47 ingots of Orichalcum have been recovered by archaeologists, this is said to be the fabled metal that was used on the walls of the mysterious city of Atlantis. But can the new find help scientists to locate the lost city?
A trading ship on the Mediterranean Sea sank more than 2,600 years ago, just off the Sicily coast. Some of the cargo on board the ship included many dozens of Orichalcum alloy ingots. Many people believe that the discovery may shed new light on what is an age-old mystery, despite the fact that the lost continent of Atlantis was said to be a lot older than the age of the sunken ship. The shipwreck occurred around 1,000 feet away from the coast of the city of Gela, in Sicily, which was found submerged in under 10 feet of water. Archaeologists went diving off the coast in 2015 and recovered 39 ingots that were made from a strange alloy material that contained copper, zinc and charcoal, which was said to be the metal that builders used on the lost city of Atlantis.
THE CITY OF ATLANTIS WAS OPULENT
The Greek philosopher Plato had described Orichalcum as being a precious metal in Critias, regarding value it was said to be second to gold. It was a big surprise to hear that the alloy was thought to have been extensively used in the city of Atlantis. Plato said that the Temple of Poseidon in the city had floors and interiors that had been made out of metal and in the middle was a huge pillar of Orichalcum that had been inscribed with the laws of the sea gods. He went on to say that more opulence had been visible on the exterior, with the whole of the outer wall circling the citadel of Atlantis being flashed with the red light of Orichalcum. The name of the alloy is taken from the Greek word Oreikhalkos, which means mountain copper. Plato suggested that the metal in the composition was found extensively and mined on Atlantis. Flavius Josephus also mentioned the substance when he said that the vessels in the Solomon Temple had been made out of Orichalcum or bronze that was very similar to gold.
WILL FINDINGS OF ORICHALCUM BE A STEP CLOSER TO THE FINDING LOST CITY OF ATLANTIS?
Before the discovery, the researchers didn’t have much information about Orichalcum because it hadn’t been found in such large quantities before. The mystery is made even more complex as historians cannot agree about what the alloy really was. Joseph Needham, a British researcher, said that in the ancient world there had been two different types of Orichalcum and one was a copy of the other. He pointed out that the mixture for the Orichalcum used in Atlantis had been lost throughout time and the alloy from Ancient Greece was, in fact, a replica that was inferior. But will the findings of the ingots of Orichalcum take scientists a big step closer to finding the true location of the Lost City of Atlantis?
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