Monday, March 14th, 2011

Did They Find Atlantis?

In a strange coincidence of timing, considering the horrible news and footage coming out of Japan over the past three days, an international team of scientists working in south Spain believe they have pinpointed the location of the city of Atlantis. This is a major big deal in archeology. Plato wrote about Atlantis in 360 B.C. It was said to have been an engineering marvel located near the "Pillars of Hercules" (as the Straits of Gibralter were called back then), that it was built around an island temple to Poseidon which was surrounded by concentric rings of water and land, like a bulls-eye, and that it was "swallowed up by the sea and vanished" over a single day and night thousands of years earlier. People have been telling stories, and writing songs, and making movies and TV shows about it since—and searching for evidence to prove that it did in fact, ever exist.

Over the past few years, as explained in an hour-long documentary called Finding Atlantis that aired last night on the National Geographic channel, a group of scientists led by Richard Freund of the University of Hartford have been studying satellite imagery and deep ground radar maps of a patch of coastal mud-flats in Dona Ana Park, just outside the Spanish city of Cadiz. Freund believes that Atlantis is, in fact, another name for the biblical city of Tarshish (also known as "Tartessos"), which was thought to have been destroyed by a tsunami in the third millenium B.C.

Satellite imagery sure is helping archeologists a lot. Remember last year, the same stuff helped buttress claims—as detailed in David Grann's excellent book The Lost City of Z—that a complex civilization once existed in the Amazon: The legendary city of El Dorado, perhaps.

Interestingly, though, Freund found his most compelling evidence about Atlantis 150 miles inland from where he believes the city was located. In central Spain, in the ancient ruins of a number of smaller "ritual cities" that have been excavated by archeologists. The ruins have structures that look like they were modeled after the temple of Poseidon that Plato described. And they are marked with symbols in the shape of the bulls-eye. Freund believes that these ritual cities were built by Atlanteans who survived the tsunami and wanted to memorialize their great lost city.

I'm sure other scientists will come forward to say Freund is full of shit. But I found the National Geographic show pretty convincing. It airs again Tuesday at 8, if you want to watch.

Lastly, as noted and displayed above, there have been many songs written about Atlantis over the years. I think the video for this next one probably gives us the most accurate vision of what life there was really like.

12 Comments / Post A Comment

shawtyhaggins (#6,921)

Atlantis is a total fabrication. The text that it was taken from was really just another one of Plato's allegories. People back then realized that, but shockingly, since then, that fact has somehow gotten lost in translation.
I mean, really… with all the brilliant people in the world… how could we not have found its existence by now? We've done projections and maps of continental locations before — none have left any room for doubt.
No other contemporary of Plato or Aristotle or any of those guys ever mentions a "city under the sea" or some tripe like that. At least not in a way that could be identifiably linked to Atlantis.
And really, if you COULD find other stories and were able to corroborate them together, social anthropologists would just tell you it's like the "flood myth" — an archetype — maybe even related. Every major culture, religion, etc. in history has one.
Now, I'm not saying that there is for sure no city like Atlantis or whatever, or maybe just some island (with a few local tribes on it that in all reality wasn't all that grandiose and technologically advanced like we are told it was) that got crushed beneath the waves thousands of years ago.
What I AM saying however is that Plato's version of the story is a complete fiction. That's the way it's always been.

LondonLee (#922)

Next you'll be telling us there's no such person as Aquaman.

AimerVieLiberte (#14,651)

@shawtyhaggins Atlantis is looked at as a myth because no one has ever found it..Look at thru a scientists point of view and not as commoners! New species are found every year, new discoveries are made in bipedal human ancestors that creates a new enlightenment about our human origins. So every myth has a basis of truth to it and if this is Atlantis they found in Southern Spain then this discovery will be one of the most important discoveries made thus far! If any of you intelligent people have taken geography, geology and or science close to that you will know that tsunami's has the power to wipe out islands and large land masses anywhere in the world. So if Plato made Atlantis up then why exactly do many other cultures reference the Atlantean culture? Such as the Egyptians, Spanish, Africans, Greeks etc. Oh yeah and people thought the earth was flat until it was proven otherwise, anything has the possibility of being true.Such as any religion. You cant believe in Atlantis but you believe in a book faxed down from heaven and a dude in the sky that created eveything and theirs no proof of his existence either aside from what people say who could simply be dillusional themselves. Funny thing is that people who spoke of visions and such are looked at to be mad and insane but yet you fools believe it when someone says theres a dude in the sky and we all came from two people…You fools do know best

Whither Crocodopolis?

Lockheed Ventura (#5,536)

Any word on the Lost Continent of Lemuria?

HiredGoons (#603)

It's in the Inner Earth with the Nazi Supermen and UFOs.

Oh yeah, it's great for vacations, but to get there you have to take like, the dinosaur-powered equivalent of an Hamptons jitney full of machine elves.

HiredGoons (#603)

call me when they find the All You Can Eat Buffets and 24hour Casinos.

Dave Bry (#422)

There's no such thing as a free lunch. Unless you've been gambling since the night before.

Tulletilsynet (#333)

Too soon.

frontsidebus (#5,387)

The Awl should be renamed Dave Bry Presents: A Shitload of Embedded Youtubes

When Schliemann read Homer, he believed in Troy…

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