper part of Pampa Auallagas would have been filled with water and connected to the lake by a 50-stadium-long channel (about 5 kilometers) . The number and dimensions of the rings of water and land fit with Plato's description of Atlantis.
4 - Precious Metals (Did they include the mysterious Orichalcum?)
Gold, silver, copper, tin, and orichalcum could be found in abundance in Atlantis. Sufficient amounts of these metals were needed to cover the walls of the temple and the ringed concentric wall that surrounded the center of the Acropolis.
All of these metals are found in the Pampa Auallagas area, Allen said. Archaeologists and historians are not sure what "orichalcum" refers to, and whether or not it can be found in nature. To make orichalcum, one needs to heat metals to temperatures above 3,500 degrees. Allen theorizes that it is a natural copper and gold alloy found in the Andes, known locally as tumbaga. Tumbaga has been highly valued in the region throughout history, as it is harder than copper while remaining malleable. Its surface can also be treated to dissolve copper and leave only gold, giving it the appearance of pure gold. Orichalcum is said to be the second most precious metal found in Atlantis.
5 - In the mountains, near the sea
The city on the island of Atlantis was said to have been found on a plain just 5 miles (8 kilometers) from the sea. At the same time, the city was positioned above the sea, surrounded by mountains. This description fits with that of Pampa Auallagas, if we consider the Poopó saline lake, an inland sea. Poopó is located 5 kilometers from Pampa Auallagas.
Natural hot and cold water springs are described in Atlantis, and there are also some in the Pampa Auallagas region.
Bolivian legends that correspond to the history of Atlantis
Atlantis is said to have been destroyed by the god of water Poseidon, who was the god of the city, after its inhabitants became immoral. Similarly, the legends of the Pampas Auallagas region speak of the moral degeneration of the local society, resulting in a deluge sent by Tunupa, the god of water.
The flooding was said to have started at Lake Titicaca to the north, and descended to Pampas Auallagas, where Allen said, some signs may indicate that the flooding can still be seen.
What's in the name?
Before the Spanish conquest, part of the Pampas Auallagas region was called Antisuyo, which means "kingdom of copper." Antis is a word in the native Quechua language for copper. Allen points out that this could be related to the "antis" part of Atlantis.Ecoportal.net
By Marieke Vos
The Epoch Times