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Τετάρτη, 5 Σεπτεμβρίου 2012
ATLANTIS REAL OR MYTH?
ATLANTIS REAL OR MYTH?
Was it real or is it just a
myth? So many attention seekers have exaggerated or distorted the story
that it has become synonymous with a "Fantasy" or an impossible quest.
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
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.
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.)
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
“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.
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.”
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.)
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.”
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.
The Sunken town of Kekova
Underwater Ruins - Greece
Tidal Cliffs - Unstable
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.
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.
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.