Atlantis - A Mathematical Point of View
A Statistical Comparison of the Santorini and Souss-Massa Location Hypotheses of Atlantis
From Plato's accounts Timaios and Critias we can derive more than 50 criteria that a site should meet to qualify as a possible location for Atlantis Nesos, the Island of Atlas *. A new mathematical approach for localizing archaeomythological sites supports the Souss hypothesis with a highly significant result.
Binomial Distribution of 51 Criteria
Why is Santorini one of the most popular Atlantis location hypotheses?
It is mainly because of two eye-catching criteria, which apply at first glance. Firstly, it is an annular shaped island with a central island. Secondly,
there was a catastrophe that destroyed Santorini. But can we really derive from these criteria that Santorini was Atlantis? Definitively not!
If we take a closer look at Plato's account, we notice that most of the other important criteria (actually all criteria are important) do not apply at all.
Incidentally, the criteria 'three rings of water, two of land' also does not apply to Santorini, particularly because there is only one ring of water and
one ring of land. Additionally, Plato described the capital of Atlantis, which was situated 50 stadia inland on a large plain, to be surrounded by rings and
not the annular shape of the whole island Atlantis. Also the size of Santorini's annular structure does not apply, since it is much too large.
Moreover, there are many other important criteria that do not apply, e.g. there is no plain surrounded by mountains and there is no large mountain range
([...] the mountains which surrounded it [the plain] were at that time celebrated as surpassing all that now exist in number, magnitude and beauty [...]
Critias 118b), there are no large canals, etc. etc. Therefore, the conclusion 'Santorini was Atlantis', which is based only on few criteria, is highly
unscientific. Please stay tuned for a complete list of all the criteria that apply to Santorini and a complete list that apply to the Souss *
*) Please refer to the paper Circumstantial Evidence for Plato's Island Atlantis in the Souss-Massa plain in today's South- Morocco (Huebner, 2011) for an excerpt of these criteria.
**) Most probably there are less than 23 criteria that apply to Santorini, e.g. we don't know if there is evidence for elephants or horses in prehistoric times or if there once have been docks cut into red, white and black bedrock, etc. But for now we assume that these criteria apply to Santorini (in dubio pro the 'Atlantis is Santorini' hypothesis). Note: Most probably there are also more than 44 criteria that apply to the Souss, e.g. we have evidence for racecourses, which remind us of cursus monuments found at Stonehenge. Since we do not have archaeological evidence for this hypothesis, we do not claim the criteria 'hippodrom' to be true. The same goes for many other ruins found within the annular structure (in dubio pro the null hypothesis H0 'Atlantis is not located in the Souss').