THE LOST CITY OF ATLANTIS 

ATLANTIS
THE LOST CITY OF ATLANTIS
The idea of a lost, but highly advanced civilization has captured the interest of people for centuries. Perhaps the most compelling of these tales is the story of Atlantis. The story appears again and again in books, television shows and movies. Where did the story originate and is any of it true?
Atlantis is a legendary island first mentioned in Plato’s dialogues Timaeus and Critias, written about 360 BC
In the 1800s, mystic Madame Blavatsky claimed that she learned about Atlantis from Tibetan gurus; a century later, psychic Edgar Cayce claimed that Atlantis (which he described as an ancient, highly evolved civilization powered by crystals) would be discovered by 1969. In the 1980s, New Age mystic J.Z. Knight claimed that she learned about Atlantis from Ramtha, a 35,000-year-old warrior spirit who speaks through her. Thousands of books, magazines and websites are devoted to Atlantis, and it remains a popular topic

The origins of Atlantis

Unlike many legends whose origins have been lost in the mists of time, we know exactly when and where the story of Atlantis first appeared. The story was first told in two of Plato’s dialogues, the Timaeus and the Critias, written about 330 B.C.

Though today Atlantis is often conceived of as a peaceful utopia, the Atlantis that Plato described in his fable was very different. In his book Frauds, Myths and Mysteries: Science and Pseudoscience in Archaeology, professor of archaeology Ken Feder summarizes the story: “a technologically sophisticated but morally bankrupt evil empire — Atlantis — attempts world domination by force. The only thing standing in its way is a relatively small group of spiritually pure, morally principled, and incorruptible people — the ancient Athenians. Overcoming overwhelming odds … the Athenians are able to defeat their far more powerful adversary simply through the force of their spirit. Sound familiar? Plato’s Atlantean dialogues are essentially an ancient Greek version of Star Wars.”

As propaganda, the Atlantis legend is more about the heroic Athens than a sunken civilization; if Atlantis really existed today and was found, its residents would probably try to kill and enslave us all.

It’s clear that Plato made up Atlantis as a plot device for his stories because there no other records of it anywhere else in the world. There are many extant Greek texts; surely someone else would have also mentioned, at least in passing, such a remarkable place. There is simply no evidence from any source that the legends about Atlantis existed before Plato wrote about it.

Plato’s Atlantis

The story of the lost continent of Atlantis starts in 355 B.C. with the Greek philosopher Plato. Plato had planned to write a trilogy of books discussing the nature of man, the creation of the world, and the story of Atlantis, as well as other subjects. Only the first book was ever completed. The second book was abandoned part way through, and the final book was never even started.

Plato used dialogues to express his ideas. In this type of writing, the author’s thoughts are explored in a series of arguments and debates between various characters in the story. Plato often used real people in his dialogues, such as his teacher, Socrates, but the words he gave them were his own.

In Plato’s book, Timaeus, a character named Kritias tells an account of Atlantis that has been in his family for generations. According to the character, the story was originally told to his ancestor, Solon, by a priest during Solon’s visit to Egypt.

There had been a powerful empire located to the west of the “Pillars of Hercules” (what we now call the Straight of Gibraltar) on an island in the Atlantic Ocean. The nation there had been established by Poseidon, the God of the Sea. Poseidon fathered five sets of twins on the island. The firstborn, Atlas, had the continent and the surrounding ocean named for him. Poseidon divided the land into ten sections, each to be ruled by a son, or his heirs.

The capital city of Atlantis was a marvel of architecture and engineering. The city was composed of a series of concentric walls and canals. At the very center was a hill, and on top of the hill a temple to Poseidon. Inside was a gold statue of the God of the Sea showing him driving six winged horses.

About 9000 years before the time of Plato, after the people of Atlantis became corrupt and greedy, the gods decided to destroy them. A violent earthquake shook the land, giant waves rolled over the shores, and the island sank into the sea, never to be seen again.

So, is the story of Atlantis just a fable used by Plato to make a point? Or is there some reason to think he was referring to a real place? Well, at numerous points in the dialogues, Plato’s characters refer to the story of Atlantis as “genuine history” and it being within “the realm of fact.” Plato also seems to put into the story a lot of detail about Atlantis that would be unnecessary if he had intended to use it only as a literary device.

On the other hand according to the writings of the historian Strabo, Plato’s student Aristotle remarked that Atlantis was simply created by Plato to illustrate a point. Unfortunately, Aristotle’s writings on this subject, which might have cleared the mystery up, have been lost eons ago.

 

Ancient Academy/ Academy of Plato. Mosaic from...

Ancient Academy of Plato. Mosaic from Pompeii, now in the Museo Archeologico Nazionale (Naples).

Location, Location, Location

If we make the assumption that Atlantis was a real place, it seems logical that it could be found west of the Straight of Gibraltar near the Azores Islands. In 1882 a man named Ignatius Donnelly published a book titled Atlantis, the Antediluvian World. Donnelly, an American politician, had come to the belief that Plato’s story represented actual historical fact. He located Atlantis in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, suggesting the Azores Islands represented what remained of the highest mountain peaks. Donnelly said he had studied zoology and geology and had come to the conclusion that civilization itself had begun with the Atlantians and had spread out throughout the world as the Atlantians established colonies in places like ancient Egypt and Peru. Donnelly’s book became a world-wide best seller, but researchers could not take Donnelly’s theories seriously as he offered no proof for his ideas.

As time went on it became obvious that Donnelly’s theories were faulty. Modern scientific surveys of the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean shows it is covered with a blanket of sediment that must have taken millions of years to accumulate. There is no sign of a sunken island continent.

Are there any other candidates for the location of Atlantis? People have made cases for places as diverse as Switzerland, in the middle of Europe, and New Zealand, in the Pacific Ocean. The explorer, Percy Fawcett, thought that it might be located in Brazil.

 

Atlantis in Spain?

Recently a research team led by Professor Richard Freund at the University of Hartford, has claimed that they have found evidence that the city may be buried not under the ocean, but along the coast of Spain in marshlands of the Doñana National Park. Geological studies have shown that at one time this marsh was a huge bay connected to the Atlantic Ocean. The team, using radar technology, digital mapping and satellite imagery believes that they can see signs of a ringed city that once occupied the bay with canals similar to those described by Plato. There is evidence that a number of tsunamis have swept this area over the centuries and Freund thinks that it is one of these destroyed the city. After the disaster survivors may have moved inland and created a number of what Freund thinks are memorial sites to Atlantis.

Other scientists that have explored the area do not agree with Freund’s conclusion, though they admit that a city by the name of Tartessos occupied the area around the 4th century B.C.. Freund believes that Tartessos and Atlantis may just be different names for the same city. As far back as the 1920’s historian Adolf Schulten had suggested that Plato had used the real city of Tartessos as the source for his Atlantis legend.

The strongest evidence for a real Atlantis, however, is not in Spain, but closer to Plato’s home in Greece. This idea started with K.T. Frost, a professor of history at the Queen’s University in Belfast. Later, Spyridon Marinatos, an archaeologist, and A.G. Galanopoulos, a seismologist, added evidence to Frost’s ideas.

 

The Minoan Connection

Frost suggested that instead of being west of the Pillars of Hercules, Atlantis was east. He also thought that the catastrophic end of the island had come not 9000 years before Plato’s time, but only 900. If this was true, the land of Atlantis might already be a well-known place even in Plato’s time: the island of Crete.

Crete is now a part of modern Greece and lies just south of Athens across part of the Mediterranean Sea. Before 1500 B.C. it was the seat of the Minoan Empire. The Minoans dominated the eastern Mediterranean with a powerful navy and probably extracted tribute from other surrounding nations. Archaeological excavations have shown that Minoan Crete was probably one of the most sophisticated cultures of its time. It had splendid architecture and art. A code of laws gave women equal legal status to men. Agriculture was highly developed and an extensive irrigation system existed.

Then, seemingly in a blink of an eye, the Minoan Civilization disappeared. Geological studies have shown that on an island we now know as Santorinas, located just ten miles to the north of Crete, a disaster occurred that was very capable of toppling the Minoan state.

Santorinas today is a lush Mediterranean paradise consisting of several islands in a ring shape. Twenty-five hundred years ago, though, it was a single large island with a volcano in the center. The volcano blew itself apart in a massive explosion around 1500 B.C.

To understand the effect of such an explosion, scientists have compared it with the most powerful volcanic explosion in historic times. This occurred on the Island of Krakatoa in 1883. There a giant wave, or tsunami, 120 feet high raced across the sea and hit neighboring islands, killing 36,000 people. Ash thrown up into the air blackened the skies for three days. The sound of the explosion was heard as far away as 3,000 miles.

The explosion at Santorinas was four times as powerful as Krakatoa.

The tsunami that hit Crete must have traveled inland for over half a mile, destroying any coastal towns or cities. The great Minoan fleet of ships were all sunk in a few seconds. Overnight the powerful Minoan Empire was crushed and Crete changed to a political backwater. One can hardly imagine a catastrophe more like Plato’s description of Atlantis’ fate than the destruction of Crete.

Many of the details of the Atlantis story fit with what is now known about Crete. Women had a relatively high political status, both cultures were peaceful, and both enjoyed the unusual sport of ritualistic “bull leaping” (where an unarmed man wrestled and jumped over a bull).

If the fall of the Minoans is the story of Atlantis, how did Plato get the location and time wrong? Galanopoulos suggested there was a mistake during translation of some of the figures from Egyptian to Greek and an extra zero added. This would mean 900 years ago became 9000, and the distance from Egypt to “Atlantis” went from 250 miles to 2,500. If this is true, Plato (knowing the layout of the Mediterranean Sea) would have been forced to assume the location of the island continent to be squarely in the Atlantic Ocean.

Not everyone accepts the Minoan Crete theory of the story of Atlantis, but until a convincing case can be made for some other place, it, perhaps, remains science’s best guess.

 

大西洲

大西洲 Atlantis

The Island

The Island of Atlantis, as described by Plato, is often perceived to be huge, the size of Asia and Libya (North Africa) combined.  Published satellite imaging of the underwater regions of the world clearly indicates that no such land mass ever existed. (Still, this is not a perfected science and as recently as 2004, new underwater mountain ranges were being discovered)  More relevant is the fact that any earthquake powerful enough to completely destroy all evidence of this Island, one at least the size of modern Australia, would have effectively ended 95% of all life on earth. (If not through the quake itself then through the ensuing volcanic activity.)

So is this description of Atlantis wrong?  Well no – not actually.  The answer lies in the ancient Greeks appreciation of the size of the world and the way they thought about it.  Two factors need to be considered.  Firstly, the world was that which was occupied by people and thus not the vast empty landmasses in between such as the Sahara. (Robertson and Vincent – 2004) Secondly, the further away from Greece the landmass, the less certain they were of its exact size.  So in effect it is reasonable to conclude that Atlantis may not have been as big as it appears to be described.  This is not an error on the part of Plato – he was recording facts as he understood them.  The error is modern mans with his vastly superior understanding of the geography of this world.

What of the description of the Island Atlantis?  Several key points stand out.  The Island has a small central mountain (cone) surrounded by ripples or water filled depressions.  There are many fissures, not manmade, in the ground. There are lakes surrounding this cone.  Hot and cold springs are evident. The lands surrounding this central mountain are very fertile. There are cliffs at the edge of the sea.

This is a very clear, consistent and accurate description of a volcanic island.  The central cone could be an ancient (dormant) volcano.  Hot springs are definite indications of geothermal activity. Lands surrounding volcanoes are often very fertile – just look at the fields surrounding Naples and Mount Vesuvius.  Finally, volcanic islands, particularly those of the Atlantic often have steep cliffs where they meet the sea.

The critical aspect of this description of Atlantis is not just what it describes – rather it is the fact that the components are consistent with each other.  In other words, it sounds like the depiction of a real place rather than one conjured from the imagination.  More importantly, Plato did not have easy access to the Internet or the Encyclopedia Britannica to check his facts – he wrote them as he understood them.  This makes this description even more remarkable.

 

According to Plato the temple in the center of Atlantis was dominated by a statue of Poseidon driving six winged horses (Copyright Lee Krystek, 2006).

THE LOST CITY OF ATLANTIS

The mystery of the lost city of Atlantis still captures the imagination of millions. Was it real or just myth. Here are the basic facts.Lost civilizations really still exist. New discoveries are happening even as you read this. Places like the Nazca Lines Google Earth can now be clearly seen. New cities have just been found in the Amazon. Just because we haven’t found Atlantis doesn’t mean we never will.If you are genuinely interested in the story of Atlantis then the only place to start is the source – the writings of Plato and the stories of Timaeus and Critias.
When you remove the gods, the parables and the sociological interpretation from the text you are left with the following key points.

  • Solon (638 BC–558 BC) was a famous Athenian statesman, lawmaker, and Lyric poet who allegedly heard the story of Atlantis from Egyptian priests that he was visiting that claimed that the Athenians had forgotten their true history because from time-to-time their civilization had been largely destroyed by catastrophes.
  • The Egyptian priests referred to the “Declamation of Heavenly Bodies”, meaning meteorites, which cause devastation on the planet. —–The Egyptian priests understood that from time-to-time there were serious natural catastrophes that involved fire and water (from which they had been largely immune). They attributed these to the actions of the Gods
  • A war once took place between the Athenians and the Atlanteans The Athenians apparently came from Athens.
  • The Atlanteans apparently came from an island beyond the pillars of Hercules (Straights of Gibraltar)
  • The war took place 9,000 years before the time of writing which was approximately 2,500 years before today – so in effect 11,500 years ago.
  • Atlantis was allegedly an island greater in size than Libya and Asia combined.
  • Atlantis was eventually destroyed by an earthquake.
  • The Athenian Gods were at peace with each other.
  • The story had been forgotten by the Athenians because of a great deluge whereby only the illiterate people of the mountains had survived.
  • Solon inferred that the event took place before the time of Theseus.
  • At the time the Athenians ruled a land from the Isthmus (of Corinth) to the heights of the Cithaeron (a mountain range in what is today central Greece) and Parnes. Oropus was the boundary on the right and the river Asopus the boundary on the left.
  • The Athenian land was fertile and able to support a great army.
  • Many floods had taken place during the 9,000 years prior to the recording of the story.
  • Many of the cliffs surrounding this (Athenian) land had been eroded and fallen into the sea. Many of the woods that once existed have disappeared. The land was less eroded and less rainfall was swept into the sea.
  • The climate was more temperate.
  • The Acropolis was larger and surrounded by soil and not the outcrop of rock it is now.
  • They had Gymnasia.
  • There were once more springs that disappeared after an earthquake.
  • The Athenians were healthy, beautiful people that were well prepared for war.
  • Poseidon was patron and God of Atlantis. (God of the sea and earthquakes)
  • Atlantis was an Island with a small mountain at its centre with fertile plains surrounding it.
  • The central mountain had rings of water surrounding it.
  • Water flowed from underground – some hot, some cold.
  • Crops flourished in the fertile soil.
  • Poseidon’s first child (born on Atlantis) was named Atlas and the ocean around the Island was named Atlantic.
  • From beyond the Pillars of Hercules the lost city of Atlantis controlled islands and lands as far as Egypt.
  • They had extensive trade with other countries.
  • Orichalcum (an unknown red coloured metal or alloy possible a mixture of copper and gold) was common on the Island.
  • The Island was well forested.
  • There were a great number of elephants on the Island.
  • The Island had chestnut trees.
  • The City / island existed long enough for many rulers / kings to develop it.
  • The lost city of Atlantis had a canal from the sea to an inner lagoon.
  • Three kinds of stone, one red, one black and one white were quarried on the Island of Atlantis.
  • They used brass to cover their dwellings and brass, tin and orichalcum to cover the outer walls of their cities.
  • Poseidon’s temple at the centre had a barbaric appearance and the roof (interior) was made of Ivory.
  • In the temple there was a statue of the god in a chariot.
  • The lost city of Atlantis made use of private and public baths and then saved the water for use on their fields.
  • The later docks had Triremes and many naval supplies.
  • The Island had cliffs on most sides but was otherwise a plateau with a small mountain at its centre and mountains to the North.
  • The North of the Island had high and beautiful mountains.
  • The plain featured a circular ditch (canyon) of such size (a 100 ft in depth) that it could not have been manmade.
  • The military had war chariots.
  • They benefited from winter rains.
  • Their shields were small.
  • The land was divided into ten kingdoms each with its own city.
  • No King was to ever make war on another Atlantean King.
  • This rule lasted for a great time but in the end the Kings became victim to mortal desires and sins.

That’s it. These are the key points. The remainder of the story as recorded by Plato is lost.

So, what this means is that everything else that you have ever read, that is not a direct translation from the Hellenic (Greek), is either made-up, psychically received or conjecture. For the full transcript of the original document, click here.

While it is unlikely that the lost city of Atlantis ever existed as a single place, the description presented by Critias is remarkably precise for a narrative. Plato himself asserts that Atlantis is a real place.

Real or Myth?

Could Atlantis have existed as an actual country?  The answer could be yes.  Is it likely that Atlantis really existed exactly as described in Plato’s writings?

The answer is likely to be no. Before we explore the possibility of an Atlantean civilization it is important to appreciate that many scholars believe that Plato’s description.

of his conversation with T & C was only ever a way of introducing the concept of a utopian society

A society that collapsed because it failed to adhere to its moral and founding principles. But … intriguingly, there is more to this story than some skeptics would have people believe.

(Just remember this – non-mainstream theories that don’t conform to popular academic thinking rarely get college or university grants.  Professional scientists would rather lose a limb than have their reputations called into question. Atlantis? let’s not go there.)

As propaganda, the Atlantis legend is more about the heroic Athens than a sunken civilization; if Atlantis really existed today and was found, its residents would probably try to kill and enslave us all.

It’s clear that Plato made up Atlantis as a plot device for his stories because there no other records of it anywhere else in the world. There are many extant Greek texts; surely someone else would have also mentioned, at least in passing, such a remarkable place. There is simply no evidence from any source that the legends about Atlantis existed before Plato wrote about it.

The ‘lost’ continent

Despite its clear origin in fiction, many people over the centuries have claimed that there must be some truth behind the myths, speculating about where Atlantis would be found. Countless Atlantis “experts” have located the lost continent all around the world based on the same set of facts.  Candidates — each accompanied by their own peculiar sets of evidence and arguments — include the Atlantic Ocean, Antarctica, Bolivia, Turkey, Germany, Malta and the Caribbean.

Plato, however, is crystal clear about where Atlantis is: “For the ocean there was at that time navigable; for in front of the mouth which you Greeks call, as you say, ‘the pillars of Heracles,’ (i.e., Hercules) there lay an island which was larger than Libya and Asia together.” In other word it lies in the Atlantic Ocean beyond “the pillars of Hercules” (i.e., the Straits of Gibraltar, at the mouth of the Mediterranean). Yet it has never been found in the Atlantic, or anywhere else.

No trace of Atlantis has ever been found despite advances in oceanography and ocean floor mapping in past decades. For nearly two millennia readers could be forgiven for suspecting that the vast depths might somehow hide a sunken city or continent. Though there remains much mystery at the bottom of the world’s oceans, it is inconceivable that the world’s oceanographers, submariners, and deep-sea probes have some how missed a landmass “larger than Libya and Asia together.”

Furthermore plate tectonics demonstrate that Atlantis is impossible; as the continents have drifted, the seafloor has spread over time, not contracted. There would simply be no place for Atlantis to sink into. As Ken Feder notes, “The geology is clear; there could have been no large land surface that then sank in the area where Plato places Atlantis. Together, modern archaeology and geology provide an unambiguous verdict: There was no Atlantic continent; there was no great civilization called Atlantis.”

Myth from misinterpretation

The only way to make a mystery out of Atlantis (and to assume that it was once a real place) is to ignore its obvious origins as a moral fable and to change the details of Plato’s story, claiming that he took license with the truth, either out of error or intent to deceive. With the addition, omission, or misinterpretation of various details in Plato’s work, nearly any proposed location can be made to “fit” his description.

Yet as writer L. Sprague de Camp noted in his book Lost Continents, “You cannot change all the details of Plato’s story and still claim to have Plato’s story. That is like saying the legendary King Arthur is ‘really’ Cleopatra; all you have to do is to change Cleopatra’s sex, nationality, period, temperament, moral character, and other details, and the resemblance becomes obvious.”

The Atlantis legend has been kept alive, fueled by the public’s imagination and fascination with the idea of a hidden, long-lost utopia. Yet the “lost city of Atlantis” was never lost; it is where it always was: in Plato’s books.

Benjamin Radford is deputy editor of Skeptical Inquirer science magazine and author of six books including Scientific Paranormal Investigation: How to Solve Unexplained Mysteries. His Web site is www.BenjaminRadford.com 

LiveScience:

Though today Atlantis is often conceived of as a peaceful utopia, the Atlantis that Plato described in his fable was very different. In his book Frauds, Myths and Mysteries: Science and Pseudoscience in Archaeology, professor of archaeology Ken Feder summarizes the story: “a technologically sophisticated but morally bankrupt evil empire — Atlantis — attempts world domination by force. The only thing standing in its way is a relatively small group of spiritually pure, morally principled, and incorruptible people — the ancient Athenians. Overcoming overwhelming odds … the Athenians are able to defeat their far more powerful adversary simply through the force of their spirit. Sound familiar? Plato’s Atlantean dialogues are essentially an ancient Greek version of Star Wars.”

A 1669 map by Athanasius Kircher put Atlantis in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. The map is oriented with south at the top.

Statue of Plato at Academy of Athens, Greece
CREDIT: Anastasios71  |shutterstock

 

The only way to assess the validity of the story of Atlantis is through Literary Forensics.  This is a process that examines each key point and determines how well it stands up to historical record (proof) and scientific evidence.   Before you give up reading this section let us say that if the evidence was overwhelmingly against Atlantis, we wouldn’t have bothered compiling these pages. The best place to begin is also the most startling and often overlooked.  Plato refers to the following text:

“Thereupon one of the (Egyptian) priests, who was of a very great age, said: O Solon, Solon, you Hellenes are never anything but children, and there is not an old man among you. Solon in return asked him what he meant. I mean to say, he replied, that in mind you are all young; there is no old opinion handed down among you by ancient tradition, nor any science which is hoary with age. And I will tell you why. There have been, and will be again, many destructions of mankind arising out of many causes; the greatest have been brought about by the agencies of fire and water, and other lesser ones by innumerable other causes.”  (Plato – 360 BC -Translated by Benjamin Jowett)

Whether the Egyptian priests referred to in the writings ever existed, Plato (Timaeus) clearly understands that the Earth, this small blue planet, is periodically subjected to intense natural disasters involving fire and water.  That he understood and recognised this fact is absolutely not in question and it shows an incredible appreciation of natural science that doesn’t become apparent again for almost 2,000 years.  He accepts, as do his companions, that catastrophic flooding is more common than most people alive today would like to admit. He also refers to the fact that the climate has changed and refers often to deluges and floods powerful enough to destroy coastal cities as well as references to cliffs and buildings having been eroded into the sea.

For this claim there is significant archaeological evidence and Egypt and the Mediterranean Sea does indeed have underwater ruins and at least one often visited submerged city.

(See, for example, The Lycean city of Kekova, Naukratis, Thera and Santorini.)

According to Graham Hancock, author of Underworld; (since the last ice age) “More than 15 million square miles of habitable land were submerged underwater, resulting in a radical change to the Earth’s shape and the conditions in which people could live.”

Another reference:

“To coordinate the explorations of his skin-diving friends, Gargallo has organized the Mediterranean Institute of Underwater Archaeology. In his apartment off Rome’s Piazza, di Spagna, he has a map of Italy and Sicily with coloured pins indicating the site of 20 to 30 ruins known to his skin-divers. There is a big underwater city near Venice. Another, off Mondragone, north of Naples, runs along the bottom for nearly three miles.” (Time Magazine -1959)

This also shows that contrary to what “global warming” experts would have people believe, the Earth’s climate has been continuously changing (warming) without the help of man.
Many experts believe we are actually living in an ice age and this pleasant enough climate we enjoy is just a warm interglacial period. Geological evidence has confirmed that the last Ice Age completely finished only 10,000 years ago.  So again, Plato is accurate in his statements.

So, let’s for the moment, assume that the description of Atlantis is both literal and accurate.    If so, then Atlantis existed 11,500 to 9,300 years ago towards the later period of the last ice age.  This is highly significant because sea levels would have been dramatically different than they are today.

According to geological studies, sea levels have risen 130 metres or 400ft in since the last Ice age.  Also, it rules out any northern locations for the city as they would certainly not had the temperate climate described by Plato. (However, places that are extremely hot today would have been just pleasantly warm.)

“Church and White (2006) found a sea-level rise from January 1870 to December 2004 of 195 mm, a 20th century rate of sea-level rise of 1.7 ±0.3 mm per yr and a significant acceleration of sea-level rise of 0.013 ± 0.006 mm per year per yr.”

However, for the past 6,000 years (a few centuries before the first known written records), the world’s sea level has been gradually approaching the level we see today. (Wikipedia 2007)

If this is so, and there is no reason to doubt it, then a considerable amount of land that is now underwater would have been habitable.  Now we start to see some evidence that the context of Plato’s writings about Atlantis stand up to historical fact.

A VERY LIKELY LOCATION FOR ATLANTIS

To find Atlantis it is sensible to use a system that cross references what we know from the original source. An island (or part of one) that was near Gibraltar, sunken in the sea, was warm and had had access to rough gold.

Atlantis imagined being in the Atlantic Ocean ...

Atlantis imagined being in the Atlantic Ocean and fitting with Dr. Emad Kayyam observations and view of similarities with the nasal cavities and sinuses in the human face.

According to Daily Mail
  • Scientists are convinced that Atlantis is submerged just north of Cadiz
  • They used a satellite photo of a suspected submerged city to find the site
  • The team then surveyed it with a combination of deep-ground radar, digital mapping, and underwater technology

It has remained a tantalising mystery for thousands of years, but now a U.S. led research team believes it has found the legendary lost city of Atlantis.

Scientists claim to have pinpointed the exact location of the metropolis under mud flats in southern Spain.

The team of archaeologists and geologists are convinced that Atlantis -swamped by a tsunami – is submerged just north of Cadiz.

Wonder of the ancient world or fantasy? The story of the fabled Atlantis has captivated humanity for centuries. Scientists claim to have pinpointed its exact location – under mud flats in southern SpaiProfessor Richard Freund of the University of Hartford, Connecticut, who led the international team, said: ‘This is the power of tsunamis.’It is just so hard to understand that it can wipe out 60 miles inland, and that’s pretty much what we’re talking about.’

The team used a satellite photo of a suspected submerged city to find the site then surveyed it with a combination of deep-ground radar, digital mapping, and underwater technology.

Buried in the vast marshlands of the Dona Ana Park they found a strange series of ‘memorial cities,’ built in Atlantis’ image by the refugees who fled the destructive tsunami.

Atlantis residents who did not die built new cities inland, claimed Freund.

The team’s findings were unveiled yesterday in Finding Atlantis, a new National Geographic Channel special.

Freund said the ‘twist’ of finding the memorial cities makes him confident Atlantis was buried in the mud flats.

He said: ‘We found something that no one else has ever seen before, which gives it a layer of credibility, especially for archaeology, that makes a lot more sense.’

Greek philosopher Plato wrote about Atlantis some 2,600 years ago, describing it as ‘an island situated in front of the straits called the Pillars of Hercules.’

These pillars were known as the Straits of Gibraltar in bygone times.Using Plato’s detailed account of Atlantis as a map, searches have focused on the Mediterranean and Atlantic as the best possible sites for the city.

Freund says tsunamis in the region have been documented for centuries with one of the largest reported in November 1755 hitting Lisbon with a 10-story tidal wave.

Debate about whether Atlantis truly existed has lasted for thousands of years. Plato’s ‘dialogues’ from around 360 B.C. are the only known historical sources of information about the iconic city.

Plato said the island he called Atlantis ‘in a single day and night… disappeared into the depths of the sea.’

Experts plan further excavations at the site where they believe Atlantis is and at the mysterious ‘cities’ in central Spain 150 miles away to more closely study geological formations and to date artefacts.

Atlantis has been ‘discovered’ many times in the past.

In 1997, Russian scientists claimed to have found it 100 miles off Land’s End.

Three years later, a ruined town was found under 300ft of water off the north coast of Turkey in the Black Sea.

An American architect used sonar in 2004 to reveal man-made walls a mile deep in the Mediterranean between Cyprus and Syria.

In 2007, Swedish researchers claimed the city lay on the Dogger Bank in the North Sea, which was submerged in the Bronze Age.

And as recently as February of this year, what appeared to be grid-like lines that resembled city streets were spotted on Google Earth – in the ocean off the coast of Africa.

Sadly Google itself quickly debunked the suggestion, explaining that the lines were left by a boat as it collected data for the application.

SEA-GOING SUPERPOWER, OR WAS PLATO PLAYING POLITICS?

English: The School of Athens (detail). Fresco...

The School of Athens (Fresco, Stanza della Segnatura, Palazzi Pontifici, Vatican.

Atlantis was first described by the Greek philosopher Plato more than 2,000 years ago.

While many believe the story is a myth created by Plato to illustrate his theories about politics, others insist it is based on a real historical disaster.

According to Plato’s account, written around 360BC, Atlantis was a major sea power located in the Atlantic.

It was larger than ancient Libya and Asia Minor (modern Turkey) put together, and was ‘the way to the other islands, and from these you might pass to the whole of the opposite continent’.

His account included detailed descriptions of the island – with mountains in the north and along the coast, and a plain in the south.

Its kings were descended from Poseidon – the god of sea – but their divine lineage became diluted as they mixed with mortals.

By around 9600BC the island had conquered much of Western Europe and Africa and enslaved its enemies.

This date would make the city nearly as old as the end of the last ice age and pre-dates the earliest recorded city states, found in what is now Iraq, so seems rather unlikely.

After a failed attempt to invade Athens, the entire island sank into the sea ‘in a single day and night of misfortune’.

Over the centuries, scholars have attempted to locate the real Atlantis – believing the account was based on a real ancient superpower.

One of the most plausible theories is that Plato was describing the Minoan civilisation on Crete and the neighbouring island of Santorini which was devastated by a massive volcanic eruption around 1600BC.

Some believe the Atlantis myth was inspired by the Black Sea floods of around 5000BC – an event that may have also generated the flood stories which appeared in the Old Testament.


A Shanepedia Compilation

https://shanepedia.wordpress.com

Shanepedia.archives@gmail.com

Along with thanks and compliments to the sources for the shared data

http://www.livescience.com

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech

Creative Commons Copyright© Shanepedia 2012

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