2007-2008 Supercomputing Challenge New Mexico Supercomputing Challenge


Final Reports



School Map


Technical Guide

Past Participant Survey



Challenge Team Interim Report

[Challenge Logo]

    Team Number47

    School Name: Ramah High School

    Area of Science: Archeology

    Project Title: Atlantis: The Lost Civilization

Final Report

Atlantis was a highly advanced civilization that supposedly existed around 11,600 BC. They were destroyed in a cataclysmic event, and whether or not the Atlanteans existed or not is something still under debate. Another subject of debate is the actual location of the continent of Atlantis. Our project does not focus on whether or not Atlantis existed, but if it did, where it was most likely located.

The only historical references to Atlantis are found in two of Plato’s books, Timeaus and Critias. The characteristics of Atlantis found in these books are what we will put into our computer program, as these are the only known facts about the continent.

In Plato’s Timeaus, Plato does not go into great detail about Atlantis. However, he did say that the continent was location in the Atlantic Ocean, opposite what was then known as the Pillars of Heracles (or Hercules). Today, these are known as the Straits of Gibraltar. When Plato mentions the Atlantic Ocean, this does not necessarily mean it was in what we call the Atlantic Ocean. Back then, people knew all the oceans of the world as the Atlantic, meaning Atlantis could be located anywhere. The continent itself was larger than Libya and Asia combined. From Atlantis, you could also reach other islands, and then a true continent.

In Critias, Plato went into great detail about the architecture and layout of the continent. First of all, Atlantis possessed a strong military, including horses, chariots, and soldiers. Secondly, there was a large plain 330 miles long by 110 miles wide. The plain was surrounded in the north by a mountain range. The southern end was open to the sea, where a canal exited to the sea. The canal was 300 feet wide and 100 feet deep. Around the plain was a ditch, 100 feet deep and one stade wide (with a stade being 607 feet, or .11 miles). The ditch was 10,000 stade (1,100 miles) long, and surrounded the whole plain. 50 stades (5.5 miles) from the southern sea was a hill where the rings of Sea and Land were built.

Also in Critias was a description of the lives of Atlanteans. Atlantis produced two harvests every year, one from winter rains and the other from summer irrigation. Fruits were hard to store, but provided drink, food, and oil. Timber, elephants, marshes, swamps, rivers, mountains, and plains were all abundant on Atlantis, as were hot and cold springs. Orichalc, a metal unknown to Plato, was mined in large quantities. It was second in value only to gold. The stone on Atlantis was white, black, and yellow. The stone was excavated from the center island and land rings to form covered docking areas.

The computer program we have planned is going to take a lot more knowledge of C++ than either of us has, so one of the first things we need to do is learn the language. A mentor would really be able to help us, so we definitely need to find one quickly.

Ideally, our computer program will be able to map exactly where it thinks Atlantis is located. We will program into it the different characteristics known about Atlantis (listed above). We will also have to do research about what the world was like in 11,600 BC, so the computer will be able to match characteristics of a certain area during that time to the known characteristics of Atlantis. It would take a lot more work, but would also be very interesting, if we could get the output as a map that displays some sort of marker (star, etc.) where Atlantis was located. To complete this program will take at least until the end of the challenge year, if not into the next.

As for our progress on this project, we have not been able to meet as often as we would have liked. However, we have been able to complete almost all of the research needed for the program, and we feel fairly comfortable with what we know. We have started on our program, however it is not in any programming language. Instead, we are writing out what we want the program to do, and will hopefully be able to convert it into a working program. Ideally, we will be able to get a mentor soon who will be able to help with this, and also be able to teach us a bit more about C++ and other programming languages.

Our main goal for this challenge year is to complete our computer program. Neither of us have any programming experience, so we will have to learn as we go along. Whether or not we will be able to finish the program and have it work like we had originally planned is yet to be seen, but we will hopefully be able to meet often to work on it.

Team Members

Team Mail

Sponsoring Teachers

Project Advisor(s)

  • None
For questions about the Supercomputing Challenge, a 501(c)3 organization, contact us at: consult1516 @ supercomputingchallenge.org

New Mexico Supercomputing Challenge, Inc.
80 Cascabel Street
Los Alamos, New Mexico 87544
(505) 667-2864

Flag Counter

Tweet #SupercomputingChallenge