Tag Archives: Plato

Orichalcum: the Metal of the Gods

Rumored by Ancient Greeks to have been mined in Atlantis, Orichalcum, the Metal of the Gods has been recovered off the coast of Sicily, from a ship that sunk 2,600 years ago. Its composition and origin argued over, Orichalcum’s existence has long been thought a myth by scholars and historians alike.

The 39 Orichalucum ingots recovered
The 39 Orichalucum ingots recovered

Orichalcum first appears in the 7th century BC in the Homeric hymn dedicated to Aphrodite, dated to the 630s attributed to Hesiod. According to Plato’s Critias, the three outer walls of the Temple to Poseidon and Cleito on Atlantis were clad respectively with brass, tin, and the third outer wall, which encompassed the whole citadel, “flashed with the red light of orichalcum”. The interior walls, pillars and floors of the temple were completely covered in orichalcum, and the roof was variegated with gold, silver, and orichalcum. In the center of the temple stood a pillar of orichalcum, on which the laws of Poseidon and records of the first son princes of Poseidon were inscribed.

Orichalcum also appears in the writings of the Jews. In Antiquities of the Jews Josephus, wrote that the vessels in the Temple of Solomon were made of orichalcum. Pliny the Elder points out that the metal had lost currency due to the mines being exhausted. Pseudo-Aristotle in De mirabilibus auscultationibus describes orichalcum as a shining metal produced during the smelting of copper with the addition of “calmia” (zinc oxide).

Rare Orichalcum coins from Ancient Rome
Rare Orichalcum coins from Ancient Rome

The cast metal which possibly came from Greece or Asia Minor was being delivered to Gela in southern Sicily when it sunk off its coast. The ship that was carrying them was likely caught in a storm just when it was about to enter the port. The 39 ingots recovered from the wreck were destined to be used in workshops in the making of high quality decorations.
“The wreck dates to the first half of the sixth century. It was found about 1,000 feet from Gela’s coast at a depth of 10 feet.”
-Sebastiano Tusa, Sicily’s superintendent of the Sea Office.

A total of 39 Orichalum ingots were recovered from the sea floor surrounding the wreckage, a truly rare and unique find. Considering researches only new of the metal through the study of ancient text and a few ornamental objects. Nothing similar has ever been found, in fact the metal’s very existence was long considered false.

Sicilian Team excavating the Ship wreck
Sicilian Team excavating the Ship wreck

The mysterious metal was said to have been forged by Cadmus, according to the ancient Greeks, a largely mythical character of Greeko-Phoenician origin. It was not however until the fourth century B.C. Greek philosopher Plato cited it in the Critias dialogue that the legend of orichalcum was birthed into the world. Plato, in describing Atlantis as flashing “with the red light of orichalcum,” wrote that the metal, second only in value to gold, was mined in Atlantis and furnished Poseidon’s temple interior, walls, columns and floors.

With the find off the Sicilian Coast, the metal’s authenticity of which there is little doubt. Today most scholars agree orichalcum is a brass-like alloy, which was made in antiquity by cementation in a crucible. Adding and aiding the process with the reaction of zinc ore, charcoal and copper metal. Through further investigation conducted with X-ray fluorescence,the composition of the material is now confirmed. The 39 ingots are an alloy made with 75-80 percent copper, 15-20 percent zinc and small percentages of nickel, lead and iron.

“The finding confirms that about a century after its foundation in 689 B.C., Gela grew to become a wealthy city with artisan workshops specialized in the production of prized artifacts,” Tusa said. To add fire to the debate and shrouding the metal in even more mystery are the findings of Enrico Mattievich, a retired professor of physics who taught at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ). According to Mattievich the ingots are not properly made from orichalcum. “It appears they are lumps of latone metal, an alloy of copper, zinc and lead,” Mattievich, who has led a number of studies in physics applied to mineralogy, paleontology and archaeology, is one of the scholars who disagree on orichalcum being a brass based metal.

Orichalcum twins found in Central America
Orichalcum twins found in Central America

Further confusing the debate, while other scholars equated the mysterious metal to amber and to other copper based alloys, Mattievich believes orichalcum has its roots in the Peruvian Andes and in the Chavín civilization that developed there from 1200 B.C. to 200 B.C. As chronicled in his book “Journey to the Mythological Inferno” Mattievic claims that the ancient Greeks had discovered America, and there, a metallic alloy “with fire-like reflections” similar to Plato’s description was found in a set of metallic jaguars of Chavin style, which were revealed to be made of 9 percent copper, 76 percent gold and 15 percent silver.
Whatever the origins and nature of orichalcum, Tusa’s team plans to excavate the shipwreck and bring to surface the entire cargo. “It will provide us with precious information on Sicily’s most ancient
economic history,” Tusa said.

The Pillars of Latin Atlantis

Buried in the vast marshlands of the Dona Ana Park, lies what researchers believe could be the ancient, multi-ringed city of Atlantis in the mud flats of southern Spain.

Artist Depiction of Atlantis

From the time of Plato’s writings, the Enigma that is Atlantis has intrigued & confounded experts and layman alike. If this dominant economic and militant force of the ancient world truly existed why is there so little evidence to prove it? Can we look at the story of Atlantis and find evidence of Biblical accounts of the Book of Genesis, namely the great flood of the Bible? As some historians suggest the ancient Atlanteans were a sea faring peoples determined to map the earth and the stars above.  Some circumstantial evidence of this may be found in the maps of the ancient sea kings, such as the mysterious piri reis map which describes an Antarctica free of ice long believed before the time of its discovery.

Discoveries at several off shore sights in the Mediterranean point to a well established Atlantean coastal empire that may point to not only its existence but also its burial by Sea. These findings indicate that this ancient civilisation founded by the mythical figure of Atlas possessed highly advanced navigation methods and nautical skills which allowed them to successfully measure and map the Earth. Thereby allowing them the ability to traverse the globe establishing an global empire that was wiped out at the end of the ice-age.

Plato’s Capitol of Atlantis

It is part of the historical record that the end of the last ice age was around 12,000 years ago. The earliest surviving source of the story of Atlantis is the Greek philosopher Plato. Plato and his learnered contemporaries knew nothing of ice-ages, but nonetheless set the demise of Atlantis at this precise date. There are over 200 known sunken cities in the Mediterranean. These ruins are prolific megalithic constructions that are very distinct, indicating they were erected by the same civilisation during the same architectural period. From the great pyramid of Giza to Stonehenge in England and to Baalbek, megalithic building with gigantic sculpted stone is considered by academia to have begun around 2500BC. This construction method can be found throughout the ancient world in Greece, Spain and even South America indicating a central source.

Satellite Photo Location of Proposed Sight of Atlantis in Spain
Satellite Photo Location of Proposed Sight of Atlantis in Spain

Plato described Atlantis 2,600 years ago, as an island in front of the straits which were called the Pillars of Hercules, but are now known as the Straits of Gibraltar. There have been significant discoveries here of submerged megaliths off the coast of southern Spain, off the shores of Lixus Morocco, West of Gibraltar, Tarifa, Cadiz, Rota and Chipiona. All within this same region. A team of American researchers analysed satellite imagery of a suspected submerged city just north of Cadiz, Spain. There, buried in the vast marshlands of the Dona Ana Park, they believe that they may have pinpointed the ancient, multi-ringed city of Atlantis.

Early depiction based on Plato’s writings

Atlantis was an ancient seafaring culture with advanced knowledge of astronomy, global mapping and complex mathematics. According to Plato the City of Atlantis was a port city with concentric canals leading to an inner city and port. The city of Carthage built in Tunisia by the Phoneticians was an identical if smaller version of this building model. Discovery in central Spain of a strange series of memorial cities, built in Atlantis’ image by its refugees after the city’s likely destruction by a tsunami also point to the idea that survivors of the catastrophe ventured out into the world and passed down there knowledge to other cultures.

What little evidence we have points to Atlantis as being a maritime civilisation, not unlike the ancient Phoneticians, connected together by a globally distributed network of coastlines. The reason there is so little evidence that historians will accept is because those coastlines have long since been submerged with the rising of the oceans, and are not being seriously explored. Influences of a great lost civilisation can be found in the Mediterranean and the Eastern side of what is now called the Atlantic ocean and this is the most likely candidate for an advanced culture which is now believed to have been destroyed by tsunami.  If these findings prove accurate and the sunken ruins prove to be Atlantis dated correctly, then the discovery will challenge, if not destabilise the prevailing Scientific theories of the Age and Advancement of Modern Humans.