2,600 years ago, a merchant ship sank in the Mediterranean Sea, near Sicily. Among other, it also carried pieces of orichalcum alloy, the legendary metal that was believed to decorate the walls of Atlantis.
Even though the myth of the vanished continent of Atlantis is significantly older than the ship, it is considered that this disclosure could reveal some insight into this ancient secret.
In 2015, archeologists found 39 pieces of an unusual alloy comprising zinc, copper and charcoal near the shoreline of Sicily and they think that the strange metal could be the mysterious metal used by the long-gone inhabitants of Atlantis.
The remnants of the ship were found around 1,000 feet off the shoreline of the Sicilian city of Gela, sunken in less than 10 feet of water, which could mean that it sank in a tempest while looking for the close-by harbor.
Lately, the scientists brought 47 orichalcum ingots more to the collection and it seems that there is more to come.
Not much was known about orichalcum prior to this revelation, because it had never been found in significant amounts. But also lots of historians have different claims on what was the mythical alloy composed of.
According to English scientist Joseph Needham there were two kinds of orichalcum, whereas the one was an imitation of the other. He thinks that the formula for Atlantis orichalcum had been long gone and that the one from Ancient Greece was a second rate copy.
The Greek philosopher Plato depicts orichalcum as a precious metal, just after gold in regard of financial worth. This alloy was used only in Atlantis. Plato claims that the Temple of Poseidon in Atlantis was adorned with it.
The name orichalcum is derived from the Greek oreikhalkos, signifying “mountain copper.” Plato noted that the metals that comprised it were broadly found and excavated on Atlantis.
Flavius Josephus also mentions this mythological metal in his work Antiquities of the Jews, where he maintained that parts of Solomon’s Temple were made from orichalcum or a bronze resembling gold.
The possibility of an archeological discovery indicating to a legendary sunken continent is tempting and it incites our imagination. Maybe we will never discover the remnants of Atlantis and the legendary land is bound to remain forever lost.
But, if it is found one day, it will prove that our insight into Earth’s history is constrained. Even the ancient city of Troy was thought to be a legend until in the nineteenth century it was confirmed that it really existed.