Furthermore, there is a good deal of controversy as to what the island actually looked like before the eruption. The initiial theory was that the island had been all rouind and in one piece, but Geologists also identified at least half a dozen secondary cones active on the volcanic island before the big bang.
[Different reconstructions of pre-Minoan Thera]
The main point seems to be that the city as described is likely to be a volcanic caldera, an extinct volcano after eruption. But any comparably-sized caldera would do just as well as Santorini. Furthermore there iare radar and sonar pictures of a caldera-like structure just South of the Azores and seeming to be exactly the right size, and in the right place, to be the Atlantis City that Plato described. (The image is cut out of larger satellite-survey map: the structure is discussed on some of the other Atlantis discussion boards on the internet)
Azores Islands in green at top.
Otto Muck (and others) Identify the high peak of Pico Alto in the Azores as the original Mount Atlas. In Atlantean times it would have been elevated by several thousand feet more and Muck says at the time it would have been emitting a continuous smoke plume, described in later Mythology as a the Cosmic Tree (Growing on top of a Pyramid) Since the main settlement of Atlantis was due South of this, the Pole Star was at its top to their perceptions.
Ship Rock in Arizona, a remnant volcanic neck. Many of the features Plato describes of the City of Atlantis could be naturally-occuring remnant volcanic features of the caldera. Critias says that these volcanic features were said to be the creations of Poseidon (the Earth-Shaker) The central high point was specified as the place where Poseidon met Cleito and later their temple: that could be a remnant volcanic neck such as this made over into a pyramid, probably meant to echo Mount Atlas on a smaller scale.
Ship Rock also has radial dikes built up of harder material and if the caldera had these, they could have been built into a system of radial bridges.
Lava tubes also make ideal ready-made caves: let in the water and you have all the underground passageways for boats and underground docks you could possibly want.
In many places such as the Devil's Causeway in Scotland and even several of the Atlantic Islands, the lava hardens into stacks of basaltic crystal columns. These have been used as ready-made building materials by ancient man, including in places in Africa. There is some reason to suspect the Egyptians learnt something of this tradition from Ethiopia (Where they also got their obsidian from)
The photo shows the formation known as the Devil's Postpile.
The ends-up of the basaltic colums show at such places as the Devil's Postpile and the Giant's Causeway. It seems to me that the pattern is the obvious inspiration for later Cyclopean masonry walls seen in Iberia, Italy and Greece, and in Peru most notably.
A good example of imposingly substantial structures that can be constructed from these basaltic columns is at Pohnape in Microneasia, the ruined settlement of Nan Modol. The larger structures, Castles and city walls of Atlantis could have been constructed something like this in the beginning.
In the New World, the Olmecs made use of such natural columns to create their own version of Megalithic structures. This is an Olmec Dolmen. It is also easy to see how buildings with rows of columns (colonades) might have gotten started.
One reason to think the Egyptians knew about basaltic columns by way of Ethiopia is because their obelisks seem to be trying for that same faceted 'crystaline' form. One of the reasons for suspecting the Atlantean Temple of Poseidon's main statue of Poseidon was mostly only a gilt column is because pyramid texts spoke of Ra as being embodied in a gold-capped obelisk such as this one.
The regular dwellings in the city of Atlantis, as well as the better districts in the outlying areas, would be basically structures of "Pueblo" design like these dwellings from Katal Hoyuk. Similar houses are known to be very old from around the Sahara. (Final-glacial or before)
Several critics point to the vast wealth of gold and other metals in Atlantis and they say it cannot be so. As a matter of fact, souyrces of massy native gold have been identified from the se-bed Mid-Atlantic Ridge from near to the Azores area. When Science magazine posted notice of the find a few years back, the comment was made "Formerly such deposits were thought to be characteristic of lodes found on land, above water" The Geology of these masy native metals is now understood to be the same as on Cyprus and in the South of Spain, and many kinds of metals are known to occur close together in their pure metallic form. This is native copper.
During part of the Neolithic age, native copper was used without knowledge of true metallurgy and cold-pounded. The time is called the Chalcolithic. shaped items made out of copper reportedly run back as old as 9000-10000 BC in Southern Spain and in Israel: Time-Life books has made a special note of the fact which appears in the timescale of The Emergence of Man series of books.
One of the products which Plato names but which he says was lost is "Orichalcum" or "Mountain copper." Zhirov identifies this as a naturally-occuring copper alloy from other Classical authors, a sort of native brass. In Plato's story we see sheets of it being used to line the temple interiors. This is a rolled-metal sheet of brass put here to illustrate what the metal would look like.
This is a photo of native gold. The Atlanteans seem to have made use of it in much the same way as the Incas of Peru (Meaning in this case especially their kings because that is what "Inca" really means) The Incas had some rooms literally lined with gold decorations and sheets of gold. The conquistadores stripped off all of this gold (and squandered it, actually)
Peruvian decorative mask above, wall-plate below with Astronomical decorations on it.
Native Silver. Silver, gold and ivory are specified as being used on the outside of the main pyramid-temple and the choice of metals does correspond to an Astrological association.
Ground Limestone (lime) Lime was also extensively used by Atlanteans as whitewash, as plaster and as cement. it was also apparently used as a cosmetic, medicinally and used to treat dead bodies. Dead bodies were also sprinkled with red ochre during burials.Hair was washed with lime in order to bleach it, but probably initially more to kill head lice.