The Recent ‘Discovery’ of the Legendary Atlantis, Truth or Fiction?

19 April, 2011 at 10:15 | Posted in Culture, Science | 1 Comment
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By Elissa Michele Zacher

Does Atlantis exist? The answer is that we still do not know; however, researchers may have found another ancient and known city.In Plato’s Timaeus and Critias he mentions the island city of Atlantis that was of great wealth and technological ability and describes how it disappeared under the waves one fateful day.

“For it is related in our records how once upon a time your State stayed the course of a mighty host, which, starting from a distant point in the Atlantic ocean, was insolently advancing to attack the whole of Europe, and Asia to boot. 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,’ there lay an island which was larger than Libya and Asia together; and it was possible for the travelers of that time to cross from it to the other islands, and from the islands to the whole of the continent over against them which encompasses that veritable ocean. For all that we have here, lying within the mouth of which we speak, is evidently a haven having a narrow entrance; but that yonder is a real ocean, and the land surrounding it may most rightly be called, in the fullest and truest sense, a continent. Now in this island of Atlantis there existed a confederation of kings, of great and marvelous power, which held sway over all the island, and over many other islands also and parts of the continent.” Plato, Timaeus 24e–25a

“But at a later time there occurred portentous earthquakes and floods, and one grievous day and night befell them, when the whole body of your warriors was swallowed up by the earth, and the island of Atlantis in like manner was swallowed up by the sea and vanished; wherefore also the ocean at that spot has now become impassable and unsearchable, being blocked up by the shoal mud which the island created as it settled down.” Plato, Timaeus 25c–d

Atlantis, an apparent place of myth, is not the only ancient community to disappear in a night. One winter night in 373 BC, the cities of Helike and Boura, in the south of Greece in the Peloponnese, were swallowed by an earthquake. Helike, which was one of the main cult centres of the god Poseidon, was submerged by the Gulf of Corinth. The eruption of Thera (Santorini) in the second millennium BC decimated the advanced Minoan cultures at Akrotiri, Santorini, and on Crete.

Those places were in the Mediterranean; Plato clearly says that Atlantis lies outside the Pillars of Heracles in the waters of the Atlantic. It is generally accepted that the northern pillar is the Rock of Gibraltar. The southern pillar is probably Jebel Musa in Morocco. Plato said Atlantis was an island situated in front of the straits by the Pillars of Hercules and that “in a single day and night… disappeared into the depths of the sea” allegedly around 9000 BC.

Recently, a team of researchers from Spain’s Higher Council for Scientific study began examining a marshy area of the Doñana National Park, in Andalusia in southern Spain, to find evidence of a 3,000-year-old settlement that they believed could help pinpoint Tartessos. The current thinking is that the modern city of Huelva was the ancient Tartessos. The Greek scholars Aristotle and Pausanias said that Tartessos was a river in Spain that flowed from the Pyrenees to the Pillars of Hercules and at that area there was a city of the same name. It is their theory that Tartessos, a civilisation in southern Iberia, may have had its capital in the heart of the park. The marshland is close to the mouth of the Guadalquivir River, and on the opposite side of the river evidence of Tartessian culture has been excavated. Aerial photos of the area are said to show the existence of large circular and rectangular forms. Deep-ground radar, digital mapping, and underwater photography were used to survey the sites.

Read more: The Recent ‘Discovery’ of the Legendary Atlantis, Truth or Fiction? | Science | Epoch Times

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  1. The Dona Ana site could be Tartessos — or even an Atlantean colony if there are ruins going back to the 3rd millennium BC. But the claim that it might be Atlantis is highly dubious since the locale does not match Plato’s geographic parameters at all well. Atlantis proper was a supervolcanic island off Portugal that exploded and sank in the 17th century BC. Plato’s dating is obviously off — simply because the Egyptian priests habitually exaggerated historical time (see Roots of Cataclysm, Algora Publ. NY 2009).


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