Atlantis ‘the lost city’ in the News …

Update: March 15, 2011


NORTHAMPTON, Mass (Reuters) – 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.

To solve the age-old mystery, the team used a satellite photo of a suspected submerged city to find the site just north of Cadiz, Spain. There, buried in the vast marshlands of the Dona Ana Park, they believe that they pinpointed the ancient, multi-ringed dominion known as Atlantis.

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Tsunami clue to ‘Atlantis’ found

    A submerged island that could be the source of the Atlantis myth was hit by a large earthquake and tsunami 12,000 years ago, a geologist has discovered.Spartel Island now lies 60m under the sea in the Straits of Gibraltar, but some think it once lay above water. 

    The finding adds weight to a hypothesis that the island could have inspired the legend recounted by the philosopher Plato more than 2,000 years ago.

    Evidence comes from a seafloor survey published in the journal Geology.

    Marc-André Gutscher of the University of Western Brittany in Plouzané, France, found a coarse-grained sedimentary deposit that is 50-120cm thick and could have been left behind after a tsunami.

    Shaken sediments

    Dr Gutscher said that the destruction described by Plato is consistent with a great earthquake and tsunami similar to the one that devastated the city of Lisbon in Portugal in 1755, generating waves with heights of up to 10m.

    The thick “turbidite” deposit results from sediments that have been shaken up by underwater geological upheavals.

    It was found to date to around 12,000 years ago – roughly the age indicated by Plato for the destruction of Atlantis, Dr Gutscher reports in Geology.

    Spartel Island, in the Gulf of Cadiz, was proposed as a candidate for the origin of the Atlantis legend in 2001 by French geologist Jacques Collina-Girard.

    It is “in front of the Pillars of Hercules”, or the Straits of Gibraltar, as Plato described. The philosopher said the fabled island civilisation had been destroyed in a single day and night, disappearing below the sea.

    Sedimentary records reveal that events like the 1755 Lisbon earthquake occur every 1,500 to 2,000 years in the Gulf of Cadiz.

    But the mapping of the island carried out by Dr Gutscher failed to turn up any manmade structures and also showed that the island was much smaller than previously believed.

    This could make it less likely that the island was inhabited by a civilization.

Seafloor survey buoys Atlantis claim

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    Temples of the sea god 

    The identification of the site with Atlantis was first proposed by Werner Wickboldt, a lecturer and Atlantis enthusiast who spotted the rectangles and concentric rings by studying photographs from across the Mediterranean for signs of the city described by Plato.

    The sizes of the “island” and its rings in the satellite image are slightly larger than those described by Plato. There are two possible explanations for this, says Dr Kuehne.

    First, Plato may have underplayed the size of Atlantis. Secondly, the ancient unit of measurement used by Plato – the stade – may have been 20% larger than traditionally assumed.
    It is claimed that concentric rings surround the temple site

3 responses to “Atlantis ‘the lost city’ in the News …

  1. I think the lost city of Atlantis may have been very close to a comet or large meteor that struck the earth in the timeframe that Plato lived. Maybe Atlantis was already far from the origin of which it was built in that time. We do not know that due to the lack of technology that we have now. I would like some help researching “Stannerd Rock” that lies deep in the Lake Superior depths 36 miles off of the coast of Copper Harbor, MI. Stannerd Rock is very large and must have veggitation to hold baitfish that the lake trout feed on. The world record lake trout was caught there at the weight around 75 pounds. I do not know if Stannerd Rock has anything to do with the lost city of Atlantis, nor do I agree or disagree with folklore about Atlantis. I have studied the latin and spanish languages. I would really appreciate a responce from this reply. Tackman on Twitter


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  3. Richard Welch

    As I recall, Gutscher has officially abandoned the Spartel-Atlantis theory. The Dona Ana site could be significant since it might be Tartessos (though Huelva up the coast is also a prospect), or possibly even an Atantean colony. It is unlikely to be Atlantis since the locale does not fit Plato’s geographic parameters at all well. Atlantis proper was almost surely a supervolcanic island off Portugal that exploded and sank in the 17th century BC. Plato’s dating is obviously off — due to the Egyptian priests’ habitual exaggeration of hisotrical time (See Roots of Cataclysm, Algora Publ. NY 2009).