Archaeology and Lemuria

Archaeology and Lemuria

The quest for lost continents has been going on for well over a century; in the last few decades there have been serious archaeological excavations to find these sunken lands beneath the waves. Whilst Atlantis is perhaps the best known, the quest for the lost land of Lemuria is still active today.

Lemuria was thought to have been situated in the Indian Ocean and was once called the Indo-African Continent in the mid 19th century by scholars who thought the legends were exciting. According to legends and ancient accounts, Lemuria included parts of the modern day African continent as well as India, and even said to stretch all the way to the islands in Southeast Asia and Australia. According to some scientists in this post-Darwinism age, Lemuria may have been the ‘cradle of the human race’ and the ‘primeval home of mankind’.

In the 1880s, Lemuria was an interesting theory to the British colonials in India as they were speculating about the Dravidian problem and how the origin of some of the Indian people were not from the Aryan people who had invaded the Indus Valley region and conquered the people they encountered. It was put forward that the ancestors of the modern day people who spoke Dravidian languages (Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam for example) once lived on Lemuria and migrated to India when Lemuria fell beneath the waves.

It wasn’t too long before gentleman archaeologists and scientists began to talk more openly about lost continents. Archaeologists stated that new continents and islands have been born as old ones have sunk beneath the waves. Archaeologists argued that the modern day continents of Asia, Africa Europe (etc) was created when they broke off from large paleo-continents. Indeed, the German meteorologist Alfred Wegener proposed that “rather than present day continents having remained permanently where they are today, or having been separated by the submergence of continental bridges like Lemuria, they were created through the drifting apart – like floating icebergs – of the fragments of a supercontinent named Pangea that began to break up around 200 million years ago, in the early Mesozic”.

Modern day archaeologists have found evidence of islands that have sunk in parts of the Indian Ocean; however, reliable data has been able to date these to around 50 thousand years ago – much too young to be the ancient continent of Lemuria.

There has been no realistic or reliable evidence to prove that Lemuria ever truly existed. However, the search still goes on to this day.


Ramaswamy, Sumathi (1999) Catastrophic Cartographies: Mapping the Lost Continent of Lemuria, Representations, University of California Press.