Skip to comments.The Search For Atlantis 'Ends At Ayia Napa' (Cyprus)
Posted on 09/27/2003 5:01:50 PM PDT by blam
The search for Atlantis 'ends at Ayia Napa'
By Fiona Govan
It may be the answer generations of experts on the ancient world have been looking for. New research claims that the fabled ancient civilisation of Atlantis is located close to Cyprus.
After nearly 10 years of research using ocean mapping technology and accounts from ancient texts, an American explorer says he has evidence that Atlantis lies beneath the deep blue waters off the southern tip of the island.
Robert Sarmast, a self-proclaimed mythologist and expert on the ancient world, makes this claim in his book, Discovery of Atlantis - The Startling Case for the Island of Cyprus, published last week in America by Origin Press. Mr Sarmast uses maps to show the location of archaeological remains on a sunken strip of land just off the south coast of Cyprus, which he says is Atlantis.
Mr Sarmast said at his home in California last week: "This is going to rewrite the history books. We are set to make the biggest archaeological discovery of all time."
His research, which cost $500,000 (£312,000) and uses data collected by a Russian scientific survey vessel in 1989, was paid for by the Heritage Standard Corporation, an organisation involved in undersea surveys for oil and gas. He now intends to carry out an expedition to explore the sea bed, to find proof of his theory.
Mr Sarmast says the site matches Plato's account of Atlantis, in the dialogues Timaeus and Critias, written in about 400BC. The description is said to be based on the writings of Solon, who recorded the account told to him by the Egyptians in around 600BC.
Whereas many historians believe that Atlantis is the stuff of legend and that Plato's description is an allegory to praise the values of Athenian society, Mr Sarmast takes a more literal view.
"My discovery will vindicate Plato," he said. "Within his dialogues, Plato provides factual clues as to what Atlantis was like. I have matched all but two of the 45 clues with the area around Cyprus. That's either the biggest coincidence in the history of the world or we have found Plato's Atlantis. Plato's account is so detailed that it is possible to make city plans based on his description. These match exactly the antediluvian maps of Cyprus as discovered through oceanographic mapping."
Mr Sarmast says he has identified many of the areas described by Plato, including a rectangular plain, running east to west, containing a metropolis at its centre.
Central to the latest theory is the fact that the Mediterranean basin suffered a catastrophic flood with the destruction of the Gibraltar "dam" that once closed the Mediterranean Sea from the Atlantic.
This substantiates Plato's claim that an epochal flood "swallowed up" the island of Atlantis leaving only the uninhabited mountainous regions above water, and supports the Biblical story of the flood.
Mr Sarmast believes that it will not be difficult to launch an underwater expedition and that the rewards will be great. "It's only a mile down in warm, calm waters," he said. "Compare that with the Titanic which is two miles down in freezing, treacherous waters. That was explored fully 20 years ago.
"What we have here is a whole city, an ancient civilisation, megalithic sites packed full of artefacts. We can expect to find colossal buildings, bridges, roads, canals and stone temples. With no sunlight, heat, oxygen or wind to degrade its remains, Atlantis will be mummified in the cold waters of the deep sea, frozen in time."
Mr Sarmast's claim about Cyprus is, however, just the latest in a long list of suggested locations for Atlantis, including the Azores, the Sahara desert, Malta, Central America and Antarctica.
Cypriot reaction last week ranged from derision to enthusiastic support.
Dr Despo Pilides, an archaeologist at the Department of Antiquities, said: "Serious archaeologists tend to place the search for Atlantis within the realm of fantasy.
"This latest theory should be taken with a very large pinch of salt. Archaeologists only work with hard evidence. There is no evidence whatsoever to give credence to this hypothesis and we have no intention of investigating it."
But in the kafenios, the coffee houses where men pass the time and debate the issues of the day, it was a different story.
Christos sipped his strong, dark coffee as he contemplated the idea. "Of course it's true," he said. "We are Atlantis, we are the oldest civilisation, we are the Garden of Eden. This is a very good thing for Cyprus. We will be more famous than anywhere else in the world."
The tourist industry agreed. A spokesman for the Cyprus Tourism Organisation said: "I don't think we should be hasty in dismissing this idea. Whether it is true or not it can only be a good thing for us.
"People will want to come and visit what could be part of Atlantis."
British holidaymakers in Ayia Napa were less impressed. "I couldn't care less," said one Briton. "If you're looking for Atlantis, I'll tell you where it is. It's on the left before you get to Larnaca . . . the Atlantis Night Club Cabaret. But get there early if you want a seat - it gets quite full."
Not long but, it would be determined by the size of the opening. The Black Sea was estimated (Ryan & Pittman)to have risen at the rate of one foot a day when it broke through at the Bosporus.
During the Ice Age the oceans of the world were reduced in depth by 300-500 feet, most accept 400 feet.
Go here and see a map of the world with the ocean depth reduced by about 300 feet. Notice that the Mediterranean Ocean is divided into three sections even at 300 feet. There are underwater scouring marks on the ocean floor that indicated a large intense flow of water ...just like at the Black Sea...at the Gilbraltar entrance
I do believe the Mediterranean was dessicated (lower water level) prior to the Ice Age melt.
The Mediterranean has been completely dried out at least 40 times, the last time was 4 million years ago. There are salt deposits on the bottom of the Mediterranean that are a mile thick and it is salt that forms only when exposed to direct sunlight. So... The guy has a good plan for Atlantis,at least regarding the water.
I have a theory that the same thing happened to the Gulf Of Mexico during the Ice Age. (That's how a city got 1/2 mile underwater off the coast of Cuba, another potential Atlantis site)
Yup. The oldest ever found.
All these? Besides, who is 'we'?
No-one knows for sure where the Pillars Of Hercules are.
I like that one. It is close to my 'present' favorite.
Seems to me that if there is a city down there, it needs to be investigated - whether it is Atlantis or not.
The mainstream archaeologists don't seem to be giving this much attention and in fact, Mr Sarmast himself says,"We can expect to find colossal buildings, bridges, roads, canals and stone temples." I don't think he has found anything but geological features on the ocean bed so far. None-the-less, I'm hopeful.
All the shifting of the weight from the water would have caused large earthquakes and probably volcanos too.
You may like this one too.
although the Straights of Gibraltor are referred to as the Pillars of Hercules, there are also several sites in the eastern Med that are similarly named. Plato's Egyptian sources are far more likely to be referring to one of those sites than the Straights, as they dealt with them far more frequently.
I personally hold with the theory that Atlantis was the volcanic island of Thera (modern Greek island of Santorini), fairly near to Cyprus. Several analysts have pointed out that the Egyptian "900" was often mis-translated in Greek as 9,000, which is how many years back (from his time) Plato placed the events of the destruction of Atlantis. If we look at 900 years instead of 9,000 they end up with the approximate date of the massive explosion of the island of Thera (bigger than Krakatoa or Mt St Helens, by a long shot). Prior to its destruction it would have had the appropriate physical characteristics to match Atlantis. At least the physical location descriptions would match close enough with Crete to satisfy the same "criteria" sited by the author to support the notion of the nearby Cyprus. This theory also accounts for the destruction of the Minoan (Crete) culture at around the same time. some even hold that it coincides with the "pillar of fire" and the parting of the Red Sea from Exodus. Certainly it was a big event, but to be recorded in such disparate sources does cause me some problems.
The big problem I have with this guys theory is that, so far as I've been able to find out, the breaching of the dam (represented at one end by the Rock of Gibralter) between the Atlantic and the Med happened around 65 million years ago. I don't think there were too many human civalizations, high or low, around that time. It certainly doesn't jibe with Platos account of 9,000 years either, though factoring in ice ages may fix that problem, though not with the "dam breach," but with the sea level changes, as suggested by another poster.
The Thera/Santorini explosion has been dated to 1628BC, that's why I argue for an earlier date for the Exodus. Charred grain under the crumpled wall of Jerico are just on top of the Santorini ash layer. The Santorini volcano was a worldwide event as it is recorded worldwide by tree rings...as well as the Ice Cores.
The Mediterranean completely dried out 4-5 million years ago which would necessitate that the passage at Gilbralter was blocked at that time.
correct, but that was a matter of lowered and then raised sea level, not a "breach" of the "dam" between Gibralter and north Africa as occured 65 million years ago. The postulated civilization destroyed by rising sea water may have occured as this author states, but it would be the result of the gradual rising of sea level brought about by the gradual melting of ice age glaciers, not the sudden event of the breach of the dam between the Med and Atlantic. That messes up this scenario as representing the "facts" in the Atlantis legend.
The breach event is apparently well established, geologically, with increcdible force being exerted to scour the floor of the Med by the jet of water from the breach. Some say the noise would have carried half way around the world. 65 million years ago who would have noticed? T Rex?
"Great, just great! Now, we are going have tourists all over the place..."
Charred grain under the crumpled wall of Jerico are just on top of the Santorini ash layer.
means that Thera/Santorini happened before Jericho but after/contemporary with Exodus? Your post indicates that would put Exodus at an earlier date than generally assumed (not sure what that generally assumed date is)? Is 1628 BC before the generally accepted dates for Exodus? I'm just not that conversant with the accepted dates.
Yes, see below
"The early date is usually placed in the middle 15th century around 1440 BC, while the late date is usually assigned to the close of the 13th century around 1290 BC. The early date relies most heavily on two specific biblical passages understood literally, while the late date relies on a more general view of the nature of Scripture combined with archaeological evidence. "