Atlas mountains of Morocco look like Middle Earth

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Atlas mountains of Morocco look like Middle Earth

Postby MoroccoTheory » Fri Sep 20, 2013 7:31 pm

This theory places Middle Earth in northwest Africa (present day Morocco and the Atlas Mountains) in pre-Phoenician times. I need an Ice Age Spain to get it to work, and I think Phoenicia missed the Ice Age.

Using GoogleEarth, I studied Morocco and was able to trace a route from the northeast to southwest that closely follows the storyline of Tolkien's books.

Here are the important locations.

Rivendell is located somewhere in Tazekka National Park (most likely near the lake named Barrage Bab Louta).

The Shire is about 100km to the northwest. Look at the area between the town of Taounate and the river just south of that town. You can even see the Buckland bulge on the opposite bank of the bend in the river.

A straight route from Rivendell through the Shire points to the Gray Havens at the Straight of Gibraltar. This puts Numenor in the Azores (or possibly further south).

Moria is located quite a distance south in Toubkal National Park. Enter from the lake named Barrage Ouirgane, then journey through the mines 15-20 miles to the exit at the lake named Lac d'ifni. This places the bridge of khazadum somewhere under Jebl Toubkal (elevation 4167 meters) in the High Atlas Mountains.

Following the water downhill from Lac d'ifni you pass through Lorien on your way to the falls where the breaking of the fellowship takes place. The falls (now a dam) are at the western end of the lake named Barrage Aoulouz.

Frodo and Sam head south beneath the river toward Mordor which is in the Anti-Atlas range centered on the modern town of Tafraout.

The others head west above the river through Rohan, past Isengard (location uncertain), and eventually reach Minas Tirith located near the modern town of Agadir.

I found a great hill to place Minas Tirith, but it is much closer to the sea than Tolkien shows on his maps.

The battle plain in front of Minas Tirith extends from Agadir to the river and the modern towns of Inzegane and Ait Melloul on each side of that river.

If you look at the Anti-Atlas mountains around Tafrout, its not hard to imagine Frodo and Sam continuing on past the black gate and finding another route into Mordor.

----------------------further notes-------------------

To get this theory to work, I had to sacrifice the full length of the Anduin River. The Anduin is now fragmented into several rivers.

The events of the hobbit are harder to work out, but I still managed to find a probable location for the lonely mountain and laketown in eastern Morocco.
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Re: Atlas mountains of Morocco look like Middle Earth

Postby MoroccoTheory » Fri Sep 20, 2013 7:36 pm

another note...

The compass points on Tolkien's map are shifted in this theory. Tolkien's north is shifted to northeastern Morocco.
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Re: Atlas mountains of Morocco look like Middle Earth

Postby MoroccoTheory » Fri Sep 20, 2013 10:28 pm

Also, the ancient Moroccan climate would have to be different to get this theory to work. An Ice age Spain alters the climate of Morocco.
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Re: Atlas mountains of Morocco look like Middle Earth

Postby scirocco » Sat Sep 21, 2013 6:59 am

Hi MoroccoTheory and welcome to TORC. Interesting theory and there are some quite good similarities there. I take it you are not "serious" about it on any level and don't genuinely believe so I won't poke holes in it. :D

Tolkien did make one great catch-all statement that can be used in support of or against just about any theory to either prove or disprove a connection between modern geography and and that of the Third Age:
Those days, the Third Age of Middle-earth, are now long past, and the shape of all lands has been changed...

Fellowship of the Ring, Concerning Hobbits

So, during the Third Age, the Atlas Mountains were probably at the bottom of the ocean and Agadir was probably on top of a different mountain. But they might not have been either, so the changes over the time could explain all the things wrong with your theory, like Tazekka National Park to Agadir being only about half the distance from Rivendell to Minas Tirith, and in quite a different direction. Obviously the land got squashed up. :D
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Re: Atlas mountains of Morocco look like Middle Earth

Postby MoroccoTheory » Sat Sep 21, 2013 10:20 am

Yeah, you have to consider rivers changing course, lakes shifting or changing in depth and sedimentation.

The entrance to Moria could now be underwater.

The exit could be further up the glacial valley from Lac Ifni and buried under a landslide or sediment, closer to the peak of Jebel Toubkal.

I think this theory is interesting. You can poke holes if you want.
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Re: Atlas mountains of Morocco look like Middle Earth

Postby MoroccoTheory » Sun Sep 22, 2013 9:49 am

Do the Berber people of Morocco have Nordic roots?
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Re: Atlas mountains of Morocco look like Middle Earth

Postby MoroccoTheory » Mon Sep 30, 2013 4:32 pm

If you continue with this thinking, the northern parts of Beleriand could still exist in Spain and you might even place Angband in the Pyrenees Mountains.

-----------------

The Strait of Gibraltar would have formed many years after the War of the Ring as the Lune River valley was lost to the sea. All the land from the Gulf of Lune to the Ice Bay of Forochel is now under the Alboran Sea (eastern side of Gibraltar), but would have been mostly dry land during the War of the Ring. The remainder of Beleriand called Lindon is situated on either side of the Strait of Gibraltar. Forlindon is the Spanish side and Harlindon is the southern Moroccon side of the strait.

-----------------

Spain would be under the effects of an ice age during the events of the hobbit and War of the Ring. The western Mediterranean basin is the Ice Bay of Forochel (or possibly just east of the ice bay).

-----------------

Tolkien's Oliphants would be some relation to the Mastodon or the African Mammoth (Mammuthus africanavus).
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Re: Atlas mountains of Morocco look like Middle Earth

Postby MoroccoTheory » Tue Oct 01, 2013 8:10 am

scirocco wrote:Hi MoroccoTheory...like Tazekka National Park to Agadir being only about half the distance from Rivendell to Minas Tirith, and in quite a different direction. Obviously the land got squashed up. :D


If you measure distance in paces or strides, the shorter legs of halflings and dwarves could help explain things.
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Re: Atlas mountains of Morocco look like Middle Earth

Postby ToshoftheWuffingas » Tue Oct 15, 2013 3:07 pm

Having been to Gibraltar several times I fancied it as a passable Minas Tirith. Well done Morocco for an ingenious and novel concept. I saw many years ago an area, possibly in Australia, I forget, a geographical parallel to Mordor.
I think finding modern day parallels to Tolkien landscapes an enjoyable pastime.
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Re: Atlas mountains of Morocco look like Middle Earth

Postby MoroccoTheory » Tue Oct 15, 2013 5:10 pm

The remnant islands of northern Beleriand are the Balearic Islands in this theory.

The lands north of Beleriand (including most of Spain) are under a mixture of water and ice, except for Lindon and the Lune river valley.
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Re: Atlas mountains of Morocco look like Middle Earth

Postby MoroccoTheory » Sat Dec 21, 2013 5:03 pm

The Gulf of St Lawrence in North America looks like an inverse of the Gulf of Lune in Middle Earth, the St Lawrence river an inverse of the Lune river, and Hudson bay an inverse of the Ice Bay Forochel.
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Re: Atlas mountains of Morocco look like Middle Earth

Postby MoroccoTheory » Wed Jan 29, 2014 7:52 pm

If Gandalf left Middle Earth (Morocco in this theory) and sailed into the west, he may have ended up in North America near Baltimore where Francis Scott Key later watched fireworks over Fort McHenry.
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Re: Atlas mountains of Morocco look like Middle Earth

Postby MoroccoTheory » Tue May 13, 2014 7:56 pm

Does anyone else notice the similarity between Morocco/Spain/Balearic Islands and Middle Earth/Beleriand?

Am I the only one?
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Re: Atlas mountains of Morocco look like Middle Earth

Postby MoroccoTheory » Sun Jun 08, 2014 4:18 pm

The Argonath could be somewhere close to where this photo was taken just west of Barrage Moukhtar Soussi. The modern dam built nearby has altered the depth of the water.

If the "Pillars of Kings" once stood here, they may have looked more like Mount Rushmore...faces carved into the cliff.

https://mw2.google.com/mw-panoramio/pho ... 882259.jpg
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Re: Atlas mountains of Morocco look like Middle Earth

Postby MoroccoTheory » Sun Jun 08, 2014 4:30 pm

This is the hill in Agadir where I place Minas Tirith.

http://www.transfertaeroportagadir.com/ ... agadir.jpg
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Re: Atlas mountains of Morocco look like Middle Earth

Postby MoroccoTheory » Sun Jun 08, 2014 4:34 pm

This rock feature near Tafraoute could a remnant landmark of Mordor in the Anti-Atlas Mountain range.

http://imgc.allpostersimages.com/images ... africa.jpg

Another view...
http://looklex.com/morocco/photos/tafraoute01.jpg
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Re: Atlas mountains of Morocco look like Middle Earth

Postby MoroccoTheory » Sun Jun 08, 2014 5:05 pm

The foundations of Isengard could still exist near the lake called Barrage Abdelmoumen, but the modern dam has altered the water level. The flow of water may even have reversed since ancient times. Tolkien's map shows a river flowing west from Isengard to the sea.


The locations for Edoras and Helms Deep are highly uncertain. Helms Deep may have been close to the modern city of Amskroud.
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Re: Atlas mountains of Morocco look like Middle Earth

Postby MoroccoTheory » Mon Jun 09, 2014 4:35 pm

The Friouato and Chiker cave systems are not far from Tazekka National Park, the likely location of Rivendell.

I could imagine the trolls from "The Hobbit" coming out of these caves and moving down from the mountains to waylay Thorin, Bilbo and the rest of the dwarves.
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Re: Atlas mountains of Morocco look like Middle Earth

Postby MoroccoTheory » Mon Jun 23, 2014 3:35 pm

Mirkwood Forest is the biggest thing missing in modern Morocco. That huge forest no longer exists and just fragments of the great river Anduin remain.

Fanghorn Forest would be located on the southern slopes of the Atlas Mountains stretching from the slopes above the eastern end of Barrage Abdelmoumen quite a distance eastward, but not all the way Barrage Aoulouz. The Plains of Rohan are directly beneath it.
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Re: Atlas mountains of Morocco look like Middle Earth

Postby MoroccoTheory » Mon Jun 23, 2014 6:14 pm

The Mountains of Mirkwood, now missing the forest, are centered on the modern city of Debdou in northeastern Morocco. [coordinates 33 degrees 59 minutes North and 3 degrees 3 minutes West]

There is a mountain located just southeast of the modern town of Taourirt that could be the Lonely Mountain from "The Hobbit", but this is only a guess.
I think this mountain is now called Narguechoum. [coordinates 34 degrees 20 minutes North and 2 degrees 48 minutes West]

Laketown may once have stood on the lake named Barrage Hassan II, but rivers can change course and depth over time and lakes can change in shape.

The Iron Hills could have been located anywhere from the eastern Moroccan city of Jerada to the mountains further east across the border in Algeria.

Chott Chergui, a large salt lake in northwestern Algeria, is a good guess for the Sea of Rhun.

These locations from "The Hobbit" are more guesswork than anything else.

This puts the Sea of Rhun much further, and more easterly, from Mordor than Tolkien shows on his map.

Algeria could be Rhun.

Rhun may have been a huge area that bordered Mordor to the east.
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Re: Atlas mountains of Morocco look like Middle Earth

Postby MoroccoTheory » Wed Jun 25, 2014 8:23 am

Could this be the Lonely Mountain?

The secret door used by the dwarves would be high up on this side of the mountain.
http://mw2.google.com/mw-panoramio/phot ... 706820.jpg

The same side of the mountain with different lighting. Could that be Ravenhill on the extreme left of the photo?
http://60.img.v4.skyrock.net/7104/63467 ... mall_1.jpg

Another view of the mountain from the slopes of Ravenhill.
http://mw2.google.com/mw-panoramio/phot ... 034620.jpg

A view of Ravenhill from the mountain.
http://mw2.google.com/mw-panoramio/phot ... 034630.jpg

Yet another view of the mountain.
http://mw2.google.com/mw-panoramio/phot ... 578833.jpg

The whole area around this mountain is dotted with natural springs which would help explain a stream flowing from the front gate in pre-Phoenician times.

One of the springs flows from this cave.
http://mw2.google.com/mw-panoramio/phot ... 034640.jpg
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Re: Atlas mountains of Morocco look like Middle Earth

Postby MoroccoTheory » Wed Oct 15, 2014 8:37 am

Does anyone have any thoughts regarding this theory?
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Re: Atlas mountains of Morocco look like Middle Earth

Postby Minardil » Wed Oct 15, 2014 9:17 am

Well, here's what Tolkien had to say about the relationship of the geography of Middle Earth to the geography of the modern world:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Middle-earth#Correspondence_with_the_geography_of_Earth

Tolkien described the region in which the Hobbits lived as "the North-West of the Old World, east of the Sea",[19] which indicates a connection to England and the north-western region of Europe (the Old World). However, as he noted in private letters, the geographies do not match, and he did not consciously make them match when he was writing:


"As for the shape of the world of the Third Age, I am afraid that was devised 'dramatically' rather than geologically, or paleontologically."[22]


"I am historically minded. Middle-earth is not an imaginary world. The name is the modern form (appearing in the 13th century) of midden-erd>middel-erd, an ancient name for the oikoumene, the abiding place of Men, the objectively real world, in use specifically opposed to imaginary worlds (as Fairyland) or unseen worlds (as Heaven or Hell). The theatre of my tale is this earth, the one in which we now live, but the historical period is imaginary. The essentials of that abiding place are all there (at any rate for inhabitants of N.W. Europe), so naturally it feels familiar, even if a little glorified by enchantment of distance in time.(Letters, no. 183)[23]


"...if it were 'history', it would be difficult to fit the lands and events (or 'cultures') into such evidence as we possess, archaeological or geological, concerning the nearer or remoter part of what is now called Europe; though the Shire, for instance, is expressly stated to have been in this region...I hope the, evidently long but undefined gap* in time between the Fall of Barad-dûr and our Days is sufficient for 'literary credibility', even for readers acquainted with what is known as 'pre-history'. I have, I suppose, constructed an imaginary time, but kept my feet on my own mother-earth for place. I prefer that to the contemporary mode of seeking remote globes in 'space'. However curious, they are alien, and not loveable with the love of blood-kin...(Letters, no. 211)

In another letter, Tolkien made correspondences in latitude (not equations) between Europe and Middle-earth:


"The action of the story takes place in the North-west of 'Middle-earth', equivalent in latitude to the coastlands of Europe and the north shores of the Mediterranean. ... If Hobbiton and Rivendell are taken (as intended) to be at about the latitude of Oxford, then Minas Tirith, 600 miles south, is at about the latitude of Florence. The Mouths of Anduin and the ancient city of Pelargir are at about the latitude of ancient Troy."[24]

He did confirm, however, that the Shire, the land of his Hobbit heroes, was based on England:


"'The Shire' is based on rural England and not any other country in the world..."[25]

In the Prologue to The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien writes: "Those days, the Third Age of Middle-earth, are now long past, and the shape of all lands has been changed..."

The Appendices make several references in both history and etymology of topics 'now' (in modern English languages) and 'then' (ancient languages);


The year no doubt was of the same length,¹ [the footnote here reads: 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, 46 seconds.] for long ago as those times are now reckoned in years and lives of men, they were not very remote according to the memory of the Earth.[26]

Nodded to both in Appendices and Silmarillion (with supporting information within the HoME series) there are constellations and stars that correspond to the astronomy seen in the northern hemisphere of Earth, including references to the Sun, the Moon, Orion (and his belt), Ursa Major and other planets (described as "stars"; thus Carnil is "Mars").[27][28]
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Re: Atlas mountains of Morocco look like Middle Earth

Postby ngaur » Wed Oct 15, 2014 10:49 am

As far as I can remember only Dwarf maps use shifted compass.

Morocco would be somewhere near Harad or Umbar.
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Re: Atlas mountains of Morocco look like Middle Earth

Postby MoroccoTheory » Sat Jan 24, 2015 12:43 pm

This is another view of the mountain now named Narguechoum (my guess for the Lonely Mountain). The photo was taken near the entrance of Taourirt city, in northeastern Morocco. Could we be looking at the Lonely Mountain on the far right hand side of the photo?
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/c ... oc_002.JPG

I agree that Tolkien never mentions Morocco or the Atlas Mountains, but I can't find another location on the planet that more nearly resembles Middle Earth.
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Re: Atlas mountains of Morocco look like Middle Earth

Postby darthgandalf99 » Sat Jan 24, 2015 1:39 pm

Sorry, but I have no idea what you're talking about.

Nothing that in that photo you posted looks anything remotely like the Lonely Mountain or the locales near thereto. Nothing at all. :whistle:
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Re: Atlas mountains of Morocco look like Middle Earth

Postby MoroccoTheory » Sat Jan 24, 2015 3:48 pm

I'm saying that the geography of the Atlas Mountains resembles the geography of Tolkien's Middle Earth.

The mountain called Narguechoum shown on the far right of the photo may not closely match Tolkien's artwork. You also have to consider more than 3000 years have passed since Pre-Phoenician times and the shape of the land and mountains has changed.
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Re: Atlas mountains of Morocco look like Middle Earth

Postby oldtoby » Sat Jan 24, 2015 9:21 pm

darthgandalf99 wrote:Sorry, but I have no idea what you're talking about.

Nothing that in that photo you posted looks anything remotely like the Lonely Mountain or the locales near thereto. Nothing at all. :whistle:


but it does. you just have to look at it with your left eye closed while squinting with your right, upside down and riding a rollercoaster at night underwater. :rofl:
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Re: Atlas mountains of Morocco look like Middle Earth

Postby Minardil » Mon Jan 26, 2015 7:31 am

MorrocoTheory, it sounds as if you have gone beyond the simple and enjoyable exercise of looking to find analogs to Middle Earth in the world around us, and that you've moved on to trying to make an argument that a specific location really "IS" Middle Earth?
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Re: Atlas mountains of Morocco look like Middle Earth

Postby MoroccoTheory » Mon Jan 26, 2015 6:24 pm

I'm just wondering if I'm the only one that notices the similarity.

Morocco, Spain and the Balearic Islands look similar to Middle Earth/Beleriand.

The Balearic Islands look like the remnant islands of Beleriand.

The Atlas Mountains of Morocco are similar to the Misty Mountains.
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