Skip to comments.The wave that destroyed Atlantis [Destroyed by a giant tsunami?]
Posted on 04/22/2007 5:53:44 AM PDT by yankeedame
Last Updated: Friday, 20 April 2007, 08:05 GMT 09:05 UK
By Harvey Lilley
The legend of Atlantis, the country that disappeared
under the sea, may be more than just a myth. Research on
the Greek island of Crete suggests Europe's earliest
civilisation was destroyed by a giant tsunami.
Video reconstruction of the tsunami
Until about 3,500 years ago, a spectacular ancient civilisation was flourishing in the Eastern Mediterranean.
The ancient Minoans were building palaces, paved streets and sewers, while most Europeans were still living in primitive huts.
But around 1500BC the people who spawned the myths of the Minotaur and the Labyrinth abruptly disappeared. Now the mystery of their cataclysmic end may finally have been solved.
The wave would have been as powerful as the one that devastated the coastlines of Thailand and Sri Lanka on Boxing day 2004 leading to the loss of over 250,000 lives
A group of scientists have uncovered new evidence that the island of Crete was hit by a massive tsunami at the same time that Minoan culture disappeared.
"The geo-archaeological deposits contain a number of distinct tsunami signatures," says Dutch-born geologist Professor Hendrik Bruins of the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel.
"Minoan building material, pottery and cups along with food residue such as isolated animal bones were mixed up with rounded beach pebbles and sea shells and microscopic marine fauna.
The Santorini eruption may
have sparked the tsunami
"The latter can only have been scooped up from the sea-bed by one mechanism - a powerful tsunami, dumping all these materials together in a destructive swoop," says Professor Bruins.
The deposits are up to seven metres above sea level, well above the normal reach of storm waves.
"An event of ferocious force hit the coast of Crete and this wasn't just a Mediterranean storm," says Professor Bruins.
The Minoans were sailors and traders. Most of their towns were along the coast, making them especially vulnerable to the effects of a tsunami.
One of their largest settlements was at Palaikastro on the eastern edge of the island, one of the sites where Canadian archaeologist Sandy MacGillivray has been excavating for 25 years.
Here, he has found other tell-tale signs such as buildings where the walls facing the sea are missing but side walls which could have survived a giant wave are left intact.
"All of a sudden a lot of the deposits began making sense to us," says MacGillivary.
"Even though the town of Palaikastro is a port it stretched hundreds of metres into the hinterland and is, in places, at least 15 metres above sea level. This was a big wave."
How it might have looked as
the wave approached the town
But if this evidence is so clear why has it not been discovered before now?
Tsunami expert Costas Synolakis, from the University of Southern California, says that the study of ancient tsunamis is in its infancy and people have not, until now, really known what to look for.
Many scientists are still of the view that these waves only blasted material away and did not leave much behind in the way of deposits.
But observation of the Asian tsunami of 2004 changed all that.
"If you remember the video footage," says Costas, "some of it showed tonnes of debris being carried along by the wave and much of it was deposited inland."
Costas Synolakis has come to the conclusion that the wave would have been as powerful as the one that devastated the coastlines of Thailand and Sri Lanka on Boxing day 2004 leading to the loss of over 250,000 lives.
After decades studying the Minoans, MacGillivray is struck by the scale of the destruction.
"The Minoans are so confident in their navy that they're living in unprotected cities all along the coastline. Now, you go to Bande Aceh [in Indonesia] and you find that the mortality rate is 80%. If we're looking at a similar mortality rate, that's the end of the Minoans."
But what caused the tsunami? The scientists have obtained radiocarbon dates for the deposits that show the tsunami could have hit the coast at exactly the same time as an eruption of the Santorini volcano, 70 km north of Crete, in the middle of the second millennium BC.
The Minoans were Europe's
first great civilisation.
Recent scientific work has established that the Santorini eruption was up to 10 times more powerful than the eruption of Krakatoa in 1883. It caused massive climatic disruption and the blast was heard over 3000 miles away.
Costas Synolakis thinks that the collapse of Santorini's giant volcanic cone into the sea during the eruption was the mechanism that generated a wave large enough to destroy the Minoan coastal towns.
It is not clear if the tsunami could have reached inland to the Minoan capital at Knossos, but the fallout from the volcano would have carried other consequences - massive ash falls and crop failure. With their ports, trading fleet and navy destroyed, the Minoans would never have fully recovered.
The myth of Atlantis, the city state that was lost beneath the sea, was first mentioned by Plato over 2000 years ago.
It has had a hold on the popular imagination for centuries.
Perhaps we now have an explanation of its origin - a folk memory of a real ancient civilisation swallowed by the sea.
Sounds like the Minoans didn’t buy enough carbon offsets to prevent the Santorini eruption :)
('Course with me and computer stuff that isn't saying much.)
Was this the same time that the Indus civilisation was around? They too had streets and houses with sewer systems. And that their language hasn't been cracked yet, adds more to the mystery.
"Recent scientific work has established that the Santorini eruption was up to 10 times more powerful than the eruption of Krakatoa in 1883."
I've read recently that some believe Santorini may have been close to super-volcano status.
I just completed reading the 1965 book Krakatoa and many first hand accounts...It was no picnic either.
Anything near 1875 B.C. is always of interest. That’s when every civilized spot East of Egypt was destroyed.
If only Bush had signed Kyoto they could have been saved....
Very true, Krakatoa, the largest explosion in recorded history, was probably no picnic. The claim that the 1645 BC Santorini eruption/explosion was bigger than Krakatoa sent me to Google which turned up a site which you may find interesting: Santorini
This whole site (not just the linked page) has lots of pictures and good stuff on Santorini and volcanoes in general.
Great articles--though don't agree with everything in them, and vehemently disagree with the parts about religion.
If Atlantis existed (itself debatable) and was located in the Atlantic (such as the Azores or the island that was just out of the Straits of Gibraltar), either it wasn't as powerful as Plato's account suggested (a teensy-weensy island could support a great culture, much less a civlization--this applies to Thera/Santorini, and even Minoan Crete), or Plato was off about both the power and the size: Crete is much smaller than the Maghreb and Asia Minor.
P.S. A lot of the commenters didn't take that size issue into consideration with their criticism, nor the suggestion of a Hellenized version for Plato, putting it in familiar Mediterranean surroundings. Plus, could the Pillars have been more than just two, and the Ocean being the Pacific (the largest ocean by far, especially if that NON-OCEAN dubbed the "Southern Ocean" is removed), and thus just a grouping of islands (i.e. similar to pillars/columns in the interior of a building)?
The IVC is usually put in with Sumer and Egypt as among the earliest great civilizations. Minoan civilization is about tied with the start of Chinese civilization.
When the Minoans went down, a dark age began in the Mediterranean that lasted for several centuries. It might be that the legend of the Flood was a memory of this, although there weren't many left to remember, and Flood legends occur worldwide, most of which was unaware of any Mediterranean civilization at the time.
IMO, it was likely the 'fireworks' for the Exodus out of Egypt. The tree-rings worldwide recorded an 'event' centered at 1628BC.
Personally I like the theory that the area of the black sea was flooded.
A re-analysis of theAbstract: The paroxysmal eruption of Santorini (ca. 3500 BP), referred to as the Late Bronze Age (LBA) eruption, probably generated multiple tsunami; their occurrence and impacts being cited frequently in scientific papers and articles. This paper examines what is known about any LBA tsunami, noting possible mechanisms of generation and identifying sedimentological traces. Firstly, the eruption sequence is outlined providing the context in which tsunami genesis may have occurred. Secondly, the arguments forwarded for the tsunami and a summary of the evidence is given. Thirdly, results of a new geological investigation for LBA tsunami deposits at 41 coastal sites from Crete and Kos are presented. The data are used to test the hypothesis that the LBA eruption generated an east Mediterranean-wide tsunami. It will be seen that no terrestrial geological evidence is identified. The paper re-examines the original arguments presented for LBA tsunami, challenging them because their founding assumptions are flawed. Together, the new data and the re-analysis of the original tsunami hypothesis indicate that there is insufficient evidence to demonstrate that any significant far-field tsunami propagated throughout the entire east Mediterranean as frequently purported. Some terrestrial evidence exists to suggest localised near-field tsunami inundation. There is good submarine evidence however, to suggest that a tsunami was focused to the W and WSW. The results have important implications for understanding the volcano-related tsunami hazard within the region and elsewhere.
Late Bronze Age eruption and tsunami
of Santorini, Greece, and the
implications for the volcano-tsunami hazard
Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research
Volume 130, Issues 1-2,
15 February 2004, Pages 107-132Identification of Aniakchak (Alaska) tephraMinute shards of volcanic glass recovered from the 1645 Â± 4 BC layer in the Greenland GRIP ice core have recently been claimed to originate from the Minoan eruption of Santorini [Hammer et al., 2003]. This is a significant claim because a precise age for the Minoan eruption provides an important time constraint on the evolution of civilizations in the Eastern Mediterranean. There are however significant differences between the concentrations of SiO2, TiO2, MgO, Ba, Sr, Nb and LREE between the ice core glass and the Minoan eruption, such that they cannot be correlatives. New chemical analyses of tephra from the Late Holocene eruption of the Aniakchak Volcano in Alaska, however, show a remarkable similarity to the ice core glass for all elements, and this eruption is proposed as the most likely source of the glass in the GRIP ice core. This provides a precise date of 1645 BC for the eruption of Aniakchak and is the first firm identification of Alaskan tephra in the Greenland ice cores. The age of the Minoan eruption of Santorini, however, remains unresolved.
in Greenland ice core
challenges the 1645 BC date
for Minoan eruption of Santorini
Nicholas J. G. Pearce
John A. Westgate and Shari J. Preece
Warren J. Eastwood
William T. Perkins
New Ice-Core Evidence Challenges the 1620s age for the Santorini (Minoan) Eruption
Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 25, Issue 3, March 1998, Pages 279-289 | 13 July 1997 | Gregory A. Zielinski, Mark S. Germani
Posted on 07/29/2004 3:25:45 AM EDT by SunkenCiv
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What word would a people use for a land buried under ice (frozen water) if they did not have a word for ice?
Would the word be water? Would the say the land was inundated and sunk beneath the waters?
What land beyond the gates of Hercules and as large as Eastern North Africa exists buried beneath the waters?
Anartica. Just imo.
> I’ve read recently that some believe Santorini may have been close to super-volcano status.
> I just completed reading the 1965 book Krakatoa and many first hand accounts...It was no picnic either.
Nor the Taupo explosion in NZ. There is one theory running around that New Zealand was, up until the Taupo explosion, settled by Phoenecians. The archaeologist is a neighbor of mine, and his findings are, on the surface, possible.
I read a theory somewhere that the Santorini ash fallout could have been the cause of the darkening of the sky in Egypt around the time of Moses.
The longer I live in the South Pacific, the more I come to realize that there is a WHOLE LOT of history that has never been recorded, ever.
And that this world is ALOT older and wickeder than most folk imagine. (with the possible exception of Robert E Howard).
What is now Indonesia being Atlantis? Sure, maybe, why not?
Our modern civilization brings along with it many, many biases. But nobody has successfully — to my satisfaction — explained what happened in the Pacific, while the rest of our Civilization was off fighting Trojan Wars or building Noah’s Ark (which must have had outboard motors and lots of petrol, to drop off the kangaroos in Australia and the kiwis and tuataras in New Zealand, and still make it back in time to Mt Ararat for the floods to settle down...)
The Pacific is a very old, very antient place, full of evil that has been practised for many millenia. Yet we know next-to-nothing about its History.
Like I said: Atlantis in Indonesia? Plausible. I would not be one bit surprised.
My neighbor is a 60 year old guy from NZ and he believes the same.
What word would a people use for a land buried under ice (frozen water) if they did not have a word for ice? Would the word be water? Would the say the land was inundated and sunk beneath the waters?Hey, nice! Very good idea, imho.
I agree. There was a story (I forget from whom) who wrote that the polynesians are a mixture of african and pacific peoples as a result of the Phoenecian trading. The islanders (Guam, Figi, Hawaii) were among the largest, most massive peoples of the world with 300 lbs being normal. Even today, 300 lbs is common and they have among the peoples of the earth the most massive frames and bodies.
Gypies are also larged boned and can be extremely large, but that is a separate geneology.
The Phoenecians were a mixture of Semitic peoples, being Lebanese and Israeli. Indeed, at that time, there was probably no difference between the peoples and they were probably viewed as one people with different kings.
Should we bring up the Olmecs and how they found their way to MesoAmerica.
Phoenicians....In the old testament, it was they who controlled the “Gates of their Enemies”. IMO, the Judahites were the bookkeepers and bankers, just as they are today.
> My neighbor is a 60 year old guy from NZ and he believes the same.
There are some really... interesting... rock carvings that require explanation. They come from the Taupo region. One of them is a very, very detailed-if-crude map of the globe.
A natural formation, the result of erosion? Shyeah right — I think not so. Someone did it, and that someone had a technological capability that surpassed dugout catamaran canoes (as marvelous as that maritime innovation was: the subject of separate discussion). These Taupo folk could quite clearly circumnavigate the globe and check out the coast-lines of all continents, and keep careful records, and return home within a lifetime, then etch their map onto volcanic rock. Their writings suggest Phoenecia.
I’ll keep an open mind on this one. Wide, wide open. Vikings were supposed to have found NZ at some point, too. And the Chinese. And the Spaniards.
Any of them easily could have: the prevailing currents would have virtually guaranteed it. One would have to be really unlucky to be in the Pacific Ocean and not eventually be sucked by some current or another smack into New Zealand (check it out).
Like I said, the true history of the South Pacific is lost in antiquity, and it is veiled in darkness and evil, amongst great civilizations with no written language, only tradition and oral history that is quickly disappearing. In real terms we have absolutely no idea what went on here.
No idea at all.
Pumice from the eruption is still regularly washing up on the beaches of Santorini. I’ve pick up all sorts of the stuff there. Another fascinating aspect of that island is the different colored ash cliffs. Like nothing anywhere else I’m told.
I still think Southeast Asia and perhaps parts of India as Atlantis. It sure fits what Plato described it as.
That's my first choice as of now. It has changed before though...maybe again.
I used to think it was in the Mediterranean Sea.
What about Lemuria, an ancient mythical civilization somewhere in the Pacific. Has any archeologist given it credence or is it just a myth?
Eden In The East(Professor Stephen Oppenheimer)
In an exhaustively researched and creatively argued reassessment of mankind's origins, British physician Oppenheimer, an expert in tropical pediatrics, contends that the now-submerged area of Southeast Asia was the cradle of ancient civilization.
From time to time, scholars from various disciplines have argued for the existence of a vastly old ``founder civilization.'' Among the most famous was Charles Hapgood, who based his theory of a lost seafaring civilization on his analysis of the famous 16th-century ``Piri Re'is'' maps of the Antarctic land mass.
In this tradition, Oppenheimer blends evidence from geology, genetics, linguistics, archaeology, and anthropology to argue persuasively that such a civilization existed on a submerged land mass in Southeast Asia, which geologists call the Sunda shelf. Pointing to geological evidence for the submersion of the shelf by abrupt rises in the sea level about 8,000 years ago, Oppenheimer contends that the coastal cultures of Southeast Asia were drowned by a great flood, reflected in flood mythologies scattered from the ancient Middle East (such as the biblical story of Noah) to Australia and the Americas.
According to the author, tantalizing archaeological evidence exists of settlements under a ``silt curtain'' left by the sea floods in drowned coastal regions from Southeast Asia to the Middle East, while linguistic markers indicate that languages spread from Southeast Asia to Australia and the Pacific.
The shared flood story is one striking example of similar Eurasian myths according to the author; the ancient Middle East and Asia share other myth typologies, conspicuously including creation and Cain and Abel myths, which point to common origins in a progenitor culture.
Absorbing, meticulously researched, limpidly written, and authoritative: should be regarded as a groundbreaking study of the remote past of Southeast Asia, and of civilization itself. -- Copyright ©1999, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Book Description A book that completetly changes the established and conventional view of prehistory by relocating the Lost Eden - the world's 1st civilisation - to SouthEast Asia. At the end of the Ice Age, SouthEast Asia formed a continent twice the size of India, which included Indochina, Malaysia, Indonesia and Borneo.
The South China Sea, the Gulf of Thailand and the Java sea, which were all dry, formed the connecting parts of the continent. Geologically, this half sunken continent is the Shunda shelf or Sundaland.
In the Eden in the East Stephen Oppenheimer puts forward the astonishing argument that here in southeast Asia - rather than in Mesopotamia where it is usually placed - was the lost civilisation that fertilised the Great cultures of the Middle East 6 thousand years ago. He produces evidence from ethnography, archaeology, oceanography, from creation stories, myths and sagas and from linguistics and DNA analysis, to argue that this founder civilisation was destroyed by a catastrophic flood, caused by a rapid rise in the sea level at the end of the last ice age.
Me too. I would choose South America 2nd today.
> Interesting thought.
About the kangaroos and the kiwis, animals only found on islands/continents in the South Pacific (which is a very very big place)...
I’m a Christian and I do believe in the Bible. A part of that requires me to believe in a universal flood that covers the entire world to a depth of some 29,000 feet (the height of Mt Everest) and it then requires me to believe that all the animals in the world were somehow on a big wooden boat.
I’ll swallow all of that on Faith. Dropping off the Kangaroos and Kiwis and tuataras in the South Pacific would have been a really big logistical exercise. Floating accidentally down to NZ and Australia would have taken a fair wee while. And dropping deadly poisonous snakes and spiders off only in OZ and not in NZ. And dropping off Weta bugs only in NZ and not in OZ. Then then finding its way under no power (presumably by prevailing currents?) back to Mt Ararat...?
It is at this point that Faith and Reason might part company. I happily exist in both worlds because I’ve decided it is perfectly OK to be a human contradiction, and that there is no requirement to be consistent or to have everything balance out and have debits equal credits.
Who says everything must make sense, everything must be explained? And who says that Reason is the best way to do that? I don’t.
Reason says there are no ghosts. I have seen a ghost. Nobody can persuade me otherwise. Reason does not support the paranormal: I believe in the Paranormal. And I believe in Reason.
The Indians believed in the Great Spirit: I have a Sioux Indian blood brother and I believe in the Great Spirit and have felt its presence in the wilds.
The Maori believe in similar paranormals, like Tu the Warrior Spirit. I have been in the bush in NZ and I feel that there is a Presence. And nothing will persuade me that Tu is not present when Maori Warriors are doing the Haka as if they mean it.
None of this has anything to do with Reason.
The Spiritual world has a very legitimate place in our lives. To some extent it can co-exist with the world of Science, Reason and Logic. Neither is more important than the other. Neither trumps the other. One day they may be co-explained and reconciled.
But I don’t need for that to happen to happily participate in both worlds.
As the antient Scottish doggerel goes:
“On Earth and Sky and Sea
Straynge Thynges There Be...”
I am also thinking Yucatan Peninsula and Cayman Island area.
Layers of mystery: Archaeologists look to the earth for Minoan fate
Worcester Telegram & Gazette | Sunday, October 28, 2007 | Judy Powell
Posted on 11/03/2007 11:04:25 PM PDT by SunkenCiv
“Even when, during the respective Thera Conferences, individual scientists had pointed out that the magnitude and significance of the Thera eruption must be estimated as less than previously thought, the conferences acted to strengthen the original hypothesis. The individual experts believed that the arguments advanced by their colleagues were sound, and that the facts of a natural catastrophe were not in doubt... All three factors reflect a fantasy world rather than cool detachment, which is why it so difficult to refute the theory with rational arguments.” — Eberhard Zangger, “The Future of the Past”, pp 49-50.
(this April topic appears to be the oldest FR thread regarding Sandi MacGillivray; thanks again for sending the Discovery story link, I’m nearly caught up with my back mail)
|GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother & Ernest_at_the_Beach|
Just updating the GGG info, not sending a general distribution.
I am a bit late to the thread, but if readers want to understand what happened to Atlantis (and the Earth), then check this out:
More soon - there’s a related presentation at the upcoming Geological Society of America in Vancouver.
Geologists made a big mistake about 200 years ago.... Fixing bad science is a hard thing to do, but new data certainly helps.
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