Archaeologists Recover 47 Ingots Of Orichalcum, the fabled metal that was said to adorn the walls of Atlantis. Could it help us to find the mysterious city?
2,600 years ago, a trading ship sank in the Mediterranean Sea, off the coast of Sicily. Among its cargo were several dozens of orichalcum alloy ingots.
Although the legend of the lost continent of Atlantis is much older than the age of the ship, many feel there is a strong possibility that this discovery could shed some light on the age-old mystery.
The shipwreck was discovered approximately 1,000 feet off the coast of the Sicilian city of Gela, submerged in less than 10 feet of water.
In 2015, archaeologists diving off the coast of Sicily managed to recover 39 ingots of a strange alloy containing zinc, copper and charcoal and they believe the mysterious metal could be the mystical metal favored by the ancient Atlanteans.
Recently, the researchers added another 47 orichalcum ingots.
In the dialogue Critias, the ancient Greek philosopher Plato describes orichalcum as a precious metal, second only to gold in terms of monetary value. It comes as a surprise when we learn that the stuff was excessively used in Atlantis. According to Plato, the Temple of Poseidon in Atlantis had interiors and floors made of the metal and in its center stood a grand orichalcum pillar inscribed with the sea god’s laws.
Even more opulence was visible on the outside, as the entire outer wall that encompassed the citadel of Atlantis “flashed with the red light of orichalcum.”
The name orichalcum comes from the Greek oreikhalkos, meaning “mountain copper.” Plato maintained that the metals that went into the composition of this alloy were extensively found and mined on the lost continent of Atlantis.
Another historical mention of this enigmatic substance comes from Flavius Josephus’ Antiquities of the Jews, where he claimed the vessels in Solomon’s Temple were made from orichalcum or a bronze similar to gold.
Before this discovery, researchers had little information about orichalcum as the alloy had never been found in substantial quantities. And to make the mystery even more complex, many historians fail to agree on what the legendary alloy really was.
British researcher Joseph Needham notes that in the ancient world, there were two types of orichalcum, one being the imitation of the other. He believes the recipe for Atlantis orichalcum had been lost through time and that the alloy known in Ancient Greece as orichalcum was an inferior replica.
But could this finally help us to find the exact location of Atlantis? Only time will tell.