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Archaeologists and geologists use imagery to find site ravaged by tsunami staff and news service reports

updated 3/14/2011 2:05:47 PM ET

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. A U.S.-led research team

may have finally located the lost city of Atlantis, the
legendary metropolis believed swamped by a tsunami
thousands of years ago, in mud flats in southern Spain.

"This is the power of tsunamis," head researcher

Richard Freund told Reuters.

"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," said Freund, a professor at the University of
Hartford who led an international team searching for
the true site of Atlantis.

To solve the age-old mystery, the team analyzed

satellite imagery of a suspected submerged city just An artist's conception shows the city of Atlantis as it has been envisioned in legend.
north of Cadiz, Spain. There, buried in the vast
Science news from
marshlands of the Dona Ana Park, they believe that they pinpointed the ancient, multiringed dominion known as Atlantis.
Cosmic rays may
The team of archaeologists and geologists in 2009 and 2010 used a combination of deep-ground radar, digital mapping
spark Earth's
and underwater technology to survey the site. lightning
All lightning on Earth may have
Freund's discovery in central Spain of a strange series of "memorial cities," built in Atlantis' image by its refugees after the its roots in space, new research
city's likely destruction by a tsunami, gave researchers added proof and confidence, he said.
How our brains can track a 100 mph pi

Atlantean residents who did not die in the tsunami fled inland and built new cities there, he added. Moth found to have ultrasonic hearing

Quantum network could secure Interne

The team's conclusions are detailed in "Finding Atlantis," a National Geographic Channel special.

While it is hard to know with certainty that the site in Spain is Atlantis, Freund said the "twist" of finding the memorial cities makes him confident
Atlantis was buried in the mud flats.

"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," Freund said.

Greek philosopher Plato wrote about Atlantis 2,600 years ago, describing it as "an island situated in front of
the straits which are by you called the Pillars of Hercules," as the Straits of Gibraltar were known in antiquity.

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. Researchers have previously proposed that Atlantis was located on the
Greek island of Santorini , the Italian island of Sardinia or on Cyprus .

Tsunamis in the region have been documented for centuries, Freund says. One of the largest was a reported
10-story tidal wave that slammed Lisbon in November 1755.

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 located and at the mysterious
"cities" in central Spain 150 miles away to more closely study geological formations and to date artifacts.

This report includes information from Reuters and "Finding Atlantis," a documentary about A computer graphic shows the concentric rings that
during Atlantis' ancient heyday. Scientists have seen
the search for the city's ruins, will air on Tuesday on the National Geographic Channel.
submerged structures beneath the vast marshlands
Spain's Dona Ana Park.

2013 1/2
9/10/2017 Lost city of Atlantis believed found off Spain - Technology & science - Science | NBC News 2/2
9/10/2017 Tartessos - Wikipedia

Coordinates: 37.0000N 6.2000W

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Tartessos (Greek: ) or Tartessus was a semi-

mythical harbor city and the surrounding culture on the
south coast of the Iberian Peninsula (in modern Andalusia,
Spain), at the mouth of the Guadalquivir River. It appears
in sources from Greece and the Near East starting during
the first millennium BC. Herodotus, for example, describes
it as beyond the Pillars of Heracles (Strait of Gibraltar).[1]
Roman authors tend to echo the earlier Greek sources but
from around the end of the millennium there are indications
that the name Tartessos had fallen out of use and the city
may have been lost to flooding, though several authors Tartessos cultural area.
attempt to identify it with cities of other names in the
area.[2] Archaeological discoveries in the region have built
up a picture of a more widespread culture, identified as Tartessian, that includes some 97 inscriptions in a
Tartessian language.

The Tartessians were rich in metal. In the 4th century BC the historian Ephorus describes "a very prosperous
market called Tartessos, with much tin carried by river, as well as gold and copper from Celtic lands".[2] Trade
in tin was very lucrative in the Bronze Age, since it is an essential component of true bronze and is
comparatively rare. Herodotus refers to a king of Tartessos, Arganthonios, presumably named for his wealth in

The people from Tartessos became important trading partners of the Phoenicians, whose presence in Iberia
dates from the 8th century BC and who nearby built a harbor of their own, Gadir (Greek: , Latin:
Gades, present-day Cdiz).

1 Location
2 Archaeological discoveries
3 Religion
4 Tartessian language
5 Possible identification as "Tarshish" and/or "Atlantis"
6 See also
7 References
8 Further reading
9 External links
9.1 General
9.2 Atlantis connection

Several early sources, such as Aristotle, refer to Tartessos as a river. Aristotle claims that it rises from the
Pyrene Mountain (which we can identify as the Pyrenees) and flows out to sea outside the Pillars of Hercules,
the modern Strait of Gibraltar.[3] No such river traverses the Iberian peninsula.

According to Pytheas, in the 4th century BC, as reported by Strabo in the 1st century AD, the Turduli occupied
the area that was Tartessos which was the Baetis River (Guadalquivir River Andalusia Spain).[4][5] 1/7
9/10/2017 Tartessos - Wikipedia

Pausanias, writing in the 2nd century AD, identified the river and gave details of the location of the city:

They say that Tartessus is a river in the land of the Iberians, running down into the sea by two
mouths and that between these two mouths lies a city of the same name. The river, which is the
largest in Iberia and tidal, those of a later day called Baetis and there are some who think that
Tartessus was the ancient name of Carpia, a city of the Iberians.[6]

The river known in his day as the Baetis is now the Guadalquivir. Thus, Tartessos may be buried, Schulten
thought, under the shifting wetlands. The river delta has gradually been blocked by a sandbar that stretches
from the mouth of the Rio Tinto, near Palos de la Frontera, to the riverbank that is opposite Sanlcar de
Barrameda. The area is now protected as the Parque Nacional de Doana.[7]

In the 1st century AD, Pliny[8] incorrectly identified the city of Carteia as the Tartessos mentioned in Greek
sources while Strabo just commented[9] Carteia is identified as El Rocadillo, near S. Roque, Province of Cdiz,
some distance away from the Guadalquivir.[10] In the 2nd century AD Appian thought that Karpessos (Carpia)
was previously known as Tartessos.[2]

Archaeological discoveries
The discoveries published by Adolf Schulten in 1922[11] first drew attention to Tartessos and shifted its study
from classical philologists and antiquarians, to investigations based on archaeology,[12] though attempts at
localizing a capital for what was conceived as a complicated culture in the nature of a centrally controlled
kingdom ancestral to Spain were inconclusively debated. Subsequent discoveries were widely reported: in
September 1923 archaeologists discovered a Phoenician necropolis in which human remains were unearthed
and stones found with illegible characters. It may have been colonized by the Phoenicians for trade because of
its richness in metals.[13]

A later generation turned instead to identifying and localizing "orientalizing" (eastern Mediterranean) features
of the Tartessian material culture within the broader Mediterranean horizon of an "Orientalizing period"
recognizable in the Aegean and Etruria.

J.M. Luzn was the first to identify Tartessos with modern Huelva,[14]
based on discoveries made in the preceding decades. Since the
discovery in September 1958 of the rich gold treasure of El Carambolo
in Camas, three km west of Seville,[15] and of hundreds of artifacts in
the necropolis at La Joya, Huelva,[16] archaeological surveys have been
integrated with philological and literary surveys and the broader picture
of the Iron Age in the Mediterranean basin to provide a more informed
Treasure of El Carambolo, exhibited in view of the supposed Tartessian culture on the ground, concentrated in
the Archaeological Museum of Seville western Andalusia, Extremadura and in southern Portugal from the
Algarve to the Vinalop River in Alicante.[17]

Alluvial tin was panned in Tartessian streams from an early date. The spread of a silver standard in Assyria
increased its attractiveness (the tribute from Phoenician cities was assessed in silver). The invention of coinage
in the 7th century BC spurred the search for bronze and silver as well. Henceforth trade connections, formerly
largely in elite goods, assumed an increasingly broad economic role. By the Late Bronze Age, silver extraction
in Huelva Province reached industrial proportions. Pre-Roman silver slag is found in the Tartessian cities of
Huelva Province. Cypriot and Phoenician metalworkers produced 15 million tons of pyrometallurgical residues
at the vast dumps of Riotinto. Mining and smelting preceded the arrival, from the 8th century BC onwards, of
Phoenicians[18] and then Greeks, who provided a stimulating wider market and whose influence sparked an
"orientalizing" phase in Tartessian material culture (ca.750-550 BC) before Tartessian culture was superseded
by the Classic Iberian culture. 2/7
9/10/2017 Tartessos - Wikipedia

"Tartessic" artifacts linked with the Tartessos culture have been found, and many archaeologists now associate
the "lost" city with Huelva. In excavations on spatially restricted sites in the center of modern Huelva, sherds of
elite painted Greek ceramics of the first half of the 6th century BC have been recovered. Huelva contains the
largest accumulation of imported elite goods and must have been an important Tartessian center. Medelln, on
the Guadiana River, revealed an important necropolis.

Elements specific to Tartessian culture are the Late Bronze Age fully evolved pattern-burnished wares and
geometrically banded and patterns "Carambolo" wares, from the 9th to the 6th centuries BC; an "Early
Orientalizing" phase with the first eastern Mediterranean imports, beginning about 750 BC; a "Late
Orientalizing" phase with the finest bronze casting and goldsmiths' work; gray ware turned on the fast potter's
wheel, local imitations of imported Phoenician red-slip wares.

Characteristic Tartessian bronzes include pear-shaped jugs, often associated in burials with shallow dish-shaped
braziers with loop handles, incense-burners with floral motifs, fibulas, both elbowed and double-spring types,
and belt buckles.

No pre-colonial necropolis sites have been identified. The change from a late Bronze Age pattern of circular or
oval huts scattered on a village site to rectangular houses with dry stone foundations and plastered wattle walls
took place during the 7th and 6th centuries BC, in settlements with planned layouts that succeeded one another
on the same site. At Cstulo (Jan), a mosaic of river pebbles from the end of the 6th century BC is the earliest
mosaic in Western Europe. Most sites were inexplicably abandoned in the 5th century BC.

Tartessic occupation sites of the Late Bronze Age that were not particularly complex: "a domestic mode of
production seems to have predominated" is one mainstream assessment.[19] An earlier generation of
archaeologists and historians took a normative approach to the primitive Tartessians' adoption of Punic styles
and techniques, as of a less-developed culture adopting better, more highly evolved cultural traits, and finding
Eastern parallels for Early Iron Age material culture in the Tartessian sites. A later generation has been more
concerned with the process through which local institutions evolved.[20]

The emergence of new archaeological finds in the city of Huelva is prompting the revision of these traditional
views. Just in two adjacent lots adding up to 2,150 sq. m. between Las Monjas Square and Mendez Nuez
Street, some 90,000 ceramic fragments of indigenous, Phoenician and Greek imported wares were exhumed,
out of which 8,009 allowed scope for a type identification. This pottery, dated from the 10th to the early 8th
centuries BC predates finds from other Phoenician colonies; together with remnants of numerous activities, the
Huelva discoveries reveal a substantial industrial and commercial emporion on this site lasting several
centuries. Similar finds in other parts of the city make it possible to estimate the protohistoric habitat of Huelva
at some 20 hectares, large for a site in the Iberian Peninsula in that period.[21]

Calibrated carbon 14 dating carried out by Groningen University on associated cattle bones as well as dating
based on ceramic samples permit a chronology of several centuries through the state of the art of craft and
industry since the 10th century BC, as follows: pottery (bowls, plates, craters, vases, amphorae, etc.), melting
pots, casting nozzles, weights, finely worked pieces of wood, ship parts, bovid skulls, pendants, fibulae,
anklebones, agate, ivory with the only workshop of the period so far proven in the west-, gold, silver, etc.

The existence of foreign produce and materials together with local ones suggests that the old Huelva harbor
was a major hub for the reception, manufacturing and shipping of diverse products of different and distant
origin. The analysis of written sources and the products exhumed, including inscriptions and thousands of
Greek ceramics, some of which are works of excellent quality by known potters and painters, and also suggests
that this habitat can be identified not only with Tarshish mentioned in the Bible, in the Assyrian stele of
Esarhaddon and perhaps in the Phoenician inscription of the Nora Stone, but also with the Tartessos of Greek
sources interpreting the Tartessus river as equivalent to the present-day Tinto River and the Ligustine Lake to
the joint estuary of the Odiel and Tinto rivers flowing west and east of the Huelva Peninsula.[22] [23][24]

Religion 3/7
9/10/2017 Tartessos - Wikipedia

There is very little data, but it is assumed that, like for other Mediterranean peoples, it was a polytheistic
religion. It is believed that Tartessians worshiped the goddess Astarte or Potnia and the masculine divinity Baal
or Melkart, as a result of the Phoenician acculturation. Sanctuaries inspired by the Phoenician architecture have
been found in the deposit of Castulo (Linares, Jan) and in the vicinity of Carmona. Several images of
Phoenician gods have been found in Cdiz, Huelva and Sevilla.[25]

Tartessian language
The Tartessian language is an extinct
pre-Roman language once spoken in
southern Iberia. The oldest known
indigenous texts of Iberia, dated from
the 7th to 6th centuries BC, are
written in Tartessian. The inscriptions
are written in a semi-syllabic writing
system called the Southwest script; The Tartessian Fonte Velha
they were found in the general area in inscription (Bensafrim, (Lagos))
which Tartessos was located and in
Iberia around 300 BC (before the
Carthaginian conquest). Residual
surrounding areas of influence.
Tartessian language is depicted in Tartessian language texts were found in Southwestern Spain and Southern
the south west. Portugal (namely in the Conii, Cempsi, Sefes and Celtici areas of the
Algarve and southern Alentejo).

Possible identification as "Tarshish" and/or "Atlantis"

Since the classicists of the early 20th century, biblical archeologists often identify the place-name Tarshish in
the Hebrew Bible with Tartessos, though others connect Tarshish to Tarsus in Anatolia or other places as far as
India. (See entry for Jonah in the Jewish Encyclopedia (
9&letter=J&search=jonah).) Tarshish, like Tartessos, is associated with extensive mineral wealth (Iberian Pyrite

In 1922, Adolf Schulten gave currency to a view of Tartessos that made it the Western, and wholly European
source of the legend of Atlantis.[26] A more serious review, by W.A. Oldfather, appeared in The American
Journal of Philology.[27] Both Atlantis and Tartessos were believed to be advanced societies which collapsed
when their cities were lost beneath the waves; supposed further similarities with the legendary society make a
connection seem feasible, though virtually nothing is known of Tartessos, not even its precise site. Other
Tartessian enthusiasts imagine it as a contemporary of Atlantis, with which it might have traded.

In 2011, a team led by Richard Freund claimed to have found strong evidence for the location in Doana
National Park based on underground and underwater surveys and the interpretation of the archaeological site
Cancho Roano[28] as "memorial cities" rebuilt in Atlantis's image.[29] [30] Spanish scientists have dismissed
Freund's claims claiming that he was sensationalising their work. The anthropologist Juan Villaras-Robles,
who works with the Spanish National Research Council, said "Richard Freund was a newcomer to our project
and appeared to be involved in his own very controversial issue concerning King Solomon's search for ivory
and gold in Tartessos, the well documented settlement in the Doana area established in the first millennium
BC" and described his claims as 'fanciful'.[31]

Simcha Jacobovici, involved in the production of a documentary on Freund's work for the National Geographic
Channel, stated that the biblical Tarshish (which he believes is the same as Tartessos) was Atlantis, and that
"Atlantis was hiding in the Tanach". Aren Maeir, a professor of archeology at Bar-Ilan University said "a lot of
people have made many crazy claims about Atlantis its one of those classic places where you have a lunatic
fringe looking for all types of things. And Richard Freund is known as someone who makes 'sensational' finds.
I would say that I am exceptionally skeptical about the thing, but I wouldnt discount it 100% until I see the
details, which havent been published as far as I know...every few years we hear something like this from him... 4/7
9/10/2017 Tartessos - Wikipedia

And the fact that its on National Geographic doesnt mean much. Unfortunately, over the past years theyve
had many questionable programs.".[32] The enigmatic Lady of Elx, an ancient bust of a woman found in
southeastern Spain, has been tied with Atlantis and Tartessos, though the statue displays clear signs of being
manufactured by later Iberian cultures.

See also
Atlantic Bronze Age
South-Western Iberian Bronze
Prehistoric Iberia
Spanish mythology
Pre-Roman peoples of the Iberian Peninsula
Cancho Roano

1. Herodotus, The History, i. 163 ; iv.152.
2. Phillip M. Freeman, Ancient references to Tartessos, chapter 10 in Barry Cunliffe and John T. Koch
(eds.), Celtic from the West (2010)
3. Phillip M. Freeman, Ancient references to Tartessos, chapter 10 in Barry Cunliffe and John T. Koch
(eds.), Celtic from the West: Alternative Perspectives From Archaeology, Genetics, Language And
Literature (2010)
4. Freeman, Phillip M (2010). Celtic from the West Chapter 10 - Ancillary Study: Ancient References to
Tartessos. Oxbow Books, Oxford, UK. p. 322. ISBN 978-1-84217-410-4.
5. Strabo. Geography (*.html). pp. Book III
Chapter 2 verse 11.
6. Pausanias Description of Greece 6.XIX.3.
7. Thirty kilometers inland there still is a mining town by the name of Tarsis.
8. Pliny, Natural History, 3.7.
9. Strabo. Geography (*.html). pp. Book III
Chapter 2 verse 14.
10. Richard J. A. Talbert (ed.), Map-by-Map Directory to Accompany the Barrington Atlas of The Greek and
Roman World (2000), p. 419. ( Archived (http
2011-07-27 at the Wayback Machine.
11. Schulten, Tartessos (Hamburg, 1922; Spanish tr. Madrid, 1924, 2nd ed. 1945).
12. The historiography of Tartessos is surveyed by Carlos G. Wagner, "Tartessos en la historiografa: un
revisin crtica".
13. "Dig Up Phoenician City", New York Times, September 26, 1923, pg. 3.
14. Luzn (1962). "Tartessos y la ra de Huelva". Zephyrus. 13: 97104.
15. J.M. Carriazo, El tesoro y las primeras excavaciones en 'El Carambolo' (Camas, Sevilla) (Excavaciones
Arqueolgicas en Espaa), 1970.
16. J.P. Garrido, Excavaciones en la necrpolis de La Joya, (E.A.E.), 1970.
17. The results of Tartessian archaeology as of 1987 were summarized by Chamorro, Javier G. (1987).
"Survey of Archaeological Research on Tartessos". American Journal of Archaeology. 91 (2): 197232.
18. Phoenician coastal settlements and necropoli are typically located at the mouth of rivers, on the first hill
behind the delta, at Cadiz, Mlaga, Granada and Almeria.
19. Wagner, in Alvar and Blsquez 1991:104)
20. Essays from both points of view are found in Alvar and Blzquez, according to the review by Antonio
Gilman in American Journal of Archaeology 98.2 (April 1994), pp. 369-370. 5/7
9/10/2017 Tartessos - Wikipedia

21. Detailed description and analysis of the objects found and sources mentioned above are surveyed in
Fernando Gonzlez de Canales Cerisola, Del Occidente Mtico Griego a Tarsis-Tarteso Fuentes escritas
y documentacin arqueolgica (2004) and F. Gonzlez de Canales, L. Serrano and J. Llompart, El
Emporio Fenicio-Precolonial de Huelva, ca. 900-770 a.C. (2004).
22. (es) F. Gonzalez de Canales Cerisola, Del Occidente Mtico Griego a Tarsis-Tarteso Fuentes escritas y
documentacin arqueolgica-, Madrid, Biblioteca Nueva, 2004
23. (es) F. Gonzalez de Canales, J. Llompart et L. Serrano, El Emporio Fenicio-Precolonial de Huelva, ca.
900-770 a.C., Madrid, Biblioteca Nueva, 2004
24. Cerisola, Fernando GONZLEZ DE CANALES (2014). "Tarshish-Tartessos, the Emporium Reached by
Kolaios of Samos" (
_Kolaios_of_Samos). Cahiers de lInstitut du Proche-Orient Ancien du Collge de France (CIPOA) II.
Retrieved 29 February 2016.
26. A. Schulten, Ein Beitrage zur ltestens Geschichte des Westens (Hamburg 1922). An amused reviewer
for The Journal of Hellenic Studies (43.2 [1923], p. 206) agreed that "we are quite willing to add it to the
long list of possible origins for the Atlantis legend" and that "our hearts burn within us to think of the
Tartessian literature six thousand years old".
27. The American Journal of Philology 44.4 (1923), pp. 368-371.
28. "Finding Atlantis" (
National Geographic Channel. Archived ( from the original on 7 July 2011.
Retrieved 2 December 2014.
29. Has the real lost city of Atlantis finally been found... buried under mud flats in Spain? (http://www.daily
ds-newsxml), Daily Mail Reporter, Daily Mail, 3/13/11.
30. Canadians part of search for fabled city of Atlantis. In: Montreal Gazette 3/13/11 [1] (http://www.montre
31. Owen, Edward (14 March 2011). "Lost city of Atlantis 'buried in Spanish wetlands' " (http://www.telegra
The Telegraph. London. Retrieved 18 March 2011.
32. Hartman, Ben (20 March 2011). "The deepest Jewish encampment?" (
d/JewishNews/Article.aspx?id=212935). The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 22 March 2011.

Further reading
J. M. A. Blazquez, Tartessos y Los Origenes de la Colonizacion Fenicia en Occidente (University of
Salamanca) 1968. Assembles of Punic materials found in Spain.
Jaime Alvar and Jos Mara Blzquez, Los enigmas de Tartessos (Madrid:Catedra) 1993. Papers
following a 1991 conference.
J. Chocomeli, En busca de Tartessos, Valencia, 1940.
F. Gonzalez de Canales Cerisola, Del Occidente Mtico Griego a Tarsis-Tarteso Fuentes escritas y
documentacin arqueolgica-, Biblioteca Nueva, Madrid, 2004.
F. Gonzalez de Canales, J. Llompart and L. Serrano, El Emporio Fenicio-Precolonial de Huelva, ca. 900-
770 a.C., Biblioteca Nueva, Madrid, 2004.
S. Celestino and C. Lpez-Ruiz, Tartessos and the Phoenicians in Iberia, Oxford University Press, New
York, 2016.

External links
Almagro-Gorbea. La literatura tartsica fuentes histricas e iconogrficas (
Detailed map of the Pre-Roman Peoples of Iberia (around 200 BC) (
Doana ( 6/7
9/10/2017 Tartessos - Wikipedia

Spaniards search for legendary Tartessos in a marsh (

Jewish Encyclopedia: ( Tarshish, a
distant maritime district famed for its metalwork, considered by the contributors in 1901-1906 to be
legendary; Old Testament references.
(e-Keltoi 6) Teresa Jdice Gamito, The Celts in Portugal (
Tartessos in The Princeton Encyclopedia of Classical Sites (

Atlantis connection
original article in Antiquity (
report by BBC (
report by National Geographic (

Retrieved from ""

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9/10/2017 Atlantis Legend | National Geographic


Plato created the legend of Atlantis. So why is it still popular more than 2,000 years later?

An illustration by Sir Gerald Hargreaves shows a utopian scene on a cove of the

mythical land of Atlantis. Many scholars think Plato invented the story of Atlantis
as a way to present his philosophical theories. 1/5
9/10/2017 Atlantis Legend | National Geographic

P H O T O G R A P H B Y M A R Y E V A N S P I C T U R E L I B R A R Y/ E V E R E T T

By Willie Drye

If the writing of the ancient Greek philosopher Plato had not

contained so much truth about the human condition, his name would have
been forgotten centuries ago.
But one of his most famous storiesthe cataclysmic destruction of
the ancient civilization of Atlantisis almost certainly false. So why is this
story still repeated more than 2,300 years after Plato's death?
"It's a story that captures the imagination," says James Romm, a
professor of classics at Bard College in Annandale, New York. "It's a great
myth. It has a lot of elements that people love to fantasize about."
Plato told the story of Atlantis around 360 B.C. The founders of
Atlantis, he said, were half god and half human. They created a utopian
civilization and became a great naval power. Their home was made up of
concentric islands separated by wide moats and linked by a canal that
penetrated to the center. The lush islands contained gold, silver, and other
precious metals and supported an abundance of rare, exotic wildlife. There
was a great capital city on the central island.


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9/10/2017 Atlantis Legend | National Geographic

There are many theories about where Atlantis wasin the

Mediterranean, off the coast of Spain, even under what is now Antarctica.
"Pick a spot on the map, and someone has said that Atlantis was there,"
says Charles Orser, curator of history at the New York State Museum in
Albany. "Every place you can imagine."
Plato said Atlantis existed about 9,000 years before his own time,
and that its story had been passed down by poets, priests, and others. But
Plato's writings about Atlantis are the only known records of its existence.

P O S S I B LY B A S E D O N R E A L E V E N T S ?

Few, if any, scientists think Atlantis actually existed. Ocean

explorer Robert Ballard, the National Geographic explorer-in-residence
who discovered the wreck of the Titanic in 1985, notes that "no Nobel
laureates" have said that what Plato wrote about Atlantis is true.
Still, Ballard says, the legend of Atlantis is a "logical" one since
cataclysmic floods and volcanic explosions have happened throughout
history, including one event that had some similarities to the story of the
destruction of Atlantis. About 3,600 years ago, a massive volcanic eruption
devastated the island of Santorini in the Aegean Sea near Greece. At the
time, a highly advanced society of Minoans lived on Santorini. The Minoan
civilization disappeared suddenly at about the same time as the volcanic
But Ballard doesn't think Santorini was Atlantis, because the time
of the eruption on that island doesn't coincide with when Plato said
Atlantis was destroyed.
Romm believes Plato created the story of Atlantis to convey some of
his philosophical theories. "He was dealing with a number of issues,
themes that run throughout his work," he says. "His ideas about divine
versus human nature, ideal societies, the gradual corruption of human 3/5
9/10/2017 Atlantis Legend | National Geographic

societythese ideas are all found in many of his works. Atlantis was a
different vehicle to get at some of his favorite themes."
The legend of Atlantis is a story about a moral, spiritual people who
lived in a highly advanced, utopian civilization. But they became greedy,
petty, and "morally bankrupt," and the gods "became angry because the
people had lost their way and turned to immoral pursuits," Orser says.
As punishment, he says, the gods sent "one terrible night of fire and
earthquakes" that caused Atlantis to sink into the sea.

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Does New Theory Pinpoint

Lost City of Atlantis? 4/5