Week 5- Atlantis

From the articles I have read, it seems that Atlantis was nothing like the Disney version I watched when I was a kid. According to some it was a civilization of horribly corrupt and morally depraved individuals who got what they deserved. To others it was an exceptionally advanced civilization that was years ahead of its time and cut down in its prime. Either way, it has become one of the most well known legends in the world.

Today, quite a few people claim to have found the “Lost City.” According to Richard Freund, he and his team discovered the location of Atlantis north of Cadiz, Spain in the marshlands of the Dona Ana Park. (http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/03/12/us-tsunami-atlantis-idUSTRE72B2JR20110312) Another team of scientists, Paul Weinzweig and Pauline Zalitzki, say, “they discovered the submerged ruins of the ancient city off the shores of Cuba.” (http://www.riseearth.com/2012/10/atlantis-found-giant-sphinxes-pyramids.html). Robert Sarmast is an architect that also claims he has discovered Atlantis off the coast of Cyprus even though he said, “We cannot yet provide tangible proof in the form of bricks and mortar as the artefacts are still buried under several metres of sediment, but the circumstantial and other evidence is irrefutable.” (http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2004/11/16/1244592.html) Each discovery was made using new and advanced technology, like deep-ground radar, digital mapping, underwater technology and robot submersibles, which allowed these discoverers to explore these areas in depth. These sites also met their ends by natural disasters; things like rising sea levels, tsunamis, volcano eruptions and earthquakes.

One big problem with these finds is that they are all in different locations. However, each one is Atlantis and apparently fits the description Plato gave of Atlantis and its destruction in his writings in 360 B.C. to a T. However, if each one is, in fact, Atlantis according to their discoverers, how can any of them be? Plato’s writings of Atlantis are also “the only known historical sources of information about the iconic city.”  (http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/03/12/us-tsunami-atlantis-idUSTRE72B2JR20110312) Usually, if there was a city as large and advanced as Atlantis, there would be more than one account of its existence. Another thing that bugged me were the discrepancies in the timeline. “According to Plato, the sinking of Atlantis happened some 9,000 years before his time.” (http://dsc.discovery.com/tv-shows/curiosity/topics/9-reasons-atlantis-may-have-been-real.htm) However, in the discoveries that have been made it does not seem that the artifacts date back to that time period. Also, as we have learned in earlier lectures, there were not many written records at this time so this story would have had to have been passed down mostly by oral recounts until Plato penned his story.

The discoveries of these ancient cities are interesting and stimulate the imagination. However, the alleged evidence supporting the idea that they are the Lost City is not very substantive. While things like tsunamis, rising ocean levels, earthquakes and volcano eruptions did happen, it does not prove that any of the cities they destroyed were Atlantis.