end of a world • birth of a legend

end of a world • birth of a legend

By studying the types of rock that are found in the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean, scientists are sure that there was never really any large island or small continent there, so many people today think that Plato may have heard a story about another place and moved it to the Atlantic Ocean in his book.

Different people have thought that many places all over the world have been the place of the "real Atlantis". Curiously, many cultures from around the world who had no contact shared a similar story of a civilization sinking into the sea.

Atlantis is a legendary island first mentioned in Plato's dialogues Timaeus and Critias, written about 360 BC.

According to Plato, Atlantis was a naval power lying "in front of the Pillars of Hercules" that conquered many parts of Western Europe and Africa 9,000 years before the time of Solon, or approximately 9600 BC.

After a failed attempt to invade Athens, Atlantis sank into the ocean "in a single day and night of misfortune".

This drama-documentary tells the dramatic story of the greatest natural disaster to shake the ancient world, a disaster that triggered the downfall of a civilization and spawned a legend.

Around 1620 BC a gigantic volcano in the Aegean Sea stirred from its 19,000-year slumber.

The eruption tore the island of Thera apart, producing massive tsunamis that flooded the nearby island of Crete, the centre of Europe's first great civilization –– the Minoans.

This apocalyptic event, many experts now believe, provided the inspiration for the legend of Atlantis.

Based on the work of leading scientists, archaeologists and historians, this drama immerses viewers in the exotic world of the Minoans.

Starring Reece Ritchie (The Lovely Bones; Prince Of Persia ) and Stephanie Leonida (Yes; MirrorMask), Atlantis is the first British TV drama to use the virtual backlot production technique of the movie 300.

Incorporating the latest CGI technology, the film brings viewers face to face with one of history's greatest disasters -- from the precursory earthquakes through the eruption sequence to the pyroclastic flows and tsunamis.

In 2011, a team, working on a documentary for the Discovery Channel, led by Professor Richard Freund, from the University of Hartford, claimed to have found evidence of the city in mud flats in South Western Andalusia, in Spain.

The team identified its possible location within the marshlands of the Doñana National Park, in the area that once was the Lacus Ligustinus, between Huelva, Cádiz and Seville provinces, and speculated that Atlantis had been destroyed by a tsunami, by extrapolating results from a previous study by Spanish researchers, published four years earlier.

Spanish scientists have dismissed Freund's claims claiming that he was sensationalising their work. The anthropologist Juan Villarías-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 Donaña area established in the first millennium BC" and described his claims as 'fanciful'.

There have been dozens of locations proposed for Atlantis, to the point where the name has become a generic concept, divorced from the specifics of Plato's account. This is reflected in the fact that many proposed sites are not within the Atlantic at all.

Few today are scholarly or archaeological hypotheses, while others have been made by psychic or other pseudoscientific means. Many of the proposed sites share some of the characteristics of the Atlantis story (water, catastrophic end, relevant time period), but none has been demonstrated to be a true historical Atlantis.

A similar theory had previously been put forward by a German researcher, Rainer W. Kühne, but based only on satellite imagery and placing Atlantis in the Marismas de Hinojos, North of the city of Cádiz.

Before that, Historian Adolf Schulten had stated in the 1920s that Plato had used Tartessos as the basis for his Atlantis myth.

The location of Atlantis in the Atlantic Ocean has certain appeal given the closely related names.

Popular culture often places Atlantis there, perpetuating the original Platonic setting.

Several hypotheses place the sunken island in northern Europe, including Doggerland in the North Sea, and Sweden (by Olof Rudbeck in Atland, 1672–1702).

Some have proposed the Celtic Shelf as a possible locations, and that there is a link to Ireland.

The Canary Islands and Madeira Islands have also been identified as a possible location, west of the Straits of Gibraltar but in relative proximity to the Mediterranean Sea. Various islands or island groups in the Atlantic were also identified as possible locations, notably the Azores.

However detailed geological studies of the Canary Islands, the Azores, Madeira, and the ocean bottom surrounding them found a complete lack of any evidence for the catastrophic subsidence of these islands at any time during their existence and a complete lack of any evidence that the ocean bottom surrounding them was ever dry land at any time in the recent past.

The submerged island of Spartel near the Strait of Gibraltar has also been suggested.


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