Break out of the frame | Updated April 12, 2006 | Get the frame back




History on Earth

Millions of years ago, Atlantis was located on the Antarctic continent on Earth, protected from the elements by a shield. (Rising pt 1)

It's not entirely clear exactly how long ago it was built, or how long it was there -- Daniel said they had left 5-10 million years ago, but that's an extremely wide range. (Rising pt 1)

Several million years ago, the Ancients left Earth by flying off in the city of Atlantis, apparently headed for the Pegasus galaxy. (Rising pt 1)

This was likely at least 3 million years ago, if one of the Ancients left behind was Ayiana (which I'm now assuming is the case, as the same actress played Ayaiana and the female Ancient who stayed behind). Ayiana was buried in the Antarctic ice anywhere from 3 million to 50 million years ago. (SG1: Frozen)

They left behind a small armed outpost with a person to guard it. (Rising pt 1)

Ayiana appears to have been the guardian left behind. (Rising, pt 1, SG1: Frozen)

This later proved crucial in the defense of Earth against Anubis, and eventually helped lead an SGC-based team (although one made up heavily of civilian scientists, rather than military) to the Pegasus galaxy in search of the lost city. (SG1: Lost City part 2, Rising)

After Jack used the outpost's command chair to save Earth from Anubis's invading force, the outpost was turned into an international scientific lab, basically. Scientists from around the world began working on figuring out the Ancient technology. (Rising pt 1)

Dr. Elizabeth Weir was the supervisor of all activity at the outpost, per President Henry Hayes's order. (SG1: Lost city part 2, Rising pt 1)

Access was via elevator through a shaft drilled directly through the ice down to the outpost's chambers. (Rising pt 1)

top | History

History on Atlantica

The city was submerged beneath the ocean, protected by force shields that were slowly running out of power. (Rising pt 1)

The Lantians left a message explaining what had happened, in hopes their kind would return one day. (Rising pt 1)

Original timeline

When the expedition stepped through the stargate, the city slowly started to wake up, but only partially -- lights came on, doors opened, but no power went to the computers in the control center. (Before I Sleep)

Shortly after their arrival, the city's shields began to fail because of the power drain (lights, doors, air circulation). Summer and his team were the first to drown, while exploring the city. Weir recalled everyone else to the gateroom, but not everyone could make it before the city went to a last-ditch self-defense mode and started automatically closing airtight bulkheads  to try to hold the water out. It was too late, though, and people were trapped in rooms that were already breahed, with water rising. (Before I Sleep)

Every member of the expedition died in the rising waters with the exception of Weir, Sheppard, Ford, and Zelenka, who escaped in a 'gateship' -- a puddlejumper. (Before I Sleep)

Current timeline

When the Atlantis expedition came through the gate, the city began turning itself on for them -- lights came on, doors opened automatically, etc. -- using up power at an accelerated rate. (Rising pt 1)

If not for their arrival, the city's power would likely have lasted for years longer. (Rising pt 1)

The shields began to fail in various sections of the city, allowing the water in. (Rising pt 1)

The Terrans took up residence and started exploring the city, making it their base of operations for exploring the galaxy as well. (Rising pt 2, all other eps)

The city was still full of large dead plants -- potted trees and the like, reduced to nothing but dead branches. (Hide and Seek)

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War with the Wraith


see Ancients war with the Wraith

Terran expedition

Sheppard unwittingly embroiled the expedition in a war when he woke the Wraith 50 years early and loosed them on the Pegasus galaxy. Sumner unwillingly made it worse, when the Wraith who captured him found out about Earth and its billions of people, the richest feeding ground the Wraith had had in millennia. (Rising)

When the Wraith had awakened in sufficient numbers and fed enough, they gathered an armada led by four hive ships and headed for Atlantis -- not only to take the city, but to use it to get to Earth. (The Gift, The Siege part  1)

A small team -- McKay, Grodin, and Miller -- traveled to the LaGrangian point weapons-platfor satellite and powered it up with a naquadah generator, to use the platform against the approaching hive ships. One ship was destroyed, but the satellite's circuits overloaded, making it impossible to fire the weapon again. The hive ships destroyed the satellite with Peter Grodin still aboard. (The Siege part 1)

The expedition began evacuating Atlantis and set a self-destruct, but before the last few could leave, relief forces from the SGC, led by Colonel Everett, arrived through the stargate with more weapons, more personnel, and a plan. The evacuation order was rescinded, and everyone began preparing for the defense of the city. (The Siege part 2)

After losing a ship, the Wraith held back long enough to harvest more than a hundred asteroids from the system's asteroid belt, acclerating them toward Atlantica. Rather than aiming for the city, though, they aimed directly at the six naquadah-enhanced nuclear space mines that the expedition had placed near the planet, detonating all of them. The blast and the residual radiation blinded the city's sensors long enough for the Wraith armada to move in undetected, and to launch a barrage of darts against the city. In addition to firing on the city, 20-30 made kamikaze runs, crashing into the city to do as much damage as possible. (The Siege part 2)

The darts did a lot of damage before they were destroyed: power was out in several sections in the city, and long-range scanners and internal sensors were down. (The Siege part 2)

The pilots of the kamikaze darts beamed into the city before they crashed. (The Siege part 2)

While in the city, the Wraith started going after the naquadah generators, taking out at least one, as well as any people who got in their way. (The Siege part 2)

To prepare for the next attack, Weir contacted the Genii and after some tense moments got them to agree to give her their prototype nuclear weapons, in exchange for a lot of C-4 -- enough to power dozens more. Meanwhile, McKay and Zelenka had figured out a way for someone sitting in the control chair to remotely control a puddlejumper -- which could be loaded with a nuke and flown remotely straight into a hive ship, and detonated. Once they'd done that, they worked on completing the unfinished nukes the Genii had sent. (The Siege part 2)

Just as the prototypes were completed, a second wave of darts attacked the city, again doing a lot of damage, and beaming significantly more Wraith into all parts of the city (although not the control room area). Attempts to use the chair to fly the jumper failed -- the Mark II naquadah generator had been depleted in the tests. Sheppard ran for the jumper bay to take the first jumper up manually, knowing it was a suicide mission. In the city, Everett was caught by a Wraith who began feeding on him, Ford and his team were trapped by two groups of Wraith, one in front and one behind them, and Teyla couldn't be contacted. (The Siege part 2)

The second hive ship was destroyed when Sheppard pointed a nuclear-warhead-carrying puddlejumper straight at it on a suicide run. (The Siege part 3)

The third (and last) hive ship was destroyed when the Daedalus managed to beam another warhead into it, detonating as soon as it arrived. (The Siege part 3)

The cruisers fled into hyperspace as soon as the final hive ship was destroyed, leaving behind a lot of darts which broke off from the Daedalus to attack Atlantis. They were on a kamikaze run, using a ballistic approach to impact the city at more than 10,000 kilometers per hour -- the city would be unable to withstand it. Seconds before impact, McKay got the new ZPM installed and Zelenka got the shields up, destroying all the darts with no damage to the city. (The Siege part 3)

All the Wraith in the city were killed. The last was trapped deep in the city, and died trying to damage the city using a Wraith grenade. Three humans were injured during the fight. (The Siege part 3)

Preliminary estimates were 40 casualties, maybe more. (The Siege part 3)

As soon as the deep space sensors came back online, Zelenka and McKay spotted 12 more hive ships headed for Atlantis, set to arrive in about 36 hours. At Sheppard's suggestion, Weir and Caldwell decided to take the fight to the Wraith, sending the Daedalus under Caldwell's command to attack them at their last stopping point before jumping to Atlantis, some 50 light years away. (The Siege part 3)

The plan worked, as far as it went -- the Daedalus took out two hive ships before they knew what was happening. After that the Wraith regrouped and instituted countermeasures that prevented the Daedalus from beaming any more nukes onto any of the hive ships, changing the balance of the battle. With now-protected hive ships closing in and its own shields badly weakened, the Daedalus was forced to run for home. (The Siege part 3)

With no way to defeat the Wraith -- even if they managed to win the battle, more hive ships would come, then more, and the ZPM wasn't sufficient to shield the city for more than a few days under constant bombardment -- Sheppard proposed that they fake a self-destruct by beaming a nuke directly above the shield and detonating it, then cloaking the city. The plan worked, and the Wraith departed, believing Atlantis destroyed. (The Siege part 3)

top | History


Physical structure



The city is designed in almost a snowflake pattern, with one central main section (where the structures reach higher than anywhere else) -- the operations tower -- and six arms, or piers, reaching out at regular intervals around it, each with a more rounded (but not actually round) section at the end. (Rising, pt 1, multiple eps thereafter)

According to McKay, trying to find something (at random) in the city would be like having to search every room in every building in Manhattan. (Before I Sleep)

When the Terran expedition arrived, they settled into living quarters close to the control/operations tower, to contain the amount of space that would need to be secured. The Athosian refugees were also within that small perimeter. (Hide and Seek)

The city has at least one medlab, and at least one room that was put aside as a gym (mostly a bare wood floor, by the look of it -- good for sparring, at least). (Hot Zone)

The city was designed to withstand substantial lightning strikes, with lightning rods all over the city that channel into four main grounding stations, which in turn discharge electricity back into the ocean. (The Storm)

Many of the city's corridors are lined with superconducting material that allows for the safe, low-voltage transfer of power throughout the city. (The Storm)

Without the grounding stations, every time lightning struck the city, the halls would become supercharged. That energy could be fed into the shield generators if need be. (The Storm)

One of the best views of the city at night is atop the southwest pier -- the best, according to Sheppard. (Sanctuary)

The city took a lot of physical damage from the waves of darts attacking it -- many sections lost power, and there was smoke rising from several sections that had taken hits. (The Siege part 2)

The chair room is in a tower, but not the control tower. (The Siege part 2)

Operations tower / Stargate operations

Includes the gateroom, the control room, the jumper bay, Weir's office, and the immediately surrounding area. (The Eye, other eps)

Control center

The control center is fairly large, and has clear walls and doors. It looks out over the stargate itself with no walls, just a railing to keep people from falling. (Rising, multiple eps)

The 'DHD' , like the one on Earth, appers to be a computer console of some kind rather than an actual DHD. (Rising, multiple eps)

Standing in front of the room looking into it at all the equipment, the front row of equipment is (left to right):

(table/desk for using a laptop on)

Main control console (Sanctuary)

Enviromental controls (Sanctuary)

Communications (Sanctuary)

Behind and slightly to the right of the communications console (again, looking at it from the front of the room) is the sensor console. (Sanctuary)

Specifically, an 'internal-external biometric sensor array' -- internally, it can detect any lifeform in the city. Externally, it can be used as a deep-space sensor. (Sanctuary)

This was originally found elsewhere in the city and brought to the control center to be poked at (no idea why). Chaya Sar initialized it when Sheppard was giving her the grand tour. (Sanctuary)

Gateroom / Jumper bay

The gateroom is a large, open space, on multiple levels, with a wide staircase leading up to a control center. (Rising, multiple eps)

The jumper bay is directly above the gateroom, and has a retractable floor and ceiling (each retract like an iris). Jumpers can drop straight down to launch through the stargate, or take off vertically to reach the outside. (Rising pt 2, Suspicion)

East Pier

The Daedalus uses the east pier as a landing pad when it touches down in Atlantis. (The Siege part 3)

It first used the pier to land after taking on 12 hive ships, the second wave of attackers against Atlantis, in a battle that took out two of them before they made the final jump to Atlantica's system. The Daedalus's shields were damaged enough in the battle that Caldwell wanted the protection of Atlantis's shields when the surviving hive ships arrived. (The Siege part 3)

Sparring room

The room where Sheppard and Teyla practice with sticks gained more equipment when the Daedalus returned with personnel and supplies: a mannequin/dummy thing (from the waist up, on a stand of some sort), two freestanding heavy bags (for boxing), and a set of nunchucks, at least. (Duet)

top | Physical structure


The city was originally powered by three Zero Point Modules (ZPMs). (Rising pt 1)

According to Janus, the city's ZPMs (Ancient term still unknown) were designed to work in parallel, all three providing power at the same time. (Before I Sleep)

That was why the power ran out in the original timeline. (Before I Sleep)

Janus reconfigured the ZPMs to work in sequence, to eke out as much power from them as possible. The one problem was that someone would need to be there to transfer the city's power supply from one to the next, rotating them sequentially at carefully calibrated intervals.  Weir  went  into  stasis  to  take  care  of  it. (Before I Sleep)

At the same time, he rigged a fail-safe (in case Weir didn't survive the stasis process), set to release the mechanism holding the city to the ocean floor and let it rise to the surface in the event the power fell to a critical level. (Before I Sleep)

By the time the Terran expedition came through, two of the ZPMs were completely depleted, and the third was running low ('reaching maximum entropy'). (Rising pt 1)

The forcefield holding back the ocean collapsed to its minimum sustainable levels, and started losing integrity because of the added drain on its resources when the city began waking up after the expedition arrived. (Rising pt 1)

When the forcefield was on the verge of complete collapse, the city broke free of the ocean floor and rose for the surface. The final ZPM was completely depleted, but the city (and everyone in it) was safe. (Rising pt 2)

With no functional ZPM, the city had to rely on the naquadah generators the expedition had brought with them.

Life support systems were working, but not necessary, since the atmosphere was breathable. (Rising pt 2)

The generators weren't sufficient to power the shield -- Atlantis had no protection from attack. (Rising pt 2)

Five naquadah generators each powered a different section of the city. (The Eye)

The generator that powered the operations toward (the control center, gateroom, jumper bay, and surrounding area) was for the secondary systems -- primary systems continued to work, even with the generator taken offline. (The Eye)

One of the naquadah generators was lost when Wraith beamed into the city -- one of the Wraith destroyed the generator before he could be stopped. (The Siege part 2)

The city once again had a working ZPM after the Daedalus brought one from Earth, giving it enough power for shields and other functions. (The Siege part 3)

top | Physical structure



Alpha site

See Alpha site

Deep-space sensors

Deep-space sensors to give advance warning of approaching ships or other dangers. (The Brotherhood)

nb: The Terran expedition didn't know about these until late in first season, during The Brotherhood.


If the city sensors detect a viral infection anywhere, the city itself automatically institutes a lockdown, closing and locking all doors, shutting down all transporters, and shutting the control room (and presumably everyone else) out of the city's mainframe. (Hot Zone)

Part of the system got damaged in the flooding during the huge storm -- the east pier, in particular. The city never noticed the viral agent infecting people there. Not until Peterson transported to the mess hall did the city start its lockdown procedures -- but those happened less than a minute after he arrived in the mess hall. (Hot Zone)

The system was capable of detecting protected personnel, and allowing them through the quarantined areas in order to render aid to the afflicted. (Hot Zone)

top | Defenses


The Terran expedition set up a self-destruct system shortly after their arrival, just in case. (Hide and Seek)

It required two separate codes. (Hide and Seek)

If both codes are properly entered, the naquadah generator tied into the self-destruct system will overload in 30 seconds, generating a blast the size of a 20 kiloton nuclear explosion. (Hide and Seek)

Every code was unique, and 'everyone' in the city would have a code, and be required to memorize it. (Hide and Seek)

Given that Weir didn't trust the Athosians enough to stand guard, it's unlikely she'd allow them to be included in the 'everyone' who had access to the self-destruct codes. (Hide and Seek)

The system was put into place to make sure the Wraith could never gate through to Earth -- they couldn't be allowed to take control of the city, since its stargate was the only one capable of dialing Earth. (Hide and Seek)

top | Defenses


The city's shields, at full power, are sufficient to protect it both from the extreme weather conditions on Antarctica and from the immense pressure at the bottom of an ocean. (Rising pts 1 & 2)

Unfortunately, the ZPMs that powered the shields were all depleted by the time the city rose back up to the surface, leaving the shields powerless. (Rising pt 2)

McKay (working with Zelenka on the idea) got them functional briefly during a massive storm, by disabling the city's four grounding stations and redirecting the energy from hundreds of lightning rods into the shield generator. It worked. (The Storm, The Eye)

The city suffered no structural damage, thanks to the shields. (Hot Zone)

The city's shields were fully operable again after the Daedalus brought the ZPM discovered on Earth. The ZPM was installed seconds before a wave of kamikaze Wraith darts reached the city, and the shield was successfully raised, destroying them all with no damage to Atlantis. (The Siege part 3)

top | Defenses


Submersion under the ocean was only available to the Ancients. Rodney had no idea how they'd done it, and couldn't repeat the process. (The Siege part 3)

top | Defenses



Naquadah generators aren't sufficient to power Atlantis's weapons systems because they're designed to be powered by ZPM. (The Siege part 1)

9-millimeter pistols

(Thirty-Eight Minutes -- visible before then, but not named until then)

top | Weapons


(Rising pt 2)

top | Weapons


Enough to consider using it as trade item if need be. (Underground)

top | Weapons

Chair weapon/controller

See Chair weapon/controller

Drones (energy squids)

Ancient tech.

'Drones' is the name that the scientists went with, but energy squids is what they look like when activated: a stream made up of thousands of small, gold energy squids, directed by a person sitting in a chair to attack specific targets while leaving others alone. Highly effective -- they targeted kull warriors, al-kesh, death gliders, and hataks, destroying them all, under Jack's guidance. (SG-1: Lost City, part 2)

They can also function individually, working basically as a missile. (Rising)

The puddlejumpers are equipped with some of these for defense. (Rising pt 2)

top | Weapons

Naquadah-enhanced nuclear warheads

Colonel Everett's team brought six of these to Atlantis to help defend against the Wraith. (The Siege part 2)

Each warhead was 1200 megatons. They emit almost zero EM and are otherwise invisible to radar. Once deployed, they would be detonated  by proximity fuse -- as Ford put it, 'space mines'. They were to be deployed in space between the Wraith armada and Atlantis. (The Siege part 2)

All six were wasted, thanks to the Wraith -- they harvested more than a hundred asteroids from the system's asteroid belt and accelerated them in Atlantis's general direction, aiming specifically for the mines. The mines couldn't be deactivated, and detonated when the asteroids got too close. (The Siege part 2)

top | Weapons


(multiple eps)

carries 50-round top-loading magazine with teflon-coated ordinance, at a cyclical rate of 900 rounds per minute. (specs -- SG!: The Warrior)

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Rail guns

'A few' of these were brought through the stargate by Colonel Everett's team to aid in Atlantis's defense. (The Siege part 2)

They were originally meant to replace the Prometheus's close-in armanents in its next refit. (The Siege part 2)

They deliver an impact velocity of Mach 5 at a distance of 250 miles, and a standard magazine holds 10,000 rounds. (The Siege part 2)

a layman's explanation of what they are and how they work can be found at,14632,Soldiertech_RailGuns,,00.html

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Smoke grenades

(The Eye)

top | Weapons

Stun grenade

Filled with a mixture of aluminum and potassium perchlorate that, when ignited, produces a high-pressure wave that will overwhelm the intended target with intense light and sound. (Suspicion)

Also known as flash-bangs. (The Brotherhood)

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Has a range between 15 and 20 feet. (Suspicion)

Delivers a high-voltage, low-amperage charge that mimics the body's electrical signals, temporarily paralyzing the victim. (Suspicion)

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Wraith stunner

At least one stunner. (Poisoning the Well)

At least four stunners as of The Eye.

top | Weapons




Note: There is undoubtedly far more than I have listed. All I have here is what was specifically named in canon.


The expedition started out with only the food they brought with them from Earth:

lots of MREs (Suspicion)

Microwave popcorn (Hide and Seek)

At some point before Home, the popcorn ran out.

Chocolate (Thirty-Eight Minutes)

Included in at least one person's vest supplies, and probably standard on offworld missions, to provide some quick energy.

The makings for at least one turkey sandwich. (Suspicion)

They appear to have brought along a fair amount of bread, or possibly frozen sandwiches -- McKay was eating a sandwich some four months into the expedition. (Underground)

Coffee (Underground)

Probably more food from home -- I'll add more as I see more.

Local / traded for

Wine -- probably.

Sheppard says that they 'traded for grapes' , and that the Athosians on the mainland made the drink he was pouring out for Chaya. (Sanctuary)

top | Supplies


Within a few days of arrival, desalination of the ocean water was underway, guaranteeing that there would be a steady supply of fresh water.

Water was (of course) a standard part of the field kit. (multiple eps)

top | Supplies


Note: There is undoubtedly far more in each category than I have listed. All I have here is what was specifically named in canon.


The medical equipment used on Atlantis is a mix of Terran and Ancient -- anything they could figure out how to use. There's more that they haven't yet figured out, but that someday may be helpful. (Sanctuary)

Defibrillators (Thirty-Eight Minutes)

Both designed to be used on-base and portable ones, to be used in the puddlejumpers. (Thirty-Eight Minutes)

MRI (Sanctuary)

Beckett referred to the results of this machine as an MRI, but the machine itself looked odd to me: rather than the person sliding into a confined space to be scanned, or lying still beneath a full-body scanner, the scanner (a panel only two or three feet long, and angled toward the bed from the side rather than above it) slides along the bed the person is lying on. (Sanctuary)


Antibiotics (Underground)

Sufficient quantities of these that they were willing to use them as trade goods. (Underground)


Alcohol (Thirty-Eight Minutes)

ATA gene therapy injection (Hide and Seek)


Elastic bandages ('Ace' bandages) (Hide and Seek)

Iodine (Thirty-Eight Minutes)

Four class-1 radiation suits in medlab storage. (Runner)

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Historical database

Apparently a vast array of Terran knowledge, including information about Earth's major religions (at least) and general current geopolitical situation. (Sanctuary)

When Chaya went looking for 'spiritual knowledge', Weir and Sheppard listed off several religions she could learn about, both Eastern and Western, but when she reported back, she only mentioned reading about 'the Torah, the Koran, the Talmud, the Bible' -- it's not clear if the database is heavily weighted toward Judeo-Christian-Muslim information or if Chaya just started with Western religions and didn't get to any others.

Miscellaneous supplies

With the Daedalus serving as a supply line, the expedition started filling in the corners, as it were -- replenishing used-up supplies and adding extras and luxuries, such as gym equipment. (Duet)

top | Supplies



Not a complete listing of Ancient technology -- this is just what tech (Ancient, Terran, or otherwise) is available in the city. For a full listing, see Ancients.

Ancient database

The Ancients created their database with multiple redundant backups to make sure nothing was ever lost. (The Siege part 1)

The database itself was so huge that Zelenka estimated that even with McKay's compression codecs, and using every harddrive the expedition had brought with them, they would only be able to back up 7, maybe 8 percent if they had to wipe the database to keep it out of Wraith hands. When pushed, Zelenka said maybe 9%, if he tweaked McKay's compression codecs. (The Siege part 1)

The parts of the database that the expedition had translated as of the time of the Wraith attack included information about Zero Point Modules, research into Ascension, weapons schematics, and notes on space travel. (The Siege part 1)

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ATA gene therapy

Gene therapy designed to simulate the gene that handles ' ATA' , or Ancient technology activation -- in other words, the gene that lets some humans use certain Ancient technology. (Hide and Seek)

The scientists believe that ATA is caused by a single gene that's always ' on' , instructing various cells to produce a series of proteins and enzymes that interact with the skin, nervous system, and brain. (Hide and Seek)

Beckett used a mouse retrovirus to deliver the missing gene to a human's cells. (Hide and Seek)

The person receiving it is injected, and if the new gene takes hold, he or she is shortly able to activate/use any Ancient technology, as though born with the gene. (Hide and Seek)

It's only effective in 48% of recipients. (Hot Zone)

NB: They appear to have tested this only on Terran Atlanteans, which is a small sample to be judging by.

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Biometric sensor

One of the consoles in the control room. It scans for biometric-rhythm irregularities and reports them. It works like a life-signs detector, but is more advanced -- it can distinguish between different kinds of life forms. (The Siege part 1)

When they brought it online, they decided that the power requirements were too high, and narrowed its focus to the gateroom, assuming that that was the only place the Wraith or other aliens were likely to appear. (The Siege part 1)

Zelenka broadened its focus when they realized a Wraith was somewhere in the city, and the sensor picked up on the Wraith immediately. (The Siege part 1)

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Chair weapon/controller

Ancient tech.

This chair serves multiple functions, and is usable only by people with the Ancient or ATA gene. One of its functions is as a weapons platform -- someone sitting in it can control drones (energy squids) sent against enemy forces. (SG1: Lost City part 2, Rising part 1, The Siege part 2)

The Mark II naquadah generator brought by Colonel Everett's relief forces was sufficient to power the chair properly. (The Siege part 2)

The city had only a few dozen drones ('energy squids') left available to it. (The Siege part 2)

McKay and Zelenka managed to hook the chair platform remotely into a puddlejumper, to allow the jumper to be operated by someone sitting in the chair. (The Siege part 2)

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Communication system

City-wide communication system, functioning like a PA of sorts but allowing people to respond, as well. (Hide and Seek)

Useful for things like finding lost children, but not for everyday chatter -- everyone in the city can hear everything being said over it. (Hide and Seek)

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Holding cell

A large, empty cell, with horizontal bars instead of walls, hemmed in by a forcefield. It allows easy communication but no physical contact. (Suspicion)

This is where the captured Wraith was held. (Suspicion)

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Life-sign detector

A small, handheld device, roughly the size of a mass-market paperback book, that tracks life-signs in the vicinity and shows them as dots on a screen, so you can see where people are moving. (Rising pt 2)

Works only for people with the ATA gene. (The Siege part 2)

It can't detect hibernating Wraith. (The Defiant One)

It can't sense hibernating Wraith, only those that are awake. (Rising pt 2)

The Terrans on Atlantis first discovered these when Sheppard was flying the puddlejumper for the first time and was trying to figure out how he'd find Sumner and the others. The puddlejumper opened a hidden storage compartment to expose a detector for him. (Rising pt 2)

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Mark II naquadah generator

Basically, a highly souped-up naquadah generator -- they discovered a way to increase its power output by 600%. It burns out faster than a regular naquadah generator, but provides enough energy to power the chair weapons platform. (The Siege part 2)

The generator is effectively in a state of barely controlled overload to put out that much power. (The Siege part 2)

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Small spaceworthy craft, designed specifically to fit neatly through a stargate, able to hold a handful of people (4 or so) comfortably and probably triple or quadruple that crammed in. (Rising, multiple eps)

They divide into two sections -- a front control room, and a rear cargo/passenger area. An  automatic hatch between the two seals them off from each other. (Rising pt 2)

Entry onto the ship is through the rear -- the back wall is slanted inward when closed, and descends out and down to form a (shallow-grade) ramp into the ship when open. (Rising pt 2)

' Drive pods' on either side of the ship extend during flight, then retract seamlessly into the ship for entry through a stargate. If they fail to retract, the jumpers don't fit through the gate -- and can be stuck halfway through. (Thirty-Eight Minutes)

There's a control to manually retract them in the cockpit, on the left. (Thirty-Eight Minutes)

They sit in a bay directly above the gateroom, with a floor that retracts like an iris. To launch through the Atlantis gate, a person inside the puddlejumper uses the onboard gate-dialling panel (on a console between the two front seats -- flat and angular, not round) to activate the gate, then the puddlejumper descends through the floor and flies out through the gate. (Rising pt 2)

The ceiling also retracts like an iris, giving access to the rest of the world. (Suspicion)

They respond to mental commands from people with the Ancient gene -- the stronger the gene (and the person's control of it), the smoother and faster the response. (Rising pt 2)

They can stop nearly on a dime -- on his first mission in one, Sheppard brought his puddlejumper back to Atlantis through the stargate way too fast, but the jumper pulled itself to a complete stop just yards away from the Atlantis gate on the other side. (Rising pt 2)

In the atmosphere, their inertial dampeners counteract the effect of Gs strong enough to liquefy humans' internal organs. (Suspicion)

The inertial dampeners can be manually adjusted to increase a puddlejumper's weight, stabilizing it. (The Eye)

Equipped with:

Cloaking mechanisms. (Rising pt 2)

This is not gene-dependent -- anyone can turn the cloak on or off. (Letters from Pegasus)

Life-sign detector -- at least one, possibly more. (Rising pt 2)

Weapons on either side of the ship -- drones (energy squids) that respond to the wishes of whoever's controlling them to aim directly at enemies, saving the pilot from having to worry about manual targeting. (Rising pt 2)

Emergency kit:




Portable defibrillator (at least in Puddlejumper 1, as part of the ship's stores)

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Apparently standard issue on Atlantis, at least for anyone who deals with the control room regularly -- radios with headsets to make communications easier. (multiple eps)

Most people seem to wear the headsets consistently when they're awake, regardless of what else they're doing.

Regular radios -- handsets -- are also available. (Thirty-Eight Minutes)

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See Shields

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The Atlantis stargate had/has a forcefield over it that can be activated at will from the control room, much like the trinium-alloy iris over Earth's stargate. (Rising)

Its 'DHD' is a computer-like console, rather than the more traditional standing DHD with a crystal in the center.

Because the control system functioned on what was effectively push-button technology, the Terran expedition could access the controls and the library of known gate addresses stored in the system, even when the power was failing shortly after their arrival. (Rising)

It has a shutdown button in the middle of the console for rapid disconnect of the gate. (Hide and Seek)

The Atlantis gate was the only one in the galaxy capable of dialing back to Earth. (Rising pt 1)

It's the only one whose DHD had the additional control crystal that makes it possible to lock the eighth chevron, allowing inter-galactic travel. (Home)

For information about stargates in general, including traits specific to the Pegasus galaxy, see Stargates.

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Small rooms, almost like elevators, with doors that close and a panel on the back wall that lights up when someone walks in, offering them a sort of map of the city. They function either as a transporter or as a simple elevator, depending on what the occupant needs. (Hide and Seek)

By touching a section of the map, the occupant triggers the transporter mechanism. (Hide and Seek)

Either the contents of the room (people, equipment, etc.) gets transported to the transporter room nearest the spot that was touched, or the room itself changes places with the other room -- it's not completely clear which. (Hide and Seek)

The fact that people who are in the room see no beams and feel nothing at all until they walk out in the other area makes the whole-room-transfer thing seem at least somewhat likely. (Hide and Seek)

Transporter stations

One near the gateroom and control room (The Storm)

One just off the mess hall. (Hot Zone)


See Weapons

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Wraith data-storage device

The device that Sheppard took from Cowen of the Genii, after the rocky alliance fractured completely (what with each party having basically drawn on the other). At the point he took it, it contained a lot of intell from a Wraith hive ship, including the fact that there were at least 21 hive ships in their quadrant of the galaxy (and many more elsewhere -- possibly 60 or more). (Underground)

Most of the data on it was encrypted, and thus was still being worked on. (Underground)

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General info

It's one of at least two planets in the solar system that has a breathable atmosphere. (The Defiant One)

Like most worlds with stargates on them, it's well-suited to human life -- breathable atmosphere, comfortable gravity level, etc. (Rising)

Its stargate is the only one in the Pegasus galaxy capable of contacting Earth. (Rising pt 1)

The day lasts at least 26 and a half hours. (Runner)

Lorne to Weir: 'We haven't heard from them since 26:30 Atlantis standard time.'

top | Atlantica


The planet is basically the same size as Earth. (The Storm)

Lots of ocean. (Rising)

At least one landmass, a giant one -- 15 million square miles. (Suspicion)

That's roughly (very roughly) the size of North and South America put together, according to this comparative look at Earth's land masses. (Conversion to square miles done here.)

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Every 20-30 years, the oceans get unseasonably warm, making hurricanes more likely to occur. With fewer landmasses to slow the storms down, they keep building in intensity. (The Storm)

The storms can also collide/merge, forming what appears to be one giant storm. (The Storm)

A few months after the expedition arrived, this occured, creating what appeared to be one storm covering roughly twenty percent of the planet. (The Storm)

The windspeeds could reach at least 110 knots (127 mph or 204 kph). (The Storm)

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Solar system


At least one other planet in the system has a breathable atmosphere. This one has an extremely long diurnal cycle, with very cold nights. (The Defiant One)

It's  roughly 15 hours away from Atlantica by puddlejumper. (The Defiant One)

Its atmosphere, while breathable, is highly ionized, making radio communcations from the surface difficult. (The Defiant One)

Had 'space bugs' -- tiny energy beings that apparently lived in ground-based hives (looked like giant anthills). (The Defiant One)

The beings looked extremely similar to the energy beings on M4C-862 in the Milky Way (from SG1: Prodigy)

They had a definite taste for powerbars. (The Defiant One)

Satellite weapons platform

10,000 years ago, the Ancients put a weapons platform in a Lagrangian Point orbit (Wikipedia explanation) around the planet, possibly as the last line of defense against the invading Wraith heading for Atlantica. (The Defiant One)

It took out at least one Wraith supply ship during the Ancients's war with the Wraith. (The Defiant One)

It wasn't designed to be powered by a ZPM, and thus could be powered up by a single naquadah generator. (The Siege part 1)

The platform was for a directed energy-beam weapon that ran off a relatively low-yield charge (like a naquadah generator -- very low-yield compared with a ZPM), so it continually fed a buffer or capacitor that stored energy until it was discharged. (The Siege part 1)

After McKay rerouted the power through working circuits, the weapon powered up properly and took out the first of the hive ships on their way to Atlantis. The circuits overloaded after that, though, and the satellite was destroyed by the other Wraith ships. (The Siege part 1)

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Not a complete listing of people -- just general information about the different groups who have inhabited the city. See Ancients, Personnel, and Athosians, respectively, for more specific information about individuals, and Expedition for more information about the makeup and structure of the Atlantis expedition itself.


General info

The original Ancient inhabitants.

They referred to themselves as Atlantians -- 'Lantians' either came along later or was the Wraith term for them. (Before I Sleep)

Clothing appeared to be mainly muted neutrals, specifically off-white and beige, with a few other earth tones thrown in. This could have been mainly people's 'travel' clothes, though -- the strongest example was during the evacuation, when almost everyone was in off-white. (Before I Sleep)

At some point, they were researching ascension -- how to push their evolution forward to exist as pure energy beings on another plane of existence. (Hide and Seek)

As part of this, they were studying an energy being (the shadow entity) that they were holding in a containment vessel for observation. (Hide and Seek)

Government structure on Atlantis

Appeared to be governed by a Council, consisting of a mix of men and women. (Before I Sleep)

The Council met in the same room that the future expedition from Earth would use as a meeting/briefing room, but it's not clear if that was the traditional location for such meetings or if it was a special case to meet Weir (or even special circumstances because of the evacuation preparations). (Before I Sleep)

The Council had the right/ability to forbid citizens from doing things, but failure to obey the edict doesn't seem to have generated much in the way of punishment, at least not during trying circumstances. Janus had been forbidden to build a time machine (or at least to put one in a puddlejumper, it's not clear which), but had gone ahead anyway. When the Council found out, the reaction was annoyance and some sharp words, but that's about it, despite Moros's anger at the casual attitude toward meddling with causality. (Before I Sleep)

When Weir arrived and spoke to the Council, they welcomed her and told her she could go with them back to the Earth of their time, but refused to allow her to return to her own time. (Before I Sleep)

Return to Earth

After accidentally waking a 'terrible enemy' (the Wraith) and being embroiled in a galaxy-wide war for years, the Lantians were besieged for years on Atlantis. They tried a last-ditch negotiation tactic, which turned into a big battle -- which they lost. They realized that although they had the upper hand one-on-one, they were no match for the sheer numbers the Wraith could throw against them. They decided to evacuate, and brought in as many of their offworld people as they could. (Rising pt 1, Before I Sleep)

With Atlantis the only city left free anywhere in the galaxy, the Lantians sank the city beneath the ocean and used the stargate to flee back to Earth. (Rising pt 1)

They hoped to preserve the city (by sinking it) against their, or rather their descendants', eventual return. (Before I Sleep)

Presumably, they passed this story along to some of the humans there, and the ancient Greeks incorporated the legend of Atlantis -- the city that sank into the ocean -- into their own folklore/mythology. (Rising pt 1)

Before they left, one of the Lantians created a holographic recording to explain what had happened, in case someone found the city again. (Rising pt 1)

Message left behind when they abandoned Atlantis

Note: The holographic recording started in mid-sentence, and we never heard the beginning. The words in parentheses are what she was saying while the SG folks were talking over her -- I did my best, but I can't guarantee the total accuracy of that section. I'm pretty sure about most of it, but 'fledgling' in particular is just a best guess.

' ... in the hope of spreading new life through a galaxy where there appeared to be none. Soon, the new life grew, and prospered. Here, (as before, we built a system of stargates, so the fledgling civilizations could travel between the stars), exchange knowledge and friendship. In time, a thousand worlds bore the fruit of life in this form. Then one day, our people set foot upon a dark world where a terrible enemy slept. Never before had we encountered beings with powers that rivaled our own. In our overconfidence, we were unprepared and outnumbered. The enemy fed upon the defenseless human worlds like a great scourge, until finally only Atlantis remained. This city's great shield was powerful enough to withstand their terrible weapons, but here we were besieged for many years. In an effort to save the last of our kind, we submerged our great city into the ocean. The Atlantis stargate was the one and only link back to Earth from this galaxy, and those who remained used it to return to that world that was once home. There, the last survivors of Atlantis lived out their final lives. This city was left to slumber, in the hope that our kind would one day return.' (Rising pt 1)

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Terrans (aka Atlantians)

An expedition from Earth travelled through the gate to discover as much as possible about Atlantis and the Ancients, and hopefully to recover technology and information that they could bring home.

It was made up of both military personnel and civilian scientists, weighted a bit more heavily toward civilians.

For complete info on the makeup of the expedition and the individual people who went, see the Personnel page.

Within a few days of arrival in the Pegasus galaxy, they'd manage to reawaken the Wraith ahead of schedule and begin a new round of cullings. (Rising pt 2)

The expedition settled into living quarters very near to the control tower, to contain the space that would need to be secured. (Hide and Seek)

When two members of a science team exploring the city dropped dead for no apparent reason, McKay and Zelenka instituted a level-four quarantine for themselves and the rest of the group -- assuming a potential biological infection. Weir, also taking no chances, instituted a self-regulating quarantine in the rest of the city (asking everyone to stay where they were for the duration) and shut down all stargate operations. (Hot Zone)

Most of the inhabitants were temporarily evacuated offworld when a killer storm swept over the planet. While the city was mostly empty, the Genii (led by Acastus Kolya) staged a raid hoping to take control for themselves, but were ultimately foiled by the handful of Atlantians who'd stayed behind. (The Brotherhood)

The city has a Mensa chapter (membership unknown, other than Rodney McKay). (The Brotherhood)

With three Wraith hive ships just two weeks away, McKay announced that he believed he could combine all their power sources to power the stargate for a roughly 1.3-second window back to Earth, long enough to send a highly compressed data burst. Everyone started collecting information to send.   (Letters from Pegasus)

The burst included:

City specs

Mission reports

Tactical assessments

A ton of data' that had been deciphered from the Ancient database

Videotaped personal messages from anyone in the expedition who chose to send one back to a loved one (or whoever).

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They arrived on Atlantis as refugees after Athos was raided by the Wraith -- Sheppard and the others brought them back home with them, since Athos wasn't safe. (Rising pt 2)

It isn't clear if everyone fled or not, or if they did, why they did. The Wraith had been staging raids for generations -- there was no particular reason for this one raid to convince them that all of them would die if they stayed behind. (Rising pt 2)

Eventually, the captured Athosians were rescued from the Wraith, along with most of the captured Terrans. (Rising pt 2)

As they settled in to life in the city, which was strange to them (having always lived in open camps before), several were scared, believing that the ghosts of the Ancestors (Ancients) still roamed the halls. (Hide and Seek)

Three months after they arrived on Atlantis, the Athosians were basically confined to quarters, with no access to the stargate or many sections of the city, because of the suspicion that one of them was a spy who was betraying the location of offworld teams to the Wraith. They weren't even allowed to go to the medical facilities without an escort, and were under constant surveillance. They weren't very happy about that. (Suspicion)

Several of them, including Halling, had a meeting about it, to discuss their grievances and ask how long they were going to put up with it. When Teyla walked in, things got very quiet. After some arguing back and forth between Halling and Teyla, she convinced them that she was still one of them, but that she also understood why Weir was doing what she was doing, and got them to agree to give Weir a chance to find the reason why the Wraith were appearing so often and so quickly when they went offworld. (Suspicion)

top | Inhabitants

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