Dating atlantis

When does plato say atlantis was destroyed?

9,600 BCE

Specifically, Plato says that the events took place 9,000 years before the time of Solon. Who was Solon? Solon was the Athenian statesman who Plato’s says brought the story of Atlantis back from his visit to Egypt in around 600 BCE, which is about 250 years before Plato even wrote his story down.


When doES STEL say atlantis was destroyed?

4,900 BCE +/- 250

Stel’s theory proposes that the 9,000 years Plato talks about was calculated using an Ancient Egyptian king list, but the calendar year that total equates to is 4,900 BCE +/- 250, not 9,000 BCE.

This number was not chosen at random, but is based on the analysis of current  Egyptian chronology data and Manetho’s king list. Manetho was an Egyptian priest from the early 3rd century BCE. His king list is the closest we have to being contemporary with Plato. 


How is that NEW DATE Possible?

Plato explains that Solon worked out his date by counting back the years generation by generation until he reached 9,000 years before his time. 

The problem is Greeks didn’t measure time by generations, they measured it by keeping a list of annual archon years, and other calendars. Archons were the governors or mayors of Athens who were appointed annually. (The word anarchy stems from this word and meant a year without an archon.)

Egyptians are the ones who measured time by generations through king lists. Therefore, either Solon or Plato (or Herodotus, but that’s a whole other conversation), must have used an Egyptian king list to count the years. A king list would have looked just like an archon list but they have quirks that Solon and Plato would not have been aware of. In fact, even Egyptian priests may not have known about them.


King lists are a list of all of the rulers of Egypt and the length of time they reigned. These are called regnal years. The most famous lists are carved into temple walls, but they tend to be incomplete and lack the lengths of the reigns.

The other lists were written on papyrus and gave the lengths of each reign. These lists were important because pharaohs noted on their monuments in what year of their reign certain events occurred, such as wars. By consulting a list, an Egyptian priest could calculate how far back in time a particular event took place and have a sense of Egyptian history.

What quirks do these lists have and how do we know?

First, Egyptian king lists such as Manetho’s are missing one key piece of information; they don’t mention when two people or even two dynasties ruled at the same time. So anyone reading the list could inadvertently double count years very easily.

Second, mistakes were made maintaining these lists over thousands of years, so reign lengths could change. Other times kings would simply lie about the length of their reign to inflate their importance, or kings would be completely omitted from a list for political reasons.

Archaeology is the reason we know about any of these quirks. Over the years, evidence has been collected proving reign lengths and parallel reigns. 



No. To simplify Stel’s theory for TV, some very important details were left out.

First, all kinds of tools have been used by archaeologists to affix more accurate dates to to the lives of the pharaohs. From cataloguing pottery and ceramic assemblages, to dendrochronology, and Carbon 14 dating. As technology improves, and more evidence is collected, these dates continually shift by small increments.

Second, Egyptology has also settled into two camps when it comes to agreeing on the timing of Egyptian chronology. These are called High and Low. The Low chronology uses younger dates and is a more recent development. Stel ‘s theory relies on the more conservative High chronology. 

When time allows Stel intends to recalculate his date based on the Low chronology. 

Third, to complicate matters further, there are two parallel versions of Manetho’s king list since the original is lost and all there is left to work with are bits from other ancient writers.


“Dating Atlantis: How Manetho helps address the Critias 108e problem”

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