In order to be considered the site of Atlantis, then in the words of one Newcastle professor, the site must at least conform to some of the aspects of Platos story.
Thus we can rule out Cyprus, Crete, Santorini, Malta, South of Spain, Azores and Antarctica. None of these correspond in any details to the long geographic description which Plato gave and in the case of Antarctica, well it has been under ice for hundreds of thousands of years, way beyond Platos timescale.
To find Atlantis is relatively simple. All you have to do is follow the directions Plato gave. First of all Plato said Atlantis was a continent the size of Libya and Asia combined. It lay in the Atlantic Ocean opposite the Pillars of Hercules. (Strait of Gibraltar).
Plato said Atlantis sank in a single day and night of earthquakes and floods. Modern geology tells us that a continent cannot sink in the space of a single day and no sunken continent exists between America and Gibraltar.
The conclusion then is that the lost continent of Atlantis is still there, it is in the Atlantic Ocean opposite the Strait of Gibraltar and today it carries the name of South America
The historians of the Spanish Conquest knew this. The first book to recognise South America as Atlantis was The History of the Indies by Francisco Lopez de Goara. Published in 1552 and banned the following year, this book tells us that when Christopher Columbus returned from his first voyage to the new continent, many people thought he had discovered the secret navigation of the Carthaginians or the lost island of Plato.
Again in 1572, the book “History of the Incas" by Sarmiento de Gamboa clearly tells us that South America" is the continent of Atlantis and at that time had the names New Castille, New Spain, Atlantis Insula or America."
The name Atlantis" remained popular until the founding of "The United States of America" after which the name "America" given to the continent by the European mapmaker Waldseemuller became more popular and the name "Atlantis" dropped from view.
So if the continent of Atlantis is still there, where is the sunken Atlantis of Plato? The answer is simple, Plato also described the capital of Atlantis as a small round volcano and it was not the entire continent of Atlantis which sank, but only the island capital of the same name which sank into a large inland sea in the centre of the continent.
This island is still there and the sea which submerged it has now receded leaving the island high and dry.
The sea is Lake Poopo in Bolivia and the island is called Cerro Santo Pedros Villca at a village called Pampa Aullagas to the south of the lake.
In Platos story, the island was home to the god Poseidon, who broke it off all round about, and made circular rings of land and sea enclosing one another to make it impregnable to man.
Poseidon married Cleito, a woman who lived on the mountain and went on to have five pairs of twin sons.
Poseidon is the Greek name for the god of the sea, also a benefactor to mankind.
In Bolivian legend the god of the sea is Viracocha (which means Spume of the Sea) and according to Sarmiento de Gamboa, Viracocha after a great flood saved five pairs of sons, not a coincidence but surely the origin of Platos story. Also known as Pachacamac or Tunupa, in Bolivian legend Tunupa in the form of a woman marries Asanaques, a god who lives on a hill and subsequently Tunupa creates the ringed formation which exists today in Pampa Aullagas./p>
In the "Legend of the Desaguadero" Tunupa is cast adrift in a reed boat and disappears beneath the waters of Lake Poopo at Pampa Aullagas. The chief of the gods decides to punish a city for greed and losing the teachings of the gods and subsequently destroys the city and submerges it beneath the sea.
Plato always maintained that his story came from Egypt and was recorded by the priests in the temples there, and here we have in Bolivia the true origin of the story of Platos Atlantis, in other words, a Bolivian legend.
What more proof do people require? Returning to the beginnings of Plato¢¥s geographic description, Plato tells us that in the centre of the continent and next to the sea there exists a plain. This plain is in the centre of the longest side of the continent, is enclosed by mountains, is high above the level of the (ocean) sea, is perfectly level and has the shape of a quadrangle, rectilinear and elongated.
No other proposed identifications of the site of Atlantis mention the level rectangular plain for the simple reason that it exists nowhere else except in Bolivia, - exactly where Plato said in the centre of the longest side of the continent.
The site has been re-occupied at a later day by the Aymara people and is completely covered in man-made platforms and terraces with many drystone walls. The chief characteristic of Plato¢¥s island was the concentric rings of sea and land and the island still has many concentric rings of land and sandy channels which formerly contained water when the lake was at its original level
At the summit of the mountain are small outlets which provided water and the area has numerous hot and cold springs which Plato also described. The red, black and white stone is also found here, and in the nearby church at Quillacas the walls are made of a pattern of these colours, again described by Plato. The perimeter of the island is covered in a wall of stone which in its turn is covered in a material which looks like coral but is actually fossilised lake sediments from the time the island was under water.
All the metals Plato mentioned are found here, gold, silver, copper, tin and the mysterious Orichalcum dismissed by Sir Desmond Lee as Probably an imaginary metal in fact Orichalcum occurs here as a natural alloy of gold and copper known locally as Tumbaga, when the copper on the surface is dissolved in a solution of alum, the object has the appearance of pure gold making it as Plato said The second most valuable metal then known.
Finally, in addition to the rings of land and water mentioned above, the site also has the natural form of the Cross of the Andes and is probably the origin of this important symbol of the Andes. It also has one further great advantage. Unlike a mythical sunken Atlantis in the Azores or Antarctica, it is a site which people can actually visit, climb the outer rings and the central island and see for themselves the beauty of the surrounding level Altiplano, with a canal to the sea still remaining and the beautiful sea in the form of Lake Poopo in the distance, incidentally Poopo means Umbilical cord of the world, where the world began and Pampa Aullagas means The Sunken Pampa or sunken level plain