When comparing ancient civilizations, archaeologists and scientists have noted many similarities among different cultures that existed about the same time - from 10,000 B.C. to A.D. 1500. As a result, many theories have been proposed as explanations for the similarities. These theories incorporate ideas such as the mass continent, visitors from outer space, or common ancestry. To explain similarities between the Egyptian and South/Central American cultures, one particular theory proposes that the lost continent of Atlantis was the source for both ancient cultures.
In order to determine the possibility of this theory it is necessary first to consider the similarities between the two cultures, and second, to relate them to a hypothetical lost continent. In both geographical areas countless similarities can be found in all different facets of life including culture, rituals, and technology.
Culturally, the two areas were very similar in their religion and legends. Religion, to both cultures, was very important. Both had a very powerful hereditary priesthood (Donnelly, 1949), and construction of numerous temples in both cultures (Dudly, Faricy, & Rice, 1968; Toth & Nielsen, 1985) reveals religion's importance.
In early Egypt the religion was monotheistic and only fruits and flowers were sacrificed. They also believed in an underworld, as well as the immortality of the soul and the resurrection of the body. Paralleling these in South/Central America, the Peruvian cultures worshipped a single god; the Aztecs of Mexico condemned all sacrifice but fruit and flowers; many of the separate civilizations believed in an underworld, and the Peruvians also believed in the immortality of the soul and the resurrection of the body (Donnelly, 1949).
In Egypt and civilizations of Central America the worship of animals was practiced. Both also worshiped a sun god. In Egypt the sun god was called Ra. The Toltecs of Mexico called their sun god Rana and the Peruvian's sun god was Raymi.
Legends are another common cultural aspect of these two areas. The Egyptian religion, which is constructed mostly upon legends, refers to a time when the sun was completely obscured in dense clouds. The Tupi civilization of Brazil tells a story about two brothers, a struggle between light and dark (Donnelly, 1970). This legend states that "the cloudy day came out worst" (Connelly, 1970, p. 239), indicating that a time of great storms had passed. The Egyptian legends also relate to "ages of fire and ice, and the victory of the sun-god over the evil-one" (Donnelly, 1970, p. 234). Most all of the civilizations in South/Central America and Egypt preserved a tradition of such a deluge (Donnelly, 1949).
During the time of fire and ice, there is also mention of a "cave-life" in both cultures. This was a time when people lived in caves to escape the devastation (Donnelly, 1970).
Further cultural similarities can be found when comparing the established calendrical systems. On both sides of the Atlantic is found a 365 day calendar (Cayce, Edgar Evans, 1969). When dividing the year the Peruvians and the Egyptians separated it into twelve months (Donnelly, 1949). The Aztecs, however, divided their year into 18 months of 20 days with five intercalary days. Though the monthly division was different, the Aztecs still maintained the 365 day year (Aztec, 1979). Similar also is the exact day on which the year started. The Egyptian and Mexican years both began on February 26 (Donnelly, 1949).
When comparing the written languages of Egypt and South/Central America even more similarities are discovered. In both cultures, hieroglyphics were used. The Egyptians used hieroglyphics on temples, pillars, and statues. Similarly, Mayas used hieroglyphics in tombs, on monuments, medallions, buildings, and on pottery. Both cultures also used their written languages for...