Orichalcum: The Mysterious Lost Metal Of Atlantis Found In A 2600-Year-Old Shipwreck

Ancient Greeks believed that the “Orichalcum was a metal that could only be found in one place: the lost city of Atlantis.”

One of the most baffling mysteries of human civilization is the disappearance of Atlantis city. The enigmatic city disappeared into thin air some 11,000 years ago and has been mentioned in some of the great works of Greek philosopher Plato. The Atlantis city is known as one of the lost cities.

Orichalcum lost metal of atlantis

Theories and research suggest that the great city of Atlantis possessed technology that was far advanced than what we possess even now. It is also believed by many that the Atlanteans did not fall apart but moved to another planet using their advanced spacecraft and ships. However, on the other hand, some believe that the extent of power and corruption present in the city doomed its future by causing a great nuclear war, a war that changed the entire geography of the land.

No person knows the exact location of the Atlantis city, but surprisingly, Plato asserted that the city was located in front of “The Pillars of Hercules”, in reference to the “Rock of Gibraltar” and North Africa. Several expeditions and investigations have been carried out to find the accurate location of the lost city but all failed. No one could ever prove the existence of the city.

Interestingly, a team of marine archaeologists has recovered 39 ingots of “Orichalcum (Orichalcum)” from a ship sunk some 2,600 years ago 1,000 meters off the coast of Gela, south of Sicily indicating that the legends of Atlantis city could be more than just stories.

Orichalcum 2,600-year-old shipwreck found off the coast of Sicily
2,600-year-old shipwreck found off the coast of Sicily
2,600-year-old shipwreck found off the coast of Sicily
A stack of orichalcum ingots as they were found on the seafloor amid the wreck of a ship off Sicily. © Sebastiano Tusa, Superintendent of the Sea-Sicily Region

A renowned archaeologist from the office of the Superintendent of the Sea in Sicily, Professor Sebastiano Tusa stated that the discovered in the wreckage of the sunken ship was probably the mythical red metal known as Orichalcum. It is believed by the experts that the ingots of Atlantis were being transported from Gela, south of Sicily, to Greece or Asia Minor. Theories suggest that the ship carrying the mysterious metal was most likely caught in a major storm and sank just as it was about to enter the Sicilian port.

“The shipwreck is from the first half of the 6th century. The ship was only 1,000 meters off the coast of Gela, at a depth of 3 meters. Nothing similar has ever been found. We knew about Orichalcum from ancient texts and some ornamental objects.”

Professor Sebastiano Tusa
Cadmus, the Greek mythological figure who is said to have created orichalcum
Cadmus, the Greek mythological figure who is said to have created orichalcum

Rich history is associated with the enigmatic Orichalcum, the metal of Atlantis. The composition and origin of the metal have been debated and discussed for over a century now. It is believed in Greek Mythology that the Orichalcum was invented by Cadmus, a character from Greek mythology. 

Plato classified Orichalcum as a legendary metal in the Critias dialogue. The lost city of Atlantis was described to be elucidated with the flashing red light of Orichalcum.

“The metal, second only in value to gold, was mined from Atlantis to cover all the surfaces of the Temple of Poseidon.”

Plato

A majority of experts concur that the Orichalcum is a copper alloy like that made by carburizing. Carburizing is a process through which zinc ore, carbon, and copper metal are combined in a crucible. Upon deep analysis using  X-ray fluorescence, it was found out that 39 Atlantis ingots were an alloy made with 75-80 percent copper, 14-20 percent zinc, and lower percentages of nickel, lead, and iron.

Professor Tumus shed light on the relevancy of the discovery:

“The find confirms that a century after its founding in 689 BC, Gela grew to become a city rich with workshops of craftsmen specialized in the production of precious artefacts.”

Professor Tumus

So, does the discovery prove the existence of the great city of Atlantis?  Professor, writer, and former physicist at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Enrico Mattievich contended that the “ingots are made of brass while the real Orichalcum is composed of made of copper, gold, and silver, and was created in Peru.”

The existence of the city of Atlantis is mentioned in two great works of the Greek philosopher Plato, are Critias and Timaeus. Plato did not invent Atlantis as believed by many, but the traces of the mysterious city dates back deep into history. Plato writes that Atlantis was located in Timaeus:

“For it is related in our records how once upon a time your State stayed the course of a mighty host, which, starting from a distant point in the Atlantic Ocean, was insolently advancing to attack the whole of Europe, and Asia to boot. For the ocean there was at that time navigable; for in front of the mouth which you Greeks call, as you say, ‘the pillars of Heracles,’ there lay an island which was larger than Libya and Asia together; and it was possible for the travelers of that time to cross from it to the other islands, and from the islands to the whole of the continent over against them which encompasses that veritable ocean. For all that we have here, lying within the mouth of which we speak, is evidently a haven having a narrow entrance; but that yonder is a real ocean, and the land surrounding it may most rightly be called, in the fullest and truest sense, a continent. Now in this island of Atlantis there existed a confederation of kings, of great and marvelous power, which held sway over all the island, and over many other islands also and parts of the continent.”

Timaeus 24e–25a, R. G. Bury translation.

So far, no concrete evidence of the existence of the lost city of Atlantis has been found. However, are the Orichalcum ingots discovered near Sicily the definitive evidence for the existence of Atlantis? 

Reference: Atlasobscura

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