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Explorers on the trail of Lost City of Atlantis
Telegraph ^ | October 27, 2003 | Roger Highfield

Posted on 10/26/2003 4:16:51 PM PST by sarcasm

An expedition to the Strait of Gibraltar may solve one of the world's greatest mysteries, reports Roger Highfield

For more than two millennia, many of the world's greatest adventurers, explorers and thinkers have sought the fabled Lost City of Atlantis.

Next month, an expedition to hunt for its remains among submerged Gibraltarian islands will be unveiled at the Royal Geographical Society, London, by a renowned geologist, Prof Jacques Collina-Girard, and the leaders of the Titanic expeditions.

First described by Plato in 360 BC, many have written off the story as a moralistic tale, a Utopia that was located in the mind of the Greek philosopher who used the demise of Atlantis as an allegory of how the best laid plans of mortals can go wrong.

But many have taken the lost world seriously. It inspired Jules Verne and Walt Disney, even Adolf Hitler. In 1882, the Prime Minister, Gladstone, tried (unsuccessfully) to persuade the Cabinet to fund an Atlantis exploration vessel.

Now it is to be sought by the Deep Med One expedition, planned for next summer by Prof Collina-Girard, of the University of Provence, with Commander Paul-Henri Nargeolet and George Tulloch.

The team will search a location about 20 miles south west of Tarifa, Spain, and 12 miles north west of Tangier. Using a submersible capable of reaching depths of 3,200ft, the expedition, backed by private investors and corporate sponsors, will look for signs of temples, buildings and prehistoric artefacts, such as tools and weapons.

"We hope to find artefacts there, but cannot predict this with total certainty as this area is totally unknown from a diving perspective," said Commander Nargeolet. "We will gather as much as we can in preparation for a second excavation expedition."

Plato said the island kingdom was larger than Libya and Asia put together. It was paradise: peaceful, cultured and unspoilt. A golden age continued for centuries, but eventually corruption got the better of its inhabitants and the gods punished them by submerging Atlantis.

Prof Collina-Girard believes that generations of Atlantis obsessives overlooked the most obvious location: Plato's account suggests Atlantis lay before the Pillars of Hercules - today's Strait of Gibraltar.

The professor came to this conclusion after studying the patterns of human migration from Europe into North Africa at the height of the last ice age, 19,000 years ago. To see if Stone Age people could have crossed the strait, he made a map of what the coastline looked like at that time, when the sea level was 420ft lower than today. This revealed an ancient archipelago with an island "in front of the Pillars of Hercules".

This island is now a shoal, called Spartel or Majuan Bank, which lies to the west of the strait, also as Plato described.

When he first outlined his idea two years ago in Comptes Rendus de l'Academie des Sciences, Prof Collina-Girard suggested that the archipelago provided stepping stones for early sailors to cross between Europe and North Africa until around 11,000 years ago. Then sea level rises accelerated to more than 6ft per century, according to records from coral reefs, swamping the island.

This fits the timing of the demise of the science-fiction-style superstate in Plato's Timaeus and Critias dialogues.

The story is told by Critias who said he heard it from his grandfather, who had heard it from Solon, his great-grandfather's contemporary, who in turn heard it from Egyptian priests, who were describing events that had occurred 9,000 years earlier - 11,000 years before the present day.

Plato suggests Atlantis is huge, whereas Prof Collina-Girard's candidate is nine miles by three wide. However, the professor argues that distances in Greek geography were usually approximate. The legend - and size - of Atlantis likely grew as storytellers embellished it as it was passed down to Plato.

Plato also reports that volcanic activity sank Atlantis, when the strait is not in a volcanic area. Perhaps this was more plausible than a change in sea level, said Prof Collina-Girard. As for an advanced Atlantean civilisation, the professor points to Plato's own admission that he grafted these details on to the tale to promote his own ideas about a Utopian society.


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: archaeology; atlantis; catastrophism; cyprus; discovery; ggg; godsgravesglyphs; history; legends
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1 posted on 10/26/2003 4:16:51 PM PST by sarcasm
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To: sarcasm
Let me guess: they are trying to find a link between what happened to Atlantis and the Bush family.
2 posted on 10/26/2003 4:18:58 PM PST by Paul Atreides (Bringing you quality, non-unnecessarily-excerpted threads since 2002)
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To: sarcasm
The evidence for a connection between Plato's Atlantis and the actual historical Minoan civilization is enormous. Plato drew on a report of an account in an Egyptian archive, and it appears that the numbers got upped by a factor of ten through a translation error.

Thus, Atlantis was not in the Atlantic, it was ten times closer, on the island of Crete. The dimensions of Atlantis are those of Crete, reduced by a factor of ten. The heyday of Minoan civilization was 900 years before Plato -- a factor of ten less than the 9000 years that Atlantean civilization was supposed to have existed.

The clincher is that Minoan civilization was destroyed overnight by tidal waves from the largest volcanic explosion in human history . . . which of course is a remarkable coincidence with the Atlantis legend.

Minoan civilization was advanced when the Greeks were in diapers. The Minoans were poised to dominate western civilization and culture. Then God stepped in.

3 posted on 10/26/2003 4:27:35 PM PST by JoeSchem
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To: sarcasm
if they greeks first heard about it from the egyptians then the egyptians would have been referring to the minoeans on the island of crete. that civilization traded with the egyptians for 1000 years or so until it was destroyed in about 1500 bc by the eruption of santorini
http://www.drgeorgepc.com/AtlantisDestruction.html
http://www.drgeorgepc.com/TsunamiSantorin.html
http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ancient/minoan_02.shtml
http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ancient/minoan_01.shtml
http://www.decadevolcano.net/santorini/santorini.htm
4 posted on 10/26/2003 4:29:43 PM PST by ckilmer
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To: Paul Atreides
Correct, the ancient Bush wouldn't sign the Athen's Treaty that banned the spread of fire, which caused gobal warming which caused the oceans to rise which caused Atlantis to sink under the waves.
5 posted on 10/26/2003 4:41:57 PM PST by sticker
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To: sarcasm
I'm only surprised that Ballard didn't get his name in here somewhere, he usually finds a way to horn in on all the big-publicity deep-sea projects.

This would sure be a kick in the rear to that guy in Cleveland who just came out with his revelation that Atlantis was near Cyprus.

6 posted on 10/26/2003 4:42:51 PM PST by KellyAdmirer
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To: JoeSchem
Sounds like a good theory to me -- By Jove, I think you've got it!
7 posted on 10/26/2003 5:03:34 PM PST by expatpat
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To: sarcasm
A golden age continued for centuries, but eventually corruption got the better of its inhabitants and the gods punished them by submerging Atlantis.

Must have been about the time attorneys and politicians came on the scene.

8 posted on 10/26/2003 5:18:58 PM PST by varon
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To: sarcasm
I never did buy that Santorini bit. They're looking in the right place. But Atlantis wasn't just a small inconsequential island. It was big.
9 posted on 10/26/2003 5:27:29 PM PST by Savage Beast (Truth is a relentless searchlight!)
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To: JoeSchem
Is anything known about the language of the Minoan civilization, i.e. what their name for their island, city-state was? Is this where the Linear A tablets were found?
10 posted on 10/26/2003 5:37:44 PM PST by WoofDog123
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To: WoofDog123
the name of the island the minoans lived on was crete. that was where the linear b tablets are found
11 posted on 10/26/2003 5:54:41 PM PST by ckilmer
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To: KellyAdmirer
Or that French fellow who is looking for it in the waters off Cuba and the Bahamas.

On the other hand, Troy was just a faded greek legend till a few decades ago.
12 posted on 10/26/2003 6:23:54 PM PST by SandfleaCSC
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To: farmfriend; RightWhale; sarcasm
"To see if Stone Age people could have crossed the strait, he made a map of what the coastline looked like at that time, when the sea level was 420ft lower than today.

Notice that this guy says the oceans were reduced in depth by 420 feet during the Ice Age.

13 posted on 10/26/2003 6:26:25 PM PST by blam
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To: sarcasm; *Gods, Graves, Glyphs; Alas Babylon!; annyokie; bd476; BiffWondercat; Bilbo Baggins; ...
Gods, Graves, Glyphs
List for articles regarding early civilizations , life of all forms, - dinosaurs - etc.

Let me know if you wish to be added or removed from this ping list.

For real time political chat - Radio Free Republic chat room
And you won't miss a thread on FR because e-bot will keep you informed.

14 posted on 10/26/2003 6:27:46 PM PST by farmfriend ( Isaiah 55:10,11)
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To: JoeSchem
The Search For Atlantis 'Ends At Ayia Napa' (Cyprus)
15 posted on 10/26/2003 6:30:12 PM PST by blam
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To: JoeSchem
"Thus, Atlantis was not in the Atlantic, it was ten times closer, on the island of Crete. The dimensions of Atlantis are those of Crete, reduced by a factor of ten. The heyday of Minoan civilization was 900 years before Plato -- a factor of ten less than the 9000 years that Atlantean civilization was supposed to have existed."

I prefer not to change the legend to fit my ideas. I find it more rewarding to 'work' my ideas around the original legend.

* Generally I have found that the more distant in the past, the less we know about things. This works for Atlantis...all we know is something handed down from an Egyptian priest in 360BC.

* 9,000 years ago was the end of the last Ice Age, enormous changes were occurring with the shifting of the weigh of the melting ice. There would be great earthquakes, volcanos and floods. A good time for a civilization and large areas of land to disappear.

16 posted on 10/26/2003 6:50:10 PM PST by blam
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To: SandfleaCSC
Here is a link to the latest update on the underwater site off the coast of Cuba.
17 posted on 10/26/2003 6:57:59 PM PST by blam
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To: JoeSchem
Agreed. It appears to me someone is fishing for Nat Geo or Discovery contract.
18 posted on 10/26/2003 7:01:57 PM PST by Bob J
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To: blam
all we know is something handed down from an Egyptian priest in 360BC.

Plato wrote around 450BC and Solon Lived around 1500BC.

19 posted on 10/26/2003 7:04:00 PM PST by Bob J
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To: Bob J
bump for later
20 posted on 10/26/2003 7:11:08 PM PST by Harmless Teddy Bear (Maybe I should cut back on the coffee...)
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